|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what elements of hospital cleanliness were assessed in the process of compiling the 2004 Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) scores for hospital cleanliness; how the elements assessed differed from those used to compile the PEAT hospital cleanliness scores in previous years; for what reasons these changes were introduced; and what further plans he has to change the PEAT hospital cleanliness assessment procedure. 
Mr. Hutton: The latest patient environment action team assessment included cleanliness of the external grounds, entrances and reception areas, wards, emergency departments, other departments and waiting areas, public areas, departure lounges, toilets and bathrooms. In addition, cleanliness is a factordirectly or indirectlyin areas relating to waste handling, linen, decor, hard and soft furnishings, lifts, stairwells and staff uniforms. Previous assessments included these areas but not in the same level of detail.
The 2005 assessment has been amended to include a section relating to aspects of infection control, and discussions are under way with the Healthcare Commission about the design of the assessment from 2006.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the costs, including the fee for the radiologists report, of MRI scans performed in (a) private sector mobile MRI scanners and (b) NHS static scanners. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 6 December 2004]: The exact costs of the scanning and reporting procedure is a matter of commercial confidence.
The scans performed within the central contract with Alliance will cost less than half the equivalent national health service price over the five-year period of the contract. This represents good value for money in addition to boosting NHS capacity.
Trusts are at liberty to commission services themselves from Independent Sector (IS) providers, and there are approximately 30 mobile magnetic resonance imaging scanners operating within the NHS on this basis. These are private arrangements and may vary in price depending on the provider.
Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made in reducing the salt content in processed food. 
Miss Melanie Johnson:
As part of a programme of work on reducing salt in the diet, which includes working with the industry and a public health campaign, the Food Standards Agency and the Department have received about 50 salt reduction plans from the food industry. These contain a range of commitments to reductions.
13 Jan 2005 : Column 610W
Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he had with broadcasters prior to the publication of proposals for limitations on advertising on children's television set out in the Public Health White Paper. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department discussed its proposals for restrictions on the advertising and promotion of food to children, as set out in the White Paper "Choosing Health: Making Healthier Choices Easier", with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and with Ofcom and other key Government Departments and agencies. There were no formal discussions with individual broadcasters in the development of those proposals, although Ofcom and relevant Government Departments will be discussing the detail of the proposals with key stakeholders, including broadcasters, in due course.
Planning for the implementation of this and a number of other initiatives are under way and more details will be announced in 2005, when the Government will publish their delivery plan for the White Paper.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provisions have been put in place to allow NHS professionals and staff who wish to do so to volunteer to travel to South Asia to assist the ongoing relief effort following the tsunami disaster; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: Advice received from the Department for International Development has confirmed that, due to the large-scale Government and public response of many countries, the affected areas are receiving adequate medical supplies and equipment and that, at present, no additional medical or nursing staff are required.
The Department is aware that some national health service staff may wish to volunteer to work in the region. This is an issue for local NHS management. This situation is being monitored regularly and should the position change, the Department would give urgent consideration to how any NHS response should be co-ordinated.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what special assistance the NHS is offering the on-going relief effort in South Asia following the tsunami disaster; and if he will make a statement. 
Advice received from the Department for International Development has confirmed that, due to the large-scale Government and public response of many countries, the affected areas are receiving adequate medical supplies and equipment and that, at
13 Jan 2005 : Column 611W
present, no additional medical or nursing staff are required. This situation is being monitored regularly and should the position change, the Department is actively considering how any national health service response would be handled.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision the NHS has made to treat UK nationals returning to England from South Asia requiring care and treatment following the tsunami disaster; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: The Department has taken strategic co-ordination of the national health service response to the repatriation of injured nationals and has activated its major incident co-ordination centre. Repatriation is on-going via three receiving airportsHeathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. At each airport reception centre, triage, care for minor injuries and referral for further treatment, as required, is being managed by the local ambulance services and NHS trusts.
In addition, as the number of people who have suffered bereavement or other psychological trauma is likely to be significant, the Department is working with the NHS, the British Red Cross and other voluntary organisations to co-ordinate the provision of counselling services to those affected. This co-ordinated approach is designed to provide quality assurance and to promote best practice in the management of acute stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will place in the Library the analysis on which the statement that lower paid workers will benefit most from moving the civil service pension scheme to average salary calculation was based. 
Mr. Milburn [holding answer 20 December 2004]: The document "Building a sustainable future" sets out the Cabinet Office's proposals for changes to the civil service pension arrangements. The proposed arrangements will be fairer between civil servants. Lower paid workers are one of the groups for whom the new model is more likely to be fairer.
The analysis on which this answer is based is not held in a single document but has resulted from various modelling exercises and advice from the scheme actuary, including data from previous actuarial valuations. I will place a brief note summarising the key issues in the Library.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by the Office in each of the last two years; and what the cost is to public funds in each case. 
Equipment leasing arrangements and costs entered into by the Cabinet Office in each of the last two years are shown in the table.
13 Jan 2005 : Column 612W
|Entered into in financial year 2003/04||Entered into in financial year 2002/03||Total|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|