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6 Oct 2008 : Column 402W—continued


Cot Deaths: Research

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much funding his Department provided for research into sudden infant death syndrome in 2007-08; [223964]

(2) how much was spent by his Department on research into sudden infant death syndrome in the last 12 months. [223904]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department's policy research programme and the National Institute for Health Research spent some £200,000 on projects concerned with sudden infant death syndrome in 2007-08.

Dementia

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the money allocated to health and social care spending in the next five years has been allocated for implementation of the National Dementia Strategy. [224492]

Phil Hope: A draft of a National Dementia Strategy was published on 19 June for consultation. The consultation closed on 11 September and we are currently considering carefully all the responses received before deciding the final shape of the strategy, and what resources are available to support its implementation. Funding will be announced around the same time when the strategy is published.

Dental Services

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued on the free provision of treatment by hygienists in NHS dental practices. [224463]

Dawn Primarolo: The Department has issued no guidance on the free provision of treatment by hygienists in NHS dental practices. The NHS dental system ensures that patients are entitled to all treatment that is clinically needed which the patient is willing to undergo. Which dental professional delivers the treatment is a clinical matter for the practice not the NHS. Where dental hygienists are part of the team in the practice delivering NHS care that treatment will be free where either the patient is exempt from NHS charges or the treatment itself is free. This is not affected by whether the treatment is delivered by a hygienist or any other dental professional.

Dental Services: Fees and Charges

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were charged extra dental treatment fees because a two-month period had elapsed between the start of their course of treatment and the end of that treatment in the most recent period for which figures are available; whether such fees may be charged when a patient could not get an appointment to continue treatment within two months; and if he will make a statement. [223764]

Ann Keen: Dentists are required to identify all care and treatment needed that the patient is willing to undergo at the start of treatment and include this within the treatment plan. A single charge covers all the interventions identified within that national health service treatment plan. This applies whatever the gaps between appointments within that course of treatment. Additionally, if within two months of the course of treatment ending the same provider determines that the patient requires further treatment which falls within the same or a lower charging band as the previous treatment no charge may be made in respect of that further treatment. This applies whether or not the treatment is delivered within two months of the previous course of treatment ending.

Dental Services: Waiting Lists

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time for a dental appointment to (a) receive an examination and (b) continue treatment was in (i) Wakefield district (ii) Yorkshire and the Humber and (iii) England in the latest period for which figures are available. [223765]

Ann Keen: The information requested is not collected centrally. It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) to determine how best to manage patients seeking national health service dental services, and for dental providers to manage the delivery of a complete course of treatment.


6 Oct 2008 : Column 403W

However, increasing the number of patients seen within NHS dental services is now a formal priority in the NHS Operating Framework for 2008-09 and we have supported this with a very substantial 11 per cent. uplift in overall allocations to PCTs from 1 April 2008.

Departmental Air Travel

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 14 July 2008, Official Report, column 27W, on carbon emissions: Government departments, how much air mileage incurred through departmental travel was used to calculate the departmental payment to the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund in each year that his Department has participated in the fund, broken down by (a) domestic, (b) short haul and (c) long haul flights. [222084]

Mr. Bradshaw: 2006-07 was the first year that the Department offset the emissions resulting from official air travel. In that year the total distance travelled by air, for which a payment was made to the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund, was 3,620,190 km. We do not have data for this year broken down further.

In 2007-08 the distance travelled by air was as follows:

Distance travelled (km)

Long haul

2,344,688

Short haul

927,695

Domestic

666,038


James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether those staff of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies who are entitled to business class or first class air travel are permitted to (i) travel in a cheaper class to the destination and (ii) benefit in monetary terms or kind from the saving. [222090]

Mr. Bradshaw: Staff members are expected to travel in economy class when travelling by air. Travel expenses are reimbursed based on actual costs incurred and staff are expected to use the Department's travel contractor for ticket booking. Staff are not permitted to travel economy class and claim reimbursement for first class tickets, profiting from the difference. Further, any benefits or compensation obtained from business travel or similar activities is repaid to the Department and cannot be put to personal use, e.g. compensation offered by a travel company for delays in arriving at the destination.

All travel within the Department is undertaken in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Department's staff expenses policy.

Departmental agencies apply similar rules. No member of staff should benefit in monetary terms or kind from any savings accruing from their travel arrangements.

Departmental Buildings

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the location is of each office occupied by (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies which has been (i) newly occupied and (ii) refurbished in the last 24 months; and what the floor area in square metres is of each. [222093]


6 Oct 2008 : Column 404W

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department and its agencies has not newly occupied and refurbished any properties in the last 24 months.

Departmental Data Protection

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many notifications (a) his Department and (b) its agencies made to the Information Commissioner following the loss or mishandling of personal information or data in each of the last three years; and what was notified in each case. [222903]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department, in accordance with Cabinet Office guidance, has prepared details of its data related incidents notified to the Information Commissioner’s Office in 2007-08 for inclusion in its resource accounts. The Department expects these accounts to be laid before Parliament at the end of the current session. Before November 2007, the Information Commissioner’s Office did not specifically keep records of instances of security breaches. I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 25 June 2008, providing the final report on measures for data handling procedures in Government.

Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the five most serious disciplinary breaches in his Department were in the last 12 months; and what steps were taken in response to each breach. [223059]

Mr. Bradshaw: The five most serious breaches of discipline in the Department in the last 12 months for which steps have been taken are presented in the following table:

Level of seriousness Nature of breach Steps taken

Serious misconduct

Internet misuse

Written warning

Serious misconduct

Falsification of records

Written warning

Absence case

Poor attendance

Absence warning

Absence case

Poor attendance

Absence warning

Performance case

Poor performance

Performance warning


There is also one case of possible gross misconduct—a charge of fraud—still outstanding for this period. This case has not yet been completed.

Departmental Homeworking

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 2 July 2008, Official Report, column 937W, on departmental home working, if he will make it his policy to collate and maintain central records of all home working by his Department's staff. [222474]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department already maintains central records of staff who are members of its official home working scheme. We do not intend to extend recording to cover staff who work at home on an occasional basis, at management discretion.


6 Oct 2008 : Column 405W

Departmental Information

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what types of data have been sold by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations in the last 12 months. [222091]

Mr. Bradshaw: Core information produced by the Department and the NHS Purchasing and Supplies Agency, which is central to their responsibilities and which is subject to Crown copyright, can be reused free of charge by applying for a Public Sector Information (PSI) Click-Use Licence administered by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has delegated authority from OPSI to administer crown copyright material on its behalf.

Data to which value is added by the Department to enhance and facilitate their use and effectiveness for the user are outside the remit of the PSI licence, and can be sold under a value added licence. The type of data sold by the Department in the last 12 months are health sector specific information on best practice and standards relating to the physical environment. The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency has not sold any data in the last 12 months, and MHRA has allowed some data relating to licensed products to be reused for a fee in the last 12 months.

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the full-time equivalent headcount of his Department is; and how many of his Department’s staff are assigned to work on (a) public health and (b) policies and programmes designed to achieve the Government’s target that two million more people regularly participate in physical activity before the 2012 Olympic Games. [221893]

Mr. Bradshaw: The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) civil servants in the Department on 30 June 2008 was 2,208.

The number of FTE staff working within the Public Health Division of the Health Improvement and Protection Directorate is 58 (as at 12 September 2008), which includes civil servants, consultancy support and secondees. The number of FTE staff working within the Health and Well-being Division of the Health Improvement and Protection Directorate is 86.1 (as at 12 September 2008). Again, this figure includes civil servants, consultancy support and secondees. In addition, each of the nine regional public health groups has a headcount of 17.6 FTE civil servants, including the regional director of public health. In the 2008-09 planning round the headcount for the regions totalled 150.8 with the difference relating to vacancies.

However, within the Health Improvement and Protection Directorate and across the Department, there are other teams engaged in aspects of public health work.

At 12 September 2008, the equivalent of 4.2 FTE staff work on policies and programmes designed to achieve the Government’s target that 2 million more people regularly participate in physical activity before the 2012 Olympic Games. A further 1.0 FTE is currently being recruited. These figures include civil servants, consultancy support and secondees.


6 Oct 2008 : Column 406W

Furthermore, the Department has also assigned an envelope of funding to each of the nine regions for the comprehensive spending review period. In 2008-09 each Regional Public Health Group (RPHG) will receive £100,000 for physical activity. This will be used as each region sees best, to put in place action plans working with partner organisations and stakeholders, though each RPHG has been tasked by the Department to develop a regional 2012 Health Legacy Action Plan that complements the national Legacy Action Plan to deliver a 2012 health legacy. It is likely that a proportion of this funding will be used to secure additional capacity to take forward programmes.

Departmental Official Cars

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which make and model of car he has chosen as his Ministerial car to be provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. [217758]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport on 16 July 2008, Official Report, column 414W.

Departmental Official Residences

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what permanent residential accommodation is provided for use by civil servants in his Department; how many residential dwellings are provided; where they are located; and for what grade of civil servant they are provided. [222089]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not provide permanent residential accommodation for any of its civil servants.

Departmental Procurement

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of the names and addresses of each organisation that supplied goods and services to his Department in 2007-08, based on the purchase order data held in the Department's financial database. [222086]

Mr. Bradshaw: The purchasing system used by the Department until 30 June 2008 did hold names and addresses of its suppliers of goods and services, but this information is not easily distinguishable from the information relating to payments to patients, for professional services and to seconded staff. It is therefore not possible to place the information requested in the Library without incurring disproportionate costs.

Departmental Public Relations

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on each of the external public relations and marketing companies included in the Central Office of Information's Public Relations Framework in each of the last 36 months. [222087]


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Mr. Bradshaw: The information in the table details the Department's expenditure on public relations and marketing companies included in the Central Office of Information's Public Relations Framework in the last 36 month period up to the end of the fiscal year 2007-08.

£

Expenditure

2005-06

76,796

2006-07

16,588

2007-08

23,320


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