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Child Supervision

Mr. Chris Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will announce his decision following the recent consultation exercise on supervised activities and holiday play schemes used by children under eight years of age; and if he will make a statement. [20903]

Mr Bowis: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) on 18 March Official Report, column 324. .


Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what clinical guidelines have been issued on the prescribing of temazepam capsules as opposed to temazepam tablets. [21009]

Mr. Bowis: In October 1995, issue No. of the chief medical officer's update, issued to all doctors in England, notified a ban on the national health service prescribing by general practitioners of the capsule formulation of temazepam from 1 January 1996 and advised on measures taken to increase controls over temazepam generally. British National Formulary No. 31, March 1996, page 151, draws specific attention to the risks associated with the misuse of temazepam capsules. A copy of CMO's update and the British National Formulary have been placed in the Library. Temazepam tablets remain available to meet all clinical needs.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people died in each of the last five years from abuse of temazepam capsules. [21010]

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Mr. Bowis: The number of deaths certified as due to abuse of temazepam--ICDs 1 304.1, 304.7, 304.8. 305.4, 305.9--alone or with other drugs for the years 1990-94 in England and Wales is:

The available data do not differentiate between the different formulations of temazepam that may be available in any one year. Note 1 Internal Classification of Disease ninth revision.

Generic Prescriptions

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Heath what is the average percentage of generic prescriptions by (a) non-fundholding and (b) fundholding general practitioners. [20882]

Mr. Malone: The percentage of generic prescriptions written by non-fundholding general practitioners in England and dispensed in 1994-95 is 50.5 per cent. The equivalent figure for fundholding general practitioners is 55.3 per cent. Notes 1. The data cover all prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors, and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered in England. 2. The analyses are based on prescriptions written by GPs and dispensing doctors in England only, wherever they are dispensed.

Casualty Admissions

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many admissions to casualty departments there have been in each of the last five years. [20884]

Mr. Horam: The information is set out in table 4 of the statistical bulletin "NHS hospital activity statistics: England 1984 to 1994-95", copies of which are available in the Library. This shows the number of attendances at accident and emergency departments in NHS hospitals.

Competitive Tendering (Contracts)

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many contracts for goods or services have been awarded in each of the last three financial years by his Department and its executive agencies after competitive tendering; and what was the total combined value of these contracts. [21033]

Mr. Horam: The Department of Health and its agencies competitively tender for all their contracts.

The information requested is not available centrally.

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Acute Psychiatric Beds

Mr. Callaghan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many acute psychiatric beds are available (a) in total and (b) per head of population in the North West region. [21421]

Mr. Bowis: The information available centrally is shown in the table.

Average daily number of available short-stay beds--wards open 24 hours--NHS hospitals: North West region --mental illness 1994-95

Number of beds(27)(28)Number of beds per 100,000

(27) Source of data: Department of Health KHO3 returns.

(28) Based on OPCS estimate of 4,206,500 as resident population.

1. Definition of short-stay: an element of the component of the ward classification intensity of care (psychiatric). Facilities for the mentally ill who are intended to stay less than one year.

2. The table excludes places in special hospitals and NHS secure wards, which are not defined in this way.

3. "Bed availability for England", a copy of which is in the Library, contains information by individual National Health Service providers, i.e., trusts, directly managed units and the special health authorities, with summary tables for England. Data are collected by broad ward classification rather than by clinical specialty and returns are made on a financial year basis. 1994-95 is the latest year for which data are available.

Life Expectancy

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the average life expectancy for (a) women and (b) men by health authority. [21667]

Mr. Horam: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave her on 15 February, Official Report, columns 686-87.

Waiting Lists

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have died while on waiting lists in each of the last three years; and if he will indicate the treatment for which they were waiting. [21675]

Mr. Horam: Information is collected on removals from waiting lists but does not differentiate between the various reasons, which include death. Emergencies are always treated immediately and patients who need urgent treatment are given priority.

Residential Care (Capital Allowance)

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what additional resources are being made available to local authorities to reflect the changes to the capital allowance for those in residential care. [19723]

Mr. Bowis: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr. Luff) on 5 March, Official Report, column 189.

Intensive Care

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average annual cost of providing an intensive care bed; and if he will provide a breakdown of the main costs involved. [21163]

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Mr. Horam: This information is not available centrally.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many inquiries his Department has held into intensive treatment unit beds in each year since 1979; and if he will indicate their date. [21502]

Mr. Horam: The Department of Health has commissioned three inquiries on intensive care since 1979. The "Study of Provision of Intensive Care in England, 1993" was published in January 1995.

An inquiry called "Investigation into the Neurosurgery Patient Transfers" was published in March 1995. It was jointly commissioned by the Department.

In addition, the Department contributed to the funding of a report of a multi-disciplinary working party on paediatric intensive care published by the British Paediatric Association in December 1993.

Copies of the documents are available in the Library.

Yorkshire Regional Health Authority

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those organisations which were short listed for the purchase of the headquarters in Harrogate of the former regional health authority. [21525]

Mr. Malone: Following pre-tender qualification, the companies invited to tender for the new headquarters of the Northern and Yorkshire regional office in Durham, which also included the requirement to purchase the former headquarters of the Yorkshire regional health authority in Harrogate, were:


Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many medical doctors qualified in each year since 1970. [21485]

Mr. Malone: The information available relates to the number of degrees awarded in medicine and is collected by the higher education funding councils. This information is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Austin-Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to compensate local authorities for additional costs from the implementation of the Social Security (Persons from Abroad) Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 1996 in respect of their statutory duties under the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 and Children Act 1989. [21594]

Mr. Bowis: On 11 January, Official Report, columns 331-65, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for

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Social Security announced that the Government proposed to assist local authorities with any unavoidable additional costs arising under the homelessness legislation or the Children Act 1989.

The Government have since decided that a special grant under section 88B of the Local Government Finance Act

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1988 will cover 80 per cent. of social services authorities' unavoidable additional expenditure above a certain threshold.

The grant will be paid in arrears on the basis of evidence submitted by authorities. Threshold levels have yet to be determined.