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Dr. Mawhinney : A total of 26 at Bangor and 10 at Newtownards.

Youth Training

Mr. Hume : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the numbers on the youth training programme by appropriate district unit in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Viggers [holding answer 21 December 1988] : At 25 November 1988 some 14,306 young people were receiving training under the youth training programme. Statistics are not available by district but are collated on a job market area basis in respect of full-time training only. Details are as follows :

Numbers in full-time training                          

Job market area        |Numbers                        


Bangor                 |367                            

Lisburn                |443                            

Newtownards            |97                             

Belfast South and East |1,770                          

Belfast North and West |1,531                          

Antrim                 |181                            

Carrickfergus          |117                            

Larne                  |153                            

Magherafelt            |139                            

Ballymena              |560                            

Ballymoney             |126                            

Coleraine              |206                            

Limavady               |125                            

Londonderry            |1,117                          

Strabane               |158                            

Armagh                 |93                             

Cookstown              |90                             

Dungannon              |169                            

Enniskillen            |228                            

Omagh                  |366                            

Portadown              |319                            

Ballynahinch           |50                             

Banbridge              |105                            

Downpatrick            |158                            

Kilkeel                |1                              

Lurgan                 |283                            

Newcastle              |85                             

Newry                  |632                            


Total                  |9,669                          

In addition an estimated 4,637 young people were in receipt of employment with training under YTP work scheme throughout Northern Ireland.


Electricity Sales

Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what percentage of total sales of each of the 12 area boards in the electricity supply industry in England and Wales is accounted for by customers in each of the following categories of supply (a) 10 MW-50 MW, (b) 50 MW-100 MW, (c) 100 MW-200 MW and (d) over 200 MW ;

(2) how many customers each of the 12 area boards in the electricity supply industry of England and Wales currently have in each of the following categories of supply (a) 10 MW-50 MW, (b) 50 MW-100 MW, (c) 100 MW-200 MW and (d) over 200 MW.

Mr. Michael Spicer : This is a matter for the area electricity boards and I am asking the individual chairmen to write to the hon. Member.

Fulmar Oilfield (Incident)

Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement describing the sequence and timings of the events of 1 January involving the failure of the anchoring system of the floating storage unit on the Fulmar field, the consequent rupture of the pipeline connecting the Fulmar platform to the floating storage unit and subsequent shutdown of oil pumping through this pipeline.

Mr. Parkinson : My inspectors are currently investigating an incident on the Fulmar field of the kind described, which took place on 24 December. Full information on this incident will only be available once the investigation is complete.

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Preliminary indications from the operator are that the Fulmar floating storage unit (FSU) and the single anchor point leg mooring (SALM) broke loose from the anchor base at approximately 04.45 hours on 24 December 1988.

Failure of the sea bed latch released the SALM and caused rupture of oil feed pipes at its coupling. The main pipeline was undamaged. Consequent constriction of the feed pipes prevented low oil pressure cut-outs from closing down the main oil pumps on the Fulmar A platform. It was confirmed at 5.30 am that the FSU had moved off its mooring and pumping ceased at approximately 05.35 hours.

Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what are the relative locations, in terms of compass bearing and distance, of oil production platforms on the Fulmar, Auk and Clyde fields to the normal position of the mooring of the Fulmar floating storage unit.

Mr. Parkinson : The information is as follows :

Fulmar A

Table file CW890116.020 not available
Table file CW890116.021 not available
Table file CW890116.022 not available

Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the submarine pipelines within a 50-mile radius of the normal position of the Fulmar floating storage unit with a description of their contents and operating pressures.

Mr. Parkinson : The information is as follows :

Pipeline                    |Contents             |Maximum allowable                          

                                                  |operating pressure<1>                      


Fulmar A to SALM            |Crude oil            |183                                        

Auk to Fulmar               |Crude oil            |148                                        

Clyde to Fulmar             |Crude oil            |348                                        

Clyde to Fulmar             |Gas                  |2,175                                      

Fulmar to St. Fergus        |Gas                  |2,750                                      

Ekofisk to Teesside         |Crude oil            |1,680                                      

Argyll base manifold                                                                          

   to pipeline end manifold |Crude oil            |3,000                                      

<1>Pounds per square inch gauge.                                                              

In addition, there are a series of pipelines to the Argyll base manifold for the recovery of crude oil from subsea completions in the Innes, Duncan and New Argyll fields. The maximum allowable operating pressures in these pipelines is 3,000 psig.

Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if there was any danger of rupture of pipelines in the vicinity of the Fulmar field on 1 January caused by the drifting floating storage unit dragging the remains of its mooring system across them.

Mr. Parkinson : No. I understand the only pipeline in the vicinity was the Ekofisk-Teeside oil line which was crossed at 11.15 hours after the Fulmar floating storage unit was under partial control. I am advised that at no time did the unit drag on the sea bottom ; clearance above the Ekofisk-Teeside line was approximately 15 metres.

Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what route was followed by the Fulmar floating storage unit after it broke loose on 1 January and before it was fully in control again ; what was its closest approach to any installation ; and what was its approximate speed of drift.

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Mr. Parkinson : Information provided to my Department indicates that the Fulmar floating storage unit drifted at 3.3 knots for three hours on a bearing of 110 (true). After four hours the drift speed slowed and the bearing changed to 125 (true) when the unit came under control of tugs. The Clyde platform was passed at 06.34 hours at a distance of 0.7 nautical miles.

Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what contingency plans existed for the situation in which the Fulmar floating storage unit broke its moorings on 1 January ; and whether there was a secondary, emergency anchoring system on the tanker or propulsion and steering systems for this eventuality.

Mr. Parkinson : Emergency procedures prepared by the operator envisage that mooring failure would be dealt with by the use of heavy duty tow lines launched by rocket to the standby vessel and other available tugs. The sector club system involving neighbouring operators provides for additional heavy duty towing, a diving support vessel and aircraft, all of which were used on this occasion. There was no emergency anchoring system as this is considered to be impracticable for controlling or stopping a vessel of this size under emergency conditions.

The Fulmar floating storage unit has no propulsion or steering systems.

Oil and Gas Installations

Mr. Frank Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what standards are set by his Department regarding the resistance of North sea oil and gas installations to impact by vessels ; and what information he has on the standards set by the Norwegian petroleum directorate.

Mr. Parkinson : The Department's current guidance on design and construction of offshore installation recommends that they be designed to withstand the impact of a ship of 2,500 tonnes displacement travelling at 0.5 metres per second, assuming that all of the kinetic energy is absorbed by the installation.

However, following a study by J. P. Kenny, consultant engineers, which was commissioned by my Department, a consultation document is to be issued shortly recommending an increase in the energy absorbtion value for offshore installations. J. P. Kenny's technical report was published on 10 January and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House. I will send a copy of the consultation document to the hon. Member once it is available.

I understand the requirements of the Norwegian petroleum directorate are not expressed in the same way as the United Kingdom requirement. However, I am advised that the values of kinetic energy required to be absorbed in Norway are, in effect, comparable with those to be recommended in our proposed new guidelines.


Births and Deaths Registration Act

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place a copy of the report of the Registrar General of the application of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 to the case of the Carlisle baby in the Library ; and if he will make a statement.

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Mr. Freeman : The Registrar General is a Crown appointee under section 1 of the Registration Service Act 1953. The Secretary of State has no responsibilities or powers as regards the day to day exercise by the Registrar General of her functions under the Act or under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953. The Registrar General's conduct may be the subject of review by the courts. The Registrar General does not make information public about individuals which has come to her knowledge through her duties under the Births and Deaths Registration Act which is not already in the public domain.

The background note provided by the Registrar General on the Carlisle baby case was to enable the Secretary of State to respond to parliamentary inquiries and it is not appropriate for this document to be placed in the Library. It may however be helpful if I set out the legal position with regard to registration procedures. Section 2 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 places a duty, primarily on the parents of a child, to give information for birth registration. This information is required to be given within 42 days of the date of birth and failure to give it may result in the local registrar issuing a notice in writing requiring any person to attend to register who is qualified to carry out the registration under the legislation. If a parent, or the mother in the case of a child born outside marriage, continues to refuse to register then that person commits an offence under section 36(c) of the 1953 Act. Before issuing a formal requisition and pursuing the registration the local registrar has to establish that a birth which is registrable under the 1953 Act has actually taken place. In normal circumstances this information will come via the health authority under the provision set out in section 124(7) of the National Health Service Act 1977. This enables the registrar to have access to notices of births received by a medical officer. However, these notices are required by statute only in respect of births of more than 28 weeks gestation. In the absence of such a notice, the registrar must satisfy himself from other information that a birth has occurred which is registrable under the 1953 Act before issuing a formal requisition.

After 12 months have elapsed the local registrar's immediate responsibilities come to an end and the Registrar General's authority for registration of a birth and also of a death is required under sections 7 and 21 of the 1953 Act. The Registrar General has no powers to require any informant to register a birth or death, and if application is made to her for late registration by a qualified informant she needs to be satisfied that a registrable live birth or death have occurred.

Infant Deaths

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what information his Department has on research in different countries on the links between infant deaths and a sudden fall or rise in body temperature ;

(2) what information his Department holds on research in foreign countries examining the results on human infant health of the use of early warning temperature monitors.

Mr. Freeman : Departmental officials are kept informed of research developments including those in other countries through articles in learned journals and through

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informal contacts with colleagues in those countries. No comprehensive list of such research is however held centrally.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will publish in the Official Report details of any grants that his Department administers or gives for the development of technical aids or equipment by private companies which prevents the death of human infants ;

(2) if his Department is giving financial or other assistance to any private company in the research or development of an early warning temperature monitor for human infants.

Mr. Freeman : The Department has made no grants or given any other form of financial assistance to private companies involved in research into such subjects.

Royal National Orthopaedic (Country) Hospital

Mr. Dykes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will agree to receive a deputation representing relevant interests groups, including the hon. Member for Harrow, East, to assess the importance of the long-term development of the Royal National Orthopaedic (Country) hospital at its present site in Stanmore, Middlesex.

Mr. Mellor : I would be happy to meet such a deputation once consultation about transfer of management responsibility from Bloomsbury to Harrow is under way.

Health Index

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what conclusions he has reached about the feasibility of creating a health index ; and what decision he has taken about its implementation.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I do not believe that the construction of a single index measure of the nation's health is feasible. The state of the nation's health is best gauged by looking at a large range of different measures. In July my predecessor announced the setting up of a new small multi-disciplinary unit in the Department in line with the recommendation in the Chief Medical Officer's report on public health in England. The major function of this new unit will be to monitor and analyse information about the health of the population.

Cancer Screening

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras of 6 December 1988, Official Report , columns 130-31 , if he will place a copy of the guidance notes for health authorities on equipment requirements for breast cancer screening in the Library ; whether these recommendations also apply to screening units operated in the private sector ; what steps are taken to inspect private mobile screening units ; how many staff are employed to perform those inspections ; how many such inspections were made in 1988 ; and how frequently each unit is inspected, on average.

Mr. Freeman : Health authorities are asked to make relevant advice and guidance available to locally registered hospitals and nursing homes but they have no power to

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monitor private sector screening units. Copies of the guidance notes referred to by the hon. Member have been placed in the Library.

Blood Transfusion Service

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give, for each year since 1978, the number of staff employed to collect blood from donors by each blood transfusion service ; and if he will also give for each year and each blood transfusion service the number of staff vacancies for posts intended to collect blood from donors.

Mr. Freeman : The information requested is not held centrally.


Ministerial Advisers

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the ministerial advisers appointed in his Department for each year since 1979, the salary each person received, whether paid directly or to another employer, and the duties undertaken, whether solely in his Department or in conjunction with other Departments ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : Since 1979 up to the formation of two separate Departments in July 1988, the Departments of Health and Social Security appointed the following ministerial advisers.


Name                                                                                                                                                             |Date of Appointment                                                                                                                                             |Department                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


Prof R. Dyson                                                                                                                                                    |August 1979                                                                                                                                                     |DHSS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Mr. N. True                                                                                                                                                      |May 1982                                                                                                                                                        |DHSS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Mr. A. J. Turner                                                                                                                                                 |February 1987                                                                                                                                                   |DHSS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Mr. C. Hendry                                                                                                                                                    |May 1988                                                                                                                                                        |DHSS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Miss M. Libby<1>                                                                                                                                                 |May 1988                                                                                                                                                        |DSS from                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  | July 1988                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Mr. J. Hill                                                                                                                                                      |July 1988                                                                                                                                                       |DH                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               


It is not our practice to reveal the salaries of individual advisers as they are individually negotiated in relation to previous outside earnings and conditions and are therefore confidential. Except for Professor Dyson who was seconded into DHSS for one day per week, all salaries were paid direct to the individual adviser. Professor Dyson's employer was reimbursed on a pro-rata basis for his services.

With the exception of Professor Dyson, who was employed as a consultant adviser on industrial relations in the NHS, all advisers were employed solely on duties outside the Department laid down by the Minister they served.

Hip Replacements

Mr. Richard Shepherd : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average waiting time for a hip replacement operation in National Health Service hospitals in each regional health area in England and Wales ; and which district has the shortest waiting time.

Mr. Freeman : The available information for 1985, the latest year for which data are held centrally, is given in the

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table. Sample numbers in the Department's central data base are too small for reliable estimates to be made below regional level. Information for Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

Estimated median interval in weeks between the time a       

patient was                                                 

placed on a waiting list and admission to an NHS hospital   


England for total hip replacement or other arthroplasty of  


operations, by region, 1985                                 

Region of treatment |Median waiting time                    



Northern            |19                                     

Yorkshire           |20                                     

Trent               |25                                     

East Anglian        |21                                     

North West Thames   |13                                     

North East Thames   |18                                     

South East Thames   |23                                     

South West Thames   |26                                     

Wessex              |28                                     

Oxford              |18                                     

South Western       |22                                     

West Midlands       |24                                     

Mersey              |16                                     

North Western       |19                                     

Liver Transplants

Mr. Terry Davis : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money is given directly to liver transplant units by his Department ; how many liver transplant units are funded in this way ; how much money is given to each unit ; and whether he intends to increase the total amount given to liver transplant units or the number of liver transplant units receiving grants from his Department.

Mr. Mellor : We provide supra-regional funding to the designated units through earmarked allocations given to regional health authorities. In the financial year 1988-89 the revenue allocation provided for the four liver transplant centres was £5,038,000. In 1988-89 the total sum provided for this service will be £7,031, 000, a 40 per cent. increase in funding. Individual allocations will be as follows :

                                      |1988-89  |1989-90            

                                      |£        |£                  


Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge      |1,569,000|2,398,000          

King's College Hospital, London       |1,133,000|1,368,000          

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham  |1,762,000|2,452,000          

St. James' University Hospital, Leeds |574,000  |813,000            

We will also be providing capital allocations to two units in 1989-90. King's college hospital will receive £21,000 and Addenbrooke's £331,000.

We have no immediate plans to increase the number of designated centres, but the supra-regional services advisory group keeps the service under review and advises Ministers accordingly.

Factor 8

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any batches of the blood product Factor 8 have had to be discarded due to viral hepatitis B infection of the plasma pool of the blood products laboratory.

Mr. Freeman : Yes, occasionally finished batches of Factor 8 have to be discarded for this reason following quality control checks.

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Junior Hospital Doctors

Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any estimates of the average hours worked by junior hospital doctors in the four Thames regional health authorities as against other health authorities in the rest of the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellor : We do not hold this information in the form requested.

Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to receive the study on health authorities' plans to reduce junior hospital doctors' working hours ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellor : I expect to receive reports from health authorities later this month and have agreed to consider them with

representatives of the British Medical Association in February.


Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will provide separate and additional funding for health authorities to employ more consultants in areas where need can be demonstrated ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellor : Generally, health authorities are responsible for determining the number of consultant posts required to fulfil their service objectives and for funding these posts. However, to give an initial impetus to the "Achieving a Balance" initiative we provided central funding for 100 additional posts in general medicine, general surgery and traumatic and orthopaedic surgery. Some authorities have also used the waiting list fund to provide additional consultant sessions to help tackle the problem of long waiting lists and times.

Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Heath what is his target for the number of consultants in the National Health Service ; when he expects this target to be met ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mellor : Regional health authorities are responsible for planning the number of consultants they require to meet service needs. Their forward plans show an average rate of expansion similar to the historical rate of growth of some 2 per cent. per annum and I would expect this to be maintained. Regional health authorities are held to account annually, through the regional review procedure, for meeting the targets that they set in their plans.

Wakefield Health Authority

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the composition of the appointment boards for each district general manager appointed for the Wakefield health authority.

Mr. Mellor : We do not hold such details centrally. The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairman of the health authority which is responsible for the appointment of its district general manager, for the information he is seeking.

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Bradford Health Authority (Chair)

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to conduct an election among the citizens of Bradford for the new Chair of Bradford health authority.

Mr. Mellor : No.

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how long the post of Chair of the Bradford health authority has been empty ; and if he will now announce his new appointment.

Mr. Mellor : Since 8 November 1988. We hope to appoint a new chairman soon.

Waiting Lists (Yorkshire)

Mr. Lofthouse : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress he has made in reducing hospital waiting lists in the Yorkshire region.

Mr. Freeman : The most recent figures show that, at March 1988, there were 49,000 patients on the in-patient waiting list in Yorkshire region. This is over 8 per cent. lower than at March 1979.

Waiting Lists (Pontefract)

Mr. Lofthouse : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the in-patient waiting list figures for the Pontefract district health authority in March 1988, 1987, and 1979.

Mr. Freeman : The information requested is give in the table.

In-patient waiting list Pontefract District Health    


31 March 1979, 1987 and 1988.                         

Year     |Total                                       


1979     |3,007                                       

1987     |2,079            |1988    |<2>1,701         

<1> Eastern Wakefield District, prior to 1982         

<2> on a comparable basis with previous statistics    

Pontefract Health Authority

Mr. Lofthouse : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his latest estimate of the projected budget deficit of the Pontefract district health authority in (a) the current financial year and (b) the next financial year.

Mr. Mellor : We do not collect such information centrally. The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairman of Pontefract health authority for the information that he is seeking. The Yorkshire regional health authority received a recent 7.7 per cent. cash increase for 1989-90, and it must decide what allocation to give to the DHA to meet its approved plan next year.

Aplastic Anaemia

Mr. Lofthouse : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he has any evidence that pesticides, drugs, and toxic chemicals could be the cause of aplastic anaemia ;

(2) what evidence he has available on the cause of aplastic anaemia.

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Mr. Freeman : Different disorders are sometimes classified under the term appastic anaemia. In some cases the anaemia can be attributed to a chemical including some pesticides and some drugs. High doses of radiation can also give rise to this condition. In other cases, the cause cannot be determined, that is, it may occur as a disease of unknown aetiology.

We are aware of published evidence that prolonged exposure to very high levels of the industrial solvents benzene, toluene and carbon tetrachloride has been associated with the development of aplastic anaemia in some people. There is more limited evidence also that exposure to certain pesticides, namely chlordane, DDT, heptachlor, lindane, pentachloraphenol and those based on arsenic or mercury might cause aplastic anaemia.

The use of all these industrial solvents is controlled, and occupational exposures are well below those at which harm has been shown to occur. Of the pesticides, heptachlor and DDT are no longer approved for use in the United Kingdom, and the others are approved for restricted use under conditions which, as with all pesticides, should avoid harmful effects occurring.

Aplastic anaemia is recognised as a possible adverse reaction to a number of drugs. The Committee on Safety of Medicines has received from doctors over 1,000 reports associated with almost 200 medicinal products.

There is good evidence to suggest that the antibiotic drugs chloramphenicol and phenylbutazone, which are used in veterinary practice, cause aplastic anaemia in those humans sensitive to their effects. Chloramphenicol is only administered in life-threatening conditions where no suitable alternative exists.

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Health Authorities (Meetings)

Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the district health authorities in (a) the north western region and (b) the Mersey region which meet on a bi-monthly basis.

Mr. Mellor : The following district health authorities meet formally on a bi-monthly basis :

(a) north western region

Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Health Authority

Bury Health Authority

Tameside and Glossop Health Authority

(b) Mersey region

Southport and Formby Health Authority

South Sefton Health Authority

Wirral Health Authority

Chester Health Authority

This year the health authority will meet in both April and May.

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