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NHS: Dentistry

Lord Rana asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: I am satisfied with the level of dental provision in Northern Ireland both in terms of availability and accessibility. The Health Service provides a full range of dental services through general dental practitioners, the community dental service and the hospital dental service.

There is approximately one general dental practitioner for every 2,400 people in Northern Ireland. This compares to one practitioner for every 2,773 people in England, Scotland and Wales.

A new Primary Dental Care Strategy has been developed which sets the oral health agenda for the next 10 years. It identifies the oral health needs of the Northern Ireland population, determines desired outcomes and identifies areas where oral health can link into the wider health agenda.

The strategy has been developed around the local commissioning of services, where commissioners would be responsible for the delivery of primary care dental services to their population in keeping with local needs. One of the main recommendations is that access to appropriate dental care should be available to everyone.

Consultation on the draft strategy has ended and it is expected to be published in the summer.

NHS: Dentists

Lord Rana asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The number of dentists who have resigned from providing health service dentistry is not exclusively available. However, the count of dentists who had been providing health service dentistry within Northern Ireland but who have ceased doing so in (a) 2005 and (b) the first three months of 2006 is provided below. The reasons for ceasing to provide health service dentistry will include retirement, death, moving out of Northern Ireland or moving to private practice.

24 May 2006 : Column WA108

NHS: Non-EU Doctors

Lord Rana asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The following table shows the number of doctors working in the National Health Service in England, who qualified in a non-European Union country. Information relating to Scotland and Wales is the responsibility of the devolved administrations.

In Northern Ireland, there are currently 370 non-European Union doctors in training.
General and Personal Medical Services and Hospital, Community Health Services (HCHS) All Doctors in training by specified Country of Primary Qualification group1,2,3

England as at
30 September 2005
All Countries of

of which:
Non-EU Countries
All Doctors2,3119,01733,033
of which:
All Doctors in Training45,96517,078
All HCHS Medical Staff2,383,07327,371
of which:
Registrar Group17,6576,477
Senior House Officer21,1099,157
House Officer & Foundation Programme Year 14,635562
All GPs135,9445,662
of which:
GP Registrars2,564882

1 All Practitioners includes Contracted GPs, GMS Others, PMS Others, GP Registrars and GP Retainers

2 Excludes medical Hospital Practitioners and medical Clinical Assistants, most of whom are GPs working part time in hospitals

3 Excludes all dental staff. Information about country of qualification is derived from the General Medical Council. For staff in dental specialties, with a General Dental Council registration, the country of qualification is therefore unknown.

Source:The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census The Information Centre for health and social care General & Personal Medical Services Statistics.

The Department of Health has put in place transitional arrangements to ensure that doctors currently in post are allowed to complete their programme.

Doctors from outside the European Economic Area who have graduated in the United Kingdom will have up to three years to complete their foundation training. Once the foundation course has been completed, doctors will need to meet the normal requirements of the immigration rules.
24 May 2006 : Column WA109

North/South Implementation Bodies

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: As of May 2006 the community background of the Northern Ireland-based staff that work in the north/south implementation bodies is set out below in percentage terms.
Roman Catholic63%

Northern Ireland National Stadium

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Government are seeking to explore the potential to develop the entire site and commissioned a masterplan on this basis. Any expenditure incurred to date at the Maze/Long Kesh relates to the regeneration of the whole site rather than to any specific project.

Northern Ireland: Festivals

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: I refer to my previous Answer 10 May (WA 139).

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure passed on the list of recommendations it received from the Ulster-Scots Agency to the Smithsonian's curator.

Parliamentary Ombudsman

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

24 May 2006 : Column WA110

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Mark Haysom, the LSC chief executive, will write to the noble Lord with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Political Parties: Funding

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The noble Lord's Question tabled on 28 March [HL4991] was answered on 17 May 2006. The reason for the delay in answering was because the issue of confidentiality clauses in loan agreements to political parties was one which was still under consideration by the Government, in the context of new provisions relating to the regulation of such loans which were subsequently tabled to the Electoral Administration Bill on 26 April.

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