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15 Nov 2004 : Column 1160W—continued

Care Records

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what provision there will be for the care record system to be shared with private sector providers undertaking NHS work; [197281]

(2) what safeguards will be put in place by the national programme for IT to ensure information cannot be shared with organisations outside the NHS. [197282]

Mr. Hutton: The NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS) will incorporate stringent security controls and safeguards to prevent unrestricted or uncontrolled access to personal information. Access will only be available to authorised national health service healthcare professionals who must be registered and authenticated users of the NHS CRS. They must have a legitimate relationship with the patient, that is they must be directly involved with the delivery of their care and have a 'need to know' relevant to that role. A record will be kept of everyone who accesses a patient's record and alerts will be raised if anyone tries to access a record in contravention of predetermined system rules.

Breaches of confidence by staff working within or under contract to NHS organisations, or inappropriate use of health records or abuse of computer systems, may lead to disciplinary measures, bring into question professional registration, and possibly result in legal proceedings.
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Where an NHS patient is referred for treatment to a private sector healthcare provider, or in another European Union state, relevant information will be made available where appropriate through the existing request mechanisms, but access to the information on the NHS CRS will be under exactly the same stringent conditions.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether a patient's right to opt out of having personal information on the care record system will include all information on the care record; [197283]

(2) what plans his Department has to notify individual patients of their right to opt out of having personal information on their care record shared within the NHS. [197284]

Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Westbury (Dr. Murrison) on 2 November 2004, Official Report, column 176W, and on 8 November 2004, Official Report, column 538W.

Community Health Councils

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the running costs of (a) community health councils in the last year of operation and (b) the replacement systems have been to date. [188237]

Ms Rosie Winterton [pursuant to her reply, 4 October 2004, Official Report, c. 1956–57W]: I regret my previous reply was incorrect. It should read as follows:

In 2002–03, the last year of the operation of community health councils (CHCs), the total running costs for CHCs was £13.981 million. By the end of 2004–05, the total running and set up costs of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) will be £66.76 million. This figure includes all costs associated with patients' forums. It also includes CPPIH set up costs of around £2.5 million in 2002–03.


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many contaminated medical devices were submitted to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency without having been suitably cleaned prior to decontamination in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [197288]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As part of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) investigation of an adverse incident it may be necessary to request submission of the device involved for examination by the Agency's medical device specialists. Where such a devices are submitted without sufficient evidence of adequate decontamination, those devices
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will, for the safety and protection of the Agency staff who may handle them, be decontaminated prior to examination.

Advice and warnings about the submission of contaminated items is clearly provided in MHRA printed publications and guidance. In particular, a special medical device alert on adverse incident reporting is updated and re-issued at the beginning of each year. The advice is also repeated on medical device adverse incident report forms, on the MHRA's website and on the MHRA on-line reporting system.
Devices submitted to the MHRA requiring decontaminationby the MHRA

number of devices receivednumber requiring decontaminationpercentage requiring decontamination


Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Pendle (Mr. Prentice) of 14 September 2004, Official Report, columns 1122–1123, on dental schools, what system of commissioning is in place to report the dental work force figures. [195118]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Next year we plan to check the assumptions upon which our expansion of the dental work force is based using data from the Dental Practice Board on dentists receiving remuneration under the national health service, from the General Dental Council on the registration of dentists and from NHS trusts on the number of salaried dentists.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to agree the new NHS dental contract. [192510]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We are to implement the new contractual arrangements from October 2005 and are confident that there is sufficient time to complete the necessary preparatory work.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale, West (Mr. Brady) of 1 September 2004, Official Report, column 888W, on dentistry, when the Chief Dental Officer expects to report back on the findings of the working group on extra training places; who the members of the working group will be; and whether the remit will include assessment of the requirement for a new dental school. [195034]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Chief Dental Officer is due to report in January 2005. The working group, which is considering all the options for the allocation of the additional training places, comprises the following.
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Professor Raman BediChief Dental Officer, Chair
Mr. Gareth CruddaceChief Executive, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority (SHA)
Mr. Denis GibsonChief Executive, Hampshire and Isle of Wight NHS Workforce Development Confederation (WDC)
Professor Bill HumeHigher Education Funding Council for England
Ms Rosemary GrantDirector of Education Commissioning Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire WDC
Professor Malcolm JonesDean, University of Wales Dental School
Professor John MurrayFormer Dean of Newcastle Dental School and Co-Chair of General Dental Council Visiting Panel
Mr. David NoyceHigher Education Funding Council for England
Mr. David SisslingChief Executive, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland SHA
Mr. Derek SpragueCommissioning Manager, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire SHA
Mr. Martin SturgesDepartment of Health
Mr. Martin WilliamsDepartment for Education and Skills

Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to change the guidance issued on the number of recommended visits by NHS patients to their dentists; and if he will make a statement. [195502]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 2 November 2004]: We are taking account of the recent guideline from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on recall interval between routine dental examinations in preparing for new contractual arrangements for national health service dentistry to be introduced from October 2005.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what his Department's policy is on access to dentures on the NHS; [195524]

(2) what plans his Department has to ensure that older people can obtain dentures on the NHS; and if he will make a statement; [195527]

(3) what fees patients are charged on the NHS for dentures. [195594]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The national health service statement of dental remuneration makes the following provision:

Full upper and lowerUpper or lower only
Patient's Charge122.3276.32
Dentist's fee152.9095.40
Total sum received by dentist275.22171.72

We are aware of problems with NHS dentistry in some areas and, as a result, some people may have difficulties in obtaining new or replacement dentures. We are undertaking the most wide-ranging reforms since the service began in 1948. Not only do the reforms include the recruitment of more dentists, but we are collaborating with the General Dental Council to provide for the registration of a new class of dental technician—the clinical dental technician—who would be able both to supply and fit dentures.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which staff are permitted to take impressions to make and fit dentures; which regulations apply to this; and if he will make a statement; [195532]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of dentures provided illegally in each year since 1997. [195533]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: Taking impressions and fitting dentures are part of the practice of dentistry which, under section 38 of the Dentists Act 1984, may only be carried out by a registered dentist or, in the case of taking impression, by a registered dental hygienist or dental therapist working under the direction of a dentist. We will shortly be laying regulations before the House which would empower the General Dental Council to register a new class of dental technician, the clinical dental technician, who would be able both to supply and fit dentures.

Currently a dental technician who fits dentures is practising illegally. We do not have information on which to base an estimate of the number of dentures provided illegally. I understand that the General Dental Council has records of 41 cases it has prosecuted since 1997 involving dental technicians undertaking the practice of dentistry.

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