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28 Feb 2008 : Column 1872W—continued


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1873W

Information on grants provided by the Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies is held by the bodies themselves. This information is not held centrally.

Village Halls: Repairs and Maintenance

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department gives support to rural communities for the maintenance and improvement of village halls and community centres. [189343]

Jonathan Shaw: Support is provided in many ways, both for the fabric of rural community buildings, including village halls, and for those who are responsible for running them. Over the past five years, through a variety of DEFRA programmes, including the Rural Social and Community Programme, the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, LEADER+ programme and the Rural Enterprise Scheme, DEFRA has invested more than £12 million to support a wide range of rural community assets.

Whales

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with which non-governmental organisations he has discussed whaling in each month since January 2007; and if he will make a statement. [188594]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA and Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials regularly meet members of the Wildlife and Countryside LINK whale working group and the whalewatch coalition which together comprise the principal anti-whaling non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the UK. My hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North (Barry Gardiner) met the group on 26 April 2007 and had frequent and close contact with NGOs present at the 59th meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Anchorage. Since taking up office in June 2007, I have attended an extremely productive meeting with officials and the group on 11 October, and have also met representatives of some NGOs individually, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (Hilary Benn) has also had discussions with Greenpeace.

Whales: Conservation

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2008, Official Report, column 246W, on whales, when he expects he will be able to list the countries in receipt of the protecting whales document without compromising the UK's efforts to persuade them to join the International Whaling Commission and adopt an anti-whaling stance; and if he will make a statement; [188214]

(2) how many non-International Whaling Commission members he sent the Protecting Whales - A Global Responsibility document to; and if he will make a statement; [188549]


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1874W

(3) whether the 18 countries he has written to on anti-whaling are the only non-International Whaling Commission members he has (a) contacted on whaling and (b) distributed the Protecting Whales - A Global Responsibility document to; and if he will make a statement; [188550]

(4) pursuant to the answer of 6 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1295-6W, which (a) heads of state, (b) heads of government, (c) foreign counterparts, (d) ambassadors and (e) other foreign government officials he has contacted on whaling; and if he will make a statement; [188551]

(5) what estimate he has made of the number of (a) pro-whaling and (b) anti-whaling countries he has distributed the Protecting Whales - A Global Responsibility document; and if he will make a statement; [188552]

(6) what further measures he is taking to persuade nations that currently support whaling to oppose whaling; and if he will make a statement. [188553]

Jonathan Shaw: As stated in my answer of 6 February 2008, Official Report, column 1296W, I consider that it would be inappropriate to provide details of both the pro/anti-whaling countries and International Whaling Commission (IWC)/non-IWC member countries the UK has lobbied on this issue and the letters and documents sent to them. This is because this information could compromise our efforts to persuade countries to join (or in some cases not to join) the IWC or to support the UK in its opposition to whaling. As this process is ongoing it is unlikely that we will consider it appropriate to release these details in the medium term.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts will continue to lobby countries in support of the UK's position, seeking to encourage new anti-whaling members to the IWC and endeavouring to change the opinion of governments which currently support whaling.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he received responses to the (a) original and (b) revised Protecting Whales - a Global Responsibility document which he sent to other governments; and if he will make a statement. [188657]

Jonathan Shaw: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) posts regularly report back on this issue. The information that we receive informs subsequent discussions that the UK has with countries, whether or not they are members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Formal replies to ministerial approaches by way of letters are rare, but a lack of response does not necessarily indicate lack of action. I do not believe that any of those who joined the IWC last year actually responded to the letters that had been sent.

Health

Abortion

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department last undertook a review of international research evidence on (a) the upper time limit for abortions and (b) conditions for obtaining an abortion in each country in the European Union; and if he will make a statement. [189018]


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Dawn Primarolo: The Department is commissioning the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to review all research evidence on abortion, to update their guidance on “Termination of pregnancy for fetal abnormality. Fetal awareness,” and the “Care of women requesting induced abortion.”

Legislative conditions for obtaining an abortion in the European Union is a matter for individual member states.

Accident and Emergency Departments

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many type 1 accident and emergency departments there are in England; and how many accident and emergency departments are co-located with an NHS walk-in centre. [189228]

Mr. Bradshaw: Information is not available in the format requested. For the quarter ending in December 2007, national health service trusts in England self-reported a total of 203 type 1 (major) accident and emergency (A and E) services and 74 NHS walk-in centres in England, directly provided by the NHS, as part of the Department’s QMAE dataset. However based on a recent departmental audit there are now at least 90 NHS walk-in centres in England—the balance, including six commuter walk-in centres, being commissioned by NHS organisations from independent sector providers.

It is not possible to say whether any of these walk-in centre services are co-located with type 1 (major) departments.


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1876W

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact of accident and emergency attendances of co-locating an accident and emergency department with a walk-in centre. [189229]

Mr. Bradshaw: There has been limited assessment made. A study was funded by the Department and carried out by the University of Bristol, covering a small number of accident and emergency (A and E) departments that had established services they termed walk-in centres in or near the major A and E department. A publication based on this was published in the Emergency Medicine Journal in 2007 (using information from 2004). This work did not draw definitive conclusions on the effect of walk-in centres on A and E attendances, and the effect varied from site to site.

However, it is a matter for the local national health service to ensure the provision of urgent and emergency care services that are responsive to people’s needs. What is important is that patients have access to the most appropriate care in a timely manner.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many attendances at (a) walk-in centres, (b) minor injuries units and (c) type one accident and emergency departments there were in each quarter since the quarter ending December 2002. [189570]

Mr. Bradshaw: The available information is shown in the following table.


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28 Feb 2008 : Column 1878W
Quarter Number of attendances at Type 1 (major) accident and emergency (A and E) services Number of attendances at Type 3 (major) accident and emergency (A and E) services( 1) Number of attendances at national health service walk-in centres

2002-03

Q3

2,882,500

425,090

Q4

2,930,874

408,342

2003-04

Q1

3,217,931

497,135

266,492

Q2

3,281,186

530,917

385,447

Q3

3,106,667

419,832

354,510

Q4

3,059,698

415,065

375,392

2004-05

Q1

3,377,850

505,666

459,096

Q2

3,381,219

540,570

478,209

Q3

3,257,398

450,033

516,853

Q4

3,249,353

424,429

577,272

2005-06

Q1

3,520,931

525,848

646,998

Q2

3,403,089

546,747

634,489

Q3

3,346,995

484,321

616,165

Q4

3,282,671

489,873

612,305

2006-07

Q1

3,509,770

583,148

629,417

Q2

3,493,340

630,587

613,750

Q3

3,307,210

539,723

563,233

Q4

3,292,269

569,649

566,592

2007-08

Q1

3,463,734

601,297

635,286

Q2

3,384,988

611,183

614,381

Q3

3,305,613

560,804

607,225

(1) Minor injury units are likely to fall within the definition for type three (minor injury and illness) A and E services, however, this may also include other minor injury and illness units. Note: Attendances at NHS walk-in centres were included in the QMAE collection from Q1 2003-04. Source: Department of Health QMAE dataset.

Accident and Emergency Departments: Admissions

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of patients attending accident and emergency (A&E) departments were subsequently admitted to hospital via A&E in each quarter since the quarter ending December 2002. [189569]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is set out in the following table.

Quarter Number of attendances at accident and emergency (A and E) departments (all types of A and E) Number of emergency admissions via A and E (all types of A and E) Proportion of attendances admitted (percentage)

2002-03

Q3

3,435,018

574,983

16.7

Q4

3,469,562

583,491

16.8

2003-04

Q1

4,132,497

584,987

14.2

Q2

4,347,584

604,515

13.9

Q3

4,027,622

637,406

15.8

Q4

4,009,142

640,840

16.0

2004-05

Q1

4,502,578

666,393

14.8

Q2

4,556,695

688,378

15.1

Q3

4,374,927

721,394

16.5

Q4

4,402,980

737,203

16.7

2005-06

Q1

4,859,578

733,409

15.1

Q2

4,744,255

716,326

15.1

Q3

4,605,971

751,348

16.3

Q4

4,549,360

749,993

16.5

2006-07

Q1

4,891,724

739,588

15.1

Q2

4,892,182

752,049

15.4

Q3

4,559,139

768,784

16.9

Q4

4,579,230

776,710

17.0

2007-08

Q1

4,856,732

757,249

15.6

Q2

4,763,362

753,187

15.8

Q3

4,625,426

788,405

17.0

Note:
Attendances at walk-in centres were included in the QMAE collection from quarter 1 2003-04.
Source:
Department of Health QMAE dataset

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