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31 Jan 2003 : Column 1088W—continued

Public Services Productivity

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 22 January, Official Report, column 420W, on Public Services Productivity, if he will list the members of the Public Services Productivity Panel that attended each meeting since January 2000; and if he will make a statement. [94375]

Mr. Boateng: The Public Services Productivity Panel is a small group of senior business people and public sector managers that meets occasionally to assist with the development of policy. The Panel have met nine times since January 2000. All of these meetings were well attended.


Assaults on NHS Staff

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions took place last year against people who assaulted NHS staff; and what range of penalties was imposed. [92618]

Hilary Benn: As the hon. Member will be aware, a cross-Government NHS zero tolerance zone campaign was launched in October 1999 to tackle violence against staff working in the NHS. The campaign aims to get the message to both NHS staff and members of the public that violence against NHS staff is unacceptable and the Government are determined to stamp it out.

The specific information requested is not collected centrally by the Home Office.

Departmental Running Costs

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the running costs of (a) the Department and (b) each of its sponsored agencies were in (i) 1997 and (ii) the most recent year for which figures are available. [90710]

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Mr. Blunkett: The Home Office running costs are set out in the Departmental Annual report and placed in the Library.

Departmental Secondments

Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff from his Department are on secondment elsewhere; and where they are seconded. [93300]

Mr. Blunkett: Secondments are part of the Interchange initiative, which promotes the exchange of people and good practice between the civil service and other organisations. All sectors of the economy are involved: voluntary, education, health, public and private. Interchange provides opportunities for civil servants to learn new skills, widen their experience and develop ideas. It also brings in skills and experiences from other sectors.

A total of 539 members of staff are seconded outside the Home Office, including 429 to Centrex (formerly National Police Training) which used to be part of the Home Office.

Details of organisations are set out in the following table.

Number of staff Name of organisationType of organisation
1Lincolnshire health authorityNHS
1Cambridgeshire health authorityNHS
1County Durham and Darlington health authorityNHS
1Taunton SchoolEducation
1Kent county councilLocal government
1National Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of OffendersVoluntary sector
1Bromley-by-BowVoluntary sector
1Parent LineVoluntary sector
1Westminster Volunteer BureauVoluntary sector
1Vineyard CharityVoluntary sector
1People's Dispensary for Sick AnimalsVoluntary sector
1Oasis TrustVoluntary sector
1Barnet Citizen Advice BureauVoluntary sector
1Runningmead TrustVoluntary sector
1L'Arche LambethVoluntary sector
1Southwark MindVoluntary sector
2Hospice in the WealdVoluntary sector
1Princes TrustVoluntary sector
1CLINKSVoluntary sector
3Butler TrustVoluntary sector
2Jill Dando InstituteVoluntary sector
1Commission for Race EqualityPublic sector
1Audit CommissionPublic sector
1Postal Services CommissionPublic sector
1Thames Valley PartnershipPublic sector
2Security ServicesPublic sector
1Cartwright Pickard ArchitectsPrivate sector
1Banks Hoggins O'Shea FCBPrivate sector
1KPMGPrivate sector
1COCA COLAPrivate sector
1Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary OrganisationsPrivate sector
10Youth Justice BoardNDPB
2Broadcasting Standards CommissionNDPB
1Department of Justice, AustraliaPublic sector
6European CommissionPublic sector
2ENA Business School StrasbourgEducation
1Australian Institute of CriminologyUniversity
1Lausanne UniversityUniversity
1British Embassy WashingtonPublic sector
1Bulgarian GovernmentPublic sector
1Department of the Solicitor General CanadaPublic sector
1Citizen and Immigration CanadaPublic sector

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Drug/Alcohol Addiction

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the change in real terms in spending on drug and alcohol addiction was over the three years to 2005–06. [94012]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Allowing for inflation, the Government's annual planned expenditure on proactively tackling drugs is:

2003–04—£1,216 million: a 19 per cent. increase on the current year;

2004–05—£1,281 million: a 25 per cent. increase on the current year; and

2005–06—£1,383 million: a 35 per cent. increase on the current year.

The majority of the funding for alcohol treatment is spent via the general budgets of primary care trusts and local social service departments, which is consistent with provision being determined following a local consideration of need. This method of funding means that it is not possible to give details of spending on alcohol treatment, but latest estimates indicate that around £95 million is spent each year on treatment in England, and that most of this funding is provided by the Government.

Prison Budgets

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the relationship between the budget of individual prisons and the number of educational and vocational qualifications obtained by their inmates. [94490]

Hilary Benn: From 2001, the core budget for prison education has been ring-fenced and is administered jointly by the Home Office and the Department for Education and Skills, through the Prisoners' Learning and Skills Unit. At the time of ring-fencing, education budgets were historically based, but from 2002–03, part of the education budget has been linked to achievement of basic skills qualifications. We will develop further the links between funding and educational and vocational qualifications as we increase funding for prison education to £125 million by 2005–06. The recent review of prison education funding and procurement also identified opportunities for introducing other relevant achievement measures and we are considering these.

Prison Governors

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those prison

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establishments in which there have been changes at governor level, including changes involving those acting as governor for one month or more, in the last five years; when each such change took place; and who (a) the governor leaving and (b) the replacement was in each case. [91370]

Hilary Benn: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Prison Officers/Police Officers

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the (a) prevalence and (b) causes of occupational stress (i) among prison officers and (ii) in the police. [93666]

Hilary Benn: The Prison Service carried out an audit into the causes and extent of stress among prison officers and other staff in 2001–02. The audits were conducted at a number of representative prisons and at headquarters. The results suggest that stress is common among prison staff and is due to a wide range of causes. As a result of this work, the Prison Service is developing a policy for preventing stress together with a range of initiatives aimed at supporting those who may be suffering from stress.

Figures for police sickness absence showed an average loss of 11.5 working days per officer in 2001–02 and an average of 12 working days per support staff member. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has not previously recorded exact figures on what proportion of that absence relates to stress, although stress and musculo-skeletal disorders are unofficially recognised as the two main contributors.

From April 2003, all forces will have begun measuring sickness absence according to new data collection arrangements. This was released in June last year by the Police Numbers Task Force and will ensure that sickness absence is broken down into categories, including stress-related illness. The new data collection arrangements will enable forces to target the types of sickness absence that have the most effect on them.

There has been much discussion by occupational health professionals both inside and outside the Police Service regarding the causes of stress. As yet there is no one prevailing view on the subject. Some forces have already conducted internal stress audits/and begun to target the causes of stress at local level.

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