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Asked by The Countess of Mar

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Many drugs in different areas of medicine act on the acetylcholine system. The safety of all medicines is continually monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Potential new safety issues are evaluated and new prescribing advice is issued to health professionals and patients as necessary. Information on the safe use of licensed medicines is available to health professionals and patients in the Summary of Product Characteristics and Patient Information Leaflet which are produced by the manufacturer and approved by the MHRA. Another important source of information on safe use of medicines is the British National Formulary.

Systems in place to inform health professionals of new information on the safety of medicines and new prescribing advice include the monthly bulletin from the MHRA, Drug Safety Update and, for urgent messages, the Central Alerting System, which cascades information to health professionals.

The yellow card scheme is the United Kingdom system for collecting and monitoring information on suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs). A search of the MHRA Sentinel database of ADR reports has not identified any reports of ADRs in individuals whose health has been affected by exposure to organophosphates. Reports submitted through the yellow card scheme would not necessarily contain information such as occupational exposure to organophosphates.

The MHRA is not aware of research into the effects of drugs that affect the acetylcholine system on patients who have reported illness following exposure to organophosphates. If, however, any new information emerges the MHRA will review it carefully and seek expert advice as necessary.



Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Estimates for the United Kingdom are not available.

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The latest estimates for England, based on the Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey, is that there were 6,154,000 single-person households in 2008. Annual estimates from 2000 to 2008 are as follows:

YearEstimated number of one-person households in England



















Prisoners: Deportation


Asked by Lord Ramsbotham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): In 2008, we deported or removed a record 5,395 foreign national prisoners.

The chief executive of the UK Border Agency indicated to the PAC at the beginning of March 2009 the numbers of foreign national prisoners who have been detained pending deportation. Action fluctuated in 2008 from a low of around 1,600 to a high of around 1,750, reflecting the increased numbers of individuals that are going through the deportation system. At any time, approximately one quarter of those detained pending deportation action are in the prison estate.

Schools: Specialist Services


Asked by Lord Moynihan

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): In the autumn, we will publish a consultation document setting out how we plan to improve early intervention by local services for children and families who need extra help. Our intention is to develop a national framework for early intervention which sets out clear systems, roles and responsibilities together with evidence-based approaches for supporting children and families in difficult circumstances. This will ensure clarity over when and how specialist or targeted services can be accessed through schools.

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Shipping: Ferry Operators


Asked by Lord Laird

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): Further to my Answer of 29 June (Official Report, col. WA23) the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) investigated why the MV "CANNA" did not hold a valid passenger certificate between 1 and 11 September 2008. In this case, prosecution action was not considered necessary. The vessel had been satisfactorily surveyed within the previous year and the MCA accepted that there had been reasonable cause for misunderstanding about the period of validity of the previous passenger certificate. The MCA instructed the vessel owners to review their company safety management system to incorporate procedures and safeguards to ensure that all future statutory survey range dates are checked and that the related paperwork issued to them is correct.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Adonis: If the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is made aware of vessels trading without a valid passenger certificate, it will investigate and take the appropriate action. Of those cases referred to the MCA's enforcement unit since 2003 only one involved a passenger sea ferry and resulted in prosecution. Prior to 2003 the MCA did not record this information centrally.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Adonis: Further to my Answers of 17 June (Official Report, cols. WA 216-17) and 29 June (Official Report, cols. WA 23) after a satisfactory in-water survey the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a short-term passenger certificate on 12 September because the operator of the MV "CANNA" was unable

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to arrange the passenger vessel's annual survey before 18 September. This was the date that the operator and the MCA both incorrectly believed was the end of the annual survey range date for the MV "CANNA".

Teachers: Qualifications


Asked by The Earl of Listowel

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The Children's Plan sets out our ambition to make teaching a masters-level profession by introducing a new qualification-the Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL). The MTL will be rolled out during the 2009-10 academic year to newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in the north-west region and NQTs in National Challenge schools and schools in challenging circumstances taking up post from September 2009. It is intended that all teachers should have an opportunity to achieve the MTL and we are currently working with the Training Development Agency on future rollout plans. Participation in the MTL qualification is voluntary.

Territorial Army


Asked by Lord Wallace of Saltaire

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Jersey Field Squadron (Militia) attached to the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) have deployed 29 individuals on operations in support of British Forces since August 1999.

They served in Bosnia during August 1999; May 2000 and July 2001; Iraq in Operation TELIC from 2003 to 2007; and in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 6 from 2007-08 for up to six months at a time with some individuals deploying twice.

Tourism: Holiday Lettings


Asked by Lord Pendry

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Treasury has received a number of representations on this subject. In addition, there was a debate in the Finance Bill Committee on Thursday 25 June.

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