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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many delayed discharge patients there were in hospital in the latest month for which figures are available, broken down by local authority area; and how many patients in each hospital had their discharge delayed while awaiting community care packages in that period. 
Mr. Byrne: Information showing the number of delayed discharges by local authority and the number of patients delayed while waiting for a care package in their own home by national health Service trust or primary care trust as at April 2005 has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Byrne: This information is not collected centrally. However, as part of the annual mapping exercise of adult mental health services, organisations have in some instances indicated where services for those with early onset dementia are provided. Durham university's centre for public mental health, which carries out the mapping exercise on behalf of the Department, can produce this information on request.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Dental Practice Board (DPB) for England and Wales is responsible for establishing the probity of payment claims for dentists working in the national health service general dental service and making payments to them for the work they have done. The DPB continually monitors dentists prescribing patterns and activity and the quality of treatment provided through the dental reference service (DRS). The DRS scrutinises a randomly selected sample of payment claims using questionnaires to patients, clinical record checks and treatment examinations. The form that patients sign at the dentist includes an agreement to attend an examination if requested. Adverse reports arising from the 55,000 random references are investigated and can be referred to the primary care trust (PCT) for disciplinary action.
The DRS is currently piloting new clinical monitoring arrangements in order to support practitioners and PCTs with clinical governance and quality assurance issues under the new dental contracting arrangements, which will come into effect next April.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will estimate the percentage of (a) adults, (b) children and (c) the total population registered with (i) a general dental services dentist and (ii) a personal dental services dentist in (A) England, (B) each strategic health authority and (C) each primary care trust in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
In 200405, Rotherham PCT received a total of £182,000 in capital funding and £78,000 in revenue funding, a large proportion of which has been distributed to seven practices within the PCT area to increase NHS access. The PCT anticipates this funding will deliver an additional 10,560 NHS patient registrations. This funding is also being used to fund the development of two new dental surgeries in a health centre in Rotherham, expected to be completed in 200506. The PCT has also been awarded funding to re-open a recently closed surgery, which should provide 2,888 additional patient registrations.
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As at 31 May 2005, there are 33 dental practices within the Rotherham PCT area, a number of which are currently accepting new NHS patients. The Rotherham Health Advice Centre actively manages access to NHS dentistry by directing patients to practices with vacancies as they become available. The dental access centre in the Dearne Valley accepts patients from all over South Yorkshire for a range of emergency dental treatment. In addition, three practices within Rotherham provide emergency pain-relief sessions.
Rotherham PCT has recruited three Polish dentists from the Department's central international recruitment initiative. These dentists are now providing NHS services to patients in the area. The PCT has also been proactive in working with its dentists to move them to personal dental service contractswith over 60 per cent. of practices having taken up this opportunity to move to new ways of working.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many full-time equivalents have worked for the Department for each of the last five financial years for which figures are available. 
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average waiting time was for (a) a digital hearing aid assessment and (b) the routine supply of a digital hearing aid to wearers of existing hearing aids at the Leighton hospital in Crewe in the last period for which figures are available; 
(2) how much funding her Department has made available for the provision of digital hearing aids (a) in England, (b) to primary care trusts in North Staffordshire and (c) to the University hospital of North Staffordshire; 
(3) what the average waiting time was (a) in England and (b) at the University of North Staffordshire for (i) a digital hearing aid assessment and (ii) the routine supply of a digital hearing aid to users of existing hearing aids in the last period for which figures are available; 
Mr. Byrne: The Department has invested £125 million into the modernising hearing aid services (MHAS) project since 2000. As a result, from April 2005, all 164 national health service audiology services in England should be routinely fitting digital hearing aids.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which drugs are blacklisted from NHS prescriptions; what the reason is for the inclusion of each on the list; and when each drug was blacklisted. 
Jane Kennedy: There are currently over 3,000 products which appear in Schedule 1 of the NHS (CMS Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc) Regulations 2004often referred to as the blacklist. This list can be found in Part XVIIIA of the Drug Tariff which is published monthly by The Stationery Office) or on the Prescription Pricing Authority's website at: www.ppa.org.uk/edt/July_2005/mindex.htm.
Reasons for the inclusion of individual products could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, products may be placed on this schedule because they are either expensive in comparison to similar alternatives or have no therapeutic value.
Many of the products listed were first subject to such restrictions in 1985 with the introduction of the selected list scheme following advice from the advisory committee on drugs. Again, this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Jane Kennedy: Suitable alternative treatments to those listed in Schedule 1 of the NHS (CMS Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc) Regulations 2004 are generally available on the national health service. Alternatives may not be available where a treatment has been listed because it has no therapeutic value.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will place in the Library her Department's guidance to pharmacists about the blacklisting of drugs from NHS prescriptions ; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The pharmacists' terms of service, contained in the NHS (Pharmacy Services) Regulations 2005, SI 2005/641, says that they should not dispense a prescription on the national health service for products which are on Schedule 1 of the NHS (CMS Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc) Regulations 2004.
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