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8 Dec 2003 : Column 265Wcontinued
once in the system claims are maintained properly; and
where fraud and error do enter the system they are detected and appropriate action is taken.
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clear advice on the risk of breast cancer from hormone replacement therapy; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Smith: Three Professional letters on the subject of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have been issued recently by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to medical, nursing and pharmaceutical health professionals in Northern Ireland. These are:
2. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Breast Cancerresults of the UK Million Women Study, issued 8 August 2003.
3. Further Advice on Safety of HRT: Risk Benefit Unfavourable for First-line use in Prevention of Osteoporosis, issued 4 December 2003.
Mr. Pearson: On 5 November Management Side made an offer worth 3.67 per cent. for the non-industrial Civil Service grades up to Grade 6. Ministers consider this fair and reasonable in the context of prevailing economic conditions. The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance balloted its members on industrial action and has since announced a one-day strike on 11 December. In order to ensure there is no further delay in payment of the 1 April 2003 pay award, Management has decided to proceed with payment of the offer. Departments and Agencies will endeavour to make payments as soon as possible.
Angela Smith: My Department carried out a review and consultation exercise on eating disorders services. The results of this were issued in March 2003. The major points are the need to: develop services at all levels; increase emphasis on prevention and early detection; carry out further research/assessment of need; provide significant training for statutory and voluntary sector providers; and provide local inpatient unit and outreach services.
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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made in recruiting a consultant psychiatrist with a special interest in eating disorders to replace Dr Clare Adams. 
David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the target date is for lowering the proportion of year 12 pupils with no GCSEs or equivalent; and what target percentage has been set. 
Jane Kennedy: One of the key education targets set out in the Secretary of State's Draft Northern Ireland Priorities and Budget 20042007 is, by 2007, to reduce to 6 per cent. (from 10 per cent. in 2002), the percentage of year 12 pupils with no GCSE in the most disadvantaged post-primary schools.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the risk of an outbreak of Fujian flu in Northern Ireland; what steps he is taking to prevent such an outbreak; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Smith: The Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC) (NI) monitors the incidence of infectious diseases here. The CDSC put enhanced surveillance of influenza in place since October 2000. After three relatively quiet years, influenza activity started earlier than usual, with evidence that influenza virus has been circulating in Northern Ireland for a number of weeks. However, GP consultation rates for flu and flu-like illness in NI appear to have peaked for the present time, and are now falling. To date, all isolates of influenza have been identified as influenza A H3 and one isolate has been typed as Fujian strain. It is too early to say if there will be a resurgence of activity later in the season.
Angela Smith: The Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety is currently developing a long-term regional strategy for health and wellbeing which will place a greater emphasis on the need to address chronic conditions such as arthritis, through the provision of multi-disciplinary primary and community-based care. Arthritis Care NI has been invited to nominate a member to serve on a working group which will be preparing the regional strategy.
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Angela Smith: The Consultant medical workforce, across all hospital-based specialties, including rheumatology, is reviewed annually and the numbers in training are adjusted to meet assessed need, subject to available resources. In 2003, the number of consultants devoted exclusively to rheumatology was increased from seven to eight and the number of specialist trainees in rheumatology was increased from five to seven.
David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many schools are active in the Schools Support Programme in the (a) primary, (b) secondary and (c) grammar sector, broken down by school type. 
Jane Kennedy: In the 200304 school year 11 controlled primary schools and 10 Catholic maintained primary schools; seven controlled secondary schools and five Catholic maintained secondary schools; and two controlled special school are receiving support under the School Support Programme; no grammar schools or integrated schools are receiving support.
Mr. Pearson: Over the three year period to December 2003, there were 5,014 redundancies in the textile industry in Northern Ireland confirmed to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. The latest figures from the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), which can be used to estimate the net change in the employee jobs level overall, show that over the three year period, June 2000 to June 2003, there was a net increase of 27,230 (4.3 per cent.) in all employee jobs giving a total of 667,610 employee jobs.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK civilian fire officers have been operating in Iraq in each month since May; and what plans there are for future deployment. 
Mr. Ingram: Ministry of Defence Civilian Fire Service personnel in Iraq have comprised one post at Divisional Officer level, supported by 18 civilian fire fighters of various grades from May to July rising to the current level of 21 civilian fire fighters from August.
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Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps are being taken by UK authorities to determine the status of internees held by British forces in Iraq; how long the process of determination will take; what the nationality of the internees is; what assessment has been made of the nature of the threat that they present to Coalition forces; what laws they have broken; whether they enjoy all rights under the Geneva conventions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Article 78 of the IV Geneva Convention (1949) allows the UK as the Occupying Power to intern people where it considers it necessary for reasons of security. Internees will continue to be held until such time as they are no longer considered a threat to Coalition Forces. A review is conducted at the 10, 28 and 90 day points (and every 90 days thereafter) to determine whether continued internment is necessary. Internees enjoy all their rights under the Geneva Conventions.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what military intelligence was the basis for the military action in Basra on 5 April which resulted in the killing of 10 members of the Hamoodi family and the destruction of the family home; whether the family were the intended target for this military action; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the investigations into Iraqi weapons of mass destruction carried out by coalition forces will report to the Government; and whether the reports will be made public. 
Mr. Hoon: Dr. David Kay published his statement on the Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq Survey Group on 2 October 2003. It can be found at www.cia.gov and copies have been placed in the Library of the House. The classified interim report of the Iraq Survey Group has been received by the Government.
The Iraq Survey Group will take as long as is necessary to complete its investigations into Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programmes and produce a final report. The Government have already made it clear that the findings of the Iraq Survey Group should be publicly available.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish the rules of engagement issued to UK military personnel with reference to their law enforcement duties in Southern Iraq. 
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Mr. Ingram [holding answer 4 December 2003]: Personnel serving in Iraq over Christmas will have the support they need to celebrate Christmas with traditional festive food and activities. The comprehensive operational welfare package has been enhanced by the grant of an additional free phone card providing 20 minutes of phone calls.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements his Department has made to transport Christmas gifts donated by dependants, charities and individuals to military personnel serving in Iraq. 
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK supermarkets are being offered Ministry of Defence transport for their Christmas gifts for military personnel serving in Iraq. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 4 December 2003]: Christmas gifts donated by commercial organisations, including supermarkets, will be delivered to UK forces in Iraq if spare capacity is available on planned flights and subject to practical considerations concerning the nature of the consignments.
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