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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The details of the security arrangements proposed for the bid to stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 are shown in Volume 3, Theme 12 of the Candidate File, deposited in the Library of the House on 19 November 2004. UK police and security agencies played an integral part in assisting Athens with security for the 2004 Games. They will play a major role in the security preparations should London host the 2012 Olympic Games.
Whether the Written Answers by the Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 8 November (WA 61-62) are consistent with the recent report from the National Audit Office Improving IT Procurement indicating that government departments are bypassing the Gateway Review process. [HL112]
The Office of Government Commerce welcomes the recommendations made by the NAO and the NAO's confirmation that "the Gateway process is improving the procurement of IT, and that this should increase the likelihood of successful delivery". The NAO noted the risk of projects entering the Gateway process too late or leaving too early which OGC has acknowledged and taken measures to address.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Warner on 22 January (WA 150), whether they have now fulfilled the commitment they gave on 27 March 2003 (HL Deb, col. 984), during the passage of the Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act 2003, that every patient concerned should be assessed for fully-funded continuing care before social services are contacted. [HL70]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): Under the Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act 2003, the process when arranging hospital discharges is to consider a patient for fully funded National Health Service continuing care and arrange an appropriate continuing care assessment before notifying social services.
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Whether they intend to extend their consultation on the carers practice guide relating to the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 beyond local authorities to users, interest groups and relevant charities. [HL205]
Lord Warner: We understand that the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) will use the evidence from its current knowledge review on the participation of carers in changing and improving social care, to produce a practice guide for local authorities. The practice guide will include advice on how to implement the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 and will be developed in consultation with key stakeholders. It is likely to be published in summer 2005.
In developing practice guides, SCIE consults extensively with a range of stakeholder groups. SCIE places particular emphasis on the participation of service users, carers and will also include a range of organisations with an interest in this area.
What National Health Service hospitals or medical centres are using Aimspro in the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis or other diseases; and whether there are any plans to expand the use of Aimspro to other hospitals. [HL211]
Lord Warner: The treatment Aimspro is not licensed for use in the United Kingdom and, therefore, will not be widely used in the National Health Service. The Department of Health is aware that Aimspro is being used in limited trials in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, including a study at St George's Hospital, London.
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Whether the change of leadership role of the "Chairs' Group", set up as part of the Modernising Rural Delivery programme, involves assistance from other staff; and, if so, what is the full time equivalent of (a) civil servants; (b) special advisers; and (c) others, providing such support. [HL148]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Direct support to the Chairs Group set up to help provide leadership to the Modernising Rural Delivery change programme is provided by English Nature. This amounts to a small part of one person's job. Officials may attend meetings to participate in the discussion but it is not a diversion from their main work. There has been no change in this approach now that we have moved from policy development to the implementation of the Modernising Rural Delivery programme as set out in the Rural Strategy 2004.
What arrangements the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has made to make use of the detailed biodiversity information held in local records centres for targeting and advising on environmental stewardship; and in their view what efficiencies can be realised by doing so. [HL151]
Lord Whitty: The provision of detailed local information can assist in targeting the agri-environment schemes towards locally significant wildlife, thereby delivering greater benefits to biodiversity in that area. Defra has made a substantial investment over the years in the National Biodiversity Network, which is improving the access to biological records from many sources, including those held by local records centres. I understand that such data are increasingly being used in the targeting process for agri-environment schemes.
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