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Mr. Malone: It is hoped that reduction targets will be met. I expect reports from regional task forces for the six months to 30 September 1994 to show further good progress in reducing junior doctors' hours.

I will consider whether any further action is necessary in consultation with my ministerial group on junior doctors' hours which includes representatives of the junior doctors, consultants, the medical royal colleges and national health service management.

General Practitioners (Gifts)

Ms Primarolo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is sent to general practitioners regarding the value of gifts received from drug companies.

Mr. Malone: The General Medical Council is responsible for guidance to general practitioners on gifts received from drug companies.

Female Deaths

Ms Primarolo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been (a) the number and (b) the percentage of all female deaths from (i) coronary heart disease, (ii) stroke, (iii) breast cancer, (iv) cervical cancer, (v) lung cancer, (vi) malignant melanoma, (vii) other skin cancers, (viii) accidents and (ix) suicide in each year since 1979.

Mr. Sackville: This information will be placed in the Library.

London Ambulance Service

Ms Primarolo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the extent of her responsibility for the London ambulance service.


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Mr. Sackville: The South Thames regional health authority is managerially responsible for the London ambulance service. South Thames RHA is accountable to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the full range of its responsibilities, including the management of the London ambulance service.

Mentally Disordered Offenders

Ms Primarolo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the total cost to the NHS of treating mentally disordered offenders; and how many such offenders have been treated (a) nationally and (b) by each health authority in each of the last five years.

Mr. Bowis: Information on the cost and volume of services provided for mentally disordered offenders is not collected separately.

Trust Hospital Cars

Ms Primarolo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she has given on the maximum amount to be spent on purchasing and leasing cars for individual senior managers of trust hospitals.

Mr. Sackville: None. National health service trusts have the freedom to employ staff on such terms and conditions as they think fit.

Endometriosis

Ms Primarolo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the incidence of endometriosis in each of the last 10 years by region and nationally.

Mr. Sackville: There are no precise statistics on the prevalence of endometriosis. Gynaecologists have reported the condition at laparoscopy in between 2 and 18 per cent. of women, many of whom had no symptoms.

Regional Health Authorities

Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on her plans for legislation to abolish regional health authorities.

Mr. Malone: The Government's intention to abolish regional health authorities was announced on 21 October 1993. Legislation to implement the changes will be introduced as soon as the parliamentary timetable allows.

Local Authority Contracts

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many voluntary sector organisations have contracts with local authorities to provide services; and what is the value of those contracts;

(2) how many private sector organisations have contracts with local authorities to provide services; and what is the value of those contracts.

Mr. Bowis: Such contractual matters are for local negotiation and decision.

Residential and Nursing Care

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people receiving public funding towards residential or nursing care also had to contribute towards the cost for each of the last 10 years.


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Mr. Bowis: This information is not available centrally.

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list by authority the number of private and voluntary residential care and nursing homes that have closed since implementation of the Registered Homes Act 1984; and how many residents have been affected.

Mr. Bowis: This information could be provided on nursing homes only at disproportionate cost and is not available on residential care homes.

Learning Disability Hospitals

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the number of admissions to learning disability hospitals by health authority for each of the last five years.

Mr. Bowis: The information requested is published in "Ordinary and Day Case Admissions for England", copies of which are available in the Library.

Special Transitional Grant

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which authorities failed to spend 85 per cent. of the special transitional grant in the independent sector during the year 1993 94.

Mr. Bowis: Audited returns detailing community care spending in the independent sector by health authorities in 1993 94 must be submitted to the Department by 31 December 1994.

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list the proportion of the total special transitional grant spent by each authority on domiciliary care during the year 1993 94; (2) if he will list by authority the proportion of the total special transitional grant spent in the voluntary sector during the year 1993 94.

Mr. Bowis: This is a matter for local authorities and information on it is not available centrally.

Sight Tests

Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average private sight test fee currently charged by opticians.

Mr. Malone: Information about the charges made for private sight tests is not collected by the Department.

Public Appointments

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department organises receptions for those expressing an interest in public appointments for the first time; how often they are held; what is the annual cost; and how many people attend.

Mr. Sackville: The Department does not organise such receptions.

Prozac

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the accuracy of information given to general practitioners in connection with the prescription of the drug Prozac; and if she will make a statement.


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Mr. Sackville: Prozac is an effective and very widely prescribed anti-depressant. The data sheet for Prozac which contains prescribing information and side-effects, is produced by the manufacturer and is authorised by the licensing authority. It is included in the data sheet compendium which is sent to all doctors. The accuracy of the data sheet is kept under review by the Medicines Control Agency, and where necessary changes are made to reflect evolving knowledge of its use, effectiveness and safety.

In addition, all general practitioners regularly receive free information on drugs available in the United Kingdom through the "British National Formulary, Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin", "Current Problems in Pharmacovigilance" and the medicines resource centre. Professional advice is also available from the medical advisers support centre. Copies of the documents are available in the Library.

Foster Carers

Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is (a) the number of and (b) the percentage of local authority foster carers who receive a fee for fostering in addition to the basic boarding-out allowance, based on the latest available information.

Mr. Bowis: The information requested is not available centrally. However, I understand from the National Foster Care Association that the percentage is very small.

Food Poisoning

Dr. Strang: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total number of food poisoning notifications to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (a) for each year since 1982 and (b) in 1994 to the latest available date.

Mr. Sackville: The information is shown in the table.


Food poisoning notifications: 

England and Wales, 1982-1994  

          |Number             

------------------------------

1982      |14,253             

1983      |17,735             

1984      |20,702             

1985      |19,242             

1986      |23,948             

1987      |29,331             

1988      |39,713             

1989      |52,557             

1990      |52,145             

1991      |52,543             

1992      |63,347             

1993<1>   |69,955             

1994<1>   |<2>64,959          

<1> Provisional figures.      

<2> Notifications to 7        

October.                      

There is no single explanation for the rising trend in food poisoning. A contributory factor may be a reduction in

under-reporting. On 22 October 1993, my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Health announced the start of a major study of infectious intestinal diseases in England. The purpose of the study is to establish the incidence, sources, causes and socio-economic costs of infectious intestinal disease. This is the most comprehensive study of its type ever attempted. It will involve more than 70 general practices and more than 20,000 volunteers. The study will be completed in mid-1995.


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Dr. Strang: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are the latest figures available for this year of the total number of laboratory reports of salmonella in foodstuffs to the Public Health Laboratory Service in England and Wales.

Mr. Sackville: The Public Health Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens has confirmed that to the end of September, 1,152 food isolates submitted were found positive for salmonella.

General Practitioners Fundholders

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made as to whether fundholding general practitioners are able to prescribe drugs on the basis of patient benefit rather than cost; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Malone: Fundholding empowers general practitioners to ensure the most appropriate care for their patients whether by prescribing medicines, referring to specialist services or other treatments.

Thameside NHS Trust(Learning Disabilities Services)

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will set up a further committee of inquiry into the disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust to cover the period before 1991; and if she will make a statement;

(2) if she will place in the Library the report of the Mental Health Act Commission in respect of client A, referred to in appendix I, paragraph 4, of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust;

(3) where Mr. H, referred to in the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust, is now working;

(4) what action has been taken in respect of the recommendation set out at paragraph 17, appendix IV of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past" relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust;

(5) what disciplinary action, warnings or counselling have been initiated in respect of senior managers or consultants referred to in the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust; (6) what action she proposes in respect of the findings of the alleged assault against client B, referred to in appendix II of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust; and what measures have been taken by the relevant health authorities since the publications of the report to remedy the "failure to investigate" detailed at paragraph 16 of appendix II;

(7) if she will initiate a further investigation into the complaints detailed in appendix V of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust in respect of client E;

(8) if the police were informed of details of all earlier complaints in relation to the care of client C, detailed in


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appendix III of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust, when they investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of client C, which occurred some time between 22 March and 26 August 1991;

(9) if relatives or representatives of patients and clients were allowed to attend all hearings of the inquiry of Mr. Norman Warner, the findings of which are contained in the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trusts;

(10) if all managers, consultants or other practitioners referred to in the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust who continue to be employed by Thameside trust or other successors to the former Basildon and Thurrock health authority have been fully exonerated by the findings of the inquiry;

(11) if Mr. H, referred to in the inquiry report "Learning from the Past" relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust, has had his professional conduct examined by his professional body; and if she will make a statement;

(12) if the only disciplinary action taken in respect of matters examined by and referred to in the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust, were those detailed in paragraphs 6 and 7 of appendix V;

(13) if she will further investigate the detailed findings of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust, in respect of client D contained in appendix IV of the report; and if she will set up a seperate inquiry into the finding that he was not recognised as being a patient requiring nursing as a terminally ill patient;

(14) what action has been taken to remedy the anxiety set out in paragraphs 2.10 and 2.11 of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust;

(15) what action she proposes in respect of the findings of the assault against client A, referred to in appendix I, paragraphs 11 and 12, of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust, as detailed;

(16) what prosecution or disciplinary action has been taken against Mr. H, referred to in the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust;

(17) on what grounds Mr. H, referred to in appendix III of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust, was allowed to resign when confronted with charges of professional misconduct; and what further action the health authority took to ensure that he was not re-employed by another health or local authority in a caring capacity;

(18) if she will initiate a further investigation into the complaints detailed in appendix VI of the inquiry report "Learning from the Past", relating to aspects of learning disabilities services managed by Thameside NHS trust, in respect of client F.


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Mr. Bowis: We have been sent a copy of the independent inquiry report and I understand that the local agencies are acting on its 18 recommendations.

The inquiry was commissioned by South Essex health authority in conjunction with Thameside Community Healthcare national health service trust. The hon. Member should approach those organisations for answers to detailed questions about the conduct of the inquiry and its findings. In particular, it is the health authority's role to ensure that local residents have access to services of the highest quality.

Royal Northern Hospital

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans exist for the future of the Royal Northern Hospital, Holloway road, London N19 to be retained for health use; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Malone: The future of the Royal Northern hospital is a matter for Camden and Islington health authority.

Accident and Emergency Services

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for the closure of accident and emergency departments at the North Middlesex hospital, Royal Free hospital and the Whittington hospital; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Sackville: The provision of accident and emergency services is the responsibility of local health authorities, and is determined in the light of local needs, priorities and resources. The hon. Member may wish to contact New River health authority for details of any plans concerning the North Middlesex hospital; and Camden and Islington health authority for details regarding the Royal Free and Whittington hospitals.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions in the past year the spouse of a Minister in his Department has travelled abroad at public expense to accompany a Minister on public duties, and what has been the total cost to public funds; and on how


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many occasions such travel has been undertaken at own cost.

Mr. Sackville: None.

Ministerial Visits

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she next plans to visit Ilford.

Mr. Sackville: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no current plans to do so.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Pension Funds

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to ensure that company pensioners are represented on the board of trustees of pension funds.

Mr. Arbuthnot: We propose that occupational pension scheme members should have the right to nominate at least one third of their scheme's trustees. It is for members to decide whether they wish to select a pensioner trustee. That is in line with the recommendation of the Pension Law Review Committee. We are still considering the best way to implement our proposals on the selection and appointment of member-nominated trustees in the light of the replies to our consultation document.

Poor Families

Mr. Pawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of the worst-off 10 per cent. of families have (a) motor cars, (b) colour television sets, (c) telephones and (d) videos.

Mr. Burt: The information requested is in the table. The households below average income report suggests that the bottom 10 per cent. of the income distribution may not represent the "worst off" 10 per cent. For this reason information is also provided for the bottom 20 per cent.


                      Bottom 10 per                             Bottom 20 per                                                 

                      cent.                                     cent.                                                         

                     |Before housing costs|After housing costs |Before housing costs|After housing costs                      

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Car or Van           |51 per cent.        |53 per cent.        |45 per cent.        |45 per cent.                             

Television           |97 per cent.        |97 per cent.        |98 per cent.        |98 per cent.                             

Telephone            |74 per cent.        |73 per cent.        |73 per cent.        |72 per cent.                             

Video                |60 per cent.        |65 per cent.        |56 per cent.        |57 per cent.                             

Notes:                                                                                                                        

1. The source data for televisions (Family Expenditure Survey 1992) does not distinguish between black and white/colour sets. 

                                                                                                                              

2. Information for other items is taken from Households Below Average Income 1979-1991/92, a copy of which is in the Library. 


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Correspondence

Ms. Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish in the Official Report, correspondence to the hon. Member for Bristol, East from the Minister for Social Security and Disabled People about households below average income, dated 12 August and 31 August.


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Mr. Burt: The correspondence in relation to the seven questions asked by the hon. Lady is as follows:

Letter to the hon. Member for Bristol East from the Minister of State for Social Security and Disabled People dated 12 August 1994: You recently tabled a Parliamentary Question asking what was the average equivalent income at April 1994 prices for (a) the poorest 10 per cent. and (b) the poorest 20 per cent. from the latest


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households below average income analysis, before and after housing costs in 1979, 1981, 1987, 1988 to 1989, 1990 91 and 1991 92 for (i) a pensioner couple, (ii) a single pensioner, (iii) a couple with children, (iv) a couple without children, (v) a single adult with children and (vi) a single adult without children.

Unfortunately at the time Alistair Burt was unable to reply and promised to write.

Information for the bottom 20 per cent. is in the tables, which follows table A5 in the latest Households Below Average Income


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report. Reliable information on the bottom 10 per cent. of the groups specified is not available.

All estimates are subject to sampling error which may affect the validity of comparisons between groups at a point in time. Table A4 of HBAI contains an assessment of the extent of this source of uncertainty and should be used for comparisons between 1979 and the latest year. Results for singles and couples will be affected by a discontinuity from 1990 related to cohabiting; please see Appendix 10 in HBAI 1979--1990/91 for details. A copy of this letter will be placed in the Library.


Median equivalised household income in £ per week in April 1994                 

prices for the bottom 20 per cent. of each of the household family types        

                        |1979   |1981   |1987   |1988-89|1990-91|1991-92        

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before housing costs                                                            

Pensioner couple        |91     |95     |103    |103    |101    |107            

Single pensioner        |91     |96     |99     |96     |98     |101            

Couple with children    |105    |94     |101    |104    |99     |100            

Couple without children |131    |132    |123    |134    |141    |133            

Single with children    |89     |92     |97     |97     |97     |99             

Single without children |114    |111    |112    |111    |106    |103            

                                                                                

After housing costs                                                             

Pensioner couple        |76     |81     |88     |88     |88     |90             

Single Pensioner        |83     |86     |88     |85     |90     |92             

Couple with children    |88     |77     |79     |82     |76     |76             

Couple without children |112    |111    |98     |110    |115    |105            

Single with children    |72     |76     |79     |74     |75     |76             

Single without children |98     |91     |86     |83     |80     |75             


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Letter to the hon. Member for Bristol East from the Minister of State for Social Security and Disabled People, dated 12 August 1994:

You recently tabled a Parliamentary Question asking what would have been the effect on the numbers of children in households living on incomes (a) below the 1979 bottom decile median and (b) below 50 per cent. of 1979 average income, by 1991 92, using the methodology of the latest households below average income report, if child benefit had (i) remained at its 1979 level in real terms and (ii) had been increased relative to household income.

Unfortunately at the time Alistair Burt was unable to reply and promised to write.

I regret that information is not available. Child benefit interacts with other components of household income, such as income-related benefits, and reliable assumptions cannot be made about the net effect on income of hypothetical scenarios. A copy of this letter will be placed in the Library.

Letter to the hon. Member for Bristol East from the Minister of State for Social Security and Disabled People, dated 12 August 1994:

You recently tabled a Parliamentary Question asking for an assessment of the effect of a rise in the survey response rate on the latest edition of Households Below Average Income (HBAI). You also asked for details of any research into the relationship between income and the response to Government surveys on household expenditure and income.

Unfortunately at the time Alistair Burt was unable to reply and promised to write.

The Family Expenditure Survey (FES) response rate has remained relatively stable over the period covered by HBAI, reaching 72 per cent. in 1992. Any rise or fall in the survey response rate is compensated for by the use of grossing factors, which ensure that household population totals in HBAI continue to reflect the whole


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