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Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what steps she has taken to ensure that proposed changes to the TUPE Regulations are taken into account in ongoing outsourcing negotiations; and if she will make a statement; [103715]

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Mr. Stringer: The Cabinet Office published on 5 July 1999, for public consultation, a "Statement of Practice for Staff Transfers in the Public Sector", Official Report, column 388W. The Statement of Practice sets out the Government's policy for the application of TUPE where the public sector is the employer or client in a contracting-out or subsequent retendering situation. These should be conducted on the presumption that the protections of TUPE will apply, unless there are genuinely exceptional reasons not to do so. This includes second and subsequent round contracts that result in a new contractor and should ensure that all staff involved are treated fairly and consistently and their rights protected. Employees or employee representatives who consider that their rights under the Regulations have been infringed may seek legal redress. The response to the public consultation on the Statement of Practice was extremely positive with strong support from public and private sector employers and employee representatives. I aim to publish a final version of the Statement early in the New Year.

The Department of Trade and Industry are currently conducting a review of the TUPE Regulations and will shortly be consulting on proposals for revising them. Changes to the regulations will be reflected in guidance to public sector employers.

Copies of "Staff Transfers in the Public Sector: Statement of Practice" are in the Library of the House.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. David Davis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what arrangements (a) she and (b) Ministers in her Department have put in place for the taking and keeping of minutes of meetings between Ministers and people outside her Department. [102372]

Mr. Stringer: The format of minutes of meetings will depend on the nature of the discussion.

Anti-drugs Strategy

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much support has been made available for (a) action against illegal drugs and (b) education in schools regarding illegal drugs as a result of the seizure of the assets of convicted drug offenders; and how much she expects to be made available in each of the next three years. [102767]

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Mr. Ian McCartney: The Confiscated Assets Fund will total £3 million for 1999-2000, increasing to £5 million in 2000-01.

The UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator is currently identifying initiatives which might receive funding from the Confiscated Assets Fund to support action against illegal drugs. I hope to be able to make announcements shortly.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much of the funding for the anti-drugs strategy made available under the Comprehensive Spending Review is to be spent each year on (a) drugs education in primary and secondary schools and (b) other forms of drugs education for children and young persons under 16 years of age. [102793]

Mr. Ian McCartney: As a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review some £7.5 million per annum is being made available through the Department for Education and Employment to assist all schools, including pupil referral units and the youth service, to deliver effective education about drugs in line with the aims relating to young people identified in the Government's anti drug strategy.

Other education and prevention activities are funded by the Department of Health who will be spending £6 million per year to support a range of drugs education and prevention activities, and by the Drugs Prevention Advisory Service providing £6 million per year to encourage and support good practice in drugs prevention at a local, regional and national level.


Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much his Department's agencies and non- departmental public bodies have spent on external consultants and advisers since May 1997. [102100]

Mr. Stringer: My Department's agencies and non- departmental public bodies expenditure on external advisers and consultants since May 1997 is £930,744.

Special Advisers

Mr. Baker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what factors account for the increase in costs of special advisers over the period from 1995-96 to 1998-99. [101452]

Mr. Stringer: I can only answer for the period since May 1997. We always made it clear that, if elected, we would have a strengthening of the centre to ensure a firm political focus and greater co-ordination to the work of this Administration. This is what we have done, and this accounts for some of the increase. The costs also include the Standards and Effectiveness Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, the three members of the Council of Economic Advisers and the appointments of the UK anti-drugs co-ordinator and his deputy. These appointments are new to this Administration and are not covered by paybill figures for the years before May 1997.

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Meningitis C Vaccine

Laura Moffatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made on the distribution of meningitis C vaccination to the primary health care sector; whether enough vaccine is available; and if he will make a statement. [101188]

Yvette Cooper: Distribution of the new meningococcal C conjugate vaccine to the primary care sector commenced during the week beginning 22 November 1999 to allow immunisations to start on Monday 29 November 1999. Weekly distribution continues thereafter. Enough vaccine has been made available through this route to immunise babies in the first phase of the programme, that is, those presenting at 2, 3, and 4 months of age for their primary immunisation of Hib/DTP and those presenting for their first measles, mumps and rubella immunisation at around 13 months of age. The allocation of vaccine will automatically be increased to provide for other age ranges as the programme rolls out.

Organs Retention

Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the terms of reference are for the Chief Medical Officer's investigation into retention of organs; when he expects the Chief Medical Officer to report; and if he will ask the Chief Medical Officer to consult the Bristol Heart Children Action Group during his investigation. [101453]

Mr. Denham: The terms of reference of the Chief Medical Officer's investigation are: to look at the extent of organ and tissue retention following post-mortem examinations within the NHS as a whole; how NHS staff manage the process in the interests of the public health, and what bereaved family/partners and the public should expect.

The investigation will take full account of the work of the Bristol inquiry, including the views of the public and patient representatives, and the findings from the Alder Hey investigations. The CMO will make his report available to the Secretary of State for Health at the end of September.


Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evaluation his Department has made of the role physiotherapists play in cutting waiting lists and reducing patients' stay in hospital. [102556]

Mr. Denham: We have not made a formal evaluation. However, physiotherapists play an increasingly important role in preventing admissions to hospital and enabling people who no longer need to be in hospital to return home.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many physiotherapists left the NHS in each of the last five years. [102557]

Mr. Denham: The available information is given in the table. Information on the numbers of physiotherapists joining and leaving the National Health Service is not

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collected centrally, but the annual non-medical workforce census gives total numbers of physiotherapists at 30 September each year.

NHS hospital and community health services--Physiotherapists in England at 30 September each year



1. Figures are rounded to the nearest ten.

2. Due to rounding totals may not equal the sum of component parts.

3. Figures exclude learners.

4. Due to a change in classification in 1995 for collecting the data, from payscale to occupational code, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 figures are non-comparable with earlier years.


Department of Health non-medical workforce census.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS physiotherapy posts are vacant in each health region in England. [102558]

Mr. Denham: The available information is given in the table.

Department of Health Recruitment, Retention and Vacancies Survey. Vacancies in NHS Trusts by Region; physiotherapists as at 31 March 1999
whole time equivalents

Total vacancies (23)3-month vacancies (24)
England total990420
Northern and Yorkshire10030
West Midlands13070
North West13060
South East15050
South West8020

(23) Posts that Trusts were actively trying to fill at 31 March 1999

(24) Posts that had been vacant for three months or more at 31 March 1999

(25) Figures are rounded to the nearest 10


Department of Health Recruitment, Retention and Vacancies Survey 1999

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