§ Dr. Phipps
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he will issue new guidance to health authorities following the Environmental Health Officers Association's report on NHS hospital kitchens; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ennals
A circular has been issued to health authorities today, and copies have been placed in the Library. The circular re-emphasises the importance of ensuring that the requirements of the Food Hygiene (General) Regulations 1970 are complied with, and instructs authorities to tell local authority environmental health departments that their officers are free to visit and inspect kitchens and other food-handling areas in684W
engineers are ready to advise authorities on resolving any local problems.
§ Mr. MacGregor
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current waiting list for orthopaedic operations for artificial joint replacements in Norfolk and the likely delay for nonurgent cases between admission to the waiting list and admission to hospital; and how this compares with the average in both respects in England and Wales.
§ Mr. Moyle
At 30th September 1976 the number of patients on the waiting list for traumatic and orthopaedic surgery, including those waiting the replacement of joints was as follows:
health premises at any time without specific invitation or prior notice. The circular also stresses the importance of training staff in food hygiene and advises that environmental health departments be invited to participate in training programmes and to offer advice on health authorities proposals for building or refurbishing hospital kitchens and food handling areas. This new guidance, together with the standing arrangement whereby the failure of a health authority to take necessary action on environmental health officers' recommendations may be brought directly to the attention of my Department, is intended to ensure that proper standards of hygiene are maintained and that appropriate remedial action is taken where hospital kitchens are found to be in an unsatisfactory condition.