QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED OF NHS HIGHLAND UNDER THE
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
Payments to Board members
Out Of Hours services
MRSA / Hospital Associated Infection
What are your waiting times?
These are generally published at http://www.show.scot.nhs.uk/waiting/
Cancer waiting times are published at
Where can I find statistics on your services?
A whole range of statistics are found at the ISD website.
What are your costs?
Health service costs can be found on the ISD Website
How much do your Board members get paid?
This is reported in our annual report
What is the total cost of providing the new out of hours arrangements?
An annual budget of £5.7m has been allocated to the new service.
What is the monthly cost of out of hours payments to GPs
This is approximately 1/12 of the annual budget which amounts to £475,000 per month.
What is the largest payment you have made to any (anonymous) GP for Out of Hours
This is likely to be £1500.
What was the cost in previous years of paying GPs to provide similar out of hours (OOH) cover?
There was no equivalent payment made to GPs for providing OOH cover. GPs were paid an allowance and
an “item of service” fee for night visits which occurred between 10.00 pm and 8.00 am. In addition, a
Scottish Executive Health Department OOH Fund was allocated to support OOH cover and some additional
NHS Highland resources were added to this amount. The overall total for these different elements for
2003/04 was around £1,108,700.
Are patients routinely screened for MRSA?
It depends on the local circumstances. Some groups are routinely screened. We currently recommend at
Raigmore Hospital that, where possible, the following patients are screened prior to admission:
Patients known to be previously infected
Patients frequently re-admitted (2 or 3 admissions within the last year)
Patients transferred from other hospitals or nursing homes
Patients transferred from hospitals abroad
All Orthopaedic patients being admitted for planned joint replacement surgery
Are there any plans to restrict visitors to reduce MRSA?
There are no such plans to restrict visiting at the moment.
What are the rates of death from MRSA or Hospital Associated Infection in each of your
We do not have this information in an accessible form. We do have computerised data provided by the
General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) which analyses deaths by their causes. However, this cannot
be used to find this information because of the way in which causes of death are recorded by the GROS.
They record the underlying cause of death as defined by the World Health Organisation’s International
Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death (ICD). There are currently no codes in
ICD relating to antibiotic resistance. We understand that the WHO has agreed that this will be introduced
Some studies of death records have been carried out in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. These are:
Crowcroft N and Catchpole M (2002) Mortality from methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus in
England and Wales: analysis of death certificates. British Medical Journal 325, 1390-1391
Griffiths C et al (2004) Trends in MRSA in England and Wales: analysis of morbidity and mortality
data for 1993-2002. Health Statistics Quarterly 21, 15-22
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (2004) Deaths registered in Northern Ireland
with methicillin resistant staphylococcus (MRSA) mentioned on death certificate. NISRA
The methodology employed in all these studies has been similar, but requires manual examination of the
text field of death certificates to establish if there is any mention of MRSA made by the certifying physician
in the underlying and contributory conditions. This searching process is a two-part technique. Death
certificate records were identified whose ICD coding indicates S. aureus infection. The text field of these
records were then searched to identify if MRSA was indicated. A second level search was then undertaken
of other coding that could indicate S. aureus infection. Records identified at this stage were then searched
for mention of S. aureus or MRSA as contributors to death.
How many cases of MRSA have been reported in the last five years? Year by year and by
We do not keep records for individual hospitals, only for the Highlands as a whole. This information is
already published on the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health website
How many staff have been tested for MRSA?
Since September 2003, six members of staff (all nurses) from NHS Highland have been screened in the
Occupational Health Department and were found to be positive for MRSA. We do not have records for prior
to that date.
How many MRSA cases have been reported on maternity units and SCBU?
Number of MRSAs on maternity wards 2003 - 12
2005 to date - 2
We do not have readily accessible data prior to 2003.
How many MRSA cases have been reported on Children’s wards?.
Number of MRSA cases 2003 -0
2005 to date - 0
We do not have readily accessible data prior to 2003.
How many workplace accidents have occurred in your hospitals over the past two years?
From 1st Oct 2002 - 30 Sept 2004 –
Staff - 936 Patients - 2200 Total - 3136.
This includes all minor injuries such as scratches, slips, trips etc. Of these only 69 were serious enough to
have to be reported to the Health & Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and
Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.
How many registered disabled staff do you employed?
Our records show no staff having declared themselves as being registered disabled. However this does not
mean that there are no disabled people working for NHS Highland. There is no compulsion for staff to
declare themselves as disabled and it is purely voluntary. We are aware of a number of people who are
registered disabled and who work for NHS Highland.
What numbers and percentages of people are registered for NHS Dentistry in the Highlands?
Year ending March Number registered Percentage of population
Children Adults Children Adults
1996 - - 53% 41%
1997 - - 51% 44%
1998 - - 56% 42%
1999 - - 58% 39%
2000 29,872 65,799 61% 41%
2001 29,323 65,130 60% 41%
2002 28,627 57,297 60% 36%
2003 28,785 55,920 62% 34%
2004 28,058 49,427 62% 30%
(as at June 2005)
How many private dental practices have no NHS patients?
Within Highland there is only one private dental practice that has no NHS patients. This is the Eillertson
and Raymond Dental Practice in Dingwall. All other General Dental Practitioners (GDPs) have NHS
patients. (as at June 2005)
How long does a patient’s NHS dental registration last?
A patient’s NHS registration runs for 15 months and may be renewed if both the patient and the dentist
are in agreement. Therefore all our Highland GDPs have been accepting NHS patients but not ALL NHS
patients. (as at June 2005)
How many Dentists are re-registering their NHS patients?
At present all General Dental Practitioners in Highland will be re-registering some if not all of their NHS
patients. However only 3 (4.5%) of these GDPs are also prepared to accept all groups of patients for NHS
registration. Each of these GDPs have advised NHS Highland that they are operating a waiting list. In
addition 33 (50%) of GDPs have advised NHS Highland that they are prepared to accept some patients for
NHS registration e.g. children of parents whom are registered for private dental care with the practice. (as
at June 2005)
What is the cost of NHS dentistry provision?
The total spend for primary care NHS dentistry in Highland for 2003/04 was £9.7m.
What research is being undertaken in NHS Highland?
This is already published on the National Research Register (NRR). The web-link is
Follow the 'Search the Register 'link and click on the 'search' button. Put NHS Highland into the 'search
phrase' box and all the relevant information is there.
How many abortions have been carried out in the Highlands after 24 weeks?
Which hospitals in your health board area charge patients and visitors for parking motor
vehicles in the hospital car park, and how much do they charge?
Only Raigmore Hospital in Inverness charges for parking. Both patients and visitors are charged £1 per
visit (a discounted scheme for visitors to long term patients i.e. those likely to be in hospital for longer
than 7 days is in operation. They pay £7 per week but can use the car park facility as often as they wish).
We also have a number of exemptions to the charges, These are largely radiotherapy patients, disabled
visitors and patients, and voluntary organisations providing services at the hospital.
Which hospitals charge staff for parking motor vehicles in the hospital car park, and how much
do they charge?
Staff charges are as follows:
Staff earning under £6 per hour pay £30.00 per annum.
Staff earning £6.01p per hour and up to £30,000 pa pay £72.00 per annum.
Staff earning over £30.000 pa pay £90.00 per annum.
Student nurses pay the lower fee ie £30 pa.
All these charges are deducted from salary.
Which hospitals charge staff or visitors for parking bicycles in the hospital car park, and how
much do they charge?
We do not charge staff or visitors for the use of cycle or motorcycle facilities. We actively encourage the
use of cycles to work and have participated in a number of schemes to encourage staff to do so e.g.
National Cycle to work day, when we have offered staff a free healthy breakfast if they cycle to work. We
have installed secure cycle lockers which are available to staff. We are linked to the National cycle track
and have had an arrangement with a local cycle shop which enables staff to purchase a cycle interest free
over 6 months and which is deducted from salary. Some 98 staff have participated in this scheme.
How many complaints do you receive, what are they about and how quickly do you answer
Analysis of Complaints: April 2004 – March 2005
No. of Complaints Total 332 280
Answered in less than 4 weeks 228 168
Answered in more than 4 weeks 104 112
% resolved in 4 weeks 69% 60%
Issues Raised – Total Number 462
Communication (written/oral) 106
Delays at clinic 7
Delays in admission/discharge/transfer 5
Result of tests 6
Date of appointment 45
Date for admission/attendance 13
Environmental / Domestic
Patient privacy/dignity 4
Equipment / environment / premises 34
Consent to treatment
Patient property 6
Bed shortage 2
Personal Records 4
Clinical Treatment 111
Partly upheld 127
Not upheld 102
Independent review requested 4
Referred to independent review 4