Previous Section Index Home Page

5 Jun 2006 : Column 11W—continued



Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department has (a) undertaken and (b) evaluated on the number of women who died following complications from a legal abortion; when her Department last undertook an evidence review of the number of women who died following complications from a legal abortion that drew on (i) UK and (ii) international research; and if she will make a statement. [70407]

Caroline Flint: The confidential inquiry into maternal and child health (CEMACH) investigates all maternal deaths, including those following a legal abortion, and publishes an evidence-based report, for the United Kingdom (UK), every three years. The latest report, “Why Mothers Die 2000-02”, is available on its website at:

The next report for 2003-05 will be published in late summer 2007. CEMACH continues to draw on all
5 Jun 2006 : Column 12W
relevant UK and international research and the report's findings inform clinical guidelines on abortion care.

Acute Hospitals

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research she has commissioned into single-bed room provision in acute hospitals with particular reference to (a) additional capital costs, (b) patient stays and (c) patient safety. [72847]

Andy Burnham: The Department has commissioned research into single bedroom provision in acute hospitals, which includes references to additional capital costs, patient stays and patient safety.

Details of this research commissioned by the Department are shown in the table.

Project Status

“Architectural Environment and Patient Health Outcomes Database”—a comprehensive literature review which includes specific references to single bedroom provision.

Available on the Department’s knowledge and information portal (KIP) at

“Independent validation of isolation room design, commissioning and operation”—research to examine the performance of a new isolation room design in relation to patient safety specifically addressing the control of airflow and accordingly airborne infections.

Due for completion September 2006

“What is the size and nature of the current need for single room isolation in hospital and how does success or failure to isolate patients affect the control of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?”—assessment of a national health service facility.

Subject to peer review

“Providing single rooms for patients—a Study of the benefits to patients & staff within NHS in England”—specifically addresses flexibility, infection control and patient focus in three NHS facilities.

Available on the Department’s KIP at

“One patient one room—Theory and Practice. An evaluation of Leeds Nuffield Hospital” —discusses the case for single bedroom accommodation including costs, occupancy, staffing and reduction of infections.

Available on the Department’s KIP at

“Ward layouts with single rooms and space for flexibility”—an examination of the benefits of single rooms in acute hospital accommodation, establishing the minimum space requirements around the hospital bed.

Available on the Department’s KIP at

“The Cost Effectiveness of Hospital Design: Options to improve patient safety and well-being”—includes an evaluation of single rooms.

Commenced 1 April 2006—due for completion 31 March 2008

5 Jun 2006 : Column 13W

Alcohol Treatment Services

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the scheme to establish alcohol health workers in accident and emergency departments, general practitioner surgeries and some criminal justice settings announced in November 2005 will begin. [72356]

Caroline Flint: This scheme is an aspect of a series of trailblazer pilot sites to be implemented in 24 dedicated sites. We are in discussion with strategic health authorities as to how they can be delivered and when they will begin.

Lynda Waltho: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the recent Alcohol Needs Assessment Research Project report, what steps she is taking (a) to address the gap identified between the provision of alcohol treatment and demand and (b) to increase access to and capacity of specialist alcohol treatment services. [70164]

Caroline Flint: Responsibility to improve services and fund service improvements rests with local primary care trusts.

In order to assist local commissioners the Department published the Alcohol Needs Assessment Research Project (ANARP) in November 2005. This is the first comprehensive study of the need for and provision of alcohol services in England.

The Department has launched “Alcohol Misuse Interventions: Guidance on developing a local programme of improvement”, for commissioners developing a local programme of improvement for local alcohol treatment services. We have also sponsored a series of regional conferences to highlight the need for improved focus on alcohol interventions.

A comprehensive review of the evidence base for the effectiveness of alcohol treatment interventions will be published shortly, alongside guidance on “Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers”, which will lay out how best to combine treatment approaches into an effective local alcohol treatment system.

Ambulance Service

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average response time for ambulances in (a) England, (b) each region and (c) the Tees Valley was in each year since 1997. [71081]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department collects ambulance response time data by ambulance trust rather than by geographical area, and in relation to response time requirements rather than by average response time. Therefore, the information requested is not centrally collected in the required format.

The data that the Department does collect on ambulance response times has been published on an annual basis in the statistical bulletin, “Ambulance services, England”. These documents are all available in the Library and from 1998-99. The latest data is available on the Department's website at

5 Jun 2006 : Column 14W

These publications include ambulance response time data for the Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Trust, which covers Tees Valley, and for the whole of England.

Bone Marrow Donors

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to increase the (a) number and (b) diversity of bone marrow donors. [72936]

Caroline Flint: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 18 May 2006, Official Report, columns 1163-64W.

Childhood Immunisation

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to improve childhood vaccination take up for families living in the most disadvantaged primary care trust areas. [72768]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since November 2004, the Department has taken forward a wide-ranging assessment to investigate how best to support the improvement of child and adult immunisation services through commissioning including:

Primary care trusts' (PCTs) experience of the new commissioning routes for immunisation is still growing and there is an opportunity to share good practice on planning and service delivery using these mechanisms. In support of this, the Department has:

The Department is working in partnership across policy teams, NHS employers, other Government Departments (including the Department for Education and Skills, Social Exclusion Unit and Neighbourhood Renewal Unit) and a range of NHS implementing agencies in order to improve childhood immunisation take up for families. Specifically:

5 Jun 2006 : Column 15W

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the childhood immunisation take-up rate is in primary care trusts where GPs have opted out of providing this service. [72770]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information in the form requested is not available.

There is currently no nationally available analysis of the impact of those general practitioners opting out on immunisation uptake rates.

Recent analysis of the proportion of general medical services partnerships in England opting out of childhood immunisation schemes as at 30 September 2004 showed that though the majority of partnerships (93.7 per cent.) had not opted out, some had. The practices opting out are disproportionately likely to be in deprived areas.

Children's Hospices

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions (a) she and (b) Ministers in her Department have visited children's hospices on official business in each of the last five years; and which hospices were visited on each occasion. [62753]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information is not available in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Since May 2005, no Departmental Minister has yet visited a children's hospice on official business. In a series of meetings with doctors and other representatives from hospices, the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill (Mr. Byrne), met with doctors and representatives of Butterwick Hospice on 14 February and Little Havens Children's Hospice on 9 May.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent commitment the Government have made to support the work of specialist services for (a) myalgic encephalomyelitis and encephalopathy and (b) chronic fatigue syndrome; and if she will make a statement. [74158]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In 2003, the Department announced £8.5 million central funding to stimulate improvements in care and access to treatment and to ensure the long-term continuing provision of services for people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/encephalopathy and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME) across England. This resulted in the development of 13 clinical network co-ordinating centres and 36 local multi-disciplinary
5 Jun 2006 : Column 16W
teams, as well as 11 specialist children and young people teams to support the development of multi-disciplinary CFS/ME services in their designated area.

Funding of these services from 2006-07 is included within the resource allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs), to facilitate the continuation of services following the end of the ring-fenced period of funding. CFS/ME services are therefore considered as part of the future local planning of services and PCTs can take steps to ensure the establishment of further CFS/ME services, where there is local need.

National health service organisations are expected to demonstrate that they are making progress towards achieving the level of service quality described in the national service framework (NSF) for long-term conditions. The NSF sets out a clear vision of how health and social care organisations can improve the quality of care, consistency and responsiveness of their services and help improve the lives of people with neurological conditions, including CFS/ME. The Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection can undertake performance reviews to assess progress on local implementation of the NSF.

Community Nursing

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS trusts are operating a freeze on community nursing vacancies. [72266]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not collected centrally.


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many public consultations her Department undertook in 2005; and what the cost was (a) in total and (b) of each consultation. [72856]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: During the year 2005 the Department launched 47 formal public consultations in order to inform the Department's policy development.

Information on the cost of each consultation and the total cost of all consultations could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Report

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake into the reasons for the slippage of targets (i) 3 and (ii) 4 set out on page 13 of the Departmental Report 2006; and if she will make a statement. [71976]

Caroline Flint: The “Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation” White Paper (1999) set out targets to reduce rates of death and serious injury from accidents by 2010. Analysis of the data suggests that the 65 and over age group accounts for the main part of the increase in the death rate from accidents, and in hospital
5 Jun 2006 : Column 17W
admissions for serious accidental injury. Falls account for the main part of the increase in death rates in this group, and are the major contributor to the increase in admissions for serious accidental injury in this group. The Department is keeping the targets under review to ensure that areas of slippage are dealt with as appropriate.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who is responsible for progress on each of the targets set out on pages 13 and 14 of the Departmental Report 2006; to whom each person reports; what recent discussions she has had about implementation of each target; and if she will make a statement. [71977]

Andy Burnham: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has overall responsibility for delivering the targets set out in the Department’s public service agreement. She is supported in delivering her functions through the Department. The Secretary of State has regular meetings with the Permanent Secretary, the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Executive, to apprise her of progress against targets and other matters.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many copies of the Departmental Report 2006 were printed; at what cost; how many were purchased for (a) internal departmental use, (b) NHS primary care trusts and (c) interested bodies and organisations; and if she will make a statement. [71979]

Andy Burnham: 1,200 copies of the 2006 Departmental Report were printed, at a total cost of £23,551. Half were for internal departmental use and the remainder were for The Stationery Office. None were sent to national health service bodies.

Next Section Index Home Page