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6 Feb 2006 : Column 961W—continued


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there is a standard policy in place for taser deployment and usage in England and Wales. [44426]

Hazel Blears: I have indicated to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) that I am content for taser to be made available to Authorised Firearms Officers as a less lethal option for use in situations where a firearms authority has been granted.
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The Association of Chief Police Officers has produced Policy and Operational Guidance documents on the use of taser. Both documents are available at

Terrorism (UK Airports)

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding funding for the provision of counter-terrorism initiatives at London Luton airport for 2006–07; and if he will make a statement. [42466]

Hazel Blears: A number of representations have been received in respect of extraordinary funding provided for Bedfordshire police in 2005–06 for policing at Luton airport but none in relation to 2006–07. These representations included the Chair of Bedfordshire Police Authority and a number of other MPs with constituencies in Bedfordshire.

UK Passport Service

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many original documents requested by the UK Passport Service were lost during the last four years. [48805]

Andy Burnham: For the period one January 2002 to 31 December 2005 the UK Passport Service have received 634 customer complaints relating to missing or lost documents sent in support of a passport application. Between one January 2002 and 31 December 2005 the UK Passport Service processed 23 million applications. The number of complaints about lost supporting documents therefore represents 0.0027 per cent. of the number of applications processed during this period.

Vehicle Recovery Times

Mr. Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times vehicle recovery companies were used by the (a) West Mercia and (b) Staffordshire police forces in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and how many companies were used by each force to deal with (i) breakdowns, (ii) accidents and (iii) emergencies in this period. [46831]

Hazel Blears: The figures requested are not collected centrally

Witness Protection

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he will take to protect complainants and witnesses in antisocial behaviour cases. [47744]

Hazel Blears: The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 introduced special measures for witnesses in proceedings for antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs). These measures were introduced to address concerns about the protection of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. The measures include screening witnesses from the defendants, giving evidence through video link or in private, and the use of video recorded evidence. This makes it easier for witnesses to give evidence in the Crown and magistrates court during an
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ASBO hearing. antisocial behaviour response courts have been established in magistrates courts sitting in their civil capacity to ensure that witness issues are addressed, and the Respect Action Plan announced plans to establish similar arrangements for county courts. There are also plans to introduce the same measures for ASBO victims in civil hearings as for victims in criminal cases. The Home Office has issued a good practice guide to practitioners on how best to support a witness.


Accident and Emergency Services

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the level of demand in each accident and emergency department was between midnight and 4 am, on 4 December (a) 2004 and (b) 2005. [45277]

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Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not collect centrally. The data that the Department does collect on accident and emergency attendance is available on the Department's website at:

Administrative Costs

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the statement of 15 November 2005, Official Report, column 849, if she will set out the figures for the proportion of the NHS budget spent in administrative costs since 1996. [37505]

Mr. Byrne: National health service administration costs as a percentage of total NHS expenditure have fallen since 1996–67. In 1996–97 NHS administration costs were 6.1 per cent. of the total NHS budget and in 2004–05 NHS administration costs were 4.9 per cent. of the total NHS Budget 1 .

Administration costs
£ million

Total administration costs in health authorities and primary care trusts and management costs in NHS trusts2,0201,9631,9352,1582,1662,565n/a3,3453,412
NHS total expenditure (England)32,99734,66436,60840,20143,93249,02154,04263,00169,706
As a percentage of total net NHS expenditure6.

n/a=Not available.
1. Health Authorities for 1996–97 to 2001–02.
2. Strategic Health Authorities 2003–04.
3. Primary Care Trusts 2000–01 to 2003–04.
4. NHS Trusts 1996–97 to 2003–04.
5. 2002–03 figures—contains significant, unmeasurable element of double counting of PCT costs in particular shared services. (See Background for PQ0774 for detail).
6. From 2004–05 NHS administration costs are calculated using admin and clerical figures from the administration and estates staff costs (cash terms). These figures are not directly comparable.
7. These figures do not contain NHS Foundation Trust counts, NHS Foundation Trusts report management costs separately to Monitor, the independent regulator for NHS Foundation Trusts, using DH management costs guidance as best practice.

Agenda for Change

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many appeals in relation to pay under Agenda for Change have been received from (a) nurses, (b) physiotherapists, (c) occupational therapists and (d) speech and language therapists working in the NHS. [44402]

Mr. Byrne: This information is not held centrally, as requests for reviews of banding under Agenda for Change are dealt with locally. But reports of progress on assimilation received by the Department so far suggest that the number of reviews at most trusts are modest in relation to the size of the work force.

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which grades of (a) nurses, (b) physiotherapists, (c) occupational therapists and (d) speech and language therapists will receive (i) pay increases and (ii) frozen or reduced pay under Agenda for Change; and if she will make a statement. [44403]

Mr. Byrne: Under the Agenda for Change pay system staff are assigned to new pay bands based on job weight as determined by the national health service job evaluation scheme, rather than on the basis of the person's original job title or grade. As a result, outcomes may differ for people previously in the same grade, and it is not possible to answer the question in the form in which it has been put.

Bristol Health Services Plan

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether private finance initiative funds have been earmarked by her Department for the Bristol Health Services Plan; and if she will make a statement. [40904]

Caroline Flint: The two major capital investment projects for Bristol—the United Bristol Healthcare and North Bristol/South Gloucestershire Primary Care Trusts schemes—are currently finalising the funding and service options in their outline business cases (OBC) in light of the findings from the Bristol Health Services Plan. The OBCs will then need to be approved by Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority and then the Department.
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