|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the performance of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in
Health in engaging hard to reach groups and those who are unused to speaking up or participating in the NHS. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Healths (CPPIH) primary role is to support the work of patients forums. Many patients forums have focused specifically on engaging with diverse and excluded groups on how services can be improved. In the CPPIHs annual review of the work of patients forums a number of examples of this kind of activity are described, and this is available at:
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the role of English district general hospitals that serve Welsh patients has been in the consultation process on the possible closure of community hospitals in Wales. 
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 440W, on correspondence, what progress has been made by the chief executive of NHS West Midlands in ensuring that the hon. Member for West Worcestershire receives a response to his letters of (a) 22 August and (b) 17 October, on changes in Worcestershire health service provision. 
Caroline Flint: This has already been raised with NHS West Midlands. However, the strategic health authority is still awaiting clarification of some further details to enable it to continue with the necessary inquiries before a reply can be sent to the hon. Member.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will assess the accuracy of the calculations of units of dental activity for dentists working on the new dental contracts; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Under the new contractual arrangements, providers of national health service primary dental care services undertake to provide an agreed level of services over the course of the year,
measured in terms of courses of treatment but with a weighting to reflect relative complexity. Units of dental activity are the measure of these weighted courses of treatment. Dentists previously working under the old general dental services contract were entitled to contracts based on the courses of treatment paid for during the 12-month reference period (October 2004 to September 2005), converted into units of dental activity and then reduced by 5 per cent.
During the period leading up to the implementation of the contract, the Department worked closely with the then Dental Practice Board to make sure that this calculation of units of dental activity represented as fair a reflection as possible of the activity paid for during the reference period. The Department remains confident that these calculations provided a fair basis for calculating the new service requirements, taking into account the 5 per cent. reduction and the opportunity given to dentists to carry out simpler courses of treatment with fewer individual interventions.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) guidance and (b) instructions were given by her Department to the Dental Practice Board during the formation of the new system of dental contracts on the calculation of units of dental activity; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The General Dental Services and Personal Dental Services Transitional Provisions Order 2005 (SI No. 2005/3435) required primary care trusts (PCTs) to calculate the units of dental activity to be provided by the contractor under a general dental services (CDS) contract by analysing the data held in respect of care and treatment provided by the contractor during the year 1 October 2004 to 30 September 2005, categorising that care and treatment in accordance with Schedules 1 to 4 of the National Health Service Dental Charges Regulations and converting into units of dental activity by reference to the criteria specified in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the GDS Contracts Regulations. The primary care trust (PCT) was then required to reduce the number of units of dental activity so calculated by 5 per cent. The Department arranged for the then Dental Practice Board to undertake these functions on behalf of PCTs.
Similar provisions applied in the case of contractors providing services under a personal dental services (PDS) agreement, but with provision for PCTs and contractors to agree the appropriate number of units of dental activity where data did not exist for the reference period or where it was appropriate to adjust the data.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the proportion of dentists who are likely to meet the targets set for them under the new contractual arrangements; if she will review the effectiveness of the target system; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Under the new contractual arrangements, providers of national health service primary dental care services receive an agreed annual contract value in return for undertaking to provide an agreed level of services over the course of the year,
measured in terms of the courses of treatment they provide, with a weighting to reflect the relative complexity of different types of courses of treatment. The Department has not made an assessment of the proportion of dental providers who are likely to fulfil their annual service commitments. It is for primary care trusts, working with dental providers, to monitor and manage contract performance locally.
For dentists previously working under the old general dental services contract, the new annual service level is based on the weighted courses of treatment paid for during a 12-month reference period (October 2004 to September 2005), but with a reduction of five per cent. By removing the old fee-per-item system of payment, the new arrangements have also been designed to support dentists in carrying out simpler courses of treatment. Dentists should, therefore, generally have the opportunity to carry out fewer and simpler courses of treatment compared with the reference period, enabling them to devote more time to preventative care and to manage their workload more effectively over the course of the year.
The Department has established an implementation review group, comprising representatives of patients, dentists, national health service organisations and other stakeholders to keep under review the impact of the dental reforms introduced on 1 April 2006.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The national service framework (NSF) for long-term conditions, published in March 2005, is a 10-year plan to raise the standard of treatment, care and support for people with long-term neurological conditions across local health and social care services. As a result of the NSF, people with neurological conditions, including those with dyspraxia, will receive a faster diagnosis, more rapid treatment and a comprehensive package of care.
Local national health service and social services are responsible for reviewing their services to see if they already meet the quality requirements set out in the NSF. This will help them to decide their local priorities for making changes and improvements, to meet the criteria in full over the next 10 years.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much in efficiency savings has been made in her Department and its associated public bodies as a result of the Gershon Review; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The focus of cleanyourhands, the national hand hygiene campaign run by the National Patient Safety Agency, is to get health care workers to clean their hands more often as it is staff who play the key role in cross-infection and therefore prevention. Decisions on the use of hand rubs and similar products by visitors are made locally and a variety of alcohol-free products are available.
Andy Burnham: Following the publication of the 2005-06 NHS resource accounts, an error was discovered in the underlying data for the 2004-05 financial year. Revised figures show that expenditure in the infectious diseases category increased from £1,019 million to £1,211 million an increase of 18.8 per cent. The increase in expenditure in the infections diseases programme, is a result of data re-classifications for primary care trusts in the NHS London area.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the statutory basis is for the establishment of early adopter local involvement networks as set out in her Departments response to the consultation A stronger local voice; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The early adopter sites do not have a statutory basis. We are working with the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, the Healthcare Commission, the NHS Centre
for Involvement and local stakeholders to build on their experience of involvement by looking at the structures required to empower and support local community engagement in health and social care, to help develop Local Involvement Networks.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she has given officials at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on attendance at (a) UK and (b) international conferences on standards; and how much has been allocated for such attendance in 2006-07. [R] 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are responsible for ensuring that medical devices placed on the United Kingdom market meet the appropriate levels of safety and quality.
In order to do so they must meet the relevant essential requirements of the appropriate directive. One way to achieve this is for the device to meet the requirements of the relevant mandated European standard, where one exists. However, the use of standards is voluntary and a manufacturer can if he so wishes demonstrate compliance with the essential requirements by adopting other technical solutions.
Funding for devices work is provided in line with a service level agreement made between the MHRA and the Department. The participation in standards development, at either UK or international level, is not included in the 2006-07 agreement.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her policy is on construction of new NHS buildings on hospital sites that have been earmarked for closure or downgrading; what plans there are for a new CT scanner at the Frenchay Hospital site; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: National health service trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for the provision of health care services in their areas. Regular re-appraisal of their service provision should be carried out to reflect changing demands of health care and consequently the whole or parts of hospital sites may become surplus to their requirements. Under guidance provided by the Department's publication Estatecode, such property should be offered to other local trusts to determine whether these assets could be re-used by them for the provision of health care services. This policy accords with the Government's requirement to make better use of surplus public sector land.
The centrally funded equipment programme is now complete, and there are currently no plans to install a new centrally funded CT scanner at the Frenchay Hospital site. It is the responsibility of the local PCTs to ensure that service requirements in the area are met, and that all decisions are based on local priorities and available resources. NHS South West has reported that the North Bristol Trust is planning to provide a new mobile CT scanner, which can serve more than one site in the Bristol area so as to maximise the use of the facility.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|