§ Ms Oona King
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with the Deputy Prime Minister on key worker housing and the land required to provide health services for key workers. 1065W
§ Mr. Hutton
Discussions are currently taking place with officials from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on the requirements of the national health service in respect of affordable housing and the NHS contribution to the provision of key worker accommodation. The Department of Health and NHS Estates have a major programme in place to support key workers. The NHS Plan target of 2,000 extra rental units has been exceeded. By March 2004, around 5,000 NHS staff will have had the opportunity to gain a foothold on the property ladder by way of assistance under the Government's Starter Home Initiative Scheme.