Dr. Mawhinney : Every family health services authority has issued a charter and information from purchasers indicates that 38 per cent. of general practitioners practices have issued or are planning to issue a charter. The names of the individual general practices with charters are not available centrally.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what situations patients on NHS treatment receive free from NHS hospitals (a) prescriptions including contact lenses and (b) use of equipment including nebulisers ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville : Contact lenses may be prescribed through the hospital eye service if the patient has a clinical need for them. Many patients are entitled to a hospital eye service voucher to cover the cost of lenses.
Where a consultant decides--taking account of resources, needs and clinical priorities locally--that a piece of equipment should be provided as part of the national health service treatment, it should be provided free of charge.
Dr. Mawhinney : General practitioner fundholders' budgets are based on previous treatment patterns in the practice, informed by local average treatment rates and local hospital prices. General practitioner fundholders are responsible for using their budget to purchase appropriate services to meet their patients' needs, including clinical psychology outpatient services.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many district health authorities and family health services authorities currently share the same chief executive ; and if she will list them.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many calls have been logged since the establishment of the national health freephone information service ; and if she will give details of the guidelines issued to staff governing advice given to callers seeking to complain about national health service services.
Mr. Sackville : The national health information service freephone telephone number, 0800 665544, has received 201,128 calls in the period between launch in January 1993 to the end of April 1994. Each health information service has a copy of the National Health Service (Service Committees and Tribunal) Regulations 1992 and HSG(92)21, copies of which are available in the Library. These documents, along with information about local procedures, contain the essential information to enable health information service personnel to advise callers how to make a complaint.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received about the case of Mr. Richard Hughes of 3 Erylmore road, Mossley Hill, Liverpool 18, concerning his removal from the practice list of his GP ; what information will be disclosed to him as to the reasons for his removal ; and what assessment she has made of the consistency of his treatment with her policy on the priority to be accorded to ex-service men with disabilities.
Mr. Sackville : The national health service provides information to the public in many ways--nationally, through the national health information service, community health councils, family health services authorities and district health authorities. Decisions about drop-in health information centres are taken at a local level to address local need.
Mr. Barron : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the oral statement by the Minister for Health of 11 February, Official Report , column 607, what is the timetable for launching the £12 million three-year anti-smoking advertising programme.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dental service practices there are in each health authority area at the latest date for which figures were available ; and what were the comparative figures in (a) April 1992 and (b) June 1987.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her Department's policy on whether children who cannot live with their own family should have a choice about the language and culture of the family who adopt them.
Mr. Bowis : Under legislation, courts and adoption agencies are required so far as practicable to ascertain the wishes and feelings of the child and give due consideration to them, having regard to the child's age and understanding. This would include the language and culture of his proposed adoptive family.
Mr. Bowis : I am pleased to announce that my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Wales have laid before Parliament the second joint report to Parliament on the Children Act operation in England and Wales. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library.
The report gives an overview of the progress made and focuses on a wide range of issues. It is an encouraging picture confirming that the numbers of children looked after by local authorities, and on a child protection register continue to decline as local authorities respond positively to the intention of the Act that wherever possible children should remain at home with their families.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what specific measures she plans to take to aid in drawing farmers' attention to the help networks currently available to deal with rural stress and suicide ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis : Over the last year, this Department has helped to finance initiatives in rural areas to increase awareness of suicide and the sources of help that are available. The Department has made a grant of £50,000 per annum over three years from 1994-95 to help support the Samaritans' outreach programme, part of which will be focused on rural areas and agriculture. The Department also supported a conference on rural stress, entitled "Rural Stress--Positive Action in Partnership", which took place earlier this year.
Mr. Bowis : A named key worker shall be appointed for every child who is placed on the child protection register and for whom there is an inter-agency protection plan. Where there is no current named key worker for a child on the register, it is for the local authority to ensure that arrangements are made for the protection plan to be implemented and a key worker appointed.
Dr. Mawhinney : District health authorities and general practitioner fundholders are expected to assess the needs of the populations they serve in reaching purchasing decisions, and to reflect these in their contracts with hospitals. The privacy and dignity of all patients is assured through the patients charter, and hospitals should take account of patients' wishes wherever it is practicable to do so.
(2) how many NHS hospital trusts have had private patient units or wings in each of the last three years.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her Department's latest estimate of the number of places for under five-year- olds provided by (a) local authority day nurseries, (b) private day nurseries, (c) pre-school play groups and (d) child minders.
Mr. Bowis : I announced yesterday that it is estimated that, at 31 March 1993, there were 21,400 places in local authority day nurseries ; 111,000 places in registered day nurseries ; 396,900 places in pre-school play groups and 283,000 registered child minder places available for use by the under fives.
Following implementation of the Children Act 1989, information about places with childminders has been collected for children aged under eight.
Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list all the maternity units in England ; and what were the total numbers of deliveries in each case, for each of the last three years for which figures are available.
Mr. Sackville : A list of national health service trusts, directly managed units and special health authorities in England with maternity facilities, with the number of maternity beds in each, will be placed in the Library. Information on the number of deliveries in each could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance has been issued to health authorities with regard to ensuring health visitor coverage in areas where local authorities fail to provide social work cover for all children on the at risk register.
Mr. Bowis : Government guidance requires each health authority to identify a senior nurse with a health visiting qualification to act as the co-ordinator of all aspects of child protection work in their district. Among their key activities is the setting up of an effective communication system with managers and practitioners in other disciplines and agencies, to ensure a regular update about work load, staffing, emergencies and individual cases.
Mr. Sackville : It is for trusts, general practitioner fundholders and health authorities to determine the most appropriate options for the provision of services, including clinical services. Decisions are made on the basis of which source of provision, be it national health service, non- NHS or a combination of both, will provide the best quality of service for patients and cost effective use of NHS resources.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has concerning the number of employees aged over 70 years who are currently allowed to continue to work within the national health service.
Dr. Mawhinney [pursuant to his reply, 24 March 1994, c. 415] : I regret that misleading information was given in my previous reply. Information submitted to the Department on the age of national health service staff under 20 and over 65 has been found to be inaccurate. The Department does not therefore hold reliable information about employees aged over 70 years.
Mr. Congdon : To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Dulwich (Ms Jowell) of 12 April, Official Report , column 72 , if she will give the figures for expenditure per capita for London for (a) district health authorities and (b) family health services authorities, including expenditure by the London postgraduate hospitals and special health authorities.
Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much is spent per capita by London district health authorities on health services and special health authorities for residents of (i) inner London and (ii) outer London and what is the national average expenditure per capita by district health authorities.
Dr. Mawhinney [pursuant to his reply, 21 April 1994, c. 664-65] : I regret that, because of typographical errors, my previous reply needs to be amended. The following table gives the correct figures :
District health DHA spend authority spend including special |Expenditure |Percentage |Expenditure |Percentage |average |average ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Inner |553 |47 |603 |57 Outer |398 |6 |415 |8 Total London |460 |22 |490 |28 Total England |376 |- |384 |- Notes: 1. Inner London defined as in the report of the Enquiry into London's Health Services, Medical Education and Research (Tomlinson report). 2. SHA 1992-93 expenditure apportioned to DHAs based on analysis of district of residence of 1993-94 referrals.
Region Retained Surplus/(Deficit) --------------------------------------- Northern |2,896 |5,427 Yorkshire |3,100 |2,962 Trent |153 |4,622 East Anglian |1,075 |533 North West Thames |6,145 |17,220 North East Thames |7,249 |13,165 South East Thames |1,082 |9,597 South West Thames |5,303 |4,001 Wessex |1,342 |3,903 South Western |14,531|11,436 Oxford |104 |4,356 West Midlands |2,932 |4,177 Mersey |2,194 |(749) North Western |50 |6,952 Notes to table: 1. Source: Audited accounts of NHS Trusts 1991-92 and 1992-93. 2. The figures for 1992-93 are provisional, being subject to National Audit Office review. 3. Surplus/(Deficit) is after interest, dividend payable on public dividend capital, extraordinary and exceptional items.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Dulwich (Ms Jowell) of 12 April, Official Report, column 72, if she will provide comparable per capita spending figures for each (a) district health authority and (b) family health services authority in England.
Dr. Mawhinney : The per capita spend (by crude population) in 1992- 93 for district health authorities and family health services authorities in England will be placed in the Library. Comparisons of these per capita spend figures need to be treated with caution. First, not all the expenditure covered arises from population related activities. Secondly, crude populations do not reflect differences in age structure or relative health care need. These differences feature in the formulae used to inform the main allocations made to DHAs.
Ms Lynne : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what occasions since April 1992 Ministers from his Department have (a) requested Parliamentary Counsel to assist in preparing amendments to private Members' Bills on behalf of other private Members and (b) authorised officials to instruct Parliamentary Counsel to prepare amendments which were subsequently passed to private Members.
Sir John Cope : Parliamentary Counsel drafts not on behalf of private Members but on the instructions of Departments acting on the authority of Ministers. No amendments to private Members' Bills were drafted by Parliamentary Counsel on instructions from Treasury Ministers and subsequently passed to private Members.
Sir John Cope : Responsibility for the control of the illegal use of hydrocarbon oil which has not borne the full rate of excise duty is assigned to Customs and Excise. Control is carried out by 17 regional road fuel testing units, using mobile testing vehicles. Customs officers have the power to test the fuel of stationary diesel vehicles and by a series of simple visual and chemical tests can detect the presence of rebated diesel in the fuel tank of a vehicle.
Recovering Full Costs
1. recover through charges the full cost of running the Agency. Reduction in Unit Costs
2. achieve at least a 3 per cent. reduction in real terms in the unit cost of paying a pension.
3. achieve a 3 per cent. improvement in the average unit cost index for banking transactions .
Meeting Customer Requirements--
4. meet various targets for responding to correspondence and processing instructions in accordance with Service Level Agreements with individual customers.
5. meet quality targets in accordance with Service Level Agreements with individual customers.
6. meet transaction timetables in accordance with Service Level Agreements with individual customers.
7. meet quality targets for processing transactions in accordance with Service Level Agreements with individual customers.
8. meet the agreed timetable for sending financial information to the Treasury 95 per cent. of the time, and never exceed the timetable by more than 1 day.
Banking transactions will be weighted as appropriate.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the outcome of the court case involving the Cheltenham and Gloucester building society and the Building Societies Commission.
Mr. Nelson : The High Court is currently considering whether the details of Lloyds bank's scheme to take over the Cheltenham and Gloucester building society--including the payment of cash to Cheltenham and Gloucester members of less than two years' standing--are in conformity with the Building Societies Act 1986. It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on those issues until the Court has reached a decision.
Mr. Jopling : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the latest uptake figures of the option to farmers to take the environmentally sensitive area grants in each area concerned, with the percentage of those eligible, together with the likely average payment to each farmer.
Mr. Jack : The percentages of eligible land under agreement or application and the average cost per agreement for the 22 English ESAs are given in the table. The number of farmers eligible for participation in each ESA scheme is not available.
ESA |Eligible Area |Percentage of |Average payment |(ha) |eligible area |per agreement |under agreement |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stage I Broads<1> |24,000 |63 |3,430 Pennine Dales |39,100 |68 |3,990 Somerset levels and moors |25,900 |51 |2,240 South Downs<1> |51,700 |21 |6,830 West Penwith |6,900 |89 |2,290 Stage II Breckland<1> |51,600 |9 |5,630 Clun<1> |18,900 |72 |3,500 North Peak |50,500 |86 |15,940 Suffolk River Valleys<1> |32,600 |27 |2,900 Test Valley<1> |3,300 |30 |3,050 Stage III Avon Valley<1> |3,800 |19 |1,960 Exmoor |67,700 |55 |2,300 Lake District |219,300 |50 |4,040 North Kent Marshes<1> |11,600 |36 |10,460 South Wessex Downs<1> |38,300 |48 |3,840 South West Peak |27,000 |54 |2,030 Stage IV<2> Blackdown Hills |32,200 |0.10 |330 Cotswold Hills<1> |66,100 |4 |3,280 Dartmoor |89,000 |0.02 |610 Essex Coast<1> |23,000 |1 |3,560 Shropshire Hills |34,900 |10 |1,600 Upper Thames Tributaries<1> |18,000 |2 |5,070 <1> The figures for eligible area in these ESAs contain arable land which is eligible to enter the scheme if reverted to grass. It is not expected that a high proportion of such land will enter the scheme. <2> The figures for uptake in these ESAs cover only the first six weeks of the initial application period.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food pursuant to her answer of 12 May, Official Report, column 201, what was the expenditure on (a) service rental and (b) call charges for portable telephones.
|£ -------------------------------------- (a) on Service Rental |228,348 (b) on Call Charges |110,507
Mr. Jack : In March 1994 we were able to secure the European Commission's agreement to a technical adjustment to the scaling back of 1993 beef special premium claims necessary because the number of claims in 1993 exceeded our regional ceiling. In England and Wales, this adjustment added about £2.50 to the average payment per 1993 beef special premium claimed and about £1.25 to the average payment per extensification premium. Given the increase in total payments under the 1993 scheme compared with previous years, and the very good market prices for beef in 1993, there is no justification for any further adjustments to the scaling back for 1993.
Mr. Soames : The Government support the principle of removing unnecessary barriers to trade and support the initiative taken by the Commission in drafting a proposal to consolidate and amend directive 64/432/EEC with a view to facilitating trade. During negotiations on the proposed amendments to the directive, the Government will aim to ensure that the individual provisions are carefully assessed, do not increase the risk of disease being spread between member states and are not unnecessarily onerous on industry.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further measures are planned to monitor the movement of livestock through the channel tunnel ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Soames : The channel tunnel operator, Eurotunnel, has informed the Ministry that its policy remains one of not carrying live animals, including farm livestock and horses, through the tunnel. The state veterinary service will monitor the tunnel in the same way as other south coast ports.