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Definition of Superpower and Superstate

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister what reasons underlie his policy of (a) favouring the creation of a European superpower and (b) not favouring the creation of a European superstate. [136229]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 1 November 2000, Official Report, column 509W.

Ministerial Conduct

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister if he will provide guidance to cabinet ministers about (a) the declaration of loans received for house purchases and (b) the receipt of donations from hon. Members. [136228]

The Prime Minister: Section 9 of the Ministerial Code provides guidance to Ministers on the handling of private interests.

Fuel Crisis

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister what consultations he has had with drivers' trade unions about the possible use of Army drivers and tankers for transporting oil in the event of fuel supply stoppages. [136772]

The Prime Minister: In the past few weeks, Ministers in various Departments have held a number of meetings with representatives of organisations affected by the protests, including the trade unions.


Mr. Raymond Hale

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the President of the Council for what reason the petition by Mr. Raymond Hale of the University of Bristol, submitted to the Privy Council on 10 September 1999, has not received a response; and if she will make a statement. [136010]

Mrs. Beckett: Since the petition was received, officials from my Department have been pursuing it with Bristol University and with Mr. Hale. My officials wrote to Mr. Hale on 20 October 2000 to say that they would do all they could to secure a decision on his Petition by the end of November 2000.

6 Nov 2000 : Column: 65W

Appointments Council

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the President of the Council what the total budget is for the House of Lords Appointments Commission in the current financial year. [136038]

Mrs. Beckett: I understand that the Commission has provisionally estimated its budget for the current financial year at £250,000. The Commission will be taking into account the need for any changes in the light of experience and feedback it receives from the public and others.


Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to her answer of 5 June 2000, Official Report, column 102W, on Special Advisers, if she will list the destination of each of the overseas visits undertaken by departmental or non-departmental special advisers. [135255]

Mr. Stringer: During the financial year 1999-2000, Special Advisers accompanied the Minister for the Cabinet Office or her predecessor to Paris, Rome, Brussels, Lisbon and New York. In addition, the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator and his deputy visited Australia, Lisbon (twice), Belgium, Vienna and Turkey.


Departmental Policies

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on the Manchester, Gorton constituency of her Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [136176]

Jane Kennedy: The policies developed by this Department generally relate to England and Wales as a whole and it is therefore not possible to say what the specific impact is on the Manchester, Gorton constituency. However, Manchester, Gorton is within the Manchester Magistrates' Courts Committee (MCC) area and will be part of the Greater Manchester MCC that comes into effect on 1 April 2001. A new 18-courtroom building is to be provided by Manchester City Council under a PFI contract. The Lord Chancellor's Department will be providing PFI Credits to the City Council to the value of approximately £45 million, which is 70 per cent. of the net present value of the scheme. Also, since 1997, £78,804 has been provided by the Lord Chancellor's Department to improve facilities available at the Manchester Magistrates' Court.

In addition, the Manchester Community Legal Service Partnership (CLSP), which covers Manchester, Gorton constituency, is one of 143 CLSPs throughout England and Wales. Throughout the Manchester, Gorton constituency, 12 agencies have been awarded contracts with the Legal Services Commission.

6 Nov 2000 : Column: 66W


Waiting Lists

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what has been the average change in waiting times for in-patient treatment for NHS patients in each year since May 1997. [135012]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is shown in the table.


As at 31 MarchAverage time (median) waited by those on the list(11)
31 August 2000(12)12.9

(11) This is the published data used in the monthly statistical press notice, which refers to the average time waited by those on the waiting list for elective admission at a particular date

(12) Latest available figure

The National Health Service Plan states that the maximum wait for in-patient treatment will be cut from 18 months now to six months by 2005. Urgent cases will continue to be treated much faster in accordance with clinical need. As a result of delivering this policy, we would expect the average time that patients have been waiting for in-patient treatment to fall from three months to seven weeks by 2005.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in East Sussex were on (a) an in-patient and (b) an out-patient waiting list on (i) 1 May 1997 and (ii) the latest date for which figures are available. [135326]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 30 October 2000]: The information requested is given in the table.

East Sussex, Brighton and Hove health authority(13)

Patients waiting for elective admissionOutpatient over 13 week waiters(14)
31 March 1997(15)20,035Data not collected
Latest date(16)18,460(17)7,562

(13) HA waiting lists and times data have been collected on a responsible population basis since April 1999. Prior to this, data were collected on the basis of a resident population.

(14) Information is not collected on the total number of patients waiting for an out-patient appointment. The table gives information on the number of patients not yet seen for first out-patient appointment who had been waiting 13 weeks or over following referral by a GP.

(15) The baseline is given as 31 March 1997, as data were not collected at 31 May 1997.

(16) 31 August 2000

(17) 30 June 2000

Single Currency (NHS Trusts)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to NHS trusts of preparing for the euro. [134774]

Mr. Denham: None.

6 Nov 2000 : Column: 67W

Private Medical Insurance

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he last met representatives of the private medical insurance industry. [134786]

Ms Stuart: During the last two years I have met representatives of the private medical insurance industry several times. The last meeting took place in March this year. There is also regular on-going dialogue with representatives from individual companies at official level. The latest meeting took place on 26 October this year.

Heart Surgery

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average change in waiting times for heart surgery has been since May 1997. [134742]

Mr. Denham: The average time patients waited for an operation involving the heart fell from 15 weeks at March 1997 to 14 weeks at December 1999 (latest data available). 1

The National Service Framework sets out a 10-year programme to transform the treatment of people with heart disease. An extra £230 million a year is being invested in heart disease services by 2004, backed up by an extra £120 million spending on equipment. The NSF pledge to carry out 3,000 more heart operations by 2002 has now been boosted by a further £10 million for another 3,000 procedures. This programme of expansion means that the maximum waiting time for routine cardiac surgery will fall to six months by 2005 and to three months by 2008.

1 HES data relate to the average time waited by patients for elective admission during particular periods. Unlike published waiting list statistics, this is not adjusted for self-deferrals or periods of medical/social suspension. The answer uses HES data, although Korner data are usually used to answer average waiting times questions. However, Korner data are collected by consultant speciality only, and it is not possible to identify data relating specifically to heart surgery.

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