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Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what specific arrangements he has made to ensure that the new premises of his Department and its Energy Efficiency Office incorporate and practise the latest techniques in energy control and management.
Mr. Wakeham : My Department's new premises at No. 1 Palace street incorporate an electronic building and energy management system using the latest proven technology, designed to run at optimum efficiency all the eletronic and mechanical services, including heating and ventilation, throughout the building. The Property Services Agency has let a contract for the operation and maintenance of the building services, including the building and energy management system. In addition, staff in the Property Services Agency have been trained in the use of the system, and a number of staff from the Department have received training in how to monitor the system.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for each year since 1970 and for the current year to date the cost of coal and heavy oil used in power stations in terms of coal equivalent together with (a) the quantity of each used in terms of coal equivalent, (b) the world price of coal in terms of sterling on a delivered to United Kingdom basis and (c) the index of the real exchange rate for sterling in terms of relative export prices on the basis of 1976 = 100.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy in future publication of annual civil plutonium production and dispatch figures, that the positive or negative error to be applied to the data for each nuclear station be published with the data.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what amount of plutonium has been declared to the safeguards authorities, which is located in (a) high-level liquid radioactive waste tanks and (b) solid plutonium contaminated waste at Sellafield; and if he will give details for the periods May 1979 to December 1986, and January 1987 to the present.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what volume of low and intermediate level radioactive waste will become the responsibility of United Kingdom Nirex Ltd., following the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel already contracted by British Nuclear Fuels plc.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how much low, intermediate and high-level radioactive waste will arise from the reprocessing of West German spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield, following the joint declaration on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy signed in Bonn on 25 July between the Federal Republic and the United Kingdom ; how much of the low and intermediate-level waste will be sent back to Germany following reprocessing ; and for how long the high-level waste will have to remain at Sellafield before being returned to the Federal Republic.
Mr. Michael Spicer : British Nuclear Fuels plc and the German electricity utilities are in the process of negotiating contracts in the context of the recently signed joint declaration. I understand that the quantities of spent fuel to be reprocessed have yet to be agreed. In line with Government policy, the contracts, when concluded, will provide for the return of wastes to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many prosecutions have been instituted for failure to comply with directions issued by his Department under the Mineral Workings Offshore Installations Act 1971 and relating to the Offshore Installations (Life Saving Appliances) Regulations 1977 since 1979.
Mr. Peter Morrison : None. Directions issued by the Secretary of State under the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971 exempt installations from specific statutory requirements for limited periods subject to adequate alternative safety arrangements being in place. A direction ceases to have effect if any condition attached to it is not observed.
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will place in the Library a copy of all directions issued by his Department under the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971 and relating to the Offshore Installations (Life Saving Appliances) Regulations 1977.
Column 980However, I will be arranging for copies of all directions relating to the Offshore Installations (Life-saving Appliances) Regulations 1977 issued in the last two years which remain in force to be placed in the Library as soon as possible.
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what directions have been issued by his Department in terms of the provisions of sections 7(4) and (5) of the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971 in respect of the provisions of the Offshore Installations (Life Saving Appliances) Regulations 1977 ; to whom these directions were made ; and to what offshore installations they relate.
Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what steps his Department takes to monitor compliance with directions issued under the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971 and relating to the Offshore Installations (Life Saving Appliances) Regulations 1977.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has to show the monthly breakdown for the last 36 months of the number of persons X-rayed for the first time for pneumoconiosis in an attempt to secure lump-sum compensation from British Coal and the breakdown of the subsequent results, distinguishing between those not suffering from the disease and those suffering, analysed by percentage disability groupings.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, in the light of new statistics on the cost of energy, he will publish the comparative costs of energy produced by (a) coal, (b) Magnox reactors, (c) advanced gas-cooled reactor reactors, (d) oil and (e) hydro-electric in the years 1979 to 1987.
(2) what is the basis of his evaluation of the costs of decommissioning Magnox reactors, the reprocessing of Magnox spent fuel and the disposal of radioactive waste arising from Magnox plants.
Mr. Wakeham : I have received further information on these subjects from the CEGB over the past two months which is the subject of continuing consideration and discussion. I understand that some of the information reflects the present position in continuing negotiations between the CEGB and British Nuclear Fuels plc.
Mr. Blair : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) further to his statement of 24 July, when he first asked for an assessment of the cost of reprocessing and waste treatment of spent Magnox fuel in connection with electricity privatisation ; who undertook that assessment ; and when the assessment was completed ;
(2) when he was first informed that the rising costs of dealing with spent Magnox fuel might affect the structure of the electricity privatisation.
Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how much electricity was purchased by the public supply industry from (a) Chapelcross, (b) Calder Hall, (c) Dounreay and (d) Winfrith, in each financial year from 1983-84 to 1988-89, inclusive.
Mr. Michael Spicer : This is an operational matter for the electricity industry. I have asked the chairmen of the CEGB and the North Western electricity board to reply direct to my hon. Friend concerning purchases from Calder Hall and Winfrith and some of the purchases from Chapelcross. Purchases of other supplies from Chapelcross and from Dounreay are a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland who is responsible for the SSEB.
(2) what is his Department's most recent estimate of the cost of decommissioning (a) advanced gas-cooled reactor and (b) pressurised water reactor nuclear power stations ;
(3) what is the assessment now of the cost of reprocessing and disposing of spent Magnox fuel, and of the cost of decommissioning Magnox nuclear power stations.
Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the value of losses of equipment, property or cash in the National Health Service in England owing to theft, fraud, arson, neglect of duty, gross carelessness or malicious damage in the latest available year.
Column 982summarised annual accounts of regional and district health authorities in England and those of special health authorities for the London postgraduate teaching hospitals :
|£ (cash) ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Losses of cash due to theft, fraud etc. |102,866 Losses of equipment and property in stores and in use due to theft, fraud or arson (whether proved or suspected), neglect of duty or gross carelessness: Bedding and linen |137,963 Other equipment and property |1,306,146
The separately summarised 1987-88 annual accounts of family practitioner committees in England record similar losses totalling £1,184.
Equivalent information for 1988-89 will be available in the autumn.
Mr. Michael J. Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to establish contact with persons, born in the United Kingdom, sent out as nine-to 12 year-olds to New Zealand and Australia, who have been unable to establish the identity of relations in the United Kingdom.
Year |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1985-86 |1.3 1986-87 |1.0 1987-88 |1.2 1988-89 |1.0
The figures represent the expected increase in demand for services arising through population changes overall and not just those for the elderly.
Details of the method used to arrive at the estimates are given in answer to question 2 of the Social Services Select Committee report, Session 1987- 88, House of Commons No. 548.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information was conveyed to his Department concerning listeria by successive telephone calls from Dr. Ribeiro of the Cardiff public health laboratory service on the 16 June and subsequent days.
Mr. Freeman : By Friday 16 June the preliminary results of the survey being carried out locally by PHLS Cardiff were available. On Tuesday 20 June it was agreed with the Department that PHLS Cardiff would provide a summary as soon as further results on a wider survey were available. This further information was conveyed to the Department on 3 July.
Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps are now being taken to ensure that the greatest number of pregnant women know of the dangers of listeria to the foetus ; (2) what steps were taken to inform pregnant women of the dangers of listeria to the foetus at the first available opportunity.
Mr. Mellor : The chief medical officer issued general advice to the public about listeria on 10 February 1989. He also gave specific advice to pregnant women to avoid eating certain foods, such as soft cheeses and more recently pate. He subsequently wrote to all doctors in England on 16 February 1989 to provide them with detailed advice on listeriosis. This advice is extant.
In the case of listeria in pate, the results of a survey in Wales were not available until 30 June following which a national survey was set in hand to see whether or not there was a wider problem. However, in light of further evidence received from one of the importers on 11 July, we issued our warning to vulnerable groups on 12 July.
Mr. Mellor : The chief medical officer issued general advice to the public about listeria on 10 February 1989. He also gave specific advice to pregnant women to avoid eating certain foods, such as soft cheeses and more recently pate. He subsequently wrote to all doctors in England on 16 February 1989 to provide tem with detailed advice on listeriosis. This advice is extant.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of people pay for (a) eye tests and (b) dental examinations : (i) currently and (ii) before the current charging policy began ; and what is the average charge for each currently.
Mr. Mellor : We do not have information on the percentage of people receiving sight tests or dental examinations since 1 April 1989 who have paid a charge. There was no charge for sight tests or dental examinations before that date. An ophthalmic optician who carries out a sight test under the general ophthalmic service receives a fee of £10.40 from the family practitioner committee, and an ophthalmic medical practitioner a fee of £8.69. Charges to patients for private sight tests are a matter for the ophthalmic profession. The current charge to a patient for a clinical examination under the general dental service is £3.15. For both types of examination, certain groups of the population are exempt from charges, and others are entitled to help with the costs of private sight tests.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the new funding structure for community care will allow disabled people to receive payments to enable them to buy in personal care, in the same manner as many can now do through the independent living fund, or whether all of the proposed single budget to cover the costs of care, whether in a person's own home or in residential or nursing home, will be payable to local authorities.
Mr. Mellor : Local authorities will be responsible for managing the unified budget for social care which we propose to introduce in 1991, and from it will be expected to make available services for people whom they have assessed as being in need of social care. We have no plans to enable local authorities to pay new cash benefits. Whether, as Sir Roy Griffiths proposed, they should be authorised to experiment within their budget with schemes facilitating the purchase of services by individuals has yet to be decided.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what provision he will be making to fund the additional costs of installation and operation of the management and pricing system for self- governing hospital treatment ;
(2) whether he will provide an estimate of the additional costs of running the management and pricing system for self-governing hospitals.
Mr. Mellor : It is not possible to give a firm estimate at this stage ; this will depend on a number of factors including the number and types of self-governing units. We have made available an extra £82 million in this financial year for implementing the review generally. Over time, any extra cost should be offset by the improved efficiency which will stem from the changes.
Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop : To ask the Secretary of State for Health why the South West regional health authority breached the requirement stated in paragraphs 11 and 13 of the letter to regional general managers from Mr. Nichol, dated 14 March, that expressions of interest should be referred to regional health authorities so that they can add their comments on all expressions of interest before sending them on to the Department ; why the authority members have not had submitted to them for their comment such expressions of interest ; and whether he will return for such comment all submissions improperly forwarded.
Mr. Mellor : The chief executive's letter made it clear that expressions of interest could be made by any interested party. It was not open to the region to withhold any submissions, although we were keen to have regional comments on the expressions. How this matter was dealt with in the regional health authority is for the regional chairman to decide.
We would expect the regional health authority to play a full part in commenting on any applications for self governance in due course.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of hospital beds are taken up annually by road accident victims ; and what is the cost (a) including and (b) excluding out-patients.
Mr. Freeman : In 1985, the latest year for which figures are available centrally, road accident cases occupied 2 per cent. of non- psychiatric, non-maternity beds in NHS hospitals in England. In 1986, the latest year for which the calculations are available, the estimated total cost to the National Health Service of dealing with road accident victims in England was £132 million, of which an estimated £7 million relates to out-patient costs.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Health why his office did not write to the right hon. Member for Swansea, West until 24 July to inform him that letters about the reform of the National Health Service sent to his Department on 8 June had been transferred to the Welsh Office.
Mr. Freeman : I am sorry that there has been such a long delay before we notified the right hon. Member of the transfer of his letter. Staff in the Department have been dealing with a very large number of letters on the reform of the National Health Service and did not identify straight away that a response from the Welsh Office was appropriate.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will include proposals to require the registration of private care homes with fewer than four residents in his forthcoming White Paper on community care :
(2) what action he is taking to ensure that local authorities have sufficient powers to deal with private care home proprietors who are running as one establishment a number of small homes with fewer than four residents.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the number of children suffering from any form of cancer in the Glanford and Scunthorpe constituency for each of the years 1986 to 1989.
Mr. Freeman : Cancer registration data are still being collated for the years 1986 onwards. We would not normally release data for childhood cancers for areas as small as parliamentary constituencies on grounds of confidentiality.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library the latest figures for the prevalence of drug misuse and service provision in each Health Service region on a comparable basis with those issued in June 1985.
Mr. Freeman : Detailed figures on the prevalence of drug misuse are, because of the clandestine and illegal nature of the activity, not available. The figures which were issued in June 1985 were obtained via a special exercise. This exercise has not been repeated and so I am unable to give the hon. Member updated figures.
The Department has produced the following statistical booklets which the hon. Member may find of interest :
Mental Illness Hospitals and Units in England : Drug Misuse Statistics 1981 -1985 ;
Mental Illness Hospitals and Units in England : Drug Misuse Statistics 1982 -1986 ;
Data from the Addicts Index, October to December : Quarter 1988 and January to December 1988.
These have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will state the number of ambulance vehicles available for service in the London ambulance service area each week since the beginning of the current year, the number that had no drivers and the number of occasions that were emergency only.
Mr. Freeman : The details of emergency ambulance availability for the period 8 January to 23 July 1989 are shown in the table. Figures for non-emergency ambulances are not shown because of the variety of vehicles used :