Previous Section Index Home Page

31 Jan 2008 : Column 649W—continued

Lighting: Health Hazards

Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of whether energy efficient light bulbs cause migraines. [178861]

Ann Keen: We have made no assessment of the risk of migraines from exposure to energy efficient light bulbs.

31 Jan 2008 : Column 650W

Lipid Modification

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department expects to publish new guidance on lipid modification. [181464]

Ann Keen: The Department has no plans to publish new guidance on lipid modification but the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently developing a clinical guideline on lipid modification entitled “Cardiovascular risk assessment: the modification of blood lipids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease”. We understand that NICE expects to publish final guidance to the national health service this year. Further information can be found on NICE’s website at:


Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many companies are licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to manufacture or sell the drug Lorazepam or Ativan. [183073]

Dawn Primarolo: United Kingdom marketing authorisations for Lorazepam or Ativan have been granted to eight companies.

Maternity Matters Strategy

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health where the early adopter sites under the Maternity Matters strategy are. [182338]

Ann Keen: There are 11 early adopter sites. They will be hosted by the following national health service organisations:

Further information on the early adopter sites can be found at:

Maternity Services

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the Healthcare Commission to publish the report of its review of maternity services. [180670]

31 Jan 2008 : Column 651W

Ann Keen: We understand that the Healthcare Commission will be publishing the outcome of the review of maternity services on their website on 25 January.

MRSA: Death

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients died as a result of (a) MRSA and (b) C. difficile in each year since 1997. [183141]

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 Karen Dunnell, dated 31 January 2008:

Table 1: Number of death certificates where (a) methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus( 1) and (b) Clostridium difficile( 2) was mentioned, England and Wales, 1997 to 2005( 3, 4)
(a) MRSA (b) Clostridium difficile




























(1) Identified using the methodology described in Griffiths C, Lamagni TL, Crowcroft NS, Duckworth G and Rooney C (2004). Trends in MRSA in England and Wales: analysis of morbidity and mortality data for 1993 to 2002. Health Statistics Quarterly 21, 15-22.
(2 )Identified using the methodology described in Office for National Statistics: Report: Deaths involving Clostridium difficile: England and Wales, 2001 to 2005. Health Statistics Quarterly 33, 71-75.
(3 )Data are for deaths occurring in each calendar year.
(4 )Deaths involving Clostridium difficile can only be identified using the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). This has been used by ONS for coding mortality from 2001 onwards and in 1999 for a bridge coding study. Data are therefore not available for 1997, 1998 and 2000 when the Ninth Revision of the ICD was in use.

MRSA: Greater London

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of (a) MRSA and (b) clostridium difficile there are at (i) Barnet hospital, (ii) Royal Free hospital and (iii) Northwick Park; how many there were in 2006-07; and what steps are being taken to reduce the incidence of these and other hospital-acquired infections in each hospital. [178173]

Ann Keen: The number of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemia reports and of clostridium difficile reports during 2006-07, for the hospitals concerned, are set out in the following table(1).

31 Jan 2008 : Column 652W
MRSA bacteraemia reports: April 2006 to March 2007 C. difficile reports for patients aged >65 years: April 2006 to March 2007( 1)

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust



The Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust



North West London Hospitals NHS Trust



(1) Mandatory surveillance of C. difficile began in January 2004. Prior to availability of quarterly data from January 2006, (first published in January 2007), they have been published only by calendar year. The data used in this answer are derived by aggregating quarterly data, to calculate the total for the financial year 2006-07.
(2 )These data include one or more cases that have been dually reported, or accepted as extenuating circumstances.

The steps being taken to reduce the incidents of health care associated infections are summarised in the written ministerial statement of 9 January 2008, Official Report, columns 9-10WS about a new comprehensive strategy, “Clean, Safe Care: Reducing infections and saving lives” to tackle health care associated infections and improve cleanliness in the national health service.

The strategy draws together recent initiatives and details new areas where the NHS should invest Government funding of £270 million per year by 2010-11. It also sets out where there are new national expectations and requirements, for example about the new national target for C. difficile and the requirements for the deep cleaning every hospital by March 2008. It also outlines areas, such as investment in infection control nurses, pharmacists and isolation nurses, that NHS organisations should consider when developing their local plans.

Copies of both the written ministerial statement and the strategy, “Clean, Safe Care: Reducing infections and saving lives”, are available in the Library.

NHS Chiropody Services

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the availability of NHS chiropody services for pensioners in Colchester constituency. [180365]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information is not held centrally. It is for primary care trusts in partnership with local stakeholders to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, outlined in the national service frameworks, and to commission services accordingly. This process provides the means for addressing local needs within the health community, including the provision of chiropody.

NHS: Complaints

Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints about care in the national health service are under investigation by the Health Service Commissioner; and what the average
31 Jan 2008 : Column 653W
length of time between receipt of a complaint and publication of a decision on it has been in the last 12 months. [180165]

Ann Keen: Information on numbers of national health service complaints processed at the third stage of the NHS Complaints Procedure is held by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and is not collected by the Department nor held centrally. The information can be obtained by request to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman direct at:

NHS: Consultants

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescribing advisers were employed in the NHS in England in each of the last five financial years for which figures are available, broken down by primary care trust. [182892]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available. The National Prescribing Centre (NPC) maintains a database of prescribing advisers who have chosen to register with that organisation. We understand that there were 1,514 prescribing advisors registered on the NPC database as of January 2008. Comparable information is not held for earlier years and information is not available on whether these prescribing advisers are employed on a full or part-time basis.

NHS: Public Appointments

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health under what statutory provisions he proposes to make regulations to give himself powers to suspend the chairmen and non-executive directors of NHS trusts and primary care trusts and to delegate such powers to the Appointments Commission. [183344]

Ann Keen: The Secretary of State has power to make regulations to provide for the tenure of office of the chairman and directors of an national health service trust, including the circumstances in which they cease to hold office, or may be removed from office, or may be suspended from performing the functions of the office. The power is contained in the National Health Service Act 2006, Schedule 4, paragraph 4(l)(a).

The Secretary of State also has power to make regulations to provide for the tenure of office of the chairman and other members of a primary care trust (PCT), including the circumstances in which they cease to hold office or may be removed or suspended from office. The power is contained in the National Health Service Act 2006, Schedule 3, paragraph 4(l)(a).

Under section 58(1) and (2) of the Health Act 2006, the Appointments Commission is to exercise so much of any function of the Secretary of State relating to the appointment of chairmen and non-executive members of PCTs and NHS trusts as may be specified in a direction given by the Secretary of State.

Under section 71(2) of this Act, the reference to ‘appointment’ in section 58 includes removal or suspension from office.

31 Jan 2008 : Column 654W

NHS: Screening

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the screening programme for (a) heart disease, (b) stroke, (c) diabetes, (d) kidney disease and (e) aortic aneurysm will be operational in all strategic health authority areas. [180334]

Ann Keen: The Department is currently developing proposals for a screening programme. The purpose of the screening programme will be to identify people's levels of risk for cardiac and vascular disease so that they can be offered preventive measures.

The exact nature of a vascular risk assessment and management programme is still the subject of developmental work. It would be premature at this stage to set out specific details such as operational timescales.

With regard to screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, discussions are underway with stakeholders to plan implementation starting with pilots in selected sites in England aiming for the programme to be operational in all strategic health authorities over the next five years.

Nurses: Pay

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average salary is of a (a) band 5 nurse working on a cancer ward and (b) cancer clinical nurse specialist; and how much it cost on average to train a nurse from band 5 to clinical nurse specialist level in the latest period for which figures are available. [178715]

Ann Keen: It is not possible to identify from central data the average salary of a band 5 nurse working on a cancer ward, however the band 5 salary ranges from £19,683 to £25,424. The role of a cancer clinical nurse specialist can vary locally and any particular role would need to be job evaluated, based on the demands of the job. It could range from bands 6 to possibly 8a with salary ranges from £23,458 to £43,335. Similarly, on average training costs it is not possible to provide a figure as the skill levels of these posts can vary and therefore training varies.

Next Section Index Home Page