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Column 768work it has undertaken in this area can be found in its annual report for 1988-89, a copy of which is in the Library.
(2) how many people released into the community under the community care programme have (a) committed suicide, (b) been arrested, (c) died as a result of an accident and (d) been seriously injured as a result of an accident.
Mr. Freeman : Figures are not collected centrally on the number of inpatients who have been discharged under the community care programme, nor the outcome of those people once in the community. However, during 1986, the latest year for which reliable figures are available, 1,082 inpatients of mental illness hospitals and units in England were discharged (excluding deaths and tranfers to other hospitals) after a stay of five years or more. The comparable figure for mental handicap patients was 1,951.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many haemophiliacs who have contracted AIDS through contaminated blood transfusions are expected to qualify for the £20,000 payments allocated through the Macfarlane (Special Payments) Trust ; and what steps are being taken to ensure that all those who qualify apply.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The payments from the Macfarlane (Special Payments) Trust are available to haemophiliacs infected with HIV as the result of treatment with blood products in the United Kingdom, or the dependant or beneficiary of such a person who has died. We estimate that around 1,200 people may qualify. Some 1,150 cases are already known to the trust and through the haemophilia treatment centres it is trying to ensure that any other haemophiliacs who may be eligible know of the payments.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if general practitioners will be expected to take disabled people on to their lists under the new arrangements for the National Health Service ;
(2) whether there will be an appeals procedure for disabled people if a general practitioner refuses to accept a patient on to his list.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Any person may ask a doctor who has contracted to provide general medical services under the National Health Service to be accepted as a patient. Under the terms of their contract, doctors are not obliged to meet such a request. They are obliged to accept a patient when allocated by the local family practitioner committee. Any patient unable to find a suitable doctor should approach the family practitioner committee accordingly.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : As announced in the White Paper "Caring for People" all local social services authorities will be expected to set up and publicise procedures for receiving and responding to complaints from users of services, including disabled people. Any user, or carer, who is dissatisfied with an assessment decision will be able to make representations through these procedures. We will be issuing guidelines to local authorities about these procedures, backed up with Secretary of State directions where appropriate.
Mrs. Maureen Hicks : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average time being taken by family practitioner committees in transferring records from one general practitioner to another when patients change their doctor.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : This information is not held centrally. The time taken will vary with the circumstances and, in particular, will depend on whether or not the patient moves to a different family practitioner committee area and, if so, on how long is taken to register with a new doctor.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The interim report was sent to the Department in September 1989. We have been studying the report's findings and considering whether publication in advance of the full report, expected later this year, would be appropriate.
Column 770Information on junior doctors' hours of work is not available centrally. The latest available information shows that the average weekly number of contracted hours of duty of junior hospital doctors in England and Wales was 82 on 30 September 1988. A survey in 1985 showed that the average weekly number of hours actually worked as against on duty was 57.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The reports from regional health authorities on the June 1988 initiative to reduce junior doctors' hours, and from those district health authorities which undertook pilot studies into a 72-hour week, are being placed in the Library.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if his Department has estimated how many more consultants would be needed for the abolition of one in three shifts and a maximum working week for junior doctors of 72 hours.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The achievement of a 72-hour working week for junior doctors will require a variety of solutions which need to be agreed locally. These may include changes in training requirements, in the working practices of both consultants and juniors, and a changed pattern of service delivery. It remains our long-term aim to reduce the average hours of duty to 72 per week.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what new evidence his Department has received about the hours now worked by junior doctors since it first received the Dowie report ; (2) why evidence from the Dowie report was not submitted to the pay review body.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Evidence is submitted in confidence to the doctors' and dentists' review body. The DDRB was informed that we wished first to analyse the reports from health authorities on two initiatives launched after the fieldwork for the Dowie report was completed.
The first, which started in June 1988, asked health authorities to continue to work towards the elimination of rotas more onerous than one in three for practitioners first on call in the hard-pressed specialties.
The second, begun in July 1989, asked a small number of authorities to conduct pilot studies into whether an average 72-hour week was possible within existing manpower constraints. Reports on both initiatives have been received.
We will be keeping the DDRB informed of developments in this area.
Mr. Freeman : Information about patients treated in National Health Service hospitals in England from 1979 to 1988-89 has been published in the Department of Health statistical bulletin 2/1/90. The bulletin provides tables showing the numbers of inpatient cases, day case
Column 771admissions, outpatient attendances, ward attenders and accident and emergency cases treated. Copies of the bulletin have been placed in the Library.
Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice he gives to regional and district health authorities on the distribution of Government funds to the voluntary hospice movement ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice he has given to the Five Towns Plus hospice organisation as to how to obtain contributions from Government funds to help maintain the Five Towns hospice ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what amount from Government funds has been allocated to help the voluntary hospice movement in the Wakefield and Pontefract areas ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Allocations will be made to regional health authorities. The funding of individual projects is a matter for discussion between the health authorities and the organisations concerned.
Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the contribution from Government funds to match that of voluntary giving to the hospice movement ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether erythropoetin has been licensed by the safety of drugs committee ; what has been the length of time it has been under consideration by the Committee ; what information he has on the length of time it has taken to approve the medicine in other European Economic Community countries ; and what information he has on the reasons for the time required for approval in the United Kingdom.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 5 February 1990] : No product licence for erythropoetin (EPO) has been granted in the United Kingdom. In general terms the time needed to obtain marketing authorisation in the United Kingdom for a medicinal product containing a new active substance (NAS) produced by biotechnology, such as EPO, will depend on a number of factors. Such an application must be made through the European Community's concertation procedure, introduced under directive 87/22/EEC. This involves the Community's committee for proprietary medicinal products (CPMP) in giving a non-binding opinion which must be taken into
Column 772account by national regulatory authorities when making decisions for marketing in their own territories--for which they alone are responsible. In the light of advice from the CPMP and any national advisory committee, for example the Committee on Safety of Medicines in the UK, each authority must decide for itself whether any additional information is needed from the applicant company before reaching its own independent decision. The CPMP opinion is often written in rather general terms and hence important additional data may have to be supplied by the company before individual national licensing authorities can be reassured as to the safety, quality and efficacy of the product. Only when the reassurance has been provided can the licence be granted. On occasions further time may also be required before the application can be cleared if an applicant company decides to exercise its appeal rights. The Department does not hold information relating to the time taken by other regulatory authorities within the European Community to grant marketing authorisations.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his reply of 1 February, if he will now provide information on the employment prospects, insurance and mortgage status of people who acquired AIDS from blood transfusions under the National Health Service.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 6 February 1990] : In my reply of 18 January 1990 to the right hon. Member at column 405 I pointed out that haemophiliacs are a group of people who by virtue of their haemophilia are already disadvantaged in respect of their employment prospects and their ability to obtain mortgages and life insurance. We have no evidence to suggest that those people who have become infected with HIV via blood transfusion were similarly disadvantaged before the illness or accident leading to the need for transfusion.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what current advice his Department has concerning the use of the stroboscopic light sources in discotheques and other places of entertainments.
The current guidance from the Health and Safety Executive recommends a flicker rate of below five flickers per second.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of recent trends and likely future trends in respect of the number of food poisoning cases in the United Kingdom and in identifying the causes of those trends.
Mr. Freeman : The principal micro-organisms that are identified as responsible for food poisoning in the United Kingdom are salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus. Laboratory reports for 1989 on these organisms to the PHLS communicable disease surveillance centre are given in the table.
Reports of identifications by laboratories-1989 (provisional approximate figures) |1989 -------------------------------------- Salmonella |26,000 Clostridium perfringens |300 Staphylococcus aureus |10 Bacillus cereus |20
In recent years, there has been an increase in food poisoning notifications, partly due to an increase in food poisoning but partly as a consequence of better monitoring and public awareness. Since 1986 the biggest single cause for the increasing burden of food poisoning in this country can be ascribed to the rise in infections with salmonella enteritidis phage type 4, associated predominantly with poultry meat and eggs. The latest figures from the public health laboratory service for human isolations of this organism indicate, however, a levelling off in this particular problem for 1989. These figures show that in 1989 a total of about 13,000 isolates of salmonella enteritidis phage type 4 were recorded. This is around a 3 per cent. rise on the 1988 figure of about 12,500 isolates, but represents a significant change in the trends noted for 1988 and 1987 when the percentage increases in this organism were respectively 152 and 67 per cent.
Foodborne illness due to organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens and Bacillus cereus has not shown any particular trend over the years.
However, the PHLS communicable disease surveillance centre also records information on cases of gastro-enteritis (which may not necessarily be foodborne in all cases). These figures show that there has been a marked upward trend in illness due not only to salmonella but also to campylobacter. In 1988, about 29,000 reports of campylobacter were made. The provisional figure for 1989 is approximately 33,000. Campylobacter can be found in water (but not chlorinated public water supplies), unpasteurised milk and chicken (where a survey isolated the organism from over 40 per cent. of raw chicken carcases examined). The organism is usually responsible for sporadic cases of illness and rarely causes outbreaks. The widely held view is that much sporadic human campylobacter is probably attributable to cross contamination from poultry and to eating under-cooked chicken ; but more information on the sources of contamination of food with this organism is needed before it will be possible to devise appropriate methods of control.
Mr. Jopling : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contractual payments are made by the United Kingdom Government to General Dynamics for products or services related to the potential acquisition of main battle tanks.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for development of the Ministry of Defence firing range at Kirkcudbright ; what costs are involved ; what role SERCO currently plays in these processes and what plans he has for developing this ; and what is the chain of responsibility for the operation and development of the range.
Mr. Neubert [holding answer 1 February 1990] : We have plans to modernise part of the Kirkcudbright firing range facility over the next few years. Essentially, modernisation will comprise a new range safety radar system and a facility in support of electromagnetic launcher technology. Key features will be the reliability and safety of the facility.
It is not our practice to reveal costs, since these are commercially sensitive.
SERCO currently provides 84 staff for the day-to-day running of the range and its activities, as the result of winning competitive contracts. It is this Government's policy that tasks should be carried out in the most cost- effective and efficient manner, and that contractors, selected by competition, should be used where it makes sense to do so.
The ranges are headed by a Lieutenant Colonel who is responsible to the director of the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment (RARDE).
Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many research contracts or agreements the chemical defence establishment has placed in universities and other institutions of higher education in each financial year since 1979 ; and what was their total financial value in each year since 1979 ;
(2) how many research contracts or agreements the chemical defence establishment is currently funding in universities and other institutions of higher education ; what is their total value ; how many universities and other institutions of higher education are currently receiving research contracts or agreements from the chemical defence establishment ; and if he will give a full list of them.
Mr. Neubert : It is not our practice to provide historical data. There are 94 extant agreements to a total value of £11.8 million placed by CDE with 49 universities and other institutions of higher education but it is not departmental policy to provide details of these arrangements.
Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will obtain for his departmental library a recording of the Channel 4 programme, "Dispatches", 10 January, concerning military funding of research in universities and other institutions of higher education.
Column 775funding of research in universities and other institutions of higher education ; and what are the reasons behind this policy.
Mr. Neubert : The MOD has funds available for research in support of the defence research programme, including extramural research at higher education institutions. Such work is placed there when considered appropriate to do so and if value for money procurement policies are satisfied.
Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many contracts or agreements exist between his Department and universities and other institutions of higher education in the field of genetic engineering ;
(2) how many contracts or agreements exist between his Department and universities and other institutions of higher education for research related to the production or application of monoclonal antibodies ;
(3) how many projects in the field of aerobiology are currently funded by his Department ; and whether there are any negotiations to fund further projects ;
(4) what contracts and agreements exist between his Department and universities and other institutions of higher education for research related to nerve gases ;
(5) what contracts or agreements currently exist between his Department and universities and other institutions of higher education concerning research into biological or chemical weapons ; (6) what research contracts and agreements exist between his Department and universities and other institutions of higher education for research related to anthrax ;
(7) what research his Department is sponsoring into the viability and infectivity of Klebsiella pneumonia ; and if he will make a statement ;
(8) whether his Department monitors the potential for offensive use of research it supports in the area of aerobiology by foreign or third parties.
Mr. Neubert : As we have repeatedly made clear, the United Kingdom has no chemical or biological weapons and no plans to acquire any. All research undertaken by or commissioned by the MOD in the chemical and biological field is defensive in nature and is to provide information which assists in the provision of effective protective measures against the threat that chemical and biological weapons might be used against the United Kingdom armed forces.
This research includes a number of agreements with universities and institutes of higher education in a range of research areas such as genetic engineering and monoclonal antibodies. It is not our policy to go into details of specific research areas.
Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many members of staff in universities and other institutions of higher education working on research contracts or agreements currently funded by his Department are required to have security clearance ;
(2) how many research contracts or agreements which are currently being funded by his Department are classified ;
Column 776(3) if researchers accepting funding from his Department are advised whether to discuss their work and its objectives with colleagues or the media ;
(4) what is his Department's definition of classified research ; (5) what measures his Department takes to prevent the misuse of results of research funded by the Ministry of Defence by foreign or third parties ;
(6) what proportion of the results published from projects funded by his Department outside its own establishments is classified ; (7) whether classified research in universities and other institutions of higher education is funded by his Department.
contracts/agreements with universities and other institutions of higher education classified as restricted or above. The disclosure and publication of the results of classified research is subject to the provisions of the Official Secrets Act. For research which is not classified, while the MOD generally encourages publication of results, the academic institution is required to consult the MOD before any unrestricted disclosures, including any lecture, demonstration, publication or the submission of any thesis to an examining body. This would not preclude informal academic exchanges with immediate colleagues. Finally, it is not the Government's practice to give detailed information about security vetting of individuals.
Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many research contracts or agreements funded by his Department have been cancelled in the last five years ; and for what reasons ; (2) how many research contracts or agreements his Department is currently funding in universities and other institutions of higher education ; and what is their total value.
Mr. Neubert : The Ministry of Defence has currently 745 research agreements and 106 research contracts placed with a wide range of United Kingdom universities and other institutions of higher education to a total value of about £65 million. Some 20 agreements have been terminated early during the past five years, the great majority of which were due to administrative difficulties encountered by universities.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Investigation of illegal activities at the Kincora boys' home is the responsibility of the RUC. The Royal Military Police assisted the RUC with their earlier inquiries by interviewing Mr. Holroyd on 22 May 1982.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date a non-adverse report was raised on Captain Fred Holroyd (retired), by his commanding officer as referred to in his reply to the Adjournment debate on 29 November 1989, Official Report, columns 812-20.
Column 777Mr. Archie Hamilton [holding answer 15 January 1990] : The special confidential report on Captain Holroyd was signed by his commanding officer on 5 June 1975.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the nature of assistance given by the Royal Military Police into the allegations of Captain Fred Holroyd (retired), referred to in his reply to the Adjournment debate on 29 November 1989, Official Report, column 817.
Mr. Archie Hamilton [holding answer 15 January 1990] : I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to his earlier questions on this subject ( Official Report, 28 March 1988, column 362 ). It has not proved possible from currently available records to define in greater detail the precise nature and extent of the assistance given by the RMP to the RUC in support of its investigations.
92. Mr. Ashton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many accidents on farms have been reported to his Department involving the supply and use of unskilled, unregistered labourers by gangers.