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20 Jul 2005 : Column 1875W—continued

Education Funding

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much of the recently announced £12.5 million education funding will be allocated to the (a) pre-school, (b) primary school, (c) post-primary school, (d) integrated, (e) Irish-medium and (f) special needs sector; what criteria will be used to determine allocations; how much is new funding; and when he plans to begin distribution of the funding. [11980]

Angela E. Smith: Consideration is currently being given to the arrangements for distribution of the £12.5 million to the five education boards and the other education authorities. The £12.5 million comprises £3.5 million for special education, £2.5 million for school meals, £2.5 million for school maintenance, and a total of £4.0 million to help deal with the impact of falling pupil numbers and support the boards in developing shared services. £2.5 million of the £12.5 million is coming from the education budget, and £10.0 million has been found from earmarked funds in the budgets of other Government Departments. It is planned to notify allocations for special education, school meals and maintenance before the beginning of the next school year. Allocations in relation to falling pupil numbers and shared services are conditional on boards bringing forward robust plans.

Educational Psychologists

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many full-time equivalent posts for educational psychologists there are in (a) each education and library board and (b) Northern Ireland; and how many of those posts are vacant. [12381]

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Angela E. Smith: The information requested is as follows:
Education and library boardNumber of FTE(66) educational psychologist postsNumber of vacancies
Belfast education and library board26.12nil
Southern education and library board29.31nil
Western education and library board25.52
North Eastern education and library board26.51
South Eastern education and library board22.8nil
Total Northern Ireland130.233

(66) Full Time Equivalent

Emergency Services (Attacks)

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many attacks have been recorded on members of each emergency service in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [12069]

Mr. Woodward: Recorded attacks on fire and rescue and ambulance services were as follows:
Northern Ireland fire and rescue serviceNorthern Ireland ambulance service

(67) No records of attacks were kept prior to September 2001.
(68) From September.

Attacks on the Police Service of Northern Ireland were recorded as follows:

English Language Support

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will assess the adequacy of English as an additional language support in each education and library board area in Northern Ireland. [13280]

Angela E. Smith: The Department of Education has written to each of the education and library boards asking them to advise the Department of the action they are taking to ensure the provision of adequate EAL services in their area.

The Department has met with the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM), representatives of the Education and Library Boards and the Ulster Teachers' Union (UTU) and Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) to discuss
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how best to ensure the language service will be matched to the needs of these children. Discussions will continue over the summer months.

Hospital Telephone Calls

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many telephone calls were received each week on average by each of the hospitals in the Province in the last period for which figures are available. [10960]

Mr. Woodward: The information requested is not available centrally.


Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) intensive care and (b) high dependency unit beds there are in hospitals in Northern Ireland; how many (i) nursing and (ii) other staff are attached to each unit; and what plans he has to increase the number of (A) beds and (B) nursing staff at such units. [11309]

Mr. Woodward: The information is as follows:
Table 1: Total number of intensive care and high dependency beds in hospitals in Northern Ireland as at 8 July 2005.

Belfast City75
Daisy Hill05
Lagan Valley02
Tyrone County02

HPSS Trusts

In addition to beds included in table 1, there are a number of critical care beds held for a specific purpose:

Table 2: Total number of critical care beds, and the number of dedicated nursing staff attached to critical care units(69), in hospitals in Northern Ireland as at 8 July 2005

HospitalTotal bedsNursing staff(70) (WTE)
Belfast City1267.5
Daisy Hill59.67

(69) It has not been possible to provide a breakdown of staffing levels between intensive care and high dependency beds as staff generally work between these two critical care units.
(70) Nursing staff includes qualified and unqualified staff.
HPSS Trusts

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It has not been possible to provide an accurate figure for nursing staff in all critical care units. The hospitals listed in the table 2 have a specific complement of nursing staff dedicated to their critical care units. Critical care units at other hospitals may be staffed by a team of nurses who cover critical care and other specialties eg surgery.

Other staff attached to critical care units include administrative and clerical staff, professional and technical staff and medical staff. A complete and fully representative figure for the number of other staff attached to critical care units is not available as they are often drawn from a hospital's pool of staff.

Intensive care and high dependency provision has been expanded from 64 in 2000 to over 100 beds at present. The further development of critical care is regularly reviewed, and some additional capacity, with corresponding staff increases, is anticipated during the 2005–06 financial year. In the longer term, capacity at the Royal will increase from the current complement of 25 beds to 40 beds following the opening of phase 2, which is expected in 2010.

Message in a Bottle Scheme

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will introduce to Northern Ireland the Message in a Bottle Scheme used in Scotland. [13277]

Mr. Woodward: The Message in a Bottle Scheme is a community safely initiative for vulnerable people. It is promoted in Great Britain on a voluntary basis by, among others, Lions and Rotary Clubs and Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and sponsored by local authorities, ambulance services trusts and police forces. I have asked the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to investigate how effective the scheme is judged to be elsewhere and the scope to introduce it in Northern Ireland.

I will write to the hon. Lady when more information is available.

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