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17 Nov 2004 : Column 1673W—continued

Dentistry

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists have gone private in (a) England, (b) each strategic health authority and (c) each primary care trust in each year since 1997; and if he will estimate their average length of service in the NHS before going private. [198244]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department only collects information on national health service dentistry. In their report "The Private Dentistry Market in the UK" published in March 2003, the Office of Fair Trading estimated that, out of a total of some 11,000 dental practices, around 210 were wholly private.

Mr Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists' surgeries there are in Leicester South constituency. [198638]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is shown in the table.

Number of national health service dental surgery addresses in Eastern Leicester primary care trust and South Leicestershire primary care trust (PCT) areas at 31 August 2004.
 
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Primary care trustNumber of surgeries
Eastern Leicester PCT41
South Leicestershire PCT23




Notes:
1. The number of NHS dental surgery addresses in the tale covers the general dental service, personal dental service and the emergency dental service.
2. A surgery is considered as offering NHS dentistry if it has a dentist with an open contract at 31 August 2004.
3. Primary care trust areas have been defined using practice postcodes.
Source:
Dental Practice Board




Departmental Staff

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the staff of the Department in (a) 2002 and (b) 2003 were people with disabilities. [196131]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office (Ruth Kelly), on 9 November, Official Report, column 619–20W.

Edward Myers Centre

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to improve funding for the Edward Myers Centre to help drug rehabilitation services in North Staffordshire. [198702]

Dr. Ladyman: Nationally, the drug treatment pooled budget totalled £244 million in 2003–04 and has increased to £260 million in 2004–05.

To ensure services have the resources to meet the needs of drug misusers, this year's Spending Review means that all drug action teams will receive a flat rate increase of 55 per cent., in their allocations between 2006 and 2008.

Funding for specific projects is a matter for local decision.

Energy Expenditure

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency spent on energy in (a) 2002–03 and (b) 2003–04; and what estimate he has made of the likely expenditure in 2004–05. [196987]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is shown in the table.
National Health Service Purchasing and Supply Agency—expenditure on energy

Expenditure (£)
Year endingElectricityGas
31 March 200339,033.3511,177.87
31 March 200430,465.906,915.80
31 March 2005(68)50,00013,500


(68) Budgeted figures: expenditure could be lower depending on the energy prices



 
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Eye Tests/Dental Check-ups

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) men and (b) women are were charged for (i) sight tests and (ii) dental check-ups in the last year for which figures are available. [198249]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Sight tests under the national health service are free to certain priority groups, including children, people on low incomes, those at particular risk of eye disease and, since April 1999, to all people aged 60 and over. Private sight tests are available for all other adult patients from independent optical practices who will set their own fees.

In 2003–04, an estimated 14.8 million sight tests were carried out in England. Of these, 9.8 million were free sight tests under the NHS and approximately 5 million were private sight tests. A breakdown by gender is not available.

Children, pregnant women and women who have borne a child within the last 12 months before treatment starts are exempt from charges for dental treatment under the NHS. People on low incomes may qualify for exemption or help with charges.

In 2003–04, 5.25 million men and 6 million women paid charges for a NHS dental examination in England.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many senior citizens in North Staffordshire have received (a) free eye tests and (b) help towards glasses and contact lenses since 1997. [198568]

Dr. Ladyman: The information is not available in the format requested.

The table shows the number of national health service sight tests for patients aged 60 and over paid for by the former North Staffordshire health authority (HA), for the years ending 31 March 2000 to 2003 and for the four primary care trusts (PCTs) covering the old North Staffordshire HA for the year ending 31 March 2004.
General Ophthalmic services: number of sight tests paid for, for patients aged 60 and over for the years ending 31 March 2000 to 2004
(thousand)

HA name/PCT nameNumber of sight tests for aged 60 and over
1999–2000North Staffordshire HA32.3
2000–01North Staffordshire HA36.4
2001–02North Staffordshire HA42.6
2002–03North Staffordshire HA49.1
2003–04Newcastle-under-Lyme PCT9.8
North Stoke PCT16.9
South Stoke PCT10.4
Staffordshire Moorlands PCT6.9
Total44.0




Note:
Eligibility for NHS sight tests was extended to patients aged 60 and over from 1 April 1999. PCTs took over responsibilities from HAs in October 2002.




Sight tests can not be equated to the numbers of patients. Although most people do not come back for a sight test within the year, some patients suffering from medical conditions are advised to have re-examinations sooner.
 
17 Nov 2004 : Column 1676W
 

Information on how many senior citizens received help towards glasses and contact lenses is not collected centrally.

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pensioners in the Selby constituency have had free eye tests since they were introduced. [198788]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Figures for the number of sight tests by constituency or by pensioners are not collected centrally.

The following table shows the number of national health service sight tests paid by North Yorkshire health authority (HA) for the years ending 31 March 2000 to 2003 and the four primary care trusts (PCTs) covering the old North Yorkshire HA for the year ending 31 March 2004.
General ophthalmic services: number of sight tests paid by North Yorkshire HA for patients aged 60 and over for the years ending 31 March 2000 to 2004
(thousand)

HA name/PCT nameNumber of sight tests for aged 60 and over
1999–2000North Yorkshire HA52.1
2000–01North Yorkshire HA61.8
2001–02North Yorkshire HA68.9
2002–03North Yorkshire HA70.3
2003–04Craven, Harrogate and Rural District PCT21.4
Hambleton and Richmondshire PCT10.2
Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale PCT17.5
Selby And York PCT26.3
TotalNorth Yorkshire HA75.4




Notes:
1. Eligibility for NHS sight tests was extended to patients aged 60 and over from 1 April 1999.
2. PCTs took over responsibilities from HAs in October 2002.




Sight tests can not be equated to the numbers of patients. Although most people do not come back for a sight test within the year, some patients suffering from medical conditions are advised to have re-examinations sooner. However, some patients aged 60 and over will be eligible for sight tests for other reasons as well, for example, on income grounds. The classification for such patients will depend on the patient and the practitioner.


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