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Clinical Depression

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of (a) adults, (b) children and young persons and (c) adults over 65 years have clinical depression at the latest date for which figures are available. [35082]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 11 February 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 8 January 2002, Official Report, columns 663–64W.

Tilt Report

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the first patient to move out of a hospital as a result of the Tilt report. [35079]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 11 February 2002]: Some patients have already moved into placements that have been partially funded from the money provided as a result of the Tilt report. The Tilt funding represents a contribution towards the achievement of the NHS Plan commitment to move up to 400 inappropriately placed patients out of the high security hospitals by 2004 but is not intended to cover the full costs.

Air Ambulances

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance he issues on the circumstances in which an air ambulance is more appropriate than its terrestrial equivalent for the transfer of patients to hospital; [35200]

Ms Blears [holding answer 11 February 2002]: There are currently 12 charitably funded air ambulance services operating in England. These are:

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In addition the helicopter emergency medical service covers London within the M25 motorway. There are also helicopter air ambulance services provided in the form of joint operations with the police in both Sussex and Wiltshire.

The charities are responsible for the number of aircraft provided and national health service ambulance trusts are responsible for calling out air ambulances to emergencies in accordance with locally agreed protocols. No central guidance has been issued.

Provision of air ambulance services in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved Administrations.

General Practitioner Lists

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he takes to ensure that children are not removed by general practitioners from their lists due to medical and lifestyle decisions by their parents. [35212]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 11 February 2002]: General practitioners have always had the right to remove patients from their list without giving a reason, just as patients have the right to withdraw from a doctor's list without giving reasons. We strongly support the General Medical Council in their guidance "Duties of a Doctor" which makes clear it is unacceptable to discriminate against patients on grounds of lifestyle, culture, beliefs, race, colour, sex, sexuality, age, social status or perceived economic worth.

Northwood and Pinner Community Hospital

Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the future of Northwood and Pinner community hospital; and what plans he has received from the Hillingdon primary care trust for the development of facilities for general practice on the site. [34597]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 11 February 2002]: Proposals for the future of Northwood and Pinner community hospital will emerge from strategic plans currently being developed in line with priorities identified within the Hillingdon local modernisation review. At this stage there are no firm proposals for the Northwood and Pinner community hospital site. Any proposed changes will form the subject of a formal public consultation.

Care Homes

John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to raise the personal expenses allowance in care homes. [34694]

Jacqui Smith: Decisions on the level of the personal expenses allowance for people in residential care for April 2002 will be announced soon.

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Global Conflict Prevention Pool

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the projects funded from the Global Conflict Prevention Pool since its establishment, indicating for each project the relevant countries and the total cost. [34469]

Mr. MacShane: I have been asked to reply.

A report on the activities of the pool in its first year will be published at the end of this financial year and will describe the programmes funded by the global pool. In the financial year 2001–02, a total of £60 million was allocated to the global pool, most of which is divided among the following 10 priority areas:

The global pool also funds some conflict prevention related activity outside these areas for which funding was pre-committed when the pool was set up in April 2001.


Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what assistance Her Majesty's Government (a) is providing and (b) has provided since 1990 to primary education in Zimbabwe; [34530]

Hilary Benn: DFID has assisted a number of reviews of the education sector in Zimbabwe in the last 10 years. Between 1979 and 1996, Zimbabwe made major achievements in increasing equity and access to education. The number of primary schools doubled—from 2,321 to 4,659—as did enrolment figures which rose from 1.24 to 2.49 million children. The number of secondary schools increased by 763 per cent. from 177 to 1,528, and enrolment increased by 923 per cent. to around 0.75 million. Since 1990, UK assistance in this sector has been modest, with projects aiming to improve the quality of teacher training and to localise the examination curriculum.

Zimbabwe still has a strong education system in comparison to most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The net enrolment rate for primary education is currently 85 per cent. and in 1996, the last year for which statistics are available, 79 per cent. of primary school children continued on to secondary school. There are currently an estimated 104,000 teachers in Zimbabwe, the

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overwhelming majority of whom are trained graduates. However the education system is weakening, as are other social services, as a result of falling public spending; the rapidly rising costs of fees, books and paper; the impact of HIV/AIDS; and emigration of qualified personnel. DFID is currently assisting a study of the impact of HIV/AIDS on education.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the supply of staple foodstuffs in Zimbabwe in each year since 1990. [34526]

Hilary Benn: Maize is the staple foodstuff of Zimbabwe. DFID monitors crop forecasts through the SADC Famine Early Warning System, which also gives historical production data as follows:

Maize production

(thousand metric tonnes)

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Zimbabwe experienced very lean years in 1992 and 1995 when the rains failed. Maize production in these years was far short of the national requirement of around 2 million tonnes needed for human and animal consumption. The shortfall in national production in 2001, which was only 1.47 million tonnes, owes more to economic problems and disruption of farming than to climatic causes.


Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the names of staff who have been seconded to her Department from the private sector since May 1997, indicating (a) the names of the organisation from which each has come, (b) their responsibilities and Civil Service grades within her Department, (c) the organisation responsible for paying their salary and (d) the start and end dates of their secondment. [35834]

Hilary Benn: The information requested is as follows:

Staff seconded to DFID from private sector since May 1997

Number of Staff Organisation Civil service grade and responsibilities Salary paid by Start and end dates
4Natural Resources Institute (NRI)3 x A1 (former HCS Grade 6) 1 x A2 (former HCS Grade 7) natural resources research and advisory dutiesNRI3 x pre-1997 to April 1999 1 x February 1999 to April 2000
1Marconi    3 x A2 imfundo project team   
1Virgin One    project planning responsibilities    Companies    May to October 2000
1Cisco Systems    in the education sector   

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