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Territorial Army: Non-regular Permanent Staff Redundancies

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Gilbert: The current redundancy compensation terms for officers and soldiers of the non-regular permanent staff (NRPS) are published in the Territorial Army Regulations 1978. Redundancy payments are determined individually and are calculated on the basis of length of service, rank and rate of pay. Members of the NRPS who are made redundant and are subsequently re-employed in civilianised NRPS posts are not required to repay their lump sum compensation payment provided they have applied for the post in open competition.

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Royal Tournament

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the future of the Royal Tournament.[HL3759]

Lord Gilbert: Last year we announced that the Royal Tournament in its current form would end on a high in 1999 but that a flagship Armed Forces event would continue in the future.

The Royal Military Tattoo 2000 will be a flagship contribution by the Armed Forces to the country's Millennium celebrations. Within the setting of Horse Guards' Parade, the theme will be Defence of the Realm: Past, Present and Future, portraying a 1,000-year story. The event will take place between 10 and 15 July 2000, with one performance each evening.

From 2001 onwards, the spirit of the Royal Tournament will be carried forward in a showcase event in London. This will be a military tattoo at Horse Guards Parade, involving ceremonial, massed bands and pageantry. It will be held each summer inside a week.

In addition, a military festival will be held annually outside London at different military locations, also in the summer. In 2001 this will be Portsmouth, based on the Royal Navy's Festival of the Sea.

These changes will mean that the final Royal Navy Field Gun Competition will take place at the 1999 Royal Tournament, in the centenary year of the action it commemorates.

Caesarean Births

Baroness Cumberlege asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the current rate of caesarean births as a percentage of all births; what was the current rate in 1994 and 1989; and what is the current rate of other operative births including forceps and ventouse.[HL3635]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): The available information is as follows:


    England


    The available information relates to deliveries. The proportion of deliveries by caesarean section in 1989-90 was 11.3 per cent. and in 1994-95 was 15.5 per cent. Preliminary estimates for 1997-98 suggest that about 17 per cent. of deliveries were by caesarean section and about 11 per cent. were instrumental (i.e. by forceps or ventouse), with the remainder being spontaneous deliveries.


    Scotland


    The available information relates to live births. The proportion of deliveries by caesarean section in 1989-90 was 15.2 per cent. and in 1994-95 was 16.5 per cent. In 1997-98 18.5 per cent. of live births were by caesarean section and 11.5 per cent.

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    were instrumental (i.e. by forceps or ventouse), with the remainder being spontaneous deliveries. From 1 July 1999 this is a matter for the Scottish Parliament.


    Wales


    The available information relates to live births in Wales to residents of Wales. Reliable data are not available on rates of forceps and ventouse deliveries and for years prior to 1993. The proportion of live births by caesarean section was 15.8 per cent. in 1994 and 18.1 per cent. in 1997 (latest figures available). From 1 July 1999 this is a matter for the National Assembly.


    Northern Ireland


    The available information relates to live births. Reliable data are not available for years prior to 1992. The proportion of live births by caesarean section was 15 per cent. in 1994 and 19 per cent. in 1997 (latest figures available), and 11 per cent. were instrumental (i.e. by forceps or ventouse) in 1997, with the remainder being spontaneous deliveries.

Baroness Cumberlege asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the additional costs of a caesarean delivery compared with a vaginal birth, including all expenses such as capital costs, costs of drugs, resulting morbidity, increased length of stay and professional time.[HL3636]

Baroness Hayman: In the absence of reliable up-to-date figures we have commissioned a detailed study of the costs directly and indirectly associated with delivery of caesarean section from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU). This includes comparative analysis of costs associated with other modes of delivery. The NPEU report is due in the autumn and will be submitted for publication in a peer reviewed journal.

Maternity Services: Midwife Attendance

Baroness Cumberlege asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of women are left without a midwife in attendance during any time of their labour and delivery.[HL3637]

Baroness Hayman: This information is not collected centrally. Responsibility for the organisation of maternity services lies with individual National Health Service trusts, taking into account the needs of the local population, evidence of effectiveness and available resources. We would however expect that an appropriately qualified practitioner would be in attendance at the time of delivery and support the Audit Commission's recommendation that clinicians and managers in NHS trusts should ensure that women are not left without professional support in labour when they need or want it.

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Childbirth Initiative

Baroness Cumberlege asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many pilot schemes have been set up as a result of the Changing Childbirth initiative; how many were funded through this initiative; how many pilot schemes have been discontinued; and how many have been modified.[HL3638]

Baroness Hayman: Since 1994 the Department of Health has provided funding of £1.5 million for 33 development projects. A final report Changing Childbirth Development Projects Summary Report, which highlights achievements and lessons learnt and provides contact details, was published in August 1998. Copies have been placed in the Library. The report sets out the position as at mid-1998 and no further action to follow up the projects has been taken since then.

Gulf War Illnesses: War Pensions Agency Appeals

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many appeals relating to Gulf War illnesses are currently outstanding at the War Pensions Agency; and what was the comparative figure at 30 June 1999.[HL3496]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Queries on operational matters concerning the War Pensions Agency are for its chief executive, Mr. Gordon Hextall. I have asked him to write to the noble Countess.

Letter from the Chief Executive of the War Pensions Agency, Mr. Gordon Hextall, dated 16 July 1999.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the number of appeals relating to Gulf War illnesses which are currently outstanding at the War Pensions Agency and the comparative figure at 30 June 1999.

The most recent figures available relate to 30 June 1999. At this date there were 203 appeals outstanding at the War Pensions Agency from Gulf War Veterans. 54 of these are from veterans who have made reference to "Gulf War illness" and the remaining 149 relate to other conditions such as injuries etc.

I hope you find my reply helpful.

London Underground

Lord Merrivale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they propose to take to prevent overcrowding and discomfort on London Underground trains, to improve the management and planning of the Underground system and to prevent line closures from happening during busy periods of the year.[HL3592]

19 Jul 1999 : Column WA92

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): The Government are working hard to improve the lot of London Underground's passengers. We have just announced extra resources for London Transport of over £500 million for this year and next, in addition to the £365 million extra grant it received under the Comprehensive Spending Review. This extra funding will bring investment in the Underground system to £1.6 billion over two years.

We have also put in place a new management structure for London Transport, with a new non-executive chairman for London Transport and a new managing director for London Underground Ltd, earlier this year.

The timing of temporary line closures is an operational matter for London Underground. We understand that as far as possible it concentrates closures in less busy times of the year.

Pedestrian Underpass: Westminster Bridge to Waterloo

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Whitty on 19 November 1998 (WA 183), what plans they have to improve the decoration, hygiene, lighting and safety of the pedestrian underpass leading from the Westminster Bridge to Waterloo Station.[HL3590]

Lord Whitty: Improvements to this underpass are a matter for the highway authority, the London Borough of Lambeth. We understand that the council is shortly to start an assessment of the maintenance needs of the underpass with the intention of carrying out remedial works in the near future.


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