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|Median orthodontic speciality in-patient waiting time for elective admission|
|Area||March 2003||March 2004||March 2005||March 2006||March 2007||September 2007|
1. Figures are shown for organisations that existed at the time. Hertsmere, Watford and Three Rivers, Dacorum and St. Albans PCTs were combined to form West Hertfordshire PCT on 1 October 2006. For the time periods where an organisation was not in existence, "-" has been entered into the table.
2. Figures shown are for those recorded under the orthodontic speciality.
3. Out-patient waiting times are measured from referral by the dentist to first out-patient appointment to the consultant. The data are based on a snapshot in time, and so will include some patients who were yet to see a consultant.
4. In-patient waiting times are measured from the decision by the consultant to admit to admission to hospital.
5. The last time these data were collected was for the period ending September 2007.
6. Time bands for all specialties were only collected from 2004-05 onwards for out-patients so average waiting first out-patient times are only available from this point forward.
7. Where n/a, no orthodontic waiters were declared for the time periods specified or there were very low numbers.
8. Median waiting times are calculated from aggregate data, rather than patient level data, and therefore are estimates of the position on average waits.
9. In particular, specialties with low numbers waiting are prone to fluctuations in the median. This should be taken into account when interpreting the data.
Department of Health Waiting List Collections QF01 and MMRCOM.
From 1 January 2009, no one should wait more than 18 weeks from the time they are referred by their general practitioner or dentist to start of their consultant-led treatment unless it is clinically appropriate to do so or they choose to wait longer. The 18 weeks commitment covers pathways that involve or might involve consultant-led care, including orthodontics, which is now recorded under the oral surgery speciality.
Latest data show that since January 2009, the NHS has been delivering the operating standards for 18 weeks to ensure that no one should wait more than 18 weeks from the time they are referred to the start of their consultant-led treatment, unless it is clinically appropriate to do so or they choose to wait longer.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were waiting for orthodontic treatment in (a) Hemel Hempstead, (b) Dacorum, (c) Hertfordshire, (d) the South East and (e) England in each of the last five years. 
From 1 January 2009, no one should wait more than 18 weeks from the time they are referred by their general practitioner or dentist to the start of their consultant-led treatment unless it is clinically appropriate to do so, or they choose to wait longer.
The 18 weeks commitment covers pathways that involve or might involve consultant-led care. Referral to treatment (RTT) data collection monitors the length of time from referral through to treatment and is used to measure performance against the 18 weeks operational standard.
Information is collected on the total number of incomplete RTT pathways, for oral surgery, which includes orthodontic treatment. These data look at patients who have entered a RTT pathway but whose treatment had not yet started. Data are available from August 2007. Information is not available in the format requested, however, the following table sets data for East and North Hertfordshire PCT, West Hertfordshire primary care trust (PCT), East of England strategic health authority (SHA) and England.
|Oral surgery, total number of incomplete RTT pathways|
|East and North Hertfordshire PCT||West Hertfordshire PCT||East of England SHA||England|
Data on incomplete pathways are only available from August 2007 onwards.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in (a) England, (b) the East of England, (c) Essex and (d) Castle Point have been diagnosed with (i) major depression, (ii) atypical depression (iii) psychotic depression, (iv) dysthymia and (v) manic depression in each year since 1997. 
Phil Hope: This information is not available. Most treatment for mental health problems including depressive illnesses occurs in primary care settings, where information on the number of patients treated for specific conditions is not collected.
Approximately one in six adults in England has a common mental illness, including dysthymia, at any given time, with one in four adults experiencing mental ill heath at some stage in their lives. Approximately one in 100 people are thought to have a more severe mental illness, including psychotic or bipolar (manic) depressive conditions.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to ensure that candidates shortlisted for the post of Chair of the Food Standards Agency are aware of the implications of implementation of Article 5 of the Food Supplements Directive; and what plans he has to consult the official Opposition on the appointment of the Chair. 
Gillian Merron: As is customary, the candidate that was recommended for pre-appointment scrutiny by Ministers was given a factual briefing by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on the organisation and the topical issues it was facing, including food supplements. The successful candidate will receive a full induction on taking up the position, including on the issues associated with the Food Supplements Directive.
The position of Chair of the FSA is appointed jointly by the Secretary of State for Health and the Health Ministers in the devolved Administrations. Following a full recruitment process, run by the Appointments Commission in accordance with the Commissioner's Code of Practice for Public Appointments, Ministers considered the selection panel's recommendations and agreed Lord Rooker as the preferred candidate.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State invited the House of Commons Health Committee to scrutinise the preferred candidate prior to appointment. The Committee invited Lord Rooker to give evidence on 6 July 2009, following which they recommended that the Secretary of State continue with the appointment. Lord Rooker was confirmed as the new Chair of the FSA on 10 July and will take up his position on 27 July 2009, for a period of four years.
The appointment has been run jointly with the devolved Administrations as required by the Food Standards Act. As is customary, there are no plans to consult with Her Majesty's official Opposition outside of the pre-appointment scrutiny process.
Phil Hope: Neither my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State or his predecessor my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, West and Hessle (Alan Johnson) has made an official visit to Norwich.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what cost-benefit analysis his Department has undertaken of the effects of implementation of its proposal for the generic substitution of branded anti-epilepsy drugs; 
(3) whether his Department has assessed the views of leading clinicians operating in the field of epilepsy on the clinical impact of generic substitution of medicines on people with epilepsy; 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Patient safety will be paramount in taking forward the work on generic substitution. It has long been the Department's policy to encourage generic prescribing where possible, for reasons of good professional practice and because of the opportunities for more effective use of national health service resources. However, we have always recognised that there are circumstances in which it may be clinically appropriate to prescribe a particular brand of drug even where a generic is available if the prescriber considers it essential for the patient to receive that specific product. This position will need to be maintained under any new specific proposals made as part of the work on generic substitution.
In addition, as stated in the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) of December 2008, in implementing generic substitution, provision may also be made to exclude certain categories of medicines for clinical reasons in the interests of patient safety. No decisions have yet been made on whether any medicines and, if so, which should be excluded from the arrangements.
The detail of implementing the PPRS generic substitution provision is still being considered. No cost-benefit analysis, estimation of possible numbers of patients affected by or potential savings from the implementation of generic substitution in relation to anti-epileptic drugs have been made.
A number of patient representative groups, such as those representing epilepsy sufferers, have written to the Department expressing their concerns on the implementation of generic substitution. Whilst we have not yet met with any such groups, nor with clinicians operating in the field of epilepsy, we want to make sure we engage with all stakeholders in the best way possible and are currently considering how best to do so.
The numbers of NHS sight test claims processed for persons aged 60 and over in the former North Yorkshire Health Authority (HA), the former York and Selby Primary Care Trust (PCT) and the North Yorkshire and York PCT in the relevant financial years are shown in the following table.
The three columns in the table represent each organisation in place that included York over the relevant time period. The geographical areas covered by each organisation listed vary in size which makes it impossible to have a comparable time series over the full period.
|General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) NHS sight tests for persons aged 60 and over in the specified organisations|
|North Yorkshire HA||York and Selby PCT||North Yorkshire and York PCT|
|n/a = Not applicable.|
(1) Validated information at a PCT level is not available for 2006-07.
1. Patients may qualify for an NHS sight test on more than one criterion. However, they would only be recorded against one criterion on the form. Patients are more likely to be recorded according to their clinical need rather than their age. For example, a patient aged over 60, with glaucoma, is likely to be recorded in the glaucoma category only. The count by eligibility is therefore approximate.
2. The figures relate to the number of NHS sight tests and are not a count of individuals.
The Information Centre for health and social care
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