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Mr. Hutton: Work force statistics collected on scientific, therapeutic and technical staff which includes chiropody/podiatry staff annually for all national health service organisations in England. The table shows the figures for primary care trusts only.
|All chiropody/podiatry staff|
|All Primary Care Trusts||940|
|Northern and Yorkshire||90|
|All Primary Care Trusts||1,170|
|Northern and Yorkshire||110|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10
2. Due to rounding figures may not equal the sum of component parts
Department of Health Non-Medical Workforce Census
25 Feb 2002 : Column 985W
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for assistance to those people refused treatment by the Podiatry Service due to failing to meet the medical criteria yet incapable of looking after their feet; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: Responsibility for the provision of national health service chiropody/podiatry services rests with individual NHS organisations. It is for them to decide what criteria to apply to clinically prioritise access to chiropody/podiatry services but vulnerable groups of people such as older people, children and people with diabetes and those with learning disabilities should normally receive priority.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people used the Podiatry Service within the NHS in the last 12 months for which figures are available; what estimate he has made of how many people will be refused treatment by the Podiatry Service within the NHS as a result of the new guidelines; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: In 200001, the latest year for which figures are available, 2.25 million people received national health service chiropody services. Information about patient contracts with the chiropody service in England is collected on Department's return KT23 and published each year. The latest publication "Chiropody services: summary information for 200001, England" is in the Library and is available on the Department's website at www.doh.gov.uk/public/kt230001.
The Department has not issued any guidelines to the national health service on the provision of chiropody/ podiatry services. It is the responsibility of local commissioners to determine the needs of their local population and provide services within available resources.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines the NHS has given to community care trusts with regard to the podiatry treatment to be offered to patients under the NHS; who set the criteria; whether the patient may challenge the criteria; and if he will make a statement. 
25 Feb 2002 : Column 986W
local commissioners to determine the needs of their local population and provide services within available resources. Therefore criteria, if set, will be determined locally. Patients can use complaints procedures about any treatment issue and in the first instance they should contact the complaints manager at the hospital concerned or their health authority.
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the cost to the national health service of over-prescribing of antibiotics in each of the last five years. 
Ms Blears: We have no direct evidence of over- prescribing of antibiotics. However, in the light of concerns over antimicrobial resistance we have taken action to ensure the appropriate use of antibiotics with the result that prescriptions issued over the period 1997 to 2000 have fallen by around 20 per cent.
(3) for what reason the Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Amendment Regulations were revoked. 
Ms Blears: The Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Amendment Regulations 2001 came into force on 28 January 2002. Following representations made by, and on behalf of, the insurance industry that the introduction of the regulations had taken place without adequate consultation the regulations were revoked and the previous rates reinstated with effect from 8 February 2002.
Ms Blears: In the quarter October to December 2001 65 per cent. of children were registered with an NHS dentist compared with 61 per cent. in England and 57 per cent. of adults in Wirral were registered compared to 45 per cent. in England.
25 Feb 2002 : Column 987W
Wirral dentists have received £350,788 from the £35 million dentistry modernisation fund announced in May 2001, which has been used locally to increase the provision and scope of surgery and modernise premises and upgrade equipment.
Two Personal Dental Service Pilots have been established in Wirral with central funding. One is bringing dentistry for the first time to the Leasowe Housing estate, a very socially disadvantaged area in North Wirral.
Mr. Robert Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the existing UK stocks of smallpox vaccine have undergone tests for efficacy and safety, with particular reference to TSE, in line with recommendations by the Medicines Control Agency and EMEA. 
Mr. Hutton: [holding answer 5 January 2002]: Existing United Kingdom stocks of smallpox vaccine are held on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health, but do not have a current marketing authorisation (licence) issued by the Medicines Control Agency (MCA). There were originally three licences for smallpox vaccine held by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State. At the request of the licence holder, these licences were cancelled in the early 1990s.
The UK stocks of vaccine have been tested on a regular basis for potency. Last year the Department asked the holder of the stocks to recheck the viability of the virus in the vaccine and to repeat the safety and quality control tests originally performed on vaccine stocks as described in the World Health Organisation recommendations on smallpox vaccine manufacture.
Because of the particular nature of the disease for which this vaccine was developed it has never been possible to conduct formal clinical trials in humans to demonstrate efficacy in the prevention of smallpox that would normally support an application for a licence for a medicinal product.
The vaccines held in stock are no longer licensed medicinal products and were not therefore included in the exercise undertaken in all member states of the European Union, by way of implementing Commission Directive 1999/82/EC, to require all marketing authorisation (licence) holders to demonstrate that their products comply with the current guideline. Compliance with these guidelines has been a legal requirement for new licence applications since 1 July 2000 and for products already on the market since 1 March 2001.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for 199798 and each subsequent financial year the amount spent by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies in respect of hotel and other similar privately-provided accommodation (i) in the UK and (ii) abroad for (A) Ministers, (B) staff and (C) other persons; if he will list the proportion of this cost incurred in respect of (x) food and (y) alcohol in each case; and if he will list the average cost per hotel room or similar unit of accommodation provided in each case. 
25 Feb 2002 : Column 988W
We have also published on an annual basis the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. The 1999 list contained information on all such visits undertaken from 2 May 1997 to 31 April 1999. Copies of the lists are available in the Library.
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