|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what numbers and proportions of residential child care staff currently hold (a) the diploma in social work or an equivalent qualification and (b) a national vocational qualification at level III.
Mr. Bowis: Information on the qualifications held by social work staff is not collected by the Department of Health. The Local Government Management Board and the Association of Directors of Social Services collect this information in an annual survey and publish it in the "Social Services Workforce Analysis", copies of which will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the Government's target for the number and proportion of residential child care staff to be qualified to the level of the diploma in social work; and
Column 988what is the proposed date by which this target should be achieved.
Mr. Bowis: Under the residential child care initiative, the Government are assisting local authorities to achieve the recommendation in the 1991 Utting report that all officers in charge of residential children's homes should be qualified to diploma in social work level by 1995.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those national health service hospitals where the freehold is held other than by the NHS.
Mr. Sackville: Property holding information of this kind is maintained by regional health authorities and national health service trusts, and is not available centrally.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the Government's target for the number and proportion of residential child care staff to hold a national vocational qualification to level III; and what is the proposed date by which this target should be achieved.
Mr. Bowis: National vocational qualifications appropriate to staff in residential child care settings are still being developed. New occupational standards on which these qualifications will be based will be available from next spring.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will issue advice to south west region on the sale of its information technology department.
Mr. Sackville: The regional health authority consulted departmental officials before reaching decisions on its review of future arrangements for its computer centre. General guidance to assist health authorities and national health service trusts in deciding and implementing future arrangements for NHS trading agencies such as this were issued on 15 December. Copies of the guidance HSG(95)54 are available in the Library.
Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what lessons can be learnt from the reduction in deaths from volatile substance misuse shown in the analysis of figures published on 9 December by the St. George's hospital medical school in its report, "Trends in Deaths Associated with Abuse of Volatile Substances: report No. 7."
Mr. Bowis: The report shows that the number of deaths fell in 1992 to 79, the lowest figure for 10 years. The statistical analysis shows a strong correlation between numbers of deaths and the timing of the first national publicity campaigns of the health departments on solvent abuse by young people aimed at parents. This is very encouraging but not a reason for complacency. We shall continue to monitor numbers of deaths and the impact of publicity campaigns and other initiatives to combat drug and solvent misuse so that more young people's lives can be saved. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Deva: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if a decision has been reached about the future of the Health Education Authority.
Mr. Malone: The Government have decided that the Health Education Authority should continue, albeit on the basis of a radically changed funding mechanism. This reflects our view that, while much health promotion needs to be commissioned at local level, there remains a need
Column 990for national campaigns and for a national health education body which can advise Ministers and act as a centre of expertise. From 1 April 1996, the authority will be largely funded on a contract basis. The authority will seek contracts from the Department and other organisations to provide health education programmes and projects and for the supply of health education material, research and expertise. There will be no automatic right to such contracts. These new arrangements will help ensure that the authority has strong incentives to maintain and develop its reputation as the leading provider of health education advice, projects and material, to be responsive to the needs of its customers and to provide cost-effective services. We are grateful to the authority for having already set in train the implementation of these changes.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she is now able to list for 1993 94 expenditure on staff cars for (a) regions, (b) districts and (c) trusts.
Mr. Sackville: Provisional figures for expenditure on staff cars by regional and district health authorities and national health service trusts will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list (a) the national health service mental handicap hospitals and (b) the NHS mental illness hospitals which have closed and the capital and revenue resources which have accrued as a result in each year since 1979.
Mr. Bowis: Information on the closure of mental illness hospitals can be obtained from the "Survey of English Mental Illness Hospitals March 1993" copies of which are available in the Library. A survey of learning disability hospitals is in progress.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her calculation of the numbers of people who died as the result of the use of medicinal drugs in each of the last 10 years (a) accidentally, (b) in suicide or self-inflicted injury or (c) in injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted; and which drug each death involved.
Mr. Sackville: The table shows the number of people who have died as a result of poisoning by drugs, medicaments, and biological substances (ICD 960 979) in the last 10 years in England and Wales, under the headings of accidental, suicide and self-inflicted injury, and injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted. The drugs implicated in these deaths are published each year in tables nine and 10 of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys publication series DH4, which is available in the Library.
|1983 |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ICD number: 960-979 Accident |381 |377 |314 |321 |347 |335 |341 |411 |410 |501 Suicide and self inflicted injury |1,219|1,099|1,031|1,013|902 |915 |785 |816 |793 |874 Injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted |419 |441 |447 |558 |568 |609 |586 |544 |588 |596 965 Accident |137 |148 |116 |112 |144 |124 |138 |176 |191 |244 Suicide and self inflicted injury |453 |417 |383 |412 |326 |332 |287 |319 |314 |372 Injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted |145 |161 |153 |174 |218 |219 |221 |221 |248 |259 977 Accident |55 |51 |36 |50 |61 |54 |50 |73 |72 |101 Suicide and self inflicted injury |181 |153 |156 |155 |167 |133 |121 |135 |130 |129 Injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted |54 |54 |61 |85 |76 |103 |84 |78 |92 |82 <1> International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what new proposals she has to restrict the availability of medicinal drugs to children, following the recent survey carried out by the Pontefract and district community health council in respect of the purchase of paracetamol over the counter by children; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: No new proposals are planned. Community pharmacists are under a clear obligation not to supply a medicine to a child unless satisfied that the product would be used safely or, if it is for another person the pharmacist must take steps to ensure that it will be delivered safely to an adult and appropriate information will be conveyed to the patient or responsible adult. Pharmacists are further advised that where a young child is sent to collect a medicine a pharmacist should be prepared to make arrangements for delivery to the home of the patient and ensure that advice is given on how the medicine should be properly used.
In addition, the pharmacy profession is introducing protocols for the sale of medicines in pharmacies from January 1 1995, which will ensure that patients using a pharmacy are referred directly to the pharmacist when their needs dictate. The advice to pharmacists from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britian is that in all cases requests for medicines made by children should in future be referred to the pharmacist.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has received concerning waiting lists for operations at hospitals contracted to the Camden and Islington health authority; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: Information on waiting times by national health service trust and district health authority is given in "Hospital Waiting List Statistics: England", published twice yearly. Copies are available in the Library.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who was the successful tenderer for the contract to develop social services standards for conduct and practice; and what is the price of the successful bid.
Mr. Bowis: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Brigg and Cleethorpes (Mr. Brown) on 1 November, Official Report, column 1087. Details of the individual contracts are confidential.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects a statement to be made by the London implementation group on the future of casualty units in north and east London; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: It is for local health authorities and trusts to determine the appropriate pattern of accident and emergency services to ensure that the needs of local people are met.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the annual departmental allocation to the Camden and Islington health authority or its predecessor for each of the last five years and planned for 1995 96.
Mr. Sackville: This information is not available centrally. The hon. Member may wish to contact Sir William Staveley, chairman of North Thames regional health authority, which allocates funds to district health authorities.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has concerning the number of unused beds and non-used operating theatres in hospitals contracted to the Camden and Islington health authority.
Mr. Sackville: This information is not available centrally.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the family health services appeal unit takes to identify practitioners who have persistently been found in breach of the terms of service.
Mr. Malone: The family health services appeal unit maintains records of practitioners who have been found in breach of their terms of service. The director of the unit may take these into account when exercising his functions under the National Health Service (Service Committees and Tribunal) Regulations.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what performance standards the family health services appeal unit has.
Mr. Malone: The family health services appeals unit has drawn up internal performance standards for appeals. These standards will be printed in the unit's annual report which is due to be published soon.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the average time taken by the family health services appeal unit since 1 April 1992 from time of
Column 993receipt of request, to reach a decision concerning waiving of time limits;
(2) what is the average time taken by the family health services appeal unit since 1 April 1992 to arrange an appeal hearing, from the time of receipt of appeal, when a practitioner has appealed against a withholding;
(3) what is the average time taken by the family health services appeal unit since 1 April 1992 to arrange an appeal hearing from time of receipt of appeal, when the appeal is made by the complainant; (4) what is the average time taken by the family health services appeal unit since 1 April 1992 to notify the result of an appeal hearing after the date of the hearing;
(5) what is the average time since 1 April 1992 taken by the family health services appeal unit, from the time of appeal, to reach a decision concerning a breach of the terms of service.
Mr. Malone: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the family health services appeal unit uses the information it receives to monitor and improve services.
Mr. Malone: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the then Minister for Health gave him on 18 July, Official Report , column 170 .
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is her Department's estimate of the proportion of dental work that is now happening outside national health service pay scales (a) in total and (b) by region;
(2) what is the total value of dentistry that is paid for by the individual patient directly or indirectly through private insurance; (3) what proportion of dentists' remuneration was paid by the NHS Dental Practice board in each of the last five years at 1993 94 prices;
(4) what information she has on the level of subscriptions to private dental insurance plans over the past four years; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: Data are not available on the amount of dental treatment provided outside the national health service, the expenditure by patients on such private dental treatment, the proportion of dentists' income represented by earnings from private treatments, or the level of subscriptions to private dental insurance plans.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has had concerning the availability of national health service dentistry in areas of England.
Mr. Malone: We have received a number of letters, some from right hon. and hon. Members, about the availability of national health service dentists. Family health services authorities in England report that they can help patients to find national health service dentists.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 7 December, Official Report, columns 210-11 , if the use of covert video surveillance at North Staffordshire infirmary is linked with, or covered by, section 47 of the Children Act 1989.
Mr. Bowis: Yes, if it is conducted under the agreed protocol.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence she has of the connection between the length of a doctor's working week and (a) the health of that doctor and (b) the quality of care she or he is able to provide.
Mr. Malone: There is no positive evidence to link the length of the working week as such with the health of doctors and the quality of care they provide.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 12 December, Official Report, columns 474-75, on market testing, what is the total value of the contracts awarded.
Mr. Sackville: The aggregate value of contracts awarded to the private sector as a result of market testing were as follows:
|£ ---------------------------------------- 1992-93 programme |10,517,000 1993-94 programme |3,026,503 |-------- Total |13,543,503
Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what standards the new National Health Service Executive offices will be applying in monitoring the purchasing and provision of cancer and palliative care.
Mr. Sackville: Last year, the chief medical officers of England and Wales established an expert advisory group on cancer to consider the provision of cancer services. Its consultative report "A Policy Framework for Commissioning Cancer Services" is available in the Library. The National Health Service Executive's priorities and planning guidance requires health authorities to ensure the best quality of care for cancer patients when commissioning health services with reference to this report. Guidelines are to be developed in consultation with professional bodies to help with the contracting process.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her Department's estimate of the date by which the target of 72 hour maximum contracts for junior doctors will be met.
Mr. Malone: Regional task forces are due to conduct a further monitoring exercise in early February 1995. They will validate the position at the end of 1994 and report progress since then. Their returns will form the basis of an assessment of any further action necessary to bring posts within the targets set for 31 December 1994.
Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action has been taken following the recommendation
Column 995by the Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food that the quality of investigations into outbreaks of foodborne illness should be improved.
Mr. Sackville: The guidance "Management of Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness" is published today.
The need for the guidance to improve the quality of outbreak data was recognised by the Richmond committee in 1990 and by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food in its report "Salmonella in Eggs" in 1993.
The guidance, which has been produced by an informal working group of outside experts set up by the Department, offers informal "best practice" advice for all those involved in the management of local outbreaks of foodborne illness. In addition to helping outbreak investigation teams at the local level, we hope that the guidance will also assist in improving of data collected on a national basis. We have asked relevant professional staff in health and local authorities to promote its use as far as possible within existing resources.
Copies of the guidance will be placed in the Library.
Mr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the country of origin of anthrax vaccine batch number 337/E used by British service personnel during the Gulf war; and by which company was it manufactured.
Mr. Sackville: Anthrax vaccine batch number 337/E was manufactured in the United Kingdom as a product licensed under the Medicines Act 1968 by the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research. However the final stage of production--that of filling and packaging ampoules--was carried out for CAMR by Evans Medical. We cannot comment on use of this vaccine by British service personnel.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he will allow full access to the decompression control register to former tunnellers pursuing compensation claims relating to the medical condition known as bone necrosis.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: I have been asked to reply.
The records in the former Decompression Sickness Central Registry--referred to in the Question as the Decompression Control Register--were collected over a period of 30 years until the registry ceased operation in 1984. They were recorded only for the purpose of health research.
The contractors who initiated the records and whose property they are, have always been able to request information from the stored records of decompression, manlock registers etc. Access by others to the records, for example an individual or his solicitor seeking to establish dates and decompression times relating to his own exposure to compressed air, will be granted only with the full knowledge and written permission of the contractor who initiated the records.