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Food Supplements Directive

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will table amendments to the Food Supplements Directive in the Council of Ministers to allow the sale on domestic national markets of products which lie outside the technical restrictions on sale. [223822]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Food Supplements Directive was agreed in 2002. The European Commission would need to bring forward new proposals in order for amendments to be made to the Directive.

Health Care Worker Screening

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recommendations on healthcare worker screening were made by the ad hoc risk assessment group commissioned by his Department in December 2002; and which of these recommendations have been implemented. [223755]

Mr. Hutton: The recommendations of the ad hoc risk assessment group commissioned in December 2002 will be placed in the Library shortly.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish his Department's consultation on screening healthcare workers. [223756]

Mr. Hutton: Consultation on screening healthcare workers was published in 2002.

Health Direct

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2004, Official Report, column 503W, on Health Direct, when he expects to announce the (a) set-up and (b) running costs of Health Direct; and if he will make a statement. [224324]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Health Direct will be set up starting from 2007. A scoping study will be undertaken during 2005 to establish the customer requirements and service definition for the Health Direct service. Set up and running costs for the service will be established during the subsequent procurement phase, which we expect to complete by the end of 2006.

Health Expenditure

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of health expenditure relating to (a) nicotine, (b) alcohol and (c) illegal drug use in each of the last five years. [223705]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: Smoking costs the national health service between £1.4 billion and £1.7 billion a year in England, as set out in the White Paper, Choosing Health 1 .

The interim analytical report prepared by the strategy unit to support the production of the alcohol harm reduction strategy for England estimated the cost annually to the health service due to alcohol related harm as between £1.4 and £1.7 billion.

The Home Office research study 249, The economic and social costs of class A drug misuse in England and Wales, 2000", estimated that:

Health White Paper

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2004, Official Report, column 504W, on Health White Paper, what estimate he has made of the cost of implementing the Healthy Start programme (a) in total and (b) broken down by (i) costs of the campaign aimed at families, (ii) costs of the communications and training programme for health professionals and (iii) other costs. [224322]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Healthy Start will replace the existing welfare food scheme and will be phased in from summer 2005. We expect that Healthy Start expenditure should continue at a similar level to the welfare food scheme. The budget is demand-led and current expenditure is approximately £140 million per annum.

A draft regulatory impact assessment (RIA), which includes breakdowns of the expected costs of Healthy Start, was published in the Healthy Start consultation on draft regulations that was launched on 1 February 2005. This RIA will be revised in light of the responses to the consultation and before Parliament is invited to approve the regulations. The consultation ends on 26 April.

A communications strategy and health professional training activities for Healthy Start are currently in development and will link in with communications and training to be provided as part of the actions set out in the Choosing a Better Diet: a food and health action plan".

Hospital Acquired Infections

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the national audit of deaths caused by hospital acquired infections announced by the Chief Medical Officer in December 2003 is operational; and if he will make a statement. [218119]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department of Health asked the Office for National Statistics and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to undertake jointly a
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confidential, qualitative study on a proportion of deaths which may be associated with healthcare associated infection.

This study requires the collection and analysis of detailed information that is not collected routinely. This study will develop new methodologies enabling detailed analyses of case reports.

Preliminary work has been carried out and it is for the HPA and Office for National Statistics to take matters forward.

Hospital-Acquired Infections

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the rate of surgical site infection was in each quarter since October 1997, broken down by category of surgical procedure. [222810]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Cumulative data from the Health Protection Agency's (HPA) voluntary reporting scheme for surgical site infection are published annually. The following table covers the period October 1997 to December 2003.
Rate of surgical site infection (SSI) by category of surgical procedure: October 1997 to December 2003

Surgical procedureRate of SSI95 per cent. confidence limit lower-upper
Abdominal hysterectomy2.01.8–2.3
Bile duct, liver, or pancreatic surgery11.37.1–17.1
Coronary artery bypass graft4.34.0–4.6
Gastric surgery9.97.0–13.7
Total hip replacement2.22.1–2.4
Hip hemiarthroplasty4.94.6–5.3
Knee prosthesis1.41.3–1.5
Large bowel surgery9.38.8–9.9
Limb amputation14.913.3–16.8
Open reduction of fracture3.83.3–4.3
Small bowel surgery10.18.5–11.9
Vascular surgery6.76.1–7.4

HPA Communicable Disease Report (CDR) Weekly 2004, volume 14, 21, 20 May

The mandatory reporting scheme for orthopaedic surgical site infections was introduced in April 2004 and the first year's data will be published later this year.

Influenza Pandemic Plan

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the target rate for the update of immunisation against infection in the event of an influenza pandemic will be, assuming that an effective vaccine has been obtained. [220983]

Miss Melanie Johnson: If supplies of pandemic influenza vaccine are limited, its use would be prioritised as outlined in the pandemic influenza contingency plan. However, if sufficient supplies were available, it would be offered to all eligible individuals.

Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether guidance issued by the Joint Committee on vaccinations and immunisations is mandatory for (a) primary care trusts and (b) hospital trusts. [224661]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: It is a matter for clinical governance on how Joint Committee on vaccinations and immunisations recommendations are implemented.

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