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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding has been provided to make beta interferon and glatiramer available to multiple sclerosis sufferers; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Smith: A total of £3.6 million was spent on these disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis sufferers in 200203, increasing to £4.1 million in 200304. The Health and Social Services Boards have provisionally allocated £4.5 million to cover the cost of these medicines for patients in the current financial year. This represents a 23 per cent. increase in funding since 200203.
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Practice Education Council (NIPEC), is taking forward an Essence of Care Project aimed at improving fundamental aspects of patient care across all care settings. A number of areas of care will be examined, including the prevention, care and treatment of pressure ulcers. The Project will test benchmark
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standards, support measures to improve quality, and help practitioners take a structured approach to sharing and improving practice, as well as identifying and remedying poor practice that result in unnecessary costs and poor outcomes.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pupils aged 11 to 15 there were in each of the last six years in maintained secondary schools in Northern Ireland; and how many and what percentage of pupils in the same period were aged 11 to 15 in maintained grammar schools in Northern Ireland. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many nursing students have (a) withdrawn and (b) been forced to withdraw from their course in each of the past five years at universities in the Province. 
|Financial year||Number of permanent withdrawals|
|1 April 200031 March 2001||50|
|1 April 200131 March 2002||64|
|1 April 200231 March 2003||100|
|1 April 200331 March 2004||70|
Other reasons cited for withdrawal include personal reasons, domestic responsibilities and financial difficulties. The Universities can offer an option of a temporary withdrawal, as a possible solution to difficulties a student is experiencing.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much the Department and its agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent on external consultants and advisers in each of the last three years. 
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much the production of his Department's latest annual report cost; how many copies were printed; how many copies of it were sold at its cover price; to whom copies of the report have been provided free of charge; and how many copies were provided free of charge. 
Mrs. McGuire: The cost to the Scotland Office of producing the 2004 Annual Report was £4,119. The number of copies printed for the Office was 150 and the report is also available on the Scotland Office website. Copies of the report were provided to the Scottish Affairs Committee, other Government Departments and for use within the Office.
Other costs of printing and publication were met directly by the publisher, The Stationery Office Limited (TSO), and did not fall to the Government. TSO recoups these costs through sales and uses its commercial judgment as to the number of copies printed. TSO printed 550 copies of the report for their own use. As the report has only recently been published, TSO are not yet able to provide figures on sales.
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of the (a) crockery, (b) cutlery and (c) glassware procured by his Department over the last five years is of British manufacture. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Scotland Office has no responsibility for any catering outlets and purchases of crockery, cutlery and glassware have been minimal. Details about the manufacture of such items are not available.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from the Scottish Executive concerning the transfer of additional competences to Holyrood on transport matters.