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Dr. Ann David

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will require a re-examination of the standard and conduct of work performed by Dr. Ann David during her employment in the West Midlands prior to her employment in Essex; and if she will make a statement. [32006]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 28 November 2005]: The strategic health authority and national health service trust concerned have undertaken a review of Dr. David's work, from the period she was employed in the West Midlands. It is their opinion that the review did not raise any concerns regarding Dr. David's work during her employment with them. Should further concerns arise or further evidence come to light it is for the trust to decide what, if any, further review may be necessary.

Emergency Beds

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the baseline is for her Department's public service agreement target to reduce emergency bed days by 5 per cent. by 2008; when the target was set; and what progress has been made towards meeting the target. [35200]

Mr. Byrne: The baseline year for the Department's target to reduce emergency bed days by 5 per cent. by 2008 is 2003–04. The target was agreed with HM Treasury as part of the 2004 spending review. The latest available data, for 2004–05, shows a 2 per cent. reduction in emergency bed days from the baseline year. Latest progress against public service agreement targets can be found in the Autumn Performance Report 2005, available on the Department's website at:

Epilepsy

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action her Department has taken to reduce sudden death by epilepsy since the publication of the Government's Action Plan on Epilepsy in 2003; what assessment she has made of the progress that has been made in reducing the levels of sudden death by epilepsy since the publication of the Action Plan; and what guidance she has given to practitioners to ensure patients with epilepsy are fully informed about the risks of sudden death from the condition. [35355]


 
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Mr. Byrne: Although the specific cause of sudden death by epilepsy (SUDEP) is unknown, the risks are considered greater for patients whose epilepsy is poorly controlled. Action to reduce SUDEP has therefore concentrated on improving epilepsy is poorly controlled. Action to reduce SUDEP has therefore concentrated on improving epilepsy services in general, raising awareness of SUDEP, and the introduction of new more effective drugs to control seizures.

As part of the Action Plan on Epilepsy'' the Modernisation Agency ran Action on Neurology" in 2004–05 at eight pilot sites. These included:

The national service framework for long-term conditions was published in March 2005. This focuses on improving neurological services across the country for a range of conditions including epilepsy.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance on the clinical and cost effectiveness of new epilepsy drugs in adults (March 2004) and children (April 2004).

We have commissioned NICE to produce clinical guidelines for the diagnosis, management and treatment of epilepsy. This guidance, published in October 2004, specifically covers the importance of informing patients and their families of the risks of sudden death in epilepsy. In addition, we have made a grant of almost £290,000 to the National Society for Epilepsy to improve support and information for people with epilepsy and their families.

HIV/AIDS

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the merits of different means of providing anti-retroviral drugs to HIV/AIDS sufferers. [37628]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 14 December 2005]: Primary care trusts are responsible for providing HIV prevention, treatment and care services which meet the needs of their local populations. To support them in this role, the Department has published best practice guidance, Effective Commissioning of Sexual Health and HIV Services" (2003). This includes advice on commissioning treatment services for people with HIV and AIDS.

Hospital Facilities

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of NHS in-patient beds (a) are in mixed sex sleeping areas and (b) share (i) mixed sex washing facilities and (ii) mixed sex toilet facilities. [35193]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Nationally, 97 per cent. of national health service trusts report that they are fully compliant with the standards that we have set for the
 
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provision of single-sex accommodation. Information on the location of in-patient beds within each trust, and their adjacency to toilet and washing facilities, is not collected.

The small number of trusts who have yet to meet our standards are undertaking building works which will bring them to full compliance.

Immunisation

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether her Department piloted the introduction of the five-in-one vaccine; what plans she has to review the take-up of MMR following the introduction of the five-in-one vaccine; and if she will make a statement; [33540]

(2) what targets have been set for the take-up of childhood immunisation; what assessment she has made of the effect of the introduction of the five-in-one vaccine on the achievement of that target; and if she will make a statement. [33542]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 1 December 2005]: Before being licensed, all medicines including vaccines are thoroughly tested to ensure that they are safe, of a high quality and are efficacious (effective). The introduction of Pediacel was recommended by joint committee on vaccination and immunisation after careful consideration all of the available data and research, including experience of the use of a similar vaccine (Pentacel) in Canada.

Information on the uptake of routine childhood immunisations in the United Kingdom is routinely collected by the Health Protection Agency through the COVER programme (Cover of Vaccination Evaluated Rapidly). Coverage of diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis, Hib and Meningitis C at one, two and five years of age, and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) at two and five years, is published quarterly in CDR weekly on the Health Protection Agency's website at www.hpa.org.uk/cdr/default.htm.

Only children born after July or August 2004 would have been offered Pediacel exclusively rather than for completion of a primary course already started. Information on coverage at one year of age for this cohort has not yet been evaluated through the routine COVER programme. This data will begin to come through the routine COVER programme data collection from December this year and will be published.

We are, therefore, unable to comment on whether there has been a change in uptake due to the introduction of Pediacel, including MMR.

Influenza Vaccine

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the likelihood of developing a DNA vaccine for use in the event of an influenza pandemic. [28696]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We are currently in discussions with vaccine manufacturers regarding the development of a vaccine against pandemic flu. Officials have had discussions with a manufacturer that is working on
 
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DNA vaccines, including their potential for use during a pandemic. However, it is likely to be some years before a DNA flu vaccine could be available.

Kent and Canterbury Hospital

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the future of the urology unit at the Kent and Canterbury hospital. [37886]

Caroline Flint: This is a local matter. It is for local national health service organisations to determine how best to use their resources to plan and develop services to meet the needs of their local community. However, the Kent and Medway strategic health authority has advised that it is anticipated that an announcement on the review of urology services at Kent and Canterbury hospital will be made following a meeting to be held on 19 December 2005.


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