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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) full-time equivalent and (b) headcount consultant cardiologists were working in the NHS in each year since 1997; if she will estimate the optimum number of consultant cardiologists required by the NHS in England; and if she will make a statement. 
|Number (headcount) and full- time equivalent|
It is the responsibility of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to analyse their local situation and develop plans, in liaison with their local NHS trusts, to deliver high quality cardiology services and recruit the appropriate staff required to deliver these services.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Secretary of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes on the Food Standards Agency will reply to the letter (a) from the hon. Member for Totnes dated 17 March and (b) from the
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director of Genetic Food Alert dated 6 December 2004; and if she will make a statement on the reasons for the time to respond. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 16 June 2005]: The chairman of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) replied to the letter from the director of Genetic Food Alert on 14 June 2005. A reply to the letter from the hon. Member will be forwarded by the secretary of the ACNFP upon receipt of a copy of the reply issued by the ACNFP chairman.
Ms Rosie Winterton
[holding answer 14 June 2005]: We are funding the biggest expansion of dental education since the inception of the national health service, involving the creation of an additional 170 training places for dental undergraduates. To support this 25 per cent., increase in capacity, we have allocated revenue funds growing to £29 million by 201011 and £20 million capital in each of the four years 200506 to 200809. A joint implementation group (JIG)
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comprising the Department and the Higher Education Funding Council for England is managing the expansion programme. The JIG invited all higher education institutions in England to make expressions of interest in having a new dental school by 26 May. These bids will be evaluated by the JIG at its meeting on 22 June and the short-listed respondents will be asked to submit a full business case and to make a presentation to the JIG later in the year.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the statement by the Under-Secretary of State for Health on 7 June 2005, Official Report, column 114WH, on NHS dentistry, whether all those people registered as NHS patients at Robinsons dental practice will be able to migrate to the Whitecross dental care practice; and when the Whitecross dental practice will be operating with five full-time dentists; 
(2) pursuant to the statement by the Under-Secretary of State for Health on 7 June 2005, Official Report, column 114WH, on NHS dentistry, what the conclusions were of the meeting between local practitioners and her Department on 8th June. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 14 June 2005]: The meeting between officials in the Department and the South and East Dorset Primary Care Trust (PCT) on June 8 2005 was positive. A number of applications for local practitioners to move to personal dental services (PDS) pilot contracts were reviewed, including the establishment of new practices. The applications for two of the new practices were subsequently agreed by the Department on June 10 2005, including the application for the new Whitecross dental practice in Christchurch. The two new practices will include a total of nine new full-time national health service dentists, delivering care to 22,500 patients. The PCT has assured me that all patients currently registered as NHS patients at the Robinsons dental practice will be able to transfer to the new Whitecross dental practice in Christchurch when it becomes operational in August 2005.
Ms. Rosie Winterton: Each year, some 700 students graduate from dental schools in the United Kingdom. Almost all these newly qualified dentists undertake one year's vocational training in an attachment to a dental practice where patients are treated under the national health service. Through our reforms, we are seeking to make NHS dentistry more attractive to dentists so that, when they become eligible to practise independently, they maintain a significant commitment to the NHS.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much Government funding has been allocated to research into the causes of diabetes in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The main agency through which the Government supports medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is
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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 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.
Over 75 per cent. of the Department's total expenditure on health research is devolved to and managed by national health service organisations. Table 2 shows NHS-reported spending from this funding in support of diabetes 1 .
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