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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 19 July 1993

HEALTH

Clinical Medical Officers

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the number of consultant community paediatricians, clinical medical officers and senior clinical medical officers in each of the last five years.

Dr. Mawhinney : The available information is shown in the table.


|c|Community health service medical staff-England 30 September                                           

each year|c|                                                                                             

                     |Consultant community|Senior clinical     |Clinical medical                         

                     |paediatrician       |medical officer     |officer (all                             

                                          |(all specialties)   |specialties)                             

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

1987                 |n/a                 |1,133               |1,713                                    

1988                 |n/a                 |1,188               |1,669                                    

1989                 |n/a                 |1,181               |1,653                                    

1990                 |n/a                 |1,151               |1,620                                    

1991                 |n/a                 |1,158               |1,509                                    

Notes:                                                                                                   

1. n/a means not available.                                                                              

2. Most clinical medical officers work in paediatrics, and provide child health surveillance. The        

decline in their numbers reflects the growing number of general practitioners taking on this work. We    

estimate that over 60 per cent. of children under five are now receiving these services from their GP.   

Sugar-free Drugs

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of drugs used by children are available in a sugar-free form.

Mr. Sackville : This information is not available in the form requested.

In respect of oral liquid medicines, records held by the United Kingdom Licensing Authority show that 1,797 products are currently licensed for human use but not all of these would be indicated for use in children. Within these 1,797 licensed products, 218 are sugar free.

Neonatal Units

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many trusts or directly managed units had neonatal units in 1991-92.

Mr. Sackville : In 1991-92, 27 trusts and 172 directly managed units provided cots intended for neonatal intensive care.

Source : SD2A ; KHO3 return.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many neonatal intensive care beds there are ; what is the average time a baby spends in such cots ; and how many babies used such cots in 1991-92.


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Mr. Sackville : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave her on 21 June at columns 27-28. Information about the number of babies using these cots and their length of stay is not available centrally.

Dentists

Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Health by how much funding for national health service dentists has increased in real terms in the past three years.

Dr. Mawhinney : The latest information is shown in the table :


NHS Dental Services:                                                                                                    

Gross Expenditure<1> England                                                                                            

Year                |Gross expenditure  |Gross expenditure  |Percentage increase|Percentage increase                    

                    |(cash £ million)   |(real terms £      |(real terms) Year  |(real terms)                           

                                        |million<2>)        |on year<2>         |1988-89 to                             

                                                                                |1991-92<2>                             

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

1989-90             |1,118.4            |1,288.4            |<3>-5.4            |-                                      

1990-91             |1,229.6            |1,311.5            |1.8                |-                                      

1991-92             |1,521.0            |1,521.0            |16.0               |<3>11.7                                

Sources: Information for the general dental services (GDS) is from the relevant year's appropriation account.           

Information for the hospital dental service (HDS) and community dental service (CDS) are from the annual health         

authority accounts up to 1990-91 and from health authority annual financial returns for 1991-92.                        

Notes:                                                                                                                  

<1> Total expenditure on national health service dental services combines gross expenditure on the GDS, HDS and CDS,    

respectively. Gross expenditure includes income from patient charges, net of refunds.                                   

<2> Gross domestic product deflator used to calculate real terms at 1991-92 prices.                                     

<3> Compared with real terms figure of £1,361.5 million for 1988-89.                                                    

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what period of notice dental practitioners are required to give patients before they are removed from their national health service register ; and in what form the notice is required to be.

Dr. Mawhinney : Dentists are required by their terms of service to give a patient three months notice in writing of their intention to terminate a continuing care or capitation arrangement. Exceptionally, a dentist may make a written application to the family health service authority for permission to terminate an arrangement sooner.

Insulin Treatment

Dr. Spink : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the insulin pen and the needles it uses are available on prescription.

Dr. Mawhinney : Insulin pen injection systems and the needles they use are not available on prescription. Their inclusion in the general practitioner prescribable list must, like all new additions to the list, be subject to the availability of resources.

Community Pharmacists

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans she has to require community pharmacists to provide additional services without receiving additional payment ;

(2) to what extent she intends to fund the new professional allowance for community pharmacists from the new existing global sum.


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Dr. Mawhinney : The 1993-94 pay settlement will be as a first step towards specifically recognising the professional services many pharmacists provide. The detailed elements of the pharmacists' remuneration structure, of which the proposed professional allowance would be one, are all funded from within the global sum.

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what basis her proposed threshold of 2,000 NHS prescriptions per month for payment of the professional allowance to community pharmacists was calculated.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it is her policy that community pharmacies make a demonstrable contribution to the national health service only if they dispense more than 2,000 prescriptions per month.

Dr. Mawhinney : A threshold of 2,000 national health service prescriptions per month was one part of one element of the original pay offer for the transitional year of 1993-94 which was designed as an interim step towards a longer-term structure. We are reviewing the terms of that offer in the light of discussions with the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee.

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether her proposal of a 2000 NHS prescription per month threshold for payment of the new professional allowance to community pharmacists has been formally withdrawn ;

(2) what assessment she has made of the rate of progress of the negotiations with the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee on remuneration for community pharmacists ; and what steps she is taking to put further proposals to the committee.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) why the proposed meeting between her officials and the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee on 13 July did not take place ;

(2) when she expects her Department to put a new set of proposals concerning the remuneration of community pharmacists to the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee.

Dr. Mawhinney : The rate of progress of the negotiations with the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee on pharmacists' remuneration for 1993-94 has been much slower than we would have wished. The pay offer made on 12 March remains on the table, but the Government are considering the points made in discussions with the committee since then and hope to be in a position to table a revised offer shortly. We were not ready to do so by 13 July and so that meeting provisionally rescheduled for that day was postponed.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the proposed increase of 1.5 per cent. for 1993-94 in the global sum for payment of community pharmacists is intended to cover the increased drug costs and other expenses incurred by community pharmacists on behalf of the NHS as well as provide for an increase in their reumuneration ; and if he will make a statement.

Dr. Mawhinney : The proposed increase is intended to cover both the labour and overheads elements of pharmacists' remuneration. The reimbursement of the cost of the drugs they dispense is dealt with separately.


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Managers' Salaries

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 23 June, Official Report, column 182, if she will provide comparable information on the average annual cost of employing (a) a district general manager group 1, (b) a district general manager group 2, (c) a district general manager group 3, (d) a unit general manager group 1, (e) a unit general manager group 2, (f) a unit general manager group 3 and (g) a unit general manager group 4.

Dr. Mawhinney : This information is not available centrally.

GP Partnership Staff

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioner partnerships employ a psychologist and counsellor.

Dr. Mawhinney : As at 1 October 1992, general practitioners in England employed 169 counsellors--whole-time equivalent. Details are not available centrally on the number of psychologists, as a separate category, who may be similarly employed.

Great Yarmouth and Waveney Health District

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations she has received on the proposal to split the Great Yarmouth and Waveney health district ; and if she will make a statement ;

(2) if she will make it her policy to consider putting the Waveney part of the Great Yarmouth and Waveney health district into a new authority comprising Great Yarmouth and Norwich rather than the plans proposed by the East Anglian regional health authority ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Sackville : East Anglian regional health authority has commenced public consultation on its proposals to merge parts of Great Yarmouth and Waveney health authority with neighbouring health authorities and we have received two representations on these proposals. They were from my hon. Friend the Member for Waveney himself and from the chairman of the Great Yarmouth and Waveney General Practitioners Forum. When this period of formal consultation is completed it will be for East Anglian regional health authority to consider the response, including any alternatives that may have been put forward. The goal of purchasing health authorities is to improve health and health services, and to improve and extend standards of clinical care, and to prevent illness. To achieve this local health authorities need to work for and with local people. This is what we expect the East Anglian regional health authority to bear in mind before making recommendations to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.

Generic Drugs

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what incentives her Department employs to encourage general practitioners to prescribe generic drugs ; and how much has been spent in each of the last three years on such incentives.

Dr. Mawhinney : We have a range of initiatives to encourage general medical practitioners to prescribe more


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effectively including, where appropriate, generic prescribing. These include, from 1991-92, incentive schemes which cost £100,000 in their first year of operation.

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of drugs prescribed per annum are generic.

Dr. Mawhinney : In 1992, the latest year for which figures are available, 43 per cent. of drugs were prescribed generically.

Child Migrant Scheme

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 14 July, Official Report, column 533, what records are retained relating to the child migrant scheme.

Mr. Bowis : The Department holds some 105 files relating to policy on the child migrant schemes, dating from 1910 to 1959. Fifty of these have been opened to the public under the normal provisions of the public records legislation. The remainder are closed. So far as we are currently aware, the Department does not hold case files on individuals who emigrated under the child migrant schemes, but we are making further inquiries about this.

NHS Reforms

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 23 November, Official Report, columns 496-98, if she will update the table provided on the cost of implementing the NHS reforms.

Dr. Mawhinney : The reforms are firmly in place, and much of the spending referred to is now absorbed in purchasers' baselines and providers' prices. It is for them to decide how they allocate these resources.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Immigration

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received from hon. Members during (a) the first quarter of 1992 and (b) the first quarter of 1993 to delay the removal of passengers refused entry at British ports of entry and, for both periods, how many representations resulted in (i) the delay of the passenger's removal for up to a week, (ii) the delay of the passenger's removal for more than a week and (iii) reversal of the immigration officer's decision.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The information requested is not available centrally.

Citizenship Applications

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for British citizenship under section 4(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981 have been (a) made, (b) granted and (c) refused in each quarter since January 1992 ; and how many of those granted have been on the grounds of service in the armed forces.

Mr. Charles Wardle : One application was received in June 1992, one in November 1992 and one in January


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1993. Of these, one has been granted, one has been refused and one has not yet been decided. The application which was granted was made on the grounds of service in the armed forces.

Immigration Rules

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average time taken by his Department to investigate cases referred from overseas posts in order to assess whether the maintenance and accommodation requirements of the immigration rules have been met.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The information requested is not available. Staff are instructed to give priority to cases referred by overseas posts for decision or for inquiries to be made.

Race Relations

Mr. Peter Shore : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what have been the sums paid to the London borough of Tower Hamlets under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 in each year since 1990 ; and what is the estimated payment for the years 1993-94, 1994- 95 and 1995-96.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The amount of section 11 grant provision payable direct to Tower Hamlets in respect of each financial year from 1990 is set out in the table :


Financial year |£                            

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

1989-90        |297,795                      

1990-91        |4,732,150                    

1991-92        |6,486,671                    

1992-93        |8,202,381                    

The figures for the year 1989-90 relate to grant in service areas other than education. It is not possible to isolate precise figures for the grant payable to the inner London education authority during this period in respect of education provision within Tower Hamlets. The grant figure for 1990-91 includes education provision transferred from ILEA.

The figure for the year 1993-94 is a prediction based on best estimates as supplied by Tower Hamlets. It is not possible to give details of figures for the years 1994-95 and 1995-96 at this stage.

Genetic Engineering

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of Home Office inspectors have an expert knowledge in the genetic engineering of animals ; and what account has been taken of the extent of unpredictability of this technology in deciding how to evaluate the likely suffering endured by animals during scientific procedures involving genetic engineering.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Three inspectors--14 per cent. of the inspectorate--have genetic engineering as a specialist area, but all inspectors are well briefed on the techniques used and the likely consequences of transgenic technology.

Inspectors are aware of the potential for unpredictable problems associated with the manipulation of genetic material and all applications for such work are carefully


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considered and monitored to ensure that the earliest appropriate end points are set and observed for any work authorised. The independent Animal Procedures Committee considered the issues raised by work in transgenics in detail during 1990 and considered the existing controls of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 adequate.

Crime Prevention

Mr. Richards : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in stimulating private sector interest in crime prevention initiatives ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The cornerstone of the Government's approach to crime prevention is partnership and we will continue to encourage participation by the private sector. Current indications of the private sector's interest include the following.

The private sector provided support, estimated at the equivalent of more than £13 million, to Car Crime Prevention Year and continues to contribute to the campaign in a number of ways ; Crime Concern, the independent crime prevention organisation, has been successful in encouraging the involvement of the private


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sector, raising £1.9 million in general sponsorship from this source in 1992-93 ; the membership of National Board for Crime Prevention which holds its first meeting on 26 July includes three senior executives from the private sector ; local business and industry is represented on the steering committees of each of the 20 safer cities projects. The private sector has contributed sponsorship and is involved in other ways in local crime prevention schemes promoted by safer cities projects ; the Dixon Group plc has seconded to the Home Office one of its directors for a period of two years to carry out an assignment on business crime.

Entry Clearance

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases entry clearance was refused to applicants from (a) Pakistan, (b) India, (c) Bangladesh and (d) the Indian subcontinent as a whole on grounds of the primary purpose rule in the last three years ; and how many of these applicants were (i) men and (ii) women.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The available information is given in the table.


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Appeals from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh<1>                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                             |1991                                                                        |1992                                                                                                                                                     

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

Received                                                                     |1,843                                                                       |891                                                                                                                                                      

Allowed                                                                      |355                                                                         |390                                                                                                                                                      

Dismissed                                                                    |1,059                                                                       |1,554                                                                                                                                                    

Withdrawn                                                                    |529                                                                         |577                                                                                                                                                      

Pending<2>                                                                   |n/a                                                                         |n/a                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Vigilantes

Mr. Richards : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are being taken in Wales to discourage action by vigilantes ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The Government do not condone the formation of vigilante groups. Vigilante action may lead to an offence and has to be treated by the police in the same way as any other offending behaviour. In Wales, and in other areas, the police have used the media and public meetings to advise members of the public about the danger of taking the law into their own hands.


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National Lottery

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to amend the present legislation relating to lotteries so as to increase the maximum prize money before the first draw in the new national lottery takes place.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : We intend to bring those provisions of the National Lottery Etc. Bill which amend the law relating to existing societies' and local authority lotteries--including the provisions of clause 51 which increase the prize limit for such lotteries--into force as soon as practicable. A period of time will, however, be needed to make consequential changes to the Lotteries Regulations and to enable societies to register with the Gaming Board under the new sche


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Falkland Islands

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason tracker dogs are not being used by the investigative team as an aid to their recent inquiry in the Falklands into alleged infringements of the Geneva convention.

Mr. Charles Wardle : This is a matter for the commissioner.

Court Escort Duties

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the cost of the contract with Group 4 covering court escort duties in Humberside and east midlands over five years ; and if he will set out the cost of this service for the previous five years.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Philippa Drew to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated July 1993 : The Home Secretary has asked me in the temporary absence of Mr. Lewis, the Director General, to reply to your recent Question asking about the cost of the contract with Group 4 covering court escort and custody duties in Humberside and East Midlands over five years ; and the cost of this service for the previous five years.

I am not sure that I can add substantively to Mr. Dunbar's letter of 4 May to you in response to a Question from you covering similar ground [Official Report 5 May, columns 75-76, copy attached]. The information in that letter was collected as a result of special survey work to separately identify time spent on court escort and custody duties by police and prison officers in the area, which was then costed. Information on the cost of the court escort and custody service is not routinely collected by either the police or the Prison Service, and would have varied over the previous 5 years with the size of the task. This in turn would have varied with the number of persons brought in custody before th

Strangeways Prison

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce the successful tenderer for Strangeways prison ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from my right hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham and Morden (Dame A. Rumbold) on 15 July, at columns 583-84.

Sheehy Report

Mr. Eastham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment he has made of the temporary drop in police manpower caused by the elimination of middle management posts and the creation of additional constable posts proposed by the Sheehy report ;


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(2) what account he will take in future decisions on the starting salaries for constables of the stage at which constables are required to patrol on their own ;

(3) what assessment he has made of the proposal in the Sheehy report for existing employees to be obliged to enter into a fixed-term contract upon accepting promotion and to be obliged to move from the current 30-year pension scheme to a scheme based on 40 years' service ; and what estimate he has made of the extent to which officers will refuse promotion as a result ;

(4) what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposals within the Sheehy report in regard to overtime payment on the response of officers to incidents taking place at the end of the working day ;

(5) what advantages he expects to arise from the change recommended in the Sheehy report from a 30-year pension to a 40-year pension ; and what effect he expects this to have on the average age of police in service ;

(6) what plans he has to allow appeals against decisions of chief constables on the desirable age profile of a police force.

Mr. Trotter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy in implementing any of the recommendations made by the Sheehy report to ensure that there is no reduction in the total police manpower.

Mr. Charles Wardle : In considering the implications of all the recommendations made in the report of the inquiry into police responsibilities and rewards, my right hon. and learned Friend will take into account the comments received during the consultation period.

Mr. Eastham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect on morale in police forces in the United Kingdom of the publication of the Sheehy report.

Mr. Charles Wardle : My right hon. and learned Friend is aware that many police officers hold views on the recommendations of the inquiry into police responsibilities and rewards. There will be full consultation with the police and other interests before my right hon. and learned Friend, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland reach conclusions on the inquiry's report.

Mr. Khabra : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) wives and (b) children refused entry in the Indian subcontinent in 1991 and 1992 appealed against the refusal ; how many of these appeals were (i) allowed, (ii) dismissed, (iii) withdrawn and (iv) are pending ; and if he will give this information for each post.

Mr. John M. Taylor : I have been asked to reply.

The immigration appellate authorities record appeals by wives and children against refusal of entry clearance together in a category that also includes appeals by other dependent relatives and returning residents.


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Appeals from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh<1>                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                             |1991                                                                        |1992                                                                                                                                                     

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

Received                                                                     |1,843                                                                       |891                                                                                                                                                      

Allowed                                                                      |355                                                                         |390                                                                                                                                                      

Dismissed                                                                    |1,059                                                                       |1,554                                                                                                                                                    

Withdrawn                                                                    |529                                                                         |577                                                                                                                                                      

Pending<2>                                                                   |n/a                                                                         |n/a                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Parole Board

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is now his policy on replacing part-time members of the Parole Board with full -time paid officials ; when this policy was announced ; and what consultations he undertook in respect of changes in his policy.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I am currently considering proposals to appoint a small number of full-time members of the Parole Board, in addition to existing part-time members. Any such appointments will be made as members of the Parole Board and will not be officials of the civil service. We announced the possibility of such appointments to members of the Parole Board at their annual general meeting on 9 March. The chairman of the board was consulted on the subject both prior to the announcement and since that date, and I hope to meet him shortly in order to discuss the matter further.


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