Previous Section Index Home Page

2 Nov 2004 : Column 233W—continued

NORTHERN IRELAND

Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the original target date was for completion of the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan; if he will list subsequent target dates; what the current target completion date is; and if he will make a statement on the principal reasons for delays. [192546]

Angela Smith: When work commenced in early 2001, the original target date for completion to Draft stage was December 2002. As work progressed, the target date was revised on a number of occasions between 2003 and March 2004. The principal reasons for these revisions relate to the scale of the project, which has meant that each stage has taken longer than normally anticipated. I gave the current late autumn 2004 target date in May of this year and this is being adhered to.

The publication date for the Plan is presently being finalised and will be announced within the next few weeks for a date in late November 2004.

Cattle (Over 30 months)

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the risk to human health of allowing cattle aged over 30 months to re-enter the food chain in Northern Ireland. [193918]

Angela Smith: In May this year the Food Standards Agency revised its estimates of additional vCJD cases which might arise over the next five years if the over-30-month rule is replaced with BSE-testing. The figures which they arrived at suggest for Great Britain, a best estimate of the number of vCJD cases that would result directly from foodborne exposure during 2004–09 is 0.5, with a realistic worst case of 2.5 vCJD cases. Results for Northern Ireland were approximately of the order of one-tenth of those for Great Britain. The Food Standards Agency estimates and subsequent advice are currently being considered by Ministers.

Child Poverty

David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what targets are in place for the progressive reduction of child poverty in Northern Ireland. [190425]


 
2 Nov 2004 : Column 234W
 

Mr. Spellar: In The draft Priorities and Budget 2005–08 for Northern Ireland, which was launched by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Pearson) on 12 October 2004, the Government have committed to reducing child poverty in Northern Ireland.

Supplementary targets are currently being consulted on as part of the development of an anti-poverty strategy for Northern Ireland. These are outlined in "Towards An Anti-Poverty Strategy, New TSN—The Way Forward, a Consultation Document".

Child Support Agency

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average length of time is for the Child Support Agency in Northern Ireland to process a case. [194612]

Mr. Spellar: The average length of time taken for the Northern Ireland Child Support Agency to process applications under the new scheme to assessment stage is 15 weeks. The average time to reach collection stage is 22 weeks. The figure of 22 weeks is inflated by the number of cases that cannot be progressed due to system defects.

Civic Forum

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent on the Civic Forum in the last 12 months. [187807]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The Civic Forum ceased to operate on suspension of the NI Assembly in October 2002. Since then, some expenditure has arisen in maintaining accommodation for the Civic Forum. In addition, there was budgetary provision for Civic Forum staff who were redeployed on other duties but who, it was anticipated, would return to Civic Forum duties immediately on restoration. Those costs amounted to some £97,000 in the last 12 months (1 September 2003 to 31 August 2004).

Civil Service

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many working hours have been lost as a result of the recent strike action in the Northern Ireland Civil Service. [193599]

Mr. Pearson: During the period of strike action from 11 December 2003 to 14 September 2004 inclusive, it is estimated that approximately, 409,378 working hours were lost by the 11 Departments of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Council of Ministers

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will make a Written Ministerial Statement outlining the key points on the agenda for each of the Council of Ministers' meetings at which his Department is represented in advance of each meeting; [188198]

(2) if he will make a Written Ministerial Statement outlining for each meeting of the Council of Ministers at which his Department is represented as soon as is
 
2 Nov 2004 : Column 235W
 
practicable following that meeting (a) the key items of discussion, (b) the positions of the Government on those items, (c) the key positions taken by other member states that Ministers consider should be noted by hon. Members and (d) any preliminary discussion on the timing and the agenda of the following meeting. [188199]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 13 September 2004, Official Report, column 1451W.

Delayed Discharge

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average duration of delayed discharge was at each hospital in the Province in each of the last five years. [192875]

Angela Smith: Figures for the average duration of delayed discharge for 2003–04 are detailed according to hospital in the following table. Figures for years previous to 2003–04 are not available. Analysis of these data would require a manual exercise and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Average duration of delayed discharge
Hospital2003–04
Belfast City hospital31
Musgrave Park hospital39
Forster Green47
Ards hospital22
Ulster hospital23
Bangor14
Royal Victoria hospital25
RVH Elderly50
Mater Infirmorum hospital22
Lagan Valley hospital27
Downe hospital22
Robinson Memorial hospital59
Dalriada95
Causeway37
Moyle hospital45
Whiteabbey hospital59
Mid-Ulster hospital61
Antrim hospital40
Braid Valley hospital48
South Tyrone hospital74
Loane house139
Mullinure41
Lurgan hospital18
Craigavon Area hospital18
Daisy Hill hospital45
Altnagelvin hospital27
Erne hospital39
Tyrone County30
Northern Ireland total37




Notes:
Duration of delayed discharge is measured as the number of bed days lost, and is recorded in respect of episodes of delay, which occurred throughout the year.
Delayed discharges are recorded as a snapshot of the position at the end of each month. Episodes of delay are recorded only for those patients who were delayed at the last day of any month in the year.
Please note that the 2003–04 figures are provisional.




 
2 Nov 2004 : Column 236W
 

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many bed days were lost as a result of delayed discharges at each hospital in the Province in each of the last five years. [192876]

Angela Smith: The number of bed days lost due to delayed discharges for the year 2003–04 is as follows. Corresponding data for previous years is not available, as analysis of these data would require a manual exercise and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Number of bed days lost
Hospital2003–04
Belfast City hospital9,860
Musgrave Park hospital3,734
Forster Green327
Ards hospital239
Ulster hospital9,922
Bangor155
Royal Victoria hospital1,704
RVH Elderly9,431
Mater Infirmorum hospital1,531
Lagan Valley hospital2,046
Downe hospital938
Robinson Memorial hospital1,291
Dalriada2,376
Causeway4,653
Moyle hospital4,533
Whiteabbey hospital9,057
Mid-Ulster hospital4,193
Antrim hospital3,163
Braid Valley hospital8,651
South Tyrone hospital3,314
Loane House3,463
Mullinure3,489
Lurgan hospital2,275
Craigavon Area hospital2,178
Daisy Hill hospital4,255
Altnagelvin hospital2,653
Erne hospital1,246
Tyrone County304
Northern Ireland total100,981




Notes:
The number of bed days lost is recorded in respect of episodes of delay which occurred throughout the year.
Delayed discharges are recorded as a snapshot of the position at the end of each month. Episodes of delay are recorded only for those patients who were delayed at the last day of any month in the year.
Please note that the 2003–04 figures are provisional.




Next Section Index Home Page