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However, planning is under way to extend compliant primary care systems to support prison healthcare. Mental health and limited secondary care functionality will be added at a later date as applications become available. The first practical step to achieving this goal is in the form of providing the necessary connectivity to the N3 network in the prison estate. This has two aspects: providing broadband connections to prison establishments, and developing a network infrastructure in establishments. This month, £3 million will be specifically allocated through strategic health authorities to enhance prison healthcare IT infrastructure, with work due to complete by March 2007. NHS CfH is liaising with the Prison Service and primary care trusts to oversee implementation of this phase of the programme, based on local costed plans.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The National Health Service is first and foremost for the benefit of people living in this country. Entitlement to access free NHS hospital treatment is based on whether someone is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, not on British nationality or the past or present payment of national insurance contributions or UK taxes. Anyone who is not ordinarily resident is subject to the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended. These regulations place a responsibility on NHS hospitals to establish whether a person is ordinarily resident, or exempt from charges under one of a number of exemption categories, or liable for charges. There are no plans to change this.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): No patient with haemophilia or other bleeding disorders have been identified as having received blood from a blood donor who subsequently developed vCJD, nor have there been any reported cases of vCJD associated with receipt of plasma products.
However, all haemophilia patients who received plasma products between 1980 and 2001 sourced from UK donor plasma have been designated as at risk of vCJD for public purposes. All plasma products are now sourced from non-UK plasma. The United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Doctors Organisation is collecting data that will provide an estimate of the number of haemophilia patients who have been exposed to plasma products which may be implicated with vCJD.
What is their response to the findings of Professor John Collinge in the December 2006 edition of the Lancet on the transmission by infected blood of variant CJD; and what action they are planning to take. [HL751]
Lord Warner: The Lancet article refers to the third known case of vCJD transmission via blood transfusion from a vCJD-infected donor. This case was originally notified to the department in January 2006 and announced by the Health Protection Agency in a press release on 9 February 2006, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.
There are 24 living patients in a group of people who had received blood components from donors subsequently known to have developed vCJD. They were all notified in 2005 or earlier, through their GPs, of their risk status and have been provided with information and support. The Health Protection Agency contacted the GPs earlier in the year to notify them of this third case and the agency has ensured that the GPs are fully informed and briefed about the subsequent Lancet publication.
The department has implemented a series of measures to reduce the risk of vCJD being transmitted through the blood supply. Shortly after vCJD was first identified in 1996, the possibility of human-to-human transmission through blood was considered, and the department implemented precautionary measures to reduce what was, at that time, a theoretical risk. These measures have been strengthened since evidence of transmission via blood began to emerge from animal studies, and following the first case of transfusion-associated transmission in humans, reported in December 2003. An important additional step, introduced in March 2004, was to exclude from blood donation those people who had themselves received a blood transfusion since January 1980. Other precautionary measures include:from December 1997, blood components, plasma products or tissues obtained from any individual who later develops vCJD, were withdrawn/recalled;
Whether they have issued any specific advice to officials of the Northern Ireland Planning Service about the implementation of the Northern Ireland draft planning policy statement of 16 March (PPS 14), Sustainable Development in the Countryside, in relation to the needs of people who are severely mentally or physically handicapped; if so, when that advice was given; and when they intend to publish it. [HL551]
Lord Rooker: There is no provision in draft PPS 14 specifically to meet the needs of persons with severe mental or physical impairment. Consequently, there was no need to prepare or issue advice to officials of the Northern Ireland Planning Service in this regard.
However, while it is not a specific category in terms of need, the particular circumstances of an applicant, including a mental or physical impairment, can be taken into account where it is considered relevant.
Policy HOU 16 (House Extensions) of A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland has not been superseded by draft PPS 14. This policy facilitates the provision of partially self-contained accommodation for elderly or dependent relatives, as an alternative to a separate house in the countryside. This policy was first published in September 1993 and the Planning Service is familiar with both its provisions and application.
Lord Rooker: A number of initiatives have recently been introduced to assist first-time buyers in Northern Ireland. The co-ownership scheme, which has, since 1978, assisted almost 20,000 mainly first-time buyers to become home owners, was amended earlier this year to make it more accessible for people on lower incomes while the starting threshold for stamp duty on property was increased to £125,000. In addition, an independent housing affordability review has been initiated. This will look at barriers affecting those seeking affordable housing in the owner-occupied, social and private rented sectors and make recommendations as to how these might be overcome. A progress report will be issued for public comment later this month and the final recommendations will be presented to Government next spring.
Lord McKenzie of Luton: Information on the incomes of taxpayers in 2003-04 based on the survey of personal incomes can be found in table 3.13 on Income and tax by county and region on the HM Revenue and Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/income_distribution/menu-by-year.htm#315
Alternatively, information on earnings from employment in 2006 based on the annual survey of
19 Dec 2006 : Column WA294
What has been the cost to public funds in each of the past five years of reconstruction and development in (a) Iraq, and (b) Afghanistan; and what financial provision has been made for this in 2006-07 and 2007-08. [HL782]
The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is DfID's fifth largest programme. The UK is Afghanistan's second largest bilateral donor. At the London conference in January 2006, DfID committed to providing £330 million in development assistance over the next three years. This forms part of the UK's overall pledge of £500 million over the next three years to reduce poverty, improve security and governance and tackle the opium industry. The UK aid budget for Afghanistan is £102 million this year, rising to £113 million in 2007-08, and £115 million in 2008-09. In addition, DfID contributes 18 per centaround £125 millionof the European Commissions pledge of €1 billion over 2002-2007, and 10.4 per cent of the World Bank's spending in Afghanistan of $250-300 million a year. We also contribute to UN programmes and to the Asian Development Bank.
Iraq currently requires help from the UK and others to stem violence and build a stable society and economy. In 2003, the UK pledged £544 million for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance for Iraq. The UK has now fully disbursed this pledge and committed a further £100 million to be spent on reconstruction and development in Iraq over the next three years.
|(figures in £000s)|
|Development Assistance1||Humanitarian Assistance||Total DfID Bilateral Programme||Aid from other UK Official Sources2||Total Bilateral Gross Public Expenditure|
|Source: Statistics on International Development 2001-02 to 2005-06|
|1 Includes financial aid, technical co-operation, grants and aid-in-kind, and total DfID debt relief.|
|2 Includes non-DfID debt relief, British Council and the Global Conflict Pool.|
|3 Recorded flows to Iraq before 2003-04 are humanitarian assistance provided through UN agencies and civil society organisations for Iraqi citizens. No aid was provided to the Government of Iraq during that period.|
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