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11 Dec 2003 : Column 590W—continued


Written Constitution

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans he has to bring forward proposals for a written constitution for the UK; and if he will make a statement. [142997]

Mr. Leslie: There are no plans to draft a written constitution for the United Kingdom.

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Fair Trade Products

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether it is the policy of his Department to use fair trade products, as a matter of course, in (a) sales on Departmental premises and (b) receptions and meetings involving staff and visitors. [142804]

Mr. Leslie: Catering services to meet my Department's requirements are provided through contractual arrangements with specialist suppliers.

My Department will continue to take every opportunity to encourage the use of fair trade products

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through its procurement activities, and specifically during the course of the review of the arrangements for contracted catering services that is currently under way.

Immigration Appeals

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many applications were made to judicially review a decision of the immigration appellate authorities in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and, of these, how many were granted permission for a review. [142530]

Mr. Leslie: The information requested is in the following table.

Receipts where the First Defendant was recorded as IAT/Adjudicator/IAA8487401,2761,7731,396
Grants of permission made during the relevant calendar year where the First Defendant was recorded as IAT/Adjudicator/IAA306284302290252

(7) to end November.


1. Cases are recorded in the Administrative Court Office database by defendant and only those cases in which the first defendant is recorded as the Immigration Appeal Tribunal, Adjudicator or Immigration Appellate Authority have been included.

2. These figures do not include any case in which the Secretary of State for the Home Department is recorded as the first defendant.

3. The figures for grants reflect decisions made in the calendar year. To identify the decisions in each of the cases received in the calendar years in question (a total of 6,033) would involve an audit on a case-by-case basis. Such an exercise would be labour intensive and would take several weeks.

It should be noted that due to the way in which details of cases were entered in the Administrative Court Office database prior to 2002, the above figures should not be regarded as providing a precise record of the applications received and granted.

Ross Cranston: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs, in each of the last five years, how many cases were decided by immigration adjudicators; how many and what percentage of such cases were appealed to immigration appeals tribunal; in how many and what percentage of the appealed cases the appeal was (a) allowed and (b) remitted to adjudicators; and in how many and what percentage of the cases in category (b) the adjudicator decided in favour of the applicant. [142944]

Mr. Leslie: The information requested is contained in the following table Please note that the Immigration Appellate Authority does not hold certain elements of information prior to 2001. This is indicated in the table where appropriate:

Case decided by adjudicators38,11728,60027,13456,81384,259
Number of cases applying for permission to appeal to the tribunal14,35611,1427,36518,04628,945
Number of substantive appeals to the tribunal2,3312,8702,0614,4377,687
Number of substantive tribunal appeals decided1,8412,6193,5683,8676,564
Percentage of tribunal appeals allowedNot heldNot heldNot held18%16%
Percentage of tribunal appeals remittedNot heldNot heldNot held45%44%

Information on the number of appeals which are subsequently allowed by an immigration adjudicator following a remittal is not available without incurring disproportionate costs.

Mental Incapacity

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans he has to bring forward legislation on mental incapacity in this parliamentary session. [140829]

Mr. Leslie: A draft Mental Incapacity Bill was scrutinised by a Joint Committee during the summer and their report was published on 28 November. My Department is working together with the Department of Health and stakeholders to consider the Committee's recommendations. We aim to respond in February 2004. We will seek to introduce the Bill in the current session of Parliament.

Work-related Stress

Dr. Cable: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what progress has been made towards the creation of a central register for cases of work-related stress in the Department. [141692]

Mr. Leslie: We have no central register for cases of work-related stress. However, under our sick absence management policies, managers are responsible for informing our in-house Welfare service immediately if the cause of an employees absence is stress or

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depression. Our Welfare Officers are fully trained, and ideally placed, to deal with issues involving work-related stress.

My Department is committed to reducing work-related stress. We have introduced a range of stress management courses for both managers and non-managers, and are currently working on a Stress at Work policy, which takes account of the latest HSE standards, and aims to:

My Department introduced a wide range of work-life balance policies during 2001, enabling staff to adopt more effective working patterns to better balance their work and home life. My Department won the Opportunity Now National Public Sector award earlier this year for these policies.


Pharmaceutical Trade

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the loss or gain to the Exchequer from the parallel trade of medicines. [141697]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In terms of the impact on national health service expenditure, information is not routinely collected on the source of products, but from the data currently available the Department of Health estimates that parallel imports save the NHS in England approximately £60 million per year in the community sector.

No estimate is available for the hospital sector. The Government have not made their own assessment of the loss to pharmaceutical companies in the United Kingdom from parallel trade. The NHS does not reap the full benefit of the price differentials associated with parallel trade, as much of the difference is lost within the supply chain across Europe. Ministers in the Department of Health meet representatives of the pharmaceutical industry frequently to discuss issues affecting that sector, including parallel trade in Europe. The most recent meeting was on 2 December, between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health, my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Health, Lord Warner, and representatives of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate the Government have made of the number of people who will be affected by the Government's decision to extend implementation of National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidance to make photodynamic therapy available to those suffering from age-related macular degeneration. [142628]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 8 December 2003]: On the basis of limited epidemiological data the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)

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estimated that each year in England and Wales there may be 5,000 to 7,500 new cases of predominantly classic subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) associated with wet age-related macular degeneration. However, they noted, there is a high degree of uncertainty about this estimate.

It was the Department's assessment, informed by advice from NICE, that the national health service would be unable to implement the guidance in full within the usual three-month period. We have previously varied the direction on five occasions when it was required to implement effectively the guidance to provide the service to patients.

Patients are already receiving photodynamic therapy (PDT) on the NHS and we are committed to working with the NHS to facilitate implementation by July 2004. We want to see eligible patients benefiting from effective treatment: this is why we are implementing the NICE guidance as quickly as possible and have asked the NHS to ensure that patients with suspected classic with no occult CNV are treated wherever capacity exists to do so.

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