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22 Jan 2007 : Column 1588W—continued

The full reports of this research have been published on the agency's website at:

The FSA encourages restaurants, caterers and cafés to provide more detailed information about the nutritional content of the food they serve to help consumers to be able to identify healthy food choices. There are no current plans to recommend the use of the agency's approach to signpost labelling in catering establishments this will be considered with stakeholders once the United Kingdom-wide signposting scheme for pre-packaged foods has been implemented effectively.

Foundation Trusts

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will change the relevant rules to give members of Governors Councils of Foundation Trusts who are not members of committees of the Council the right to attend meetings of those committees. [115431]

Andy Burnham: The circumstances of each national health service foundation trust (NHSFT) are different, which is why the legislative framework for NHSFTs gives them freedoms of local flexibility to tailor their governance arrangements to their individual circumstances and those of their community, over and above minimum legal requirements.

It is up to each NHSFT to consider whether to set up committees or sub-committees of its board of governors and determine the circumstances under which these should operate. Schedule 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2003 states that the constitution of each NHSFT must include details on the practice and procedure for the board of governors, and may also make other provision about the board of governors as the trust sees fit. Reasons for exclusion from meetings are determined locally.

Health Care Professionals: Recruitment

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2006, Official Report, column 1029, on recruitment of health care professionals, how the Code of Practice for International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals is enforced with respect to nurses trained in, or nationals of, developing countries. [113326]

Ms Rosie Winterton: NHS employers monitor the adherence of trusts and commercial recruitment agencies used by the national health service to the principles of the code of practice for the international recruitment of healthcare professionals.

The code of practice proscribes the active recruitment of healthcare professionals from developing countries listed on the NHS Employers website, regardless of their nationality or country of qualification.

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Health Professionals: Confidentiality

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made with the review of confidentiality obligations placed on health professionals as they relate to criminal investigations concerning the potential transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. [114891]

Caroline Flint: The Department’s Policy consultation on “Confidentiality and Disclosure of Patient Information—HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection” closed on 31 October 2006. We received over 70 replies, which officials are currently considering. This consultation is separate from the Crown Prosecution Service’s recent consultation on prosecuting cases following the sexual transmission of infections which cause grievous bodily harm.

Healthy Living Social Marketing Strategy

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to launch the healthy living social marketing strategy. [116866]

Caroline Flint: The purpose of the healthy living social marketing strategy is to identify the behaviours that need to be influenced as part of our strategy to tackle obesity. These goals were shared with stakeholders on 19 October 2006. This was followed by a successful public stakeholder event on 15 December 2006, involving many external partners. Following this event, we are refining our approach and this will be made public as part of the first wave of social marketing campaigns by March 2007.

Healthy Start Scheme

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in (a) the West Midlands and (b) Coventry have received vouchers to buy milk, fruit and vegetables under the Healthy Start scheme since its introduction. [116571]

Caroline Flint: The information is not available in the format requested.

Data relating to recipients of healthy start vouchers is collected by postcode. In the most recent distribution of healthy start vouchers covering the period 22 January 2007 to 18 February 2007, the number of recipients in postal sector CV, which largely corresponds to Coventry, is 5,712.


Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the National Health Service spent on the purchase of heroin for medicinal purposes in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [114554]

Caroline Flint: Heroin is known as diamorphine when used for medical purposes. Figures for use in the community are available for 1996 to 2005. Figures for use in hospitals are only available for 2001 to 2005.

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£ 000
Community dispensing—net ingredient cost Estimated hospital cost Estimated total































The use in 2005 was affected by production problems at a major manufacturer.

Hospital Visits

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department provides to strategic health authorities and NHS trusts considering reconfiguration of health services on the appropriate mix of (a) clinical safety, (b) health inequalities and access to health facilities in communities and (c) the ability of families and friends to visit patients. [115601]

Andy Burnham: Reconfiguration of health services is a matter for the national health service locally.

We would expect that a whole range of factors are taken into account to inform and determine any such decision.

No significant changes to the reconfiguration of health services locally will take place without first consulting local people.

Hospital-acquired Infections

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 14 December 2006, Official Report, column 1358, on hospital infections, for what reason private hospitals and independent sector treatment centres are not required to report cases of (a) MRSA and (b) Clostridium difficile; and if she will make a statement. [112801]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Independent sector providers are not currently contractually required to report cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile-associated disease as the mandatory surveillance system only includes acute national health service trusts. The current independent sector reporting requirements are laid out in the Private and Voluntary Healthcare (PVH) Regulations 2001.

Following publication of ‘The Health Act 2006 Code of Practice for the Prevention and control of Health Care Associated Infections’ we are considering how to implement similar provisions on HCAIs, including surveillance, in the independent sector and a consultation on the PVH regulations will be held in 2007.

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Hygiene Posters

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health at what cost the Wet, Soap, Wash, Rinse, Dry poster, gateway reference 7562, posted to her Department's website on 19 December 2006, was developed; how many posters will be published; and at what total cost to the public purse. [114987]

Caroline Flint: 50,000 copies of the poster were designed, printed and disseminated at a total cost of £30,000.

The poster was mailed to health centres, general practitioner surgeries, health promotion and health protection units, pharmacies, NHS Direct call centres, NHS walk-in centres, accident and emergency units and to consultants in communicable disease control. It was also cascaded to a wide range of communication leads within strategic health authorities and primary care trusts and made available as a downloadable resource on a range of websites.

Independent Treatment Centre: Preston

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what consultation exercise is being undertaken on the proposal for a new independent treatment centre in Preston; [117184]

(2) which organisations will be consulted over the proposal for a new independent treatment centre at Preston; [117185]

(3) if she will take steps to ensure that the (a) Foundation Trust, (b) local hon. Members, (c) local authorities and (d) GPs are consulted on the proposal for a new independent treatment centre at Preston. [117186]

Andy Burnham: An eight-week consultation has recently been launched by the six primary care trusts (PCTs) in Cumbria and Lancashire to seek the views of the public on the planned establishment of a new clinical, assessment, treatment and support (CATS) service. The consultation runs from 15 January 2007 to 9 March 2007. The PCTs are consulting specifically on the details of the local implementation of CATS services in Cumbria and Lancashire, which fall into four areas: the location of the sites, their impact on the wider health services, how to ensure that they fit seamlessly into the pathway from GP referrer through to local hospital treatment, and the proposed clinical specialities.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2006, Official Report, column 1037-38W, on seasonal influenza, what her latest estimate is of the proportion of patients in each risk group whose health is deemed at risk from seasonal influenza who have received their seasonal influenza immunisation for the 2006-07 winter. [114944]

Caroline Flint: The information is as follows.

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Flu vaccine uptake by end of December 2006
Under 65 years of age and in a medical risk group Percentage

Chronic respiratory disease


Chronic heart disease


Chronic renal disease


Chronic liver disease






Those aged 65 and over


1. The December figure is based on the response rate of 90 per cent. from general practitioners practices in England.
2. Sentinel surveillance data from QResearch (based on 3,150 GP practices) suggests that by 14 January 2007 flu vaccine uptake in those 65 years and over was 73.5 per cent. in England.
Provisional national uptake data to the end of December 2006 has been collected by the Health Protection Agency. This data is collected on a monthly basis.

Influenza Pandemic

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had on the stockpiling of respirators for key workers in the event of an influenza pandemic; and if she will make a statement. [112860]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Infection control guidance for the national health service, including the use of respirators, has been published at

A copy has been placed in the Library. Infection control guidance for a range of sectors is also being developed.

We are currently considering how best to ensure that respirators are available for staff at greatest risk during a pandemic.

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures have been put in place to protect key workers in the event of an influenza pandemic; and if she will make a statement. [112861]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The United Kingdom Influenza Pandemic Contingency Plan, which is currently being revised, provides an outline of the key measures that have been put in place to protect the UK population. These include the purchase of enough antivirals to treat 25 per cent. of the population. Our stockpile should be adequate to treat those who fall ill in a pandemic of similar proportions to those that occurred during the 20th century. In particular, the following measures have been put in place to protect front-line healthcare workers.

We have purchased 3.3 million doses of H5N1 vaccine which may be used to vaccinate front-line healthcare workers. A final decision regarding the use of this vaccine has not yet been made.

We have recommended the use of face masks for healthcare professionals who would be working closely with infected patients. In particular, we recommend that those healthcare workers performing procedures that have the potential to generate aerosols should wear
22 Jan 2007 : Column 1593W
FFP3 respirators. 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.

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