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17 Nov 2005 : Column 1452W—continued


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the Department's research and development priorities in cancer treatment. [24027]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 3 November 2005]: 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 Department's priorities for cancer research were set out in the NHS Cancer Plan (September 2000). These priorities include working with all those involved in the funding and delivery of cancer research to establish the National Cancer Research Institute; committing funds to support the national health service infrastructure for clinical cancer research in the form of the National Cancer Research Network; and supporting specific programmes of cancer research in areas of high priority including epidemiology, prevention, screening, genetics, primary care and palliative care.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the average waiting times for radiotherapy in the NHS, broken down by (a) radical and (b) palliative treatment intent. [23069]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 28 October 2005]: Data on waiting times for radiotherapy is not collected centrally. From information provided by the
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Royal College of Radiologists we understand that waiting times for radiotherapy in some parts of the country are unacceptably long.

The NHS Cancer Plan set out maximum waiting time targets for cancer treatment, which include radiotherapy where this is given as a first definitive treatment. Standards of a maximum wait of one month from diagnosis to first treatment and a maximum two month wait from urgent general practitioner referral to first treatment for breast cancer are already in place. From December 2005 these targets will be in place for all cancer patients.

To tackle radiotherapy waiting times we are increasing the numbers of therapy radiographers in post and in training, making better use of existing staff, making unprecedented investment in new radiotherapy equipment, and streamlining the patient journey.

Capital Investment (Liverpool Hospitals)

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for new capital investment in the (a) Royal Liverpool university hospital and (b) Royal Liverpool children's hospital at Alder Hey. [26250]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 8 November 2005]: Plans are in hand with regard to the redevelopment of the Royal Liverpool university hospital and Alder Hey hospital. These redevelopments will be achieved via the private finance initiative. They form part of a redevelopment programme involving four national health service trusts in the North Merseyside area. The strategic outline case for this was approved in July 2004. The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen university hospitals NHS trust and the Royal Liverpool children's NHS trust are currently in the process of developing the relevant outline business cases which will determine the overall size and scope of these schemes prior to them going out to tender.

Clinical Negligence Payments

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many successful clinical negligence claims were made against each hospital in hospital trusts in the Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority in 2004–05; and what the total cost of all successful claims was against each hospital. [26376]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not held centrally.


Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists are operating in Morecambe and Lunesdale. [26332]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As at 30 September 2005, there were 42 national health service dentists with a general dental services or personal dental services contract within the Morecambe and Lunesdale parliamentary constituency.

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action she is taking to improve dental services in Wakefield. [26997]

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Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 10 November 2005]: The Wakefield West primary care trust (PCT) and the Eastern Wakefield PCT have been working with dental practices in Wakefield to support them in moving over to the new personal dental service (PDS) contract.

The Wakefield West PCT has received £2.2 million, and the Eastern Wakefield PCT £1.4 million, growth money from the Department for practices transferring to PDS. In addition, the Wakefield West PCT has received £143,000 for capital grants and £61,000 revenue for access, and the Eastern Wakefield PCT has received £106,000 for capital grants and £45,000 revenue for access.

As a result of both the access money and growth money, the Wakefield PCTs have been able to increase national health service dental registrations by 16,000 since March 2004.

The PCTs plan to improve access further. A new dental practice, staffed by international dentists, is scheduled to open in Wakefield in January 2006 and is expected to achieve a further 16,000 registrations. Two other dentists, internationally recruited, are already working within the Eastern Wakefield PCT area.

The Wakefield West PCT has been working to establish a dental registration telephone line to facilitate patient registrations. The Wakefield PCTs also provide an emergency dental access service for unregistered patients, facilitated by NHS Direct, who assess patient needs and offer appointments with local dentists. Furthermore, the weekend urgent dental service has been extended to cover appointments between 9 am and 5 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

Diagnostic Scans

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many diagnostic scans were carried out in the NHS in 2004. [14421]

Mr. Byrne: Data on the total number of diagnostic scans is not centrally available. Data is collected on the number of imaging and radiodiagnostic examinations or tests. The latest data, for 2003–04, is available at:

Health Services (Contractors)

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2005, Official Report, column 349W, on Health Services (Contractors), what the value is of each of the contracts agreed with the independent sector provider. [14214]

Mr. Byrne: The value of individual contracts with the independent sector cannot be disclosed due to issues of commercial confidentiality.


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the individual budget pilots will clarify the relationship between the Single Assessment Process and the housing sector, including Supporting People. [25423]

Mr. Byrne: The programme of individual budget pilots that is currently being developed will include two housing related income streams: supporting people and
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disabled facilities grants. The pilot sites will between them cover all main adult client groups to whom social services are provided. A number of pilots will be looking at services and support for older people.

The pilot programme will offer opportunities to look at assessment needs and how they are identified and met, including the scope for integration between assessment processes for the various funding streams involved.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of responses to the Green Paper on Independence Well-being and Choice included comments on the contribution of housing and housing-related services to the quality of care; and what action she plans to take in response. [25424]

Mr. Byrne: The Green Paper Independence, Well-being and Choice received 21,000 comments. Of these, 250 specifically mentioned housing.

There is no specific information available on housing related services, although 74 per cent. of responses supported the vision set out in the Green Paper. This promotes choice and independent living, as well as promoting the protection of people whose particular circumstances might make them vulnerable.

A copy of the Green Paper analysis 'Responses to the consultation on adult social care in England: Analysis of feedback from the Green Paper Independence Well-being and Choice is available in the Library.

The outcome of the consultation is being fed into the White Paper 'Your Health, Your Say, Your Care'

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