To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many officials work in the correspondence unit in his Department.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
2 December 2020
The Department’s Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries (MCPE) unit has a baseline establishment of 51 staff. This is inclusive of correspondence, Freedom of Information (FOI), Subject Access Requests and the call centre.
In 2019 the Department received 29,800 correspondence cases and 1,068 FOI requests. This year, to 23 November 2020, we have received 69,555 correspondence cases and 2,326 FOI requests. This significant increase in volume has been driven by interest in the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to this the Department has temporarily increased resources in the MCPE unit and there are now 111 members of staff.