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River Medina

Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to review the classification of the wetlands bordering the River Medina.

Mr. Atkins: English Nature proposes to extend the River Medina site of special scientific interest and include it within the recommended boundary for the potential Southhampton Water and Solent special protection area and Ramsar site. My right hon. Friend will consider EN's recommendation in due course.

Westminster Redevelopment

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to investigate the events surrounding the redevelopment of the block bounded by Baker street, Blandford street, George street and Manchester street in Westminster and if he will make a statement.

Sir Paul Beresford: The Secretary of State has no plans at present.

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations have been made to him over the redevelopment of the block bounded by Blandford street, Manchester street, George street and Baker street in Westminster, and if he will make a statement.

Sir Paul Beresford: The chief executive of Westminster city council has written to the Secretary of State about this matter and I an considering the issues raised.

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the listed buildings on the block bounded by Baker street, George street, Blandford street and Manchester street in Westminster, were de-listed prior to their demolition or modification.

Sir Paul Beresford: Listing and de-listing of buildings is now the responsibility of the Secretary of State for National Heritage. However, I understand that no listed buildings have, in fact, been deliberately demolished in the block concerned. Two listed buildings collapsed but have been reinstated following grant of listed building consent.

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to enforce the decision made by his predecessor in 1981 that the block


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bounded by Baker street, Manchester street, Blandford street and George street in Westminster should be preserved.

Sir Paul Beresford: None. In the event of a breach of planning or listed building control, responsibility for day to day enforcement rests with the local planning authority.

Water Board Chairmen

Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the remuneration of the chairmen of each of the water boards in England and Wales in each of the three years prior to privatisation.

Mr. Atkins: Information about the remuneration of water authority chairmen can be found in "Public Bodies", issued by the Cabinet Office-- Office of Public Service and Science. Copies of this publication for the years prior to privatisation are available in the Library.

Community Charge

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what evidence his Department has of poll tax payments made under attachment of earnings orders not being paid over by the employer concerned to the local authority involved; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: Community charge attachment of earnings orders are administered by billing authorities and are not monitored centrally.

An attachment of earnings order places obligations on an employer to make deductions from a debtor's pay and pass them to the issuing authority by the 18th day of the following month. Any failure by the employer to comply with the terms of an attachment of earnings order is an offence and he may be liable to a fine.

Water and Sewerage Companies

Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what has been the differential between dividends paid by appointed businesses in the water and sewerage industry and the dividends paid by the group companies for each year since privatisation;

(2) if he will list (a) the dividends paid by the appointed businesses and (b) the dividends paid by the group companies for each of the water and sewerage companies in England and Wales for each year since privatisation.

Mr. Atkins: Information on company dividends is published in the annual reports and accounts of the appointed businesses and the group companies.

Government Car Service (Natural Gas)

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the performance of the ministerial car which was converted to run on natural gas; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Paul Beresford: The Government car service is still carrying out trials on the car, which has been used extensively by Ministers and officials from this


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Department and others. It is expected that trials will continue for a further three months. Final assessment of the car's performance and that of a second car which GCS will be taking delivery of in the near future, will take into account the emissions performance, fuel economy, cost-effectiveness and the response of both drivers and passengers.

Listed Buildings

Sir Mark Lennox-Boyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment under what law a local planning authority is empowered to insist that an inquirer should require listed building consent to install a burglar alarm in a listed building with the provision of an outside bell box on the face of that listed building.

Sir Paul Beresford: Section 7 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 provides that consent is normally required for any works of alteration of a listed building which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

Reclaimed Colliery Sites

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the colliery sites which have been reclaimed since 1990 under the provisions of the Moynihan agreement.

Sir Paul Beresford: I understand from British Coal that the colliery sites reclaimed, or in the process of reclamation, since 1990 are Barnsley Main, Creswell, Dearne Valley, Denby Grange and Treeton. There are a further 13 sites where British Coal has concluded, or is in the process of concluding negotiations on appropriate reclamation schemes.

Power Station Emissions

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were annual actual emissions of (a) nitrogen dioxide, (b) sulphur dioxide, (c) all oxides of nitrogen and (d) particulates from each of the fossil- fuelled power stations operating in (i) 1980, ii) 1984, iii) 1985 and (iv) each year since 1990.

Mr. Atkins: I enclose details of the emissions from power stations that Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution holds centrally and which have been placed on the large combustion plant directive inventory. These are the SO2, NOx and particulate emissions from National Power and PowerGen for 1991 to 1993--emission data on particulates are held only for 1993. The 1994 emissions are not yet available.

Data for total emissions from power stations have been compiled within the national atmospheric emissions inventory by the National Environmental Technology Centre, formerly Warren Spring Laboratory. Available information. for 1980, 1984 and 1985 is given.

The other information requested was not collected for previous years.


Emissions from power stations in England and Wales 1991 to 1993                                                            

                   |1991 SO2    |<1>NOx      |1992 SO2    |<1>NOx      |1993 SO2    |<1>NOx      |Particulates             

                   |Tonnes      |Tonnes      |Tonnes      |Tonnes      |Tonnes      |Tonnes      |Tonnes                   

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

National Power                                                                                                             

Aberthaw A and B   |84,167      |35,527      |76,350      |30,893      |75,668      |26,512      |1,500                    

Agecroft           |9,589       |3,044       |7,572       |2,224       |869         |280         |30                       

Blyth A and B      |84,855      |24,243      |72,059      |22,138      |42,860      |12,700      |1,570                    

Didcot             |126,150     |34,378      |102,456     |28,787      |99,530      |28,303      |8,420                    

Drax               |236,457     |81,337      |264,967     |81,370      |228,265     |70,200      |38,680                   

Eggborough         |143,470     |31,990      |146,328     |27,498      |118,154     |23,546      |12,710                   

Fawley             |14,495      |3,670       |1,458       |286         |7,314       |1,630       |0                        

Ironbridge         |77,144      |21,170      |74,131      |22,986      |62,226      |19,990      |6,400                    

Littlebrook        |34,406      |7,405       |22,112      |4,406       |25,458      |4,971       |0                        

Padiham            |11,287      |2,191       |10,910      |2,061       |7,790       |1,728       |180                      

Pembroke           |10,403      |2,926       |14,562      |3,937       |10,058      |2,948       |0                        

Rugeley A and B    |116,588     |33,799      |97,864      |26,571      |101,324     |24,959      |0                        

Skelton Grange     |29,159      |7,113       |17,965      |4,479       |8,400       |1,980       |240                      

Staythorpe         |20,325      |6,618       |31,075      |6,971       |23,966      |5,515       |2,310                    

Thorpe Marsh       |71,765      |19,117      |62,525      |15,860      |64,003      |16,635      |7,470                    

Tilbury            |32,236      |15,695      |39,558      |18,658      |40,365      |18,385      |2,350                    

Uskmouth           |14,601      |5,115       |9,078       |3,092       |2,767       |1,050       |170                      

West Burton        |165,500     |35,221      |170,325     |33,674      |165,734     |29,916      |17,490                   

West Thurrock      |30,583      |15,102      |30,006      |12,938      |8,067       |2,980       |470                      

Willington A and B |51,041      |11,845      |40,701      |9,577       |23,565      |5,714       |500                      

                                                                                                                           

Sub Total          |1,364,221   |397,505     |1,292,002   |358,406     |1,116,383   |299,940     |100,490                  

                                                                                                                           

PowerGen                                                                                                                   

Carrington         |625         |176         |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Castle Donnington  |12,865      |3,407       |5,340       |1,426       |565         |128         |800                      

Cottam             |173,254     |45,559      |196,610     |45,084      |176,121     |40,859      |5,800                    

Drakelow B         |12,182      |3,140       |4,002       |957         |293         |79          |400                      

Drakelow C         |57,583      |16,218      |54,722      |14,475      |43,738      |11,849      |2,100                    

Elland             |1,092       |262         |0           |0           |0           |0           |0                        

Ferrybridge B      |6,970       |1,876       |3,515       |940         |0           |0           |0                        

Ferrybridge C      |178,376     |47,794      |172,927     |50,004      |158,828     |44,895      |5,900                    

Fiddlers Ferry     |171,018     |22,689      |159,972     |19,873      |114,674     |13,853      |3,200                    

Grain              |29,115      |6,659       |19,340      |3,935       |7,198       |1,485       |6,000                    

Hams Hall          |5,873       |1,941       |1,050       |331         |0           |0           |0                        

High Marnham       |54,509      |14,893      |42,523      |12,029      |26,859      |6,817       |4,000                    

Ince               |8,207       |1,459       |50,726      |7,421       |58,022      |8,222       |500                      

Kingsnorth         |86,606      |30,318      |67,805      |21,097      |50,594      |13,541      |3,000                    

Ratcliffe          |170,180     |45,184      |179,996     |43,759      |185,298     |43,464      |6,400                    

Richborough        |15,186      |2,206       |17,745      |2,622       |19,590      |2,334       |200                      

                                                                                                                           

Sub Total          |983,641     |243,780     |976,273     |223,953     |841,780     |187,526     |38,300                   

Total              |2,347,862   |641,285     |2,268,275   |582,359     |1,958,163   |487,466     |138,790                  

<1> NOx figures do not include all oxides of nitrogen                                                                      


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Estimated emissions from Power Stations               

                              |1980 |1984 |1985       

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

So2 (thousand tonnes)         |3,007|2,589|2,627      

Nox<1> (thousand tonnes)      |880  |711  |775        

Black smoke (thousand tonnes) |29   |33   |28         

<1> Expressed as nitrogen dioxide equivalent.         

Hastings Shingle Bank

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when his Department will issue the Government view requested by the Crown Estate on the application by a consortium of companies for a licence to dredge a further 30 million tonnes of material over a 10-year period from the currently licensed Hastings shingle bank.

Sir Paul Beresford: After careful consideration, a letter is today being sent to the Crown Estate indicating that my Department is minded to issue a favourable


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Government view on this application, subject to the imposition of stringent conditions. These include limiting the maximum amount of material to be dredged to 15 million tonnes and limiting the term of the licence to five years.

The dredging of marine aggregates makes an important contribution to the supply of minerals for a wide range of purposes for the construction industry and beach nourishment. The material on the Hastings shingle bank is of a particularly high quality.

In indicating that the Government are minded to issue a favourable Government view in respect of this application, the Government wish to stress that, in addition to reducing the amount of material to be extracted and limiting the term of the licence to five years, they have also decided to impose tough conditions on working arrangements and monitoring. These will ensure that essential fishing and amenity interests are protected.

A Government view letter will be issued once the conditions have been finalised.


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Local Government Finance

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the amount of interest receipts earned by each county council for the year 1993 94, separating out the capital financing element; if he will list the counties' budgeted estimates for interest receipts for 1994 95 and 1995 96.

Mr. Robert B. Jones: The information requested is given. Estimates for 1995 96 are not yet available.


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External Interest Receipts: English County Councils

Capital Financing Interest Receipts

This consists of external interest on provision for credit liabilities including reserved capital receipts.

The estimates of interest on provision for credit liabilities reflect the extent to which authorities have used reserved receipts to repay debt early, and are not therefore comparable with the interest receipt element in the standard spending assessment capital financing block, which assumes that no part of reserved receipts is used to repay debt early.

Other Interest Receipts

This consists of external interest receipts and dividends including those derived from Housing Act advances.


£ thousands                                                                                                      

                       |1993-94          |1993-94          |1994-95          |1994-95                            

                       |Outturn          |Outturn          |Budget           |Budget                             

                       |Capital Financing|Other            |Capital Financing|Other                              

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

Avon                   |1,079            |4,248            |430              |4,349                              

Bedfordshire           |830              |592              |1,150            |20                                 

Berkshire              |133              |4,973            |51               |3,675                              

Buckinghamshire        |0                |2,961            |1,947            |954                                

Cambridgeshire         |0                |0                |0                |191                                

Cheshire               |0                |10,116           |400              |0                                  

Cleveland              |0                |3,027            |19               |1,781                              

Cornwall               |0                |2,369            |0                |2,200                              

Cumbria                |0                |2,491            |0                |1,500                              

Derbyshire             |0                |4,545            |0                |3,600                              

Devon                  |0                |5,693            |233              |4,346                              

Dorset                 |0                |2,316            |300              |1,500                              

Durham                 |0                |4,712            |0                |2,300                              

East Sussex            |0                |2,575            |0                |1,219                              

Essex                  |0                |4,890            |444              |3,293                              

Gloucestershire        |0                |2,953            |0                |1,590                              

Hampshire              |0                |7,400            |0                |2,661                              

Hereford and Worcester |0                |2,278            |0                |425                                

Hertfordshire          |0                |11,104           |0                |3,320                              

Humberside             |0                |4,581            |0                |3,000                              

Isle of Wight          |0                |173              |0                |0                                  

Kent                   |6,802            |33               |0                |5,172                              

Lancashire             |19               |6,171            |0                |3,739                              

Leicestershire         |0                |4,345            |0                |2,924                              

Lincolnshire           |0                |2,009            |0                |2,682                              

Norfolk                |0                |5,289            |0                |4,104                              

Northamptonshire       |0                |1,541            |488              |431                                

Northumberland         |0                |2,021            |0                |919                                

North Yorkshire        |0                |4,932            |317              |3,576                              

Nottinghamshire        |0                |0                |450              |7,450                              

Oxfordshire            |147              |4,947            |0                |3,500                              

Shropshire             |0                |2,528            |0                |1,827                              

Somerset               |171              |2261             |214              |1,831                              

Staffordshire          |0                |4,047            |3,612            |0                                  

Suffolk                |0                |5,635            |0                |120                                

Surrey                 |589              |2,217            |39               |121                                

Warwickshire           |1,121            |2,404            |1,815            |1,036                              

West Sussex            |0                |2,731            |0                |1,401                              

Wiltshire              |0                |3,099            |0                |1,218                              

Sources:                                                                                                         

1993-93 RS form, 1994-95 RA95 form.                                                                              

Community Forests

Mr. Devlin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the land use planning implications of the community forest programme.

Sir Paul Beresford: The designation of a community forest had no direct statutory implications for the planning process. It does not confer a more restrictive, or more permissive, of land use planning designation of the area. The planting of trees and the provision of public access are voluntary. The statutory role and responsibilities of the local planning authorities are unaffected. Local


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community forest teams do not have any status within the statutory land use planning system.

Planning applications are determined in accordance with the statutory development plan, and any other material considerations. Each community forest has a non-statutory forest plan which describes how the forest team working with a variety of partners propose to create the forest. Since new woodlands on a significant scale may have implications for other land uses, local planning authorities should take approved community forest plans into account in formulating their policies and proposals for development and use of land in development plans.


Column 541

Although an approved community forest plan might be a material consideration in deciding a planning application within a forest, policies and proposals that are likely to provide the basis for deciding such applications or determining conditions to be attached to relevant planning permissions should be set out in the development plan, which is subject to statutory procedures.

Community forests should be shown on structure plan key diagrams and on local plan proposals maps. Development plans should facilitate the establishment of agreed community forests and provide that any development proposals within them should respect the woodland setting. Local planning authorities should be flexible in their approach to negotiating planting and landscaping requirements with developers. Any planting or landscaping required, whether on-site or off-site, should be directly related to the particular development proposal and should be no more than is necessary to overcome planning objections to it. Conversely planning permission should not be granted simply because applicants are prepared to plant trees. Any development proposal within community forests in the green belt should be subject to the normal policies controlling development in green belts. Community forests provide an effective mechanism for achieving the positive objectives for the use of green-belt land set out in planning policy guidance 2, revised in January 1995.

Peat

Mr. Devlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment if he will make public the results of consultation responses to the draft mineral planning guidance note guidelines for peat provision in England, including the place of alternative materials, issued by his Department in September 1994.

Sir Paul Beresford: Yes. I have today placed copies of a list of all those who responded to the consultation together with a summary of their views in the Library of the House. A copy of any individual response can be inspected in the library of my Department.

Local Authorities (Retendering Directions)

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has yet considered the responses by Walsall metropolitan borough council and Canterbury city council to the notices served on the authorities on 21 November 1994 and 11 January 1995 under section 13 of the Local Government Act 1988; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Robert B Jones: My right hon. Friend has considered carefully the responses which Walsall metropolitan borough council and Canterbury city council have made to the notices served on the authorities on 21 November 1994 and 11 January 1995, and has today given the authorities directions under section 14 of the Local Government Act 1988.

The direction given to Walsall metropolitan borough council requires the authority to retender the contract for the repair and maintenance of vehicles and plant, which was the subject of the notice, so that new arrangements are in place by 1 April 1996, and to seek my right hon. Friend's consent should it wish to reassign the work in-house.


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The direction given to Canterbury city council requires the authority to retender the contract for street cleansing and related services, which was the subject of the notice, so that new arrangements are in place by 1 January 1996, and to seek my right hon. Friend's consent should they wish to reassign the work to the direct service organisation.

Radioactive Waste

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, when the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee--Advisory Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations joint study group examining site selection for radioactive waste repositories will be published.

Mr. Atkins: Sir John Knill, the chairman of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee, was invited last year to chair a joint study group drawn from members of RWMAC and the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations to consider the approach to site selection for radioactive waste disposal facilities and the criteria for ensuring the protection of human health.

The study group's report has been published today, together with the minority views of two members. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House. I welcome the report and minority views as a valuable contribution to the debate on this issue. They represent advice to the Government and are not a statement of policy. The Government's response will be published in due course, together with the final conclusions of the review of radioactive waste management policy.

Education Standard Spending Assessments

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimates of the costs of (a) teaching staff, (b) books and equipment and (c) repairs and maintenance he made when calculating the control total for the education service block of the total standard spending for 1995 96.

Mr. Robert B. Jones [holding answer 13 March 1995]: In reaching his decision on the control total for local authority spending on education for 1995 96, my right hon. Friend took account of probable pay and non-pay inflation, rising school rolls, and other relevant spending pressures. The education standard spending assessments calculated for individual local authorities are not spending targets and the level of spending on teaching staff, books, equipment, repairs and maintenance is a matter for local authorities and schools themselves.

Tourism

Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the local authorities in England which employ a director of tourism services or similar.

Mr. Dorrell: I have been asked to reply.

The "Municipal Year Book 1995" lists 177 local authorities in England which employ a "tourism officer". Not all those listed, however, are senior officers or heads of department, or responsible solely for tourism; to distinguish and list those which are would involve disproportionate cost.


Column 543

HEALTH

Prescription Charges

14. Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the rate of increase in prescription charges since 1978.

Mr. Malone: Increases in national health service prescription charges have never been linked to the rate of inflation; nor is the level of the charge itself related to the cost of an individual prescription item or to the cost to the NHS of dispensing it. The charge is a reasonable sum paid by those who can afford to do so. Our extensive arrangements for exemption and for charge remission under the NHS low income scheme are among the most generous in Europe. They ensure that only those able to afford to pay are asked to do so.

Waiting Lists

15. Mr. Skinner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what, at the latest date, are the total figures for all waiting lists in all NHS hospitals and trusts.

Mr. Malone: Provisional figures show that, at the end of December 1994, the latest date for which information is available, 1,071,638 people in England were waiting for in-patient or day case treatment.

Generic Drugs

16. Mr. Khabra: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what efforts are being made by her Department to increase the proportion of generic drugs prescribed by general practitioners in place of their branded equivalents.

Mr. Malone: The Department's policies to promote cost-effective prescribing by general practitioners have brought about significant and continuing increases in the use of generic medicines.

The Health of the Nation"

17. Mr. David Evans: To ask the Secretary of Sate for Health what conclusions she has reached about the "The Health of the Nation" from the 1991 census.

Mr. Sackville: The 1991 census predates the publication in July 1992 of the Government's health strategy "The Health of the Nation". However, census data help in establishing a good baseline for accurate population estimates. These are used in calculating incidence and mortality rates, enabling "The Health of the Nation" targets to be accurately measured.

Asthma, Newbury

18. Mr. Rendel: To aks the Secretary of State for Health what has been the change in the incidence of asthma in the Newbury area since 1988.

Mr. Sackville: This information is not held centrally. The hon. Member may wish to contact Mr. Richard Eassie, chairman of Berkshire health authority, for details.

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average morbidity in terms of annual admissions to hospital per 100, 000 population in each regional health authority and district health authority for asthma in (a) 1980, (b) 1984, (c) 1985 and (d) in each year since 1990.


Column 544

Mr. Sackville: Figures for 1990 91, 1991 92 and 1992 93 are shown in the table. Comparable figures for the earlier years and by district are not available.


Finished consultant episodes, England             

Patients with asthma, per 100,000 population      

                  |1990-91|1991-92|1992-93        

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

Northern          |185    |212    |193            

Yorkshire         |217    |161    |187            

Trent             |180    |185    |178            

East Anglian      |142    |152    |133            

North west Thames |213    |241    |253            

North east Thames |223    |207    |209            

South east Thames |193    |224    |195            

South west Thames |189    |189    |172            

Wessex            |140    |157    |144            

Oxford            |144    |170    |160            

South western     |167    |180    |164            

West Midlands     |192    |213    |219            

Mersey            |210    |246    |245            

North western     |263    |282    |261            

Source:                                           

Hospital Episode Statistics.                      

NHS, Cheshire

19. Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the future structure of the NHS in Cheshire.

Mr. Malone: As my hon. Friend is aware, the Secretary of State recently agreed to establish a new South Cheshire district health authority from 1 April 1995 to replace the Chester and South and East Cheshire DHAs. By changing the boundaries of adjacent DHAs most of Cheshire now falls within the new South Cheshire DHA and North Cheshire DHA. Any further changes to the boundaries of health authorities in Cheshire will be the subject of public consultation if and when the Health Authorities Bill has received Royal Assent.

Consultants

20. Mr. Chisholm: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the proportion of time spent by NHS consultant doctors in the private sector.

Mr. Malone: It is a statutory requirement and an underpinning principle of the conduct of private practice in national health service hospitals, agreed with the medical profession, that private practice work should not significantly interfere with a hospital's NHS contracts. Within this framework, consultants are free to undertake private work in addition to their NHS duties and in their own time, sometimes using resources bought from the health service. The combination of private practice and NHS treatment means that, overall, more patients are treated than if health care was only available through the NHS.

28. Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to reduce the cost to NHS trusts of dispensing with the services of consultants who do not meet the required professional standards.

Mr. Malone: It is for individual national health service employers to taken decisions about their staff. They should exercise this responsibility with full regard to probity and accountability. They need to ensure that every


Column 545

effort is made to keep the infrequent costs of dismissal of consultants under control.

Waiting Times

21. Mr. Anthony Coombs: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the change in the average waiting time for NHS patients since 1989.

Mr. Malone: The average waiting time of people on a waiting list for hospital admission has fallen from 9.3 months in March 1989 to 4.6 months in September 1994.

GP Fundholders

22. Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GP fundholders practices will pilot total purchasing for fundholders in Anglia and Oxford region, and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Malone: I welcome the fact that 12 practices in four separate pilot projects, covering a total population of 159,000 will pilot total purchasing in anglia and Oxford region and will take part in the national evaluation programme. Fundholders and health authorities are working in partnership and have made clear their commitment to this important project in which general practitioners will take responsibility for purchasing all hospital and community health care for their patients.

Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to extend GP fundholding; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Malone: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the Member for Sutton and Cheam (Lady Olga Maitland) earlier today.

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to her answer of 17 January, Official Report , column 401 , if she will now publish information for 1993 94 on general practitioner fundholders' savings, by region.

Mr. Malone [holding answer 14 February 1995]: The information requested is shown in the table. Nationally, retained savings equalled £64.2 million in 1993 94, about 3.5 per cent. of budgets set--similar to the levels of efficiency savings made by fundholders in the first two years of the scheme.

Savings are held by family health services authorities on behalf of the patients of fundholders. They may be retained for up to four years, to be used for the benefit of patients of the practice as outlined in the practice's annual business plan.


                  |1993-94                                  

                  |Retained     |Percentage of              

Region            |savings      |budgets set                

                  |(£ million)                              

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

Northern          |5.0          |4.0                        

Yorkshire         |7.6          |3.8                        

Trent             |5.1          |2.4                        

East Anglia       |2.5          |2.9                        

North West Thames |6.6          |4.6                        

North East Thames |2.8          |4.2                        

South East Thames |3.7          |2.9                        

South West Thames |3.8          |3.6                        

Wessex            |2.6          |2.6                        

Oxford            |4.2          |3.6                        

South Western     |3.1          |2.7                        

West Midlands     |9.9          |4.7                        

Mersey            |4.6          |3.4                        

North Western     |3.0          |3.0                        

England           |64.2         |3.5                        

Note:                                                       

Retained savings may not sum to England total due to        

rounding.                                                   

Source:                                                     

Regional Health Authorities.                                

Community Care

23. Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she next expects to meet Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation to discuss the implications for disabled persons of the Government's community care policy.

Mr. Bowis: I meet disability organisations on a regular basis and discuss a range of issues including community care. RADAR has not requested a meeting recently, so I do not have any specific plans for a meeting with it.

27. Mr. Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will review the criteria for the distribution and expenditure of the special transitional grant for community care; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Bowis: These are kept under review.


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