|Number of referral requests for first out-patient appointments
|Percentage GP written
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated cost is of resolving new dental service contracts and agreements which have been signed in dispute; and how many man-hours she estimates will be spent on resolving the issues. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Primary care trusts are responsible for local resolution of contract and pre-contract disputes for all national health service services that they commission. From April 2006, primary care dentistry has become one of these locally commissioned services. Information is not collected centrally on the costs or the time involved in the local resolution of disputes.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Data on the number of dentists who rejected the new contract on or since 1 April and who have therefore ceased to treat national health service patients is not available centrally.
Management information is held centrally on the number of contracts rejected or accepted by primary care trusts (PCTs). A contract may be for either a practice or an individual dentist so the information is not a guide to the number of dentists who accepted or rejected the contract. As of April, 35 contracts were agreed and three rejected in the South West Oxfordshire PCT area while 23 contracts were signed and 13 rejected in the Swindon PCT area. The signed contracts represent 98.1 per cent. and 93.1 per cent. of dental services respectively. This reflects that fact that many of those who rejected new contracts were dentists who treated relatively few NHS patients. PCTs are using the funding associated with the rejected contracts to commission additional services from other dentists.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government is taking to improve GP (a) initial and (b) continued training in dermatology; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is not responsible for setting curricula for health professional training; that is rightly the responsibility of the statutory and professional bodies. However, we do share a commitment with those bodies that all health professionals are trained so that they have the skills and knowledge to deliver a high quality health service to all groups of the population with whom they deal.
Post-registration training needs for national health service staff are decided against local NHS priorities, through appraisal processes and training needs analyses informed by local delivery plans and the needs of the service.
Access to training is affected by a number of factors such as the availability of funding. Whether staff can be released, the availability of appropriate training interventions, mentors and assessors. It would not be practical for the centre to be prescriptive on this.
|Number of cards issued
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether she plans to raise with the European Commission the reasons why its recent Discussion Paper on the Setting of Maximum and Minimum Amounts for Vitamins and Minerals in Foodstuffs does not include the report of the United Kingdom Government's Expert Advisory Group on Vitamins and Minerals in the Annexes containing examples of approaches to the setting of such levels; 
(2) whom she intends to consult in preparing a response to the Discussion Paper on the Setting for Maximum and Minimum Amounts of Vitamins and Minerals in Foodstuffs recently published by the European Commission; and what her objectives are for that process; 
Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has raised with the European Commission why its recent discussion paper on setting maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in foodstuffs did not include the report from the United Kingdom expert group on vitamins and minerals (EVM). The Commission has explained that the EVM work provided recommended levels for individual vitamins and minerals rather than presenting a model for establishing such levels. The annexes in the Commission document provides examples of such models.
The FSA will consult stakeholders and independent scientific experts, and draw on the work carried out by the EVM in responding to the discussion paper on the setting of maximum and minimum amounts of vitamins and minerals in foodstuffs. The FSA will hold a meeting to discuss these points as part of this consultation.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to ensure that funding is found to enable the 29 junior doctors who have had their general practitioner vocational training scheme posts deferred to start their training in August 2006. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Funding for investment in education and training is allocated to strategic health authorities (SHAs) for them to use according to local priorities. It is for the SHAs and their deaneries, in this case London, to determine their priorities and allocate resources accordingly. I understand there has been no reduction in the number of funded training places by the London Deanery.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many healthcare support workers have been employed in the NHS at Agenda for Change level (a) five, (b) four, (c) three, (d) two and (e) one since 1997; what the annual change in staff has been at each level; and what the forecast annual change is over the next 10 year period. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Assimilation to the agenda for change pay system has recently been completed with just under 99 per cent. of staff on the new system by the end of March. Data are not collected centrally on the number of staff in each band, but the computer aided job evaluation system can provide data on the frequency with which particular types of job have assimilated to the various pay bands.
Health care support worker is not a commonly used job title. In the case of nursing health care assistants, which are the largest group of support worker, the data show that there have been 12,694 nursing health care assistant matches to band two, 9,255 to band three and 365 to band four. There have been no matches to band five.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 16 June 2006, Official Report, column 1562W on NHS trust deficits, if she will provide the same information for (a) Cotswold and Vale and (b) Cheltenham and Tewkesbury primary care trusts. 
Caroline Flint: Information on the count of patients residing in the Cotswold and Vale primary care trust (PCT) and the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury PCT areas, by site of treatment, has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of deaths resulting from the incorrect self-administration of insulin by diabetes patients in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested on the cost of a normal birth in a birth centre and consultant-led maternity unit is not collected centrally. Reference cost data are collected against three specific health care resource groups: normal delivery with or without complications or co-morbidities, assisted delivery with or without complications or co-morbidities and caesarean section with or without complications or co-morbidities. This information is shown in tables one and two.
The maternity standard of the national service framework for children, young people and maternity services requires national health service maternity care providers and primary care trusts to ensure that the range of services available locally constitutes real choice for women, including care in midwife-led units either in the community or on a hospital site. It is for primary care trusts and NHS trusts to determine the appropriate pattern of service provision locally, taking into account the needs of local people, evidence of effectiveness and available resources.
|Table 1: 2004-05 national reference costs data for elective inpatient maternity health care resource groups (HRGs)
|Interquartile range of costs
|Number of finished consultant episodes (FCEs)cost
|National average unit cost (£)
|Lower quartile (£)
|Upper quartile (£)
|Number of bed days
|Average length of stay (days
|Number of data submissions
| Source: 2004-05 Reference costs schedule NSRC4: NHS trust and primary care trust (PCT) combined/TELIP sheet.