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Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he intends to take to give financial assistance to agricultural workers in tied housing over the payment of the community charge.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he intends to allow crofters to take full advantage of the farm woodlands and woodland grant schemes for plantings on common grazings.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : My right hon. and learned Friend has indicated that, if the various crofting interests can agree, he will give sympathetic consideration to proposals for a private Member's Bill which would allow crofters to participate in these schemes through planting on common grazings.
|c|Exchequer contribution as a percentage of contribution income|c| Year |Percentage --------------------------------- 1987-88 |<1>66.7 1986-87 |69.7 1985-86 |76.7 1984-85 |76.7 1983-84 |76.7 <1> Provisional-subject to audit.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the impact that the Single European Act will have on his Department's operation of domestic policy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Single European Act will have no direct impact on the operation of domestic social security policy. Although the Act introduced qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers, instead of unanimity, for certain decision concerning the establishment of the internal market, unanimity still applies to any measures concerning the free movement of persons, or the rights and interests of employed persons, which are the aspects of relevance to the Department.
Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is his best estimate of the number of widows of post- retirement marriages with public servants who do not receive a widow's pension ;
(2) what would be the cost of extending the payment of widow's pensions to all widows of post-retirement marriages with public servants.
Information on the numbers of widows of post-retirement marriages of public servants before 6 April 1978 was not required to be held. I regret that an estimate of the cost of extending the payment of widow's pensions to all widows of post-retirement marriages of public servants could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : We will shortly be writing to regional health authorities to invite them to submit their proposals for the 100 additional consultant posts referred to in "Working for Patients". Authorities will be expected to target their proposals on the specialties and districts in which the longest waiting times are experienced. The specialties will be general surgery, traumatic and orthopaedic surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, urology, otolaryngology, opthalmology and general medicine.
Mr. Freeman : The public health laboratory service's communicable disease surveillance centre first received reports of cryptosporidium infection from laboratories in England and Wales in 1983. Sixty-one reports were received that year. Since then annual totals have been 876 (1984), 1,874 (1985), 3,560 (1986), 3,277 (1987), 2,757 (1988) and 633 in 1989 to the end of February. The increase from 1983 to 1986 reflects to a great extent increased reporting resulting from development of techniques to identify the organism in the laboratory and increasing awareness of the association of cryptosporidium with diarrhoeal illness. The figures for 1988 and 1989 (first eight weeks) are provisional.
Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what continued observation there has been in the United Kingdom of the babies and others contaminated with SV40 in the late 1950s ; and what proportion of those people now have AIDS.
Mr. Mellor : There has been no separate continued observation of those people in the United Kingdom who might have received vaccine contaminated with SV40. We have relied on the results of studies in the United States of America.
Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the results of any experiments conducted during preventive vaccination programmes have shown the human leukocyte type antigens (HL-A) in the immune response, both humoral and cellular, to be clearly linked to specific bacterial and viral antigens.
Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the two large studies referred to in his reply to the hon. Member for Erewash, 25 July 1988, Official Report, column 139, conducted in the United States of America on the contamination of polio vaccine by SV40 in the late 1950s and early 1960s referred to AIDS or carcinogenicity.
Mr. Mellor : AIDS had not been identified in the human population at the time the studies referred to were undertaken. The studies were directed to look for evidence of carcinogenicity in the population exposed to SV40.
No work has been done in the United Kingdom to identify SV40 genomes in people with AIDS, since there is no evidence that it gives rise to any untoward effects in normal individuals.
Mr. John Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when technical discussions with the British Dental Association on a new dental contract last took place ; when he expects formal negotiations on a new contract to commence ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : The Department grant aided the National Autistic Society by £10,000 a year for 1985-86, 1986-87, and 1987-88, and in 1987 made an additional special grant of £5,500. Since May 1987 the Department has spent over £60,000 on a descriptive study of the current education, treatment and handling of autistic children and adults.
Mr. Mellor : Chiropody services will be provided independently by Durham, Sunderland and Hartlepool health authorities following the introduction on 1 April 1989 of revised management arrangements for health services in Easington.
Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will indicate the level of chiropody and nursing services to be provided for patients transferring from Durham to the Hartlepool health authority ; and if the extra funding for these services will be allocated pro-rata to the appropriate department.
Mr. Mellor : The level of chiropody and nursing services provided for patients transferring from Durham to Hartlepool health authority will be the same as that provided before the transfer and patients should not see any change. Funds will be transferred to reflect this existing level of service.
Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultations have taken place with staff of all disciplines following the Northern regional health authority's reorganisation of community health services in the Easington district.
Mr. Mellor : A schedule of proposed transfers was sent to every individual member of staff and to all relevant staff organisations. Discussions then took place with individual staff members and local representatives of the staff organisations prior to final decisions being made about transfers.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average cost to the National Health Service of employing (a) a consultant, (b) a registrar, (c) a junior doctor, (d) an A-grade nurse and (e) a G-grade nurse.
|£ ---------------------------------------- (a) Consultant |41,800 (b and c) Junior Doctors: Senior registrar |30,000 Registrar |26,200 Senior House Officer |23,500 House Officer |18,200 (d) A Grade Nurse |8,600 (e) G Grade Nurse |17,900 Notes: 1. Figures include basic pay, employers' national insurance and superannuation contributions and exclude London Weighting and London Supplements. 2. Figures are for 1988-89 England and Wales and are based on estimates of paybills for Nurses and estimates of average contracted hours for junior doctors both costed 1988-89 pay rates. 3. Figures for consultants exclude Distinction Awards.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give the average costs of (a) a tonsillectomy, (b) herniotomy, (c) an appendectomy, (d) a double hip-joint replacement and (e) a coronary graft by-pass.
|£ 1987-88 prices ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Tonsillectomy (tonsils and adenoids) |360 Herniotomy (inguinal hernia) |710 Appendectomy |n/a Total hip replacement |2,390 Coronary artery by-pass graft |3,580
However the following gives an indication of the likely range of costs in each case :
|(£000's) ------------------------------------------ (a) Kidney dialysis |6-13 (b) Optical laser |12-52 (c) Lithotripter (ESWL) |500-800 (e) CAT Scanner |330-500
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether in the light of the possible relationships between bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutsfeldt-Jacob dementia he intends introducing reporting procedures for the latter.
Column 491Fisheries and Food to my hon. Friend the Member for Bromsgrove (Sir H. Miller) on 27 February at columns 89-91. Active consideration is being given to the Southwood committee's recommendation about reporting cases of Creutsfeldt Jacob dementia.
Mr. Mellor : The comments in the recent report by the working party chaired by Sir Richard Southwood that there may be a remote theoretical risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy being transmitted to patients by the use of injectable medicines derived from bovine material, have been carefully considered by the Committee on Safety of Medicines. The committee agreed with the working party that any such risk from injectable medicines including vaccines is both theoretical and remote. We have accepted this advice. As a purely precautionary measure, further guidance on good manufacturing practice in this area is about to be issued to manufacturers of all medicines including vaccines.
Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will extend the rules to make sure that people whose application forms for help with National Health Service costs have been awaiting the outcome of a review of the relevant statutory instruments will not be disbarred from claiming a refund although it is longer than one month since the relevant expenditure occurred ;
(2) when he will make a revised statutory instrument covering claims for help with National Health Service costs ; and how many applications for help with National Health Service costs from people with non-dependent people living with them are being stockpiled at Newcastle, awaiting such an instrument ;
(3) why the agency benefit unit in Newcastle dealing with claims for help with National Health Service costs is unable to deal with claims relating to people who have non-dependents living with them.
Mr. Mellor : The agency benefits unit has stockpiled 9,809 cases involving non-dependants because they are awaiting permission from this Department not to make inquiries of local authorities in cases where housing benefit in the form of rent rebate or rent allowance is payable. This request is being given urgent attention. Sympathetic consideration will be given to any claims for refunds outside the one month time limit where claims for help have been delayed at the agency benefits unit.
Amendment of the National Health Service (Travelling Expenses and Remission of Charges) Regulations 1988 will be necessary to give effect to the Government's intentions when making these regulations.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases have been reported in each of the past five years for which figures are available of salmonellosis or cympylobacter infection resulting from drinking or consuming untreated milk or milk products supplied by dairy farmers direct to consumer or consumed within the dairy farmer's family.
|Salmonellosis|Campylobacter -------------------------------------------------------- 1983 |200 |85 1984 |315 |79 1985 |54 |178 1986 |323 |24 1987 |34 |332 1988<1> |22 |None <1> Provisional.
(2) if he will make a statement on current procedures for dealing with outbreaks of disease associated with public water supplies in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 28 February 1989] : I refer the hon. Member to the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Delyn (Mr. Raffan) from my hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Water and Planning on 2 March at column 286.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the requirement to spend 20 hours in a surgery over five days, at hours convenient to patients, as outlined in "General Practice in the National Health Service--A New Contract", will apply to general practitioners with more than one surgery site ; whether the time travelling between site will be taken into account ; whether set hours will be required at each surgery site ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : The detailed implementation of the policies set out in "General Practice in the National Health Service : A New Contract", including the arrangements for surgery hours, will be the subject of consultation between my officials and the British Medical Association's general medical services committee.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will provide a detailed breakdown of how the new standard capitation fees for general practitioners used in the examples contained in the document "General Practice in the National Health Service--A New Contract" have been arrived at.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 1 March 1989] : The new capitation fee levels used for illustrative purposes in appendix F of "General Practice in the National Health Service--A New Contract" have been calculated to give effect to the Government's policy, set out in paragraph 7.3 of "Working for Patients", that capitation fees should form at least 60 per cent. of a GP's income. The average standard capitation fee per patient has, therefore, been notionally increased from £8.81 to £11.85. For the purposes of the examples it has been assumed that the increased proportion of income represented by capitation will be paid for by redistributing funds from out-of-date fees and allowances, such as seniority payments and group practice allowance. When the new remuneration system is introduced from 1 April 1990, the level of fees and
Column 493allowances will have been increased by the 1989 and 1990 awards and by the increased investment in family practitioner services announced in "Promoting Better Health".
Sir Peter Hordern : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the salary of a senior principal of the Civil Service (a) including the contributions to the superannuation scheme and (b) net of such contributions at the latest convenient date.
Mr. Brooke : A grade 6 (senior principal) civil servant on the scale maximum is paid a national rate of £27,087 per annum and, in common with other civil servants, a pension contribution of 1 per cent. of pay is made towards the cost of family benefits.
Mr. Brooke : Both the Inland Revenue and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise have in hand the serious and substantial relocation reviews referred to in the answer I gave on 9 February, 1989, at columns 751-2 , to my hon. Friend, the Member for Beverley (Mr. Cran), but at present neither has specific plans to relocate activities either to or from Luton.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will instruct Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in their central records on strip searches of persons to identify them in future by sex ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 3 March 1989] : None of the money taken by the purchase of premium bonds is spent on administration or prize money. The administrative costs of running premium bonds, which amounted to £20.5 million in 1987-88, is paid from the Department for
Column 494National Savings vote. Prize money, which totalled £139 million in 1987-88, is a charge on the Consolidated Fund. The prize money is calculated as a percentage of the value of all eligible bonds in the prize draw. In 1987-88 this was 7 per cent. per annum to 31 July and 7 per cent. per annum from 1 August.
Mr. Nicholls : Provision of advice to companies on good industrial relations practice is the responsibility of the independent Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Precise information is not available in the form requested but information on the estimated proportion of resources allocated to advisory work is set out in the ACAS annual report, copies of which are in the Library.
Mr. Ward : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, what evidence is available to him on the possible long-term effects on the health of local residents evacuated during the fire involving chemicals at BDH Poole on 21 June 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ward : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, whether he has any plans to change the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc., Act 1974 so that reports similar to that prepared following the fire at BDH Poole on 21 June 1988 are made public.
Mr. Nicholls : A substantial account of the fire at BDH Poole on 21 June 1988 was attached to the Health and Safety Executive's news release of 17 October 1988 and it contained all of the facts necessary to inform the public fully of HSE's investigation and conclusions. The internal report included in addition personal information, comments and opinion which it is not helpful or appropriate to make public.
I have, however, asked the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission to consider whether there is scope for any improvements in the present arrangements for informing the public of health and safety issues.
Mr. Ward : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has for ensuring that any improved safety measures required by the Health and Safety Executive in industrial premises are implemented in existing as well as new premises.
Mr. Patrick Nicholls : The Health and Safety Executive already updates guidance on a regular basis to ensure that advice on improved safety measures is widely available for application in existing and new industrial premises. New guidance documents are publicised in press notices and referred to by inspectors, where relevant, during their visits.
Column 495amendment of directive 82/501/EEC on major accidental hazards of certain industrial activities as published in EEC Official Journal L336, 7 December 1988, will have in preventing fires similar to that at BDH Poole on 21 June 1988.
Mr. Nicholls : The amendment (88/610/EEC) to directive 82/501/EEC will be implemented in Great Britain by means of a further amendment to the Control of Industrial Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1984. These regulations, like the directive, aim to prevent major industrial accidents to people and the environment and to limit the consequences of any which do occur. One of the main effects of the amendment will be that many warehouses of the type involved in the fire at BDH Poole storing hazardous substances will be brought within the scope of these important major hazard controls.
Mr. Ward : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he intends to extend the amendments to the Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1984 to a greater range of premises as promised in column 1001 of the Official Report for 1 November 1988.
Mr. Nicholls : By 1 June 1990. This is the implementation date for EC directive 88/610/EEC, which amends the "Seveso" directive 82/501/EEC. This amending directive will be implemented in Great Britain by the amendment to the CIMAH regulations to which my hon. Friend refers.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact that the Single European Act will have on his Department's operation of domestic policy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Government's policies since 1979 have provided the liberalised transport conditions necessary for the country to take full advantage of opportunities offered by the Single European Act.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to require British Rail to earn a net real rate of return of at least the Autumn Statement's current forecast rate of return of 12 per cent. in respect of all new investment projects including the proposed high-speed rail link to the Channel tunnel.
Mr. Portillo : British Rail needs to demonstrate that all investments by its commercial sector are capable of producing a commercial return : this would include any high-speed line to the Channel tunnel, should it be financed by the board. The discount rate used to test investments is agreed between British Rail and the Department and is currently 7 per cent. It reflects the Treasury's required rate of return which is intended to ensure that commercial public sector investment programmes (such as British Rail's) provide a rate of return which is broadly equivalent to that which could be achieved in the private sector. The required rate of return was set in 1978 and is currently under review.