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(2) if she will list the concessions available to families visiting sick children, in respect of travelling, parking and other necessities.
Mr. Sackville: The Hospital travel costs scheme provides financial assistance to parents on low income to enable them to accompany their children to and from hospital where this is medically necessary. The majority of national health service hospitals provide accommodation for parents to enable them to stay overnight at the hospital while their children receive treatment. Financial help is available from the social fund to enable parents in receipt of income support to visit their children in hospital. There are no plans to extend these arrangements.
Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the transfers of land and property that have taken place over the past six months to Community Health Sheffield NHS trust and their value at the time of transfer.
Mr. Alton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements for availability for kidney dialysis treatments exist in Great Britain for patients requiring regular dialysis treatments whilst on holiday or visiting relatives.
Mr. Sackville: Renal units in the United Kingdom will provide dialysis for patients on holiday or visiting relatives provided there is spare dialysis facility available. Usually the patient's regular unit will make the arrangements for them.
Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Department's estimate of the cost of providing indoor and outdoor powered wheelchairs remains as set out in the letter date-stamped 23 March, ref. POH(4) 4295/111 from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis), to the hon. Member for Hastings and Rye (Mrs. Lait); when and by whom the estimate was made; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: Calculation of the likely cost of supplying powered indoor/outdoor chairs to all those who qualify and require one is complex. The defining factors are assumed need, purchase cost through bulk purchasing, the
Column 1085cost of maintenance and repair and the effect on costs of refurbishment and re-issue of chairs.
The estimate referred to was based on a simple extrapolation derived from a broad estimate of need contained in the 1986 McColl report.
On 1 July I announced a review of wheelchair services in the context of the feasibility and affordability of a voucher scheme. As part of this review we have commissioned firm and practically based costings including for supply of indoor/outdoor powered chairs. We will be announcing our conclusions on this exercise in due course.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in each family health services/authority area have been removed from their GP's list and how many have been (a) under 18 years, (b) women over 60 years, (c) men over 65 years of age, (d) registered disabled people, (e) are in receipt of repeat prescriptions and (f) recorded as having been previously removed from a GP's list in each of the past four years.
Mr. Sackville: No. The Cigarettes (Maximum Tar Yield) (Safety) Regulations 1992 set the current maximum tar yield in cigarettes at 15 mg and require a further reduction to 12 mg from 1 January 1998. There is a relationship between tar and nicotine yields and we have no plans for specific legislation on nicotine yields.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley: The cash limit for class XII, vote 1-- Hospital, community health, family health services (part) and related services, England--will be reduced by £44,104,000, from £21, 778,220,000 to £21,734,116,000. That reduction allows for transfers of £44,500,000 to class XII, vote 4--Family health services (part), England--for pharmaceutical services, following a reappraisal of general practitioner fundholders' drugs budget requirements; £120,000 to class XII, vole 3--Department of Health, administration, miscellaneous health services and personal social services, England--for Special Hospitals Services Authority audit services; £241,000 to class XIV, vote 14-- Hospital, community health, family health (part) and other services, Scotland--and £165,000 to the Department of Health and Social Services, Northern Ireland for de-designated supra regional services; £904,000 to class XV, vote 8--Hospital, community health, family health services (part) and related services, Wales--£289,000 to class XIV, vote 14--Hospital, community health, family health (part) and other health services, Scotland--and £24,000 to the
Column 1086Department of Health and Social Services, Northern Ireland for London post-graduate teaching hospitals special health authorities services and £48,000 to class XIV, vote 17--Education, arts and libraries, Scotland--for clinical placements in England of Glasgow Caledonian university students. The overall reduction is partially offset by £1,647,000 from class XII, vote 3--Department of Health, administration, miscellaneous health services and personal social services, England--for work of the NHS Estates Management and Health Building Agency- -£1,447,000--and for the regional health authorities print budget for NHS forms--£200,000; £333,000 from class XII, vote 6--Office of Population Censuses and Surveys--for the NHS central register superannuation costs and £207,000 from class VII, vote 3--Regeneration initiatives, England--for the urban programme. The cash limit for class XII, vote 3--Department of Health, administration, miscellaneous health services and personal social services, England--will be reduced by £2,946,000--from £1,594,202,000 to £1,591,256,000. This reduction allows for transfers of £1,647, 000--£200,000 running costs--to class XII, vote 1--Hospital, community health, family health services (part) and related services, England--as mentioned above; £1,158,000 to class XIV, vote 14--Hospital, community health, family health (part) and other services, Scotland--for work of the NHS Estate Management and the Health Building Agency--£318,000--and the Prescription Pricing Authority--£840, 000; £195,000-- £183,000 running costs--to class XIX, vote 3--Privy Council Office-- for the drugs co-ordination unit; £56,000--running costs--to class X111 vote 4--Department of Social Security, administration and miscellaneous services--for the departmental records office; and £10,000--running costs--to class III, vote 4--Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: agriculture, food and fishing services--for the Committee on Novel Foods and Processes. The overall decrease is partially offset by a transfer of £120,000 from class XII, vote 1 as mentioned above.
The non-voted cash limit for supplementary credit approvals for personal social services--DoH/LACAP--in England is to be increased by £1,185,000--from £26,100,000 to £27,285,000--in respect of the take-up of entitlement to carry forward of underspends from the 1993 94 financial year under the end year flexibility arrangements as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 July 1994, at Official Report , columns 729 34 .
The Department's gross running cost limit will be reduced by £449, 000 from £258,302,000 to £257,853,000. This reflects the transfers mentioned above.
All increases will either be offset by savings, increased receipts or transfers to or from other votes or charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
(2) If she now proposes to call for an independent inquiry into the problems at Burnley Health Care Trust; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville: We have received a number of representations about Burnley health care national health service trust, some of which call for an independent inquiry. The trust has commissioned an independent expert investigation into the management of the women's unit at the trust and the circumstances of the dismissal of consultant gynaecologist Mr. Ian Mahady, and will make public the findings.
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the statement of the Minister of State of 25 October, Official Report , column 854 , what is, or has been, the nature and type of retraining undertaken by Sister Pat Cooksley.
Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her oral answer of 25 October, Official Report , column 749, how many (a) qualified field social workers, (b) unqualified field social workers, (c) qualified residential social workers and (d) unqualified residential social workers there were in 1974; and what are the latest available figures.
Mr. Bowis: There have been changes of definition and coverage in the information on qualifications of social work staff since 1974, and although the Department collected data on qualifications of social work staff in 1974, it no longer does so. It is for that reason that I quoted percentage figures rather than numbers. In the 1974 Department of Health staffing return on local authority social services staff, 5,150 field social work staff out of a total of 13,154 or 38 per cent. were reported as having the Certificate of Qualification in Social Work. In 1992, the latest date for which the information is available, the local government management board social services work force analysis showed that, out of a total of 32,826 staff, 26,906, or 82 per cent., had CQSW and a further 3,415, or 10 per cent., had another relevant qualification such as certificate in social service or diploma in social work.
Corresponding comparative figures for staff in residential establishments are not available.
Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her oral answer to the hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Hinchcliffe), of 25 October, Official Report , column 749, what information is being requested from local authorities about the placement of children in small unregistered children's homes; and from which date this information is to be requested.
Mr. Bowis: In the current year, figures are being collected about those small unregistered children's homes in which children looked after by a local authority were accommodated in the period 1 April to 30 September 1994. The information collected includes the home's facilities and the age, gender and maximum number of children who can be accommodated. As my reply to the hon. Member for Wakefield said, from now on--that is, from the next annual collection--the number of children placed will also be separately identifiable.
Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her oral answer to the hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Hinchliffe) of 25 October, Official Report , column 749, whether statutory inspections in future will apply to small unregistered children's homes.
Mr. Bowis: Section 80 of the Children Act 1989 allows the social services inspectorate to inspect facilities for children in a wide variety of settings, including small children's homes, if circumstances show that it is necessary.
Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her oral answer of 25 October, Official Report , column 748, what are the welfare responsibilities of those authorities in whose areas small unregistered children's homes are located with regard to those homes; and under which section of the Children Act 1989 those welfare regulations are laid down.
Mr. Bowis: The local authority which places the child carries full responsibility to satisfy itself that the proposed placement promotes and safeguards the child's welfare--Arrangements for Placements of Children (General) Regulations 1991.
If a particular placing authority finds a small children's home unsatisfactory, its recourse would be to terminate that placement and not use the home again.
Authorities placing children in homes in a different area must inform the area authority about the placement--Arrangements for Placements of Children (General) Regulations 1992. Where a local authority has reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives in its area is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, it shall make inquiries to determine whether to take action to safeguard or promote the child's welfare--section 47, Children Act 1989. Where an arrangement has been made with the placing authority, the area authority can carry out the functions in relation to a placement on behalf of the placing authority--Arrangements for Placements of Children (General) Regulations 1991.
Mr. Wareing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received from the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing on the subject of the local determination of pay and conditions of service; what has been the nature of such representations; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: Statutory control of nursing homes is provided by the Registered Homes Act 1984. Registration and inspection is wholly delegated to health authorities, and the Department of Health endorsed guidance published by the National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts in 1985. Homes have a statutory duty to provide adequate nursing and other staff bearing in mind the number, age, and condition of the people being cared for.
Mr. Sackville: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class XII, vote 6--Office of Population Censuses and Surveys--will be increased by £1,833,000 from £33,592,000 to £35,425,000 and the running costs limit by £1,515,000 from £48,991,000 to £50,506,000. This reflects the take up of £1, 512,000 for running costs and £318,000 for capital under the end-year flexibility entitlements announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 July 1994, Official Report, columns 729-34. It also reflects a transfer of running costs provision of £3,000 from the Valuation Office for additional housing costs allowance and increased capital costs provision of £931,000 in the national health service central register for work on the Department of Health's existing number replacement project. The increase in capital costs will be met from within the existing resources of the Department of Health--class XII, vote 3--and will not add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Michael Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what decision she has reached on the selection of consultants to undertake work on the definition of standards of conduct and practice in social work.
Mr. Bowis: I am pleased to announce that two short separate projects have been commissioned. One is from Price Waterhouse Management Consultants, the other is a joint project by the National Institute for Social Work, North Down and Ards community trust and Eastern health and social services board, Northern Ireland. These two projects will examine the issues from different perspectives. The result of both projects will be reported to the Department of Health in the early months of next year.
Column 1090passive smoking in the workplace in each of the last five years.
There is no information available on the number of people who have contracted an illness caused by passive smoking in the workplace.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list for 1922 93 and 1993 94, the amount spent in each London borough, with totals for each training and enterprise council area, under each of the programmes now incorporated into the single regeneration budget, regardless of whether the sums were paid to the borough council, and the amount allocated to be spent in 1994 95 on the same basis.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the privatisations which his Department has promoted since 1979, indicating, in each case, the date of the sale, the proceeds of the sale, and the estimated current value of the company.
Miss Widdecombe: There have been two privatisations in the Department of Employment since 1979: the Professional and Executive Register in 1988 and the Skills Training Agency in 1990. Information relating to the proceeds from both sales is set out in the Department's appropriation accounts for 1989 90--PER--and 1990 91 to 1992 93--STA. The Department does not hold information relating to the current value of the companies involved.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the target figure in the Employment Service performance agreements for the numbers of claimants to be referred for adjudication for the current year, in each of the last three years and the coming year; and how many in each case he estimates lost, or will lose, entitlement to benefit as a consequence.
Column 1091Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Donald Dewar, dated 1 November 1994:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about target figures in the Employment Service Annual Performance Agreement (APA) for the number of claimants referred to adjudication, and the number of claimants who lost, or will lose benefit as a result of referral.
We do not currently have, and never have had, a target in our APA for the overall number of submissions to adjudication. Our APA for 1994 95 contains a target of "135,000 submissions to adjudication where there is an arguable case with supporting information to show that the claimant is not available for, actively seeking or willing to accept work." This is the first APA to contain a target relating to the number of submissions to adjudication.
I am currently negotiating our APA for 1995 96 with officials in the Employment Department acting on behalf of the Secretary of State. It is too early in these negotiations to confirm whether it will include a target relating to the level of adjudication referrals, or what that level might be.
The information you have requested on the number of decisions and disallowances is not fully available. However, the attached tables give details of the number of decisions and disallowances for the four questions covered by our APA target; availability for employment, restricted availability, actively seeking employment and refusal of employment. The data relates to the past three years and for the quarter ending 30 June. More recent information is not currently available.
Table 1: Number of decisions made |Q/E 30 |1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 |June 1994 --------------------------------------------------------------- Availability |86,336 |87,328 |80,248 |19,190 Restricted Availability |44,672 |39,642 |33,869 |8,166 Actively Seeking Employment |8,539 |6,070 |8,912 |3,666 Refusal of Employment |2,789 |1,824 |3,257 |1,858 Total |142,336 |134,864 |126,286 |32,880
Table 2: Number of disallowances |Q/E 30 |1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 |June 1994 --------------------------------------------------------------- Availability |49,736 |49,463 |51,729 |14,911 Restricted Availability |14,467 |13,332 |16,562 |5,323 Actively Seeking Employment |2,598 |2,555 |6,274 |3,045 Refusal of Employment |979 |685 |1,643 |1,118 Total |67,780 |66,035 |76,208 |24,397
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will break down into convenient categories the 1.5 million opportunities on employmnet and training programmes whcih will be available tto unemployed people in the current financial year, giving the number of places available in each category.
Column 1092Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Donald Dewar, dated 1 November 1994:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the opportunities on employment and training programmes which will be available to unemployed people in the current financial year. These are as follows:
|Number ---------------------------------------------- Access to Work |10,000 Career Development Loans |35,000 Community Action |50,000 Employment Rehabilitation |10,400 Jobclub |265,000 Jobfinders' Grants |4,400 Job Interview Guarantee |300,000 Jobplan |250,000 Job Review Workshop |40,000 Job search seminar |75,000 One to One |10,000 Restart Course |120,000 Training for Work |272,000 Travel to Interview |34,000 Workstart |1,200 Work Trials |20,000 Workwise/link |10,000 |1,507,000
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the area or areas in which the job finder's grant scheme is, or has been, tested, the numbers who have been given a grant and his best estimate of the take-up expressed as a percentage of those eligible to apply.
Miss Widdecombe: The job finder's grant pilots are operating in the east midlands and west midlands. Some 3,626 grants have been issued. Information regarding the take-up as a percentage of those eligible to apply is not available.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if there is any power proposed in the White Paper, "Jobseeker's Allowance," to compel a benefit claimant to undertake community or public work in return for the standard benefit to which he or she would be otherwise entitled; and in what circumstances it could be used.
Miss Widdecombe: As the White Paper explains, people receiving job seeker's allowance may be required to undertake activities designed to increase their employability and their chances of finding a job. Where it is appropriate, this may include a period of work experience on a community project. Participants in community action currently receive an allowance equivalent to their benefit entitlement plus £10.
Column 1093direction as referred to in the White Paper, "Jobseeker's Allowance".
Miss Widdecombe: Current legislation provides that a claimant can be disqualified from receiving benefit if he fails to carry out an official recommendation given to him by an Employment Service adviser with a view to assisting him to find a particular type of employment. That power would be carried forward into job seeker's allowance but widened to enable advisers additionally to direct job seekers to improve their employability through, for example, attending a course to improve job-seeking skills or motivation, or taking steps to present themselves acceptably to employers.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the sanctions that will be available to his Department when the proposals in the White Paper, "Jobseeker's Allowance", are implemented which are presently not available; and if he will define the circumstances in which these can be used.
Miss Widdecombe: The White Paper explains that the main system of sanctions in the jobseeker's allowance would generally take forward provisions from unemployment benefit and income support. The benefit sanctions for leaving a job voluntarily without just cause, losing a job through misconduct, neglecting to avail oneself of a reasonable opportunity of a job and refusing a job without good cause would continue to last for up to 26 weeks. The sanction for refusing to attend or complete mandatory courses such as jobplan workshops and prescribed training courses, and for failing to act upon a job seeker's direction, would be for a fixed period of two weeks, rising to four weeks if refusal or failure to act is repeated.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he intends to publish a report on the north Norfolk action scheme, including an assessment of the effectiveness of the approach and the costs of the scheme.
Miss Widdecombe: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the then Financial Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Hertfordshire, West (Mr. Jones) on 30 November 1993, Official Report, column 391.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which former hon. Members of this House have been appointed since 1988 by his Department to quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations; and if he will list, in each case, the title of the post, the salary, the duration of the appointment, and the party which each represented as an hon. Member.
Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 31 October 1994]: The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 require benzene exposure to be reduced so far as is reasonably practicable and in any case below the maximum exposure limit. The Health and Safety Executive plans to reassess the control of exposure to benzene in the workplace and aims to report by the end of 1995.
Mr. Gunnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment why the services provided by the regional laboratories of the Health and Safety Executive are being contracted out; and what consideration he gave to allowing those laboratories, individually or collectively, to be market tested.
Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 31 October 1994]: The Health and Safety Executive decided to include the regional laboratories in its "Competing for Quality" programme for 1994 95 to seek improvements in value for money from these services. Careful consideration was given to how the laboratories should be treated under the programme. HSE concluded that a bid from the staff in the laboratories, acting on their own account, would not be viable.
Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 31 October 1994]: Where this occurs, the Employment Service tries to persuade employers to consider job seekers on their merits. The ES has produced a leaflet, "What's Age got to do with it?", designed to persuade employers not to impose upper age limits. If an employer insists on setting a limit, the vacancy will still be advertised. However, this would not prevent ES staff from approaching an employer on behalf of an otherwise suitable job seeker who falls outside the limit stated.