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Departmental Information Officers

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many press, information and news officers are employed (a) by his Department (i) centrally and (ii) in the regions and (b) by each primary care trust, (c) by each hospital and (d) by agencies and non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible. (210978)

A return on the number and cost of press officers in the Department’s Media Centre is published at the end of each financial year. At the end of the financial year 2007-08 the number of press officers was 28.

The Department does not employ any information officers or press officers in the regions, primary care trusts (PCTs) or hospitals. Figures for numbers of information officers or press officers employed by regions, PCTs or hospitals are not collected centrally.

The Department has two Executive agencies. The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency does not employ press officers, and media services are supplied by the Department’s Media Centre. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has employed three press officers since it was set up in 2005-06.

Information on the breakdown of staffing and costs of non-departmental public bodies is not held centrally.