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Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average length of time between orders being placed with the NHS Supplies Authority and the delivery of goods.

Mr. Sackville : Between three and five working days for stock goods. All distribution centres operate a two to three-hour emergency service.

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many trusts contract with the NHS Supplies Authority ; and what percentage the NHSSA has as its sole supplier.

Mr. Sackville : National Health Service Supplies has contracts to provide a supplies service to 99 per cent. of NHS trusts. There are no trusts that use NHS Supplies to supply every item they purchase.

Sulphamethoxazole

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths linked to the use of sulphamethoxazole have been reported by doctors to the Committee on Safety of Medicines ; what research the committee has undertaken into the number of unreported cases ; what action has been taken ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Sackville : Sulphamethoxazole has not been available as a single constituent product since 1977. Prior to this time, no suspected adverse reactions with a fatal outcome were reported in association with sulpha-

methoxazole alone. Since 1977, it has been available only as a multi- constituent product in combination with trimethoprim, as co-trimoxazole. The Committee on Safety of Medicines--CSM--has received 135 reports of deaths suspected to have been associated with the use of co-trimoxazole. Such reports do not necessarily mean that the drug was responsible. Co- trimoxazole has been very widely used. Some 87 million prescriptions have been dispensed since the drug was first marketed in the United Kingdom.

No specific research has been undertaken by the CSM with respect to under- reporting of suspected adverse reactions to co-trimoxazole. Reports of serious and fatal adverse reactions to co-trimoxazole have been kept under review by the CSM. In July 1985 an article was published in "Current Problems", its regular drug safety bulletin, informing doctors of deaths, predominately due to blood dyscrasias and skin reactions, reported in association with co-trimoxazole. In addition, the data sheet for co- trimoxazole, produced by the manufacturer and authorised by the licensing authority, fully reflects its known side-effects.


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Out-patient Consultant Episodes

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the number of out-patient consultant episodes for each year since 1987-88.

Mr. Sackville : The information is shown in the table :


Consultant out-patient activity 1987-88 to 1992-93                      

                  |All out-patient  |First out-patient                  

                  |attendances      |attendances                        

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

1987-88           |36,846,100       |8,513,700                          

1988-89           |36,117,800       |8,389,400                          

1989-90           |36,305,200       |8,519,400                          

1990-91           |36,111,500       |8,501,800                          

1991-92           |36,893,700       |8,941,500                          

1992-93           |37,527,000       |9,342,300                          

Source: Department of Health return KH09.                               

Social Work Training

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the expected cost of her proposals for a national care curriculum for social work training ; and whether extra funding will be made available to meet this cost ;

(2) when she will introduce her proposed national care curriculum for social work training ;

(3) if she will list the organisations that will be consulted on her proposals for a national care curriculum for social work training.

Mr. Bowis : We know of no such care curriculum. Perhaps the hon. Member will write to me.

Finished Consultant Episodes

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what considerations underlie the publication of the total number of finished consultant episodes in national health service hospitals in 1992-93 and not of the number of private patient finished consultant episodes.

Mr. Sackville : Information on private patients treated in national health service hospitals is not collected separately via aggregate central returns, but is obtainable from "Hospital Episode Statistics". These data are not yet available for 1992-93. Information on patients in private hospitals is not collected by the Department.

Rampton Hospital

Mr. Ashton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many and what percentage of patients have been injured by other patients in each of the past 10 years at Rampton hospital ;

(2) how long the review of the management of violence and aggression at Rampton hospital is estimated to last ;

(3) what assessment she has made of reasons for variations in the annual number of attacks on staff by patients at Rampton hospital ; (4) how many recorded incidents there were of attacks on staff by patients at Rampton hospital in each of the past 10 years ; (5) what changes there have been in the training of staff in restraint in the past five years at Rampton hospital ; and what was the expenditure on restraint and control training in each of those years ;

(6) how many working days were lost at Rampton hospital in respect of staff suffering from violent attacks or stress-related illness in each of the last five years ;


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(7) if she will give the reasons behind the withdrawal and non-replacement of defence shields at Rampton hospital.

Mr. Bowis : The information requested is not available centrally. The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairman of the Special Hospitals Service Authority.

Ministerial Meetings

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many meetings there have been in the last 12 months between herself, a Health Minister, parliamentary private secretaries or parliamentary under- secretary and representatives of private health insurance companies.

Mr. Sackville : Five meetings.

Consultants (Merit Awards)

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the allocation of merit awards to consultants is dependent on whether a consultant is employed by the national health service in a part-time or full-time capacity ; and how many consultants earn less than £1, 000 annually in private sector work.

Dr. Mawhinney : Eligibility for distinction awards is not dependent on whether a consultant is employed in a part-time or whole-time capacity. The actual amount payable to a part-timer is determined on a pro rata basis. Information on the number of consultants with private earnings of less than £1,000 per annum is not available. However, in 1988-89 it is estimated that about 25 per cent. of hospital consultants had no private earnings.

Mentally Ill People

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has held with the Home Office and the Department of the Environment regarding the need to improve co-ordination between the Department, the police and social services in the treatment of her mentally ill in the wake of the report of the inquiry into the care and treatment of Christopher Clunis.

Mr. Bowis : We fully endorse the importance placed by the inquiry on co-ordination in this area. The Department works closely with the Home Office to encourage effective liaison between the police and other criminal justice agencies and the health and social services.

Amenity Beds

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many national health service patients paid a charge for an amenity bed in 1992- 93 ; and what percentage of them were receiving national health service treatment in NHS hospitals, excluding trusts.

Mr. Sackville : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave her on 4 February at columns 985-86.

EMPLOYMENT

Job Clubs

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total cost for the recent market testing of Employment Service job clubs, including the staff time of those involved in preparing the bids.


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Mr. Michael Forsyth : The costs of running the market test, including the staff time of those involved in preparing the bids has been estimated to be £132,000. The full annual value of the services prior to testing was £8.4 million and following the market test the equivalent cost is anticipated to be £8.1 million. The competition costs should be recovered within six months.

Advertising

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 14 February, Official Report, column 644, what was the budgeted and actual cost of each of the public information campaigns listed.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information requested is set out in the following table :


Campaign                      |1993-94                      

                              |Budgeted spend               

                              |£                            

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

Make it your Business         |2,000,000                    

1993 National Training Awards |564,000                      

Career Development Loans      |1,870,000                    

Careers Service               |150,000                      

New Horizons for Women        |300,000                      

Just the Job/New Measures     |1,800,000                    

Employer Campaign             |1,300,000                    

Disability                    |1,300,000                    

As these campaigns are ongoing and will continue after the end of the current financial year, actual costs are not yet known.


Campaign         |1993-94       |Actual cost                  

                 |Budgeted Spend|£                            

                 |£                                           

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

Workstart        |15,000        |14,079                       

Jobfinders Grant |35,000        |18,419                       

Work Trials      |15,000        |13,541                       

Community Action |15,000        |12,403                       

Labour Statistics

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a table showing the number of full-time (a) male and (b) female employees in 1968, 1973, 1979, 1989 and 1993 in numbers and as a percentage of the population of adult working age in each case.

Miss Widdecombe : The available information is given in the following table :


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Employees in Employment: Great Britain (seasonally adjusted)                                    

Thousands                                                                                       

                |Full-time males|Percentage of  |Full-time      |Percentage of                  

                                |male working   |females        |female working                 

                                |age population                 |age population                 

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

1973            |12,824         |77.2           |5,530          |36.6                           

1979            |<1>12,390      |73.0           |5,598          |35.9                           

1989            |10,814         |60.3           |5,936          |36.3                           

1993<2>         |9,405          |52.2           |5,485          |33.3                           

<1>Employees data relates to 1978.                                                              

<2>September 1993; latest data available.                                                       

Full-time employees data are unavailable prior to 1971.

Manufacturing Industry

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment by what percentage the number of weekly hours worked by all operators in manufacturing industry has fallen since 1989 ; and when he expects the number to recover to the 1989 level.

Miss Widdecombe : Since 1989, the index of total weekly hours worked by all operatives in manufacturing fell by 29 per cent.

Construction Industry

Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what statistics are available on the construction industry regarding (a) fatalities and (b) injuries that were directly the result of negligent employers breaking criminal health and safety laws over the last five years.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Information is not available in the form requested. The number of fatalities and other injuries occurring in the construction industry over the last five years was set out in tables 2., 3 and 4 of the Health and Safety Commission's 1992-93 annual report.


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Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the estimated cost of occupational ill-health in the construction industry during 1993.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : No estimates are available of the specific cost of occupational ill health in the construction industry during 1993. However, a recent study by the Health and Safety Executive shows that in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the direct cost to employers of work-related ill health in Great Britain.

Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what progress has been made in the last five years in reducing the accident level in the construction industry.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Both the numbers and rates of injuries to employees have continued to fall over the last five years ; the trend for every category of injury and for each year is downwards, more sharply in the last two years. Injury rates among the self-employed are also improving, the last three years' figures being generally lower than at the end of the 1980s.

Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received from the Health and Safety Executive regarding predictable and


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preventable construction fatalities that were directly a result of negligent employers breaking health and safety laws.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Health and Safety Executive has periodically briefed Ministers on the preventable nature of construction industries and the need to improve health and safety management in the industry. With this objective I expect shortly to receive proposals from the Health and Safety Commission for new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.

Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people over the past five years have died in the construction industry due to accidents on site and industrial-related diseases.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The hon. Member will have the Health and Safety Commission's 1992-93 annual report, published last November, tables 2, 3 and 4 of which contain the detailed injury figures. Figures for work- related ill health in construction or any other industry are not generally available due to the difficulty in relating deaths to possible fatal exposures occurring years before. However, for the five-year period 1987 and 1991, about 20 per cent. of the people whose death certificates mentioned mesothelioma as a cause of death had a last full-time occupation in the construction industry.

Upper Limb Disorders

Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what measures his Department has undertaken to provide information and appropriate occupational health expertise to employers who have employees that are in high-risk work related upper limb disorders occupations.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Measures taken by the Health and Safety Executive in recent years have included :

General guidance for employers on preventing work related upper limb disorders published in 1990 ;

A four-year campaign to raise employer awareness of work-related musculo- skeletal harm, including workplace visits, presentations, and leaflets. The final phase will be launched in April ;

Guidance to family doctors on identifying any workplace dimension to upper limb disorders in patients, through a booklet and audio cassette ;

An expansion of ergonomics training for HSE's employment medical advisory service staff and inspectors ;

HSE ergonomic advice in workplaces identified as high risk. An action programme recently agreed by the Health and Safety Commission included further plans for a simple guide for supervisors on assessing risks of these disorders ; a booklet of case studies of practical solutions to ergonomic problems and guidance for the ceramics, food processing, and rubber sectors.

Career Development Loans

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the annual cost to his Department of administering the operation of the career development loans scheme.

Miss Widdecombe : Administration costs associated with the career development loan programme were £212,000 in 1992-93, compared with £206,000 in 1991-92.

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what arrangements exist for writing off the debt incurred by those applying for funding under the career development loan scheme.


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Miss Widdecombe : There are no arrangements for writing off career development loan debts. CDLs operate similar to normal unsecured personal loans and, as CDL literature points out, borrowers are responsible for repaying to the bank the loan and interest on it at the end of the repayment holiday period, currently the period of training and up to three months afterwards.

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many loans made under the career development loan scheme in each year since the introduction of the scheme were for courses with a duration of (a) less than three months, (b) between three and six months, (c) between six and 12 months and (d) more than 12 months.

Miss Widdecombe : The following table sets out the number of approved career development loans by course duration, for each of the financial years since the scheme was introduced nationally in July 1988.


Career development loans by course duration                                   

Financial    |Less than   |Three       |Six months  |More than                

year         |three       |months and  |and up to   |12 months<1>             

             |months      |up to six   |12                                    

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

1988-89      |401         |188         |1,787       |-                        

1989-90      |842         |369         |5,286       |-                        

1990-91      |1,033       |498         |6,073       |-                        

1991-92      |1,543       |788         |8,233       |-                        

1992-93      |1,237       |935         |8,172       |-                        

<2>1993-94   |1,153       |889         |8,321       |26                       

<1> CDLs for courses lasting longer than one year and up to two years         

were only available from April 1993 through local sponsorship by              

training and enterprise councils and local enterprise companies. From         

April 1994 the criteria for all CDLs will be extended to courses lasting up   

to two years.                                                                 

<2> Figures for 1993-94 are as at 1 March 1994.                               

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the annual cost to his Department of meeting interest charges on interest- free loans awarded under the career development loan scheme.

Miss Widdecombe : The Employment Department currently pays the interest on career development loans whilst the borrower is undertaking training and for up to three months afterwards. From April this year the Department will pay the interest during the period of training and for up to one month afterwards. Borrowers who are registered unemployed one month after completing training may apply to the bank to defer repayments for up to a further five months. During 1992-93 the cost to the Department of meeting interest charges was £3.4 million, compared with £2.8 million in 1991-92.

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have been accepted under the career development loans scheme for each year since its introduction ; what was the average amount of loan made ; and how many loans were made (a) up to £500, (b) between £500 and £1,000, (c) between £1,00 and £2,000, (d) between £2,000 and £3,000, (e) between £3,000 and £5,000 and (f) and over £5,000 in each year since the introduction of the scheme.

Miss Widdecombe : The following table sets out the number of approved career development loans by loan value, for each of the financial years since the scheme was introduced nationally in July 1988.


Column 865

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which financial institutions operate the career development loan scheme in conjunction with his Department ; and what remuneration they receive for this service.

Miss Widdecombe : The Department operates career development loans in partnership with three major high street banks--Barclays, the Co- operative and the Clydesdale. Under the conditions of the scheme the Department agrees to pay interest charges on loans while the borrower is training and for up to three months afterwards. From April this year, the Department will pay the interest during the period of training and for up to one month afterwards. Borrowers who are registered unemployed one month after completing training may apply to the bank to defer repayments for up to a further five months.

In addition, the Department agrees to pay the banks the value of defaulted CDLs up to an agreed percentage limit of the bank's CDL lending portfolio.

The Department also pays the banks a small administration charge, £45 plus VAT in each case, in connection with loans of less than £300 and costs associated with recovering moneys on defaulted loans. Total costs since the scheme began have been modest, £3,491 and £1,532, respectively.

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the career development loan scheme ; what assessment has been made of the employment status of applicants to the scheme ; what assessment has been made of the employment status of those who complete the scheme ; and what types of courses were founded under the scheme.

Miss Widdecombe : The career development loan programme is monitored closely and includes follow-up questionnaires being sent to a sample of trainees three months after they have completed their training. The 1992-93 annual report on CDLs shows that with total public expenditure costs for CDLs amounting to £15.27 per training week, costs are much smaller than those associated with other publicly funded training programmes.

Currently, 30 per cent. of trainees are employed full-time at the time of applying for a CDL and a further 30 per cent. are registered unemployed. More than two out of three obtain jobs as soon as they finish their training.

A wide variety of courses are supported by CDLs, ranging from postgraduate to sport and tourism. Further


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information on CDLs, including a list of the varying types of courses undertaken, can be found in the 1992-93 annual report, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Freephone and Freepost

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the annual cost to his Department of running freephone and freepost facilities related to the career development scheme.

Miss Widdecombe : The cost of the Department of freephone and freepost facilities associated with career development loans were £10,000 and £4,500, respectively in 1992-93. The further costs of handling the freephone and freepost responses and dispatching the requested literature amounted to some £145,000.

Labour Statistics

Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many women between the ages of 16 and 59 years there are ; and what percentage of them are economically active in (a) Cornwall (b) Devon, (c) East Sussex, (d) Essex, (e) Hereford and Worcester, (f) the Isle of Wight, (g) Merseyside, (h) Mid-Glamorgan and (i) West Sussex.

Miss Widdecombe : Estimates from the summer, June to August, 1993 Labour Force Survey show that 65.5 per cent. of women aged between 16 and 59 in Merseyside were economically active. LFS estimates, by sex, for this specific age group are not available for levels below region or metropolitan area.

Population estimates and economic activity rates for each area, relating to women aged 16 to 59 are available from the 1991 census of population and can be obtained via the NOMIS database in the Library. In addition, the population estimates are updated annually and the most recent figures, relating to June 1992, are given in the following table :


Number of approved career development loans                                                                                                                                                     

Value of approved loans |1988-89                |1989-90                |1990-91                |1991-92                |1992-93                |1993-94<1>                                     

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

Up to £500              |211                    |347                    |334                    |658                    |609                    |613                                            

£501 to £1,000          |467                    |1,410                  |1,049                  |1,467                  |1,383                  |1,286                                          

£1,001 to £2,000        |612                    |2,064                  |2,906                  |3,068                  |2,752                  |2,379                                          

£2,001 to £3,000        |306                    |594                    |894                    |1,501                  |1,360                  |1,476                                          

£3,001 to £5,000        |780                    |2,082                  |2,421                  |3,870                  |4,240                  |4,622                                          

Over £5,000<2>          |-                      |-                      |-                      |-                      |-                      |13                                             

                        |---                    |---                    |---                    |---                    |---                    |---                                            

Total number of loans   |2,376                  |6,497                  |7,604                  |10,564                 |10,344                 |10,386                                         

Average value of loans  |£2,401                 |£2,417                 |£2,477                 |£2,643                 |£2,778                 |£2,911                                         

Notes:<1>Figures for 1993-94 are as at 1 March 1994.                                                                                                                                            

<2>CDLs for loans over £5,000 and up to £10,000 were only available from April 1993 through local sponsorship by training and enterprise councils                                               

(TECs) and local enterprise companies (LECs). From April 1994 the loan criteria for all CDLs will extend to £8,000.                                                                             

Industrial Tribunals

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many decisions calling for the reinstatement of employees dismissed by their employers have been given by industrial tribunals ; and how many of these have been (a) acted on and (b) not acted on by those employers in each of the last five years.

Miss Widdecombe : The details, which are for both reinstatement and re-engagement orders, are as follows :


              |Complied with|Not complied |Total                      

                            |with                                     

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

1988-89       |<1>-         |<1>-         |59                         

1989-90       |<1>-         |<1>-         |59                         

1990-91       |<1>-         |<1>-         |64                         

1991-92       |70           |1            |71                         

1992-93       |65           |8            |73                         

<1> Not available.                                                    

I regret that figures showing the numbers of orders complied with or not complied with are not available for the years 1988 to 1990.

Employment Agencies

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will consider introducing legislation to amend the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 to allow workers who are paid by and contracted to a temporary employment agency, yet classed as being self-employed, to claim redundancy payments if the employment agency goes into liquidation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Payments under the redundancy and insolvency provisions of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 can be made to employees, as defined in the Act. Workers contracted to a temporary


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employment agency are not excluded from the legislation and may be eligible for payments provided that the facts of their contract with the agency are consistent with employee status, whether or not the agency classified them as self-employed. Whether a particular individual is an employee for these purposes is therefore a question of fact to be determined where necessary by an industrial tribunal. The courts have laid down criteria for distinguishing employees from the self- employed. There are no plans to change the legislation.

Youth Training Scheme

Sir Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of participants on the former youth training scheme found subsequent employment as a result of a placement on the scheme.

Miss Widdecombe : Of all those who left the former youth training scheme in its last full year of operation--April 1989 to March 1990--in Great Britain, 67 per cent. went into full-time or part-time employment or self-employment.

Workstart

Sir Ralph Howell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many places were allocated to each of the four workstart pilot schemes and the North Norfolk Action pilot scheme ; how much money was allocated to each scheme ; what percentage of places was taken up on each of the five schemes after the first six months of operation in each case ; and how much each scheme has cost after the first six months of operation.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : A total of £750,000 was allocated to the North Norfolk Action pilot scheme. One hundred and eight work experience opportunities are available. After six months, 125 have participated in the work experience part of North Norfolk Action. Currently 58 per cent. of the places are filled. The cost of these places is some £114,000.

The informtion requested on the Workstart pilots is as follows :


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                   |Places allocated |Resources        |Percentage of    |<1>Cost of scheme                  

                                     |allocated        |places taken up  |after six months                   

                                                       |after six months                                     

                                     |£                |Per cent.        |£                                  

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

East Kent          |250              |660,000          |39               |61,880                             

South London       |250              |660,000          |32               |48,550                             

Tyneside           |250              |660,000          |18               |25,440                             

Devon and Cornwall |250              |660,000          |2                |2,280                              

<1>The figures given are the amounts paid to employers under the scheme. In addition each pilot will have    

incurred marketing and administration costs                                                                  

from within its total allocation of £660,000.                                                                


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