§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements are made in her Department to allow staff to access counselling services. 
§ Alun Michael
This Department has its own in-house Staff Welfare Service, which provides a service to staff and managers in the core Department and to all of its agencies. The 9 Welfare Officers, who are based in various locations throughout the country, have all received training in counselling and are available to staff on a 24 hour basis, 365 days a year.
The Welfare Officers are able to deal with any problem brought to them by staff, whether they originate from inside or outside the workplace and by doing so they help them to resolve or come to terms with those problems, thus helping to keep staff effective at work.