Ann Keen: Matrons have the authority to set and monitor standards in cleaning contracts and to remedy problems if they occur. This includes by withholding payment from cleaning services which do not deliver.
We have issued guidance that sets out the expected processes to be followed when matrons, in conjunction with trust chief executives, are considering imposing penalties on a contractor or an in-house provider. The guidance makes it clear that local resolution is to be preferred, however, withholding payment is an option to be considered amid trusts' contract monitoring and associated escalation procedures.
The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA) has encouraged the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as national and multi-national suppliers, in tendering for framework agreements for food products
to the national health service and this objective has transferred over to the NHS Supply Chain since they took over the role of food procurement in October 2006.
The tendering opportunities available to SMEs enabled their offers to be limited to deliveries within their preferred geographical locations and within their product range. Additionally, NHS PASA promoted the same procurement initiative for NHS trusts to adopt through their own direct contracts. NHS PASA also provided advice to ensure trusts remained in compliance with the European Union (EU) procurement directives as the specifying of local food could contravene the EU directives.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the findings of the recent Food Standards Agency study in relation to the status and structure of the Meat Hygiene Service. 
Dawn Primarolo: Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board papers and minutes are published on the FSA's website. They include the Final Report of the Review of the Delivery of Official Controls in Approved Meat Premises, which the FSA Board considered in July 2007 and at which targets were set for the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) and information was requested on possible outsourcing of part of the MHS. The FSA Board decided at its meeting on 7 May 2008 that the option of piloting an alternative to the MHS should not be pursued and that available resources should be focused on MHS modernisation. The May Board papers will be available after 13 June 2008 on the FSA's website at:
The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) offers some police-based training to forensic physicians and works in conjunction with the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine (FFLM). The FFLM ensures that individuals employed in this field receive the appropriate support through regular medical updates and a facilitation service provided by experienced, subject matter experts.
Further, external training is also available in order to assist medical staff to assess the mental health state of persons in custody and to make judgement on whether they are, or are not, fit enough to be detained and/or interviewed (Section 12 of the Mental Health Act 1983assessment of persons in custody sets this process out in detail). The NPIA ensures that student medical examiners are made aware of these procedures, but does not train them to Section 12 Approved doctor status as referred to under the Act. Section 12 training is approved by regional approval panels which oversee the appointment of doctors applying for section 12 approval.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a list of the products submitted to the Rapid Review Panel for consideration for use in fighting infection in the NHS in the last year for which information is available. 
Ann Keen: The following table shows the products that have been submitted to the Rapid Review Panel for consideration for use in fighting infection in the national health service in the last year for which information is available (April 2007 to April 2008).
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Departments procedure is for the introduction of new infection control technologies in the NHS following a recommendation from its Rapid Review Panel. 
Ann Keen: The Rapid Review Panel (RRP) was set up in 2004 to review new health care associated infection related technologies. The RRP provides a prompt assessment of new and novel equipment, materials, and other products or protocols that may be of value to the national health service in improving infection prevention and control. The RRP has already reviewed over 200 products, providing feedback and opinion in one of seven categories, with recommendation 1 being the highest category where the efficacy of a product has been proved scientifically and in use.
A wide range of new programmes is being implemented to support the RRP as a consequence of the Healthcare Associated Infection Technology Innovation Programme launched in the Clean, safe care strategy (January 2008). Technologies with a RRP recommendation 1 are being placed in showcase hospitals around the country for periods up to six months for the purpose of evaluating in-use features and providing feedback to the NHS in the form of ready made adoption business cases. Such technologies are also subject to an accelerated placement in the NHS Supply Chain catalogue.
Uptake will be reviewed through information provided by the NHS Supply Chain where this is appropriate. Plans are also being developed to provide support to technologies that have RRP Panel two and three recommendations.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dieticians worked in the NHS in
each year since 1997; what the full-time equivalent figure was in each such year; and how many patient contacts with dieticians there were in each such year. 
|NHS Hospital and Community Health Services: Dieticians 1997-2007 number and full-time equivalent (FTE), England as at 30 September each year
Ann Keen: Weight management counsellors are not identified in the national health service work force census. However this role may be undertaken by dieticians; the number of dieticians by strategic health authority (SHA) is shown on the following tables.
|NHS hospital and community health services (HCHS): qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical (ST and T) staff by SHA areaEngland as at September 2007
|Yorkshire and the Humber
|East M idlands
|West M idlands
|East of England
|South east coast
|Special health authorities and others