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26 May 2005 : Column 225W—continued

Health Protection Agency

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Health Protection Agency is expected to publish the conclusions of its review of the law concerning the treatment of people with infectious diseases against their will. [542]

Caroline Flint: "Getting Ahead of the Curve", the infectious disease strategy published by the chief medical officer in January 2002, made clear our intention to review the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

In preparation for the review, the Department has asked the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to consider how public health practitioners might make more effective use of the powers currently provided by the 1984 Act, and what difficulties practitioners find with the current powers and what changes might be desirable. We expect to receive the results of the first instalment of the HPA's work by the end of June 2005 and will want to consider with the HPA at that stage when and in what form it would be appropriate to publish the results of its work.

We will decide, in the light of work by the HPA and of other developments, such as the World Health Organisation's adoption of new international health regulations, how to take the review forward. Our aim will be to consider whether and how the law could be modernised to ensure protection of the public, while respecting the rights of the individual. If it seems that changes to the law would be desirable, we shall of course want to consult those affected before proceeding.

Health Service Complaints

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many case managers have been appointed to review health service complaints referred to the Healthcare Commission; how many such cases are outstanding; and if she will make a statement. [102]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 23 March 2005]: The Healthcare Commission took on its role in handling the independent review stage of the national health service complaints process at the end of July 2004. I understand that there are currently 87 case managers working on independent review requests.

As at 23 May, the Commission had received 7,850 cases for review. Of these, 2,650 had been closed and reviews were being carried out on a further 2,650. 2,550 were being prepared for review.

Hospital Beds/Food

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated change in numbers of hospital beds is between 2005 and 2010, broken down by strategic health authority. [985]

Mr. Byrne: The Department does not estimate changes in hospital bed numbers. The latest capacity planning exercise, conducted in 2004, was designed to ensure there was sufficient activity in place to deliver the
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2006–07 to 2007–08 public service agreements targets. The Departmental focus was on the levels of elective, non-elective and diagnostics activity planned by strategic health authorities rather than bed numbers.

Determination of the number of hospital beds required to deliver planned levels of activity set out in local delivery plans is the responsibility of the national health service locally.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her estimate is of the incidence of hospital-induced malnutrition in each year since 1997. [248]

Jane Kennedy: This data are not collected centrally. A number of strategies are in place to manage, monitor and screen patients for under-nutrition in hospitals, residential care and the wider community. Nutritional screening is recommended for the care of specific groups, as part of locally determined services.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospitals (a) built since 1997, (b) under construction and (c) planned do not have on-site kitchens. [249]

Jane Kennedy: This information is not collected centrally. The requirements of any new build and the operational policies for catering are for local determination between trusts and contractors.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of hospital meals are prepared on-site. [250]

Jane Kennedy: This information is not collected centrally in the exact format requested. Data collected from trusts as part of the annual estates related information collection (ERIC) is shown in the table. The term "conventional" refers to food prepared on site. In addition, some of the meals provided through "cook chill", "cook freeze" and "other" services will also be produced on site. We do not have data on the exact amount of food produced on site through these latter processes.
Percentage of patient meals by production service/method—2003–04

Production service/methodPercentage
Cook chill plated6.67
Cook chill bulk30.44
Conventional plated30.99
Conventional bulk20.59
Cook freeze plated1.65
Cook freeze bulk8.5

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the better hospital food programme. [252]

Jane Kennedy: An assessment of the better hospital food (BHF) programme has been conducted by analysis
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of the results of patient environment action team (PEAT) visits, delivery against the BHF objectives and by national patient surveys.

All have shown improvement since the programme began. Figures are shown in the tables.
Table 1: Progress in terms of PEAT since 2001

(a) PEAT results 2002–03
Red (poor)
Amber (acceptable)
Green (good)

(b) PEAT results 2004


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Table 2: Progress against the 2001 BHF objectives

As at June:
Ward kitchen services256723208933289
Snack box service210592547129579
Additional snacks183512336531484
Main meal evening280783279234994
Leading chef dishes142402146031484

Table 3: The national patient survey percentages

2001–02 (quarter 18)2003–04 (quarter 15)
Base: All valid
Very good1818
I did not have any
hospital food
Not applicableNot applicable

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will estimate the total expenditure on (a) food and (b) catering services in the NHS in each year since 1997. [261]

Jane Kennedy: This data are not collected in the exact form requested. The cost of provisions for patients and the total cost of catering from 2000–04 is shown in the table. Information was not collected prior to 2000.
£ million
Cost of provisions for patients(19)Total cost of catering(20)

(19) The cost of provisions for patients includes foods, beverages, special diets and ward provisions such as bread, milk and coffee. It excludes parental and enteral feeding, baby milk and nutritional supplements.
(20) The total cost of catering includes pay, employer's national insurance and pension contributions for the manager responsible for catering services and all designated staff/deputies including administrative and clerical grades, but excludes the costs of ward housekeepers, it also includes the cost of provisions for patients and staff.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will estimate the proportion of hospital food wasted in the most recent period for which figures are available. [262]

Jane Kennedy: This information is not collected in the exact format requested. The latest figures on food waste in the form of untouched meals are shown in the table.
Untouched meals from 2001–02 to 2003–04

Total patient main mealsTotal untouched mealsPercentage of meals untouched

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