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Mr. Sackville: We welcome the recent decision by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to introduce compulsory training in endoscopic surgery, including issuing certificates of competence to those who have had satisfactory reports.
(2) on how many occasions, numerically and as a percentage over the last two years, target ambulance response times for Bolton have not been met.
Mr. Bowis: Health authorities are responsible for setting and monitoring performance standards for the emergency and urgent ambulance services in the district(s) they cover, which must as a minimum accord with national standards. The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairman of Wigan and Bolton district health authority, for details of the services in Bolton.
Mr. David Young: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to receive the report of the inquiry into the part played in the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Bailey of Bolton by (a) hospital bed availability and (b) ambulance response time.
Mr. Bowis: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is aware of the sad circumstances of Mrs. Bailey's death. My right hon. Friend does not expect to receive further reports. It is for the local health authorities to consider any lessons to be learned for the operation of the health services in Bolton.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will give for each financial year since 1989 90 the numbers of (a) hospital spells and (b) finished consultant episodes in NHS hospitals in England recorded in the NHS Executive's fast-track monitoring returns for (i) acute specialties, (ii) geriatrics, (iii) mental illness, (iv) mental handicap, (v) maternity, (vi) well babies and (vii) all specialties.
Mr. Sackville [holding answer 16 January 1995]: The numbers of finished consultant episodes for ordinary and day case admissions in national health service hospitals in England are published in "Ordinary and day case admissions for England: Financial Year 1993 94, copies of which are available in the Library. These are the definitive figures which supersede the provisional forecasts from the National Health Service Executive's fast-track monitoring returns. Information on hospital spells is not collected within the fast-track system.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will give for each year since 1974 75 total spending on family health services for each NHS region and for the special health authorities (a) in cash terms, (b) adjusted using the GDP deflator and (c) adjusted using the NHS pay and prices index.
Mr. Sackville [holding answer 16 January 1995]: A regional breakdown of all family health services expenditure from 1992 93 will be placed in the Library. Regional figures for earlier years are not readily available on a comparable basis but national totals of FHS expenditure from 1974 75 will also be placed in the Library. Figures have been adjusted to 1993 94 prices using the GDP deflator. The only available FHS inflation index is based on costs in the
non-cash-limited part of the FHS and is not applicable to these figures which incorporate both cash-limited and non-cash-limited FHS expenditure. Special health authorities do not incur expenditure on family health services.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will give for each financial year since 1989 90 the numbers of day case admissions to NHS hospitals in England recorded in (a) the hospital episode system and (b) the NHS Executive's fast-track monitoring returns for (i) acute specialties, (ii) geriatrics, (iii) mental illness, (iv) mental handicap, (v) maternity, (vi) well babies and (vii) all specialties.
Mr. Sackville [holding answer 16 January 1995]: The number of day case admissions for each speciality group from the hospital episode statistics system for each financial year 1988 89 to 1992 93 is given in the annual publication "Hospital Episode Statistics, England", copies of which are available in the Library.
The National Health Service Executive's fast-track monitoring returns are used to produce provisional forecasts which are not routinely published. The final definitive figures of day case admission in NHS hospitals are published in "Ordinary and Day Case Admissions for England: Financial Year 1993 94", and copies are available in the Library.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment in how many cases relatives of (a) existing factory inspectors and (b) administrative staff have been recruited in (i) area offices, (ii) HQ Bootle or (iii) London in the administrative executive and clerical grades; if he will issue instructions to prevent this practice; and if he will take appropriate disciplinary action.
The recruitment of all staff in the HSE meets the civil service Order in Council rules dealing with fair and open recruitment. The existing rules about recruitment of relatives are sufficiently clear and stringent and no disciplinary action is needed.
Mr. Oppenheim: Information about the number of premises inspected is not readily available since some premises received more than one visit. The number of planned inspection visits carried out by the field operations division's factory, agriculture and quarries inspectors is shown in the following table:
|Number of Year |inspections ------------------------------------ 1992-93 |157,426 1993-94 |152,014
Visits were also paid for a range of other purposes, such as to follow up complaints and to investigate accidents.
Names and costs of consultants-1993-94 Consultant |Cost (£) ------------------------------------------------------------------- P. A. Consulting Group |22,424.72 MaST Western Ltd. |1,796.20 Dr. Fitzgerald |141.00 Elintech |64,918.75 Easesystems Ltd. |13,236.94 R. M. Consultants |2,806.75 Dr. P. Knight |194.95 W. L. Pugh Mining Engineer |1,044.00 Strata Control Technology Pty Ltd. |13,612.89 Mr. Essery |10,000.00 Mr. Sibson |10,000.00 Mr. Hiles |15,928.00 Miss Caws QC |2,931.25 Mr. Burgess |238.60 Disc Europe |60,000.00 Compel plc |1,890.00 Retix UK Ltd. |700.00 Amtec Consulting |870.00 Level 7 Ltd. |16,218.65 Admiral Software Ltd. |1,000.20 Uden Computer Consultants |33,929.37 Mica Computing Services |772.40 Sensory Systems |125.00 Yale Consulting |38,315.00 E2E Systems |8,510.64 SiSL |34,042.55 Hoskyns Group |13,846.74 Cognos Ltd. |29,594.31 Triad Special Systems |490.95 Comtex (UK) Ltd. |4,815.00 Kinesis Computing Ltd. |149,398.12 Professor Sir William Wade QC |5,581.25 Patrick Thomas |455.49 Keisley Harris |7,167.50 Capita |42,881.00 Denham-Nash Ltd. |18,926.80 W. S. Atkins |42,955.66 Ernst and Young |15,000.00 Allan H. Webb |5,922.01 Hunterskill |31,114.05 Turner Williams |28,107.34 ROSPA |19,470.58 University of Nottingham |4,200.00 John Enderby |502.26 Shreeveport |2,440.00 KPMG |27,672.14 Ian Sharland Ltd. |7,680.00 Institute of Occupational Medicine Ltd. |125.00 BMRB International |3,466.00 TQM International Ltd. |34,771.46 Pointing Consulting Services Ltd. |15,537.47 Business Planning and Research International |13,899.74 Taylor Nelson AGB plc |18,623.75 Dr. P. Buley |4,857.69 Mr. A. B. Martin |16,817.62 Mr. A. J. Linehan |6,511.36 Dr. J. Patrick |1,552.17 Mr. J. Hannaford |3,074.82 Dr. D. Hicks |2,044.61 Sir Alan Cottrell |10,000.00 Professor E. Smith |13,747.50 Mr. G. L. Potts |21,072.00 Dr. R. E. Long |11,944.97 Mr. D. Stallard |4,999.62 Total |996,914.84
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when the Health and Safety Executive will open the files held in area offices on individual firms' inspection history to members of the public on demand without payment of any fees.
Mr. Oppenheim: Under the code of practice on access to government information and the Environmental Information Regulations 1992, the Health and Safety Executive will make available, on request information about inspections it has carried out at particular premises, subject to the exempted categories of information in the code and the regulations.
Where the HSE uses significant resources to make information available, it will make reasonable charges for such information as it is entitled to do under both the code and the regulations.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many premises liable to inspection by the Health and Safety Executive have not had a full basic inspection by the Health and Safety Executive in the last (a) five, (b) seven, (c) nine, (d) 11 and (e) more years; and what will be the inspection backlog for 1994 95.
Mr. Oppenheim: Information about the elapsed years since full basic inspections were carried out by the Health and Safety Executive to premises for which the HSE has inspection responsibilities, can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Although elapsed years is one consideration in determining inspection priorities, more account is taken of the degree of hazard and risk posed to employees and the public. Inspection programmes are selected each year to match the resources available, and there is no inspection backlog.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the target number of basic field inspections for 1995 96 in the field operations division of the Health and Safety Executive; and how many premises in total the Health and Safety Executive is now responsible for inspecting.
Mr. Oppenheim: The 1995-96 plan of work for the field operations division of the Health and Safety Executive is still in preparation and the target number of inspections is not yet known. HSE inspectors are responsible for enforcing health and safety legislation in over 650,000 establishments.
Mr. Oppenheim: The Health and Safety Executive's safety policy is clear in establishing divisional management responsibilities for dealing with issues such as stress at work. Guidance to divisional line managers is currently provided in the Employment Department group personnel handbook. This guidance augments the high level of awareness within the HSE's divisions of the risks associated with work-induced stress. While recognising the difficulties posed by non-work stresses, it sets out a practical approach to identifying and combating workplace stress. The HSE's 1995 staff attitudes survey will provide monitoring of its effectiveness in managing this issue.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what changes in the complement of principal inspectors of factories is being planned for the Health and Safety Executive area offices; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Oppenheim: The complement of principal inspectors--factory, agriculture and quarries--in area offices is being reduced for 1995 96 by approximately 34, as part of the process of restructuring some parts of
Column 181the Health ad Safety Executive in order to allow the executive to recruit more inspectors for front-line activities. The HSE has agreed to the recruitment of some 60 of the latter during 1995 96.
Mr. Oppenheim: The Health and Safety Executive has many staff whose work involves a mixture of supervisory and personal work. The ratio of those staff whose work is entirely or mainly managerial to other staff at 1 January 1995 was 1:18.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what personnel policies the Health and Safety Executive has to deal with husbands and wives working in the same office of the Health and Safety Executive; and what consideration he has given to making a formal statement banning such arrangements.
Mr. Oppenheim: The Employment Department group policy on partners working with each other is set out in the ED group personnel handbook. This broadly ensures that partners should not have line management responsibilities, should not have a disciplinary role and should not act directly over the other in financial matters.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to reduce the Health and Safety Executive front-line services; and what is the consequence for 1995 96 and 1996 97 of the recent public expenditure round for the Health and Safety Executive front-line services in area offices.
Mr. Oppenheim: Following the reduction in its financial provision, I have asked the Health and Safety Commission to safeguard the front-line work of the executive, including inspection, guidance, advice and enforcement, by building on the executive's record of continuing efficiency improvements.
The commission will be announcing details of its planned deployment of resources in its plan of work for 1995 96, due to be published in the early summer.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many of the employees of the Health and Safety Executive have had their child care costs met by the executive; what is the grade of staff involved; and on what basis this assistance is made available.
Mr. Oppenheim: No Health and Safety Executive staff have their child care costs full met by the executive. Currently, a total of 25 people have a place at one of HSE's two workplace nurseries on Merseyside at a subsidy of £45 per week--pro rata for part-time use--which is around 50 per cent. of the full weekly cost. The grades involved are two grade 7s, two senior information officers, one inspector, two higher executive officers, one scientific officer, five executive officers, 11 administrative officers and one administrative assistant. Additionally, there are currently 14 holiday play schemes at various locations throughout the country which assist parents with child care during school holidays. The numbers of staff assisted, their grades and the degree to which they are financially assisted varies from scheme to scheme but, in the main, the HSE's contribution is in the
Column 182form of some basis set-up and running costs depending on the scheme.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if the Health and Safety Executive has been seeking volunteers for early retirement from factory inspectors; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Oppenheim: The Health and Safety Executive has been seeking volunteers for early retirement from a wide range of senior staff within the HSE, including at principal inspector level and above. This exercise, which is resulting in the early retirement of 85 staff in March 1995, was caused by the need to restructure some parts of the HSE in order to allow the HSE to recruit more inspectors for front-line inspection.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what resources were available to the field consultant group of the Health and Safety Executive, (a) in 1993 94 and (b) 1994 95; and if he will make a statement.
|As at |As at |31 March 1994 |1 November 1994 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Specialist inspector grades |99.50 |96.75 Scientific grades |28.50 |29.50 Total |128.00 |126.25
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many factory inspectors in the area offices of the Health and Safety Executive are suffering from work-related stress; and whether the Health and Safety Executive has a contingency budget for legal claims against the executive for any of its staff suffering work-related stress.
Mr. Oppenheim: It is not possible to say how many factory inspectors are under stress currently, or whether that is causing them suffering. It is also very difficult to separate work-related stress from non-work- related stress or to measure it accurately because stress-related illness can manifest itself in a variety of ways. There is no Health and Safety Executive budget for claims of this kind.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what will be the cost of the regional tier of field management in the field operations division of the Health and Safety Executive in 1995-96.
Mr. Oppenheim: The regional tier of field management in the field operations division of the Health and Safety Executive in 1995-96 is expected to be unchanged from that in the current year. The 1995 96 payroll cost of the regional directors, their support managers and secretarial services is £496,000.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many relatives of existing employed staff have been recruited at Health and Safety Executive headquarters, Bootle; and whether such recruitments are within civil service personnel rules.
Mr. Oppenheim: No statistics are kept on the recruitment of relatives within Health and Safety Executive headquarters, Bootle. All recruitment meet civil service Order in Council regulations about fair and open recruitment.
The current hourly rate for messengerial staff employed at HSE HQ at Bootle is £4.71 per hour.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what legal provisions allow the Health and Safety Executive to exclude premises from its future inspection programmes; what classes of premises are being excluded; and what procedures are in place to allow challenges to this practice.
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what steps his Department intends to take to inform speakers of Bengali, Gujerati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu of the availability of the Health and Safety Executive leaflet "Your Health and Safety-a guide for workers";
(2) what steps his Department intends to take to publicise the availability of the Health and Safety Executive leaflet "Your Health and Safety--a guide for workers".
Mr. Oppenheim: This leaflet was published in English and five Asian languages in November 1994. The Health and Safety Executive initially distributed a package including an advertising poster and copies of the leaflet in each language to around 3,000 organisations including community centres, citizens advice bureaux, legal advice centres and ethnic minority libraries. Copies of the leaflet were sent, with a press release, to the ethnic minority press and all local radio stations broadcasting in ethnic minority languages. The leaflets are available free of charge from HSE books. Demand so far has been high: over 180,000 copies of the leaflet have now been distributed.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what commercial involvement Ernst and Young has with the information technology division of the Health and Safety Executive; and what steps have been taken by him or by the commission to avoid conflicts of interest in the case of commissioners who have other dealings with Ernst and Young.
Mr. Oppenheim: Ernst and Young is nearing the end of an assignment to assist the in-house bid for the market test of the Health and Safety Executive's information technology services. Their appointment followed a competitive tendering exercise in which four consultancy firms submitted tenders and were interviewed by a panel. To avoid any conflicts of interest, tenderers were required to provide CVs of staff who would be involved in the work. The decision to use Ernst and Young was taken by
Column 184the executive in accordance with civil service rules. The commission was not involved in the decision.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when the Construction (Designed Management) Regulations and approved code of practice will be approved; when they were submitted to him; and what factors were responsible for the length of the interval.
Mr. Oppenheim: The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 were signed on 19 December 1994 and consent given to the code of practice, which was approved by the Health and Safety Commission on 3 January 1995. Both were submitted to the then Minister of State on 18 March 1994 and passed to me following the Cabinet changes on 20 July 1994.
Making new regulations is an important ministerial responsibility. It was necessary to be absolutely certain that this complex package of regulations was as fair and reasonable as possible and this inevitably took time.
Mr. Bernie Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement about advertisements for United Kingdom-based European Commission jobs, with particular reference to any restrictions on the nationality of applicants.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which trade union representatives the contracted-out administrative support at the offshore safety division office at Norwich; and what is the average hourly wage rate (a) at the offshore safety division office at Norwich and (b) other area Health and Safety Executive offices.
Mr. Oppenheim: The administrative support staff at the offshore safety division office in Norwich are employed by Manpower plc, and I am unaware of either their wage rates or trade union representation. The average hourly rate for administrative staff employed at Health and Safety Executive offices is £4.47 per hour--excluding additional allowances paid to staff working in the London area.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when the meetings of the Health and Safety Commission and its industrial advisory committees will be open to the press and public under the open government initiative.
Mr. Oppenheim: Under the code of practice on access to government information and the Environmental Information Regulations 1992 the Health and Safety Commission and its advisory committees will normally release information about the decisions it has taken and the facts and analyses behind those decisions, subject to the exempted categories of information in the code and regulations. The commission believes that to open its
Column 185meetings to the press and public would harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion, as is recognised in the code and the regulations.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many copies of "Fraud, Theft and Impropriety" have been issued; and if all members of the Health and Safety Commission have received a copy.
Mr. Oppenheim: The leaflet "Fraud, Theft and Impropriety" was issued on a ratio of one copy for each member of the Health and Safety Executive's staff. The members of the Health and Safety Commission were not issued with this leaflet.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list in chronological order, all regulations and directives arising from article 118A of the amended treaty of Rome, stating in each case the title and objective, the number as published in the Official Journal of the European Community and the relevant United Kingdom Act and regulation, where applicable; and if each instrument is part of the work programme envisaged by the social charter, adopted by some member states in 1989.
Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many fishermen have been made redundant as a result of the existing decommissioning scheme offered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many employees for which his Department is responsible were women (a) in 1991, (b) in 1992, (c) in 1993 and (d) in 1994; and of these, how many were (i) at grade 7 level, (ii) at grade 3 level, (iii) at executive officer level, (iv) at administrative officer level and (v) at administrative assistant level.
T Women in the Employment Department group |April |April |April |April Grade level |1991 |1992 |1993 |1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Grade 3 |2 |2 |1 |2 Grade 7 |128 |160 |182 |197 EO |9,756 |11,711 |11,792 |10,322 AO |20,401 |23,718 |23,925 |23,424 AA |2,241 |2,422 |2,366 |1,902 Total women in ED group |36,879 |42,344 |42,340 |38,786
Total actual weekly hours of work, and full and part-time classification of all employees and self-employed Great Britain |Total actual |hours |Number in |Number in |worked per |full time |part time |week |employment |employment Quarter |(millions) |(thousands) |(thousands) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Not seasonally adjusted Spring 1983 |787 |18,253 |4,336 Spring 1984 |777 |18,244 |4,828 Spring 1985 |802 |18,401 |4,943 Spring 1986 |805 |18,398 |5,036 Spring 1987 |810 |18,529 |5,230 Spring 1988 |857 |19,163 |5,402 Spring 1989 |885 |19,936 |5,546 Spring 1990 |885 |20,114 |5,612 Spring 1991 |866 |19,561 |5,633 Seasonally adjusted (quarterly survey introduced) Spring 1992 |808 |18,917 |5,689 Spring 1993 |807 |18,556 |5,807 Spring 1994 |816 |18,529 |5,990 Autumn 1994 |-<1> |18,722 |6,004 Note: <1> Not yet available. Source: Labour force survey.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many schemes have been approved and at what total value in pound sterling for each of the member states of the European Union and for Wales and Scotland under objective 4 of the European social fund since its inception; and if he will make a statement.