Previous Section Index Home Page

24 Mar 2005 : Column 1077W—continued


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice he has given (a) hospitals and (b) other health facilities on (i) the wearing of staff uniforms outside those facilities, (ii) staff access to spare uniforms and (iii) the provision of laundry facilities. [224040]

Mr. Hutton: The Department has not issued guidance on the wearing or availability of uniforms in the healthcare environment.

It is for individual national health service trusts to determine their own policies on the wearing of uniforms away from the workplace. It is for the trust chief executive to ensure that nurses have enough suitable clothing and equipment to carry out their duties effectively.

Health Service Guidance 95(18), published in 1995, provides advice and guidance to NHS organisations on laundry practices. The prevention and control of infection is part of the overall risk management within the healthcare environment and NHS trusts are required to have risk management protocols in place.

Waiting Times

Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time to see (a) an audiologist and (b) an ear, nose and throat specialist is in the Fareham and Gosport Primary Care Trust area. [222702]

24 Mar 2005 : Column 1078W

Ms Rosie Winterton: The table shows the average waiting time to see an ear nose and throat specialist in the Fareham and Gosport Primary Care Trust (PCT) area. Information is not collected centrally on waiting times for audiology.
Average waiting time to see an ear, nose and throat specialist (specialty: 120—ENT) relating to Fareham and Gosport PCT area

Quarter 1Quarter 2Quarter 3
Seen 0 to <4140143219
Seen 4 to <13336344334
Seen 13 to <17232017
Seen 17 to <21111
Seen 21 plus00
Average (weeks)6.966.925.81

Figures shown are the median wait.

Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the accumulated deficit is of the Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust; what measures are being taken to reduce the deficit; and by when the Trust is required (a) to bring its budget into balance and (b) to eliminate the deficit. [223725]

Dr. Ladyman: The accumulated financial deficit for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals National Health Service Trust at 31 March 2004 was £25.1 million. West Midlands South strategic health authority (SHA) has provided planned financial support in the current year (2004–05) of £5 million.

A comprehensive financial recovery plan has been developed involving all of the organisations within the Worcestershire health economy. Work on this recovery plan is continuing, with expenditure, efficiency and service effectiveness under review. The financial year 2005–06 is the final year of this plan. The SHA continues to work with the Trust to ensure that it achieves financial balance on a year-by-year basis.