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Combined Heat and Power

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on his policy concerning the building of combined heat and power stations. [66409]

Mr. Hain: As in the recent consent approved for Shotton, combined heat and power projects can offer environmental benefits and should play an important role in ensuring the availability of sustainable energy supplies. Full details of the Government's policy on building such schemes, in England and Wales, is set out in the White Paper (Cm 4071) entitled "Conclusions of the Review of Energy Sources for Power Generation", which was published on 8 October 1998.


Waiting Lists

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set up an inquiry into the impact of private medical practice on NHS waiting lists under the terms recommended by the Health Committee. [63259]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 16 December 1998]: We have no plans to set up an inquiry of the sort recommended by the Health Select Committee 8 years ago.

Live Births

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, for each of the last 10 years, the total number of live births in the United Kingdom, and the percentage of those births delivered by caesarean section. [66264]

Mr. Hutton: The information currently available on the number of live births and the percentage of births delivered by caesarean section is shown in the tables.

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Total number of live births occurring to women resident
in England 1988-97



Office for National Statistics

Percentage of deliveries by caesarean section
in England 1988-97

Financial yearPercentage of deliveries by caesarean section

(3) Information not available

(4) Provisional


Department of Health

Questions relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Wales, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland respectively.

Prostate Cancer

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received regarding the establishment of a national screening programme for prostate cancer; and if he will make a statement. [65820]

Mr. Hutton: We have received no such representations. In response to advice from the National Screening Committee (NSC), we advised the National Health Service in Executive Letter (97)12 that screening for prostate cancer should not be offered routinely, based on the existing evidence available. This remains the current policy. The NSC is actively keeping this question under review in the light of emerging evidence.

Medical Schools

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when his implementation group will invite bids from (a) established medical schools, (b) new medical schools and (c) others for provision of 1,000 additional doctors' training places; and if he will make a statement; [66087]

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Mr. Denham: The Joint Implementation Group, which has been established to oversee the allocation of universities of the English share of the increase in medical school places, wrote to all English Universities and their National Health Service partners on 8 January 1999, inviting them to submit proposals for the admission of the additional medical students in the years 2000 to 2005. It is open to universities to make proposals, whether or not they already have medical schools. Copies of the 8 January letter are available in the Library.

The invitation set out the objectives and criteria established by the Group, which will be used when considering universities' proposals. The objectives are:

    To develop new doctors who are able to practise to a very high standard, through being able to appraise and use evidence, to become life-long learners, to maintain professional standards and to be effective team members and leaders;

    To develop new doctors who are committed to and skilled in promoting health, preventing ill health, diagnosing and treating injury and disease and caring for people with long term illness and disability;

    To develop new doctors who understand the value of partnership and communication, both with their patients, their colleagues, and with members of other professional groups;

    To provide a high quality educational experience in an environment in which evaluation and research are fostered and which gives value for money;

    To demonstrate an active commitment to the admission of students from a broad range of social and ethnic backgrounds, to reflect the patterns of populations which are served by the NHS;

    To ensure that the distribution and patterns of training of students effectively increase the home supply of doctors, and meet the needs of the populations which are served by the NHS;

    To enhance quality and value for money through collaboration between universities and partnership with the NHS.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for research into the causes and treatment of allergies; and if he will make a statement. [66258]

Ms Jowell: The Department's policy research programme and the National Health Service research and development programmes are supporting a range of research on allergies and will continue to do so. The Medical Research Council, the main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research, which receives its grant-in-aid from the Office of Science and Technology in the Department of Trade and Industry, is also funding relevant research, including the study of infections, immunity and inflammations, which will underpin work on allergies.


Working Families Tax Credit

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of people in each decile of

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(a) benefit unit income and (b) household income, who will gain from the introduction of the working families tax credit. [65421]

Dawn Primarolo: The table shows the estimated numbers gaining from the introduction of Working Families Tax Credit for those eligible for the credit. Overall, about 1 million benefit units will gain.

Number of gainers from introduction of Working Families Tax Credit

DecileBenefit unit incomeHousehold income

(5) No gainers or number of gainers too few to calculate reliable estimates.


Deciles are defined in terms of equivalised income on a benefit unit and household income basis using the McClements scale; decile boundaries are higher for households than benefit units.


These estimates have been derived from projections of Family Expenditure Survey data to 1999-2000.

Ms Rosie Winterton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many household incomes of families in Doncaster, Central will rise as a result of the introduction of the working families tax credit. [66565]

Dawn Primarolo: I regret that estimates for individual constituencies are not available.

Expenditure Allocation

Mr. Watts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what were the percentage changes in the share of the allocation of identifiable general expenditure per head between the English regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over the last 10 years; [65589]

Mr. Milburn: Tables containing a breakdown by region of General Government Expenditure (GGE) per capita have been published annually with effect from 1987-88. Figures for 1987-88 to 1990-91 are available in the Appendices of the Statistical Supplement to the Autumn Statement of 1990 to 1992; figures for 1991-92 to 1993-94 in Chapter 7 of Public Expenditure: Statistical Supplement to the Financial Statement and Budget Report for 1994-95 to 1996-97; and for 1994-95 to 1995-96 in Chapter 7 of the last two editions of Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA). A regional breakdown for 1996-97 will be published in PESA 1999-2000. Figures for GGE per capita in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland appear in the same Chapters as the regional figures, and figures for 1996-97 can be found in PESA 1998-99 (Cm 3901), which was published in April last year.

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Identifiable expenditure in England cannot be fully apportioned between the English regions and it is therefore not possible to compare directly spending in the English regions with spending in England as a whole, or with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Changes in methodology mean that figures may not be directly comparable across different years.

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