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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by his Department in each of the last two years; and what the cost is to public funds in each case. 
There is an on site nursery for members of staff at the Department's Leeds office, which is provided at the rate of £24 per day and is shared with members of staff at the Department of Work and Pensions.
For other members of staff, the Department provides childcare allowances towards the cost of nursery and out of school care. It also provides an on-site holiday playscheme subsidised at the rate of £10 per day for
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children of staff members who are of school age, during the holidays. The budget for the allowances and for running the playscheme last year was £220,000.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many departmental mobile telephones were used by Ministers, special advisers and officials in his Department in each year since 1997; at what cost; how many such telephones were lost or stolen in each year since 1997; and what the replacement costs were in each case. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 6 December 2004]: Details of numbers and users of central Departmental mobile phones are not kept on an annual basis. Information is, therefore, available only on the current position. There are 1,102 mobile phones currently in use, of which nine are used by Ministers and special advisers and 1,093 by officials.
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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department undertook an audit of the pay of staff below senior civil service level in 2003. This revealed no significant areas of concern and concluded that there was no evidence of gender bias in respect of starting salaries. The Department's managers are required to consider equal pay issues when considering both starting salary and awarding any pay flexibilities.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact of recent large wholesale gas prices on the energy costs of the NHS; and what effect this will have on frontline services. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The price of gas has risen by approximately 57 per cent. between 1 November 2003 and 1 November 2004. This equates to a cost increase of about £41 million per annum, including Value Added Tax, on the national contracts.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission research to investigate the results of the gene therapy research referred to in the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee's open letter of 5 November, concerning the development of liver tumours in mice when treated with a lentivial vector. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government have recently spent £1 million of funding to support academic research into the safety of gene therapy, which includes looking at the safety of retroviruses of which lentiviruses are a sub-type.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which research group conducted the gene therapy research referred to in the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee's open letter of 5 November concerning liver tumours in mice treated with a lentivial vector; 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The research referred to in the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee's open letter of 5 November 2004 was conducted at Imperial College London at the division of biomedical sciences (cell and molecular biology section). The group is funded by contributions from a variety of sources, such as a Medical Research Council programme grant, the Katherine Dormandy Trust and the United Kingdom based biopharmacetical company Oxford BioMedica.
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