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Free Personal Care: Costs

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Royal Commission estimated the costs for the United Kingdom as £1,120 million at 1995-96 prices. This equates to £1,285 million at 2000-01 prices, using the gross domestic product deflator. The equivalent figures for England are £950 million and £1,090 million respectively. The total gross cost of the Royal Commission's recommendation on free personal care is unaltered by the Government's response to the

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Royal Commission, but various elements of the Government's proposals would have been costed by the Royal Commission within their estimate for free personal care.

NHS Expenditure: Reports

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What reports the Department of Health has commissioned or undertaken in the last year on the management or administration of:

    (a) National Health Service pensions;

    (b) general procurement;

    (c) National Health Service payroll; and

    (d) drug procurement;

    and whether these reports will be placed in the Library of the House.[HL4185]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: In November 1999 the Department of Health commissioned a fundamental review of arrangements for the supply of generic medicines to National Health Service community pharmacies and dispensing doctors. The review was carried out by Oxford Economic Research Associates (OXERA) and their final report was submitted in September 2000. As a next step, the department intends to issue proposals for longer-term arrangements for the generics supply chain, drawing on OXERA's work, for discussion with interested parties, along with a summary report of the factual basis of OXERA's findings. A copy of the proposals and the summary report will be placed in the Library.

In relation to branded medicines, the department produced the third report to Parliament on the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme. This was announced by a Written Answer in another place on 20 December 1999 at col. 420W, and copies were placed in the Library on that day.

The department has not commissioned or undertaken any reports during the last year on the management and administration of National Health Service pensions, general procurement, or a NHS payroll service.

Prescription Charge Exemption Conditions

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the basis for the conditions which give rise to an entitlement to an exemption certificate permitting free prescription; and whether they have any plans to review these conditions.[HL4210]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The list of medical conditions conferring prescription charge exemption was agreed with the medical profession in 1968. We have no plans to review these conditions in relation to England. For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, these matters are for the devolved administrations to consider.

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Epsom General Hospital

Lord Blackwell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What expenditure has been authorised for the development of facilities, including equipping of existing new buildings, at Epsom General Hospital; and when that expenditure is planned to take place.[HL4107]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: A total of £18 million of Government modernisation funds and capital money from the London Regional Office of the National Health Service is being invested into schemes in hospitals across the capital designed to improve emergency services for Londoners.

Epsom A&E is being re-sited into a new building and has been given extra investment: the refurbishment project has been given approval to use £1.4 million from A&E modernisation funds and £0.94 million from Regional Office funding. The work has been put out to tender; the tenders will be evaluated in the next few weeks. Work will begin in November 2000, to be completed in the summer of 2001.

Lord Blackwell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there are any plans to reduce the scope of accident and emergency cover or maternity care at Epsom General Hospital as part of the integration with the St Helier National Health Service Trust.[HL4108]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: There are no agreed plans to change the level of services provided by the A&E and maternity departments at Epsom General Hospital. The trust is developing a Clinical Services Strategy. The trust will involve staff, patients and the public, together with local authorities, general practitioners, health authorities and community health councils in discussions to shape the future of services at both Epsom and St Helier Hospitals. Any proposed changes will be subject to formal consultation.

Milk Supply Sources

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of milk and dairy products consumed in the United Kingdom originate in each of:

    (a) the United Kingdom;

    (b) other European member states; and

    (c) countries outside the European Union.[HL4096]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): The following table shows United Kingdom supplies of each of the main milk products in 1999. The figures for domestic use include both direct consumption and the use of the product in the manufacture of other products.

UK supplies of drinking milk and milk products: 1999
Thousand Tonnes

Liquid Drinking MilkButterCheeseCreamCondensed Milk Full Cream Powder Skimmed Milk Powder
UK production6,920141368275177102102
Imports from EU member states38672369141014
Imports from other countries047410000
Total new supply6,958255646284191112116
Change in stocks0111010-11
Total supply6,958244645284190112127
Total available for domestic use(2)6,9501885831991382068
Imports from EU member states as a percentage of domestic use1%35%40%5%10%48%20%
Imports from other countries as a percentage of domestic use0%25%7%0%0%0%0%

Source: MAFF Statistics, York (12 October 2000)

(1) It is not possible to distinguish between exports of UK produced products, and re-exports of imported products.

(2) Total available for domestic use is production plus imports less change in stocks and exports.

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