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Making Belfast Work"

Mr. Peter Robinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what evaluation has been carried out of projects for which "Making Belfast Work" money has been provided in further education projects in inner Belfast in each of the last four years.

Mr. Ancram : Since the "Making Belfast Work" initiative was introduced in 1988, all further education projects have been evaluated by the Department's inspectorate.

Mr. Peter Robinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent on further education in inner Belfast through the "Making Belfast Work" programme in each of the last four years ; and on which projects the money has been spent.

Mr. Ancram : The information is as follows :


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F

£000's                                                                

                       Year<1>                                        

Project               |1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94|Total          

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

Whiterock FE centre   |672    |1,263  |1,419  |1,175  |4,529          

Shankill FE centre    |468    |267    |333    |341    |1,409          

Dunlewey St FE centre |-      |-      |146    |143    |289            

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

Total                 |-      |-      |-      |-      |6,227          

<1>Relates to financial years.                                        

HEALTH

Staffing Levels

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list by regional health authority changes in staff numbers in 1993 ; and, of these, how many were nurses.

Dr. Mawhinney : The information requested is not available.

Hospital Consultant Posts

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 9May, Official Report , column 2 , on vacant hospital consultancies, how many consultant posts were vacant in each region on 30September 1992.

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

This indicates consultant vacancies notified to the Department as at 30September 1992. As a snapshot of vacancies on a single date they may not fairly reflect the trend for the number of vacancies over the year as a whole.


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Hospital medical consultant vacant posts by    

Regional Health Authority                      

30 September 1992-Whole-time equivalent        

                           |Number<1>          

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

England                    |550                

Northern                   |30                 

Yorkshire                  |50                 

Trent                      |80                 

East Anglian               |20                 

North West Thames          |20                 

North East Thames          |50                 

South East Thames          |10                 

South West Thames          |30                 

Wessex                     |10                 

Oxford                     |<2>-               

South Western              |40                 

West Midlands              |110                

Mersey                     |20                 

North Western              |60                 

Special health authorities |10                 

<1> Figures are rounded to the nearest 10;     

regional figures do not sum to the England     

figure because of rounding.                    

<2> Less than five.                            


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Drugs Advisory Committee

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will place in the Library a list of the current members of the national health service drugs advisory committee, together with a copy of its annual report and information on the place and frequency of its meetings, indicating whether such meetings are open to the public.

Dr. Mawhinney : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) on 28 February at cols 605-6. The advisory committee on national health service drugs holds meetings as necessary to fulfil its role of advising United Kingdom Health Ministers about the composition of schedules 10 and 11 of the NHS (General Medical Services) Regulations 1992 : The committee does not publish an annual report. Meetings are not open to the public.

Midwifery

Ms Lynne : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her policy on an autonomous midwifery profession.

Mr. Sackville : The Government recognise that midwives are educated and trained to take full care of women during the antenatal, intrapartum and post-natal period, referring to a doctor if there are any deviations from the normal. "Changing Childbirth", the report of the expert group, fully supports this ethos and the national health service is working towards the implementation of the report's recommendations within a five year time-scale.

Electro-convulsive Therapy

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to ban electro-convulsive treatment on patients under the age of 18 years ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Bowis : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mrs. Golding) on 17 February at col. 926.

Sight Tests

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many sight tests were carried out in each of the last five years.

Dr. Mawhinney : The numbers of national health service sight tests paid for in the last five financial years for which figures are available in England are shown in the table. Information for 1993-94 is not yet available.


Number of NHS sight tests<1>   

paid for by financial year     

England                        

Year       |Number             

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

<2>1989-90 |5,279,750          

<2>1990-91 |4,153,660          

1991-92    |4,979,420          

1992-93    |5,527,590          

<1>The number of private sight 

tests is not collected.        

<2>From 1 April 1989, NHS      

sight tests were restricted to 

certain eligible groups in the 

population. The figures for    

1989-90 included 1.82 million  

sight tests paid for in        

1989-90 but conducted in       

1988-89 under the previous     

scheme. The remaining 4.22     

million were conducted and     

paid for in 1989-90 which do   

not constitute a full 12       

months of the new              

scheme. The figures for        

1990-91 which do represent 12  

months under the new scheme    

are not therefore directly     

comparable with those for      

1989-90.                       

Pay Settlements

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the percentage increases in the pay settlements or offers for this current year to doctors, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists.

Dr. Mawhinney : Hospital and community health service doctors and dentists have been awarded a 3 per cent. increase in salaries. General medical practitioners have been awarded a 3 per cent. increase in the average net intended income and a 1.4 per cent. increase in their expenses provisions. General dental practitioners have been awarded a 3 per cent. increase in the gross fee for each item of service and capitation payment. Hospital pharmacists have been offered 1.75 per cent. and negotiations are continuing. No offer has yet been made to optometrists whose claim was received on 25 May.

Waiting Times

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, (1) pursuant to her answer of 11 May, Official Report, column 157, what is the total cost of reducing the waiting list so that (a) no one waits more than three months for hospital treatment and (b) the average waiting time is reduced to two months ;

(2) pursuant to her answer of 21 April, Official Report, column 668 , what is the total cost of providing an out-patient appointment to all patients within (a) six weeks and (b) three months on referral by a general practitioner.

Dr. Mawhinney : This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Administrative Staff

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her estimate of the effect of the change in number of managers, administration and clerical staff in the NHS since 1989-90.

Dr. Mawhinney : The national health service needs good managers. As part of the reforms we have deliberately strengthened NHS management, particularly the finance and personnel functions, to provide the quality and number of managers needed to run a £32.2 billion organisation which employs over 900,000 people. The results speak for themselves. For every 100 patients treated in 1989-90 we expect to treat about 121 this year. Average in-patient waiting times have been reduced from nine months to five months. NHS managers deserve credit for their part in these achievements. We are determined to maximise the proportion of NHS expenditure devoted to direct patient care and have recently brought forward proposals to further streamline the central management of the NHS.

Nurses and Midwives

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many whole-time equivalent NHS nursing and midwifery staff were employed on each grade and pay point of the clinical grades, educational grades, and senior nursing and midwifery pay spine in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993, broken down by ethnic groups.


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Mr. Sackville : This information is not available centrally.

Respite and Continuing Care Beds

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds in each health authority are available for (a) respite care and (b) continuing care.

Mr. Bowis : Information collected centrally on numbers of beds does not include the classifications "respite care" and "continuing care". Information on national health service beds in England, classified by ward type, is published in "Bed availability for England (Financial year 1992- 93)", a copy of which is available in the Library.

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to impose an obligation on each district health authority to provide (a) respite care beds for Alzheimer's disease sufferers and (b) continuing care beds.

Mr. Bowis : Authorities should have a comprehensive range of services available to meet the various needs of those suffering from Alzheimer's disease.


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Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list each health authority which does not provide psychogeriatric continuing care beds ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Bowis : It is a matter for local purchasers to determine the level and type of services purchased for their local populations in the light of local circumstances, resources and clinical practice.

Consultants

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 28 April, Official Report , column 307 , how many hospital consultant posts have been vacant, by specialty, in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

Dr. Mawhinney [pursuant to his reply, 9 May 1994, c. 76] : I regret that there were inaccuracies in the 1991 and 1992 data. The correct figures are given in the table.


Column 591


Vacant hospital consultant posts by specialty group                                                                        

England-30 September 1988-1992                                                                                             

Specialty group            |1988           |1989           |1990           |1991           |1992                           

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

General medicine group     |133.4          |119.7          |129.2          |92.7           |118.1                          

Accident and emergency     |17.0           |15.0           |18.4           |14.4           |19.6                           

Surgical group             |110.5          |88.2           |135.3          |87.1           |90.0                           

Obstetrics and gynaecology |25.0           |17.9           |23.4           |18.0           |23.0                           

Anaesthetics               |100.2          |70.3           |87.9           |50.3           |88.0                           

Radiology group            |38.3           |34.6           |33.9           |18.8           |21.9                           

Radiotherapy               |6.7            |4.2            |7.2            |6.0            |5.0                            

Pathology group            |70.3           |39.0           |49.9           |36.6           |23.4                           

Psychiatry group           |268.9          |193.4          |217.3          |150.1          |152.7                          

Dental specialties         |20.1           |10.0           |10.5           |12.3           |9.0                            

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

All specialties            |790.4          |592.3          |713.0          |486.4          |550.7                          

Note: The table shows whole-time equivalents.                                                                              

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Ukraine

10. Sir Donald Thompson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations with the Ukraine.

Mr. Hurd : We have close and friendly relations with Ukraine. I visited Kiev in May where I had useful talks with the Ukrainian leadership and reaffirmed our strong support for Ukrainian independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

20. Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to meet his counterparts in the European Union to discuss its future development.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I have regular discussions on a wide range of European Union issues with my European counterparts at meetings of the General Affairs Council. The next meeting of the Council is scheduled for 18-19 July.


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Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the German Foreign Minister about priorities for the German presidency of the EU.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : I discussed German presidency priorities with my German colleague at the Anglo-German summit on 27 April.

26. Mrs. Angela Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to help combat fraud in the EU in (a) spending on the common agricultural policy, (b) structural funds and (c) the cohesion budget.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced a joint action proposal under title VI of the treaty on European Union aimed at combating serious fraud against the Community budget. The Commission has recently published its 1993 annual report on the fight against fraud and tabled an anti-fraud strategy which is under consideration by the Council. Both describe a number of existing and new measures to fight fraud against the Community budget, and in particular fraud against the CAP. The United Kingdom has pressed for demanding new provisions on value for money and reporting requirements to govern the structural and cohesion funds which are designed to reduce the scope for fraud and waste.


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China

22. Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next intends to visit China to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Mr. Goodlad : My right hon. Friend has no plans at present to visit China but expects to meet the Chinese Foreign Minister in September, possibly in New York, to discuss matters of mutual interest. I plan to visit China myself before too long.

25. Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the human rights situation in China.

Mr. Goodlad : While welcoming the recent releases of certain individuals, we remain deeply concerned about continuing reports of human rights abuses in China, including the widespread arrest or detention of individuals for free expression of their political or religious beliefs, and the situation in Tibet.

Visegrad Countries

23. Sir Roger Moate : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the prospects of EC membership for the Visegrad countries.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The Copenhagen European Council in June 1993 agreed that the associated countries of central and eastern Europe that so wished, including the four Visegrad countries, should join the European Union as soon as they were able to assume the obligations of membership by satisfying the economic and political conditions required. We are fully committed to this objective, and reacted positively to the applications of Hungary and Poland in March and April this year.

24. Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current state of United Kingdom relations with Japan.

Mr. Goodlad : United Kingdom relations with Japan are excellent. We are developing close co-operation on international issues, investment, trade, science and technology and many other areas.

Rwanda

27. Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to support the UN action in Rwanda.

28. Mr. Clapham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the situation in Rwanda.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The UK voted in favour of UN Security Council resolutions 918 and 925 which authorise an expansion in the United Nations Aid Mission in Rwanda force to a total of 5,500 and mandate it to provide protection and support to civilians at risk. The UK worked with other states in framing both resolutions to ensure that UNAMIR was given the most effective mandate possible. We will continue our efforts to ensure that the force operates with maximum effect.

The UK will bear 6.37 per cent. of the cost of UNAMIR. We have also contributed over £11 million directly to the aid effort in Rwanda.


Column 594

Sir Michael Neubert : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to commit British forces to United Nations operations in Rwanda.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The UK has not been asked to contribute troops to the UN peacekeeping operation in Rwanda.

Gulf States 29. Mr. Elletson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the United Kingdom's relations with the Gulf states.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I visited the Gulf region from30 May to 3 June 1994 and found that the United Kingdom's relations with the Gulf states were in excellent shape.

Intergovernmental Conference

30. Mr. Gill : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to be able to announce his priorities for the next intergovernmental conference.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : As my colleagues and I have made clear in a number of recent statements, our priority is to achieve a Europe that is prosperous, outward looking, free trading, decentralised, flexible and democratic.

European Security

31. Mr. Gapes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next plans to meet his French counterpart to discuss the future of European security ; and what discussions Her Majesty's Government have already had with the French Government in the last 12 months.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary sees Mr. Juppe frequently, and European security issues remain one of the priorities on their agenda. We likewise hold frequent discussions with the French Government at all levels to discuss European security and other matters.

Indonesia

32. Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current state of relations between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Indonesia.

Mr. Goodlad : The United Kingdom and Indonesia enjoy excellent bilateral relations. The importance of the relationship is well illustrated by the large number of high- level visits in both directions. We contribute substantially to Indonesia's infrastructure development. British industry plays a significant role in this. British exports to Indonesia rose to their highest ever level--£331 million--in 1993. In 1992, the last year for which we have complete figures, and when British firms invested $996 million there, Britain was the largest European investor in Indonesia.


Column 595

Angola

33. Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to meet his counterpart in Angola to discuss the situation in that country.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no immediate plans to do so. However, my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State and Minister for Overseas Development last met Mr. Venancio da Moura on 25 April.

Middle East

34. Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the middle east peace process.

39. Mr. Carrington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made towards peace in the middle east; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : We welcome the completion of Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho on 18 May. We and our European partners are providing practical help to the new Palestinian Administration, including the police force. We hope recent US efforts on the Syrian track will facilitate progress towards a comprehensive peace.

35. Mr. Hicks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to visit Jericho to meet the new Palestinian Administration; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no such plans at present.

Philippines

36. Mr. Nicholls : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on United Kingdom relations, including trade relations with the Philippines.

Mr. Goodlad : The United Kingdom and the Philippines enjoy excellent bilateral relations. The improving economic position and the political stability achieved under President Ramos's Administration has provided an excellent basis for the development of bilateral trade. United Kingdom exports to the Philippines increased by almost 50 per cent. in 1993 to £306 million.

Lockerbie

37. Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response he made to the written request of Edwin Bollier to be shown the timing equipment, retrieved from Pan Am 103 in the Tundergarth area near Lockerbie, for purposes of establishing whether the equipment was sold to the Stasi in East Germany or to the Libyan Government.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : None. Questions concerning the evidence revealed by the Lockerbie investigation are for the Scottish prosecuting authorities and the police. My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate has repeatedly made it clear that he cannot comment on details of the evidence available while criminal proceedings are pending.


Column 596

Overseas Investments

38. Mr. Mans : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to protect the investments of British companies overseas.

Mr. Goodlad : The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, working in close consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry, actively negotiates bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements with many countries worldwide. Since 1975 we have concluded 66 IPPAs, including eight so far this year. More are under negotiation. We are also supporting work in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on obligations under exisiting OECD investment protection measures and on a possible wider investment instrument.

Wilton Park Executive Agency

Mr. Stephen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has yet begun his review of the Wilton Park executive agency.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : A review of the agency status of Wilton Park will begin in September 1994. As a next steps agency, the performance of Wilton Park will be evaluated and its activities will be subjected to the normal prior options tests set out in the 1993 next steps review, Cm 2430.

Comments and contributions from those with an interest in Wilton Park and its work would be welcome, and should be sent by 2 September 1994 to Christopher Battiscombe, CMG, Assistant Under-Secretary (Public Departments), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Room G/107, Old Admiralty Building, London SW1A 2AF.

Wartime Special Operations Executive

Mr. Moss : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to release more records of the wartime Special Operations Executive.

Mr. Hurd : I said in my answer on 20 October 1993 that the first batch of files covering SOE activities in the far east would be available to the public from 21 October 1993. The next batch, on Scandinavia, were opened to the public on 2 June. A third batch, on the middle east and north Africa, will be available in late July.

Cash Limits

Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes he proposes to make in his Department's diplomatic wing cash limits and running costs for 1994-95.

Mr. Goodlad : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class II, vote 2--other external relations--will be increased by £204,105,000.

The cash limit for class II, vote 2--other external relations--will be increased by £204,105,000 from £211,404,000 to £415,509,000, mainly to take account of contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations. The increase is partly offset by appropriations in aid. The balance will be charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.


Column 597

EC Legislation

Mr. Jonathan Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish (a) the number of proposals for principal legislation put forward by the European Commission in the first five months of 1994 and (b) the total number of European Commission proposals for principal legislation for each of the previous four years.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Up to the end of May 1994, the Commission had made 25 proposals for principal legislation. The total number of proposals for principal legislation during the last four years was as follows :

1990 : 185

1991 : 111

1992 : 89

1993 : 75


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