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18 Feb 2008 : Column 297W—continued


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of bullying have been reported in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last 12 months. [182832]

Mr. Bradshaw: The number of complaints are given in the following table for the calendar year 2007. Where there has been at least one complaint but less than five the exact figure is not provided on grounds of confidentiality. Any such situation is marked <5 in the table. Nil returns are marked zero.

Department/agency Complaint—bullying



NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency


Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency


Malnutrition: Standards

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to include malnutrition in the quality and outcomes framework for general practitioners. [182140]

Mr. Bradshaw: As part of the ongoing development of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), indicators and clinical areas are continuously reviewed in the light of the clinical evidence base. The expert panel advises the QOF negotiations on the evidence for new areas for clinical intervention in terms of the benefits to patients. The scope for new areas depends on the strength of the evidence base, priorities for health, and the resource available to deliver them.

However, the identification of patients suffering from malnutrition who attend their general practitioner would be considered part of normal essential services delivered in general practice.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date the decision was taken to release under embargo statistics on (a) MRSA and (b) Clostridium difficile published by the Health Protection Agency on 30 January 2008; for what reason the decision was taken to release statistics under embargo; on what dates (i) he, (ii) his special advisers and (iii) other officials of his Department held discussions with the Health Protection Agency on the release of statistics under an embargo, and what the content of the discussions was; to which (A) organisations and (B) individuals the statistics were issued under embargo; and if he will make a statement. [185994]

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Ann Keen: On 16 January 2008 Departmental and Health Protection Agency officials agreed to release the information at 10:00 am on 29 January. It was distributed under embargo until 00:01 hours on 30 January to national and regional journalists with an interest in health to give them more time to look at the statistics in detail before reporting on them. It was also copied to the Health Care Commission.

This was in addition to the routine distribution of the pre-publication data to the national health service.

NHS Business Services Authority: Data Protection

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what dates in the last 12 months the NHS Business Services Authority has physically transported data which contain personally-identifiable information; and what guidance the NHS Business Services Authority has issued to its staff on how personally-identifiable information should be transported. [174837]

Mr. Bradshaw: The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) transports a considerable volume of personally- identifiable data on virtually every working day.

The NHSBSA has a data protection policy and an information security policy, which ensure that all staff are made aware of their roles and responsibilities for the correct transportation of personally-identifiable information. Staff also receive computer based training in data protection and information security which covers how information should be sent outside of the organisation. Reminders are also issued through a variety of internal communications mechanisms. The NHSBSA constantly reviews the security arrangements for data it is transporting.

I also refer the hon. Member to the statement made on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179, by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister and the written statement made on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS, by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A further report is expected in spring 2008.

NHS Employers: Freedom of Information

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS Employers is defined as a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. [184559]

Mr. Bradshaw: No. NHS Employers is a company limited by guarantee, and works as part of the NHS Confederation. As such, it is not considered a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act. NHS Employers provides services under contract to the Department, and also acts independently to represent the interests of individual national health service employers.

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NHS Foundation Trusts: Public Appointments

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to place senior appointments in NHS foundation trusts within the terms of reference of the Commissioner of Public Appointments; and if he will make a statement. [182465]

Mr. Bradshaw: In line with their independent status, schedule 7 of the National Health Service Act 2006 sets out how appointments to NHS foundation trusts (NHSFTs) are to be made. Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts) has issued guidance on the procedure and principles for appointments in NHSFTs which is consistent with their public service values. The NHS Foundation Trust Code of Governance is available at Monitor's website:

NHS Treatment Centres: Christchurch

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the former NHS Health Centre in Saxon Square, Christchurch was vacated; and when he expects it will be brought back into use. [186117]

Mr. Bradshaw: The former health centre at Saxon Square was vacated in 1989. Since then a number of unsuccessful attempts have been made to dispose of the Secretary of State’s long leasehold interest in the property.

Discussions are currently taking place with Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust for them to take responsibility for the leasehold interest and to bring the property back into national health service use. If these are concluded, it is expected the property will be brought back into use in 12 to 18 months.

NHS: Catering

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of (a) beef, (b) lamb, (c) pork and (d) dairy products used in NHS premises were imported products in the most recent period for which figures are available. [166744]

Mr. Bradshaw: The following percentages represent the number of products imported for each category:










NHS: Finance

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 525W, on NHS finance, what his Department’s latest estimate is of the outturn for NHS resource spending in 2007-08. [184478]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The Department will release its latest forecast of outturn national health service resource spending for 2007-08 in the “Department of Health Department Report 2008”, due to be published in May 2008.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Wyre Forest (Dr. Taylor) of 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 657W, on NHS: finance, which new indicators are under consideration for inclusion in the Better Care Better Value indicators. [185577]

Mr. Bradshaw: While further testing will be necessary it is likely that future publications by the National Health Service Institute will include indicators covering did not attend rates, ratios of new to follow-up appointments in outpatients and emergency readmission rates. The indicator set will be further expanded in subsequent quarters.

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what means his Department monitors primary care trusts’ commissioning of services to ensure funding is according to patient need. [186934]

Mr. Bradshaw: Primary care trusts (PCTs), working with their partners, are responsible for ensuring that their local communities have the opportunity to be fully engaged in the commissioning decisions that they take. By listening, understanding and responding to peoples’ expressed needs and preferences commissioners can be sure that the services that are made available are right for their populations.

This is why Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2008-09 requires PCTs to adopt a systematic and rigorous approach to seeking, collecting and acting on the views of individuals and partners in the local community, including carrying out joint strategic needs assessments.

PCTs are expected to respond by setting local commissioning priorities accordingly. Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are responsible for ensuring that these priorities reflect local health needs, informed by local indicators for PCTs. Performance against these indicators will be published to allow members of the public, as well as the Department and the SHAs, to assess how well or poorly their PCT is performing in relation to the local priorities it has set.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 333W, on NHS: ICT, which stakeholders his Department (a) has consulted and (b) plans to consult in its informatics review; and whether he expects to publish interim findings emerging during the course of the review. [185576]

Mr. Bradshaw: To date, the informatics review has involved over 400 stakeholders during the analysis phase. These consultations have involved a broad range of stakeholders from front-line national health service organisations, including clinicians, senior managers
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and senior information management and technology staff; policy makers and other senior staff from within the Department; the Department's arms-length bodies; the medical professional representative and health regulatory bodies; and commercial organisations and suppliers.

During February 2008 another phase of consultative engagement will take place in each of the strategic health authorities in the form of locally-run events with input from of a large number of NHS staff to validate and further inform the review. In addition, a smaller number of members of the public and patients will be invited to offer their own perspective.

There are no current plans to publish interim findings. The recommendations from the informatics review will be finalised within the context and timeframes set for the NHS Next Stage review being led by my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State (Lord Darzi), and expected to publish its final report during summer 2008.


Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Derek Conway) on 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 1029W, on NHS: KPMG, when he expects to be in a position to publish the report by KPMG on the financial viability of the four acute hospital trusts in outer South East London. [185023]

Mr. Bradshaw: The KPMG report into the financial position of the four financially challenged trusts in South East London was commissioned in order to inform Ministers and officials as to the possible solutions for the repayment of the historic debt in the trust.

This report was produced in order to, and is still being used to, inform Ministers and officials as part of this financially challenged trust's review process and, as such, we feel the release of the report may prejudice their ability to rely on free and frank advice that is contained within.

It should also be noted that any decisions regarding these four organisations will be heavily influenced by the outcome of NHS London's “A Picture of Health” public consultation which is due to run until 7 April 2008.

In addition the report contains a detailed breakdown of the trust's financial position including valuations on the organisations assets and liabilities, which if made public may harm the organisation in future negotiations with commercial partners.

Some of these issues remain relevant for the foreseeable future and therefore we are unable to put a timescale on when the report will be published.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 9 March 2007, Official Report, column 2288W, on the NHS: private finance initiative, if he will state, for each of the schemes (a) given the go-ahead and (b) opened, the nature of the
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rebuild project, including any estimate of the number of beds within the rebuilt area. [184300]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is shown in the following table.

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Information on the number of beds in each new build scheme could be collected only by going through each business case which would incur disproportionate cost.

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