|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) where in the North Worcestershire NHS trust area maternity facilities are currently available; where she expects them to be available by 1 January 1996; and if she will make a statement;
(2) if she will make it her policy to ensure that the procedure used by North Worcestershire health authority in connection with the refusal to open maternity facilities at Kidderminster general hospital is not followed elsewhere; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville: Provision of maternity services for the residents of north Worcestershire is the responsibility of North Worcestershire health authority. The hon. Member may wish to contact Mr. M. R. Cooper, chairman of the authority, for details of local facilities. Proposals for future maternity services in the area will be the subject of a formal public consultation exercise.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement as to the procedures required of NHS trusts prior to closure of maternity units at community and district hospitals respectively.
Mr. Sackville: Health authorities; but not national health service trusts, are required to consult their local community health councils when substantial changes in local services are under consideration. However, as a matter of course, NHS trusts discuss proposed service changes with the relevant health authority and other purchasers. If appropriate, the health authority would then consult the relevant CHC.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of contracts for patient administration
Column 318systems have been awarded to (a) ICL and (b) other companies.
Mr. Sackville: The information requested is not available centrally. It is for local managers to decide which patient administration system best meets their requirements.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what safeguards are in place to prevent infection from lethal transmissible diseases occurring as a result of the transportation into the United Kingdom of amniotic fluids, blood samples, and human tissues;
(2) what records are kept by her Department of the import into the country of human tissue samples through (a) Heathrow airport, (b) other airports and (c) other terminals;
(3) what examination is undertaken of imported human tissue for HIV-AIDS and hepatitis B and EB;
(4) what proposal she has to control the import of human tissues from south -east Asia;
(5) what precautions are in place for workers at points of entry into the United Kingdom in respect of possible infection from the import of amniotic fluids, blood samples and human tissues.
Mr. Sackville: For pathology samples transported by air, compliance with the International Air Transport Association restricted articles regulations is needed, together with compliance with any additional requirements of individual carriers. For the importation, transportation and handling of certain pathogens listed in the Health and Safety (Dangerous Pathogens) Regulations 1981, all the provisions of which have today been subsumed into the new Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994, prior notification to the Health and Safety Executive and health Ministers is required. Further regulations apply to the transportation of the samples from the point of entry to the receiving laboratory, including, as appropriate, Post Office regulations and the Health and Safety Executive's Regulations on the Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Dangerous Goods for Carriage by Road and Rail 1994. Laboratories will carry out tests in accordance with the sender's request, and in so doing will observe Health Service Advisory Committee guidance on safe working and the prevention of infection in clinical laboratories, and guidance prepared by the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens. In all work situations, the potential for exposure to infection from material either in transit or under examination has to be assessed under COSHH and the appropriate safe working procedures adopted.
Information is not available centrally on the quantity of pathology samples sent from abroad, and in the light of the safeguards which apply we have no proposals to introduce further controls.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals she has to (a) transfer responsibility for the monitoring and for the development of mental health policy from her Department to the NHS Executive and (b) divide responsibility for the monitoring and development
Column 319of mental health policy between a health care and social care division within a restructed Department of Health.
Mr. Sackville: To help the Department of Health pursue its key objectives, it is being restructed into three main business areas--the NHS Executive, the public health group and the social care group. Each one is an integral part of the Department and will advise Ministers on the full cycle of policy development, implementation, monitoring and review within its field.
As now, business areas will co-ordinate the advice to Ministers which they take decisions. In the case of mental health policy, the NHS Executive will have an explicit responsibility to ensure that such advice is properly co- ordinated.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what response she has made to (a) "Creating Community Care", the report of the Mental Health Foundation inquiry into community care for people with severe mental illness, (b) "Finding a Place", a review of mental health services for adults, the report of the Audit Commission and (c) the memorandum to the Secretary of State for Health on the Mental Health Act 1983 submitted by the Mental Health Act Commission.
Mr. Bowis: Statements were published on 7 September and 26 October representing a response to (a) and (b) . My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health replied direct to the Mental Health Act Commission and responded in a letter sent to her by the chairman.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total amount of the NHS budget allocated to mental health listed as totals for each hospital, unit trust, organisation and charity funded through the NHS.
Mr. Bowis: Information is not available in the form requested. I am not aware of any unit trusts involved in this area.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the circumstances of the death of David Falconer on 6 July 1994 in the Edith Mortan psychiatric centre in Torbay.
Mr. Bowis: David Falconer died of asphyxiation on 6 July 1994 while being controlled and restrained by nurses following the administration of medication which was given because of his extremely disturbed behaviour. Mr. Falconer suffered from neuroleptic malignancy syndrome which can result in adverse reaction to some medication. The doctor who gave the medication was aware of his condition.
Following an inquest into the circumstances surrounding his death, a jury returned a verdict of misadventure.
The South Devon healthcare trust commissioned Sir Louis Blom-Cooper to carry out a wide-ranging review of mental health services which was published in April 1994, the recommendations of which are a matter for the trust.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to establish any further research centres, as are referred to in her answer of 15 July 1994, Official Report , column 811; what criteria she will use in making a decision; and whether she will await the evaluation of the first pilot centre before making any further decisions.
Mr. Malone: The option for a second centre is still under consideration.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many officials in her Department are wholly or primarily employed to develop and monitor policy on mental health care.
Mr. Sackville: Including professional and administrative staff, some of whom work part-time, 43 officials.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the costs of (a) producing, (b) printing and (c) distributing the 1993 94 annual report of the NHS Executive; how many copies were printed; and how many were distributed to (i) the press, (ii) the NHS and (iii) others.
Mr. Sackville: The National Health Service Executive annual report provides public information about the performance of the NHS, and plays an important role in ensuring that the service remains accountable.
The information requested about the cost of NHS Executive annual report 1993 94 is:
|£ ------------------------------ a. Production |37,099 b. Printing |20,739 c. Distribution |3,748
A total of 20,000 copies of the report were printed. Since publication, approximately 200 copies have been available to the press, 4,100 distributed within the NHS and approximately 2,500 distributed to others. The report will remain available to the public throughout the year via the health literature line, and will be distributed further within the NHS at health service conferences.
Mr. Congdon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the death rates for (a) each local health authority, (b) each regional health authority and (c) nationally in each of the last five years for which figures are available.
Mr. Sackville: The crude death rates--deaths per 1,000 population-- for each district health authority, each regional health authority and for England and Wales will be placed in the Library.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the year of the "Achieving a Balance" agreement; what was the percentage expansion of consultants agreed upon, and the percentage expansion, in each year since the agreement; how many whole-time equivalent consultants there were in the NHS in the year when "Achieving a Balance" was signed; what is the number now; and how many there should have been under the target in the report, "Achieving a Balance".
Mr. Malone [holding answer 13 January 1995]: The "Achieving a Balance" agreement was published in 1987 in the report entitled "Hospital Medical Staffing-- Achieving a Balance: Plan for Action". It was agreed that consultant expansion of at least 2 per cent. per annum, excluding specified centrally funded posts, should be encouraged. Copies of the report are available in the Library. The data on consultant expansion-- numbers and whole-time equivalent--wte--are shown in the tables. The increase in numbers of 2, 580 between 1987 and 1993 includes about 550 centrally funded posts. The average annual increase between 1987 and 1993 is 2.9 per cent., or 2.3 per cent. if centrally funded posts are excluded.
Expansion at 2 per cent. per annum would have implied by 1993, 15, 790 plus about 550 centrally funded consultants, that is about 16, 340, which is some 260 fewer than the actual 1993 figure of 16,600. This comparison cannot be made in wte terms, as the wte of the 550 centrally funded posts is not known.
14,020 increased by 2 per cent. per annum.
Table 1: Hospital medical consultants (numbers) England as at 30 September |1987 |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Numbers |14,020|14,330|14,850|15,520|15,840|16,260|16,600 Percentage change |- |2.2 |3.6 |4.5 |2.0 |2.7 |2.1
Table 2: Medical consultants whole-time equivalent England-30 September each year |1987 |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Whole-time equivalent |12,860|13,200|13,670|14,190|14,500|14,850|15,210 Percentage change |- |2.7 |3.5 |3.8 |2.2 |2.4 |2.4
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to bring in a national screening programme for prostatic cancer.
Mr. Sackville [holding answer 13 January 1995]: We have no current plans to introduce a national screening
Column 322programme for prostate cancer. There is no consensus on the most effective screening method or the best way to treat patients who have a positive test. Until we do, screening may lead to unnecessary treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, that are more destructive than the disease itself.
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many personnel remained overnight within Parliament buildings, Stormont, on the night of 1 and 2 January; what is the estimated cost of the fire damage in the buildings; what emergency arrangements were in place to open the buildings and the entrance gates to Stormont estate; if the House of Commons Chamber will be restored; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moss: The inquiry, which will be conducted by Sir Reginal Doyle, will address the questions of the presence of personnel in Parliament buildings and emergency arrangements.
No estimate had yet been made of the cost of the fire damage. No decision has yet been taken about the restoration of the former House of Commons Chamber. I will, however, be reviewing options in the light of prevailing circumstances.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give his best estimate of the amount of damage to the old Stormont Commons Chamber and of fire, smoke and water damage elsewhere in the building resulting from the fire at Parliament buildings, Belfast.
Mr. Moss: The damage to Parliament buildings was confined mainly to the former House of Commons Chamber, the internal fixtures of which were largely destroyed. Areas close to the Chamber suffered some heat and smoke damage. Water damage to all areas was minimal.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what artefacts and pictures, other than documents or gifts from other Governments and legislatures were damaged or lost as a consequence of the recent fire at Stormont.
Sir John Wheeler: The pair of Dispatch Boxes believed to have been brought from the House of Lords and which rested on the Clerk's Table were destroyed by the fire.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what documents and records were damaged or lost as a consequence of the recent fire at Stormont which were (a) under 50 years old, (b) under 75 years old, (c) under 100 years old, (d) under 150 years old, (e) under 175 years old, (f) under 200 years old, (g) under 250 years old and (h) over 250 years old.
Sir John Wheeler: As a consequence of the fire at Parliament buildings on 2 January 1995, two Bibles, oath and prayer cards and the Roll Book were destroyed. All were under 75 years old. No Public Record Office documents or records were lost. A quantity of unboxed census enumerators' returns on the shelves, unboxed because of their size, were affected by water. However, the thick bindings protected the returns themselves.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what advice was tendered to his Department following the fires at (a) Hampton court and (b) Windsor castle and the subsequent publication of the report of the inquiry into those fires;
Column 324(2) when the fire service report on the cause of the Stormont fire will be published;
(3) if the Stormont buildings had a fire certificate under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 or Northern Ireland equivalent;
(4) what was the cost of additional or alternative fire precautions to the Stormont buildings, following the fires at (a) Hampton court and (b) Windsor castle and the subsequent publication of the report of the inquiries into those fires;
(5) what advice has been given to those who manage, on behalf of the nation, the Stormont buildings following the result of the investigations into the cause and extent of the fire at the National Trust property, Uppark house, West Sussex in 1989;
(6) what surveys were made to the Stormont buildings, since the fires at (a) Hampton court and (b) Windsor castle; what additional or alternative fire precautions and installations were recommended which were subsequently installed or implemented; and what was the cost to the Exchequer of those improvements; (7) what was the assessed fire risk of the Assembly Chamber at Stormont prior to the recent fire; and if he will make a statement; (8) when was the last occasion that a fire inspection was made of the Stormont Parliament buildings prior to the recent fire; and if he will place a copy of the report of inspection in the Library; (9) at what time the Assembly Chamber in the Stormont Parliament buildings was locked prior to the discovery of the fire which subsequently destroyed the chamber; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moss: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Belfast, East (Mr. Robinson) on 13 January, Official Report , columns 235 36 .
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what gifts presented by Governments or legislatures were damaged or lost as a consequence of the recent fire at Stormont.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) which security firm is employed to patrol the Stormont Parliament buildings; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if the security firm employed in respect of the Stormont Parliament buildings is required to patrol inside or outside; and if he will make a statement.
Sir John Wheeler: No security firm is employed to patrol the Stormont Parliament buildings. Security of the building is the responsibility of staff employed by the Department of Finance and Personnel, who patrol inside the building. Vehicle access is controlled by DFP security guards whilst patrols within the Stormont estate are undertaken by the RUC.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has appointed a person responsible for arrangements relating to fire matters as referred to in section 27(5) of the Fire Services Northern Ireland Order 1984.
Mr. Moss: Article 27(5) of the Fire Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1984 does not provide for the appointment of any person.
Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the hotels that have received Northern Ireland tourist board, European Union or International Fund for Ireland capital development grants in 1994, 1993 and 1992, with the amount of grant awarded in each case, and the rate of grant expressed as a percentage of the total eligible cost of the development.
Mr. Ancram: The hotels which accepted offers of selective assistance from the Northern Ireland tourist board under its tourism development scheme in each year were:
|Selective |Percentage of |assistance offered|estimate eligible Hotel |(£) |project cost -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1994 Causeway Hotel |100,000 |20 Waterfoot Hotel |80,000 |10 Calgorm Manor |355,000 |30 Roe Park Hotel |2,150,000 |47 Killyhevlin Hotel |200,000 |19 1993 Manor House Hotel |430,000 |23 Clandeboye Lodge Hotel |450,000 |31 Marine Court Hotel |450,000 |16 1992 Glenavon House Hotel |450,000 |25 Brown Trout Inn |80,000 |21 Feneghy House Hotel |177,000 |34 Bushtown House Hotel |26,000 |5 The following hotels accepted offers of assistance under European Union tourism programmes toward the cost of specific visitor facilities such as conference centres, activity and leisure facilities. In each case, the offer of grant represented 40 per cent. of the estimated eligible costs.
|Assistance offered Hotel |(£) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1994 Marine Court Hotel |500,000 Waterfoot Hotel |166,000 Roe Park Hotel, Golf and Country Club |950,000 1993 Glenavon House Hotel |300,000 Manor House Hotel |200,000 1992 Beech Hill Country House Hotel |26,000 Bushtown House Hotel |61,670 Fenaghy House Hotel |29,590
Grants to hotels from the International Fund for Ireland, is a matter for the independent board of the fund, under its chairman, Mr. W. T McCarter.
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cardiac surgeons are employed at the Royal Victoria hospital; what proposals there are to employ additional cardiac surgeons at this hospital; and if he will make a statement about the waiting list for cardiac operations at the Royal Victoria hospital.
Mr. Moss: There are five cardiac surgeons employed at present at the Royal Victoria hospital Belfast. I am not aware of any proposals by the Royal Group of Hospitals HSS trust, which employs the surgeons, to increase this number. Prior to 1992, there were three cardiac surgeons at the RVH, but since the appointment of two others, in May 1992 and September 1993 respectively, there have been very significant reductions both in numbers waiting for surgery and in waiting times. Between September 1991 and September 1994, the total number waiting was reduced from almost 1,000 to 449, while between September 1993 and November 1994 the number waiting in excess of 18 months fell from 258 to 11. Further reductions in numbers and times can be expected.
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the level of crewing at the Strangford Lough ferry; what proposals there are to change the level of crewing; and if he will make a statement about the adequacy of crewing and safety at sea at this ferry service.
Mr. Moss: Each of the two ferries operating between Strangford and Portaferry has a crew of four. A review of all aspects of the ferry, including the level of crewing, is presently under way. The level of crewing and safety on the ferries meets the requirements of the Marine Safety Agency.
Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the division of responsibilities and relationship between his departmental Ministers and agencies.
Sir John Wheeler: These matters are set out in the framework document for each Northern Ireland agency, which is available in the House of Commons Library. Northern Ireland agencies are included in the Next Steps Review 1994 (Cm 2750).
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many drug seizures there were, and what quantities of drugs were seized, in each of the last four years.
Sir John Wheeler: The quantities of drugs seized were as follows:
|1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Kilos |37.6 |39.0 |15.75 |44.5 Cannabis plants |5 |19 |- |419 Cocaine |- |88 gms |77 gms |19 gms Opiates |2,757 |250 doses |20 gms |363 gms (inc. Heroin) |MST tabs |Dipipanone |57 doses |1 gm |Morphine LSD |573 doses |800 doses |9,201 doses|8,022 doses MDMA (Ecstasy) |- |2,711 |4,408 |2,923 tabs Amphetamines |95.2 gms |625 gms |5,732 gms |1,728 doses |25 tabs
Information on the number of drugs seizures is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Figures for 1994 are not yet available.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was (a) the total capacity and (b) the total number of abattoirs in Northern Ireland in 1979, 1984, 1989 and 1994; and how many abattoirs in Northern Ireland now conform to the requirements of the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1992.
Mr. Ancram: The information requested is as follows. The Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1992 do not extend to Northern Ireland. However, all abattoirs conform to the requirements of the EC fresh meat directive.
[ Annual Slaughter Number of Capacity (DANI Slaughter Plants estimate) Year |Cattle |Sheep |Pigs |Cattle/Sheep|Pigs ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |650,000 |n/a |1,500,000 |13 |7 1984 |750,000 |n/a |1,500,000 |18 |7 1989 |800,000 |1,250,000 |1,800,000 |16 |7 1994 |800,000 |950,000 |1,500,000 |10 |5 n/a - not available.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make it his policy to publish promptly research carried out by his Department into the changes in the right of silence introduced in Northern Ireland in 1988; and if he will make a statement.
Sir John Wheeler: When significant research is conducted within the Northern Ireland Office on criminal justice matters, it is normally made public at an early stage. When we commission work from external researchers, we are ready to consider sympathetically any proposal by the authors to publish their work.
In my reply to the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael) of 18 April 1994, Official Report, columns 393 94, I said that I was placing in the Library a summary of the findings of an analysis by the Northern Ireland Office of aspects of the operation and effect of the provisions of the Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1988. The further research into the operation and effects of the 1988 order mentioned in my reply is being conducted externally and has been delayed: when we receive it, we shall consider its publication in the light of the general policy set out above.
Mr. Key: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when firearms form 110 relating to the temporary import of shotguns will be reprinted by Her Majesty's Stationery Office; and when the forms will be distributed to police forces.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: A new supply of these security-printed forms will be available to police forces on Tuesday, 17 January.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the response from the chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council in relation to science-based archaeology.
Mr. David Hunt: The policy framework governing the research councils' missions was set out in the White Paper "Realising Our Potential". It is for the research councils to determine priorities between grant proposals and to decide how to assess competing proposals. In proposing changes affecting science-based archaeology, the chief executive of NERC has said that the council wishes to support excellent science in this area consistent with the council's mission. I hope that those who are concerned about his specific proposals will take the opportunity offered to discuss the way forward with him.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his letter of 14 October 1994 to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, what progress the Director General of Research Councils has made in his examination of the balance of effort expended by the research councils between the initial selection of projects to be funded, monitoring of projects once funded and their evaluation at the end.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Good progress is being made. The Economic and Social Research Council already evaluates the outcome of all its research awards. All major Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council projects are appraised prior to commitment and monitored throughout implementation; post-project evaluation will be carried out. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council have reviews in progress. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council decided in December to switch
Column 329the balance of effort over three years towards monitoring and evaluation.