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21 Nov 2005 : Column 1708W—continued

Delayed Discharges

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many delayed discharges there were in England in each of the last six years for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [28108]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 14 November 2005]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 24 October 2005, Official Report, column 174W.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will arrange for UK-based students qualifying for dentistry to undertake a period of employment in the NHS in return for full or partial remittance of fees. [24698]

Ms Rosie Winterton: On graduation, almost all newly qualified dentists undertake one year's vocational training in a dental practice with a significant
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commitment to national health service dentistry. Some primary care trusts (PCTs), in areas where there are shortages of NHS dentists, already offer inducement payments to dentists to undertake their vocational training in their areas. We are encouraging PCTs to build on this experience by considering other innovative methods of attracting dentists to make their careers in the NHS. I will ensure the review team is aware of my hon. Friend's suggestion.
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Departmental Energy Consumption

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much energy has been consumed by her Department in each of the last five years; and how much was spent on energy in each year. [22462]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is shown in the tables.
Consumption and cost of energy for the Department of Health, including NHS Pensions Agency until April 2004

Consumption kilowatt-hour (kWh)
Fossil Fuel6,945,8875,727,0676,483,3266,453,7765,557,740
Electricity (Brown)13,564,4008,206,4354,176,7306,630,8760
Electricity (Green)04,938,6289,271,0007,223,00013,268,795
Cost (£)
Fossil Fuel85,05989,803102,213100,955114,256
Electricity (Brown)585,193387,419176,720274,6050
Electricity (Green)0240,200411,848353,621734,316

Consumption and cost of energy for NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency

Consumption (kWh)
Fossil Fuel533,229531,153474,243464,910410,332
Electricity (Brown)581,116355,1140086,254
Electricity (Green)0280,332584,405479,566486,639
Cost (£)
Fossil Fuel4,55521,23111,1786,9156,938
Electricity (Brown)23,59132,90100(75)
Electricity (Green)(75)(75)38,75030,12139,404

(75) Combined figure

Departmental Estate

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken in the context of assessment of the environmental impact of her Department to provide a clear description of her Department's estate, including executive agencies, staff numbers, buildings and land management. [22099]

Caroline Flint: I understand that this question relates to BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and sustainable development.

The Department reports annually on its progress against the targets contained in the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate". The data for 2004–05 is currently being analysed by independent consultants. It will shortly be published, with a commentary by the Sustainable Development Commission, on the Government's sustainable development website at The data for 2003–04 is currently available on the website.

Payment by Results

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action she is taking following the publication of the report by the Audit Commission entitled Early Lessons From Payment By Results". [25556]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 7 November 2005]: The Audit Commission's report, Early Lessons from Payment by Results" (October 2005), provides useful insight into the experience of those national health service organisations at the forefront of implementing payment by results. Many of the key recommendations from the report are either already being implemented or are being taken forward for subsequent years.

For example, the Department has consulted on a draft code of conduct, which aims to establish clear expectations on how organisations will conduct business under payment by results and the Department will be finalising the code of conduct for next year.

In addition, the Department is working with the Audit Commission to develop an assurance framework for payment by results, which will focus on improving data quality and assuring the appropriateness of payments. Tariff changes for 2006–07 will be announced in due course.
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Emergency Bed Service

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the emergency bed service. [18771]

Mr. Byrne: The emergency bed service, run by the London Ambulance Service, provides a range of information on bed availability to the national health service in the London area.

The service also provides the NHS nationally with vital information on the availability of intensive care beds via the centrally funded intensive care bed register. This service is available 24 hours a day; seven days a week; 365 days a year.

Funding Criteria

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what criteria were used in setting the funding allocation for (a) Lambeth primary care trust and (b) Dacorum primary care trust for 2005–06; and if she will make a statement; [24724]

(2) what criteria were used in setting the funding allocation to Salford primary care trust for 2005–06; and if she will make a statement. [24725]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Revenue allocations are made directly to primary care trusts (PCTs) on the basis of the relative needs of their populations. A weighted capitation formula is used to determine each PCT's target share of available resources.

The components of the formula are used to weight each PCTs crude population according to their relative need (age, and additional need) for health care and the unavoidable geographical differences in the cost of providing health care (market forces factor).

GM Crops

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recommendations she made regarding GM Maize—GA21 prior to its submission to the EU regulatory authority. [25231]

Caroline Flint: An application for authorisation of products derived from GA21 maize was made to the Dutch authorities in 1998 under the novel foods regulation (EC) No. 258/97. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the UK Competent Authority under the novel foods regulation and seeks expert advice on the safety of Genetically Modified foods from the independent Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).

The dossier on GA21 maize was reviewed by the ACNFP during 2000. They identified certain shortcomings in the available data and its advice formed the basis of the United Kingdom's objection to the initial assessment report from the Dutch Competent
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Authority. These shortcomings, and questions raised by other member states, were addressed by Monsanto in a supplementary dossier that they provided to the EC Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) for further assessment. The SCF concluded in March 2002 that GA21 maize is as safe as conventional, non-GM maize.

As the supplementary data and the SCF evaluation answered the ACNFP's initial questions, the FSA has advised Ministers that GA21 maize meets the necessary criteria for authorisation. The UK therefore voted in favour when European Union member states voted on the authorisation of GA21 maize in April and October of this year.

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