HC Deb 31 March 2004 vol 419 c1514W
Matthew Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many staff are employed in the Department to work in the communications field, broken down by(a) Government Information and Communication Service staff and (b) other staff, broken down by (i) press officers, (ii) special advisers and (iii) others; [158166]

(2) what the total expenditure on communications for the Department has been in 2003–04, broken down by expenditure on (a) Government Information and Communications Service staff and (b) other staff, broken down by (i) press officers.(ii) special advisers and (iii) others. [158198]

Ms Rosie Winterton

The Department currently employs 126 staff in its communications directorate.

57 of these are Government Information and Communication Service staff, of whom 22 are press officers and 35 are employed in marketing communications, web and staff communications activities.

There are 70 other communications staff in the wider Department employed in public health campaigns, national health service and Departmental events and visits, marketing (including print and distribution) and support staff.

The total expenditure on communications directorate staff is £4.09 million, broken down as follows: £2.63 million for Government information and communication service staff, of which £1.06 million is for press officers and £1.46 million for other staff.

The special advisers code of conduct sets out the sort of work a special adviser may undertake on behalf of their Minister. This includes communications activity. Details of the costs of special advisers are given on an annual basis. Information for the financial year 2003–04 will be published in due course.