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It was engaged to set up and operate a database and inquiry point. This database provides market intelligence on both new and existing private finance experience in the national health service.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many geriatric beds and psychiatric beds were available in the district health authority area containing Colchester general hospital in each of the last five years.
Average available beds, wards open night and day |Geriatric |Mental illness ------------------------------------------------------------ 1989-90 |876 |698 1990-91 |708 |643 1991-92 |666 |598 1992-93 |668 |580 1993-94 |626 |532 Note: For 1991-92 and earlier years, figures are for three district health authorities Mid Essex, North East Essex and West Essex. In 1992-93 Essex Rivers Healthcare trust was formed 1993-94 figures are for Mid Essex Hospital Services trust, Essex Rivers Healthcare trust, Essex and Herts health services, and Mid-Essex mental health services. Source: KHO3 returns.
Bed numbers have declined because of the move from secondary care to care in the community, through for example nursing home contracts and general practitioner managed beds.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on mixed wards containing acute medical, geriatric and psychiatric patients; and what guidance she issues on the mix of such patients.
Mr. Bowis: Hospital doctors are responsible for making decisions about the appropriate placement of individual patients, based on what is best for the patient's condition and in the light of available beds.
Column 817in the East Anglian Daily Times on 4 February by the Brett-Stour non-fundholding consortium in respect of savings it claims to have achieved for public funds.
Mr. Sackville: I understand the question refers to core values. The core purpose of the national health service is to secure through the resources available the greatest possible improvement in the physical and mental health of the people of England by promoting health, preventing ill health, diagnosing and treating injury and disease and caring for those with long-term illness and disability.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the cash allocations for hospital and community health services in total and for each district health authority and health commission purchase trust and special health services authority for (a) 1994 95, (b) 1995 96 and (c) subsequent financial years.
Mr. Sackville: The 1994 95 initial revenue cash allocations for each district health authority and in total will be placed in the Library. From 1994 95, the postgraduate special health authorities acquire the status of provider, and we no longer make allocations to them, beyond the specific funding for research and development. The 1994 95 initial revenue cash allocations for the remaining special health authorities are:
National Blood Authority--£5,185,000
UK Transplant Support Services Authority--£3,706,000
Information for 1995 96 has not been collected yet and for subsequent years decisions have not been taken.
Trusts and health commissions receive no direct allocations: trusts because they must earn all their income; and health commissions because they exist only as a managerial arrangement for some district health authorities and family health services authorities, and are not statutory bodies.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will estimate the cost to her Department's budget in 1995 96 of implementing in full the recommendations of the Review Body for Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors, and Professions Allied to Medicine, assuming no changes in staff numbers; and how much of the cost would be borne by (a) direct expenditure by her Department, (b) national health service trusts and (c) grants and loans to local authorities.
Column 818Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors, and Professions Allied to Medicine amounts to between £105 million and £211 million for national health service trusts and health authorities, of which between £800,000 and £1.6 million is direct expenditure by the Department. The costs represent the upper and lower levels of the range of improvements expected by the review body. Information is not available centrally in respect of grants and loans to local authorities.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will estimate the cost to her Department's budget in 1995 96 of implementing in full the recommendations of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration, assuming no changes in staff numbers; and how much of the cost would be borne by (a) direct expenditure by her Department, (b) national health service trusts and (c) grants and loans to local authorities.
Mr. Malone: The cost in England of implementing in full the national recommendations of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration amounts to £120 million for national health service trusts and health authorities of which £160,000 is direct expenditure by the Department. Information is not available centrally in respect of grants and loans to local authorities.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if she will review her policy on local authorities making top-up payments towards the cost of residential or nursing home care for residents with preserved entitlements to Department of Social Security benefits; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: We have no plans to bring forward legislation to amend local authorities' current powers to provide financial support for people with preserved rights to the higher levels of income support. Levels of benefits to which preserved rights apply are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will establish a formal inquiry into residential child care provision run by Buckinghamshire county council social services department; and if she will make a statement;
(2) what reports she has received from the social services inspectorate with regard to child care provision in Buckinghamshire; what action has been taken as a consequence; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: I have not received any reports from the social services inspectorate with regard to child care provision in Buckinghamshire. I have received a copy of a letter from Buckinghamshire social services to the editor of The Independent in response to newspaper stories in that paper, which I understand has been copied to the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett).
The social services inspectorate will be carrying out one of its regular inspections in Buckinghamshire in the next few months and will, no doubt, report back to me if it has any concerns. If the hon. Gentleman has any evidence of which he thinks it or I should be aware, I should be grateful if he would forward this to me without delay.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 3 February, Official Report , column 874 , if she will give the aggregate cost of (a) generic and (b) brand named prescriptions for each year for each family health service authority, broken down by fundholders and non-fundholders.
Total Surpluses and Deficits made by Trusts in each Regional Health Authority in 1993-94 |Total |Total |surpluses |deficits Regional health |£000s |£000s authority<1> ------------------------------------------------------------------ East Anglia |8,740 |0 Oxford |7,161 |332 Mersey |10,256 |2,144 North Western |6,697 |0 North East Thames |27,771 |2,713 North West Thames |28,585 |5,078 Northern |10,656 |0 Yorkshire |10,490 |447 South East Thames |12,494 |0 South West Thames |9,142 |1,538 South Western |24,196 |437 Wessex |7,740 |1,441 Trent |17,806 |0 West Midlands |21,107 |3,259 Total |202,842 |17,389 Source: 1993-94 NHS Trust Published Accounts. Note: <1> Regional Health Authority boundaries as existed in the financial year 1993-94.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what precise proportion of the posts identified in the efficiency savings exercise for security services provided by Transec is currently engaged on inspectorial and investigatory duties.
Mr. Norris: Forty three per cent. The reduction in posts is part of my Department's general drive for increased efficiency, and will be achieved through a combination of more efficient working practices and the fact that several projects are nearing completion. It is the responsibility of industry to provide front-line security staff and equipment, the level of which will not be affected by these changes.
None. Under Council directive 86/217/EEC on tyre pressure gauges, some garage forecourts may be equipped with gauges carrying the mark of EEC initial verification, in which case their performance would be monitored by trading standards officers.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to give greater weight to the assessment of the quality of bids during the tendering process; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman: We would expect tenderers to present their proposals in the format requested in the invitation to tender, and to a standard commensurate with a professional organisation. Tender evaluation takes into account all relevant factors and the quality or standard of a tender would be one such factor. In a close competition in which bidders' proposals were evenly matched, the quality of a proposal could offer an indication of the commitment and management capabilities of the competitors and assist in final selection.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action he is taking so that tendering procedures are improved by allowing greater flexibility in the choice of procurement route; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman: To secure the best value for money, taking account of quality, performance, delivery, risk and cost, it has been our practice with market testing exercises positively to encourage tenderers to submit solutions which, through a reasonable relaxation of the terms of the invitation to tender, or the adoption of an alternative approach to meeting the essential requirement, might prove cost effective. We are now extending that approach to equipment procurement to ensure contractors are aware of our willingness to consider innovative bids in this area also.
implementation. These include the use of pre-qualification procedures to reduce the number of tenderers to those best qualified to meet the requirement; providing greater visibility of tender evaluation criteria; and making increased usage of the "Possible Future Purchases" section in the "Defence Contracts Bulletin".
Mr. Freeman: We recognise the importance of stating our requirements in clear and unambiguous terms and will continue to work to improve the quality of specifications and related material such as acceptance criteria and configuration control arrangements, supported by taut contractual terms. This can include consultation with
Column 821industry on draft specifications to encourage innovation and optimise possible trade-offs between performance and price. We have also taken steps to improve training for staff in the preparation of specifications.
Mr. Freeman: Our aim in producing tender lists is to select a field that is likely to lead to the keenest competition between firms which are considered capable of meeting all the obligations set out in the invitation to tender. To achieve this aim, and reduce the cost of the competitive process to both the Department and industry, we would normally develop tender lists of around six bidders for each competition. We consider that this approach, which was agreed in consultation with industry, strikes the right balance.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what arrangements are being made in respect of married quarters in the United Kingdom for service personnel formerly serving in the Rhine forces and posted to the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
(2) how many married families will return to Britain from the Rhine forces in the next 12 months.
Mr. Soames: An estimated 7,500 Army families will return from Germany this year, and around 1,400 RAF families are expected to return between 1 April 1995 and 31 March 1996. There are at present no significant numbers of naval personnel serving in Germany. A number of accommodation options are open to service personnel returning to the United Kingdom on posting from Germany. They may either move into their own homes or seek to purchase their own property; move into vacant service families accommodation at or near their place of duty; or, if no suitable vacant SFA is available, they may claim excess rent allowance which will allow them to rent a property in the private sector. A number of SFA properties have been held vacant to accommodate returning families.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how long the mock-up from of the Vauxhall Astra car involved in the incident for which Private Lee Clegg was jailed was on display in the mess of Three Para; why it was removed; what disciplinary action was taken against (a) the soldiers who made it and (b) the officers who allowed it to be displayed; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: The mock-up of the Vauxhall Astra was put up in the cookhouse shortly before the battalion's Christmas lunch. It was noticed by officers in the battalion during the lunch and it was immediately ordered to be removed. No disciplinary action was taken against the soldiers involved in making it, but the officer who should have taken steps to prevent the mock-up from being displayed was not permitted to convert his short service commission to become a regular officer.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what work is carried out by (a) the Sandia National Laboratories, (b) the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and (c) the Los Alamos National Laboratories on behalf of the United Kingdom Government.
Mr. Freeman: The United Kingdom defence nuclear programme benefits from some of the work carried out in these laboratories by virtue of technology exchanges under the 1958 United States/United Kingdom mutual defence agreement.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all the exchange of information and visit reports that have occurred in the last five years as part of the 1958 United States/United Kingdom mutual defence agreement, the Polaris sales agreement and the Trident sales agreement.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British personnel are stationed in the United States as part of (a) the 1958 United States/United Kingdom mutual defence agreement, (b) the Polaris sales agreement and (c) the trident sales agreement; and where they are located.
Mr. Freeman: The number of British personnel stationed in the United States as part of the 1958 United States/United Kingdom mutual defence agreement is five; they are located in the United Kingdom embassy, Washington DC. There are 20 British personnel stationed in the United States as part of the Polaris sales agreement, as amended for Trident; they are located as follows:
|Number of Personnel ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory |-1 Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia |-15 King's Bay, Georgia |-1 New London, Connecticut |-1 Laurel, Maryland |-1 Dahlgren, Virginia |-1
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel were employed in the renegotiation of the 1958 United States/United Kingdom mutual defence agreement; and what was the total cost of the renegotiation.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all the joint working groups that are at present operating as part of the 1958 United States/United Kingdom mutual defence agreement, the Polaris sales agreement and the Trident sales agreement.
Mr. Freeman: The joint working groups are the means for technical exchanges under the 1958, United States/United Kingdom mutual defence agreement. Full details of their activities are classified, but I can confirm that the current programme of exchanges includes the following subject areas:
Column 823Neutron Sources
Irradiation Effects on Materials and Components
High Explosives for Nuclear Weapons
Chemistry and Compatibility of Materials
Metallurgy of Weapons Materials
Underground Effects Testing
Weapons Material Management
Nuclear Weapons Engineering
Penetration Aid Technology
Nuclear Weapons Physics
Nuclear Forces and Counter Proliferation Studies
Nuclear Warhead Accident Response Technology
Nuclear Weapon Computer Code Development
Nuclear Weapon Environment and Damage Effects
There are separate arrangements for exchanges under the Polaris sales agreement, as amended for Trident.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people have visited (a) the Pantex plant in America, (b) the Sandia national laboratories, (c) the Los Alamos national laboratories, (d) the Lawrence Livermore national laboratories, (e) the Nevada test site and (f) the Rocky Flats plant on behalf of the United Kingdom Government in each of the last five years as part of the 1958 United States/United Kingdom Mutual Defence Agreement.