Baroness Gale Portrait

Baroness Gale

Labour - Life peer

2 APPG memberships (as of 2 Jun 2021)
Parkinson's, Vegetarianism and Veganism
3 Former APPG memberships
Children in Wales, Sex Equality, Taiwan
Shadow Spokesperson (Equalities and Women's Issues)
9th Jan 2017 - 15th Apr 2020
Lord Speaker's Advisory Panel on Works of Art
25th Jan 2017 - 23rd Oct 2019
Select Committee on Charities
25th May 2016 - 26th Mar 2017
Works of Art Committee (Lords)
16th May 2013 - 31st Aug 2016
Opposition Whip (Lords)
8th Oct 2010 - 1st Oct 2013
Refreshment Committee (Lords)
20th Jun 2012 - 12th Jun 2013
Works of Art Committee (Lords)
25th Nov 2009 - 15th May 2012
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
8th Dec 2003 - 30th Oct 2007
Information Committee (Lords)
25th Nov 2002 - 18th Nov 2004


Scheduled Event
Wednesday 14th July 2021
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Investigating the nature of domestic abuse of older people and what support the government offer to older victims
View calendar
Division Votes
Thursday 10th June 2021
Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 122 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 260 Noes - 229
Speeches
Tuesday 22nd June 2021
End-to-end Rape Review

My Peers, while I welcome the publication of this rape review and the Government’s apology for the failings on rape—and …

Written Answers
Monday 21st June 2021
Care Homes: Fees and Charges
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the rationale for the rule that normally only third parties can pay top-up …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 29th June 2016
Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act 2017
A Bill to make provision in connection with the ratification by the United Kingdom of the Council of Europe Convention …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness Gale has voted in 133 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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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
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(21 debate interactions)
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(5 debate interactions)
Lord Keen of Elie (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Home Office
(16 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(7 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(7 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(5 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Gale's debates

Commons initiatives

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

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Baroness Gale has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness Gale has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Baroness Gale


A Bill to make provision in connection with the ratification by the United Kingdom of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention).

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 27th April 2017 and was enacted into law.

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


39 Written Questions in the current parliament

(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
1 Other Department Questions
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans there are to replace fur used in House of Lords robes with a fur substitute.

Members may use their own robes for ceremonial occasions or hire them from outside suppliers who offer a choice of real or artificial fur. The House has a small stock of robes which members can borrow for occasions such as introduction and prorogation ceremonies. These robes have been gifted to the House over many years by former members and there is a choice of real or artificial fur. The House has no plans to purchase new robes, nor to replace any real fur in this existing stock.

24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to legislate for a ban on the sale of fur after the end of the transition period with the EU on 1 January 2021.

The Government shares the British public’s high regard for animal welfare. There are restrictions on some skin and fur products which may never be legally imported into the UK. These include fur from cats and dogs and seal skins and products from commercial hunts. Fur farming has been banned in England and Wales since 2000 (2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

In addition, we do not allow imports of fur from wild animals caught using methods which are non-compliant with international humane trapping standards. Where fur is from an endangered species protected through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), its import or trade will be subject to CITES controls.

During the transition period it is not possible to introduce restrictions relating to the fur trade. Once our future relationship with the EU has been established there will be an opportunity for the Government to consider further the steps it could take in relation to fur sales.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to appoint a commissioner for older people in England.

There are no plans to appoint a Commissioner for older people in England.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of women’s organisations the Government Equalities Office regularly engages with; and by what methods that Office engages with those women’s organisations.

The Government Equalities Office has engaged with more than 25 women’s organisations by phone, email, online and in person in 2020. GEO regularly meets with relevant umbrella organisations including, most recently, Equally Ours, the UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance, National Alliance of Women's Organisations and Business in the Community to discuss the gendered impacts of COVID-19 to feed into policy advice. GEO is working to ensure the government can hear and be influenced by a wide range of women’s voices.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when a decision will be made on whether the current suspension of face-to-face assessments for welfare benefits will be extended, and how this will be communicated.

Our priority throughout this health emergency continues to be to protect the public and staff, while ensuring people get the benefits they are entitled to quickly and safely. Reviews and reassessments remain suspended while we review what activity we can gradually start reintroducing in line with the latest public health advice. We will confirm next steps as soon as possible.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports of shortages of tubular steel, what arrangements they plan to put in place to ensure that the NHS has enough supplies of rehabilitation equipment including (1) walking frames, (2) four-wheeled walkers, and (3) rollators.

Walking frames, four-wheeled walkers and rollators are largely made of tubular aluminium for lightweight purposes and therefore no impact of the reported steel shortages is expected.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase the capital thresholds for social care.

The reform of social care and its funding arrangements are complex areas and a range of options for how to deliver on this commitment are being considered. We will bring forward proposals in 2021.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the rationale for the rule that normally only third parties can pay top-up fees for care and not the individuals using the care homes themselves where they are financially able.

Anyone who has assets above the upper capital limit of £23,250 is a self-funder and is expected to meet the full cost of their care. Top-up fees are generally used when someone has assets below £23,250 and falls within the means test.

Payment of top-up fees must be sustainable. Limiting the circumstances in which a first party top-up is allowed ensures those with lower wealth are protected from the negative consequences of no longer being able to afford the top-up, such as having to move to an alternative care home.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
NHS
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the next stage of the NHS People Plan will be published.

In 2021-22 our focus is on supporting the immediate recovery of National Health Service staff and services. We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Health Education England and systems and employers to determine our future workforce and people priorities. This will feed into the development of a longer term strategy, overseen by the National People Board.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of the NHS neurological workforce to meet the care needs of those living with neurological conditions.

No assessment has been made. It is the responsibility of individual National Health Service trusts to have staffing arrangements in place that deliver safe and effective care.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the £500 million for mental health services announced in the Spending Review 2020, published on 25 November 2020, will be allocated.

On 5 March, we announced £79 million of the funding from the Spending Review that will be used to significantly expand children’s mental health services.

Further details about how the remainder of the funding will be allocated will be given in due course.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many services have been commissioned through Improving Access to Psychological Therapies for People with Long-term Physical Health Conditions for people with (1) Parkinson's, and (2) neurological conditions.

No Improving Access to Psychological Therapies for Long Term Condition services have been commissioned specifically for people with Parkinson’s or neurological conditions.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the outcome of the pilot for family members to be tested regularly to enable safer care home visits in Cornwall, Hampshire and Devon, carried out in November.

A full pilot evaluation report will be published shortly.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether clinical commissioning groups should follow (1) the National framework for NHS continuing healthcare and NHS-funded nursing care guidance, or (2) the Coronavirus (COVID-19): hospital discharge service requirements guidance, when assessing people with a new or enhanced care and support package; and if the latter, whether funding will last for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period.

During the COVID-19 emergency period, National Health Service Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and Funded Nursing Care (FNC) assessments have not been required due to changes made under section 14 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements were published on 17 March 2020 to support the safe and timely discharge of patients who no longer need acute care. A copy is attached.

We made £1.3 billion funding available via the National Health Service to support the discharge process. On 17 July 2020, as part of the £3 billion new funding announced for winter, extra funding was confirmed to continue enhanced discharge arrangements over winter.

As set out in the on the third phase of NHS response to COVID-19, from Sir Simon Stevens and Amanda Pritchard, published online by NHS England on 31 July 2020, NHS CHC assessments will resume from 1 September 2020. The COVID-19 discharge service requirements will continue to apply until 31 August 2020.

Where CHC assessments have continued during the emergency period, these must be compliant with the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups Regulations 2012 and the National Framework for CHC and FNC 2018 (Revised).

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recommendations of the report by the National Neurosciences Advisory Group on their June 2019 Mental Health and Neurosciences Leaders Away Day, published on 24 July.

While the Department has not made a specific assessment, NHS England and NHS Improvement work closely with the National Neurosciences Advisory Group (NNAG) which is a collaborative leadership group for neurosciences in England. The group is co-chaired by Professor Adrian Williams, who is also Chair of the Neurosciences Clinical Reference Group, at NHS England and NHS Improvement. The report published on 24 July, stems from the June 2019 Mental Health and Neurosciences Leaders Away Day, which was attended by senior NHS England and NHS Improvement officials.

The NNAG will begin consulting NHS England and NHS Improvement on the drafting of new clinical pathways across neurology shortly and aims to publish these on the Neurological Alliance website by the end of 2020. Furthermore, work is ongoing in other areas of NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve integration of care for neurology patients. For example, the training curriculum for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Long-Term Conditions programme is being updated and, once completed, mental health services will be able to pursue integration with neurological pathways

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what monitoring and evaluation they have undertaken to ascertain the compliance of NHS continuing healthcare (1) virtual assessments, and (2) associated services, delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic with (a) the national framework for NHS continuing healthcare, and (b) relevant legislation.

During the COVID-19 emergency period, National Health Service Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessments have not been required due to changes made under section 14 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. Where CHC assessments have continued during the emergency period, these must be compliant with the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) Regulations 2012 and the CHC National Framework.

CCGs may use a number of approaches to arrange Multidisciplinary Team assessments, including video conference. Preferences for how these are carried out should be indicated by the individual being assessed or their representatives.

To ensure the delivery of high-quality assessments, local assurance processes should be in place. There is also a detailed review process for eligibility decisions if an individual is dissatisfied with the outcome.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to produce guidance on monitoring and evaluating the quality of virtual NHS continuing healthcare assessments.

During the COVID-19 emergency period, National Health Service Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessments have not been required due to changes made under section 14 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. Where CHC assessments have continued during the emergency period, these must be compliant with the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) Regulations 2012 and the CHC National Framework.

CCGs may use a number of approaches to arrange Multidisciplinary Team assessments, including video conference. Preferences for how these are carried out should be indicated by the individual being assessed or their representatives.

To ensure the delivery of high-quality assessments, local assurance processes should be in place. There is also a detailed review process for eligibility decisions if an individual is dissatisfied with the outcome.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that virtual NHS continuing healthcare assessments are compliant with the Equality Act 2010 reasonable adjustments duty.

During the COVID-19 emergency period, National Health Service Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessments have not been required due to changes made under section 14 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. Where CHC assessments have continued during the emergency period, these must be compliant with the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) Regulations 2012 and the CHC National Framework.

CCGs may use a number of approaches to arrange Multidisciplinary Team assessments, including video conference. Preferences for how these are carried out should be indicated by the individual being assessed or their representatives.

To ensure the delivery of high-quality assessments, local assurance processes should be in place. There is also a detailed review process for eligibility decisions if an individual is dissatisfied with the outcome.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people paid for a prescription each year in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, (3) 2017, (4) 2018, and (5) 2019.

The information requested on the number of people who have paid for prescriptions is not collected centrally. The NHS Business Services Authority collects data on the number of prescription items dispensed and paid for but does not hold data on the number of people who have paid for their prescriptions.

The NHS Business Services Authority processes the NHS Low Income Scheme and issues HC2 certificates. It does not hold data on how many people have used their certificate after it is issued; and multiple people in a household in addition to the applicant might be covered by a certificate, including partner and children. However, data is supplied on the number of HC2 certificates issued in 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. This is shown in the following table:

Period

Number of HC2 certificates issued

2014-15

214,975

2015-16

225,239

2016-17

214,867

2017-18

206,599

2018-19

182,661

Note: Data is recorded April-March. Data provided is recorded on a monthly basis and recorded in the NHS Low Income Scheme Annual Statistics Report. This data relates to the number of certificates issued, not the number of people supported by the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have benefitted from the NHS low income scheme (HC2 certificate) each year in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, (3) 2017, (4) 2018, and (5) 2019.

The information requested on the number of people who have paid for prescriptions is not collected centrally. The NHS Business Services Authority collects data on the number of prescription items dispensed and paid for but does not hold data on the number of people who have paid for their prescriptions.

The NHS Business Services Authority processes the NHS Low Income Scheme and issues HC2 certificates. It does not hold data on how many people have used their certificate after it is issued; and multiple people in a household in addition to the applicant might be covered by a certificate, including partner and children. However, data is supplied on the number of HC2 certificates issued in 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. This is shown in the following table:

Period

Number of HC2 certificates issued

2014-15

214,975

2015-16

225,239

2016-17

214,867

2017-18

206,599

2018-19

182,661

Note: Data is recorded April-March. Data provided is recorded on a monthly basis and recorded in the NHS Low Income Scheme Annual Statistics Report. This data relates to the number of certificates issued, not the number of people supported by the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to suspend prescription charges with immediate effect for all people with long-term conditions in England.

The Department has no plans to suspend or conduct a review of the current system for prescription charges and exemptions, including for those people with long-term conditions in England. Extensive arrangements are already in place to help people access National Health Service prescriptions. These include a broad range of exemptions from the prescription charge for which someone with a long-term condition may qualify, including for people on low incomes through receipt of specific benefits and through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

To support those with the greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, prescription pre-payment certificates are available for three months or 12-month periods. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just over £2 per week.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to conduct a review of the current system for prescription charges and exemptions in the light of COVID-19 and its impact.

The Department has no plans to suspend or conduct a review of the current system for prescription charges and exemptions, including for those people with long-term conditions in England. Extensive arrangements are already in place to help people access National Health Service prescriptions. These include a broad range of exemptions from the prescription charge for which someone with a long-term condition may qualify, including for people on low incomes through receipt of specific benefits and through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

To support those with the greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, prescription pre-payment certificates are available for three months or 12-month periods. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just over £2 per week.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much NHS England has saved since over the counter medicines were taken off the prescription list in 2018.

In March 2018, NHS England and NHS Improvement and NHS Clinical Commissioners published Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: Guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Since publication of this guidance, there has been a reduction in spend of £32 million on over the counter items. This reduction includes spending on over the counter items for conditions that are self-limiting and conditions which lend themselves to self-care, as well as vitamins, minerals and probiotics. This estimate is correct as at 10 July 2020.

The list of over the counter products is updated as new products become available.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have had to pay for an additional prescription each year if their medication has been recalled due to safety concerns in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, (3) 2017, (4) 2018, and (5) 2019.

If a prescription item is recalled, the patient is issued with a new prescription for an alternative product which will then be dispensed as a separate item. The prescriptions data systems are unable to identify this as a replacement product; therefore, this information is not held centrally.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they are putting in place to restart safely social care services that stopped because of social distancing measures, including (1) respite care, and (2) day centres; how any such plans are being communicated to users of social care services; and what guidance they have provided to local authorities on the safe restart of those services.

We recognise the crucial role that day services and respite care play to provide care, support and respite for carers.

Decisions on the running and re-opening of day services are made on a local basis.

We are working with the Social Care Institute of Excellence, local government and other key sector partners, to publish guidance soon which will support local authorities and providers to restart day services. In addition, Public Health England is developing guidance on the use of personal protective equipment in community settings, which will be applicable to day services.

Local authorities and service providers should have maintained contact with carers and service users throughout the lockdown. They will now be discussing arrangements to reintroduce care packages including where possible respite care and breaks.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their long-term plan for social care in England will focus on (1) whole system reform, or (2) protecting people from having to sell their homes to pay for care.

We recognise there is a need for long-term reform in social care. Therefore, we are reviewing options and have invited cross-party talks to find the best solutions to these complex questions. We will put forward a plan following those talks.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what lessons they have learned from the rapid operation of COVID-19 clinical trials; and what plans they have to use that learning after the COVID-19 pandemic to speed up the approval process for all clinical trials.

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the United Kingdom healthcare research and approvals system has the agility and flexibility to respond efficiently to a national crisis. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Health Research Authority (HRA) instigated procedures for rapid scientific advice, reviews and approvals for COVID-19 trials, prioritising these and authorising them in about one week.

As of 2 July, the MHRA has authorised a total of 61 trials for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 in an average of nine days. A total of 50 trials for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 have been approved by both the MHRA and the HRA in an average of 12 days. Both the MHRA and the HRA have also produced guidance on regulatory flexibilities available to clinical trial sponsors and proportionate approaches so that trials could be run as efficiently as possible.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional support is in place for the carers and family members of those people with Parkinson's disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies who may be experiencing greater levels of distress following the COVID-19 lockdown.

We recognise the crucial role that unpaid carers play in supporting people with conditions like dementia, especially during the pandemic.

On 8 April we published COVID-19 guidance for unpaid carers in an online only format on GOV.UK to support carers during the pandemic, which includes general advice on infection control and caring where someone has symptoms.

We have commissioned research through the National Institute for Health Research on the best ways to mitigate the psychological and social impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia living in the community and their family carers. Work has already started with phased outputs to August 2020.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the COVID-19 pandemic, (1) what measures are in place to restart outpatient clinics while ensuring that those who visit do not contract the virus, and (2) how these measures are being communicated to patients.

Whilst routine treatments were suspended to provide capacity to treat COVID-19 patients, we are now working closely with the National Health Service and other partners to restart these in a safe way, with excellence in infection prevention and control as a key principle. Guidance has already been issued on this, and approaches are being tailored at local level according to local capacity and local demand, with the most urgent services being restarted first.

The NHS ‘Help us to help you’ media campaign encourages all patients in need of urgent or emergency medical care to seek appropriate treatment.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services have provided telephone and video appointments in place of face-to-face appointments between the start of the COVID-19 lockdown on 23 March and 15 June.

We are unable to provide the data as requested.

The information on whether appointments take place face-to-face or by phone or video is only available in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies annual publications. This information covering the period 1 April 2019 - 31 March 2020 is due to be published on 30 July 2020.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that people with Parkinson's disease will have continued access to psychological therapies until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Health Service mental health services have remained open for business throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, including delivering support digitally and over the phone where possible. In doing so, the NHS has been clear on the importance of maintaining face to face care for those patients who need it, and of patient choice in determining suitability for digital appointments.

When delivering face to face appointments, mental health services are expected to follow the latest guidance on the use of personal protective equipment in healthcare settings to support infection prevention and control. Services will be further enabled by the roll out of the NHS Test and Trace service to reduce transmission risk and deliver face to face services in as safe a way as possible.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that mental health services will be able to meet any excess demand from people with Parkinson's disease who have not been able to access psychological services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Health Service has issued guidance to services to support them in managing demand and capacity across inpatient and community mental health services and keeping services open for business.

There is broad consensus that there is the potential for an increase in demand and we are working with the NHS, Public Health England and other key partners to gather evidence and assess the potential longer-term mental health impacts and plan for how to support mental health and wellbeing throughout the ‘recovery’ phase.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure that people with Parkinson's disease who are digitally excluded and have symptoms of the motor speech disorder dysarthria can access psychological therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Health Service has been clear on the importance of maintaining face to face care for those patients who need it, and of patient choice in determining suitability for digital appointments.

When delivering face to face appointments, mental health services are expected to follow the latest guidance on the use of personal protective equipment in healthcare settings to support infection prevention and control. Services will be further enabled by the roll out of the NHS Test and Trace service to reduce transmission risk and deliver face to face services in as safe a way as possible.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to support the carers and family members of those people with Parkinson's disease who have experienced distressing hallucinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As set out in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline Parkinson’s disease in adults, published in July 2017, symptoms such as hallucinations are an increased risk for people taking some Parkinson’s disease medications. The guidance sets out that people with Parkinson’s disease should have a comprehensive care plan agreed between themselves, their family members and carers and specialist and secondary healthcare providers. A copy of the guidance is attached.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to include people with Parkinson's disease on the list of those clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

Expert doctors in England have identified specific medical conditions that, based on what we knew about the virus so far, place someone at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19. These were signed off by the United Kingdom Senior Clinicians Group, including the four UK Chief Medical Officers and clinical leadership at NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS Digital and Public Health England. The list of conditions is kept under review and there are no plans at present to add Parkinson's disease to it.

General practitioners and hospital specialists are able to add individual people with Parkinson’s disease onto the shielded patients list on a case by case basis if it is their clinical judgement that the person is clinically extremely vulnerable.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the suspension of new Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigations on the mental health of (1) informal carers, and (2) people accessing social care.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has restarted suspended complaints and anticipates reopening for new complaints in the coming weeks. Members of the public will not lose their right of appeal, and complaints regarding the COVID-19 outbreak period will be considered in due course. The Ombudsman is not an emergency service, and members of the public are required by law to first have their complaints investigated by their council or care provider. The Ombudsman has also opened up a helpline to give advice and support to concerned members of the public.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Berridge on 3 November (HL9125), what assessment they have made of the number of women's organisations in the UK; and what plans they have to increase the number of women's organisations with which the Government Equalities Office engages.

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) does not maintain a list of every women's organisation in the UK, however officials are meeting frequently with women’s organisations, primarily to talk about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. GEO continues to work to ensure the government can hear and be influenced by a wide range of women’s voices.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The UK signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) in 2012, signalling its strong commitment to tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG), and this Government remains committed to ratifying it.

The Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act 2017 requires Ministers to publish annual reports on their progress towards being able to ratify the Convention. The most recent report was published on 22 October 2020 and can be found here: Ratification of the Council of Europe convention on combating violence against women and domestic violence - progress report 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)