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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. 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.
Column 788their 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.
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.
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.
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
Column 789funds 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.
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.
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 ;
Column 790(2) what is the sum of European social fund grants for 1990 ; and what percentage is going to the voluntary sector.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :
|Number -------------------------------------------------- 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 :
|Months --------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 :
3 |Days --------------------------------------------------- for manufacturers licences |80-90 for wholesale dealers licences |80-90 for non orthodox practitioner licences |40 Note: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Column 793Mr. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 overtime. <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.
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.
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
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
Column 796East Anglian
South East Thames
Greenwich District Hospital
St. Thomas' Hospital
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.