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Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her statement on community hospitals on 5 July 2006, Official Report, columns 816-32, with particular reference to the presumption against taking decisions in response to short-term budgetary pressures, if she will ask the West Midlands strategic health authority to ensure that proposals from the South Worcester primary care trust to close palliative care beds at Evesham community hospitals are withdrawn. 
Caroline Flint: The configuration of local health care services in a particular area requires local decision-making. Primary care trusts are best placed to make those decisions in consultation with local people and their strategic health authorities (SHAs).
SHAs should assure themselves that proposals for changes to community hospitals are consistent with the long-term strategy of the White Paper, Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements her Department has made to ensure that (a) patients in West Lancashire will have access to an independent complaints and advocacy service when the current contract with the Citizens Advice Bureau finishes and (b) that there will be a smooth transfer from the current provider to the new service. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In late 2005 and early 2006, the Department awarded contracts to three organisations who have been delivering a new and improved independent complaints advocacy service (ICAS) from 1 April 2006.
Contracts have been awarded for each Government region. The new service provider in West Lancashire is The Carers Federation Ltd. who have been delivering ICAS under contract to the Department since 1 September 2003, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise in general and specialist advocacy service delivery.
Detailed transition plans had been drawn up, the implementation of which is being monitored by the Department. In addition, the ICAS transition co-ordinator is continuing to work with all service providers during the first six months of the contract, to support the initial set up and transition phases.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether individuals previously in receipt of NHS continuing care will continue to receive their care fully funded if the new National Framework for Continuing Care deems them to be ineligible for it. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The national framework will not change the existing legal basis for the provision of national health service continuing healthcare. The purpose of the national framework is to ensure fairness and consistency by implementing a single set of principles on eligibility and assessment for NHS funding across England. Fully funded NHS continuing healthcare will continue to be provided for all those individuals whose primary need is a health need, and unless individuals needs have changed there is no reason to expect them to lose their entitlement to NHS continuing healthcare.
Sir Nicholas Winterton:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will reply to the letters of 23 May and 15 June on the configuration and composition of
primary care trusts in Cheshire from the hon. Member for Macclesfield. 
Andy Burnham: Surgery and other procedures for purely cosmetic purposes are not available on the national health service, but certain cosmetic procedures may be available to secure physical or psychological health, for example to correct defects arising from diseases and conditions such as trauma or cancer, to correct congenital defects or to restore function, including the necessary correction of any previous cosmetic operations. In these cases, care is offered based on individual clinical need determined by clinicians and in line with locally agreed priorities for care.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to ensure that dental appliances originating from foreign suppliers are subject to the same standards as those manufactured in the United Kingdom; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to monitor the quantity and quality of single-tooth dentures imported from countries outside the European Union. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 12 July 2006]: The Medical Devices Regulations 2002, for which the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) acts as the regulatory authority on behalf of the Secretary of State, does not regulate the quantity of dentures imported from countries outside the European Union. They do, though, contain requirements for the safety and fitness for purpose of custom-made dental appliances which all manufacturers, wherever they are based, should ensure are met before placing their dentures on the United Kingdom market. Where the manufacturer is based outside the European Community they are also required under the regulations to appoint an authorised representative to register on their behalf with the member state competent authority where they have their registered place of business. MHRA conducts an annual programme of inspections of custom made appliance manufacturers and authorised representatives based in the UK, selected at random.
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 12 July 2006]: It is for individual dentists working under general dental services contracts or personal dental services agreements to use their clinical judgment to determine the type and quality of any dental appliance required. The Department does not collect routine information on the quantity or type of dental appliances supplied but will be assessing, in conjunction with the implementation review group, the impact of the new contractual arrangements on this and other aspects of the services provided to national health service patients.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what change there was in the number of (a) single tooth dentures and (b) single-tooth crowns provided during the dental contract pilot schemes between 2004 and 2006. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 12 July 2006]: The table shows the number of single tooth dentures, including incomplete dentures, single tooth crowns, and temporary and incomplete crowns, in personal dental services (PDS) pilots between 2004 and 2005.
|Specific PDS treatments in England as at 31 March for each year|
|Year ending||Single tooth dentures||Single tooth crown claims|
| Source: NHS Business Services Authority|
|The number of PDS dentists increased considerably over the same period|
|Year ending||PDS dentists|
| Source: NHS Business Services Authority|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the finance director of her Department. 
He was appointed in May 2001. This is his third spell with the Department following a secondment from the NAO between 1990 and 1992 and three years as deputy director of finance from 1996. Immediately prior to his return to the Department he was finance director for national savings.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what draft Bills have been produced by her Department since October 2005; how many were (a) examined and (b) are planned to be examined by (i) a Departmental Select Committee and (ii) a Joint Committee; what
draft Bills are still to be produced by her Department; when each is expected to be published; how many clauses each has; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: No draft Bills have been produced by the Department since October 2005. Announcements on future legislation and future draft legislation which will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny will be indicated in the Queens Speech.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what surveys her Department has carried out on patient attitudes to choice in the NHS since 1997; and if she will publish the results. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Surveys commissioned by the Department since 1997 on patient attitudes to choice in the national health service are shown in the following table. Other surveys on patient choice exist but were commissioned by other organisations.
|Title of document||Date||Survey carried out by||Results available from|
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