Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Policing Methods: EU Member States

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Filkin: Policing methods such as interviewing techniques are the responsibility of individual member states of the European Union and are not the subject of approximation measures. Furthermore, the differing systems of policing in place within individual member states would make any such harmonisation difficult. Different approaches are however no bar to the effective police co-operation which is already in place across the European Union, including the exchange of information obtained during police

4 Feb 2003 : Column WA22

investigations and exchange of best practice between police forces. Co-operation between police forces will be further enhanced by the provisions of the Crime (International Co-operation) Bill.

Peter Foster: Deportation

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Downing Street press office in conversations with the Home Office press office about the deportation of Mr Peter Foster either suggested, or implied, either directly or indirectly, that it would be convenient if Mr Foster's removal were accelerated.[HL1300]

Lord Filkin: No.

Hunting Ban: Farmers' Use of Shotguns and Snares

Lord Henley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have considered any evidence that reveals that a significant number of farmers would resort to the use of shotguns or snares in the event of a hunting ban; and whether they have assessed the relative suffering that might occur as a result of these methods of control.[HL1157]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): My right honourable friend, the Minister for Rural Affairs (Alun Michael) has considered all of the evidence submitted to him as part of the consultation exercise, including the three days of public hearings held in Portcullis House in September.

The key purpose of the Bill is to prevent cruelty associated with hunting with dogs. To that end it establishes a process which will ensure that hunting is permitted only where it is to be undertaken for a specified pest control purpose and where no other method of achieving that purpose that would cause less suffering is reasonably available. However, the Bill is only about hunting. It does not seek to control all methods of pest control, and does not prevent people using any other method of pest control that is legal including the use of shotguns or other kinds of gun.

Working with Children: Vetting

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What professions which work with young children require vetting of potential employees; and if professional nannies are not included, why not.[HL1279]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): Disclosure of criminal records through the Criminal Records Bureau is either required or enabled by legislation for very many occupations

4 Feb 2003 : Column WA23

which bring professionals into contact with young children during the course of their work.

There is no requirement for nannies to be vetted through the bureau. However, agencies which supply nannies may register with the bureau and, in that way, they may be vetted in the same way as other childcare workers.

Haemophilia Patients: CMO's Report on Clinical Negligence Claims

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Chief Medical Officer's report on clinical negligence claims will be published; why it has taken so long to produce; and whether it will provide a fair resolution of the claims of haemophilia patients infected with hepatitis and HIV through contaminated National Health Service blood products.[HL1133]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The issues considered by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, were very complex. There was a need for extensive consultation and review of the relevant published literature and reports. The review focused on clinical negligence. At present, compensation or other financial help to patients is only given when the NHS has been at fault. Ministers do not believe that an exception should be made to that general rule in the case of people with haemophilia infected with hepatitis C. The CMO is working up a comprehensive report for the Government outlining options for reforming the present system for handling clinical negligence claims, which aims to make the system fairer for all those who suffer injury through negligent National Health Service treatment. These proposals are under consideration by Ministers.

NHS: Financial Flows System and Delayed Discharges

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the statement by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 27 January that "the point . . . of the new funding flow system that we shall be introducing into the NHS . . . is that there will not be financial incentives for health . . . authorities to cause real difficulties for the patients involved" (HL Deb, col. 967), whether they will set out in detail how the new funding flow system will provide incentives in respect of the older patients who are the subject of delayed discharge from National Health Service acute or geriatric care; and when the new system will affect such patients.[HL1337]

4 Feb 2003 : Column WA24

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The new financial flows system for the National Health Service, which introduces a national price tariff, will be phased in from 2003–04. From 2005–06 when over 90 per cent of NHS activity will be covered by the national tariff, we will introduce the rule that a readmission within a specified time period will count as part of the same hospital episode and will not attract additional funding. This will act as a disincentive upon the NHS to do anything that might lead to a patient's readmission.

Personal Injury Claims Management Companies

Viscount Goschen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What regulatory arrangements govern the operation of personal injury claims management companies.[HL1196]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Those who provide the services which claims management companies organise are regulated by a range of bodies, including the Law Society, the General Council of the Bar, the Financial Services Authority and the General Insurance Standards Council. The Government are currently undertaking a scoping study for a review of the regulatory framework for legal services which will consider whether the review should cover claims management activities.

Viscount Goschen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any concerns about the business practices, and in particular the marketing techniques, used by personal injury claims management companies; and if so, what action they are taking to address those concerns.[HL1197]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Provided claims management companies and similar organisations act responsibly and with probity they can expand access to justice for people with good claims. While improper approaches to vulnerable people must be a concern, it is of equal importance that people who may have been injured by others' negligence should have access to help in seeking compensation. If individuals are to enforce their rights they need to be aware of the ways in which they can enforce them. Marketing approaches, including advertising, provided it is not misleading or dishonest, assist in raising awareness.

The Government are keeping under review the emerging market and working with a range of organisations to encourage high and common standards in accident compensation. We would welcome the establishment of a single voice for the claims management sector, particularly one which encompasses common standards.

4 Feb 2003 : Column WA25


Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 19 December (WA 165), what powers and prerogatives by the Crown, government and Parliament of the United Kingdom would be transferred to the European Central Bank or other institutions of the European Union in the event of the United Kingdom's accession to the euro currency system.[HL1346]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave him on 1 July 2002 (WA 7).

Muslim-owned Businesses

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are able to estimate the amount of money that has been removed from the United Kingdom in the past year, and its effect on the United Kingdom economy, due to legitimate Muslim-owned businesses sending funds abroad due to the present climate of opinion and events in this country.[HL1380]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from the National Statistician, Len Cook, dated 4 February 2003.

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question concerning outward flows of investment from the United Kingdom made by Muslim-owned businesses. (HL1380).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) does not record details of the religion or ethnicity of the owners of assets within the UK's balance of payments estimates. The financial account (which contains the UK's investment flows) presents a sectoral breakdown of transactions, which includes information relating to private corporations. No details concerning the religion of the owners of these corporations are recorded.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page