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HEALTH

Community Matrons

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what budget his Department has allocated to introducing community matrons in each of the next three years. [191722]

Dr. Ladyman: Funding for community matrons is included in the increased investment that has been made in the general allocations to primary care trusts.

Work has commenced on the next round of allocations covering the period up to 2007–08, which will also include funding for community matrons.

It is for the national health service locally to determine the resource to be allocated to community matrons.
 
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Dentistry

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 4 October 2004, Official Report, column 1961W, on dentistry, whether his Department has decided not to update the Dental Workforce Review. [192787]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Next year, we will check the assumptions upon which our expansion of the dental workforce are based.

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental practices were offering full NHS dental treatment (a) in 1997 and (b) at the latest date for which figures are available. [192203]

Ms Rosie Winterton: At August 1997, there were 8,643 dental practices providing national health service general dental services including emergency services. In August 2004, there were 9,159 practices providing general dental service including emergency services and personal dental services.

Dermatology (GP Contract)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to include dermatology in the general practitioner contract when it is next reviewed. [192741]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The treatment of skin conditions and associated complaints already forms a large part of general practice. Where more specialist dermatology services are required, primary care trusts are able to commission a local enhanced service to meet local needs.

Any future changes to the national quality and outcomes framework (QOF) will be subject to negotiations with the British Medical Association, following recommendations from an independent, United Kingdom-wide expert review panel. The independent expert review panel will consider whether any new disease areas should be added to the QOF. They will be able to receive submissions on proposals to make changes to the current quality framework from any interested party.

Eating Disorders (Treatment)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 11 October 2004, Official Report, column 142W, on eating disorders, on what evidence his statement that waiting times for treatment for eating disorders are sometimes too long is based. [192788]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This statement is based on feedback from service users and their carers.

Hampshire Hospitals

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospitals in Hampshire are operating with a shortfall in the operational requirement for accident and emergency staff; and how many employees this shortfall amounts to at each hospital. [193497]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 25 October 2004]: There are no standard rules to follow to say how many doctors, nurses or other staff should be employed in an accident and emergency department. It is for local
 
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hospitals and health economies to decide how to deploy staff in ways that will best meet the needs of the population.

Hospital Construction (Lichfield)

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 16 March 2004, Official Report, column 247W, on Hospital Construction (Lichfield), (1) when he expects construction work to begin on the new hospital at the St Michael's site in Lichfield; when he expects the new hospital to be completed and opened; and what changes there have been in the car parking and future hospital expansion arrangements for the hospital; and if he will make a statement; [192883]

(2) if he will make a statement on the financial shortfall of the Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth Primary Care Trust. [192903]

Dr. Ladyman: Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth Primary Care Trust (PCT) is currently managing a challenging financial position, caused by a number of factors, including the costs of extra clinical activity, the new out of hours service and the new general medical QMS contract. In total these pressures amount to just over £2 million.

In response to this position, the PCT board and Professional Executive Committee are looking at ways in which they can bring the organisation back into financial balance. Every effort will be made to ensure there is no adverse impact on patient services.

Despite this position, the PCT is continuing to meet all its service targets and drive forward improvements in patient care. Work on the new community hospital in Lichfield will not be affected in any way.

I am informed by Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA) that construction work is anticipated to commence in March 2005, following the demolition of the buildings onsite. The SHA expects the hospital to be completed at the end of 2006; ready to open at the start of 2007. The car parking arrangements have been planned as previously agreed, with 217 spaces. The space for future hospital expansion is provided within the site as agreed in the outline planning permission.

I am further informed by the SHA that the main reason behind the delay is that the demolition process has been delayed as the local authority now requires listed building consent, which the PCT is applying for. It is not proposing to knock down any listed buildings but understands that this is required as the work will be taking place on the site of a listed building.

Information and Communication Specialists

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Department spent on outside information technology and communication specialist consultants and engineers in the 2003–04 financial year. [191912]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department spent £5,890,000 on outside information technology and communication specialist consultants and engineers in the 2003–04 financial year.
 
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Ministers' Private Offices

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the running costs of Ministers' private offices in his Department have been in each year since 1997. [191389]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The running costs for Ministers' private offices for the financial years 1997–98 to 2003–04 were as follows:
Running costs for Ministers' private offices

£000
1997–981,849
1998–992,144
1999–002,653
2000–012,947
2001–022,876
2002–032,601
2003–043,041



Notes:
1. An additional Minister, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, was appointed during 1999–2000.
2. The data is taken from the Department's accounting systems.
3. The salaries of Ministers themselves are not included.
4. Costs have also increased as a result of additional Parliamentary activity and legislation, resulting in an increase in correspondence and longer working.


Waiting Times

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his latest estimate is of the average waiting time for (a) in-patients and (b) out-patients in each quarter from the first quarter of 1997 to third quarter of 2004; and if he will make a statement. [193815]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The table shows provider based median in-patient and out-patient waiting times for England, by each quarter from March 1997 to June 2004. Information for quarter 2 of 2004–05 is not yet available.
Median (weeks)
QuarterYearIn-patientOut-patient
Q41996–9713.26.0
Q11997–9813.46.2
Q21997–9814.26.4
Q31997–9814.56.2
Q41997–9814.86.3
Q11998–9915.26.5
Q21998–9914.16.8
Q31998–9913.16.9
Q41998–9912.87.0
Q11999–200012.87.1
Q21999–200012.87.3
Q31999–200012.87.3
Q41999–200012.97.6
Q12000–0113.37.1
Q22000–0113.07.4
Q32000–0112.87.4
Q42000–0112.67.4
Q12001–0213.76.9
Q22001–0213.47.2
Q32001–0212.77.3
Q42001–0212.77.6
Q12002–0313.27.0
Q22002–0312.87.2
Q32002–0312.57.2
Q42002–0311.97.3
Q12003–0412.16.9
Q22003–0411.77.0
Q32003–0411.27.0
Q42003–0410.27.1
Q12004–059.56.8



Sources:
Department of Health in-patient data—KH07 and out-patient data—QM08.



 
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