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Hospitals: Disease Control

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the level at which fines for poor control of hospital infection, as announced in his Department’s NHS Next Stage Review: Interim Report, published 4 October 2007, need to be set to establish appropriate incentives to improve hospital cleanliness; to whom the fines will be paid; what assessment he has made of the likely effect of fining hospitals on the level of resources available for other elements of patient care; and if he will make a statement. (158465)

Care Quality Commission’s primary role will be to ensure patient care is safe. It will have a wide range of powers including issuing warning notices, closing wards and de-registering providers. Administrative fines are just one part of the picture. The level of administrative fine will be based on the Ministry of Justice’s standard scales, and any income will go to the Consolidated Fund. But, we do not intend to take large sums of money away from front-line health services. Rather, the ability of patients to choose where they are treated means that hospitals that cannot assure the public that they are free from serious infection will not be chosen.