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Procedures for reimbursing staff expenses are set out in the Departments staff handbook and are in line with the provisions set out in the Civil Service Management Code. Copies of the code are available in the Library and are also available on the civil service website at:
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the standard retirement age in his Department is; and how many people worked beyond the standard retirement age in each of the last five years. 
|Civil Servants aged at least 65|
The Department writes to all employees still working at the time of their 64th birthday, asking them to confirm their intended retirement date and informing them of their right to request to continue working beyond their 65th birthday.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department acknowledges and works to the principle that appointments to the civil service should be made on merit, on the basis of fair and open competition. However, the Civil Service Recruitment Code allows some specific exemptions to this principle, one of which is to encourage secondments into the civil service to promote the exchange of ideas and experience. This is particularly important for the Department, which makes use of secondments as a means of employing managers and practitioners from the national health service to inform its development of policy and strategy.
The Department makes use of an extensive network of contacts across the NHS to secure secondments, and in all cases makes an assessment to ensure that those taken on are capable of effectively undertaking the duties of the job for which they are recruited.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many departmental identity cards or departmental passes have been reported lost or stolen by staff in (a) his Department and (b) each of its executive agencies in the last 24 months. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many days sick leave were taken by staff in his Department (a) on average per full-time post, (b) on average per head and (c) in total in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
For the financial year 2007-08, staff in the Department took 5.3 average working days sick leave per full-time post, 4.6 average working days sick leave per head and 12,102 total working days sick leave.
Mr. Bradshaw: Until 2006-07 the Cabinet Office published an annual Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service. Since then departments have been responsible for carrying out their own analysis. The annual average number of days of sick leave taken by the Department's employees in each year since 1997 are presented in the following table:
|Average number of days|
|n/a = Not available|
(1) Reporting periods changed from calendar years to financial years between 2005 and 2006.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health to what premium Sky, digital terrestrial or cable television channels (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies subscribes; and at what yearly cost in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Departments London administrative buildings are connected to the parliamentary annunciator system provided by the Central Office of Information. All television feeds including the Parliamentary Channel are provided in this way.
The Department has no direct subscriptions with the television companies for these services apart from a Sky Plus subscription set up and paid for by the Departments Media Centre. This is at a cost of £2,171.40 per annum.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when each of his Departments and its agencies green transport plans were introduced; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each such plan. 
The Department and its agencies have not published green transport plans, but have implemented a number of greener travel initiatives. The Department
is developing a green travel policy in line with national policies and targets for sustainable operations on the Government estate. The Departments green travel policy will be a key component of its Sustainable Development Strategy, which is due to be published in the autumn.
|Spent on food (£)|
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health from which five countries of origin the greatest amount of food was procured by his Department in the last year for which figures are available; and what the (a) cost and (b) quantity procured was in each case. 
Britainfor all seasonal produce;
Francefruit juice, soft and orchard fruits, legumes;
Spainprotected and other vegetables, soft fruits.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government do not have a polyclinic policy. Primary care trusts (PCTs) have been asked to provide at least one general practitioner (GP)-led health centre in their areas that will be open from 8 am to 8 pm, 365 days a year and that can be used by anyone either with an appointment or on a walk-in basis.
The North West strategic health authority (SHA) reports that Central Lancashire PCT plans to introduce three primary care access centres, which will include GP access services, urgent primary care (minor injuries and ailments) and dentistry. One of these centres will be located in Chorley.
A procurement process, open to all providers including existing local GPs, is in its early stages for the primary care access centres. The providers will be chosen at the end of 2008 with the centres opening in 2009.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) GPs, (b) GPs working in single-handed
practices and (c) GPs working in practices of two there were in each London primary care trust in 2006-07. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The following table shows the number of general practitioners (GPs), GPs working in single-handed practices and GPs working in practices of two practitioners in each London primary care trust (PCT) at 30 September 2006 and at 30 September 2007.
|GPs (headcount, excluding retainers and registrars) by PCT within the London Strategic Health Authority, at 30 September|
|All GPs||Single-handed GPs||GPs working within a practice of two practitioners||All GPs||Single-handed GPs||GPs working within a practice of two practitioners|
The Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal Medical Services Statistics.
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