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19 May 2004 : Column 1096W—continued

MS Treatment

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. [173606]

Angela Smith: A total of £3.6 million was spent on these disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis sufferers in 2002–03, increasing to £4.1 million in 2003–04. 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 2002–03.

A further £100,000 (recurrent and uplifted for inflation) has been provided since 2002–03 to enhance the infrastructure required for the delivery of these medicines.

Pressure Ulcers

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what actions are being taken to limit costs resulting from pressure ulcers. [173608]

Angela Smith: 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.

Pupil Numbers (Secondary Schools)

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. [172379]

Mr. Gardiner: The enrolment figures for 11 to 15-year-olds in grant aided schools in Northern Ireland for the last six years are as follows:
Secondary
(non-grammar) schools
Grammar schoolsTotal
1998–9985,41846,263131,681
1999–200085,85146,479132,330
2000–0185,99646,359132,355
2001–0285,24746,483131,730
2002–0384,24946,453130,702
2003–0482,88046,268129,148

The percentages for 11 to 15-year-old enrolments in grant aided schools in Northern Ireland for the last six years are as follows:
Secondary
(non-grammar) schools
Grammar
schools
1998–9964.935.1
1999–200064.935.1
2000–0165.035.0
2001–0264.735.3
2002–0364.535.5
2003–0464.235.8

Student Nurses

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. [173611]

Angela Smith: Information on the number of students who withdrew from their course is only readily available for the last four financial years and is as follows.
Financial yearNumber of permanent withdrawals
1 April 2000—31 March 200150
1 April 2001—31 March 200264
1 April 2002—31 March 2003100
1 April 2003—31 March 200470

There are currently in excess of 2,200 students actively pursuing their training.
 
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Students may be asked to permanently withdraw from their course in the event of examination failure, breaches of discipline or continued poor performance while on practice placement.

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.

SCOTLAND

Advisers/Consultants

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. [172549]

Mrs. McGuire: Spending on external consultants and advisers was as follows:
£000
2001–200217,864
2002–20034,620
2003–2004 (est)10,044

Departmental Annual Report

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. [171152]

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.

Departmental Procurement

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. [170807]


 
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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.

Holyrood (Transport Competences)

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. [174049]


 
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Mrs. McGuire: No such representations have been received.

Productivity

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what his policy is for (a) increasing the productivity and (b) cutting the costs of his Department. [172173]

Mrs. McGuire: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, on 10 May 2004, Official Report, column 149W.