|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the research on child sexual abuse undertaken by his Department (a) since 1979, (b) currently undergoing, and (c) planned for the future together with the amount of money spent or allocated in each instance ; and if he will make a statement.
Title abstract of project |Period of support |Costs ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Completed 1. Decision making in the protection of children A study of the decision making process and interagency working in cases of children at risk of abuse (mainly physical but includes sexual abuse) |1978-81-Dr. R. Dingwall |29,300 2. Child abuse in an English local authority A study of the characteristics identification, social work management and treatment of children at risk (concerned with physical, but includes sexual abuse) |1979-82-Dr. R. Banon |96,300 3. A study to modify parent child interaction in abusive families A controlled trial of a focussed casework approach to the treatment of child abuse (physical and sexual) comparing two contrasting therapies |1983-86-Prof. A. R. Nicol |32,400 4. Professional intervention in child abuse The aims of this study were to examine and evaluate literature on intervention strategies in cases of child abuse (physical and sexual) and to provide a sythesis of present knowledge of value to those working in the field |1985-87-Dr. F. Boddy, Dr. D. Gough |23,800 (b) Current 1. Intervention in child sexual abuse This study will look at characteristics and outcome of a treatment programme provided to the victims of child sexual abuse and their families |1987-89-Dr. A. Bentovin, Prof. P. Graham|225,000 2. Normal sexual knowledge in children The aim is to collect systemation and reliable information on: (i) sexual knowledge in children (ii) normal behaviour in families A second aim of the study is to see whether children in the community can be distinguished from children who have been sexually abused on the basis of their sexual knowledge and behaviour |Dr. M. Smith 3. A study of co-ordination in child abuse A study which aims to look at the policies and practice of interagency co-ordination in child abuse (physical-sexual) |1988-92-Dr. C. Hallet |130,000 The aims of this study are to explore the process of decision making and intervention in relation to a group of children at risk of abuse in two local authorities and to relate these outcomes |1988-93-Ms. E. Farmer |155,000 (c) Projects under consideration 1. Parental perceptions in child abuse The aims of this study are to gain a greater understanding of the perceptions of parents of the process in cases of suspected child abuse |2" years |140,000 2. Feasibility of a prevalence study This will examine the feasibility of a study to provide reliable estimates of the scale of sexual abuse of children in England and Wales |2 years |30,000 3. Parental participation in child protection case conferences This project would evaluate the object of parental participation in child protection case conferences both in terms of the impact on the children and the parents and in terms of the decision making process |3 years |100,000 4. A study of the patterns of use of child protection registers This study would examine how registers are used-their use by practitioners |3 years |120,000 5. Computer based techniques in diagnosis This project would aim to develop computer based techniques to assist in obtaining case histories from the victims of child sexual abuse and to facilitate interaction between them and counselling in a therapeutic context |4 years |200,000 6. Evaluation of interdisciplinary training Following a recommendation of the Cleveland Enquiry this study would develop methods of interdisciplinary training |2 years |50,000 7. Perpetrators of child sexual abuse This project would identify the social characteristics of abusers; their personal history (eg victims of abuse as a child); and the numbers and relationship of their victims |3 years |60,000
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what information he has on research into the levels of aluminium in medical products such as antacids ; by whom the research was conducted ; and whether the levels found were considered to be harmful or not ;
(2) what information he has to about which illnesses or complaints there have been reports of a possible association with aluminium, for which the ingestion of aluminium is not recommended ;
(3) if he will make a statement on the known risks of ingesting aluminium ; and if he will list the foods, drinks and other products which are suspected of containing an undesirable high level of the element.
Aluminium hydroxide and other aluminium salts are widely used in medicinal products as antacids in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disease. I am not aware of any recent research in this area since their effects are widely known and they are regarded as extremely safe. However, in a very few patients with pre-existing depletion of body phosphate, this condition can be worsened, leading to osteomalacia (softening of the bone) ; advice to doctors on antacids is that they should not be used for these patients.
In-patients with renal failure, who have high body phosphate, aluminium hydroxide is used as a binding agent to limit uptake of phosphate from the intestine. In severe cases, very large doses are used and it is recognised that this may contribute toward encephalopathy and osteomalacia, and that very careful monitoring is required.
Column 800Renal dialysis with fluid high in aluminium is liable to cause encephalopathy and osteomalacia because the aluminium readily enters the bloodstream, unlike ingested aluminium. Levels of aluminium in licensed dialysis products (such as peritoneal dialysis solutions) are controlled to below the limits defined in EC resolution 86/C184/04 of 16 June 1986. These limits are applied by the United Kingdom licensing authority when approving product licence applications. For other categories of licensed medicines, the monitoring and control of aluminium and other metals is kept under review by the licensing authority and the Committee on Safety of Medicines.
No disease is known to be caused either by natural presence of aluminium or as a result of the approved use, in food or drinking water. No food or drink, including tap water, normally contains an undesirably high level of this element. However, rare incidents of gross contamination of water with certain salts of aluminium have caused acute outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting.
A hypothesis that aluminium may have a role in the causation of Alzheimer's disease is currently being studied. Recent evidence of a geopraphical association between levels of aluminium in drinking water and the disease is assessed by the Department's independent expert advisers, in agreement with the authors of the study, as too tentative to justify changes in usage ; further research along several lines is in hand.
Reports of a number of persistent ill effects following a recent incident of gross contamination of water by aluminium sulphate are now to be considered by an advisory group of independent medical and scientific experts.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Security of State for Health what information he has on research into the levels of aluminium in (a) tea, (b) soft drinks (c) acid foods cooked in aluminium pans and (d) food wrapped or packed in aluminium foil or containers ; who conducted the research in each case ; and if the levels found were considered harmful or not.
Mr. Freeman : In a recent study conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, tea infused in a pyrex container using distilled water was found to contain between 2.2 and 5.5 milligrams of aluminium per litre.
The Camden Food Preservation Research Association has measured aluminium in a variety of soft drinks, where levels ranged from 0.3 to 1.3 mg per kg.
I understand that an independent study has shown that cooking in aluminium pans makes only a small contribution to the dietary intake of aluminium. Further details of dietary aluminium levels are given in food surveillance paper No. 15, "Survey of Aluminium, Antimony, Chromium, Cobalt, Indium, Nickel, Thallium and Tin in Food", a copy of which I have placed in the Library.
There is no evidence that aluminium in food is harmful.
Ms. Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department will review the practices of Broadmoor hospital in relation to the administering of injections to violent patients, in the light of the death of Mr. Joseph Watts.
Mr. Freeman : I wish to extend to the relatives of Mr. Watts my deepest sympathy over his most unfortunate death. I have asked the Broadmoor hospital management team to report to me quickly on the action they propose to take in response to the coroner's findings following the inquest. I shall give the hospital's proposals my urgent consideration.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have lived in the Basingstoke and North Hampshire health authority district in each year since the formation of that health authority ; and what has been the percentage change each year.
ü Basingstoke and North Hampshire district health authority area |Year |Mid year estimate of usually resident population ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1982 |203.2 |+0.7 1983 |206.8 |+1.8 1984 |210.9 |+2.0 1985<1> |214.4 |+1.7 1986 |215.0 |+0.3 1987 |217.2 |+1.0 <1> Number of armed forces dependants reassessed. Source: OPCS monitors in PP1 series.
Mr. Mellor : They are entitled to remuneration which currently stands at £11,868 a year. They may as an alternative choose to claim financial loss allowance. Chairmen are also entitled to claim travelling and subsistence allowances.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he intends to make representations to Burroughs Wellcome to reduce the cost of the drug Otosporin from the £4.09 currently charged to the National Health Service to a figure nearer the 94p charged for the same quantity of the drug in Spain ; and whether he intends to make spot checks on the cost of other drugs in Europe that are on the National Health Service limited list.
Mr. Mellor : The prices of medicines purchased by the National Health Service are not set by individual comparison with prices charged in other countries. Prices in different countries vary for a wide range of reasons, including varying levels of consumption and different pricing arrangement adopted by Governments. In the United Kingdom, the parmaceutical price regulation scheme regulates the overall profit obtained by pharmaceutical companies on their business supplying the National Health Service, and medicine costs are in the middle band among European states.
Mr. Mellor : We do not consider that there are any strong public health grounds for making AIDS a notifiable disease. To do so would be unlikely to improve the present reporting system or to assist health professionals in their work. Notification might also deter people from seeking help, and so drive the infection underground.
Mr. Neale : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will give further details on the work proposed for the Lowermoor incident health advisory group ; and when he will be able to report on the progress of its inquiry.
Mr. Freeman : The Lowermoor incident health advisory group has been asked to advise comprehensively on the health of the people living in the Camelford area following the contamination of their drinking water at Lowermoor in July 1988. They will give the fullest possible consideration to the question whether there may be any long-term effects on the local population's health and will consider fully the feasibility of any forms of research or monitoring which might help in considering those questions.
The advisory group will visit the Camelford area during the course of its inquiry. I will write to my hon. Friend by the end of March to inform him of the progress made by the advisory group.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East in the Official Report, 23 January on meningitis in the North Derbyshire health authority, if he will make a statement on the 11 notified cases of meningococcal meningitis in the North Derbyshire area since October 1988.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 26 January 1989] : I understand that there is no obvious connection between the cases of meningococcal meningitis identified recently in north Derbyshire. They have affected different ages and have come from widely separated places within the district.
Where meningococcal infection has been suspected, close contacts of the patients have been given antibiotic treatment in accordance with the DHA's control of infection procedures. All general practitioners and school doctors in the district have been advised of the situation, which is being closely monitored.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what regulations exist concerning good practice in the manufacture of cook-chill foods ; if he has any plans to introduce further measures to ensure safe manufacturing procedures ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke [holding answer 23 January 1989] : The Food Hygiene (General) Regulations 1970 apply to the manufacture of such foods. My Department's guidelines on pre-cooked chilled food in catering provide detailed guidance to ensure the safety of food produced by this system. We are preparing guidelines on good practice in the manufacture, distribution and storage of cooked-chilled food sold in retail outlets.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The day-to-day management of the subsidence repair and compensation system is a matter for British Coal. However, the Department publishes a widely available leaflet, "Coal Mining Subsidence Damage : A Guide to Claimants' Rights" which advises claimants on how to pursue their claims.
Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has available of the likely contraction of manpower on the deep-mined coal industry in the current year ; and if he will indicate the areas affected.
Column 804for pre-school age children of his Department's employees ; what child care provision, for school holiday or after-school care, is provided for employees' children aged five and over ; what plans there are for increasing provision in the next five years ; and how these are to be funded.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a list for each month during which the new centralised system of claiming payments for dental charges on form AG1 has been in operation, showing the average time taken to process the claim in that month, together with a list of the average time of processing similar claims for the last six months of the previous locally based system.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The only available information about average clearance times of claims dealt with by the agency benefits unit was given in my replies to the hon. Members for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Griffiths) and for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) on 18 July 1988 and 13 January 1989 at column 489 and columns 246-48 respectively. No information is available about the clearance times of claims dealt with under the previous system.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : A total of 221,000 families received payments of family income supplement for November 1986, and 218,000 for December 1986. These figures include all families who received payments for the months shown even though they may not have received them until later. They are therefore not strictly comparable with family credit figures which are based on the number of awards actually in payment at the end of the relevant month. Reliable information is not available for 1987.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what progress has been made in his Department's research on the impact of the April 1988 social security changes ; and when the results will be published.
Mr. Scott : Monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the April 1988 social security changes is a continuing process based on a wide range of detailed statistical information. Much of this is routinely published in the annual statistical inquiry, social security statistics and the monthly statistics on the social fund. The first annual statistical survey on the reformed housing benefit scheme will be published later this year.
In addition, detailed research projects are being commissioned on some subjects such as the effects of the
Column 805income support earnings rules and the extent to which the social fund is meeting its objectives. Decisions on publication will be made at the appropriate time.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether his Department is continuing to monitor the level of underspending on community care grants ; and if he will make a statement on this matter before the end of the financial year.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We are continuing to monitor closely all aspects of the social fund. Expenditure on community care grants has increased significantly over recent months and is currently running at 77 per cent. of national monthly profile.
I outlined in my reply to the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. Redmond) on 17 January at columns 118-19 the steps we were taking further to improve awareness of the help that can be provided through community care grants. Monthly statistics on the operation of the social fund for every local office and a national summary are placed in the Library.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We have no plans to implement legislation to phase out the earnings rule for pensioners. We shall continue to carry out our statutory duty to review annually the level of permitted earnings.
Mr. Scott : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the running cost limit for class XV vote 7 (administration and miscellaneous services) will be increased by £12.139 million. This is the net effect of a reapportionment between non-running cost and running cost expenditure (£4.437 million), additional receipts of £7.563 million from the national insurance fund, a transfer of £143,000 from Inland Revenue and a decrease of £5,000 as a contribution towards the direct entry grade 7 competition 1988, which is offset by a corresponding increase in vote XX.1. As a result of these changes and those announced by my hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Health, which add a further £4.856 million to the running costs of vote XIV.3, the running cost limit of the Departments of Social Security and Health is increased by £16.995 million from £1,785.189 million to £1,802.184 million. These increases do not add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what has been the total number of claims for family credit ; and what proportion of those claims has been assessed as eligible for payment.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : By 20 January 1989, 539,000 claims had been received of which 489,000 had been cleared. Of these, 28,000 were duplicate claims or were subsequently withdrawn. Of the remaining 461,000 claims, 336,000 (72.9 per cent.) were successful. In addition, 206,000 family income supplement beneficiaries were awarded family credit without a claim being required. As awards of family credits are for a limited period (normally six months) many of the 542,000 awards will have expired. At the end of December approximately 255, 400 families were receiving family credit.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has on research regarding (a) the ability of babies to absorb aluminium that is ingested, (b) the amount of aluminium that a baby's normal diet is likely to provide and, (c) the level of aluminium in water and in baby milk that is safe for babies ; who conducted the research in each case ; and what were the conclusions.
Mr. Ryder : There is no information at present on the extent to which babies are able to absorb ingested aluminium. However, it is known that the greater part of aluminium ingested by adults is excreted. A survey of aluminium in infant milks has recently been carried out by this Ministry. Estimates of aluminium intakes by infants up to age four months show that potential intakes from
Column 807infant milks are well within the internationally agreed acceptable level specified by the joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives.
Sir Richard Body : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the implications for the agricultural trade negotiations of the Uruguay round of the general agreement on tariffs and trade of EEC proposals to impose more restrictions on access for New Zealand butter and sheepmeat.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The proposals would continue arrangements for specified quantities of New Zealand butter and sheepmeat to enter the Community at concessionary rates of levy, with reductions in both the quantities and the level of import charge. They take account of the Community's commitments in the Uruguay round under the Punta del Este declaration and represent a fair balance between the many interests involved. The New Zealand Government have acknowledged this. Negotiations on the round are continuing with the aim of securing greater liberalisation of trade in agriculture.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any evidence that animal offal, brain, bowels, feet and testicles are present in any baby foods ; and what would be their effects on the health of babies.
Mr. Ryder : The Ministry has no evidence that brain, bowels, feet, testicles or any animal offal other than liver or kidney are present in any baby foods. Liver and kidney are used in the preparation of some baby foods because of the high nutritional value they bestow.
Mr. Ryder : The EC food labelling directive and the Food Labelling Regulations 1984 require prepacked foods to be marked or labelled with a list of ingredients in descending order of weight. The Food Act 1984 makes it an offence to sell food which is not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the consumer and also an offence to provide labelling which is misleading as to nature, substance or quality of the food.
The proposed EC directive on foods for particular nutritional uses would provide for specific directives which may control the description, composition, labelling, advertising and presentation of certain categories of foods, including baby foods. It could be therefore that the European Community will develop specific rules for the labelling of baby foods.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what funding has been made available (a) to the central veterinary laboratory for its research into the development of an Elisa test, and (b) to the Moredun research institute for its work with the lymphacyte transformation test.
Mr. Donald Thompson : At least £46,000 will be allocated in 1989-90 for expenditure on research at the central veterinary laboratory into the development of an Elisa test for tuberculosis in deer. Work on the lymphoates transformation test at the Moredun research institute is being privately funded.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 16 January 1989] : The use of small quantities of animal protein materials in some poultry feed have for many years been a normal trade practice. Such materials are produced in processing plants, all of which are subject to the controls contained in the Protein Processing Order 1981. The heat or other treatment used in such plants will destroy all salmonella. The animal protein is then supplied to the manufacturers of animal feedstuffs, of which there are many throughout the country, both on farms and elsewhere. Detailed information on all manufacturers is not available in my Department.
Mr. Ryder : Notices will be issued under the Zoonoses Order 1975 to egg producers with flocks known or suspected of infection with salmonella enteritidis or other similar types of Salmonella. These notices will prevent producers from selling eggs in a raw state for direct consumption. The first such notices will be issued today.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 13 January 1989] : The use of small quantities of animal protein materials in some poultry feed have for many years been a normal trade practice. Such materials are produced in processing plants, all of which are subject to the controls contained in the Protein Processing Order 1981. The heat or other treatment used in such plants will destroy all salmonella. Detailed information on the brand names involved is not available from my Department.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 13 January 1989] : The use of small quantities of animal protein materials in some poultry feed have for many years been a normal trade practice. Such materials are produced in processing plants, all of which are subject to the controls contained in the Protein Processing Order, 1981. The heat or other treatment used in such plants will destroy all salmonella. The animal protein is then supplied to the manufacturers of animal feedstuffs, of which there are many throughout the country both on farms and elsewhere. Detailed information on all such manufactures who produce poultry feedstuffs is not available in my Department.
|Number --------------------- 1979 |7 1980 |8 1981 |8 1982 |8 1983 |8 1984 |8 1985 |8 1986 |8 1987 |11 1988 |11 1989 |11
Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total budget proposed for training and enterprise councils ; and how many training and enterprise councils will receive more than the minimum £15 million stated in the White Paper "Employment for the 1990s".
Mr. Cope : On the basis of current expenditure plans the total budget for TECs, when they are fully established throughout the country, would be in excess of £2,500 million. It is too early to say at this stage how many training and enterprise councils will receive more than £15 million a year.