|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
17 July 2008 : Column 678Wcontinued
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many bed days have been lost due to delayed discharges in the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust since the year to 14 October 2007. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The number of bed days lost at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust due to delayed discharge from 15 October 2007 to 6 July 2008 is 6,467. These are the latest figures available. All delayed transfers of care for this trust for this period are for acute patients.
Department of Health, Weekly Situation Reports
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has received from the West Kent Primary Care Trust on the financial support it provided to the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in 2007-08 to assist that trust reduce the number of bed days lost due to delayed discharges. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has not received any information on financial support West Kent primary care trust (PCT) has provided to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in 2007-08 to reduce the number of bed days lost due to delayed discharges. The right hon. Member may therefore wish to raise this with the chief executive of the PCT.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were allocated an individual budget in the pilot sites during the Individual Budget Pilot Programme; and how many were eligible for a budget, broken down by location. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: A report of the evaluation of the individual budget pilot programme will be published later in the year.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will require NHS organisations to follow the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences technology appraisals, ethical guidelines and other guidance. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Healthcare Commissions annual health check requires national health service organisations to declare the extent of their compliance with a range of core standards. These include a requirement that primary care trusts are complying with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal and interventional procedures guidance. Clinical guidelines and public health guidance are developmental standards in the annual health checks in recognition of the more complex nature of the guidance. However, NHS organisations are expected to demonstrate that they are, working towards full implementation of NICEs guidance.
In addition, there is a statutory funding direction which applies to NICE technology appraisal guidance. This requires NHS organisations to fund health care interventions recommended by NICE within three months of NICE issuing final guidance.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals for the establishment of a body with responsibility for the regulation of all nicotine products; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Although the establishment of a body to regulate nicotine products has not been proposed in the Departments current Consultation on the future of tobacco control, stakeholders are invited to respond to the consultation with suggestions on any aspect of tobacco control. This consultation document was published on 31 May 2008 and copies of this document have already been placed in the Library. The consultation will close on 8 September 2008.
The Government welcome responses from all interested stakeholders and will make decisions on future action on tobacco control with reference to the consultation responses. Consideration of whether to establish a regulatory body for nicotine products will not take place before the Consultation on the future of tobacco control has ended.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 May 2008, Official Report, column 568, on the review of prescription charges, on what date he plans to publish the outcome of the review of prescription charges. 
Dawn Primarolo: We will publish our planned consultation on cost neutral changes to the system of prescription charges and exemptions in England in due course.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has conducted or evaluated on the influence of tobacco packaging on smoking rates in young people. 
Dawn Primarolo: Packaging of tobacco products, and its influence on young people in particular, is a topic of consideration within the Departments current Consultation on the future of tobacco control. This consultation document was published on 31 May 2008 and copies have already been placed in the Library. The consultation will close on 8 September 2008.
The Government welcome responses from all interested stakeholders and will make decisions on future action on tobacco packaging with reference to consultation responses.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on options for care and funding in respect of the (i) consultation and (ii) forthcoming Green Paper on the future of social care and support services. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 12 June 2008, Official Report, column 527W, to the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Kidney).
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account he has taken of research on the effects in other countries of (a) prohibiting and (b) restricting the sale of tobacco from vending machines in formulating policy; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The sale of tobacco from vending machines is a topic of consideration within the Departments current Consultation on the future of tobacco control, copies of this publication have already been placed in the Library. An overview of the evidence from other jurisdictions on restricting or prohibiting sale of tobacco from vending machines is set out in this consultation. This consultation document was published on 31 May 2008 and is in the Library and the consultation will close on 8 September 2008.
The Government welcome responses from all interested stakeholders and will make decisions on further controls on tobacco vending machines with reference to the consultation responses.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent by his Department on translation and interpretation services in Afghanistan in 2007-08. 
David Miliband: In financial year 2007-08 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office spent a total of £93,033.56 on interpretation. This includes the salaries of five locally-engaged interpreters employed by our embassy in Kabul, four employed by our provincial reconstruction team in Lashkar Gah and a further five interpreters employed on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funding his Department plans to provide to the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool in 2008-09. 
David Miliband: In April 2008 the Africa and Global Conflict Prevention Pools were merged to form a single combined Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP). The CPP has a self-standing budget, provided by HM Treasury, which is managed jointly by the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence. The Africa Programme, one of six-regional and two thematic programmes within the CPP, has been set an initial allocation of £62.5 million for financial year 2008-09 from the total CPP budget of £112 million.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to Turkey on the issue of the Armenian massacres. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not made recent representations to the Turkish Government on the issue of the Armenian massacres.
However, as part of our ongoing bilateral dialogue and in line with our longstanding policy on the massacres, we continue to encourage Turkey to work directly with Armenia to normalise their relations and to work together to build a better relationship for the future.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many British nationals have asked the Government to espouse their claims for damages following allegations of torture by officials or agents of foreign governments, or have requested the Government to intervene on their behalf in these matters, since 8 December 1988; 
(2) how many claims by British citizens of torture abroad have been espoused by the Government since December 1988; and what the criteria are for determining whether to espouse such a claim. 
Meg Munn: The UK is opposed to torture and is one of the most active countries in the world in the fight to eradicate it. We provide consular assistance to British nationals detained abroad, which includes taking an interest in their welfare. We take allegations of mistreatmentincluding torturevery seriously and, with the permission of the individual concerned, can take up such allegations with the relevant authorities in the host state.
From 1 April 2005 we have collated statistics on the number of cases where we have, with the permission of the British national concerned, raised concerns with the detaining authorities over allegations of mistreatment, ranging from a lack of water to physical abuse. Records were not collated prior to April 2005.
Cases have been raised as follows:
April to December 2005: 39 allegations raised;
January to December 2006: 69 allegations raised; and
January to December 2007: 75 allegations raised.
Collated data are not broken down into specific details of the alleged mistreatment.
We do not centrally collate data on how many British nationals have asked the Government to formally espouse their legal claims for damages following allegations of torture by officials or agents of foreign governments.
We do not centrally collate data on legal claims by British nationals of torture abroad which have been formally espoused by the Government. We have formally espoused no such legal claims in recent years. Any request to formally espouse a legal claim of torture would be considered on a case by case basis.
To collate this information would therefore incur a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the government of China about trends in Chinas population since 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: We have discussed Chinas population mainly in terms of problems arising from the implementation of the One Child policy. We did this during the 16th Round of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in Beijing in January. We do not dispute Chinas right or need to implement family planning policies but we do believe they should be based on the principles of consent and not coercion. We will continue to encourage the Chinese to meet international human rights standards at every appropriate opportunity, both bilaterally and through the EU.
A more detailed survey of all the exchanges between UK and Chinese authorities from 2006 would require a search of files held centrally and at all posts in China, which could only be achieved at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in respect of which countries he has received reports of riots because of the price of food in 2008. 
Meg Munn: In 2008, Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff have reported on a number of countries where food price inflation or insecurity of food supply have been central to concerns about social or political stability. These include Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Haiti, the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal and Yemen. In some other cases we believe that high food prices have been part of the cause of social unrest but it is often difficult to separate the impact of food prices from other factors, including rising fuel costs and existing social or political tensions. We also examine information from a variety of sources, including the Department for International Development's country offices and international organisations.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of his Departments (a) chart of accounts and (b) resource account codes and usage descriptions for the current financial year. 
Meg Munn: An electronic copy of the chart will be placed in the Library of the House.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what independent inquiries have been commissioned by his Department in the last five years; what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was of each; and what steps were taken following each. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has, in the last five years, commissioned one independent inquiry.
In May 2007 UKvisas, a joint Directorate of the Home Office and the FCO, was made aware of security vulnerabilities in on-line visa application websites operated on their behalf by a commercial partner, VFS Global, in India, Nigeria and Russia. This meant that other internet users could potentially see applicants' personal data, in breach of the Data Protection Act.
On 17 May 2007 my noble Friend Lord Triesman appointed Linda Costelloe Baker, the Independent Monitor for Entry Clearance Refusals, to carry out an independent investigation of this breach. She was not paid an additional fee on top of her remuneration as independent monitor for entry clearance refusals. Expenses, and the provision of legal and consultancy services to support the inquiry, are determined to have totalled £15,213.90.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary laid this report, and UKvisas' responses to the independent investigator's recommendations, before Parliament on 26 July 2007. I refer the right hon. Member to my hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's written ministerial statement of 26 July 2007, Official Report, column 101WS.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to reduce the volume of waste produced by it and sent to landfill in each of the last two years. 
Meg Munn: In the last Sustainable Development in Government report (2007), the Sustainable Development Commission recognised the significant progress the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had made towards reducing its waste. The FCO reduced its waste by 3.2 per cent. in 2006-07 and recycled 41.2 per cent. of waste, exceeding the Government target on recycling.
The FCO has taken several measures to reduce its waste and increase the amount which is recycled and re-used. Since 2005 these include:
purchasing and installing cardboard bailing machines and waste compactors at our offices in London and Buckinghamshire;
introducing an incentive scheme to encourage re-use of cardboard and plastic items at office catering outlets;
introducing recycling bins in key locations to encourage recycling of plastic, glass and cans throughout our offices; and
in 2008 the FCO replaced bottled still water at meetings with jugs of chilled tap water.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|