The government is 'deeply concerned about the possibility of unfairness in the distinction awards scheme' for consultants, and is 'considering what further action might be taken', said health minister Alan Milburn in response to High Peak Labour MP Tom Levitt, who asked if merit awards would be investigated.

17 Feb, col 551

There are no plans to appoint a government minister with exclusive responsibility for mental health, said junior health minister Paul Boateng.

2 Feb, col 505

The Department of Health is to commission research to try to identify which interventions would be effective in reducing health

inequalities, said public health minister Tessa Jowell.

16 Feb, col 497

Health authority management costs are to be reduced by pounds18m in 1997-98, and by a further pounds12m in 1998-99. Costs for 1996-97 were pounds450m, said health minister Alan Milburn.

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Commercial contractors have been awarded 3,560 contracts let by trusts and health authorities since the introduction of market testing, health minister Alan Milburn revealed.

4 Feb, col 679

Total running costs for the Department of Health's 38 buildings were pounds40.3m in 1996-97, said public health minister Tessa Jowell. Skipton House, at Elephant and Castle, London, was the most expensive, at pounds6.45m. The ministerial base at Richmond House, in Whitehall, London was fourth most costly, at pounds4.6m.

18 Feb, col 715