Previous Section Index Home Page

14 Jul 2005 : Column 1188W—continued

End of Life Decision Making

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many times the Government have consulted on end of life decision-making since 1997; [10938]

(2) how many times her Department has consulted (a) formally and (b) informally on end of life decision making since 1997. [10876]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government had extensive dialogue with a range of groups in respect to the passage of the Mental Capacity Act, which deals with, among other things, end of life decisions for those who lack capacity. As part of this work, the Department for Constitutional Affairs issued two formal consultation documents Who Decides?—making decisions on behalf of mentally incapacitated adults" (1997) and Making Decisions: Helping people who have difficulty for themselves" (2002). The consultations covered a range of issues and diverse comments were received in response to these.

During the passage of the Mental Capacity Act and as part of regular policy dialogue, the Government receive a wide range of representations from a variety of stakeholders on end of life issues.

General Anaesthetics (Consent)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will seek to introduce legislation requiring a parent or guardian to sign the consent form for general anaesthetic for a minor. [10424]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Young people under 16 can give consent to medical treatment if they are able to understand fully what is involved in the proposed procedure. Departmental guidance encourages young people to include their parents in their decisions in such situations.
14 Jul 2005 : Column 1189W

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the recent vacancy for the post of chief executive at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight strategic health authority was not publicly advertised. [9791]

Caroline Flint: Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are statutory bodies. Appointments of chief executives are made by the relevant SHA chair and board and, as such, are a matter for local determination.

SHAs are obliged to advertise publicly a chief executive vacancy when they are appointing to the position on a substantive basis. The chief executive position at Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has been taken up on an interim basis only.

Health Trusts

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health to which health trusts she has recently written in relation to (a) performance and (b) financial position; and if she will make a statement. [9785]

Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. member for North West Hampshire (Sir George Young) today.

Hepatitis B

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation sub-group on hepatitis B has made recommendations on universal vaccination for hepatitis B. [10939]

Caroline Flint: The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) was updated recently on progress made by its working group on hepatitis B immunisation. JCVI felt that further work was required before any recommendations on future policy could be made.

Hospital Building

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital building schemes are planned to start construction in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007 and (d) 2008. [9376]

Mr. Byrne: The start of schemes is subject to successful approval of the full business case. Detailed information on schemes with a capital value below £25 million is not held centrally. In 2005, one scheme has started and another seven are due to start. It is anticipated that nine will start in 2006 and eight in 2007. Timetables for later schemes are not yet finalised.

Hospital-acquired Infections

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the implications of initiatives to achieve greater throughput of patients on wards and in units for the spread of MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections. [9180]

Jane Kennedy: Controlling healthcare associated infections is complex and, as the national health service is treating more patients, this increased activity means that we need to work even harder to reduce the risk of infection.
14 Jul 2005 : Column 1190W

Implementing Winning Ways: Working together to reduce Healthcare Associated Infection in England" (December 2003) and Towards cleaner hospitals and lower rates of infection" (July 2004) will address these concerns. For instance on bed occupancy, chief executives are required to ensure that infection control teams work with bed managers to optimise bed use, assess the infection impact of bed management policies and implement changes to local policy to minimise the risk of infection.

Hospitals (Hendon)

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which hospitals will be available to patients in Hendon to choose from when patient choice becomes operational; for which forms of treatment; and if she will make a statement. [5836]

Mr. Byrne: Primary care trusts are responsible for commissioning the lists of four or more providers from which patients needing planned hospital care will be able to choose from the end of this year when they are referred by their general practitioner. Barnet primary care trust is responsible for commissioning the choice options for patients in Hendon.

Identity Checks

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of (a) the cost and (b) merits of checking the biometric identities of individuals accessing health services; and what her preferred method is. [9943]

Jane Kennedy: We have been working with the Home Office to identify areas where the identity cards scheme could provide business benefits. On 28 June 2005, my right, hon. Friend the Home Secretary (Mr. Clarke) placed in the Library a paper containing the latest estimates of benefits of the identity cards scheme which shows that the benefits outweigh the costs once the scheme is fully operational. The cost of equipping premises will depend on the nature of the use of the identity cards scheme and the type of identity checks necessary to deliver the business benefits. In some cases, benefits could be realised without the use of card readers and the cost of installing any readers needs to be considered alongside future plans to refresh or upgrade information technology systems. As the design of the scheme matures, during and after the procurement exercise, so will our understanding of where the scheme will be of most benefit which will allow us to further refine our estimates of costs and benefits.

Infection Control Teams

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many infection control teams have dedicated budgets. [10026]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Infection Surveillance Data

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 13 June 2005, Official Report, column 104W, on Infection Surveillance Data, if she will
14 Jul 2005 : Column 1191W
order an independent inquiry into the infection control procedures of all hospitals revealed to have a higher rate of clostridium difficile infection than Stoke Mandeville hospital when these data are published. [7522]

Jane Kennedy: The inquiry into the Clostridium difficile outbreak at Stoke Mandeville hospital will help to refine policy and develop tools for better control of Clostridium difficile throughout the health service. The priority will be implementing these recommendations rather than further inquiries.

IVF Treatment

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate she has made of the number of women who have suffered a stroke following IVF treatment; and if she will make a statement; [10591]

(2) if she will introduce legislation to require that women contemplating IVF treatment be warned about the possible adverse consequences, including the risk of a stroke; and if she will make a statement; [10592]

(3) how many women aged (a) 16 to 24, (b) 25 to 30, (c) 30 to 35, (d) 36 to 40 and (e) over 40 years suffered adverse consequences following IVF treatment in each of the last three years for which figures are available; [10615]

(4) if she will list the possible adverse consequences of IVF treatment; and if she will make a statement. [10616]

Caroline Flint: Information on side effects following in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, including the incidence of strokes, is not collected centrally. However, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which has monitored incidents involving IVF treatment since 2002, has advised me that it has not recorded an incidence of stoke following IVF since monitoring began.
14 Jul 2005 : Column 1192W

As with any medical treatment, there are potential side effects of IVF. These include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, emotional stress, depression, mood swings, bleeding and infection after surgical egg collection and the medical and social implication of a multiple pregnancy and birth. Serious side effects are rare.

It is vital that patients contemplating IVF treatment are given all relevant information about their treatment, including any side effects associated with it. The provision of information and the opportunity of receiving counselling are already required by section 13 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, which sets out the conditions on which a treatment licence is granted. This is reinforced by the HFEA's code of practice, which requires clinics to provide information on possible side effects and the risks posed to the patient and any resulting child.

Next Section Index Home Page