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Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what health authority areas in England have recently identified difficulties in recruiting general practitioners; 
Mr. Hutton: The information requested on health authorities that have recently identified difficulties in recruiting general practitioners is not available. Information on vacancies is available in the GP Recruitment, Retention and Vacancy Survey. Copies are available in the Library or at www.doh.gov.uk/stats/ gprrvsurvey2001.htm.
The NHS Plan includes targets for at least 2,000 extra GPs and 450 extra GP registrars, since increased to 550, by 2004. The latest information available shows that on 30 September 2000 there had been a 9.1 per cent. increase in the number of GP registrars, to 1,659. This is the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest annual percentage increase for 20 years.
In order to deliver the recruitment targets a number of initiatives are under way. Various recruitment and retention initiatives are being pursued that are aimed at encouraging qualified GPs into, or return to, practice. They include: the Golden Hello scheme for those GPs taking up their first substantive appointment; the highly successful GP retainer scheme on which are around 1,120 GPs; the introduction of up to 20 days a year of protected time for higher professional training to help ease the transition from training to general practice; improving working lives with new measures for maternity and paternity leave and NHS child care; and the Cabinet Office review aimed to eliminate the amount of non-clinical paperwork and bureaucracy overheads.
Last month we announced the lifting of the funding bar on recruiting non-European Economic Area doctors to GP registrar posts. To further increase supply, the Home Office's Highly Skilled Migrant Entry Programme now includes provision to facilitate the recruitment and retention of suitably qualified overseas doctors who wish to work as general practitioners for the national health service.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of the standard of general practitioner surgery; and what percentage have full disabled access and facilities; 
Mr. Hutton: A study undertaken by the Valuation Office agency on behalf of the Department indicates that around 82 per cent. of general practitioner premises have good to average disabled access. General practitioners can apply to their primary care trust or group for grants
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towards the cost of improving access to and within their premises. Alternatively, GPs can owner-occupy or lease modern replacement properties that comply with access and other building standards. Costs are met from a variety of national health service funding sources.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dental practices there are in Stafford constituency; and how many are accepting new NHS patients. 
Ms Blears: There are 16 dental practices in the Stafford constituency. Of these, one is currently accepting all categories of registrations, three will accept exempt adults and children, six will accept children and the remaining six are not currently accepting registrations.
There is also a Dental Access Centre in Stafford, which is open seven days a week, providing access to dental care for people not registered with a dentist. In addition, there is a Dental Access Centre in Cannock which, although not located within the Stafford constituency, may be appropriate for some people who live on that side of the Stafford constituency, and which is open most week days and some Saturdays.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what examination he has made of the use made by acute hospital trusts of the money given to ward managers for ward improvements. 
Mr. Hutton: Ward environment budgets were introduced on 1 October 2000. They give the ward sisters and charge nurses that manage a ward a minimum of £5,000 a year to improve patient care and improve the working lives of staff. An independent MORI telephone survey in mid December 2000 showed over 70 per cent. of ward sisters and charge nurses had been able to improve the ward environment in the two months since the budget had been launched. The majority of purchases provided greater comfort for patients as well as visual improvements to the ward environment.
In keeping with the stated objective of reducing bureaucracy, no further surveys have been undertaken since that date.
Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to establish a national service framework for lung disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: There are currently no plans to establish a National Service Framework for lung disease. The NSF for Older People recognises the importance of respiratory diseases to the health and well being of older people. The NSF provides for a 10-year developing framework for action across health and social care, and within this arthritis and respiratory disease in older people are the next priorities for future work. The focus of this will be older people, but the service model will have implications for and apply to all who need these services, regardless of their age.
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There are a range of Government initiatives already in place which take a preventive approach to lung disease and have long-term objectives to improve treatment and care. These include the investment of £53 million in smoking cessation services. Smoking is the major cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been asked to prepare clinical guidelines for the NHS for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and the management and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will estimate the total annual value of London weightings and London living allowances for her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Estelle Morris: As at 30 November 2001, the total value of London weightings and London allowance being paid to Department for Education and Skills staff is £19,760 per annum.
London weightings and London allowance have been consolidated into the basic pay of staff in the Department for Education and Skills, with the exception of 11 senior civil servants who have opted to receive the allowances separately.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list each initiative by her Department that has attracted additional funding for (a) primary and (b) secondary schools between 199798 and 200102, indicating the overall budget for each initiative and the number of schools that have participated in each one. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 20 November 2002]: The information requested is contained in tables, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average real term base line funding per pupil was at (a) primary and (b) secondary level in each of year between 199798 and 200102, excluding additional funding that was made available to all pupils in all schools. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 20 November 2002]: The information requested is set out in the table.
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Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total amount of additional funding made available by the DFEE/DFES per pupil was at (a) primary and (b) secondary level between 199798 and 200102, excluding amounts made available to all pupils in all schools. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 20 November 2002]: The information requested is set out in the following table:
(11) Non-SF grants and Standards Fund
1. All figures rounded to the nearest £10
2. Grant figures are drawn from the relevant parts of the answer to PQ16607.
3. Capital funding is excluded from these figures.
4. Primary and Secondary figures are estimates because a split of grants between sectors is not available; the data are not collected in that way.
5. Figures for 200102 include the Teachers Pay Reform Grant, the actual figures for which will not be known for a while, but Threshold costs for each academic year are expected to be in the region of £450 million.
6. Figures for 200102 include latest figures for Transitional Funding Grant and Transitional Insurance Grant (both former GM schools). These are subject to change.
7. The pupil numbers used in the calculations are those aged 510 (primary) and those aged 1115 (secondary)as defined in each year's SSA settlement.
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