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11 Dec 2002 : Column 390Wcontinued
Mr. Hutton: The NHS Plan makes a commitment to substantially increase the national health service work force by March 2004. The numbers of consultants are expected to increase by 7,500, specialist registrar numbers by 1,000, general practitioner (GP) numbers by 2,000 and GP registrar numbers by 550 over a 1999 baseline.
Between September 1997 and September 2001, the number of total NHS doctors increased by 11 per cent. and specialist registrar (SpR) numbers specifically also increased by 11 per cent. Between September 1997 and March 2002, the number of consultants and GPs increased by 23 per cent. and 3 per cent. respectively and GP registrar numbers by 42 per cent.
Identify and encourage suitable doctors on the specialist register to compete for posts;
Target action to reduce delay to certificate of completion of specialists training completion and encourage recent qualifiers to take up consultant posts;
Establish more part-time and job-share posts;
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delayed retirement payments
flexible career scheme
extension of the improving working lives initiative to primary care
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many drug rehabilitation places are available to registered drug addicts in Fareham; and how many registered drug addicts in Fareham are receiving (a) rehabilitation and (b) other forms of drug treatment. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 9 December 2002]: Drug misuers have access to a community drug team in Fareham. Most community drug services can refer patients to rehabilitation services throughout the country: not just those in the local area. There are 138
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residential treatment services in England. There are around 3,100 bedspaces within the drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation sector.
The information available for drug users presenting to drug treatment agencies and general practitioners in health authorities in Hampshire in the six-month periods from October 2000 to March 2001 is shown in the table.
|October 2000 March 2001|
|North and mid Hants||89|
|Portsmouth and south-east Hants||281|
|Southampton and south-west Hants||220|
|Total for all three HAs||590|
Department of Health series of Statistical Bulletins, XStatistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases".
Ms Blears [holding answer 9 December 2002]: Information is not available in the form requested. The information available for drug users presenting to drug treatment agencies and general practitioners in health authorities in Hampshire and England in the six months periods from April 1997 to March 2001 is shown in Table 1. Information on the numbers in treatment is only available for 200001 and is shown in Table 2.
|England||North and mid Hampshire||Portsmouth and south-east Hants||Southampton and south-west Hampshire||Totals for these three HAs|
|October 1997March 1998||23,916||50||161||257||468|
|October 1998March 1999||28,499||60||196||118||374|
|October 1999March 2000||31,815||21||231||153||405|
|October 2000March 2001||33,234||89||281||220||590|
The Department of Health series of statistical bulletins XStatistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases"
|Area of treatment||Number|
|North and mid Hampshire||329||1,863|
|Portsmouth and south-east Hants||836||1,863|
|Southampton and south-west Hampshire||698||1,863|
Statistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases on drug misusers in treatment in England, 200001
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residential services are provided through the voluntary sector. Their primary role is to provide non-medical social care services. For this reason they are funded through social services community care.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the availability to NHS patients of the drug Ebixa for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease; when the National Institute of Clinical Excellence will issue guidance on the use of Ebixa for the NHS in England and Wales; and what interim measures have been put in place to ensure that the drug Ebixa will be available to NHS patients pending the outcome of the NICE appraisal; 
(3) what provisions his Department has put in place to ensure that NHS patients in Dorset who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and who would benefit from the drug Ebixa are able to receive that drug. 
Jacqui Smith: The drug memantine (Ebixa) was launched in this country for the treatment of people with severe dementia in October 2002. In line with Circular HSC1999/176, national health service bodies should use existing arrangements to access the publicly available evidence about memantine (Ebixa) and to determine local policies for the use of this drug. No estimates have been made about the likely future cost of this drug for people with severe dementia. No decision has been made as to whether to ask the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to carry out an appraisal of memantine for the treatment of people with dementia.
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practices was in (a) England, (b) York and (c) North Yorkshire on (i) 1 May 1997 and (ii) 1 September 2002. 
Mr. Hutton: We do not have specific detail of the level of applications for partners in general practitioner (GP) practices in the areas and at the times requested. However the Medical Practices Committee survey of GP recruitment in England and Wales 1997 estimated that there was an average of 8.4 applicants per general medical service partner vacancy in 1997.
The latest Department reportXthe General Practitioner Recruitment, Retention and Vacancy Survey 2002 for England and Wales", estimated that there was an average of 4.4 applicants per unrestricted principal or equivalent GP vacancy in the 12 months period ending 28 February 2002.
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