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22 Nov 2007 : Column 1111W—continued

22 Nov 2007 : Column 1112W

Expenditure by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council on nuclear fission research is as follows:

£ million





















Responsibility for funding of nuclear fusion research was transferred from the DTI’s Nuclear Industries Directorate to the Office of Science and Technology in April 2002, and then to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in April 2003. The amount of funding from 1997-98 until 2006-07 is given as follows.

£ million





















Post Offices: Access

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance he has given the Post Office on the contents of the branch access report; what constitutes a sloping terrain; and if he will make a statement. [166396]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 20 November 2007]: None. This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, Managing Director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Tidal Power: Pembrokeshire

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had with (a) Lunar Energy and (b) Eon on the construction of a tidal power generation project off the North Pembrokeshire coast. [166212]

Malcolm Wicks: My officials have had one meeting with representatives of Lunar Energy Ltd. and E.ON UK plc to discuss a proposal to develop a pre-commercial tidal energy project off the Pembrokeshire coast. Subsequent to that meeting, a request for a formal scoping opinion under Regulation 7 of the Electricity Works (Environmental Impact Assessment)
22 Nov 2007 : Column 1113W
(England and Wales) Regulations 2000 has been made by E.ON UK plc in respect of that project.

Wind Power

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on what dates the Working Group on noise from wind farms, referred to in the answer of 5 July 2007, Official Report, column 1085, on wind farms, has met; and if he will make a statement. [165913]

Malcolm Wicks: The Noise Working Group was convened to advise Government on the specific issue of aerodynamic modulation as raised in the Hayes Mackenzie report “The measurement of Low Frequency Noise at three UK wind farms”, and its objectives were to:

The group met on three occasions: on 2 August 2006, 19 October 2006, and 23 April 2007. The minutes of these meetings can be found on the BERR website at:

World War II: Medals

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make Bevin Boys veterans’ badges available to the (a) widows and (b) children of eligible men who have died. [165994]

Malcolm Wicks: As with other veteran badges the Bevin Boys Veterans Badge is a survivors badge and it is intended that it can be worn in public by Bevin Boys to raise awareness of the important role they played during World War II and in the post-war reconstruction of the UK. However, as it was anticipated that the application form would not be launched before October this year, some four months after the date the Badge was announced, we announced that applications would be accepted from the widows of Bevin Boys who died on or after 20 June 2007, when the Badge was announced, where a death and marriage certificate are attached to the application.

We have no plans to extend the criteria further.


Accident and Emergency Departments: East Sussex

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average age was of patients admitted to accident and emergency units in the East Sussex Downs and Weald Primary Care Trust in the latest period for which figures are available. [165322]

22 Nov 2007 : Column 1114W

Dawn Primarolo: Figures for East Sussex Downs and Weald Primary Care Trust (PCT) are not yet available. Data for this PCT will be published mid-December 2007.

However, figures for the mean age of patients admitted via accident and emergency units are available for the former PCTs from 2005-06 and are shown in the following table.

PCT Mean a ge

Eastbourne Downs PCT


Sussex Downs and Weald PCT



Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department is supporting into allergies; and if he will make a statement. [165601]

Dawn Primarolo: An account of the allergy research funded by the Department is given in the written memorandum of evidence we submitted to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into allergy. The memorandum was published on 26 September 2007 as part of the Committee’s report (HL Paper 166-11). Copies are available in the Library.

Further information will be contained in the Government response to the Committee’s report that will be published shortly.

Alzheimer’s Disease: Medical Treatments

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the efficacy of (a) CAD16 and (b) PBT 2 in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. [166330]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department does not commission the clinical trails needed to generate estimates of the efficacy of specific compounds in specific diseases. Such trials are funded in competition by the Medical Research Council and the Health Technology Assessment Programme. No such work has been commissioned for CAD16 or PBT2 in Alzheimer’s disease. In terms of the assessment of existing evidence of efficacy, this was completed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and no such review has been completed.

Ambulance Services: South East Coast Strategic Health Authority

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 17 October 2007, Official Report, column 1162W, on ambulance services: South East Coast Strategic Health Authority, if he will list the national publications in which the evidence referred to in the Answer is a theme; and if he will place copies of such publications in the Library. [166734]

Dawn Primarolo: As stated in the answer of 17 October, this is a matter for the local national health service. I have therefore asked the Chief Executive of West Sussex Primary Care Trust to write to the hon. Member about this matter.

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Basildon Hospital: Infectious Diseases

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) procedures and (b) standards are required to be in place to deliver infection control in Basildon hospital; what mechanisms there are for monitoring the implementation of these procedures; and what assessment he has made of Basildon hospital’s performance against these standards. [166768]

Ann Keen [holding answer 21 November 2007]: Basildon hospital is subject to the national standards that have been put in place in relation to healthcare associated infections.

The “Health Act 2006: Code of Practice for the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections” came into force on 1 October 2006. It requires national health service bodies to have appropriate management and clinical governance systems in place to deliver effective infection control. Compliance with the Code is assessed by the Healthcare Commission, which has the power to issue an ‘improvement notice’, to an NHS body that in its view is not properly observing it.

This is the first Government to introduce mandatory surveillance of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs), beginning with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemias in April 2001. In January 2007, we introduced quarterly publication of mandatory data for MRSA and C. difficile.

Tackling HCAIs is a priority in the NHS operating framework. We have set a nationwide target, to halve the number of MRSA bloodstream infections by April 2008, and each Trust has its own local MRSA target. From April 2007, primary care trusts and trusts have been required to agree local targets to reduce significantly C. difficile infections. Under the new “Better Care for All” public service agreement, we have set new requirements for the period to 2010-11, to maintain the current MRSA target (keep MRSA bloodstream infections below half the numbers in
22 Nov 2007 : Column 1116W
2003-04), and to deliver a 30 per cent. reduction in C. difficile infections compared with the numbers in 2007-08.

We have introduced a wide range of measures to help support the NHS in tackling HCAIs. I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement, given on 15 October 2007, Official Report, column 49WS.

In addition, the hon. Gentleman may find the Clean Safe Care website helpful This website provides a central hub for information and news on HCAIs, as well as providing a gateway to key tools and guidance.

Blood Transfusions

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the use of prion removal filters to ensure the safety of blood products for transfusion. [165847]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr. Hollobone) on 14 June 2007, Official Report, column 1298W.

Care Homes: Closures

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many care homes have closed in (a) Eastbourne, (b) East Sussex and (c) England in the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [165316]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Data on care home closures prior to 2002 are not held centrally. We are informed by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) that the numbers of homes de-registered in Eastbourne, East Sussex and England since 2002-03 were as shown in the table. De-registration includes not only homes permanently closed but also temporary closures, for example, while refurbishment takes place or while a new manager is appointed.

Number of de-registered care homes by year and by area
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08( 1) Total









East Sussex
















(1) To 4 November 2007.
(2) These figures may be slightly lower than the actual number of deregistrations in Eastbourne because of missing data.
CSCI Registration and Inspection Database 2007 (data as at 4 November 2007).

Care Homes: Complaints

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the role and powers of the Commission for Social Care Inspection are in the investigation of individual complaints of poor (a) practice and (b) treatment in care homes. [166495]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The current arrangements for handling complaints in social care are determined by the provisions of the Local Authority Social Services Complaints (England) Regulations 2006 and the Care Standards Act (CSA) 2000. Together, these define the respective statutory responsibilities of local authorities and regulated care providers in matters of complaint.

The current framework for the regulation of provider care services was implemented in 2002, with the creation of the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC). The CSA 2000 placed no statutory complaints duties upon the NCSC and did not provide any powers for their investigation. The legislation defined the role of the regulator as one of ensuring the compliance of providers with their statutory complaints responsibilities.

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