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Mr. Woodward: The high dependency unit at Altnagelvin was closed temporarily from 5 pm on Saturday 25 June until 11 am on Monday 4 July. The closure was due to difficulties with nurse staffing levels associated with compassionate leave, maternity leave and sick absences.
The same group of nursing staff work in both the intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU) and when there is a higher than usual demand for ICU beds, nurses are redeployed from HDU to ICU.
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Given the unpredictability of the demand for ICU beds, the situation is monitored by the trust on a day-by-day basis.
Mr. Woodward: Altnagelvin Health and Social Services Trust advise that there were three routine blood tests carried out following full-term deaths at Altnagelvin hospital during September 2001. The Royal Group of Hospitals have advised that they carried out one paediatric post mortem following a referral from Altnagelvin hospital on 28 September 2001.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his assessment is of the extent to which theatre managers and clinical directors are fulfilling their obligations to provide adequately trained staff to assist anaesthetists within the Province. 
Mr. Woodward: Across trusts, theatre managers and clinical directors have fully considered the need to provide trained assistance of a high standard to anaesthetists. A range of measures is in place which includes: the recruitment and selection of appropriately qualified staff; in-house training and induction programmes; further professional training including diploma/degree level courses; specialist practice courses for nurses; and the supernumerary treatment of nurses undergoing anaesthetics training until deemed competent to practice.
The Department has not conducted any research into the effectiveness of Anastrozole. However, the Department is aware of research undertaken elsewhere, especially the results of the Anastrozole, Tamoxifen, alone or in combination trial (ATAC). Evidence emerging from such studies will be kept under review.
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Mr. Woodward: The Department do not record the numbers of patients receiving a particular drug. However in 200405, 9, 213 prescriptions for Anastrozole were issued in the community in Northern Ireland.
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the disposal of asbestos within Northern Ireland; what sites have been approved by the Government; and when each was approved. 
Angela E. Smith: There are two ways in which asbestos is legally managed. One is by disposal to a landfill site with a dedicated cell which receives only asbestos waste. The other is by contained storage in waste transfer stations where asbestos is kept until it can be transported to Great Britain for disposal in landfill in an economically viable manner.
Currently three facilities in Northern Ireland are licensed to receive asbestos. These relate to one landfill site (which is currently completing engineering works before asbestos can be received) and two waste transfer stations. The landfill site was issued with a licence on 4 January 2005 while the waste transfer stations were licensed on 3 September 1984 and 19 April 2005.
The Environment and Heritage Service of the Department of the Environment is investigating a small number of isolated incidents of illegal dumping of asbestos. It is difficult to quantify how prevalent this problem is as the activity is clandestine and disposal locations are not obvious. However, at present illegal disposal of asbestos on a commercial scale does not appear to be a serious problem in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Peter Robinson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total monetary value of
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property and processions confiscated by the Asset Recovery Agency has been in each year since the agency was created. 
|Assets frozen||Assets recovered||Receipts|
|England and Wales||17.9||None||0.002|
|Northern Ireland||3.1||First full year of|
|England and Wales||13.1||4.1||3. 9|
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the reasons why expenditure per head of population in Northern Ireland on audiology goods and services is significantly less than in other parts of the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Woodward: The Department does not hold any information on the comparison of spend per head of population on audiology services between the population of Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received from the private sector in Northern Ireland on the level of insurance premiums for businesses operating in Northern Ireland; what response he has made; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: Insurance is a reserved matter. However, the issue of the level of insurance premiums for businesses in Northern Ireland has been raised regularly with the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment by a variety of private sector interests over the past few years. A working group made up of representatives from DETI, the business sector and the insurance industry, has closely monitored the on-going situation and a guide offering practical advice to businesses on purchasing insurance cover has been widely distributed.
DETI has also introduced an annual insurance survey. The results of the last survey revealed an improving picture as a result of a general softening in the market. The survey results are available on the DETI website www.detini.gov.uk.
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Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the annual change in insurance premiums for small and medium sized businesses in Northern Ireland in each year since 1997. 
Angela E. Smith: The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) has carried out an annual survey of Business Insurance Premiums for the period 200004. The estimated annual percentage change in the average (median) value of insurance premiums for small and medium sized businesses in Northern Ireland was +12.6 per cent. in 200001, +38.9 per cent. in 200102, +25.7 per cent. in 200203 and -16.1 per cent. in 200304. Comparative figures prior to the commencement of the DETI surveys are not available.
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