HC Deb 16 October 2003 vol 411 c348W
Mr. Dobson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the(a) staff levels and (b) running costs of the Foundation Trust Regulator. [131907]

Mr. Hutton

Subject to legislation, the Office of the Independent Regulator will be established as a non-Ministerial Department, which will be accountable to Parliament but not subject to direction from the Secretary of State for Health. The Independent Regulator is responsible for structure and staffing of the Office of the Regulator. However, he or she must consult the Minister for the Civil Service on the number of staff and their terms and conditions.

The extent of these costs and the number of additional staff required will depend on the number of national health service foundation trusts. In the Explanatory Notes to the Bill, published in March 2003, the Department estimated that, in the first full financial year, 2004–05, the running costs would be £2.3 million. This estimate was based on legal and financial costs, accommodation, expenditure on information technology and the running costs for 12 staff. Final arrangements for the structure and staffing of the Office are for the Regulator to determine and, once appointed, the Regulator will develop detailed proposals and estimates.