Previous Section Index Home Page


Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the rate was of (a) spontaneous, (b) Caesarean and (c) instrumental births as a percentage of all births in (i) 1995-96, (ii) 1996-97, (iii) 1997-98 and (iv) 1999-2000. [136798]

7 Nov 2000 : Column: 177W

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The table shows the method of delivery in National Health Service hospitals in England for the years 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, and 1998-99. Figures for 1999-2000 are not available.

Estimated percentages


Figures are provisional

Influenza Vaccination

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the shortfall in the national availability of influenza vaccination; what steps his Department has taken to ensure that all medical, nursing and ancillary staff working in NHS hospitals have been offered free influenza vaccination; and if he will make a statement. [136771]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 6 November 2000]: This year, we have extended the recommended groups for influenza immunisation to include everyone aged 65 and over, irrespective of their underlying health, as well as younger people in established high risk groups. This increase has led to record numbers of vaccine being made available, nearly 11 million this year compared to 7.8 million last year, an increase of 40 per cent.

Unfortunately one of the manufacturers, Solvay, has encountered problems in growing a strain of the vaccine which has led to delays in some deliveries. Solvay have been in touch with the affected general practitioners to tell them details of any delays, but have confirmed that all ordered vaccine will be delivered by the end of November, in time to protect people this winter.

As part of the winter planning process, National Health Service employers are required to offer immunisation to all staff involved in the delivery of care and/or support to patients. Offers of immunisation by NHS employers are being closely monitored by the Department to ensure that all staff have been given the opportunity to be immunised.

Responsibility for occupational influenza immunisation rests with the employer and it should be provided through an occupational health service. It is up to individual NHS trusts to determine their own programme and fund the immunisation of their staff.


Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many osteopaths practising before 1993 were refused registration under the Osteopaths Act 1993. [136441]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The General Osteopathic Council's records show that, at 2 November 2000, 73 practitioners who claimed to be practising as osteopaths before 1993 have been refused statutory registration under the Osteopaths Act of that year.

7 Nov 2000 : Column: 178W

Naz Project

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the Naz Project; and what funding his Department has provided for the project from 1997 to 2000. [136763]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The Naz Project plays a valuable role in providing the South Asian, Latin American, Irani, Turkish and Arab Communities with education and advice on HIV/AIDS issues, and care, support and prevention services. The Department provided core grant funding of £27,000 per year from 1997 to 2000, and £25,000 in 2000-01.


Cayman Islands

13. Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Cayman Islands authorities on the White Paper on Overseas Territories. [135172]

Mr. Battle: There is a continual dialogue between the Governor and the Cayman Islands Government on White Paper issues. We have hosted two Consultative Council meetings in October 1999 and October 2000 when Ministers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and appropriate Whitehall Departments met elected representatives from all the Overseas Territories including the Cayman Islands. Baroness Scotland of Asthal also discussed White Paper issues with the Cayman Islands Government during her visit to the Territory in July of this year.

EU Council (Biarritz)

15. Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome was of the EU Council at Biarritz; and if he will make a statement. [135174]

Mr. Vaz: This informal European Council took stock of progress of the Inter-Governmental Conference on treaty change. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear our support for the extension of majority voting in areas where this will benefit Britain, while making clear that these areas did not include tax or social security. The European Council agreed that there was a role for enhanced co-operation in an enlarged European Union. It also agreed that the Charter of Rights should be adopted at the Nice European Council as a purely political declaration. Heads of State and Government also discussed the situation in the Middle East, and held a meeting with President Kostunica of Serbia.


16. Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his funding for BBC activities. [135175]

Mr. Hain: We have provided a record £64 million increase for the World Service over the next three years.

7 Nov 2000 : Column: 179W

Sub-Saharan Africa (Solar Energy)

17. Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what solar energy projects in African sub-Saharan countries he is funding. [135176]

Mr. Hain: We are currently funding two solar energy projects in Ethiopia and one in Uganda, with one in South Africa that aims to facilitate financing for renewable energy, including solar energy, together with two other African projects funded by the Climate Change Challenge Fund.


18. Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the UK's relationship with Zimbabwe. [135177]

Mr. Robin Cook: The economic crisis in Zimbabwe continues to deepen. The economy is contracting by up to one tenth this year and receipts from tourism are down by three-quarters. Inflation is predicted to reach 80 per cent. and foreign exchange is effectively exhausted.

Britain is ready to engage with the Government of Zimbabwe, as its partner for development. But there is no realistic prospect of economic progress unless President Mugabe first restores the rule of law.

I met yesterday with Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Zimbabwe Opposition. I shared with him our strong friendship for the people of Zimbabwe and Britain's willingness to work with any of their representatives who share our commitment to the rule of law, democracy and the welfare of its people.


19. Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress he has made in widening recruitment to the Foreign Office. [135179]

Mr. Battle: We are widening the FCO's recruitment base, launching marketing and outreach initiatives to encourage people from different backgrounds to join the FCO. We want to ensure that we draw on the very best of Britain's diverse society in promoting UK interests overseas.

St. Helena

20. Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in the past year towards the restoration of full British citizenship for the people of the island of St. Helena. [135181]

Mr. Battle: We have consulted the Overseas Territories, have resolved the matters which need to be covered by new legislation and have produced drafting instructions for a Bill.

North Korea

21. Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the EU, the USA, Japan

7 Nov 2000 : Column: 180W

and China with regard to his decision to normalise diplomatic relations with North Korea; and if he will make a statement. [135182]

Mr. Battle: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed his decision to respond positively to a North Korean proposal on establishing diplomatic relations with South Korean, US and Japanese counterparts and a number of EU colleagues. Ministers in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Spain have since made similar announcements. The decision acknowledges progress in the dialogue between North and South Korea and between the US and North Korea and reaffirms British support for the engagement policy of South Korean President, Kim Dae-Jung, but it does not imply approval of the North Korean regime. We remain deeply concerned about human rights in North Korea, as well as Pyongyang's policies on weapons of mass destruction, missile proliferation and nuclear issues; and will use formal relations to continue pressing these issues.

Next Section Index Home Page