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19 Apr 2007 : Column 740W—continued


Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department has sought to recruit dentists from India. [107492]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Our Project 1,000 recruitment campaign, undertaken in 2004-05, extended to India. With the agreement of the Indian health department, the Department made arrangements for dentists to sit Part A of the General Dental Council’s International Qualifying Examination in India.

Educational Psychology

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are being considered for the (a) regulation and (b) training of educational psychologists following the proposals set out in the Regulation of Health Professionals White Paper, Cm 7013; what discussions she has had with local authorities on this matter; and if she will make a statement. [129571]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have decided that the Health Professions Council (HPC) should manage the regulation of applied psychologists, including educational psychologists. This will help to foster consistency of approach across the regulated professions while meeting specific professions’ educational, practice and conduct needs within a common framework. It is anticipated that their training arrangements will remain as they are now. Any changes made following regulation will be subject to consultation by the HPC.

This decision was made following a consultation in 2005 on proposals for the statutory regulation of applied psychologists, which made clear that initial standards of proficiency for applied psychologists would be very similar to those required by the British Psychological Society. The 2005 consultation included all local authorities and a number of local authority educational psychology services responded to it. Their responses have been taken into account.


Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress is being made by the Government on reaching their target of getting 70 per cent. of the population physically active by 2020; and what projects there are in place to reach the target; [132509]

(2) how much the Government have spent on reaching their target of getting 70 per cent. of the population physically active by 2020 in the last 12 months; and how much is planned to be spent over the next five years. [132510]

Caroline Flint: “Choosing Activity: a physical activity action plan” set out a plan to promote physical activity for all in accordance with the evidence and recommendations set out in the Chief Medical Officer’s report “At least five a week”. “Choosing Activity” summarised how we would deliver the physical activity commitments in the Public Health White Paper ‘Choosing Health’ and other Government
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announcements prior to its publication in March 2005. By January 2007, 57 of the 99 commitments had been achieved. Projects support physical activity and sport in schools, workplaces, and in the community.

The Government’s physical activity priorities were published in public service agreement targets to halt the year-on-year increase in obesity among children under 11, increase the take up of cultural and sporting opportunities by adults and young people aged 16 and above, and to enhance the take up of sporting opportunities by five to 16-year olds through physical exercise and school sport.

The Government remain committed to building upon this progress and in transforming the population into a fitter and more active nation in the run up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Government have invested and continue to invest millions in supporting physical activity and sport, nationally and across the NHS and local government. The Department does not collect detailed breakdowns of individual expenditure on physical activity by all local agencies such as primary care trusts and local authorities. Spending allocations for the next five years are subject to the current comprehensive spending review.

General Practitioners

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners in (a) Bedfordshire and (b) England have become GPs with a specialist interest in each year since 1997, broken down by primary care trust; and if she will make a statement. [122815]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A table showing the number of general practitioners with a special interest has been placed in the Library. This information is only available since 2000-01. The 2006-07 information is the latest information available to quarter 3.

General Practitioners: Dermatology

Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the General Practitioners with a Special Interest (GPwSI) Working Group’s forthcoming guidance on the accreditation of GPwSI in dermatology and skin surgery will be a mandatory national standard; and if she will make a statement. [129013]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We are planning to publish “National Guidelines for the Accreditation of GPs and Pharmacists with Special Interests” shortly. This document will set out a process for local accreditation of such practitioners and will be supported by competency frameworks for a range of specialities, including dermatology. The Department is currently considering options to mandate primary care trust compliance with the guidelines.

Hammersmith Hospital and St. Mary’s NHS Trusts

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what resources her Department has allocated to facilitate the take-over of Hammersmith and St. Mary hospital trust by Imperial College, London. [131349]

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Andy Burnham: The Department has not allocated any specific resources to facilitate the proposed integration of St. Mary’s national health service trust, the Hammersmith hospitals NHS trust and the Imperial College into the Academic Health Sciences Centre which is subject to the outcome of local public consultation.

Hartlepool Primary Care Trust: Health Visitors

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health visitors were employed by Hartlepool Primary Care Trust in each year since the trust was established. [129786]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is shown in the following table.

National health service hospital and community health services: Health visitors in the Hartlepool Primary Care Trust as at 30 September each specified year











Information Centre for health and social care non-medical workforce census.

Health Professionals: Foreign Workers

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what checks are made on the validity of the medical qualifications of (a) doctors and (b) nurses who are recruited to the NHS from outside the European Union. [128943]

Ms Rosie Winterton: All doctors and nurses from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who wish to work in the UK must register with the General Medical Council (CMC) or Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).


The following documentary evidence is needed by the CMC to support their application.

As part of the process all overseas doctors must visit the GMC London office in person to undergo a pre-registration identity check. A photograph of the doctor will be taken and this will be made available to employers so they can be assured of the doctor’s identity.

Full registration enables doctors to work in any form of professional medical practice in the United Kingdom. Doctors must, however, also hold specialist
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registration to take up a consultant post (other than a locum consultant post) in the national health service. General practitioners (GPs) must be on the GP register.

NHS trusts who recruit staff from abroad should carry out the necessary pre-appointment checks in accordance with NHS Employers safer recruitment guidance.

These checks should include :


The NMCs new standard for applicants trained outside the European Union (EU) was launched in September 2005. From 1 September 2006 the only route to registration with the NMC will be through the “Overseas Nurses Programme” (ONP).

All applicants who apply for nurse registration and who meet NMC minimum requirements will be required to undertake all or part of the ONP. The ONP sets out common entry standards, a compulsory 20-day period of protected learning for all nurses trained outside the EEA and, where appropriate, a period of supervised practice. Every applicant will have to pass the specified IELTS before they can apply to go onto the ONP.

From 1 February 2007 all applicants to the nurses or midwives parts of the register, who trained outside the EU, must complete and provide evidence of the British Council IELTS before submitting their application to the NMC.

Health Professions: Training

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Modernising Medical Careers and Medical Training Application Service process has been formally quality assured; and if she will make a statement. [129699]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) processes have been developed following extensive consultation which included both paper based and workshop based reviews within a formal project quality management framework. The MTAS information technology system is provided by an ISO9000 accredited supplier and has been reviewed and found fit to be for purpose.

The Modernising Medical Careers programmes itself has been subject to scrutiny by the Office of Government Commerce Gateway Review process in both 2005 and 2006.

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to encourage more people to train as (a) doctors and (b) nurses. [107676]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: In order to encourage applicants to medicine, nursing and other healthcare training, the Department established the NHS Careers service in 1999. NHS Careers provides comprehensive information to the public about careers in healthcare. It promotes the national health service as an employer and attracts potential employees to the NHS. NHS Careers provides a 24-hour helpline (0845 60 60 655), website (, literature and supporting services for the public, NHS employers, schools, colleges and careers advisers. The service is now operated by NHS Employers.

In addition, the Department provides non-repayable NHS bursaries for nurses and pays the tuition fees in full for the majority of NHS professional students undertaking programmes leading to professional registration. A means-tested bursary is available to medical students for the latter years of their undergraduate training.


Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she plans to provide all medical students with free copies of each edition of the British National Formulary in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010. [130420]

Ms Rosie Winterton: There is no allocation to fund the provision of free copies of the British National Formulary to medical students in England from 2007-08 onwards.

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when her Department will respond to the letter of 14 March from the hon. Member for Billericay on the planned Independent Sector Treatment Centre for Basildon. [132512]

Andy Burnham: I regret the hon. Gentleman’s letter was not received by the Department. A copy has now been obtained and a reply will be sent shortly.

Milton Keynes Hospital: ICT

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to ensure that the Care Records Service computer system at Milton Keynes hospital is fit for purpose; and when this work will be complete. [132466]

Caroline Flint: Urgent and priority action is being taken to manage resolution of the operational difficulties which have been experienced with the new acute patient administration system (PAS) at Milton Keynes general hospital national health service trust since it went live on 24 February. This is being implemented by a joint Fujitsu and Cerner technical specialist team on behalf of the local service provider and the main subcontractor respectively. The team is in attendance daily at the trust, supervised by a senior Fujitsu management presence on site full time to lead the resolution process. Progress in tackling and
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overcoming the problems which have arisen, the majority of which have already been resolved, is being monitored daily.

In addition, the Department’s NHS Connecting for Health agency’s senior deployment manager for the south of England is for the time being stationed permanently on site to ensure the work of the Fujitsu/Cerner team is completed to the satisfaction of the trust, and that it is managed through to resolution.

Work that is now in hand is likely to result in effective operation of the PAS system within the next two to three weeks.

NHS Derriford Hospital

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many non-clinicians employed by NHS Derriford hospital are paid in excess of £80,000 per annum. [129816]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not hold this information as decisions on the amount of salary that national health service staff receive are made by the local NHS organisations which employ them.

NHS: Ancillary Staff

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which patient and public interest groups responded to her Department’s review of the regulation of non-medical healthcare professions. [122126]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Leicestershire (David Taylor) on 5 March 2007, Official Report, column 1686W.

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