Dean Russell Portrait

Dean Russell

Conservative - Watford

First elected: 12th December 2019


Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill
7th Jun 2023 - 11th Jul 2023
Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill
1st Mar 2023 - 8th Mar 2023
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
2nd Mar 2020 - 6th Feb 2023
Online Safety (Re-committed Clauses and Schedules) Bill
7th Dec 2022 - 15th Dec 2022
Child Support Collection (Domestic Abuse) Bill
7th Dec 2022 - 14th Dec 2022
Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill
30th Nov 2022 - 7th Dec 2022
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2022 - 27th Oct 2022
Health and Social Care Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 25th Oct 2022
Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill
10th Oct 2022 - 12th Oct 2022
Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill
7th Sep 2022 - 4th Oct 2022
Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill
20th Jul 2022 - 7th Sep 2022
Online Safety Bill
18th May 2022 - 28th Jun 2022
National Insurance Contributions Bill
16th Jun 2021 - 22nd Jun 2021
Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill [Lords]
4th Feb 2021 - 9th Feb 2021


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 277 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 44 Noes - 285
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Business of the House
I met the Watford Hackney Carriage Drivers Association last year to discuss the challenges faced by our brilliant taxi drivers. …
Written Answers
Wednesday 20th December 2023
Permitted Development Rights
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what is his planned timetable for the consultation …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 28th March 2023
Bus Services (Consultation) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to require consultation of bus users before changes are made to bus services; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
1. Employment and earnings
23 October 2023, received £850 from Rt Hon Steve Baker MP, private address, for a painting. The payment included the …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 12th January 2022
Digitally Altered Body Images Bill 2021-22
A Bill to require advertisers, broadcasters and publishers to display a logo in cases where an image of a human …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Dean Russell has voted in 894 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Dean Russell Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(16 debate interactions)
Chris Philp (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(16 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(34 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(22 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Online Safety Act 2023
(6,858 words contributed)
Telecommunications (Security) Act 2021
(3,621 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Dean Russell's debates

Watford Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

As the Coronavirus escalates, there are concerns that a trade deal between the UK Government and the US deal might not exempt our NHS, leaving it vulnerable to privatisation and in direct contradiction to promises this would not happen.

I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.

To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.

We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.

Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.


Latest EDMs signed by Dean Russell

Dean Russell has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Dean Russell, 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.


Dean Russell has not been granted any Urgent Questions

3 Adjournment Debates led by Dean Russell

Monday 22nd January 2024
Tuesday 20th December 2022
Tuesday 23rd March 2021

4 Bills introduced by Dean Russell


A Bill to prohibit employers retaining tips and gratuities intended for staff; to make provision about the division of tips and gratuities between staff; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 14th January 2022

A Bill to make mental health first-aid part of first-aid training requirements; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 25th January 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require consultation of bus users before changes are made to bus services; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 28th March 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make mental health first-aid part of first-aid training requirements; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 23rd March 2021
(Read Debate)

120 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
7th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made on his Department's target to train senior civil servants as Wellbeing Confident Leaders.

The Wellbeing Confident Leaders training was a cross-government initiative led by Civil Service HR (CSHR).

When the programme concluded on 31 March 2019, 61% of Cabinet Office Senior Civil Servants had received the Wellbeing Confident Leaders Training.

This programme was removed due to the development of the new Civil Service Teaming, which is open to all grades, and continues to be available.



8th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department records data on the number of deaths within 28 days of receiving a covid-19 vaccine.

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

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is taking to provide financial support for the hospitality sector.

The Government recognises that the hospitality sector is facing financial pressures.

The Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) will provide all eligible UK businesses and other non-domestic energy users with a discount on high energy bills from 1 April 2023 until 31 March 2024.

The Government has also announced business rates support measures worth £13.6 billion over the next 5 years.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent discussions she has had with (a) representatives and (b) trade bodies from the hospitality sector on potential challenges facing the hospitality sector.

We meet regularly with representatives and trade bodies from the hospitality sector and have convened a Hospitality Sector Council to deliver the 2021 Hospitality Strategy, with the aim of building the sector’s long-term resilience. A Delivery Report showing progress made was published in March. The Council is scheduled to meet next in July.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of (a) consumer rights and (b) support available to consumers who purchase goods and services from a company that becomes insolvent.

In 2014 the Government asked the Law Commission to examine the protections for consumers in insolvency situations who have prepaid for goods and services. Its report was published in 2016 and found that the combination of existing law and chargeback rules provided important protection, and that substantial amounts could be refunded in this way.

The Government’s response to the Commission’s recommendations was published in 2018 and has already led to new guidance to insolvency office-holders on chargeback provisions.

The UK regime sets some of the highest standards of consumer protection in the world. The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill currently before Parliament establishes new tools to drive competition in digital markets, and boosts consumer rights and enforcement against unscrupulous businesses.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she has taken to implement her hospitality strategy policies on improving the resilience of (a) pubs, (b) brewers and (c) other hospitality businesses in (i) Watford and (ii) the UK.

We are working closely with the Hospitality Sector Council to deliver the 2021 Hospitality Strategy, and brought forward a Delivery Report on 1 March to show progress made. Business-led working groups are considering ways to improve business resilience, including innovation and sustainable practices, energy efficiency, jobs and skills, local partnerships, and improving access to finance.

The Government continues to support businesses with their costs, and we are legislating to increase the new Draught Relief from 5% to 9.2% for beer and cider draught products and from 20% to 23% for wine, spirits based and other fermented draught products.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she is taking to provide long term (a) financial and (b) other support to the hospitality sector.

The Spring Budget 2023 included an increase in Draught Relief from 1 August to 9.2%, freezing the duty charged on a typical pint of beer in the pub and ensuring this will always be lower than in the supermarket.

The Autumn Statement 2022 included a package of changes to business rates worth £13.6bn over the next 5 years in lower bills. This is in addition to the Energy Bills Discount Scheme; the increased Employment Allowance of £5,000, which takes the smallest 40% of businesses out of paying any National Insurance at all; and setting the Annual Investment Allowance at £1 million permanently.

My department recently published an update on progress towards delivery of the Government’s Hospitality Strategy, with the key ambition of building the sector’s long-term resilience.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the covid-19 guidance for amateur choirs issued by his Department was revised on 18 May 2021.

The Performing Arts guidance was updated on 18 May to reflect the arrangements for Step 3 of the roadmap.

Non-professional groups of up to six people can now sing indoors, in line with the rule of 6 applying to many other indoor activities and gatherings, and can perform or rehearse in groups of up to 30 outdoors. In addition, multiple groups of 30 can now sing outdoors, provided the groups are kept separate throughout the activity, in line with other large events that follow the organised events guidance for local authorities.

This is an important step forward in the return of non-professional performing arts activity from Step 2. We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the importance of advertising planning notices in local newspapers to (a) the elderly and vulnerable, (b) other local residents and (b) local media organisations.

Local planning authorities are required to publicise certain types of planning applications in local newspapers as set out in Article 15 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

We are mindful of the potential impact that any changes to the requirements might have on transparency and local democracy, as well as the potential effect on local newspaper revenue. Indeed the independent Cairncross Review into the future of journalism found that statutory notices, including planning notices, provide an important strand of revenue for many local publishers and that their withdrawal would do serious damage to parts of the sector. We also recognise the importance of local newspapers to communities and the continued need to reach out to people who cannot digitally access information.

Proposals to reform publicity requirements are being considered through the “Planning for the Future” White Paper which aims to make it simpler, quicker and more accessible for local people to engage with the planning system using digital tools. MHCLG is considering consultation responses and will publish a response in due course, and the impact on transparency and local democracy, as well as on local newspaper revenue will be considered before any decisions are taken.

4th Feb 2021
What steps his Department is taking to support UK film and TV productions during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government’s Film & TV Production Restart Scheme and our industry-led guidance has enabled production to continue on film sets up and down the country - including at Warner Bros studios in Leavesden, home to the Harry Potter and Mission Impossible franchises.

This week the Secretary of State spoke to the BFI’s CEO and Colin Firth about how important the Restart Scheme has been to restoring sector confidence and kickstarting new productions - ensuring the UK remains a world leader in Film and TV.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the role of ultrafast full fibre broadband to the economic recovery after the covid-19 outbreak; and what progress his Department has made on the rollout of that service.

World class digital connectivity is key to the UK economy and the Government remains committed to delivering nationwide gigabit-capable and full fibre broadband as soon as possible.

A recent study commissioned by Ofcom finds that investment in broadband has had significant benefits to the UK economy and that increased connectivity has a positive relationship with economic growth and productivity. Furthermore a study undertaken for Cityfibre has predicted that the total economic impact of deploying ‘full fibre’ (FTTP) broadband networks across 100 distinct UK city and towns, could reach £120 billion over a 15 year period. In addition, work commissioned by the NIC estimated net benefits from investment in FTTP with 100% coverage of up to £28 billion (in present value terms) by 2050. This is before taking account of the potential for FTTP to deliver wider economic benefits, for example, improvements in productivity.

Good progress has been made over the past year. The latest Ofcom figures demonstrate full fibre coverage has increased to 3.5 million premises (or 12% of the UK), and by 1.5 million premises in the past year. Estimates of gigabit coverage are even higher at over 20% of UK premises, as a result of Virgin Media’s upgrades of its existing network.

The Government is taking action to further reduce barriers to broadband deployment, including through the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold) Property Bill, which will make it easier to connect properties where there is an unresponsive landlord. The department is also committed to investing £5 billion to deliver nationwide gigabit-capable coverage to the hardest to reach parts of the country, so that no areas are left behind.

7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure that children and young people with SEND are able to access appropriate support.

In the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan, published in March, the department outlined its commitment for children and young people with SEND (or attending alternative provision) to enjoy their childhood, achieve good outcomes and feel well prepared for adulthood and employment.

The department will give families greater confidence that their child will be able to fulfil their potential through improved mainstream provision in their local setting and strengthened accountability across the system so that everyone is held to account for supporting children and young people with SEND. For those children and young people with SEND who do require an Education, Health and Care plan and specialist provision, the department will ensure they get access to the support they need, and that parents do not face an adversarial system to secure this.

High needs revenue funding will rise to £10.5 billion in 2024-25, a 60% increase on 2019/20 allocations. An additional £2.6 billion of funding will support local authorities to deliver new places in mainstream, special schools and alternative provision and to improve the suitability of existing buildings. Through the £70 million Change Programme, the department is testing and refining the Improvement Plan reforms to improve outcomes and experiences for children and young people with SEND and their families.

The department is committed to improving the supply, training and deployment of key workforces, to make the best use of professional expertise, at whatever age or stage it is needed, and prevent needs from escalating. This includes training up to 7,000 early years specialists and investing a further £21 million to train 400 more educational psychologists.

To ensure teachers have the knowledge and skills to deliver high-quality teaching for pupils with SEND, the department is implementing a ‘golden thread’ of evidence-based teacher training reforms from initial teacher training through to an early career framework based induction and on to National Professional Qualifications (NPQ) for more experienced teachers. This support includes the introduction of a new leadership level NPQ for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators that will begin teaching in autumn 2024.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding her Department provided to Hertfordshire County Council for the delivery of their statutory responsibilities to (a) SEND children and (b) their families in the latest period for which data is available.

High needs funding for the provision of education for children and young people with complex Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is increasing by 60% from the 2019/20 allocations to over £10.5 billion in the 2024/25 financial year. The department has announced provisional 2024/25 high needs allocations for local authorities. Hertfordshire County Council’s allocation is £187 million, which is £8.4 million more than the Council will receive this year, a cumulative increase of 29% per head over the three years from 2021/22.

Funding for other services for children with SEND and their families is provided to local authorities through the local government finance settlement from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of early intervention mental health support in schools for children and young people.

The mental health of children is a priority for this government, and the department understands that early intervention in schools can play a vital role. The department is committed to ensuring schools and colleges are safe, calm and supportive environments which promote and support mental wellbeing.

The department knows that school-based provision such as counselling works best in schools that take a whole-school approach, with all staff clear about how mental health is supported. That is why the department is offering senior mental health lead training grants to all state schools by 2025, with over 14,400 settings claiming a grant so far.

The department is also extending NHS Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) to cover at least 50% of pupils in schools and learners in further education by spring 2025. These teams deliver direct interventions for mild to moderate mental health needs, support education staff with their whole-school approach, and liaise with external specialists to help children and young people get the right support. The MHSTs programme received early independent evaluation, available at: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/brace/projects/children-and-young-people%27s-mental-health-trailblazer-programme.aspx. An independent impact evaluation of both MHSTs and the senior mental health lead training programme is expected in 2026.

Bodies such as the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) have also produced reports reviewing the effectiveness of a variety of mental health interventions. A 2021 report from the EIF is available at: https://www.eif.org.uk/report/adolescent-mental-health-a-systematic-review-on-the-effectiveness-of-school-based-interventions.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people to become mathematics teachers.

There are now over 468,000 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in state-funded schools in England, an increase of 27,000 (6%) since 2010. This makes it the highest FTE of teachers since the School Workforce Census began in 2010.

The Department knows there is further to go to improve recruitment in some subjects, including mathematics. This is why the Department has put in place a range of measures, including bursaries worth £28,000 tax free and scholarships worth £30,000 tax free, to encourage talented trainees to teach mathematics, as well as physics, chemistry and computing. The initial teacher training financial incentives package for the 2024/25 recruitment cycle is worth up to £196 million, a £15 million increase on the last cycle.

19th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to encourage students to take up STEM subjects.

The Department is investing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels to ensure people have access to high quality teaching and can access career opportunities in STEM related sectors. The Department is working with other Government Departments through the UK Science & Technology Framework to deliver talent and skills for critical technologies.

The Department funds several programmes to encourage young people into STEM, including:

  • The Stimulating Physics Network, which provides support to schools to increase rates of progression to physics A level.
  • An inclusion in schools project to increase the uptake of A level physics from students in underrepresented groups.
  • The Isaac Physics programme to increase the numbers of students, particularly from typically underrepresented backgrounds, studying physics in higher education.

The Department also supports the STEM ambassadors programme, which inspires young people from underrepresented backgrounds to engage with STEM subjects. Secondary schools are also expected to provide pupils with at least one meaningful interaction with employers per pupil per year, with a focus on STEM employers.

The Department is harnessing expertise through the Digital and Computing Skills Education Taskforce to increase the number of people taking digital and computing qualifications and to attract a diverse range of individuals into digital jobs. The Department is also investing over £100 million in the National Centre for Computing Education to improve the teaching of computing and to increase participation in computer science at GCSE and A level.

The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths works with a network of 40 maths hubs to help local schools improve the quality of their teaching. In April, the Prime Minister announced that every young person will study some form of mathematics up to the age of 18, and that the Department will expand and extend the work of maths hubs.

The Prime Minister also recently announced plans to develop a new baccalaureate-style qualification called the Advanced British Standard (ABS) for 16 to 19 year-olds, which will bring together the best of A levels and T Levels into a single qualification, and ensure students continue with some form of mathematics and English study until they are 18.

The Department is making a £600 million downpayment for the ABS, focused on recruiting and retaining teachers in key STEM and technical shortage subjects, ensuring better attainment in mathematics and English, and providing better resources for teachers and pupils. As part of this, it is investing around £100 million a year to give early career STEM teachers, working in disadvantaged schools and all further education colleges up to £6,000 tax free annually on top of their pay, and an additional £60 million over two years to improve mathematics education. This will help to ensure our young people receive high quality specialist teaching to equip them with the mathematics and science skills the UK needs.

The Department also funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme which delivers high quality teacher professional development as well as focused support and enrichment for students and institutions to improve participation and provision in level 3 mathematics.

20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the nutritional value of meals served in schools.

The standards for school food are set out in the Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014. These regulations are designed to ensure that schools provide pupils with healthy food and drink options, and to make sure that pupils have the energy and nutrition they need throughout the school day.

The Department believes the current standards provide a robust yet flexible framework to ensure that pupils in England continue to receive high quality and nutritious food, that builds healthy eating habits for life. The standards remain under review.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what educational support is in place for visually impaired students in (a) Watford and (b) England.

I refer my hon. Friend, the member for Watford to the answer I gave on 13 February 2023 to Question 140375.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an estimate of the number of teachers for people with hearing impairments in (a) Watford and (b) England.

Information on the number of qualified teachers for people with hearing impairments is not collected by the department.

Information on the school workforce in England is collected as part of the annual School Workforce Census each November. Information is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
18th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data her Department holds on the proportion of qualified classroom teachers expected to move up the pay scale through progression or promotion in academic year 2022-23; what the maximum pay increase is a qualified classroom teacher could receive in academic year 2022-23; what proportion of teachers were at the top of their pay scale as of 1 January 2023; and what proportion of qualified classroom teachers are expected to move up the pay scale through progression or promotion in academic year 2022-23 who are not already at the top of their pay scale.

The Department has implemented in full the School Teachers’ Review Body’s (STRB) recommendation of an 8.9% pay rise for early career teachers outside London, and a 5% pay rise for experienced teachers in 2022/23. This is the highest pay award in 30 years.

Teachers who remain in consecutive service are often eligible for a pay rise over and above the headline pay award, due to pay progression or promotion, as they move through the main and upper pay scales.

The Department’s written evidence to the STRB in 2021 estimated that, on average, 85% of teachers in early career (on the first five advisory pay points of the main pay range M1-M5) and 40% of experienced teachers below the top of the upper pay range (on M6-U2) received such a pay rise each year. This analysis was based on school workforce census and teacher pension scheme data, with the same pattern identified across several years. By combining these estimated progression rates with the distribution of classroom teachers on each advisory pay point, the Department estimates that around 40% of all qualified classroom teachers who remain in consecutive service receive a pay rise from progression or promotion. In 2022/23, teachers who progressed up the pay scale could see pay rises of up to 15.9% in total from the combination of the pay award and progression or promotion.

Some teachers are not eligible for progression. Close to a third of qualified classroom teachers are not eligible because they are at the top of the upper pay range (UPR). Last September, these teachers saw their pay rise to at least £43,685. The Department has previously published the estimated distribution of classroom teachers by advisory pay point in the rest of England pay region. The distribution used in the calculations above is based on the school workforce census with data from November 2021, as more recent data is not available, and is generated using a methodology consistent with both the statistical publication and previously published evidence to the STRB. This data is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

If we exclude the third of teachers who are already at the top of their pay range, as outlined above, the Department estimates that around 60% of the remaining teachers are expected to receive a pay rise over and above the headline award due to progression or promotion.

Teachers can also receive additional payments for taking on extra responsibilities, and there is a separate pay range for those in leadership roles.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on exam standards of Ofqual’s decision to release optional exam board materials in advance to students.

The optional sets of questions provided by the exam boards are intended to be a helpful tool for teachers to use, if they choose, in gathering evidence to determine their pupils’ grades this year. They are one element of the overall approach to assessing pupils’ performance. These sets of questions are not exams and pupils across the country may complete them at different times or in different formats. They are openly published to ensure there is equality of access to the materials for all pupils at the same time – an approach supported by 66% of respondents to the Department’s and Ofqual’s joint consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021.

As well as the sets of questions and other support materials, the exam boards have provided grade descriptors to exemplify the established performance standard that is to be applied in grading judgements this summer.

The materials derived from examinations are, thereby, part of a package of measures designed to deliver fairness for pupils given differential teaching experiences caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with stakeholders on the definition of an XL bully type dog.

Defra convened a group of experts and other stakeholders to define the physical characteristics of the breed type. This included representatives from the police, local authorities, devolved administrations and the Animal Welfare Committee, which advises the Government on animal welfare issues. The definition and guidance have been published on Gov.uk to help the police and owners understand whether a dog should be defined as an XL Bully.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department is taking steps to help support veterinary practices following the ban on American XL Bully dogs.

The Government has produced specific guidance for vets relating to their role in the neutering and euthanasia of XL Bully dogs. Vets can refer to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Code of Conduct with regard to their professional responsibilities.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department is taking steps to help ensure that dogs with similar characteristics to the American XL Bully are not incorrectly affected by the new ban.

During the transition period, it is up to owners to identify whether they think their dog may be in scope of the XL Bully ban and whether they wish to apply for a Certificate of Exemption.  We recommend taking a precautionary approach. If they are unsure if their dog is a XL Bully or whether any puppies may grow up to be of this dog type, owners should comply with the relevant requirements and restrictions as they come into force. The definition and guidance have been published on gov.uk to help owners and enforcement officers understand whether a dog should be defined as an XL Bully. Dog Legislation Officers are responsible for identifying prohibited breed types for the purposes of Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and enforcing the ban once it comes into force. We will be supporting the police to deliver additional training to Dog Legislation Officers to ensure they are upskilled and able to consistently apply the breed standard for the XL Bully breed type.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress has been made in analysing the responses to the Consultation on cat and dog microchipping legislation in England.

We will shortly issue the summary of responses and the Government’s response to the ‘Consultation on cat and dog microchipping legislation in England’ which was launched in Spring 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to reduce litter in (a) Watford constituency and (b) nationally.

Our new Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan sets out how we will support councils to take tougher action against those who litter. This includes significantly raising the upper limit on fixed penalty notices from £150 to £500, and measures to help councils issue more penalties.

Our Litter Strategy for England sets out our aim to deliver a substantial reduction in litter and littering within a generation. It contains a number of commitments and progress reports are available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/litter-strategy-for-england-progress-reports.

Since publishing the Litter Strategy, we have published guidance on the provision of litter bins and provided nearly £1 million across 44 councils to help councils purchase new bins. Watford Borough Council were one of the recipients of this grant funding.

We have also announced our plans for a Deposit Return Scheme for drinking containers. We estimate that where the rate of return reaches 90% in year 3 of the scheme there will be an equivalent 90% reduction of in-scope containers discarded as litter.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department has taken to support small businesses to reduce the use of single-use plastics.

We are taking steps to help small businesses reduce their use of single-use plastic items.

The 5p single-use carrier bag charge was introduced in England in October 2015 and has had a dramatic impact. The number of single-use plastic carrier bags sold by the main retailers has fallen from 7.6 billion in 2014, to 197 million in 2021/2022, a reduction of over 97%. To build on the success of the charge so far and to create a level playing field for all large and small businesses alike, we increased the charge from 5p to 10p and extended it to all retailers from 21 May 2021.

We recently announced measures to ban the supply of single-use plastic plates, cutlery, and balloon sticks, and expanded and extruded polystyrene food and beverage containers, including cups from October 2023. This ban will apply to all businesses including small businesses.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the local council’s powers to deal with litter (a) nationally and (b) in Watford constituency.

In recent years we have bolstered local authority enforcement powers by raising the upper limit on fixed penalty notices for littering and introducing powers to issue the keeper of a vehicle, from which litter is thrown, with a civil penalty. We have also published guidance on the provision of litter bins and provided nearly £1 million across 44 councils to help them purchase new bins.

We will be undertaking a research project which considers the effectiveness of the different enforcement options available to local authorities, including fixed penalties, and the barriers they face in using these. The results of this research will inform policy development in this area.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to protect the (a) populations and (b) habitats of (i) hedgehogs, (ii) red squirrels and (iii) rare species of wildlife in the UK.

The Government remains committed to taking action to recover our threatened native species, that is why we have set four legally binding targets to drive and measure improvements in nature recovery in England. These targets are: to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030; then to reverse declines by 2042; to reduce the risk of species extinction by 2042; and restore or create more than 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat, also by 2042. We have set out our plan and policies to deliver against our species biodiversity targets in the Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP23) published 31 January 2023. The EIP23 revises the 25-Year Environment Plan as part of our obligations under the Environment Act.

Measures introduced in the Environment Act such as biodiversity net gain and Local Nature Recovery Strategies will help deliver actions to recover species such as the hedgehog. Additionally, our new environmental land management schemes will pay for sustainable farming practices, creating and preserving habitat such as such as woodland, heathland and species-rich grassland, as well as making landscape-scale environmental changes, all of which could benefit species such as hedgehog.

Defra, Natural England and the Forestry Commission are signatories to the United Kingdom Squirrel Accord. This partnership, of over 40 organisations seeks, to secure and expand red squirrel populations through the delivery of actions set out in the England Red Squirrel Action Plan. Additionally, Defra has provided £300k, to support research and development of fertility control methods to reduce numbers of grey squirrels and impacts on red squirrels, tree health and forestry. Work to reduce grey squirrel impacts will be supported by Defra’s commitment in the EIP to update the 2014 Grey Squirrel Action Plan, detailing commitments to support landowners to manage the numbers of grey squirrels.

20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress her Department has made on ensuring all dogs are microchipped.

Under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, it is an offence to not microchip a dog. Around 90% of dogs in the UK are now microchipped. The Government works with stakeholders to remind the public of the legal requirement and the benefits of microchipping.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress her Department has made on introducing compulsory cat microchipping.

We plan to lay regulations soon which will bring compulsory cat microchipping into force in England. Once in force, cat keepers will have 12 months to comply with the new requirements.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps her Department has taken to monitor storm overflows.

No government has done more to tackle the issue of storm overflow discharges. Last year this Government launched The Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan. This will require water companies to deliver their largest infrastructure programme in water company history – a £56 billion capital investment over 25 years.

We are taking action now. Between 2020 and 2025 water companies are investing £3.1 billion in storm overflow improvements. We have increased the number of storm overflows monitored across the network from 5% in 2016 to almost 90% now, and we will reach 100% cover by the end of the year. All the data is published online.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps her Department has taken to reduce single-use plastic waste.

In October 2020 we legislated to prevent the incineration or landfilling of certain separately collected material, including plastic, paper, metal and glass, unless it has undergone a treatment process first and only if landfill or incineration is the best environmental outcome. This is in addition to existing permit conditions that already prevent acceptance of recyclable material at landfills and waste incinerators.

We also want to make recycling easier. Following support at public consultation, the new s45 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 stipulates that all local authorities in England must make arrangements for a core set of materials to be collected for recycling from households, including plastic packaging. In April last year, we brought in the Plastic Packaging Tax. This will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste. The introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility in 2024 will also encourage businesses to think carefully about how much plastic packaging they use, to design and use plastic packaging that is easily recyclable and encourage use of reusable and refillable packaging. These measures will reduce plastic waste and divert plastic packaging away from landfill and incineration.

We have restricted the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds and introduced a carrier bag charge which has reduced the use of single-use carrier bags in the main supermarkets by over 97%. More recently we announced the supply of single-use plastic plates, cutlery, balloon sticks and expanded and extruded polystyrene food and beverage containers will also be banned in England from October this year.

We are committed to going further and addressing other sources of plastic pollution, which is why we also ran a call for evidence to help us gather information to help inform future policy on other problematic plastic items and help inform future policy making. Our response can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/single-use-plastic-banning-the-supply-of-commonly-littered-single-use-plastic-items/outcome/summary-of-responses-and-government-response.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress her Department has made on delivering the 25 Year Environment Plan; and whether her Department plans to takes additional steps to help restore nature.

The Environment Act 2021 designated the 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP), published in 2018, as the first Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP). As committed to in the Environment Act, on the 31st January the Government published its revised Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP23) which continues to use the 25YEP's ten goals as a basis.

EIP23 sets out the progress made against all ten goals, the specific targets and commitments made in relation to each goal, and our plan to continue to deliver existing targets and the overarching goals.

Under the Environment Act 2021, Defra must report annually on the implementation of the EIP and review it every five years, so will continue to publish an Annual Progress Report setting out progress over the previous 12 months, alongside the 25 YEP Outcome Indicator Framework. Our annual progress reports can be found here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/25-year-environment-plan-progress-reports

This Government is committed to halting and reversing nature’s decline, and the UK has been leading international efforts in developing an ambitious and transformative framework of global targets under the Convention of Biological Diversity. EIP23 sets out how the Government plans to restore nature by improving the quality of our environment.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to increase access to green spaces.

The Government recognises the importance of providing access to the outdoors for people’s health and wellbeing and are working to ensure this is safe and appropriate. We committed in our Environmental Improvement Plan published this week to work across government to help ensure that everyone lives within 15 minutes’ walk of a green or blue space.

The Government is delivering a number of policies to increase access to nature including:

  • Working to complete the England Coast Path which, at around 2,700 miles, will be the longest waymarked and maintained coast walking route in the world. Over 2,000 miles have now been approved as England Coast Path, with nearly 800 miles already open. It will also create 250,000 hectares of new open access land within the coastal margin.
  • Delivering the £9m Levelling Up Parks Fund to improve green space in over 100 disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the UK.
  • Designating Wainwright’s coast to coast route across the north of England as a National Trail.
  • Delivering the £14.5m ‘Access for All’ programme, which consists of a package of targeted measures in our protected landscapes, national trails, forests and the wider countryside to make access to green and blue spaces more inclusive.
  • Our commitment to the provision of safe and appropriate public access in as many woodlands as possible as set out in the England Trees Action Plan. The recently published Environmental Improvement Plan reiterates our commitment to publish our ambition for improving the quantity, quality, and permanency of woodland access.
  • Through programmes with the Community Forests and Forestry England we are enabling creation of large scale publicly accessible woodlands near towns and cities.
  • We continue to support land managers to provide woodland access through our Countryside Stewardship (CS) and England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) schemes.
  • Under the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) offer, for woodlands, we are providing societal benefits by bringing people closer to nature, allowing long term permissive access for recreation and contributing to the rural economy.
15th Jul 2021
What recent assessment she has made of the potential benefits of the free trade deal with Australia for the East of England.

More than 1,600 East of England firms exported to Australia in 2020. A removal of tariffs on the East of England’s key exports to Australia in life sciences, clothing and motor industry can create more opportunities for businesses in the region.

Cutting red tape and aligning standards could also support growth in exports of life sciences.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made on implementing the Nine-point plan for seafarers published 6 July 2022.

Since announcing the Nine Point Plan the Government has:

  • Brought in the Seafarers’ Wages Act which will ensure that seafarers employed aboard ships regularly operating from UK ports will be paid at least an equivalent to the National Minimum Wage in UK waters.
  • Worked with industry and unions to develop the Seafarers’ Charter, which will encourage and recognise ferry operators taking extra steps to provide good working conditions.
  • Published a consultation on a draft Code of Practice on Fire and Rehire, the responses to which are now being considered by the Department for Business and Trade.
  • Supported amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention to improve access to food and drinking water and appropriately sized PPE, and led development of guidance to support seafarers who face abandonment.
  • Commissioned research into seafarer fatigue to give us more robust evidence about the impact of roster patterns.
  • Commissioned research into improving internet connectivity for seafarers, as connectivity to shore and communication with friends and family is important for those at sea.

Seafarer welfare is inextricably linked to international maritime law and regulation. As such it must be addressed with international partners and through international fora. The UK will continue to lead the way in seafarer welfare and will not shy away from its role as an international leader in championing this important cause.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the progress of bilateral wage corridor negotiations for seafarers.

The UK’s Seafarers’ Wages Act obtained Royal Assent earlier this month. I am also pleased to report progress in the French National Assembly of the French Government’s legislation on minimum wages for seafarers. When our respective legislation comes into force, the UK and France will have created a minimum wage corridor on the short strait, enhancing the livelihoods of the seafarers that work on this important route.

We continue to engage with a range of international partners, including France, to further enhance seafarer protections internationally.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the importance of advertising Traffic Regulation Orders in local newspapers to (a) the elderly and vulnerable, (b) other local residents and (b) local media organisations.

The most recent assessments we have made about Traffic Regulation Orders are in two reports. The first discovery research report was published in 2019 and laid the foundations for the second report available here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-regulation-orders-identifying-improvements-to-the-legislative-process-in-england.

Each of these reports considered the impacts on different groups of potential improvements to the legislative process.

The Department plans to consult on proposed reforms to Traffic Regulation Orders more generally later in 2021. An Impact Assessment will accompany this consultation.

5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he is taking steps to support the Hidden Disabilities sunflower lanyard scheme.

People with non-visible disabilities can experience difficulties or be disadvantaged in their ability to access services. Their difficulty can be exacerbated because service provider personnel are unaware of their disability and any different or additional needs they may have.

During the pandemic, the green Sunflower Lanyard scheme gained popularity to indicate an individual's non-visible disability in relation to mask exemption. The Sunflower Lanyard scheme is recognised by some retailers and transport authorities as an indication that a customer or passenger may need additional help because of a non-visible disability. Some individuals prefer to make their non-visible disability known to others by wearing a visible indication of their disability - the Sunflower Lanyard scheme is one such option.

However, this is a personal choice. It is not the Government's intent to promote any one voluntary scheme, nor to suggest that disabled people should feel that they have to make their disability known to others.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
15th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring all workplaces to have a trained mental health first aider.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for the Health and Safety (First-Aid Regulations) 1981 which require employers to provide first aid to employees who are injured or become ill at work.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations are designed to help individuals who require immediate intervention or support where necessary until professional emergency care arrives. They already require employers to consider mental health alongside physical health when undertaking a first aid needs assessment.


Training employees in mental health first aid can have a role to play as part of a holistic approach to raising awareness of and responding to potential mental health issues in the workplace. However, this should be risk based and informed by the employer’s assessment of first aid needs. Regulatory change to prescriptively mandate mental health first aid training would not allow employers to tailor their approach to workplace mental health to meet their particular needs and would likely introduce substantial financial burden that may be unwarranted.

The Government commissioned ‘Thriving at Work’ review recommended, in 2017, that employers adopt a set of core mental health standards that will provide a comprehensive approach to transforming mental health in the workplace. HSE is continuing its work with the Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Health and Social Care, Joint Work and Health Directorate, to help employers better support all employees to remain in and thrive at work, including those with mental ill health or wellbeing.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to support pensioners.

The Secretary of State announced on 17 November that State Pensions and benefits will be up-rated from April 2023 by 10.1%, in line with the increase in the Consumer Prices Index in the year to September 2022, subject to parliamentary approval.

The government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, which is why, in addition to the £37 billion of support we have provided for cost of living pressures in 2022/23, we are acting now to ensure support continues throughout 2023/24.

Over 8 million UK households on eligible means tested benefits, including the 1.4 million currently in receipt of Pension Credit, will receive additional Cost of Living Payments totalling up to £900 in the 2023/24 financial year.

In addition, eight million pensioner households will receive a £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment as a top-up to their Winter Fuel Payment, and pensioners in receipt of an eligible disability benefit will receive the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to publish a dental recovery plan.

We are currently working on a plan for dentistry, to be published shortly, to improve access to dental care across England. There are several fronts where we need to take further action to support and recover activity in National Health Service dentistry, to improve access to care for all ages.

Our plan for dentistry will build upon the first package of reforms agreed in July 2022, which included changes to banding and the introduction of a minimum Units of Dental Activity value, and the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which committed to increasing dentistry training places by 40% so that there are over 1,100 places by 2031/32.

Our plan will address how we continue to improve access, particularly for new patients, and how we make NHS work more attractive to ensure NHS dentists are incentivised to deliver more NHS care.

30th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure early diagnosis of Corticobasal Degeneration and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

While the Department is not taking steps to ensure early diagnosis of Corticobasal Degeneration and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy specifically, the 2021 UK Rare Diseases Framework aims to improve the awareness of all rare diseases which includes these conditions. England’s second Rare Diseases Action Plan, published in February 2023, reports on progress made to help patients get a final diagnosis faster and outlines new actions such as commissioning research on how best to measure the diagnostic odyssey.

An individual with Corticobasal Degeneration and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy can be affected in many ways, therefore support available will depend on individual need. Patients with these conditions would typically be supported through the usual range of commissioned health and social care services, including neurology services. There is not a separately commissioned service for this diagnosis.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to provide support for people with (a) Corticobasal Degeneration and (b) Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

While the Department is not taking steps to ensure early diagnosis of Corticobasal Degeneration and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy specifically, the 2021 UK Rare Diseases Framework aims to improve the awareness of all rare diseases which includes these conditions. England’s second Rare Diseases Action Plan, published in February 2023, reports on progress made to help patients get a final diagnosis faster and outlines new actions such as commissioning research on how best to measure the diagnostic odyssey.

An individual with Corticobasal Degeneration and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy can be affected in many ways, therefore support available will depend on individual need. Patients with these conditions would typically be supported through the usual range of commissioned health and social care services, including neurology services. There is not a separately commissioned service for this diagnosis.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support is in place for people with psychosis.

It is for individual integrated care boards to commission mental health services, including those for people with psychosis, in order to meet the needs of their local population.

We have introduced waiting times standards for early intervention in psychosis services and are expanding and transforming National Health Service mental health services, backed by additional investment of £2.3 billion a year by March 2024 to enable an extra 2 million people in England to access NHS funded mental health support.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
25th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on determining the successful bids for the government's New Hospital Programme.

We received 128 expressions of interest for new hospitals and the Government has now confirmed that five of these schemes will join the New Hospital Programme.

These hospitals all have significant amounts of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete, and have been independently assessed as unsafe to operate beyond 2030. Government is therefore prioritising these major rebuilds. Considering this, the Government is not inviting further schemes to join the programme at this time. Going forward, new schemes will be considered through a rolling programme of capital investment in hospital infrastructure to secure the building of new hospitals beyond 2030.

25th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department are taking to support people with (a) Huntington's Disease and (b) other complex neurological conditions.

Specialised elements of neurological care are provided through the 25 specialised neurological treatment centres across England. NHS England’s neuroscience transformation programme (NSTP) is developing several optimal pathways for neurology services, which includes Huntington's disease. The NSTP is also developing a new definition for ‘specialised’ neurology. The NSTP will provide integrated care systems with the tools, information and resources they will need to drive the transformation in their neurology services.

In addition, the neuropsychiatry service specification is in development, which will outline the multi-disciplinary approach to caring for patients with complex neurological conditions.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that prevention is central to NHS dental care.

Prevention is crucial to the work of the health and social care system, including in dentistry, and everyone has a role to play. The Office for Health Improvements and Disparities (OHID) has published an evidence-based toolkit, ‘Delivering Better Oral Health - an evidence-based toolkit for prevention’, for dental practice teams to support preventive advice and treatment for their patients available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/delivering-better-oral-health-an-evidence-based-toolkit-for-prevention

Water fluoridation is a safe public health intervention to improve the oral health of both adults and children and helps to tackle inequalities. The Health and Care Act will make it simpler to expand water fluoridation schemes across England. We announced funding to begin expansion, subject to consultation, across the North-East of England.

We know that good oral health in the early stages of childhood is likely to lead to better long-term dental health. There is good evidence for the effectiveness of daily supervised toothbrushing programmes in schools and early year settings, particularly in deprived areas. Such schemes can be commissioned by local authorities or the National Health Service and exist across the country.

Following the implementation of ‘Our plan for patients’, we are planning to announce additional reforms of the NHS Dental System shortly.

15th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress his Department has made on analysing responses to the acquired brain injury call for evidence.

The Department continues to work on the development of the strategy, based on the feedback from the Call for Evidence, the Patient and Public Voice Reference Group, the Programme Board and the Steering Group.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department provides for (a) people diagnosed with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva and (b) their families.

There is no specific prescribed service for treatment of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). However, children with FOP are cared for by National Health Service paediatric rheumatologists and/or geneticists with input from other clinicians as required. For patients with rare diseases such as FOP, expert centres provide clinical guidance, support and advice to patients, their families and carers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve international collaboration on research into (a) slowing the symptoms of and (b) finding a cure for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.

The United Kingdom is committed to building international connectivity so that data and expertise can be shared for the benefit of people living with rare diseases. International collaboration is a cross cutting theme of the UK Rare Diseases Framework and we continue to engage with initiatives such as the Horizon Europe Partnership on Rare Diseases and the World Health Organization Global Network for Rare Diseases. The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). In the last five years, the NIHR has supported the delivery of eight studies relating to Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva via NIHR infrastructure, which includes research on potential treatments.

10th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to support research on (a) slowing the symptoms of and (b) finding a cure for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). In the last five years the NIHR has supported the delivery of eight studies relating to Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva via NIHR infrastructure which includes research on potential treatments.

20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that there is adequate focus on cancer in the Major Conditions Strategy.

The Major Conditions Strategy will draw on previous work on cancer, including over 5,000 submissions provided to the Department as part of our Call for Evidence last year. We will continue to work closely with stakeholders, citizens and the National Health Service to identify actions for the Strategy that will have the greatest impact.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to provide mental health support for NHS staff.

It is a priority for this Government to support the mental health and wellbeing of all National Health Service staff. NHS planning guidance for 2023/24 emphasised the need to support staff and has asked systems to refresh their 2022/23 whole system workforce plans to improve staff experience and retention through a systematic focus on all elements of the NHS People Promise.

The NHS People Plan and People Promise set out a comprehensive range of actions to strengthen health and wellbeing, equality and diversity, culture and leadership and increase opportunities for flexible working.

NHS England have developed a number of health and wellbeing initiatives which include a wellbeing guardian role, a focus on healthy working environments, empowering line managers to hold meaningful conversations with staff to discuss their wellbeing, and a comprehensive emotional and psychological health and wellbeing support package.

NHS staff can also access NHS Practitioner Health, a national support service for staff with more complex mental health needs brough about by serious issues such as trauma or addiction.

20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on increasing the number of mental health support teams in schools.

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local populations. We are supporting them to expand mental health services through the NHS Long Term Plan, which commits to increasing investment into mental health services by at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/2024 compared to 2018/2019.

Part of this increased investment will enable an additional 345,000 children and young people aged between 0-25 years of age to access National Health Service-funded mental health services and mental health support teams in schools and colleges. Spend for children and young people’s mental health services has increased from £841.4 million in 2019/2020 to £994.8 million in 2021/2022, with a planned spend of £1.0815 billion in 2022/2023. This funding is across both NHS specialised commissioning and local commissioning. The source of this data is the NHS England dashboard, which is published quarterly. Previous and most recent NHS mental health dashboards are available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-mental-health-dashboard

We are making good progress on expanding access year on year, as the number of children and young people aged under 18 supported through NHS-funded mental health services, with at least one contact with services, was 689,621 in the year up to July 2022 compared to 618,537 in the year up to July 2021.

As of spring 2022, there were 287 mental health support teams in place in around 4,700 schools and colleges across the country, offering support to children experiencing anxiety, depression, and other common mental health issues. Mental health support teams now cover 26% of pupils, a year earlier than originally planned. By next month we except this to have increased to 399 teams, covering around 35% of pupils.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what NHS mental health support is in place for young people.

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local populations. We are supporting them to expand mental health services through the NHS Long Term Plan, which commits to increasing investment into mental health services by at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/2024 compared to 2018/2019.

Part of this increased investment will enable an additional 345,000 children and young people aged between 0-25 years of age to access National Health Service-funded mental health services and mental health support teams in schools and colleges. Spend for children and young people’s mental health services has increased from £841.4 million in 2019/2020 to £994.8 million in 2021/2022, with a planned spend of £1.0815 billion in 2022/2023. This funding is across both NHS specialised commissioning and local commissioning. The source of this data is the NHS England dashboard, which is published quarterly. Previous and most recent NHS mental health dashboards are available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-mental-health-dashboard

We are making good progress on expanding access year on year, as the number of children and young people aged under 18 supported through NHS-funded mental health services, with at least one contact with services, was 689,621 in the year up to July 2022 compared to 618,537 in the year up to July 2021.

As of spring 2022, there were 287 mental health support teams in place in around 4,700 schools and colleges across the country, offering support to children experiencing anxiety, depression, and other common mental health issues. Mental health support teams now cover 26% of pupils, a year earlier than originally planned. By next month we except this to have increased to 399 teams, covering around 35% of pupils.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of a national strategy for eye care.

NHS England, through the transformation programme, is considering how eye care services should be commissioned to ensure future sustainability. NHS England have appointed Louisa Wickham as a national clinical director for eyecare to oversee the recovery of eye care services and longer-term transformation. This sits alongside action already being taken to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of sight threatening conditions.

16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals on regulating the eye surgery industry.

No assessment has been made. Doctors performing refractive eye surgery in the United Kingdom must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), the independent regulator of all medical doctors practising in the UK. Providers who carry out refractive eye surgery must also be registered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. All refractive eye surgery locations are monitored and, where necessary, inspected by CQC. If CQC become aware of any concerns regarding an individual medical practitioner, then CQC will notify the GMC.

21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support offered for people in the health service who use British Sign Language as their first language in (a) Watford constituency and (b) England.

No assessment has been made. In November 2020, NHS England commissioned the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) to undertake a Rapid Review of British Sign Language (BSL) service provision across England in the National Health Service. The Rapid Review was completed in May 2021 and contained 17 recommendations to address the identified health inequalities experienced by BSL users. NHS England has established and is supporting a national network of BSL Regional Leads to share the outcomes from the BSL Rapid Review and to support the implementation of the Review's recommendations.

Furthermore, following Royal Assent of the BSL Act 2022, the Government Communication Service will promote and facilitate the use of BSL in communications with the public. This is expected to support BSL users to access public services, including health and care services.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to decrease waiting times for diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards (ICBs) to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local population including assessments and diagnosis for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ICBs and National Health Service trusts should have due regard to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline NG87: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management. This NICE guideline aims to improve the diagnosis of ADHD and the quality of care and support that people receive.

While the NICE guideline does not recommend a maximum waiting time standard from referral for an assessment of ADHD or from assessment to the point of diagnosis, a diagnosis should be made as soon as possible, and we are clear that people should not have to face long waits. Consultant-led mental health services are covered by the NHS 18-week maximum waiting time.

We are supporting ICBs to generally expand mental health services through the NHS Long Term Plan, which commits to increasing investment into mental health services by at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 so that an additional two million people can get the support they need.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve the diagnosis of (a) lung, (b) pancreatic, (c) liver, (d) stomach, (e) brain, (f) oesophageal and (g) other less survivable cancers.

Achieving earlier and faster diagnosis of cancer is a priority for the National Health Service. That is why one of the core ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan is to diagnose 75% of cancers at stage 1 or 2 by 2028. NHS England’s plan to improve cancer outcomes and accelerate cancer diagnoses is based on six core strands of activity, from raising awareness of cancer symptoms and encouraging people to come forward, to implementing targeted interventions for particular cancer types that we know have previously experienced later stages of diagnosis.

This includes the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaigns, which focus on specific symptoms linked to certain cancer types and tackle the fear-related barriers to seeking help from the NHS, across all cancer types. The introduction of non-specific symptoms pathways, of which there are now 102 across England, means general practitioners can rapidly refer patients whose symptoms do not align with one suspected cancer pathway, such as abdominal pain or weight loss.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help increase the level of early cancer diagnosis.

Achieving earlier and faster diagnosis of cancer is a priority for the National Health Service. That is why one of the core ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan is to diagnose 75% of cancers at stage 1 or 2 by 2028.

NHS England’s plan to improve cancer outcomes and accelerate cancer diagnoses is based on six core strands of activity, from raising awareness of cancer symptoms and encouraging people to come forward, to implementing targeted interventions for particular cancer types that we know have previously experienced later stages of diagnosis.

This includes the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaigns, which focus on specific symptoms linked to certain cancer types and tackle the fear-related barriers to seeking help from the NHS, across all cancer types.

The introduction of non-specific symptoms pathways, of which there are now 102 across England, offers a route that general practitioners can use with patients whose symptoms do not align with one suspected cancer pathway, such as abdominal pain or weight loss.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the average length of time for urgent cancer referrals in (a) Watford constituency and (b) England.

This information is not collected in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the uptake of cervical cancer screening.

To improve uptake of cervical screening, in some Primary Care Network areas, appointments can now be made in any Primary Care setting, rather than just at one’s own general practice during evenings and on weekends.

To further improve uptake, an evaluation on the acceptability and effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling is taking place. The YouScreen Study aims to provide evidence on the acceptability of self-testing and the HPValidate study aims to see if self-testing provides the same level of accuracy as an HPV test undertaken by a clinician.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential (a) respiratory, (b) cardiovascular and (b) cancer risks arising from vaping.

The Department has commissioned and published a series of evidence reviews on vaping, with the final report of the series published in September 2022.

It found that in the short and medium term, vaping poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking, but that vaping is not risk-free, particularly for people who have never smoked.

In summary, the 2022 review concluded that switching to vaping is likely to slow down respiratory disease development, compared to smoking. Using vaping products leads to a substantial reduction in biomarkers of toxicant exposure affecting cardiovascular disease, and vaping generally leads to lower exposure to many of the carcinogens responsible for the considerable health risks of smoking associated with cancer.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help reduce care disparities for different cancer types.

Making improvements across different cancer types is critical to helping achieve the NHS Long-Term Plan ambition of diagnosing 75% of patients at an early stage by 2028 and reducing inequalities in cancer survival. Early cancer diagnosis is also a specific priority within the National Health Service’s wider Core20Plus5 approach to reducing healthcare inequalities.

Reducing variation in cancer treatment is a strategic priority for the NHS Cancer Programme. The NHS Cancer Programme has commissioned five new cancer clinical audits, which will provide timely evidence for cancer service providers of where patterns of care in England may vary, increase the consistency of access to treatments and help stimulate improvements in cancer treatment and outcomes for patients. The Royal College of Surgeons began work on this audit in October last year with the first outcomes expected in 2023/24. The audits will cover ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney cancer and primary and metastatic breast cancer.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of virtual wards on bed capacity in NHS hospitals.

As set out in the National Health Service Delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services, virtual wards enable patients to remain in their own home supported by family or carers to recover quicker in a more comfortable environment. In some cases, virtual wards can replace the need for admission, and in others facilitate people being able to safely leave hospital sooner.

The NHS has successfully rolled out 7,000 virtual ward beds, with capacity increasing by nearly 50% since the summer. It has a further ambition to scale up capacity ahead of next winter to above 10,000 beds, with a longer-term ambition of reaching 40-50 virtual ward beds per 100,000 people. This would mean more than 50,000 admissions a month.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage uptake of breast cancer screening.

The Department and NHS England are committed to the recovery and improvement of screening uptake for breast screening nationally. A number of measures have been taken to improve uptake of breast screening, including £10 million investment to deliver 29 new breast cancer screening units, 58 remote access upgrades and nearly 70 life-saving service upgrades. Breast Screening Offices are running extra screening sessions and fully optimising available appointments to clear the mammogram backlog.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Help Us, Help You campaign at tackling the barriers that deter patients from seeking NHS advice.

The most recent campaign phase aiming to tackle the barriers that deter patients from seeking National Health Service advice focused on encouraging earlier diagnosis of cancer.

In November 2022, our tracking survey of the target audience showed a 15-percentage point increase in intention to act on possible signs of cancer vs May 2022. As of November 2022, urgent cancer referrals were also at an all-time high.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to encourage uptake of the HPV vaccine.

The HPV vaccination programme is delivered in different locations to maximise access and make getting vaccinated easier. This includes school-based delivery, with alternative sites set up for those not in mainstream education, or for those who missed their initial offer. GP practices also offer HPV vaccinations for anyone until their 25th birthday, and anyone unsure about their eligibility or vaccination status should contact their GP for advice.

To support this DHSC, NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) provide an annual communication campaigns to promote the HPV vaccine in settings like GP practices and universities. It is important that everyone takes up the vaccinations to which they are entitled; for themselves, their families, and wider society.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase awareness of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among (a) the public and (b) medical practitioners.

The Department is not currently taking specific steps to increase awareness of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among the public and medical practitioners.

General practitioners are responsible for ensuring their own clinical knowledge remains up-to-date and for identifying learning needs as part of their continuing professional development. The MindEd e-learning platform for medical professionals has several modules regarding ADHD.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have published the guideline ‘Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management’ for healthcare professionals, commissioners and providers and people with ADHD, their families and carers. Integrated care boards and National Health Service trusts should have due regard to this guidance in exercising their functions.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on analysing the responses from the call for evidence for the 10-year Cancer Plan.

The Government announced on 24 January that it will publish a Major Conditions Strategy. Cancer will be a significant element of the new Strategy, and we will ensure that all the learning from the over 5,000 submissions to the call for evidence will be considered.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve dementia diagnosis (a) in Watford and (b) nationally.

Provision of dementia health care services is the responsibility of local integrated care boards (ICBs). NHS England would expect ICBs, including in Watford, to commission services based on local population needs.

In December 2022, the recovery of the dementia diagnosis rate to the national ambition of 66.7% was included in the National Health Service priorities and operational planning guidance as part of the refined mental health objectives for 2023/24. This reinforces the importance of dementia as a key priority for NHS England and provides a clear direction for ICBs to support delivery of timely diagnoses within systems.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing NHS mental health ambulances.

On 23 January, the Government announced that, as part of the £150 million capital investment in National Health Service mental health urgent and emergency care, £7 million of the investment has been allocated to procure centrally up to 100 specially designed mental health ambulances over the next two years. The mental health ambulances, designed by patients and clinical experts, will be staffed by both physical and mental health professionals. They will be equipped to respond to and assess people on-scene or take people to the most appropriate place for care, both improving patient experience and reducing the number of people who are taken to accident and emergency by ambulance services.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the representatives of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the (a) formulation and (b) publication of NICE guidelines for the treatment of Tourette's Syndrome.

There have been no specific discussions. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for developing evidence-based guidance for the National Health Service in line with its established methods and processes. In line with its process for considering requests for new guidelines, NICE has considered the possible development of a guideline on Tourette’s syndrome, which was discussed at a meeting of the cross-agency topic prioritisation group in November 2022. The group did not consider this topic to be a national priority at this time and therefore decided not to prioritise development of a NICE guideline on Tourette’s syndrome.

10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has held recent discussions with (a) the British Dental Association and (b) similar representative organisations on (i) support for dentists and (ii) encouraging take-up of NHS contracts.

We have regular discussions with the British Dental Association, other organisations in the dental sector and organisations representing dental patients to support and improve National Health Service dental care.

Stakeholders were integral to the development of ‘Our plan for patients’, announced in September 2022. This plan outlines how we will meet oral health needs and increase access to NHS dental care. This included improving the 2006 contract to ensure fairer remuneration for practices providing complex treatment, issuing clear guidance on how often patients should expect to attend for check-ups, and enabling dentists to make better use of dental teams to deliver NHS treatment. Working together with stakeholders, these changes were implemented through regulations that came into effect on 25th November 2022.

NHS England is holding further discussions with the British Dental Association and the wider dental sector for additional reforms of the NHS Dental System, planned for 2023

10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many students have undertaken dental studies at (a) university or (b) medical colleges since 2021.

Dentistry courses in England are all offered at universities. The following table shows entrants to dentistry courses in England by course provider.

ProviderTotal
The University of Birmingham70
University of Bristol60
University of Central Lancashire25
King's College London155
The University of Leeds75
The University of Liverpool70
The University of Manchester70
University of Newcastle upon Tyne65
University of Plymouth55
Queen Mary University of London70
The University of Sheffield70
Total795

Source: Office for Students Medical and Dental Students Survey 2022

Note:

Entrants are based on initial figures and are likely to change.

25th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure NHS dental appointments are available to people living in Watford.

NHS England asked dental practices to return to full delivery of contracted activity from July 2022, including in Watford. In September, we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how we will meet oral health needs and increase access to dental care, including in Watford.

The plan includes improvements to ensure dentists are renumerated fairly for more complex work, allowing greater flexibility to reallocate resources and to utilise dentists with greater capacity to deliver National Health Service treatment, whilst enabling full use of the dental team. The plan also includes streamlining processes for overseas dentists and holding the local NHS to account for dentistry provision. In addition, Health Education England is also reforming dental education to improve the recruitment and retention of dental professionals.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the availability of NHS dental services for children.

We are working with NHS England to implement improvements to the National Health Service dentistry contract through measures agreed with the British Dental Association and set out in ‘Our plan for patients’ in September. These will improve access to NHS dentistry, including for children, whilst making the NHS dental contract more attractive to dentists and their teams.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on access to dental care under Our Plan for Patients.

On 25 November 2022, the Department introduced legislation to amend the National Health Service dental contract to incentivise dentists to deliver care to high needs patients through fairer remuneration. The legislation requires NHS dentists to update their NHS.UK profiles more frequently to ensure patients can access accurate information on the services available. The Department will enable NHS England’s commissioners to more flexibly commission additional care for patients where this can be delivered by NHS dental teams.

NHS England has introduced minimum Unit of Dental Activity values of £23 to support NHS dentists with historically low value contracts and improve variation in contract values in England. The Department and NHS England aim to diversify the range of professionals available in NHS dentistry.

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the availability of NHS dental services in (a) Watford and (b) nationally.

No specific assessment has been made.

14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to increase the (a) provision of defibrillators in England and (b) number of people trained in first aid and CPR in England.

The National Health Service is establishing a national network of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and community first responders which aims to save up to 4,000 lives each year by 2028. This will be supported by educating the general public, including young people of school age, on first aid and how to recognise and respond to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The Government encourages organisations in England to consider purchasing a defibrillator as part of first aid equipment, particularly for places where there are high concentrations of people. With growing public awareness and acceptance of AEDs, many community defibrillators have since been provided in public locations, including shopping centres, through national lottery funding, community fundraising schemes, workplace funding or by charities. From May 2020, the Government has required all contractors refurbishing schools or building new ones through centrally delivered programmes, to provide at least one AED on site.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to mandate the location of defibrillators in all buildings and infrastructure managed by the Government.

The Department has no plans to do so. It is a matter for other Government departments to determine the location of defibrillators on their estate.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effectiveness of using transparent face masks to facilitate lip reading to assist people with hearing difficulties.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s transparent face mask working group produced a new technical specification which gives testing, design and performance requirements for single-use transparent face masks, with comparable protection to a Type IIR mask. This specification is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/technical-specifications-for-personal-protective-equipment-ppe/transparent-face-mask-technical-specification

The Department is encouraging manufacturers to develop new, innovative products which meet the standard for transparent face masks and funding is available to run pilot schemes once they are available. Future procurement will be informed by this work.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support people with anorexia.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Tim Farron MP) on 1 June 2021 to Question 5175.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to support the (a) adoption and (b) spread of innovative medical technology across the NHS.

NHSX’s NHS Artificial Intelligence (AI) Laboratory is supporting the testing, evaluation and scale of promising AI-driven technologies through the £140 million AI in Health and Care Award. This includes automating early lung cancer detection and developing deep learning software that could improve the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

Last year, we announced the Digital Aspirant Fund to support National Health Service providers. The Digital Aspirant programme with investment of £28 million aims to accelerate the procurement, deployment and uptake of the technology that is needed to underpin digital transformation.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce diagnosis times for endometriosis.

Research into the experience of women presenting in primary care with endometriosis-like symptoms is currently underway, hosted by the National Institute of Health Research. The results will be published later this year and will help us to understand delays in diagnosis.

On 8 March, we launched a 12-week call for evidence as part of the first Government-led Women’s Health Strategy for England. The online survey within the call for evidence seeks information on gynaecological conditions, including endometriosis.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) voluntary workers supporting vulnerable people and (b) other voluntary workers will be considered for priority in the next stage of the covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

Volunteers working in frontline health or social care settings and at COVID-19 vaccination sites are eligible for vaccination in the first phase as frontline healthcare workers. Voluntary workers working across all other settings who are eligible for a vaccine, because of their age or other clinical factors, such as underlying health conditions, will have access to a vaccine in the first phase.

10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many local contracts are in place with independent hospitals to ensure the provision of Priority 2 cancer surgery operations in England.

A Contract Award Notice in respect of each of the 26 individual contracts entered into by NHS England with independent sector hospital providers has been published on 16 October 2020 by the Official Journal of the European Union. The Notice is available at the following link:

https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:492193-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking beyond the end of the current Cancer Services Recovery Plan in March 2021 to ensure that people with cancer can access high-quality cancer care.

From March, local systems will be expected to carry out local plans formed as part of the Cancer Services Recovery Plan and carry on with the progress that has already been made.

We have more than doubled the number of Rapid Diagnostic Centres (RDCs) from 20 in March 2020 to 53 at the end of 2020. There are a further 63 RDCs in development. We have established COVID-19 protected surgical hubs for cancer surgery to keep often vulnerable cancer patients safe. All 21 Cancer Alliances across England have arrangements in place for surgical cancer hubs.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, by what date NHS England will recommence the publication of cancelled elective operations data.

The collection of cancelled elective operations is currently paused until at least March 2021. The cancellation is part of a package of measures designed to help reduce burden on the National Health Service during the response to COVID-19.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the roll out of long covid clinics.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided £10 million to fund over 40 pioneering specialist clinics for people suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19. The plans for these clinics were published on 15 November and guidance was made available on 6 November.

NHS England and NHS Improvement committed to ensuring post COVID-19 assessment clinics will be available from early December 2020. In response, each integrated care system is working towards the provision of at least one such service.

A number of these clinics are already established and have started to accept patients. More information about the clinic locations and how to access them will be released in the near future.

6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to promote the importance of disinfecting (a) surfaces and (b) skin in (i) offices, (ii) schools and (iii) other public spaces during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has published guidance on GOV.UK on the importance of cleanliness and hygiene and on promoting the importance of disinfecting surfaces in offices, schools and public spaces and on sanitising hands throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Health England has published guidance on how to disinfect and sanitise non-healthcare settings, including offices and public spaces, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

The Department has also published guidance to support the ‘Hands. Face. Space’ public information campaign. This guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-campaign-to-prevent-spread-of-coronavirus-indoors-this-winter

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help girls and women access education in Afghanistan.

The Government has repeatedly condemned the Taliban's decisions to restrict women and girls' access to education, including through UN Security Council and Human Rights Council resolutions and public statements, most recently on 13 January 2022. The Government continues to support the delivery of education, including through bilateral and multilateral contributions to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), UN partners, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Education Cannot Wait, and the Global Partnership for Education.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of sanctions on (a) Russia and (b) individuals connected to that country on its (i) economy and (ii) war in Ukraine.

Sanctions by the UK and its international partners have starved Russia of key Western goods and technology, hindered its military-industrial complex and future economic development. Russia's military is facing significant logistical and replenishment challenges in the face of sanctions. Over 1,200 individuals have been sanctioned by the UK, including over 120 oligarchs and family members with a global net worth of over £140bn. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that Russia's GDP will be 11% smaller in 2026 compared to pre-invasion forecasts and won't return to its pre-invasion level until 2027 at the earliest.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent comparative assessment his Department has made of the impact of the level of VAT rates on the hospitality sector in (a) the UK and (b) the EU.

Since the start of the pandemic, over £37 billion has been provided to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks.

At £85,000, the UK has a higher VAT registration threshold than any EU Member State and the second highest in the OECD, which keeps the majority of UK businesses out of VAT. VAT reliefs in the UK are among the highest in the OECD and mean that 45 per cent of economic activity is not subject to VAT.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment his Department has made f the impact of the level of VAT on the hospitality sector.

Since the start of the pandemic, over £37 billion has been provided to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks.

VAT is the UK's third largest tax forecast to raise £161 billion in 2023/2024, helping to fund key spending priorities such as important public services, including the NHS, education and defence. The previous VAT relief for tourism and hospitality cost over £8 billion and reintroducing it would come at a significant further cost.

While there are no plans to reduce the rate of VAT paid by hospitality businesses, the Government keeps all taxes under review.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many promoters and operators of the Loan Charge 2019 have been prosecuted for promoting and operating those schemes.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer that was given to PQ UIN 62867.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what comparative assessment he has made of the equity of HMRC pursuing employees and not employers on the use of the Loan Charge 2019.

The Loan Charge, a new charge on disguised remuneration loan balances outstanding on 5 April 2019, was announced at Budget 2016. This initially gave individuals three years from the announcement of the Loan Charge to either repay their loans or agree a settlement with HMRC.

HMRC will go to the employer to settle the tax due or collect the Loan Charge in the first instance. Approximately 80 per cent of the £3.3 billion HMRC has brought into charge through disguised remuneration settlements between Budget 2016 and the end of March 2021 has been from employers.

However, HMRC will consider other options to collect the tax where collection from the employer is not possible, such as when the employer no longer exists or are based offshore.  Liability for the tax is always that of the individual. The Government has provided a range of powers allowing HMRC, in certain circumstances, to collect the amount due from the employee.

Following Lord Morse’s Independent Loan Charge Review, the Government has taken further steps to mitigate the impact of the Loan Charge to ensure that the right support is in place for those who need it.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that limited companies are not adversely affected by the changes to the off-payroll working rules.

HMRC have a dedicated off-payroll working education and support team to assist taxpayers. Their assistance includes webinars, one-to-one calls and workshops, to help those affected to apply the rules correctly.

The Government has set out its intention to commission independent research into the effects of the reform on the private and voluntary sectors, which will take place six months after the reform has taken effect. This will be presented to Parliament.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason Revenue and Customs Digital Technology Services Limited (RCDTS Ltd) engaged contractors using disguised remuneration schemes until 2020.

Revenue and Customs Digital Technology Services Limited (RCDTS) has never participated in disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes, for example by remunerating contractors through loans or payments to trusts. Since RCDTS engages contractors via agencies or via companies providing services, it is possible for contractors to use disguised remuneration without the participation or knowledge of RCDTS.

Any RCDTS contractor identified in the course of HM Revenue and Customs’ compliance work as using a disguised remuneration scheme would be investigated in the same way as any other contractor. Where the use of disguised remuneration is found to be current, the relevant engagement is terminated with immediate effect.

15th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of levels of police participation in Domestic Abuse Matters training in (a) Watford and (b) England.

The Domestic Abuse Matters training, developed by the College of Policing, in collaboration with SafeLives, with input from Women’s Aid and Welsh Women’s Aid, aims to improve the police response to domestic abuse and to achieve national consistency in the service police forces provide to people experiencing domestic abuse.

The majority of police forces in England and Wales have undertaken the Domestic Abuse Matters training in their force to date, including Hertfordshire Police who are the force for Watford.

We have also funded the development of a new module of the training that is targeted at officers investigating domestic abuse offences to enable further improvement in police responses to domestic abuse incidents.

10th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers are currently serving in Hertfordshire and Watford.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the size of the police workforce in England and Wales, broken down by Police Force Area (PFA), on a bi-annual basis in the ‘Police Workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin.

These data are collected by PFA only, and lower levels of geography, such as towns or boroughs are not collected. Data on the number of police officers in Hertfordshire Constabulary as at 31 March each year, from 2007 to 2022 can be found in the ‘Workforce Open Data Table’. The latest mid-year figure, as at 30 September 2022, is also available in the data tables accompanying the latest ‘Police Workforce’ bulletin.

While the ‘Police Workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin remains the key measure of the size of the police workforce, as part of the Police Officer Uplift Programme, the Home Office publishes a quarterly update on the number of police officers (headcount terms only) in England and Wales, also broken down by PFA. Lower levels of geography, such as towns or boroughs are not collected. Data as at 31 March 2023 are available here: Police Officer Uplift, quarterly update to March 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The latest data from the ‘Police Officer Uplift’ statistics shows, as at 31 March 2023, there were 2,415 police officers (headcount) in Hertfordshire Constabulary. This is the highest number of police officers on record in Hertfordshire Constabulary surpassing the previous peak of 2,236 officers as at 31 March 2007.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that survivors of domestic abuse are supported to report that abuse to the police.

Domestic abuse is a horrific crime and improving the response to domestic abuse is a key priority. That is why we introduced our landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (the Act), which will provide further protections to the millions of people who experience domestic abuse and strengthen measures to bring perpetrators to justice, as well as transform the support we give to victims ensuring they have the protection they deserve.

We expect police to treat all victims of domestic abuse with the sensitivity and compassion they deserve, which plays an important part in encouraging victims and survivors to report. Therefore, to strengthen the police response to domestic abuse and as part of our commitment in the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan 2022 to support the development and further rollout of the Domestic Abuse Matters training, we have committed up to £3.3 million up to 2025 to bolster and encourage the uptake of this training in forces. We will beprioritising funding for those forces who have yet to undertake the training. As part of this commitment, we are also funding the development of a newmodule of the training that is targeted at officers investigating domestic abuse offences to enable further improvement in police responses to domesticabuse incidents.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), also known as Clare’s Law enables the police to disclose information to a victim or potential victim of domestic abuse about their partner’s or ex-partner’s previous abusive or violent offending either following a request for information by a victim, potential victim or an associated third party or following the police being in receipt of information requiring a disclosure. We have recently commenced section 77 of the Act which places the guidance which underpins the DVDS into statute and published updated guidance ahead of this. This places a duty on the police to apply the guidance unless there is good reason not to and will strengthen the visibility and consistent operation of the scheme. The guidance also makes clear that safeguarding the victim or potential victim is, at all times, a priority.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that victims of crime (a) feel confident and (b) are supported when reporting crimes to the police.

Protecting victims and improving their experience and the support they receive is a key priority for the Government.

All police forces must comply with the Victims Code which sets out the services and minimum standards all victims have a right to receive. Police and Crime Commissioners have a legal duty to consult with victims in setting the policing priorities in their area and to hold the Chief Constable of the police in their area to account, and are responsible for commissioning many of the victim support services.

The introduction of the Victims and Prisoners Bill 2023 will strengthen victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system and will make sure that victims of crime are properly supported.

Government has committed to publishing national and local Criminal Justice System (CJS) Delivery Data Dashboard (formally called CJS scorecards) which bring together data from across the system to increase transparency, understanding of the justice system, and support collaboration.

The Home Office is also investing in a new Victim Satisfaction Survey to drive improvements in the support police forces provide to victims, and gain new insights into why victims withhold or withdraw support for investigations.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to protect retail workers from verbal and physical abuse as covid-19 lockdown restrictions ease.

The Government conducted a call for evidence on violence and abuse toward shop staff to understand the extent of the issue and how we can improve the response to these crimes. The Government’s formal response was published 7 July 2020 and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/violence-and-abuse-toward-shop-staff-call-for-evidence

To address the actions raised in the call for evidence the Home Office has worked closely with retailers and trade organisations through the National Retail Crime Steering Group. We have developed resources to assist retailers to report crimes when they occur, resources for shop staff who are victims of violence and abuse, and the #Shopkind communications campaign. The downloadable resources are free to use and are available here: https://brc.org.uk/nrcsg-against-shop-worker-abuse-and-violence/

21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to help support defence jobs across the UK.

Our most recent estimate shows Ministry of Defence investment in industry and commerce supporting over 200,000 jobs across the UK.

The £24 billion additional investment in defence, along with the changes we are making through the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy, will contribute to further economic growth and prosperity, including jobs, across the Union.

12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what is his planned timetable for the consultation on a new Permitted Development Right for subdividing houses into two flats.

Announcements will be set out in the usual way.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to end homelessness among veterans in (a) Hertfordshire and (b) nationally.

Data on households who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, for England including those in Hertfordshire show levels of veteran homelessness is low - less than 1% of households owed a homelessness duty had a member with a support need as a result of serving in the Armed Forces.

Latest numbers for Hertfordshire can be found within the quarterly data publication ( April - June) available here (Table A3), which shows only 4 households had a support need due to service in the Armed Forces across the 10 council areas.

For 22/23 local authorities have been provided with £366 million through the Homelessness Prevention Grant to meet their homelessness strategies, including support for homeless veterans, and the funding allocations can be found here. In addition, this Government recently announced a further £8.55 million to support the delivery of new veteran supported housing.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle anti-Semitism.

Antisemitism has absolutely no place in our society, which is why we are taking a strong, cross Government approach to tackling it in all its forms. The UK became the first country to adopt the Definition of Antisemitism; we support the work of Lord Mann, the Government's Independent Adviser on Antisemitism, and we provide funding to the Holocaust Education Trust. I would also refer my Hon. Friend to the answer to Question UIN 117512 which gives further detail on the steps taken to tackle this issue.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
25th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the average time was for his Department to respond to correspondence from Members of Parliament in the latest period for which data is available.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from Members of Parliament and the public.

We know that it has taken us too long to reply to some correspondence recently, and are focusing on improving the time taken to respond. As the Hon. Member will be aware, there has been significant recent changes in the ministerial team. With an excellent new team now in place, and clarity on our policy positions, the department is focused on ensuring we respond rapidly to outstanding correspondence. We are determined that we will in future provide the highest level of service which the department expects, and Members of Parliament rightly deserve.

Data on the Department's correspondence performance can be found here.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how buildings are measured when deciding whether they are entitled to cladding remediation support.

The method of determining a building’s height for the Building Safety Fund can be found in Prospectus Annex A: Technical Information of the Building Safety Fund Prospectus. It is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#prospectus---outlining-eligibility-for-the-fund The same method is used for the Private Sector ACM Remediation Fund.

22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to help tackle youth offending.

We are investing £55 million across the country, including £520,692 in Hertfordshire, in the new ‘Turnaround’ programme to divert 17,000 young people away from offending and crime.

We are providing £5 million to grassroots organisations to get troubled children into sports and to learn discipline and respect.

We have completely redesigned the Key Performance Indicators used to measure local Youth Offending Teams’ performance, to ensure they are as effective as possible in preventing and tackling crime.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
9th Jun 2020
What additional financial support he is providing to help protect victims of domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have announced an unprecedented £76 million extra funding to support survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence, modern slavery and vulnerable children and their families. This includes £28 million for victims of domestic abuse.

This funding will help front line charities to provide support to those in need, including through virtual or telephone-based services.

This funding is part of comprehensive measures to support vulnerable people through the pandemic and we are working closely with local bodies, charities and other partners to ensure they get the support they need.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice