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Further, at the end of 2005, we consulted on proposals to simplify the reimbursement arrangements for NHS dispensing contractors. These included measures designed to further promote patient pack dispensing, such as allowing pharmacists a limited dispensing discretion with regard to the quantity prescribed to be able to dispense a full patient pack on more occasions. We are currently considering how we take this forward in light of responses.
What representations the Secretary of State for Health has had from the chairman of the Haemophilia Society on the findings of Professor John Collinge in the December 2006 edition of the Lancet on the transmission by infected blood of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease to blood donor recipients in the United Kingdom; what reply is being sent; and what action they are planning. [HL1047]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The chairman of the Haemophilia Society wrote to the Secretary of State for Health on 12 December about a number of issues in relation to vCJD and the possible risk of transmission of vCJD to haemophilia patients through treatment. Officials are preparing a comprehensive response which will set out government action and developments in relation to vCJD. We will send a copy of the response to the noble Lord.
How many non-British children have been taken into care by children's social services, on or soon after arrival in the United Kingdom, in each of the past three years; whether they can specify which local authorities were involved and distinguish between accompanied and unaccompanied children. [HL1087]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): The table below shows the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children who started to be looked after during each of the years ending 31 March 2004 to 2006. Other non-British children who are taken into care are not separately identifiable in nationally collected data.
|Unaccompanied asylum seeking children who started to be looked after during years ending 31 March 2004, 2005 and 2006 1, 2|
|1Source: DfES, SSDA903 return which since 2004 covered all children looked after by local authorities.|
|2 To maintain the confidentiality of each individual child, numbers at local authority level have been rounded to the nearest five, except numbers from one to five inclusive, which have been suppressed and replaced by a hyphen -. At national level, numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000 and to the nearest 10 otherwise.|
Whether they have made an assessment of the average and standard deviation of the ages, between 16 and 20, at which children develop particular dental characteristics in Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iran, China and Somalia; and how they intend to use these data to assist in age determination for immigration control purposes. [HL1090]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: While no specific assessment as outlined above has been carried out we have commissioned a review of the current scientific evidence on the effectiveness of dental age assessment techniques. We will carefully consider the findings of this review, which is expected to report by the end of February, before proceeding with any plans to introduce dental analysis as supplementary evidence in assessing age for immigration purposes. An interview with the child or young person and consideration of information submitted will remain important factors in the final decision on their age. We are planning to publish a consultation paper soon on this and other possible reforms in the context of processing applications for asylum from unaccompanied minors.
How many unaccompanied young persons made applications for asylum in 2006; and in how many of these cases, and in respect of what countries, there was a dispute about the age of the applicant. [HL1091]
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