19 Jun 2014 : Column WA85

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Written Answers

Thursday 19 June 2014

Abortion

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 14 May (WA 499), what is their assessment of whether issuing guidance by amending the wording of form HSA1 would represent an act of secondary legislation or a change in the Abortion Act 1967.[HL66]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Any changes to the wording of the HSA1 form, if needed, would require changes to secondary legislation. Such changes could not be introduced through guidance, which makes no changes to abortion legislation.

Accident and Emergency Departments

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the availability of beds for accident and emergency patients.[HL157]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Not all patients who attend accident and emergency departments are admitted

19 Jun 2014 : Column WA86

into hospital and require a bed. In 2013-14, 24% of 21.8 million accident and emergency attendances resulted in an emergency admission. Information is collected every quarter on bed availability and occupancy, including general and acute beds. In 2013-14 there were, on average, 135,964 general and acute beds open overnight, of which 88.0% were occupied. Information is collected every month on critical care bed availability and occupancy. In 2013-14 there were, on average, 4,274 adult and paediatric critical care beds, of which 82.9% were occupied. This information does not separately identify bed availability or occupancy for patients admitted via accident and emergency or any other admission method.

Ambulance Services

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what the ambulance service 999 response rates have been over the past two years.[HL328]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the reason for, and what action they are taking to address, the deterioration in ambulance 999 response rates.[HL329]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The following table shows performance against the response time standards for all ambulance trusts in England in the last two financial years.

Table: Monthly performance of ambulance trusts in England for category A calls, 2012-13 and 2013-14
YearMonthOf all Category A calls, proportion responded to within8 minutesOf all Red 1 calls, proportion responded to within 8 minutesOf all Red 2 calls, proportion responded to within 8 minutesOf all Category A calls resulting in an ambulance arriving, proportion within 19 minutes

2012-13

April

76.2%

-

-

96.7%

2012-13

May

74.8%

-

-

96.3%

2012-13

June

-

75.6%

77.5%

96.6%

2012-13

July

-

75.3%

77.4%

96.4%

2012-13

August

-

75.1%

78.1%

96.5%

2012-13

September

-

75.1%

75.9%

95.9%

2012-13

October

-

74.9%

76.5%

96.2%

2012-13

November

-

73.2%

76.0%

96.1%

2012-13

December

-

70.4%

70.8%

94.6%

2012-13

January

-

73.5%

75.8%

95.8%

2012-13

February

-

74.1%

75.3%

95.9%

2012-13

March

-

73.4%

73.8%

95.4%

2012-13

Full year

75.5%

74.0%

75.6%

96.0%

2013-14

April

-

75.4%

76.0%

96.4%

2013-14

May

-

77.9%

77.8%

96.9%

2013-14

June

-

77.4%

77.1%

96.7%

2013-14

July

-

75.5%

74.0%

95.8%

2013-14

August

-

77.0%

75.3%

96.2%

2013-14

September

-

75.1%

73.8%

95.9%

2013-14

October

-

74.6%

73.6%

96.1%

2013-14

November

-

74.1%

73.0%

95.9%

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2013-14

December

-

72.8%

71.7%

95.4%

2013-14

January

-

76.4%

76.3%

96.4%

2013-14

February

-

75.2%

74.0%

96.0%

2013-14

March

-

76.2%

74.7%

96.1%

2013-14

Full year

-

75.6%

74.8%

96.1%

Source: NHS England, ambulance quality indicators

Notes:

1. Ambulance service response times were split in June 2012 in to the most time critical (Red 1) and serious but less time critical (Red 2).

2. Category A Red 1 calls are the most time critical and cover cardiac arrest patients who are not breathing and do not have a pulse, and other severe conditions.

3. Category Red 2 calls are serious but less immediately time critical and cover conditions such as stroke and fits, and a new clock start will allow call handlers to get more information about patients.

4. Category A19 is the total number of Category A calls (Red 1 and Red 2) which resulted in a fully equipped ambulance vehicle (car or ambulance) able to transport the patient in a clinically safe manner arriving at the scene within 19 minutes of the request being made.

The Government is aware of the increasing demand on urgent and emergency care services. The Urgent and Emergency Care Review is currently considering whole system change to the delivery of urgent and emergency care, including new models of delivery of care for ambulance services. The first phase of the review was published last November, and we expect NHS England to be publishing further reports later this year.

Antibiotics

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what has been the total antibiotic use for (1) human medicine in general practice, (2) human medicine in hospitals, and (3) veterinary medicine, for each year since 2004.[HL272]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The following table provides information on the number of dispensed prescription items for human antibiotic medicines, in the community, for the period 2004 to 2013.

Number of prescription items for antibiotic medicines written in the United Kingdom and dispensed, in the community, in England 1, 2
YearItems (000s)

2004

33,119.0

2005

33,825.7

2006

33,627.5

2007

35,429.1

2008

34,801.3

2009

34,182.9

2010

35,302.0

2011

35,333.7

2012

37,307.0

2013

35,429.1

Sources:

Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system. The Health & Social Care Information Centre, Prescribing and Primary Care Services.

Notes:

1.

As classified within British National Formulary (BNF) paragraphs 5.1.1 Penicillins, 5.1.2 Cephalosporins, carbapenems, and other beta-lactams, 5.1.3 Tetracyclines, 5.1.4 Aminoglycosides, 5.1.5 Macrolides, 5.1.6 Clindamycin, 5.1.7 Some other antibacterials, 5.1.11 Metronidazole and tinidazole, 5.1.12 Quinolones.

2.

Prescriptions include those written by general practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and other non-medical prescribers.

In terms of human antibiotic medicines used in hospitals in England, it is not possible to provide reliable information. Within hospital data, information is reported as ‘packs’, a measure which is not consistent over time or for aggregation, as one pack could refer to a single vial or to a box of 10 vials, or a bottle of capsules. Therefore to sum all the packs for a range of medicines is inappropriate and any resulting figures will be misleading.

The following table provides information on the volume of antimicrobial sales from Market Authorisation Holders for veterinary medicine.

Sales of animal antibiotics within the United Kingdom 1, 2, 3
YearTonnes of active ingredient

2004

453

2005

446

2006

405

2007

387

2008

384

2009

402

2010

447

2011

346

2012

409

Sources:

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Notes:

1.

It is not currently possible to separate the sales data by country and hence the data provided is for the UK.

2.

Sales data was provided voluntarily by veterinary pharmaceutical companies from 1998-2004. Data from 2005 onwards has been collected as a statutory requirement, as set out in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.

3.

2013 data will be published later in the year.

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Bangladesh

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will seek discussions with the government of Bangladesh on that government’s proposed Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Act 2014 and its impact on overseas donors and the non-governmental organisations in Bangladesh in receipt of such donations.[HL346]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The British Government recognises the important role of non-governmental organisations. Together with other donors we plan to discuss the draft Foreign Donations Act with the Government of Bangladesh, and will consult non-governmental organisations that will be affected by the legislation. We welcome the consultations that have taken place between the Government of Bangladesh and non-governmental organisations, and hope these will continue.

Botswana

Question

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what advice they are providing to the government of Botswana about combatting the effects of the recent drought there.[HL85]

Baroness Northover (LD): Cyclical droughts in Botswana are of concern. The Government of Botswana is best placed to prepare for and lead the response to humanitarian disasters as it did during the 2013 drought. The UK Government does not have a bilateral development programme in Botswana, but will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation.

Burma

Question

Asked by Lord Steel of Aikwood

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the conduct of the recent census in Burma.[HL128]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The UK (through the Department for International Development) joined an international effort to provide funding to the census in 2014 because it will be a critical step in the country's development process, underpinning better planning and delivery of vital services and infrastructure, such as schools, roads and hospitals.

The UK, UN and other international donors argued strongly for the right of all people to be enumerated fairly and to be able, where necessary, to self-identify their ethnicity in the census. In most areas where the

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census was conducted, self-identification was permitted. We were deeply disappointed that, in the case of the Rohingya, the Burmese government contravened its long-standing assurance that all individuals would have the right to self-identify their ethnic origin. We have been clear that this decision is contrary to international norms and standards on census conduct. The Minister of State, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), summoned the Burmese Ambassador on 7 April to make these concerns clear.

Reports from independent international observers of the census suggest that, with the exception of Rakhine and parts of Kachin state, the enumeration process appears to have been largely carried out effectively. We continue to closely monitor the process.

CDC

Question

Asked by Lord Steel of Aikwood

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they consider investment by the Commonwealth Development Corporation in luxury construction projects is consistent with the Department for International Development's overall objectives in developing countries.[HL127]

Baroness Northover (LD): In 2013, CDC’s 1,300 investee companies directly employed over a million people, and created more than 68,000 net new jobs.

Individual investments are fully decided by CDC and the Government has put in place strict rules which require commitments to deliver jobs, economic development and poverty alleviation in developing countries.

Children in Care

Question

Asked by Lord Laming

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they intend to take to reduce the number of children and young people who currently disappear from public care.[HL145]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): It is every Council’s responsibility to provide looked after children with safe, secure care. This includes protecting them from the risks of going missing. New guidance was issued in January 2014 on children who go missing from care. The guidance places a duty on local authorities to offer all children an independent interview when they return from going missing. These interviews can reduce the likelihood of the child going missing again, as well as identify risks to which they may have been exposed whilst missing. We have also now started to collect national data for all children who go missing from care, not just those missing for 24 hours. This data will help build a clearer picture of the extent to which children go missing from local authority care.

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The new Ofsted inspection framework has a focus on missing children. To be judged as “good” local authorities will have to show that:

“Comprehensive records are held and shared between agencies to help and protect children and young people. Together they take steps to ensure that all children, including those who are excluded from school, are safe and that for those who are missing or often missing there is a clear plan of urgent action in place to protect them and to reduce the risk of harm or further harm.”

Where Ofsted find poor practice they make specific recommendations to the local authority in their report.

Courts: Interpreters

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to review the arrangements for providing court interpreters in the light of recent criticism by the President of the Family Division. [HL80]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The arrangements for the provision of interpreters are kept under review.

There has been dramatic improvements in performance in the last two years. The Ministry continues to manage contracts to ensure this improvement is maintained.

Developing Countries: HIV Infection

Question

Asked by Lord Lexden

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much they spent in each of the last three years on the prevention and control of HIV infection in the developing world through (1) multilateral bodies, and (2) bilateral programmes.[HL261]

Baroness Northover (LD): Over the past three years the UK Government has spent nearly £1 billion on tackling HIV through multilateral organisations and bilateral programmes.

Details of DFID spending on HIV prevention, treatment and care are available at Section 4.1 of the 2013 evaluation of the HIV Position Paper “Towards Zero Infections” and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towards-zero-infections-two-years-on.

Domestic Accidents

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the proportion of accident and emergency attendances caused by accidents in the home. [HL341]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): This information is not available centrally.

East Coast Railway Line

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kramer on 13 May (WA 492), what is the annual charge used to calculate the net present value of £2.7 billion for the contract with Agility Trains East covering the provision of Intercity Express trains for the East Coast Main Line; and how many diagrammed trains and diagrammed vehicles are to be provided under the contract.[HL97]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The net present value of the East Coast Main Line fleet is £2.7bn in 2009 prices. This is for a fleet of 414 diagrammed vehicles over 54 diagrammed trains. The total Set Availability Payment for the full East Coast fleet in 1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021 (the first year of full fleet operation) is £324.6m in nominal 2020 prices.

Elections: Fraud

Question

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they plan to take to tackle election malpractices. [HL75]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The integrity of elections is crucial to our democracy. The Government is introducing measures to strengthen the electoral system through the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration which will make the register more accurate and secure.

The Government will carefully consider any findings by the Electoral Commission in relation to the 22 May 2014 elections to determine whether any further measures may be needed to support electoral integrity.

Estate Agents Act 1979

Question

Asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many estate agents since 1 April 2014 (1) have been, or (2) are being, considered for (a) a warning notice, and (b) a prohibition order, under the Estate Agents Act 1979 by the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team.[HL106]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): An order under the Estate Agents Act 1979 may be issued against both estate agents and individuals or businesses who are not currently involved in estate agency work. For example an order can be

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issued against someone who has formerly been an estate agent, or who has worked closely with an estate agent.

Since the 1st April 2014:

Three individual orders (two prohibition and one warning) have taken effect. These orders were issued by the Office of Fair Trading but implemented by the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team.Four individual orders and one against a business – all prohibitions - are currently subject to appeals.Fifteen new cases are currently being processed by the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team. ‘Notices of proposal to prohibit’ have been issued for six of these cases and are awaiting representations from the individuals and businesses concerned. Baroness Hayter of Kentish TownAdditionally, the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team currently has fifteen cases on its books which are awaiting prosecution outcome or further investigation by local Trading Standards teams and which may lead to notices being issued at a later date.

European General Court

Question

Asked by Lord Pannick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will be publishing a response to proposals from the European Court of Justice for new rules of procedure that would permit the General Court to take into account, in actions for annulment, confidential information that has not been shown to some of the parties to the proceedings.[HL291]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The Government issued an Explanatory Memorandum on the 25 May in which it highlighted these proposals as a matter of particular interest. This is a complex and sensitive issue which Governments across the EU are very carefully considering. We are aware of parliamentary interest in this issue and will continue to update on developments. Under the Treaty on European Union national security remains the sole responsibility of each Member State.

Genetics

Questions

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 14 May (WA 511), and in the light of the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 8 April (WA 267) stating that they do not support eugenic practices in the United Kingdom, why they have no definitions of what these practices might be.[HL64]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 14 May (WA 511), why they have no set date for the full ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.[HL65]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Government does not support eugenic practices. It is not considered helpful to interpret the term ‘eugenic practices’ other than by reference to its ordinarily understood meaning. Any attempt at a working definition would risk the unintentional exclusion of practices whose unacceptability is no less great than that of practices captured by such a definition.

As previously stated, in the United Kingdom, the complex nature of devolved responsibilities in this range of policy areas has delayed consideration of full ratification. In the meantime, the UK continues to take an active role in Council of Europe negotiations and development of relevant protocols.

Independent Living Fund: Autism

Question

Asked by Baroness Uddin

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 11 June (WA 7), how many people in receipt of Independent Living Fund payments have autism as their main condition.[HL363]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The number of Independent Living Fund users recorded as having autism, Asperger’s syndrome or a learning disability with autism as their main condition is currently 332.

Infrastructure

Question

Asked by Lord Birt

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much is being invested in national infrastructure in 2014, and how much planned over the next five years, as a percentage share of gross domestic product; and how that compares with the long-run Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average. [HL120]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Government’s measure of total public infrastructure investment is public sector gross investment (PSGI). The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast at the March 2014 Budget that this will be 3.0 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014-15. Forecasts of government expenditure are generally made on a financial rather than a calendar year basis and are presently only available out to 2018-19.The figures to the end of the forecast period are as set out below:

2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-19

Public sector gross investment as % of GDP

3.0

2.9

2.9

2.8

2.8

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PSGI measures the direct spending on infrastructure projects by the whole public sector, unlike other measures such as net investment which are adjusted to exclude certain elements of spending. Internationally comparable figures for PSGI are not readily available. The UK’s fiscal framework is based around the entire public sector, many other countries only use a measure for general government that excludes public corporations so these are often the only comparative measures available. The OBR forecasts include some international comparisons of different investment measures. These can be found at the link below:

http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2014/

Neither PSGI nor the OBR figures include private investment in infrastructure which is an important element of overall infrastructure investment in the UK. The published infrastructure pipeline, which covers economic infrastructure only, provides an overview of planned public and private investment to 2020 and beyond, and can be found at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-infrastructure-plan-2013

Iraq

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will answer the question asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool on 11 June (HL Deb, col 418) about what action is being taken to ensure the safety of those reported to have fled the city of Mosul following its capture by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham.[HL318]

Baroness Northover (LD): As of 17 June, following the advance of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) –led alliance in Northern Iraq, the UK is providing an initial £3 million of emergency humanitarian assistance to help displaced civilians. Following an assessment of needs on the ground by DFID humanitarian experts who deployed to Erbil last Thursday 12 June, this includes:

(i) – Activation of the UK’s Rapid Response Facility (RRF), which provides emergency support via pre-approved organisations in the event of a humanitarian crisis overseas. This initial package of UK support comprises clean water and sanitation, essential medicine, women-friendly hygiene kits and basic household items, which will be provided from £2 million of RRF funding to NGOs in the region.

(ii) - Protection for vulnerable girls and women through the deployment of dedicated UN safety and welfare teams in key internally displaced person and refugee camp sites and areas, secured through £1 million of funding to the UNHCR.

The UK will continue to monitor the situation closely and we are considering urgently what other assistance we could provide.

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Mental Health Services

Question

Asked by Lord Alderdice

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether personality disorder services remain a priority commitment for the National Health Service; and if so, what guidance is provided to NHS England to ensure that quality services continue to be commissioned.[HL99]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Personality disorder services remain a priority commitment for the National Health Service. In 2011 the Government published No health, without mental health, a cross Government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages which remains the Government’s vision for improving services for people with mental health problems; this specifically includes people with personality disorders. The Mandate to NHS England makes clear that by March 2015, we expect NHS England to make measurable progress towards achieving true parity of esteem between mental and physical health and that everyone who needs it should have timely access to evidence-based services.

National Crime Agency: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what recent progress has been made in establishing the National Crime Agency in Northern Ireland.[HL228]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): We strongly support the discussions currently under way between the Northern Ireland parties and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland on securing the full operation of the National Crime Agency in Northern Ireland. Early resolution of this issue is essential to avoid gaps emerging in law enforcement in Northern Ireland in areas where there is serious public concern, such as drug enforcement, human trafficking and other forms of serious criminality.

Overseas Aid

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which countries currently receive United Kingdom international aid; and how much was paid to each of those countries in (1) 1995, (2) 2000, (3) 2005, (4) 2010, and (5) 2013.[HL232]

Baroness Northover (LD): Information on the countries currently receiving United Kingdom international aid; and how much was paid to each of those countries in (1) 1995, (2) 2000, (3) 2005, (4) 2010 has been placed in the House of Lords library. Figures for 2013 are currently being compiled and will be published in Statistics on International Development in October 2014.

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Physiotherapy

Question

Asked by Lord Bradley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what recent assessment they have made of the adequacy of National Health Service community physiotherapy services for patients who have had (1) knee, and (2) hip, replacement operations.[HL283]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): No assessment has been made centrally of the adequacy of National Health Service community physiotherapy services for either hip or knee replacement operations.

The commissioning of community therapy services is a matter for clinical commissioning groups using the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance where available.

Recently, case-mix adjusted health gain following hip and knee replacement has been added to the Clinical Commissioning Group Outcomes Tool “Commissioning for Value”. This data should facilitate conversations between commissioners and their provider trusts.

The Health & Social Care Information Centre publishes a National Joint Registry (NJR) of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs), which measures health gain in patients undergoing hip replacement, knee replacement, varicose vein and groin hernia surgery in England, based on responses to questionnaires before and after surgery.

The Best Practice Tariff for total hip and knee replacements pays for the whole episode of surgery and hospital based rehabilitation. Payment of the Best Practice Tariff for primary hip and knee replacement surgery is conditional on criteria linked to data collected through the NJR PROMs. If a provider’s NJR PROMs falls into the lowest 5% nationally in terms of outcomes the commissioner is able to remove the Best Practice Tariff funding unless a plan is made for how to improve the services.

Population

Question

Asked by Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the future population level of each English region, in the light of the Office for National Statistics’ mid-year forecast of the population of England by 2034.[HL361]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter to Lord Hodgson from Glen Watson, Director General for ONS, dated June 2014.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics I have been asked to reply to your question to Her Majesty’s Government asking what estimate they have made of the future population level of each

19 Jun 2014 : Column WA98

English region, in the light of the Office for National Statistics’ mid-year forecast of the population of England by 2034 [HL361].

Estimates of future population are available as population projections. The most recent subnational population projections are based on mid-year population estimates for 2012 can be found on the ONS website here www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/snpp/sub-national-population-projections/2012-based-projections/index.html . Figures for English regions at mid-2034 are given in the below.

North East

2,753,000

North West

7,596,000

Yorkshire and The Humber

5,856,000

East Midlands

5,167,000

West Midlands

6,285,000

East

6,972,000

London

10,427,000

South East

10,148,000

South West

6,112,000

England

61,315,000

Subnational population projections are not forecasts and do not attempt to predict the impact of future government policies, changing economic circumstances or the capacity of an area to accommodate a change in population. They provide an indication of the future size and age structure of the population if recent demographic trends continued.

Pregnancy: Drugs

Questions

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there are any plans to implement a system to ensure that female patients prescribed valproate or any other anti-convulsant medication are given information relating to potential problems in pregnancy.[HL268]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): All doctors, during undergraduate and postgraduate training, are made aware of all of the current evidence when prescribing in pregnancy. This is especially so when prescribing drugs that are potentially teratogenic such as anticonvulsants.

The core curriculum for trainee obstetricians which is overseen by the Royal College of Gynaecologists contains a detailed module on epilepsy in pregnancy including sodium valproate which all trainees are required to complete.

The Royal College of Physicians has a similar core learning module on drugs in pregnancy for physicians in training. It is recommended that women with epilepsy attend for pre pregnancy counselling so that management of their epilepsy in any future pregnancy can be discussed as well as any risks and benefits of medication they are taking.

NHS England expects all clinicians prescribing these drugs to follow the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance. This is a very powerful

19 Jun 2014 : Column WA99

tool to improve commissioning. The NICE guidance issued in January 2012 recommends that epilepsy nurse specialists should be an integral part of the network of care of children, young people and adults with epilepsy (para 1.8.3). One of their roles is to educate, inform and support the patient and their family with specific training about the management of epilepsy.

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what practical steps are being taken to ensure that the experiences and interests of children with fetal valproate syndrome and their families are represented as an integral part of patient involvement at every level of the reformed National Health Service.[HL270]

Earl Howe: NHS England has developed a delivery model which sets out a systematic approach to the way that it works. Each aspect of its work is underpinned by a commitment to increase patient experience, engagement and participation. This is reflected in their business plan 2014-15 to 2016-17.

In September 2013, it launched a package of measures designed to ensure that the voices of patients, their carers and the public are at the centre of healthcare services.

‘Transforming Participation in Health and Care – The NHS belongs to us all’ has been developed by NHS England with a wide range of stakeholders and partners. Its purpose is to support commissioners to improve individual and public participation and to better understand and respond to the needs of the communities they serve.

It supports two legal duties requiring clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and commissioners in NHS England to enable:

- patients and carers to participate in planning, managing and making decisions about their care and treatment, through the services they commission; and- the effective participation of the public in the commissioning process itself, so that services provided reflect the needs of local people.

The guidance highlights a range of ways in which National Health Service commissioners can fulfil their statutory responsibilities and seize the opportunity to deliver personalised and responsive care to all. It includes a wide range of tools, resources and case studies that commissioners will find useful when developing their own responses.

The guidance is a starting point and NHS England will be working with partners to develop further resources to support commissioners to develop their approaches to both individual and public participation.

The reforms to the health and social care system set out in the Health and Social Care Act have also emphasised the need for integration. Central to these reforms is the establishment of statutory health and wellbeing boards to encourage local authorities to take a more strategic approach to providing integrated health and local government services. The boards are intended to bring together bodies from the NHS, public and local government, including Healthwatch

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as the patient’s voice, jointly to plan how best to meet local health and care needs, and to commission services accordingly.

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans are being made to improve the collection of information about children and adults affected by anti-convulsant drugs during pregnancy.[HL271]

Earl Howe: The Department and The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency have met representatives of Independent Fetal Anti Convulsant Trust (In-FACT) to discuss issues relating the prescribing of anti-epileptic drugs to women of child bearing age. We are considering what action might be taken. This includes looking at our current data collection systems to see how information on the incidence of fetal anti convulsant syndrome can be improved.

Public Appointments

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what appointments to public bodies the Department of Transport has made in the last 12 months.[HL109]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The Secretary of State for Transport made 17 new appointments to public bodies in the 12 months from 1 June 2013 to 31 May 2014, as shown in the table below.

Name of BodyNew AppointmentsDate of appointment (s)

Civil Aviation Authority

2 Non executive directors

1/9/2013

British Transport Police Authority

5 Board members

1/9/2013

High Speed 2 Ltd

1 Chair

1/1/2014

Disabled Persons’ Transport Advisory Committee

7 Committee members

1/4/2014

Northern Lighthouse Board

1 Non executive director

1/6/2013

London and Continental Railways

1 Non executive director

1/5/2014

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what appointments to public bodies the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has made in the last 12 months.[HL110]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): For the 12 month period ending 31 March 2014 the Department made 126 appointments, including new, reappointments and extensions to OCPA regulated public bodies. The appointments were made as follows:

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Partner OrganisationChairMember

Advisory, Conciliation & Arbitration Service (ACAS)

1

5

Arts Humanities and Research Council

1

3

Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council

1

3

Capital for Enterprise

0

1

Competition Commission

1

35

Competition Service

0

1

Construction Industry Training Board

0

1 (employee representative)

Consumer Futures

0

13

Council for Science & Technology

1

13

Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council

0

6

Economic & Social Research Council

1

4

Higher Education Funding Council for England

1

5

Low Pay Commission

0

3

Medical Research Council

0

2

National Environment Research Council

1

3

Office of Fair Trading

2 (of which 1 was a short-term extension).

2

Science & Technology Facilities Council

1

3

Student Loans Company

2 (of which 1 was an interim appointment).

4

Technology Strategy Board

0

2

UK Commission Atomic Energy Authority

1

3

Railways: Greater London

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken, in co-operation with the franchise holder, to improve the frequency of train services in South-East London.[HL107]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): On 11th June 2014, the Government awarded the Thameslink Southern Great Northern (TSGN) franchise to Govia. The franchise will run for seven years from September 2014. During this period Govia will improve the frequency of train services in the south east of London by introducing 24 trains per hour through the Thameslink core route.

The Government will be refranchising the South Eastern network in 2018 and will conduct a formal public consultation before finalising the specification.

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Royal Bank of Scotland

Questions

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many employees earning in excess of £100,000 per annum have left Royal Bank of Scotland in each of the last five years.[HL167]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many employees of Royal Bank of Scotland earning in excess of £1 million per annum left the group within one year of the Government acquiring a shareholding.[HL168]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): RBS is a commercial company in which the Government is a shareholder and it is run on a fully commercial basis. RBS retains its own independent board and management team, with responsibility for determining its own strategies and commercial policies. As such, HM Treasury does not hold the requested information relating to staff turnover at the RBS Group.

Schools: Radicalism

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the statement by Lord Nash on 9 June (HL Deb, col 167), whether the investigation by the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education into the handling of the Trojan horse allegations in 2010 will be made public; and what is the timeframe for the report.[HL282]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Secretary of State has asked the Permanent Secretary to conduct an internal review into how the Department for Education dealt with warnings in Birmingham since the formation of this Government in 2010, and before. The Permanent Secretary intends to present his findings to the Secretary of State later in the summer.

Secure Colleges

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have received, and from whom, about the proposal to establish a secure college for young offenders.[HL78]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The Government’s Transforming Youth Custody consultation in 2013 attracted 238 responses from statutory organisations, charities, private companies and individuals. In addition, more than 400 young people responded to the young person’s consultation on Transforming Youth Custody. These submissions

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informed the Government’s consultation response, published in January 2014. The Ministry of Justice continues to engage with stakeholders as the programme develops.

South Sudan

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to ensure that long-term development projects can continue in South Sudan in areas not affected by the conflict.[HL314]

Baroness Northover (LD): Following a review of DFID South Sudan’s strategic objectives and the ability of existing programmes to deliver in the new environment, Ministers approved an interim one-year strategy in February. The interim strategy prioritises life-saving interventions and humanitarian support, while protecting support for basic services and livelihoods, and core work on governance.

Under the interim strategy we are continuing our development work on health, education and livelihoods. This includes support through the Health Pooled Fund, the Integrated Community Case Management project, the Girls’ Education South Sudan project, the Building Resilience through Asset Creation and Enhancement Project and the Urban Food Security, Livelihoods and Markets project. In programming areas that are now affected by conflict we are working with implementers to develop emergency modalities which will allow continuing delivery where possible.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking in South Sudan to prevent famine, to prevent the spread of cholera, and to promote humanitarian access.[HL316]

Baroness Northover: The UK is a leading donor to the humanitarian response in South Sudan. We have announced £82.5 million for support inside the country, and £12.5 million for support to refugees. Improved access is critical to the effectiveness of the humanitarian response. At the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on 20 May, the DFID Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State called on all parties to facilitate safe and speedy access. The FCO Minister for Africa also raised this with senior Ministers when he visited Juba in April. UK officials raise our concerns regularly with the parties in Juba and Addis Ababa.

The UK is actively supporting work to help tackle the food security crisis and cholera. We are providing £16 million of funding to the World Food Programme (WFP) to help provide food aid or cash for around 160,000 people, and £8.3 million to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to help provide livelihoods support for 40,000 households. To help counter the growing cholera epidemic our support through the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF - £4 million) will include funding for the UNICEF cholera response and for critical Water, Sanitation and

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Hygiene supplies. We are also funding two technical experts in the World Health Organisation (WHO) who are currently supporting the cholera response.

Sudan

Questions

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Sudan about policies involving the death sentence for women who change their religion.[HL86]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): I am appalled at the death sentence given to Meriam Ibrahim, and her continued imprisonment. Immediately following her trial, the Minister for Africa, my Hon. Friend, the Member for Boston and Skegness (Mr Simmonds), issued a statement describing her conviction as barbaric and calling upon the Government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion and international human rights laws as enshrined in its own constitution. The Chargé d’Affaires of the Sudanese Embassy in London was summoned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 19 May at the request of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right Hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague). The Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, my Hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Ms Featherstone), reiterated our demand with the Sudanese Foreign Minister when she met him on 20 May. Our Embassy in Khartoum attended Meriam Ibrahim’s trial, continues to press the Sudanese authorities for her release and is in close contact with her defence team.

The UK opposes the death sentence in all circumstances. We are calling on the Sudanese government to undertake a comprehensive review of its penal code to ensure its laws reflect both its constitution and international human rights obligations, and the values and compassion of the Sudanese people.

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many displaced people they estimate to be in Darfur, Sudan; how many visits Department for International Development staff have paid to Darfur in the last two years; and which organisations they support there.[HL248]

Baroness Northover (LD): According to the latest update from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on 15 June 2014, the cumulative number of verified Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Darfur who have been displaced since January 2014 and have yet to return to their areas of origin is 264,528. This figure is in addition to the estimated number of over 2 million people who, at the end of 2013, have been living in longer term displacement. It is not possible to determine retroactively

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the number of visits that have occurred over the past two years but DFID staff do travel regularly to Darfur. To date in 2014, there have been a total of six separate visits with a total of eight DFID staff participating, including two by the Head of DFID Sudan.

DFID has provided support to a wide range of development and humanitarian organisations working in Darfur both directly and through different joint funds such as the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) and the Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund (DCPSF). Direct funds go to organisations including the following: the World Food Programme, Catholic Relief Services, World Vision Sudan, Oxfam America, Norwegian Church Aid Sudan and United Methodist Committee on Relief. Organisations getting funding through the joint funds include agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations, International Organisations, International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and National Non-Governmental Organisations (NNGOs).

Syria

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they and their allies are able to promote local truces in Syria and to help such truces to become more permanent.[HL312]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): Assad’s regime has been using siege tactics against civilian populations, sometimes forcing them into a position where they accept a truce as a way of being allowed food and medicine. We saw this approach in Homs, and elsewhere. We do not believe that this is a model which should be replicated in other places in Syria. UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2139 called for an end to the regime’s use of siege tactics, and for aid to reach those who need it. This is not currently happening, as the UN has made clear in its last three reports on UNSCR 2139. The regime bears primary responsibility for the humanitarian crisis, and Resolution 2139 must be implemented in full. Only a political settlement, based on the principles of the Geneva Communiqué, can bring about a lasting settlement.

Thailand

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of reports in The Guardian newspaper on 11 June, they intend to make representations to the government of Thailand about the exploitation and abuse of workers in that country’s fishing industry and to United Kingdom companies which purchase the products of that industry.[HL252]

19 Jun 2014 : Column WA106

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We are aware of labour rights issues and allegations of human rights abuses in the Thai fishing industry, though not until now of the specific allegations made by the Guardian. We regularly raise our concerns about labour rights in Thailand with the relevant Thai authorities, for example during the UK-Thailand Strategic Dialogue in May 2013. The Guardian’s report contains very serious allegations. We look to the Thai authorities to investigate.

Given the acute and continual political uncertainty in Thailand our ability to raise these issues with the authorities at this point is limited. However, we take the allegations very seriously and will look for opportunities to raise our concerns. At a minimum, we will continue to press for an improvement in labour rights in Thailand through ongoing negotiations towards an EU-Thailand Free Trade Agreement.

The UK remains a global leader in tackling human trafficking and slavery as shown by its recent introduction of a Modern Slavery Bill. We welcome any investigation which sheds light on these horrific allegations.

We also launched our action plan on business and human rights in 2013, becoming the first country to set out guidance to companies on integrating human rights into their operations. We engage regularly with British companies as part of our efforts to boost UK trade and inward investment, but at the same time we also clearly set our commitment to protecting human rights and its expectations of UK companies in this area.

Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they and the European Union have made to the government of Turkey concerning (1) attacks on and imprisonment of journalists, including the deaths of staff of “Özgür Gündem”, since that newspaper was established, (2) the imprisonment for two years of legal advisers to Mr Abdullah Öcalan, and other lawyers, (3) the release of prisoners held for political reasons, and (4) the case for an early and transparent approach to the problems of the Kurds and other national and religious minorities; and what responses they have received.[HL171]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We recognise the concerns over the specific cases raised in the question. Although we have not made representations on those specific cases, together with our EU partners, we continue to have a frequent and comprehensive dialogue with the Turkish authorities on human rights and Kurdish issues.

The attacks on and imprisonment of Kurdish journalists and lawyers reflects the wider issue of the need to protect fundamental freedoms in Turkey. We share

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the concerns of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the EU Commission over freedom of expression and separation of powers between the judiciary and the government. We will continue to work closely with the EU delegation in Ankara and with the EU Commission in Brussels and maintain our engagement with Turkey to encourage progress on governance and human rights issues.

Despite these challenges, we are encouraged by the positive steps taken by the Turkish government to improve protections for minorities. The EU Commission’s 2013 Annual Progress Report recognised the significance of the 4th Judicial Reform and Democratization Packages and specifically the progress made on the reform of the legal framework for terrorist offences. Further narrowing of the scope of this legal framework would aid the development of a genuinely open and free press.

UK Membership of EU

Question

Asked by Lord Stevens of Ludgate

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the European Union's balance of trade with the United Kingdom of any United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union.[HL146]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Government has made no assessment of the impact on the European Union's balance of trade with the United Kingdom of any withdrawal from the European Union.

The EU represents a market of over 500 million people with a combined GDP of around £10.5 trillion. It is the largest single market in the world.

The EU is the UK’s most important trading partner; 45% of our exports are destined for the EU and seven of the UK’s top ten individual trading partners are EU member states.

19 Jun 2014 : Column WA108

Welfare State: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, and if so how much, money they have withheld from the Northern Ireland Executive because of its failure to implement welfare reform in Northern Ireland. [HL225]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Chief Secretary to the Treasury notified the Northern Ireland Minister for Finance and Personnel on 31 March that the Northern Ireland Executive’s funding allocations would be reduced by £13m, £87m and £114m in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 respectively.

Work Capability Assessment

Question

Asked by Lord Morrow

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the decision by Atos Healthcare to end its contract early, whether that contract will now be made public.[HL299]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): A redacted copy of the Medical Services Contract between the Department for Work and Pensions and Atos Healthcare was placed in the House of Lords library on 14th September 2010.

The Health Services Category Team are currently undertaking the necessary contractual action following the mutual Termination of the Medical Services Contract with Atos and an updated version of the contract will be placed in the library by 30th July 2014.