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2 Apr 2003 : Column WA129

Written Answers

Wednesday, 2nd April 2003.

NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 27 February (WA 57–58), what authority will the National Health Service Purchasing and Supply Agency have to require laboratories to purchase from contracted suppliers when it becomes responsible for the bulk procurement contracts of the Public Health Laboratory.[HL2178]

Baroness Andrews: Laboratories transferring to National Health Service trusts will be expected to maintain existing commitments to contracts and to continue to use these agreements when they are taken over by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency so as to continue to realise their overall benefits of value for money and accredited quality.

There has been no indication from any NHS trust that it intends to do other than to utilise these central contracts.

The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency contracts at national level for goods and services on behalf of the NHS. Contracts are made at national level only where there are clear and demonstrable benefits from aggregating demand, achieving economies of scale (undertaking work once-only on behalf of the whole of the NHS) and managing markets of strategic importance. Where the most appropriate levels of contracting have been agreed with NHS trusts, there would be a clear expectation that commitment is given to using these contracts to achieve best value for money.

Young People who Sexually Abuse

The Earl of Listowel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many meetings the Secretary of State for Health has had with ministerial colleagues in the past two years with regard to children and young people who sexually abuse; and what plans he has to hold such meetings in future.[HL2238]

Baroness Andrews: Department of Health Ministers meet regularly with colleagues to discuss issues relating to all children in need and expect to continue to do so in future.

GPs: Patients from Other Practices

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the legal or contractual basis for National Health Service general practitioners with the

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    consent of their primary care trust entering into a reciprocal arrangement whereby they will not take on any patient from within their area who wishes to change general practitioners; and [HL2225]

    How many reciprocal arrangements exist within primary care trusts in England under which general practitioners, with the consent of their primary care trust, agree not to take on any patient from within their area who wishes to change general practitioners.[HL2257]

Baroness Andrews: There is no basis in the National Health Service (Choice of Practitioner) Regulations 1998, the National Health Service (General Medical Services) Regulations 1992 or the equivalent provisions which apply to general practitioners (GP) working within personal medical services for a GP to enter a reciprocal agreement with another GP to refuse to accept one another's patients or for a primary care trust to consent to such an arrangement. Accordingly, the Department of Health does not hold or collect data on any such arrangements.

NHS: Beds and Administrators

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many beds there are in National Health Service hospitals in England; and how many administrators there are in the National Health Service in England.[HL2093]

Baroness Andrews: In 2001–02 the average daily number of beds was 184,871. The number of managers in administration and estates employed in the National Health Service as at September 2001 was 27,420. This represents only 3 per cent of the NHS workforce.

Northern Ireland: Protestant and Roman Catholic Employment Statistics

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In respect of (a) males, (b) females and (c) both sexes combined, what is the employment gap between Protestants and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland. [HL1963]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): What is referred to as the employment gap has been described in different ways. One approach expresses the number of persons in a particular group in employment as a percentage of all of persons in that group who are of working age. The latter includes both economically active and economically inactive persons. The report of the Task Force on Employability and Long-Term Unemployment (Department for Employment and Learning, December 2002) employs this approach and includes associated targets to reduce differences between groups. Relevant statistics from the Labour Force Survey are noted in the following table.

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% of Protestants of working age who are in employment% of Catholics of working age who are in employment
Males76.568.3
Females65.453.9
Both sexes71.261.2

Source: Labour Force Survey Religion Report 2001.

Another approach is to compare a group's percentage share of the total economically active population with its percentage share of all persons in employment, the difference between the two also being referred to as the employment gap. Statistics from the Labour Force Survey are also available to show the extent to which Protestants and Roman Catholics are over-represented or under-represented in employment relative to their proportions among the economically active.


% of economically active% of those in employmentover/under-representation
Males:
Protestant55.957.2+1.4 pp(1)
Roman Catholic 44.142.81.4 pp(1)
Females:
Protestant57.458.0+0.6 pp(1)
Roman Catholic 42.642.0.0 pp(1)

(1) Percentage point (pp) differences calculated using unrounded percentages.


North/South Ministerial Secretariat

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much the North/South Ministerial Secretariat in Armagh has spent on public relations and public affairs in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002; and who has been responsible for delivering that service.[HL2097]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Joint Secretariat of the North/South Ministerial Council (North) has not incurred any expenditure on public relations/public affairs in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Waterways Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of funds for capital projects, authorised by Waterways Ireland, in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, was spent in Northern Ireland; and what percentage in the Republic of Ireland.[HL2110]

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Lord Williams of Mostyn: Capital/development expenditure by Waterways Ireland is funded totally by the jurisdiction in which it is incurred. The spend on capital projects authorised by Waterways Ireland in each year of operation by jurisdiction is:

YearRepublic of IrelandNorthern Ireland
2000100%0%
200189%11%
200298%2%

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government: What percentage of the budget for Waterways Ireland was provided by the Government of the Irish Republic in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002.[HL2111]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The percentage of the budget for Waterways Ireland provided by the Government of the Irish Republic in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002 is as follows:

2000: 90 per cent

2001: 88 per cent

2002: 83 per cent

Waterways Ireland is financed on the basis that current expenditure is divided between jurisdictions on the basis of 85 per cent from the south and 15 per cent from the north, reflecting the proportional length of the waterway network in each jurisdiction, while capital/development expenditure is funded totally by the jurisdiction in which it is incurred.

North/South Implementation Bodies: Budgets

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 10 March (WA 162–63) concerning North/South Implementation Bodies' budgets, who agreed, and when, the recommended allocations for 2003; and on what basis.[HL2112]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The recommended allocations for 2003 budgets for the North/South Implementation Bodies were agreed by the British and Irish Governments under the agreement made by the exchange of notes between the two governments dated 19 November 2002. Details for each of the bodies is set out in the table below:

Implementation bodyRecommended budget 2003 (millions) Date of approval
EurosGBP
Waterways Ireland35.8922.6124 February2003
Language Body17.9911.3326 February2003
Food Safety Promotion Board8.615.4227 February 2003
Trade & Business Development Body14.299.0025 February 2003
Special EU Programmes Body3.212.026 March 2003
FCILC5.083.2011 March 2003


2 Apr 2003 : Column WA133


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