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Mr. Gwilym Jones : The Department has received a number of letters about the introduction in 1992 of National Rivers Authority byelaws for the protection of migratory fish stocks, and about National Rivers Authority proposals to reduce the commercial net fishing season to protect spring salmon runs.
Mr. Redwood : None. I announced on 16 March 1994 my intention to establish a Welsh Economic Council, an advisory body, which I have now done. The second meeting of the council is scheduled for later this month.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : There are 18 GP fundholding practices in Clwyd covering 43 per cent. of the population. Another practice is preparing to become a fundholder from 1 April 1995, which will increase population coverage to 45 per cent.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : There are 117 fundholding practices in Wales, covering one third of the population. A further 29 practices are preparing to become fundholders from 1 April 1995, at which time population coverage will increase to 40 per cent.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which organisations, agencies and other bodies relating to his departmental area of responsibility have been privatised since 1990 ; and what plans he has for further privatisation.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what warnings he has issued in relation to tropospheric ozone levels, nitrogen oxide and other noxious gases concentrations in the atmosphere in (a) Cardiff and (b) elsewhere in Wales over the past three years ; what provision he has made to inform asthmatics, bronchitics, children and pregnant women of smog risks during days of high concentrations of pollution ; what arrangements he has made for requests to reduce the use of cars in cities at such times of high concentrations ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what consultations he has had with the South Glamorgan health authority in relation to the issuing of warnings to relevant vulnerable groups concerning concentrations of pollution above World Health Organisation maximum safety levels in Cardiff.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 11 January 1994] : The Department of the Environment operates a United Kingdom-wide public information service on air quality. Under those arrangements, air pollution information is sent, free of charge, to the BBC, ITN, the Press Association and all national newspapers which receive the Met Office forecasts. A freephone air quality and health advice information line and bulletins for CEEFAX and TELETEXT forms part of this system. The information released includes, in times of poor air quality, advice on what individuals can do to help reduce pollution, for example by cutting down on car usage. Advice on what asthma sufferers and others can do to minimise any health effects is also provided.
When air quality is expected to be poor the Department of the Environment also issues warnings of this via specific press notices : this has happened on two occasions in the last three years, on 20 December 1991 and 1 July 1994. In view of those arrangements, no specific consultation has been considered necessary on this matter with South Glamorgan health authority.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff are involved in servicing the general Whitley council and its committees ; what is the annual cost of running the council ; and how many NHS staff are covered by the Whitley council.
Dr. Mawhinney : There are currently four staff working in the General Whitley Council management side secretariat. It is not possible to provide information about the running of the full council except at disproportionate cost. All national health service staff employed on national terms and conditions are covered by the general Whitley council.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what pilot studies and other research have been conducted into the merging of family health services authorities and district health authorities ; and whether she will make a statement ;
(2) what consultancy or start-up costs have been expended to date in respect of the possible merging of family health service authorities and district health authorities.
Dr. Mawhinney : All district health authorities and family health services authorities are expected to develop effective joint working, and there have been many commentaries on the benefits of this well-established Government policy. There can be no research or pilot studies on merging authorities as no such merger can take place without a change in legislation, and consequently no costs have been expended in this area.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was (a) the perinatal mortality rate and (b) the neonatal mortality rate in each district health authority in England and Wales for 1985, 1990 and 1993.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the 1993 report by the Social Services inspectorate and the NHS executive of the special study on the impact of new community care arrangements on mental health services has yet been published ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis : The 1993 report by the social services inspectorate, together with the national health service executive, of the study on the impact of new community care arrangements on mental health services entitled "Monitoring and Development : Community Care Monitoring, Special Study, Mental Health Services" was published in April. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when a report by the Social Services inspectorate on the inspection of local authorities' arrangements to support mentally ill patients discharged from hospital will be published.
Ms Coffey : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will give details of the further studies to be undertaken by the social services inspectorate into the placement of children in homes unregistrable under the Children Act 1989 ;
(2) if she will publish the results of the further studies to be undertaken by the social services inspectorate into the placement of children in homes unregistrable under the Children Act 1989.
Mr. Bowis : In the light of the social services inspectorate study of the provision of small unregistered children's homes in the north-west of England, published in February, a further study of a wider sample of local authority social services departments' practice is being undertaken. The aims of the study include the establishment of a national data base and a review of the application and understanding of the relevant regulations made under the Children Act.
Ms Coffey : To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what period of time a child can be placed in a home registrable under the Children Act 1989, but whose application has not been granted ; and what regulations govern the placement.
Mr. Bowis : An application for registration as a registered children's home which has not been granted or refused within 12 months is, under paragraph 1(9) of schedule 6 of the Children Act 1989, deemed to have been refused by the local authority. The placement of a child by a local authority in an establishment awaiting decision on an application for registration is governed by the Arrangements for Placement of Children (General)
Column 526Regulations 1991, the Review of Children's Cases Regulations 1991, the Representations Procedures (Children) Regulations 1991, the Contact with Children Regulations 1991 and the Definition of Independent Visitors (Children) Regulations 1991.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what circumstances a person needing hospital treatment must pay in order to receive treatment in a hospital of their own choice within the NHS.
Ms Coffey : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of elderly people in need of continual care were accommodated in (a) NHS beds, (b) private nursing homes, (c) local authority residential homes and (d) private residential homes in each district health authority in England for the years 1989-90, 1991-92 and the latest available figures.
Mr. Bowis : The information is not available in the form requested. The number of places in England available for people with long-term care needs are shown in the table. The figures include provision for elderly mentally ill people and people who need continuing specialised medical or nursing care in other age groups. Information by district health authority on local social services and private sector residential care could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Number of places as at 31 March: |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- National Health Service beds<1> |73,000 |68,300 |62,700 |59,600 Private nursing homes<2> |89,600 |109,000|124,000|144,300 Local authority residential homes<3> |103,600|96,100 |85,000 |75,400 Private residential homes<3> |144,700|154,500|158,200|161,400 <1> Source KH03 returns, geriatric beds and beds for elderly mentally ill people. <2> Source K036 returns, general specialty, elderly people. <3> Source RAC5 returns, homes whose primary purpose is the care of elderly or elderly mentally ill people.
Ms Coffey : To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what period of time a child can be placed on a fee-paying basis with a family who are not registered as foster carers ; and what regulations govern the placement.
Mr. Bowis : Private fostering is governed by part IX of the Children Act 1989 and the regulations made under it. For children placed by a local authority with foster carers, this is, inter alia, governed by the Foster Placement (Children) Regulations 1991 which provide, in regulation 3(1), that, except in the case of an immediate placement, a child is not to be placed unless the foster parent is approved under that regulation.
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 27 June, Official Report, column 413, what was the most recent report from her Department or the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food before the pending report of the July 1993 survey, showing how
Column 526many children among any section of the population were in families with a nutritionally inadequate diet and had intakes which were, specifically, for any three or more of the nutrients measured for a necessary diet, below the levels recommended in any, or all, of the reference nutrient intake, estimated average requirement or the lower reference nutrient intake, or any of their immediate predecessors.
Mr. Sackville : The most recent relevant report is the report from the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy on the "Diets of British Schoolchildren", published in 1989. A copy of the report is available in the Library.
Column 527"An Assessment of Health Related Needs of Physically Handicapped Young Adults" ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis : The report was independent and was commissioned by the Department of Health. It was distributed to regional and district health authorities in March 1993 to help them consider how best to meet the needs of disabled young adults. The priorities and planning guidance 1994-95 (EL(93)54), issued to the national health service in June 1993, requires district health authorities to ensure that rehabilitation services address the special needs of disabled young adults, particularly those moving from child to adult services. The Department has made available £149,000 in 1994-95 to fund a series of projects within the national health service, which aim to develop and improve transition services for physically disabled school leavers.
Mr. Hargreaves : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the contribution made by television programmes encouraging young persons to experiment with anabolic steroids ; and what research her Department has carried out on this subject.
Mr. Bowis : The Government are concerned at the risk to health arising from the misuse of anabolic steroids. The Department has not carried out any research on the impact of television programmes on young people. We are currently discussing with media companies initiatives to encourage young people not to experiment with drugs or solvents.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will give details of how many return trips are taken by Department of Health staff between London and Leeds (a) per week, (b) per month and (c) annually ; and at what cost.
Dr. Mawhinney : I refer the hon. Member to the reply my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary gave the hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Raynsford) on 17 May 1993, Official Report, column 29 and to the replies I gave to the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle) on 18 May 1992, Official Report, column 63, and to the hon. Member for Bristol, South (Ms Primarolo) on 12 May, Official Report, column 222.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list for each wave (a) the cost of assessing applications to become NHS trusts, (b) the number of applications assessed and (c) the consultants used to make the assessment.
Cost |Number of |Lead £ |Assessments|Management |consultants ------------------------------------------------ 305,012 |156 |Touche Ross
Mr. Sackville : For 1993-94, AIDS support grant allocations were made on the basis of bids submitted by local authorities. Local authorities not receiving AIDS support grant were given money under the healthy alliances scheme for HIV prevention and joint working with health authorities. For 1994-95, local authorities were invited to submit expenditure plans against indicative allocations of both AIDS support grant and healthy alliances moneys. Those allocations were based on confidential information available for the first time and supplied to the Department by the public health laboratory service on the distribution of AIDS cases by local authority area. Where this formula would mean a reduction in grant in 1994-95, local authorities were advised that there might, in exceptional circumstances, be some scope to adjust allocations on a transitional basis and that applications for additional grant could be made.
Age Concern (England) ;
Association of Retired Persons ;
British Geriatrics Society ;
Pensioners' Liaison Forum, North West ;
Pensioners' Action Committee, Tameside ;
Age Concern Leicestershire ;
Age Concern Coventry ;
Column 529Northern Pensioners' Association, Crewe and District Branch ; Bury Pensioners' Association ;
National Federation of Post Office and BT Pensioners ;
The Methodist Church, Brentwood.
Those representations have not identified individual instances of discrimination.
Dr. Mawhinney : We have consistently made it clear that there are no exceptions within the health service to the fundamental principle of equal treatment on the basis of clinical need. The patients charter reaffirms this right. Decisions about individual patient care are for the clinicians responsible for the case, but the patient's ability to benefit must always be the primary consideration.
Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many individual complaints she has received to date from (a) Coventry, (b) the west midlands and (c) nationally about age discrimination in the NHS.
Dr. Mawhinney : The Department has received approximately 400 letters since April, many of them identical, expressing concern about alleged discrimination. We are not aware of any identified instances relating to services in Coventry or the west midlands.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Health which organisations, agencies and other bodies relating to her departmental area of responsibility have been privatised since 1990 ; and what plans she has for further privatisation.
Mr. Sackville : No part of the Department of Health, its agencies, or related bodies have been privatised since 1990. Apart from the possible sale of a small part of the Public Health Laboratory Service involving up to four staff, there are no firm plans to privatise any parts of these organisations at present. However, privatisation is one of the "prior options" which must be considered before a next steps agency is created ; or when an agency or non-departmental public body is the subject, respectively, of a framework or quinquennial review.
Mr. Bowis : Information collected by the Department of Health relates to the number of children aged under five attending local authority day nurseries and the number placed and paid for by local authorities in other types of day nursery. At 31 March 1993, there were 8.8 children per thousand aged under five in these two categories.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions she has had with representatives of Bradford community health trust ; what matters were discussed ; and what action she has taken following such discussions ;
(2) if she will instruct the Bradford community health trust to close the secure unit located at Lynfield Mount hospital in Bradford ; and if she will establish an independent public inquiry into how a remand prisoner escaped from the grounds of the hospital at the end of June.
Mr. Bowis : Officials from the national health service executive have regular discussions with Bradford community health national health service trust and have asked Professor Michael Schofield, chairman of the trust, to keep them informed, following the escape of a patient from Lynfield Mount hospital. We understand that the trust is to establish an independent external review panel to look at the policies and procedures of the special care unit at the hospital and that the panel's recommendations will be made public.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of the NHS executive and how many chief executives of (a) purchasers, (b) providers, (c) family health service authorities and (d) NHSE outposts have no graduate qualifications ; and how she controls the quality of senior NHS management.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 27 June 1994] : Of the 17 directors in the national health service executive, including the chief executive, 15 are graduates and one has accountancy qualifications. They are subject to departmental annual appraisal procedures, including mid-year reviews based on set objectives. Information on the number of chief executives in the national health service without graduate qualifications is not available centrally. Senior NHS management are also subject to individual appraisal review of their success in meeting locally set objectives for delivering health care. Their levels of remuneration are firmly linked to their performance.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will publish a table showing for each year from 1979 (a) the number of deaths that were expected annually in each health region and (b) the number of actual deaths that occurred in each health region using (i) England as standard, (ii) Wessex region as standard and (iii) Northern region as standard.