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Mathematics

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how she plans to replace the British mathematics students who have dropped the subject after taking their AS-level examinations. [49853]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In response to concerns about the high failure rate in AS mathematics in summer 2001, the Secretary of State commissioned the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to investigate the cause as part of the Review of Curriculum 2000.

This review is expected to result in revised specifications for first teaching from 2004. In the meantime, there will be an additional opportunity for students to sit mathematics units in the autumn of 2002 to 2004 inclusive, and additional funding for teaching these units.

Project Sponsorship

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which of her Department's projects have received sponsorship since 1997, including (a) details of the sponsor, (b) the nature of the project, (c) the date of the project, (d) the total cost of the project and (e) the amount of money involved in the sponsorship deal. [48391]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 16 April 2002]: In line with the Government's commitment in its response to the Sixth Report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life, details of individual amounts of sponsorship valued at more than £5,000 will be disclosed in departmental annual reports.

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Television Subscriptions

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the number of subscriptions to (a) digital terrestrial, (b) digital satellite and (c) digital cable television held by her Department for services in any departmental building from which Ministers work, stating for each subscription its (i) cost and (ii) purpose. [48337]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 10 April 2002]: My Department has four subscriptions to digital satellite at a cost of approximately £5,000 per year and up to 25 subscriptions to digital cable at a cost of approximately £15,000 per year. We do not have any subscriptions to digital terrestrial television. The purpose of the subscriptions is for parliamentary business and constant access to news and House of Commons transmissions.

Property Protection

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what new measures her Department took in 2001–02 to protect its property from theft or damage. [47324]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 16 April 2002]: My Department takes physical security of its headquarter buildings seriously and is constantly looking at ways to improve the systems in place. As well as introducing new measures we already have a number of security measures/systems in place, which include:


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Additional measures that have been introduced during 2001–02 include the:


Secondments

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many members of staff were employed by her Department on secondment from non-Governmental organisations in (a) 1999, (b) 2000 and (c) 2001. [45229]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since April 1999, 19 members of staff have been seconded to this Department from non-Government organisations, as follows:

Number
1 April 1999—31 March 20009
1 April 2000—31 March 200114
1 April 2001—31 March 20026

Where a secondment covers two or more financial years, it has been counted in all the financial years it occurs.

Timber

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the companies from which her Department has obtained timber and wood products and the total spent with each firm over the last five years. [43404]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

Press Office

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many staff in her Department's press office have received (a) termination and (b) redundancy payments in each of the last four years. [41084]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In the former Department for Education and Employment one member of staff in the press office received a termination payment in 2001. No other such payments were made in the preceding three years, and there were no redundancies.

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Equipment Leasing

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by her Department in each of the last four years; and what the cost to public funds in each case is. [38938]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

HEALTH

Unlicensed Medicines

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list those websites that have been (a) closed and (b) forced to amend their webpages by the Medicines Control Agency due to breaching the law on the sale of unlicensed medicines via the internet since March 2000; [39022]

Ms Blears: The Medicines Control Agency (MCA) has no powers contained within its statutory enforcement provisions to force closure of websites. However, MCA achieves compliance from internet service providers who are given advice on UK legislation. Websites are usually withdrawn or modified to comply with UK law.

To date the MCA has achieved six site closures through voluntary compliance from ISPs, seven compliances by operators amending their website, one successful prosecution and 12 referrals to other Government agencies or overseas enforcement authorities.

There are 10 further cases under investigation.

As a matter of policy the MCA does not publish details of voluntary compliance.

National Institute for Clinical Excellence

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) appraisals and (b) sets of guidelines were issued by NICE in (i) Q4 2000–01 and (ii) Q1, (iii) Q2 and (iv) Q3 in 2001–02. [46284]

Ms Blears: The information requested is as follows:

Number of technology appraisalsNumber of clinical guidelines
January-March 200150
April-June 200143
July-September 200141
October-December 200110
Total 2001144

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence also published "Referral advice, a guide to appropriate referral from general to specialist service" in December 2001.

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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many appraisals of new or existing technologies by NICE were produced in 2001. [47293]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 10 April 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Romsey (Sandra Gidley) today.

GP Home Visits

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce compulsory home visits by GPs for elderly patients. [39455]

Jacqui Smith: We have no plans to vary the existing arrangements. General medical services general practitioners (GPs) must currently offer to make an annual home visit to all patients aged 75 years or over. GPs working within personal medical services are required to make arrangements which best meet the needs of the local population, including elderly patients, but the detail of the arrangements are a matter to be agreed locally as part of the Personal Medical Services pilot agreement.


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