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27 Mar 2006 : Column 804W—continued


Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pharmacies have been awarded contracts on the basis of 100 hour opening since the control of entry regulations on pharmacy were amended; and what steps she has taken to ensure that all such pharmacies maintain public access for 100 hours a week. [60584]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested will not be available until the next edition of the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre Bulletin on national health service pharmaceutical services in England and Wales due in early 2007. Under the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations it is a condition of inclusion in a primary care trust's pharmaceutical list that such pharmacies are kept open for at least 100 hours per week to provide pharmaceutical services and such directed services as the primary care trust may specify.

Predictive Diallers

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 March 2006, Official Report, column 1251W, on predictive diallers, what estimate she has made of the cost of establishing whetherany public body for which her Department is responsible uses predictive dialling. [59071]

Mr. Byrne: My reply of 7 March 2006, Official Report, column 1251W, on predictive diallers was based on an estimate that it would cost between £3,000 and £6,000 (£5 to £10 for each public body concerned) to obtain this information from the bodies themselves.

Primary Care Trusts

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much purchaser protection adjustment she expects to be lost to each primary care trust in each of the next three years. [52439]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 16 February 2006]: The 2006–07 payment by results transitional adjustments for commissioners are based on giving primary care trusts 50 per cent. purchaser parity. No decision has yet been made on these adjustments beyond 2006–07.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assistance her Department has given to the
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independent advisory group on sexual health and HIV in each year since its inception; what the value was of the financial assistance given in each year; and if she will make a statement. [60864]

Caroline Flint: The Department has provided funding to establish and support the independent advisory group for sexual health and HIV as follows, since it came into being in 2003.
Funding provided (£)

(60)To date.

The Department also currently provides the secretariat for the advisory group.

Single Assessment Process

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the implementation of the Single Assessment Process. [59718]

Mr. Byrne: Information on local implementation is not collected centrally. The responsibility for introducing a single assessment process (SAP) rests with local health and social care service planners, commissioners and providers. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that most, if not all, local authorities' social services departments have a SAP process in place.

The Department is at the early stages of developing common assessment framework (CAP) that would be applicable to adults more generally by building on the existing SAP for older people.

The first stage of a project to define and evaluate options for electronic SAP has been commissioned by NHS Connecting for Health. This will be completed in 2006.


Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to conclude her review of the continuation of smoking in psychiatric hospitals and mental health facilities in private, public and charitable ownership. [60078]

Caroline Flint: The issue of smoking in mental health units is a matter that is currently under consideration. The Government are considering evidence and recommendations from a range of sources on the issue, including the Health Select Committee.

Smoke-free arrangements for mental health units will be included within regulations to be made under the Health Bill (HL Bill 76) and guidance will also be issued on the subject by the Department. The Government have committed to the publication of draft regulations pertaining to exemptions from smoke-free legislation, as part of a formal public consultation.

Speech Impairment

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that the augmentative
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and alternative communication equipment and support needs of people with speech impairments are being met. [59543]

Mr. Byrne: Primary care trusts (PCTs) and local councils receive substantial funding from Government each year. Within those allocations, it is for local PCTs and councils to fund and provide appropriate communication aids for their population through their integrated community equipment services in the light of local needs and priorities.

Spending Review (Efficiency Targets)

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much is expected to be saved as a result of meeting the civil service workforce reductions targets for her Department set out in the 2004 Spending Review; and whether these savings count towards the agreed efficiency target for her Department set out in the Review; [52792]

(2) what the target level of employment expressed as full-time equivalents is in her Department by April 2008, in order to meet her Department's civil service workforce reductions target set out in the 2004 Spending Review; [52853]

(3) what baseline figures she is using for assessing progress on her Department's targets to reduce (a) the total number of civil service posts by 720 and (b) the staffing of arms-length bodies by at least 5,000; what progress has been made towards these targets to date; and what the total efficiency savings achieved to date are for these targets; [52935]

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what interim targets she has set for achieving (a) the agreed efficiency target for her Department and (b) the civil service workforce reductions targets for (i) gross reductions in posts, (ii) net reductions in posts and (iii)relocations for her Department, as set out in the 2004 Spending Review; what the baseline figures are against which these interim targets are assessed; on what dates they will take effect; and by what dates these interim targets are intended to be met. [52943]

Mr. Byrne: The estimated net saving in the Department's annual operating costs, for which the headcount reduction target is a key contributing factor, is approximately £60 million per year by 2008. These savings form part of the efficiency opportunities in public funding and regulation costs, a key workstream identified by the Gershon review, Releasing Resources to the Front Line" and therefore will count towards the Department's total efficiency target of £6.5 billion.

The target full time equivalent level of employment to achieve the headcount target is 2,245. The baseline for this target was 3,645 budgeted posts in March 2003. Of the 1,400 posts planned reduction, 680 were expected to be transfers to other organisations that would not count towards the Gershon target. The Department change programme to deliver these reductions was announced in February 2003. The Gershon commitment to 720 net reductions was predicated on this programme and therefore agreement was made with HM Treasury for this specific target for an appropriate earlier baseline date.
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The baseline for reductions in staffing of arms length bodies (ALBs) is 25,174 at 1 April 2004. The targeted headcount reduction of 25 per cent. is a separate policy commitment as published in Reconfiguring the Department's Arms Length Bodies" (July 2004). This does not form part of the Gershon headcount reduction targets, which relate specifically to civil servants. It is however a driver for cost efficiency savings in ALBs.

The target for Lyons relocations is full time equivalent 1,110 posts by March 2010. The baseline for this target is zero at March 2004.

There are no interim targets for headcount reductions (the Department or ALB), relocations or efficiency savings. The Department's commitment is to achieve the full savings by the target date of March 2008 for headcounts and efficiency savings and 2010 for relocations.

In our autumn performance report, published in December 2005, we reported a net reduction of 695 full time equivalent civil service posts at September 2005. We also reported efficiency savings of £46 million for the public funding and regulation workstream, through the Department and ALB change programmes.

The ALB programme is on track to deliver a reduction of around 900 full time equivalent posts by April 2006. Remaining reductions are planned to be delivered by reconfigurations due to take effect in 2006–07 and 2007–08.

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