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Family Visitor Appeals

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the net income was from fees for family visitor appeals during the first year of operation of the charging policy. [27870]

Angela Eagle: The net income from fees for family visitor appeals in the first year of the scheme was £104,000.

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of collecting and refunding fees for family visitor appeals was during the first year of operation of the charging policy. [27871]

Angela Eagle: Most of the costs of collecting and refunding the fees are staff costs. Many individuals are involved, including those at diplomatic posts overseas, but there are few who spend a significant proportion of their time on these tasks. Consequently, it is not possible to provide the information requested by the my hon. Friend except at disproportionate cost.

Prisoners (Drugs)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) male and (b) female prison inmates have been charged with possession of illegal drugs in each of the last three years. [28078]

Beverley Hughes: Information on the number of prisoners charged is not collated centrally. Numbers of prisoners found guilty at adjudication of possessing a controlled drug are given in the table.


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Child Asylum Seekers

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent measures have been taken to deal with unaccompanied children seeking asylum. [28511]

Angela Eagle: We are committed to offering protection and appropriate levels of care to unaccompanied minors who claim asylum in the United Kingdom. To achieve this we work closely with the Department of Health, local authorities and non-governmental organisations.

With regard to recent measures I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend, the Member for Wigan, (Mr. Turner) on 8 November 2001, Official Report, column 386W.

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many unaccompanied children have sought asylum in each year since 1996. [28510]

Angela Eagle: The information requested has been provided in the table.

Unaccompanied(18),(19),(20) children, aged 17 or under, applying for asylum to the United Kingdom, 1996 to 2000

Total applications6311,1023,0373,3492,733

(18) Unaccompanied at the point of their arrival, and not known to be joining a close relative in the United Kingdom.

(19) May exclude some cases lodged at Local Enforcement Offices between January 1999 and March 2000

(20) Figures exclude disputed age cases.

(21) Provisional figures.

Information on unaccompanied minors is published annually in the statistical bulletin "Asylum Statistics United Kingdom", a copy of which is available in the Library; and from the Research, Development and Statistics (RDS) website: rds/immigration1.html.

Terrorism-related Allegations

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with foreign Governments over the activities of Bachir Aouni; and if he will make a statement. [25179]

Mr. Blunkett: None. Mr. Aouni is held in custody pursuant to a request from Italy for his extradition.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will investigate the links between Alam Moussa (aka Louis Szondy) and Sakina Security Services; and if he will make a statement; [25182]

Mr. Blunkett: The police continue a range of investigations into terrorist-related allegations, and I discuss their action with them on a regular basis. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on individual cases, and anyone who has information they believe to be relevant should pass it on to the police.

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Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses

Mr. Rammell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he plans to implement the special measures for vulnerable or intimidated witnesses recommended in the "Speaking up for Justice" report. [30364]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The "Speaking up for Justice" report on vulnerable or intimidated witnesses in the criminal justice system published in 1998 proposed a range of special measures available for use at the trial including:

The measures requiring legislation were included in Part II of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

Implementation of the special measures will be phased as we have an opportunity to see how they are working.

The implementation in the Crown court will take place six months from today to allow a lead-in for the agencies to conduct training and preparation. All the special measures will be implemented for vulnerable witnesses, with the exception of intermediaries and pre-trial cross-examination which will be subject to pilot projects. The same measures, with the added exception of video-recorded statements, will be implemented at the same time for intimidated witnesses.

All other measures will be introduced in 2003–04 for all qualifying witnesses.

In magistrates courts implementation of special measures in July 2002 will be restricted to TV links and video recorded evidence for child witnesses in cases involving sexual offences, violence (including threats) and cruelty. This would provide protection for children in cases involving assaults, muggings and domestic violence. It would also bring the adult magistrates courts into line with the current provision in the Youth court.

Most of the measures will be extended to magistrates courts by 2003–04 (after their evaluation in the Crown court) to bring them in line with the Crown court.

A whole range of guidance and training materials for the criminal justice agencies are being published tomorrow including:

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Copies of these publications will be placed in the Library.

Over the next couple of years we will also be starting pilot projects on video-recorded pre-trial cross- examination and the use of intermediaries.

Council Tax (Police Costs)

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average cost per head of the police element of the council tax. [28666]

Dr. Whitehead: I have been asked to reply.

In England, the average police authority council tax for 2001–02 is approximately £26 per head of population. This includes council tax that is met by council tax benefit. This excludes the City of London, for which the council tax for police services cannot be separately identified.


Cancelled Operations

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many operations were postponed in each of the last five years by hospital authorities; and if he will make a statement; [11476]

Mr. Hutton: We are committed to achieving the NHS Plan targets for improving performance on cancelled operations.

From April 2002, when a patient's operation is cancelled by the hospital on the day of surgery for non-clinical reasons, the hospital will have to offer

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another binding date within a maximum of the next 28 days or fund the patient's treatment at the time and hospital of the patient's choice.

To ensure that this target is achieved, we have established a Theatre project, to develop good practice in operating theatres and ensure that this is spread throughout the national health service. This will improve the patient and carer experience; improve employee satisfaction and morale; optimise theatre utilisation, planning and scheduling; and reduce cancelled operations.

In addition, as part of the Government's £100 million strategy to reduce long waits in accident and emergency a 100 million programme of investment was announced. This will contribute to a drive to reduce hospital bed occupancy rates by purchasing additional operations in the private sector. This, alongside continued growth in general and acute hospital beds, will free up capacity in the NHS for emergency patients, help to eliminate long trolley waits and dramatically reduce—by up to 75 per cent.—the number of planned operations cancelled at the last minute.

The number of operations cancelled by hospitals, for non-clinical reasons in England, from 1996–97 to 2000–01 are given in the table.

YearNumber of cancelled operations in year


Information collected by the Department of Health are numbers of operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons on the day of admission, or on the day of the operation.


Department of Health Patients Charter returns

The number and proportion of operations cancelled for non clinical reasons on the day of admission, or on the day of operation are given in the table.

The data supplied are for the latest available full year at health authority level. Trust level data have only been collected on a shadow basis since Quarter 1, 2001–02 and it is unclear how robust this is at this level at present. Also, when measuring relative performance, it is better to measure over a whole year, rather than a single quarter.

Cancelled operations for non clinical reasons, health authorities in England, 2000–01

Region Health authorityNumber of operations cancelledNumber of elective FFCEs
South EastOxfordshire HA2,22146,605
LondonCamden and Islington HA1,61234,281
LondonBarking and Havering HA1,98445,169
North WestManchester Health2,33053,983
LondonKensington, Chelsea and Westminster1,34933,477
South EastBuckinghamshire HA2,08253,557
South EastIsle of Wight health authority41210,940
South WestAvon Health3,544109,329
LondonEast London and The City HA1,78755,481
South EastWest Surrey Health Commission1,70558,500
North WestMorecambe Bay HA80327,893
West MidlandsCoventry Health75927,051
West MidlandsBirmingham HA2,63395,257
Northern and YorksNewcastle and North Tyneside HA1,66162,256
South EastBerkshire HA1,84070,902
LondonMerton, Sutton and Wandsworth HA1,46657,234
LondonRedbridge and Waltham Forest HA1,03841,173
TrentSheffield Health1,39863,312
Northern and YorksWakefield HA96644,929
Northern and YorksNorth Cumbria HA76736,658
EasternSouth Essex HA1,29962,700
LondonBrent and Harrow HA92445,050
EasternCambridgeshire HA1,46771,878
South EastSouthampton and South West Hampshire HA1,15456,744
West MidlandsHerefordshire HA35617,874
South EastEast Sussex, Brighton and Hove HA1,42674,472
North WestSt. Helen's and Knowsley HA80842,287
LondonBromley Health61532,294
LondonLambeth, Southwark and Lewisham HA1,33972,930
North WestSouth Cheshire HA1,16565,410
LondonHillingdon HA39022,314
EasternNorth Essex HA1,24673,330
South WestSouth and West Devon HA1,19975,509
North WestWigan and Bolton HA1,03265,140
LondonCroydon HA43029,115
LondonEaling, Hammersmith and Hounslow HA95365,954
EasternBedfordshire HA69448,050
West MidlandsNorth Staffordshire HA76653,096
South WestWiltshire HA79056,159
Northern and YorksTees HA99871,489
North WestSefton HA47935,247
EasternSuffolk Health95570,600
LondonBarnet HA38028,289
LondonEnfield and Haringey HA59244,446
North WestNorth Cheshire46436,014
North WestStockport HA40431,938
South EastEast Kent HA78562,601
South EastWest Kent HA1,02782,201
South EastEast Surrey HA43636,748
West MidlandsDudley HA36031,192
North WestSouth Lancashire HA42637,544
North WestWest Pennine HA60954,518
South EastPortsmouth and South East Hampshire HA59954,445
Northern and YorksCalderdale and Kirklees HA74468,558
South WestNorth and East Devon HA72868,201
South EastWest Sussex HA77773,713
South WestGloucestershire Health66963,844
TrentLeicester HA98798,558
North WestLiverpool HA57157,304
EasternEast and North Hertfordshire HA49050,395
North WestSalford and Trafford HA50752,744
LondonKingston and Richmond HA27729,046
Northern and YorksNorth Yorkshire HA79185,967
Eastern Norfolk HA82491,868
North WestEast Lancashire HA57964,553
South EastNorthamptonshire HA48956,267
EasternWest Hertfordshire HA42549,189
North WestNorth West Lancashire HA49256,948
TrentNorth Nottinghamshire Health36042,899
South WestSomerset HA51061,908
TrentNorth Derbyshire Health33941,266
South WestDorset HA877107,048
West MidlandsSouth Staffordshire HA51663,007
TrentDoncaster HA34442,050
South EastNorth and Mid Hampshire HA42251,813
Northern and YorksLeeds HA60276,594
LondonBexley and Greenwich HA32041,486
TrentNottingham HA50165,289
South WestCornwall and Isles of Scilly HA46466,340
TrentLincolnshire Health50873,846
TrentSouth Humber29242,831
West MidlandsWorcestershire HA33751,010
Northern and YorksBradford HA45168,547
North WestWirral Health22333,958
West MidlandsShropshire HA28544,946
West MidlandsWalsall HA14925,046
TrentRotherham HA15927,569
Northern and YorksSunderland HA20635,723
West MidlandsSandwell HA18134,708
West MidlandsWarwickshire HA27855,312
Northern and YorksEast Riding HA32366,467
Northern and YorksGateshead and South Tyneside HA20050,945
Northern and YorksCounty Durham HA26572,516
West MidlandsWolverhampton HA8524,085
TrentSouthern Derbyshire Health23172,049
TrentBarnsley HA3731,364
Northern and YorksNorthumberland HA4853,177
North WestBury and Rochdale HA3148,197
West Midlands(22)Solihull HA019,676

(22) Solihull does not have any acute trusts.


1. Information collected by the Department of Health are numbers of operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons on the day of admission, or on the day of the operation.

2. Activity figures are elective first finished consultant episodes (FFCEs).

3. Figures are trust level aggregated to host health authority.


Department of Health Patients Charter returns

Department of Health Hospital Episode Statistics

23 Jan 2002 : Column 949W

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