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17 Dec 2007 : Column 1203W—continued

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many confirmed data security breaches there have been in his Department in the last 36 months; and what action was taken after each occurrence. [170252]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report,
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column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments’ procedures will be made on completion of the review.

Departmental Information Officers

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many press officers are employed by (a) his Department and (b) the NHS. [170858]

Mr. Bradshaw: The number of press officers employed by the Department at the end of the financial year 2006-07 was 34.

The Department does not hold information on the number of press officers employed by the 361 individual organisations that together make up the national health service.

Departmental Labour Turnover

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the percentage turnover of staff was in (a) his Department and (b) his Department’s agencies in (i) the last 12-month period and (ii) the last 24-month period for which figures are available. [169036]

Mr. Bradshaw: For the 12 months to 30 September 2007, turnover in the Department was 12 per cent. For the 12 months to 30 September 2006, the corresponding figure was 16 per cent. These figures cover all turnover categories, and in particular civil servants whose temporary contracts finished, those whose work transferred to other organisations and those who left under voluntary retirement and severance schemes.

For the 12 months to 30 September 2007, turnover in Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was 13 per cent. For the 12 months to 30 September 2006, the corresponding figure was 11 per cent. These figures also cover all turnover categories.

For the 12 months to 30 March 2007, turnover in NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency was 11 per cent. For the six months to 30 September 2007, the corresponding figure was 4 per cent. (suggesting an annual equivalent of 8 per cent.). These figures also cover all turnover categories.

Departmental Manpower

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of posts in his Department were recategorised from back office to frontline posts as classified by the Gershon efficiency review in each year since 2004. [172254]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department is committed to achieving workforce reductions of 720 by the end of 2007-08. This target is net of any transfers of staff to national health service agencies or other arms length bodies. These transfers do not constitute ‘front line’ posts under Gershon. The Department has not re-categorised any of its posts in this way in any year since 2004.

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Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the office costs for his Department’s special advisers for 2007-08 are expected to be, including costs of support staff; and how many full-time equivalent civil servants work in support of such special advisers. [164926]

Mr. Bradshaw: There are two civil servants supporting the special advisers in the Secretary of State’s office. Both provide administrative support of a non-political nature in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.

Individual civil servants’ salary details are not disclosed in order to protect the privacy of the individual concerned.

The office costs will be accounted for in the 2007-08 departmental annual report and accounts.

Departmental Procurement

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the standard terms and conditions of purchase used by his Department in procurement of goods and services from the private sector prohibit the assignment of debt. [172318]

Mr. Bradshaw: There is no express provision in the Department's standard contract prohibiting the assignment of debt. However, there is a provision which says that the contractor shall not assign, sub-contract or in any other way dispose of the contract or any part of it without the contracting authority's prior approval. On the basis that a prohibition on 'assignment of debt' is a prohibition on a supplier from assigning money owed to it under a contract, the Department takes this provision to mean that a contractor may not assign its debts, without approval from the contracting authority.

Departmental Recycling

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) volume and (b) percentage of its waste his Department recycled in each of the last five years. [172513]

Mr. Bradshaw: On 12 June 2006, the Prime Minister and the former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (David Miliband) announced revised sustainable operations targets for the Government Estate. They focus on key areas such as carbon neutrality and emissions, energy efficiency, waste and water consumption.

The 2006 Estate targets include:

These targets will apply for the reporting period April 2006 to March 2007 onwards.

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Previous Government targets that applied to the Government Estate were launched in March 2004 but have since been superseded by the new targets.

The Department has consistently exceeded the targets. Our performance over the past five years is as follows:

Waste arisings (tonnes) Proportion recycled (percentage)
















All figures exclude information technology (some is refurbished and resold; the rest is dismantled and disposed of in accordance with legislation).

Figures are not directly comparable from one year to another. Staff have moved from buildings where waste collected by departmental contractors to buildings managed by other Government Departments (who include our staff in their returns). In addition, in some buildings waste streams have been added to what was previously collected under the Department's contract.

Figures include the Department's main London estate, and departmental agencies.

The 2006 report is available at:

and the sixth annual report is due to be published early in the new year.

Departmental Telephone Services

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which telephone contact centres are the responsibility of his Department; what mechanisms are in place to monitor their effectiveness; and how many people have been employed in each of those centres in each year since they were established; [166538]

(2) what information his Department collects and monitors in relation to the telephone contact centres for which his Department is responsible; [166539]

(3) how much each telephone contact centre for which his Department is responsible has (a) cost and (b) generated in income in each financial year since their establishment. [166540]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department itself has a single public facing telephone enquiry service taking approximately 140,000 telephone calls a year. Statistical information and quality checks are in place to ensure its effectiveness. The contact centre is part of the wider Customer Service Centre which has employed 80 people since it was established in 2004. It is funded through the Department's running costs.

The Department funds a wide range of voluntary and charitable organisations to provide services relating to health and healthy living. Some of these organisations include telephone helplines as part of their services. We also fund under contract organisations such as NHS Direct and the Healthy Start Helpline.

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Dermatology Services

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, to Question 170029, on practice-based commissioning for dermatology services, how he expects practice-based commissioning to affect the delivery of dermatology services. [174182]

Mr. Bradshaw: Practice-based commissioning will improve the design and delivery of dermatology services. In particular, practice-based commissioners in partnership with primary care trusts (PCTs) draw up the detailed specification for services such as dermatology in order that these are tailored to best meet local needs. Practice-based commissioning can facilitate, where clinically appropriate, the provision of services such as dermatology in settings that are closer to home or more convenient for patients.

For example in Huntingdonshire, practice-based commissioners have worked in partnership with the PCT to establish both general practitioner and consultant led clinics delivered in community settings for dermatology, anti-coagulation testing, ear nose and throat, community echocardiography testing and gynaecology services.

Doctors: Career Structure

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what he expects the competition ratio for training posts for registrar group doctors in each (a) region and (b) specialty to be in 2008. [171929]

Ann Keen: We are working with the Deaneries on the final details of the numbers of training posts for 2008 and expect to have this information later this month.

Drugs: Consultants

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much (a) has been spent and (b) he expects to be spent in consultancy fees in relation to the review of Part IX of the Drug Tariff. [170575]

Mr. Bradshaw: The costs incurred to date to carry out both phases of the arrangements under Part IX of the Drug Tariff review, Phase 1 dressings and reagents and Phase 2 arrangements for the provision for stoma and incontinence appliances and related services is £1.9 million.

Depending on the outcome to this consultation the forecast total fees in relation to the Part IX review of the Drug Tariff is likely to be in the region of £2.47 million.


Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were diagnosed with fibromyalgia in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England in each year since 1997. [172968]

Ann Keen: Information on the number of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia is not collected.

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Food: Labelling

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of food labelling schemes; and if he will make a statement. [174450]

Dawn Primarolo: When the Agency made its recommendations for colour coded front of pack signpost labelling in March 2006 it made a commitment to independently review the impact that front of pack nutrition labelling schemes in use in the United Kingdom market had on consumer behaviour and understanding in the shopping environment.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of a product must be made in the UK for it to carry a Made in Britain label; and if he will make a statement. [174451]

Dawn Primarolo: The origin of a food is deemed to be where the food was produced or processed, rather than the origin of the individual ingredients. Therefore, a processed food labelled as ‘Made in Britain’ could be either produced or processed in the United Kingdom.

Gambling: Rehabilitation

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision the NHS makes for treatment of problem gamblers. [175196]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Problem gamblers can access services in primary care and secondary care including specialised mental health and addiction services. There are currently no central plans to provide dedicated services. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with local healthcare communities who are responsible for assessing and commissioning services to meet the needs of the populations that they serve.

Health Education: Pharmacy

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the level of self care information being provided to the public through pharmacies. [174013]

Mr. Bradshaw: Support for self care is an essential service within the community pharmacy contractual framework which all pharmacies are required to provide. It is for primary care trusts to monitor the provision of services under the contractual framework. The Department has not assessed the level of self care information being provided to the public through pharmacies.

Health Services

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government have taken to encourage local healthcare services to open practices outside the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. since 1997. [173425]

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Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 13 December 2007]: We expect general practitioner (GP) practices and primary care trusts (PCTs) to work together locally to ensure patient preferences are taken into account when setting surgery opening hours. Our aim, as set out in ‘Our NHS Our Future’ is for 50 per cent. of existing GP practices, the 100 new GP practices in the 25 per cent. of PCTs with the poorest provision, and the 150 new GP led health centres, to be offering their patients extended opening.

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