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10 Sep 2007 : Column 1952W—continued

Community Hospitals: Capital Investment

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much is available to spend on community hospital capital projects in 2007-08 taking into account the carry forward of underspend of the £150 million made available for 2006-07. [155078]

Mr. Bradshaw: We announced a five-year programme to invest up to £750 million in community hospitals and services in July 2006. Funding will be available over the life of the programme and allocated in accordance with national health service capital investment plans. We have so far approved 14 schemes at a total cost of £94.6 million. As NHS capital investment plans take time to develop, we expect spending to be lower in the early years and rise in the later years.

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Dental Services

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of people in (i) England, (ii) Gloucestershire and (iii) the Forest of Dean constituency currently registered with an NHS dentist. [154874]

Mr. Bradshaw: Since April 2006, patients no longer have to be registered with a dental practice to receive national health service care and treatment.

The closest equivalent measure to registration is the number of patients receiving NHS dental services (patients seen) in a given area over a 24-month period, expressed as a percentage of the estimated population for that area. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.

The numbers of patients seen in the 24-month periods ending 31 March 2006 and 31 March 2007 and the number expressed as a percentage of the population are available in Tables Cl and C2 of Annex 3 of the NHS Dental Statistics for England 2006-07 report. Information is available at strategic health authority and primary care trust area in England. This report is available in the Library and at:

Information cannot be made available at constituency level without disproportionate cost.

Dental Services: Contracts

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists in (a) Cornwall, (b) the south-west region and (c) England have (i) refused to sign the NHS dental contract and (ii) are in dispute with the Government about the contract; and what plans he has to renegotiate the contract to improve access to NHS dentists. [155100]

Mr. Bradshaw: 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 contracts signed 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. Information is held by PCT and strategic health authority (SHA).

The Government set out in the recent report ‘NHS Dental Reforms: One year on’ steps to support the NHS in further improving access. This report is available in the Library.

Information on the number of contracts signed in dispute and the number remaining in dispute as at 30 June 2007 at Cornwall PCT, South West SHA and England level is set out in the following table.

This information is also available at:

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Organisation Total number of dental contracts signed in dispute as at 1 April 2006 Number of dental contracts in dispute as at 30 June 2007

Cornwall PCT



South west SHA






Departments: Contracts

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how his Department monitors contracts issued by public bodies reporting to his Department regarding the terms and conditions applied to their workforce. [154894]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not monitor the individual employment contracts issued by the public bodies that report to it. The Department's Executive non-departmental public bodies are required to comply with the parliamentary and legislative requirements, and HM Treasury administrative controls set out in the Government accounting manual. Special health authorities employ staff on national health service terms and conditions covered by nationally agreed terms and conditions under Agenda for Change. The Department's executive agencies employ civil servants and must comply with the civil service and HM Treasury rules on setting terms and conditions for their work force.

Doctors: Career Structure

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the purpose was of the Douglas Review; when his Department first saw the (a) draft final report and (b) final report; when a Minister first saw the final report; whether a Minister approved the decision not to have a press notice; and whether there is a note of the broadcast and press coverage of the report. [154966]

Mr. Bradshaw: The aim of the Review Group chaired by Professor Neil Douglas was to review the recruitment and selection process for application to specialty and General Practitioner training programmes in 2007 and make recommendations for improvement.

The Department saw drafts of the final report of the Review Group in the weeks leading up to 12 July 2007 and saw the final report on 12 July 2007. Ministers first saw the final report on 20 July 2007.

Ministers approved the decision to send the report to interested hon. Members including the Health Select Committee and Opposition Health Spokesmen, to place a copy in the Library and to place the report on the Modernising Medical Careers website. A range of stakeholders involved in the 2007 recruitment process, including the British Medical Association and Royal Colleges, were also alerted to the report’s publication.

There is no note of the broadcast and press coverage of the report. The report was not produced by the Department itself, but by the review group, whose Chairman, Professor Douglas, approved the above arrangements for its publication.

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Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the conclusions of the Douglas reviews of MMC/MTAS. [154978]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department is grateful to Professor Douglas and his review group for the contributions they have made to the 2007 junior doctor recruitment process. We have accepted and implemented all their recommendations for this year’s recruitment.

We have asked Sir John Tooke, Dean of the Peninsula Medical School, to take a wider look at the issues involved so that the right lessons are learned and the recruitment process is improved for the following years.

Professor Douglas’ recommendations for the future will be looked at carefully alongside those of Sir John Tooke.

Doctors: Training

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made of the impact of the reduction of junior doctors' hours on the number of procedures undertaken independently by medical specialist registrars prior to Completion of Specialist Training/Certificate of Completion of Training; and if he will make a statement. [155097]

Mr. Bradshaw: The working time directive (WTD) was implemented for the vast majority of national health service staff groups in 1998 in accordance with regulations. The Government negotiated an extension to the WTD for doctors in training to enable phased implementation from August 2004.

Local national health service trusts are responsible for assessing the impact of the European working time directive as part of their health and safety obligations. The Department is sponsoring NHS National Workforce Projects to support local implementation of WTD 2009. NHS National Workforce Projects has commissioned a range of pilots including cooperative solutions, team working, handover and escalation and 24 hour working. The pilots take in a wide variety of organisations to look at solutions which are transferable across the NHS.

Doctors: Working Hours

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence there is of public demand for weekend doctors' surgeries in (a) Northamptonshire and (b) England. [154968]

Mr. Bradshaw: The general practitioners (GP) patient survey, published in July 2007, found 85 per cent. of patients in Northamptonshire Teaching PCT are satisfied with GP surgery opening hours. 7 per cent. of patients said they would like GP surgeries to open at weekends.

For England, 84 per cent. of patients are satisfied with GP surgery opening hours and 8 per cent. of patients would like GP surgeries open at weekends. Full survey results can be found at:

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Edenbridge Hospital: X Rays

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what date he expects to set the timetable awaited by the West Kent Primary Care Trust for the submission and consideration by his Department of the trust’s bid for community hospital capital funding of a new X-ray machine at Edenbridge Hospital. [155077]

Mr. Bradshaw: We are working closely with strategic health authorities on funding priorities for the third wave of schemes for new and refurbished community hospitals and services. We will make announcements when that work is complete. All schemes will still be subject to a rigorous outline and full business case approval process.

Health Services

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made by his Department working with the Welsh Assembly Government, to implement a system in which responsibility between the English and Welsh NHS will be based primarily upon residency of patients. [154875]

Mr. Bradshaw: Statutory Instrument (SI) 2003 No.1497, which came into effect in June 2003, established that the national health service in England was responsible for English residents. Similarly, SI 2003 No.150 (W20) confirmed that Welsh local health boards were responsible for their resident population, including those registered with a GP in England. A protocol was agreed between the Department and the Welsh Assembly Government in 2005 to phase the operational implications of these changes. This protocol set out interim arrangements for specific border primary care trusts and local health boards, where operational responsibility would rest with the commissioner responsible for the GP with whom the patient was registered. Last year the protocol was extended until March 2008. Work is continuing between the Welsh Assembly Government and the Department to finalise the package of care and services that will be provided for patients registered with a GP across the border from their country of residence.

Health Services: Overseas Visitors

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) why those attending the World Scout Jamboree at Hylands Park in Chelmsford who were not eligible for free NHS treatment were not charged; and if he will make a statement; [154889]

(2) how much the Mid Essex hospital trust received for treating non-paying patients who went to the World Scout Jamboree at Hylands Park in Chelmsford; [154890]

(3) how many people attending the World Scout Jamboree at Hylands Park in Chelmsford who received treatment at Broomfield hospital were charged for the treatment; [154891]

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(4) how many people attending the World Scout Jamboree at Hylands Park in Chelmsford who were not eligible for free NHS treatment were treated at Broomfield hospital. [154892]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is not collected centrally. However, national health service hospitals are responsible for establishing whether a person is ordinarily resident, or exempt from charges under one of a number of exemption categories, or liable for charges. We expect hospitals to take reasonable measures to recover any outstanding debts.

Hospitals: Wellingborough

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals to build a new general hospital in the Wellingborough area. [154983]

Mr. Bradshaw: It is for local health services to commission care for their local populations and to work with the local health community and other stakeholders to plan, develop and improve health services to meet the needs of the community.

Hospitals: West Sussex

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which clinicians support the proposal that consultation on hospital services in West Sussex should be restricted to options excluding more than one with consultant-led maternity and emergency care. [154977]

Mr. Bradshaw: This information is not held centrally.

Changes in locals services are a matter for local health organisations and the hon. Member may wish to approach West Sussex Primary Care Trust for this information.

Human Papilloma Virus: Vaccination

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of providing immunisation against human papilloma virus to all females under the age of 18; [155106]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the merits of offering immunisation against human papilloma virus to all girls up to the age of 18. [155107]

Mr. Bradshaw: Based on the current list price for the vaccine, vaccination of one annual cohort of girls will be in the region of £100 million.

A detailed analysis is being carried out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) regarding the benefits and costs of introducing a human papilloma virus vaccine programme. This work is being externally peer reviewed to ensure its robustness. This review has not yet been completed and therefore JCVI will not be able to make its more detailed recommendation, including whether there will be a catch-up for older girls, until after its next meeting, on October 17.

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Influenza: Vaccination

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to implement a seasonal influenza immunisation programme. [155030]

Mr. Bradshaw: Details of the seasonal influenza campaign for 2007-08 were announced via a chief medical officer letter on 30 March 2007.

Leeds Primary Care Trust: Consultants

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients under the auspices of the Leeds Primary Care Trust have been referred to consultants other than those originally selected by their GP; and in how many of these cases the permission of (a) the referring GP and (b) the patient was sought. [151428]

Mr. Bradshaw: The requested information is not collected centrally. The Yorkshire and Humberside Strategic Health Authority advises that Leeds Primary Care Trust does not encourage general practitioners to refer to individual consultants, only to appropriate specialists. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust then allocates consultants on the basis of waiting times.

Macular Degeneration: Drugs

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to make a decision on the approval of Macugen and Lucentis for general release. [155007]

Mr. Bradshaw: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently appraising Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Macugen (pegaptanib) for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. NICE published an Appraisal Consultation Document (ACD) on 14 June 2007 and we understand that, following consideration of comments received from consultees, a second ACD will be published later this year. NICE expects to publish final guidance next year. Further detailed information on this appraisal is available at:

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