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1 Sept 2004 : Column 908W—continued

Kidney Disease

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children are being treated for kidney disease. [185410]

Ms Rosie Winterton: There were 827 paediatric patients receiving renal replacement therapy for kidney failure in the United Kingdom in 2002, the latest year for which figures are available.

King's College Hospital Foundation Trust

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether, following the decision not to award King's College Hospital Trust foundation status, the elections held so far will be declared void. [185637]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 21 July 2004]: Section 4(1) of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 provides that a national health service trust may make an application to the independent regulator for authorisation to become a NHS foundation trust, if the application is supported by the Secretary of State. Section 4(4)(a) provides that once a NHS trust has made this application, the provisions of the trust's proposed constitution will have effect for the purpose of establishing an initial membership, electing a board of governors and appointing a board of directors, and enabling boards to make preparations for the performance of their functions. Applicant trusts are expected to implement their governance arrangements while the independent regulator considers their application.

The independent regulator has deferred consideration of the application made by King's College Hospital NHS Trust for authorisation on 1 July. The chairman of the independent regulator has asked the trust to submit further evidence by the end of the year, against which he will consider the application for authorisation. Therefore, prospective NHS foundation trust functions arising from that application continue to exist.

Litigation Expenditure

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer dated 13 July 2004, Official Report, column 1098W, what legal actions involving NHS funds have been initiated over the last five years, excluding those for clinical negligence; and if he will make a statement. [185210]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The liabilities to third parties scheme (LTPS) is a risk pooling scheme for national health service trusts, primary care trusts and special
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health authorities, which provides indemnity for non-clinical risks such as employers' and public liabilities. The scheme was introduced in 1999 and is operated by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA).

The table shows information provided by the NHSLA on the number of NHS resources spent on defending and initiating legal actions for non-clinical claims under the LTPS for the last five years.

Defence costsClaimant costsDamagesTotal

The amounts include funds from the LTPS and trusts' own funds for any excesses for which they may have been liable.
Trusts may insure outside of the LTPS scheme in certain circumstances. The amounts above do not include costs for insurance taken outside of the LTPS scheme.

Lost/Stolen Departmental Property

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the items that his Department has reported lost or stolen to the police from his Department's buildings and property since 2001. [185861]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The table lists the items reported lost or stolen from departmental buildings since January 2001 which have been reported to the police.
Digital cameras1
PC base units4
External modem1
Phone charger1

Medical Instruments

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 7 June 2004, Official Report, column 160W, on medical instruments, how much of the figure shown for each year was spent on (a) hildebrandt vaginal irrigating tubes, (b) suction curettes diameter 28 cm graduated, (i) 4 mm, (ii) 6 mm, (iii) 8 mm, (iv) 10 mm, (v) 12 mm and (vi) 14 mm and (c) hose connections curved, 11 mm diameter; and if he will make a statement. [179298]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is only held on vacuum curettes at 8 mm, 10 mm and 12 mm graduation. This is shown in the table. The information on the other instruments requested is not held centrally. The figures provided are based on instrument sales via the national health service purchasing and supply national contracts. These contracts are not mandatory,
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and therefore some NHS trusts buy instruments from other sources, as possibly are the other instruments in which the hon. Member has expressed an interest. These figures do not, therefore, cover the total NHS spend.
Amount (£)

Medical Secretaries

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take action to improve the remuneration of medical secretaries throughout the NHS; and if he will make a statement. [185010]

Mr. Hutton: Medical secretaries, along with other health workers, will receive a minimum 10 per cent. increase in basic pay over the three years 2003–04 to 2005–06. In addition, subject to a positive outcome of the planned second ballots by some national health service trades unions on the new pay system, many medical secretaries should also benefit under the assimilation arrangements provided by the new system.

The impact of "Agenda for Change" for all staff groups is currently being tested across 12 early implementer sites to ensure that the new system, which is underpinned by a job evaluation framework, provides a fair and comparable basis of employment for all staff, including medical secretaries.

Mental Health

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 27 May 2004, Official Report, column 1836W, on mental health, at what level such information is collected; if he will collect the information centrally in respect of the period sought; and if he will make a statement. [184695]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The national confidential inquiry (NCI) into suicide and homicide by people with mental illness collects information nationally on all people who complete suicide who were in contact with mental health services in the 12 months prior to death. In-patients are a priority for the NCI who collect information specifically related to those people who complete suicide whilst in in-patient care.

The NCI collects data on specific ligature points used for hanging; for example, bed curtain rails, hooks, handles, doors, bed heads and "other'. It does keep a list of "other' ligature points. The question about ligature points has been in the NCI questionnaire since 2000.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what procedures are in place to ensure the safety of (a) patients and (b) the public when electrical power cuts disable automatic door release mechanisms in acute mental health wards; and if he will make a statement. [184934]

Mr. Hutton: National health service trusts are responsible for the safety procedures that apply when there are power cuts in acute mental health wards. NHS Estates produced guidance in 1993, under Health
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Technical Memorandum (HTM) 2011 "Emergency Electrical Services—Management Policy", which is still extant, stating that each NHS site should have and be able to implement emergency procedures.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account is taken of the risk of suicide in guidance given for the building of acute mental health wards; and if he will make a statement. [184941]

Mr. Hutton: Health Building Note 35 (Part 1), published in 1996, is a guide to the accommodation requirements for acute mental health services. It focuses on acute units where patients may be disturbed or suicidal. It provides guidance on general functional and design requirements and stresses the need for the provision of a safe and therapeutic environment that helps patients feel at ease.

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