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Payments (Indian Sub-continent)

Mr. Marlow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the value of the social security payments dispatched to the Indian sub-continent in each of the last 10 years. [19794]

Mr. Heald [holding answer 11 March 1996]: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table.

£
199012,076,092
199112,403,954
199213,851,020
199314,805,616
199416,107,573
199517,722,346

1. Figures are provisional and subject to change.

2. Figures have been rounded to nearest £1.

3. The figures include details for Retirement Pension, Widow's Benefit and War Pensions.


Fraud Freeline

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what analysis his Department has made of those phone calls received under the pilot fraud referral freeline service Operation Speakeasy; and if he will make a statement. [20866]

Mr. Heald: Analysis of calls made to the pilot freephone fraud referral lines is currently being conducted. The results of the pilot are expected to be available at the end of March 1996.

19 Mar 1996 : Column: 184

HEALTH

Adverse Drug Reactions

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the change in the rate of reporting by general practitioners via the yellow card system since 1 October 1995. [20065]

Mr. Malone: Suspected adverse drug reaction reports are received through the yellow card scheme from general practitioners, hospital doctors, dentists and coroners directly and via pharmaceutical companies. Between 1 October 1995 and 29 February 1996, 4,546 reports of suspected adverse drug reactions were received from general practitioners compared with 4,866 reports over the same period in 1994-95. The difference in number of reports is a consequence of the major campaign to immunise children with measles-rubella vaccine which was carried out in November 1994.

Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the proportion of drugs issued on prescription by general practitioners to which patients have an adverse reaction. [20886]

Mr. Malone: The Medicines Control Agency receives reports of suspected adverse reactions to licensed medicinal products via the yellow card scheme. A report of a suspected reaction does not necessarily mean that it was caused by the medicine. As the scheme is voluntary, not all adverse reactions are reported. Therefore an estimate of the proportion of drugs issued on prescription by general practitioners to which patients have an adverse reaction can not be made from the available data.

19 Mar 1996 : Column: 185

Pensions (Abatement Rules)

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the abatement rules announced on 11 July 1991, Official Report, columns 425-26, apply to members of staff given service-related severance payments by an NHS trust and re-employed by a health authority in the same area; and if he will make a statement. [20387]

Mr. Malone: The abatement rules announced in 1991 generally still apply. National health service pensions are subject to abatement where an employee returns to NHS employment before age 60.

Executive Action

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those areas of executive action where he has discretion to act in respect of an individual without giving reasons for his decision. [20540]

Mr. Horam: Comprehensive records are not kept in the form requested.

Adoption Bill

Mr. Thurnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish the draft Adoption Bill. [20788]

Mr. Bowis: A draft of the proposed Adoption Bill will be issued shortly in the form of a consultation document.

Long-term Care

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will (a) introduce a statutory disregard of capital resources for those in need of long-term social and nursing care and (b) give a higher priority to the well being of this group; and if he will make a statement. [20656]

Mr. Bowis: The legislation and guidance for local authorities contained in the "Charging for Residential accommodation Guide" clearly state the amount of capital that must be disregarded for charging for residential accommodation. The development of services for older people--(the majority in this group)--has been and remains one of the Government's priority areas. The new capital limits being introduced from April will enable them to retain a minimum of £10,000 of their capital assets.

Mr. French: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for new measures on long-term care. [19727]

Mr. Bowis: The Government will consult shortly on proposals to encourage people to make provision for long-term care, as announced by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget statement on 28 November 1995.

Residential Accommodation (Charges)

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what will be the final allocation in 1996-97 to Hereford and Worcester county council in respect of costs incurred as a result of the raising from 8 April of the capital limits for charges for residential accommodation. [20756]

Mr. Bowis [holding answer 14 March 1996]: The final allocation for Hereford and Worcester will be £765,086.

19 Mar 1996 : Column: 186

Pharmacists

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the average length of time it takes for his Department to pay pharmacists for their NHS contract work; [21111]

Mr. Malone: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Gosport (Mr. Viggars) on 12 December 1995, Official Report, column 580.

Prescription Charges

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many increases there have been in the cost of NHS prescriptions since 1979. [21124]

Mr. Malone: I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) on 12 March, Official Report, column 776.

NHS Management

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines he has issued in respect of the performance-related element of the chief executives of NHS trusts, regional health authorities and district health authorities. [20856]

Mr. Malone: National health service trusts boards are accountable for the proper appointment, appraisal and remuneration of their senior executives and, as in all their functions, boards must have regard to the public service values of accountability, probity and openness enshrined in the codes of conduct and accountability issued to NHS boards in April 1994. The code of accountability requires all NHS boards to establish a remuneration and terms of service committee to exercise proper control of executive board member's remuneration.

For those staff employed on the national terms and conditions for general and senior managers, guidance has been issued periodically on performance-related pay in a series of health service guidelines, health circulars and personnel memoranda, copies of which are in the Library.

Medical Students

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to review the training of medical students. [20858]

Mr. Malone: Under the Medical Act 1983 the education committee of the General Medical Council has the statutory responsibility for determining the skills and knowledge required for the granting of primary medical qualifications in the United Kingdom.

General Practitioners

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the number of out-of-hours general practitioners co-operatives and the number of general practitioners included in these co-operatives; [20859]

19 Mar 1996 : Column: 187

Mr. Malone: This information is not available centrally.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners' premises are currently below minimum standards (i) by region and (ii) nationally. [20879]

Mr. Malone: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Dulwich (Ms Jowell) on 30 January, Official Report, column 711.

Consultants (Accident and Emergency)

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many accident and emergency consultants have been in post in each of the last five years. [20883]

Mr. Malone: The information for England is shown in the list.



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