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Gershon Report

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many civil servants were employed in her Department before the Gershon Report; what net reductions are proposed in the Gershon Report; how many reductions have been made; and how many civil servants are expected to be employed in her Department in the Gershon target month of April 2008. (74290)

The Gershon Report, confirmed by the 2004 Spending Review, set the Department a target net reduction of 720 in its number of full-time equivalent (FTE) posts. As the Department had already embarked on its change programme, it was agreed that reductions made since the programme was announced in March 2003 would be included and the 720 target was calculated and agreed on this basis. The baseline level of staffing was therefore the 3,645 FTE posts that had previously been budgeted for in 2003-04. The Change Programme anticipated an eventual staffing level of 2,245 FTE posts, a reduction of 1,400 FTE posts. This consisted of the 720 Gershon target and a further 680 to be achieved through the transfer of work to other organisations.

As at 31 March 2006, the Department’s staffing was 2,387 FTE (this may not correspond with other published figures because of the way secondments into and out of the Department are counted). This represented a reduction of 1,258 FTE from the baseline of 3,645 FTE, and consisted of a 635 net reduction and 623 transfers to other organisations. The Department is therefore well on the way to meeting its April 2008 targets in terms of both net reductions and transfers.