Previous Section Index Home Page

2 Jun 2008 : Column 588W—continued

Cannabis: Young People

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the particular risks to teenage boys associated with smoking cannabis. [200001]

Dawn Primarolo: In July 2007 the peer-reviewed results of a Department commissioned systematic review of studies into the mental health harms of cannabis use were published in The Lancet, volume 370, Issue 9584, 28 July 2007, Pages 319-328, titled ‘Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review'.

Reducing the harms caused by smoking cannabis is one of the priorities in the Government's new drug Strategy Drugs: Protecting families and communities. The 2008 Drug Strategy. Steps have already been taken, through the FRANK campaign, to ensure that young people understand the risks and dangers of cannabis. Copies of the Strategy are available in the Library.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) keeps the evidence available on the harms of cannabis and other drugs under review. In July 2007 the ACMD were asked by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to reassess the medical and social scientific basis of the classification of cannabis in the light of ‘real public concern about the potential mental health effects of cannabis use’.

The ACMD sent their report, outlining its recommendations for cannabis classification, to the Home Secretary on 28 April 2008. The ACMD have looked in detail at the latest evidence on the health harms of cannabis, including the risks to young people, and their report sets out their assessment and recommendations.

Care Homes: Inspections

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the percentage change in fees charged by the Commission for Social Care and Inspection to residential homes was in each of the last five years. [206537]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In 2004-05, the first year of existence of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), its fees (annual fees and registration fees) were increased over the level charged by its predecessor body, the National Care Standards Commission, by an average of 20 per cent. Subsequently, CSCI fees have been increased by 20 per cent. in 2005-06 and 15 per cent. in 2006-07. No increases were made for 2007-08 and 2008-09.


2 Jun 2008 : Column 589W

Clear

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 7 March 2008, Official Report, column 2854W, on Clear, if he will place copies of the invoices in the Library. [198198]

Mr. Bradshaw: Copies of the invoices totalling £12,450.72 have been placed in the Library.

Departmental Cost Effectiveness

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department achieved in efficiency savings in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08. [207647]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has reported the following efficiency savings under the Gershon programme:

£ million

2005-06

2,579

2006-07

4,921


A final figure for 2007-08, the final year of the programme, has not yet been confirmed as final data for most contributing projects is reported a number of weeks after the year end. Final figures will be collated in September and reported in our autumn performance report to be published in December. The latest reported figure up to December 2007 was £7,157 million, some 10 per cent. above our final target of £6,500 million.

Departmental Data Protection

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any officials in (a) his Department and (b) each NHS trust were disciplined or dismissed for (i) alleged breaches of data protection requirements and (ii) inappropriate use of personal or sensitive data in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [205907]

Mr. Bradshaw: No officials in the Department were disciplined or dismissed for alleged breaches of data protection requirements or inappropriate use of personal or sensitive data in each of the last two years. Figures are not available before then.

Details of disciplinary action taken by national health service trusts is not collected centrally but we believe that there should be greater transparency about these matters and have therefore instructed trusts to publish details of disciplinary action taken against staff for these reasons in their annual reports.

Departmental Disclosure of Information

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it is his Department's policy to release the home addresses of (a) senior and (b) middle-ranking officials if requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and what assessment he has made of the implications for personal security resulting from the release of such data. [207919]


2 Jun 2008 : Column 590W

Mr. Bradshaw: Departments deal with requests for information on a case-by-case basis, applying exemptions where it is necessary and appropriate to do so. Any request for officials’ home addresses would be handled in this way.

Departmental ICT

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by his Department on IT consultancy services in 2006-07. [187015]

Mr. Bradshaw: The following table provides details of the Department's consultancy expenditure. Consultancy expenditure covers expenditure on management consultancy, information systems/information technology (IT) consultancy, financial consultancy, property consultancy, legal services and HR advice. Expenditure on IT consultancy is not separately identified.

Expenditure on professional services, 2006-07
Organisation Spend (£ million)

Departmental consultancy expenditure

141

Departmental expenditure on agency staff for staff substitution and interim management

63

Executive agencies and Connecting for Health

100

Total

304

Notes: 1. Expenditure is reported against the Office of Government Commerce definition of professional services. 2. Figures are an estimate based upon limitations in the current departmental finance systems. Source: Department of Health: Departmental Report 2007.

Departmental Pay

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the hourly rates of pay of all non-permanent staff working for his Department and its agencies were in each of the last 12 months; and how many staff were receiving each rate in each of those months. [196449]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department employs three types of staff on a non-permanent basis:

Civil servants on ‘fixed term contracts’ of less than 12 months, as at the end of January 2008, 45 people were employed in the core Department using the same grading system that applies for permanent civil servants. The grades, numbers and annual salaries are as follows:

Grade Salary range (£) Number

Grade 7

£39,695 - £58,982

7

SEO

£29,298 - £43,844

5

HEO

£23,721 - £35,687

13

EO

£18,519 - £28,290

9

AO

£14,826 - £22,203

11


Agency staff, as at the end of January 2008, 166 people were employed in the core Department as agency staff. The average hourly rates paid to employment agencies for these staff and the numbers of people involved were as follows:


2 Jun 2008 : Column 591W
Average hourly rate Number

£25.50

1

£24.50

1

£24.34

2

£22.50

2

£22.28

12

£21.62

1

£20.81

9

£20.26

1

£20.00

3

£19.22

14

£18.48

6

£17.37

1

£16.90

35

£16.83

20

£16.57

11

£15.79

2

£15.25

22

£14.63

17

£14.52

6


Contractors, as at the end of February 2008, 15 people were employed in the core Department as contractors. The average daily rates paid for these staff and the numbers of people were as follows:


2 Jun 2008 : Column 592W
Average daily rate Number

Under £300

1

£300-£399

0

£400-£499

1

£500-£599

0

£600-£699

3

£700-£799

0

£800-£899

0

£900 plus

2

Unknown

8


Departmental Sick Leave

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of his Department's staff took more than (a) five, (b) 10, (c) 15, (d) 20, (e) 25, (f) 30, (g) 35 and (h) 40 days leave due to stress in each of the last five years, broken down by pay grade. [198971]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not record sickness absence due to stress, but uses a broader category of ‘mental health, including depression, anxiety and potential stress-related problems’. For the calendar year 2007, the figures for this broader category were:

Cases of leave for mental health reasons
More than:
Grade 5 days 10 days 15 days 20 days 25 days 30 days 35 days 40 days

Senior civil service

2

1

Grade 6

1

1

Grade 7

1

1

1

1

5

Senior executive officer

1

2

3

3

Higher executive officer

2

2

2

2

1

Executive officer

2

1

1

3

1

2

7

Administrative officer

1

2

1

2


Next Section Index Home Page