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The Prime Minister: The last public hearing of Sir Richard Scott's inquiry was held on 7 July 1994, while the last evidence taken in private was on 14 February 1995. Sir Richard Scott has made it clear that, as he compiles his report and as the need arises, he will seek further evidence or information.
Mr. Sackville: We have no such plans. It is for individual provider hospitals to ensure high standards of practice for all patients and for purchasing authorities to ensure their populations have access to high- quality care. Surgeons carrying out day surgery should be experienced in the practice and junior trainees should be closely supervised by experienced staff.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the costs of NHS financial services at (a) regional health authorities, (b) district health authorities and (c) family health services authorities in 1989 90; and what were the costs of such services at (i) regional health authorities, (ii) district health authorities, (iii) family health services authorities and (iv) NHS trusts in 1993 94.
Mr. Sackville: Figures for regional and district health authorities are shown in the table. Costs of national health service financial services are not available for family health services authorities or NHS trusts.
Cost of NHS financial services 1989-90 and 1993-94 |1989-90|1993-94 |£000 |£000 ---------------------------------------------------- Regional Health Authorities |13,529 |22,935 District Health Authorities |164,492|50,194 Source: Annual financial returns of regional and district health authorities. Notes: 1. Figures include all expenditure on the provision of a finance and accounting function for the authority including any elements recharged from units or common services. 2. The appropriate proportion of non-finance staff carrying out accounting duties relating to the standing financial instructions of the authority are also included. 3. The amount spent by NHS trusts and FHSAs is not separately identifiable. 4. 1993-94 figures are provisional.
(2) what financial provision she has made to meet claims for compensation from former part-time NHS employees following the decision of 4 March in the House of Lords;
(3) what guidance she has issued to employers within the NHS in respect of claims for compensation from former part-time NHS employees following the decision of 4 March in the House of Lords; (4) what estimate she has made of the number of former part-time NHS employees who have ceased employment during the last 16 years who are potentially affected by the decision of 4 March in the House of Lords.
Mr. Malone: The "decision of 4 March in the House of Lords" is taken to mean the decision by the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords on 3 March 1994 in R. v. Secretary of State for Employment ex parte Equal Opportunities Commission and another.
Employment issues affecting individual employees, such as claims for redundancy payments are the responsibility of health authorities and national health service trusts as autonomous employers. It is not possible, from the information available centrally, to estimate the number of former part-time employees who may be affected by the House of Lords' judgment.
Ms Hodge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her Department's latest estimate of the total level of public expenditure on child care for children under the age of five years; what this sum is per child under the age of five years; what this sum is as a percentage of gross domestic product; and what this sum is as a percentage of public expenditure.
Column 353sponsored by her Department which will (a) follow the pay arrangements of the sponsoring Department and (b) pursue an independent and separate route under the delegated pay option (i) from April 1995 and (ii) from April 1996.
Department of Health
National Radiological Protection board--operative date as yet to be decided.
From April 1995:
From April 1996
Delegated pay option
From April 1995:
Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work. Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
From April 1996:
Mr. Malone: Guidance issued by the Department EL(94)79, developing NHS purchasing and GP fundholding, sets out our policy for involving primary care practitioners more closely in national health service purchasing. In particular, this will be through the extended options for general practitioner fundholding and the development of stronger partnerships between health authorities and primary health care teams. Copies of the guidance are available in the Library.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the five health areas in England which had the highest annual figures for (a) birth rates, (b) new cases of tuberculosis, (c) the incidence of pregnancies in women aged under 20 years, (d) the incidence of HIV AIDS and (e) perinatal mortality rates; and what are the average figures for England in each category in the last year for which figures are available.
|Crude birth rate<1> ------------------------------------------------------------ North East Thames |14.8 North West Thames |14.2 South East Thames |13.6 North Western |13.5 Oxford |13.4 England |13.1 <1> Number of births per 1,000 population of all ages.
(b) The five regional health authorities with the highest number of notifications of tuberculosis in 1993 were:
Health Authority |Number ---------------------------------------------------- North West Thames |851 North East Thames |806 West Midlands |788 North Western |608 Trent |518 Note: The total number of notifications of tuberculosis in England in 1993 was 5,721.
(c) The five regional health authorities with the highest conception rates to women under 20 in England, 1991, were:
Health Authority |Conception rates<1> ------------------------------------------------------------ North Western |79.2 West Midlands |74.0 Yorkshire |73.0 Northern |72.5 North East Thames |69.3 England |64.8 <1> All conceptions to women under 20 per 1,000 females aged 15to 19.
(d) The five regional health authorities with the highest number of cases of AIDS reported in 1993 were:
Health Authority |AIDS cases reported ------------------------------------------------------------ North West Thames |483 North East Thames |343 South East Thames |214 South West Thames |68 Oxford |54 Note: The total number of cases of AIDS reported in England in 1993 was 1,463.
(e) The five regional health authorities with the highest rates of perinatal mortality in 1993 were:
Health Authority ---------------------------------------------------- West Midlands |9.9 North East Thames |9.7 Yorkshire |9.6 North Western |9.6 South East Thames |9.3 England |8.9 <1> per 1,000 live and still births.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of breast cancer have been diagnosed in the NHS for each year since 1990 for women aged (a) 21 to 30, (b) 31 to 40, (c) 41 to 50, (d) 51 to 60, (e) 61 years and older and (f) all women.
Mr. Sackville: The latest available figures can be found in the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys publication MB1 No. 22 "Cancer statistics, England and Wales 1989", copies of which are available in the Library.
The statistics do not distinguish whether or not the diagnosis was made in the national health service.
Hospital and Community Health Service Staff and General Medical Practitioners in 1979 and 1993-England |1979 |1993 ------------------------------------------------------------- Hospital and Community Health Service (whole-time equivalent) |34,900|46,400 General Medical Practitioners (numbers) |23,100|28,500 Total of the above |58,000|74,800 Note: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100. 2: The figures in the table may not sum to the total because of rounding.
Mrs. Mahon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when she intends to publish or place in the Library the follow-up report by Dr. John Yates on the closure of psychiatric hospitals and beds for the mentally ill.
Mr. Bowis: The report of the 1994 survey of the remaining large mental illness hospitals in England, commissioned by the mental health task force, is to be submitted to Ministers shortly. A decision will then be taken on its publication.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what provisions are currently made by the Prescription Pricing Authority in respect of dispensing doctors who receive substantial reductions from their suppliers concerning their value added tax reimbursements;
(2) what research her Department (a) has conducted, or (b) plans to conduct, into the relationship between the discounts which dispensing doctors receive from their suppliers and dispensing doctors' value added tax reimbursements; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: The terms on which general practitioners are reimbursed for the cost of drugs which they have dispensed or personally administered to patients, are set out in paragraph 44 of the "Statement of Fees and Allowances Payable to General Medical Practitioners in England and Wales", copies of which are available in the Library. An independent confidential inquiry was conducted jointly by the British Medical Association and the health Departments of England, Scotland and Wales in 1993 into the rates of discount obtained by dispensing doctors on their purchases of drugs and appliances. A new discount rate is to be introduced in England and Wales from 1 April 1995 for calculating the level of doctors' reimbursement. The level of value added tax reimbursement is based on the discount rate. The profession as a whole receives only the level of expenses actually incurred in providing general medical services.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evaluation she has commissioned of the advantages and disadvantages of having an independent steriliser testing service carried out by (a) private sector and (b) public sector agencies; what proposals she has to publish a report of her evaluation; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Sackville: The Department has not commissioned an evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of independent steriliser testing by the private sector and the public sector, but we are aware of the continuing need for competent personnel to carry out this work. In order to ensure this, the Department has established, under the auspices of the Institute of Hospital Engineering, a register of steriliser engineers. To become registered, it will be necessary to acquire appropriate professional skills and experience. The Department will monitor closely the effectiveness of the scheme.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many abortions have now been performed in total under the provisions of the Abortion Act 1967; and how many and what percentage of those abortions were performed in an emergency to save the life the mother.
Mr. Sackville [holding answer 17 February 1995]: Up to 31 December 1992, a total of 3,911,680 abortions had been performed in Great Britain under the Abortion Act 1967, as amended by section 37 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, since its implementation. Of these, the number performed in emergency and certified by the operating practitioner as immediately necessary to "save the life of the pregnant woman"--ground 5 prior to April 1991, ground F subsequently--was 154, or 0.004 per cent.
Number of reported injury accidents on or at a junction with the A947, 1985 to 1994.
|Non-Fatal Injury Year |Fatal Accidents |Accidents -------------------------------------------------------------------- 1985 |6 |110 1986 |4 |122 1987 |5 |112 1988 |5 |123 1989 |3 |102 1990 |1 |89 1991 |3 |72 1992 |2 |72 1993 |0 |62 1994<1> |1 |42 <1>1994 statistics are provisional.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions the United Kingdom has been criticised by the Council of Europe for failure to comply to the minimum standards laid out in the European prison rules; on what factors non-compliance was identified; and if he will make a statement on the steps he is taking to ensure compliance in future.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: The European prison rules are not binding on signatory states and consequently there has been no criticism of the Prison Service in England and Wales by the Council of Europe for failure to comply with its terms.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Dr. Lynne Jones, dated 24 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about how many drug and related finds by type of drug were made in jails in England and Wales in each year since 1990.
Information on drug finds was not recorded centrally until 25 September 1990.
The tables below list the drug and related finds for the calendar years 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.
Items |1991 |1992 |1993 |1994 ------------------------------------------------- Heroin |72 |99 |158 |348 Cocaine |50 |65 |65 |108 LSD |12 |32 |41 |49 Amphetamines |23 |36 |71 |119 Barbiturates |22 |24 |30 |69 Cannabis |2,333|2,081|3,388|4,850 Cannabis Plant |80 |81 |158 |242 Crack |3 |4 |4 |10 Other |101 |183 |203 |403 Authentic Syringe |92 |156 |228 |275 Improvised Syringe |57 |41 |79 |168 Authentic Needle |21 |16 |27 |64 Improvised Needle |3 |7 |2 |9 Pipe(s) |445 |317 |417 |595 Roach |72 |56 |117 |185 Total |3,386|3,198|4,988|7,494
It should be noted that increases in the numbers of finds may reflect more effective searching, as a result of the priority being given to the control of drugs, and are not necessarily an indication that there has been a corresponding increase in the presence of drugs.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The Government shall be asking the local authority associations and individual fire brigades to give urgent consideration to the recommendations which fall to them to take forward. Where the recommendations affect Government responsibilities, we shall ensure that they are considered either by the Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council or in conjunction with the other Government Departments concerned.
(2) what is the average number of hours worked weekly by coroners.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Coroners are appointed by local authorities to investigate sudden and unexplained deaths in the general interest of the community. The provision of coroners courts is a local authority responsibility, but the Home Office publishes a free explanatory leaflet, "The Work of the Coroner", which coroners are encouraged to make widely available and which describes the responsibilities of the coroner and offers guidance to those who may be involved in an inquest. I am placing a copy in the Library.
(2) what will be the effect of the 1994 probation budget reduction on staffing levels within each grade of staff;
Column 359and what assessment he has made of the likelihood of redundancies within each grade of staff in the Greater Manchester probation service;
(3) what assessment he has made of the effect of the 1994 probation budget reduction on the implementation of national standards for the supervision of offenders in the Greater Manchester probation service;
(4) what assessment he has made of the effect of the 1994 probation budget cut on staff terms and conditions of service in the Greater Manchester probation service;
(5) what will be the effect of the November 1994 Budget statement on the Greater Manchester probation service;
(6) what assessment he has made of the effect of the 19945 probation budget reduction on liaison with victim support and work with victims in the Greater Manchester probation service; (7) what reduction in hostel provision will result from the 1994 budget reduction to the Greater Manchester probation service; (8) what reduction in probation centre provision will result from the 1994 budget reduction to the Greater Manchester probation service.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The 1993 Budget statement resulted in a specific grant cash limit for 1994 95 for the Greater Manchester probation service of £18.9 million, 6.3 per cent. higher than for 1993 94. The 1994 Budget statement resulted in a specific grant cash limit for 1995 96 of £18.8 million, plus a further £900,000 to support probation service partnerships with the independent sector previously funded separately by the Home Office.
It is for the Greater Manchester probation service to decide how these resources are best used and to determine what specific changes within the service, including staffing levels, should be undertaken with the total expenditure limit implied by this level of grant support and within the terms and conditions of service of probation officers as determined by the Home Secretary.
Grant support should be sufficient to enable the Greater Manchester service to carry out its responsibilities in relation to the enforcement of national standards and working with victims. Approved hostels are separately funded by the Home Office; and no changes in hostel provision in the Greater Manchester area are planned as a result of the last Budget.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his policy towards a prisoner at Her Majesty's prison, Sudbury, serving eight years for major fraud being granted home or temporary leave after serving 12 months of his sentence.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 13 February 1995]: 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.
Column 360Letter from Derek Lewis to Mrs. Barbara Roche, dated 24 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the policy towards a prisoner at Sudbury prison serving eight years for major fraud being granted home or temporary leave after serving 12 months of his sentence.
We have been unable to identify a prisoner at Sudbury prison serving an eight year sentence for major fraud although there is one prisoner serving a ten year sentence for fraud.
Prisoners allocated to Sudbury prison would normally be eligible for the "compact weekend" scheme. In November 1994, the Home Secretary announced changes in the Home Leave and Temporary Release schemes for prisoners. Under the new rules, which will come into effect in the Spring, a prisoner serving such a sentence would not be released on temporary licence at that stage in his sentence.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking with ministerial colleagues within the Europe Union to provide for EU nationals, and those ordinarily resident in EU states, who are convicted of certain offences to serve their sentences in their own state.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 23 February 1995]: Under the Council of Europe convention on the transfer of sentenced persons, a prisoner sentenced to imprisonment in one jurisdiction may be repatriated to the jurisdiction of which they are a national to serve their sentence. The United Kingdom ratified the convention in 1985. We have been joined in the convention by all but one of our partners in the European Union with which prisoner repatriations are conducted regularly.
Mr. Stephen: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his Department's approach to the balance between the policyholders' and shareholders' interests in the long-term funds of life insurance companies.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: A number of with-profit life offices have accumulated amounts within their long-term funds whose allocation between the shareholders and policyholders may not be clearcut; and there has been a growing interest among relevant companies in the scope for clarifying shareholders' interest in the long-term fund. The Department is in principle in favour of greater clarity in the attribution of the long-term funds of proprietary insurance companies. In any such attribution, it has a responsibility to ensure that the reasonable expectations of policyholders are fulfilled. The Department considers that policyholders' reasonable expectations in respect of attribution of surplus are influenced by a range of factors, notably:
The fair treatment of policyholders vis a vis shareholders; Any statements by the company as to its bonus philosophy and the entitlement of policyholders to a share in profit, for example, in its articles of association or in company literature;
The history and past practice of the company;
General practice within the life insurance industry.