Previous Section Index Home Page


FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Newspaper Advertising

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the expenditure of his (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies on newspaper advertising by title in each year since 1997. [26987]

Mr. MacShane: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 19 November 2001, Official Report, column 24W.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, its executive non-departmental public bodies and executive agency have routinely advertised in the domestic press for recruitment purposes. Other than that, expenditure incurred was:



In addition, the British Council has advertised for such activities as teacher exchanges, language assistants and conference promotion. Accurate figures by year are not available. But from 1997 to 2001 the total expenditure was £16,400. The expenditure from April 2001 to date is £6,565. The titles used were The Times Educational Supplement (mainly) and The Guardian newspaper.

Correspondence

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to reply to the letter of 12 September 2001 from the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East about Heathrow airport. [28010]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 17 January 2002]: Unfortunately the letter dated 12 September 2001 from the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East about Heathrow airport was lost. Officials have requested a further copy. A reply will be sent as soon as possible.

Christian Minorities

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what help his Department offers other Governments who are in the process of

18 Jan 2002 : Column 525W

drafting new laws in the areas of (a) religious freedom and (b) cults to ensure that there is no discrimination against Christian minorities. [28314]

Peter Hain: Promotion of human rights is at the heart of our foreign policy and we regard freedom of thought, conscience and religion as very important human rights. We condemn instances where individuals are persecuted because of their faith or belief, wherever it happens and whatever the religion of the individual or group concerned.

We take every opportunity, often working with our EU partners, to urge states to pursue laws and practices which foster tolerance and mutual respect and to protect religious minorities against discrimination, intimidation and attacks. Where necessary, we remind Governments of the need to comply with their international obligations and to uphold freedom of religion.

We also support, including through financial assistance, the work of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and its Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights which, inter alia, offer technical assistance on legislation. For example, in 2001, their advisory panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion helped develop a package for Armenian schools on religious tolerance, prepared a draft law on the Status of Religious Associations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and expanded a website to gather and identify examples of legislative best practice on Freedom of Religion.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Legal Profession (Ethics)

39. Mr. Allen: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what recent discussions the Lord Chancellor has had with the Home Secretary arising from his recent speech about the ethics of the legal profession; and if he will make a statement. [25054]

Mr. Wills: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and the Lord Chancellor have regular meetings on a wide range of matters. As with previous Governments it is not the practice to provide details of confidential discussions.

Lay Magistrates (Essex)

Bob Spink: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what initiatives are planned to recruit more lay magistrates in Essex. [28417]

Mr. Wills: The Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee for Essex undertakes a range of recruitment activities each year to attract people from across the community to become magistrates. Last year initiatives included adverts in the local press, contacting local trade unions, the Regional Employers Organisation, local ethnic minority groups and the Racial Equality Council, sending them leaflets and offering to give presentations, circulating leaflets and posters to local libraries. This year it plans to continue issuing leaflets to local organisations and include an advert on free street maps, as well as placing adverts in the local press.

18 Jan 2002 : Column 526W

HEALTH

IT Systems

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the SNOMED system for recording clinical details for all patient activity in other countries. [10282]

Ms Blears: The use of the SNOMED system produced by the College of American Pathologists, and in particular SNOMED RT, has been assessed in other countries. The clinical details that it contained were weak in the area of primary care. However, because the Clinical Terms Version 3 (Read Codes) produced by the national health service were strong in the area of primary care the opportunity to have a collaborative project between the NHS and the College of American Pathologists was seized. The combined product, SNOMED CT (Clinical Terms) will contain over 400,000 clinical terms. Other countries and healthcare organisations who have SNOMED RT systems will be upgrading their systems to SNOMED CT when it has been tested and released.

Social Workers

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many social workers were employed in (a) England and (b) Wales in each of the last 10 years. [9264]

Jacqui Smith: The whole-time equivalent number of social work staff employed by local authorities in England during the past 10 years is:

Whole-time equivalent(24)

Year (as at 30 September)Social work staff
199125,538
199226,510
199328,333
199430,357
199531,925
199632,140
199732,990
199833,432
199933,912
200034,692

(24) Including team leaders/assistant team leaders and (from 1993) care managers.


Social work staff includes team leaders, assistant team leaders and (from 1993) care managers, as well as social workers. The Department does not collect just the number of social workers.

Information for Wales is a matter for the devolved Assembly.

Midwifery

Mr. Pollard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase the number of midwife-led birthing units for low risk births; and if he will make a statement. [12008]

Yvette Cooper: There are a number of different ways of providing good quality woman-centred midwifery care including care in midwife-led birthing units for low risk births. It is a matter for local health authorities and national health service trusts to decide on the pattern of service provision taking into account the needs of local

18 Jan 2002 : Column 527W

people, evidence of effectiveness and available resources. The Maternity Workforce Group is looking at alternative models of care.

NHS Information Authority

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he will take to address staff turnover within the NHS Information Authority. [15397]

Ms Blears: The National Health Service Information Authority had a turnover during the last 12 months of 11.36 per cent. This is compared with a 23 per cent. increase in its staff over the same period. Therefore the overall staffing position was growth.

Over the past two years the authority has rationalised its offices from 23 to 11. This has invariably caused a need to relocate some staff from one site to another. However, very few staff with key technical skills left the authority because of this. The vast majority supported all staff through this process with appropriate actions—flexible working; home relocation arrangements; teleworking and transport services.

Significant effort has also been put into the development of a full induction process for new staff joining the authority to ensure, wherever they are located, that they gain an understanding of the purpose, nature and culture of the authority as quickly as possible.

NHS Dentists (Dorset)

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in Dorset were registered with an NHS dentist in April (a) 1990, (b) 1995 and (c) 2000. [15786]

Ms Blears [holding answer 21 November 2001]: The number of general dental service registrations in Dorset health authority is shown in the table at 30 April for the years 1995 and 2000. There were no registrations in April 1990; registrations were introduced in October 1990.

AprilChildrenAdultsTotal
1995100,015325,207425,222
2000102,704274,611377,315

The figures for 1995 and 2000 cannot be compared. Registration rates were reduced by the shortening of the registration period for new registrations from 1996. For adults the period fell from 24 to 15 months. Children's registrations used to lapse at the end of the end of the following calendar year; they now last for 24 months.

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists in Dorset are taking new adult NHS patients; and how many were taking new adult NHS patients in April 1990. [15787]

Ms Blears [holding answer 21 November 2001]: Almost 66 general dental service dentists in Dorset are estimated to be taking on new adult patients. This is an estimate for August and is based on the number of dentists whose new registrations in August exceeded a minimum level.

Information for April 1990 about dentists taking on new patients is not available.

18 Jan 2002 : Column 528W


Next Section Index Home Page