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4 Feb 2008 : Column 878W—continued

Health Services: Greater London

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost was of the Healthcare for London consultation for (a) events, (b) fees for producing the logos, names and other marketing materials, (c) other fees to consultants, (d) printing costs, (e) distribution costs, (f) staff costs and (g) other costs in each financial year. [182891]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information is not held centrally.

Proposals for changes to services are a matter for the national health service locally. The Department does not hold information on the detailed breakdown of Healthcare for London costs—this is available directly from NHS London.

The hon. Member may wish to raise this issue locally with NHS London.

Heart Diseases: Medical Treatments

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated cost of treating coronary heart disease was to the NHS in the last year for which information is available. [181466]

Ann Keen: The estimated cost of treating coronary heart disease to the national health service in England in the last year for which information is available (2006-07) is £2.3 billion.

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the proportion
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of the decline in mortality from coronary heart disease which is attributable to treatment of individuals at risk in each year since 1997 for which figures are available. [181467]

Ann Keen: In 2004 the national health service’s Health Development Agency published a briefing paper entitled “Relative contributions of changes in risk factors and treatment to the reduction in coronary heart disease mortality” which states that in the period 1981-2000, approximately 42 per cent. of the mortality decrease was attributable to medical and surgical treatments. This means that about 58 per cent. of the decline in mortality was attributable to the change in risk factors, with the largest proportion coming from a fall in smoking prevalence.

A copy of the briefing paper has been placed in the Library and is also available at:

Hospital Infections

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital-acquired infections there were in each London hospital in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [179950]

Ann Keen: The steps being taken to reduce the incidents of health care associated infections are summarised in the written ministerial statement on 9 January 2008, Official Report, columns 9-10WS, that accompanies the launch of 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. A copy is available in the Library.

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 Clostridium 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.

Hospitals: Cleaning Services

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what work his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effectiveness of different cleaning products to combat healthcare-acquired infections since 1997. [182060]

Ann Keen: The Department of Health has commissioned work from University college London, examining the use of microfibre cloths and steam cleaning. The findings of this work were published in “An integrated approach to hospital cleaning: microfibre cloth and steam cleaning technology” and “Review of evidence: Microfibre cloth and steam cleaning technology”. Copies of both reports following this work have been placed in the Library.

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In addition, the Department established the Rapid Review Panel in 2004. The Panel is serviced by the Health Protection Agency and provides a prompt assessment of the potential of new and novel equipment, materials, and other products or protocols that may support the national health service in improving hospital infection control and reducing hospital acquired infections.

Further information on the Rapid Review Panel and on the products it has considered to date can be found at:

Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the calculation was made of £40 million as a contingency fund against healthcare-associated infection claims. [181831]

Ann Keen: The £40 million is not a contingency fund.

For each notified claim, the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) (which handles clinical negligence claims on behalf of the national health service) applies recognised accounting treatment to record a ‘provision’ in its accounts. This is the likely value of the claim adjusted to take account of the likelihood of settling the claim at that value, adjusted for the likely timing of the settlement.

The £40 million is the gross value of the provisions held by the NHSLA relating to healthcare associated infection (HCAI) claims—the current view of the maximum financial exposure should all HCAI claims be settled today at the full value currently held in the claims files.

Liver Diseases

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated by his Department since July 2000 on the causes of liver disease; when his Department last undertook a review of the causes of liver disease that took into account (i) UK and (ii) international research; and if he will make a statement. [177140]

Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.

The Department provides funding to the Medical Research Council (MRC) for research into human diseases. The MRC does not commission research, but welcomes proposals for research in all areas of its remit. The MRC spent the following amounts on research into liver disease (including hepatitis), including work on the cause of disease:

£ million













Three of the Biomedical Research Centres formed and funded by the Department of Health, as part of
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the implementation of the Government’s research strategy “Best Research for Best Health”, propose to undertake research on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of liver disease. The Department of Health is in addition funding research on the pharmacogenetics of antimicrobial drug-induced liver injury.

In August 2007 the Department of Health commissioned a rapid review of the evidence relating to liver disease epidemiology, treatment and services, so as to help inform decisions on the possibility of developing a strategy for liver disease. The review, completed in December, included the primary causes of liver disease (alcohol misuse, viral hepatitis and obesity), and took into account both UK and international research.

Local Involvement Network: Oxfordshire

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the local involvement network to begin work in Oxfordshire; what the network's (a) budget for each of the next three years and (b) terms of reference will be; and what procedures there are for monitoring of the process of selection of the host organisation of the network. [179274]

Ann Keen: Work to establish a local involvement network (LINk) in the Oxfordshire local authority area is well under way and officers are currently consulting with existing patient and public involvement forums, the voluntary sector and other stakeholders on both the Terms of Reference for the LINk and the detail of the service specification for the LINk host organisation. This work is scheduled to be completed by the end of February.

Oxfordshire county council is being allocated the sum of £222,000 in 2008-09 for the establishment of its LINk, with indicative figures of £223,000 for 2009-10 and £223,000 for 2010-11.

Those involved in the LINk, be they members of the local patient and public involvement forums or other key stakeholders, will be fully involved in agreeing the terms of reference, selecting the host organisation, and monitoring the performance of the host.

It is anticipated that a service specification will be put out to tender in early March, with a host organisation to be selected in May and the LINk being formally established by September.

Local Involvement Networks

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make it his policy to provide a financial loss allowance for members of local involvement networks; [182777]

(2) if he will make it his policy to ensure that Local Involvement Networks (LINks) members are paid reasonable expenses by the host body when they undertake activities on behalf of a LINk. [183012]

Ann Keen: Patient and public involvement is key to developing and delivering responsive and accountable health and social care services. For effective involvement, people need to feel supported and that their contribution has been valued. This can be done in
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a number of ways, including participants being thanked and their contribution acknowledged.

It will be for each Local Involvement Network (LINk) to determine its own policy regarding payment and reimbursement. However, we will remind LINks and host organisations that the Department of Health's ‘Reward and Recognition: The Principles and Practice of Service User Payment and Reimbursement in Health and Social Care, A Guide for Service Providers, Service Users and Carers’ document provides a useful guide for service providers, users and carers on the principles and practice of service user payment and reimbursement in health and social care. A copy of the document has been placed in the Library and is also available at:

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that local involvement networks are funded to establish regional and national networks to monitor (a) cancer networks, (b) mental health services and (c) ambulance services. [182901]

Ann Keen: While local involvement networks (LINks) will be independent and will have the power to develop their own priorities and agendas, they will need to develop relationships with a number of stakeholders to fulfil their statutory role effectively. In certain circumstances, LINks may want to work in partnership to monitor services provided by, for example, cancer networks, mental health services or ambulance trusts, across more than one local authority boundary. LINks may also wish to work together in regional groups, or even nationally to share experience and findings. There is nothing to prevent LINks using some of their funding to establish local, regional or national networks if they so wish.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure Local Involvement Networks (LINks) members are provided with indemnity by his Department in respect of their reasonable activities on behalf of a LINk. [183011]

Ann Keen: It will be for local authorities to determine their own policies regarding local involvement networks (LINks) and indemnity. Authorities may choose to indemnify certain LINks’ members directly or stipulate that host organisations must make arrangements to do so as part of their LINks’ contracts.

Macular Degeneration

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of primary care trusts in England which have adopted the latest interim guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on treatment for patients with wet eye age-related macular degeneration. [184206]

Ann Keen: We have made no estimate of the number of primary care trusts (PCTs) that have adopted the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE'S) draft guidance on Lucentis and Macugen for
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the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. The Government issued good practice guidance to the national health service in December 2006 that reiterated the message that, in the absence of final NICE guidance, primary care trusts should continue to make local arrangements for the introduction of new technologies. These arrangements should include an assessment of the available evidence.

NICE is currently appraising Lucentis and Macugen as treatments for age-related macular degeneration. NICE published a second appraisal consultation document on 14 December 2007. The consultation closed on 14 January 2008 and final guidance is expected in June.

Mental Health Services: Adult Education

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the preventative effects in relation to mental health of promoting mental activity through adult education courses; and if he will make a statement. [179902]

Bill Rammell: I have been asked to reply.

Discussions have taken place at a ministerial level with a wide range of Departments and we will continue to work closely with ministerial colleagues to ensure that people can lead healthy and fulfilling lives by participating fully in work, education and society as a whole. We want to raise people's aspirations and significantly broaden participation, progression and achievement in learning by creating the best learning offer possible and enabling individuals and communities to improve and prosper.

We recognise the many wider benefits of participation in learning and its vital contribution to personal health and well-being, community involvement and quality of life, especially as people age. Learning helps people to fulfil themselves as active citizens and as members of their families and communities. People who keep mentally and physically active not only live longer but live happier and more fulfilled lives and pursuing learning can play a real part in this. Our Skills and Skills for Life Strategies, the Employability Skills Programme and projects like Skilled for Health will ensure the continuing availability of a wide range of learning opportunities in every area for adult learners, including older people. In addition, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, launched a consultation on informal adult learning on 15 January 2008 which will look specifically at improving synergy across informal adult learning funded by all Government Departments.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average number of cases of MRSA recorded in NHS hospitals was in 2007; and how many such cases were recorded at the University Hospital of North Durham in the same period. [178713]

Ann Keen [holding answer 30 January 2008]: The best available information is from the mandatory surveillance system operated for the Department by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). This provides data
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on the number of reports of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream (bacteraemia) infections. All acute national health service trusts in England are obliged to report all cases of MRSA bacteraemia infection processed by their laboratories and the data are published at trust level.

MRSA bacteraemia data are currently available for the first three quarters of 2007 only (January to September). During these nine months, 3,823 episodes of MRSA bacteraemia were reported by acute NHS trusts in England.

University Hospital of North Durham is part of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, which reported 34 episodes of MRSA bacteraemia between January and September 2007.

The HPA does not publish average counts for comparative purposes, as this does not take account of differences between trusts in terms of factors such as size and case mix. National and trust rates are published which allow more valid comparison by taking account of variations in levels of activity.

During the nine-month period January 2007-September 2007, the MRSA bacteraemia rate at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust was 1.45 cases per 10,000 bed-days, compared to a national rate of 1.34 cases per 10,000 bed-days.

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