Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost was of administration in the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in each of the last five years. 
|Amount (£ million)
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many patients were waiting for digital hearing aids in the Province (a) on 1 January and (b) at the latest available date. 
Angela Smith: Health and Social Services Trusts provide a range of mainstream and specialist Health care services for children with disabilities and their families, including diagnostic and assessment services, family support services, respite services, day care services and befriending schemes. These services are met through the child health, child learning and physical/sensory disability programmes of care.
A range of newborn screening programmes is already in operation. In addition, there are screening tests used when specific conditions are suspected. The Department has recently adopted the recommendation of the "Hall 4" Health for All Children Report on child health screening and surveillance, which was prepared by a multidisciplinary working group of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and which has been endorsed by the National Screening Committee.
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Angela Smith: Health and social services trusts provide a range of services largely through generic mental health, primary care and acute services. For complex cases the option of extra contractual referral to services outside Northern Ireland is available.
A Regional Eating Disorders Working Group was established in June 2003 to take forward the recommendations of the Eating Disorders Consultation document. This work is being progressed through a number of subgroups and will lead to the establishment of a regional eating disorders service.
Angela Smith: From 1 January 2005 statutory responsibility for the provision of general practitioner out-of-hours services will transfer to health and social services boards. The Southern Health and Social Services Board, in considering the provision of out-of-hours cover for the Kilkeel/Annalong area has sought to address access difficulty by investigating the provision of out-posted GP services, developing a nurse led minor injury unit in Kilkeel and making transport available to those without access to private transport.
The board has advised that prior to 6 December 2004, out-of-hours services in the Kilkeel/Annalong area, were provided by GPs who work in the area and residents did not have access to the out-of-hours centre which is situated in Newry. However, from 6 December the population of Kilkeel/Annalong has access to the full range of services provided by the out-of-hours centre.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of the superannuation contribution of staff employed in family doctor practices will be provided through the practice global sum under the new general practitioner contract. 
The global sum for practices in Northern Ireland includes an element to enable practices to cover the employer's superannuation contribution and that element was calculated on a contribution level of 5 per cent.
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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the expenditure per head of population in the Province on health and personal social services was in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to evaluate the role of local health and social services care groups, with particular reference to the participation of general practitioners. 
Angela Smith: The annual administrative costs of the 15 Local Health and Social Care Groups have been fixed at £3 per head of population covered since the Groups were established in June 2002. The annual cost to the Department is £5.3 million.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) general practitioner consultations, (b) eye tests and (c) prescription items were provided in the province (i) in the last year for which figures are available and (ii) (A) five (B) 10 and (C) 15 years previously.