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Mr. Maude : Four women are currently serving as ambassadors to Ivory Coast (June 1987), Luxembourg (February 1988), Mozambique (September 1989) and Chad (non-Resident, September 1989). A fifth woman is the leader of the United Kingdom delegation to the conference in Geneva and has been in post since October 1987.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Indian Government about its suppression of the nationalist uprising in Kashmir.
Mr. Maude : We have made clear in our regular contacts with the Indian and Pakistan Governments that we believe the status of Kashmir can be settled only by agreement between the two sides. We have also made clear that we have no sympathy with those who espouse violence for political ends.
Mr. Maude : For unclassified but sensitive systems Departments are expected to follow CCTA guidance covering all aspects of IT security and the application of this has been tightened recently. CCTA advice is kept under continuous review and is based on analysis of security risks and requirements using structured methods such as CCTA's risk analysis and management methodology (CRAMM) which has also been made commercially available.
More stringent conditions apply to classified systems.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last had meetings with the ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic ; what subjects were discussed ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 701February during his visit to Bonn, when he discussed a wide range of issues. He last met the ambassador of the German Democratic Republic when he visited East Berlin and the GDR on 22-24 January, about which I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, North-East (Mr. Thurnham), on 1 February, Vol. 166, column 307.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent reports and evidence he has received about the incidence of cervical cancer among over-65-year-olds ; whether he has any plans to alter his Department's guidelines to include regular provision of regular cervical smears for women over 65 years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Information about the incidence of cervical cancer is regularly published by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Guidance issued by the Department of Health to health authorities, family practitioner committees and general practitioners in January 1988, a copy of which is in the Library, stated :
"women aged 65 and over who have not had two consecutive negative smears in the last ten years should also be screened."
GPs are well placed to carry this out. Our most recent figures show that women over the age of 65 already consult their doctor more than six times a year on average. Under the GPs' new contract much greater emphasis is being placed on health promotion and the prevention of ill health, including the requirement to offer health checks in specific circumstances (for example annually to patients aged 75 and over) and encouraging doctors to hold more health promotion clinics. This will mean that GPs will have even more opportunities to advise women patients over 65 of the wisdom of accepting these effective preventive measures.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the contribution is for an average family of four, on a weekly basis, towards the cost of the National Health Service (a) at the latest available date, (b) in 1979 and (c) at constant prices.
Mr. Freeman : It is not possible to provide the information requested. The greatest part of National Health Service funding comes from the Consolidated Fund and it is not possible to distinguish between the proportion contributed by private taxpayers and taxation raised from other sources. However it is possible to calculate figures for National Health Service expenditure per notional family of four and these are as follows :
|£ per week --------------------------------- 1989-90 |35 1979-80 |13 <1>1979-80 |27 <1> At current (ie. 1989-90) prices.
Mr. Meale : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the criterion under which whole-time consultants employed in the National Health Service are allowed to earn a percentage of their gross income from private practice without losing their status and payment qualifications as full-time National Health Service consultants.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The terms and conditions of service for hospital medical and dental staff provide that a whole-time consultant can earn up to 10 per cent. of his gross whole-time salary, including the value of any distinction award held, from private practice.
Mr. Meale : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Government have any plans to end the practice of paying whole-time medical consultants higher salaries to partly compensate them for their dedication to the National Health Service.
Mr. Freeman : Information on building schemes held centrally does not include small schemes or schemes carried out before 1980. The hon. Member may like to contact the chairman of the Northern regional health authority for a full list from the regional records.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Students on undergraduate nursing courses and those undertaking Project 2000 training will be eligible for student relief for the purpose of the personal community charge. No precise estimate can be made of the numbers likely to be involved. Thirteen Project 2000 schemes will be in operation by 1 April 1990, and it is planned to start further schemes during 1990-91.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that case managers are trained to take full account of the views of the disabled person, authorised representative and carer when assessing their community care needs.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A key objective of the White Paper "Caring for People" is to ensure that assessment of needs for social care services takes full account of the views of the client and his or her carer. The Department will be issuing guidance to local authorities on assessment and case management. Training in the skills required by case managers will be addressed in improved qualifying training programmes, in new post qualifying training programmes, and in enhanced vocational training.
Mr. Roger Freeman : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave my hon. Friends the Members for Dover (Mr. Shaw) and for Eastleigh (Sir D. Price) on 12 December at column 605. Our proposals are intended to benefit all people in need of community care.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure joint planning by health and local authorities prior to the implementation of the proposed changes in community care.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 6 February 1990] : A key component of the Government's policy on community care, set out in the White Paper "Caring for People" is the production by local authorities of community care plans. Health authorities will also be expected to produce community health care plans. The two should be prepared collaboratively. The Department will bring forward guidance in support of the requirement to produce these plans. The precise form of collaboration over the production of plans is for local decision and agreement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Every medical practitioner has the responsibility of keeping up to date with medical knowledge appropriate to his or her chosen specialty. To assist in this, the Department and health authorities allocate funds for the provision of courses and other educational activities and for the expenses of attending such activities. The content of educational activities is largely determined by the profession itself. In addition, from 1 April 1990, a new postgraduate education allowance will be payable to family doctors who maintain regular programmes of approved education and training.
Mr. Freeman : I am carefully considering the way ahead for CAMR in the light of advice from scientific and financial advisers. It is clear that the essential public health work must remain under the responsibility of the public health laboratory service. As one of the options for the future of the non-public health work at CAMR, we are considering an approach to acquire CAMR by Porton International plc. We will be advised by Hambros plc. I am not persuaded that these non-public health functions of the centre are of a nature that need necessarily be carried out within the public sector. When we have considered Porton's approach we will make a further statement, taking into account the interests of staff and public health.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to monitor the implementation of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : The Department's social services inspectorate has carried out a number of exercises to monitor the implementation of the Act. The results of an inspection of the operation of all sections of the Act in force were published on 6 February under the title "Developing Services for Disabled People". The findings of a more specific study of the progress of six authorities towards implementation of sections 5 and 6 are due to be published shortly. Copies of both reports will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress his Department is making with implementing the maternity hospital episode system ; how many districts are unable to provide all the items of information in the minimum data sets ; and whether all National Health Service hospital trusts and private hospitals in England will be required to provide this information in the future.
Mr. Freeman : The collection of Korner maternity data commenced in September 1988. It is not possible to give a precise figure for the number of districts providing all items of the data set but approximately 70 per cent. have supplied all or most of the data required. The shortfall has been caused by technical difficulties between local maternity information systems and district information systems. Recommendations for changes to information systems consequent to the White Paper "Working for Patients" are currently the subject of consultation with the NHS. For maternity data the recommendation is that all providers to the district of residence will produce a minimum data set for hospital episodes of care. Those "contract" minimum data sets will include the data required under current maternity systems.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, pursuant to his reply of 15 January to the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes), Official Report, column 87, he will now place in the Library full details of the questions and sample questionnaires being circulated for the purposes of drawing up a survey of the level of eye tests for the first quarter of 1990 ; if he will indicate to whom such details are being circulated ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A sight test volume survey is being conducted by NOP Market Research Limited as part of its regular omnibus survey. The field work will be carried out between mid-March and mid-April. It will involve a random sample of 10,000 adults being asked the following questions :
"i. Have you had your sight tested at an opticians--not at a hospital or at your doctors--since Christmas?
and if yes,
ii. Was it an NHS sight test or did you pay for a private sight test?"
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will seek to expedite a reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe's letter of 16 January to the chairman of the North Western regional health authority about urgent problems facing the regional cardiac unit, raised with the right hon. Member by all the consultant cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at Wythenshawe hospital.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has conducted any exercises in computer modelling in relation to the supply of nursing staff, similar to those conducted by the Institute of Manpower Studies in relation to the supply of teaching staff in its study, "The Supply of Teachers 1989".
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : In 1988 the Department initiated, on a national basis, a computer model which looks at the impact of Project 2000 (the new system of nurse education), together with demographic change and the changing patterns of nurse recruitment and retention, on the supply of trained nurses up to and beyond the year 2000. The model was made available to the NHS in 1989.
Mr. Caborn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many deaths on arrival were delivered by the police, armed services and voluntary organisations in December 1989 for each of the health authorities operating in south Yorkshire ; and what was the cause of death ;
(2) how many deaths on arrival were delivered to the health authorities operating in south Yorkshire in December 1987 and December 1988.
|1987|1988|1989 ------------------------------------------------- Barnsley health authority<1> |32 |30 |34 Doncaster health authority |54 |53 |74 Rotherham health authority |15 |28 |26 Sheffield health authority |49 |33 |67 <1> The figures do not distinguish between deaths on arrival at the accident and emergency department and bodies delivered to the public mortuary at the Barnsley district general hospital.
Details of cause of death could be obtained only at
Column 706These figures do not provide any sensible statistical basis for drawing any conclusions at all about the effect of the industrial action by the ambulance trades unions upon patients. The number of deaths on arrival at a hospital can fluctuate widely in normal circumstances depending on the range of cases in a particular month and if there has been any temporary increase in illness locally, for example, as a result of a flu epidemic. As further illustration there were 60 cases of deaths on arrival at Sheffield hospitals and 21 at Rotherham hospitals in December 1985.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the total number of welfare milk scheme beneficiaries for each year since 1979 in England and Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Estimate of the weekly number of welfare milk recipients in Great Britain 1979 to 1989 Year<1> |Number ---------------------------------------------- November 1979 |339,000 December 1980 |449,000 December 1981 |646,000 December 1982 |809,000 December 1983 |884,000 December 1984 |976,000 February 1986 |1,068,000 May 1987 |1,096,000 June 1987 to May 1988<2> |932,000 May 1988 to December 1989 |741,000 <1> Information to May 1987 is from the Annual Statistical Enquiry carried out in Social Security local offices. No information is available for 1985. <2> From June 1987 it is an average based on the number of milk tokens surrendered for reimbursement by suppliers of liquid milk. Tokens used to obtain dried baby-milk are not included.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 6 February 1990] : No product licence has been applied for in respect of spiramycin. Without a licence, the drug could not be imported on a commercial basis, though a doctor might arrange with the manufacturing company to supply it to him on a named-patient basis.
Mr. Curry : In 1989-90, United Kingdom beet sugar production was just over 1.25 million tonnes. Devaluation of the green pound more than offset the 2 per cent. reduction in the EC sugar price. Rapeseed production in the United Kingdom is estimated at 953,000 tonnes in 1989-90. Under the EC stabiliser mechanism, the target price has been reduced by 3.1 per cent. because Community production has exceeded the maximum guaranteed quantity. This amounts to a price increase of nearly 5 per cent. over 1988-89, when the price was reduced by 7.65 per cent. Taking account of the green pound changes, the support price increase in sterling is over 12 per cent. Market prices in 1989-90 have been considerably higher than in the previous year. Production of protein crops in the United Kingdom in 1989-90 is estimated at 703,000 tonnes. Institutional prices have been reduced by around 10 per cent. under the stabiliser mechanism as they were in the previous year. In sterling terms this has resulted in a price rise of over 7 per cent. taking account of green pound changes. Market prices have been higher in 1989-90 than in the previous year For potatoes, estimated United Kingdom production in the current July-June crop year was 6,221,000 tonnes compared with 6,899,000 tonnes in 1987-88, but the shortfall has been partially offset by lower wastage. Weekly average producer prices are running at over £90 per tonne compared with less than £60 at this time last year.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many days' supply of grain are currently in store in the United Kingdom (a) in intervention storage and (b) in all storage ; and what were the figures for each of the past three years.
Mr. Curry : United Kingdom intervention stocks of cereals at the end of January 1990 represented around 11 days' supply compared with 21 days, 20 days and 52 days at the end of January 1989, 1988 and 1987 respectively.
The latest available information on the quantity of grain in commercial storage is in the form of estimates of stocks of wheat, barley and oats at 31 December 1989. Adding these estimates to the intervention stocks at the time gives total storage figures representing about 267, 282, 281 and 324 days' supply for December 1989, 1988, 1987 and 1986 respectively.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the latest estimate of the stocks of grain which will be in store at the end of June 1990 (a) in Britain, (b) in the European Economic Community and (c) in the world, expressed in tonnes and days' supply ; and what is the latest estimate of the stocks of grain at the present time in (a) Britain (b) the European Economic Community and (c) in the world expressed in tonnes and days' supply.
|Million |Days' supply |tonnes ---------------------------------------------------- United Kingdom |3 |55 EC |26 |70
These figures are based on the Commission of the European Communities' balance sheet for cereals.
The International Wheat Council's estimate of world stocks of grain is an aggregate of national figures based on different definitions of marketing years and therefore does not relate to a particular date. However, the council's latest estimate for world stocks for the end of the 1989-90 crop year is 225 million tonnes or around 60 days' supply.
The latest estimate of current stocks of grain in the United Kingdom is for 31 December 1989 when the total was 15 million tonnes, representing about 267 days' supply. Estimates for the European Community and the world are not available.
Calendar year |Imports of |Imports of |cereals |cereal |(000 tonnes) |substitutes |(000 tonnes)<2> ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |6,216 |432 1980 |5,333 |519 1981 |4,197 |1,382 1982 |3,728 |1,928 1983 |3,225 |1,439 1984 |2,744 |1,048 1985 |3,286 |1,038 1986 |3,490 |1,035 1987 |3,484 |1,091 1988 |3,341 |1,108 <1>1989 |2,398 |796 <1> To end November. <2> As listed in Annex D to Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2727/75. Source: HM Customs and Excise.
Mr. Maclean : Countries determine whether or not to import meat and bonemeal from the United Kingdom and the conditions which apply to such trade on the basis of this country's health status, about which they are kept fully informed.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what advice he has given to other European Community member states on the risks to their livestock posed by the feeding of British meat and bonemeal.
Column 709Mr. Maclean : Other member states of the European Community have been kept fully informed about BSE since it was identified as a new cattle disease, including its likely cause.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has on restrictions in other European Community member states on the incorporation of meat and bonemeal into ruminant feeds.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has imposed any restrictions on the importation of meat and bonemeal into the United Kingdom ; and what regulations exist governing the incorporation of imported meat and bonemeal into United Kingdom livestock feed.
Mr. Maclean : On 1 May 1989 new measures were introduced under the Importation of Processed Animal Protein 1981 and the Importation of Animal Protein and Poultry Products 1980 (as amended) Orders which stengthened safeguards against the importation of animal disease, including salmonella. These included the provision of veterinary certification confirming treatment to destroy salmonellae where consignments have come from countries that have previously shown the presence of salmonellae. On arrival at British ports, consignments may be sampled and tested for salmonellae. Subsequent action is appropriate to the results obtained.
Ruminant-based meat and bonemeal whether domestically produced or imported, is banned from use in ruminant rations.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the different types of grant aid available under the environmentally sensitive area system ; and what is the average size of farms awarded grant aid when an environmentally sensitive area is developed.
Mr. Curry : Under the environmentally sensitive areas scheme farmers receive annual payments for following agricultural practices beneficial to the environment. Each scheme focuses on the environmental features characteristic of the area concerned. Since individual management agreements do not generally relate to the whole farm, it is not possible to state the average size of the farms involved.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total annual cost to public funds of the environmentally sensitive areas system ; and what is the total annual budget for each environmentally sensitive area.
Mr. Curry : United Kingdom expenditure under the environmentally sensitive area schemes (ESAs) for the current financial year is forecast to be £12.6 million. The level of expenditure is determined by the number of agreements made with individual farmers. Budgets are not fixed for each separate ESA.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total budget of the Agricultural Development Advisory Service in Wales in (a) 1988-89 and (b) 1989-90 ; and what proportion of this money was allocated to Gwynedd and Clwyd.
Mr. Curry : The budget of the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service in Wales for 1988-89 was £7.42 million, of which £1.18 million was allocated to Gwynedd and Clwyd. The budget for 1989-90 is £7.68 million, of which £1.19 million is allocated to Gwynedd and Clwyd.
Mr. Gummer : I am determined that the special concern which the United Kingdom has shown towards animal welfare is carried across to our partners in the European Community. The protection of farm animals is now inevitably a European issue and Britain will have to play an active part in getting higher standards of animal welfare throughout the Community.
Animal welfare is an issue which transcends national boundaries and has to be tackled on a Community basis. While in some circumstances we have to reserve the right to maintain national controls, we must avoid encouraging imports from countries where standards are lower than our own. The way forward therefore is to seek the fullest degree of harmonisation so that all countries of the Community operate to the same high standards.
The Community has already taken some action in this area but much remains to be done. We will in particular press for action in the Community in the following areas :
Protection of animals in transit. There must be proper standards for transport including requirements for feeding, resting and adequate ventilation. Community rules must allow for surveillance during journeys particularly at key points such as sea and air ports.
Protection of horses. The Government recognise the concern about this issue. We will press for controls to be maintained on exports of horses for slaughter and for legislation to ensure proper welfare safeguards whenever horses are transported or slaughtered.
Welfare of pigs and calves. The Commission has made proposals but these need to be revised to take more account of the very real concern about certain farming systems such as veal crates (which have already been banned in the United Kingdom) and stall and tether systems for dry sows.
Poultry. When the battery hens directive was under negotiation the United Kingdom maintained that the minimum space allowance of 450 sq cm per bird (as finally agreed) was inadequate. This continues to be our view and in the review of the directive, which the Commission is required to complete by the end of 1992, we will press for an allowance of at least 600 sq cm. The review should also address improvements to the design of cages, and the welfare problems which can arise in alternative systems. For broilers Community rules are required to establish proper standards for husbandry, collection and transport.
Other species. Common standards are needed for the keeping of all farm livestock. These should cover specific issues such as the use of electric goads and rules on stocking densities, ventilation of buildings etc.
Slaughter. Common standards must be introduced as part of the completion of the single market. Community rules will have to have proper regard to the religious beliefs of citizens.
Enforcement. There are claims that observation of welfare legislation is not uniform throughout the Community. The