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27 Nov 2002 : Column 339W—continued


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what species of timber have been or are being procured for the accommodation and offices of the Colchester Garrison; who the suppliers of that timber were; and whether all the timber used or planned to be used meets the Government's requirement to procure timber from legal and sustainable sources. [82856]

Mr. Ingram: It is too early in the design development process to be specific about the materials to be used in the construction.

However, the Ministry of Defence places a contractual obligation on its suppliers to comply with the Government's policy on the supply or consumption of timber and products containing wood.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all suppliers of timber-based board products and furniture to his Department in the last 12 months; and the total value of those items procured. [82857]

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Mr. Ingram: Information on timber procurement is not currently collected in the form requested. In August, the Ministry of Defence introduced a new condition of contract, which places an express contractual obligation on its suppliers to comply with the Government's policy on the supply or consumption of timber and products containing wood, and in addition, to supply data to verify that compliance.

Data on timber procurement, generated as a result of the new condition of contract, will be used to inform the process of sustainability monitoring and reporting currently being developed as part of the departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.

US Aircraft

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has made to the Pentagon about the use of US aircraft by Israel in the occupied territories. [82588]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 25 November 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has made no such representations.

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Divorce (Religious Marriages)

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the Family Procedure Rules Committee will consider the Rules of Court required to give effect to the Divorce (Religious Marriages) Act 2002. [83352]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It is intended that draft rules will be considered by the Rule Committee shortly and that the provisions of the Act will be brought into force in January or February 2003.

Drug Courts

John Mann: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many JPs have direct experience of drug courts. [82882]

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Yvette Cooper: The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Junior Barristers

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what recent representations he has received on the effect of changes in levels of public funding on the number of junior barristers there will be in five years' time. [82131]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As part of the current review of the Family Graduated Fees Scheme, both the Bar Council and the Family Law Bar Association have raised concerns about the levels of fees and the potential impact on the number of future junior barristers. My officials are working closely with the Bar on these matters.

No other such representations have been received on this issue.

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Child Care

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has to improve the (a) pay, (b) conditions, (c) training and (d) career prospects of staff in residential care establishments for children. [80473]

Jacqui Smith: The Government do not have direct responsibility for pay and career progression within social care. These are the responsibility of the individual employers. However we are taking a lead in developing partnerships with employers.

The national social care recruitment campaign aims to raise awareness about the type of work social workers and social care staff actually do and the career prospects available across all aspects of social care work, including residential child care.

The National Minimum Standards that the National Care Standards Commission is using to register and inspect children's homes includes standards for training and qualifications for residential child care staff. These start with induction training that is to be undertaken within six weeks of commencing employment and leading through foundation training to the Level 3 Caring for Children and Young People National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).

The standards also state that the registered manager of a children's home should have either a Level 4 Care NVQ or a Diploma in Social Work (DipSW) qualification and a Level 4 NVQ in Management. The inclusion of specific qualifications within the national minimum standards helps to raise the profile of residential child care staff and lay down a career path for them.

Funding is available through the training support programme grant and the training strategy implementation fund to help staff undertake these various levels of training. Funding is also available to enable social workers within children's homes to undertake further specialist training in the form of a post qualification in child care award.

Ambulance Personnel

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average age of retirement for ambulance personnel has been over the last five years. [82175]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested in not collected centrally.

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average pension received by an ambulance worker is; and what percentage of final salary an ambulance worker is entitled to after 30 years' service. [82178]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally. Pension entitlement after 30 years service would normally be calculated on 30/80ths of final salary.

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Anti-TNF Alpha

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidelines he has issued on the dispensing of the drug Anti-TNF Alpha; and if he will make a statement; [82206]

Mr. Lammy: Guidelines on the dispensing of anti-TNF drugs were issued in March 2002 by the Iindependent National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). They recommended that consultant rheumatologists, or consultant paediatric rheumatologists in the case of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, should prescribe these drugs, in accordance with the guidelines set out by the British Society for Rheumatology and British Paediatric Rheumatology Group respectively.

We do not hold information centrally about drugs prescribed and dispensed in hospitals, which is where these drugs are supplied. Waiting list data is not collected for individual drugs.

On 5 December 2001, the Government announced that it would meet its manifesto commitment to ensure that patients receive drugs and treatments recommended by NICE on the National Health Service if deemed appropriate by their clinicians. Directions have been issued obliging health authorities and primary care trusts to provide appropriate funding for recommended treatments.

From 1 January 2002 the NHS will have three months from the date of publication of each technology appraisal guidance to provide funding, so that clinical decisions made by doctors involving NICE recommended treatments or drugs can be funded.

Artificial Limbs

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the provision of modern artificial limbs by the NHS to those whose arms require replacement. [82574]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 25 November 2002]: Artificial limbs are provided free of charge on the national health service. Each limb needs to be individually made and fitted for each patient. The range of NHS artificial limbs includes virtually everything that is available on the international market.


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children suffered from asthma in each year since 1997. [82700]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected centrally. However information on the number of hospital episodes by age and sex in National Health Service hospitals where the primary diagnosis is asthma from 1996–97 to 2000–01 is shown in the tables.

The International Classification of Disease 10 codes J45-J46 has been used.

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Ordinary admissions and day cases combined: completed episode primary diagnosis 493(ICD9 code) Diagnosis: Asthma 345–346 (ICD10)

AgeMaleFemaleNot knownPersons
England 1996–1997
England 1997–1998
England 1998–1999
England 1999–2000
England 2000–01

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to promote the use of controlled medication for children with asthma; and what support is available to reduce the stress caused by the illness. [82695]

Jacqui Smith: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced guidance on asthma inhalers for children. In September 2000 it issued guidance on the use of inhalers for children under five. NICE also published guidance on inhaler devices for older children, age range five to 15, on 11 April 2002.

Patients with asthma are able to access the full range of National Health Service support services in both primary and secondary care settings.

An analysis of hospital episode statistics shows that the number of hospital admissions for asthma has been falling over the last five years.

Year1996 to 19971997 to 19981998 to 19991999 to 20002000 to 2001

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