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Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in England have been diagnosed with Crohns disease; what NHS funds are set aside to help treat those suffering from the disease; and what public funds have been allocated to help finance research into developing a DNA Crohns disease vaccine. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 20 July 2006]: Information on the number of people diagnosed with Crohn's disease is not collected. NHS funds are not specifically set aside for the treatment of individual diseases.
No public funds have been allocated to finance research into developing a DNA Crohns disease vaccine. The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Office of Science and Innovation, part of the Department of Trade and Industry. The MRC allocates
research funding based on the merit of the individual research proposals. In 2003-04 the MRC spend on research relevant to inflammatory bowel diseases (which includes Crohns disease) amounted to £1.6 million.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the quality of dental appliances entering the UK from (i) EU countries and (ii) countries outside the EU; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: No research has been commissioned on the quality of dental appliances entering the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) or non-EU countries. All dental appliances being placed on the UK market must meet the safety and quality requirements in the Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EC.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Data on the opening and closure of general dental services (GDS) or personal dental services (PDS) practices are not collected centrally. However, the number of practice addresses is available.
|General dental services (GDS) and personal dental services (PDS): Number of GDS or PDS dental practice addresses in Ruislip-Northwood constituency as at 31 March each year|
1. A dentist with a GDS or PDS contract may provide as little or as much national health service treatment as he or she chooses or has agreed with the primary care trust. Information concerning the amount of time dedicated to NHS work by individual GDS or PDS dentists is not centrally available.
2. Areas have been defined using the Office for National Statistics all fields postcode directory.
3. Data have been supplied by the Information Centre for health and social care.
The Information Centre for health and social care
NHS Business Services Authority
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to expand the choice available to patients over the provider of diagnostic tests which need to be completed as part of the patients care pathway. 
From 30 April 2006, patients awaiting diagnostic imaging tests who do not have an appointment scheduled within 20 weeks are being offered the choice of having their scan at another
provider within a maximum of 20 weeks. From April 2007, patients who do not have an appointment scheduled within 13 weeks will be offered the choice of having their scan at another provider within a maximum of 13 weeks. Speeding up access to diagnostic imaging tests is a key element of the drive to reduce overall access time for the benefit of patients and central to delivering an 18-week referral to treatment patient pathway by 2008.
In the autumn, we will publish a framework setting out the next steps for choice policy. The framework will include policy guidance for choice of any provider in elective care for 2008. As part of the policy development for this we are scoping the opportunities to increase choice for patients along the elective care pathway, including in diagnostics. The framework will also include our priorities for extending choice beyond elective care into other service areas.
Andy Burnham: Data on the total number of each type of diagnostic test carried out in a year is not centrally collected. However, it is estimated that around 630 million diagnostic tests are carried out each year for national health service patients.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerised tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET)/CT, ultrasound, plain film, X-ray, dual energy X-ray absortiometry (DEXA) and other imaging modalities
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether (a) commissioners and (b) providers have responsibility for the reduction of diagnostic waiting times in order to achieve the 18-week waiting time target. 
Delivery of the 18-week patient pathway will be led by primary care trusts as commissioners of care for their local patients. All organisations delivering care along the pathway have a responsibility to ensure that the patient does not wait
more than 18 weeks from general practitioner referral to hospital treatment. This includes providers of diagnostic services.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the multiple traffic light system for nutrients when dealing with portions of food on the basis of levels per 100 g. 
Caroline Flint: The basis for the traffic light colour coding recommended by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reflects expert advice on the most appropriate criteria for a signposting scheme which is intend to help consumers to make healthier choices. It incorporates a per 100 g element and a per portion element for food sold in large portion sizes. In addition, the FSA recommends that traffic light colour coded signposts declares information on the levels of nutrients in a manufacturer recommended serving.
Ms Rosie Winterton: South East London Strategic Health Authority (SHA) ceased to exist on 30 June 2006 but at 30 September 2005 568 community district nurses were employed by primary care trusts in its area. National health service London was established on 1 July 2006 as the SHA for London.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors have been struck off in each health care trust in each of the last five years; and what the reason was in each case. 
Andy Burnham: The Department does not collect this information centrally, and is not directly involved in the disciplining of individual doctors. Decisions about whether a doctor should be struck off the register are a matter for the General Medical Council.
Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will instruct primary care trusts (a) to withdraw from contracts with Air Products for the supply of domiciliary oxygen and (b) to take steps to ensure a reliable supply of domiciliary oxygen to patients. 
Since the start of a six-month transition programme on 1 February 2006, we have been working with primary care trusts to transfer patients to new service suppliers, including Air Products. This includes action to monitor closely each
suppliers capacity to deliver the required standard of service to all patients using oxygen therapy in the home. There is continuous assessment of suppliers with regular meetings to discuss suppliers reports on progress and action to tackle emerging issues.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the expected annual change in costs is of providing domiciliary oxygen services before and after the introduction of the new contract; 
Andy Burnham: In 2004-05 the last full financial year of providing the service under former arrangements, the cost of providing domiciliary oxygen services was £32,809,524. It is not possible to make a direct comparison in the costs of these arrangements with the arrangements supporting service delivery before that date, as the costs are calculated on a different basis. Under the new arrangements, which began on 1 February 2006, the annual cost will reflect the regional contract per diem prices in the 10 oxygen service regions in England and local patterns in ordering these services. The full cost of the service for 2005-06 is not yet available and these will include costs associated with the introduction of the new arrangements on 1 February 2006. The first full year under the new service arrangement will be 2006-07 and we are only three months into the current financial year. In addition, in many parts of the country, primary care trusts have continued to work with local pharmacists to maintain a cylinder service in parallel with the new arrangements to safeguard continuity of supply to patients during action to transfer all patients to the new suppliers.
|(1) In some calendar months there are two payment dates as payments are made on the 1(st) of the month, unless this falls on a weekend or a bank holidayin which case the payment in made earlier. Only 12 payments can be made in one financial year.|
Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations she has received from patients who have experienced difficulties with supplies of oxygen for home oxygen therapy. [R] 
Andy Burnham: Since the introduction of the new contractual arrangements of domiciliary oxygen supply on the 1 February 2006, through to 19 July 2006, the Department has received 241 written representations concerned with this service.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department spent on tackling (a) drug and (b) alcohol dependency in (i) rural and (ii) non-rural areas in the last period for which figures are available; what these figures represent per head of population in each case; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Drugs funding is issued on a drug action team (DAT) basis, which does not allow us to identify the split in funding between rural and non-rural areas. The 2006-07 pooled drug treatment budget, allocated at DAT level is shown in the table. Mainstream investment by primary care trusts and local authorities in drug treatment is additional to this and is estimated nationally at £212(1) million in 2006-07.
(1) Based on 2 per cent. inflation increase.
|Pooled drug treatment budget channelled through primary care trust 2006-07|
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