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12 Dec 2006 : Column 1033W—continued

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the announcement made by the Home
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Office on restrictions on migrant nurses to the UK will affect the (a) operation and (b) monitoring of the Code of Practice for International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals. [107224]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The removal of nursing posts at agenda for change bands 5 or 6 from the Home Office’s shortage occupation list will have no effect on the operation or monitoring of the Code of Practice.

Health Direct

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been allocated to Health Direct in each year since 2003-04. [105366]

Caroline Flint: There was no allocation in 2003-04 as implementation from the Choosing Health White Paper only formally commenced in January 2005.

In the year 2005-06, £0.54 million was allocated to the NHS Health Direct project. In the current financial year 2006-07, £6.53 million has been allocated to the NHS Health Direct project.

Hepatitis C

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to manage hepatitis C infection in community settings. [104377]

Caroline Flint: The provision of hepatitis C services at the local level is the responsibility of primary care trusts and their local partners. They are best placed to assess what is needed in their areas and to take account of other priorities in the context of delivering care in more local and convenient settings, including in the community, provided this is effective and can be delivered safely.

Hospital Reconfiguration

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on the effect on road traffic levels of hospital reconfiguration. [108442]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 11 December 2006]: There have been no discussions on the effect of hospital reconfiguration on road traffic levels.

Hospital Infections

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the efficacy of air purifiers as a mechanism for combating hospital infections; and if she will make a statement. [105683]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 11 December 2006]: The rapid review panel (RRP) has reviewed 22 air decontamination products. From these 22 products:

Two were awarded a recommendation 2:


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Eight received a recommendation 3:

Six received a recommendation 4:

Five received a recommendation 5:

One received a recommendation 6:

Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking in relation to the introduction of a national human papilloma virus vaccination programme during the school year 2007-08. [108757]

Caroline Flint: The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation is currently considering the evidence on human papilloma virus vaccines. It will provide advice to Ministers and, once received, Ministers will consider the advice.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings her Department has had with colleagues from the Department for Education and Skills to discuss the implementation of a schools-based HPV vaccination programme during the school year 2007-08. [108758]

Caroline Flint: The Department is planning to discuss human papilloma virus (HPV) and other vaccinations issues with the Department for Education and Skills in the coming months.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will meet in February 2007; whether the committee will consider HPV vaccination at this meeting; and if she will take steps to ensure that the committee makes its recommendations publicly available. [108759]

Caroline Flint: It is planned that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will next meet on 14 February 2006. It will continue its deliberation on human papilloma virus (HPV) and a range of other vaccination issues. The publication schedule of JCVI is available at:

The minutes of the meeting will be placed in the Library.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation HPV sub-group will next meet. [108760]


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Caroline Flint: It is planned that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation sub-group on human papilloma virus will next meet on 28 February 2007.

Influenza

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to stimulate a market for the provision of new diagnostic products for influenza. [103211]

Caroline Flint: There are a number of commercial diagnostic products for influenza on the market. The Health Protection Agency continues to maintain a watching brief of these products.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the merits of stockpiling the antiviral peramivir for use in the event of an influenza pandemic. [107395]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Peramivir is not currently licensed and is not part of our present plans. However, our antiviral strategy will remain under continual review and if emerging scientific and clinical data indicate that peramivir is a safe and potentially effective drug then we would take this into account.

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of people over 65 in (a) Wantage constituency, (b) Oxfordshire and (c) the South East have received an influenza vaccination in the past 12 months. [105929]

Caroline Flint: Vaccine uptake data are not collected by constituency and hence we do not have data for the Wantage constituency. We have provided influenza vaccination uptake data in respect of people aged 65 years and over for the primary care trusts (PCTs) in Oxfordshire in table 1.

The vaccine uptake data given for the end of January 2006 are that for the 2005-06 seasonal influenza programme. The data given for the end of October 2006 are the data recorded so far for the current vaccination programme. We expect vaccination rates for the current programme to increase in the coming months.

Table 1
As at end of Primary care trust Uptake (Percentage)

January 2006

North East Oxfordshire

82.0

January 2006

South East Oxfordshire

78.8

January 2006

South West Oxfordshire

80.6

January 2006

Oxford City

77.8

October 2006

Oxfordshire(1)

33

(1) The merger of primary care trusts in 2006 mean that there is only one pct for Oxfordshire. North East Oxfordshire, South East Oxfordshire, South West Oxfordshire and Oxford City are now known as Oxfordshire primary care trust.

Vaccination uptake data are also provided for the South East Strategic Health Authority and are shown in table 2. The vaccine uptake data given for the end of January 2006 are that for the 2005-06 seasonal influenza programme. The data given for the end of
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October 2006 are the data recorded so far for the current vaccination programme. We expect vaccination rates for the current programme to increase in the coming months.

Table 2
As at end of Strategic health authority Uptake

January 2006

South East

76

October 2006

South East(1)

31

(1 )24 pcts have now merged to form 8 pcts in the South East SHA.

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will place in the Library copies of the minutes of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation meetings within a month of each meeting. [108756]

Caroline Flint: The minutes of Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are published within three months of a meeting taking place. The publication schedule for JCVI is available at: www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/jcvi/foi_classesofinformation.htm#4 and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Mental Health

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the (a) psychiatrists and (b) organisations which have made representations to her expressing their support for the Mental Health Bill. [108242]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have consulted widely over eight years on changes to mental health legislation and have listened to the views of a broad range of stakeholders.

Work began on reviewing the current mental health legislation, the Mental Health Act 1983, in 1998, with the establishment of an expert committee. Since then, there has been a Green Paper, a White Paper, a Consultation Draft Bill in 2002, and a Draft Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny in 2004. There has also been widespread consultation on the so-called Bournewood safeguards. Consultation has shown this is an area where it is difficult to reach a consensus. As such there are both psychiatrists and organisations who support the Mental Health Bill, as well as those who oppose aspects of it.

The Government are confident that the Mental Health Bill which is currently before Parliament strikes the right balance between patient rights and protecting both patients and the public from harm.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings have been held between the Director for Mental Health Services and (a) Labour, (b) Conservative and (c) Liberal Democrat hon. Members. [108243]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 11 December 2006]: The National Director for Mental Health, Professor Louis Appleby, has attended one meeting of Labour Members and Peers. He has also attended a briefing session that was open to Peers of all parties.


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Professor Appleby is due to attend meetings of all party parliamentary groups for children and for mental health in the near future.

He has had no requests from other Members or Peers. While the Mental Health Bill is in Parliament, Professor Appleby would be willing to meet with any parliamentary group that wants to discuss the Bill.

Ministerial Visits

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many times she has visited health services in Surrey. [108517]

Caroline Flint: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Ms Hewitt) has not visited health services in Surrey. My noble friend the Minister of State (NHS Reform) Lord Warner visited health services in Surrey in November 2006 and February 2004, and the Minister of State (Delivery and Quality) my hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Andy Burnham) visited health services in Surrey in June 2006.

MRSA

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many products to tackle MRSA the Rapid Review Panel has given Level one recommendation to; and if she will make a statement. [108777]

Andy Burnham: The Rapid Review Panel has given three products a recommendation one. Of these three products, two products, ChloraPrep and Bardex IC—silver alloy coated hydrogel catheters, are related to the control of MRSA. Details are published on the Health Protection Agency’s website at

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of how hospital acquired infections such as MRSA are transmitted; and if she will make a statement. [108778]

Andy Burnham: Health care associated organisms such as meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are caused by a wide variety of micro organisms and can spread by a variety of routes. However available evidence indicates that inadequately cleaned hands of health care workers are a major route. This is why we introduced the national ‘cleanyourhands’ campaign to minimise the risk to patient safety of low compliance with hand hygiene by national health service staff through a national strategy of improvement.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many MRSA infections were reported in hospitals in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [108779]

Andy Burnham: The number of Meticillin Resistant Staohylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infections, (bacteraemia reports) for each of the last five years is set out in the table.


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Number of MRSA bacteraemia

April 2001 to March 2002

7,291

April 2002 to March 2003

7,426

April 2003 to March 2004

7,698

April 2004 to March 2005

7,233

April 2005 to March 2006

7,087

Note: Data subject to change—this table correct as at publication date of 24 July 2006. Source: Health Protection Agency, 24 July 2006.

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