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Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many trainees have entered nursing for a state registered nurse or registered general nurse course in England and Wales for each of the last three years.
|c|Numbers entering registered general nurse training England: years|c| |c|ending 31 March|c| |Number --------------------- 1986 |14,220 1987 |14,014 1988 |13,581 Source: English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting.
The information relating to Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mr. Mellor : Discussions are currently taking place with the 13 selected demonstration districts on the manpower and financial aspects of their proposals. Following these discussions financial allocations will be made.
Mr. Freeman : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply by my hon. and learned Friend to the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Meale) on 19 December 1988 at columns 131-34. Figures for 1988-89 are not yet available.
Mr. Gale : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give details of the occasions since the award of private cleaning contracts at the Kent and Canterbury hospital, the Thanet district hospital and the royal seabathing hospital upon which payments for specific cleaning areas have been suspended.
Mr. Freeman : A full list of research directly funded by the Department of Health since 1979 which may be relevant to cot deaths is not readily available. The Department did however fund a major study specifically into cot deaths, co-ordinated by Professor Knowelden of the medical care research unit at Sheffield university, for the period 1976 to 1985. The total cost, including sponsorship of a seminar to facilitate dissemination of the findings, was around £285,000.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) is the main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research in the United Kingdom. The MRC receives its grant-in-aid from the Department of Education and Science. For current MRC research relevant to cot deaths I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Latham) on 20 February at columns 524-25.
Mr. Freeman : The information is shown in the table, which gives the number of deaths registered at age under one year with any mention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), cot death or similar term irrespective of whether or not it was assigned as underlying cause of death.
|c|Number of deaths registered under one year of age with any mention|c| |c|of sudden infant death on the death certificate, England and Wales|c| |c|1979-80<1>|c| Year Number |Male |Female|Total ------------------------------------ 1979 |637 |442 |1,079 1980 |740 |482 |1,222 1981 |755 |510 |1,265 1982 |822 |510 |1,332 1983 |827 |488 |1,315 1984 |716 |526 |1,242 1985 |787 |514 |1,301 1986 |945 |559 |1,504 1987 |918 |610 |1,528 <1>1988 |905 |538 |1,443 <1> Provisional, January-November.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Wakefield of 14 March, Official Report, column 162, in what foods the thermo-tolerance of listeria has been studied.
Column 51March at column 162 were cooked beef, chicken and carrots, chosen to provide an across the board sample of texture and density of food commonly used in cook-chill catering systems.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Wakefield of 14 March, Official Report, column 162, what conclusions were reached during tests as to the length of time specific temperatures must be maintained during the heating and reheating of cook-chill food in order to destroy listeria monocytogenes.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : The authors of the research concluded that a temperature of 70 C for two minutes at the slowest heating point of the food was required for the effective decontamination of listeria monocytogenes.
Mr. Henderson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vehicles and at what value were purchased by (a) his Department and (b) other public sector agencies for which he is responsible, in 1988 ; and how many of these vehicles were British-made within the definition of British as set out by the Department of Trade and Industry in its arrangement on content with the European Community.
Mr. Freeman : Only 5 per cent. of the vehicles purchased in 1988 for the then Department of Health and Social Security were for the use of Department of Health staff and some 60 per cent. of all DHSS vehicles purchased in that year were United Kingdom produced on the definition employed by the DTI for statistical purposes under which a vehicle is classified as United Kingdom produced if the United Kingdom content exceeds 50 per cent. of the ex-works price. Information in the form requested in respect of the purchase of NHS vehicles is not available centrally. This is a matter for each regional and district health authority. The total value of vehicles purchased in the NHS in 1987-88, the latest year for which figures are available, was £22.371 million.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has as to the number of social workers employed by local authorities, on (a) unpaid leave of absence and (b) paid leave of absence, to undertake activities as councillors in neighbouring local authorities.
Provisional figures show that there were 420 children in care in England at 31 March 1987 where the specific cause was that their family was homeless.
Mr. Mellor : The gradings of district general manager posts in the Yorkshire region, and the salary grade rates from 1 September 1988, are set out in the table. In addition, district general managers are eligible for a discretionary addition of up to 10 per cent. of the grade rate (to reflect differences in job weight) and performance related pay. Details of the performance-related pay awarded to individual general managers are confidential between them and their employer.
Grade |Grade rate at 1 September|Districts |1988 (£) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 |37,110 |Leeds Western |Leeds Eastern |Bradford 2 |35,450 |Hull |York |East Yorkshire |Huddersfield |Wakefield |Calderdale 3 |33,790 |Scunthorpe |Dewsbury |Grimsby |Harrogate |Airedale |Pontefract |Northallerton
(2) if he has any plans to introduce a separate salary scale for medical secretaries ;
(3) what are the current pay scales for each area health authority for medical secretaries.
Mr. Mellor : Pay and conditions of service for medical secretaries in the NHS are matters for negotiation in the administrative and clerical staffs Whitley council. Medical secretaries are employed in various grades with basic annual pay scales for adults ranging from £5,059 to £9,440. London weighting of up to £1,267 is payable in addition. The grading of posts, according to their particular responsibilities, is a matter for individual employing authorities. Additional allowances of up to £667 may be payable for tested proficiency in typing, shorthand and audio skills. The qualifications recognised for automatic entitlement to proficiency allowances which do not include the diploma of the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Administrators and Receptionists are also determined by the Whitley council. Negotiations are continuing in the council on proposals for changes in the pay and grading structures of all administrative and clerical staff.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much each health authority paid in the latest year for which figures are available in agencies fees for personnel to cover medical secretary duties.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will summarise, and place in the Library, the reactions he has received from general practitioner, consultant and nurses organisations to the proposed reform of the National Health Service.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I have already received a wide range of comments from many people but I expect many more. I will take them fully into account as the process of implementation goes forward. All the organisations have taken steps to publicise their reactions and I see little useful purpose in my summarising their views on which I am sure the Library is well placed to brief the right hon. Member.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to treat general practitioners who volunteer for budgets as running a demonstration project and ensure that the proposed reforms are only a framework, not immutable.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : We are currently considering the detailed operation of the practice budget scheme so that the first practices can have their budgets from April 1991 onwards. We will of course then keep the system under review and make any improvements which are necessary in the light of experience.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I have never had expectations about which hospitals, from the many potential candidates, will be among the first applicants for self-governing status. Some recent reports to the contrary were based on the mistaken belief that the first six hospitals involved in the development of the resource management initiative were automatically expected to choose self-government. The chief executive of the National Health Service management board has asked regional health authorities to forward expressions of interest in self-government to the Department by 31 May.
Column 54practitioner committees to approve out-of- time investigations into allegations involving one or more doctors in 1988.
For the past six years the Department has given a grant to the voluntary organisation First Key to enable it to promote effective planning by local authorities for young people leaving care and to develop good practice, through consultancy work with individual local authorities and through conferences and publications.
Proposals to extend and enhance the powers and duties of local authorities for children leaving care are contained in clause 20 of the Children Bill now before the House. If agreed, it is intended that a detailed circular of guidance will be issued to local authorities on implementation of the provisions.
11. Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his Department's estimate for the number of households eligible for family credit in Wales ; and what number of households are receiving family credit in Wales.
Mr. Moore : We do not have separate figures of eligibility for Wales. About 20,000 families in Wales were actually receiving family credit at the end of January. This compares with 14,000 families who received family income support supplement under the old scheme.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : At the end of February, more than 35 per cent. of family credit recipients were receiving £30 or more per week. Awards are made for 26 weeks, so these families are guaranteed at least £780, tax free, over the six months. This confirms that the families who are most in need of family credit are already claiming. But we recognise that there are still many families who are not aware that they may be eligible. That is why we have just begun our major advertising campaign.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The latest information on family credit is derived from an examination of amounts in payment at the end of February 1989 ; this indicated that the average amount in payment at that time was around £25 a week.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The new version of claim form FC1 is already available in local social security offices. Stocks are being distributed by the Post Office and should be available in their offices within the next few days. Claims for family credit will continue to be accepted on the old style forms.
Mr. Scott : From 1 October the pensioners' earnings rule is to be abolished so that pensioners will receive automatically their full state retirement pension, to which they are entitled, regardless of their earnings. This will increase choice and flexibility for people over pension age who wish to work.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Older people who wish to carry on working will have more choice and flexibility from 1 October 1989 when the earnings rule for pensioners is to be abolished. Pensioners will be able to go on working without having their state pension reduced and will no longer be barred from receiving a full pension if they work more than 12 hours a week. It will still be possible for people to defer drawing their pension for up to five years after pension age, thus increasing their entitlement by about 7.5 per cent. for each year of deferment.
Mr. Scott : My right hon. Friend is required to review the level of child benefit each year, and he does this as part of his annual review of benefit rates. He will announce his decision to the House in the usual way in the autumn.