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|Number of reported Clostridium difficile cases for Queen Marys Sidcup NHS Trust|
Health Protection Agency
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there were per 100,000 population in (a) rural and (b) urban areas in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Data are available on the number of National Health Service dentists in rural and urban primary care trusts (PCTs), according to the classifications by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The data are constructed from PCT-level results. As an NHS dentist may have a contract in more than one PCT, the rural and urban totals will include duplication. Duplicates have been removed from the England results.
|General dental services (GDS) and personal dental services (PDS): Numbers of NHS dentists per 100,000 population, in England, as at 31 March each year|
|PCT type( 1)||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006|
DEFRA classification of PCTs developed by the Rural Evidence Research Centre at Birkbeck College, September 2005. Information has been assigned at PCT level. The Birkbeck College classification are as follows:
Major Urban: districts with either 100,000 people or 50 per cent., of their population in urban areas with a population of more than 750,000.
Large Urban: districts with either 50,000 people or 50 per cent., of their population in one of 17 urban areas with a population between 250,000 and 750,000.
Other Urban: districts with fewer than 37,000 people or less than 26 per cent., of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns.
Significant Rural: districts with more than 37,000 people or more than 26 per cent., of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns.
Rural-50: districts with at least 50 per cent., but less than 80 per cent., of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns.
Rural-80: districts with at least 80 per cent. of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns.
The Information Centre for health and social care NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) Office for National Statistics (ONS) Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Information has been taken from PCT results to obtain the split for each classification group. Some dentists may have an open general or personal dental services contract in more than one PCT and will therefore have been counted more than once. The England totals exclude duplication.
The postcode of the dental practice was used to allocate dentists to PCTs. Under the former GDS arrangements (up to 31 March 2006), a dentist could provide as much or as little NHS treatment as he or she chose. In some cases an NHS dentist may be listed to carry out NHS work but may not do so for a given period.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not collect this information centrally. However, information on opinion research commissioned by the Departments Communications Directorate since May 2005 is available as follows. This should be regarded as an indicative guide on spend only.
£133,315: four waves of an national health service staff surveyto listen to NHS staff to understand their challenges and experiences to improve staff engagement and inform policy development and business planning;
£154,000: four waves of a public surveyto listen to the public and gain insight on public sentiment and patient experience to create better quality and more responsive public services;
£18,590: public monitorto understand the publics concerns for the NHS to create better quality and more responsive public services; and
£2,200: national health journalist surveyto gather operational information to improve the service we provide to journalists.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: All members of staff are instructed to shut down their computers at the end of their working day. The shutdown process automatically switches off the power to the computer and puts the monitor into a low power sleep mode. Staff have been encouraged also to switch off their monitors at the end of their working day as part of an internal sustainable development awareness programme.
There are no technical facilities or procedures in place to enforce a complete shutdown of computers and monitors at night. However, if staff neglect to shut down their computers at the end of the day, the equipment automatically enters a low power sleep mode within 30 minutes of inactivity.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by her Department was from recycled sources in each of the last three years. 
for photocopying, 80 per cent. of the paper used is from recycled sources; for printed publications, all of our parliamentary work, carried out by Central Office of Information (COI), is published in accordance with the guidance as set out by the Office of Public Sector Information, September 2006 which states that the minimum recycled fibre content required is 60 per cent. for coated and 100 per cent. for uncoated papers; and for all other printed publications, the selection of paper stock is based on the most cost-effective quotation that represents value for money use of public funds. As such, the actual brand of recycled and environmentally friendly paper and its specifications rests with the COI and the Department is unable to make a detailed statement on the information requested.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints of sexual harassment have been investigated in her Department in the last 12 months; and how many complaints have been upheld. 
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the availability of diamorphine relative to demand in the NHS; and which suppliers provide diamorphine to the NHS. 
Caroline Flint: There are two suppliers of diamorphine to the United Kingdom market, Novartis and Wockhardt. Both are working to their full available capacity, but are currently unable to produce enough to meet historic demand, although that demand may have changed owing to changes in prescribing practice. The supply position improved during 2006 and the trend is expected to be maintained during 2007. However, the improvements vary by product strength, reflecting manufacturing capacity issues. Some strengths remain in relatively poor supply, while the position for others is satisfactory. We believe that through careful prescribing and use of available stocks, as advised in the guidance the Department issued to prescribers and healthcare professionals in December 2004, patient care is not being compromised.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what percentage of the period since 22 January when doctors used the system to apply for training posts the Medical Training Application Service system experienced technical difficulties; and if she will list the technical difficulties. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Medical Training Application Service system has been fully available for doctors to apply for training posts since it went live in October 2006. Until 25 April, the system was available for use for 99.7 per cent. of the time. On two occasions since 22 January the system was heavily loaded and ran slowly, causing some users to have intermittent difficulties accessing the service until load balancing adjustments had been made. The application period was extended to allow for this.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pieces of correspondence (a) she and (b) her Department received raising concern about the Modernising Medical Careers programme in (i) January, (ii) February, (iii) March and (iv) April 2007. 
|MMC correspondence received in 2007|
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultations her Department has carried out with individual GP practices on the likely impact of
making prescribable over-the-counter medicines containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine on their work load and the services they provide to patients. 
Caroline Flint: On 7 March 2007, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) started a public consultation exercise on proposals to restrict the availability of medicines containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine by a change to legal status from pharmacy to prescription only, together with a restriction in pack size. This followed advice from the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM).
The MHRA welcomes views on the merits and impact of the consultation proposals from all stakeholders including individual general practitioners, and the responses received will be given full consideration by the CHM, the MHRA and health Ministers before a decision is made.
In the light of external interest and questions, the MHRA is making available more information in relation to the consultation exercise. In order to give interested parties time to consider this additional information the deadline for comments will be extended by a month until the end of June.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what factors she will take into account in making a decision on recommendations made by the Board of the Food Standards Agency on folic acid fortification; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: This is an important issue which will need very careful consideration. The decision will need to take account of the potential benefits and risks to different population groups, the impact on consumer choice and the practical implications for the industry. The independent Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, which advises both health departments and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), has already published advice and the FSA is expected to provide advice following its board meeting on 17 May.
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