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Mr. Sackville : The information is not available in the form requested. Information by regional health authority in England on the percentage of patients in the acute sector who died in hospital was published in table 17 of the Department of Health statistical bulletin entitled "NHS Hospital Activity Statistics : England 1981 to 1991-92". A copy is available in the Library. Post-operative deaths which occur after patients have been discharged from hospital are not linked to the hospital records.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of NHS patients referred to hospital between January and March were given a choice of consultant ;
(2) what proportion of NHS patients (a) requested and (b) were granted a second medical opinion following a diagnosis by a consultant between January and March.
Mr. Sackville : The information is not available. The patients charter includes the right for a patient, when his or her general practitioner thinks it necessary, to be referred to a consultant who is acceptable to the patient ; and to be referred for a second opinion if the patient and the GP agree that this is desirable.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) 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 were treated by an accident and emergency consultant ;
(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 seen (i) by consultants and (ii) by other health staff.
Mr. Sackville : The information is not available centrally. It is for individual consultants to make professional judgments about how their case load is shared with other members of their team.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list each hospital accident and emergency department which restricted access to patients at any time (a) in 1993-94 and (b) in the first three months of 1994-95 ; and if she will indicate the number of occasions on which access was restricted in each case.
Mr. Sackville : Information on the opening hours of individual accident and emergency departments is not available centrally. Every health authority is required to purchase accident and emergency services which meet the needs of all patients who need these services.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was (a) the expenditure and expenditure per head of population on general practitioner prescribed angiontensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in each region and family health services authority area in 1992-93, (b) the number of prescriptions per head in such areas and (c) the cost per prescription of such inhibitors in such areas.
Dr. Mawhinney : The available information will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of patients admitted for cold surgery in (a) England, (b) each regional health authority and (c) each NHS hospital or trust between January and March were (i) NHS patients of fundholding GPs, (ii) NHS patients of non-fundholding GPs and (iii) private patients in (1) general surgery, (2) urology, (3) trauma and orthopaedics, (4) ear, nose and throat (5) ophthalmology, (6) oral surgery, (7) plastic surgery, (8) gynaecology and (9) all specialties.
Dr. Mawhinney : The information is not available in the form requested.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the cost of producing each copy of the patients charter "Hospital and Ambulance Services Comparative Performance Guide"; how many were printed ; and what was the total cost of distribution.
Dr. Mawhinney : Some 150,000 copies of the patients charter "Hospital and Ambulance Services Comparative Performance Guide" were produced, at a unit cost of £1.63. The total cost of distribution was £42,000.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her policy on merging health authorities when there is not strong local support for mergers.
Dr. Mawhinney : Ministers take into account a wide range of local views and the best interests of patients before deciding upon any proposal to merge health authorities.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children are being held in local authority care as of 8 July whose parents are foreign nationals serving a prison sentence or being held on remand in custody in prisons in England and Wales.
Mr. Bowis : No information is held by the Department concerning the nationality of parents of children looked after by local authorities. It is estimated that, at 31 March 1992, the latest year for which figures are available, a total of 240 children in England were looked after because one or both of their parents was in prison.
Mr. Clappison : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what further steps she intends to improve standards in the personal social services.
Mr. Bowis : In accordance with plans previously announced, the Department is today issuing an invitation to tender for a project concerned with the definition of some possible standards of conduct and practice for those engaged in social services. We intend to use the outcome of this project to extend discussion of the social services issues raised in the final report of the General Social Services Council action group published by the National Institute for Social Work in 1994.
I am placing a copy of the tender invitation in the Library.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many sets of (a) twins, (b) triplets, (c) quadruplets, (d) quintuplets and (e) sextuplets were born in England and Wales in each year from 1990 to 1993 ; what was the total number of maternities in England and Wales in each year ; and how many multiple births of each type in each year were conceived as a result of (i) in-vitro fertilisation, (ii) gamete intra-fallopian transfer and (iii) other forms of assisted conceptions.
Mr. Sackville : The latest available figures for England and Wales are :
Type of birth |1990 |1991 |1992 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Twins |7,934 |8,160 |8,314 Triplets |201 |208 |202 Quadruplets |10 |10 |8 Quintuplets |- |2 |1 Sextuplets |- |- |- Total number of maternities with multiple births |8,145 |8,380 |8,525 Total maternities |701,030 |693,857 |683,854 Source: Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.
Information on multiple maternities is not yet available for 1993. Information on the number of multiple births attributed to assist reproduction is not available. However, some information on multiple pregnancies for 1990 and 1991 is published in the first and second annual reports of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and in earlier reports of the HFEA's predecessors, the interim licensing authority. Copies are available in the Library.
Column 811Information relating to 1992 will be published later this month in the next annual report of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 3 December 1993, Official Report , columns 799-800 , what further research her Department has funded in response to the proposals for collecting data about children who were very low birthweight babies in the Audit Commission's report, "Children First".
Mr. Sackville : Government-funded research into neonatal intensive care and issues surrounding low birth weight continues to be carried out by 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. In addition to the research work reported in my earlier reply to the hon. Member of 3 December, Official Report , columns 799-800 , the national perinatal epidemiology unit is developing a full-scale project proposal on the detection of trends in morbidity and disability among seven-year-old children of different birth weights. The Department is also examining, through its public health information strategy a project to improve information on maternal and child health to support the Department's public health needs.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 30 June, Official Report, column 674, what plans she has to evaluate the first pilot research centre announced on 21 February ; and what criteria and methods will be used in the evaluation.
Dr. Mawhinney : The Department's director of research and development will establish a steering group to oversee the work of the centre. Its terms of reference will include advising on the delivery of the research programme, its scientific quality and its continuing relevance to policy and practice, together with the effectiveness of the dissemination of research findings. In addition, the steering group will undertake formal reviews of the work of the centre based on the receipt of an independent peer review at particular points during the contract period and advise on action arising from the reviews.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 30 June, Official Report, column 674, what plans she has to establish any further research centres.
Dr. Mawhinney : I shall make an announcement in due course.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what autonomous powers NHS trusts have to determine geographical catchment areas within the district covered by a health authority which has a contract with the trust from which patients will be exclusively drawn ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the latest regulations or guidance which govern decisions as to the appropriateness of a person to serve as the chair or non-executive of an NHS trust.
Dr. Mawhinney : The National Health Service Trusts (Membership and Procedure) Regulations 1990.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to instruct national health service trusts to produce and publish separate audited accounts for their commercial activities ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville : All national health service trusts publish annual accounts, as far as possible, in line with best commercial practice and the Companies Acts. We have no plans to instruct them to produce and publish any additional and separate audited accounts.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with Epsom district general hospital over the treatment of patients with a history of mental illness.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she or officials of her Department have had with (a) officials from the Royal Free hospital, London, (b) officials from Camden and Islington district health authority and (c) representatives of general practitioners in Camden and Islington regarding the decision of the Royal Free hospital to restrict routine admissions to patients of general practitioners practising within the area covered by the former Hampstead health authority ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Lidington : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she has started her review of the Medicines Control Agency.
Mr. Sackville : A review of the agency status of the Medicines Control Agency has now started. As a next steps agency, the performance of the MCA will be evaluated and MCA activities will be subjected to the normal prior option tests set out in the 1993 "Next Steps Review", Cm. 2430, copies of which are available in the Library. Comments and contributions from those with an interest in the MCA and its work would be welcome and should be sent by 23 September 1994 to Kate James, MCA Review Team, Room 360C, Skipton house, 80 London road, London SE1 6LW.
Mr. Lidington : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes she has authorised in the access arrangements to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys' computers.
Mr. Sackville : The British Computer Society reviewed the confidentiality and computing arrangements for the
Column 8131991 census, and its report was published in a White Paper in 1991, Cm 1447, copies of which are available in the Library. The society's report commended the arrangements that had been made to secure the processing of the census, but also recognised that significant changes to computer access mechanisms and procedures would take place in the 1990s. The Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys also recognised that advances in information technology would provide opportunities to improve the availability of the wide range of statistical information which it holds. The society's report had recommended a further review after the main census processing was complete. In 1993, the Registrar-General commissioned such a review from Insight Consulting, who are independent security consultants. In the light of their report, I have agreed, in principle, that information which OPCS would normally provide to central Government agencies by other means--and only that information--may also be directly accessible to them on the OPCS mainframe computer. For other users, information may be directly accessible only from a separate computer not connected to the OPCS mainframe.
In addition, the Registrar-General has engaged Secure Information Systems Ltd. to advise on technical and management issues. With their help, arrangements are being put in place to guard against unauthorised access to personal information held on OPCS's computers.
I have also agreed that, if the results of market testing require this, and subject to the passage of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill, data managed by OPCS may be processed by contractors, either on OPCS's computers or elsewhere. Any such contractors will be subject to the same stringent confidentiality requirements as OPCS's own staff.
The Registrar-General and I are confident that the precautions taken will enable OPCS to provide a welcome increase in the availability of information while continuing to manage the data in its care in accordance with best practice, to maintain security and confidentiality of those data, to meet fully the provisions of data protection legislation, to honour the guarantees of confidentiality of personal information, and to comply with its published statement of policies on the security and confidentiality of personal information.
Mr. Jon Owen Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how much the Cardiff Bay development corporation spent on legal fees in each year in the period 1983 to 1993 ;
(2) how many legal actions were initiated by the Cardiff Bay development corporation which were (a) discontinued and (b) settled out of court for each year in the period 1983 to 1993.
Mr. Redwood : I will arrange for the chief executive of the corporation to write to the hon. Member and for a copy of his letter to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his oral statement of 7 July, Official Report , column 465 , what consultations he has had with the relevant local authorities in relation to the winding up of the Cardiff Bay development corporation ; and what
Column 814proposals he has made for independent arbitration in relation to the value of the land and other assets to be transferred to the local authorities when no agreement can be reached between the local authorities and the corporation.
Mr. Redwood : The Welsh Office will be consulting local authorities about this after the reorganisation of local government has been implemented.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales for what reasons the selling price of redundant national health service hospitals is not made publicly available after completion of the sale.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Details of individual land and property sales are commercially sensitive and may impact on future potential sales. In some instances, the purchaser and vendor may agree a confidentiality clause in the sale contract.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the cost in 1993 in Wales of payments under (a) the sheep annual premium, (b) the suckler cow premium, (c) the beef special premium, and (d) the hill livestock compensatory allowances ; and what is his estimate of the cost in 1994.
Mr. Redwood : The information is as follows :
|1993 |1994 |Estimated|Provision |outturn |£ million|£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Sheep Annual Premium |125.7 |121.7 (b) Suckler Cow Premium |17.1 |21.5 (c) Beef Special Premium |16.0 |20.82 (d) Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances |32.0 |28.9 |------- |------- Total |190.8 |192.92
Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the cost in 1993 in Wales of payments under (a) the environmentally sensitive area scheme, (b) the nitrate sensitive area scheme, (c) the farm and conservation grant scheme, (d) the pilot beef and sheep extensification schemes, (e) the woodland grant scheme, (f) the farm woodland premium scheme, (g) the orchard grubbing scheme, (h) the optional five year set- aside scheme, (i) the habitat scheme, (j) the moorland scheme, (k) the countryside access scheme and (l) the organic aid scheme ; and what is his estimate of the cost in 1994.
Mr. Redwood : The information requested is in the table :
£ million Scheme |Expenditure |Expenditure |1993-94 |forecast for |1994-95 --------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Environmentally Sensitive Area Scheme |1.541 |6.399 (b) Nitrate Sensitive Area Scheme<1> |- |- (c) Farm and Conservation Grant Scheme |6.200 |6.900 (d) Pilot Beef and Sheep Extensification Scheme |0.027 |0.027 (e) Woodland Grant Scheme |1.200 |1.300 (f) Farm Woodland Premium Scheme |0.057 |0.204 (g) Orchard Grubbing Scheme |nil |nil (h) Optional Five Year Set- Aside Scheme |0.349 |0.405 (i) Habitat Scheme |nil |0.500 (j) Moorland Scheme |nil |nil (k) Countryside Access Scheme |nil |nil (l) Organic Aid Scheme |nil |0.170 <1> This scheme is not applicable to Wales.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received in relation to the publication of the district auditor's report of April 1994 into the allegations of travel expenses fraud and public and private work recompense procedures at the Health Promotion Authority for Wales ; what proposals he has to respond to the district auditor's recommendations ; and what response he has made to the district auditor's request for legal advice on the application of the guidelines on privately negotiated fees and contracts arising from work done in Health Promotion Authority time.
Mr. Redwood : The only representations that I have received concerning the publication of the district auditor's report have been from the hon. Gentleman. The district auditor made a number of recommendations to the authority. I understand that the authority has accepted all these recommendations and either has already implemented them or are in the process of doing so.
My Department provides legal advice to the Health Promotion Authority for Wales and as part of this function obtained counsel's opinion on the points raised by the district audit service. This was provided to the authority on 27 May 1994.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to announce the final outturn for the management costs line in his departmental costs for the year 1993-94 ; and if he will list each of the management cost reduction initiatives he has undertaken in each quarter of that year and the savings estimates for the consequences of each of them (a) in 1993-94 and (b) in a full year.
Mr. Redwood : The Welsh Office appropriation accounts for 1993-94, including details of administration costs, are due to be published by the National Audit Office in October. The Welsh Office is committed to improving its cost-effectiveness, and efficiency savings of at least £3.8 million--5.5 per cent. of running costs--were secured in 1993-94. A breakdown of these savings is not available in the form requested, but the main gains reflect the absorption of new work, improved purchasing procedures and the rationalisation of accommodation.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Wales tourist board in relation to the number of hotels and other tourist enterprises in receipt of loans from the board who requested suspension of repayments in each of the years from 1988 to 1993 ; and how many suspended repayments during that period before recommencement were for (a) one year or less, (b) one to two years, (c) two to three years and (d) more than three years.
Mr. Redwood : None on these specific matters. The information requested is as follows :
|Number ------------------------------------ (i) Requests for suspension of loan 1988 |Nil 1989 |Nil 1990 |Nil 1991 |Nil 1992 |4 1993 |1 (ii) Length of time before recommenc (a) 1 year or less |4 (b) 1-2 years |1 (c) 2-3 years |Nil (d) More than 3 years |Nil
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his oral statement of 7 July, Official Report, column 464, what consultations he has had with the Welsh local authority associations in relation to the transfer of the Mid-Wales development grant to the relevant local authorities.
Mr. Redwood : My officials will be contacting the local authority associations soon.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has for strengthening the guidelines for the formation and conduct of joint venture boards established to further the urban regeneration aims and objectives of the Welsh Development Agency and other parties ; and what representations he has had in relation to the confidentiality of information supplied by private companies to joint venture boards chaired by agency personnel.
Mr. Redwood : Operational guidelines for the Welsh Development Agency are kept under review and I have recently approved revised guidelines covering its urban development function. I have received representations about the agency's involvement with the Cynon Valley joint venture and the confidentiality of information supplied by private companies. These matters are being considered as part of the investigations put in hand by the agency.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh Development Agency concerning the use of letters of comfort or their telephoned equivalent by agency staff involved with joint venture boards to assist third parties in the acquisition of land for urban regeneration purposes.
Mr. Redwood : I have had none.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the date of the interim meeting with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel for the purpose of drafting amendments to clause 44 of the Local Government (Wales) Bill [Lords] .
Mr. Redwood : I have nothing to add to my replies of 26 May, Official Report, column 235 and 28 June, Official Report, columns 516-11.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) of 4 July, Official Report, columns 82-83 , which reactors were the source of the plutonium for the test.
Mr. Aitken : The military reactors at Calder Hall and Chapel Cross.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) of 4 July, Official Report, columns 83-84, regarding the use of plutonium from the United Kingdom in the United States of America, whether any undertaking was given by the United States Government in 1964 that plutonium produced in the United Kingdom from civil reactors would not be used in United States of America experimental nuclear explosive devices.
Mr. Aitken : The assurance was that plutonium from United Kingdom civil reactors would not be used for weapons purposes. We understand the term "weapons purposes" in this context to include experimental nuclear explosive devices.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what occasions since 1964 his Department has requested British Nuclear Fuels, or its division within the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, to co- process weapons-grade plutonium from electricity board reactors along with that arising from the dedicated military reactors at Calder Hall or Chapel Cross.
Mr. Aitken : We have no record of ever having made such a request.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many (a) RAF and (b) RN Sea King and Wessex search-and-rescue helicopters are expected to be available in (a) 1995, (b) 1996 and (c) 1997 ;
(2) how many (a) RAF and (b) RN Sea King and Wessex search-and-rescue helicopters were available, serviceable or being serviced on 1 January 1994 and how many are expected to be available, serviceable or being serviced on 31 December 1994 ;
(3) how many (a) RAF and (b) RN Sea King and Wessex search-and-rescue helicopters were available, serviceable or being serviced in 1993.
Mr. Hanley : For the RAF the total number of SAR helicopters available, serviceable or being serviced, were as follows :
|1993 |1 January 1994 |31 December 1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sea King |17 |17 |17 Wessex |17 |16 |11
On current plans, the RAF will have the following numbers of SAR helicopters deployed in the United Kingdom :
|1 April 1995|1 April 1996|1 April 1997 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Sea King |17 |23 |23 Wessex |9 |6 |Nil
A total of five Sea Kings are normally made available by the Royal Navy for the search and rescue task. As SAR is not a primary task of RN helicopters, however, future availability cannot be determined with any precision.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions or protocols govern RAF Wessex search-and-rescue helicopters missions at night or in bad weather ; and how they differ from those in respect of the RAF Sea King search-and-rescue helicopters.
Mr. Hanley : I will write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what obligations his Department have to clean up redundant military sites before disposing of them.
Mr. Hanley : There is no statutory requirement fully to restore land offered for sale. It is my Department's policy, however, to seek to identify instances of contamination on sites allocated for disposal and this information is made available to prospective purchasers and will be taken into account in agreeing the sale price. Decontamination work is generally limited to the removal of ordnance and other contaminants such as explosives, radioactive and microbiological materials on which a civilian contractor could not be expected to have appropriate expertise.
Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what considerations his Department has given to the environmental impact of siting an ammunition demilitarisation and disposal facility at the proof and experimental establishment, Shoeburyness.