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Under the new contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with a dentist to receive national health service care. 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, for that area. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.
The number of patients seen in the previous 24 months as a percentage of the population are available in Table C2 of Annex 3 of the NHS Dental Statistics for England 2007-08 Quarter 1 30 June 2007 report. Information is available for the 24-month periods ending 31 March 2006, 31 March 2007 and 30 June 2007.
Primary care trusts (PCTs) were awarded devolved primary dental service funding allocations from 1 April 2006, based on the level of dental activity and costs observed in each area in the 12-month period October 2004 to September 2005, with appropriate additions to absorb subsequent annual contract value upratings, previously agreed service developments, and expected changes associated with the new ways of working fostered by the new dental contract. These
initial allocations allowed PCTs to sustain national health service provision in each area and honour the commitment to offer all serving dentists replacement contracts. These historical levels of expenditure reflected where dentists had previously chosen to set up in practice and how much NHS work they chose to do.
The new dental service reforms cannot correct historical imbalances in provision overnight, but by granting the NHS greater control they provide a stable base from which PCTs can plan further developments and use the flexibilities offered by the new contract to make the most effective use of dental resources. PCTs are best placed to assess factors such as the levels of unmet demand for NHS services in each locality, and can supplement provision for dentistry from within their total NHS resources if they consider this an appropriate local priority.
Based on PCTs initial devolved dental allocations, NHS net expenditure on primary care dental services in 2006-07, after taking account of the contribution from patient charges, was over £400 million higher than in 2003-04, an increase over three years of 30 per cent. which has helped the NHS expand services in some areas that had previously struggled to attract NHS dentists. The Department is reviewing the basis of PCT dental allocations after the initial three-year transitional period for the new service arrangements ends in March 2009.
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) 18 to 65-year-olds and (b) under 18-year-olds were registered for NHS dental treatment in (i) Uxbridge constituency, (ii) Hillingdon primary care trust and (iii) Greater London in each year since 1997. 
Ann Keen: The numbers of patients registered with an NHS dentist at primary care trust and strategic health authority area are available in Annex A of the NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report, England: 31 March 2006. Information is available annually as at 31 March 1997 to 2006 and is broken down by children (aged 17 and under) and adults (aged 18 and over). Information is available at parliamentary constituency area in Annex C of this report.
The national health service net deficit was the main reason for additional near-cash expenditure in 2005-06. The Department of Healths
Departmental Report 2007 provides a breakdown of 2005-06 NHS resource expenditure across programme budgets.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will meet ministerial colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions to discuss the relationship between benefits paid to people with disabilities and the fuel costs incurred by such people because of their disability. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Fuel poverty is recognised by the Department as an important factor in contributing to excess winter deaths and poor health. It is recognised that disabled people are at high risk of the effects of fuel poverty, with potential negative impacts upon their health and well being. The increased costs of fuel over the last few years, makes it more difficult for people on disability benefits to pay for adequate heating. Therefore we will meet with ministerial colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions to discuss the relationship between benefits paid to people with disabilities and the fuel costs incurred by such people because of their disability.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on the ability of Foundation Year (a) 1 and (b) 2 doctors to make interest payments on their student loans. 
Ann Keen: The Eye Care Services Steering Group has met nine times since its inception in 2002. The membership consists of representatives from the national health service, eye care professional bodies and trade associations, social services, voluntary sector and a representative from the General Optical Council.
Dr. Desmond Turner:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of patients undergoing
percutaneous coronary interventions received (a) a drug-eluting stent and (b) a bare metal stent in each year since 2003 in (i) England, (ii) each strategic health authority and (iii) each NHS trust. 
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average number of bed days spent in hospital by patients receiving (a) coronary artery bypass operations and (b) percutaneous coronary interventions was in each year since guidance on the use of coronary artery stents was issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in 2003 in (i) England, (ii) each strategic health authority and (iii) each NHS trust. 
Ann Keen: The Department does not collect this information centrally. However, the British Heart Foundation and the British Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation maintain a voluntary register of cardiac rehabilitation programmes which holds details of around 340 programmes. Further details can be found on their website at:
Ann Keen: Implementation of the Government's research strategy Best Research for Best Health is resulting in an expansion of the Department's research programmes and in significant new funding opportunities for health research. These National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) programmes support high quality research of relevance and in areas of high priority to patients and the national health service. Any academic organisation can apply to be considered for funding. Details, including the scope of the programmes and the arrangements for making applications, are available on the NIHR website at: www.nihr.ac.uk. Funding awards are in all cases made after open, competitive, peer review.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of using beating heart transplant technology in transplant units for one year; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: We have made no estimate of the cost of using beating heart transplant technology in transplant units. It is for commissioners of heart transplant services to consider the clinical and cost effectiveness of any technology.
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the likely effect on waiting times for cardiology treatment if the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences decision not to recommend treatment with drug-eluting stents in the NHS is upheld. 
Ann Keen: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is reviewing its October 2003 guidance on the use of drug-eluting stents for the treatment of coronary artery disease. NICE is currently considering the responses it has received from stakeholders during the recent consultation on its draft recommendations.
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of patients waiting for (a) coronary artery bypass operations and (b) percutaneous coronary intervention were treated within the target 18 week working time from referral to treatment in (i) England, (ii) each strategic health authority and (iii) each NHS trust in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time for patients waiting for (a) coronary artery bypass operations and (b) percutaneous coronary interventions was in each year since guidance on the use of coronary artery stents was issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in 2003 in (i) England, (ii) each strategic health authority and (iii) each NHS trust. 
The Chief Nursing Officer and the Director General of National Health Service Finance, Performance and Operations wrote to the Chief Executives of strategic health authorities, NHS trusts and Foundation Trusts on 1 November setting out the
requirements for local systems to ensure regular reporting to trust boards and for an escalation system to allow for nursing staff to raise their concerns.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average daily cost to the public purse was of food provided to each hospital patient in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Ann Keen: Information is not collected in the precise format requested. However, in 2006-07 the average amount spent per patient meal was £2.83. This amount includes the cost of provisions and staff costs. Patients are expected to receive three main meals a day and the average total daily cost of providing food for hospital patients can therefore be estimated to be £8.49.
Ann Keen: We are continuing to build on the UK Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy and Action Plan which has three key interrelated elements: surveillance, prudent antimicrobial use and infection control. A copy has been placed in the Library. A number of our main activities are described as follows.
Our programme to tackle health care associated infections has produced three annual decreases in reported Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infections. However, we are continuing to develop our surveillance system, and publish the results to support local actions. We have introduced The Health Act 2006Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections and developed the Saving Lives programme to help trusts improve infection control and prescribing. The latest version of Saving Lives includes a summary of best practice for antimicrobial prescribing which is available in the Library.
We also run a national campaign to increase awareness of antibiotic resistance and have a scientific advisory committee, the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection, to cover these issues.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice is given by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to primary care trusts on the prescribing of the drug Lucentis to treat Macular Disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is currently appraising Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Macugen (pegaptanib) for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Final guidance to the national health service is expected in early 2008.
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