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27 Jun 2005 : Column 1368W—continued

Long-Term Residential Care

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the change in the number of available long-term care residential places since 1997. [5928]

Mr. Byrne: According to the latest United Kingdom market survey, published in September 2004 by the independent healthcare analysts Laing and Buisson (LB), the level of spare capacity in the care home sector has remained the same over the last three years, at around 10,000 places, despite a fall in the number of care home places. In March 2004, the national average occupancy rate was 92.1 per cent. in private sector care homes, 90.2 per cent, for care homes with nursing; 92.4 per cent, for other care homes.

The LB report shows a net loss of 10,800 care home places. However, the report shows demand has also fallen by about 10,000.

Our policy is that people should be supported to remain living in their own homes, wherever possible.


Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been diagnosed with malaria in each London health authority in each of the last three years. [5456]

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Jane Kennedy: The information requested is shown in the table.
Patient counts—malaria defined as ICD-10 codes between*B50-B54 recorded in primary or any of the secondary diagnosis fields, NHS hospitals in England, 2001–02 to 2003–04

SHA of residence2001–022002–032003–04
North West London SHA179217201
North Central London SHA196158184
North East London SHA308261284
South East London SHA284309285
South West London SHA123105114
Total London SHAs1,0901,0501,068

Malaria is defined by a primary or secondary diagnosis of:
B50 Plasmodium falciparum malaria
B51 Plasmodium vivax malaria
B52 Plasmodium malariae malaria
B53 Other parasitologically confirmed malaria
B54 Unspecified malaria
Patient counts:
Patient counts are based on the unique patient identifier HESID. This identifier is derived based on patient's date of birth, postcode, sex, local patient identifier and NHS number, using an agreed algorithm. Where data are incomplete, HESID might erroneously link episodes or fail to recognise episodes for the same patient. Care is therefore needed, especially where duplicate records persist in the data. The patient count cannot be summed across a table where patients may have episodes in more than one cell.
Diagnosis (Primary Diagnosis):
The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14 (7 prior to 2002–03) diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.
Secondary Diagnoses:
As well as the primary diagnosis, there are up to 13 (6 prior to 2002–03) secondary diagnosis fields in Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) that show other diagnoses relevant to the episode of care.
Ungrossed Data:
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (ie the data are ungrossed).
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Department of Health

Maternity Services

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance she has issued on the provision of maternity services, including HIV treatment to prevent mother to child transmission, to women who do not have leave to remain in the UK. [6111]

Mr. Byrne: Guidance on how to handle the provision of maternity services to women without leave to remain in the United Kingdom is contained in the document, Implementing the Overseas Visitors Hospital Charging Regulations: Guidance for NHS Trust Hospitals in England", issued to all trusts in April 2004.

In response to a recommendation from the Health Select Committee in its recent report, New Developments in Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Policy", the existing guidance was re-issued to trust overseas visitors managers on 16 May 2005. This confirmed that, because of the seriousness of potential risks to mother and baby, maternity services should be treated as immediately necessary treatment and provided without delay. This could include HIV treatment if considered clinically appropriate. However, if the patient is an overseas visitor
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who is not eligible to receive national health service hospital treatment free of charge, then they should be charged for any treatment provided.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the performance of maternity services at Northwick Park hospital. [6180]

Jane Kennedy: The North West London Hospitals National Health Service Trust is actively addressing issues at the maternity unit at Northwick Park hospital. Last year the trust, Brent Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Harrow PCT invited the Healthcare Commission to help the Trust with improvements. In April 2005, the Department, on the recommendation of the Healthcare Commission, introduced special measures at the unit to provide additional resource and external clinical support to accelerate the improvement programme.

The trust welcomed these measures and has been progressing with its action plan, which is based on the draft Healthcare Commission report and the requirements of the special measures. While there is further work to be done, including completing the refurbishment of the unit in December 2005, the trust and North West London Strategic Health Authority are confident that good progress is being made.

Medical Staff

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to ensure (a) doctors and (b) dentists are not intoxicated while at work; and what procedure is followed if a doctor or dentist is found to be intoxicated while on duty. [5399]

Mr. Byrne: Every national health service employer has a code of conduct or staff rules, which sets out acceptable standards of conduct and behaviour expected of all its employees. Breaches of these rules are considered to be misconduct. Misconduct can cover a wide range of behaviour and be classified in a number of ways.

The Department issued guidance, Taking alcohol and other drugs out of the NHS workplace" in February 2001. Earlier this year the guidance was re-issued as part of the Management of Health, Safety and Welfare Issues for NHS Staff" by NHS Employers, who provide support to employers.

The guidance recommends that staff who are identified as having a problem, either through self-referral or management action, and who are willing to undertake treatment, should be rehabilitated. The cost of retaining them as useful employees and utilising their knowledge far outweighs the costs of losing them from the NHS.

NHS employers should have policies and support in place to address any problems of drugs and alcohol use among staff. The findings of the recent NHS staff survey report showed 80 per cent. of staff having access to counselling services.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for support for doctors and other clinical staff who may be abusing drugs or alcohol. [5599]

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Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend, the Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz), today.

Mental Capacity Act 2005

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role the (a) Healthcare Commission and (b) Commission for Social Care Inspection will play in monitoring compliance with the codes of practice of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. [4809]

Mr. Byrne: The Healthcare Commission works to improve standards in both national health service and independent sector organisations and regulates the independent healthcare sector through registration and inspection. The Commission for Social Care Inspection works to improve standards in social care provision and regulates services relating to both adults and to children, through registration and inspection.

It will be important for health and social care statutory agencies to take account of the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act in their work once the Act is implemented, in order to ensure they are performing effectively and, in certain circumstances, lawfully.

The Commissions will take this into account in their assessment of standards and performance by the statutory services they inspect.

Officials involved in implementing the Mental Capacity Act have held early discussions with both Commissions about the implications of the Act for their operations, and will continue to do so as implementation proceeds.

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