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Child Protection Committees

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which area child protection committees have arrangements with each of the immigration detention and reception centres at (a) Oakington, (b) Tinsley House, (c) Yarls Wood, (d) Harmondsworth and (e) John Gavell; and if he will place in the Library copies of the protocols and working agreements. [29607]

Jacqui Smith: Oakington Reception Centre, and Tinsley House, Yarl's Wood and Harmondsworth Removal Centres have all made links with their local Area Child Protection Committee.

Oakington's child protection policies and procedures have been endorsed by Cambridgeshire Area Child Protection Committee.

Tinsley House conforms to West Sussex Area Child Protection Committee's child protection procedures and has a nominated child protection adviser to assist with child protection training, advice and liaison.

Guidance on child protection arrangements for Yarl's Wood has been incorporated into Bedfordshire and Luton Area Child Protection Committee's Manual of Procedures, and protocols have been agreed with Group 4, who are contracted to manage the centre.

Draft child protection procedures for Harmondsworth have been the subject of a report to Hillingdon Area Child Protection Committee and a subsequent conference involving the NSPCC, UKDS—who are contracted to manage the centre, relevant local authorities and the voluntary sector.

I understand that my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, is arranging for copies of the child protection policies for these centres to be placed in the Library.

Dungavel Removal Centre in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire is a matter for the devolved Administration.

Departmental Sponsorship

Jim Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the financial resources and initiatives sponsored by his Department in the last 12 months for Dorset which are additional to the Government SSA grants. [29891]

Ms Blears: The table lists the type and amount of funding made available to Dorset county council by the Department in 2000–01 and 2001–02, which is additional to the standard spending assessment.


AIDS Support Grant4048
Mental Health Grant9331,044
Training Support Programme300334
Partnership Grant(20)1623
Prevention Grant(20)232
Promoting Independence Grant(20)2,320
Carers' Grant362507
Children's Grant4791,190
Improving Information Management Grant(21)16,666
Deferred Payments Grant(21)194
Young People's Substance Misuse Planning Grant(21)18
Building Care Capacity Grant(21)613
Drugs and Alcohol Specific Grant(21)500
Supplementary credit approvals:
Mental Health160124

(20) The Partnership and Prevention Grants were amalgamated into the Promoting Independence Grant from 2001–02

(21) The grant commenced in 2001–02

7 Feb 2002 : Column 1160W

NHS Dentists

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Government plans to set a minimum number of hours to be spent by dentists on NHS patients. [30387]

Ms Blears: Dentists who are independent contractors are free to choose how much time they wish to devote to the provision of national health service dental services. There are no plans to introduce a requirement for a minimum number of hours that dentists should spend providing NHS treatment. We are committed to the provision of NHS dental care, and have invested £100 million over two years in the form of incentives and grants to modernise services and encourage increased commitment to the NHS. We will continue to work with the profession and other stakeholders on future arrangements for NHS dentistry.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what incentives the Government plans to encourage the establishment of new NHS dentists' practices in North Shropshire; [30403]

Ms Blears: There are no immediate plans to alter existing arrangements for dentists joining the general dental service. However, discussions are underway nationally, with the profession and other stakeholders, to consider future arrangements for national health service dentistry. Workforce issues are included in those discussions.

Historically Shropshire has had difficulty attracting sufficient dentists offering NHS treatment. In partnership with the two Staffordshire health authorities and the local NHS Workforce Confederation, the HA is commissioning an extensive review of the key employment issues facing local dental teams. This review will also identify local solutions.

Every HA in England has in place a dentistry action plan. These identify local issues and develop solutions. In 2001–02 Shropshire HA was allocated, from national funds, £50,000 to enable general dental service practitioners to register and treat more NHS patients. More recently, an additional £50,000 has been allocated to provide support to practitioners who wish to establish, or expand, NHS practice. Since June 2001 HAs have had powers to use their own resources to address shortfalls in local availability of NHS dentistry.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were registered with a NHS dentist in the Hillingdon health authority in each of the last seven years. [31447]

7 Feb 2002 : Column 1161W

Ms Blears: The number of adult and child patients registered with a general dental service (GDS) dentist in Hillingdon health authority at 30 September for each of the years 1995 to 2001 is shown in the table.

In September 1996, the registration period for new adult and child registrations was shortened to 15 months. Previously adult registrations lasted for 24 months and child registrations expired at the end of the following calendar year. This affected registration numbers from December 1997 onwards. Data for 1995, 1996 and 1997 are not comparable with later years.

Some patients that are not registered with a GDS dentist choose to attend occasionally.

General dental service: Number of adult and child registrations(22)
Hillingdon health authority

September each yearAdultsChildrenTotal

(22) Affected by the change in registration periods to 15 months.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists were accepting NHS patients in the Hillingdon health authority in each of the last seven years. [31446]

Ms Blears: The total number of general dental service (GDS) dentists that carry out the majority of their work in Hillingdon health authority at 30 September for each of the years 1995 to 2001 is shown in the table.

The total number of dentists covers principals on a HA list, their assistants and vocational dental practitioners. Although the number of dentists continues to rise, their level of commitment to the GDS varies, mainly due to an increase in private working.

General dental service: Total number of dentists(23) providing national health service treatment, 1995 to 2001—Hillingdon health authority(24)

September each yearTotal dentists

(23) Data cover principal dentists on a health authority list, their assistants and vocational dental practitioners.

(24) Dentists who do the majority of their work in Hillingdon HA. Excludes dentists in the Hillingdon HA area who do most of their work in other HAs.

Performance Improvement Payments

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was distributed to the south-east region in performance improvement payments in 2001–02; and which trusts in the south-east region received payments. [30764]

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Ms Blears: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Private Hospitals

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information on standards of patient care the NHS requires from private sector hospitals carrying out operations on behalf of the NHS. [30855]

Mr. Hutton: There are two important safeguards in place.

First, from 1 April 2002 the National Care Standards Commission will take over from health authorities the regulation of private health care services, including private hospitals. For the first time they will be required to comply with regulations and meet national minimum standards. Also for the first time, owners, managers and others registered as being responsible for the day-to-day running of the hospital will be held responsible for the quality of care and treatment provided.

Second, national health service commissioners are responsible for ensuring that all services and treatment provided for patients are high quality. Patients receiving treatment in private hospitals paid for by the NHS remain NHS patients. Therefore, when commissioning treatment from the independent sector, NHS commissioners must be satisfied that the treatment will be of a high standard, for example, by paper evidence of performance and visits. Quality requirements can also be set out in contracts between the NHS and the independent sector.

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