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19 Oct 2007 : Column 1381W—continued

Breast Cancer: Screening

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what date he expects (a) the NHS Breast Screening Programme to be extended to cover all women aged 47 to 73 years and (b) everyone with breast problems to be seen by a specialist within two weeks, following a referral by their GP; and if he will make a statement. [157259]

Ann Keen: Further details on these two announcements will be made in the Cancer Reform Strategy, which we hope to publish later this year.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the availability of breast cancer screening for those considered high risk in Hertfordshire. [157518]

Ann Keen: The Department does not hold information centrally on specific clinics or services offered by individual trust or funded by individual primary care trusts (PCTs). The provision of services is a matter for agreement between trusts and their commissioning PCTs, in consultation with local stakeholders. This should take into consideration local needs and priorities while ensuring they meet core national standards for the delivery of health services.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published a clinical guideline on familial breast cancer in May 2004, partially updated in October 2006. The clinical guideline relates to the classification and care of women at risk of familial breast cancer in primary, secondary and tertiary care. The guideline recommends that women at moderate familial risk of breast cancer or greater should receive annual mammography or magnetic resonance imaging surveillance.

NICE clinical guidelines are covered by the Department’s developmental standards—standards which the national health service is expected to achieve over time. The Healthcare Commission has responsibility for assessing progress towards achieving these standards.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women had to wait longer than (a) two weeks, (b) one month and (c) four months to be screened for breast cancer after referral by a GP in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by London borough. [157630]

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Ann Keen: This information is not held in the format requested. A table showing breast cancer waiting times for the whole of England has been placed in the Library and is also available at:

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time is for a patient to be seen at a London Breast Screening Unit after referral by a GP. [157631]

Ann Keen: The information requested is not held centrally.

The national health service breast screening programme is operated from local breast screening units, who send invitations to eligible women directly. If abnormalities are found on a woman’s mammogram, an appointment at the local assessment clinic is made automatically by the local breast screening unit. General practitioners are not an integral part of the programme, but are kept fully informed of their patients’ progress through the programme by being copied into results letters.

Breast Cancer: West Yorkshire

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many eligible women are on waiting lists for breast screening in West Yorkshire; and how many of these have been waiting over three years for screening. [156378]

Ann Keen: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 10 October 2007, Official Report, column 668W.

Childbirth: Stockport

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many babies were born in NHS maternity units in Stockport primary care trust hospitals in each year since 1997. [158001]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Mike Hughes, dated 19 October 2007:

Live births in Stepping Hill hospital, Stockport, 1997 to 2005
Live births



















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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Health Services

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to improve specialist services for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis. [157526]

Ann Keen: We have no specific plans to improve specialist services for those living with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis.


Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of (a) infections and (b) deaths due to Clostridium difficile in (i) Gloucestershire hospitals NHS trust and (ii) England in each of the last five years. [159666]

Ann Keen: We introduced mandatory surveillance of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in January 2004. The latest annual data were published in July 2007 and the number of CDI reports for patients aged 65 and over in Gloucestershire hospitals NHS foundation trust and in England are in the following table.

Gloucestershire NHS foundation trust England

January to December 2004



January to December 2005



January to December 2006



Health Protection Agency—provisional data

While some of the increase will be due to improved reporting, the national levels are too high and this is why we have announced a new indicator to reduce infections by 30 per cent. by March 2011.

Information on the number of deaths in individual national health service trusts is not available but the number of death certificates in England mentioning CDI is in the following table.

Mentions of C. difficile Number of these where underlying cause of death is C. difficile
















ONS Health Statistics Quarterly 33

Dental Health: Children

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) fillings and (b) extractions were carried out on children’s teeth in each of the regions in each of the last three years. [158912]

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Ann Keen: Data for the years 2005 and 2006 are available at strategic health authority level in annex D of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006”.

The information in this report is based on the old contractual arrangements. This report is available in the Library and is also available:

The report has been published by the Information Centre for health and social care.

Under the new contractual arrangements, no comparable data are available.

Dental Services

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to improve dental services. [159460]

Ann Keen: The Government launched fundamental reforms to national health service dentistry in England in April 2006. Under the reforms local NHS now has the power to directly commission dental services. There is further to go but the reforms provide for the first time a stable foundation on which primary care trusts can build robust NHS dental services tailored to local needs. The Government are committed to expanding NHS dental services. Two new dental schools have been opened this year in England providing an additional 170 dental training places, a 25 per cent. increase in total training places.

The respective devolved administrations are responsible for the provision of NHS dental services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Dental Services: Chorley

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the number of dentists accepting new NHS patients within the Chorley area; [158660]

(2) what steps he is taking to encourage that more dentists accept new NHS patients within the Chorley area. [158661]

Ann Keen: Information on dentists accepting new national health service patients is not collected centrally.

Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust (PCT) is investing an additional £1.3 millions in NHS dentistry to help solve the issues around access. To attract new dentists to the area and to encourage existing local dentists to provide additional services, the PCT has advertised for dentists to submit tenders to provide the additional NHS dentist appointments.

It is anticipated that once the outcome of the tendering process is known in December dentists will agree start dates with the PCT and the increase in capacity will be available by the end of the year. Those patients that are on the dental access database will be contacted and asked if they wish to transfer to a dentist within their area.

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Dental Services: Shropshire

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many registered NHS dentists there were in Shropshire in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. [159169]

Ann Keen: The numbers of national health service dentists at primary care trust (PCT) (including Shropshire PCT) and strategic health authority (SHA) area as at 31 March 1997 to 2006 are available in annex E of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006”. Information is based on old contractual arrangements.

The report is available in the Library and is also available at:

The numbers of NHS dentists at PCT (including Shropshire PCT) and SHA level as at 30 June, 30 September, 31 December 2006 and 31 March 2007 are available in table E1 of annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2006-07” report.

This information is based on the new dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006. This report is available in the Library and is also available at:

The inclusion of dentists on trust led contracts in the data collection following the 2006 reforms means that data collected since April 2006 cannot be directly compared with data collected under the previous system.

In both reports, no account is taken of the level of NHS service, if any, that each dentist provides.

Departments: Road Traffic Offences

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many fixed penalty tickets were incurred by vehicles within the purview of his Department in the last year for which figures are available; and what the total cost was. [157891]

Dawn Primarolo: It is the policy of the Department not to pay any penalty imposed under the Road Traffic Acts arising from traffic accidents or any other incidents where penalties are applied.

Individuals are required to be accountable for their own actions in this respect and the Department does not collate information on this subject.

Diabetes: Hertfordshire

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the availability of retinal screening for diabetes patients in (a) Royston, Hertfordshire and (b) Hertfordshire; [157510]

(2) whether retinal screening for diabetes patients in Hertfordshire met the required standards in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [157511]

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Ann Keen: Officials from the Department had discussions with the East of England strategic health authority about retinal screening for diabetic patients recently. The two Hertfordshire primary care trusts (West Hertfordshire, East and North Hertfordshire) are working towards the national standards.

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