Written Answers To Questions
Friday 18 March 1988
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, 9 March, Official Report, columns 200–1, how much nuclear material in the United Kingdom has been subject to exchange of safeguards obligations on the basis of strict equivalent in quantity and quality, in each year since 1973.
This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, 29 February, Official Report, column 483, when he expects the particular safeguards provisions for Sellafield referred to therein to enter into force.
Our aim is to bring the first four particular safeguards provisions for Sellafield into force by the end of 1988.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the acceptance of unsafeguarded uranium into the United Kingdom for processing and subsequent re-export without direct use or application in the United Kingdom.
All civil uranium imported into the United Kingdom for processing and subsequent re-export is under safeguards.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the gross national product of the Falkland Islands economy in (a) 1986 and (b) 1987.
The Falkland Islands gross national product for 1986 is estimated to have been approximately £9·9 million. In 1987 it was estimated to have risen to approximately £30·2 million.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Grenada on the treatment in prison of Phyllis Coard; and if he will make a statement.
No. The enforcement of prison regulations, which are presently the same as those introduced by the People's Revolutionary Government of which Mrs. Coard was a member, is entirely a matter for the Grenadian authorities.
Mr Raoul Wallenberg
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last raised the case of Mr. Raoul Wallenberg with the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and if he will make a statement.
The case of Raoul Wallenberg was last raised with the Soviet authorities at ministerial level by the then Minister of State, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind), during discussions in Moscow in July 1985.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will call for a report from the Queen's university, Belfast, authorities on the status of Mairead Farrell; what public funds she was receiving in the year before her death; what steps will be taken to ensure that those with terrorist backgrounds are not able to receive public funds; and if he will make a statement.
Mairead Farrell was a full-time student in her first year of study in the faculty of economics at Queen's university, Belfast., Since her enrolment, on 23 September 1987, she received a maintenance grant of £1,380 from the Belfast education and library board. Grants for eligible students are mandatory.
To ask the Prime Minister what guidance she gives to departmental Ministers about receiving delegations from right hon. and hon. Members; and if she will make a statement.
Such meetings are a matter for the judgment of individual departmental Ministers.
South Manchester Health Authority
To ask the Prime Minister if, in the light of his refusal to meet a delegation of hon. Members to discuss the financial position of South Manchester health authority, she will dismiss the Minister for Health, the right hon. Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton); and if she will make a statement.
Mr R W Marshall (Letter)
To ask the Prime Minister when she replied to a recent letter by Mr. R. W. Marshall of Cymerau, Dolwen, Blaenau Ffestiniog, on the subject of nuclear reactor risks, radiation fog and smog from power plants.
It is not my usual practice to give information on correspondence from third parties.
To ask the Attorney-General which religious organisations were approached for assistance when preparing the now abandoned appeal against the decision not to remove charity status from the Unification Church.
[pursuant to his reply, 8 February 1988, c. 42]: Such an approach was made to the Church of England. I also received representations from the following organisations:The Churches Main Committee; The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches; The Arya Samaj in London; The Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Education And Science
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is now in a position to announce the details of the inquiry he has decided to set up into discipline in schools.
The inquiry will be chaired by my noble Friend Lord Elton, will extend to England and Wales, and will have the following terms of reference:—
Other members of the Committee are:—"In view of public concern about violence and indiscipline in schools and the problems faced by the teaching profession today, to consider what action can be taken by central Government, local authorities, voluntary bodies owning schools, governing bodies of schools, head teachers, teachers and parents to secure the orderly atmosphere necessary in schools for effective teaching and learning to take palce."
Dr. Roy Bennett, Emeritus Reader in Educational Studies, Derbyshire College of Higher Education.
Mr. Roy Atkinson, Chief Education Officer, Northamptonshire Education Authority.
Mr. J. A. Phillips, OBE, Headteacher of Graveney School, Wandsworth.
Mr. Linbert Spencer, Chief Executive, Project Fullemploy Ltd, London.
I shall be appointing two further members shortly. My intention is that the committee should start its work as soon as possible, and aim to complete its report by the end of the year.
Trade And Industry
Ministers (Integrated Office System)
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which companies were asked to tender for the supply of the integrated Office System for Ministers in his Department; on what basis they were selected; what assessment was made of the suitability of HM Systems to provide the service; and if he will make a statement.
A networked engagements management system was needed that could be met only by a bespoke software development. The Department was aware of the typical diary facilities available from a wide range of office automation suppliers and these fell far short of meeting the requirement.The Department had previously used a particular software systems company to develop an earlier engagement management system. On the basis of that earlier successful implementation, a time and materials contract was placed with that company for the software development and hardware implementation. As part of the implementation, the software systems company had to take account of compatibility requirements. Additional facilities have subsequently been added to provide Ministers with an integrated office system.
Palestinian Terrorists (Military Equipment)
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress is being made with Her Majesty's Government's inquiry into the allegations of sales of military equipment to Palestinian terrorist organisations; and when it will be completed.
[holding answer 9 March 1988]: Allegations that in 1981–82, military communications equipment was licensed for shipment to the PLO have been investigated by the Departments concerned with the active co-operation of Racal-Tacticom.Applications to export military communications equipment are considered by relevant Government Departments before any licence is granted by the DTI. Records have been examined and there is no trace of any licence having ever been granted for shipment to the PLO.The investigation has revealed that in the case of one export licensed in 1982 to a company in the Lebanon an error occurred so that the usual procedures were completed without taking into account information showing that the Lebanon company had links with the PLO. It is possible therefore that this consignment eventually reached the PLO. It was of very small value and the equipment was non-lethal.No evidence has been found to justify any suggestion of unlawful actions by Racal-Tacticom.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many patients at Park lane hospital have been granted privileges to live at an outside hostel or to study at university while subject to a restriction order in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
During the last five years one patient subject to a restriction order has been given permission to leave Park lane hospital to attend a college of further education. None has been given leave to attend a university. Two patients in 1983, two in 1985 and one in 1987 were granted leave from the hospital to live at an outside hostel on a trial basis.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance his Department issues to special hospitals on the provision of unescorted trips for inmates who have not been approved for release by mental health tribunals.
Under sections 41 and 49 of the Mental Health Act 1983, persons detained in hospital subject to restriction orders may be granted leave of absence only with my right hon. Friend's consent. Consent is given only when, on the best assessment that can be made in advance, there appears to be no serious risk to the patient or to the public.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many patients detained under the Mental Health Acts have been released from (a) Park lane, (b) Rampton and (c) Broadmoor hospitals in each year since 1979; and how many of those released have since reoffended.
The readily available information is given in the table:
|Discharges into the community of patients subject to special restrictions on discharge from special hospitals|
Self-Help Transmitter Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to amend the self-help transmitter scheme as a way of providing alternative television programmes to areas such as Gloucester.
The self-help transmitter scheme enables isolated communities not served by the BBC or IBA to construct at their own expense transmitters to relay existing television signals on spare UHF channels. Recently, a community group was licensed on an experimental basis to provide a transmitter offering an alternative to the regional service provided by the BBC-IBA transmitter. Further schemes of this nature will be considered in the light of the current experiment and once decisions have been taken on the possible alternative use of UHF frequencies.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning the implications for his policy on refugees of Amnesty International's code of practice for fair treatment of refugees in the United Kingdom, a copy of which has been forwarded to him; and if he will make a statement.
A number of hon. Members and others have written to me drawing attention to Amnesty International's code of practice for fair treatment of refugees in the United Kingdom. I set out our views on Amnesty's proposals in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Mr. Evans) on 16 March at column 572.
Gary John Byrne
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he proposes to reply to the letter of 29 February from the hon. Member for Vauxhall concerning the treatment of Gary John Byrne.
I assume that the question refers to Gary John Byrne. I hope to reply shortly.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has as to the total amount of (a) United Kingdom and (b) overseas bad debt written off by United Kingdom banks in the financial years 1979–80 and 1986–87 at 1986 prices; and what has been the cost at 1986 prices to the Exchequer in each of those years of allowing these provisions to be written off against tax.
I regret that information is not readily available in the form requested.
Customs Clearance (Channel Tunnel)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he now has plans to introduce customs clearance for passengers on Channel tunnel trains terminating at London, Waterloo.
No. The most efficient and practicable customs control will be airport-type red and green channels at Waterloo. We are therefore planning on this basis.
Value Added Tax
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has received any representations on value added tax rules applied to working men's clubs and institutes; and if he will make a statement.
A few representations about VAT on gaming machines were received in the run-up to the Budget, including those made by the Committee of Registered Clubs Associations.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state those treaty obligations of Her Majesty's Government that either prevented him from making or required him to make changes in rates of excise duty between 1987–88 and 1988–89; and if he will list the commodities so affected.
[holding answer 17 March 1988]: There is no obligation in the treaty of Rome which requires member states to set particular rates of excise duty. But, amongst other things, article 95 of the treaty prevents any member state from imposing, directly or indirectly, any internal taxation on the products of other member states in excess of that imposed directly or indirectly on similar domestic products. Article 95 applies to all the excise duties levied in the United Kingdom.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total of Government (a) assisted and (b) allowed capital expenditure by local authorities on (i) local authority housing, (ii) private sector improvement, repair and intermediate grants, and (iii) housing association grants in the financial years 1970–71 to 1986–87 in 1986 prices.
At 1986–87 prices the total of gross capital public expenditure on housing in England (local authorities, Housing Corporation and new towns) in 1971–72, the earliest year for which figures are available on a consistent basis, was £4,327 million. The comparable figure for 1986–87 is £3,446 million.Available information for the three categories of expenditure specified, for England and at 1986–87 prices, is set out in the table. Although the net total of local authority capital spending is cash limited, spending on the individual component elements specified is not. "Allowed" expenditure is taken to mean gross outturn public
|All in 1986–87 prices1|
|Local Authority Housing||Private Improvement||Support to Housing Associations|
|Note: PE gross outturn figures taken from Public Expenditure White Papers; Vote outturn figures taken from Appropriation Accounts.|
|1 Uprated from the published cash figures using the GDP deflator.|
|2 Consists of Housing Revenue Account (HRA) renovation, HEA land and dwelling acquisitions, HRA new building for rent and Estate Action. Does not include public expenditure on central government subsidies to LA capital expenditure (eg Main Housing Subsidy).|
|3 Consists mainly of main housing subsidy which is paid to certain authorities reflecting annual revenue deficits as well as loan charges on capital borrowing. Also includes housing subsidies to the New Towns, which cannot easily be disaggregated.|
|4 Public Expenditure on Home Improvement, Repairs and Intermediate Grants.|
|5 Voted expenditure supporting Home Improvement, Repairs and Intermediate Grants.|
|6 Local Authority support to housing associations for fair rent and low cost home ownership.|
|7 Housing Corporation support to HAs for fair rent and low cost home ownership.|
|8 Housing Association Grant (HAG) paid via local authorities.|
|9 HAG paid via the Housing Corporation.|
|10 Before 1974 the Housing Corporation/local authorities made loans to Housing Associations without exchequer support. A new system of funding, including capital grants, was introduced in the 1974 Housing Act.|
|11 Cannot be disaggregated.|
|12 For these years disaggregated Vote information is not available.|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report the percentage of planning applications dealt with by local authorities within the statutory eight-week period at the latest available date; and if he will give figures for comparable periods since 1979.
The information requested for the latest available quarter and comparable periods since 1979 are given in the table.
expenditure by local authorities. "Assisted" expenditure is taken to mean Exchequer contributions voted in estimates. Exchequer contributions in respect of assistance to housing associations cannot be disaggregated before 1976–77 as between local authority and Housing Corporation-sponsored schemes. For completeness, the table therefore also includes public and voted expenditure figures in respect of Housing Corporation-sponsored schemes. Information on public expenditure before 1971–72 and on voted expenditure before 1974–75 cannot be made available except at disproportionate cost.
Planning applications decided in eight weeks July-September quarter in each year England
Percentage decided in eight weeks
1 Provisional estimates based on returns from early responding authorities.
Vehicle Excise Duty (Evasion)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 7 March, Official Report, columns 97–98, to the hon. Member for Gloucester, what is the cost of each intensive local comaign to discourage the evasion of vehicle excise duty carried out during 1987–88; what size of geographical area is covered by each such campaign; and if he has plans to establish a nationwide campaign.
The costs to the Department, together with the relicensing revenue and the court penalties imposed on evaders, of each of the campaigns already held or under way in the present financial year are estimated as follows:
|DTp1costs||Relicensing revenue||Court penalties|
|Lothian and Borders||49,000||688,000||6,700|
|October 1987 (All Wales)|
|1 Police costs are not included; in total, they are probably of a similar order of magnitude.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates have been made by his Department about the number of cars which are in use without a valid road fund licence.
The most recent estimate of vehicle excise duty evasion in Great Britain is based on a national survey in June 1984 which indicated that 580,000 unlicensed cars and vans were in use on the road.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment why the Royal Arms no longer appear on the official notepaper of his office.
The Royal Arms crest appears on all letterhead paper supplied to the office of the Secretary of State, for official purposes.
Vocational Education And Training
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the terms of reference, and when is publication expected, of the study of the funding of vocational education and training being undertaken by the Manpower Services Commission.
The terms of reference of MSC's study of the funding of vocational education and training are:
- —brings to bear sufficient resources for achievement of the New Training Initiative objectives and the proper vocational education and training of all the country's workforce;
- —is effective and efficient in the use of resources;
- —is responsive to changing needs; and
- —meets labour market requirements.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to introduce legislation requiring employers to provide adequate insurance cover for children in their employment.
Such provision already exists under the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many prosecutions have taken place as a result of industrial tribunals in the south-west in the last year; and in what areas.
None. Industrial tribunal decisions do not of themselves lead to prosecutions.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many women have served as sidesmen in industrial tribunals in the south-west in the last year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many women have served as chairpersons of industrial tribunals in the south-west in the last year.
Plant Grant And Felling Licence Applications
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many planting grant and felling licence applications to the Forestry Commission were objected to on environmental grounds in the last full year for which figures are available.
Twenty-four applications for planting grant were referred to the Forestry Commission's regional advisory committees in the year to 31 December 1987 because of sustained objections on environmental grounds. There were no sustained objections to applications for felling licences.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, in the event of civil or nuclear disaster, what arrangements have been made for distribution of emergency supplies including food.
Regional and island councils have contingency plans for dealing with emergencies, which include arrangements, as appropriate, for the distribution of food and other supplies.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the electorate in each local authority district council ward in Scotland according to the electoral roll currently in force.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 March to the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) at columns 327–30.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the electorate in each parliamentary constituency in Scotland, according to the electoral roll currently in force.
A table giving this information will be available in April, when I shall send a copy to the hon. Member and place one in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the latest estimate of the level of uniform business rate for Scotland taking account of proposed rates for the financial year 1988–89.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 27 November to the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington) at column 132.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing for each rank of police officer in Scotland the number who are (i) from ethnic minorities and (ii) women; and what is the total number of police officers in Scotland.
The position at 31 December 1987 was as follows:
|Deputy Chief Constable||—||—|
|Assistant Chief Constable||—||—|
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many judges in Scotland are (i) from ethnic minorities and (ii) women; and what is the total number of judges in Scotland.
Of the 24 senators of the College of Justice, six sheriffs principal and 89 sheriffs, four are women. No information is collected centrally on the ethnic origins of judges in Scotland.
Private Medical Projects
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what factors of medical policy are considered by the Scottish Development Agency when considering financial support for private medical projects.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The agency undertakes consultation with appropriate interests in considering support for any private medical project. If consultations bring out factors of medical policy then these are considered by the agency.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the number of staff in the Scottish Development Agency, and their numbers, currently involved in the consideration of private medical projects.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The numbers of agency staff, and their allocation among divisions, are given in the agency's annual report which is laid before Parliament each year. The staff in post, as at 31 March 1987, was 683.No members of the agency's staff are employed solely in the consideration of private medical projects such as nursing or other homes for the elderly. Staff in the agency deal with such projects as and when appropriate.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the private medical projects currently being considered by the Scottish Development Agency for financial assistance, giving the companies involved and the level of assistance.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: For reasons of commercial confidentiality, I am unable to provide this information. The number of private medical projects currently being considered by the agency is eight. These comprise projects where one or more medically qualified staff are involved in providing health care.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if, when considering financial support to private medicine, he takes into consideration the equivalent number of jobs and quality of health care that could be provided in the National Health Service for a similar investment.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: No. Applications for financial assistance in respect of health care projects are assessed in terms of any relevant statutory provisions — for example, the Industry Acts — and against the criteria appropriate to the form of assistance applied for.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who are the Scottish Development Agency's medical advisers concerned with private medical projects.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The Scottish Development Agency health care division provides in-house expertise in the evaluation of health care projects. Where necessary, this expertise is supplemented by the provision of advice from specialists who are consulted, in confidence, on a case by case basis.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assistance has been given by the Scottish Development Agency to the setting up of private homes or hospitals for the elderly in each of the years 1983 to 1987; what individuals or companies were involved and what non-financial assistance was provided.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The financial support given by the Scottish Development Agency to the setting up of private homes or hospitals for the elderly in each of the years 1983 to 1987 was as follows:
|1 Companies-individuals assisted.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the guidelines within which the Scottish Development Agency considers requests for financial or other forms of assistance from private health care projects.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: Private health care projects are considered for financial or other forms of assistance by the Scottish Development Agency in exactly the same manner as projects in other business sectors. Projects are evaluated in terms of market demand, any relevant technical factors and the skills and experience of those engaged in management. Where investment or other forms of financial assistance are being considered, a financial appraisal is also undertaken. Investments are made under financial guidelines set jointly by the Secretary of State and the Treasury, with the agency board having delegated authority of up to £1 million or 30 per cent. of equity, whichever is the lower. Any investment proposed outside the guidelines has to be approved on a case by case basis by the Scottish Office.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will set out in the Official Report the employment creation criteria used by the Scottish Development Agency when assessing private health care projects.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The employment creation criteria used by the Scottish Development Agency in assessing private health care projects are no different from those used in assessing projects in other areas of business activity. The agency takes into account the additional earnings generated both directly by the project and elsewhere within the Scottish economy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which of his Departments is consulted about Scottish Development Agency support for private medical schemes; and which Department accepts final responsibility for approval.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: Within the limits of the agency's delegated authority, consultation in respect of any particular project is a matter for the agency's own discretion. Out with these limits, the Industry Department for Scotland is responsible (in consultation with the Scottish Home and Health Department) for approval of agency involvement in such projects.
Elderly Persons' Homes
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assistance in the form of loan guarantees has been given by the Scottish Development Agency towards setting up homes for the elderly in each year from 1983; and what are the names of individuals and companies involved.
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: There has been no such assistance over the period 1983 to date.
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Scottish Development Agency about extending the geographical area of the Coatbridge project to cover a larger area in Monklands district; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 17 March 1988]: I am pleased to say that agreement has been reached between the Scottish Development Agency and its partners in the Coatbridge project on an extension both to the area of the project to include the rest of Monklands district, and for a further two years from 1 April 1988. The new project will be known as the Monklands project. This does not require the approval of my right hon. and learned Friend. While, therefore, I have kept myself informed about the current discussions between the Scottish Development Agency and its partners about an extension, I have seen no need for separate discussions with the agency, which—as I said in my answer to the hon. Member on 2 1 January—is aware that we regard Lanarkshire as an area which continues to need its special attention.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give figures for the last five years (a) by region, (b) by district and (c) nationally, and the
|Average daily available beds, GP maternity specialty, 1979 and 1982 to 1986|
|Health Authority||1979||1982||1983||1984||1985||1986||Percentage change 1979–86|
|East Anglian RHA||140·3||120·9||103·6||73·9||69·4||67·2||-52·1|
|North West Hertfordshire||10·0||8·8||8·0||8·0||1·3||0·0||n/a|
|South West Hertfordshire||12·0||12·0||12·0||12·0||12·0||12·0||0·0|
|North West Thames RHA||34·0||32·8||32·0||31·8||22·9||18·0||-47·1|
|Basildon and Thurrock||7·0||5·3||7·0||7·0||7·0||7·0||0·0|
|North East Essex||63·0||49·2||47·0||45·2||36·4||35·1||-44·3|
percentage change since 1979 for (i) the number of general practitioner maternity beds, (ii) the number of maternity units in hospitals and (iii) the number of maternity hospitals.
The available information about general practitioner maternity beds is given in the table. Maternity beds is given in the table Consultant obstetric wards may also have beds available for use by general practitioners.Information about individual units and maternity hospitals could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Percentage change 1979–86
|Barking, Havering and Brentwood||1·7||2·0||2·5||3·3||3·3||2·0||17·6|
North East Thames RHA
|Canterbury and Thanet||10·0||0·9||0·3||0·4||0·2||0·2||-98·0|
|Dartford and Gravesham||12·0||0·8||1·2||1·0||0·8||0·3||-97·5|
South East Thames RHA
|North West Surrey||53·4||30·0||30·0||30·0||8·4||5·8||-89·1|
|West Surrey and North East Hampshire||5·8||3·8||3·5||3·9||3·2||2·0||-65·5|
|South West Surrey||10·0||9·9||9·8||5·7||0·0||0·0||n/a|
South West Thames RHA
|South West Hampshire and Southampton||52·8||56·1||48·8||52·5||57·0||49·7||-5·9|
|West Wiltshire and Bath||122·0||103·0||96·2||92·7||91·8||89·7||-26·5|
|Bristol and Weston||24·4||30·8||30·9||30·8||30·6||12·2||-50·0|
|Cornwall and Isles of Stilly||45·0||43·0||43·0||36·2||36·7||37·0||-17·8|
South Western RHA
|Bromsgrove and Redditch||17·0||12·0||8·2||1·6||0·1||0·0||n/a|
|Kidderminster and District||39·0||22·0||22·0||22·0||23·4||24·0||-38·5|
|Worcester and District||29·0||29·0||29·0||29·0||29·0||26·5||-8·6|
|South East Staffordshire||11·8||14·0||14·0||14·0||9·3||15·8||33·9|
Percentage change 1979–86
West Midlands RHA
|Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde||10·6||17·0||4·3||17·0||11·1||0·0||n/a|
|Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley||53·1||55·3||54·0||54·0||53·8||53·6||0·9|
|Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale||19·7||13·8||11·1||7·1||5·8||6·1||-69·0|
|Chorley and South Ribble||n/a||23·2||25·6||28·1||28·0||25·9||n/a|
|Tameside and Glossop||10·2||14·1||1·3||0·4||0·6||0·5||-95·1|
North Western RHA
|n/a = Comparable data not available for 1979, due to NHS restructuring in 1982.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimates he has as to the number and percentage of operations which are cancelled due to the absence of the consultant surgeon; and if he will make a statement.
This information is not held centrally. Following implementation of the recommendations of the health services information steering group, information is now, for the first time, to be collected centrally on the availability and use of operating theatres, including the number of sessions cancelled during the year (but not the reason for those cancellations). Information for 1987–88 is exepected to be available later this year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make it his policy that responses received to consultative documents issued by his Department be made publicly available by placing them in his Department's library, except where the respondent has specifically asked that this not be done; and if he will arrange for this procedure to be made clear when future consultative documents are issued.
I am not planning to make special arrangements in this regard. Organisations which respond to consultative documents are of course free to publicise their replies as they see fit.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will publish the total spent on health care in the United Kingdom for each year since 1979, in absolute terms and as a percentage of gross national product.
The table shows for 1979 to 1986 total, net public and private expenditure on health care on the United Kingdom in both absolute terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product. The data have been derived from Central Statistical Office national accounts.
|Expenditure on Health Care in the United Kingdom|
|£ million||Percentage of GDP|
|Total expenditure||Net public||Private||Total||Net public||Private|
Note: There are slight rounding differences between these figures and those published by the OECD for purposes of international comparisons.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has as to the total cost of health care in France and Germany as a percentage of each country's own gross national product for each year since 1979.
The table shows for the period 1979 to 1985—the latest readily available year—total, public and private expenditure on health care in France and Germany as a percentage of their respective gross domestic products. The data have been derived from OECD accounts.
|Expenditure on Health Care as a Percentage of Gross Domestic Product, 1979–1985|
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list those regional health authorities with a shortfall in nurse teachers; and what is the shortfall in each of the five parts of the nursing education register.
Information on shortfalls of nurse teachers is not collected centrally. However, a sample survey by regional health authority chairmen in March 1987, for the pay review body, showed that 4·1 per cent. of all tutorial staff posts had been vacant for three months or more.
Nhs (Land And Property Sales)
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give for each regional health authority, district health authority and special health authority and for each year since 1982–83 the total income from the sales of surplus land and property in the National Health Service.
Tables showing each health authority's income from the sale of land and buildings as recorded in its annual accounts for the years requested have been placed in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps are being taken by his Department to ensure that Health Service managers and practitioners are informed of his Department's policy on geriatric care; and what measures are being taken to ensure that they are carrying out the policy.
Our policy for geriatric care remains as set out in the 1981 White Paper "Growing Older", as amplified and extended by the annual planning guidelines issued to health authorities.We monitor the effectiveness of service in a range of ways; including regular reports on aspects of performance, statistical returns of activity levels, and annual reviews with regional health authorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will make it his policy to issue guidelines to health authorities to provide for the continuation of geriatric nurse training to ensure the provision of competent practitioners for this client group;(2) what plans he has to ensure the full use of specialist trained geriatric nurses in patterns of service training.
All nurse learners have an allocation to elderly care units as part of their basic training. In addition, outline curricula for two post-basic clinical courses on care of the elderly have been published by the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting. It is for health authorities to determine their training needs, and seek approval to run courses based on these curricula.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what assessment he has made of the value to geriatric services of improvements in co-ordination and co-operation between various agencies involved, rather than a single agency taking lead responsibility; and if he will make a statement.
I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Minister for Health's reply to him on 16 March at column 614. Similar considerations apply to care services for elderly people.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many (a) geriatric (b) mentally handicapped and (c) mentally ill people are waiting in special hospitals for places to be offered them in local authority residential homes.
The table shows the number of patients in the special hospitals who, at 16 January, were waiting for places to be offered them in local authority residential homes:
|Broadmoor||Moss Side||Park Lane||Rampton|
|Mentally ill people2||—||—||2||4|
|1 Detained patients who are either mentally impaired or severely mentally impaired.|
|2 Detained patients who are either mentally ill or psychopathically disordered.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidelines have been issued by his Department to health authorities concerning the detaining of (a) geriatric, (b) mentally ill and (c) mentally handicapped people in special hospitals while waiting for places in local authority residential homes.
The Department has issued no guidelines to health authorities on this matter. Guidelines issued to the special hospitals on the care of elderly and long-stay patients recommend that where such a patient is ready for discharge before suitable alternative provision has been made, he should be allowed to remain in the special hospital temporarily as an informal patient.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many (a) privately run nursing homes and (b) local authority run nursing homes accept elderly severely mentally ill people in each local authority area in England.
The information requested is not available. The numbers of private and local authority homes and hostels for the mentally ill in each local authority are published in "Homes and Hostels for Mentally Ill and Mentally Handicapped People". The numbers of private and local authority homes for the elderly and younger physically handicapped people in each local authority are published in "Residential Accommodation for the Elderly and Younger Physically Handicapped People: All Residents in Local Authority, Voluntary and Private Homes". Both these publications are available in the Library, the latest relating to 1986.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what evaluation has been made by his Department of the contribution of qualified psychiatric nurses to the success of the community care initiatives relating to mental illness and the use of such qualified nurses by local services in these initiatives.
The contribution of all care and support staff will be taken into account in the evaluation of the care in the community pilot projects which is now under way. It is hoped the evaluation will be completed in 1989.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people with irreversible senile dementia are being cared for in mental hospitals in each health authority area in England.
I am sorry I cannot give the hon. Member the information he seeks in the form requested. Statistics on resident in-patients by diagnosis are not collected centrally. The table gives the most recent information on admissions, and some people may have been readmitted during the year.
|Admissions with main diagnosis of senile and presenile organic psychotic conditions to NHS mental illness hospitals and units, England 1986|
|Region-district||Number of admissions|
|North West Durham||45|
|South West Durham||151|
Number of admissions
|East Anglian RHA||1,261|
|Great Yarmouth and Waveney||248|
|West Norfolk and Wisbech||1|
|North West Thames RHA||1,127|
|North West Hertfordshire||82|
|South West Hertfordshire||112|
|Hounslow and Spelthorne||56|
|Paddington and North Kensington||36|
|North East Thames RHA||1,303|
|Basildon and Thurrock||86|
|North East Essex||251|
|Barking, Havering and Brentwood||120|
|City and Hackney||70|
|South East Thames RHA||945|
Number of admissions
|South East Kent||31|
|Canterbury and Thanet||128|
|Dartford and Gravesham||42|
|Lewisham and North Southwark||61|
|South West Thames RHA||1,240|
|North West Surrey||157|
|West Surrey and North East Hampshire||97|
|South West Surrey||84|
|Kingston and Esher||183|
|Richmond, Twickenham and Roehampton||0|
|Merton and Sutton||76|
|Portsmouth and South East Hampshire||325|
|Southampton and South West Hampshire||294|
|Basingstoke and North Hampshire||166|
|Isle of Wight||43|
|South Western RHA||1,481|
|Bristol and Weston||16|
|Cornwall and Isles of Scilly||243|
|Cheltenham and District||0|
|West Midlands RHA||1,414|
|Bromsgrove and Redditch||106|
|Kidderminster and District||80|
Number of admissions
|Worcester and District||36|
|South East Staffordshire||213|
|St. Helens and Knowsley||167|
|Southport and Formby||103|
|North Western RHA||1,740|
|Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde||126|
|Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley||148|
|Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale||60|
|Chorley and South Ribble||79|
|Tameside and Glossop||65|
|Special Health Authority||22|
|(Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospital)|
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many (a) direct and (b) indirect maternal deaths in England and Wales in each year since 1985 occurred in National Health Service hospitals without consultant obstetric units; and how many were associated with anaesthesia.
I regret that the information requested is not yet available.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total amount of money obtained by fraud from his Department's offices in the Bolton area during the last 12 months for which figures are available; how many cases this involved; and what action is being taken to prevent further occurrences.
It is not possible to ascertain the total amount of money obtained by fraud. In the year ended 9 February 1988 fraud staff in the Bolton area discovered overpayments of benefit amounting to £129,691. To prevent fraud, benefit procedures are kept under continual review and measures are adopted to combat fraud wherever possible.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now reply to a letter and analysis of the revenue and capital situation in the National Health Service in Birmingham sent on behalf of the five Birmingham community health councils dated 12 February.
We can find no record of the original letter of 12 February although a copy has now been received. A reply to earlier correspondence from Central Birmingham community health council was sent by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Health on 17 March.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received from the General Dental Practitioners' Association in respect of the proposal to levy a charge for dental examinations; what his response has been; and if he will make a statement.
I received a letter from the General Dental Practitioners' Association dated 20 January which expressed the association's opposition to our proposals concerning charges for dental examinations. In my response, as with the similar representations I have received, I expressed the view that it is reasonable for patients who can afford it to make a contribution towards the cost of the dental examination of less than £3 at today's prices. Moreover, I pointed out that we were retaining all current exemptions from dental charges, and that therefore the charge could not be expected to have any significant deterrent effect.
Salford Health Authority (Delegation)
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what criteria he used in deciding to meet a delegation of hon. Members about the financial position of Salford health authority; what criteria the Minister for Health the right hon. Member for Braintree, (Mr. Newton), used in refusing to meet a delegation of hon. Members about the financial position of the South Manchester health authority; and if he will make a statement.
Such meetings are a matter for the judgment of individual departmental Ministers. In this case, the hon. Members refused an offer by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security to meet them.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will detail proposed changes to the licences of natural medical practitioners;(2) if he has received representations concerning the proposed changes in regulating licensed natural medical practitioners; and if he will make a statement;(3) how many licensed natural medical practitioners have been licensed to practise in England, by regional health authority, in each of the past eight years.
Medical treatment provided under the National Health Service must he given or prescribed by a practitioner registered by the General Medical Council. Practitioners of alternative therapies who are not registered with that council are free to offer their services privately subject to the appropriate provisions of statute and common law and the Department does not collect information on them.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has received any representations from the Narcolepsy Association (UK) concerning changes in drug availability; and if he will make a statement.
We have no record of any representations from the Narcolepsy Association (UK) about the availability of drugs required by people who suffer from narcolepsy. Amphetamines are normally prescribed for narcolepsy, and although these are controlled drugs, they continue to be available on NHS prescription from general practitioners.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list those research projects dealing with the problem of narcolepsy, stating in which regional health authorities these projects are being undertaken and the funding arrangements for each project.
Narcolepsy is an irresistible tendency to go to sleep. It is more usual to speak of the narcolepsies, rather than of narcolepsy, for sudden, repetitive attacks of sleep occurring in the day-time arise in diverse clinical conditions.It is understood the United Kingdom incidence of narcolepsy is very small.The Department is not at present directly supporting any research into the problem of narcolepsy. I am not aware that any is being carried out by a regional health authority under the locally organised research scheme.I understand there is a project on narcolepsy being carried out by the University of Manchester. Details of this and its funding are not held centrally.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will make a statement about the future of the family planning services provided by district health authorities;(2) whether he has plans to require all district health authorities to make sterilisation and vasectomy operations available on the National Health Service;(3) if he plans to issue a circular to district health authorities about family planning services.
The principles underlying the 1974 memorandum of guidance on family planning services in the NHS continue to reflect Government policy, and we have no plans to issue new guidance. The memorandum includes advice on the availability of male and female sterilisation on family planning as well as medical grounds, and asks health authorities to ensure that those with a priority need for the operation are enabled to receive it quickly.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list district health authorities which are currently reducing the family planning services they provide.
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the right hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Steel) on 15 March at column 548.
Medical Appeal Tribunals (South-West)
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many women have served as chairpersons in medical appeal tribunals in the south-west in the last year.
I am advised by the president of social security appeal tribunals and medical appeal tribunals that, in the region covering Wales and the south-west, there are currently 19 persons appointed to serve of whom one is a woman. In England and Wales, nominations are made by the president from a panel appointed by the Lord Chancellor.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what analysis his Department has made of the most cost-effective means of contraception.
The Department has made no such analysis. The method used should be that which is most suitable and acceptable in each individual case.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what he estimates the number of unwanted pregnancies is per year.
I regret that the number of unwanted pregnancies is not known.
Supplementary Benefit Tribunals
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many women have served as chairpersons in supplementary benefit tribunals in the south-west in the last year.
|Nursing and midwifery staff at 30 September|
|Region||Nursing and midwifery staff2||Agency||Bank||Nursing and midwifery staff2||Agency||Bank||Nursing and midwifery staff2||Agency||Bank||Nursing and midwifery staff2||Agency||Bank|
|North West Thames||27,790||620||240||27,530||850||260||27,080||1,080||290||27,070||1,360||230|
|North East Thames||34,280||600||370||33,930||980||350||33,310||850||400||32,460||1,400||480|
I am advised by the president of social security appeal tribunals that, in the region covering Wales and the south-west, there are currently 105 persons appointed to serve of whom 11 are women. In England and Wales, nominations are made by the president from a panel appointed by the Lord Chancellor.
Local Authority Expenditure
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what real percentage increase, according to personal social services pay and prices, in expenditure would have been required between 1978–79 and 1986–87 by local authority social services departments in order to keep pace with demographic and other pressures; which local authorities fell below this line in 1986–87; what the budget growth of these authorities was; what was the actual expenditure on personal social services in these authorities; what the expenditure should have been to meet the level indicated; and what was the difference between these two levels of expenditure.
[holding answer 15 March 1988]: Taking 2 per cent. per annum as a broad measure of demographic and other pressures on the personal social services at national level, a 17·2 per cent. real percentage increase would have been required over the period 1978–79 to 1986–87. But demographic and other pressures do not bear evenly on individual local authorities and it is therefore not appropriate to apply this figure at authority level. Full relevant information is not available to enable a calculation based on local circumstances.
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the number of nurses directly employed by National Health Service hospitals on (a) permanent and (b) temporary contracts, by region, for each year from 1983 to 1987; and what was the number of agency or bank nurses employed by National Health Service hospitals, by region, for each year from 1983 to 1987.
[holding answer 11 February 1988]: Information about the number of nurses on permanent and temporary contracts is not collected centrally and information specifically for nurses employed in hospitals is not readily available.The total number of nursing and midwifery staff employed in each region on 30 September 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986 and the number of agency and bank staff is given in the table. Similar information for September 1987 is not yet available.
Nursing and midwifery staff
Nursing and midwifery staff
Nursing and midwifery staff
Nursing and midwifery staff
|South East Thames||30,760||480||290||29,980||770||310||29,550||820||410||29,110||860||390|
|South West Thames||24,530||380||280||23,990||480||390||23,720||520||470||23,210||620||520|
|London Post Graduate Special Health Authorities||4,910||250||20||4,580||310||10||4,620||330||20||4,500||370||20|
1 All figures are independantly rounded to the nearest ten (10) whole-time equivalents.
2 Includes qualified nurses and midwives, learners and unqualified staff. Excludes Agency and Bank.
3 Less than five (5) whole-time equivalents.
Source: DHSS (SR7) Annual Census of NHS Non-Medical Manpower.
Yorkshire Health Authorities (Staffing)
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the staffing levels in each health authority within the Yorkshire region in each of the following categories (a) ancillary posts, (b) nursing, (c) medical dental (d) administration and clerical and (e)
|NHS directly employed staff in post—30 September each year|
|Yorkshire RHA||Medical and Dental2||Nursing and Midwifery3||Administration and Clerical|
|District health authorities||1985||1986||Per cent. change 1985–86||1985||1986||Per cent. change 1985–86||1985||1986||Per cent. change 1985–86|
|Yorkshire RHA||Ancillary||Other Staff Groups4||Total directly employed staff5|
|District health authorities||1985||1986||Per cent. change 1985–86||1985||1986||Per cent. change 1985–86||1985||1986||Per cent. change 1985–86|
other grades, including ambulance staff and technicians, in 1986 and 1987, indicating the percentage increase or decrease in each category and in the total.
[holding answer 18 January 1988]: Figures shown in the table relate to staff in post at 30 September 1985 and 1986. Figures are not yet available centrally for 1987.
Other Staff Groups
Total directly employed staff
District health authorities
Per cent. change 1985–86
Per cent. change 1985–86
Per cent. change 1985–86
Source: DHSS (SR7) Annual censuses of NHS medical and non-medical manpower.
1 Figures are independently rounded to the nearest ten (10) whole time equivalents. Percentage changes are calculated on unrounded figures.
2 Includes permanent paid, honorary and locum staff. Excludes consultants from non-teaching districts and senior registrars from all districts. Contracts for all senior registrars and for most consultants are held by regional health authorities centrally. There will therefore be more doctors and dentists actually working in the districts than are accounted for in the table.
3 Includes agency staff.
4 Includes Professional and Technical, Works, Maintenance and Ambulance Staff (including Officers).
5 Includes Medical and Dental, Nursing and Midwifery, Professional and Technical, Works, Maintenance, Administrative and Clerical, Ambulance (including Officers) and Ancillary Staff.
6 Includes staff at Regional Headquarters and HQ Units. Includes Senior Medical and Dental; staff whose contracts are held by the Regional Health Authority (see note (2)).
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
Thames Flood Plains
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment his Department has made of the role of the River Thames flood plains in preventing serious flooding.
[holding answer 10 March 1988]: It is for the water authorities to plan flood protection as they consider appropriate, and this Ministry is involved only when projects are proposed for grant approval.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of Soviet modernisation of their chemical weapons; and if he will make a statement.
The Soviet Union commands the world's largest and most sophisticated chemical warfare capability. In 1987, it admitted that it possessed chemical weapons but the dated examples on display during the visit to the Soviet chemical weapons facility at Shikhany last October, revealed little of Soviet modern weapons or chemical agent technology.There have been many advances in chemical weapons technology in recent years. New methods of delivering an expanding range of potential new agents have been developed. We assess that the Soviet Union's extensive research and development programme will have enabled it to exploit many of these advances and to develop new weapons utilising advanced and sophisticated chemical agents.
Sea Systems Controllerate
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to receive the reports concerning the reorganisation of the sea systems controllerate.
I expect to receive a report of a full investment appraisal into the options for the co-location of the controllerate project staffs in the autumn.
Management In Government (Report)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action he is taking on the recommendations of the efficiency committee report, "Improving Management in Government: The Next Steps," which are within the area of responsibility of his Department.
In accordance with the policy on Civil Service management announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 18 February, the Ministry of Defence is considering two candidates for possible agency status: the Non-Nuclear Research Establishments and the Meteorological Office.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to reach a decision with his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts on the replacement of the intermediate range of land-based nuclear missiles, with new air and sea-launched cruise missiles and other nuclear weapons, in accordance with the Montebello programme.
NATO is not planning to replace intermediate range land-based nuclear missiles.
Nato Meeting (Belgium)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why he did not attend the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Ministers and Heads of State meeting in Belgium on 2–3 March.
In accordance with the normal practice for such meetings the United Kingdom was represented at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council on 2–3 March by my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary.