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Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether an individual applying for approval under the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 is required to undergo separate Criminal Records Bureau checks in respect of applications to different offices of the Care Standards Commission. 
Dr. Ladyman: Where people who have already obtained a satisfactory Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure move to a new position which involves contact with adult service users, they are required to obtain another CRB check. Similar provisions apply in relation to working with children. The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) office which deals with relevant applications depends on the location of the service where the individual will work.
When an existing registered provider wants to open a similar service in another part of England, they will need to register this with the CSCI. This means that they will be subject to the registration regulations and as part of these requirements would require a new CRB check.
This Government recognise the valuable and vital role played by the estimated 6,000,000 carers in the United Kingdom. The Government have
27 Jan 2005 : Column 546W
made no estimate of the savings to public funds resulting from the activities of people who provide care on a voluntary basis.
Mr. Hutton: Guidance is in place for the transfer of employee Criminal Record Bureau checks between national health service organisations. Detailed implementation issues are the responsibility of the NHS Employers Organisation, from which further information can be sought. Details of the organisation and its responsibilities are available from its website at www.nhsemployer.uk.
Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his reply of 9 December 2004, Official Report, column 752W, on dentistry, if he will make a statement on the reasons evinced by the British Dental Association for not attending the meetings of 8 and 12 December 2004; and what follow-up action the Department plans to take. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The British Dental Association (BDA) has stressed the need to ensure that dental practices and primary care trusts (PCTs) have sufficient time to prepare for implementation of the new contractual arrangements. They have welcomed our decision that full implementation of the reforms will now take place to a longer time scale, with the new arrangements to be introduced no later than April 2006. Our new timetable will allow more dentists to move to new ways of working through the personal dental services scheme, enable public consultation on key aspects of the new contract and allow more time for PCTs to prepare for their new roles. If the BDA wishes, we would be happy to resume discussions with it within this new time scale.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 16 December 2004, Official Report, column 1311W, on dentistry, how many dentists were on the register at 24 November 2004 including those who were not accepting any new patients for registration or occasional treatment. 
Ms Winterton: On 24 November 2004, there were 19,840 dentists in the general and personal dental service. This is the number of dentists recorded by the Dental Practice Board as principal dentists in the general dental service on primary care trusts lists and their assistants and personal dental service dentists.
Syd Rapson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Portsmouth, North constituency, the effects of changes to departmental policy since 1997 on Portsmouth, North constituency. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have put in place a programme of national health service investment and reform since 1997 to improve service delivery in all parts of the United Kingdom. There is significant evidence that these policies have yielded considerable benefits for the Portsmouth, North constituency.
In 2003, at the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, 86.2 per cent. of patients spent less than four hours in accident and emergency from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge. Figures for September 2004 show an improvement to 96.8 per cent.
Between September 1997 and June 2004, the number of consultants at the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has increased from 140 to 261. The number of nurses increased from 1,517 in September 1997 to 2,116 in September 2003.
The Department provides hospital episode statistics (HES) data which relates to diagnostic information for in-patients in national health service hospitals. During their course of treatment over a period of time, patients may have a number of episodes of care which are counted each time they have a stay in hospital. Information relating to diagnosis where a patient is still under the care of a hospital consultant is not recorded.
Information on the number of finished consultant episodes for patients with a primary diagnosis of depression or recurrent depression in each of the last five years in NHS hospitals in England is shown in the table.
|Children (0 to 15)||260||210||240||250||280|
|Adolescents (16 to 18)||560||520||510||510||510|
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