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13 Nov 2008 : Column 1370W—continued


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps the Government have taken to reduce levels of alcoholism. [234791]

Dawn Primarolo: In June 2007, we published a comprehensive strategy to tackle the harms from excessive alcohol consumption—Safe, Sensible, Social —the next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy. A copy has already been placed in the Library. Our aims are:

We undertook in Safe, Sensible, Social to commission an independent review of the relationship between alcohol price, promotion and harm. The second phase of this review will be published soon.

From 22 July 2008 until 14 October 2008, the Government carried out a major consultation asking for the views of the public and key stakeholders on what action the Government should take in response to the rising levels of alcohol-related health harm and crime and disorder. The Government are considering the comments carefully.

The Department put in place a vital signs indicator for the national health service from April 2008 to measure change in the rate of hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions—the first ever commitment to monitor how the NHS is tackling alcohol harm. The Indicator is expected to encourage the NHS to identify risky drinking
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earlier, this approach linked with advice and support from general practitioners or other healthcare staff has been shown to be the best way of reducing the kind of ‘everyday’ harmful drinking that leads to health harm. The indicator also provides a strong incentive for primary care trusts (PCTs) to improve treatment provision for people dependent on alcohol.

A ‘Review of the effectiveness of treatment for alcohol problems’ was published in November 2006 by the National Treatment Agency (NTA) for the NHS. A copy has been placed in the Library. It provides comprehensive guidance on the relative effectiveness of the various alcohol treatment modalities. Guidance on developing effective local treatment systems has also been published. (Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers, DH/NTA 2005).

Funding has been made available for a £6 million Alcohol Improvement Programme, which is providing support to PCTs where alcohol-related harm is highest. Among other actions:


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much each hospital trust in England spent on antibiotics in 2007-08. [229966]

Dawn Primarolo: Information is not available in the format requested. Estimates of hospital spend on antibiotics for 2007-08, by net ingredient cost (NIC), by each strategic health authority (SHA) in England, are shown in the following table.

Estimated hospital spend on antibiotics in England 2007-08
SHA name NIC (£000)

East Midlands


East of England




North East


North West


South Central


South East Coast


South West


West Midlands


Yorkshire and the Humber


Grand Total


The net ingredient cost (NIC) is the cost of the drug at NHS list price. IMS Health data are classified according to a version of the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system used by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Data have been provided for antibiotic products in the ATC categories below, as these correspond most closely to British National Formulary (BNF) section 5.1 (Antibacterial drugs).
J01 antibacterials for systemic use
J03 systemic sulphonamides
J04 antimycobacterials
J08 other anti-infectives.
There will be some antibiotic products, such as topical creams and eye drops, which are not included in BNF 5.1.
IMS Health: Hospital Pharmacy Audit Index

Data on prescriptions that are written in hospital and dispensed in the community are only held at national level by the NHS Information Centre. In 2007-08 the national spend on prescriptions written in hospitals and
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dispensed in the community for products in British National Formulary section 5.1 (Antibacterial drugs) was £3.4 million (NIC).

Carers: Social Security Benefits

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many individuals on income support for regularly caring for individuals on disability living allowance had their support withdrawn as a result of hospitalisation in 2007-08. [231145]

Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.

The information is not available.

Departmental Conditions of Employment

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of employees in his Department (a) are on a flexible working contract, (b) are on a job share employment contract and (c) work from home for more than four hours per week. [233831]

Mr. Bradshaw: The proportion of the Department’s staff on a part-time working contract as at 30 September 2008 was 8.4 per cent. The proportion of staff on a job share contract at that time was 0.2 per cent. Information is not available on the percentage of staff working from home for more than four hours per week, as such arrangements are agreed with managers locally and no central records are held.

The Department encourages staff to work flexibly through providing opportunities for part time working, job sharing, term time only working and the use of flexitime. The last of these practices is particularly widespread. The Department also encourages other arrangements such as spreading working hours over nine days within a fortnight or four days within a week. It also provides the technology to allow staff to work at home on occasions. The Department also has in place specific arrangements to allow parents, adopters, guardians and foster carers of children under six (or disabled children under 18) to apply to work flexibly.

Departmental Consultants

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost has been to implement the SHOWA system for the aggregation of his Department's expenditure on consultancy services. [226856]

Mr. Bradshaw: The cost to date of implementing the SHOWA system, which was renamed the Business Management System (BMS) in July 2008, is £10.5 million. This cost is comprised of the following components:

Component Period £ million

Project start up and creation of Business case

August 2006 to February 2007


Design and build

March 2007 to December 2007



January 2008 to March 2008


Implementation and training

April 2008 to August 20


In addition to the facility that enables the accurate aggregation of the Department's expenditure on consultancy services, BMS also replaces the previous
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Human Resource and Finance systems and provides a new procurement facility that ensures that the Department is able to negotiate and manage its contracts in accordance with industry best practice.

Although BMS represents a large investment in public funds, the work was undertaken on the basis that implementation of the new system will realise significant business benefits. The projected benefits are summarised and quantified in the following table:

Benefit Area £ million

Ongoing savings over five years


Net savings resulting from off shoring/outsourcing services


Other savings from elimination of backup and recovery services


Realising the benefits of BMS is currently the responsibility of the BMS Strategy Board, chaired by the Department's Director of Operations. A benefits realisation plan has been prepared that will be overseen by the Strategy Board, with progress subject to quarterly review by the Corporate Management Board.

Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what sanctions are available in cases of departmental staff found to have committed disciplinary offences; and how many times each has been used in each of the last three years. [230200]

Mr. Bradshaw: The sanctions available in cases of staff found to have committed disciplinary offences are listed in the following table, together with the number of times each sanction has been enacted in the last two years. Figures are not available prior to 30 September 2006.

Sanction Times sanction used in the last 2 years

Written reprimand


Dismissal without notice


Dismissal with notice


Disciplinary transfer


Withdrawal or withholding performance related pay


Levying of financial penalty


Ban on applying for posts




Departmental Equality

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of how his Department has performed against the Government’s equality and diversity targets. [233305]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has exceeded targets set by the Cabinet Office for women, black and minority ethnic (BME) and disabled staff in the senior civil service (SCS), apart from that for women in top management posts (TMPs), covering SCS paybands 2 and above.

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The Department has set itself higher targets, to be achieved by 31 March 2011. The targets, and the position as at 30 June 2008, all expressed as percentages, are presented in the following table.

Cabinet Office target Department target Department position as at 30 June 2008





Women in TMPs












Departmental Information Officers

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) salary and (b) other remuneration was paid to guest speakers at each event organised by his Department for training of press officers in the latest period for which figures are available. [235641]

Mr. Bradshaw: No salary or other remuneration was paid to any guest speaker at any event organised by the Department for the training of press officers in the financial year 2007-08.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what events were organised by his Department for the training of press officers in the last year; and what funds were allocated for each event; [235642]

(2) how much was spent on training for press officers in his Department in the latest period for which figures are available. [235643]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department of Health media centre holds regular training sessions on press officer skills. These are organised in-house, run by senior colleagues and have incurred no financial costs.

In the financial year 2007-08, the Department of Health media centre spent a total of £1,200 (excluding VAT) on externally provided training for its press officers.

Departmental Older Workers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people recruited by his Department in 2007-08 were aged over (a) 55 years and (b) 60 years; and what percentage this represented of the number of new recruits in each case. [235244]

Mr. Bradshaw: Six people aged over 55 were recruited in 2007-08, representing 3.6 per cent. of the total number of recruits. None of those recruited was over the age of 60.

Departmental Pay

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) salary and (b) other remuneration was paid to guest speakers at internal training events within his Department in the latest period for which figures are available. [235640]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not keep central records of internal training events run locally by business areas across the Department. To establish the information requested would incur disproportionate costs.

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Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, column 1236W, on departmental pay, whether Mr. R Channing-Wheeler is still receiving £8,400 a month towards the cost of his accommodation. [235647]

Mr. Bradshaw: Mr. Wheeler has not received any contribution towards the cost of his accommodation since he left the Department on 15 July 2008.

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