Medical opinion differs on the most effective treatment for sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). In
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recognition of this, in 2004 the Department asked the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of CFS/ME. This work is expected to be published in 2007. The national health service is able to provide treatment for the range problematic symptoms often associated with this conditionfor example sleep disorders, pain, anxiety, depression and stomach disorders.
Data on the incidence and treatment rates of specific medical conditions such as CFS/ME are not collected by the Department. However, it is estimated that around 240,000 people in the United Kingdom suffer from CFS/ME.
Local health professionals in primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for determining which health services their local populations require and ensuring the provision of these services. It is, therefore, the responsibility of individual PCTs to decide the level of funding they allocate to services for CFS/ME. However, in May 2003, the Department announced that additional funding of £8.5 million would be made available for services specifically designed for people with CFS/ME. This money will help develop clinical services where none currently exist, including 12 new centres and 28 local support teams solely for CFS/ME sufferers.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what referral mechanisms are in place for (a) South West London and St. George's NHS Trust and (b) Kingston Primary Care Trust to access chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis centres and support teams in the region; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The South West London and St.George's Mental Health Trust can refer patients to the chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME) service based at the Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. For patients who are very disabled, specialist placement is funded by the relevant primary care trust (PCT) and is decided by their multidisciplinary placement panels, for which a psychiatric report is usually required.
Kingston PCT can access the CFS/ME service, based in the Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. The PCT has a long standing service level agreement with the South London and Maudsley Mental Health Trust and Barts and The London NHS Trust.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision (a) South West London and
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St.George's NHS Trust and (b) Kingston Primary Care Trust have for chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis services; what specific funding they receive to deliver these services; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: I understand that South West London and St. George's National Health Service Trust refers patients to the chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME) service, based in the Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. The South West London and St. George's Mental Health Trust does not receive specific funding for these services.
Kingston PCT received £65,000 for the service at St. Helier hospital, which is accessed by general practitioner referral. This was part of the £8.5 million made available nationally for services specifically designed for people with CFS/ME.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are committed to working with all national health service employers to support the NHS to recruit and retain its workforce. This includes experienced clinical staff in Hertfordshire.
Improving Working Lives requires NHS organisations to commit to and deliver modern employment practices that support staff and enable them to have a healthy work-life balance. It covers a number of good practice areas, including training and development, equality and diversity, healthy workplaces, flexible working, and flexible retirement. The NHS childcare strategy is part of the Improving Working Lives programme, which also includes a number of discrete initiatives directly aimed at improving the working lives of doctors, such as the flexible careers scheme.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases have been subject to review as part of
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the NHS continuing care restitution review; how many were found to be eligible for NHS continuing care; how many of those not found eligible subsequently took their case to the Health Ombudsman; and what the result was in each case. 
Mr. Byrne: Details of the review's progress were presented to the House in a written statement by my hon. Friend the Member for South Thanet (Dr.Ladyman) on 16 September 2004, Official Report, columns 17576WS. Of the 11,655 requests for investigations received by 31 March 2004, 86.1 per cent. had been investigated, with 1,796 being found eligible for recompense. No later data are available. The Department does not collect data about the number of people who subsequently took cases to the Health Ombudsman.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what work her Department has undertaken to act on the recommendations of the Health Ombudsman in her two reports on NHS continuing care; and when she expects her Department to publish (a) national eligibility criteria and (b) an assessment methodology for NHS continuing care. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department's work programme in response to the Ombudsman's report was set out in a written statement by my hon. Friend the Member for South Thanet (Dr. Ladyman) on 9 December 2004, Official Report, column 108WS. Officials are working closely with stakeholders to form a national framework in response to the Health Ombudsman and expect to publish national eligibility criteria and suitable assessment methodologies in early 2006.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Primary care trusts (PCTs) in Gloucestershire are working with local dentists, developing plans to increase national health service provision across the area. Twelve dentists have been recruited from abroad and are working in the NHS in Gloucestershire. Five of these dentists are from Poland and the remaining seven are from outside the European Union.
Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire strategic health authority has received £2 million from 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.
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Nationally we are currently undertaking the most far reaching reforms of NHS 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. Pending completion of the training of the additional students, we are, this year, recruiting the equivalent of 1,000 extra dentists and we have allocated £59 million to improve NHS dentistry.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Departmental officials met the British Dental Association on 21 February 2005 and 16 April 2005 this year to discuss the national health service dentistry modernisation programme. A further meeting is currently being arranged.