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6 Feb 2006 : Column 969W—continued

Chief Executive Officers

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which chief executive officers left their position in (a) an NHS trust and (b) a strategic health authority in the last three years; whether the individual was subsequently employed within (i) the NHS and (ii) the Department in each case; and what job was taken up. [46264]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 30 January 2006]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Child Abuse

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it her policy to ensure that the number of doctors and nurses taking the professional lead in protecting children from abuse and neglect in their area does not fall following the merger of primary care trusts. [24525]

Mr. Byrne: Any merger of primary care trusts (PCTs) will not affect their duties in ensuring that staff, and staff in services contracted by PCTs, are trained to be alert to potential indicators of abuse and neglect in children, know how to act on their concerns and fulfil their responsibilities in line with their local safeguarding children board procedures. PCTs should ensure establishment levels of designated professionals are proportionate to the local resident population and the complexity of provider arrangements. This is a matter for local decision.

Child Protection

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether (a) general practitioners and (b) staff employed by general practitioners are permitted to work if they are included on the Protection of Children Act list. [44901]

Mr. Byrne: A general practitioner or any member of staff employed by a general practitioner, who was identified as being included on the Protection of Children Act list, would not be permitted to work in any child-care position within the meaning of the Protection of Children Act 1999.

Cross-border Health Provision

Mr. Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are in place for cross-border health provision between England and Wales. [44489]

Mr. Byrne: The Department, in collaboration with the Welsh Assembly Government, issued guidance establishing interim arrangements in February 2005.

The interim arrangements recognise that the legal responsibility for patients rests with the commissioner where the patient is resident but for named commissioners on both sides of the border, the operational responsibility rests with the commissioner responsible for the general practitioner with whom the patient is registered.

The Department and Welsh Assembly Government have established a steering group to oversee the development of policy and guidance for cross border issues and in addition have prepared a procedure for
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resolving disputes that may arise about the interpretation of the guidance. The interim arrangements will continue for 2006–07, targeting April 2007 for full implementation of the responsible commissioner policy.

Day Surgery

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her latest estimate is of the number of in-patient procedures which could be performed as day surgery; and what savings she estimates would have resulted from such a reconfiguration of services in the latest year for which figures are available. [44058]

Mr. Byrne: Data on elective general and acute admissions and day case rates are published in the Chief Executive's Report to the NHS, Statistical Supplement—December 2005". The statistical supplement is available on the Department's website at:

No specific mechanism has been set up to estimate the information requested. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, we know from studies commissioned by local national health service trusts and other interested organisations that the benefits of switching patients to day case surgery are likely to outweigh the costs of implementing such a change of services.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is proposing to take to ensure that primary care trusts (PCTs) provide a minimum level of dental provision in three years' time when changes to PCTs' control over their budgets are introduced. [31790]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Primary care trusts (PCTs) will continue to have a duty under section 16CA(1) of the National Health Service Act 1977 to provide primary dental services to the extent considered necessary to meet all treasonable requirements in their area.

The Department has indicated that the ring-fencing arrangements for funding primary dental services that apply for the period 2006–07 to 2008–09 will be reviewed towards the end of that period.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the availability of free dental care for children (a) in England and (b) within Buckingham constituency. [35732]

Ms Rosie Winterton: All children aged under 18 are exempt from charges for national health service dental treatment. As at 30 September 2005, an estimated 59 per cent. of the child population for England and an estimated 52 per cent. of the child population in Vale of Aylesbury primary care trust were registered with an NHS dentist. The Department does not collect data centrally on the numbers of additional patients seeking NHS treatment.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the future of dental access centres operating under personal dental services pilots following the reforms to NHS dentistry to come into force from April 2006. [39351]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The reform of national health service dentistry will enable primary care trusts (PCTs) to develop more integrated commissioning strategies for primary dental care, including dental access centres (DACs).

The funding for DACs will now be included in the relevant PCTs' developed budgets for dentistry, which will enable PCTs to continue to commission these services on a substantive basis. It will be for PCTs to decide how local services, including DACs, should develop to meet local needs and service priorities.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department has taken to ensure patient access to NHS dentists. [37110]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Since 2003–04, the Department has invested an additional £250 million in national health service dentistry and has supported the NHS in recruiting the equivalent of an extra 1,459 dentists to improve patient access. The Government are also funding an additional 170 training places per year from 2005.

From April 2006, the NHS will be implementing major reforms to dentistry to build upon this success. New contracts for dentists will abolish the fee per item remuneration system and support new ways of working with a greater focus on preventative care. Evidence from personal dental services pilot schemes is that these new ways of working free up significant capacity that dentists can then use in part to see a greater range of patients.

From April 2006, primary care trusts (PCTs) will also have devolved responsibility and ring-fenced budgets for commissioning primary dental services. This means that, if a dentist leaves the NHS or reduces their NHS commitment, the resources stay with the PCT to be re-invested in local dental services.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS patients opted out of NHS dentistry treatment in (a) 2004–05 and (b) each year since 1997. [41866]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not held centrally.

Mr. Malik: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of its reforms to NHS dentistry for the most socially disadvantaged on improving access to NHS dental care. [43176]

Ms Rosie Winterton: No specific assessment has been made of the impact of the dentistry reforms on access for the most socially disadvantaged. The reforms are designed to support primary care trusts and dentists in improving access to national health service dentistry for all groups of patients.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in Hereford constituency have been removed from NHS dentists' registers since 2002; and what percentage of people in the constituency are registered with an NHS dentist. [44610]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not available in the format requested. However, information relating to patient registrations in Herefordshire is shown in the table.
Active patient registrations—Herefordshire

Patients under 18 years
Patients under 18 years of age25,683
Take up rate per 100 local population67.84
Patients 18 years and over
Patients 18 years and over53,415
Take-up rate per 100 local population38.41
All patients
All patients79,098
Take up rate per 100 local population44.71

All figures are from September 2005
Dental Practice Board

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2006, Official Report, columns 575–76W, on dentistry, how many of the 69 NHS dentists with general dental service or personal dental service contracts within Hereford constituency are accepting new patients on to their NHS lists. [44611]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The data regarding the number of dentists admitting new national health service patients is not available centrally. This can be obtained directly from the primary care trusts concerned.

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental practices in Manchester, Withington have started carrying out NHS work since 1997. [44671]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Within the Manchester, Withington constituency, two dental surgeries have opened a new national health service general dental services or personal dental services contract between September 1997 and September 2005.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists are in practice in Leicestershire. [44832]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As at 30 September 2005, there were 579 national health service dentists with a general dental services or personal dental services contract within the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland strategic health authority area.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists the NHS needs to recruit in order to meet Government targets. [44834]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department and the national health service last year exceeded the target of recruiting an extra 1,000 dentists. Between April 2004 and October 2005, the equivalent of an extra 1,459 whole time NHS dentists were recruited. There are no outstanding targets for NHS dental recruitment.

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