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5 Feb 2008 : Column 1065W—continued

Accident and Emergency Departments

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many blue light accident and emergency departments have become urgent care centres in the last 12 months; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of such transitions. [183617]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information is not held centrally.

It is a matter for the local national health service to ensure that urgent and emergency care services are provided that are responsive to people’s needs. Changes to services are a matter for local decision. The key principle should always be to ensure that high quality care is provided as close to home as is compatible with clinical safety.

National health service trusts self-report the number of services they provide according to definitions provided by the Department on a quarterly basis. Latest information available shows that, at the end of September 2007, there were 204 type 1 (major) accident and emergency services in England. This compares with 203 type 1 services at the end of September 2006. These figures represent the overall national position at each of those time periods.


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Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will seek to estimate the impact that the entry into force of the Licensing Act 2003 has had on numbers of admissions to hospital accident and emergency departments. [184927]

Dawn Primarolo: Information on the number of patients attending accident and emergency for alcohol- related harm is not collected centrally.

Bexley Care Trust: Cancer

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2008, Official Report, column 2222W, on Bexley Care Trust: cancer, what the definitional changes in data were which took place in 2006-07. [178880]

Mr. Bradshaw: Between the 2005-06 and 2006-07 financial years, the Department implemented new definitional changes to data collection. The Department amended the way activities were grouped and costed, and changed the relationship between diagnosis and programme budget categories. Furthermore, the Department also changed the way non-admitted patient care costs were apportioned across the programme budgeting categories, with more expenditure allocated to the ‘Other’ category.

Cancer: Drugs

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health further to the publication of the Cancer Reform Strategy, from what date he expects it to be the default position for all new cancer drugs and significant new licensed indications to be referred to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. [183988]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department is currently in discussion with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence about the implementation of this aspect of the Cancer Reform Strategy. The new arrangements are expected to start later in 2008.

Care Homes: MRSA

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of deaths in care homes were caused by (a) MRSA and (b) clostridium difficile infections in each of the last five years. [183834]

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 5 February 2008:

Table 1: Proportion (percentage) of deaths in each establishment type( 1) where Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus( 2) (MRSA) was recorded as the underlying cause of death, 2001-05( 3)
NHS nursing home Non-NHS nursing home Private residential home Local authority residential home Combined total (all types of ‘home’)

2001

0.04

0.02

0.01

(4)n/a

0.02

2002

0.14

0.02

0.00

0.01

0.02

2003

0.24

0.03

0.02

0.01

0.03

2004

0.08

0.05

0.02

0.03

0.04

2005

0.20

0.04

0.04

0.01

0.04

(1) Death certificates record the place where a person dies, but not where any infection may have been acquired.
(2) 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 1993-2002. “Health Statistics Quarterly” 21, 15-22.
(3) Deaths occurring in each calendar year
(4) n/a = no deaths

Table 2: Proportion (percentage) of deaths in each establishment type( 1) where Clostridium difficile( 2) (C. difficile) was recorded as the underlying cause of death, 2001-05( 3)
NHS nursing home Non-NHS nursing home Private residential home Local authority residential home Combined total (all types of ‘home’)

2001

0.22

0.03

0.03

(4)n/a

0.03

2002

0.21

0.03

0.00

0.01

0.03

2003

0.24

0.04

0.02

0.04

0.04

2004

0.24

0.06

0.04

0.05

0.06

2005

0.56

0.11

0.07

0.06

0.11

(1) Death certificates record the place where a person dies, but not where any infection may have been acquired.
(2) Identified using the methodology described in Office for National Statistics: Report: Deaths involving Clostridium difficile: England and Wales, 2001-05. “Health Statistics Quarterly” 33, 71-75.
(3) Deaths occurring in each calendar year
(4) n/a = no deaths

Community Care

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how often the records held by his Department on Continuing Care payments are collected; and whether they include information on (a) older people, (b) adults with learning disabilities and (c) younger adults with mental ill health. [183792]


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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The national health service does not make payments to individuals in respect of continuing health care.

The Department collects information on the number of people receiving continuing health care, and the number of people newly eligible for continuing health care. From 2007-08 this information is being collected on a quarterly basis, prior to 2007-08 the information was collected on an annual basis on 31 March each year. The Department does not collect this information on an age or diagnosis basis.

Community Care: Medical Equipment

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department’s policy is on the use of telecare systems and in-home monitors to help patients with (a) arthritis, (b) asthma, (c) diabetes, (d) heart disease and (e) other long-term conditions. [183564]

Ann Keen [holding answer 31 January 2008]: The Department telecare policy is set out in Building Telecare in England which was published in July 2005. The Department of Health provided £80 million of funding, through the preventative technology grant, to support the mainstreaming of telecare services and to benefit up to 160,000 additional users. This policy will support people with a range of conditions including those people with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and other long-term conditions.

In addition, the Long Term Conditions Whole System Demonstrators (WSDs), promised in the White Paper “Our Health, Our Care, Our Say”, are exploring the effectiveness of telehealth and telecare in supporting integrated care for those with heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. The results of the evaluation of the WSD programme will help to inform the future application of assistive technologies to support those with other long-term conditions.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to assist NHS organisations to encourage patients with long-term conditions to monitor their own (a) heart activity, (b) blood pressure and (c) lung capacity at home; what equipment is required to allow patients to do so; and if he will make a statement. [183565]

Ann Keen [holding answer 31 January 2008]: The Long Term Condition Whole System Demonstrators (WSDs), promised in the White Paper “Our Health, Our Care, Our Say”, will explore the effectiveness of telehealth and telecare in supporting integrated care for those with heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. There are three demonstrators in the programme located in Kent, Newham and Cornwall. The demonstrators will be robustly evaluated by a consortium of academic organisations in order to fully assess the business case for such service models.

As part of the WSDs the vital signs of several thousand individuals will be measured over a period of at least a year. The vital signs that are measured will be determined on an individual basis following assessment and the development of a care plan. The monitoring of
5 Feb 2008 : Column 1069W
heart activity, blood pressure and lung capacity will be included in the options available to people within the WSD communities.

The equipment needed to measure vital signs can be standalone—e.g. a blood pressure monitor. However, within the WSDs we are testing the role of assistive technologies as part of an integrated health and social care system. The vital sign measurements will therefore be remotely monitored regularly by health professionals. Feedback and treatment regimes will be tailored based on these readings. To facilitate this the peripherals such as blood pressure monitors will be connected to a telehealth hub that is linked via a phone line or broadband to systems that are securely monitored by clinicians.

In addition, the Department's telecare policy is set out in “Building Telecare in England”, which was published in July 2005. The Department provided £80 million of funding, through the Preventative Technology Grant, to support the mainstreaming of telecare services and to benefit up to 160,000 additional users. This policy will support people with a range of long term conditions with a number of localities investing in telehealth equipment to enable the monitoring of vital signs in the home.

Further information will be made available as appropriate.

Departmental Board

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 29 November 2007, Official Report, column 711W, on the Departmental Board, whether the Customer Insight Unit referred to in paragraph 5.3 of the minutes of the meeting held in March 2007 has now been created; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the paper entitled Embedding the Customer. [177980]

Mr. Bradshaw: An appointment to the post of Head of Customer Insight Unit was made in July 2007 and a small supporting team is in place. The Head of Customer Insight is also the Department’s representative on the cross-government Customer Insight Forum.

The paper entitled “Embedding the Customer” formed part of the internal process of departmental policy formulation and is not appropriate for publication. The role of Customer Insight is covered in the “Service Transformation Agreement” published in October 2007 and is available in the Library.

Departmental Information Officers

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) press and (b) communications officers his Department employed in each of the last 10 years. [182519]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not have a communication officer grade or job-title. The ‘White Book’ of contacts in Government Departments and agencies contains lists of press officers in the Department and is updated twice yearly. Some officers in directorates other than Communications have some media, press or communications liaison responsibility but this is not recorded in a consistent or economically retrievable form. Figures given as follows are for Communications Directorate alone. Figures for
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2003-04 and before are estimates. Figures are given for complete financial years (1 April to 31 March). Some staff work part-time.

Number of press officers, 1997-98 to 2006-07
Year Number of staff

2006-07

26

2005-06

30

2004-05

30

2003-04

26

2002-03

24

2001-02

22

2000-01

22

1999-2000

21

1998-99

15

1997-98

15


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