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19 Jan 2004 : Column 1068Wcontinued
Dr. Ladyman: The Department takes very seriously the points made in the report about the importance of public safety, and of protecting children. The Department of Health, Home Office, Department for Education and Skills and the Welsh Assembly Government published "Safeguarding Children in Whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced" in August 2002. Paragraphs 6.466.51 provide guidance on the use of covert video surveillance and references the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000.
This document was in response to the recommendation made within the Griffiths report to develop guidelines to assist the identification of children who have had illnesses feigned or induced by a carer within the framework of "Working Together to Safeguard Children (1999)", the Government's inter-agency guidance on child protection. It was the subject of public consultation prior to being published in 2002.
We have established the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) to focus our efforts to improve patient safety in the national health service and to run a new national reporting and learning system for patient safety incidents. The reporting system will be implemented across the NHS during 2004.
NHS staff will be able to report adverse incidents and "near misses" affecting NHS patient care to the NPSA, so that patterns and trends can be identified and lessons learnt in one part of the NHS can be properly shared with the whole of the health service.
The NHS Plan set out a review of consent procedures to ensure that good practice in seeking consent for both treatment and research is in place throughout the NHS. In November 2001, "The Good Practice in Consent Implementation Guide: Consent to Examination or Treatment", was published, containing a model consent policy and consent forms.
The Department published the Research Governance Framework in March 2001, aimed at continuous improvements and the reduction of unacceptable variations in research practice across health and social care. The Department has been monitoring NHS trusts' compliance with the framework since its publication.
In its 200203 annual research and development report, North Staffordshire hospitals reported satisfactorily on compliance with the research governance framework targets for March 2003 and that it was either already compliant or on target with the research governance
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framework targets for March 2004. Actual compliance with the March 2004 targets will be assessed in the 200304 annual research and development report.
The Department has commissioned a substantial audit of the use of continuous negative extrathoracic pressure at the University hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust (formerly North Staffordshire hospital NHS Trust). This is still on-going. The results will be published when the audit is completed.
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) district nurses, (b) community nurses and (c) midwives there were in (i) St. Helens, (ii) Merseyside, (iii) the North West and (iv) England in each year since 1992. 
|England||North West(39)||Cheshire and Merseyside(40)||St. Helens and Knowsley HA(41)|
(39) 19952001 data are based on Government Office Region areas, 2002 data is based on staffing figures for Q13 Greater Manchester SHA, Q14 Cumbria and Lancashire SHA, Q15 Cheshire and Merseyside SHA
(40) 19952001 figures are based on QDC Wirral HA:, QC7 Sefton HA, QC2 Liverpool HA , QC5 St. Helens and Knowsley HA, QCW South Cheshire, HA and QCV North Cheshire HA and for 2002 Cheshire and Merseyside SHA.
(41) Figures for St. Helens and Knowsley HA for 2002 are based on RBN St. Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust, 5J3 St. Helens PCT and 5J4 Knowsley PCT.
(42) Accurate comparable information is not available.
1. A new classification of the non-medical workforce was introduced in 1995. Information based on this classification is not directly comparable with earlier years.
2. Community nursing includes nurses employed in community learning disabilities, community psychiatry and community services excluding district nurses.
Department of Health Non-medical Workforce Census
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Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his Department's procurement policy with regard to offshore IT and call centre outsourcing; whether his Department is outsourcing IT and call centre jobs to offshore companies; to which countries his Department has outsourced these jobs; how much his Department has spent on this outsourcing in each of the last two years; and how much has been budgeted for this purpose for the next two years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department's procurement policy is based on value for money, having due regard to propriety and regularity and the requirements of the European Union Treaty, including the principle of non-discrimination, the European Community procurement directives and the United Kingdom's international obligations.
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