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Civil Service (People With Disabilities)

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in meeting targets for the proportion of people with disabilities in senior posts in the Department. [110530]

The current number of senior staff in the Department of Health who have declared disabilities is nine. This represents 2.38 per cent. of the staff in senior posts.Our target for the year 2004–05 is 3 per cent.The Department is taking a number of steps to increase the number of people with disabilities in senior posts in the Department:

The use of open competition to provide a wider pool of diverse applicants for senior posts.
Operating the guaranteed interviews under the two ticks scheme for disabled applicants.
Support for a disabled staff network, which reports to the Chief Executive on a regular basis. This group is currently considering potential initiatives for the European Year of Disabled People.
Access to specialist software and other adjustments tailored to the needs of individual members of staff who are disabled.

The Department recently re-surveyed its work force to identify the numbers of disabled staff and is currently represented on a Cabinet Office working group, which is considering disability data collection issues, including non-declaration.