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Consultant Vacancies

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultant vacancies currently exist in accident and emergency departments. [102084]

Ms Stuart: The latest available information about consultant vacancies in accident and emergency is contained in the Department of Health Recruitment, Retention and Vacancies Survey, March 1999, copies of which are available in the Library.

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many accident and emergency departments currently have no consultant in post. [102085]

Ms Stuart: Information about the number of staff in individual hospital departments is not collected centrally. The latest available data show that, of those National Health Service trusts with a major accident and emergency department (consultant-led service with full resuscitation facilities) on 31 March 1998, every one had at least one consultant in post on 30 September 1998.

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of UK CCST holders who are available to fill consultant vacancies in accident and emergency departments. [102086]

Ms Stuart: For England and Wales, information about the current numbers of higher specialist trainees holding Certificates of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST) is not collected centrally. Information from the Regional Postgraduate Deans suggests that around 20 higher specialist trainees in accident and emergency medicine should have gained their CCST in 1999. We anticipate that around 40 should qualify in 2000 and there will be around 320 qualifying for consultant posts in accident and emergency medicine between now and 2004.

Questions relating to Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for my right hon. Friends the First Secretary for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

E112 Forms

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what directions are given to health authorities and trusts regarding the issue of form E112 for continuing medical and surgical treatment in the EU paid for by the NHS. [103210]

Ms Stuart: Advice to health authorities and trusts was issued in 1994. Decisions on issue of forms E112 are taken centrally by the Department, taking into account the view of the relevant health authority and the individual patient's medical and social circumstances. Information for the general public is contained in the Department's leaflet "Health Advice for Travellers", copies of which are available in the Library.

20 Dec 1999 : Column: 423W


Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if Age Concern was consulted by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence during the appraisal of relenza. [101677]

Ms Stuart: I understand that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence consulted Age Concern informally during its rapid appraisal of Relenza. For a full appraisal, including the review of Relenza next year, interested parties such as professional and patient groups will be invited to submit evidence and to comment on guidance in draft.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the hon. Member for West Chelmsford will receive a reply to his two questions on deficits at Mid Essex Hospital Trust and North Essex Health Authority, which were due for an answer on 24 November. [102868]

Mr. Denham: I shall let the hon. Member have a reply to his two questions as soon as possible.

Life Expectancy (Babies)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the life expectancy of new baby (a) boys and (b) girls, broken down by health authority area of England. [102229]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 15 December 1999]: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 20 December 1999:

    The information requested is shown in the tables.

Life expectancy at birth (in years) by Health Authority, England 1995-97

Barking and Havering79 .674.3
Bexley and Greenwich79.674.7
Brent and Harrow80.575.1
Bury and Rochdale78.0 73.0
Calderdale and Kirklees79.073.9
Camden and Islington80.173.0
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly80.475.3
County Durham78.573.2
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow79.774.0
East and North Hertfordshire80.676.3
East Kent 80.274.9
East Lancashire78.0 72.8
East London and The City78.571.9
East Riding79.474.3
East Surrey81.276.7
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove80.875.0
Enfield and Haringey80.174.6
Gateshead and South Tyneside78.472.9
Isle of Wight80.775.1
Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster81.775.0
Kingston and Richmond81.576.3
Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham78.772.2
Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth80.174.7
Morecambe Bay79.974.6
Newcastle and North Tyneside78.573.3
North and East Devon81.276.3
North and Mid Hampshire80.776.1
North Cheshire78.173.0
North Cumbria79.074.3
North Derbyshire79.474.4
North Essex80.776.0
North Nottinghamshire79.374.3
North Staffordshire79.173.4
North West Lancashire78.873.2
North Yorkshire80.675.8
Portsmouth and South East Hampshire79.775.2
Redbridge and Waltham Forest80.275.1
Salford and Trafford78.573.2
South and West Devon80.775.4
South Cheshire80.275.1
South Essex80.175.3
South Humber79.873.7
South Lancashire79.474.6
South Staffordshire79.975.0
Southampton and South West Hampshire80.775.6
Southern Derbyshire79.774.8
St. Helens and Knowsley77.872.4
West Hertfordshire80.976.6
West Kent80.075.3
West Pennine78.272.3
West Surrey81.176.7
West Sussex81.176.2
Wigan and Bolton78.473.6

20 Dec 1999 : Column: 425W


Departmental Employees (Ethnic Minorities)

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of the total workforce in her Department is of ethnic minority origin; and what steps she is taking to encourage the employment of people from the ethnic minorities in her Department. [102732]

Clare Short: 7.8 per cent. of DFID's Civil Service staff are of ethnic minority origin.

Our recruitment adverts state that we are committed to a policy of equal opportunities and encourage applicants from all sectors of the community. Vacancies are advertised by various means, including national newspapers, professional journals, several south-east London newspapers with a broad readership base, and local job centres. For posts and grades where there is a particular lack of representation from certain sectors of the community, our advertisements now carry a specific invitation, encouraging under-represented groups to apply. Selection is on merit.

We took part in a recruitment fair in London in the summer of 1999 specifically aimed at ethnic minority graduates and we plan to do so again in 2000.

Hurricane Mitch

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department has taken to provide assistance for women in Nicaragua since Hurricane Mitch. [102818]

Clare Short: Our post-hurricane emergency assistance to Nicaragua was in the health, education and water sectors. It is our policy to ensure all emergency assistance takes account of the needs of women and does not leave them marginalised.

Women's NGOs in Nicaragua form a strong voice within civil society and we have supported their roles through our capacity building fund with the Inter American Development Bank and also in post Mitch reconstruction activities and decision making through the Joint Funding Scheme. The funds have gone to supporting a number of projects with non-governmental organisations, including Christian Aid and Oxfam, that are aimed specifically at women particularly in the fields of health and training.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what debts (a) Honduras and (b) Nicaragua have paid to the (i) World Bank and (ii) IMF (A) before and (B) since Hurricane Mitch. [102816]

20 Dec 1999 : Column: 426W

Clare Short: The levels of debt service payments (principal and others) by Honduras and Nicaragua to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are shown in the tables.

YearWorld Bank (26) in US$ millionsInternational monetary fund in SDR (27) millions

(26) The World Bank figures include International Board for Reconstruction and International Development Association.

(27) SDR--Special Drawing Rights


The figures are based on calendar years

In the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, the UK proposed a Central American Trust Fund in order to help Honduras and Nicaragua cover their debt service payments to the International Financial Institutions. In the period December 1998 to November 1999, Honduras received US$ 71.8 million and Nicaragua received US$ 41.3 million. The UK contributed US$ 16.3 million to the Central American Emergency Trust Fund.

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