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Lord Darzi of Denham: The department is not responsible for setting curricula for health professional training. However, we do share a commitment with statutory and professional bodies that all health professionals are trained, so that they have the skills and knowledge to deliver a high quality health service to all groups of the population with whom they deal, whatever their condition.
Therefore, the department is working with the International Centre for Drug Policy and the deans of the 24 English medical schools to develop undergraduate medical curricula and to embed substance misuse within the curricula. This includes a specific module on identification of those who are drinking at harmful levels and offering brief advice on reducing the risks from alcohol.
Which departments will draw up the final impact assessment for the proposals in the Department of Health's consultation Safe, Sensible, SocialConsultation on Further Action, in particular the assessment of the proposals' impact on small businesses and on the alcohol industry; and [HL5428]
Whether the proposals in the Department of Health's Safe, Sensible, SocialConsultation on Further Action are designed to reduce alcohol consumption by problem drinkers or alcohol consumption across the whole population. [HL5429]
Lord Darzi of Denham: The consultation Safe. Sensible. Social: The next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy seeks views from the public, consumer groups, the leisure and hospitality industry, alcohol producers, retailers, and professionals who have to deal with the effects of alcohol misuse on how best to minimise health harms, violence and anti-social behaviour associated with alcohol consumption, while ensuring that people are able to enjoy alcohol safely and responsibly. It
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The Government's alcohol strategy focuses particularly on reducing harms experienced by young people under 18 who drink alcohol, 18-to-24 year-old binge drinkers, and harmful drinkers, who regularly drink more than double the recommend daily limits for alcoholthree to four units of alcohol for men and two to three for women. The department estimates that those drinking regularly at these levels comprise 6 per cent of the population, who drink about 33 per cent of alcohol consumed in the United Kingdom. The strategy also seeks to increase the number of people drinking within the Government's sensible drinking guidelines. Twenty-six per cent of the population regularly exceeded these guidelines in 2006.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): There is no reduction planned in aircrew availability for Sentry AWACS aircraft. Financial provision for aircrew has been reprofiled to reflect our current estimate of when we will be able to increase aircrew availability beyond current levels. Meanwhile the financial provision for this capability has been reduced by the amounts shown in the table below. There has been no impact on defence capability as a result of this change.
|Financial Year||Annual Budget Reductions|
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Ministry of Defence's senior economic adviser forecasts future movements in fuel prices and foreign exchange rates based on a range of
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MoD's current CPAs suggest a reduction in propulsion fuel costs for 2009-10 compared with 2008-09 for each of the main fuel types: aviation, marine, road and other. We continually monitor fuel prices and exchange rates and adapt our CPAs accordingly.
How many trained military personnel are currently serving with Her Majesty's Armed Forces; how many civilian personnel are currently employed by Her Majesty's Armed Forces; and how many civil servants are employed by the Ministry of Defence. [HL5499]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The total trained military personnel currently serving with Her Majesty's Armed Forces as at 1 September 2008 is 173,130. This total includes UK full-time Regulars, full-time Reserve Service and Gurkhas.
The department does not directly distinguish between civilian personnel employed by Her Majesty's Armed Forces and civilian personnel employed by the Ministry of Defence. All civilian personnel are considered as employees of the Ministry of Defence.
|Headcount of civilian personnel by budgetary employing area1 as at 1 September 2008|
How much university air squadrons received from public funds last year; how many people who had air experience with them joined the Royal Air Force last year; and what proportion of current fully qualified Royal Air Force pilots have had such experience. [HL5454]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): We have agreed with HM Treasury an estimate for reserve expenditure on UORs in 2008-09 of £900 million. We have not yet agreed estimates for potential UOR costs beyond this. UORs are designed to fulfil unforeseeable urgent capability gaps identified by commanders in the field driven by the situation on the ground, and as such can only be forecast with limited accuracy.
|Approval figure (EM)||UOR|
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 29 September (WA 411), how confident they are that the extra funding made available to local authorities is sufficient if they are not party to negotiations between bus operators and local authorities; and what research was carried out into this matter. [HL5487]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): Our assessment of the likely cost impact of the new concession is based on generous assumptions about bus pass take-up, fares and increased patronage. On this basis we are confident that we have allocated sufficient funding to cover the cost of the England-wide concessionan additional £212 million to travel concession authorities from 1 April. This is being distributed by a special grant, using a formula to direct funding to areas likely to experience increased costs, such as urban and tourist centres and coastal towns and is in addition to the funding that local authorities receive through the revenue support grant.
The formula is based on factors such as local population, tourist numbers and current bus use, and was adjusted following consultation with local authorities and others last year to give a distribution that reflects where the burden of costs will occur.
Although the Department for Transport is not party to negotiations between bus operators and local authorities, it has issued guidance, offered training and provided a spreadsheet tool to help them to determine appropriate reimbursement.
How many appeals are outstanding from local authorities and bus operators regarding the operation of the concessionary fares scheme; and whether they have issued guidance to the independent arbitrator on how these should be resolved. [HL5488]
Lord Adonis: One hundred applications to the Secretary of State for Transport were made by bus operators regarding the operation of travel concession schemes run by local authorities in 2008-09. Of these 48 have been withdrawn, five were rejected and 47 remain to be determined.
The Secretary of State has appointed two independent decision-makers to determine applications on his behalf. Appeals to the Secretary of State about concessionary fares schemes are considered on a case-by-case basis taking account of local circumstances and the information provided. The department has provided advice to the decision-makers regarding the relevant legislation and existing departmental guidance on concessionary fares, and during the process professional legal and economic advice will be available to them when considering how individual cases should be resolved.
How they define increased risk of significant harm as used in the guidance relating to the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/2182) for the purpose of determining whether the data of a child should be shielded on ContactPoint; and [HL5509]
What is the legal basis for allowing information concerning adults to be stored on ContactPoint; and how the storage on ContactPoint of data concerning adults relates to the Data Protection Act 1998. [HL5512]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): In response to Question HL5508, the process of applying shields to ContactPoint child records has not yet begun. Data loading into a secure environment, for live operational purposes, is scheduled to be completed during December of this year. As soon as this data load is complete, specifically identified local authority implementation managers will all take action to shield those child records that require it, before any practitioners are given access to the system.
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