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Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints she has received in (a) 1992-93 and (b) 1993-94 from patients and organisations representing patients at Walsgrave hospital, Coventry ; and what assessment she has made of the working of the patients charter there.
Dr. Mawhinney : We have received a number of letters about the Walsgrave hospitals national health service trust in Coventry. These have been referred to Mr. David Loughton, chief executive of the trust. Meeting the requirements of the patients charter is the responsibility of the trust. The hon. Member may wish to contact Mr. Robert Jordan, chairman of the Walsgrave hospitals NHS trust, for details.
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action she is taking to reduce the number of complaints received by hospital trusts.
Dr. Mawhinney : National health service trusts should be seeking constantly to raise the standards of care provided to meet the aspirations of health care purchasers and individual patients. They should give patients every opportunity to make comments and suggestions or put
Column 414forward complaints on their services. Patients' complaints can and should be used for enhancing the quality of the health services provided.
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will make a statement as to how the patients charter is working in (a) hospitals in the west midlands and (b) the health service in the west midlands ;
(2) what benefit to patients the patients charter has given in the west midlands.
Dr. Mawhinney : The patients charter has brought benefits to national health service patients in all areas, including the west midlands, by informing patients of their rights and the standards of service they can expect to receive. It is an important step forward in ensuring the delivery of quality services to patients.
Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what incentive payments general practitioners receive under their contracts for meeting vaccination programme targets ; how the payments are related to the number of vaccines administered ; and what limit exists on the number of vaccinations for which payments are made.
Dr. Mawhinney : Two incentive payments are available to general practitioners for meeting immunisation targets. The first is for achieving either higher or lower targets for immunising children aged two against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, and, from 1 July this year, Hib meningitis. The second is for booster immunisations in children aged five against diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Details of the payment mechanisms are contained in the "Statement of Fees and Allowances", a copy of which is available in the Library.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the cost of out-of-court settlements for medical negligence claims involving national health service bodies in each year since 1990-91.
Dr. Mawhinney : This information is not available centrally.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to her answer of 10 May, Official Report , columns 484-86 , if she will itemise which national health service bodies have been involved in medical negligence claims, and for what amount ;
(2) pursuant to her answer of 14 March, Official Report , column 537-38 , if she will itemise which national health service bodies have been involved in medical negligence claims ; and for what amount.
Dr. Mawhinney : The information supplied to the Department by national health service bodies is provided voluntarily in confidence on the basis that it will be collated to show regional and national trends.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will publish an updated list of the chairmen and non-executive members of regional health authorities.
Dr. Mawhinney : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) on 25 April at column 68. Mr. P. Wright has since filled the vacancy on the board of the North West regional health authority.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current level of remuneration paid to chairmen and members of (a) regional health authorities, (b) district health authorities, (c) national health service trusts and (d) family health service authorities.
Dr. Mawhinney : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Worsley (Mr. Lewis) on 5 May 1993 at column 91.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will show for each NHS trust into which band the trust falls for the purpose of evaluating the chairman and non-executive members' salaries.
Dr. Mawhinney : It is the responsibility of each trust to pay its chairman in line with the appropriate band for that trust, which is based on the unit's turnover in 1988-89. Information on the band applicable to individual trusts is not available centrally. The annual rate of remuneration for all non-executive directors of national health service trusts is currently £5,000.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many private pay (a) bed units and (b) wings there were within the national health service in each year since 1990-91.
Mr. Sackville : These are local matters about which the Department does not collect information.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to penalise medical consultants for inadequate performance.
Dr. Mawhinney : This is a matter for employing authorities.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of all surgical interventions are provided by unsupervised junior hospital doctors ; what evidence she has as to whether the quality of this care is good ; and what evidence she has as to monitoring of these practices and the provision of quality control by non-clinical managers.
Mr. Sackville : Detailed operational issues are the responsibility of health authorities and national health service trusts. Information on which staff undertake surgical interventions is not available centrally.
Hospital consultants are responsible for ensuring that junior doctors do not undertake any surgical intervention which is beyond their competence and for providing adequate supervision. The report of the 1991-92 national
Column 416confidential enquiry into perioperative deaths--NCEPOD--published in 1993, commented that in some specialties, basic specialist trainees should not be left to work alone without suitable supervision and direction. NCEPOD has recommended that consultants and hospital managers at local level should work together to achieve this. Copies of the report are available in the Library.
Health authorities are now responsible for funding clinical audit through contracts, and non-clinical managers are therefore involved in deciding the agenda of topics for clinical audit.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what deficiencies she has identified in career training for chief executives in the NHS ; and what plans she has to remedy them.
Dr. Mawhinney : There is a wide range of training and development programmes for chief executives and other senior managers in the national health service, much of it carried out at local level to meet the specific requirements of individual managers and the changing needs of the service. The national health service executive works with managers of professional and educational bodies to ensure that chief executives are able to meet the demanding standards expected of them.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list, by London health district, the total number of acute beds for each of the past five years.
Dr. Mawhinney : The information will be placed in the Library. Figures for some district health authorities may not be comparable over the period because of boundary changes.
During the period 1988-89 to 1992-93 there was a 4.49 per cent. increase in the number of in-patients treated.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects all trusts to be operating local pay agreements.
Dr. Mawhinney : The National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 provided for all trusts to employ staff on such terms as they think fit. The chief executive of the NHS executive wrote on 6 June to the chief executives of all trusts asking for local action plans to be established by October 1994 for local pay machinery to be in place by February 1995.
Mr. Lord : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to re-introduce the post of matron into all NHS hospitals ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville : The exact titles and responsibilities of senior nurses are for local decision. The title matron may be used if appropriate. Every national health service trust is required to have a senior nurse as an executive director.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the trend in entry into general practice in the last three years ; and what assessment she has made as to the adequacy of entry to compensate for loss.
Dr. Mawhinney : Over the past three years there have been approximately 1,400 new entrants to general practice per year in England and Wales. This has been sufficient to ensure a continuing increase in overall numbers of general practitioners.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the report on consultants' distinction awards will be published.
Dr. Mawhinney : We are considering the report of the working party on the review of the consultants' distinction awards scheme, and an announcement will be made in due course.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will appoint an independent inquiry into how a patient admitted to the secure unit located at Lynfield Mount hospital in Bradford escaped from the hospital grounds on 21 June ; what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the security arrangements at the secure unit and in the hospital ; and what her policy is in respect of the location of secure units in residential areas.
Mr. Bowis : Bradford community health national health service trust has instigated a full investigation into this matter.
Hospitals are responsible for ensuring that security of pyschiatric patients is maintained at a level consistent with the risk that they may present to themselves or to other people. The siting of national health service facilities has, since April 1991, been subject to the normal requirements of town and country planning legislation.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what scientific evidence she has as to the cost-effectiveness of the increase in practice nurses in primary care.
Dr. Mawhinney : We are satisfied that the effect of the increase in practice nurses is evident in benefits to patients, for example, through support of general practitioners in the provision of the following services ;
immunisation--over 90 per cent. of GPs have achieved top rates ; 97 per cent. of GPs have reached cervical cytology targets ; over 90 per cent. of GPs have reached band three of health promotion, while almost 90 per cent. of GPs have been approved to run chronic disease management programmes for the treatment of asthma and diabetes ;
a survey conducted by MORI in 1991 found that almost four out of five elderly patients, over 75 years of age, who were offered a health check took advantage of it while nine out of ten of those patients who had the health check found it to be useful.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women were eligible for free dental service during pregnancy and one year after the birth of the child in each of the past three financial years.
Dr. Mawhinney : This information is not available in the form requested.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been deregistered by their dentists in each regional health authority since 1 July 1992 ; and how many dentists in each of the RHA areas have been involved in deregistrations.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 20 June 1994] : The information is shown in the tables. Over a similar period total patient registrations rose by 1,049,178 or 3.8 per cent.
Table 1 General Dental Services, adult and child patients deregistered, the number of dentists deregistering patients from week ending 3 July 1992 to 1 April 1994 and the number of additions to dentists' registers<1> during July 1992 to March 1994, by region. England Region |Number of |Number of<1> |Dentists |Dentists |patients |additions to |deregistering|deregistering |deregistered |dentists' |<2>adults |<2>children |registers ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- England |659,134 |21,119,080 |2,392 |246 Northern |20,038 |1,486,949 |52 |14 Yorkshire |34,368 |1,661,152 |220 |27 Trent |40,485 |1,976,989 |159 |19 East Anglia |41,987 |861,961 |113 |9 North West Thames |17,324 |1,692,096 |103 |6 North East Thames |23,342 |1,875,752 |121 |16 South East Thames |88,521 |1,670,670 |280 |18 South West Thames |68,196 |1,275,543 |143 |1 Wessex |63,590 |1,152,992 |123 |1 Oxford |75,831 |1,045,617 |252 |4 South Western |115,719 |1,426,337 |333 |33 West Midlands |29,168 |2,028,579 |121 |13 Mersey |8,665 |1,123,464 |107 |6 North Western |31,900 |1,840,979 |265 |79 Source: Department of Health <1> Includes transfers of patients from one dentist to another and inclusions on a dentist's list of a former patient whose registration had lapsed. <2> Some dentists will have deregistered adults and child patients and will appear in both columns.
Table 2 General Dental Services, adult and child patients deregistered, the number of dentists deregistering patients from week ending 8 April 1994 to 10 June 1994 and the number of additions to dentists' registers<1> during April 1994 by region. England Region |Number |Number of<1> |Dentists |Dentists |deregistered |additions to |deregistering<2>|deregistering<2> |dentists' |adults |children |register ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- England |28,631 |1,100,653 |85 |12 Northern and Yorkshire |3,295 |164,009 |8 |0 Trent |2,916 |90,373 |3 |1 South Thames |5,109 |154,977 |25 |4 North Thames |937 |164,422 |9 |0 West Midlands |2,360 |95,421 |4 |0 North West |1,844 |177,826 |17 |6 East Anglian and Oxford |5,328 |98,982 |4 |0 South West |6,842 |154,643 |15 |1 Source: Dental Practice Board <1> Includes transfers of patients from one dentist to another and inclusions on a dentist's list of a former patient whose registration had lapsed. <2> Some dentists will have deregistered adults and child patients and will appear in both columns.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what contingency plans he has formulated for co-ordination and liaison between Governments and international agencies responsible for supervising broadcasting standards and broadcasting regulation compliance with specific reference to sexually violent and explicit material should the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis proceed with his plans to disband the obscene publications branch of the Metropolitan police ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : I understand that no proposals about the future of the branch have been made, but the Metropolitan police have given assurances that the work of the branch, as it relates to broadcast material, will continue.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what representations he has made to broadcasting authorities concerning the availability of audio-description services on television for blind and partially sighted people ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : None. But I know that a consortium of the Independent Television Commission, the BBC, the ITV Association, the Royal National Institute for the Blind, together with a range of industrial and academic partners, are developing the Audetel project. This project aims to provide an audio-description commentary on television to help those who are blind or partially sighted to understand the programme. I understand that the BBC and ITV hope to begin experimental transmissions in July.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what research has been undertaken by his Department into the use of audio- described television for blind and/or partially sighted people in the United States ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Brooke : Audio-description services for television were introduced in the United States in 1990. It is for the partners in the Audetel project to consider how far American experience is helpful in developing audio-descriptive services in the United Kingdom.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance is given by his Department in conjunction with the Department of the Environment to local authorities regarding crime prevention through planning and design.
Mr. Charles Wardle : In February the Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office in consultation with the Home Office issued a circular on "Planning Out Crime" which gave detailed guidance to local authorities and others about planning considerations relating to crime prevention. Specialist advice on designing out crime is also provided to local authorities and others by police architectural liaison officers.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions there have been for stealing (a) captive and (b) wild birds of prey in each year since 1990 and each month during 1994.
Mr. Maclean : The number of offenders convicted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 from 1990 to 1992 for offences related to birds are given in the table. Information is not collected centrally as to the species involved.
Number of offenders convicted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of offences related to birds England and Wales Offence description |1990 |1991 |1992 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Protection of wild birds (Section 1) |24 |33 |33 Protection of nests and eggs of wild birds (Section 1) |2 |12 |7 Illegal entry into bird sanctuaries (Section 3) |- |2 |- Protection of wild birds in sanctuaries (Section 3) |- |1 |- Protection of the nests and eggs of wild birds in sanctuaries (Section 3) |- |- |- Prohibition of certain methods of killing or taking wild birds (Section 5) |9 |6 |5 Protection of captive birds (Section 8) |7 |- |4
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the police functions he intends shall be subject to measurement in order to provide a basis for performance-related pay for chief constables and other senior officers.
Mr. Charles Wardle : This matter is under discussion with the relevant interests.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the possible incentives he is considering as the rewards in a system of performance-related pay for chief constables and other senior police officers.
Mr. Charles Wardle : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 20 June to my hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge, (Mr. Shersby), Official Report, column 9.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will restore the practice of publishing quarterly detailed figures for recorded crime in England and Wales and in each police force area as soon as such figures can be compiled by his Department.
Mr. Maclean : I have no plans to revert to quarterly publication of recorded crime statistics.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what sources of information he relies for an assessment of intensity or persistence of law-breaking with regard to the age and sex of offenders compared with the generality of the population ; and if he will publish such of it as is not already published.
Mr. Maclean : The main source of official statistics on criminal careers is the offenders index, a database containing information on all serious convictions in England and Wales from 1963 to 1992. Studies carried out using the offenders index include cohort studies which enable estimates to be made of the percentage of the population with serious convictions at different ages and by sex. Periodically, the offenders index is supplemented with information on cautioning collected from police forces. Information on the offenders index and studies carried out using it is contained in "The Offenders Tale : Janus Studies", a copy of which is available in the Library. The results of cohort and other analyses based upon the offenders index are published regularly and will continue to be so.
A detailed analysis carried out by the Home Office research and planning unit of criminal careers, including involvement in offending, frequency of offending and factors associated with persistance and desistance analysis, was published last year.
"Analysing Offending : data, models and interpretations", by Roger Tarling, published by HMSO.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make it his policy to introduce measures to control the purchase of air rifles by mail order ;
(2) if he will make it his policy to introduce greater controls over the purchase and possession of air rifles by young people.
Mr. Charles Wardle : No. There are already extensive restrictions on the purchase, possession and use of such weapons, particularly in relation to young people. In its second annual report, the Firearms Consultative Committee, the independent statutory body established to advise Government on the firearms legislation, concluded that the law as it stands is adequate to deal with current levels of misuse. My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans to introduce further controls.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals under the age of 18 years who are (a) asylum seekers and (b) others are currently detained under the powers of the Immigration Act 1971, as amended ; and what is the age of each such person.
Mr. Charles Wardle : On 23 June, there were 10 people detained under Immigration Act powers who were, or claimed to be, under the age of 18. A breakdown by age is in the table :
|Numbers ------------------------------- Asylum Seekers 15 years |<1>1 16 years |0 17 years |8 Others 17 years |1 <1> The detainee who claims to be 15 years old has been medically examined and is believed to be several years older.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to effect changes in the fire precautions and safety regulations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : There are no plans at present to make changes in the fire precautions and safety regulations. However, there are proposals for changes in the report of the interdepartmental scrutiny of fire safety legislation and enforcement which was published on 22 June. A copy of that report has been placed in the Library of the House. The Government are committed to full consultation on the report's recommendations before considering whether changes should be made to the current legislative regime.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received concerning the effects on New Commonwealth children
Column 423learning English of reductions in section 11 funding ; and how many such representations were (a) favourable and (b) unfavourable ; (2) what changes he proposes to make to section 11 funding ; and over what time scale.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We have received many representations from local authorities and associations, teacher unions, ethnic minority communities and other interested parties about reductions in section 11 funding which, it was announced in November 1992, would need to take effect in 1994-95 and 1995-96. Such representations have essentially been to express concern about implications of reductions for the education system. However, there has been widespread support among relevant organisations for the approach, which we have announced we are adopting from 1994-95, of paying grant in the form of an annual budget to each grant recipient, rather than as a fixed percentage of actual salary costs, in order to ensure maximum flexibility for grant recipients in using the substantial funding which remains available.
In the future, funding to meet particular needs of ethnic minorities will be available from the section 11 programme, or through wider regeneration programmes under the single regeneration budget.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he has to protect tourists using the foreshores and beaches of Wales from nuisance caused by the use of motor-propelled boats ; and if he will bring forward legislation to limit the use of such boats.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The Secretary of State has no powers to control the use of power boats on the foreshores and beaches. Local authorities are able to make byelaws to control public bathing and to regulate the navigation of seaside pleasure boats to prevent danger to bathers, but this does not include a power to prohibit the use of particular types of craft. There are no immediate plans to introduce legislation to increase local authorities' powers in this area, but problems of competing demands on coastal areas were the subject of recent discussion papers published jointly by the Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office. Responses to these papers are currently under consideration.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for entry or residence as persons of independent means were refused in the past 12 months.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Information on persons of independent means refused entry clearance, or admission, to the United Kingdom is not available. Twenty such persons were refused an extension of stay, and five were refused settlement, in 1993.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications were made over the past 12 months for persons to come to the United Kingdom or continue residence in the United Kingdom as persons of independent means on the basis of assets in excess of £500,000.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Information on persons of independent means applying for entry clearance, or
Column 424admitted, to the United Kingdom is not available. One hundred and twenty such persons were granted an extension of stay, and 140 were granted settlement, in 1993. Such persons had assets of not less than £200,000, or income of not less than £20,000 a year. Separate information on persons with assets in excess of £500,000 is not available.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a breakdown of the number of asylum seekers held in detention of 13 June by (a) nationality, (b) gender, (c) length of detention, (d) place of detention and (e) immigration status at the time of application.