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|Part (b) advertising expenditure|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many value for money exercises on the use of (a) management consultants and (b) professional advisers were conducted by his Department in each of the last five years for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO), excluding its Agencies and NDPBs, has not conducted any value for money exercises on the use of (a) management consultants and (b) professional advisers in the last five years.
The NIO has in place a policy on the Use of External Consultants. This policy provides for annual reporting and a review of actual prior year and planned current year expenditure by the Departmental Audit Committee.
In October 2006, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) published Delivering value from Consultancy: A guide for public sector clients and suppliers on the use of consultants within Government. This can be found on OGCs website www.ogc.gov.uk at the following link:
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the timescale is for public houses and clubs in Northern Ireland to comply with the requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995; and what the penalty will be for non-compliance. 
Mr. Hanson: Under Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 providers of services to the public (including public houses and clubs) are already under a duty not to discriminate against disabled people and to make reasonable adjustments to the way they provide their services. An individual person claiming discrimination under Part III of the DDA may bring civil proceedings in the county court.
Currently, private clubs which do not offer goods or services to the general public are not covered by the existing DDA duties on service providers. Under the provisions of the Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 the disability legislation will be extended in early 2007 to give disabled people new rights not to be discriminated against by private clubs of 25 or more persons.
Claims of discrimination against private clubs will also be dealt with by the county court. If successful, a disabled person could be awarded compensation for any financial loss, including injury to feelings. The disabled person may also seek an injunction to prevent the service provider repeating any discriminatory act in the future.
Paul Goggins: Official estimates of the number of people diagnosed with epilepsy in each year are not available. However, under the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) of the General Medical Services contract, the total number of GP-registered patients aged 16 and over with a diagnosis of epilepsy is recorded. There are two years of data available as follows.
|As at 14 February||Number of GP-registered patients aged 16 and over with epilepsy|
Payment Calculation and Analysis System.
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland were diagnosed with (a) cancer, (b) heart disease and (c) Alzheimer's disease in each of the last three years. 
(a) Information on all cancers diagnosed in Northern Ireland 2002 to 2004 is shown in Table 1. This information has been provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry and is the most up to date currently available.
|Table 1: Incidence of all cancers in Northern Ireland: 2002 to 2004|
|All cancers||All cancers excluding non-melanoma skin cancer|
1. Incidence refers to the number of new cases of a cancer diagnosed in Northern Ireland for a particular period.
2. Incidence of cancer are identified using version 10 of the international classification of diseases and related health problems (ICD10). The code for non-melanoma skin cancer is C44
3. Figures for all newly diagnosed cases of cancer including and excluding non- melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) are provided as patients diagnosed with NMSC are sometimes excluded from incidence figures as survival is excellent and many registries do not collect this information.
(b) Official estimates of the number of people diagnosed with coronary heart disease are not available. However, under the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) of the General Medical Services contract, the total number of GP-registered patients with coronary heart disease is recorded at a particular point in time. There are two years of data available as follows.
|Table 2: Prevalence of coronary heart disease|
|As at 14 February||Number of patients on QOF coronary heart disease register|
Payment Calculation and Analysis System
Paul Goggins: Information on the average waiting time for a hearing aid test in each trust in Northern Ireland is not collected centrally. Information is also not collected centrally on the number of patients on a waiting list for a digital hearing aid in each trust in Northern Ireland. However, information is collected on the number of people who were waiting for a hearing aid assessment/re-assessment to be completed in each of the health and social services boards according to specified time bands. Waiting time is counted from the date a referral is received by the Audiology Department until the hearing aid is fitted.
All new patients assessed as requiring a hearing aid are fitted with a digital hearing aid. Analogue hearing aids are normally only issued as replacements to current users of analogue aids for whom a digital hearing aid is unsuitable.
Waiting list information is collected by time band. It is therefore not possible to calculate the arithmetic mean (average) waiting time for a digital hearing aid. Information in the following table is for the quarter ending 31 March 2006, the first quarter for which information is available.
At 31 March 2006, 2,184 patients were waiting for a hearing assessment/re-assessment in Northern Ireland; 943 in the Southern Board, 837 in the Eastern Board, 340 in the Western Board, and 64 in the Northern Board.
|Patients waiting for a hearing aid assessment or re-assessment at 31 March|
|HSS Board||Less than 3 months||3 to 6 months||6 to 12 months||12 months or more||Patients|
| Source: Community Information Branch return AUDI.|
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