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Lluesty Hospital, Clwyd

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a further statement concerning the future of Lluesty hospital, Clwyd.

Mr. Grist : I understand that when it met on 24 July, Clwyd health authority decided to propose the closure of Lluesty hospital, and to consult widely on the issue. The consultation period will end on 30 November 1989.

If in the light of this exercise the authority decides to proceed with the proposal the issue would, in the normal way, be referred to my right hon. Friend. Given his potential role in this matter it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.

Drainage Works, Caergwrle

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make an additional cash allocation to the Welsh water authority to enable repairs and improvements to be made to the underground sewerage and drainage in the Derby road area of Caergwrle in Alyn and Deeside ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Grist : No. Priorities within their expenditure programme are a matter for the authority to determine.

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will meet Caergwrle community council to


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discuss the need for remedial action to be taken in the Derby road area of Caergwrle concerning underground drainage ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Grist : No. This is a matter for the Welsh water authority which, I understand, has remedial action in hand.

Clayform Shopping Development

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will meet residents of the Broughton and Bretton communities who object to the proposed Clayform shopping development project ; and if he will make a statement. Mr. Grist : No, but any written objections submitted by the Broughton and Bretton communities, or any other party, will be carefully considered by my right hon. Friend in reaching a decision on whether to call-in the Clayform Company's shopping development proposal.

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to ensure that a public inquiry is held on the application of the Clayform Company shopping development project proposal at Broughton and Bretton, Clwyd ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Grist : The application by the Clayform Company has now been referred to the Welsh Office by the Alyn and Deeside district council as a material departure from the approved Clwyd structure plan, under paragraph 4 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Plans) (Wales) Direction 1981. A decision on whether the application should be called in for my right hon. Friend's determination, normally after holding a public local inquiry, will be made as soon as possible.

Mountain Lane CP School, Buckley

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will meet the parent-teacher association and school governors of Mountain Lane CP school, Buckley, Clwyd, to discuss with them the need for a mobile classroom in order to avoid overcrowding and the need to conduct classes in the school hall which is also a dining room ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : No. Responsibility for determining school provision rests with the Clwyd local education authority. I am currently considering a proposal by the LEA to cease to maintain Bistre nursery school and a nursery extension to Mountain Lane CP school forms part of that proposal.

Cancer Treatment

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he proposes to make a statement on cancer treatment services for people in north Wales.

Mr. Grist : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given to the hon. Member for Delyn (Mr. Raffan) on 17 July 1989 at column 36.

Local Government Expenditure

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will state, for each district and county in Wales, for 1989-90 and 1990-91, the (a) spending need


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assessment, (b) adult population, (c) community charge at need, (d) domestic contribution for spending at need, (e) share of the national non-domestic rate pool, (f) share of revenue support grant, (g) the total of (e) and (f) and (h) expenditure.


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Mr. Peter Walker : Illustrative figures for 1989-90 are given in the table. Figures for 1990-91 are not available.


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                          |(a) Standard spending    |(b) Adult population<2>  |(c) Community charge at  |(d) Domestic contribution|(e) Share of national    |(f) Revenue support grant|(g) Total of RSG and NNDR|(h) Assumed expenditure                            

                          |assessment<1>                                      |standard spending        |for standard spending    |non-domestic rate pool   |(RSG) <3>                                          |(Total rate income plus                            

                                                                                                                                  |(NNDR)                                                                       |block grant) <4>                                   

                          |£000                     |(000s)                   |£                        |£000                     |£000                     |£000                     |£000                     |£000                                               

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alyn and Deeside          |6,492                    |54.2                     |26.63                    |1,443                    |1,722                    |3,327                    |5,049                    |6,288                                              

Colwyn                    |4,895                    |42.1                     |26.63                    |1,121                    |1,337                    |2,437                    |3,774                    |4,948                                              

Delyn                     |6,109                    |49.0                     |26.63                    |1,305                    |1,556                    |3,248                    |4,804                    |6,360                                              

Glyndwr                   |3,423                    |31.8                     |26.63                    |847                      |1,010                    |1,566                    |2,576                    |3,513                                              

Rhuddlan                  |6,328                    |43.9                     |26.63                    |1,169                    |1,394                    |3,765                    |5,159                    |6,260                                              

Wrexham Maelor            |11,089                   |87.3                     |26.63                    |2,325                    |2,773                    |5,991                    |8,764                    |11,163                                             

Carmarthen                |4,984                    |42.7                     |26.63                    |1,137                    |1,356                    |2,491                    |3,847                    |4,670                                              

Ceredigion                |6,748                    |50.9                     |26.63                    |1,356                    |1,617                    |3,776                    |5,393                    |5,956                                              

Dinefwr                   |3,454                    |29.9                     |26.63                    |796                      |950                      |1,708                    |2,658                    |2,617                                              

Llanelli                  |8,021                    |57.6                     |28.57                    |1,646                    |1,830                    |4,546                    |6,376                    |8,239                                              

Preseli Pembrokeshire     |6,965                    |53.7                     |26.63                    |1,430                    |1,706                    |3,830                    |5,535                    |5,880                                              

South Pembrokeshire       |4,450                    |31.2                     |26.63                    |831                      |991                      |2,628                    |3,619                    |3,942                                              

Blaenau Gwent             |9,365                    |59.4                     |26.63                    |1,582                    |1,887                    |5,897                    |7,783                    |10,556                                             

Islwyn                    |7,232                    |50.4                     |26.63                    |1,342                    |1,601                    |4,289                    |5,890                    |7,781                                              

Monmouth                  |6,396                    |61.0                     |26.63                    |1,624                    |1,938                    |2,834                    |4,771                    |6,396                                              

Newport                   |14,941                   |98.1                     |28.57                    |2,803                    |3,116                    |9,022                    |12,138                   |15,743                                             

Torfaen                   |8,641                    |69.0                     |26.63                    |1,838                    |2,192                    |4,612                    |6,803                    |9,539                                              

Aberconwy                 |5,334                    |42.4                     |26.63                    |1,129                    |1,347                    |2,858                    |4,205                    |5,443                                              

Arfon                     |5,804                    |41.4                     |26.63                    |1,103                    |1,315                    |3,387                    |4,702                    |5,830                                              

Dwyfor                    |3,501                    |21.1                     |26.63                    |562                      |670                      |2,269                    |2,939                    |3,546                                              

Meirionnydd               |3,537                    |24.7                     |26.63                    |658                      |785                      |2,095                    |2,879                    |4,180                                              

Ynys Mon                  |7,124                    |52.6                     |26.63                    |1,401                    |1,671                    |4,053                    |5,724                    |7,423                                              

Cynon Valley              |8,405                    |49.6                     |28.57                    |1,417                    |1,575                    |5,412                    |6,987                    |7,638                                              

Merthyr Tydfil            |7,783                    |44.5                     |28.57                    |1,272                    |1,413                    |5,098                    |6,511                    |7,818                                              

Ogwr                      |12,716                   |103.4                    |26.63                    |2,754                    |3,284                    |6,679                    |9,963                    |13,529                                             

Rhondda                   |11,289                   |59.0                     |28.57                    |1,686                    |1,874                    |7,729                    |9,603                    |11,328                                             

Rhymney Valley            |10,384                   |77.6                     |26.63                    |2,067                    |2,465                    |5,853                    |8,318                    |11,176                                             

Taff Ely                  |9,127                    |70.2                     |26.63                    |1,869                    |2,230                    |5,028                    |7,257                    |8,773                                              

Brecknock                 |3,995                    |31.6                     |26.63                    |842                      |1,004                    |2,149                    |3,153                    |3,879                                              

Montgomeryshire           |4,474                    |39.2                     |26.63                    |1,044                    |1,245                    |2,185                    |3,430                    |3,743                                              

Radnorshire               |2,032                    |17.3                     |26.63                    |461                      |549                      |1,022                    |1,572                    |1,827                                              

Cardiff                   |34,929                   |214.3                    |26.63                    |5,707                    |6,807                    |22,415                   |29,222                   |28,921                                             

Vale of Glamorgan         |10,663                   |89.6                     |26.63                    |2,386                    |2,846                    |5,431                    |8,277                    |9,259                                              

Port Talbot               |5,723                    |38.5                     |26.63                    |1,025                    |1,223                    |3,474                    |4,697                    |5,991                                              

Lliw Valley               |5,498                    |47.3                     |26.63                    |1,260                    |1,502                    |2,736                    |4,239                    |5,370                                              

Neath                     |6,174                    |50.0                     |26.63                    |1,332                    |1,588                    |3,254                    |4,842                    |6,656                                              

Swansea                   |22,775                   |144.0                    |26.63                    |3,835                    |4,574                    |14,366                   |18,940                   |24,328                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Clwyd                     |206,028                  |308.3                    |135.97                   |41,918                   |49,389                   |114,721                  |164,109                  |214,596                                            

Dyfed                     |186,966                  |266.0                    |135.58                   |36,065                   |42,612                   |108,289                  |150,902                  |190,422                                            

Gwent                     |232,151                  |337.9                    |135.42                   |45,759                   |54,130                   |132,262                  |186,392                  |229,842                                            

Gwynedd                   |131,096                  |182.2                    |135.97                   |24,773                   |29,188                   |77,136                   |106,323                  |130,092                                            

Mid Glamorgan             |290,088                  |404.3                    |135.29                   |54,698                   |64,767                   |170,622                  |235,390                  |294,617                                            

Powys                     |71,323                   |88.1                     |135.97                   |11,979                   |14,113                   |45,231                   |59,344                   |70,111                                             

South Glamorgan           |207,951                  |303.9                    |135.97                   |41,320                   |48,684                   |117,948                  |166,631                  |207,939                                            

West Glamorgan            |191,497                  |279.8                    |135.97                   |38,043                   |44,823                   |108,631                  |153,454                  |200,871                                            

<1> Standard spending (needs) assessments are under review for 1990-91.                                                                                                                                                                                             

<2> Population figures are based on the Registrar General's 1987 mid-year estimates.                                                                                                                                                                                

<3> Excluding safety-net adjustments.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

<4> Including community councils' precepts                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

HEALTH

Low Birth Weights

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by year from 1979 to date for the Trent regional health authority, and by hospital, the number of low birth weight deliveries recorded.

Mr. Mellor : We do not collect information centrally in the form requested. However, statistics on low birth


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weight deliveries are published annually in OPCS monitor DH3 "Infant and Perinatal Mortality" broken down into regions and districts but not hospitals.

Health Care Demand

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his estimate of the annual increase in demand for health care due to new drugs, new surgical techniques, improved diagnostic techniques, new monitoring and life support equipment and better after-care methods.


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Mr. Freeman : There is no precise measure of the annual increase in demand for health care as a result of medical advance which can both raise and lower costs of treatment and care.

Operations (Waiting Times)

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current waiting time for the following operations : (a) kidney transplants, (b) hip replacement joints, (c) knee replacement joints and (d) cataract removal.

Mr. Freeman : Information on waiting times for kidney transplants is given in my reply to the hon. Member for


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Southport (Mr. Fearn) on 22 February at columns 674-75. For the other operations requested the latest information held centrally is for 1985 and is given in the table.


Estimated median interval in weeks between the time an in-patient                     

was placed on the waiting list and admission to an NHS                                

non-psychiatric hospital, England 1985                                                

Operation                                     |Median Waiting Time                    

                                              |(weeks)                                

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total hip replacement and arthroplasty of hip |21                                     

                                                                                      

Arthroplasty of knee                          |21                                     

                                                                                      

Operation on eye lens (mainly cataract)       |16                                     

Dentists

Mr. Illsley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the contribution that the transfer of responsibility for payment of general dental practitioners to the Dental Practices Board will make to strengthening the role of family practitioner committees as set out in the White Paper "Working for Patients" ;

(2) whether he consulted the Society of Family Practitioner Committees or the Society of Administrators (Family Practitioner Services) on the transfer of responsibilities for payment of dental practitioners to the Dental Practices Board ;

(3) whether responsibility for payment of general dental practitioners has now been transferred from family practitioner committees to the Dental Practices Board.

Mr. Freeman : Officials have written both to the Society of Family Practitioner Committees and to the Society of Administrators (Family Practitioner Services) about the propsal to transfer responsibility for paying dentists to the Dental Practice Board. The transfer has not yet taken place. Meetings to discuss the implications of the change will be held soon. It will not detract from the management role of family practitioner committees in relation to the delivery, quality and availability of general dental services in their areas.

CT Scanners

Mr. Quentin Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many computerised tomography scanners are currently installed in England and Wales ; how many are owned (a) by the private sector and (b) by the National Health Service ; of the latter, how many were purchased by (i) health authorities and (ii) provided by private gift or public subscription ; and if he will make available any information at his disposal on the number of such machines installed in other western countries at his disposal including the United States, Japan, Sweden, France and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mr. Freeman : Latest information indicates that there are 198 CT scanners currently installed in England and Wales, of which 29 are owned by the private sector and 169 by the National Health Service. Our best estimates suggest that 61 per cent. of these scanners were purchased by health authorities and 39 per cent. by private gift or public subscription.

Available information on the number of machines installed in other western countries is limited ; estimates suggest a total of 3,600 in the United States of America, 3,000 in Japan, 450 in West Germany and 200 in France. We have currently no details of the number in Sweden.

Kidney Dialysers

Mr. Quentin Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many kidney dialysers are (a) currently installed in England and Wales ; how many are owned (a) by the private sector and (b) by the National Health Service ; of the latter, how many were (i) purchased by health authorities and (ii) provided by private gift or public subscription ; and if he will make available any information at his disposal on the number of such machines installed in other western countries, including the United States, Japan, Sweden, France and the Federal Republic of Germany.


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Mr. Freeman : I regret that the information is not collected centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machines

Mr. Quentin Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many magnetic resonance imaging machines are currently installed in England and Wales ; how many are owned (a) by the private sector and (b) by the National Health Service ; of the latter, how many were (i) purchased by health authorities and (ii) provided by private gift or public subscription ; and if he will make available any information at his disposal on the number of such machines installed in other western countries, including the United States, Japan, Sweden, France and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mr. Freeman : Available information indicates that there are 19 magnetic resonance imaging machines currently installed in England and Wales, of which four are owned by the private sector and 15 are operated partially or entirely within the National Health Service. The source of funding for the purchase of these 15 was as follows :


6

                                        |Number       

------------------------------------------------------

Purchased by health authorities         |1            

Purchased by Department of Health                     

  and other Government agencies         |3            

Purchased by public appeal                            

  and the National Health Service       |1            

Purchased by public appeal                            

  and Government agencies               |1            

Purchased by public appeal and donation |9            

Information on the number of machines installed in other western countries is only available up to September 1988 and is limited ; estimates suggest a total of 1,300 in the United States of America, 275 in Japan, seven in Sweden and 85 in West Germany. We have currently no details of the number installed in France.

Ultrasound Scanners

Mr. Quentin Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ultrasound scanners are currently installed in England and Wales ; how many are owned (a) by the private sector and (b) by the National Health Service ; of the latter, how many were (i) purchased by health authorities and (ii) provided by private gift or public subscription ; and if he will make available any information at his disposal on the number of such machines installed in other western countries, including the United States, Japan, Sweden, France and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mr. Freeman : I regret that the information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Cyclotron Machine

Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health from which budget the money used to purchase a cyclotron machine for St. Thomas's hospital was taken.

Mr. Freeman : The Government grant of £6 million to the Cyclotron Trust will be funded from the Department's


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hospital and community health service budget. Details of the financial and operational arrangements for the proposed project have yet to be settled in consultation with those concerned.

Withington Hospital, Manchester

Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will approve the decision of the South Manchester health authority to close a 24 -bedded ward for the mentally ill at Withington hospital, Manchester ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : The North Western regional health authority recently published an implementation framework, "Focusing on Care", which emphasises the development of district services and makes it clear that the closure of the four large mental illness hospitals in the North West region will be carried out only at a pace consistent with adequate provision for the mentally ill in the community. In addition to acute in-patient services in each district and a range of residential facilities designed to meet the needs of long term service users, the frame work envisages a range of day care facilities including more day hospital provision which all district health authorities will take forward within the annual capital spending programme for North Western region currently running at more than £90 million.

Acute psychiatric in-patient services for central Manchester are currently based well outside the authority's boundary and are due for renewal in August 1991. Options for new provision have been submitted to the regional health authority who expect to be able to announce in the autumn a three- year capital programme from 1990-91. These options have been developed taking account of medical opinion that the services would best be provided nearer to patients and if possible attached to the Manchester Royal Infirmary.

The South Manchester health authority announced on 13 July 1989 the temporary closure of ward P10 in Withington Hospital, Manchester from August 1989 when a refurbished ward P9 will become available for acute care in-patients in the psychiatric department of Withington hospital. As a result of discussions, I have been reassured that : --no patients will be discharged from Withington hospital without the responsible consultant being entirely satisfied that adequate arrangements exist in the community to assist the patient and ensure continuing medical surveillance ;

--no patient need be discharged from the Withington hospital as a result of the temporary closure of ward P10 which will not take place before the refurbished ward P9 becomes available ;

--there will be 165 beds available in the South Manchester district for acute in-patient care for mentally ill patients. The average monthly occupancy over the past 12 months has been 153.

The South Manchester district health authority has been under acute financial pressure for a number of years and has had unfortunately to undertake a number of ward closures that have affected both Withington and Wythenshawe hospitals. There is an urgent need to re-appraise the duplicated provision of the whole range of district acute services in two major hospitals in the same district and situated within four miles of each other.

I plan to visit in the autumn the North West regional health authority in Manchester and Withington hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary.


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NHS Management

Mr. McLoughlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will state the terms of reference of the National Health Service Policy Board, and the role and responsibilities of the National Health Service Management Executive.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : At its first meeting on 7 July the NHS policy board, established as a result of the White Paper "Working for Patients", adopted the following terms of reference :

"Key principles

The NHS Policy Board advises the Secretary of State on policy formulation for the NHS and the strategic oversight of the NHS. It does not concern itself with management responsibilities and operational detail, which are delegated from the Secretary of State to the NHS Management Executive.

Functions

In the light of these principles, the Board's functions are to : 1. support Ministers by bring both NHS and wider management perspectives to bear on the formulation of policy objectives for the NHS ;

2. advise Ministers on the determination of the strategy within which the Management Executive will operate ;

3. advise Ministers on the desirability and feasibility of operational objectives proposed for the Management Executive ; 4. monitor the Management Executive's stewardship and performance. Relationships with the Department of Health

The Policy Board draws on the advice and support of all those Divisions in the Department of Health which have responsibility for the development of policies applied in and through the NHS. It is particularly concerned with the overall pattern and balance of policies for the NHS, and with assessing the effectiveness of their implementation, not with the detailed formulation of specific polices."

It also agreed the Written Statement of the role and responsibilities of the NHS management executive, a copy of which I have placed in the Library.

Infant Deaths

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many babies died within one year of birth in 1987 and 1988 ;

(2) how many babies were stillborn in 1987 and 1988.

Mr. Freeman : The information is shown in the table :


Number of infant deaths<1> and stillborn babies,        

England and Wales,                                      

1987 and 1988                                           

              |Infant deaths|Stillborn                  

--------------------------------------------------------

1987          |6,272        |3,423                      

1988          |6,270        |3,382                      

<1> Deaths under one year of age.                       

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total number of babies who died in 1987 and 1988, and to date in 1989 aged one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, six weeks, two months, three months, four months, six months, 14 months and 15 months ;

(2) if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total number of babies who died in 1979, 1980, 1987, 1988 and 1989 aged one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, six weeks, 14 months and 15 months by area health authority ; (3) what was the total number of abortions performed at (a) 18 weeks, (b) 20 weeks, (c) 22 weeks, (d) 24 weeks,


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(e) 26 weeks and (f) 28 weeks since 1968 ; how many were to save the life of the pregnant woman ; and what percentage the latter represents of the former.

Mr. Freeman : The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Abortions

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women were admitted to hospital for failed attempted abortion in each year since 1959.

Mr. Freeman : The available information is shown in the table taken from the hospital in-patient inquiry, a 10 per cent. sample study of National Health Service hospitals in-patient records. The last data year for this study was 1985.

The data shown are the number of patients recorded in this study with the principal diagnosis of failed attempted abortion, International Classification of Diseases (9th revision) code 638. There is no comparable code for earlier revision of the ICD, prior to 1979.


Number of patients (10 per cent. sample) with principal        

diagnosis of                                                   

failed attempted abortion, England and Wales 1979-81           

England 1982-85                                                

Year                 |Number in the sample                     

---------------------------------------------------------------

1979                 |15                                       

1980                 |8                                        

1981                 |6                                        

1982                 |11                                       

1983                 |14                                       

1984                 |8                                        

1985                 |11                                       

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received recently (a) supporting and (b) opposing the amendment of the Abortion Act 1967 to include the words "serious" and "substantially" in the criteria for an abortion ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : None.

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his Department's policy on the availability of abortions to minors under the age of 16 years without parental knowledge or consent ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : Under the Abortion Act 1967 termination of pregnancy may be carried out if two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith, that an abortion is justified in terms of the Act.

Parental consent to treatment of girls under 16 years of age, whether for abortion or any other condition, is not essential if, in the judgment of the doctors concerned, the treatment is in the girl's best medical interest and she has sufficient maturity and understanding to appreciate what is involved.

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received (a) supporting and (b) opposing the introduction of legislation requiring that the parent or guardian of a minor under 16 years of age is informed before an abortion is performed ; what percentage the latter represents of the former ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Freeman : One representation has been received on this subject and this supports a change in the law.

Embryo Research

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library his Department's response to the Glover report on embryo research, commissioned by the European Commission ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : The Department has not responded as it was not involved in the commissioning or publication of the report. The Government do not in any case take a collective view on embryo research.

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice and assistance was (a) sought by and (b) given to the Glover committee on embryo research ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : Dr. Glover and his committee did not seek any advice or assistance from the Department of Health.

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has held with other members of the Council of Europe on the issue of human embryo experimentation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : Officials of the Department of Health have taken part in discussions of this issue by the Council of Europe's ad hoc committee of experts on bioethical issues (CAHBI).

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received from the European Commission concerning his proposed Bill on embryo research ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : I have not received any representations from the European Commission about this.

Mental Health Act Commission

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 are in hospitals covered by the Liverpool office of the Mental Health Act Commission.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 24 July 1989] : At 30 June 1989, the most recent date for which figures are available, there were 651 patients detained at the special hospitals at Moss Side and Park Lane. At 31 December 1986, the latest date for which a figure is available centrally for all detained patients in mental illness and mental handicap hospitals and the units covered by the Liverpool area of the Mental Health Act Commission there were 1,867 detained patients.

NHS Indemnity Scheme

49. Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in introducing a National Health Service indemnity scheme.

Mr. Mellor [holding answer 25 July 1989] : It remains the Government's intention to introduce new arrangements whereby health authorities would take financial responsibility for the negligent acts of their medical and


Column 745

dental staff in the course of their NHS employment. However this is subject to a satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues, including the financial arrangements and the handling and financing of existing liabilities. If this can be achieved, it is proposed that the scheme should come into operation on 1 January 1990.

SCOTLAND

Trade Union Officials

Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation to prevent district councils from paying the salary of a full-time trade union official; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No. Paid facility time for accredited trade union representatives is a matter for individual employers, subject to the requirements of section 27 of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 and the provisions of the ACAS code of practice on time off for trade union duties and activities.

Police National Computer

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many accesses were made to each category of the stolen and suspect vehicle index of the police national computer over the last year; and what has been the percentage growth in use of these categories over the year;

(2) how many accesses were made to each category of the wanted and missing persons index of the police national computer over the last year; and what has been the percentage growth in use of these categories over the year;

(3) how many accesses were made to each index of the police national computer over the last year; and whether he will include in these statistics an indication of the number of access requests that could search more than one index;

(4) whether he has information as to the number of accesses made to the police national computer by each constabulary over the last year; and whether he can give the proportion of access requests made to the vehicle indexes of the police national computer.


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