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Leon Patterson

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with Greater Manchester police concerning the death in their custody of Leon Patterson on 27 November 1992; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Maclean [holding answer 3 March 1995]: As stated in the reply given to the hon. Member on 10 May 1993, this is a matter for the chief constable of the Greater Manchester police.

Drug Trafficking (Seized Assets)

Mr. Wareing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the value of assets seized under the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 by Merseyside police; if he will consider making such amounts available for drugs education and training by Merseyside police; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean [holding answer 3 March 1995]: Returns from magistrates courts for the Merseyside area show that between April 1989 and March 1994, the following sums were remitted to the Secretary of State under the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986:


Year       |£                    

---------------------------------

1989-90    |4,561.20             

1990-91    |71,473.39            

1991-92    |175,101.43           

1992-93    |192,410.21           

1993-94    |106,646.99           

                                 

Total      |550,193.22           

I have no plans to change existing arrangements under which confiscated money is treated in the same way as fine revenue and paid directly into the consolidated fund from which Government expenditure generally--including substantial support for drug-related work--is financed. Approximately £500 million is spent each year on supporting our drugs strategy, including local drug education programmes. Investigations into drug trafficking and the prosecution and conviction of offenders and the confiscation of drugs proceeds involve the police, the courts, the Crown Prosecution Service and HM Customs and Excise, all of whom devote considerable resources to this area.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Environmentally Sensitive Area Agreements

Sir David Steel: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many environmentally sensitive area agreements have been concluded in England involving payments in the (a) £0 £5,000, (b) £5,000 £10,000, (c) £10,001 £15,000, (d) £15,001 £20,000, (e) £25,000 £50,000, (f) £50,001 £75,000, (g) £75,001 £100,000, (h) £100,000 £150,000, (i) £150,000 £200,000 and (j) over £200,000 bands.

Mr. Jack: The number of English ESA agreements in each band is as follows:


£               |Number       

------------------------------

0-5,000         |5,071        

5,001-10,000    |722          

10,001-15,000   |201          

15,001-20,000   |69           

20,001-25,000   |46           

25,001-50,000   |80           

50,001-75,000   |10           

75,001-1000,000 |5            

100,001-150,000 |0            

150,001-200,000 |0            

Over 200,000    |0            

Career Breaks

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many (a) men and (b) women applied for career breaks in his Department or its agencies and how many have had their employment terminated in the last five years.

Mr. Jack: The number of staff who have applied for a career break is 39--two men and 37 women. No one has had their employment terminated in the last five years. The career break scheme was introduced in MAFF and some of its agencies on 8 September 1994.

Decommissioning Scheme

Mr. David Porter: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to extend the fishing boat decommissioning scheme to compensate fishing crews, fish merchants and ancillary workers as well as boat owners; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: I have no such plans. The decommissioning scheme is a means of enabling us to meet the targets for the reduction in fleet capacity which we have accepted as part of the common fisheries policy. It is a voluntary measure which operates through a tendering system in order to secure the best value for money. It is up to vessel owners to make suitable provision to meet any contractual obligations to their crews or third parties. By contributing to a better balance between fishing capacity and available fish stocks decommissioning will help to provide a more viable long-term future for the remaining United Kingdom fleet and related industries.

Food from Britain

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the level of funding received by Food From Britain in each year since 1985.

Mr. Jack: The information is as follows:


Level of Funding of Food from Britain (£ Million)      

Year       |Government|Industry  |Total                

-------------------------------------------------------

1985-86    |5.9       |1.0       |6.9                  

1986-87    |5.0       |0.7       |5.6                  

1987-88    |4.1       |2.1       |6.2                  

1988-89    |4.2       |2.8       |6.9                  

1989-90    |4.5       |3.1       |7.6                  

1990-91    |4.5       |3.0       |7.5                  

1991-92    |4.5       |3.3       |7.8                  

1992-93    |4.8       |3.8       |8.6                  

1993-94    |5.0       |4.0       |9.0                  

1994-95    |<1>5.3    |<1>4.4    |<1>9.6               

<1> estimated                                          

Disabled People

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the percentage of disabled


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people directly employed by his; if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Browning: On 1 July 1994, nearly 1.5 per cent. of the staff directly employed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, including its agencies were registered as disabled. In 1993, a voluntary survey of all staff, which achieved a 60 per cent. response, showed that between three and four times that number considered that they had a disability.

Discarded Fish

Mr. David Porter: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to amend fisheries regulations to reduce the quantity of discarded fish in the North sea; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: Fish discards can be a particular problem in waters such as the North sea where different species shoal together. Changes to the regulations affecting discards would have to be made under the common fisheries policy. The Council of Fisheries Ministers is concerned


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to reduce discards and has asked the Commission to make proposals. One of the approaches under consideration is to improve the selectivity of fishing gear and research is being undertaken to this end. In the light of this, and other developments, it will be for the Commission to bring forward proposals for amendment to EU regulations.

Animal Welfare

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will support changing the status of animals from goods and products to sentient creatures at the inter-governmental conference in 1996; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Browning [holding answer 3 March 1995]: The Government secured a declaration, attached to the Maastricht treaty, concerning the need to take full account of animal welfare in agricultural and other policies.

The Government are considering a number of issues and options in preparation for the 1996 inter-governmental conference.


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SOCIAL SECURITY

Income Support

Sir Ralph Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer on 17 February, Official Report , column 872 74 , (1) if he will state the net gain for a person aged 18 to 25 years, who is on income support, and has worked at £3.20 per hour for (a) eight hours and (b) 16 hours, showing calculations in each case, including the pence per hour net gain from working the extra eight hours;

(2) if he will state the net gain for a married couple on income support, if the man has worked at £3.20 per hour for (a) eight hours and (b) 16 hours, showing calculations in each case, including the pence per hour net gain from working the extra eight hours.

Mr. Roger Evans: The information is set out in the tables. Information for a single person is for those in the age group 18 to 24 years. Information for those aged 25


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and over was given in the reply to the hon. Member on Friday 17 February, Official Report , columns 872 74 .

Many single people in the age group shown will not be liable for rent and council tax. In these cases the net gain from working 16 hours will be £15.05, being the difference between net pay of £51.20 and income support of £36.15. This represents a gain of £1.26 per hour for the additional eight hours work.

To address poor incentives to increase hours of work we are introducing two new measures:

from October 1996 the back-to-work bonus will provide an additional gain of half the value of earnings above the appropriate disregard, £5 for singles, £10 for couples, payable on moving into work of 16 hours or more. For a single person unemployed for a year, the gain from taking work of 16 hours would therefore also be a lump sum of around £400.

From October 1996, a new in-work benefit aimed at couples and single people without children will be tested to examine its effects on increasing the gain from work for these groups in the same way as family credit does for families with children.


Gain from work at £3.20 per hour                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                           |Pence per                        

                                                                                                                                        |Net Income after|Net Income after                 |hour gain                        

                                                                                                                                        |payment of rent |payment of rent                  |from                             

Hours                             |Income                           |Housing         |Council         |Council         |Total Net       |and council tax |and council tax |Net gain        |working 8                        

Worked           |Pay             |Support         |Rent            |Benefit         |Tax             |Tax Benefit     |Income          |when in work    |when not in work|from work       |hours<1>                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Single person aged 18-24                                                                                                                                                                                                     

8                |25.60           |15.55           |30.91           |30.91           |6.60            |6.60            |78.66           |41.15           |36.15           |5.00            |63                               

16               |51.20           |-               |30.91           |24.38           |6.60            |4.59            |80.17           |42.66           |36.15           |6.51            |19                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Married Couple (£5 earnings disregard in income support)                                                                                                                                                                     

8                |25.60           |51.10           |30.91           |30.91           |8.60            |8.60            |116.21          |76.70           |71.70           |5.00            |63                               

16               |51.20           |-               |30.91           |30.91           |8.60            |8.60            |90.71           |51.20           |71.70           |-               |-                                

Notes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest whole penny.                                                                                                                                                                     

2. Both members of the couple are assumed to be aged under 60. One or both members are assumed to be aged 18 or over.                                                                                                        

3. Both the couple and the single person are assumed to live in local authority accommodation and be liable for average council tax and local authority rent.                                                                

4. All the examples shown assume take-up full entitlement to Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.                                                                                                        

5. Tax and National Insurance contributions are not payable at the earnings levels shown.                                                                                                                                    

Child Support

Mr. Dewar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the methods used to calculate the costs of (a) a £10 and (b) £15 disregard of maintenance for parents in receipt of income support.

Mr. Burt: In estimating the costs of a maintenance disregard, estimates and assumptions are made in the following areas: the number of lone parents and step families on income support in any particular year;

the proportion of parents with care whose absent parent has a maintenance assessment greater than zero;

the proportion of this scheduled maintenance actually being paid or received;

the average amount of maintenance disregarded, taking account of the fact that for parents with care receiving less than £10 to £15 maintenance per week,


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the disregard will equal the amount of maintenance received.

Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will meet (a) the National Association of Laryngectomee Clubs and (b) the Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund to discuss medical assessment in respect of incapacity benefit.

Mr. Hague: The development of the medical assessment for incapacity benefit included an open consultation process, to which the Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund contributed. If either of these organisations has further comments on the medical assessment, I would be happy to received them.

World Summit for Social Development

Ms Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he proposes to publish representations made


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on behalf of the British Government at the world summit for social development about measures concerned with social development in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Roger Evans: There are no plans to do so. The speeches of my right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development will be published and copies will be placed in the Library.

Disabled People

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the percentage of disabled people directly employed by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hague: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. McAllion) on 31 January 1995, Official Report , columns 623 24 .

Statutory Maternity Pay

Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average cost to the Exchequer of 18 weeks maternity leave per person.

Mr. Hague: Information is not available in the form requested. Information available relates to statutory maternity pay. The average cost to the Exchequer of 18 weeks' SMP per beneficiary is estimated at £1,710 for 1995 96.

Notes:

1. The estimated average cost has been rounded to the nearest £10 but is not accurate to that degree.

2. The figure represents SMP reimbursement to employers and is not the average amount of SMP paid to women.

3. Not all women receive 18 weeks of SMP and not all beneficiaries are on maternity leave as such--some resign from their employment on commencement of the maternity pay period.

Source:

Government Actuary's Department independent caseload and expenditure forecasts.

Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many women took paid maternity leave in each of the last three years; and what was the overall cost.

Mr. Hague: The information is not available in the form requested. The available information relates to women receiving statutory maternity pay and is in the table.


Statutory Maternity Pay 1991-92 to 1993-94                                

                                  |1991-92  |1992-93  |1993-94            

                                  |£ million|£ million|£ million          

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total estimated expenditure       |345      |398      |420                

Estimated number of beneficiaries |245,000  |245,000  |260,000            

Notes:                                                                    

1. Expenditure figures appear in the 1994 Social Security Departmental    

Report and are at cash prices.                                            

2. Figures for number of beneficiaries have been estimated using figures  

provided by the Government Actuary's Department and assume that all women 

receive SMP for a full 18 weeks.                                          

Fraud

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how benefit savings are calculated in instances of fraud uncovered (a) generally by his officers and (b) by the Child Support Agency;

(2) by what multiple of the value of the order is used to calculate the benefit savings when order books are


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withdrawn on the grounds that the claimant has committed fraud.

Mr. Arbuthnot: A weekly benefit saving is recorded by the Benefits Agency when as a result of action by a fraud investigator benefit is reduced or withdrawn. The value of the saving is increased in value by the use of a multiplier which is an estimate of the average time for which a fraud would have continued, had the fraud not been discovered. It is therefore a measure of the average time for which benefit payments are saved by investigation work which leads to the termination or correcting of fraudulent claims. The multiplier used for benefit frauds is 32.

Frauds uncovered by the Child Support Agency are referred to the Benefits Agency for investigation. Savings in these cases are calculated in the same way as above.

If the fraud is one which concerns the manipulation or fraudulent encashment of a stolen or lost order book, the saving will be the total value of the orders remaining in the order book when the book is recovered.

Resettlement Units

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many DSS resettlement units have closed each year since 1990.

Mr. Roger Evans: Since 1990 the Department has either closed and replaced or disengaged from the direct administration of 16 resettlement units as follows:


Year and unit           |Status                     

----------------------------------------------------

1991                                                

Fazakerley-Liverpool    |Closed                     

Brighton                |Closed                     

Bridge House            |Closed                     

                                                    

1992                                                

Alvaston-Derby          |Closed                     

Walkden-Manchester      |Closed                     

Winterbourne-Bristol    |Closed                     

Plawsworth-Newcastle    |Closed                     

                                                    

1993                                                

Stormy Down-South Wales |Closed                     

Camden-London           |Disengaged                 

Southampton             |Disengaged                 

Newbury                 |Disengaged                 

                                                    

1994                                                

Spur House-Lewisham     |Disengaged                 

Pound Lodge-Brent       |Disengaged                 

Leicester               |Disengaged                 

Lye-West Midlands       |Disengaged                 

West End House-London   |Disengaged                 

HEALTH

Medical Negligence Claims

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of medical negligence were settled, and what was the total cost of damages awarded together with legal costs, in each year since 1990 91, by region.

Mr. Malone: I refer the hon. member to the figures that my right hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough


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(Dr. Mawhinney) gave him on 14 March, columns 535 36 and on 10 May 1994, columns 84 85 , which are reproduced in the first table. As was made clear at the time, these figures were based on information which was not comprehensive and in particular do not include data from National Health Service trusts, which will form an increasingly large proportion of the total. We have therefore developed an alternative method of estimating the total costs of clinical negligence to the NHS, based on quarterly financial monitoring. In the reply I gave to the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) on 30 January 1995, column 523 , costs on this new basis were estimated at £80 million in 1991 92, £100 million in 1992 93 and £125 million in 1993 94. Regional breakdowns--comparable to these new estimates--are now available for 1992 93, 1993 94 and 1994 95, provisional, and are shown in the second table. Estimates of number of settlements are not available.


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Table 1: Number and Costs to the NHS of Clinical Negligence        

Settlements by Region                                              

                   Old estimates                                   

                   1990-91       1991-92       1992-93             

                         |Cost         |Cost         |Cost         

Region            |Cases |£000  |Cases |£000  |Cases |£000         

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Northern          |109   |1,613 |207   |3,310 |344   |3,395        

Yorkshire         |152   |4,604 |111   |3,302 |49    |1,720        

Trent             |73    |2,611 |119   |2,069 |105   |2,953        

East Anglian      |38    |1,359 |88    |1,737 |37    |3,295        

North West Thames |89    |8,551 |221   |6,954 |183   |6,209        

North East Thames |136   |8,464 |108   |5,888 |76    |1,624        

South East Thames |n/k   |6,118 |106   |7,113 |117   |5,714        

South West Thames |104   |3,233 |90    |4,663 |64    |2,543        

Wessex            |52    |1,525 |51    |919   |72    |681          

Oxford            |231   |2,257 |131   |3,339 |113   |917          

South Western     |56    |2,104 |83    |2,872 |56    |3,517        

West Midlands     |154   |3,157 |145   |2,573 |165   |3,661        

Mersey            |218   |1,421 |108   |1,002 |192   |3,622        

North Western     |183   |2,580 |145   |4,730 |160   |4,457        

SHAs              |23    |3,639 |38    |877   |5     |752          

Estimates based on annual health authority returns.                


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Table 2: Costs to the NHS of clinical negligence settlements by region         

(New estimates)                                                                

£ million                                                                      

                                                   |1994-95                    

Authority RHA          |1992-93      |1993-94      |(provisional)              

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Northern               |5.4          |7.6          |-                          

Yorkshire              |5.9          |5.7          |-                          

Trent                  |5.4          |6.0          |-                          

East Anglia            |4.0          |4.3          |-                          

North West Thames      |10.8         |7.8          |-                          

North East Thames      |10.5         |10.9         |-                          

South East Thames      |4.1          |19.7         |-                          

South West Thames      |3.2          |6.1          |-                          

Wessex                 |0.1          |0.3          |-                          

Oxford                 |4.2          |4.2          |-                          

South Western          |6.3          |6.5          |-                          

West Midlands          |4.5          |7.1          |-                          

Mersey                 |6.4          |3.7          |-                          

North Western          |9.4          |10.0         |-                          

Northern and Yorkshire |-            |12.9         |21.0                       

Trent                  |-            |6.0          |6.7                        

Anglia and Oxford      |-            |9.0          |19.2                       

North Thames           |-            |18.1         |26.3                       

South Thames           |-            |25.9         |16.0                       

South and West         |-            |6.8          |10.0                       

West Midlands          |-            |7.1          |10.2                       

North West             |-            |14.1         |15.7                       

Note:                                                                          

Estimates based on quarterly financial returns. Figures for special health     

authorities are included in the relevant Thames Region.                        

Casualty Admissions

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the percentage change in casualty admissions in


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(a) England and (b) London; and what increase in beds or other resources have been made available to accident and emergency departments in (i) England and (ii) London within the last year.

Mr. Sackville: Information is not available in the form requested. There was an overall increase of 0.3 per cent. in the number of patients admitted to hospital under an accident and emergency consultant in England in 1993 94, while in the Thames regional health authorities admissions in the accident and emergency specialty fell by 3.2 per cent.

Information on accident and emergency beds is not available centrally. The number of hospital consultants in the specialty of accident and emergency medicine increased by 7.6 per cent. in England and by 9 per cent. in the Thames regions between 1992 and 1993, the latest figures available. In the same period, other hospital medical staff in the accident and emergency specialty increased by 5 per cent. in England by 4.4 per cent. in the Thames regions.

NHS Complaints

Mr. Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she intends to act upon the final report of the NHS Complaints Review Committee, submitted in May 1994 entitled, "Being Heard".

Mr. Malone: We welcomed the publication of "Being Heard", the report of the National Health Service Complaints Review Committee, and support its central recommendation for a simpler, speedier NHS complaints system. Over 600 responses were received to the consultation on the report, raising some complex issues. We are carefully considering our response to the report in


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the light of this and will make an announcement as soon as our present considerations are complete.

Family Health Centres

Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many family health centres per 1,000 population there are in (a) inner London, (b) outer London, (c) Greater London, (d) Birmingham, (e) Manchester, (f) Liverpool, (g) Leeds, (h) Newcastle, (i) Bristol and (j) England.

Mr. Malone: The information requested is shown in the table.


[TITRE[                                           

--------------------------------------------------

Inner London                          |0.022      

Greater London                                    

  (inclusive of Inner London figures) |0.017      

Newcastle                             |0.028      

Leeds                                 |0.030      

Birmingham                            |0.023      

Liverpool                             |0.035      

Manchester                            |0.026      

Bristol                               |0.040      

England                               |0.021      

Notes:                                            

1. Inner London is taken to be the areas covered  

by the following family health services           

authorities: Camden and Islington; City and East  

London; Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster and   

Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.                  

2. Greater London figures include inner and outer 

London.                                           

3. For the purposes of this answer, "family       

health centres" has been defined as those         

properties owned by the Secretary of State or an  

NHS trust and occupied by family practitioners    

and other health care providers. Some trusts may  

own other properties from which a variety of      

community health clinics are provided but not     

also occupied by GPs. Numbers of this type of     

health centre are not, however, held centrally.   

Community Care

Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money has been spent by her Department on community care for the mentally ill, broken down by local authority for the three most recent years for which figures are available; and what is the proportion of the resources allocated to community care spent on mental health patients.

Mr. Bowis: Figures of expenditure by local authorities in England in 1990 91 to 1992 93 on services for people with mental health problems, and the corresponding percentages of expenditure on all services for adults, are shown in the table.

Figures for individual authorities, excluding apportioned overheads, for the years 1991 92 and 1992 93 will be placed in the Library. Comparable 1990 91 data for individual local authorities are not available centrally.

These figures show direct services for people with mental illness, and do not take account of other expenditure which it would not be possible to calculate separately.


Column 44


Gross expenditure by local authorities on services for people with              

mental health problems, England<1>                                              

                    |Gross expenditure  |As a percentage of                     

                    |on mental health<2>|expenditure on                         

Financial year      |(£ million)        |services for adults                    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1990-91             |116                |3.6                                    

1991-92             |180                |5.0                                    

1992-93             |220                |5.8                                    

Notes:                                                                          

<1> These figures include apportioned overheads (to cover, for example,         

administration and training costs).                                             

<2> Includes fieldwork for mentally ill. Prior to 1991-92, expenditure on       

fieldwork was estimated by the Department of Health whereas after then it       

reflects actual expenditure as reported by local authorities.                   

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department has undertaken research into the user's view of the transition from psychiatric long-stay hospitals to community care.

Mr. Bowis: A series of studies was carried out by the team for the assessment of psychiatric services which was set up in 1985 to monitor the closure of Friern and Claybury hospitals in the then North East Thames region, which established that the great majority of users preferred the new community-based services.

Death Certificates

Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money is paid each year to doctors in the health service in respect of the fees paid for signing the necessary papers to verify that someone died of natural causes, before the funeral director can release a body for cremation.

Mr. Malone: This information is not available.

Career Breaks

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) men and (b) women applied for career breaks in her Department or its agencies; and how many have had their employment terminated in the last five years.

Mr. Sackville: The Department does not hold records of past applications for career breaks. There are currently 130 people, 12 male and 118 female, on career breaks in the Department and its agencies, 111 of whom have been on a career break of between one and five years. No staff have had their employment terminated during the five year breaks allowed by the Department; four staff have had their appointments terminated after the five years have elapsed as they failed to resign or return to work.

Prescriptions, Sheffield

Sir Irvine Patnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions were issued in the Sheffield health authority area for each of the last five years; and how many were exempt from payment.

Mr. Malone: The information available is shown in the table. Comparable information for years before 1991 is not available.


Column 45


Prescription items dispensed in Sheffield Family Health Services                               

Authority: 1991-93                                                                             

Prescription items                                                                             

dispensed                                                                                      

(thousands)<1>     |1991              |1992              |1993                                 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total<2>           |5,146             |5,393             |5,644                                

With no charge<3>  |4,161             |4,412             |4,656                                

<1> The figures relate to prescription items dispensed in Sheffield FHSA, regardless of where  

they were written, and may include prescriptions written by hospital doctors, dentists and     

armed services doctors and dentists.                                                           

<2> The total includes all prescription items dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance 

contractors, dispensing doctors and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items   

personally administered.                                                                       

<3> The analysis of exempt prescription items is based on a one in 20 sample of all            

prescriptions submitted to the Prescription Pricing Authority by community pharmacists and     

appliance contractors. In this table "With no charge" prescriptions include those dispensed    

under the NHS low income scheme and no charge contraceptives.                                  

Breast Cancer

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the number of deaths from breast cancer in respect of women aged 65 years or over in each year since 1984.

Mr. Sackville: The information is published in "Mortality Statistics", cause, series DH2, Nos. 11 19, copies of which are available in the Library.

Electrical Nerve Stimulators

Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what circumstances and subject to what conditions transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation machines are available on the NHS.

Mr. Sackville: National health service consultants may prescribe pain relief equipment such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators-- TENS machines--as part of NHS treatment, and when they do no charge is made. Health authorities may provide such equipment either on a permanent basis or on loan. However, supply depends on decisions being made on the basis of clinical priorities and local needs.

In some cases, where pain relief equipment is not considered clinically essential, a consultant may nevertheless advise a patient that he could use it if he wished. In such cases, health authorities would not be responsible for either providing or maintaining the equipment.

Accident and Emergency Service, South London

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussion she has had in the last year with officials of the south Thames health authorities in respect of existing accident and emergency services in hospitals covering this area of London.

Mr. Sackville: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had regular meetings with the chairman and chief executive of South Thames regional health authority at which service developments, including accident and emergency services, have been discussed.


Column 46

Elderly Care

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what percentage of the NHS expenditure is spent on elderly care; and if she will make a statement about the procedure for applying to receive this care.


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