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Health: Hepatitis B

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Offender Health commissions the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to conduct a national surveillance programme on coverage of hepatitis B vaccine within the prison estate in England & Wales. Nearly 80 per cent of all prisons voluntarily provide data to the HPA monthly. About 50 prisons (over one-third of the total estate) provided complete surveillance data monthly to the HPA in the first quarter of 2008. During that period, there were over 23,600 new receptions to the reporting prisons: 4,274 were identified as previously vaccinated against hepatitis B on reception, and a further 5,175 were vaccinated during the first month of reception. The range of coverage was between 27 and 36 per cent in this sample.

Health: Pain Relief

Lord Luce asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill, the Care Quality Commission will be an independent body with powers to carry out special reviews of the provision of National Health Service care or adult social services. The Care Quality Commission will consult on and publish its programme of reviews.



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Health: Star Wards

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department and the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) acute programme have supported the Star Wards initiative in a number of ways. The national clinical director for mental health, Louis Appleby, provided the supporting foreword for the first Star Wards publication and launched the initiative which took place in the House of Lords Common Room. Professor Appleby also attended the Momentum event in August 2007 and gave the keynote speech in support of Star Wards. The department has provided £15,000 in 2008 to 2009 to support the costs of the Star Wards festival, where Professor Appleby is planning to provide another keynote speech.

The CSIP/NIMHE acute programme has actively promoted membership of Star Wards and its positive practice ideas via the Virtual Ward website, CSIP positive practice publications and conference presentations.

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Ivan Lewis) provided the supporting foreword to the publication Star Wards 2, and the CSIP/NIMHE acute programme funded the cost of the publication, provided features and the means of distributing a copy of the publication to every acute ward (with enclosed letter from a ward manager) via the CSIP Regional Development Centre acute sector lead network.

Housing: Disabled Children

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty’ Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): I have agreed to meet representatives from the Council for Disabled Children and its partner organisations on 12 August to discuss the report.

Immigration: Ancestry Provisions

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The number of Commonwealth nationals, excluding dependants, who applied for leave to remain in the UK under the ancestry provisions were as follows:

2003—2,265;

2004—2,279;

2005—1,699;

2006—4,147; and

2007—4,731.

These data have been sourced from local management information and should therefore be considered provisional and subject to change. It is not a national statistic.

The UK ancestry route will not form part of the points-based system.

Immigration: Employment

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): With the introduction of the points-based system, all diplomatic missions wishing to employ domestic workers in their diplomatic households will need to seek a place on the UK Border Agency sponsor register. By signing up to the sponsor register, missions will be agreeing to a number of criteria governing their employment of domestic workers. Private servants who work for foreign diplomats in the UK are protected from potential exploitation by UK law. We expect foreign diplomats to obey our laws and regulations and take seriously any alleged violation by those entitled to immunity. We would take appropriate action if any allegations of exploitation were to be brought to our attention.

Domestic workers are protected by national minimum wage legislation where their employer resides in England. However, Regulation 2(2) of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 provides that if the following conditions are met:

the worker resides in the family home of the employer;the worker is not a member of the family but is treated as such;the worker does not make any payment in respect of accommodation or meals; andif the work was done by a family member, it would not be treated as work,

then the national minimum wage regulations do not apply.

Immigration: Failed Asylum Seekers

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): A total of 270 Zimbabwean asylum applicants (including dependants) were removed or departed voluntarily to Zimbabwe in 2005; 265 in 2006; and 185 in 2007. Figures include persons departing voluntarily after enforcement action had been initiated against them, persons leaving under assisted voluntary return programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration and those who it is established have left the UK without informing the immigration authorities. Figures are rounded to the nearest five and information for 2006 and 2007 is provisional.

It is not possible to say what stage in the asylum process the returnees as a whole have reached at the time of their removal, including whether their claim has failed at that point, because those departing voluntarily can do so at any stage.

We undertook to the High Court on 26 September 2006 that we would not enforce the return of asylum seekers to Zimbabwe pending the outcome of ongoing country guidance litigation. We have no current plans to enforce returns to Zimbabwe.

Further information on asylum removals from the UK is available from the Library of the House and the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html.

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: At present, we are not enforcing the return of non-Arab Darfuri failed asylum seekers. We also have no current plans to enforce returns to Zimbabwe. Our general position remains that we believe the right approach is to consider the protection needs of individuals on an individual basis.

Immigration: Personal Information

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The UK Border Agency will not generally, for reasons of privacy, disclose information about its applicants in response to a PQ, given that responses to PQs are recorded publicly. I will write to the noble Lord privately following his previous PQ in relation to Dr Ahmed.



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Immigration: Sexuality

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The requested information is unavailable as it is not collated centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by examination of all the individual case records.

Information on asylum is published annually and quarterly. Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2007, and the Q2 2008 Asylum Bulletin will be available on 21 August 2008 from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate web site at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html.

Immigration: Zimbabwe

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): All asylum claims are considered on their individual merits. We will continue to consider every case carefully and when someone needs our protection we will provide it. We have no current plans to enforce the removal of failed asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe, but we will continue to help those who want to go home voluntarily.

Inquiries: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Tunnicliffe: £652,000 has been incurred by the family's legal team. The estimated final cost of the inquiry is £28.9 million.

There are no plans to set a cap on the inquiry's overall cost, which might curtail the inquiry before it has fulfilled its terms of reference and thus waste the money already spent. However, the Secretary of State

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has set caps on the individual hourly fee levels for lawyers who are publicly funded to provide legal assistance for interested parties and witnesses, at the following levels:

Senior Counsel—£200;

Junior Counsel—£100; and

Solicitors—£150.

He has also set a cap of 40 hours a week that may be claimed. This may be extended to 60 hours during the oral hearings, and a two-month period before they commence, upon application to the inquiry chairman provided this is justified in all the circumstances. These limitations are enforced by means of a formal notice of determination under Section 40(4) of the Inquiries Act 2005.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Tunnicliffe: £1.28 million has been incurred by the family's legal team. The estimated final cost of the Inquiry is £42.1 million.

There are no plans to set a cap on the inquiry's overall cost, which might curtail the inquiry before it has fulfilled its terms of reference and thus waste the money already spent. However, the Rosemary Nelson inquiry has been formally instructed to operate within the same limits on lawyers' fees and hours which the Secretary of State has imposed on the Hamill and Wright inquiries, through a funding protocol.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Tunnicliffe: £1.05 million has been incurred by the family's legal team. The estimated final cost of the inquiry is £32.4 million.

There are no plans to set a cap on the inquiry's overall cost, which might curtail the inquiry before it has fulfilled its terms of reference and thus waste the money already spent. However, the Secretary of State has set caps on the individual hourly fee levels for lawyers who are publicly funded to provide legal assistance for interested parties and witnesses, at the following levels:

Senior Counsel—£200;Leading Junior Counsel—£175;Junior Counsel—£100; andSolicitors—£150.

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He has also set a cap of 40 hours a week that may be claimed. This may be extended to 60 hours during the oral hearings, and a two-month period before they commence, upon application to the inquiry chairman provided this is justified in all the circumstances. These limitations are enforced by means of a formal notice of determination under Section 40(4) of the Inquiries Act 2005.


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