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1 Dec 2004 : Column WA5

Written Answers

Wednesday 1 December 2004.

Northern Ireland: Departmental Budgets

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): The attached table shows details, for each department of the Northern Ireland administration, of allocated budget and provisional spend for 2003–04. This is based on the NI assigned departmental expenditure limit (DEL).
Departmental allocated budget and spend 2003–04

DepartmentDepartmental Allocated Budget
£ million
Provisional Departmental Spend
£ million
Agriculture & Rural Development260.4243.3
Culture, Arts & Leisure102.898.7
Employment & Learning642.4606.4
Enterprise, Trade & Investment217.3214.1
Finance & Personnel193.7178.0
Health, Social Services & Public Safety3,057.1 2,945.5
Regional Development616.8591.6
Social Development494.5463.1
Office of the First Minister & Deputy
First Minister
Total Departments7,373.97,058.1

Health Funding

Lord Smith of Leigh asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Department of Health is committed to matching the allocation of funding with the relative need of local areas.

A weighted capitation formula is used to determine each primary care trust's target share of available resources, which then informs allocations. Revenue funding is allocated to primary care trusts on the basis of the relative needs of their populations.

The department has recently carried out a substantial review of the weighted capitation formula, and the new formula introduced from 2003–04 gives much greater weight to the needs of deprived communities.
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Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: On 15 March 2004 the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit published the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England, which contains 41 recommendations. Each recommendation includes a date for completion. The Home Office and the Department of Health in partnership with other stakeholders are working together to deliver those recommendations in the strategy.

In addition, the White Paper Choosing Health published on 16 November 2004 higighted that the Government will build on commitments within the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England through:

NHS: Continuing Care

Baroness Greengross asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: At the end of March 2004 over 10,000 people had requested a review of an original decision not to provide fully funded National Health Service continuing care. At the end of July, more than 85 per cent of these reviews had been completed. The Department of Health has been working with all strategic health authorities with outstanding cases to ensure that the relevant procedures are in place to complete the backlog of pre-April cases and all subsequent cases as soon as possible.
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Social Workers

Baroness Greengross asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: The General Social Care Council (GSCC) has received an estimated 35,000 application forms as of 29 November 2004. This represents a substantial proportion of the estimated 40,000 social workers in front-line practice. Further forms are expected before the GSCC's cut-off date for receiving applications and data on the number of applications received by 1 December will be available shortly after.

Accurate data on the number of people in social work positions are yet not available as such data have not been routinely collected for all sectors in which social workers are based. One purpose of the register is to provide that information for workforce planning and other purposes.

5,379 social workers have been registered to date. The rate of registration is expected to increase significantly after 1 December 2004 when new simplified processes take effect. The GSCC has plans in place to process all applications to register by 1 April 2005 when protection of the title "social worker" comes into force.

Multiple Sclerosis: Aimspro

Baroness Greengross asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: The treatment Aimspro is not licensed for use in the United Kingdom and, therefore, will not be widely available in the National Health Service. A specialist neurologist who wished to prescribe the treatment on a named-patient basis would need to agree funding with the appropriate primary care organisation and make a special arrangement with the manufacturer.

Abortion: Under 16 Year-olds

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: The available information is contained in the annual Office for National Statistics publication, Abortion Statistics, series AB; Office for National Statistics, Department of Health, Statistical Bulletin 2003/23, and Statistical Bulletin 2004/14, copies of which are available in the Library.
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Smallpox: Vaccinia Immunoglobulin

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: Expressions of interest for the supply of vaccinia immunoglobulin (VIG) are due to be received by 6 December. These will then be reviewed and selected suppliers will be invited to submit tenders. Information about how much VIG can be produced and the timescale for its supply will become apparent only at the tender evaluation stage. A decision on the quantity to be purchased will then be made.

Hearing Aids

Baroness Howe of Idlicote asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: The information requested is not held centrally.

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