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Sir John Wheeler : The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The latest available information is for external consultancy contracts awarded in the 1992-93 financial year, which amounted to the value of £16,399,560. This, at constant 1994 prices, would be £16,932,545.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will increase the amount of minor surgical procedures which can be undertaken by each general practitioner in each quarter ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the (a) date, (b) country of destination, (c) purpose and (d) cost of each official visit abroad made by (i) the Lord Advocate and (ii) the Solicitor-General for Scotland since their appointments ; and if he will make a statement.
Solicitor-General for Scotland are as follows :
Date |Country |Purpose ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Lord Advocate 16-17 May 1992 |France |Franco-British Legal Conference 19-22 May 1992 |Belgium |Meeting of Presidents and Senior Prosecutors of the Supreme |Courts of the Member States of the European Communities 7-8 October 1992 |United States of America |Meeting with Assistant Attorney General Mueller regarding |Lockerbie investigation 14 November 1992 |France |Speech to Journees sur les Justices D'Europe 26-27 March 1993 |Eire |Address on Subsidiarity to Bar European Group Conference 13-15 September 1993 |United States of America |Meetings regarding Lockerbie with new Assistant Attorney |General 9 October 1993 |Austria |Council of Europe Summit Meeting 15-19 November 1993 |Mauritius |Conference of Commonwealth Law Ministers Solicitor-General 9-10 June 1992 |Cyprus |18th European Ministers of Justice Conference 3-7 August 1992 |Canada |Reform of Criminal Evidence Conference 8 December 1992 |France |Representing Her Majesty's Government in case of McMichael |v. United Kingdom 3-8 May 1993 |Cyprus |10th Commonwealth Law Conference 22 June 1993 |Switzerland |Informal meeting of European Ministers of Justice
The cost of such travel is not recorded in a form which allows the amounts for each visit to be identified, and not
Column 416all costs are necessarily borne by the Crown Office. Nevertheless, the total cost of Ministers' overseas visits is estimated to be in the order of £10,000.
Sir Hector Monro : The forestry review group has been asked to review the options for the ownership and management of Forestry Commission woodlands in which privatisation is only one of the options being considered by the group. Forestry Ministers will consider what advice, further to that to be offered shortly by the review group, we should seek in coming to decisions. A full process of consultation is planned.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing the average time that patients currently wait for the results of cervical smear tests in each health board area ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart : I refer the hon. Member to the replies that I gave the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South (Mr.Donohoe), Official Report, 21 January column 759, 3February, column 929 and 4 February, column 962.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a list of the equipment stolen or lost from his Department in the last five years for which information is available ; and what was the approximate value of each item.
Mr. Lang : A variety of minor items are periodically reported missing. The following more substantial items have been formally recorded since 1988 as losses to the Scottish Office, including those attributable to theft.
Year and Item |Approximate value |£ ------------------------------------------------------------ 1988 Cash |400 1989 Motor Car |2,000 Furniture/Machinery |3,800 1990 Furniture |1,595 1991 Video Equipment |749 1992 Video Equipment |359 Motor Car |2,650 Computer Equipment |3,500
Mr. Raymond S. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to implement the changes to the procedures of the Scottish Grand Committee set out in the White Paper, "Scotland in the Union : A Partnership for Good".
Mr. Lang : I am today placing in the Library of the House proposed amendments to standing orders and an explanatory note. The amendments will implement our commitment in the White Paper to expand the role of the Scottish Grand Committee. They reflect discussions I have had with the Opposition parties. The amendments provide for the Grand Committee :
to consider the principle of Bills relating exclusively to Scotland ;
to hold debates on subordinate legislation ;
to hold up to 12 general debates a year, with Opposition parties able to choose subjects for some of them ;
to put questions to Ministers, both from the House of Commons and the House of Lords ;
to receive oral statements from Ministers ; and
to hold adjournment debates.
The amendments will be tabled in due course.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practices have received the preparatory management allowance for general practice fundholding in two or more years running ; and in which family health service authority and regional health authority they are located.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether she has received a copy of the arbitration decision in respect of the patient transport service contract for North Staffordshire ; (2) who were the arbiters in respect of the appeal by the Staffordshire ambulance trust against the letting of the patient transport services contract in North Staffordshire by the North Staffordshire hospital trust in respect of services for the North Staffordshire trust and North Staffordshire health authority combined health care ;
(3) if she will place in the Library a copy of the arbitration procedure and decision in respect of patient transport services contract for North Staffordshire.
Column 419chief executive of West Midlands health and a representative of the National Health Service Management Executive. Copies of the letters sent to all parties following conciliation, along with guidance on the conciliation process used, EL(91)11 and EL(93)10, will be placed in the Library.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultation the North Staffordshire district health authority undertook with local authorities in respect of the comprehensiveness of their patient transport services specification in so far as it related to combined health care services in accordance with the commitments given in "Forward in Health : Health Strategy and the Authority's Business Plan in 1993-94 and 1994-95."
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the annual cost of national health service management in the parliamentary constituency of Dewsbury (a) in 1987-88 and (b) in 1992-93.
Dr. Mawhinney : The pay costs for national health service managers within Dewsbury health authority, amounted to £97,529 in 1987-88 and £1,125,119 in 1992-93. The figures need to be treated with great caution. Managerial staff consists of general and senior managers who did not exist as a separate staff group prior to 1986.
The number of managers in the NHS generally has been deliberately increased since the mid-1980s--not just since the reforms--as the service was previously under managed. Much of the increase arises from the re- classification of existing professional and administrative staff. Salaries and wage costs incurred by family health services authorities are excluded, as corresponding costs are not identified on the same basis.
Source : Health authority accounts.
Mr. Sackville : The available information is shown in the table. Data from the hospital episode statistics for earlier years are incomplete and do not provide sufficient coverage to make reliable estimates.
England: Private Patients-1989-92 Year |Number ------------------------- 1989-90 |83,478 1990-91 |81,366 <1>1991-92 |89,863 <1>Provisional estimates. Source: SD2A, Hospital Episode Statistics.
Dame Peggy Fenner : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to conduct a joint survey with the Ministry of Defence and the Medway community health doctor to monitor the health of the former work force of the nuclear division of Chatham dockyard.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment has been made of the proportion and number by which folic acid intake by mothers-to-be would reduce spinal and related developmental problems in babies ;
(2) what action is being taken with the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus to make sure that mothers-to-be are aware of the importance of folic acid ;
(3) for how long before conception and for how long after mothers-to-be are recommended to consider folic acid intake ; and what proportion of mothers- to-be know of the need to consume folic acid ;
(4) if she will promote in medical and general media issues of pre- conception and pre-birth maternal health as news and current affairs issues ;
(5) what assessment has been made by her Department as to whether folic acid reduces spinal and related development problems in babies.
Mr. Sackville : The report of the Medical Research Council study in July 1991 showed that women who had had a previous baby affected by neural tube defect, such as spina bifida, who increased their intake of folic acid prior to and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy significantly reduced the risk of having a further affected baby by 72 per cent. The Government set up an expert advisory group at once and its report "Folic Acid and the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects" confirmed this advice. In addition all women who were planning a pregnancy were also advised to take folic acid but in a lower dose. A copy of this report is available in the Library.
This advice was disseminated very widely to the health services. The Health Education Authority updated its publications to include the new guidance. The Department of Health has also publicised these findings in the press and media and this will continue. Posters and leaflets which complement those issued by the Association of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus have been distributed widely within the national health service and to professional and voluntary bodies and continue to be available free of charge. The Government are also promoting advice to eat a healthy diet which includes more fresh fruit and vegetables. This will also increase folic acid intakes.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health who is responsible for liaison with the Department of Transport in respect of the implications of road traffic accidents on health policy ; and if she will make a statement.
Column 421established to advise on the achievement of the targets for reductions in accidents set in the "Health of the Nation" White Paper. It has set two main objectives : the identification of outstanding research needs for the prevention of accidents and the improvement of the range and compatibility of information collected on the cause, severity and consequences of accidental injuries. A progress report will be issued later this year.
Mr. Hanson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to instigate a cancer screening programme for men over 50 years of age, for the detection of bowel of prostate gland cancer.
Mr. Sackville : The key aim of any screening programme must be to secure a demonstrable improvement in health by increasing length of life and enhancing quality of life. For neither of these cancers have effective screening methods yet been found, though with regard to bowel cancer especially, substantial research is underway into possible screeing methods and the identification of people at higher risk. Prostate cancer screening is a research priority for the Department of Health.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how may and what proportion of the total population was aged (a) over 60 and (b) over 65 years in 1978 and the most recent year for which statistics are available.
Estimated resident population of England and Wales (thousands) |Mid-1978|Mid-1992 ---------------------------------------------------------- Total population |49,443 |51,277 Population aged 60 and over- |9,865 |10,695 Percentage of total population |(20.0) |(20.9) Population aged 65 and over- |7,316 |8,162 Percentage of total population |(14.8) |(15.9)
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health with effect from what date she has applied the EC services directive to (a) the notification to existing contractors that the contract they currently hold is being let, (b) the timetable for the preparation of bids, (c) the timetable for the evaluation of bids, (d) the notification of the announcement of the successful bid and (e) the time-lapse between the start of the process and the announcement of the successful bidder.
Mr. Sackville : The information requested is not separately identifiable in the information collected centrally. The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairmen of regional health authorities for details.
Mr. Sackville : The information requested is not available centrally. It is for district health authorities in consultation with the providers of health services to determine the level of provision of subfertility services locally. The hon. Member should write to the chairman of the relevant health authority requesting this information.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer given to the hon. Member for Colchester, South and Maldon (Mr. Whittingdale) of 18January, Official Report, column 528, if she will publish the independent, specialist consultancy advice on the future of the NHS Supplies Authority.
Dr. Mawhinney : The chairman of City Hospitals Sunderland national health service trust is Mr. D. Graham and the non-executive directors are Mrs. R. Blacklock, Mr. C. Storey, Mrs. M. Mason, Mr. E. Timmins and Mr. J. Sadlik. The chairman's remuneration is £19,285 per year : all non- executive directors receive £5,000 per year. The appointment and salaries of executive directors are matters for the trust itself.
Column 423officers' reports on residential care homes by local authority staff considering the placement of clients in the homes concerned.
Mr. Bowis : Local authority staff considering the placement of clients in residential care homes are covered by the Department's general guidance to local authorities that--subject to legal advice--there should be public access to inspection reports on individual homes.
Mr. Bowis : In recognition of their new community care responsibilities we are making available to local authorities in England a special transitional grant of £565.4 million in 1993-94. For 1994-95 the cumulative total of new resources for community care will be £1,274.5 million. The figures are in addition to amounts already spent by health and local authorities on community care services from their baseline resources.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the value of consultancy contracts awarded by his Department each year since 1979, both in current prices and at constant 1994 prices.
Value of Consultancy Contracts (£,000) Year |Actual Prices |At 1994 Prices ------------------------------------------------------------ 1987 |364 |532 1988 |438 |600 1989 |555 |711 1990 |974 |1,155 1991 |1,517 |1,691 1992 |1,994 |2,141 1993 |1,629 |1,694
Information for the years before 1987 is not available in the form requested.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much money has been made available for spending on primary and secondary education in Essex in each of the last three financial years ; what is the figure for 1994-95 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robin Squire : For the purpose of calculating authorities' standard spending assessments, education standard spending is divided into five sub-blocks--under-fives, five to 10, 11 to 15, 16 plus, and "other education". The table below sets out the changes in five to 10, 11 to 15 and 16 plus sub-blocks for Essex for 1994-95. Expenditure on under-fives at primary schools is notionally supported through the under-fives sub-block.
Year |1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 |1994-95 |£ million|£ million|£ million|£ million -------------------------------------------------------------------- 5-10 Sub-block |183.498 |196.384 |203.468 |214.362 11-15 Sub-block |218.819 |232.814 |240.749 |246.484 16 plus Sub-block |90.652 |102.760 |34.788 |34.373 Notes 1. 1993-94 figure for the 16 plus sub-block reflects LEAs' loss of responsibility for most further education. 2. 1994-95 figures reflect LEAs' loss of responsibility for the careers service and school inspections.
Education standard spending assessments are not earmarked. Each authority is free to determine its spending priorities between the services for which it has responsibility.
Mr. Boswell : My right hon. Friend has made one visit abroad on official business during 1993, to attend and address a conference organised by the Organisation for the Development of Freedom of Education. The total cost to public funds was £728.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of surplus places in (a) primary, (b) secondary and (c) special schools in the London boroughs.
Sir David Madel : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make a statement about the level of parental contributions to the fees of pupils in the assisted places scheme in the next academic year.