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8 Jan 2004 : Column 456W—continued



Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have died from asbestos-related diseases in London in each year since 1990; and what estimates his Department has made of the number of likely deaths in future years. [146087]

Mr. Browne: The numbers of deaths each year from 1990 in the Government Office Region of London due to mesothelioma, and deaths where the deceased had asbestosis are given in the following table. In addition, it is estimated that for each mesothelioma there are one to two lung cancer deaths due to asbestos.

Deaths from mesothelioma and asbestosis in London, 1990–2001

MesotheliomaAsbestosis (without mesothelioma or lung cancer)

(4) Provisional.


HSE mesothelioma and asbestosis registers.

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Statistical modelling has been used to estimate the future peak number of mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain. Predictions of future deaths are not available for the London region. The annual total number of mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain is expected to peak at around 1,950 to 2,450 deaths some time between 2011 and 2015. (The total number of mesothelioma deaths in Great Britian in 2001 was 1,848; the 175 mesothelioma deaths in London in 2001 represent 9.5 per cent. of this total). It is estimated that the ratio of one to two of the number of asbestos-related lung cancers to the number of mesotheliomas will decrease slightly over time. No estimates have been made of the likely deaths in future years due to asbestosis.

Attendance Allowance

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of attendance allowance awards were allocated to each disability group as defined by the Department (a) since the new pack was introduced in October 2003 and (b) under the previous system. [146740]

Mr. Pond: Information on the proportion of attendance allowance awards allocated to each disability group as defined by the Department is obtained from quarterly extracts from the attendance allowance computer system. The last quarterly extract covered the quarter ending 31 August 2003.

New attendance allowance awards by medical condition during the quarter ending 31 August 2003

Other unspecified mainly terminally ill10.5
Back pain—not specified0.6
Disease of the muscles, bones or joints3.9
Trauma to limbs0.6
Heart disease7.5
Chest disease3.9
Cerebrovascular disease5.1
Peripheral vascular disease0.6
Neurological diseases0.9
Multiple sclerosis(5)0.1
Parkinsons disease1.8
Motor Neuron disease(5)0.1
Chronic fatigue syndromes
Diabetes mellitus1.6
Traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
Major trauma other than traumatic paraplegia tetraplegia(5)0.1
Mental subnormality
Behavioural disorder
Alcohol abuse(5)0.1
Renal disorders(5)0.2
Inflammatory bowel disease(5)0.1
Bowel and stomach disease(5)0.3
Blood disorders(5)0.3
Multi system disorders
Skin disease
Malignant disease1.7

(5) Figures are less than 500 and subject to a high degree of sampling variation.


1. Figures are in thousands and rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. '—' denotes nil or negligible.

3. From November 2002, the methodology for producing these figures was changed to allow statistics to be published much sooner. This has resulted in a small increase in the reported caseload. This is because some cases which have actually terminated but have not yet been updated on the computer system are now included.

4. Figures represent decisions made on new attendance allowance claims only during this period.


IAD Information Centre. 5 per cent. sample.

8 Jan 2004 : Column 458W

The data for the quarter ending 30 November 2003 will not be available until late February 2004. The next publication relating to November 2003 will be released on 17 March 2003. The delay between data collection and publication is because the information centre must quality assure the data, produce standard tables and make a dataset available for further ad hoc analysis.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of attendance allowance claims, processed since the new claim pack was introduced in October 2003, have been subject to appeal. [146742]

Mr. Pond: The following information shows the number of decisions made on new attendance allowance claims in the months of October and November 2003 and the number of attendance allowance appeals registered in the same months. Decisions appealed in October and November will contain a mix of claims made on the old and new forms. No separate data is available.

October 2003 November 2003
Decisions made35,11130,957
Appeals registered1,2131,120

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of attendance allowance claimants have been contacted by telephone to discuss their claim since the new claim pack was introduced in October 2003. [146743]

Mr. Pond: Statistics on the number of telephone calls made to attendance allowance customers to discuss their claim are not routinely collected.

Capability Reports

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the piloting of capability reports for personal advisers in jobcentres; and if he will make a statement. [146623]

Mr. Browne: Since 2000, the Department has been piloting the use of capability reports by personal advisers conducting work-focused interviews with customers claiming incapacity benefit. The Department commissioned research to assess the effectiveness of this capability report in supporting personal advisers and has undertaken additional in-house evaluation.

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Research undertaken by the National Centre for Social Research for the Department for Work and Pensions was published in 2002 ("Evaluation of the Capability Report: Identifying the work-related capabilities of incapacity benefit", WP Research report 162), copies of which are in the Library.

In taking forward findings from this evaluation, a range of activities were put in place to improve the use and effectiveness of the capability reports, including improving training for advisers and piloting a shorter version.

Formal piloting of the clerical capability reports ended in March 2003; this work has informed the development of an electronic version of the report. The new incapacity benefit pilots will include an evaluation of the role of this new capability report.

Child Support (Army Personnel)

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of army personnel who are required to pay child support were in default with payments in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [145675]

Mr. Pond: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Doug Smith to Mr. Peter Duncan, dated 8 January 2004:

% with an arrear

I hope this is helpful.

Disabled Jobseekers

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many specialist teams were available to work with disabled jobseekers in jobcentres in each year since 2000. [146624]

Mr. Pond: Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) within Jobcentre Plus provide support to people facing the complex barriers to work associated with disabilities. They can offer help with finding work and can refer people, where appropriate, to occupational health assessments, training and the full range of Jobcentre Plus disability programmes.

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The information is not available in the format requested, as figures are not collected centrally. However, we estimate there are currently around 650 DEAs employed by Jobcentre Plus.

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