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8 Jan 2008 : Column 477W—continued


Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has made to reduce the rate of medication error in hospitals; and if he will make a statement. [175414]

Ann Keen: The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has issued a number of safer practice recommendations to the national health service during 2007 concerning high risk medicines and practices. The topics selected are informed or triggered by reports to the national reporting and learning system by the NHS.

Patient Safety Alerts

These were issued on 28 March 2007.

Rapid Response Reports

In addition to these alerts, the NPSA issued three rapid response reports on medication topics between June and September 2007 to alert the NHS to medication risks and actions to minimise them. These included:

Design for Safety Information

The NPSA has also issued design for safety booklets on a number of medication topics to promote safe design with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and dispensaries in both primary and secondary care.

Patient Safety Guidance From NICE and the NPSA

On 12 December 2007, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the NPSA issued patient safety guidance on medicines reconciliation when patients are admitted to hospitals.

Implementation

The NPSA is working with the local organisations, the Healthcare Commission, and Healthcare Purchasers to ensure that these safe practice recommendations are implemented. Health care organisations are also recommended to produce a medicine management report annually to describe local risks with medicines and how these risks are being managed.


8 Jan 2008 : Column 478W

Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the rate of medication error in hospitals at each stage of the medication process; and if he will make a statement. [175415]

Ann Keen: Estimates of the rates of medication errors in hospitals at each stage of the medication process have been made from published United Kingdom research. The results are not directly comparable and depend on the definition of medication error used in respective studies.

For example, most studies on medication errors during administration exclude the administration of injectable medicines and find an error rate of between 5-10 per cent. Where research have examined administration errors with injectable medicines, error rates of up to 49 per cent. have been reported.

Stage of medication process Estimates of rate of medication error (Percentage)

Prescribing

1-11

Dispensing

1-2

Administration (and where appropriate preparation)

3.5-49

Monitoring

(1)

(1) No overall estimate.

Not all medication errors have caused or have the potential to cause harm. Those that are associated with harm are called adverse drug events.

Hospitals: Food

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government plan to take to improve the quality of food provided for patients in hospitals. [175593]

Ann Keen [holding answer 7 January 2008]: An appropriate diet, based on acceptable standards, requires good food with the right nutritional content, properly prepared and available when patients need it. The details of how that diet is provided are for local determination. Work to support trusts in delivering good food and nutritional care is provided via a wide range of mechanisms.

The national health service plan stipulated that dieticians should advise and check on nutritional values in hospital food. Nutritional information is available for all recipes in the national dish selector, and this can be used to assess local nutritional levels. Ingredients specifications for the recipes have been developed by the Purchasing and Supply Agency to ensure that wholesome, high quality and value-for-money ingredients are used.

The Food Standards Agency has published (voluntary) nutrient and food based guidance for major institutions. This guidance aims to assist caterers and consumers to achieve the Government's healthy eating recommendations. This advice feeds into the cross Government agenda on diet and food procurement. The Agency has also published example menus to assist caterers in meeting this guidance.

The quality of hospital food is measured annually via Patient Environment Action Team assessments. These showed an increase from 17 per cent. “good” in
8 Jan 2008 : Column 479W
2002 to over 46 per cent. “excellent” in 2007. (There was no “excellent” category in 2002, when a three-point scale was used).

To identify and deal with patients at risk, we have introduced protected mealtimes and have renewed the emphasis on nutritional screening. These two areas of work are being actively pursued by the National Patient Safety Agency.

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State (Mr. Lewis) hosted two nutrition summits as part of his dignity in care work. A wide range of stakeholders attended. Following these summits, we launched the Nutrition Action Plan “Improving Nutritional Care” on 30 October 2007. There will be ongoing monitoring of how stakeholders and their work have contributed to the aims of the plan through a nutrition action plan delivery board. The delivery board will be accountable to my hon. Friend and will produce a progress report in summer 2008.

Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital-acquired infections there were in (a) the West Suffolk Hospital, (b) the Walnuttree hospital, Sudbury and (c) the Newmarket hospital in the most recent period for which figures are available. [175581]

Ann Keen: Information is not available in the format requested as information is collected by national health service trust only. The following tables show the number of hospital acquired infections in West Suffolk Hospital trust for the three year period 2004-06 which is the latest data available.

Name of NHS trust
Number of Clostridium difficile reports for patients Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust West Suffolk Hospitals

Aged =65 years

July to September 2006

99

107

October to December 2006

115

97

January to March 2007

143

99

April to June 2007

119

95

Aged 2-64 years

April to June 2007

46

12

Source:
Health Protection Agency (HPA)

Name of NHS trust
Incidence of MRSA Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust West Suffolk Hospitals

July to September 2006

23

8

October to December 2006

20

6

January to March 2007

14

5

April to-June 2007

15

5

Source:
HPA

8 Jan 2008 : Column 480W

Name of NHS trust
GRE( 1) bacteraemia reports Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust West Suffolk Hospitals

1 October 2003 to 30 September 2004

41

5

1 October 2004 to 30 September 2005

46

2

1 October 2005 to 30 September 2006

61

7

(1) Glycopeptide Resistant Enterococci blood stream infections
Source:
HPA

Industrial Diseases

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the role of miners' welfares in combating diseases, with particular reference to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. [174653]

Ann Keen: In the financial year commencing 1 April 2007 the Department gave £34,000 from their Section 64 scheme to the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation for them to provide personal, community and social support services to mining and ex-mining communities and their residents, for those with problems resulting from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The Department is also currently developing a national services framework for COPD, which will result in national standards and markers of good practice. It will improve the quality of and access to COPD services, reducing inequalities and reduce health care utilisation costs.

The advice will pay particular attention to the need to reduce variations in outcomes, including those associated with ethnicity, social deprivation and social exclusion.

An expert reference group will produce advice for Ministers by January/February 2008. The COPD NSF will be published in 2008 with implementation at the start of 2009.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in (a) Bassetlaw and (b) England; and what proportion of these worked in heavy industry such as mining. [174669]

Ann Keen: The quality and outcomes framework (QOF) part of the General Medical Services contract requires practices to record patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OPD). The number of patients for practices in Bassetlaw for the financial year 2006-07 was 2,153. The corresponding figure for England was 765,806.

The number of people with COPD who work in heavy industry is not collected centrally.


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John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths there were as a result of (a) chronic bronchitis and (b) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the last year for which figures are available. [174677]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 7 January 2008:

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of regional variations in the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [174679]

Ann Keen: The quality and outcomes framework (QOF) part of the General Medical Services contract requires practices to record patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The prevalence in each primary care trust (PCT) for the year 2006-07 are shown in the following table.


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