Telephone Services

Health written question – answered on 1st November 2011.

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Photo of Stephen Lloyd Stephen Lloyd Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has allocated to each telephone helpline funded by his Department in 2011-12; what the purpose is of each such helpline; and how many calls each helpline received in the last 12 months.

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

The Department's Communication Directorate either runs or promotes the phone lines listed in the following chart. Information on the number of calls is not available in the requested format and to produce them would incur disproportionate cost. The chart shows call figures for the last complete year of operation.

Call centre Number of calls 2010-11 Budget 2011-12 () (£) (1) Purpose of line
Carers Direct 24,014 1,200,000 Information, advice and support for carers
Change4Life 14,460 200,000 Offers publications, advice and registration to the Change4Life programme
Department of Health Order Line 92,107 (2)180,000 Publication order line
Drink, Drugs and Sexual Health 393,356 1,000,000 Advice line for adults on drink, drugs and sexual health
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) 1,111,244 (2)1,090,000 Offers an ordering and replacement service as well as advice on the EHIC
Healthy Start 441,753 (2)1,150,000 Supports the provision of milk and fruit and vegetable vouchers
National Breastfeeding Helpline 34,502 150,000 Offers advice and support on breast feeding
NHS Careers 27,627 880,000 Offers advice and publications for potential NHS careers recruits, returners and existing NHS staff
Tobacco 79,047 1,370,000 Offers advice and support on smoking cessation
Worth talking about 746,406 630,000 Sexual health advice for teenagers
(1) All figures are rounded to the nearest £10,000. (2) Estimated budget (the budget for the call centre is part of a wider contract). Notes: 1. As it is not always possible to anticipate the demand for the services provided by the above call centres, final spend is often lower than the budget allowed. 2. The budget allowed may include some non-phone line costs such as staff training, data management and fulfilment. 3. The budget allowed will also include some non-voice help offered by the call centre such as text phone use, web chat, social network response handling and email handling. 4. The chart is based on call centres rather than individual phone lines. Most call centres run multiple phone numbers to allow for campaign measurement.

The Department does not collect information on the telephone numbers used by national health service organisations. Information about telephone services for these bodies is not held centrally and cannot be provided except at disproportionate cost.

The Department also supports a range of voluntary, charitable and other organisations to provide services relating to health and healthy living. Some of these organisations may include telephone help lines as part of their services. It is not possible, without incurring disproportionate cost, to identify individual projects with telephone services and their budgets.

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