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National Contingency Measures

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether local escalation of national contingency measures is in place with the appropriate health and local government authorities. [103597]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The national health service is prepared to deal with a range of incidents and has been responding effectively to major incidents. Specifically, well developed plans and preparations are in place to handle chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incidents, however caused. The Department has issued extensive additional guidance to the NHS on handling pandemic influenza, infectious diseases, anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularaemia, botulism and CBRN release. Contingency plans are multi-agency, cross Government and are regularly tested, reviewed and updated in the light of changing domestic and international circumstances.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which of the measures outlined in the UK pandemic contingency measures plan her Department has taken to prevent a pandemic of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, in terms of (a) human vaccine supplies delivered as stockpile, (b) non-pharmaceutical protection measures such as masks, clothing and body bags in the event of a pandemic and (c) the award of pharmaceutical research contracts to produce human vaccine once the strain causing the pandemic is identified. [103598]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is stockpiling 3.3 million doses of H5N1 vaccine and around half of these have already been delivered.

We are currently considering whether we should centrally procure and stockpile FFP3 respirators and facemasks for health professionals, and a decision will be reached as soon as possible. We are also considering whether to stockpile other non-pharmaceutical protection measures.

As regards body bags, the World Health Organization and the Health Protection Agency have advised that they will not normally be necessary. Therefore, the United Kingdom influenza pandemic contingency plan does not include any proposal to procure a central stockpile of these.

In October 2005, the Chief Medical Officer announced that we are inviting manufacturers to tender for a contract to supply pandemic vaccine to the UK population once the pandemic emerges and the viral strain is identified. The tendering process for these contracts is ongoing.

NHS Finance

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what NHS expenditure per head was in Chesham and Amersham constituency in 2005-06; [102338]

(2) what NHS expenditure per head was in Liverpool in 2005-06; [102339]

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(3) what NHS expenditure per head was in Sedgefield constituency in 2005-06. [102340]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is not available by parliamentary constituency.

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what deficits are projected in 2006-07 for each of the primary care trusts within the East Midlands region. [106830]

Andy Burnham: We published the NHS financial performance for the second quarter of 2006-07, on the 9 November 2006, which provides details of the forecast year end position reported by national health service organisations.

The report is available in the Library. It is also available on the Department’s website at:


Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many drugs have been (a) approved, (b) partially approved and (c) rejected for prescribing on the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence since its inception. [105027]

Andy Burnham: Since the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) was established in 1999, it has completed 111 technology appraisals. Of the 77 appraisals of pharmaceuticals, NICE has approved 25 drugs, partially approved 49 drugs, and rejected one drug. It has also recommended further research on two drugs.

Non-medical Professions

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress is being made on the implementation of the proposals in the Foster Review for the regulation of non-medical professions; and what steps she has taken following responses to consultation on the complaints procedures for misconduct; [103195]

(2) what action has been taken to address the concerns raised by professional bodies about the proposals in the Foster Review statutorily to regulate the non-medical healthcare professions. [103949]

Andy Burnham: A four-month period of consultation on proposals for change in Healthcare Professional Regulation ended on 10 November 2006.

We are now considering the way forward in the light of responses and the Government’s policy objectives. We expect to publish our proposals early in the new year.

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Nurse-Family Partnership

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions Ministers in her Department have had with the hon. Member for Nottingham, North on the Nurse-Family Partnership. [100694]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I held a meeting with the hon. member on Tuesday 21 November to discuss Nurse Family Partnership.

Nurses Uniforms

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average (a) cost and (b) life time’s wear of a nurse’s uniform is; [102582]

(2) what her Department’s policy is on the provision of changing facilities for nurses in NHS hospitals; and if she will make a statement; [102583]

(3) what recent research has been carried out into nurses uniforms that may be carrying infections as nurses move between their home, patients and wards; and if she will make a statement; [102585]

(4) whether methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can be carried on nurses’ uniforms; and what evidence she drew on to make such an assessment; [102586]

(5) what she estimates the effect on the number of cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to be if nurses and hospital staff were not allowed to leave their places of work wearing their uniforms; [102587]

(6) what the terms of reference are for her Department’s review of uniform policy in the NHS; when the review is expected to be completed; who the members of the review team are; what their qualifications are; and if she will make a statement. [102589]

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Andy Burnham: The expected life of a nurse’s uniform is two years with normal use. The cost varies dependent on style and supplier. Typical costs are as follows:


Nurses dress style in white


Nurse female tunic style in white


Nurse female trouser style in white


The provision of changing facilities is a matter for local determination.

Earlier this year, the Department’s working group on uniforms commissioned a literature review to examine the possible risks of uniforms in respect of healthcare associated infections. The reviewers concluded that there was no evidence that uniforms posed a significant risk. The Department has also commissioned research into laundering of uniforms. This work is still ongoing. The results will inform the recommendations of the working group.

The available evidence suggests that although it is possible to isolate micro-organisms from uniforms, many of these will be the wearer's own skin flora, and good hygiene practice, including the appropriate use of aprons and gloves, will minimise transmission.

The evidence suggests that a ban on wearing uniforms outside the workplace would not significantly affect the number of cases of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.

The uniform working group expects to report early in the new year. The terms of reference are as follows:

Membership is as follows:

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Name Job title Qualifications Place of work

Liz Jones

Head of Patient Environment

PhD, RN,

Department of Health

Phil Liversidge

Linen and Laundry Services Manager

Member Hospital Linen Services and Laundry Managers

Airedale General Hospital

Graham Jacob

Cleaning Lead

National Patient Safety Agency

Geoff Ridgway

Senior Medical Officer


Department of Health

Ken Holmes

Public Health Engineer

MSc, B.Eng, BSc, C.Eng, MCIBSE

Department of Health

Janice Stevens

Programme Director


Department of Health

Carole Fry

Nursing Officer


Department of Health

Louise O'Shea

Infection Control Adviser

Msc. Dip. Infection Control, RGN

Royal College of Nursing

Carmel Edwards

Senior Infection Control Nurse


Wirral Health Services

John Holton

Senior Microbiologist

BSc, MB, ChB, PhD, MRCPath

University College Hospital

Andrew Jones

Director of Allied Clinical and Facilities Services

Member of IHSM

Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Robert Spencer

Quality Manager

MB, BS, MSc, FRCPath, FRCP(G), HonDipHIC

Health Protection Agency South West

Patricia Gould

Acting Director

RM, MA Sociological Research in Health Care

Royal College of Midwives

Debbie Dzik-Jurasc



Royal College of Nursing

Gail Adams

Head of Nursing


Paul Gibson

Northwest Regional Chairman of Hospital Linen Services and Laundry Managers

Bolton Hospitals NHS Trust

Tracey Gauci

Principal Nurse

RGN, BSc (Infection Control)

Welsh Assembly Government

Elizabeth Qua

Principal Nurse


Health Estates, Dundonald

Denise Price

Assistant Director of Nursing


Birmingham Heartlands Hospital

Paul Sheehan


NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency/


David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will estimate the number of additional (a) consultant paediatricians and (b) staff grade paediatricians required to be recruited to the NHS in each of the five financial years commencing with 2007-08. [102560]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information relating to the estimated number of consultant paediatricians and staff grade paediatricians required is not held centrally.

Patient Transport Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the additional cost to primary care trusts of extending patient transport services to procedures which were traditionally provided in a hospital but which are now provided in a community setting as stated in her Department's document Eligibility criteria for Patient Transport Services published on 17th November; and for what reasons she has decided not to introduce uniform, national eligibility criteria for access to patient transport services. [103200]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Additional resources have been included in primary care trust (PCT) allocations to plan and provide for the extension of non-emergency patient transport services.

It is important to note however that some PCTs already operate a greater level of eligibility than the current Department guidance requires, and therefore the actual cost may be lower.

The draft guidance currently under consultation sets out broad, national eligibility criteria, also allows local PCTs the flexibility to better design services around the need of the patient. PCTs may choose to develop more detailed guidance to aid local implementation.

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