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Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of treating cases of (a) clostridium difficile and (b) other healthcare-acquired infections in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: The Department of Health does not routinely collect this information and no single definitive cost figure exists. However, a study by the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) in 1999 estimated that Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) cost the national health service £1 billion a year. This remains the best available estimate of NHS costs.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many legal actions have been taken against NHS trusts by the families of patients whose deaths were caused by (a) clostridium difficile and (b) other superbug infections in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) cannot run a report on its database to identify claims relating to cause of death. This answer could therefore be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
whether the claimant is the a family member;
an injury being a health care associated infection; and
the cause, such as failed infection control policy or hospital hygiene.
|Number of claims received 2004-05 to 2008-09 where the claim is made by a family member( 1) , the injury is a health care associated infection, and the cause is failed infection control policy/hospital hygiene as at 31 March 2009 split between Clostridium difficile and other superbug infections|
|NHSLA notification year||Claim status||Clostridium difficile||Other superbug|
|(1) Claims brought by a family member are likely to indicate that the patient died, although some may be on behalf of patients that lack the requisite mental capacity to make a claim.|
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS trusts have admitted liability for patient deaths caused by (a) clostridium difficile and (b) other superbug infections in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: The NHS Litigation Authority cannot run a report on its database to identify claims relating to admissions of liability for patient deaths. This answer could therefore be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of mandatory screening for (a) clostridium difficile and (b) other superbug infections. 
Ann Keen: The available evidence does not suggest that screening of patients without symptoms of intestinal infection for Clostridium difficile would be clinically effective, as patients without symptoms are not considered to present an increased risk of infecting others. As set out in current guidance, all those aged 65 years or over in hospital with diarrhoea should be tested for C. difficile and other patients tested as clinically indicated. This will ensure the infection is identified quickly and appropriate measures are taken to treat the patient and minimise infection of other patients.
From 1 April 2009, the national health service has been screening all relevant patients for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) before planned operations. This will help the NHS reduce the chances of patients getting an MRSA infection, or passing MRSA onto another patient but it is too early to assess the efficacy of screening. There are no other national screening programmes for health care associated infections.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) NHS hospitals, (b) primary care trusts, (c) strategic health authorities and (d) general
practice surgeries (i) he and (ii) each other Minister in his Department has visited since 27 June 2007. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average age of disqualified nursing staff was in the most recent period for which figures are available; and what estimate his Department had made of such figures in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of retired nurses have had their pension payments (a) reduced and (b) increased in the last 12 months; and for what reason in each case. 
Ann Keen: The information requested is not available centrally. NHS Pensions holds individual membership records to enable the actual calculation of pension benefits to take place and to support periodical actuarial investigations by the scheme actuary. Pension benefits may change for a variety of reasons such as pensions increase review, re-employment, abatement, or the adjustment of the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) element. It is not possible to specifically identify subsequent reductions or increases to pension benefits or the reason for each change. With reference to reductions in pension payments for all NHS Pensioners in relation to GMP, I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien) on 31 March 2009, Official Report, column 1107W.
|National health service hospital and community health services: Qualified nursing staff in the school nursing area of work in England as at 30 September each specified year|
|Qualified school nursing nurses||Qualified school nurse( 1)||Other qualified nurses|
|(1) Qualified school nurse: Qualified school nurses hold the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Specialist Practice Qualification with an outcome in school nursing - which is a recordable qualification on the NMC register.|
The Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce Census.
|The Information Centre for health and social care Vacancies Survey March each yearNHS three-month vacancies in England for qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff, all areas of work|
|Three month vacancy rates, numbers and staff in post|
|All qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff||Acute, elderly and general care|
|as at 31 March||as at 30 September||as at 31 March||as at 30 September|
|3 month vacancy rate (%)||3 month vacancy number||Staff in post (full-time equivalent)||Staff in post (headcount)||3 month vacancy rate (%)||3 month vacancy number||Staff in post (full-time equivalent)||Staff in post (headcount)|
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