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Ambulance Services

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance his Department has issued to ambulance services on the uptake of the NHS Pathways system; [259175]

(2) what provision his Department has made for the varying of funding allocations granted to NHS ambulance services when approving their use of the NHS Pathways system for dealing with 999 calls; [259176]

(3) what estimate he has made of the cost of training ambulance service staff to operate the new NHS Pathways system for dealing with 999 calls to date. [259177]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has not issued guidance to ambulance services. Having considered evidence of the safety and efficacy of NHS Pathways, on 20 February 2009 the Department announced it had approved the product for use by the national health service. It is now for NHS services to decide whether to use NHS Pathways. Ambulance services that consider changing to NHS Pathways will be expected to look at the costs and benefits for their local area, including in relation to affordability and retraining staff.

Aortic Aneurysms: Screening

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, columns 2051-52W, on aortic aneurysms: medical treatments, which NHS trusts that applied to participate in the early implementation phase of the abdominal aortic aneurysms screening programme, met the relevant criteria as developed by strategic health authority screening leads. [256896]

Ann Keen: The following six early implementer sites were identified after successfully meeting the criteria:

Screening programme Trust name

Gloucester

Gloucester NHS Foundation Trust

South Devon and Exeter

South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

South Manchester

University Hospital of South Manchester

Manchester Children's University Hospital

Leicester

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

West Sussex

Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust

South West London

St. George’s Hospital Healthcare NHS Trust


Dementia

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the percentage of (a) the total population and (b) those over 60 years of age with (i) dementia and (ii) Alzheimer's syndrome. [258419]

Phil Hope: The Department does not have information on the percentage of the total population with dementia or Alzheimer’s syndrome over 60 years of age. However, the Dementia UK report, published in 2007 by the Alzheimer’s Society show that there are approximately 570,000 who have the condition in England, and that roughly two thirds of these are undiagnosed.


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Dental Services

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists were operating under (a) general dental services contracts and (b) personal dental services agreements in (i) North Wiltshire constituency, (ii) Wiltshire, (iii) Swindon, (iv) London and (v) England in each year since 1997. [258293]

Ann Keen: Information is not available in the format requested.

The number of national health service (NHS) dentists, by contract type, in England as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006, is available in Table 4 of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006”.

The number of NHS dentists, as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006 is available in Annex E of the aforementioned report. Information is available by strategic health authority (SHA) and by primary care trust (PCT). Annex G contains information by parliamentary constituency.

This measure counted the number of NHS dentists recorded on PCT lists as at 31 March each year. This information is based on the old contractual arrangements, which were in place up to and including 31 March 2006. This report has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

Information by contract type at a regional level is not available under the old contractual arrangements.

The numbers of dentists with NHS activity, by contract type, during the years ending 31 March, 2007 and 2008 are available in Table G2 of Annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2007/08” report. Information is provided by SHA and by PCT but is not available by constituency. This information is based on the new dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006. This report has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

This measure is based on a revised methodology and therefore supersedes previously published workforce figures relating to the new dental contractual arrangements. It is not comparable to the information collected under the old contractual arrangements. This revised methodology counted the number of dental performers with NHS activity recorded via FP17 claim forms in each year ending 31 March.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much NHS funding has been allocated to dentistry provision in North Wiltshire constituency in each year since 2004. [258294]

Ann Keen: Prior to April 2006, most primary dental services were provided under former general dental service (GDS) arrangements. These were demand-led services where the pattern of dental expenditure was largely determined by where dentists chose to practice, and how much national health service (NHS) work they chose to undertake.

The former GDS arrangements were replaced with effect from 1 April 2006, when primary care trusts (PCTs) were given responsibility for planning and
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commissioning primary dental services and provided with local, devolved, dental budgets. The primary dental service funding allocations made to Wiltshire PCT for each of the three years since PCTs assumed full responsibility for primary dental care services are in the following table. These are net of income from dental charges paid by patients, which are retained locally to supplement the resources available for dentistry. Actual expenditure levels are determined by the pattern and type of services commissioned by each PCT. PCTs may also dedicate some of their other NHS resources to dentistry if they consider this an appropriate local priority. Allocations are not apportioned by individual constituency areas; PCTs determine the distribution of resources within their area on the basis of local needs and priorities.

Primary Dental Service net funding allocations for Wiltshire PCT

Allocation (£000)

2006-07

10,727

2007-08

11,366

2008-09

12,787

Notes:
1. The allocation figure for 2006-07 is the aggregate of the allocations made initially to the Kennet and North Wiltshire, South Wiltshire, and West Wiltshire PCTs before they merged to form the Wiltshire PCT with effect from 1 October 2006.
2. PCTs are awarded separate funding allocations to meet the cost of any dental vocational trainees who may be placed with dental practices in their area.

Dental Services: Young People

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children under 16 years in England were treated within community dental services in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [258325]

Ann Keen: The information requested is not held centrally.

Departmental Data Protection

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what IT security strategy his Department has in place; what steps are being taken to ensure the policy is being followed; what policy is in place on the use of encryption when data are sent externally; and what sanctions are in place for use should the policy not be followed. [259002]

Mr. Bradshaw: There are strict rules on data security which the Department is required to adhere to, and has a number of information security policies in place to safeguard its information technology (IT) devices and information assets.

Specifically it has an information security policy and computer security policy, broadly these cover:


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To ensure compliance, the Department IT security team undertake a rolling programme of compliance checking to ensure the policies are being followed. These checks will include physical checks, e.g. clear desk and checks to ensure portable devices and media are secured through to investigation of e-mail and network storage.

All Department laptops have full disk encryption as standard. Any data transported from a desktop PC or an encrypted laptop device to a USB memory stick is also encrypted.

Any data transmitted externally is governed by the document security policy and differing levels of security apply as appropriate to the protective marking of the document or data being transmitted. Clear policy and guidance is laid down for staff, under the document security policy.

Any identified breach of IT security policy is investigated and formally reported to the senior civil servant responsible for the appropriate area of business. Depending upon the nature of the breach, various sanctions are available under normal disciplinary procedures.

Departmental Travel

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on international travel in each of the last 11 years; and how much of that was spent on travel by (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants. [256553]

Mr. Bradshaw: Travel by Ministers and civil servants is undertaken in accordance with the “Ministerial Code” and the “Civil Service Management Code” respectively.

The Cabinet Office publishes an annual list of overseas visits made by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500 dating from 1997 onwards including the Secretary of State for Health. Details on all Health Ministers overseas travel for 2007-08 can also be found on the Cabinet Office website. A copy of this document has been placed in the Library.

Details of ministerial overseas visits undertaken in 2008-09 will be published on the Cabinet Office website in July 2009.

The amount spent on international travel for officials is not easily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost

Dietary Supplements: EC Law

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions officials from his Department have had with the Enterprise Directorate General of the European Commission on the potential effects on small and medium-sized businesses of the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements under the provisions of Article 5 of the EU Food Supplements Directive; [258326]

(2) when he expects the European Commission will propose maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements under the provisions of Article 5 of the EU Food Supplements Directive; what procedures will apply to the adoption of those proposals; and if he will make a statement; [258327]


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(3) what steps he plans to take to ensure the availability of higher potency vitamin and mineral supplements on the UK market; [258328]

(4) what recent representations he has received from (a) independent health food retailers and (b) consumers about the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements under the provisions of Article 5 of the EU Food Supplements Directive; [258329]

(5) when he next expects a Minister from his Department to meet the European Commissioners responsible for DG SANCO to discuss the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements under the provisions of Article 5 of the EU Food Supplements Directive; [258330]

(6) on what occasions he has discussed with (a) the European Commissioners responsible for DG SANCO and (b) each of his counterparts from other EU member states the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements under the provisions of Article 5 of the EU Food Supplements Directive in the last 12 months. [258331]

Dawn Primarolo: No discussions have taken place between departmental officials and the Directorate General Enterprise of the European Commission on the potential impact upon small and medium-sized businesses of the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements under the provisions of article 5 of the food supplements directive.

We have been advised by the Food Standards Agency that draft proposals outlining maximum levels would be discussed at the next working group meeting of member states, which is now likely to be held in April. Proposals are, therefore, unlikely to be published until after this meeting has taken place. The European Commission has also indicated that the draft proposals will be subject to an exchange of views in the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health prior to their formal publication.

I am exploring with officials how high potency vitamin and mineral supplements could be permitted under the scope of the food supplements directive.

I have received representations from independent health food retailers and consumers about the setting of maximum levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements, in the form of correspondence.

I recently met with my Spanish counterpart to discuss a range of issues including the setting of maximum levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements. This subject has not been discussed in meetings between Health Ministers and the European Commissioner for Health and there are no current plans for Health Ministers to meet with the Commissioner to discuss this subject.

Disabled Facilities Grants

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many disabled facilities grants have been made in each year since their inception; how much has been spent through the grant in each such year; what the budget for the grant was in each such year; what the banding for the means test is; and what the (a) maximum, (b) minimum and (c) mean contribution made by people in reception of the grant has been in each year. [256710]


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Mr. Iain Wright: I have been asked to reply.

The Government regard the disabled facilities grant programme as an important means to help disabled and older people continue to live as independently as possible by having their homes adapted. That is why we have more than doubled the Government funds available for the programme from £57 million in 1997 to £146 million in 2008 with an increase of £10 million in each of the subsequent years making the budget £166 million by 2010. Details of the grant contributions by Communities and Local Government can be found on the Department’s website.

Local authorities in England report information on the number of grants and amount spent through the grant as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) returns. The following table shows the total expenditure on disabled facilities grant. Communities and Local Government contributed 60 per cent. of funding with local authorities match funding the remaining 40 per cent. Data prior to 1996-97 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Number and amount of disabled facilities grants paid, England, 1996-97 to 2007-08
Financial year Number £000

1996-97

20,060

92,230

1997-98

21,990

100,410

1998-99

22,180

107,100

1999-2000

22,720

116,530

2000-01

24,730

130,720

2001-02

25,510

145,120

2002-03

30,100

173,780

2003-04

37,170

201,980

2004-05

38,550

210,310

2005-06

34,940

221,340

2006-07

37,270

232,830

2007-08

38,130

250,100

Note s :
1. Number of grants are measured in the financial year they are completed.
2. Expenditure is reported in the financial year it is spent.
Source:
Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) return.

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