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26 Jan 2005 : Column 412W—continued

Domiciliary Oxygen Supplies

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the new domiciliary oxygen contract will make available the supply of liquid oxygen; and when he expects it to be implemented. [210236]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Liquid oxygen will be available as part of the new domiciliary oxygen contract where this is a suitable option that meets the clinical and other needs of the individual patient. This is part of an integrated service that allows patients improved access to a range of service options and to benefit from new and developing technologies. We expect to complete evaluation of tenders in the next few weeks and will announce awards as soon as possible. The national health service will work closely with successful contractors over the coming month to introduce the new service from 1 October 2005.

Drug Misuse

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with his colleagues in the Home Department with regard to the appropriate balance between drug abuse prevention and drug abuse treatment; and if he will make a statement. [210574]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government drugs strategy covers drug prevention, supply, drug related crime and drug treatment. Both drug prevention and treatment are vital components of the overall strategy.

There are regular discussions between the Home Office and the Department on drug prevention and treatment. These cross-Government meetings discuss the work programmes, which are being implemented in support of the drugs strategy.

Eastbourne District General Hospital

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many operations at Eastbourne District General Hospital have been cancelled in each of the last six months. [208104]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: Data about cancelled operations are collected at trust level only. Eastbourne District General Hospital is part of East Sussex Hospitals National Health Service Trust. Cancelled operations figures for East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust are shown in the table.
Cancelled operations for East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust

Quarter 1
(April to June 2004–05)
Quarter 2
(July to September 2004–05)
Number of elective
Number of cancelled
Number re-admitted
within 28 days

GP Surgeries (Lancashire)

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioner surgeries have been upgraded in Lancashire using the local improvement finance trust programme; and if he will make a statement. [209999]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Currently, no surgeries have been upgraded in Lancashire through the national health service local improvement finance trust programme. However, three new buildings are opening to patients in Wigan between February and June 2005, replacing 11 existing practice premises. A further three new schemes in Darwen, Bacup and Nelson are opening shortly, replacing an additional 16 existing practice premises. Similar developments are under construction in Burnley, St. Helens and Oldham and will be opening to patients in 2005 and 2006.

GPs (North Yorkshire)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on emergency cover for general practitioners in North Yorkshire. [210129]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Primary care trusts in North Yorkshire have set up a team to finalise future arrangements for the provision of out-of-hours services. In the meantime, the North Yorkshire emergency doctors service is continuing to operate.

Health Care-associated Infection

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding has been allocated for research into health care-associated infections; and what plans he has for how that funding should be spent. [208079]

Miss Melanie Johnson: During the first half of 2003, the Department commissioned a £2.5 million strategic programme of research aimed at improving scientific understanding of antimicrobial resistance. £590,000 of that total sum is being spent on projects that will provide information relating to preventing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
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The publication of the Department's report, Winning Ways—working together to reduce healthcare associated infection in England", in December 2003 was accompanied by the announcement that £3 million would be allocated to fund a new research programme on healthcare associated infections.

We have commissioned the National observational study of the effectiveness of the Clean Your Hands campaign and a cluster randomised controlled trials of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of feedback in intensive care units and acute general medical wards". A further call for research proposals is about to be issued, following the Department's recent science summit.

Laser Eye Surgery

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what independent audits have taken place on the (a) efficacy and (b) safety of private provision of laser eye surgery. [209317]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has reviewed available evidence on Laser in situ keratomileusis for the treatment of refractive errors (short and long-sightedness) and issued guidance to the national health service on 15 December 2004. A copy is available on the NICE website at . We are not aware of other independent audits.

Methadone and Buprenorphine

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pharmacies supply prescription (a) methadone and (b) buprenorphine; and how many of these are independent pharmacies. [209105]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on specific pharmacies supplying methadone and buprenorphine is not held centrally, but any community pharmacy providing national health service pharmaceutical services presented with a prescription is expected to provide the medicines ordered with reasonable promptness and in accordance with other legal requirements.

NHS Personnel Costs

Mr. Neil Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the market force factor is applied to personnel costs for NHS employees beyond agreed weighting factors. [209608]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 20 January 2005]: The market forces factor (MFF) is a component of the weighted capitation formula used to inform allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs). The purpose of the MFF is to equalise the commissioning power of PCTs by adjusting for unavoidable variations in national health service trust costs directly related to location.

The MFF is made up of the following elements.
Staff MFFaround 70
Land MFFaround 1
Buildings MFFaround 4

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Skipton Fund

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) total monetary value and (b) average value is of the (i) 2,560 stage one payments and (ii) 112 stage two payments which had been made as at 6 December 2004 to the Skipton Fund under the ex gratia payment scheme for people infected with hepatitis C. [209147]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Under the hepatitis C ex-gratia payment scheme, a standard lump sum stage 1 payment of £20,000 may be available to people who have been infected with hepatitis C from contaminated blood products prior to September 1991. A further £25,000 can be claimed by applicants who have already received stage 1 payments, where the disease has progressed.

The table shows the cost of payments made as at 6 December 2004.
Number of payments madeCost of payments (£)
Stage 1 applications2,56051,200,000
Stage 2 applications1122,800,000

Special Hospitals

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) consultants and (b) staff there have been in (i) Rampton, (ii) Broadmoor and (iii) Ashworth special hospitals in each of the last 10 years. [210899]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 25 January 2005]: The number of consultants and total numbers of other staff for Ashworth and Broadmoor hospitals from 1996 to 2004 are shown in table 1.
Table 1

Ashworth hospital
Broadmoor hospital

Table 2 shows the numbers of consultants and all grades of nursing staff for Rampton hospital from 2001 to 2004.
Table 2

Rampton hospital
ConsultantsNursing staff

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