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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the level of expenditure in the Province on Health Service agency staff in each of the last five years. 
|Persons in receipt of home help|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to ensure that MRSA is cited on death certificates for all deaths in which it has been a contributory factor. 
Angela Smith: Guidelines on completing death certificates are included at the front of every book of death certificates, and no certificates are available without these instructions. Internationally accepted guidance from the World Health Organisation on the completion of death certificates requires only those conditions that contribute directly to death to be recorded. The recorded cause of death may be the underlying disease or injury with MRSA infection noted as a contributory factor.
The General Register Office classifies the cause of death and contributory factors using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). ICD does not have a specific code for MRSA. The World Health Organisation recently recommended introducing codes for antibiotic resistance to the ICD from 2006. This should allow death caused by or contributed to by MRSA to be more easily identified.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what account is taken of claims of intimidation in applications for social housing in Northern Ireland; what assessment has been made of (a) the level of applications which claim intimidation and (b) the time scale for applications which claim intimidation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar: Where an allegation of intimidation due to sectarianism, paramilitarism or racism is confirmed and the applicant is considered eligible for housing and homelessness assistance, that person's name will be placed on the waiting list for re-housing with an additional 200 intimidation points. Upon being re-housed such applicants will be entitled to claim an intimidation grant of £692 to enable them to resettle in their new home. In the first six months (April to September) of the current financial year 556 applications for re-housing were made due to intimidation and of these 207 were accepted. Figures for the last two financial years show a decrease in such claims. The Housing Executive has set a performance target to fully assess 95 per cent. of all homelessness applications, (including those from applicants claiming intimidation), within 33 days. In the year to date 97 per cent. of all homelessness applications have been fully assessed within the target. The Housing Executive treats seriously all requests for housing assistance from those claiming to have been intimidated from their homes and investigates these before accepting the request.
Angela Smith: Junior doctors, by definition are doctors in training. Training of junior doctors takes place in a work-based environment and is an integral part of service delivery to patients. In addition to this form of training junior doctors also attend training courses and are entitled to claim study leave.
|Month and year||Number of patients diagnosed with Meningitis (confirmed and probable cases)|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the impact of new Crisis Response and Assertive Outreach mental health services in the Province on the level of hospital admissions. 
Angela Smith: In the Northern Board area, the Crisis Response and Assertive Outreach teams were established on 1 April 2003 and are the subject of a two-year evaluation. However, early figures show a 39 per cent. reduction in hospital admissions over a 12-month period. Crisis Response and Assertive Outreach services in other Board areas have not been developed to the same extent yet and although they would be expected to reduce pressures on acute psychiatric inpatient beds, it would not be feasible to carry out a comprehensive assessment of this until staff recruitment is completed and the services are more fully established.
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