Telephone Services

Health written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Graeme Morrice Graeme Morrice Labour, Livingston

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many private sector call centre staff were used by his Department and its agencies in each of the last three financial years; and at what cost to the public purse.

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

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is an agency of the Department and has eight call centres, one of which uses private sector IT Helpdesk staff. The figures for the last three financial years and cost are as follows:

  Headcount Cost (excluding VAT) (£)
2009-10 6 247,509
2010-11 5 211,979
2011-12 5 173,631

NHS Shared Business Services has a call centre facility using private sector staff in the United Kingdom and India. The breakdown is as follows:

The UK (Bristol): 27

India (Noida): 65

To identify the specific cost and the headcount for the last three financial years would involve a substantial and widespread trawl of these services, which would incur disproportionate cost.

In addition, the Department funds, or contributes towards costs, for a number of specific services, which may include telephone contact centres or helpdesk services. To identify them would involve a substantial and widespread trawl of these services, which would incur disproportionate cost.

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