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13 Dec 2007 : Column 882W—continued

Nurses: Pay

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the average wage of nurses outside the NHS in (a) the last year for which figures are available and (b) 1997. [170657]

Ann Keen: No estimate has been made of the average wage of nurses outside the national health service in the last year for which figures are available and 1997. However, as part of its mandate, the independent NHS Pay Review Body compares NHS nurses’ pay with others as part of its deliberations in making recommendations about pay uplifts for NHS nurses.

Nurses: Standards

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the risk of increased patient infections if visits from specialist nurses are capped as proposed in his Department’s consultation on Part IX of the Drug Tariff. [171197]

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Dawn Primarolo: The proposal set out in the consultation document regarding remuneration for home visits is not intended to impact adversely on infection control but rather to increase the transparency and the quality of services.

No assessment has been made on the potential impact of these proposals on infection control but an impact assessment is being developed that will consider the social impact of them; this includes a health impact.

Nutrition: Training

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date the inter-agency round table group met to raise issues around training, as described on page 17 of his Department's document, Improving Nutritional Care; what issues were raised; whether further meetings of the inter-agency round table group are planned; which agencies are represented on the round table group; and if he will make a statement. [170065]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The inter-agency round table group is chaired by the National Association for Care Catering and as such is independent of Government. The membership of the group and dates and contents of meetings are a matter for it to decide.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date he expects the cross-Government strategy to tackle obesity to be published. [172465]

Dawn Primarolo: The cross-Government strategy to tackle obesity will be published in January 2008.

Paramedical Staff: Training

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the use of (a) vocational training courses and (b) degree-level courses to train paramedics; and if he will make a statement. [170548]

Ann Keen: The Department is working with partners to consider the options for educating a workforce that will achieve the aims set out in the national ambulance strategy. Strategic health authorities working with their ambulance trust and education partners are best placed to determine the best way to educate their workforce teams to meet local needs.

Patients: Nutrition

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what ways his Department has supported BAPEN’s screening initiative, as referred to on page 14 of his Department’s document, “Improving Nutritional Care”. [170066]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department has supported the British Association Parental and Enteral Nutrition’s National Screening Week by distributing information in advance of the initiative to health and social care organisations encouraging hospitals and care homes to take part in the exercise.

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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 30 October 2007, Official Report, column 1244W, on patients: nutrition, what the barriers to nutritional screening in hospitals identified in the two workshops hosted by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) were; in what ways the NPSA asked patients for their views on nutritional care in hospitals; what views were expressed by patients; and if he will provide a breakdown of the committed expenditure provided in the answer by major cost area. [170114]

Ann Keen: The following barriers to nutritional screening within 24 hours of admission to hospital were identified by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) at the two workshops: lack of equipment, weighing scales and height measures; lack of leadership; lack of clarity relating to screening and assessment; dependency of patients; credibility and usability of available screening tools; lack of education and training for medical and nursing staff and that it is not mandatory.

The NPSA hosted two patient participation meetings in early 2007 to gain their views of nutritional care in hospitals. 27 patient representatives either nominated by Age Concern or recruited from the NPSA patient participation register attended these meetings. All of the participants had been hospital inpatients in the last two years. The meetings were facilitated externally.

The patient participation meetings discussed the patients’ experience of hospital food and focused in more detail on nutritional screening. Perhaps the most surprising finding of these workshops was that participants did not generally complaint about the quality of the food. Many, indeed, said that it was very reasonable or even good.

Several commented that hospital food had improved beyond all recognition, noting earlier experiences when the food had been inedible. There was a concern to acknowledge this improvement, one commented:

There were some issues raised relating to the availability and choice for some patient groups, specifically diabetics and people on a halal diet.

There were considerable complaints about the way the food was served. The tendency for the food to be plated before reaching patients in some hospitals was disliked, as some people got too much, which was then wasted, and others did not get enough and went hungry.

Getting food delivered was seen as the start. It must be possible for patients to reach it and then to be able to eat it. This is clearly not always the case. Sometimes food was put out of reach, so that someone had to move it closer to a patient. A number of participants recounted that they or others were unable to eat without help due to problems associated with their illness.

Participants were asked if they had been aware of being screened while in hospital. Some were aware of being weighed, but not much else. Several said that they had lost substantial amounts of weight, but no one asked them about it. A few were aware of their height being checked. Very, very few remembered being asked any questions about what they ate, although some Asian participants had been asked about this and one person remembered being asked if he was diabetic.

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The costs of the workshops were £2,500. The balance is an approximation of the staff and non-pay costs associated with supporting this work and the work with the Royal College of Nursing.

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Orthopaedics

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was for elective orthopaedic surgery in the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Trust in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [167881]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information is not available for elective orthopaedic surgery alone at Peterborough and Stamford Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust. The following table shows the in-patient waiting list statistics for the trauma and orthopaedic specialty for the Peterborough and Stamford NHS Hospital Foundation Trust.

Time period—month ending Median waiting time of patients still waiting for in-patient admission (in weeks)

March 1997


March 1998


March 1999


March 2000


March 2001


March 2002


March 2003


March 2004


March 2005


March 2006


March 2007


September 2007


1. Elective orthopaedic surgery, is only a subset of trauma and orthopaedic specialty which is collected on the return.
2. The figures show the median waiting times for patients still waiting for admission at the end of the period stated. Inpatient waiting times are measure from decision to admit by the consultant to admission to hospital.
3. Median waiting times are calculated from aggregate data, rather than patient level data, and therefore are only estimates of the position on average waits. In particular, specialties with low numbers waiting are prone to fluctuations in the median. This should be taken into account when interpreting the data.
Department of Health KH07 Quarterly Monitoring

Peterborough District Hospital: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many alcohol-related admissions to the accident and emergency department of Peterborough District Hospital by the East of England NHS Ambulance Trust and other agencies there were in each month since May 2005; and if he will make a statement. [168863]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information is not available in the format requested. However, the following table shows the count of finished admission episodes where the admission method was via accident and emergency (A and E) for alcohol related diagnosis to Peterborough
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and Stamford NHS Foundation Trust for each month from April 2005 to March 2006 (which is the latest data available):

Month of admission Total admission episodes



























Finished admission episodes
A finished admission episode is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
Data Quality
HES are compiled from data sent by over 300 national health service trusts and primary care trusts in England. The Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
All diagnoses count of episodes
These figures represent a count of all Finished Consultant Episodes where the diagnosis was mentioned in any of the 14 (seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in a HES record. ICD10 Diagnosis codes used: K70,T51,F10.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the Information Centre for health and social care

Pregnancy Complications

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many diagnoses of ectopic pregnancy there have been in each year since 1997-98. [174018]

Ann Keen: Information is not available in the exact format requested. The following table has the number of ectopic pregnancies that resulted in a stay in a national health service hospital for each year since 1997-98.

Ectopic pregnancies that resulted in an NHS hospital stay, England, 1997-98 to 2005-06
Number of ectopic pregnancies Rate per 100 deliveries




























NHS Maternity Statistics, England: 2005-06. Hospital Episode Statistics.

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Pressure Sores

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what data are routinely collected by (a) the Commission for Social Care Inspection and (b) the Healthcare Commission on the prevalence and severity of bed sores. [172554]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Under regulation 37 of the Care Homes Regulations 2001, care home providers are required to notify the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) of instances of ‘death, illness and other events’. We are informed by CSCI that it has defined ‘other events’ as including notification of pressure sores of grade 2 or above occurring while resident in a care home, as these constitute a serious injury to the service user. Where such cases occur, providers must inform CSCI immediately (by fax, e-mail or first class post).

These data are used for the purposes of intelligence gathering. Inspectors will note the number of instances reported and make a judgement about whether to specifically include this as a focus at next inspection. Where information gathered, including concerns about the incidence of pressure sores in a particular home, indicates any serious risk to the experience of people living there, inspectors may bring forward an inspection programme or conduct an unannounced inspection. This information is collected and used locally by CSCI and is not collated centrally.

Information about pressure sores is not routinely collected by the Healthcare Commission.

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