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Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the potential impact on the professional development of staff at the university hospitals of Leicester of reductions in the training budget. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Funding for developing the healthcare work force through the Multi Professional Education and Training levy (MPET) was allocated to SHAs in 2006-07 as part of a bundle of central budgets. This was done to allow strategic health authorities (SHAs) greater flexibility to use resources to address local priorities including financial deficits.
For 2007-08 allocations for MPET have again been included in the bundle of central budgets. The MPET share of the bundle has been increased to reflect the costs of increasing numbers of trainees especially medical students and training grade doctors. Although MPET funding will not be ring fenced, there will be a more robust service level agreement which will seek to ensure that SHA decisions on what training to fund and the level of commissions of training places required are made on the basis of long term work force need. SHAs will be held to account on the basis of key outputs and not on the basis of spending a particular amount of money on work force development.
1. Finished consultant episode (FCE)
An FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that the figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.
2. Ungrossed data
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).
3. All operations count of episodes
These figures represent a count of all FCE's where the procedure was mentioned in any of the 12 (four prior to 2002-03) operation fields in a hospital episode statistics (HES) record. A record is only included once in each count, even if an operation is mentioned in more than one operation field of the record.
HES, The Information Centre for health and social care
Andy Burnham: It has been the Department policy throughout the period of waiting time collections that a patients waiting time for inpatient treatment (ordinary admission or day case) may be suspended for medical or social reasons. Accordingly, these are reflected in the official waiting time statistics. It is good practice that patients are kept informed of any periods of suspension that may apply to them
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions her Department has had with other EU member states on the right of Sikhs to wear a turban when travelling through European airports and passing through security checks. 
Mr. Hoon: The Government respect the right of individuals to wear religious dress according to their own conscience and beliefs without interference from the Government. However, each passenger departing from a UK airport will undergo various security processes irrespective of their age, gender, ethnic background, religious beliefs or attire, to ensure that they are not carrying prohibited articles.
In the UK there is no security requirement for the removal of turbans at security search points. Airport security staff employ various methods of screening which respect the cultural sensitivities of passengers, including private searches.
There is currently no standard practice in terms of security on the removal of turbans among EU member states. Each country has its own regulations and practices. There have been no EU discussions of this issue.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the impacts on (a) Burma and (b) British industry of a ban on British trade with Burma; whether she is reviewing the Governments policy on banning investment in Burma; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The Government have a long-standing policy of discouraging British firms from trading with or investing in Burma. We offer no commercial services to companies wishing to trade or invest there. British firms who inquire about trade with Burma are informed of the grave political situation and the regimes atrocious human rights record.
Very few UK companies choose to invest in Burma for these ethical reasons and because of the regimes economic mismanagement and corrupt business climate. As such any unilateral trade or investment ban would likely have little effect on the regime. We believe that multilateral sanctions are more effective and for this reason we support the EU Common Position, but continue to keep our policy on Burma under review.
We remain concerned about the situation in Karen State. Attacks carried out by the Burmese army on civilians in northern and western Karen State have been particularly intense over the past year and have resulted in a significant increase in the number of internally displaced people and refugees
on the Thai/Burmese border. We have repeatedly called for a halt to such offensives and have urged both the military regime and the Karen National Union to intensify their efforts to find a peaceful settlement that will bring about a permanent end to the conflict.
Mr. McCartney: We regularly raise the situation in Burma with our international partners, regional and multilateral organisations, non-governmental organisations and advocacy groups as well as the regime itself.
On 18 September 2006, I raised the situation in Burma with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ambassadors, including the Burmese ambassador, and again on 4 December with the ASEAN Secretary-General. I discussed the human rights abuses taking place in Burma with Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, on 27 June and 14 December 2006 and the UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, on 15 November 2006, following his visit to Burma. I have also raised the situation in Burma with the Governments of China, India, Japan, Thailand and South Korea.
Additionally, on 24 January, I met representatives from Christian Solidarity Worldwide and from the Chin and Kachin ethnic groups to discuss the many difficulties faced by their respective communities.
Most recently, on 15 February, I issued a statement condemning the Burmese Governments decision to extend the house arrest of U Tin Oo, Vice Chairman of the National League for Democracy and called again for the release of all political prisoners held in Burma.
This allows us to maintain contact with a wide variety of individuals and groups and to get a clearer picture of what is happening on the ground. It allows us to convey our views directly to the regime, and to run a range of humanitarian and other projects which benefit ordinary Burmese people. The embassy issues visas to enable Burmese people to visit and study in the UK, and offers a full range of consular services to British nationals in Burma.
Mr. McCartney: Burundis human rights record remains poor, with reports of torture by intelligence agents, and arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment, and extra-judicial killings by Government forces. Abuses against freedom of expression continued throughout 2006, with the arrests of several journalists and civil society figures. We continue to raise our concerns with the Burundian Government and call on them to promote and protect human rights and put an end to the climate of impunity.
But there are signs of positive change. The remaining rebel group, the Forces Nationales de Libération, responsible for many human rights abuses, finally signed a ceasefire agreement with the Burundian Government in September 2006. Since then, the number of violent attacks against the rural population has decreased. This ceasefire is a significant step towards sustainable peace in Burundi.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what publications were contained in the pack she received on taking up her post with briefing material on the policy areas of the Department. 
Mr. McCartney: Over the first few weeks in the job, briefings and contributions from across the Department and agencies were provided for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. No record of specific documents or publications has been kept.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British citizens were taken into custody by forces of the Government of Ethiopia during recent military operations in Somalia; what reports she has received on the condition of those held; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government maintains video recordings of video conferences held between (a) the Prime Minister and (b) her and foreign counterparts. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of (a) the recent Iran-Belarus Defence Agreement and (b) whether there are any proliferation implications arising from the agreement. 
Belarus, like other states, is bound by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737 which inter alia bars the transfer to and import from Iran of items which could contribute to Irans proliferation, sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapons delivery systems. We expect Belarus to implement the resolution fully. We have lobbied the Belarusians on the Iranian nuclear programme on several occasions, and will continue to express our concerns in the future.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress she has made in securing assistance from Israel to assist international efforts to clear Lebanon of unexploded cluster munitions; and if she will make a statement. 
Israel also launched an investigation into the use of cluster munitions during the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah last year. This inquiry is ongoing and its findings will be made public once the investigation has concluded.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she discussed the use of cluster munitions in Lebanon with (a) the Israeli Foreign Secretary and (b) the Israeli Defence Secretary when she met them on 6 February 2007; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: I did not discuss the issue of cluster bombs in my meetings on 6 February. However, we have held several discussions with Israel on the subject of cluster bombs, including calling on them to make a statement about their use of the weapons during the conflict last summer.
Israel issued a statement saying they had used the weapons in accordance with International humanitarian law on 20 November 2006. Israel also launched an investigation into the use of cluster munitions during the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah last year. This is ongoing. Findings will be made public once the investigation has concluded.
Mr. McCartney: Officials last held discussions with the Malagasy chargé daffaires in London on 3 January 2007, to pass on my right hon. Friend the Prime Ministers congratulatory message following presidential elections in December 2006 and to lobby for the accreditation of our non-resident ambassador.
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