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Ms Blears: The piloting phase of the national system for reporting, analysing and learning from adverse incidents, which is being run by the National Patient Safety Agency, concluded at the end of March 2002. An evaluation report of the pilots was presented to the National Patient Safety Agency Board at its public meeting on 10 April, and a report on the implementation programme across the wider national health service will be presented to the Board meeting in May 2002.
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Copies of the pilot evaluation report as contained in the Board meeting papers of 10 April will be placed in the Library. The report will also be available on the National Patient Safety Agency website at: www.npsa.org.uk.
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total drugs bill was in cash terms for the (a) hospital and community health service and (b) family health service for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
|Year||Family health services (FHS)||Hospital and community health services (HCHS)||Total|
The figures for FHS cash out-turn are net of pharmaceutical price regulation scheme (PPRS) receipts.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what precautions his Department recommends in order to protect dentists and their employees from exposure to mercury during the placement or removal of dental amalgam fillings. 
Ms Blears: Dentists are required to work within health and safety legislation and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations regarding all aspects of their practice, including the handling of mercury and dental amalgam. The British Dental Association also issues guidance on this topic.
Ms Blears: The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) reviewed the safety of dental amalgam fillings in 1997 and concluded that their use was free from systemic toxicity and did not pose a risk. As a precautionary measure, COT advised dentists that it may be prudent to avoid, where clinically reasonable, the placement or removal of amalgam fillings during pregnancy. This guidance to dentists remains current.
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Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the Government's target figure is for the number of (a) GPs and (b) NHS dentists per thousand population; and what the number for the Bolton, South-East parliamentary constituency is. 
Jacqui Smith: There is no Government target for the number of general practitioners (GPs) per thousand population. The number of GPs per thousand at 30 September 2001 is shown in the table for England and also for Wigan and Bolton health authority. Information is not available by constituency.
The target is a floor not a ceiling. The guidance on filling GP vacancy issued on 13 March 2002 stated new PCTs below the existing average of 53.2 GPs per 100,000, like Bolton South East, should look to increase GP numbers by at least 6 per cent. or to at least the projected average of 55.7 GPs per 100,000. This would mean Bolton South East should look to recruit at least three and up to 20 GPs by 2004.
There is no Government target for the number of NHS dentists per thousand population. The number of NHS dentists per thousand population at 30 September 2001 is shown in the table for England and also for Wigan and Bolton health authority area. Information is not available by constituency.
The data includes dentists working in the General Dental Service (GDS), Personal Dental Service (PDS), Community and Hospital Dental Service (CHDS) and salaried dentists in the GDS. Dentists working solely in private dentistry are not covered in these figures.
|England||Wigan and Bolton|
|NHS Plan GPs(14)||28,802||293|
|Unrestricted principals and equivalents (UPEs)||27,843||282|
|Practitioners per 1,000 population||0.63||0.53|
|NHS Plan GPs per 1,000 population||0.57||0.51|
|UPEs per 1,000 population||0.55||0.49|
(13) All practitioners comprises: (GMS Unrestricted Principals, PMS Contracted GPs and PMS Salaried GPs collectively known as UPEs) Restricted Principals; Assistants; GP Registrars; Salaried Doctors (paragraph 52 SFA), PMS, Other and GP Retainers.
(14) NHS Plan GPs are defined as Total Practitioners excluding GP Registrars and GP Retainers.
Department of Health General and Personal Medical Services Statistics
Population date: ONS (1998 based) projected population estimates.
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|England||Wigan and Bolton|
|Number of dentists(15)||22,439||210|
|Number of dentists(15),(16) per 1,000 population(17)||0.45||0.36|
(15) Includes dentists working in the general dental service, personal dental service, community and hospital dental services and salaried dentists in the GDS.
(16) Some dentists work in more than one dental service. Dentists will be counted in each service apart from dentists working in both the PDS and GDS.
(17) ONS 2000 mid-year population estimates based on the 1991 census.
Ms Blears: All dental practitioners have an ethical and professional responsibility to keep comprehensive, accurate and up to date dental records for their patients. While the Department provides appropriate record cards for use by dental practitioners, it does not dictate the format in which dentists should keep their records. This is a matter for the individuals concerned.
Where claims are made for payment under national health service arrangements, the Dental Practice Board carries out random checks to monitor and follow up as appropriate, the accuracy of individual claims and records
24 Apr 2002 : Column 356W
|Target 1||Target 2|
|Health authority||Average number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft more than 1.0)||Percentage of children with no caries experience|
|Kingston and Richmond||0.66||78.8|
|North and Mid Hampshire||0.83||74.6|
|East Sussex, Brighton and Hove||0.91||74.1|
(18) Health authority has met target 1 but not met target 2.
Jacqui Smith: Starting from May 2002, every baby in the East Riding and Hull area will receive a baby dental pack at their seven to nine month health assessment. Two "Sure Start" pilots in the West Hull area will also benefit from the brushing for life scheme. This Government initiative aims to improve oral health of children under five years. Free toothbrushes and toothpaste will be given to children at their eight month and 18 month general health development check.
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