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Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 27 June, column 450, in which years each of the late returns of the National Union of Teachers were made ; what were the reasons given in each case ; and what penalties are imposed on trade unions making late returns.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : I understand from the certification officer, an independent statutory officer, that the annual returns by the National Union of Teachers were submitted after the due date of 1 June in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992.
I also understand from the certification officer that he will consider representations from a trade union where circumstances make it difficult for a return to be submitted, in any year, by the statutory date. However, any reasons given at the time for the delay in making any of the NUT returns are not now available.
Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, any trade union that refuses or
Column 93wilfully neglects to submit an annual return by the due date is liable for prosecution and, on conviction, a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 27 June, column 450, how many of the members of the National Union of Teachers in the annual returns to the certification officer are retired teachers ; and what figures his Department keeps on the numbers of people employed as teachers.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : I understand from the certification officer, an independent statutory officer, that information regarding the number of members of the National Union of Teachers who are retired teachers is not available from the annual return submitted to him by that union.
Information on the number of people who are employed in teaching occupations is available from the quarterly labour force survey. Latest estimates from this show that there were 997,000 teaching professionals in Great Britain at winter 1993-94.
It is possible to perform detailed analysis of LFS data by a number of demographic characteristics including region of residence, age, sex and ethnic origin. All this information can be accessed via the Quantime LFS service available in the Library.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the effect of the changes in respect of Sunday trading on the employment rights of workers who deliver food and drink supplies to stores which will open seven days a week ; and if he will make a statement.
Year |Asbestosis |Mesothelioma ---------------------------------------------------- 1982 |128 |504 1983 |121 |578 1984 |129 |626 1985 |140 |615 1986 |166 |703 1987 |144 |809 1988 |152 |862 1989 |157 |899 1990 |164 |880 1991 |163 |1,018 Total |1,464 |7,494
The geographical breakdown of these deaths was as follows :
Region |Asbestosis |Mesothelioma ---------------------------------------------------------------- North |267 |811 Yorkshire and Humberside |155 |604 North West |170 |839 West Midlands |83 |343 East Midlands |50 |381 South West |114 |704 East Anglia |30 |231 South East |380 |2,561 Wales |63 |217 Scotland |152 |803 Total (Great Britain) |1,464 |7,494
Exposure to asbestos can also lead to lung cancer. Industrial cases cannot be distinguished medically from lung cancers due to other causes, principally smoking. The total of such cases is estimated from epidemiological evidence to be roughly twice the number of mesotheliomas.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : From 1996, job seekers allowance will replace unemployment benefit and income support for the unemployed. It will encourage wider and more effective job search, and bring improvements in the delivery of benefit to unemployed people throughout the United Kingdom.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from A. G. Johnson to Mr. Barry Jones, dated 4 July 1994 :
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your Parliamentary Question about how many people in Alyn and Deeside have been placed into work by the Employment Service in the last 12 months. I am replying in the Chief Executive's absence.
There were 2,605 job placings made by the Employment Service in Alyn and Deeside in the 12 month period ending 3 June 1994. 2,300 of these were placings of unemployed people, 341 of which were people unemployed for more than six months and 52 of which were unemployed people with disabilities.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the Government's policy on the implementation of the acquired rights directive, following the recent decision of the European Court of Justice on the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 ; and what steps he will take to ensure that the terms of the directive are being complied with when a transfer of work from the public to the private sector takes place.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The directive was implemented by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981. Amendments to the regulations in the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993 had already dealt with all but one of the points in the European Court of Justice judgment of 8 June. The Government are presently considering what changes need to be made in respect of the outstanding issue which concerns consultation arrangements.
Detailed guidance on the application of TUPE to market testing was issued by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the note entitled "Guidance on the Relevance of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations to Market Testing of Public Services", published on 11 March 1993, a copy of which is in the Library.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many persons were bound by, or required to sign declarations relating to, the Official Secrets Act 1989 in her Department and the NHS management executive in each year since 1990.
Mr. Sackville : All employees of the Department, including people seconded into the Department, are subject to the terms of the Official Secrets Act 1989. The amendments made in the 1989 Act mean that employees are no longer required to sign an "Official Secrets Act Declaration". They do sign an acknowledgement that they understand the terms and conditions on which they are employed including the terms of the Official Secrets Act.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many qualified paramedics there are per head of population in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland, (c) Northern Ireland, (d) England and (e) the United Kingdom as a whole ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville : These figures are not routinely collected centrally, but an informal survey in England showed that there were approximately 4,380 paramedics at the end of 1993--0.91 per 10,000 population. Comparative figures for other countries and the United Kingdom are not available. A target has been set of having an extended trained paramedic on every front-line ambulance by 1995.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received from Dr. Julian Verbov, consultant dermatologist, skin cancer co-ordinator Liverpool and Sefton, Broadgreen Hospital NHS trust concerning skin cancer ; when those representations were received ; and when she expects to reply.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to ensure that surgeons adhere to the guidance issued by the Royal College of Surgeons regarding the training of specialists in minimally invasive techniques.
Mr. Sackville : Chief executives of national health service trusts and general managers of directly managed units are responsible for ensuring high standards of practice within hospitals. District health authorities also have a responsibility, through the contracting process, to ensure that their populations have access to high quality care.
Standards of postgraduate and continuing medical education are the responsibility of the medical royal colleges, which are independent bodies. A representative of the appropriate royal college sits on consultant appointment advisory committees. We have welcomed the Senate of Royal Surgical Colleges' statement on quality assurance. This will provide useful support for NHS management and dovetails well with our current initiative on continuing medical education.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the role, manpower and budget of the complementary medicine policy unit ; when the unit was established ; and what work it has undertaken to date.
Mr. Sackville : A complementary medicines unit has existed in the Medicines Control Agency since it was established as an executive agency in April 1989, and before this was part of the former medicines division of the Department of Health. The unit does not have a separate budget, and its staffing varies according to the resource requirements of work being undertaken. Principal tasks carried out by the unit in the past year include the implementation of the EC homoeopathics directive and the introduction of a new registration scheme for homoeopathic products. The unit provides the secretariat to the Advisory Board on the Registration of Homoeopathic Products and it also forms a focus for advice and expertise
Column 97on questions relating to complementary medicines. Other units within the agency have been responsible for major tasks in recent years, including a review of all herbal medicinal products covered by product licences of right.
(2) what recent representations she has received concerning the ban on the availability of comfrey products ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville : We have no plans at present to reconsider the withdrawal of certain comfrey products. We are currently considering the results of a survey received recently from the Society for the Promotion of Nutritional Therapy.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to ensure that practitioners will adhere to the guidelines published in conjunction with the association of the British pharmaceutical industry regarding economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals ; and how national health service purchasers will be trained to ensure that they can distinguish good from bad practice in economic evaluations of pharmaceuticals.
Mr. Sackville : If claims are made about the cost-effectiveness of a pharmaceutical product any doctor may call on the company to produce the full study justifying those claims. If they remain dissatisfied, they may refer the matter to the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, which has agreed to take note of the guidelines. The Department has established a centre for reviews and dissemination at the university of York whose functions include maintaining a register of quality assured cost -effectiveness studies and communicating the results to relevant audiences, including national health service purchasers. In addition, purchasers are able to seek advice on the availability and quality of research through regional research and development networks facilitated by regional directors of research and development.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were employed directly or indirectly to administer research and development in the national health service in 1992-93 and 1993-94 ; and what was the cost of employing these staff.
Column 98administration of her Department's research and development programme in (a) 1990-91, (b) 1991-92, (c) 1992-93, (d) 1993-94 and (e) at the latest available date ; how many contract staff were employed in research and development administration in each of those years ; and what was the expenditure on these staff in each year.
? Civil Servants Contract staff Year |Number |Cost |Number |Cost |£ million |£ --------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |56 |1.18 |1 |4,165 1991-92 |70 |1.68 |1 |16,827 1992-93 |85 |2.04 |4 |83,105 1993-94 |78 |2.32 |3 |40,523 Current year |76 |<1>2.36 |2 |9,050 <1>Planned spend for 1994-95.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health service researchers are funded by (a) departmental and (b) national health service research and development expenditure ; and if she will make a statement.
Dr. Mawhinney : No central record is kept of the number of researchers engaged in health service research across the 230 contracts of the Department's centrally commissioned programme of health and social services research. Some 57 health service researchers are currently involved in national health service executive centrally funded research and development projects under the national health service research and development programme. No central records are kept of the number of health service researchers employed by the national health service itself.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the evidence supporting the conclusion that the creation of specialist centres for cancer treatment produce better outcomes than non-specialist centres.
Mr. Sackville : The recommendations set out in the consultation document "A Policy Framework for Commissioning Cancer Services" produced by the Chief Medical Officers' expert advisory group on cancer, were based on the knowledge and experience of the advisory group members and research findings, published and unpublished. Copies of the framework document are available in the Library.
Mr. Sackville : The Department's policy is to use only paper manufactured by elemental chlorine free--ECF--and totally chlorine free-- TCF--processes, from countries who operate a tree farming policy, that is, planting two trees for every one used to make paper. All paper used for the Department's press releases and written answers is ECF.
Column 99Letterhead stationery is produced on pure recycled paper.
Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will issue guidance to ensure that case material and photographs gained by pathologists are subject to the same rules of confidentiality as medical records.
Mr. Sackville : The purchaser of any patient transport service should satisfy itself that the private contractor will employ staff who are sufficiently qualified and of good character. The competence required of staff can be specified in the contract conditions. Further guidance is in the code of practice for private ambulance operators--EL(93)109--and revised guidance on market testing in the national health service-- EL(93)55. Copies of the guidance are available in the Library.
Mr. Sackville : The purchasers of non-ambulance service patient transport services should identify their requirements and satisfy themselves that the staff providing the service are suitably trained to meet the standard expected. The Department's code of practice for private ambulance operators--EL(93)109--copies of which are available in the Library, gives further guidance to prospective purchasers.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what effect the overtime ban in the passenger transport operations of the London ambulance service is having on the ability of the service to meet contractual targets ;
(2) how much money the patient transport operations of the London ambulance service received for new vehicles in each of the last three years ; and how many vehicles were purchased in each year ; (3) what is the annual cost of management accommodation for the London ambulance service ; what new buildings have been bought or leased in the last 12 months ; and what was the cost of each building or lease.
Column 100Service. The hon. Member may wish to contact Mr. William Wells, chairman of the authority, for the information required.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance she has issued or intends to issue on the matters national health service trusts and health authorities should consider before introducing car parking charges ;
(2) what the policy of her Department is regarding the introduction of charges for car parking at hospitals.
Mr. Sackville : Charges for car parking on national health service premises are a matter for local determination in the light of local circumstances, including the needs of patients, visitors and staff and the availability and cost of providing such facilities.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the current staffing plans for community nurses for each self- governing trust in the Greater London area for 1994-95, broken down by occupation of district nurses, health visitors, school nurses and community psychiatric nurses.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department has carried out on the modes of transport used by patients, visitors and staff to reach hospitals and other NHS facilities.
Mr. Sackville : The Department funded a research project on "Outpatients and their Doctors", which included a section on transport arrangements, and was published by HMSO in 1993. Copies of the project are available in the Library.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what policy initiatives her Department is undertaking to encourage an improvement in the uptake of breastfeeding ; and what plans she has to set targets for rates of breastfeeding at three and six months among mothers of new babies.
Mr. Sackville : The Department continues to support breastfeeding as the best way of feeding a baby. The national breastfeeding working group set up as part of the "Health of the Nation" strategy is working on a number of initiatives aimed to promote and protect breastfeeding including the drafting of guidance to the national health service which is likely to encourage district health authorities to consider setting local targets for breastfeeding rates.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department submitted evidence to the Health and Safety Commission in response to the consultative document on proposals to implement the health and safety aspects of the EC pregnant workers directive ; and what effect she expects the proposed amendments to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations to have on breastfeeding rates among mothers of new babies.
We do not foresee that those amendments will have any significant effect on the breastfeeding rates.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total income to the national health service was from (a) car parking, (b) patient television hire and (c) other non-medical services in each of the last five years for which figures are available.
Mr. Sackville : The net income received from car parking charges was £1,238,000 in 1991-92, the only year for which figures are available centrally. Information on the net income for patient television hire and other non-medical services is not available centrally.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she has issued or intends to issue on taking into account the local transport infrastructure when considering the relocation, siting or closure of services.
Mr. Sackville : In considering the location of health services both purchasers and providers are required to consider accessibility to the local population. Guidance is contained in the capital investment manual, a copy of which is available in the Library.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the expected savings in the acute sector in the current financial year from the implementation of "Making London Better" ; what increases in resources in the primary health care sector she expects to result in the current financial year ; and if she will identify the main categories of spending expected to benefit from the implementation of "Making London Better".
Dr. Mawhinney : Information on the breakdown of planned expenditure for the current year between acute and other services is not available centrally. Changes to the pattern of expenditure will depend on purchasing decisions taken locally by health authorities and general practitioner fundholders. As stated in "Making London Better", significant additional investment in primary and community services is taking place, including an additional £170 million capital investment over six years and an extra £7.5 million over three years for voluntary sector initiatives.
Column 102trust, the implications for child protection advice and relations with general practitioner fundholders arising from it.