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NHS Funding

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will discuss with the First Secretary proposals for the introduction of social deprivation factors into the funding of the NHS in Wales. [105887]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I understand that the Assembly is currently considering options for a review of the health allocation formula for Wales and the Assembly Health and Social Services Committee is due to consider this issue shortly. I will of course be glad to discuss the range of proposals, including the inclusion of social deprivation factors, with the First Secretary.


Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with other Government departments concerning the Airbus A3XX project; and if he will make a statement. [105554]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet my Whitehall and National Assembly for Wales colleagues on a regular basis and we discuss a range of issues. The Airbus A3XX project is clearly a matter of great economic importance to the UK as a whole and to Wales in particular. The final decisions on the applications for financial assistance for the project rest with the DTI (Launch Investment) and the National Assembly for Wales (RSA) and I am in close contact with both on this issue.

Departmental Smoking Policy

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action he is taking to reduce smoking in his Department. [105791]

Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department consists of fewer than 40 staff. They have agreed between themselves that smoking should only take place in certain rooms. Any member of staff who wishes to give up smoking receives the support and encouragement of his or her colleagues.

Employment Statistics

Mrs. Ann Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) men and (b) women in each of the standard age groups were employed in his Department in (i) 1979 and (ii) 1999. [104024]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The information that my hon. Friend has requested is not held for the Welsh Office for 1979, and could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

The number of male and female staff employed by the Welsh Office, in each of the standard age groups, was (at 1 April 1999):

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Standard age groupsMenWomen

Following devolution in Wales, the Wales Office was established on 1 July 1999. The staffing position at the end of 1999 was:

Standard age groupsMenWomen

Asset Sales

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the items in the National Asset Register sold by his Department, its agencies and associated public bodies since 11 February 1999, stating in each case the amount of money realised; if he will estimate the total amount raised from such sales to date; and if he will make a statement. [104492]

Mr. Paul Murphy: In the period from 11 February 1999 to 30 June 1999, the Welsh Office did not dispose of any items recorded in the National Asset Register.

Information is not held centrally for such disposals by the agencies and related public bodies of the Welsh Office during that period, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Since 1 July 1999 the Wales Office has not disposed of any item recorded on the National Asset Register. It does not have agencies or associated public bodies.


Children Act 1989

Kali Mountford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Government will next report on the Children Act 1989. [107556]

Mr. Hutton: My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment and the Lord Chancellor have today published a report on the Children Act 1989, pursuant to their duties under section 83 of the Act. Copies are available in the Library and Vote Office; and are being sent to all local

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authorities in England and to a wide range of organisations. A copy of this document can also be found at the following website:-


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action the Government are taking to prevent strokes. The Under-Secretary of State for Health. [100866]

Yvette Cooper: We are committed to a substantial and wide-ranging programme to prevent stroke within the "Our Healthier Nation" strategy. We have set a target for reducing the death rate from stroke, heart disease and other circulatory diseases by at least 40 per cent. by 2010. To help to meet this challenging target we are implementing a series of measures to tackle the major risk factors for stroke including smoking, physical inactivity, hypertension and poor diet.

On smoking, for example, our tobacco control White Paper, "Smoking Kills", set out our plans for implementing a ban on tobacco advertising, a tobacco education campaign and smoking cessation services. This is worth £100 million over three years. Our plans to tackle physical inactivity under the "Active for Life" strategy include a £1.5 million programme in this year alone to promote active lifestyles. This follows up our £9 million campaign that set the foundations for our physical activity strategy.

Alcohol misuse and high salt diets are two risk factors for high blood pressure, which increase the risk of stroke. In the case of the former, we are developing a strategy to tackle alcohol misuse in England as confirmed in "Our Healthier Nation", and we will publish it early in the New Year. As for the latter, we expect the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) to publish the findings of its survey of salt usage in manufactured foods early in 2000. Once the report is available we propose to explore with the FDF the scope for reducing the levels of salt in processed foods.

We are also promoting effective prevention within the community in collaboration with the Stroke Association under the Health Action Zone Innovation Fund programme. The 'Preventing Strokes and Saving Lives' innovation fund project in Hull and East Riding Health Action Zone is aimed at those prone to transient ischaemic attacks or mini-strokes to limit the risk of further strokes through providing a programme of lifestyle change, guidance and advice. The service will take a multi- disciplinary and patient led approach working at primary care level and involving patients' families.


Dr. Brand: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the incidence of new cases of new variant CJD for each of the last five years. [102310]

Yvette Cooper: The information requested is as follows:

YearNumber of cases of variant CJD

(39) This figure is subject to retrospective adjustment as diagnoses are confirmed.

The Department publishes, on a monthly basis, figures for the number of deaths of definite and probable cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of all types in the United Kingdom. The next press release will be issued on 7 February 2000 and copies will be available in the Library.

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NHS (Overseas Patients)

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to review the NHS guidelines for the treatment of people from abroad. [102610]

Ms Stuart: The current Regulations covering charges to overseas visitors for National Health Service hospital treatment came into force on 1 April 1989 (Statutory Instrument 1989 No. 306) and were amended in 1991 (SI 1991 No. 438) and 1994 (SI 1994 No. 1535). The Regulations provide for NHS trusts to establish if an individual patient is exempt from charges and, if not, to make and recover charges for hospital treatment from the liable individual.

Nerve Gas

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths of workers at military bases in Great Britain have been linked to exposure to nerve gas. [103933]

Yvette Cooper: This is a matter for the Ministry of Defence since it concerns the health of workers at MOD establishments.

The Department has no information on the health of workers at military establishments. For information concerning health issues at the Nancekuke base in Cornwall, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 11 January 2000, Official Report, columns 125-26W.

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effects of exposure to nerve gas on those working at military bases in the 1950s and 1960s. [103936]

Yvette Cooper: The Department has not commissioned any research or evaluated data on this issue, which relates to health effects of workers exposed to chemicals at Ministry of Defence establishments.

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