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13 Dec 2006 : Column WA205

Lord Rana asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Causes of death are classified by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) but the current version does not have a specific code for MRSA. The latest data available are for the registration year 2005. MRSA was mentioned on 69 death certificates registered during 2005, of which 17 recorded MRSA as the primary cause of death.

The department's Changing the Culture action plan on the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections was published in March 2006. It requires trusts to hold a hand hygiene campaign this winter and produce an annual infection reduction plan.

Recent steps taken to combat healthcare-associated infections in Northern Ireland have included the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety's Ward Sisters Charter, launched in October 2006. Under the charter, and among its 10 commitments, ward sisters have the authority to create a cleanliness culture within their ward environment, and they will also encourage patients and visitors to monitor and report on standards of cleanliness.

Health: Pathology

Lord Alderdice asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: In making its recommendations, the review group considered the need to provide cost-effective pathology services that would meet anticipated demands. The group examined data concerning income, expenditure and activity within pathology services, and value for money was one of the criteria against which the group evaluated its proposals for the configuration of services. The report recognises that delivery of the group's vision for pathology services will require changes in the way the service uses existing resources.

The report’s recommendations, which aim to ensure the sustainability of high-quality laboratory services across Northern Ireland, are currently the subject of a public consultation, which runs until 28 February 2007. Once the policy direction has been finalised, taking into account the responses to the consultation, a detailed implementation plan will be developed.



13 Dec 2006 : Column WA206

Lord Alderdice asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: This information is not available at present. The health and personal social services are taking forward a £2.9 billion programme of investment over the next 10 years, which will modernise Northern Ireland's hospital, community and primary care infrastructure. Proposals for new laboratory facilities, consistent with the proposals in The Future of Pathology Services in Northern Ireland and subject to the outcome of the current consultation, will be brought forward as part of the site-wide hospital business cases currently being developed.

Health: Unemployment among Qualified Professionals

Baroness Verma asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): It is the responsibility of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to analyse their local situation, develop plans and take action to recruit the appropriate staff required to deliver high-quality services.

The evidence available to the department, based on a survey undertaken by the Council of Deans and discussions with National Health Service employers, suggests that newly qualified staff are finding employment within the NHS, although the rate of employment varies from region to region.

The department is working closely with NHS employers and has published guidance to support local NHS organisations, to help them maximise employment opportunities and to ensure the health and social care services do not lose the skills of displaced staff or new graduates.

House of Lords: Complaints Book

Lord Selsdon asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The House does not keep a book for complaints from Members, although books are available in Refreshment Department outlets for Members to record suggestions. The administration is currently reviewing the ways in which Members’ comments on its services can be recorded.



13 Dec 2006 : Column WA207

Housing: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:



13 Dec 2006 : Column WA208

Lord Rooker: Information on the number of residential buildings built in this period is not available. The total number of houses built and the number of hostels and communal establishments built by housing associations is shown in the following table.

New Dwelling and Housing Association Communal Establishment Completions by Sector, 2001-02 to 2005-06
YearNIHEHousing Associations—New DwellingsPrivate Sector—New DwellingsTotal New DwellingsHousing Association HostelsHousing Association— Communal Establishments

2001-02

29

1,386

12,072

13,487

11

1

2002-03

2

1,026

13,387

14,415

7

0

2003-04

0

560

13,951

14,511

6

3

2004-05

0

828

14,940

15,768

4

1

2005-06

0

782

16,628

17,410

5

7

1. This table is derived from tables in the Northern Ireland Housing Statistics 2006.
2. It is possible for residential accommodation, such as caretaker or other staff flats, to be included in buildings not primarily intended for residential use, such as schools, offices, factories etc.
3. Residential accommodation within a building may be intended for either household or communal use; for example, hotels, boarding accommodation at schools, old people's homes, hospital wards, barracks etc.
4. Accordingly, a count of the number of residential buildings does not indicate the level of accommodation available in Northern Ireland and is not monitored.

Immigration: Deportation

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The information requested is not held centrally by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, and to provide it would involve an individual examination of case files, at disproportionate cost. Information on persons detained is published in the Quarterly Asylum Bulletin, on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

Individuals may be detained under Schedule 3 to the Immigration Act 1971 following a court recommendation for deportation, where notice of intention to deport has been given or where a deportation order has been made.

Immigration: Emergency Relief

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The number of failed asylum seekers in receipt of Section 4 support is published on a quarterly and annual basis. The latest publication covering the third quarter of 2006 is available on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.htm. An estimate of the number of failed asylum applicants who are either destitute or working illegally is not available; those who seek to work in the UK illegally do not make themselves known to the authorities.

InterTradeIreland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: InterTradeIreland's key strategic objective for 2005-07, as set out in its approved corporate plan, is to increase the number, effectiveness and value of all-island trade and business development networks. Evaluation of how InterTradeIreland is meeting that objective is achieved through regular monitoring of activities and of the performance targets contained in approved annual business plans. This is supplemented by regular review meetings between the body and its sponsor departments.



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Inward Investment

Lord Rana asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: In 2004-05, Indian-owned companies announced their intention to invest £15.2 million in Northern Ireland, promoting 850 new jobs. In 2005-06, Indian-owned companies announced their intention to invest £7.4 million in Northern Ireland, promoting 158 new jobs.

Invest NI continues to actively market Northern Ireland as an investment location to Indian companies. It has engaged a consultant in India specifically focused on lead generation to secure further foreign direct investment and promote new jobs. The consultant is based in the market and is supported by a comprehensive media campaign, which includes PR, advertising and advertorial placement, all planned and led through Invest NI’s international marketing team.

Israel and Palestine: Arab League Peace Initiative

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): We have made no assessment of the reported adoption of the Beirut Initiative by the Israeli Council for Peace and Security.

Israel and Palestine: Exchange of Prisoners

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): We fully support Egyptian efforts to mediate between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the militants currently holding Corporal Shalit, and we have offered our assistance. We are monitoring closely developments on these negotiations.



13 Dec 2006 : Column WA210

Israel and Palestine: Peace

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): We are not aware of any recent meetings between President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert. We welcome Prime Minister Olmert’s recent reiteration of his willingness to meet President Abbas. They have both set out their commitment to meet without preconditions, and we hope that this meeting can take place soon.


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