|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how (a) his Department and (b) the Health Protection Agency plans to monitor progress against the Health Protection Agency's Men too... strategy. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Department monitors delivery of the objectives of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) through a service level agreement with the Health Protection Agency. The NCSP will monitor progress against the Men too... strategy through routine quarterly analysis of disaggregate data, which will be published on the website and in the annual report. Progress on individual elements of the strategy will be monitored by the NCSP programme board.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to allow the representation of district councils on county and unitary health overview and scrutiny committees. 
Ann Keen: District councils may participate in health scrutiny in a variety of ways. Although district councils do not have the powers to review and scrutinise health services, there are opportunities for them to become involved in joint committees through co-option and to have the functions delegated to them.
County councils may co-opt members of overview and scrutiny committees from district councils to participate as full members of the county overview and scrutiny committee considering health services. Councillors who are members of a district council executive are, by definition, not scrutiny members and therefore cannot be co-opted onto the county council health overview and scrutiny committee, nor can district councillors who are not members of an overview and scrutiny committee. Councillors who fall into these categories and who may have a role to play in a scrutiny process may participate in other ways, for example by providing information to the committee or attending as an expert witness.
A LA may also arrange for its overview and scrutiny functions to be undertaken by a committee from another LA. The regulations enable the delegation of scrutiny functions between LAs including from county council to district council overview and scrutiny committees. When delegation takes place, the full powers of overview and scrutiny of health services are given to the delegated committee but only in relation to the specific delegated function.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much time members of the new strategic boards proposed for professional healthcare regulatory bodies will be expected to commit each year; and how many times he expects each such board to meet in each year. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The detailed arrangements for the number of times boards will meet and the time commitments of board members is a matter for the individual regulatory bodies. However, the White Paper, Trust, Assurance, SafetyThe Regulation of Healthcare Professionals in the 21(st) Century does set out the expectation that councils will be more board-like and strategic. The regulators will want to take this into account when making their decisions and will also want to consider the recommendations in Niall Dickson's report Enhancing Confidence in Healthcare Professional Regulation when it is published.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) skills, (b) competences and (c) experience candidates for (i) professional and (ii) lay membership of the councils of professional healthcare bodies will be required to demonstrate before appointment. 
Mr. Bradshaw: This is a matter for discussion between the Appointments Commission and the relevant professional regulatory bodies. However, they will wish to take into account the recommendations in Niall Dickson's report Enhancing Confidence in Healthcare Professional Regulation, when it is published.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will consider introducing a requirement for professional applicants to council of professional health regulatory bodies to demonstrate a capacity to express in plain English technical information for use by the public. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The councils of professional health regulatory bodies will of course want to ensure that technical information that is written for public consumption is clear and understandable. However, the approach to achieving this is a matter for the regulators themselves.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2008, Official Report, column 339W, on health services: West Sussex, if he will define his use of the term viable option. 
Dawn Primarolo: As stated in the answer I gave the right hon. Member on 29 January 2008, proposals for the reconfiguration of services are a matter for the national health service locally, working in conjunction with clinicians, patients and other stakeholders.
The hon. Member may therefore wish to raise this issue further with either the chief executive of West Sussex primary care trust, or the chief executive of South East Coast strategic health authority.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) mean, (b) median and (c) range of time taken was by the Healthcare Commission to categorise complaints in each year from August 2004; and how many (i) categorised and (ii) un-categorised complaints are outstanding. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I understand from the Healthcare Commission that the information is not available in the form requested and that categorisation of complaints can happen at a variety of stages during the review process. The Commission records information on the average length of time taken to carry out and complete independent reviews and on the age profile of cases.
In April 2007, the average time to complete an independent review was 5.7 months and there were 3,060 open cases. Of those cases 429 were over 12 months old, 927 were between six and 12 months old. At the end of 2007-08, the average time to complete an independent review was 2.8 months and there were 1,474 open cases. Of those cases 13 were over 12 months old; fewer than 160 were between six and 12 months old.
The information requested is not collected centrally. The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on drug seizures by the police and HM Revenue and Customs in England and Wales, but they do not identify drug seizures in hospitals. The Home Offices most recent publication was Seizures of Drugs in England and Wales 2005, published in October 2007 and available at:
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many deaths there were in (a) Great Western Hospital, Swindon, (b) Royal United Hospital, Bath and (c) Chippenham Community Hospital wholly or partly attributed to (i) clostridium difficile, (ii) MRSA and (iii) other hospital acquired infections in each of the last five years. 
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many deaths there were in (a) Great Western Hospital, Swindon, (b) Royal United Hospital, Bath and (c) Chippenham Community Hospital wholly or partly attributed to (i) clostridium difficile and (ii) MRSA or other hospital acquired infections in each of the last five years. (199433)
Special analyses of deaths involving Clostridium difficile and MRSA in England and Wales are undertaken annually by ONS. The latest year for which figures are available is 2006. Information on the numbers of deaths between 2001 and 2006 involving Clostridium difficile and MRSA were published in Health Statistics Quarterly in February 2008.(1,2) This publication is available in the House of Commons Library.
ONS has not yet released any figures on deaths involving Clostridium difficile or MRSA for individual hospitals. The possibility of producing figures for hospitals in the future is currently being investigated.
(1) Office for National Statistics (2008) Report: deaths involving Clostridium difficile: England and Wales, 1999-2006. Health Statistics Quarterly 37, 52-56.
(2) Office for National Statistics (2008) Report; Deaths involving MRSA: England and Wales, 1993-2006. Health Statistics Quarterly 37,57-62
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate his Department has made of the number of people diagnosed with Huntington's disease in (a) England, (b) the north-east, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency; 
(2) what estimate his Department has made of the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in (a) England, (b) the north-east, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency. 
Ann Keen: The Department has made no estimate of the number of people living with Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. However, figures quoted in the National Service Framework for Long-term Conditions estimated that 120,000 people in the United Kingdom live with Parkinson's disease, and 6,000 to 10,000 with Huntington's disease.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the effect on the ability of users of Part IX catheters, appliances and related services to self-care under the proposed changes to the arrangements under Part IX of the Drug Tariff; 
Dawn Primarolo: The review of the arrangements under Part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliancesand related servicesin primary care aims to maintain and, where appropriate, improve patient care.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with pharmaceutical companies on the continuity of product supply in the event of an influenza pandemic in the last 12 months; what the content of those discussions was; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, on 22 November 2007, Official Report, column 1350, outlining the measures to prepare the country for the event of an influenza pandemic including publication of Pandemic flu: A national framework for responding to an influenza pandemic and supporting guidance. A major work programme is underway in the Department to develop preparedness including our plans to increase the stockpiles of antivirals and to build a stockpile of antibiotics. We also launched a consultation on possible changes to legislation to maintain access to medicines during a pandemic. The response to the consultation will be published shortly.
In developing our plans we have engaged with the pharmaceutical industry including representatives from the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries, the British Generic Manufacturers Association and the British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers who sit on our external reference group for pandemic influenza pharmacy and prescribing.
We have also undertaken a simulation exercise on the potential impact of a pandemic on the medicines and healthcare products supply chain. Representatives from these groups, along with pharmacy service providers and healthcare professionals took part in the exercise.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which groups are to be offered pandemic influenza vaccination in the event of an influenza pandemic, in order of priority; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) pursuant to his statement of 22 November 2007, Official Report, column 1351, on pandemic influenza, what proportion of the additional £10 million funding allocated this year to assist the national health service in developing its pandemic influenza contingency plans has been spent; for what purposes this funding was intended; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what progress has been made in procuring a stockpile of (a) additional anti-virals, (b) antibiotics, (c) disposal respirators and (d) face-masks for use in the event of an influenza pandemic; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) pursuant to the answer of 5 February 2008, Official Report, column 1078W, on influenza, what appropriate (a) counter-measures and (b) information he is considering in order to protect staff during an influenza pandemic; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The business cases for the procurement of the clinical countermeasures, particularly of the likely clinical impact of the products, the relevant market conditions and the economic issues, are currently under discussion within the Department of Health and with HM Treasury.
The current stockpile of H5N1 vaccine has been purchased specifically for the protection of health care workers. Specific information for employees of the health service was issued for consultation in November 2007 and those responses are now being considered with a view to providing final guidance. A range of other pieces of guidance, particularly those relating to infection control procedures are also available on this Department's website at:
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|