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17 July 2006 : Column 15W—continued


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of (a) GPs, (b) dentists, (c) optometrists and (d) pharmacists in Northern Ireland were (i) under 40, (ii) 40 to 54 and (iii) over 55 years in each of the last five years. [83944]

Paul Goggins: The percentage of GPs (i) under 40, (ii) 40 to 54 and (iii) 55 and over for 2003, 2004 and 2005 is detailed in Table 1. This information is not available for 2001 and 2002.

The percentage of dentists (i) under 40, (ii) 40 to 54 and (iii) 55 and over for 2004 and 2005 is detailed in Table 2. This information is not available for 2001, 2002 and 2003.

The information requested for optometrists and pharmacists is not available.


17 July 2006 : Column 16W
Table 1: Percentage of GPs aged under 40, 40 to 54, and 55 and over in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years
Under 40 (Percentage) 40 to 54 (Percentage) 55 and over (Percentage) Total (Headcount)

November 2003(1)

25.8

58.8

15.1

1,076

October 2004

25.0

57.9

17.1

1,078

October 2005

23.9

56.5

19.6

1,084

(1 )0.3 per cent. unknown age group. Note: The age of GPs is not available for 2001 and 2002. Source: Central Services Agency.

Table 2: Percentage of dentists aged under 40, 40 to 54, and 55 and over in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years
Under 40 (Percentage) 40 to 54 (Percentage) 55 and over (Percentage) Total (Headcount)

2004

60.1

32.3

7.6

734

2005

58.4

34.5

7.1

760

Note: The age of dentists is not available for 2001, 2002 and 2003. Source: Central Services Agency.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total number of eye tests claimed for in Northern Ireland was in each of the last 10 years; and what percentage of those who had eye tests subsequently received (a) spectacles for the first time and (b) replacement or repairs of spectacles. [83952]

Paul Goggins: Table 1 shows the total number of eye tests claimed for in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. The percentage of those who had eye tests that subsequently received spectacles for the first time is not available, however we do know the total number of spectacle vouchers issued (Table 2). The percentage of those who had eye tests that subsequently received replacement or repair of spectacles is not available, however we do know the total number of repairs or replacements of spectacles in the last seven years. This information is provided in Table 3.

Table 1: Number of Health Service Sight Tests

1995-96

196,731

1996-97

212,000

1997-98

227,000

1998-99

235,603

1999-2000

305,148

2000-01

306,503

2001-02

325,998

2002-03

333,928

2003-04

345,966

2004-05

346,925

Notes: Health Service sight tests are restricted to certain groups of the population such as children and those with particular medical conditions. In addition, from 1 April 1999, patients aged 60 and over were eligible for Health Service sight tests. Source: Central Services Agency


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Table 2: Number of Spectacle Vouchers Issued

1995-96

146,113

1996-97

153,000

1997-98

159,000

1998-99

158,520

1999-2000

157,709

2000-01

160,372

2001-02

165,198

2002-03

167,792

2003-04

169,209

2004-05

167,151

Source: Central Services Agency

Table 3: Number of Replacements or Repairs of Glasses

1998-99

31,659

1999-2000

29,439

2000-01

28,762

2001-02

19,612

2002-03

26,796

2003-04

29,158

2004-05

26,719

Notes: Vouchers towards the cost of spectacles are restricted to particular categories of patients as are replacements or repairs to spectacles. Source: Central Services Agency

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) general practitioners, (b) dentists, (c) optometrists and (d) pharmacists there were in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [83961]

Paul Goggins: The information requested for general practitioners, dentists, optometrists and the number of pharmacy contractors is detailed in the following table. The number of pharmacists is not available.

Total number of GPs, dentists, optometrists and pharmacy contractors in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years
General practitioners Dentists Optometrists Pharmacy contractors

2001

1,061

(1)673

406

320

2002

1,076

(1)689

445

297

2003

(2)1,076

(1)696

445

284

2004

1,078

732

490

282

2005

1,084

760

511

267

(1) April (2) November Notes: 1. Central Services Agency does not hold information on the number of pharmacists in Northern Ireland. They hold information on the number of pharmacies and pharmaceutical contracts. 2. Figures are as at October unless otherwise indicated. Source: Central Services Agency.

Northern Ireland Police Fund

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1180W, on the Northern Ireland Police Fund, whether the finances of the
17 July 2006 : Column 18W
Northern Ireland Police Fund are subject to (a) monthly, (b) quarterly, (c) six monthly and (d) annual returns to his Department. [84759]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Police Fund is required to provide financial monitoring information on a monthly basis and after the end of each financial year to provide its audited accounts to the Department.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland who ordered the internal audit by his Department of the Northern Ireland Police Fund which followed the breach of security at the fund; whether they did so under instruction by a Government Minister; and whether the audit uncovered any (a) systems failures and (b) financial irregularities. [84761]

Paul Goggins: In respect of the alleged breach of security at the Northern Ireland Police Fund a full police investigation has been carried out within the fund. This investigation has now been completed and involved a comprehensive programme of interviews. No persons have been prosecuted as a result of this investigation. It would not be appropriate to comment on the operational detail of the investigation as such issues are a matter for the Chief Constable.

The board of directors asked the NIO internal audit to complete a review of the Northern Ireland Police Fund. All matters relating to the report are a matter for the fund.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish in full the initial internal audit of the Northern Ireland Police Fund conducted by his Department after the 2003 breach of security at the fund. [82923]

Paul Goggins: In respect of the alleged breach of security at the Northern Ireland Police Fund a full police investigation has been carried out within the fund. This investigation has now been completed and involved a comprehensive programme of interviews. No persons have been prosecuted as a result of this investigation.

The audit report referred to was requested by the Northern Ireland Police Fund. Any matters relating to the report are a matter for the fund.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the internal audit of the Northern Ireland Police Fund conducted by his Department after the 2003 breach of security at the fund was accepted by the Board of Directors of the fund; and whether a second audit was conducted. [82924]

Paul Goggins: The audit report referred to was requested by the Northern Ireland Police Fund. Any matters relating to the report are a matter for the fund.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the internal audit of the Northern Ireland Police Fund conducted by his
17 July 2006 : Column 19W
Department after the 2003 breach of security at the fund was classed as restricted by any (a) senior officer and (b) member of staff of the fund. [82925]

Paul Goggins: The audit report referred to was requested by the Northern Ireland Police Fund. Any matters relating to the report are a matter for the fund.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the internal audit of the Northern Ireland Police Fund conducted by his Department after the 2003 breach of security at the fund was completed. [82926]

Paul Goggins: All matters relating to the internal audit report on the Northern Ireland Police Fund are a matter for the fund.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1179W, on the Northern Ireland Police Fund, on what date (a) Ms A. Paisley, (b) Mrs. F. Reid, (c) Lord Rogan, (d) Mr. R. Wilson and (e) Sir John Semple ceased to be directors of the Northern Ireland Police Fund. [84750]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Police Fund has advised me that the following Directors of the fund resigned with effect from the dates listed:

Director Date of resignation

Ms A. Paisley

3 March 2006

Mrs. F. Reid

31 January 2005

Lord Rogan

31 March 2005

Mr. R. Wilson

31 March 2004

Sir J. Semple

31 January 2005


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1179W, on the Northern Ireland Police Fund, what percentage of staff at the fund are employed by his Department; and what that percentage was on 31 December 2003. [84751]

Paul Goggins: Currently 60 per cent. of the staff of the fund are seconded from the Northern Ireland Civil Service. At 31 December 2003 this figure was 12.5 per cent.

Paramilitary Paraphernalia

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been (a) charged with and (b) convicted of offences involving the (i) wearing and (ii) display of items associated with paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland in each year since 2001; and how many related to (A) Loyalist and (B) Republican displays in each case. [71115]


17 July 2006 : Column 20W

Paul Goggins: The Police Service of Northern Ireland have confirmed that they have no records of anyone being charged with these offences since 2001.

The NIO Statistics and Research branch have confirmed that they have no record of convictions for these offences between the years 2001 and 2003.

Data that might detail convictions from 2004 to present time will not be available until late summer.


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