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The information on suicides among farmers for the years 1988 to 1992 given to the hon. Member by my right hon. Friend on 25 March, Official Report , column 454 and for 1992 on 4 May 1994 at column 533 have been found to be incorrect. I shall write to the hon. Member when corrected data have been verified and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Welsh Office regularly receives letter on renovation grants. Renovation policy and progress are also discussed with each of the 37 district councils on the basis of their housing strategy and operational plans.
Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library details of the remuneration and expenses allowable to members of the governing board of the North East Wales institute at Wrexham and the present salaries of the principle and deans. 
Mr. Richards: Governors of higher education institutions do not receive remuneration. They are entitled to receive the repayment of expenses incurred in connection with their duties as governors. Beginning with the academic year ending on 31 July 1995 all higher education institutions will be required to publish emoluments of the principal and remuneration of higher paid staff in their annual accounts.
Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library a copy of the Touche Ross report commissioned by the Welsh Higher Education Funding Council into the finances of the North East Wales institute at Wrexham. 
Mr. Richards: No. The report was commissioned by the High Education Funding Council for Wales. It deals with the financial and management systems at the institute which is an independent corporation. The report is being treated as confidential to the council and the institute.
Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his Department's policy in respect of civil servants whose name, position and telephone numbers are not publicly available answering queries from members of the public and what is the external distribution of his Department's internal telephone numbers. 
Mr. Redwood: Welsh Office staff answering queries from the public are normally expected to give their names, in line with the principles of the citizens charter. Their office telephone numbers are available from the Welsh Office exchange. The Welsh Office internal telephone directory is sent on request to central Government bodies, non-departmental public bodies and the National Audit Office.
Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what levels of funding were allocated to the Countryside Council for Wales for the management of its national nature reserves in Wales in 1994 95; and what has been allocated for 1995 96;
(2) what levels of funding were allocated by the Countryside Council for Wales for the management of its national nature reserves in Wales in 1994 95; and what has been allocated for 1995 96.
1995 96: £300,000
I have asked the CCW to look at the ways of reducing its overhead and reconsider its programme expenditure.
Mr. Bowis: The report makes seven recommendations, most of which are aimed at local authorities. The recommendation to central Government that former independent living fund resources within the special transitional grant should be ringfenced has been considered. It would, however, restrict their flexibility in using their resources. Local authorities are, of course, free to ring fence their own funds. We do not, however, consider that the important tool of ring fencing should be used at central Government level in this instance.
(2) what powers are available to her to prevent poor elderly citizens from being evicted from homes for the elderly. 
Mr. Bowis: Since April 1993, local authorities have had a responsibility to arrange accommodation in residential care and nursing homes for elderly people who for whatever reason are assessed as needing such care but are unable to meet the cost.
Elderly people who entered independent sector homes before April 1993 may have preserved rights to the higher rates of income support. If such people have been evicted or are threatened with eviction from a residential care home, local authorities have a responsibility to make alternative arrangements. In the case of elderly people in nursing homes who are in this position, the national health service has a responsibility to assess their health needs and to offer appropriate services within the resources available.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment she has made of the implications of the Department of Environment's proposals for the removal of the requirement for local authorities to retain directly provided residential accommodation in respect of a local authority's duties under (a) the National Assistance Act 1948, other than part III, (b) the Registered Homes Act 1984 and (c) the NHS and Community Care Act 1990; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bowis: Local authorities already and increasingly discharge their statutory duties to provide residential care through contracts with independent sector providers. Under the Government's proposals, if local authorities thought they were unable to contract for particular services from the independent sector, they could continue to provide them directly.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many local authority care homes provided under the National Assistance Act 1948 have offered (a) respite care, (b) day care and (c) assessment facilities for each year since 1979. 
Local authority homes for all client groups, England |Number of homes |Number of homes |with short-stay |with day care places As at 31 March |admissions |available ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1987 |2,849 |1,529 1988 |2,947 |1,765 1989 |2,987 |1,848 1990 |2,957 |1,777 1991 |2,945 |1,755 1992 |2,659 |1,581 1993 |2,388 |1,422 1994 |2,317 |1,336
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much (a) capital and (b) revenue has been spent on accommodation provided by local authorities under part III of the National Assistance Act 1948 in each year since 1979. 
Column 349revenue expenditure on residential accommodation for adults and is shown in the table for the years for which figures are available.
Local authority expenditure on residential accommodation for adults, England |Capital |Revenue (gross) Financial year |£ million<1> |£ million<2> ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1978-79 |- |420 1986-87 |- |975 1987-88 |- |1,074 1988-89 |127 |1,179 1989-90 |148 |1,283 1990-91 |119 |1,413 1991-92 |121 |1,483 1992-93 |130 |1,504 <1> Information is not available prior to 1988-89. <2> Information is not available for the years 1979-80 to 1985-86.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many renal patients currently on FP10 prescriptions will be transferred to the district health authority contract system as of 1 April. 
(2) how many new renal patients per million of population she expects to undergo treatment in the National Health Service in the coming year. 
Mr. Sackville: Both the total number of renal patients and the number of new renal patients per million population are expected to increase. Local purchasers and providers should take this into account in their planning. Specific information in the form requested is not available centrally.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what efforts her Department has made to ensure that general practitioners are aware of the forthcoming changes to the funding arrangements for the treatment of kidney patients. 
Mr. Malone: All general practitioners and pharmacists have received a family practitioner notice giving guidance and instructions on the changes to the system for providing high tech health care for patients at home. More detailed instructions in the form of an executive letter, EL(95)5 copies of which are available in the Library, have been sent to regional, district and family health services authority General Managers, national health service trust chief executives and general practitioner fundholders. Both of these set out clearly what is expected of GPs in implementing these changes.
Mr. Sackville: We are currently considering the practical implications of the report on the review of renal services. We intend to publish purchasing guidance based on the report once those implications are clear.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what efforts she is making to ensure that the new contracts between district health authorities and renal units are in place before 1 April. 
Mr. Malone: Health authorities have been asked to ensure that new arrangements are in place by 1 April where continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis is currently being funded through general practitioner prescribing. This affects about half of CAPD patients. District health authorities have been asked to ensure as a priority that there is a continuity of care for these patients. In order to facilitate this they only have been authorised, if necessary, to contract with the supplier currently providing the services for 1995 96.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration has been made by her Department as to the effect of the new funding arrangements for renal units on the level of care provided for kidney patients at the Royal Victoria infirmary and the Freeman hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 
Mr. Sackville: In 1992, the latest year for which figures are held for England and Wales, 53 adult renal units in England, and eight in Wales treated a total of 18,768 patients. Regional details are as follows:
Regions |Number --------------------------------------- Northern and Yorkshire |1,944 Trent |1,814 Anglia and Oxford |1,910 North Thames |3,534 South Thames |1,927 South and West |2,239 West Midlands |1,350 North West |2,849 Wales |1,201 Total |18,768
Mr. Sackville: National health service treatment should be available to all on the basis of clinical need. It is for the clinician concerned to determine the appropriate treatment, which should not be denied on the ground of age alone, although age will be one of the factors which the clinician will take into account.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will establish and set out the dates, periods and reasons when, in 1995 to date, at casualty units in the area of the former North East Thames regional health authority within Greater London, those arriving either before or after diagnosis and treatment were accommodated on trolleys from emergency ambulances, and the maximum number so used on any such occasion. 
Mr. Malone: Health authorities have been asked to introduce changes in the way some packages of care are provided in the national health service from 1 April 1995. They have been further asked to develop strategies for providing these treatments from April 1996. Their progress in implementing these requirements will be monitored by the NHS Executive in the usual way.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average percentage bed occupancy rate for each intensive care therapy unit in England during 1994 and for each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many intensive care units in England have an intensive care consultant available 24 hours a day; and what percentage of all intensive care units that represents. 
Mr. Sackville: Intensive care does not have specialty status and does not, therefore, have its own dedicated consultants. Patients in intensive care are attended by consultants in various specialties.
(2) what assessment her Department has made as to regional and local inequalities in health; and what action is being taken to tackle inequalities; 
(3) what assessment her Department is making as to any link between low incomes, poor diet and ill health; 
(4) what assessment is being made by her Department as to any link between income inequality, relative deprivation and ill health; 
(5) what assessment her Department is making as to any link between unemployment, stress and ill health; 
(6) what assessment is being made by her Department as to any link between low income and ill health. 
Mr. Sackville: The White Paper,"The Health of the Nation", Cm 1986, acknowledged that good housing is important to good health and that in England, as in all other westernised countries, there are variations in health status between different socio-economic groups within the population. A sub-group of the Chief Medical Officer's health of the nation working group is currently looking at how the Department and the national health service can make best use of existing information in tackling ethnic, geographical, socio-economic and gender variations in health status in the current health of the nation key areas. The sub-group will also be advising on areas in which new epidemiological and research information is needed.
Mr. Malone: No beta-interferon drug for multiple sclerosis has been licensed for use in the United Kingdom. A licence application for such a drug is currently being assessed by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency.
Mr. Merchant: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much money has been ring-fenced for HIV/AIDS prevention in 1995; and what proportion of this figure has been allocated to the Health Education Authority for this specific area of work. 
Mr. Sackville: A total of £49.612 million has been earmarked for HIV/AIDS prevention in the national health service in 1995 96. This includes funding to safeguard the blood supply, train health care workers for infection control and HIV testing as well as monies for local prevention/public education work. The Health Education Authority budget, available for national public education, is separate from this budget. The amount of money to be provided for the HEA's work on HIV/AIDS in 1995 96 has yet to be determined.
Mr. Malone: This information is not available centrally, however, I understand from West Midlands regional health authority that the 1994 95 budgeted costs were £32.9 million and that for 1995 96 proposed costs of £39.5 million have been identified. It is estimated that these costs will lead to an £850,000 deficit in 1994 95 rising to a potential deficit of £7.8 million the following year. A project team has been set up by West Midlands regional health authority, including representatives from Solihull hospital and Birmingham Heartlands national health service trust, to explore ways of resolving this situation. My hon. Friend may wish to contact Mr. Bryan Baker, chairman of the authority, for further details.
Column 353consider bringing forward proposals to annul that section of the Act. 
Mr. Sackville: During 1994 the Department received a number of letters from hon. Members and the public expressing concern about the emergency treatment fee, collected under section 158 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. We have no plans to change the Act.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for each family health service authority what percentage of the costs for (a) computer hardware, (b) computer software and (c) computer maintenance (i) non-funding and (ii) fundholding GPs are presently allowed to claim back. 
All GPs, non-fundholders and fundholders alike, are able to claim direct reimbursement of normally up to 50 per cent. for practice computer systems to support general medical service activity. In addition, GP fundholders are required to have systems to manage their budgets, for which they are able to claim up to 100 per cent. of specialist computer software and related maintenance costs and 75 per cent. of computer hardware and associated maintenance costs. The balance of expenditure on computer hardware, software and maintenance will continue to be met indirectly through the expenses element in the gross fees and allowances.
Information on the percentage costs reimbursed by individual family health services authorities is not available centrally.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the waiting time in each regional health authority area are in England for the delivery to a patient of a standard wheelchair. 
Mr. Bowis: This information is not available centrally. Health authorities are responsible for setting and monitoring the standard of services locally for people with physical disabilities, including the wheelchair services.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for each of the last 10 years, how many (a) house officers, (b) senior house officers, (c) registrars, (d) senior registrars and (e) consultants were employed in each of the regional health authorities and for the NHS as a whole. 
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for the future of the Runwell secure hospital unit; what accommodation was available there and where its replacement beds are to be located; and what is the overall short and long-term demand for such accommodation arising from the health authorities for the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Barking and Havering. 
Mr. Bowis: Runwell medium secure unit is run by the Southend Community Care Services national health service trust. In October 1994 the trust expanded the number of beds in the secure unit from 14 to 28. The trust's plans to expand medium secure provision further on the Runwell hospital site and the hon. Member may wish to contact the chairman of the trust about these plans.
Ms Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the cost of acquiring and equipping the premises for the South and West regional health authority at the Parkway business park, Bristol. 
(2) what is the total cost of re-locating staff from Bristol and Winchester to the new South and West regional health authority headquarters at the Parkway business park, Bristol.