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Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 206W, on dentistry, why the Department has stopped collecting information relating to the number of dentists accepting new patients in Chesterfield since 4 April 2005. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has not collected data on the number of dentists accepting new patients. The Department has in the past asked primary care trusts (PCTs) to provide information to the nhs.uk (web resource) and NHS Direct on which dentists are accepting new patients. The main problem with these data is that they can change at a rapid pace and therefore may not be reliable, thus making them limited in their practical use. That is why the Department has given PCTs more flexibility in deciding how they most effectively inform the local public about access to dental services. The implementation review group, which includes patient representatives, dentists and national health service organisations, has been set up to monitor the NHS dental reforms; as part of this they will be assessing the level of information that is on the website.
Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) for what reasons a transitory maternity pay arrangement was not put in place for dentists who were pregnant but not yet on maternity leave in April 2006; 
(2) what representations she received prior to the introduction of the new dental contract in April 2006 requesting a transitory arrangement for dentists who became pregnant while the former general dental services contract was operational. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In England, we made transitional provisions for parental leave payments equal to the general dental services payments paid immediately before 1 April 2006 and pensionable earnings for leave periods which commenced after 1 April 2006. These are a minimum and primary care trusts may use their powers of assistance and support, under new section 28Y of the national health service 1977 Act, if they deem it appropriate to pay more.
Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1558W, on dentistry, whether a dentist who was pregnant but had not started a period of maternity leave before the new dental contract was introduced on 1 April 2006 is able to claim maternity pay at the levels prescribed in the former general dental services contract. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: For a dentist in England who starts a period of maternity leave after 1 April 2006, the amount to which they are entitled in respect of parental leave payments is calculated on the basis of their estimated monthly pensionable earnings immediately before the parental leave is taken.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff from her Department attended the Civil Service Islamic Society Eid-Ul-Adha in London in 2005; and what the total cost was to her Department of their attendance. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will write to the hon. Member with details of the Civil Service Islamic Society Eid-Ul-Adha event. Copies of her letter will be placed in the Library.
Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) women and (b) men are employed in the Department; what the average pay was for (i) women and (ii) men in the Department in (1) 1997 and (2) 2006; what women's average pay is as a percentage of men's average pay; and how many (A) women and (B) men the Department employed in each of the last five years, broken down by grade. 
|Women and men employed by the Department|
|Average basic pay|
Information for 1997 is not available.
|Women and men employed by the Department, 2002 to 2006|
Information for 2002 is not available.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In the six ministerial private offices, 37.5 per cent. of the staff are male and 62.5 per cent. are female. The declaration of disability is voluntary and no current staff have declared a disability.
|Responsibility level||Male||Female||Declared disabled|
Proportions for disabled are based on staff whose disability status is known.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The promotion of car-sharing depends upon the circumstances of the employee sitethe majority of departmental staff work in central London and, as such, very few employees drive to work.
Car-sharing is only one of a number of measures which organisations can include in their workplace travel plan to encourage staff to travel more sustainably. The Department promotes the use of public transport by offering interest-free season ticket loans. Loans are also available to purchase bicycles, and departmental buildings offer secure cycle parking and showers.
Kitty Ussher: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether undertakings were given at the time that the East Lancashire Hospital Trust was formed regarding the future location of accident and emergency services; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: No undertakings were given at the time that the East Lancashire Hospitals National Health Service Trust was formed regarding the future location of the accident and emergency services. The services available at the hospitals managed by the trust need to be agreed locally. A consultation exercise is currently underway following the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust review of clinical services.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions she has had with Monitor on financial deficits in foundation trusts; what the content of those discussions were; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: I am advised by the chairman of Monitor, whose statutory name is the Independent Regulator of NHS foundation trusts, that national health service foundation trusts delivered an encouraging financial performance in the 2005-06 financial year.
Monitor published on 5 June its full-year update on the unaudited financial performance of NHS foundation trusts, which is publicly available on its website (www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk). The chairman of Monitor has advised me that, in aggregate, the 32 NHS foundation trusts in operation during the 2005-06 financial year made a deficit of £24 million on a turnover of £6.8 billion. This figure includes the substantial deficit incurred by University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH).
Excluding the performance of UCLH, which made a £35.9 million deficit and is implementing a financial recovery plan that will return it to break-even by 2007-08, the remaining 31 NHS foundation trusts generated a £12 million surplus.
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