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Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I have had three meetings with the general medical services committee to discuss the proposed new contract for general practitioners on 8 September 1988, 9 February 1989 and 20 March 1989. The first two meetings were to review progress on the continuing discussions on the new contract and covered the policy aims of the revised contract very fully. The last meeting was a three-hour discussion of the eight detailed points that the GMSC wished to put to me and its requests for outstanding detailed information.
The GMSC has always agreed with me that revised regulations and a new statement of fees and allowances are required and should take effect in April 1990. We have agreed a number of points of the new contract including some originally proposed by the GMSC. I have stressed at all three meetings that I believe that we should make progress in the discussions because of the need to give GPs as much notice as possible of the new terms and conditions so that they can adjust their practices to prepare for them.
I explained to the GMSC at our last meeting that I would reflect on the detailed submissions it put to me and respond to them in the draft regulations and statement that I will now put to it. Further consultation will take place on the terms of the draft regulations and statement.
34. Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will meet Age Concern to discuss the rapid increase in the number of private residential homes and its relevance to the report by Sir Roy Griffiths on community care.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 21 March 1989] : We are currently giving active consideration to the future organisation and management of community care following Sir Roy Griffiths' report. We hope to bring forward our proposals soon and will consider requests for meetings from organisations involved in community care at that stage.
40. Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the waiting lists for hearing aids in the Leicester health authority ; and what action the Government propose to take to cut them.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 21 March 1989] : Provision of local health services is a matter for the relevant district health authority, in this case Leicestershire. The hon. Member may care to write to the chairman of the authority for the information he seeks.
Column 671Association concerning the introduction of a partial no-fault compensation system for high risk medical practitioners.
(2) if he will list by each district health authority area the levels of spending per head of population by each identifiable cost centre.
For information on average treatment costs by type of hospital for health regions and England as a whole I refer the hon. Member to the Department's annual publication "Health Services Costing Returns" (the latest being for 1986-87)--copies of which are held in the Library.
Z District health |Total revenue expenditure authorities |per resident £ cash |1987-88 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Northern region Hartlepool |233 North Tees |181 South Tees |253 East Cumbria |229 South Cumbria |169 West Cumbria |195 Darlington |253 Durham |149 North West Durham |215 South West Durham |223 Northumberland |220 Gateshead |168 Newcastle |514 North Tyneside |134 South Tyneside |161 Sunderland |223 Districts total |229 Yorkshire region Hull |236 East Yorkshire |212 Grimsby |207 Scunthorpe |151 Northallerton |139 York |225 Scarborough |167 Harrogate |211 Bradford |214 Airedale |191 Calderdale |187 Huddersfield |224 Dewsbury |162 Leeds Western |275 Leeds Eastern |263 Wakefield |339 Pontefract |172 Districts total |218 Trent region North Derbyshire |143 South Derbyshire |201 Leicestershire |196 North Lincolnshire |228 South Lincolnshire |172 Bassetlaw |167 Central Nottinghamshire |196 Nottingham |254 Barnsley |178 Doncaster |191 Rotherham |170 Sheffield |322 Districts total |212 East Anglian Region Cambridge |282 Peterborough |202 West Suffolk |177 East Suffolk |206 Norwich |219 Great Yarmouth and Waveney |184 West Norfolk and Wisbech |166 Huntingdon |189 Districts Total |209 North West Thames Region North Bedfordshire |159 South Bedfordshire |171 North Hertfordshire |149 East Hertfordshire |118 North West Hertfordshire |283 South West Hertfordshire |126 Barnet |263 Harrow |218 Hillingdon |282 Hounslow and Spelthorne |211 Ealing |158 Brent |220 Paddington |599 Riverside |514 Districts Total |236 North East Thames Region Basildon and Thurrock |185 Mid Essex |199 North East Essex |202 West Essex |175 Southend |161 Barking, Havering and Brentwood |188 Hampstead |592 Bloomsbury |1,076 Islington |334 City and Hackney |483 Newham |227 Tower Hamlets |485 Enfield |166 Haringey |270 Redbridge |193 Waltham Forest |288 Districts Total |273 South East Thames Brighton |218 Eastbourne |203 Hastings |202 South East Kent |158 Canterbury and Thanet |217 Dartford and Gravesham |229 Maidstone |208 Medway |164 Tunbridge Wells |260 Bexley |190 Greenwich |300 Bromley |205 West Lambeth |568 Camberwell |374 Lewisham and North Southwark |386 Districts Total |251 South West Thames North West Surrey |217 West Surrey and North East Hampshire |134 South West Surrey |271 Mid Surrey |276 East Surrey |288 Chichester |199 Mid Downs |179 Worthing |162 Croydon |209 Kingston and Esher |258 Richmond, Twickenham and Roehampton |176 Wandsworth |543 Merton and Sutton |227 Districts Total |231 Wessex Region East Dorset |183 West Dorset |199 Portsmouth and South East Hampshire |172 Southampton and South West Hampshire |262 Winchester |198 Basingstoke and North Hampshire |199 Salisbury |278 Swindon |201 Bath |190 Isle of Wight |207 Districts Total |203 Oxford Region East Berkshire |171 West Berkshire |173 Aylesbury Vale |315 Wycombe |126 Milton Keynes |143 Kettering |148 Northampton |205 Oxfordshire |229 Districts Total |187 South Western Region Bristol and Weston |279 Frenchay |255 Southmead |221 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly |181 Exeter |254 North Devon |199 Plymouth |241 Torbay |190 Cheltenham |165 Gloucester |208 Somerset |192 Districts Total |218 Bromsgrove and Redditch |177 Herefordshire |192 Kidderminster |273 Worcester |195 Shropshire |185 Mid Staffordshire |153 North Staffordshire |223 South East Staffordshire |178 Rugby |160 North Warwickshire |213 South Warwickshire |215 Central Birmingham |521 East Birmingham |211 North Birmingham |223 South Birmingham |283 West Birmingham |322 Coventry |220 Dudley |190 Sandwell |136 Solihull |155 Walsall |174 Wolverhampton |228 District Total |214 Mersey region Chester |283 Crewe |171 Halton |128 Macclesfield |208 Warrington |265 Liverpool |325 St. Helens and Knowsley |182 Southport and Formby |234 South Sefton |321 Wirral |196 Districts Total |237 North Western region Lancaster |353 Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde |186 Preston |582 Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley |181 Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale |300 West Lancashire |228 Chorley and South Ribble |79 Bolton |181 Bury |152 North Manchester |434 Central Manchester |562 South Manchester |518 Oldham |165 Rochdale |143 Salford |363 Stockport |176 Tameside and Glossop |148 Trafford |146 Wigan |172 District Total |241 Sources: (a) 1987-88 annual accounts of district health authorities. (b) Mid-year estimates of resident population:-1987 (Office of Population Censuses and Surveys). Notes: 1. District capital expenditure and all expenditure incurred by regional health authorities on behalf of their regions as a whole is excluded. 2. Expenditure on family practitioner services is excluded: such expenditure is accounted for by family practitioner committees (FPCs) and cannot strictly be attributed to particular districts. 3. Significant variations in per capita expenditure figures at district level arise principally because: i. people travel across district boundaries for treatment and sub-regional resource allocations reflect the pattern of service provision locally. ii. the population figures used make no allowance for people resident in one district who receive treatment in another or for the difference in morbidity and age/sex structure of particular population.
Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether a disabled person, in receipt of a disablement pension or the relevant disability allowances, is able to transfer such payment to another country, should that person decide to reside in another country ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Disablement pension is payable to a person who resides abroad. Reduced earnings allowance is generally payable only during temporary absences but is payable for permanent absence if the disabled person goes to a country with which we have a social security agreement which provides for this or goes to another EC country (provided he is a national of an EC country, or a stateless person or refugee living there). Attendance allowance and mobility allowance are payable during temporary absence of up to six months, or temporary absence for the specific purpose of being treated for an incapacity or a disabling condition which began before leaving Great Britain.
Severe disablement allowance (SDA) is payable during temporary absence for the specific purpose of being treated for an incapacity which began before leaving Great Britain ; or during temporary absence if the person had been continuously incapable of work for six months when the absence began and remains continuously so incapable. However, if the disabled person is going to another EC country and is helped by the EC regulations on social security for migrant workers he will be able to continue to receive SDA even if he does not meet the above rules.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what representations he has received from computer companies on the timetable for the preparation of the community charge benefits regulations ;
(2) if he will make a statement on the progress being made on the preparation of the community charge benefits regulations ; and when he expects that they will be laid before the House.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : No representations have been received from computer companies about the timetable for preparing the Community Charge Benefits (General) Regulations 1989. Copies of the draft regulations were sent on 16 March to the Social Security Advisory Committee and to the local authority associations in accordance with the consultation requirements set out in section 61 of the Social Security Act 1986. The regulations will be laid before the House once the Social Security Bill has been enacted. In order to assist local authorities and the computer companies in their preparation for the introduction of the community charge benefits scheme, it is intended to send copies of the draft regulations to each authority as soon as possible after the completion of the consultation process.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what consideration his Department has given to the report published by the Disablement Income Group entitled, "Am I Entitled? Problems With The Take
Column 676Up And Administration Of Attendance And Mobility Allowance"; if there is any action he will be taking ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : The Department co-operated with this study, and commented on a draft of the report but we have not yet had an opportunity to consider the final version. We shall take careful account of the findings, together with the other recent Disablement Income Group report, "Being Disabled Costs More Than They Said," in our consideration of the OPCS findings.
Mr. Clay : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate as to how much of the funds allocated to the social fund will have been unspent by the end of the 1988-89 financial year, broken down into (i) budgeting loans, (ii) crisis loans, and (iii) community care grants.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Based on expenditure to the end of February 1989 the gross underspend on the loans budget at the end of the 1988-89 financial year is estimated at £18 million. The estimated underspend on the grants budget is £20 million. Crisis loans and budgeting loans are paid from a single loans budget.
Dame Peggy Fenner : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will announce the revised social fund allocation for the office at Chatham following the transfer to that office of responsiility for the area covered by Rochester area office.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : On 31 March 1989 the office at Rochester will close and merge with the office at Chatham on 1 April 1989. Accordingly the social fund allocation for Chatham has been adjusted. The revised allocation is :
|£ ------------------------------ Grants budget |159,467 Loans budget |385,634
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many and what percentage of officers in grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, respectively, in his Department are (a) women and (b) from ethnic minorities.
Information for both Departments is as follows :
Grade Total Female staff <1>Ethnic [ staff minority staff -------------------------------------------------------- 1 |3 |- |- |- |- 2 |12 |2 |16.7 |- |- 3 |39 |6 |15.4 |- |- 4 |29 |6 |20.7 |1 |3.4 5 |268 |75 |28.0 |14 |5.2 6 |373 |58 |15.5 |34 |9.1 7 |1,049 |173 |16.5 |13 |1.2 |-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Total |1,773 |320 |18.0 |62 |3.5 <1> Ethnic minorities figures are based on questionnaires voluntarily completed by staff (75 per cent. response rate to date).
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, in the light of his Department's instructions to operators, following the blowout on the Ocean Odyssey, to suspend drilling using flexible jumper hoses at high pressure until an alternative acceptable to his Department can be found, he will now present an interim report on the scope and methods of his Department's review and give an estimate of the completion date and if he will also release details of the number of well drilling operations which are prevented from proceeding until his Department's review is satisfactorily completed.
Mr. Peter Morrison : A full report of my Department's investigation into the Ocean Odyssey accident has been passed to the procurator fiscal in Aberdeen. The report takes account of both operational practices and the failure of the flexible hoses. Work is continuing on assessing all applications for consent to drill high pressure wells in order to ensure that they can be carried out safely giving full regard to the lessons learnt from the accident. Ten well operations are being delayed. Consent will be given when my Department is satisfied that it is safe to proceed.
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, in the light of his Department's order that the drilling rigs Neddril Trigon, Glomar Labrador, Glomar Moray Firth, KCA Sandpiper, Shelf Driller, Trident X and Trident XI, are to be dry docked for inspection and remedial work following the discovery of serious cracking in the spud cans of one rig, he will now release the report of these inspection findings ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will provide a list of all installations of submarine emergency shutdown valves in oil and gas pipelines which have been or are being, or are planned to be carried out since the Piper Alpha disaster ; (2) how many existing oil and gas pipelines were fitted with submarine emergency shutdown valves prior to the Piper Alpha disaster ; and what are their locations ;
(3) if he will provide a list of all oil and gas pipelines with an operating pressure in excess of 600 lb per sq in and a diameter of 6 in or greater which do not contain submarine emergency shutdown valves ; and if he will also provide a list of the production platforms, onshore reception terminals and other facilities which are connected to these pipelines.
Mr. Peter Morrison : There are approximately 124 offshore oil and gas pipelines with an operating pressure in excess of 600 pounds per sq in and a diameter of 6 in or greater that do not have sub-sea emergency shut down valves fitted. Full details of these have been placed in the Library.
Six pipelines had sub-sea emergency shut down valves fitted prior to the Piper Alpha accident, located adjacent to the Brent Alpha, Fulmar, Murchison, Balmoral, Buchan
Column 678and Argyll platforms. It was also intended that two valves would be installed on the new pipeline, yet to be commissioned, in the Ivanhoe/Rob Roy field.
Following the Piper Alpha accident and in response to a letter from my director of safety asking for pipeline isolation arrangements to be reviewed, the industry has to date made proposals for the installation of an additional 26 sub-sea pipeline isolation systems, seven of which have already been installed. A list of these has also been placed in the Library. My Department is giving urgent consideration to the proposals from operators and I expect the completion of the review work to identify the need for additional systems.
These systems together with the mandatory offshore installation isolation systems, the proposals for which were issued for consultation this week, will provide a further step to greater safety offshore.
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy why the list of major changes to the Piper Alpha platform in annex B to the technical investigation interim report does not mention the tie-in of the Tartan field gas export pipeline to the Piper platform. Mr. Peter Morrison The tie -in of the Tartan field gas export pipeline to the Piper Alpha installation was outside the scope of annex B of the technical investigation interim report but is covered elsewhere in the report.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his estimate of the price which would be charged for electricity if the cost of fuel for generation provided the same proportion of that price as it did three years ago.
Mr. John Garrett : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, pursuant to his answer of 13 March, he will list the criteria of the European Community directive on drinking water which the supply in his Department's head office failed to meet in 1988.
I am advised that the criteria of the European Community directive on drinking water for the permitted maximum admissible levels which the supply in my Department's head office failed to meet in 1988 are :
|Permitted maximum |admissible levels ------------------------------------------------------ Sulphate |250mg/litre Fluoride |1500ug/litre Potassium |12mg/litre Sodium |175mg/litre Magnesium |50mg/litre Iron |50ug/litre Manganese |50ug/litre Nickel |50ug/litre Conductivity |1500us/cm Turbidity |4NTU
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will set out the liaison arrangements between his Department and the international safeguards authorities at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and Euratom in Luxembourg over the transport and transfer of nuclear materials to and from the Atomic Weapons Establishment to the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The Commission regulation (Euratom) 3227/76 and the United Kingdom/Euratom/IAEA safeguards agreement make provision for the receipt from and shipment to a facility not under safeguards.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if full facility attachments and particular safeguards provisions are now in force for all facilities at Sellafield containing safeguardable nuclear materials ; and what has been the cost of implementation of a comprehensive safeguards regime for Sellafield.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The particular safeguards for provisions for facilities at BNFL Sellafield are currently under discussion and to date four have been brought into force. Facility attachments for certain facilities which the IAEA inspect are also being negotiated. The costs of meeting safeguards requirements cannot be separately identified among the general running costs of the facilities concerned. The costs incurred by Euratom and the IAEA are a matter for the authorities concerned.