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Mr. Michael Forsyth : All accident and emergency services in Glasgow are currently being reviewed. The strategy team has still to report to the board and no recommendations concerning any of the sites have yet
Column 441been made. Any plan which may be proposed as a result of the review will of course be subject not only to board approval but also to the normal consultative process.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will issue a code of practice for police officers carrying out strip searches (a) in what circumstances strip searches should be authorised, (b) what rank of police officers should be empowered to authorise strip searches, (c) by whom strip searches should be carried out and (d) what records should be kept of strip searches.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Procedures for searching persons detained or arrested by the police are set out in force orders and instructions, with which all officers must comply. The evidence available at present to my right hon. and learned Friend does not suggest that there is a need for further guidance to the police service bearing specifically on strip searching.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Responsibility for monitoring coastal waters lies with the river purification authorities (river purification boards and islands councils) who undertake monitoring according to local circumstances.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The most recent information about the number of disabled adults in Scotland is contained in the first report of a survey of disability in Great Britain, issued by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys on 28 September 1988. The report's estimate of the number of disabled adults in Scotland is 611,000, of whom 125,000 are in the least severe of 10 severity categories. A report on the number of disabled children (which forms a part of the survey) will be issued next summer.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the latest information regarding the number of cases of people affected by salmonella as a result of the consumption of (a) eggs and (b) poultry.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : So far in 1988, 2,847 cases of food poisoning in Scotland have been reported by general practitioners. In cases where it has been possible to identify the cause, 99 arising from five incidents have been attributed to salmonella in egg or egg-based products and 113 arising from 22 incidents to salmonella in poultry.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the latest information regarding hospital waiting lists in (a) Scotland, (b) Strathclyde, (c) Lothian, (d) Edinburgh, (e) Glasgow, (f) Aberdeen and (g) Dundee.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Information on waiting lists is collated centrally only for health board areas. The latest available information on hospital in-patient and day case waiting lists is published in the statistical bulletin 1/88, "Waiting List Figures for 31 March 1988", copies of which are held in the Library.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Information on new cases of glaucoma and blindness is not available centrally. The number of in-patient discharges from hospital where the main diagnosis was glaucoma is shown below. This represents, however, only part of the glaucoma caseload as some treatment is provided on an out-patient basis.
|Greater Glasgow|Strathclyde |Scotland -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1975 |554 |775 |1,412 1976 |574 |799 |1,396 1977 |551 |766 |1,343 1978 |622 |792 |1,369 1979 |482 |706 |1,230 1980 |670 |895 |1,446 1981 |697 |915 |1,531 1982 |715 |1,008 |1,679 1983 |664 |930 |1,599 1984 |707 |958 |1,680 1985 |669 |933 |1,783 1986 |719 |1,022 |1,939 1987 |805 |1,107 |2,018
Mr. Lang : At present 24 cases are under investigation by the police in Scotland. In addition, a number of other cases are being reviewed and some of them may be brought to the attention of the police.
Column 443regional development grant in each of the past five years ; how many of these jobs were retained for at least 12 months ; and how many he estimates to be still in existence.
Mr. Lang : Payments under the original regional development grant scheme (RDG1) were not tied to the creation of jobs. Jobs linked to payment authorisations under the revised regional development grant scheme (RDG2) since its inception in November 1984 are as follows :
|Number of new jobs --------------------------------------------------------- 1984-85 |nil 1985-86 |4,490 1986-87 |12,360 1987-88 |13,720 1988-89 (to end Nov) |9,160
The RDG2 scheme encompasses capital grant, job grant and grant associated with the provision of both assets and jobs. The rules that govern payments under the scheme require that assets or jobs have to be retained for 36 or 18 months respectively. Completed projects are normally visited within this period. Although comprehensive figures for jobs retained for just 12 months are not available, these visits have revealed that around 1,400 of the 35,240 jobs created since April 1986 had been lost by the time of the visit. Beyond this, it is not possible to make reliable estimates for the number of jobs still in existence.
Mr. Allen Adams : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he intends to introduce new guidelines for the granting of regional development grants to private companies in Scotland in the next financial year.
Mr. Lang : No. The statutes and procedures under which the regional development grant schemes are operated throughout Great Britain provide an adequate framework. The administration of the schemes is under constant review.
Mr. Lang : Payments under the original regional development grant scheme (RDG1) were not tied to the creation of jobs. Payment authorisations for job grant under the revised regional development grants scheme (RDG2) in the latest financial year (1987-88) were linked to the creation of over 13,700 jobs.
Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in view of the investigation by the fraud squad in Strathclyde region on alleged abuse of the regional development fund, he will take steps to tighten up the system for awarding such grants.
Column 444investigations presently being undertaken by the fraud squad of Strathclyde police are a direct consequence of the vigorous application of the existing scrutiny procedures.
Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he has any proposals to amend the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 to allow for a right of appeal against the granting of a liquor licence by persons living near to the premises to which the licence relates ; (2) if he has any proposals to amend the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 to broaden the grounds on which an application for a licence can be objected to and to simplify the procedure for so doing ; (3) if he has any proposals to amend the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 to allow the licensing boards greater flexibility in regulating licensed premises, including the power on cause shown to suspend a licence or to restrict its scope on an interim basis ;
(4) if he has any proposals to amend the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 so far as the consideration of application for regular extensions of hours of opening by licensed premises is concerned ; and if he will make a statement ;
(5) what representations he has received regarding amendments to the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in the light of the raid on BBC Scotland relating to the Zircon film, the Lord Advocate plans to make any changes in the method of application for search warrants in cases originating outside his jurisdiction.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : In addition to the information pack the Scottish Health Education Group supplies to health professionals annually, we recently launched the Scotish campaign "Keep Warm This Winter" to remind old people and other vulnerable groups of the simple, practical steps they can take to minimise risks in winter, and to encourage good citizenship among the population generally. The campaign comprises the distribution of 1 million copies of a leaflet, supporting publicity and a free telephone helpline.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will estimate, by local government area, the anticipated cost of revenue to Scottish local authorities through the abolition of rates on salmon fishing.
|Total cost of |revenue to |authorities |£000 -------------------------------------------------- Borders |81 Central |7 Dumfries and Galloway |52 Fife |0 Grampian |265 Highland |146 Lothian |0 Strathclyde |16 Tayside |199 Orkney |0 Shetland |0 Western Isles |15 |---- Scotland |781
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he intends to take to implement the recommendations of the Salmon Advisory Committee on the need for more accurate reports on salmon catches.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Scottish salmon proprietors have failed to report catch returns in each of the past five years ; and if he will name those who have been in default on more than one occasion.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The number of proprietors (and occupiers) of salmon fisheries who failed to provide catch returns for the years 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 are as follows. Accurate information for 1983 is not available. It is not my intention to name those individuals who have not provided catch returns.
|1984|1985|1986|1987 ----------------------------------------------------- Number of catch returns not provided |118 |214 |113 |103
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what action is to be taken against salmon proprietors who failed to register catch returns for 1987 under the Salmon and Fresh Water Fisheries Act 1951.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in the light of the increasing number of roadside assaults on, and abductions of young children he intends to seek to change the current provisions for school transport within the Education Acts, and to make available additional resources for local authorities to use their discretion in providing transport in rural areas.
Mr. Rifkind : I have no plans to change the current provisions for school transport. Education authorities have a wide discretion in this area and they are in the best position to assess and determine arrangements in the light of local needs and circumstances. The special circumstances of school transport in rural areas are fully taken into account in arriving at the provision for relevant expenditure in the calculation of revenue support grant ; but it is for authorities individually to set their own budgetary priorities.
ophthalmological procedure at present (a) in the Nottingham district health authority and (b) on average in England and Wales.
Mr. Mellor : There were 625 patients on the inpatient waiting list for ophthalmology in Nottingham at 31 March 1988 compared with an average of 420 patients for the 152 English health authorities which provide inpatient ophthalmology treatment. Nottingham health authority serves a much larger population than most health districts. The median waiting time for ophthalmology patients treated in the quarter ending 31 March 1988 was 10 weeks in Nottingham compared with 11 weeks for England as a whole.
Questions about waiting lists in Wales are for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give the cost by year, for the last five years, to the Trent regional health authority, by area health authority, for employing locum doctors ; what has been the national average over the same period ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : We allocate funds to regional health authorities. It is for them to distribute funds to districts for the provision of health care, including long-term nursing care for elderly people, and in doing so they take account of local circumstances. We shall be announcing 1989-90 allocations to regions in the near future.
Mrs. Currie : As at 1 September 1988, the latest date for which we hold information, almost 75 per cent. of health authorities reported that they were meeting the Department's target of ensuring that laboratories report the results of cervical smear tests within one month to the doctor who submitted the smear. Health authorities' performance is closely monitored and those not meeting this target are asked to detail the action they are taking to remedy the situation. Specific policy options are discussed with health authorities as appropriate and these include :
(a) recruitment of additional laboratory staff ;
(b) consideration of staff grading structures in the light of the recently agreed new pay and grade structure for medical laboratory scientific officers and support staff ;
(c) overtime working ;
(d) use of other NHS laboratories ;
(e) use of private laboratories ;
(f) reducing the numbers of excess smears, for example those taken more frequently than the locally agreed interval.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the number of patients registered with National Health Service general practitioners in Barnet health authority ; and what is the population of Barnet health authority.
Mr. Mellor : There were 372,400 names registered with a general medical practitioner in October 1988 with an address in the Barnet family practitioner committee area. The latest available (mid-1987) population estimate for Barnet district health authority, which is coterminous with Barnet FPC, is 305,900.
Sir Anthony Meyer : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will extend exemption from prescription charges to sufferers from (a) Crohn's disease and (b) other chronic and incurable conditions.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make additional resources available to district health authorities for vaccination of all Health Service employees at risk of hepatitis B infection.
Mr. Mellor : We have advised health authorities that it is the responsibility of their occupational health services to decide which staff should receive priority for vaccination against hepatitis B, in the light of guidance which we have issued from the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation. We believe that many authorities have already taken the necessary steps to ensure that this advice is followed.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library the document entitled "Geographical Variations in Infant Mortality In Relation To Birthweight" referred to on page 50 of the chief medical officer's annual report for 1987.
Mrs. Currie : A copy of the draft paper "Geographical Variation In Infant Mortality In Relation To Birthweight" (dated April 1988) will be placed in the Library shortly. A revised version of the paper will be incorporated into the forthcoming OPCS "Decennial Supplement On Mortality And Geography" (series DS), to be published in 1989.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, pursuant to his Parliamentary Under-Secretary's reply to the hon. Member for Coventry South-East of 6 December, concerning the average age of hospital buildings, he will place the results of the information collected in the Library and publish the results in the Official Report at the appropriate time.
Mrs. Currie : Information about the age of hospital buildings is used by health authorities in the management of their estates. But the condition of buildings is not necessarily related to age and we shall not be collecting the information centrally.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether his Department issues guidance on the preparation and cooking of snipe and woodcock ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) what is his assessment of the risk to the public of salmonella poisoning from the consumption of wild and reared game ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Currie : The ubiquitous nature of salmonella and other food poisoning organisms suggests that the meat of any food animal has the potential to be contaminated. I have no evidence that game is a significant vehicle for food poisoning. However, the Department advises that as a general rule it is safest to cook food thoroughly and game is no exception. If frozen, cooking should be preceded by adequate thawing. Additional advice to consumers on the preparation and cooking of game is deemed unnecessary.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is his assessment of the risk to the public of salmonella poisoning from the consumption of duck and goose eggs ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what is his assessment of the risk to the public of salmonella poisoning from the consumption of quails' eggs ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Currie : Duck eggs have always been recognised as being at risk of salmonella contamination but there is no evidence to suggest that there has been any increase in the level of contamination. I understand that culinary practice is to hard boil duck and quail eggs. Goose eggs are rarely eaten.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his advice to the public concerning the risk of contracting salmonella poisoning from the consumption of turkey ; and if he will make a statement.
The Department will be issuing the usual advice to consumers about thawing and cooking poultry at Christmas time.