David Amess Portrait

David Amess

Conservative - Former Member for Southend West

Administration Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Panel of Chairs
22nd Jun 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Administration Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Panel of Chairs
26th May 2010 - 3rd May 2017
Backbench Business Committee
30th Jun 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Backbench Business Committee
10th Jun 2013 - 14th May 2014
Backbench Business Committee
12th Jun 2012 - 25th Apr 2013
Panel of Chairs
26th Jun 2001 - 6th May 2010
Health and Social Care Committee
20th Jul 1998 - 22nd Oct 2007
Broadcasting
1st Jun 1994 - 1st Jun 1997


Division Voting information

David Amess has voted in 2545 divisions, and 57 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess 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
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
4 Nov 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Conservative No votes vs 330 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 333 Noes - 264
19 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative No votes vs 324 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 327 Noes - 264
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
David Amess 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
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 254 Noes - 317
30 Jun 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 331 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 255 Noes - 332
24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
17 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Conservative Aye votes vs 283 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 31 Noes - 400
8 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 207 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 231 Noes - 16
18 Jul 2019 - Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative No votes vs 65 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 328 Noes - 65
9 Jul 2019 - Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 65 Conservative No votes vs 105 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 383 Noes - 73
9 Apr 2019 - Section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 131 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 420 Noes - 110
8 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 71 Conservative No votes vs 118 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 396 Noes - 83
8 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 74 Conservative Aye votes vs 112 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 85 Noes - 392
8 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 71 Conservative No votes vs 114 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 390 Noes - 81
3 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 91 Conservative No votes vs 212 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 220 Noes - 400
27 Mar 2019 - EU Exit Day Amendment - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 93 Conservative No votes vs 150 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 105
15 Jan 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Conservative Aye votes vs 282 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 24 Noes - 600
15 Jan 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 118 Conservative No votes vs 196 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 202 Noes - 432
24 Oct 2018 - Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Conservative No votes vs 195 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 344 Noes - 26
25 Jun 2018 - National Policy Statement: Airports - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 8 Conservative No votes vs 286 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 415 Noes - 119
30 Nov 2016 - Chilcot Inquiry and Parliamentary Accountability - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 271 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 439
26 Mar 2015 - Elections for Positions in the House - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 23 Conservative No votes vs 198 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 202 Noes - 228
11 Mar 2015 - Ark Pension Schemes - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 122 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 113
5 Mar 2014 - Judgments - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 83 Conservative No votes vs 123 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 360 Noes - 104
5 Mar 2014 - Registration of Births, deaths and marriages etc - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 81 Conservative No votes vs 124 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 363 Noes - 100
5 Mar 2014 - Registration of births, deaths and marriages etc - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 83 Conservative No votes vs 123 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 366 Noes - 103
5 Mar 2014 - Marriage - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 81 Conservative No votes vs 126 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 100
5 Mar 2014 - Marriage - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 84 Conservative No votes vs 123 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 365 Noes - 103
5 Mar 2014 - Marriage - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 79 Conservative No votes vs 126 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 368 Noes - 98
10 Feb 2014 - Children and Families Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 99 Conservative No votes vs 127 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 376 Noes - 107
29 Aug 2013 - Syria and the Use of Chemical Weapons - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 240 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 272 Noes - 285
4 Jun 2013 - Energy Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 259 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 267 Noes - 290
5 Feb 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 28 Conservative No votes vs 207 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 464 Noes - 38
25 Oct 2012 - Badger Cull - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 15 Conservative Aye votes vs 24 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 147 Noes - 28
10 Jul 2012 - House of Lords Reform Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 89 Conservative No votes vs 192 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 462 Noes - 124
13 Oct 2011 - Procedure Committee Reports - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 206
7 Sep 2011 - Health and Social Care (Re-committed) Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 94 Conservative Aye votes vs 115 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 118 Noes - 368
22 Jun 2011 - Smoking in Private Vehicles - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Conservative Aye votes vs 53 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 78 Noes - 66
21 Jul 2010 - Use of the chamber (united kingdom youth parliament) - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 242 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 499 Noes - 21
15 Jun 2010 - Backbench Business Committee - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 75 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 171 Noes - 263
6 Jan 2010 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 27 Conservative Aye votes vs 27 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 78 Noes - 254
30 Apr 2009 - Members’ Allowances - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Conservative No votes vs 55 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 355 Noes - 39
29 Oct 2008 - Manchester City Council Bill [Lords] (By Order) - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative No votes vs 52 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 317 Noes - 24
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] (Programme) (No. 2) - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 30 Conservative Aye votes vs 85 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 157
3 Jul 2008 - Members’ Expenses - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 21 Conservative Aye votes vs 53 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 172 Noes - 144
25 Oct 2007 - Modernisation of the House of Commons - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Conservative Aye votes vs 22 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 36 Noes - 74
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 80 Conservative Aye votes vs 96 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 196 Noes - 375
1 Nov 2006 - Legislative Process - View Vote Context
David Amess voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 33 Conservative Aye votes vs 115 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 172
5 Jul 2006 - Ambulances (County Durham) - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 17 Conservative No votes vs 122 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 409 Noes - 53
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess 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
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
David Amess voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
David Amess 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 David Amess Division Votes

All Debates

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
Andrea Leadsom (Conservative)
(94 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(67 debate interactions)
Chris Grayling (Conservative)
(39 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(164 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(131 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(81 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all David Amess's debates

Latest EDMs signed by David Amess

23rd September 2021
David Amess signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Thursday 23rd September 2021

Honour for Petula Clark

Tabled by: David Amess (Conservative - Southend West)
That this House notes that Petula Clark is playing the Bird Lady in Mary Poppins, proving yet again what a remarkable actress and singer she is; further notes that she is one of the top selling British female recording artists of all time and transcends time; and believes that in …
1 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 1
8th July 2021
David Amess signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Thursday 8th July 2021

Access to safe and legal credit

Tabled by: David Amess (Conservative - Southend West)
That this House recognises the serious harm caused by illegal money lending and a lack of access to safe and legal credit; notes the rise in vulnerable women becoming victims of sexual exploitation and being forced into prostitution by loan sharks; further notes that the demise of the home collected …
13 signatures
(Most recent: 6 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 3
Labour: 3
Independent: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Conservative: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
View All David Amess's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by David Amess, 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.


David Amess has not been granted any Urgent Questions

David Amess has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

9 Bills introduced by David Amess


A Bill to make provision about the registration of driving instructors.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 12th May 2016 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision for an offence in respect of specialist printing equipment and related materials; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 26th March 2015 and was enacted into law.


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 require the Secretary of State to ensure that domestic properties have a minimum energy performance rating of C on an Energy Performance Certificate; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 15th June 2018
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision to increase the minimum energy performance of buildings; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 20th July 2021

A Bill to prohibit the use of farrowing crates in pig farming; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 10th March 2021
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to ensure that domestic properties have a minimum energy performance rating of C on an Energy Performance Certificate; to give the Secretary of State powers to require persons to take action in pursuance of that duty; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 14th July 2020

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 about low carbon domestic heating systems.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 23rd July 2019
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

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 require the Secretary of State to ensure that domestic properties have a minimum energy performance rating of C on an Energy Performance Certificate; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 28th March 2019

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 20th July 2010

620 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
33 Other Department Questions
13th Apr 2018
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the timetable is for the delivery and operation of the (a) Tour Guides Project and (b) Visitors Services Academy Programme.

The delivery of the Tour Guides Project is already in progress and the implementation plan is on track; the new model for guided tours will be fully in operation in order to replace the current contract with an outsourced supplier which comes to an end on 17 October 2018. The new model consists of an insourced core team of guides taking the majority of guided tours, supported by a contract with a commercial provider for the provision of guided tours in foreign languages and Welsh.

The Visitor Services Academy is a training programme that will train a team of Visitor Engagement Assistants to deliver guided tours from October. The Academy will start in August 2018 for the Visitor Engagement Assistants, and from June 2018 for current Visitor Services team members and the four new Team Leaders who are currently being recruited. The academy will deliver a structured programme of support and training using both internal and external expertise and will include regular monitoring and assessment.

13th Apr 2018
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what estimate has been made of the total cost of the Tour Guides Project proposed to commence in October 2018.

The forecast cost of running the project’s selected new model to provide an estimated 8,850 guided tours of Parliament per year (comprising approximately 4,500 free ‘Democratic Access’ tours to constituents, 3,800 paid-for commercial tours on Saturdays and during recess, and 550 paid-for tours for attendees of banqueting events) is £3,159,745 over a five year period between 2018/19 and 2022/23. This includes an initial upfront investment of £180,000 in 2018/19 to set up the new model. By comparison, the cost of continuing to run the existing model (where the same number of tours would be provided by a mixture of outsourcing to a private provider and relying on a pool of casual workers with no guaranteed work) was forecast to cost £802,420 more over the same period.

In addition to delivering financial savings, the new model will also deliver significant improvements in Parliament’s control over the quality, consistency and diversity of our tours and visitor engagement services through in-sourcing and investing in the professional development of our guides.

13th Apr 2018
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what qualifications will be required of the staff responsible for training tour guides under the new Visitor Service Academy programme scheduled to commence in October 2018.

The Academy will be an internal accreditation developing the skills and expertise of the Visitor Engagement Assistants delivering tours from October. It will be a specialist and formally structured programme, and the trainers used will be both internal and external. There will be no mandatory qualifications formally required of the staff responsible for delivering training. They will be appointed based upon their ability to demonstrate the necessary skills and expertise required. The model has been benchmarked against a number of external organisations and its approach to training is in line with that provided at comparable organisations.

13th Apr 2018
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the total cost is of the proposed Visitor Services Academy programme scheduled to commence in October 2018.

The cost of the training programme for newly recruited guides is £11,265 with an ongoing training and development budget for 2018/19 of £7,000.

1st Feb 2018
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether there are any plans to alter the in-House guiding system offered to Members; and if he will make a statement.

During 2017 a review of the operating model for guided tours at Parliament was undertaken. This was because the contract with the current supplier of guides for paid-for tours (Blue Badge Guides) comes to an end in October 2018. Blue Badge Guides are not the only option on offer to the public, so therefore a holistic review of all guided tours at Parliament was undertaken. The review sought to make improvements to the current model, and to ensure Parliament gets value for taxpayers’ money across all its tour guiding activities. This includes democratic access (Member tours), currently delivered by in-house guides, and paid for tours on Saturdays and during recess periods.

The review recommended a change to the current model. At present, different types of tour are taken by separate guide pools, all on different rates of pay and with variable contractual relationships with Parliament. The new model will create a core team of House employed, full-time and part-time tour guides who are able to deliver all tours, including both income generating commercial tours and constituents’ tours booked through Members. These will be good quality jobs, and ensure that visitors have an excellent experience. Blue Badge Guides could apply for the posts in the new House Service.

This recommendation was approved by managers in both Houses and subsequently endorsed by the Administration Committee on 27 November 2017 and the House of Commons Commission on 18 December 2017. The House of Lords Services Committee endorsed the recommendation following their meeting on 23 November 2017.

The benefits that will be realised through the adoption of the new model are:

  • The opportunity to build a dedicated team of specialists who will be ambassadors for Parliament.
  • The operating model will provide substantive full and part time roles for new and existing staff who will be able to access the full employment benefits of working at the Houses of Parliament – rather than outsourcing at a significantly higher cost. Furthermore, the use of casual contracts will cease.
  • Visitor Services will introduce new recruitment strategies to increase the diversity of the guide pool. Visitor Services are looking into options such as apprenticeships to offer further employment opportunities.
  • The new model represents better value for money by both achieving efficiencies (cost and operational) and enabling opportunities for further public engagement through a richer programme of talks, tours and events with a dedicated Parliamentary team.
  • There will be more opportunity to quality assure all types of tour to the same high standard – commercial and democratic – with greater management control, ensuring content is distinct by tour type and audience in order to deepen public engagement with Parliament.
  • The above benefits will be realised whilst achieving a modest financial saving in comparison to the current model. This saving will be reinvested to increase Parliament’s public engagement in Westminster and in constituencies.


The new model operating model will come into effect by the end of October 2018.

The above applies to the operating model only, it does not affect the booking process for tours.

22nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2016 to Question 24408, if she will discuss with the Sustainable Energy Association and other relevant bodies how to achieve the potential for buildings to contribute to the Government's goals on reducing carbon and tackling fuel poverty.

DECC officials and ministers will continue to discuss, with a range of stakeholders, the options for buildings to contribute to reducing carbon and tackling fuel poverty. Our approach is to consider the overall use of energy in buildings, and not energy efficiency or heat in isolation.

10th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, whether she has written to the European Commissioner for Trade on ending the minimum import price on Chinese solar panels.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to the European Commissioner for Trade in November, requesting ending the minimum import price.



30th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the proportion of medical research spending which is spent on eye disease.

The UK Clinical Health Research Analysis (2015) shows that, in 2014, the combined government spend on medical research into eye disease, development and function was £15.1m, or 1.2% of public funding on health research. The report is available at http://www.hrcsonline.net/pages/uk-health-research-analysis-2014 (page 95).

The Research Councils account for approximately half of this expenditure and support research in response to proposals from the academic community. They welcome high quality applications for support into any aspect of human health which are judged in open competition with other demands on funding. Awards are made according to their scientific quality and importance to human health.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will make it his policy to suspend collective responsibility on any division in the House on sex selective abortions; and if he will make a statement.

Issues on matters of conscience have, by tradition, been the subject of a free vote in the House of Commons.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will have discussions with the administrators of the Iraq Inquiry to ascertain a final date for publication of its report; and if he will make a statement.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Newport West (Mr Flynn) on 3 February 2015, UIN 222484.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, how much the Iraq Inquiry has cost to date; what estimate he has made of the final cost of that Inquiry; and if he will make a statement.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Newport West (Mr Flynn) on 3 February 2015, UIN 222484.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, how much has been spent by the Iraq Inquiry in each year since its establishment on (a) inland travel, (b) overseas travel, (c) expenses claimed by each individual witness and (d) administration costs; and if he will make a statement.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Newport West (Mr Flynn) on 3 February 2015, UIN 222484.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, how much has been spent by the Iraq Inquiry in each year since its establishment on fees per diem paid to (a) the Chair and (b) each member of the Inquiry; and if he will make a statement.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Newport West (Mr Flynn) on 3 February 2015, UIN 222484.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, what recent discussions he has had with Tony Blair in his capacity as Quartet Representative; what was discussed at each such meeting; on what date each such meeting took place; what the location of each such meeting was; and if he will make a statement.

The Government works closely with Tony Blair in his capacity as the Quartet's Special Representative in our joint efforts to support the Middle East Peace Process. Both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development have regular engagement with Tony Blair including most recently our Ambassador to Bahrain during Tony Blair’s visit on 28 January to Bahrain. I have had discussions with Tony Blair in his capacity as Quartet Representative on a number of occasions, most recently by telephone on 25 May 2014.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, what discussions he has had with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership on devolving powers and responsibilities from Whitehall.

Last week I announced a £46.1 million extension to the South East LEPs Growth Deal, which brings total Growth Deal investment in the South East to over £488 million. This investment will have a direct and significant impact in Southend and provides for the further expansion of London Southend Airport onto a 55-acre site to create a high end Business Park, 858 homes and up to 2600 new jobs.

This expanded Growth Deal builds on the successes of the Southend City Deal which, is predicted to secure direct business support for over 1,000 businesses.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, what recent discussions he has had with the Chair of the Iraq inquiry on the publication of the findings of that inquiry.

I refer my hon. Friend to my exchange of correspondence with Sir John Chilcot on 20 January 2015, copies of which are available on the Inquiry website. I have attached copies of the correspondence here and placed in the Library of the House.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to empower Ministers to compel public inquiries to publish reports by a given date.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for North East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell) on 21 January 2015, Official Report, column 215.

7th Jul 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, what representations he has received about establishing a national cemetery; and if he will make a statement.

I have had no such representations. There are no plans to establish a national cemetery.

7th Jul 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to establish a national cemetery; and if he will make a statement.

I have had no such representations. There are no plans to establish a national cemetery.

6th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, how many hon. Members wrote to his Department on behalf of constituents about (a) steps taken to alleviate fuel poverty in the private rented sector, (b) the operation of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 and (c) the disconnection of (i) gas and (ii) electricity supplies in the last 12 months; what the average time taken to reply was; if he will place in the Library a copy of each such reply; and if he will make a statement.

For the purpose of answering this question, various searches of the Departmental correspondence system have been conducted. In relation to fuel poverty in the private rented sector, it has been possible to search the records on correspondence received by DECC from hon. Members, with the case title ‘Fuel Poverty'. In the period since 10 June 2013, 13 pieces of correspondence were given this case title. On sifting through these individually, none specifically mentioned fuel poverty in the private rented sector. The average time taken to reply was 21 working days.

In relation to the operation of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000, it has been possible to search the records on correspondence received by DECC from hon. Members, with the case title ‘Warm Homes'. In the period since 10 June 2013, 13 pieces of correspondence were given this case title. On sifting through these individually, none specifically mentioned the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000. The average time taken to reply was 13 working days.

An initial search of the correspondence system relating to ‘disconnections' of electricity and/or gas has not yielded reliable results. A more detailed subject search would involve significant manual sifting of individual correspondence items and thus entail a disproportionate cost.

Copies of the relevant correspondence will be placed in the Library of the House.

DECC do not log telephone representations centrally, and therefore, providing a response on the number of telephone representations to the Department on these subjects would also entail disproportionate cost.

6th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, how many (a) written, (b) email and (c) telephone representations he has received on (i) his plans to alleviate fuel poverty in the private rented sector, (ii) the operation of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 and (iii) the disconnection of (A) gas and (B) electricity supplies in each month since May 2010; how many such representations were from (1) individuals and (2) organisations; if he will place in the Library copies of the responses sent to such representations; and if he will make a statement.

For the purpose of answering this question, various searches of the Departmental correspondence system have been conducted. In relation to fuel poverty in the private rented sector, it has been possible to search the records on correspondence received by DECC, with the case title ‘Fuel Poverty'. In the period since May 2010, 657 pieces of correspondence were given this case title. 264 of these were from individuals, and 77 were from organisations (the remaining items were either from hon. Members, or cases transferred from other Departments). Filtering down more specifically would involve significant manual sifting of individual correspondence items and thus entail a disproportionate cost.

In relation to the operation of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000, it has been possible to search the records on correspondence received by DECC, with the case title ‘Warm Homes'. In the period since May 2010, 176 pieces of correspondence were given this case title. 33 of these were from individuals and 11 were from organisations (the remaining items were either from hon. Members, or cases transferred from other Departments). Filtering down more specifically would involve significant manual sifting of individual correspondence items and thus entail a disproportionate cost.

An initial search of the correspondence system relating to ‘disconnections' of electricity and/or gas has not yielded reliable results. A more detailed subject search would involve significant manual sifting of individual correspondence items and thus entail a disproportionate cost.

DECC do not log telephone representations centrally, and therefore, providing a response on the number of telephone representations to the Department on these subjects would also entail disproportionate cost.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what recent assessment he has made of the operation of (a) section 1 and (b) section 2 of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000; what recent representations he has received on the operation of this Act; and what responses he gave to such representations.

The Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 has been amended through the Energy Act 2013. In line with the provisions of the amended Act, the Government will lay draft Regulations in Parliament setting out a new fuel poverty objective for England. Once the new objective has been made in Regulations, we will publish a strategy for meeting that objective.

Both my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and I receive representations and meet with stakeholders regularly to discuss a range of issues relating to fuel poverty. For example, we attend meetings of the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group when possible, most recently in April 2014.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what recent discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with their counterparts in HM Treasury on the operation of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000; and if he will make a statement.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, ministers and officials have regular contact with counterparts from other Government Departments, including HM Treasury, on a range of issues, including fuel poverty.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will discuss with the administrators of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war a final date for publication; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of government, and should be allowed to complete its work without interference.

Neither I nor Ministers have had any discussions with or made any representations to the Inquiry. Nor have I discussed the Inquiry with President Obama.

The Inquiry has sought the declassification of material for inclusion in its report from many thousands of documents, some of which have been or will be published. Government does not, as a rule, comment on any discussions between officials and the Inquiry.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the Inquiry's final report will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information which will be determined in accordance with the protocol governing the disclosure of documentary evidence which is available through the Inquiry website.

Timing of the delivery of the report to me is a matter for the Inquiry, but it is my hope that the Inquiry can complete its work before the end of the year. Upon publication, copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, what discussions he has had with the (a) Chairman and (b) Secretary of the Chilcot Inquiry on the publication of its report since March 2013; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of government, and should be allowed to complete its work without interference.

Neither I nor Ministers have had any discussions with or made any representations to the Inquiry. Nor have I discussed the Inquiry with President Obama.

The Inquiry has sought the declassification of material for inclusion in its report from many thousands of documents, some of which have been or will be published. Government does not, as a rule, comment on any discussions between officials and the Inquiry.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the Inquiry's final report will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information which will be determined in accordance with the protocol governing the disclosure of documentary evidence which is available through the Inquiry website.

Timing of the delivery of the report to me is a matter for the Inquiry, but it is my hope that the Inquiry can complete its work before the end of the year. Upon publication, copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, how many documents provided by the Government to the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war have been declassified; how many such documents he estimates will be declassified within the next six months; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of government, and should be allowed to complete its work without interference.

Neither I nor Ministers have had any discussions with or made any representations to the Inquiry. Nor have I discussed the Inquiry with President Obama.

The Inquiry has sought the declassification of material for inclusion in its report from many thousands of documents, some of which have been or will be published. Government does not, as a rule, comment on any discussions between officials and the Inquiry.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the Inquiry's final report will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information which will be determined in accordance with the protocol governing the disclosure of documentary evidence which is available through the Inquiry website.

Timing of the delivery of the report to me is a matter for the Inquiry, but it is my hope that the Inquiry can complete its work before the end of the year. Upon publication, copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, what recent representations (a) he, (b) other Ministers and (c) officials of (i) 10 Downing Street and (ii) the Cabinet Office have made to the (A) Chairman and (B) secretariat of the Chilcot Inquiry on delays in publication of its report due to responses from officials of the US administration; what response was received to these representations; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of government, and should be allowed to complete its work without interference.

Neither I nor Ministers have had any discussions with or made any representations to the Inquiry. Nor have I discussed the Inquiry with President Obama.

The Inquiry has sought the declassification of material for inclusion in its report from many thousands of documents, some of which have been or will be published. Government does not, as a rule, comment on any discussions between officials and the Inquiry.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the Inquiry's final report will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information which will be determined in accordance with the protocol governing the disclosure of documentary evidence which is available through the Inquiry website.

Timing of the delivery of the report to me is a matter for the Inquiry, but it is my hope that the Inquiry can complete its work before the end of the year. Upon publication, copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, when he expects the report of the Chilcot Inquiry into the war in Iraq to be published; what discussions Sir John Chilcot has had with those expected to be criticised in his report; if he will ensure that hon. Members are provided with a full paper copy of the report and all (a) oral and (b) written evidence that was presented to the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of government, and should be allowed to complete its work without interference.

Neither I nor Ministers have had any discussions with or made any representations to the Inquiry. Nor have I discussed the Inquiry with President Obama.

The Inquiry has sought the declassification of material for inclusion in its report from many thousands of documents, some of which have been or will be published. Government does not, as a rule, comment on any discussions between officials and the Inquiry.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the Inquiry's final report will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information which will be determined in accordance with the protocol governing the disclosure of documentary evidence which is available through the Inquiry website.

Timing of the delivery of the report to me is a matter for the Inquiry, but it is my hope that the Inquiry can complete its work before the end of the year. Upon publication, copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will seek the agreement of the US President to the publication of classified documents by the Chilcot Inquiry; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of government, and should be allowed to complete its work without interference.

Neither I nor Ministers have had any discussions with or made any representations to the Inquiry. Nor have I discussed the Inquiry with President Obama.

The Inquiry has sought the declassification of material for inclusion in its report from many thousands of documents, some of which have been or will be published. Government does not, as a rule, comment on any discussions between officials and the Inquiry.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the Inquiry's final report will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information which will be determined in accordance with the protocol governing the disclosure of documentary evidence which is available through the Inquiry website.

Timing of the delivery of the report to me is a matter for the Inquiry, but it is my hope that the Inquiry can complete its work before the end of the year. Upon publication, copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, what recent discussions he has had with the US President on the publication by the Chilcot Inquiry of conversations between (a) Tony Blair and George W. Bush and (b) the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and George W. Bush in the period (i) leading up to the conflict in Iraq and (ii) after the invasion of Iraq; what response was received from the President; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of government, and should be allowed to complete its work without interference.

Neither I nor Ministers have had any discussions with or made any representations to the Inquiry. Nor have I discussed the Inquiry with President Obama.

The Inquiry has sought the declassification of material for inclusion in its report from many thousands of documents, some of which have been or will be published. Government does not, as a rule, comment on any discussions between officials and the Inquiry.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the Inquiry's final report will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information which will be determined in accordance with the protocol governing the disclosure of documentary evidence which is available through the Inquiry website.

Timing of the delivery of the report to me is a matter for the Inquiry, but it is my hope that the Inquiry can complete its work before the end of the year. Upon publication, copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, if it remains his policy to publish the report of the Chilcot Inquiry in full; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of government, and should be allowed to complete its work without interference.

Neither I nor Ministers have had any discussions with or made any representations to the Inquiry. Nor have I discussed the Inquiry with President Obama.

The Inquiry has sought the declassification of material for inclusion in its report from many thousands of documents, some of which have been or will be published. Government does not, as a rule, comment on any discussions between officials and the Inquiry.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that the Inquiry's final report will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information which will be determined in accordance with the protocol governing the disclosure of documentary evidence which is available through the Inquiry website.

Timing of the delivery of the report to me is a matter for the Inquiry, but it is my hope that the Inquiry can complete its work before the end of the year. Upon publication, copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

To ask the Prime Minister, if he will make it his policy to suspend collective responsibility on any vote in the House on assisted suicide legislation.

Issues on matters of conscience have, by tradition, been the subject of a free vote in the House of Commons.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many death certificates cited covid-19 as a (a) primary cause and (b) contributory cause of death in each month since November 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what information his Department holds on the number of deaths caused by covid-19 among people without underlying health conditions aged (a)13 to 20, (b) 21 to 30, (c) 31 to 40, (d) 41 to 50, (e) 51 to 60, (f) 61 to 70, (g) 71 to 80, (h) 81 to 90 and (i) 91 or above years since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, for what reasons the subscription to Public Information Online for House of Lords Bills and Papers is not available beyond 1955; and if the Commission will extend this to the 2019 Parliament; and if he will make a statement.

The Commission has no plans to extend the subscription to Public Information Online for House of Lords Bills and Papers beyond 1955.

Access to the House of Lords Bills and Papers section of Public Information Online for the period 1901–1955 is provided free of charge via the Commons Library following agreement between the Library and the publishers of the database and in return for the Library having provided the publishers with printed volumes of the series for that period to be scanned to create the digital version.

Access to subsequent periods of the series is subject to a subscription fee which the Library has determined is not an effective use of resources on the grounds that the material is already held in the Library’s collection and is readily available to Members.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
13th Mar 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the criteria are for a town to gain city status.

City status is a rare distinction conferred by the Queen acting on the advice of ministers. When a competition for city status is held, criteria are not specified as the qualities which towns possess are extremely varied and every application is judged on its merits.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will bring forward proposals to limit the duration of public inquiries.

The running of a public inquiry is normally a matter for the independent Chair. However, good practice is that when establishing a public inquiry, Departments should seek to include in the terms of reference an estimate of the likely duration of the Inquiry.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many press officers at what grades have been employed by the Iraq Inquiry in each year since its establishment; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of Government. Meetings held by the Inquiry, and the Maxwellisation process, are a matter for the Inquiry Committee.

A breakdown of costs incurred by the Inquiry, and information on the size and makeup of its Secretariat are published on the Inquiry’s website and updated after the end of each financial year. The Government has assured the Inquiry it would have the resources necessary to do its job properly.

The Iraq Inquiry has submitted requests to declassify material from government documents throughout the life of the Inquiry. Government considers each request once it has been received, under the terms of the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information, available through the Inquiry’s website.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the Iraq Inquiry; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of Government. Meetings held by the Inquiry, and the Maxwellisation process, are a matter for the Inquiry Committee.

A breakdown of costs incurred by the Inquiry, and information on the size and makeup of its Secretariat are published on the Inquiry’s website and updated after the end of each financial year. The Government has assured the Inquiry it would have the resources necessary to do its job properly.

The Iraq Inquiry has submitted requests to declassify material from government documents throughout the life of the Inquiry. Government considers each request once it has been received, under the terms of the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information, available through the Inquiry’s website.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with the Treasury about the cost to the public purse of the Iraq Inquiry; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of Government. Meetings held by the Inquiry, and the Maxwellisation process, are a matter for the Inquiry Committee.

A breakdown of costs incurred by the Inquiry, and information on the size and makeup of its Secretariat are published on the Inquiry’s website and updated after the end of each financial year. The Government has assured the Inquiry it would have the resources necessary to do its job properly.

The Iraq Inquiry has submitted requests to declassify material from government documents throughout the life of the Inquiry. Government considers each request once it has been received, under the terms of the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information, available through the Inquiry’s website.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Iraq Inquiry (a) budgeted and (b) spent on security in each year since its establishment; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of Government. Meetings held by the Inquiry, and the Maxwellisation process, are a matter for the Inquiry Committee.

A breakdown of costs incurred by the Inquiry, and information on the size and makeup of its Secretariat are published on the Inquiry’s website and updated after the end of each financial year. The Government has assured the Inquiry it would have the resources necessary to do its job properly.

The Iraq Inquiry has submitted requests to declassify material from government documents throughout the life of the Inquiry. Government considers each request once it has been received, under the terms of the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information, available through the Inquiry’s website.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what Directorate in his Department has policy responsibility for the Iraq Inquiry; how many officials at what grade are employed in this Directorate; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of Government. Meetings held by the Inquiry, and the Maxwellisation process, are a matter for the Inquiry Committee.

A breakdown of costs incurred by the Inquiry, and information on the size and makeup of its Secretariat are published on the Inquiry’s website and updated after the end of each financial year. The Government has assured the Inquiry it would have the resources necessary to do its job properly.

The Iraq Inquiry has submitted requests to declassify material from government documents throughout the life of the Inquiry. Government considers each request once it has been received, under the terms of the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information, available through the Inquiry’s website.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many computers have been (a) owned and (b) leased by the Iraq Inquiry in each year since its establishment; at what cost; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of Government. Meetings held by the Inquiry, and the Maxwellisation process, are a matter for the Inquiry Committee.

A breakdown of costs incurred by the Inquiry, and information on the size and makeup of its Secretariat are published on the Inquiry’s website and updated after the end of each financial year. The Government has assured the Inquiry it would have the resources necessary to do its job properly.

The Iraq Inquiry has submitted requests to declassify material from government documents throughout the life of the Inquiry. Government considers each request once it has been received, under the terms of the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information, available through the Inquiry’s website.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much was spent on postage by the Iraq Inquiry in each year since its establishment; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of Government. Meetings held by the Inquiry, and the Maxwellisation process, are a matter for the Inquiry Committee.

A breakdown of costs incurred by the Inquiry, and information on the size and makeup of its Secretariat are published on the Inquiry’s website and updated after the end of each financial year. The Government has assured the Inquiry it would have the resources necessary to do its job properly.

The Iraq Inquiry has submitted requests to declassify material from government documents throughout the life of the Inquiry. Government considers each request once it has been received, under the terms of the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information, available through the Inquiry’s website.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions (a) he and (b) the Prime Minister has had with the US administration about the publication by the Iraq Inquiry of conversations between (i) Tony Blair and President Bush and (ii) the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and President Bush in the period before and after the invasion of Iraq; what response was received; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of Government. Meetings held by the Inquiry, and the Maxwellisation process, are a matter for the Inquiry Committee.

A breakdown of costs incurred by the Inquiry, and information on the size and makeup of its Secretariat are published on the Inquiry’s website and updated after the end of each financial year. The Government has assured the Inquiry it would have the resources necessary to do its job properly.

The Iraq Inquiry has submitted requests to declassify material from government documents throughout the life of the Inquiry. Government considers each request once it has been received, under the terms of the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information, available through the Inquiry’s website.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many officials at what grade have been employed by the Iraq Inquiry in each year; and if he will make a statement.

The Iraq Inquiry is independent of Government. Meetings held by the Inquiry, and the Maxwellisation process, are a matter for the Inquiry Committee.

A breakdown of costs incurred by the Inquiry, and information on the size and makeup of its Secretariat are published on the Inquiry’s website and updated after the end of each financial year. The Government has assured the Inquiry it would have the resources necessary to do its job properly.

The Iraq Inquiry has submitted requests to declassify material from government documents throughout the life of the Inquiry. Government considers each request once it has been received, under the terms of the Protocol between the Iraq Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government regarding Documents and Other Written and Electronic Information, available through the Inquiry’s website.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much has been paid by his Department to Aspire to Change (A2C) since its formation; for what purpose each payment was made; what assessment he has made of the value for money of such payments; and if he will make a statement.

Since 2011, details of contracts above the value of £10,000 have been published on the Contracts Finder website (http://www.contractsfinder.co.uk).

In addition, this policy extends to Cabinet Office expenditure over £25,000, which is published at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/cabinet-office-spend-data

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) funding and (b) incentives are available to support businesses to recruit new members of staff.

The Government has set out a plan for recovery that focusses on backing business, improving skills, and creating jobs. For example, the £30 billion Plan for Jobs provides new funding to ensure more people will get tailored support to help them find work. This includes launching the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme fund and investing £2.9 billion in the Restart programme over 3 years to support and encourage the UK’s labour market. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is also doubling the number of jobcentre Work Coaches to provide intensive support for both young people and the newly unemployed.

Additional measures include committing £8 million for digital skills boot camps, increasing apprenticeship opportunities, expanding sector-based work academies programme (SWAPs), launching the Job Finding Support Service, and increasing the funding for the Flexible Support Fund by £150 million in Great Britain.

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. Furthermore, the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the Government and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, offers small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery. Further information can be found at: https://www.enterprisenation.com/freesupport/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether businesses that are registered at a domestic residential address are eligible for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant; and what guidance has been issued to local authorities on the distribution of the Local Authority Discretionary Grant to businesses registered at a domestic residential address.

On?1 May,?the Government announced that up to £617 million has been made available to local authorities?in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants. The?Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF) is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs that are not liable for business rates or rates reliefs.

We are asking local authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants from within this funding pot:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks, and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment.
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.
  • Bed & breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates.
  • Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Rate Relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Local authorities are responsible for defining the precise eligibility for this Fund?and?may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need,?subject to those businesses meeting the specific eligibility criteria.?Guidance for Local Authorities was published 13 May: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding.

We appreciate that there?is substantial demand for the LADGF. Local Authorities will need to manage?their?scheme to stay within?their?funding?allocation?and?will have?to make choices about which businesses?to?prioritise.

Where businesses are registered at a domestic residential address, tax and insurance details should identify the separate costs of a home-based business. Local Authorities should take steps to understand the specific costs of the business.

Officials are keeping in close contact with Local Authorities?to understand how the scheme is rolling out and advising ministers on any additional support?which could?be offered to help businesses and support local economies.

Any enquiries or appeals?regarding?the provision of, or eligibility for, grant funding should be directed?in the first instance to the relevant?local authority.

The?grant?funding?schemes are?part of?the Government’s?wider?package of support for business.?For further information on what support you might be eligible for, please?visit: https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 23 March 2020 to Question No 28671 on Housing: Energy, if he will publish those impact assessments in which the benefits to householders’ health from improving their homes thermal performance have been included.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy does include the health benefits of energy improvements to the householders’ health in published Impact Assessments, although the methodology has not yet been incorporated into the net present value calculation. Two of the latest are the most recent impact assessments for ECO and Private Sector Regulations (see below):

Page 29 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/749638/ECO_3_Final_Stage_IA__Final.pdf

Page 16 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/760313/IA_-_Energy_Efficiency__Private_Rented_Property___England.pdf

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 23 March 2020 to Question 28671 on Housing: Energy, who is undertaking the study to quantify the cost savings to the health service of improving the energy efficiency of homes; and when that study will be published.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is the lead organisation undertaking the study to quantify the cost savings to the health service of improving the energy efficiency of homes. BEIS is in the process of applying for access to NHS Digital hospital records and, if this application is approved and relevant data provided to BEIS, analysis will be undertaken, peer reviewed and published.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
27th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the report entitled, Attitudes to Animal Research 2018 published in May 2019, what her policy is on the use of dogs in medical research.

The Public Attitudes to Animal Research report is published every two years and presents the findings of a survey on public awareness of, and attitudes towards, the use of animals in scientific research. The report is commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and supports policy development and public engagement across government and the life science sector on this area.

The Government understands the concerns that many people have about the use of animals such as dogs for research purposes. For this reason, dogs are given special protection under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 that regulates their use in scientific procedures.

Advances in biomedical science and technologies – including stem cell research, in vitro systems that mimic the function of human organs, imaging and new computer modelling techniques – are all providing new opportunities to reduce reliance on the use of animals in research, including dogs. The Government supports these developments through funding for the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many households are not able to access the Warm Home Discount Scheme due to their energy supplier being exempt from the obligation to offer that discount to its customers.

Energy suppliers that are obligated to participate in the Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme cover 94% of the market for domestic customers. Suppliers that are not obligated under the scheme can participate voluntarily. Last winter, three suppliers volunteered under the scheme. We estimate that the number of customers beyond those 18 suppliers that would have been automatically eligible for WHD last winter is roughly 60,000. There is a set spending envelope for WHD and increasing the number of obligated suppliers would not in itself increase the number of households receiving the rebate. We have recently completed a consultation on the next phase of WHD, including the obligation thresholds, and are currently reviewing the responses.

2nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many vulnerable energy customers are not able to access the Warm Home Discount Scheme due to their energy supplier being exempt from providing that scheme.

Energy suppliers that are obligated to participate in the Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme cover 94% of the market for domestic customers. Suppliers that are not obligated under the scheme can participate voluntarily. Last winter, three suppliers volunteered under the scheme. We estimate that the number of customers beyond those 18 suppliers that would have been automatically eligible for WHD last winter is roughly 60,000. There is a set spending envelope for WHD and increasing the number of obligated suppliers would not in itself increase the number of households receiving the rebate. We have recently completed a consultation on the next phase of WHD, including the obligation thresholds, and are currently reviewing the responses.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answers of 17 December 2020 to Question 128492 and of 20 January 2021 to Question 137326, whether he plans to extend the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme beyond 31 March 2021; and if he will make a statement.

I am pleased to be able to confirm that the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme will be renewed this year on the same terms as it operated previously.

This scheme will continue to benefit listed places of worship across the country during these difficult times. It will also help to ensure that they are able to reopen fully once it is safe to do so.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government has taken to ensure charities are able to access necessary support after General Data Protection Regulations legislation becomes effective on 25 May 2018.

All UK businesses together with all organisations that process personal data will be required to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after 25th May 2018 and the UK's full data protection regime as set out in the Data Protection Bill. However, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) have made it clear that GDPR compliance will be an ongoing journey.

The ICO provides guidance and support to UK organisations and have already published a number of resources on the Commissioner's website (ico.org.uk) to help organisations prepare. The ICO has: launched a dedicated helpline service for smaller organisations; updated its 'SME toolkit' to reflect the requirements of the GDPR; simplified its "12-step" GDPR preparation guidance; and published tailored advice for charities.

The ICO will continue to provide support for organisations on the new laws.

10th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the preparedness of charities to implement change required by the General Data Protection Regulation from May 2018.

The Government and the Information Commissioner recognise the challenges facing organisations across the UK, including charities, in their preparations for the Data Protection Bill and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A recent survey by the Institute of Fundraising found that three quarters of charities have started preparations for the new law. However, the survey also found that 22 per cent of charities had not reviewed their data protection practices or begun preparations for the new regime.

In February 2017, the Charity Commission, Fundraising Regulator and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) held a joint conference to help fundraising charities prepare for forthcoming changes. The Fundraising Regulator also published guidance for charities and fundraisers on complying with the law.

There are already resources on the ICO website (ico.org.uk) to help organisations employing fewer than 250 people prepare for the data protection regime. This month the ICO has launched a dedicated helpline service for SMEs including charities and has updated its SME toolkit to reflect the requirements of GDPR. The ICO will also be simplifying its "12-step" GDPR preparation guidance in response to requests from SMEs and will continue to develop further guidance on both the Bill and GDPR. Small charities and SMEs can also make use of the ICO's advisory visit service which provides organisations with practical advice on improving their data protection practices.

The Office for Civil Society’s small charities fundraising training programme already includes training on the GDPR, in recognition of the need to support small charities with meeting the new legal requirements.

The Government, Fundraising Regulator and the ICO will continue to support the charity sector to ensure it is prepared for the changes.

10th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support she has provided to help charities adapt to changes introduced by the General Data Protection Regulation from May 2018.

The Government and the Information Commissioner recognise the challenges facing organisations across the UK, including charities, in their preparations for the Data Protection Bill and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A recent survey by the Institute of Fundraising found that three quarters of charities have started preparations for the new law. However, the survey also found that 22 per cent of charities had not reviewed their data protection practices or begun preparations for the new regime.

In February 2017, the Charity Commission, Fundraising Regulator and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) held a joint conference to help fundraising charities prepare for forthcoming changes. The Fundraising Regulator also published guidance for charities and fundraisers on complying with the law.

There are already resources on the ICO website (ico.org.uk) to help organisations employing fewer than 250 people prepare for the data protection regime. This month the ICO has launched a dedicated helpline service for SMEs including charities and has updated its SME toolkit to reflect the requirements of GDPR. The ICO will also be simplifying its "12-step" GDPR preparation guidance in response to requests from SMEs and will continue to develop further guidance on both the Bill and GDPR. Small charities and SMEs can also make use of the ICO's advisory visit service which provides organisations with practical advice on improving their data protection practices.

The Office for Civil Society’s small charities fundraising training programme already includes training on the GDPR, in recognition of the need to support small charities with meeting the new legal requirements.

The Government, Fundraising Regulator and the ICO will continue to support the charity sector to ensure it is prepared for the changes.

10th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will include training on preparing for General Data Protection Regulation changes from May 2018 in the small charities fundraising training programme.

The Government and the Information Commissioner recognise the challenges facing organisations across the UK, including charities, in their preparations for the Data Protection Bill and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A recent survey by the Institute of Fundraising found that three quarters of charities have started preparations for the new law. However, the survey also found that 22 per cent of charities had not reviewed their data protection practices or begun preparations for the new regime.

In February 2017, the Charity Commission, Fundraising Regulator and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) held a joint conference to help fundraising charities prepare for forthcoming changes. The Fundraising Regulator also published guidance for charities and fundraisers on complying with the law.

There are already resources on the ICO website (ico.org.uk) to help organisations employing fewer than 250 people prepare for the data protection regime. This month the ICO has launched a dedicated helpline service for SMEs including charities and has updated its SME toolkit to reflect the requirements of GDPR. The ICO will also be simplifying its "12-step" GDPR preparation guidance in response to requests from SMEs and will continue to develop further guidance on both the Bill and GDPR. Small charities and SMEs can also make use of the ICO's advisory visit service which provides organisations with practical advice on improving their data protection practices.

The Office for Civil Society’s small charities fundraising training programme already includes training on the GDPR, in recognition of the need to support small charities with meeting the new legal requirements.

The Government, Fundraising Regulator and the ICO will continue to support the charity sector to ensure it is prepared for the changes.

3rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Gaming Machine Regulations 2015; and if he will take further steps to limit the stake on fixed odds betting terminals.

The Government published the Evaluation of Gaming Machine (Circumstances of Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 on 21 January. The Evaluation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evaluation-of-gaming-machine-circumstances-of-useamendment-regulations-2015

The evaluation indicates that a large proportion of players of FOBTs may now be making a more conscious choice to control their playing behaviour and their stake level. We will now consider the findings of the evaluation before deciding if there is a need for further action.

3rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on gambling addiction of limiting the stake on fixed odds betting terminals; and if he will make a statement.

The Government published the Evaluation of Gaming Machine (Circumstances of Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 on 21 January. The Evaluation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evaluation-of-gaming-machine-circumstances-of-useamendment-regulations-2015

The evaluation indicates that a large proportion of players of FOBTs may now be making a more conscious choice to control their playing behaviour and their stake level. We will now consider the findings of the evaluation before deciding if there is a need for further action.

29th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what his policy is on reducing the stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals; and if he will make a statement.

On 21 January the Government published its evaluation of the £50 regulations introduced in April 2015. You can find it here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/493714/Evaluation_of_Gaming_Machine__Circumstances_of_Use___Amendment__Regulations_2015.pdf

The evaluation indicates that a large proportion of players of FOBTs may now be making a more conscious choice to control their playing behaviour and their stake level. We will now consider the findings of the evaluation before deciding if there is a need for further action.

29th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when he next plans a review of gaming machine stakes and prizes.

On 21 January the Government published its evaluation of the £50 regulations introduced in April 2015. You can find it here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/493714/Evaluation_of_Gaming_Machine__Circumstances_of_Use___Amendment__Regulations_2015.pdf

The evaluation indicates that a large proportion of players of FOBTs may now be making a more conscious choice to control their playing behaviour and their stake level. We will now consider the findings of the evaluation before deciding if there is a need for further action.

25th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has (a) taken in each of the last three years and (b) plans to take in the next two years to ensure that war memorials are properly maintained and kept in a good state of repair; and if he will make a statement.

DCMS has spent the following amounts maintaining national memorials in each of the last three years. The Memorials Grant Scheme is available to charities and faith groups, and can be used for works involving war memorials. The scheme will be available until 31 March 2015.

Year

Spend (£)

2013/14

529,000

2012/13

269,000

2011/12

334,000

The Government has announced this week that it will give the War Memorials Trust up to £3 million over the First World War centenary period to boost the funds available to local communities for the repair and conservation of war memorials. English Heritage, Imperial War Museums and Civic Voice will together be given £1.5 million over the same period to deliver better protection through Listing, a greater pool of specialist skills, a national register of war memorials, and a network of trained volunteers.

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent representations he has received on the establishment of a national cemetery; and if he will make a statement.

None. DCMS has no responsibility for cemeteries.

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what information his Department holds on the (a) number and (b) location of memorials to commemorate the war dead in the (i) First World War and (ii) Second World War; and if he will make a statement.

DCMS holds no records on the number or location of memorials to commemorate the war dead. Information about war memorials throughout the UK is held by both the Imperial War Museum and the War Memorials Trust. The Imperial War Museum is working with its partners to make this information more easily accessible to the public.

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what funding his Department has allocated to the maintenance of war memorials in each of the next three years; what steps it takes to ensure that war memorials are maintained to a high standard; and if he will make a statement.

The DCMS-run Memorial Grant Scheme has a budget of £543,000 for this financial year. Grants are available to charities and faith groups, and can be used to repair and maintain war memorials. The Government has today announced that it will give the War Memorials Trust up to £3 million over the First World War centenary period to boost the funds available to local communities for the repair and conservation of war memorials. English Heritage, Imperial War Museums and Civic Voice will together be given £1.5 million over the same period to deliver better protection through Listing, a greater pool of specialist skills, a national register of war memorials, and a network of trained volunteers.

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how much his Department (a) spent in each of the last 10 years and (b) plans to spend in each of the next three years on maintaining national memorials; and if he will make a statement.

DCMS has spent the following amounts in each of the last 10 years maintaining national memorials:

Year

Spend (£)

2013/14

529,000

2012/13

269,000

2011/12

334,000

2010/11

229,000

2009/10

230,000

2008/09

391,000

2007/08

854,000

2006/07

714,000

2005/06

130,000

2004/05

N/A

The DCMS-run Memorial Grant Scheme has a budget of £543,000 for this financial year. Grants are available to charities and faith groups, and can be used to repair and maintain war memorials. The Government has today announced that it will give the War Memorials Trust up to £3 million over the First World War centenary period to boost the funds available to local communities for the repair and conservation of war memorials. English Heritage, Imperial War Museums and Civic Voice will together be given £1.5 million over the same period to deliver better protection through Listing, a greater pool of specialist skills, a national register of war memorials, and a network of trained volunteers.

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how much his Department gave to the Memorials Grant Scheme in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement.

DCMS has given the amounts set out from the Memorial Grant Scheme in each of the last 10 years:

Year

Funding MGS (£)

2013/14

529,000

2012/13

269,000

2011/12

334,000

2010/11

229,000

2009/10

230,000

2008/09

391,000

2007/08

854,000

2006/07

714,000

2005/06

130,000

2004/05

N/A

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, from what date university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of engaging with The Summer Camps Trust to promote the use of summer camps.

The department recognises the significant benefits learning outside the classroom can have on children’s educational development, as well as their mental health and wellbeing, and is taking steps to unlock outdoor learning and educational visits in line with the COVID-19 road map.

The government also recognises the vital role they can play in character development opportunities they afford for social mixing, which promotes children and young people’s wellbeing. That is why we ensured that all before and after-school clubs, holiday clubs, and other out-of-school settings were able continue to stay open for those children that need or rely on these settings most, for the duration of the national lockdown, and why we have extended eligibility of attendance when children returned to school on 8 March.

At present, providers are able to offer face-to-face provision for all children, where that provision supports certain essential purposes; with vulnerable children and young people able to continue accessing provision under any circumstance. We have updated our protective measures guidance for the sector, which outlines eligibility and aims to support providers to allow them to open for as many children as safely as possible. This guidance can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

The government’s intention is that out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers will be able to open to all children, without restrictions on access, in time for the summer term, and no earlier than 12 April. However, the government continues to advise against all educational visits. The department is working on advice for schools on the planning and booking of residential visits when it is safe to do so and in line with the government’s roadmap to recovery, as set out in: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021. The advice will be published shortly.

While the department has not thus far engaged with The Summer Camps Trust specifically, since June 2020, we have been in close communication with various stakeholders, to understand the specific challenges that they face. These discussions have been incredibly beneficial for the department, and the collaboration on this policy area has led to a supportive relationship, which is still ongoing.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential contribution that residential summer camps can play in promoting (a) character development and (b) social mixing as part of young people’s education.

The department recognises the significant benefits learning outside the classroom can have on children’s educational development, as well as their mental health and wellbeing, and is taking steps to unlock outdoor learning and educational visits in line with the COVID-19 road map.

The government also recognises the vital role they can play in character development opportunities they afford for social mixing, which promotes children and young people’s wellbeing. That is why we ensured that all before and after-school clubs, holiday clubs, and other out-of-school settings were able continue to stay open for those children that need or rely on these settings most, for the duration of the national lockdown, and why we have extended eligibility of attendance when children returned to school on 8 March.

At present, providers are able to offer face-to-face provision for all children, where that provision supports certain essential purposes; with vulnerable children and young people able to continue accessing provision under any circumstance. We have updated our protective measures guidance for the sector, which outlines eligibility and aims to support providers to allow them to open for as many children as safely as possible. This guidance can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

The government’s intention is that out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers will be able to open to all children, without restrictions on access, in time for the summer term, and no earlier than 12 April. However, the government continues to advise against all educational visits. The department is working on advice for schools on the planning and booking of residential visits when it is safe to do so and in line with the government’s roadmap to recovery, as set out in: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021. The advice will be published shortly.

While the department has not thus far engaged with The Summer Camps Trust specifically, since June 2020, we have been in close communication with various stakeholders, to understand the specific challenges that they face. These discussions have been incredibly beneficial for the department, and the collaboration on this policy area has led to a supportive relationship, which is still ongoing.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the Education and Skills Funding Agency has changed its policy on membership of academy trusts, meaning that employees of a school can no longer act as members of its academy trust.

Members play a limited but critical role in safeguarding the governance of academy trusts. They have the power to appoint and remove trustees, they can also direct trustees to take specific actions in some circumstances. As trustees are in turn ultimately responsible for the appointment and removal of employees, an employee also being a member risks undermining clear lines of accountability within the trust.

Given the importance of this clear accountability, the Academies Financial Handbook 2020 included a requirement that all trusts move to having no members employed by the trust by March 2021.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will extend the subscription to Public Information Online for House of Lords bills and papers beyond 1955; and if he will make a statement.

The Commission has no plans to extend the subscription to Public Information Online for House of Lords Bills and Papers beyond 1955.

Access to the House of Lords Bills and Papers section of Public Information Online for the period 1901–1955 is provided free of charge via the Commons Library following agreement between the Library and the publishers of the database and in return for the Library having provided the publishers with printed volumes of the series for that period to be scanned to create the digital version.

Access to subsequent periods of the series is subject to a subscription fee which the Library has determined is not an effective use of resources on the grounds that the material is already held in the Library’s collection and is readily available to Members.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
8th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what research his Department has (a) commissioned, (b) plans to commission and (c) evaluated on the effectiveness of teaching sex education in schools; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has no plans to bring forward further legislation relating to relationships education and relationships and sex education (RSE).

Schools will be required to have regard to the statutory guidance for the subjects. The draft guidance sets out that when schools consult with parents on their relationships education and RSE policy they should provide examples of the resources that they plan to use when teaching, as this can be reassuring for parents. Schools must also ensure that lessons are appropriate to the age and religious backgrounds of pupils. The Department is supporting schools in the implementation of these subjects and expects this support to include advice on positive engagement with parents.

Ofsted reported on the quality of provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), which covers sex and relationship education, in its 2013 report. The Department is considering what further information on the provision of the new curriculum may be needed. The report can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/not-yet-good-enough-personal-social-health-and-economic-education.

In 2015, the Department published a paper highlighting the impact of the provision of PSHE. The evidence summary provided a high level overview of recent reviews of personal wellbeing education and interventions which could be applied during PSHE lessons, including sex education. The paper can be accessed here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/412291/Personal_Social_Health_and_Economic__PSHE__Education_12_3.pdf.

Sex education has been compulsory in all maintained secondary schools since 1993. The Sex and Relationship Education Guidance (2000) includes education around abortion, and it is for schools to decide at what age it is appropriate to introduce the topic. The new draft statutory guidance covers intimate and sexual relationships, including choices in relation to pregnancy, and sets out that teaching should provide accurate, impartial information on all options, including keeping the baby, adoption, abortion and where to get further help. It also sets out that secondary pupils should be made aware of legal provisions when relevant topics are being taught. Schools may address abortion in other areas of the curriculum, such as religious education.

The content of the draft guidance was subject to a public consultation from July to November 2018 which attracted 11,000 online responses from a wide range of respondents including head teachers, teachers, parents and young people. The Government response to the consultation can be accessed here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/780768/Government_Response_to_RSE_Consultation.pdf.

8th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require the provision of further information for parents on the material being used to teach sex and relationships education in schools; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has no plans to bring forward further legislation relating to relationships education and relationships and sex education (RSE).

Schools will be required to have regard to the statutory guidance for the subjects. The draft guidance sets out that when schools consult with parents on their relationships education and RSE policy they should provide examples of the resources that they plan to use when teaching, as this can be reassuring for parents. Schools must also ensure that lessons are appropriate to the age and religious backgrounds of pupils. The Department is supporting schools in the implementation of these subjects and expects this support to include advice on positive engagement with parents.

Ofsted reported on the quality of provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), which covers sex and relationship education, in its 2013 report. The Department is considering what further information on the provision of the new curriculum may be needed. The report can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/not-yet-good-enough-personal-social-health-and-economic-education.

In 2015, the Department published a paper highlighting the impact of the provision of PSHE. The evidence summary provided a high level overview of recent reviews of personal wellbeing education and interventions which could be applied during PSHE lessons, including sex education. The paper can be accessed here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/412291/Personal_Social_Health_and_Economic__PSHE__Education_12_3.pdf.

Sex education has been compulsory in all maintained secondary schools since 1993. The Sex and Relationship Education Guidance (2000) includes education around abortion, and it is for schools to decide at what age it is appropriate to introduce the topic. The new draft statutory guidance covers intimate and sexual relationships, including choices in relation to pregnancy, and sets out that teaching should provide accurate, impartial information on all options, including keeping the baby, adoption, abortion and where to get further help. It also sets out that secondary pupils should be made aware of legal provisions when relevant topics are being taught. Schools may address abortion in other areas of the curriculum, such as religious education.

The content of the draft guidance was subject to a public consultation from July to November 2018 which attracted 11,000 online responses from a wide range of respondents including head teachers, teachers, parents and young people. The Government response to the consultation can be accessed here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/780768/Government_Response_to_RSE_Consultation.pdf.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which (a) individuals and (b) organisations were sent copies of the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education draft statutory guidance for governing bodies, proprietors, head teachers, principals, senior leadership teams, teachers prior to its publication; and if he will make a statement.

Sex education has been compulsory in all maintained secondary schools since 1993. It is not compulsory in primary schools and will not be once the proposed new subjects of Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education become compulsory. The statutory sex and relationships education (SRE) guidance (2000) states that maintained schools must have an up-to-date policy that sets out the school’s approach to sex education and that they should consult their pupils’ parents on this, making the policy available to parents. It is for schools to determine what range of information they provide to parents, but they must have regard to statutory guidance.

The Government is now making Relationships Education compulsory for all primary pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for all secondary pupils and Health Education compulsory for all pupils in primary and secondary state funded schools from September 2020.

All schools will be required to have in place a written policy for Relationships Education and for RSE. Schools must consult parents in developing and reviewing their policy. Schools should ensure that the policy meets the needs of pupils and parents and reflects the community they serve. Schools should also ensure that the policy sets out the content of the subjects, how the content is taught and who is responsible for teaching it. The draft guidance is clear that schools should ensure that, when they consult parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use. Schools should assess each resource that they propose to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and is sensitive to their needs.

The key decisions on these subjects and the drafting of the guidance were informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence was launched in December 2017 and received over 23,000 responses from parents, young people and schools. The Department engaged with 90 organisations representing a broad range of views and a broad range of evidence. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

The revised draft guidance was not shared publicly between the close of the consultation and it being finalised following decisions by Ministers in light of the consultation responses. It was only shared, under embargo, immediately in advance of publication with a small number of stakeholders to allow for communications on the day of publication.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whom his Department consulted before drafting the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education draft statutory guidance for governing bodies, proprietors, head teachers, principals, senior leadership teams, teachers; what research was evaluated; and if he will make a statement.

Sex education has been compulsory in all maintained secondary schools since 1993. It is not compulsory in primary schools and will not be once the proposed new subjects of Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education become compulsory. The statutory sex and relationships education (SRE) guidance (2000) states that maintained schools must have an up-to-date policy that sets out the school’s approach to sex education and that they should consult their pupils’ parents on this, making the policy available to parents. It is for schools to determine what range of information they provide to parents, but they must have regard to statutory guidance.

The Government is now making Relationships Education compulsory for all primary pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for all secondary pupils and Health Education compulsory for all pupils in primary and secondary state funded schools from September 2020.

All schools will be required to have in place a written policy for Relationships Education and for RSE. Schools must consult parents in developing and reviewing their policy. Schools should ensure that the policy meets the needs of pupils and parents and reflects the community they serve. Schools should also ensure that the policy sets out the content of the subjects, how the content is taught and who is responsible for teaching it. The draft guidance is clear that schools should ensure that, when they consult parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use. Schools should assess each resource that they propose to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and is sensitive to their needs.

The key decisions on these subjects and the drafting of the guidance were informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence was launched in December 2017 and received over 23,000 responses from parents, young people and schools. The Department engaged with 90 organisations representing a broad range of views and a broad range of evidence. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

The revised draft guidance was not shared publicly between the close of the consultation and it being finalised following decisions by Ministers in light of the consultation responses. It was only shared, under embargo, immediately in advance of publication with a small number of stakeholders to allow for communications on the day of publication.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what requests for information relating to (a) abortion and (b) sex and relationships education were made to his Department and its predecessor under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in each year since 2010; whether each request was (i) agreed to and (ii) refused; if he will place in the Library a copy of the information provided in response to each request; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The new guidance for relationships, sex and health education says that teaching should cover contraception, developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex. Pupils should be taught what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in relationships. They should also be taught that there are many different legal provisions whose purpose is to protect young people and which ensure young people take responsibility for their actions. Pupils should be made aware of the relevant legal provisions when topics such as abortion are being taught.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information is provided to parents on the content of sex education being taught in their child's primary school; and if he will make a statement.

Sex education has been compulsory in all maintained secondary schools since 1993. It is not compulsory in primary schools and will not be once the proposed new subjects of Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education become compulsory. The statutory sex and relationships education (SRE) guidance (2000) states that maintained schools must have an up-to-date policy that sets out the school’s approach to sex education and that they should consult their pupils’ parents on this, making the policy available to parents. It is for schools to determine what range of information they provide to parents, but they must have regard to statutory guidance.

The Government is now making Relationships Education compulsory for all primary pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for all secondary pupils and Health Education compulsory for all pupils in primary and secondary state funded schools from September 2020.

All schools will be required to have in place a written policy for Relationships Education and for RSE. Schools must consult parents in developing and reviewing their policy. Schools should ensure that the policy meets the needs of pupils and parents and reflects the community they serve. Schools should also ensure that the policy sets out the content of the subjects, how the content is taught and who is responsible for teaching it. The draft guidance is clear that schools should ensure that, when they consult parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use. Schools should assess each resource that they propose to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and is sensitive to their needs.

The key decisions on these subjects and the drafting of the guidance were informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence was launched in December 2017 and received over 23,000 responses from parents, young people and schools. The Department engaged with 90 organisations representing a broad range of views and a broad range of evidence. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

The revised draft guidance was not shared publicly between the close of the consultation and it being finalised following decisions by Ministers in light of the consultation responses. It was only shared, under embargo, immediately in advance of publication with a small number of stakeholders to allow for communications on the day of publication.

21st Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has provided to schools since 2010 on the potential liability of schools governors in the event of (a) a fatality, (b) stroke and (c) other adverse reaction to a pupil aged under 16 years as a direct consequence of taking the emergency hormonal contraceptive pill where the drug has been supplied (i) on school premises with the sanction of the governors, (ii) on school premises without the sanction of the governors and (iii) off school premises but as a result of a referral by a school nurse on school premises without the sanction of the governors.

The department does not provide guidance to school governors regarding their potential liability for the welfare of pupils, under 16 years of age, who use emergency contraception supplied either on school premises, or as a result of referral made on school premises. The Governance Handbook was updated on 22nd March 2019.

Young people under the age of 16 are legally able to consent to medical advice and treatment, including the use of emergency contraception, without their parents’ knowledge or consent if a doctor or other healthcare worker judges them competent to do so. Healthcare professionals providing emergency contraception to under 16s without parental consent should follow the criteria outlined in the Fraser guidelines for competence to consent.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
21st Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to schools on the liability of (a) school governors, (b) teachers, (c) head teachers and (d) other school staff if there are adverse consequences from emergency contraception which has been provided to girls under the age of 16 years by school staff on school premises without the consent of parents; and if he will make a statement.

The Department does not provide guidance on the liability of school governors, teachers, head teachers and other school staff if there are adverse consequences from taking emergency contraception.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will bring forward proposals to require the headteacher of a (a) primary and (b) secondary school to show parents upon request the material used in their school to teach sex and relationships education; what recent representations he has received on that issue; and if he will make a statement.

Sex education has been compulsory in all maintained secondary schools since 1993. When teaching sex education, schools are required to have regard to the statutory sex and relationships education guidance, which was last updated in 2000. This states that maintained schools must have an up-to-date policy, that sets out the school’s approach to sex education, that they should consult their pupils’ parents and make the policy available to parents. Governors and head teachers should discuss with parents and take on board concerns, on sensitive material to be used in the classroom.

We have recently consulted on updated guidance for sex education alongside the introduction of relationships education at primary and secondary schools. On its introduction, all schools will be required to have in place a written policy for relationships education and relationships and sex education (RSE). Schools must consult parents in developing and reviewing their policy. Schools should ensure that the policy meets the needs of pupils and parents and reflects the community they serve. Schools should also ensure that the policy sets out the content of the subjects, how the content is taught and who is responsible for teaching it. The draft guidance is also clear that schools should ensure that, when they consult parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use, as this can be reassuring for parents, and enables them to continue the conversations started in class at home. Schools should assess each resource that they propose to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and sensitive to their needs. The Department does not provide guidance to schools on what they place in school libraries as the Department believes schools are best placed to determine this.

The Department conducted a consultation on the draft regulations, statutory guidance and regulatory impact assessment for relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education between July and November 2018. The drafting of the consultation and draft statutory guidance was led by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and I, with support from a small team of policy officials and an experienced Headteacher, Ian Bauckham CBE.

The Department was contacted by over 40,000 individuals and organisations during the consultation process. Prior to the consultation, the key decisions were informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence received over 23,000 responses and the Department engaged directly with 90 organisations, including parents, young people, headteachers, teachers, governors, subject specialists, teaching unions, charities and faith groups. The Department has not made an assessment of their views on abortion specifically. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

From time-to-time the Department does also receive correspondence on materials used in the current delivery of sex education and this can be due to a variety of reasons. The Department encourages correspondents to contact their school to discuss this and ensure that they are aware of the current sex and relationships education guidance. The Department would take seriously any concern regarding inappropriate materials. The Department has also received a recent petition which raised concerns about RSE resources being produced by lobby groups and external organisations. The draft guidance is clear that schools should ask to see the materials visitors will use as well as a lesson plan in advance, so that they can ensure it meets the full range of pupils’ needs (e.g. special educational needs). The Department also recognises that schools use resources from representative bodies (e.g. many Catholic and other schools draw on the model curricula provided by the Catholic Education Service.) The guidance encourages schools to draw on the expertise of the main subject associations which often quality assure third party resources.

The Department is committed to supporting schools through training, further advice to improve practice and sharing of best practice, including examples of successful parental engagement. This will include advice on using quality assured, age-appropriate resources.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department issues to schools on the type of (a) material and (b) publications relating to sex and relationships education in school libraries; what recent representations he has received from parents about the type of material placed in school libraries on those matters; and if he will make a statement.

Sex education has been compulsory in all maintained secondary schools since 1993. When teaching sex education, schools are required to have regard to the statutory sex and relationships education guidance, which was last updated in 2000. This states that maintained schools must have an up-to-date policy, that sets out the school’s approach to sex education, that they should consult their pupils’ parents and make the policy available to parents. Governors and head teachers should discuss with parents and take on board concerns, on sensitive material to be used in the classroom.

We have recently consulted on updated guidance for sex education alongside the introduction of relationships education at primary and secondary schools. On its introduction, all schools will be required to have in place a written policy for relationships education and relationships and sex education (RSE). Schools must consult parents in developing and reviewing their policy. Schools should ensure that the policy meets the needs of pupils and parents and reflects the community they serve. Schools should also ensure that the policy sets out the content of the subjects, how the content is taught and who is responsible for teaching it. The draft guidance is also clear that schools should ensure that, when they consult parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use, as this can be reassuring for parents, and enables them to continue the conversations started in class at home. Schools should assess each resource that they propose to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and sensitive to their needs. The Department does not provide guidance to schools on what they place in school libraries as the Department believes schools are best placed to determine this.

The Department conducted a consultation on the draft regulations, statutory guidance and regulatory impact assessment for relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education between July and November 2018. The drafting of the consultation and draft statutory guidance was led by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and I, with support from a small team of policy officials and an experienced Headteacher, Ian Bauckham CBE.

The Department was contacted by over 40,000 individuals and organisations during the consultation process. Prior to the consultation, the key decisions were informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence received over 23,000 responses and the Department engaged directly with 90 organisations, including parents, young people, headteachers, teachers, governors, subject specialists, teaching unions, charities and faith groups. The Department has not made an assessment of their views on abortion specifically. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

From time-to-time the Department does also receive correspondence on materials used in the current delivery of sex education and this can be due to a variety of reasons. The Department encourages correspondents to contact their school to discuss this and ensure that they are aware of the current sex and relationships education guidance. The Department would take seriously any concern regarding inappropriate materials. The Department has also received a recent petition which raised concerns about RSE resources being produced by lobby groups and external organisations. The draft guidance is clear that schools should ask to see the materials visitors will use as well as a lesson plan in advance, so that they can ensure it meets the full range of pupils’ needs (e.g. special educational needs). The Department also recognises that schools use resources from representative bodies (e.g. many Catholic and other schools draw on the model curricula provided by the Catholic Education Service.) The guidance encourages schools to draw on the expertise of the main subject associations which often quality assure third party resources.

The Department is committed to supporting schools through training, further advice to improve practice and sharing of best practice, including examples of successful parental engagement. This will include advice on using quality assured, age-appropriate resources.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department issues to schools on the materials used in sex education in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools; what recent representations he has received on that issue from (i) hon. Members and (ii) the parents of (A) primary and (B) secondary school pupils; what response was given by his Department in each such case; if he will place in the Library a copy of each such response; and if he will make a statement.

Sex education has been compulsory in all maintained secondary schools since 1993. When teaching sex education, schools are required to have regard to the statutory sex and relationships education guidance, which was last updated in 2000. This states that maintained schools must have an up-to-date policy, that sets out the school’s approach to sex education, that they should consult their pupils’ parents and make the policy available to parents. Governors and head teachers should discuss with parents and take on board concerns, on sensitive material to be used in the classroom.

We have recently consulted on updated guidance for sex education alongside the introduction of relationships education at primary and secondary schools. On its introduction, all schools will be required to have in place a written policy for relationships education and relationships and sex education (RSE). Schools must consult parents in developing and reviewing their policy. Schools should ensure that the policy meets the needs of pupils and parents and reflects the community they serve. Schools should also ensure that the policy sets out the content of the subjects, how the content is taught and who is responsible for teaching it. The draft guidance is also clear that schools should ensure that, when they consult parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use, as this can be reassuring for parents, and enables them to continue the conversations started in class at home. Schools should assess each resource that they propose to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and sensitive to their needs. The Department does not provide guidance to schools on what they place in school libraries as the Department believes schools are best placed to determine this.

The Department conducted a consultation on the draft regulations, statutory guidance and regulatory impact assessment for relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education between July and November 2018. The drafting of the consultation and draft statutory guidance was led by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and I, with support from a small team of policy officials and an experienced Headteacher, Ian Bauckham CBE.

The Department was contacted by over 40,000 individuals and organisations during the consultation process. Prior to the consultation, the key decisions were informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence received over 23,000 responses and the Department engaged directly with 90 organisations, including parents, young people, headteachers, teachers, governors, subject specialists, teaching unions, charities and faith groups. The Department has not made an assessment of their views on abortion specifically. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

From time-to-time the Department does also receive correspondence on materials used in the current delivery of sex education and this can be due to a variety of reasons. The Department encourages correspondents to contact their school to discuss this and ensure that they are aware of the current sex and relationships education guidance. The Department would take seriously any concern regarding inappropriate materials. The Department has also received a recent petition which raised concerns about RSE resources being produced by lobby groups and external organisations. The draft guidance is clear that schools should ask to see the materials visitors will use as well as a lesson plan in advance, so that they can ensure it meets the full range of pupils’ needs (e.g. special educational needs). The Department also recognises that schools use resources from representative bodies (e.g. many Catholic and other schools draw on the model curricula provided by the Catholic Education Service.) The guidance encourages schools to draw on the expertise of the main subject associations which often quality assure third party resources.

The Department is committed to supporting schools through training, further advice to improve practice and sharing of best practice, including examples of successful parental engagement. This will include advice on using quality assured, age-appropriate resources.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials were responsible for drafting (i) Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education in England Government consultation and (ii) the draft statutory guidance for governing bodies, proprietors, head teachers, principals, senior leadership teams, teachers; and which (i) organisations and (ii) individuals were consulted on the draft guidelines; known to his Department to take a (A) pro-life and (B) pro-choice view on abortion.

Sex education has been compulsory in all maintained secondary schools since 1993. When teaching sex education, schools are required to have regard to the statutory sex and relationships education guidance, which was last updated in 2000. This states that maintained schools must have an up-to-date policy, that sets out the school’s approach to sex education, that they should consult their pupils’ parents and make the policy available to parents. Governors and head teachers should discuss with parents and take on board concerns, on sensitive material to be used in the classroom.

We have recently consulted on updated guidance for sex education alongside the introduction of relationships education at primary and secondary schools. On its introduction, all schools will be required to have in place a written policy for relationships education and relationships and sex education (RSE). Schools must consult parents in developing and reviewing their policy. Schools should ensure that the policy meets the needs of pupils and parents and reflects the community they serve. Schools should also ensure that the policy sets out the content of the subjects, how the content is taught and who is responsible for teaching it. The draft guidance is also clear that schools should ensure that, when they consult parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use, as this can be reassuring for parents, and enables them to continue the conversations started in class at home. Schools should assess each resource that they propose to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and sensitive to their needs. The Department does not provide guidance to schools on what they place in school libraries as the Department believes schools are best placed to determine this.

The Department conducted a consultation on the draft regulations, statutory guidance and regulatory impact assessment for relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education between July and November 2018. The drafting of the consultation and draft statutory guidance was led by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and I, with support from a small team of policy officials and an experienced Headteacher, Ian Bauckham CBE.

The Department was contacted by over 40,000 individuals and organisations during the consultation process. Prior to the consultation, the key decisions were informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence received over 23,000 responses and the Department engaged directly with 90 organisations, including parents, young people, headteachers, teachers, governors, subject specialists, teaching unions, charities and faith groups. The Department has not made an assessment of their views on abortion specifically. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

From time-to-time the Department does also receive correspondence on materials used in the current delivery of sex education and this can be due to a variety of reasons. The Department encourages correspondents to contact their school to discuss this and ensure that they are aware of the current sex and relationships education guidance. The Department would take seriously any concern regarding inappropriate materials. The Department has also received a recent petition which raised concerns about RSE resources being produced by lobby groups and external organisations. The draft guidance is clear that schools should ask to see the materials visitors will use as well as a lesson plan in advance, so that they can ensure it meets the full range of pupils’ needs (e.g. special educational needs). The Department also recognises that schools use resources from representative bodies (e.g. many Catholic and other schools draw on the model curricula provided by the Catholic Education Service.) The guidance encourages schools to draw on the expertise of the main subject associations which often quality assure third party resources.

The Department is committed to supporting schools through training, further advice to improve practice and sharing of best practice, including examples of successful parental engagement. This will include advice on using quality assured, age-appropriate resources.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to exclude the provision of counselling for (a) abortion and (b) abortifacient birth control to school pupils; and if he will make a statement.

Healthcare professionals can provide confidential sexual health advice and treatment to young people as long as they believe the young person is mature enough to understand the information and decisions involved. Schools can invite health professionals to provide advice and support on a range of issues for their pupils and we trust schools to decide what is appropriate for their pupils.

Through the introduction of relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education the Department has set out the core knowledge that all pupils should be taught, whilst allowing flexibility for schools to design a curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate and taught in a sensitive and inclusive way, with respect to the background and beliefs of pupils.

It is important that pupils know what the law says about sex, relationships and young people. The draft statutory guidance states that in relation to intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health, pupils should know the facts about the full range of contraceptive choices, efficacy and options available; the facts around pregnancy including miscarriage; and that there are choices in relation to pregnancy (with medically and legally accurate, impartial information on all options, including keeping the baby, adoption, abortion and where to get further help).

15th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to Section 34(2)(d) of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, under what circumstances a (a) pupil may be excused and (b) a pupil below a specified age, from receiving relationships and sex education or specified elements of that education; if he will make it his policy to allow a parental opt out for (i) all and (ii) or part of (A) relationships and (B) sex education; and if he will make a statement.

On 25 February 2019, following a 17-week consultation on the draft regulations and associated guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education, we published the updated guidance, and laid the regulations for debate in Parliament. The regulations include provision in respect of the right to be excused from sex education that are compatible with the law as it now stands. The case law in relation to a child’s competence to make their own decisions has evolved over time – see for example the 2006 case of ‘R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health’.

The draft statutory guidance on relationships education, RSE, and health education sets out that parents can request that their child be excused from sex education taught as part of RSE at any time. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, head teachers should agree to such requests until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the pupil wishes to be taught sex education as part of RSE rather than be withdrawn and again unless there are exceptional circumstances, the school should make arrangements to provide this education for the pupil in one of the three terms before their 16th birthday. Pupils do not have the right to withdraw themselves from sex education or other parts of the curriculum.

It is for head teachers to consider the circumstances which may warrant refusing a request to withdraw a pupil from sex education. Paragraphs 45-47 of the guidance sets out the good practice process to follow when headteachers are considering parental requests to withdraw their child from sex education. The guidance is available via this link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/781150/Draft_guidance_Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education2.pdf.

The Children and Social Work Act 2017, which is the primary legislation that placed a duty on my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State to make relationships education and RSE compulsory, did not provide for a right to withdraw from relationships education. The Department has decided that there should also be no right to withdraw from relationships education delivered as part of RSE.

15th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what legal cases on a parent's right to withdraw their child from sex education lessons were considered by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

On 25 February 2019, following a 17-week consultation on the draft regulations and associated guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education, we published the updated guidance, and laid the regulations for debate in Parliament. The regulations include provision in respect of the right to be excused from sex education that are compatible with the law as it now stands. The case law in relation to a child’s competence to make their own decisions has evolved over time – see for example the 2006 case of ‘R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health’.

The draft statutory guidance on relationships education, RSE, and health education sets out that parents can request that their child be excused from sex education taught as part of RSE at any time. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, head teachers should agree to such requests until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the pupil wishes to be taught sex education as part of RSE rather than be withdrawn and again unless there are exceptional circumstances, the school should make arrangements to provide this education for the pupil in one of the three terms before their 16th birthday. Pupils do not have the right to withdraw themselves from sex education or other parts of the curriculum.

It is for head teachers to consider the circumstances which may warrant refusing a request to withdraw a pupil from sex education. Paragraphs 45-47 of the guidance sets out the good practice process to follow when headteachers are considering parental requests to withdraw their child from sex education. The guidance is available via this link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/781150/Draft_guidance_Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education2.pdf.

The Children and Social Work Act 2017, which is the primary legislation that placed a duty on my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State to make relationships education and RSE compulsory, did not provide for a right to withdraw from relationships education. The Department has decided that there should also be no right to withdraw from relationships education delivered as part of RSE.

15th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who his Department consulted before drawing up the draft statutory guidance on Relationship's Education and Relationships and Sex Education for governing bodies, proprietors, head teachers, principals, senior leadership teams, teachers; what research was evaluated; and if he will make a statement.

Modern pressures children face such as harms related to the internet, as well as long-standing issues such as abuse or drug misuse, mean children are growing up in an increasingly complex world. That is why we are making making relationships education compulsory for all primary pupils, relationships and sex education (RSE) compulsory for secondary pupils, and health education compulsory for all state-funded pupils.

There is clear evidence that good quality RSE also has a protective function in other important areas, supporting further our rationale for making the subjects compulsory. For example, there are several studies that show a positive association between RSE and contraceptive use, and between RSE and later ages for first sexual intercourse, which are behaviours that reduce the risk of teenage pregnancy. Improving contraceptive use to prevent unwanted pregnancy has the potential to reduce abortion rates. Further information is available at the following links:

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/3/e007837.

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005215.pub3/full.

https://powertodecide.org/what-we-do/information/resource-library/emerging-answers-2007-new-research-findings-programs-reduce.

The Department conducted a consultation on the draft regulations, statutory guidance and regulatory impact assessment, which closed on 7 November. The Department was contacted by over 40,000 individuals and organisations. These included parents, young people, headteachers, teachers, governors, subject specialists, teaching unions, charities and faith groups. The Department analysed the responses to the consultation and have since published the Government response and updated the draft statutory guidance.

The key decisions on these subjects have also been informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence received over 23,000 responses from parents, young people and schools, and the Department engaged with 90 organisations representing a broad range of views. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

15th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the (a) individuals and (b) organisations consulted prior to the publication of the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education in England Government consultation response; and if he will make a statement.

Modern pressures children face such as harms related to the internet, as well as long-standing issues such as abuse or drug misuse, mean children are growing up in an increasingly complex world. That is why we are making making relationships education compulsory for all primary pupils, relationships and sex education (RSE) compulsory for secondary pupils, and health education compulsory for all state-funded pupils.

There is clear evidence that good quality RSE also has a protective function in other important areas, supporting further our rationale for making the subjects compulsory. For example, there are several studies that show a positive association between RSE and contraceptive use, and between RSE and later ages for first sexual intercourse, which are behaviours that reduce the risk of teenage pregnancy. Improving contraceptive use to prevent unwanted pregnancy has the potential to reduce abortion rates. Further information is available at the following links:

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/3/e007837.

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005215.pub3/full.

https://powertodecide.org/what-we-do/information/resource-library/emerging-answers-2007-new-research-findings-programs-reduce.

The Department conducted a consultation on the draft regulations, statutory guidance and regulatory impact assessment, which closed on 7 November. The Department was contacted by over 40,000 individuals and organisations. These included parents, young people, headteachers, teachers, governors, subject specialists, teaching unions, charities and faith groups. The Department analysed the responses to the consultation and have since published the Government response and updated the draft statutory guidance.

The key decisions on these subjects have also been informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence received over 23,000 responses from parents, young people and schools, and the Department engaged with 90 organisations representing a broad range of views. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

15th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of effect of sex and relationships education on rates of (a) pregnancy and (b) abortion in those under the age of (i) 16 and (ii) 18 years; and if he will make a statement.

Modern pressures children face such as harms related to the internet, as well as long-standing issues such as abuse or drug misuse, mean children are growing up in an increasingly complex world. That is why we are making making relationships education compulsory for all primary pupils, relationships and sex education (RSE) compulsory for secondary pupils, and health education compulsory for all state-funded pupils.

There is clear evidence that good quality RSE also has a protective function in other important areas, supporting further our rationale for making the subjects compulsory. For example, there are several studies that show a positive association between RSE and contraceptive use, and between RSE and later ages for first sexual intercourse, which are behaviours that reduce the risk of teenage pregnancy. Improving contraceptive use to prevent unwanted pregnancy has the potential to reduce abortion rates. Further information is available at the following links:

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/3/e007837.

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005215.pub3/full.

https://powertodecide.org/what-we-do/information/resource-library/emerging-answers-2007-new-research-findings-programs-reduce.

The Department conducted a consultation on the draft regulations, statutory guidance and regulatory impact assessment, which closed on 7 November. The Department was contacted by over 40,000 individuals and organisations. These included parents, young people, headteachers, teachers, governors, subject specialists, teaching unions, charities and faith groups. The Department analysed the responses to the consultation and have since published the Government response and updated the draft statutory guidance.

The key decisions on these subjects have also been informed by a thorough engagement process. The public call for evidence received over 23,000 responses from parents, young people and schools, and the Department engaged with 90 organisations representing a broad range of views. These stakeholders can be found in the Government response to the Call for Evidence at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/180718%20Consultation_call%20for%20evidence%20response_policy%20statement.pdf.

13th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 69 on pages 16 to 17 of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education in England Government consultation response, published in February 2019, whether it is his policy to ensure that all pupils should be given the opportunity to opt out of, as well as into, sex education lessons from three terms before they turn 16, regardless of the wishes of their parents; and if he will make a statement.

On 25 February 2019, following a 17-week consultation on the draft regulations and associated guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education, we published the updated guidance, and laid the regulations for debate in Parliament. The regulations include provision in respect of the right to be excused from sex education that are compatible with the law as it now stands. The case law in relation to a child’s competence to make their own decisions has evolved over time – see for example the 2006 case of ‘R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health’.

The statutory guidance for relationship, sex and health education sets out that parents can request that their child be excused from sex education taught as part of RSE at any time. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, head teachers should agree to such requests until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the pupil wishes to be taught sex education as part of RSE rather than be withdrawn and again unless there are exceptional circumstances, the school should make arrangements to provide this education for the pupil in one of the three terms before their 16th birthday. Pupils do not have the right to withdraw themselves from sex education or other parts of the curriculum.

13th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 69 on pages 16 to 17 of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education in England Government consultation response, published in February 2019, what the evidential basis was for the statement that the current legislation contains a right to withdrawn which is no longer compatible with English caselaw and the European Convention on Human Rights; and if he will make a statement.

On 25 February 2019, following a 17-week consultation on the draft regulations and associated guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education, we published the updated guidance, and laid the regulations for debate in Parliament. The regulations include provision in respect of the right to be excused from sex education that are compatible with the law as it now stands. The case law in relation to a child’s competence to make their own decisions has evolved over time – see for example the 2006 case of ‘R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health’.

The statutory guidance for relationship, sex and health education sets out that parents can request that their child be excused from sex education taught as part of RSE at any time. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, head teachers should agree to such requests until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the pupil wishes to be taught sex education as part of RSE rather than be withdrawn and again unless there are exceptional circumstances, the school should make arrangements to provide this education for the pupil in one of the three terms before their 16th birthday. Pupils do not have the right to withdraw themselves from sex education or other parts of the curriculum.

13th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to footnote 7 on page 4 of the Policy Statement: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Personal, Social Health and Economic Education, published in March 2017, when the current right of withdrawal ceased to be compatible with the United States Convention on the Rights of the Child; and if he will make a statement.

On 25 February 2019, following a 17-week consultation on the draft regulations and associated guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education, we published the updated guidance, and laid the regulations for debate in Parliament. The regulations include provision in respect of the right to be excused from sex education that are compatible with the law as it now stands. The case law in relation to a child’s competence to make their own decisions has evolved over time – see for example the 2006 case of ‘R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health’.

The statutory guidance for relationship, sex and health education sets out that parents can request that their child be excused from sex education taught as part of RSE at any time. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, head teachers should agree to such requests until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the pupil wishes to be taught sex education as part of RSE rather than be withdrawn and again unless there are exceptional circumstances, the school should make arrangements to provide this education for the pupil in one of the three terms before their 16th birthday. Pupils do not have the right to withdraw themselves from sex education or other parts of the curriculum.

13th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to footnote 7 on page 4 of the Policy Statement: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Personal, Social Health and Economic Education, published in March 2017, when the current right of withdrawal ceased to be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights; and if he will make a statement.

On 25 February 2019, following a 17-week consultation on the draft regulations and associated guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education, we published the updated guidance, and laid the regulations for debate in Parliament. The regulations include provision in respect of the right to be excused from sex education that are compatible with the law as it now stands. The case law in relation to a child’s competence to make their own decisions has evolved over time – see for example the 2006 case of ‘R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health’.

The statutory guidance for relationship, sex and health education sets out that parents can request that their child be excused from sex education taught as part of RSE at any time. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, head teachers should agree to such requests until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the pupil wishes to be taught sex education as part of RSE rather than be withdrawn and again unless there are exceptional circumstances, the school should make arrangements to provide this education for the pupil in one of the three terms before their 16th birthday. Pupils do not have the right to withdraw themselves from sex education or other parts of the curriculum.

13th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to footnote 7 on page 4 of the Policy Statement: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Personal, Social Health and Economic Education, published in March 2017, if he will list those English cases that necessitate the proposed limitation on the right of parental withdrawal from sex education in secondary schools; and if he will make a statement.

On 25 February 2019, following a 17-week consultation on the draft regulations and associated guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education, we published the updated guidance, and laid the regulations for debate in Parliament. The regulations include provision in respect of the right to be excused from sex education that are compatible with the law as it now stands. The case law in relation to a child’s competence to make their own decisions has evolved over time – see for example the 2006 case of ‘R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health’.

The statutory guidance for relationship, sex and health education sets out that parents can request that their child be excused from sex education taught as part of RSE at any time. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, head teachers should agree to such requests until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the pupil wishes to be taught sex education as part of RSE rather than be withdrawn and again unless there are exceptional circumstances, the school should make arrangements to provide this education for the pupil in one of the three terms before their 16th birthday. Pupils do not have the right to withdraw themselves from sex education or other parts of the curriculum.

13th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to footnote 7 on page 4 of the Policy Statement: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Personal, Social Health and Economic Education, published in March 2017, what the evidential basis was for the statement that providing a parent with a blanket right to withdraw their child from sex education is no longer consistent with English case law, or with the ECHR and UNCRC; and if he will make a statement.

On 25 February 2019, following a 17-week consultation on the draft regulations and associated guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education, we published the updated guidance, and laid the regulations for debate in Parliament. The regulations include provision in respect of the right to be excused from sex education that are compatible with the law as it now stands. The case law in relation to a child’s competence to make their own decisions has evolved over time – see for example the 2006 case of ‘R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health’.

The statutory guidance for relationship, sex and health education sets out that parents can request that their child be excused from sex education taught as part of RSE at any time. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, head teachers should agree to such requests until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the pupil wishes to be taught sex education as part of RSE rather than be withdrawn and again unless there are exceptional circumstances, the school should make arrangements to provide this education for the pupil in one of the three terms before their 16th birthday. Pupils do not have the right to withdraw themselves from sex education or other parts of the curriculum.

1st Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will take steps to extend the two year deadline for spending the Apprenticeship Levy Fund for businesses if there have been delays in funding agreements by the Institute of Apprenticeships.

Levy paying employers are able to spend their levy funds on both apprenticeship frameworks and standards. There are over 200 apprenticeship standards which have been approved for delivery in addition to the 136 frameworks which are still available for delivery, offering a wide range of apprenticeships to suit business’ needs.

Apprenticeships funding expires from an employer’s account after 24 months if it has not been utilised. The government will distribute unused funding to committed employers, who can use this to fund further apprenticeship training.

The Institute of Apprenticeships is an independent body and carefully examine all funding recommendations, to ensure value for money in the apprenticeships system.

1st Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprenticeship programmes are waiting for funding bands decisions by the Institute of Apprenticeships.

The Institute for Apprenticeships is an independent body with responsibility for the development and approval of apprenticeship standards, and for deciding funding band recommendations for those standards. I have therefore asked the Institute to write to the hon. Member for Southend West directly and respond to the question regarding the number of apprenticeship programmes that are awaiting funding band decisions.

A copy of that response will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses when it is available.

1st Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average funding band is for an apprenticeship programme at (a) L1, (b) L2, (c) L3, (d)L4, and (e)L5.

Information on the funding band on apprenticeship standards and frameworks by level can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-funding-bands.

Apprenticeships are allocated to funding bands based on the costs of delivering training and assessment. There are a wide range of factors that influence the funding band, including the length of the apprenticeship and whether it is an apprenticeship framework or standard. The Institute for Apprenticeships has been responsible for advising the department on the allocation of funding bands since April 2017.

1st Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to publish further details on how companies can transfer 10 per cent of their levy funds to another organisation.

From April 2018, the government plans to allow levy-paying employers to transfer up to 10% of the annual value of their funds to another employer through the apprenticeship service. We aim to start communicating with employers about transferring forms this month. We will publish further information shortly so employers are prepared in time for April.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the removal of the 50 per cent cap on faith-based admissions on the ability of the Catholic Church to open new schools.

The 'Schools that work for everyone' consultation document recognised that some faiths, including the Catholic Church, have felt unable to open new schools, subject to the 50% cap, through the free school’s route because they say it contravenes religious rules. The Department is considering carefully the results of the consultation and the proposal to remove the 50% cap on faith admissions in faith free schools. We plan to respond on this issue in due course. We value greatly the important role Catholic schools play in our education system and that will continue.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she plans to publish the Government's response to its consultation entitled Schools that work for everyone; and if she will make a statement.

We have outlined in Parliament our position on the various proposals in the 'Schools that work for everyone' consultation, and will announce further details in due course.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the ability of the Catholic Church to offer all Catholic pupils a school place if the 50 per cent cap on faith-based admissions is maintained.

The 'Schools that work for everyone' consultation document recognised that some faiths, including the Catholic Church, have felt unable to open new schools, subject to the 50% cap, through the free school’s route because they say it contravenes religious rules. The Department is considering carefully the results of the consultation and the proposal to remove the 50% cap on faith admissions in faith free schools. We plan to respond on this issue in due course. We value greatly the important role Catholic schools play in our education system and that will continue.

31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if her Department will make it her policy to support the provision of birth registration in children's centres and family hubs.

Engaging disadvantaged families early is important. It is, however, for local councils to establish how best to do this. Making children’s centres or family hubs one of the places where parents can register the birth of their child is one approach, and local councils are free to do this. It may not be the best solution everywhere however, and we agree with the conclusions of the 2013 Education Select Committee that this is not something that central government should dictate.

8th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of 16 to 18 year olds who take up apprenticeships.

Our ‘Get In Go Far’ campaign is encouraging more young people to apply and more employers to offer opportunities.

We are increasing traineeships numbers to further support young people into apprenticeships and other work.

Under new funding policy, there will be extra payments for 16-18 year olds and 19-24 year old care leavers or with an Education, Health and Care Plan. Employers and providers receive £1,000 each to support additional costs associated with these apprentices.

11th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if her Department will take steps to ensure that new investment in the Primary PE and Sport Premium directly benefits (a) the least active children and (b) children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds.

We want all pupils to be healthy and active. We have ring-fenced over £450 million to improve PE and sport in primary schools (2013/14 - 2015/16), and committed to doubling the primary PE and sport premium to £320 million a year from September 2017 using revenue from the soft drinks industry levy. Schools have the freedom to decide how to use the funding based on the needs of their pupils, and can choose to target funding on the least active and children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds. Schools are accountable for their spending through Ofsted inspections and are required to report plans and impact online.

We have evaluated the impact and schools’ use of the premium through the independent research company, NatCen. Evidence indicates the funding is having a positive impact and schools reported almost universally that the PE and sport premium had had a positive impact on physical fitness (99%), healthy lifestyles (99%), skills (98%) and behaviour of pupils (96%).[1].

We are currently exploring options for future evaluation once the premium is doubled. Further details will be announced in due course.

[1] Evidence from the 2015 report, based on findings of a two year study between 2013 – 2015: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pe-and-sport-premium-an-investigation-in-primary-schools

11th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to monitor the effect on children's fitness and activity levels of the Primary PE and Sport Premium.

We want all pupils to be healthy and active. We have ring-fenced over £450 million to improve PE and sport in primary schools (2013/14 - 2015/16), and committed to doubling the primary PE and sport premium to £320 million a year from September 2017 using revenue from the soft drinks industry levy. Schools have the freedom to decide how to use the funding based on the needs of their pupils, and can choose to target funding on the least active and children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds. Schools are accountable for their spending through Ofsted inspections and are required to report plans and impact online.

We have evaluated the impact and schools’ use of the premium through the independent research company, NatCen. Evidence indicates the funding is having a positive impact and schools reported almost universally that the PE and sport premium had had a positive impact on physical fitness (99%), healthy lifestyles (99%), skills (98%) and behaviour of pupils (96%).[1].

We are currently exploring options for future evaluation once the premium is doubled. Further details will be announced in due course.

[1] Evidence from the 2015 report, based on findings of a two year study between 2013 – 2015: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pe-and-sport-premium-an-investigation-in-primary-schools

3rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of (a) strategic local approaches to play, and (b) local authorities submitting regional play strategies to her Department.

The Department for Education recognises that play has an important role in supporting all young children to develop and prepare for later learning.

Play is integral in the early years and is covered in the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage framework which states: “Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity.” The framework can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2

The staff working in early years settings as Early Years Educators (level 3) and Early Years Teachers (graduates) are required to have an understanding different pedagogical approaches, including the role of play in supporting early learning and development. The criteria for the Early Years Educator and standards for Early Years Teacher Status qualifications are set by the department.

Ofsted registers childcare provision on the Early Years Register and the General Childcare Register and conducts a regular cycle of inspection to ensure that provision meets the required quality and safety standards.

In judging the quality and standards of early years provision, Ofsted inspectors must assess the extent to which the learning and care provided by the setting meets the needs of the range of children who attend, including the needs of any children who have special educational needs or disabilities. At August 2015, 85 per cent of providers on the Early Years Register were rated good or outstanding for overall effectiveness. This is an increase of 11 percentage points since 2012.

Local Authorities provide and offer Continuous Professional Development and training to early years settings; some of which may include training on play. However, it is not a requirement for local authorities to deliver regional play training as it is already a requirement in the Early Years Foundation Stage to cover play in a setting.

3rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of highlighting play as a key strand of the Government's policy on parenting and life chances.

The Department for Education recognises that play has an important role in supporting all young children to develop and prepare for later learning.

Play is integral in the early years and is covered in the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage framework which states: “Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.” The framework is attached and available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2

The Government’s forthcoming Life Chances Strategy will set out a comprehensive plan to fight disadvantage and extend opportunity. Within this, we are considering how we can support early years and parenting to give children the best start in life.

3rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will provide ring-fenced funding to local authorities to ensure they can effectively meet the Government's childcare provision targets.

We have already announced over £1bn more for the early years entitlements within the ring-fenced Dedicated Schools Grant by 2019-20, which includes £300m to uplift the funding rate to providers. The increase to the funding rate is based on robust evidence from the Review of the Cost of Childcare. We have made clear our commitment to maximise the amount of this funding which reaches front line childcare providers, and will consult on proposals for achieving this as part of our consultation on early years funding reform later this year.

3rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recommendations in the charity Sense's report entitled, Making the Case for Play, for play to be included as part of the ministerial brief for the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Childcare and Education.

The Department for Education recognises that play has an important role in supporting all young children to develop and prepare for later learning. The importance of play is already recognised within the early years legislation covered by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Childcare and Education’s portfolio.

Play is covered in the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage framework and states: “Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity.” The framework can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2

Staff working in early years settings as Early Years Educators (level 3) and Early Years Teachers (graduates) are required to have an understanding of different pedagogical approaches, including the role of play in supporting early learning and development. The criteria for the Early Years Educator and standards for Early Years Teacher Status qualifications are set by the department. However, it is the responsibility of early years settings to provide play opportunities for their children and pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

Ofsted registers childcare provision on the Early Years Register and the General Childcare Register and conducts a regular cycle of inspection to ensure that provision meets the required quality and safety standards.

In judging the quality and standards of early years provision, Ofsted inspectors must assess the extent to which the learning and care provided by the setting meets the needs of the range of children who attend, including the needs of any children who have special educational needs or disabilities. At August 2015, 85 per cent of providers on the Early Years Register were rated good or outstanding for overall effectiveness. This is an increase of 11 percentage points since 2012.

3rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she has taken to ensure there is adequate funding for children with special educational needs in early years education.

We have already announced over £1bn more for the early years entitlements within the ring-fenced Dedicated Schools Grant by 2019-20, which includes £300m to uplift the funding rate to providers. We are also providing protection for high needs funding that will make sure that the level of funding rises in proportion to the number of children, including those under 5. This will make sure that local authorities continue to have the flexibility to target funding where it is most needed to help children with special educational needs and disabilities and their families, including the youngest children. Further consideration will be given to funding for children with special educational needs in early years education as part of consultation later this year.

Local authorities are required by law to secure free entitlement places for parents that want their child to take them up. The Government is committed to ensuring that all families have access to high quality, flexible and affordable childcare and parents with children with special educational needs should have the same opportunities as other parents through access to high quality childcare. The Children and Families Act requires local authorities to have a ‘local offer’ which includes a statement on how they intend to tailor the childcare on offer for children with special educational needs and disabilities. Early implementation of 30 hours from September 2016 provides a real opportunity to develop innovative approaches to providing flexible childcare for working parents whose children are disabled or have special educational needs.

Through Early Implementation, York, Northumberland, Newham and Wigan are among 8 LAs delivering the 30 hours entitlement from September 2016, a year earlier than planned. This will include delivering targeted places focusing on children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

They will also be supported by Early Implementer Innovator areas including Brighton and Hove, Hampshire and Trafford, who will test the offer and how it works under specific circumstances, including developing approaches to support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

2nd Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2015 to Question 13645, how and by whom each (a) headteacher and (b) school was recommended; and if she will make a statement.

We selected these headteachers to work with us on this issue because of the high quality of provision of PSHE education in their schools. The group of headteachers and practitioners that we are currently working with includes Carl Ward of Haywood Academy in Stoke on Trent; Cathie Paine of the Reach2 Academy Trust; Jerry Rayner of Rugby Independent School in Warwickshire; Michelle Colledge-Smith of the Outwood Grange Academy Trust; and Vanessa Ogden of Mulberry School in Bethnal Green.

The group has not been asked to advise the Government on the content of PSHE. Their focus is to produce an action plan and recommendations for improving the quality of PSHE teaching. We want to draw on expertise from a range of headteachers and practitioners and will invite others to join the group as appropriate. The Department regularly speaks to a wide range of stakeholders and will continue to do so regarding PSHE.

1st Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2015 to Question 13645, what process was followed in the appointment of each headteacher to assist her Department on improving the provision of PSHE in schools; where each post was advertised; how many people applied for each such post; how many headteachers were short-listed for interview for those posts; whether consideration was given to each candidate's (a) political views and (b) views on (i) PSHE, (ii) contraception and (iii) abortion in the appointment process; how each candidate was appraised in that process; what criteria were adopted by each candidate; how many candidates for each such post were rejected; and if she will make a statement.

We selected these headteachers to work with us on this issue because of the high quality of provision of PSHE education in their schools. The group of headteachers and practitioners that we are currently working with includes Carl Ward of Haywood Academy in Stoke on Trent; Cathie Paine of the Reach2 Academy Trust; Jerry Rayner of Rugby Independent School in Warwickshire; Michelle Colledge-Smith of the Outwood Grange Academy Trust; and Vanessa Ogden of Mulberry School in Bethnal Green.

The group has not been asked to advise the Government on the content of PSHE. Their focus is to produce an action plan and recommendations for improving the quality of PSHE teaching. We want to draw on expertise from a range of headteachers and practitioners and will invite others to join the group as appropriate. The Department regularly speaks to a wide range of stakeholders and will continue to do so regarding PSHE.

1st Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2015 to Question 13645, what the names of each (a) head teacher and (b) school her Department is currently working with to improve the provision of PSHE in schools; and if she will make a statement.

We selected these headteachers to work with us on this issue because of the high quality of provision of PSHE education in their schools. The group of headteachers and practitioners that we are currently working with includes Carl Ward of Haywood Academy in Stoke on Trent; Cathie Paine of the Reach2 Academy Trust; Jerry Rayner of Rugby Independent School in Warwickshire; Michelle Colledge-Smith of the Outwood Grange Academy Trust; and Vanessa Ogden of Mulberry School in Bethnal Green.

The group has not been asked to advise the Government on the content of PSHE. Their focus is to produce an action plan and recommendations for improving the quality of PSHE teaching. We want to draw on expertise from a range of headteachers and practitioners and will invite others to join the group as appropriate. The Department regularly speaks to a wide range of stakeholders and will continue to do so regarding PSHE.

23rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2015 to Question 13645, (a) how and (b) by whom each head teacher was selected to work with her Department on improving the provision of PSHE in schools; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Education regularly speaks to a wide range of head teachers, academy chief executives, teachers and subject associations. We invited a group of headteachers and PSHE practitioners to work with us on improving the quality of PSHE.


These individuals were selected because of the high quality provision in their schools. The list of contributors will be known when the report is published.


23rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2015 to Question 13645, what the names of each head teacher and the school to which they belong are with whom her Department is currently working to improve the provision of PSHE in schools; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Education regularly speaks to a wide range of head teachers, academy chief executives, teachers and subject associations. We invited a group of headteachers and PSHE practitioners to work with us on improving the quality of PSHE.


These individuals were selected because of the high quality provision in their schools. The list of contributors will be known when the report is published.


27th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government response to the Report from the Education Select Committee, Life lessons: PSHE and SRE in schools, HC 145 of Session 2014-15, which was published in July 2015, cm 9121, which organisations and stakeholders referred to on page 9 of that response are being consulted in order to develop further measures to improve the quality of PHSE; whether such organisations and stakeholders include representatives of parent advocacy groups, faith groups and those involved in running faith schools; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Education is committed to considering the views of all stakeholders. As part of the inquiry into PSHE and SRE, the Education Select Committee sought evidence from a wide range of stakeholders, including parent advocacy groups and faith groups. We are aware of the range of views about these subjects. We are currently working with a group of leading headteachers to improve the provision of PSHE in schools. We will consult directly with a wider group of stakeholders when appropriate.

As stated in the government response to the Select Committee report, we will provide a progress update later this year.

27th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what evidence she has received that sex and sexual relationships education in the primary years reduces the incidence of risky sexual behaviour, exploitation and abuse of children; and if she will make a statement.

The Department published ‘Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education: a review of impact and best practice’ in March 2015. The report highlighted evidence that good quality sex and relationship education (SRE) can have a protective function such as delaying initiation of sex, reducing frequency of sex or the number of sexual partners and increasing the use of condoms or other contraceptive measures. Allsex and relationship education should be age-appropriate and schools should ensure young people develop positive values and a moral framework that will guide their decisions, judgments and behaviour.

The report is published online: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pshe-education-a-review-of-impact-and-effective-practice.

27th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 9 of the Government Response to the Report of the Education Select Committee, Life lessons: PSHE and SRE in schools, HC 145 of Session 2014-15, which was published in July 2015, cm 9121, when she expects to report on progress of the quality of PSHE; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Education is committed to considering the views of all stakeholders. As part of the inquiry into PSHE and SRE, the Education Select Committee sought evidence from a wide range of stakeholders, including parent advocacy groups and faith groups. We are aware of the range of views about these subjects. We are currently working with a group of leading headteachers to improve the provision of PSHE in schools. We will consult directly with a wider group of stakeholders when appropriate.

As stated in the government response to the Select Committee report, we will provide a progress update later this year.

9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effect of the 50 per cent cap on faith-based admissions on the levels of religious diversity in free schools and new academies; and if she will make a statement.

The government is committed to ensuring that faith designated free schools and new academies provide additional places not just for pupils of their own faith but for pupils from other faiths or no faith. It is for individual schools to decide whether or not to adopt faith based admission arrangements.Those that do may give priority when oversubscribed to a maximum of 50% of applicants with reference to their faith. The department does not collect data on schools that are oversubscribed or on religious diversity in those schools that adopt faith based admission arrangements.







The number of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year is detailed in the table below.



Numbers of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year

Academic year of opening

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

Total

Free Schools and New Provision Academies

0

7

12

22

15

12

68
















9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) free schools and (b) academies have been affected by the 50 per cent cap on faith-based admissions on oversubscribed schools in each of the last five years.

The government is committed to ensuring that faith designated free schools and new academies provide additional places not just for pupils of their own faith but for pupils from other faiths or no faith. It is for individual schools to decide whether or not to adopt faith based admission arrangements.Those that do may give priority when oversubscribed to a maximum of 50% of applicants with reference to their faith. The department does not collect data on schools that are oversubscribed or on religious diversity in those schools that adopt faith based admission arrangements.







The number of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year is detailed in the table below.



Numbers of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year

Academic year of opening

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

Total

Free Schools and New Provision Academies

0

7

12

22

15

12

68
















9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) free schools and (b) academies with a religious character have been oversubscribed in each of the last five years.

The government is committed to ensuring that faith designated free schools and new academies provide additional places not just for pupils of their own faith but for pupils from other faiths or no faith. It is for individual schools to decide whether or not to adopt faith based admission arrangements.Those that do may give priority when oversubscribed to a maximum of 50% of applicants with reference to their faith. The department does not collect data on schools that are oversubscribed or on religious diversity in those schools that adopt faith based admission arrangements.







The number of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year is detailed in the table below.



Numbers of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year

Academic year of opening

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

Total

Free Schools and New Provision Academies

0

7

12

22

15

12

68
















9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) free schools and (b) academies with a religious character have been opened in each of the last five years.

The government is committed to ensuring that faith designated free schools and new academies provide additional places not just for pupils of their own faith but for pupils from other faiths or no faith. It is for individual schools to decide whether or not to adopt faith based admission arrangements.Those that do may give priority when oversubscribed to a maximum of 50% of applicants with reference to their faith. The department does not collect data on schools that are oversubscribed or on religious diversity in those schools that adopt faith based admission arrangements.







The number of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year is detailed in the table below.



Numbers of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year

Academic year of opening

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

Total

Free Schools and New Provision Academies

0

7

12

22

15

12

68
















9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) free schools and (b) academies have been affected by the 50 per cent cap on faith-based admissions in each of the last five years.

The government is committed to ensuring that faith designated free schools and new academies provide additional places not just for pupils of their own faith but for pupils from other faiths or no faith. It is for individual schools to decide whether or not to adopt faith based admission arrangements.Those that do may give priority when oversubscribed to a maximum of 50% of applicants with reference to their faith. The department does not collect data on schools that are oversubscribed or on religious diversity in those schools that adopt faith based admission arrangements.







The number of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year is detailed in the table below.



Numbers of free schools and new provision academies with a religious character opening between September 2010 and October 2015 by academic year

Academic year of opening

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

Total

Free Schools and New Provision Academies

0

7

12

22

15

12

68
















4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many Ofsted inspectors have the mandatory qualification in teaching deaf children.

This is a matter for Ofsted. I have asked Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, to write to the hon. Member with the information requested. A copy of his reply will be placed in the House library.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate Ofsted has made of the cost of requiring inspectors of specialist provision for deaf children to be teachers of the deaf.

This is a matter for Ofsted. I have asked Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, to write to the hon. Member with the information requested. A copy of his reply will be placed in the House library.

8th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides for early years professionals on support for children with cerebral palsy; and if he will make a statement.

The Early Years Foundation Stage sets standards for learning, development and care. It is designed to be fully inclusive for all children and respond appropriately to the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), which can include cerebral palsy.

The Department for Education provides funding to Early Support and has provided guidance on practice for children with SEND for parents and others on cerebral palsy.

This guidance, published in 2012, can be found online at:

http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/923252/earlysupportcerebral_palsy_final.pdf

The reforms in part 3 of Children and Families Act 2014 are designed to improve support for all children and young people with SEND. The 0-25 SEND Code of Practice which is currently being considered by Parliament has a specific section for early years providers which detail their statutory responsibilities and how they are expected to work together with partners in health and social care.

10th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made in reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training since May 2010.

Latest quarterly figures published in May show that the proportion of 16-18 year olds NEET is 6.7% - down a third since 2010 and the lowest on record.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what requests for information relating to (a) abortion and (b) sex and relationships education were made to his Department under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in each year since 2011; whether each such request was (i) agreed to and (ii) refused; if he will place in the Library a copy of the information provided in response to each request; and if he will make a statement.

A search of the Department for Education's central database for all correspondence, including Freedom of Information (FOI) requests using ‘abortion' and ‘sex and relationship' as search terms, found five FOI requests tabled in the period since 2011. In four cases no information was held. A copy of one response has been placed in the House Library.

A more detailed search could only be undertaken at disproportionate cost.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on steps to mitigate the levels of air pollution around regional airports in residential areas.

There are regular discussions between DEFRA and DfT at ministerial and official levels regarding air pollution and the practical steps we can take towards reducing emissions.

The government is working to improve international standards on emissions from aircraft and to challenge airports to improve local air quality. Emissions from aircraft are strictly regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization. The aviation industry is taking action to cut airport-related emissions by operating aircraft more efficiently, introducing new lower emission technologies and practices, reducing vehicle emissions within the airport boundary, and improving public transport links to airports.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local air quality and to take action if local air quality standards and objectives are not met. This would include liaising with airports to manage the impact they are having including from vehicles accessing the airport.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the level of (a) public support for genome editing farm animals and (b) consumer interest in purchasing products made from such animals in the regulation of genetic technologies consultation, which closes on 17 March 2021.

We recognise that there is a spectrum of opinions on these topics. We are consulting on genome editing to provide an opportunity for all views to be shared. No decisions on any legislative changes will be made before the results of the consultation are analysed. The UK has no intention of reducing its high standards of animal welfare. We are committed to proportionate, science-based regulation that protects people, animals and the environment, and ensuring that safe products reach the market. Our consultation opened on 7th January and closes on 17th March 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to promote the Maldives fishing industry ahead of COP26.

As President of the UNFCCC COP26 in partnership with Italy, the UK is committed to showcasing ambitious action on climate change and inspiring others to do the same. Through our COP26 Presidency the UK will champion and drive forward the protection of marine ecosystems and wider nature-based solutions to improve the ocean’s resilience to climate change and support the restoration of habitats critical for adaptation and resilience, alongside carbon sequestration.

As a newly independent coastal State the UK will expand and enhance our efforts to manage fisheries sustainably, protect ecosystems and combat illegal fishing at an international scale through our engagement in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), other international organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, and directly with individual States. The UK has recently joined five RFMOs, including the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, to which the Maldives is also a party. The UK looks forward to working with the Maldives in these fora.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the fishing industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government fully understands the importance of EU and global export markets for the UK’s fishing and seafood industry, in particular the shellfish sector. We are actively monitoring the impacts of Covid-19 and related control measures with significant input from industry stakeholders.

We are urgently considering measures to help mitigate the impact of the current situation on all sectors of the seafood and fisheries sectors.

The Chancellor has announced a substantial package of measures to help UK businesses and the self-employed sector. These measures, which include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme are available to the fisheries and aquaculture sector throughout the UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure that the UK is able to end the live export of animals after the UK leaves the EU.

Our manifesto made it clear that we would take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter once we leave the EU. We launched a call for evidence last year, the findings of which we asked the Farm Animal Welfare Committee to review. Their report is expected shortly. Once we have received that report, we will consider how best to take forward the manifesto commitment. All options, including a possible ban, remain on the table.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 on the number of dogs left at home for long periods of time.

In the recently updated Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs developed with the canine sector, we advise that people do not leave their dog unattended in situations, or for periods of time that are likely to cause them distress or render them unsafe. The Code applies to all dogs.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 provide statutory minimum welfare standards for dog breeding, animal boarding and other licensed activities involving animals. The statutory conditions seek to modernise the welfare requirements on licensed premises, and have been developed with the full support of and engagement with the Canine and Feline Sector Group that represents vets, local authorities, the pet industry and welfare charities.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
13th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help those local authorities most affected by ash dieback.

We are working closely with local authorities to help them deal with the impacts of ash dieback by supporting them to be prepared and by providing guidance.

Infected ash trees can survive dieback for many years, continuing to provide recreational and biodiversity benefits, and could provide a source of disease tolerance in the future. For this very reason we are not encouraging the removal of infected ash unless it poses an immediate health and safety risk.

To ensure that the issue of health and safety is addressed we have convened an ash dieback taskforce with a number of key stakeholders and local authorities, of which Suffolk, Norfolk and Kent County Council are members. We are working closely with this group to develop action plans for local authorities and supplement existing guidance for landowners, such as that published by the National Tree Safety Group.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
13th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the importance of street trees in reducing urban pollution; and what plans she has to increase the number of street trees in the forthcoming air quality plan being prepared by her Department.

The Government’s plans for tackling air quality are set out in the national air quality plan for nitrogen dioxide, which was published in December 2015 and will be revised by 31 July this year. The Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) is considering further the evidence around the potential of trees to contribute to improvements in air quality to inform our further policy development. The AQEG is an Expert Committee to Defra that provides independent scientific advice on air quality.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
6th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what her Department's policy is on the (a) qualifications and (b) training required by inspectors of businesses and individuals selling animals as pets.

We are working closely with representatives of local authorities, the pet industry and animal welfare organisations on developing competency standards for animal licensing inspectors as part of the review of local authority animal licensing schemes. The work is at an early stage and will complement the development of new regulations following last month’s publication of Defra’s Next Steps document on animal licensing.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
14th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to put in place a blue belt to protect marine habitats and species.

Since 2013, we have designated 50 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), which protect a range of habitats and species. A third tranche of MCZs will be designated in 2018.

We are currently undertaking work to identify a complete network of Special Protection Areas for seabirds, and consulting on five Special Areas of Conservation for harbour porpoise.

Over 17% of UK waters and almost a third of English inshore waters are now within Marine Protected Areas.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
1st Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support UK fishermen (a) in general and (b) in the under 10 metre fleet.

UK-led Common Fisheries Policy reforms have given UK fishermen a more sustainable long-term future.

The inshore fleet will particularly benefit from an extra 1,000 tonnes of quota this year. This comes on top of the permanent transfer of under-used quota to the Under-10s, which was worth an extra 678 tonnes in 2015.

In addition, over £100m of European (EMFF) Funding is now available to support the UK catching, processing and aquaculture sectors.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 December 2015 to Questions 18146, 18163 and 18178, when she plans to announce the options being considered to improve the humaneness of snaring.

Ministers are still considering options and will make an announcement in due course.

15th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the implications for its policies of the report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, The Urgent Need for an Effective, Enforceable and Enforced Equine Identification System, published in February 2014; and if she will bring forward proposals for such a system to be in place before the end of the current Parliament.

Defra accepts that the current EU system for equine identification does not work well and has pushed for a strengthened regime which is fit for purpose throughout Europe. Defra is now working with the other Governments of the United Kingdom, enforcement authorities and the equine sector to implement a new EU regulation which will help to ensure the regime operates effectively and efficiently in the future.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
30th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to reduce animal suffering and non-target capture, injury and death due to the use of snares.

In 2012 Defra published research on the extent of use and humaneness of snares in England and Wales. Following publication of the report, officials worked with stakeholders to explore options to improve the humaneness of snaring. Ministers are currently considering these options, including the issue of improved guidance on snaring.

30th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent progress has been made in (a) reviewing the effectiveness of her Department's Code of Practice on the use of snares and (b) improving operator compliance with that Code.

In 2012 Defra published research on the extent of use and humaneness of snares in England and Wales. Following publication of the report, officials worked with stakeholders to explore options to improve the humaneness of snaring. Ministers are currently considering these options, including the issue of improved guidance on snaring.

30th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answers of 16 November 2015 to Questions 15832, 15826 and 16699, what options Ministers are considering in response to the research published by her Department in March 2012 on the extent of use and humaneness of snares.

In 2012 Defra published research on the extent of use and humaneness of snares in England and Wales. Following publication of the report, officials worked with stakeholders to explore options to improve the humaneness of snaring. Ministers are currently considering these options, including the issue of improved guidance on snaring.

17th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of new fishing quotas agreed under the Common Fisheries Policy.

During negotiations on the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, which came into force in 2014, the UK secured a legally-binding commitment to manage fish stocks at maximum sustainable yield, an end to the wasteful discarding of fish and a new regional decision-making process.

These reforms will safeguard the future of our fish stocks for all who rely on them.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, pursuant to the Answer of 17 January 2020 to Question 1657 on Brexit, what contingency plans the Government has in the event that the European Parliament does not approve the Withdrawal Agreement by 31 January 2020.

The European Parliament will vote on the Withdrawal Agreement on 29 January. The European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee published its draft recommendation on 14 January. This recommended the European Parliament give its consent to the Withdrawal Agreement. The Secretary of State has discussed this with Brexit Steering Group Co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt.

Once the ratification process is complete on both sides, the UK leaves the EU with a deal on 31 January.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, if he will make an assessment of the circumstances in which the UK would leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

Once our Brexit deal has been approved by parliamentarians we will leave the EU on 31 January, with certainty on the terms of our exit.

Page five of the Conservative manifesto set out that we would leave the EU in January. The Government has a clear mandate and is determined to honour the promises made to the British public.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, in what circumstances he would seek an extension from the EU to the Article 50 deadline.

Once our Brexit deal has been approved by parliamentarians we will leave the EU on 31 January, with certainty on the terms of our exit.

Page five of the Conservative manifesto set out that we would leave the EU in January. The Government has a clear mandate and is determined to honour the promises made to the British public.

6th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to promote trade between the UK and the Least Developed Countries.

Trade brings economic growth to developing countries and benefits UK producers and consumers. That is why on 25 June I announced that as we leave the EU, we will secure duty-free access to UK markets for the Least Developed Countries. Once we have left, we will build on our track-record as a champion of trade and development, strengthening our existing support and seizing new opportunities to increase trade links.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
22nd Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that teachers are paid a fair wage and receive appropriate training and support in countries hosting Syrian refugees in the vicinity of that country.

At the Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region being held in London on 4th February, we want the international community to agree a new goal that all Syrian refugee children and affected host country children are in education – formal school or non-formal – by the end of 2016/17. Equally, for inside Syria, it is our aim to increase access to good quality schooling or other learning opportunities such as self-learning and non-formal education. In neighbouring countries we will also increase access to vocational or skills training and higher education for children and youth.

At the Conference our ambition is that international donors, governments from countries in the region hosting refugees, non-governmental organisations and the private sector come together to agree a set of reciprocal financial and policy commitments. The UK and co-hosts are working with donors and other partners to secure increased funding for education under the UN-led appeals for 2016 and longer term, multi-year education funding commitments to ensure sustainability. We are also working with refugee hosting governments in particular to agree the policy commitments necessary to turn increased funding into delivery on the ground.

22nd Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to encourage countries hosting Syrian refugees in that region to allow NGOs to provide non-formal education opportunities.

At the Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region being held in London on 4th February, we want the international community to agree a new goal that all Syrian refugee children and affected host country children are in education – formal school or non-formal – by the end of 2016/17. Equally, for inside Syria, it is our aim to increase access to good quality schooling or other learning opportunities such as self-learning and non-formal education. In neighbouring countries we will also increase access to vocational or skills training and higher education for children and youth.

At the Conference our ambition is that international donors, governments from countries in the region hosting refugees, non-governmental organisations and the private sector come together to agree a set of reciprocal financial and policy commitments. The UK and co-hosts are working with donors and other partners to secure increased funding for education under the UN-led appeals for 2016 and longer term, multi-year education funding commitments to ensure sustainability. We are also working with refugee hosting governments in particular to agree the policy commitments necessary to turn increased funding into delivery on the ground.

22nd Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what outcomes her Department is working for at the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference in February 2016.

Through the “Supporting Syria and the Region (London 2016)” Conference we aim to raise significant new funding to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of all those affected by the crisis within Syria, and to support neighbouring countries who have shown enormous generosity in hosting refugees.

The Conference will address the longer-term needs of those affected by the crisis through supporting the creation of jobs and providing education in the region, offering those that have been forced to flee their homes greater hope for the future. Specifically, we aim to ensure access to education for all refugee and host community children by the end of the 2016-17 school year.

The Conference will also maintain pressure on all parties to the conflict to stop the obstruction of humanitarian relief and abuse of civilians that perpetuate the crisis and respect International Humanitarian Law. We aim to agree action to give people inside Syria safer healthcare, safer education, and support for the most vulnerable, especially girls and women. Looking ahead, it will need to ensure the international community is well prepared to support a coordinated stabilisation effort.


24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding her Department has allocated to the (a) International Planned Parenthood Federation and (b) United Nations Population Fund in each year since 2009.

DFID provided International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) with £9m of funding for the period 2010/11, £8.6m during 2011/12 and £8.6m during 2012/13. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was provided with £20m each year for the period 2010/11 to 2012/13.

Details of further historical funding can be found in Table 18 and 19 of the Statistics on International Development (SID) which are available in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Foyle, of 10 March 2014, Official Report, column 42W, on developing countries: abortion, for what reasons data on spend for individual components of sexual and reproductive health and rights policy are not compiled; and if she will estimate the cost of compiling that data.

DFID adheres to Development Co-Operation Directorate (OACD-DAC) expenditure coding requirements to allow comparison across donor spending towards attainment of the Millennium Development Goal targets. This does not include the facility to calculate spend for individual components such as sexual and reproductive health and rights –only against coding titles as have been internationally agreed.

Only coding titles as have been internationally agreed can be individually disaggregated.

5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to establish equivalent trading agreements between Maldives and the UK as exist with similar Commonwealth countries.

British agreements with similar Commonwealth countries were ‘rolled over’ from previous European Union (EU) agreements. My Hon. Friend will know that the Maldives did not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU.

HM Government has not been able to negotiate trade deals with our friends around the world for almost fifty years. Now that we have control of our independent trade policy, the Department for International Trade is actively pursuing agreements with our trading partners, under an ambitious programme of work – including with the United States, Australia and New Zealand – as well as seeking accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The United Kingdom and the Maldives already have a strong bilateral relationship. Trade in goods and services was worth £201m in 2019. In that context, we are working with the Maldivian Government to explore ways to increase trade and investment across a range of sectors of mutual interest, including food and drink, defence, education, fitness and health, and in environmental science and sustainable development.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
14th Mar 2019
What recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of inward foreign direct investment.

With your permission Mr Speaker I will answer question 10 together with questions 13. The UK remains the top destination in Europe, and third in the world for foreign direct investment.  By the end of 2017, UK inward FDI stock levels reached £1,337bn, a record for the UK.

In addition to publishing annual analysis of DIT’s FDI performance as Official Statistics, we recently published one of the most comprehensive analyses of the economic impact of FDI in the world, highlighting the benefits of FDI to the UK.

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the UK Classic Car Industry is supported in the event of future restrictions on the use of petrol and diesel cars.

The government is going further and faster to decarbonise transport by phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 and, from 2035, all new cars and vans must be zero emissions at the tailpipe. Owners of existing petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans, including classic cars, will still be able to use these vehicles and buy and sell them on the used market.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to implement a temporary reprieve in the need for an annual MOT test in relation to the disruption caused to businesses by the ongoing covid 19 situation.

Considering the developing situation and the need to balance the risks to road safety with the needs of vulnerable groups and businesses, the legislative requirements relating to vehicle use and testing are under review.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will (a) subscribe to the bill tracker service provided by Public Information Online and (b) make it available on the Parliamentary intranet; and if he will make a statement.

The Commission has no plans to subscribe to the bill tracker service provided by Public Information Online and to make it available on the Parliamentary intranet.

The functions provided by the service, which are to enable users to follow the progress of bills through Parliament, are already provided by the Bills before Parliament pages of the Parliament website. This covers Public Bills from the 2002–03 session and Private Bills from the 2001–02 session. Additionally, Bills are indexed in the Parliamentary Search tool on the Parliamentary intranet. This enables users to find any Parliamentary business related to a Bill.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of ticketing infrastructure on the Essex Thameside trainline.

Trenitalia c2c have been implementing new ticket retailing infrastructure since summer 2019, upgrading ticket office machines and ticket vending machines across the route. Officials are aware that a number of technical issues have been experienced and, as a consequence, Trenitalia c2c are providing regular updates to the Department on the measures being taken to rectify and improve the technology.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to Trenitalia's operation of the Essex Thameside train line, what steps he is taking to help ensure that rail customers are not charged unexpected currency conversion fees when purchasing travel tickets.

Customer should not be charged unexpected currency conversion fees when purchasing travel tickets. However, there was an instance in August 2019 when Trentialia c2c launched their new Sigma Ticket Vending Machines, where a software issue led to a limited number of customers being charged in Euros. As soon as this was discovered the issue was rectified, those customers were reimbursed. Since then there have been no similar issues with charging in other currencies.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of restrictions on aircraft (a) noise and (b) emissions at Southend Airport.

The management of aircraft noise and emissions at Southend Airport and restrictions to ensure compliance with any limits is the responsibility of the airport and the relevant planning authorities. It is not appropriate for the Government to intervene in this process.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent representations he has received on (a) noise pollution and (b) emissions from aircraft at Southend Airport exceeding legal limits.

Since the Secretary of State was appointed in July last year, the Department has received one representation related to noise pollution or emissions from aircraft at Southend Airport. This included the topics of night flights and air quality at Southend Airport and came from my Honourable friend himself.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent representations he has received on (a) noise pollution and (b) emissions from aircraft at Southend Airport.

Since the Secretary of State was appointed in July last year, the Department has received one representation related to noise pollution or emissions from aircraft at Southend Airport. This included the topics of night flights and air quality at Southend Airport and came from my Honourable friend himself.

4th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to allocate additional funding to local authorities who own aerodromes to release the economic potential of those facilities.

Most airport operators whether in the commercial private sector, or in public/private partnerships operate as private commercial undertakings.

In this regard, the UK’s aviation industry operates essentially without subsidy. It is therefore for local authorities to determine any additional funding for any aerodromes they own. Additionally, provision of public funding for airports needs to comply with the European Community State aid guidelines for airports and airlines.

4th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase the number of pilots that are trained in the UK.

The table below shows the number of pilots who, according to the Civil Aviation Authority’s records, had an initial UK commercial licence issued each year.

Year Number of pilots .

2013 1883

2014 1894

2015 1850

2016 1776

2017 1960

Figures for the number of pilots trained in the UK are not available. Applicants for a UK commercial pilot’s licence are not necessarily trained in the UK, and many pilots come to the UK for training but will have a licence issued by their own national aviation authority.

The Government will explore current and future skills shortages in aviation, such as pilot training, as part of the Aviation Strategy which is due for publication in 2019. This will be a long term strategy to 2050 and beyond.

The Aviation Strategy ‘Next Steps’ document, published April 2018, highlighted a number of considerations for Government to address skills shortages. These included further collaboration between industry and education providers, realising the full potential of General Aviation training grounds and work to better understand the extent of such skills gaps and how these may affect the aviation sector in future.

4th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many commercial pilots were trained in the UK in each of the last five years of which information is available.

The table below shows the number of pilots who, according to the Civil Aviation Authority’s records, had an initial UK commercial licence issued each year.

Year Number of pilots .

2013 1883

2014 1894

2015 1850

2016 1776

2017 1960

Figures for the number of pilots trained in the UK are not available. Applicants for a UK commercial pilot’s licence are not necessarily trained in the UK, and many pilots come to the UK for training but will have a licence issued by their own national aviation authority.

The Government will explore current and future skills shortages in aviation, such as pilot training, as part of the Aviation Strategy which is due for publication in 2019. This will be a long term strategy to 2050 and beyond.

The Aviation Strategy ‘Next Steps’ document, published April 2018, highlighted a number of considerations for Government to address skills shortages. These included further collaboration between industry and education providers, realising the full potential of General Aviation training grounds and work to better understand the extent of such skills gaps and how these may affect the aviation sector in future.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has received on the effect of changes in the timetable of C2C services.

In addition to the representations made by my Honourable Friend, the Department has received 30 representations on the effect of changes in the timetable of C2C services.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with C2C on the effect of changes to its timetable on consumer satisfaction.

I met with c2c on the 10th February. I have asked them to make proposals to adjust their plans to deliver a more attractive balance between service levels and overcrowding, and the Department will work with c2c to deliver these at the earliest opportunity.

26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations of the Maritime Growth Study, published on 7 September 2015, on reforms to the UK ship register.

The Government will respond formally to the Maritime Growth Study by the end of 2015, but is taking immediate action in response to some recommendations. This includes the establishment of a Ministerial Working Group for Maritime Growth and taking steps to support the improved operation of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) such as appointing a commercial director to lead the UK Ship Register separately from the Agency’s regulatory functions and a business case exploring the costs and benefits of options for more significant reform of the MCA.


22nd Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment the Government has made of the financial effect on consumers of the requirement for drivers to be insured at all times under the Road Safety Act 2006.

Since the introduction of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) scheme, the level of uninsured driving has been reduced from 1.4 million vehicles at the end of 2010 to 1.0 million at the end of 2014, a 29% reduction. CIE has promoted positive changes in vehicle keeper behaviour and contributes significantly to making our roads safer and in helping keep down insurance premiums for the honest motorist.

17th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent representations he has received on shared space schemes and the difficulties they cause to blind and partially-sighted people.

Ministers have met regularly with groups representing blind and partially sighted people to discuss many issues on transport accessibility, including shared space.

In March 2015, the Minister of State for Transport, Baroness Kramer, wrote to all local authorities in England to remind them of the Department’s advice on designing shared space in Local Transport Note 1/11 ‘Shared Space’, their duties under equalities legislation and the National Federation of the Blind UK guidance note ‘Access for Blind People in Towns’. A copy of that letter was included in the Secretary of State’s response of 18 March 2015 to the Transport Select Committee’s questions on this issue.

3rd Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) men and (b) women have been (i) slightly injured, (ii) seriously injured and (iii) killed by cyclists riding on footpaths in each of the last 10 years for which information is available.

The number of (a) male and (b) female pedestrians that were (i) slightly injured, (ii) seriously injured and (iii) killed in reported road traffic accidents due to a collision with a pedal cyclist on a footway or verge is shown in the attached below.

Data for the year 2014 will be available in June 2015.

15th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the report entitled the Disability Price Tag 2019, published by Scope, what steps she is taking to ensure that personal independence payment assessments accurately capture the extra costs incurred by disabled people.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a more modern, dynamic and fairer benefit than its predecessor, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), designed to focus support on those experiencing the greatest barriers to living independently. DLA had not been fundamentally reformed since it was introduced over 25 years ago and it lacked some of the basic checks and reviews that are integral to most other State-funded support.

Built on rules developed for disability benefits created in the 1970s, DLA was also a product of its time, focusing primarily on physical disabilities, whereas we now have a better understanding of the needs of individuals with mental health conditions, learning difficulties, and sensory impairments like blindness. Understanding of conditions like autism has also changed measurably. That is why we introduced PIP. Reform of DLA had long been overdue and the benefit had to be changed to better support disabled people to lead independent lives as they want to today. PIP provides an opportunity to better target support for disabled people and to enable them to lead full, active and independent lives.

At the core of the benefit’s design is the principle that awards of the benefit should be made according to a claimant’s overall level of need; entitlement being assessed on the basis of the needs arising from a health condition or disability. It is intended to act as a contribution
towards the extra costs that arise as a result of a long-term health condition or disability. We take all feedback regarding the benefit and assessment process seriously; and we remain committed to continuous improvements and working closely with claimants and
representative organisations.

15th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the report entitled the Disability Price Tag 2019, published by Scope in February 2019, what assessment she has made of the extra costs incurred by disabled people; and if she will make a statement.

We recognise that there are extra costs faces by those with long term health conditions and disabilities. That is why the Department provides a financial contribution towards those disability-related costs through Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment. We will be spending over £26 billion on the extra costs disability benefits next year (2019/20), part of the over £55 billion spending on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions. Benefit provision is in addition to the wide range of additional support people with health conditions and disabilities may receive including from Local Authorities or the National Health Service.

15th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the timeframe is for the universal credit managed migration trial that is planned to start in July 2019; and if she will publish an assessment of the effectiveness of that trial after it has concluded.

As set out in Ministerial Statement HCWS1399 on 12 March 2019, we will begin the pilot phase for moving a small number existing legacy benefit claimants onto Universal Credit in July 2019. We expect this pilot to take about 12 months, and expect all legacy benefit claimants to have been moved onto Universal Credit by the end of 2023, as previously planned.

Following the pilot, we will report on our findings to Parliament before bringing forward legislation to continue this process on a larger scale.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
12th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to increase the number of employers that sign up to the disability confident scheme.

Staff in the DWP Disability Confident team are working constantly to engage with employers, run events and support the scheme. We have recently been working with Jobcentre Plus districts in Devon & Cornwall and South Yorkshire to identify new opportunities to engage with employers. The learning from this is currently being shared across Jobcentre Plus and should lead to a significant increase in employer sign-ups. Over 8,300 organisations are currently signed up to Disability Confident and this number continues to grow substantially.

The Disability Confident Business Leaders Group (BLG), comprising senior leaders from significant British businesses across all sectors, helps to increase engagement with employers and encourage and support them on their Disability Confident journeys. The group promotes the business benefits of disability employment and works with DWP officials to identify any changes or developments that will improve the effectiveness of the scheme.

In the public sector, with all main Government departments now signed up as Disability Confident Leaders we are turning focus on Local Authorities, Police, Fire Authorities and NHS Trusts. 75% of Local Authorities are already Disability Confident.

12th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what budget her Department allocated to the disability confident scheme in the last year for which figures are available.

The DC scheme is delivered internally by DWP, using DWP staff and other internal resources. There is no external resources budget set for it.

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of the Health and Work Innovation Fund his Department plans to allocate to programmes for people with arthritis.

At the spending review, the Work and Health Unit secured £115m of funding, including at least £40m for a Work and Health innovation fund.

The Work and Health Innovation Fund will trial new ways to help working age disabled people and people with health conditions get in, stay in, and return to work as well as benefit from improved health outcomes. This will include support for people with musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis.

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of Access to Work funding supports people with arthritis.

Access to Work does not record arthritis as a separate primary medical condition.

Access to Work statistics, which include a breakdown of numbers helped by primary medical condition, are published quarterly here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/access-to-work-statistics-on-recipients--2

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in the Fit For Work scheme have a musculoskeletal condition.

2,144 people have been referred to Fit for Work with a musculoskeletal condition since the launch of the programme in March 2015.

All statistical information has been provided by either HML or Scottish Government. It has not previously been published and is non-validated.

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the Work and Health Programme meets the needs of people with arthritis.

Development of the Work and Health Programme design is well underway, including engagement with a wide range of stakeholders. The Department has commenced the commercial process for the programme by releasing the Prior Information Notice for potential providers on 28 April.

Decisions on what the information reporting requirements will be for people with a disability or health condition are yet to be made.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many nurses have been allocated to implementing policies introduced as a result of the Learning Disability Mortality Review programme.

This information is not held centrally.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress is being made on providing indicative discharge dates or an action plan to people with learning disabilities detained under the Mental Health Act.

Discharge planning should start as soon as possible after admission to a mental health inpatient setting through a Care and Treatment Review. Health commissioners are required to report whether there is a planned date of discharge or transfer via the Assuring Transformation dataset published by NHS Digital. As of May 2021, 43% of current inpatients had a date for discharge or transfer.

We set out our proposed reforms in the Mental Health Act White Paper published on 13 January 2021. A Government response to the consultation will be published in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to take to promote awareness on healthy portion sizes for food and drink.

Public Health England’s (PHE) Better Health programme provides tips on what a healthy balanced diet looks like, including information on portions sizes. For those trying to lose weight, the website and NHS Weight Loss app include suggestions such as trying smaller plates and bowls to help reduce portion sizes at mealtimes, aiming for two or more portions of veg and ensuring wholegrain foods take up no more than a third of a plate.

PHE’s OneYou Easy Meals app provides recipes with suggested portions for each recipe in line with nutritional requirements for adults. All recipes carry front of pack information per portion. The OneYou website also directs to the Eatwell Guide to support people in achieving a balanced diet. The Change4Life website includes information and advice for parents when feeding their children including on ‘me size meals’ and guidance on calories when choosing packaged snacks.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with food and drink manufacturers on reducing portion sizes.

Public Health England (PHE) has discussed various approaches that can be taken to reduce portion sizes with industry sectors including retailers, manufacturers and the eating out of home sector. It is for individual businesses to consider and decide how best to apply this.

Reducing portion size is one mechanism for industry action that can be employed in reformulation programmes. Calorie-based portion size guidelines covering food and drink consumed in and out of the home have been set in the sugar and calorie reduction programmes PHE oversees for the Government. The salt reduction programme includes maximum salt targets for portions of food served out of the home. There will be continued engagement with stakeholders on all parts of the programme. Updates on engagement are published regularly at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sugar-reduction-and-wider-reformulation-stakeholder-engagement

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the benefits of introducing portion control to support Public Health England’s reduction and reformulation programmes in relation to (a) sugar, (b) salt and (c) calories.

Reducing portion size is one mechanism for industry action that can be employed in reformulation programmes.

Calorie-based portion size guidelines covering food and drink consumed in and out of the home have been included in the sugar and calorie reduction programmes Public Health England oversees for the Government. The salt reduction programme includes maximum salt targets for portions of food served out of the home.

Reductions in portion size should reduce the number of calories, and amount of salt and sugar, consumed. An impact assessment, published in September 2020, showed that if the ambitions of the calorie reduction programme were achieved in full by in home retailers and manufacturers, it would result in a 6.8% reduction in calories sold per portion.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the role sensible portion sizes play in helping to tackle obesity.

Public Health England (PHE) has not made a specific assessment.

The Government’s reduction and reformulation programme includes reducing portion size as one mechanism that can be used by all sectors of the food industry. Calorie-based portion size guidelines covering food and drink consumed in and out of the home have been included in the sugar and calorie reduction programmes that Public Health England oversees for the Government.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that social care needs are met (a) without people losing their family principal private residence when paying for dementia care and (b) when adjusting or supplementing Carer’s Allowance; and what steps he is taking to tackle the disparity between the fees charged by (i) private and (ii) local authority owned care homes.

We are committed to bringing forward a plan for social care this year to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and to find long term solutions for one of the biggest challenges we face as a society.

Carer’s Allowance is a weekly benefit and is not means-tested or contribution-based. This allowance provides a measure of financial support to people aged 16 years old or over, caring for a disabled person in receipt of a qualifying benefit for more than 35 hours a week, provided the carer is not in gainful employment.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of regular steroid use on the susceptibility of users to covid-19.

We are not aware of a general assessment across all conditions of regular steroid use on the susceptibility of users to COVID-19. However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published COVID-19 rapid guidelines using the latest available evidence for specific conditions where there is an increased risk of COVID-19. Where relevant, these guidelines include recommendations related to the continuation of treatment of corticosteroids. These guidelines are kept under review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has commissioned research to establish whether the immunosuppressant effect of regular steroid use has led to users contracting covid-19 more easily.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is not currently funding any research into whether the regular use of steroids can lead to users contracting COVID-19 more easily. However, the NIHR continues to welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including on COVID-19 risk factors.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to ensure that the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist, EpSMon App and other evidence-based epilepsy risk solutions are fully utilised across the NHS to tackle the recent increase in epilepsy deaths.

NHS England and NHS Improvement published their epilepsy RightCare toolkit in February 2020. The toolkit provides expert practical advice and guidance on how to address epilepsy-related challenges and recommends that providers implement a standard risk template for people living with epilepsy. This risk template should cross organisational boundaries and include relevant resources, such as the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist tool and the Epilepsy Self-Monitoring application.

Local commissioners are responsible for the implementation of this guidance, including the epilepsy RightCare toolkit, in their local areas.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that in light of the recent MBRRACE maternal death inquiry evidencing continued rising maternal epilepsy mortality women with epilepsy receive balanced messaging from Government, policy makers, the media and clinicians on epilepsy mortality risks and the importance of their medications, to ensure informed choices can be made about their lives and care.

We are unable to meet with SUDEP action and MBRRACE-UK at this time.

In light of the MBRRACE-UK Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is reviewing available data and arranging to meet with key patient support organisations specialising in communication of maternal epilepsy mortality risks and clinicians to explore how information provided to women on important risks can be improved. The MHRA is also working with the wider healthcare network to explore additional ways of improving the reach of regulatory communications.

The conclusions of a safety review by the Commission of Human Medicines of the risks of epilepsy medicines in pregnancy have recently been published to aid discussions about suitable treatment options and support a balanced message on benefits and risks of each.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many trusts have redeployed or significantly reduced their epilepsy services during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps he is taking to prevent avoidable epilepsy deaths as a result of the outbreak.

No assessment has been made on the number of trusts that have redeployed or reduced their epilepsy services.

National Health Service systems should continue to implement the guidance set out in NHS RightCare epilepsy toolkit. This toolkit provides expert practical advice and guidance on how to address epilepsy-related challenges, including sudden death in epilepsy and recommends that providers implement a standard risk template for people living with epilepsy, including all relevant resources.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will meet SUDEP Action and MBRRACE to discuss the implementation of the recommendations in the newly published maternal deaths inquiry which highlights a more than doubling of deaths in women and their unborn children due to Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) between 2016-18 compared to 2013-15 and a likely increase expected due to the pandemic.

We are unable to meet with SUDEP action and MBRRACE-UK at this time.

In light of the MBRRACE-UK Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is reviewing available data and arranging to meet with key patient support organisations specialising in communication of maternal epilepsy mortality risks and clinicians to explore how information provided to women on important risks can be improved. The MHRA is also working with the wider healthcare network to explore additional ways of improving the reach of regulatory communications.

The conclusions of a safety review by the Commission of Human Medicines of the risks of epilepsy medicines in pregnancy have recently been published to aid discussions about suitable treatment options and support a balanced message on benefits and risks of each.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many weekly confirmed hospital admissions to hospital for influenza were recorded through the UK Severe Influenza Surveillance Systems sentinel scheme since January 2019.

Public Health England records cases of severe influenza with data from a sentinel network of National Health Service trusts.

The attached table shows the weekly number of hospital admissions including admission to Intensive Care Unit/High Dependency Unit for laboratory confirmed influenza cases reported through the sentinel surveillance network, in England by week between January 2019 to January 2021 (ending 24 January 2021) based on International Standardisation Organisation week number system.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many confirmed hospital admissions for influenza there have been in each year since January 2019.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Public Health England records cases of severe influenza with data from a sentinel network of National Health Service trusts which report voluntarily on a weekly basis on hospitalisation to all levels of care for laboratory confirmed influenza. However, as this data comes from a sentinel network of trusts, a stable network of trusts that participate every season and commit to providing weekly data, it is therefore not designed to capture all hospitalisations of influenza in England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help reduce the number of hospital admissions for alcohol-related liver disease.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from Public Health England (PHE), is helping acute hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm to establish or improve specialist alcohol care teams. PHE is supporting work to increase opportunities for the earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease in people drinking at or above high-risk levels.

This includes a new commissioning for quality and innovation (CQUIN) scheme to incentivise increased cirrhosis and fibrosis tests for alcohol dependent patients in acute and mental health services. The 2020-21 CQUIN is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/commissioning-for-quality-and-innovation-cquin-guidance-for-2020-2021/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of hospital admissions as a result of alcohol-related liver disease.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England and Improvement, with support from Public Health England (PHE), is helping acute hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm to establish or improve specialist alcohol care teams.

PHE is supporting work to increase opportunities for the earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease in people drinking at or above high-risk levels. This includes a new commissioning for quality and innovation scheme to incentivise increased cirrhosis and fibrosis tests for alcohol dependent patients in acute and mental health services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many confirmed hospital admissions for influenza there have been in each month since January 2019.

Data on confirmed hospital admissions for influenza is not collected on a monthly basis.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December 2020 to Question 125929 on Abortion: Drugs, how people without access to a computer can submit a written submission in response to his Department’s consultation document on home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation; and if he will make a statement.

The Department’s preferred method of response to the consultation is via submission online at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/home-use-of-both-pills-for-early-medical-abortion

However, people who are unable to access the online form can submit a written submission to the consultation to the following address:

Abortion Consultation

Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit

Department of Health and Social Care

39 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0EU

United Kingdom

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how members of the public can submit a written or email submission in response to his Department’s consultation document on Home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation; and if he will make a statement.

Following a commitment made in Parliament earlier this year, we have now launched a three month consultation on whether to make permanent the current temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. We welcome feedback from anyone with an interest or view on this subject, particularly from those who have been directly affected by the current temporary measure.

Responses can be submitted online to the consultation at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/home-use-of-both-pills-for-early-medical-abortion

If an individual is unable to complete the online form, they can contact our correspondence team at the following link:

https://contactus.dhsc.gov.uk/

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the number of students attending Manchester University who have been admitted to hospital with covid-19 symptoms since the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

The data requested is not centrally collected.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many tests the Southend covid-19 testing centres at (a) Short Street and (b) Southend Airport (i) have the capacity to carry out and (ii) are carrying out.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which Minister in his Department has responsibility to make an assessment of the effect of the temporary measure to approve both sets of medication for early medical abortion to be taken at home during the covid-19 outbreak; when such information with be made available; and if he will make a statement.

Responsibility for abortion policy within the Department falls within my Ministerial portfolio.

The Department continues to closely monitor the impact of the temporary approval for women’s homes to be classed as a place where both sets of medication for early medical abortion can be taken up to 10 weeks gestation.

The Government has committed to undertake a public consultation on making permanent the COVID-19 measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. Further details on the consultation will be available in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) home birth services and (b) midwifery units temporarily closed after 1 March 2020; and on what date each of those units reopened.

This information is not currently held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS Trusts have provided standard-of-care access to all four birthing options during the covid-19 outbreak.

This information is not currently held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with learning disabilities living (a) independently, (b) with family and (c) in care homes receive equal access to testing and treatment for covid-19; and whether he plans to allocate resources to enable the safe return to community (i) activities and (ii) services to support the (A) physical and (B) mental well-being of those people.

From 7 June 2020 all remaining adult care homes will be able to access whole care home testing for all residents and asymptomatic staff through the digital portal at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-care-home

We expect that access to services that support people with learning disabilities should be restored as soon as is appropriate, in line with social distancing guidelines, and as regulations and guidance permit. Work is underway to plan for an expected increase in demand for patients needing mental health support due to COVID-19. Existing mental health services are open and available for any person requiring support.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people who have died from covid-19 to date had underlying health problems.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) collates official statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales. An ONS report published on 16 April analysed deaths involving COVID-19 that occurred in the month of March and found that 91% of deaths involved some form of pre-existing condition. The most frequent pre-existing condition was ischaemic heart disease, involved in 14% of cases. Information can be found on their website at the following link:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsinvolvingcovid19englandandwalesmarch2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that (a) baby food, (b) infant formula and (c) infant medication continue to be available during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has introduced new measures to support businesses to keep food, including baby food, supply flowing on to shelves and into homes, such as temporary relaxation of competition laws to allow supermarkets to work together, extending delivery hours to supermarkets and flexing rules on drivers’ hours to allow a higher frequency of deliveries to stores to ensure shelves are being replenished more quickly.

In relation to infant formula, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Glasgow Central (Alison Thewliss MP) on 26 March to Question 30064.

The Department is working closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients can access the medicines they need, including infant medications, and precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages. The steps being taken to protect United Kingdom supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak were set out in the Department’s press statement issued on 11 February 2020. This statement can be read at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-monitor-impact-of-coronavirus-on-uk-medicine-supply

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care what steps he is taking to improve services provided by community pharmacists.

Through our ‘pharmacy first’ approach, we want to unlock the potential of community pharmacy.

Our landmark five-year contractual framework sets out an expanded role for community pharmacy to help people stay well closer to home.

This winter, more than 114,000 people with minor illnesses or medication needs have received same-day consultations with their highly skilled local community pharmacist following a new referral service from NHS 111.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the long-term workforce plan for the NHS will consider how many diagnostic professionals are needed to meet the ambition to diagnose three out of every four cancers in the next 10 years.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has commissioned Baroness Dido Harding to lead a number of programmes to engage with key National Health Service interests to develop a detailed workforce implementation plan.

The interim NHS People Plan, published on 3 June 2019, acknowledges that further action must be taken to increase the numbers of staff. It will undertake a detailed review of all branches of workforce in advance of the full People Plan, in order to identify steps to grow and recruit a world class cancer workforce to the NHS.

26th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of Medical Directors responsible for neuroscience units designed to deliver mechanical thrombectomy.

In 2017, NHS England announced the commissioning of mechanical thrombectomy for the treatment of acute stroke. Services are being developed nationally in 24 neuroscience centres, across National Health Service trusts and foundation trusts in England with 22 centres currently providing a thrombectomy service.

All NHS trusts and foundation trusts have a Medical Director on their board responsible for the management and governance of clinical services. A list of medical directors is not collected centrally but would be held at a local level in respective trusts.

12th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women who self referred for an abortion in a (a) British Pregnancy Advisory Service and (b) Marie Stopes International clinic were certified for abortion by two doctors whilst in that clinic in the last 12 months for which information is available; and if he will make a statement.

This information is not collected centrally.

12th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women have been referred for an abortion by a GP in each of the last five years.

This information is not collected centrally.

12th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women have self-referred for an abortion in (a) a British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic and (b) a Marie Stopes International clinic in each of the last five years.

This information is not collected centrally.

21st Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he publish the names of schools that allow emergency contraception to be distributed to children at that school without parental knowledge or consent.

Information on schools where emergency contraception is provided by healthcare professionals is not collected centrally.

Advice to healthcare professionals on the provision of emergency contraception to girls under the age of 16 is contained in recommendation 5 of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) public health guideline on sexually transmitted infections and under-18 conceptions prevention and recommendation 9 of the NICE public health guideline on contraceptive services for under 25s. The guidelines can be viewed on the NICE website at the following links:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph3/chapter/1-Recommendations

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph51/chapter/1-Recommendations

In addition, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has published clinical guidance for health professional on the use of emergency contraception, which is available on the FSRH website at the following link:

https://www.fsrh.org/documents/ceu-clinical-guidance-emergency-contraception-march-2017

Young people under the age of 16 are legally able to consent to medical advice and treatment, without their parents’ knowledge or consent if a doctor or other healthcare worker judges them competent to do so. Healthcare professionals providing emergency contraception to under 16s without parental consent should follow the criteria outlined in the Fraser guidelines for competence to consent.

21st Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure that girls aged under 16 years old are properly supervised when taking emergency contraception; and if he will make a statement.

Information on schools where emergency contraception is provided by healthcare professionals is not collected centrally.

Advice to healthcare professionals on the provision of emergency contraception to girls under the age of 16 is contained in recommendation 5 of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) public health guideline on sexually transmitted infections and under-18 conceptions prevention and recommendation 9 of the NICE public health guideline on contraceptive services for under 25s. The guidelines can be viewed on the NICE website at the following links:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph3/chapter/1-Recommendations

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph51/chapter/1-Recommendations

In addition, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has published clinical guidance for health professional on the use of emergency contraception, which is available on the FSRH website at the following link:

https://www.fsrh.org/documents/ceu-clinical-guidance-emergency-contraception-march-2017

Young people under the age of 16 are legally able to consent to medical advice and treatment, without their parents’ knowledge or consent if a doctor or other healthcare worker judges them competent to do so. Healthcare professionals providing emergency contraception to under 16s without parental consent should follow the criteria outlined in the Fraser guidelines for competence to consent.

21st Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many girls in England have been given emergency contraception by school nurses in each of the last five years for which figures are available, broken down by the age of the girl.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

21st Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many times school nurses have issued emergency contraception in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance he has issued to schools on the potential adverse effects of emergency contraception being provided to girls under the age of 16 (a) by school staff and (b) on school premises.

Advice to healthcare professionals, local commissioners and providers of healthcare on the provision of emergency contraception to girls under the age of 16 is contained in recommendation 5 of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) public health guideline on sexually transmitted infections and under-18 conceptions prevention and recommendation 9 of the NICE public health guideline on contraceptive services for under 25s. The guidelines can be viewed on the NICE website at the following links:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph3/chapter/1-Recommendations

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph51/chapter/1-Recommendations

In addition, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has published clinical guidance for health professional on the use of emergency contraception. This guideline covers potential adverse side effects and is available on the FSRH website at the following link:

https://www.fsrh.org/documents/ceu-clinical-guidance-emergency-contraception-march-2017

The Department has not issued separate guidance to schools on this issue.

14th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS Long-Term Plan, what steps he plans to take to deliver a ten-fold increase in the proportion of patients who receive thrombectomy procedure after stroke so that all eligible patients have access to that treatment by 2022.

The National Health Service will publish an implementation framework for the Long Term Plan in the spring.

Since June 2018, NHS England has been working closely with the Stroke Association to develop a national stroke programme to be delivered within the timescale of the Long Term Plan.

A stroke programme delivery board will be established in April 2019 to oversee development of the stroke plan as part of the governance arrangements for the cardiovascular disease-respiratory programme.

14th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how Health Education England plans to increase the number of stroke specialists trained to deliver thrombectomy.

Health Education England is working with the Royal College of Radiology and other partners to increase the number of specialists trained to deliver thrombectomy by modernising the stroke workforce with a focus on cross-specialty and in some cases cross-profession accreditation of relevant competencies.

This includes work with the medical Royal Colleges and specialty societies to develop a new credentialing programme for hospital consultants from a variety of relevant disciplines who will be trained to offer mechanical thrombectomy. The details of this credentialing programme are being finalised and the programme is planned to start later this year.

21st Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to include asthma in the list of conditions which are exempt from the payment of prescription charges.

Extensive arrangements are already in place to help people afford National Health Service prescriptions. These include a broad range of prescription charge exemptions, for which someone with asthma may qualify. The Department has no current plans to amend these exemptions, including the list of medical conditions that provides exemption from prescription charges.

People on a low income, who do not qualify for an exemption, may be eligible for full or partial help with prescription charges through application to the NHS Low Income Scheme.

To support those with greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption or the NHS Low Income Scheme, prescription prepayment certificates are available. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just £2 per week.

21st Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an assessment of the effect on people's health of prescription charges for asthma medicines.

Extensive arrangements are already in place to help people afford National Health Service prescriptions. These include a broad range of prescription charge exemptions, for which someone with asthma may qualify. The Department has no current plans to amend these exemptions, including the list of medical conditions that provides exemption from prescription charges.

People on a low income, who do not qualify for an exemption, may be eligible for full or partial help with prescription charges through application to the NHS Low Income Scheme.

To support those with greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption or the NHS Low Income Scheme, prescription prepayment certificates are available. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just £2 per week.

8th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to reassess the requirements established by the European Medicines Agency guidelines implementing EU Directive 2001/83/EC on Medicinal Products for Human Use which specify that two species of mammal, one a non-rodent, must be used in repeated dose toxicity tests with a view to reviewing the use of dogs in such testing.

The requirement to use two mammalian species (one a non-rodent) in repeated dose toxicity is part of the International Conference on Harmonisation guideline on ‘Non-Clinical Safety Studies for the Conduct of Human Clinical Trials and Marketing Authorisation for Pharmaceuticals’, ICH M3(R2). The overall objective of this internationally agreed guideline is the promotion of safe and ethical development of new pharmaceuticals while reducing the use of animals in accordance with the 3R principles (reduce/refine/replace).

There are no plans to reassess this requirement at present. The requirement is an integral part of a stepwise process involving an evaluation of both the animal and human safety information. The goals of the nonclinical safety evaluation generally include a characterisation of toxic effects with respect to target organs, dose dependence, relationship to exposure, and when appropriate, potential reversibility. Choice of species for nonclinical investigations are made based on scientific and ethical considerations. This information is important for how to test a candidate medicinal product in human trials, specifically for the estimation of an initial safe starting dose and dose range. The United Kingdom’s National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research continues to research the utility of using dogs in such investigations.

2nd Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the implementation of the new NICE Quality Standard on Spondyloarthritis, QS170 on the time taken for the diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis; and if he will make a statement.

No assessment has been made.

On 28 June 2018, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a new Quality Standard (QS) on spondyloarthritis. The QS includes four quality statements identified as the markers of high quality spondyloarthritis care. The first statement sets out that “Adults with suspected axial or peripheral spondyloarthritis are referred to a rheumatologist.” The standard advises that this may be monitored through local data collection, such as audit of patient records.

QSs are important in setting out to patients, the public, commissioners and providers what a high quality service should look like in a particular area of care. Whilst providers and commissioners must have regard to NICE QSs in planning and delivering services, they do not provide a comprehensive service specification and are not mandatory.

11th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve the uptake of innovative new medicines in the UK.

The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy set out a vision of being a world-leader in developing and bringing to market innovative medicines to improve life of United Kingdom patient’s outcomes. It highlighted the importance of evolving and simplifying the access system for new medicines by implementing, and building on, the findings of the Accelerated Access Review.

The response to the Accelerated Access Review, published last year, set out a series of actions the Government and the National Health Service are taking to increase the rate of uptake of innovative products. We have brought together the key Government, NHS and industry partners through the newly formed Accelerated Access Collaborative, which oversees the Accelerated Access Pathway, to streamline regulatory and market access decisions, getting breakthrough products that we believe will be truly transformative to patients more quickly. The response also committed to £86 million of support, including £39 million to improve local adoption and uptake of innovative medical technologies through a greater role for the Academic Health and Science Networks and £6 million to help the NHS to adopt and integrate new technologies into everyday practice through the Pathway Transformation Fund. These build on our existing schemes to encourage quicker patient access such as the Early Access to Medicines Scheme and the Innovation Technology Tariff. Additionally, the Innovation Scorecard tracks the uptake of cost-effective new medicines approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

11th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to put the UK in the top quartile of comparator countries for the speed of adoption of innovative new medicines.

The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy (LSIS) set out a vision of being a world-leader in developing and bringing to market innovative medicines to improve patient outcomes and included a strategic ambition for the UK to be in the top quartile of comparator countries for speed of adoption. The Government welcomes the LSIS and supports the ambition to improve uptake. However, simple comparisons of uptake of medicines between different countries with different health systems are very difficult and may not be the most appropriate measure of success. As part of implementing the sector deal, the LSIS Implementation Board will agree a set of success metrics.

To deliver against the ambition in the LSIS, the response to the Accelerated Access Review, published last year, set out a series of actions the Government and the National Health Service are taking to increase the rate of uptake of innovative products. We have brought together the key Government, NHS and industry partners through the newly formed Accelerated Access Collaborative, who will oversee the Accelerated Access Pathway, to streamline regulatory and market access decisions, getting breakthrough products that we believe will be truly transformative to patients more quickly. The response also committed to £86 million of support, including £39 million to improve local adoption and uptake of innovative medical technologies through a greater role for the Academic Health and Science Networks and £6 million to help the NHS to adopt and integrate new technologies into everyday practice, through the Pathway Transformation Fund. These build on our existing schemes to encourage quicker patient access such as Early Access to Medicines Scheme and the Innovation Technology Tariff. Additionally, the Innovation Scorecard tracks the uptake of cost-effective new medicines approved by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence.

10th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has estimated the potential savings to the public purse annually from providing patients with timely nutritional care; and if he will make a statement.

No estimate has been made centrally of the potential annual savings to the public purse from providing patients with timely nutritional care.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 cover the fundamental standards below which care must not fall, including meeting the nutritional and hydration needs of users. The regulations, which are considered during Care Quality Commission inspections, specify that people who use services must have their nutritional needs assessed and mean that the risk of malnutrition and dehydration while they receive care and treatment is reduced.

To help tackle malnutrition in acute and community settings, NHS England published guidance on ‘Commissioning excellent nutrition and hydration’ in October 2015. The implementation of this guidance is a matter for the local National Health Service. The guidance is available at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/nut-hyd/

10th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the number of deaths associated with malnutrition.

No estimate has been made centrally of the potential annual savings to the public purse from providing patients with timely nutritional care.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 cover the fundamental standards below which care must not fall, including meeting the nutritional and hydration needs of users. The regulations, which are considered during Care Quality Commission inspections, specify that people who use services must have their nutritional needs assessed and mean that the risk of malnutrition and dehydration while they receive care and treatment is reduced.

To help tackle malnutrition in acute and community settings, NHS England published guidance on ‘Commissioning excellent nutrition and hydration’ in October 2015. The implementation of this guidance is a matter for the local National Health Service. The guidance is available at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/nut-hyd/

13th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether steps are being taken to prevent the closure to new patients of the Lower Urinary Tract Services Clinic in north London.

The Trust has been working to address the recommendations of the Royal College of Physicians following a service review of the Lower Urinary Tract Service, before the clinic is re-opened to new patients. The Trust is currently in negotiations with commissioners to establish the re-opening of the clinic in the 2018/19 contract.

21st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the government is taking to ensure that the UK continues to attract the best talent in science and healthcare after the UK leaves the EU.

The Government has always said it is committed to ensuring leaving the European Union is a success and wants the United Kingdom to remain a hub for attracting international talent including to the National Health Service and UK research.

The Department is working with other Government Departments, including the Home Office, to ensure continued access to the brightest and best international talent.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
21st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to implement the recommendation in the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy to evolve medicines value assessments to include improved patient outcome measures.

The Government is supportive of the vision of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy (LSIS). However, it is a sector led document and not official Government policy. The Government has committed to implement some of the recommendations in collaboration with the sector through the first Life Sciences Sector Deal, which was published as part of the Industrial Strategy White Paper. The Sector Deal did not include measures on this specific recommendation. However, Sector Deals are iterative and recommendations not taken forward in the first phase may be considered for future phases or alternative policy delivery routes.

The LSIS recommends that ‘Value assessments should be evolved in the long-term with improved patient outcome measures, affordability and cost management data extending beyond one year timeframes’. It relates to a number of issues raised in the Accelerated Access Review (AAR) and work is ongoing between the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and NHS England to address them as part of the Government’s response to the AAR.

In 2012 NICE reviewed the guidance on technology appraisals, including a public consultation on a potential new value assessment framework. This included amendments to include patient outcome measures. However, the review concluded that there was insufficient consensus to modify the assessment framework at that time. NICE is planning to start the work on the next update to its guide to methods of technology appraisal in 2019.

21st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the need for additional investment in the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency after the UK leaves the EU.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is a Government trading fund, and will continue to be so after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. As a Government trading fund, the Agency will carry on recovering costs in the usual way.

21st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the UK is at the global forefront of collecting and using patient data to improve health and care outcomes.

The Government is committed to supporting innovation and improvement through the safe and secure use of data from the health and care system. NHS Digital is the national provider of high-quality information, data and IT systems for health and social care, with a statutory duty in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to assure the quality of all the data it collects, publishes and makes available, under strict controls, to the research community. At present, a wide range of data is collected from the National Health Service to support a range of secondary uses including within the research community. Recognising the value and importance of this data, NHS Digital has made a number of commitments to the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy. In addition, NHS Digital has set out national standards and approaches for data and interoperability and sponsors the Professional Records Standards Body to define the standards needed for good care records which are the foundation of strong data for research. To support researchers understanding of the data access environment, NHS Digital is also rolling out a series of Roadshows for Researchers which will promote understanding of the types of data that are available for research and how to access this data.

16th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take for people from at-risk groups, as identified in NICE Public Health Guideline 56, who are no longer able to access appropriate licensed vitamin D maintenance treatments as a result of only over the counter treatments being available under NHS England proposals.

The Department has no such plans. NHS England recently consulted on conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care, ‘A consultation on guidance for CCGs’ and also published a full Equality and Health Inequalities Impact Assessment which covers groups protected by the Equality Act 2010 and those on low income. A copy of the document is attached.

NHS England’s consultation document proposed that people who have demonstrated vitamin D deficiency will continue to have access to vitamin D on prescription. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Public Health Guideline 56 refers to widened access to vitamin D for those who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency, including the ability to purchase appropriate supplements if needed and access support from health care professionals to be able to safeguard their own health.

The Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances states that vitamins and minerals should be prescribed only in the management of actual or potential vitamin or mineral deficiency, and are not to be prescribed as dietary supplements. We understand that NHS England’s consultation is in line with this. Prescribing vitamin D for maintenance would be classed as a treatment for prevention or as a dietary supplement.

8th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) restaurants, (b) takeaways and (c) cafes that provide calorie labelling (i) on their menus and (ii) at the point of purchase.

No estimate has made of the number of out of home settings providing calorie information and no assessment has been made of the merits of mandating calorie labelling in these settings.

8th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) retailers and (b) manufacturers that have adopted the front-of-pack traffic-light labelling system.

Businesses that have adopted the front of pack nutrition labelling scheme account for approximately two thirds of the market for pre-packed foods and drinks.

Evidence suggests that people who use the front of pack labels tend to have healthier shopping baskets with fewer calories, less sugar, fat and salt, and more fibre. Evidence from businesses using the scheme suggests that shoppers use the scheme to make healthier choices within categories, for example, ready meals.

8th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of front-of-pack traffic-light labelling on people's choice of food.

Businesses that have adopted the front of pack nutrition labelling scheme account for approximately two thirds of the market for pre-packed foods and drinks.

Evidence suggests that people who use the front of pack labels tend to have healthier shopping baskets with fewer calories, less sugar, fat and salt, and more fibre. Evidence from businesses using the scheme suggests that shoppers use the scheme to make healthier choices within categories, for example, ready meals.

19th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps are being taken to minimise the waiting time for cervical screening test results.

Cervical screening turnaround time is a quality measure and allows the National Health Service to understand how fast processes are working. The measure is that at least 98% of screening results letters for women who have attended for their cervical screen should be received within 14 days from the date of the screening appointment.

Presently there is a delay in some areas for some women who are waiting to receive the results from their cervical screening test, due to a forthcoming change to the national cervical screening pathway where cytology (which is currently the first test performed on all screening samples) will be replaced by the end of 2019 by a new more automated test than currently; primary human papillomavirus (HPV) screening. This new HPV test brings added benefits for women and will prevent more cases of cervical cancer.

Once this new test is implemented the requirement for cytology workforce will reduce. This is already impacting the services as retention of the workforce becomes more difficult.

The NHS is putting in place solutions to reduce the time it is taking for women to receive their results, such as establishing a national mitigation plan to provide more capacity ahead of the new primary HPV test being implemented. Equally, local commissioning teams are working with their cervical screening providers to put in place local strategies to improve the turnaround time for women to receive results in their areas.

7th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent review of Early Access to Medicines Scheme, published in March 2016, what reforms his Department has made to the early access to medicines scheme since the publication of that report.

Since the publication of the independent review of the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) the Government has made a number of improvements. Partners have worked together to provide updated guidance on the benefits and entry requirements for EAMS and are developing further guidance on collecting real world data in the scheme to support the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence appraisal.

Furthermore, the EAMS task group exists to provide a forum for industry to engage with and make suggestions to the Government, the devolved administrations and arm’s length bodies regarding EAMS, as per the recommendations of the 2016 review.

7th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to improve the effectiveness of the early access to medicines scheme.

A support scheme to fund evidence collection in the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) by small to medium size pharmaceutical companies will be launched soon.

In addition, the members EAMS task group will continue to collaborate to improve existing processes and create more learning materials for those involved in the scheme.

Since EAMS was launched in 2014, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority has awarded 50 promising innovative medicines designations and 18 positive scientific opinions as part of the scheme.

31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps the Government is taking to improve the detection of hepatitis B and C.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines are available to help raise awareness of, and testing for, hepatitis B and C infection in people at increased risk of infection. Screening for hepatitis B and C is recommended in groups who are at increased risk of infection so that diagnosed individuals can be referred for specialist care and management. NICE has also produced best practice guidance on hepatitis B antenatal screening and the new-born immunisation programme. The guidelines can be viewed here:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph43

NHS England commissions the infectious diseases in pregnancy screening programme including the screening for hepatitis B, as of part of the maternity pathway. In addition, and as part of health services commissioned for those in the detained settings, NHS England is rolling out an ambitious Opt-Out Blood Borne Viruses (BBV) testing programme; the key aim is to improve uptake rates for hepatitis B and hepatitis C testing by the introduction of good practice for ‘meaningful offer’ of BBV testing across the adult prison estate by end of 2017-18.

20th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what his strategy is to ensure funding for breast cancer services within Sustainability and Transformation Plans are not allocated funds from the £325 million provided for in the Spring Budget 2017.

The additional £325 million announced by the Chancellor at the spring Budget is for use solely by Sustainability and Transformation Plans area capital bid projects. These funds are subject to the usual assurance processes by NHS England and Her Majesty’s Treasury.

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the decision in late 2015 to use, and the procurement in 2016 of, a paediatric hexavalent vaccine that includes hepatitis B, what plans his Department has to introduce a universal vaccination for hepatitis B in the UK.

The routine childhood vaccination programme in England includes the existing five in one (pentavalent) vaccine which protects against five diseases - diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

From autumn 2017 this will be replaced by a six in one (hexavalent) vaccine which also protects against hepatitis B.

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans his Department has to introduce a universal vaccination for hepatitis B.

The routine childhood vaccination programme in England includes the existing five in one (pentavalent) vaccine which protects against five diseases - diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

From autumn 2017 this will be replaced by a six in one (hexavalent) vaccine which also protects against hepatitis B.

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department plans to ensure that everyone who tests negative for hepatitis B but possesses risk factors are offered a vaccination for that virus.

The United Kingdom has a selective immunisation policy for hepatitis B which targets people at risk of hepatitis B. Recommendations for vaccination are outlined in Chapter 18 of the Green Book: Immmunisation against Infectious Disease, available to view here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immunisation-against-infectious-disease-the-green-book

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans his Department has to ensure that people who test negative for hepatitis B but possess risk factors are offered a vaccination for that virus.

The United Kingdom has a selective immunisation policy for hepatitis B which targets people at risk of hepatitis B. Recommendations for vaccination are outlined in Chapter 18 of the Green Book: Immmunisation against Infectious Disease, available to view here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immunisation-against-infectious-disease-the-green-book

25th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make cervical screening available to women at every contraception and sexual health clinic; and if he will make a statement.

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme is directly commissioned by NHS England as part of the Section 7A agreement of the National Health Service Act 2006, as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The availability of screening within contraception and sexual health clinics, which are commissioned by local authorities, is a matter for local agreement.

There is also the human papillomavirus (HPV) adolescent vaccination programme for girls which is well established in the United Kingdom and expected to have a significant impact on reducing cervical cancer. Since the start of the programme in 2008, more than 8.5 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been given in the UK, with close to 90% of eligible teenagers vaccinated.

2nd Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how he plans to promote the commissioning of integrated paediatric continence services as a means of preventative healthcare in line with the aims of the Five Year Forward View.

The Department has had no formal discussions with NHS England on auditing the effect of its guidance Excellence in Continence Care on the quality of paediatric continence services.

NHS England continues to promote extensively its guidance both through traditional and social media and through engagement with key stakeholders.

The Department of Health, in conjunction with the Department for Education, has published links to the Paediatric Continence Commissioning Guide as part of its support for commissioners, providers and health professionals implementing the new system for Special Educational Need and Disability. Developed by the Paediatric Continence Forum and accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence this provides a specification for paediatric continence services which puts integration at its heart.

2nd Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department has had discussions with NHS England on auditing the effect of NHS England's Excellence in Continence Care guidance on the quality of paediatric continence services.

The Department has had no formal discussions with NHS England on auditing the effect of its guidance Excellence in Continence Care on the quality of paediatric continence services.

NHS England continues to promote extensively its guidance both through traditional and social media and through engagement with key stakeholders.

The Department of Health, in conjunction with the Department for Education, has published links to the Paediatric Continence Commissioning Guide as part of its support for commissioners, providers and health professionals implementing the new system for Special Educational Need and Disability. Developed by the Paediatric Continence Forum and accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence this provides a specification for paediatric continence services which puts integration at its heart.

20th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps are being taken to ensure adoption of the National BSR and BHPR guidelines for the management of giant cell arteritis within the NHS; and whether his Department plans to assess whether the recommendations in those guidelines are being met.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for the provision of services for people with giant cell arteritis (GCA). Whilst it would not be appropriate for NHS England to direct CCGs to adopt a particular clinical pathway, it continues to ensure that the innovative approach developed at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (FT) is shared and made available to clinicians.

There are a number of clinical guidelines that are available to support the prompt diagnosis and referral of patients with suspected GCA, including one produced by the Royal College of Physicians, which Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta, who developed the GCA pathway at Southend University Hospital NHS FT, helped to produce. This guidance provides a framework for disease assessment, immediate treatment and referral to specialist care. Furthermore, both the British Society for Rheumatology and the British Health Professionals in Rheumatology published guidelines on the management of polymyalgia rheumatica, a related condition, for general practitioners and rheumatologists. These encourage the prompt diagnosis and urgent management of GCA, helping to minimise GCA related vision loss.

The Specialised Rheumatology Clinical Reference Group at NHS England has developed proposals to establish local rheumatology networks. These are being implemented over a three year period to support consistent access to clinically effective therapies and to share good and innovative practice across the country. In addition, NHS England’s innovation team has invited Professor Dasgupta to contribute to the NHS Innovation Exchange Portal to ensure that this knowledge is shared.

On 24 June 2016, NHS England recently facilitated a webinar presented by Professor Dasgupta, which aimed to show how the fast-track pathway has significantly reduced the number of patients suffering sight-loss as an avoidable complication of GCA and, in addition, presents a case that this model is cost-saving, results in an increased patient quality of life, and successfully reduces the time to diagnosis in line with established clinical guidelines. NHS England promoted the webinar across the musculoskeletal community as well as to CCGs and patient groups through a wide range of communications channels.

20th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to promote the Fast Track Giant Cell Arteritis pathway piloted by Southend University Hospital.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for the provision of services for people with giant cell arteritis (GCA). Whilst it would not be appropriate for NHS England to direct CCGs to adopt a particular clinical pathway, it continues to ensure that the innovative approach developed at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (FT) is shared and made available to clinicians.

There are a number of clinical guidelines that are available to support the prompt diagnosis and referral of patients with suspected GCA, including one produced by the Royal College of Physicians, which Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta, who developed the GCA pathway at Southend University Hospital NHS FT, helped to produce. This guidance provides a framework for disease assessment, immediate treatment and referral to specialist care. Furthermore, both the British Society for Rheumatology and the British Health Professionals in Rheumatology published guidelines on the management of polymyalgia rheumatica, a related condition, for general practitioners and rheumatologists. These encourage the prompt diagnosis and urgent management of GCA, helping to minimise GCA related vision loss.

The Specialised Rheumatology Clinical Reference Group at NHS England has developed proposals to establish local rheumatology networks. These are being implemented over a three year period to support consistent access to clinically effective therapies and to share good and innovative practice across the country. In addition, NHS England’s innovation team has invited Professor Dasgupta to contribute to the NHS Innovation Exchange Portal to ensure that this knowledge is shared.

On 24 June 2016, NHS England recently facilitated a webinar presented by Professor Dasgupta, which aimed to show how the fast-track pathway has significantly reduced the number of patients suffering sight-loss as an avoidable complication of GCA and, in addition, presents a case that this model is cost-saving, results in an increased patient quality of life, and successfully reduces the time to diagnosis in line with established clinical guidelines. NHS England promoted the webinar across the musculoskeletal community as well as to CCGs and patient groups through a wide range of communications channels.

20th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will develop and implement a national measure to (a) monitor whether patients with suspected giant cell arteritis (GCA) are being referred to a specialist within one working day and (b) ensure services are complying with the recommendation in National BSR and BHPR Guidelines for the management of GCA's urgent referral to a specialist.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for the provision of services for people with giant cell arteritis (GCA). Whilst it would not be appropriate for NHS England to direct CCGs to adopt a particular clinical pathway, it continues to ensure that the innovative approach developed at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (FT) is shared and made available to clinicians.

There are a number of clinical guidelines that are available to support the prompt diagnosis and referral of patients with suspected GCA, including one produced by the Royal College of Physicians, which Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta, who developed the GCA pathway at Southend University Hospital NHS FT, helped to produce. This guidance provides a framework for disease assessment, immediate treatment and referral to specialist care. Furthermore, both the British Society for Rheumatology and the British Health Professionals in Rheumatology published guidelines on the management of polymyalgia rheumatica, a related condition, for general practitioners and rheumatologists. These encourage the prompt diagnosis and urgent management of GCA, helping to minimise GCA related vision loss.

The Specialised Rheumatology Clinical Reference Group at NHS England has developed proposals to establish local rheumatology networks. These are being implemented over a three year period to support consistent access to clinically effective therapies and to share good and innovative practice across the country. In addition, NHS England’s innovation team has invited Professor Dasgupta to contribute to the NHS Innovation Exchange Portal to ensure that this knowledge is shared.

On 24 June 2016, NHS England recently facilitated a webinar presented by Professor Dasgupta, which aimed to show how the fast-track pathway has significantly reduced the number of patients suffering sight-loss as an avoidable complication of GCA and, in addition, presents a case that this model is cost-saving, results in an increased patient quality of life, and successfully reduces the time to diagnosis in line with established clinical guidelines. NHS England promoted the webinar across the musculoskeletal community as well as to CCGs and patient groups through a wide range of communications channels.

20th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to Written Statement HCW588 on Infected Blood Payment Scheme, whether entitlement to the new annual payments for people infected with hepatitis C via infected blood and blood products will continue for the lifetime of the individual even if they are successfully treated for their hepatitis C.

The reformed scheme will provide a payment to all those with hepatitis C, even if they have been treated, for the current spending review period. A review of the scheme will take place towards the end of this spending review period.

All those who are currently bereaved partners/spouses and all those who will be bereaved partner/spouses in future will receive a £10,000 lump sum payment and will have continued access to discretionary support. Discretionary support will continue to be available to the bereaved, as well as to infected individuals.

All infected individuals who are registered with Skipton as having hepatitis C stage 1 (nearly 2,500 people) will be eligible for the new stage 1 annual payment.

20th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to Written Statement HCW588 on Infected Blood Payment Scheme, whether his Department has made an estimate of how many bereaved people will receive less support after 2016-17 than they do now.

The reformed scheme will provide a payment to all those with hepatitis C, even if they have been treated, for the current spending review period. A review of the scheme will take place towards the end of this spending review period.

All those who are currently bereaved partners/spouses and all those who will be bereaved partner/spouses in future will receive a £10,000 lump sum payment and will have continued access to discretionary support. Discretionary support will continue to be available to the bereaved, as well as to infected individuals.

All infected individuals who are registered with Skipton as having hepatitis C stage 1 (nearly 2,500 people) will be eligible for the new stage 1 annual payment.

20th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether everyone who was registered with Skipton and received the £20,000 lump sum payment will be automatically entitled to the new annual payments.

The reformed scheme will provide a payment to all those with hepatitis C, even if they have been treated, for the current spending review period. A review of the scheme will take place towards the end of this spending review period.

All those who are currently bereaved partners/spouses and all those who will be bereaved partner/spouses in future will receive a £10,000 lump sum payment and will have continued access to discretionary support. Discretionary support will continue to be available to the bereaved, as well as to infected individuals.

All infected individuals who are registered with Skipton as having hepatitis C stage 1 (nearly 2,500 people) will be eligible for the new stage 1 annual payment.

1st Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2016 to Question 22462, if he will place in the Library a copy of NHS England's report on individual funding requests for palivizumab.

I refer the hon. Member to the Answer I gave to the hon. Member for Ealing, Southall (Mr Virendra Sharma) on 28 June 2016 to Question 40748.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve uptake of cervical screening among all age groups.

NHS England closely monitors the coverage rates for cervical screening in all age groups. NHS England is committed to improving coverage and reducing variation between all age groups.

Local NHS England commissioners analyse coverage rates within their area and work with general practices to improve coverage by sharing best practice. In addition a primary care cancer screening best practice guide has been developed jointly with the transforming cancer services team, clinical commissioning groups and local authority public health representatives.

NHS England is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support on the ACE (Accelerate, Coordinate, Evaluate) Programme aiming to generate knowledge about effective approaches to achieve earlier diagnosis. A number of ACE test sites are evaluating approaches to increase screening rates in a range of groups.

A range of research studies are also underway, such as Imperial College conducting a randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of texting non-responders on improving coverage. In addition, the Department’s Behavioural Insight team has undertaken a trial to investigate the use of behavioural insights to optimise the content of the invitation letter for cervical screening. Results are due shortly.

The Independent Cancer Taskforce recognised the importance of screening for cervical cancer and the potential of the new human papillomavirus (HPV) test in their report, Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes, published in July 2015. NHS England has appointed Cally Palmer as National Cancer Director to lead the implementation of the strategy, and an implementation plan outlining the key first steps for the national cancer programme was published on 12 May. In addition, the routine HPV vaccination programme, offering immunisation to girls aged 12-14 years, is expected to reduce the already low rates of cervical cancer in these young women and allow them to be protected for years to come.

Ministers welcome cervical cancer prevention week and we are fully supportive of the work Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust does to raise awareness of cervical cancer and the importance of cervical screening for eligible women.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, Health at a Glance 2015: How does the United Kingdom compare?, the UK has cervical screening rates well above the OECD average. Further information is available at:

https://www.oecd.org/unitedkingdom/Health-at-a-Glance-2015-Key-Findings-UK.pdf

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/8115071ec053.pdf?expires=1465810879&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=102E30B1A256588EDD14918B5BE3AA4C

10th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to support Cervical Screening Awareness Week.

NHS England closely monitors the coverage rates for cervical screening in all age groups. NHS England is committed to improving coverage and reducing variation between all age groups.

Local NHS England commissioners analyse coverage rates within their area and work with general practices to improve coverage by sharing best practice. In addition a primary care cancer screening best practice guide has been developed jointly with the transforming cancer services team, clinical commissioning groups and local authority public health representatives.

NHS England is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support on the ACE (Accelerate, Coordinate, Evaluate) Programme aiming to generate knowledge about effective approaches to achieve earlier diagnosis. A number of ACE test sites are evaluating approaches to increase screening rates in a range of groups.

A range of research studies are also underway, such as Imperial College conducting a randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of texting non-responders on improving coverage. In addition, the Department’s Behavioural Insight team has undertaken a trial to investigate the use of behavioural insights to optimise the content of the invitation letter for cervical screening. Results are due shortly.

The Independent Cancer Taskforce recognised the importance of screening for cervical cancer and the potential of the new human papillomavirus (HPV) test in their report, Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes, published in July 2015. NHS England has appointed Cally Palmer as National Cancer Director to lead the implementation of the strategy, and an implementation plan outlining the key first steps for the national cancer programme was published on 12 May. In addition, the routine HPV vaccination programme, offering immunisation to girls aged 12-14 years, is expected to reduce the already low rates of cervical cancer in these young women and allow them to be protected for years to come.

Ministers welcome cervical cancer prevention week and we are fully supportive of the work Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust does to raise awareness of cervical cancer and the importance of cervical screening for eligible women.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, Health at a Glance 2015: How does the United Kingdom compare?, the UK has cervical screening rates well above the OECD average. Further information is available at:

https://www.oecd.org/unitedkingdom/Health-at-a-Glance-2015-Key-Findings-UK.pdf

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/8115071ec053.pdf?expires=1465810879&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=102E30B1A256588EDD14918B5BE3AA4C

10th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he has made an assessment of how the uptake rate for cervical screening in England compares to that in the rest of Europe.

NHS England closely monitors the coverage rates for cervical screening in all age groups. NHS England is committed to improving coverage and reducing variation between all age groups.

Local NHS England commissioners analyse coverage rates within their area and work with general practices to improve coverage by sharing best practice. In addition a primary care cancer screening best practice guide has been developed jointly with the transforming cancer services team, clinical commissioning groups and local authority public health representatives.

NHS England is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support on the ACE (Accelerate, Coordinate, Evaluate) Programme aiming to generate knowledge about effective approaches to achieve earlier diagnosis. A number of ACE test sites are evaluating approaches to increase screening rates in a range of groups.

A range of research studies are also underway, such as Imperial College conducting a randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of texting non-responders on improving coverage. In addition, the Department’s Behavioural Insight team has undertaken a trial to investigate the use of behavioural insights to optimise the content of the invitation letter for cervical screening. Results are due shortly.

The Independent Cancer Taskforce recognised the importance of screening for cervical cancer and the potential of the new human papillomavirus (HPV) test in their report, Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes, published in July 2015. NHS England has appointed Cally Palmer as National Cancer Director to lead the implementation of the strategy, and an implementation plan outlining the key first steps for the national cancer programme was published on 12 May. In addition, the routine HPV vaccination programme, offering immunisation to girls aged 12-14 years, is expected to reduce the already low rates of cervical cancer in these young women and allow them to be protected for years to come.

Ministers welcome cervical cancer prevention week and we are fully supportive of the work Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust does to raise awareness of cervical cancer and the importance of cervical screening for eligible women.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, Health at a Glance 2015: How does the United Kingdom compare?, the UK has cervical screening rates well above the OECD average. Further information is available at:

https://www.oecd.org/unitedkingdom/Health-at-a-Glance-2015-Key-Findings-UK.pdf

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/8115071ec053.pdf?expires=1465810879&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=102E30B1A256588EDD14918B5BE3AA4C

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2016 to Question 34094, by what deadline clinical commissioning groups will be required to report on whether they have increased investment in mental health services above their overall increase in allocation each year.

Spending on mental health is expected to increase to £11.7 billion and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are required to continue to increase their spend on mental health each year.

NHS England’s published planning guidance for 2015/16 for commissioners made the expectation clear that each CCG’s spend on mental health services in 2015/16 should increase in real terms, and grow by at least the same percentage as each CCG’s allocation increase.

Detail on planned spend on mental health is captured as part of the National Health Service financial plan returns for 2016/17 with follow up as part of the plan assurance process. This information is being assessed during May by NHS England.

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the effect of early health interventions on reducing work disability in patients with long-term musculoskeletal conditions.

Data concerning the number of individuals who have been offered or who have attended patient education programmes is not collected. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) recommends that patients should be offered patient education programmes, if appropriate. The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, identifies that most services offer prompt educational support.

Whilst the Department has no specific information in relation to early intervention in musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions reducing work related disability, earlier treatment of RA and OA can help reduce symptoms and improve mobility. The NICE RA Quality Standard specifically recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. This is because once an RA diagnosis has been made, patients can be considered for anti-TNF drugs which can significantly reduce progression of disease. The OA Quality Standard states that core treatments for osteoarthritis should include physical activity and exercise, as well as weight loss advice, if appropriate.

Information concerning the cost to the United Kingdom economy of people with MSK conditions being out of work as a result of their conditions is not collected by the Department, though there are a number of studies that have sought to estimate such costs. The NICE guideline on RA and OA both contain such estimates, with the former stating that the total costs of RA in the UK, including indirect costs and work related disability, have been estimated at between £3.8 billion and £4.75 billion per year, and the latter stating that in 1999-2000, 36 million working days were lost due to OA alone, at an estimated cost of £3.2 billion in lost production. Both sets of NICE guidance can be found at the following links:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg177/resources/osteoarthritis-care-and-management-35109757272517

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg79/resources/rheumatoid-arthritis-in-adults-management-975636823525

The Government is working to increase employment for people with long-term conditions, such as MSK conditions, in a number of ways. The Work and Health Unit, now located in the Department for Work and Pensions, has been established to lead the drive for improving work and health outcomes for people with health conditions and disabilities, as well as improving prevention and support for people absent from work through ill health and those at risk of leaving the workforce. The Unit will seek to do this by improving integration across healthcare and employment services as well as supporting employers to recruit and retain more disabled people and people with long term health conditions.

In 2015 the Government launched the Fit for Work scheme which is free and helps employees stay in or return to work. It provides an occupational health assessment and general health and work advice to employees, employers and general practitioners. Fit for Work complements existing occupational health services provided by employers. More information can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/fit-for-work-guidance

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2016 to Question 34094, if he will provide examples of what his Department might consider an adequate justification for clinical commissioning groups not investing in mental health services as planned.

The Mental Health Taskforce report was published on 15 February 2016. The taskforce marks a big step towards our ambition of parity of esteem for mental and physical health. The spending of clinical commissioning group (CCG) resources on mental health as indicated in proportionate increases to general CCG spending is a priority for the Department.

Mental Health Parity of Esteem is a key plan metric for NHS England and any commissioners not planning to achieve this are being scrutinised locally at regional level and centrally at director level. NHS England’s central and regional teams are working with local commissioners to assure that spend on mental health services increases in line with the growth in each organisations programme allocation other than in exceptional circumstances.

In assessing whether a case is exceptional, consideration is made of the level of medium term investment in mental health services by individual commissioners and instances where individual commissioners are working with other commissioners to increase spend for the wider health economy. But any such instances will require clear evidence that will be scrutinised as part of the assurance process.

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many individuals with musculoskeletal conditions have (a) been offered patient education programmes and (b) attended patient education programmes.

Data concerning the number of individuals who have been offered or who have attended patient education programmes is not collected. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) recommends that patients should be offered patient education programmes, if appropriate. The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, identifies that most services offer prompt educational support.

Whilst the Department has no specific information in relation to early intervention in musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions reducing work related disability, earlier treatment of RA and OA can help reduce symptoms and improve mobility. The NICE RA Quality Standard specifically recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. This is because once an RA diagnosis has been made, patients can be considered for anti-TNF drugs which can significantly reduce progression of disease. The OA Quality Standard states that core treatments for osteoarthritis should include physical activity and exercise, as well as weight loss advice, if appropriate.

Information concerning the cost to the United Kingdom economy of people with MSK conditions being out of work as a result of their conditions is not collected by the Department, though there are a number of studies that have sought to estimate such costs. The NICE guideline on RA and OA both contain such estimates, with the former stating that the total costs of RA in the UK, including indirect costs and work related disability, have been estimated at between £3.8 billion and £4.75 billion per year, and the latter stating that in 1999-2000, 36 million working days were lost due to OA alone, at an estimated cost of £3.2 billion in lost production. Both sets of NICE guidance can be found at the following links:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg177/resources/osteoarthritis-care-and-management-35109757272517

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg79/resources/rheumatoid-arthritis-in-adults-management-975636823525

The Government is working to increase employment for people with long-term conditions, such as MSK conditions, in a number of ways. The Work and Health Unit, now located in the Department for Work and Pensions, has been established to lead the drive for improving work and health outcomes for people with health conditions and disabilities, as well as improving prevention and support for people absent from work through ill health and those at risk of leaving the workforce. The Unit will seek to do this by improving integration across healthcare and employment services as well as supporting employers to recruit and retain more disabled people and people with long term health conditions.

In 2015 the Government launched the Fit for Work scheme which is free and helps employees stay in or return to work. It provides an occupational health assessment and general health and work advice to employees, employers and general practitioners. Fit for Work complements existing occupational health services provided by employers. More information can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/fit-for-work-guidance

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what support his Department provides to people with long-term musculoskeletal conditions in the workplace.

Data concerning the number of individuals who have been offered or who have attended patient education programmes is not collected. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) recommends that patients should be offered patient education programmes, if appropriate. The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, identifies that most services offer prompt educational support.

Whilst the Department has no specific information in relation to early intervention in musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions reducing work related disability, earlier treatment of RA and OA can help reduce symptoms and improve mobility. The NICE RA Quality Standard specifically recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. This is because once an RA diagnosis has been made, patients can be considered for anti-TNF drugs which can significantly reduce progression of disease. The OA Quality Standard states that core treatments for osteoarthritis should include physical activity and exercise, as well as weight loss advice, if appropriate.

Information concerning the cost to the United Kingdom economy of people with MSK conditions being out of work as a result of their conditions is not collected by the Department, though there are a number of studies that have sought to estimate such costs. The NICE guideline on RA and OA both contain such estimates, with the former stating that the total costs of RA in the UK, including indirect costs and work related disability, have been estimated at between £3.8 billion and £4.75 billion per year, and the latter stating that in 1999-2000, 36 million working days were lost due to OA alone, at an estimated cost of £3.2 billion in lost production. Both sets of NICE guidance can be found at the following links:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg177/resources/osteoarthritis-care-and-management-35109757272517

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg79/resources/rheumatoid-arthritis-in-adults-management-975636823525

The Government is working to increase employment for people with long-term conditions, such as MSK conditions, in a number of ways. The Work and Health Unit, now located in the Department for Work and Pensions, has been established to lead the drive for improving work and health outcomes for people with health conditions and disabilities, as well as improving prevention and support for people absent from work through ill health and those at risk of leaving the workforce. The Unit will seek to do this by improving integration across healthcare and employment services as well as supporting employers to recruit and retain more disabled people and people with long term health conditions.

In 2015 the Government launched the Fit for Work scheme which is free and helps employees stay in or return to work. It provides an occupational health assessment and general health and work advice to employees, employers and general practitioners. Fit for Work complements existing occupational health services provided by employers. More information can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/fit-for-work-guidance

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the cost to the UK economy is of people with musculoskeletal conditions being out of work as a result of their conditions.

Data concerning the number of individuals who have been offered or who have attended patient education programmes is not collected. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) recommends that patients should be offered patient education programmes, if appropriate. The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, identifies that most services offer prompt educational support.

Whilst the Department has no specific information in relation to early intervention in musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions reducing work related disability, earlier treatment of RA and OA can help reduce symptoms and improve mobility. The NICE RA Quality Standard specifically recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. This is because once an RA diagnosis has been made, patients can be considered for anti-TNF drugs which can significantly reduce progression of disease. The OA Quality Standard states that core treatments for osteoarthritis should include physical activity and exercise, as well as weight loss advice, if appropriate.

Information concerning the cost to the United Kingdom economy of people with MSK conditions being out of work as a result of their conditions is not collected by the Department, though there are a number of studies that have sought to estimate such costs. The NICE guideline on RA and OA both contain such estimates, with the former stating that the total costs of RA in the UK, including indirect costs and work related disability, have been estimated at between £3.8 billion and £4.75 billion per year, and the latter stating that in 1999-2000, 36 million working days were lost due to OA alone, at an estimated cost of £3.2 billion in lost production. Both sets of NICE guidance can be found at the following links:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg177/resources/osteoarthritis-care-and-management-35109757272517

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg79/resources/rheumatoid-arthritis-in-adults-management-975636823525

The Government is working to increase employment for people with long-term conditions, such as MSK conditions, in a number of ways. The Work and Health Unit, now located in the Department for Work and Pensions, has been established to lead the drive for improving work and health outcomes for people with health conditions and disabilities, as well as improving prevention and support for people absent from work through ill health and those at risk of leaving the workforce. The Unit will seek to do this by improving integration across healthcare and employment services as well as supporting employers to recruit and retain more disabled people and people with long term health conditions.

In 2015 the Government launched the Fit for Work scheme which is free and helps employees stay in or return to work. It provides an occupational health assessment and general health and work advice to employees, employers and general practitioners. Fit for Work complements existing occupational health services provided by employers. More information can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/fit-for-work-guidance

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of how the Government, as a public sector employer and commissioner, can increase employment for people with long-term musculoskeletal conditions.

Data concerning the number of individuals who have been offered or who have attended patient education programmes is not collected. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) recommends that patients should be offered patient education programmes, if appropriate. The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, identifies that most services offer prompt educational support.

Whilst the Department has no specific information in relation to early intervention in musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions reducing work related disability, earlier treatment of RA and OA can help reduce symptoms and improve mobility. The NICE RA Quality Standard specifically recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. This is because once an RA diagnosis has been made, patients can be considered for anti-TNF drugs which can significantly reduce progression of disease. The OA Quality Standard states that core treatments for osteoarthritis should include physical activity and exercise, as well as weight loss advice, if appropriate.

Information concerning the cost to the United Kingdom economy of people with MSK conditions being out of work as a result of their conditions is not collected by the Department, though there are a number of studies that have sought to estimate such costs. The NICE guideline on RA and OA both contain such estimates, with the former stating that the total costs of RA in the UK, including indirect costs and work related disability, have been estimated at between £3.8 billion and £4.75 billion per year, and the latter stating that in 1999-2000, 36 million working days were lost due to OA alone, at an estimated cost of £3.2 billion in lost production. Both sets of NICE guidance can be found at the following links:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg177/resources/osteoarthritis-care-and-management-35109757272517

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg79/resources/rheumatoid-arthritis-in-adults-management-975636823525

The Government is working to increase employment for people with long-term conditions, such as MSK conditions, in a number of ways. The Work and Health Unit, now located in the Department for Work and Pensions, has been established to lead the drive for improving work and health outcomes for people with health conditions and disabilities, as well as improving prevention and support for people absent from work through ill health and those at risk of leaving the workforce. The Unit will seek to do this by improving integration across healthcare and employment services as well as supporting employers to recruit and retain more disabled people and people with long term health conditions.

In 2015 the Government launched the Fit for Work scheme which is free and helps employees stay in or return to work. It provides an occupational health assessment and general health and work advice to employees, employers and general practitioners. Fit for Work complements existing occupational health services provided by employers. More information can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/fit-for-work-guidance

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to ensure that all clinical commissioning groups increase investment in mental health services each year at a level which at least matches their overall expenditure increase.

The Government’s Mandate to NHS England sets out an expectation for NHS England to achieve measurable progress towards the parity of esteem for mental health enshrined in the NHS Constitution. Progress is being monitored as part of NHS England’s planning and financial reporting process.

Delivering the Forward View: NHS planning guidance for 2016-17 requires clinical commissioning groups (CCG) to increase investment in mental health services above their overall increase in allocation each year. This can include investment in primary or secondary mental health services, which should be aligned with delivery of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health: a report from the Independent Mental Health Taskforce published in February 2016.

Where a CCG is not investing in mental health services as planned and without providing adequate justification, NHS England will work with the CCG to bring their spending back in line with their plan.

22nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of whether his target of implementing opt-out testing for blood-borne viruses in every adult prison in England by the end of financial year 2016-17 will be met.

The blood-borne virus (BBV) opt-out testing programme for people in prisons in England is a shared priority for Public Health England (PHE), NHS England and the National Offender Management Service. Programme implementation is overseen by a ‘tripartite’ Task-and-Finish Group which includes third sector and patient voice representation. The roll-out of the programme is informed by phased implementation and evaluation of ‘pathfinder prisons’ over three phases. Phase 1 began on 1 April 2014 and the formal evaluation was published on May 21 2015. Phase 2 pathfinder prisons began implementation from April 2015, with Phase 3 Pathfinders implementing from September 2015. BBV opt-out testing is not limited to only those prisons formally in the pathfinder programme.

NHS England estimates that currently 60% of the adult prison estate in England are offering opt-out testing and are confident that the target of implementation in every adult prison in England will be achieved by the end of the financial year 2016-17.

22nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he has taken steps to provide national guidance to ensure that healthcare and wider staff in prisons are given adequate levels of training around blood-borne viruses as recommended by The Hepatitis C Trust's recent report, The blood-borne virus opt-out testing policy for prisons in England: An analysis of need towards full implementation, published on 3 March 2016.

Implementation of opt-out testing for blood-borne viruses (BBVs) in all adult prisons in England in a shared priority for Public Health England (PHE), NHS England and the National Offender Management Service as published in our second National Partnership Agreement for 2015-16.

To support implementation, PHE and its partners, including The Hepatitis C Trust among other third sector organisations, have developed a broad range of range of resources to support prison healthcare teams. These include information leaflets and posters, testing algorithms, web-based and DVD resources which cover all aspects of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis C and other BBVs to support prison healthcare teams in offering testing, managing both positive and negative results, providing advice on harm minimisation and supporting people into treatment.

14th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the implications for his policies are of the findings of the Annual Report of the National Clinical Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis on treatment targets in England and Wales for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

National Clinical Audits are commissioned and managed on behalf of NHS England by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Audits help drive improvement by providing local trusts with individual benchmarked reports on their performance against a range of measures, feeding back comparative findings to help participants identify necessary improvements for patients

The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis was published on 22 January 2016. The report identifies that although most services offer prompt educational support and agree targets for treatment with their patients, performance against criteria for referral and assessment could be improved. Since the audit, HQIP has reported that a number of trusts have successfully reconfigured their services in order to improve patient care. More information can be found at the following link:

www.hqip.org.uk/national-programmes/a-z-of-nca/arthritis-rheumatoid-and-early-inflammatory

To help clinicians to identify the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and make prompt referrals to specialists, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published Rheumatoid arthritis: The management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults, in 2009. This best practice guideline sets out the signs and symptoms of the disease and emphasises the need for early diagnosis with urgent referral to a specialist rheumatologist on suspicion of RA. For those diagnosed with the condition, the guidance also recommends they should be offered the opportunity to take part in educational activities, including self-management programmes.

The NICE RA quality standard (QS), published in 2013, is based on the NICE guideline, and one of the seven quality statements recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. However, whilst providers and commissioners must have regard to these standards in planning and delivering services, they do not provide a comprehensive service specification and are not mandatory.

Regarding the establishment of early arthritis clinics, the configuration of services, including decisions to such arthritis clinics, is a matter for the local National Health Service.

The latest monthly workforce statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that, as of November 2015, there were 563 full time equivalent rheumatology consultants employed in the NHS. This is an increase of 119 (26.8%) since May 2010. The recruitment and retention of staff is matter for local NHS services.

14th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Annual Report of the National Clinical Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, what plans his Department has to introduce national measurements for rheumatology services for commissioners and NHS England to inform service design and funding.

National Clinical Audits are commissioned and managed on behalf of NHS England by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis was published on 22 January 2016. The report identifies that although most services offer prompt educational support and agree targets for treatment with their patients, performance against criteria for referral and assessment could be improved. Since the audit, HQIP has reported that a number of trusts have successfully reconfigured their services in order to improve patient care.

In terms of plans to introduce national measurements for rheumatology services, NHS England’s National Indicators Group is reviewing service level metrics that could provide commissioners with assurance in this area. NHS England will also review whether a new best practice tariff in rheumatoid arthritis could be developed, subject to suitable data being available.

The Department is currently taking a number of steps to improve the systems for capturing, coding and integrating data from National Health Service outpatient clinics. For example, where trusts have identified local requirements for improving the capture of information, including for outpatient data, funds have been made available for improved electronic systems through the Integrated Digital Care Fund and the South Local Clinical Systems Programmes. This includes for improvements to patient administration, patient records, and document management systems which will help the recording and accessing of data at the point of care.


Going forward, through the work of the National Information Board, the Department is taking the following steps to improve the systems for capturing, coding and integrating data from NHS outpatient clinics:

- supporting providers to implement technology systems further in outpatient departments where they do not already exist, to collect better data and become paper free at the point of care. £1.4 billion of the recently announced investment of £4.2 billion in NHS technology over the next five years is intended for this purpose;

- examining the potential to move outpatient departments to capture activity in a standardised terminology (SNOMED CT) so it may be available elsewhere in the hospital and to support reporting and clinical audit. SNOMED CT includes representation of codes pertaining to rheumatoid and inflammatory arthritis that are generally well-developed; and

- In 2017/18, expanding the a current programme of work which is looking information exchange for inpatient transfers, to cover other care domains including the exchange of outpatient information between acute trusts and patients’ general practitioners.

14th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to introduce early inflammatory arthritis clinics throughout the country.

National Clinical Audits are commissioned and managed on behalf of NHS England by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Audits help drive improvement by providing local trusts with individual benchmarked reports on their performance against a range of measures, feeding back comparative findings to help participants identify necessary improvements for patients

The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis was published on 22 January 2016. The report identifies that although most services offer prompt educational support and agree targets for treatment with their patients, performance against criteria for referral and assessment could be improved. Since the audit, HQIP has reported that a number of trusts have successfully reconfigured their services in order to improve patient care. More information can be found at the following link:

www.hqip.org.uk/national-programmes/a-z-of-nca/arthritis-rheumatoid-and-early-inflammatory

To help clinicians to identify the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and make prompt referrals to specialists, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published Rheumatoid arthritis: The management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults, in 2009. This best practice guideline sets out the signs and symptoms of the disease and emphasises the need for early diagnosis with urgent referral to a specialist rheumatologist on suspicion of RA. For those diagnosed with the condition, the guidance also recommends they should be offered the opportunity to take part in educational activities, including self-management programmes.

The NICE RA quality standard (QS), published in 2013, is based on the NICE guideline, and one of the seven quality statements recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. However, whilst providers and commissioners must have regard to these standards in planning and delivering services, they do not provide a comprehensive service specification and are not mandatory.

Regarding the establishment of early arthritis clinics, the configuration of services, including decisions to such arthritis clinics, is a matter for the local National Health Service.

The latest monthly workforce statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that, as of November 2015, there were 563 full time equivalent rheumatology consultants employed in the NHS. This is an increase of 119 (26.8%) since May 2010. The recruitment and retention of staff is matter for local NHS services.

14th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Annual Report of the National Clinical Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, what steps he is taking to ensure that patients with suspected inflammatory arthritis have their first specialist appointment within the three weeks recommended by NICE.

National Clinical Audits are commissioned and managed on behalf of NHS England by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Audits help drive improvement by providing local trusts with individual benchmarked reports on their performance against a range of measures, feeding back comparative findings to help participants identify necessary improvements for patients

The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis was published on 22 January 2016. The report identifies that although most services offer prompt educational support and agree targets for treatment with their patients, performance against criteria for referral and assessment could be improved. Since the audit, HQIP has reported that a number of trusts have successfully reconfigured their services in order to improve patient care. More information can be found at the following link:

www.hqip.org.uk/national-programmes/a-z-of-nca/arthritis-rheumatoid-and-early-inflammatory

To help clinicians to identify the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and make prompt referrals to specialists, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published Rheumatoid arthritis: The management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults, in 2009. This best practice guideline sets out the signs and symptoms of the disease and emphasises the need for early diagnosis with urgent referral to a specialist rheumatologist on suspicion of RA. For those diagnosed with the condition, the guidance also recommends they should be offered the opportunity to take part in educational activities, including self-management programmes.

The NICE RA quality standard (QS), published in 2013, is based on the NICE guideline, and one of the seven quality statements recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. However, whilst providers and commissioners must have regard to these standards in planning and delivering services, they do not provide a comprehensive service specification and are not mandatory.

Regarding the establishment of early arthritis clinics, the configuration of services, including decisions to such arthritis clinics, is a matter for the local National Health Service.

The latest monthly workforce statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that, as of November 2015, there were 563 full time equivalent rheumatology consultants employed in the NHS. This is an increase of 119 (26.8%) since May 2010. The recruitment and retention of staff is matter for local NHS services.

14th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Annual Report of the National Clinical Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, what plans his Department has to improve systems for capturing, coding and integrating data from NHS outpatient clinics which will also enable coordinated patient-centred care.

National Clinical Audits are commissioned and managed on behalf of NHS England by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis was published on 22 January 2016. The report identifies that although most services offer prompt educational support and agree targets for treatment with their patients, performance against criteria for referral and assessment could be improved. Since the audit, HQIP has reported that a number of trusts have successfully reconfigured their services in order to improve patient care.

In terms of plans to introduce national measurements for rheumatology services, NHS England’s National Indicators Group is reviewing service level metrics that could provide commissioners with assurance in this area. NHS England will also review whether a new best practice tariff in rheumatoid arthritis could be developed, subject to suitable data being available.

The Department is currently taking a number of steps to improve the systems for capturing, coding and integrating data from National Health Service outpatient clinics. For example, where trusts have identified local requirements for improving the capture of information, including for outpatient data, funds have been made available for improved electronic systems through the Integrated Digital Care Fund and the South Local Clinical Systems Programmes. This includes for improvements to patient administration, patient records, and document management systems which will help the recording and accessing of data at the point of care.


Going forward, through the work of the National Information Board, the Department is taking the following steps to improve the systems for capturing, coding and integrating data from NHS outpatient clinics:

- supporting providers to implement technology systems further in outpatient departments where they do not already exist, to collect better data and become paper free at the point of care. £1.4 billion of the recently announced investment of £4.2 billion in NHS technology over the next five years is intended for this purpose;

- examining the potential to move outpatient departments to capture activity in a standardised terminology (SNOMED CT) so it may be available elsewhere in the hospital and to support reporting and clinical audit. SNOMED CT includes representation of codes pertaining to rheumatoid and inflammatory arthritis that are generally well-developed; and

- In 2017/18, expanding the a current programme of work which is looking information exchange for inpatient transfers, to cover other care domains including the exchange of outpatient information between acute trusts and patients’ general practitioners.

14th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the findings of the Annual Report of the National Clinical Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, on timely access to patient education, what steps he is taking to provide patients with rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis self-education and self-management tools.

National Clinical Audits are commissioned and managed on behalf of NHS England by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Audits help drive improvement by providing local trusts with individual benchmarked reports on their performance against a range of measures, feeding back comparative findings to help participants identify necessary improvements for patients

The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis was published on 22 January 2016. The report identifies that although most services offer prompt educational support and agree targets for treatment with their patients, performance against criteria for referral and assessment could be improved. Since the audit, HQIP has reported that a number of trusts have successfully reconfigured their services in order to improve patient care. More information can be found at the following link:

www.hqip.org.uk/national-programmes/a-z-of-nca/arthritis-rheumatoid-and-early-inflammatory

To help clinicians to identify the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and make prompt referrals to specialists, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published Rheumatoid arthritis: The management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults, in 2009. This best practice guideline sets out the signs and symptoms of the disease and emphasises the need for early diagnosis with urgent referral to a specialist rheumatologist on suspicion of RA. For those diagnosed with the condition, the guidance also recommends they should be offered the opportunity to take part in educational activities, including self-management programmes.

The NICE RA quality standard (QS), published in 2013, is based on the NICE guideline, and one of the seven quality statements recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. However, whilst providers and commissioners must have regard to these standards in planning and delivering services, they do not provide a comprehensive service specification and are not mandatory.

Regarding the establishment of early arthritis clinics, the configuration of services, including decisions to such arthritis clinics, is a matter for the local National Health Service.

The latest monthly workforce statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that, as of November 2015, there were 563 full time equivalent rheumatology consultants employed in the NHS. This is an increase of 119 (26.8%) since May 2010. The recruitment and retention of staff is matter for local NHS services.

14th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the findings of the Annual Report of the National Clinical Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, on links between waiting times and consultant numbers, what steps he is taking to increase the number of consultant rheumatologists.

National Clinical Audits are commissioned and managed on behalf of NHS England by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Audits help drive improvement by providing local trusts with individual benchmarked reports on their performance against a range of measures, feeding back comparative findings to help participants identify necessary improvements for patients

The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis was published on 22 January 2016. The report identifies that although most services offer prompt educational support and agree targets for treatment with their patients, performance against criteria for referral and assessment could be improved. Since the audit, HQIP has reported that a number of trusts have successfully reconfigured their services in order to improve patient care. More information can be found at the following link:

www.hqip.org.uk/national-programmes/a-z-of-nca/arthritis-rheumatoid-and-early-inflammatory

To help clinicians to identify the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and make prompt referrals to specialists, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published Rheumatoid arthritis: The management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults, in 2009. This best practice guideline sets out the signs and symptoms of the disease and emphasises the need for early diagnosis with urgent referral to a specialist rheumatologist on suspicion of RA. For those diagnosed with the condition, the guidance also recommends they should be offered the opportunity to take part in educational activities, including self-management programmes.

The NICE RA quality standard (QS), published in 2013, is based on the NICE guideline, and one of the seven quality statements recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. However, whilst providers and commissioners must have regard to these standards in planning and delivering services, they do not provide a comprehensive service specification and are not mandatory.

Regarding the establishment of early arthritis clinics, the configuration of services, including decisions to such arthritis clinics, is a matter for the local National Health Service.

The latest monthly workforce statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that, as of November 2015, there were 563 full time equivalent rheumatology consultants employed in the NHS. This is an increase of 119 (26.8%) since May 2010. The recruitment and retention of staff is matter for local NHS services.

14th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the findings of the First Annual Report of the National Clinical Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis, published on 22 January 2016, on the proportion of patients in England and Wales referred within three working days of their GP appointment, what steps he is taking to improve the referral rate from GPs when inflammatory arthritis is suspected.

National Clinical Audits are commissioned and managed on behalf of NHS England by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Audits help drive improvement by providing local trusts with individual benchmarked reports on their performance against a range of measures, feeding back comparative findings to help participants identify necessary improvements for patients

The first annual report of the national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis was published on 22 January 2016. The report identifies that although most services offer prompt educational support and agree targets for treatment with their patients, performance against criteria for referral and assessment could be improved. Since the audit, HQIP has reported that a number of trusts have successfully reconfigured their services in order to improve patient care. More information can be found at the following link:

www.hqip.org.uk/national-programmes/a-z-of-nca/arthritis-rheumatoid-and-early-inflammatory

To help clinicians to identify the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and make prompt referrals to specialists, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published Rheumatoid arthritis: The management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults, in 2009. This best practice guideline sets out the signs and symptoms of the disease and emphasises the need for early diagnosis with urgent referral to a specialist rheumatologist on suspicion of RA. For those diagnosed with the condition, the guidance also recommends they should be offered the opportunity to take part in educational activities, including self-management programmes.

The NICE RA quality standard (QS), published in 2013, is based on the NICE guideline, and one of the seven quality statements recommends that people with suspected RA are assessed in a rheumatology service within three weeks of referral. However, whilst providers and commissioners must have regard to these standards in planning and delivering services, they do not provide a comprehensive service specification and are not mandatory.

Regarding the establishment of early arthritis clinics, the configuration of services, including decisions to such arthritis clinics, is a matter for the local National Health Service.

The latest monthly workforce statistics published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that, as of November 2015, there were 563 full time equivalent rheumatology consultants employed in the NHS. This is an increase of 119 (26.8%) since May 2010. The recruitment and retention of staff is matter for local NHS services.

3rd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the oral contribution of the Lord Patel of 24 February 2015, column 882HL, if he will place in the Library a copy of all correspondence from September 2014 between the expert panel convened by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and Professor Grifo.

The correspondence referred to is a personal email exchange between one expert panel member and Professor Grifo, following the third scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease in 2014. It would not be appropriate for a copy of this private correspondence to be placed in the Library.

1st Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with NICE and NHS England on the availability of Erbitux for metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 24 February 2016 to Question 27585.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate his Department has made of the number of patients who will be able to access treatments for colorectal cancer on the NHS from April 2016.

NHS England has advised that all patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer will continue to be able to access treatment for their disease. It is not possible to estimate the numbers of patients who will be able to access both current and future specific treatments for colorectal cancers as there is a wide range of treatments available and these are ever changing.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent discussions he has had with NHS England and NICE on the Cancer Drugs Fund consultation; and whether he discussed with those bodies whether proposals on the future of that fund would (a) increase and (b) restrict access to cancer medicines.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has been kept informed as this work has been progressed.

NHS England has advised that it envisages, under the new arrangements for the Cancer Drugs Fund, that a greater number of cancer drugs will be funded from baseline commissioning. This will be as a consequence of more appropriate pricing arrangements proposed by pharmaceutical manufacturers and better evidence being available through the Fund as to longer term patient outcomes.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with NHS England to agree a long-term arrangement to control the cost of medical indemnity cover for out-of-hours GPs.

The Department and NHS England are committed to addressing the issue of increasing medical indemnity costs for general practitioners (GPs), including those working out of hours.

Increasing costs of indemnity cover associated with out of hours work may discourage GPs from undertaking out-of-hours shifts in primary care.

The Department was represented at a roundtable event held by NHS England on 17 November 2015 to develop a shared understanding of how to address rising medical indemnity costs. A range of stakeholders, including the British Medical Association and Medical Defence Organisations, also attended.

On 9 December 2015, NHS England announced a winter indemnity scheme to offset the additional indemnity premium for GPs who wish to work additional sessions for their out-of-hours providers.

Discussions are ongoing between the Department and NHS England on a long-term solution.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to encourage GPs to undertake out-of-hours shifts in primary care.

The Department and NHS England are committed to addressing the issue of increasing medical indemnity costs for general practitioners (GPs), including those working out of hours.

Increasing costs of indemnity cover associated with out of hours work may discourage GPs from undertaking out-of-hours shifts in primary care.

The Department was represented at a roundtable event held by NHS England on 17 November 2015 to develop a shared understanding of how to address rising medical indemnity costs. A range of stakeholders, including the British Medical Association and Medical Defence Organisations, also attended.

On 9 December 2015, NHS England announced a winter indemnity scheme to offset the additional indemnity premium for GPs who wish to work additional sessions for their out-of-hours providers.

Discussions are ongoing between the Department and NHS England on a long-term solution.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps are being taken to develop the model of co-location of urgent and emergency primary care services with A&E.

In August 2015, NHS England published Safer, faster, better: good practice in delivering urgent and emergency care, which can be found here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/trans-uec.pdf

This provides guidance to help frontline providers and commissioners re-design urgent and emergency care services, including considering locating urgent care centres in emergency departments. Safer, faster, better notes that urgent care centres co-located with emergency departments provide an opportunity to stream patients with less serious illnesses and injuries to a service that is resourced to meet their needs, while reducing crowding in emergency departments. It also sets out that to preserve flow, urgent care centre staff and cubicles must wherever possible be entirely separated from those used for patients with life-threatening or serious injuries or illnesses or who are going to be admitted. The guidance also includes that where urgent care centres are co-located with emergency departments, there must be appropriate integration, with shared governance arrangements and clearly defined protocols for the two-way transfer of patients.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of social enterprises in delivering high quality healthcare services.

It is a statutory obligation that decisions on healthcare provision should be taken independently by local commissioners. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) must decide how to use their resources in a way which is evidence based, clinically-led and cost-effective in order to provide high-quality healthcare for people in their area. CCGs must also balance both short-term need and long-term transformation in line with the NHS Five Year Forward View’s (5YFV) objectives.

Where a social enterprise provides a regulated activity, under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, it will have to register with the CQC and follow a set of fundamental standards of safety and quality below which care should never fall. Following inspection of individual social enterprise providers, the CQC will publish a report on its website.

The Government firmly believes that providers from all sectors, including social enterprises, play an important role in providing high quality, safe and efficient care to patients, as well as helping to realise the ambitions set out in the NHS 5YFV. That is why, working in partnership with Public Health England, NHS England and representatives from the voluntary sector, the Department is in the final stages of a review looking at partnerships and investment in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. The final report of the review is expected to be published in the spring.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve cervical screening rates among black and minority ethnic women.

NHS England closely monitors the coverage rates for cervical screening in all age groups and is committed to improving coverage and reducing variation between all groups including black and minority ethnic women, women with learning disabilities and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Local NHS England commissioners analyse coverage rates within their area and work with general practices to improve coverage by sharing best practice. For example, commissioners in London have developed a screening coverage strategy and delivery plan, including:

― Increased public awareness and engagement with screening programmes across all communities;

― increased engagement with primary care and improved reliability of data; and

― working with screening providers to optimise coverage.

In addition to this:

― A primary care cancer screening best practice guide has been developed jointly with the transforming cancer services team, clinical commissioning groups and local authority public health representatives;

― linking with Cancer Research UK facilitators and Macmillan Cancer Support general practitioners to support best practice for screening in general practice; and

― imperial College is conducting a randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of texting non-responders on improving coverage.

NHS England is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support on the ACE (Accelerate, Coordinate, Evaluate) Programme aiming to generate knowledge about effective approaches to achieve earlier diagnosis. A number of ACE test sites are evaluating approaches to increase screening rates in a range of groups, including black and ethnic minority women, women with learning disabilities and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

To explore the potential to increase rates of cervical screening in young women, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme has commissioned a £1 million study to determine which interventions are effective at increasing screening uptake amongst women aged 25 who are receiving their first invitation from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. The study began in November 2011 and reports can be expected later in 2016.

In addition, the Department of Health Behavioural Insight team has undertaken a trial to investigate the use of behavioural insights to optimise the content of the invitation letter for cervical screening. Results are due in summer 2016.

A routine human papillomavirus vaccination programme has been available in England since 2008, and offers immunisation to girls aged 12-14 years. It is expected that the vaccine will reduce the already low rates of cervical cancer in these young women and allow them to be protected for years to come.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve cervical screening rates among women with learning disabilities.

NHS England closely monitors the coverage rates for cervical screening in all age groups and is committed to improving coverage and reducing variation between all groups including black and minority ethnic women, women with learning disabilities and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Local NHS England commissioners analyse coverage rates within their area and work with general practices to improve coverage by sharing best practice. For example, commissioners in London have developed a screening coverage strategy and delivery plan, including:

― Increased public awareness and engagement with screening programmes across all communities;

― increased engagement with primary care and improved reliability of data; and

― working with screening providers to optimise coverage.

In addition to this:

― A primary care cancer screening best practice guide has been developed jointly with the transforming cancer services team, clinical commissioning groups and local authority public health representatives;

― linking with Cancer Research UK facilitators and Macmillan Cancer Support general practitioners to support best practice for screening in general practice; and

― imperial College is conducting a randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of texting non-responders on improving coverage.

NHS England is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support on the ACE (Accelerate, Coordinate, Evaluate) Programme aiming to generate knowledge about effective approaches to achieve earlier diagnosis. A number of ACE test sites are evaluating approaches to increase screening rates in a range of groups, including black and ethnic minority women, women with learning disabilities and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

To explore the potential to increase rates of cervical screening in young women, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme has commissioned a £1 million study to determine which interventions are effective at increasing screening uptake amongst women aged 25 who are receiving their first invitation from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. The study began in November 2011 and reports can be expected later in 2016.

In addition, the Department of Health Behavioural Insight team has undertaken a trial to investigate the use of behavioural insights to optimise the content of the invitation letter for cervical screening. Results are due in summer 2016.

A routine human papillomavirus vaccination programme has been available in England since 2008, and offers immunisation to girls aged 12-14 years. It is expected that the vaccine will reduce the already low rates of cervical cancer in these young women and allow them to be protected for years to come.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent discussions he has had with Public Health England on steps to increase cervical screening uptake among women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

NHS England closely monitors the coverage rates for cervical screening in all age groups and is committed to improving coverage and reducing variation between all groups including black and minority ethnic women, women with learning disabilities and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Local NHS England commissioners analyse coverage rates within their area and work with general practices to improve coverage by sharing best practice. For example, commissioners in London have developed a screening coverage strategy and delivery plan, including:

― Increased public awareness and engagement with screening programmes across all communities;

― increased engagement with primary care and improved reliability of data; and

― working with screening providers to optimise coverage.

In addition to this:

― A primary care cancer screening best practice guide has been developed jointly with the transforming cancer services team, clinical commissioning groups and local authority public health representatives;

― linking with Cancer Research UK facilitators and Macmillan Cancer Support general practitioners to support best practice for screening in general practice; and

― imperial College is conducting a randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of texting non-responders on improving coverage.

NHS England is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support on the ACE (Accelerate, Coordinate, Evaluate) Programme aiming to generate knowledge about effective approaches to achieve earlier diagnosis. A number of ACE test sites are evaluating approaches to increase screening rates in a range of groups, including black and ethnic minority women, women with learning disabilities and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

To explore the potential to increase rates of cervical screening in young women, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme has commissioned a £1 million study to determine which interventions are effective at increasing screening uptake amongst women aged 25 who are receiving their first invitation from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. The study began in November 2011 and reports can be expected later in 2016.

In addition, the Department of Health Behavioural Insight team has undertaken a trial to investigate the use of behavioural insights to optimise the content of the invitation letter for cervical screening. Results are due in summer 2016.

A routine human papillomavirus vaccination programme has been available in England since 2008, and offers immunisation to girls aged 12-14 years. It is expected that the vaccine will reduce the already low rates of cervical cancer in these young women and allow them to be protected for years to come.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to reduce levels of cervical cancer in 25 to 29 year olds.

NHS England closely monitors the coverage rates for cervical screening in all age groups and is committed to improving coverage and reducing variation between all groups including black and minority ethnic women, women with learning disabilities and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Local NHS England commissioners analyse coverage rates within their area and work with general practices to improve coverage by sharing best practice. For example, commissioners in London have developed a screening coverage strategy and delivery plan, including:

― Increased public awareness and engagement with screening programmes across all communities;

― increased engagement with primary care and improved reliability of data; and

― working with screening providers to optimise coverage.

In addition to this:

― A primary care cancer screening best practice guide has been developed jointly with the transforming cancer services team, clinical commissioning groups and local authority public health representatives;

― linking with Cancer Research UK facilitators and Macmillan Cancer Support general practitioners to support best practice for screening in general practice; and

― imperial College is conducting a randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of texting non-responders on improving coverage.

NHS England is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support on the ACE (Accelerate, Coordinate, Evaluate) Programme aiming to generate knowledge about effective approaches to achieve earlier diagnosis. A number of ACE test sites are evaluating approaches to increase screening rates in a range of groups, including black and ethnic minority women, women with learning disabilities and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

To explore the potential to increase rates of cervical screening in young women, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme has commissioned a £1 million study to determine which interventions are effective at increasing screening uptake amongst women aged 25 who are receiving their first invitation from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. The study began in November 2011 and reports can be expected later in 2016.

In addition, the Department of Health Behavioural Insight team has undertaken a trial to investigate the use of behavioural insights to optimise the content of the invitation letter for cervical screening. Results are due in summer 2016.

A routine human papillomavirus vaccination programme has been available in England since 2008, and offers immunisation to girls aged 12-14 years. It is expected that the vaccine will reduce the already low rates of cervical cancer in these young women and allow them to be protected for years to come.

7th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will publish NHS England's decision making criteria for the assessment of highly specialised technologies.

NHS England is currently developing a refined process for the prioritisation of proposed new investments in specialised services and highly specialised services.


This continues to be worked up, including formation of potential criteria and weighting. NHS England is aiming to begin using this process in June 2016. The process will be made public once complete.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many commissioning policies were developed through the NHS England Specialised Commissioning Oversight Group in (a) 2014 and (b) 2015.

In 2014 NHS England published five clinical commissioning policies and policy statements for the routine of commissioning of new treatments, drugs or devices for specialised commissioning.


In 2015 (up to November 2015), 38 such clinical commissioning policies and policy statements were published.


Decisions for the 2015/16 commissioning round were due to be made in 2014 but this process was deferred to 2015 pending the outcome of public consultation on process.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many highly specialised technologies are awaiting assessment by NHS England which were not selected for consideration by NICE's highly specialised technology appraisal process.

NHS England is currently developing a refined process for the prioritisation of proposed new investments in specialised services and highly specialised services.


The number of technologies to be routinely commissioned by NHS England will be determined by the new process.


George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many highly specialised technologies are currently being assessed by the NHS England highly specialised technologies assessment process.

NHS England is currently developing a refined process for the prioritisation of proposed new investments in specialised services and highly specialised services.


The number of technologies to be routinely commissioned by NHS England will be determined by the new process.


George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what proportion of medicines selected by NHS England Clinical Reference Groups for the development of commissioning policies have been (a) approved and (b) not approved by each Programme of Care board.

National Programmes of Care boards do not approve or decline proposed investments in specialised services.

Decisions on proposed investments are made by NHS England's Specialised Commissioning Oversight Group and the Specialised Commissioning Committee following recommendations from the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group.

National Programmes of Care boards provide assurance that proper process has been followed in the development of proposals for consideration.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many technologies have been assessed through NHS England's commissioning through evaluation process in (a) 2014 and (b) 2015.

In 2014, five treatments commencedevaluation under NHS England's Commissioning through Evaluation programme.


In 2015, six treatments commenced evaluation under NHS England's Commissioning through Evaluation programme.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people with hepatitis C have commenced treatment under the commissioning policy for the treatment of patients with cirrhosis since June 2015.

At 10 November 2015, NHS England had received 2,667 applications to treat from clinicians. Applications relate to patients who either meet NHS England’s commissioning policy for the treatment of hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis or who meet the NICE Technology Appraisal guidance for sofosbuvir and simeprevir. The number of applications is likely to be slightly higher than the number starting treatment, as some patients may have decided not to proceed. NHS England expects to have an automated system in place by April 2016 to collect data on treatment referrals and treatment history, including clinical outcome data.

17th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the hepatitis C Improvement Framework will include provisions on clinical commissioning groups and local authorities to engage with the Operational Delivery Networks jointly to commission services.

The draft hepatitis C Improvement Framework has focused on public health improvements in hepatitis C. As such, this does not include provisions on clinical commissioning groups and local authorities to engage with Operational Delivery Networks to jointly commission services as this is beyond the governance remit of the work. In its 2014 report Hepatitis C in the UK, Public Health England recommended that “Health (and, in England, local authority) commissioners should work together to consider how to improve the availability, access and uptake of approved hepatitis C treatments in primary and secondary care, drug treatment services, prisons and other settings, and to drive innovative approaches to provide outreach”. In support of this, I hosted a summit on 3 March 2015 with local authority and voluntary sector representatives, public health and clinical experts to share best practice and explore actions that could be taken at local government level to significantly reduce the burden of hepatitis C and tuberculosis in England.

17th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when the Hepatitis C Improvement Framework will be published and whether that framework will contain guidance to commissioners on increasing patient access to new Direct Acting Antiviral treatments that have been approved by NICE.

A date for publication of the hepatitis C Improvement Framework has not yet been set. Public Health England continues working with NHS England and Operational Delivery Networks to establish a process of monitoring hepatitis C treatment access and uptake.


New Direct Acting Antiviral treatments have been available to patients meeting the criteria of the NHS England policy for the treatment of cirrhosis since June 2015. These patients have access ahead of the implementation of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) technology appraisals (TAs).


Access has also been made available to patients meeting the criteria set out in the NICE TAs for simeprevir (May 2015) and sofosbuvir (August 2015). Access to three new treatments will be available from 23 February 2016 for patients (dependent on treatment type and treatment history) without cirrhosis.

9th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much money will be devolved to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to coincide with the transfer of obesity surgery commissioning responsibilities from NHS England to CCGs in April 2016; and what NHS England spent on such services in (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2015-16.

Any transfer of budget from NHS England to devolved areas will be on the basis of existing contractual activity.


For England, the expenditure against morbid obesity for adults totalled £50.36 million in 2014/15.


NHS England is not able to provide a figure for devolvement on 1 April 2016 as the basis for calculating the figures is still being discussed.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of whether clinical commissioning groups are fully prepared to assume active commissioning of tier 4 obesity from April 2016.

NHS England is supporting the transfer of commissioning responsibilities for obesity surgery services to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to ensure that they are fully prepared to assume the role.


They will provide technical and operational guidance to commissioners, including undertaking an evaluation of Tier 3 and Tier 4 interfaces within regions to assist CCGs. This guidance is in development.


NHS England is also supporting CCGs through national and local collaborative meetings on commissioning.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether NHS England is responsible for implementation of (a) the option in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation guidance, Immunisation against infectious disease, that allows clinicians to use their clinical judgement where patient circumstances strongly suggest that prophylaxis with palivizumab would prevent serious respiratory syncytial virus infection in infants who are at a particular risk of complications and (b) other options in that guidance.

NHS England has responsibility under the Section 7A Agreement to commission specific NHS Public Health programmes on behalf of Secretary of State. This responsibility includes implementation of the service specification for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which includes both options described in the question.


RSV is a common cause of respiratory tract infections. It usually causes a mild self-limiting respiratory infection in adults and children, but it can be severe in infants who are at increased risk of acute lower respiratory tract infection.


There is no licensed vaccine available for RSV. Preventative treatment for RSV is available by passive immunisation with protective antibodies to protect at risk infants.

30th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 6 November 2015 to Question 14029, for what reasons his Department allows the use of individual funding requests for palivizuamb without an assessment of the suitability of those requests for preventative treatments.

NHS England has advised that only patients who meet the criteria listed in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s guidance, Immunisation against infectious disease, will be eligible for routine funding for palivizumab. Where a patient does not meet these criteria, and a clinician feels that a patient is clinically exceptional, an application should be made through the normal regional individual funding request process.



A letter and specialised services circular (SSC1535) has been sent to all providers and commissioners explaining the commissioning arrangements for palivizumab for the 2015 vaccination season. This is available at:

www.bnssgformulary.nhs.uk/includes/documents/SSC1535%20Commissioning%20of%20Palivizumab%20for%20the%202015%20Vaccination%20Season.pdf

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to encourage the provision of take-home naloxone for at risk prisoners by health and justice lead area teams; and if he will make a statement.

The substance misuse element of the harm reduction strategy will align with national clinical guidance with regard to how naloxone and other medicines in the care pathway are considered for use, although specific medicines are unlikely to be named in the strategy.


The commissioning of substance misuse treatment for prisoners is the responsibility of health and justice commissioning teams in ten of NHS England’s area teams, supported by a central health and justice team. The Government expects commissioners and providers of substance misuse services in prisons and in the community to work together closely in respect to prisoners being released from custody to ensure seamless transfers of care.


Public Health England, the Department and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have jointly published a factsheet[1] to explain October’s regulatory change with regard to naloxone and how the wider availability of naloxone affects relevant services. NHS England Area Teams will encourage providers to take account of this guidance.




[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/widening-the-availability-of-naloxone/widening-the-availability-of-naloxone

25th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of implementation of the NICE quality standards for rheumatoid arthritis.

Quality standards (QS) are important in setting out to patients, the public, commissioners and providers what a high quality service should look like in a particular area of care. Whilst providers and commissioners must have regard to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) QS in planning and delivering services, however they are not mandatory.


The QS for rheumatoid arthritis states that services should be commissioned from and coordinated across all relevant agencies encompassing the rheumatoid arthritis care pathway. A person-centred approach to provision of services is fundamental to delivering high-quality care to adults with rheumatoid arthritis. NHS England continues to champion their use with providers and commissioners.


NHS England is working with patients, the pharmaceutical industry, royal colleges and others to encourage a range of improvements aimed at ensuring that all patients, including those with inflammatory arthritis, get the support they need to get the most from their medicines. The development of the four principles to support medicines optimisation offers a step change to the way we think about medicine use in the NHS. The four guiding patient-centred principles: aim to understand the patient’s experience; evidence-based choice of medicines; make medicines optimisation part of routine practice; ensure medicines use is as safe as possible are applicable to all patients, conditions and disease states.


The medicines optimisation best practice guidance, published in May 2014 is available at:


www.rpharms.com/promoting-pharmacy-pdfs/helping-patients-make-the-most-of-their-medicines.pdf.


25th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the medicines optimisation programme's principle of ensuring that the right patient gets the right choice of medicine, at the right time, is applied to people with inflammatory arthritis.

Quality standards (QS) are important in setting out to patients, the public, commissioners and providers what a high quality service should look like in a particular area of care. Whilst providers and commissioners must have regard to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) QS in planning and delivering services, however they are not mandatory.


The QS for rheumatoid arthritis states that services should be commissioned from and coordinated across all relevant agencies encompassing the rheumatoid arthritis care pathway. A person-centred approach to provision of services is fundamental to delivering high-quality care to adults with rheumatoid arthritis. NHS England continues to champion their use with providers and commissioners.


NHS England is working with patients, the pharmaceutical industry, royal colleges and others to encourage a range of improvements aimed at ensuring that all patients, including those with inflammatory arthritis, get the support they need to get the most from their medicines. The development of the four principles to support medicines optimisation offers a step change to the way we think about medicine use in the NHS. The four guiding patient-centred principles: aim to understand the patient’s experience; evidence-based choice of medicines; make medicines optimisation part of routine practice; ensure medicines use is as safe as possible are applicable to all patients, conditions and disease states.


The medicines optimisation best practice guidance, published in May 2014 is available at:


www.rpharms.com/promoting-pharmacy-pdfs/helping-patients-make-the-most-of-their-medicines.pdf.


25th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will include take-home naloxone in the harm reduction strategy for the penal service; and if he will make a statement.

The substance misuse element of the harm reduction strategy will align with national clinical guidance with regard to how naloxone and other medicines in the care pathway are considered for use, although specific medicines are unlikely to be named in the strategy.


The commissioning of substance misuse treatment for prisoners is the responsibility of health and justice commissioning teams in ten of NHS England’s area teams, supported by a central health and justice team. The Government expects commissioners and providers of substance misuse services in prisons and in the community to work together closely in respect to prisoners being released from custody to ensure seamless transfers of care.


Public Health England, the Department and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have jointly published a factsheet[1] to explain October’s regulatory change with regard to naloxone and how the wider availability of naloxone affects relevant services. NHS England Area Teams will encourage providers to take account of this guidance.




[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/widening-the-availability-of-naloxone/widening-the-availability-of-naloxone

4th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness of urticaria among (a) the general public and (b) health professionals in primary care.

Urticaria, more commonly referred as to as hives, is estimated to affect 1 in 6 people at some point in their lives, compared with 1 in 1,000 people for chronic urticaria. Many people will experience urticarial in response to a food or drug reaction or insect sting, and some find emotional stress can be a trigger. However some people experience more prolonged or chronic bouts of the condition. In such cases an autoimmune reaction is thought to be associated with a high number of cases without an identifiable cause. A range of information for the public on the conditions is available via NHS Choices.


The care of people with skin problems is a core competence of general practitioner training and people with urticaria can usually be managed through routine access to primary or second care services. To support clinicians in the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has developed an online Clinical Knowledge Summary (CKS) for the management of the condition. Patients can usually be managed with either anti-histamines or steroids, but the guidance also makes clear that patients with chronic urticarial should be considered for a referral to a dermatologist. In addition, July 2015 NICE published the Technology Appraisal Omalizumab for previously treated chronic spontaneous urticarial, recommending the drug for patients in whom the conditions is identified as severe and standard treatments have not improved the symptoms. Both the NICE CKS and technology Appraisal can be found at the following links:


http://cks.nice.org.uk/urticaria

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta339/resources/omalizumab-for-previously-treated-chronic-spontaneous-urticaria-82602555773893


For those patients with the most serious forms of chronic spontaneous urticaria who cannot be managed through routine access treatments provided through primary or secondary care, a referral to a specialised dermatology service may be appropriate. NHS England commissions services for people with rare and complex skin conditions and has set out what providers must have in place in order to offer specialist dermatology care. These services may provide more intensive therapies with a involvement of a range of health and care professionals, subject to that patient’s needs. More information can be found at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/a12-spec-dermatology.pdf

4th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria have access to appropriate treatments and care at specialist centres.

Urticaria, more commonly referred as to as hives, is estimated to affect 1 in 6 people at some point in their lives, compared with 1 in 1,000 people for chronic urticaria. Many people will experience urticarial in response to a food or drug reaction or insect sting, and some find emotional stress can be a trigger. However some people experience more prolonged or chronic bouts of the condition. In such cases an autoimmune reaction is thought to be associated with a high number of cases without an identifiable cause. A range of information for the public on the conditions is available via NHS Choices.


The care of people with skin problems is a core competence of general practitioner training and people with urticaria can usually be managed through routine access to primary or second care services. To support clinicians in the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has developed an online Clinical Knowledge Summary (CKS) for the management of the condition. Patients can usually be managed with either anti-histamines or steroids, but the guidance also makes clear that patients with chronic urticarial should be considered for a referral to a dermatologist. In addition, July 2015 NICE published the Technology Appraisal Omalizumab for previously treated chronic spontaneous urticarial, recommending the drug for patients in whom the conditions is identified as severe and standard treatments have not improved the symptoms. Both the NICE CKS and technology Appraisal can be found at the following links:


http://cks.nice.org.uk/urticaria

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta339/resources/omalizumab-for-previously-treated-chronic-spontaneous-urticaria-82602555773893


For those patients with the most serious forms of chronic spontaneous urticaria who cannot be managed through routine access treatments provided through primary or secondary care, a referral to a specialised dermatology service may be appropriate. NHS England commissions services for people with rare and complex skin conditions and has set out what providers must have in place in order to offer specialist dermatology care. These services may provide more intensive therapies with a involvement of a range of health and care professionals, subject to that patient’s needs. More information can be found at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/a12-spec-dermatology.pdf

4th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to improve the level of accurate chronic spontaneous urticaria diagnosis in primary care.

Urticaria, more commonly referred as to as hives, is estimated to affect 1 in 6 people at some point in their lives, compared with 1 in 1,000 people for chronic urticaria. Many people will experience urticarial in response to a food or drug reaction or insect sting, and some find emotional stress can be a trigger. However some people experience more prolonged or chronic bouts of the condition. In such cases an autoimmune reaction is thought to be associated with a high number of cases without an identifiable cause. A range of information for the public on the conditions is available via NHS Choices.


The care of people with skin problems is a core competence of general practitioner training and people with urticaria can usually be managed through routine access to primary or second care services. To support clinicians in the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has developed an online Clinical Knowledge Summary (CKS) for the management of the condition. Patients can usually be managed with either anti-histamines or steroids, but the guidance also makes clear that patients with chronic urticarial should be considered for a referral to a dermatologist. In addition, July 2015 NICE published the Technology Appraisal Omalizumab for previously treated chronic spontaneous urticarial, recommending the drug for patients in whom the conditions is identified as severe and standard treatments have not improved the symptoms. Both the NICE CKS and technology Appraisal can be found at the following links:


http://cks.nice.org.uk/urticaria

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta339/resources/omalizumab-for-previously-treated-chronic-spontaneous-urticaria-82602555773893


For those patients with the most serious forms of chronic spontaneous urticaria who cannot be managed through routine access treatments provided through primary or secondary care, a referral to a specialised dermatology service may be appropriate. NHS England commissions services for people with rare and complex skin conditions and has set out what providers must have in place in order to offer specialist dermatology care. These services may provide more intensive therapies with a involvement of a range of health and care professionals, subject to that patient’s needs. More information can be found at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/a12-spec-dermatology.pdf

30th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much the NHS spent on treating age-related macular degeneration in each of the last three years.

From the data collected it is not possible to identify how much was spent specifically on treating patients with age-related macular degeneration.

30th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what arrangements are in place for assessing a patient's eye health on discharge from hospital.


Prior to hospital discharge every patient will have a discharge assessment which will look at their ongoing healthcare needs and in light of that an individual care plan will be established.


These plans are formed in line with each individual hospital’s discharge policy, which will vary.




30th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much the NHS spent on treating patients with glaucoma in each of the last three years.

Cost information is shown in the following table from reference costs, which are the average unit cost to National Health Service trusts and foundation trusts of providing defined services in a given financial year. The table shows the costs of a surgical procedure covering one episode of care under one consultant in an admitted patient or outpatient setting and does not include other elements of the patient pathway such as GP consultations or outpatient appointments. It is not possible to separately identify the costs of glaucoma in non-surgical appointments.


Costs associated with glaucoma procedures, 2011/12 – 2013/14

Healthcare Resource Group (HRG)

Activity

National average unit cost £

Estimated total cost £ million

2011/12




Major Glaucoma Procedures

2,248

£1,440

£3.2m

Intermediate Glaucoma Procedures

33,842

£387

£13.1m

Minor Glaucoma Procedures

17,194

£293

£5.0m

Total


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