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23 Feb 2004 : Column 272W—continued

Continence Wear

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the (a) provision, (b) collection and (c) disposal of continence wear to older children and adults cost the NHS in the last year for which figures are available. [154773]

Dr. Ladyman: Information in the form requested is not available centrally. However, the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA) estimates that over the past 12 months National Health Service trusts have spent approximately £23 million on disposable products and £150 thousand on reusable products. Additionally, PASA estimates that approximately £22 million was spent by the NHS on home delivery products for people with incontinence. Together, this gives a total spend of around £45 million by the NHS on continence products in the last 12 months.

Crisis Resolution Teams

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the crisis resolution teams that are operational are open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. [154405]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 22 January 2004, Official Report, column 1425W, to the hon. Member for Broxbourne (Mrs. Roe).

Delayed Discharges

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total amount of reimbursement from social services departments to the NHS for delayed discharges is in the current financial year for (a) England and (b) each strategic health authority; and if he will make a statement. [154582]

Dr. Ladyman: Data on legal liabilities for reimbursement charges are not available centrally at this time.


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the number of trained dentists living in the UK as refugees; and what proportion he estimates are working in the NHS. [151467]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is not held centrally on the number of refugees working as dentists in the national health service. We are aware that the British Dental Association and the Refugee Council have a database containing details of 60 dentists who are refugees. These dentists are preparing for the General Dental Council's international qualifying examination (IQE) to become eligible to practise in the United Kingdom. We are considering how dentists with overseas qualifications could be given more support with the additional training they require to take the IQE and equip themselves to practise in the NHS.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will break down the funding targeted at primary care trusts where access to NHS dentists is low, announced on 18 September 2003, by (a) region and (b) primary care trust. [151540]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 28 January 2004]: 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 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 25 November 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 information technology 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.

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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. The guidance makes it clear that access remains a key priority in the run up to the new arrangements for dentistry from April 2005.

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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress of Options for Change in improving NHS Dentistry, with particular reference to (a) Portsmouth and (b) South Hampshire. [151997]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We are committed to rebuilding and restoring national health service dentistry to improve oral health. The report, "NHS Dentistry: Options for Change", published in 2002, set out the ideas and principles behind the reform of NHS dentistry. Central to these changes are the aims of:

    local commissioning of services offering care which is responsive to local need;

    moving away from the restrictions of the detailed and inflexible existing fee-for-item system and giving dentists the opportunity to practise more preventive dentistry;

    improving the patient experience;

    improving access to NHS dentistry.

New legislation in the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 will enable these changes and will underpin a modernised, high-quality primary dental service, properly integrated with the rest of the NHS. The aim is to deliver better access to services; better working lives for dentists and their teams, better oral health and an improved patient experience. From 1 April 2005, primary care trusts (PCTs) will assume a new responsibility for commissioning dental services supported by the £1.2 billion resources currently held centrally.

The Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act also provides for the replacement of the existing Dental Practice Board by a new special health authority for England and Wales with a wider remit for modernisation and change. This is likely to happen in 2005. In the meantime, shadow arrangements are in

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place to work in partnership with the existing Dental Practice Board to lead the modernisation process and provide support to PCTs and dentists to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements. Discussions are also on-going with the dental profession on the base contract, which will replace the item of service arrangements.

In Hampshire, each PCT has identified a dental management lead who has been working closely with the strategic health authority dental lead and the Department of Health to prepare dental action plans for the transition to local commissioning of dentistry. In agreement with the Department, arrangements have been made for some dental practices that wish to do so—including one in Portsmouth—to act as pilots for future contracting arrangements.

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