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Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give for each year for which the information is available the total numbers of live and still births in England and Wales which were jointly registered by parents who were not married to each other but lived at the same address.
Live and stillbirths, England and Wales, 1986 to 1988 jointly registered by parents who were not married but lived at the same address |1986 |1987 |1988 -------------------------------------------- Live births |65,844 |75,572 |87,601 Stillbirths |331 |387 |393 |-------|-------|------- Total |66,175 |75,959 |87,994
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give the total numbers of live births and stillbirths in England and Wales in 1988, giving the numbers of each that were (a) legitimate, (b) jointly registered illegitimate and (c) solely registered illegitimate.
|Legitimate |Jointly registered|Solely registered |illegitimate |illegitimate ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Live births |516,225 |123,408 |53,944 Stillbirths |2,318 |574 |482 |------- |------- |------- Total |518,543 |123,982 |54,426
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many outbreaks of food poisoning occurred following the consumption of food prepared in National Health Service hospitals during 1988 ; how many people were infected ; of that total, how many fatalities occurred ; which hospitals were involved ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : According to the Public Health Laboratory service, in 1988, 21 outbreaks of food poisoning or salmonellosis were reported in hospitals in England and Wales. Information is not available about how many of these outbreaks occurred following the consumption of food prepared or brought into NHS hospitals. Information on which hospitals were involved is not available centrally. At least 281 people are known to have been affected in these outbreaks. Four deaths were recorded, of which one was attributed to the infection associated with the outbreak.
(2) whether he will now review all existing procedures relating to the quality control of imported foods.
Mr. Mellor : All imported foods are subject to the Imported Food Regulations 1984, which prohibit the importation of unfit food. Whenever food is found to be unfit, either on importation or subsequently in this country, action is taken to prevent its sale for human consumption, to advise the exporting country so that action may be taken to deal with contamination at source.
We are reviewing food legislation generally but we have no plans at present to change the procedures.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to privatise (a) the public health laboratory service and (b) the communicable disease surveillance centre ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : Under the National Health Service (Injury Benefits) Regulations, cover is available to all National Health Service employees who contract a disease which is attributable to their employment. Each claim is considered on its merits and cases of HIV infection would be treated no differently.
The Department would look carefully at the circumstances surrounding each claim, taking note of the duties undertaken in the employment and the claimant's description of how he or she thought the disease was contracted. The Department's medical advisers would then consider this information against the ways in which the disease may be contracted. Where title was in doubt, expert medical opinion would be sought from a consultant specialising in the particular field of medicine as to whether it was more likely than not that the infection had been acquired in the course of National Health Service employment.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice his Department gives to pregnant women about the adverse affects of smoking on the health of their unborn child; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : Cash limits are issued to health authorities on an annual basis and it is for each authority to plan its spending for the year within the sums available. Health authority cash limit spending is monitored by the Department on a regional basis and there is no evidence that any region will exceed its cash limit for the year.
Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish the Government's response to the Social Services Select Committee report on perinatal, neonatal and infant mortality ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 139mortality. The infant mortality rate for England and Wales is at a new low and clinical advances and improved services mean more babies survive than ever before. There is no room for complacency however. Every effort must be made to secure further improvements and address issues such as geographical variations and the phenomenon of sudden infant death.
Service improvements will continue and the Government do not accept that these call for central earmarking of resources or attempts at central direction on the way services are provided locally. What is needed now is to find out more precisely why particular babies die and how as many as possible of these deaths can in future be prevented. This is the focus of the initiatives set out in the response. A central feature is the application of the principles of clinical audit set out in the White Paper "Working for Patients" through the development by the professions concerned of a confidential inquiry into at least a sample of stillbirths and infant deaths.
This central initiative is supplemented by measures designed to increase the National Health Services' capacity to undertake specialist paediatric pathological examinations and to establish, on a comprehensive basis, regional epidemiological surveys of stillbirths and neonatal deaths. In addition the Medical Research Council has agreed to carry out a major review of the present literature relating to sudden infant death syndrome and to advise on what further research is needed.
The Government believe that these initiatives will achieve the objectives, which it shares with the Select Committee--namely, continued improvement in the maternity services and health services for the newborn in the decades to come in order to reduce infant mortality to the lowest possible levels.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by health authority (a) the number of long-stay discharges from mental institutions in the past two years, (b) the number of re-settlements and (c) the decades in which these people were admitted and the age at discharge.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 12 July 1989] : The information in the form requested is not available centrally. We have placed in the Library tables showing discharges, excluding transfers and deaths, from National Health Service mental handicap and mental illness hospitals and units in England, during 1985 and 1986, after a stay of one year or more. The discharges are shown by district health authority, decade of admission and age on discharge.
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 17 July 1989] : The members of the NHS Policy board have been appointed as individuals, not as representatives of sectional interests. We therefore have no plans to include a representative of any professional group, including nurses, on the policy board.
The information requested is not available. That which is available is in the table.
Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme: Awards made where measles vaccine or a vaccine containing a measles element was the claimed cause of severe disablement: 1979-89 Year |Number of awards --------------------------------------------------- <1>1979-80 |34 1981 |2 1982 |3 1983 |4 1984 |1 1985 |- 1986 |- 1987 |- 1988 |- <2>1989 |1 <1> Separate figures not available. <2> To 30 June.
The Prime Minister : Since January, I have received a number of letters about the constitutional arrangements in Scotland. Under this Government's policies, Scotland, within the union, has enjoyed a record standard of living and record social services.
The Prime Minister : I have received a number of representations. I welcome the stricter proposed powers of enforcement in the Dangerous Dogs Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Drake (Dame J. Fookes).
Q88. Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister if the EEC Commission is now empowered to issue the social charter directives to the various Councils of Ministers in light of the majority vote at the recent meeting of the European Council at Madrid ; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : The Commission of the European Communities has the right to put forward proposals to the Councils of Ministers in areas within its competence at any time. No decision was taken on the Commission's preliminary draft proposal for a Community charter of fundamental social rights at the Madrid meeting of the European Council. The conclusions of that meeting are a reflection of the views of all the heads of Government present, who noted that at the Social Affairs Council on 12 June, 11 delegations had accepted draft conclusions on a preliminary draft Community charter submitted by the Commission. The United Kingdom made clear that it was not prepared to accept those draft conclusions.
The Prime Minister : Since April this year the only representations I have received concerned the possible effects on the level of terrorist activity in south Fermanagh following the removal of a vehicle checkpoint.
The Prime Minister : I have received a number of recent representations on energy efficiency on which there is an excellent record ; 26 per cent. more goods are produced now than in 1973 for a lower consumption of energy.
The Prime Minister : I have received and continue to receive a number of representations from hon. Members and members of the public regarding the role of the United Nations. The United Nations performs many valuable tasks not least in overseeing Namibia's transfer to independence and in the United Nations Environment Programme to which the United Kingdom is now the world's second largest contributor.
representations. The industry has recovered strongly during the past decade. United Kingdom car production last year was at its highest since 1977 and Britain is increasingly seen as an attractive place for inward investment or joint venture in the motor industry.
The Prime Minister : Representations have been received from time to time on a variety of subjects related to demographic trends in the United Kingdom ; generally these related to specific topics, groups, or areas--for example, mortality, projections, the elderly--and are dealt with accordingly. The most recent comprehensive review by the Registrar General was the "Demographic Review--a report on population in Great Britain" published in 1987. In addition in OPCS quarterly journal "Population Trends" there is an annual review of the most recent trends ; as well as the articles in each issue on particular topics.
The Prime Minister : I have received a number of representations on the GATT Uruguay round negotiations from foreign Governments and United Kingdom interests. The Government will continue to act against protectionism and to sustain the world open trading system.
The Prime Minister : After the initiatives of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, agreement was reached at the Toronto economic summit last year and subsequently implemented in the Paris club for concessional rescheduling of the debt of the poorest countries which are following approved adjustment programmes. The United Kingdom and other official creditors have reduced interest rates to prevent debt compounding. In addition, the United Kingdom has written off £1 billion of old aid loans, of which nearly £300 million were for sub-Saharan Africa, and all the United Kingdom's new aid to the poorest countries is now in grant form. The United Kingdom has also agreed to subsidise loans of up to about £750 million through a special IMF facility, the enhanced structural adjustment facility, of £4.5 billion to the poorest nations. That makes the United Kingdom the largest single contributor to the interest subsidy account. These are all substantial measures which the United Kingdom is taking to alleviate the debt burden on the poorest countries.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Prime Minister if she will seek a meeting with the director of the Property Services Agency to establish the cost of replacing all refrigerators in Government departments and at Nos. 10 and 11 Downing street with refrigerators with reduced levels of chlorofluorocarbons.
The Prime Minister : No. Refrigerators do not release chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in normal use, but do when they are scrapped. To scrap them before the end of their useful life would therefore increase emissions of CFCs, not reduce them.
The Prime Minister : The European Council welcomed the recent achievements of the Environment Council. Discussion also covered the problems of desertification, erosion and deforestation within the Community, the Community's responsibility in the face of global threats and the need to preserve tropical forests. A recent Commission proposal to establish a European environment agency was noted and referred to the Environment Council. For further details I refer the hon. Member to the full conclusions of the Council which have been placed in the Library of the House.
The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. I also attended the ceremony to mark the arrival of His Highness the President of the United Arab Emirates. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I shall be attending a state banquet and Buckingham palace.
Column 145extend the system of compulsory registration of title on sale of land to the whole of England and Wales by 1 December 1990.