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systematically to the service. These will support the R and D strategy in the new NHS as it continues to provide the basis for improvements in the approach to health care adopted by NHS managers, health professionals and those using the service.

Nurse Prescribing

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress she has made in introducing powers for nurses to prescribe.

Mr. Sackville : Primary legislation was enacted in 1992--the Medicinal Products : Prescription by Nurses etc. Act 1992. Work is currently in hand to introduce the necessary subordinate legislation which should enable nurse prescribing to commence in demonstration sites from October 1994.

NHS Management

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what goals she has set for the employment of women in professional and managerial posts in the national health service ; and what progress is being made towards them ;

(2) what mechanisms she has established to monitor how effectively the goals for the employment of women in professional and managerial posts in the national health service are being reached.

Mr. Sackville : The NHS women's unit was established by the national health service management executive in October 1991 to take forward the implementation of Opportunity 2000 in the NHS. The management executive has set a series of eight goals for the NHS for achievement by 1994 which specify targets in management, accountancy, appointment of medical staff, appointment of non-executive board members, access to training and development and the encouragement of flexible working.

The role of the NHS women's unit is to establish national strategies and give guidance on priorities, agree and monitor performance targets for Opportunity 2000 in the NHS, recognise good performance and intervene to correct poor performance and encourage innovation and the dissemination of good practice.

Goal 1. Increase the number of women in general management posts from 18 per cent. in 1991 to 30 per cent. in 1994.

38 per cent. (58 out of 154) of vacant Chief Executive/General Manager posts in the 22 months between April 1992 and January 1994 went to women.

Goal 2. Increase the number of qualified women accountants in the NHS to 35 per cent. by 1994.

Almost 50 per cent. of trainee accountants are women. If all female trainees currently studying achieve success in their examinations this number will rise to 33 per cent.

Goal 3. Increase the percentage of women consultants from 15.5 per cent. in 1991 to 20 per cent. by 1994 necessitating an annual increase of 10 per cent. Accelerate the rate of increase in the number of women consultants in surgical specialities from the current 9.7 per cent. per annum to 15 per cent. per annum

Four regions have already exceeded the 1994 target.

Goal 4. Increase the representation of women as members of authorities and trusts from 29 per cent. in 1991 to 35 per cent. in 1994.

The 1994 target has already been exceeded. Ministers expect to maintain this progress with fourth wave trust appointments. Goal 5. Introduce a programme allowing women aspiring to management positions to go through a development centre with a view to establishing their own personal development needs.

Goal 6. Introduce initiatives on recruitment and retention to ensure that the number of qualified nurses and midwives leaving the profession does not rise.


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Goal 7. Ensure that following maternity leave or a career break all women, including those returning to nursing part-time or as a job share, are able to return at a grade commensurate with their leaving grade and to work of a similar status.

Goal 8. Monitor the time taken for nurses to reach management positions to ensure that men and women have equal access to these positions.

Progress on goals 5 to 8. These goals are about good employment practice. Authorities and trusts are addressing local needs in individual action plans. Over 50 per cent. of health authorities and trusts provide some form of help with child care provision and flexible working.

NHS Information Service

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in establishing a national health service information service for patients.

Mr. Sackville : In April 1992 all regional health authorities established a regional health information service under the patients charter.

On 26 January 1993 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State launched the new health information service when the regional services were linked together into a national network on a freephone number, 0800 665544.

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in ensuring that comparative information about the health standards achieved by health authorities is available to the public.

Dr. Mawhinney : As part of the citizens charter initiative, we will be publishing the first set of national health service comparative performance tables later in the year. The tables will give information to the public about the quality of service offered by individual hospitals and trusts. Achieving consistently high success rates on patients charter standards, for instance, is an indication of a well-managed, patient- focused hospital. The first set of performance tables will include information about performance on five patients charter activities and on selected day surgery procedures. District health authorities already publish annual reports for the public giving comparative information on the patients charter performance of hospitals and trusts with which they hold contracts. Comparative information about health authorities has been published since 1983 in the health service indicators. It includes indicators of morbidity, mortality and outcome measures and is available to the NHS and, on request, to members of the public. Copies of the health service indicators are placed annually in the Library.

Amenity Beds

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the facilities to which amenity bed patients are entitled.

Mr. Sackville : Amenity beds are defined in section 63 of the National Health Service Act 1977 as accommodation made available for patients who give an undertaking to pay charges, for accommodation in single rooms or small wards which are not for the time being needed by any patient on medical grounds. The charges represent the notional cost of the additional privacy of a small room or a small ward.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much income was generated by amenity beds in each year since 1979 in the NHS.


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


Year        |Amenity                

            |bed income             

            |£ thousands            

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

1979-80     |224                    

1980-81     |239                    

1981-82     |241                    

1982-83     |369                    

1983-84     |389                    

1984-85     |345                    

1985-86     |409                    

1986-87     |454                    

1987-88     |621                    

1988-89     |764                    

1989-90     |1,013                  

1990-91     |1,260                  

1991-92     |2,022                  

1992-93     |1,776                  

Source: Annual accounts and         

receipts and payments returns for   

regional health authorities,        

district health authorities and     

London postgraduate special health  

authorities.                        

Notes:                              

1. Amenity bed income received by   

national health service trusts is   

omitted as it is not possible to    

separately identify it.             

2. The 1991-92 and 1992-93 figures  

are taken from thereceipts and      

payments returns and are not        

therefore comparable with those of  

earlier years.                      

3. The figures for 1992-93 are      

provisional.                        

Health Visitors

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many students enrolled on health visitor qualification courses in each year since 1990.

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


$

Year ending |Entries                

31 March    |to training            

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

1991        |753                    

1992        |694                    

1993        |684                    

Source: English National Board for  

Nursing, Midwifery and Health       

Visiting Annual Report 1992-93      

Table 5.3.                          

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health visitors were employed by the NHS in each year since 1979.

Mr. Sackville : The information available is shown in the table. In addition, during the period 30 September 1988 to 30 September 1992 the number of practice nurses increased by 162 per cent. from 3,480 to 9,120.


Year            |Health visitors                

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

1981            |9,530                          

1982            |9,810                          

1983            |10,040                         

1984            |9,700                          

1985            |10,680                         

1986            |10,800                         

1987            |10,730                         

1988            |10,680                         

1989            |10,050                         

1990            |10,480                         

1991            |10,380                         

1992            |10,250                         

Source: Non-Medical Workforce Census.           

Notes:                                          

1. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 

10 wholetime equivalents.                       

2. Figures for 1989 have to be treated with     

caution due to under recording of areas of work 

by South East Thames regional health authority. 

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her Department's policy on the number of health visitors.

Mr. Sackville : Staffing levels are the responsibility of local managers who, with advice from professional representatives, are in the best position to consider the amount and type of work to be done. It is for them to use the best skills on offer to deliver a high quality service whatever the background discipline.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the areas where the numbers of health visitors is proposed to be cut by FHSAs.

Mr. Sackville : Family health service authorities do not normally employ health visitors. Health visitors are usually employed by trusts or directly managed units. District health authorities and general practitioner fund holders usually commission health visitor services.

Health Education Authority

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she intends to publish the report of the Lee review of the Health Education Authority.

Mr. Sackville : The report of the review of the Health Education Authority undertaken by Mr. John Lee and his team is still being considered. A decision about publication of the report has yet to be taken.

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what present regulations or guidance govern the freedom of the Health Education Authority to criticise Government policy.

Mr. Sackville : Jointly agreed guidelines covering the relationship between the Department of Health and the Health Education Authority, including the balance between the authority's autonomy and freedom of action, and the need to exercise that autonomy within parameters acceptable to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State were last revised in June 1990. Copies will be placed in the Library.

Oral Health

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are being taken, or are planned, to address geographical and social imbalances in the state of oral health.

Dr. Mawhinney : Planning dental services and monitoring the dental health of the population are matters for district health authorities to undertake jointly with family health services authorities.

Mentally Ill People (Assaults)

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many severely mentally ill people were responsible for violent assaults on the person in each year since 1990.


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Mr. Bowis : This information is not available centrally.

Private Health Insurance

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 3 March, Official Report, column 860, about meeting with representatives of private health insurance companies, if she will name the people attending the meetings or list the topics for discussion at each of the five meetings.

Mr. Sackville : All five meetings were held at the request of private health insurance companies, to allow them to express views on a number of issues. One of the meetings was attended by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Health, one by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State (John Bowis) and I attended three. Officials were also present.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 3 March, Official Report, column 857, what recommendations she has made regarding the inclusion of questions on private medical insurance in the 1995 general household survey.

Mr. Sackville : None.

Help Us to Help You"

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what mechanisms she has set up to monitor progress of the "Help Us to Help You" campaign ;

(2) what plans she has to invest further money in publicity for the "Help Us to Help You" campaign through the popular media and advertising.

Dr. Mawhinney : The "Help Us to Help You" initiative takes the form of an information pack primarily designed to encourage the development of local campaigns. It is for the national health service locally to decide how to implement and monitor the progress of local campaigns. No central record is kept of resources used for publicity on local campaigns.

Dental Services

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the amount spent per child on general dental services including in the calculation those not registered with a general dental practitioner.

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


Child dental services                                          

                                         |Numbers              

                                         |Totals               

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

(a) Gross expenditure (£000)             |259,302              

(b) Number of registered children        |7,103,355            

(c) Number of children in the population |10,951,170           

(d) Cost per registered child (£)        |36.50                

(e) Cost per child in the population (£) |23.68                

Notes:                                                         

1. The gross expenditure on general dental services (GDS) in   

column (a) comprises capitation payments,weighted entry        

payments, child item of service payments for treatments given  

under capitation, and child item of service payments for       

treatments given on an occasional basis in the financial year  

1992-93.                                                       

2. Column (b) is the number of children registered with a      

general dental practitioner (GDP) at 30September 1992.         

3. Column (c) is for 30 June 1992, estimated home population   

under 18.                                                      

4. Column (d) is calculated by dividing the figure in column ( 

a) by that in (b).                                             

5. Column (e) is calculated by dividing the figure in column ( 

a) by that in (c).                                             

6. Children may also be treated in theCommunity and Hospital   

Dental Service as well as in the GDS.Children who are not      

registered with a GDP can still receive GDS treatment on an    

occasional basis.                                              

7. There is also some non-fee expenditure on general dental    

services (eg reimbursement of non-domestic rates,maternity     

payments, and employer's superannuation payments)which cannot  

be apportioned between child and adult treatments.In the       

financial year 1992-93, this represented approximately four    

per cent. of expenditure on the GDS.                           

Hospital Beds

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many additional medium secure beds, respite care or haven type beds and general psychiatric beds will now be made available.

Mr. Bowis : On 31 January 1993 there were 635 places available in medium secure units and a further 250 interim medium secure places. The Government have invested over £45 million from centrally held funds for capital development in this area since 1991-92. Together with additional funds made available by health authorities, this will provide approximately 500 further places over the next two or three years. Future levels of provision will be considered in the light of assessments of need undertaken within regions. In 1980 there were 30 such places.

It is for health authorities to decide how best to meet the needs of their residents, including those who suffer from mental health problems. This would include sufficient in-patient facilities for those who need admission to hospital on either a short or long-term basis.

Hospital Closures

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 8 March, Official Report , column 165 , if she will list by region name and each proposed hospital whose closure was contested by the community health councils since 1988 ; whether the hospital closed, merged, changed its function or was downsized ; and what was the number of beds each hospital had at its closure date.

Mr. Sackville : The details requested are not routinely provided to the Department during the process for dealing with contested closures. The information requested by the hon. Member could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Child Care

Ms Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will provide the latest estimates of the percentage of children under five in each OECD country who have full-time or part-time child care places, including nursery school places.

Mr. Bowis : Information on child care places for under-fives in the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development countries is not available. The OECD published in 1993 Education at a Glance , a copy of which is available in the Library. This includes information on participation rates for children aged under five in early childhood education in general for OECD countries.


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FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Turkey

Dr. John Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) which matters were raised during General Ilter's visit to the United Kingdom ;

(2) what was the purpose of the visit of General Ilter, Commander of the Turkish Gendarmerie, to Britain ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hurd : General Ilter visited the United Kingdom for discussion of topics of common interest with Home Office, Customs and Excise and the Ministry of Defence. In Northern Ireland he was briefed on the principles underlying our security policy there.

Dr. John Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the matter of human rights abuses in Turkey was raised with General Ilter, Commander of the Turkish Gendarmerie, during his visit to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Hurd : Yes. Every opportunity was taken to remind General Ilter that terrorism should be tackled within the rule of law and with full respect for human rights.

EU Intergovernmental Conference

Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will specify the stages leading to the European Union intergovernmental conference in 1996.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Article N of the Maastricht treaty provides that

"a conference of representatives of the Governments of the Member States shall be convened in 1996"

to review certain provisions of the treaty. Discussion of preparations for the conference has not yet begun.

Management Systems

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department's computer-aided facilities management system cost ; from whom they were purchased ; how many person hours were required to commission them ; what the estimated and actual saving has been from their operation ; and to what extent the use of such systems accounts for the apparent rise in theft noted in his answer to the hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell) of 16 February, Official Report, column 768.

Mr. Goodlad : The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Overseas Development Administration use computer applications to provide effective management of computer assets and support costs. The FCO package, from Uni- Tech Ltd., cost approximately £30,000 and took five person weeks to implement. The ODA system, from Workgroup Systems Ltd., cost approximately £18,000 and took two person weeks to implement. It is not possible to identify savings resulting from the improved levels of support to computer users. However, the systems provide improved control of an inventory of some 23,000 items of equipment in the FCO and some 3,000 items in the ODA. None of the thefts referred to can be attributable to the use of these systems.


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Mr. Veljko Dzakula

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to seek the freedom of Serbian politician, Veljko Dzakula, from detention by the Krajina police in a prison in Glina ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : We understand that Mr. Dzakula was released on 24 February.

China

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made as to which Chinese national organisations are independent of Communist party influence and control.

Mr. Goodlad : Our assessment is that most, if not all, public organisations in China are subject to a degree of control by the Communist party.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Malaysia

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the right hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Williams) of 25 February, Official Report, column 498, if he will now make it his policy to make financial and contractual arrangements of soft loans for overseas aid and development projects the subject of a formal announcement.

Mr. Goodlad : The signature of all new soft loan

arrangements--umbrella agreements--and individual soft loan projects are usually announced through an ODA press release. However, the detailed financial and contractual agreements between Her Majesty's Government and the recipient Government contains commercially sensitive information and are therefore not the subject of formal announcement.

Consultants

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what access to financial records is afforded to consultants appointed by the Overseas Development Administration to evaluate the financial soundness of companies chosen to fulfil contracts, pursuant to aid and trade financial support (a) before the final award of the contract, (b) during the fulfilment of the contract and (c) on completion of the contract.

Mr. Goodlad : The ODA does not appoint consultants to assess the financial soundness of companies applying for aid and trade provision support. Such assessments are the responsibility of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Indonesia

Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations he has received regarding British aid to Indonesia ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Goodlad : We have received 196 letters about British aid to Indonesia since 1 January 1994.


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Philippines

Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what counter-trade agreements with the Philippines the Overseas Development Administration has been involved in since 1986 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Goodlad : None.

NATIONAL HERITAGE

National Lottery

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will bring forward proposals to revise the operation of the national lottery to provide that it will return all profits to the community in the form of funding for the arts, charities, and sport, to exempt the profits from tax and to match distributed profits with grants from public funds ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Brooke : I have no intention of revising the basis for the operation of the national lottery, which was approved by Parliament in the National Lottery etc. Act 1993. There is no question of matching the sums raised from the national lottery with further Exchequer grants. Taxation is a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

WALES

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what initiatives the Welsh Office has brought forward to reduce fuel consumption in transport as part of the effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : The Government's programme to reduce CO emissions is set out in the recently published report "Climate Change : The UK Programme". This includes a range of measures to improve fuel efficiency which apply in Wales as elsewhere.

Non-departmental Public Bodies

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what guidelines he has issued to non-departmental public bodies regarding the admission of the public to meetings ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) if he will publish the arrangements made by each

non-departmental public body appointed by him to enable members of the public to have access to agendas, minutes and reports of such bodies ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood : All executive non-departmental public bodies publish annual reports and accounts which are laid before Parliament. The conduct of meetings is a matter for the bodies themselves, subject to the provisions of their founding statutes or charters.

Welsh Language

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to consult the Welsh Language Board in future on all developments concerning the national curriculum in Wales ; and if he will make a statement.


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Sir Wyn Roberts : The Welsh Language Board is currently being consulted on the draft regulations required to give effect to the proposal to suspend the national curriculum requirements for Welsh as a second language in non-Welsh speaking schools for pupils aged 14 to 16 until 1999. It is also being consulted on the draft order giving effect to the other proposed changes to the national curriculum for pupils of this age group.

The board will be consulted in due course on the proposed changes resulting from the slimming down of the overall subject content of the national curriculum currently being carried out by the Curriculum Council for Wales.

On 1 April this year Awdurdod Cwricwlwm ac Asesu Cymru/the Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales will come into being. ACAC will have regard to the board's views in formulating its advice to the Secretary of State on future developments and changes to the national curriculum in Wales.

It is open to the board to give advice to the Secretary of State on any matter concerning the Welsh language at any time.

Later this month the Welsh Office will be issuing a short guide describing the various statutory agencies' responsibilities for aspects of Welsh language education. A copy will be placed in the Library of the House.


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