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Ann Keen: County Durham Primary Care Trust (PCT) was established in October 2006 as a result of reconfiguration of services which was part of the Commissioning a Patient Led National Health Service initiative (CPLNHS). The CPLNHS costs and savings for County Durham PCT are shown in the following table:
The savings are expected to be realised by the end of 2007 and then every year for reinvestment beginning in 2008-09. We have asked strategic health authorities (SHAs) to oversee the generation of the savings locally.
Each SHA has a cost envelope that it should realise but it is for local determination to work out the best way of achieving these savings.
Mr. Bradshaw: We are committed to improving access to general practitioner services for all patients, including those in rural practices. Where changes in the organisation of local primary medical care services are proposed, these are matters that will be determined locally by primary care trusts in association with their strategic health authority.
Bill Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which strategic health authorities in England have undertaken public consultations on adding fluoride to water supplies; and what research projects have been commissioned by his Department since 2000 to investigate water fluoridation and health effects. 
The Department has commissioned three research studies on fluoridation and health since 2000, Water Fluoridation and Health published by the Medical Research Council in 2002, Bioavailability of Fluoride in Drinking Water: a Human Experimental Study in 2005 published by the University of Newcastle and the use of fluorescent imaging to develop objective and quantitative measures of enamel fluorosis which is currently in progress.
Problem gamblers can access services in primary care and secondary care including specialised mental health and addiction services. There are currently no central plans to provide dedicated services. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with local healthcare communities who are responsible for assessing and commissioning services to meet the needs of the populations that they serve.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of people had a consultation with their GP within 48 hours of requesting an appointment in (a) Enfield North constituency and (b) Enfield borough in the latest period for which information is available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information is not collected in the format requested. Data are held at primary care trust (PCT) level, not constituency or borough level. The general practitioner (GP) Patient Survey 2007 showed that 79 per cent., of people living in the Enfield PCT area reported having a consultation with their GP within 48 hours of requesting an appointment, compared with a national figure of 86 per cent. 2007 is the latest period for which data is available.
The public service agreement target is for all patients to have the opportunity to see a GP within 48 hours. GP practices who achieve national access standards as measured by results of the national GP Patient Survey are rewarded. Using the survey data, PCTs are working with local practices to deliver improvements in GP access in areas with the poorest reported satisfaction.
Information is available for number of GP practices at primary care trust (PCT) level, and has been provided for Enfield PCT. Latest available data are for September 2006 and is shown in the following table.
|GP practices in selected area, as at 30 September 2006|
| Note: Enfield North Constituency is contained within Enfield PCT, Enfield PCT also serves the borough of Enfield. Source: The Information Centre for health and social care, (General and Personal Medical Services Statistics).|
Mr. Bradshaw: On 4 February 2008, we wrote to all general practitioners (GPs) in England setting out our proposals for funding extended hours services. We hope that GPs will support our proposals to improve services to patients.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 18 July 2007, Official Report, column 454W, on health hazards: lighting, if he will take steps to assess the effects of the
use of (a) fluorescent and (b) low energy light bulbs on those suffering from (i) light sensitivity and (ii) systemic lupus erthromatosis in conjunction with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 
Ann Keen: The Department of Health currently has no plans, in conjunction with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs or otherwise, to assess the effects of the use of low energy light bulbs on those living with light sensitivity, or lupus.
Mr. Bradshaw: There are now 88 national health service foundation trusts (NHS FTs) in operation, which are listed by Monitor (the statutory name for which is the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts) further information is available at:
Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are required to work with those acute and mental health trusts that have not yet achieved foundation status to address the issues facing their organisations so that they receive the right support to be able to apply for NHS FT status. While all trusts have a timetable to apply for NHS FT status, achieving this status is dependent on securing clear support from the SHA and the Secretary of State and on meeting Monitors rigorous criteria for authorisation. The Department has been working with SHAs and Monitor to improve the throughput and the success rate of applications. The Government expects all trusts to achieve NHS FT status at the earliest available opportunity.
Ann Keen: The four acute national health service trusts in outer south-east London are Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust, Queen Mary's Sidcup NHS Trust and The Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust.
|NHS hospital and community health services: non-medical staff by main staff group as at 30 September 2006|
The Information Centre for health and social care 2006 Non-Medical Workforce Census
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