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Primary Care Groups

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of establishing primary care groups has been. [17681]

Mr. Hutton: The establishment of primary care groups was funded using moneys released by the abolition of general practitioner fundholding. The previous Government had set aside an annual budget of £180 million to run fundholding. We have used those moneys both to set up primary care groups and to improve services to patients. Approximately £150 million additional moneys was used following the establishment of primary care groups.

Waiting Lists

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the in-patient waiting list was, expressed per

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1,000 of weighted population for the Isle of Wight in March (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000 and (e) 2001. [17686]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is in the table.

As at MarchSize of in-patient waiting listWeighted populationIn-patient waiting list per 1,000 head of weighted population


1. In April 2001, Isle of Wight health authority merged to form Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and South East Hampshire HA.

2. The data provided refers to the old HA.

3. Population is weighted for age, additional need (over and above that accounted for by age) and variations in the unavoidable cost of providing health care (market forces factor etc.)

4. Populations for 1997, 1998 and 1999 are not directly comparable to those for 2000 and 2001 as unified allocations covering hospital and community health services (HCHS), prescribing and GP infrastructure are included from 2000 onwards.


QF01 waiting times returns/FD Resource Allocation 2 population data

Social Services

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish his final guidance for local authorities on charging for social services. [17673]

Jacqui Smith: We published final guidance for local councils on charging for non-residential social services on 23 November. The guidance is available on the Department's website at homecarecharges.

General Practitioners

Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of general practitioner practices in the (a) Leigh constituency, (b) Wigan borough and (c) Greater Manchester are below minimum standards. [16886]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 26 November 2001]: The information requested is not available centrally. However, at the last inspection visit, all practices in the Wigan and Leigh areas met the minimum standards.

IT Expenditure

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer, of 20 November 2001, Official Report, column 243W, on expenditure on IT, if he will publish such information as he has on expenditure. [18234]

Ms Blears [holding answer 26 November 2001]: The figures for information technology management are not separately collected across the Directorates. The figures for the Information Policy Unit from its establishment in January 1999 are: 1999–2000—£2.98 million; 2000–01—£2.91 million; 2001–02—£2.09 million. These resources are from The Departmental Vote.

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Multiple Sclerosis

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the use of interferon beta and glatiramer in the treatment of multiple sclerosis; and if he will make a statement. [17248]

Ms Blears [holding answer 26 November 2001]: We are currently holding discussions with the manufacturers to consider a range of options under which drugs for multiple sclerosis might be made available under the national health service. One option is a 'risk-sharing' scheme which will evaluate their clinical and cost effectiveness, and until these discussions are concluded we cannot provide the information requested.


Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the number of dentists providing NHS treatment in Huntingdon; and if he will make a statement. [17480]

Ms Blears [holding answer 26 November 2001]: A monthly assessment of the number of national health service dentists in the Huntingdon area is made by Cambridgeshire health authority. This information is made available to members of the public on the NHS Direct website.

In the Huntingdonshire Primary Care Trust area there are 56 general dental practitioners providing NHS treatment. Sixteen of these are currently accepting new NHS dental patients.

In addition, a daily dental service is provided for people in the Huntingdon area who need urgent treatment and are not registered with a dentist.

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the adult population in (a) England, (b) Cornwall and (c) the United Kingdom were registered with NHS dentists in (i) 1997–98, (ii) 1998–99, (iii) 1999–2000 and (iv) 2000–01. [19947]

Ms Blears: The percentage of adults registered with a general dental service (GDS) dentist per head of population is shown in the table for England, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly health authority and the United Kingdom for 30 September in each of the years 1997–98 to 2000–01.

The registration rates for September 1997 are not comparable with the later figures as they reflect a 24 month registration period, the later figures reflect a 15 month registration period.

The registration rates for 1999–2000 and 2000–01 are affected by the number of patients now seen in the Cornwall personal dental services (PDS) schemes. During 2000–01 some 13,000 individual adult patients were seen via these PDS schemes, which corresponds to about 3 per cent. of the local population.

General dental service: Percentage of adult registrations(38) per population(39), 1997–98 to 2000–01

September each yearEnglandCornwall and the Isles of Scilly HAUnited Kingdom

1. Based on the number of adult registrations at 30 September for each financial year.

2. ONS mid year adult population estimates used to calculate percentage of adult patients registered.

3. Registration rates reflect a 24 month registration period rather than 15 months which is the basis of the later figures.

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Labels and Leaflets

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent representations he has received from the pharmaceutical industry about compliance with the Labels and Leaflets Directive (Directive 92/27/EEC); [15659]

Ms Blears: The Directive was incorporated into United Kingdom law by the Medicines (Marketing Authorisations Etc) Regulations 1994. It is an offence for any person in the course of business to sell or supply a medicine to which the Directive relates without the approved leaflet and appropriate label. Neither the Department nor its agencies have issued guidance to pharmacists.

The information required to be provided to a patient about a prescription medicine when it is dispensed, and the form in which the information should be provided, is set out in the Medicines for Human Use (Marketing Authorisations Etc) Regulations 1994 and Directive 92/27/EEC—copies of which are available in the Library.

We receive representations about compliance with the Directive from time to time from the pharmaceutical industry and others.

Smear Tests

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average turnaround time is for cervical smear tests within the NHS in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [18372]

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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 29 November 2001]: Guidance from the national health service cervical screening programme states that women should have to wait no longer than six weeks for the written results of their cervical smear test. Results are sent either by the health authority or by the general practitioner according to local practice. Two thirds of health authorities currently send the results directly.

Information on waiting times for screening test results is only available for those areas where the result letters are sent to women by the health authorities. In 2000–01, 60 per cent. of women in these health authorities received their written cervical screening test result within six weeks. 91 per cent. received their written result within 10 weeks 1 . Where the six week target is not achieved, we look to the relevant health authority to address reasons for this.

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