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10 Nov 2004 : Column 795W—continued

ICT Consultants

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Department spent on outside information technology and communication specialist consultants and engineers in the 2003–04 financial year. [191908]

Mr. Pearson: The 11 departments of the Northern Ireland Administration and the Northern Ireland Office spent £1,961,593 on information and communication technology consultants and engineers in the 2003–04 financial year.

This investment was made to provide expertise and/or resource that was not available within the internal ICT resource.

The figure provided relates to specific ICT consultancy engagements. It does not include on-going and planned contractual arrangements between NI Departments and the private sector for operational ICT systems and services.

Intellectual Property

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he has taken to combat intellectual property crime in the last three years. [196171]

Mr. Pearson: The Police Service of Northern Ireland have had significant success in disrupting and frustrating those criminal networks involved in intellectual property crime and from 2002 have seized approximately £18 million of counterfeit and pirated goods. That important enforcement work is continuing.
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Under the umbrella of the Organised Crime Task Force, the PSNI continue to work in partnership with industry and brand holders to identify illicit product, improve understanding of the scope of trademark and copyright law and to raise public awareness of the risks associated with the purchase of counterfeit goods.

Juvenile Justice Centre

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the required notice period is for Commissioners of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to visit the Juvenile Justice Centre; whether they are allowed (a) unrestricted and (b) private access to young people at the centre; and if he will make a statement. [197025]

Mr. Spellar: There is no prescribed period of notice required for Commissioners of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to visit the Juvenile Justice Centre and the degree of access to the young people in the centre would be commensurate with the accessed level of risk and subject to the consent of the young people and their parents.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the methods of restraint used in controlling young offenders at the Juvenile Justice Centre have recently been reviewed. [197070]

Mr. Spellar: This is an operational responsibility of the chief executive of the Youth Justice Agency of Northern Ireland (Bill Lockhart). He has advised me that the Director of the Juvenile Justice Centre has been invited to take part in a United Kingdom review on the use of restraint methods and will be meeting with colleagues across the UK to undertake this task.
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Learning Disability

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how the health concerns of those with learning difficulties are represented in health equity audits in the Province. [194524]

Angela Smith: In Northern Ireland means other than health equality audits are used to assess the needs of people with learning disabilities, including specially commissioned research, engagement with relevant non-government organisations, consultations on new policies as they are being developed, and equality screening and equality impact assessments carried out on existing and emerging policies.

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is currently implementing a strategy to develop community learning disability services to resettle long-stay hospital patients, prevent inappropriate hospital admissions and re-admissions, and focus hospital services on assessment and acute short-term treatment. The Independent Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability (NI) will shape policy and service development over the next 10 to 15 years. The report of this review is expected to be submitted to the Department early in the new year. This will contain a number of recommendations to address the particular health needs of people with a learning disability.

Mental Health

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of health and personal social services funding was spent on mental health services in each of the last five years. [196351]

Angela Smith: The information requested is as follows:
Percentage of health and personal social services funds spent on mental health services in Northern Ireland

Year end MarchMental health spend as percentage of total

MRI Scanning

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on provision of MRI scanning in the Province; and what improvements are planned to such provision. [196348]

Angela Smith: There are currently nine MRI scanners available across the province: one each at Altnagelvin, Antrim, Belfast City, Belvoir Park, Craigavon Area, Royal, and Ulster hospitals and two at Musgrave Park hospital.

The new imaging centre at the Royal group of hospitals will incorporate a further MRI scanner. It is intended that this will be fully operational from April 2006. The Regional Cancer Centre at Belfast City hospital, due to open in early 2006, will also incorporate an MRI scanner.
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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the products used within the Province's health service to try to eradicate MRSA. [196255]

Angela Smith: Health and Personal Social Services organisations use the following products for the management of MRSA:
Products used for environmental and equipment decontaminationProducts for hand decontaminationProducts for eradication of MRSA carriage in colonised patients
Detergent and waterLiquid soapCX powder
Cream cleanserAntiseptic skin cleanserCorsodyl throat spray
Buffered hypochloriteAlcohol hand rubMupirocin (Bactroban)
70 per cent. alcoholTricolasan 2 per cent., 0.3 per cent. (paediatrics)
Cidex OPA
0.55 per cent.
Hibiscrub antiseptic cleanser
Fucidin with polyfax
Aquasept skin cleanser
Chlorhexidine washes

For the treatment of MRSA infection, antibiotics would be prescribed as appropriate.

Organic Foodstuffs

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assistance is being offered to those engaged in the (a) growing and (b) distribution of organic foodstuffs in Northern Ireland. [196914]

Mr. Pearson: The Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) delivered by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provides financial support to farmers during the period when they are converting their farm business from conventional to organic production. The scheme has played a valuable role in assisting some 75 producers to convert their farm business to help meet consumer demand for organic produce.

The Organic Farming Scheme is complemented by the Organic Farming (Conversion of Animal Housing) Scheme, which opened in December 2003. The Organic Housing Scheme provides a total of £2 million to assist organic livestock producers to convert existing animal housing to comply with organic standards.

An organic conversion information service is also available to all producers in Northern Ireland. Growers and farmers can avail of short courses provided by Greenmount Campus, College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise. Assistance with conversion planning and sector specific production issues is also available.

The Department is also seeking to establish an independently chaired Organic Lead Group, as per the first recommendation of the action plan published in "Organic Farming in Northern Ireland: A Development Strategy". This group, the membership of which will be drawn from the local organic sector, will facilitate the growth of the local organic sector and give strategic direction across a range of issues, including the production and distribution of organic produce.
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