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To ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum seekers and dependants have been given permission to stay in the United Kingdom in the last five years; and how many have had their applications turned down.[HL2663]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): A copy is attached of table 2.2 in the Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom, 2009 bulletin which shows applications received for asylum in the United Kingdom, and initial decisions for the years 2000 to 2009.
The figures in the table are for initial decisions on asylum applications and exclude all subsequent decisions. They are shown by year of decision, as initial decisions by year of application are not available.
Information on asylum is published annually and quarterly in the Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom bulletins which are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www. homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will provide that the annual Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System include all available information about the religion or beliefs of the defendants and victims; and that separate tables are given for racially and religiously aggravated offences. [HL2655]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Ministry of Justice Head of Profession for Statistics is responsible for the content and timing of Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System, and takes very seriously the view of users of the
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The religion and belief of defendants and victims has been collected by the CPS since April 2007, and we are assessing data quality for inclusion in the next publication. The Ministry of Justice's chief statistician is responsible for the timing and content of statistical releases and will ensure that if the data are of sufficient quality they will be published.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Government remain committed to the coalition agreement policy of providing public funding for four CCS demonstration plants.
The spending review also announced that decisions on how to fund the remaining three projects-ie whether to introduce a specific CCS levy or to fund future demonstrations from general public spending-will be taken once work has been completed in spring 2011 on the reform of the climate change levy. DECC has recently completed a market sounding process with key stakeholders to help inform the design of the additional three CCS demonstration projects and the development of the selection process for these projects. Further details regarding the programme will be set out by the end of the year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current level of financial support for research and development of prototype trials of low-cost process and equipment for commercially deployable carbon capture and storage. [HL2544]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Jones on 11 October (WA 40) concerning the European Investigation Order, whether they will reconsider their decision to accede to the directive before final agreement is made; and what arrangements they are making for Parliamentary discussions of this issue.[HL2815]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): My Answer of 11 October 2010 stated that the United Kingdom will be unable to withdraw from the directive. I can further explain that, in line with Article three of Protocol 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union concerning the position of the United Kingdom (and Ireland) in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice, the UK is able to opt in to a draft directive within the three month opt-in period, but that the Government cannot then subsequently reverse this decision (to opt in). This means that the UK will be bound by any text that is agreed after qualified majority voting (QMV) in the Council of Ministers. However, should the Government not like the final negotiated proposal the UK can vote against it and attempt to form a blocking minority alongside other likeminded member states in order to prevent its adoption.
As the UK has opted in to the EIO at this stage, we are able to participate in negotiations on the same footing as other member states, including the power to vote at council. The Government hopes to successfully negotiate a final agreement that is favourable for the UK.
As for parliamentary discussion, there has been full adherence to the parliamentary scrutiny procedure and the Government gave consideration to the recommendation by the House of Lords European Scrutiny Committee that the UK opts in to the EIO. Oral Statements were also given in both Houses on 27 July in order to give Parliament the opportunity to debate the Government's decision to opt in to the EIO. The European Scrutiny Committees continue to receive regular updates on the EIO and we have undertaken to do this throughout the negotiation process. The European Scrutiny Committees have the option to call for a debate on the EIO if, and when, they see necessary.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Following the spending review settlement for the department, detailed workforce plans and pay bill allocations, on which such estimates would be based, are being developed and finalised. We are therefore currently unable to provide estimates of savings for the years in question.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The expertise currently available within the Health Protection Agency will be available to the Secretary of State when its functions are transferred into the department.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Secretary of State for Health will have access to epidemiological, microbiological and toxicological expertise when the Health Protection Agency transfers into the Department of Health.[HL2746]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether and if so how the new Public Health Service will maintain the role of the Radiation Protection Division of the Health Protection Agency in regularly publishing updated guidance on radiation safety issues. [HL2754]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the new Public Health Service will continue to provide the same services to industrial and medical users as the Radiation Protection Division of the Health Protection Agency, in particular biological dosimetry in accident scenarios.[HL2755]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, and if so how, they will ensure that the expertise which enabled the Health Protection Agency to establish that Alexander Litvinenko had been poisoned by polonium will continue to be available after the abolition of the agency.[HL2757]
Earl Howe: The detailed organisation of the new Public Health Service (PHS) will be developed in due course in consultation with key partners. The PHS will take over from the Health Protection Agency in all its functions and expertise.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 28 July (WA 373), how claims can be made for healthcare costs against European Union countries for their nationals receiving medical treatment here, and payments sought from non-European Union nationals for treatment in the United Kingdom, if patients are not required to disclose their nationality as part of the standard registration process in primary medical services. [HL2424]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): 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 this country, not on British nationality or the past or present payment of national insurance contributions or United Kingdom taxes. "Ordinarily resident" is a common law concept interpreted by the House of Lords in 1982 as referring to someone who is living lawfully in the UK voluntarily and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being, with an identifiable purpose for their residence here which has a sufficient degree of continuity to be properly described as settled.
Under European Community regulations, visitors from one European Economic Area (EEA) country to another are entitled to free or reduced cost treatment in the same way as the local population when the need for that treatment is necessary during the visit. They should show their European health insurance card to demonstrate entitlement and the treating country can then make a reimbursement claim to the patient's country of residence.
In the case of visitors to the UK from outside the EEA, there is no provision through which visitors can automatically be entitled to free NHS hospital treatment. Anyone who is not ordinarily resident is subject to the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors)
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A person who is found liable for charges, or who refuses to provide the appropriate evidence to confirm their claim to free treatment, will be asked to pay in advance of receiving any treatment. However, when in a clinical opinion medical treatment is immediately necessary, it will not be withheld and should go ahead without delay. The NHS is essentially a humanitarian service and no one in need of immediate treatment will ever be left to suffer just because they cannot pay. In cases where immediately necessary treatment is given and the patient is without funds to pay, the hospital should provide only such treatment as is clinically required to stabilise the patient to allow them to return to their own country. This decision will be made locally, based on clinical judgment. This will ensure that the hospital does not incur additional expenditure that it cannot recover, which has a knock-on effect on services that can be provided to NHS patients.
The noble Lord may be interested to note that the department began a consultation on the access of foreign nationals to the NHS in February, aimed at preventing health tourism. The series of proposals consulted on included a number of options requiring visitors to the UK to have health insurance and extending the period of time that UK residents can stay outside the country on a regular basis before losing their automatic entitlement to NHS treatment. The proposals set out in the consultation are aimed at deterring health tourists entering the country to obtain NHS treatment and to increase the payments that the NHS receives from treating overseas visitors. The consultation closed on 30 June, and we are currently considering a formal response.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Yes. The trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine will protect against the H1N1 swine flu virus this year as it is anticipated that H1N1 swine flu will be one of the flu strains that will be circulating this winter. In accordance with World Health Organisation recommendations, the trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine will protect against three different types of influenza virus including the H1N1 swine flu strain. The seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended for all people aged 65 and over and also for those aged under 65 who have an underlying health condition; this includes pregnant women as they are at particular risk from complications if they contract H1N1 swine flu.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why healthcare regulators do not require nurses from Lithuania, Bulgaria and other European Union accession states to undergo language competency tests, similar to those required for nurses from Australia and the United States .[HL2576]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): European law prevents language competency tests prior to registration of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. Nurses from Australia and the United States are not covered by the relevant provisions (Directive 2005/36/EC) and therefore the registration procedure for migrants from Australia and the United States is a matter for the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Those employing nurses including EEA nurses, can and should satisfy themselves that a prospective employee has the necessary skills and competencies for the job, including English language knowledge, before appointing them.
To ask Her Majesty's Government who is responsible for testing the language competence of health and social care professionals that are independent practitioners and practise outside the National Health Service; and what evidence they have that robust employer assessments are taking place.[HL2579]
In addition, all providers of regulated health and adult social care activities must register with the Care
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In the United Kingdom, the number of individuals aged 50-59 years living with a diagnosed HIV infection has risen from 1866 (a rate of 0.2/1,000) in 2000 to 8,735 (1.2/1,000) in 2009 (table 1). The number of diagnosed HIV-infected adults aged 60 years and over has risen almost six-fold from 566 (0.05/1,000) in 2000 to 3,328 (0.2/1,000) in 2009. In 2009, 13 per cent of diagnosed HIV-infected individuals were aged 50-59 years and 5 per cent were aged 60 years and over; the equivalent figures for 2000 were 8 per cent and 3 per cent.
The number of new HIV diagnoses has more than doubled between 2000 and 2009 for 50-59 year olds (227 to 608 respectively) and for individuals aged 60 years and over (87 to 248 respectively) in the UK (table 2). The rate of new diagnoses among 50-59 year-olds was 0.08 per 1,000 population, and 0.02 among individuals aged over 60 years in 2009. In the same year, 50-59 year-olds accounted for 9 per cent of all new diagnoses and individuals aged 60 years and over accounted for 4 per cent.
|Table 1: The number, proportion and rate of diagnosed HIV-infected individuals* in the UK: 2000-09|
|Table 2: The number, proportion and rate of new HIV diagnoses* in the UK: 2000-2009|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK Border Agency has used powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 or any other authorisation for the purposes of surveillance of arts organisations to check their compliance with sponsorship agreements regarding creative workers or other compliance issues; and, if so, how many times this has occurred.[HL2434]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The UK Border Agency is empowered under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to use covert investigative powers, including directed surveillance. I am not able to supply information on the number of times this surveillance has been used against creative organisations since to do so could indicate the national capability of the agency when carrying out investigations.
Baroness Neville-Jones: The term deportation is a specific subset of removal that is enforced following a criminal conviction or where removal of a person is deemed conducive to the public good. This enclosed answer relates to removal rather than deportation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the eight Nobel Laureates who wrote to the Times on 7 October expressing concern about the impact of a cap on immigration on the United Kingdom's ability to attract leading scientists. [HL2566]
"There will still be room for the brightest and best-such as top scientists, entrepreneurs and workers with key skills-but we will no longer import foreign workers for jobs that can be done by a domestic labour force that includes 2.5 million unemployed people.
This is a system that works very well in countries including Australia, New Zealand and the United States, and with the help of all those who have responded constructively to our consultation, we will make it a success in Britain, too".
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): A report will be produced and published by the independent project evaluators, Barnardo's and Organisational Development Support Consulting (ODS) early in 2011.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The coalition agreement set out the Government's commitment to end the detention of children for immigration purposes. That commitment remains. We are currently conducting a review to consider how this can be done in a way which protects the welfare of children while ensuring the return of families who have no right to be in the UK.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the arrangements for the procurement of supplies of oxygen to patients funded by the National Health Service; and what was the cost to the National Health Service of oxygen supplies in the last 12 months for which figures are available.[HL2706]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Home Oxygen Service has been procured using a national framework, held by the Department of Health. This service provides patients with oxygen for use at home in England. Each strategic health authority region has a single home oxygen supplier (from the framework) which is managed locally by the National Health Service. Oxygen for home use is ordered on a home oxygen order form which is completed by a health care professional and forwarded by secure facsimile to the regional supplier for delivery and installation of the oxygen equipment, who has the responsibility to provide training for the patient on its safe use.
In 2009, two applications were refused as a direct result of a confirmation of identity interview. Identity interviews were added to the passport process primarily to address first time application fraud through deterrence and fraud detection arising from a personal interview. In addition to the two instances of confirmed fraud in 2009, applications have also been withdrawn when customers are advised that an identity interview is required. In 2009, 695 applications were withdrawn at this stage. This underlines the usefulness of the interview process as a potential deterrent to those attempting to make a fraudulent passport application. IPS is currently reviewing its interview processes to improve on fraud prevention and deterrence.
Baroness Neville-Jones: The Identity and Passport Office indicated on 8 October 2010 that a consultation process would commence on the future of the Newport passport office as a passport processing centre. It is intended to retain a customer service centre in Newport which will enable applications to continue to be made in person and to be conducted in the Welsh language. In addition, applications for a renewed or new passport can continue to be made online via the Directgov website at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Diol1/DoltOnline/ DG_4018268.
The Identity and Passport Service is currently reviewing its interview process to identify ways in which it can enhance its approach to fraud prevention and detection. The outcome of the review will be announced shortly.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Since the introduction of tier five of the points-based system (temporary workers) on 27 November 2008, a total of 594 visa applications for entry in the creative and sporting category have been refused (to June 2010). From its central records the UK Border Agency is unable to disaggregate this figure into
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To ask Her Majesty's Government what monitoring arrangements they have put in place to measure the impact of the interim cap on work visas for non-European Union citizens on the United Kingdom's ability to attract leading scientists.[HL2568]
Sponsoring employers under tier two may ask to sponsor additional migrants in exceptional circumstances. These requests are assessed by a monthly panel of senior officials which notes any sector trends.
Each sponsor's usage of the tier two system is being monitored closely during the period of the interim limit and is being reviewed in October 2010 and January 2011. A sponsor's interim allocation may be recalibrated at these review points depending on the overall trajectory of the limit.
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