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Democratic Republic of Congo

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government: bjc

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos): The Government have been actively involved in promoting peace in the Great Lakes region. We have given full support to the inter Congolese Dialogue, which successfully concluded at its recent plenary session in Sun City, South Africa, providing for the early establishment of a transitional national government in the DRC, with a view to democratic elections in two years' time. The UK is an active member of the international committee tasked with supporting this process.

The UK, through the FCO, has also been actively supporting the United Nations Observer Mission to DRC (MONUC), which is currently considering how best to deploy its mandated peace-keepers on the ground in the DRC. We are also a major contributor to the Multi-Country Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme for the Great Lakes. In Rwanda, contributions totalling £5.047 million were made from the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool in 2002–03 to support the World Bank Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme.

In the next few weeks, we hope to agree with Government of Rwanda a Memorandum of Understanding covering UK support for Rwanda's security sector reform process. The MoU sets out how the UK could support the reform of the police, military, paramilitary and intelligence services, and the civilian structures responsible for their oversight and control, to improve the security of poor and vulnerable Rwandans.

In Uganda we are actively engaged with a systematic review of defence policy and the resulting needs. The process is fully owned by the Ugandans and a draft White Paper on Defence is due in mid-2003. The paper will address both defence needs and the affordability of the various options set against the government's poverty reduction goals. In the interim we continue to engage with the government over the scale of their defence expenditure to ensure that these poverty reduction programmes are not affected.

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Amos: The FCO recently funded a scoping visit to the DRC by a UK/Cuban consultancy team to review the Cuban proposal and consider longer-term

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collaboration between the two countries on this project. Prospects for developing a pilot project from the scoping visit are currently under review by the FCO, as is the possibility of the Cubans working with established international NGOs in DRC. No start date for the project has as yet been set.

Africa: DfID Support for Hepatitis and HIV Vaccines

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether funding will be made available from the Department for International Development for the proposed Cuba-Africa hepatitis and HIV vaccines project in Africa.[HL2547]

Baroness Amos: Our approach to funding work on vaccine development is to support multilateral efforts, for instance through the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), for which we are providing £14 million over five years. We also support the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) for which we are providing £35 million over five years focusing on research, development of new vaccines and effective delivery of services. We will not therefore support the Cuba-Africa project.

Terrorism Act 2000: Report byLord Carlile of Berriew

Baroness Lockwood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish their response to Lord Carlile of Berriew's report on the operation of the Terrorism Act 2000.[HL2615]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Lord Carlile of Berriew QC prepared a report on the operation in 2001 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which was laid before the House on 26 November 2002.

We are grateful to Lord Carlile for his detailed report and have considered his recommendations fully. Following consultation within the department and with other relevant departments and agencies we are pleased to place our response to Lord Carlile's recommendations in the Library today.

The Home Secretary also wrote to Lord Carlile last month outlining progress on recommendations made in his report on Sections 21 to 23 in Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001. We shall also be placing this response in the Library today. Rebo

Guardians Ad Litem

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether a guardian ad litem can be appointed for a person aged over 18; if so, whether this is possible in cases where no legal action is pending; and

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    whether they consider that the roles of trustees and guardians are sufficient for the protection of persons lacking full mental capacity.[HL2496]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): A guardian ad litem (or next friend or litigation friend) can be appointed for any adult under mental incapacity in any civil or family proceedings in the High Court or county courts and in proceedings in the Court of Protection. Protection outside the context of court proceedings is afforded by a variety of mechanisms, including the power of the Court of Protection to appoint a receiver.

My noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor has made some proposals for changes in the law in this area, outlined in the policy document Making Decisions in 1999. Officials are currently working on a draft Bill, which will be introduced when there is parliamentary time.

Rehab UK: Tyne and Wear Centreon Brain Injury

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What further representations the Department for Work and Pensions has received from the chairman of Rehab UK about the future of its Tyne and Wear centre on brain injury; what reply they have sent; and what action they are taking to vouchsafe the future of the centre.[HL2307]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): My right honourable friend the Minister for Work received letters from the chairman of Rehab UK dated 14 and 26 November 2002, to which he sent a single reply on 20 December 2002. The reply reaffirmed our support for rehabilitation services in general, and brain injury rehabilitation in particular, while recognising the need to balance provision against the needs of other groups of disabled people. I understand that the chairman of Rehab UK has written a further letter to the Minister for Work.

Jobcentre Plus has a contract with Rehab UK to provide work preparation programmes for people with brain injuries from its Tyne and Wear centre. However, as contractors are subject to competitive tendering, it would not be appropriate for Jobcentre Plus to vouchsafe their future viability. Rebo

NHS: Patient Charges

Lord Lipsey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much revenue the National Health Service receives from charges to patients for non-clinical services such as bedside televisions, amenity beds, cancellation charges (dentistry), and for providing access to medical records.[HL2423]

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Baroness Andrews: The amount of revenue received by the National Health Service for charging for non-clinical services such as amenity beds is not separately identifiable in NHS trusts' accounts.

There is currently no regular collection of information on the income generated from access to health records under the Data Protection Act 1988.

The NHS makes no revenue from the introduction of bedside televisions into hospitals.This is a free good to the trust, provided by private, licensed suppliers who charge the patient direct for the service.

The NHS also makes no revenue from charges for the cancellation of dentist appointments as this is a matter between the dentist and the patient. The income is not part of the General Dental Services income.

NHS Bank

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the NHS Bank has advanced any money to National Health Service bodies on the basis that the money will not be repaid to the bank; and, if any money has been advanced on that basis, in what sense the NHS Bank operates as a bank; and[HL2432]

    What are the terms and conditions on which monies have been paid or committed by the NHS Bank to National Health Service bodies up to 31 March 2003.[HL2433]

Baroness Andrews: All funds provided by the NHS Bank in 2002–03 have been non-recurrent allocations and are not expected to be repaid.

The NHS Bank will be considering further the terms and conditions attached to any funds provided in 2003–04. ral

NHS Trusts: Finances

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will name the 30 health authorities that were assessed as managing significant financial difficulties at the end of 2001–02 as shown at paragraph 4.11 of the Comptroller and Auditor-General's report on the National Health Service Summarised Accounts 2001–02 (HC 493); and[HL2434]

    Whether they will name the 46 National Health Service trusts that were assessed as managing significant financial difficulties at the end of 2001–02 as shown at paragraph 4.17 of the Comptroller and Auditor-General's report on the National Health Service Summarised Accounts 2001–02 (HC 493).[HL2436]

Baroness Andrews: The information requested relates to the Department of Health's own internal assessment of National Health Service trusts and health authorities which are judged to be managing significant financial difficulties. We have no plans to publish this information.

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