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Hospital Beds

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in each hospital trust had their discharge from hospital delayed in each week (a) in the last 12 months and (b) in the preceding 12 months. [160844]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 25 October 2007]: The information has been placed in the Library.

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many bed nights in each hospital trust were spent by patients who were ready for discharge but remained in hospital in (a) the last 12 months and (b) the preceding 12 months; and what the estimated total cost to the NHS was of these delayed discharges. [160845]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 25 October 2007]: The information has been placed in the Library.

Hospitals: Deep Cleaning

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what average length of time he expects the deep clean of a hospital to take; [159960]

(2) what his latest estimate is of the cost per hospital of his Department’s hospital deep cleaning programme; and who will meet the cost of each hospital’s programme; [159961]

(3) on what date his Department’s deep cleaning programme for hospitals is expected (a) to start and (b) to finish. [159962]

Ann Keen: No specific date has been set for either the commencement or completion of the deep-clean programme. The delivery of this programme is entirely a matter for local determination and will be affected by a range of local factors and considerations including, but not limited to, the size, age and configuration of the hospital and the extent of the deep-cleaning necessary. It is not therefore possible to provide any estimated average of either the cost or the length of time it will take. The funding for this programme will be allocated by individual strategic health authorities.

Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the definition of a healthcare associated infection was in (a) 1980 and (b) 1993-94; and what definition is now in use. [159727]

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Ann Keen: In the studies conducted in 1980 and 1993-94, hospital acquired infection was defined as an infection found to be active, or under active treatment at the time of the survey, which was not present on admission to hospital(1, 2).

The definition for health care associated infection (HCAI) used in the 2006 survey was the one devised by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, United States America, that is, any infection reported must meet the definition of a HCAI, that is, a local or systemic condition resulting from adverse reaction to the presence of an infectious agent(s) or its toxins. There must be no evidence that it was present or incubating at the time of hospital admission unless the infection was related to a previous admission to the same hospital (i.e. the hospital under surveillance.)(3)

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library the data collected from each of the 190 acute hospitals which were surveyed as part of the Third Prevalence Survey of Healthcare Associated Infections in Acute Hospitals in England 2006, published by his Department on 12 September 2007. [159728]

Ann Keen: Participation in the Third Prevalence Survey of Healthcare Associated Infections in acute hospitals in England 2006 was voluntary and as the national data was anonymised, we do not have individual trusts data. Trusts who participated in the survey can access their own data via a secure web-based system developed by the Welsh Healthcare Associated Infection Programme.

Hospitals: Nutrition

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to ensure that NHS hospital food meets acceptable nutritional standards, with particular reference to elderly patients; and if he will make a statement. [160866]

Ann Keen: An appropriate diet, based on acceptable standards, requires good food with the right nutritional content, properly prepared and available when patients need it. The National Health Service Plan stipulated that dieticians should advise and check on nutritional values in hospital food. Nutritional information is available for all recipes in the National Dish Selector, and this can be used to assess local nutritional levels. Ingredients specifications for the recipes have been developed by the Purchasing and Supply Agency to ensure that wholesome, high quality and value-for-money ingredients are used.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) Strategic Plan for 2005-10 includes a commitment to support other Government Departments to set targets to improve the nutritional quality of meals served in major institutions. Work is under way to develop nutrient and
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food based guidance for institutions that will support cross-Government action on diet and food procurement. The first set of guidance, including an example menu, for those providing food to older people in residential care who do not have specific diet-related medical needs, was published by the FSA in October 2006. Guidance for institutions providing food to adults who do not have specific diet-related medical needs, will be published before the end of October 2007.

The quality of hospital food is measured annually via Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) assessments. These showed an increase from 17 per cent. ‘good’ in 2002 to 32 per cent. ‘excellent’ in 2006 (there was no ‘excellent’ category in 2002, when a three-point scale was used).

Older people in hospital may prefer to eat little and often, and this was provided for in the NHS Plan. For the last year in which statistics were collected, (2004) 89 per cent. of hospitals had introduced ward kitchen services to provide light snacks, 80 per cent. were providing snack boxes for patients who missed a meal and 84 per cent. provided extra snacks during the day.

It is known that older people in hospital are vulnerable to malnutrition. To identify and deal with patients at risk, we have introduced protected mealtimes and have renewed the emphasis on nutritional screening. These two areas of work are being actively pursued by the National Patient Safety Agency.

A national action plan to tackle the issue of older people and nutrition more generally was announced on 14 March 2007 by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Lewis). The action plan followed a nutrition summit on the same day, attended by leading charities, clinicians, nutrition experts and care home representatives. It will be published in November 2007 and will outline a range of measures that NHS and social care managers can take to address nutrition, hydration and nutritional care issues in all settings. FSA guidance to improve meals served in major institutions contributes to this national action plan.

Hospitals: Official Visits

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS hospitals (a) he and (b) each other Minister in his Department has visited since 27 June. [158460]

Dawn Primarolo: The Secretary of State for Health and other departmental Ministers all make regular visits to national health service and social care facilities, including hospitals, general practitioner practices and primary and community services.

Since 27 June 2007, Ministers have visited the following NHS hospitals:

Secretary of State (Alan Johnson)

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Minister of State (Ben Bradshaw)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Ann Keen)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Ivan Lewis)

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Ara Darzi)

Human Papilloma Virus: Vaccination

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish, in full, the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programme before its next meeting in February; what plans he has to introduce an HPV programme for girls aged 12 to 13; what plans he has to extend an HPV programme to young women older than 13; and if he will make a statement. [161453]

Dawn Primarolo: On 26 October, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Alan Johnson) announced the introduction of a human papilloma virus (HPV) immunisation programme to routinely vaccinate girls aged 12-13 years of age against cervical cancer, starting from September 2008.

The Secretary of State also confirmed that there would be a two-year catch up campaign starting in autumn 2009, for girls up to 18 years.

Incontinence Aids

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the names, qualifications and responsibilities are of those on the Expert Group set up to reclassify continence and stoma prescription products. [161370]

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Mr. Bradshaw: Subject to their agreement, the Department will publish the names of the specialist nurses who advised the Department of the proposed classification of items.

Incontinence Aids: Prices

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason two options were provided under Part IX of the Drug Tariff for the reclassification of continence products according to the proposed reimbursement price reduction model. [161368]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has only proposed one classification of stoma and incontinence items listed in Part IX of the Drug Tariff.

However, the Department is seeking views on two options as to how value for money for the national health service might be achieved via a reduction reimbursement prices.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the likely impact on services to patients if drug companies adopt option 1 in Part IX of the Drug Tariff of a 35 per cent. price reduction in continence products. [161369]

Mr. Bradshaw: Our recent consultation refers to a reduction capped at 35 per cent. not a 35 per cent. reduction in prices for all products.

The consultation also proposes remuneration for services; this is independent of reimbursement for items. Views are sought on the proposed remuneration for services.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the benefits and risks are which are being considered as part of the decision to change arrangements for the seasonal influenza programme, as referred to in his letter to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire, reference PO00000237366. [160262]

Dawn Primarolo: The Review provided options for fundamentally changing the current system for the purchase and supply of vaccine without incurring additional costs and maintaining the cooperation of providers and general practice.

The current flu vaccination programme has proved successful, and consideration needs to be given to the potential adverse impact that any changes may have on vaccination uptake levels, or confidence of stakeholders in the programme, as well as the potential benefits of a more robust or cost-effective delivery of the programme.

No decision can be taken to change these arrangements until a thorough assessment of the benefits and risks is completed and the results of the 2008-09 programme including the impact of improved information, planning and communication on uptake is known.

Influenza: Disease Control

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he has put in place to ensure that
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the UK’s stockpile of antivirals can be distributed to the population within the window of therapeutic opportunity. [160264]

Dawn Primarolo: The National Flu Line Service is being set up to enable rapid access to antiviral medicines treatment to those that require it. Arrangements are being made to support this, including the identification of ‘local collection’ points where antivirals can be collected on behalf of the symptomatic patient (on being authorised treatment via the Flu Line Service). Communications are also being prepared to encourage patients to contact the Flu Line Service within the window of therapeutic opportunity.

Influenza: Screening

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to introduce screening for pandemic influenza infection at points of national border entry or exit in the event of an influenza pandemic; and if he will make a statement. [160265]

Dawn Primarolo: Based on available health evidence about their likely effectiveness, there are no plans to impose either entry or exit screening in the United Kingdom in the event of an influenza pandemic. But if such screening were recommended by the World Health Organization, or other countries impose requirements of this nature, we would need to consider our position on a case-by-case basis.

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