§ Vera Baird
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what powers the NHS Equality Adviser will have to promote greater equality throughout the service; 
(2) whether the NHS Equality Adviser will have powers and duties in relation to facilities in joint use by the NHS and local authority care departments; 
(3) what powers and duties the NHS Equality Adviser will have in relation to companies and organisations supplying private medical services and care to patients in the NHS; 
(4) how the NHS Equality Adviser will interact with the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights; 
(5) whether the Equality Adviser to be appointed in the NHS will have the same powers and duties in respect of each of the six strands of equality to be protected by the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights; 
(6) whether the NHS Equality Adviser will have powers to commence discrimination proceedings in court on behalf of (a) employees and (b) patients in the NHS; 
(7) what enforcement powers the NHS Equality Adviser will have in respect of breaches of equality laws; 
(8) how the NHS Equality Adviser will safeguard the rights of patients; 
(9) what the remit will be of the NHS Equality Adviser; 
(10) whether the NHS Equality Adviser will have responsibility for children's equality issues in the health service (a) before and (b) after the appointment of a Children's Commissioner. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
The Department of Health is in the process of recruiting a National Director for Equality and Human Rights to spearhead a major programme to promote equality and human rights throughout the health and social care system. The remit involves championing and leading action to promote equality within the system and engaging in a dialogue with key stakeholders including service users and their representatives. It will also involve working with 397W colleagues in the Department, other Government Departments and in other health and social care bodies at a national level to address equality issues and promote a human rights culture.
The Director will assist the Department in complying with its legal duties in relation to promoting equality. The legal powers to enforce equality laws rests with the relevant equality commissions, namely the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality and the Disability Rights Commission. The Director will not exercise powers in relation to facilities in joint use by the national health service and local authority care departments or companies and of organisations supplying private medical services and care to patients in the NHS.
The Director will provide strategic leadership and champion the rights of patients from all sections of our diverse communities. Responsibilities for children's issues in the health service lies with the Department for Education and Skills.
The Director will have the same responsibilities in respect of the six strands of equality to be protected by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights and will work constructively with the new commission as is currently the case between the Department of Health and the existing equality commissions.