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Military Aircraft: Procurement

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many units of the (a) Tranche 3 Typhoon, (b) Joint Strike Fighter and (c) A300M have been (i) ordered and (ii) delivered. [229979]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The number of aircraft which have been ordered and delivered is as follows:

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Typhoon Tranche 3:

Negotiations with partner nations and industry are continuing and decisions will be taken once these negotiations are complete.

Joint Strike Fighter:



The UK has ordered 25 A400M aircraft. No deliveries have been made to date.

Military Aircraft: Training

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many training sorties for the (a) Hercules C-130, (b) Tristar, (c) VC-10 and (d) C-17 Globemaster were cancelled in each year since 2003. [230174]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many training flying hours crews of the (a) Hercules C-130, (b) Tristar, (c) VC-10 and (d) C-17 Globemaster aircraft flew on average in each year since 2001. [230175]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Nuclear Weapons

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether US personnel will be asked to participate in his Department's work on the Warhead Pre-Concept Working Group; [228902]

(2) whether the Warhead Pre-Concept Working Group has considered options for (a) agent defeat and (b) other warhead modifications, as part of its work; [228903]

(3) whether work emerging from the (a) theoretical enhanced radiation and (b) residual enhanced radiation weapon warhead concept have been examined as part of the work of the Warhead Pre-Concept Working Group; and whether personnel at AWE Aldermaston have been briefed on these or other advanced nuclear weapons concepts by their US counterparts in the last three years. [228904]

Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my predecessor gave him on 28 November 2007, Official Report, column 453W from which he will be aware that research is currently being undertaken in support of the detailed review described in paragraph 7-4 of the December 2006 White Paper: The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent (Cmd 6994). This review, which was previously overseen by the Warhead Pre-Concept Working Group (WPCWG) is now being co-ordinated by the Atomic Weapons Establishment within their systems engineering management structure under the direction of the Ministry of Defence. It is examining both the optimum life of the UK's existing nuclear warhead stockpile and the range of replacement options that might be available to inform decisions on whether and how we may need to refurbish or replace the existing
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warhead likely to be necessary in the next Parliament. Some of the work included in this review is being undertaken in co-operation with the US and with the assistance of US personnel under the 1958 UK-US Agreement for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes.

I am withholding further details of this ongoing review and related discussions held with the US under the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement in the interests of national security.

Peacekeeping Operations

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many service personnel have been diagnosed with (a) heatstroke and (b) other heat-related illness in Iraq since 2003; [209647]

(2) how many service personnel have been diagnosed with (a) heatstroke and (b) other heat-related illness in Afghanistan since 2001. [209648]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The Ministry of Defence records instances of heat illness, as part of its monitoring of climatic injury. Heat illness has traditionally been divided into heat exhaustion and heat stroke, but in practice it is difficult to define the division between the two. Heat illness is therefore used to cover a continuum of illness ranging from mild symptoms such as muscular weakness, headache and excess fatigue to more serious outcomes such as collapse, coma and death.

The following table shows the instances of heat illness that have required attendance at a Field Hospital for Operation Telic since 2003 and Operation Herrick since reporting began in August 2006:

Operation Telic Operation Herrick



















(1) Data collection did not begin in Afghanistan until August 2006. (2) 1 January to 31 March 2008.

This table updates the figures for 2006 and 2007 given in a previous answer to a question on heat related illness—21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1637W. Both sets of figures were provided by Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA); however the numbers in the earlier answer were based on field hospital admissions records. The data in this answer have been extracted from the Operational Emergency Department Attendance register (OpEDAR). As OpEDAR covers all attendances, regardless of whether they are admitted, DASA has advised that it provides a more comprehensive figure for heat illness.

These figures provide an indication of instances of heat illness. It is likely that there have been other cases of heat injury which could not be identifed from the available records as they may have been recorded under a variety of symptoms (e.g. dehydration, headache etc.) common to other illnesses. In Iraq, the temperature and humidity can change very quickly, increasing the likelihood of sudden instances of heat illness.

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Various steps are taken to prevent heat related illnesses. Commanders are provided with heat illness prevention instructions in order to monitor heat stress. Temperature and humidity levels are forecast daily as part of standard operating procedures thereby allowing commanders to schedule workloads accordingly. Where operationally feasible, although clearly this will not be possible in every single location, air conditioning is used in accommodation, business offices and facilities such as welfare, catering and medical facilities in the main camps in operational theatres. Canteen areas have large fridges which are stocked with a plentiful supply of cold water.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what priority is accorded to post and parcels in shipping goods from the UK to (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan for service personnel. [230162]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Mail for HM armed forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is afforded the highest possible priority behind essential supplies such as water, food, medical supplies and ammunition.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the primary means for transporting post and parcels from (a) the UK and (b) Germany to (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan is. [230164]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The primary means for transporting post and parcels from the UK and Germany to Iraq and Afghanistan is by military chartered or RAF aircraft.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on transporting post and parcels from (a) the UK and (b) Germany to (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan since 2001. [230165]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Post and parcels sent to Iraq and Afghanistan are transported by RAF and military chartered aircraft. They travel as part of variable mixed loads and the individual cost of each consignment is not recorded.

Royal Military Academy

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it is routine procedure for approval of overseas military personnel attending military courses at Sandhurst to be required from Ministers in his Department; when the procedures for considering applications for such training were last reviewed; and whether any changes were made. [230787]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: It is not routine procedure for ministerial approval to be sought for the attendance of overseas military personnel at Sandhurst when engagement with a cadet’s host nation is consistent with pan-Whitehall strategy.

All applications for training at Sandhurst are reviewed, and will continue to be reviewed, on a continuous basis by the appropriate policy staff in MOD, and there has been no change to the role of Ministers in this process.

Russia: NATO

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has had discussions with its NATO counterparts on possible military co-operation with the Russian Federation in Afghanistan. [229458]

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Mr. Hutton: At a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at Defence Ministerial level on 13 June, Russia's support to the Alliance's mission in Afghanistan was widely welcomed, although Russia made it clear this support stopped short of direct military intervention. The support includes transit arrangements through Russian territory in support of the International Security Assistance Force, and a NATO-Russia Council project on counter-narcotics training for Afghan and Central Asian personnel. In the wake of the crisis in Georgia this summer, discussions between NATO and Russia have slowed, but the UK is working to keep open avenues for operational co-operation where that is in NATO's interests.

USA: Military Bases

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what use is made of RAF Molesworth in the US Africom programme. [229412]

Mr. Hutton: US personnel at the Joint Analysis Centre at RAF Molesworth provide intelligence analysis capabilities for the US Africa Command.

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether an operational certificate has been issued by the US Administration for the space-based infra-red system at RAF Menwith Hill. [229413]

Mr. Hutton: RAF Menwith Hill houses a satellite ground terminal which receives data from the space-based infra-red system (SBIRS) satellites to be routed to the US for the purposes of both missile early warning and ballistic missile defence. The use of RAF Menwith Hill as a relay link for the SBIRS has been agreed between the UK and US Governments. As both the satellite system and the ground terminal at RAF Menwith Hill are owned and operated by the US Government, we hold no information on the operational certification for the SBIRS.

War Graves

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps would need to be taken to extend the Commonwealth War Graves Commission dates of commemoration from 31 December 1947. [229277]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is an independent, internationally funded body established by Royal Charter which defines the Commission's dates for commemoration. Her Majesty's Government have no direct control over its activities.

Responsibility for the commemoration of UK armed forces personnel who, from 1 January 1948, die in service and who receive a service-funded funeral rests with the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Their graves are maintained in perpetuity by the Department.

War Graves: Educational Visits

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to discuss increasing opportunities for schoolchildren to visit British war graves. [229248]

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Mr. Kevan Jones: With the study of both world wars embedded in the curricula, many schools now incorporate a visit to war cemeteries as part of their learning activities. Organisations such as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Royal British Legion and the Imperial War Museum have schemes to facilitate visits of this nature; therefore I have no current plans to meet with the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to discuss this issue.

World War II: Medals

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people in Bexley were awarded a veteran’s badge in each year since the inception of the award. [228243]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The information is not held in the format that identifies how many HM armed forces veterans badges have been issued in Bexley. However,
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we have identified from our database that a total number of 473 residents who have included Bexley in their address have applied for and received their veterans lapel badge.

Between May 2004 and 30 September 2008 over 664,000 HM armed forces veterans lapel badges have been issued. In addition veterans lapel badges are now awarded to service personnel as they leave the services.


Accident and Emergency Departments: Discharges

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of emergency patients were discharged within a day in each of the last five years. [228987]

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

Number of discharges on same date as admission Proportion of total discharges (Percentage) Number of discharges on the next date from admission Proportion of total discharges (Percentage)


























Quality of care:
Data derived from Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) cannot be used in isolation to evaluate the quality of care provided by NHS trusts. There are many factors that can affect the outcome of treatment and it is beyond the scope of HES to adequately record and present all of these.
Ungrossed data:
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).
A discharge episode is the last episode during a hospital stay (a spell), where the patient is discharged from the hospital (this includes transfer to another hospital).
Data Quality:
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
Assessing growth through time:
HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. During the years that these records have been collected by the NHS, there have been ongoing improvements in quality and coverage. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in out-patient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.
Length of stay (duration of episode)/Length of stay (duration of spell):
Length of stay (LOS) is calculated as the difference in days between the admission date and the discharge date, where both are given. LOS is based on hospital spells and only applies to ordinary admissions, i.e. day cases are excluded (unless otherwise stated). Information relating to LOS figures, including discharge method/destination, diagnoses and any operative procedures, is based only on the final episode of the spell.
These data are restricted to discharge episodes which had the following types of admission method:
21 = Emergency: via accident and emergency (A&E) services, including the casualty department of the provider
22 = Emergency: via general practitioner (GP)
23 = Emergency: via Bed Bureau, including the Central Bureau
24 = Emergency: via consultant out-patient clinic
28 = Emergency: other means, including patients who arrive via the A&E department of another health care provider.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the NHS Information Centre for health and social care.

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