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12 Dec 2005 : Column 1798W—continued

Anti-cancer Drugs

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate she has made of (a) the cost per patient treated with and (b) the effectiveness of clofaribine in achieving remission of acute myeloid leukaemia; [32609]

(2) if she will list the options available to patients recommended for treatment with (a) clofaribine and (b) other expensive new anti-cancer drugs whose local hospital trusts lack the funds to purchase them. [32610]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 30 November 2005]: No estimate has yet been made of the cost per patient treated with, and the effectiveness in achieving remission of, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) of clofaribine.

Clofarabine is not yet licensed in the United Kingdom and is currently being tested in patients with AML who are older and not able to withstand the usual intensive chemotherapy.

As with other unlicensed treatments, it will be for the clinicians and funding authorities concerned, in discussion with patients, to decide whether to prescribe clofarabine for AML in individual cases.

Where a decision is made not to prescribe clofarabine or any other new cancer treatment, it will be for the clinicians concerned to advise patients on the alternative options for treatment.

We are already putting record amounts of new investment into the national health service—between 2003 and 2008 NHS expenditure in England will increase on average by 7.5 per cent. each year. It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) to decide how best to spend these resources taking into account local circumstances.

PCTs have many competing priorities but cancer is a national and local priority. Every PCT will have a sizeable number of people in their area who will be diagnosed with the disease, live with the disease and who die from the disease each year. PCTs will need to ensure they allocate sufficient resource to meet their local contribution to tackling cancer care or other areas.
 
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Birmingham Children's Hospital

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the closure of 10 beds in Ward 3 for children under 12 years with severe mental health problems at the Birmingham Children's Hospital is planned. [31476]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 21 November 2005]: As part of an on-going review of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Birmingham, some changes in the CAMHS service based at the Birmingham Children's Hospital are being considered in the light of best practice and the needs of the children and young people involved.

Any changes that are proposed will be the subject of formal consultation by the Birmingham Children's Hospital National Health Service Trust under Section 11 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001.

Care Homes

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a person who has been assessed as having above the capital limits for a care home can request (a) regular reviews of their care by social services and (b) social services to arrange the care. [31639]

Mr. Byrne: Local authorities (LAs) have a duty under section 47 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 to assess the needs of a person who appears to them to require community care services. Having decided in the light of that assessment to provide services, they should develop a care plan for that individual. As an individual's need for community care services will vary over time, LAs are required to provide a review date in the care plan. Where a LA decides to provide community care services, it may provide the services itself, or make arrangements for those services to be provided. If a LA decides not to provide services following an assessment, because a person's needs are not eligible for support, the LA should inform individuals that, if their circumstances change, they can apply for re-assessment. Individuals can request a review or re-assessment at any time regardless of the funding position.

An individual's financial circumstances should have no bearing on whether a LA carries out a community care assessment or not. Once an individual's care needs have been assessed and a decision made about the care to be provided, an assessment of his/her ability to pay charges should be carried out promptly. Written information about any charges payable, and how they have been calculated, should be communicated to the individual. The individual is entitled to request the LA to arrange his/her care, regardless of whether he/she or the LA is paying for it.

Chase Farm NHS Hospital Trust

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings took place in her Department in the 2004–05 financial year at which the future funding of (a) Chase Farm NHS Hospital Trust and (b) its accident and emergency department were discussed; and if she will make a statement. [26193]


 
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Mr. Byrne: There were no meetings during the 2004–05 financial year regarding funding of Barnet and Chase Farm National Health Service Hospital Trust and its accident and emergency department.

Dacorum Primary Care Trust

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of (a) syphilis, (b) HIV, (c) lymphoedema and (d) tuberculosis have been diagnosed in the area covered by Dacorum Primary Care Trust in each month since January. [22844]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of cases of lymphoedema and tuberculosis are not held centrally. Data for 2004 on diagnoses of syphilis made within Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA) (and not by the patients' area of residence) are shown in table 1. The diagnoses of syphilis were made at genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics (and excludes primary care).
Table 1: Number of diagnoses of primary and secondary syphilis by quarter—Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Health Authority 2004

Quarter of diagnosisNumber of diagnoses
16
27
37
48




Source:
KC60 returns, Health Protection Agency.



Data on diagnoses of HIV made within Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA) (and not by the patients' area of residence) are shown in table 2. The diagnoses of HIV were made mostly in GUM clinics (but also primary care, inpatient wards, antenatal clinics). For confidentiality reasons, data on new sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV diagnoses are routinely published only at SHA level.
Table 2: Number of HIV diagnoses by month of diagnosis—Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Health Authority 2004

Month of diagnosisNumber of diagnoses
January27
February15
March20
April17
May28
June24
July14
August9
September24
October37
November19
December13
Total247




Source:
Health Protection Agency



Damages Payments

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the 10 largest amounts of damages paid out by her Department in the last year for which figures areavailable, indicating in each case the nature of the claim. [27729]


 
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Mr. Byrne: The Department has made no payments that can be constructed as damages during 2004–05.

Dentistry

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how bad debt to dentists from patients will be dealt with under the new National Health Service (General Dental Services Contracts) regulations; and if she will make a statement. [26808]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Under the new contractual arrangements, dentists will—as now—be responsible for collecting national health service patient charges. The new general dental service and personal dental service contract regulations give primary care trusts new powers of assistance, including financial support to help dentists who are unable to recover the necessary patient charge as a result of a patient's failure to pay the advertised patient charge for NHS services.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the new rules for patient charging for NHS dental services, with particular reference to the bodies responsible for collecting bad debts. [28072]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Under the proposed new arrangements for patient charges, dentists will—as now—be responsible for collecting national health service patient charges. The new general dental service and personal dental service contract regulations give primary care trusts new powers of assistance, including financial support, to help dentists who are unable to recover the necessary patient charges as a result of a patient's failure to pay the advertised patient charge for NHS services.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the proposed system of units of dental activity was piloted. [32485]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The pilot personal dental services arrangements now cover over 30 per cent. of dentists. These pilots have shown how dentists' behaviour and treatment patterns alter when the item of service payment system is removed and instead dentists receive a fixed income over a 12 month period. We have taken account of these changes in designing the new system of units of dental activity and the proposed system of banded patient charges.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists are foreign nationals, broken down by nationality. [29463]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 21 November 2005]: Data on the nationality of dentists are not centrally available. However, the table shows the numbers of dentists in England who qualified outside the United Kingdom, as at 30 September 2005. Dentists have been counted only once, even if they have contracts in both the general dental service (GDS) and personal dental service (PDS).
 
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General dental services and personal dental services Numbers of dentists in England, who qualified outside the United Kingdom, by country of qualification, as at 30 September 2005

Number
Total dentists qualified outside the UK3,751
South Africa1,039
Sweden812
Ireland400
Poland341
Greece203
Germany155
Australia153
New Zealand115
Denmark108
Spain97
Portugal65
Malaysia57
Italy46
Finland32
Belgium30
Norway27
Netherlands26
France20
Czech Republic7
Latvia6
Malta6
Hong Kong5
Iceland1


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