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Medical Negligence

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the expenditure on insurance against medical negligence claims by (a) North Bristol NHS trust and (b) all NHS hospital trusts in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [150566]

Ms Stuart: The clinical negligence scheme for trusts (CNST) commenced on 1 April 1995. This is not insurance, but rather a risk-pooling arrangement within the national health service administered by the NHS Litigation Authority. The size of an individual trust's contribution will depend on a number of factors including their claims history and excess level.

North Bristol NHS trust's net contribution to the CNST for 2001-02 was £342,956 with an excess level of £50,000; and for 2000-01 was £382,369 with an excess level of £100,000. This trust formed as a result of a merger between Frenchay and Southmead NHS trusts in April 1999, and so no directly comparable information is available before that date.

Figures for CNST contributions for all NHS trusts are available for each year back to 1995-96. Tables setting out this information will be placed in the Library in due course.

As the CNST did not exist before April 1995, no comparable figures are available before that date.


Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when a reply will be sent to the letters from the

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hon. Member for Maldon and East Chelmsford to his Department, dated 11 September 2000 and 26 October 2000. [150593]

Ms Stuart: A reply to the hon. Member was sent on 12 February.

Consultants (North Cumbria)

Dr. Jack Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vacancies there are for consultants, by specialty, in hospitals in the North Cumbria health authority area; and if he will make a statement. [150459]

Mr. Hutton: The national health service trusts within the North Cumbria health authority currently have 11 vacancies for consultants. The Carlisle Hospitals NHS trust has vacancies for consultants in oncology, orthodontics, anaesthetics, histopathology, clinical radiology and neurology. The North Lakeland healthcare NHS trust has a consultant vacancy in child and adolescent mental health services. The West Cumbria Health Care NHS trust has consultant vacancies in endocrinology, gastroenterology, paediatrics and breast surgery.


Departmental Expenditure Limit

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proposals there are to amend the Departmental Expenditure Limits and Running Costs Limits for the Northern Ireland Office expenditure and the Northern Ireland Executive for 2000-01. [151005]

Dr. Reid: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate for Class XV, Vote 1 the Northern Ireland Office Departmental Expenditure Limit for 2000-2001 will be increased by £16,667,000 from £1,121,564,000 to £1,138,231,000. The running costs limit will be increased by £12,147,000 from £264,861,000 to £277,008.000.

The increase reflects the take-up of end year flexibility of £20,407,000 (£9,340,000 running costs, £10,263,000 other current and £804,000 capital), an increase of £140,000 in respect of Housing Benefit for occupants of bail hostels, £215,000 from the civil service modernisation fund, £610,000 from the capital modernisation fund, net transfers of £4,702,000 to the Northern Ireland Executive and a transfer of £3,000 to the Home Office (Class IV, Vote 1).

The Departmental Expenditure Limit for the Northern Ireland Executive 2000-01 will be increased by £172,993,000 from £5,199,903,000 to £5,372,896,000. The increases reflect:

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The Northern Ireland Executive's welfare to work provision increases by £1,753,000 from £74,846,000 to £76,599,000.

These increases will be offset by a charge on the Departmental Expenditure Limit reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Prisoner Releases

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many members of each terrorist organisation were released under the terms of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998; and how many of those have subsequently been (a) arrested and charged with offences of a terrorist nature, (b) arrested for other criminal activity and (c) convicted of activity of the nature set out in (a) and (b). [150306]

Mr. Ingram: Information is held, for management purposes, in relation to the perceived paramilitary association of prisoners in Northern Ireland. The following table sets out details of the perceived association of the 434 individuals released under the terms of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998.

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Details are held only in relation to those early release prisoners who come to the attention of the police while they are still under licence. At 14 February 2001, 18 of the 434 persons released under the terms of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 were arrested and charged with further offences while under licence.

Two early release prisoners were charged with offences of a terrorist nature and 16 were arrested for other criminal activity. Neither of the two cases in the former category have yet been dealt with by the courts. Of the other 16, eight were convicted, three had their charges withdrawn or were found not guilty and five have yet to have the charges against them resolved.

Perceived associationNumber
Former INLA7
Republican association3
Loyalist association6
Criminal or No association12
Grand total434

Hospital Violence

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions the RUC have been called to the accident and emergency and casualty departments of each hospital in Northern Ireland in (a) each month in 2000 and (b) January 2001 to deal with incidents of violence by patients and their visitors towards hospital staff and damage to equipment. [150294]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

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