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Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take action to ensure that all breaches of European Commission directives by the Yorkshire water authority in respect of mercury and cadmium in river sediment are required to be reported to that authority's water quality advisory group.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he is taking in respect of the breaches by the Yorkshire water authority of European Commission directives concerning mercury and cadmium in river sediment and pollution by the pesticide Lindane.
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 25 November 1988] : On the basis of the periodic returns supplied by Yorkshire water authority, the Department does not consider that the requirements of the relevant European Community directives governing discharges of these substances have been breached.
Column 136regarding the discharges of significant quantities of restricted chemicals into the river system by Hickson and Welch Ltd., Castleford, Staveley Chemicals, Chesterfield, Coalite Ltd., Bolsover and Thomas Bolton and Johnson Ltd., Wakefield.
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 25 November 1988] : None recently, but I am aware of the concern over some industrial effluents being discharged into Yorkshire rivers. Representations about particular effluents would generally be made to the Yorkshire water authority which is responsible for controlling industrial discharges to rivers in its area. I understand that the water authority is investigating these and other industrial discharges with a view to securing improvements.
1. Effects of disinfection on organics in drinking water. Contractor-Water Research Centre (WRC). End date March 1989. Contract amount £343,000.
2. Pesticides in drinking water ; sources and supplies. Contractor-WRC. End date December 1989. Contract amount £168,000. 3. Groundwater pollution by organic solvents.
Contractor-NERC/British Geological Survey. End date March 1989. Contract amount £128,000.
4. Analysis of potentially dangerous substances in United Kingdom waters. Contractor-SAC Scientific. End date March 1989. Contract amount £27,000.
5. Sources and fates of synthetic organics. Contractor-WRC. End date March 1990. Contract amount £181,000.
6. Standards for dangerous substances in surface waters. Contractor-WRC. End date March 1989. Contract amount £197,000. 7. Total impact assessment of pollutants in river basins. Contractor-NERC/Institute of Hydrology. End date June 1989. Contract amount £163,000.
8. Organic contaminants in rivers. Contractor-WRC. End date March 1990. Contract amount £276,000.
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 25 November 1988] : Routine monitoring by water undertakers has revealed minute traces of pesticides in some drinking water supplies. Government medical advisers are satisfied that the levels found do not constitute a health risk.
As far as I am aware the levels arise from the use of pesticides approved under the control of pesticides regulations. I have no evidence to suggest that contamination arises from the illegal use of pesticides.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent representations have been made by Her Majesty's Government to the European Commission regarding the pesticide standard within the drinking water directive.
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 25 November 1988] : The Government consider that the pesticide parameter in the EC drinking water directive is not scientifically based, and is impracticable for a number of reasons. On several occasions since 1985 the Government have made representations to the Commission for a review.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will as a matter of urgency introduce legislation to provide for a prohibition power to enable water authorities to stop polluters from discharging effluent into water courses.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 25 November 1988] : It is a criminal offence under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to discharge polluting effluent into a water course without a consent from a water authority or the Secretary of State.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will as a matter of urgency bring forward legislation to ensure that polluters are given a duty to notify all new pollutants in their effluent to the responsible water authority, to enable water authorities to revise the consent without financial penalty.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 25 November 1988] : No. Such legislation would be redundant. A discharger who adds to his discharge a new pollutant which materially adds to the noxious quality of the discharge, and which is not covered by the consent, will be guilty of an offence. Before adding such a pollutant he must therefore secure from the water authority a variation to the consent. The water authority will suffer no financial penalty if it varies or refuses to vary the consent.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of opencast coalmining planning applications that have been made, approved and refused in 1987-88 and the four previous years for each region of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Ridley [holding answer 25 November 1988] : This information is not held centrally. Statistics compiled by the County Planning Officers' Society, which are available from 1984-85 only, show the following :
|1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88 ----------------------------------------------------- Scotland Number of applications13 33 25 approved |8 |25 |17 |21 refused |5 |8 |8 |4 North East Number of applications13 31 25 approved |8 |14 |15 |13 refused |5 |17 |10 |12 North West Number of applications1 9 5 approved |1 |6 |2 |1 refused |- |3 |3 |1 Central West Number of applications5 11 8 approved |4 |5 |5 |8 refused |1 |6 |3 |1 Central East Number of applications4 16 22 approved |2 |12 |11 |9 refused |2 |4 |11 |5 South West Number of applications12 11 16 approved |6 |6 |12 |8 refused |6 |5 |4 |8 Total Number of applications48 111 101 approved |29 |68 |62 |60 refused |19 |43 |39 |30
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 25 November 1988] : The staff of water undertakers and local authorities would implement planning arrangements designed to prevent pollution of water supplies arising from the disposal of the dead in wartime.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what efforts have been made to meet the standards as set out in directive 80/778/EEC ; what are the current difficulties encountered ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 25 November 1988] : Considerable efforts have been made, and will continue to be made, to meet the standards set out in the EC drinking water directive (Directive 80/778/EEC). Since the directive was agreed in 1980 water authorities and water companies have undertaken substantial programmes of improvement. In 1987-88 alone water authorities spent £400 million on their water supply functions. Programmes of improvements and investment will continue when the water industry is privatised. Current difficulties stem from the fact that some of the requirements relating to the parameters in the directive and their interpretation do not have a sound technical basis or take account of the practical circumstances of the water treatment and distribution systems. Public water supplies in the United Kingdom are safe to drink. Good progress continues to be made towards full compliance with the directive. Most public water supplies for which derogations have been granted by the Department or sought from the European Commission are expected to comply over the next few years.
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what advice he is giving to women who make inquiries to his Department on how they can obtain information on whether they were at any time fitted with a Dalkon shield intra uterine device ;
(2) whether he has issued guidance to health authorities and family practitioner committees on assisting women who make inquiries to obtain information on whether they were at any time fitted with a Dalkon shield intra uterine device.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if his Department will reconsider its position not to launch a public information campaign to inform women of any rights they may have in regard to any injuries caused by the Dalkon shield contraceptive device.
Mrs. Currie [holding answer 25 November 1988] : We have no plans to initiate a public information campaign in relation to this matter of litigation in the United States courts. Publicity conducted in the United Kingdom by the Dalkon shield manufacturers has been approved by the courts concerned.
Our guidance to health authorities about the release of information in the context of civil legal proceedings is contained in HC(82)16, a copy of which is available in the Library. We have referred to that guidance in response to enquiries about the disclosure of records on the use of the Dalkon shield in individual cases.
In the case of family practitioner services, patients' medical records are held by general practitioners in the majority of cases. The General Medical Council issues guidance to doctors on the circumstances in which it is appropriate for confidential medical information to be released. We have received no inquiries about the provision of information by GPs to specific patients about their use of the Dalkon shield.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list (a) the discharges and (b) the deaths, by length of stay, including percentage change in numbers and percentage distribution, of patients suffering from schizophrenia psychoses for the last year for which figures are available ;
(2) how many current occupants of National Health Service hospital and unit beds have a main diagnosis of schizophrenia psychoses in each health region ; and what those figures are as a percentage of (a) mental and (b) all hospital beds in each region ;
(3) if he will list the admissions by diagnosis and order of admissions, including percentage change in numbers and rates per 100, 000 population, of patients suffering from schizophrenia psychoses in each health region in the last year for which figures are available ;
(4) how many patients with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia psychoses were discharged from mental illness hospitals in each health region last year ; and how many were admitted for a hospital stay of more than once during the year ;
(5) how many people with a main diagnosis of schizophrenia psychoses were discharged from mental illness hospitals in England in each of the last five years ; and how many of them were taken into local authority residential care in the same year.
Mrs. Currie : The latest available information on people with schizophrenia in National Health Service mental illness hospitals and units is contained in the Department's statistical bulletin 1/86 "Mental illness hospitals and units in England : Schizophrenia Statistics 1981-84" and statistical note 2/88 "Mental illness hospitals and units in England : Schizophrenia Statistics 1984-86" ; copies of which have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what research projects his Department is funding in the current year to test the effectiveness of community care for people suffering from schizophrenia psychoses ; and if he will make a statement.
Title |Researcher(s) and |Location ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (i) Assessment of needs of chronic |Dr. E. Johnson and Dr. H. schizophrenics living in the health |I. Hershon, Northwick district of Harrow; | Park Hospital (ii) A comparison of day and in patient |Dr. F. Creed, Manchester treatment | Royal Infirmary (iii) Compulsory treatment of psychia- |Professor S. R. Hirsch and tric patients in the community | Dr. T. E. Sensky, | Department of | Psychiatry, Charing | Cross Hospital (iv) Research on management of |Dr. G. Wilkinson and Dr. schizophrenics in the community; | I. Falloon, Institute of | Psychiatry, Denmark | Hill, London (v) A controlled evaluation of commun- |Dr. T. Burns, Department ity psychiatric care; | of Psychiatry, St. | George's Hospital | Medical School (vi) Evaluating the transition from |Professor J. P. Leff, MRC psychiatric hospitals to District based |Social Psychiatry Unit. services. (Part funding from Department of Health) (vii) Controlled trial of a daily living |Professor I. Marks, programme versus standard psychia- |Institute of Psychiatry tric care; (viii) Interface between primary care |Professor D. Goldberg, and hospital based mental illness |Department of services; | Psychiatry, University of | Manchester (ix) Early brief versus sustained neur- |Professor S. R. Hirsch, oleptic treatment in the maintenance |Department of phase of schizophrenia | Psychiatry, Charing | Cross and Westminster | Medical School
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was spent in England and Wales in the last year on the care and treatment of patients suffering from schizophrenia ; and what percentage that figure represented of total expenditure on (a) mental and (b) all health services ;
(2) what is the current annual cost per patient to the National Health Service of the care and treatment of patients with a main diagnosis of schizophrenia psychoses.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received in the last year on the provision of community care for patients suffering from schizophrenia psychoses discharged from National Health Service mental hospitals ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Currie : We have received representation from a variety of sources, some of which reflect concern about the level of services available in some localities. Over the next year, the Government will be looking closely at local levels of provision.
Column 141opened and how many mental illness hospital beds closed in each health authority in England and Wales in the last year for which figures are available ;
(2) what information he has as to how many people discharged from hospital following a main diagnosis of schizophrenia psychoses and subsequently taken by the police under the Mental Health Act to hospital have been refused admission, in the last year for which figures are available ;
(3) what information he has as to how many people discharged from mental illness hospitals in England in the last year after a main diagnosis of schizophrenia psychoses having been proved vulnerable homeless subsequently became voluntary homeless.
Mrs. Currie : I regret that we do not hold centrally figures for the number of mental illness beds closed and the number of new beds opened each year, but the table shows the number of available staffed beds in National Health Service mental illness hospitals and units for 1985 and 1986, the latest years for which comparable information is available. The Health Service in Wales is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
We do not collect centrally the other information requested.
Available staffed beds in mental illness hospitals and units, at 31 December Number of available staffed beds Regional health authority |1985 |1986 |Overall change ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Northern |5,606 |5,375 |-231 Yorkshire |6,070 |5,660 |-410 Trent |6,679 |6,520 |-159 East Anglian |2,756 |2,655 |-101 North West Thames |6,433 |5,968 |-465 North East Thames |5,887 |5,771 |-116 South East Thames |5,774 |5,417 |-357 South West Thames |6,061 |5,528 |-533 Wessex |3,626 |3,411 |-215 Oxford |2,290 |2,195 |-95 South Western |4,454 |4,226 |-228 West Midlands |6,964 |6,764 |-200 Mersey |5,421 |5,062 |-359 North Western |6,359 |6,199 |-160 Special health authorities |457 |464 |+7 |--- |--- |--- Total |74,837 |71,215 |-3,622
Mrs. Currie : The numbers of local authority homes for younger physically handicapped people in each local authority are published in "Residential Accommodation for the Elderly and Younger Physically Handicapped People : All Residents in Local Authority, Voluntary and Private Homes". The number of local authority-registered homes for mentally handicapped people in each local authority is published in "Homes and Hostels for Mentally Ill and Mentally Handicapped People". The latest available information relates to 1986. The "Directory of Independent Hospitals and Health Services" lists local
authority-registered homes by name. Copies of all these publications are available in the Library.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his best estimate for each health authority of the percentage of eligible women who have been screened for cervical cancer at the latest convenient date.
Mrs. Currie : This information is not currently available as statistics to date have concentrated on the number of smear tests performed rather than on the number of women screened. It will however become available during 1989 when we receive health authorities' returns from Ko"rner form KC 53 ("Adult screening programmes--cervical cytology").
Mrs. Currie : Following proposals by all regional health authorities we announced allocations for mental illness development projects in February 1986 of £2 million in 1987-88 and £2.285 million in 1988 -89. An innovative community-based family therapy service in Tower Hamlets health authority has also received direct funding of £33,000 in 1987- 88 and £34,000 in 1988-89.
1988-89 Amount Organisation |£000s per annum ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MIND (National Association for Mental Health) |415 Alzheimer's Disease Society |130 Samaritans<1> |125 CRUSE (Bereavement Care) |114 Richmond Fellowship |97 National Schizophrenia Fellowship |91 Good Practices in Mental Health |80 Mental After Care Association |50 Mental Health Film Council |35 Anorexic Family Aid |29 Mental Health Foundation |27 British Institute of Industrial Therapy |25 Rape Counselling and Research Project |25 North West Fellowship |20 Northern Schizophrenia Fellowship<1> |20 Widows' Advisory Trust |18 Phobic Action |5 Phobics Society |5 Nafsiyat (Inter-Cultural Therapy Centre) |5 Women's Therapy Centre |5 Grants are generally agreed for a three-year period and are renewable. Bodies marked with a "<1>" have grants which fall to be renewed from 1988-89, but new rates have not yet been agreed.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what joint finance monies and project funding are being provided to district health authorities and local authority social services by his Department in the current year to improve the range and quality of day care and other facilities for the mentally ill.
Column 143planned services by health and local authorities for all types of patient. Decisions about the allocation of funding are made at local level on the recommendations of each joint consultative committee. We do not yet have centrally information on expenditure on services for mentally ill people for the current financial year.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department spent on directly commissioned mental illness research in 1987- 88 ; how much has been budgeted for 1988-89 ; and what each figure represents as a proportion of expenditure on the Health Service research programme.
Mrs. Currie : In 1987-88 the Department spent £1,267,000 on directly commissioned research relevant to mental illness. In 1988-89 a total of £1,307,900 has been made available for such research. Expressed as a percentage of the Department's total health, personal social services and social security research budget, the figures are 9.3 per cent. and 8.2 per cent., respectively.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what funds have been specifically earmarked for the care of the mentally ill following the closure of mental hospitals in each health region in the last year ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will list by regional health authority the amounts provided for (a) the last, (b) the current and (c) the next year for bridging funds for local care of patients discharged or excluded from mental hospitals ; and how much in each case is provided for long-term patients still to be discharged from hospitals and how much for those already discharged from hospital.
Mrs. Currie : In the main the Department does not identify funds for specific purposes such as the provision of mental illness services within its overall allocations to regions or in its planned provision for local authority social services expenditure. The allocation of resources to district health authorities is a matter for regions, and it is for regions and districts to determine, within a national framework of health care priorities, and in the light of local needs and circumstances, how all their resources can best be used. So far as local authorities are concerned, it is for them to determine the level and balance of their expenditure on the provision of social services.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residential places in the community will be provided in each health region in (a) the current and (b) the next year for those discharged from mental hospitals.
Mrs. Currie : The information requested is not available. The number of places in homes and hostels for the mentally ill in each local authority in England is published in "Homes and Hostels for Mentally Ill and Mentally Handicapped People" ; a copy of which is in the library.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what response he has received from each regional health authority in England and Wales to his advice to them following the report by the director of prison medical services on mentally disordered offenders in England and Wales to develop a comprehensive network of provision to meet mental heath care needs in their regions ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Currie : Copies of the report were sent to regional health authorities in December 1987. No specific response was requested. We will be monitoring progress through the established review procedures.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when agreements to rent office space to accommodate his senior staff at the Adelphi building in the Strand were approved and signed by him ; what rental per square foot was agreed ; and what option he has secured to rent further office space at Adelphi house.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : The Property Services Agency negotiated the acquisition of the Adelphi on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Security on a strictly commercial and therefore in confidence basis. The lease was signed by the Property Services Agency on 26 August 1988, after negotiations with the landlord over a number of months. There is an option to acquire additional space if required on the seventh floor of the building.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the estimated total cost of equipping and furnishing office space rented by his Department at Adelphi house ; what information he has as to who is the freeholder of Adelphi house ; from whom his Department has leased office space ; who advised his Department in the negotiations which led to a lease agreement being signed to rent space at Adelphi house ; and what commissions have been paid in connection with this lease being agreed.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : The requirements of staff due to move to the Adelphi building are being considered and I am not able to provide this costing information at present. The office space was leased from the then owner of Adelphi, Manufacturers Hanover. The building has since been sold on to Gefica Industries. Negotiations were conducted by the Property Services Agency on our behalf without specific charge to my Department.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were located at his Department's Elephant and Castle offices in each of the last five years ; how many of these staff have been transferred to the Richmond building, to date ; how many are to be transferred ; how many are to be located at Adelphi house ; when refurbishment of the Elephant and Castle building is to start ; and what is the total estimated cost of this work.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : In each of the five years up to the end of 1987, about 2,100 staff were based at the Elephant and Castle. Of those, 340 have now moved to Richmond house, together with 140 from other headquarters buildings in London. A further 580 staff are expected to move from Alexander Fleming house to the Adelphi. Final decisions about the refurbishment of Alexander Fleming house have yet to be taken by the owner who is also responsible for the costs. According to present plans, the work is likely to start in June 1989.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the availability of office space was a factor in the decision to split the Department of Health and Social Security into two departments ; and if he will review the cost effectiveness of the Department of Health renting office space in the Adelphi building.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : The availability of office space was not a factor in the decision to split the Department of Health and Social Security into two Departments. The planned occupation of key ministerial support staff in the Adelphi is an important improvement in my Department's efficient use of London HQ accommodation. At the moment we have some 4,700 staff in 12 buildings scattered across London. Our intention is that about 1,000 staff should be in or near to Whitehall (480 already in Richmond house and 580 to go to the Adelphi) ; at least 1,000 should be relocated out of London, with the remainder at the Elephant and Castle. This will allow my Deparment to vacate other central London buildings.
This will increase efficiency by concentrating staff in a few locations and improve cost effectiveness by having the minimum number of staff in a high rental area (in or near Whitehall) and the maximum number in the relatively cheap rental area at the Elephant and Castle or relocated away from London.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has as to what extent helicopters and other air transport are used to facilitate the transport of seriously ill and injured patients and as to what extent financial considerations discourage such use.
Mrs. Currie : In the United Kingdom, RAF helicopters transport has been used occasionally by the NHS for many years, both in emergency rescue missions which are free and in secondary transport services which must be paid for. In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly a helicopter has been operating in support of the ambulance services for the past year and in June the Daily Express announced that, with Government support, it will fund a helicopter based at the London Hospital to transport accident victims to hospital. Several other health authorities are known to be actively considering the feasibility of using helicopters in this way.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether Mr. Arthur Pinegar, principal microbiologist in the public health laboratory in Leeds, is also operating a private laboratory undertaking the evaluation and monitoring of cook/chill catering.
Mrs. Currie : Mr. Pinegar has advised the public health laboratory service board that the laboratory with which he is connected in a private capacity is not currently involved in work on cook/chill catering.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the microbiological studies of food produced by the cook/chill process being undertaken by the public health laboratory service have included the assessment of listeria.
Mrs. Currie : Yes. Preliminary work on the growth and survival of listeria monocytogenes in foods prepared in cook/chill catering have been undertaken by the public health laboratory service (PHLS). Further studies are in progress in the PHLS which include examination of meals produced in NHS hospital cook/chill catering systems for the presence of this organism. Further work is planned.