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final, stage of the review, with the aim of concluding the review, in line with the timetable which I announced in January, by the end of the year.

In pursuit of our policy of more open government, I am placing a copy of the background papers, produced as part of the first stage, in the Libraries of both Houses.

Uniform Business Rate

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the yield from the uniform business rate in Northern Ireland each year since its introduction.

Sir John Wheeler : I have been asked to reply.

The uniform business rate as such does not operate in Northern Ireland due to the different arrangements for financing local government services. There is a non-domestic rate and in 1994-95 this is expected to raise some £212 million.



Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in (a) York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) England were prescribed minor tranquillisers in each year since 1979.

Dr. Mawhinney : Information in the form requested is not available.

Drug Dependency

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health where are the nearest (a) regional drug dependency unit, (b) drug rehabilitation unit and (c) drug detoxification unit to York ; and how many York patients attended each of them in the last year.

Mr. Bowis : The nearest drug dependency unit to York providing in- patient detoxification is in the Leeds health authority at High Royds hospital, Menston, although within York health services trust consultant psychiatrists do offer assessment and detoxification on an in-patient basis, followed by rehabilitation and support as an out-patient. The nearest regional drug dependency units to York are located at the northern regional alcohol and drug service in Newcastle and Drugs North West at Prestwich.

In York, services, including community-based rehabilitation, counselling and aftercare are provided by the following non-statutory agencies :

The York Drug Dependency Clinic, 28 High Petergate, York ; and York Drugs Resource Scheme, 15 Bridge Street, York.

A small independent sector service offering residential and out-patient services is available at

The Retreat, 107 Heslington Road, York.

Information on the number of York patients who attended the above services may be obtained locally.

Secure Hospitals

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients suffering from mental illness escaped from the care of secure hospitals in (a) 1991, (b) 1992 and (c) 1993 ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Bowis : The information is not available in the form requested.

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Accident and Emergency Departments

Mr. Wicks : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her definition of arrival used in the patients charter indicator for accident and emergency departments ; and if the definition used includes any delays waiting to see a receptionist.

Dr. Mawhinney : Arrival in accident and emergency departments is defined as arrival at the point of entry. It does not include any delays waiting to see a receptionist.


Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what additional cancer screening programmes are at present under review ; when those reviews are expected to be completed ; and which agencies or people are carrying out the reviews.

Mr. Sackville : Any introduction of new screening programmes relies on the existence of accurate and evaluated research. Currently, research is being undertaken in a number of cancer screening areas. The Department of Health's standing group on health technology assessment is in the process of commissioning evaluations of screening for colorectal and prostate cancer.

Cycle Helmets

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her Department's policy on the use of helmets by child cyclists.

Mr. Bowis : There is considerable evidence of the benefits of cycle helmets in mitigating the effects of head injuries to cyclists of all ages.

Waiting Lists

Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the estimated cost of reducing waiting lists to under two years ; and what estimates she has made of the costs of reducing the waiting lists further.

Dr. Mawhinney : Between 1987-88 and 1993-94, the Government provided £252 million to fund the waiting time initiative. One of the many targets of the initiative was to reduce to less than two years the maximum length of time a patient would wait for hospital treatment. New initiatives to reduce hospital waiting times are constantly being considered.

Obstetric Cholestasis

Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will institute discussions with deans of medical colleges to ensure that obstetric cholestasis is adequately covered in their curricula.

Mr. Sackville : No. It is for the university medical schools to determine the curricula for medical education. They do so in the light of recommendations from the education committee of the General Medical Council, which has the statutory authority to determine the extent of the knowledge and skill required for the granting of primary medical qualifications in the United Kingdom.

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Gender Identity Disorder

Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to allow the amendment of birth register entries to recognise gender identity disorder sufferers in their reassigned roles.

Mr. Sackville : None. The birth register is a record of historical fact ; it is not, nor does it purport to be, a record of current status or identity. Corrections to entries in the birth register may be made only where an error is shown to have existed when the birth was registered.


Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the relationship between her answer to the hon. Member for Bristol, East (Ms Corston) of 18 February, Official Report, column 1041, and her answer to the hon. Member for Manchester, Withington (Mr. Bradley) of 20 June, Official Report, column 26.

Mr. Sackville : The national health service provides a wide range of treatment for subfertility but information about the services available in specific places is not generally available centrally. It is for individual health authorities to determine priorities in the light of local needs and circumstances.

Rio Declaration

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the precise provisions of principle 8 of agenda 21 of the Rio declaration of June 1992 ; what is her policy in respect of implementing those provisions ; and what specific policies have been adopted by her Department in respect of those aspects of principle 8 which commit signatories to achieve sustainable development through the adoption of appropriate demographic policies.

Mr. Sackville : In common with other Governments participating in the Rio summit, the United Kingdom accepts the broad principles enshrined in the Rio declaration. The Government's commitments to sustainable developments are set out in "Sustainable Development : the UK Strategy", published in January 1994, copies of which are available in the Library. Policies are formed with regard to the well-being of the population--for example in the fields of social, economic and environmental planning-- rather than with regard to population size or growth.

Access to Environmental Information

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many requests for environmental information under the Access to Environmental Information Regulations 1992 have been received by her Department ; how many were answered within two months ; how many were refused ; and on what grounds in each case.

Mr. Sackville : The Department does not keep records of the number of requests received under the environmental information regulations or of when they were answered. The Department does, however, keep records of refusals to supply information and on what grounds. In the period 1 January 1993 up to 30 June 1994, the Department made no refusals.

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Air Pollution

Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions her Department has had with the Department of Transport and the Department of the Environment concerning reducing air pollution.

Mr. Sackville : The Department's officials have frequent discussions with their colleagues in the Departments of Transport and of the Environment.

Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies her Department has undertaken in the last three years to investigate the correlation between levels of air pollution and the number of people being admitted to hospital with breathing problems.

Mr. Sackville : The Department funded a research project which examined the effects of the December 1991 air pollution episode in London when the highest recorded peak of nitrogen dioxide occurred. This study included investigations of the increased admissions to hospital and increased mortality occurring during the week containing the episode. An outline of the results of this study has been presented to the British Thoracic Society. As soon as the full report is available, it will be put for comments to the Department of Health's expert advisory Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants.

There are several other studies of the health effects of air pollution that are being funded by other Departments or establishments. When published, the results of the United Kingdom studies are referred to COMEAP and COMEAP sub-groups.

Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Secretary of State for health what is her Department's estimate of the number of people who are admitted to hospital each year as a result of breathing toxic exhaust fumes.

Mr. Sackville : Hospital admissions are not recorded according to cause of illness and it is not possible, on present information, to make any reliable estimate of the numbers admitted as a result of breathing toxic exhaust fumes.

Disabled People

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will give a breakdown by nature and severity of disabilty of the numbers of disabled people who are currently registered in England and Wales ;

(2) how many of those individuals registered disabled in England and Wales experience mobility problems ; how many are confined to wheelchairs ; and what information she has as to the extent of mobility problems experienced by those registered disabled persons with such mobility problems, but who are not confined to wheelchairs.

Mr. Bowis : The number of persons who are registered as having a physical disability in England at 31 March 1993 by category of disability was published in "Registers of Physically Disabled Persons (General Classes) (A/F/93/19), a copy of which is available in the Library. Information on mobility problems and wheelchair use is not available centrally.

Information relating to Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

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Spongiform Encephalopathies

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what involvement the British Technology Group has had with the Public Health Laboratory Service on the issues of BSE and Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Sackville : The Public Health Laboratory Service has had no direct involvement with the British Technology Group on these issues.

Dr. Harash Narang

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the suspension of Dr. Harash Narang from the Public Health Laboratory Service.

Mr. Sackville : This is a matter between Dr. Narang and his employer, the Public Health Laboratory Service.

NHS Trusts

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list, for each NHS trust in the former Mersey region, those chairmen and non-executive directors who live outside the boundaries of the district health authority in which that trust is situated.

Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 29 June 1994] : Eighty-eight-- 60 per cent.--of the 146 chairmen and non-executive directors appointed to national health service trusts within the former Mersey region live within the boundaries of the district health authority in which that trust is situated. The names of the appointees who live outside the relevant district health authority boundaries are listed.

Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital (Alder Hey) NHS Trust Mr. I. F. Hill

Mrs. S. Adams

Mr. J. C. Davies

Mr. F. W. Taylor

Broadgreen Hospital NHS Trust

Mr. F. A. Fenney

Mr. P. E. Ashworth

Mr. J. R. Miller

Mrs. A. Toyne

Royal Liverpool University Hospital NHS Trust

Mr. J. B. Fitzpatrick

Mr. D. K. Anslow

Mr. E. J. Billington

Ms P. J. Newell

Professor Sir Robert Shields

Chester and Halton Community NHS Trust

Professor I. M. Stanley

St. Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr. J. R. Higham

Miss A. Jones

North Mersey Community NHS Trust

Mr. R. Jones

Mr. J. E. Barton

Mr. P. A. Fletcher

Mrs. J. Hall

Mr. K. Hutchinson

Ms M. Kitchen

Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr. R. Farmer

Mr. J. B. Cooper

Mr. J. F. Jones

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Liverpool Obstetrics and Gynaecology Services NHS Trust Mrs. J. L Greensmith

Mrs. L. A. Dodd

Mr. C. Parkinson

Mrs. C. Parnaby

St. Helens and Knowsley Community NHS Trust

Mr. R. Seneschall

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust

Mr. M. E. Emberton

Mrs. D. M. McConnell

Halton General Hospital NHS Trust

Mr. D. W. Hammond

Mrs. S. Anderson

Dr. K. M MacVicker

Mr. M. C. Stewart

Southport and Formby Community Health Services NHS Trust Miss L. Brown

Warrington Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Mrs. S. Grundy

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