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Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what meetings (a) he and (b) his officials have had with representatives of PatientPak Limited to discuss the use of its products by patients in the last 12 months; (251014)

(2) what research his Department has (a) evaluated, (b) commissioned and (c) undertaken on the merits of patient-provided products to prevent viral and bacterial infections in hospitals.

The Department has not had any meetings with representatives of PatientPak Ltd. within the last 12 months. However, the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency run product surgeries to offer advice to manufacturers of health care products.

The Department has not undertaken any work on the efficacy of patient-provided products in preventing viral and bacterial infections in hospitals and is not aware of any evidence that these products offer advantages over materials supplied to patients by the national health service.

Our strategy ‘Clean Safe Care’ draws together the measures required to control infections. Generally, normal soap and toiletries are adequate for patients' personal hygiene during their hospital stay, and hospitals will provide special soap and shampoo to prevent viral and bacterial infections as necessary.