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7 Jan 2003 : Column 194W—continued

Horton Hospital (Land Sales)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that the increase in land values in Epsom does not prevent the sale of land at Horton Hospital to Rosebery Housing Association and other bodies which are subject to Housing Corporation rules and formulae on the acquisition of land by such associations. [88333]

Ms Blears: In accordance with the planning consent, land at Horton allocated for affordable housing is to be sold to housing associations at 40 per cent. of the open market value, representing a significant discount, and a reduced receipt for reinvestment in the national health service. The Department will comply with this requirement, but has no involvement in the housing association's funding arrangements.


Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will reimburse (a) in full and (b) in part the costs to the hospice movement of the impact of the increase in contributions to the NHS superannuation scheme; [88574]

Ms Blears: Technical changes to the way the national health service pension scheme is funded were included in my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor's pre-Budget report on 27 November 2002. In future, employer contributions will include the cost of indexing scheme benefits but the arrangements will be phased in, with employers charged directly from April 2004.

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The extra employer costs will be offset by additional health service funding. A departmental working group has been set up to develop detailed implementation plans and the position of hospices and other voluntary sector employers, who contribute to the scheme, will be fully considered.

Hospital Cleanliness

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints the NHS has received in the past 12 months about standards of cleanliness in acute hospitals. [88763]

Mr. Lammy: Data on the number of National Health Service complaints made each year is set out in the Department of Health publication XHandling complaints: monitoring the NHS complaints procedures." Due to the diverse range of issues for which complaints may be made under the NHS complaints procedures it is not possible to provide the information requested.

Hospital Infections

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will next publish figures on the level of deaths in British hospitals from infections resulting from hospital treatment. [88180]

Ms Blears: There are no centrally held statistics on the number of deaths caused by hospital acquired infections. The recent paper on deaths associated with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) was a research study and not a routine publication.

The Department does publish data on MRSA bacteraemia for acute National Health Service hospital trusts in England. Results for the first year of this scheme, from April 2001 to March 2002, were published in the Communicable Disease Report Weekly of 20 June 2002 and are available on the Public Health Laboratory Service website at

Legal Disputes

Mr. Doug Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been required to pay cash to the health authority where a legal case for damages against a health authority has been lost or withdrawn, and which health authorities have been involved, in each of the last 10 years. [88302]

Mr. Lammy: Information on the amount of any money received by health authorities from people required to pay in lost or withdrawn cases of damages is not collected at the required level of detail by the Department.

Numbers of people involved would not be collected in any of the returns received by the Department.

Licence Fees

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to his Department's answer to honourable Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme of 7 November, what mechanisms his Department uses to review the (a) effectiveness and efficiency of social

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service departments, (b) the adequacy of resource allocation to social service departments and (c) the meeting of local needs by social services, with special reference to community care for the elderly; and what statistics on (i) average assessment times and (ii) waiting lists for home aids and adaptations he collates in England. [80495]

Jacqui Smith: The Department has the following monitoring mechanisms in place:

The Department collects the following information:

Looked-after Children

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many looked after children there were in each of the last five years. [88514]

Jacqui Smith: The number of looked after children for each of the last five years is shown in the table.

Number of children looked after at 31 March, 1998–2002—England



Table excludes children being looked after under any agreed series of short term placements.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many looked after children were convicted of criminal acts in each of the last five years. [88515]

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Jacqui Smith: Figures identifying the numbers of looked after children who have been looked after for at least a year and have been cautioned or convicted in the year have only been collected since the year 2000. The figures are shown in the table.

Offending by looked after children, 12 months ending 30 September 2000 and 2001: England

Number of children looked after for at least 12 months, aged 10 or older at 30 September25,70027,000
of which:
Number cautioned or convicted during the year2,8002,800

Laming Report

Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when Lord Laming will publish his report on the Victoria Climbié inquiry. [88345]

Jacqui Smith: Lord Laming has handed his report into the death of Victoria Climbié to my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and the Minister for Children and Young People, on 6 January. The report will be published shortly.

Medical Devices

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he has taken with the Medical Devices Agency to improve public confidence in the effectiveness and reliability of self-testing diagnostic medical devices. [88529]

Mr. Lammy: The United Kingdom was one of a small number of European Community member states that transposed the in vitro diagnostic (IVD) directive into national law by the required deadline (June 2000). All IVD manufacturers placing products on the European market will be required to meet this legislation by December 2003.

Public confidence in the reliability and effectiveness of self-testing diagnostic medical devices will be improved when the IVD regulations come fully into force, and evidence is provided by the manufacturers that the results provided are accurate and meaningful.

In order to learn about concerns that the public might have with medical devices, the Medical Devices Agency introduced, in September 2001, Xon-line" reporting for members of the public for all medical devices, including in vitro diagnostic medical devices.

In addition, the Department has published two voluntary codes of practice and guidance for genetic tests being sold directly to the public. These set out broad requirements in areas such as peer-reviewed evidence of value, accreditation and quality assurance in testing laboratories, consent, confidentiality, sample and information storage, and customer information.

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