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18 Nov 2004 : Column 1959W—continued

Community Transport

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was given to community transport schemes by each primary care trust in the last year for which figures are available. [196379]

Mr. Hutton: The information is not collected by the Department.

Complaints Procedure

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the recognised complaints procedure is for NHS patients treated by private treatment centres; [197954]

(2) whether his Department has received complaints about the standard of treatment provided to NHS patients by Netcare treatment centres. [197957]

Mr. Hutton: The responsibility for handling complaints rests with the appropriate national health service primary care trust or acute trust that referred the patients to the independent treatment centre. Such complaints are handled through the NHS complaints process. The Department is not involved in the resolution of such complaints.

Under contract terms, the Department is required to be notified by an independent treatment centre of any complaints in relation to treatment they provide to NHS patients. To date, the Department has been notified of seven such cases.


Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent in each year since 2002 on employing external consultants to deal with the press and public relations of his Department; and if he will make a statement. [195445]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I regret it is not possible to identify separately costs for work carried out by external consultants to deal with press and public relations. This information can be supplied only at disproportionate cost.
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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the NHS budget was spent providing free contraception in the last year for which figures are available; and what proportion of NHS spending that represented. [198980]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The cost of contraceptives and contraceptive devices dispensed in the community in England in 2003–04 is shown in the table. This does not include items issued in family planning clinics, for which data is not held centrally. It is not, therefore, possible to calculate the figure for spending on contraception, as a proportion of total national health service spend.
Prescription cost analysis data: Number of prescription items(in million) and net ingredient cost (NIC) in £ million,for contraceptives and contraceptive devices—British National Formulary (BNF) 7.3 and 21.4—dispensed in the community in England, 2003–04

BNF chapterBNF sectionBNF section
Items (million)NIC
(£ million)


Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of care for dementia in 2003–04. [195998]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.


Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 1 September 2004, Official Report, columns 886–87W, on dentistry, how many inquiries the returning to dentistry response line received; how many application forms were sent out; and how many have been returned indicating a willingness to return to work in NHS dentistry. [195033]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Up to the start of October the dentistry response line had received 288 calls. Literature was sent to 222 people. 37 people have so far registered with the Keeping in Touch with dentistry (KITs) scheme.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department makes available to encourage dentists to join the NHS; and whether there are conditions attached to the funding to encourage dentists to remain within the NHS. [198245]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It has not been possible to respond the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to improve access to NHS dentistry in Newcastle-under-Lyme. [198565]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Figures for the number of dentists are not available for Newcastle-under-Lyme Primary Care Trust (PCT) prior to 2002, when the PCT was
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established. The number of dentists within the Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA) area has increased from 392 in September 1997 to 449 in June 2004; this is an increase of 14.5 per cent. Of the £35 million additional funding announced in September 2003 to improve access, choice and quality for patients in areas that have problems, Newcastle-under-Lyme PCT has received £69,000. Of the further £15 million announced in November 2003 to develop easier access and improve quality further, Newcastle-under-Lyme PCT received £30,000. The PCT has also received an additional £10,000 modernisation funding for salaried primary care dental services, which is to be shared across North Staffordshire.

Newcastle-under-Lyme PCT has a target of increasing dental registrations by 1,375 by 2005. Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA reports that the PCT is on the way to achieving this.

In addition, Newcastle-under-Lyme PCT is involved in the Department of Health's latest round of international recruitment. Two practices are planning to interview prospective new dentists during early December.

Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA reports that the PCT will be setting up, and directly managing, a salaried dental suite at Cross Heath. This will provide additional registrations primarily for the local population.

Provisions in the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 will underpin a modernised, high-quality primary dental service. A new contract for dentists will be introduced from October 2005, based on Personal Dental Services (PDS) pilots that encourage a more preventative, oral health focus.

Under the new arrangements, PCTs will have a duty to secure the provision of primary dental services either through contracts with individual practices, or by providing services themselves. With these new responsibilities will go nearly £1.3 billion of financial resources currently held centrally.

Nationally, PCT funding for dentistry will increase by 19.3 per cent. over two years (2005–06 over 2003–04). This means that by 2005–06 we will be providing over £250 million a year extra for dentistry.

The national health service workforce will be increased by the equivalent of 1,000 dentists by October 2005, allowing up to an extra two million people to be treated.
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An NHS support team has been created to work with those PCTs having the most difficulty with access, and this is supported by £9 million of funding in the run-up to local commissioning. Forty-seven Dental Access Centres have been set up to help tackle access problems in areas with particular difficulties.

Additional funding of £65.2 million was announced in September 2003 to support change and help improve access, quality and choice for patients.

Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total spending on (a) general dental services and (b) secondary dental services was in each strategic health authority area in each of the last five years. [199166]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what arrangements have been made for dental visits to care homes in Dorset; [197994]

(2) how many dentists in Dorset offer a visiting service to care homes in Dorset. [197995]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information about number of dentists offering a visiting service to care homes in Dorset is not centrally held.

However, all general dental practitioners providing national health service services are obliged to visit their NHS patients at home if those patients are housebound and live within five miles of their general dental practice.

Dorset and Somerset strategic health authority advise that there are general dental practitioners across Dorset who specialise in domiciliary visits and, will travel further than five miles to visit housebound patients.

The East and West Dorset community dental services provides a domiciliary service for patients not registered with an NHS dentist.

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