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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on the quality of the consultation undertaken by the local primary care trust concerning the closure of the Finchley Road Surgery in Camden. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his latest estimate is of the percentage of patients in
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residential homes for the elderly who are receiving neuroleptic drugs; and which homes prescribe neuroleptic to 90 per cent. or more of their residents. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment was made, before the decision to commission Alliance Medical Ltd. to conduct CT and MRI scans on behalf of the County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust of existing capacity of the Trust's own CT and MRI scanners; 
Mr. Hutton: Additional diagnostic capacity was procured from Alliance Medical Ltd. as part of a national procurement exercise to serve all parts of England. Alliance Medical's mobile scanning units travel and visit areas according to their needs, as determined by strategic health authority cluster leads. These units only visit areas with long waiting times, following local negotiation.
Alliance Medical's units have carried out 389 scans to date in Durham. Cost is assessed on an average per scan over the life of a five year contract and the total value of the contract is a matter of confidentiality, which cannot be disclosed without prejudicing the commercial interests of the company. However, the cost of scans provided by Alliance Medical is significantly less than the national health service direct access tariff. This represents good value for money, in addition to boosting NHS capacity.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when the contract between the NHS and Alliance Medical Ltd. for CT and MRI scans was signed; and who undertook negotiations on behalf of the NHS; 
The contract with Alliance Medical is for five years. The total value of the contract is a matter of commercial confidentiality, and cannot be disclosed without prejudicing the commercial interests of the company. However, the cost of the scans provided by Alliance Medical is significantly less than the national health service direct access tariff. This represents good value for money, in addition to boosting NHS capacity.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what definition of self-harm is used by NHS Direct; how many calls NHS Direct received in the last year for which figures are available relating to self-harm; what
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advice is given by NHS Direct to callers deemed to be self-harming; and whether NHS Direct holds a database of local self-help groups to provide to callers. 
Dr. Ladyman: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence's guideline on self-harm, published in 2004, which includes children and young people, has recommended that national health service trusts should provide appropriate training for staff who come into contact with people who self harm.
In addition to trust-based training, NHS staff have access to a variety of university-based education and training courses to equip them to work with young people who self harm. The number of resources available for staff working with young people who self harm is increasing. The National Inquiry into Self-Harm and Young People, run jointly by the Camelot Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation, on which the Department is represented, has been recently launched. It aims to educate and raise awareness about self-harm, and provide training and practical guidelines for individuals and organisations who work with young people who self-harm.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department values the diversity of all its staff and has a policy to ensure that no member of staff will be discriminated against on the grounds of their faith. Subject to health and safety considerations, Sikh employees of the Department can wear the Kirpan.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The national health service hospital eye service provides optical devices and loans low vision aids, such as high-powered reading lenses, hand-held and stand magnifiers and telescopes, to people with visual impairment. In addition, some primary care trusts have local arrangements for the provision of low vision aids through community-based opticians.
Electronic magnifiers are classed as aids to daily living and as such providing them is the responsibility of local authority social services departments. Social service departments assess individuals' needs and arrange services to meet those needs. This can include the provision of closed circuit television (CCTV). However, hand-held, stand and spectacle-mounted magnifiers are generally easier to use, more widely available and more accessible.
In keeping with the principle of flexibility in meeting local needs, NHS hospital trusts, primary care trusts and social service departments are being encouraged to work more closely together, including the possibility of establishing joint budgets for equipment which could allow for the provision of a wider range of services and equipment than has hitherto been available.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he has taken in the last three years to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing people have equality of access to Government services. 
Mr. Spellar: Over the past three years significant work has been initiated or completed to improve communication between staff in Government Departments in Northern Ireland and people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment.
The formation of a partnership group whereby Departments, led by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, are working in partnership with representatives of the deaf community to develop ideas for improving access to public services by users of sign language;
The Department of Finance and Personnel is implementing a programme to ensure people with disabilities can have physical access and communication access to Government buildings. This includes the installation of Deaf Loop systems (at counter points, reception areas and designated rooms in all buildings with a public interface), Deaf Alerter systems for evacuation purposes, Beacons in toilet areas, Quematic systems in public offices, Signage and Text Phones;
The Promoting Social Inclusion Working Group on Disability was established in 2004. This comprises members of Government Departments and those representing people with disabilities and is examining how services can be improved to better address the needs and rights of disabled people including
The Social Security Agency (SSA) is working in partnership with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) on a pilot scheme which will identify possible improvements on services for customers with hearing impairments. Furthermore the SSA has given a commitment to work towards the RNID's Louder than Words" Charter Mark of best practice;
Trainees with a disability, including those who are deaf or have a hearing impairment, who enter Jobskills, are entitled to additional training time and funding to assist them in achieving their qualifications;
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has provided support under the PEACE II programme for a project which will provide training, support and networking for people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment;
The Department of Education in co-operation with the National Deaf Children's Society has issued two booklets, Deaf Friendly Schools" and Deaf Friendly Nurseries and Pre-schools", which provide a clear and friendly view of the context in which young deaf people's education takes place.
All of the above are examples of the standards which Government have set and will continue to review and improve by working in partnership with organisations representing people who are deaf or hearing impaired and from disabled people themselves via consultation and the gathering of information.
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