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4 Feb 2004 : Column 967W—continued

NHS Budget (Non-British Citizens)

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the annual budget for the national health service in 2003–04 has been spent on treatment of non-British citizens. [150645]

Mr. Hutton: Entitlement to free national health service treatment is based on residence in the United Kingdom. The national health service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989 place a duty on

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NHS trusts to establish whether a patient is ordinarily resident or otherwise eligible for free NHS hospital treatment and, if not, to levy a charge for any treatment provided.

The amounts collected from NHS charged patients are not separately identified in trust accounts and are not collected centrally.

NHS Complaints Procedure

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the individuals and organisations from which his Department, its executive agencies and the non-departmental public bodies for which his Department are responsible received a response to the consultation, Reforming the NHS complaints procedure: a listening document. [149869]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 22 January 2004]: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

NHS Funding

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each (a) NHS region, (b) health authority and (c) NHS trust for each quarter of 2002–03 the (i) monetary value of approvals to use (A) capital and (B) revenue for capital purposes, (ii) number of approvals and (iii) total capital allocation. [152509]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 3 February 2004]: The allocation of capital resources available for hospital and community health services for 2002–03 is contained in HSC 2001/027. This shows that £85.6 million was set aside for central budgets (to be distributed by the Department of Health); none was distributed directly to health authorities and the table below shows the allocations to regions for 2002–03.


2002–03 regional capitalplanning totalsGeneral allocationsRenal servicesFallon EnquiryTotal
Northern and Yorkshire183,1121,171184,283
South East231,8671,489233,356
South West132,332841133,173
West Midlands157,6611,010158,671
North West198,2731,2483,000202,521

The allocations for renal services and the Fallon Enquiry were earmarked for specific initiatives. The general allocations in column two contained an element for the Local Capital Modernisation Fund (£110 million) initiative but the remaining £1.352 billion was available to regional offices to fund block and discretionary capital projects at individual trusts. It was for regions to agree individual capital projects with their local trusts and distribute the funding accordingly. To gather this information would involve disproportionate cost.

Under Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts new serviced assets are paid for by annual payments from

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revenue allocations. This is the use of revenue for capital purposes. The major PFI schemes which were approved (which signed contracts) during the financial year

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2002–03 and for which records are held centrally on the unitary payment which becomes payable when the scheme is fully operational are listed in the table.

NHS trustRegionDate of approvalUnitary payment(£ million)
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS TrustSouth West1 May 200221,267
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS TrustWest Midlands27 November 200250,211

NHS Professionals

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of whether NHS Professionals is able to operate more efficiently than the previous arrangements for the recruitment of staff. [152012]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 30 January 2004]: The benefits from the establishment of the NHS Professionals Special Health Authority will be achieved over time both in terms of reducing costs and in ensuring higher standards in the recruitment and development of temporary staff. National health service trusts across the country have already seen a reduction in temporary staffing costs and improvement in bank fill rates due to NHS Professionals. Local agency agreements have also saved an estimated £50 million over the last year.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the policy of NHS Professionals is on the international recruitment of nurses; how many nurses it has recruited from abroad in each year since its inception; and which countries these nurses came from. [152013]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 30 January 2004]: The NHS Professionals Special Health Authority does not currently recruit nursing staff from abroad. Information is not available on the nationalities of the nurses recruited to date by NHS Professionals.

Nurses/Trainees and Midwives

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to commission research into the reasons why (a) nurses and (b) midwives trained in the UK (i) do not register with the Nurses and Midwifery Council and (ii) practise overseas; [151344]

Mr. Hutton: The Department have a continuing programme of research into workforce issues, which is reviewed on a regular basis. The Nursing Research Unit at King's College London has undertaken studies of the careers of the 1990–91 cohort of registered general nurses and the 1997–98 cohort of Project 2000 diplomates. Both studies provide information about practising overseas, the findings will be placed in the Library. The diplomate cohort provides information about registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

With regard to registering with the NMC, the study showed that the overwhelming majority of newly qualified or about to qualify nurses and midwives had registered or were about to register with the NMC. With regard to practising overseas, while many nurses and midwives expressed an interest in working abroad while in training, of these who intended to work overseas, under 2 per cent., actually went on to work abroad once they started nursing.

Nurses have always used their qualifications to work overseas. The United Kingdom is a net importer of nurses and midwives and there are more qualified nurses working in the national health service than ever before. Between September 1997 and March 2003 there has been an increase of over 55,000 nurses working in the NHS. This shows that our recruitment and retention policies are working and suggests that overseas nurses consider the UK to be a good place to work.

Nursing Students (Tuition Fees)

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of meeting tuition fees for nursing students arising from the Higher Education Bill. [152334]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 2 February 2004]: Existing contracts between strategic health authorities and higher education institutions for nursing, midwifery and allied health professional training, cover the full cost of that training, including tuition. The consultation document, "Funding Learning and Development for the Healthcare Workforce", sets out our proposal for a national model contract. It is intended that this contract for national health service-funded pre-registration courses, to be introduced from 1 April 2004, will continue to cover the full cost of training and will specifically prohibit the charging of variable fees to NHS students arising from the Higher Education Bill. There will, therefore, be no additional cost to the NHS for meeting tuition fees arising from the Higher Education Bill.

Primary Care Trusts

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs) of the funding announced in his Department's press release of 18 September; and what guidance he will issue to PCTs on how their allocations on local dental services are to be spent. [145178]

Ms Rosie Winterton: On 18 September 2003, we announced new investment totalling £65.2 million for dentistry. This consisted of £35 million capital for dental access and quality, £30 million for dental information technology (IT) and £200,000 for developing dental leadership. This was on top of revenue funding we announced in August of £9 million for targeted support on dental access and £1 million for organisation development. We subsequently announced on

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25 November 2003 further revenue funding of £15 million to support access for patients to a modernised national health service dental service, bringing the total of new funding announced this year for dentistry to £90.2 million.

The £30 million investment in IT will facilitate integration of dental practices with wider NHS (IT) systems and will support local contracting. The IT investment and solutions for dentistry consistent with other NHS information technology initiatives are being taken forward within the national programme for IT.

The funding of £200,000 for developing dental leadership is aimed at strategic health authority level to support primary care trusts (PCTs) in delivering the modernisation agenda for dentistry.

The organisational development funds of £1 million are being distributed in line with advice from strategic health authorities (SHAs). They are intended to help PCTs, local dental committees and dentists to prepare for the change in the way dental services are commissioned. £0.3 million has been distributed for 2003–04 and the remaining £0.7 million will be distributed for use in 2004–05.

The balance of £59 million is intended to support dental access and quality as follows:

Guidance for PCTs on commissioning NHS dentistry, including the allocation of £35 million capital and £15 million revenue to support access, quality and choice was issued on 15 January 2004. The guidance makes it clear that access remains a key priority in the run-up to the new arrangements for dentistry from April 2005.

PCTs which have been identified for support from the NHS Dentistry Support Team:

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Strategic Health AuthorityCapitalRevenue
Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire1,396598
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire1,039446
Birmingham and The Black Country1,771761
Cheshire and Merseyside1,853796
County Durham and Tees Valley894384
Cumbria and Lancashire1,411602
Dorset and Somerset814349
Greater Manchester1,987852
Hampshire and Isle of Wight1,148492
Kent and Medway1,071459
Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland962412
Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire1,416607
North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire1,073460
North Central London961413
North East London1,297556
North West London1,344575
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear1,089466
Shropshire and Staffordshire988425
South East London1,165499
South West London863370
South West Peninsula1,092469
South Yorkshire981420
Surrey and Sussex1,689723
Thames Valley1,285550
West Midlands South1,013433
West Yorkshire1,514648

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