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International Terrorism

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much he forecasts will be spent in the current

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financial year by his Department as a direct result of measures associated with action against international terrorism after 11 September. [11073]

Jane Kennedy: At this point in time the Northern Ireland Office has had no notable expenditure in relation to international terrorism as a direct result of 11 September, and there is no planned expenditure for the remainder of this financial year.

Remembrance Day

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if the Chief Constable of the RUC issued a directive to his officers with regard to the wearing of poppies during the annual period of remembrance centred on 11 November; and if he will make a statement. [11943]

Jane Kennedy: The Chief Constable has not issued specific instructions in relation to the coming period of remembrance. Current instructions whereby officers may, on a voluntary basis, wear poppies on their uniform caps, still apply.

Departmental Buildings

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the total running costs for buildings used, owned or rented by his Department for each nation and region of the UK, and estimate the average cost per square metre for properties used by his Department as a whole, and by region and nation of the UK. [6789]

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Dr. John Reid: The information requested is as follows:

Total running costs2,300,000
Northern Ireland1,430,000
Total running costs per m(6)110
Northern Ireland costs per m(6)82
London costs per m(6)235


Departmental Properties

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the number, value and location of properties newly leased in each of the last five years by his Department, broken down by leases by the Department itself, its next step, agencies and its non-departmental public bodies, differentiating between purchases made as a result of the creation of new bodies and those purchases made by established bodies. [7815]

Ms Blears: The table lists the number, value and location of properties newly leased in each of the last five years (1996–97 through to 2000–01) by the Department. They include and distinguish between the Department, its next step agencies and its non-departmental public bodies, differentiating between acquisitions made as a result of the creation of new bodies and those acquisitions made by established bodies.

Department of Health

Acquired by Year NumberValue (£ million) Location
New bodies1998–9910.328Bristol
Established bodies1998–9910.492Cambridge
Established bodies1996–9710.086Reading
1999–200020.009Kingswinford, Cambridge
Non-departmental public bodies
New bodies1999–200010.029London
2000–01121.785London, Bristol Aylesbury, Shrewsbury, Bedford, Gloucester, Ashford, Northampton, Oxford, Wolverhampton, Easing, Welwyn Garden City
Established bodies1996–9720.035Nottingham, Redhill
1997–9820.029Bristol, Wigan
1998–9920.999Bristol, London
1999–200040.035Newcastle, Bristol, Harrogate, Plymouth
2000–0182.669London (3), Newcastle, Bristol, Chester, Birmingham, Jesmond


Value for leased accommodation is taken as the annual rent and service charge (based on the current annual cost) and for private finance initiative/public private partnership arrangements as the annual unitary charge (based on the current annual cost) and includes the cost of the provision of facilities management services.

Dental Treatment (Asylum Seekers)

Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent guidance has been issued to regional and local health authorities and trusts regarding dental treatment for asylum seekers; [10948]

Ms Blears: The Department issued letters, in February 2000, to all local authorities and health authorities

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detailing the current position on prescription charges and national health service dental treatment for asylum seekers in February 2000. This explained that any asylum seeker who did not fall into one of the groups entitled to free dental treatment, for example those who are pregnant or aged under 18 (under 19 years if in full time education) would need to complete an HC1 claim form in order to receive a NHS charges certificate (HC2), but that arrangements were under review. From 1 April 2001 the national asylum support service would issue HC2 certificates on behalf of the Department to all the asylum seekers it supports. These arrangements are now in place, and HC2 certificates are issued where appropriate, along with the first support voucher. This has removed the need for separate HC1 claims.

Under current arrangements, health authorities are responsible for the dissemination of this information to dental practitioners.

Essentially, dentists can treat asylum seekers in exactly the same way as all other patients, judging their need to pay charges using the usual criteria.

Norwich Union

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS trusts have contracts with Norwich Union to provide healthcare premises; and what advice his Department has given to trusts on the marketing of private healthcare and health insurance products within such premises. [10018]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 29 October 2001]: The Department does not hold information on the number of national health service trusts with contracts with Norwich Union to provide healthcare premises.

The overwhelming majority of elective operations carried out in NHS trusts are performed on NHS patients. Although NHS trusts are permitted to generate income from providing facilities and staff to operate on private health policy-holders and self-pay patients, trusts must ensure that this private activity is not at the expense of their NHS work.

World Health Organisation Targets

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Government are committed to achieving the targets set out in the World Health Organisation Charter on Transport, Environment and Health. [11080]

Jacqui Smith: Yes. In adopting in 1999 the World Health Organisation charter on transport, environment and health the Government confirmed their commitment to making transport sustainable to health and the environment, and to striving to implement the measures in the charter's plan of action, especially those aimed at attaining its health targets.

Our White Paper on transport defined the national framework for creating a better, more integrated transport system and tackling the problems of pollution and congestion. The subsequent 10-year plan set out the long- term spending plans for delivering the policies described there.

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The United Kingdom is an active participant in the steering group set up to push forward implementation of the WHO transport charter, and is the lead actor for the charter's action point on public participation, public awareness and information.

Brain Injury

Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent guidance he has issued in relation to (a) the recognition of acquired brain injury and (b) the planning of rehabilitation services for those with acquired brain injury; [11670]

Jacqui Smith: We have issued no recent guidance on either the recognition of acquired brain injury or the planning of rehabilitation services for those with acquired brain injury.

However, the national service framework (NSF) for long term conditions was announced in February 2001 by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and will have a particular focus on the needs of people with neurological disease and brain and spinal injury. In addition, it is also likely to set general standards of care for people with other long-term conditions or chronic illness that are not already covered by other NSFs. The Health Committee report on head injury rehabilitation will be brought to the attention of the group developing the NSF.

We have also asked the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce a clinical guideline for the initial assessment, management and first referral of patients with head injury. NICE will start work on the guidelines in November 2001.

Provision of brain injury services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are matters for the devolved Assemblies.

Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce a national funding mechanism for the provision of brain injury vocational rehabilitation services. [11671]

Jacqui Smith: We allocate funding to health authorities on the basis of the relative needs of their populations. A weighted capitation formula is used to determine each health authority's fair share target of available resources, to enable them to commission similar levels of health services for populations in similar need. There are no plans to change this system.

It is for health authorities, in partnership with primary care groups/trusts and other local stakeholders, to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, tackling health inequalities and modernising services.

Getting people back to functional independence following illness or injury is a high priority for the national health service. This year, with the Department for Work and Pensions, we are planning job retention and

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rehabilitation pilots to test the best ways of helping people with prolonged illness or disability to remain in their jobs. £12 million has been allocated to fund the pilots.

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