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Clostridium Difficile: Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many instances of Clostridium difficile were reported between January and December 2006 in the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust; and if she will make a statement. [123600]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 27 February 2007]: The latest data available for Peterborough and Stamford Hospital Foundation National Health Service Trust covering the period January to September 2006 are as follows.

Period Number of cases

January to March


April to June


July to September




Data covering October to December 2006 will be published in April 2007.


Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to reply to the letters of 8 August, 4 October, 5 and 20 December 2006 from the hon. Member for North East Hampshire on Mrs. Dafforn. [110950]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: A reply was sent on 29 January 2007.

Dental Services

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department has issued to primary care trusts on dealing with a shortfall in expected revenue from dentists from patient charges. [121423]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In October 2006, the Department issued guidance (Gateway reference 7227) to help primary care trusts work with dentists to understand and address the factors that may account for lower than expected patient charge revenue in some areas. This information is contained in the “National Health Service (NHS): Patient Charge Revenue”, which has been placed in the Library. The document is also available at:

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what target outcomes her Department has set for each primary care trust to achieve for its dental budget; and how many each primary care trust has achieved in the 2006-07 financial year. [122088]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not set outcome targets for dentistry for primary care trusts (PCTs). The Department provides strategic health authorities with indicative annual numbers of units of dental activity (which are a weighted measure of courses of treatment) that might be commissioned by PCTs from within their devolved dental allocations, but
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these are not fixed targets. It is the responsibility of PCTs to agree appropriate service levels for the dental providers in their area, which could include service outputs that cannot be measured through courses of treatment. PCTs are also free to draw upon their wider national health service resources to commission additional dental services if they consider this appropriate in the light of local circumstances and priorities. Full data on the volume of services commissioned by PCTs and the levels delivered by dental providers in 2007-08 will not be available until after the year end.

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of dental practices that will fulfil their annual contract before the end of the 2006-07 financial year, broken down by primary care trust. [122089]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not assess the performance of individual dental providers. Primary care trusts, as commissioning bodies, are responsible for monitoring the services carried out by their local dental providers.

Departments: Furniture

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many items of furniture were (a) lost and (b) stolen from her Department in each year since 1997; and what the value was of those items in each year. [120712]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information is not available before 2005. In 2005 one item of furniture was lost from the Department which had a value of £800. There have been no other items of furniture lost or stolen since 2005.

Departments: Official Cars

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vehicles belonging to her Department were (a) lost and (b) stolen in each year since 1997; and what the (i) make and model and (ii) value was of each vehicle. [121362]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: There have been no vehicles belonging to the Department reported lost or stolen in each of the years since 1997.


Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what legal advice the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority received before making its decision on human-animal hybrid research. [111391]

Caroline Flint: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) received independent legal advice from Queen’s Counsel on questions relating to its legal remit in relation to the creation of hybrid embryos and the process it should follow in reaching a policy decision. Based on that advice the HFEA has decided to consult stakeholders and the wider public before making a decision.

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Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the Healthcare Commission’s proposal to increase the annual and registration fees for hospices; and if she will make a statement; [117410]

(2) if she will make representations to the Healthcare Commission on its proposal to increase the annual and registration fees for hospices; [117411]

(3) what assessment she has made of the potential effect of an increase in the annual and registration fees for hospices on the provision of patient services. [117412]

Andy Burnham: We have made no assessments in connection with the regulatory fees hospices pay the Healthcare Commission.

The Healthcare Commission is currently consulting on its proposals for regulatory fees for the independent healthcare sector in 2007-08. The consultation period runs until 20 February. Independent healthcare providers can comment on any impact they consider revised fees might have on their services in their responses to the consultation and the chairman of the Commission has confirmed that in determining the final proposals it puts to the Secretary of State, the Commission will take full account of comments it receives.

The Secretary of State will consider the final proposals put to her by the Healthcare Commission following the consultation; it would not be appropriate for the Secretary of State to make representations to the Commission on behalf of any one provider or group of providers.

Hospital Car Parks

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration she has given to the merits of introducing a policy of free parking at hospitals for the next of kin, or immediate family of patients being treated. [114973]

Andy Burnham: It is a matter for individual national health service bodies to decide whether or not to charge for car parking on their premises, and the level of charges to apply in the light of local circumstances. We have no plans to change this. Updated guidance was issued to the NHS in December 2006. This provides advice on a range of factors that NHS bodies should consider when operating commercial car parking schemes, including what charges to impose and what concessions to consider.

Hospitals: Consultants

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received on the impact of restrictions on consultant-to-consultant referrals on the diagnosis of long-term medical conditions. [121240]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Due to the way that departmental correspondence is recorded this information cannot be supplied without disproportionate costs.

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Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will record rates of infection of (a) meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, (b) Clostridium difficile and (c) other hospital-acquired infections recorded under mandatory surveillance procedures, broken down by age. [118119]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Patient age is not generally recorded under the mandatory surveillance schemes for healthcare associated infection, but since October 2005, this information has been collected for meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The Department is considering with the Health Protection Agency (HPA) how to publish more detailed data from the enhanced recording system. Acute national health service trusts in England are obliged to report all cases of Clostridium difficile associated disease in patients aged 65 years and over.

Voluntary surveillance for healthcare associated infections including age-specific rates is available on the HPA website:

Internal Guidance Documents

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which internal guidance documents are used in her Department. [104609]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Long-term Conditions National Service Framework

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the group looking at workforce and training issues for the long-term conditions national service framework has reported. [101380]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The long-term conditions workforce group contributed to the development of the long-term conditions national service framework. It was closed down in 2006. Workforce development for this care group will be taken forward by the Department and stakeholders.

Maternity Services

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she commissioned Dr. Sheila Shribman to report on the future of maternity services; and what her terms of reference are. [120892]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This is one of a series of reports by national clinical directors (NCDs), setting out the clinical case for change in their respective specialties. The series began in December 2006 and will continue
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with other reports from NCDs as well as the reports already published. NCDs are experts that each oversee the implementation of a national service framework (NSF). Dr. Shribman is in charge of implementation of the NSF for children, young people and maternity services. They advocate the NSFs in the national health service, and represent the NHS in the Department. NCDs work with policy and delivery teams, clinical networks and the NHS management community to achieve joined up action.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures she proposes to take to provide women with co-ordinated medical and social care working to an agreed pathway of care as referred to in Making it Better: For Mother and Baby, page 5. [121573]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is for primary care trusts and national health service trusts to plan services around the needs of local people. This includes local planning for care pathways, which are evidence-based, provided within available resources, and within the context of relevant clinical guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. All maternity services should be provided within a managed clinical network with access to co-ordinated, seamless care. This must be co-ordinated with local authorities in line with the Child Care Act 2006, and integrated with children's and families services, especially children’s centres.

We will be publishing a national delivery framework in early 2007, to support trusts in this work.

Mental Health Services: Children

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which mental health trusts have bid for capital funding for (a) new facilities for child and adolescent mental health services and (b) to adapt existing facilities; and how many bids for each were successful. [120651]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information is not collected centrally in the format requested. The majority of national health service capital is disbursed by strategic health authorities (SHAs). In 2006-07 a budget of £16 million was retained centrally for use by NHS mental health trusts providing services which are nationally commissioned. From this budget £10 million was allocated towards the construction of a new secure forensic mental health unit for adolescents in Southampton, and the remaining sum was allocated between three trusts for improvements to existing facilities.

Ministerial Visits

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Minister of State for delivery and reform next plans to visit St. Albans in an official capacity. [117416]

Andy Burnham: I have no current plans to visit St. Albans in an official capacity.

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Mobile Phones

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence she has examined on the interference caused by mobile phones to hospital equipment. [108895]

Caroline Flint: The Medical Devices Agency (now the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)) conducted an extensive study into the effects of a wide range of mobile communication equipment on 178 different models of medical device in 1997. The results indicated that only 4 per cent. of the medical devices tested suffered interference from mobile phones at a distance of 1 m, with less than 0.1 per cent. showing serious effects.

The results of this study were published in the Device Bulletin “DB 9702 Electromagnetic Compatibility of Medical Devices with Mobile Communications”. This advice has been reviewed on a regular basis by the MHRA since 1997.

A further study on the effects of radio communications equipment on the safe use of medical devices inside ambulances and in the vicinity of emergency vehicles was conducted in 1999 and resulted in the publication of a further Device Bulletin, “DB 1999(02) Emergency Service Radios and Mobile Data Terminal: Compatibility Problems with Medical Devices”.

An update document, SN 2001(06) was published in March 2001, which covered the potential interference with medical devices by TETRA radio systems employed by the emergency services and media broadcasts from hospital premises.

Most recently, the MHRA published guidance on its website in July 2004, which referenced DB 9702 and DB 1999(02). This guidance advised that health care providers should actively manage the use of radio frequency spectrum on their own sites, and consider the potential effects of communication equipment on all medical devices.


Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of MRSA were recorded in England in each of the last five years. [110672]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The number of cases of MRSA recorded in England, for each of the last financial years is set out in the following table.

April to March each year Number of MRSA reports











Data subject to change.
Data published by the Health Protection Agency, 30 January 2007.

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