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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the letter sent to companies to remind them of their obligation to offer access to a stakeholder pension. 
Mr. McCartney: A copy of the letter, and the factsheet that accompanied it, has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish details of the arrangements for the inquiries into the murders of (a) Chief Superintendent Breen, (b) Superintendent Buchanan, (c) Lord Justice and Lady Gibson and (d) Billy Wright; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The package of proposals published after the Weston Park talks contained details of the investigation by a judge of international standing into the case of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan, Lord Justice and Lady Gibson, Billy Wright, Patrick Finucane, Rosemary Nelson, and Robert Hamill. Further details will be published in due course.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many named day parliamentary written questions were tabled to his Department between 15 October and 5 November; and what proportion of these have received holding answers. 
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Dr. John Reid: In total 32 named day parliamentary written questions were tabled to my Department between 15 October and 5 November. Of these, 25 received holding replies.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of those named day parliamentary written questions to his Department that received a holding answer between 15 October and 5 November received the substantive answer (a) within three parliamentary days, (b) within seven parliamentary days, (c) within 10 parliamentary days, (d) within 15 parliamentary days and (e) over 15 parliamentary days after the holding answer was issued. 
Dr. John Reid: Of the 25 named day parliamentary written questions tabled to my Department which received holding replies between 15 October and 5 November: (a) none received substantive answers within three parliamentary days; (b) 21 received substantive answers within seven parliamentary days. The remaining four questions will receive substantive responses as soon as possible.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what his Department's policy is in relation to departmental spending for supplies concerning the purchase of fair trade goods. 
Mr. Wills: I refer the hon. Member to the reply provided today by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for International Development. The Lord Chancellor's Department will take every opportunity to encourage the use of fair trade products through its procurement activities, and specifically during the course of the review of the arrangements for contracted catering services that is planned to take place during the next 12 months.
Mrs. Browning: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, pursuant to his answer of 31 October 2001, Official Report, column 752W, on smoking in jury rooms, if he will give instructions that all asthmatics who are allergic to tobacco fumes will automatically be exempted from jury service. 
Mr. Wills: There are no plans to introduce any further restrictions on eligibility for jury service. However, a person suffering from asthma, or any other illness, can apply to the Crown court to be excused from service on the ground of personal hardship. It will ultimately be for a judge to decide whether a person should be excused for this reason.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what his Department's policy is in relation to departmental spending for supplies concerning the purchase of fair trade goods. 
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Mr. Paul Murphy: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, International Development. My Department has fewer than 50 staff and does not provide snack or canteen facilities.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many named day parliamentary written questions were tabled to his Department between 15 October and 5 November; and what proportion of these have received holding answers; 
Mr. Paul Murphy: 10 questions. All received substantive answers on the given date.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are in place for independent scrutiny and evaluation of the SNOMED system; if the results of that scrutiny will be published; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 22 October 2001]: Agreement has been reached with the College of American Pathologists that a programme of formative evaluation work should be carried out in the national health service, as part of the United Kingdom contribution to the development of the SNOMED clinical terms. This will run through 200203. A further independent evaluation will be undertaken and plans are being drawn up for a panel to oversee this process. The SNOMED clinical terms will also be subjected to the NHS information standards approval process, which is overseen by the NHS Information Standards Board. The results of these evaluations will be published.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy from 1 April 2002 to give people an enforceable right not to be charged for intermediate care services. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 14 November 2001]: Our view is that all intermediate care, as defined in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the January circular (Health Service Circular 200001: Local Authority Circular (2001)1) and subject to the normal time limits outlined there, should be free at the point of use.
Services commissioned or provided by the national health service are free. Although councils retain local discretion to charge we are encouraging them to make all such services free at the point of use, through the use of Health Act flexibilities.
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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken in evaluating the baseline figures for intermediate care to audit compliance with the criteria set out in paragraph 7 of HSC 2001/01: LAC (2001). 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 14 November 2001]: A recent detailed survey of intermediate care validated the 19992000 baseline and established current levels of provision using the defining criteria in the January 2001 circular (Health Service Circular 2001/01: Local Authority Circular (2001)1).
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the definition of intermediate care in HSC 2001/01: LAC (2001). 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 14 November 2001]: The definition in the January 2001 circular (Health Service Circular 2001/01: Local Authority Circular (2001)1) was drawn up in consultation with practitioners in the field. Subsequent feedback indicates that it has brought much needed clarity and is being implemented.
We shall, however, keep this under review and issue further guidance if needed.
Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the mechanisms for ensuring that Explanatory Notes to Statutory Instruments issued by his Department are comprehensible, with special reference to S.I. No. 3442. 
Ms Blears: It is a long-standing convention that the Explanatory Note of a Statutory Instrument should contain a reference to the full title of any European Commission legislation that is implemented by that Statutory Instrument. In accordance with that convention, the Explanatory Note of Statutory Instrument No. 2001/3442 indicates which EC legislation is being implemented. The subject matter is inherently technical.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the decision by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence not to recommend beta interferon to be supplied by the NHS for patients with multiple sclerosis; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the number of NHS patients with multiple sclerosis who would require beta interferon if available from the NHS. 
Ms Blears: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has not yet issued definitive guidance on the use of disease modifying drugs in multiple sclerosis. Its final appraisal determination (FAD) is now at the appeals stage.
However, as recommended in the FAD we are currently holding discussions with the manufacturers to consider a range of options under which drugs for multiple sclerosis might be made available under the National Health
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Service. One option is a "risk-sharing" scheme which will evaluate their clinical and cost effectiveness, and until these discussions are concluded we cannot provide detailed information on potential numbers of patients who may be affected. The FAD indicates that the current annual cost per patient of the various available drug treatments is £7,259 (Betaferon), £9,061 (Avonex), £9,088-£12,068 (lower dose/higher dose Rebif) or £6,650 (glatiramer acetate).
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