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NORTHERN IRELAND

Oversight Commissioner

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make available to the House the report compiled by Tom Constantine, the Oversight Commissioner, which outlines how he plans to fulfil his terms of reference. [144927]

Mr. Ingram: I am grateful to Mr. Constantine for his comprehensive report and have today placed a copy of it in the Library. Mr. Constantine has sent copies of the report to the political parties and other interested bodies in Northern Ireland.

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what categories of submissions from civil servants to Ministers, other than those relating to (a) intelligence and (b) personnel matters, are not circulated to Special Advisers; [143828]

Mr. Mandelson: Special Advisers in this Department have access to material produced by permanent civil servants in accordance with paragraph 14e of the "Model Contract for Special Advisers".

Drumcree

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he has taken to promote community relations in the Drumcree area since January 2000. [144164]

Mr. Ingram: Responsibility for this subject has been devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly and is therefore no longer a matter for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

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CABINET OFFICE

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what categories of submissions from civil servants to Ministers, other than those relating to (a) intelligence and (b) personnel matters, are not circulated to Special Advisers; [143834]

Marjorie Mowlam: Special Advisers in this Department have access to material produced by permanent civil servants in accordance with paragraph 14e of the "Model Contract for Special Advisers".

HEALTH

Correspondence

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire, dated 28 March, concerning Tara Ballard. [142991]

Ms Stuart: A reply to the hon. Member's letter was sent on 8 January.

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a reply to his letter of 24 October on behalf of his constituent, Dr. Davies. [143578]

Ms Stuart [holding answer 19 December 2000]: A reply to the right hon. Member's letter was sent on 8 January.

Doctor/Patient Ratios (Easington)

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he is taking to improve doctor/patient ratios within the area covered by the Easington Primary Care Group; and if he will make a statement. [144294]

Mr. Denham: The average list sizes for general practitioner principals in the Easington Primary Care Group (PCG) area is 2,085 patients per GP. While this is larger than the national average of 1,845 patients per GP, it does not take into account the number of non-principals working in the area. If salaried doctors and GP principals are taken together, the current ratio of doctors to patients in Easington is 1,967.

Currently salaried doctor (non-principal) recruitment has largely taken place in those practices with Personal Medical Services (PMS) pilots. Since the first pilots commenced in Easington in October 1999, 2.8 whole time equivalent salaried GPs have been recruited to the area. Approval for five more practices to become PMS pilots has been announced and this will lead to the recruitment of four more salaried GPs for an October 2001 start. Following this planned recruitment the average GP list size for Easington would fall to 1,849 which meets the national average and would better help the PCG address the health needs of its population.

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Clinical Governance

Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what sanctions will be applied under the proposed arrangements for clinical governance to clinicians who refuse to take part in audit and clinical governance arrangements. [144439]

Mr. Denham: Clinical governance requires all National Health Service organisations to put in place a range of mechanisms, including clinical audit, which enable them to monitor and assure the quality of their clinical services. It does not impose sanctions on individuals. The Commission for Health Improvement will provide an independent and external check on progress in implementing these arrangements.

However, the NHS Plan proposes that, subject to Parliament, all doctors working in primary care will be subject to clinical governance arrangements and we are working with the profession to finalise these proposals. We intend to introduce participation in clinical audit and annual appraisal as a contractual requirement, and general practitioners should, therefore, participate fully and positively in the process. Refusal to take part would be a disciplinary matter to be dealt with, where necessary, under disciplinary procedures. These procedures will be speeded up, with health authorities given a greater role in dealing with individual cases.

From 1 April 2001, appraisal will be a contractual requirement for all hospital consultants, and must be carried out annually. Consultants will be expected to participate positively in the appraisal process. Refusal by a consultant to participate will be a disciplinary matter to be dealt with, where necessary, under the employer's disciplinary procedures. Additionally, the chief executive will report the matter to the Discretionary Points and Distinction Award Committees, and the consultant will not be considered for an award until he or she has agreed to participate fully in the appraisal process.

The General Medical Council makes clear in "Good Medical Practice: Duties of a Doctor" that doctors should take part in regular and systematic medical and clinical audit. Indeed, clinical audit results will be a major factor for the GMC in considering whether individual doctors have met the requirement of their new revalidation system which will follow on the introduction of appraisal. This will be a powerful tool in ensuring participation in clinical audit.

Beef (Labelling)

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health under what circumstances beef sourced from animals raised in France can be included in a product sold in Britain and labelled as British. [144354]

Ms Stuart [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Government guidelines issued last year make clear that if the place of origin of a food is not the same as the place of origin of its ingredients, additional information may need to be provided on the label to avoid misleading consumers. Failure to do this may result in contravention of existing legislation governing false and misleading labelling and presentation. The guidelines make clear in particular that products containing meat should not be described as "British" if they contain imported meat, but could be described as "made in Britain from . . . " with

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either a specific (eg "French") or general (eg "imported") indication of the origin of the meat ingredients they contain. The United Kingdom has urged the European Commission to consider regulation of labelling of processed products containing beef as a matter of urgency and to bring forward proposals for consideration by the Council and the European Parliament.

PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the President of the Council (1) what categories of submissions from civil servants are submitted to Special Advisers before being seen by Ministers; [143815]

Mrs. Beckett: Special Advisers in this Department have access to material produced by permanent civil servants in accordance with paragraph 14e of the "Model Contract for Special Advisers".

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Capital Projects (Secondary Schools)

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment for what reason the allocation of funds for additional capital projects in secondary schools in the parliamentary constituency of Brentwood and Ongar is less than £30,000 per school. [143667]

Jacqui Smith: This Government inherited a position where less than £700 million a year was being invested by Central Government in school buildings, leading to crumbling buildings and widespread disrepair. We have already tripled annual investment to over £2 billion this year and it will rise further to £3.2 billion by 2003-04. Over the next three years, we will make available a total of £7.8 billion for investment in schools buildings.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his pre-Budget Statement on 8 November 2000 that additional capital funding of £167 million would be provided in 2000-01 for schools across England. This was distributed as additional Devolved Formula Capital for schools. Allocations were made on a per school and per pupil formula basis (which for secondary schools equated to £3,488 per school, plus £13.08 per pupil or £26.16 per Special Educational Needs pupil). All schools in England of the same type and size received the same amount. Taken together with the original allocation of Devolved Formula Capital to schools for 2000-01 of £187 million, this represents a total amount of £7,488 per school, plus £18.72 per primary pupil, £28.08 per secondary pupil or £56.16 per Special Educational Needs pupil.

This is in addition to capital investment made available to Essex LEA through Annual Capital Guidelines, grant funding for Voluntary Aided schools, New Deal for Schools, Schools Access Initiative, Class Size Initiative, School Security grant, PFI credits, National Grid for

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Learning grant, Devolved Formula and Seed Challenge grant, and several specific grants such as School Laboratories. In round figures these total £12 million in 1996-97 (before the local government re-organisation), £11 million in 1997-98, £15 million in 1998-99, £22 million in 1999-2000 and £57 million in 2000-01. This has taken funding per pupil for schools in Essex from an average of £50 per head in 1996-97 to over £270 per head in 2000-01.


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