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Mr. Wyn Roberts : The provisions in the Environmental Protection Bill relating to the countryside and conservancy agencies are essentially concerned only with the reorganisation of those bodies. The Countryside Council for Wales will continue to have the same statutory functions as the Countryside Commission. It will be for the council to develop its policies within that framework.

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he intends to take to ensure that the Countryside Commission's target of opening up all rights of way in Wales is achieved by the year 2000 ; following the restructuring of conservation and countryside bodies.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : This will be a matter for the Countryside Council for Wales.

Countryside Council for Wales

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make it his policy to ensure that the powers of the Countryside Council for Wales are not limited only to national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty in Wales.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : The Countryside Act 1968 not only changed the name of the National Parks Commission to the Countryside Commission but enlarged its functions to include the wider countryside. These broader functions which are in no way limited to national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty will be transferred, in respect of Wales, to the new Countryside Council for Wales.

Bilingual School, Preseli

Mr. Geraint Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the latest developments regarding the proposed bilingual school, Preseli, Pembrokeshire ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : Dyfed county council published proposals under section 12 of the Education Act 1980 on


Column 181

22 November 1989 to establish a bilingual comprehensive school in the premises of the existing Preseli county secondary school. The law prescribes that, if statutory objections to the proposals are received by the county council, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State must decide whether to approve or reject the proposals.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the income of each district to sustain a common level of services throughout Wales on the basis of his assumed figures for community charge payments in each district.

Mr. Peter Walker : The standard spending assessment for each county and district council is calculated on the basis of formulae which have been agreed by the Welsh local authority associations. It represents a measure of the cost of providing a standard level of service, taking into account the characteristics of each area. If every authority were to spend at the level of its standard spending assessment, the community charge in the area of each charging authority in Wales, after taking account of revenue support grant entitlements and income from non-domestic rates, would be £173--the community charge for standard spending.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Income Support

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in how many cases the personal allowance of an individual in receipt of income support is used to cover costs of (a) private residential care and (b) private nursing care in each unit of management area of the Southern health board.

Mr. Needham : I regret that the information is not available.

Detention

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of people detained under the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1987 had their requests to have someone told of their detention delayed on the direction of a police superintendent or an officer of more senior rank in 1988 and the period1 January to 31 October 1989.

Mr. Cope : Figures are available to 30 June 1989. During 1988, a total of 6 per cent. of requests to have someone informed of a person's detention were delayed on the authorisations of a superintendent or above. Between 1 January and 30 June, no such requests were delayed.


Column 182

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of requests made by persons detained under the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1987 for solicitors were delayed on the direction of a police superintendent or an officer of more senior rank in 1988 and the period 1 January to 31 October 1989.

Mr. Cope : Figures are available to 30 June 1989. During 1988, a total of 60 per cent. of requests for access to see a solicitor were delayed on the authorisation of a superintendent or above. Between 1 January and 30 June, 64 per cent. of requests were so delayed.

Home Helps

Mr. Mallon : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the average hourly rate of pay earned by home helps in each health board area in each financial year since 1980.

Mr. Needham : Standard hourly rates are payable to all home helps in the Health and Social Services Boards. Details are as follows :


Financial                      |Period                        |Hourly                                                       

year                                                          |rate                                                         

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

1980-81                        |1 April 1980-31 October 1980  |154.13p                                                      

                               |1 November 1980-31 March 1981 |165.63p                                                      

                                                                                                                            

1981-82                        |1 April 1981-31 October 1981  |165.63p                                                      

                               |1 November 1981-31 March 1982 |177.13p                                                      

                                                                                                                            

1982-83                        |1 April 1982-31 October 1982  |177.13p                                                      

                               |1 November 1982-31 March 1983 |190.77p                                                      

                                                                                                                            

1983-84                        |1 April 1983-31 October 1983  |190.77p                                                      

                               |1 November 1983-31 March 1984 |199.48p                                                      

                                                                                                                            

1984-85                        |1 April 1984-31 October 1984  |199.48p                                                      

                               |1 November 1984--31 March 1985|209.74p                                                      

                                                                                                                            

1985-86                        |1 April 1985-30 August 1985   |209.74p                                                      

                               |1 September 1985-31 March 1986|230.26p                                                      

                                                                                                                            

1986-87                        |1 April 1986-31 August 1986   |232.69p                                                      

                               |1 September 1986-31 March 1987|248.08p                                                      

                                                                                                                            

1987-88                        |1 April 1987-31 June 1987     |248.08p                                                      

                               |1 July 1987-31 March 1988     |290.13p                                                      

                                                                                                                            

1988-89                        |1 April 1988-31 August 1988   |290.13p                                                      

                               |1 September 1988-31 March 1989|306.79p                                                      

                                                                                                                            

1989-90                        |1 April 1989-31 August 1989   |306.79p                                                      

                               |1 September 1989-31 March 1990|333.79p                                                      


Column 183

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Accounting Standards Committee

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make a statement on the work of the accounting standards committee.

Mr. Redwood : The work of the accounting standards committee of the Consultative Committee of Accounting Bodies in developing accounting standards has made a major contribution to improvements in accounting practice over the last 20 years. The arrangements for making and enforcing such standards now need strengthening. The Dearing committee's recommendations on this subject have been widely supported and Sir Ronald Dearing is negotiating terms with all concerned so that the new arrangements for making and enforcing acccounting standards are in place by the summer.

Public Houses

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from (a) brewers and (b) representatives of public house landlords and managers regarding the revaluation of business rates ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope : I have been asked to reply.

We received in 1988 and 1989 a number of representations from and on behalf of brewers about the powers available to the valuation officer to obtain information to be used in making a valuation and the subsequent use of such information. We have not, however, received any representations about the levels of value proposed for breweries or for public houses.

Regional Assistance, Corby

Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the total annual expenditure in each year since 1979 -80 on (a) regional development grants, (b) regional selective assistance, (c) regional investment grants and (d) regional innovation grants paid in the Corby development area.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The information is as follows :


(d) Regional innovation grants<1>    

                 |Payments           

                 |£ million          

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

1988-89          |-                  

1 April 1989 to                      

31 December 1989 |0.03               

<1> Scheme introduced March 1988.    


(d) Regional innovation grants<1>    

                 |Payments           

                 |£ million          

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

1988-89          |-                  

1 April 1989 to                      

31 December 1989 |0.03               

<1> Scheme introduced March 1988.    


(d) Regional innovation grants<1>    

                 |Payments           

                 |£ million          

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

1988-89          |-                  

1 April 1989 to                      

31 December 1989 |0.03               

<1> Scheme introduced March 1988.    


(d) Regional innovation grants<1>    

                 |Payments           

                 |£ million          

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

1988-89          |-                  

1 April 1989 to                      

31 December 1989 |0.03               

<1> Scheme introduced March 1988.    

International Tin Council

Mr. Boswell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make a statement about the progress of discussions concerning the liabilities of the International Tin Council.

Mr. Ridley : A proposal supported by all known creditors of the International Tin Council's buffer stock operation for a settlement at £182.5 million payable on 30 March 1990 has been approved by the ITC as the basis for a settlement. A Supplementary Estimate covering a United Kingdom contribution not exceeding £31,790,000 to the settlement amount will be laid before the House in February.

Consumer Guarantee

Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list those organisations which have made representations to him opposed to the consumer guarantee as set out in the report of the National Consumer Council.

Mr. Forth : A formal public consultation exercise has not been undertaken but, following publication of the National Consumer Council report "The Consumer Guarantee", representations have been made both for and against various aspects of the proposals. It would be inappropriate to name bodies which have expressed views in confidence.

Company Prosecutions

Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many prosecutions arising from company investigations commenced after 1 June 1979 ; and how many of the prosecutions were successful.


Column 185

Mr. Redwood [holding answer 15 January 1990] : I am aware of 113 successful prosecutions completed since 1 January 1979 arising from investigations under the Companies Acts ; some of those prosecutions may have commenced before that date.

Further information is given in the annual report prepared under section 729 of the Companies Act 1985 (formerly section 451 of the Companies Act 1948) and published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. This report is available in the Library.

Company Accounts

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether his Department examines published company accounts for compliance with the requirements of the Companies Acts.

Mr. Redwood : Responsibility for compliance with the Companies Act's requirements concerning accounts rests with directors, with auditors required to state whether the accounts meet those requirements. Companies House staff carry out certain basic checks on accounts, but the contents are not scrutinised in detail except in response to specific complaints.

Genetically-Manipulated Animals

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the patenting of genetically- manipulated animals.

Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 15 January 1990] : Patents are granted in the United Kingdom for inventions which are novel, non- obvious and capable of industrial application, except that plant or animal varieties and essential biological processes, among other things, are not patentable. However, microbiological processes and their products, with which genetic engineering is essentially involved, are patentable and it is therefore likely that patent applications for inventions concerned with genetically-manipulated animals would be granted, provided other relevant conditions were met.

A European Community proposal for a directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions which is currently under discussion would not alter this position. Nevertheless, I am aware that a patent application for a genetically-manipulated mouse similar to one granted by the US Patent and Trade Mark Office has been refused by the European Patent Office. However, this decision is under appeal.

Eastern Europe

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the new opportunities available to British firms in eastern Europe ; and what support services his Department is now able to offer such firms.

Mr. Ridley [holding answer 15 January 1990] : My Department is well seized of the new commercial opportunities opening up in eastern Europe. These include, in particular, the opportunities for direct investment ; the possibility of increasing exports of goods and services ; opportunities for joint ventures and other forms of industrial co-operation ; as well as consultancy and management training opportunities.


Column 186

My Department has an eastern European branch of 25 staff directly responsible for commercial relations and trade promotion in eastern Europe. This branch is able to provide both general and specific advice and guidance to United Kingdom business men on investment opportunites in these markets and about the availability of the various United Kingdom and EC assistance schemes recently created. These resources are supplemented by other staff in my Department working on various specific export service schemes, such as trade fairs, and by the export service staff in the Department's regional offices. My Department also funds the East European Trade Council, the BOTB's area advisory group for eastern Europe.

Coal (Balance of Trade)

Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the balance of trade in coal and related products at the last available date ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry : I have been asked to reply.

Information is available for the period January to November 1989 as shown in the table.


January to November 1989                                    

million tonnes                                              

            |Coal       |Other solid|Total                  

                        |fuels                              

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

Imports     |10.9       |0.6        |11.6                   

Exports     |1.9        |0.5        |2.4                    

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

Net imports |9.0        |0.2        |9.2                    

Note: Figures are rounded independently and some totals may 

therefore differ from their constituent parts.              

Source: Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.                   

Uranium

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what quantities of uranium have been imported from Africa in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Baldry : I have been asked to reply.

Uranium for the United Kingdom's civil nuclear programme has not been imported from Africa since 1984. From 1980, some 6,300 short tons of U O (some 4,800 metric tonnes of contained uranium) were imported. Figures for specific years are as follows :


              |metric tonnes              

              |(to nearest                

              |hundred                    

              |tonnes)                    

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

1980          |1,200                      

1981          |1,300                      

1982          |1,000                      

1983          |900                        

1984          |400                        

Output Figures

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether output figures based on sales include products which are imported by producers from their overseas subsidiaries, associates and others.

Mr. Norman Lamont : I have been asked to reply.


Column 187

The concepts and methodology employed in the output measure of gross domestic product and its components, including the index of industrial production are fully described in chapter 5 of "United Kingdom National Accounts : Sources and Methods" (third edition : HMSO 1985), a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library.

Trade Surpluses

Mr. Oppenheim : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what were the bilateral trade surpluses/deficits with the United States of America of each of the OECD countries, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Romania, India and Brazil, in the latest year for which figures are available.

Mr. Redwood : The information is in the table.


Trade balances with United States of  

America 1988                          

billion                               

                            |US $     

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

Australia                   |-3.7     

Netherlands                 |-3.2     

Spain                       |-2.2     

France                      |-1.8     

Ireland                     |-1.0     

Turkey                      |-0.5     

United Kingdom              |-0.5     

Greece                      |-0.2     

Norway                      |-0.2     

Austria                     |-0.1     

Finland                     |-0.1     

Portugal                    |-0.1     

New Zealand                 |0.0      

Denmark                     |0.0      

Iceland                     |0.1      

India                       |0.1      

Romania                     |0.5      

Belgium/Luxembourg          |0.7      

Switzerland                 |1.2      

Sweden                      |1.4      

Singapore                   |2.5      

Italy                       |3.7      

Brazil                      |5.4      

South Korea                 |8.7      

Federal Republic of Germany |9.4      

Hong Kong                   |10.4     

Taiwan                      |10.4     

Canada                      |11.5     

Japan                       |48.0     

Sources:  Taiwan-national statistics. 

Others-IMF Direction of Trade.        

ENERGY

Low-Sulphur Coal

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the levels of imported low-sulphur coal in tonnes for each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Baldry : Information on the sulphur content of imported coal is not available centrally.

Fuel (Energy Values)

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has as to (a) the energy values required to manufacture waste derived fuel and refuse derived fuel and (b) the balance between the energy required and energy produced by the various types of fuel.


Column 188

Mr. Peter Morrison : Waste and refuse derived fuels produce typically just over five times more energy than is used in their production, although this figure will depend on the particular process involved.

The less highly refined forms of refuse derived fuel and fuels derived from commercial and general industrial wastes are even more attractive as they require less energy in production. The energy inputs required to produce other fuels will depend on the circumstances of their production.

Hinkley Point C

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects the inspector to the Hinkley Point C public inquiry to submit his report ; and if he will publish it when received.

Mr. Baldry : The timing of his report is a matter for the inquiry inspector. My right hon. Friend will wish to see and consider the report before deciding when to publish it.

Oil and Gas (Safety)

Mr. Doran : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the number of fatalities and serious injuries which have occurred involving the use of gangways linking offshore oil and gas installations and other vessels or structures, for each year of operations on the United Kingdom continental shelf.

Mr. Peter Morrison : Since 1 January 1980 my Department has received reports of three fatalities relating to the use of gangways. These occurred in a single incident in 1982 when the bridge connecting Piper Alpha to MSV Tharos collapsed. No serious injuries have been reported.

Private Licensed Mines

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many men were working underground in private licensed mines in 1978-79 and each succeeding year.

Mr. Wakeham : The British Coal Corporation's 1988-89 annual report and accounts provides a figure of 1,524 as the number of men employed underground in licensed deep mines at the end of 1988-89. The Department does not have figures for previous years. I have therefore asked the chairman of the British Coal Corporation, which is the licensing authority, to write to the hon. Member.

HEALTH

Block Contracts

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health who was the contractor, what was the cost, what was the experimental location by district and unit and what was the date of report of all pilot work carried out on the specification of block contracts.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We are funding development work on contracting for services in a number of health authorities. For details of this work I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. Redmond) on 6 November 1989 at columns 455-56. The projects involve contracting for a range of services in a variety of local circumstances and identifying the most


Column 189

appropriate type of contract to use in these different situations. None of the work is limited explicitly to specifying block contracts.

Deaths (Elderly People)

Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the number of deaths among those aged (a) 60 to 69 years, (b) 70 to 79 years and (c) 80 years and over for each complete six-monthly period from 1 April 1979 to 31 March 1989 for England and Wales.

Mr. Freeman : The information is shown in the table.


Number of deaths among those aged (a) 60-69 years, (b) 70-79    

years                                                           

and (c) 80 years and over for each complete six-monthly period  

from                                                            

1st April 1979 to 31st March 1989 for England and Wales         

                                 Age-group                      

Period                          |60-69  |70-79  |80+            

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

1 March 1979-30 September                                       

   1979                         |52,657 |88,841 |86,200         

1 October 1979-31 March 1980    |58,348 |101,304|101,262        

1 April 1980-30 September 1980  |52,526 |88,774 |83,433         

1 October 1980-31 March 1981    |57,706 |101,403|104,203        

1 April 1981-30 September 1981  |51,003 |87,722 |86,298         

1 October 1981-31 March 1982    |57,808 |104,422|110,338        

1 April 1982-30 September 1982  |51,151 |88,023 |88,605         

1 October 1982-31 March 1983    |57,482 |103,202|110,941        

1 April 1983-30 September 1983  |50,765 |88,331 |90,264         

1 October 1983-31 March 1984    |54,512 |98,956 |106,859        

1 April 1984-30 September 1984  |49,190 |87,007 |91,720         

1 October 1984-31 March 1985    |55,657 |102,670|117,664        

1 April 1985-30 September 1985  |48,927 |88,249 |96,511         

1 October 1985-31 March 1986    |54,149 |102,276|121,568        

1 April 1986-30 September 1986  |49,216 |87,831 |96,419         

1 October 1986-31 March 1987    |51,524 |93,959 |109,480        

1 April 1987-30 September 1987  |48,083 |84,043 |96,212         

1 October 1987-31 March 1988    |54,027 |95,141 |120,224        

1 April 1988-30 September 1988  |48,657 |81,396 |100,475        

1 October 1988-31 March 1989<1> |52,394 |89,272 |117,089        

<1> Provisional.                                                

Residential Care

Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of persons aged over 75 years live in nursing homes.

Mr. Freeman : This information is not collected centrally.

Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of persons aged over 85 years live in (a) nursing homes, (b) residential homes and (c) other institutions in England and Wales.

Mr. Freeman : Not all this information is collected centrally. At 31 March 1988, the number of people aged 85 and over in local authority staffed and registered residential care homes for the elderly people and younger physically handicapped people was 100,036 or 15.4 per cent. of the population aged 85 and over. This figure is provisional.

Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what training procedures have been introduced at the Royal Hallamshire hospital, Sheffield, on accepting radiation-contaminated casualties and assisting with decontamination of personnel.

Mr. Freeman : Regional health authorities are responsible for planning for emergencies. The hon. Member


Column 190

should contact the chairman of Trent regional health authority for details of training for staff at the Royal Hallamshire hospital.

Backlog Maintenance, Trent

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total cost of backlog maintenance for National Health Service properties in the Trent regional health authority and by district health authority, for the latest year for which he has figures ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Peckham (Ms. Harman) on 10 January at columns 666-69.

Infant Mortality

Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the figures from 1979 to 1989 for the number of (a) spina bifida births, (b) hydroencephaly births, (c) still births and (d) cot deaths, in the Merseyside area.

Mr. Freeman : The information is shown in the table.


Numbers of (a) spina bifida births, (b) hydroencephaly births, (c)      

stillbirths and (d) cot deaths<1> in Mersey Regional Health Authority,  

1979-88.                                                                

            |Stillbirths|Spina      |Hydro-     |Cot deaths             

                        |bifida     |encephalus                         

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

1979        |278        |33         |45         |9                      

1980        |238        |28         |42         |35                     

1981        |207        |25         |41         |46                     

1982        |214        |14         |26         |48                     

1983        |156        |18         |22         |51                     

1984        |181        |15         |27         |46                     

1985        |179        |13         |23         |53                     

1986        |180        |11         |12         |77                     

1987        |175        |12         |7          |65                     

1988        |135        |10         |8          |56                     

<1> Sudden Infant Death Syndrome-International Classification of        

Diseases, Ninth Revision, code 798.0.                                   

NHS Reform

Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with the chairman of the North Western regional health authority to discuss the proposed Health Service reforms.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have regular monthly meetings with the chairmen of the regional health authorities including Mr. Bruce Martin, chairman of the North Western regional health authority. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State last met Mr. Martin at the regional chairmen's meeting on 14 November 1989 when a number of management issues including Health Service reforms were discussed.

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will show, by regional health authority, the response received to date from general practitioners, by percentage, where health centres and clinics are proposed to be sold ; and what terms and conditions will be implemented.

Mr. Freeman : The information requested is not held centrally.


Column 191

Community Care

Ms. Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the estimated number of frail elderly, disabled and chronically sick patients no longer in need of acute hospital services who need to be rehabilitated and transferred to community care ; what plans he has for professional training and establishing nationally-determined rates of pay for community carers ; and what is the estimated average cost of care in the community per seriously disabled patient.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The organisation of rehabilitation services is a matter for individual district health authorities together with local authority social services departments. Information about such numbers is not held in the form requested. As set out in our White Paper "Caring for People" (Cmnd. 849) we welcome the developments in the role of home care workers which are already under way in a number of areas and have no plans to create a profession of community carer. We are currently discussing the detailed financial implications of the White Paper with the local authority associations.

Health Authorities

Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to introduce remuneration or compensation for members of the proposed new health authorities ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Yes. Paragraph 7 of schedule 1 to the National Health Service and Community Care Bill will enable remuneration to be paid to the new non-executive members of health authorities.

Grant Funding

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average time his Department takes to make a decision on grant funding ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : As the nature and complexity of applications for grants vary considerably, an average time could prove misleading. We have introduced arrangements for our section 64 general scheme which require applications from voluntary organisations to be submitted by October with the intention that most decisions will be announced before April. A few complex applications and those where additional information is required may take a little longer to process.

Intra-fallopian Transfer

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list the National Health Service centres that do not charge patients for gamete intra-fallopian transfer treatment ;

(2) if he will list the National Health Service centres that do not provide full National Health Service funding to National Health Service patients for gamete intra-fallopian transfer treatment and the cost per centre.

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

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health why payments are required from National Health Service patients for the cost of gamete intra-fallopian transfer treatment at some National Health Service centres.


Column 192

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) is a relatively new technique used in the treatment of infertility and is available in only a few centres. Treatment under the National Health Service, including that for infertility, is provided free of charge. In addition, in some NHS hospitals GIFT may be provided as part of an academic research programme when patients may be asked to contribute to its costs.

Hospital Building

Mr. Hayward : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the 10 largest hospital building projects in the United Kingdom currently under construction.

Mr. Freeman : Information held centrally shows that the 10 largest hospital building schemes, based on the cost of construction at tender, currently under construction in England are as follows :


Region                                     |Scheme                                                                               

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

Trent                                      |Queen's Medical Centre Development,                                                  

                                           |  Phase 2                                                                            

North West Thames                          |St. Mary's W2, Phase 1B                                                              

North East Thames                          |Homerton Hospital, Phase 1                                                           

South West Thames                          |St George's Block H, Phase 2A                                                        

Wessex                                     |Bournemouth District General Hospital,                                               

                                           |  Phase 1A                                                                           

West Midlands                              |Telford District General Hospital, Phase 1                                           

West Midlands                              |Bromsgrove Redditch District General                                                 

                                           |  Hospital, Phase 1, Contract 2                                                      

Mersey                                     |North Sefton District General Hospital,                                              

                                           |  Southport, Phase 1                                                                 

Information on Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is the responsibility of their respective Secretaries of State.

Mr. Hayward : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what have been the 10 largest hospital building projects completed in the United Kingdom since 1979.


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