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26 Mar 2008 : Column 196W—continued

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the national standards for the uptake of (a) breast cancer and (b) cervical cancer screening have been achieved in (i) Tamworth and (ii) the West Midlands. [193629]

Ann Keen: Uptake of cervical screening is not measured as women make their own appointments following receipt of a reminder letter. Therefore, to provide consistency all the figures given as follows are for coverage rather than uptake.

The national standard for breast screening coverage is 70 per cent. and the national standard for cervical screening coverage is 80 per cent. The following tables give coverage figures for the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA) and South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT), which covers Tamworth, as at 31 March 2007 for breast and cervical screening.

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NHS Breast screening programme: coverage of women aged 53-64 for specified organisations, at 31 March 2007
Eligible population( 1) Women screened (less than 3 years since last test) Coverage (less than 3 years since last test) (%)

West Midlands SHA




South Staffordshire PCT(2)




(1) This is the number of women in the registered population less those recorded as ineligible.
(2) Data prior to March 2007 have been mapped to the current PCT structure.
1. The coverage of the breast screening programme is the proportion of women resident and eligible that have had a test with a recorded result at least once in the previous three years.
2. Coverage of the screening programme is currently best assessed using the 53-64 age group as women may be first called at any time between their 50(th) and 53(rd) birthdays.
3. The breast screening programme covers women aged 50-64 but it was extended to invite women aged 65-70 in April 2001.
4. The last unit began inviting women aged 65-70 in April 2006 and full coverage should be achieved by 2008-09.
KC63, the Information Centre for health and social care.

Cervical screening programme: coverage of the Target Age Group (25-64) for specified organisations, at 31 March 2007
Eligible population ( 1) Coverage (less than 3.5 yrs since last adequate test) (%) Coverage (less than 5 years since last adequate test) (%)

West Midlands SHA




South Staffordshire PCT2




(1)( )This is the number of women in the resident population less those with recall ceased for clinical reasons.
(2 )Data prior to March 2007 have been mapped to the current PCT structure.
National policy for the cervical screening programme is that eligible women aged 25 to 64 should be screened every three or five years (women aged 25 to 49 are screened every three years, those aged 50 to 64 every five years).
KC53 Parts A2 and A3, the Information Centre for health and social care.

Cancer: Screening

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken in Staffordshire to increase the uptake of screening for cancer. [193627]

Ann Keen: It is important to remember that no screening method is perfect and anyone invited to be screened for cancer must be aware of both the benefit and harm of being screened and be able to make an informed decision on whether to take part or not.

However, we do recognise the important role that screening plays and, as set out in the “Cancer Reform Strategy”, we are taking steps to build on and improve our existing screening services.

This includes extending the age ranges for both breast and bowel screening, so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to be screened. We estimate that this will mean that an extra 3 million men and women will be screened over the next five years.

In the Staffordshire area, it is the responsibility of the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority working in partnership with its primary care trusts (PCTs) including South Staffordshire PCT, local screening services and stakeholders to provide appropriate cancer screening services for their local populations. This includes promotion of local screening services.

Chronically Sick: Lancashire

Mr. Borrow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in implementing the targets for the National Service Framework for Long-Term Conditions in South Ribble. [192810]

Ann Keen: It is for individual primary care trusts (PCTs), including Central Lancashire PCT, within the national health service to develop locally the levels of service described in the ‘National Service Framework for Long-term (Neurological) Conditions’ (the NSF). The NSF has a 10-year implementation programme from its publication in March 2005, with flexibility for organisations to set the pace of change locally to take account of differences in local priorities and needs. A copy of the NSF is available in the Library.

Information on the progress that has been achieved locally with regard to the implementation of the targets set out in the NSF can be obtained direct from Central Lancashire PCT.

Dental Services

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that oral health is maintained in England. [196866]

Mr. Bradshaw: Oral health in England has improved considerably during the last 30 years and the Government wish to see this improvement maintained.

In 2003 the Government enacted new legislation which gives communities a real option of having their water fluoridated should this be needed to reduce oral health inequalities and improve oral health. A number of areas across the country are now actively considering the possibility of new water fluoridation schemes.

Recognising that it may not be feasible to fluoridate all these high need areas, the Government developed the Brushing for Life programme. Brushing for Life involves health visitors giving families with young children in high need areas advice on preventing dental decay and a free pack containing a tube of fluoridated toothpaste, a toothbrush and a leaflet on oral hygiene. In many areas it is run in close association with Sure Start.

In October 2005 the Government published Choosing Better Oral Health: an oral health plan for England which set out a strategy to reduce oral health inequalities. In September 2007 the Department
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published Delivering Better Oral Health: An evidence-based toolkit for prevention, which contains guidance to dentists and other dental care professionals on how to promote oral health and prevent dental disease and provides information to primary care trusts on what preventive care they should be commissioning.

Dental Services: Staffordshire

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the adequacy of NHS dentistry provision in (a) Tamworth and (b) Staffordshire; [193620]

(2) what steps he is taking to extend provision of NHS dentistry in (a) Tamworth and (b) Staffordshire. [193621]

Ann Keen: The numbers of dentists on open national health service contracts, in England, as at 30 June 2006, 30 September 2006, 31 December 2006, and 31 March 2007 are available in Table El of Annex 3 of the NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2006-07 report. This information is provided by primary care trust (PCT) and by strategic health authority (SHA).

This report, published on 23 August 2007, is available in the Library and is available at:

The numbers published are headcounts and do not differentiate between full-time and part-time dentists, nor do they account for the fact that some dentists may do more NHS work than others.

The methodology for reporting dental workforce information since the introduction of the new dental contractual arrangements, on 1 April 2006, is currently under review. The review is to ensure that the figures provide an appropriate measure of the workforce, given the way that the payments system is being used by PCTs. The workforce data within the report will therefore remain the latest available until this review is complete.

The number of people seen by an NHS dentist, in England, are available in Table C1 of Annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: Quarter 2, 30 September 2007” report. Information is available for the 24-month periods ending 31 March 2006, 31 March 2007, 30 June 2007, and 30 September 2007. The information is provided by PCT and by SHA.

Information on the number of courses of treatment performed, by treatment band, between 1 July 2007 and 30 September 2007, is available in Table Al of Annex 3 of the report. Information on the number of units of dental activity performed, by treatment band, for the same time period is available in Table B1. Information is provided by PCT and by SHA in both tables.

This report, published on 28 February 2008, is available in the Library and is available at:

Information by constituency under the new contractual arrangements is not available.

Both reports have been published by The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.

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Increasing the number of patients seen within NHS dental services is now a formal priority in the NHS operating framework for 2008-09 and we have supported this with a very substantial 11 per cent. uplift in overall allocations to PCTs from 1 April 2008.

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether confidential or personal information has been compromised through the loss of property from his Department since 1997. [193445]

Mr. Bradshaw: Except in exceptional cases, when it is in the public interest, it has been the policy of successive Governments not to comment on breaches of security. However, following the publication of the “Data Handling Procedures in Government: Interim Progress Report” on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS, all Departments will cover information assurance issues in their annual reports. A copy of the Interim Progress Report is available in the Library.

Health Professions: Crimes of Violence

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people were successfully prosecuted for physically abusing doctors and nurses in each of the last five years for which figures are available; [193630]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of nurses physically abused by patients in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [193631]

Ann Keen: In April 2003 the National Health Service Security Management Service (NHS SMS) was created and assumed responsibility for tackling violence against NHS staff.

Since 2003-04 the NHS SMS has collated data on the number of criminal sanctions following assaults against NHS staff in England. The numbers are in the following table. The numbers of prosecutions following assaults against doctors and nurses are included within these figures and are not available separately.

Criminal sanctions









Criminal sanctions include:

Since 2004-05 the NHS SMS has collected data on the number of physical assaults reported against NHS staff in England for the categories shown in the following table. The numbers of nurses physically assaulted by patients are included within these figures and are not available separately.

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Reported assaults by sector 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Ambulance service




Acute/foundation trusts




Primary care




Mental health/learning disability




Other (special health authority)








Health Services: Royal Household

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements funded by his Department are made for the provision of primary healthcare services to staff of the Royal Households. [196363]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 25 March 2008]: Staff of the royal households are entitled to register with a general practitioner practice for primary medical services just like any other United Kingdom resident.

The Department is not aware of any special provision of primary health care service to staff of the royal households.

Health Services: Scanning

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will investigate the (a) effects on health of services offered by the body-scanning industry and (b) the appropriateness of the level of exposure to x-ray technology of those services; and if he will make a statement; [196356]

(2) what steps he plans to take following the Twelfth COMARE report on the use of computerised tomography (CT) to (a) improve regulations of the private CT scan industry and (b) investigate the advertising of private asymptomatic scans in relation to radioactive content; and if he will make a statement. [196418]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 25 M arch 2008]: In 2005 the Department asked the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) to include radiation protection aspects of medical practices in its work programme and as a first consideration to report on computerised tomography (CT) scanning of the asymptomatic individual. COMARE produced its 12th report entitled “The impact of personally initiated computer tomography scanning for the health assessment of asymptomatic individuals” in December 2007. The report has been placed in the Library and is also available on the COMARE website at:

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