Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Departmental Information Officers

Health written question – answered on 9th February 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Michael Weir Michael Weir Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) press officers, (b) internal communications officers, (c) external communications officers, (d) communications strategy officers and (e) other positions with a communications remit were employed by (i) his Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) each other non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department on the most recent date for which figures are available.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

The data we hold on the type of role performed by communications staff does not correspond exactly with the descriptions the hon. Member requested. However, information on the disciplines of all of the communications staff in the Department is contained in the following tables. Table one provides figures for staff working in the Communications Directorate, table two provides figures for staff working elsewhere in the Department.

The source of the data in table 1 and 2 is the Cabinet Office commission 2009-10 to meet the needs of the Treasury's Operational Efficiency programme (OEP) Corporate Functions Benchmarking programme, for 2009-10.

These figures were supplied in April 2010. Figures for the Communications Directorate have been updated as these were readily available and are in table one. Figures in table 2 are as of April 2010.

Table 3-the Department has nine executive non-departmental public bodies (NDPB) and one executive agency. We have included data only for the NDPBs and Executive Agency that currently exist.

The Department also grants funds to a wide range of voluntary and charitable organisations to provide services relating to health and healthy living. It is not possible to provide this data without incurring disproportionate cost.

Table 1: Central communications staff, accounts for all staff working in the Communications Directorate. Data from February 2011
Discipline Total
1. Internal communications including; 6.0
(a) Change management -
(b) Internal channel management -
(c) Employee engagement -
2. Digital/social media 7.0
3. Strategic communications including; 26.0
(a) Stakeholder engagement -
(b) Strategic communication advisors -
(c) Customer insight -
4. Corporate communications including; 5.0
(a) Brand management -
(b) Reputation management -
(c) Corporate publications -
5. Marketing including; 30.0
(a) Campaign management -
(b) Sponsorship and partnership marketing -
(c) Customer insight -
(d) Research and evaluation -
(e) Publications, including: -
I. print procurement -
II. design services -
III. editorial and copywriting -
6. Media/press including; 47.0
(a) Media handling -
(b) Media-focused ministerial events/visits -
(c) Media planning -
(d) Speechwriting -
(e) Public relations -
(f) Public affairs (arms-length bodies) -
7. Senior management 2.0
8. Support staff 13.0
Total central communication function staff 136.00
Table 2: Embedded communications in the Department. Accounts for all staff working in the Department in policy teams. Data from April 2010
Discipline Total
1. Internal communications including; 3.0
(a) Employee engagement -
(b) Change management -
(c) Internal channel management -
2. Digital/social media ; 6.0
3. Strategic communications including; 33.0
(a) Stakeholder engagement -
(b) Strategic communication advisors -
(c) Customer insight -
4. Corporate communications including; 0.0
(a) Brand management -
(b) Reputation management -
(c) Corporate publications -
5. Marketing including; 1.0
(a) Campaign management -
(b) Sponsorship and partnership marketing -
(c) Customer insight -
(d) Research and evaluation -
(e) Publications, including: -
IV. print procurement -
V. design services -
VI. editorial and copywriting -
6. Media/press including; 0.0
(a) Media handling -
(b) Media-focused ministerial events/visits -
(c) Media planning -
(d) Speechwriting -
(e) Public relations -
(f) Public affairs (arms-length bodies) -
7. Senior management 1.0
8. Support staff 2.0
Total embedded communication function staff 46.0
Table 3
Communications Figures (WTE) as at: (a) Press officers (b) Internal Comms officers (c) External Comms officers (d) Comms strategy officers
Alcohol Education and Research Council 1 February 2011 - - - -
Appointments Commission 3 February 2011 (1)- (1)- (1)- (1)-
Care Quality Commission 1 February 2011 4 4 16 -
Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence 7 February 2011 (2)- (2)- (2)- (2)-
General Social Care Council 4 February 2011 1 - 2 3
Health Protection Agency December 2010 (3)- (3)- (3)- (3)-
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority 31 January 2011 1 - 3 1
Human Tissue Authority 7 February 2011 1 1 1 1
Monitor 7 February 2011 2 1.5 2.5 1
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency(4) 1 February 2011 3 1 0 1
(1) Appointments Commission has one post holder who undertakes all Communications activity and it is not possible to determine the split between the roles (a)-(d).

(2) Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence has one post holder who undertakes all Communications activity and it is not possible to determine the split between the roles (a)-(d).

(3) Health Protection Agency has a total of 30 staff who work across all these disciplines. It is not possible to isolate staff into individual categories as they cross all of them.

(4) Executive Agency

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.