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General Practitioners

33. Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to employ more salaried general practitioners in the national health service; and if he will make a statement. [85031]

Mr. Denham: The Salaried Doctors Scheme continues to have our full support. It is designed to allow health authorities to make sensible and locally appropriate prioritisation of cash-limited monies.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 274

Dental Services (Scarborough and Whitby)

34. Mr. Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to promote and safeguard national health service dentistry in Scarborough and Whitby; and if he will make a statement. [85032]

Mr. Denham: Three Investing in Dentistry proposals from Scarborough were approved to enable 9,700 new National Health Service patients to register. North Yorkshire Health Authority also has approval to employ a salaried dentist in Scarborough. The Personal Dental Services scheme, and our forthcoming strategy for NHS dentistry, will provide the framework for future improvements in NHS dental services.

Primary Care

35. Ms Blears: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications for beacon status his Department has received from primary care projects. [85033]

Mr. Denham: Over 550 nominations have been put forward for Primary Care Beacon status.

Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what are the estimated administration costs, including remuneration of members, of the primary care groups in the Greater London Area for their first year of operation; [85549]

Mr. Denham: An individual primary care group's share of its overall health authority management costs budget will depend upon its population size, level of devolved responsibility and organisational structure of the individual PCGs and their HAs. The PCG will have negotiated its share of the overall HA/PCG management costs with its host health authority alongside their discussions on the delegation of function or responsibilities for 1999-2000. Information on the split of management costs funding between PCGs and HAs is currently being validated and will be available shortly.

Social Services (Children)

36. Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many action plans have been approved by his Department to help local authorities improve their performance in the provision of social services for children in need. [85034]

Mr. Hutton: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Basildon (Angela Smith) on 13 April 1999, Official Report, column 114.

Dental Services (Cornwall)

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to improve NHS dental services in Cornwall. [85008]

Mr. Denham: The first wave of Personal Dental Services, which started in October 1998, included a new service in Cornwall. This service enables anyone who is not registered with a National Health Service dentist to get treatment for their dental problems.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 275

Ten Investing in Dentistry funding requests have also been approved giving over 33,000 patients the opportunity of registering with an NHS dentist.

Nurses' Pay

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received regarding the late payment of the nurses' pay award. [85019]

Mr. Denham: Authorisation to implement the pay increase was sent to National Health Service employers on 8 April, earlier than in the previous three years. We have received a small number of letters regarding this issue, 20 to date. No representations have been received from trades unions and professional organisations representing nurses and midwives.

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those National Health Service trusts which will not pay the increased pay award to nurses in their pay packets for May 1999. [86083]

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS trusts have failed to implement the nurses' pay award for 1999-2000 in time for the end of May pay arrangements. [86035]

Mr. Denham: I refer the hon. Members to the reply given to the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Brady) on 25 May 1999, Official Report, column 114.

Health Action Zone (South Yorkshire)

Ms Rosie Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made in implementing the health action zone in the South Yorkshire area. [85022]

Mr. Denham: The South Yorkshire Health Action Zone is making good progress as it has moved into its second year of operation. A detailed range of outcome measures have been agreed for the three main programme areas: improving the health of children and young people: improving heart health in the general population; and enabling those with physical and sensory disabilities in later life to lead more independent lives.

Discrimination against Doctors

Mr. McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions he has had with the General Medical Council on the evidence produced by the Medical Practitioners Union on the need for safeguards to prevent racially motivated complaints against doctors reaching the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Medical Council; [84725]

Mr. Denham: The Government are fully committed to equality of opportunity for all Health Service staff and are concerned that the National Health Service work force should reflect the population it serves in order to deliver sensitive and appropriate services. There is no place for discrimination on any grounds within the National Health Service.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 276

Officials work closely with the General Medical Council on the handling of complaints and to ensure that any differences in referral rates or handling of cases are considered and addressed where appropriate.

NHS Costs

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list (a) the administrative cost of the NHS by region and (b) the cost of publicity and public relations of the NHS by region in the last year for which figures are available. [84830]

Mr. Denham: The table provides information on National Health Service management costs in health authorities and NHS trusts, by region for 1996-97. Information on 1997-98 expenditure on NHS management costs will be published shortly.

NHS management costs 1996-97
Northern and Yorkshire210,357
Trent158,607
Anglia and Oxford160,475
North Thames294,149
South Thames265,615
South and West193,069
West Midlands174,397
Northern and Yorkshire219,131
England1,675,800

Notes:

1. Excludes expenditure on general practitioner fundholder practice fund management allowances

2. Figures in £000


Expenditure on publicity and public relations is not collected centrally as a specific item. Information about NHS expenditure on advertising is given in the following table. It includes expenditure in a number of different areas, including recruitment advertising, health promotion initiatives, and measures to improve local accountability such as the production of annual reports and information about services.

Advertising expenditure in trusts and health authorities 1997-98
Northern and Yorkshire4,694,683
Trent4,212,484
Anglia and Oxford5,302,599
North Thames11,084,233
South Thames8,428,801
South and West5,739,418
West Midlands4,789,712
Northern and Yorkshire4,558,358

Source:

Financial Returns of Trusts and Health Authorities 1996-97 to 1997-98.


Correspondence

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to reply to the letter of 10 February from the hon. Member for Slough to the Minister of State about the funding of health care in Slough. [84976]

Mr. Denham: I replied to my hon. Friend on 25 May 1999.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 277

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the hon. Member for West Derbyshire will receive a reply to his letter of 12 February and reminder of 19 March concerning his constituent, Mr. Duncan Beresford of Steeple Grange, Wirksworth, Derbyshire. [85557]

Mr. Denham: I replied to the hon. Member on 3 June.

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the hon. Member for West Derbyshire will receive a reply to his letter of 22 February concerning his constituent, Mr. Mark Cambell Lloyd, of Oak Drive, Doveridge, Derbyshire. [85558]

Mr. Denham: I replied to the hon. Member on 3 June 1999.

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to answer the letter from the hon. Member for South-East Cambridgeshire, dated 12 November 1998, regarding his constituent Mr. D. Coombes and the drug Beta Interferon. [85336]

Mr. Denham: I replied to the hon. Member on 25 May 1999.


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