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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Information concerning the number of transplants of varying kinds in the United Kingdom is available for the period from 1991 in the annual report of the UK Transplant Support Service Authority. This information is available in the Library.
Information concerning kidney, liver, heart and heart/lung transplants for Eurotransplant (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands), France, Italy, Spain, Scandia Transplant (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden) is provided in these annual reports from 1995. Information comparing corneal transplant rates within the European Union is not available.
Information concerning road traffic accidents in the member states of the European Union is available in Road Casualties Great Britain which is produced annually. These reports are available in the Library.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health has issued guidance to the National Health Service on the implications of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) for the management of health services. In 1996, a circular (EL(96)70) was issued; this set out the requirements of the DDA for the NHS. Earlier this year, a good practice guide, Doubly disabled: Equality for disabled people in the new NHS: Access to services, was issued to raise awareness of disability issues for NHS staff. HSC 1999(156) issued in July 1999 explained arrangements that NHS providers should make to implement Section 21 of the Disability Discrimination Act. The current guidance on health services for people with a learning disability--HSC(92)42--which includes Down's Syndrome, makes clear that they have the same right of access to NHS services as everyone else and that special care should be taken to ensure that they are not denied health care because of their disability. Copies of the circulars are available in the Library.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): Other member states produce a surplus of veterinary surgeons willing to undertake work in slaughterhouses and poultry processing plants, while the United Kingdom does not.
Slaughterhouse owners cannot legally refuse MHS officials entry to a slaughterhall because they believe them to be inappropriately dressed. However, any slaughterhouse owner with concerns about the standards of an MHS official's dress should bring them to the attention of either the official veterinary surgeon or principal official veterinary surgeon, who will take the appropriate action.
Baroness Hayman: The total costs to the Meat Hygiene Service in the last financial year, including bonuses and social security costs, in employing official veterinary surgeons while carrying out inspection duties under EC Directive 91/497/EEC in slaughterhouses and cutting plants amounted to approximately £460,000.
Baroness Hayman: The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) makes extensive use of contract official veterinary surgeons (OVSs) which it obtains by means of national competitive tendering procedures. This is fully in line with government purchasing policy and ensures that the MHS obtains value for money and that the plant operator is provided with the most cost-effective service avoiding cross-subsidisation. Contract arrangements also provide greater staffing flexibility, particularly where plants have a low attendance requirement or are located in remote areas.
Baroness Hayman: Codes of practice under Section 40 of the Food Safety Act 1990 are issued by Ministers for the guidance of food authorities. Food authorities are local authorities as defined in Section 5(1) of the Act.
The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) is not a food authority. Until the establishment of the Food Standards Agency, it remains an executive agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. For the purposes of the enforcement of meat hygiene regulations having effect under the Food Safety Act, the MHS is an enforcement authority as defined in Section 6(1) of the Act. MHS staff enforce these regulations in accordance with instructions in the MHS operations manual. Where relevant these instructions have regard to the provisions of the Section 40 codes of practice.
Baroness Hayman: No minimum number of hours practical tuition and practical experience in slaughterhouses are set for official veterinary surgeons (OVSs) in the carrying out of post-mortem inspection of animals. However, by virtue of their extensive five-year undergraduate training in areas such as microbiology, pathology, veterinary public health and zoonotic diseases, OVSs are well qualified to be responsible for such work.
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