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However, planning is under way to extend compliant primary care systems to support prison healthcare. Mental health and limited secondary care functionality will be added at a later date as applications become available. The first practical step to achieving this goal is in the form of providing the necessary connectivity to the N3 network in the prison estate. This has two aspects: providing broadband connections to prison establishments, and developing a network infrastructure in establishments. This month, £3 million will be specifically allocated through strategic health authorities to enhance prison healthcare IT infrastructure, with work due to complete by March 2007. NHS CfH is liaising with the Prison Service and primary care trusts to oversee implementation of this phase of the programme, based on local costed plans.

Health: Overseas Territories

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The National Health Service is first and foremost for the benefit of people living in this country. Entitlement to access free NHS hospital treatment is based on whether someone is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, not on British nationality or the past or present payment of national insurance contributions or UK taxes. Anyone who is not ordinarily resident is subject to the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended. These regulations place a responsibility on NHS hospitals to establish whether a person is ordinarily resident, or exempt from charges under one of a number of exemption categories, or liable for charges. There are no plans to change this.

Health: vCJD

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty’s Government:



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The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): No patient with haemophilia or other bleeding disorders have been identified as having received blood from a blood donor who subsequently developed vCJD, nor have there been any reported cases of vCJD associated with receipt of plasma products.

However, all haemophilia patients who received plasma products between 1980 and 2001 sourced from UK donor plasma have been designated as “at risk of vCJD for public purposes”. All plasma products are now sourced from non-UK plasma. The United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Doctors’ Organisation is collecting data that will provide an estimate of the number of haemophilia patients who have been exposed to plasma products which may be implicated with vCJD.

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Warner: The Lancet article refers to the third known case of vCJD transmission via blood transfusion from a vCJD-infected donor. This case was originally notified to the department in January 2006 and announced by the Health Protection Agency in a press release on 9 February 2006, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

There are 24 living patients in a group of people who had received blood components from donors subsequently known to have developed vCJD. They were all notified in 2005 or earlier, through their GPs, of their risk status and have been provided with information and support. The Health Protection Agency contacted the GPs earlier in the year to notify them of this third case and the agency has ensured that the GPs are fully informed and briefed about the subsequent Lancet publication.

The department has implemented a series of measures to reduce the risk of vCJD being transmitted through the blood supply. Shortly after vCJD was first identified in 1996, the possibility of human-to-human transmission through blood was considered, and the department implemented precautionary measures to reduce what was, at that time, a theoretical risk. These measures have been strengthened since evidence of transmission via blood began to emerge from animal studies, and following the first case of transfusion-associated transmission in humans, reported in December 2003. An important additional step, introduced in March 2004, was to exclude from blood donation those people who had themselves received a blood transfusion since January 1980. Other precautionary measures include:

from December 1997, blood components, plasma products or tissues obtained from any individual who later develops vCJD, were withdrawn/recalled;

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in July 1998, it was announced that plasma for the manufacture of blood products, such as clotting factors, would be obtained from non-UK sources;from November 1999, white blood cells, which may carry a significant risk of transmitting vCJD, were removed from all blood used for transfusion;in August 2002, it was announced that fresh frozen plasma for treating babies and young children born on or after 1 January 1996 would be obtained from the USA; in July 2004, the exclusion criteria for blood donation were extended to include previously transfused platelet donors, and donors who were unsure if they had previously had a blood transfusion;in September 2004, the department announced further precautionary measures for patients who had received certain batches of plasma products;in July 2005, the use of USA-sourced fresh frozen plasma was extended to all children up to the age of 16;in July 2005, the department announced further precautionary measures for those patients who donated blood to three people who later developed vCJD.

The department continues to keep all the evidence in relation to transmission of vCJD by blood under close review.

Housing: Disabled People

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: There is no provision in draft PPS 14 specifically to meet the needs of persons with severe mental or physical impairment. Consequently, there was no need to prepare or issue advice to officials of the Northern Ireland Planning Service in this regard.

However, while it is not a specific category in terms of need, the particular circumstances of an applicant, including a mental or physical impairment, can be taken into account where it is considered relevant.

Policy HOU 16 (House Extensions) of A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland has not been superseded by draft PPS 14. This policy facilitates the provision of partially self-contained accommodation for elderly or dependent relatives, as an alternative to a separate house in the countryside. This policy was first published in September 1993 and the Planning Service is familiar with both its provisions and application.



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Housing: First-time Buyers

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: A number of initiatives have recently been introduced to assist first-time buyers in Northern Ireland. The co-ownership scheme, which has, since 1978, assisted almost 20,000 mainly first-time buyers to become home owners, was amended earlier this year to make it more accessible for people on lower incomes while the starting threshold for stamp duty on property was increased to £125,000. In addition, an independent housing affordability review has been initiated. This will look at barriers affecting those seeking affordable housing in the owner-occupied, social and private rented sectors and make recommendations as to how these might be overcome. A progress report will be issued for public comment later this month and the final recommendations will be presented to Government next spring.

Income

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: Information on the incomes of taxpayers in 2003-04 based on the survey of personal incomes can be found in table 3.13 on “Income and tax by county and region” on the HM Revenue and Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/income_distribution/menu-by-year.htm#315

This table will be updated by the end of January with data from the survey of personal incomes 2004-05.

Alternatively, information on earnings from employment in 2006 based on the annual survey of

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hours and earnings can be found in “Analysis by place of residence by Local Authority, Table 8.7a: Annual Pay: Gross” on the Office for National Statistics website at www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/ASHE_2006/2006_res_la.pdf

Iraq and Afghanistan: Reconstruction and Development

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is DfID's fifth largest programme. The UK is Afghanistan's second largest bilateral donor. At the London conference in January 2006, DfID committed to providing £330 million in development assistance over the next three years. This forms part of the UK's overall pledge of £500 million over the next three years to reduce poverty, improve security and governance and tackle the opium industry. The UK aid budget for Afghanistan is £102 million this year, rising to £113 million in 2007-08, and £115 million in 2008-09. In addition, DfID contributes 18 per cent—around £125 million—of the European Commission’s pledge of €1 billion over 2002-2007, and 10.4 per cent of the World Bank's spending in Afghanistan of $250-300 million a year. We also contribute to UN programmes and to the Asian Development Bank.

Iraq currently requires help from the UK and others to stem violence and build a stable society and economy. In 2003, the UK pledged £544 million for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance for Iraq. The UK has now fully disbursed this pledge and committed a further £100 million to be spent on reconstruction and development in Iraq over the next three years.

The table below shows the total spending in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past five years.



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(figures in £000s)
Development Assistance1Humanitarian AssistanceTotal DfID Bilateral ProgrammeAid from other UK Official Sources2Total Bilateral Gross Public Expenditure

Afghanistan

2001-02

53

49,943

49,996

31

50,027

2002-03

30,292

44,253

74,546

1,472

76,018

2003-04

69,225

10,457

79,683

19,912

99,595

2004-05

72,522

7,067

79,589

19,370

98,959

2005-06

95,040

3,390

98,430

28,519

126,949

Iraq3

2001-02

0

7,760

7,760

0

7,760

2002-03

0

18,853

18,853

0

18,853

2003-04

99,261

110,052

209,313

5,000

214,313

2004-05

27,724

21,383

49,107

342,400

391,507

2005-06

82,105

4,764

86,869

339,380

426,249

Source: Statistics on International Development 2001-02 to 2005-06
1 Includes financial aid, technical co-operation, grants and aid-in-kind, and total DfID debt relief.
2 Includes non-DfID debt relief, British Council and the Global Conflict Pool.
3 Recorded flows to Iraq before 2003-04 are humanitarian assistance provided through UN agencies and civil society organisations for Iraqi citizens. No aid was provided to the Government of Iraq during that period.

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