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Column 299Instructions concerning the disclosure of information are issued to all staff dealing with social security business. These are in the process of revision and we will consider placing a copy in the Library in due course.
During the past five years, 13 members of staff have been reprimanded at a local level for minor breaches of the rules governing disclosure of information and 10 have been reprimanded at headquarters level for more serious breaches of the rules.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans exist in his Department for the transfer of personal data via the Government data network ; and what new procedures have been adopted within the Department to prevent unauthorised transfers of such data.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The Department plans to use the Government data network for the provision of computer services to the offices of the Department, the employment service and the Department of Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland as part of the operational strategy. Additionally the Department plans to use the Government data network for other departmental systems as required. Organisational and technical safeguards which apply to all the Department's networks, including the Government data network, ensure that access to personal data is in accordance with authorisations.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The types and purposes of transfer of personal computer data to other Government Departments, whether via the GDN or otherwise, are recorded in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will provide details of outturn expenditure for Department of Social Security offices in each local authority area on (a) single payments in 1987-88, (b) social fund 1988-89, (c) social fund 1989-90, up to the latest available date and (d) budget allocations for the social fund 1990-91.
Mr. Scott : Information on the basis of local authority areas is not available. Information by local office relating to single payments in 1987- 88, and the social fund in 1988-89 and the period April 1989 to December 1989, is in the Library. Budget allocations for 1990-91 will be announced in due course.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the maximum delays occurring in cases where hospital medical reports are required for consideration by social security appeal tribunals, resulting in adjournments for appellants ; and what is being done to reduce such delays.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Figures showing the delays caused to social security appeal tribunal cases while awaiting hospital medical reports are not collected centrally. We are, however, aware of the delays that these reports can create. Provision of the reports is not part of hospital doctors' terms of service and the Department is entirely dependent on the good will of consultants.
In 1988 my noble Friend Lord Skelmersdale wrote to the chairmen of all regional health authorities explaining the problem to them and asking them to encourage consultants to provide reports when requested and to do so with the least possible delay. We know from the replies that subsequently came to the Department that this request was widely disseminated to consultants. In addition, medical and lay staff in the Department's regional offices take every opportunity to remind consultants and their secretaries of the problems caused for claimants by these delays.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many, and what percentage of, women pensioners receive a full national insurance retirement pension on the basis of their own national insurance contributions.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I regret that it is possible to provide figures in the form requested on a Great Britain basis only. Of the 2,173,730 women resident in Great Britain who receive a category A pension, based upon their own contributions, approximately 73 per cent. receive a full rate pension.
Mr. Scott : Budgeting loans and community care grants are available to income support recipients, and crisis loans to anyone without resources in an emergency. The number of social fund applications in the periods 1988 -89 and April 1989 to December 1989 and the national income support caseload are set out in the table :
|Community |Budgeting |Crisis |Income Support |care |loans |loans |caseload<1> |(000's) |(000's) |(000's) |(000's) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1988-89 |315 |933 |501 |May 4,350 |August 4,420 |November 4,260 |February 4,350 1989-90 (April-December) |375 |840 |464 |May 4,160 |August 4,310 |November 4,352 <1> As derived from the Quarterly Statistical Enquiry and rounded to the nearest 10,000.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security in respect of a man who becomes entitled to invalidity benefit at the age of 60 years in each of the tax years 1990-91, 2000-01, 2010-11, and 2020-21, after having paid full class 1 contributions in each prior tax year from 1978-79, what he estimates will be (a) the maximum and average amounts of such a man's invalidity benefit, including invalidity allowance and additional pension at 1989-90 prices, (i) if clause 4 of the Social Security Bill is enacted, (ii) if the present position remains unchanged, (b) the corresponding amounts of retirement pension such a man will receive at normal retirement date if he remains on invalidity benefit until that date and then retires and (c) the corresponding amounts of widow's pension the widow of such a man will receive if he dies on the day after he becomes entitled to invalidity benefit and she is eligible for a widow's pension.
Mr. Scott [holding answer 13 February 1990] : The right hon. Member's question calls for calculations relating to circumstances which would occur infrequently. Furthermore, projections of the average amounts of invalidity benefit for the circumstances stated are not available. The figures set out in the final column therefore relate to the entitlement of a man on average male earnings in each year from 1978-79, with assumptions about earnings growth in the future. In 1987-88, the latest year for which information is available, the average amount of additional pension payable to a 60-year-old man newly entitled to invalidity benefit was £13.64 per week. This compares with a figure of £20.16 which results from the application of average male earnings over the period since 1978-79. Invalidity allowance is not payable for men aged 60 or over when incapacity begins.
The information is as follows :
(a) (i) Invalidity benefit under clause 4 proposals 1-4 Year becoming |Maximum |Amount based entitled to IVB |amount (£) |on average |male earnings |(£) ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |90.97 |77.45 2000-01 |98.95 |83.75 2010-11 |86.80 |75.00 2020-21 |82.25 |71.85
(a) (ii) Invalidity benefit under present arrangements<1>-<4> Year becoming |Maximum |Amount based entitled to IVB |amount (£) |on average |male earnings |(£) ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |90.97 |77.45 2000-01 |128.95 |109.95 2010-11 |125.60 |110.90 2020-21 |131.60 |118.25
(b) Retirement<1>-<4> Year reaching |Maximum |Average age 65 |amount (£) |amount (£) -------------------------------------------------------- 1995-96 |96.15 |81.30 2005-06 |131.75 |111.95 2015-16 |132.60 |116.75 2025-26 |139.10 |124.75
(c) Widows pension<1><2><4><5> Year of |Maximum |Average entitlement |amount (£) |amount (£) ------------------------------------------------ 1990-91 |90.97 |77.45 2000-01 |86.25 |76.80 2010-11 |84.60 |77.25 2020-21 |87.60 |80.95 <1> All figures at 1989-90 prices. <2> All amounts include the standard rate of invalidity pension, retirement pension or widows pension as the case may be (£43.60); to the extent that there is entitlement to increase for dependants these amounts will increase by £26.20 for an adult and £8.95 for each child. <3> Maximum amount assumes earnings at the upper earnings limit in each year from 1978-79. <4> Average amount assumes average male earnings in each year from 1978-79. The figures assume real earnings growth of 1" per cent. per year. <5> Amounts of widows pension, assume the widow is aged 55 or over and no guaranteed minimum pension in payment.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many practice nurses are based at general practitioners' surgeries at the current time ; and what were the corresponding numbers for the previous five years (a) in the Bolton health authority area, (b) in the North West regional health authority area and (c) in England and Wales.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Information on the numbers of practice nurses employed by general practitioners under the ancillary staff scheme is given in the table. Figures are for England only ; information in relation to family practitioner services in Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Bolton North WesterEnglandn Year NumberWhole-NumberWhole-time of nurequivaof nurequivalents ------------------------------------------------ 1988 |33 |13 |333 |167 |6,878|3,514 1987 |10 |5 |210 |89 |5,752|2,983 1986 |9 |5 |175 |83 |4,956|2,501 1985 |8 |4 |152 |74 |4,392|2,211 1984 |8 |3 |121 |61 |3,891|1,924 1983 |7 |3 |93 |49 |3,284|1,657
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will set out the procedure within his Department for authorising transfers of personal data to other Government Departments ; and at what level such decisions are authorised ;
(2) on what grounds decisions are taken to transfer personal data held by his Department to other Government Departments ;
(3) on what statutory basis transfers of personal data take place from his Department to the police ; and how many such transfers take place each year ;
(4) on what statutory basis transfers of personal data take place from his Department to other Government Departments ; and how many such transfers take place each year ;
(5) what internal guidelines covering the transfer of personal data to other Government Departments are available to staff in his Department ; and whether he will place a copy of any such guidelines in the Library ;
(6) what kind of personal data held by his Department, whether on computer or manually, are transferred to other Government Departments ;
(7) what kinds of personal data held by his Department are transferred to the police ; and whether records are kept of such transfers ;
(8) what plans exist in his Department for the transfer of personal data via the Government data network ; and what new procedures have been adopted within the Department to prevent unauthorised transfers of such data ;
(9) what records are kept of transfers of personal data from his Department to other Government Departments ; and whether the Data Protection Registrar has access to the relevant records ; (10) whether records will be kept of all personal data transferred to other Government Departments via the Government data network ; (11) whether the rules governing the transfer of personal data from his Department to other Government Departments are the same for data held manually as for data held on computer.
Mr. Freeman : The majority of personal data held by the Department relates to departmental staff records. This information is held in manual and computer systems and access is restricted on a need-to-know basis. This information is transferred to other Government Departments on a regular and routine basis by executive and clerical staff, normally in conjunction with actual or prospective career transfers of the staff between Departments. Personal data about patients having legally induced abortion is supplied by doctors to the Department's Chief Medical Officer in accordance with the Abortion Regulations 1968, (SI 1968 No. 390 as amended by SI 1969 No. 636, SI 1976 No. 15 and SI 1980 No. 1724). The regulations restrict disclosure of that information except to the persons and in the circumstances specified in the regulations. Some personal data is held by the Department in respect of young people detained in youth treatment centres and in connection with the activities of the regional medical service, the dental reference service and the social services inspectorate. Where personal medical data have
Column 304been referred for a second opinion, this is not disclosed for any other purpose unless the individual's consent has been obtained. The Department also holds some data about the remuneration of general medical practitioners and others in the health services. The regional medical service holds personal data about GPs, but these are not disclosed to other Government Departments.
Regional medical service doctors, in common with any other doctor, have a statutory duty to notify the Chief Medical Officer at the Home Office about individuals considered to be or suspected to be addicted to certain drugs.
All personal data held on computer systems are subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1984 ; this is so whether or not there is any connection to the Government data network. The only circumstances in which the Department might transfer personal data to the police would be where the Department itself had an interest in an offence, or in other cases where serious crime was involved ; no records are kept of such transfers.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Members to the reply I gave to the hon. Members for Cardiff, West (Mr. Morgan), for Bristol, South (Ms. Primarolo), for Carmarthen (Mr. Williams) and for Newcastle upon Tyne, North (Mr. Henderson) on 23 January at columns 660-61.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of consultant surgeons within the National Health Service work on a part-time basis in the private sector ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : No information is collected on National Health Service consultants' work in the private sector. Consultants on National Health Service whole-time contracts are permitted private practice earnings up to 10 per cent. of gross whole-time salary. Sixty-nine per cent. of consultant surgeons have maximum part-time or part-time contracts which place no limits on private practice earnings. The Government's proposal to introduce full job plans for all consultants should improve their accountability to local management and make it easier for managers to monitor whether consultants are fulfilling their contractual commitments.
Column 305ensuring that their resident populations have access to a comprehensive range of services and this will include family planning. The new funding arrangements will be particularly helpful to family planning clinics which provide services to residents of many districts. Clinics will be able to obtain resources from all authorities whose residents use their services.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many kidney dialysis machines are currently in use in the Durham area health authority ; and how many patients are receiving dialysis in the area.
Mr. Freeman : We do not hold information centrally about the number of kidney dialysis machines in use by health authorities. The hon. Member may care to contact the chairman of the Durham health authority for the information.
Mr. Freeman : The National Association of Health Authorities published a security manual in 1984 which the Department commended to the NHS as a good practical guide on matters relating to security of equipment, stock and premises.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the level of section 64 grant funding since 1984 for each Lighthouse, Terrence Higgins Trust, Mildmay, National AIDS Trust and ACET.
Mr. Freeman : Under the rules of the general grant scheme established under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 the Department can offer four sorts of grant. Most grants are awarded to national voluntary organisations towards their headquarters administrative costs. The Department has made the following section 64 grants to the voluntary organisations identified :
(£000s) |1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89|1989-90 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ACET |- |- |- |- |50.0 London Lighthouse Core revenue grant |- |- |100.0 |170.0 |300.0 Capital grant |- |- |500.0 |750.0 |- Project grant |- |- |- |37.9 |- Mildmay Mission Core revenue grant |- |- |79.0 |162.0 |130.0 Capital grant |- |- |321.0 |94.0 |- National AIDS Trust (includes pro rata contributions from other Health Departments) Core revenue grant |- |- |47.6 |127.0 |228.5 Project grant |- |- |500.0 |- |- Terrence Higgins Trust |40.0 |100.0 |300.0 |400.0 |450.0
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The £119 million made available through the waiting list fund over four years has enabled thousands of additional patients to be treated from the waiting lists. Particularly impressive reductions have been made in the Mersey region, which has reduced the number of patients waiting over a year by a quarter in the nine months to December 1989. The region plans to be the first to have no patient waiting longer than two years for treatment.
Column 306We are determined to tackle the problem of excessive waiting, and have sent a management team into the 22 districts with the longest waiting lists, backed by money from the waiting list fund. As a result waiting lists in those districts have reduced by 12 per cent. and the number of patients waiting over a year by 17 per cent., with further reductions planned. This work will continue in 1990-91, when the team will be investigating the 100 longest district specialty lists in the country. Nationally, provisional figures for September 1989 suggest that waiting lists have fallen since March, and in particular the numbers waiting over a year.
The following list shows the current commissioners, sub-divided according to their category of membership :
Mr. L. Blom-Cooper (Chairman)
Mrs. V. Bellau
Mrs. C. Bennett
Mr. J. Bowyer
Mrs. C. Goonatillake
Miss G. Richardson
Ms L. Scott Moncrieff
Ms L. Sinclair
Mr. C. N. S. Watts
Mr. J. D. Finch
Mrs. J. Forman Hardy
Mr. M. Napier
Mr. A. Parkin
Professor E. Murphy (Vice Chairman)
Dr. R. M. Evans
Dr. R. Dolan
Dr. S. Fernando
Dr. K. Hamadah
Dr. P. Hettiaratchy
Mr. D. Hide
Dr. N. Seberatnum
Professor D. West
Dr. D. Gaspar
Dr. M. Harper
Dr. M. Malcom
Dr. R. M. Philpott
Dr. P. Harper
Dr. K. A. Day
Dr. D. Dunleavy
Dr. H. Ghadiali
Dr. N. L. Gittleson
Dr. E. B. Gordon
Dr. A. Hauck
Mr. R. Lingham
Mrs. V. Lipscombe
Mrs. M. Meacher
Mrs. I. Midforth
Miss I. Nutting
Mr. R. Stables
Mr. J. Allan
Mrs. J. Deeley
Mrs. C. L. Jones
Mr. A. Ball
Mr. D. Parkin
Mr. H. Vickers
Mr. M. Brown
Mr. E. A. R. Chitty
Miss G. Linton
Mr. S. Manikon
Mrs. Soo Lee
Mr. B. Thorne
Mr. M. Graham
Ms. A. Aiyebusi
Mrs. C. Selim
Mr. H. A. Teaney
Mr. R. Wix
Mr. P. Brotherhood
Mrs. R. M. Fraser
Mr. H. McClarron