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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the payscale is of (a) civil servants and (b) those employed on a contractual basis in his Departments Commercial Directorate. 
|National pay rates|
|Pay band||Minimum||Progression target rate/salary band mid-point||Recruitment and performance ceiling|
|Commercial directorate contractor bandings|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what percentage of staff in his Department are making additional voluntary contributions to their pensions; and what steps he has taken in the last 12 months to encourage more people to make such contributions. 
Dawn Primarolo: 163 members of staff in Department (7.2 per cent. of the total number of staff employed by the Department) currently make additional voluntary pension contributions through deductions from their pay.
Pension scheme members receive an annual benefit statement showing the pension built up to date, and also a projection of pension on retirement if the member continues in service to scheme pension age. The benefit statement provides details of the civil service pensions website where staff can obtain further information, including on options for making additional voluntary contributions to boost their pension.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost is of all private finance initiative projects for which his Department has responsibility completed since 1997; and what the projected cost is of such projects commissioned or under way. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department has issued to staff on procedures for working with (a) HM Treasury; and (b) HM Treasurys Health Spending Team. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There is no standing guidance. The Finance Directorate is the normal point of contact for dealings with HM Treasury at official level; and from time to time specific guidance will be given to the Department on the procedures for coordinating particular exercises which may involve, for example, the Ministerial or Permanent Secretary Private Offices.
Dawn Primarolo: The Department offers interest-free loans for season tickets for travel to work. Use of public transport is encouraged by departmental policies including limited car parking, flexible working, using public transport during the course of travel and making use of travel websites and information services, such as Transport Direct. Staff are also informed about local transport initiatives and promotions.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent advice he has issued on security checks on (a) existing and (b) prospective staff in his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Department complies with Cabinet Office guidelines on security checks. The Departments existing staff have undergone the baseline check (formerly basic check) on entering employment with the Civil Service.
CTC (counter terrorism check) for employees who require access to the Palace of Westminster.
SC (security clearance) investigation including security services, criminal records and finance check for employees in ministerial private offices and other sensitive work areas.
Advice on security checks for new recruits into the Civil Service has been directly in line with the HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard: A Good Practice guide to the Pre-Employment Screening of Government Staff and Contractors (July 2006), effective 1 April 2007. This covers verification of:
Unspent criminal record
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1375W, on engagements, what the evidential basis is for the statement that (a) in 1997, 50 per cent. of the NHS estate was older than the NHS itself and (b) today, 20 per cent. of the NHS estate is older than the NHS itself. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) undertakes a quinquennial valuation of the national health service estate. The VOA data from the 1995 survey showed that in that year, 49.5 per cent. of the NHS estate pre-dated 1948.
Information so far provided by the NHS itself, as part of the 2006-07 Estates Returns Information Collection process, shows that the proportion of the estate older than the NHS itself has fallen to 20.4 per cent.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will request the UK professional healthcare regulators to publish their recent research on the publics access to professional registers. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I understand that the Joint Regulators Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) group commissioned, on behalf of the healthcare professional regulatory bodies, a formal piece of research entitled Making Registers More Usable. The regulatory bodies are using the reports findings to inform the ongoing review and development of the registers. I understand that they expect to make the report available in due course, but no final decision has yet been taken.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of those attending her Departments Trust, Assurance and Safety event on 5 June 2007 were (a) from healthcare professional regulatory bodies, (b) lay members of healthcare professional regulatory bodies, (c) from public and patient representative organisations, (d) members of the public, (e) health officials, (f) from other health and social care regulators and (g) others. 
from healthcare professional regulatory bodies = 14 per cent.
lay members of healthcare professional regulatory bodies = 2 per cent. (which is included in above)
from public and patient representative organisations and members of the public = 5 per cent.
health officials = 34 per cent.
from other health and social care regulators = 39 per cent.
others = 8 per cent.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how long the Framework for Procuring External Support for Commissioners project team has been in existence; and for how long Simon Morgan has been the project lead. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Simon Morgan has been the project lead for the procurement of the Framework for Procuring External Support for Commissioners since July 2006, at the same time that the project team was established.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS patients were treated at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: This is a matter for the chair of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We have written to Peter Dixon informing him of the hon. Members inquiry. He will reply shortly and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.
However, the Department has issued two sets of good practice guidance to the NHS on the use of mobile phones in healthcare premises. The first set of guidance was issued in August 2006, following a request by the Office of Communications and the second set was issued in May 2007, following a recommendation by the Patient Power review group. The guidance concludes that trusts should consider a range of risks and issues when preparing their own policy on mobile phone usage in hospitals, should issue a clear, written, policy which is easily accessible, with the patient at the forefront and designate and clearly signpost areas where mobile phones can and cannot be used.
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