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Animal Experiments

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 24 July 2000, Official Report, column 456W, on animal experiments, what measures his Department is taking to ensure that animal welfare is not compromised when project licences are considered and granted while trying to make the process more efficient; and if he will make a statement. [137536]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: No changes will be made to the licensing arrangements that might compromise animal welfare.

Departmental Expenditure Limits

Mr. Pond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for changes to the 2000-01 Departmental Expenditure Limits and running costs limits within his responsibility. [138028]

10 Nov 2000 : Column: 430W

Mr. Straw [pursuant to my answer, 9 November 2000, Official Report, c. 390-91W]: The increase of £660,000,000 in the Departmental Expenditure Limit, subject to the Parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, is for processing asylum cases, detention, and support costs including unaccompanied asylum seeking children. The increase of £167,252,000 in the Department's running costs limit is for asylum case processing.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many decisions the Immigration and Nationality Department made in the last month for which figures are available. [136921]

Mrs. Roche: The number of decisions taken by the Integrated Casework Directorate in respect of applications for asylum, after-entry extensions of stay, right of abode, British citizenship, Travel Document, and European Economic Area cases, was 44,200 in September. This includes cases dealt with by the Public Callers Unit which did not involve a decision, such as a return of passport following a withdrawn application and the transfer of conditions from an old to a new passport.

Licensing Laws

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate the cost to an applicant of applying for (a) a personal licence and (b) a premises licence under the proposals contained in the Government's publication "Modernisation of our licensing laws". [137091]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Appendix 4 of the White Paper "Time for Reform: Proposals for the Modernisation of Our Licensing Laws", published on 10 April this year, sets out a full regulatory impact assessment, including details of our estimates of the fees, costs and charges likely to arise in obtaining both personal and premises licences. We are continuing to discuss these estimates with the Local Government Association and the hospitality and leisure industry, and more detailed work will be needed before final decisions are made in respect of the fee and charges structure.



Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what costs the Government expect to accrue as a result of recruiting an extra 6,500 members of professions allied to medicine; and if he will make a statement. [135746]

Mr. Denham: The recruitment of more staff will lead to greater salary and associated costs. Some or all of these costs will be offset by better patient care, reduced turnover, less money spent on agency fees, greater productivity and reduced costs for recruitment activity.

Hospital-acquired Infection

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to combat hospital-acquired infection. [136686]

10 Nov 2000 : Column: 431W

Mr. Denham [holding answer 6 November 2000]: Action to tackle the problem of hospital acquired infection (HAI) has been set as a "must-do" for the National Health Service and is specifically identified in the National Priorities Guidance. An action plan to strengthen the management and control of infection in hospitals was issued to the NHS in February 2000. Regional directors of public health will ensure that robust infection control arrangements are in place and they are currently assessing progress. All hospitals will take part in national surveillance of HAI from April 2001.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much it cost the NHS to employ agency nurses (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) in London, between 1990 and 2000. [137113]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 7 November 2000]: The table shows the total expenditure on non-NHS nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff in England, for the financial years 1991-92 to 1999-2000. These figures include all agency staff and any staff not directly employed by individual trusts and health authorities. It also shows the same information for the London region. Prior to 1994-95 the London region was calculated using the former North East, North West, South East and South West Thames regional totals. Similarly for the years 1994-95 to 1997-98, the North and South Thames regional totals have been used. The information relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved Administrations.

Analysis of expenditure on non NHS staff (agency, etc.) nursing, midwifery and health visiting--1991-92 to 1999-2000

YearExpenditure EnglandExpenditure London

(10) 1999-2000 data are provisional


The line in the financial return refers to "Non-NHS staff (Agency etc.)" which may include other nursing staff not employed directly by the NHS


1. Annual Financial Returns of NHS Trusts, 1991-92 to 1999-2000

2. Annual Financial Returns of Health Authorities, 1996-97 and 1998-99

3. Annual financial returns of district and region health authorities and the special health authorities for the London postgraduate teaching hospitals, 1991-92 to 1995-96.

10 Nov 2000 : Column: 432W

NHS Patients

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what external legal advice he has sought on the responsibility for care of NHS patients transferred to the private health sector. [137111]

Ms Stuart: I can conform that my officials are not aware of any instance in which the Department has sought external legal advice on this matter.

Where National Health Service bodies make arrangements with private sector health care providers for the treatment of NHS patients by those providers, the patients are not transferred to the private health sector. The patient may receive treatment in a private hospital, but the patient remains an NHS patient. They remain the responsibility of the NHS and have the NHS complaints system available to them. The NHS simply uses available private sector facilities. The treatment will continue to be NHS treatment and free to the patient. This will remain the case where the NHS makes arrangements with the private sector in accordance with the recently concluded Concordat between the Department and the Independent Healthcare Association.

Community Hospital (Lymington)

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the proposed new community hospital at Lymington. [137932]

Mr. Denham: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for New Forest, West (Mr. Swayne) on 9 November 2000, Official Report, columns 377-78W.


Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people affected by dystonia in the United Kingdom. [137816]

Mr. Denham: The Department does not routinely collect statistics on the prevalence of individual conditions. The Dystonia Society however, estimates that around 38,000 people in the United Kingdom currently have the condition.

Child Workers

Mr. Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate how many children were working illegally in each of the last 10 years. [137824]

Mr. Hutton: Information on the number of children employed is not collected centrally. Local authorities regulate children's employment through byelaws which are confirmed by the Secretary of State for Health in England, and the National Assembly for Wales in Wales. It is the responsibility of individual local authorities to ensure enforcement of their byelaws.

Out-patient Clinics (Consultants)

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of new patients referred to (a) medical, (b) surgical, (c) oncological, (d) gynaecological and (e) other out-patients clinics were seen by a consultant as opposed to a junior doctor in the last 12 months. [136513]

10 Nov 2000 : Column: 433W

Mr. Denham: Information is available only on the number of first attendances at consultant led out-patient clinics. This information does not differentiate between new patients who were seen by the consultant in charge of the clinic or by one of the consultant's team.

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