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Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when manpower control in respect of medical staff was discontinued; and what statistics exist on medical manpower distribution in England (a) at that date and (b) currently.
Mr. Malone: Medical manpower control has not been discontinued. Senior registrar and career registrar quotas are still in operation as set by the Joint Planning Advisory Committee. The number of pre-registration house officer posts is still controlled through negotiation with the Joint Consultants Committee; staff grade posts are controlled by the Advisory Group on Medical Education, Training and Staffing; appointments to the associate specialist grade are personal regradings, and are monitored by AGMETS. Responsibility for senior house officer post numbers has been devolved to task forces and postgraduate deans, but only in respect of reducing junior doctors' hours. There are no controls on consultant or other non-consultant career grades not mentioned above.
Statistics on medical manpower distribution in England are collected by specialty and region and are published annually in the medical and dental manpower census.
Mr. Ronnie Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultant vacancies are currently unfilled in the Northumberland district health authority; and how many of these have been unfilled for more than 12 months.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to maintain records centrally by regional health authority on the number of reported cases of fluorosis; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville: The information requested is available in the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys publication series DH5--"Mortality statistics by area"--copies of which are available in the Library.
Mr. Ronnie Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of meningitis have been reported in the Northern regional health authority and Northumberland health authority areas in each year since 1988.
Notifications of all Meningitis and Meningococcal Meningitis in Northern Regional Health Authority and Northumberland District Health Authority, 1988-92 Year Northern RHA Northumberland DHA |Meningococcal |Meningococcal |All meningitis|meningitis |All meningitis|meningitis ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1988 |166 |72 |4 |0 1989 |147 |59 |11 |3 1990 |146 |76 |3 |1 1991 |192 |79 |11 |9 1992 |193 |93 |25 |7
Mr. Malone: The national scheme for reimbursing general practitioners all or part of their costs in purchasing computer hardware and software, subject to the overall cash limited allocation given to family health services authorities, is as follows: For equipment to support general medical services--up to 50 per cent. of costs incurred. For specialised equipment to support fundholding--up to 75 per cent. of hardware costs and up to 100 per cent. of software costs.
Column 310what was the initial proposal for the number of new permanent homes with care provision and the one in the rewritten version; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been removed from general practitioners' lists in Walthamstow in each of the last three years for which figures are available.
Mr. Malone: The information requested is available only by family health services authority area and is included in the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) on 3 November 1994, Official Report , column 1269.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list, for each of the NHS trusts within Doncaster health authority areas those non-executive directors who live (a) within and (b) outside the boundaries of the Doncaster health authority.
Mr. Sackville: The national health service breast screening programme is achieving good results in terms of screening coverage and of cancers detected. The Public Accounts Committee has praised the programme and singled it out as an example on which any future health screening programmes should be modelled. The programme is achieving targets set for it in terms of women taking up screening appointments and numbers of cancers detected.
One of the main strengths of the programme lies in its robust quality assurance systems, which have identified a
higher-than-expected rate of breast cancers being detected in the interval between screening appointments. In order to enhance further the sensitivity of breast screening and to ensure that we detect more cancers at an early stage, the Department of Health is taking action to:
require two views to be taken of each breast for all women being screened for the first time in the future. Research evidence produced from within the NHS breast screening programme shows that this will increase the number of cancers detected;
require screening centres to increase the optical density (contrast) of mammograms. Research from within the screening programme has shown that when pictures of the breast are darker, small cancers can be detected more easily; and
ensure the provision of focused clinical update training for radiologists to improve further the detection of particular types of cancers which are proving most difficult to see on mammograms. An executive letter setting out this action in more detail will be sent to health authorities within the next few weeks.
Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she last met the Association of Metropolitan Authorities to discuss the community care changes; what representations were made to her; what action she is taking; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: I met representatives of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and other local authority associations on 16 June 1994. Department of Health Ministers and officials regularly meet them to discuss a wide range of issues.
Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations she has had from Lancashire county council to meet her about the funding of "Care in the Community" in the county; and what plans she has to meet them.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish (a) the report into the London ambulance service, (b) the results of the review of weighted capitation and (c) the results of the Inner London health authority chief executive's bed survey; and if she will make a statement.
The weighted capitation formula was reviewed in 1994 and guidance-- FDL(94)68--as well as a booklet entitled "Hospital and Community Health Services. Revenue Resource Allocation: Weighted Capitation Formula" are available in the Library.
We understand that the Inner London health authorities will publish their acute bed study shortly.
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the number and percentage of emergency ambulance calls in the London area that took (1) 14 minutes, (2) 15 minutes, (3) 16 minutes, (4) 17 minutes, (5) 18 minutes, (6) 19 minutes, (7) 20 minutes, (8) 21 minutes, (9) 22 minutes, (10) 23 minutes, (11) 24 minutes, (12) 25 minutes, (13) 26 minutes, (14) 27 minutes, (15) 28 minutes, (16) 29 minutes, (17) 30 minutes, (18) 31 minutes, (19) 32 minutes, (20) 33 minutes, (21) 34 minutes, (22) 35 minutes, (23) 26 minutes, (24) 37 minutes, (25) 38 minutes, (26) 39 minutes and (27) 40 minutes during (a) November 1994, (b) December 1994, and (c) in total since April 1994.
The LAS responded to 7,231 more calls within 14 minutes in November 1994 compared with November 1993.
The information for December 1994 is not yet available.
Mr. Malone: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 28 November 1994, Official Report , column 537 . The data are still being collated and a copy will be placed in the House Library when available.
Column 313hon. Member for Oxford, East of November 1994, relating to the National Blood Authority's new targets for national blood stocks; what assessment she has made of the possibility of surplus blood being thrown away; and what consideration underlay the additional £10,000 allocated to the advertising budget of each blood centre.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to be able to reply to a letter from the hon. Member for Oxford, East of 2 December 1994, relating to the sale of blood voluntarily donated.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the oral answer of the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney) of 13 December 1994, Official Report , column 770, what proposals the Government have to privatised the National Blood Transfusion Service;
(2) what level of savings she expects from the establishment of the new National Blood Authority headquarters at Watford and the proposed zonal management structure;
(3) what steps she is taking to restore confidence in the public and the Blood Transfusion Service work force following the recent reductions in the level of blood donated.
Mr. Sackville: There is no intention to privatise the National Blood Service or any part of the National Blood Authority. The NBA was established to develop and manage a fully co-ordinated blood service in England.
The authority undertook a radical review of the structure and operation of the network of regional transfusion centres. The object of the review was to produce a safe, high-quality and cost-effective blood service. The proposals from the review were put out for consultation and these are now being reviewed in the light of the comments received. The NBA has announced arrangements to confirm that the comments have been taken fully into account. Savings are envisaged from implementation of the final proposals but can be precisely determined only when these emerge.
The authority has continued effectively to co-ordinate and manage the blood supply during this period. Levels of donations are generally adequate to meet demand from hospitals, which indicates public confidence in the service. Isolated and localised temporary shortages have occurred, as they always have done at various times of the year. The response of donors to appeals at these times also confirms that the service retains public confidence. The creation of a national authority has, for the first time, provided the opportunity for a planned approach to the supply of blood across the country.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will give (a) the date when blood products from the United Kingdom were first exported, (b) the destination of exported blood products, (c) the description of all blood products exported, (d) the annual value of exported blood products, (e) the current level of stocks of blood compared with current targets and (f) the current method used for transporting blood products and the safeguards employed.
Mr. Sackville: The Bio Products Laboratory has been exporting surplus products since before 1986. These products have consisted largely of albumin and albumin intermediates, together with small quantities of a range of other products such as factor IX and factor XI as well as
Column 314some immunoglobulin. Products are exported worldwide. BPL products are categorised as ethical pharmaceuticals and are transported in appropriate containers. The value of these exports has never exceeded £5 million in any one year.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the compliance by the National Blood Authority with (a) the relevant NHS tendering and contracting requirements and (b) its own standing financial instructions before the appointment of Bain and Co. to carry out the review of the Blood Transfusion Service; and if she will list the dates when the invitations to tender were notified in the journal of the European Community.
Mr. Sackville: We are informed by the National Blood Authority that the requirements of national health service procedures and the authority's own standing financial instructions were complied with during the tendering for management consultants. The invitations to tender were issued in May 1993 before the European Community public services directive relating to the award of public service contracts came into force.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons only blood products destined for export are tested for alanine aminotransferase; and if these products test positive for aminotransferase other cellular products from those donations are prohibited for use on United Kingdom patients.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many units of blood were transferred between blood transfusion centres in (a) 1993 and (b) 1994 in response to unexpected shortfalls in supply.
Mr. Sackville: The creation of a national authority has, for the first time, provided the opportunity for a planned approach to the supply of blood across the country. It is not possible to identify separately stock transfers between centres to alleviate temporary shortages and those undertaken as part of good stock management practice to reduce wastage. More than 2 million donations are collected each year. In 1993, there were 32,645 units transferred between centres and in 1994, 59,880 units. This reflects more effective management of blood stocks evidenced by a general reduction in wastage rates.
Mr. Malone: Dentists are independent contractors who are free to undertake national health service work, private work or a mixture of the two. At 30 September 1994 there were 15,885 dentists under contract to family health service authorities in England, the highest September
Column 315quarter figure ever. Family health service authorities in England report that they can help patients to find national health service dentists.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to ensure that full emergency cover is available in residential psychiatric units; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: The responsibility for ensuring that residential psychiatric units are adequately staffed to cover emergencies rests with the managers of individual units. Where health authorities and local authorities are purchasing services from residential psychiatric units, they should satisfy themselves that satisfactory arrangements exist to deal with emergencies, as part of the contracting process.
Private and voluntary homes providing residential care or nursing care for people with psychiatric illnesses are required to register with the relevant local authority or health authority. The authority must be satisfied that the home's staffing arrangements, including those for emergency cover, are adequate before approving registration.
copyright to remain with the Crown
ICL would develop and market the IRC-PAS
agreement to quality of service guarantees
limitation on charges that could be made.
Mr. Sackville: The Department does not carry out any tendering for PAS systems. It is the responsibility of health authorities and trusts to tender for PAS systems, following central procurement guidance which conforms with United Kingdom, European Union and GATT regulations.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is (a) the total cost per NHS unit of the licence to operate IRC-PAS paid to ICL, (b) the total cost to the NHS of the licence to operate IRC-PAS paid to ICL, (c) the length of contract given to ICL to provide software to the NHS, and (d) the tendering which was carried out in respect of ICL's re- written software application, OPEN-PAS.
Mr. Sackville: The cost per site per unit is subject to contract between the individual sites and ICL. The Department does not keep separate records of these contracts. Figures showing total moneys paid to the various PAS suppliers are not maintained centrally. The initial licence to ICL was granted for five years. This has since been extended to 25 years. There was no tendering carried out in respect of OPEN-PAS as the right to develop was encompassed within the licence to ICL.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list for each of the research units which have been subject to peer review, mentioned in her answer of 30 June 1994, Official Report , column 674 , the date of the site visit, the date when the report of the review was sent to the unit, the date when a decision was made about the future of the unit and whether the Department will continue the unit and the date on which the unit's current contract ends.
Mr. Malone: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply, I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor and Maidenhead (Mr. Trend) on 12 January, Official Report , columns 171 72 . All the units have current contracts which will be renewed over the coming months. The dates of the site visits and when the report were sent to the units are given in the table.
|Site visit |Report to unit --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dartington Social Research Unit |April 1994 |July 1994 Personal Social Services Research Unit |April 1994 |September 1994 Cancer Screening Evaluation Unit |October 1993 |April 1994 Clinical Operational Research Unit |November 1993 |April 1994 Social Medicine and Health Services Research Unit |July 1993 |January 1994 Thomas Coram Research Unit |March 1994 |July 1994 Centre for Primary Care Research |July 1993 |November 1993 National Institute for Social Work |October 1993 |March 1994 Childhood Cancer Research Group |October 1991 National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit |June 1993 |November 1993 Medical Care Research Unit |October 1992 |January 1993 Centre for Health Economics |July 1994 |* Social Policy Research Unit |January 1994 |July 1994 * To be sent this month.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made in the establishment of the pilot research centre in Manchester referred to in her answer of 15 July 1994, Official Report, column 811 ; how many academic and non-academic staff were in post on1 December; how many of these had contracts of (a) three years or less, (b) four or five years and (c) more than five years in duration; and who were the members of the steering group established to oversee the work of the centre and its terms of reference.
Mr. Malone: Very good progress is being made in establishing the Manchester centre for research and development in primary health care. The Department's director of research and development will shortly be writing to a number of academic and service advisors inviting them to serve as members of the steering group for the centre. The terms of reference for the steering group will be agreed at the first meeting. The numbers of staff employed at the centre, and the terms and conditions of their individual contracts, are matters for the University of Manchester as their employer.