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Mr. Wakeham : My Department was advised by the Coopers and Lybrand group in connection with the sales of the 12 regional electricity companies and the two generating companies in England and Wales. Fees paid to individual advisers are commercially confidential.
Mr. Summerson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what is the estimated cost of building the proposed barrage across the River Wyre ; and what would be the value of the electricity produced by it ;
(2) what public access there will be to the proposed barrage across the River Wyre ;
(3) what will be the generating capacity of the proposed barrage across the River Wyre ;
(4) what effects on the surrounding landscape he expects the cables with pylons etc. emanating from the proposed barrage across the River Wyre to have ;
(5) what safeguards will be built into the proposed barrage across the River Wyre to ensure that large floating objects do not damage the turbines ;
(6) what effects on migrating fish he expects the proposed barrage across the River Wyre to have.
Mr. Moynihan : The report detailing the findings of the pre- feasibility study into a possible Wyre barrage has been released today. A copy has been placed in the Library. The study estimates that the cost of the barrage, having a generating capacity of 63.6MW, would be £90 million--1991 prices--and could provide 131 GWh/y of electricity at a cost of 6.49p/kWh assuming an 8 per cent. discount rate. The study includes the construction of a 9 m wide promenade across the barrage, and considers the use of the barrage as a road crossing. If built, electricity cables from a Wyre barrage should have no effect on the surrounding landscape, as it is anticipated that cables connecting the barrage to the nearby existing electricity substation would be underground. Consideration of the protection of barrage turbines from large objects would need to form part of a more detailed design study. At this stage it is thought that a "trash" screen would provide sufficient protection. Two fish passes are included in the outline design of the Wyre barrage to provide passage for migrating fish, and these are detailed in the report. The report finds that further work is required to more fully assess the impact of a barrage on migrating fish.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the timescale set for completion of the consultants' report commissioned by his Department into the cost-effectiveness of relocating the petroleum engineering directorate to Aberdeen ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wakeham : I have agreed that there will be a thorough review of all the issues relating to this matter. My Department will be interviewing the shortlisted consultants in the near future. It is not possible to indicate how long the study will take until the competition has been completed and the programme discussed with the firm appointed.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what steps he has taken to monitor and encourage implementation of the memorandum of undertaking on recognition and access in the offshore oil industry.
Mr. Moynihan : The memorandum of understanding on trade union access to offshore installations provides the framework within which visits are facilitated. When considering applications for licences to explore and produce oil and gas on the United Kingdom continental shelf, my Department takes into account whether potential licensees agree to subscribe to the terms of the memorandum of understanding. All current operators have agreed to do so.
The first paragraph of the memorandum of understanding, which refers to trade union recognition, is not operative because the relevant provisions of the Employment Protection Act, 1975 were repealed by the Employment Act 1980.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what action has been undertaken by his Department to promote the use of colliery spoil, slate waste, power station ash and slag as substitute materials.
The Government are fully committed to the use of these materials as alternatives to primary aggregates. A report commissioned by the Department of the Environment into the "Occurrence and Utilisation of Mineral and Construction Wastes", was published in 1991. This showed major supplies of these wastes were available for use as construction aggregates and recommended how usage could be increased. The Government are actively examining these ideas and will make an announcement later this year.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Secretaries of State for Health and for Social Security concerning policy towards direct payments to severely disabled people to employ their own personal assistants ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received from the British Surgical Trades Association, or from individual members of the medical supply industry about unfair competition from the national health service supply centres ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell : We have received a number of representations from trade associations, wholesalers and manufacturers alleging unfair terms of trading by individual health authorities selling on a proportion of their supplies to non-NHS bodies. Most of the representations arose prior to the issue of new guidelines on resale of goods to non-NHS organisations to all health authority general managers in March 1991. The aim of the guidelines is to ensure fair competition without damage to the NHS, and the NHS management executive has asked the NHS supplies authority to continue to monitor NHS activity in this area.
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what extra funding has been sought to cover redundancy payments at Walton hospital in connection with its planned entry into the Aintree hospitals trust.
The total value of the consultancy contracts listed amount to £3, 683,703. The cost of the individual contracts is subject to commercial confidentiality.
Project title |Purpose ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Health Service Indicators- |To carry out the development and integration of knowledge Expert Systems. | bases. Cancer Screening Evaluation. |To test and carry out a number of enhancements to the Cancer | Screening Evaluation Model. Expert System for Personal Social |To develop knowledge bases for the home and residential based Service Indicators. | care of the elderly. Assistance with System Dynamics and |To conduct a review of the System Dynamics Model of regional Review of Waiting Lists. | waiting list behaviour. Family Health Service Expert Systems. |To amend the Expert System for the family Health Service. DISS Call Off |To assist in the development of a District Information Support | System (DISS) in respect of internal contracting. Billing and Invoice Study (DISS). |Report on Billing and Invoicing as per "Working For Patients". West Midlands Bridging System. Stage II |Developing and implementing application software for the (DISS). | invoice processing and contract management modules of | DISS in West Midlands Region NHS Administrative Register- |Development of a user and operational requirement for an Phase II and III | administrative register for the NHS DISP (Developing Information Systems |Strategy and project management of development of DISP. for Purchasers). Investment Appraisal |To determine what methodology to use in the revised Investment Appraisal guidance. Computerised MDS for A & E |Pilot trial to test 3 systems for their suitability Departments. Strategy Development. |Assist in the development of an IS Strategy for the NHS DISS Study. |Scoping study for District Information Support Systems. HSI Database. |Implementation of Health Service Indicators Database on | Oracle. DISS Project. |Professional services in connecttion with the DISS project. HSI Development. |Development of the HSI package. NHS Edifact. |Evaluation/advice on the Data Interchange Standards. Date Interchange Standards. |Intermediate formats for DIS. Bridging DISS. |Provision of Help Desk for users of "Bridging DISS" software. Date Encryption. |Scoping study for the encryption of minimum data sets. HSI Analysis. |Analysis and interpretation of 1989-90 Purchaser Indicators. Hospital Cost Arrangements. |Procedures and systems. Pricing in Two Hospitals. |Development work. Review of Drugs Expenditure. |Forecasting models. NHS Trusts. |Leadership issues. COMATAS. |Review of promotions within the tobacco industry. NHS Personnel. |Measuring effectiveness. First Wave NHS Trusts. |Financial and information systems. Second Wave NHS Trusts. |Financial and information systems. DISP Project. |Technical author. DH Central Accounting and Monitoring |Project to carry out a feasibility study on the setting up of a Systems Project. | computerised central accounting and monitoring system for | DH. Reviewing Financial Activities Project. |Project to review the sufficiency of IDC's current financial | activities, identify functions required and make recommenda- | tions on adequacy of procedures. GMSO1 Project. |Project for collating information in relation to the DH's GP | Fund-holder Initiative. OIS Project. |Project for implementing Office Information Strategy. The PHS9102 Project. |Project to improve DH/PSNC information on recruitment, | retention and motivation of community pharmacist as an | input to annual pay negotiations.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Non-executive members of district health and family health services authorities are not paid salaries, but are remunerated in recognition of their contribution to the NHS. Remuneration currently stands at £5,000 per annum. Information about the salaries paid to executive members is not held centrally. The hon. Member may wish to contact Mr. G. Smith, the chairman of Doncaster health authority and Mr. K. Jones, the chairman of Doncaster family health services authority, for details.
Mr. Dorrell : Each NHS trust is required to hold an annual public meeting, except in the first year of operation, to present its annual report, audited annual accounts and any report made on those accounts by the auditor. An additional public meeting must be called if the auditors make a report during the course of the audit which they consider should be brought to the attention of the public.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many samples were tested by the Public Health Laboratory Service on behalf of local authorities in each year since 1988 ; and if he will state the charging policy of his Department for this work together with the scale of charges.
|1988-89|1989-90|1990-91 ---------------------------------------- England |318,027|320,434|309,905 Wales |29,149 |24,419 |22,697 |---- |---- |---- Total |347,176|344,853|332,602
In future the Public Health Laboratory Service, like health authorities, will provide services under contract to those who require them. The way in which this general principle will apply to services provided to local authorities is still under discussion.
Year |Total cases ------------------------------------ 1980 |10,318 1981 |9,936 1982 |14,253 1983 |17,735 1984 |20,702 1985 |19,242 1986 |23,948 1987 |29,331 1988 |39,713 1989 |52,557 1990 |52,145 1991 |<1>53,881 <1>Provisional.
|Number of places Region |Boys |Girls |Mixed |Total ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Northern |- |- |55 |55 Yorkshire and Humberside |27 |- |9 |36 North Western |45 |13 |6 |64 West Midlands |- |- |8 |8 East Midlands |- |- |19 |19 Thames/Anglia |3 |6 |- |9 London |38 |12 |- |50 Southern |8 |3 |11 |22 South Western |20 |- |12 |32 Totals |141 |34 |120 |295
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health which health authorities in England provide (a) information on infectious disease during pregnancy and (b) specific information about the prevention of toxoplasmosis to pregnant women ; which health authorities routinely test pregnant women for toxoplasmosis ; which test pregnant women on demand for toxoplasmosis ; and if he will require those authorities which do not screen to do so.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : All pregnant women seen at antenatal clinics receive a copy of the Department of Health's leaflet entitled "While you are Pregnant" and also a copy of the Health Education Authority's pregnancy book, both of which provide advice on the dangers of toxoplasmosis, and other infections, and on how to avoid catching this infection. Copies of both booklets are available in the Library.
Column 229Health authorities do not routinely offer antenatal tests for toxoplasmosis. It is not known how many offer such a test on demand. We have no plans to introduce screening of pregnant women for toxoplasmosis. The Department keeps this policy under review, and has sought the advice of experts. Their view is that there is no available evidence that the benefits conferred by screening clearly outweigh any risks involved.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The most commonly used screen for toxoplasmosis is the latex agglutination test. The cost of purchasing a commercial kit for this test is of the order of £35 per 20 tests ; this cost does not take account of clinic, transport, laboratory and reporting costs. Should this test give a positive result there is then a need for confirmatory testing. Additional costs for such confirmatory testing could be of the order of £20 per patient.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what action the Government are taking to improve the knowledge of health professionals, and especially general practitioners and midwives, about the prevention, treatment and diagnosis of toxoplasmosis ; (2) if he will implement a campaign to educate pregnant women and their health carers about toxoplasmosis and its prevention in England ;
(3) if he will conduct a survey into the amount and quality of counselling provided in each health authority to pregnant women infected with toxoplasmosis ;
(4) what information his Department has provided to general practitioners regarding the implications of a toxoplasmosis infection for pregnant women.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department recently published a new leaflet designed to encourage pregnant women to take precautions when handling and consuming food and to ensure safe contact with animals. The leaflet entitled "While you are pregnant : safe eating and how to avoid infection from food and animals" gives advice on toxoplasmosis and other infections. Women will be given copies as soon as their pregnancy is confirmed. The leaflet is available from antenatal clinics, maternity units and GP practices. Doctors and midwives may also give the leaflet to women who are planning to become mothers. Copies of the leaflet are available in the Library.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has convened a working party which includes representatives from other Royal Colleges and professional associations, and which will be producing guidance on toxoplasmosis for professionals. We have no intention therefore to conduct a survey into existing counselling activities within health authorities.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his estimate of (a) the number of women who suffer an infection of toxoplasmosis during pregnancy and (b) the number of of babies born with an infection of toxoplasmosis ; and on what information these estimates are based.
Column 230suggested an incidence of toxoplasmosis infection in two of every 1,000 pregnancies. However, this information may not apply nationally in the 1990s : there has been some evidence from Britain and Europe that there may be a downward trend in the incidence of toxoplasmosis in the population generally. A review by the Public Health Laboratory Service of laboratory reports for 1988 identified 13 possible cases of congenital toxoplasmosis in new born babies. A PHLS/British paediatric surveillance unit study between June 1989 and May 1990 suggests that approximately 14 babies present in the first year of life with symptomatic congenital toxoplasmosis. The number of asymptomatic infants with congenital toxoplasmosis born each year is unknown at present.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the disabilities known to occur, either immediately or at some later stage of life, in babies born with a toxoplasmosis infection.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : In most healthy individuals newly acquired toxoplasmosis infection is asymptomatic or presents with non-specific signs or symptoms. When acquired in pregnancy, toxoplasmosis can cause fetal infection. In most cases the condition is not severe, but in rare instances it can cause potentially serious damage to the newborn infant. Such damage can range from hydrocephalus, severely impaired vision and neurological impairment, to small size for gestational age, deafness, epilepsy and physical disability.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department produces the booklet "While you are Pregnant" and the Health Education Authority produces the pregnancy book, copies of which are available in the Library, both of which are given to women attending on their first visit to an antenatal clinic. Both publications contain guidance on how to avoid toxoplasmosis. Advice from doctors and nurses is available to women at the GP's surgery and at antenatal clinics where posters about toxoplasmosis are displayed. It is not possible to disaggregate costs associated with health education regarding toxoplasmosis from other health education costs.
The Department also funds the Toxoplasmosis Trust for its activities in advising the public on the risks associated with the disease. The sum of £10,000 has been granted to the trust in each of the years 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has for a multi-centred study to examine the rates of pre- pregnancy immunity to toxoplasmosis, the prevalence of sero-conversion during pregnancy, and the numbers of babies born infected each year.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Information on how many severely affected infants are born each year in this country is being gathered under the British Paediatric Association surveillance scheme. Consideration is also being given to priorities for research or screening for a variety of conditions including toxoplasmosis. There are no plans at present to start any other surveys or information collection exercises.
Column 231Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research into toxoplasmosis is supported by his Department ; and what financial support is provided by his Department to the Toxoplasmosis Trust.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research in the United Kingdom is the Medical Research Council which receives its grant-in-aid from the Department of Education and Science. The Public Health Laboratory Service, which is funded by the Department of Health, is conducting research to improve tests for the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis infection.
The Toxoplasmosis Trust has been awarded a grant by the Department of Health of £10,000 per annum for 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what targets the Government agreed to meet in the programme of action for the least-developed countries ; and what progress has been made in achieving them.
Mrs. Chalker : In the programme of action adopted by the United Nations conference on the least-developed countries in September 1990, no single new target was established for official development assistance to least-developed countries, as a percentage of GNP. The United Kingdom, along with several other donors, undertook to make best efforts to reach the existing United Nations target of 0.15 per cent. Data required to measure progress since the conference are not yet available.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how the Government's aid programme has been altered in light of the agreements reached at the second United Nations conference on the least-developed countries in 1990.
Mrs. Chalker : As a signatory to the declaration and programme of action agreed at the United Nations conference on the least-developed countries, in September 1990, we have taken full account of the elements of the programme of action in our strategy for British aid. The emphasis placed in the programme on sound economic policies, environment, population, education and training particularly reflects our own thinking. Specific British initiatives on aid tying and local costs were announced at the conference, both of direct benefit to the least developed, and these have been put into effect.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the percentage of aid allocated to the least-developed countries as a percentge of gross national product between 1981 and the latest available figures.
Year |Percentage --------------------------------- 1981 |0.12 1982 |0.11 1983 |0.10 1984 |0.09 1985 |<1>0.11 1986 |0.08 1987 |0.09 1988 |0.10 1989 |<2>0.09 1990 |<3>- <1> estimate <2> revised <3> Not yet available
Mrs Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the relative priority of the elements of the programme of action for the least-developed countries in enabling the least-developed countries alleviate poverty and promote development.
Mrs. Chalker : The basic principles of the programme of action, agreed at the second United Nations conference on the least-developed countries, made it clear that the relative priority to be given to the elements of the action programme depend on the individual characteristics of each country, and the needs of their populations.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has yet received a copy of the Indonesian Government's report of its inquiry into the Santa Cruz killings of November 1991 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stanbrook : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the countries which are at present recognised by the United Kingdom ; those which are not recognised by the United Kingdom but are members of the United Nations, and countries whose recognition by the United Kingdom is under consideration, respectively.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We recognise as states all 166 member states of the United Nations plus Switzerland, the Holy See, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu and San Marino. We also recognise as states the following states which are not member states of the United Nations : Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Moldavia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Croatia, Slovenia.
We are considering the recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.
Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out Britain's contribution to the United Nations teams investigating chemical weapons production capacity, and stockpiles in Iraq, together with the budgeted costs ; and what arrangements have been made to ensure reimbursements of these costs from the Iraqi Government.
Inspection |United Kingdom inspectors/experts ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ UNSCOM 2 |Three UNSCOM 9 |One UNSCOM 11 |One UNSCOM 12 |One UNSCOM 17 |Five, including the deputy leader and a CBDE | Porton Down analytical team, plus a further | CBDE Porton analytical team in the area. UNSCOM 20 |One UNSCOM 21 |One (this was a joint CW and BW inspection)
Samples from UNSCOMs 2, 9 and 11 were analysed at the chemical and biological defence establishment--CBDE--Porton Down. Chemical agent monitors, individual protection equipment, tropical bleach and Fullers' Earth for decontamination, sampling kits, RAF transport, a gas chromatograph--mass spectrometer, infra-red spectrometer and fume cupboards, a generator and specialist search equipment were also made available for use during the inspections.
In addition to providing assistance for specific inspections, a senior CBDE Porton Down scientist is a full time member of the special commission and another is chairman of the commission's chemical weapon destruction advisory panel. Both have participated in fact finding missions to Iraq to discuss plans for the destruction of Iraq's mustard and nerve agent stockpile.
The United Kingdom made available £1 million for costs arising from the implementation of Security Council resolution 687, including equipment costs. The inspectors' travel and subsistence costs are borne by the United Nations. The costs of the commission itself and destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile and facilities will ultimately be recovered from Iraq under the terms of 1991 Security Council resolutions 687, 706 and 712.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what communications Her Majesty's Government have had with the Governments of Syria, Tunisia and Yemen over their respective failure to complete nuclear safeguards inspection agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have regularly urged all non-proliferation treaty parties, and especially those with nuclear facilities, to comply with their obligation under the treaty to conclude and implement full scope safeguards agreements with the IAEA at the earliest opportunity. Tunisia has in fact concluded such an agreement ; regrettably, Syria and Yemen have not as yet done so.