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Ann Keen: We have been advised by the East of England strategic health authority that North East Essex primary care trust is committed to providing additional dental access to its patients in North East Essex and in particular Harwich and Dovercourt.
Negotiations have now taken place to increase additional dental activity and will be finalised for the new financial year. In addition, NHS North East Essex is currently going through an application process to increase dental access. Current practices will be applying to provide additional activity in the Harwich and Dovercourt areas.
23. Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and acute trusts work co-operatively with other local and regional non-health partners. 
A new statutory Duty of Partnership requires PCTs and national health service trusts to participate in Local Strategic Partnerships and the development of local area agreements. In addition, the Department is working to align the performance frameworks for local authorities and the NHS.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people over the age of 50 years have been diagnosed with alcoholism in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire in each of the last five years. 
Ann Keen: Information is not available in the format requested. I also refer the hon. member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) on 17 March 2009, Official Report, column 1027W.
Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2009, Official Report, column 368W, on antidepressants, what amendments were made in December 2008 to strengthen the requirements upon marketing authorisation holders to report on drug safety information emerging from clinical trials (a) in and (b) outside the UK. 
The Medicines for Human Use (Marketing Authorisation Etc.) Amendment Regulations 2008 explicitly state that reporting requirements for drug safety information apply to information arising from use of the product outside the terms of the marketing authorisation, including use in clinical trials as defined in Article 2(a) of the clinical trials directive. There is no
geographical limitation on this requirement. The regulations also state that the reporting requirements apply to information arising from the use of the product in a country which is not a European economic area state. This information must be provided to the licensing authority as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many neonatal vacancies there were in (a) the National Health Service and (b) each strategic health authority area in England on the latest date for which figures are available; 
The Department has established the National Neonatal Taskforce, chaired by Sir Bruce Keogh, which has four sub-groups, one of which covers neonatal workforce. The workforce subgroup has developed a survey of neonatal workforce, which it has sent to the national health service. The survey results are currently being analysed and the taskforce is due to report in June 2009.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2009, Official Report, column 634W, on childbirth, what steps he is taking to improve the accuracy in the recording of (a) gestational age and (b) birth weight. 
increase the percentage of women who have seen a midwife or a maternity health care professional for a health and social care assessment of needs, risks and choices by 12 weeks of completed pregnancy.
This assessment will include a dating scan that will be used to calculate the gestational age of the foetus during pregnancy and at birth. As more women benefit from these assessments the accuracy of recorded information on gestational age should improve and together with this the plausibility of weight for age data.
A maternity data quality dashboard was published by the NHS Information Centre for health and social care (IC) in February 2009 for use by national health service trusts and commissioners, enabling them better to monitor progress using the data they have submitted. The dashboard specifically identifies gestation length and birth weight as data fields. Increased local scrutiny of these data should also encourage improvements in data quality.
In addition, the NHS IC is taking steps to improve the accuracy of maternity data in hospital episode statistics (HES). This should have a positive effect on other information in this area such as that used by the Office for National Statistics to link to registration data.
The IC now contacts NHS trusts directly when they submit data for HES which contains a high proportion of blank or unknown values in key maternity fields. The IC encourages trusts to investigate why these fields are not being populated and to resubmit data with correct values. The IC has also begun introducing improvements to the annual NHS Maternity Services publication, which includes data on gestational age and birth weight, while ensuring that data problems are transparent so that there is an incentive to improve data quality.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) permanent, (b) agency and (c) temporary staff on contracts of (i) up to three months, (ii) between three and six months, (iii) between six and 12 months and (iv) 12 months or more there are in each directorate of his Department. 
|Fixed term appointment:|
|Directorates||Employees||Loan in||Secondees in||Agency staff||<3 months||3-6 months||6-12 months||>12 months||Grand total|
1. Data included are as at 31 December 2008.
2. Figures include staff on secondment or loan into the Department, and exclude staff on secondment or loan out of the Department.
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