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Paul Goggins: Specialised treatments are available for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, including photodynamic therapy, which is provided by ophthalmologists at the Royal Victoria hospital.
|Proportion of known age full-time and part-time enrolments at the Northern Ireland higher education institutions aged 25 years and over by institution 1997/98 to 2004/05|
|Academic year||Queens university Belfast||University of Ulster||Stranmillis university college||St. Marys university college||Total|
Higher Education Statistics Agency
Paul Goggins: Women who are adversely affected by menopausal symptoms are normally managed within primary care, where their general practitioner is usually able to provide appropriate treatment for either physical or psychological symptoms. If the GP feels that specialist treatment is indicated, he can refer the patient for assessment by a hospital consultant, such as a gynaecologist with particular expertise in menopausal problems. Treatment is determined according to an individual patient's needs and their specific symptoms and circumstances.
Paul Goggins: The Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) has approved a business case to build a new 18-bed mental health adolescent inpatient unit at the Forster Green Hospital site to replace the interim inpatient facilities at Knockbracken. An Outline Business Case is also being considered to build a replacement of the 15-bed child psychiatric unit on the same site and linked to the adolescent unit.
The Northern Board recognises the importance of early intervention in a primary care setting and has allocated non-recurring fundingto Homefirst Trust to initiate the reform and modernisation of community mental health teams in
order to mirror the progress already achieved in Causeway Trust. The board is developing a single point of entry to mental health services and placing a stronger focus on early intervention and the delivery of service within a primary care setting.
Paul Goggins: It is increasingly acknowledged that therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy are an important tool in the treatment of mental illness. As a new initiative, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has commissioned the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma and Transformation to work with Health and Social Services Boards including the Northern Health and Social Services Board, to develop cognitive therapy programmes.
Additionally, following the success of a computerised cognitive behavioural therapy programme in the Causeway Health and Social Services Trust, the Northern Board has approved a second computerised CBT pilot and, if successfully evaluated, will look to extend this across the area, as resources become available.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many individuals in each health trust area in the Province (a) are awaiting cognitive behavioural therapy and (b) commenced such therapy in each of the last five years; what the average waiting time for cognitive behavioural therapy was in each health trust area in the Province in the last period for which figures are available; and what the longest time is for which a patient has been waiting for such therapy in each area. 
Paul Goggins: Cognitive behavioural therapy is a relatively new treatment and was not widely available until recently. Comprehensive information in the format requested is therefore not available. As a new initiative, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has commissioned the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma and Transformation to work with Health and Social Services Boards including the Northern Health and Social Services Board, to develop cognitive therapy programmes.
£1 million was allocated to boards and trusts in 2004-05 to develop community-based specialist eating disorder teams within each board area, which would be managed within an appropriate regional care network. All four teams are now operational. A regional eating disorders service, based at South and East Belfast health and social services trust, deals with the management of complex cases and specialised medical and dietetics support for all four health boards. Our longer term aim will be to provide a specialist eating disorder unit in Northern Ireland,
once the current three-tier service is fully operational and we are able to assess more accurately the level of need for such in-patient services.
Maria Eagle: There are no plans to set up in-reach teams to tackle mental health difficulties in schools in Northern Ireland, However, the Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my hon. Friend the Member for Wythenshawe and Sale, East (Paul Goggins), who has responsibility for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, announced on 31 October that a start was being made to modernise mental health and learning disability services in the province in response to the findings of the Bamford review. The Bamford report on child and adolescent mental health services highlights the need for joined-up planning and commissioning of services between mental health and education. The needs of the education sector will be included in the cross-departmental task force being set up to oversee the implementation of the Government response.
Arising from the Children and Young Persons Package announced by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in March last, a considerable counselling programme is being planned for all post- primary pupils from January 2007. A referral process will be set up within the counselling scheme should a need be identified for specialist services.
Paul Goggins: Pemetrexed is currently undergoing assessment by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for use in the NHS. My Department recently established formal links with NICE. As part of the local process for reviewing NICE guidance for implementation in the HPSS a direction on its use will be issued shortly after the final guidance becomes available in England. The institutes final appraisal document, issued in June 2006, recommended that Pemetrexed should not be used for the treatment of this disease except within a clinical trial. While this recommendation is subject to an appeal, the Department would not expect Pemetrexed to be widely available for patients with mesothelioma in Northern Ireland.
Paul Goggins: Gemcitabine in combination with Cisplatin is the standard treatment available in Northern Ireland for mesothelioma patients. Pemetrexed is licensed for the treatment of mesothelioma but is not yet available in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Hain: All central Government ministerial and official air travel is being offset from 1 April 2006. Departmental aviation emissions are calculated on an annual basis and subsequently offset through payments to a central fund. The fund purchases Certified Emissions Reductions credits from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with sustainable development benefits, located in developing countries.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average waiting time is for an MRI scan in each health trust in the Province; and what the longest waiting time was for an MRI scan in each health trust in the Province in the last 12 months. 
Paul Goggins: The Department's Service Delivery Unit recently carried out a survey to establish baseline information on waiting times in radiology, including MRI scans, in trusts across Northern Ireland.
Building on this baseline survey, it is intended to introduce weekly monitoring of radiology waiting lists and times across all trusts. It is envisaged that this monitoring system will be in place early in 2007.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in each health trust in the Province are waiting for an MRI scan; and how many people received an MRI scan in each health trust in the Province in each of the last five years. 
Paul Goggins: Weekly monitoring of radiology waiting lists and times including MRI scans is not yet in place. In order to answer this question unvalidated information on the number of people waiting for an MRI scan and the number who have received a scan was collected from each health trust in the Province and is detailed in the table.
|Trust||Number waiting for MRI scan|
| Source: HPSS Trusts.|
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