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Andy Burnham: The Department is working on an internal desk analysis of hospital organisation specialty mix and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This indicates a statistical correlation, but bed occupancy is only one of the factors that influences infection rates. The Department acknowledges the importance of assessing the impact of initiatives on the incidence of MRSA and hopes to publish the report shortly.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether (a) level one, (b) level two and (c) level three neonatal intensive care is defined as a specialised service for the purpose of commissioning; and what plans she has to change how these services are defined. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Level two (neonatal care) and level three (neonatal intensive care) are defined as a specialised service for the purpose of commissioning. Level one (neonatal special care) is not defined as a specialised service. There are no plans to change how these services are defined.
Andy Burnham: The table gives numbers of complaints made between April 1998 and the end of March 2005, which is the latest available audited data. There is one entry for hospital and community health service complaints and one entry for family health service complaints.
The source of this data reflects complaints made through the national health service complaints procedure and does not include complaints made to the General Medical Council or other professional bodies.
|Written complaints about NHS hospital and community services and family health services|
|Hospital and community services (HCHS)||Family health services (FHS)||Total number of written complaints HCHS and FHS|
Data as at 1 April to 31 March.
The Information Centre for health and social care KO41a dataset.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written statement of 11 September 2006, Official Report, column 119WS, on outsourcing of the NHS supply chain services, what assessment she has made of DHLs carbon footprint; what (a) contractual and (b) other steps she has taken to ensure DHLs carbon footprint is reduced; what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of DHLs corporate policies with respect to energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy; whether she has requested any changes to these policies as a prior condition of the awarding of the contract; what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of DHLs corporate policies with respect to waste reuse and recycling; and whether she has requested any changes to these policies as a prior condition of the awarding of the contract. 
Andy Burnham: No specific assessment has been made of DHLs carbon footprint. The contract does not stipulate carbon footprint reduction. However, the outsourcing incentivises DHL to consolidate hospital supplies through the NHS Supply Chain. This will lead to fewer vehicle movements to hospitals and thus reduce carbon emissions overall.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on training for physiotherapists in Lancashire in each year since 1995; and how many physiotherapists were trained in Lancashire in each year. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available in the format requested. The number of physiotherapists working in the former Cumbria and Lancashire Strategic Health Authority (SHA) area between 1995 and 2005 are shown in the table.
|NHS hospital and community health services: qualified physiotherapy staff in Cumbria and Lancashire SHA area as at 30 September each specified year|
| Source: The Information Centre for health and social care non-medical workforce census|
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on individual neonatal intensive care units is not collected centrally. A list of national health service organisations providing neonatal intensive care services in England has been placed in the Library.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average cost per prescription item in (a) England and (b) each region was in each of the last five years; what the total number of prescription forms was in each year; and what the average number of prescription items per person was in each year; 
(2) what the total cost of pharmaceutical payments in (a) England and (b) each region was in the last five years; what the total net ingredient cost was; and what the gross cost was per person. 
Andy Burnham: The information requested has been placed in the Library. The Department holds data at strategic health authority rather than regional level. Pharmaceutical payments data is not available at sub-national level.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) has recently published Paying for Long-Term Care for Older People in the UK: Modelling the Costs and Distributional Effects of a Range of Option which models a range of options for funding long-term care, including applying the Scottish model across the United Kingdom.
The report gives an estimated public expenditure cost at 2002 prices of £1.36 billion. This covers residential and home care for older people. It covers the whole of the United Kingdom. The England equivalent is about £1.2 billion. These estimates take account of limited offsetting savings in disability benefits.
Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations her Department has received from genito-urinary medicine clinics on levels of funding provided for the development of sexual health services. 
It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) to determine how to use the funding allocated to them to commission services to meet the healthcare needs of their local populations. PCTs and strategic health authorities (SHAs) received funding for implementing the targets in the White Paper Choosing Health: making healthy choices easier in their mainstream allocations and we will be monitoring the outcomes through the local delivery plan data lines from this investment. The revenue allocations separately identify funding to support the implementation of Choosing Health. A copy of the White Paper is available in the Library.
Sexual health is one of the top six priorities for the national health service in 2006-07. In particular, by 2008 everyone should be offered an appointment within 48 hours of contacting a GUM clinic. SHAs have submitted plans to meet this target. This increased priority for sexual health should significantly strengthen the incentive for local investment and service modernisation.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what actions she is taking to (a) standardise patient packs in pharmaceutical dispensing and (b) permit dispensing pharmacists to make minor adjustments to prescriptions to accommodate the use of standardised packs. 
Andy Burnham: We are not convinced that it is for the Government to tell manufacturers what pack sizes they should produce. Further, any European Union (EU) law implications of such a measure would need to be considered. In any event, standardisation of sizes of packs manufactured in the United Kingdom would not solve the problem of pack size variety, as packs imported from other EU countries could be of any size.
A consultation on simplification of reimbursement arrangements for national health service dispensing contractors was issued last year. This included measures designed to further promote patient pack dispensing such as allowing pharmacists a limited dispensing discretion with regard to the quantity prescribed to be able to dispense a full patient pack on more occasions. We are currently considering responses to this consultation.
Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of progress towards the Chief Medical Officer's targets of (a) a two per cent. reduction per year in rates of tuberculosis in population groups born in England and (b) a reduction in the incidence of tuberculosis among people who entered the country and became resident here within the last five years. 
Caroline Flint: The Chief Medical Officer's action plan for tuberculosis (TB) was launched in October 2004 and the Department has been developing a toolkit to help the national health service to implement the key points of the action plan through effective commissioning and delivery of services. The toolkit provides models of good practice for laboratory services and surveillance as well as service delivery and is expected to be finished by December 2006. TB services should always follow the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guidelines, published in March 2006, when treating patients. We will be working with the Healthcare Commission to ensure that TB services are monitored. Changes in TB services in the NHS will take time to come into operation and it is too early to assess the impact of the action plan or whether the targets are being achieved.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial help is available to those who wish to travel a long distance to visit relatives in hospitals; and what steps she is taking to publicise this financial help amongst patients. 
Andy Burnham: Help with costs to visit someone who is ill may be available in the form of community care grant from the social fund. In order to qualify, the applicant must be in receipt of Income Support, income-based jobseekers allowance or pension credit. The community care grant scheme is cash limited and applications are prioritised to ensure the funding available supports those in the most need.
The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for the community care grant. Information about the grant is available from Jobcentre Plus. Patients may also receive this information from pension
centres if they are a pensioner, or from the national health service through patient advice and liaison services. These services are based in NHS trusts and aim to provide confidential advice and support to patients, families and their carers with information on the NHS or health-related matters. They can also signpost further sources of information.
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