Previous Section Index Home Page

Trafford General Hospital Mortuary

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the condition of the mortuary of Trafford General Hospital. [136065]

Mr. Denham: An upgrade of the current mortuary facilities at Trafford General Hospital took place in 1998 so that it would meet the necessary minimum standards. Trafford Healthcare National Health Service Trust is now in the process of developing a business case for a new mortuary and this has the support of the north-west regional office of the NHS Executive.

Bed-blocking (Kent)

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many bed days were lost through bed-blocking at (a) the

2 Nov 2000 : Column: 604W

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital, Margate, (b) the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford and (c) the Kent and Canterbury Hospital during the past 26 weeks; and if he will make a statement. [136078]

Mr. Denham: The information is not available in the form requested. I refer the hon. Member to the East Kent Health Authority, which may have the information he requests.

Elective Surgery (Kent)

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many appointments for elective surgery were postponed or cancelled at (a) the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital, Margate, (b) the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford and (c) the Kent and Canterbury Hospital during the past 26 weeks. [136077]

2 Nov 2000 : Column: 605W

Mr. Denham: This information is not collected in the form requested.

Occupational Therapists

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to improve the recruitment and retention of occupational therapists in the NHS. [122908]

Mr. Denham: The national recruitment, retention and vacancy survey published September 1999 gave us the latest authoritative data on staff vacancies from 98 per cent. of National Health Service trusts. They show that only 1.9 per cent. of occupational therapy posts have been vacant for three months or more (in England). The Government are ensuring that effective recruitment and retention policies are in place to make the best use of trained staff and that training levels are sufficient to get a better match between supply and demand.

We are taking a number of steps which will help to address the issue of recruitment and retention of occupational therapists. These include the publication of the framework for the management of human resources for the whole of the NHS, "Working Together: securing a quality workforce for the NHS", which sets targets for local employers to improve recruitment and retention year on year. We have issued guidance to the service on improving working lives and we will shortly be issuing guidance on lifelong learning and continuing professional development.

2 Nov 2000 : Column: 606W

We are also modernising services and modernising employment practice in the NHS: developing more supportive, flexible and family friendly working practices; extending and improving investment in lifelong learning and professional development; tackling violence and racism in the workplace; involving staff in the way services are delivered and in the changes and developments that affect their working lives.

We have accepted in full the pay increases recommended by the Pay Review Body for Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine (including occupational therapist) for 2000-01. The review body has recommended an across-the-board increase of 3.4 per cent. for 2000-01. Experienced staff will receive total increases of up to 8.4 per cent.


Debt Write-offs (Privatised Industry)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the amount of debt written off by the Government for each industry privatised since 1980. [135906]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The table shows the amount of debt written off for each industry privatised since 1980. Where relevant the table also shows the type of debt concerned and the amount of debt injected.

2 Nov 2000 : Column: 605W

Debt written off Debt injected
IndustryYear£ millionType of DebtYear£ million
British Steel1980-81509.3National Loans Fund----
British Aerospace1980-8160Public Dividend Capital----
National Freight Corporation(7)1980-81100National Loans Fund----
British Airways1980-81160Public Dividend Capital----
British Transport Docks Board(8)1982-8381.3National Loans Fund1982-8325
British Telecommunications1984-852,789.9National Loans Fund1984-853,500
British Gas------1986-872,500
BAA1986-8743.5National Loans Fund----
British Steel1988-89500Public Dividend Capital----
British Steel1988-893,480Borrowing under Iron and Steel Act 1982----
Harland and Wolff1989-90422.5Assistance under Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries (Northern Ireland) Order 1979----
Short Brothers1989-90390Loan by DED----
Water companies1989-904,973.3National Loans Fund1989-9072.9
Water companies1989-9055Public Works Loan Board----
Electricity (England and Wales)------1990-913,583
Electricity (Scotland)(9)1991-921,043.6National Loans Fund1991-92625.9
Northern Ireland Electricity------1993-9470.3
Belfast Airport------1994-9515.2
British Coal1994-951,633.4Voted Loans----
Railtrack1995-961,229National Loans Fund1996-97585

(7) Privatised as National Freight Consortium (now NFC).

(8) Privatised as Associated British Ports Holdings.

(9) Prior to privatisation, National Loans Fund Debt due to the South of Scotland Electricity Board nuclear programme of £1,368.4 million was transferred to Scottish Nuclear Ltd. and subsequently written off.

(10) In the case of the privatisation of British Energy, on 5 June 1996, it was agreed that, of the £1,745 million of debt to Government created as the result of the reorganisation of the nuclear power generating industry prior to the privatisation, £600 million would be converted into a new debt owed to Government, £700 million converted into 700 million shares with a face value of £1, and £445 million would be written off.

2 Nov 2000 : Column: 607W

Fuel Taxes

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much fuel duty has derived from the taxation of alternative fuels; and what percentage this represents of the total tax on road fuel, since the most recent Budget. [135651]

Mr. Timms: The receipts of excise duty from 'gas for use as road fuel' between April and September 2000 are £1.6 million. This represents 0.01 per cent. of the total excise receipts for road fuels.

This represents a growth of over 160 per cent. on receipts from the similar period last year.

Company Cars

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made on the review of the taxation of company cars. [135898]

Mr. Timms: A major reform of company car tax, to be implemented from April 2002, was announced by the Chancellor in the 1999 Budget, following a review of the system in the light of criticism of its inherent perverse incentives for some company car users to drive extra, unnecessary business miles. The main details of how the system will work in practice were announced in a Budget 2000 press release (Rev6)--'Protecting the environment: Reform of company car taxation' as legislated for the Finance Act 2000.

Service Delivery Agreements

Mr. Ian Stewart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will publish the White Paper 'Service Delivery Agreements: A Guide'; and when Departments will publish their own service delivery agreements. [136931]

Mr. Andrew Smith: I will be presenting "Service Delivery Agreements: A Guide" (Cm4915) to the House and publishing it tomorrow. Departments will be publishing their own Service Delivery Agreements on departmental websites on the same day, and a full hard copy set will be placed in the Library of the House for information.

Banking Services

Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he is taking to ensure that banking services are available to all. [133907]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Vale of Clwyd (Mr. Ruane) on 20 July 2000, Official Report, column 311W.

Next Section Index Home Page