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30 Jan 2006 : Column 182W—continued

NHS Managers (Job Losses)

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of job losses among NHS managers as a result of changes to primary care trusts; and what proportion of job losses will be from managers who are also clinicians. [41882]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 16 January 2006]: Ministers have given the go-ahead for all 28 strategic health authorities to begin local consultations on boundary changes to strategic health authorities and primary care trusts. Consultations started on 14 December and will continue for a period of 14 weeks, until 22 March. Until any boundary changes are agreed, it is not possible to calculate the number of job losses.

NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency has spent purchasing gas in each financial year since 2000–01. [42019]

Jane Kennedy: The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA) has spent the following on gas in the last five financial years:

Through the NHS PASA framework agreements trusts have spent the following amounts on gas purchases in each financial year since 2000–01:
£ million

(51) Estimated
(52) Actual

In 2000–01, NHS PASA purchase of gas via the framework agreements accounted for approximately 70 per cent. of the national health service market. In 2005–06, NHS PASA agreements accounted for approximately 85 per cent. of the NHS market.
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NHS Trusts (Board Members)

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the board members of each NHS trust who have left their positions in the last three years. [45492]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 25 January 2006]: Information about board members who have left the boards of national health service bodies is not available centrally. The NHS Appointments Commission has information about the appointment of non-executive board members since 2001, when it was established. The NHS Appointments Commission have been asked to write directly to the hon. Member regarding this inquiry.

Northiam and Broad Oak Surgeries

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Minister of State for NHS delivery will provide a written response following his meeting with the hon. Member for Bexhill and Battle on 9 January on Northiam and Broad Oak surgeries. [43955]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 25 January 2006]: The Minister of State for Delivery, my noble Friend Lord Warner, provided a written response on 23 January 2006.

Palliative Care (Funding)

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the adequacy of funding of palliative care in the Eastern Region of England. [42973]

Ms Rosie Winterton: There are five cancer networks in the East of England and each of the five cancer networks, with their constituent primary care trusts (PCTs), has set out a three-year investment strategy informed by a population needs assessment to identify the specialist palliative care requirement of their resident population. Against this assessment they have invested their allocation from the additional £50 million per annum for specialist palliative care which is now in PCT baselines. Having assessed their local priorities, PCTs can invest more.

Patient Deaths

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have died due to mistakes made by NHS staff in each year since 1997; and what proportion resulted in prosecutions. [43288]

Jane Kennedy: This information is not collected centrally in the form requested.

Several estimates have been made of the number of patient safety incidents that occur each year, and the number of people who die as a result. For example, estimates that have been widely quoted are of 850,000 incidents per year and 40,000 deaths in England. The accuracy of these estimates, and of similar estimates from other countries, has been widely debated. Such estimates are likely to depend on a number of factors including the source of the original data and the definitions used in the original studies from which the estimates were derived.
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Many patients, particularly those in acute care settings, are critically ill, and so grading the degree of harm caused by an incident is not straightforward. For example, some deaths following incidents may have occurred as a result of the underlying illness rather than as a result of the incident.

The Government is concerned about assuring and improving the safety of care for NHS patients. As part of our national health service patient safety programme, we established the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) in July 2001 to improve the safety of NHS patient care. The NPSA has introduced a national reporting and learning system for patient safety incidents and issued a number of patient safety solutions to the NHS to improve the safety of care for areas of known risk.

The reporting and learning system will, in time, enable us to understand the nature and extent of adverse events in the NHS more fully, and take action to prevent them being repeated. All NHS organisations in England and Wales are now reporting patient safety incidents to the national system.

Patient Safety

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are in place for the (a) monitoring and (b) improvement of the safety of NHS patients who receive treatment from other healthcare providers. [20346]

Jane Kennedy: Health care provided for national health service patients by establishments outside the NHS is covered by the provisions of the Care Standards Act 2000 and the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003.

Those private healthcare establishments, including independent hospitals or clinics, or medical agencies providing services to NHS patients, that are subject to registration with, and inspection by, the Healthcare Commission under the Care Standards Act are required to comply with the Private and Voluntary Healthcare (England) Regulations 2001 and the National Minimum Standards (NMS) for Independent Health Care published in 2002.

Within this framework, the Healthcare Commission uses three essential suitability criteria to determine whether persons, organisations and services are suitable to operate:

The registration process has been designed to assess each application against these criteria. The process includes interviews with the applicants, checks on their character and an inspection or pre-registration visit to the service.
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The registered provider is responsible for providing a safe and effective service. This includes having a health and safety policy and risk assessments in place and audit systems to assess the quality of care.

The Healthcare Commission currently inspects all registered establishments annually. Establishments are inspected against the requirements of the 2001 regulations and the NMS. Inspections focus on perceived areas of risk in each establishment. Assessment managers prepare written reports setting out requirements, recommendations, and areas of concern identified during inspections. These reports, which are published and available on the Commission's website, include timetables for compliance with any specific requirements.

In addition, health care provided for NHS patients, be it by the NHS or for the NHS by a non-NHS establishment, is reviewed by the Healthcare Commission under the 2003 Act, against the NHS standards—Standards for Better Health"—published by the Secretary of State in July 2004. As part of its review process, the Healthcare Commission ensures that services for NHS patients delivered from outside the NHS are commissioned against these standards, including those covering patient safety.

Those services contracted directly by the Department from non-NHS organisations are commissioned using the framework of the Standards for Better Health" and where appropriate are reviewed against the Private and Voluntary Healthcare Regulations and NMS.

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