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11 Mar 2003 : Column 191Wcontinued
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what additional resources will be made available to the Equality Commission to enable it to fulfil its duties in respect of the changes in disability discrimination legislation planned over the next three years. 
Jane Kennedy: The consultation process on proposals for legislation that will enhance the educational opportunities of children and young people in Northern Ireland with special educational needs and disabilities has recently been completed. Consideration is currently being given to the content of such legislation, in light of the outcome of the consultation. Where the legislation provides for additional responsibilities for the Equality Commission, consideration will be given to the resources necessary to enable the Commission to fulfil these responsibilities.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the outcome of the consultation on proposals for a special educational needs and disability Bill will be published; and when the legislation will be enacted. 
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Jane Kennedy: The consultation process on proposals for legislation that will enhance the educational opportunities of children and young people in Northern Ireland with special educational needs and disabilities has recently been completed. Consideration is currently being given to the content of such legislation, in the light of responses. The outcome of consultations will not be published, but it is expected that draft legislation will be issued before the summer and this will be the subject of further consultation. It is intended to introduce an Order in Council at Westminster or a Bill to the Northern Ireland Assembly towards the end of 2003, with a view to beginning implementation of the legislation in September 2004.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which special schools in Northern Ireland have a hydro-pool; and if his Office will contribute funds towards the provision of a hydro-pool at each new special school to be built in Northern Ireland. 
|BELB||Fleming Fulton, Belfast|
There are a number of criteria that must be met before the Department of Education can contribute funds towards the provision of a hydrotherapy pool. If the criteria are met then it is departmental policy to provide hydrotherapy pools where appropriate, subject to the recurrent costs being met by the Education and Library Board.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many claims were made by independent financial advisers in Northern Ireland on their professional indemnity insurance in each of the last five years; and how much money was paid out as a result of claims made by independent financial advisers in Northern Ireland on their professional indemnity insurance in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Pearson: The information requested by the hon. Lady is not collated by Government Departments in Northern Ireland, the Financial Services Authority, which regulates Independent Financial Advisers, HM Treasury or the Association of British Insurers and could not be obtained without entailing disproportionate costs.
Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the effect the current downturn in the stock market is having on industrial investment in Northern Ireland. 
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Mr. Pearson: Adverse global economic conditions have impacted unfavourably on stock markets, Foreign Direct Investment, trade and confidence worldwide and adversely affected industrial investment both nationally and in Northern Ireland. Recent surveys indicate a negative outlook for investment intentions in buildings and plant and machinery in the short term, with more companies planning to decrease rather than increase investment. Despite current uncertainties the Northern Ireland economy has been forecast to grow by between 2.5 per cent. and 3.5 per cent. in 2003 and manufacturing productivity has continued to rise.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether a new library for Newtownards will be provided as part of the recently announced investment in local infrastructure. 
Angela Smith: The Strategic Investment Programme includes a sum of £20 million for library projects and other information resources identified for potential procurement through public-private partnerships.
Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps the Government is taking to encourage nurses to enter the neurosurgical branch of medicine; and what (a) immediate and (b) long term steps the Government are taking to overcome shortages of neurosurgical nurses. 
Mr. Browne: The recruitment of staff is a matter for individual Health and Social Services Trusts taking into account factors such as service needs and available resources. The Royal Group of Hospitals Trust has confirmed that three newly qualified local nurses were recruited in October/November 2002 and they have just completed a three month supervised consolidation period. They are now established members of the neurosurgical nursing team in the neurosurgical ward. A further eight nurses were recruited from overseas in January 2003 and require a period of supervised practice before they can register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The Trust anticipates that these nurses will join the nursing team on the neurosurgical ward in May/June 2003. This will facilitate the opening of further beds.
The regional Neurosurgical Unit based in the Royal Group of Hospitals have introduced several initiatives to encourage nurses to work in neurosurgery. These include working closely with Queen's University Belfast to increase the number of student nurses who have the opportunity to experience neurosurgical nursing. In addition the University of Ulster and staff in the Neurosurgical Unit have developed specialist nursing programmes. Nurses are encouraged and supported
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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action has been taken against the pathologist at Altnagelvin Hospital who retained 59 organs without permission; and what investigation he has conducted into whether pecuniary gain was made from this organ retention. 
Mr. Browne: The pathologist concerned was subject to the internal disciplinary procedures of Altnagelvin Health and Social Services Trust. The trust has confirmed that there was no pecuniary gain arising from this organ retention.
Jane Kennedy: The three questions to which my hon. Friend refers were issued to the House on 31 January 2003. Although they were not printed on that date in the Official Report, they appeared on 7 March at columns 1248W, 9247W and 924748W respectively.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the reply by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Jane Kennedy) on 25 February 2003, Official Report, columns 22526W, how many of those constables who received firearms training in May and July 2002 were (a) recruits and (b) members of the force with more than one year's service; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Browne: Hospital post mortems are currently carried out in the Royal Group of Hospitals, Ulster Hospital, Antrim Area Hospital and Altnagelvin Hospital. Normally hospital post mortems are also carried out in Craigavon Area Hospital, however the facilities are temporarily closed for upgrading.
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