Previous Section Index Home Page

21 Jun 2010 : Column 67W—continued

NHS: Digital Technology

Alun Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that the principles of digital inclusion are taken into account in the delivery of mainstream health services. [3428]

Mr Simon Burns: No one should be excluded from mainstream health services because they do not have digital access. We are committed to enabling patients to have greater access to the information they need to play a more active part in decisions about their own care. Informed patients are more likely to have a good patient experience, to achieve a partnership with clinicians treating them and overall have a better outcome. We are looking at a range of ways of making that possible, which will include by digital means.

NHS: Pay

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has made an assessment of the level of transparency of the mechanisms by which NHS trusts publish details of the remuneration of non-executive directors. [3438]

Mr Simon Burns: Levels of remuneration for non-executive directors have been determined centrally by the Government. On 10 March 2010, it was announced that there would be no increase to these rates for 2010-11.

Current rates are as follows:

21 Jun 2010 : Column 68W
NHS trust chairs


NHS trust band 1


NHS trust band 2


NHS trust band 3


NHS trust non-executive directors


The Appointments Commission, an executive non-departmental public body manage appointments to NHS trusts on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health and publish levels of remuneration on their website.

As a requirement of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice, levels of remuneration are also publicised in appointment press releases.

Surgical Dressings

Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department issues to (a) general practitioners, (b) primary care trusts and (c) NHS trusts on the (i) re-use and (ii) disposal of cloth bandages. [2598]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department has issued Health Technical Memorandum 07-01 "Safe Management of Healthcare Waste" for all involved in the management of health care waste, including general practitioners, primary care trusts and national health service trusts. The guidance covers types of waste produced directly from health care activities, including bandages, and focuses on the management and risk assessment of medicinal and infectious waste. A copy of the document has already been placed in the Library.

All medical devices have to meet the requirements of the relevant Medical Device Regulations and, when used as intended, should be acceptably safe. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency guidance on using medical devices is to follow the instructions for use provided by the manufacturer which, for bandages, may be found on the labelling or the packaging. If medical devices are labelled as single-use only, they must not be re-used.

Work and Pensions

Access to Work Programme

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has for the Jobcentre Plus Access to Work programme. [2494]

Maria Miller: Access to Work provides financial help towards the extra costs faced by disabled people in work, where this goes beyond what would be reasonable for an employer to meet. Access to Work supported 32,120 disabled people during 2008-09. Official statistics for 2009-10 will be published on 27 July.

The Government are reviewing current welfare to work programmes, including Access to Work, to ensure that the support is effective and value for money. We are committed to ensuring disabled people are given the right support they need to get a job and remain in employment.

The Coalition Agreement announced plans to allow customers to confirm eligibility for Access to Work before applying for a job. We are drawing up plans for implementation and further details will be announced in due course.

21 Jun 2010 : Column 69W

Carer's Allowance

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been in receipt of carer's allowance in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since the allowance's inception. [2394]

Maria Miller: The available information is in the table.

Carer's allowance cases in payment since August 2003
Date Jarrow parliamentary constituency South Tyneside local authority North-east Government office region Great Britain

August 2003





November 2003





November 2004





November 2005





November 2006





November 2007





November 2008





November 2009





1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Invalid care allowance was renamed carer's allowance from April 2003.
3. The earliest data available are from August 2003. Prior to August 2003, figures are based on those with entitlement only. This means that caseload figures cannot be broken down by whether or not a case is in payment. As a result, carer's allowance data are restricted to August 2003 onwards.
Department for Work and Pensions Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether he plans to amend the earnings limit which applies to carer's allowance; [3474]

(2) what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of benefits available to carers; and if he will make a statement. [3472]

Maria Miller: The Government recognise that the UK's 6 million carers play an indispensable role in looking after friends or family members who need support. It also acknowledges the important role that both cash benefits and employment assistance play, especially in enabling many carers to combine care giving with paid employment.

The earnings limit for Carer's Allowance was raised in April from £95 to £100 and is net of certain taxes and expenses, including the costs of paying for care.

We have set out our commitment to simplify the benefit system in order to improve work incentives and encourage responsibility and fairness. We will consider carefully the needs of carers as we develop our thinking on welfare reform.

Carer's Allowance: Redcar

Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Redcar constituency (a) are in receipt of carer's allowance and (b) were in receipt of carer's allowance in each of the last five years. [3547]

Maria Miller: The information requested is as follows:

21 Jun 2010 : Column 70W
People in receipt of Carer's Allowance in Redcar constituency November 2004-09


November 2004


August 2005


November 2006


November 2007


November 2008


November 2009


Departmental Manpower

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) special advisers and (b) press officers are employed by his Department; and at what Civil Service pay grade in each such case. [1265]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is as follows:

(a) I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 10 June, Official Report, columns 33-34W.

(b) Press office covers all of the Department's responsibilities including Jobcentre Plus and the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service, for the national and regional media across the English regions, Scotland and Wales.

The Department currently employs:

(i) National Press Office: one Acting Head of News and two Chief Press Officers all at Grade 7, two Senior Information Officers and seven Information Officers.

(ii) Regional Press Offices: one Head of Regional Media at Senior Information Officer pay grade, three Senior Information Officers and 14 Information Officers.

Departmental Official Cars

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department are entitled to the use of (i) a car with a dedicated driver, (ii) a car from the Government car pool and (iii) a taxi ordered through a departmental account. [3193]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is as follows:

(a) The Department for Work and Pensions Permanent Secretary is the only civil servant who has entitlement to use one of the Government Car Service's pool of four DWP vehicles. All of these vehicles have a dedicated driver.

(b) DWP special advisers do not have entitlement to use the Government Car Service pool of cars.

Within the UK, the DWP has only one departmental account for taxis, which covers London (within the M25-extending to London Airports). All DWP staff and special advisers are entitled to use this taxi account; however staff should always consider whether travelling by taxi is a necessity, having considered alternative travel methods, business needs, sustainability issues, increased public scrutiny of expenses and cost. Exceptional occasions where taxi travel is necessary may include:

21 Jun 2010 : Column 71W

Departmental Official Residences

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether any domestic properties in the gift of the Government have been allocated to the use of Ministers in his Department. [1795]

Chris Grayling: No domestic properties in the gift of the Government have been allocated for the use of Ministers in the Department for Work and Pensions.

Departmental Pay

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 14 June 2010, Official Report, columns 280-1W, on departmental manpower, what the salary range is of staff employed at each grade in the private office of each Minister in his Department. [3244]

Chris Grayling: The salary ranges are as follows:

Grade £

SCS Pay Band 1


Grade 7








Departmental Public Expenditure

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he plans to analyse the distributional effect of the options for reductions in his Department's expenditure. [2859]

Chris Grayling: The Government set out in their document Spending Review Framework that they will

(2.4, page 7)

Further information will be available at the spending review.

Next Section Index Home Page