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Civil Service Relocation

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many civil servants and what percentage of the total civil service work force in his Department will be relocated over the next five years (a) outside the M25, (b) to the West Midlands and (c) to Staffordshire. [180175]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lyons report gives details of the Department's relocations plans, which are being taken forward and refined as part of the spending review. The Government will announce proposals for implementing and monitoring the dispersal plans in the review. The Department will then decide on its dispersal strategy in light of its business needs and priorities.

Cluster Headaches

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received about the impact of the recommendations of the Royal College of Physicians on domiciliary oxygen services on cluster headache sufferers; and if he will make a statement. [179598]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 22 June 2004]: Representations have been received from the organisations Headache UK and Ouch (Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headaches) about the changes to the domiciliary oxygen service which will be introduced next year. Patients suffering from cluster headaches will continue to be able to receive the oxygen service which they need.
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Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists per 10,000 head of population there have been in each of the past 25 years; and what the projection is for the next five years. [180032]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of national health service dentists (headcount) per 10,000 population in England is shown in the table for September in each of the years 1979 to 2003.

NHS dentists cover dentists working in the general dental service (GDS), hospital dental service, community dental service and personal dental service (PDS).

Dentist working in more than one dental service are included in each service apart from dentists working in both PDS and GDS who are counted in the GDS only.
Number of NHS dentists per 10,000 population at 30 September each year


Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce free dental care for pensioners; and if he will make a statement. [180293]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 June 2004]: There are no plans to introduce free dental care for pensioners. It is the Department's policy to offer help with health costs based upon a person's income.

Departmental Policy (Stroud)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to the Stroud constituency, the effects of changes to departmental policy since 1997 on the Stroud constituency. [174836]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government has put in place a programme of National Health Service investment and reform since 1997 to improve service
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delivery in all parts of the United Kingdom. There is significant evidence that these policies have yielded considerable benefits for the Stroud constituency.

For example:


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people with diabetes require animal insulin; and if he will make a statement; [180049]

(2) what research his Department has evaluated on the suitability of synthetic insulin for all diabetics in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement; [180050]

(3) how many patients he estimates are more suited to animal insulin and have experienced problems with synthetic insulin; and if he will make a statement. [180051]

Ms Rosie Winterton: All authorised insulins, whether human (synthetic) insulin or animal insulin, have been demonstrated to be efficacious in people with diabetes mellitus. As part of the licensing approval process for any medicinal product, including insulins, the applicant has to provide evidence that the product meets appropriate standards of quality, safety and efficacy. This will include clinical trial data in patients with diabetes. The decision to use one or other of the insulins rests with the physician in consultation with the patient.
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The Committee on Safety of Medicines and its sub-committee on pharmacovigilance (SCOP) has kept the safety of synthetic (human) insulins under close review and has considered the available data on a number of occasions. Most recently in 2002, the SCOP considered the findings of an independent review of controlled clinical trial data by the Cochrane collaboration. The conclusions of the Cochrane review were that there is no difference in the incidence of adverse events between patients on synthetic insulin compared with patients on animal insulins. The SCOP confirmed its previous advice that there is no clear evidence of safety problem specific to human insulin. However, the issue will be reviewed again should further information become available.

Data on the number of people using these insulins is not collected. However, the table shows the number of prescription items that were dispensed in the community in England, in 2003.
Number of prescription items that were dispensed in the community in England 2003

Number (thousand)
Highly purified animal insulin181.0
Human sequence (GM Insulin)3,654.3
All Insulins3,835.3

1. The data is from the Prescription Cost Analysis system, which covers all prescription items that are dispensed in the community in England. This does not include drugs dispensed in hospitals or private prescriptions.
2. Insulins are those defined in the British National Formulary (BNF) paragraph 6.1.1, "Insulins". Insulin drugs have been grouped into highly purified animal and human sequence (GM) insulin in line with the BNF.
3. Doctors write prescriptions on a prescription form. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.

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