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Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many civil servants were employed in her Department before the Gershon Report; what net reductions are proposed in the Gershon Report; how many reductions have been made; and how many civil servants are expected to be employed in her Department in the Gershon target month of April 2008. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Gershon Report, confirmed by the 2004 Spending Review, set the Department a target net reduction of 720 in its number of full-time equivalent (FTE) posts. As the Department had already embarked on its change programme, it was agreed that reductions made since the programme was announced in March 2003 would be included and the 720 target was calculated and agreed on this basis. The baseline level of staffing was therefore the 3,645 FTE posts that had previously been budgeted for in 2003-04. The Change Programme anticipated an eventual staffing level of 2,245 FTE posts, a reduction of 1,400 FTE posts. This consisted of the 720 Gershon target and a further 680 to be achieved through the transfer of work to other organisations.
As at 31 March 2006, the Departments staffing was 2,387 FTE (this may not correspond with other published figures because of the way secondments into and out of the Department are counted). This represented a reduction of 1,258 FTE from the baseline of 3,645 FTE, and consisted of a 635 net reduction and 623 transfers to other organisations. The Department is therefore well on the way to meeting its April 2008 targets in terms of both net reductions and transfers.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 27 March 2006, Official Report, columns 937-38W, on health treatment centres, what cost has been met by her Department for commissioning procedures from independent sector treatment centres that is in excess of the NHS equivalent (a) in total and (b) broken down by primary care trust; and how much the NHS has paid in total to independent sector treatment centres. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2006, Official Report, column 1821W, to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) on the Health White Paper, when she expects to publish the conclusions of the review announced in paragraph 3.34 of the Health White Paper and referred to in the answer; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2006, Official Report, column 452W, on the Health White Paper, when she expects the review of NHS walk-in centre funding arrangements to report; and when she expects to publish it. 
Mr. Andrew Turner:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the cost to a hospital trust of reimbursing the travel costs of patients eligible under the hospital travel costs scheme is (a) included in the reference cost or national tariff payment to the hospital
trust and (b) forms an additional cost which may be invoiced to the patient's primary care trust; and if she will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: Where the service provided to a patient falls within the scope of payment by results the national tariff applicable to that service includes an element in respect of the hospital travel costs scheme (HTCS) and hospital trusts should not receive additional funding from primary care trusts (PCTs) in respect of that patient. Where the service is outside the scope of payment by results the trust will need to recover its outlay in respect of HTCS from the PCT in the normal way.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) name and (b) location is of (i) each of the independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) which were established at part of the first wave of the ISTC programme and (ii) each ISTC which is planned in the second wave; and if she will make a statement on the progress of the programme. 
|Independent sector treatment centre||Address|
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear;
Cumbria and Lancashire (two schemes);
Cheshire and Merseyside;
West Midland South;
Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire;
Greater Manchester (two schemes);
Hampshire and Isle of Wight; and
Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
the North East;
the West Midlands;
the North West;
the South East;
the South West; and
By the end of 2005, patients had benefited from over 250,000 procedures centrally procured from the independent sector including those from ISTCs, the general supplementary contract and the magnetic resonance imaging contract. ISTCs are now firmly part of the national health service family, delivering NHS services to NHS patients. Phase two of the programme is currently underway which will further increase NHS capacity, reduce waits for treatment and diagnostic tests, and increase patient choice.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) land and (b) property her Department (i) leases and (ii) leased in (A) 1979, (B) 1983, (C) 1987, (D) 1992 and (E) 1997 in (1) the Southend West constituency, (2) Essex, (3) Hertfordshire and (4) the Metropolitan Police area of London. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The resources that are necessary to deliver mental health services are included in the unified allocations made directly to primary care trusts (PCTs). It is for PCTs in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders to determine how best to use these resources to deliver services in line with their assessment of local need.
John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the potential risks to public health associated with the use of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether as an additive in gasoline; 
The addition of MTBE to petrol is unlikely to increase significantly the health risks associated with exposure to ambient air in the UK.
This conclusion was very similar to that of a major review of the potential health effects of oxygenates, including MTBE, carried out by the Health Effects Institute in 1996 in the United States of America (USA). This concluded that it is unlikely that fuel containing oxygenates would substantially increase the overall health risk from fuel used in motor vehicles (levels of MTBE use in the USA are higher than in the United Kingdom).
MTBE has also been evaluated under the existing substances regulations(2). This concluded that risks to consumers were not expected as risk reduction measures already being applied are considered sufficient. There were concerns for the potability of drinking water in respect of taste and odour as a consequence of leakage from underground storage tanks and actions to reduce this were recommended. Recommendations were also made to reduce repeated dose local skin effects in workers involved in maintenance operations and automotive repair.
(2) Official Journal of the European Communities, Commission Recommendation, 7 November 2001.
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