|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Ann Keen: Representations on the diagnosis and management of hypothyroidism have been recently received from a small number of health professionals and members of the public, and from members of parliament on behalf of their constituents.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many specialty training posts will be available in round 2; and how many of those are (a) run-through training posts and (b) fixed-term specialist training appointments; 
Ann Keen [holding answer 5 July 2007]: There are no plans to create further run-through specialist training posts for 2007 beyond the 215 already announced. However, for those who have successfully completed the Modernising Medical Careers foundation training programme and who demonstrate their ability to progress, there will be new training programmes through one-year fixed term appointments. There will also be a range of educational grants available to enable doctors either to get an additional years experience in their chosen specialty or to choose to gain experience in a different specialty, thus giving them all a better chance to apply and secure a training programme next year.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Best Practice Guidance on the Transport of Infectious Substances published on his Departments website on 1 June 2007, Gateway reference 8334, whether his Department is aware of any occasions on which cultures containing (a) Escherichia coli (verocytotoxigenic), (b) Mycobacterium tuberculosis and (c) Shigella dysenteriae have been sent via Royal Mail. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Department does not monitor the transportation of infectious substances but recommends that cultures containing (a) Escherichia coli (verocytotoxigenic), (b) Mycobacterium tuberculosis and (c) Shigella dysenteriae are transported by a specialist courier company. Details are found in Transport of Infectious SubstancesBest Practice Guidance for Microbiology Laboratories, Gateway reference 8334.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) cases of C. difficile and (b) deaths where the death certificate refers to C. difficile there were in each acute hospital trust in England in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Ann Keen [holding answer 2 July 2007]: The Health Protection Agency (HPA) publishes mandatory surveillance data for Clostridium difficile infection on its website. The scheme began in January 2004 and up until 31 March 2007 all acute national health service trusts had to report all cases of C.difficile infection for patients aged 65 years and over. Annual data for individual trusts for the first three years (2004, 2005 and 2006) are available on the HPA website at www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/hai/C_diff_annual_Apr_2007.xls A copy of the tables has been placed in the Library.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of cases of clostridium difficile that were caused by in-hospital contamination in each of the last three years. 
The scheme began in January 2004 and up until 31 March 2007, all acute national health service trusts in England had to report all cases of CDI for patients aged 65 years and over. The annual national figures are shown in the following table.
|Annual cases( 1) of CDI|
|(1 )Cases are defined as all diarrhoeal specimens that test positive for C. difficile toxin (where the patient has not been diagnosed with CDI in the preceding four weeks).|
The data collected do not include information on where the infection was acquired, thus we do not know how many of these cases are acquired in hospital.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1920W, on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, when the minutes are likely to be agreed. 
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many additional nursing posts were created in the neonatal units at (a) Stoke, (b) Wolverhampton and (c) Shrewsbury hospitals in (i) 2005, (ii) 2006 and (iii) 2007; 
The Department centrally collects staffing data in an annual survey at acute trust level. Therefore, data is not available by individual hospital or for a geographical area of the country. The data collected reflects the number of staff rather than the number of posts. While the data can be broken down to maternity services area of work, it is not possible to separate out data for neonatal units.
Data on NHS hospital and community health services: Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff in the maternity services area of work, as at 30 September for 2005 and 2006 (latest data available), is shown in the table. The trusts within the table are those within the geographical areas requested.
More accurate validation processes in 2006 have resulted in the identification and removal of 9,858 duplicate non-medical staff records out of the total workforce figure of 1.3 million in 2006. Earlier years figures could not be accurately validated in this way and so will be slightly inflated. The level of inflation in earlier years figures is estimated to be less than 1 per cent. of total across all non-medical staff groups for headcount figures (and negligible for full-time equivalents). This should be taken into consideration when analysing trends over time.
Information Centre for health and social care non-medical workforce Census
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the impact of proposed changes to neonatal care at Royal Shrewsbury hospital on babies born under 27 weeks gestation currently cared for at the hospital. 
Ann Keen [holding answer 2 July 2007]: Guidance on the management of patients with methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections was drawn up by a joint working party of the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the Hospital Infection Society and the Infection Control Nurses Association. It was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection in March 2006(1).
The guidance makes clear that patient isolation for those infected or colonised with MRSA will be dependent on the facilities available and the associated level of risk. Isolation should be in a designated closed area that should be clearly defined; in most facilities, this will be either single-room accommodation or cohort areas/bays with clinical hand-washing facilities. The guidance also states that consideration should be given to the provision of isolation wards to contain MRSA spread.
In addition to the guidance referred to above, the Health Act 2006, Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Health Care Associated Infections, requires trusts to have policies on allocation of patients to isolation facilities based on local risk assessment.
(1) Published March 2006 (online version, April 2006), by the Journal of Hospital Infection, (Volume 63, Supplement 1, Pages S1-S44).
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of using ozone to combat the threat of MRSA; how many representations on the subject he has received; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: The Rapid Review Panel, convened by the Health Protection Agency at the request of the Department, has reviewed seven products that use ozone and none of these demonstrate that their use reduces infection rates. The use of ozone to reduce methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections is unproven.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 9 May 2007, Official Report, column 278W, on NHS finance, whether rates of clostridium difficile were taken into consideration during the allocation of grants under the capital challenge fund scheme; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 9 May 2007, Official Report, column 278W, on NHS finance, what factors were taken into account in the decision to allocate funds to hospitals under the capital challenge fund scheme. 
Ann Keen: All acute trusts were offered an allocation of £300,000 under the Capital Challenge Fund in order to enable investment in tackling infections to be increased quickly. All applications for funding up to that level were approved in full. There was no need for additional factors, including rates of Clostridium difficile infection to be taken into account. For national health service foundation trusts (NHSFTs), the Capital Challenge Fund offered a potential addition of £300,000 to public dividend capital. In order to receive the addition, NHSFTs had to meet the general rules for entitlement to public dividend capital.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated cost of required maintenance in the NHS was in each financial year since 1997-98; and what this figure was for 2006-07, broken down by NHS organisation. 
Investment to reduce backlog maintenance will be prioritised locally based on risk assessment, reconfiguration planning and available resources. The majority of the backlog maintenance relates to low priority work which will be undertaken through ongoing maintenance programmes. Where higher risks are present, work will be undertaken as a priority.
|Total backlog maintenance (£ million)|
The data is as provided by the national health service and has not been amended centrally. Its accuracy and completeness is the responsibility of the provider organisation. A list of the latest available figures broken down by NHS organisation has been placed in the Library.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assistance is available for (a) the elderly and (b) people on low income who need spectacles; what the eligibility criteria are; how much was (i) allocated for such assistance and (ii) received on average by claimants in 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: Individuals aged over 60 who are in receipt of Income Support, income-based Job seekers allowance, or tax credits and meeting qualifying conditions, or who qualify for help under the National Health Service Low Income Scheme, can get help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses via an NHS optical voucher. Individuals under 60 and on low incomes may also be entitled to NHS optical vouchers. NHS optical vouchers provide eligible groups with flexibility over which glasses or contact lenses they choose and where they buy them.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|