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Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what statutory procedures currently exist for pursuing a complaint against medical treatment received under the national health service ; and what plans he has to amend the current statutory status of local health councils.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 5 May 1994] : My right hon. Friend has issued directions under the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 and the Hospital Complaints Procedure Act 1985 requiring health boards and NHS trusts to operate procedures for investigating complaints about treatment received in hospital. The National Health Service (Service Committees and Tribunal) (Scotland) Regulations 1992 prescribe procedures to be followed in investigating complaints where it is alleged that a general medical practitioner has failed to comply with his terms of service. The Health Service Commissioners Act 1993 empowers the Health Service Commissioner for Scotland to investigate certain types of complaints made to him where it is alleged that a person has sustained injustice or hardship as a result of treatment provided under the national health service.
There are no plans to amend the current statutory status of local health councils.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the costs arising from his decision to allow Strathclyde council to end the dispensation allowing three children to share a two-seater seat in respect of school buses and coaches ; and what were the costs of the other safety measures affecting school transport recently introduced by Strathclyde regional council.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The decision by Strathclyde regional council in March 1994 to end the three for two rule on vehicles used for the transportation of school children in their area and to introduce a number of other measures was entirely a matter for the regional council. In figures provided to the Scottish Office, the council has estimated that the cost arising from such measures in 1994-95 is £1.72 million.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland for what purpose David Fraser and Mervyn Gunn of the Ayrshire and Arran community health trust met Scottish Office officials on Thursday 14 April ; what connection this meeting had with the subsequent resignation of Mervyn Gunn ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what safeguards he is planning for the funding of welfare rights, money advice centres and voluntary organisations following the dismantling of regional councils and social work committees.
Column 684organisations and wish to ensure a smooth handover from the existing to the new authorities. For this reason, the Scottish Office will issue guidance to the new authorities on the key role of voluntary organisations and the importance of avoiding disruption. In addition, the Scottish Office will direct existing authorities to inform shadow authorities of all funding which is given to voluntary organisations by means of grants, service agreements, contracts and so on. This direction will ensure that the shadow authorities are aware of the full extent of funding of voluntary organisations including annual grants being paid to voluntary organisations in 1994-95.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 3 May 1994] : While local authorities clearly consider issues of quality and value for money, the cost of their directly provided residential care is significantly higher than similar provision available from the private sector which meets the quality standards of registration. Residential care is a major component of local authority community care expenditure.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list (a) the advantages and (b) the disadvantages to users of care services provided by (i) the private sector,(ii) the volunary sector and (iii) local authorities.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 3 May 1994] : Good qulaity community care services are available in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. Authorities should seek to offer clients a choice of services from a range of providers which meet their needs and offer good value.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library a list of the individuals and groups who have made representations to him about the purchase of care services from the private sector by local authorities.
representations have been received and could not be listed individually without disproportionate cost.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 3 May 1994] : Local authorities will continue to have a role as providers of community care services, but, in order to maximise choice and value for money, they should both distinguish between their roles as purchasers and providers and make full use of the independent sector.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 3 May 1994] : Appropriate bodies have recently been consulted on draft guidance and directions which would require local authorities to include in their community care plans
Column 685statements showing (a) the planned volumes and types of care services to be purchased (b) the estimated costs of such purchases and (c) the proportion of their total proposed expenditure to be incurred on purchases from the independent sector. Responses are being considered.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportions of local authorities' expenditure on care services he expects to be devoted to purchases from the independent sector, the voluntary sector and to in-house provisions.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 3 May 1994 : These proportions should be determined locally in the light of availability of services and as a result of authorities purchasing good-quality services from whichever provider meets the needs and wishes of clients within a reasonable cost.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 3 May 1994] : There are no statutory requirements for qualifications. However, all residential care homes have to be registered with the social work authorities and are regularly inspected by them.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland in what geographical area of Scotland he considers there is not a real choice of care services ; and where he intends to promote the development of the independent sector.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 3 May 1994] : The extent of choice varies from area to area and service to service. It is the Government's policy to widen the range of choice by encouraging the independent sector throughout Scotland.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library a list of the individuals and groups he has consulted on his draft paper advising local authorities of new requirements governing the content of their community care plans.
(2) how many of the responses to the consultation document on the medical test for incapacity benefit (a) were in favour of the approach outlined in that document and (b) expressed criticisms ; and when he will publish the responses.
Mr. Scott : The table lists the organisations that have responded to the consultation document. All the responses have been helpful and we have taken account of them in the further development of the new test of incapacity. A report will be published in August summarising all the stages in the development of the test.
List of organisations responding to the consultation document Aberdeen Mental Health Services Customer Group
Action on Disability
ACT-UP Manchester (Aids Coalition to unleash power)
ADSS Disabilities Committee
Alzheimer's Disease Society
Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
Association of Directors of Social Work
Association of Disabled Professionals
Association of Metropolitan Authorities
Bexley Association of Disabled People
Birmingham City Council welfare rights
Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
Bradford Citizens Advice Bureau
Brighton Association of Tenants With Disabilities
Brighton, Hove and Lewes Mental Health Development Group British Association of Social Workers
British Association of Social Workers Renal Special Interest Group
British Diabetic Association
British Epilepsy Association
British Institute of Industrial Therapy
British Migraine Association
British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society
British Society for Rehabilitation Medicine
Bromsgrove and Redditch Patients and Carers Forum
for Mental Health
Camden Council Welfare Rights Unit
Cancer Relief MacMillan Fund
Carers National Association
Chester Lodgings and Support Project
Child Poverty Action Group
Church Action on Poverty
City of Bradford Metropolitan Council welfare rights
Column 687City University Department of Systems Science
Cleveland County Council welfare rights
Cleveland Mental Health Support Group
Congleton Sector Planning Group for Mental Health
Consultation and Advocacy Promotion Service
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Crewe Welfare Rights Forum
Cystic Fibrosis Trust
Derbyshire Branch of the National Federation of the
Blind of the UK
Derbyshire Centre for Integrated Living
Derbyshire County Council welfare rights
Disabled Advice Bureau
Disabled Living Foundation
Disabilities Coalition (Boothferry, Glanford, Scunthorpe) Outreach Project
Disability Action Project
DISC Trinity Community Centre
Drumchapel Law and Money Advice Centre
Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Bureau benefits advice project
Dundee Association for Mental Health
Dunfermline Forum on Disability
East Lothian Volunteer Bureau
East Suffolk Advocacy Network
East Suffolk MIND
Edinburgh Volunteer Exchange
Enfield Disability Information and Advice Project
Epilepsy Association of Scotland
First Steps to Freedom
Flint and District Trades Union Council
Friedrich's Ataxia Group
General Medical Services Committee
George House Trust
Grampian Action for Psychiatirc Services
Greater London Association of Disabled People
Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People
Great Yarmouth Borough Council welfare rights
Greenwich Association of Disabled People's Centre for Independent Living
Group for Improved Living for the Disabled
Headway National Head Injuries Association
Hereford and Worcester County Council
Hertfordshire County Council welfare benefits advice
Humberside Coalition of People With Disabilities
Humberside Committee for Employment of People with Disabilities Ileostomy Association of GB and Ireland
Independent Living (1993)
Industrial Injuries Advisory Council
Island Disability Action Group
Isle of Wight County Council services for disabled people Islington Community Aids Resources
Islington Council Welfare Rights
Joint Consultants Committee
Kent County Council, Dartford and Gravesham Area Advice Forum Kent Turnaround Trading Ltd
Kingston Association of Disabled People
Kirkcaldy Forum on Disability
Lancashire County Council Welfare Rights
Leeds Citizens Advice Bureau
Leeds City Council welfare benefits unit
Leicester City Council welfare rights
Lewes and District MIND
Link--Glasgow Association for Mental Health
Llanrumney Community Project
London Borough of Barnet Disablement Association
London Borough of Greenwich Anti Poverty Sub-Committee
London Borough of Lambeth
London Borough of Wandsworth welfare rights unit
London East Aids Network
Lucas Industries plc