Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page



13 Dec 2006 : Column WA193

Written Answers

Wednesday 13 December 2006

Agriculture: Hens

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The decision that organic poultry producers should be allowed to continue to benefit from the EU derogation until 31 December 2010 takes account of both animal welfare issues and the viability of the UK organic poultry sector. We have also considered carefully all the representations received about the derogation; the majority supported its extension. This approach puts UK producers on an even footing with those in the rest of the European Union.

This derogation is available only to organic producers who were in production when the EU livestock standards were agreed in 1999. Its purpose is to allow such producers to adapt to these standards.

Ambulance Service: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The destination triage protocol jointly developed and agreed by United Hospitals Trust, the Northern Health and Social Services Board and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service indicates that patients suspected of having cardiac chest pain should be taken to Whiteabbey Hospital between 9.00 and 17.00.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: From 2005, in keeping with national targets for ambulance response, the target response rates for ambulances attending potential patients in Northern Ireland are as follows:



13 Dec 2006 : Column WA194

Category A: Life-threatening

Respond to 75 per cent of calls within eight minutes

Category B: Serious but not life-threatening

Respond to 95 per cent of calls within 18 minutes (rural) and 21 minutes (sparsely populated)

Category C: Neither life-threatening nor serious

Respond to 95 per cent of calls within 18 minutes (rural) and 21 minutes (sparsely populated)

Prior to 2005, the performance of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) was measured differently. The response target up until then was 50 per cent of all 999 calls to be answered within eight minutes, or 95 per cent of all 999 calls to be answered within 18 minutes (rural) or 21 minutes (sparsely populated).

NIAS reports to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) on levels of activity and performance against that activity for each board area and for Northern Ireland as a whole. It also reports to each of the boards. NIAS uses its computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system to report on the different categories of calls.

NIAS does not measure its performance in terms of average response times. Performance is measured against the targets set out above.

Year% calls responded to within eight minutes% calls responded to within 18 to 21 minutes

2001-02

54

95

2002-03

52

94

2003-04

53

94

2004-05

50

94

Year% category A calls responded to within eight minutes% category B and C calls responded to within 18 to 21 minutes.

2005-06

51

92

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) is a regional service. The number of ambulances available in each board area throughout Northern Ireland on 1 January for each of the past five years is as follows:

Health Board20022003200420052006

Northern

37

37

37

38

38

Southern

30

30

30

30

30

Eastern

43

43

43

44

44

Western

27

27

27

28

28

Total

137

137

137

140

140

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:



13 Dec 2006 : Column WA195

Lord Rooker: The total budget for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for each of the past five financial years is as follows:

2001-022002-032003-042004-052005-06

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

Revenue

27,191

29,795

33,302

39,941

44,641

Capital

3,135

4,234

4,798

2,934

1,580

Total

30,326

34,029

38,100

42,875

46,221

British Citizenship

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office prides itself on giving staff the best training possible to provide first-class consular services at all posts overseas. E-gram 31525/06 reminded posts of the guidance in place for handling citizenship applications received overseas. The staff of the ethnic minorities citizenship unit of the British consulate-general in Hong Kong have been fully trained in, and are complying with, the relevant guidance.

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): In spite of the assurance given in respect of editorial policy, it remains the position of both the Home Office and the British consulate-general in Hong Kong that it is not appropriate to enter into correspondence via the open letters pages of newspapers.

Civil Service: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:



13 Dec 2006 : Column WA196

Lord Rooker: Invest Northern Ireland employs 18 staff at the equivalent of grade 5 and above. The current annual salary bill for these staff is £1,372,444.

Common Agricultural Policy: Single Farm Payment

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) aims to provide a full response to correspondence relating to the single payment scheme (SPS) within 15 working days. If this is not possible, it is usual practice to tell the customer the reason for the delay in a holding letter. If more time is required for investigation, a further holding letter is issued to the customer after another 15 working days, explaining why a full reply is not possible.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page