Previous Section Index Home Page

25 Apr 2006 : Column 1085W—continued

Sexual Assault

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provisions exist for the (a) suspension and (b) banning of health care workers (i) accused and (ii) convicted of sexual assault. [65405]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 24 April 2006]: NHS employers have disciplinary procedures which relate to any serious crime or misconduct, and an accusation or conviction of sexual assault would be dealt with accordingly.

Particular provisions apply if the health worker is named on the list maintained under the Protection of Children Act 1999, of individuals barred from working with children, or the list maintained under Part 7 of the Care Standards Act 2000, of individuals barred from working with vulnerable adults in regulated social care settings. The lists are managed by the Department for Education and Skills on behalf of the Department. It is an offence for any person on these lists to knowingly apply for work with children or vulnerable adults, and for an employer to knowingly offer such a person this type of work.

Registered health professionals accused or convicted of a sexual assault would also be subject to the fitness to practice proceedings of the relevant regulatory body, which would consider whether or not they should be suspended or erased from the professional register.

Staff Abuse

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many inquiries concerning abuse by health or social care staff there have been in each (a) strategic health authority and (b) local authority area in the last five years; what the status of each inquiry was; whether the data from each inquiry has been brought together; and what plans for action were made as a result of the inquiries. [58711]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not available centrally. National health service employers are responsible for ensuring that their staff do not pose a threat to the safety of patients and for acting on information about the registration status of staff subject to statutory regulation.

All care homes, domiciliary care agencies, adult placements schemes and nurses agencies in England are regulated by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), which is the independent regulator for social care. The CSCI is responsible for registering and inspecting the regulated social care sector in accordance
25 Apr 2006 : Column 1086W
with statutory regulations and national minimum standards to ensure consistency and improve the quality of life and level of protection for the most vulnerable people in society.

Regulated social care providers, including private companies, are required to conduct rigorous pre-employment checks on prospective staff, including obtaining a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure. Since 26 July 2004, there has also been a requirement for prospective employees in these areas to be checked against the protection of vulnerable adults (POVA) list before starting work.


Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what methods she uses to assess the adequacy of data collection before the introduction of mandatory tariffs. [65107]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 24 April 2006]: The national tariff is calculated from data on the average cost of activity as reported by national health service providers through the annual reference cost collection and is subject to scrutiny by audit. The robustness of this data is tested using statistical analysis with regard to key indicators of data quality, including sample size, distribution and year-on-year volatility.

Vaccinations (Schools)

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which vaccines are routinely administered by nurses in a school setting. [65696]

Caroline Flint: The tetanus/diphtheria/inactivated polio vaccine (Td/IPV), which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and polio, is the vaccine that is routinely administered by school nurses, in a school setting. This vaccine is given routinely to teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years of age.

School nurses may also check when giving the routine Td/IPV if the teenager is up to date with other routine vaccinations such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), meningitis c (MenC) and for some hepatitis B, and arrange catch up vaccinations where needed.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS bodies provide funding for vaccines delivered in schools. [65699]

Caroline Flint: Funding for immunisation services in schools forms part of the annual allocation to primary care trusts (PCTs). PCTs are responsible for the management of those monies and running of immunisation programmes.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance school nurses receive on vaccines that they deliver in schools; and what understanding they are expected to have of the disease they are vaccinating against. [65700]

Caroline Flint: The Department produces a number of resources to support health professionals in the implementation of the routine childhood immunisation
25 Apr 2006 : Column 1087W
programme. These resources are sent directly to primary care trusts (PCTs) to cascade to the appropriate health professionals.

Detailed information on the tetanus/diphtheria/inactivated polio vaccine (Td/IPV) routinely given by school nurses, and the diseases it protects against, is available at the publication Immunisation against infectious disease—The 'Green Book' chapters on Diphtheria, Hib, Pertussis, Polio and Tetanus", and the DTaP/IPV/Hib for babies, DTaP/IPV for pre-school and Td/IPV for teenagers".

Both these publications were sent directly to PCTs at the time of publication. The Department also produces a leaflet aimed at teenagers and parents, to support school nurses and the routine immunisation programme for 13 to 18 years olds entitled, Teenage immunisations (school years 8 to 13, ages 13 to 18) your questions answered".

All of these publications are available either from the Department's publications line free of charge or via the website at

Waiting Lists/Times

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was in hospitals in (a) West Lancashire and (b) England in each year since 1997. [64125]

Mr. Byrne: The median waiting times for in-patient admission for March each year since 1997 at national health service trusts in West Lancashire and for England are shown in the table.
Estimated average waiting time for elective admission, all specialties, England

Median time waiting (weeks)
Provider based
February 20067.6

Department of Health forms KH07, QF01 and Monthly Monitoring

25 Apr 2006 : Column 1088W

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was for (a) in-patient and (b) out-patient hospital treatment in (i) England, (ii) Somerset and (iii) Taunton constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. [64309]

Jane Kennedy: The median waiting times for in-patient and out-patient admission for the latest available period for England, Somerset and Dorset Strategic Health Authority (SHA), Somerset Coast Primary Care Trust (PCT), South Somerset PCT and Taunton Deane PCT are shown in the tables.
Estimated average time waited for first out-patient appointment following general practitioner written referral, all specialties, quarter ended December 2005 Commissioner based

Median wait (weeks)
Somerset Coast PCT6.3
South Somerset PCT5.8
Taunton Deane PCT5.6
Somerset and Dorset SHA5.8

Estimated average time patients have been waiting for elective admission, all specialties, February 2006—Commissioner based

Median time waited so far (weeks)
Somerset Coast PCT6.8
South Somerset PCT6.4
Taunton Deane PCT6.8
Somerset and Dorset SHA7.4

Department of Health form QM08R and monthly monitoring