§ Mr. Pawsey
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what percentage of letters from hon. Members to his Department received a reply(a) in under four weeks, (b) within four to six weeks, (c) within six to eight weeks and (d) over eight weeks, in each of the last three years;
(2) what information his Department has on the length of time taken to respond to letters from hon. Members.
§ Mr. Freeman
Information is not available on the time taken to reply to correspondence before November 1988. Since then 51 per cent. of letters from hon. and right hon. Members have received a reply within four weeks. I regret that information on delays in replying beyond four weeks is not available in the detail requested. Following a very large increase in the amount of correspondence received earlier this year the Department has taken steps to improve the speed of reply.