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Civil Defence

Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 15 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish his reasons for excluding an assessment of, and guidance on, the likely effects of deep psychological trauma on the public and medical personnel on the civil defence plan-making duties of the health authorities.

[holding answer 14 December 1987]: I am not aware of any psychological effects of civil defence plan-making.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish his reasons for excluding an assessment of the likely effects of the nuclear winter on the civil defence plan-making duties of the health authorities.

[holding answer 14 December 1987]: Since the likelihood of the effect known as nuclear winter arising is still a subject of debate, it would not have been right for reference to it to have been included in the circular "Emergency Planning in the NHS: Health Service Responsibilities in Civil Defence".

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he intends to draw up a staged programme of implementation of the civil defence duties of health authorities as set out in the circular "Emergency Planning in the National Health Service."

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many health authorities have followed the recommendations of his Department in appointing an emergency planning officer.

[holding answer 14 December 1987]: The Department has not recommended that health authorities appoint emergency planning officers. A health emergency planning officer for Wales, whose remit includes all emergency planning matters, has recently been appointed at the Welsh Health Common Services Authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish his estimate of the financial, staffing and resource implications of the circular "Emergency Planning in the National Health Service."

[holding answer 14 December 1987]: As health authorities are already responsible for responding to major incidents, and have in place the arrangements necessary to undertake that responsibility, it is not expected that the circular "Emergency Planning in the NHS: Health Service Responsibilities" will have significant resource implications.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received regarding his Department's circular "Emergency Planning in the National Health Service: Health Service Responsibilities in Civil Defence" issued on 14 September.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much civil defence grant was paid to each health authority in each of the last five years; and what proportion these sums constituted of the total emergency planning budget of each health authority.

[holding answer 14 December 1987]: No civil defence grants are paid to health authorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with representatives of the medical professions on the moral and ethical problems associated with the policy of triage after nuclear attack; and when he will issue guidelines on the implementation of triage after nuclear attack.

[holding answer 14 December 1987]: I have had no such discussions and have no plans to issue guidelines.