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Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions his Department has had with representatives of McDonnell Douglas concerning the possible purchase of Apache helicopters for the Army Air Corps.
Mr. Alan Clark : The Ministry of Defence has not undertaken any recent trials of the Blackhawk. However, a flight observer from A&AEE, Boscombe Down, has flown in a Blackhawk which is used by Rolls-Royce as its flight test vehicle for the RTM 322 engine, as part of the MOD's monitoring of the RTM 322 development.
Mr. Alan Clark : It is intended that the RN anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant of the EH-101 helicopter will be equipped with sonobuoy systems for the detection of submarines under water. Consideration is also being given to fitting an active dipping sonar but no decision on the choice of equipment has yet been taken.
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether, in line with his Department's objective of achieving value for money, there has been any recent cost/benefit analysis of his Department's choice of the Tucano basic trainer over the PC-9.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the Member for Western Isles on 20 June, Official Report, column 75, (1) whether he plans to issue written guidance to armed service units in respect of poll tax payments in England and Wales ;
(2) if he will publish the written guidance issued to armed service units in respect of poll tax payments in England and Wales.
Mr. Neubert : Such guidance has already been issued, and I have placed copies in the Library of the House. It has been widely promulgated within the services and substantially reflected in a practice note published by the Department of the Environment. I have no plans for any further publication.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the subjects discussed in the course of his meetings with Mr. Cheney, United States Secretary for Defence, during his recent official visit to the United States of America.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which central American countries have received assistance from his Department in the past three years ; and which countries are currently receiving assistance.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Belize has had an established programme of military assistance from the Ministry of Defence since independence in 1981 and that assistance continues. In addition, in 1987, one cadet from El Salvador attended the basic officer course at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
Mr. Neubert : A total of 162 serving military personnel are qualified as Russian interpreters, of whom 32 serve in the Royal Navy, 94 in the Army and 36 in the Royal Air Force. Records are not held in a form which would enable the historical information requested by the hon. Gentleman to be readily provided, but I understand that the number of Russian interpreters has increased modestly in recent years.
Mr. Neubert : Financial rewards are provided in the form of lump sum grants for successful completion of the various levels of Russian language training in the services, with smaller grants being awarded upon requalification in that language. Additionally, members of the Services are encouraged to participate in Russian language training provided at voluntary weekend courses at university and other self-help courses, for which some financial assistance is given.
Mr. Neubert : I regret that the detailed information sought by the hon. Gentleman concerning expenditure over the last 10 years is not readily available. However, Russian language training at the Defence School of Languages at Beaconsfield is being provided at a cost of about £420,000 in the current year. There is no reason to believe that this differs to any significant degree from the general level of expenditure in the past.
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if, pursuant to his answer of 20 July, Official Report , column 322 , he will place copies of all the articles and speeches in which Ministers and senior officials have addressed the implications of 1992 for defence procurement in the Library;
(2) if he will place a copy of the proceedings of the forum held by his Department for industry on the future of defence procurement in Europe in April in the Library.
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will state the annual level of production of intermediate-level nuclear waste by his Department for each year prior to 1983 for which data is available.
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what was the annual cost in 1987 and in 1988 to his Department of providing appropriate facilities for Warsaw pact military personnel to observe NATO military exercises under the auspices of the Stockholm agreement;
(2) what was the annual cost in 1987 and in 1988 to his Department of providing appropriate facilities to Warsaw pact military personnel to enable them to make challenge inspections of NATO military exercises.
Mr. Alan Clark [holding answer 25 July 1989] : Dreadnought has been stored afloat at Rosyth since 1983. Although she occupies a berth inside the basin (ie inside the licensed area) no specific provision was made in the term contract for payment to be made by the Ministry of Defence to BTL by way of berthing charges for her.
Mr. Alan Clark [pursuant to the reply, 13 July 1989, column 588] : Following a competition, the Grob 109B motor glider, of GRP construction, has been selected to re-equip the air training corps. An order was placed with Burkhart Grob on 25 July 1989 for 53 aircraft. The order also includes the provision of a fatigue test specimen, training and the supply of spares.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by each regional health authority for each year since 1979 the numbers of staff expressed as a whole-time equivalent and as actual full-time and part-time members in the following categories (a) ancillary, (b) administration and clerical, (c) nurses and midwives and (d) professional and technical.
"Actual full-time and part-time members" has been interpreted as numbers (headcount).
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current annual expenditure in the National Health Service on management consultants ; what have been the comparable figures over the past 10 years.
Mr. Freeman : The expenses of community health councils are met by and form part of the total expenditure of the health authorities concerned. Information derived from the annual accounts of district health authorities in England for 1987-88 (the latest year available) have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Mellor : Increases for doctors, nursing and midwifery staff and the professions allied to medicine have been implemented following recommendations of review bodies. Settlements have also been negotiated for certain other groups. Just over 90 per cent. of all NHS staff are covered by these settlements for 1989-90.
Mr. Cran : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made in his Department's review, in line with Treasury guidelines, of the potential for the further relocation of Civil Service posts outside London and the south-east ; and when he expects the review to be completed.
Mr. Thornton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those factors that family practitioner committees will take into account in deciding whether a general practitioner is justified in exceeding his indicative drugs budget.
Mr. Thornton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what sanctions regional health authorities will be able to impose should the majority of general practitioners in all or any of their family practitioner committee areas overspend their drugs budgets.
Mr. Mellor : Those GPs who overspend their indicative budgets will face disciplinary proceedings only as a last resort and solely when there is clear evidence of over-prescribing which, by definition, would be to the detriment of their patients.
Mr. Mellor : Each year each regional health authority will be allocated a firm budget to cover expenditure on medicines in the family practitioner services within the region. The budgets will be set at sensible and realistic levels to ensure that patients receive the medicines they need and that medicines will be paid for at reasonable prices.
Mr. Thornton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether, in his proposals for the National Health Service, the allocation of drugs budgets by regional health authorities to family practitioner committees will be in the form of a fixed amount of indicative spending limits.
Mr. Mellor : Regional health authorities will allocate their firm budgets for actual expenditure on medicines among their family practitioner committees (FPCs) which will in turn determine individual FPCs' overall indicative prescribing budgets.
Mr. Thornton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether, in his proposals to reorganise the National Health Service, he intends to fix a cash limit for the drugs budget of the family practitioner services ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : The financial arrangements for drug budgets are set out in working paper 4 of the NHS review series "Indicative Prescribing Budgets for General Medical Pracititioners". The precise mechanisms are still under consideration.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish the report of the Whitley council management side working party on recruitment and retention of scientists; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to improve recruitment and retention of biochemists, physicists, other scientists and clinical psychologists in the National Health Service.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve the level of remuneration, recruitment and retention of medical scientists working in the National Health Service; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dixon : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, following the report of the inquiry on the recruitment and retention of physicists, scientists and clinical psychologists, what steps he intends to take to ensure that National Health Service contracts are attractive to scientist graduates and to put right the erosion in their salaries.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the hospitals in the Trent regional health authority which currently store solid radioactive waste on site ; and what controls exist for monitoring and ensuring safety.
Mr. Freeman : The information requested is not available centrally. Hospitals are subject to the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 and guidance on good practice is contained in "Guidance Notes for the Protection of Persons Against Ionising Radiations Arising from Medical and Dental Use" issued in 1988 by the health departments, the National Radiological Protection Board and the Health and Safety Executive.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give for the last year for which figures are available the number of nutritionists, physiotherapists, radiographers and chiropodists employed by the National Health Service.
NHS qualified staff in post at 30 September 1987 England |Whole time equivalents<1> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Dietitians |1,140 Physiotherapists<2> |9,330 Radiographers |8,250 Chiropodists |2,640 Source: Department of Health (SM13) Annual Census of NHS Non-Medical Manpower. <1> Figures are independently rounded to the nearest ten (10) whole-time equivalents. <2> Includes Remedial Gymnasts.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review advice given to general practitioners concerning the time for which patients' medical records should be kept and the information to be retained ; and if he will make a statement.