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|Two prisoners |Three prisoners |sharing a cell |sharing a cell |designed for one|designed for one -------------------------------------------------------------------- 1994 March |8,488 |24 April |8,406 |0 May |8,106 |0 June |8,434 |0 July |8,618 |0 August |8,662 |0 September |8,728 |0 October |8,600 |0 November |8,480 |0 December |7,754 |0 1995 January |7,998 |0 February |8,592 |0
Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the prisons in which operational capacity on at least one wing has been exceeded during the last 12 months and in each of the previous five years; 
Column 669(2) under what circumstances a prison governor has authority to exceed the operational capacity of a prison wing. 
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Jon Owen Jones, dated 29 March 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about prisons in which the operational capacity on at least one wing has been exceeded during the last 12 months and in each of the previous 5 years; and the circumstances in which a prison governor has authority to exceed the operational capacity of a prison wing. Operation capacity is the total number of prisoners which an establishment can hold without serious risk to good order, security and the proper running of the planned regime. Operational capacities are set for an establishment, rather than for individual wings, by area managers based on their operational judgement. The information you request is therefore not available.
Governors may, with the agreement of area managers, accept prisoners in excess of operational capacity if there are compelling operational reasons for doing so. But every effort is made to avoid this by maximising the use of all available accommodation and allocation and transfers to other establishments.
Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) women and (b) men are employed at each grade within the Prison Service, and what have been their responsibilities for every year since 1989, broken down by category and type of prison. 
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Janet Anderson, dated
29 March 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question requesting information about the numbers and responsibilities of men and women employed in the Prison Service for each year since 1989. The attached tables are based on information held in the personnel information computer system. This information varies slightly from the figures used in response to an earlier Question (House of Commons Hansard 24 January 1995, Vol 253, Number 36 Column 43 44) because of the differing source of information. The information contained in the tables was used as it provides a breakdown, by grade and sex, of all staff employed by the Service for each year since 1989, whose details were on the system at the relevant times. The totals for officers for 1 April 1990 and 1 April 1992 are slightly lower than those given in my reply to Mr Redmond on 23 January and slightly higher for 1 April 1993. As information for April September 1991 is unavailable, the figures for October have been provided.
A breakdown of the information in the tables by category and type of establishment is not available for 1989 94 and could be obtained for 1995 only at disproportionate cost. Copies of these tables will be placed in the Library of the House.
The responsibilities of staff are determined by their grade and by the structure and work of the establishment or unit concerned, it is not possible to provide meaningful overall categorisations of responsibility by grade.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Dr. Lynne Jones, dated29 March 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about changes in policy on searching in male establishments and female establishments between 1990 and 1994.
The policy changes are listed below.
For male establishments
October 1992--Policy changed to allow women officers to "rub-down" search male prisoners. (This did not extend to intimate or strip-searching.) The change in policy was to ensure that women could carry out the majority of duties expected of male officers and so would not be debarred in practice from working in male establishments, so effectively limiting their career options as the great majority of establishments hold male prisoners.
For all establishments
January 1993--Amendment to Prison Service Manual on Security which allowed instructions to be given to a prisoner during a strip search to bend over/spread legs, if they were suspected of concealing a weapon in the anal or genital area.
Searching practices were also tightened following the attempted escape from Whitemoor prison in September 1994, although these did not involve changes in policy. We are now in the process of making further changes to our searching procedures following Sir John Woodcock's inquiry into the escape from Whitemoor prison. Sir John Woodcock made a number of recommendations which will have an impact on searching. The main changes are more rigorous procedures for searching cells, introduction of dedicated search teams, and searching of staff and visitors on entry to prisons and, on a random basis, on leaving for certain categories of prison. The Home Secretary published the implementation schedule for all the recommendations contained in the report on 8 February. A copy of that schedule has been placed in the Library of the House.
The group will include representatives of the regular police staff associations, local authorities, Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary, and special constables. It will be chaired by me or by a Home Office official.
I expect the group to produce recommendations about terms and conditions of service by mid-summer and on other matters within the year.
Column 671I am placing in the Library today a copy of an open letter I am sending to all serving special constables asking them to contribute to the group's work.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to consult interested parties about the proposals for an all-cash amusement-with-prizes machine and changes to betting shop facilities. 
Mr. Michael Forsyth: As part of the Government's deregulation initiative my Department today issued a consultation paper seeking views on proposed changes to the law on gaming machines and betting shops. These include:
an all-cash amusement-with-prizes machine with a maximum prize of £10 in essentially adult environment, including betting shops; an extension of the services betting shops may offer; to permit the sale of racing publications, society lottery tickets, prize competitions, such as spot the ball and payment of football pools winnings;
increases in the numbers of jackpot machines permitted in casinos, bingo clubs and registered clubs.
The all-cash machine would dispense with tokens, which are unpopular with both players and the industry. Overall, the changes would remove unnecessary restrictions on the facilities which may be offered and improve consumer choice while ensuring adequate protection for young people.
Subject to the outcome of the consultation process, I propose to bring forward these changes by means of an order or orders under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994. Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Llywd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received from police authorities on the capital funding for the establishment of DNA databases; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Maclean: Of the representations made to the Government by police authorities or chief officers on their grant for 1995 96, 10 have made reference, either directly or indirectly, to costs arising from police use of the DNA database. The Association of Metropolitan Authorities has also made representations on behalf of the metropolitan forces.
The costs and benefits to the police of the database have been taken fully into account in our assessment of future police spending requirements. Additional capital provision of £2.5 million is being made available to the forensic science service to launch the operational service and will be recovered over time as a component of the charge to the police for processing each sample. But costs to the police will ultimately be determined by the use they make of the service, and that will be a decision for individual chief officers on their assessment of the balance of costs and benefits.
Organisation--Interpol--established a working party on environmental crime in 1992. It has met twice--in September 1993 and May 1994. Its next meeting is in May 1995.
The working party has four sub-groups, one of which is concerned with wildlife crime--illegal traffic in species of wild flora and fauna. The other sub-groups deal with illegal traffic in waste, illegal traffic in radioactive substances and the fourth co-ordinates the work of the other three.
The sub-group on wildlife crime is developing a network of law enforcement contacts dealing with wildlife crime, promoting the exchange of information about international wildlife crime and effective enforcement methods and is working closely with the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on Wild Fauna and Flora--CITES. The sub-group met at the CITES secretariat in Geneva in October 1994.
The UK national central bureau of Interpol, part of the national criminal intelligence service, contributes to the work of the Interpol sub-group on wildlife crime to improve police co-operation against international wildlife crimes. The global wildlife division of the Department of the Environment has also participated in a sub-group meeting.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The Charity Commissioners have the statutory oversight of charities and the function of instituting inquiries into their affairs where appropriate. I understand that the commissioners' inquiry into the affairs of the Child Aid Foundation is continuing and that the foundation's trustees are co-operating with the inquirers. The commissioners have not had reason to institute any inquiry into Children in Crisis.
Mr. Maclean: The amounts of grant to police authorities were announced in the reply given to a question from the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence) on 30 January, column 516 . Funding of the police service in England and Wales will be increased by 4 per cent. in 1995 96. The setting of budgets is a matter for police authorities, subject only to the capping criteria. The capping of budgets for all classes of local authority is a matter, in England, for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, and in Wales for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales. No changes have been made to the provisional capping criteria for 1995 96 announced in December 1994.
The Government recognise the serious effect which the loss of lorries or their loads can have on individual businesses. For this reason we are determined to do all we can to tackle this problem. It is important that truck owners and drivers are aware of the risks they face and take steps to prevent this type of crime. Manufacturers also have a part to play by improving the security features of commercial vehicles. Last year, the Home Office published an advice leaflet, "A Load on Your Mind", which outlines measures which owners of heavy goods vehicles can take to protect them from theft.
Theft of and from vehicles carry stiff maximum penalties. Taking a vehicle without consent carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000. Where there is intent to deprive the owner permanently of the vehicle or its load, the offender is liable to seven years' imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
The vehicle crime prevention sub-group of the National Board for Crime Prevention advises the Government on initiatives aimed at reducing theft of and from all types of motorised vehicles. The remit of the vehicle crime prevention group was extended to cover heavy goods vehicles in recognition of the fact that commercial vehicle crime is a serious problem. The group brings together key representatives in the vehicle security field and is a symbol of the Government's partnership approach to crime prevention.
The group maintains links with other bodies working in the vehicle crime prevention field. Its chairman also chairs the Metropolitan police's joint action group on organised lorry theft which has been established to study the scale and nature of organised lorry theft and make recommendations on how to reduce it.
Home Office researchers are currently undertaking an in-depth study into heavy commercial vehicle crime using data held on the police national computer supplemented by a postal survey of victims of lorry theft. The research is looking at the numbers and types of lorries stolen; time and location at which thefts occur; the extent of the losses involved and the level of security used to protect vehicles. The results of the study, which are due to be published in the early summer, will be used to develop well targeted initiatives aimed at reducing lorry theft.
The police accord a high priority to tackling vehicle crime and have developed many initiatives. There have been a number of successful police operations against heavy goods vehicle crime, most recently Operation Tupps where the Metropolitan police stolen vehicle squad, in conjunction with Kent constabulary, arrested two men who ran a commercial breaker and exporter's yard in Essex.
The Government have also given their backing to Truckwatch, an initiative to counter commercial vehicle theft which has the support of the road haulage and freight transport associations and the police. It was first launched by Norfolk constabulary at the beginning of 1994.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there have been in each of the last five years for cases involving hit-and-run accidents; and what charges were referred in each case. 
Mr. Maclean: The available information is for prosecutions for offences as defined in section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The number of prosecutions in England and Wales for offences of failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident within 24 hours for the years 1989 to 1993 are set out below. More serious charges may have been preferred in some of these cases depending on the circumstances.
L |Failing to report |Failing to stop |accident within 24 |after |accident |hours ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989 |26,784 |23,400 1990 |25,827 |22,642 1991 |25,418 |22,044 1992 |22,225 |19,738 1993 |19,043 |15,665
Figures for 1994 are not yet available.
Mr. Malone: The information requested has not been routinely collected every year. The information is available for 1985 86, 1989 90 and 1992 93 from surveys of general practitioners work load and is as follows:
Average time spent per consultation by GMPs by type of activity Time (minutes) Activity |1985-86 |1989-90 |1992-93 --------------------------------------------------------------- Surgery<1> |8.2 |8.8 |8.8 Home visits (including travel time) |24.4 |25.5 |25.2 Home visits (time in home) |13.1 |13.5 |13.2 Clinics |11.0 |12.0 |12.6 Notes 1. To aid comparison, the 1992-93 figure for "surgery" <1>includes the time spent on "telephone consultations"; these were included within "surgery" in the 1985-86 and 1989-90 Surveys. Sources: General Medical Practitioners' Workload 1985-86 [ISBN 1 85197 068 1]. General Medical Practitioner's Workload Survey 1989-90 [ISBN 1 85197 561 6]. General Medical Practitioners' Workload Survey 1992-93 Joint evidence to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body from the Health Departments and the GMSC, November 1994. Copies of these documents are available in the Library.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the number of general practitioners and the number of secretaries, administrators, receptionists and practice managers in general practice in each of the last six years (a) in total, (b) by family health service authority and (c) broken down between fundholding and non-fundholding practices. 
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list by region (a) the amount and (b) the proportion of each trust's income derived from general practitioner fundholders' contracts. 
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if she will list those services which fundholding general practitioners can currently purchase; to which services she proposes to extend this list; and what plans she has to reduce the number of patients needed for a GP to become a fundholder. 
Mr. Malone: The approved list of goods and services details those goods and services which a fundholding general practitioner may purchase. Both the current list and the revised list, which will be effective from 1 April 1996, are available in the Library. As announced in EL (94)79, it is proposed that from 1 April 1996 general practitioners with a list size of 5,000 or more
Column 676patients may enter standard fundholding and those with over 3,000 patients may enter community fundholding.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) general practitioners, (b) consultants and (c) other hospital doctors have retired in each year for the last 10 years; and how many of these have (i) taken early retirement, (ii) retired before 60 and (iii) retired before 55. 
Letter from A. F. Cowan to Mr. Nicholas Brown, dated 29 March 1995:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question as it falls within my area of responsibility. A breakdown of the figures in the format requested is not available. We are however able to provide the following information. Figures in respect of General and Medical Practitioners quinquennially:
1985-89 1990-94 |Retirements due |Early retirements|Retirements due |Early retirements|Early retirement |to age |due to ill-health|to age |due to ill-health|scheme ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ General Medical Practitioners |3,950 |554 |3,458 |746 |- General Dental Practitioners |1,165 |366 |1,085 |381 |526 Note: The Early Retirement Scheme was restricted to general dental practitioners and came into effect from April 1991. The aim is to improve efficiency by allowing older dentists to retire early in favour of younger dentists.
Figures in respect of consultants from 1988 Consultants |Early |retirement |programme |Early |to allow for |retirements |replacement |Retirements |due to |of senior |Other early |due to age |ill-health |posts |retirements ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1988-89 |383 |38 |29 |58 1989-90 |359 |39 |75 |52 1990-91 |376 |46 |45 |77 1991-92 |368 |56 |38 |92 1992-93 |369 |56 |35 |111 1993-94 |380 |45 |66 |157 1994-95 |418 |47 |59 |159 Note: The Early Retirement programme is open to all consultants aged 50 or over. Consultants include Senior Hospital Medical and Dental Officers who worked full or part-time.
Column 676officer, (b) senior house officer, (c) registrar, (d) senior registrar and (e) consultant posts remained vacant as at 1 April on each of the last 10 years for each regional health authority. 
Mr. Malone: Data as at 1 April are not available. Information on vacancies for consultants, senior registrars, registrars and senior house officers is collected from the national health service each year, and is available in the Library in Crown copyright table R5 of the Department's census of the medical and dental work force. As these relate to a single date they may not fairly reflect the trend for the number of vacancies in the stated grades over the year as a whole.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average annual cost of employing (a) a hospital consultant, (b) a senior house officer, (c) a qualified nurse and (d) an ambulance paramedic. 
Mr. Malone: In 1992 93, the latest year for which data are available, the average annual cost of employing a hospital consultant was £63,000 and a senior house officer was £34,410. Information for 1992 93 cannot be broken down to show the average costs of a qualified nurse and an ambulance paramedic.
Mr. Sackville: The information available on receipts from the sale of surplus hospital and community health services capital assets since 1985 86 is shown in the table. These receipts are retained by the national health service and additional to Government spending on capital.
There is no question of these NHS assets having been privatised.
Year |Capital receipts (£ |million) ------------------------------------------------------------ 1985-86 |76 1986-87 |149 1987-88 |201 1988-89 |280 1989-90 |232 1990-91 |178 1991-92 |169 1992-93 |113 1993-94 |213 1994-95<1> |165 <1> Forecast outturn.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department has evaluated in the last 10 years on the effects on the human endocrine system of known endocrine disruptive chemicals present in the environment; 
Mr. Sackville: The Department has for many years evaluated worldwide experimental and epidemiological evidence about the potential health effects of chemicals present in the environment, including their effects on the human endocrine system. We are advised on such evidence by independent expert advisory committees.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research her Department has carried out in the last 10 years into the effects on the human endocrine system of known endocrine disruptive chemicals present in the environment. 
(2) what research her Department has carried out in the last 10 years into the effects on human health of organochlorines as a class with regard to both lethal and sub-lethal effects. 
Mr. Sackville: None. The main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant in aid from the office of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The MRC is an independent body deciding what research to support on its own expert judgment.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department monitors the rates of abnormalities of the genital tract in male babies on a continual basis; and if she will make available the most recent statistics. 
Mr. Sackville: Since 1964, the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys has run the national congenital malformation notification scheme. The data for this scheme are received on a voluntary basis from district health authorities. Until 31 December 1994, data were requested for all babies where the malformation was identified at or within 10 days of birth. This time limit has since been removed. Data are routinely collected on hypospadias and epispadias--the most commonly visible malformations of the male genital tract. The most recent statistics are shown in the table.
Notification of male babies born with hypospadias<1> and epispadias in England and Wales, 1992 and 1993 Rates per 10,000 male live and still births Year |Number|Rate ---------------------------- 1992 |532 |15.0 1993 |533 |15.3 <1> Excludes hypospadias when the meatus lies before the coronary sulcus.
|Government |expenditure on the |national health |service-England Year |(£ million) --------------------------------------------------------- 1985-86 |14,176 1986-87 |15,173 1987-88 |16,668 1988-89 |18,413 1989-90 |19,855 1990-91 |22,328 1991-92 |25,356 1992-93 |27,973 1993-94 |28,953 1994-95<1> |30,706 <1> Estimated outturn.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many accident and emergency departments have had to be closed for reasons other than a planned closure in each of the last 10 years; and if she will list the name of the unit, the date and length of the unplanned closure and the reason why it was closed.