|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Hunt : I attended the meeting of the Labour and Social Affairs Council held on 22 June in Luxembourg, and was accompanied by the Minister of State, Department of Employment, and the Under-Secretary of State for Social Security, my hon. Friend the Member for Bury, North (Mr. Burt).
The Council agreed to adopt the directive on the protection of young workers and to maintain in full the United Kingdom's renewable option not to apply limits to the working time of children and adolescents in the United Kingdom. Three member states abstained. The other 11 member states reached a common position on the draft European works councils directive. In accordance with the terms of the social protocol to the Maastricht treaty, this directive will not apply within the United Kingdom and employees based in the United
Column 357Kingdom will not count towards the threshold which determines whether the directive applies to multinational companies. As a result, more than 200 British companies which would otherwise have been covered by the directive will not have to establish European works councils. Furthermore, the directive will not oblige any British company to extend European works councils to the United Kingdom. Unlike companies in the other 11 member states, British companies will remain entirely free to decide for themselves what arrangements are best for consulting their United Kingdom employees.
The Council reached agreement unanimously on a regulation to set up a European Health and Safety Agency, which will be sited in Bilbao. The main aims of the agency will be to promote and encourage the dissemination of information on health and safety matters. The Council also unanimously reached a common position on a new European Community vocational training programme, to be called "Leonardo da Vinci". The proposal will replace a range of existing Community training programmes, PETRA, FORCE, EUROTECNET and COMETT. It will have a budget of 620 mecu over five years.
The Council heard progress reports on the follow-up work to the Delors White Paper and conclusions of the Brussels European Council on competitiveness, growth and employment, on the draft directive on chemical agents and on a commission communication on immigration and asylum policies.
The Council adopted unanimously a resolution on the promotion of equal opportunities for men and women through the action of the European structural funds.
The Commission's draft programme on social exclusion was withdrawn from the agenda by the presidency.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many (a) disabled men and (b) disabled women in (i) the parliamentary constituency of Greenock and Port Glasgow and (ii) Scotland as a whole were registered as unemployed at the most convenient date.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 14 June 1994] : The labour force survey asks people of working age if they currently have a health problem or disability which limits the kind of paid work they can do. Estimates based on answers to this question will include people with short-term or minor health problems and disabilities as well as those registered as disabled.
The latest LFS estimates for summer 1993 show that there were 26, 000 such men and 10,000 such women who were International Labour Organisation unemployed and living in Scotland. The information is not available for parliamentary constituencies.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many hours on average returning officers and depute returning officers at the regional and European elections are expected to devote to these additional duties ; whether it is the normal practice for their employers to allow time off to allow them to perform these additional duties ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : There is no information held centrally about hours worked by returning officers and their deputies when engaged on European parliamentary election work. The arrangements for local government elections are the responsibility of the returning officer and council concerned.
Mr. Raymond S. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made by the ecological steering group which he appointed on 26 January 1993 to undertake work in relation to the Shetland oil spill.
Sir Hector Monro : The ecological steering group on the oil spill in Shetland, which my right hon. Friend appointed last year under the chairmanship of Professor William Ritchie of Aberdeen university, has now completed its substantive report on the environmental effects of the spill. I expect to publish the report on Monday 27 June, when copies will be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Kynoch : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the results of the research into detention in Scotland under section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 and voluntary attendance at police stations are available ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : A report entitled "Research into Detention and Voluntary Attendance of Suspects at Police Stations" is being published today. The report shows that despite some difficulties in a small proportion of cases caused by the six-hour limit, the current provisions for detention and voluntary attendance generally work satisfactorily. I do not intend to bring forward any legislative proposals on this subject.
Copies of the report are available in the Library.
Dr. Mawhinney : General dental practitioners have an obligation under their terms of service to provide emergency cover to their registered patients. They may also offer emergency treatment to non-registered patients. Family health services authorities can make arrangements for emergency treatment for those patients who are not registered.
Where there are already adequate emergency services available from general dental practitioners, or the community or hospital dental services, there is no need for FHSAs themselves to make arrangements. All FHSAs report that they can help patients contacting them to receive national health service dental treatment.
The available information is shown in the table :
Total number of family health services authorities reporting that they were not providing or did not need to provide emergency dental services in each week since December 1992<1> England Week ending |FHSAs ------------------------------------------ 4 December 1992 |6 11 December 1992 |6 18 December 1992 |6 25 December 1992 |- 1 January 1993 |- 8 January 1993 |6 15 January 1993 |6 22 January 1993 |6 29 January 1993 |6 5 February 1993 |6 12 February 1993 |6 19 February 1993 |6 26 February 1993 |4 5 March 1993 |7 12 March 1993 |5 19 March 1993 |5 26 March 1993 |6 2 April 1993 |6 9 April 1993 |5 16 April 1993 |5 23 April 1993 |7 30 April 1993 |5 7 May 1993 |6 14 May 1993 |6 21 May 1993 |5 28 May 1993 |6 4 June 1993 |7 11 June 1993 |6 18 June 1993 |5 25 June 1993 |5 2 July 1993 |6 9 July 1993 |5 16 July 1993 |5 23 July 1993 |5 30 July 1993 |6 6 August 1993 |5 13 August 1993 |6 20 August 1993 |6 27 August 1993 |6 3 September 1993 |5 10 September 1993 |5 17 September 1993 |5 24 September 1993 |5 1 October 1993 |5 8 October 1993 |5 15 October 1993 |5 22 October 1993 |8 29 October 1993 |7 5 November 1993 |8 12 November 1993 |6 19 November 1993 |5 26 November 1993 |6 3 December 1993 |6 10 December 1993 |6 17 December 1993 |5 24 December 1993 |- 31 December 1993 |- 7 January 1994 |6 14 January 1994 |6 21 January 1994 |7 28 January 1994 |5 4 February 1994 |6 11 February 1994 |6 18 February 1994 |5 25 February 1994 |7 4 March 1994 |6 11 March 1994 |5 18 March 1994 |5 25 March 1994 |5 1 April 1994 |6 8 April 1994<2> |- 15 April 1994 |8 22 April 1994 |8 29 April 1994 |6 6 May 1994 |5 13 May 1994 |5 20 May 1994 |5 <1> Data were not collected during the Christmas and new year periods. <2> Data received for week ending 8 April 1994 are not comparable to the other data.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will estimate the savings which would have accrued to the NHS if in the financial year 1992-93 all prescribable drugs that were out of patent had been generically prescribed.
Dr. Mawhinney : It is not possible to quantify accurately the potential savings to the national health service because the price differentials between branded and generic drugs are subject to fluctuations, not all drugs that are out of patent have a generic equivalent and it is not always clinically appropriate to prescribe a generic drug.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list by regional health authority the numbers of entrants to initial pre- registration nursing education by course of study and by academic qualifications possessed by entrants in each of the last five years.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list by regional health authority how many qualified NHS nurses and midwives, unqualified NHS nursing staff and nursing learners there were in each of the last five years ; and what percentage each group was of the total NHS and midwifery staff in each year.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list by regional health authority the whole-time equivalent numbers of (a) agency and (b) bank nursing and midwifery staff employed in the national health service in each year for the last five years.
Mr. Sackville : The information available is shown in the tables. The increase in bank nurses and midwives, together with the corresponding decrease in agency nurses and midwives, reflects the more widespread flexible working arrangements in the national health service for nurses and midwives.
Agency nurses by region 30 September 1988 to 1992 (Whole-time equivalent) |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Northern |- |- |<1>- |- |- Yorkshire |180 |160 |120 |110 |110 Trent |30 |150 |10 |130 |90 East Anglia |190 |190 |280 |240 |200 North West Thames |1,160 |1,540 |1,080 |710 |430 North East Thames |1,750 |1,530 |1,190 |910 |680 South East Thames |1,200 |1,250 |1,000 |430 |170 South West Thames |740 |1,000 |950 |520 |280 Wessex |60 |40 |- |10 |30 Oxford |90 |100 |230 |180 |190 South Western |80 |190 |150 |70 |100 West Midlands |290 |410 |1,150 |370 |540 Mersey |80 |70 |90 |70 |10 North Western |50 |110 |140 |90 |100 SHAs |330 |500 |320 |90 |300 Others |- |- |- |<1>- |- |-------|-------|-------|-------|------- England |6,240 |7,230 |6,710 |3,930 |3,230
Bank nurses by region 30 September 1988 to 1992 (Whole-time equivalent) |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Northern |330 |390 |180 |410 |610 Yorkshire |200 |210 |220 |270 |320 Trent |240 |220 |460 |490 |760 East Anglia |320 |400 |470 |490 |600 North West Thames |420 |510 |480 |590 |610 North East Thames |670 |460 |510 |950 |1,400 South East Thames |620 |590 |630 |720 |840 South West Thames |590 |690 |630 |1,050 |990 Wessex |480 |410 |550 |560 |600 Oxford |320 |310 |390 |730 |550 South Western |450 |540 |490 |780 |1,260 West Midlands |410 |450 |430 |500 |500 Mersey |310 |390 |330 |480 |450 North Western |470 |340 |410 |470 |480 SHAs |<1>- |- |40 |50 |50 Others |- |- |- |- |- |-------|-------|-------|-------|------- England |5,830 |5,910 |6,230 |8,540 |10,020 <1>Denotes figures of five and under and -' denotes no staff. Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest ten whole-time equivalent. 2. Others' includes staff in other statutory authorities. 3. Some totals may not equal the sum of components due to rounding.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list by regional health authority the numbers of whole-time equivalent NHS nursing and midwifery staff employed on each grade and pay point of the clinical grades, educational grades, and senior nursing and midwifery pay spine in each year for the last five years.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many home helps are employed by each local authority responsible for community care ; and what is the ratio of home helps to population in each authority.
Mr. Bowis : The latest available data relates to whole time equivalent directly employed home helps, excluding home help organisers and assistant organisers as at 30 September 1993 and will be placed in the Library.
Dr. Mawhinney : The patients charter already includes the right to be given a clear explanation of the proposed treatment, alternatives and risks. This is an essential part of ensuring that the right treatment is provided in the right way to the right patients, thus promoting clinical effectiveness.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will make it her policy to require regional health authorities to disclose in their accounts receipts from (a) the disposal of hospitals and (b) other large asset sales ;
Column 363(2) if he will list references concerning income from the sale of hospitals in the audited accounts of the regional health authorities from 1984 to date.
Mr. Sackville : Since 1991, total capital receipts are disclosed in the cash flow statement of the annual accounts of regional health authorities. This complies with the financial reporting standards issued by the Accounting Standards Board. Prior to 1991, income from the sale of capital assets was disclosed in the notes to the accounts of regional health authorities.
Mr. Sackville : Data about levels of occupancy of national health service beds are not held centrally. Information is held about the number of occupied bed days relating to each consultant episode. In total, there were over 45 million occupied bed days during 1991-92 in the
Column 364general and acute sector in England. The number of bed days used by private patients is less than 1 per cent. of this total.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list by regional health authority and by year for the last four years, the number of medical consultants per head of population ; and how many of them worked in private practice.
Hospital medical consultants by population in each region England - 30 September 1992 1989 1990 1991 1992 |Whole-time |Whole-time |Whole-time |Whole-time |Whole-time |Whole-time |Whole-time |Whole-time |equivalents|equivalents|equivalents|equivalents|equivalents|equivalents|equivalents|equivalents |per 100,000 |per 100,000 |per 100,000 |population |population |population |population ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Northern |940 |30.5 |940 |30.6 |970 |31.6 |1,030 |33.3 Yorkshire |1,020 |28.3 |970 |26.5 |1,000 |27.3 |1,130 |30.6 Trent |1,200 |25.7 |1,230 |26.2 |1,250 |26.7 |1,330 |28.2 East Anglia |580 |28.4 |630 |30.6 |650 |31.4 |630 |29.9 North West Thames |940 |27.0 |1,040 |29.9 |1,060 |30.3 |960 |27.0 North East Thames |1,180 |31.2 |1,240 |32.8 |1,240 |32.5 |1,340 |35.7 South East Thames |1,100 |30.0 |1,130 |31.0 |1,170 |31.8 |1,170 |31.6 South West Thames |780 |26.4 |820 |27.7 |850 |28.4 |820 |26.9 Wessex |770 |26.2 |780 |26.6 |810 |27.6 |840 |28.0 Oxford |660 |26.1 |670 |26.5 |690 |26.7 |710 |27.4 South Western |820 |25.3 |850 |26.0 |870 |26.7 |900 |27.0 West Midlands |1,410 |27.2 |1,460 |27.9 |1,500 |28.7 |1,530 |29.1 Mersey |690 |28.6 |720 |29.9 |730 |30.4 |750 |31.2 North Western |1,220 |30.7 |1,290 |32.3 |1,310 |32.6 |1,290 |32.3
Hospital medical and dental consultants in England at 30 September (whole-time equivalent) |Number --------------------- 1990 |14,590 1991 |14,900 1992 |15,290 Note: Figures rounded to the nearest 10 whole-time equivalent.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department will commission an independent inquiry to establish the full costs of providing private health care within the NHS ; including the costs of capital investment and training of medical staff.
Dr. Mawhinney : Mr. Smith was told informally at the beginning of March that he was not being recommended for reappointment as chairman of Doncaster health authority. I wrote to Mr. Smith on 28 March notifying him formally that he had not been reappointed.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received regarding the adequacy of her Department's risk level assessment for soot particles of an average hourly concentration of 250 micrograms per cubic metre.
Column 365State for the Environment's expert panel on air quality standards is currently considering a standard for particulates which will include soot particles. The possible health effects of particulates are under consideration by a sub-group of this Department's expert advisory Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is her estimate of the health benefits of the reduction in air pollution to the safe levels defined by the World Health Organisation by the year 2000 ;
(2) what assessment she has made of the health implications of a delay of five years in the reduction of air pollution to the safe levels defined by the World Health Organisation.
Mr. Sackville : The World Health Organisation air quality guidelines were established to provide information on possible effects of air pollutants and as a basis for standard setting by individual countries. They were determined with a view to protecting sensitive individuals and include safety factors to account for variations in sensitivity between individuals. Modest excursions of air pollutants above the guidelines would not therefore be expected to have a large effect on health.
The assessment of the health effects of air pollution close to these levels remains uncertain. The Department's expert advisory committee on the medical effects of air pollutants has set up a sub-group to advise on the possible links between air pollutants and asthma and one to advise on the possible health effects of particulates including soot. The position will be reviewed in the light of its advice.
Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will identify the second order priorities for the next round of the "The Health of the Nation" targets ; and what consideration she has given to the inclusion of targets specifically relating to the need to reduce the incidence of heart failure as a discrete part of the coronary heart disease targets.
Almost all cases of heart failure are attributable either to coronary heart disease or hypertension, both of which have specific "The Health of the Nation" targets within the CHD/stroke key area. The prevention, early diagnosis and effective treatment of heart failure are subsumed within these existing targets.
Region |Number of |practices -------------------------------------- Northern |523 Yorkshire |671 Trent |852 East Anglia |299 North West Thames |818 North East Thames |905 South East Thames |776 South West Thames |518 Wessex |442 Oxford |382 South Western |571 West Midlands |1,064 Mersey |442 North Western |879 The data relate to 1 October 1993.
Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many intensive therapy units are in operation in each NHS region in England (a) in absolute numbers and (b) per head of population by region.
Region |Number of |Population<2> |intensive therapy|per ITU |units (ITU's)<1> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Northern and Yorkshire |26 |252,303 North West |30 |219,673 Trent |16 |294,031 West Midlands |20 |260,960 Anglia/Oxford |13 |355,607 North Thames |27 |270,425 South Thames |13 |510,530 South Western |24 |246,625 <1> The number of intensive therapy units does not reflect accurately the level of provision as the number of beds in each unit varies considerably. <2> Population figures based on 1990 Office of Population Censuses and Surveys data.
Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many dental deregistrations there were in the period 1985 to 1993 ; (2) how many clients were registered with general dental practitioners in each year since 1983.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 17 June 1994] : Before the introduction of the new dental contract in October 1990, patients did not register with their dentists for treatment. Patients could not therefore be deregistered before that date. There were 687,765 deregistrations between 3 July 1992, the date deregistrations started to be counted, and 10 June 1994. Over a broadly similar period, total patient registrations rose by 1,049,178.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what tests and studies have been carried out by the chemical and biological warfare establishment at Porton Down using potassium ; when these experiments were carried out ; and what were the results and conclusions of these tests and studies.
Letter from Dr. Graham Pearson to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 22 June 1994 :
1. Your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence asking what tests and studies have been carried out by the chemical and biological warfare establishment at Porton Down using potassium, when these experiments were carried out, and what were the results and conclusions of these tests and studies has been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.
2. The role of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is to ensure that the United Kingdom Armed Forces have effective protective measures against the threat that chemical or biological weapons may be used against them. Tests and studies on potassium, which is a highly reactive metal, have not been carried out at CBDE. Although potassium as a laboratory chemical has been used and continues to be used on an infrequent basis in various aspects of general organic chemical synthesis at CBDE Porton Down.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) pursuant to his answer of 26 January Official Report, columns 304-5, (1) how many service volunteers on average return voluntarily to Porton Down to take part in subsequent unrelated studies ; whether they receive the same pro rata payment as volunteers who go only once ; and how many times a service volunteer may go to Porton Down to participate in studies ;
(2) what details from the study are recorded on the medical records of individual service volunteers who have participated in studies at the chemical and biological defence establishment at Porton Down ; what is his Department's policy on releasing the medical records of service volunteers to the individual concerned or to the individual's doctors if so requested ; and how many medical records have been released in this way ;
(3) how many service volunteers on average each year withdraw from studies at the chemical and biological defence establishment at Porton Down after the nature of the intended study is explained to them ; and whether they still receive payment ;
(4) how many service volunteers are on average each year recalled to have their medical health checked ; how such volunteers are chosen to be recalled ; how many years after the study they are usually recalled ; and whether they are recalled more than once ; (5) how many service volunteers on average each year are rejected as being unfit following the medical examination on arrival at the chemical and biological defence establishment at Porton Down ; and whether they still receive payment if they are rejected.
Letter from Graham Pearson to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 22 June 1994 :
1. Your Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary of State for Defence asking pursuant to his answer of 26 January, Official Report, columns 304- 5, further questions relating to the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment volunteer programme have been passed to me to reply as Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment.
Column 3682. The role of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment is to ensure that the United Kingdom Armed Forces have effective protective measures against the threat that chemical or biological weapons may be used against them. In order to carry out this work, it is necessary to use service volunteers to :
(a) assess the ability of service personnel to function with new equipment and procedures ;
(b) develop medical countermeasures to protect Service personnel and
(c) evaluate the effects of very low and medically safe concentrations of CW agents on the ability of unprotected personnel to operate normally.
No studies involving volunteers are carried out unless there is a clear military need and a detailed protocol has been reviewed and approved by an independent Ethics Committee in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Royal College of Physicians.
3. Service volunteers re-attend CBDE to take part in further studies according to their willingness and availability and are paid the same as volunteers who may only attend on one occasion. There is no restriction on the number of times a volunteer may return to CBDE to participate in studies but a volunteer cannot re-attend to participate in the same study for scientific and statistical reasons. Volunteers are paid to compensate them for the inconvenience of the tests carried out as part of the study ; there is no difference in the amount of the payment for volunteers who have returned for a further study.
4. It has long been MOD policy to release Service volunteers' medical records to a patient's GP on a MEDICAL-IN-CONFIDENCE basis when they are needed for the management of a particular case. It is entirely up to the GP how much or how little of this information he conveys to his patient. The Service volunteer's medical documents will include the results of the investigations performed as part of the entry medical examination. There are no central records maintained of how many medical records have been released in such circumstances.
5. Over the past three years, only one volunteer has withdrawn from a study following detailed explanation of the protocol. He received payment in compensation for the inconvenience of the tests he had undertaken during the entry medical examination.
6. There is no set pattern of recalls or selection of volunteers for recall. The number of volunteers recalled and the time after the study are varied according to the objective of recalling the volunteers. The current practice is that all volunteers upon arrival at the Establishment are read a lay statement by a military officer which states that it is our policy to call back some volunteer subjects for re-testing from time to time to ensure that the techniques used give consistent and reproducible results and that no changes in the way we apply the tests have occurred with time." The recall of any volunteers to CBDE is recorded on their medical records.
7. About 5 of volunteers are rejected following review of their medical documents prior to their attendance at CBDE. They receive no payment. Between 5-10 of volunteers are rejected as unfit following the entry medical examination upon arrival at CBDE. They will receive payments in compensation for the inconvenience of the tests undertaken as part of the initial medical examination.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 11 January, Official Report, columns 163-64, (1) what was the purpose of experiments carried out on the nerve agent VX during the specified years at Nancekuke ; what was the conclusion of these experiments ; what quantities of the agent VX were used in these tests ; when the results of these experiments were exchanged with the United States of America ; with which other countries these results were shared ; and under which defence agreements this information was exchanged ;
(2) on which agents in the V series Nancekuke carried out research in the specified years ; what was the purpose and conclusions of this research ; when the results of these experiments were exchanged with the United States of America ; and under which defence agreements this information was exchanged.