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15 Dec 2004 : Column 1152W—continued

Health Funding

Mr. Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list (a) delivered and (b) approved publicly-funded capital projects in the health sector in East Birmingham since 2001, broken down by estimated capital value. [204186]

Dr. Ladyman: Birmingham and the Black Country Strategic Health Authority reports that the main publicly funded capital schemes for the three national health service organisations covering East Birmingham are as follows:
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust

SchemeAmount (£000)
2001–02Arden Leigh medium secure unit500
2002–03Arden Leigh medium secure unit11,911
2003–04Arden Leigh medium secure unit5,860
George and Elizabeth wards refurbishment1,422
Small health in-patient facility (completed)450
2004–05Arden Leigh medium secure unit (completion)800
George and Elizabeth wards refurbishment (completion)450

In addition, the trust has an annual capital allocation for maintenance, etc, of £2 million.
East Birmingham Primary Care Trust

SchemeAmount (£000)
2003–04Total capital programme includes:1,529
redevelopment of Stockland Green health centre
upgrading of Pearl GP premises200
2004–05Castle Vale new health centre3,300

The PCT came into existence in 2002–03

Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust (Teaching)

SchemeAmount (£000)
2001–02Total capital programme includes:11,768
Medical wards development project6,758
Pathology modernisation619
2000–03Total capital programme includes:10,960
Yardley Green transfer3,260
Medical Wards Phase 21,220
Renal Expansion979
Day Surgery Hospital856
Sterilisation of Instruments779
2003–04Total capital programme includes:9,612
Audiology replacement1,308
CAT scanner525
2004–05Total capital programme includes:12,269
Audiology replacement1,192
MRI scanner868

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Hospital Cleaning Audit

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the criteria assessed by patient environment action teams when devising scores for cleanliness in hospitals. [204361]

Mr. Hutton: A copy of the 2005 assessment form to be used by patient environment action teams has been placed in the Library.

The final score is determined by reference to the assessment, but involves a weighting process that places greater emphasis on those aspects relating to cleanliness on wards, toilets and bathrooms and accident emergency and other departments, such as outpatients.

Hospital Trusts (Star Rating)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the star ratings system for NHS hospital trusts. [203886]

Mr. Hutton: The independent Healthcare Commission is responsible for national health service performance ratings and has launched a consultation on proposals to introduce a new health check for the NHS. This will continue to provide an annual rating of performance of NHS trusts.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what factors are taken into account when a NHS hospital trust is being assessed under the star ratings system; and if he will make a statement. [203887]

Mr. Hutton: The independent Healthcare Commission is responsible for developing and producing the national health service performance ratings. Details of how this will be done for 2004–05 will be posted on the Healthcare Commission's website at later this month.

Lyme Disease

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research he is undertaking into Lyme disease and its treatment; [203881]

(2) what steps he is taking to raise awareness of Lyme disease among healthcare professionals; [203882]

(3) how many reports of Lyme disease there have been in England in each year since 1986; and if he will make a statement; [203883]

(4) what steps he is taking to improve the treatment and management of Lyme disease within the national health service. [203884]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Surveillance of Lyme disease has been in place in England and Wales since 1986, and was enhanced in 1996 to provide a more complete clinical picture.

A total of 2,199 reports of Lyme disease were received between 1986 and 2003. Around 20 per cent., of these cases are known to have been acquired abroad.
Total reports received
1986 to 1992227
1993 to 1996235
1997 to 2000803
2003 (provisional data)330

15 Dec 2004 : Column 1154W

Advice to doctors about the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease are readily available. Highly sensitive tests for the detection of Lyme disease are readily available and accessible across the national health service. Public health officials in areas such as the New Forest, where the risks of being bitten by an infected tick are highest, have made their local general practitioners aware of relevant symptoms.

Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, usually doxycycline or amoxicillin and early treatment usually clears the initial rash within several days and helps to prevent the development of complications. More serious symptoms also respond to antibiotic treatment. Detailed studies have shown excellent long-term outcomes for most people who receive appropriate treatment. Guidance on the treatment of Lyme disease is available on the Health Protection Agency's (HPA) website:

Workshops organised jointly by the Department of Health, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the HPA were held in 2001 and 2002 to further raise awareness of healthcare professionals. These workshops brought together leading experts on the disease.

Following the completion of eight research projects investigating aspects of Lyme disease, the latest being in 1999, the Department is not currently undertaking research into Lyme disease.

National Programme for IT

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many local contracts were cancelled following his Department's decision to make Picture Archiving and Communications Systems a core service within the National Programme for Information Technology; and at what cost. [204329]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer on 14 December 2004]:


NHS Professionals

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the cost to date of NHS Professionals. [203062]

Mr. Hutton: NHS Professionals was initially allocated £7 million to support the start up of pilot sites. A further £24 million was invested in 2002–03 and £23.2 million in 2003–04. £26.6 million was allocated to support the establishment of the new special health authority for 2004–05.

The investment included a total of over £6.1 million during the financial years 2001–02 to 2003–04 to support the flexible careers scheme managed by NHS Professionals before the special health authority was established.
15 Dec 2004 : Column 1155W

NHS Staff (Pharmaceutical Company Funding)

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nursing posts in the NHS are funded by pharmaceutical companies, broken down by trust and the companies involved. [203203]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Nurse Numbers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 8 December 2004, Official Report, column 559W, on nurse numbers, on what (a) estimates and (b) timescales he bases his expectation of further significant increases. [204855]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 14 December 2004]: It is for national health Service organisations to determine the number of nurses needed locally.

The number of students entering training to become a nurse or midwife has increased by 62 per cent, since 1996–97. Combined with international recruitment, return to practice and the increasing numbers of newly qualified nurses, we expect to see increases in the nursing workforce.

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