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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many of the current intake of student nurses at Queen's University Belfast have indicated their intention to specialise in psychiatric nursing; and what assessment he has made of the extent to which this meets the number of nurses required in this field of nursing. 
Paul Goggins: There are currently 120 pre-registration student nurses specialising in mental health nursing at Queen's University Belfast, from a total of 1,320. There are a further 113 students specialising in mental health nursing at the University of Ulster or through the Open University. A recent review of the Mental Health and Learning Disability work force indicates the need for further investment in the training of a range of staff in this work force. A recruitment drive for mental health nursing was taken forward by Queen's University and the Department in 2004. This has resulted in substantially increased applications for training in mental health nursing.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress is being made in providing (a) sufficient facilities and (b) adequate professional and nursing expertise for children and young adults with psychiatric needs in each board area. 
Paul Goggins: It is the responsibility of the four Health and Social Services boards to assess the needs of their populations and prioritise their resources, both facilities and work force, to best meet those needs. Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are provided by each of the boards, while access to specialist services, including in-patient care, is commissioned on a regional or multi-district basis.
An interim Regional Adolescent In-patient Unit at Knockbracken is now open for admissions. A new 18-bed mental health adolescent in-patient unit is to be built by 2008-09, with the intention that it will be subsequently linked to a new replacement 15-bed child psychiatric unit at the Forster Green hospital site.
The Children and Young People's Funding Package, which was announced in March, will strengthen Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service provision by providing funding to establish two to three Child and Adolescent Crisis Response Teams across Northern Ireland. The four boards are currently developing a proposal on the establishment and locations of these teams to best respond to need.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent research he has commissioned into levels of social stigma attached to people who present forms of mental illness; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: An inter-departmental group has been identifying and tackling the factors, including stigma, which can contribute to the social exclusion of people with mental health problems and a report will be issued for consultation in the summer.
Paul Goggins: The total number of missed hospital appointments in the financial year 2004-05 for each health trust is provided in the following table. These figures represent the number of out-patient appointments where a patient did not attend and failed to give advance warning to the hospital.
|HSS trust||Number of missed appointments|
| Source: Departmental Information Return KH09|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans there are for introducing MRI scans of young people in Northern Ireland where there is a familial history of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplastia; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: Relatives of those diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) are advised to undertake testing for this condition. There is no single diagnostic test for the condition and investigation involves a series of tests, one of which includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure is taking to assist communities in promoting cultural and historic artistic murals to replace those of a militaristic and paramilitary type. 
Maria Eagle: The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is taking forward a project entitled Re-imaging Communities which will focus on the replacement of paramilitary murals and other offensive items with new and more positive imagery. The priority areas are housing estates, peace lines and interface areas and derelict public spaces throughout Northern Ireland. The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has secured £2 million for this project over the period 2006-08. The Arts Council is seeking additional funding from other sources.
The Arts Council is also delivering a project entitled If Walls Could Talk. The aim of this project is to transform the peace line along Cupar Way into a world-class exhibition space for public art and to stimulate the development of arts in the Shankill area. This project is due to commence in 2006-07 and £170,000 per annum is available over two years.
The Ulster Scots Agency encourages communities to engage in promoting cultural and historic artistic murals to replace those of a militaristic and paramilitary type and the Agency will consider applications for financial assistance where there is an Ulster Scots theme.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate how many (a) schools and (b) children have been involved in the Arioso music therapy project in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what input the Northern Ireland Office will have into the National Development Plan in preparation in the Republic of Ireland, with particular reference to border regions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: The National Development Plan is a matter for the Government of the Republic of Ireland. The two Governments are committed to working closely together to identify ways they can maximise the mutual benefits of co-operation across a broad range of issues. These reflect substantial contacts through the North-South bodies and in areas of mutual co-operation, such as economic development, health, higher education, infrastructure and spatial development. The actions planned by both Governments to maximise the benefits of such co-operation will be reflected in their respective strategic plans to promote economic and social development.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 29 April 2006, Official Report, columns 700-01W, on the Northern Ireland Civil Service, which Northern Ireland departments have vacancies at (a) AO, (b) EOII, (c) EOI, (d) SO and (e) DP grades, broken down by parliamentary constituency. 
Mr. Hanson: Details of vacancies, in Northern Ireland departments, at (a) AO, (b) EOII, (c) EOI (d) SO and (e) DP grades, broken down by parliamentary constituency have been placed in the Library. These figures relate to vacancies for which Departments have current financial provision and are within the departmental headcount.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total cost was to the public purse of Civil Service away-days for his Office in each of the last three years, broken down by Government Department. 
Paul Goggins: The Department did not capture information at this level through financial coding for financial years 2003-04 and 2004-05, so to provide this would incur a disproportionate cost. A total of £57,243.92 was spent on development days in the Northern Ireland Office in financial year 2005-06. This equates to approximately £150 per head for the total number of staff involved. Development days are used for training and team building.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Fire Authority on the impact on costs of the provisions of the Northern Ireland Fire Rescue Order 2006. 
Paul Goggins: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 16 May 2006, Official Report, column 877W. As explained in my answer, the requirements of the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 will not have any significant bearing on the associated costs of the Fire and Rescue Service.
Maria Eagle: The Strategic Energy Framework does not anticipate nuclear new build in Northern Ireland. Energy policy in Northern Ireland is currently focussed on building the all-island market which will offer further options in terms of security and diversity of supply, and on expanding the role of renewables.
We are also driving forward on energy efficiency, having set a target of reducing electricity consumption by 1 per cent. per year from 2007. The Environment and Renewable Energy Fund also provides an additional £11 million for energy efficiency in Northern Ireland.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average waiting time was for an initial paediatric cardiology assessment in the Province in the last period for which figures are available. 
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. Current median (average) waiting times for children waiting an initial paediatric
cardiology outpatient assessment, in each applicable Health and Social Services Trust, are shown in the following table:
|HSS trust||Median waiting times for an outpatient paediatric cardiology assessment (months)|
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether activity by (a) loyalist and (b) republican paramilitaries is considered to be a threat to national security; and if he will make a statement. 
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made towards establishing specialist perinatal mental health teams to serve each health board area in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: In Northern Ireland care for those suffering from perinatal mental health problems including psychiatric illness takes place at all levels within the health care system (psychiatric services, maternity and child welfare services and primary health care).
However, the ongoing Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability has recommended that A regional specialist mental health services should be established for women with mental health problems occurring in the perinatal period. This is being considered in light of the wider findings of the review, which deals with a number of highly complex issues. I hope to publish my response to this and other recommendations of the review by the end of this year.
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