Previous Section Home Page

Income Support

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he has made a decision on the outstanding claim of Mr. and Mrs. Elliot of the Rodley boat centre to either family credit or income support.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 21 July 1989 at column 435 when my hon. Friend explained that decisions had been issued on Mr. and Mrs. Elliot's claims for both family credit and income support. I understand that they have made no further claim for either benefit. Mr. and Mrs. Elliot are, of course, free to claim either benefit again at any time if their circumstances are now such that they believe they may have become entitled.

Benefits and Allowances

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of recipients of attendance allowance at (a) the higher rate and (b) the lower rate by sex and standard age cohorts at the last date for which figures are available.

Mr. Scott : The information requested is in the table.


Column 666


Attendance allowance: recipients by sex and age     

cohort at                                           

31 March 1988                                       

Thousands                                           

             Higher rate     Lower rate             

            |Males  |Females|Males  |Females        

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

All ages    |101    |186    |161    |264            

2-4         |4      |3      |5      |4              

5-9         |7      |5      |10     |7              

10-15       |6      |4      |9      |7              

16-19       |3      |2      |5      |4              

20-29       |6      |5      |12     |11             

30-39       |4      |5      |8      |9              

40-49       |5      |7      |9      |10             

50-59       |8      |11     |13     |14             

60-64       |8      |9      |12     |12             

65-69       |9      |12     |14     |16             

70-74       |10     |15     |15     |21             

75-79       |12     |23     |17     |33             

80 and over |19     |84     |32     |117            

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of recipients of invalid care allowance by sex and standard age cohorts at the last date for which figures are available.

Mr. Scott : The information requested is in the table.


Invalid care allowance:                

Recipients by sex and age cohort at 26 

September 1989                         

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

All ages    |19,044  |99,202           

Under 20    |111     |360              

20-24       |284     |1,933            

25-29       |535     |7,156            

30-34       |847     |12,232           

35-39       |1,304   |13,902           

40-44       |1,921   |15,504           

45-49       |2,324   |13,562           

50-54       |2,971   |14,489           

55-59       |4,202   |14,758           

60-64       |4,273   |<1>5,306         

65 and over |272     |-                

<1> All Females aged 60 and over.      

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of recipients of invalidity benefit by sex and standard age cohorts at the last date for which figures are available ; and if he will further break down the figures by (a) receipt of an additional component and (b) receipt of each rate of invalidity allowance.

Mr. Scott : The information requested is in the tables.


Column 665


Recipients of invalidity benefit at 2 April 1988 who receive invalidity allowance<1>                          

Thousands                                                                                                     

               Men                                 Women                                                      

Age           |High rate  |Medium rate|Low rate   |High rate  |Medium rate|Low rate   |Total                  

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

All ages      |130.9      |102.0      |104.6      |95.6       |53.7       |22.3       |509.1                  

Under 20      |0.3        |-          |-          |0.7        |-          |-          |1.0                    

  20-24       |5.6        |-          |-          |7.5        |-          |-          |13.1                   

  25-29       |10.5       |-          |-          |15.4       |-          |-          |25.9                   

  30-34       |17.1       |-          |-          |18.0       |-          |-          |35.1                   

  35-39       |22.3       |-          |-          |20.2       |-          |-          |42.5                   

  40-44       |29.5       |4.1        |-          |16.3       |5.8        |-          |55.7                   

  45-49       |19.2       |16.4       |-          |8.1        |16.7       |-          |60.4                   

  50-54       |13.6       |30.3       |4.7        |4.1        |18.6       |6.7        |78.0                   

  55-59       |7.3        |30.2       |19.3       |3.8        |9.9        |11.3       |81.8                   

  60-64       |4.1        |17.3       |46.5       |1.5        |2.7        |4.3        |76.4                   

  65 and over |1.4        |3.7        |34.1       |-          |-          |-          |39.2                   

<1>Numbers of recipients are those who actually receive some Invalidity Allowance (IVA). In addition there    

are 360,300 people who do not receive IVA because the rate of Additional Pension or guaranteed minimum        

pension they receive exceeds the rate of IVA which would have been payable.                                   


Recipients of invalidity benefit at 2 April 1988 who receive invalidity allowance<1>                          

Thousands                                                                                                     

               Men                                 Women                                                      

Age           |High rate  |Medium rate|Low rate   |High rate  |Medium rate|Low rate   |Total                  

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

All ages      |130.9      |102.0      |104.6      |95.6       |53.7       |22.3       |509.1                  

Under 20      |0.3        |-          |-          |0.7        |-          |-          |1.0                    

  20-24       |5.6        |-          |-          |7.5        |-          |-          |13.1                   

  25-29       |10.5       |-          |-          |15.4       |-          |-          |25.9                   

  30-34       |17.1       |-          |-          |18.0       |-          |-          |35.1                   

  35-39       |22.3       |-          |-          |20.2       |-          |-          |42.5                   

  40-44       |29.5       |4.1        |-          |16.3       |5.8        |-          |55.7                   

  45-49       |19.2       |16.4       |-          |8.1        |16.7       |-          |60.4                   

  50-54       |13.6       |30.3       |4.7        |4.1        |18.6       |6.7        |78.0                   

  55-59       |7.3        |30.2       |19.3       |3.8        |9.9        |11.3       |81.8                   

  60-64       |4.1        |17.3       |46.5       |1.5        |2.7        |4.3        |76.4                   

  65 and over |1.4        |3.7        |34.1       |-          |-          |-          |39.2                   

<1>Numbers of recipients are those who actually receive some Invalidity Allowance (IVA). In addition there    

are 360,300 people who do not receive IVA because the rate of Additional Pension or guaranteed minimum        

pension they receive exceeds the rate of IVA which would have been payable.                                   

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of recipients of mobility allowance by sex and standard age cohorts at the last date for which figures are available.

Mr. Scott : The latest available information, as at 30 September 1989, is in the table.


             Recipients who transfeOther Recipients                

             from vehicle scheme                                   

Age Groups  |Male      |Female    |Male      |Female               

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

 5-9        |-         |-         |5,001     |4,026                

10-14       |-         |-         |4,493     |3,667                

15-19       |1         |2         |5,775     |4,955                

20-24       |5         |4         |7,106     |6,223                

25-29       |17        |15        |7,808     |7,295                

30-34       |487       |311       |7,555     |7,980                

35-39       |860       |580       |9,517     |10,569               

40-44       |1,308     |952       |13,998    |15,915               

45-49       |1,077     |845       |17,699    |19,385               

50-54       |1,163     |902       |26,871    |28,156               

55-59       |1,458     |986       |41,642    |40,085               

60-64       |1,835     |1,103     |64,511    |54,608               

65-69       |2,303     |1,355     |61,787    |50,486               

70-74       |1,621     |965       |13,314    |12,605               

75-79       |1,294     |806       |-         |-                    

80-84       |564       |495       |-         |-                    

85 and over |226       |219       |-         |-                    

            |--------  |--------  |--------  |--------             

All ages    |14,219    |9,450     |287,077   |265,955              

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of recipients of severe disablement allowance by sex and standard age cohorts at the last date for which figures are available.

Mr. Scott : The latest information, at 2 April 1988, is in the table.


              |Men    |Women          

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

All ages      |103,400|160,000        

Under 20      |11,200 |8,500          

  20-24       |16,400 |11,300         

  25-29       |13,600 |10,300         

  30-34       |8,100  |11,000         

  35-39       |10,300 |12,900         

  40-44       |8,700  |15,300         

  45-49       |7,400  |16,100         

  50-54       |5,300  |21,200         

  55-59       |7,400  |28,100         

  60-64       |8,300  |17,200         

  65 and over |6,600  |8,000          

Note: Figures are based on a 1 per    

cent. sample.                         

National Insurance

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of national insurance contributions collected from employers is the responsibility of his Department ; and how much that amounted to in the last available year broken down by each class of contributions.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The Inland Revenue is mainly responsible for the collection of class 1 national insurance contributions. The Department of Social Security assumes responsibility for collection in certain limited circumstances and collects such contributions direct in certain instances-- for example in respect of Civil Service and Her Majesty's forces employments.

The Department also makes claims against insolvent employers. For the year ended April 1989 the Department collected about £1.5 billion in this way which represents about 5 per cent. of the total of class 1 national insurance contributions.

Social Fund

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what collation of statistics his Department undertakes on how many claimants have been taken out of the priority categories eligible for community care grants ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott : Priority categories for community care grants have not been changed. Statistics relating to the number of refusals of community care grants on grounds


Column 669

of insufficient priority are in annex 9(1A) of the Secretary of State's annual report on the social fund 1988-89, a copy of which is in the Library.

Income Support

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give for each client group a table for rates of income support showing (i) the illustrative figures in the


Column 670

technical annex to the 1985 White Paper, (ii) the illustrative figures uprated by the retail prices index since then, (iii) the illustrative figures uprated by the Rossi index, (iv) the amounts provided to compensate for the 20 per cent. rates or poll tax contribution and (v) the proposed income support rates for April 1990.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The information requested is in the table :


Column 669


Income Support Client      Technical annex   Uprated by                          Compensation for  Proposed rates                     

Group                     |to the 1985 White|<1>RPI           |<2>ROSSI         | 20 per cent.    |from April 1990                    

                          |Paper                                                                  |Community                          

                                                                                |Charge                                               

                                                                                |Contribution<3>                                      

                          |£                |£                |£                |£                |£                                  

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

Pensioners                                                                                                                            

Age 80+ single            |42.85            |52.49            |50.19            |1.30             |53.75                              

Age 80+ couple            |65.45            |80.18            |76.65            |2.30             |81.85                              

                                                                                                                                      

Age 75-79 single          |40.60            |49.73            |47.55            |1.30             |51.10                              

Age 75-79 couple          |63.25            |77.48            |74.07            |2.30             |79.20                              

                                                                                                                                      

Age 60+ disabled                                                                                                                      

single                    |40.60            |49.73            |47.55            |1.30             |51.10                              

couple                    |63.25            |77.48            |74.07            |2.30             |79.20                              

                                                                                                                                      

Age 60-74 single          |40.60            |49.73            |47.55            |1.30             |48.50                              

couple                    |63.25            |77.48            |74.07            |2.30             |75.55                              

                                                                                                                                      

<4>Sick and Disabled                                                                                                                  

Age 18-24 single          |36.25            |44.41            |42.46            |1.15             |44.20                              

Age 25+ single            |42.85            |52.49            |50.19            |1.30             |52.10                              

couple                    |65.45            |80.18            |76.65            |2.30             |79.70                              

                                                                                                                                      

Lone Parent                                                                                                                           

<5>With 2 children        |65.00            |79.62            |76.12            |1.30             |78.75                              

                                                                                                                                      

Unemployed                                                                                                                            

Age 18-24 single          |24.00            |29.40            |28.11            |1.15             |28.80                              

Age 25+ single            |30.60            |37.48            |35.84            |1.30             |36.70                              

                                                                                                                                      

Couple no children        |48.00            |58.80            |56.21            |2.30             |57.60                              

<5>Couple with 2 children |78.95            |96.71            |92.45            |2.30             |95.55                              

<1> Based on movement in the index of Retail Prices between November 1985 and October 1989 (the latest date for which the index is    

available).                                                                                                                           

<2> Based on movement in the index of Retail Prices (less housing) between November 1985 and October 1989.                            

<3> Amounts included in benefit levels from April 1989. These amounts, which replaced those previously included from April 1988 to    

compensate for the 20 per cent. rates contribution, now form part of the overall benefit levels to be uprated from April 1990.        

<4> In receipt of disability premium.                                                                                                 

<5> Assumes one child under age 11 and one child aged 11-15.                                                                          

Pensioners

Mr. Meacher To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out in detail the basis of his calculation, Official Report, 27 November, column 525, that pensioners' total incomes have increased by about 23 per cent. in real terms since 1979.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I refer the hon. Member to the article "Pensioners incomes and expenditure" which appeared in the Employment Gazette, of May 1987, a copy of which is in the Library. The same basis of calculation was used in arriving at the 1979-86 real terms increase of 23 per cent. in pensioners' average total net income.

Child Abuse

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what Government funds are available for the range of assessment, treatment, and support services provided by local authority social services departments,


Column 670

health authorities, and voluntary child care organisations, specified in her answer of 15 November, Official Report, column 339.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I have been asked to reply.

This information is not available centrally. It is for local authorities and health authorities to determine the deployment of their overall resources to specific services in the light of legislative requirements, and local circumstances, needs and priorities. Government grants to voluntary organisations working in the field of child protection are usually paid as contributions to headquarters administration expenses.

SCOTLAND

Nuclear Power Stations

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the number of employees at each nuclear power station in Scotland.


Column 671

Mr. Lang : I am advised by the South of Scotland electricity board, British Nuclear Fuels and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority that, as at the end of November 1989, the number of employees at Scottish power stations was as follows :


                   |Number           

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

Chapelcross        |630              

Dounreay           |<1>1,838         

Hunterston A and B |<2>1,046         

Torness            |<2>634           

<1> The figure of 1,838 represents   

the total number of employees at the 

Dounreay Nuclear Establishment; of   

these, only around 15 per cent. work 

on the operation or in close support 

of the prototype fast reactor.       

<2> The figures do not include       

Headquarters and Central Services    

personnel involved wholly or partly  

with nuclear generation.             

Birds (Illegal Poisoning)

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many birds, by species, were illegally killed by poisons in the Tayside region for each of the last two years.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The numbers of birds, by species, reported to have been illegally killed by pesticides in Tayside region are as follows :


             |Number       

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

1987                       

Corvids      |3            

Gulls        |2            

Buzzard      |1            

                           

1988                       

Corvids      |20           

Buzzards     |2            

Gulls        |2            

Eagle        |1            

                           

1989 to date               

Corvids      |3            

Buzzard      |1            

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 4 December, on how many occasions during each of the last five years he has drawn to the attention of the Islay estates owners the requirements of the law relating to the illegal poisoning of birds.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The policy referred to in my answer of 4 December was introduced in 1988 following the golden eagle poisoning incidents on the Islay estate that year. The policy was also operated this year in the light of the poisoning incidents referred to in my previous answer. Prior to 1988, the attention of the Islay estates was not formally drawn to the incidents.

Parliament House

Sir Nicholas Fairbairn : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the cost of the new lift being installed in Parliament house for the use of judges ; and what is its purpose.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The cost of installing the new lift will be approximately £100,000. It will allow more ready access from judges' chambers to court rooms.


Column 672

Argyll and Clyde Health Board

Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met with the Argyll and Clyde health board ; and what matters were discussed.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : My right hon. and learned Friend has had no recent meetings with Argyll and Clyde health board.

Lennox Castle Hospital

Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many patients are resident in Lennox Castle hospital.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Seven hundred and eighty-five.

Dr. John Myles

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what function is performed by Dr. John Myles in relation to the Scottish Development Department.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Dr. John Miles' function as ecological adviser is to assist the Scottish Development Department and other Scottish Departments to arrive at a better informed view of the effect of current and proposed policies affecting the living environment. One of his prime responsibilities is to interpret scientific information. He also advises on casework and assists in determining departmental ecological and environmental research requirements.

Health Service

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give for each year since 1980 the total number of doctors employed by the National Health Service and express this as a percentage of the 1980 figure.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information is given in the following table :


Year       |Total     |Percentage           

                      |of 1980              

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

1980       |9,923     |100.0                

1981       |10,167    |102.5                

1982       |10,229    |103.1                

1983       |10,410    |104.9                

1984       |10,499    |105.8                

1985       |10,509    |105.9                

1986       |10,480    |105.6                

1987       |10,476    |105.6                

1988       |10,833    |109.2                

Natural Heritage Agency

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many permanent staff are likely to be employed by the proposed Natural Heritage Agency.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The proposed agency will be adequately staffed to carry out its important responsibilities but it is too soon to estimate the number of permanent posts.

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what additional funding will be required for the purposes of merging the Nature Conservancy Council and Countryside Commission for Scotland into a new agency.


Column 673

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The proposed agency will have adequate resources to carry out its important responsibilities, but it is too soon to decide the precise level of funding which will be required.

Western Scottish Bus Company

Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has received from Touche Ross and Co. concerning the financial management of the Western Scottish bus company ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : None. Touche Ross and Co. has not been appointed to advise the Secretary of State or the Scottish transport group on matters concerning the management of the Scottish Bus Group subsidiaries or their privatisation.

Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has received from the Scottish Bus Group concerning recent management resignations from the Western Scottish bus company ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The management of Western Scottish Omnibuses Ltd. is a matter for the Scottish transport group and the company concerned. My right hon. and learned Friend is, however, aware that two second-level management staff have recently resigned from Western Scottish Omnibuses Ltd. Their reasons for doing so are a matter between the individuals concerned and the company.

Power Generation

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any plans to introduce a non-fossil fuel obligation within the Scottish electricity generating industry ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lang : There are no plans to introduce a non-fossil fuel obligation in Scotland at present.

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to encourage wind-generated power in Scotland.

Mr. Lang : Government research and development into renewable energy sources is managed by the Department of Energy. Since 1979 the Government have spent over £140 million (over £190 million at 1989 prices) on research into renewable energy sources with the aim of identifying those technologies which can economically meet the energy needs of the next century. A 10 to 15-year programme is presently under way in conjunction with the electricity industry which, if successful, should provide the basis for the commercial exploitation of wind power from the late 1990s onward.

The Scottish Office has consistently stressed that Government support would be available for a viable Scottish development.

Parliament Hall

Sir Nicholas Fairbairn : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the cost of manufacture and erection of the two bronze plaques erected at the south end of Parliament Hall concerning the achievements of the Property Services Agency.


Column 674

Mr. Chope : I have been asked to reply. The costs were :


                                             |£      

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

Plaque to commemorate the roof restoration   |540    

Plaque to commemorate the window restoration |580    

HEALTH

Cash Allocations (Nottingham)

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the cash allocation to Nottingham district health authority in constant prices for each of the past 10 years.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : Initial cash allocations to Nottingham HA at 1989-90 prices since 1982-83 are :


-

          |£ million          

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

1982-83   |162.7              

1983-84   |162.4              

1984-85   |157.6              

1985-86   |159.5              

1986-87   |167.7              

1987-88   |171.0              

1988-89   |174.7              

1989-90   |180.8              

Figures before the 1982 NHS reorganisation would relate to Nottingham area health authority, a much larger organisation than the current district health authority, and would therefore not be comparable.

Demographic Changes

Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give the most recently available estimates of the percentage changes in demand on the hospital and community health services due to demographic change for each year from 1972-73 to 1995-96 ; and if he will put in the Library details of the methods used to arrive at these estimates.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : There has been a conventional practice in recent years of giving estimates of increased demand on services from demographic change expressed in expenditure terms. I have never believed that these figures are very useful as they imply, wrongly in my opinion, that increased spending is the only way in which increased demand can be met. Nevertheless I give the information requested in the table.


Estimates of growth in        

demographic demand on the     

hospital and                  

community health services for 

the years 1972-73 to 1995-96  

Year      |Per cent.          

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

1972-73   |0.0                

1973-74   |-0.1               

1974-75   |0.0                

1975-76   |0.1                

1976-77   |0.2                

1977-78   |0.3                

1978-79   |1.0                

1979-80   |1.3                

1980-81   |1.1                

1981-82   |0.4                

1982-83   |0.4                

1983-84   |0.5                

1984-85   |0.6                

1985-86   |1.3                

1986-87   |1.0                

1987-88   |1.0                

1988-89   |1.1                

1989-90   |0.9                

1990-91   |0.9                

1991-92   |0.7                

1992-93   |0.5                

1993-94   |0.3                

1994-95   |0.3                

1995-96   |0.9                

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 1988- 89, HC 418.

NHS Reform

Sir Barney Hayhoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what specific areas of expenditure on the family practitioner services are at present cash limited ; which will be cash limited from April 1990 ; and which he plans to cash limit later.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : At present expenditure on family practitioner services is not subject to a cash limit.

From April 1990, payments to general medical practitioners under the practice staff, cost rent and improvement grant schemes will be subject to a cash limit. From that date, general medical practitioners will for the first time be able to claim direct reimbursement for part of the costs of computer purchase, leasing and maintenance, and these payments will be subject to a cash limit. A cash limit will apply at national level to total expenditure from GP practice funds which are, subject to parliamentary approval, to be introduced from 1 April 1991. No cash limits will apply to this expenditure at practice level. The management allowance to be paid in relation to the GP funding initiative will be subject to a cash limit.

Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will commission management studies of the strategic effectiveness of the new National Health Service management structures as they develop, including those where the regional health authority splits into separate businesses, the district health authority secures trust status and certain individual services become trusts.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We are supporting a considerable number of development projects designed to test out in districts, hospitals and other units different aspects of our proposed improvements to make sure that workable systems are in place by April 1991. Many of the proposals will evolve throughout the coming decade. We intend to achieve steady incremental progress, informed by the lessons of experience. I see no need to commission management studies at this stage.

Chiropractors

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received about giving Government recognition to qualified chiropractors ; what response he has made ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : During the past two months, we have received representations, as part of a campaign, from the


Column 676

British Association of Chiropractors, individual chiropractors and patients, calling for the state registration of chiropractors. Practitioners of alternative or complementary therapies who are not registered with the General Medical Council and who are therefore not eligible to work within the NHS, are nevertheless at liberty to offer their services privately. It is for individual patients seeking the services of complementary practitioners, to satisfy themselves as to the competence of the practitioner concerned.

If members of a particular profession are concerned to ensure that professional standards are maintained and believe that statutory regulation is the best way of achieving this end, then it is for the profession itself to take all necessary steps necessary to obtain their goal.

Community Care

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Department will be responsible for furthering paediatric physiotherapy in schools, whether mainstream or special, under the programmes proposed in the White Paper on community care.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : District health authorities will remain responsible for the development of paediatric physiotherapy services for children in mainstream and special schools. We expect that health authorities will continue to collaborate with local education authorities to improve these services.

Whipps Cross Hospital

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ask the chairman of the North-East Thames regional health authority when he is likely to submit phase 2 of the Whipps Cross hospital development for approval ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : No. The timing of the submission of proposals for major capital developments to the Department of Health is for regional health authorities to decide.

Racial Abuse

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to counter the racial abuse of National Health Service staff by some patients ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : Members of minority communities play an invaluable part in the NHS, for which many of us have cause to feel profoundly grateful. We totally deplore any racially motivated abuse of them. Racial abuse or harassment is recognised as a form of violence in the report of the DHSS advisory committee on violence to staff which was chaired by my noble Friend Lord Skelmersdale. The report, which was published in July last year and a copy of which is in the Library, recommends that every unit should have a local strategy for dealing with violence, including preventive measures, suitable responses and support for staff who are victims. It also emphasises the critical importance of reporting systems and of encouraging staff to report all incidents.

We support this approach and hope that any member of staff who is subjected to or witnesses racial abuse will be


Column 677

encouraged to report it to his or her manager whose immediate responsibility it is to ensure that suitable action is taken.

Hepatitis C

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the percentage of blood donors shown to have hepatitis C in random tests carried out by the national blood transfusion service ; (2) whether he proposes to introduce screening of blood donors for hepatitis C ;

(3) whether supplies of stored blood plasma are checked for indications of hepatitis C.

Mr. Freeman : A screening test for antibodies to hepatitis C has been available only since the middle of the year, and no confirmatory test is at present available. In a preliminary study the national blood transfusion service examined frozen blood samples, but this work cannot be used to predict likely infection in fresh blood donations.

A systematic evaluation of the test on 15,000 donations at three transfusion centres is currently in progress. Results are not yet available. The introduction of the test for all blood donations is under review and will depend on the results of the evaluation and other scientific evidence supporting its benefit. Stored plasma is not tested for hepatitis C. It has not yet been shown that the test would reduce the possibility of transmission of disease in fractionated plasma products.

Cancer

Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the rates of cancer of the breast and cervix in the north-east of England for those aged (a) 20 to 25 years, (b) 25 to 30 years, (c) 30 to 35 years, (d) 35 to 40 years, (e) 40 to 45 years, (f) 45 to 50 years, and (g) 50 to 55 years, and ; what were the average rates for the rest of the United Kingdom for the same age groups, for each year from 1980 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : The exact information requested could be provided only at a disproportionate cost. However, some information for the period 1980- 84 is shown in the table.


Table 2                                                          

Malignant neoplasm of the cervix uteri                           

Year and age |Northern    |Yorkshire   |United                   

group        |RHA         |RHA         |Kingdom                  

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

1980                                                             

  20-24      |1.73        |4.60        |0.93                     

  25-29      |9.61        |7.63        |2.74                     

  30-34      |18.82       |21.42       |4.78                     

  35-39      |26.61       |28.41       |6.98                     

  40-44      |18.95       |26.68       |7.70                     

  45-49      |15.73       |14.13       |9.91                     

  50-54      |28.45       |30.13       |14.03                    

                                                                 

1981                                                             

  20-24      |1.70        |2.24        |0.80                     

  25-29      |9.58        |17.08       |3.11                     

  30-34      |15.06       |23.54       |6.02                     

  35-39      |19.48       |27.47       |7.02                     

  40-44      |20.50       |27.00       |9.60                     

  45-49      |13.71       |27.47       |9.67                     

  50-54      |30.01       |25.49       |13.19                    

                                                                 

1982                                                             

  20-24      |1.66        |2.92        |0.69                     

  25-29      |12.52       |17.77       |2.31                     

  30-34      |15.92       |27.33       |5.88                     

  35-39      |17.79       |28.52       |6.80                     

  40-44      |25.29       |39.16       |10.66                    

  45-49      |20.67       |18.35       |10.72                    

  50-54      |20.59       |17.82       |10.50                    

                                                                 

1983                                                             

  20-24      |0.82        |5.66        |0.50                     

  25-29      |13.40       |22.65       |3.73                     

  30-34      |31.15       |35.00       |6.85                     

  35-39      |18.83       |22.47       |7.09                     

  40-44      |27.40       |27.70       |8.68                     

  45-49      |16.15       |26.24       |10.11                    

  50-54      |23.31       |22.04       |12.36                    

                                                                 

1984                                                             

  20-24      |0.80        |2.76        |0.35                     

  25-29      |10.32       |13.88       |4.32                     

  30-34      |29.35       |32.97       |5.30                     

  35-39      |19.30       |36.92       |7.35                     

  40-44      |19.08       |31.98       |10.08                    

                                                                 

  45-49      |20.48       |31.09       |9.16                     

  50-54      |19.19       |27.41       |12.04                    

<1> Assigned to the International Classification of Diseases (   

ICD) 9th revision code 174.                                      

<2> Assigned to the ICD code 180.                                


Table 2                                                          

Malignant neoplasm of the cervix uteri                           

Year and age |Northern    |Yorkshire   |United                   

group        |RHA         |RHA         |Kingdom                  

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

1980                                                             

  20-24      |1.73        |4.60        |0.93                     

  25-29      |9.61        |7.63        |2.74                     

  30-34      |18.82       |21.42       |4.78                     

  35-39      |26.61       |28.41       |6.98                     

  40-44      |18.95       |26.68       |7.70                     

  45-49      |15.73       |14.13       |9.91                     

  50-54      |28.45       |30.13       |14.03                    

                                                                 

1981                                                             

  20-24      |1.70        |2.24        |0.80                     

  25-29      |9.58        |17.08       |3.11                     

  30-34      |15.06       |23.54       |6.02                     

  35-39      |19.48       |27.47       |7.02                     

  40-44      |20.50       |27.00       |9.60                     

  45-49      |13.71       |27.47       |9.67                     

  50-54      |30.01       |25.49       |13.19                    

                                                                 

1982                                                             

  20-24      |1.66        |2.92        |0.69                     

  25-29      |12.52       |17.77       |2.31                     

  30-34      |15.92       |27.33       |5.88                     

  35-39      |17.79       |28.52       |6.80                     

  40-44      |25.29       |39.16       |10.66                    

  45-49      |20.67       |18.35       |10.72                    

  50-54      |20.59       |17.82       |10.50                    

                                                                 

1983                                                             

  20-24      |0.82        |5.66        |0.50                     

  25-29      |13.40       |22.65       |3.73                     

  30-34      |31.15       |35.00       |6.85                     

  35-39      |18.83       |22.47       |7.09                     

  40-44      |27.40       |27.70       |8.68                     

  45-49      |16.15       |26.24       |10.11                    

  50-54      |23.31       |22.04       |12.36                    

                                                                 

1984                                                             

  20-24      |0.80        |2.76        |0.35                     

  25-29      |10.32       |13.88       |4.32                     

  30-34      |29.35       |32.97       |5.30                     

  35-39      |19.30       |36.92       |7.35                     

  40-44      |19.08       |31.98       |10.08                    

                                                                 

  45-49      |20.48       |31.09       |9.16                     

  50-54      |19.19       |27.41       |12.04                    

<1> Assigned to the International Classification of Diseases (   

ICD) 9th revision code 174.                                      

<2> Assigned to the ICD code 180.                                

Pharmacists

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff are currently employed (a) in the Medicines Control Agency and (b) the drug tariff committee ; and how many of these are qualified pharmacists.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : As at 1 November 1989 the Medicines Control Agency employed 297.5 staff (full-time equivalents) ; of these 52 are pharmacists*.

There is no drug tariff committee. About 35 staff in the Department have duties concerned with the preparation of the drug tariff. Of these, five are pharmacists*.

Note : * Members or Fellows of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

Midwives

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are being made to pay interest on backdated regrading awards to midwives subject to delay by the appeals procedures. Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The grading appeals are being dealt with under a longstanding agreement between the management and staff sides of the general Whitley council. It contains no provision for the payment of any interest should appellants be regraded on appeal.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has given to health authorities on the application of the grading criteria FII for midwives.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The grading criteria for the new clinical grading structure were agreed by both staff and management sides of the nursing and midwifery staffs negotiating council. Departmental guidance issued in 1988 on the implementation of the structure applied equally to nurses and to midwives. Copies are available in the Library.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what information he has on the consistency of application of midwives' regrading criteria as between different health authorities ;

(2) what representations he has received about the consistency between health authorities in midwives' regrading and from whom ; and what response he proposes to make.


Next Section

  Home Page