Baroness Barker Portrait

Baroness Barker

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Became Member: 31st July 1999

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Voluntary Sector)

(since September 2015)

Integration of Primary and Community Care Committee
31st Jan 2023 - 27th Nov 2023
Adult Social Care Committee
19th Jan 2022 - 21st Nov 2022
Charities Bill [HL] Special Public Bill Committee
22nd Jul 2021 - 18th Nov 2021
Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill (Joint)
25th Feb 2019 - 18th Jul 2019
Citizenship and Civic Engagement Committee
29th Jun 2017 - 28th Mar 2018
Select Committee on Charities
25th May 2016 - 26th Mar 2017
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Voluntary Sector and Social Enterprise)
1st Jun 2015 - 7th Sep 2015
Draft Protection of Charities Bill (Joint Committee)
10th Nov 2014 - 3rd Feb 2015
Mental Capacity Act 2005 Committee
16th May 2013 - 25th Feb 2014
Draft Mental Health Bill (Joint Committee)
22nd Jul 2004 - 11th Jul 2005
Draft Mental Incapacity Bill (Joint Committee)
11th Jul 2003 - 17th Nov 2003


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Barker has voted in 517 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

9 Dec 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Barker voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 79 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 295 Noes - 250
8 Dec 2021 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Barker voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 50 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 211 Noes - 82
22 Feb 2022 - Procedure and Privileges Committee - View Vote Context
Baroness Barker voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 29 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 144 Noes - 133
View All Baroness Barker Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(61 debate interactions)
Lord Markham (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
(18 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
(16 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(101 debate contributions)
Home Office
(41 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(31 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Health and Care Act 2022
(6,044 words contributed)
Dormant Assets Act 2022
(5,314 words contributed)
Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021
(2,966 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Baroness Barker's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Barker, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


1 Bill introduced by Baroness Barker


A Bill to decriminalise the consensual termination of a pregnancy which has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and in other prescribed circumstances; and to create a criminal offence for non-consensual termination of pregnancy

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 15th January 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness Barker has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
13 Other Department Questions
11th Mar 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government on which dates since 24 July 2018 the Minister for Women and Equalities contacted officers or board members of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and discussed the Commission’s operational matters; in each case, what operational matters were discussed, and what were the outcomes of those discussions.

As has been the case under successive administrations, the Government does not publish granular details of Ministerial meetings or discussions.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Mar 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions the Minister for Women and Equalities, or her officials or advisers, have had with Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) about the EHRC's investigation of Baroness Falkner of Margravine; and what assessment they have made of the conduct of that investigation, including the EHRC's decisions to suspend and later to terminate it.

As has been the case under successive administrations, the Government does not publish granular details of Ministerial meetings or discussions.

As an executive non departmental public body, the EHRC is operationally independent of Government. Any decisions related to the investigation are a matter for the EHRC to handle under its rules and procedures.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what were the terms of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s standard non disclosure agreement prior to 1 December 2020.

As an executive non-departmental public body that is operationally independent, this is for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to respond. I have attached the response from the Interim Chief Executive below.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the terms of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s standard non-disclosure agreement that have been used since 1 December 2020.

As an executive non-departmental public body that is operationally independent, this is for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to respond. I have attached the response from the Interim Chief Executive below.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many individuals have left the leadership team of the Equality and Human Rights Commission since 1 December 2020; what roles those individuals had upon leaving; on what dates they left; for how long they had occupied the role; how long they had been employed by the Commission; and how many had signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of their departure.

As an executive non-departmental public body that is operationally independent, this is for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to respond. I have attached the response from the Interim Chief Executive below.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many individuals have left the leadership team of the Equality and Human Rights Commission since 1 December 2016, what roles these individuals had upon leaving, on what dates they left, for how long they had occupied the role, how long they had been employed by the Commission, and whether they (1) retired, or (2) resigned.

As an executive non-departmental public body that is operationally independent, this is for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to respond. I have attached the response from the Interim Chief Executive below.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what are (1) the process, (2) the criteria, and (3) the timeframe, for recruiting a permanent chief executive to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and how the process and criteria will differ from previous recruitment rounds for this position.

As an executive non-departmental public body that is operationally independent, this is for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to respond. I have attached the response from the Interim Chief Executive below.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether any former Chief Executive Officers of the Equality and Human Rights Commission are restricted by non-disclosure agreements from providing evidence about their tenure or on other equalities issues to statutory inquiries or investigations by international bodies, for example the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions; and if so, for how long any such restrictions would be binding.

As an executive non-departmental public body that is operationally independent, this is for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to respond. I have attached the response from the Interim Chief Executive below.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the details of each meeting since 1 December 2021 between (1) the Minister for Women and Equalities, and (2) the Equality and Human Rights Commission, regarding possible amendments to the Gender Recognition Act 2004, including but not limited to meetings about the list of approved countries and territories which would be considered valid for applications under section 1(1)(b) of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

In reference to discussions with EHRC with regards to the Countries list SI, I refer back to the previous answer to UIN 5635 on 14th December.

More broadly, as is the case with previous administrations, it is a long-established precedent that granular information about ministerial meetings is not disclosed. Equality Hub Ministers do however, engage regularly with the EHRC.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the statement by the Minister for Women and Equalities on 6 December (HC Deb cols 359–60), which organisations she consulted about amending the list of approved countries and territories which would be considered valid for applications under section 1(1)(b) of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

I refer back to the previous answer to UIN 5635 given on 14th December.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many people have acquired Gender Recognition Certificates using section 1(1)(b) of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 in each year since statistics were first reported in 2009.

All statistics on the number of people acquiring Gender Recognition Certificates through the overseas route are published by HM Courts and Tribunals Service in their quarterly tribunal statistics release found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics.

The information in the table below presents the successful outcomes of GRC applications under section 1(1)(b) of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. Please note the third column in answer to your question.

Outcomes of overseas route applications for a gender recognition certificate [1]

Financial Year

Total

Full GRC Granted

Interim GRC granted 2

Refused

Application Withdrawn

No Fee Paid

Error

Reopened

2009/10

9

6

-

2

1

-

-

..

2010/11

22

9

-

5

7

-

1

..

2011/12

13

8

-

4

1

-

-

..

2012/13

11

7

1

1

1

-

1

..

2013/14

17

12

-

2

3

-

-

..

2014/15

14

11

-

1

2

-

-

..

2015/16

12

7

-

2

3

-

-

..

2016/17

14

12

-

1

-

-

1

..

2017/18

33

23

-

7

1

1

1

..

2018/19

27

15

-

7

3

2

-

..

2019/20

27

23

-

2

2

-

-

..

2020/21

33

27

-

3

1

2

-

..

2021/22

33

30

-

2

-

-

1

-

2022/23

55

46

1

4

-

1

3

-

Source:Tribunal Statistics Quarterly (July to September 2023) Table GRP_3 Applications disposed of by the Gender Recognition Panel, by type of track and outcome, Q1 2009/10 to Q2 2023/24

To Note:

Full GRCs above relate only to those which are issued by the Panel.

[1] Details of which track to apply to can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-gender-recognition-certificate

[2] Interim certificates are issued to successful applicants who meet the criteria for gender recognition but are a) not eligible to remain married following gender recognition because they were married under the law of Northern Ireland, b) eligible but either they and/or spouse have decided not to remain married after issue of full GRC, c) in a protected civil partnership where only one partner has applied for gender recognition (or where both have applied but only one was successful) or d) in a civil partnership but one which is not a protected civil partnership. In these circumstances once the successful applicant has ended their marriage or civil partnership, they can be issued a full GRC.

Key:

.. Not available

- zero

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to place the UK as a leading funder of LGBT+ rights.

As a country with a proud history on LGBT equality, and with one of the world’s most comprehensive and robust legislative frameworks, the UK Government continues to be a leading funder of work to protect LGBT rights.

The Government has provided over £6 million in funding to prevent and respond to bullying in schools, including LGBT-related bullying, of which £1 million was announced this year. The Government continues to invest in relevant healthcare, including over £20 million to deliver the HIV Action Plan with the goal of eradicating new transmissions in the UK by 2030. We are providing up to £360,000 for the new conversion practices support service; have extended funding for the existing LGBT domestic abuse helpline with an uplift of £80,000 for 2022/23; and last year we provided £2 million for specialist ‘by and for’ victim support organisations, including LGBT victim services.

Internationally, in June, we announced a further £2.7 million to support human rights defenders and advance equalities and freedom across the Commonwealth. Since taking over as Chair-In-Office in 2018, the Government has invested over £11 million in the promotion and protection of LGBT rights across the Commonwealth.

6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent progress they have made regarding their review into the treatment of LGBT veterans.

Recently, significant work has been undertaken to identify the appropriate person to lead this important and high profile review. The Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty MP will announce the Chair shortly.

A military liaison officer has been assigned to the Review and the MoD Diversity and Inclusion Directorate is working to support the Review by coordinating pan-Defence engagement.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what military representatives are participating in the review into the treatment of LGBT veterans by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs.

Recently, significant work has been undertaken to identify the appropriate person to lead this important and high profile review. The Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty MP will announce the Chair shortly.

A military liaison officer has been assigned to the Review and the MoD Diversity and Inclusion Directorate is working to support the Review by coordinating pan-Defence engagement.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the (1) dates, (2) names of attendees, and (3) the groups or organisations those attendees represented, of all meetings on or after 1 December 2020 where the draft schools guidance on gender-questioning children, published 19 December 2023, was discussed where both (a) representatives (including Commissioners and officers) of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and (b) representatives (including Ministers and civil servants) of the Department for Education, attended.

The department works closely with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) at both a ministerial and official level. There have been a number of meetings between Ministers and departmental officials and the EHRC since December 2020, which are listed below:

  • The Secretary of State for Education met the noble Lady, Baroness Falkner on 2 May 2023.
  • The noble Lady, Baroness Berridge (in her previous role as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the department) met with EHRC on 10 December 2020.
  • Departmental officials hold regular meetings with officials at the EHRC which cover the guidance and other matters. Meetings since 1 December have taken place on 27 April 2022, 23 June 2022, 29 September 2022, 24 November 2022, 9 February 2023, 27 April 2023 and 17 August 2023.
Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Berridge on 5 May (HL3330), what is meant by schools developing Relationships Education or Relationships and Sex Education “that is sensitive to the ... backgrounds of their pupils”.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. We are making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school-age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school-age pupils and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools from September 2020.

Whilst it is important that the statutory duty to teach the new subject still comes into force in September, given the current circumstances faced by schools, the department will reassure schools that there will be some flexibility. Schools that are prepared to teach the subjects should begin teaching from September 2020. Schools that are not ready to teach the subjects should aim to start preparations as soon as possible and begin teaching no later than the start of the summer term in 2021.

The department is committed to supporting schools in their preparations and is currently developing a new online service featuring innovative training materials, an implementation guide, case studies and support to access resources. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive to all pupils. This will be available in the summer term, with additional content added in the following months. Training will also be available for schools that need additional support. This will complement the online training materials and will be available through existing teaching schools’ regional networks.

As part of the consultation on the draft regulations and statutory guidance, the department included a number of questions on school support and implementation. The responses to the consultation, including from expert organisations and teachers, demonstrated that teachers want to receive training to support the delivery of the new subjects. The government response to the consultation can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/780768/Government_Response_to_RSE_Consultation.pdf.

The department has also been working extensively with teachers, schools and subject experts throughout the development of these subjects, to assess the needs of schools. We have also been working closely with over 1,500 early adopter schools. This has informed our investment in a central package to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice in these subjects.

In all schools, the religious background of all pupils must be taken into account when planning teaching, so that the topics that are included in the core content listed in the statutory guidance are appropriately handled. Schools must ensure they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010. The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf.

Ofsted’s school inspection handbook sets out that inspectors will consider the provision for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education as part of a wider judgment of pupils’ personal development. Routine Ofsted school inspections are currently suspended in order to alleviate pressure on school leaders and staff at this challenging time, and there are no plans to lift the suspension this term. When routine inspections do re-start, inspectors will be sensitive to, and will take account of, the context and circumstances of schools. Further information on this will be made available in advance of any re-introduction of routine inspections.

4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what resources they are providing to schools to teach LGBT-inclusive Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. We are making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school-age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school-age pupils and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools from September 2020.

Whilst it is important that the statutory duty to teach the new subject still comes into force in September, given the current circumstances faced by schools, the department will reassure schools that there will be some flexibility. Schools that are prepared to teach the subjects should begin teaching from September 2020. Schools that are not ready to teach the subjects should aim to start preparations as soon as possible and begin teaching no later than the start of the summer term in 2021.

The department is committed to supporting schools in their preparations and is currently developing a new online service featuring innovative training materials, an implementation guide, case studies and support to access resources. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive to all pupils. This will be available in the summer term, with additional content added in the following months. Training will also be available for schools that need additional support. This will complement the online training materials and will be available through existing teaching schools’ regional networks.

As part of the consultation on the draft regulations and statutory guidance, the department included a number of questions on school support and implementation. The responses to the consultation, including from expert organisations and teachers, demonstrated that teachers want to receive training to support the delivery of the new subjects. The government response to the consultation can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/780768/Government_Response_to_RSE_Consultation.pdf.

The department has also been working extensively with teachers, schools and subject experts throughout the development of these subjects, to assess the needs of schools. We have also been working closely with over 1,500 early adopter schools. This has informed our investment in a central package to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice in these subjects.

In all schools, the religious background of all pupils must be taken into account when planning teaching, so that the topics that are included in the core content listed in the statutory guidance are appropriately handled. Schools must ensure they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010. The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf.

Ofsted’s school inspection handbook sets out that inspectors will consider the provision for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education as part of a wider judgment of pupils’ personal development. Routine Ofsted school inspections are currently suspended in order to alleviate pressure on school leaders and staff at this challenging time, and there are no plans to lift the suspension this term. When routine inspections do re-start, inspectors will be sensitive to, and will take account of, the context and circumstances of schools. Further information on this will be made available in advance of any re-introduction of routine inspections.

4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what resources have been requested by (1) teachers, (2) schools, and (3) teaching unions, to teach statutory Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education from September.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. We are making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school-age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school-age pupils and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools from September 2020.

Whilst it is important that the statutory duty to teach the new subject still comes into force in September, given the current circumstances faced by schools, the department will reassure schools that there will be some flexibility. Schools that are prepared to teach the subjects should begin teaching from September 2020. Schools that are not ready to teach the subjects should aim to start preparations as soon as possible and begin teaching no later than the start of the summer term in 2021.

The department is committed to supporting schools in their preparations and is currently developing a new online service featuring innovative training materials, an implementation guide, case studies and support to access resources. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive to all pupils. This will be available in the summer term, with additional content added in the following months. Training will also be available for schools that need additional support. This will complement the online training materials and will be available through existing teaching schools’ regional networks.

As part of the consultation on the draft regulations and statutory guidance, the department included a number of questions on school support and implementation. The responses to the consultation, including from expert organisations and teachers, demonstrated that teachers want to receive training to support the delivery of the new subjects. The government response to the consultation can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/780768/Government_Response_to_RSE_Consultation.pdf.

The department has also been working extensively with teachers, schools and subject experts throughout the development of these subjects, to assess the needs of schools. We have also been working closely with over 1,500 early adopter schools. This has informed our investment in a central package to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice in these subjects.

In all schools, the religious background of all pupils must be taken into account when planning teaching, so that the topics that are included in the core content listed in the statutory guidance are appropriately handled. Schools must ensure they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010. The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf.

Ofsted’s school inspection handbook sets out that inspectors will consider the provision for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education as part of a wider judgment of pupils’ personal development. Routine Ofsted school inspections are currently suspended in order to alleviate pressure on school leaders and staff at this challenging time, and there are no plans to lift the suspension this term. When routine inspections do re-start, inspectors will be sensitive to, and will take account of, the context and circumstances of schools. Further information on this will be made available in advance of any re-introduction of routine inspections.

4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what role Ofsted will play in ensuring that LGBT-inclusive statutory Relationships Education or Relationships and Sex Education is taught in all schools from September.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. We are making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school-age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school-age pupils and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools from September 2020.

Whilst it is important that the statutory duty to teach the new subject still comes into force in September, given the current circumstances faced by schools, the department will reassure schools that there will be some flexibility. Schools that are prepared to teach the subjects should begin teaching from September 2020. Schools that are not ready to teach the subjects should aim to start preparations as soon as possible and begin teaching no later than the start of the summer term in 2021.

The department is committed to supporting schools in their preparations and is currently developing a new online service featuring innovative training materials, an implementation guide, case studies and support to access resources. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive to all pupils. This will be available in the summer term, with additional content added in the following months. Training will also be available for schools that need additional support. This will complement the online training materials and will be available through existing teaching schools’ regional networks.

As part of the consultation on the draft regulations and statutory guidance, the department included a number of questions on school support and implementation. The responses to the consultation, including from expert organisations and teachers, demonstrated that teachers want to receive training to support the delivery of the new subjects. The government response to the consultation can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/780768/Government_Response_to_RSE_Consultation.pdf.

The department has also been working extensively with teachers, schools and subject experts throughout the development of these subjects, to assess the needs of schools. We have also been working closely with over 1,500 early adopter schools. This has informed our investment in a central package to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice in these subjects.

In all schools, the religious background of all pupils must be taken into account when planning teaching, so that the topics that are included in the core content listed in the statutory guidance are appropriately handled. Schools must ensure they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010. The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf.

Ofsted’s school inspection handbook sets out that inspectors will consider the provision for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education as part of a wider judgment of pupils’ personal development. Routine Ofsted school inspections are currently suspended in order to alleviate pressure on school leaders and staff at this challenging time, and there are no plans to lift the suspension this term. When routine inspections do re-start, inspectors will be sensitive to, and will take account of, the context and circumstances of schools. Further information on this will be made available in advance of any re-introduction of routine inspections.

20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will provide a detailed breakdown of the £6 million committed expenditure on Relationships and Sex Education in 2019–20.

The new subjects of relationships education (for primary age pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary age pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) will become compulsory in September 2020. Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their sex and relationship education provision or personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The department is committed to supporting teachers to teach the new subjects with confidence, and to a high quality which is why we are developing a central programme of support for schools for these subjects, which will be available to all teachers from spring 2020.

Our programme of support will offer opportunities for teachers to improve subject knowledge, build confidence and access classroom resources. We will ensure that all of the department’s materials supporting implementation of the new subjects are inclusive, and recognise fully the need to disseminate the good practice in teaching about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships that is seen in large numbers of our schools as well as the importance of reflecting the needs of pupils with a special educational need or disability when planning the curriculum for these subjects. Our budget this year of up to £6 million for implementing the new subjects will ensure that this support for teachers will be accessed through a new online service and will include an implementation guide. This will accompany the statutory guidance, case studies from other schools, access to quality assured resources and innovative materials to support staff training.

Training for teachers will also be available through existing regional networks, and we are working with expert organisations, schools and teachers to develop this package. The department is also working with ‘early adopter schools’, some of whom have chosen to start teaching some or all of the new content early, in order to support their journey, learn lessons and share good practice. Last year we held 4 national conferences for those schools who are ‘early adopter schools’.

20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how their forthcoming Relationships Education implementation guide will (1) clarify the importance of Relationships and Sex Education within Relationships Education, and (2) support schools to develop inclusive practice in this regard.

The new subjects of relationships education (for primary age pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary age pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) will become compulsory in September 2020. Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their sex and relationship education provision or personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The department is committed to supporting teachers to teach the new subjects with confidence, and to a high quality which is why we are developing a central programme of support for schools for these subjects, which will be available to all teachers from spring 2020.

Our programme of support will offer opportunities for teachers to improve subject knowledge, build confidence and access classroom resources. We will ensure that all of the department’s materials supporting implementation of the new subjects are inclusive, and recognise fully the need to disseminate the good practice in teaching about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships that is seen in large numbers of our schools as well as the importance of reflecting the needs of pupils with a special educational need or disability when planning the curriculum for these subjects. Our budget this year of up to £6 million for implementing the new subjects will ensure that this support for teachers will be accessed through a new online service and will include an implementation guide. This will accompany the statutory guidance, case studies from other schools, access to quality assured resources and innovative materials to support staff training.

Training for teachers will also be available through existing regional networks, and we are working with expert organisations, schools and teachers to develop this package. The department is also working with ‘early adopter schools’, some of whom have chosen to start teaching some or all of the new content early, in order to support their journey, learn lessons and share good practice. Last year we held 4 national conferences for those schools who are ‘early adopter schools’.

8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to subsidise non-standard cycles for disabled people in line with existing subsidies for accessible motor vehicles.

It is essential that as wide a range of people as possible, have the opportunity to take up cycling, in all its forms. The Government is aware that the costs of non-standard cycles can be a barrier for many disabled people. In July 2020 the Prime Minister launched ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking in England, including a commitment to increasing access to e-cycles (including adapted e-cycles) by setting up a new national e-cycle support programme, to help those who are older, have to travel longer distances or are less able to take up pedal cycling. Adapted and non-standard cycles can already be hired through the Cycle to Work scheme, which means that disabled people in employment are able to access them at a significant discount. The Department will keep under review the case for further support for adapted and non-standard bicycles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what proportion of those requesting an HIV testing kit during National HIV Testing Week tested positive in each of the years 2020 to 2023 inclusive.

During the period between 1 and 7 February 2021, 19,342 HIV testing kits were dispatched, and 84 were reactive. The following table shows, using the data currently available, the number of HIV testing kits that were ordered and dispatched for National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) campaigns between 2019/20 and 2022/23:

England Total

Ordered kits

Dispatched kits

HIV reactive

HIV reactivity

2019/20

19,863

19,496

81

0.8%

2020/21

30,612

30,876

135

0.7%

2021/22

24,409

23,520

75

0.6%

2022/23

22,408

21,626

79

0.4%

Notes:

  1. The campaign period is approximately one month long with NHTW being the period when key activity occurs. The table also shows the number of HIV reactive tests for the same period.
  2. A reactive result means that the test has reacted with something in the blood that could be, but is not necessarily, the HIV virus or antibodies to the HIV virus. A reactive result is not the same as a positive result. Further confirmatory tests will need to be taken at a clinic.
  3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019/20, NHTW was moved from November to February.
  4. The number of kits dispatched may be higher than kits ordered due to a mixture of repeat kits being dispatched (this could be where a kit is damaged or lost in the post or a person needs additional tests) and a proportion of duplicate orders.

NHTW focuses on communities disproportionately affected by HIV though tests are available to be ordered by anyone in England. We have some data available on the demographic profile of people requesting an HIV testing kit during NHTW, with 44% of HIV testing kit requests in 2023 coming from gay and bisexual men who have sex with men.

Black African people’s uptake of testing kits has tripled since 2021, accounting for 10% of orders made. During NHTW in 2023, self-testing kits were made available for the first time and were particularly popular amongst black African groups. The percentage of heterosexual men who requested a testing kit has doubled since 2021, from 11% to 22% in 2023 and the percentage of heterosexual women has also steadily increased year on year.

We continue working closely together with our key partners in the HIV Prevention Programme monitoring and evaluating the results of the campaign to ensure we continue progressing towards our 2030 ambitions.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the demographic profile of requesting an HIV testing kit during National HIV Testing Week in each of the years 2020 to 2023 inclusive.

During the period between 1 and 7 February 2021, 19,342 HIV testing kits were dispatched, and 84 were reactive. The following table shows, using the data currently available, the number of HIV testing kits that were ordered and dispatched for National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) campaigns between 2019/20 and 2022/23:

England Total

Ordered kits

Dispatched kits

HIV reactive

HIV reactivity

2019/20

19,863

19,496

81

0.8%

2020/21

30,612

30,876

135

0.7%

2021/22

24,409

23,520

75

0.6%

2022/23

22,408

21,626

79

0.4%

Notes:

  1. The campaign period is approximately one month long with NHTW being the period when key activity occurs. The table also shows the number of HIV reactive tests for the same period.
  2. A reactive result means that the test has reacted with something in the blood that could be, but is not necessarily, the HIV virus or antibodies to the HIV virus. A reactive result is not the same as a positive result. Further confirmatory tests will need to be taken at a clinic.
  3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019/20, NHTW was moved from November to February.
  4. The number of kits dispatched may be higher than kits ordered due to a mixture of repeat kits being dispatched (this could be where a kit is damaged or lost in the post or a person needs additional tests) and a proportion of duplicate orders.

NHTW focuses on communities disproportionately affected by HIV though tests are available to be ordered by anyone in England. We have some data available on the demographic profile of people requesting an HIV testing kit during NHTW, with 44% of HIV testing kit requests in 2023 coming from gay and bisexual men who have sex with men.

Black African people’s uptake of testing kits has tripled since 2021, accounting for 10% of orders made. During NHTW in 2023, self-testing kits were made available for the first time and were particularly popular amongst black African groups. The percentage of heterosexual men who requested a testing kit has doubled since 2021, from 11% to 22% in 2023 and the percentage of heterosexual women has also steadily increased year on year.

We continue working closely together with our key partners in the HIV Prevention Programme monitoring and evaluating the results of the campaign to ensure we continue progressing towards our 2030 ambitions.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many HIV testing kits were supplied between 1 and 7 February 2021, and of those, how many positive HIV tests were recorded.

During the period between 1 and 7 February 2021, 19,342 HIV testing kits were dispatched, and 84 were reactive. The following table shows, using the data currently available, the number of HIV testing kits that were ordered and dispatched for National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) campaigns between 2019/20 and 2022/23:

England Total

Ordered kits

Dispatched kits

HIV reactive

HIV reactivity

2019/20

19,863

19,496

81

0.8%

2020/21

30,612

30,876

135

0.7%

2021/22

24,409

23,520

75

0.6%

2022/23

22,408

21,626

79

0.4%

Notes:

  1. The campaign period is approximately one month long with NHTW being the period when key activity occurs. The table also shows the number of HIV reactive tests for the same period.
  2. A reactive result means that the test has reacted with something in the blood that could be, but is not necessarily, the HIV virus or antibodies to the HIV virus. A reactive result is not the same as a positive result. Further confirmatory tests will need to be taken at a clinic.
  3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019/20, NHTW was moved from November to February.
  4. The number of kits dispatched may be higher than kits ordered due to a mixture of repeat kits being dispatched (this could be where a kit is damaged or lost in the post or a person needs additional tests) and a proportion of duplicate orders.

NHTW focuses on communities disproportionately affected by HIV though tests are available to be ordered by anyone in England. We have some data available on the demographic profile of people requesting an HIV testing kit during NHTW, with 44% of HIV testing kit requests in 2023 coming from gay and bisexual men who have sex with men.

Black African people’s uptake of testing kits has tripled since 2021, accounting for 10% of orders made. During NHTW in 2023, self-testing kits were made available for the first time and were particularly popular amongst black African groups. The percentage of heterosexual men who requested a testing kit has doubled since 2021, from 11% to 22% in 2023 and the percentage of heterosexual women has also steadily increased year on year.

We continue working closely together with our key partners in the HIV Prevention Programme monitoring and evaluating the results of the campaign to ensure we continue progressing towards our 2030 ambitions.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the underlying factors that contribute to higher HIV transmission rates among marginalised groups of women, such as sex workers, transgender women, and immigrants.

We remain committed to improving sexual and reproductive health in England, including for women from all groups.

The HIV Action Plan is the cornerstone of our approach in England to drive forward progress and achieve our goal to end new HIV transmissions, AIDS and HIV-related deaths within England by 2030. A key principle of our approach is to ensure that all populations benefit equally from improvements made in HIV outcomes, including women.

As part of the HIV Action Plan, the Department is investing over £3.5 million from 2021-2024 to deliver the National HIV Prevention Programme, a nationally co-ordinated programme of HIV prevention work that is designed to complement locally commissioned prevention activities in areas of high HIV prevalence and for communities at risk of HIV transmission, with a particular focus on black African women. HIV Prevention England (HPE) aims to improve knowledge and understanding of HIV transmission and reduce stigma within affected communities through the delivery of public campaigns such as National HIV Testing Week, and evidence-based HIV prevention interventions in partnership with local organisations and charities, including women-led organisations.

HPE works with a wide range of models and their network of influencers. As part of HPE campaigns, a range of people share their stories and experiences on HIV, STIs and sexual health this includes women and other people who are likely to be recognisable to specific demographics.

Since 2013, the Government has mandated local authorities in England to commission comprehensive open access to most sexual health services, including free and confidential HIV testing, and provision of the HIV prevention drug PrEP through the Public Health Grant, funded at £3.4 billion overall in 2022/23. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need and to commission the service lines that best suit their population.

In 2022, we published the Women’s Health Strategy for England setting out our 10-year ambitions and actions to improve health for women and girls.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that women have control over their sexual and reproductive health decisions, and are empowered to negotiate condom use, access PrEP, and make informed choices to prevent HIV transmission.

We remain committed to improving sexual and reproductive health in England, including for women from all groups.

The HIV Action Plan is the cornerstone of our approach in England to drive forward progress and achieve our goal to end new HIV transmissions, AIDS and HIV-related deaths within England by 2030. A key principle of our approach is to ensure that all populations benefit equally from improvements made in HIV outcomes, including women.

As part of the HIV Action Plan, the Department is investing over £3.5 million from 2021-2024 to deliver the National HIV Prevention Programme, a nationally co-ordinated programme of HIV prevention work that is designed to complement locally commissioned prevention activities in areas of high HIV prevalence and for communities at risk of HIV transmission, with a particular focus on black African women. HIV Prevention England (HPE) aims to improve knowledge and understanding of HIV transmission and reduce stigma within affected communities through the delivery of public campaigns such as National HIV Testing Week, and evidence-based HIV prevention interventions in partnership with local organisations and charities, including women-led organisations.

HPE works with a wide range of models and their network of influencers. As part of HPE campaigns, a range of people share their stories and experiences on HIV, STIs and sexual health this includes women and other people who are likely to be recognisable to specific demographics.

Since 2013, the Government has mandated local authorities in England to commission comprehensive open access to most sexual health services, including free and confidential HIV testing, and provision of the HIV prevention drug PrEP through the Public Health Grant, funded at £3.4 billion overall in 2022/23. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need and to commission the service lines that best suit their population.

In 2022, we published the Women’s Health Strategy for England setting out our 10-year ambitions and actions to improve health for women and girls.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that women have control over their sexual and reproductive health decisions through empowering them to (1) negotiate condom use, (2) access pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and (3) make informed choices to prevent HIV transmission.

The HIV Action Plan is the cornerstone of our approach in England to drive forward progress and achieve our goal to end new HIV transmissions, AIDS and HIV-related deaths within England by 2030. A key principle of our approach is to ensure that all underserved populations benefit equally from improvements made in HIV outcomes, including marginalised women. This includes scaling up HIV testing in targeted, high-risk populations and increasing equitable access to and use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Initial analysis recently published by the UK Health Security Agency show that HIV opt-out testing in emergency departments in local authority areas with extremely high HIV prevalence has been particularly successful at reaching women with HIV testing. The HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group is developing a roadmap to help guide our efforts to improve equitable access, uptake and use of PrEP to meet the needs of key populations at significant risk of HIV, including heterosexual and transgender women, which is expected to be made available by the end of the year.

HIV Prevention England delivers a nationally co-ordinated programme of HIV prevention work designed to complement locally commissioned HIV prevention in areas with high HIV prevalence and for communities at risk of HIV transmission, with a particular focus on women, and includes the promotion of evidence-based HIV prevention interventions such as condom use.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to provide LGBTQ+ relevant mental health services.

We remain committed to the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan, investing at least £2.3 billion of extra funding a year in expanding and transforming mental health services in England by March 2024. This extra funding will enable an extra two million people, including those who identify as LGBT, to be treated by National Health Service mental health services by March 2024.

The funding includes £110 million to expand adult mental health services including NHS Talking Therapies (formerly known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies). In 2021/22, there were 1.81 million referrals to talking therapies in England, compared to 1.46 million in 2020/21. 1.24 million referrals started a course of treatment within this year.

We also provided an additional £500 million in 2021/22 to accelerate our expansion plans to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need, and invest in the NHS workforce.

The Advancing Mental Health Equalities strategy published by NHS England in 2020 helps set expectations for providers and commissioners to identify opportunities and drive forwards improvements to address inequalities in access to and experience of mental health services. The strategy supports local systems to tailor services to meet the needs of their local populations, including LGBTQ+ people. This includes improvements to the quality and use of data and information, for example the Equality Data Quality Guidance to help improve the collection of demographic data in the Mental Health Services Dataset, and a range of initiatives to improve diversity and representation in the mental health workforce.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how the Major Conditions Strategy will promote the importance of integrated physical and mental health treatment for people with long-term conditions such as diabetes and Parkinson's Disease.

The Major Conditions Strategy will tackle groups of conditions that contribute most to morbidity and mortality across the population in England including cancers, cardiovascular disease including stroke and diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, dementia, mental ill health and musculoskeletal conditions.

Dementia, rather than other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, has been identified because it is the leading cause of death in women and the second biggest cause of death for men.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what research they are undertaking into women who are living with HIV and are experiencing the menopause.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). NIHR funded the Menopoz Study which completed in 2018 and aimed to explore the impact of the menopause on HIV-positive women's wellbeing and engagement with HIV care in the UK.

NIHR does not currently fund any specific research into women who are living with HIV and are experiencing the menopause but welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made based on the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that HIV research (1) addresses specific knowledge gaps around HIV and women, and (2) supports the full participation and meaningful involvement of women.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). Since 2017/18, NIHR has spent £35,679,615 on HIV research and support thereof. There are no current plans to assess the HIV portfolio specifically, but NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including HIV.

NIHR actively and openly support patient and public involvement and engagement in research. Applicants are required to provide additional guidance to ensure that there is an explanation of the relevance and importance of the study from the patient/public perspective. In Autumn 2022, the NIHR published the EDI Strategy 2022-2027, available in an online-only format, which sets out how NIHR will become a more inclusive funder of research and widen access to participation. The strategy refers to guidance produced from the NIHR INCLUDE project, also available in an online-only format, which aims to improve the inclusion of under-served groups, for example those with lower representation in research and clinical trials than would be expected, such as women.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to achieve gender parity in their HIV response, to ensure there is equitable (1) investment, (2) priority, and (3) attention, to women in HIV (a) prevention, (b) research, (c) data, and (d) services, in the UK.

Ensuring everyone benefits equally from HIV developments is the cornerstone of our approach in England to achieve our ambitions to end new HIV transmissions, AIDS- and HIV-related deaths by 2030, as set out in our HIV Action Plan, available in an online-only format.

As part of the Plan, NHS England is investing £20 million from 2022-2025 to support the expansion of opt-out HIV testing in emergency departments in local authority areas with extremely high prevalence of HIV. We are also investing more than £3.5 million from 2021-2024 to deliver the National HIV Prevention Programme which supports communities who are disproportionately affected by HIV, including black African heterosexual women.

The UK Health Security Agency published a HIV Action Plan monitoring and evaluation report in 2022, which tracks progress across priority actions and identifies further efforts needed across the system to improve equitable access to HIV services for key population groups, including women. We continue working together with our delivery partners to ensure equity in prevention, treatment, and HIV care, and we are developing a plan to improve equitable access to the HIV prevention drug PrEP for key groups, including women.

Local authorities in England are responsible for commissioning comprehensive open access to most sexual and reproductive health services, including HIV prevention, testing and access to PrEP, through the Public Health Grant, funded at £3.5 billion in 2023-24.  It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need and to commission the service lines that best suit their population.

The Department also funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), which recently published an equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, setting out how NIHR will become a more inclusive funder of research and widen access to participation, including for women.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will publish their Sexual Health Action Plan.

We remain committed to improving sexual and reproductive health, including reducing rates of syphilis, in England and are considering the need for further government plans. In 2021, we published our policy paper Towards Zero - An action plan towards ending HIV transmission, AIDS and HIV-related deaths in England - 2022 to 2025, available in an online-only format, which sets out the actions that we are taking to move towards ending HIV transmissions and HIV and AIDS related deaths within England by 2030. In August 2022 we also published the Women’s Health Strategy for England which sets out our 10-year ambitions and actions we are taking to improve health for women and girls including reproductive health.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the correlation between reductions in public health funding and increases in rates of (1) syphilis, and (2) gonorrhoea.

We have not made a specific assessment of a correlation between the Government’s public health funding and rates of syphilis and gonorrhoea in England.

Local government is responsible for commissioning sexual health services through the public health grant, and the Government allocated more than £3 billion for the public health grant in 2022/23. We will announce the 2023/24 public health grant allocations to local authorities in due course.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether their sexual health strategy will set aspirations to (1) reduce the R-rate of, and (2) set reduction plans for, syphilis.

We remain committed to improving sexual and reproductive health, including reducing rates of syphilis, in England and are considering the need for further government plans. In 2021, we published our policy paper Towards Zero - An action plan towards ending HIV transmission, AIDS and HIV-related deaths in England - 2022 to 2025, available in an online-only format, which sets out the actions that we are taking to move towards ending HIV transmissions and HIV and AIDS related deaths within England by 2030. In August 2022 we also published the Women’s Health Strategy for England which sets out our 10-year ambitions and actions we are taking to improve health for women and girls including reproductive health.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will publish their Syphilis Action Plan.

We remain committed to improving sexual and reproductive health, including reducing rates of syphilis, in England and are considering the need for further government plans. In 2021, we published our policy paper Towards Zero - An action plan towards ending HIV transmission, AIDS and HIV-related deaths in England - 2022 to 2025, available in an online-only format, which sets out the actions that we are taking to move towards ending HIV transmissions and HIV and AIDS related deaths within England by 2030. In August 2022 we also published the Women’s Health Strategy for England which sets out our 10-year ambitions and actions we are taking to improve health for women and girls including reproductive health.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase the size of the workforce providing prevention services within Sexual Health Services.

We are considering actions to ensure that the sexual health workforce has the required capacity and skills to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of the population in multiple settings. Further information will be available in due course.

Local authorities in England are responsible for commissioning comprehensive, open access sexual health services, and it is for them to decide on commissioning arrangements, including workforce skills mix and size, based on an assessment of local need for sexual and reproductive health services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a multi-disciplinary workforce in Sexual Health Services.

We are considering actions to ensure that the sexual health workforce has the required capacity and skills to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of the population in multiple settings. Further information will be available in due course.

Local authorities in England are responsible for commissioning comprehensive, open access sexual health services, and it is for them to decide on commissioning arrangements, including workforce skills mix and size, based on an assessment of local need for sexual and reproductive health services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have for the Equalities Office and Department of Health and Social Care to lead a cross-government effort to address the remaining areas of HIV-related discrimination.

The Department continues to collaborate with cross-Government partners, NHS England and the voluntary and community sector to address HIV-related discrimination and reducing stigma. The Department and the UK Health Security Agency are monitoring experiences of stigma among people living with HIV through the Positive Voices survey, which will be available in 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the HIV Action Plan being used to monitor, assess and benchmark health-related quality of life, uses a measurement that is (1) co-produced, and (2) agreed, with the HIV community.

The UK Health Security Agency published the online only ‘HIV Action Plan monitoring and evaluation framework’ on 1 December 2022. This monitors the progress made towards the Plan’s ambitions, which includes improving quality of life and reducing stigma.

The framework states that further work will be undertaken with the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group and with professional groups, the HIV community and academic partners to develop indicators to monitor quality of life for those living with HIV. It is anticipated that these indicators will be aligned with UNAIDS’ 2025 AIDS Targets, which include an assessment of punitive laws and policies and targets of less than 10% of people living with HIV experiencing stigma and discrimination and less than 10% experiencing gender inequality and violence.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to expand monitoring efforts to understand the reality of HIV as a life-long condition.

The UK Health Security Agency published the online only ‘HIV Action Plan monitoring and evaluation framework’ on 1 December 2022. This monitors the progress made towards the Plan’s ambitions, which includes improving quality of life and reducing stigma.

The framework states that further work will be undertaken with the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group and with professional groups, the HIV community and academic partners to develop indicators to monitor quality of life for those living with HIV. It is anticipated that these indicators will be aligned with UNAIDS’ 2025 AIDS Targets, which include an assessment of punitive laws and policies and targets of less than 10% of people living with HIV experiencing stigma and discrimination and less than 10% experiencing gender inequality and violence.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to tailor care models to provide (1) psychosocial, and (2) practical, support to help people to prepare to live with HIV in the long-term.

We are currently establishing a workforce task and finish group to report to the HIV Action Plan Steering Group. The task and finish group will be comprised of delivery partners, such as the voluntary and community sector and NHS England and will explore how to improve the care provided, including the transition between young and adult HIV care and treatment services and coordinating care in multiple clinical specialties.

NHS England is also reviewing the national service specification for adult HIV services, which sets out the standards of care for providers, including the availability of community, psychological and psychosocial support for patients.

Specialised HIV inpatient and outpatient services have been identified as areas for greater integrated leadership by NHS England and integrated care boards (ICBs). Integrating the commissioning of HIV treatment services with ICBs will allow local systems to simplify and strengthen HIV care pathways with other services through effective local partnerships, including psychosocial support and mental health services, for a more holistic approach to care.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to create a comprehensive strategy for reducing HIV stigma.

A workforce task and finish group will be established via the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group to consider enhanced training for the health and care workforce to address the stigma associated with HIV and to improve knowledge and understanding of transmission and prevention.

In addition, we provided approximately £4 million for a national HIV prevention programme from 2021 to 2024 delivered by Terrence Higgins Trust, which aims to reduce levels of HIV-related stigma within affected communities. The UK Health Security Agency continues to monitor experiences of stigma in those living with HIV through the Positive Voices survey, which will be available in 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to equip HIV community networks with the resources needed to establish programmes, including peer-to-peer networks, to boost the supportive ecosystem that people living with HIV need to thrive.

We are currently exploring models of peer support networks in order to share the effectiveness of voluntary sector-led support networks, including with commissioners and voluntary groups. An HIV Action Plan Community Advisory Group has been established, which includes representatives of the voluntary and community sector, including those living with HIV. The Group will report to the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group to provide advice and expertise.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that the next round of the Sexual Health, Reproductive Health and HIV Innovation Fund focuses on (1) tackling inequalities, and (2) communities who have not seen the same improvement in HIV outcomes.

In December 2021, we announced that an independent review of the impact of the Sexual Health, Reproductive Health and HIV Innovation Fund had been commissioned. The review has now been completed and we are currently considering its findings to inform further steps in 2022. Decisions on future investment in the Fund will be made in due course. In 2021/22, £300,000 was allocated to the Innovation Fund.

The Fund aims to support projects which address inequalities and focus on those with poor sexual and reproductive health and HIV outcomes. Bids for funding have previously been assessed on sustainability and how learning will be shared across the sector, including into national services. A library of resources and learning from projects supported by previous Funds is being compiled and will be published later this year.

12th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was allocated to the Sexual Health, Reproductive Health and HIV Innovation Fund in the financial years (1) 2021–22, and (2) 2022–23.

In December 2021, we announced that an independent review of the impact of the Sexual Health, Reproductive Health and HIV Innovation Fund had been commissioned. The review has now been completed and we are currently considering its findings to inform further steps in 2022. Decisions on future investment in the Fund will be made in due course. In 2021/22, £300,000 was allocated to the Innovation Fund.

The Fund aims to support projects which address inequalities and focus on those with poor sexual and reproductive health and HIV outcomes. Bids for funding have previously been assessed on sustainability and how learning will be shared across the sector, including into national services. A library of resources and learning from projects supported by previous Funds is being compiled and will be published later this year.