Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has about the number of people suffering from an allergy to nuts and the number of deaths that have resulted in recent years.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement about the distribution of flu vaccine for 1993-94 ; and what relative priorities have been given to asthmatics, children, adults and the retired.
Mr. Sackville : For commercial reasons, a fifth of the expected supply of flu vaccine did not become available until 22 December 1993. Helpfully, however, additional production by licensed suppliers resulted in over 5 million
Column 392doses being made available to the national health service prior to this date compared with 4.7 million in 1992-93. Supplies of influenza vaccine are still available.
As in previous years, the chief medical officer wrote to all general practitioners in 1993-94 giving advice about available vaccines and about people most at risk for whom immunisation is recommended, including asthmatics. Routine immunisation of children and fit and healthy older people is not recommended unless there are particular risk factors. The final decision in individual cases rests with the GP.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will set out the terms of reference for the review of the role and functions of the NHS estates ; and when she expects the review to be completed.
Review of the NHS Estates Agency--
Terms of Reference
I. To carry out a review of the NHS Estates Agency by the end of June 1994, by
1. evaluating the following :
(a) the appropriateness of the aims and objectives of the agency (
(b) the agency's performance in meeting its targets
(c) the appropriateness of the delegations available to the agency (
(d) the efficiency and economy of the agency's internal operations, including its personnel, management and financial systems (
(e) the impact of agency status on the agency's activities in relation to the Department of Health and its Ministers
(f) the impact of agency status on the agency's and Department's relationship with Parliament and the public ;
2. reconsidering the prior options for the status of the agency ; 3. depending on the outcome of 1 and 2 above, revising the agency's framework document as appropriate.
II. to report to Ministers according to the agreed timetable, consulting the Office of Public Services and Science and the Treasury as necessary.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will direct area child protection committees to undertake monitoring of the scale of the problem of young runaways in each area and ensure that proper inter-agency arrangements are in place to respond effectively.
Mr. Bowis : Government guidance on the role and functions of area child protection committees--ACPCs--is given in "Working Together under the Children Act 1989" and we have no plans to issue specific guidance to ACPCs on young runaways. Copies of the guidance are available in the Library.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the changes to statutory sick pay provision upon her departmental budget for the financial year 1994-95.
Mr. Sackville : The abolition of the 80 per cent. statutory sick pay reimbursement rate will be offset, at least in part, by a reduction in employer's national insurance contributions. Any additional costs will be absorbed within the Department's running costs baseline.
Dr. Mawhinney : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received a petition of some 46,000 signatures and some 17,000 pre-printed letters and postcards from members of the public, as well as a number of letters from individuals and hon. Members.
Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement indicating her policy on the use of ova from aborted babies to enable babies to be conceived through in vitro fertilisation ; and if she will identify precisely those sections of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 which would effectively prevent the adoption of such techniques.
Mr. Sackville : The Government welcome the consultation document on the use of ovarian tissue, including fetal ovarian tissue, in the treatment of infertility issued on 7 January by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. This wide-ranging consultation will give the public and professional interests time to consider all aspects of this complex and sensitive area. We look forward to receiving advice from the authority in due course, when we can consider what action, if any, is required.
Column 394Under Section 3 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, it is an offence to create, keep or use an embryo without a licence. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority stated that no licence would be granted where the in vitro fertilisation involved fetal eggs.
Revenue expenditure on gross redundancy payments in England |1990-91 |1991-92 |1992-93 |£ |£ |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Regional Health Authorities |948,202 |2,720,438 |3,236,599 District Health Authorities |10,789,525 |25,875,532 |34,805,785 NHS Trusts |Not applicable|3,674,860 |14,467,515 |------- |------- |------- Totals |11,737,727 |32,270,650 |52,509,899 Notes: Number of trusts as at: 1 April 1991- 57 Number of trusts as at: 1 April 1992-156 Number of trusts as at: 1 April 1993-292
The closure of psychiatric hospitals in connection with "Care in the Community" and management restructuring throughout the national health service are the main reasons for the increase in redundancy compensation payments. Section 45 of the General Whitley Council handbook establishes the redundancy compensation arrangements for NHS staff. Redundancy compensation takes the form of a lump sum dependent on the age and reckonable service of the employee at the date he or she ceases to be employed.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 14 January 1994] : Holders of low income scheme charge remission certificates are entitled to receive national health services free or at a reduced cost as and when these are needed during the currency of a certificate ; they do not receive a specified financial award. Certificate holders may also be entitled to refunds of travelling expenses incurred when attending hospital for national health service treatment and, within strict time limits, to refunds of charges paid before they claimed help from the low income scheme. Information about expenditure on these refunds is not collected centrally.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The responsibility for securing the good communications which are important to the continued success of Cardiff Wales airport rests with South Glamorgan county council. The Department would be prepared to consider a well substantiated case for transport grant support for major improvement to road links to the airport if the county council considered it of sufficient priority.
16. Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the latest information he has concerning the length of hospital waiting lists at (a) six months, (b) one year and (c) over one year.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The most recent detailed information on the length of hospital waiting lists in Wales and the increasing numbers of patients being treated is that shown in the Welsh "Hospital Waiting List Bulletin 1993", No. 2, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
Mr. Redwood : Welsh industry has extremely high productivity. We have seen a long-term trend of falling unemployment with a further fall of 1,800 in Wales last month ; low inflation ; low interest rates ; and competitive exchange rates. All of these factors have given Welsh companies a competitive edge which they are using to the full. Welsh industry is in a strong position to take advantage of improving trading conditions both at home and overseas, which will be improved even further with the accord reached in the Uruguay round.
Managerial sNursing and midwifery staff |Other |Learners<2>|Total ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1988 |<3>- |24,583 |3,336 |27,920 1989 |187 |24,919 |3,118 |28,037 1990 |416 |25,018 |3,075 |28,093 1991 |683 |25,028 |2,934 |27,962 1992 |848 |25,451 |1,970 |27,421 1993 |1,028 |25,206 |1,033 |26,239 Notes: Figures given are the whole-time equivalent number of staff employed as at 30 September each year. Includes staff employed by the Welsh Health Common Services Authority and those Family Health Services Authorities using District Health Authority payroll systems. The use of locally devised payscales from 1991 onwards may affect the comparability of figures as these staff cannot be allocated centrally to a specific staff group and are not, therefore, included above. <1> General and senior managers. The growth in the number of these staff arises partly from the extension in 1989 of senior manager terms and conditions of service to second and third level managers including some senior nurses and other professional staff. <2> Since the autumn of 1991 student nurses have been classified as students and are no longer included in the NHS staff figures. Staff included here are students finishing courses begun before this date. There were some 1,800 Project 2000 student nurses at September 1993. <3> Comparable figures for years before 1989 are not available.
Sir Wyn Roberts : On 14 December, my right hon. Friend announced that in 1993-94 work will start on the A465 Aberdulais-Glynneath improvement, the A4042 Llantarnam bypass, and the A40 Llandeilo northern bypass. Work has since started on the first two of these
Column 397schemes and tenders for the third are being assessed. In 1994-95 starts are planned for the A470 Pentrebach-Cefn Coed improvement, the A5 Glyn Bends improvement and the A40 Whitland bypass.
My right hon. Friend is reviewing the strategic roads needs of Wales with the aim of accelerating the start of the more important schemes in the forward programme. He plans to make an announcement shortly.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The provisional local government revenue settlement for 1994-95 provides for local government spending of £2, 704.8 million, an increase of 4.2 per cent. over 1993-94. The settlement is realistic in the present economic climate.
Local authorities are responsible for determining their priorities for expenditure in the light of available resources and local needs, including the youth service.
28. Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much the administration of the Clwyd health authority and other authorities in Wales cost in the last year and in 1978 adjusted to 1992 prices.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : The information is as follows. The table gives the cost of administration for health authorities in Wales for 1992-93--the last year for which data are available--and for 1978-79 adjusted to 1992-93 prices.
£ thousands Health authority |1992-93 |1978-79 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clwyd |3,615 |4,198 East Dyfed/Pembrokeshire |2,804 |4,687 Gwent |3,729 |6,312 Gwynedd |2,080 |3,337 Mid Glamorgan |2,372 |7,321 Powys |2,248 |1,870 South Glamorgan |7,101 |6,923 West Glamorgan |2,605 |4,584 Source: Summarised Accounts of Health Authorities in Wales. Note: The figure for the cost of administration is taken to be that covering authority administration and purchasing expenses. This represents the total revenue expenditure on the pay and accommodation costs of staff of all disciplines and their support staff employed at headquarters levels together with the costs of the purchaser function. They exclude administrative support in hospital departments and at other local levels which is regarded as operational expenditure.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what were the actual council revenue spending for 1993-94, net of community care, and the planned council revenue spending for 1993-94 and 1994-95, net of community care, for each district and county of Wales and for Wales as a whole.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Local authority budgeted expenditure, including community care, for the current financial year is published on page 43 of "Welsh Local Government Financial Statistics No. 17 1993", copies of which are in
Column 398the Library of the House. Information on community care budgets is not available separately. Actual figures for 1993 -94 and budgeted expenditure for 1994-95 are not yet available.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what amount of reserves was spent by every county and district council in Wales during the last financial year ; and if he will give the totals for all counties and all districts, and the combined total for Wales.
Appropriations from/to financial reserves, 1992-93 revised estimates<1> |£'000 ------------------------------------ Alyn and Deeside |1,133 Colwyn |193 Delyn |1,216 Glyndwr |378 Rhuddlan |327 Wrexham Maelor |-283 Carmarthen |-50 Ceredigion |892 Dinefwr |-91 Llanelli |415 Preseli Pembrokeshire |-685 South Pembrokeshire |222 Blaenau Gwent |1,672 Islwyn |725 Monmouth |193 Newport |-1,568 Torfaen |-314 Aberconwy |909 Arfon |58 Dwyfor |241 Meirionnydd |990 Ynys Mon |198 Cynon Valley |568 Merthyr Tydfil |224 Ogwr |-3 Rhondda |-1,104 Rhymney Valley |389 Taff Ely |789 Brecknock |-107 Montgomeryshire |1,134 Radnorshire |-176 Cardiff |-1,529 Vale of Glamorgan |477 Port Talbot |143 Lliw Valley |-9 Neath |3,464 Swansea |4,659 Clwyd |-22 Dyfed |1,030 Gwent |819 Gwynedd |1,002 Mid Glamorgan |-5,496 Powys |2,121 South Glamorgan |898 West Glamorgan |-125 Total Districts |15,690 Total Counties |227 Total Wales |15,917 Source: General Fund Revenue Accounts Return (RA94). <1> Appropriations from financial reserves are shown as positive and appropriations to reserves are shown as (-). Includes reserves under Local Management of Schools and Local Management of Colleges.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the effect on Wales of implementing the Youthstart programme, proposed by the European Commission White Paper on growth, competition and employment.
Sir Wyn Roberts : Youthstart is a Community youth guarantee scheme which is still being considered. The Government's youth guarantee scheme already ensures that all young people under the age of 18 who are not in a job or further education are given the opportunity of a suitable place on youth training.
Salary costs of general and senior managers |£000 ---------------------- 1986-87 |1,332 1987-88 |1,600 1988-89 |1,735 1989-90 |6,521 1990-91 |9,253 1991-92 |16,897 1992-93 |20,127 Source: Health Authorities' Annual Accounts/Financial Returns Pembrokeshire NHS Trust Financial Returns Notes: i. Figures include expenditure by Health Authorities, the Welsh Health Common Services Authority, Pembrokeshire NHS Trust and the Health Promotion Authority for Wales but excludes those of Family Health Services Authorities whose corresponding costs are not identifiable on the same basis. ii. It should be noted that since 1989 senior managers' terms and conditions of service have been extended to second and third level managers and some senior nurses and other professional staff have also transferred to the senior management grades.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he received a copy of a report on biodiversity and conservation action, prepared by six environmental groups ; and what steps he has taken to evaluate the risks outlined in the report.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what response he has made to Friends of the Earth Cymru's inquiry in regard to the standardisation of safety regulations covering the transport of dangerous cargoes through road tunnels.
Sir Wyn Roberts : I replied to a letter from Friends of the Earth on 10 January decribing the measures we have taken to minimise the risk of vehicles carrying hazardous loads using the tunnels on the A55. A copy of my letter has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what arrangements he has made for the continued employment of the staff of the Welsh Education Development Committee--PDAG--the Welsh Committee of School Examinations and Assessment Council and the Curriculum Council for Wales following the transference and expansion of the functions of those bodies following the enactment of the Education Act 1993 and the Welsh Language Act 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Wyn Roberts : Decisions on the continued employment of the staff of the Curriculum Council for Wales when it is established as the new Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales/Awdurdod Cwricwlwm ac Asesu Cymru--ACAC--from 1 April will be a matter for the new Authority to consider within the approved staffing structure and resources to be made available to the authority. Discussions are taking place with the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority in respect of those staff employed on Welsh language functions whose contracts will continue after 1 April 1994. The redeployment of staff currently employed by the Welsh Language Education Development Committee--PDAG--is the responsibility of the Welsh Joint Education Committee which is their statutory employer. Staff currently engaged at PDAG will, however, be free to apply for any post advertised by ACAC, the Further Education Funding Council and the Welsh Language Board.
Column 401Radioactive Substances Act 1993. The small volume of waste sent to landfill is mainly in ash form, most of it having already been incinerated, and contains very low levels of radioactivity.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much money has been spent in Wales on each different grant and subsidy scheme available to farmers and landowners in each year from 1990-91 to 1993-94 ; what are his forecasts for 1994-95 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : The expenditure on agricultural grant and subsidy schemes in the years 1990-91 to 1992-93 is published in the appropriation accounts for the relevant years, copies of which are in the Library of the House. The latest forecasts for 1993-94 are set out in the supply estimates 1993-94 for vote 1 schemes and, for vote 2 schemes, in the winter supplementary estimates. My plans for spending on agricultural grants and subsidies in Wales for 1994-95 will be set out in the 1994-95 supply estimates. The Government's priorities on and aims for agricultural spending will be set out in the Welsh Office departmental report to be laid before Parliament in March.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress his Department has made in reviewing the boundaries of the Pembrokeshire Coast national park following the public inquiry in 1991 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish new guidelines to local planning authorities with regard to the factors which should be considered in permitting out-of-town shopping centres with a potentially detrimental effect on town centre business activity ; and if he will make a statement.