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29 Mar 2006 : Column 1066W—continued

MMR Vaccination

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effect on take up of the incentives offered to GPs to administer the MMR vaccine. [56604]

Caroline Flint: The information is not available in the form requested.

Coverage with measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) at 24 months has increased by 2.2 per cent. to 83 per cent. for April to June 2005, compared with the previous quarter.

The Department's monthly sentinel scheme data, which collects vaccine uptake data earlier at 16 months, shows routine MMR coverage at 24 months to be the highest since reporting started in March 2002. London has recorded the largest increase. The Health Protection Agency predicts further increases should follow early next year.

NHS Dentistry

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists were available to NHS patients in Coventry South on 1 April 2005. [61757]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As at 31 March 2005, there were 44 national health service dentists with a general dental services (GDS) or personal dental services (PDS) contract within the Coventry South parliamentary constituency.
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Nurses (Retention Rates)

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent representations she has received on attrition rates amongst student nurses; and what data set her Department uses to calculate attrition rates among (a) student nurses and (b) student midwives; [53748]

(2) what the most recent attrition rates are for (a) student nurses and (b) student midwives; [53766]

(3) how many student nurses dropped out of pre-registration nursing courses in each year since 1991. [53767]

Mr. Byrne: We have received no recent representations on attrition rates among student nurses. The Department has used the higher education statistics agency (HESA) data to forecast attrition rates since 2002–03. Prior to this, the English National Board for Nursing and Midwifery supplied the Department with data on attrition rates from nursing courses.

The most recent attrition rates for both student nurses and student midwives is 16 per cent. and relate to a forecast for the 2003–04 in-take year.

Information for England on the number of pre-registration nursing students who have withdrawn from their university course since 1994–95 is shown in the table. Information is not held centrally from 1991 to 1993–94. Each year represents an intake year. A complete measure of attrition for a cohort of students will include withdrawal figures for each year of their programme. The figures should be viewed in the context of the large increase in students entering training over the same period of nearly 100 per cent., with attrition rates lower in 2003–04 than 1997–98.
Intake yearNumber withdrawingPercentage withdrawing

(9) This data is not complete as it does not include withdrawal rates for each year of the course for the intake year specified.
(10) This figure is a provisional estimate based on HESA data. It is not derived from complete data on a particular cohort. Complete measures will be available later in 2006 and these will replace these estimates.
(11) No data is available for this year.
English National Board for Nursing and Midwifery for period 1997–98 to 2000–01. Estimates derived from HESA data for 2002–03 and 2003–04.

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Paediatric Continence Services

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans she has to undertake an audit of the quality of care in paediatric continence services; [60471]

(2) what discussions she has had with the Healthcare Commission on the quality of care in paediatric continence services; [60472]

(3) what mechanisms are in place for the sharing of good practice in paediatric continence services provision between primary care trusts; [60473]

(4) which primary care trusts offer a paediatric continence advisory service. [60474]

Mr. Byrne: It is for the Healthcare Commission to decide whether to undertake such an audit. Incontinence is distressing for children and young people and can be indicative of both physical and emotional problems; it can lead to bullying at school and cause emotional and behavioural problems. Standard six of the national service framework for children includes a section on paediatric incontinence. The standard recommends integrated paediatric incontinence services and endorses the existing guidance. The standard is available on the Department's website at:

The Commission is in discussions with departmental officials about its role in assessing the implementation of the national service framework for children, young people and maternity services, which includes quality of care in incontinence services.

The modernisation agency produced a benchmarking tool for primary care trusts (PCTs) to evaluate their paediatric continence services, benchmark with other PCTs, and to share good practice. This is available online at:

There is also provision to share good practice between strategic health authorities (SHAs) at regular meetings of SHA children's lead staff.

Information on which PCTs offer a paediatric advisory service is not collected centrally.

Patient Appointments

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many health trusts are meeting the 48 hour target for access to primary care practitioners; [61329]
29 Mar 2006 : Column 1069W

(2) what her Department's waiting time target is for obtaining an appointment with a general practitioner. [61331]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 27 March 2006]: The NHS Plan target is that patients should be able to be seen by a general practitioner (GP)within 48 hours.

Data collected from primary care trusts suggests that since December 2004, almost all patients have the opportunity to be seen by a GP within this timescale. In February 2006 it shows GPs reporting that more than 99 per cent. of people were in this position.

Pre-registration Nursing Courses

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the target attrition rate for students on pre-registration nursing courses; [52481]

(2) how many and what percentage of student nurses in England quit pre-registration nursing courses in each of the past five years; and what reasons were given by those leaving the courses; [52482]

(3) what the attrition rate was for each pre-registration nursing course in 2004–05. [52483]

Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for North-West Leicestershire (David Taylor) on 29 March 2006 concerning numbers of students and proportions withdrawing from pre-registration nursing courses.

Analysis of higher education statistics agency data from 2003–04 indicates that of those pre-registration nursing students leaving a course prior to completion, the reasons for leaving and percentage of students is shown in the table.
Reason for leaving coursePercentage
Personal reasons50
Academic failure24
Health reasons7
Written off after a lapse of time6
Financial reasons5
Transferred to another institution3
Were excluded3
Went into employment1

The human resources performance framework, published in October 2000, set a target of 13 per cent. attrition (leavers) for those students entering training in the 2000–01 academic year. Attrition rates are best determined in the light of local circumstances and will be addressed by strategic health authorities in partnership with their local providers of education and training.

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