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Armed Forces: Health Services

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions his Department has been unable to fulfil an agreed whole-time equivalent number of staff in (a) Ministry of Defence hospital units and (b) NHS trusts in each year since 2001; and how much financial compensation has been paid as a consequence. (133147)

The number of occasions when the agreed whole-time equivalent numbers have not been achieved, and the costs of meeting these shortfalls, are detailed as follows. The relevant contracts with the NHS trusts have provided for the Department to pay for civilian locum or agency replacements only since financial year 2005-06. Before then the contractual terms provided for lower levels of payment to be made by the trusts to the Department for the agreed service.

In financial year 2005-06 there were 33 occasions when the agreed whole time equivalent numbers to be provided to NHS trusts hosting Ministry of Defence hospital units were not reached. The total sum reimbursed to the NHS trusts concerned was £1.34 million.

To date, 27 such occasions have been identified for financial year 2006-07 and the total cost of reimbursement has been £1.01 million.

There has been no shortfall in either financial year in the provision of agreed whole time equivalent numbers to any other NHS Trusts hosting military medical personnel.