Previous Section Index Home Page

7 Dec 2005 : Column 1397W—continued

Special Advisers

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the special advisers in post in his Department, broken down by pay band; and what the total budgeted cost to his Department of special advisers is for 2005–06. [29410]

Mr. Straw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning) today (UIN 27410).

Information relating to costs for 2005–06 will be published after the end of the current financial year.


Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations (a) he and (b) his officials have made to the Government of Syria regarding the safety, proper treatment and fair trial of Dr. Kamal al-Labwani; and if he will make a statement. [33935]

Dr. Howells: Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary have raised the case of Dr. al-Labwani with the Syrian Government. However, our ambassador in Damascus has raised Dr. Labwani's case with the Syrian authorities, and, in our capacity as Presidency of the EU, led calls for his early release. We will continue to monitor developments closely.
7 Dec 2005 : Column 1398W


Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on Taiwan's application to join the World Health Organisation; and if he will make a statement. [25924]

Ian Pearson: There are difficulties over Taiwanese involvement in a UN forum where statehood is a prerequisite for full membership. We hope that the World Health Organisation (WHO) secretariat, and others organising meetings and working groups under WHO auspices, will show flexibility in finding mechanisms to allow Taiwanese medical and public health officials to participate in these activities.

The WHO secretariat and China recently signed a memorandum of understanding on technical exchanges with Taiwan. We understand that the WHO and Taiwan already share information on an informal basis.


Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent unrest in south-east Turkey. [33922]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Terrorist incidents in south-east Turkey have increased during 2004–05 and Turkish military operations against the Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK) continue. The Turkish Prime Minister visited the region on 12 August, and spoke of the need to address its political, economic and cultural problems.

There have been allegations of security force involvement in a number of terrorist incidents in the south east, including a grenade attack on 9 November on a bookshop in Semdinli. The Turkish Government have promised a full investigation, and Prime Minister Erdogan visited Semdinli on 21 November to demonstrate his commitment to this.

UK Arms Exports

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the issuing of end use certificates for UK arms exports. [34175]

Dr. Howells: In the export licensing process, end user certificates are provided by the body which is purchasing strategic goods for which a licence is being sought. They state who the end user is, whether the goods are for military purposes and what end use the goods are intended for.

UN Small Arms Review Conference

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made towards securing non-European support for the adoption at the United Nations small arms review conference in July 2006 of universal criteria governing the international transfer of small arms. [33934]

Dr. Howells: The UK has made good progress in building widespread support for agreement at the 2006 UN Small Arms and Light Weapons Programme of Action Review Conference of minimum common criteria to underpin controls on transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons controls, including import, export
7 Dec 2005 : Column 1399W
and transhipment. The UK has already secured substantial non-European support especially in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and is working to match this in other regions including Asia.


A&E Departments (Paediatric Care)

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what risk assessment she has undertaken of major accident and emergency departments functioning without the back-up of a paediatrics department on same site. [31889]

Mr. Byrne: Assessment and resuscitation procedures for children are available in all major accident and emergency units. Where children requiring hospital admission attend an accident and emergency unit that does not have a paediatrics department on site, the unit will initiate care and arrange transfer to an appropriate department. This procedure addresses risks associated with failing to achieve best outcome, where staff might otherwise undertake specialised paediatric interventions with which they are unfamiliar.

There is a consultation currently in progress, The acutely or critically sick or injured child in the district general hospital", which is accessible on the Department's website at The consultation document makes explicit recommendations about the competencies needed in a paediatric resuscitation team and those needed for stabilisation of the critically ill or injured child.

Alcohol-related Diseases

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many admission episodes for alcohol-related diseases there were in each primary care trust in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [31379]

Caroline Flint: Information on admission episodes for alcohol-related diseases in each primary care trust in each of the last five years has been placed in the Library.

Ambulance Trusts

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 31 October 2005, Official Report, column 832W, on ambulance trusts, what the evidential basis was for deciding that 11 ambulance trusts are the most effective; and what plans she has to commission further research on the effectiveness of reorganising ambulance trusts. [26070]

Mr. Byrne: The consultation document due to be issued shortly will outline the criteria that we have used to arrive at the proposal of 11 ambulance trusts for the future. These criteria include ensuring the new organisations are operationally fit for purpose, fit with other national health service boundaries and with other Government boundaries. The results from the consultation will be a key factor in taking the final decisions.
7 Dec 2005 : Column 1400W

Taking Healthcare to the Patient: Transforming NHS Ambulance Services" sets out the vision and recommendations for the ambulance service in the future, for the local NHS to take forward. If the reconfiguration proposals are accepted following consultation, all new trusts will be judged on the extent to which they effectively implement the review's recommendations to successfully build on existing good practice and high performance to provide efficient, effective, locally responsive ambulance trusts that best meet patient need. The proposed new ambulance organisations would also still be required to achieve national performance requirements, for example on response times.

Asylum Seekers

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role (a) the NHS and (b) primary care trusts play in providing medical and healthcare services in detention centres for asylum seekers; and how the standard of health services provided in detention centres is monitored. [31737]

Caroline Flint: On site primary healthcare services in Immigration Service removal centres are the responsibility of the Home Office, and are provided under contract by the Prison Service in directly managed centres and by private providers in contracted-out centres. Detainees held at the centres will access local national health service secondary care and other services as appropriate, including accident and emergency, maternity and in-patient mental healthcare. The on-site services are subject to monitoring by on-site Home Office Contract Monitors and are included in Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons' inspections of individual centres. In addition, initial discussions have taken place with the Healthcare Commission with a view to the possible registration of the private contractors who provide these services, which would bring them within the Commission's oversight and inspection programme.

Next Section Index Home Page