Mr. Waldegrave : As I announced on 18 February, the team reviewing the civil service fast stream entry, as recommended by the career management and succession planning study, was asked to report by the end of June 1994. Its report will be published today. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
The review team's report reaches five main conclusions : the fast-stream schemes make an essential contribution to meeting Departments' needs for high quality recruits ; but
Departments need to update and clarify what they expect from, and offer to, recruits to the main generalist fast-stream scheme for the Home Civil Service, and how that relates to the training and development of staff recruited by other routes ;
the way the Service is presented to potential recruits needs to be improved to reflect more accurately the nature of the Civil Service in the late 1990s and to strengthen and broaden its appeal ; the selection process itself, although already well researched, should be subject to indpendent audit to ensure that it operates effectively ;
there needs to be a clearer distinction between the recruitment schemes and the later distinct process of indentifying people with top management potential. The term "fast-stream" confuses the two and should be abandoned.
The Government will now consider these recommendations and would welcome comments on them in the context of the White Paper on the civil service, which is being published today, and in accordance with the procedure set out in paragraph 1.8 of that paper.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he will publish the report of the review team which has been considering the respective responsibilities of the Civil Service Commissioners and Government Departments.
"In the light of experience in practice and increasing open competition for posts to re-examine the specific split of responsibilities made between the Commissioners, the Recruitment and Assessment Services Agency and departments in 1991 by, in particular :
--considering whether changes are required to improve effectiveness ;
--identifying any issues here which affect RAS's performance ; --reviewing the definition of Commissioners' recruitment." The review team has now completed its work. Copies of its report, entitled "Responsibilities for Civil Service Recruitment", have been placed in the Library of the House. The review team has made a number of
Column 596recommendations designed to reinforce the principles of openness, fairness and merit in civil service recruitment and to clarify responsibilities for ensuring that these principles are properly and effectively applied. The main proposals are that :
The Civil Service Commissioners should be given strengthened powers to maintain the principles of fair and open competition and selection on merit as they apply to all Civil Service recruitment. Departments and Agencies should be more clearly accountable for undertaking recruitment in accordance with those principles. The Commissioners should audit recruitment policies and practices within the Service and report on the outcome in their annual reports.
The Commissioners should be required to approve individually only the most senior appointments, removing the present requirement for them to process around 700 cases a year in more junior grades. The Government proposes that the Commissioners' approval should be required for recruitment to the new Senior Civil Service as envisaged in the White Paper on the Civil Service.
There should be a clear separation between the role of the Commissioners and that of the Recruitment and Assessment Services Agency.
The Government welcome the review team's report and would also welcome comments on it. These should be addressed to Miss E. Goodison, the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners, Alencon Link, Basingstoke RG21 1JB and should be received by 30 September 1994. Copies of the report can be obtained free of charge from the same address.
Sir Nicholas Bonsor : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the Government's response to the efficiency unit's report on "Career Management and Succession Planning in the Civil Service".
Mr. Waldegrave : The statement I made to the House today and the accompanying White Paper on the civil service set out the main lines of the Government's response to the efficiency unit report, and build further upon it. I am placing in the Library of the House today a note of the detailed response to each of the report's
* an operating surplus of £1.1 million ; * an increase in pay clerk productivity of 6 per cent. (over 1993-94 performance) ; * increasing usage of the online data capture system (SPIRE) to 82.5 per cent. ; * raising minimum online service and availability to 98.5 per cent ; * continually improving services to customers by
Mr. Waldegrave : All Government purchasers are encouraged to base all procurement of both goods and services on value for money criteria. They should take into account, as appropriate, the requirements of EC procurement directives, which in the case of services, have been put into effect in the United Kingdom by the Public Services Contracts Regulations 1993, SI 3228. Section 9 of the Government's "Guide to Market Testing", which is in the Library, outlines the main criteria which Departments should take into account in market testing.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the United Kingdom's current annual commitment to CERN ; what are the budget projections for the next six years ; and if he will make a statement on the effects of those spending proposals on the development of the large hadron collider.
Mr. Waldegrave : The United Kingdom's subscription to CERN for 1994- 95 is £60.5 million, which is some 13.6 per cent. of CERN's overall budget. Our contribution for the next six years, at most recent exchange rates, are estimated to be :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1995-96 |61.0 1996-97 |61.7 1997-98 |62.4 1998-99 |63.1 1999-00 |63.8 2000-01 |64.5
These figures are likely to change due to fluctuations in exchange rates and in the relative net national incomes of CERN members. These spending proposals, taken in association with the normal subscriptions to CERN of other member states, will make possible the construction of the large hadron collider. For the construction of the LHC to be on schedule, however, additional income will be required. CERN is currently in discussion with host states and non-member states to secure additional contributions towards the project.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the average value, as stated by plaintiffs, of those claims heard in the small claims court for each year since 1990.
Mr. John M. Taylor [holding answer 29 June 1994] : The information requested is not recorded and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. I previously gave a holding answer to enable further investigation to take place. This showed that it is not possible to extract relevant data at a reasonable cost.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he has taken to ensure that discussion of economic policy at the Group of Seven summit meeting will include consideration of the ecological sustainability of economic activity.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out the details of his public sector pay policy and indicate what the permitted level is ; how it was arrived at ; to which posts in the public sector it applies ; and to what extent its effectiveness is measured by the (a) total wage or salary bill of a public sector organisation, (b) rates of pay or (c) comparability with outside rates.
Mr. Portillo : The Government expect pay across the public sector in 1994-95 to be considered in accordance with the approach which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in my statement of 14 September 1993 and which was reflected in the expenditure programmes announced in the Budget on 30 November. That approach will play a role in restraining the overall level of public expenditure and ensuring that within established ceilings resources can be devoted to public services and investment rather than running costs and pay.
The effective application of this approach to public sector pay will constrain the overall Government pay bill and ensure that the costs of pay settlements are offset by efficiencies and other savings. Within this framework there is flexibility for different public sector groups to reach different pay settlements consistent with their own particular circumstances and under their usual pay determination procedures.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : My November 1993 Budget statement contained a commitment to produce detailed proposals on the introduction of resource- based accruals accounting in Government Departments. It also said that the Government would look at the implications of this development for the current arrangements for public expenditure planning and control. This initial review is now complete and I am today publishing a Green Paper entitled "Better Accounting for the Taxpayer's Money : Resource Accounting and Budgeting in Government". Copies are available from the Vote Office.
The Green Paper announces the intention to proceed with the introduction of resource accounting for
Column 599Departments and that all Departments prepare these accounts by April 1998. The Green Paper also announces a commitment in principle to build on the introduction of resource accounting by developing a system of resource budgeting, which would mean changing the basis of the public expenditure survey and in-year control arrangements to reflect the full cost of resources, while retaining controls relating to cash.
The Green Paper provides for a consultation period of six months, until January 1995.
Of the total staff in post 487,435 were non-industrials and 45,915 were classified as being in industrial work.
A summary showing staff in post by Department has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what powers the Monetary Commission and the Commission of the European Union have to initiate alterations in the conditions for nations proceeding to monetary union set out in the Maastricht treaty ; and if he will make a statement on the current discussions between the Commission and the Government of the Republic of Ireland.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 11 July 1994] : The conditions under which member states may proceed towards economic and monetary union are set out in the Maastricht treaty. The Commission has the right to propose amendments to that treaty but such amendments would require the unanimous consent of an intergovernmental conference. Discussions between the Commission and the Government of the Republic of Ireland are a matter for them.
Ms Mowlam : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to respond to the report on "The Arts and Compulsory Competitive Tendering" commissioned from the consultants Positive Solutions Ltd.
I will make a statement as soon as possible.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what view he is taking about the quality of response by the Government of Kenya to previous World bank and International Monetary Fund criticisms ; and what action will be urged by the British Government's director at the World bank in forthcoming debates in Kenya.
Column 600recently in the implementation of Kenya's economic reform programme. We share that view. Macroeconomic stability is being restored ; and the agreed structural reforms are broadly on schedule. We shall encourage the continued vigorous implementation of the economic reform agenda.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the consequences of World bank programmes on the poor of Kenya, the role of the Kenyan Government in promoting or alleviating poverty, and the action that should be taken in future programmes to alleviate poverty.
We have been assisting in the preparation of a poverty assessment, sponsored by the Kenyan Government and a number of donors, including the World bank. This aims to provide a thorough analysis of both the nature of poverty, and the impact on the poor of the Government's structural adjustment programme, which includes a social dimension. Poverty in Kenya will be reduced by faster economic growth, which effective implementation of the adjustment programme will help to achieve, and by direct interventions favouring specific poor groups.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to her answer of 21 June, Official Report, columns 117-18, if she will break down to the smallest possible unit the budget heads for all expenditure on non-staffing costs within the Department of Health administration budget ;
(2) pursuant to her answer of 23 June, Official Report, column 306, with regard to her Department's administrative budget, if she will detail the amounts spent on those items listed in her answer including (a) buildings-- rent, maintenance, fuel and utilities, security, cleaning and other services, (b) meetings of expert advisory committees and working groups, conferences, seminars and publications, (c) payments to other Government Departments and (d) consultancy, staff training and travel.
Mr. Sackville : Details of expenditure for 1992-93 and 1993-94 are shown in the table. The full information requested is not available centrally because individual managers set budgets for different types of non-staffing expenditure according to the particular needs of their business area. It is not possible to give the same level of detail prior to 1992-93.
Expenditure details for 1992-93 and 1993-94 £000s Expenditure |1992-93 |1993-94 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Accommodation (rent) |41,055 |30,928 Building maintenance |1,704 |1,280 Fuel and utilities |2,357 |1,609 Security |1,150 |1,139 Cleaning |1,426 |1,033 Office services |3,685 |3,670 Committee expenditure |1,098 |1,130 Seminars/Conferences/Workshops |1,086 |666 Publishing, printing and stationery |6,240 |4,258 Payments to other Government Departments for services provided |25,901 |17,793 Consultancy |19,439 |16,658 Staff training |3,155 |2,853 Staff travel and subsistence |6,052 |6,397 Labour services |1,615 |1,189 Library and information services |1,423 |1,234 Telecoms |3,853 |3,430 Computer current |2,852 |1,634 Staff relocation costs |5,890 |3,606 Early retirement pension |1,497 |4,931 Civil service recruitment |1,059 |651 Other miscellaneous expenditure |1,436 |2,562 Notes: 1. Figures have not been adjusted for inflation. 2. Expenditure of less than £1 million is shown separately under Other Expenditure.
deregistrations across England and Wales for each year since June 1992.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of state for Health if she will make a statement on guidance to general practitioners and family health services authorities about the change in general practitioners' terms of service to allow the immediate removal of particularly abusive or violent patients from general practitioners' lists.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what investigations she has undertaken into the treatment and resuscitation of patients with a history of mental illness ; (2) what guidelines or advice she has issued concerning the treatment and resuscitation of patients with a history of mental illness.
Mr. Bowis : No recent investigations have been carried out. Hospital consultants are responsible for having clear policies for making decisions about resuscitation. Decisions should take account of the best interests of individual patients.
The Department has not issued any specific guidelines about the resuscitation of patients with a mental illness. The Chief Medical Officer wrote to all regional and district directors of public health on 20 December 1991, PL/CMO(91)22, to make it clear that responsibility for resuscitation policy lies with hospital consultants, who should ensure that their policy is known to junior medical staff. Copies of the letter will be placed in the Library.
(2) what information she has on the incidence of Kawasaki disease in (a) England and Wales, (b) the west midlands and (c) Birmingham in each of the last 12 years ;
(3) what action she has taken to reduce deaths from Kawasaki disease ;
(4) if she will ask the Chief Medical Officer to issue advice to general practitioners on the diagnosis and treatment of Kawasaki disease.
Mr. Sackville : Kawasaki disease is an uncommon disease of childhood. Most children make a full recovery but, in a minority of cases, cardiac complications can arise. The following information is available centrally on the prevalence of the condition and deaths recorded :
Annual total cases Total number of cases Year |England and |West Midlands |Wales |region -------------------------------------------------------- 1986 |59 |4 1987 |72 |3 1988 |87 |5 1989 |81 |6 1990 |123 |14 1991 |151 |15 1992 |147 |13 Source: British Paediatric Surveillance Unit.
Deaths from Kawasaki disease 1985-92 |England |West Midlands|Birmingham ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989 |- |- |- 1990 |6 |- |- 1991 |2 |- |- 1992 |- |- |- Source: OPCS mortality statistics.
Information about the diagnosis and treatment of Kawasaki's disease is available to doctors. Although we are not aware of any current research directed specifically at this disease, basic research being carried out on pathology in childhood is relevant. The main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant in aid from the office of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The MRC is always willing to consider for support soundly based new scientific proposals in competition with other applications.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what circumstances a person in need of hospital care may choose the hospital in which they receive treatment under the national health service.
Mr. Sackville : It is a fundamental objective of the current national health service reforms to improve patient choice and it is the responsibility of district health authorities, in consultation with general practitioners and local people, to agree contracts with those hospitals where patients prefer to be treated. GPs will sometimes wish to
Column 603refer a patient to a hospital or service with which the DHA has no contract in place and DHAs hold funds to meet the cost of these extra-contractual referrals.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many national health service hospitals that (a) are in use and (b) have been closed and are surplus to requirements lie in the green belt.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many chairs, chief executives and non-executive directors of NHS trusts and health authorities attended the recent NAHAT conference ; who paid their fees ; and what was the overall cost to public funds.
Dr. Mawhinney : The information requested is not available centrally. We have no plans to issue central guidance. It is for individual health authorities and NHS trusts to decide what priority they attach to attendance at conferences. In doing so, however, we expect them to have proper regard to value for money and the potential benefits to the NHS and its staff, compared with other kinds of developmental training.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 17 May, Official Report, column 420, when he expects a report from the current departmental review of the cost and cost-effectiveness of counselling.
Mr. Bowis : The report of the Department's review of strategic policy on psychotherapy services, which will include a review of research evidence on the cost-effectiveness of counselling, is expected to be available towards the end of this year.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 6 July, Official Report, column 215, if she will provide whatever figures are available from the prescribing analyses and costs data produced by the Prescription Pricing Authority on the quantity of minor tranquillisers prescribed in (a) York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) England in those years for which figures were collected.
Minor tranquillisers: number of prescriptions (thousands) dispensed Year |England |North Yorkshire |Family Health |Services Authority ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1980 |12,631 |- 1981 |12,354 |- 1982 |11,964 |- 1983 |11,292 |- 1984 |10,290 |- 1985 |9,090 |- 1986 |8,606 |- 1987 |8,086 |- 1988 |6,810 |- 1989 |6,044 |- 1990 |5,548 |- 1991 |5,554 |- 1992 |5,339 |79 1993 |5,175 |74 Notes: 1. The data included in the attached table are for minor tranquillisers referred to in section 4.1.2 of the British National Formulary. 2. Information of this kind at FHSA level is not readily available for the years prior to 1992 and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. 3. 1980 to 1990 data are estimates based on fees and cover prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors only. 4. 1991 to 1993 data are based on items for all prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors and personal administration.
Mr. Sackville : The costs of implementing the Act are minimal, and largely self-financing. The Act allows a charge of up to £10 to be made to people seeking access to records which have not been added to in the last 40 days. A fee may also be made, where applicable, to cover the cost of copying and postage.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has for each national health service hospital or trust as to whether people with physical disabilities have access to all wards, clinics and out-patient departments.
Mr. Sackville : This is a matter for each individual hospital and trust and consequently no detailed information is available centrally. However, as part of the patients charter, hospitals should make arrangements to ensure that everyone, including people with disabilities, can use their services. In addition, we have published guidance--"Designing for Disabled People"--on the briefing and design stages of schemes for providing new or adapting existing health buildings and health authorities and trusts are encouraged to consult local representatives of disabled people on this issue. Copies of the guidance are available in the Library.
Bound volumes have been placed in the Library containing the 1993 reports of the Medicines Commission,
Column 605the Committee on Safety of Medicines, the Committee on Dental and Surgical Materials, the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and the Veterinary Products Committee.
We are glad to pay tribute to the valuable work done by the distinguished members of the Medicines Act advisory bodies and thank them warmly for the time and effort which they contribute in the public interest to this most important field.