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Caroline Flint: We do not have estimates of numbers of heroin and cocaine addicts but recent Home Office research, using 2004-05 data, has provided estimates of numbers of people who are problematic users of opiates or crack cocaine or of both types of drugs.
The estimated number of crack cocaine users (not including powder cocaine users) is 192,999 (95 per cent. CI 188,138 to 210,763). However, it should be noted that this estimate will include crack cocaine users for whom crack cocaine is not necessarily their main drug of use.
Many of the opiate users and crack cocaine users are the same people and there are an estimated 327,466 (95 per cent. CI 325,945 to 343,424) people who use either opiates or crack cocaine or use both types of drugs.
(1) 95 per cent. confidence intervals show the range of values within which we can be 95 per cent. sure that the true PDU estimate lies.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a guarantee has been made to an independent sector provider that GPs will refer to them an agreed proportion of referrals for clinical assessment treatment and support services in the North West of England. 
Andy Burnham: No contracts have been signed for clinical assessment, treatment and support (CATS) services in the North West of England. The commercial terms of the CATS service for Cumbria and Lancashire are still under negotiation with the preferred bidder. There are no guarantees in respect of the number of referrals. The commercial terms between the Department and the bidder are commercially sensitive.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to assess the competence of the staff of independent providers in providing (a) clinical assessment treatment and support services and (b) elective surgery. 
Andy Burnham: Providers must demonstrate that all workforce strategies, policies, processes and practices comply with the provisions outlined in Safer RecruitmentA Guide for NHS Employers, the Code of Practice for International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals and Standards for Better Health.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effect upon levels of employment in NHS trusts of transferring (a) clinical assessment, treatment and support services and (b) elective surgery to the independent sector. 
Andy Burnham: NHS North West is working with local primary care trusts to assess and manage the impact on acute trusts of introducing clinical assessment, treatment and support services. This includes any possible impact on national health service staff.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the length of the decision-making process will be on the implementation of clinical assessment, treatment and support services in Cumbria and Lancashire; 
(2) what time period there will be between the publication of the consultation on clinical assessment, treatment and support services and the opening of CATS centres in Cumbria and Lancashire. 
Andy Burnham: The six primary care trusts covering Cumbria and Lancashire are currently undertaking public consultation on the proposed clinical assessment, treatment and support (CATS) services for the region. This consultation ends on 9 March 2007. The joint primary care trust independent sector commissioning board is due to meet on 21 March 2007 to consider the outcome of the consultation. Further timings will be dependent on the outcome of this meeting.
Caroline Flint: The sale of foods and food ingredients derived from cloned animals falls within the scope of the Novel Foods Regulation (EC) 258/97. The authorisation and labelling of novel foods is decided on a case-by-case basis and no applications have been received to date for products derived from cloned animals.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which scientific advisory committees will examine applications for the import of cloned meat products for food and food ingredients; and which committee will provide advice to Ministers on whether to approve applications. 
Caroline Flint: The advisory committee on novel foods and processes would consider applications for the marketing of cloned meat products for food and food ingredients, and would provide advice to Ministers on whether to approve applications.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether meat from (a) cloned animals and (b) offspring of cloned animals may be sold for human consumption; and what regulations apply to the (i) processing and (ii) labelling of the products of cloned animals. 
Caroline Flint: The sale of foods and food ingredients derived from cloned animals falls within the scope of the Novel Foods Regulation (EC) 258/97. The authorisation and labelling of novel foods is decided on a case-by-case basis and no applications have been received to date for products derived from cloned animals. Meat from cloned animals and the offspring from cloned animals cannot therefore currently be sold for human consumption.
Caroline Flint: No investigations into the safety of meat from cloned animals are currently being undertaken in the United Kingdom or in the European Union. However, at a European Commission (EC) working group on 12 January a number of member states, including the UK, agreed that the European Food Safety Authority should be consulted on this issue. This will be discussed at a forthcoming EC Standing Committee.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what occasions (a) she and (b) departmental Ministers have been requested to appear before committees of (i) devolved institutions and (ii) the European Parliament since 2004; on what topic in each case; how many and what proportion of such requests were accepted; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not held centrally. The provision of alternative or complementary therapies for prisoners is a matter for the primary care trust responsible for commissioning the health service at the establishment concerned.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for the statement on page 10 of the National Director for Heart Disease and Strokes report entitled Mending Hearts and Brains, published 5 December 2006, that 5 per cent. of patients used to die while waiting up to two years for heart operations. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Mending Hearts and Brains, the document in which the figure of 5 per cent. features, is a personal report from the National Clinical Director for Heart Disease and Stroke. This figure of 5 per cent. reflects a judgment based on expert professional knowledge and experience rather than research evidence, of which there is little available, on this particular topic. This will be made clear in a revised version of the report which will be made available on the website.
Data on numbers of people dying while waiting for heart operations are not collected centrally. One article from 1999(1) cites a lower estimate of around 2 per cent. although this is drawn from the New Zealand experience where waiting times were shorter.
(1 )Reference: Heart 1999; 81:5647
Ms Rosie Winterton: General dental services (GDS) contracts and personal dental services (PDS) agreements are held with primary care trusts (PCTs). The Department collects information on the number of GDS and PDS contract holders that signed their contracts in dispute as at 1 April 2006 and the number of outstanding disputes. These disputes are between the contract holder and the PCT. A contract may cover more than one dentist. As at the end of November 2006, there were 868 outstanding disputes.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is not available in the form requested for the constituency or county. Information is available in this format by primary care trust (PCT) and strategic health authority (SHA). Information for the local PCT and SHA as at 30 September 2006 is provided in the following table.
|Numbers of dentists on open NHS contracts per 100,000 population in England and the specified SHA and PCT as at 30 September 2006|
|Dentists per 100,000 of population|
1. England and SHA population data have been estimated using Office for National Statistics 2005 mid-year population estimates based on the 2001 census. PCT data have been estimated using 2004 mid-year population estimates as these are the latest available at this level.
2. Dentists will be counted more than once if they have contracts in more than one PCT or SHA. The England figure excludes duplication.
The Information Centre for health and social care
NHS Business Services Authority
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of (a) pensioners, (b) low income families and (c) children under 16 years of age who are not registered with an NHS dentist in Peterborough constituency; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on patients not registered with a national health service dentist is not collected centrally. Information available shows patients registered with an NHS dentist and is shown in the table. The latest information available on patients registered was published in August 2006 by The Information Centre for health and social care as part of the NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report March 2006. Registration data no longer form part of the new contract information, instead the new measure is patients seen within the last 24 months. Data showing patients seen split by adult and child will be published for the first time by The Information Centre as part of the quarter three publication due for release in March 2007.
General dental services (GDS) and personal dental services (PDS): Patients registered and proportion of the population registered with a dentist, by child and adult, by specific primary care trust, and England as at 31 March 2006 Proportion of population
|Patients Registered||Percentage of population registered|
| Notes: 1. The postcode of the dental practice was used to allocate dentists to specific geographic areas. PCT and strategic health authority areas have been defined using the Office for National Statistics all fields postcode directory. 2. Dentists consist of principals, assistant and trainees. Information on NHS dentistry in the community dental service, in hospitals and in prisons is excluded. 3. The data in this report are based on NHS dentists on PCT lists. These details were passed on to the BSA who paid dentists based on activity undertaken. A dentist can provide as little or as much NHS treatment as he or she chooses or has agreed with the PCT. In some cases an NHS dentist may appear on a PCT list but not perform any NHS work in that period. Most NHS dentists do some private work. The data does not take into account the proportion of NHS work undertaken by dentists. 4. 2005 and 2006 data have been estimated using Office for National Statistics 2004 mid-year population estimates based on the 2001 Census as these were the latest available at the time of publication. 5. The boundaries used are as at 31 March 2006. Sources: The Information Centre for health and social care NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) Office for National Statistics|
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research her Department has commissioned on the cost-effectiveness of routine screening of populations known to be at high risk of depression; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has not commissioned any national research and development programme work in these areas. We provide funding for research and development programmes which support policy and provide the underpinning evidence needed for quality improvements and service development in the national health service, but these are devolved to and managed by NHS organisations.
A pragmatic randomised controlled trial to evaluate exercise prescription as a treatment for depression.
Clinical effectiveness and cost of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation versus electro-convulsive therapy in severe depression: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial and economic analysis.
Randomised trial of fluoxetine and cognitive-behavioural therapy versus fluoxetine alone in adolescents with persistent major depression.
Antidepressant drug therapy versus a community-based psychosocial intervention for the treatment of moderate postnatal depression: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial.
Psychological interventions for postnatal depression - randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation.
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