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Written Question
Globus Group: Coronavirus
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Fleur Anderson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the attendees at negotiations for the contracts awarded to Globus to help deliver the Government’s covid-19 response.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

All offers of personal protective equipment (PPE) from suppliers received the same eight stage assurance process which selected suppliers based on the product type, clinical acceptability, price, forecasted delivery dates, volume and financial standing. This was managed by a team of around 450 officials from a number of Government Departments, who conducted the negotiations.

The value of the contract awarded to Globus for the supply of PPE was £93.7 million. The Contract Award Notice and contract have been published at the following link:

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/notice/c0a249e7-5453-40f2-b047-bb5da9a1941b?origin=SearchResults&p=1


Written Question
Coronavirus: Children
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Bell Ribeiro-Addy

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential disproportionate effect of long covid on BAME children.

Answer (Nadine Dorries)

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.


Written Question
Surgery: Coronavirus
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Stella Creasy

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many operations have been cancelled or delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak, by (a) priority categorisation and (b) Trust.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The data requested is not available. The collection of data on cancelled operations has been paused due the need to release capacity across the National Health Service to support the COVID-19 response.


Written Question
Health Services: Police
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Rebecca Long Bailey

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2021 to Question 141498 on Health Services: Police, whether he plans to issue guidance on the reopening of police treatment centres.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The Department has no plans to issue guidance to specific charities such as Police Treatment Centres on reopening decisions. It is for each individual setting to update their own risk assessment based on legislation and guidance published by the Government.

The latest national restrictions were introduced to reduce transmission and control the virus. We recognise the importance of people being able to continue to receive urgent treatment and personal care services provided for essential medical and health needs, which cannot be deferred, have been able to continue. Guidance on the types of treatment which can continue has also been published providing clarity to businesses, charities such as Police Treatment Centres, and the public.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Rehabilitation
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lyn Brown

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Alcohol and drug treatment in secure settings 2019 to 2020: report, published on 28 January 2021, what plans he has to reduce regional inequalities in the proportion of adults with a substance misuse treatment need who successfully engage in community-based structured treatment following release from prison.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The Government recently announced an additional £80 million of funding in 2021/22 to enhance drug treatment services, including increasing the number of treatment places for prison leavers and offenders across England. This will improve access to community treatment for adults and young people following their release from a secure setting.

In addition, the NHS Long Term Plan introduced a new RECONNECT service which works with people before they leave prison and helps them to make the transition to community-based services. Of the new £80 million funding, £2.5 million will be invested in an enhanced RECONNECT service. This will support offenders with complex needs to engage with and get the right treatment from substance misuse and other services, for up to a year after release. The enhanced service will target those aged 18 to 24 years old.


Written Question
Drugs: Rehabilitation
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Kerry McCarthy

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support he is providing to NHS inpatient detoxification units in England to tackle the rising numbers of drug-related deaths in the UK.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local need and commissioning alcohol and drug treatment services to meet these needs, including inpatient detoxification. The Government has recently announced an additional £80 million to fund drug treatment in 2021/22, a portion of which will be allocated to expanding inpatient detoxification. This treatment intervention has a strong evidence base for inclusion in drug and alcohol treatment programmes. All local areas will be able to benefit from this funding. We expect the expansion of detoxification provision to contribute to a reduction in drug-related deaths in England. This funding is in addition to the money local authorities already spend on substance misuse from the public health grant. Local authority spending through the public health grant will be maintained in the next financial year, meaning local authorities can continue to invest in prevention and essential frontline health services. Health is a devolved matter in the United Kingdom and the devolved administrations have their own policies and programmes in place to address substance misuse.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Kevan Jones

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the priority given to unpaid carers as part of the covid-19 vaccination programme.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

We recognise the vital role unpaid carers play in caring for vulnerable individuals. Since the 15 February general practitioners and other primary care professionals have been asked to invite those eligible for vaccination within cohort six to attend an appointment for vaccination. This cohort includes unpaid carers that care for those vulnerable to COVID-19.

We are developing bespoke guidance for this group, set out in a Standard Operating Protocol which has been developed in close cooperation with carers organisations and local authorities. This will be published in due course.


Written Question
Care Homes: Coronavirus
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Willis of Knaresborough

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many care home residents tested positive for COVID-19 in each week from 1 April to 1 September.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

This information is not held in the format requested. Data on the total number of positive cases is published in an online only format.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Disease Control
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Greaves

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations since August have been influenced by (1) the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, (2) the return of schools, colleges and universities in September, and (3) the deteriorating weather conditions and reduced hours of daylight; and what research, if any, they have commissioned into the influence of each of these elements.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

While we have not made a specific assessment of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, we would not hesitate to act in response to an increase in infections. We worked closely with businesses to ensure they were COVID-19 secure.

Currently, the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector is being explored by the Government through various studies with the Office for National Statistics, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Public Health England.

We have not made an assessment of the specific influence of weather on the transmission of COVID-19. However, as people to spend more time indoors during the winter which increases the time spent in close proximity to others, the risks of has led to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Baroness Barker

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what resources they have provided to local authorities to assist in (1) identifying, (2) finding appropriate local vaccination settings in, and (3) administering COVID-19 vaccinations in, hard to reach communities.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

Local authorities are involved in planning locally and have been working closely with National Health Service regional teams and the national programme in support of the vaccine deployment. Key areas of collaboration include the selection of appropriate vaccination sites, local communications on vaccine messaging and engaging with vulnerable/ hard to reach communities or disproportionately impacted groups.


At a national level, there are a range of platforms in which local government and NHS partners are brought together to discuss this in greater detail, such as the National Vaccine Deployment Steering Group. At the same time, as part of an extensive communications campaign, the Government has brought in local trusted voices to invite an open dialogue and ensure a joined-up approach to encourage uptake by vulnerable people in local communities.


Written Question
Hospitals: Coronavirus
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to track the number of patients who tested negative for COVID-19 on admission to hospital in England but then contracted COVID-19 whilst in hospital.

Answer (Lord Bethell)

NHS England and NHS Improvement collect and publish data relating to the numbers of patients diagnosed in the community with COVID-19 and subsequently admitted to hospital or admitted to hospital and diagnosed with COVID-19 within eight days of admission. However, due to the incubation period of the virus and local differences in application of testing protocols, it is not possible to definitively determine how many of these patients contracted the virus whilst in hospital.


Written Question
Mental Health Services: Coronavirus
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Diana Johnson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the accessibility of mental health provision for people during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

Answer (Nadine Dorries)

Mental health services have remained open for business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support online, by phone and face to face where appropriate. All mental health trusts have established 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent mental health helplines where people with severe needs or experiencing a mental health crisis can access support and advice and resources are available to help people with their own mental health and wellbeing through GOV.UK and Every Mind Matters.

Our Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19 sets out the support available for people who are struggling, our commitments to ensure services are there to support those who need it and the provision in place to keep frontline workers well. The Government has also invested £5 million in national loneliness charities, raising awareness and providing advice through the Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign and a new Tackling Loneliness Network, to support the wellbeing of those struggling with social isolation over the pandemic.


Written Question
Department of Health and Social Care: Written Questions
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Hilary Benn

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Questions 133711, 133713 and 133715 tabled by the hon. Member for Leeds Central on 6 January 2021.

Answer (Edward Argar)

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s questions will be answered as soon as possible.


Written Question
Cancer: Health Services
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Philippa Whitford

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will extend the Cancer Recovery Plan beyond March 2021.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.


Written Question
Shipping: Quarantine
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Emma Lewell-Buck

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions her Department has held with stakeholders on whether seafarers and other maritime key workers will be exempt from hotel quarantine measures relating to the covid-19 pandemic.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Quarantine
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Naz Shah

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department's guidance does not require people who self-isolate for 14 days to take a covid-19 test once that period has concluded.

Answer (Helen Whately)

Decisions on the need to take COVID-19 tests are based on scientific evidence, the stage of the epidemic and the expert clinical judgement of the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers. Current evidence has not identified a need to take a COVID-19 test once a self-isolation period has concluded. We constantly review the data and make changes when we are confident it is appropriate to do so.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Disability
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Diana Johnson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to finding by the Office of National Statistics that 60 per cent of deaths involving covid-19 between 24 January and 20 November 2020 were disabled people, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that disabled people are protected from covid-19 in the future.

Answer (Helen Whately)

The most recent monthly data from Skills for Care indicates that the vacancy rate of directly employed staff in social care has reduced to 6.9% in January 2021 from 8.0% in February 2020.


Written Question
Cancer: Medical Treatments
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Debbie Abrahams

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data NHS trusts are collecting on interruptions to cancer treatment for existing patients during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

Multi-disciplinary teams use patient tracking lists to ensure patients receive timely treatment and NHS England and NHS Improvement use a variety of data sources to calculate the number of patients waiting longer than a certain period for treatments, as well as informing action to reduce these numbers. This data includes published cancer waiting times data on activity, referrals and waiting times, as well as management information which can give a week to week view of activity and the current scale of the waiting list. Any decision to reschedule cancer surgery will be a last resort and patients will be given the dates for their new treatment at the earliest opportunity.


Written Question
Carers: Mental Health
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Gill Furniss

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the mental wellbeing of young carers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Helen Whately)

During the pandemic the Government has provided over £11 million to the See, Hear, Respond programme, to support vulnerable children and young people whose usual support networks have been impacted by the outbreak, including young carers as a target group. The programme provides a range of support, including online counselling and helping children and young people stay connected with school.


Written Question
Cancer: Health Services
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Jim Shannon

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with (a) Royal College of Nursing and (b) other relevant bodies on the use of artificial intelligence technology to identify tumours and speed up the treatment of cancer.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

Artificial intelligence (AI) has an important role to play in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We supported the AI in Health and Care Award, which is part of the NHS AI Lab and run by the Accelerated Access Collaborative in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research. This resulted in a collaboration with a number of partners, including the Royal Colleges, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Public Health England, medical research charities and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the selection and identification of AI technologies for use in the treatment of cancer. Cancer solutions are one of the priority clinical areas for the second round of the AI in Health and Care Award, with winners to be announced in May 2021.


Written Question
Cancer: Health Services
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Felicity Buchan

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the success of the Cancer Recovery Plan for services in London; and what further steps he plans to take to mitigate the disparity in cancer related health outcomes for different communities in London beyond March 2021.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The Cancer Services Recovery Plan, published in December 2020, aims to restore urgent referrals at least to pre-pandemic levels, to reduce the number of people waiting over 62 days from urgent referral and ensure sufficient capacity to meet demand.

The latest data from December shows that in London:

- 30,236 people were referred on the urgent two week wait pathway in December 2020, 4% more than in December 2019;

- 2,690 people started a first treatment for cancer in December, 7% more than in December 2019, and 96.9% of those people did so within 31 days; and

- Of those, 1,502 people started treatment via the urgent pathway, 12% more than in December 2019.

Through the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS Cancer Programme is committed to improve access to treatments for all cancer patients and reduce health inequalities. Cancer Alliances are working with local sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems to reduce variation on patient outcomes and experience.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Disease Control
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Emma Hardy

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) information he holds on and (b) assessment he has made of the effect on the risk of transmission of covid-19 for clinically vulnerable people of those people living in households with children attending school.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The shielding guidance on GOV.UK applies to clinically extremely vulnerable individuals only. Clinically vulnerable people should follow the general advice and regulations set out in the national lockdown guidance that came into effect on 5 January 2021.


Written Question
Aviation: Quarantine
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Maria Eagle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he had with airline and airport representatives prior to the announcement of a policy of hotel based covid-19 quarantine from certain destinations in order to mitigate the effect of that policy on the viability of regional airports.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

Over the few past weeks, Government Ministers and officials have engaged with stakeholders from across the aviation, maritime, hotel and hospitality industries and are finalising plans to implement the new scheme.


Written Question
Prostate Cancer: Coffee
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Jim Shannon

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the (a) Royal College of Nursing and (b) other bodies on the effect of coffee on the risk of prostate cancer.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

We have had no specific discussions.


Written Question
Drugs: Rehabilitation
24 Feb 2021, midnight

Questioner: Kerry McCarthy

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reviewing the Government's approach to allocating funding to inpatient detoxification units in England.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local need and commissioning alcohol and drug treatment services to meet these needs, including inpatient detoxification. The Government has recently announced an additional £80 million to fund drug treatment in 2021/22, a portion of which will be allocated to expanding inpatient detoxification. This treatment intervention has a strong evidence base for inclusion in drug and alcohol treatment programmes. All local areas will be able to benefit from this funding. We expect the expansion of detoxification provision to contribute to a reduction in drug-related deaths in England. This funding is in addition to the money local authorities already spend on substance misuse from the public health grant. Local authority spending through the public health grant will be maintained in the next financial year, meaning local authorities can continue to invest in prevention and essential frontline health services. Health is a devolved matter in the United Kingdom and the devolved administrations have their own policies and programmes in place to address substance misuse.