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Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Following the instances in which spinal cord has been found in beef exported from other European Union member states to the United Kingdom, the European Commission has written to member states to remind them of their responsibilities to enforce EU law. The problems have also been discussed in the EU's Standing Veterinary Committee.

Immediate action against the meat plants where the breaches of the law occurred lies with the national authorities of the member states concerned. Following requests from the UK, those national authorities have investigated each case. As a result, operations have been suspended or curtailed in eight plants until identified deficiencies in controls were rectified. Of these plants, four were in Germany and one in each of Denmark, the Republic of Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands.

NHS Bed Survey

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The results of the census of general and acute beds have been placed in the Library.

Patient Choice Proposals

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

15 Jan 2002 : Column WA150

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Detailed implementation plans for the proposals set out in the discussion document Extending Choice for Patients will be worked up in discussion with patient representatives, National Health Service clinicians and managers and partner organisations.

Under the funding arrangements set out in the section of the document on heart surgery, it is proposed that funding should flow from NHS commissioners to their local cardiac centres, which will either undertake operations themselves or arrange for patients who have waited longer than six months to be treated elsewhere, if the patients so choose. Funding will transfer to those hospitals which do the extra activity.

Arrangements for travel and support for patients and their families will be considered in more depth with patient representatives and others; this will include reviewing travel cost arrangements to ensure that patients who exercise choice do not lose out.

The detail of the arrangements for cardiac patient care advisers and patient choice trustees will be explored further early in the new year.

A copy of the discussion paper has been placed in the Library.

Ethnicity and Heart Disease Risks

Lord Chan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is being done in response to the findings of the national surveys of National Health Service patients, Coronary Heart Disease 1999, National Report, published in March 2001, regarding the experience of ethnic minority patients.[HL2050]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Since the 1999 coronary heart disease survey was carried out, the Government have published the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease (NSF for CHD). The NSF for CHD was produced with the need to address inequalities in healthcare firmly in mind, and sets out to ensure that top quality treatment and care are available in all parts of the country and to all communities. The NSF for CHD requires National Health Service organisations to take into account the impact of ethnicity on the heart disease risks to which patients are exposed and to ensure that they meet people's needs in ways that are culturally, religiously and linguistically appropriate. Expansion in heart disease services combined with a greater sensitivity to patients' backgrounds will improve both access to services and the experiences of ethnic minority patients.

NHS Trusts: NAO Report

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    (a) for each of the National Health Service trusts mentioned in the National Audit Office's report Inappropriate adjustments to waiting lists published

15 Jan 2002 : Column WA151

    in December 2001, whether the performance ratings published in September need to be revised; and

    (b) whether any of those National Health Service trusts remain entitled to any earned autonomy freedoms.[HL2150]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health is reviewing the performance ratings awarded to the nine National Health Service trusts named in the National Audit Office report.

None of the National Health Service trusts named in the National Audit Office report has been awarded three stars under the performance rating system and they are therefore not entitled to any earned autonomy freedoms.

Specialist Schools: GCSE Achievements

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, and if so by how much, specialist schools achieve higher marks at GCSE in the subjects in which they specialise than in other subjects; and whether those subjects are more popular in such schools than they are in state schools as a whole.[HL1990]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The information requested on GCSE achievements in specialist schools, and on the popularity of the specialist subjects in specialist schools compared with all state schools, is shown below:

% of entries resulting in grades A*–Csubject entries as a % of all entriessubject entries as a % of all entries
Specialist schoolsSpecialist schoolsAll state schools(1)
Language (126)
Any language611210
All other subjects648890
Technology (366)
Any technology subjects554644
All other subjects605456
Arts (91)
Any arts subjects6497
All other subjects519193
Sport (101)
Any PE subject5432
All other subjects519798


(1) Including specialist and non-specialist mainstream schools and special maintained schools.

Figures in brackets indicate the number of specialist schools in each category.

15 Jan 2002 : Column WA152

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and WEU Assembly: UK Delegation

Baroness Pitkeathley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will announce the full composition of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Assembly of Western European Union.[HL2308]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Western European Union is as follows:

Tony Lloyd Esq MP (Leader)

Full Representatives

David Atkinson Esq MP

Malcolm Bruce Esq MP

Sir Sydney Chapman MP

Tom Cox Esq MP

James Cran Esq MP

Terry Davis Esq MP

Bill Etherington Esq MP

Paul Flynn Esq MP

Lord Judd

Baroness Knight of Collingtree DBE

Jim Marshall Esq MP

Chris McCafferty MP

Kevin McNamara Esq MP

Eddie O'Hara Esq MP

Lord Russell-Johnston

John Wilkinson Esq MP

Jimmy Wray Esq MP

Substitute Members

Janet Anderson MP

Tony Banks Esq MP

Baroness Billingham

Lord Burlison

Ann Cryer MP

Michael Hancock Esq CBE MP

Baroness Hooper

Rt Hon Lord Kilclooney

Khalid Mahmood Esq MP

David Marshall Esq MP

Alan Meale Esq MP

Gordon Prentice Esq MP

Geraldine Smith MP

Lord Tomlinson

Dr Rudi Vis MP

Robert Walter Esq MP

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