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The number of posts filled on temporary promotion by people who had been in such roles for at least six months as at 30 September 2007 was 55. Figures before this date do not identify the length of a temporary promotion.
The number of secondments into the Department as at 30 September 2007 was 57. Their length of service is not available, but the vast majority are likely to have been employed for more than six months.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hours (a) in total and (b) on average per employee were worked by civil servants in his Department in the last year for which records are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Full-time staff in the Department are contracted to work 41 hours gross per week (36 hours net per week) in London and 42 hours gross per week (37 hours net per week) outside London. Around 10 per cent. of the Departments staff work part-time, and are contracted to work fewer hours than their full time colleagues. The Department does not record actual hours worked by employees. However the Department's 2007 staff survey, which was completed by well over half of staff, suggested that 25 per cent. of staff worked contracted hours, 45 per cent. worked one to five hours in excess of contracted hours, 19 per cent. of staff six to 10 hours in excess and 11 per cent. of staff more than 10 hours in excess.
Dawn Primarolo: The number of laboratory-confirmed cases of United Kingdom-acquired Escherichia Coli ( E. coli) 0157 and Salmonella infections are given in the following table. The most recent data available are from 2006.
|E. coli 0157||Salmonella|
|(1) Provisional data July 2006.|
(2) Provisional data July 2007.
Health Protection Agency, Health Protection Scotland, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (Northern Ireland)
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what pension scheme is offered to staff joining the Food Standards Agency; what the rate of employer contributions to the scheme is; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms and benefits of the scheme. 
New entrants to the civil service, including those joining the Food Standards Agency, are covered by the civil service pension arrangements. Staff can choose between nuvos, a defined benefit pension scheme and partnership, a stakeholder
pension. If a person is being re-employed, and was previously a member of a civil service pension scheme, they may be able to rejoin their previous scheme, but this will depend on the length of time since they were last employed.
In respect of members of the defined benefit schemes, employer contribution rates are assessed for each of four ranges of pay levels. A separate rate is payable in respect of a group of prison officers who have certain reserved rights. The rates for 2008-09 are:
|Band||Full-time annual salary||Rate from 1 April 2008 (Percentage)|
For members of the partnership scheme, the employer pays a basic contribution of between 3 per cent. and 12.5 per cent. (depending on the age of the member) into a stakeholder pension product and will
match the member's contribution up to a limit of 3 per cent. Employers also contribute a further 0.8 per cent. of pensionable salary to cover the cost of risk benefit cover (death in service and ill health retirement).
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) part-time and (b) full-time general practitioners were employed by Peterborough Primary Care Trust and its predecessor in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
Most of the general practitioners (GPs) working in the general medical services are independent contractors providing services for primary care trusts (PCTs) under contract, rather than being employed by the PCT. By September 2007 the number of GPs nationally had increased by 5,318, and by 543 in the East of England Strategic Health Authority area since September 1997.
|General medical practitioners: Full time and part time for selected areas, as at 30 September for each specified year.|
|n/a = Data not available. Note: Peterborough PCT was created on 1 October 2006 following a complete merger of North Peterborough PCT and a part merger of South Peterborough PCT. The rest of South Peterborough was split between Cambridge PCT and Northampton PCT. Due to this part merger, data from 2006 onwards is not directly comparable with data for 2001- 05.|
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to provide for the safety of GPs and their staff who will be working extended hours under the proposed new GP contract. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The interim guidance on implementing the arrangements for general practitioner practices to extend their opening hours, issued by the Department on 18 April, reminds primary care trusts that staff and patient safety is a priority, and asks them to consider, where they identify a need, how to mitigate identified risks when practices extend their hours.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to address the requirement for out-of-hours childcare for GPs and their staff working extended hours under the proposed new GP contract. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Most general practitioners practices are self-employed contractors and are responsible for their own child care arrangements. Child care arrangements for staff employed by practices are a matter for discussion for the employer.
(2) what recent discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials have had with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) under what legislative provisions the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority issued a licence to the University of Newcastle to create human-animal hybrid embryos; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) granted licences for two research projects involving the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos in accordance with its interpretation of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, as amended. The HFEA has a duty to consider applications that come before it and undertook a public consultation before making its decisions.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessments his Department makes of media coverage of (a) his Department, (b) the NHS, (c) departmental ministers and (d) health and social care. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Press officers assess media coverage of departmental announcements and major health stories on a regular basis, and advise ministers and officials accordingly. The findings of a communications research programme into national and regional media evaluations, undertaken between December 2004 and November 2006, are published on the Departments website at:
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the implementation of Annex III, section V, Chapter III, point 2 (B) to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on minced meat. 
Dawn Primarolo: We are fully supportive of regulatory measures to ensure that business operators produce safe food. Paragraph 2(b), Chapter III, Section V, Annex III of Regulation (EC) 853/2004 sets out prescriptive requirements concerning the statutory time limits after slaughter for the production of minced meat in approved establishments. These requirements prevent the production of mince from carcases that have been matured, as has been the tradition in the United Kingdom. There is no scientific basis to support these requirements, which are in addition to microbiological criteria which prevent unsafe mince from being placed on the market. The Food Standards Agency is working with stakeholders including industry and the European Commission to agree a way forward on this issue.
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