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Clinical Waste

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the most effective method for the disposal of clinical waste; and what advice he gives to NHS trusts. [143321]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 20 December 2000]: Waste disposal in England is a matter for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Environment Agency (EA) who license and regulate larger waste disposal facilities, with small waste disposal facilities licensed and regulated by the local authority.

No one method is equally efficient, effective and economic for the disposal of all clinical wastes in all circumstances. Waste producers must find the solution that best meets their requirements in the most satisfactory way.

We have issued advice to the National Health Service on appropriate methods of disposing of clinical waste--Health Technical Memorandum 2075 "Clinical waste disposal/ treatment technologies (alternatives to incineration)". Further and broader guidance is given in the Health and Safety Commission's "Safe Disposal of Clinical Waste". Copies are available in the Library.

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Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has he made of the cost and safety impact of transporting clinical waste and of the average distances such waste is carried. [143323]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 20 December 2000]: National Health Service bodies in England, in making their waste management contracts, follow the principle of seeking the best value and the best service for their particular requirements. Distance is one factor in the decision, but cannot be taken in isolation.

Producers of clinical waste which is carried on the public highway must meet the statutory requirements for safe packaging.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total annual cost to the NHS is for disposal of clinical waste. [143322]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 20 December 2000]: The total annual cost to the National Health Service for disposal of clinical waste in England was £29.2 million for 1999-2000.

To reduce the cost and environmental impact of incinerating clinical waste, we issued Health Technical Memorandum 2065 "Healthcare in waste management--segregation of waste streams in clinical areas". This document advocates a change of strategy from waste disposal to waste management in order to achieve the containment of waste disposal costs, the minimisation of healthcare opportunity costs, risk management and a reduction of environmental impact.

Care Services

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to issue draft guidance to local authorities on charging for non-residential community care services; and what plans he has to consult service users when such draft guidance is issued. [144010]

Mr. Hutton: We will issue draft guidance for consultation shortly. The consultation paper and draft guidance will be sent to bodies representing service users and carers and will be on the Department of Health website.

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will make an announcement on guidance for charging for care services. [144029]

Mr. Hutton: We will issue a consultation paper and draft guidance shortly.

Care Homes

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds in care homes there were in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Essex in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest date for which figures are available. [144092]

Mr. Hutton: The number of beds in residential and nursing care homes at 31 March 1997 and 31 March 2000 are given in the table. Figures for the United Kingdom as a whole are not available.

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Care beds as at 31 March

EnglandEssex
1997523,99914,388
2000528,45013,854

Source:

DH Annual Statistical Returns RA, RH(N)


ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS

Departmental Employees

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many members of staff are employed by his Department, broken down by departments; and how many were so employed in May 1997. [141727]

Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 11 December 2000]: Civil Service staff numbers are collected on a six-monthly basis (April and October) and are published by the Cabinet Office.

On 1 April 2000 the Department of Environment, Transport and Regions, including its agencies, employed 17,810 permanent and casual staff on a full-time equivalent basis. On 1 April 1997, the Departments were separate. Individually, the Department of the Environment employed 3,869 staff and the Department of Transport employed 11,926 staff.

The figures are not directly comparable because the combined Department assumed additional responsibilities for the regions. Further, April 2000 numbers include the Rent Service created in October 1999, comprising 890 staff of which 800 transferred from local authorities. Among other changes in staff numbers are increases in DVLA (1030) and VI (270).

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many officials (a) are and (b) were in May 1997 employed by his Department on a (i) part-time basis and (ii) full-time basis. [141726]

Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 11 December 2000]: Civil Service staff numbers are collected on a six monthly basis (April and October) and are published by the Cabinet Office.





On the above date the Department of Environment employed 3,869 permanent and casual staff and the Department of Transport employed 11,926 permanent and casual staff (these totals are provided on a full-time equivalent basis).

The figures are not directly comparable because the combined Department assumed additional responsibilities for the regions. Further, April 2000 numbers include the Rent Service created in October 1999, comprising 890

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staff of which 800 transferred from local authorities. Among other changes in staff numbers are increases in DVLA (1030) and VI (270).

Local Government Employees

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many people have been employed in local government in each of the last three years. [141729]

Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 11 December 2000]: The number of full-time equivalent employees in local government in England is given in the table:

Full time equivalent employees in local government in England (excluding police and magistrates courts), mid year count

Thousand
Year
19981,404
19991,419
20001,436

Source:

Office for National Statistics


English Government Offices for the Regions

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what the current budget is and how many people are employed in, each of the English Government Offices of the Regions, excluding London, (a) in the current year and (b) in each of the last three years; and how many are budgeted for next year. [141732]

Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 11 December 2000]: The current administrative budget and the administrative budget in each of the last three years for the Government Offices for the Regions (excluding London) are detailed in the table. Budget figures for the next financial year (2001-02) are yet to be agreed.

£000

GO1997-981998-991999-2000(13)2000-01
North East8,616.758,618.848,312.058,221.62
North West9,442.5913,690.1313,048.5813,397.92
Merseyside4,199.5312.240.000.00
Yorkshire and Humber8,475.018,683.928,888.689,183.87
West Midlands9,757.799,474.359,330.159,794.44
East Midlands6,436.246,754.396,951.287,176.97
East6,270.626,269.437,005.477,391.26
South West6,825.736,985.037,796.878,226.98
South East8,544.998,561.408,658.618,952.79
Total68,569.2569,049.7369,991.6972,345.85

(13) Allocations pre Mid Year Review

Note:

GO-NW and GO-M merged during 1998-99


The current total number of staff employed in each Government Office (excluding London) in the current year and last three years are detailed in the table. Both the administration budgets and the staff numbers are for all the activities, not just those that relate to DETR responsibilities.

In line with policy set out in the Performance and Innovation Unit report "Reaching Out--the role of central Government at Regional and Local level" published in February 2000, Government Offices are increasingly

21 Dec 2000 : Column: 285W

incorporating regional staff from a wider range of Government Departments, and are taking on an enhanced role in co-ordinating Government action at regional and local level.

The figures include casual staff, staff on fixed term appointments, staff seconded out, staff on career breaks, staff on maternity leave and staff on special leave with no pay. Figures taken as at 1 April each year. Staff numbers for 2001-02 have yet to be finalised.

Staff employed in Government Offices

GO1997199819992000
North East269286261267
North West428383401402
Yorkshire and Humber274275251282
West Midlands325348275271
East Midlands218215222247
East182185178195
South West255196204227
South East224197215248
Total2,1752,0852,0072,139


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