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Ivan Biddle

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will instruct that Ivan Biddle be re-employed by the national health service.

Dr. Mawhinney : No.

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AIDS (Education)

Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her assessment of the importance of the Health Education Authority's role in providing national public education campaigns to promote safer sex, with particular reference to the rate of heterosexual transmission of AIDS.

Mr. Sackville : The Health Education Authority has a key role in developing and promoting safer sex advice across the United Kingdom to any people whose behaviour may put them at greater risk of HIV infection. This is underpinned and complemented by contributions from many other local and national agencies, all delivering health education to the whole population.

NHS Trusts

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has issued any guidelines to NHS trusts in relation to the appointment of senior financial management ; and if she will make a statement.

Dr. Mawhinney : The Department of Health fully appreciates the importance to national health service trusts of appointing properly qualified people to senior finance posts. No guidance has been issued specifically to NHS trusts on this issue. However, in November 1992, the Department launched its new finance staff development strategy, which applies to district health authorities and NHS trusts alike. The key points of the strategy were summarised in the booklet "Framework for the Future". This made it clear that senior finance staff in the NHS would be expected to possess, or to be studying for, the appropriate professional qualifications, and to possess the skills and competencies necessary to discharge their duties, as well as displaying various personal qualities desirable in finance staff generally. In addition, the Department launched "The Role of the Director of Finance in the NHS" in February 1994. This provides guidance on the role of the director of finance, relationships with other key NHS officers, personal qualities, professional skills and the qualifications that he or she requires. Copies of the documents will be placed in the Library.

Family Practitioners (Fraud)

Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will outline the disciplinary procedures for dealing with accusations of fraud by family practitioners against the national health service ; how many allegations have been made against family practitioners in each year since 1991 in (a) Coventry and (b) elsewhere ; how many of these allegations in each category have proved to be true ; and what action has been taken against them.

Dr. Mawhinney : Part II of the National Health Service Act 1977 and the National Health Service (Service Committees and Tribunal) Regulations 1992, as amended, set out the disciplinary powers available to family services authorities, which are responsible for managing family health services in their localities. Fraud is a matter for the police. Information about the number of allegations of fraud made against family practitioners is not available centrally.

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Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence her Department has found to link exposure to untreated amosite with serious illness.

Mr. Sackville : The principal diseases caused by exposure to amosite --brown asbestos--are asbestosis--a fibrosis or scarring of the lung causing difficulty in breathing--lung cancer, and malignant mesothelioma--a cancer of the inner lining of the chest or abdominal wall. Asbestosis was prescribed as an industrial disease in 1933 and mesothelioma in 1966. Since then further diseases have been prescribed such as pneumoconiosis, diffuse mesothelioma, primary carcinoma, or bilateral diffuce pleural thickening through working with asbestos.

The import, supply and use of amosite and crocidolite--blue asbestos--and any product that contains them were banned in the United Kingdom in 1985.


Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what salaries are payable to chief executives of (a) regional health authorities, (b) district health authorities, (c) district family health services authorities and (d) hospitals currently and in the previous year.

Dr. Mawhinney : Salary ranges for regional general managers, district general managers, family health services authority general managers and general managers of directly managed hospital and community units are shown in the table. In line with increases made to other groups of public sector staff in 1993 an increase of 1.5 per cent. was made to the salary ranges from 1 September 1993. Individual salaries are dependent on a variety of factors including personal performance against locally set targets. The salaries of chief executives of national health service trusts are matters for trust boards. Information on those emoluments is included in annual accounts available locally. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 13 January that from 1 April 1994 each NHS authority and trust will be required to publish an annual report which includes information on the total emoluments of their general manager or chief executive.

Salary ranges for NHS General Managers                                               

                 |Group           |Range from      |Range from                       

                                  |1 September 1992|1 September 1993                 

                                  |£               |£                                


Region           |RGM             |53,780-77,690   |54,590-78,860                    

District         |DGM Group 1     |48,400-69,900   |49,130-70,950                    

                 |DGM Group 2     |45,710-66,030   |46,400-67,020                    

                 |DGM Group 3     |41,830-60,650   |42,460-61,560                    

Unit             |UGM Group 1     |41,830-60,650   |42,460-61,560                    

                 |UGM Group 2     |36,750-53,180   |37,300-53,980                    

                 |UGM Group 3     |33,160-48,110   |33,660-48,830                    

                 |UGM Group 4     |28,690-41,530   |29,120-42,150                    

FHSAs            |GM1             |41,830-60,650   |42,460-61,560                    

                 |GM2             |36,750-53,180   |37,300-53,980                    

                 |GM3             |33,160-48,110   |33,660-48,830                    


Health Service Guidelines HSG(92)47 and HSG(93)58.                                   

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Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of meningitis there were in each year since 1974 ; how many deaths there were from meningitis in each year since 1974 ; and what was the mortality rate from meningitis in each year since 1974.

Mr. Sackville [holding answer 17 February 1994] : The information will be placed in the Library.

Contact Lenses

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures her Department has taken following the report by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to strengthen opticians' guidelines concerning the advice and information to be given to customers about the costs of lens care when customers first opt for contact lenses.

Dr. Mawhinney : Following discussions between the Department of Health and the optical profession, the professional guidelines issued to optometrists by the British College of Optometrists have been strengthened to ensure that the costs of contact lens care regimes are discussed fully with customers before they purchase their contact lenses.

Press and Public Relations Staff

Ms Tessa Jowell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many press and public relations officers were employed by the NHS for each year from 1989 to 1993.

Dr. Mawhinney : The information collected centrally does not separately identify press and public relations staff. At 30 September 1989 and 30 September 1990 some 210 and 240 whole-time equivalent staff respectively were engaged in public relations work in the national health service. Those totals include support staff.


National Lottery

Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what restriction his Department is planning on the use of national lottery money for revenue funding of organisations.

Mr. Brooke : The section 26(1) directions on which I am today formally consulting the statutory distributing bodies direct them to take into account the need for money to be distributed for capital expenditure and only to be distributed for endowments or revenue grants in order to maintain lottery-funded capital projects where no alternative source of revenue finance is available.

Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what guidance has been issued to the Sports Council as to how it should distribute moneys from the national lottery.

Mr. Brooke : I have today written to the chairman of the Sports Council formally to consult that body on the content of the directions I propose to issue under section 26(1) of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993. I have written in similar terms to each of the other statutory distributing bodies for

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which my Department is responsible, and my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland are conducting a similar exercise in their respective countries.

Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what proportion of the total amount of the proceeds from the national lottery is expected to be distributed through the Sports Council.

Mr. Brooke : The proportion of the total national lottery proceeds going to good causes will not be known until the Director General of the National Lottery announces in May the body corporate which is to be awarded the main licence to run the national lottery. Twenty per cent. of the amount for good causes will go to sport, of which 83.3 per cent. will be distributed through the Sports Council to sports projects in England. The remainder will be distributed by the sports councils for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Public Bodies

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage who are the members currently appointed to the board of the Independent Television Commission.

Mr. Brooke : The current members of the Independent Television Commission are :

Sir George Russell, CBE (Chairman)

Mr. Jocelyn Stevens, CVO (Vice-Chairman)

Mrs. Eleri Wynne Jones

Professor John Fulton

The Earl of Dalkeith

Mr. Roy Goddard

Mrs. Pauline Mathias

Lady Popplewell

Professor James Ring

Mr. Pranlal Sheth

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage who are the members currently appointed to the board of the national museums and galleries on Merseyside.

Mr. Sproat : The members of the board of trustees of the national museums and galleries on Merseyside are :

Sir Leslie C. Young CBE (Chairman)

Colin Amery, Esq

Nicholas Barber, Esq

Dame Jocelyn Barrow

Prof. Sam Berry

E. John Billington Esq RD

Prof. Anthony Bradshaw PhD FRS

John Entwistle, Esq DL

J. Milton Grundy, Esq

Baroness Hooper

Prof. C. Michael Kauffman, MA PhD RMA

Prof. W. John Last, CBE MA Hon. FMA

Prof. Marilyn Strathern

Alan Swerdlow, Esq

Lady Vaizey

Richard Wilding, Esq CB

Sir David M. Wilson

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage who are the members currently appointed to the board of the Historical Buildings and Monuments Commission for England--English Heritage.

Mr. Brooke : The present commissioners of English Heritage are :

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Mr. Jocelyn Stevens, CVO (Chairman)

Sir Hugh Cubitt, CBE

Mrs. Candida Lycett-Green

Mr. Roger Suddards, CBE

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson

HRH the Duke of Gloucester, GCVO

Dr. Ronald Brunskill, OBE

Sir Neil Cossons, OBE

Lord Cavendish of Furness

Mrs. Bridget Cherry

Mr. Julian Seymour

Miss Jennifer A. Page (Chief Executive)

Mr. Terry Farrell, OBE

Sir David Wilson

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage who are the members currently appointed to the board of the national film development fund.

Mr. Brooke : The national film development fund board currently consists of :

The right hon. Lord Barnett (chairman)

Mr. Michael Stoddart

Mr. Simon Perry.


Pathogens (Tests)

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what tests of live pathogens have taken place outside of the perimeter of Porton Down since 1964 ; which pathogens were used in each case ; how many (i) animals and (ii) humans were exposed to pathogens in each case ; and what studies of the persistence of the pathogens used were carried out (a) before and (b) after the tests.

Mr. Hanley : These are matters for the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment, Porton Down--CBDE. I have asked the chief executive of CBDE to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Graham Pearson to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 18 February 1994 :

1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking what tests of live pathogens have taken place outside the perimeter of Porton Down since 1964 has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.

2. Our records indicate that no open air trials or tests involving the use of live pathogens have taken place outside the perimeter of Porton Down since 1964. However, work has been carried out using pathogens in microbiology laboratories, under carefully contained conditions, in compliance with the Health and Safety Executive's requirements at various universities and other institutions throughout the United Kingdom during the course of research funded by the Ministry of Defence.

3. No humans have been involved. Our records do not provide the information sought on the numbers of animals involved in this work carried out over the past 30 years. The pathogens used are handled safely in accordance with national standards and the question of persistence does not apply as facilities are decontaminated thoroughly at the end of the work.


Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he will announce the result of the competition for the selection of the common new generation frigate United Kingdom platform prime contractor.

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(2) when he expects to place the contract for construction of the first common new generation frigate ; and what build programme is expected for the follow-on ships of this class.

Mr. Aitken : Following competition, GEC with a consortium of BAe and others have been selected as the UK member for the

Franco-British-Italian international joint venture company which will design and build the three first of class ships which are planned to enter service around the turn of the century. The international contract will include important work on the integration of the various weapons systems into the combat system for the ship as a whole and will involve the companies concerned in taking greater responsibilities for a ship of this complexity than has been possible to achieve in the past. The selection of the consortium will enable the combined strengths of GEC Naval Systems, which includes Yarrow Shipbuilders and BAe Defence Systems, supported by Vosper Thornycroft and BAe/SEMA to be brought to bear on this important project and will enable UK industry to play a full part in association with French and Italian industry.

Our current plans are that the joint venture company will be invited to bid against a specification to be issued later this year with the design contract to be placed in 1995. Subject to satisfactory progress the build of the UK first of class ship will commence in three or four years' time. All UK shipyards will have the opportunity to compete for the build of follow-on ships of this class in five or six years' time, when sufficient progress has been achieved on the first of class ship.

Rosyth (Employment)

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library the questionnaire on transfer of military employment handed to Rosyth naval base uniformed service personnel.

Mr. Aitken : A copy of the document has been placed in the Library.

Deal Barracks

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the current proposals regarding the Royal Marine barracks at Deal.

Mr. Hanley : The future of the Royal Marines school of music at Deal is under consideration as part of a defence costs study into military music in the armed forces as a whole. The study is due to report to Ministers in March, but it will not be until some time after this that final conclusions will be reached. It is too early to speculate as to the likely outcome of the study.

Ministerial Visits

Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all the visits that have been made by Defence Ministers to (a) Ecuador, (b) India, (c) Indonesia, (d) Jordan, (e) Malaysia, (f) Nigeria, (g) Oman, (h) Pakistan and (i) Thailand since June 1987 ; and what was the purpose of each visit.

Mr. Aitken : Central records of all official visits by Ministers are not kept. Records available show the following visits :

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Ecuador (Defence Procurement)--1992

India Secretary of State--1988

Under-Secretary of State--1993

Indonesia Secretary of State--1989, 1991, 1993

Under-Secretary of State (Armed Forces)--1991

Under-Secretary of State (Defence Procurement)--1987,

1988, 1991

Jordan Secretary of State--1988

Malaysia Secretary of State--1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993 Minister (Armed Forces)--1988, 1990 (twice)

Minister (Defence Procurement)--1991

Under-Secretary of State--1992, 1993

Under-Secretary of State (Armed Forces)--1991

Under-Secretary of State (Defence Procurement)--1988,

1989, 1991

Nigeria None

Oman Secretary of State--1987, 1989 (twice), 1990, 1992, 1994 Minister (Armed Forces)--1987, 1990

Minister (Defence Procurement)--1988, 1991, 1992, 1993

Pakistan Minister (Defence Procurement)--1988

Thailand Under-Secretary of State (Defence Procurement)--1992 Ministerial visits are generally made to maintain and improve our defence relations with the host country. In each case a broad range of issues was discussed.

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