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Mrs. Currie : There are many aspects of care for elderly people provided by the NHS. We do not hold information about the use made of all NHS services, on the basis of age groups. Similarly we do not hold information by age group on the use made of all kinds of private sector care.
(2) whether his Department is monitoring the growth of the private sector in the field of care of the elderly ; and what steps are being taken to measure whether the private sector can meet future consumer demands.
Mrs. Currie : We collect annual statistics on provision in private nursing homes and residential care homes registered under the Registered Homes Act 1984. We do not collect information centrally about private domiciliary care. We see the future of both health and social services care as one in which the individual and his or her family should have a choice. In the light of Sir Roy Griffiths' report we are considering how the provision of care should be organised across all sectors to best address future consumer demands.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many projects funded under the intermediate treatment initiative of local authority circular 63/3 have had their grants withdrawn or suspended ; and for what reasons.
Mrs. Currie : A total of 110 projects were set up under the intermediate treatment initiative in England. None have had their grants withdrawn. Initiative grants are paid on a quarterly basis. A number of projects have had such payments suspended at some point. This was because either they accumulated a large balance of unspent grant ; or their annual acounts were overdue ; or, in a few cases, because the project did not fully comply with the conditions of the grant. Grants to three projects are currently suspended for one of these reasons.
Mr. Henderson : To ask the Secretary of State for health how many geriatric patients in the Newcastle district health authority area are waiting for placement in (a) geriatric hospitals and (b) residential homes.
Mrs. Currie : We do not have information in the precise form requested. Available information is as follows. On 31 March 1988, the latest date for which we have figures, six patients were on the Newcastle district health authority geriatric medicine in-patient waiting list. We do not have figures for the number of patients awaiting admission to residential homes. The hon. Member may wish to consider requesting other information from the health and local authorities concerned.
Mr. Frank Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list those districts which are planned to have (a) basic screening units and (b) specialist assessment teams ; and if he will give the latest estimates when each team and each unit will commence service ;
(2) if he will list those districts which are planned to have (a) mobile screening units and (b) static screening units ; (3) if he will list those districts where women are already being called by a computerised system for breast cancer screening ; and if he will give the age bands of the women being called.
All family practitioner committees have the necessary computer software to provide screening offices with invitation lists. Precise arrangements to phase the calling of the women aged between 50 and 64 resident in the districts served by the initial screening centres over the next three years will vary from unit to unit.
Mrs. Currie : The cost of mobile mammography screening equipment varies in accordance with the complexity of the procedure that it is designed to carry out. Typical costs exclusive of VAT for the mobile trailer, X-ray machine, electricity generator and film handling system would range from £63,000 to £88,000. The cost of the towing vehicle is not included in these figures.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the measures being taken to adapt family practitioner committee computerised call/recall cervical cancer screening programmes to accommodate the breast cancer screening programme.
Mrs. Currie : All family practitioner committees in England and Wales now have the ability to provide health authorities with computerised call/recall facilities to enable them to carry out their breast screening programme.
Column 60National Health Service official or manager who holds a contract embodying a provision that confers on its holder financial reward related to financial outturn such that he benefits from low gradings of nurses and midwives is permitted to sit on any appeal tribunal or panel that hears appeals by nurses or midwives against their grading.
Mr. Mellor : We are continuing to give very careful consideration to Sir Roy's report and to the numerous representations that we have received. We will bring forward our own proposals in due course and are mindful of concern that action should not be unduly delayed.
(2) what is the current level of vacancies for medical secretaries in the National Health Service ;
(3) what has been the percentage change in the use of agency staff as medical secretaries in the last six years.
Mr. Mellor : Nurses, along with all other NHS employees, who have more than one year's service are entitled to 18 weeks paid maternity leave. Those with more than two years' service are additionally entitled to unpaid maternity leave until the end of the 29th week after the week of confinement. In all cases, additional unpaid leave may be granted at the discretion of the employing authority.
Mr. Mellor : Recent trends in the numbers of nursing and midwifery staff in post and newly qualified nurses suggest that following qualification each nurse provides 11-12 years full-time service in the NHS.
Mr. Mellor : We do not collect information about vacancies centrally. However, a sample survey for the Pay Review Body showed that at 31 March 1987 about 3.5 per cent. of all nursing and midwifery staff posts had been vacant for three months or more.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those district health authorities and special health authorities which have set up trusts or charities to run hostel/community services for patients discharged from long-stay hospitals ; what are the estimated savings to each authority ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement regarding the current guidance issued to local authorities regarding the disposal of the dead in war ; and if he intends to issue revised guidance ;
(2) what reserves of equipment and chemicals are held by his Department for distribution to local authorities to assist in the disposal of the dead in the event of war ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) if his Department has carried out or commissioned research into the psychological problems likely to be encountered by those involved in mass burials in the event of war ; and if he will make a statement ;
(4) what advice is being offered by his Department to London local authorities regarding the disposal of dead bodies in the event of nuclear war ;
(5) what discussions have taken place between his Department and religious leaders regarding the disposal of bodies in mass graves in the event of nuclear war ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Currie : Government advice concerning the disposal of the dead in war, including nuclear war, is contained in section 10 of the Home Office publication "Emergency Planning Guidance to Local Authorities" issued in 1985. A copy is available in the Library. The "Handbook on Environmental Health" to which reference is made in part 5 of the DHSS health circular (88)31--"Emergency Planning in the NHS : Health Service Responsibilities in Civil Defence"--issued in July 1988, is currently the subject of consultation. This handbook which is concerned with environmental health in war, has been prepared by an outside consultant and it contains advice on the prevention of the spread of disease and the promotion of community health. The handbook includes a chapter dealing with the disposal of the dead and also takes account of the emotional and social stress which might be caused by mass casualties. A copy will be placed in the Library on publication.
There is no central reserve of equipment or chemicals held by the Department to assist in the disposal of the
Column 62dead. There have been no discussions between leaders of religious denominations and this Department on the disposal of bodies in mass graves.
(2) if he will list those district health authorities which provide work place nurseries and specify how many places they provide.
Mr. Mellor : Women make a vital contribution to every aspect of the National Health Service and comprise about 70 per cent. of its work force. We are committed to ensuring that no unnecessary obstacles are placed in their way in terms of their training, career development and the opportunity to deploy to the full their talents, professional skills and expertise. Whilst much has been done in this area, further progress is possible. That is why we agreed to the establishment of the national steering group on equal opportunities for women in the NHS, whose general remit was to consider the personnel policies and procedures necessary to provide equality of opportunity in NHS employment, and in particular to make recommendations for management of the career break. Although the group has yet to report, it has already issued practical guidance direct to health authorities, including advice about the procedures of recruitment and retention, which the then Health Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton) publicly welcomed and commended to authorities. Once we have the group's report, which I understand is expected shortly, we shall consider what further action we can take. We do not hold information about the numbers of workplace nurseries and places available locally within district health authorities centrally.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much has been invested in repairs and maintenance of (a) the sewer systems and (b) the water mains in (i) the Severn Trent water authority area and(ii) Stoke on Trent, in each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what debts are currently attributable to (a) the sewer systems and (b) the water mains in (i) the Severn Trent water authority and (ii) Stoke on Trent.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimates he has of the expenditure needed to bring (a) the sewer systems and (b) the water mains of (i) the Severn Trent water authority area and(ii) Stoke on Trent up to modern standards.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will publish a table showing (a) the land holdings and (b) their current asset value of the Severn Trent water authority (i) generally and (ii) in Stoke on Trent.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each charging authority area, attributing grant income received by precepting authorities under the current grant system to each area in proportion to the aggregate of rateable values in that area (a) the estimated rate support grant for 1988-89, (b) the estimated amount of revenue support grant which would have been payable in 1988-89 under the proposed new grant system, had the new system been in its first year of operation in 1988-89 with full safety nets and assuming needs assessments at 1988-89 grant-related expenditure levels, (c) the estimated amount of revenue support grant payable in 1988-89 under the proposed new grant system after the end of safety nets and assuming needs assessments at 1988- 89 grant-related expenditure levels, (d) the difference between (a) and (b), (e) the difference between (a) and (c) and (f) the difference between (b) and (c) showing aggregates for each figure for each class of charging authority and for each region.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each charging authority area, attributing grant income received by precepting authorities under the current grant system to each area in proportion to the aggregate of rateable values in that area (a) the estimated revenue from non-domestic rates in 1988-89, (b) the estimated amount which would have been raised in revenue by the national non-domestic rate in 1988-89, after the end of transitional arrangements and assuming rateable values at current levels, (c) the amount which would have been paid from the national non-domestic rating pool to each area in 1988-89, (d) the difference between (a) and (b), (e) the difference between
Column 64(a) and (c) and (f) the difference between (a) and (c) showing aggregates for each figure for each class of charging authority and for each region.
London Fire and Civil Defence Authority Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to confer powers under section 138 of the Local Government Act 1972 to the London fire and civil defence authority ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : No. Earlier this year we considered very carefully the views of the authority on this point and decided that the case had not been made for legislation to confer on them powers under section 138 of the Local Government Act 1972.
Kings Cross Fire Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what additional resources have been made available to Camden borough council to deal with immediate and longer term problems associated with the Kings Cross fire.
"Tidy Britain" Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will identify by location and type the 19 experimental projects currently underway as a result of the "Tidy Britain" initiative ; and what involvement is being provided by local authorities.
Liverpool to Southport line
London Bridge to Sevenoaks line
Glasgow to Motherwell line
A38, 10 mile section from Bristol city centre northwards. A1 Lincolnshire section.
A1--Grantham services area
M6--Keele motorway services
Elephant and Castle station
Dollis Hill station
Turnham Green station
Charing Cross station
Leicester Square station
Capital high street
Provincial high streets
Column 65Industrial estate
Gateshead, adjoining Garden Festival site
Leeds--three areas around city centre
Litter Act enforcement (North East)
Seven district councils in Northumbria :
County litter plans development
Review of the Community Environment Programme
Forest of Dean
Tower of London
Beaches in East Anglia and Wales (Glamorgan coast)
The Bath and West Show
Cowal Highland Gathering
Local authorities are involved in the majority of projects. The form of their involvement varies with the type of project.
Water Authorities (Pensions) Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements the Government are making to ensure that water authority employees can continue to be members of an index-linked pension scheme.
Mr. Howard : Each authority is offering a "mirror image scheme", so called because it will offer the same benefits, including full index linking, for the same level of contribution by employees as the local government superannuation scheme. The water authorities are preparing trust deeds for the mirror image schemes, and the Secretary of State will not approve these until he is satisfied that the commitment to match the local government superannuation scheme has been met. The mirror image scheme will be open to employees who stay in the local government superannuation scheme until the transfer date, when the assets, rights and liabilities of water authorities, except for those being vested in the NRA, are vested in their successor companies. As an additional alternative, most water authorities are offering employees new water pension schemes with a different mix of benefits which includes limited index linking ; these new water pension schemes will continue to be available after the transfer date. Employees will be able to choose whether to leave their accrued pension rights in the water authorities superannuation fund, which will in future be administered by the National Rivers Authority, or to transfer accrued rights to the mirror image schemes or the new water pension schemes being set up by the water authorities. The pension