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Paediatric Intensive Care

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many paediatric intensive care beds are available in each NHS region; and if he will list the hospitals at which they are provided, indicating the numbers in each case. [104031]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 10 January 2000]: The table shows hospitals within each National Health Service region providing paediatric intensive care in January 2000.

Hospitals providing paediatric intensive care beds

NHS RegionNumber of beds provided
Trent region
Leicester Royal Infirmary8
Glenfield Hospital5
Queens Medical Centre Nottingham6
Sheffield Children's Hospital7
London Region
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children30
St. Mary's Hospital8
Royal Brompton/Harefield NHS Trust7
Guy's Hospital16
Kings College Hospital6
St. George's Hospital5
Lewisham Hospital3
South West Region
United Bristol Healthcare Trust16
Eastern Region
Addenbrookes NHS Trust (Cambridge)8
North West Region
Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital (Alder Hey)21
Manchester Children's Hospital24
Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery3
South East Region
Southampton University Hospitals Trust7
John Radcliffe Hospital (Oxford)5
Royal Alexandra Hospital (Brighton)1
West Midlands Region
Birmingham Children's Hospital18
North Staffordshire NHS Trust8
Northern and Yorkshire Region
Leeds General Infirmary13
St. James' Hospital (Leeds)2
Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust19
Hull Royal Infirmary2
South Tees Hospital NHS Trust5

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Vulnerable Adults (Protection)

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will assess the benefits of providing vulnerable adults with the same protection as is given to vulnerable children. [104366]

Mr. Hutton: While the majority of adults are well looked after by their families and paid carers, research has shown that abuse of vulnerable adults is nevertheless widespread. The protection of vulnerable adults who are at risk of abuse is therefore vital, and is a major concern of the Government.

In recent years the Department has funded a national helpline, run by Action on Elder Abuse, which enables people to seek advice on how to deal with incidents of abuse. The Department also has funded the production of training materials aimed at helping managers and care staff in residential care settings for older people better to understand the types and causes of abuse of their residents, how to expose abuse, and how to prevent it happening in the first place.

Currently, the Department is leading the work on producing guidance for developing multi-agency codes of practice for dealing with abuse of vulnerable adults. The consultation period of the draft guidance has now ended, and the final document titled "No Secrets" will be published shortly.

To offer further protection to vulnerable adults at risk of abuse, the Care Standards Bill, now in another place, contains provisions for a statutory work force ban mechanism to parallel that in the Protection of Children Act 1999.

Food Standards Agency

Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the members of the Food Standards Agency appointed to date; and what criteria were used for their appointment. [100788]

Mr. Milburn: The selection process for the Board members of the Food Standards Agency has not yet been completed. However, I am pleased to be able to announce today that I have appointed Professor Sir John Krebs as the Chairman of the Agency. Sir John is a Royal Society Research Professor in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University and was formerly Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council.

Sir John's Deputy will be Ms Suzi Leather, currently chair of Exeter and District Community NHS Trust. Ms Leather has twenty years of experience in consumer representation. The Chief Executive of the Agency will be Mr. Geoffrey Podger, who is currently Head of

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the Joint Food Safety and Standards Group (of the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food), forerunner to the Agency.

The names of the Agency's Scottish Board member and Welsh Board member are the subject of further announcements today by my colleagues in Scotland and Wales. We hope to be able to announce the names of other Board members of the Agency in the near future.

The approach adopted--as we said in the White Paper "A Force for Change"--has been that people should be appointed who have a proven record in relevant fields and who together provide a balance of relevant skills and experience. A majority of those appointed will come from a wider public interest background without any specific affiliation.


British-Irish Council

Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the recent meeting of the British-Irish Council. [103441]

Marjorie Mowlam: The inaugural summit meeting of the British-Irish Council, established under the Good Friday Agreement, was held at Lancaster House, London on Friday 17 December 1999.

The role of the Council is to promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the peoples of these islands. It will exchange information, discuss and use best endeavours to reach agreement on co-operation on matters of mutual interest within the competence of the relevant Administrations.

At its inaugural meeting the Council agreed a Memorandum on its working procedures. It adopted an initial list of issues for early discussion in the BIC and also decided which administrations would take the lead in each sectoral area:

TopicLead Administration
DrugsIrish Government
Social InclusionScottish Executive and Cabinet of National Assembly for Wales
EnvironmentBritish Government
TransportNorthern Ireland Executive Committee
Knowledge EconomyJersey

In addition, the Council agreed an indicative list of other issues suitable for the Council's work, including areas which members are already taking forward bilaterally:

    health issues;

    regional issues: including links between cities, towns and local districts;

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    cultural issues;


    sporting activity;

    education issues;

    approaches to EU issues;

    minority and lesser-used languages;

    prison and probation issues.

The next summit meeting of the Council will take place in Dublin in June 2000 and will focus on the issue of drugs.


Labour Statistics

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) at what rate 18 to 24-year-olds unemployed for over six months left the unemployment count in March 1998; [102110]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answers 9 December 1999]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. John Bercow, dated 12 January 2000:

    The ONS publishes a monthly count of claimants of unemployment-related benefits. The claimant count consists of all people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or National Insurance credits at Employment Service local offices. They must declare that they are out of work, capable of, available for and actively seeking work during the week in which the claim is made.

    An average of 22.4 per cent. of people aged 18-24 years who were claiming unemployment-related benefits for six months or more (computerised claims only) left the claimant count each month in the United Kingdom between April 1998 and October 1999.

    The corresponding percentage between 12 March 1998 and 9 April 1998, was 14.0 per cent.

    The available information for 1990 to 1999 is given in the following table.

18-24 year old claimants unemployed 6 months or more who left the count as a percentage of all 18-24 year olds claiming for six months or more, United Kingdom; yearly averages from 1990 to 1999

YearAge 18-24

(12) Average of the 10 months January to October 1999

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