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Telephone Advice Lines

Volume 447: debated on Monday 5 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many telephone advice lines her Department and its non-departmental public bodies support; how many telephone advisers each employs; and how much funding is provided to each by (a) her Department and its non-departmental public bodies, (b) other Government Departments, (c) the private sector and (d) the voluntary sector. (66586)

The Department's call centre provides information of a general nature to members of the public about the work of the Department. It responds to about 120,000 telephone calls a year and most of the emails sent through the Department's website. The annual cost is £505,715.

There would be a disproportionate cost in identifying advice lines and funding by the Department in external bodies, since this is not ringfenced in funding given to those organisations.