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Jane Kennedy: The Department does not maintain a central list of such contacts. Ministers and civil servants, including special advisers meet many people as part of the process of policy development and business delivery. All such contacts are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code, Civil Service Code, Code of Conduct for Special Advisers and Guidance for civil servants on contacts with lobbyists and people outside Government.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research she has evaluated on the aetiology of coeliac disease and the effects on it of the consumption of genetically modified foodstuffs; 
Mr. Byrne: It is known that coeliac disease is an inherited genetic disease caused by an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in foodstuffs containing wheat, barley and rye. We have not evaluated any research on the effects of consumption of genetically modified foodstuffs.
A careful search has shown no trace of his letter of 15 September 2005 being received in the Department. However, if the hon. Member would like to send a copy of this letter, I will ensure that a reply is sent to him without delay.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what priority will be attached to drugs for cystic fibrosis sufferers during the review of NHS commissioning arrangements for specialised conditions. 
Mr. Byrne: The review into specialised services commissioning arrangements has been set up to investigate current commissioning arrangements for specialised services in general and make proposals for improvements; it has been asked to report in the spring. The review will not be looking at individual services, like cystic fibrosis.
Caroline Flint: Data about out-patient waiting times is collected at national health service trust level and by timeband. The median time waited for an outpatient appointment at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust at September 2005 was 7.4 weeks, with no patients waiting longer than 17 weeks.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The majority of dental care professionals are employed by independent general dental practitioners. We do not hold data centrally on the numbers of these professionals, but we estimate that there are currently some 30,000 dental nurses, 3,600 dental hygienists and 600 dental therapists working in
14 Dec 2005 : Column 2134W
England. The number of dental therapists is likely to increase very significantly over the next few years, following Government funding for a fourfold increase in the number of training places, from 50 to 200 annually, in 2003 to support the development of team working in dentistry.
Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what measures she plans to put in place to ensure the creation of new dental schools do not adversely affect existing dental schools; 
(2) what account she will take, when considering allocation of additional undergraduate dental places, of (a) the availability of significant core teaching facilities, (b) outreach facilities and (c) integration into Local Improvement Finance Trust schemes; 
(3) whether existing dental schools will be able tomake their case for additional undergraduate dentalplaces on the same basis as applications for new dental schools when bids for additional places are considered. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are funding 170 additional training places for dental students. A joint implementation group (JIG) made up of representatives of the higher education funding council for England (HEFCE), the Department and the national health service is managing this expansion of dental training. In April the JIG invited bids for the training places from all higher education institutions in England indicating that it would apply the following criteria to their evaluation: geographical context; innovation; quality; value for money and widening participation. Bids have been received from both universities with existing dental schools and those currently without dental schools. The JIG will be making recommendations to the HEFCE Board for consideration at its meeting on 26 January 2006.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of schedule 3, part 1, paragraph 3, of the new draft dental contract on registrations, with particular reference to the renewal of an age bar; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The purpose of schedule 3, part 1, paragraph 3, is to prohibit, unless there are reasonable grounds, dentists refusing to provide services on the
14 Dec 2005 : Column 2135W
grounds of age. The final dental contracts regulations, laid before Parliament on 9 December, amended the draft regulations in response to issues raised during consultation in the summer. The final regulations clarify that, subject to the agreement of the local primary care trust, a practice may enter into a contract to provide services to specific categories of patients such as children.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will (a) bring forward proposals to define in statute the dental services that a primary care trust has to commission and (b) seek to ensure that the relevant legislation sets targets for primary care trusts on dentistry. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The new arrangements for local commissioning mean a primary care trust (PCT) must commission either mandatory services for a new general dental services (GDS) contract, and either mandatory and advanced services or advanced services only in a personal dental services contract (PDS). Mandatory services are defined at regulation 14 (4) of the National Health Service (General Dental Services Contracts) Regulations 2005.
The regulations governing GDS contracts and PDS agreements do not set targets for PCTs on dentistry. In line with the approach set out in National Standards Local Action" it is for PCTs to set standards or targets that are appropriate to their local circumstances.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the likely impact of the new General Dental Services contract on the number of registrations with an NHS dentist; and whether dentists will be provided with incentives to ensure patients are registered. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The evidence from personal dental service pilots is that moving away from a fee-per-item system supports dentists in carrying out simpler courses of treatment, such as fillings, where there are fewer individual items within each course. This frees up significant time that can be used in part to see a greater range of patients. The new general dental service (GDS) contract will allow all dentists to work in this way. The new type of GDS contract will also require dentists to have regard to the new National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on patient recall intervals. These guidelines are likely to mean many patients are recalled by their dentist less often than the current six monthly intervals. The dental reforms will also give primary care trusts (PCTs) the financial ability to commission new NHS dental services more readily if a dentist in their area chooses to deregister NHS patients.
Dentists will no longer receive payment based on the number of patients registered but in return for a guaranteed annual contract value they will be expected to provide an agreed level of service over the course of a year. Taken in conjunction with the application of the NICE guidelines this will support improvement in patient access.
It is not possible to predict with complete accuracy the overall impact that these measures will have but we are confident that they will together support significant improvement in patient access.
14 Dec 2005 : Column 2136W
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her estimate is of the number of general and personal dental service dentists per head of population in (a) each strategic health authority area and (b) England. 
|Number of dentists||Dentist per population per 10,000|
|Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire||924||4.13|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||873||5.40|
|North West London||1,145||6.24|
|North Central London||766||6.24|
|North East London||720||4.70|
|South East London||741||4.89|
|South West London||756||5.72|
|Northumberland, Tyne and Wear||582||4.17|
|County Durham and Tees Valley||421||3.67|
|North and East Yorkshire and|
|Cumbria and Lancashire||791||4.10|
|Cheshire and Merseyside||1,063||4.51|
|Hampshire and Isle of Wight||802||4.45|
|Kent and Medway||665||4.13|
|Surrey and Sussex||1,427||5.54|
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire||1,039||4.71|
|South West Peninsula||762||4.71|
|Dorset and Somerset||560||4.62|
|Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||602||4.01|
|Birmingham and the Black Country||930||4.09|
|West Midlands South||707||4.53|
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 9 November 2005, Official Report, column 17WS, on national health service dentistry, if she will break down the 859 training places for 2005 by dental schools; and how many of these places have been taken up by overseas students. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 28 November 2005]: A breakdown of the 859 training places is shown in the table. All of the 859 students were from the United Kingdom or other countries in the European Union and are in addition to any students the schools admitted from other overseas countries.
|Dental school||Admissions 2005|
|Queen Mary's London||101|
|Guy's Kings St. Thomas'||166|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||98|
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the population in the area served by Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth primary care trust was registered with an NHS dentist in each year since 1997. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The percentage of the population who were registered with an national health service dentist in Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth primary care trust as at 30 September each year is as follows:
|Percentage of population|
Ms Rosie Winterton: The review of community dental services commenced in early 2004 and the resulting consultation document, Creating the Future" was published in December 2004. The Department has since invited NHS Employers, the organisation representing national health service employing organisations, to negotiate new pay, terms and conditions for salaried primary care dentists.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The current pay deal for salaried primary dental care services ends in April 2006. The doctors and dentists pay review body will make recommendations for levels of pay in 200607. We have also asked NHS Employers to take forward negotiations on a new pay system for salaried primary care dentists.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of dentists that have joined general dental services (GDS) or personal dental services (PDS) in Rochdale primary care trust as at 30 September each year since 1997 is shown in the table.
Ms Rosie Winterton: An additional £250 million has been invested in national health service dentistry over the last two years to bring new dentists into the NHS and to address access in areas where historically there have been the biggest problems seeing an NHS dentist. We are implementing reforms in April 2006, which will enable primary care trusts (PCTs), including Rochdale PCT, to build further on this. They will be able to commission services from local dentists in ways that best meet the needs of their local population.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of dentists who have joined the general dental services (GDS) or personal dental services (PDS) in the county of Lincolnshire as at 30 September each year is shown in the table.
|Complete new entrant|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists received gross earnings from the NHS of (a) over £500,000, (b) over £250,000, (c) over £100,000 and (d) over £50,000 in each year since 1997; and what her most recent estimate is of the average net earnings a dentist receives from the NHS. 
The estimated average general dental service (GDS) net income for a dentist with a reasonable commitment to the GDS in 200405, excluding low earners, namely those dentists with GDS earnings less than £59,100 in 200405 was £70,000. Gross fees for principal dentists also include payment for work done by their assistant dentists.
|Number of GDS principals in England with|
earnings greater than or equal to
|Total Dental Rates Study Group (DRSG)|
population in England
|Number of GDS principals in England with|
earnings greater than or equal to
|Total Dental Rates Study Group (DRSG) population in England||13,750||13,687||13,639||13,667||12,114|
|Complete new entrant||Complete|
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 21 July 2005 to the hon. Member for Northavon (Steve Webb), Official Report, column 2155W, on dentistry, what plans her Department has to monitor clinical and distance standards for access to NHS dentistry in line with the undertaking given by the Prime Minister in September 1999 in relation to access to a local NHS dentist. 
PCTs decide distance standards for each type of call (routine, emergency and urgent) and for type of area (urban or rural). The majority of PCTs in urban and rural areas typically have standards for routine calls of 10 miles and urgent calls at 15 miles. In October 2004, around 90 per cent. of callers to National Health Service Direct were being advised of available NHS dental services within PCTs' locally agreed distance standards.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the population in the area served by Rushcliffe primary care trust was registered with an NHS dentist in each year since 1997. 
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