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Hospital Hygiene

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) of 22 January 2003, Official Report, column 392W, on hospital hygiene, how many cases of gastro-enteritis were reported by NHS hospital trusts in each year since 1999. [96045]

There are no definitive data sources for cases of gastro-enteritis in hospitals but the information available is shown in the table.The Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) has voluntary reporting systems for a range of pathogenic organisms but as these systems do not distinguish between cases acquired in hospital and those acquired elsewhere the requested data are not available.In addition the PHLS also has a voluntary reporting system for outbreaks (these involve two or more related cases) of infectious intestinal disease and a report "General outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease (IID) in hospitals, England and Wales, 1992-2000" was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection (2003) 53:1–5.Hospital Episode Statistics has the following information which includes cases where the patient was admitted with gastro-enteritis.

Finished consultant episodes (FCE) of diarrhoea and gastro-enteritis in NHS hospitals, England
YearNumber
1999–200013,498
2000–0111,812
2001–0211,257

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) of 28 January 2003, Official Report, column 810W, on hospital hygiene, what the recommendations on the number of wash-hand basins for specific situations are; and if he will make a statement on infection controls teams. [96082]

Infection control teams play a vital role in promoting good infection control. They will be actively involved in auditing key policies such as hand washing and will help develop trust policy on building services such as hand basins.Frequency of hand decontamination is governed by many factors, of which sufficient wash hand basins is only one. For new buildings, NHS Estates has made recommendations on hand basins.The exact number of hand-wash basins in a particular situation depends on the design and configuration of the room.