HL Deb 16 April 2002 vol 633 cc154-6WA
Lord Stoddart of Swindon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 19 March (WA140) concerning mixed-sex wards, whether it is normal practice to allow three months to elapse before replying to letters from a Member of either House of Parliament; and, if not, what is the usual space of time between the receipt of letters and the replies sent; and [HL3489]

Why the Department of Health did not acknowledge or reply to a letter concerning mixed-sex wards sent by Lord Stoddart of Swindon to Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 12 December 2001 until 11 March 2002; and whether they will give an assurance that the response time to letters from Members will be considerably reduced in future. [HL3490]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath)

Information is published annually by the Cabinet Office on the volume of correspondence from Members of Parliament received by Ministers and agency chief executives; departments' and agencies' handling targets; and their performance in meeting these targets. The department's current service first targets are to answer all correspondence within 20 working days. The report for 2001 is due to be published shortly.

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