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Mr. Dorrell: Many of the 35 executive NDPBs sponsored by my Department will be establishing separate pay arrangements and will do so from April 1996. English Heritage, the National Maritime Museum, the British Tourist Authority and the English tourist board aim to establish separate pay arrangements this year.
Mr. Boateng: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans he has to publish his Department's White Paper on privacy law.
Mr. Dorrell: Responsibility for publication of the White Paper on privacy and media intrusion rests with me. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, Moorlands (Sir D. Knox) on 30 January 1995, Official Report, column 667.
Sir Cranley Onslow: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what assessment of the value of the published and archived historical and archaeological information resulting from licensed work on protected wreck sites has been made by (a) his Department and (b) the archaeological diving unit at St. Andrews.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 20 February 1995]: None. Bibliographical references to published work on protected sites are detailed in the ADU's "Guide to Historic Wreck Sites".
Sir Cranley Onslow: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will now commission a review of the working of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 20 February 1995]: The existing provisions of the 1973 Act have served well in the protection of our underwater heritage.
Mr. Devlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) in -patients and (b) out-patients were treated in the northern region in each year since 1978.
Mr. Sackville: For in-patients, the number of finished consultant episodes for Northern regional health authority
Column 216is published in "Ordinary and day case admissions for England" for each year from 1982 to 1993 94. Figures before 1986 refer to discharges and deaths. For 1978 to 1981, figures are published in SH3 national and regional summaries for the relevant year.
For out-patients, numbers of attendances at clinics are published in "Outpatient and ward attenders for England" for each year from 1982 to 1993 94. Earlier figures are published in SH3 national and regional summaries for the relevant year.
Copies of these publications are available in the Library.
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what rights parents have to be informed that there have been cases of a known potentially fatal communicable disease in their child's school.
Mr. Sackville: Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988, information obtained as a result of notification of disease can be divulged by the relevant health official if it is reasonably necessary for preventing the spread of the disease.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what charges NHS trusts can levy on (a) in-patients, (b) out-patients and (c) persons admitted following industrial accidents.
Mr. Sackville: National health service hospitals have no power to charge unless there is a specific statutory power to charge for a particular service or item of equipment.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for extending the arrangements set out in "Ethnic Minority Staff in the NHS: A Programme of Action" to primary health care staff employed by family health service authority and general practitioner practices.
Mr. Malone: None. "Ethnic Minority Staff in the NHS: A Programme of Action" applies to all staff employed by NHS authorities and trusts, including family health services authorities. It does not cover employees of general practitioners, who are autonomous employers.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the results of the ethnic monitoring of NHS staff, which took place in September 1993, will be published.
Mr. Malone: Ethnic monitoring data on the national health service work force in England collected in September 1993 was published in the "Department of Health Statistical Bulletins" 1994/10 of September 1994 and 1994/11 of October 1994, copies of which are available in the Library.
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will list those remaining large mental
Column 217hospitals, by region and district, which are still admitting (a) any in-patients and (b) any acute admissions;
(2) if she will list in each remaining large mental hospitals, by district and region, in England, how many in-patients are long stay with over a year in hospital care and how many were admitted before 1971;
(3) if she will list those large mental hospitals which have closed in England, by region and district, and the present use of their sites;
(4) if she will list the remaining large mental hospitals still open, by region and health district in England, together with in each case the number of patients, their age, the number of available beds, and the estimated date of closure.
Mr. Bowis: Details on the remaining large mental illness hospitals, with over 100 beds, were published in the mental health task force report, "Survey of English Mental Illness Hospitals, March 1993", copies of which are available in the Library.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the size range recommended by her Department for nursing homes.
Mr. Bowis: We have not made any recommendations about the size of nursing homes.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to end the right to health authorities, NHS trusts and general practitioners to collect charges for emergency treatment under the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Mr. Sackville: I have no plans to do so.
Mrs. Golding: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Macmillan breast care nurses are currently employed by the NHS.
Mr. Sackville: This information is not available centrally.
Mr. Bill Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is proposing to take to improve the availability of care for the elderly.
Mr. Bowis: Every citizen has the right to receive health care on the basis of clinical need. The "Priorities and Planning Guidance for the NHS: 1995 96" requires authorities to identify needs and put specific actions in hand to ensure further improvements in services for elderly people, and to secure care in the community, including continuing health care, in effective collaboration with local authorities and other agencies.
Mr. Haselhurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she will be issuing guidance clarifying
Column 218NHS responsibilities for meeting needs for continuing health care; and whether she will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley: I shall issue tomorrow to health authorities, local authorities and other interested parties guidance on national health service responsibilities for meeting needs for continuing health care. This follows careful consideration of the responses we have received on the draft guidance on this subject which was issued for consultation last summer. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales will be issuing parallel guidance in Wales.
The guidance will make clear that arranging and funding a full range of services to meet needs for continuing health care is a fundamental part of the responsibilities of the NHS. In discharging those responsibilities the NHS needs to work closely with its partners in local authorities, building on the improved collaboration which has resulted from the introduction of the community care reforms.
The guidance will set out a national framework of conditions which must be addressed in the local policies and eligibility for continuing health care which all health authorities will be required to develop and publish. We will also make clear the action which health authorities, working with local authorities, general practitioners and others, must take to implement the guidance, including specific action to address where significant gaps in services are identified.
I shall be placing copies of the guidance in the Library.
Mrs. Golding: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will establish targets to reduce mortality from breast cancer.
Mr. Sackville: In "The Health of the Nation--A Strategy for Health" the Government have set a target to reduce breast cancer mortality in women invited for breast screening by 25 per cent. by the year 2000.
Mr. Congdon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to increase current NHS charges and the value of optical vouchers; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: I shall shortly lay regulations before the House to increase national health service charges in England and Wales from 1 April 1995. The prescription charge will increase by £0.50, from £4.75 to £5.25 for each quantity of a drug or appliance dispensed. The fees for prescription prepayment certificates will rise to £27.20 for a four-month certificate and £74.80 for an annual certificate. These represent considerable savings for those needing more than five items in four months or 14 items in a year.
The new prescription charge is still significantly less than the average total cost of a single prescription item to the NHS. A charge is now paid only on around one item in five dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors. When the Government took office, about two items in five attracted a charge. In 1993 94 the drugs bill for family health services was over £2.9 billion. The new charge will raise over £310 million for the NHS in 1995 96.
Column 219Charges for elastic stockings and tights, wigs and fabric supports supplied through the hospital service will be increased in line with the rise in the prescription charge.
The maximum patient charge for a single course of dental treatment begun on or after 1 April 1995 will increase from £275 to £300. Fewer than three in every 1,000 courses of treatment will attract the new maximum charge.
I am pleased to announce that as from 1 April 1995, the overall value of optical vouchers issued under the NHS optical voucher scheme will increase by an average of 3.25 per cent. Optical vouchers may be used as full or partial payment for spectacles or contact lenses. People entitled to the most commonly used vouchers--which constitute about 85 per cent. of all vouchers--will find the value of their vouchers increased by about 3.5 per cent.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland will lay regulations to increase charges and spectacle voucher values in Scotland by the same amounts. Similar arrangements will apply in Northern Ireland.
Details of the revised charges and increased optical voucher values have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans she has for the future of the VAMP research database.
Mr. Sackville: Since the Department of Health accepted the VAMP research database from Reuters plc on 8 September 1994, a number of significant developments have taken place:
Professor David Lawson of Glasgow University has been appointed to lead an advisory group on the scientific and ethnical soundness of research projects;
the Department has decided in principle to support research projects designed to improve its understanding of the capacity of the Database to aid policy making in epidemiological and other areas; two established researchers have sought and been granted licences to use the data for pharmaco-vigilance and other purposes; and existing research projects are being undertaken and new projects are being scrutinised by Professor Lawson, pending the formation of the full advisory ethics group.
The Department of Health has also constituted an advisory management board to provide advice on strategic management of the research database. It comprises representatives of the doctors who contribute anonymised data, licensees, epidemiological researchers, the pharmaceutical industry and the scientific and ethical advisory group under Department of Health chairmanship. Taking account of the advisory management board's advice and the urgent nature of some enhancements of the system's hardware and software, it has been decided that the day-to-day management of the data collection, validation and support services will remain with the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys for the next two years under a service- level agreement with the Department of Health. It is expected that the database will be broadly self-financing as a result of licence and other fee income for the use of data in research projects.
Ms Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were placed on supervision registers for
Column 220the mentally ill between 1 October 1994 and 31 January 1995; and what is the total number now on these registers.
Mr. Bowis: Information on the numbers of mentally ill people placed on supervision registers is not available centrally.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many letters were received in the Department from hon. Members last month.
Mr. Sackville: There were 1,383 letters received from hon. Members during January.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many letters were sent to hon. Members last month by each Minister in the Department.
Mr. Sackville: The information is shown in the table.
Minister |Number of letters |sent to hon. |members -------------------------------------------------------- Secretary of State |186 Mr. Malone |251 Mr. Sackville |327 Mr. Bowis |315 Baroness Cumberlege |340
Mr. Boateng: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will (a) ask or (b) require all Ministers to publish family impact statements with all major policy announcements and new legislation to make clear their intended effect on the law relating to, and the welfare of, children and the family.
Mr. Bowis: The Government make clear the intended effect of policy and legislative proposals in consultative papers and reports.
Mr. Boateng: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list all the Cabinet committees, ministerial groups and interdepartmental committees of officials, together with respective members, which have responsibility for co-ordinating Government policy on the law relating to children and the family.
Mr. Bowis: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Sir N. Fowler) on 22 November 1994 at columns 89 96, which gave details of Cabinet committees and their membership. The ministerial groups and interdepartmental committees of officials with a role in the co- ordination of Government policy on the law relating to children and the family are as shown:
Family Law Administration Working Party;
Inter-departmental Group on Child Abuse;
Steering Groups on Child Evidence;
Inter-departmental Consultative Group on Provision for Young Children;
Ministerial Group on Domestic Violence;
Official Group on Domestic Violence;
Ministerial Group on Crime Prevention;
Official Group on Crime Prevention;
Column 221Official Group on Reducing Criminality;
Children Act Advisory Group.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 17 January, Official Report,
Column 222column 440, how many appointments to public positions have been made by her Department in the last year.
Mr. Sackville [holding answer 15 February 1995]: The latest information is that for 1994, when 1,531 people were appointed to posts in Department of Health public bodies.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his office gave the governor of Her Majesty's prison, Wakefield clearance for Private Lee Clegg to give media interviews; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 22 February:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking whether the Home Office gave the governor of Wakefield prison clearance for Private Lee Clegg to give media interviews.
Under Standing Order 5A 37 governors are advised that members of the press should not normally be allowed to visit prisoners in a professional capacity. Permission has not been given for any member of the press to interview Mr. Clegg, either in person or by telephone, although the governor has received a number of requests. However, a journalist recently interviewed Private Clegg on a domestic visit without permission, having used an assumed name for the purpose of the visit.
Mr. Churchill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals, in each of the past five years for which figures are available, have been caught acquiring or having acquired false identities for passport, DSS or other purposes by using official documentation obtained (a) by posing as a deceased person or (b) in any other way; how many false identities are known to have been acquired; and what was the maximum number known to have been acquired by any one individual in each of those years.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The total number of fraudulent passport applications in each of the last five years was:
|Total number |Number identified by |United Kingdom |Passport Agency |before passport |issued ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1990 |854 |671 1991 |1,037 |569 1992 |984 |764 1993 |1,162 |845 1994 |1,031 |846
These figures represent less than 0.04 per cent of passports issued annually.
Separate figures are not available for the number of those applicants who used false identities either by posing as a deceased person or in another way.
Figures for the Department of Social Security's Benefits Agency are available only for the last two financial years. They are:
|Total false |Largest number used |identities |detected |by one person -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1992-93 |1,200 |not available 1993-94 |2,117 |250
The figures include multiple identity fraud detected by organised fraud teams. However the total value of multiple identity fraud was less than 1 per cent. of all detected fraud in each of the two years for which figures are available.
Mr. Bill Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the terms of reference of the review of the Government telephone preference service; if he will list the persons carrying out the review; when the review is expected to be completed; if he proposes to publish details of the review and its recommendations; and if he will list those telecommunications services companies with which the Government have agreements regarding instituting telephone preference at a time of emergency.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The terms of reference for the working party conducting this review require it to assess whether there is still a requirement for a scheme to provide assured access for essential users; and, if so, to identify options and associated costs; and to make recommendations to Ministers. It is chaired by a Home Office official and its membership includes representatives of the other Departments involved in emergency planning and of the major telecommunications service providers.
The intention is that the working party should produce an interim report by the autumn of this year; the date for the completion of the review will depend upon reaction to the interim report. Because some of the details in the final report are likely to be commercially sensitive, it is not intended to publish it; but the outcome will be made known to the House in due course. It is not the practice to provide details of a direction to a company under the
Telecommunications Act 1984 which may include a requirement to provide an assured service in a time of emergency.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidelines are issued which betting shops are legally obliged to follow;
(2) what plans he has to introduce legislation to form guidelines for betting shops in regard to legal proceedings.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: The statutory controls relating to licensed betting offices are contained in sections 9 and 10 of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, Schedule 4 to that Act, and the Licensed Betting Office Regulations 1986.
We have no plans to introduce legislation or guidelines for licensed betting offices in regard to legal proceedings.