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National Forest (East Midlands)

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will report on the National Forest Company's progress in creating the National Forest in the east midlands. [19997]

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Mr. Morley: I have arranged for copies of the National Forest Company's annual report and its accounts for 2000–01 to be placed in the House Libraries.

Aggregates Levy

Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimates she has made of the increase in the use of recycled aggregate as a consequence of the introduction of the aggregates levy. [17925]

Ms Keeble [holding answer 27 November 2001]: I have been asked to reply.

The increase in the use of recycled aggregates as a consequence of the introduction of the aggregates levy cannot be predicted with certainty. The size of any change will depend on how the producers and consumers of aggregate respond to the levy and to consequent changes in prices, in both the short and longer term. The regulatory impact assessment prepared in 2000 to accompany the proposal for the levy noted that, using the short run elasticities produced by ECOTEC for the Quarry Products Association in 1998, a best estimate of the impact of a £1.60 levy on the demand for primary aggregates would be a reduction of around 10 per cent. of production or, currently, about 24 million tonnes per year. Alternative materials, including recycled aggregate, would replace some of this reduced production, and less aggregate would be required as a result of increased efficiency and a reduction in waste of all aggregates in construction and manufacturing processes. At any level of production, the levy should encourage a shift away from virgin aggregate towards alternative materials such as recycled aggregate.

Salmon Farming

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of salmon farming on the environment; and if she will make a statement. [13869]

Mrs. Liddell: I have been asked to reply.

Responsibility for this matter rests with the Scottish Executive. I understand however that the key issues of concern have been identified and a range of actions designed to tackle them have been embarked upon.


Court of Appeal

Mr. Miller: To ask the Solicitor-General how many references there have been to the Court of Appeal under section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972 since 1972. [18302]

The Solicitor-General: By virtue of section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972, the Attorney-General may seek the opinion of the Court of Appeal on a point of law arising out of any trial on indictment where there has been an acquittal. Since 1972, there have been at least

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56 Attorney-General's references where the Court of Appeal has given its opinion on a point of law. The figures for the last few years are as shown.


Health Care Rationing

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the extent of health care rationing. [11093]

Mr. Hutton: Patients continue to be assessed on the basis of clinical need, and it has been repeatedly made clear that those patients in clearest need will be treated as a matter of priority, regardless of any other factors. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the Committee for Health Improvement have been set up to ensure a faster more uniform uptake of treatments which work for the patient. In addition to this the NHS Plan sets out a commitment that by 2003, following a review of the existing weighted capitation formula used to distribute national health service funding, reducing inequalities will be a key criterion for allocating NHS resources to different parts of the country.

Disaster Planning (Wyre Forest)

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans have been made for the reception of casualties if a major disaster occurs in Wyre Forest. [11188]

Mr. Hutton: We are determined to ensure that the national health service is in as strong a position as possible to handle major incidents and we have recently asked senior NHS doctors and managers to review their arrangements for major incidents.

In line with Government guidance, Worcestershire has a comprehensive major incident plan in place for a range of possible scenarios. The plan has been developed in collaboration with health services across Worcestershire and involving all the emergency services and the local authority emergency planning departments.

Past experiences of major disasters in this country and abroad suggest that hospitals and minor injury centres both within Worcestershire and outside the district could be deployed depending on the scale of the disaster and the nature of injuries sustained. The Government's recent guidance to health authorities on major incident planning procedures is designed to heighten awareness as a precautionary measure and forms part of the Department's on-going work on medical countermeasures for biological incidents.

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Major Trauma Casualties (Worcestershire)

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many major trauma casualties could be received and treated simultaneously at hospitals in Worcestershire and neighbouring areas. [11189]

Mr. Hutton: The ability of hospitals to respond to major trauma is dependent on a number of factors. Within each hospital the ability to receive such casualties will depend on the number of resuscitation bays and intensive care units (ICU) beds available.

Only hospitals that have adequate facilities such as resuscitation, theatres, ITU and clinical expertise should receive major trauma. Currently in Worcestershire there are:

There is the potential for spaces for up to 20 patients and four resuscitation bays in the new hospital in Worcester, due to open in April next year.

Worcestershire's major incident plan has escalation procedures to involve other sectors of the health and social services locally, and in surrounding areas. The Hereford and Worcestershire Ambulance Service National Health Service Trust would work in collaboration with local and surrounding acute hospitals and neighbouring ambulance trusts to ensure that patients are taken to the nearest appropriate facility.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) registered and (b) formerly registered nurses have taken up a full or part-time contract with the NHS after a break in their nursing career in each of the last three years for which records are available. [16398]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is shown in the table.

Qualified nurses, midwives and health visitors who have returned to practice in the national health service

Year or part yearPart timeFull time
1 February 1999 to 31 January 20001,6361,156
1 February 2000 to 31 January 20012,5791,518
1 February 2001 to 31 October 20011,4961,286


Data collected by the Department do not identify whether returning nurses are registered or formerly registered.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the number of registered and formerly registered nurses who are not employed as nurses and who are (a) under 30, (b) under 40, (c) under 50 and (d) under 60 years of age. [16388]

Mr. Hutton: Data covering the number of registered and formerly registered nurses are collected by the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (UKCC).

The table is the Department's analysis of the data supplied.

Nurses in England not working in the national health service

England—September 2000Less than 3030 to less than 4040 to less than 5050 to less than 60Not knownTotal
Nurses in England with effective registration who are not working in the NHS29,02048,24047,99035,29030160,580
Nurses previously registered in England who have let their UKCC registration lapse2,72029,79036,68035,9501,490106,630


1. Individual records have been matched to health authorities and regions in England by postcode. Where postcode data are inaccurate or missing records have been matched by town/city.

2. Nurses have to register with the UKCC every three years to stay on the UKCC register.

3. Figures relate to the area of practice at the time of registration.

4. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.


UKCC databases analysed by the Department of Health

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