Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the first statistics will be published from the mandatory surveillance of (a) Clostridium difficile infections and (b) surgical site infections. 
Jane Kennedy: Data from the mandatory surveillance system for Clostridium difficile associated diarrhoea will be available this summer and information for orthopaedic surgical site infections will be published in the autumn. This data is likely to be published annually.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps she has taken to assess the legality of the guidance given to strategic health authorities concerning the provision of free continuing care since publication of recommendation 15 of the Health Committee Report of 5 April; 
(2) what guidance she has given to social service departments concerning the regulations issued in 2001 that self-funders cannot be required to sell their homes in their own lifetime since the then Minister's evidence on the subject to the Health Select Committee on 17 March; 
(3) what steps she has taken to secure compliance by strategic health authorities with recommendation 17 of the Health Committee Report of 5 April on the assessment of patients with continuing needs before they leave hospital; 
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action she has taken to secure compliance by strategic health authorities with her Department's guidance recorded in paragraph 151 of the Health Committee report of 5 April concerning assessment for continuing care. 
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had, and with whom, on the recommendations made in the report of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Alzheimer's Society on early onset dementia; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: There have been no discussions on this report. I understand the report will be published in its final form in the autumn. We are working with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Alzheimer's Society to improve mental health services for older people.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average time patients diagnosed as having hearing problems waited to be fitted with digital hearing aids was in the last year for which figures are available; what the figures were in each region; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in England have undergone electroconvulsive therapy in each of the past five years; and how many were (a) 50 years or over and (b) 65 years or over. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available in the requested format. The latest information available on electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is that contained in the Department's publication Statistical Bulletin Electro Convulsive Therapy: Survey covering the period from January 2002 to March 2002, England". This was a follow-up to an earlier survey of the period January to March 1999. Both surveys were undertaken to provide data on ECT that are not currently available elsewhere.
The 2002 survey confirmed the continuing downward trend in the number of administrations of ECT. It collected information from national health service and independent sector care settings, including nursing homes, on the total number of administrations of ECT in NHS and independent sector care settings including data on sex, age, ethnicity, legal status and method of consent.
2,300 patients received ECT treatment compared to 2,800 in 1999; there were 700 male patients receiving treatment, compared with 1,600 female patients; there were 12,800 administrations of ECT compared to 16,500 in January to March 1999; of the 2,272 patients in England who underwent ECT in 2002, 1,709 were aged 45 and over, and 1,053 were aged 65 and over. This compares to figures of 2,079 and 1,176, respectively, of the total of 2,835 in the 1999 survey.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she has taken to improve
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(a) awareness of and (b) training on epidermolysis bullosa for health professionals; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department is not responsible for setting curricula for health professional training. However, we do share a commitment with statutory and professional bodies that all health professionals are trained, so that they have the skills and knowledge to deliver a high quality health service to all groups of the population with whom they deal, whatever their condition.
Post-registration training needs for national health service staff are determined against local NHS priorities, through appraisal processes and training needs analyses informed by local delivery plans and the needs of the service.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by her Department on public procurement of food in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what proportion of that expenditure was covered under Crown immunity on food safety matters. 
Jane Kennedy: The Department has a catering contract which is maintained at nil subsidy and covers four headquarters buildings. The contractor is responsible for ensuring that all his staff are fully trained in food safety procedures. As the contractor is not a Crown body, it is are not covered by Crown immunity.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 8 June 2005, Official Report, column 587W, on general practitioner appointments, how many patients were included in the monitoring data; and what definition of patients is used for the purposes of the monitoring exercise. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department holds data on the appointment arrangements which each general practice offers to its patients. This data is collected monthly by primary care trusts and the results are converted into numbers of patients using each practiced registered list size. For April, the total number of patients was 52,786,540.
|Patients who cannot book more than two days in advance (percentage)