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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the effect of the new dental contract on (a) numbers of people with access to NHS dentistry, (b) levels of NHS dental activity, (c) numbers of patients treated and (d) levels of inequality in oral health. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Information Centre for health and social care publishes information each quarter on the number of patients receiving care or treatment from national health service dental services in the last 24 months. The information for the 24-month periods ending March, June and September 2006 is set out as follows. It suggests access has remained broadly stable over this transitional period.
|Number of patients seen in the two years ending 31 March, 30 June and 30 September 2006 (including orthodontic activity)England|
|2006||Patients seen||Patients seen per 1,000 population|
NHS dental activity is measured through units of dental activity, which are a weighted measure of the number of courses of treatment provided. The latest published information on primary care trust (PCT) dental commissioning shows that, as at 30 November, PCTs had commissioned services that will, over a full year, provide 78.6 million units of dental activity.
It is not possible to make a precise comparison with courses of treatment provided in previous years, but our best estimate is that the courses of treatment provided in 2005-06 would have equated to some 76.7 million units of dental activity. It will not be possible to measure the full impact on access or levels of activity until all of these newly commissioned services are operational.
It is too early to assess the impact of the dental reforms on inequalities in oral health. The main factors affecting oral health are exposure to fluoride, oral hygiene, and diet and nutrition. However, the new contracts are designed to allow more time for preventative advice. The new system of local commissioning also gives PCTs greater flexibility to match services to local needs. There are already several examples of PCTs that have set up new dental practices in areas of greater oral health need.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The numbers of dentists listed to carry out national health service work as at 31 March in each of the years from 1997 to 2006 are set out in the first table. This information is drawn from the National Health Service (NHS) Dental Activity and Workforce Report, England, 31 March 2006, published in August 2006 by The Information Centre for health and social care.
The Information Centre for health and social care now publishes quarterly data on the numbers of dentists on open NHS contracts. Data as at 30 June and 30 September 2006 are set out in the second table.
This more recent information is based on the new NHS dental contractual arrangements between providers and primary care trusts (PCTs), introduced on 1 April 2006. Earlier data are based on the old contractual arrangements for principal dentists and are not directly comparable.
|General dental services (CDS) and personal dental services (PDS): numbers of CDS and PDS dentists in England as at 31 March each year|
|Numbers of dentists on open NHS contracts in England as at 30 June and 30 September 2006|
The Information Centre for health and social care
NHS Business Services Authority (BSA)
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effect of the banding introduced by the new dental contract on the (a) cost and (b) complexity of treatments given. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Department does not routinely collect information on the cost or complexity of treatments given. It is for primary care trusts to work with providers of national health service dental services locally to review evidence from contract monitoring and from clinical governance activities that is relevant to patterns of treatment. The Information Centre for health and social care publishes periodic reports on dentists earnings and expenses that will
provide evidence on any general trends in the expenses incurred by NHS providers following the introduction of new dental contracts. The Department is considering with the other parties that give annual evidence on dental services to the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration what additional evidence could be produced on patterns of treatment and their impact on workload and expenses.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with (a) the Dental Laboratories Association and (b) other dental organisations on the effect of the new dental contract on treatment prescribed. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has established an implementation review group comprising dentistry, patient and national health service representatives to review the impact of the dental reforms. The group includes members of the Dental Laboratories Association. The impact on patterns of treatment is one of the issues that the group is reviewing.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts have imposed restrictions on NHS dental activities as a result of budgetary pressures; and what restrictions have been imposed by the primary care trust in each case. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: All existing providers of primary dental services under both general dental services contracts and personal dental services agreements have contracts with their local primary care trust (PCT) setting out the level of services they are contracted to carry out over the course of the year and their annual contract value. PCTs cannot unilaterally reduce the service levels agreed in these contracts.
It is for PCTs to decide how far to commission additional dental services, taking account of local needs and priorities. The Department does not collect information on the local factors taken into account in these decisions. The Department collects regular information on the overall levels of dental services commissioned by PCTs, which shows that levels of commissioning have risen steadily over the course of the year.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The latest information available on patients (children) registered was published in August 2006 at primary care trust (PCT) level by The Information Centre for health and social care as part of the national
health service dental activity and workforce report March 2006. Chorley and South Ribble PCT area covers four parliamentary constituency areas, which are Chorley, Preston, Ribble Valley and South Ribble. Please note that the PCT and strategic health authority (SHA) boundaries have changed since 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 for health and social care as part of the quarter three publication due for release in March 2007.
|General dental services (GDS) and personal dental services (PDS): Children registered and proportion of children registered with a dentist, by specific PCT, SHA, and England as at 31 March 2006|
|Children registered||Proportion of children registered|
1. The postcode of the dental practice was used to allocate dentists to specific geographic areas. PCT and SHA areas have been defined using the Office for National Statistics all fields postcode directory. The PCT and SHA boundaries used are as at 31 March 2006.
2. Dentists consist of principals, assistant and trainees. Information on NHS dentistry in the community dental service, in hospitals and in prisons are 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 do not take into account the proportion of NHS work undertaken by dentists.
4. 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.
The Information Centre for health and social care NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) Office for National Statistics
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists in Leeds did not take up the new dental contracts on 1 April 2006; and what percentage of those who were offered the contract that number represented. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 19 February 2007]: Of the 138 contracts that were offered to national health service dentists in Leeds on 1 April 2006, 32 were rejected. This represents 23 per cent. of the contracts that were offered.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations her Department has received about the possible reconfiguration of services at Eastbourne District General Hospital. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many fertility clinics in (a) London, (b) Essex and (c) England and Wales were investigated by (i) regulators and (ii) police following allegations of malpractice in each year since 2000; and how many are being investigated in such circumstances. 
Caroline Flint: Fertility clinics that provide in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, treatment using donor embryos and gametes and the storage of embryos and gametes are regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). The HFEA routinely inspects licensed clinics and follows up any potential breaches of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 or its code of practice. The Healthcare Commission also inspects establishments offering fertility treatment services.
I am informed by the HFEA that since 2000 there have been four licensed fertility clinics in England and Wales where the allegations investigated could have led to the revocation of the establishment's licence or prosecution of the person responsible. Two investigations have been completed. The remaining two, in London, are ongoing. There have been no similar investigations of clinics in Essex.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many documents held in Government records which relate to the infection of haemophiliacs by contaminated blood products and which were thought to have been inadvertently destroyed have been rediscovered; and if she will make a statement; 
Caroline Flint: In February 2006, the Department published a report Self-Sufficiency in Blood Products in England and Wales. This report considered the issue of self sufficiency in Factor VIII during the 1970s and 1980s, including the issues around the production and usage of Factor VIII. Reference 92 and reference 93 contained in the report are minutes of meetings held in 1976. This information is in the public domain.
In addition we have released papers which were returned to the Department from Blackett Hart and Pratt solicitors. Some of these papers date back to 1976, and refer to self-sufficiency in blood products.
Officials have been working on identifying and reviewing all the documents currently held by the Department relating to the safety of blood products between 1970 and 1985. This will assist officials in establishing the full position in relation to departmental papers on this issue.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on which dates her Department sought legal advice on the extent of its liability for the administration of contaminated blood products to people with haemophilia and subsequent infection with hepatitis C and HIV; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: We regret that patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through treatment with plasma products, prior to the introduction of heat treatment in the mid-1980s. However, the Department has not admitted liability for the tragic infection of patients with haemophilia.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which body in her Department (a) funded and (b) carried out research into haemophilia blood products prior to the introduction of viral inactivation technology including the taking of liver enzyme samples; for what purpose this research was carried out; and if she will make a statement. 
Officials are unable to establish specific research projects relating directly to this issue. However, we know of a study at the Oxford Haemophilia Centre, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which was funded by the Department, into the epidemiology and chronic sequelae of factor VIII and IX associated hepatitis in the United Kingdom. Papers in connection to this study have been released under the Freedom of Information Act.
In February last year, the Department published the report Self Sufficiency in Blood Products in England and Wales, which provides a summary on the issue of infected blood products and is available from the Department's website:
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