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Maternity Services

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the quality of data available that relates to maternity services. [163277]

Ann Keen: Our major sources of information relating to maternity services are the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES), and the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) data relating to the number of births registered. According to the NHS Information Centre, HES records 70-75 per cent. of all births while the ONS data are more accurate as a measure of the number of babies being born.

The Information Centre for health and social care publishes annual maternity activity statistics which combines detailed HES information specific to maternity service with the registered birth information from ONS. Validation is applied to the data before publication. Copies of the NHS maternity statistics, England, 2004-05 are available in the Library.

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the future provision of antenatal services available to patients who are expecting a multiple birth; [163889]

(2) what guidance has been issued to maternity units to ensure that newborn twins, triplets or quads are cared for in the same (a) unit and (b) hospital. [163890]

Ann Keen: The Department has not issued any guidance specifically on the care of multiple-birth babies.

Neonatal managed clinical networks have established a more structured collaborative approach to caring for newborn babies.

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While priority should be given to keeping mothers and their babies together, there are times when their individual needs take priority and that may mean that they are cared for in different hospitals. It is for networks to agree appropriate protocols, standards and pathways of care for use within their local area.

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what training (a) doctors, (b) nurses, (c) midwives and (d) health visitors receive in the care and treatment of patients expecting a multiple birth. [163891]

Ann Keen: The royal colleges are responsible for setting the curriculum for specialties to ensure that high educational standards are met in the interests of safe and responsible practice, assessment of training and programmes of education and training. They play a leading role in the delivery of high-quality patient care by setting standards of medical practice and promoting clinical excellence.

The colleges are independent bodies who advise and work with Government, the public, patients and other professionals to improve health and health care. They have their own exacting standards and examinations, exercising a direct influence on the quality of training and the appointment of consultants in all medical specialties.

Post-registration training needs for national health service staff are determined against local NHS priorities, through appraisal processes and training needs analyses informed by local delivery plans and the needs of the service.

Access to training is affected by a number of factors such as the availability of funding, whether staff can be released and the availability of appropriate training interventions, mentors and assessors. It would not be practical for the centre to be prescriptive on this.

Medicine: Education

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many medical schools train students without using cadavers; and if he will make a statement. [165081]

Ann Keen: This information is not collected centrally. Teaching methods for medical students are the responsibility of the General Medical Council and the university medical schools.


Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many MRSA infections were recorded in each trust in each of the last six months. [162851]

Ann Keen: The mandatory surveillance system operated run by the Health Protection Agency provides data on the number of reports of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections (bacteraemias). All acute NHS trusts in England are obliged to report on all cases of bloodstream infections processed by their laboratories regarding when or how the infection was acquired.

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The number of MRSA bloodstream infections for NHS Acute Trusts for the first two quarters of 2007 is available at

NHS: Dental Services

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dental patients have been deregistered in each of the last five years in (a) England, (b) the East of England and (c) Suffolk. [166154]

Ann Keen: The information requested is not held centrally.

Information is available and regularly published on the total number of patients receiving NHS dental services.

Under the old contractual arrangements which were in place until 2006, patients had to register with an individual dentist. Under the new contractual arrangements, patients do not have to be registered with a dentist to receive national health service care. The closest equivalent measure to “registration” is the number of patients receiving NHS dental services (‘patients seen’) in a given area over a 24-month period, expressed as a percentage of the estimated population for that area. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.

Annex A of “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England 31 March 2006” provides primary care trust (PCT) data on the numbers of patients registered with an NHS dentist as at 31 March 1997 and each subsequent year to 31 March 2006. This is available in the library and is also available at:

The numbers of patients seen in the 24 month periods ending 31 March 2006 and 31 March 2007 are available in Table C1 of Annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England 2006-07” report. Information is available at strategic health authority and PCT area in England. This report is available in the Library and is also available at

Both reports have been published by the Information Centre for health and social care.

This data show that access to dental services has remained broadly stable following the reforms in 2006.

NHS: Voluntary Organisations

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy for every health trust in England to have a Compact champion to increase NHS involvement in local compacts; and if he will make a statement. [162441]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: There are no plans to require primary care trusts, national health service trusts and foundations trusts to identify a Compact champion.

The Department's commitment to the principles of the Compact on 1 December 2006 was refreshed in a joint statement I made with Stuart Etherington, chief
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executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). The “Commissioning framework for health and well-being”, published on 6 March 2007, reflects the principles of the Compact in positioning the third sector as an important contributor to the commissioning and provision of high-quality, responsive services, and promoting a fair playing field for all providers. The Department is committed to working with the Commissioner for the Compact, other Government Departments and third- sector voluntary and community organisations in the promotion of the Compact in the context of health and social care.

Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whom he intends to consult in respect of the renegotiation of the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme; [163683]

(2) what meetings he or Ministers and officials from his Department have held with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry on the reopened negotiations about the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme; whom they met on each occasion; and if he will publish a consultation document on the matter. [163685]

Dawn Primarolo: Since the Secretary of State’s announcement in August that he intended to renegotiate the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, there have been a number of meetings at both ministerial and official level with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and branded pharmaceutical companies. Most recently, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry met the Secretary of State, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Minister for Competitiveness on 1 November.

Negotiations on a new Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme will take place between the Department and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, and we will seek the views of other organisations as appropriate.

The Government have no plans to publish a consultation document.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his objectives are in relation to the reopened negotiations on the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme; when he expects to publish the Government's substantive response to the Office of Fair Trading's market study on the scheme; and if he will make a statement. [163684]

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Dawn Primarolo: The Government are seeking to negotiate a new voluntary agreement taking into account the principles set out in the Government's interim response to the Office of Fair Trading's report on the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme:

West Cumberland Hospital: Infectious Diseases

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of hospital-acquired infections have been diagnosed at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven in the last five years. [163020]

Ann Keen: The information is not available in the requested format. However, West Cumberland hospital is part of the North Cumbria Acute Hospital NHS Trust for which the following information is available on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile and glycopeptides-resistant enterococci bloodstream infections from the mandatory surveillance scheme run by the Health Protection Agency.

Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infection reports
April to March each year Number













Clostridium difficile reports for patients aged 65 years and over

January — December 2004


January — December 2005


January — December 2006


January - June 2007


Gl ycopeptide-resistant enterococci bloodstream infection reports
October to September each year Number







Health Protection Agency, provisional data.

It is not known how many of these cases were acquired in hospital.

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