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23 Feb 2004 : Column 290W—continued

NHS Premises (Accidental Injury)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths from accidental injury on NHS premises were recorded in each year since 1997. [151719]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The number of fatal injuries on national health service premises reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in each financial year since 1997–98 are shown in the table. The figures are for work-related injuries. This covers workers (employees and self-employed people) who are injured at work or in connection with their work, and members of the public (including hospital patients) injured as a result of the work activity of someone else. Injuries arising directly out of the conduct of medical treatment by a doctor or dentist are not reportable to HSE.

Fatal injuries on NHS premises as reported to all enforcing authorities, 1997–98 to 2002–03(80)

WorkersMembers of the publicTotal

(80) Provisional.


Figures relate to Great Britain.


Reports to Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995.

NHS Professionals

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS Professionals accepts NHS staff with work permits to work as agency staff. [152992]

Mr. Hutton: Under current Home Office regulations, national health service staff employed under work permit arrangements are not permitted to undertake supplementary employment through a recruitment agency.

NHS Trusts

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many trust franchise managers have terminated their contract before its expiry; and what action has been taken against them in each case; [153273]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 6 February 2004]: National Health Service franchise contracts are a matter for agreement between the individual concerned and his/her employer. Questions relating to specific clauses within such contracts can be answered only by these parties.

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The Department has no remit to apply a penalty to the chief executive of a franchised trust should he/she choose to terminate his/her contract before it is due to finish.

The chief executives of two franchised trusts have terminated their franchise contracts before they were due to finish. Any subsequent action taken as a result of this is a matter for their employers.


Mr. Archie Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many nurse practitioners he estimates are required to ensure compliance in England with the European working time directive; [153706]

Mr. Hutton: It is not possible to estimate a figure for the number of nurse practitioners required, as ensuring compliance with the working time directive (WTD) requires a range of different approaches in different trusts and services, only some of which will require nurse practitioners to be employed.

The 20 WTD pilot projects currently in progress include seven employing nurse practitioners and five more which have developed senior specialist nurse roles. Examples of these are nurses trained as first assistants in surgery, as perioperative surgical practitioners, as specialist mental health nurses, and as pre-admission nurses. These pilots have shown that nurse practitioners and nurses in specialist roles can be extremely effective at both helping a trust to achieve compliant rotas and improving the quality of patient care. In all of these pilots, however, the nurses' roles are combined with changes to medical staff working patterns, and changes to service delivery, which together improve WTD compliance.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the vacancy rate is for the nursing grades that cover nurse practitioners for each strategic health authority in England. [153708]

Mr. Hutton: It is not possible to identify nurse practitioners within the vacancy information collected. The rate of vacancies lasting three months or more for all qualified nurses was 2.9 per cent. in March 2003, down from 3.9 per cent. in 2000.

Nursing Homes

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people in nursing homes receive (a) higher, (b) medium and (c) lower level band funding in (i) England and (ii) Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement; [155500]

Dr. Ladyman: Data on the number of people receiving each band of national health service funded nursing care are not collected centrally. There are roughly 20,000 people in nursing homes, at any one time, who are in

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receipt of fully funded NHS continuing care. All strategic health authorities have recently agreed fully funded NHS continuing care eligibility criteria that apply in their area.


Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations were performed in NHS hospitals to correct mistakes made in previous operations through (a) error and (b) misdiagnosis in each year from 1990 to 2002. [155991]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not collected centrally.

However, the Government have established the National Patient Safety Agency to improve the safety of national health service patient care by promoting an open and fair culture and by introducing during 2004 a national reporting and learning system for adverse events.

Organ Donor Register

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of people signed onto the organ donor register. [154619]

Ms Rosie Winterton: People are encouraged to join the organ donor register through a number of initiatives, including when they apply for a driving licence, register with a new general practitioner, or apply for a new passport. Additionally, UK Transplant runs publicity campaigns and targets action to raise the profile of organ donation, including specific advertising and information campaigns to increase organ donation from the South Asian and black African and Caribbean populations.

UK Transplant is currently running a pilot scheme with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to send out organ donor registration forms to all vehicle owners with the road tax reminder during January, March and April this year. The pilot will cover nine million vehicles and UK Transplant will assess the effectiveness of the pilot later in the year.

There are currently over 11 million people on the register—19 per cent. of the United Kingdom population.


Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve services for people with osteoporosis in the South West. [153815]

Ms Rosie Winterton: National action to improve services for people with osteoporosis is being taken forward through the work of the orthopaedic services improvement team, part of the National Health Service Modernisation Agency, and implementation of the national service framework (NSF) for older people. The prevention, treatment, care and support of those at risk of osteoporosis are important components in the delivery of the integrated falls services that the NSF requires to be in place locally by April 2005.

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In the South West, the responsibility for commissioning services for people with osteoporosis rests with individual primary care trusts. Local programmes are being developed as part of the NSF to improve services for older people and prevent falls, which includes action on osteoporosis. For example, in South Devon an initiative called Osteoporosis South Devon was launched in October 2002 and is a new service for primary and secondary care to identify those at higher risk of osteoporosis.

Action is also being taken across the region to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. To this end, a South West regional physical activity group has been set up, which is developing a sport and physical activity plan for the South West.

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to issue guidelines on the treatment of osteoporosis. [153943]

Dr. Ladyman: The anticipated publication date for the guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of technologies for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis is June 2004. A clinical guideline is also in preparation on the assessment of fracture risk and the prevention of osteoporotic fractures in individuals at high risk. The anticipated publication date for this guidance is June 2005.

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the preliminary recommendations of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on the drug treatment of osteoporosis. [154894]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence's consultation document does not constitute its formal guidance on this technology appraisal: the recommendations are preliminary and may change after the consultation. As a registered stakeholder of the guidance, the Department has responded to the consultation and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

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