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6 Feb 2006 : Column 900W—continued

Home Start

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the future funding of the Home Start Project. [47643]

Mr. Woodward: DHSSPS allocates approximately £45,000 core funding per annum for Home Start in Northern Ireland to assist its administration. In addition, funding for Home Start services totalled £1.1 million in 2004–05, as detailed in the following table:

HSS trusts/boards503
Sure Start287
The Children's Fund175
Childhood Fund43
Peace II European Funding31
Executive Fund for Children20

The figures for 2005–06 are not yet available.

The future funding for Home Start will be determined within the priorities and resources of HSS boards and trusts and in liaison with Sure Start projects.

Hospice Care

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total cost was to public funds of supporting each institution set up to offer hospice care in Northern Ireland in 2005. [49151]

6 Feb 2006 : Column 901W

Mr. Woodward: Four voluntary institutions provide hospice care in Northern Ireland. They each receive funding from the HPSS for the provision of agreed in-patient and community hospice services. The funding provided in 2005–06 is approximately as follows:
£ million
The Northern Ireland Hospice1.90
The Marie Curie Cancer Centre1.60
The Foyle Hospice0.25
The Southern Area Hospice0.60

In addition to the aforementioned funding for services, the NI hospice also receives a core grant from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety towards its administration costs. In 2004–05 a grant was made of £117,000.

Hospital Stays (Duration)

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average length of stay in hospital in the Province was in each of the last 10 years. [49383]

Mr. Woodward: Figures for average length of stay in Northern Ireland hospitals from 1994–95 to 2004–05 are provided in the following table.

Average length of stay in hospital

Day cases are excluded from the calculation of average length of stay.
Source :
Departmental Information Return KHO3A.

Inward Investment

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answers of 30 November 2005, Official Report, column 632W, and 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 328W, on inward investment, what assessment he has made of what further steps should be taken to increase the level of foreign direct investment into Northern Ireland. [46468]

Angela E. Smith: I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the answers given on 30 November 2005, Official Report, column 632W, and on 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 329W, on this and closely-related subjects.

Each year Invest NI assesses the foreign direct investment market and outlines the strategy and targets for the year ahead in an International Sales and Marketing Plan that is presented to the Invest NI Board
6 Feb 2006 : Column 902W
for discussion and approval. This plan analyses performance across all geographical locations and sectors in which Invest NI actively promotes Northern Ireland as an attractive location where new investors can profitably and successfully do business.

M2 (Daily Usage)

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what the average daily number of vehicles using the M2 Motorway outbound between Belfast and (a) Sandyknowes junction, (b) Sandyknowes junction and the A26 junction and (c) the A26 junction and the Toome bypass was in the latest period for which figures are available; [48531]

(2) what the average number of vehicles using the Londonderry/Limavady main road through Ballykelly village was in each of the last five years. [48532]

Mr. Woodward: The chief executive of Roads Service (Dr. Malcolm McKibbin) has been asked to write to the hon. Gentleman in response to these questions.

Letter from Dr. Malcolm McKibbin, dated 6 February 2006:

LocationAverage daily flow
M2 Between Belfast and Sandyknowes32,230
M2 Between Sandyknowes and A2615,520
M2 Between A26 and Toome Bypass9,130

A2 Limavady-Londonderry at Greysteel

6 Feb 2006 : Column 903W

Mobile Phone Tracking

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether technology is available to the Police Service for Northern Ireland to allow it to use mobile phone tracking to pursue investigations into (a) missing persons and (b) missing persons believed to be underwater. [46817]

Mr. Woodward: The Police Service of Northern Ireland utilises the same technology as is available to law enforcement agencies in the rest of the United Kingdom and deploys that technology in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in investigations, including missing persons investigations, where appropriate. Mobile phones under water are highly likely to be inoperable; and even if operable the signal would not transmit effectively.


Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average waiting time is for a routine initial ophthalmology (a) outpatient and (b) inpatient assessment at each health trust in the Province that offers the service. [49385]

Mr. Woodward: Waiting list information is collected by time band. It is therefore not possible to calculate the arithmetic mean (average) length of time waiting. It is however possible to identify the median or mid-point waiting time band.

latest available waiting list statistics show the position at 30 September 2005. It is not possible to identify routine ophthalmology cases. However, the median waiting time for all initial ophthalmology (a) outpatient appointments and (b) inpatient admissions at each health trust in Northern Ireland for applicable trusts, at30 September 2005 is shown in the table.
Median waiting time for ophthalmology assessment at 30 September 2005

Health trust(a) Outpatient(b) Inpatient
Royal Group of Hospitals HSS Trust3–5 months3–5 months
Belfast City Hospital HSS Trust0–2 months(25)
Ulster Community and Hospitals HSS Trust9–11 months(25)
Down Lisburn HSS Trust3–5 months0–2 months
Mater Infirmorium HSS Trust3–5 months3–5 months
Craigavon Area Hospital Group HSS Trust6–8 months3–5 months
Newry and Mourne HSS Trust0–2 months(25)
Armagh and Dungannon HSS Trust6–8 months(25)
Altnagelvin Group HSS Trust3–5 months0–2 months
NI3–5 months3–5 months

(25) Not applicable.
Departmental Information Returns CH1 Parts A and B and CH3 Parts 1 and 2.

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