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DEFENCE

EU Budget (Defence)

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the EU budget the UK has agreed should be apportioned to defence and military operations. [200381]

Mr. Hoon [holding answer 29 November 2004]: None. Expenditure arising from EU operations having military or defence implications is not charged to the EU budget, as set out in Article 28.3 of the Treaty on the European Union.

Headline Goal 2010

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what scenarios have been adopted by the EU military staff as a basis for force planning to meet the Headline Goal 2010. [200379]

Mr. Hoon: The following illustrative scenarios form the basis for force planning to meet the Headline Goal 2010:


 
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Infantry Units

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) into which infantry units the 550 posts freed up from the four redundant regiments would be transferred; and how many are expected to be transferred to (a) logistics, (b) engineers, (c) signals and (d) intelligence; [200012]

(2) what the establishment figures are for the next three years for (a) logistics, (b) engineers, (c) signals and (d) intelligence. [200013]

Mr. Hoon: 537 posts will be reinvested back into the infantry as follows:
Number of posts
Armoured Infantry154
Mechanised Infantry69
Light Infantry257
Air Assault48
Pathfinder Platoon9

The establishments of individual infantry battalions have yet to be determined.

The Army is working on the detail for the Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Engineers, the Royals Corps of Signals and the Intelligence Corps. Once the numbers have been finalised, I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Parachute Battalion (Deployment)

Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when was the last time that a parachute battalion force was deployed on operations using parachutes as the main entry into the theatre; and what the theatre of operation was; [201004]

(2) how many in role parachute battalions there are in the Army. [201005]

Mr. Ingram: The last time a battalion of the Parachute Regiment deployed on operations using parachutes as the main entry into the theatre was during the Suez crisis in November 1956. As my hon. Friend will be aware, elements of the Parachute Regiment are traditionally held at very high readiness and are often among the first forces to deploy in any operational theatre.

I am sure my hon. Friend will also recall that approximately 1,000 paratroopers from the US Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade parachuted into Northern Iraq in March 2003 and seized an air field in Kurdish controlled territory less than 30 miles from the Turkish border; clearly demonstrating that this method remains a valid form of entry in to an operational theatre.

There are currently three battalions of the Parachute Regiment in an airborne role.

Regiments

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he intends to reduce the number of battalions in the (a) Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, (b) Royal Anglian Regiment and (c) Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment; and if he will make a statement. [200652]


 
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Mr. Ingram [holding reply 30 November 2004]: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced in July, the reduction in the number of forces committed to Northern Ireland means that the overall requirement for infantry battalions can be reduced by four. This reduction will comprise one battalion from Scotland and three from England.

In addition, the decision to phase out the Infantry Arms Plot means that a new infantry structure is required. This new structure will seek to preserve the best elements of the regimental system while adapting to ensure operational success for the future. The new structure will be based on large regiments of two or more battalions. Details of the new organisation are still being worked through but we hope to make an announcement before the Christmas Recess.

Trident

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made on the future use of Trident. [200122]

Mr. Hoon: The Government's policy on nuclear weapons was set out in the Strategic Defence Review. I refer my hon, Friend to Chapter Four and Supporting Essay Five.

HOME DEPARTMENT

National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of members on the board of the National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction have expertise in the area of replacement. [200697]

Ms Hewitt: I have been asked to reply.

The National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction (NC3Rs) is committed to advancing and implementing the principles of all three of the 3Rs (Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of the use of Animals in Research). Membership of its Board is intended to reflect this remit. Members are appointed in a personal capacity and have expertise in a range of issues relating to the 3Rs, including five members with experience in replacement alternatives. When additional expertise in any area is needed this will be sought through consultation.

HEALTH

Asthma

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on the asthma indicators in the Quality and Outcomes Framework for general practitioners; and if he will make a statement. [201509]

Mr. Hutton: The Department has not received any formal representations on the asthma indicators in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF).
 
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An independent review group is being established to make recommendations for changes to the QOF. Recommendations which are agreed can be implemented from April 2006.

The independent review group has being set up by the Employers Organisation (EO), on behalf of the Department. As far as we are aware, the EO has not yet received any representations on the asthma indicators in the QOF.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will include criteria on self-management and inhaler technique in the asthma indicators in the Quality and Outcomes Framework; and if he will make a statement. [201510]

Mr. Hutton: The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) indicator Asthma 6 provides up to 20 points, worth £1,550 to an average practice, to practices which ensure that their patients with asthma have an asthma review every 15 months. The QOF supplementary documents state that this asthma review should include the assessment of inhaler technique and the creation of a personalised care plan, which may include self-management, where appropriate.

In addition, QOF indicator chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), provides up six points, worth £465 to an average practice, to practices which ensure that their patients with COPD who are receiving inhaled treatment have their inhaler technique checked every 27 months.

Buckinghamshire Mental Health Trust

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many (a) managers and (b) other staff resigned from Buckinghamshire Mental Health Trust in (i) 2001, (ii) 2002 and (iii) 2003; [201468]

(2) how many (a) managers and (b) staff had their duties reassigned by Buckinghamshire Mental Health Trust in (i) 2001, (ii) 2002 and (iii) 2003. [201470]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information about the number of managers and other staff who have resigned from Buckinghamshire Mental Health Trust or had their duties reassigned is not centrally held.

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms Buckinghamshire Mental Health Trust has in place to deal with complaints made to it by members of the public. [201469]

Ms Rosie Winterton: All national health service bodies, including NHS trusts, are required to have a complaints procedure in line with the National Health Service (Complaints) Regulations 2004, which came into force on 30 July 2004. Prior to the regulations, they were required by directions to have a complaints procedure.

The regulations are supported by national guidance published by the Department, and set out the statutory framework for the handling of complaints by NHS bodies, and the independent review of complaints by the Healthcare Commission, where local resolution has been unsuccessful in resolving matters.
 
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The regulations require NHS trusts to have a written complaints procedure that is freely available to anyone who asks for it.

More information about regulations 2004, and departmental guidance is available on the Department's website at http://www.dh.gov.uk.

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mental health beds were available in Buckinghamshire in (a) 2001, (b) 2002 and (c) 2003; and what the average occupancy rates were in each year. [201471]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The average daily number of available beds and occupancy rates for Buckinghamshire is shown in the following table.
Mental health beds availableAverage occupancy rate (percentage)
2001–0222189.2
2002–0326189.0
2003–0425488.0




Notes:
1. The figures are only available for financial years rather than calendar years.
2. The figures are based on the three Buckinghamshire trusts—Buckinghamshire mental health trust, South Buckinghamshire national health service trust and Stoke Mandeville Hospital NHS trust.
Source:
Department of Health hospital activity data.





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