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21 Oct 2005 : Column 1264W—continued

Cancer Treatment

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it is her Department's policy for women suffering from breast cancer to have access to a local breast care service for on-going care. [17509]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In 2002, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence updated the Department's 1996 improving outcomes in breast cancer guidance.

The guidance recommends that expert care should be available locally for all patients with breast cancer. How this is achieved, will be a matter for local decision and will vary from place to place.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received regarding waiting times for cancer treatment in East Sussex. [18725]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 17 October 2005]: A search of the Department's correspondence and Parliamentary questions database shows that, since June 2005, there have been six questions from hon. and right hon. Members and one Private Office case.

The Government are keen to ensure that all patients have equal access to national health service treatment and the "NHS Cancer Plan", published in September 2000, sets out our strategy to reduce waiting times for cancer patients.

It is the responsibility of the local NHS organisations, in conjunction with their cancer networks, to plan and develop cancer services which are of high clinical quality, timely and patient-centred. Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority has advised that NHS organisations in East Sussex are committed to delivering a cancer service fit for the 21st century and that they continue to work together to improve cancer services for patients.

Care Homes (Diet)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to ensure that free, fresh, chilled drinking water is available to all care home residents throughout the day as part of the Department's review of national minimum standards. [18940]

Mr. Byrne: The issue of availability of fresh drinking water for care home residents has been raised as part of the review and is currently being considered.

A full public consultation on the proposed changes to the national minimum standards and accompanying regulations will take place next year.

Chiropody (Bedfordshire)

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of chiropody services in Bedfordshire; and if she will make a statement. [16616]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: No central assessment has been made of chiropody services in Bedfordshire. Access to chiropody is a matter for primary care trusts, which have responsibility for implementing the national standards, as identified in the national service frameworks. Chiropody is one of the multidisciplinary services that should be considered in the implementation of national standards.

Clostridium Difficile

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) terms of reference and (b) timetable are for the inquiry by the Healthcare Commission into the outbreak of Clostridium difficile at Stoke Mandeville Hospital; and if she will make a statement. [18655]

Jane Kennedy: The terms of reference for the Healthcare Commission investigation into Buckinghamshire Hospitals National Health Service Trust (Stoke Mandeville Hospital) are:

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These were published on 21 July 2005 and are available on the Healthcare Commission's website at:

The investigation is currently under way. An interim report on Clostridium difficile is expected before the end of the year and the final investigation report is expected to be published by the Healthcare Commission in spring 2006.


Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Minister of State for NHS Delivery will reply to the letter of 18 May from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood requesting a meeting to discuss the duty of care and responsibility for failed asylum seekers. [18676]

Jane Kennedy: I have now sent a reply to the right hon. Member with sincere apologies for the delay, which was due to the changes in ministerial portfolios following the general election.


Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost to the NHS of dental access centres per patient episode is. [17030]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department only holds information on its central contribution to dental access centres and does not hold full cost information, which includes any primary care trust (PCT) contribution and patient charge revenue. The Department does not have complete data from PCTs on patient throughput in dental access centres. However, based on the Department's total central contribution to the cost of dental access centres and the available data on patient throughput, the estimated average cost per patient episode in 2004–05 was a maximum of £141.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of (a) adults and (b) children in the Greater Peterborough Primary Care Partnership area had access to an NHS dentist in (i) 2002, (ii) 2003 and (iii) 2004; and if she will make a statement. [18208]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The estimated percentages of child, adult and total population in the areas covered by North and South Peterborough Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) registered with general dental services (GDS) and personal dental services (PDS) in 2002, 2003 and 2004 are shown in the table.

March 2002
North Peterborough660630640
South Peterborough560330390
March 2003
North Peterborough710640660
South Peterborough540280340
March 2004
North Peterborough710660670
South Peterborough530290340

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A dental action plan is in place. This has helped with the recruitment of six dentists from Poland, who are now working in Peterborough. There is also a dental access centre in Peterborough. PDS contracts are expected to increase dental registrations by 20 per cent. In addition, one new practice opened in May 2005 and one further new PDS practice is due to open in the next six months. There are also plans for an existing dentist to open a new branch in a deprived area of the city.

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