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Choose and Book System

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the letter from her Department's Director of Access of 26 January 2006, on Choose and Book, which NHS trusts are unable to implement an integrated patient administration systems solution; for what reasons these Trusts are unable to do so; and if she will make a statement. [48846]

Mr. Byrne: For valid technical or commercial reasons, a small number of national health service trusts are currently not expected to be able to achieve a fully compliant integrated solution during 2006. Details are shown in the table.
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NHS TrustDetail
Gateshead Health NHS Trust
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS TrustCurrent PAS supplier has no plans to make a compliant system
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Clatterbridge Center for Oncology NHS TrustAs a specialist hospital receiving mostly tertiary referrals, no plans to move to
a compliant PAS
Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS TrustCurrent PAS cannot be made compliant but plan indicates that the local
Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trustservice provider's PAS will be available for Choose and Book in March 2007
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust
Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals Trust
Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic DiseasesVery low volume booking so business case for moving to integrated PAS is not

In due course, a fully compliant integrated solution will be implemented in these trusts. In the meantime, the choose and book indirectly bookable services' solution will be utilised.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons her Department's aims of achieving 90 per cent. of general practitioner referrals through Choose and Book by the end of December 2006 have been postponed to March 2007. [48847]

Mr. Byrne: The end point of March 2007 for getting to 90 per cent. of referrals made through choose and book aligns the objective with the incentives contained within the 2006–07 general practitioner contract, the negotiations for which were recently concluded between NHS Employers and the British Medical Association.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she plans to take to encourage greater uptake by general practitioners of the choose and book IT system. [53515]

Mr. Byrne: The Department is taking a number of steps to encourage greater uptake by general practitioners (GPs) of the choose and book service. A key step is the newly agreed general medical services contract, which will reward general practices, through a directed enhanced service payment, for utilisation of the choose and book service.

Over 210,000 GP referrals have been made through choose and book to date with over 3,800 GP practices having made at least one referral as at 21 March 2006.

Consultancy Fees

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost to her Department of consultancy fees in relation to (a) restructuring and (b) private finance initiatives has been since 1997. [32200]

Mr. Byrne [pursuant to the reply, 27 March 2006, c.783–84W]: I regret that my previous reply was incorrect. It should read as follows:

The Department does not collect information that would allow for an analysis of the consultants engaged in restructuring and could not obtain this information without incurring disproportionate costs.

The total spend on consultancy work directly related to private finance initiative in each year is shown in the table.
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Financial yearCost
2005 to date47,856


Mr. Walter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists in North Dorset constituency have declined the NHS dentist contract; and if she will make a statement. [63222]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 20 April 2006]: Information on the number of dentists who have declined to provide national health service dental services from 1 April 2006 is not yet available centrally.

Provisional management estimates on the number of accepted and rejected contracts are available centrally. These show that, as at the start of April in North Dorset Primary Care Trust (PCT), 14 contracts had been accepted and three contracts had been rejected.

The contract numbers do not read across to numbers of individual dentists who may have agreed or rejected contracts. Contracts can be at practice or individual dentist level. Typically, many of the accepted contracts are with practices covering a number of dentists, whereas rejected contracts are more likely to be for individual practitioners.

In North Dorset PCT, the rejected contracts represent an estimated 7.1 per cent. of the total NHS services represented by all the contracts offered by this PCT, based on weighted courses of treatment or units of dental activity.

PCTs are using the funding associated with rejected contracts to commission additional services from other dentists. The information available centrally does not include any services commissioned since the information given above was collected at the start of April.

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists are practising in (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster; and how many of these have not signed the new NHS dental contract. [64684]

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Mr. Byrne: Figures are not yet available at a primary care trust level. 198 national health service dental contracts have been signed in the South Yorkshire strategic health authority (SHA) area, and six contracts have been rejected. The signed contracts account for 99 per cent. of NHS dental service in the SHA.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on external consultants and advisers by (a) her Department, (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) executive agency for which her Department is responsible and (c) each independent statutory body, organisation and body financially sponsored by her Department in each year since May 1997. [39068]

Mr. Byrne: The total cost of external consultancy services procured by the Department, where in-house resources were not available, is shown in the table.

2005–06 to date(41)4,658

(41)The 2005–06 spend is lower because the Department has rectified some miscoding against the expenditure category codes to provide a more accurate figure of external consultancy spend to 31 January 2006.
Information is not available prior to 1999–2000.

The Department holds no central record of spend on external consultancy services by non-departmental public bodies, executive agencies, independent statutory bodies or organisations financially sponsored by the Department. The annual accounts for these organisations may include expenditure on consultants; copies of accounts can be obtained from individual organisations.

Departmental Policies

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will set out with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to the West Lancashire constituency, the effects in West Lancashire of changes to her Department's policies since 1997. [64124]

Mr. Byrne: The Government have put in place a programme of national health service investment and reform since 1997 to improve service delivery in all parts of the United Kingdom. There is significant evidence that these policies have yielded considerable benefits for the West Lancashire constituency.

For example:

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