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Orthodontists

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many orthodontists are employed by the (a) Gateshead and South Tyneside Health Authority and (b) NHS; and what the equivalent figure was (i) five, (ii) 10 and (iii) 15 years ago. [148397]

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Mr. Hutton: The number of General Dental Service dentists with more than 100 orthodontic claims in a year is shown in the table for the years 1999-2000, 1995-96 and 1992-93 for Gateshead and South Tyneside Health Authority and for England.

General Dental Service: Number of orthodontists(5)

Gateshead and South Tyneside Health Authority England
1992-930466
1995-962647
1999-20001825

Notes:

1. An orthodontist is defined here as a principal dentist who submitted a hundred or more orthodontic claims in a year.

2. Some dentists may be included in both the General Dental Service and the Hospital and community health service figures.


Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he is taking to improve the National Orthodontal Service (a) within the NHS and (b) in the Gateshead and South Tyneside Health Authority. [148415]

Mr. Hutton: We are taking steps to ensure that dentists throughout the country can identify the appropriate cases for treatment, use the most clinically effective and cost-effective approach and maintain high standards of probity in providing orthodontic services. This will concentrate National Health Service resources more on the cases of true clinical need and less on minor cosmetic work.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting times are for orthodontal treatment in the Gateshead and South Tyneside health authority. [148418]

Mr. Hutton: Orthodontic services in the Gateshead and South Tyneside health authority area are provided by the Community Dental Service of the South Tyneside health care national health service trust. The waiting time for a first appointment is currently 11 weeks.

Heart By-pass Surgery

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time is for NHS heart by-pass surgery in Tyneside. [148747]

Mr. Denham: Based on performance over the last six months, the average waiting time for an NHS coronary artery by-pass graft in Tyneside is 188 days. A new initiative to provide coronary artery by-pass grafts at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, as well as the Freeman Hospital, commencing on 6 February 2001, will provide a further 25 coronary artery by-pass graft operations in this financial year. This will rise to over 200 additional operations in 2001-02 and then 400 additional operations from 2002-03 onwards.

Elderly People (Free Personal Care)

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce free personal care for the elderly in the rest of the United Kingdom in line with the proposal being put to the Scottish Parliament. [148609]

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Mr. Hutton: I refer my hon. Friend to what I said in the House on 5 February 2001, Official Report, columns 725-35.

Beta Interferon

Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when funding for beta interferon for newly diagnosed patients with multiple sclerosis ceased in all areas. [148664]

Mr. Denham: The Department issued guidance (in Executive Letter (95)97) to the National Health Service in 1995 about the prescribing of beta interferon. It recommends that health authorities should have in place arrangements for hospital specialists to initiate treatment in the light of medical evidence and local priorities. This guidance continues to apply until the National Institute for Clinical Excellence publishes its guidance on beta interferon later this year.

Funding for the treatment of newly diagnosed patients has not ceased. General allocations to health authorities will rise on average by 8.9 per cent. for 2001-02.

Elderly Patients (Medication)

Siobhain McDonagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he gives regarding the prevention of abuse of older people in hospitals and care homes through the over-use of sedative and anti-psychotic medication. [148853]

Mr. Hutton: All prescribing for older people in hospital, residential and nursing home care should be undertaken and monitored carefully by the doctor who has clinical responsibility for that particular aspect of a patient's care.

In 1998 the Department published a joint report with the National Prescribing Centre on general practitioner prescribing support. This document provides many examples of good practice, including advice and support on prescribing in residential and nursing homes. Age Concern also published a report in 1998 'Drugs and Dementia' which provides a guide to good practice in this area. In particular, it recommends regular reviews of prescriptions and that attempts should be made to reduce dosages of neuroleptics at least every six months.

It is intended that national minimum standards will require care homes to have a policy, and staff to adhere to procedures, for the receipt, recording, storage, handling, administration and disposal of medicines.

The Controls Assurance Initiative, launched in November 1999, sets out the organisational controls expected to be in place in hospitals across a range of areas. In March 2000, a revised controls assurance standard was issued on Safe and Secure Handling of Medicines (Medicines Management). This standard requires an auditable trail to be established for the supply, administration and disposal of medicines.

The National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People will set national standards and define service models for older people's health and social care. The NSF will also emphasise the importance of this area of clinical practice.

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Waterhouse Report

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made to implement the recommendations of the Waterhouse report; and if he will make a statement. [148601]

Mr. Hutton: Sir Ronald Waterhouse's report "Lost in Care" was published on 15 February 2000 and made a total of 72 recommendations. Nine of these recommendations were primarily matters for the National Assembly for Wales to consider. Our response to "Lost in Care", published on 29 June 2000, set out the range of action being taken in respect of the remaining 63 recommendations applying directly to England. We accepted the spirit of all 63 recommendations that applied directly to England.

The vast majority of the recommendations in "Lost in Care" were consistent with our objectives for children's social services. Many of the recommendations are being implemented through legislation including the Care Standards Act 2000, the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 and the Protection of Children Act 1999. The remainder are being addressed through major policy initiatives such as the Quality Protects programme, the review of social services complaints procedures and the development of new inter-agency guidance on the handling of complex abuse investigations.

Sexual Abuse

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are in place to reduce the number of adult victims of sexual abuse being admitted to mental hospitals; and if he will make a statement. [148594]

Mr. Hutton: Sexual abuse does not have a diagnostic classification of its own, but may be part of other diagnoses under the International Classification of Diseases and related health problems (ICD). Therefore, adults who have been victims of sexual abuse may be admitted to hospital with another condition, but we are not able to separate such cases from the data. We are well aware of the impact which sexual abuse during childhood may have on mental health in later life, a point which is elaborated in the National Service Framework for mental health. The NSF sets out how people should be able to get quicker access to more effective treatments in and through primary care, with support from specialised services where necessary.

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will establish a national network of organisations to support adult victims of sexual abuse; and if he will make a statement. [148602]

Mr. Hutton: We have no plans to establish a national network of organisations to support adult victims of sexual abuse. A variety of systems exist to ensure that there is scope for provision of a range of health and social care provision, including specialised services in the charitable and voluntary sector.

We have set out clear national standards in the National Service Framework for mental health. It describes how people should be able to get quicker access to more effective treatments in and through primary care, with support from specialised services where necessary.

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Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of treating adult victims of sexual abuse in mental health hospitals is for each health authority in the last year for which figures are available. [148593]

Mr. Hutton: Sexual abuse does not have a diagnostic classification of its own, but may be part of other diagnoses under the International Classification of Diseases and related health problems (ICD). Therefore, adults who have been victims of sexual abuse may be admitted to hospital with another condition, but we are not able to separate such cases from the data. However, we are well aware of the impact which sexual abuse during childhood may have on mental health in later life, a point which is elaborated in the National Service Framework for mental health.

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many adults have (a) disclosed that they have suffered sexual abuse and (b) are known to be suffering the effects of sexual abuse in each of the last 10 years. [148599]

Mr. Hutton: Central records are not kept of the number who disclose that they have been abused. However, we are aware that people who have suffered child sexual abuse are among those who are especially vulnerable. The National Service Framework for mental health reflects this.


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