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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will reconsider his decision to accept the

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early resignation of Mr. Harold Musgrove from the chairmanship of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS trust; and if he will make a statement; [10155]

Ms Blears [holding answer 25 October 2001]: The acceptance of Mr. Musgrove's resignation is a matter for the national health service Appointments Commission, which now has responsibility for appointments to NHS boards. Mr. Musgrove contacted the NHS Regional Director for the West Midlands to inform him of his decision to resign. His formal letter of resignation was submitted to the chair of the NHS Appointments Commission on 1 October. He subsequently had discussions with the Appointments Commissioner for the West Midlands about the timing of his departure, which was mutually agreed as 31 December 2001, allowing sufficient time for recruitment of his successor.

Haemophiliac Patients

Mr. Lepper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the provision by NHS trusts of recombinant clotting factors to haemophiliac patients. [10733]

Mr. Hutton: We asked health authorities and national health service trusts to provide recombinant clotting factors for new patients and children under 16 from April 1998 and are considering the case for providing these products, subject to availability, for all haemophilia patients.

Treatment Overseas

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on (a) the outstanding legal questions relating to the treatment of NHS patients abroad, (b) when he anticipates those legal questions will be resolved and (c) how patients will be selected for treatment abroad. [10704]

Mr. Hutton: The main legal issue on the principle of treating patients abroad has been decided. Health authorities and national health service trusts must be free to commission services in Europe. What remains to be resolved are the practical and legal issues flowing from that decision, in particular, the legal consequences for commissioners and patients should things go wrong.

Our aim is to address these various legal, clinical and quality issues over the coming few weeks so that the first patients are able to travel for treatment before the end of the year.

Selection of patients is a matter for local commissioners and the patients themselves. No patient will be forced to travel against his or her will. Commissioners and clinicians will need to satisfy themselves that patients are fit for travel and are at low risk of post-operative complications.

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Orthopaedic Waiting Lists

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on (a) orthopaedic waiting lists in Leeds and (b) what action will be taken to reduce these in the short term. [10705]

Jacqui Smith: At the end of August 2001 there were 1,714 patients waiting for orthopaedic inpatient or day case treatment at Leeds teaching hospitals national health service trust.

There has been substantial investment of £3.7 million in orthopaedic services in Leeds this year. This is funding an additional ward and theatre for orthopaedic services and will help to fund an additional five orthopaedic consultant posts:

Bed Blocking

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of acute beds are blocked in each acute national health service hospital trust. [11096]

Jacqui Smith: The information available is shown in the table.

Delayed discharges—first quarter activity

Blocked beds health authorityDelayed discharge rate(20)
East Riding1.6
Gateshead and South Tyneside6.4
Newcastle and North Tyneside3.9
North Cumbria13.8
North Yorkshire5.6
Calderdale and Kirklees2.4
North Derbyshire1.9
South Derbyshire0.9
North Nottinghamshire3.4
South Humber6.3
North Staffordshire7.7
South Staffordshire12.4
South Lancashire4.2
Morecambe Bay8.3
St. Helens and Knowsley6.8
Salford and Trafford3.2
West Pennine3.0
Bury and Rochdale2.9
North Cheshire4.6
South Cheshire4.6
East Lancashire0.2
North West Lancashire10.6
Wigan and Bolton
North Essex
South Essex
Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster
Redbridge and Waltham Forest10.0
Kingston and Richmond5.4
Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham2.1
Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth3.7
Barking and Havering9.2
Brent and Harrow18.2
Camden and Islington6.8
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow7.7
East London and City 2.6
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey7.4
Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich
East Kent4.8
West Kent4.3
East Surrey6.5
West Surrey12.8
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove
West Sussex7.8
North and Mid Hampshire18.6
Southampton and South West Hampshire14.3
Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and South East4.8
South and West Devon5.6
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly6.1
North and East Devon9.3

(20) All ages

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NICE (Compulsory Guidance)

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on providing funding to health authorities to meet the cost of implementing compulsory guidance issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. [11094]

Mr. Hutton: We expect national health service bodies to fund treatments recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence from their general allocations which increased on average by 6.25 per cent. in real terms for 2001–02.

We are preparing to implement our manifesto commitment that

NHS Dentistry

Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there were in the Northamptonshire constituencies in (a) 1992, (b) 1997 and (c) 2001. [11273]

Ms Blears: The number of general dental service dentists in Northamptonshire health authority is shown in the table at 30 June for the years (a) 1992, (b) 1997 and (c) 2001.

General dental service: Number of dentists in Northamptonshire health authority at 30 June

Northamptonshire HAAll dentists
June 1992138
June 1997153
June 2001167

Data are not available centrally by constituency.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists were taking on new patients on 1 September. [11117]

Ms Blears: There are some 16,000 general dental service dentists in England. Some of these dentists have no patient registrations including specialist dentists such as those with practices limited to orthodontics. 14,000 dentists took on at least one new registration during August 2001.

In addition, there were 400 personal dental service dentists, 100 salaried dentists and 1,300 dentists in the community dental service who may have been taking on some new national health service patients.

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase the provision of dentistry and the number of dentists in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) Boston and Skegness. [11550]

Ms Blears: In September 1999, we gave a commitment that, within two years, everyone would be able to access National Health Service dentistry if, and when, they wanted it via NHS Direct. All health authorities in England now have in place dentistry action plans to ensure that everyone in their local area can access NHS

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dentistry if they want it, within a reasonable time and distance. These plans identify shortfalls in service provision and ways of tackling user demand.

Action is being taken to improve the situation in Lincolnshire and Boston and Skegness. Lincolnshire is one of the third wave personal dental service pilots. The pilot will see the development of a dental access centre at six sites across the county, including Boston and Skegness, through a combination of new buildings and conversion of existing Community Dental Services. £877,000 capital and £340,000 revenue were allocated to the pilot in 2000–01 with a further £270,000 capital and £91,000 revenue in the current financial year.

In addition, Lincolnshire has received dental care development funding amounting to £95,000 in 2000–01 and £185,000 in 2001–02 for expansion and modernisation of practices in areas of poor access which are already offering significant NHS commitment and are prepared to increase numbers of NHS patients. A further allocation of £407,000 has been made from the dental modernisation fund to modernise premises and upgrade equipment and from the dental practice. £17,000 has been allocated from the dental practice grant to set up quality assurance systems in each dental practice.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many salaried dentists are employed (a) by the national health service and (b) by the personal dental service. [11913]

Ms Blears [holding answer 2 November 2001]: The latest information on the number of salaried dentists employed in the national health service in England is shown in the table for each of the dental services. The figures are on a headcount basis rather than whole-time equivalent.

Personal dental services are one of the ways in which the NHS provides dentistry and may be used both for NHS trust based projects with salaried dentists and for arrangements which are similar to the general dental service, with self employed dentists.

Number of salaried dentists employed in 2000–01

a) By the NHS (excluding personal dental services)
Hospital dental service(21)2,190
Community dental service(21)1,340
Salaried GDS dentists(22)101
b) By the personal dental services(22),(23)
Dentists in pilots managed by trusts392
Total(24) NHS salaried dentists4,023

(21) Number of dentists at September 2000.

(22) Number of dentists at June 2001.

(23) Excludes 200 dentists in pilots not managed by trusts where most dentists are self employees of the contract holders.

(24) Some dentists work in several services and are counted in each service.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the gross fee is paid for (a) an MOD amalgam and (b) a root canal filling on the lower first molar to an independent contractor dentist in the NHS; [11914]

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Ms Blears [holding answer 2 November 2001]: The item of service fee currently paid to a dentist providing treatment in the general dental services (GDS) is £17.60 per tooth for an amalgam filling in permanent or retained deciduous teeth for three or more surfaces where the mesio-occlusal and disto-occlusal surfaces are involved. If pin or screw retention is involved there is an additional fee of £5.40. The fee for the root filling of each root canal of a permanent tooth per first molar tooth is £68.65.

The total fees claimed by general dental practitioners are intended to cover all costs including management, rental and other overheads. Under the personal dental service's arrangements, treatments are not remunerated on an item of service basis but are included as part of the overall contractual arrangements. We have no reason to expect that in the salaried services similar item of service treatments would differ significantly in cost from the GDS, taking into account the range of patients treated.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people, and what proportion of the population, had no access to an NHS dentist in May of each year since 1997. [11916]

Ms Blears [holding answer 2 November 2001]: About 24 million people, almost half of the population, are registered with a general dental services (GDS) dentist in England at any one time. This has been broadly constant over the last three years (figures before this time are not comparable because of changes to the registration period). Registration figures represent people who have been seen by a GDS dentist within the past 15 months. Excluded from these figures are people who have chosen not to attend their dentist in the latest 15 months as well as people who have been treated within the GDS but are not registered and those who have used other NHS dental services, such as the community dental services.

Information on the number of people who sought national health service dentistry unsuccessfully in each year since 1997 is not available.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what date he expects to be able to provide universal access to an NHS dentist. [11917]

Ms Blears [holding answer 2 November 2001]: In September 1999, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister pledged that within two years, everyone would be able to access national health service dentistry by phoning NHS Direct.

All callers to NHS Direct should now be able to gain access to NHS dentistry either to receive emergency dental treatment, urgent treatment to relieve pain or have an oral examination followed by a course of treatment for identified dental problems.

For each of these kinds of treatment, health authorities have set local standards for times and distances, for both rural and urban locations, for dentistry to be available for their populations.

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