Oral Answer to Question | Health: Topical Questions

Posted on: 14th July 2011

Andrew George (St Ives, Liberal Democrat)

It is acknowledged that the rising rates of norovirus are worse where there is a shortage of acute hospital beds. How does the Secretary of State square the understandable desire to get on top of hospital-acquired infections with his zeal to reduce acute hospital beds?


Andrew Lansley (Secretary of State, Health; South Cambridgeshire, Conservative)

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. He will understand that each hospital trust or acute trust must be responsible for ensuring that there is not an excessive length of stay for patients and that it has the ability to isolate patients if necessary. Norovirus is one circumstance in which trusts often have to open additional capacity. In my experience of hospitals, that is precisely what is generally done. There is an ability to open new capacity if necessary when norovirus strikes.