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Written Question
Antibiotics: Drug Resistance
6 Dec 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to tackle antibiotic resistance.

Answered by Maggie Throup

In 2019, the Government published the first of four five-year national action plans aimed at tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The plan focuses on tackling AMR through:

- reducing the need for and unintentional exposure to antimicrobials;

- optimising the use of antimicrobials; and

- investing in innovation, supply and access to antimicrobials.

We continue to fully implement this plan and maintain progress towards achieving the Government’s vision for AMR to be effectively contained and controlled globally by 2040.


Written Question
Loneliness: Costs
2 Dec 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of loneliness and social isolation amongst (a) elderly and (b) vulnerable people in (i) each of the last five years and (ii) during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Gillian Keegan

The Department has made no such estimate.


Written Question
Autism: Children
1 Dec 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the average waiting time for an autism assessment for children in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce average waiting times for autism assessments in those areas.

Answered by Gillian Keegan

It is not possible to reliably estimate the average waiting time for children to complete an assessment for autism in Coventry, the West Midlands and England from the data currently collected by NHS Digital. Children and young people are largely out of scope of the current data collection. Available data shows that during Quarter 4 of 2020/21, there were a total of 9,055 new referrals for suspected autism among under 18 year olds recorded in England. Of these, approximately 12% or 1,060 received a first appointment in 13 weeks or less and 4% or 360 received a first appointment between 13 and 26 weeks.

To reduce diagnosis waiting times for children and young people across England, we are investing an additional £10.5 million in 2021/22 as part of the COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Action Plan and the NHS Long Term Plan. Local systems are using this funding to improve different diagnostic pathways. In addition, through our new autism strategy, we are funding an early identification pilot in which healthcare and education staff working together to assess children who may be autistic more quickly within schools.


Written Question
Temporary Accommodation: Children and Families
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate he has made of the number of families with children living in temporary accommodation in (a) Coventry North East constituency, (b) Coventry, (c) the West Midland and (d) England.

Answered by Eddie Hughes

Time spent in temporary accommodation means people are getting help and it ensures no family is without a roof over their head.

The latest figures show that on 30 June 2021 the number of households with children in temporary accommodation in England was 60,490, a 3.5% reduction compared to the same quarter the previous year. The number of households with children in temporary accommodation in Coventry is 257. Data is available by local authority only and so is not available for the Coventry North East parliamentary constituency. A breakdown of the temporary accommodation figures for individual local authority areas within the West Midlands Combined Authority is available on Gov.uk at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-april-to-june-2021

The Government is committed to reducing temporary accommodation and preventing homelessness before it occurs. In 2021-22 local authorities received £375 million through the Homelessness Prevention Grant, which represents a £112 million increase on the previous year's funding, to give them the funding they need to prevent homelessness and help more people sooner.


Written Question
General Practitioners
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GPs there were in (a) Coventry North East constituency, (b) Coventry, (c) the West Midlands and (d) England in each of the last 10 years; and how many GP vacancies there were in those areas in each of the last 10 years.

Answered by Maria Caulfield

The data for Coventry North East constituency, Coventry and the West Midlands is not collected in the format requested, as general practice workforce data is not collected by constituency, city level or geographical region. The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) doctors in general practice in England between September 2021 and September 2015, the latest date for which comparable data exists, is shown in the following table.

September 2015

33,056

September 2016

34,537

September 2017

34,320

September 2018

33,796

September 2019

34,433

September 2020

35,155

September 2021

36,275

Source: NHS Digital

Notes:

1. FTE refers to the proportion of full time contracted hours that the post holder is contracted to work. One would indicate they work a full set of hours (37.5), 0.5 that they worked half time. In GPs in Training Grade contracts one FTE equals 40 hours and in this table these FTEs have been converted to the standard measure of 1 FTE equals 37.5 hours for consistency.

2. Figures shown do not include staff working in prisons, army bases, educational establishments, specialist care centres including drug rehabilitation centres, walk-in centres and other alternative settings outside of traditional general practice such as urgent treatment centres and minor injury units.

3. Figures from September 2015 and September 2016 should be treated with caution as the data submission rates from practices were appreciably lower than for subsequent reporting periods. The reported figures for the early years of the collection may be lower than the true picture. In September 2015, which was the first extract from the new Workforce Minimum Data Set, only three of four Health Education England regions submitted data. Consequently, September 2015 figures should be treated with additional caution.

4. Data from September 2021 is the third release to be based on the monthly collection of general practice workforce information. Following stakeholder feedback and the move to monthly publications NHS Digital are reviewing the implementation of methodological changes introduced in the June 2021 publication. Until this review is complete, all published figures remain provisional and is not presented in a time series. The time series will be reinstated once the review has been concluded and a methodology agreed.

5. Data as at the last day of the applicable month.

The data requested on vacancies in these areas are not collected centrally.


Written Question
Dental Services: Coronavirus
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the number of dental appointments that have been lost during the covid-19 outbreak in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England.

Answered by Maria Caulfield

The Department is working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to increase the levels of National Health Service dental care that can safely be delivered. Dental practices have been asked to meet as many prioritised needs as possible, focussing first on urgent care and care for vulnerable groups, including children followed by overdue appointments.

In the Midlands, NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned a weekend access scheme from August 2021 to March 2022 to provide additional access for an estimated 17,250 patients. In addition, to increase access for children, two dental providers within each local authority will provide additional treatment within community dental services. No assessment has been made of the number of dental appointments lost, as this data is not collected in the format requested.


Written Question
Dental Services
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) financial and (b) other steps his Department is taking to increase access to NHS dentistry in (i) Coventry, (ii) the West Midlands and (iii) England.

Answered by Maria Caulfield

The Department is working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to increase the levels of National Health Service dental care that can safely be delivered. Dental practices have been asked to meet as many prioritised needs as possible, focussing first on urgent care and care for vulnerable groups, including children followed by overdue appointments.

In the Midlands, NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned a weekend access scheme from August 2021 to March 2022 to provide additional access for an estimated 17,250 patients. In addition, to increase access for children, two dental providers within each local authority will provide additional treatment within community dental services. No assessment has been made of the number of dental appointments lost, as this data is not collected in the format requested.


Written Question
Cancer: Health Services
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the size of the cancer backlog in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England; and what (i) planning and (ii) funding his Department is providing to tackle the cancer backlog in those areas.

Answered by Maria Caulfield

Estimates of an overall backlog at regional and national level are complex due to the different cancer pathways, therefore there is not a single statistic. National Health Service England and NHS Improvement have estimated that up to 36,000 fewer people than expected have started cancer treatment in England.

We are committed to recovering cancer services by the end of March 2022 by returning to February 2020 levels for waiting times between a general practitioner appointment and referral and the number of people waiting for over 62 days for treatment. This applies to Coventry, the West Midlands and England. At the Spending Review we announced an extra £5.9 billion to support elective recovery, diagnostics and technology over the next three years.


Written Question
Social Services: Vacancies
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the job vacancy rates in social care in (a) Coventry North East constituency, (b) Coventry, (c) the West Midlands and (d) England; and what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of carers in the social care sector in those areas.

Answered by Gillian Keegan

Skills for Care’s 2020/21 annual estimates of the vacancy rate in the adult social care sector in Coventry, the West Midlands and England were 8.6%, 5.8% and 6.8% respectively. No estimate is made of vacancy rates by parliamentary constituency.

We have distributed a £162.5 million Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund to local authorities in England to increase adult social care workforce capacity over winter. This includes £18,133,213 for West Midlands across 14 local authorities, of which £1,050,198 has been allocated to Coventry.


Written Question
Mental Health Services: Children and Young People
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the average waiting time for children and adolescent mental health services in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce waiting lists for children and adolescent mental health services in those areas.

Answered by Gillian Keegan

No such estimate has been made as a national access and waiting times standard for child and adolescent mental health services has not yet been defined.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have consulted on the potential to introduce five new waiting time standards as part of its clinically led review of National Health Service access standards. This includes a standard for children, young people, and their families/carers presenting to community-based mental health services, should start to receive care within four weeks from referral. This consultation closed on 1 September 2021 and NHS England and NHS Improvement will publish a response in due course.

On 5 March 2021, we announced an additional £79 million in 2021/22 for children and young people’s mental health services, allowing approximately 22,500 more children and young people to access community health services, 2,000 more children and young people to access eating disorder services and accelerating the coverage of mental health support teams in schools and colleges in England. We are also investing £2.3 billion a year in mental health services by 2023/24 to allow 345,000 more children and young people to access support. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also announced a further £40 million in 2021/22 to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people’s mental health.


Written Question
General Practitioners: Homelessness
29 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people in (a) Coventry North East constituency, (b) Coventry, (c) the West Midlands and (d) England with no fixed abode can register with a GP.

Answered by Maria Caulfield

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


Written Question
Sexual Offences: Convictions
25 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of crimes of sexual violence against women and girls in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England; and what assessment her Department has made of the conviction rate for such crimes in those areas in each of the last five years.

Answered by Rachel Maclean

In recent years, the number of sexual offences recorded by the police has increased as forces have improved their recording of these crimes and more victims have come forward to report due to high-profile cases and awareness campaigns.

The Government welcomes the fact that more victims of sexual offences, which are all too often hidden crimes, are coming forward and reporting these crimes to the police. However, it also recognises that there is more to be done to tackle violence against women and girls generally and, in particular, to improve the outcomes in rape and sexual offence cases.

In June 2021, we published our end-to-end review of how the criminal justice system handles rape. It set out a robust programme of work to drive improvements at every stage of the criminal justice system’s response to rape. Regularly published scorecards will show how the criminal justice system is performing under a series of key metrics, and regional scorecards will allow us to drill down to see where actions are working well and where improvement is required.

Furthermore, we have recently published a cross-Government Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy to help ensure that women and girls are safer everywhere – at home, online and in public.

Finally, for 2021/2022, the Ministry of Justice will provide £150.5 million for victim and witness support services, which includes £51 million to increase support for rape and domestic abuse victims. This year’s Spending Review will deliver access to justice by continuing to invest across the justice system and expanding the support available for users. It will: bolster support for victims of crime by increasing annual funding for Ministry of Justice victim support services to over £185 million by 2024-25, an uplift of 85% from 2019-20.


Written Question
Public Transport: Antisocial Behaviour
22 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of anti-social behaviour incidents on public transport in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England in (i) each of the last three years and (ii) during the Covid-19 outbreak; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce levels of anti-social behaviour on public transport in those areas.

Answered by Chris Heaton-Harris

From British Transport Police (BTP) data, from November 2018 to October 2021, a total of 100,488 incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) on public transport occurred across England. 4% of which occurred in the West Midlands (4,152), while 0.4% occurred in Coventry (422). A breakdown of this data by year is shown in the attached table.

Further, from March 2020 to October 2021, 51,929 incidents of ASB on public transport occurred across England. 4% of which were in the West Midlands (2,155) and 0.4% were in Coventry (217).

The data provided covers National Rail, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Midland Metro Tram, Croydon Tramlink and Glasgow Subway as these are the only transport modes BTP have jurisdiction over. More specific data in regard to Taxis (including Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles) and Trams is not held because this data is not collected. Similarly, no relevant data is held in regard to Buses because this data is collected and held by the Home Office.


Written Question
School Leaving
22 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of school leavers have participated in higher education in (i) Coventry North East constituency, (ii) Coventry, (iii) the West Midlands and (iv) England in each of the last five years.

Answered by Michelle Donelan

The department publishes the number and proportion of 15 year old students from state funded and special schools who entered Higher Education by age 19 over the past five years. This is shown in the table below.

Figures are not available at parliamentary constituency level.

Table 1: Number and proportion of 15 year old students from state funded and special schools who entered higher education by age 19

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

Coventry

HE Progression Rate

39.6%

40.5%

40.7%

41.4%

41.7%

Number of HE Students

1,433

1,474

1,417

1,433

1,475

West Midlands

HE Progression Rate

40.3%

40.5%

41.5%

41.9%

42.1%

Number of HE Students

25,630

26,237

26,006

25,897

25,560

England

HE Progression Rate

40.7%

41.2%

42.2%

42.5%

43.1%

Number of HE Students

229,082

236,233

236,154

235,871

233,407

Source: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/widening-participation-in-higher-education/2019-20.


Written Question
Social Security Benefits: Overpayments
22 Nov 2021

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher (LAB - Coventry North East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people affected by administrative errors made by her Department which led to the overpayment of benefits in each of the last five years.

Answered by David Rutley

Ensuring benefit correctness is a DWP priority and we are focused on paying people their correct entitlement from the outset of a claim. Indeed, despite a period when we have faced the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, fraud and error in the benefits system remains low, with 95% of benefits, worth more than £200 billion, paid correctly in 2020/21.

In line with this commitment to correctness, we operate a Quality Assurance Framework, which sets out the Department’s quality controls in relation to official error. This includes an assurance regime where levels are measured and reported monthly, with lessons learnt helping deliver continuous improvement.

The following table, taken from our National Statistics on Fraud and Error in the Benefit System, shows the percentage of cases overpaid Universal Credit (UC) as a result of Official Error for the Financial Year Ending (FYE) 2017 to FYE 2021.

Financial Year

% of cases overpaid UC as a result of Official Error

2016/2017

4.9%

2017/2018

5.3%

2018/2019

5.7%

2019/2020

4.1%

2020/2021

2.2%

The National Statistics on Fraud and Error also show that Universal Credit Official Error as a percentage of benefit expenditure fell in 2020/21, from 1.3% to 0.9%.

Further information on fraud and error in the benefits system can be found in the Department’s annual statistical publication at:

Fraud and error in the benefit system: financial year 2020 to 2021 estimates - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Where Official Error overpayments do occur, the introduction of the 2012 Welfare Reform Act means that all overpayments of Universal Credit, including cases where the overpayment is a result of Official Error, are recoverable.

Where recovery is made by deduction from Universal Credit, there is a limit placed on the overall amount that can be deducted. Formerly 40% of the Universal Credit Standard Allowance, this was reduced from 30% to 25% in April 2021. Moreover, a priority order is applied, which determines the order in which deductions can be made. ‘Last resort’ deductions, such as rent or fuel costs, are at the top of the priority.

Anyone with overpayment deductions who does experience financial hardship is encouraged to contact the Department’s Debt Management unit. Where a person cannot afford the

proposed rate, a lower amount can be negotiated.

*Note that the data supplied in this response is derived from unpublished management

information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.