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14 Jan 2004 : Column 794Wcontinued
Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what percentage of people eligible for Winter Fuel Payments for 2003 received their payments by (a) 1 December 2003 and (b) 1 January; and if he will make a statement; 
14 Jan 2004 : Column 795W
1 December 2003. A further 27,272 payments were processed and issued by 1 January 2004.
We cannot provide an estimate of the percentage of eligible people in receipt of a Winter Fuel Payment using DWP administrative data because we do not have complete information on household circumstances and payments are based on household composition.
Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps have been taken to ensure that all people eligible for Winter Fuel Payments for 2003 have received their payments; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Most payments are made automatically, without the need to claim. Each year, we are able to identify most people likely to become newly eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment using current departmental records and they are sent claim forms automatically with an invitation to make a claim. This year they have until 30 March 2004 to make their claim.
From June each year a publicity campaign is launched which continues through to the cut off date for applications in March. The campaign includes advertisements in national and regional press and leaflets and posters. There is also a Winter Fuel Payment helpline which is open all year round and information on the internet which is updated each year with specific details for that year's payment.
Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for each of the maternal deaths associated with termination of pregnancy for the period 1991-1999, (a) under what section of the Abortion Act 1967 the termination of pregnancy was being performed, (b) at what stage of gestation the pregnancy was and (c) what the age of the mother was. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The following information, on the eight maternal deaths associated with termination of pregnancy for the period 1991-1999, has been taken from the relevant triennial Report on Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom. This is the only information available as after preparation of the Report, and before publication, all the maternal deaths report forms and related documents and files are destroyed.
|Gestation||Number of cases|
|10 to 12||1|
|13 to 19||3|
For age, there were three references to "young woman", two for women in their "twenties" and one for a woman in her "thirties". In the other two cases, age was not stated.
14 Jan 2004 : Column 796W
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effects on the incidence of birth defects of living close to landfill sites; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: A number of scientific studies have investigated whether there are higher than usual levels of congenital anomalies (birth defects) in populations living near to landfill sites, but no clear picture has emerged.
The Government commissioned the Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) at Imperial College to carry out a national study (Elliott et al, BMJ 2001; 323: 3638, available at http://www.bmj.com. A full report is at http://www.doh.gov.uk/pdfs/report aug13.pdf). SAHSU found a small increase in congenital anomalies in populations living close to landfill sites. The study has not shown, or indeed could show, a causal link between landfill sites and birth defects. The independent expert Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) noted that the findings for birth outcomes were not consistent, and that the study provided no evidence that the rates of anomalies increased after sites had opened. COT advised that it is inappropriate to draw firm conclusions from the results. The opinion of COT is at http://www.doh.gov.uk/cotnonfood/landfill.htm. SAHSU also specifically analysed the data on birth outcomes in populations living near "special waste" landfill sites in Scotland, and found no evidence to suggest an excess risk of congenital anomalies (Morris et al, Scottish Medical Journal 2003; 48: 105107, www.smj.org.uk).
The Government have in place a research programme on the impacts on health of landfill sites. The report of one project, which reviewed the potential for chemicals which may be released from landfill sites to affect the unborn child, is at http://www.doh.gov.uk/landfillrep.pdf. The programme also includes reviews of the known causes and the geographical variation of congenital anomalies. Another project, funded by the Environment Agency, is undertaking detailed monitoring of emissions from landfill sites in order to assess the exposure of people living and working nearby. SAHSU is examining the geographical variation of congenital anomalies and is conducting an epidemiological study of Down's syndrome in relation to landfill sites in England and Wales.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cardiologists in the West Midlands specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of complex disorders of heart rhythm requiring ablation of parts of the conducting system; and how long the waiting list is for this treatment. 
14 Jan 2004 : Column 797W
|Strategic health authority||Number of cardiologists|
|Birmingham and the Black Country||38|
|West Midlands South||15|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||15|
Department of Health Medical and Dental Workforce Census.
The Department does not hold information centrally on the particular specialism of each clinician. Waiting times for this procedure are not collected separately from other cardiological procedures, but the maximum waiting time for all in-patient procedures is currently 12 months and will be nine months by the end of March 2005.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many requests for an independent review against Castle Point and Rochford Primary Care Trust's decisions relating to Health Care Funding have been received in the last 12 months; and how many were upheld. 
Dr. Ladyman: I am advised by Essex strategic health authority (SHA) that the continuing care panel has heard one case in relation to Castle Point and Rochford Primary Care Trust (PCT) and has one case pending.
14 Jan 2004 : Column 798W
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) principal and (b) assistant dentists there were in (i) England, (ii) each NHS region and (iii) each strategic health authority who (A) offered NHS treatment and (B) had vacancies for NHS patients, in each of the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of dentists providing general dental services dentistry in September in each of the years 1999 to 2003 is shown in table 1, separately for principal dentists and for dental assistants. The figures given prior to 2002 are derived from the old health authority areas.
Information on dentists taking on new national health service patients is available on the www.nhs.uk/ web-site. The number of dentists accepting new NHS patients on 4 December 2003 is shown in table 2 for three main patient categories. This information is not available separately for principals and assistants. Earlier information is not available.
|Northern and Yorkshire||1,912||1,927||1,986|||||
|South and West||1,747||1,787||1,783|||||
|Strategic Health Authority|
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire||802||796||796||787||679|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||584||583||599||588||563|
|Birmingham and The Black Country||630||630||631||648||890|
|Cheshire and Merseyside||756||763||764||762||764|
|County Durham and Tees Valley||319||323||334||345||489|
|Coventry, Warks, Herefordshire and Worcs.||471||477||477||489||493|
|Cumbria and Lancashire||591||586||598||595||658|
|Dorset and Somerset||400||419||413||416||498|
|Hampshire and Isle Of Wight||557||565||568||565||431|
|Kent and Medway||521||509||508||505||680|
|Leics, Northants and Rutland||411||405||411||416||588|
|Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire||615||609||615||624||807|
|North and East Yorkshire and N. Lincs||472||483||501||503||473|
|North Central London||527||537||541||552||368|
|North East London||420||431||442||417||532|
|North West London||786||800||792||771||675|
|Northumberland, Tyne and Wear||439||442||448||458||407|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||397||417||408||415||492|
|South East London||482||505||503||492||504|
|South West London||529||517||537||541||169|
|South West Peninsula||545||572||574||557||511|
|Surrey and Sussex||1,025||1,050||1,081||1,080||1,009|
|Northern and Yorkshire||54||59||68|||||
|South and West||102||111||133|||||
|Strategic health authority|
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire||52||68||67||65||67|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||44||105||84||92||43|
|Birmingham and The Black Country||27||29||41||43||67|
|Cheshire and Merseyside||42||30||43||41||52|
|County Durham and Tees Valley||10||7||12||10||16|
|Coventry, Warks, Herefordshire and Worcs.||18||14||24||22||44|
|Cumbria and Lancashire||28||24||29||30||44|
|Dorset and Somerset||22||18||30||37||39|
|Hampshire and Isle Of Wight||66||44||64||71||38|
|Kent and Medway||35||50||53||66||76|
|Leics, Northants and Rutland||14||17||19||19||52|
|Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire||81||128||117||125||107|
|North and East Yorkshire and N. Lincs||18||20||15||15||29|
|North Central London||46||69||51||53||19|
|North East London||82||52||60||61||60|
|North West London||67||64||83||77||52|
|Northumberland, Tyne and Wear||10||8||8||14||21|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||24||14||23||16||22|
|South East London||43||38||45||40||47|
|South West London||34||46||56||54||10|
|South West Peninsula||28||25||36||43||37|
|Surrey and Sussex||50||64||79||82||74|
Assistant dentist numbers do not include VDP's (vocational dental practitioners).
14 Jan 2004 : Column 799W
|Strategic Health Authority||Charge paying adults||Charge exempt adults||Children|
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire||71||103||146|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||455||537||650|
|Birmingham and the Black Country||469||506||552|
|Cheshire and Merseyside||571||616||756|
|County Durham and Tees Valley||375||384||412|
|Coventry, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire||197||200||270|
|Cumbria and Lancashire||102||212||102|
|Dorset and Somerset||61||60||81|
|Hampshire and Isle Of Wight||69||103||184|
|Kent and Medway||173||233||313|
|Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland||167||164||184|
|Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire||413||437||543|
|North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire||127||156||191|
|North Central London||390||392||486|
|North East London||267||294||252|
|North West London||369||465||568|
|Northumberland, Tyne And Wear||468||456||479|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||67||85||159|
|South East London||406||529||586|
|South West London||260||323||382|
|South West Peninsula||84||41||130|
|Surrey and Sussex||362||455||689|
14 Jan 2004 : Column 801W
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people aged (a) 17 years or under and (b) 18 years or over were registered with an NHS dentist in (i) England, (ii) each NHS region and (iii) each strategic health authority in each of the last five years; and what proportion each represents of the relevant age group. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information showing the number of people and the percentage of the population registered with a general dental service dentist by national health service region and strategic health authority at 30 September for each of the last five years, has been placed in the Library. The figures given prior to 2002 are derived from the old health authority areas. Following reorganisation, figures for NHS regions are not available from September 2002 onwards.
Registrations lapse if patients do not return to their dentist within 15 months and so the registration figures exclude patients who have not been to their dentist within the past 15 months. The figures also exclude patients who receive dental treatment from other NHS dental services including dental access centres and those patients who choose not to register and who seek treatment on an occasional basis.
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