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Royal London Hospital

Ms. Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what grounds a payment of £140,000 was made to a former finance director at the Royal London hospital. [3114]

Mr. Malone: This is a matter for the Royal Hospitals national health service trust. The hon. Member may wish to contact Sir Derek Boorman, chairman of the trust, for details.

NHS Pension

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the time scale for decision-taking in respect of the matter referred to in his answer 7 November, Official Report, column 678. [3086]

Mr. Malone: When all relevant factors have been taken into account.

Health Visitors

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much time health visitors spend each week administering purchasers' contracts. [3122]

Mr. Bowis: This information is not available centrally. National health service trusts and health authorities are expected locally to ensure that health visitors activity is both clinically and cost effective.

Management Costs

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish the league table of management costs in NHS trusts and health authorities. [3380]

Mr. Malone: We will be publishing information shortly.

Clinical Negligence

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is (a) the number of cases reported alleging clinical negligence, (b) the total amount of money claimed in these cases, (c) the total amount of money advised by solicitors of the trusts or otherwise resolved by them in settlement of such claims and (d) the figures for (c) expressed as a percentage of turnover, for each health trust and for England as a whole for each of the last two years for which information is available. [642]

Mr. Malone: This information is not available centrally.

GP Fundholding

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of general practitioners are now fundholders. [2551]

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 726

Mr. Malone: As at April 1995, just over 39 per cent. of general practitioners are fundholders serving 41 per cent. of the population.

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners have moved to fundholding status in each year since the inception of the scheme. [2552]

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

Number of fundholding general practitioners
1991-921,715
1992-931,444
1993-942,944
1994-952,657
1995-961,650


Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the percentage of general practitioners expected on present trends to move to fundholding status (a) in 1995, (b) 1996 and (c) 1997. [2553]

Mr. Malone: From April 1995, over 39 per cent. of general practitioners in England are in the fundholding scheme. This is expected to increase to over 50 per cent. by April 1996 with more preparing to join in 1997.

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the total administrative costs of running general practitioner fundholding schemes in each year since the inception of the scheme. [2554]

Mr. Malone: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) on 17 January, Official Report, columns 425-26. For 1994-95, expenditure on management allowances was £66 million.

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he had with the medical profession to improve the workings of general practitioner fundholding schemes. [2555]

Mr. Malone: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular meetings with the medical profession to discuss a range of issues including general practitioner fundholding.

Community Health Councils

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the reorganisation of community health councils in the Plymouth and Torbay area; and if he will make a statement. [2700]

Mr. Malone: None. The re-organisation of community health councils is a matter for regional health authorities, in their capacity as the establishing body for community health councils. They have a responsibility to ensure that CHCs are able to reflect the views of the communities they serve, for example when the establishing body are considering CHC mergers or boundary changes the first consideration must always be whether maintaining the existing CHCs will best serve the local interest.

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 727

With specific reference to the Plymouth and Torbay area, the hon. Member may wish to contact Ms Rennie Fritchie, chairman of the RHA for details.

ENVIRONMENT

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information, advice and facilities will be made available to (a) the relatives of victims and (b) victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, and by whom, after the introduction of competition in the domestic gas supply market. [2004]

Sir Paul Beresford: All carbon monoxide, CO, fatalities that are notified to the Health and Safety Executive will continue to be investigated. The question of whether the industry will have a duty to conduct separate investigations into CO deaths has yet to be agreed by the Health and Safety Commission. HSE inspectors will continue to follow the general HSE policy of keeping interested parties, including those affected by CO poisoning and the families of victims, informed of progress with the investigations; informing them of any legal proceedings to be taken; liaising closely with the police and coroners courts in the case of fatal accidents; and liaising with the crown Prosecution Service if manslaughter charges should be considered. HSE inspectors also issued the leaflet "Advice to Bereaved Families" in respect of all work-related fatalities.

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what procedures the public gas transporters and emergency service providers will adopt to deal with carbon monoxide poisoning after the introduction of competition in the domestic gas supply market. [2006]

Sir Paul Beresford: Regulation 6(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangers Occurrences Regulations 1985 require suppliers of flammable gas to notify the Health Safety Executive forthwith of any incident notified to them, which has led to a death or other specified condition arising from exposure to carbon monoxide, CO from the incomplete combustion of gas. The supplier is also required to make a report in writing within 14 days.

It is proposed that a revision to RIDDOR, which is expected to come into force on 1 April 1996, will transfer the duty to notify and report to HSE from suppliers to gas conveyors.

The Health and Safety Commission issued a consultative document on draft Gas Safety (Management) Regulations in July 1995. One of the proposals was that when a gas conveyor is notified of a suspected or actual release of CO, it should attend the premises to make the situation safe.

The HSC will shortly be considering the results of the consultation exercise, including the arrangements for dealing with CO poisoning incidents. It is intended that the new regulations will come into force on 1 April 1996.

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who will have responsibility for investigating cases of carbon monoxide poisoning after

29 Nov 1995 : Column: 728

the introduction of competition in the domestic gas market. [2007]

Sir Paul Beresford: The Health and Safety Commission issued a consultative document in July 1995 on the draft Gas Safety (Management) Regulations. One of the proposals on which the commission specifically sought views was that a duty should be placed on gas suppliers to investigate carbon monoxide poisoning incidents.

The HSC will shortly be considering the results of the consultation exercise, including the arrangements for dealing with CO poisoning incidents. It is intended that the new regulations will come into force on 1 April 1996.

Mining Accident Statistics

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the private coal mining companies which publish accident figures on a six-monthly basis; what considerations apply in determining which companies provide such statistics on this basis; and what plans Her Majesty's inspectorate has to publish figures on this basis for the whole of the United Kingdom coal industry. [2053]

Sir Paul Beresford: The Health and Safety Executive is not aware of the private coal companies which publish accident figures on a six-monthly basis. The decision whether to publish company accident statistics is a matter for the individual company concerned. The HSE mines inspectorate publishes accident statistics for the whole of the mining industry on an annual basis and has no plans to publish any on a company basis.


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