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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance has been issued to NHS trusts about the use of refrigerated vans or lorries to store bodies when hospital mortuaries have insufficient capacity; and on what dates that guidance was issued. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 22 January 2001]: The joint Health Service/Local Authority Circular "Winter 2000-01: Capacity Planning for Health and Society Care" (HSC 2000/016: LAC 2000/14) issued on 23 May 2000 stated:
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons Nick Court, Director of Communications of the Eastern Region of the Department of Health, failed to respond to requests for a telephone conversation with Andy Lever, Editor of the Thurrock Gazette; and what the date and timing of each request was. 
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many acute beds there were in the (a) Royal Berkshire and (b) Battle hospitals (i) in May 1997, (ii) in May 1998, (iii) in May 1999 and (iv) at the end of December 2000. 
Mr. Denham [holding answer 22 January 2001]: Bed statistics are collected by National Health Service trusts, not individual hospital sites. Figures on the average daily numbers of beds for each NHS trust are published annually in "Bed Availability and Occupancy, England", copies of which are available in the Library.
23 Jan 2001 : Column: 514W
|Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff three month vacancies(5)|
|Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals National Health Service Trust(6)||80|
(5) Posts that had been vacant for three months or more. Numbers are whole-time equivalents rounded to the nearest 10.
(6) The Trust covers the Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals.
Department of Health Vacancies Survey March 2000
Mr. Denham [holding answer 22 January 2001]: The current hourly rate of pay for a newly qualified D grade nurse working full-time is £7.62 outside London and £9.16 in inner London, including London Allowance.
23 Jan 2001 : Column: 515W
Mr. Denham: It is for clinicians to make a clinical judgment as to the best course of treatment for a patient, taking into account clinical and cost-effectiveness as well as patient preference. When making this judgment, we would expect clinicians to take full account of any relevant national guidance, such as that issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
Mr. Denham: Until very recently, cardiac procedures were not carried out using minimally invasive therapy (keyhole surgery). Research is currently under way into the use of such therapy for heart operations.
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what his latest estimate is of the total value of the derating of agricultural hereditments calculated on the basis used in the oral answer given to the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras on 4 December 1980, Official Report, column 409. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 15 January 2001]: Agricultural premises have been exempt from rates since 1929 and are not valued for rating purposes. There is therefore no reliable basis on which to make an estimate because a number of factors come into play but, very approximately, it is likely that rates would yield less than £140 million for England.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent representations he has made to Her Majesty's Treasury to ensure that agrimonetary compensation is paid automatically each year. 
23 Jan 2001 : Column: 516W
|Number of UK registered fishing vessels at 1 January||Total|
(7) Including Channel Islands and Isle of Man
UK Sea Fisheries Statistics
Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent discussions he has had with sea fishing industry representatives with regard to stock recovery programmes in waters fished by UK registered boats. 
Mr. Morley: The UK Fisheries Conservation Group discussed the west of Scotland and North sea cod and the Northern hake recovery plans on 10 January. I was present for part of the meeting and heard the industry's concerns first hand. The industry were present in Brussels during last week's discussions of the cod recovery plan and were kept fully informed and consulted as the negotiations proceeded. They will also be similarly involved in the continuing discussions on the cod recovery plan this week as well as on the hake plan.
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce flood protection grants to mobile home owners towards the cost of raising the height of their homes above ground; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: I am replying as this Department is responsible for policy on flood and coastal defence. I have no plans to introduce such grants. Grant is available to operating authorities for capital defence schemes that meet specified criteria, and such schemes may provide flood alleviation for mobile home owners where it is sustainable to do so.
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