Previous Section Index Home Page

12 Dec 2007 : Column 638W—continued

Diseases: Children

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what change there has been in the incidence of (a) diphtheria, (b) tetanus, (c) pertussis, (d) haemophilus influenzae type b, (e) polio, (f) meningitis C, (g) measles, (h) mumps, (i) rubella and (j) acellular pertussis amongst children in London in the last two years. [171823]

12 Dec 2007 : Column 639W

Dawn Primarolo: The number of cases of confirmed diphtheria, tetanus, haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), poliomyelitis, meningococcal serogroup C (MenC), measles, mumps, rubella and clinically diagnosed pertussis in London children for the last two years for which data is available are shown in the following table.

Disease 2005 2006










Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)(1)






Meningococcal serogroup C (MenC)(1)












(1 )Confirmed cases in children aged 0-14 years.
(2) Notified cases in children aged 0-14 years.
Health Protection Agency

Doctors: Disciplinary Proceedings

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what average length of time an NHS doctor spent on (a) full and (b) part pay during a period of suspension in the last period for which figures are available. [170618]

Ann Keen: The number of doctors employed in the NHS in England who were suspended (now referred to as excluded), for the period of April 2006 to March 2007 was:

Information on the pay status of doctors who are excluded from work is not held centrally; however the exclusion procedure, set out in detail in Part II of the ‘Maintaining High Professional Standards’ national framework introduced in 2005, is usually on full pay (paragraph 25). Under certain exceptional circumstances a doctor may be excluded without pay; however, no doctor would be excluded on part pay.

The average length of exclusion of the 62 concluded cases mentioned above was 15 weeks.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS doctors are suspended, broken down by reason for suspension. [170619]

Mr. Bradshaw: The following information is taken from the National Clinical Assessment Service Register of Exclusions and Suspensions as at 7 December 2007 and relate to all medical practitioners in the national health service and foundation trusts for England, who are currently excluded or suspended (for any duration).

There are 120 suspensions as at 7 December 2007. Around three-quarters of these suspensions fall under the category of conduct/suitability, the other quarter (approximately) of suspensions fall under the category of either capability/efficiency, health or critical incident.

12 Dec 2007 : Column 640W

Drugs: Death

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people died from drug overdoses while on hard drug substitutes in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [170669]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Egton Medical Information Systems: Prescriptions

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment has been made of the ethical propriety of Egton Medical Information Systems having a facility to direct prescriptions to Pharmacy2U; and if he will make a statement; [170318]

(2) what controls there are on general practitioners and other primary care staff directing prescriptions to particular pharmacies. [170320]

Dawn Primarolo: Matters of ethical propriety are primarily for the relevant professional bodies. I expect all health professionals to maintain the highest standards in delivering national health service services. The General Medical Council’s “Good Medical Practice” and “Good Practice in Prescribing Medicines” make it clear that patients should be free to choose from which pharmacy to have their prescribed medicines dispensed.

In addition, the regulations supporting the nomination of a dispenser by patients as part of the Electronic Prescription Service provide safeguards to stop primary care contractors from seeking to persuade patients to nominate a particular dispenser.

Elderly: Nutrition

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he intends the (a) health and (b) social care regulators to begin looking for evidence of nutritional screening in their assessments of local services as stated on page 28 of his Department's document, Improving Nutritional Care; what they will use as evidence of nutritional screening; whether they intend to publicly identify those organisations that do not have evidence of nutritional screening; whether any other penalties will be available to the regulators to impose on those local services which do not have evidence of nutritional screening; and if he will make a statement; [170060]

(2) if he will provide the evidential basis for the statement that nutritional screening is beginning to be implemented in hospitals and care homes, as stated on page 22 of his Department's document, Improving Nutritional Care. [170062]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Healthcare Commission (HCC) have advised that it currently collects data on nutritional screening in national health service organisations as part of the annual health check process, with all the powers to penalise they are entitled to. Nutritional screening is measured against the core standards relevant to Dignity in Care—these include core standards C15a and 15b on nutrition. The HCC will also advise strategic health authorities to carry on
12 Dec 2007 : Column 641W
working with trusts at a local level to facilitate improvement in services for older people.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) will use its annual quality assurance assessment to ask all providers to confirm that they carry out nutritional screening for people at risk of malnutrition. Where evidence raises concern about nutrition and malnutrition, it will ensure that this is fully explored during the next inspection of the service. CSCI could also make statutory requirements if it felt the wellbeing of people who use services are at risk.

Food: Advertising

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the regulation of advertising of unhealthy food to children; and if he will make a statement. [171767]

Dawn Primarolo: The current rules on advertising and promotion of food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar to children are being held under review by Government. The company Thomson Intermedia have been contracted by the Department to collect and analyse data on food and drink advertising across a range of broadcast and non-broadcast media. This data and analysis will be used by the Department to produce a report on changes to the advertising landscape since 2003, as part of their ongoing monitoring of food promotion to children.

General Practitioners: Wakefield

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GPs were practising in Wakefield constituency in (a) 1997 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available; and how many GP premises have been opened in Wakefield constituency since 1997. [173593]

Ann Keen: The information is not available in the format requested. However, information relating to the Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale primary care trusts (PCTs) has been set out in the following table. The Calderdale PCT is included in the 2006 data for comparability purposes as Calderdale and Kirklees were one health authority together in 1997.

General medical practitioners (excluding retainers and registrars) by selected areas, as at 1997 and 2006
Number (headcount)
1997 2006


Calderdale PCT




Kirklees PCT




Wakefield District PCT




Calderdale and Kirklees HA




Wakefield Health Care



n/a = data not available
1. Data presented for organisations in existence in the specified years.
2. Data as at 1 October 1997 and 30 September 2006.
3. Calderdale PCT is included for comparability purposes with the former Calderdale and Kirklees Health Authority
The Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal Medical Services Statistics

12 Dec 2007 : Column 642W

Information relating to general practitioner premises which have opened in the Wakefield PCT area is not held centrally. This can instead be obtained direct from the PCT concerned.

HIV Infection: EC Countries

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on plans to increase the awareness of young people of the risk of catching HIV. [169516]

Dawn Primarolo: The Secretary of State has not had any recent discussions with his European counterparts about HIV and young people. European health department officials, including the Department of Health, have considered the need for action to increase awareness of HIV in young people and other vulnerable groups through meetings of the European Commission's AIDS Think Tank. The last meeting was 15-16 November 2007.

Hospital Wards

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Nightingale wards were converted to modern accommodation in hospitals in England in each financial year since 1997-98 for which figures are available; and how many Nightingale wards there were in total in each financial year over the same period. [162239]

Ann Keen: Data are not collected centrally in the format requested.

Information on the number of Nightingale wards is collected annually.

In 2001, a one-off national health service estates survey found 1,115 Nightingale wards in use. Since then, data has been collected using the estates-related information collection, which reports the following numbers. Data submission is no longer mandatory and therefore information beyond 2005-06 has not been included. Data were not collected prior to 2001.

Total Nightingale wards in use









The data were collected from the NHS and then validated by NHS Estates.

Hospitals: Cleaning Services

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department plans to spend in each year between 2007-08 and 2010-11 on deep cleaning hospitals. [165720]

Ann Keen: For information on funding in 2007-08, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the written ministerial statement of 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 135WS, which sets out that, across the NHS, £57 million will be spent on deep cleans.

12 Dec 2007 : Column 643W

Funding for cleaning will continue to be included in future primary care trust (PCT) allocations. It is for PCTs and trusts to agree the most appropriate ongoing cleaning programme for their local circumstances, including deep cleaning.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what date strategic health authorities will report to his Department on progress on hospital deep cleaning programmes in their areas. [167741]

Ann Keen: We will be able to confirm in the spring that deep cleans have been completed.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to give matrons and ward sisters the powers (a) to report cleaning contractors and safety concerns directly to hospital boards, (b) to order additional cleaning and (c) to send out a message that contractors must meet the highest standards of cleanliness or lose their contract. [167805]

Ann Keen: The chief nursing officer and the director general of national health service finance, performance and operations wrote to all chief executives of strategic health authorities, NHS trusts and foundation trusts on 1 November 2007 setting out the requirements for local systems to ensure regular reporting to trust boards and for an escalation system to allow nursing staff to raise their concerns.

A new quarterly reporting requirement will be introduced by amending the existing provisions of the code of practice for the prevention and control of health care associated infections, to ensure that concerns relating to cleanliness are reported to the board.

The chief nursing officer and director general of NHS finance, performance and operations’ letter of 1 November 2007 also set out clearly the expectations around enhancing the nursing role in cleaning. This included ensuring nurses have the ability to request additional cleaning. Trusts can already give matrons the authority to withhold payments from cleaning service providers and, ultimately, to recommend termination of the contract. Trusts should already be taking steps to instigate any changes to ensure these expectations become reality, including where necessary agreeing changes to contracts.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what additional funds he has provided to hospital matrons to order additional cleaning. [167806]

Ann Keen: Funding for cleaning is already included in primary care trust allocations. In addition, £50 million has been made available for strategic health authority (SHA) directors of nursing to spend on tackling healthcare associated infections in 2007-08 as well as £57 million which has been made available through SHAs for deep cleans in 2007-08. £50 million was also made available through the capital challenge fund to tackle infections in 2006-07.

The comprehensive spending review funding settlement includes £270 million per year by 2010-11 to tackle healthcare associated infections.

Next Section Index Home Page