Broomfield Hospital: Manpower

Health written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what resources will be allocated to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford following the Government's recent announcement of extra staff to tackle hospital infections.

Photo of Ann Keen Ann Keen Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Health Services), Department of Health

The information requested is not held centrally. The comprehensive spending review (CSR) funding settlement includes £270 million per year by 2010-11 to tackle healthcare associated infections (HCAIs). In 2008-09, the additional funding is reflected in the 5.5 per cent., increase in primary care trust (PCT) allocations and the 2.3 per cent. uplift to the national tariff (the latter specifically recognising the importance of tackling HCAIs and improving cleanliness).

The additional funding is not ring fenced, but rather is reflected in the 5.5 per cent., increase to PCT revenue allocations in 2008-09. In addition, the national tariff uplift for 2008-09 has an element that specifically recognises the importance of tackling infections and improving cleanliness. This means that all national health service organisations can afford to make significant investment and continue to make progress.

Some of the funding will be spent on implementing national policy—such as the requirement for all relevant elective patients to be screened for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from April 2009 and for emergency admissions as soon as possible within the next three years.

Other areas where additional funding can be invested will be left to local discretion, but "clean, safe care" guides the local NHS as to areas where this will have the most impact—such as investing in specialist staff. The Government's CSR settlement allows for up to £45 million for this purpose, which could for example deliver two infection control nurses, one pharmacist and two nurses to care for patients in isolation, alongside additional infection control nurses in every community. As there is a shortage of trained staff in some areas, trusts may want to recruit to posts in infection control teams and train up additional infection control nurses.

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