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Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the position of providers providing training in Southwark and Lambeth formerly contracted to STTEC in respect of contracts which expire on 1 April.
Mr. Paice [holding answer 20 February 1995]: It is normal for providers' contracts with training and enterprise councils to expire at the end of the contract year. Providers then have to negotiate new contracts for the following year. No provider can be guaranteed renewal of its contract. The position will be the same in the South Thames TEC area, except that providers will seek to contract with one or both successor TECs. It is a commercial decision for TECs about which providers they wish to contract with.
Because of the particular circumstances in the South Thames TEC area, the Department has laid a minute before the House seeking parliamentary approval to extend the letter of comfort already issued to providers contracted with South Thames TEC to deliver the Government's youth training credits and training for work programmes. For those YT/credits and TfW providers
Column 168whose existing contracts with South Thames TEC are not renewed by a successor to South Thames TEC, this would give a guarantee of payment for:
(i) outputs achieved in relation to training completed prior to 26 March under the existing contract with South Thames TEC;
(ii) training for up to a further 3 months in respect of TfW and a further 6 months in respect of YT/Credits that commenced prior to 26 March in accordance with their existing contracts, and outputs achieved in relation to training completed within the periods stated above.
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if the contract between his Department and CENTEC in respect of Southwark and Lambeth will take account of the unfunded commitments normally paid out of surplus.
Mr. Paice: I am pleased to announce that Southern Derbyshire training and enterprise council has now completed the process of meeting the rigorous standard we set for the award of the new three-year licences. Its licence will be effective from April 1995.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the timing involved in the case of the Eltham boy shot with an arrow and on the referrals made between the hospitals.
Mr. Sackville: The patient was injured in a south London park and taken by helicopter ambulance to Moorfields Eye hospital. The doctor there thought neurosurgery might be necessary and referred him to the Royal London for a brain scan.
Following the scan, the neurosurgical consultant decided that the injury was primarily ophthalmic and it was not felt that there was any requirement for neurosurgical treatment beyond regular CT scan monitoring. At all times, the patient was conscious with no neurological signs.
He was then taken to the Smithfield site--Bart's--where the Royal Hospitals Trust bases its ophthalmology
Column 169services and where the injury was successfully treated. At no time was any life-saving procedure required or performed.
Mr. Devlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many staff were employed in each category in the national health service in the Northern region in the last year for which figures are available; and how many were so employed in 1978.
Directly-employed staff in the National Health Service, Northern Region as at 30 September 1978 and 1993-whole-time equivalents<6> |1978 |1993 Total hospital |49180 |48560 community health service staff ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical and dental<1> |2,380 |3,010 Nursing and Midwifery<2> (excluding agency) |22,960 |24,580 Professions allied to medicine<5> |- |2,470 Professional and technical |3,240 |2,100 Scientific and professional<5> |- |720 Works Professional |370 |300 Maintenance |1,360 |1,050 General and Senior Managers<3> |- |830 Administrative and clerical |5,700 |7,030 Ambulance |1,420 |1,250 Ancillary |11,740 |5,190 Others<4> |- |50 Source: Department of Health of Medical and Non-Medical Workforce Census. Notes: <1> Medical and dental staff exclude locum staff. <2> Nursing and midwifery figures exclude agency staff. The 1993 figures also exclude students or Project 2000 training courses. Project 2000 students are regarded as supernumerary and are not included in workforce numbers. (In September 1993 there were about 28,000 Project 2000 students). By contrast traditional learners are counted as part of the workforce. In 1980-81 the contracted hours for nurses changed from 40 hours per week to 37.5 hours. Figures for nursing and midwifery are therefore not strictly comparable for the years shown. <3> A new management class introduced in phases from 1984 following the Griffiths report ( 1983). There was one general manager in each health authority and HCHS unit. Senior managers were introduced in 1987 with up to 7 senior posts at Board level in each health authority, from 1989 senior management posts extended below Board level and to hospital Units. Most of these posts replaced those formerly counted within the administrative and clerical groups. <4> A change in data collection procedures in September 1991 resulted in the creation of an `other staff' category. This category comprises health care assistants and other staff on locally determined rates of pay. <5> In 1978 Professional and Technical staff group included Professions Allied to Medicine and Scientific and Professional staff. <6> All data are rounded to the nearest ten whole-time equivalents.
Mr. Sackville: Since 1 March 1994, two hon. Members have tabled questions to the Department about dioxins, six hon. Members have written to Ministers and five letters were received from members of the public. In addition, the Department was asked to comment on two petitions from constituents of the hon. Members for
Column 170Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) and for Mansfield (Mr. Meale), although the latter petition was more appropriate for the Health and Safety Executives to which it was transferred.
Mr. Sackville: Dioxins are present all over the world and occur from natural sources as well as from the combustion processes in industry, and cigarette smoke. The Government are advised on the toxicity of dioxins by the Committee on Toxicity of Food, the Environment and Consumer Products, and the tolerable daily intake recommended by the committee exceeds the estimated intakes for the general population in the United Kingdom.
The toxicology of dioxins is kept under review by the committee. It is at present undertaking an evaluation of the draft United States Environmental Protection Agency report on dioxins.
Mr. Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what grants, apart from the drug and alcohol specific grant, local authorities can apply for in order to provide services to help combat drug abuse and its effects.
AIDS Support Grant
The Department of Health administers an AIDS Support Grant (the specific grant for people with HIV infection or AIDS) which provides grant funds for social services for drug misusers affected by HIV or by AIDS.
The Department for Education--Grants for Education Support and Training
This grant is to train teachers with responsibility for drugs education and to develop innovative drug education projects in 16 local education authorities.
The Home Office Drug Prevention Initiative
There are twenty local drug prevention teams administered by the Home Office Drugs Prevention Initiative. Statutory and voluntary sector agencies and individuals may apply to them for funding. The Drug Prevention Measures in Great Britain Fund
This Home Office fund makes small financial contributions in support of measures to reduce drug misuse. Preference is given to projects, services or schemes which are innovative and may be of national or regional significance. They are not eligible if they properly fall against an existing source of Government funding. The Seized Assets Fund
This represents the proceeds of drugs trafficking seized under international confiscation agreements. Because of the uncertain source of the funding, the Home Office is unable to fund recurrent expenditure. There have been no resources available from this fund since 1991 92.
The Commission of the European Communities
The Commission administers a grant programme to support efforts made by Member States in the field of public health in order to contribute to maintaining a high level of health protection in the Member States.
fever--historically, the main cause--has become a rare and relatively mild disease. The causes of acquired heart disease among children in other countries vary, especially in developing countries where rheumatic heart disease remains a common and significant cause of paediatric heart disease.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action her Department is taking to measure the correlation between the presence of polonium-210 in children's teeth and atmospheric lead from vehicle exhaust emissions; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville: I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on 10 February, Official Report, column 442, which explained that the Government are considering the options for further research in this area.
Ms Hodge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her latest estimate of the number of children under the age of five years who are in the care of (a) private child minders or nannies and (b) private and voluntary playgroups.
Mr. Bowis: Using information from the survey conducted by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys of day care for children, it is estimated that in 1990 the figures for England were 180,000 attending child minders on a paid basis, 50,000 cared for by nannies and 560,000 attending private or voluntary playgroups.
Administration costs of the NHS prescription system<1> in England in 1993-94 Item |Cost (£ million) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Purchase of prescription forms for supply to doctors and dentists<2> |1.2 Pricing of prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists, appliance contractors and doctors<3> |26.7 Total |27.9 Notes: <1> Excludes fees paid to doctors, dentists and pharmacists for professional services, expenditure on the drugs bill and the costs of operating the prescription charge exemption and remission arrangements. <2> Expenditure by Family Health Services Authorities. Other FHSA administration costs associated with the NHS prescription system are not separately identified. <3> Expenditure by the Prescription Pricing Authority.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley: Pursuant to the dissolution of 16 national health service trusts on 1 April 1994, and their reconfiguration with parts, or all, of other trusts or directly managed units, I propose to create new originating debt for the 14 new trusts equal to the net assets transferred to them and therefore to remit the outstanding debt of the 16 dissolved trusts. These operations involve no loss to the Exchequer. Her Majesty's Treasury has today presented a minute to the House giving the particulars and circumstances of the proposed remission which it has approved in principle.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who has been appointed chief executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS trust; and what posts the individual held over the last 10 years.
Mr. Malone: Mr. Robert Creighton has been appointed chief executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children national health service trust, as from the beginning of April 1995. Mr. Creighton joined the Department of Health in 1988 and for four years held a series of posts concerned with national health service planning and the management of special health authorities. He was Principal Private Secretary to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health from 1992 1994, and is currently head of the NHS executive's change management team.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the chairmen of the Doncaster Royal Infirmary NHS trust and Doncaster Healthcare trust were told of their expected time commitments in their appointment letters.
Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what response she has given to the report "Services, for Younger People with Dementia", published by the Alzheimer's Disease Society, a copy of which has been sent to her; what action she is taking; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis: I met representatives of the Alzheimer's Disease Society earlier this month to discuss its report. In "The Health of the Nation" key area handbook for mental health, we have advised purchasers to take account of the needs of people with pre-senile dementia.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account has been taken in the calculation of the 1994 95 and 1995 96 special transitional grants of increased costs on the infrastructure for administering the community care changes.
Mr. Bowis: Local authorities' additional costs, which include, but are not limited to, administration costs, have been taken into account each year in the assessment of the additional resources needed for their new community care responsibilities. Not all elements of the additional costs initially incurred by local authorities have been increasing since the special transitional grant was introduced.
Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information is held in her Department on the numbers of ME sufferers who are (a) bed-ridden and (b) otherwise housebound; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville: None. The nature of what is increasingly being referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome is not fully understood or defined. Until this is resolved it will not be possible to determine the true incidence or prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Mr. Malone: Recent guidance, EL(94)79, and the consultative document "An Accountability Framework for GP Fundholding" provide the framework within which general practitioners and local health authorities should work together in partnership. It is health authorities who, working with GPs in developing local health and service strategies, have responsibility to consult widely on their plans. Copies of the guidance and consultative document are available in the Library.
Mr. Boswell: My right hon. Friend has received some 50 representations on delays in the processing of loans. The Department has also received a number of telephone calls from both students and higher education institutions.
Mr. Robin Squire: Spending on books and equipment in LEA-maintained schools in England is estimated to have increased by 23 per cent. in real terms, and by 23 per cent. in cash terms, between 1979 80 and 1993 94. Figures for 1993 94 are provisional. On a per pupil basis, spending is estimated to have increased by 55 per cent. in real terms, and 280 per cent. in cash terms, over the same period. Equivalent information is not available for grant-maintained or independent schools.
Mr. Forth: The Prime Minister's commitment is to provide, over time, good quality pre-school places for all four-year-olds whose parents wish them to it take up. There are no plans as yet to extend the commitment to younger children.
Mr. Forth: None. Information on wheelchair access, which is required under regulations made under section 21, will be collected for the first time from May this year. We will keep the regulations under review thereafter.
Mr. Boswell: My right hon. Friend receives many reports of greater responsiveness by schools and colleges to the needs of young people. We welcome that. Informed choice and a diverse education system are fundamental to higher participation and attainment.
Mr. Robin Squire: The condition of school buildings is the responsibility of local education authorities and governors. It is for them to assess their capital needs and bid accordingly. I should mention, however, that a National Audit Office report on school buildings in 1991 suggested that some £2 billion--at 1990 prices--was required for outstanding capital needs. In the four years from 1991 92, Government support for capital work at maintained schools has amounted to some £2.5 billion. Moreover, a total of £621 million is being made available for 1995 96--£21 million above the current year--and a further increase of £50 million is planned for 1996 97. Further resources are available to LEAs and voluntary aided schools and I am encouraging schools to explore the scope for private sector finance.
25. Mr. David Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps she is taking to improve the accessibility to all parents of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools with grant maintained status.
Mr. Robin Squire: The continuing expansion of the GM sector--from 20 schools five years ago to well over 1,000 today--gives growing numbers of parents the opportunity to send their children to grant maintained schools, both primary and secondary. We shall continue to foster that expansion, including through the distribution of factual information about grant maintained status and how to attain it.
Mr. Boswell: My right hon. Friend has no such proposals. However, the Committee of Chairmen of University Councils and Boards issued guidance on governance arrangements to its members, including those in Northern Ireland, in December. We endorse the broad approach taken by the committee.
Mr. Robin Squire: My right hon. Friend and other Ministers and I regularly meet representatives of local education authorities; discussions cover a range of issues, including the forecast increase in pupil numbers.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what criteria are normally employed by her Department when considering applications by secondary schools for the re-instatement of sixth forms; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Boswell: When deciding proposals for the addition of sixth forms, my right hon. Friend has regard to the criteria published in the circular on the supply of school places issued last November. These criteria address issues of choice, and diversity, need, quality and cost- effectiveness.