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Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) cleaning staff and (b) cleaning service providers in (i) hospitals and (ii) health or social care institutions were subject to disciplinary or contractual proceedings in each of the last five years. 
Ann Keen [holding answer 19 November 2007]: This information is not held centrally by the Department. Individual disciplinary and contractual proceedings against directly employed or contracted out cleaners are a matter for local health and social care organisations to manage as part of their everyday business. Employers can determine any sanction necessary, ranging from a warning up to and including dismissal. This has to be justified on the grounds of competence or conduct but subject to the provisions of the laws governing employment and equal opportunities. Any action against contracted out services will be subject to the terms of the contract in question.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) cases of and (b) deaths from (i) MRSA, (ii) C-difficile and (iii) all hospital-acquired infections there were at Basildon hospital in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Ann Keen [holding answer 21 November 2007]: The information requested is not available. However, Basildon hospital is part of the Basildon and Thurrock university hospitals NHS foundation trust for which the following information is available on methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and glycopeptide resistant enterococci bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile infection from the mandatory surveillance scheme run by the Health Protection Agency.
|Number of cases of MRSA at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust|
|April to March each year||Number of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infection reports|
Health Protection Agencyprovisional data
|Number of cases of C. difficile in Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS F oundation T rust|
|January to December each year||Number of C. difficile reports for patients aged 65 years and over|
Health Protection Agencyprovisional data
|Number of cases of glycopeptide resistant enterococcal bloodstream infection reports in Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust|
|October to September each year||Number of glycopeptide resistant enterococcal bloodstream infection reports|
Health Protection Agencyprovisional data
Figures on deaths involving MRSA or C. difficile in individual hospitals are not currently available. It is not possible to state how many deaths in a particular hospital were hospital-acquired as the place where an infection was acquired may not be known to the doctor certifying the death, and a question asking where infections were acquired is not specifically asked on the death certificate.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what programmes of work undertaken by his Department since 1 March 2005 have related to the prioritisation of treatment in the event of an influenza pandemic; 
(2) what discussions his Department has had with the World Health Organisation on the subject of pandemic preparedness since January 2007; whether any of these discussions related to the prioritisation of treatment in the event of an influenza pandemic; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: A number of activities have taken place by the Department to address the issues around prioritisation. This includes prioritisation of some limited medicine stockpiles such as the existing stockpile of A/H5N1 pre-pandemic vaccine to specific groups, and (draftfor public discussion) guidance on the prioritisation of essential services and treatments above non-essential careif this was required.
Issues around prioritisation are also addressed in the ethical frameworkwhere it is recognised that there will be individual challenges as well as service challengesand through the public engagement strategy where we are engaging the public in discussion on such issues.
April 2007: WHO meeting on increasing H5N1 stockpiles and increasing the access of developing countries to pandemic influenza vaccines.
May 2007: World Health Assembly meeting on virus sharing and intellectual property
June 2007: Presentation on ethical issues in pandemic influenza planning.
The WHO meeting held in June 2007 addressed ethical issues in general and also featured a presentation on work done by the WHO at its meeting in October 2006; that meeting had discussed prioritisation issues. It recognised the ethical dilemma's countries were dealing with and observed that ethics could not provide set answers. The full summary of the discussions in is available at:
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to (a) suspend national NHS targets and (b) order the suspension of local NHS targets in the event of an influenza pandemic. 
Dawn Primarolo: The operating framework sets down the priorities for the national health service, including exceptional circumstances which strategic health authorities (SHAs) should take into account before deciding whether to suspend national or local NHS targets.
The Department has also issued an ethical framework for responding to an influenza pandemic, which provides principles that will guide the NHS in implementing the national framework for responding to an influenza pandemic and in taking decisions about 'normal business' such as implementing the operating framework.
Dawn Primarolo: Flu vaccine uptake data was collected for the first time on those aged 65 and over from 2000. Information is collected by primary care trust (PCT) and strategic health authority. Information is not collected by constituency.
The percentage of those aged 65 and over who received a flu vaccine in Eastbourne in East Sussex, Brighton and Hove in 2000-01 and 2001-02 and Eastbourne Downs PCT since 2002-03 is given in the following table.
|Vaccination uptake among the 65 years and over for Eastbourne by year , 2000 - 06|
|South E ast||Geography||Total persons aged 65 and over from returning practices||Total persons aged 65+ vaccinated||Total percentage uptake|
Uptake figures include only those practices who have returned forms.
Influenza Immunisation Uptake Monitoring Programme Health Protection Agency
|The change in geography reflected in the total returns by PCT mapped to areas|
Dawn Primarolo: The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which provides independent expert advice on vaccination issues to the Department and Ministers, keeps all vaccination programmes including the seasonal flu vaccination programme under review.
Dawn Primarolo: The Department funds national health service research and development through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The Institutes research programmes support high quality research of relevance and in areas of high priority to patients and the NHS. That research currently includes three trials on aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) funded by the Health Technology Assessment programme at a total cost of £2 million, and a £237,000 COPD project in the Research for Patient Benefit programme. Respiratory disease has additionally been identified as a research priority in the call for proposals for new Biomedical Research Units the NIHR published in July 2007.
Over the last 10 years, the main part of the Departments total expenditure on health research has been devolved to and managed by NHS organisations. Details of individual NHS supported research projects including a substantial number concerned with COPD are available on the national research register at:
The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government supports medical and clinical research. The MRCs current commitment to COPD research includes some ten separate research projects; funding for a new MRC Centre for COPD Research at Imperial College, London; and support for a long-term research programme at the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre on genetic and early environmental determinants of chronic obstructive lung disease.
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