§ Mr. Key
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many(a) general practitioners and (b) other NHS staff, broken down by category, in the area served by South Wiltshire Primary Care Trust have been called up for military service in the Iraq conflict; what arrangements have been made (i) to cover their absence and (ii) to fund replacement staff; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Blears
I am advised by the Avon Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority that one general practitioner and two national health service staff, one consultant surgeon and one nurse, working in the area served by South Wiltshire Primary Care Trust (PCT), have been called out for military service in Iraq.
To cover the GP's absence, South Wiltshire PCT has asked part-time general practitioners to work extra hours. The PCT is not required to pay the called out GP during his period of service, as this is covered by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), which means the PCT has been able to redirect this money to the part-time GPs for the extra hours they are working. The PCT should also be able to recover any other costs associated with setting up this arrangement., for example, advertising, etc. from the MOD.
For the consultant surgeon and nurse, their employer, the Salisbury Healthcare NHS Trust, has contracted an associate specialist on a locum basis and utilised bank nurses. Similarly, the trust is not required to pay the salaries of the surge pit and the nurse during their period of service as these are covered by the MOD and has therefore been able to redirect these funds to pay the associate specialist and bank nurses for the cover they are providing. The trust should also be able to recover any other costs associated with setting up this arrangement from the MOD.
The Department of Health has been working closely with the NHS and the MOD to ensure the impact on health care delivery as a result of call outs of NHS staff with military commitments for service in Iraq has been kept to a minimum.