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Sir Paul Beresford:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial assistance has been offered to those primary care trusts who have received Polish dentists to
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help cover the costs of relocation packages, the eight-week training programme and any necessary additional training. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 March 2005]: Primary care trusts are required to provide financial support, as part of the Department's central recruitment initiative to dentists from Poland, to cover the cost of relocation to England. The eight-week training programme for Polish dentists is covered in the cost of the contract with Methods, and is therefore met by the Department. £20,000 was made available by the Department to each post graduate dental deanery to provide an induction programme for Polish and other dentists following their arrival in England.
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2005, Official Report, column 1976W, on dentistry, what specific expertise Methods Consulting has in recruiting dentists from overseas countries, with particular reference to Poland. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 April 2005]: Methods Consulting are working with Paragona AB, who manage the recruitment activity in Poland. Paragona AB have extensive experience of recruitment of healthcare professionals from Poland.
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with which countries his Department has discussed recruiting dentists from; and what the value is of each contract let to Method Consulting for the recruitment of overseas dentists. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 April 2005]: Talks have progressed on recruiting dentists from Greece, Portugal, Germany, Spain, India and Poland. The value of the contract let to Methods Consulting for the recruitment of overseas dentists was £4.1 million.
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Polish dentists (a) have registered and (b) are waiting to register with the General Dental Council to practise as a result of primary care trusts' recruitment initiatives; and how many have commenced practising in England. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 April 2005]: Since accession to the European Union in May, a total of 224 dentists from Poland had registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) to the end of February 2005. Information is not held about the number of these who may have responded to primary care trusts' local recruitment.
As a result of the Department's central recruitment initiative in Poland, 69 Polish dentists have registered with the GDC and none are currently waiting to register. 28 dentists have started practising in January. The remaining 41 dentists are commencing practise between 14 March and 4 April.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Leeds North West Primary Care Trust (PCT) has received £96,000 capital funding, which is being utilised through the PCTs dental incentive scheme, to ensure that the commitment of local dentists
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to the national health service is maintained. This funding will also support general dental practitioners in ensuring patient safety and improving practice premises.
A further £42,000 revenue funding has been received by the Leeds North West PCT, which will provide three extra NHS dental sessions a week. In addition, the PCT is currently implementing an access scheme to provide urgent and routine treatment sessions for non-registered NHS patients in the area.
By April 2005, Leeds North West PCT will have six general dental practices working under personal dental services (PDS) arrangements. These practices have successfully secured an additional £221,000 to increase the work force, benefiting an additional 1,355 new patients and enabling the re-registration of approximately 2,500 NHS patients.
Leeds North West PCT is currently being supported through the West Yorkshire work force confederation to participate in the tranche four of the international dental recruitment campaign co-ordinated by the Department.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists have been recruited via his Department's International Recruitment Scheme since the beginning of 2004; how many are working in the south-west; how long each has been at work and where; and whether each (a) recruit from an EU member stateand (b) partner of such a recruit is eligible for statebenefits, with particular reference to maternity benefits. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 24 March 2005]: 69 dentists have been recruited from Poland via the Department's international recruitment scheme. 17 of these have been working in Devon or Cornwall since January 2005. They are located in Camborne, Liskeard, Paignton, Exeter (all two each) and Falmouth, Cullompton, Exmouth, Seaton, St. Budeaux, South Brent, Constantine, Plymouth, Torquay (all one each).
Dentists are eligible for maternity, paternity and adoptive leave payments as part of the general dentists service (GDS) system of remuneration. This includes dentists from European Union member states if they satisfy the conditions of maternity pay in the GDS.
There are two maternity benefits in the United Kingdom: statutory maternity pay (SMP) from a woman's employer or maternity allowance from the state. A woman from a country that is a member of the EU may receive statutory maternity pay from her employer if she satisfies the qualifying conditions. Further details are available at:
If she is not eligible for SMP, she may be eligible for maternity allowance if she has worked in the United Kingdom for at least a week earning 30 a week, and is able to use her work or insurance record in another EU state to help her qualify.
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Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Ribble Valley and Fulwood constituency, the effects on the constituency of changes to his Department's policies since 1997. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 15 March 2005]: 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 Ribble Valley and Fulwood constituency.
At the end of December 2004, the total number of people waiting more than nine months for inpatient treatment within Hyndburn and Ribble Valley primary care trust (PCT) and Preston PCT has fallen to zero, from 412 in June 2002.
At the end of December 2004, the total number of patients waiting over 13 weeks for outpatient treatment within Hyndburn and Ribble Valley PCT and Preston PCT has fallen to 368, from 1,175 in June 2002.
In June 2003, at Lancashire teaching hospitals NHS trust, 92.5 per cent., of patients spent less than four hours in Accident and Emergency (A&E) from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge. Figures for September 2004 show an improvement to 97.6 per cent.
Between September 2002 and June 2004, the number of consultants at Lancashire teaching hospitals NHS trust has increased from 167 to 170. Between September 2002 and September 2003, the number of nurses has increased from 1,915 to 1,928.
Figures for December 2004 show that all patients within Hyndbum and Ribble Valley PCT and Preston PCT are able to be offered an appointment with a GP within two working days and a primary care professional within one working day.
In the Ribble Valley local authority area, the death rate from coronary heart disease per 100,000 population was 131 in 2003 compared to 164 in 1997. For Preston, the rate in 2003 was 142, compared to 176 in 1997.
The £110 million private finance initiative development project at Queens Park hospital in Blackburn is scheduled for completion in summer 2006. It involves the rationalisation of services from two sites on to one. The benefits of this include the provision of an integrated children's unit, as well as A&E and medical beds on the same site, thus eliminating patient transfers between the two sites.
Roger Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Wimbledon constituency, the effects of changes to departmental policy since 1997 on Wimbledon constituency. 
Dr. Ladyman: 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 Wimbledon constituency. For example:
At the end of December 2004, the number of patients waiting over 13 weeks for outpatient treatment within Sutton and Merton PCT was 265; from 586 in June 2002. No one was waiting over 17 weeks for first outpatient appointment.
100 per cent. of people are getting access to their general practitioner within two working days in the Sutton and Merton PCT area. This is an improvement on 82.4 per cent. in June 2002 for people wanting an appointment with their GP.
In June 2003, at Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, 85.4 per cent. of patients spent less than four hours in accident and emergency from arrival to admission, transfer, or discharge. Figures for December 2004 show an improvement to 95.3 per cent.
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