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16 Dec 2004 : Column 1321W—continued

Hospital Cleaning Audit

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will conduct an audit in early 2005 to assess whether his Department's guidance on improving hospital cleaning to fight MRSA is being implemented. [204201]

Miss Melanie Johnson: National health service trusts have been set a target to reduce Methicillin resistant "Staphylococcus aureus" rates by 50 per cent., by 2008
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and they will be judged on their performance against this target. The "Guide to Contracting for Cleaning" is one of a number of tools which have been made available to the NHS and it has been made clear that NHS trusts are expected to follow this guidance and to make resources available.

It is for the Healthcare Commission to assess the performance of hospital trusts in meeting the "Standards for Better Health", published in 2004.

Hospital Infections

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cleaning materials to combat MRSA are being assessed by the Health Protection Agency. [200891]

Miss Melanie Johnson: At the Department's request, the Health Protection Agency has convened a rapid review panel to consider the evidence relating to claims concerning prevention or control of infections such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This is an ongoing process and to date five products, which could be used for cleaning, have been assessed and reports on these products will be published shortly.

Human Rights Act

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases have been brought against his Department under the Human Rights Act 1998; and what the cost has been in (a) legal fees to defend cases and (b) compensation payments. [200779]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In line with policy and practice in other Government Departments, the Department of Health does not record separately those cases, which are brought against the Department involving the Human Rights Act 1998. Human rights are integrated into the general law and are rarely the sole basis of challenge. This makes them very difficult to count separately.

IT Systems (GP Practices)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on negotiations to introduce agreed IT systems into general practitioner practices. [204905]

Mr. Hutton: The national programme for information technology in England (NPfIT) has, from its inception, consulted closely with individual expert primary care practitioners, including practising general practitioners, as well as the national professional bodies and groups. This consultation helped to inform the user requirement which was published in the programme's output-based specification. Clinicians and users were also involved in evaluating the proof of solution demonstrators developed by suppliers, and in evaluating the supplier bid. In the procurement and delivery process, particularly in the development and
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testing phases, representative stakeholders are being consulted to ensure that their requirements and concerns are taken into account.

Local service providers (LSPs) act as prime contractors to deliver the elements of the national programme in a geographical area. It is the primary responsibility of the LSPs to work with a range of other suppliers to deliver the solutions that the national health service needs. This includes working with primary care system providers to ensure that the systems in use across the NHS conform to the national standards required and can be upgraded to integrate with new national applications as they come on line. All systems developed by suppliers contracted under NPfIT are subject to stringent testing prior to acceptance. All systems, whether NPfIT systems or existing GP or hospital systems, are subject to integration testing to ensure compliance. All systems are also made available to users in a "model community" environment for evaluation and feedback.

LIFT Programme (Newcastle)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been allocated to schemes under the Local Investment Finance Trust (LIFT) programme in the Newcastle primary care trust area; how much has been spent; and what the planned opening dates of new facilities financed under LIFT in the City of Newcastle are. [204410]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Newcastle primary care trust has been allocated £1.58 million in capital enabling funds and this has been used to support the delivery of new primary care premises at Brunton Park and Kenton Resource Centre, both opening to patients in March 2005 and Walker Health Centre, opening to patients in May 2005.

Local Authorities/Primary CareTrusts

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what scores were achieved by each (a) local authority and (b) primary care trust in (i) Hampshire and the Isle
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of Wight and (ii) Easington against each indicator used to determine the spearhead group of local authorities and primary care trusts; and what the source of each score was. [204951]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested is shown in the table.

The spearhead group is based upon the local authorities (LAs) which are in the "worst" fifth of areas for three or more of the following five factors:

The "worst" fifth of areas are identified as those with the shortest, that is, lowest average life expectancy and highest mortality rates and deprivation scores.

The spearhead group is identified in terms of LAs, using LA data. The spearhead group primary care trusts (PCTs) are identified as those PCTs that overlap geographically, either wholly or in part, with the spearhead group LAs. A PCT is not included in the spearhead group based on the data for the PCT, but based on the data for the LAs covering the same geographical area.

The source of data on life expectancy at birth is the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at

The source of data on mortality in people under 75 is the ONS mortality data set via the national centre for health outcomes development compendium of clinical and health indicators—available to NHS users only.

The indices of multiple deprivation are published by the office of the Deputy Prime Minister at 4610&l=3.
Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Easington rankings for the Spearhead Group

Data period 1995–97
All cancers
(persons aged under 75)
Circulatory disease
(persons aged under 75)
Male life expectancy at
Female life expectancy
at birth
Local authorityRanking(37)Score(38)RankingScoreRankingScoreRankingScore
Basingstoke and Deane1810143018502020
East Hampshire2190203019101770
Isle of Wight2970191016602580
New Forest2750311030103110
Test Valley3310269029202190

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Indices of Multiple
Deprivation (2004)
Ranked by LA average scoreScoreNumber of times score is in'worst' fifth
Basingstoke and Deane31100
East Hampshire32600
Isle of Wight12600
New Forest28400
Test Valley31500

(37) All rankings shown in the table are out of 352 local authorities, of which those ranked 71 or lower fall in to the 'worst' fifth in England. City of London and the Scilly Isles are excluded from the ranking list because of small numbers.
(38) Where the score is shown as "1" in the table then the ranking of the local authority falls in to the "worst" fifth in England, otherwise the score is zero.
The Spearhead Group is the group of local authorities that appear at least three times in the "worst' fifth.

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