Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many Sri Lankan Tamils currently in the United Kingdom have not yet been notified of their status ; and if he will break down the figures for those arriving before and after the passing of the Immigration Appeals Act 1993 ;
(2) how many Sri Lankan Tamils who have fled Sri Lanka have been held in detention centres (a) since the passing of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1993 and (b) since 1990 and before the passing of that Act.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Information on Sri Lankan Tamils are not separately indentifiable in the statistics. Considering all Sri Lankan nationals as at 30 June 1994, an estimated 2,680 are awaiting an initial decision on their application for asylum. Of this, an estimated 860 applied for asylum after the introduction of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993.
The number of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka being detained on 11 July 1994 is 22. Of these detainees, none entered detention before the implementation of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 on 26 July 1993.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what extra resources he proposes to allocate to the National Criminal Intelligence Service to pursue cases of suspected money laundering.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Funding of the National Criminal Intelligence Service is settled as part of the annual public expenditure survey. It is for the director general of NCIS to decide how best to allocate the resources available to him to deal with the range of criminal intelligence matters which fall to the organisation.
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide figures of the number of incidents recorded by the police as being racial or racially motivated for each year since 1974.
Mr. Maclean : The available information relates to reported racial incidents as defined by the Association of Chief Police Officers. Figures from 1985 are given in the table. Information prior to 1985 is not available.
Number of racial incidents reported in England and Wales Year |Number of |incidents ------------------------------- 1985 |5,900 1986 |6,566 1987 |5,305 1988 |4,383 1989 |5,044 1990 |6,359 1991 |7,882 1992 |7,734 <1>1993-94 |9,762 <1> This information is now collected on a financial year basis. ACPO definition: Any incident in which it appears to the reporting or investigative officer that the complaint involves an element of racial motive, or any incidents which include allegations of racial motivation made by any person.
The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 requires that all zoos in Great Britain are licensed and regularly inspected. Under the terms of the Act, the Secretary of State has issued standards covering care and accommodation of animals, and public safety in zoos, and maintains a list of authorised inspectors. Zoo licensing and inspection under the Act is carried out by local authorities.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The Home Office review of police core and ancillary tasks applies to England and Wales only. I understand that separate consideration is being given to such issues in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The current fees for firearm certificates introduced in 1990 are based on the previous level of fees set in 1986, which were intended to achieve the recovery of police costs in administering the firearms licensing system, uprated to take account of increases in police pay since that time.
Mr. Churchill : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many applications for political asylum have been received in each year since 1979 to date ; of these, how many have been approved ; and how many individuals, including dependants, have been granted leave to remain in the United Kingdom ;
(2) how many applications for asylum have been rejected in each year since 1979 ; of these applicants, how many have been deported, and of how many the Home Office has confirmation on their departure, in respect of each year.
Column 694Information on asylum seekers removed in 1992 and 1993 under the Immigration Act 1971 is given in table B. These are all confirmed departures. Corresponding information for years prior to 1992 is not available.
Table B Removals and voluntary departures of asylum applicants, excluding dependants, 1992 and 1993 |1992 |1993 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- In-country asylum applicants removed under the deportation process |70 |92<1> In-country asylum applicants removed as illegal entrants |317<1> |491<1> Port asylum applicants removed |959<2> |1,236<2> |------- |------- Grand Total |1,346 |1,819 <1> Includes voluntary departures. <2> Includes any voluntary departure up to and including notification of the decision on the asylum application but excludes any subsequent departure.
Table A Applications received for asylum in the United Kingdom and decisions, 1979 to 1993 |1979 |1980 |1981 |1982 |1983 |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |<1>1989 |<1>1990 |<1>1991 |<1><2>1992|<1><2>1993 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Excluding dependants Applications received<3> | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a |2,905 |4,389 |4,266 |4,256 |3,998 |11,640 |26,205 |44,840 |24,605 |22,370 Decisions<3><4> Total | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a |1,431 |2,635 |2,983 |2,432 |2,702 |6,955 |4,025 |6,075 |34,900 |23,405 Recognised as a refugee and granted asylum<5> | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a |453 |574 |348 |266 |628 |2,210 |920 |505 |1,115 |1,590 Not recognised as a refugee but granted exceptional leave | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a |631 |1,559 |2,102 |1,531 |1,578 |3,860 |2,400 |2,190 |15,325 |11,125 Refused asylum and exceptional leave<6> | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a | n/a |347 |502 |533 |635 |496 |890 |705 |3,380 |18,465 |10,690 Including dependants<7> Applications received<3> |1,563 |2,352 |2,425 |4,223 |4,296 |4,171 |6,156 |5,714 |5,863 |5,739 |16,775 |38,195 |<8>73,400 |<8>32,300 |<8>28,000 Decisions<3><4> Total |949 |1,797 |2,358 |2,942 |2,950 |2,011 |3,802 |4,045 |3,479 |3,888 |10,270 |6,055 |<8>9,140 |<8>59,050 |<8>36,890 Recognised as a refugee and granted asylum<5> |525 |1,147 |1,473 |1,727 |1,185 |689 |915 |543 |464 |975 |3,335 |1,590 |<8>800 |<8>1,900 |<8>2,860 Not recognised as a refugee but granted exceptional leave |215 |238 |278 |311 |939 |802 |2,156 |2,815 |2,229 |2,289 |5,840 |3,610 |<8>2,950 |<8>21,680 |<8>15,480 Refused asylum and exceptional leave<6> |209 |412 |607 |904 |826 |520 |731 |687 |786 |624 |1,095 |855 |<8>5,390 |<8>35,480 |<8>18,550 n/a = Not available. <1> Figures rounded to the nearest 5. <2> Provisional figures. <3> Figures exclude information on applications made overseas. <4> Decision figures up to and including 1991 may undestate. <5> Excluding South East Asian refugees. <6> Includes refusals on safe third country grounds, and those under paragraph 180F (paragraph 101 prior to 26 July 1993) of the Immigration Rules for failure to provide evidence to support the asylum claim within a reasonable period, including failure to respond to invitation to interview to establish identity. <7> Including dependants who applied with the principal applicant and those who arrived subsequently but before the principal application was decided. <8> Estimated figures.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration was given by his Department, prior to the award of the contract to manage Doncaster prison, to the conclusions of the United States Congressional Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs report, "Alyeska Pipeline Service Company Covert Operation", published in July 1992 ; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from B. Landers to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 14 July 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question
Column 694about what consideration was given by his Department, before the award of the contract to manage Doncaster prison, to the conclusions of the US Congressional Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs report on the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company Covert Operation, published in July 1992.
The two reports, whose conclusions conflicted, concerned Wackenhut Corporation, against whom no charges were laid. The contract for Doncaster prison was signed with Premier Prison Services Ltd which is a 50/50 joint venture wholly owned by Serco Ltd and Wackenhut Corrections Corporation. Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, a subsidiary of Wackenhut Corporation, was not involved in the matter that was investigated by the US Congressional Committee.
Column 695Letter from Philippa Drew to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 14 July 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about how many managerial staff working at (a) Blakenhurst Prison and (b) Doncaster Prison are from the United States of America.
Neither of these prisons has any managerial staff from the United States of America.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people employed by the Prison Service or seconded to the prisons inspectorate have worked simultaneously or subsequently for private sector companies who (a) operate and (b) have tendered to operate prisons.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 13 July 1994] : No one employed by the Prison Service or seconded to the prisons inspectorate has worked simultaneously for a private sector company operating or tendering to operate prisons. Thirty-three former Prison Service employees subsequently worked for such companies. Of these, three were former governors who had been seconded to the inspectorate.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the Prison Service agency's policy in respect of the recognition of trade unions by operators of contracted-out prisons ; (2) what account he takes of trade union recognition in the tender evaluation process conducted by his Department when awarding the contracts to manage (a) the Wolds prison, (b) Blakenhurst prison and (c) Doncaster prison ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answers 13 July 1994] : Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from B. Landers to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 14 July 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your two recent Questions about trade union recognition at contracted out prisons.
Whether or not a trade union is recognised at a contracted out prison is a matter for the contractor. In evaluating tenderers, the evaluation panel looks for evidence that a tenderer is a good employer with employment policies and conditions of service that are likely to recruit and retain staff of a suitable calibre to carry out the task. The evaluation includes consideration of the tenderer's industrial relations policy including how staff are consulted and what grievance procedures are in place.
Letter from Philippa Drew to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 14 July 1994 :
Column 696The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the number of staff employed by Premier Prison Services Ltd. at Doncaster Prison ; the grades ; and the rates of pay.
Premier Prison Services Ltd. expects to employ 365 staff. Of these about 219 will be prisoner custody officers (PCO). The operational grades are PCO, Unit Manager, Operations Manager, two of the Assistant Directors, and the Director, all of whom have to be certificated as PCO, as they have custodial contact with prisoners. There are also a number of administrative grades.
The rates of pay are a matter for the company.
Mrs. Lait : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department whether, following its establishment as a next steps executive agency in 1990, the triennial evaluation of performance has been carried out for Her Majesty's Land Registry ; and, if so, what conclusions were drawn.
Mr. John M. Taylor : An evaluation of the performance of Her Majesty's Land Registry during its first three years as an executive agency was carried out by the Lord Chancellor's Department and a report was completed in January 1994.
The report concluded that the Registry had benefited considerably from its move to agency status which had been a major enabling factor in promoting sound public sector management in the Registry. By the achievement of progressively improving performance targets and the early completion of its computerisation programme, the Registry had made a major contribution to the simplification on conveyancing in England and Wales, particularly through the development of faster and easier access to the public land register.
The general summary and conclusions of the report will be reproduced in the Registry's annual report and accounts for 1993-94 due to be published shortly.
Mr. Bates : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to implement the recommendations in the Law Commission's report, "Effect of Divorce on Wills" Law Com. No. 217.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Government have decided to accept the Commission's recommendations in its report on this topic and will introduce legislation to implement them when a suitable legislative opportunity occurs.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she has produced or has commissioned any assessment of the relative cost savings likely to accrue to service providers if the NHS Supplies Authority's warehousing and distribution Information Technology and purchasing functions were (a) separately market tested or (b) run by the private sector as an integrated body under principles of integrated supply chain management ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville : Our current assessment is that in present circumstances the National Health Service Supplies Authority seems best placed to deliver the necessary planned improvements in the national infrastructure of NHS procurement services over the next few years without loss of momentum on service levels and performance standards, and where appropriate with use of market testing or other collaboration with private sector partners. The authority plans to market test its logistics services in the context of a strategy planned to save at least £5 to £10 million a year, when fully implemented, for a more efficient and flexible service. In developing its information technology strategy it will continue to make use of market testing wherever this can add value and/or choice. In 1992-93 the value of its contracted-out computer services and equipment was £2.7 million. It achieved purchasing savings of over £71 million in 1993-94 on behalf of NHS customers, but all NHS trusts remain free on a value for money basis to make their own direct procurement arrangements or to market test all or part of such services as alternatives to using NHS Supplies as their contracted purchasing agent.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of in-patients in (a) England, (b) each regional health authority and (c) each hospital or trust in January and March had a named qualified nurse or midwife who was responsible for their care ;
(2) what proportion of patients attending out-patient clinics in (a) England, (b) each regional health authority and (c) each hospital or trust between January and March were given (i) a specific appointment time and (ii) a named qualified nurse, midwife or health visitor who was responsible for their care.
Mr. Sackville : This available information on patients charter standards was published in the 1993-94 hospital and ambulance services comparative performance guide, copies of which are available in the Library.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research has been conducted into the effects on the environment and health of the increase in use of benzene in motor fuel ; and if she will make a statement.
(2) what evidence she has as to any link between benzene and causes of leukaemia ; and if she will make a statement ;
(3) what evaluation she has made of the genotoxic nature of benzene in the atmosphere ; and if she will make a statement.
Column 698carcinogen. The Department of Health's Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment has advised that benzene is a genotoxic carcinogen. In certain occupational groups, prolonged exposure to levels of benzene many times greater than those present in ambient air has been associated with an increased risk of leukaemia. This evidence was considered carefully by the Department of the Environment's expert panel on air quality standards when they recommended an air quality standard for benzene of five parts per billion, rolling annual average concentration and a further target standard of one part per billion.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many complaints were received by NHS patients between January and March about (a) their own access to their medical records and (b) their medical records being divulged to a third party ;
(2) how many NHS patients asked to see their medical records between January and March.
Mr. Sackville : This information is not available centrally. Patients have a legal right to see their own medical records. For records held on computer, access is provided for by the Data Protection Act 1984. For records kept on paper, access is under the Access to Health Records Act 1990, which came into force on 1 November 1991 and applies to records compiled on or after that date. Access under both Acts is subject to safeguards.
Ambulance Service |Total |Paramedics |front-line staff |(including |Paramedics) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cumbria Ambulance NHS Trust |180 |96 Durham County Ambulance Service NHS Trust |159 |54 Northumbria Ambulance Service NHS Trust |357 |188 Humberside Ambulance Service NHS Trust |285 |85 North Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust |183 |61 Derbyshire Ambulance Service |232 |73 Leicestershire Ambulance and Paramedic Service |214 |60 Lincolnshire Ambulance and Health Transport NHS Trust |200 |80 Nottinghamshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust |250 |84 Cambridgeshire Ambulance Service |166 |62 Norfolk Ambulance NHS Trust |246 |89 Suffolk Ambulance Service |145 |36 Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Ambulance and Paramedic Service NHS Trust |278 |133 Essex Ambulance Service NHS Trust |377 |174 East Sussex Ambulance Service |235 |90 Kent Ambulance Service |375 |138 West Sussex Ambulance Service |175 |68 Dorset Ambulance Service NHS Trust |178 |134 Hampshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust |321 |134 Wiltshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust |156 |77 Isle of Wight Ambulance Service |48 |31 Royal Berkshire Ambulance NHS Trust |168 |61 Two Shires Ambulance NHS Trust |290 |101 Oxfordshire Ambulance Service |134 |62 West Country Ambulance Services NHS Trust |752 |206 Gloucestershire Ambulance Service NHS Trust |165 |84 Hereford and Worcester Ambulance Service |182 |108 Shropshire Ambulance Service |125 |45 Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust |276 |98 Warwickshire Ambulance Service |113 |63 Lancashire Ambulance Service |368 |142 Cleveland Ambulance Service NHS Trust |134 |69 West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service NHS Trust |450 |122 South Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance and Paramedic Service NHS Trust |250 |101 Surrey Ambulance Service |288 |124 London Ambulance Service |1,485 |394 Avon Ambulance Service NHS Trust |190 |84 West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust |523 |181 Mersey Regional Ambulance Service NHS Trust |552 |183 Greater Manchester Ambulance Service |585 |204
Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures she will be taking to ensure that British companies benefit from the expected growth in techniques of minimally invasive surgery and day case by the turn of the century.
Mr. Sackville : National health service purchasing policy for purchase of innovative equipment of this kind is based on securing best value for money for the NHS and on encouraging through competition on equal terms all its suppliers to become more competitive on price, quality and service in both United Kingdom and world markets. Further measures to stimulate innovation are set out in the White Paper, "Competitiveness : Helping Business to Win".
Mr. Robathan : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with his colleagues at the Departments of Transport, Education and the Environment about encouraging children to bicycle to school, in order to reduce pollution and congestion, whilst encouraging health.
Mr. Sackville : These Departments are represented on multi-agency working groups established under "The Health of the Nation" initiative through which we are encouraging children to take up cycling, provided that they take appropriate safety precautions.
Mr. Heald : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the total amounts of money spent in the national health service for the most recent year in which records are available on locum hospital doctors engaged (a) through private locum agencies and (b) through NHS locum agencies ; and if she will list the above amounts in each category by region.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what number and proportion of patients in (a) England, (b) each regional health authority and (c) each hospital or trust had an NHS operation cancelled between January and March.
Mr. Sackville : The available information on the number of patients who had their operations cancelled twice at the last minute and who were then not treated within a month was published in the 1993-94 hospital and ambulance services comparative performance guide, copies of which are available in the Library.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of patients attending accident and emergency departments in (a) England, (b) each regional health authority and (c) each hospital or trust between January and March had treatment which began with in (i) five minutes, (ii) 15 minutes, (iii) 30 minutes and (iv) one hour.
Mr. Sackville : Information on when treatment begins for patients attending an accident and emergency department is not available centrally. In England 88 per cent. of patients attending accident and emergency departments were seen and assessed within five minutes of arrival. Figures for trusts and hospitals were published in
Column 701the 1993-94 hospital and ambulance services comparative performance guide, copies of which are available in the Library.
Mr. Sackville : Details of individual land and property sales are commercially sensitive and confidential. It is for the regional health authority managing the transaction to determine, with their professional advisers, if the sale price can be released after completion.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that commissioning agencies involve their public health physicians in the commissioning process, both as adviser on the health priorities for their populations and as co-ordinators of medical advice from provider unit clinicians.
Dr. Mawhinney : Health authorities need a range of professional and other advice if they are to discharge their purchasing role effectively. The national health service executive has discussed with representatives of the medical professions how health authorities might secure sound medical advice. As a result of these discussions EL(93)60, entitled "Medical advice to purchasers", was issued on 2 July 1993. In addition, a task force including representatives from the professions has been established to examine clinical involvement in contracting from both commissioning and provider unit perspectives. Copies of EL(93)60 are available in the Library.
The working group on high security and related psychiatric provision was established to consider the most effective provision of services for patients requiring psychiatric treatment in conditions of high security in England and Wales, and the relationship between such service and the secure and related services provided within national health service regions and the Prison Service, in the light of earlier reports including those of the review of services for mentally disordered offenders and in response to the report of the committee of inquiry into complaints at