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Barnet Hospital

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of capacity at Barnet hospital; and if he will make a statement. [98932]

Services at Barnet hospital are improving, but there is much more which needs to be done. Inpatients and outpatients are waiting for shorter periods and recent improvements in practice in the accident and emergency department will also ensure shorter waits. Public and staff are being involved in the further development of services locally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to reduce accident and emergency waiting times at Barnet Hospital; and if he will make a statement. [98934]

Improving the patients experience of emergency care is a top priority for the National Health Service. In light of this, Reforming Emergency Care was launched in October 2001, supported by a £118 million investment. It sets a long term programme of reform supported by extra investment and new capacity to address one of the public's key concerns about the National Health Service—waiting in accident and emergency (A & E).After successful introduction of the see and treat initiative at Chase Farm Hospital A & E, which has had a significant impart on the number of patients being seen within four hours, this is now being introduced at Barnet Hospital.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to improve the cleaning services at Barnet Hospital; and if he will make a statement. [98949]

Improving the cleanliness of hospitals is the responsibility of local national health service trusts.The "National Standards of Cleaning for the NHS" were launched by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in April 2001. All hospitals are required to ensure that their cleaning services meet these standards. In addition hospitals are inspected annually by patient environment action teams (PEATs) who assess environmental standards across a range of factors including cleanliness. The Commission for Health Improvement also considers hospital cleanliness as part of Clinical Governance reviews.The last PEAT assessment of Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust judged the environmental standards, including cleanliness, as acceptable.