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No-fly Zones (Iraq)

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel are involved in patrolling the no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq. [114516]

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Mr. Hoon: As at 10 March, we had some 1,048 Service personnel involved in or supporting operations in the northern and southern no-fly zones. This is further supplemented by the HMS Illustrious Carrier Task Group that is currently operating in the region, which consists of 1,895 Service personnel.

Military Exercises (Kenya)

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimates have been made of the quantities of unexploded munitions left behind after exercises in Kenya; and what assessments have been made of the costs of clearing such unexploded munitions. [114445]

Mr. Spellar: The quantity of unexploded munitions left behind by British units after exercises in Kenya is constantly monitored by collecting information in range log books. It is not possible, however, to estimate the quantity of unexploded munitions attributable to British units on those areas upon which the Kenyan Army also trains.

The UK has deployed advisory teams to assist the Kenyan Department of Defence (KDOD) in the planning and conduct of field firing and range management. In addition, Exercise Pineapple, the annual exercise to clear ranges of unexploded munitions, has been expanded to incorporate the KDOD training area at Archers Post, and will be significantly enhanced in 2001. The in-country cost of this exercise this year will be some £7,000, rising to some £30,000 next year.

RN Vessels

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Royal Navy ships will take part in Naval Task Group 2000; if a round the world voyage is to be part of the deployment; and if he will make a statement. [114765]

Mr. Spellar: The Naval Task Group 2000 deployment will be headed by the Type 22 frigate HMS Cornwall and will comprise of HMS Sutherland (Type 23 frigate), HMS Newcastle (Type 42 destroyer), HMS Tireless (Fleet submarine) supported by the Royal Fleet Auxiliaries Fort Victoria, Bayleaf, and Diligence.

The Task Group will deploy to the Asia Pacific region via the Suez Canal and return via the Pacific Ocean and Panama Canal.

The deployment will provide a clear demonstration of the Royal Navy's ability to maintain an operationally effective and self-sustaining maritime force out of area for a prolonged period and provides an excellent opportunity for pursuing defence diplomacy objectives.


Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 29 February 2000, Official Report, column 210W, when he will deposit in the Library (a) the list of contracts held by SERCO, their date of execution, their length and location and (b) his reply to the hon. Member for Crewe and Nantwich. [115035]

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Dr. Moonie [holding answer 16 March 2000]: I replied to my hon. Friend on 12 March and a copy of my letter was placed in the Library of the House on 14 March.

Servicemen's Allowance (London)

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what will be the loss of gross earnings per month attributable to withdrawal of the London allowance for Servicemen serving in Greater London in the financial year starting in April 2000 for (a) aircraftsman second class, (b) aircraftsman first class, (c) corporal, (d) sergeant, (e) flight sergeant, (f) warrant officer, (g) pilot officer, (h) flying officer, (i) flight lieutenant, (j) squadron leader, (k) wing commander, (l) group captain, (m) air commodore, (n) air vice-marshal, (o) air marshal and (p) air chief marshal and their army and navy equivalents. [114807]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 16 March 2000]: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Disaster Relief

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his policy in respect of providing equipment and civilians and military staff for disaster relief purposes. [113700]

Mr. Hoon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale, West (Mr. Brady) on 20 March 2000, Official Report, columns 708-09W.


Mental Health

Mr. Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what extra resources will be made available to help providers deliver the National Service Framework for mental health; and when such resources will be made available to providers. [114199]

Mr. Hutton: Additional investment of £700 million has been provided for health and social services over the three years 1999-2002 to modernise mental health services.

Circulars Allocation Working Paper (99-00) Health Authority 27 and Health Service Circular 1999/038: Local Authorities Circular (99)8 notified health and local authorities of their modernisation fund allocations for 1999-2000.

HSC 1999-243 "Health authority revenue cash limits: 2000-01" set out how each health authority's individual cash limit is made up for 2000-01. Local Authorities Social Services Letter (99)25 "Personal Social Services (PSS) Funding: 2000-01" set out the Mental Health Grant, including modernisation fund, for each local authority for 2000-01.

Health authorities will wish to be assured that robust plans are in place to ensure that this money is spent on the priorities locally which are based on the Mental Health National Service Framework (MHNSF) standards before

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confirming allocations to providers. The plans for spend of new money will be incorporated into the mental health joint investment plans due to be submitted to regional offices on 31 March 2000. Allocation of funds to National Health Service providers will then be staged to coincide with actual cost demands.

Mental Health Grant allocations to local authorities are made in September and January of each financial year on receipt of claims confirming take up of the grant and compliance with conditions set by the Department in line with MHNSF implementation and, from April 2000, confirmation that money is identified in mental health joint investment plans.

Multiple Sclerosis

Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the incidence of MS is (a) in North Staffordshire and (b) in the United Kingdom. [114472]

Mr. Hutton: The information is not available in the form requested. Figures are not available on the incidence of Multiple Sclerosis in North Staffordshire. However, it is estimated that multiple sclerosis affects between 80-90,000 people in the UK.

PopulationNew cases per year (Incidence)Total number of cases (Prevalence)
England (Approx. 50m)4 per 100,000 (2,000 )100 per 100,000 (50,000)
Under 162.5 per cent. of all new cases (50) 50
Over 602.5 per cent. of all new cases (50) 12,500
Over 70Very Few 3,750

These figures are derived from epidemiological research studies. These studies all give slightly different figures. The table provides current best estimates for England. National Health Service figures do not provide accurate estimates of the epidemiology of MS. This is because many patients are not admitted to hospital and outpatient diagnostic data are not comprehensive.

Dental Services

Ms Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have died as a result of an anaesthetic for a dental procedure in a community dental practice since 1970. [114555]

Mr. Denham: Records show that since 1970 there have been 84 deaths associated with general anaesthesia for dental treatment outside hospital.

The review of general anaesthesia and sedation, which will be reporting to Ministers shortly, discusses the difficulties that exist in collecting data on mortality associated with general anaesthesia for dental treatment.

Domiciliary Care Charges

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will issue guidelines to local authorities to ensure that domiciliary care charges are consistent, transparent and equitable. [114720]

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Mr. Hutton: Our White Paper "Modernising Social Services" recognised that the scale of variation in discretionary charges is unacceptable. We are considering the recommendations from the Royal Commission on long-term care and will consider the Audit Commission's report on home care charges when it is published. We will consult representatives of service users, carers, local authorities, and other interested parties about possible changes.

Medical Laboratory Scientific Officers

Mr. Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the basis underlying the calculation of the number of medical laboratory scientific officers who will benefit from the 26 per cent. pay offer for 1999-2000 given (a) by him on 31 January 2000, Official Report, column 453W, and (b) by the Minister of State on 8 March 2000, Official Report, column 228WH. [115129]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 17 March 2000]: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave him on 14 March 2000, Official Report, column 132W.

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