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Mr. Richards: Local and health authorities have responsibility for assessing the needs of their residents and to plan services with the resources available to them. This includes individuals who have Alzheimer's disease.
Mr. Richards: A bilingual version of the new organ donor card is being produced and will be dispatched as soon as possible. In the meantime, registration forms can be obtained from the United Kingdom Transplant Support Services Authority in Bristol or alternatively it is possible to register with Lifeline Wales.
Mr. Richards: Facilities do not currently exist for extracting complete lists of the nationality of potential donors from the NHS organ donor register. Details of registrants from Wales are not currently available.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made on the introduction of incentive prescribing schemes for non- fundholding practices; which family health service authorities have incentive prescribing schemes in place or definitely due to start on 1 April; and how many practices and list patients will be covered.
Mr. Redwood: All Welsh FHSAs now have prescribing incentive schemes in place. The number and list sizes of practices participating in the scheme is a matter for individual FHSAs. Payments are being authorised on an extra-statutory basis to those practices who succeed in meeting their targets. The total amount paid on this basis--estimated at £40,000 in 1994 95--will be included in FHSA summarised accounts.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to his answers of 23 January, Official Report, column 66, 26 January, Official Report, columns 379 80 and 30 January, Official Report, column 535, if he will
Column 879give for each of the dates specified (a) the aggregate numbers of practices in the fundholding and non-fundholding categories, the total numbers of general practitioners in each category on a full time equivalent basis and the number of list patients covered, (b) the average prescribing costs per 1,000 patients in (i) fundholding and (ii) non-fundholding practices and (c) the aggregate percentage figure for all fundholders and non-fundholders in respect of brand name and generic prescribing.
(a) Aggregate numbers of practices |1992-93 |1993-94 |1994-95 ----------------------------------------------------------------- GP Fundholders |26 |74 |117 Numbers of list patients |294,442 |706,634 |967,346 Non-Fundholders |519 |471 |428 Numbers of list patients |2,627,100|2,247,235|2,007,724
Information regarding the numbers of full-time equivalent general practitioners in each category is not held centrally.
(b) Prescribing costs per 1000 patients |October|October |1993 |1994 |£ |£ ---------------------------------------- GP Fundholders |6,288 |6,885 Non-Fundholders |6,866 |7,331
(c) Aggregate percentage cost |October|October |1993 |1994 |Generic|Brand |Generic|Brand -------------------------------------------------------- GP Fundholders |49.00 |51.00 |51.23 |48.77 Non-Fundholders |42.39 |57.61 |44.55 |55.45
Information in respect of October 1992 is not available.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish details of companies which have previously provided services to the Welsh Health Common Services Authority and which his Department has instructed the authority not to use (a) at all and (b) except in exceptional circumstances; on what date each company was listed; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood: The Welsh Health Common Services Authority has not been instructed to avoid using any companies which had previously provided services to it. It was advised on 22 September 1988 that it should notify my Department before appointing W. S. Atkins and Partners to any major contract. On 4 January 1991, this instruction was revoked. No other companies have been subject to such notification.
Mr. Richards: No toy libraries are currently funded directly through the Department's child and family services grant scheme. Grant awards in respect of 1995 96 under this scheme will be announced shortly.
Toy libraries may apply for funding to county voluntary bodies, to which the Department awarded £59,850 in 1994 95 under the "small grant" element of the child and family services grant scheme.
Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the financial allocations made by his Department to each of the health authorities in Wales in (a) 1993 94, (b) 1994 95 and (c) 1995 96.
£million 1993-94<1> 1994-95<2> 1995-96<3> |Revenue |Capital |Revenue |Capital |Revenue |Capital |allocation |allocation |allocation |allocation1allocation|allocation -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clwyd |161.110 |1.634 |171.322 |0.082 |199.762 |0.010 East Dyfed<4> |105.145 |2.207 |102.600 |0.166 |175.555 |0.010 Gwent |182.785 |2.211 |193.602 |0.020 |213.418 |0.010 Gwynedd |113.188 |10.333 |115.192 |0.120 |124.524 |0.010 Mid Glamorgan |246.218 |6.899 |254.127 |2.458 |276.713 |2.462 Pembrokeshire |48.455 |- |49.466 |0.020 |- |- Powys |58.543 |- |58.144 |0.020 |67.824 |0.010 South Glamorgan |217.273 |14.623 |211.441 |14.326 |231.339 |0.010 West Glamorgan |154.739 |8.738 |152.314 |2.449 |178.989 |0.010 Notes: <1> Final cash allocation including capital charges but excluding transfers to GP fundholder budgets for their purchase of certain hospital and community health services for their patients (source 1993-94 annual accounts of health authorities). <2> Notified allocation as at 15 February, 1995, including capital charges but excluding transfers to GP fundholder budgets for the purchase of certain hospital and community health services for their patients (source Welsh Office). <3> Initial cash allocations for 1995-96 announced on 2 February inclusive of capital charges and funding to be transferred to GP fundholder budgets for the purchase of certain hospital and community health services for their patients (source Welsh Office). <4> Allocation for 1995-96 represents the funding available to the new Dyfed health authority.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the Military police are looking for anyone else following the not guilty verdict on Corporal Fisher in respect of the murder of Christina Menzies in 1993; what the victim's father has been told and for what reasons; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: Without a conviction in this case, the inquiry cannot be closed. Any new evidence or avenue of inquiry has been and will continue to be thoroughly pursued, although at present neither the German civil police nor the special investigation branch of the Royal Military police are conducting active inquiries in connection with Christina's murder. Staff Sergeant Menzies has been advised accordingly.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will call for an inquiry into the conduct of the prosecution in the murder case against Corporal Fisher cleared of the murder of Christina Menzies.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made as to the propriety and competence of the military police investigation into the murder of Christina Menzies at RAF Gu tersloh in 1993.
Mr. Soames: The body of Christina Menzies was found at Spexard, approximately 10 k south-east of RAF Gu tersloh, now Princess Royal barracks Gu tersloh. The Home Office forensic pathologist confirmed that Christina was killed at the scene where her body was discovered. The investigation by the special investigation branch of the Royal Military police into the murder of Christina Menzies was one of the most comprehensive inquiries ever mounted by the SIB in Germany: a major incident inquiry team was established, and worked in close liaison with the German civil police; wide-ranging and extensive avenues of inquiry were rigorously pursued; more than 300 service personnel, dependants and civilians were interviewed; and extensive searches, forensic examinations and appeals for information were made. The investigation team included several Home Office-trained individuals with a wide experience of such serious investigations.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many prosecutions for serious crimes had been undertaken by the military prosecutor who conducted the case against the man accused of the murder of Christina Menzies on a British military base in Germany in 1993; and what verdicts were returned on those cases.
Mr. Soames: The Army senior legal officer who prosecuted at this general court-martial has prosecuted at 12 general courts-martial and 19 district courts-martial since February 1989. A total of 21 accused were found guilty.
Column 882the murder of Christina Menzies at RAF Gu tersloh in Germany in 1993.
Mr. Soames: None at present. Although some avenues of inquiry were pursued following the trial, in the absence of further evidence which would implicate anyone other than the then prime suspect who was originally brought to trial, no active inquiries are being made. The case is subject to review, however, and any new evidence will be investigated.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make available, without charge, the full transcript of the trial of the case of the murder of Christina Menzies, to the lawyers of Staff Sergeant and Mrs John Menzies.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the German police requested that they should conduct the investigations into the murder of Christina Menzies in Germany in 1993; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: The body of Christina Menzies was discovered in a German civil area and the German police were properly involved at the beginning of the inquiry. Once her identity was established as that of a British forces dependant, joint inquiries between the German civil police and the special investigation branch of the Royal Military police were conducted. Subsequently, a British service man was arrested on suspicion of Christina's murder. In view of the status of both the victim and the suspect, prime jurisdiction for the prosecution of the service man was passed by the Germany civil authorities to the British military authorities.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who decided that the British military police and not the German civilian police should investigate the murder of Christina Menzies in Germany in June 1993.
Mr. Soames: Although the German civil police were involved in the investigation into Christina Menzies' murder, jurisdiction was passed to the British service authorities after the suspect's arrest. The NATO status of forces agreement and supplementary agreement permits the German public prosecutor to waive the primary right of jurisdiction, which then passes to the sending state. In this case it was decided between the chief police adviser of the British service liaison organisation, the German public prosecutor and the service authorities that the case would proceed to court -martial.
Mr. Soames: Royal Military police special investigation branch major inquiry teams include Royal Military police and Home Office-trained investigators and scenes of crime officers of the highest competence. Special investigations branch investigators may on occasion be required to work alone, unsupervised and without immediate support and therefore are well trained in a wide range of investigative techniques.
Column 883investigation into the murder of Christina Menzies on the base of RAF Gu tersloh in Germany in June 1993.
Mr. Soames: A large-scale joint investigation was carried out by the German civil police and the Royal Military police, involving the most senior and experienced special investigation branch investigation officers. Given the complexity of the investigation, which involved every conceivable avenue being pursued and the deployment of all available resources, it is concluded that the Royal Military police investigation was carried out thoroughly.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will call for a report from the officer commanding the military police into the police investigation of the murder of Christina Menzies, at RAF Gu tersloh, Germany, in 1993.
Mr. Soames: No. On completion of inquiries into this case, a comprehensive report detailing the action taken by the investigation team was prepared. In view of the verdict of not guilty, the procedures were reviewed by the special investigation branch, Royal Military police and were found to be sound. No further report is considered necessary.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many prosecutions for (a) murder and (b) other serious crimes have been prosecuted by military prosecutors in courts martial over the last 20 years; and what verdicts were returned.
Mr. Soames: Since February 1989, 146 accused have been tried by Army general courts-martial and have been prosecuted by legal officers of Army legal services, including 11 prosecutions for murder and five for manslaughter. At these courts-martial, 116 accused have been found guilty and 30 have been acquitted. Statistics for earlier years could not be provided without disproportionate cost.
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the competence of military prosecutors to prosecute serious crimes involving forensic and scientific dimensions at courts martial.
Mr. Soames: The competence of the officers in question is not in doubt. The findings and conduct of Army courts-martial are continually reviewed by the director of Army legal services, by the Judge Advocate General and, where an appeal has been lodged, by the Courts-Martial Appeal Court.
service-personnel who took part in the Gulf War and who are now suffering from the so-called desert-fever syndrome in respect of possible damage to the immune system resulting from the precautions they were instructed to take; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: The only such precautionary measure service personnel in the Gulf were instructed to take was the self-administration of one 30mg pyridostigmine bromide tablet every eight hours from their nerve agent pre- treatment sets on order from the local chain of command as a protection against the threat of nerve agent attack. The body of medical evidence from over four decades of medical use of pyridostigmine, the specific research into pyridostigmine as a nerve agent prohylaxis and the Department's current Gulf war medical
Column 884assessment programme all indicate that pyridostigmine does not damage the immune system. Nor is there any biologically plausible rationale to suggest that it could do so.
Various vaccines were administered during the Gulf war on a voluntary basis. Again, the body of medical evidence shows that vaccines do not produce immune system dysfunction.
The Department's Gulf war medical assessment programme uses well- established screening investigations, which include a full blood count, differential white cell count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Any individual patient with suspected immune dysfunction undergoes immunoglobulin assay, tests for autoantibodies and a variety of imaging investigations. If this whole screening process reveals a possible immune system abnormality, more detailed investigations are ordered.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if complete medical records, including all substances and innoculations administered during the Gulf war to any member of the armed forces, will be made available to him or her or their general practitioner on request.
Mr. Soames: Service medical records are the property of the Department but, in common with civilian medical records, individual access to them by the patient concerned is allowed in accordance with the Access to Health Records Act 1990. Under the provisions of this Act, medical records are normally released to the individual concerned only if they were compiled after 1 November 1991, which post-dates the end of the Gulf conflict. However, for service medical records of former personnel compiled before this date, it has long been my Department's policy to release them upon request to the individual's general practitioner when they are required for the management of a particular case. These records include details of the medications and vaccinations given to the patient. However, in the operational situation pertaining during the Gulf conflict it is possible that not all such details were transcribed from field records on to personal medical records. The Defence Medical Services is happy to give advice to GPs in individual cases of doubt. Nerve agent pre-treatment sets were issued to all personnel in the Gulf but are not recorded on personal medical records as they are self-administered on order from the local chain of command, depending on the assessed threat of nerve agent attack, and not given as a medicinal product.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence under what terms of reference the members of the Royal College of Physicians are conducting their independent verification of his Department's Gulf war veterans medical assessment programme; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: The purpose of obtaining the assistance of the Royal College of Physicians is to gain an independent opinion of our Gulf war medical assessment programme. It is for the Royal College of Physicians to determine the terms of reference.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will identify by name the members of the Royal College of Physicians who will oversee examinations under his Department's Gulf war veterans medical assessment programme.
Mr. Soames: The purpose of obtaining the assistance of the Royal College of Physicians is to gain an independent opinion of our Gulf war medical assessment programme. The selection of members to oversee the programme is a decision for the Royal College of Physicians.
Mr. Freeman: MOD flight trials held in the course of last year highlighted a number of areas requiring further work, including the degree of damage sustained by air vehicles on landing, sensor focus drift, propeller performance and supportability issues.
Mr. Freeman: The way ahead on the Phoenix project is currently under consideration. The Department also continues to review the capabilities of alternative systems, in accordance with normal procurement practice.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the original estimated cost of the Phoenix remote-controlled surveillance aircraft at current prices; and what is the total amount spent to date at current prices.
Mr. Freeman: The original estimated cost of the Phoenix project at current price levels is £218.2 million, including VAT. The total amount spent to 31 December 1994 is £168.99 million, including VAT at current price levels.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if Lieutenant Commander Chris Parke of the Royal Navy pensions and payroll department, HMS Centurion, Portsmouth, sought permission from the civilian management and conditions of service division within his Department to permit him to join the data supply company Informix; (2) on which date Lieutenant Commander Chris Parke, of the Royal Navy pensions and pay roll department, HMS Centurion, Portsmouth (a) ceases to be in the employ of the Royal Navy (b) ceases to be in the employ of his Department and (c) commences employment with the data supply company Informix.
Mr. Soames: Lieutenant Commander Christopher Parke RN will cease to be employed by the Royal Navy on 26 February. Between 9 and 29 January he worked, unpaid, with Informix under normal resettlement arrangements. From 30 January, he was on terminal leave and entitled to take up full-time employment, and I understand that he has worked full-time for Informix since that date. Service instructions require Lieutenant Commander Parke to seek permission to take up employment with Informix and this has now been sought retrospectively. I cannot speculate on the likely outcome of his application.
Column 886Chris Parke, of the Royal Navy pensions and pay roll department, HMS Centurion, Portsmouth, in the awarding of contracts on behalf of the Royal Navy to the data supply company Informix.
Mr. Soames: Lieutenant Commander Christopher Parke RN provided technical and administrative support to those responsible for the decision to award a contract for a relational database management system to Informix in April 1994.
Mr. Soames: It is our intention to close RNAS Portland by 1999. The Royal Navy Sea Kings, which currently provide daytime-only search and rescue cover, are planned to join the Sea King Mk IV fleet at HMS Heron at Yeovilton. In the light of their planned withdrawal, future search and rescue coverage in the region is currently being considered with the coastguard.
Mr. Soames: There are no plans to base search and rescue operations permanently at RAF St. Athan. However, the station is often used as a temporary operating base and this practice is expected to continue.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the cost to public funds of the visit of HRH the Princess of Wales to Japan; on which vote it is met; and for what reasons.
(i) The cost of the princess's travel to and from Japan was a charge--as for all air travel, whether official or unofficial, by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother and the Prince and the Princess of Wales--to the Ministry of Defence.
(ii) The cost of the personal protection office who accompanied the princess was met by the Metropolitan police.
(iii) The visit involved some costs to the embassy in Tokyo on entertainment, transport and staff time. These are part of the normal functioning of an embassy.
(iv) The cost of travel for reconnaissance visits undertaken by the princess's private secretary and a press secretary--necessary to ensure the visit was properly prepared in relation to security and other aspects--was met by the FCO
Column 887and amounted to £6,568--that is two business class return fares. The two officers were accommodated by embassy staff.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Heads of State or of Government have indicated they will attend the United Nations social summit in Copenhagen in March.
Mr. Goodlad: Over 90 Heads of State/Government have confirmed their attendance at the Summit. Several countries, including Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Austria, Ireland and Greece have not yet decided who will represent them.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the Ministers who have represented the United Kingdom at preparatory meetings for the United Nations social summit in Copenhagen in March.
Mr. Baldry: The four preparatory committee meetings held in New York to prepare the documentation for the summit have been attended by officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Overseas Development Administration, the Department of Social Security and the Department of Employment. The vast majority of countries, including all our European Union partners, felt that ministerial attendance was not appropriate.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the United Kingdom will support the common European position at the forthcoming United Nations social summit in Copenhagen in March.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his assessment of the European Union policy to be presented at the United Nations social summit in Copenhagen in March.
Mr. Goodlad: We are content with the European Union's position in relation to the summit. It is the result of active EU co-ordination in New York and Brussels during which many of our suggestions for strong texts on the three core issues were incorporated into the overall EU position.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will include representatives of the Confederation of British Industry and Trades Union Congress in the United Kingdom delegation to the United Nations social summit in Copenhagen in March.