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Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, for County Durham, he will list those Crown post offices (a) closed and (b) downgraded to sub-office status in the last five years; and if he will list those proposed for either outcome in the future.
Mr. Forth : These are operational questions for the Post Office board. However, I understand that it proposes to convert Seaham, Houghton- le-Spring and Crook crown offices into sub-offices in October this year. No crown offices have been either closed or converted in County Durham during the last five years.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has received a request from the chairman and chief executive of the Post Office to relieve him from the duty to collect mail in the London borough of Brent.
Mr. Boateng : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the operation of the Post Office's monopoly on the collection of mail from sub-post offices in the London borough of Brent.
Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many minor injuries to children at school were reported over the period 1 April 1986 to 31 March 1987 and 1 April 1987 to 31 March 1988 broken down by local education authority and whether nursery, primary or secondary school.
Mr. Forth : The information is not available in the form requested. However the most recent estimate from my Department's leisure accident surveillance of children treated in hospitals in England and Wales as a result of accidents in schools or nurseries (or during school sports) totalled 115,000 between May and October 1987, of which 95 per cent. of cases were minor injuries not requiring in-patient treatment.
Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Prime Minister if she proposes that a medal be issued commemorating the Royal Navy's outstanding service in helping to keep open the sea lanes into and out of the Persian Gulf and through the straights of Hormuz ; and if she will bear in mind the desirability of retaining in the annals of the Royal Navy the name of the Armilla patrol.
The Prime Minister : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Baker) on 25 May. The Armilla patrol continues to serve in the Gulf with dedication and professionalism. The service that the Royal Navy has performed and continues to perform will not be forgotten ; the term Armilla patrol will always be synonymous with a difficult and, at times, hazardous task carried out with exemplary efficiency, in the best traditions of the Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister if she will raise at the next meeting of the European Council the numbers of decisions of the European Court of Justice which have not been implemented by member states ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : No. However, it is for the Commission to decide whether a member state has failed to comply with a judgment and if necessary the Commission will take further action. The United Kingdom record on implementation is very good.
Mr. Stanbrook : To ask the Prime Minister if she will ensure that junior Ministers do not use titles for which there is no statutory or constitutional justification and which are liable to be confused with the Secretary of State or other ministerial head of the Government Department concerned.
The Prime Minister : I receive an enormous number of letters each week from Members of Parliament and others. It is not possible for me to deal with all these letters personally and I must accordingly refer most of them to
Column 24the Minister and the Department with the responsibility for the policy in question. All correspondence is dealt with as quickly as possible.
|Length of Service |Grade |Salary Per Annum |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Principal Private Secretary |7 months |G3 |40,900 Private Secretary |5 years |4 months |G3 |40,900 Private Secretary |1 year |7 months |G5 |31,602 Private Secretary |1 year |1 month |G5 |28,170 Private Secretary |1 month |G7 |18,141 Diary Secretary |4 months |Special Adviser (p/t)|10,927 Assistant Private Secretary |16 years |2 months |Assistant One |17,861 Assistant Private Secretary |Joined |17 July 1989 |SEO |17,861 Secretary for Appointments |7 years |4 months |G5 |32,826 Salaries exclude London Weighting and allowance and are those payable as at 1 July 1989.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it is his intention to include all products which contain nicotine, including Stubits and Stoppers, in his proposed ban on oral tobacco products.
Mr. Mellor : No. The Government's proposal is to ban the supply of oral snuff dipping products consisting wholly or mainly of tobacco in fine cut, ground or particulate form. We have not yet decided whether to proceed with a ban. Preparations marketed for smoking replacement purposes that consist of tobacco extracts containing nicotine in a non-tobacco base would not be covered. There are regulations under existing Acts governing the supply of nicotine-containing products generally.
Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the percentage increase in medical and dental staff whole-time equivalents in (a) the Mersey region and (b) England, between September 1978 and the latest available date.
Hospital and community health service medical and dental staff<1> in Mersey Regional Health Authority and England, percentage change, 30 September 1978-87 |Wholetime equivalent (per |cent. increase) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Mersey RHA |14.1 England |14.9 <1> Figures include Permanent Paid, Honorary and Locum staff. 1987 Locum figures include Agency Locums which were collected separately for the first time.
Mr. Neale : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the independent health panel investigating possible long-term health effects of the water contamination incident in July 1988 at Lowermoor treatment works, north Cornwall will publish its report before Parliament rises for the summer recess.
Mr. Freeman : I understand that the report of the independent Lowermoor incident health advisory group to the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly district health authority is to be published on 20 July in Truro. Ministers will be giving careful consideration to the report and any recommendations that might be made by the group.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the revenue generated from private patients at hospitals in the Durham area in 1989 ; and what were the comparable figures for each of the last 10 years at 1989 prices.
Income from private patients: Durham health authority |£ (at 1988-89 prices) ------------------------------------------------------------------ 1982-83 |6,158 1983-84 |31,773 1984-85 |34,230 1985-86 |41,405 1986-87 |49,912 <1>1987-88 |53,776 <1> Latest year available. Notes: 1. The figures used are derived from the annual accounts of the health authority and have been expressed at 1988-89 prices by the use of the gross domestic product deflator. 2. The Durham health authority was established on 1 April 1982. Prior to that date the authority's predecessor health district formed part of an area health authority and district-based figures were not collected centrally.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on the estimated total number of hours received by clients of the home-help service of Durham county council for the years 1987-88 and 1988-89.
Mr. Mellor : We do not collect this information centrally. Information about the number of hours received by elderly clients from home helps is collected by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and published in "Personal Social Service Statistics--Actuals" for each financial year. The latest publication available is for 1987-88. Copies are available in the Library.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role his Department envisages for cottage hospitals over the next five years ; whether he estimates that their number will diminish ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : The pattern of hospital services locally is for health authority decision, taking into account the needs of all the communities they serve and available resources. In future district health authorities are likely to wish to place contracts with those cottage hospitals which are able to provide a good quality and cost-effective service.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any document has replaced or updated the 1967 report on the "Definition of Drugs (Borderline Substances)" by the standing joint committee on the classification of proprietary preparations in particular paragraph 4 and appendix A on a guidance to general
Column 26practitioners on prescribing preparations normally regarded as foods but regarded as drugs when used in the treatment of the diseases therein listed ; and what is the status of the 1967 report.
Mr. Mellor : The standing joint committee on the classification of proprietary preparation was replaced by the advisory committee on borderline substances in 1971. The report on the definition of drugs (borderline substances), which was produced by the standing joint committee, has been superseded by the recommendations of the advisory committee on borderline substances. These recommendations are revised periodically and are published in the "Drug Tariff", the "British National Formulary" and the "Monthly Index of Medical Specialties" (MIMS).
The role of the advisory committee on borderline substances is to provide the Secretary of State and general practitioners with expert independent medical advice on the classification of borderline substances, and on whether they should be prescribed by general practitioners at NHS expense. In reaching its judgment on any particular product the committee's sole criterion is whether it has a therapeutic use in the treatment of disease in the community. This criterion was published on 25 February 1988 at column 302-03 in my predecessor's reply to a question from my hon. Friend the member for Surrey, South-West (Mrs. Bottomley).
Mr. Mellor : Figures are available only for 1 October each year by family practitioner committee (FPC) areas. Luton is served by Bedfordshire FPC. At 1 October 1979 the average list size of unrestricted principals in Bedfordshire FPC was 2,585. At 12 October 1987 (the latest available figure) the number had decreased to 2,052.
Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will publish a list of the financial and other links between the members of the Committee on Safety of Medicines and the pharmaceutical industry.
Mr. Mellor : Information on members' links with the pharmaceutical industry was published with the 1987 annual report of the Medicines Commission and Medicines Act committees. A copy is in the Library. The 1988 report, which will contain additional information, will be published shortly.
Mr. Mellor : I regret that information is not available in the form requested. The table gives numbers of staff in post as at 31 March of each year since 1986. This includes staff of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission.
|Staff in post 1986|Staff in post 1987|Staff in post 1988|Staff in post 1989 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Grade 3/U.S |1 |1 |1 |1 Grade 3/SPMO |1 |1 |1 |1 Grade 4/CPHO |1 |1 |1 |1 Grade 5/AS |2 |2 |2 |2 Grade 6/S/PRIN |1 |1 |1 |1 Grade 7/PRIN |7 |9 |9 |9 SEO |3 |5 |5 |5 HEO |16 |21 |19 |19 EO |26 |34 |30 |32 AO |53 |55 |54.5 |58.5 AA |29 |32 |32 |32 S/PES |1 |1 |- |- PES |20 |20 |17 |13 Typist |- |2 |2 |2 Data Processor |- |1 |- |- S/Paper Keeper |- |- |- |1 Paper Keeper |- |- |- |3 Messenger |- |- |- |2 Principal M.O. |3 |3 |3 |3 Senior M.O. |14 |13 |15 |12.5 M.O. |1 |1 |- |- P.S.O. |- |- |- |2 S.S.O. |- |3 |4 |4 H.S.O. |6 |6 |5 |4 A.S.O. |3 |2.5 |4 |3 S.O. |2 |2 |2 |2 DCPO |3 |3 |3 |3 SPHO |6 |6 |8 |8 PPHO |22 |22 |25 |30 PHO1 |31 |31 |24 |23 PHO2 |7 |1 |- |- HPTO |- |5.5 |3 |7.5 Laboratory Attendant |1.5 |1.5 |1.5 |1.5 |--- |--- |--- |--- Total |260.5 |286.5 |272 |286 Total Administration Staff |159 |184 |172.5 |180.5 Total Professional Staff |101.5 |102.5 |99.5 |105.5
From 1979 to 1985 the following table shows the total number of staff in post and the numbers of administrative and professional staff.
Staff in post at 31 March |1979 |1980 |1981 |1982 |1983 |1984 |1985 --------------------------------------------------------------------- Administrative Staff |120 |120 |117 |134 |128 |142 |145 Professional Staff |94 |95 |98 |95 |93.5 |107.5|117.5 |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- |--- Totals |214 |215 |215 |229 |221.5|249.5|262.5
As to location the Medicines Control Agency, formerly the Medicines division, has been located at Market towers since 1980 ; previously they were at Finsbury square. The bulk of the staff are located at Market towers. The remainder are located at the BPC laboratory at Canons park and medicines inspectors at the following locations :
Chester, Hitchin, York, East Grinstead, Chelmsford and Lymington.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will state the total sales of medicines under the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme to general practitioners and National Health Service hospitals in each year since 1979.
|£ million ------------------------------ 1979 |775 1980 |884 1981 |1,083 1982 |1,269 1983 |1,386 1984 |1,483 1985 |1,510 1986 |1,569 1987 |1,611
The figures are sales of PPRS medicines made by companies required to submit full financial information under the scheme, and are the total of sales made in each company's financial year which ended in the year stated. They will include some sales not made to the NHS, where these are incidental to NHS sales ; separate information on sales to hospitals and the family practitioner service is not available, nor is information for later periods.
Sales made under the PPRS were affected by the introduction of the selected list scheme in April 1985, and by the exclusion of generics from the PPRS in October 1986.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the minimum allowable profit on capital employed under the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme in each year since 1979 and the average level of profit under the scheme in each year.
Mr. Mellor : Under the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme each company has a profit target which it can expect to retain if achieved. There is no "minimum allowable profit" under the scheme. For the years in question, the lower end of the range of target returns was :
|Per cent. ---------------------------------------- To 31 March 1984 |17 From 1 April 1984 |15 From 1 October 1986 |16 From 1 October 1987 |17
Average levels of profit achieved are not published.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the numbers of new drugs licensed under the Medicines Act in each year since 1979 and the numbers of drugs whose licence was withdrawn in each year.
|Product licences granted|Product licences for |Licences withdrawn<2> |medicinal products |containing a new active |substance<1> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1982 |934 |49 |1,003 1983 |783 |26 |1,531 1984 |641 |9 |1,513 1985 |649 |19 |721 1986 |738 |36 |920 1987 |641 |41 |1,204 1988 |557 |47 |1,268 <1>Differences from year to year in the number of licences for products containing a new active substance must be treated with caution since (a) the year in which particular licences were granted may be dependent on a variety of factors and (b) the number of licences granted may depend on the number of dosage forms needed for the particular products. <2>The licences withdrawn column covers both product licences and product licences of right. The numbers include licences withdrawn because of revocation by the licensing authority and because of decisions by applicants to withdraw, not to renew or, in the case of product licence of right holders, not to pursue applications for full product licences.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he proposes to review the 1968 Medicines Order in order to facilitate the importation of anthrax vaccine ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : We have no plans to do so. We already hold a current produce licence for anthrax vaccine under the provisions of the Medicines Act 1968. Stocks of the vaccine are readily available for use and this country is the only one to our knowledge with a routine programme of vaccination of humans at particular risk of anthrax.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received about the registration of chiropodists ; how many practising chiropodists are (a) unregistered and (b) registered ; and what checks are made on unregistered chiropodists working in private homes for the aged and other institutions outside the National Health Service.
Mr. Mellor : Over the last 12 months my right hon. and learned Friend has received a number of letters on this matter from members of the public and hon. Members writing on behalf of their constituents.
I understand that the Council for the Professions Allied to Medicine, which maintains the state register, does not hold details of chiropodists practising in the profession. Information on unregistered practitioners is not held centrally. It is for the registration authorities for homes to
Column 30decide how they carry out their registration inspection duties for this aspect of a home, as with many other aspects of a home.
Mr. Mellor : There will be nothing to prevent the appointment of a senior nurse as an executive member. However, this will be a matter for the chairman and non-executive members of the authority, acting with the general manager.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his estimate of the full public cost of his meeting with managers of hospital units which have expressed an interest in self-governing status held in Leeds on Tuesday 11 July.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Ealing, North to the Minister of State on the subject of Dr. A. J. Davis, dated 21 April, 17 May and 29 June ; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the delay.
Mr. Freeman : A reply to my hon. Friend's letter of 21 April has now been despatched. I apologise for the delay. We have had a lot of correspondence on the subject of the GP's contract. The Department can find no trace of receipt of the letters dated 17 May and 29 June.
Mr. Mellor : Our guidance to health authorities states that "all women aged 20 to 64 should be invited for screening unless their GP has indicated that they should be excluded". (Circular HC(88)1 paragraph 3.)
A GP may decide to exclude from the screening programme those women who have had a total hysterectomy (which implies that the cervix has been removed along with the rest of the uterus) and those who have had their cervix amputated as part of a prolapse repair. Besides women who are dying of cervical cancer there are also those in terminal stages of other illnesses such as cancers elsewhere in their body or neurological disorders.
Column 31(2) if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total number of (a) still births, and (b) premature births by weeks of gestation, where the mother smoked during pregnancy in 1987 and 1988.
Mr. Mellor : The Independent Scientific Committee on Smoking and Health has found that smoking during pregnancy is a cause of low birthweight and increased perinatal mortality. The committee reported that the mean reduction in birthweight between maternal smokers and non-smokers ranges between 150 g and 250 g, and that perinatal mortality for maternal smokers is increased by about 28 per cent. Both the reduction in birthweight and the increase in perinatal mortality increase with the average number of cigarettes smoked. The committee also found that there is an association between exposure to other people's tobacco smoke and low birthweight although its interpretaton is unclear.
The Government continue their efforts to persuade all smokers, including pregnant woman, to give up the habit. The Health Education Authority's pregnancy book, which is given to every woman who is pregnant for the first time,
Column 32advises women not to smoke during pregnancy. The teenage anti-smoking campaign, to be launched later this year, will discourage teenagers, especially girls, from taking up smoking. This campaign, aimed at the pre-childbearing years, should contribute to reducing smoking during pregnancy.
Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what was the cumulative total of people diagnosed with AIDS until 31 March 1988 ; and how many of these had been diagnosed in the 12 months prior to that date ; in each regional health authority in England and Wales ;
(2) what was the cumulative total of people diagnosed with AIDS until 31 March ; and how many of these had been diagnosed within the previous 12 months ; in each regional health authority in England and Wales.