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David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for what reasons pupils in special units were not included in the figures on post-primary enrolments used in the Costello Report". 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what reports he has received of counterfeit medications being discovered in the Province within the legitimate wholesale medicines supply chain. 
Angela Smith: In order to facilitate the supply of suitably qualified dentists the Department funds a one-year vocational training (VT) scheme and a two-year general professional training (GPT) scheme. Prior to August 2000 there were 20 VT places, this has been increased to the current level of 24 VT places and four dental trainees in each year of the GPT scheme. This represents an annual total of 28 health service training places for graduate dentists in Northern Ireland.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are taken to ensure health service employers are fully informed (a) of potential employees who have been forced to leave other posts within the health sector and (b) of the details of their departure. 
Angela Smith: Recruitment and selection procedures are a matter for individual Health and Personal Social Services (HPSS) employers and it is the responsibility of the employer to carry out all necessary pre-employment checks. In addition, for medical and dental staff a system of alert letters is in place whereby all HPSS employers are notified in cases where a doctor or dentist, who has been dismissed or suspended, poses a potential risk to the safety of patients and it is believed he/she will seek work elsewhere. The Department is currently reviewing the procedures that exist for alert letters with a view to potentially extending the process to cover other health care staff.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how he defines a fit person to be entrusted with a firearm within the terms of Article 9 of the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Pearson: There is no statutory definition of the term fit person as used in Articles 5 and 9 of the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004. The protection and safety of the public lies at the heart of the legislation, which requires that an applicant for a firearms certificate or a current holder, should be a person who is fit to be entrusted with a firearm or ammunition. There are various matters which the Chief Constable may take into account before making a decision. Guidance on this and all other forearms licensing issues is contained in the Guidance on Northern Ireland Firearms Controls, which is available on the Northern Ireland Office website www.nio.gov.uk
Mr. Gregory Campbell:
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with
3 Feb 2005 : Column 1070W
the Irish Football Association on the staging of the under-19 European Football Championships in venues across Northern Ireland. 
Angela Smith: Extensive discussions have taken place with the Irish Football Association (IFA) on the staging of the Under-19 European Football Championships in venues across Northern Ireland. I can confirm that the IFA have set up a limited company to oversee the arrangements for hosting the tournament which will attract funding from the Sports Council for Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Events Company, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, UK Sport, Belfast city council and Ballymena borough council.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions (a) he and (b) his Ministers have had on the funding of measures dealing with schemes for former loyalist paramilitaries. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: Recent meetings with representatives of loyalism have focused on a range of issues affecting Protestant communities in general. All discussion has been in the context of ongoing work to address the needs of working class Protestant communities. No specific funding proposals have been brought forward. Any work on this will be done through properly structured and audited initiatives.
I and my Ministers do, of course, continue to stress that real progress on these issues can only be made when paramilitary organisations give their unequivocal commitment to bringing an end to paramilitarism and criminality.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what advice has been given to health boards and trusts in the Province by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety regarding service development over the next three years. 
Angela Smith: The Department is currently discussing with Boards the specific priority areas for service development for inclusion in Boards' Health and Wellbeing Investment Plans and Trust Delivery Plans. It has, however, already been made clear to Boards and Trusts that priority will be given to the reform and modernisation of hospital and associated primary and community care services. The Department expects significant increases in productivity and improved quality and safety of services to be achieved as a result of the ongoing re-configuration of existing services and new ways of working made possible by a range of pay reforms currently being implemented.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many children (a) attended and (b) were admitted to hospital in the Province as the result of (i) alcohol and (ii) illegal drug use in the last year for which figures are available. 
Angela Smith: Information is not available centrally on the number of children who attended hospital as a result of alcohol or illegal drug use. Information is collected on the number of admissions 1 of children to Northern Ireland hospitals as the result of alcohol and illegal drug use.
In 200304 (the latest data available) there were 90 admissions (based on primary diagnosis) to acute hospitals in Northern Ireland for children aged 16-years or under with an alcohol related illness.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will introduce legislation for Northern Ireland equivalent to the legislative provisions regarding knives proposed by the Scottish Executive; and what plans the Government have to reduce the use of knives in crimes in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Spellar: We are considering the incidence of knife crime in Northern Ireland and are closely monitoring the development of policies in other jurisdictions, including Scotland, to assess their appropriateness for Northern Ireland.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the recent outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the North Down area; and what steps he is taking to prevent such an outbreak reccurring. 
Angela Smith: Three people living in the North Down and Ards area were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease since the end of December. An incident team chaired by a Communicable Diseases Control Consultant in the Eastern Health and Social Services Board was set up to investigate these cases.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSENI) and Environmental Health Officers are actively working to try and establish a source of the legionella infection and are continuing with their investigations. HSENI has liaised with the district council to arrange inspection of several cooling towers and similar plant and their retreatment/disinfection. Treatment regimes have also been reviewed and other potential sources of infection in the area examined. Appropriate advice on cleaning and decontamination measures has been provided. Further laboratory reports results are awaited in a number of cases.
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