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3 Dec 2002 : Column 742Wcontinued
Mr. Browne: The existence of empty property can be symptomatic of an underlying and complex interaction of wider social problems, including urban and rural decay, unemployment, crime and vandalism, anti-social behaviour etc. Solutions, therefore, are not just about good housing management, but require more complex strategies and inter-agency initiatives. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive, as the comprehensive regional housing authority for Northern Ireland, has put in place a number of measures to address the problem of empty homes in the public and private sectors throughout the province.
The general over-supply problems of the 'new towns' growth centres (Craigavon, Antrim, Ballymena) have been systematically addressed and improved although further work is required.
Demolition and environmental improvement works at interfaces where feasible.
Urban renewal programmes in private areas involving improvement, replacement or a combination.
Grant aid including group repair schemes in some private areas exhibiting signs of decline.
3 Dec 2002 : Column 743W
Improvement or demolition of unpopular, non-traditional housing including decapitation (partial demolition); privatisation and more intensive management eg concierge.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of empty dwellings in Northern Ireland (a) in Belfast, (b) in Derry and (c) outside Belfast and Derry, broken down by (i) county and (ii) district council areas. 
Mr. Browne: Figures from the Northern Ireland House Condition Survey 2001 are currently being validated and will be published by the Northern Ireland housing executive early in 2003. The survey will provide up-to-date figures on the number of empty dwellings in Northern Ireland across all tenures.
|District council area||Long term(23)||Pending demolition(24)|
|Newry and Mourne||24||58|
(23) Long term voids are dwellings which are difficult to let due to lack of demand.
Included within this category are dwellings which have been secured to prevent
vandalism and properties that have been fire damaged.
(24) Voids pending demolition are properties located in redevelopment areas or purpose built stock which have received housing executive board approval to be demolished.
3 Dec 2002 : Column 744W
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has collated on average waiting times for admission to (a) state-supported methadone programmes and (b) state-supported programmes aimed at overcoming heroin addiction that do not involve the prescription of methadone. 
Ms Blears: This information is not available in the format requested. The table below provides waiting time figures collected by the national treatment agency in December 2001, along with locally agreed targets for 2002 and the national targets for 200203 and 200304. The specialist prescribing and general practitioner prescribing treatment modalities below include methadone programmes, and the other figures (with the exception of inpatient detoxification) include non-methadone treatments.
|Treatment modality||2001 figures (weeks)||Local 2002 targets (weeks)||NTA 200203 target (weeks)||NTA 200304 target (weeks)|
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many state-funded places are available for heroin users on (a) methadone programmes and (b) programmes aimed at overcoming heroin addiction that do not involve the prescription of methadone. 
Ms Blears: Up to March 2001, the number of drug users in treatment with drug misuse agencies and general practitioners (GPs) was around 118,500. The majority of those entering treatment are heroin users. Over the two-year period from 199899 to 200001 there has been a 16 per cent. increase in the numbers of drug users accessing drug treatment services.
The specialist prescribing and GP prescribing treatment modalities in the following table include places in methadone programmes, and the other figures (with the exception of in-patient detoxification) include non-methadone treatments.
|Treatment modality||Number in treatment||Percentage in treatment|
3 Dec 2002 : Column 745W
Mr. Lammy: Dentists fees are reviewed annually by the independent Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body on remuneration, who consider evidence submitted by the Government and representatives of the profession. Officials from my Department are working closely with the profession to see how changes can be made to dentists' remuneration to improve the service for patients and the dental team.
Mr. Lammy : 44 per cent. of adults were registered with a General Dental Service (GDS) dentist in England at 30 September 2002, and this rate has remained stable since 1998. Those patients who do not wish to, or are unable to register may be seen on the NHS under occasional treatment arrangements.
Ms Blears: The NHS is preparing to implement the XIntegrated Care Records Service", this will bring together all the health information of a single patient into one record. The record will be computer based and accessible from any point in the NHS.
Mr. Webb : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of health provision, with particular reference to mental health, for inmates of HMP Eastwood Park. 
Jacqui Smith: Eastwood Park has worked with its local NHS partners to complete a full health needs assessment, including the mental health needs, for its inmates. Eastwood Park was also among the first prisons to join the NHS-funded prison mental health in-reach project in July 2001, providing services within the prison setting.
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