Anne Marie Morris Portrait

Anne Marie Morris

Conservative - Newton Abbot

Health and Social Care Committee
15th Jul 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Public Accounts Committee
20th Feb 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Public Accounts Committee
28th Nov 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Work and Pensions Committee
29th Oct 2012 - 30th Mar 2015


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 30th June 2021
13:45
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Wednesday 16th June 2021
Children and Young People’s Mental Health

It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Gary. The issue of children and adolescent mental health …

Written Answers
Thursday 24th June 2021
Processed Food: Children
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle the harmful …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Physician Associates (Regulation) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
None available
EDM signed
Monday 17th June 2019
SUPPORT FOR THE GLOBAL FUND FOR HIV, TB AND MALARIA
That this House recognises that the Global Fund has had a far-reaching impact on HIV, TB and Malaria; further recognises …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Anne Marie Morris has voted in 282 divisions, and 15 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
10 Feb 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 526 Noes - 24
6 Jan 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 322 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 524 Noes - 16
30 Dec 2020 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 328 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 335 Noes - 212
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
4 Nov 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 308 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 516 Noes - 38
3 Nov 2020 - Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 335 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 266 Noes - 336
3 Nov 2020 - Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 333 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 269 Noes - 334
21 Oct 2020 - Free School Meals - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 320 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 261 Noes - 322
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Anne Marie Morris voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
View All Anne Marie Morris 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
Philippa Whitford (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)
(5 debate interactions)
Caroline Dinenage (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
(4 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Anne Marie Morris's debates

Newton Abbot Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Newton Abbot signature proportion
Petitions with most Newton Abbot signatures
Anne Marie Morris has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Anne Marie Morris

17th June 2019
Anne Marie Morris signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 17th June 2019

SUPPORT FOR THE GLOBAL FUND FOR HIV, TB AND MALARIA

Tabled by: Jim Cunningham (Labour - Coventry South)
That this House recognises that the Global Fund has had a far-reaching impact on HIV, TB and Malaria; further recognises that 27 million lives have been saved the Global Fund Partnership; notes that more investments will bring us closer to ending those epidemics by 2030; further notes that more investment …
34 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Jul 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 17
Scottish National Party: 7
Conservative: 4
Independent: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Green Party: 1
11th April 2019
Anne Marie Morris signed this EDM on Tuesday 23rd April 2019

Exiting the European Union

Tabled by: William Cash (Conservative - Stone)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 859), dated 11 April 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 11 April 2019, be annulled.
82 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Apr 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 73
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Independent: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
View All Anne Marie Morris's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Anne Marie Morris, 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.


Anne Marie Morris has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Anne Marie Morris has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Anne Marie Morris


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for the regulation of physician associates; to make physician associate a protected title; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 23rd November 2018
(Read Debate)

Anne Marie Morris has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


149 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
4th Jun 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what plans there are to provide a replacement to the Derby Gate library facilities for the staff of hon. Members.

The Derby Gate library was closed on 3 September 2018 to make way for works initiated by the Northern Estates Programme.

In anticipation of the closure, the Library worked with Members and In-House Services to identify alternative workspace and service point(s) for use by Members’ staff. The Library considered sharing space within the House of Lords eLibrary, based in Millbank, though this did not meet requirements.

Instead, in July 2018 the Administration Committee approved plans for a new Customer Services Hub based in Portcullis House (PCH) – Administration Committee’s Notes of discussion, 23 July 2018. Informed by feedback from Members that a ‘one stop’ service centre would improve visibility and access to services, the Hub initially provided access to Library, Digital, Security and procedural services in addition to some, albeit limited, access to workspace for use by both Members and Members’ staff.

The Library ceased to provide a permanent service-point in the Customer Services Hub from January 2020. This was in response to low usage in 2019 and, in addition, feedback from Members and Members’ staff that additional workspace was required. By moving from the Hub, the Library thus freed-up additional space. This decision followed the principle, agreed by the House of Commons Commission in May 2018, that the Library and other services should reduce their footprint on the Northern Estate to make way for additional Members’ workspace when required – House of Commons Commission Decisions, 14 May 2018.

All the same, the Library continues to welcome Members’ staff into the Oriel Room (the reception area of the main Library suite within the Palace) to browse briefing papers, request book loans and place requests face to face with Library staff. Members’ staff are also welcome to consult documents in the Reference Room of the Library, on request. Library services can also be browsed online: see Services for MPs and MPs' staff - House of Commons Library.

The space previously occupied by the Derby Gate library will return to use in 2021, once works have been completed. The space has been reconfigured as a meeting room and open space, available to Members and Members’ staff for meetings and quiet work. This arrangement was requested by the Administration Committee in May 2020, to compensate Members for the loss of other meeting space in 1 Parliament Street – Administration Committee’s Note of discussion, 18 May 2020. Please also note that, from September 2021, space within Richmond House – including the Richmond House business lounge – will also become available to Members’ staff.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to establish an inquiry on its response to the covid-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 is the biggest challenge the UK, together with nations around the world, has faced in decades. Throughout the pandemic, we have consistently adapted our response as we have learnt more about the virus and how best to tackle it. As stated by the Prime Minister on 15 July 2020 'we will seek to learn the lessons of the pandemic in the future, and certainly we will have an independent inquiry into what happened.' Any further updates will be announced in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will ensure that what is guidance and what is law in relation to covid-19 restrictions is clearly determined on the Gov.uk website.

Both legislation and Government guidance is set out online, and both are important.

The guidance on how best to stay safe and help control the spread of Coronavirus is set out at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. Where applicable, you should also refer to the relevant websites for guidance published by the Governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

UK Government Coronavirus legislation is set out at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will issue guidance to the general public on the implementation of covid-19 restrictions for the 2020-21 New Year period.

The UK Government continues to make every effort to communicate any policy changes as clearly and simply as possible to the public via our public information campaign. All updated guidance is published on gov.uk. Other guidance is produced by the devolved administrations.

Once the five-day Christmas window ends, normal rules on social contact in each tier or region will apply.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how the Government defines rurality.

There is an official statistical rural urban classification, based on the 2011 Census, which determines settlements with populations of 10,000 or more as urban. Further details of the rural urban classification can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/rural-urban-classification

The rural urban classification is intended to support statistical analysis. Other definitions of rural could be more appropriate in some policy or analytical contexts.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to incentivise people to return to or apply for hospitality jobs as businesses begin to reopen as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Department has and continues to regularly meet with representatives from across the sector to discuss how it can recover and build back from the pandemic.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been made on the construction of the global satellite constellation to provide enhanced broadband.

OneWeb has launched 36 satellites since June 2020, bringing the total number of satellites launched to 110. Further launches are planned throughout 2021 and the company aims to introduce commercial service at the end of the year.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to help businesses to support their employees with the mental health effects of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the significant impact that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on both employers and employees, and their mental wellbeing. in order to highlight available support around mental health, the Government is signposting to resources for businesses and employers, including Mind’s website and the Mental Health at Work toolkit, through GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-support-for-business-from-outside-government. We also continue to work with the Thriving at Work Leadership Council to encourage employers to sign up to the Mental Health at Work (MHAW) commitments and to engage leading Mental Health charities and organisations to better understand issues around SME mental health, financial insecurity for small business owners and the self-employed, and continue to explore what further support may be offered.

We also know how worried people are and we are taking many steps to protect both jobs and the long-term financial future of businesses during the current economic emergency. Throughout this crisis, our priority has been clear: to protect lives and livelihoods. We have introduced an unprecedented and comprehensive package of business support measures to help as many individuals and businesses as possible, which has mitigated some of the worst immediate impacts of COVID-19 on risk factors for poor mental health. This includes measures such as the small business grants, the Coronavirus loan guarantee schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the deferral of VAT and income tax payments, and more. Businesses can also access tailored advice through our Freephone Business Support Helpline, online via the Business Support website or through their local Growth Hubs in England.

Further measures were also announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer that build on the significant support already available as well as set out how current support will evolve and adapt. This includes the extension of the CJRS until the end of April 2021, the extension of the Coronavirus loan guarantee schemes until 31 March 2021, and the introduction of Pay As You Grow measures, meaning businesses now have the option to repay their Bounce Back Loans over a period of up to ten years. Businesses who also deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to opt-in to a scheme to allow them to pay in smaller instalments up to the end of March 2022, interest free. Business and individuals can use our checker tool on GOV.UK at www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support to quickly and easily determine whether they are eligible for any further financial support at this time.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons specialist confectionary shops that sell (a) fudge, (b) sweets or (c) chocolate are classified as essential retailers during the covid-19 lockdown.

The Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close and has set out guidance on which organisations this requirement covers and what the exceptions are.

All food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops are permitted to remain open.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has been made of the potential merits of making the use of hand sanitiser mandatory in shops.

We have published comprehensive guidance to allow businesses to be able to work safely. The offering of hand sanitiser is part of a range of measures that businesses can take to protect staff and customers.

The Government welcomes efforts by retailers to reduce the spread of Covid-19 through the implementation of this advice.

We have also launched a campaign urging people to act like they have got the virus, reinforcing the message that if it’s essential to go out, you should wash your hands, cover your face indoors and keep your distance from others. We are also encouraging people to shop alone and infrequently to reduce the number of people in stores.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from the banking sector on extending the business loan repayment holiday for the duration of the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise that some borrowers will benefit from flexibility for their repayments of Government-guaranteed loans. That is why, on 24 September, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Pay As You Grow measures following discussion with lenders.

Pay As You Grow will give all Bounce Back Loan borrowers the option to repay their loan over a period of up to ten years. UK businesses will also have the option to move temporarily to interest-only payments for periods of up to six months (an option which they can use up to three times), or to pause their repayments entirely for up to six months (an option they can use once and only after having made six payments).

These changes will provide greater flexibility to repay these loans over a longer period and in a way that better suits businesses’ individual circumstances.

We have also given Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders the ability to extend the length of borrowers’ loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help the borrower to repay the loan.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to improve the UK’s intellectual property regime to attract investment in life sciences.

The life sciences sector is crucial to our success as a science superpower. It has consistently been the largest investor in research and development in the UK, investing over £4.5 billion in 2018.

The Government has pledged to increase UK investment in research and development, with the goal being to reach 2.4% of GDP by 2027. The Government’s R&D Roadmap puts science and technology at the forefront of our economic and social recovery.

Intellectual property is a crucial part of that effort, so that great research and ideas can be turned into great businesses.

Consequently, as we reach the end of the transition period, we aim to provide maximum certainty and clarity in the patent framework, giving the life science sector the confidence to invest. Going forward, we will have the flexibility to make changes to the intellectual property system to best meet the evolving needs of the UK and our ambition for innovation.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government plans to publish its response to the Research and Development Roadmap consultation.

Alongside the R&D Roadmap, we published a public survey asking key questions set out in the Roadmap. This closed in August and we are now working to analyse the results. The Roadmap marks the start of a conversation to identify the strengths and challenges facing the sector;?the issues that need to be addressed;?and how we want to work with universities, business, the third sector and across government to cement the UK’s reputation as a science superpower.

We are continuing to work with a wide range of stakeholders to develop and implement the proposals in the Roadmap.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to financially support clothing retailers experiencing reduced footfall during the recovery from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognise that the recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak is not uniform across the retail sector.

The Government has provided an unprecedented package of measures?including grants, loans, and relief worth more than £300 billion. Retailers are benefitting from the removal of business rates for 12 months and have been able to access grants through the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Fund.

Retailers have also been able to benefit from The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has published updated guidance for local authorities on their ability to pay out business support grant funds to businesses whose rateable value was amended after the 11 March 2020.

The grant schemes applied to businesses who were trading, occupying premises and liable for business rates?on 11 March 2020. This was the first date that the Small Business Grants Fund was announced at Budget. This was to avoid businesses being established for the sole purpose of applying for grants.

In cases where it was factually clear to the Local Authority on 11 March 2020 that the rating list was inaccurate on that date, Local Authorities had the discretion to withhold or award the grant based on eligibility had the list been accurate. This discretion was only intended to prevent clear errors.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to Local Authorities setting a closure date of Friday 28 August. We asked Local Authorities to close all schemes by this point and ensure that, where payments are still in process, they are complete by 30 September at the very latest.

Businesses which are not eligible for or have not received grant funding should be able to benefit from other measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business.?For further information please?visit:?https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how his Department defines rurality.

The Rural Urban Classification is an Official Statistic used to distinguish rural and urban areas. The Classification defines areas as rural if they are outside settlements with more than 10,000 resident population.

Wherever possible, the Rural Urban Classification should be used for statistical analysis. Further details can be found at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ gov.uk page at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/rural-urban-classification.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of adding tourist information centres and points to the list of statutory services provided by local authorities.

No specific assessment has been made regarding the potential merits of adding tourist information centres to the list of statutory services provided by Local Authorities.

However, my Department recently commissioned an independent review of Destination Management Organisations led by Nick de Bois which is looking at how best regional and local tourism is structured, funded and supported by the central Government. As many Destination Management Organisations run their own tourist information centres, or have done so in the past, the review may touch on this issue.

Last year, the Government provided £2.3 million in financial support to England's Destination Management Organisations, so that they could continue carrying out vital business support roles during the pandemic.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions officials in his Department have had with relevant stakeholders on the allocation of additional funding to support the running of tourist information centres following the covid-19 outbreak.

No specific assessment has been made regarding the potential merits of adding tourist information centres to the list of statutory services provided by Local Authorities.

However, my Department recently commissioned an independent review of Destination Management Organisations led by Nick de Bois which is looking at how best regional and local tourism is structured, funded and supported by the central Government. As many Destination Management Organisations run their own tourist information centres, or have done so in the past, the review may touch on this issue.

Last year, the Government provided £2.3 million in financial support to England's Destination Management Organisations, so that they could continue carrying out vital business support roles during the pandemic.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to enable the safe return of spectators to National League football matches; and what discussions he has had with the (a) League and (b) FA on appropriate financial support for clubs.

The safety and security of players and spectators is of paramount importance.

On Tuesday 22 September it was announced that all sports pilot events currently ongoing would be paused with immediate effect, due to the sharp upward trajectory of Covid-19 cases. A?s set out in our Roadmap, sports events pilots, and the full return of fans to stadia would only ever take place when it was safe to do so.

However, the Government continues to work closely with a whole range of sports to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this.

The Government knows that the decision not to reopen stadia to spectators on 1 October will have major consequences for sports and clubs across the country who relied on those fans for income. We are working with those organisations to understand what they need and how we can support them.

Ministers have spoken to all of the major spectator sports, including football, and have asked for detailed financial returns so the Government can understand what support they might need.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support community radio stations during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is strongly supportive of the community radio sector and recognises the great value that it offers to communities across the United Kingdom, in terms of providing quality local news, information and entertainment.

We recognise the challenges that some community stations are facing due to Covid-19 and are currently holding discussions with Ofcom and the Community Media Association (CMA) on possible options to provide urgent support for those stations in greatest need.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide a map of school funding for England at (a) county level and (b) for each school.

The schools national funding formula (NFF) is the way the Government decides how much core funding to allocate for mainstream, state-funded schools in England.

Each year, we publish tables showing NFF funding allocations to local authorities and notional school-level allocations for the coming financial year. The latest publication was on 20 July 2020, which shows funding allocations for the 2021-22 financial year, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2021-to-2022.

The funding rates for local authorities determined through the NFF are multiplied by the latest pupil numbers in the autumn school census to provide final allocations to local authorities for the coming financial year, through the Dedicated Schools Grant. Final funding amounts for the 2021-22 financial year were published on 17 December 2020, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2021-to-2022.

It should be noted that school level figures are notional because local authorities continue to set a local formula to distribute final funding to schools in their area. The actual amounts that schools attract through local formulae are also published once a year, and 2020-21 amounts are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-funding-statistics/2020-21.

The Government will, in the coming months, put forward proposals to move to a ‘hard’ NFF in future, where schools’ budgets will be determined on the basis of the single NFF.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to help schools, colleges and universities to support students with the mental health effects of the covid-19 outbreak.

We know that the COVID-19 outbreak and associated measures and restrictions, such as social distancing and school closures, will be impacting on the mental wellbeing of many people, including children and young people. The government has made student wellbeing and mental health a central part of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the support we have already put in place for schools, colleges and universities will be critical during this time.

We worked closely with the Department of Health and Social (DHSC) on their Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19, backed by £50 million. The plan sets out the support available for individuals in the context of a second wave, and the winter months, including support for children and young people. As part of taking forward this work, the Department for Education will be convening a task force, alongside DHSC, to look at the effects on children, young people and staff in the education system. We will confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

We have ensured that schools have the flexibility to offer a place in school, as a vulnerable child, to any pupils for whom being in school will help them manage their mental health, or to access support more easily. Decisions will be informed by the school’s experience of how pupils have been affected so far.

Schools will also continue to offer pastoral support to pupils working remotely at home, informed and supported by training and expert advice that we have made available, including through the £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return scheme. Wellbeing for Education Return, a Department for Education led initiative alongside DHSC, Health Education England, Public Health England and key voluntary sector organisations, has trained local experts to provide additional advice and resources for schools and further education (FE) providers to help support pupil and student, parent and carer, and staff wellbeing, resilience, and recovery in light of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown. In recognition of the significant pressures on school and FE provider staff, local areas are providing training and support in a variety of ways, including via live and recorded online interactive sessions, webinars, podcasts, drop-ins and peer networks or coaching groups. Over 85% of local authority areas in England have reported they are delivering additional training and support into local schools and FE providers because of the Wellbeing for Education Return funding. Nationally, our information indicates that more than 15,000 education settings are being offered this additional training and support. The information and support made available through Wellbeing for Education Return is relevant to remote provision as well as to those attending school. Schools should make sure that parents and pupils know who to contact if they have new concerns about mental health and wellbeing, and that they understand what pastoral support is available.

This is backed up by guidance that the department has issued for schools, which includes information and sources of further advice on supporting mental health and wellbeing. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak .

We have also put in place a £1 billion COVID “catch-up” package, with £650 million shared across early years, schools and 16-19 providers over the 2020/21 academic year to support education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place. The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which includes further information about interventions to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

For FE we are also committed to providing and signposting wellbeing guidance and support, and ensuring that specialist mental health support is available for all students and staff in FE who need it. The FE operational guidance includes a specific section on supporting the mental health of staff and students in addition to signposting providers to additional resources, such as webinars and online platforms. This is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/954814/Further_education_guidance_for_restricting_attendance_during_the_national_lockdown.pdf.

The College Collaboration Fund is a £5.4 million grant funding programme open to all statutory FE colleges, to be delivered in the 2020/21 financial year. We particularly welcomed applications that address one of 5 specific quality improvement needs. 5 of the funded projects are designed to provide remote/online mental health and wellbeing support to students and/or staff.

It is for higher education providers, as autonomous bodies, to identify and address the needs of their student body and decide what welfare support services to put in place. We expect providers to continue to support their students, which has included making services accessible from a distance. We encourage students to stay in touch with their provider’s student support and welfare teams, as these services are likely to continue to be an important source of support. My hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, wrote to Vice Chancellors in October 2020 outlining that student welfare should remain a priority, and has convened a working group of representatives from the higher education and health sectors to specifically address the current and pressing issues that students are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have worked closely with the Office for Students (OfS), providing up to £3 million to fund the mental health platform Student Space in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and have asked the OfS to allocate an additional £15 million towards student mental health, through proposed reforms to teaching grant funding.

Student Space is a mental health and wellbeing platform designed to bridge any gaps in support for students arising from this unprecedented situation and works alongside existing services. Ensuring students have access to quality mental health support is a top priority, which is why we asked the OfS to look at extending the platform. I am delighted they have been able to extend the platform to support students for the whole 2020/21 academic year.

For students that need specialist support, the government continues to invest in and prioritise mental health for all, with additional investment of £2.3 billion a year by the 2023/24 financial year through the NHS Long Term Plan. The NHS will also receive approximately an additional £500 million this year, to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support that they need, and invest in the NHS workforce. In the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with the DHSC and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams for all schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of the quality of education received by university students during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government’s clear and stated expectation is that universities should maintain the quality and quantity of tuition and seek to ensure that all students, regardless of their background, have the resources to study remotely. This is more important than ever at the moment, with the vast majority of students studying solely online. The Office for Students (OfS), as regulator for higher education (HE) providers in England, has made it clear that HE providers must continue to comply with registration conditions relating to quality and academic standards. These set out requirements to ensure that courses are high quality, that students are supported and achieve good outcomes, and that standards are protected, regardless of whether a provider is delivering its courses through face-to-face teaching, remote online learning, or a combination of both.

The OfS has published information on quality and standards for providers, providing practical guidance on how best to ensure students continue to receive a high-quality academic experience in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. This sets out that providers should make all reasonable efforts to provide alternative teaching and support for students that is at least broadly equivalent to the provider’s usual arrangements. The OfS will keep this guidance under review to ensure it remains relevant to the developing circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The OfS is taking very seriously the potential impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on teaching and learning and is regularly engaging with all registered providers. It is actively monitoring providers to ensure: that they maintain the quality of their provision; that it is accessible for all; and that they have been clear in their communications with students about how arrangements for teaching and learning may change throughout the year. The OfS is also following up directly with providers where they receive notifications from students, parents or others raising concerns about the quality of teaching on offer, and requiring providers to report to them when they are not able to deliver a course or award a qualification. If the OfS has concerns, it will investigate further.

The OfS is also monitoring the position across the sector, for instance, through polling of students' views. Where appropriate and in response to issues raised through that monitoring, it will issue further advice to the sector.

Students have rights under consumer law that they may be able to rely on if they are dissatisfied with their provider’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In the first instance, students should speak to their provider to see if they can resolve their issue. We expect student complaints and appeals processes to be operated flexibly, accessibly and sympathetically by providers to resolve any concerns. If a student at a provider in England or Wales is not satisfied with their provider’s final response, they should go to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, which has published guidance on this issue.?

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to (a) improve the financial education curriculum and (b) increase delivery of that education at primary level in the context of the economic situation as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, financial literacy was made statutory within the national curriculum for the first time, as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

The Department also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. The Government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

We trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their students, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

The Department will continue to work closely with the Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. The latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The Government has made £650 million of catch-up funding available, as part of a wider £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, to be shared across schools over the 2020-21 academic year. Details of the catch-up package are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Fund has published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to use this funding effectively.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to allocate additional funding to schools to cover costs they have incurred in responding to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department is providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March to July due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources.

Schools have been eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements. The Department has published detailed guidance on the fund at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.

The first claims window for the fund closed on 21 July. All claims for funding within the published cost categories and up to the maximum limit have already been paid. The Department is assessing all other claims, which will be paid later in the year if approved.

There will also be a further opportunity in autumn for schools to claim for exceptional costs they faced between March to July. This second claims window will be available for schools who were unable to claim in the summer and will be for the same eligible cost categories.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that children with special educational needs are able to access support services close to home.

Most children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) are able to access support locally. Local authorities must publish a Local Offer of services that they expect to be available in their area to meet the education, health and social care needs of children and young people who have SEND, which should be kept under review. In September 2019, we launched a major cross-government review of the SEND system, to look at how we can improve support for children and young people with SEND. We have announced major investment in education, including an additional £780 million for children and young people with the most complex needs, bringing total high needs funding to over £7 billion. In our recent manifesto we have committed to delivering more school places for children with complex SEND and have allocated £365 million capital funding to local authorities from 2018 to 2021 for them to increase number of places available locally and enhance facilities.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2020
What steps he is taking to ensure that children with special educational needs are able to access support services close to home.

Most children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities access support in their local area. We have allocated £365 million capital funding to local authorities from 2018 to 2021 for them to enhance the facilities and the number of places available locally to those with SEND.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to prevent the spread of the equine herpes virus into the UK.

We are aware of the outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in Europe and are monitoring the situation closely. We are in regular contact with the equine sector and working with them to ensure owners are informed about the risks and are taking the necessary precautions to keep their animals safe.

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) is not notifiable to government and isolation of sick animals is the best protection against infection. There is no public health risk.

Horse owners are advised to contact their private vet if they observe any respiratory illness, abortion or neurological signs in horses or ponies in their care or would like to discuss options for vaccination against the disease. We are monitoring the effectiveness of vaccination with disease experts and the British Equine Veterinary Association.

All horses imported into the UK are required to be certified as being fit to travel and not to have originated from a premises where disease is known to be present. Any horses imported into the UK should be placed in isolation for at least 10 days before allowing them to mix with other equines. Comprehensive industry advice and guidance on biosecurity and vaccination is available online.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat the Government has committed to creating or restoring is in addition to or inclusive of replacing habitat lost as a result of the National High speed Rail Network.

HS2 is the first major infrastructure project to commit to seeking to deliver no net loss in biodiversity across the route. However, we can still go further and the Government is asking HS2 Ltd to look to identify opportunities to move towards gains in biodiversity, where it is reasonably practicable to do so. HS2 is also enhancing the Phase 2a scheme's existing No Net Loss objective, by working to identify and implement appropriate opportunities, where it is reasonably practicable, to move towards net gains in biodiversity.

We are still developing our monitoring approach for net gain and for wider commitments in the 25 Year Environment Plan such as the Nature Recovery Network, which incorporates the commitment to create or restore 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat outside protected sites.

We expect mandatory and voluntary net gain to contribute both to the Nature Recovery Network and to the long-term goal. As we develop our monitoring and delivery approaches to net gain and to the Nature Recovery Network more broadly, we will clearly need to consider how much of the habitat created is contributing to the goal.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of offering Government funding to support the (a) establishment of and (b) operation of existing small abattoirs.

Defra recognises the contribution that small abattoirs make to local supply chains and that there are animal welfare benefits in shorter journey times to slaughter.

The Government is currently funding one mobile abattoir project through the Rural Development Programme for England as part of the Growth Programme. The project is farmer led and is due to be operational in early Summer 2021.

We are also exploring potential opportunities under the Agriculture Act to fund small abattoirs as part of wider agricultural funding mechanisms currently in development. Small abattoirs will need to demonstrate a viable business model and meet the needs of the market.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether boat owners are permitted to visit their boats for essential (a) maintenance and (b) safety checks during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

The coronavirus guidance published by jointly by the Departments for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (updated on 7 January 2021) provides that maintaining second homes, caravans, boats and other assets is not generally a reasonable excuse for leaving home. However, people may leave home to secure their second home, caravan or boat to secure their second home, in order to avoid it posing a risk of harm/injury to themselves or others.

Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) examiners can access boats in the course of professional activity to conduct safety examinations where these are necessary to renew or obtain a BSS certificate, akin to an MOT for a road vehicle. The BSS website ( https://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/requirements-examinations-certification/arranging-the-examination/) sets out guidance on how to arrange a BSS examination within the current national covid restrictions, and where necessary boat owners should contact their navigation authority for further advice on this.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether remaining funds in the Zoo Animals Fund can be ringfenced to support zoos and aquariums that have more than 12 weeks operating costs remaining and who are therefore ineligible for support from the Zoo Animals Fund.

A £14 million funding envelope was made available for the initial Zoos Support Fund (ZSF), which closed at the end of July, and this envelope was then rolled forward and expanded to £100 million and made available for the subsequent Zoo Animals Fund (ZAF). It is therefore not the case that there are unspent funds from the ZSF which are available to be allocated to zoos separately from the ZAF. ZAF grant payments to zoos begin when they reach their final 12 weeks of financial reserves. Zoos can though, apply at any time before reaching this 12 week point to help with their business planning. The objective of the ZAF is to provide for operators who, due to a coronavirus-related drop in income, are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animal collections between now and the start of the next season. It is not a guarantee to ensure that individual zoo operators themselves stay in business. If zoos are downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support for this to ensure the animals’ welfare. We are monitoring uptake of the ZAF and remain in discussion with zoos about how the scheme is working.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase workforce capacity at the DVLA to reduce the time taken in licence application and renewal processes.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services have been available and unaffected throughout the pandemic and are the quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence.

However, many people still choose or have to apply for their driving licence using a paper application. The DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day which must be dealt with in person. The DVLA has had a reduced number of operational staff on site to allow for social distancing, in line with Welsh Government requirements.

However, the DVLA has leased an additional building to accommodate more operational staff and has extended the opening hours of its contact centre.

The DVLA is currently processing paper driving licence applications within around six weeks of receipt. However, drivers with a medical condition may experience further delays because the DVLA is often reliant on receiving information or test results from medical professionals before a licence can be issued, to ensure drivers can meet the required medical standards.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2020 to Question 120953 on Network Rail: Finance, what his policy is on funding the Parson’s Tunnel to Teignmouth rail resilience project.

The Parson’s Tunnel to Teignmouth resilience project is within the portfolio of rail enhancement schemes and we will manage its progression within that portfolio balancing the needs of taxpayers and passengers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how covid-19 restrictions are enforced on public buses; and what penalties his Department has imposed on bus operators for non-compliance with those restrictions.

While the Government expects everyone to comply with face covering and social distancing rules, the regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984 include powers to enforce the requirement to wear a face covering (unless an individual has a valid exemption). In addition, some operators are likely to introduce additional enforcement measures to reflect their specific circumstances where appropriate.

The Police (including British Transport Police, BTP) and Transport for London (TfL) authorised personnel have the power to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) of £200 to anyone refusing to comply with the Face Covering Regulations.

Transport operators have the power to deny access to a service if someone is not complying with the Face Covering Regulations or to direct someone to leave a service or transport hub if they do not wear a face covering when asked to and do not have a valid exemption.

The Department for Transport has published Safer Transport Guidance for Operators, which should be followed by all transport operators.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department still plans to fund the Parson’s Tunnel to Teignmouth rail resilience project.

The Government remains absolutely committed to improving train lines to the South West through enhancing the resilience of the railway at Dawlish and Teignmouth. Network Rail is continuing to develop plans for the section between Parsons Tunnel and Teignmouth in preparation for a Transport & Works Act Order (TWAO) application. The Government will continue to assess the case for funding the scheme, following the process set out in the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason her Department is to open a second job centre site in Newton Abbot.

The Department has seen an increase in demand for its services as a result of Covid-19 and is rapidly expanding the space available, on a temporary basis, in locations where we anticipate or have already seen, that increase.

As part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to support claimants back into work, the Department has recruited 13,500 additional Work Coaches to help support and deliver the full range of Jobcentre services needed, providing tailored, face-to-face support in a Covid-secure environment. Existing DWP premises do not currently allow us to accommodate additional and existing staff safely and ensuring our staff and claimants are safe is vital to the Department.

This expansion will drive forward our ambitious £30 billion Plan for Jobs, helping people back into work right across the UK.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the Kickstart scheme to candidates who were aged 16-24 at the time that the business applied for the creation of the placement.

Once an employer has had their Kickstart application approved by the Department of Work and Pensions and the grant agreement is in place it is advertised via Jobcentre Plus for referrals of eligible young people aged 16-24 at this point.

A Kickstart job does not necessarily start right away, it can commence at any point within the lifetime of the scheme. There are a number of reasons why jobs may commence later, such as, for example, public health restrictions currently in place. We are pleased that despite Covid-19 restrictions, young people have continued to start in Kickstart jobs since November.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to offer exceptions to Kickstart scheme candidates who have turned 25 years of age while waiting for their applications to that scheme to be set up.

The Kickstart Scheme is open to all young people aged 16-24 at the time they applied for the Kickstart job, there are no current plans to expand the scheme but we will keep this under review.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Church Commissioners have had with the Government on allowing places of worship to remain open during lockdown if they continue to implement additional covid-secure measures.

Following the Government announcement of a second lockdown, churches have been required to close again for public worship, between 5th November and 2nd December. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishop of London and senior Christian and other faith leaders wrote to the Prime Minister about this and their letter can be read here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Faith%20communities%20letter%20to%20Prime%20MInister%20%28ii%29.pdf.

In it they concluded: “We have already said there is no scientific rationale for suspension of Public Worship where it is compliant with the guidance that we have worked jointly with government to establish. We believe government, and Public Health England, accept this. Government is making decisions about what aspects of our life during this period of restrictions are essential. We believe we have demonstrated that continuation of public worship is essential, for all the reasons we have set out above. We call on government to recognise and support this, and enable us to continue to worship safely, as part of the essential fabric of the nation.”

The Church of England remains in dialogue with the Government about this as part of the Government’s Places of Worship Task Force. I commend the work of clergy and volunteers across the country during this very challenging time.

Church buildings may remain open for individual prayer where it has been possible to make them COVID-secure. The Church has continued to encourage clergy to broadcast services and make resources available online where possible. Guidance and advice from Public Health England and the Church of England is being distributed to clergy and is published on the Church of England website here: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will (a) produce FAQs for businesses applying to the Kickstart scheme and (b) ensure that local staff of her Department are adequately briefed on the details of the scheme.

The department is continuously improving the guidance available online, at gov.uk/kickstart for both employers and Kickstart gateways.

We are also ensuring that the department’s local staff have a good understanding of the Kickstart Scheme to enable them to properly identify the most suitable claimants.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle the harmful effects on children of the consumption of ultra-processed foods.

There is no universally agreed description of ultra-processed foods based on either their ingredients and/or additives or by how much processing has been involved in their production. However, a diet high in processed foods is often high in calories, salt, saturated fat and sugar.

‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’, sets out our intention to end the advertising of high fat, salt and sugar products being shown on TV before 9pm and we have consulted on a total high fat, salt and sugar products advertising restriction online. We have also confirmed we will restrict the promotions of high fat, salt and sugar food and drinks in retailers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the announcement from the US Food and Drug Administration on the poor efficacy of Innova covid-19 tests, whether he has plans for the (a) authorisation of alternative covid-19 rapid lateral flow tests, including those being produced in the UK and (b) extension of the exceptional use authorisation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority following the extension of covid-19 restrictions.

We are planning to diversify the supply of lateral flow devices (LFDs) and have begun to deploy other products in some settings, including the Orient Gene device. We will expand this over the coming months.

In December last year, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) provided the Department with an Exceptional Use Authorisation (EUA) which permits NHS Test and Trace to deploy the repurposed Innova COVID-19 as a self-test device throughout the United Kingdom as a test to detect infection in asymptomatic individuals. At this time an EUA was necessary due to a limited pool of suppliers offering a device which had passed the Government’s relevant validation tests and no suppliers had a CE mark for a COVID-19 self-test LFD. We will continue to work closely with the MHRA to ensure all available tests are safe and effective.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the WHO guideline on health workforce development, attraction, recruitment and retention in rural and remote areas.

The Government welcomes the World Health Organization’s guideline on health workforce attraction, recruitment and retention in rural areas and is committed to ensuring there is a sufficient workforce supply across all geographies of England.

Five new medical schools have opened in hard-to-recruit areas, including rural and coastal locations in Sunderland, Lancashire, Chelmsford, Lincoln and Canterbury. To further attract trainees to remote geographies, foundation priority programmes were introduced in 2019 allowing applicants to rank their preference for selected priority programmes and be offered places prior to national allocation. The NHS People Plan has a key focus on retention. National Health Service organisations locally should shape their workforce plans to meet local workforce challenges focusing on both recruitment and retention to increase overall supply.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing dispensing doctors to use the Electronic Prescription Service.

NHS Digital piloted phase four of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) at general practitioner practices and dispensers across England, from November 2018 and the national deployment, which includes dispensing doctor practices, began in November 2019. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently looking at what potential further support can be provided to dispensing practices to implement EPS dispensing functionality.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the additional requirements of general practice in rural areas.

Capitation payments to practices include a formula weighting for rurality. We also recognise there are issues with recruitment and retention in some rural locations. The Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme offers a £20,000 salary supplement to attract general practitioner trainees to work in areas of the country in which training places have been unfilled for a number of years.

Additionally, NHS England and NHS Improvement have allowed commissioners to waive the Primary Care Network (PCN) minimum population where a PCN serves a community with a low population density across a large rural and remote area.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans mandate care home covid-19 guidance to ensure that care homes do not prohibit visitors without good cause as restrictions are lifted.

We have issued new guidance on care home visiting and will keep arrangements under review.

If a resident or their family believe a care home is not following visiting guidance appropriately then concerns should be raised with the home in the first instance. If this does not resolve the situation, they can also raise concerns with the Care Quality Commission who will investigate.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of prioritising the appraisal by the National Institute for Health and Social Care of medicines for (a) clinically extremely vulnerable and (b) other priority groups.

All medicines appraised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) address important areas of health. NICE works closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to ensure that licensing procedures and health technology assessments are streamlined and aims wherever possible to publish its recommendations on all new medicines very close to licensing.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, NICE adapted its priorities to support the health and care system at a time of unprecedented pressure. This involved pausing the publication of topics that were not COVID-19 related or regarded as therapeutically critical.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 10 March 2021 to Question 163234 on Social Services, whether he plans to publish the proposed legislation before the House rises for summer recess.

The legislative measures in the Health and Care Bill White Paper are a critical first step in wider reform in the adult social care sector. However, our commitment to the reform of social care extends beyond this legislation and we will bring forward further proposals in 2021.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) criteria the UK had to meet and (b) financial commitment the UK had to make to join Project Orbis.

There were no defined criteria or financial commitments.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has plans to bring forward secondary legislation under the powers provided by the Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021.

The Government is currently working on a number of statutory instruments under the powers in the Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021. Regulations made using the majority of powers under the Act are subject to public consultation. More details on the upcoming consultations will be made available in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 174841 on Pregnancy: Screening, what the (a) timelines, (b) milestones and (c) success criteria are for the evaluative rollout referenced in that Answer.

The target date to begin the evaluative rollout of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is 1 June 2021. This will include women who are identified, by existing tests, as having a higher chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome and is expected to be complete in around three years. Once this has begun, the United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC) will be updated on monitoring at future meetings.

This is to ensure NIPT screening is clinically safe, cost effective and provides an acceptable service to those women who accept the offer of screening using NIPT. The evaluation data will be reviewed throughout to identify any issues that may arise. Once areas of uncertainty have been addressed the UK NSC will then review this to consider formally recommending NIPT as a permanent part of the pathway.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Statistical Press Notice published on 15 March 2021, how many and what proportion of the 387,885 referral to treatment patients that have been waiting more than 52 weeks to start treatment have been waiting longer than (a) 18 months and (b) two years.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently collating referral to treatment data from April 2021, which will be published on 10 June. This data will be published in weekly time bands from 52 weeks to more than 104 weeks.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the regulation of physician associates.

The Government is committed to bringing physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs) into statutory regulation.

We are currently consulting on proposals to modernise each of the healthcare professional regulators’ legal frameworks and on the proposed approach to introducing statutory regulation for PAs and AAs. A separate consultation on the draft legislation that will bring this framework into force will be carried out later this year.

The reforms will update the General Medical Council’s (GMC) current legislation and will enable it to bring PAs and AAs into regulation under its new, modernised framework. We are working with the GMC to ensure that regulation of PAs and AAs begins as early as possible in the second half of 2022.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether work has started on establishing the Global One Health Intelligence Hub.

We are working closely with the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the United Nations Environment Programme to build the proposal for developing the Hub and are discussing potential support with G7 partners.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department plans to ensure that the initial launch of noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) will be expanded to enable all women to have the choice to utilise that technology during pregnancy through the NHS.

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) will be available to women as an additional option as part of the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme. NIPT will be offered if the woman has been identified by existing tests as having a higher chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome.

The target date to commence the offer of NIPT is 1 June 2021. NIPT will be nationally introduced as an ‘evaluative roll out’. This means the programme will be able to monitor how the introduction of NIPT is working at each stage and make any required changes to the pathway and screening processes quickly and effectively.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether any of the additional £500 mental health funding for 2021-22 will be allocated to funding post-discharge support for mental health patients.

We have already announced that £79 million of this additional funding will go to supporting children and young people with their mental health and wellbeing. Details of how the remaining funds will be allocated will be announced shortly.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to publish a social care Green Paper in 2021.

The Government is committed to the improvement of the adult social care system and will bring forward proposals later this year.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide a map of mental health funding allocation for each CCG in England.

We have no plans to do so as this information is not collected centrally. It is for clinical commissioning groups to allocate funding to meet the mental health needs of their local populations.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide a country map of waiting times for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in England.

There are no plans to do so. A national access and waiting times standard for children and young people’s mental health services in England has not yet been defined.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 10 December 2020 to Question HL10527 on Blood: Donors, when his Department plans to publish its response to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's comprehensive review of the safety of immunoglobulins produced from fractionated UK plasma.

A response to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s review of the safety of immunoglobulins from fractionated United Kingdom plasma will be published by the spring.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide an update on implementing the recommendations from the Joint Committee on Human Rights report, The Government's Response to covid-19: Human rights implications, regarding care care home visits.

From 8th March care homes will be supported to allow residents more meaningful visits. We will enable care homes to identify a single named repeat visitor for residents, and facilitate indoor visits with lateral flow testing and PPE.

We have acted to protect those most at risk in care homes and ensure visits can go ahead safely in some form. Visits to care homes can continue to take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not currently allowed. Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

We will be looking to ensure that a wider range of visiting arrangements are made available when it is safe to do so and publish updated guidance as this period of national lockdown ends.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the (a) potential merits and (b) feasibility of providing FFP3 face masks to all front line NHS staff.

The recommendations on what personal protective equipment (PPE) is required in which settings, including the use of FFP3 masks, is set out in ‘COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC)’, which was last updated on 21 January 2021. These recommendations are agreed by an expert group of clinicians and scientists from across the United Kingdom and are consistent with World Health Organization guidance.

Due to the identification of new COVID-19 variants, the UK Infection Prevention Control Cell conducted a comprehensive review and assessed the available evidence in order to inform any necessary changes to the guidance for health workers in England including recommended levels of PPE. Based on the evidence, they concluded that current guidance and PPE recommendations remain appropriate. Emerging evidence and data on variant strains will be continually monitored and reviewed, and the guidance amended accordingly if needed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure travellers stay in their hotel rooms for the isolation period imposed by the hotel quarantine rules.

We have security in place in and outside accommodation to support people staying there.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing covid-19 testing and personal protective equipment to family carers on a similar basis to the provision of that equipment to care home staff.

In response to clinical advice and following a successful pilot, free personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 needs is now being provided to unpaid carers who do not live with the person they care for. In line with the Government’s commitment to provide free PPE for COVID-19 needs to the adult social care sector, this offer for unpaid carers is currently available until the end of June 2021 and can be accessed through local authorities and local resilience forums.
As of May 2020, the Government included unpaid carers in its list of essential workers and those prioritised for COVID-19 testing in England. If they have symptoms of COVID-19, unpaid carers can book a test directly online and access testing themselves or for members of their household who are experiencing symptoms.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of suspending hospital car parking enforcement at hospitals distributing the coronavirus vaccine.

Car parking regulations are enforced at National Health Services sites where they are distributing the COVID-19 vaccine and elsewhere to ensure parking remains safe and available for all users. Suspending such enforcement would have a detrimental effect on car parking users and their access to such facilities. However, NHS organisations will consider the appropriateness of taking action, for example issuing Parking Charge Notices, with regard to the local circumstances.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will review the targets to be imposed on dental practices as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department currently has no plans to review the units of dental activity targets for the final quarter of the 2020/21 financial year, as set by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have set a 45% dental activity target for the final financial quarter of the 2020/21 financial year. This target is based upon clinical advice and modelling from the office of the Chief Dental Officer and has taken into consideration robust adherence to infection prevention and control guidance and social distancing requirements. This target also takes into consideration the levels of dental activity that have been achieved to date.

National Health Service commissioners have the discretion to make exceptions, for instance in cases where a dental practice has been impacted by staff being required to self-isolate or the reinstatement of shielding during the national lockdown.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of following the Eatwell Guide for people with a BMI of 30 and over; and if he will make a statement.

The Eatwell Guide applies to most people regardless of their weight, energy or calorie requirements. People with a Body Mass Index of 30 or above would be classified as living with obesity and should be supported to achieve a healthier weight through sustainable changes to their eating habits and physical activity levels. To achieve weight loss, the average person should reduce their daily calorie intake by 600 kilocalories. Whilst aiming to lose weight, the Eatwell Guide can help people choose a variety of different foods from each of the groups to help them get the wide range of nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence informs the criteria for the proportion of meat recommended in the NHS Eatwell Guide and Guideline Daily Allowances.

Whilst there are no official recommendations on the consumption of white meat, the Government recommends that people who currently eat more than 90 grams (cooked weight) of red and processed meat a day, cut down to no more than an average of 70 grams a day. This is based on advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).

The SACN reviewed the evidence on red and processed meat intake as part of their report ‘Iron and Health’ in 2010. The report concluded that red and processed meat is probably associated with increased bowel cancer risk. The SACN recommended that people with relatively high intakes of red and processed meat should consider reducing their intakes. ‘Iron and Health’ is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sacn-iron-and-health-report

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the 47,000 retired doctors and nurses who volunteered to help the NHS in the first wave of the covid-19 outbreak are volunteering to help in the second wave of the outbreak; and whether those staff will be deployed to Nightingale hospitals.


The former healthcare professionals who came forward to help the National Health Service in the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak have wide ranging skills and experience and have been employed across health and social care - for example within NHS 111, secondary care, mental health and community services. More recently, efforts have focused on matching these former healthcare professionals to the covid vaccination programme.


Data on the numbers of those on the temporary registers who are employed is not collected centrally. Thousands of these former healthcare professionals remain in touch with NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional ‘Bring Back Staff’ teams and are available for deployment to a range of clinical settings and programmes, including Nightingale hospitals.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Nightingale hospital in London will be open and working at full capacity.

NHS England confirmed on the 11 January that the Nightingale hospital in London is now open and will be proving step-down care, freeing up beds in existing hospitals for those who need them.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will publish any data it collects on the number of patients that recover from covid-19.

The data is not held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 tier restrictions on the number of people who can attend community lunches during the Christmas 2020 period.

The Government has ensured that the regulations do allow charitable lunches over the festive period to continue this year.

In all three tiers there is an exception to gathering restrictions where the gathering is a permitted organised gathering which includes gatherings operated or organised by a charity. An attendee can participate in the gathering alone or as a member of a qualifying group.

There are also exceptions to the business closure requirements in each of the three tiers to enable premises to be used for the provision of voluntary services, including the provision of food banks, or to provide support for the homeless or vulnerable people.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of prioritising people with mental health issues for the covid-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has considered the available evidence and published the prioritisation list for COVID-19 vaccination, which is largely prioritised by age due to the strong association of older age and mortality from COVID-19. Those considered clinically extremely vulnerable have also been prioritised for vaccination and those in clinical risk groups aged 16 years old and over.

Persons with severe mental illness are included as a risk group prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination and are described as individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS England plans to release a Highly Specialised Services report for (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

The NHS England Highly Specialised Services report for services delivered in 2019 is currently in its final stages of sign-off and is expected to be published at the beginning of 2021. Publication of the report has been delayed due to other documents having to be prioritised for publication during the COVID-19 period.

The report for 2020 is in the process of being prepared and is expected to be published by the end of the financial year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's timeline is for releasing the new rare disease framework.

The Government plans to publish a new United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework by the end of 2020 which will replace the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there is a timetable for devolved nations to agree an implementation plan to support the new rare disease framework.

All four United Kingdom nations have signed up to the development of a new UK Rare Diseases Framework, set for publication at the end of 2020. The Rare Diseases Framework will be followed by nation-specific action plans that will detail the steps each government will take to meet the shared priorities of the Framework. The devolved administrations have agreed to publish nation specific action plans within two years of the Framework publication.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking in response to the Care Quality Commission's most recent Monitoring the Mental Health Act report in the context of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

We welcome the Care Quality Commission’s report which gives us an invaluable insight into the ways that mental health inpatient services have responded to the pandemic.

We have announced measures which address some of the concerns raised in the report. This includes a £50 million winter discharge support package which will boost capacity and support good quality discharge from mental health inpatient settings to help reduce pressures on inpatient beds and keep patients safe over the winter.


It is important that any restrictions on hospital visiting are proportionate and only kept in place when absolutely necessary and in line with the Government’s and NHS policies during the pandemic. We are aware that advocacy services have had to innovate during the pandemic in order to continue to offer patients the advice and support that they need.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of different starting dates for regulatory data protection and Supplementary Protection Certificates as incentives for innovative medicines on (a) patient access to innovative medicines and (b) the UK’s competitiveness as a destination for investment in life sciences.

Rules on data exclusivity and Supplementary Protection Certificates fulfil two separate functions within the United Kingdom’s intellectual property regime for medicines. These arrangements therefore necessarily have differing start dates. As such, the Government has not made a direct assessment of the potential effect of different starting dates for regulatory data protection and Supplementary Protection Certificates.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to tackle workforce shortages in (a) rheumatology and (b) other specialty workforce shortages in the NHS people plan.

‘We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/2021 – action for us all’ sets out a plan to expand capacity and skills in the workforce. This includes additional training support for shortage specialties and measures to improve wellbeing and retention.

NHS Digital statistics, as at July 2020, showed that there were almost 37% more full time equivalent rheumatology consultants and almost 14% more rheumatology trainees in National Health Service trusts and clinical commissioning groups since 2010.

To further increase the supply of doctors we have increased the number of medical school places by 1,500 over the last three years, and this year we have seen more medical students in training than at any other time in NHS history. Health Education England is also investing in an extra 250 foundation year two posts in 2020/21, to enable the doctors filling them to grow the pipeline into psychiatry, cancer, general practice and other priority areas.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the (a) total number of beds available to the NHS and (b) number of beds occupied by covid-19 patients as at 9 November 2020.

Information on the total number of National Health Service beds is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS staff are (a) absent through illness and (b) self-isolating as a result of covid-19 as of 9 November 2020.

NHS England and NHS Improvement collect sickness absence data on staff contracted by the NHS. The figures report the number of COVID-19 related absences of staff, either through sickness or self-isolation.

The latest available figures show 82,021 total absences of staff either through sickness or self-isolation on 4 November 2020. Of these 31,129 were reported as COVID-19 related.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS Nightingale Hospitals are in operation as at 9 November 2020; and what services each such hospital is providing.

Each Nightingale hospital plays a different role for their region and any decision to stand-up the hospitals will be based on expert clinical advice and in response to local pressures.

In late October 2020, the Manchester Nightingale reopened to support step-down care for non-COVID-19 patients, helping to maintain routine care in the region’s hospitals. The other Nightingale hospitals remain on standby, ready to quickly step up and support local National Health Service hospitals if needed. Additionally, while on standby, the Nightingale hospitals in Exeter and Harrogate have provided valuable additional diagnostics capacity.

The status of each Nightingale hospital is under constant review and they remain valuable assets that will continue to be used, when required, to support local NHS services over the busy winter period.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will (a) protect mental health hospital capacity and (b) issue guidance on discharges from mental health services.

On 23 November, we brought forward our Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19 which includes a commitment, backed by £50 million, to boost capacity and support good quality discharge for mental health service users from inpatient settings. Guidance on effective approaches to rapid discharge will be made available in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis is for his policy on visiting care homes during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our policy is informed by expert advice to ensure it is based on the latest international and domestic evidence. We have worked closely with a range of social care stakeholders in developing our policy on visiting care homes during the pandemic.

We will continue to monitor the evidence, and ensure best practice is reviewed and can be applied as we amend our care home visiting guidance to reflect the national situation, and account for the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to vulnerable residents and social care staff.

Plans are currently being developed to allow specific family and friends to visit care homes supported by testing. We have begun rollout of visitor testing, and aim to have nationwide visitor testing by Christmas.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide additional support to care homes to ensure that they are well prepared and supported in the event that they are required to accept discharged hospital patients during the covid-19 outbreak.

Building on the commitments of the Adult Social Care Winter Plan, we are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the NHS to ensure everyone discharged from hospital to a care home has an up-to-date COVID-19 test result and anyone testing positive is discharged to a designated setting that that meets a set of agreed standards to provide safe care for COVID-19 positive residents.

No care home provider will be required to admit a new or returning resident if they do not feel they can provide the appropriate care or isolation. The individual’s local authority should secure alternative appropriate accommodation and care for the required isolation period if needed.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that care homes that offer safe visitation for residents and their families during the covid-19 outbreak can access insurance at rates close to pre-covid levels.

Insurance is a private contract between care providers and insurance companies which the Government is not directly involved in.

However, we recognise that COVID-19 is imposing significant pressures on the care sector. We are working closely across Government, with care providers, and insurance representatives, to understand the breadth and severity of insurance issues – including any changes to the cost of insurance – and whether there is any action the Government should take. The Government has already made an additional £4.6 billion available to local authorities to help address pressures on local services, such as insurance costs, caused by the pandemic.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the statistics for people who have tested positive for covid-19 and have since recovered from that virus.

The Government does not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to protect people in care homes who have had Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation added to their files, until the CQC report on the use of DNACPR decisions is published.

Until the review reports its findings in early 2021, we will continue to work across the health and care system to address the issue. Guidance from clinical bodies such as the British Medical Association, the Resuscitation Council UK and Royal College of Nursing reflects the policy that Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) orders should only ever be made on an individual basis and should be led by the clinical team. The adult social care winter plan published on 18 September 2020 reiterates this. The pandemic does not permit any health or care professional to deviate from that approach. All health professionals nationally are expected to follow the clear statements on the use of individual DNACPR orders.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2020 to Question 97582, on Hospitality Industry: Coronavirus, if he will publish the data that suggests that a significant proportion of exposure to the virus is seen in the hospitality sector.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has provided expert strategic scientific advice to the Government throughout the COVID-19 response.

SAGE’s advice has highlighted that alcohol consumption may increase risk of non-compliance with social distancing and that gatherings in hospitality are higher risk of transmission. SAGE continues to release minutes from its meetings and the supporting scientific papers on GOV.UK, as has been the case since the start of the pandemic.

Public Health England’s Weekly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) surveillance report highlighted that from 21-27 September, 13% of those testing positive for COVID-19 reported eating out in the time before symptom onset, when there is a high risk of asymptomatic transmission.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) short and (b) long term effects of a potential further national covid-19 lockdown on the (i) physical and (ii) mental health of the population.

When making decisions on any COVID-19 restrictions the Government assess a wide range of data. At the core is an assessment of the rate of transmission, infection and death rate however, a wide range of other impacts are also assessed including the physical and mental health of the population. We understand how difficult the first national lockdown was for people and want to avoid the need for one by taking a localised approach as seen through the local alert levels.

The Government is also absolutely committed to only having restrictions in place for as long as is necessary to protect public health, acknowledging the impact that they have on people’s lives.

The evidence considered by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and used to support the Government’s response to COVID-19 is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/scientific-evidence-supporting-the-government-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to promote routine access to personalised cancer treatments that target specific gene mutations.

NHS England and NHS Improvement work with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to ensure access to personalised cancer treatments that target specific gene mutations.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are involved in the NICE Topic Selection process to identify treatments which may proceed through the NICE technology appraisal process and include a genomic test as part of the patient pathway. Following NICE recommendation of a treatment that targets specific gene mutations, NHS England and NHS Improvement develop and follow a detailed implementation plan to ensure that genomic testing is available within the appropriate time scale.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he is having with care homes that require relatives to sign Do Not Resuscitate orders (DNRs) for residents; and what steps he is taking in response to situations where people have lost their lives as a result of a DNR having been required by the care home.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have confirmed that there has never been an instruction or directive issued by the National Health Service to put in place blanket ‘Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ (DNACPR) decisions for any group of people in hospitals or care homes.

The Department remains clear that the blanket application of DNACPRs is unacceptable and that standards and quality of care should be maintained even in pressurised circumstances. The Adult Social Care Winter Plan published on 18 September 2020 reiterates this.

The Department has asked the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to review how DNACPR decisions were used during the COVID-19 pandemic, building on concerns that the CQC reported earlier in the year. Interim findings are expected to be reported later this year with a final report in early 2021.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the (a) treatment options available for metastatic colorectal cancer patients and (b) average survival rates for those patients in (i) the UK and (ii) other European countries.

The data is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to pharmacists on the advice that pharmacists should provide to patients in circumstances where a medicine is not in stock but that may be available from another pharmacy or pharmacy chain.

The Department’s Medicine Supply Team has established robust procedures to deal with medicine supply issues and they regularly communicate information on these with the National Health Service via networks in primary and secondary care. Where appropriate, the communications include guidance on the management of patients who may be affected by the supply issue.

Pharmacists are expected to use their professional judgement and expertise about the prescribed medicine and how quickly a patient needs it as to what they do to ensure the patient has timely access to the medicine.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients are participating effectively in remote consultations with healthcare practitioners to make informed decisions about their care; and whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of digital exclusion on patient care.

In their letter of 31 July, NHS England and NHS Improvement provided guidance that included a clear expectation that digital services would be developed in an inclusive manner. This inclusive approach needs to take account of the needs of those for whom digital services may not be accessible or present accessibility issues, including for deaf and other disabled people.

Work is being developed with NHSX to specifically assess the needs of digitally excluded groups and how digital services can be adjusted to provide the widest possible access, while acknowledging that a mixed approach is necessary and non-digital channels must also remain available.

The letter is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/07/Phase-3-letter-July-31-2020.pdf

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what mechanisms his Department has in place to assess and include patient feedback and experiences in the health and care policy decision-making process.

Policy makers in the Department are guided in their work by the Civil Service Professional Development Framework for policy professionals which was published in 2019 and can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/851078/Policy_Profession_Standards_AUG19.pdf

The Framework sets out the requirement for policy professionals to take into account genuine user needs when developing their policy, understand the impact for end users and use a range of tools and techniques to gather evidence and test policy solutions. The Department also has a policy improvement team which provides specific guidance and support on all aspects of the Framework to policy makers including how to engage and consult with a wide range of stakeholders including service users.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish a Green Paper on social care.

The Government’s current priority for adult social care is for everyone who relies on care to get the care they need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know we need a long-term solution for social care and are looking at a range of proposals as part of our commitment to bringing forward a strategy that puts the sector on a sustainable footing for the future.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of the use of minimally invasive procedures during the covid-19 outbreak on (a) hospital capacity (b) patient outcomes in hospitals in England.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic all non-essential elective surgery was postponed, including minimally invasive procedures. The use of minimally invasive techniques was mooted as a potential solution to operating in a COVID-19 environment and, where clinically appropriate, this technique was used once non-urgent procedures resumed. As COVID-19 infection control measures have been developed, the need for minimally invasive techniques has receded and the use of these has now returned to normal levels.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Health Service Products (Provision and Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2018 on the costs of generic medicine or special medicinal product listed with a reimbursement price in the drug tariff.

The Government publishes an annual review on the Health Service Products (Provision and Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2018, which assesses the regulations against their objectives. The latest review can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-service-products-and-medicines-regulations-2018-annual-review

The collection of data under the regulations ensures reimbursement prices set using market data includes data from all suppliers and therefore the reimbursement price more fairly reflects the average market selling price. A number of factors effect both the selling and the reimbursement price.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Access to Medicines and Medical Devices on Special Medicinal Products, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating a national formulary of red-amber-green coded specials.

The Government published a Consultation last year which asked stakeholders to give their feedback to proposals that included improving the system for reimbursement of special medicinal products. The Government will consider the report on Special Medicinal Products by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Access to Medicines and Medical Devices as work post the consultation is taken forward. The Consultation is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/community-pharmacy-drug-reimbursement-reform

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of medicines deemed to be priced excessively by (a) his Department and (b) the Competition and Markets Authority.

Concerns about potential drug pricing abuses are a matter for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA has several ongoing investigations into excessive prices of generic medicines. Where it has concerns about the price of a generic medicine, the Department asks the CMA to investigate that price.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to respond to concerns raised by the Competition and Markets Authority on the pricing of (a) hydrocortisone tablets and (b) liothyronine tablets since 2016.

Concerns about potential drug pricing abuses are a matter for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA has several ongoing investigations into excessive prices of generic medicines. Where it has concern about the price of a generic medicine, the Department asks the CMA to investigate that price.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to review the 10.00pm restriction on hospitality businesses every three weeks.

Early data suggests that a significant proportion of exposure to the virus is seen in the hospitality sector, which is even more pronounced in younger age groups.

10pm closure seeks to strike the balance of allowing people to continue to socialise while reducing social contact and minimising negative impact on the economy. This relies on us ensuring that businesses remain COVID-secure.

We have put in place an unprecedented package of support to support impacted businesses, including over £11 billion already been paid out through the Small Business Grants Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund to over 897,000 businesses across the country, with a further £617 million available to councils to use at their discretion to support small businesses which are not eligible for the main grant scheme.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many times a medicine for a rare disease has received a negative recommendation as a result of lack of data through the single technology appraisal process.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published two technology appraisals on medicines for rare diseases where they have received a negative recommendation as a result of a lack of data:

- cenegermin for treating neurotrophic keratitis [TA532]; and

- darvadstrocel for treating perianal fistula in Crohn’s disease [TA556].

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many times a medicine for a rare disease, not eligible for the HST process, has received a conditional approval for reimbursement based on a managed access agreement or similar.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has made recommendations on two medicines for rare diseases through a managed access agreement that were not eligible for the evaluation through the highly specialised technologies process.

These are:

- Belimumab (Benlysta) for treating active autoantibody-positive systemic lupus erythematosus [TA397] published 22 June 2016; and

- Nusinersen (Spinraza) for treating spinal muscular atrophy [TA588] published on 24 July 2019.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to address the specific challenges to children's mental health found in rural and isolated areas.

Supporting children and young people's mental health including those living in rural areas, is one of the Government’s top priorities.

We are committed to transforming mental health services as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, funded by an additional £2.3 billion a year in real terms by 2023/24. We have provided £9.2 million of additional funding for mental health charities to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are best placed to decide on how our investment in mental health services should be used to meet the needs of their populations living in rural areas. CCGs are required to continue to increase investment in mental health services in line with the mental health investment standard. In 2018/19, all CCGs met the standard.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he take steps to ensure that the public is consulted prior to bringing forward legislative proposals to grant pharmacists the power to amend prescriptions as they see fit in the event of shortages of medicine.

Allowing pharmacists to take local action to amend prescriptions without a Serious Shortage Protocol being in place could potentially risk exacerbating shortages by depleting supplies of any alternative medicine provided. The Government is not currently formally pursuing such a proposal in England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the Government’s vaccine strategy.

The forthcoming vaccine strategy, as announced in the Green Paper ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’, will consider all vaccination programmes over the life-course.

Due to re-prioritisation necessary as part of the health and care system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, publication has been delayed, but is expected in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the UK’s vaccine manufacturing capacity.

The new Government ‘Vaccines Taskforce’ is working with the BioIndustry Association Taskforce to review existing domestic capability to manufacture vaccines, in response to COVID-19. The Taskforce is also reviewing options for increasing this capacity, including how to support the acceleration and expand the capacity of the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre, so that it becomes operational earlier than planned and is able to manufacture population level doses.

For COVID-19, the type of vaccine manufacturing capacity needed will be determined by the nature of the vaccine that is developed and the technology used to produce the vaccines. This work is proceeding at pace, with the support of industry and academic partners, to ensure that we are identifying suitable capacity across different vaccine types, while those vaccines are still under development.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what processes are in place to (a) monitor, (b) assess the need for new and (c) introduce new formularies for prescription items throughout England; and which organisation is responsible for overseeing those processes.

Formularies are developed locally between trusts and clinical commissioning groups as part of their local responsibilities.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have developed good practice guidance on developing and updating local formularies. The guidance supports developing formularies that reflect local needs, reduce variation in prescribing, and allow rapid adoption of new medicines and treatments. It also recommends that local formularies be published. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/MPG1

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many formularies for prescription items each sustainability and transformation partnership area has.

Formularies are developed locally between National Health Service trusts and clinical commissioning groups and are not set nationally. Therefore we do not hold a list or have the information for each sustainability and transformation partnership.

Local areas publish terms of reference for formulary groups online, this will include membership for their local formulary group. Good practice guidance also recommends that formularies are published online.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a fund similar to the Innovative Medicines Fund for innovative medical (a) devices and (b) digital technologies.

The Department is highly invested in increasing innovation within the National Health Service, and over the last five years, national bodies including NHS England, NHS Improvement, NHS Digital and the Department have managed a series of high-profile central funding programmes designed to support the digitisation of primary and secondary healthcare services. NHSX has been formed to accelerate the adoption of digital innovation across the NHS and social care.

In December 2019, we announced the Digital Aspirant Fund to support NHS providers. This fund will provide support to organisations with low levels of digitisation in order to help them reach a national standard.

We are working towards a health service that supports innovators to develop safe and effective innovations that meet user needs, promotes the testing and iteration of these innovations so they can be used with confidence, and ensures the best innovations are used so that everyone can benefit.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department defines rurality.

There is an official statistical rural urban classification, based on the 2011 Census, which determines settlements with populations of 10,000 or more as urban. Further details of the rural urban classification can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/rural-urban-classification

The rural urban classification is intended to support statistical analysis. Other definitions of rural could be more appropriate in some policy or analytical contexts.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the scope is of the Innovative Medicines Fund.

The Cancer Drugs Fund will be extended to create a new Innovative Medicines Fund so that doctors can use the most advanced, life-saving treatments for conditions such as autoimmune disease or cancer, or for children with other rare diseases.

Detailed proposals for the new Innovative Medicines Fund are in development and will be consulted on in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria will a medicine need to meet in order to be considered for the Innovative Medicines Fund.

The Cancer Drugs Fund will be extended to create a new Innovative Medicines Fund so that doctors can use the most advanced, life-saving treatments for conditions such as autoimmune disease or cancer, or for children with other rare diseases.

Detailed proposals for the new Innovative Medicines Fund are in development and will be consulted on in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timescale is for the implementation of the Innovative Medicines Fund.

The Cancer Drugs Fund will be extended to create a new Innovative Medicines Fund so that doctors can use the most advanced, life-saving treatments for conditions such as autoimmune disease or cancer, or for children with other rare diseases.

Detailed proposals for the new Innovative Medicines Fund are in development and will be consulted on in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure that the pneumococcal vaccine is available to all people who are eligible.

The Department is aware that there is currently limited availability of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23), due to manufacturing capacity constraints. Further deliveries of the vaccines are due at the end of February 2020.

Public Health England has issued comprehensive guidance to the National Health Service that provides information to clinicians on the management of potentially affected patients during this time of limited availability. General practices have been advised to prioritise PPV23 vaccinations based on clinical risk and to plan vaccinations to ensure demand is more consistent across the year.

On the 6 November 2019, PPV23 was added to the list of medicines that cannot be parallel exported, further protecting United Kingdom supplies and vaccine availability.

The vaccine differs from the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) vaccine used for the routine childhood programme. There is no supply issue affecting the PCV13 vaccine used in infants and toddlers—but this vaccine is not suitable for protection of older people.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals for the regulation of physician associates.

On 7 February 2019 the Government published its response to the consultation on the Regulation of Medical Associate Professions in the United Kingdom, confirming its decision to introduce statutory regulation for physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs), formerly known as physicians’ assistants (anaesthesia).

On 18 July 2019, the Government announced that it would be asking the General Medical Council (GMC) to take forward the regulation of these roles.

The Government is now working with the GMC and stakeholders to develop legislation to bring PAs and AAs into regulation. Funding has been agreed with the GMC to carry out development work.

We intend to consult on draft legislation later this year.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department and the General Medical Council have reached an agreement on the funding arrangements for the initial costs associated with the regulation of physician associates.

On 7 February 2019 the Government published its response to the consultation on the Regulation of Medical Associate Professions in the United Kingdom, confirming its decision to introduce statutory regulation for physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs), formerly known as physicians’ assistants (anaesthesia).

On 18 July 2019, the Government announced that it would be asking the General Medical Council (GMC) to take forward the regulation of these roles.

The Government is now working with the GMC and stakeholders to develop legislation to bring PAs and AAs into regulation. Funding has been agreed with the GMC to carry out development work.

We intend to consult on draft legislation later this year.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to consult on prescribing rights for physician associates; and whether that consultation will run in conjunction with the regulation of that group of professionals.

The Government is committed to considering the extension of prescribing responsibilities for this group once physician associates are brought into regulation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that his Department's foreign travel advice for individual countries matches the latest covid-19 travel advice published by the Government.

FCDO travel advice has a box at the top of all the pages setting out the Government message that to prevent new COVID-19 variants from entering the UK, travellers should not travel to Amber or Red list countries. Every page also states the Traffic Light status for that country.

FCDO travel advice aims to inform British nationals of the risks of travelling to a country so that they can make informed decisions about travelling abroad. It is aimed at British nationals, wherever they live, not just those living in the UK. Only individuals can make an informed decision on whether or not to travel based on their personal circumstances, their judgement of the risks, the relevant legislation or regulations where they are resident and the entry requirements of their destination country.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with (a) NICE and (b) NHS England and NHS Improvement on setting levels of ambition in the NICE Methods Review.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)’s review into its methods and processes for assessing new medicines is currently live. The review has sought input from a wide range of stakeholders, and officials from across Government – including those in HM Treasury – have been engaged as appropriate. NICE is an independent body, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of the Review in due course.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with (a) NICE and (b) NHS England on the changes needed in the NICE methods and process review to deliver on the Government’s ambition to be a global life sciences hub.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)’s review into its methods and processes for assessing new medicines is currently live. The review has sought input from a wide range of stakeholders, and officials from across Government – including those in HM Treasury – have been engaged as appropriate. NICE is an independent body, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of the Review in due course.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance his Department published before the Budget on 3 March 2021 on the requirement to have filed a 2019-20 self-assessment tax return by 2 March 2021 in order to be eligible for the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant.

The Government announced at Budget on 3 March that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and a final fifth grant. This provides certainty to business as the economy reopens and means the SEISS continues to be one of the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world.

The Chancellor also announced that the fourth and fifth SEISS grants would be based on 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax returns and individuals must have submitted their 2019-20 tax return by 2 March 2021. This date balances access for the vast majority of eligible self-employed individuals, with the duty to protect the taxpayer against fraud as the details of the SEISS grants became public.

HM Revenue & Customs waived the late filing penalty for Self-Assessment tax returns filed online by 28 February to provide relief to all self-assessment taxpayers and agents at a time of unprecedented pressure. The statutory filing deadline of 31 January did not change.

Further information about the fourth grant is available in recently published guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with representatives of the Financial Conduct Authority on enabling lenders to (a) restructure and (b) extend loans in light of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to regulating only where there is a clear case for doing so, in order to avoid putting additional costs on lenders that would ultimately lead to higher costs for business customers. Business lending is unregulated and is not generally within the scope of the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA's) conduct rules.

However, the Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through the emergency Covid-19 loan schemes which have been open since March 2020: over 1.6 million businesses have accessed over £75 billion of finance through the schemes to date.

Whilst it is important that businesses are responsible for repaying any facility they take out, to help businesses repay their loans the Government has taken steps to give them time to get back on their feet. This includes “Pay as You Grow” (PAYG) options for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), giving businesses the option to: repay their BBLS facility over ten years, move temporarily to interest-only payments for periods of up to six months (an option which they can use up to three times), or to pause their repayments entirely for up to six months.

The Government has also amended the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) rules to allow lenders to extend loan terms from six to a maximum of ten years at their discretion and where they judge that the borrower is in difficulty and this will help them repay their loan, helping to reduce their monthly repayments.

Businesses which need support should discuss options with their lenders, who are best placed to offer tailored engagement based on individual business’ circumstances.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what targeted support the Government plans to offer to businesses that will lose revenue as a result of cancelled events in the spring and summer.

The Government recognises the extreme disruption the necessary actions to combat Covid-19 are having on sectors like events.

During this difficult time the Treasury is working intensively with employers, delivery partners, industry groups, and other government departments to understand the long-term effects of Covid-19 across all key areas of the economy.

We have already announced considerable and unprecedented support for businesses and individuals.

Businesses forced to close can claim grants of up to £3,000 per month (worth over £1 billion per month) through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed). Any business in England forced to close due to national or local restrictions can claim grants, via their local authority, of up to £3,000 per month, per business premises, depending on rateable value.

In addition, on 5th January, the Government announced an extra £4.6 billion to protect jobs and support affected businesses as restrictions get tougher. Businesses forced to close can claim a one-off grant of up to £9,000. This is in addition to the monthly closed grant amounts above. Local authorities (in England) will also be given an additional £500 million discretionary funding to support their local businesses. This builds on the £1.1 billion discretionary funding (worth £20 per head of population) which local authorities in England have already received to support their local economies and help businesses impacted

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of April. This provides a substantial grant for employers to cover 80% of the wages of their employees.

Eligible events and businesses may have also benefit from business rates relief, a moratorium on commercial tenant evictions and the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund supporting thousands of cultural organisations including theatres, music venues, comedy clubs and festivals.

Looking forward, we will continue to monitor the impact of government support on public services, businesses, individuals and sectors, including the events sector, as we respond to this pandemic. The Budget in March will be an opportunity to take stock of our wider support and set out the next stage of our economic response to the pandemic. But we must recognise that it will not be possible to preserve every job or business indefinitely, nor stand in the way of the economy adapting and people finding new jobs or starting new businesses.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the business rates holiday to the 2021-22 financial year.

The Government will continue to look at how to adjust support in a way that ensures people can get back to work, protecting both the UK economy and the livelihoods of people across the country. The Government will consider all reliefs in the round, against the broader fiscal and economic impacts of COVID-19, as part of the Business Rates Review.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will raise the FSCS compensation rate of £85,000 at the end of the transition period.

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is responsible for setting the UK’s deposit protection limit. The current limit of £85,000 has been in place since 2017 and protects more than 97% of eligible depositors’ accounts.

There are currently no plans for the coverage level to change. However, from the end of the transition period the PRA will be required to review the limit at least once every five years and may adjust the limit following such a review, subject to HM Treasury approval.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to support sole employees of limited companies who are unable to access support with lost earnings.

Those not eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), such as sole employees of limited companies, may still be eligible for other elements of the unprecedented financial support provided by the Government. The Government has temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 by £20 per week and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. They may also have access to Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants, with a new extended deadline of 30 November.

In addition to this, up to half a million businesses which deferred their VAT bills will also be given more breathing space through the New Payment Scheme. This gives them the option to spread their payments over the financial year 2021-2022. In addition, all 11 million UK self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from the recently enhanced Time to Pay ‘self-service’ facility to form a 12-month, interest-free payment arrangement for up to £30,000 of self-assessment debt.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to make wholesale food suppliers eligible for the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant.

The Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors. Small businesses occupying properties for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes are likely to be particularly affected by Covid-19 due to their reliance on customer footfall, and the fact that they are less likely than larger businesses to have sufficient cash reserves to meet their high fixed property-related costs. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund is intended to help small businesses in this situation.

Wholesale food suppliers may be eligible for a discretionary grant from their Local Authority. On Friday 1 May, the Government announced that it would be making up to £617m of additional funding available to Local Authorities to enable them to make payments of up to £25,000 to businesses which have been excluded from the existing grants schemes because of the way they interact with the business rates system. The additional funds are aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs, and we are particularly asking Local Authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces; regular market traders; small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief; and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. Local Authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses, including wholesale food suppliers, based on local economic need. However, the priority of all the grants schemes continues to be to help the smallest businesses, and small businesses which are facing significant property-related costs and operate in sectors which have been particularly hard hit by the steep decline in customer footfall.

Small businesses which are not eligible for business grants should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including:

  • An option to defer VAT payments by up to twelve months;
  • The Bounce Back Loan scheme, which will ensure that small and micro businesses can quickly access loans of up to £50,000 which are 100% guaranteed by the Government;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, now extended to cover all businesses including those which would be able to access commercial credit;
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses with their wage bill;
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to provide support to the self-employed.
Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the evidence-based rationale for placing each local authority in their designated priority category for the Levelling Up Fund.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We will shortly publish further detail on the methodology used to calculate the index.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the Index of Economic Need methodology.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We will shortly publish further detail on the methodology used to calculate the index.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the draft Building Safety Bill, whether the Golden Thread provision will apply to all buildings.

The golden thread will apply to buildings in scope of the new building safety regime. The Government encourages the sector to go further embedding golden thread best practice throughout the industry, ensuring people are responsible and accountable for delivering and maintaining safe buildings, including keeping information.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to notify applicants to the Future High Streets Fund of the outcome of their applications.

Now more than ever, it is vital that we continue to?help?our local economies?by supporting?town centres and high streets?to?recover, adapt and evolve. Our £1 billion Future High Streets Fund competition will help create jobs and build more resilient local economies and communities as we begin to recover from the impact of coronavirus. I am pleased to say we are in the final stages of assessing the proposals from the 101 shortlisted applicants and expect to announce the outcome of the competition soon.

23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to ensure the provision of covid-secure accommodation for rough sleepers over winter 2020-21.

During the pandemic, we have worked closely with local authorities and the sector to offer vulnerable people safe accommodation and support. That work is ongoing and in September, we had successfully supported over 29,000 people, with 10,000 in emergency accommodation and nearly 19,000 provided with settled accommodation or move on support.

On 13 October, we announced additional winter support, to give local areas the tools they need to support vulnerable rough sleepers this winter. This includes a new £10 million Cold Weather Fund for local areas and £2 million in funding for the faith, communities and voluntary sector to bring forward self-contained and COVID secure accommodation this winter.

We have worked extensively with Public Health England (PHE) to provide Operating Principles for the sector to help them open shelters as safely as possible where necessary, when self-contained accommodation cannot be made available and when local partners agree that it is the right thing to do.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason places of worship are not allowed to serve food and drink while businesses are allowed to do so during the covid-19 outbreak.

In a place of worship, where food or drink are essential to the act of worship, they can be served and consumed. If it is necessary to handle food or drink as a part of a faith practice, those giving and receiving these items should wash their hands thoroughly before and after consumption, or wear gloves

If a place of worship provides hospitality spaces, such as cafes, these are permitted to open but should be limited to table-service, social distancing should be observed, and with minimal staff and customer contact in line with the hospitality guidance.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to support indoor market retailers during the economic recovery from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has delivered one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support globally, with a total fiscal response of close to £200 billion. Many of the measures introduced, including loan schemes, tax deferrals, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme remain open and have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK

Eligible market stalls with a rateable value could also benefit from flat rate payments of £10,000 under the grant scheme for the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors. Moreover, in recognition that some market traders were excluded from this grant fund because of the way they interact with the business rates system, the Government encouraged local authorities to include these businesses as a priority group for the Discretionary Grant Fund

In terms of rent assistance, the Government encourages tenants to continue to pay their rent in full where they are in a position to do so, although we recognise that others may not be in this position. We welcome the fact that many local authorities and other operators have been able to be flexible in their approach and negotiate suitable arrangements including rent concessions for a significant number of market traders in support of the industry, recognising the financial strain the pandemic has placed on their finances.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to ensure that covid-19 guidance issued by local authorities is available in multiple languages and formats.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is working with councils through this period to ensure they can support their communities best and that national guidance has been translated into a range of languages throughout the pandemic by individual departments and agencies. Guidance issued by local authorities would be locally produced and be targeted to the area they serve. Local authorities know their communities best and as independent organisations, will have the ability to decide how best to communicate with, and serve their communities.

14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timetable is for his Department's consultation on Government proposals for a fairer distribution of funding for local government services.

The Government is committed to undertaking a review of the relative needs and resources of English local authorities. We are working closely with local government representatives and others to examine all elements of the review. We aim to share emerging results with the sector shortly, followed by a full consultation in the Spring. Our aim is to implement the review in 2021-22.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timetable is for the Fair Funding Review of local government funding.

The Government is committed to undertaking a review of the relative needs and resources of English local authorities. We are working closely with local government representatives and others to examine all elements of the review. We aim to share emerging results with the sector shortly, followed by a full consultation in the Spring. Our aim is to implement the review in 2021-22.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December to Question 126796 on Prison Sentence, for what reason IPP prisoners cannot be transferred to alternative sentences.

Transferring those prisoners still serving IPP sentences on to other types of sentence would raise issues of public protection, as it would result in the automatic release of a large number of prisoners who have been assessed by the Parole Board to be unsafe for release. For example, for those who had passed their tariff expiry date, this would result in their immediate automatic early release with no supervision in the community on licence.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Leader of the House, pursuant to the answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179125, on Physician Associates: Regulation, what steps he is taking to ensure Departments provide substantive answers to Questions within the requested time frame.

It is a recognised fundamental right of Parliament that hon. members receive full and timely responses to Parliamentary questions and I have reminded all departments of the importance of this. I raised my hon. friend’s specific question with the Department of Health and Social Care and I understand that it has now been answered. I will continue to raise hon. members' questions with departments where there is a significant delay or unsatisfactory response.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons