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Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average response time of the ambulance service to emergency calls from locations in each London borough was in the last period for which figures are available. 
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) advice and (b) resources her Department is giving to London health authorities to prepare for a potential avian influenza epidemic; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The Department has published operational guidance for the national health service, entitled Influenza Pandemic Contingency Planning: Operational Guidance for Health Service Planners", to help inform planning in NHS organisations. In addition, the Department has tasked the Health Protection Agency to produce infection control guidance and clinical management protocols, which will help NHS in planning effectively. These will be available in the next few months. Further guidance and information is available on the Department's website at: www.dh.gov.uk/pandemicflu
Planning for emergencies is a core task for NHS bodies. The Government are purchasing 14.6 million courses of antivirals for the NHS to use in treating cases of pandemic influenza and has recently invited manufacturers to tender for a contract to supply a limited amount of vaccine against the H5N1 avian influenza. This vaccine could offer some protection against a H5N1 influenza strain and could be used to support the NHS response.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of blood donors in the Castle Point area is not held centrally. However, the National Blood Service has data for the number of active blood donors for the Anglia region, of which Castle Point is a part, and the total number of collections made in the Anglia region over the last five years, which is shown in the table.
|Average size of active donor base|
In 200304, an estimated 348,000 carers received a carers assessment or review during the year in England, either separately or jointly with the client. Around 70,000 of these carers were assessed or reviewed separately.
10 Oct 2005 : Column 200W
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on the number of community pharmacies by constituency is not centrally collected. However, information prior to 2002 is available by health authority (HA) and from 2002, by primary care trust (PCT).
|Total number of pharmacies in|
South Essex HA
|Total number of pharmacies in|
Castle Point and Rochford PCT
My hon. Friend the Member for South Thanet (Dr.Ladyman) met with the ombudsman specifically to discuss continuing care, and the subject will have come up in numerous visits and meetings. I have met with local authority representatives and also with the Social
10 Oct 2005 : Column 201W
Care Institute for Excellence, the General Social Care Council and Turning Point, when the subject of continuing care was raised.
Officials have studied the evidence given to the Health Select Committee inquiry on continuing care. Regular meetings take place with staff from the ombudsman's office to ensure their full participation and involvement in the development of the national framework.
Officials held three national meetings on continuing care; on 17 December 2004, 19 January 2005 and 4 March 2005 to start to scope the issues that the national framework is to address and gather suggestions for ways forward. These meetings were attended by representatives from the ombudsman's office and representatives from strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and local authorities including representatives from the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS).
Meetings and/or discussions have also occurred with numerous organisations, members of the public, researchers and academics, including the Royal College of Nursing, Help the Aged, Age Concern, the Alzheimer's Society and the Long Term Medical Conditions Alliance.
Officials have also had contact with these bodies, and with many other voluntary organisations and professional bodies including the English Community Care Association, Leonard Cheshire, Carers UK, POhWER, the British Medical Association, the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service, the ADSS and the LGA, Radar, Headway, the Neurological Alliance, Scope, the National Care Forum, the National Centre for Independent Living, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations and the National Care Homes Association. Many of these attended the stakeholder summit that was held on 21 July to share progress, and to gain contributions in from organisations with patients and service users, carer networks and professional organisations.
An electronic discussion forum has been established for regular communication and through which staff from across the health and social care community and wider stakeholder groups can contribute to specific parts of the framework.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Personal dental services (PDS) pilots, on which the proposed new contractual arrangements for national health service dentists from April 2006 are closely based, have been running in phases since 1998. PDS pilot schemes now cover over 30 per cent. of dentists. In 200405, the Department allocated some £261 million to primary care trusts (PCTs) to fund the services provided by these schemes.
Following the publication of Options For Change in 2002, the NHS Modernisation Agency set up 48 field sites to test models for new ways of working and identify key lessons for the future. In addition to funding for the dental services provided in these sites, host PCTs received £405,000 to facilitate the sites and cover any additional expenses incurred.
Ms Rosie Winterton: As of 31 August 2005, 2,373 dental practices were working as dental pilots under personal dental services (PDS) agreements. Of these, 210 were field sites set up under the National Health Service Modernisation Agency to develop the new ways of working. Learning from all the PDS sites has been taken on board in developing the new contractual arrangements that are being put in place for 1 April 2006.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what limit she has set on the number of new patients an individual dental practice can take as part of the pilots for the new NHS dental contract. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has not set a limit on the number of additional national health service patients a practice maybe contracted to look after as part of a pilot personal dental service arrangement. Thenumber of additional patients will depend upon theindividual circumstances of the practice and the proposed pilot arrangements.
Ms Rosie Winterton: As at 31 August 2005, there were 13 dental surgeries within Castle Point parliamentary constituency. Of these, one had opened since 31 August 1997. No dental surgeries have closed within this area in the same time period.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The cost for a national health service dental check-up, defined in the Statement of Dental Remuneration as clinical examination, advice, chartingincluding monitoring of periodontal statusand report, is fixed across England.
|Patients charge (80 per cent. of dentist fees)|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost was of a national health service dental check-up in Southend in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The cost for a national health service dental check-up, defined as clinical examination, advice, charting (including monitoring of periodontal status) and report", in the Statement of Dental Remuneration, is fixed across England. This cost is set by the Department and changes each year, usually in April. However, in January 1994, December 1996, 1997, 1998 there were also changes made to costs.
|Date||Dentist fee||Patient charge|
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the staffing level against establishment in the dental workforce in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point and Rochford Primary Care Trust in the last 12 months. 
Essex Strategic Health Authority
|Castle Point and Rochford Primary Care Trust|
|City of London||13|
|Barking and Dagenham||65|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||155|
|Kensington and Chelsea||96|
|Kingston upon Thames||82|
|Richmond upon Thames||112|
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been registered with an NHS dentist in each primary care trust in England in (a) 200203, (b) 200304 and (c) 200405. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Registration data have been placed in the Library. Data for 2003 and 2004 include personal dental service counts of patients seen in the past 15 months as a proxy for registrations for some schemes. This is to give greater consistency with registrations data for the general dental service, which has a 15 month re-registration period. Many personal dental service schemes use longer periods and some, such as dental access centres, do not require patients to register.
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