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Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications made in the United Kingdom for a visa submitted prior to the introduction of the new charging policy on 1 August 2003 remain to be dealt with; and when he expects that all such applicants will have heard the result of their applications. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The date of the introduction of the new charging policy, 1 August 2003, precedes accurate data from the current casework database, and statistics are therefore not entirely reliable. Provisional management information suggests around 500 general group leave to remain cases submitted prior to 1 August 2003 are undecided. Consideration of these cases is ongoing and applicants will be notified as soon as a decision in their case has been made.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people of school age have been placed in custody in (a) Ruislip-Northwood constituency, (b) the London borough of Hillingdon, (c) Greater London and (d) England in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The information requested for Greater London and England is provided in the table. No people of school age were received into custody in the Ruislip-Northwood constituency or the London borough of Hillingdon.
|LASCHS and STCs||1,015||1,407||2,161||2,459||2,765|
|LASCHS and STCs||34||30||25||35||50|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of (a) men and (b) women who drink more than the recommended weekly amounts of alcohol; and what assessment she has made of trends in alcohol consumption since 1979. 
Caroline Flint: The Department can provide estimates of the percentage of men and women exceeding the recommended weekly alcohol consumption limit in England from 1992 to 2002 which is shown in table 1. Earlier data are not readily available for England only. We are also able to give estimates of the percentage of men and women exceeding the recommended daily alcohol limit in England from 1998 to 2004 which is shown in table 2. The assessment of alcohol consumption is that the figures have remained constant during the periods covered.
|Alcohol consumption level (units per week)||1992||1994||1996||1998||1998||2000||2001||2002|
|22 units and over||26||27||27||27||28||28||27||27|
|15 units and over||12||13||14||15||15||17||15||17|
|Weighted bases (thousand)|
|Men weighted bases||Women weighted bases|
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the likely effect on the performance of combined emergency services control rooms of mergers of ambulance services. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department is currently consulting on proposals for reconfiguration of ambulance trusts within England, and if established, it would be a matter for the proposed ambulance trusts to decide, following consultation, whether be appropriate locally.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will issue guidance to ambulance trusts to ensure that first responders are not used as a substitute for fully equipped ambulances in life-threatening situations. 
Although the initial emergency response may be to send a rapid response vehicle or approved first responder, a fully equipped Ambulance vehicle able to transport the patient in a clinically safe manner is still required to attend the incident within 14 minutes of the initial call in urban areas and within 19 minutes in rural areas.
Both these standards are exceeded nationally, with in 200405, 76.2 percent, of category A calls receiving an initial response within eight minutes and 96 percent, of category A calls attended by a fully equipped ambulance within the 14 and 19 minute standards.
14 Feb 2006 : Column 2010W
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the use by ambulance trusts of first responders; and what effect the use of first responders has had on ambulance response figures since they were introduced. 
Mr. Byrne: Clinical evidence proves conclusively that early defibrillation and resuscitation saves more lives. The use of first responders, particularly in rural areas, can help to ensure that patients receive advanced life support as soon as possible and therefore improve outcomes.
The national defibrillation programme has funded community defibrillation officer posts in ambulance trusts. One of the roles of the community defibrillation officers is to monitor the impact of first responder schemes and this work is currently underway.
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