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                                                      |£              

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The Mary Hare Grammar School for the Deaf-age range                   

11-19-Newbury                                         |400,000        

Royal School for Deaf Children-age range 4-19-                        

Margate                                               |237,000        

The West of England School-age range 3-19-Exeter      |400,000        

St. John's Residential School-age range 7-19-Brighton |469,000        

Open Government

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what will be the implications for the operation of his Department of the code of practice on open government.

Mr. Boswell : The code of practice will reinforce and build on the Department's existing arrangements for the provision of information. A considerable amount of


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information is already provided on request to the public through routine correspondence. In addition, the annual publication of performance tables is increasing the amount of information available to parents and others on the achievements of schools and colleges ; while the parents, further education and higher education charters also emphasise the importance of information for all those involved.

Amyl Nitrate

Ms Estelle Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what action he is taking to stop the use of amyl nitrate in schools.

Mr. Forth : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey, East (Mr. Ainsworth) on 1 March, Official Report, column 774-75.

Higher Education Funding Council

Mr. Bryan Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what analysis he has made of the effect of the system of categories of quality assessment currently used by the Higher Education Funding Council for England on the recruitment of overseas students ; (2) what consideration he has given to abolishing the categories of quality assessment currently used by the Higher Education Funding Council for England in favour of a single quality threshold.

Mr. Boswell : Under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, responsibility for all aspects of the system of quality assessment rests with the funding council. It is currently considering recommendations arising from an evaluation of the quality assessment process in its first full year of operation. My right hon. Friend will look to the council to take decisions on those recommendations, having regard to the need for helpful information for students and others, and for the council itself in respect of its funding decisions ; and to the desirability of encouraging improvements in the quality of teaching and learning as well as assuring that it meets minimum requirements.

Technology Colleges

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his answer of 8 March, Official Report, column 131, if he will place in the Library information extracted from the management plans of the 12 schools listed in his announcement of 28 February that identifies and quantifies their key targets, including in particular targets for the achievements of pupils.

Mr. Robin Squire : No, for the reason given in my earlier answer. Schools did not necessarily prepare their management plans with any expectation that they would become public documents.

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will describe the arrangements he has made, or intends to make, in order to monitor progress by each of the 12 schools listed in the announcement of 28 February towards the key targets of their management plans ; what reports he expects to receive ; and by whom such progress will be audited or independently reviewed.

Mr. Robin Squire : All of the schools approved to start as technology colleges on 1 September 1994 will be


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required to submit to the Department a report on progress towards their targets in December 1995, and annually thereafter.

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list the areas in which the management plans of each of the 12 schools listed in his announcement of 28 February identified key targets for achievement.

Mr. Robin Squire : Each of the schools' plans includes one or more targets relating to increased curriculum provision in the specialist subjects of technology, science and mathematics ; one or more targets relating to increased take-up of such provision by pupils ; and one or more targets relating to improved test and examination attainment in these subjects.

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his answer of 8 March, Official Report, column 131, whether parents of registered pupils at the 12 schools listed in his announcement of 28 February have a right to inspect the school's management plan ; and whether the governing body will be expected to provide a factual summary of the management plan in the next annual report to parents, including in particular targets for the achievements of pupils.

Mr. Robin Squire : These are matters for the governing bodies of the schools.

Student Unions

Ms Glenda Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list the number and costs of his Department's inquiries into student union funding since 1979.

Mr. Boswell : Since 1979, the Department's inquiries into the funding of student unions have included work preparatory to the introduction of new arrangements for the funding of student unions from the academic year 1981-82, following criticism of the previous arrangements by the Committee of Public Accounts in 1978 ; and work related to the Government's current proposals for student union reform which followed the survey of student unions published by the Department in 1989. It is not possible to disaggregate the costs of these activities from other work of the officials involved.

Disabled People

Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many registered disabled people are employed in his Department ; and what percentage this is of the total.

Mr. Forth : This information is contained in the magazine "Independent" which has been published today and placed in the Library.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Car Allowances

Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Lord President of the Council on what basis hon. Members' car allowance is calculated ; when this was last reviewed ; and what plans he has for review in the near future.


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Mr. Newton : Since 1984 hon. Members' car allowance has been calculated on the basis of the "Peyton formula". The rates were last revised with effect from 1 April 1991. As the information hitherto used for such revision is no longer available in the form required by the relevant resolution, I am currently considering how best to establish a secure basis for future updating.

HEALTH

Ministerial Offices

Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the cost of receptions held by Ministers in her Department in 1993-94.

Mr. Sackville : The cost of such receptions is included in the expenditure for the Department which is published in the annual report. Copies of the latest edition which covers this period was published on 7 March and have been placed in the Library.

Continuing Care Beds

Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS continuing care beds there were in each year since 1979.

Mr. Bowis : Information collected by the Department on numbers of beds does not separately identify those used for continuing care. It is a matter for district health authorities to determine the level and type of care required taking into account the needs of the local population.

Limb Defects

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many (a) upper limb and (b) lower limb defects occurred in children born within each district health authority in the Trent regional health authority by year for the last four years ;

(2) if she will make a statement on the incidence of upper limb defects in Trent regional health authority and Doncaster health authority areas.

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


Number of children born with upper limb defects* (ICD 755.2) in each                                    

district health authority in the Trent Regional Health Authority                                        

1989-1992                                                                                               

District Health         |1989           |1990           |1991           |1992                           

Authority                                                                                               

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

North Derbyshire        |0              |0              |0              |0                              

South Derbyshire        |3              |0              |0              |0                              

Leicestershire          |1              |1              |1              |1                              

North Lincolnshire      |0              |2              |2              |0                              

South Lincolnshire      |1              |0              |2              |1                              

Bassetlaw               |0              |1              |0              |-                              

Central Nottinghamshire |3              |0              |0              |-                              

Nottingham              |3              |1              |3              |4                              

Barnsley                |0              |1              |3              |0                              

Doncaster               |0              |1              |2              |1                              

Rotherham               |0              |0              |1              |0                              

Sheffield               |1              |1              |5              |4                              

North Nottinghamshire   |-              |-              |-              |2                              


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Number of children born with lower limb defects<1> (ICD 755.3) in each                                  

district health authority in the Trent Regional Health Authority                                        

1989-1992                                                                                               

District Health         |1989           |1990           |1991           |1992                           

Authority                                                                                               

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

North Derbyshire        |0              |0              |0              |1                              

South Derbyshire        |1              |0              |0              |0                              

Leicestershire          |0              |0              |1              |1                              

North Lincolnshire      |0              |0              |0              |0                              

South Lincolnshire      |1              |0              |0              |1                              

Bassetlaw               |0              |1              |1              |-                              

Central Nottinghamshire |1              |0              |0              |-                              

Nottingham              |1              |0              |0              |1                              

Barnsley                |1              |1              |1              |0                              

Doncaster               |0              |1              |1              |0                              

Rotherham               |0              |0              |0              |1                              

Sheffield               |1              |0              |1              |1                              

North Nottinghamshire   |-              |-              |-              |0                              

Note:                                                                                                   

In 1992 North Nottinghamshire was created from a merger between Bassetlaw and Central Nottinghamshire.  

<1>International Classification of Diseases 9th revision.                                               

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson) on 1 March, Official Report, c. 678, for details on investigations on babies born with limb defects. For information on Trent regional health authority, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 14 March, Official Report, c. 536.

Passive Smoking and Asthma

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the link between passive smoking and asthma.

Mr. Sackville : Reports published in 1992 by the Royal College of Physicians and the United States Environmental Protection agency found that passive smoking is causally associated with additional episodes and increased severity of asthma in children who already have the disease. With regard to the induction of asthma in previously asymptomatic children, the EPA concluded that there is insufficient evidence of a causal link. The agency also reported that passive smoking had subtle but significant effects on the respiratory health of adults.

The Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health will be reviewing the available research findings on this issue at the earliest opportunity. The asthma working group of the Committee on the Effects of Air Pollutants is also examining data in this sector.

NHS Regulatory Body

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to introduce a regulatory body for the NHS.

Dr. Mawhinney : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has statutory responsibility for the functions delegated to national health service authorities and trusts. Furthermore, the chief executive of the NHS Management Executive, as accounting officer for the national health service, is accountable to Parliament through the Public Accounts Committee. There is no justification for introducing a further regulatory body for the National Health Service.


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Hospital Treatment

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will give the average length of stay in hospital for patients (a) in London and (b) outside London ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr Sackville : Comparable figures giving the average length of stay in hospital for patients in London and outside London are not available. The available figures in 1989-90 for the four Thames regional health authorities, plus the special health authorities, which include London and the rest of England are shown in the table.


Average length of stay in days                                                        

                                   |All specialities|Acute sector                     

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

Thames regional health authorities |20.39           |6.30                             

Rest of England                    |17.74           |6.18                             

Suicide

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action she is taking to ensure that "The Health of the Nation" targets on reducing suicide rates are reached.

Mr. Bowis : We are taking action to improve our understanding of suicide, to develop comprehensive local services for mentally ill people and to enhance good practice in the management of psychiatric conditions. Specific action already taken includes the funding of the confidential inquiry into homicides and suicides by mentally ill people, issue of the "Mental Illness Key Area Handbook" to national health service and local authority managers of mental health services and a series of initiatives under the 10-point plan to reinforce community care for mentally ill people we announced on 12 August 1993. Full details of action taken at national level during the first 16 months of "The Health of the Nation" initiative are given in "The Health of the Nation : One Year On", a copy of which is available in the Library.

London Initiative Zone

Ms Jowell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money allocated to the London initiative zone has been re-allocated to projects outside the London initiative zone area.

Dr. Mawhinney : Resources made available for the London initiative zone are allocated exclusively for use on projects within the zone area.

Ms Jowell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was allocated in revenue and capital, for the current financial year to the London initiative zone ; and how much remained uncommitted on 1 March.

Dr. Mawhinney : The total resources of £40 million identified for the London initiative zone in 1993-94 was initially split between £20 million capital and £20 million revenue. The resources are a combination of central funds and local contributions. The total central resources have been fully allocated to the Thames regional health authorities which have flexibility within LIZ to transfer resources between revenue and capital as necessary and have responsibility for allocations within their region.


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Medium Secure Beds

Ms Jowell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what date the planned 1,000 medium secure beds will be available.

Mr. Bowis : There are currently over 600 medium secure unit beds available. A further 580 additional beds are planned nationally and we expect these to be open by 1996, taking the total to over 1,200.

Ritchie Report

Mr. Clifton-Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will consult the Secretary of State for the Home Department and police representatives following the recommendation in the Ritchie report that procedures and documentation relating to section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 should be standardised.

Mr. Bowis : We are considering this and other relevant recommendations of the report in consultation with the Home Department.

Mental Illness

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to achieve significant improvement in the social functioning of mentally ill people.

Mr. Bowis : We plan to secure significant improvements in the social functioning of mentally ill people by improving information and understanding of mental illness, developing comprehensive local services for mentally ill people, and continuing the development of good practice in the management of mental illness. The mental illness specific grant introduced in 1991 and increased to £36 million for 1994-95 is designed to help local authorities develop services to improve the social functioning of people with a mental illness. It has already supported over 800 projects, helping 64,000 people. Overall spending on mental health is over £2 billion per year.

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she will inquire into the care and treatment of psychiatric patients attending accident and emergency units at general hospitals.

Mr. Bowis : A number of initiatives are taking place which are examining the range of service provision available for the mentally ill including the provision of emergency care in accident and emergency departments.

Salmonella

Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of salmonella enteritidis food poisoning were recorded monthly in each year since 1988 (a) in total and (b) by health authority ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Sackville : The information will be placed in the Library. Although there was a 1 per cent. increase in the number of salmonella enteritidis reports between 1992 and 1993, during the same period the number of cases of human illness from all salmonellas dropped by 2 per cent.


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Guy's Hospital

Ms Jowell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will publish the evidence on which the decision to close Guy's hospital was based.

Dr. Mawhinney : No decision has been made to close Guy's hospital.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what implications the proposed changes at Guy's hospital, south London, will have on the meeting of targets set by her patients charter initiative.

Dr. Mawhinney : It is the responsibility of local health authorities working with the trust to ensure that patients charter standards are met. Local health authorities and clinicians at the trust have argued strongly that patient care would be improved by concentrating clinical services on one site.

Blood

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Health to what extent England has been self-sufficient in blood supplies in each of the past five years ; and how any surplus has been used or any deficit met.

Mr. Sackville : In general, England has been self-sufficient in blood. Blood has a limited shelf life. Collections by the National Blood Transfusion Service are geared to maintaining that sufficiency and not to providing blood surplus to our requirements. Short-term deficits in supply have occasionally been met by obtaining blood from other parts of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what quantity of blood donated through the Blood Transfusion Service has gone to the private health sector in each of the last five years ; and what proportion this forms of total donations.

Mr. Sackville : This information is not available. Much of the donated blood is processed and supplied to various users in a range of different forms.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) on 15 March, Official Report, c. 567, for information about the percentage of whole blood supplied to the private sector.

Mersey Regional Health Authority

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current age and salary of the chairman of the Mersey regional health authority ; and how many days, or part days absence from work he has taken in the last 12 months for (a) holiday, (b) sickness, (c) business and (d) other reasons.

Dr. Mawhinney : Sir Donald Wilson is 71 and as chairman of Mersey regional health authority receives an annual remuneration of £20,925.

Information concerning Sir Donald's attendance is not available centrally.

Private Patients' Fees

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total of private patients' fees outstanding at the end of each financial year since 1979 for each regional health authority.


Column 890

Mr. Sackville : Information is not available in the form requested. This is a matter for the individual health authorities and trusts.

Private Practice Earnings Limits

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received advocating reappraisal of the private practice earnings limits of consultants employed in the NHS.

Dr. Mawhinney : There have been discussions with the medical profession about the application of the 10 per cent. limit on private practice earnings.

Equipment (NHS Hospitals)

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the estimated cost of theft and unauthorised borrowing of equipment from NHS hospitals by private medical service providers and those engaged in private medical practice for each of the past five years.

Mr. Sackville : This information is not collected centrally ; however, national health service trusts are expected to maintain procedures which take account of all possible losses and safeguard public assets.

Private Residential Homes

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she will list those concessions and rebates applicable to owners of private residential homes available under the Disabled Persons Act 1978.

Mr. Bowis : I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible, if he will clarify which Act he has in mind, there being no Disabled Persons Act 1978.

Gender Selection

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration she has given to extending the power of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Agency to cover clinics which offer gender selection for social reasons.

Mr. Sackville : Sperm separation techniques used at clinics offering sex selection, for social reasons are considered to have no scientific basis. There are no plans for legislation to extend the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's powers in this area.

Child Care

Ms Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will provide, for the United Kingdom and each local authority in the United Kingdom, latest estimates of (a) the number of full-time child care places, including nursery school places, for children under five, (b) the number of part-time child care places, including nursery school places, for children under five, (c) the total number of full-time and part-time child care places, including nursery school places, for children under five, (d the number of children under five and (e) the percentage of children under five who have a full-time or part-time child care place.

Mr. Bowis [holding answer 11 March 1994] : Information on places and percentages of children is no


Column 891

The latest information available centrally about the number of day care places for the under fives is as follows :

-- for England, in "Children's day care facilities at 31 March 1992, England". This includes information about the number of places in relation to the population under five expressed as a rate per 1,000 children for each local authority ;

-- for Scotland, in "Statistical Bulletin Services for Children 1991 and 1992" (but exclude an estimated 6,500 places in day nurseries, children's centres and family centres in the registered sector). -- for Wales, in "Activities of Social Services Departments : Year ended 31/3/92" ; and,

-- for Northern Ireland, copies of this information will be placed in the Library.

Information collected centrally does not separately identify full-time and part-time places. Information about nursery school provision is collected in England by the Department for Education whose statistical bulletin 11/93 "Pupils under five years of age in schools in England--January 1992", shows the information available for January 1992 about participation rates of children under five being taught in maintained nursery schools and classes, independent schools and special schools. For figures about the provision of nursery education in maintained nursery and primary schools January 1993 in England I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my hon. Friend the Under- Secretary of State for Education gave to the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) on 21 January, Official Report , columns 857-59 .

Figures for nursery schools in Wales are given in "Statistics of Education and Training in Wales : Schools No. 2 1994", figures for Scotland are given in "Statistical Bulletin Provision for Preschool Children No. Edn/A/1992/11" and for Northern Ireland will be placed in the Library.

Copies of all the relevant publications are in the Library. Population figures at 30 June 1991 and 30 June 1992 by local authority, which are appropriate to the different types of day care and nursery school provision described in these publications, will be placed in the Library.

NHS Employees

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will seek to amend the wording of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 to clarify the position with regard to the continuity of redundancy and unfair dismissal rights of NHS employees whose employer is transferring to trust status and whose contract contains a mobility clause, permitting or requiring them to work at more than one site ;

(2) what assessment has been made by her Department of the implications of the Employment Appeals Tribunal verdict in the case of Northern general hospital NHS trust v. Gale for the continuity of redundancy and unfair dismissal rights of NHS employees whose employer is transferring to trust status and whose contract contains a mobility clause, permitting or requiring them to work at more than one site.

Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 14 March 1994] : The National Health Service Management Executive has considered the employment appeal tribunal judgment and concluded that consequential amendments to the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 are not required.

Section 6(1)(b) of this Act provides for the employment rights of any person employed by a health authority who is


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working at more than one unit to be protected on transfer to a trust if that person is designated under a "scheme" made by the health authority specified in the establishment order of a trust.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Fines (Non-Payment)

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total number of people imprisoned for non-payment of fines or other debts due to magistrates courts during the most recent year for which records are available.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Llew Smith, dated 18 March 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your Question asking what was the total number of people imprisoned for non-payment of fines or other debts due to magistrates courts during the most recent year for which records are available.

The latest available provisional information is for 1993. During that year 22,754 persons were received into Prison service establishments in England and Wales from Magistrates courts for non-payment of fines and non-criminal offences involving non-payment of debt : (these include non-payment of wife maintenance, child maintenance, arrears under an affiliation order, rates/community charge or "other" debts).


Receptions into Prison Service establishments,        

England and Wales by                                  

type of custody, 1992-93<1>                           

Type of custody                   Year                

                                 |1992  |1993         

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

Males                                                 

Untried<2>                       |47,593|51,047       

Convicted unsentenced<2>         |19,099|30,038       

Immediate custody<2>             |48,968|49,530       

Fine defaulters and non-criminal |21,917|25,646       

                                                      

Females                                               

Untried<2>                       |2,376 |2,663        

Convicted unsentenced<2>         |1,178 |1,566        

Immediate custody<2>             |2,198 |2,382        

Fine defaulters and non-criminal |1,189 |1,590        

<1> Provisional figures.                              

<2> A person initially received as untried and        

subsequently received as convicted unsentenced is     

counted in both sets of figures. A person             

subsequently received as a sentenced prisoner is      

counted separately in those figures.                  

Open Government

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what will be the implications for the operation of his Department of the code of practice on open government.


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