To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many vacancies for occupational therapists there are within the national health service in Northern Ireland. 
As at the 30th September 2002 there were occupational therapy vacancies amounting to a Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) of 46.31. Occupational therapy vacancies detailed by Trust are given in the table below.
|Trust1||Whole time equivalent|
|North and West Belfast||7|
|Armagh and Dungannon||0|
|United Hospitals Group||0|
|Craigavon and Banbridge||0|
|Foyle (including Westcare)||2|
|Royal Group of Hospitals||4|
|Belfast City Hospital||3|
|Newry and Mourne||0|
|Craigavon Area Hospital||0|
|South and East Belfast||2.31|
|1The above figures do not include vacancy numbers from Down Lisburn HSS Trust|
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many individuals are awaiting speech therapy assessment in Northern Ireland; and how many have been waiting for longer than six months. 
Information on the number of individuals awaiting speech therapy assessment is not collected centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, information is collected centrally on completed waiting times for a first outpatient appointment of an episode of care with a community speech and language therapist. In the quarter ending 31 December 2002, 2,480 persons attended their first out-patient appointment. Of these, 209 (8.4 per cent.) had waited for six months or more.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people are awaiting occupational therapy assessment in Northern Ireland; and how many have waited more than six months. 
At 31 December 2002 (the latest date for which such information is available), there were 9,784 persons awaiting assessment by community occupational therapists, of which 3,697 (37.8 per cent.) had been waiting for six months or more.