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Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The terms of office of a number of district health authority chairmen come up for consideration with effect from 1 April 1990. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor), then
Column 299Minister for Health, invited nominations from hon. Members in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Goodson-Wickes) on 10 May at column 457.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was raised in prescription charges in England in each year from 1979-80 to 1987-99 ; and into which fund these receipts were paid.
year |£ million ------------------------------ 1979-80 |38.6 1980-81 |70.8 1981-82 |86.6 1982-83 |102.8 1983-84 |110.0 1984-85 |120.7 1985-86 |127.8 1986-87 |147.9 1987-88 |157.5
The prescription charges collected in the family practitioner services in England are credited to class XIV, Vote 2.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Information is not held centrally in the form requested. All local authorities have a statutory duty to provide programmes of intermediate treatment. Juvenile offenders who are subject to supervision orders may be required by the juvenile courts to take part in these programmes, which often include counselling services.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The pay of midwives is determined on the advice of the pay review body, established in 1983 for nursing staff, midwives, health visitors and professions allied to medicine. The review body is independent and free to determine its own methods of working and to take evidence from interested parties, including a number of trade unions who have midwives in membership.
Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many midwives are currently undergoing training for the advanced diploma in midwifery ; and how many of these receive financial assistance from their local health authority ;
(2) what guidance he has issued to health authorities about assistance and support to be given to midwives studying for the advanced diploma in midwifery ; and if he has any plans to issue new guidance ;
Column 300(3) what is his policy on the value of the advanced diploma in midwifery ;
(4) what steps he is taking to encourage midwives to undertake further training to improve their qualifications.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The advanced diploma in midwifery (ADM) is a recordable qualification on the register maintained by the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, which is an independent statutory body. It is evidence of professional development for midwives whether in clinical practice, management or teaching. It is also an entry requirement to midwife teacher training.
It is for health authorities to determine the extent to which they should fund midwives to undertake training in the ADM in the light of the needs of the service locally. Information supplied by the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting shows that there were 141 entrants to training for the ADM in the year ending 31 March 1989. Information is not held centrally on how many midwives currently taking the ADM receive financial assistance from their local health authority.
No guidance has been issued to authorities on financial assistance to midwives who study for the ADM. However, the Department has commissioned the South Bank polytechnic to develop an open learning package for the ADM, with funding of £175,850 for that purpose. In addition, South East Thames regional health authority has been provided with £52,614 this year, for the South Bank polytechnic to develop a two-year part-time course for the ADM.
Mr. Freeman : Section 2 of the chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 places a statutory responsibility on local authorities to provide equipment to all disabled people, including those with a visual impairment. A number of voluntary organisations have also, traditionally provided equipment to visually impaired people. Both voluntary organisations and local authority social services departments have discretion over whether to charge for equipment, including white canes.
There is a wide range of canes available at various prices up to a maximum of £21. However, many local authorities provide a symbol white cane free of charge. Concessionary rates are also available for those individuals who obtain their canes directly from voluntary organisations.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of pay was overtime in the National Health Service in administrative, clerical and staff grades for 1960, 1970, 1979, 1983, 1985 and 1989 or the latest date possible.
|Per cent. ------------------------------ 1984-85 |0.7 1985-86 |0.8 1988-89 |1.4
Information is not held centrally for years before 1984-85.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of his letter to the Northern regional health authority declining to allow the regional blood transfusion service to become a self-governing trust.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : All regional health authorities have reviewed their arrangements for managing the blood transfusion service as part of their response to the Department's circular EL(89) MB/59 (a copy of which is in the Library). Several have proposed to set up boards to manage the service on their behalf and to devolve the budgets to district health authorities.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when it is proposed to have nuclear magnetic resonance scanners available within the National Health Service in the regions of the north, Yorkshire, north-west and Merseyside.
Mr. Freeman : Installation of these scanners is a matter for individual regional health authorities. I understand that scanners are already in place in Manchester and Liverpool, that one is planned for Leeds and one for Newcastle is under discussion. The hon. Member may wish to contact the regional chairmen for more information.
Mr. Critchley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will provide revised guidance to family practitioner committees on the handling of applications for the inclusion of pharmacies in National Health Service pharmaceutical lists.
Column 302pharmacies suggested that some revised guidance would be helpful. Following widespread consultation new guidance has been prepared and is now being sent to family practitioner committees. Copies are also being sent to all existing pharmacy contractors. A copy has been placed in the Library and I have sent one to the hon. Member.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the research study commissioned by his Department into the speech therapy requirements of different kinds of patients will be published ; whether it will be placed in the Library ; and whether it will cover the use of speech therapy in assisting recovery from strokes.
Mr. Freeman : An article by Dr. Davies and Dr. Enderby based on the research study will be published in the December 1989 edition of the British Journal of Disorders of Communication . A copy of the article will be placed in the Library. Both the research study and the article cover the use of speech therapy in assistin recovery from strokes.
Mr. Stanbrook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if assurances given by the Under-Secretary of State for Health in reply to questions about capital expenditure plans, asked by the hon. Member for Bolton, North East (Mr. Thurnham), apply to the current approved plan for Orpington hospital.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 24 November 1989] : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave the hon. Member for Bolton, North East (Mr. Thurnham) on Tuesday 7 November at columns 823-24. I was referring to specific capital expenditure plans supported by districts and awaiting implementation. I am not aware that these circumstances apply to Orpington hospital.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what conveniently available figures he has for the number of babies adopted in each year from 1980 to 1989 ; and if he has any conveniently available breakdown into the regions of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 27 November 1989] : The number of adoption orders awarded by the courts are shown. Because the courts, and in particular the High Court, do not relate to defined geographical areas more detailed geographical analyses are not available. Data for 1989 for the United Kingdom are expected to be available in April 1990.
Number of adoptions of babies aged under one year ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- England and Wales |2,599 |2,365 |2,177 |1,962 |1,836 |1,605 |1,572 |1,333 |1,235 Scotland |379 |321 |326 |291 |229 |199 |160 |156 |132 Northern Ireland |147 |116 |82 |113 |89 |93 |83 |73 |70 |------|------|------|------|------|------|------|------|------ United Kingdom |3,125 |2,802 |2,585 |2,366 |2,154 |1,897 |1,815 |1,562 |1,437
Mr. Gill : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he proposes to take in the light of the recommendations of the food advisory committee in its review of the colouring matter in food regulations.
Mr. Maclean : My colleagues and I accept the view of the food advisory committee that food colours have a role in providing consumers with a choice of attractively presented foods. We also accept the committee's recommendations. We therefore intend to issue detailed proposals for public comment as quickly as possible to : i. restrict the amount of colour in food by setting maximum levels for all permitted colours ;
ii. prohibit or restrict certain colours which are currently permitted in food.
Implementation of a number of the specific recommendations would first require amendment to EC legislation and we will be discussing these with our European partners as appropriate. I will also encourage our EC partners to adopt the same approach to colours in Community legislation. The FAC made 25 recommendations in all, and I have placed in the Library of the House a detailed statement of how we intend to deal with each of them.
Copies of the committee's final report on the review of the Colouring Matter in Food Regulations 1973, published by HMSO in 1987, have already been placed in the Library of the House. The committee's response to comments received on that final report has been published by my Department today and I have also arranged for copies of this to be placed in the Library.
Sir Richard Body : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will publish the information he has received from the Netherlands about the safety of milk which has been condemned in the last two weeks on the ground of lead pollution.
Mr. Hind : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he plans to support European Commission proposals for quotas of imports into the Community for onions, cut flowers and soft fruit from eastern European countries ; and if he will make a statement.
A Commission action plan for co-ordinated aid to Poland and Hungary was agreed in principle on 3 October. As part of that plan the Commission put forward proposals for tariff concessions on a number of agricultural products of primary interest to Poland and Hungary, including dried onions, cut flowers and semi-processed fruit to be included in the Community's generalised system of preferences. Both I and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland are aware of the difficulties which tariff
Column 304concessions in these sectors pose for our industry. The package which has finally been secured involves smaller cuts in tariffs on certain products, including soft fruit, than those originally proposed. These changes should alleviate the impact of the measures on our growers and processors, while at the same time reflecting our commitment to assist the process of political and economic reform in eastern Europe.
|'000 Eggs|£ ---------------------------------------- 1988 September |28,765 |967,272 October |29,172 |995,983 November |28, 728 |949,873 December |7,767 |260,444 1989 January |14,371 |454,818 February |7,553 |254,033 March |7,956 |275,402 April |40,073 |1,387,578 May |28,172 |895,365 June |25,961 |861,535 July |22,794 |729,146 August |35,120 |1,308,199 September |58,044 |2,532,210
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many calves have been born, during the incubation period for the disease, to cows later certified as having bovine spongiform encephalopathy ; and what is his Department's policy on the slaughter of such calves.
Mr. Maclean : It is estimated that some 20,000 calves could have been born to cows later confirmed as having BSE. There is no evidence that BSE can be transmitted from cow to calf and therefore no scientific justification for such calves to be slaughtered.
Year of |Number of confirmation |cases --------------------------------------- 1985 |0 1986 |4 1987 |149 1988 |1,910 <1>1989 |6,037 |------ |8,100 <1>Up to 27 November 1989.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what inquiries are made
Column 305about calves to which a cow found to be suffering from bovine spongiform encephalopathy has given birth during the incubation period of the disease.
Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what tests are carried out on calves of cows certified as having bovine spongiform encephalopathy to see whether they are carrying the disease.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the number of confirmed cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy for each county of England and Wales for the four-week period ended 16 November.
County |Number ------------------------------------------ Bedfordshire |3 Cambridgeshire |2 Essex |3 Hertfordshire |6 Lincolnshire |7 Norfolk |5 Northamptonshire |10 Suffolk |8 |44 Cheshire |12 Deryshire |13 Hereford and Worcestershire |12 Lancashire |15 Leicestershire |19 Nottinghamshire |7 Shropshire |9 Staffordshire |8 Warwickshire |11 |106 Cleveland |2 Cumbria |11 Durham |5 Humberside |2 Northumberland |4 Tyne and Wear |1 Yorkshire North |22 Yorkshire South |2 Yorkshire West |1 |52 Berkshire |3 Buckinghamshire |5 Hampshire |26 Isle of Wight |4 Kent |11 Oxfordshire |5 Surrey |6 Sussex East |12 Sussex West |19 Avon |15 Cornwall |45 Devon |40 Dorset |51 Gloucestershire |28 Somerset |66 Wiltshire |35 |280 Clwyd |7 Dyfed |18 Glamorganshire M |2 Glamorganshire S |7 Gwent |9 Gwynedd |1 Powys |5 |49 |------ |622
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has concerning the policy reasons for the European Commission's intention to propose a ban on the sale of enzyme-treated meat.
Mr. Maclean : None. The draft proposal has not yet been discussed in Brussels. The existing derogation under which the United Kingdom and Ireland trade in meat treated with enzymes would not be compatible with the concept of the single market, and the Commission may simply be anticipating that a proposal to permit trade in enzyme-treated meat throughout the Community after 1992 is unlikely to attract sufficient support from member states.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further necessary scientific studies were required between the announcement of his proposed ban on human consumption of bovine offal on 13 June and its implementation on 13 November ; and what were the results of those studies.
Mr. Maclean : Studies were conducted into the presence of lymphatic tissue which might harbour the bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent, in bovine gut and tripe, casings and rennet produced from it. The results showed that no restrictions were necessary on bovine stomachs (including the tripe organs) or rennet. Intestines and the casings produced from them did, however, contain significant amounts of lymphatic tissue and were thus included in the ban as a precautionary measure.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to ensure that all grants given to farmers by his Department for environmental protection and improvement do not give an unfair financial advantage to farmers in the lowlands as against farmers in upland and hill areas ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Curry : The current grant scheme, the farm and conservation grant scheme, makes generous provision for the aiding of investments benefiting the environment. For most grants, farmers in the hills and uplands receive rates which are 10 percentage points higher than in the lowlands. The only exceptions are grants for investments in farm waste control which attract uniform rates of 50 per cent., reflecting the priority that we attach to combating farm pollution in the lowlands, and grants for the repair or renovation of traditional farm buildings. For these the grant rate is 35 per cent. and takes account of the generally higher cost of repairs in the lowlands.
In no case do grants outside the less favoured areas exceed those within.
16. Mr. Burt : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the adequacy of current United Nations policies to combat drug abuse ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : The United Nations performs a vital role in the international anti-drugs effort, but there is much scope for improvement. We are supporting efforts to secure additional resources for the United Nations drugs effort and structural reforms to make its work more cost- effective.
19. Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the involvement of his Department in the efforts to reduce the illegal imports of drugs from Colombia.
Mr. Sainsbury : The Department, and Her Majesty's embassy in Bogotoa, liaise closely with the Colombian authorities on anti-narcotics measures, and are currently supervising the delivery and implementation of the special package of drugs-related training and equipment for Colombians announced by my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 27 September.
Mr. Sainsbury : The United Kingdom has signed the 1988 United Nations convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, adopted in December 1988. Our Drug Trafficking Offences Act provides strong powers for the tracing, freezing and confiscation of the proceeds of trafficking. We have agreed bilateral agreements or arrangements to reciprocate these powers with 11 countries and are negotiating with a number of others.
Britain is the fourth largest donor to the United Nations fund for drug abuse control.
We are also hosting a world ministerial summit next April to reduce the demand for drugs and combat the cocaine threat.
82. Mr. Arbuthnot : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to reduce the worldwide demands for illegal drugs ; and if he will make a statement.
104. Mr. Hayes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to reduce the worldwide demand for illegal drugs ; and if he will make a statement.
122. Mr. Simon Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his plans for an international conference in London next year on the subject of reducing the demand for cocaine and other illegal drugs.
131. Mr. Gregory : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his plans for an international conference in London next year on the subject of reducing the demand for cocaine and other illegal drugs.
Mr. Sainsbury : We are hosting a world ministerial summit in London in April 1990 to reduce the demand for drugs and combat the cocaine threat. The Prime Minister will open the summit and President Barco of Colombia and the UN secretary-general have agreed to speak at the opening ceremony. The United Kingdom is also providing, or has provided, bilateral assistance to demand reduction projects in such countries as Barbados, Nigeria, Peru and Malaysia.
23. Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if any commitment has been made to the Chinese People's Republic regarding the number of British passports to be issued to the people of Hong Kong.
33. Mr. Sims : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Vietnamese nationals are at present detained in camps in Hong Kong ; and what is the cost of accommodating them.
Mr. Maude : There are just over 56,800 Vietnamese boat people in Hong Kong. We estimate that capital expenditure on the camps for 1989-90 will be about £38 million. The cost of running them during the same period will be around £40 million.