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5 Jan 2004 : Column 200W—continued

Mindnseek Website

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the cost of the website www. mindnseek.net; and if he will make a statement. [144936]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It is not possible to give an estimated cost for the production of the 'Mindnseek' website as it was just one element of a broader online project with readthesigns.org,with a total cost of £70,000.

MRSA

Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish guidelines setting out the circumstances in which general practitioners can record MRSA as a secondary cause of death. [144021]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Guidance is already available and general practitioners, hospital doctors and coroners should include methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), or any other condition that they believe contributed to death, on the certificate of cause of death. Instructions on how to complete this are at the front of

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every book of certificates. Doctors are expected to complete the certificate to the best of their knowledge and belief. If the doctor believes that MRSA contributed to the death he or she should write it in the appropriate part of the certificate and doctors do include MRSA on death certificates.

National Institute for Clinical Excellence

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when the findings of the investigation into the implementation of National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidance being undertaken will be published; [144122]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Professor Mike Richards, the National Cancer Director, is leading the investigation into the causes of the apparent variation in the uptake of cancer drugs approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

This work is at an early stage, but representatives from the national health service and pharmaceutical industry have already been consulted, together with the Cancer Taskforce, which includes representatives from the voluntary sector.

Findings are likely to be available in spring 2004.

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Government will put in place tracking mechanisms to monitor the implementation of NICE guidance. [144126]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We see a key role for the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection to monitor the implementation of National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidance during the course of its reviews of national health service bodies. Strategic health authorities monitor the performance of primary care trusts and are also in a position to access progress on the implementation of NICE guidance.

NHS Contracts

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what contracts his Department has awarded to KBR; the value of the contracts; and if he will estimate the total fees to date. [144946]

Mr. Hutton: Following a formal competitive procurement exercise, Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) were awarded a contract to provide professional programme management and planning services to the national programme for information technology in the National Health Service. The total fees paid from March 2003 to date are £5.8 million.

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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what contracts have been awarded under the NHS National Programme for information technology. [144947]

Mr. Hutton: The national programme for information technology in the National Health Service focuses on the key developments that will make a significant difference to improving the patient experience and the delivery of care and services. There are four key deliverables: electronic appointment booking, an electronic care records service, an electronic prescribing service and an underpinning IT infrastructure. The following contracts have been awarded:


The remaining three LSP contracts for the Southern, Eastern, North West and West Midlands clusters, and the national NHS network (N3) will be awarded in due course.

NHS Live

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure that NHS Live 2004 is not used to communicate party political messages. [145221]

Mr. Hutton: NHS Live is a learning programme and event for national health service and social care staff, patients and stakeholders, designed to speed up the pace of healthcare improvement for patients. In line with other Department of Health corporate activity, NHS Live will not be party political.

Nurse Recruitment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many international nurse recruitment agencies have failed to adhere to the code of practice on ethical recruitment; and how many such agencies NHS organisations have been instructed not to deal with. [144314]

Mr. Hutton: Of the agencies on the code of practice list, the Department has asked 17 agencies for further details of their recruitment activities to ensure that they are compliant with the code. To date, none has been removed from the list, as no breaches of the code have been identified.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish a list of nursing agencies which comply with the code of practice on ethical nursing recruitment. [144315]

Mr. Hutton: The Department has published a list of agencies which adhere to the code of practice on its website: www.doh.gov.uk/international-recruitment.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) salary and (b) support costs of his Department's Director of International Recruitment for Health Services are in 2003–04. [144316]

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Mr. Hutton: The former Director of International Recruitment left the post on 30 April 2002, on completion of her secondment.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which countries have made written representations to his Department regarding recruitment of nurses; and if he will make a statement. [144317]

Mr. Hutton: The Government has nurse recruitment agreements with Spain, the Philippines, India and Indonesia. A Memorandum of Understanding has recently been signed with the Government of South Africa.

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish advice given to the Nursing and Midwifery Council regarding (a) the title of Registered Health Visitor, (b) the Register of Health Visitors and (c) the Third Register. [144340]

Mr. Hutton: Consultation responses by the Department on parts of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register and the existence, function and title of the third part are available in the Library.

Osteoporosis

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates the Department has made of the potential savings to be made by preventing osteoporotic fractures. [145633]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department has made no estimate of the potential savings to be made by preventing osteoporotic fractures rather than treating them.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) have been asked to draw up clinical guidelines for the national health service on prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. The guideline will refer to the work, update and extend the evidence base of previously published guidelines and technology appraisals and those currently under development where appropriate, including NICE clinical guidelines on assessment and prevention of falls. NICE is also conducting an appraisal of the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of prevention and treatment of osteoporosis treatments to give doctors the latest evidence based information on the most effective treatments.

Patients Forums

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the budget for each patients forum, broken down by (a) staff and (b) non-staffing costs. [144809]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health is resourced to support patients forums in England. It has contracted with not-for-profit voluntary sector organisations called forum support organisations to provide support services to patients forums. The details of those individual contracts are not available due to commercial confidentiality. The requirements for individual patients forums are agreed locally by each forum support organisation, taking into account the individual needs of that forum.

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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members each patients forum had at 1 December, broken down by (a) sex and (b) ethnicity. [144810]

Ms Rosie Winterton: At 1 December 2003 the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) had received over 5,000 applications from members of the public volunteering to become members of the 572 patients forums. Each forum requires seven members to operate and at 1 December 2003, 498 forums had seven or more volunteers.

The information requested broken down by sex and ethnicity is not currently available. However the CPPIH will be analysing the demographic profile of all patients forums as part of its work to ensure that forums reflect their local communities.


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