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Gulf Veterans: Mortality

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Peer reviewed scientific data comparing the mortality of UK Gulf veterans to an era group of service personnel who did not deploy to the Gulf was published for the first time in the Lancet on 1 July 2000. The Ministry of Defence will now continue to monitor the mortality of both Gulf veterans and the era group and will publish updated figures on a regular basis. The figures as at 30 June 2000 are shown in the table. Overall, in the period 1 April 1991 to 30 June 2000 the mortality of UK Gulf veterans was only slightly greater than that of the comparison group. The number of Gulf veterans dying from disease related causes is rather less than for the comparison group, whereas the number of Gulf veterans dying of external causes is rather higher than for the comparison group. The Ministry of Defence will conduct a more detailed analysis of road traffic accidents to establish whether there are any underlying trends that might help explain this excess.

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Deaths to UK Gulf veterans (Note: 1) April 1991-30 June 2000
Causes (coded to ICD-9) (Note: 2)

ICD ChapterCause of deathGulfEraMortality Ratio
All deaths4524391.03
All cause coded deaths4454291.04
Disease-related causes1561900.82
i Infectious and parasitic diseases321.50
ii Cancers64680.94
iii Endocrine and immune disorders140.25
v Mental disorders8110.73
vi Diseases of the nervous system and sense organs741.75
vii Diseases of the circulatory system57760.75
viii Diseases of the respiratory system741.75
ix Diseases of the digestive system6110.55
iv, x-xviAll other disease-related causes3100.30
EXVIIExternal causes of injury and poisoning2892391.21
Railway accidents414.00
Motor vehicle accidents103801.29
Water transport accidents313.00
Air and space accidents25161.56
Other vehicle accidents020.00
Accidental poisoning9120.75
Accidental falls761.17
Accidents due to fire/flames010.00
Accidents due to natural environmental factors221.00
Accidents due to submersion/suffocation/foreign bodies1562.50
Other accidents31241.29
Late effects of accident/injury010.00
Suicide and injury undetermined whether accidental83791.05
Injury resulting from the operations of war340.75
Other deaths for which coded cause data are not yet available45
Overseas deaths for which cause data are not available35


1. Service and ex-Service personnel only.

2. World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases 9th revision, 1977.

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Territorial Army: Restructuring

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 19 June (H.L. Deb., col. 10), whether they will publish the "Treasury Rules"; and, if not, why not.[HL3142]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The "Treasury rules" referred to can be found in Treasury guidance titled The Green Book--Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government published by the Stationery Office (ISBN 0-11-560034-5), a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

The paragraphs relating to the treatment of redundancy are set out at paragraphs 4.29 to 4.32 of the main text and at paragraph 9 of Annex E.

Military Low Flying Activity

Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the pattern of military low flying activity in the United Kingdom during the training year 1999-2000.[HL3488]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The ability to fly fast and low continues to be an essential skill in our armoury of tactics. Training for aircrew to achieve and maintain these skills is vital.

The amount of low flying training carried out in the UK low flying system during the training year April 1999 to March 2000 was the minimum necessary for aircrew to reach and maintain these skills. Hours booked for low flying training during this period amounted to some 15 per cent. less than for 1998. Some of this reduction can be attributed to the number of aircraft and crews committed to overseas deployments. Since detailed records of hours booked began in 1995, the total overall has reduced by 36 per cent. (some 24,200 hours) with fixed-wing activity showing the greatest reduction 42 per cent (19,800 hours).

The distribution of low flying training across the UK has not changed significantly. We continue to try

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to spread it as widely as practicable but for a variety of operational, geographical and climatic constraints some parts of the country will see more than others.

The paper published for 1998 (Official Report, 28 April 1999, col. 147) made clear that for the future this information would be published on a financial year basis. We have today placed in the Library of the House a paper giving a detailed account of low flying training in the UK low flying system. It provides information for the transitional period January 1999 to March 2000.

Further copies of the paper and the video and leaflet mentioned in the text can be obtained from the following address:

    Secretariat (Air Staff) 2

    Ministry of Defence

    Room 8247

    Main Building


    London SW1A 2HB.

Departmental Cars

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 7th July (WA 165), which cars, type and make are used by Ministers and senior officials as supplied by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. [HL3311]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The following makes and models are used:

    Rover Sterling

    Rover 416

    Nissan Primera

    Vauxhall Vectra

    Ford Mondeo.

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NHS: Cost of Employing Additional Staff

Lord Jacobs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the approximate total annual cost in the National Health Service of employing an additonal (a) 1,000 nurses; (b) 1,000 doctors; and (c) 1,000 specialists [HL3327]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The approximate total annual cost to the National Health Service, in terms of earnings and other employer contributions, of employing an additional (a) 1,000 qualified nurses; (b) 1,000 hospital doctors (of all grades); and (c) 1,000 specialists (consultants) is £25 million, £55 million and £80 million respectively.

Allopurinol: Cost to NHS

Lord Jacobs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What the National Health Service is currently paying for allopurinol 300 mg blister packs of 28 tablets; and how this price compares with the last available price it was paying for loose packed tablets; and[HL3396]

    Whether the National Health Service can still purchase loose packet tablets of allopurinol 300 mg; and, if so, at what price; and [HL3397]

    What price the National Health Service will pay, under the new regulations on the purchase of generic medicines for allopurinol 300 mg in blister packs of 28 tablets; how that price will compare with the current retail price; and by what percentage the new price would differ from the current retail price; and[HL3398]

    What is the retail price of allopurinol 300 mg in blister packs of 28 tablets; and how it compares with the price in France of FFr20.30 for 28 tablets.[HL3395]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Medicines dispensed on the National Health Service in the community are purchased by community pharmacies and dispensing doctors at various prices. The cost to the NHS is generally the drug tariff price--the price at which community pharmacies and dispensing doctors are generally reimbursed--less a deduction which reflects discount obtained on medicines purchases. Prices paid by hospital pharmacy departments for use in hospitals or for dispensing to outpatients will often vary from those applicable in primary care.

The current (July) drug tariff price for allopurinol 300 mg in patient packs of 28 is 529p. A price for a 100-tablet pack (which may have been based partly or fully on the price of packs where the tablets were available in loose rather than strip and blister format) was last listed in the drug tariff edition of November 1999 at 571p.

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It is possible that packs containing tablets in loose format are available from some suppliers. Because only the 28-pack is listed in the drug tariff, reimbursement will be at a price pro rata to the 28-pack regardless of the pack size actually used in dispensing.

Under the Government's maximum price scheme for generic medicines, the maximum price of supply of allopurinol 300 mg (28-pack) to community pharmacies and dispensing doctors for NHS use will be 218p. The cost to the NHS will depend on the drug tariff price which will be no more than the maximum price of supply, but could be less, depending on competition in the market.

As a prescription only medicine, allopurinol cannot be sold by retail without a prescription. Where it is dispensed against a private prescription the price is a matter for the individual pharmacy concerned. The Government do not collect any information on prices charged for medicines dispensed privately.

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