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Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much and what proportion of her Department's catering budget was spent on fair trade produce in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne: None of the Department's catering budget was spent on Fair Trade" produce within the last year. We and our catering contractor, Quadrant are investigating supplier alternatives that might allow the Department to introduce Fair Trade" items.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) laptops and (b) mobile phones her Department bought in each year since 1997; and what the cost of each category of equipment was in each year. 
Mr. Byrne: Laptops and mobile phones are purchased via the Department's information management services provider, Computer Sciences Corporation. Numbers bought and the related costs from financial year 199798 to 200405 are shown in the table:
|Number of laptops bought||Cost of laptops (£)||Number of mobile phones bought||Cost of mobile phones (£)|
From 1 April 2005, local records of equipment purchases were discontinued and the Department's Oracle financial system used as the accounting mechanism. Oracle does not identify individual types of equipment purchased. However, Computer Services Corporation has confirmed that 155 laptops have so far been purchased in 200506 at an average price of £968.60 each.
From the same date, purchasing, as well as financing, of mobile phones was delegated to business areas across the Department. There are therefore no central records of mobile phone purchases and costs for 200506.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what salary she expects to be paid to her Department's new director of (a) commissioning, (b) provider development, (c) social care and (d) policy and strategy. 
Mr. Byrne: The appointment and selection processes for filling the posts of director of social care and policy and strategy have not yet begun. An external advertisement, for the posts of director of commissioning and provider development, is due to appear this week.
All four posts fall within a pay range of £93,139 to £132,586. The recruitment and performance ceiling of the range is £198,197. Senior civil service salary ranges are currently under review and may increase with effect from the 1 April 2006. The Department's guidelines about pay on appointment or promotion to the senior civil service will apply if a serving civil servant is successful for any of the roles.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many disciplinary actions against civil servants employed in her Department (a) were commenced and (b) resulted in a sanction being applied in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department only holds records of disciplinary cases for the last two years. In this time, 32 disciplinary actions against civil servants were commenced of which 19 resulted in sanction being applied.
Mr. Byrne: The Department does not pay London allowances as part of its current pay system. We are considering the introduction of London pay ranges for staff below the senior civil service level as part of our new reward strategy due to be implemented later this year.
Information on the number of people eligible for direct payments is not held centrally. An estimated 980,700 people aged 18 and over received community-based services as at 31 March 2005 in England. This is an overestimate of the number eligible
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as not all social care services are included in the direct payments legislation, although a great many of the services for which local councils are responsible are. The regulations provide that the duty to make direct payments applies to:
Wherever a person is assessed as needing social care services, a council should check whether there is a duty to make a direct payment in respect of that service. As at 31 March 2005 in England, some 22,100 people received direct payments. This excludes direct payments given to carers and parents of disabled children.
Mr. Byrne: In the White Paper Our health, our care, our say", we made a firm commitment to launch a national campaign to raise awareness and improve understanding of the benefits of direct payments. We are at the scoping stage of this campaign and are currently considering a range of options for encouraging take-up of direct payments. Support and advocacy systems will be considered alongside other options.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the ability of community services to deliver the National Service Framework recommendation on equipment for disabled children; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) what discussions she has had with the Department for Education and Skills on co-ordinating basic data on (a) the number and needs of disabled children in local areas, (b) the inclusion of disabled children in Children Act databases and (c) the inclusion of disabled children in the Common Assessment Framework; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department has funded the integrating community equipment services initiative, ranging across health and social care, to address the need to modernise, develop and improve access to equipment for disabled children. Improving the capability of the community services will help to deliver recommendations within the children's national service framework (NSF) on the availability of equipment and assistive technology. The Department is also in discussion with the Healthcare Commission on implementing the children's NSF, and the Healthcare Commission will be taking forward thematic reviews to assess progress.
Officials from the Department and the Department for Education and Skills continue to work together on developing services in line with the NSF and on the common assessment framework. Officials are working on a range of issues including safeguarding children, children's palliative care, children with complex
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disability and extending the child health mapping exercise. The mapping exercise is an annual survey indicating the nature of current provision and promoting the commissioning of high quality services.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the performance of the local individual budget pilots set up to improve the life chances of disabled people; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The first individual budget pilot site, West Sussex County Council, focuses on older people and began in December 2005. 12 more pilots are coming on stream during the first half of 2006. All pilots are being comprehensively evaluated by a consortium of academic social policy research units. We anticipate that a body of evidence will be available in 2008 to inform plans for national roll-out.
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