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Dr. Ladyman: I met the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists on 4 November 2004 and my right hon. Friend the Minister for Health met the Allied Health Professions Federation on 14 October 2004 and 31 January 2005. We cannot comment on discussions with particular organisations unless the body concerned has indicated to what extent it wishes us to.
Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of practising chiropodists and podiatrists who will not seek registration with the Health Professional Council. 
Mr. Hutton: The title chiropodist or podiatrist is dependent upon achieving registration with the independent regulator, the Health Protection Council (HPC). In October 2004 10,123 chiropodists and podiatrists were registered with the HPC.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultant urologists are working in the NHS in the areas served by the (a) Birmingham and Black Country and (b) West Midlands South strategic health authority; and how many are over the age of 55years in each case. 
Dr. Ladyman: The table shows the numbers of hospital, public health medicine and community health services (HCHS): consultants within the urology speciality in Birmingham and the Black Country strategic health authority (SHA) and West Midlands South SHA, and the numbers in each SHA within the specified age group.
|As at 30 June 2004||All ages||Of which:|
55 and over
|Birmingham and the Black Country||25||9|
|West Midlands South||15||4|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total expenditure by his Department on external
21 Feb 2005 : Column 137W
consultants was in (a) 199697 and (b) 200304; and what the estimated cost of employing external consultants will be in (i) 200405, (ii) 200506, (iii)200607 and (iv) 200708. 
David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the results of his most recent meeting with the Scottish Health Minister on bringing in foreign dentists to Scotland. 
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the working group on undergraduate dental school places to publish its report; and whether the dental profession has been involved in the working group. 
Ms Rosie Winterton
[holding answer 31 January 2005]: The group, which included among its members the former Dean of Newcastle Dental School who is currently co-chair of the General Dental Council's Visiting Panel, held its final meeting on 19 November 2004. It recommended the establishment of a joint implementation group (JIG), co-chaired by the Department of Health and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The JIG held its first meeting on 18 January 2005 and will submit its initial proposals for consideration at the HEFCE board meeting on 24 February.
21 Feb 2005 : Column 138W
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 31 January 2005]: On 15 December 2004, we issued for consultation a report, Creating the Future: Modernising careers for salaried dentists in primary care", copies of which are available in the Library. The report proposes reforms to the roles, education and career structures of salaried primary care dentiststhose working in community dental services, salaried personal dental services and dental access centres, and salaried general dental practitionersand the framework of leadership and pay principles within the context of wider reform of national health service dentistry. The consultation period ends on 31 March 2005.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Healthhow many full-time equivalent dentists were employed by the NHS in England per 10,000 of the population in the last three years for which figures are available. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on a whole time equivalent basis is not available, as dentists working in the general dental service (GDS) and personal dental service (PDS) are able to vary the amount of hours they work and to vary their national health service commitment. The majority of dentists working in the GDS do some private work.
The available information is for the number of NHS dentists (headcount) per 10,000 population in England and is given in the table for September for the years 2002, 2003, 2004. The figures given cover dentists working in the GDS and PDS.
|Year (September)||Dentists per 10,000 of the population|
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to increase the number of NHS dentists in (a) England and (b) Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement; 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 3 February 2005]: At 31 December 2004, there were 19,810 dentists (General Dental Service and Personal Dental Service) in practice in England and 259 in Gloucestershire.
We are undertaking the most far-reaching reforms of national health service dentistry since 1948, supported by the biggest investment programme in the history of NHS dentistry. We are providing NHS dentistry with extra funding of over £250 million a year from 200506, an increase of nearly 20 per cent. over 200304 levels. We are also funding an extra 170 dental training places from this October (a 25 per cent. increase) supported by £80 million capital investment. We are recruiting the
21 Feb 2005 : Column 139W
equivalent of 1,000 extra dentists this year and we have allocated £59 million to improve access to NHS dentistry.
Within this programme, primary care trusts (PCTs) in the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA) are planning to interview eight dentists from Poland. The SHA has received £2 million from the access funding and the three PCTs in Gloucestershire have reported proposals to spend their share on commissioning additional capacity to provide for the registration of 7,100 patients and the treatment of 900 additional orthodontic patients. In addition, West Gloucestershire PCT is one of the 16 PCTs in England receiving assistance from the Department's dental access support team. With the team's support a new dental practice has been established in Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean, and there are plans to establish a new four surgery practice within the centre of Gloucester city by mid-2005.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
There are two undergraduate schools: Guy's Kings and St. Thomas', and Queen Mary's University London. In addition, the Eastman Dental Institute provides postgraduate training education for dentists.
21 Feb 2005 : Column 140W
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS (a) general dental service and (b) personal dental service dentists have left the NHS for wholly private practice in (i) England, (ii) each strategic health authority and (iii) each primary care trust in each year since 1997. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 1 February 2005]: We do not routinely collect information about dentists' private practice. The great majority of dental practices treat both private and national health service patients. The Office of Fair Trading Report, The private dentistry market in the UK", published in March 2003, estimated that, out of 11,000 dental practices, about 210 are totally private. We are not aware of any dentists with personal dental service contracts who have sought to reduce the value of their contractual commitment to the NHS.
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