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Antipsychotic Medication

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions were issued in each of the last five years for (a) atypical, (b) traditional and (c) all antipsychotic medication in each (i) region and (ii) health authority for (A) 0 to 15 years, (B) 16 to 59 years and (C) 60 years and over age groups. [2909]

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Jane Kennedy: The information is not available in the requested format.

Information on the number of prescription items for atypical, traditional and all antipsychotic drugs dispensed in the community in each strategic health authority and primary care trust (PCTs) in England since 2001 has been placed in the Library. Data are not available for 1999 and 2000. The information has been broken down by age groups where possible and the year on year percentage changes recorded.

The information does not include prescriptions dispensed in hospitals or mental health trusts. Given that a large proportion of antipsychotic medication is dispensed in hospitals and mental health trusts, this data should not be used to compare PCTs' prescribing practices.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many finished consultant episodes with a primary diagnosis of asthma have been recorded in each month since 1997. [3351]

Mr. Byrne: Hospital episode statistics data on the number of finished consultant episodes are not available monthly.

Annual figures, for England, with a primary diagnosis of asthma are shown in the table.
Number of finished consultant episodes for asthma


Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the training provided for those training to be (a) a midwife and (b) a health visitor in respect of breastfeeding. [1318]

Mr. Byrne: This is the responsibility of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the regulatory body that sets standards for nursing and midwifery training and approves the education institutions that provide the training and determine the curricula.
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Cervical Smear Tests

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of smear tests in England resulted in women being recalled as a result of inadequate smears in each year since 2001; and if she will make a statement. [3069]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The total number of cervical tests taken, the number of inadequate tests and the proportion that were inadequate between 2000–01 and 2003–04 is shown in the table.
Total number of smear testsNumber of inadequate smear testsNumber of inadequate smear tests as percentage

Being recalled to have a second cervical screening test because the first was inadequate can be a stressful and anxious time for women. To reduce this uncertainty we are introducing liquid based cytology (LBC) to the national health service cervical screening programme. LBC is a new way of making and reading cervical test slides. Government-funded pilot studies have shown that LBC reduces the rate of inadequate tests from around 9 per cent. to between 1 and 2 per cent. This means that, when fully implemented, 300,000 women a year will not be called back because their slide could not be read.

Chronic Fatigue

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was of the research project undertaken by North Bristol NHS trust on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Chronic Fatigue; and if she will make a statement. [3044]

Mr. Byrne: The project funded by the national health service health technology assessment programme, Cognitive behavioural therapy in chronic fatigue syndrome: a randomised controlled trial of an outpatient group programme", for which the grant holder is the North Bristol NHS trust, has been allocated a total of £75,432.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research she has commissioned on the (a) physical causes and (b) treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis; and how much has been spent on such research in each of the last five years. [2882]

Mr. Byrne: The main agency through which the Government supports medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Technology.

The MRC does not normally allocate funds to particular topics: research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. When appropriate, high quality research in particular areas of strategic importance may be given priority in competition for funds, but research excellence and importance to health
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continues to be the primary considerations in funding decisions. The MRC always welcomes high quality applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are judged in open competition with other demands on funding.

The MRC is currently funding two complementary trials into various treatment options for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) that aim to improve quality of life for those who are ill. The Department is meeting part of the cost of the trials, to which £4.2 million in total has been allocated. Patient recruitment began toward the end of last year.

Since 1998, the Department has separately commissioned and funded a number of small scale research projects related to aspects of CFS/ME at a total cost of £293,000.

Over 75 per cent. of the Department's total expenditure on health research is, however, devolved to and managed by national health service organisations. Details of individual projects, including some concerned with myalgic encephalomyelitis, can be found on the national research register at

Clostridium Difficile

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the prevalence of clostridium difficile bacterium at Stoke Mandeville Hospital; and whether she has instigated an inquiry into fatalities there. [4065]

Jane Kennedy: As the outbreak is still being investigated, complete data are not available but the major cause of this outbreak appears to be a virulent strain of clostridium difficile. Our first priority is to resolve the current situation at the hospital and both the Department and Health Protection Agency are in close contact with the trust. However, officials are speaking to the Healthcare Commission about possible terms of reference and scope for an investigation.


Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many registered NHS dentists there are in Hertford and Stortford constituency; [1081]

(2) how many additional NHS dentists she expects to become registered during 2005–06 in Hertford and Stortford constituency; [1082]

(3) what actions her Department has taken to enable NHS dentists to reduce waiting lists in Hertford and Stortford constituency. [1083]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As at 31 March 2005, there were 141 registered national health service dentists in the Hertford and Stortford constituency, which is covered by Royston, Buntingford and Bishops Stortford Primary Care Trust (PCT) and South Hertfordshire PCT. This information was provided by the dental practice board and relates to dentists whose practice address postcode is within the constituency boundary.

Royston, Buntingford and Bishops Stortford PCT expect 2.5 whole time equivalent (WTE) dentists to become registered during 2005–06, resulting in 4,500 new patient registrations.
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South East Hertfordshire PCT expects 6.6 WTE dentists to become registered during 2005–06, resulting in 11,900 new patient registrations.

It is anticipated that the appointment of these additional dentists will have a significant impact on the number of patients waiting to see a dentist.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will publish for consultation the Department's review of dental patient charges. [2281]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A dental charges working group, led by Harry Cayton, the Department's Director for Patients and the Public, submitted proposals for a new system of dental patient charges to the Department in March 2004. These proposals are being considered alongside information about the effects of the new pilot dental contracts on treatment patterns. The written ministerial statement in January indicated that we would be consulting on a new system of dental charges in the summer.

Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in implementing the NHS IT system for NHS dentistry; and whether dentists will (a) have access to the NHS Net and (b) have access to electronic patient records. [3283]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 13 June 2005]: Work continues to finalise functional requirements for clinical information technology systems in both primary and secondary care and to ensure that solutions will integrate with the wider national programme for information technology. These requirements will be informed by the new contractual arrangements for primary care dentistry.

In addition, a programme of work is in hand to specify and procure a clinical information system for use in the dental hospitals of England. Part of this work will involve early definition of the dental component of the national care record system, with access to the care record for general dental practitioners likely to be in the later stages of the programme.

A pilot project is also under way to explore 'choose and book' functionality for primary care dentistry. A programme team has now been appointed and the 200 practices taking part in the field trials will be connected to the new national health service national network, N3. Discussions are under way regarding proposals to include general dental practitioners in the NHS Contact email service.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many full-time equivalent NHS dentists have been employed in North Shropshire constituency in each of the last five years. [2789]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on a whole time equivalent basis is not available, as dentists are able to vary the amount of hours they work and to vary their
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national health service commitment. Many dentists do some private work. In North Shropshire constituency, the numbers of NHS dentists, as at 31 December each year, were:

This data comes from the Dental Practice Board and relates to the number of dentists working in the general dental service and personal dental service in North Shropshire.

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