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To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current total amount of costs paid to solicitors representing claimants under the Claims Handling Agreement, British Coal Respiratory Disease Litigation. [HL3347]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The total costs for claimants solicitors handling claims under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is £1.01 billion (includes Solicitors Co-ordinating Group, UDM and Vendside Limited) as at 31 March 2009.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress is being made to encourage businesses in the United Kingdom, and in particular smaller businesses, to adopt business continuity management practices. [HL3002]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence there is of the success or otherwise of local authorities in promoting business continuity management to local businesses as required in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004; and who in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is tasked with championing the needs of business in this area. [HL3003]
Lord Patel of Bradford: The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) annual survey into business continuity management, funded by the Cabinet Office, provides an assessment of the state of business continuity planning in private, public and voluntary sector organisations. The results are widely used by business and are presented along with a set of recommendations aimed at improving the resilience or organisations. They suggest that, in the years since the Civil Contingencies Act was passed in 2004, there has been a modest increase in the proportion of organisations surveyed that have a specific business continuity plan from 47 per cent in 2004 to 52 per cent in 2009. They also suggest however that only 25 per cent of small organisations have business continuity plans; and only 14 per cent were aware of business continuity management guidance provided by their local authority. By comparison 49 per cent of medium and 64 per cent of large organisations had business continuity plans.
Business continuity management is a key element of national resilience to emergencies and is led by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat of the Cabinet Office, on behalf of the Government as a whole, including BERR.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): We have no plans to do so. Information on missed visits by social care workers is not collected centrally. Local councils are responsible for the quality of the services they commission or purchase and for ensuring that those services are delivered according to agreed contracts and service users plans of care.
The Domiciliary Care Agencies Regulations 2002 require that care providers deliver the services specified in service users' plans of care as necessary to meet their needs. The regulations are supported by national minimum standards (NMS), which set out clearly what providers are expected to do to demonstrate that they comply with the regulations.
The NMS include requirements that services should be managed and provided at all times in a waywhich meets the individual needs of the person receiving care, as specified in their care plan. Care staff should arrive at service users homes within specified times and work for the full amount of time allocated. Providers must ensure that there is continuity in relation to the care or support staff supplied and that they are only changed for legitimate reasons. Service users, their relatives and/or representatives should be kept fully informed on issues relating to their care, at all times.
To practise in England social workers must be registered with the General Social Care Council (GSCC). The GSCC accredits and monitors the content of social work qualifications and in order to be registered, social workers must have successfully completed an accredited course.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Care plans are subject to the same confidentiality requirements as other health and social care records and it is for the individual or patient to decide who should have access.
Lord Darzi of Denham: The Domiciliary Care Agencies Regulation 2002 require that care providers deliver the services specified in service users plans of care as necessary to meet their needs. The regulations are supported by national minimum standards (NMS), which set out clearly what providers are expected to do to demonstrate that they comply with the regulations.
The NMS include requirements that services should be managed and provided at all times in a way which meets the individual needs of the person receiving care, as specified in their care plan. Care staff should arrive at service users homes within specified times and work for the full amount of time allocated. Providers must ensure that there is continuity in relation to the care or support staff supplied and that they are only changed for legitimate reasons.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what information they have sought or received from the Chinese authorities regarding the ethical and legal supervision of their organ transplantation programme since the World Medical Association passed a resolution on the subject at its annual conference in 2007. [HL3214]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): We are aware that significant legislative action has been introduced in China to regulate the use of donated organs. The
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The Secretary of State for Health met Mr Chen Zhu, Minister of Health for China during his recent visit to Beijing in October 2008 and discussed the organ transplantation programme in China. Minister Chen Zhu stated that organ transplantation policy in China had been reformed and improved. He particularly stressed that press reports suggesting that Falun Gong prisoners organs had been procured for transplantation were inaccurate. Minister Chen Zhu advised that Chinese laws now prohibit the trading of organs and there is a clear requirement for consent.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Patel of Bradford on 22 April (WA 401) stating that recruitment into the Civil Service is based on the principle of selection on merit, whether this would be affected by the provisions of the Equality Bill.[HL3298]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): In order to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the necessary domestic legislation has to be passed first. Preparatory work has begun on this and a draft Bill will be brought forward as soon as parliamentary time allows.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they have not yet responded to the Second Report of 2008-09 of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution Surveillance: Citizens and the State, published on 6 February.[HL3297]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The breadth of the committee's 44 recommendations required the Ministry of Justice to work across government to provide a detailed and comprehensive response. This response was published today.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Information Commissioner is responsible for monitoring the propriety of and justification for entries in the Suspicious Activity Reports database maintained by the Serious Organised Crime Agency. [HL3210]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) do not specify a role for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in respect of the SARs regime. However, as with all personal data held, the ICO has jurisdiction to ensure that the statutory requirements of the DPA are followed by SOCA.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all end users of the suspicious activity reports (SARs) listed in the 2008 annual reports on SARs, published by the Serious Organised Crime Agency, have equal rights of online access to the SARs database. [HL3212]
Lord West of Spithead: All end users have access to the entire SARs database with the exception of SARs that are considered particularly sensitive, primarily those related to terrorism and corruption.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): Ofcom is an independent national regulator and as such its remit does not include the marketing of services such as Typetalk. This responsibility was previously undertaken by the RNID but has recently been taken on by BT, which has shared its plans for marketing the service with Ofcom. These plans include a new website, leaflets and a biannual newsletter. BT has assured Ofcom that there will be no reduction in service during the transition.
Ofcom along with HMG remain committed to improving telephony-based communications for deaf
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To ask Her Majesty's Government how many complaints the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has had each year since 1998; and in what percentage of cases the agency admitted to making errors. [HL3378]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 5 May (HL2987), whether the recent partnership with the Californian Institute of Regenerative Medicine entails that collaboration with scientists based in California is favoured by the Medical Research Council over collaboration with those based in Massachusetts, Oregon and Wisconsin. [HL3350]
The Minister of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Lord Drayson): The MRC's partnership with the Californian Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) currently constitutes a targeted initiative to encourage collaborative proposals between researchers in California and the UK which aim to progress preclinical stem cell research towards clinical testing. The partnership addresses a particular strategic
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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 5 May (HL2987), what proportion of funding has been contributed by the Medical Research Council towards collaborative research with scientists based in California, and how this compares to financial contributions by the Californian Institute of Regenerative Medicine to support the same partnership. [HL3351]
Lord Drayson: The MRC has identified funds of up to £5 million over four years to support the UK component of collaborative proposals submitted to the CIRM disease team request for applications. The MRC is fully involved in the peer review procedure to ensure the competitiveness of proposals. For successful collaborative proposals, CIRM will fund all project work done within the State of California and the MRC will fund the UK component of project, subject to the available funds.
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