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8 Dec 2004 : Column 557W—continued

MRSA

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of the MRSA virus have been detected at Medway Maritime Hospital since 2001; and how many of these cases were detected on the Trafalgar Ward. [201532]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 2 December 2004]: The only information on the bacterium methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSR) available by named trust is the mandatory surveillance system for MRSA blood stream infections. Data are available by trust but not by individual hospital or ward. Information for Medway National Health Service Trust is shown in the table.
MRSA bacteraemia rates by trust category(specialist trust(Medway NHS Trust/Thames Gateway NHS Trust(13)

PeriodMRSA per
1,000 bed-days
Number of MRSA bacteraemias
April 2001 to March 2002(13)0.0831
April 2002 to March 20030.1329
April 2003 to March 20040.2248


(13) Medway Maritime hospital is part of Medway NHS Trust, but data for 2001–02 was reported for Medway NHS Trust/Thames Gateway NHS Trust.


Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many times the cause of death at the Medway Maritime Hospital has been recorded as being due to the MRSA virus since 2001. [201533]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 2 December 2004]: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
 
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Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Derek Wyatt, dated 7 December 2004:

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when the last review of NHS laundry guideline HSG (95) 18 took place; and for how long the temperatures recommended by the guideline have remained unchanged; [200333]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of NHS laundry guideline HSG (95) 18 in (a) achieving complete disinfection of laundry and (b) reducing the incidence of MRSA; [200334]

(3) what plans he has to update NHS laundry guideline HSG (95) 18 in relation to tackling MRSA; and if he will make a statement. [200335]

Mr. Hutton: Health Service Guidance (95) 18 provides advice and guidance to national health service organisations on the use of laundry practices to reduce possible risks of infection.

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is heat labile and is effectively destroyed at the temperatures advised in HSG (95) 18. There are no plans to update laundry guidance HSG (95) 18 in relation to tackling MRSA. No review of the guidance has been undertaken since it was published in 1995 and the temperature guidelines have remained unchanged since publication of the guidance. The guidance still adequately covers the issue of temperature, disinfection and MRSA.

NHS Walk-in Centres

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what grounds trust hospitals are disallowed from bidding for NHS walk-in centres. [201527]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 2 December 2004]: No organisation or body has been disallowed from submitting an expression of interest for national health service walk-in centres in response to the advertisements on 4 November 2004 and 6 November 2004.

Nurses

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses were employed in the NHS on a (a) permanent and (b) temporary basis (i) in total and (ii) broken down by (A) strategic health authority and (B) trust in each year since 1997. [201654]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 6 December 2004]: Information on the number of nurses employed in the national health service by strategic health authority and by NHS organisation in each year since 1997 has been placed in the Library. A breakdown showing those employed on permanent and temporary contracts is not available.
 
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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 29 November 2004, Official Report, columns 57–8W, ref 199923, what the whole-time equivalent figure for the period September 2003 to March 2004 was; and what estimates his Department has made of further headcount and whole-time equivalent increases between March 2004 and 2008. [202166]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 6 December 2004]: As at March 2004, there are an estimated 314,000 whole-time equivalent qualified nurses, including practice nurses, employed in the national health service in England, including an estimated increase of 9,000 since September 2003.

"Delivering the NHS Plan" included an expectation that by 2008, there would be 35,000 more headcount nurses and midwives employed in the NHS than there were in 2001. This expectation has already been met.

We have no further specific targets for increases in the NHS nursing workforce, though we expect that there will be further significant increases.

Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what stage the review of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health has reached; and if he will make a statement. [201719]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 6 December 2004]: No review of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) is being carried out. A consultation exercise to inform the future support arrangements for patients' forums, once the CPPIH has been abolished, is currently underway. The closing date for the consultation exercise is 30 January 2005.

AIDS

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much Government money has been spent on research into the prevention and cure of AIDS. [199555]

Miss Melanie Johnson: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

School Nurses

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has to expand the school nurse service. [203187]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is available in the White Paper "Choosing Health—Making healthy choices easier" published in November—chapter 3 paragraph 30.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many school nurses have been employed by the NHS in England in each year since 1991; and how many school nurses he expects the NHS will employ in each year until 2011. [199462]

Mr. Hutton: Information is not available on the number of school nurses employed in the national health service since 1991. Reliable information will be available from the September 2004 work force census and we intend to publish the data in February 2005.
 
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By 2010, every primary care trust will be resourced to have at least one full-time, qualified school nurse working with each cluster or group of primary schools and the related secondary school, taking account of health needs and school populations.

Timber

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the refurbishment projects that (a) are in progress and (b) will start in the next six months in (i) his Department and (ii) the NHS; what action is being taken to ensure that these will procure timber from legal and sustainable sources; and whether guidance will be issued to contractors on each of these projects to ensure that the timber used on-site during refurbishment also comes from legal and sustainable sources. [201262]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Within the Department's administrative estate, there are three main refurbishment projects that have commenced or will commence in the next six months. It is the Department's policy that any timber used in such projects should be procured from legal and sustainable sources to meet the requirement of the United Kingdom Government's timber procurement policy.

There is no central list of such projects within the national health service. However, the NHS Environment Assessment Tool issued to the NHS requires this policy to be upheld.


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