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Mr. John Patten : The use of civil defence community volunteers is a matter for individual local authorities to determine. We are aware that some local authorities have involved such volunteers in their response to recent civil emergencies.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the London fire and civil defence authority has co-operated in providing his Department with information about London boroughs' civil defence expenditure.

Mr. John Patten : Yes.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what national voluntary organisations are being considered for the recruitment of civil defence volunteers ; and if he will make a statement :

(2) which national voluntary organisations have been contacted by his Department during the past 12 months on the matter of civil defence community volunteers.

Mr. Waddington : The involvement of national voluntary organisations in assisting local authorities with

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their community volunteer schemes is one of the options we are considering as part of a wider review of the role and organisation of civil defence community volunteers. No decisions on future policy have yet been taken. A discussion paper examining the options was circulated to interested parties earlier this year. The national voluntary organisations formally consulted were the Women's Royal Voluntary Service ; British Red Cross ; St. John Ambulance Brigade ; and Civil Aid.

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether details of advances of civil defence grant aid for the London boroughs have been contained in returns made by the London fire and civil defence authority for the financial years 1989-90 and 1990-91 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waddington : No such details are required in returns made to the Home Office by the London fire and civil defence authority. Advance payments in connection with civil defence grant are decided in the light of estimates of qualifying expenditure submitted by local authorities. Such advances are made to county councils and fire and civil defence authorities rather than to individual boroughs and districts.

Bruntington Airport

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the decision was made to transfer the bulk of the emergency fire service vehicles to Bruntington airport ; and to which company any maintenance contract for the vehicles has been awarded.

Mr. John Patten : It is Government policy that appropriate services which have hitherto been undertaken in-house should be market-tested. In the light of considerations of effectiveness, efficiency and cost, and subject to satisfactory contracts, it is intended to transfer the storage and maintenance of the emergency fire service equipment to the private sector. Such contracts are still under negotiation, but a limited instruction has been given to TNT Express (UK) Limited to maintain a proportion of the equipment as an interim arrangement.

West Midlands Police

Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ask the chief constable of the West Midlands for a report on what date and in what circumstances Detective Inspector Paul Matthews left the force.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand from the chief constable that Inspector Matthews was required to resign from the force on 23 September 1986 following formal discipline proceedings. The officer had been found guilty of failing to obey lawful orders.

Prison Visitors' Centres

Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his policy on the provision of prison visitors' centres.

Mr. Mellor : We believe that visitors' centres can be of considerable benefit to visitors, prisoners and staff. They are now a standard feature in the design of new establishments. Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide

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funds to erect purpose-built centres at those existing establishments which do not already have a centre. We are keen, however, to encourage establishments to make suitable provision wherever this is possible--for example, by making use of existing accommodation. I am placing in the Library a copy of a note, "Visitors' Centres : Some Guidelines for Establishments and Voluntary Organisations", which is being issued to the governors of all establishments.

We already make a regular contribution towards the running costs of five visitors' centres and emergency grants have also been made to a further four centres in this financial year. From April next year additional funds will be available to offer similar support to new centres.

Football Safety

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to ask for a report on crowd safety at the Middlesbrough v. Leeds United game on Saturday 9 December ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : I am aware of this incident which led to a number of spectators sustaining minor injuries and the chief constable has been asked for a report. We have also sought information from the Cleveland county council which is responsible for the ground's safety certificate. I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.


Interview Expenses

Mr. Dover : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will extend the arrangements for interview expenses to be claimed for travel to local interviews.

Mr. Eggar : I have currently no plans to make further changes in the rules of the scheme.

Disabled Adults

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects to publish his Department's internal review on employment assistance to disabled adults.

Mr. Eggar : The review is at an advanced stage. The consultative document which will follow the review will be published as soon as possible.

Sheltered Placement Scheme

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he plans to raise the grant ceilings available to sheltered placement scheme sponsors.

Mr. Eggar : I shall be informing sponsors as soon as possible about arrangements for the sheltered placement scheme grant ceiling levels for 1990-91.

European Social Fund

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how much of the European social fund grants for 1990 in Great Britain is being allocated to the Training Agency ; and for what purposes ;

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(2) what is the sum of European social fund grants for 1990 ; and what percentage is going to the voluntary sector.

Mr. Eggar : The European Commission has not yet informed us how much support it is going to make available for any programmes in 1990.

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of the European social fund for projects in Great Britain has gone to the voluntary sector programme in the past five years.

Mr. Eggar : The European social fund allocations to voluntary sector applicants for years 1987 to 1989 inclusive are listed in the following table. These figures relate to organisations registered as charities or as companies limited by guarantees ; and are expressed as a percentage of the total allocation to Great Britain rounded to the nearest £ million.

Year       |Percentage           


1987       |4.11                 

1988       |5.76                 

1989       |6.11                 

The figures for the earlier years can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.



Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will make a statement of the Government's policy towards fighting AIDS.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : As we made clear in our response to the seventh report of the Social Services Committee on AIDS, published on 24 November (Cm. 925), the Government remain committed to encouraging effective and responsible action among statutory and voluntary bodies and individuals to stem the spread of HIV ; foster research to improve our understanding of AIDS and HIV infection : provide appropriate services for those affected by HIV and encourage a climate of understanding and compassion towards them ; and to contribute to the international effort to control HIV and AIDS.

Dental Fillings

Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been carried out on the possible toxic effect of mercury amalgam fillings currently used on dental patients in the National Health Service.

Mr. Freeman : In 1986, the Committee on Toxicity examined the available evidence on the risks and benefits of using dental amalgam. It found that there was some evidence that mercury is released from dental amalgam during the period following insertion and on removal of the restorations. However, it also found that long-term clinical evidence would seem to suggest the view that substantial amounts of mercury are not released from amalgam fillings. The committee stated that in its opinion the use of dental amalgam is free from risk of systematic toxicity and only a very few cases of hypersensitivity occur. In its view further research in this area would not merit priority.

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Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pregnant mothers suffered miscarriages in the last year for which figures available ; and how many of these had received the amniocentesis test during pregnancy.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : This information is not held centrally.

Self-governing Hospitals

Mr. Cummings : To ask Secretary of State for Health which hospitals and services in the northern region have expressed a wish to become self- governing.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) on 29 November at columns 297-300 .

Medicines Control Agency

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will list the outstanding applications for a licence before the Medicines Control Agency ; and how long each application has been awaiting approval.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We are unable to list the outstanding licence applications held by the Medicines Control Agency because this information is, in accordance with the Medicines Act 1968, treated as confidential.

We can however say that the number of applications for new licences awaiting a decision as at 30 November 1989 was :



Product licences                    |1,766        

Product licences (parallel imports) |1,006        

Manufacturers licences              |21           

Wholesale dealers licences          |32           

Non orthodox practitioner licences  |3            

The average time taken* to grant product licences and product licences (parallel imports) as at 30 June 1989 (latest available figure) was :



for new active substances                              |24           

for abridged applications referred to Committees under               

    the Medicines Act                                  |32           

for other abridged applications                        |16           

for parallel imports                                   |19           

The estimated time taken to grant the following licences is currently :




for manufacturers licences             |80-90      

for wholesale dealers licences         |80-90      

for non orthodox practitioner licences |40         


It should be noted that all times quoted are gross 

processing times and take no account of delays     

while companies prepare their replies to queries   

raised on applications.                            

Drug Tariff Committee

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will list the products at present before the drug tariff committee ; and how long each product has been awaiting approval.

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Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : There is no drug tariff committee. Drugs and medicines are automatically included in the drug tariff, subject to any licensing requirements, unless they are specifically excluded from NHS prescription by general practitioners by virtue of the selected list scheme. The inclusion in the drug tariff of appliances, dressings and chemical reagents is subject to their approval by the Secretary of State.

Currently there are about 50 products on which suppliers are awaiting a response from the Department. The earliest application on which a response is still outstanding was received on 3 May 1989. Details of the products under consideration are commercially confidential.

NHS Patients (Leeds)

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of patients admitted to Leeds Western and Eastern area health authorities for National Health Service treatment had previously received (a) diagnosis and (b) treatment privately for the same or allied ailments.

Mr. Freeman : This information is not collected centrally. The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairmen of the health authorities to see if they can provide the information he requires.

Eye Test Charges

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has had any representations from opticians concerning the introduction of eye test charges since 1 April.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have received a number of representations from opticians since the introduction of charges for sight tests on 1 April this year.

General Practitioners

Mr. Wells : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what grants are (a) currently available or (b) proposed for the future to extend or refurbish general practitioners' surgeries and waiting rooms.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The two main types of grant which are currently available to general practitioners who improve their practice premises are cost rents and improvement grants. Both schemes are set to continue in future with certain improvements, in particular to enable family practitioner committees to target new investment on areas of greatest need.

Health Service Pay

Mr. Dover : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will investigate the pay levels for nurses and other health staff returning to the National Health Service after a period of employment in the private health sector.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The pay of NHS staff generally is determined either following the advice of the pay review bodies, or through direct negotiation in the Whitley councils. Arrangements for determining the starting pay for health staff returning to the NHS after service elsewhere, including the private sector, are a matter for those councils or, in the case of the review body groups, for the appropriate negotiating council or committee.

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Mr. Dover : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the arrangements for negotiating pay and conditions of service in hospitals wishing to opt out of the National Health Service.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Hospitals and other units granted NHS trust status will remain fully part of the NHS. Staff who transfer from health authority to NHS trust employment on establishment of a NHS trust will retain their existing contracts and all rights arising from them, subject to the substitution of the new employer for the old and any consequential technical changes. Once established, it will be for NHS trust management boards to determine the arrangements for negotiating pay and conditions of service of their staff.

Yellow Card System

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to introduce payments to general practitioners for reporting adverse reactions through the yellow card system.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have no plans to do so.


Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has received any reports of damage, either temporary or permanent, to children receiving the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine.

Mr. Freeman : A total of 555 yellow card reports of suspected adverse reactions, both serious and non-serious, to measles, mumps and rubella vaccination (MMR) have been received since its introduction in October 1988. More than 2.5 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed.

Monitoring of the safety of all vaccines by the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control, public health laboratories communicable disease surveillance centre, the Department and the manufacturers continues.

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that parents who do not wish to have their children vaccinated are not subject to undue pressure from general practitioners.

Mr. Freeman : We have no plans to issue specific guidance in this respect. It is for GPs--who are professionally trained in this matter--to discuss vaccination with parents. All parents have the right to refuse vaccination for their children but we hope that they will not do so.

Heart Transplants

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any plans to fund Leeds as a heart transplant centre ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : We have no immediate plans to announce the designation of further heart transplant centres. Earlier this year we announced that two additional centres would receive supraregional designation and funding from 1 April 1990. The new centres are at St. George's hospital in Tooting and the Northern general hospital in Sheffield. The supraregional services advisory group keeps the service under review and advises Ministers accordingly.

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Ambulance Service

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will state the range and nature of each extended skill qualification available to the personnel of the ambulance service together with the current incremental payment per annum for each.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Extended ambulance training to the NHS Training Authority standard is designed to save life and reduce morbidity and mortality by extending the skills of selected ambulance staff in endotracheal intubation, intravenous infusion and cardiac care. Some ambulance staff have received training to meet all or part of the NHS Training Authority package or to local standards but currently do not receive additional payment for this. The management side's final pay offer includes an additional £500 a year backdated to 1 April 1989 for staff with extended training to NHS Training Authority standards and required to use paramedical skills. There is also an undertaking to agree, by 28 February 1990, a national framework for the recognition of staff trained to intermediate standards with payments also backdated to1 April 1989.

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the numbers of personnel of the London ambulance service currently trained to NHSTA certificate standards who would qualify for the advertised additional £500 pay ; and what increase in such numbers is planned by the London Ambulance Board.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The management of the London ambulance service is the responsibility of the South West Thames regional health authority to which I refer the hon. Member.

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give the pay, at 1989 prices, of a qualified ambulance person for each year since 1974.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Information about national basic pay rates for qualified ambulance men/women since 1974 at 1989 prices is in the table.

Ambulancemen basic pay 1974-1988 at    

1989 prices                            


1 January 1974    |1,981 |9,632        

1 January 1975<1> |1,981 |8,227        

1 January 1976<1> |2,607 |8,576        

1 January 1977<1> |2,503 |7,296        

1 January 1978<1> |2,701 |6,721        

1 January 1979    |2,912 |6,697        

1 April   1980<2> |3,994 |7,943        

1 January 1981    |4,304 |7,320        

1 April   1982    |4,579 |6,459        

1 April   1983    |4,797 |6,495        

1 April   1984    |5,014 |6,499        

1 April   1985<3> |8,604 |10,434       

1 April   1986    |9,120 |10,801       

1 April   1987    |9,576 |10,864       

1 April   1988    |10,093|10,925       

1 April   1989<4> |11,001|-            

<1> Period of Pay Restraint.           

<2> Following Final Clegg Award        

Payment. Interim payments were made on 

1 August 1979 and 1 January 1980.      

<3> New Pay Structure includes Special 

Duty payments and an element for       


<4> Final Pay Offer.                   

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations he has received from police forces and the Police Federation concerning the ambulance dispute ;

(2) what representations he has received from regional and district health authorities concerning the conduct of the ambulance dispute.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A few representations have been received from district health authorities and none from the police or Police Federation.


Mr. Terry Fields : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, pursuant to the answer in the Official Report, 7 December, column 369, he will list private sector organisations which have received blood from National Health Service sources ; and what costs were recovered for collection, processing, handling and transporting blood.

Mr. Freeman : Information on individual non-National Health Service hospitals which have received blood from the National Health Service is not held centrally. Charges made to the private sector to recover the costs to the national blood transfusion service of collection, processing, handling and transport of blood amounted to £1,846,123 for the financial year 1987-88, and a provisional figure of £1,980, 647 for 1988-89.

Resource Management

Mr. Gerald Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, pursuant to his answer on 28 November, Official Report, column 228, he will name the 20 hospitals who will move into full resource management in this financial year ; if he will give details of the programme for the remaining sites ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : I am able to announce the names of 20 hospitals which will proceed further with the implementation of resource management. This involves the purchase of computerised databases and nurse information systems in this financial year. All these hospitals have been preparing for resource management since my announcement in March 1989 that we were extending the programme. I am pleased we have made such rapid progress. This is a tribute to the hard work of the Health Service and augurs well for the future. The hospitals are : Region and hospital


Darlington Memorial

Royal Infirmary, Sunderland

Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle

North Tyneside General


Airedale General Hospital

York District General Hospital

St. James's University Hospital, Leeds

Pontefract General Infirmary


Sheffield Children's Hospital

Northern General, Sheffield

Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Hospital

Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Leicester Glenfield

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East Anglian


South East Thames

Greenwich District Hospital

St. Thomas' Hospital


Radcliffe Infirmary


Southport District General Hospital

Whiston St. Helens Hospital

Leighton Hospital, Crewe

Of the remaining sites I expect that the 30 sites of the original 50 announced in March 1989 will themselves move to full resource management during 1990-91. I expect others to join them and the National Health Service management executive is finalising details of a further 50 hospitals which will commence their preparation for resource management as soon as possible. This preparatory phase is crucial in determining how to involve doctors in the management of hospital resources with the aim of improving patient care ; the management executive is discussing with the JCC what guidance can be given on this.

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