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Volume 462: debated on Friday 29 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much Connecting for Health has paid Google for the sponsored link on Google's search engine; and which words or phrases in the search criteria bring up Connecting for Health as a sponsored link. (141977)

This link was established by a communications agency contracted to NHS Connecting for Health without authorisation and without consultation on the search criteria used. This was part of a wider programme of initiatives to improve communications about the Connecting for Health programme. The arrangement has been terminated. No costs have been borne by NHS Connecting for Health or indeed by the taxpayer.

We are exploring with the agency concerned the circumstances under which this arrangement was made and the terms under which it operated, including the search criteria. We will write to the hon. Member when these inquiries are complete, and a copy will be placed in the Library.