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Youth Treatment Service Group

Mr. Michael Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish the fourth report of the youth treatment service group; and if he will make a statement. [32062]

Mr. Bowis: Copies of the report have been placed in the Library today. I have accepted the recommendations in the report and charged the management of the Glenthorne youth treatment centre with its implementations. Following this report and the closure of the St. Charles YTC, the group has now completed its task.

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I am grateful to Mrs. Winifred Tumim and her colleagues on the group for the valuable work they have done over the years. Mr. Tom White, who was a member of the group, has agreed to continue to make independent visits to the Glenthorne youth treatment centre.

Mental Health Review Tribunal

Ms Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the waiting times by section, between applications being received by the mental health review tribunal service and the hearings taking place; and what assessment he has made of the scope for reducing the waiting times. [30444]

Mr. Bowis: The tables give details of the waiting times for the last quarter of 1995. The tribunal offices are currently working to an eight week deadline for non restricted cases outside the special hospitals and 20 weeks for restricted cases outside the special hospitals. Deadlines for section 2 cases are determined by legislation and are required to be heard within one week of application. Delay times are continuously being monitored and options considered to improve the overall waiting times.

Waiting times last quarter of 1995 Non-restricted cases

Under 8 weeks9-12 weeksOver 12 weeks
NHS hospitals (665 cases)30329369
Special hospitals (44 cases)01430

Restricted cases

Under 20 weeks21-24 weeksOver 24 weeks
NHS hospitals (171 cases)1022940
Special hospitals (95 cases)63851

Edgware General Hospital

Sir John Gorst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the reappraisal he initiated six months ago of the provision of accident and emergency services at Edgware general hospital. [30583]

Mr. Dykes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the future provision of accident and emergency services at Edgware general hospital. [31368]

Mr. Dorrell: My right hon. Friends have made sure that I am fully aware of the strong local representations on this matter. Barnet health authority is discussing future medical involvement in the casualty services at Edgware hospital with local clinicians. A working group is expected to meet in early July to consider its recommendations. I will write to my hon. Friends following that meeting.

Elective Surgery

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the annual administrative costs of cancelling and re-scheduling elective surgery in the NHS. [31215]

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Mr. Horam: The information needed for such an estimate is not available centrally.

NHS Waiting Lists

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the annual cost of administering waiting lists in the NHS. [31214]

Mr. Horam: This information is not available centrally.

General Practitioners

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the number of forms completed by GPs annually. [31365]

Mr. Malone: The average general practitioner currently submits just over 600 claim forms per year. From 1 July 1996 approximately 30 per cent. of claim forms will be abolished and completion of the remainder may be delegated to practice staff. Doctors will also have to complete 400 fewer prescriptions per year and simplified patient registration forms mean that GPs benefit from a 34 per cent. reduction in the number of such forms to be signed.

Referrals

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of extra-contractual referral requests for secondary referrals are refused. [31366]

Mr. Malone: This information is not available centrally.

NHS Appointments

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the total number of "did not attends" for (a) out-patient appointments and (b) in-patient appointments in the NHS in the last available year. [31367]

Mr. Horam: The total number of "did not attends" for out-patient appointments during 1994-95 was 5,131,405. In the calendar year 1995, there were 209,082 "did not attends" for in-patient or day case admissions.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

Zambia

Mr. Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he has taken following the announcement by the Zambian authorities of the disqualification of ex-President Kenneth Kaunda from the current year's elections. [31170]

Mr. Hanley: We have already made clear to the Government of Zambia our concern that measures to restrict eligibility of candidates for president damage Zambian democracy and risk undermining the multi-party system.

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Bosnia

Miss Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what ways the British Government are working with (a) the Bosnian Government and (b) other European countries to conduct a survey of the needs and locations of amputees needing prostheses in Bosnia. [31119]

Mr. Hanley: We are not currently participating in any survey of the needs and locations of amputees in Bosnia. However, ODA is in close contact with the Bosnian Government on establishing its priorities for bilateral assistance in the health sector, including the needs of those disabled in the war.

Police Training

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 13 May, Official Report, columns 385-87, if he will list, by name, the individual projects or schemes under the ODA's country aid programme, under which funding is given to countries to finance training of police officers (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) in their home countries; and if he will list which countries have benefited from each project. [31161]

Mr. Hanley: The ODA does not keep centrally a record of the titles of individual projects which finance the training of police officers either in the United Kingdom or in their home countries. Police training projects are managed and recorded on a country basis only and it would involve a disproportionate cost to collate this information.

TREASURY

Tax (Self-assessment)

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what is his estimate of the impact on the public sector borrowing requirement for (a) 1996-97 and (b) 1997-98 of the effect of the change in the dates on which SC60 tax refunds will be made as a result of the switch to self-assessment; and if he will make a statement; [30593]

Mr. Jack: Refunds of deductions made from the earnings of self-employed sub-contractors in the construction industry--SC60 refunds--are made, and will continue to be made, where the sub-contractor can demonstrate that the deductions for any tax year exceeded his full liability to income tax and class IV national insurance contributions for that year. Although a sub-contractor's self-assessment for 1996-97 will not be due until 31 January 1998, this will not prevent a refund of SC60 deductions being made at an earlier date, if his liability for the year can be established. The Inland Revenue are drawing up guidelines for such claims to repayment, which will shortly be sent in draft to the representatives bodies for comment.

6 Jun 1996 : Column: 513

It is impossible to predict the effect of self assessment upon the timing of claims to repayment of SC60 deductions.

Credit Unions

Mr. Pearson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the length of time taken currently, from the initial application, for credit unions to be registered under the Credit Unions Act 1979; and what estimate he has made of the length of time which will be taken under the Act as amended by the Deregulation (Credit Unions) Order 1996. [31056]

Mrs. Angela Knight: The time taken for a credit union to be registered depends largely on how soon its committee members undergo training and set up the systems needed to run its operations. The deregulation order will not reduce that, though it will cut down the amount of work involved in determining the existence of a common bond among the members. However, as this normally takes place concurrently with other activities, it is unlikely to reduce the overall time taken for registration.

Mr. Pearson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what criteria the Registry of Friendly Societies will use to assess the status of credit unions wishing to register under the Credit Union Act 1979 as amended by the Deregulation (Credit Unions) Order 1996. [31055]

Mrs. Knight: To be registered a credit union must satisfy the registry that its objectives are the promotion of thrift among members, and the provision of credit at a fair rate of interest; that a common bond exists between members; that it is complying with statutory provisions for rules and insurance against fraud; and that its officers have received appropriate training.

The Deregulation (Credit Unions) Order 1996 will not change the assessment criteria used by the registry, but will allow greater flexibility in establishing a common bond. A guidance note for new credit unions is given to those seeking to start a credit union, and I have placed a copy in the Library.


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