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9 Nov 2004 : Column 637W—continued

Choose and Book Initiative

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of offering, by December 2005, a choice of four to five alternative providers to all patients who need surgery; [195995]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost of offering, by December 2008, the right to choose any healthcare provider which meets the Healthcare Commission's standards, which can provide the care within the price that the NHS will pay, and which can meet the 18 weeks' waiting time target to all patients. [195996]

Mr. Hutton: A delivery framework for the implementation of choose and book was published in August 2004. Local health communities are currently reporting on their state of readiness for 2005 and are required to confirm they have the necessary resources.

Detailed work on arrangements for 2008 is ongoing and will consider the cost implications of implementing the policy.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the timetable is for implementation of the choose and book initiative in the NHS. [196235]

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Mr. Hutton: From 2005, patients in the national health service will be offered a choice of hospital to attend. This will be underpinned by the NHS choose and book service. Some 10 million patients a year will have this choice from December 2005.

The decision when to implement the choose and book service locally will be based on organisational readiness and system compliance. Implementation has been taking place across the country since July 2004 and will continue during 2005.

Combined Heat and Power

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of (a) hospitals and (b) health centres in England utilise combined heat and power. [195941]

Mr. Hutton: In 2003–04, 7 per cent. of national health service hospital sites derived energy from combined heat and power plants (CHP). Information is not collected centrally on the number of health centres that use CHP.

Generally, CHP is most efficient and economically viable when it can be run continuously for long periods (usually in excess of 17 hours per day) and is therefore unlikely to be of significant benefit to buildings that are only used during part of the day.

Deaths after Surgery

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of patients' deaths occurred within 30 days of surgery in Hull and the East Riding in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004. [194956]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested is available from the Healthcare Commission's star rating website at


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many dentists who were awarded a Dental Care Development Fund grant have subsequently stopped NHS dental treatment for adults; [190756]

(2) how many applications have been made by dentists in (a) England and (b) East Lancashire for a grant from the Dental Care Development Fund in each year since 2000; what conditions are attached to the grant concerning the dentist's commitment to NHS dentistry; and how many applications were successful. [190757]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In the 2000–01 financial year, grants were made to 72 health authorities (HAs), which were furthest from the Government's targets for improving access to national health service dentistry, for extending practices or purchasing new equipment to enable them to treat more patients. Responsibility for administering the scheme was delegated to the HAs with advice that they imposed the following conditions:

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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 23 September 2004, Official Report, columns 1959–61W, on dentistry, how many dental practices were shown on the website on 8 September. [191773]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of general dental service or personal dental service practices in England shown on the website as accepting new national health service patients on 8 September 2004 is shown in the table.
Registering children aged 0–18 years for NHS treatment3,938
Providing occasional NHS treatment to non- registered patients1,572
Registering charge-exempt adults for NHS treatment2,968
Registering charge-paying adults for NHS treatment2,604
Total number of dental practices in England on the '' website8,669

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental technicians had the necessary skills to construct dentures in England in each year since 1997. [195523]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As dental technician is not yet a registrable profession, there is no official record of their numbers or competencies. We estimate that, since 1997, the number of dental technicians who are capable of manufacturing or contributing to the manufacture of dentures has remained fairly constant at about 9,000. Subject to the approval of an Order to be made under Section 60 of the Health Act 1999, we plan to give the General Dental Council powers to register dental technicians early in 2005.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of dentists' training dealt with dentures in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [195525]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Precise information is not available centrally, but I understand from the General Dental Council, which is responsible for the curriculum for dental undergraduate education, that the proportion has reduced. The reasons are that there has been an
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encouraging reduction in the number of edentulous patients—from 37 per cent. of adults in 1968 to 12 per cent. in 1998—and recognition that most dentists now delegate the manufacture of dentures to dental technicians.


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the proportion of patients waiting over 13 weeks for a first out-patient appointment that is comprised of dermatology referrals; and if he will make a statement. [196193]

Mr. Hutton: At 30 June 2004 the number of patients, waiting over 13 weeks for a dermatology first out-patient appointment was 7 per cent. of the total number of patients waiting for a first out-patient appointment. The national health service is on track to achieve the target of having no patients waiting over 13 weeks for first out-patient appointments by December 2005.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the numbers of specialists in dermatology; [196239]

(2) what the vacancy rates for dermatology specialists were in each strategic health authority in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [196247]

Mr. Hutton: As at June 2004, there were 425 consultant dermatologists working in the national health service in England. This is an increase of 114, or 37 per cent., since September 1997.

Between September 1997 and 2003, the number of dermatologists in the registrar group increased by 42, or 37 per cent.

We are also increasing training capacity within the specialty. Between 2002–03 and 2004–05, central funding has been distributed to support the implementation of 27 additional specialist registrar (SpR) posts in dermatology. All the posts have now been implemented. Trusts have also had the opportunity to create up to 40 locally funded SpR training opportunities and the latest survey suggests 23 are due to be implemented so far.

The table shows the three-month vacancy rates for consultant dermatologists by strategic health authority (SHA), as at March 2004. The national three-month vacancy rate for dermatology has decreased from 6.1 per cent. in March 2003 to 4.7 per cent. in March 2004. This comes at the same time as increases in the dermatology workforce.
Three month vacancy rate and number for consultants in dermatology by SHA for England: March 2004

3 month vacancy rate (percentage)3 month vacancy numberStaff in post (whole-time equivalent)Staff in post (headcount)
Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire0.001719
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire9.71912
Birmingham and the Black Country0.001718
Cheshire and Merseyside6.011617
County Durham and Tees Valley15.121112
Cumbria and Lancashire8.411112
Dorset and Somerset(27)067
Greater Manchester10.821719
Hampshire and Isle of Wight0.001216
Kent and Medway19.7289
Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland0.001212
Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire4.912021
North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire(27)099
North Central London0.001517
North East London0.001518
North West London11.221623
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear(27)189
Shropshire and Staffordshire(27)0910
South East London0.002328
South West London(27)0910
South West Peninsula0.001111
South Yorkshire6.511416
Special Health Authorities and other statutory bodies(28)000
Surrey and Sussex0.001921
Thames Valley10.921622
West Midlands South0.001112
West Yorkshire9.122022

(27) Where the sum of the staff in post and number of vacancies is less then ten.
(28) Where the sum of the staff in post and number of vacancies is zero.
1. Three month vacancies are vacancies which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more (whole time equivalents).
2. Three month vacancy rates are three month vacancies expressed as a percentage of three month vacancies plus staff in post.
3. Vacancy and staff in post numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number.
4. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.

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