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Ms Rosie Winterton: Under section 11 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001, national health service bodies are under a duty to consult and involve patients, the public and their representatives in the planning of changes to services and to involve them in decisions affecting the operation of services. Should a proposal to change services represent a substantial development or variation, NHS bodies are under a duty to consult relevant local authority overview and scrutiny committees.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The decision to explore the possibility of a secondment placement as chief executive was jointly made by the chairs of the Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ambulance trusts and the Chief Executive of Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic health authority.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has given to (a) Avon, (b) Gloucestershire and (c) Wiltshire Ambulance Trusts with regards to a possible merger. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Departmental officials have met with Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire strategic health authority (SHA), at its request, to discuss how best to ensure that the local review was consistent with the national work on the current review of ambulance service delivery. The SHA has also briefed the
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Department on the latest position as part of its on-going communications with the Department. Departmental officials meet monthly with the SHA, as they do with other SHAs, to support the SHA on a range of performance and developmental issues.
General guidance has been issued to the national health service on how trusts can comply with the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2001 to consult with patients, public and local authority overview and scrutiny committees on substantial changes to how services are provided.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact of the merger of the county ambulance services in Gloucestershire, Avon and Wiltshire on the Tri-Service facility in Gloucestershire. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: No merger has taken place. It is for strategic health authorities, as the local headquarters of the national health service, to oversee service improvements in their local areas because, with their extensive knowledge of the local community, they are best placed to do so.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people (a) took and (b) passed the International Qualifying Exam which enables dentists from non-EU countries to practise in England in each year from 1997 to 2004. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of people passing the statutory examination and its successor, the international qualifying examination, is shown in the tables. The data was supplied by the General Dental Council, which administers the examination.
|Number passing Part II||19||12||32||49||15||1|
|Number passing Part C||44||39||81||199|
|Location||Number of dentists as of 31 December 2004|
|Havering Primary Care Trust (PCT)||117|
|Essex Strategic Health Authority (SHA)||613|
Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the need for new patient pathways in dermatology; and what action he will take to promote and support their implementation across the NHS. 
Dr. Ladyman: While initiatives such as the action on dermatology programme have sought to promote innovation in the design and delivery of services, ultimately responsibility for service improvements rest with primary care trusts, in partnership with strategic health authorities and other key stakeholders, as they are best placed to understand and respond to the needs of their local populations.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the proportion of hospital admissions caused by adverse drug reactions in East Sussex in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 31 January 2005]: There were 669 admissions for adverse drug reactions to East Sussex Hospitals and East Sussex County Healthcare national health service trusts during 200304. This represents 0.8 per cent. of all admissions to these trusts during 200304.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what charges for treatment those who are not ordinarily resident in the UK are not expected to meet; which communicable diseases are exempt from treatment charges levied on those who are not ordinarily resident in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
treatment provided at, or following referral from, a special clinic for the treatment of sexually transmitted infections, except for HIV/AIDs where it is only the initial diagnostic testing and associated counselling that are exempt from charges;
Overseas visitors may also be eligible for free hospital treatment if they meet one of the other exemptions in the Regulations that are based on individual circumstances rather than on the type of treatment received.
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