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Column 320Then number of products licensed for epilepsy in the periods are: (a) within the last five years--1991 to 1995: 96
(b) more than five years ago--1985 to 1990: 90
(c) more than 10 years ago--1979 to 1984: 41
(d) more than 15 years ago--1973 to 1978: 36
It is not possible to match this information on licensing with NHS prescriptions.
Mr. Malone: The percentage of drugs dispensed in the family health services authorities in England in 1993 and prescribed by generic name for the British national formulary section "Antiepileptics", chapter 4.8, was 45.8 per cent.
Net ingredient cost of the British National Formulary therapeutic group Antiepileptics (Chapter 4.8), 1989-1993 England £ million Antiepileptics |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Net ingredient cost |19.0 |21.6 |26.0 |31.0 |36.3 1. The net ingredient cost refers to the cost of the drug before discounts and does not include any dispensing costs or fees. 2. The data for 1989 and 1990 are not consistent with data from 1991 onwards. Figures for 1989 and 1990 are based on a sample of 1 in 200 prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors only. Figures from 1991 cover all prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists, appliance contractors, dispensing doctors and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered.
Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with the Wirral hospital trust regarding the proposal to introduce generic worker grades, nurse restructuring and ward manager posts; if she approves of such changes; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Malone: National health service trusts are responsible for managing their own affairs, using the resources available to them to provide high-quality cost effective health services. Their freedom to determine the pay and conditions of their own staff is an important part of making services more responsive to local needs.
Mr. Gunnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what bids have been received from members of staff of (a) the North Yorkshire regional health authority, (b) the Northern regional health authority and (c) the Yorkshire regional health authority for a buy-out of specific services being market tested; and with what result.
Sir John Gorst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her oral statement of 20 February, Official Report , column 40, regarding further investment in primary care initiatives of £85 million in London, if she will list the amount Barnet health authority will receive, the initiatives that will be funded in Barnet and whether any of these funds will be deployed in the area covered by the Edgware general hospital.
Mr. Sackville: Some limited studies of transmission and seroprevalence have been undertaken where cases have occurred in Africa. Responses to infection with Ebola, Marburg and other filoviruses have been studied in primates and cross protection studies using other filoviruses in animal models have also been undertaken. Improved diagnostic tests are currently under development.
(2) what facilities are available to quarantine persons potentially infected with Ebola and Marburg viruses.
Mr. Sackville: There are no special contingency plans to deal with an outbreak of Ebola or Marburg viruses. These viruses have shown very limited potential for spread outside endemic areas. There are powers available to local authorities in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 over people, premises and property to control the spread of communicable disease. We do continue to take a cautious approach and recommend strict precautions for personnel dealing with definite or suspected cases of viral haemorrhagic fever to prevent any possibility of spread. The Department of Health funds high security infectious disease units for the treatment of patients with viral haemorrhagic fever, although no case has been seen in the United Kingdom for about 10 years. These viruses appear to have a limited capacity for spread within the human population and the need for a vaccine for use in the UK has not been established.
Mr. Sackville: There have been no recent discussions with any overseas Governments on filovirus infections. The outbreak in Germany occurred in 1967 and the outbreak in the United States of America occurred in 1989.
Number of places in local authority homes primarily for elderly people, England |Number of As at 31 March |residential places --------------------------------------------------------- 1990 |103,600 1991 |96,100 1992 |85,000 1993 |75,400 1994 |67,200
The decrease in number of local authority homes in part reflects the transfer by local authorities of the management and ownership of local authority homes to the independent sector.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she has approved the conclusions of the study commissioned by the London ambulance service from Messrs. ORH, health consultants, concerning the resources received by that service in order to reach or maintain the patients charter standards and for ambulance response times.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to paragraph 7.2 of the evidence presented by her Department to the Health Committee on 2 March, in respect of the London ambulance service, what operational advantage she expects to arrive from transfers of the funding of that service from the regional health authority to district health authorities in their areas; and if she will give the number of districts so concerned.
Mr. Sackville: The delegation of funding for contracts for accident and emergency services with the London ambulance service from regional to district health authority level will ensure that the authorities concerned are fully involved in the process of specifying, negotiating and agreeing contracts with the London ambulance service and monitoring performance against those contracts. The 16 authorities will be represented for contracting purposes by a consortium of four lead purchasers. The consequent reduction in regional administrative costs will help to release funds for investment in direct patient care.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action was taken in her Department (a) by Ministers, (b) by the ambulance adviser to the Department of Health and (c) by the ambulance policy adviser group subsequent to the receipt of the petition of the House presented on 7 December 1990 concerning the continuing problems of the London ambulance service.
Mr. Sackville: At the time the South West Thames regional health authority was responsible for running the London ambulance service. The South Thames regional health authority is now responsible for the LAS and it, not my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and her Department, has day-to-day responsibility for the management of the LAS.
Column 323We have provided a real terms increase of funding for the LAS each year. In addition, this year we have provided an extra £14.8 million to enable it to purchase an extra 180 ambulances and recruit 240 extra front-line staff. The Wells report identified a number of short, medium and long-term objectives for the LAS which it needs to achieve in order to provide the service our capital city needs.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will obtain and publish the periods and relevant dates when the activation time for emergency ambulances dispatched from the headquarters of the London ambulance service exceeded (a) 10, (b) 15, (c) 20, (d) 30 minutes and (e) each further multiple of 10 minutes.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the system of computer-aided dispatch placed in service by the London ambulance service on 26 October 1992 was appraised or approved by her ambulance policy advisory group or ambulance adviser.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action was taken by her Department during 1991 92 consequent on the gradual deterioration in service of the London ambulance service quoted in her evidence on the Health Committee on 2 March.
Mr. Sackville: During 1991 92 the Department monitored the performance of the London ambulance service through reports from, and meetings with, the then South West Thames regional health authority, which was responsible for the direct management of the LAS.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what ministerial statements concerning the London ambulance service have been made since 1990 which have drawn on information or advice received from (a) her ambulance adviser and (b) the ambulance policy advisory group.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates she has made of the number of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease aged (a) 65 years and over or (b) under 65 years in (i) England and (ii) Wales; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will name the person holding the post of departmental adviser on ambulance services as the member of her ambulance policy group mentioned in the written evidence presented to the Health Committee on 2 March who have served in these capacities since 1990.
1984 1991: Mr. Peter Hunt
1991 1994: Mr. Michael Willis
1994 : Mr. Gron Roberts
The ambulance policy advisory group met for the first time in January 1992.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance has been given to certain directors of social services regarding the implications of local government reorganisation for personal social services; and if she will make a statement.
The social services inspectorate has been or will be in contact with specific authorities once the individual structural orders have been made. The SSI will be able to offer appropriate advice to those authorities on the implications of local government changes for personal social services. We expect to issue general guidance to all authorities later this year.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information she has concerning the numbers of (a) deaths, (b) serious medical complications arising following (i) legal abortions and (ii) illegal abortions performed upon women from (1) England and Wales, (2) Scotland and (3) Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available.
Table 1: Number of deaths following legal abortions performed in Great Britain to residents of United Kingdom from 1984 to 1992 Country of residence |England and |Northern |Wales |Scotland |Ireland ------------------------------------------------------------ 1984 |2 |0 |0 1985 |1 |0 |0 1986 |0 |0 |0 1987 |1 |0 |0 1988 |1 |0 |0 1989 |1 |0 |0 1990 |1 |0 |0 1991 |0 |0 |0 1992 |1 |0 |0
Table 2: Number of complications<1> following legal abortions performed in Great Britain<2> to residents of United Kingdom 1984-1992 Country of residence |England and |Northern |Wales |Scotland |Ireland ------------------------------------------------------------ 1984 |893 |96 |1 1985 |875 |117 |0 1986 |796 |108 |0 1987 |897 |98 |2 1988 |735 |111 |2 1989 |621 |82 |0 1990 |658 |103 |2 1991 |641 |78 |2 1992 |695 |63 |3 <1> These figures represent the number of complications mentioned rather than the number of operations. It is not possible to distinguish the seriousness of the complications. <2> Information on abortions performed in Scotland is based on hospital in-patient discharges. Data are given only for residents of Scotland as it is not possible to separate the remaining data by individual country of residence.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what is his assessment of the proportion of the cost benefit of the EU banana policy which accrues to banana producers; and if he will identify where the rest of the benefit goes; (2) what estimate he has made of the additional costs of banana purchases to United Kingdom consumers in consequence of the EU banana policy; and what estimate he has made of the impact on the consumer prices in other EC nations;
(3) when he received the World bank report on the operation of the EU banana policy; and if he will make a statement outlining his views of its conclusions and also the power available to the United Kingdom Government to take any initiative on efficiency of use Community funds and the prices charged to the general public.
Mr. Jack [pursuant to his reply, 26 January 1995, c. 361.]: I am now able to provide the following assessment of the recent report published under World bank auspices under the title "EU Bananarama III". This is the work of an economist now based in Australia who formerly worked for the World bank. It does not necessarily reflect the bank's views.
The findings in the report are based on economic modelling, not on an analysis of market data since the EU regime was introduced. The assumptions underlying the model clearly have a marked influence on the results found. In our view, they do not fully reflect economic and political realities, in particular the obligations which the EU has undertaken under the Lome convention on maintaining access for African, Caribbean and Pacific bananas to the EU market.
The consumer cost of the regime is obviously partly offset by the taxpayer benefit in the form of revenues from the customs tariff. The remainder of the benefits of the EU regime go to traders holding licences to import dollar bananas and, now the framework agreement with
Column 326Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Venezuela is in force, to producers in those countries.
Although the assumptions on which the calculations are based are not entirely clear, I am satisfied that the estimated consumer costs of the regime are overstated while the benefits to the ACP are understated, especially in the short term. As to consumer costs, the calculation appears to be based on a comparison with consumer costs in markets closer to the main sources of supply where retailing costs are lower. In addition, the estimate of ACP producer benefits assumes that, in the absence of the trading advantages offered by the EU regime, ACP countries would either continue to export the same volume of bananas as before, albeit at lower prices, or would benefit from their resources being switched out of banana production into more productive uses. In the case of the Windward Islands, whose economies are particularly dependent on bananas, viable alternative export crops offering comparable export opportunities and employment potential have not so far been identified, despite the effort which has gone into agricultural diversification in recent years. Were access for bananas to the EU market to be cut back, there would be immediate social and economic dislocation in the Caribbean and increased social costs.
Since the EU banana regime came into force in July 1993, retail prices in the United Kingdom have fallen. Indeed, in 1994, they were at their lowest level for nearly a decade. French consumers also now pay less for their bananas. In Germany, the only other major member state market on which we have full price information, consumers pay significantly more. This results in part from the application of the common customs tariff. Prior to July 1993, Germany benefited from a special derogation from EU rules enabling it to import bananas free of all duties. This could clearly not be continued once the single market regime was in place.
The economic prescription put forward in "Bananarama III" of free trade in bananas imported into the EU with aid for disadvantaged ACP producers would result in savings for EU consumers, particularly in the short term, but extra costs to the EU taxpayer.
While recognising the need for ACP producers to continue to improve their competitiveness through restructuring and some diversification, the Government remain confident that the EU bananas regime successfully reconciles the requirements of the single market and the need for adequate supplies of good-quality bananas to our consumers with our long-standing commitments to the ACP producers to promote access to the EU market.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what dates the new rules for requiring separate vehicles for the carrying of specified bovine offals were debated by Parliament and introduced by his Department.
Mrs. Browning: A statutory instrument will be laid shortly introducing a requirement for a specific dye to be used to identify specified bovine offals. The Government are still considering other proposals concerning the collection and disposal of specified bovine offals.
Mr. Jack: There have been over 500 responses to the consultation document on the designation of nitrate vulnerable zones in England and Wales. These have raised many issues requiring detailed technical assessment. The Government hope to be able to publish their response to the consultation, including the proposed amendments to boundaries, in about a month's time.
Column 328which public positions they have been appointed to subsequently.
Mr. Jack [holding answer 6 March 1995]: Imports and exports of food, feed and drink as recorded in the overseas trade statistics in each year since 1985 are shown in the table below. There has been a much bigger increase in exports than in imports since 1985. This has served to limit the increase in the difference between them--the crude trade gap-- which has fallen by 22 per cent. in real terms.
£ million |Percentage |change Year |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 |1985-1993 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Imports |9,482 |10,070 |10,276 |10,602 |11,420 |12,298 |12,262 |13,406 |14,105 |+49 Exports |4,430 |5,038 |5,166 |4,909 |5,886 |6,352 |6,827 |7,521 |8,215 |+85 Crude trade gap<1> |5,052 |5,031 |5,110 |5,693 |5,534 |5,936 |5,435 |5,886 |5,890 |+17 Note: <1> Because of differences in valuation principles, the crude trade gap overstates the contribution of food, feed and drink to the deficit on visible trade in the balance of payment statistics by about 15 per cent.
Mrs. Browning: Chickens may be fed meat or kitchen scraps provided they are processed in accordance with the requirements of the Diseases of Animals (Waste Food) Order 1973, as amended. There are no restrictions on the feeding of worms to chickens.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what reports have been provided by the British embassy in Copenhagen on the Danish regime for monitoring and controlling salmonella in poultry, so as to enable him to make comparisons with the United Kingdom's regime.
Mrs. Browning: The embassy in Copenhagen has provided the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with details of the measures taken by Denmark to monitor and control salmonella in poultry. The UK has also been supplied with information on Danish controls in the EU Standing Veterinary Committee.
Mr. Hendry: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many applications were received, by each region, for sheep quota from category 3(c) of the 1993 national reserve; and how many were assessed as eligible for each region.
|Category (c) |applications|Assessed |received |as eligible ----------------------------------------------------- Anglia |142 |0 East Midlands |205 |7 North East |243 |50 Northern |650 |161 North Mercia |136 |30 South East |241 |0 South Mercia |224 |7 South West |507 |64 Wessex |212 |15 Total |2,560 |334
Mr. Waldegrave: On the basis of OECD analysis of the total cost of agricultural support within the EU, I estimate that the cost of the common agricultural policy to UK taxpayers and consumers is about £4 per person per week, if world prices are judged to be the same in the absence of the CAP. In practice, removal of agricultural support would reduce agricultural production and raise world prices. In this respect, that figure is therefore likely to overstate the true cost of the CAP.
I have placed in the Library of the House a note setting out the calculations underlying this estimate.
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what lairaging and associated facilities there are at Coventry airport for calves awaiting transport when aircraft are delayed due to (a) bad weather, (b) aircraft failure and (e) other factors;
(2) what is the capacity of the lairage at Coventry airport; how far distant is it; how many alternative holding premises there are; and what measures are being taken to prevent the spread of infection in very young calves during these holding operations.
Mrs. Browning: There are no designated lairage facilities at or near Coventry airport, although in an emergency officials would require the unloading of calves into one of the hangers at the airport. Currently, the contingency plan of the exporters concerned, in the event of delays to flight plans, is to take the calves back to the premises of origin. Officials will use their powers where necessary to ensure that calves do not go for longer than 15 hours from the start of their journey without being fed and rested.
Mr. Galbraith: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to include American mink, Arctic fox and Racoon dog in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Browning: The Farm Animal Welfare Council recently recommended that consideration should be given to the inclusion of these animals in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. Interested organisations have been consulted on this recommendation and their views will be taken into account before any conclusions are reached as to how this matter should be taken forward.
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures he is taking to combat sickness absenteeism in (a) the Intervention Board, (b) the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and (c) his Department.
Mr. Waldegrave: I am pleased to say that the rate of sickness absence in my Department is already well below the civil service average. Nevertheless, a fundamental review has been undertaken of existing arrangements for the management of sick absence in the core Department and a range of measures designed to introduce even more effective controls are now being developed.
Responsibility for such matters within the Intervention Board and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate has been delegated to the agency chief executives and I have asked them to reply direct.
Letter from Guy Stapleton to Mr. David Chidgey, dated 3 March 1995:
The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has asked me to reply to your question about sick absence control measures in the Intervention Board as this is within my operational responsibility. The Agency employs the full range of Civil Service procedures for dealing with staff who have problems with recurring or long-term sick leave. Where appropriate, this involves personnel action, with individual counselling and the use of informal and formal warnings aimed at resolving problems and improving attendance. Professional advice on prognoses is obtained from the Civil Service Occupational Health Service (CSOHS) at fixed trigger points or at any time when it is felt this is warranted by the circumstances. There is also input to this process from our Welfare