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2 Feb 2006 : Column 721W—continued

Drug Treatment Programmes

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what average time a patient requiring (a) residential and (b) in-patient specialist drug treatment was on a waiting list for treatment in the last period for which figures are available. [44641]

Caroline Flint: The last period for which these figures are available is for the three months July to September 2005. The average waiting time for patients on a waiting list requiring residential drug treatment was 2.6 weeks, and 3.1 weeks for patients requiring in-patient specialist drug treatment.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many drug treatment places for abuse of illegal drugs were available in each of the last five years. [47706]

Caroline Flint: We do not record the number of places. Drug treatment is measured by activity. In 2004–05, 160,450 were in treatment—an increase of 28 per cent. on the previous year.

Feltham Young Offenders Institute

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of prison health care provision was at Feltham Young Offenders Institute in the last three years for which figures are available. [45460]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The funding allocation for health care provision for Her Majesty's Young Offenders Institute, Feltham was £4.5 million in 2003–04, £4.7 million in 2004–05 and £4.8 million in 2005–06.

HIV/AIDS (Hertfordshire)

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 January 2006, Official Report, column 1667W, on HIV/AIDS, what assessment she has made of HIV infection rates in Hertfordshire. [46370]

Caroline Flint: The data available on HIV infection is by strategic health authority (SHA) rather than county and relate to new diagnoses rather than infection rates.

The most recent data available on HIV diagnoses in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire SHA is available on the Health Protection Agency's website at: www.hpa.

Influenza Pandemic Planning

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions the Cabinet Committee on Influenza Pandemic Planning (MISC 32) has met since it was established. [46492]

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Mr. Jim Murphy: I have been asked to reply. Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice and the proceedings of Cabinet and Cabinet committees is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

Mental Health

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what treatment and resources are provided to ex-servicemen suffering post combat mental heath illness who are also alcohol or drug dependent; and if she will make a statement.

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 31 January 2006]: National health service services for post traumatic stress disorder and alcohol or drug dependence are freely available to all, including ex-service people. In addition, the Ministry of Defence funds a range of services provided by Combat Stress, specifically for this group.

The NHS is working closely with the Ministry of Defence and Combat Stress to ensure that services work more closely together.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effects of the use of prone restraint in (a) mental health and (b) care institutions; and if she will make a statement. [45282]

Ms Rosie Winterton: While all restraint positions are potentially harmful, there is no empirical evidence which indicates that the prone position carries a greater risk of harm to patients than other restraint positions.

Individual authorities are required by the Code of Practice of the Mental Health Act 1983 to have clear policies on the use of prone restraint and other forms of physical restraint. Physical restraint should take place only as a last resort, not routinely. Any restraint used should also be reasonable in the circumstance, apply the minimum force necessary to prevent harm to the patient or others, for only as long as is necessary and be sensitive to gender and race issues. This advice applies in all healthcare settings and to all age ranges. Trusts should regularly audit their physical restraint procedures to ensure these are consistent with the framework of clinical governance.

The Department emphasises the recognition and prevention of aggression and violence wherever possible and published guidance in 2004, Mental Health Policy Implementation Guide: Developing Positive Practice to Support the Safe and Therapeutic Management of Aggression and Violence in Mental Health Inpatient Settings".

We also commissioned guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which looked at the management of aggression and violence, including restraint. NICE published Disturbed (violent) behaviour: the short-term management of disturbed (violent) behaviour in in-patient psychiatric settings" in February 2005.

In September 2005, the National Health Service Security Management Service formally launched its training programme, Promoting safer and therapeutic services", following the successful piloting of this in a number of national health service trusts.
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The National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) is also reviewing positive practice standards in relation to the safe and therapeutic management of aggression and violence. NIMHE, together with the National Patient Safety Agency, who are undertaking a project on preventing and managing violence, will publish guidance and a checklist early in 2006 to ensure that all restraint procedures meet rigorous standards. The project team is also developing proposals for the accreditation and regulation of physical intervention trainers.


Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of MRSA there have been at Essex Rivers health care in the past 12 months; and at which locations. [44974]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The best available information is from the mandatory meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) blood stream infections surveillance which started in April 2001. This information is collected at trust level. The most recent data shows that there were 37 MRSA bacteraemia reports from April 2004 to March 2005 in Essex Rivers healthcare national health service trust.


Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in England were diagnosed as having neuroblastoma in each of the last three years. [47414]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl dated 2 February 2006:

Numbers of newly diagnosed cases of neuroblastoma(22) registered in England 2001–03


(22) Neuroblastoma is defined solely by morphology code, as codes 9500/3 and 9522/3 in the 'International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, Second Edition' (ICD-O2).
Office for National Statistics

New Hospital (St. Albans)

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assurances her Department gave the former hon. Member for St. Albans of a new hospital being constructed by the West Hertfordshire NHS Trust. [41119]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: There have been no assurances given about the proposed new Hospital in Hatfield. However, in July 2004, my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Health (John Reid), did approve Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Health Authority's strategic outline case, Investing in Your Health", which included the option of building a new hospital in Hatfield. A clear timetable was set out that would see East and North Hertfordshire National Health Service Trust completing and submitting a detailed outline business case for the new hospital by the end of 2006. Firm assurances can not be given because the final investment proposals are subject to confirmation as part of the business case process.

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