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18 Nov 2004 : Column 1978W—continued

MRI/CT Scanners

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people have been (a) killed and (b) injured in adverse incidents involving scanners in the NHS in (i) England and (ii) each strategic health authority in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement; [198239]

(2) how many adverse incidents involving (a) MRI and (b) CT scanners there have been in (i) England and (ii) each strategic health authority in each year since 1997; and if he will estimate the costs of these incidents. [198250]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Since 1997 a total of 147 incidents involving computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners have been reported to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
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110 of these involved MRI and 37 CT procedures.
Number of incidents reported to MHRA

2004 to date172845

The identification of strategic health authorities where these incidents occurred is only available following a more detailed interrogation of the MHRA's adverse incident database.

The costs of these incidents is not known, as this information was not reported to the MHRA at the time.

Of the 37 incidents relating to CT scanning, three have resulted in injuries to patients. These have been classified as "minor" injuries, resulting from software problems, which led to slightly more radiation than expected being delivered to the patients. These were not deemed statistically significant.

Forty-seven of the 110 incidents relating to MRI scanning have resulted in minor injuries, and there has been one fatality.

This fatality occurred when a patient who had a cardiac pacemaker in situ underwent a MRI procedure.

Cardiac pacemakers are an absolute contra-indication to undertaking MRI scans and there was a breakdown in local policies and procedures which led to this patient being scanned. Local scanning procedures and policies have been considerably revised to prevent any re-occurrence.

The MHRA attended a meeting of EUCOMED (European medical technologies industry body) in September 2004 where the issue of the compatibility of implants with MRI scanners was discussed. This meeting recommended that a further meeting dedicated entirely to this problem involving EUCOMED, COCIR (European coordination committee of the radiological and electromedical industry), representatives of major implant manufacturers, and representatives of MRI manufacturers should take place in Brussels early next year (February 2005).

The remaining injuries have mainly resulted in skin reddening, or minor burns, caused by the heating effect of the coils used in MRI scanning. Most of these appear to have been due to user error in placing the coils. Work is on-going to improve both manufacturers' information on coil usage and to ensure that operators of this equipment are fully aware of the potential for injury to patients if this advice is not followed.

Where equipment has been found to be faulty this has been addressed with the manufacturers and changes implemented.

No injuries to patients were reported prior to 2000.
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Injuries caused by CT and MRI scanners reported to MHRA

2004 to date10

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of (a) MRI scans and (b) CT scans were conducted as outpatient procedures in the latest period for which figures are available. [198242]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Data outlining how many outpatient procedures took place for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and computer tomography (CT) scans is not currently collected centrally.

However, a count of imaging and radiodiagnostic examinations or tests by imaging modality is collected on the Department's KH12 return. Data on MRI and CT scans is given in the table.
Total number of imaging and radiodiagnostic examinations or tests, CT and MRI, England, 1995–96 to 2002–03


Department of Health form KH12

MS Nurses

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on local services of his Department's scheme for centrally-funded multiple sclerosis specialist nurses; [195910]

(2) which primary care trusts have received funding under his Department's scheme for centrally-funded multiple sclerosis specialist nurses, broken down by amount; [195911]

(3) which primary care trusts are awaiting confirmation of funding under his Department's scheme for centrally-funded multiple sclerosis specialist nurses; and when he expects them to receive confirmation of funding. [195912]

Dr. Ladyman: There are no outstanding applications and all successful bids have been funded. Details of the allocations have been placed in the Library.

Professor Tom Walley of Liverpool University has been commissioned to undertake a review of the scheme.

NHS Care for the Elderly

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to improve
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(a) intermediate care, (b) rehabilitation, (c) stroke services and (d) community care for the elderly in North Staffordshire. [198595]

Dr. Ladyman: The national service framework for older people was published on 27 March 2001. It set national standards to improve services for older people, whether they are at home, in residential care or in hospital.

Decisions on how these services are developed to meet national standards are taken locally. Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA) reports that:

Over 1.5 million has now been invested in developing intermediate care in North Staffordshire with additional investment to come as part of the "Fit for the Future" project. The hospital discharge teams have been amalgamated.

In 2003–04 1,813 patients received national health service funded intermediate care with the numbers increasing each month. There are now two community intermediate care teams, one for the city and one for the county and both are working very closely with social services. A total of £0.75 million has now been transferred from the health community to the two social services departments to further support community developments.

Intermediate care is being developed by both health and social services through in-patient and community service provision. While primary care trusts (PCTs) are leading on the majority of elderly care developments, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust is working with them to pilot intermediate care in-patient provision for older people with mental health needs.

Rehabilitation at Bucknall Hospital has recently undertaken a modernisation programme with the twin intentions of improving standards of care and reducing length of stay.

A review of the total stroke care pathway across primary and secondary care is in progress taking on board the latest evidence based clinical practice.

Planning has commenced to further develop the stroke rehabilitation facility at Bucknall Hospital in line with the public consultation on post acute intermediate care linked to the "Fit for the Future" project. Interserve were appointed in the middle of June as the preferred supply chain partner to work with all stakeholders to deliver this facility.
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In close collaboration with the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and Stoke and Staffordshire Social Services Departments, improvements have been made in using the community hospital beds to support step down care from acute beds primarily for older people.

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