Previous Section Index Home Page

Executive Agencies (Overseas Travel)

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list for each of his executive agencies for the last financial year in respect of overseas travel by staff of the agency (a) the cost, (b) the countries visited and (c) the posts held by the staff involved. [2361]

30 Nov 1995 : Column: 860

Sir John Wheeler: Overseas travel by staff in executive agencies during 1994-95 was as follows:

1994-95 Overseas travel

Agency (a) Cost £ (b) Countries visited (c) Posts held by staff involved
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland 15,000 Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, USA, Netherlands Chief Executive, Deputy Director, Head of Computer System, Senior Mapping and Charting Officer, Computer Systems
Valuation and Lands Agency 1,483 Netherlands Senior Valuation Assistant, 5 Valuation Assistants
Social Security Agency 5,503 Germany and USA Director of Local Operations, Director of Central Operations, Unit Manager of Paid Order Unit
Training and Employment Agency 46,537 Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Singapore and USA Chief Executive, 2 Senior Instructional Officers, 2 Higher Instructional Officers, 3 Instructional Officers, Training Services Manager, 3 Grade 5s, 4 Grade 7s, 3 Deputy Principals, Staff Officer, Development Manager


Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pigs were slaughtered in each pig factory in Northern Ireland; for each factory how many were imported in each week from the period beginning 3 September until the latest available date; and what were the equivalent figures for the same period last year. [2370]

Mr. Ancram: I am unable to provide the information requested as it is not appropriate to disclose information on the performance of individual pig slaughterhouses.

Investors in People

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps his Department is taking to achieve investor in people status; when they started the process, when they expect to achieve investor in people status; and if he will make a statement. [2981]

Sir John Wheeler: The Northern Ireland civil service has been committed to the achievement of IIP status since 1992. Individual Departments and agencies in the Northern Ireland civil service have developed their own strategies and timetables for pushing this initiative forward and plans are at an advanced stage to make formal commitments to achieving the IIP standard. To date, the

30 Nov 1995 : Column: 861

Training and Employment Agency and the internal audit group of the Department of Health and Social Services have achieved investor in people status.

Social Fund

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he plans to make a further allocation of funds to the discretionary social fund budget in the current financial year. [3773]

Mr. Moss: I am very pleased to announce that the Northern Ireland social fund discretionary budget for 1995-96 will be increased by a total of £1.5 million as a result of better than expected loan recoveries by the Social Security Agency. This will increase the original allocation to a total of £33.34 million. This increase in the social fund budget will ensure that more people receive help and that the fund continues to play an important role in targeting resources on those most in need. Details of the revised budget have been placed in the Library.

Chief Electoral Officer (Report)

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish the report of the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland for 1994-95. [3774]

Sir Patrick Mayhew: The Chief Electoral Officer's report was laid before the House yesterday. Copies are available from the Library.


Medical Devices

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with what frequency the premises of manufacturers of medical devices are visited and inspected by the Medical Services Agency. [2392]

Mr. Horam: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Medical Devices Agency under its chief executive Mr. Alan Kent. I have asked him to reply to the hon. Member. Letter from Alan Kent to Mr. Gordon Prentice, dated 30 November 1995: I am writing to you in response to your Parliamentary Question about the frequency at which the premises of manufacturers of medical devices are visited and inspected by the Medical Devices Agency. Manufacturers of medical devices applying for inclusion in the Register of Approved Manufacturers are assessed before registration. The aim is to carry out further assessments every 3 years when the company seeks re-registration. Additional special audits or visits may be conducted when there is reason to suspect that the company no longer satisfies the registration requirements. New Statutory requirements, harmonised within the European Union through Directives, are replacing progressively the voluntary Manufacturer Registration Scheme (MRS). Since 1 January 1995 some manufacturers have chosen to use independent certification bodies, that is Notified Bodies, to assess their quality assurance systems and confirm they are complying with the requirement of the Directives. Through mutual recognition agreements, MDA has been able to use Notified Body

30 Nov 1995 : Column: 862

assessments as a basis of registration to the MRS. The Manufacturer Registration Scheme will be discontinued in mid-1998 when the regulations supporting the Directives are fully implemented. I hope the above is helpful.

Prescription List

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will put the Smith and Nephew four layer bandage for leg ulcers on the prescription list. [2682]

Mr. Malone: No. This method of treatment may already be provided cost effectively to patients in clinics and at home through the community health services.

Anabolic Steroids

Mr. Tom Pendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates he has as to the number of fatalities caused by the abuse of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. [2503]

Mr. Bowis: The number of deaths involving anabolic steroids and stimulants was 22 in 1992, the latest year for which figures are available.

NHS Administrative Costs

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the administrative costs of NHS as a percentage of the total NHS budget in each year since 1989. [3120]

Mr. Malone: The information is shown in the table. Changes over the roles and responsibilities of family practitioner committees, family health services authorities, district health authorities, and regional health authorities, and the transfer of functions to national health service trusts, mean that the figures are not strictly comparable.

Adminstration costs as a percentage of total revenue expenditure for the NHS in England

Administration expenditure £000 Total revenue expenditure £000 Percentage of revenue expenditure on administration

Sources: 1. The annual accounts of district and regional health authorities and the special health authorities of the London postgraduate teaching hospitals. 2. The annual accounts of family practitioner committees, 1989-90. 3. The annual accouns of family health services authorities, 1990-91 to 1994-95. 4. The annual accounts of the Prescription Pricing Authority. 5. The annual accounts of the Dental Practice Board. Notes: 1. The figures for 1994-95 are provisional. 2. RHA and DHA costs are those reported in the accounts as "Authority administration and purchasing expenses". This includes capital charges after 1991-92. FPC/FHSA administration costs are those reported in the annual accounts as revenue administration costs and represent that part of total expenditure which is not medical, dental, ophthalmic or pharmaceutical.

30 Nov 1995 : Column: 863


Mr. Heppell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if Hoechst Roussel Ltd. sought to make it a condition of its licence to supply Norplant in the United Kingdom that its use be restricted to specially trained and experienced doctors. [3127]

Mr. Malone: Applications from companies for licences are confidential under section 18 of the Medicines Act.

Training of doctors in the use of a device such as a Norplant implant is a matter for the professional bodies, in this case the Royal Colleges of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and of General Practitioners.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has recently introduced a scheme for recognition of training in the insertion and removal of Norplant and this includes the company training scheme. The product information is therefore being changed to add to the recommendation that Norplant is inserted and removed by a trained health professional.

Mr. Heppell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to revoke the licence granted to Hoechst Roussel Ltd. to supply Norplant in the United Kingdom. [3126]

Mr. Malone: The licensing authority has no such plans. Like all hormonal contraceptives, Norplant has hormone-related side effects, which may lead to a need to discontinue this method of contraception. The product literature informs doctors and patients of these known side effects.

Next Section Index Home Page