Previous Section Home Page

NHS Beds

Ms Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will provide figures of (a) the number of surgical beds (b) the number of intensive care beds and (c) the number and locations of surgical beds without same site access to an intensive care unit for (i) North Thames regional health authority and (ii) South Thames regional health authority.

Mr. Sackville: Information on beds is collected by ward classification and not by clinical speciality. Details


Column 274

of the average daily number of intensive care beds available and the average daily number of general and acute beds available for each national health service trust in the North Thames regional health authority and the South Thames regional health authority is published in "Bed availability for England, Financial year 1993 94", copies of which are available in the Library.

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many intensive therapy unit beds there were in London in each year since 1990.

Mr. Sackville: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave on 2 February, Official Report column 846.

Children in Care

Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children looked after by local authorities were placed in the area of another local authority in the last year for which figures are available.

Mr. Bowis: During the year ending 31 March 1993, it is estimated that 4,200 children looked after by local authorities in England started foster placements in the area of other authorities. At 31 March 1993, the total number currently placed in that way was 5,700. Corresponding figures are not available centrally for other types of placement.

Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children looked after by local authorities were placed in residential care (a) in privately registered children's homes under section 63 of the Children Act 1989, (b) in residential care homes registered under the Residential Homes Act 1984 and (c) in voluntary children's homes registered under the Children Act 1989 in the last year for which figures are available.

Mr. Bowis: Estimates for the year ending 31 March 1993 are shown in the table:


Children looked after by local authorities and placed in selected                      

types of residential care homes; England estimates for the year                        

ending 31 March 1993.                                                                  

                              |Number<1> starting                                      

                              |a placement       |Number<1> at                         

Type of Home                  |during the year   |31 March                             

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

a. In privately registered                                                             

   children's homes under                                                              

   section 63 of the Children                                                          

   Act 1989                   |690               |670                                  

                                                                                       

b. In residential care homes                                                           

   registered under the                                                                

   Registered Homes Act 1984  |60                |60                                   

                                                                                       

c. In voluntary children's                                                             

   homes registered under the                                                          

   Children Act 1989          |550               |620                                  

<1> Figures are provisional and are estimated to the nearest 10. They exclude children 

accommodated in a series of short-term placements under one agreement under Section 20 

of the Children Act 1989.                                                              

Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when information on the placement of children looked after by local authorities for the year 1993 94 will be available.

Mr. Bowis: In due course.


Column 275

Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children looked after by local authorities were absent for more than one week from agreed placements; and, of those children, in how many absences their whereabouts were unknown in the last year for which figures are available.

Mr. Bowis: Out of some 85,000 children looked after by local authorities during the year ended 31 March 1993, it is estimated that 680 were absent for more than one week from their agreed placements. The number of absences of these children where the whereabouts was unknown was 520.

Private Children's Homes

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many private children's homes were listed in each local authority for each of the last five years.

Mr. Bowis: This information is not available centrally.

Hospital Social Workers

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health under what circumstances a hospital social worker would be expected to undertake the role of keyworker for an individual.

Mr. Bowis: It may be agreed, as part of the arrangements for a psychiatric patient's discharge under the care programme approach, for a hospital social worker to be his key worker.

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to monitor the level of referrals to hospital social workers.

Mr. Bowis: It depends on the referral of whom or what.

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many social workers were based in hospitals in 1993.

Mr. Bowis: The number of social work staff directly employed by local authority social services departments in hospitals and other health related settings in September 1993 is given in "Local Authority Social Services Statistics: Staff of Local Authority Social Services Departments at 30 September 1993; England", copies of which are available in the Library.

Secure Accommodation

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many times her Department has received requests for secure accommodation for young people in each of the last four years.

Mr. Bowis: None.

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the secure facilities currently available for young people provided by (a) local authorities, (b) the voluntary sector and (c) the private sector.

Mr. Bowis: A list of secure units in England providing accommodation for young people is contained in the publication "Children Accommodated in Secure Units During the Year Ending 31 March 1994"--series number A/F 94/21 --copies of which are available in the Library.


Column 276

Social Day Care Places

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many social day care places were available for (a) the elderly, (b) those with learning disabilities, (c) those with physical disabilities and (d) mentally ill people in (i) local authorities, (ii) the voluntary sector and (iii) the private sector in each year since 1979.

Mr. Bowis: The information requested on day centre places, covering survey weeks in 1992 and 1993, is published in "Personal Social Services: Day and domiciliary services for adults 1993", statistical bulletin 1994 98. Data before 1992 were collected on a different basis and for local authority provision only and were published in "Adult Training Centres for People with Learning Disabilities and Local Authority Day Centres for Adults", up to 1991, A/F91/8; and in "Adult Training Centres for Mentally Handicapped People and Day Centres for Mentally Ill, Mentally Handicapped, Elderly and Younger Physically Handicapped People" up to 1989, A/F89/8. Copies of these publications are available in the Library.

Mental Handicap Hospitals

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 25 January, Official Report, column 248 , if she will make it her policy to collate the number of long-stay mental hospitals which have gained trust status.

Mr. Sackville: No.

Community Care

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Bolton, North-East (Mr. Thurnham) of 19 January, Official Report, column 634, what statistics are collected from local authorities on their use of independent sector residential accommodation and day and domiciliary services.

Mr. Bowis: Information on the detail of the routine statistics on residential accommodation and day and domiciliary services was published in the minutes of evidence following the appearance of the director of statistics on 21 April 1993 before the Health Select Committee--paper 624 of Session 1992 93, annexes C, D and E. Information on data sources is also provided in the "Personal Social Services Statistical Information Directory April 1994", a copy of which is available in the Library.

Hostel Places

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hostel places were available for people with mental health problems in each of the last five years.

Mr. Bowis: Hostels are not defined or identified within our information collection system.

Doctors, St. Thomas's Hospital

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors are currently working over 72 hours a week at St. Thomas's hospital, London.

Mr. Malone: St. Thomas's has reported to the South Thames region task force that at 30 September 1994, there were 41.5 junior doctors contracted for an average of


Column 277

more than 72 hours a week. None of these posts was in the hard-pressed specialties which are now subject to a ceiling of 72 hours a week. Task forces were set up in each region to help implement and monitor the new deal on junior doctors' hours. They report progress to the national health service executive. In December, I announced that £64 million--£14 million more than last year--would be spent in 1995 on tackling junior doctors hours. The extra £14 million will be enough to set up 230 fully funded posts.

Hospital Closures

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she has provided to district health authorities on taking local opinion into account when deciding to close a hospital.

Mr. Sackville: Guidance about consultation on hospital closure and substantial changes in service provision was attached to an executive letter--EL(90)185--issued in September 1990, copies of which are available in the Library.

Hinchingbrook Hospital

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds there have been at Hinchingbrook hospital in each year since 1990; and how many times the hospital has had to close to emergencies through lack of beds in the last year.

Mr. Sackville: The hospital has not had to close to emergencies through lack of beds in the past year.

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many projects at the Hinchingbrook hospital are currently being considered or have been considered over the last three years which involve ownership of the hospital or part of the hospital by the private sector.

Mr. Sackville: This information is not available centrally. This is a matter for the Hinchingbrooke Health Care national health service trust and Anglia and Oxford regional health authority. The right hon. Member may wish to contact the chairman of the trust, Mr. Ken Spink OBE, and the chairman of the health authority, Sir Stuart Burgess, for details.

Cardiac Centres and Cancer Services

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 31 January, Official Report, column 876, how many cardiac centres and cancer services there are in London; what is her estimate of the number needed; and if she will explain her reference to a great duplication and concentration of specialty services in London.

Mr. Malone: The Tomlinson report found

"unwarranted duplication of specialist services, sometimes at great expense",

referring inter alia to 14 cardiac centres and 13 cancer centres providing regional specialty services in inner London. The reports in June 1993 to the London implementation group of an independent review of specialist services in London confirmed Tomlinson's findings and said, of cardiac services, that

"there is a clear case for rationalisation to create fewer, larger and stronger centres"

and, of cancer services,


Column 278

"there are several serious disadvantages in the current pattern of small centres".

Both reports recommended some consolidation in order that high-quality clinical care, teaching and research should be sustained. The advice of these and the other specialty reviews remains available to inform health authorities and NHS hospital trusts.

Leeds General Infirmary

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the future practice of pathology services at the Leeds general infirmary.

Mr. Sackville: It is for trusts to determine the best means of delivering pathology services to secure high- quality patient care and the most cost-effective use of resources. The hon. Member may wish to contact Mr. David Hall, the chairman of the United Leeds Teaching Hospitals national health service trust for further details.

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on progress on the capital investment programme at the Leeds general infirmary with particular reference to whether the programme is running in line with budget targets.

Mr. Sackville: The capital investment programme currently in progress for the United Leeds Teaching Hospitals national health service trust, which includes the Leeds general infirmary, is running within budget and on time.

Ian Greer

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many items she has received from Ian Greer in each week of the last month.

Mr. Sackville: From the available information, no items have been received from Ian Greer in the last month.

Propofol

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many adverse reactions and how many fatalities reported to the Medicines Control Agency were associated with the use of anaesthetic propofol since 27 February 1986.

Mr. Sackville [holding answer 3 February 1995]: Since 27 February 1986, the Medicines Control Agency has received 1,072 yellow card reports for propofol describing 1,987 suspected adverse reactions, 35 of which were fatal. The large number of suspected adverse reactions is a reflection of the extensive use of this drug as an anaesthetic agent. No anaesthesia is without risks; the adverse reaction profile for propofol is not significantly different from other widely used anaesthetic agents. A report of a suspected reaction to a drug does not necessarily mean that the drug itself caused the reaction.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Drugs

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what services the European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction will be


Column 279

able to offer to developing countries attempting to replace drug-linked cultivation and defeat drug production and trafficking.

Mr. Baldry: The European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction is set up to provide the Community and its member states with objective, reliable and comparable information at the European level on drugs and drug addiction and their consequences. The centre's future work programme has not yet been decided. The centre does not have a remit to offer specific services to less-developed countries. However, subject to member states' obligations on transmission of information under the provisions of United Nations drugs conventions, the centre may promote the inclusion of data it collects into international monitoring and drug control programmes, particularly those established by the UN.

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the total sum the United Kingdom has made available to the UN drug control programme for each year since 1994 and the percentage of these figures used for drug control programmes in developing countries.

Mr. Baldry: The United Kingdom made £4.8 million available to the UN international drug control programme in the financial year 1993 94, the latest complete year for which figures are available. Sixty-two per cent. of this sum was used for UNDCP programmes in less developed countries. The remainder was used for UNDCP programmes in central and eastern European countries.

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the criteria, under the draft European action plan to combat drugs which will be used to assess a country's progress in drug control.

Mr. Baldry: The scope and extent of co-operation between the European Community and third countries is set out in individual association agreements. These agreements cover all subjects of common interest, including illicit drugs, and aim to promote co-operation and facilitate joint initiatives. They also provide for a continuing process of consultation and co-ordination. Drugs clauses in these agreements may, for example, include co-operation on measures to tackle the supply, trafficking and demand for illicit drugs, as well as action against money laundering and misuse of chemical precursors.

The draft European action plan to combat drugs proposes that failure by recipient governments to achieve the drugs objectives in association agreements would allow the Union to consider suspension or termination of specific aspects of relations, including imposition of political, economic or financial sanctions.

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place with European counterparts with regard to the European action plan to combat drugs; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry: The United Kingdom has been actively involved in discussions with European partners about Commission draft proposals for a new European Union action plan to combat drugs. The proposals require further refinement and improvement, within the mechanisms set up under the treaty on European Union, to produce a balanced multidisciplinary plan for effective action. The


Column 280

draft plan is to be submitted to the European Council during the current French presidency.

We welcome this work within the European Union to consolidate and further improve anti-drugs co-operation between member states and between the EU and other regions and countries. Drug trafficking and misuse remain a serious and growing threat to the UK, other countries in the European Union and most other countries around the world. Drug traffickers are quick to exploit new markets and routes for their pernicious trade. Firm national action by all Governments is fundamentally important. But effective practical action and international co-operation are also essential if we are to succeed in defeating the global menace of the illicit drug trade.

The UK has played, and will continue to play, a leading role in the international fight against drugs, both bilaterally and multilaterally, in particular through the UN international drug control programme, the Council of Europe and the European Union.

Sudan

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consult with the French Government about relations with the Government of Sudan; and if he will make it his policy that while France has the Presidency of the EU, the EU will maintain a united policy towards Sudan with respect to the sale of arms and respect for human rights.

Mr. David Davis: We exchange views regularly with the French Government and other EU partners in the framework of the common foreign and security policy. We have no evidence to suggest that any EU country intends to change its policy towards Sudan with respect to the sale of arms and respect for human rights.

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arms or military training the Government of France are providing to the Government of Sudan.

Mr. David Davis: I refer the hon. Member to my earlier reply today. The EU agreed an arms embargo against Sudan in March 1994. This remains in force.

Western Sahara

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings representatives of his Department have had with representatives of the Polisario Front; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry: Polisario representatives have met FCO officials on a number of occasions.

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions at the United Nations Security Council the United Kingdom representatives has raised the issue of the performance of the MINURSO force in the Western Sahara.

Mr. Goodlad: The subject of MINURSO and its performance has been raised and discussed in the UN Security Council on numerous occasions, most recently on 13 January 1995.


Column 281

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the statement made to the United States Congress House Appropriations Committee on 25 January by Frank Ruddy concerning the United Nations operation in Western Sahara; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Goodlad: We understand that no transcript or detailed record was made of Mr. Ruddy's comments to the appropriations sub-committee of the United States House of Representatives on 25 January, and have made no assessment of them.

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what visits have been made to the Western Sahara by representatives of Her Majesty's Government; and which diplomatic post deals with relations with the Polisario.

Mr. Baldry: Three visits were made to the Western Sahara by FCO officials in 1994. We do not have formal relations with Polisario.

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contribution Britain currently makes to MINURSO; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Goodlad: The United Kingdom does not at present contribute personnel to MINURSO. The mission continues to operate from an unencumbered balance assessed on member states in 1991, the UK contribution to which was US $8.2 million.

Mr.Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what actions have been taken by the United Kingdom to assist giving effect to the United Nations Security Council resolution 973, concerning the future of the Western Saraha.

Mr. Goodlad: The United Kingdom will be paying its share of the cost of the reinforcements for MINURSO which are provided for in Security Council resolution 973. Implementation of the resolution is primarily a matter for the UN secretariat. The British ambassadors in Tunis and Addis Ababa have, with French, American and Spanish colleagues, lobbied the President of Tunisia--the current President of the Organisation of African Unity--and the OAU Secretary-General to provide extra observers for the UN's identification process in Western Sahara.

Rwanda

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of the Government of France in respect of providing arms or military training to the military, or the militias, loyal to the out-going Government of Rwanda.

Mr. Baldry: The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed us that the French Government do not provide arms or military training to the supporters of the former Government of Rwanda.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in which country it is proposed to hold the international tribunal into war crimes in Rwanda.

Mr. Baldry: The location of the tribunal has yet to be decided but the UN Secretary General is due to report on this and other matters relating to the tribunal soon. In the meantime, a prosecutor's office is being established in Kigali to allow investigations to continue.


Column 282

Legislatures

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to place in the Library the names and details of each member of the local legislatures for each colony and dependent territory.

Mr. Baldry: I will place such lists in the Library.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs by which method it is possible for (a) the chief minister and (b) individual member of colony and dependent territory legislatures to bring to the attention of Her Majesty's Government or hon. Members of the House any grievance they have about the stewardship or conduct of governors or official members of the local government and legislature in respect of those matters for which the governors or official members are directly responsible.

Mr. Baldry: All British dependent territories citizens have the right to approach us or Members of the House on any matter they wish to raise.

Chief Ministers and members of the legislature in the dependent territories can and frequently do raise issues in connection with the Governors' reserve powers with us and hon. Members.


Next Section

  Home Page