Derek Twigg Portrait

Derek Twigg

Labour - Halton

First elected: 1st May 1997


Select Committees
Defence Committee (since May 2020)
Defence Sub-Committee (since May 2020)
Panel of Chairs (since June 2020)
Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill
1st Mar 2023 - 8th Mar 2023
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
1st Nov 2017 - 5th Nov 2018
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
15th Nov 2017 - 5th Nov 2018
Liaison Committee (Commons)
6th Nov 2017 - 5th Nov 2018
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 5th Nov 2018
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 5th Nov 2018
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
15th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
15th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Liaison Committee (Commons)
10th Sep 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Defence Committee
10th Jun 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
1st Jul 2013 - 3rd Nov 2014
Committees on Arms Export Controls
1st Jul 2013 - 3rd Nov 2014
Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill
4th Mar 2013 - 16th Dec 2013
Shadow Minister (Health)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011
Children, Schools and Families
27th Jan 2009 - 6th May 2010
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Veterans)
6th Sep 2006 - 5th Oct 2008
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th May 2005 - 6th Sep 2006
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education and Skills) (Schools)
16th Dec 2004 - 10th May 2005
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
13th Jun 2003 - 16th Dec 2004
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
29th May 2002 - 13th Jun 2003
Public Accounts Committee
17th Nov 1998 - 10th Jun 1999


Department Event
Wednesday 6th March 2024
09:25
Ministry of Defence
Sixth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
6 Mar 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Single Source Contract (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Wednesday 6th March 2024
09:25
Ministry of Defence
Sixth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
6 Mar 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Single Source Contract (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 19th March 2024
14:00
Defence Sub-Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Developing AI capacity and expertise in UK Defence
19 Mar 2024, 2 p.m. View calendar
Department Event
Monday 25th March 2024
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th March 2024
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 23rd April 2024
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 30th April 2024
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 7th May 2024
14:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 14th May 2024
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 21st May 2024
10:00
Division Votes
Tuesday 27th February 2024
Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 150 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 179 Noes - 294
Speeches
Wednesday 28th February 2024
Cycle Trails
Order. I remind the Minister that he is supposed to be addressing the subject.
Written Answers
Thursday 29th February 2024
Defence: Artificial Intelligence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many meetings ministers in his Department have had with representatives of …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 20th March 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Betting and Gaming Council
Address of donor: Kings Building, 16 Smith Square, London SW1P 3HQ
Amount of …
EDM signed
Monday 6th June 2022
Treatment of Liverpool fans at the 2022 Champions League Final in Paris
That this House condemns the deeply disturbing treatment by French police of Liverpool and Real Madrid fans outside Stade de …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Public Advocate (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to establish a public advocate to provide advice to, and act as data controller for, representatives of the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Derek Twigg has voted in 575 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Derek Twigg voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 176 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
View All Derek Twigg 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)
(13 debate interactions)
Grant Shapps (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Defence
(12 debate interactions)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(36 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(20 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(18 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(17 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Derek Twigg has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Derek Twigg's debates

Halton 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

Current legislation allows for public use of fireworks 16 hours a day, every day, making it impossible for vulnerable groups to take precautions against the distress they can cause. Better enforcement of existing law is insufficient; limiting their sale & use to licensed displays only is necessary.

Now the hedgehog has been listed as vulnerable to extinction in the UK, we are calling on the Government to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to allow them greater protection.


Latest EDMs signed by Derek Twigg

6th June 2022
Derek Twigg signed this EDM on Monday 6th June 2022

Treatment of Liverpool fans at the 2022 Champions League Final in Paris

Tabled by: Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
That this House condemns the deeply disturbing treatment by French police of Liverpool and Real Madrid fans outside Stade de France at the Champions League Final in Paris; notes catastrophic failures in stadium management by UEFA and French authorities which threatened the lives and wellbeing of supporters; further notes the …
81 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Feb 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 53
Independent: 8
Scottish National Party: 7
Liberal Democrat: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Alliance: 1
4th June 2020
Derek Twigg signed this EDM on Wednesday 24th June 2020

Legal Aid and Advice

Tabled by: David Lammy (Labour - Tottenham)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 515), dated 15 May 2020, a copy of which was laid before this House on 18 May 2020, be annulled.
138 signatures
(Most recent: 11 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 110
Liberal Democrat: 9
Independent: 8
Scottish National Party: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alliance: 1
View All Derek Twigg's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Derek Twigg, 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.


Derek Twigg has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Derek Twigg

Derek Twigg has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


228 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
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance on the Full Code Test within the document entitled The Code for Crown Prosecutors, published on 26 October 2018, whether the CPS applies the same survival rate threshold when making charging decisions for people who are trained or licensed (a) doctors, (b) nurses and (c) other medical practitioners.

The evidential threshold that is applied by the CPS when making charging decisions is the same threshold that is applied in all cases, for all offences and for all suspects. There is no separate threshold that is applied for different types of suspects, such as trained or licensed doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners.

The Code for Crown Prosecutors (the Code) is issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) under section 10 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985. The Code gives guidance to prosecutors on the general principles to be applied when making decisions about prosecutions.

Prosecutors must only start or continue a prosecution when the case has passed both stages of the Full Code Test (FCT), which is set out at section 4 of the Code. The FCT has two stages, the evidential stage, followed by the public interest stage.

At the evidential stage, prosecutors must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. The Code provides further guidance on how the evidential stage should be assessed.

If the case passes the evidential stage, prosecutors must go on to consider whether a prosecution is required in the public interest. The Code provides a series of questions that prosecutors should consider when applying the public interest stage.

When making charging decisions, prosecutors must also comply with any guidelines issued by the Attorney General, and with the policies and guidance of the CPS. CPS guidance contains further evidential and public interest factors for specific offences and is available for the public to view on the CPS website.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish the results of the the Veteran's Survey, launched on 10 November 2022.

The Office for National Statistics is due to publish the initial results of the Veterans’ Survey on 15th December this year. Future releases will be announced on the ONS website in due course.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish the results of the UK wide survey for veterans and their families.

The Veterans’ Survey was the first UK-wide data collection from the veterans community that was led by the Government. It was a huge success, with more than 30,000 responses received.

The results of the survey are expected to be available by autumn this year and will be published on the Office for National Statistics’ website in due course.

In the meantime, we have recently launched the Veterans’ Data Dashboard, bringing together veterans’ data from different public bodies for the first time. The Dashboard will provide a snapshot to the public, veterans and service providers so they can learn about the community, as well as the different services offered by the Government to support veterans.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the competitiveness of the newspaper wholesalers market in England.

Investigations into competition issues are a matter for the Competition and Markets Authority, the UK’s independent competition authority.

16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will hold discussions with the Competition and Markets Authority on increasing competition within the wholesale newspaper suppliers industry.

Investigations into competition issues are a matter for the Competition and Markets Authority, the UK’s independent competition authority.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to his Answer of 21 September 2020 Question 90945 on Remote Working, whether he plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of providing greater protections for online platform workers using crowd work platforms.

The Government is committed to ensuring we make workplaces fairer by bringing forward a range of measures through the Employment Bill, and this will include considering options for new protections for those in the gig economy.

The Director of Labour Market Enforcement’s 2019-20 strategy also recommended the Government examine the threat to labour hire compliance from online and app-based recruitment businesses. The Government will respond to the 2019-20 strategy in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the regulations to protect online platform workers using crowd work platforms.

In the Queens’ Speech, we announced we will bring forward an Employment Bill to deliver on a range of Manifesto commitments.

This legislation will make workplaces fairer by introducing new protections for those in the gig economy.

The preparation of an Employment Bill follows recent assessments of modern ways of working. Many of these aspects are complex and so it is only right that we take time to consider how best to achieve change that works for all.

We will bring forward detailed proposals in due course.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will take steps to help support the organisation of the 2023 Gratitude Games.

The Government recognises the impact that sport and physical activity has on physical and mental health, and the importance of welfare and wellbeing for everyone participating in sport at all levels.

The Government's role in the support of bidding for and hosting major sporting events is set out in the Gold Framework. The Gratitude Games do not meet the criteria as set out in the Gold Framework and therefore would not be within scope for support. We encourage all organisations to continue to work together to support mental health through sport and physical activity.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people working in the large entertainment events industry.

We appreciate that the entertainment and events sector has been significantly affected by COVID19. That’s why the Government has maintained a regular dialogue with the sectors via various working groups since the outbreak of the pandemic.

We have undertaken assessments of the financial impact of the pandemic through the DCMS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact Business Survey, which is available on GOV.UK.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support he is providing specifically to (a) people and (b) companies that provide technical services to (i) concerts and (ii) other live events.

We recognise the crucial role that technicians play in the UK’s live music and events sector. The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme has helped millions of people across the UK, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This has covered 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

In addition to this scheme designed to support the self-employed, the Government announced an unprecedented £1.57bn support package for organisations in the Arts and Culture sectors. This funding will help preserve and resume cultural activity, initially with socially distanced audiences and subsequently kick start employment opportunities for freelancers.

To complement the funding for organisations made available by Government, Arts Council England have announced £95m of additional support for individuals, including freelancers. This involves:

  • An additional £75m in project grants. These will be focused on applications that maximise employment opportunities and those from under-represented groups. Freelancers are eligible to apply directly. National Portfolio Organisations can also apply to create new work with bids that create employment opportunities prioritised.

  • A further round of the ACE programme ‘Discover Your Creative Practice’ will open in the autumn. This will make approximately £18m available for individuals looking to develop new creative skills that will help them to further develop their career.

  • ACE will also be adding £2m into relevant benevolent funds to support those less well supported by the programmes outlined above, including stage managers and technicians.

We are committed to continuing to work with the live music and events sectors to understand the difficulties they face and help them access support through these challenging times and through recovery.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 618 on Home Education: Standards, what his planned timetable is for publishing his Department's response to the consultation which closed on 24 June 2019.

The Department is committed to publishing the Children Not in School consultation response in due course. We hope to have this published in the coming months.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps he has taken to help ensure the quality of education for children who are home-schooled.

The Government has substantially strengthened its guidance to local authorities on exercising their powers in relation to elective home education. The revised guidance, which was published in April 2019, sets out the steps that local authorities should take to satisfy themselves that the education provided by parents at home is suitable, and the actions that they can take if they are not satisfied.

In the spring of 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for:

- a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school.

- a duty on parents to register their child with the local authority if not registered at specified types of schools.

- a duty on proprietors of certain schools or colleges to respond to enquiries from local authorities.

- a duty on local authorities to provide support to parents who educate children at home.

The consultation closed on 24 June 2019, with nearly 5000 responses. The Department remains committed to a registration system for children not in school. Further details on this will be in the Government response to the consultation, which will be published in due course.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils in each local authority area have been expelled from their school in each year since 2010; and of those pupils how many have been expelled more than once.

The information requested about pupils being off rolled is not held by the Department and cannot be estimated from current data sources.

However, the Government is clear that informal and unofficial expulsions are unlawful, and off rolling is unacceptable in any form. The Department will continue to work with Ofsted to define and tackle it. Ofsted already considers records of children taken off roll and revisions to the framework in September 2019 strengthened the focus on this. Where inspectors find off rolling, this will always be addressed in the inspection report, and where appropriate, could lead to a school’s leadership being judged inadequate.

A pupil’s name can lawfully be deleted from the admission register only on the grounds prescribed in regulation 8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended. All schools must notify the local authority when a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register under any of the grounds prescribed in regulation 8. This should be done as soon as the ground for removal is met and no later than the time at which the pupil’s name is removed from the register.

The Department publishes annual figures from the school census on the number of pupils permanently excluded from schools in England. Local authority figures for the period from 2010/11 to 2018/19 can be found in the publications listed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-exclusions.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of school age children who have been off-rolled since April 2020.

The information requested about pupils being off rolled is not held by the Department and cannot be estimated from current data sources.

However, the Government is clear that informal and unofficial expulsions are unlawful, and off rolling is unacceptable in any form. The Department will continue to work with Ofsted to define and tackle it. Ofsted already considers records of children taken off roll and revisions to the framework in September 2019 strengthened the focus on this. Where inspectors find off rolling, this will always be addressed in the inspection report, and where appropriate, could lead to a school’s leadership being judged inadequate.

A pupil’s name can lawfully be deleted from the admission register only on the grounds prescribed in regulation 8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended. All schools must notify the local authority when a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register under any of the grounds prescribed in regulation 8. This should be done as soon as the ground for removal is met and no later than the time at which the pupil’s name is removed from the register.

The Department publishes annual figures from the school census on the number of pupils permanently excluded from schools in England. Local authority figures for the period from 2010/11 to 2018/19 can be found in the publications listed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-exclusions.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps has he taken to ensure the quality of education for children who are home schooled.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon Member in the time available before Prorogation.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary pupils who have been sent home from school due a pupil in their cohort testing positive for covid-19 in (a) Halton constituency, (b) the North West and (c) England since 1 August 2020.

The Department is currently collecting data on attendance of pupils and staff, and the availability of remote learning, from schools on a daily basis and publishes data from this collection as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data is published from 9 September 2020, but prior to 12 October 2020 information on pupils isolating was not collected.

Data on the number of pupils sent home due to a pupil in their cohort testing positive is not collected. The closest estimate of this figure is the number of pupils isolating in each school due to a potential contact with a case of COVID-19 within the setting.

Data is collected as totals for each school. It is therefore not possible to calculate a cumulative total, instead figures for each individual week (which may include the same pupils in both weeks) are provided. It is also not possible to calculate the number of school days lost as a result of absence.

Data is collected from schools and aggregated to local authority level. The Department intends to publish regional and local authority level data on 15 December. This data will be included as part of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’.

The frequency of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’ will be reviewed in the new year.

The Department is constantly reviewing the content of its publications. Announcements about future content will be made through the official statistics release page: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education/about/statistics.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of school days that have been lost as a result of pupils being sent home due to a covid-19 outbreak in (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools in (i) England (ii) the North West and (iii) Halton constituency since 1 August 2020.

The Department is currently collecting data on attendance of pupils and staff, and the availability of remote learning, from schools on a daily basis and publishes data from this collection as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data is published from 9 September 2020, but prior to 12 October 2020 information on pupils isolating was not collected.

Data on the number of pupils sent home due to a pupil in their cohort testing positive is not collected. The closest estimate of this figure is the number of pupils isolating in each school due to a potential contact with a case of COVID-19 within the setting.

Data is collected as totals for each school. It is therefore not possible to calculate a cumulative total, instead figures for each individual week (which may include the same pupils in both weeks) are provided. It is also not possible to calculate the number of school days lost as a result of absence.

Data is collected from schools and aggregated to local authority level. The Department intends to publish regional and local authority level data on 15 December. This data will be included as part of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’.

The frequency of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’ will be reviewed in the new year.

The Department is constantly reviewing the content of its publications. Announcements about future content will be made through the official statistics release page: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education/about/statistics.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with headteachers on (a) the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on (i) pupil attendance and (ii) teaching time and (b) whether year 11 pupils will be ready to sit their GCSE examinations in 2021; and if he will publish the outcome of those discussions.

The Government has been clear that it is a top priority to keep schools open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure all pupils benefit from a high quality education.

On 12 October, the Department announced that assessment by examination will be part of a normalised year for Year 11 pupils because examinations are the fairest form of assessment. The Department also announced that the examinations will start on 7 June and end on 2 July for almost all GCSEs. This is three weeks later than the usual start dates from previous years to help teachers and pupils prepare for examinations. The delay and the changes already agreed to what will be assessed in some GCSE subjects, as well as changes that ease the burden of assessment in some subjects at GCSE , will give pupils extra time to study, without causing unnecessary disruption to the usual timetable of the academic year. These changes to the assessment of GCSEs were announced in August, following a public consultation. The outcome of Ofqual’s consultation on summer 2021 exams is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposed-changes-to-the-assessment-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2021.

The Department, along with Ofqual and exam boards, is engaging extensively with the sector on plans for exams in summer 2021, including with head teachers, principals of further education colleges, trade unions and sector representative bodies. Engagement with head teachers and their representatives are through a number of different forums and cover a range of issues, including the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on pupils’ attendance, teaching time and GCSE examinations in 2021. These engagements will inform our planning for all foreseeable scenarios to safeguard pupils’ ability to sit exams and achieve qualifications which allow them to progress to the next stage of their education or employment. We expect to share details of these contingency plans later in the autumn.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to provide support for pre-school children affected by the closure of nurseries during the covid -19 outbreak.

We know that young children have missed out on early education at a crucial period of cognitive and behavioural development. This is especially significant for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, which may widen the early development gap.

The most effective intervention government can take to address this is to get children back into early education.

Since 1 June, early years settings have been able to welcome back children of all ages. We want to ensure councils and early years providers can get children back into settings as quickly as possible, where they can be fully supported during this crucial period for their development.

Fifteen hours of high quality free early education is provided for all three- and four-year olds and disadvantaged two-year olds. An additional fifteen hours (30 hours) is provided for eligible working parents for three- and four-year olds.

We will work with the sector to explore how best to continue to support children’s early development, including through the department’s Hungry Little Minds campaign which we will use to continue to provide support for parents to develop their children’s early language and literacy.

Information on the Hungry Little Minds campaign can be found at: https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what basis the £1bn fund announced by the Prime Minister on 18 June 2020 to help children catch up on what they have missed while schools have been closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak was determined.

Children and young people have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education during lockdown. We expect the most disadvantaged children to have fallen further behind than their peers. The Education Endowment Fund’s (EEF) median estimate suggests the attainment gap between children from economically deprived households and their peers could widen by 36% as a result of school closures [1].

The Government has therefore announced a package of support to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all children and young people make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most.

This package of measures includes:

  • A universal catch up premium for state-funded primary and secondary schools in England of £650 million to help them make up for lost teaching time.
  • A new £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils.

The evidence strongly shows that tutoring is an effective way to accelerate educational attainment. We therefore believe targeted tutoring is the best way to narrow the gaps that emerged during the closure of schools.

To support schools to make best use of the catch up premium, the EEF has published a COVID-19 Recovery Guide for Schools with evidence-based approaches to catch-up for all students: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Covid-19_Resources/Covid-19_support_guide_for_schools.pdf.

[1] https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/EEF_(2020)_-_Impact_of_School_Closures_on_the_Attainment_Gap.pdf

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much and what proportion of the £1bn fund announced by the Prime Minister on 18 June 2020 to help children catch up on what they have missed while schools have been closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak will be allocated to Halton.

The Government has announced a package of support worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all children and young people make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most.

This package of measures includes:

  • A universal catch up premium for schools of £650 million to help them make up for lost teaching time.
  • A new £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils.

The universal catch up premium will be paid as a grant to all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England over the 2020/21 academic year.

This premium will be in addition to schools’ core budgets for 2020-21. We will confirm the timetable for publishing institution-level allocations in due course.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of tutors that (a) will be required and (b) are available in the 2020-21 academic year to help disadvantaged students catch up following the closure of schools as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

As plans continue for a full return to education from September, we have announced a £1 billion Covid “catch-up” package to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time.

£650 million will be shared across state primary and secondary schools over the 2020/21 academic year. This one-off grant to support pupils recognises that all young people have lost time in education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of their income or background.

In addition, a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people. This will help accelerate their academic progress and prevent the gap between them and their more affluent peers widening.

We are working closely with our delivery partners, including the Education Endowment Foundation, Sutton Trust, Impetus and Nesta, to roll out a programme that ensures we reach the maximum number of disadvantaged students possible while ensuring that tutors all meet a high quality bar.

We will be supporting the highest quality tutoring organisations to increase their recruitment of tutors. Alongside this, we will be supporting a small number of schools in the most disadvantaged areas to directly employ tutors. We will be publishing more detail of the scheme shortly.

This £1 billion package is on top of the £14.4 billion three-year funding settlement announced last year - recognising the additional work schools will need to do to help students to catch up.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many headteachers he consulted in (a) Halton and (b) England on the resources required to help pupils catch up following the closure of schools as a result of covid-19 outbreak.

We have consulted with stakeholder groups across the sector. We have also conducted more than 300 social and user research interviews with school leaders, teachers and parents from schools across England and Wales to inform our response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to provide additional funding to support (a) students at Riverside College, Halton and (b) other students affected by the closure of colleges as a result of the covid-19 outbreak to catch-up on their studies.

We are committed to supporting all children and young people to make up for time spent out of education. We’re giving colleges the flexibility to offer a combination of face-to-face and online delivery to more of their students and apprentices and we know that remote education has been working well for many students in post-16 education.

We will continue to work with the sector to establish the best methods of supporting students to make up for disruption due to COVID-19.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 15 June 2020 to Question 55133 on Schools: Coronavirus, for what reasons his Department is not reimbursing schools that have used their existing resources to fund increased costs resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

We are providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover certain unavoidable costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources.

Schools are eligible to claim for increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

Schools are not eligible to make a claim against this fund if they expect to add to their existing historic surpluses in their current financial year (September 2019 to August 2020 for academies and April 2020 to March 2021 for maintained schools). This means schools cannot claim if they began their current financial year with an accumulated historic surplus and expect to increase that surplus this year and thereby finish the year with a higher level of reserves than they started.

Schools are eligible for reimbursement where the additional costs associated with COVID-19 would result in a school having to use historic surpluses; increase the size of a historic deficit; or prevent the planned repayment of a historic deficit.

It is reasonable for taxpayers to expect that further public funding through this period is not adding to existing surpluses that are held by schools. Schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year, as usual, regardless of any periods of partial closure or reduced operations.

31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what advice her Department provides to people with asthma on the safe and environmentally-friendly disposal of used inhalers.

HM Government is committed to reducing and managing waste safely and carefully. Defra supports Recycle Now, the national recycling campaign for England and Northern Ireland, which advises the public on what items can be recycled and where they can be recycled. The Recycle Now website makes clear that inhalers should be returned to pharmacies to be disposed of safely.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with United Utilities on the control and eradication of Japanese knotweed on land owned by that company.

The Secretary of State has not had any recent discussions with United Utilities about Japanese knotweed.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Avanti trains between Runcorn and London have been cancelled each month since November 2021.

Generally, Runcorn is served by one Avanti West Coast train per hour to and from London Euston.

Period

Number of Avanti West Coast services cancelled between Runcorn and London Euston (Avanti West Coast caused, both directions)

Number of Avanti West Coast services cancelled between Runcorn and London Euston (All causes, both directions)

14 November – 11 December 2021

19.5

23.5

12 December – 8 January 2022

46

49

9 January – 5 February 2022

12

13.5

6 February – 5 March 2022

20

27.5

6 March – 31 March 2022

28.5

29

1 April – 30 April 2022

46

53

1 May – 28 May 2022

31

41

29 May – 25 June 2022

44.5

56

26 June – 23 July 2022

115

138

24 July – 20 August 2022

80.5

88

21 August – 17 September

42.5

51

18 September – 15 October 2022

42.5

43

16 October – 12 November 2022

36.5

48.5

Cancellation data by rail period was provided by the operator.

1 = A train ran less than half its planned mileage

0.5 = A train was cancelled but ran more than half its planned mileage

‘All causes’ includes cancellations resulting from infrastructure failure as well as any other external cause such as trespass or other train/freight operator failure. In the same period there were seven instances of services failing to call at Runcorn on route, as these services ran more than half their booked mileage they are counted as part cancellations in the table. None were Avanti West Coast caused.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 92818, for what reason the DVLA is confident that it can trace 92.1 per cent of vehicles from its records; what records that Answer refers to; and how many vehicles comprise the 92.1 per cent of vehicles in that Answer.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) carries out quarterly scans of the vehicle register. The most recent scan shows that 92.1 per cent of vehicles on the database are traceable, equating to 46,284,393 vehicles that have been taxed or had a statutory off road notification made in the last five years. Traceable means that each of these vehicle records will have contact details (name and address) for the registered keeper of the vehicle to which the DVLA can send correspondence.

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 13 December 2021 to Question 89507 on Motor Vehicles: Registration, how many vehicles have not been able to be traced in the latest period for which figures are available.

While the DVLA is confident it can trace 92.1 per cent of vehicles from its records it does not hold specific information on how many vehicle keepers it has been unable to trace over a set period.

8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment the DVLA has made of the accuracy of the V5C database.

All vehicle keepers are legally responsible for ensuring that the information on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s vehicle record is accurate. This is important to ensure that vehicle keepers receive important information, for example reminders when their vehicle excise duty is due for renewal.

The DVLA regularly assesses the traceability of vehicle keepers from the information held on its records. From the latest available information, the DVLA is confident it can trace a vehicle in 92.1 per cent of its records.

1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 29 November 2021 to Question 80915 on Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Databases, how many drivers have been fined for not providing their correct address to the DVLA in each year since 2015.

The data requested is not available. The police are responsible for prosecuting this offence and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is not routinely notified of convictions as the offence does not attract penalty points on a driving licence.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the time taken by the DVLA to process new driving licence applications in the last three months.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services have been available throughout the pandemic and are the quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence. There are no delays in online applications and customers should receive their driving licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application for a driving licence. The DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day which must be dealt with in person. Fewer operational staff have been on site to allow for social distancing, in line with Welsh Government requirements. This, as well as ongoing industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has led to delays.

Currently, driving licence applications made on paper are likely to take six to ten weeks to process. More information on turnaround times is available online. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many applications for hedgehog road signage, warning motorists of animal hazards in the road, has he received from local authorities in the last three years; and how many of those applications have been approved by his Department.

The Department has received six applications for the small wild mammal traffic sign in the last three years. None of these applications have been approved.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of the DVLA workforce are currently (a) working at DVLA premises and (b) processing driving licences.

All Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) staff who can work from home continue to do so as office space has been prioritised for operational staff who have to be on-site to process paper applications. The DVLA’s online services have worked well throughout the pandemic and this remains the quickest and easiest way of making applications.

The DVLA is employing shift patterns, staggered start times, weekend working and other measures to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. Due to this, the number of staff who can be on-site at any one time is greatly reduced but the working day has been significantly extended. This means that almost all DVLA operational staff are now working on-site but not all at the same time.

Staff are allocated to different work streams at different times depending on where the need is greatest. All driving licences and driving entitlement expiring between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 have been extended for 11 months. This means that no drivers currently need to apply to renew a driving licence or driving entitlement.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many driving licence applications had been received but not processed on 30 August 2020; and what estimate he has made of the average time taken to process those applications.

The number of paper driving licence applications waiting to be processed fluctuates on a daily basis as licences are issued and new applications received. On 1 September, there were 127,870 paper driving licence applications where customers had applied directly to the DVLA, awaiting processing. As of 15 September, this had reduced to 94,920.

The average time taken to deal with driving licence applications received across online and paper channels is 5.26 days.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his timescale is for reaching a decision on the potential electrification of the railway line between Liverpool and Manchester via Warrington and Widnes.

Electrification will play a significant role in our programme to decarbonise the railway and will deliver other benefits for railway users and neighbours.

Network Rail’s ongoing work developing a Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy will inform decisions about whether electrification or alternative technologies are the most appropriate option for each part of the network where diesel trains currently run. This work will support the Department’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which will be published at the end of this year.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2020 to PQ 62300 on Universal Credit: Fraud, at what stage her Department's investigations into cases of universal credit scams for claimants in the Borough of Halton are; and when those claimants will have their benefits restored.

The Department does not store information at a constituency level. As a result, providing the requested information would incur disproportionate costs.

If an individual approaches DWP alleging they have had their identity fraudulently used, we will investigate the matter. We endeavour to ensure that these investigations are brought to a conclusion as quickly as possible.

Where a person has had their details used to make a fraudulent claim for Universal Credit, the Department may consider the reinstatement of legacy benefits where it is clear they played no part in the making of the claim.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, at what stage his Department's investigations into cases of universal credit scams for claimants in Halton constituency are; and when those claimants will have their benefits restored.

The Department does not hold this data by constituency and to provide it would incur disproportionate costs.

13th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department has made an assessment of the implications for its policies of the proposals set out in Cancer Research UK's report entitled Longer, better lives: A manifesto for cancer research and care; and what plans she has to fund cancer research in the next 10 years.

The Government welcomes Cancer Research UK’s report, which rightly highlights progress made in cancer diagnosis and care.

Cancer is a Government priority, demonstrated by the commitment to the ambition of diagnosing 75% of cancers at stages 1 and 2 by 2028. NHS England has implemented interventions to help achieve this ambition, such as Non-specific Symptom Pathways, and will continue to seek new ways to diagnose cancer earlier and save more lives, for example through the NHS-Galleri blood test trial.

Furthermore, the Department has invested over £100 million into cancer research in 2021/22 through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). In January 2023, Cancer Research UK, NIHR and the devolved administrations jointly provided funding of £47.5 million to the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre network over the next five years. The Department is working closely with research partners in all sectors, and the Government's continued commitment to cancer research will help to build on that progress, leading to continued improvements for all cancer patients.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s report entitled Tipping Point: The Future of Dementia, what steps he is taking to increase the number of lumbar punctures conducted to help identify people who may be eligible for new dementia treatments.

NHS England is monitoring the pipeline of prospective disease modifying treatments for early Alzheimer’s disease. NHS England is currently anticipating decisions on whether the first of these medicines will be licensed for use in the United Kingdom next year.

A dedicated programme team has been established within NHS England for early Alzheimer’s treatments. The team is working closely with the medicines manufacturers, patient groups and other key stakeholders to prepare in advance for the roll out of any new medicines in the National Health Service as and when they secure the necessary regulatory approvals. This includes securing additional diagnostic capacity including magnetic resonance imaging, lumbar puncture and positron emission tomography/computed topography.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the impact of changes to NHS cancer waiting time targets; and if he will make a statement.

On 17 August 2023, NHS England announced that cancer waiting times standards would be rationalised from 1 October 2023. This followed the clinically led review of standards across the National Health Service which recommended consolidating cancer waiting times from ten standards into three.

From October 2023, there will be a Faster Diagnosis Standard of a maximum 28-day wait for communication of a definitive cancer/not cancer diagnosis for patients referred urgently or those identified by NHS cancer screening. There will be a maximum 62-day wait to first treatment from urgent general practitioner referral, NHS cancer screening or consultant upgrade. There will be a maximum 31-day wait from decision to treat to any cancer treatment starting for all cancer patients.

These changes will allow a clearer focus on priorities and give clinicians greater flexibility to adopt new technologies such as remote image review and artificial intelligence, and avoid disincentivising modern working practices such as one-stop shops and straight-to-test.

Alongside the updated standards, the NHS has also committed to publishing a more detailed breakdown of the cancer statistics each month, increasing the number of cancer types for which separate data are published. Statistics on performance against the old standards will continue to be collected.

18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has had recent discussions with (a) NHS Trusts and (b) Integrated Care Boards in Halton constituency on commissioning duties for radiotherapy treatment services.

The Department has not had any direct discussions with NHS trusts or integrated care boards (ICBs) on the delegation of commissioning duties for radiotherapy treatment services from NHS England to ICBs across the Halton constituency.

NHS England’s National Moderation Panel will determine how many ICBs will take on responsibility for specialised commissioning in October 2023. Following this moderation process, recommendations will be taken to the NHS England Board for final decisions in December 2023, before new arrangements go live from April 2024.

This process will consider the delegation of radiotherapy commissioning for ICBs across England including across the Halton constituency.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress his Department has made on increasing rates of early diagnosis for breast cancer.

Improving early diagnosis of cancer, including breast cancer, remains a priority. We are working towards the NHS Long Term Plan ambition of diagnosing 75% of stageable cancers at stage 1 and 2 by 2028. The latest published data shows this was 52% from January to December 2020. Achieving this will mean that, from 2028, 55,000 more people each year will survive their cancer for at least five years after diagnosis.

The Government has also expanded the Breast Screening programme, with an additional £10 million funding for 28 new breast screening units and nearly 60 life-saving upgrades to services in the areas where they are most needed.

12th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take further steps to increase levels of uptake in the breast cancer screening programme.

The Department has invested £10 million into the NHS Breast Screening Programme for 28 new breast screening units targeted at areas where they are needed most. This will provide extra capacity for services to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, boost uptake of screening in areas where attendance is low, and tackle health disparities.

Further steps to remove barriers to attending breast screening include promoting the use of text message alerts to remind women of upcoming appointments. National Health Service breast screening providers are also being encouraged to work with their partners to bring together work to make sure as many people as possible can access breast screening services.

11th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time is for patients attending the Widnes Urgent Treatment centre in each month since January 2023.

The information requested is not held centrally. Average median waiting time data is only held at National Health Service trust level and is for all accident and emergency (A&E) service types, including type 1 major A&E services and Urgent Treatment Centres.

11th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of cancer patients of Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who received an urgent referral received their first treatment within 62 days of that referral in (a) March and (b) April 2023.

The following tables set out the number and proportion of patients who received treatment within 62 days of an urgent general practitioner referral at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in March 2023 and April 2023.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Month

Number of Patients treated within 62 days

62-day standard performance

March 2023

89.5

79%

April 2023

83.5

82%

Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Month

Number of Patients treated within 62 days

62-day standard performance

March 2023

24.5

50.5%

April 2023

20.5

48.2%

Note: Partial numbers are patients that have received treatment across two different National Health Service trusts.

Cancer waiting time standard statistics are published on the NHS England website, and are available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/

11th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of cancer patients of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust who received an urgent referral received their first treatment within 62 days of that referral in (a) March and (b) April 2023.

The following tables set out the number and proportion of patients who received treatment within 62 days of an urgent general practitioner referral at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in March 2023 and April 2023.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Month

Number of Patients treated within 62 days

62-day standard performance

March 2023

89.5

79%

April 2023

83.5

82%

Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Month

Number of Patients treated within 62 days

62-day standard performance

March 2023

24.5

50.5%

April 2023

20.5

48.2%

Note: Partial numbers are patients that have received treatment across two different National Health Service trusts.

Cancer waiting time standard statistics are published on the NHS England website, and are available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/

11th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GPs retired before the age of 65 in the Borough of Halton in each year since 2015.

The data requested is not held centrally.

11th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of dentist practices in the Borough of Halton are taking on new adult NHS patients.

National Health Service dental practice profiles at NHS.UK show whether practices are currently accepting new patients. This information is available at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what were the average paediatric accident and emergency waiting times on 31 March (a) 2015, (b) 2019 and (c) 2023.

The information requested is not held centrally.

5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Advice on influenza vaccinations for 2023-24 issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in November 2022 on funding influenza vaccinations for people aged between 50 and 64 years.

The Department is guided by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the approach to the seasonal flu vaccination programme in England. Details about the flu vaccination programme for 2023/24, including which groups will be eligible for a free vaccine and the vaccines that will be reimbursable to National Health Service providers, were published on 25 May 2023. The groups eligible for a free flu vaccine for the 2023 to 2024 season include those aged 65 years and over and those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, eligibility for the influenza programme was temporarily extended to include all adults aged between 50 and 64 years of age to protect the population from the potential threat of cocirculation of COVID-19 and influenza and alleviate pressure on the NHS. In the JCVI’s advice for the 2023/24 programme published in November 2022, it stated that whilst there would be a health benefit in vaccinating low risk 50-64 year olds, it is uncertain whether this would be cost effective and that the overall priority should be to extend the childhood programme in secondary schools as this would be more cost effective and likely to have a greater impact on morbidity and mortality compared with vaccinating 50-64 year olds. An expansion to secondary school-aged children is being considered and should this be confirmed, further details will be set out in due course.

The Department has not conducted its own modelling on the potential impact of providing free vaccinations to people aged 50-64 on NHS resource utilisation in the 2023-24 winter period but is guided by JCVI advice on cost-effectiveness. Anyone who is clinically at-risk is still entitled to a flu vaccination this year – it is only healthy 50–64-year-olds who are no longer eligible. The expansion of the seasonal flu programme to include low-risk 50–64-year-olds was a temporary measure to ensure more people were protected from a potential threat of co-circulation of COVID-19 and the flu virus and the department also sought to reduce pressure on the NHS. As we have now transitioned to living with COVID-19 with a firmly established vaccination programme in place to protect the most vulnerable, temporary expansions to the flu programme are no longer required.

The Department does not expect to reconsider this decision but will continue to be guided by JCVI advice on this matter.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has modelled the potential impact of providing free vaccinations to people aged 50-64 on NHS resource utilisation in the 2023-24 winter period.

The Department is guided by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the approach to the seasonal flu vaccination programme in England. Details about the flu vaccination programme for 2023/24, including which groups will be eligible for a free vaccine and the vaccines that will be reimbursable to National Health Service providers, were published on 25 May 2023. The groups eligible for a free flu vaccine for the 2023 to 2024 season include those aged 65 years and over and those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, eligibility for the influenza programme was temporarily extended to include all adults aged between 50 and 64 years of age to protect the population from the potential threat of cocirculation of COVID-19 and influenza and alleviate pressure on the NHS. In the JCVI’s advice for the 2023/24 programme published in November 2022, it stated that whilst there would be a health benefit in vaccinating low risk 50-64 year olds, it is uncertain whether this would be cost effective and that the overall priority should be to extend the childhood programme in secondary schools as this would be more cost effective and likely to have a greater impact on morbidity and mortality compared with vaccinating 50-64 year olds. An expansion to secondary school-aged children is being considered and should this be confirmed, further details will be set out in due course.

The Department has not conducted its own modelling on the potential impact of providing free vaccinations to people aged 50-64 on NHS resource utilisation in the 2023-24 winter period but is guided by JCVI advice on cost-effectiveness. Anyone who is clinically at-risk is still entitled to a flu vaccination this year – it is only healthy 50–64-year-olds who are no longer eligible. The expansion of the seasonal flu programme to include low-risk 50–64-year-olds was a temporary measure to ensure more people were protected from a potential threat of co-circulation of COVID-19 and the flu virus and the department also sought to reduce pressure on the NHS. As we have now transitioned to living with COVID-19 with a firmly established vaccination programme in place to protect the most vulnerable, temporary expansions to the flu programme are no longer required.

The Department does not expect to reconsider this decision but will continue to be guided by JCVI advice on this matter.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department has chosen not to include all 50-64 year-olds in the eligible cohort for the 2023 to 2024 flu vaccination programme.

The Department is guided by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the approach to the seasonal flu vaccination programme in England. Details about the flu vaccination programme for 2023/24, including which groups will be eligible for a free vaccine and the vaccines that will be reimbursable to National Health Service providers, were published on 25 May 2023. The groups eligible for a free flu vaccine for the 2023 to 2024 season include those aged 65 years and over and those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, eligibility for the influenza programme was temporarily extended to include all adults aged between 50 and 64 years of age to protect the population from the potential threat of cocirculation of COVID-19 and influenza and alleviate pressure on the NHS. In the JCVI’s advice for the 2023/24 programme published in November 2022, it stated that whilst there would be a health benefit in vaccinating low risk 50-64 year olds, it is uncertain whether this would be cost effective and that the overall priority should be to extend the childhood programme in secondary schools as this would be more cost effective and likely to have a greater impact on morbidity and mortality compared with vaccinating 50-64 year olds. An expansion to secondary school-aged children is being considered and should this be confirmed, further details will be set out in due course.

The Department has not conducted its own modelling on the potential impact of providing free vaccinations to people aged 50-64 on NHS resource utilisation in the 2023-24 winter period but is guided by JCVI advice on cost-effectiveness. Anyone who is clinically at-risk is still entitled to a flu vaccination this year – it is only healthy 50–64-year-olds who are no longer eligible. The expansion of the seasonal flu programme to include low-risk 50–64-year-olds was a temporary measure to ensure more people were protected from a potential threat of co-circulation of COVID-19 and the flu virus and the department also sought to reduce pressure on the NHS. As we have now transitioned to living with COVID-19 with a firmly established vaccination programme in place to protect the most vulnerable, temporary expansions to the flu programme are no longer required.

The Department does not expect to reconsider this decision but will continue to be guided by JCVI advice on this matter.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will reconsider its decision to change flu vaccine eligibility for people aged 50 to 64.

The Department is guided by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the approach to the seasonal flu vaccination programme in England. Details about the flu vaccination programme for 2023/24, including which groups will be eligible for a free vaccine and the vaccines that will be reimbursable to National Health Service providers, were published on 25 May 2023. The groups eligible for a free flu vaccine for the 2023 to 2024 season include those aged 65 years and over and those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, eligibility for the influenza programme was temporarily extended to include all adults aged between 50 and 64 years of age to protect the population from the potential threat of cocirculation of COVID-19 and influenza and alleviate pressure on the NHS. In the JCVI’s advice for the 2023/24 programme published in November 2022, it stated that whilst there would be a health benefit in vaccinating low risk 50-64 year olds, it is uncertain whether this would be cost effective and that the overall priority should be to extend the childhood programme in secondary schools as this would be more cost effective and likely to have a greater impact on morbidity and mortality compared with vaccinating 50-64 year olds. An expansion to secondary school-aged children is being considered and should this be confirmed, further details will be set out in due course.

The Department has not conducted its own modelling on the potential impact of providing free vaccinations to people aged 50-64 on NHS resource utilisation in the 2023-24 winter period but is guided by JCVI advice on cost-effectiveness. Anyone who is clinically at-risk is still entitled to a flu vaccination this year – it is only healthy 50–64-year-olds who are no longer eligible. The expansion of the seasonal flu programme to include low-risk 50–64-year-olds was a temporary measure to ensure more people were protected from a potential threat of co-circulation of COVID-19 and the flu virus and the department also sought to reduce pressure on the NHS. As we have now transitioned to living with COVID-19 with a firmly established vaccination programme in place to protect the most vulnerable, temporary expansions to the flu programme are no longer required.

The Department does not expect to reconsider this decision but will continue to be guided by JCVI advice on this matter.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2023 to Question 179994 on Cancer: Halton, how many and what proportion of cancer patients of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust who received an urgent referral received their first treatment within 62 days of that referral in February 2023.

In February 2023 74 cancer patients of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust received their first treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral. This represents 77.8% of patients whose general practitioner made an urgent referral.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average bed occupancy was for the St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

From 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, average general and acute bed occupancy was 97.4% at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals, and 93.0% at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals.

26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average bed occupancy was for the Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023.

From 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, average general and acute bed occupancy was 97.4% at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals, and 93.0% at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 31 March to Question 174223 on Cancer: Halton, how many and what proportion of cancer patients in the Halton Local Authority area who received an urgent referral received their first treatment within 62 days of that referral in the latest period for which data is available.

This information is not collected in the format requested. Data on cancer patients who received an urgent referral and the time in which they received their first treatment is not collected at local authority level.

NHS England publish cancer waiting times data at trust level. Provisional data from NHS England for February 2023 shows Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provided first treatment to 27 patients who received an urgent general practitioner referral for suspected cancer within 62 days of that referral. This equates to 57% of all cancer patients who received an urgent referral to Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of cancer patients in Halton constituency who received an urgent referral received their first treatment within 62 days of that referral in the latest period for which data are available.

The information is not held in the format requested. Cancer waiting time data is not collected by constituency.

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, pursuant to the Answer of 19 December 2022 to Question 110591 on St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust: Accident and Emergency Departments, whether these figures include attendance at St Helens Urgent Treatment Centre.

The response to Question 110591 includes attendances at St Helens Urgent Treatment Centre. Accident and emergency (A&E) quality indicators data is published at NHS trust level and includes Urgent Treatment Centre data as type three A&E services.

14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time was for patients attending the Accident and Emergency unit at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust in each month since October 2021.

The following table shows the median total time in minutes in accident and emergency (A&E) at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust in each month since October 2021.

Month

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust

October 2021

175

216

November 2021

164

183

December 2021

157

184

January 2022

228

178

February 2022

169

202

March 2022

182

197

April 2022

236

210

May 2022

168

214

June 2022

168

193

July 2022

177

212

August 2022

172

201

September 2022

195

211

October 2022

198

210

Source: Provisional Accident and Emergency Quality Indicators for England, NHS Digital

The following table shows the median time to treatment in minutes in A&E at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust in each month since October 2021.

Month

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust

October 2021

105

123

November 2021

91

94

December 2021

78

94

January 2022

114

91

February 2022

94

113

March 2022

117

126

April 2022

119

105

May 2022

100

113

June 2022

105

98

July 2022

104

111

August 2022

100

104

September 2022

115

107

October 2022

119

103

Source: Provisional Accident and Emergency Quality Indicators for England, NHS Digital

14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time was for patients attending the Accident and Emergency unit at St Helens and Knowsley Hospital NHS Trust in each month since October 2021.

The following table shows the median total time in minutes in accident and emergency (A&E) at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust in each month since October 2021.

Month

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust

October 2021

175

216

November 2021

164

183

December 2021

157

184

January 2022

228

178

February 2022

169

202

March 2022

182

197

April 2022

236

210

May 2022

168

214

June 2022

168

193

July 2022

177

212

August 2022

172

201

September 2022

195

211

October 2022

198

210

Source: Provisional Accident and Emergency Quality Indicators for England, NHS Digital

The following table shows the median time to treatment in minutes in A&E at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust in each month since October 2021.

Month

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust

October 2021

105

123

November 2021

91

94

December 2021

78

94

January 2022

114

91

February 2022

94

113

March 2022

117

126

April 2022

119

105

May 2022

100

113

June 2022

105

98

July 2022

104

111

August 2022

100

104

September 2022

115

107

October 2022

119

103

Source: Provisional Accident and Emergency Quality Indicators for England, NHS Digital

7th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the take up is of the flu vaccine for over 50s in the Halton local authority area compared to the same period in 2021.

The following table shows the uptake for the flu vaccination in Halton local authority in the 50 to 64 years old age group and all those aged 65 years old in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 season, as of 31 October 2022.

2021/22

2022/23

50 to 64 years old in a clinical risk group

43.9%

43.8%

50 to 64 years old not in a clinical risk group

24.3%

23.2%

Aged 65 years old and over

62.2%

68.9%

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/seasonal-influenza-vaccine-uptake-in-gp-patients-monthly-data-2022-to-2023

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/seasonal-flu-vaccine-uptake-in-gp-patients-monthly-data-2021-to-2022

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
7th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many staff employed by Halton clinical commissioning group have (a) still to find permanent jobs and (b) left NHS employment since it was abolished in July.

This information is not held in the format requested.

7th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the waiting time is for cancer patients to see a cancer specialist in the Cheshire and Merseyside ICS area after referral by a GP.

This information is not collected in the format requested. However, in October 2022, 10,064 of the 13,459 patients had their first consultant appointment within 14 days following an urgent general practitioner referral in the Cheshire and Merseyside integrated care board.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made (a) podiatry vacancy rates in the NHS in Halton constituency and (b) the impact these vacancies will have on patient treatment for diabetic foot complications.

No specific assessment has been made as this information is not collected in the format requested.

13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 July 2022 to Question 31020 on Blood Tests: Halton, at what level data on waiting times for blood tests and appointments for suspected cancer diagnosis is collected.

Data on waiting times for blood tests for patients with suspected cancer symptoms is not collected centrally. Waiting time data on the two-week cancer referral pathway is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/

6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients from the Halton local authority area are currently deemed to be medically well enough for discharge from the St Helen's and Knowsley NHS Acute Hospital Trust but are unable to leave the hospital because arrangements for continuing care have not been finalised.

This information is not collected in the format requested. As of 31 May 2022, there were 125 patients remaining in hospital in St Helen’s and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust who no longer met the criteria to reside. This data includes all patients who no longer meet the criteria to reside and who remain in hospital, regardless of the reason.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 19569 on Breast Cancer: Screening, what recent assessment he has made of reasons for breast screening coverage in people aged 53 to 71 years old in the Halton local authority area being 55.8 per cent compared to 64.2 per cent for England in 2020-21.

NHS England has advised that comparisons for screening coverage in specific locations with the average in England is challenging. This is due to providers within the National Health Service breast screening programme restoring services at different times and operating different invitation models.

Providers within the Warrington, Halton and St Helens programme are returning to timed invitations across all sites. Commissioners will work with local providers to monitor coverage to ensure that uptake rates return to and subsequently exceed pre-pandemic levels.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people with a suspected cancer diagnosis in the Halton local authority area who wait more than two weeks for an appointment with a specialist.

We are unable to make a specific estimate as data on waiting times for blood tests and appointments for suspected cancer diagnosis is not collected at borough or local authority level.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2022 to Question 19572 on Blood Tests: Halton, if he will make an estimate of the waiting time for patients requiring a blood test following a GP referral in Halton Borough in the latest period for which data is available.

We are unable to make a specific estimate as data on waiting times for blood tests and appointments for suspected cancer diagnosis is not collected at borough or local authority level.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many men in the Halton local authority area have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in each year since 2010.

The data is not held in the format requested.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average cost to the NHS has been of a hip replacement procedure in each year since 2015.

The information is not held centrally in the format requested.

However, the following table shows the average unit cost of all Healthcare Resource Groups (HRGs) which include hip procedures in each year from 2015/16 to 2020/21. The data for 2021/22 is currently being collected and centrally validated and is expected to be available by November 2022. An HRG consists of patient events which have been determined to consume a similar level of resource.

Financial year

Average unit cost

2015/16

£7,113

2016/17

£7,071

2017/18

£7,353

2018/19

£7,305

2019/20

£8,009

2020/21

£11,770

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of patients are diagnosed with breast cancer at stage 4 (a) in the Borough of Halton and (b) on average in England.

This information is not held in the format requested. However, the standardised incidence rate for new female breast cancers diagnosed between 2014 and 2018 in the Halton local authority area is 102.2. In 2019, of 47,860 breast cancers diagnosed, there were 2,008 diagnosed at stage 4 in England.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average breast screening uptake is in (a) the Borough of Halton and (b) England.

The information is not held in the format requested. However, in 2020/21, breast screening coverage in people aged 53 to 71 years old in the Halton local authority area was 55.8% and 64.2% for England.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to tackle delays in securing patient appointments for blood tests from GP referrals in Halton constituency.

NHS England has advised that a community diagnostic centre is planned for Warrington which, if approved, will complement existing provision in St Helens. This aims to reduce waiting times for diagnostic appointments, including general practitioner referrals for blood tests in Halton constituency.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an estimate of the waiting time for patients requiring a blood test following a GP referral in Halton constituency in the latest period for which data is available.

The information is not collected in the format requested as data on waiting times for patients requiring a blood test following a general practitioner referral is not collected at constituency level.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in Halton CCG catchment area had been waiting longer that two weeks to see a cancer specialist as of 22 March 2022.

Information for March 2022 is not available. However, as of January 2022, 36 of 906 patients waiting for a two-week urgent referral from a general practitioner in the Halton Clinical Commissioning Group catchment area had been waiting longer than two weeks.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the ratio of patients to GPs in the NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group area as of (a) April 2015 and (b) 22 March 2022.

The following table shows the ratio of patients to full-time equivalent (FTE) general practitioners (GPs) per 10,000 registered patients in Halton Clinical Commissioning Group as at September 2015 and September 2021, the latest available comparable data.

September 2015

5.4

September 2021

6.5

Source:

General Practice Workforce, 31 December 2021. NHS Digital

Notes:

  1. FTE refers to the proportion of full time contracted hours that the post holder is contracted to work. 1 would indicate they work a full set of hours (37.5), 0.5 that they worked half time. In GPs in Training Grade contracts 1 FTE = 40 hours and in this table these FTEs have been converted to the standard wMDS measure of 1 FTE = 37.5 hours for consistency. It is not recommended that comparisons be made between quarterly or monthly figures due to the unknown effect of seasonality on workforce numbers.
  2. Figures shown do not include staff working in prisons, army bases, educational establishments, specialist care centres including drug rehabilitation centres, walk-in centres and other alternative settings outside of traditional general practice such as urgent treatment centres and minor injury units.
  3. Data includes estimates for practices that did not provide fully valid staff records. The percentage of FTE that is estimated is presented for each staff group and includes full and partial estimates.
  4. Full Estimation: Estimates are made for both headcount and FTE for those practices which did not provide any valid data for one or more of the four staff groups (or in the case of practices providing no valid direct patient care staff data, estimates are only made for those practices also failing to provide valid data for at least one other staff group). The absence of data for a staff group could be due to poor data quality or no submitted data. For these practices, clinical commissioning group-level estimations are made.
  5. Partial Estimation: In some cases, practices provide valid records about their staff but do not include information about their working hours. In these cases, the record is retained and estimates calculated for their working hours and full-time equivalence based upon the national averages for the job role. These figures are referred to as ‘partial estimates’ and the scale of these estimates varies by staff group.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the requirement for the number of full-time equivalent GP's is in the Halton CCG area; and how many are practicing in that area as of 22 March 2022.

There is no recommendation for how many general practitioners (GPs) required in a clinical commissioning group (CCG) area nor for how many patients should be assigned to a GP. The demands each patient place on their GP can be affected by various factors, such as rurality and patient demographics. Under the GP Contract each practice is required to provide primary medical services to meet the reasonable needs of their registered patients. The latest available data as of 31 January 2022 shows 86 full time equivalent doctors in general practice in the Halton CCG area.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to provide a substantive Answer to Question 80914, tabled on 24 November 2021 by the hon. Member for Halton.

The Department received the hon. Member’s letter in November 2021. We replied on 25 March 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to provide a substantive Answer to Question 80914, tabled on 24 November 2021.

The Department received the hon. Member’s letter in November 2021. We replied on 25 March 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of using emergency powers available to the Government to take control of private hospitals and health facilities for a temporary period to help tackle the backlog of patients awaiting surgery, diagnosis and treatment not related to covid-19.

We have no plans to make such an assessment. Throughout the pandemic, the National Health Service and independent sector providers have secured all appropriate inpatient capacity and other resource in England. On 23 December 2021, a ministerial direction permitted NHS England to commission services from independent providers to directly or indirectly support the provision of healthcare to address COVID-19. We are working with NHS England to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place with independent healthcare providers to secure sufficient capacity.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 December 2021 to Question 85192 on Hospitals: Waiting Lists, and in the context of the additional funding for the NHS on tackling hospital waiting times announced by the Prime Minister, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of additional elective surgical procedures by speciality that the NHS will have the capacity to carry out in each of the next three years.

No formal assessment has been made. It is not yet known what the demand for specialties will be over the next three years. The additional funding provided to the National Health Service for elective recovery for the next three years aims to increase activity to 30% above pre-pandemic levels.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer to Question 75821 on Hospitals: Waiting Lists, for what reason no formal assessment has been made of the impact of the additional funding for the NHS on hospital waiting times.

No formal assessment has been made due to the significant uncertainty on the demand from people who did not come forward to seek treatment during the pandemic, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the consequent effects on waiting lists and waiting times.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 75821 tabled by the hon. Member for Halton on 16 November 2021.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 29 November to Question 75821.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer the letter from the hon. Member for Halton of 30 April 2021 in respect of Laura Higginson.

The Department received the hon. Member’s letter in November 2021. We replied on 25 March 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average daily cost was of employing an agency nurse in NHS hospital trusts compared to the cost of a directly employed NHS nurse as at the 31 October 2021.

The information is not held in the format requested. However, the average daily cost of an agency nurse calculated in October 2021/22 was £194.28 and £204.69 in October 2020/21. A comparative average cost of substantive staff is not available as the cost of agency staff includes all training, development and other costs, whereas average salary information for substantive National Health Service staff will not incorporate this.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many agency nurses were employed in NHS hospital trusts in England in each month since March 2020; and what proportion did those agency nurses represent of the total nursing work force.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold information on the number of agency nurses employed in hospital trusts. Since April 2020, agency nurses have represented an average of 3% of full-time equivalent nursing staff.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average payment made to private sector hospitals was for orthopaedic procedures as at 31 October 2021 or from when the latest figures are available; and what the average cost of that procedure was at NHS trust hospitals.

Information on contracts held between National Health Service commissioners and the independent sector, including the payments made for specific procedures, are not held centrally.

The latest data available for costs for NHS treatments is from 2019/20. The median cost of all orthopaedic procedures was £3,647. However, this figure accounts for 391 different treatment types of both a varied set of medical procedures and a wide range in cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) diagnostic and (b) surgical procedures were carried out on NHS patients in private sector hospitals which had been referred by the NHS in each month since March 2021.

The following table shows the total number of diagnostic tests provided by the independent sector for National Health Service patients in each month since March 2021. The data requested on surgical procedures is not held centrally.

Month

Total diagnostic tests

March 2021

101,544

April 2021

92,000

May 2021

87,628

June 2021

92,636

July 2021

78,333

August 2021

76,835

September 2021

83,842

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of private health sector capacity being used as at 1 November 2021 to help reduce NHS waiting lists.

No specific estimate has been made as we do not have an estimate of the total capacity of the private health sector. The latest data from September shows that over 196,000 treatments and diagnostic tests were provided by independent providers for National Health Service funded patients.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Royal College of Physicians’ 2020 census which found 44 per cent of advertised consultant posts were unfilled in the North West, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of expanding the number of medical school places in England.

We have funded an additional 1,500 undergraduate medical school places each year for domestic students in England – a 25% increase over three years. This expansion was completed in September 2020 and has delivered five new medical schools in England, including one in Lancashire. We have temporarily lifted the cap on medical school places for students who completed A-Levels in 2020 and 2021 and who had an offer from a university in England to study medicine, subject to their grades. We currently have no immediate plans to further increase the number of places.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has he made of the impact of the additional funding for the NHS will have on hospital waiting times by (a) March 2022, (b) March 2023 and (c) March 2024.

No formal assessment has been made.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) tackle regional inequalities in respect of lung cancer and (b) improve (i) the timeliness of referrals for treatment, (ii) early diagnosis and (iii) mortality rates among populations at risk of that disease.

The National Lung Cancer Audit has been collecting data nationally since 2005 to ensure care meets standards and seeks to reduce unwarranted variation across the country. Targeted lung health check projects are now running in parts of the country with the highest rates of mortality from lung cancer, with 20 new locations recently confirmed for 2022/23.

To improve the timeliness of referrals, NHS England and NHS Improvement have introduced the Faster Diagnosis Standard, to measure the number of patients receiving a diagnosis or ruling out of cancer within 28 days of a referral. NHS England and NHS Improvement’s ‘Help us help you’ campaign is encouraging people to come forward with symptoms, with a specific lung cancer campaign from August 2021.

Lung cancer patients in England will be the first in Europe to be offered Sotorasib, a revolutionary new drug to prevent the growth of tumours. All radiotherapy centres in England are now able to deliver stereotactic ablative radiotherapy for treating certain kinds of lung cancer without the need for surgery.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made additional resources available for the purposes of reducing the backlog of people accessing the Targeted Lung Health Check programme that arose as a result of that programme having been paused in 2020.

The targeted lung health check pilot schemes in Manchester and Liverpool have shown positive results. In Manchester, there was an almost five-fold reduction in stage 4 disease, with 80% of cancers diagnosed at an early stage. However, it is too early to compare diagnosis or outcomes by cancer stage from the pilot projects as data is not yet available for the national projects in the same period.

Targeted lung health check sites are increasing accessibility through the use of telephone consultations and mobile services. Although the launch of the checks was paused to protect patient safety during the pandemic NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that there is no current backlog.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that appointments made in relation to the Targeted Lung Health Check programme are as flexible as possible.

The targeted lung health check pilot schemes in Manchester and Liverpool have shown positive results. In Manchester, there was an almost five-fold reduction in stage 4 disease, with 80% of cancers diagnosed at an early stage. However, it is too early to compare diagnosis or outcomes by cancer stage from the pilot projects as data is not yet available for the national projects in the same period.

Targeted lung health check sites are increasing accessibility through the use of telephone consultations and mobile services. Although the launch of the checks was paused to protect patient safety during the pandemic NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that there is no current backlog.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment NHS England has made of the effect that the Targeted Lung Health Check programme has had on (a) early diagnosis, (b) urgent referrals and (c) prognosis in areas where the scheme operates, compared to the national average.

The targeted lung health check pilot schemes in Manchester and Liverpool have shown positive results. In Manchester, there was an almost five-fold reduction in stage 4 disease, with 80% of cancers diagnosed at an early stage. However, it is too early to compare diagnosis or outcomes by cancer stage from the pilot projects as data is not yet available for the national projects in the same period.

Targeted lung health check sites are increasing accessibility through the use of telephone consultations and mobile services. Although the launch of the checks was paused to protect patient safety during the pandemic NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that there is no current backlog.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which acute hospitals declared major incidents in (a) Cheshire, (b) Merseyside and (c) the North West on (i) 1 August 2021 and (ii) 2 September 2021.

No major incidents were declared.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to improve the uptake of the flu vaccine among people aged 50 to 64 in 2021-22.

Last winter, the seasonal flu programme was extended on 1 December 2020 to include those aged 50 to 64 years old who were not in a clinical risk group. Of this group, 35.2% were vaccinated by the end of the season, with an estimated 2,669,568 vaccinations given.

For the 2021/22 flu season, we will continue to vaccinate all 50 to 64 year olds and will build on record uptake rates from the 20/21 winter. As a result of earlier advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and building on lessons learnt, 50 to 64 year olds will be eligible to book their appointment from the beginning of the season to allow more people to get vaccinated earlier.

In total, over 35 million people will be eligible for a free seasonal flu vaccine this year. The Department is in regular contact with flu vaccine manufacturers to ensure there is a sufficient amount of flu vaccines available to meet uptake ambitions for eligible cohorts.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take to improve uptake of the flu vaccination among people aged between 50 and 64 in 2021-22.

Last winter, the seasonal flu programme was extended on 1 December 2020 to include those aged 50 to 64 years old who were not in a clinical risk group. Of this group, 35.2% were vaccinated by the end of the season, with an estimated 2,669,568 vaccinations given.

For the 2021/22 flu season, we will continue to vaccinate all 50 to 64 year olds and will build on record uptake rates from the 20/21 winter. As a result of earlier advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and building on lessons learnt, 50 to 64 year olds will be eligible to book their appointment from the beginning of the season to allow more people to get vaccinated earlier.

In total, over 35 million people will be eligible for a free seasonal flu vaccine this year. The Department is in regular contact with flu vaccine manufacturers to ensure there is a sufficient amount of flu vaccines available to meet uptake ambitions for eligible cohorts.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the expansion of eligibility for flu vaccination to the over 50s in (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22.

Last winter, the seasonal flu programme was extended on 1 December 2020 to include those aged 50 to 64 years old who were not in a clinical risk group. Of this group, 35.2% were vaccinated by the end of the season, with an estimated 2,669,568 vaccinations given.

For the 2021/22 flu season, we will continue to vaccinate all 50 to 64 year olds and will build on record uptake rates from the 20/21 winter. As a result of earlier advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and building on lessons learnt, 50 to 64 year olds will be eligible to book their appointment from the beginning of the season to allow more people to get vaccinated earlier.

In total, over 35 million people will be eligible for a free seasonal flu vaccine this year. The Department is in regular contact with flu vaccine manufacturers to ensure there is a sufficient amount of flu vaccines available to meet uptake ambitions for eligible cohorts.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department will use to determine whether the temporary expansion of eligibility for flu vaccination to people aged over 50 should be made permanent.

Advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) noted that it was advisable to continue the vaccination of the 50–64-year-old cohort because from the age of 50 years old, individuals are at a greater risk of being hospitalised as a result of COVID-19 and the result of coinfection of COVID-19 and flu is likely to be more severe. However, no decision has been made on whether the eligibility of this cohort will be made permanent.

The Department will continue to consider the advice of the JCVI in decisions on which flu cohorts are recommended for a flu vaccine in the future. The JCVI use the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s methodology and criteria to assess whether a vaccine programme can be considered cost effective or not.

13th Jul 2021
What steps he is taking to ensure that patients can access a face-to-face consultation with their GP.

Recent NHS England guidance confirmed practices must offer both face-to-face and remote appointments and must respect patients’ preferences for care unless there are good clinical reasons to the contrary, such as the presence of COVID-19 symptoms. We know many areas of the country are experiencing high COVID rates and receptions may be closed for good reasons. Prior to the pandemic, approximatley 80% of appointments were face-to-face. In April, of the 1.2 million appointments, 55% were face to face and patients now have much more flexibility, with many preferring remote access.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2021 to Question 24898 on General Practitioners, what information his Department holds on how many GP appointments in April (a) 2019 and (b) 2020 were face-to-face appointments.

The following table shows the number of appointments in April 2019 and April 2020.

Count of face-to-face appointments

Proportion of face-to-face appointments

April 2020*

7,480,941

46.8%

April 2019

18,879,469

79.2%

Source: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/appointments-in-general-practice

Note:

*The appointments in general practice publication is considered experimental statistics due to data quality issues, which impose limitations on what can be inferred from the data. Further information on data quality issues and the impact on data quality of the response to COVID-19 in general practice is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/appointments-in-general-practice/appointments-in-general-practice-supporting-information

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2021 to Question 24898 on General Practitioners, what estimate his Department has made of the number of General Practitioner appointments that were made available in April 2020.

The data requested is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2021 to Question 24898 on General Practitioners, if he will publish data on the number and proportion of (a) face-to-face and (b) remote GP appointments that were provided in each clinical commissioning group area or local authority area in April 2021.

The information requested is the attached.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Answer of 6 July 2021 to Question 24898 on General Practitioners, how his estimate of 31.5 million general practitioner appointments in April 2021 was calculated.

On 17 June 2021 NHS Digital published monthly data on appointments in general practice covering October 2018 to April 2021. This was the first general practitioner (GP) appointment publication to fully incorporate COVID-19 vaccination appointments delivered in general practice and Primary Care Networks for December 2020 to April 2021. The data shows there were an estimated 7.6 million vaccinations delivered in April 2021. Including these vaccinations, there were an estimated 31.5 million appointments in April 2021. Excluding vaccination appointments there were an estimated 24.0 million appointments in April 2021.

The publication includes an estimate of total appointments as data from 2% of practices are omitted from the collection. The estimate is calculated by taking the number of registered patients from missing practices and a simple calculation based on the number of appointments per registered patient from the practices included in the data collection.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of patients' ability to book face-to-face GP appointments as covid-19 lockdown measures are eased.

In April, there were an estimated 31.5 million general practitioner appointments an increase of 28.3% from April 2019 and over half of all appointments were face to face.

On 20 May, NHS England and NHS Improvement published an updated standard operating procedure for general practice as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. Face to face and remote appointments should be available to patients and their preferences for care be respected.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Halton of 22 January 2021 in respect of constituent Mr Higginson.

We have no record of the hon. Member’s letter of 22 January 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he intends to answer Question 148707 tabled by the hon. Member for Halton on 3 February 2021.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s questions will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he intends to answer Question 144935 tabled by the hon. Member for Halton on 28 January 2021.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s questions will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 4 March 2021 to Question 160537, if he will publish the results of the modelling conducted by Operational sub-group of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling; and if he will make a statement.
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what modelling he has undertaken on the potential effect of the (a) easing of covid-19 restrictions to allow the partial mixing of people and (b) removal of covid-19 restrictions on demand for (i) hospital and (ii) ICU beds; and if he will publish that modelling.

The Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, Operational sub-group investigated a range of different relaxation scenarios to understand the sensitivities and effect of taking each step in the roadmap. The modelling was iterated over several weeks and included the number of hospital admissions, deaths and level of hospital bed occupancy which might occur.

There is uncertainty on the number of cases, hospital admissions and deaths in each of the modelled scenarios, as it is not possible to precisely predict how people will behave at each stage of relaxation or how that behaviour will affect transmission. Evidence on the effectiveness of vaccines against severe disease and infection is also still developing.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant his to Answer of 25 February 2021 to Question 145740, on Secure Psychiatric Units, what is the expected date of publication of the 2020 report.

Officials at Manchester University have advised the estimated publication date for the report is spring 2021.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2021 to Question 154772, when his Department plans to recommence collecting that data on cancelled operations.

NHS England will keep the list and dates of paused publications under review ahead of Quarter 1 of 2021/22 to establish if collections should be reinstated or paused.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Answer of 17 February 2021 to Question 146788, on Health Services: Children, if he will publish that data in the format held by his Department.

Collection of data for cancelled operations was paused in April 2020. When it is collected it does not differentiate between adult and children’s operations.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many referrals to respiratory specialists were made by GPs in each (a) local authority and (b) CCG in England in each month since March 2020.

Data on the number of referrals made to respiratory specialists by general practitioners in each clinical commissioning group in England in each month since March 2020 is attached. The data represents all referrals made via e-RS, the National Health Service e-referral online booking system, from primary care to a respiratory specialist.

Data at a local authority level is not available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what safeguards are in place to ensure that the (a) use and (b) withdrawal of steroids for patients with covid-19 is managed safely and effectively.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care, including guidance for use and withdrawal of steroids. NICE’s guideline NG159 recommendation 4.7 sets out the use of dexamethasone (a corticosteroid) in its COVID-19 rapid guideline, which is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng159/chapter/4-Clinical-decision-making-and-management

The clinical guidance recommending corticosteroids followed the positive findings of the United Kingdom-based RECOVERY trial in June. As a result, dexamethasone or hydrocortisone are offered to patients with severe or critical COVID-19 which is in line with the World Health Organization’s guidance.

Steroids are now a standard of care in the National Health Service for hospitalised COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen therapy, non-invasive or mechanical ventilatory support. The recommended dose of dexamethasone is not sufficiently high, nor the course sufficiently long to require tapering of the dose or long-term monitoring. Some centres are using high dose steroids in selected ventilated patients. In these cases, local protocols are followed with specialist advice if necessary. The use and withdrawal of corticosteroids in COVID-19 treatment for the most severely ill patients is guided by evidence. We continue to undertake robust clinical trials to build an evidence base of what is and is not effective to treat COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many children's medical procedures in England have been cancelled in each month since March 2019 by (a) NHS Trust and (b) Clinical Commissioning Group area.

This data is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 136450, what information his Department holds on suicides of patients in NHS care; and if he will publish that information.

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health at the Manchester University, commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement, is the official source of data on suicides for people in contact with mental health services. The most recent published report is the ‘National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (2019). Annual Report: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales’. The 2020 report will be published soon.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to reduce the number of covid-19 vaccines available to North West England and transfer those vaccines to other English Regions.

There are currently no plans to reduce the number of vaccines available to North West England and transfer those to other English regions. To ensure all of those people in the top priority groups can get vaccinated quickly, targeted deliveries are being made to areas where there are more people left to vaccinate in the priority cohorts - proportionate to the at-risk population they have registered. This should allow any existing disparities to be addressed, alongside standing up community pharmacy and additional vaccination centres across the country to ensure access for everyone.

NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to work with vaccination sites across the country to ensure an adequate and consistent supply of vaccine.

Each Primary Care Network site receives their own supply and work has been carried out with local CCG colleagues to ensure that vaccine supply aligns with the number of registered patients in the priority cohort groups. Where sites may progress through their supply more quickly than others, NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with sites to ensure that supplies are replenished to continue vaccinating our most vulnerable.

22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January to Question 136451 on Secure Psychiatric Units, how many assaults there were on (a) staff and (b) patients in each local authority area from 2018 to 2020.

The Mental Health Services Data Set does not record information on incidents of assault on staff.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that (b) cervical screening is not delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and (b) women are called for their smear tests within the normal timescales.

The continuation of cervical screening services is a priority. National Health Service trusts have been instructed that invitations and appointments should be maintained and that as far as possible staff and facilities should not be redeployed. NHS England and NHS Improvement have issued guidance to support providers to continue to deliver services, including Infection Prevention and Control advice and innovations such as providing screening appointments in a greater range of venues. Should there be any disruption to local screening services, NHS England and NHS Improvement have a process in place for regional public health commissioning teams to quickly escalate and put in place actions to rapidly address and resolve issues.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many suicides there have been by category of sex in NHS secure mental health units in each (a) Clinical Commissioning Group and (b) local authority area in each year since 2015.

The data is not available in the format requested.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many assaults on patients by other patients in secure mental health units were recorded by (a) Clinical Commissioning Group and (b) local authority area in each year since 2015.

The attached table shows the number of assaults in secure mental health wards for each year, by local authority area, from 2018 to November 2020, the most recent data available.

Due to changes in coverage in the Mental Health Services Dataset in 2016/17, it is not possible to provide comparable figures from 2015 to 2017.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the data on the number of people who have received the covid-19 vaccine in each (a) clinical commissioning care group and (b) local authority area will be made available.

Since 24 December, we have published weekly data on the total number of vaccinations among those aged over 80 years old and under in England. From 11 January, daily data for England has been published showing the total number vaccinated to date, including first and second doses. From 14 January, NHS England and NHS Improvement have published more detailed weekly data of vaccinations in England, including by region.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 vaccine doses have been allocated for Halton residents in December 2020.

NHS England and NHS Improvement also publish weekly data for vaccinations in England. This provides data on vaccinations by local authority and constituency and is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his oral contribution of 1 December 2020, Official Report column 262, in which (a) clinical commissioning group and (b) local authority areas he has managed to keep cancer services going at over 100% of their normal last year.

NHS England and NHS Improvement collect and publish official cancer waiting times data by clinical commissioning group but not at local authority level.

The attached table shows activity compared to last year, September 2019 compared to September 2020 for general practitioner referrals to first appointment to see a cancer specialist and the 31-day decision to first treatment for cancer standard, by clinical commissioning group.

The Government has been clear from the start of the pandemic that cancer treatment and care must continue.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 November 2020 to Question 99527, what information his Department holds on the number of dental appointments that have been cancelled since 1 April 2020 by (a) region and (b) local authority area.

The Department does not hold data on the number of cancelled dental appointments.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of how many and what proportion of people in England may decline a covid-19 vaccine.

The Department is monitoring people’s intention to take a vaccine as part of its planning processes, including regularly reviewing publicly available polling and any research conducted by other Governmental organisations on the issue. Polls on people’s intentions are indicative of general thinking around vaccine uptake as they rely on asking the public hypothetical questions about the future.

The Department recognises that public trust in vaccines will play a significant and important part in the uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine and therefore, we are working closely with Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement to provide authoritative information to the public and urge everyone to seek National Health Service advice, so they have the right information to make an informed choice about getting vaccinated.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of (a) how many health care professionals will be needed to administer a covid-19 vaccine to the population of England and (b) how long that process would take.

The Government has asked the National Health Service to be ready to deploy any safe and effective vaccines when available. ?The NHS is preparing to recruit staff to be trained as COVID-19 vaccinators in support of the national effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working with experienced NHS partners to prepare for when a vaccine becomes available to enable the NHS to vaccinate as many people as possible.

Amendments to the Human Medicine Regulations allow a wider range of trained personnel to administer COVID-19 or flu vaccines. Recruitment is focused on those who already have experience in handling vaccinations but may currently work outside of NHS settings, for example, independent nurses or allied health care professionals. There may also be use of existing schemes such as NHS Bring Back scheme to fill roles.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of eligible patients have had the flu vaccine to date.

Public Health England publishes weekly provisional flu vaccine uptake data based on general practitioner automated returns throughout the flu season which is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

This gives the proportions of those eligible who have been vaccinated.

Monthly provisional flu vaccine uptake data, based on automated and manual returns, is also published, with the first set of monthly data released on 26 November covering the period 1 September to 31 October 2020. This will include the first set of monthly data on uptake in frontline line healthcare workers and school-aged children. The data is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/vaccine-uptake#seasonal-flu-vaccine-uptake:-figures

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of GP administration of covid-19 vaccines on the time GP's are able to spend with patients at their surgery.

Building on the tried-and-tested routes used to deliver the flu vaccine, general practice will have an important role in the COVID-19 vaccination programme. NHS England will allocate £150 million through the General Practice Covid Capacity Expansion Fund, to support expanding general practice capacity up until the end of March 2021. The ambition is for general practices to remain open and accessible to all patients. However, we recognise that the additional workload associated with COVID-19 vaccine delivery may require prioritisation.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the cost of administering a covid-19 vaccine; and what the budget headings are for that cost estimate.

The estimated cost of administering a COVID-19 vaccine and the budget headings are still being finalised and therefore are not yet available.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent advice the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation provided to his Department on the expansion of eligibility for flu vaccination to people aged over 50.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) considered the expansion of the flu vaccination programme at a meeting on 6 July 2020. The JCVI was supportive of extending vaccination to adults aged between 50 and 64 years of age, starting at the oldest age groups as a temporary measure for the 2020/21 influenza season.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to maintain the temporary expansion of the eligibility for flu vaccination to people aged over 50 into future years.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) considered the expansion of the flu vaccination programme at a meeting on 6 July 2020. The JCVI was supportive of extending vaccination to all adults aged between 50 and 64 years of age, starting at the oldest age groups as a temporary measure for the 2020/21 influenza season.

The minute of the JCVI Extraordinary Meeting on COVID-19 Immunisation prioritisation held 6 July 2020 is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation#minutes

A decision was made this year to extend the seasonal flu programme to people aged 50 and over in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, and concerns about the co-circulation of flu and COVID-19. A decision has not yet been made in relation to the inclusion of people aged 50 and over in future years.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of flu vaccine doses that will be administered to people aged over 50 in winter 2020-21.

The flu vaccine programme is currently being delivered, with priority given to those who are most at risk from the effects of flu, and frontline health and social care workers. There will be further communication on extending the programme to those aged 50-64 later in the season.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the progress made by stroke teams in following up with stroke survivors, who had a stroke in the last 12 months, to review and address their rehabilitation needs during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have ensured that stroke services across England continue to provide rehabilitation and post-acute services to stroke survivors and their families and carers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have funded the Stroke Association over the last six months to provide Stroke Connect, which was developed in direct response to COVID-19 to ensure stroke survivors and their carers had support when discharged from hospital.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) the Liverpool City Region mayor and (b) Liverpool local authority leaders agreed during their recent discussions with him that gyms in the city region area should close as part of the Tier 3 covid-19 restrictions.

We worked closely with local leaders to agree the right decision for each area based on the best available science, along with consideration of the economic, operational, social and policy implications.

15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of covid-19 cases linked directly to gyms in the Liverpool City Region area.

No such estimate has been made.

15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Prime Minister's statement of 12 October 2020 on Covid-19 Update, Official Report, Column 25, if he will publish the Government's correspondence with leaders in Merseyside on reaching an agreement that the Liverpool city region would move into the very high alert level from Wednesday 14 October.

The Department does not hold this correspondence.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his oral contribution of 12 October 2020, Official Report, column 33, for what reason Halton local authority area is and (b) other local authority areas with (i) higher and (ii) similar rates of covid-19 infection are not subject to Tier 3 restrictions.

Decisions about the appropriate alert level in each area will be made by the Government based on the best available science using the existing Bronze, Silver and Gold process.

The Contain Framework and the Joint Biosecurity Centre closely monitor the data and the spread of the virus across local areas, providing advice and recommendations on areas of intervention to Ministers.

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to reduce the time taken to discharge elderly and vulnerable people from hospital to care homes and the community.

It is our priority to ensure that everyone receives the right care, in the right place, at the right time. On 19 March, as part of our response to COVID-19, we published the ‘COVID-19: hospital discharge service requirements’. This guidance set out how we would continue to support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital, using the ‘Discharge to Assess (D2A) model. This guidance was updated on 21 August.

People who are clinically ready are supported to return to their place of residence, where an assessment of longer-term needs takes place. For individuals whose needs are too great to return to their own home, suitable in-patient or residential care is arranged.

The exception to this is where a patient is discharged from hospital following a recent positive test for COVID-19. In this case, as set out in our Winter Plan, published on 18 September, we are implementing a designation scheme with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for premises that are safe for people leaving hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19.

People who are being discharged from hospitals to care homes must be tested for COVID-19 and should have their test result before they leave the hospital. If their test result is negative, they will be able to transfer directly from hospital to a care home. If their test is positive, they will only be able to transfer from hospital to an ‘assured’ premises. There will be a limited number of exceptions to this policy, to ensure that people are not prevented from accessing the care they need.

We made £1.3 billion funding available via the National Health Service to support the discharge process in March. As part of the £3 billion new funding announced for winter in July, an extra £588 million has been confirmed to continue enhanced discharge arrangements over winter.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many delayed transfers from hospital into (a) the community and (b) a care home there have been in each local authority area in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Due to COVID-19 and the need to release capacity across the National Health Service to support the response, NHS England and NHS Improvement have suspended the collection and publication of some of the official statistics. This includes data for Delayed Discharge of Care, which has not been collected since February 2020.

Data for February 2020 is provided in the attached table.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing surgical or medical-grade face masks for people most vulnerable to covid-19.

Face coverings are not classified as personal protective equipment which is used in a limited number of settings to protect wearers against hazards and risks, such as surgical masks or respirators used in medical and industrial settings. We urge the public not to purchase medical or surgical masks as these must be reserved for health and social care workers who face the greatest risk.

In the United Kingdom, face coverings are being sold by a large number of retailers online and in store but it is not necessary to purchase one – everyone can make their own face covering at home, using readily available textiles that can be washed, and reused after every use.

We have published guidance online which provides a step-by-step breakdown of how to make these face coverings at home and what materials can be used.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 September 2020 to Question 84148 on Influenza: Vaccination, what the stock of additional seasonal flu vaccinations is as of 6 October 2020.

Overall, there is sufficient vaccine for over 30 million people to be vaccinated in England this winter.

The Department has agreed to procure over 8 million additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to ensure more flu vaccines are available from November. This is in addition to the stock that general practitioners and pharmacists have ordered directly from manufacturers.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of annual or six monthly dental check-up appointments that have been cancelled as a result of the covid-19 outbreak since 1 March 2020.

This information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the cancellation of dental check-ups as a result of the covid-19 outbreak on the early detection of mouth cancer.

No assessment has been made about the effect of the cancellation of dental check-ups as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak on the early detection of mouth cancer.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the sufficiency of supply of personal protective equipment for the winter 2020-21 period for (a) NHS hospitals and other NHS settings, (b) pharmacies, (c) care homes and (d) dental surgeries.

We have stabilised the United Kingdom personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain; we have over 32 billion PPE items on order and are building a stockpile equivalent to approximately four months PPE usage at COVID-19 usage levels which will be in place by November.

In the seven days to 4 October 2020, the Department distributed over 149 million PPE items for use by health and social care services in England through the PPE Dedicated Supply Channel, NHS Supply Chain and other routes.

Due to the strength of our supply we are ensuring many millions of additional PPE items reach those on the frontline through the PPE portal. The order limits on the PPE portal have now increased so that primary and social care providers will be able to order PPE to meet their COVID-19 PPE needs, free of charge.

The PPE Portal can be used by adult social care residential care homes, domiciliary care providers, children’s social care settings, general practitioners, community pharmacies, dentists, orthodontists, optometrists, and community and residential drug and alcohol services in England.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of to Question 81540, if he will publish data on waiting times by (a) borough, (b) NHS hospital Trust, (c) region for lung cancer patients for (i) referral to diagnoses and (ii) for treatment to commence in respect of chemotherapy, immunotherapy and surgery, for the most recent period for which figures are available; and what those waiting times were in the same period in 2019.

Waiting times standards for all cancers, and for lung cancer individually are published each month by NHS England and are available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/

This data is available by region and National Health Service provider. Data covers time from referral to treatment and from decision to treat to first treatment. However, data by treatment modality are not published for individual cancers.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September 2020 to Question 81543 on Coronavirus: Health services, what the current level of restoration of NHS services is by region, in the latest period for which data is available.

Local providers have been asked to produce plans for how they will meet the key actions outlined in the phase 3 guidance issued by NHS England at the end of July. The ambition is to recover elective services in October to 90% of last year’s levels for admissions and 100% for outpatients.

The National Health Service and the Department will monitor progress against this and latest regional waiting times, activity and operational performance data is collected and published on the NHS England website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/rtt-waiting-times/rtt-data-2020-21/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2020 to Question 64076 on Accident and Emergency Departments: Coronavirus and Influenza, for what reasons the link to the operating framework for urgent and planned services within hospitals can no longer be found.

The link to the operating framework for urgent and planned services within hospitals contained out of date guidance and was removed as it is being updated.

NHS England and NHS Improvement expect to publish their updated guidance shortly.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he (a) consulted Halton Borough Council or (b) received any representations from that Council or the Director of Public Health for Halton before to announcing the additional covid-19 measures on Friday 18 September 2020 to be implemented for the Liverpool City Region.

Regional teams held discussions with Directors of Public Health (DPH) for all affected areas before the consultation. No further representations were made by either the council or the DPH for Halton.

The decision was based on the strong links between all the areas for work, family and socialising, as the incidence rate continued to rise in Halton in line with the rest of the region. At 11-17 September 2020 the weekly incidence rate was 60.7 per 100,000 population, which was significantly above the national average. A further discussion was held with the collective DsPH for Merseyside and deputy for Halton post the GOLD meeting on 17 September.

22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis was for the decision to include Halton with the rest of the Liverpool City Region and Warrington as subject to additional covid-19 measures, announced on Friday 18 September 2020.

The Government makes decisions on local interventions through the Local Action Committee (GOLD) chaired by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, escalating to other Ministers and the Prime Minister as necessary. GOLD considers the latest data and advice from experts, including our epidemiologists and the Chief Medical Officer, but also consults local leaders and Directors of Public Health. We consider case rates, trends in the data and causes, but also local geography and an assessment of the local response and plans, before making judgements about whether restrictions are needed and if so, what restrictions are most appropriate.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many flu vaccines (a) were administered to patients in 2019-20 and (b) he estimates will be required for winter 2020-21.

In 2019/20, 15.3 million people received the flu vaccination. This included those aged 65 and older, those in at risk groups, pregnant women, children aged two – three years, children in reception – school year six and healthcare workers.

In 2020/21 we expect to offer more than 30 million vaccines.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, from what date he estimates flu vaccines will be administered to patients in winter 2020-21.

General practitioners are responsible for arranging flu vaccination clinics for those who are eligible for flu vaccination. Flu vaccination starts in September and continues throughout the winter months. The flu vaccine is also available to adults who are in at risk groups from local pharmacists throughout the winter months.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 1 September 2020 to Question 77523 on Influenza: vaccination, how much additional stock has been ordered; and who have the orders been placed with.

The Department has agreed to procure 7.65 million additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to date, and continues to work with suppliers to increase the size of this additional stock. This is in addition to the stock that general practitioners and pharmacists have ordered directly from manufacturers.

The contracts for the additional vaccine are with Aventis Pharma Limited (T/A Sanofi), Mylan UK Healthcare Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline UK Ltd and Seqirus UK Ltd.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the level of bed occupancy is in acute NHS Hospital Trusts in England, by (a) Trust and (b) region.

Bed availability and occupancy rates are collected and published via NHS England. Data are available by trust and by region at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/bed-availability-and-occupancy/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the current level of restoration of NHS services is as covid-19 restrictions are eased, by region.

On 31 July, further guidance was issued to local National Health Service providers and commissioners on outlining the next phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 and concurrent non-COVID activity. The focus is on accelerating the return of non-COVID health services to near-normal levels, including making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This will be done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally.

Providers, working as local systems, were asked to submit draft plans for how they intend to intend to meet the key actions in the guidance by 1 September, with final plans due by 21 September. The guidance is available at the following link:

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

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Answer of 3 July 2020 to Question 64076, what recent assessment he has made of the capacity of acute NHS Hospital Trusts in England to manage a seasonal flu outbreak combined with a significant increase in covid-19 cases.

As outlined in the answer on 3 July 2020, the Government continues to support the National Health Service to manage winter pressures. The flu vaccination programme will be a critical part of preparing the United Kingdom for winter, and to manage pressures on the NHS should we have co-circulation of seasonal flu and COVID-19 this winter.

In July, the Prime Minister announced £3 billion to support NHS capacity this winter. In addition, in August a further £300 million of capital funding was announced to upgrade accident and emergency departments across the country to help prepare the NHS for winter.

Guidance has already been issued to the NHS on the process of starting to restore urgent non-COVID services in a safe way, whilst ensuring surge capacity can be stood up again should it be needed.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with pharmaceutical companies on their capacity to (a) develop and (b) supply an adequate quantity of flu vaccines in winter 2020.

The manufacturing of the flu vaccines is a complex biological process. In February, each year, the World Health Organization makes recommendations on the composition of the flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere based on its international surveillance programme. It takes six-eight months to manufacture the vaccines and following regulatory clearance they start to become available to service providers at the start of the flu season in September.

In relation to the supply of vaccine for the adult programme, general practitioners and pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults. To support plans to expand the flu vaccination programme this winter we have engaged with flu vaccine manufacturers to ensure an adequate quantity of flu vaccines are available this winter.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the referral rates from primary care for patients presenting with possible symptoms of cancer were in each (a) clinical commissioning group and (b) region in the most recent period for which figures are available; and what those rates were for the same period in 2019.

Information has been provided in the attached tables .

This data shows the two-week referral to treatment standard over the periods June 2020 and June 2019, at clinical commissioning group and regional level.

This data is provisional and subject to change.

It should be noted that figures refer to the number of episodes and not the number of people as someone may be referred for more than one type of cancer to different consultants.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time in each (a) clinical commissioning group and (b) region was for lung cancer patients for (i) chemotherapy and (ii) surgical procedures was in the most recent period for which figures are available; and what the average waiting times were in the same period in 2019.

Information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2020 to Question 64074, how many adult flu vaccines (a) were ordered in 2019 and (b) have been ordered for winter 2020.

General practitioners and community pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults.

In 2019/20, around 400,000 doses of adult flu vaccine were procured as a contingency stock. We have ordered additional stock for the 2020/21 season, and information on this will be provided once all the contracts are completed.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to provide a substantive answer to Question 60681.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question 60681 on 5 August.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions has he had with acute NHS Hospital Trusts on the safe management of patients presenting at A&E in winter 2020 with suspected (a) flu symptoms and (b) covid-19 symptoms.

The Government has taken unprecedented action to support the health and care system to respond to COVID-19 and to prioritise patient safety.

The Government will continue to support our health and care services and is working with the National Health Service, Public Health England, local government and other key stakeholders on planning, to take account of the risk this winter of seasonal influenza cocirculating with COVID-19.

The flu vaccination programme will be a critical part of preparing the United Kingdom for winter, and to manage pressures on the NHS should we have co-circulation of seasonal flu and COVID-19 this winter.

Best practice guidance on infection prevention and control has been issued to NHS trusts for implementation ahead of and throughout winter, including the operating framework for patients arriving at accident and emergency.

The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/secondary-care/infection-control/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on whether research has yet been completed on which influenza viruses are expected to be most prevalent during winter 2020-21.

Public Health England reports on international surveillance in the Weekly National Flu Reports which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/weekly-national-flu-reports-2019-to-2020-season

Based on the World Health Organization bi-weekly update, influenza A accounts for the majority of influenza detections worldwide. Of the subtyped influenza A viruses, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 accounts for the majority of detections worldwide. However, circulating strains change over the year and we cannot predict which strains will be most prevalent in the United Kingdom this winter.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional steps he plans to take in 2020 to increase the take up of the flu vaccine by at risk people.

Public Health England is developing a marketing campaign to encourage uptake of flu vaccination amongst those who are most at risk of flu. This will be launched ahead of the flu vaccination season, which starts in September each year. Pharmacies and general practices will offer vaccinations to at risk cohorts and, in additional to provision of the vaccine in maternity departments for pregnant women, NHS England and NHS Improvement are putting in to place plans to optimise visits by vaccination teams to other clinical departments within hospital trusts to encourage uptake of the vaccination.

Furthermore, the Annual Flu letter 2020/21 identifies the need for local plans to deliver activities to encourage those in at risk groups to have the vaccine which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884718/Annual_flu_letter_short_2020_to_2021_v8__002_.pdf

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that the influenza vaccine for winter 2020-21 is administered in a covid-19 safe environment.

The flu vaccination programme will be a critical part of preparing the United Kingdom for winter and as part of our planning should we see co-circulation of flu and COVID-19 and we are working with National Health Service and Public Health England colleagues on the delivery of the 2020/21 seasonal flu vaccination programme. Operational plans for flu include consideration of the social distancing requirements for vulnerable people, the workforce and providers. Standard operating procedures for healthcare services and guidance on immunisation during COVID-19 have been issued to providers. On 14 May we published the Annual Flu letter 2020/21, available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885281/The_national_flu_immunisation_programme_2020_to_2021.pdf

We will be publishing a further letter providing more detailed information on the flu programme ahead of the flu season.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the proposed visit on 25 March 2020 by the Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care to the Runcorn Regional NHS Distribution Centre was cancelled.

I visited Rugby National Distribution centre, run by NHS Supply Chain, on 25 March 2020. Rugby was finalised as the location for the visit, as it was better placed than the Runcorn Regional NHS Distribution Centre to accommodate visitors given the significant volumes of personal protective equipment items products being ordered by the National Health Service at that time.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many care homes run by private providers have been put under advanced surveillance for Infection Protection Control since 1 April 2020 (a) by region and (b) in England.

The Department does not currently hold data on the total number of care homes run by private providers which are being monitored for infection protection control since 1 April 2020 by region and in England.

On 15 May 2020, the Government published a support package for care homes backed by a £600 million Infection Control Fund. The package sets out the steps that are being taken to keep people in cares homes safe, and support that will be brought together across national and local government to help care providers put this into practice.

As part of the care home support package, the Government has asked local authorities to carry out a daily review of the local care market and take actions immediately where necessary to support them.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic, and we will continue to work closely with the sector to keep our policies and data under review as the pandemic goes on.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the sickness absence rate was for medical staff in each acute NHS trust hospital in (a) Merseyside and (b) Cheshire in (i) March 2020 and (ii) April 2020.

The Department does not hold the data requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to introduce a national screening programme for lung cancer, including using a blood test.

Screening for lung cancer is included as part of the United Kingdom National Screening Committee’s (UK NSC) 2020/21 workplan. However this is to review the offer to screen for lung cancer using low dose computed tomography (CT) screening. The UK NSC is now reviewing this condition in light of the recent publication of the NELSON trial results which used CT screening for former and current smokers. Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1911793

The UK NSC has not looked at the evidence to screen for lung cancer using a blood test due to the absence of published peer reviewed evidence on this. The UK NSC will review any programme in light of any new published evidence. More information and how to participate in UK NSC consultations can be read at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-nsc-evidence-review-process

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to his Department's guidance last updated on 7 April 2020, Financial assistance abroad, if he will provide additional assistance to UK citizens required to pay higher airline fees to return to the UK from overseas as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home.

We hope most travellers will be able to claim their costs from their travel insurance but for those British nationals that cannot afford the cost of a flight to return, and have no other funding options, they may be eligible for financial support through an emergency loan from public funds.

To help more British nationals who need a loan return to the UK during the coronavirus pandemic, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has streamlined the process for emergency loans, and begun working with a commercial travel agency (Corporate Travel Management or CTM) to ensure loan recipients' have travel arrangements in place to return home.

More details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-assistance-abroad/financial-assistance-abroad#if-you-need-financial-help-abroad.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the number of SMEs in the defence sector that have been denied (a) banking facilities and (b) other forms of finance because of environmental, social and governance policies since 2020.

The Government recognises the vital role small and medium-sized enterprises play in fuelling economic growth, and it is important they can access the banking services they need. Last year the Chancellor asked the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to collect evidence to help us understand where account closures and refusals are happening and why. The FCA published their initial findings on 19 September, and are doing further work with firms to verify the data and to better understand the reasons behind account refusals. In addition, HM Treasury is continuing to engage with industry to understand any existing or emerging issues regarding bank account access for businesses.

The Government welcomes steps that the financial services sector is taking to improve understanding of how firms can access financial services. In December, guidance specifically aimed at businesses operating in the defence and security sectors was published by UK Finance, the trade association for the banking and finance industry, and ADS, the trade association for the UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space sectors. This work was supported by the Department for Business and Trade.

The Government has been clear that it does not support the exclusion of defence companies from access to debt and equity capital on the basis of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations. This was made evident in a Written Ministerial Statement made by the Secretary of State for Defence, in conjunction with HM Treasury, that stated “the important values within ESG should not undermine capabilities developed to help us preserve peace and security, without which sustaining those values would not be possible”. In addition, HM Treasury has recently consulted on a potential regulatory framework for ESG ratings providers which would aim to improve transparency and promote good conduct, which will help address some of the issues which defence companies have raised.

Bim Afolami
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his oral answer of 19 December 2023 on Reducing Taxes, Official Report, Column 1220, when he plans to write to the hon. Member for Halton.

The Chancellor responded to the honourable Member on 23 January 2024.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received from SMEs that have not received business rates support to help mitigate the effects of the covid-19 outbreak; and when he plans to make an announcement on future support for those businesses.

The Government has put in place a substantial package of support for businesses worth over £280 billion, which includes loans, tax deferrals, and general and sector-specific grants. It continues to engage with businesses and representative groups, including SMEs, to ensure that the support provided is right for the affected areas and for the economy as a whole.

On 5 January the Government announced one-off grants for businesses of up to £9,000. The Government will continue to ensure businesses are supported in the coming months, as measures to control the virus change, and it will keep all impacts and policies under review. The Chancellor will consider any further decisions on taxation as part of the Budget process.

14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take additional fiscal steps beyond the (a) Green Recovery Challenge Fund and (b) Climate for Nature Fund to ensure that (i) nature and (ii) nature based solutions form part of the UK’s green recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government remains committed to pursuing a green recovery, with concern for our environment at its heart. The £40m Green Recovery Challenge Fund opened to applications in September and will provide funding for projects across England to restore nature while creating and safeguarding up to 5,000 jobs.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the financial support required to help ensure that Science and Discovery Centres do not close permanently as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor receives frequent updates on the economy to ensure that he is sighted on developments across all sectors. These include science and discovery centres.

Science and Innovation is a priority for this government which is why in June we announced a support package for universities with a range of measures to protect our excellent institutions from the impact of coronavirus.

We will continue to monitor the impact of the restrictions necessary to curb the spread of Covid-19 on businesses and the economy and the need for further support.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with mortgage providers on preventing the repossession of family homes of small business owners whose business has failed due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has been working closely with mortgage lenders throughout this period in order to provide as much certainty as possible to homeowners. In March we announced the availability of a 3-month mortgage payment deferral to help those struggling with the financial impact of Covid-19. Alongside this, FCA guidance from 2 June provided homeowners with the option of a second 3-month deferral, as well as confirming the lender ban on repossessions until 31 October 2020 meaning no homeowner will face repossession through this uncertain time.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to ensure that the coach travel sector is treated as part of the leisure sector and able to access support available to leisure businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has delivered on its promise to stand by businesses and workers throughout the pandemic and has provided one of the most comprehensive and generous packages of support globally. This support has included billions of pounds for businesses through loans and grants, support for millions of jobs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS.

Coach companies, along with other businesses, continue to have access to a range of support measures including, but not limited to:

• A Discretionary Grant Fund for Local Authorities in England

•The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

• The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises

• VAT deferral for up to 12 months (for the period 20 March – 30 June 2020)

• The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs

• Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until September 30, 2020.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme opened to all employers on 20th April.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a scheme similar to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme for concerts, festivals and other live events as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

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

That is why the Chancellor has already announced unprecedented support for individuals and businesses, to protect against the current economic emergency. This includes a £1.57 billion support package for eligible cultural and heritage organisations (including the performing arts and live music venues) and a temporary reduction in VAT, designed to support businesses and jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry (including admission to shows, theatres, concerts, circuses and similar events).

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

We will continue to monitor the impact of government support on public services, businesses, individuals and sectors as we respond to this pandemic, and keep all policies under review.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will provide fiscal support to the live events industry to help safeguard jobs in that sector.

The Government recognises the disruption that necessary actions to combat Covid-19 are having on sectors such as the live events industry. The Government has announced unprecedented support for individuals and businesses during the pandemic. This includes Business Interruption Loans and Bounce-Back Loans and a yearlong business rates holiday for all eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The Government has further announced a £1.57 billion support package for eligible cultural and heritage organisations including theatres and live music venues, and a temporary reduction in VAT to support businesses and jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry, for example by reducing the cost of admission to attractions and events such as concerts, theatres, fairs and exhibitions.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
21st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of police officers recruited between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2023 have since resigned in (a) Cheshire and (b) England.

The Home Office does not collect information on the length of service of police officers leaving the police service.

The Home Office collects and publishes data annually on the number of police officer leavers in the ‘Police Workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales.

Information on the number of police officer leavers, by Police Force Area, between the years ending 31 March 2007 and 2023, can be found in the ‘Leavers Open Data Table’ here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/64ba76662059dc000d5d27c0/open-data-table-police-workforce-leavers-260723.ods. The data does not include length of service to identify when the individual joined the police service.

Voluntary resignation rates in both Cheshire and England, at around 3%, are low compared to other sectors.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers in (a) Cheshire and (b) England have been assaulted in each year since 2016.

Data on the number of police officer assaults is collected and published by the Office for National Statistics as part of their quarterly ‘Crime in England and Wales’ police recorded crime series. This can be accessed here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice.

Information on the number of police officers assaulted in England and Wales, broken down by Police Force Area, for the year ending 31 March 2013 onwards, can be found in police recorded crime open data table here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/65afb470bc0de3000d187340/prc-pfa-mar2013-onwards-tables-250124.ods.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of police offers in Cheshire who have taken sick leave have been diagnosed with a mental health condition in each year since 2016.

The Home Office does not collect information on how many and what proportion of police officers who have taken sick leave have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

The Home Office collects and publishes data annually on the number of police officers on long term absence, which includes sickness, as at 31 March each year, in the ‘Police Workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales.

Information on long term absences, by Police Force Area, and the reason for absence, between the years ending 31 March 2007 and 2023, can be found in the ‘Absences Open Data Table’ here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/64ba613a2059dc00125d2782/open-data-table-police-workforce-absence-260723.ods.

The data are broken down by absence type which includes sickness. However, the reason for sick absence is not collected and as such it is not possible to determine how many police officers on sick absence have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 27 November 2023 to Question 2778 on Immigration: Employment, and Freedom of Information release 31192, published on 11 June 2014, how many illegal working enforced visits were made by the UK Border Agency by employment sector in each year since 2012.

To maintain the highest standards of accuracy, the Home Office refers to published data, as this has been subject to rigorous quality assurance under National Statistics protocols prior to publication.

Information about the number of illegal working enforcement visits conducted by Immigration Enforcement by employment sector is not available in our published data.

Our published data on enforcement visits (including illegal working visits) is available at the following link - Statistics relating to the Illegal Migration Act - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many immigration raids his Department carried out on employers in each employment sector in each year since 2012.

To maintain the highest standards of accuracy, the Home Office refer to published data, as this has been subject to rigorous quality assurance under National Statistics protocols prior to publication.

Information about the number of Enforcement Visits conducted by Immigration Enforcement in relation to employers in each employer sector is not available in our published data.

Our published data on enforcement visits (including illegal working visits) is available at the following link: Statistics relating to the Illegal Migration Act - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers have been placed in each (a) constituency and (b) English local authority area in each month since 1 April 2022.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area. These statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support(opens in a new tab) Data is published on a quarterly basis, with the latest information published 23 February 2023.

2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum applications have been refused in each year since 2017; and how many asylum seekers who have had their applications refused have been removed from the UK in each year since 2017.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum and returns in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on initial decisions on asylum applications are published in table Asy_D02 of the ‘asylum and resettlement detailed datasets’. Data on numbers of asylum-related returns are published in table Ret_05 of the ‘Returns summary datasets’. Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data for initial decisions on asylum applications relates to the year ending September 2022. The latest data for returns statistics relates to the end of June 2022.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 19 December 2022 on Asylum, how many decision makers were in post as of 13 December 2022.

There were 1280 decision makers in post as of 13 December 2022. This equates to 1246.76 full time equivalent (FTE) decision makers. This is double the FTE decision makers in 2021/2022 and we are continuing to recruit more decision makers to help clear the asylum backlog by the end of 2023.

16th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to Prime Minister's Answer to the hon. Member for Halton during his oral statement on Illegal Immigration on 13 December 2022, Official Report, column 902, what the evidential basis was for saying that the initial asylum backlog is approximately 117,000.

The Home Office records information relating to asylum applications on case working systems. Information derived from these systems – including data on the number of asylum cases awaiting an initial decision – are published in the quarterly Immigration Statistics. The latest data show that there were 117,400 applications awaiting an initial decision at the end of September 2022.

The underlying data can be found in table Asy_D03 of the ‘asylum and resettlement detailed datasets’. Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbooks. Please note, the data show a snapshot as at the last day of each quarter, rather than the number of asylum applications awaiting a decision over the entire quarter. Additional information can be found in the User Guide to: Immigration Statistics.

14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Prime Minister's oral statement of 13 December 2022 on Illegal Immigration, Official Report, column 885, what estimate she has made of when the number of asylum caseworkers will be doubled.

We will recruit further staff and expect to have 2,500 decision makers in post by September 2023.

14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Prime Minister's Answer to the hon. Member for Halton during his oral statement of 13 December 2022 on Illegal Immigration, Official Report, column 902, for what reason she has not set a target for the removal from the UK of asylum seekers whose application have been rejected.

The Government wants to maximise the number of people returned from the United Kingdom through both voluntary and enforced routes.

26th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many meetings ministers in his Department have had with representatives of SMEs that are developing (a) defence-related artificial intelligence and (b) artificial intelligence with potential defence capacity in each year since 2015.

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

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to engage with small and medium-sized enterprises that express interest in developing defence-related AI technologies.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make a significant contribution to the defence AI supply chain and we are pursuing several initiatives to more clearly communicate our AI requirements, address barriers to frictionless collaboration, and incentivise engagement and co-creation with small and medium-sized enterprises.

In addition, MOD published its SME Action Plan in 2022 outlining specific commitments to improve engagement with smaller businesses including improving visibility of opportunities and simplifying our procurement approach. We are also encouraging our major suppliers to publish their own sub-contract opportunities through the Defence Sourcing Portal, making it easier for SMEs to find and bid for defence work.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much and what proportion of his Department's budget was spent on AI development in each year since 2016.

The Defence AI Centre is monitoring over 250 projects and programmes that are exploring the use of AI technologies as part of a capability or system. However, it is difficult to calculate the Department’s overall spend on AI as cost data for these component elements is typically integrated within broader programme costs. Work is underway to better delineate this investment across MOD and improve our understanding over time.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Defence Strategic Operating Concept has been published.

The Integrated Operating Concept (IOpC). It was originally published in Sep 20 and updated in Sep 21. A copy of the IOpC can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-integrated-operating-concept-2025

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
7th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many infantry there were in the army in (a) 2010, (b) 2015 and (c) 2022.

The below table shows the Army Regular Trade Trained Infantry personnel, as at 1 April 2010, 1 April 2015 and 1 April 2022.

Date

Total

1 April 2022

17,752

1 April 2015

20,134

1 April 2010

24,945

The decrease in infantry strength is relative to the overall strength of the British Army. Infantry personnel made up 25.4% of the Trade Trained Regular Army in April 2010, 25.3% in April 2015 and 24.2% in April 2022.

Table notes:

  1. Table 1 figures are for the Trade Trained Regular Army only and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service, Mobilised Reserves, Army Reserve and all other Reserves, but includes those personnel that have transferred from GURTAM to UKTAP.

  1. Officers of the paid rank of Colonel and above in the General Staff are excluded from these figures, regardless of late Arm/Service.

  1. Other Ranks in Senior Soldier Continuity Posts are excluded from these figures, regardless of late Arm/Service.

  1. Figures are for all Trade Trained Regular Army Infantry personnel, regardless of whether these personnel are serving at Regimental Duty. This may differ from published statistics which ask for Unit or Battalion information and only include personnel serving at Regimental Duty.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
2nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many veterans and their family members have contacted Veterans UK in each year since 2010.

It is not possible to establish the number of individual contacts for the different services provided by Veterans UK.

However, I can confirm the number of calls the Veterans UK helpline received and they are detailed in the table below. Data prior to 2017 is not held.

Calendar year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023 to date

Calls offered

142,806

143,954

123,805

53,863

34,949

57,376

11,857

Calls answered

130,225

128,373

129,428

48,074

33,977

54,932

10,851

In 2022 The Veterans Welfare Service has had 40,276 client interactions to date, and these include calls, emails and written correspondence.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
2nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much money has the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme paid out in each year since 2005.

This information is already in the public domain available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/armed-forces-compensation-scheme-statistics-financial-year-202122

The attached table has been copied from Table 19: Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Expenditure, by financial year, 6 April 2005 to 31 March 2022.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Army will have a warfighting division of 10,000 troops.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question 127277 on 25 February 2022 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey). The British Army already has a warfighting Division, the 3rd (UK) Division, which has in excess of 10,000 troops

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many officer cadets from the UK who entered training at Sandhurst were from ethnic minorities, in each year since 2010.

The table below shows the Regular Army UK BAME intake to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) from 2010 – 30 Sept 2021, by financial year.

Financial Year

Number of Personnel from the UK

FY 2010/11

20

FY 2011/12

20

FY 2012/13

20

FY 2013/14

20

FY 2014/15

10

FY 2015/16

20

FY 2016/17

10

FY 2017/18

20

FY 2018/19

10

FY 19/20

20

FY 20/21 up to 30 Sept

10

Source: Analysis (Army)

Table notes:

  1. The figures are for the UK Regular Army only and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service, Mobilised Reserves, Army Reserve and all other Reserves, but includes those personnel that have transferred from GURTAM to UKTAP.
  2. Ethnicity has been extracted from the Joint Personnel Administration System.
  3. There are a number of people with unknown ethnicity, a proportion of who may be BAME.
  4. Figures above include those personnel who join the Pre-RMAS (PRMAS) and Leadership Development Course (LDC) schemes prior to starting RMAS. This means that the latest figures may differ slightly from those supplied in previous PQ answers which excluded the PRMAS and LDC elements.
  5. There were ~20 additional personnel whose primary nationality is not British.
  6. Figures have been rounded to 10 as a means of disclosure control to protect individuals; numbers ending in "5" have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.
  7. Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and so may not appear to be the sum of their parts.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2021 to Question 170542 on armed forces: officers, (a) when and (b) for what reasons his Department stopped collecting information identifying the (i) state and (ii) private school background of successful applicants for scholarships.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is not aware of any historical policy to record the school status of recipients of scholarships and bursaries. Such awards have always been made on the basis of merit alone and, as such, there continues to be no business reason for the MOD to create a central record of school status.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2021 to Question 170542, whether the Defence Recruiting System records the school or college of applicants; and if he will he publish the number of successful applicants by school or college for the last five years.

As part of the application process to the Armed Forces, the Defence Recruiting System records the names of schools attended by applicants. However, the requested information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many one star and above officer's attended state schools as a total of those currently serving in the armed forces.

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

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March to Question 164354, if he will make it his policy to keep information centrally on the (a) number and (b) value of scholarships and bursaries awarded by the Department, and whether the recipients are pupils or ex-pupils of (i) state and (ii) private schools.

The Ministry of Defence keeps accurate records of the number and value of scholarships and bursaries awarded. However, the Defence Recruiting System has no field to record the status of a school i.e. state or private. This means that a determination as to school status would require every case to be manually opened and individual documents scrutinised.

Awards of scholarships and bursaries are made on merit alone and the status of an applicant’s school has no bearing on the outcome of any decisions. For that reason, the Department has no plans to create a central record of the school status of recipients of scholarships and bursaries.

The single Services have provided the following information on bursaries and scholarships:

Naval Service:

Bursaries

Total Value of Bursaries

Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS)

Total value of DTUS

Scholarships

Total Value of Scholarships

2017

16

£51,500

40

£160,000

10

£10,500

2018

17

£50,500

23

£92,000

11

£16,500

2019

17

£50,500

33

£132,000

16

£24,000

2020

3

£9,500

41

£164,000

1

£1,500

Note: information from 2016 is not held.

Army:

Bursaries

2015-16

59

2016-17

110

2017-18

133

2018-19

109

2019-20

130

Note: figures for 2016-17 are for Standard Bursary awards only. Figures for all other years also include Technical Bursary and Enhanced Bursary awards

Professionally Qualified Officer (Medical) Bursaries 2016-2019

Year

Doctors

Dentist

Vets

Nurses

Soldier Nurses

Total Awards

2016

23

1

2

1

N/A

27

2017

32

2

3

1

N/A

38

2018

28

1

1

4

N/A

34

2019

30

1

1

1

5

38

Army Officer Scholarship Scheme Awards 2015-2019

Year

Scholarship

2015

61

2016

40

2017

37

2018

73

2019

59

In the time available, the Army have not been able to provide complete financial information for 2016-17 and 2017-18. In addition, all the following figures are approximate:

Army Spend on Bursaries and Scholarships 2016-17 to 2019-20

2016-17 – £930,000

2017-18 – £1.4 million

2018-19 – £3 million

2019-20 – £3.8 million

Royal Air Force (RAF):

In each of the last five Financial Years (FY, 2016-17 to 2020-21) the RAF have awarded 100 university bursaries. The total value of these bursaries in each FY was approximately £850,000 to £900,000.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 164354 on Armed Forces: Officers, what data his Department holds on the award of (a) sixth form scholarships, (b) university bursaries and (c) other bursaries by his Department.

The Ministry of Defence keeps accurate records of the number and value of scholarships and bursaries awarded. However, the Defence Recruiting System has no field to record the status of a school i.e. state or private. This means that a determination as to school status would require every case to be manually opened and individual documents scrutinised.

Awards of scholarships and bursaries are made on merit alone and the status of an applicant’s school has no bearing on the outcome of any decisions. For that reason, the Department has no plans to create a central record of the school status of recipients of scholarships and bursaries.

The single Services have provided the following information on bursaries and scholarships:

Naval Service:

Bursaries

Total Value of Bursaries

Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS)

Total value of DTUS

Scholarships

Total Value of Scholarships

2017

16

£51,500

40

£160,000

10

£10,500

2018

17

£50,500

23

£92,000

11

£16,500

2019

17

£50,500

33

£132,000

16

£24,000

2020

3

£9,500

41

£164,000

1

£1,500

Note: information from 2016 is not held.

Army:

Bursaries

2015-16

59

2016-17

110

2017-18

133

2018-19

109

2019-20

130

Note: figures for 2016-17 are for Standard Bursary awards only. Figures for all other years also include Technical Bursary and Enhanced Bursary awards

Professionally Qualified Officer (Medical) Bursaries 2016-2019

Year

Doctors

Dentist

Vets

Nurses

Soldier Nurses

Total Awards

2016

23

1

2

1

N/A

27

2017

32

2

3

1

N/A

38

2018

28

1

1

4

N/A

34

2019

30

1

1

1

5

38

Army Officer Scholarship Scheme Awards 2015-2019

Year

Scholarship

2015

61

2016

40

2017

37

2018

73

2019

59

In the time available, the Army have not been able to provide complete financial information for 2016-17 and 2017-18. In addition, all the following figures are approximate:

Army Spend on Bursaries and Scholarships 2016-17 to 2019-20

2016-17 – £930,000

2017-18 – £1.4 million

2018-19 – £3 million

2019-20 – £3.8 million

Royal Air Force (RAF):

In each of the last five Financial Years (FY, 2016-17 to 2020-21) the RAF have awarded 100 university bursaries. The total value of these bursaries in each FY was approximately £850,000 to £900,000.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) sixth form scholarships, (b) university bursaries and (c) other bursaries have been awarded by his Department in each of the last five years; and what the total value of those scholarships and bursaries were in each of those years.

The Ministry of Defence keeps accurate records of the number and value of scholarships and bursaries awarded. However, the Defence Recruiting System has no field to record the status of a school i.e. state or private. This means that a determination as to school status would require every case to be manually opened and individual documents scrutinised.

Awards of scholarships and bursaries are made on merit alone and the status of an applicant’s school has no bearing on the outcome of any decisions. For that reason, the Department has no plans to create a central record of the school status of recipients of scholarships and bursaries.

The single Services have provided the following information on bursaries and scholarships:

Naval Service:

Bursaries

Total Value of Bursaries

Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS)

Total value of DTUS

Scholarships

Total Value of Scholarships

2017

16

£51,500

40

£160,000

10

£10,500

2018

17

£50,500

23

£92,000

11

£16,500

2019

17

£50,500

33

£132,000

16

£24,000

2020

3

£9,500

41

£164,000

1

£1,500

Note: information from 2016 is not held.

Army:

Bursaries

2015-16

59

2016-17

110

2017-18

133

2018-19

109

2019-20

130

Note: figures for 2016-17 are for Standard Bursary awards only. Figures for all other years also include Technical Bursary and Enhanced Bursary awards

Professionally Qualified Officer (Medical) Bursaries 2016-2019

Year

Doctors

Dentist

Vets

Nurses

Soldier Nurses

Total Awards

2016

23

1

2

1

N/A

27

2017

32

2

3

1

N/A

38

2018

28

1

1

4

N/A

34

2019

30

1

1

1

5

38

Army Officer Scholarship Scheme Awards 2015-2019

Year

Scholarship

2015

61

2016

40

2017

37

2018

73

2019

59

In the time available, the Army have not been able to provide complete financial information for 2016-17 and 2017-18. In addition, all the following figures are approximate:

Army Spend on Bursaries and Scholarships 2016-17 to 2019-20

2016-17 – £930,000

2017-18 – £1.4 million

2018-19 – £3 million

2019-20 – £3.8 million

Royal Air Force (RAF):

In each of the last five Financial Years (FY, 2016-17 to 2020-21) the RAF have awarded 100 university bursaries. The total value of these bursaries in each FY was approximately £850,000 to £900,000.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what proportion of officer cadets entering Sandhurst in the last 10 years attended (a) state and (b) private school.

The table below shows the proportion of officer cadets entering Sandhurst in the last 10 years who attended independent and state schools:

This data has been provided from a single service source rather than official statistics produced by Defence Statistics as they do not collate this information.

Teaining YearIndependent Schools %State Schools %
2011-124456
2012-134753
2013-144357
2014-154060
2015-164060
2016-174258
2017-184357
2018-194852
2019-204357
2020-214456
James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) sixth form scholarships, (b) university bursaries and (c) other bursaries were awarded in each of the last five years to pupils or ex-pupils of (i) state and (ii) private schools for officer candidates.

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

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will delay the discharge of service leavers who are being discharged on medical grounds, after suffering injuries sustained whilst on operations, until they have received their full entitlement to resettlement support.

A bespoke service is provided for the most vulnerable leavers through the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) resettlement pathway.?This function is called CTP Assist and delivers an individualised, needs-based service to those?Service personnel who face the greatest barriers to employment as a consequence of their medical conditions.?This comprehensive employment support is made available to all Service personnel subject to medical discharge in order to maximise their?successful transition to civilian life. The single Services take account of individual requirements and revise individual plans as appropriate, ensuring the serviceperson can utilise all their entitlements prior to their exit date. Requests to extend exit dates are considered on a case-by-case basis, to ensure individuals can complete recovery and resettlement activities.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he will take to ensure service leavers who have had their resettlement workshops and courses cancelled as a result of the covid-19 outbreak are able to receive their full resettlement support before leaving service.

The resettlement services provided by the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) Career Transition Partnership's (CTP) ten Resettlement Centres and Resettlement Training Centre have all now reopened and training is taking place using a 'blended' approach that uses both virtual and face to face learning, albeit social distancing requirements have significantly reduced training capacity.

In recognition of this, CTP and MOD have taken a number of actions to ensure Service leavers and veterans are not disadvantaged; Service leavers who are in their final six months of Service, or who are being medically discharged, are being prioritised and access to CTP services has been extended by three months (in addition to the existing 24 months) to 27 months post-discharge to reflect the current disruption. In addition. all three single Services have introduced measures which allow personnel currently serving to request an extension of Service of between six and twelve months or to rescind a previous request to voluntarily leave the Armed Forces during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 16 March 2021, Official Report, column 192, on 16 March 2021, where are the data sets the Government used to priorities areas for funding from the levelling-up fund are available; and on what date they were published.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents/levelling-up-fund-prioritisation-of-places-methodology-note.

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reasons Halton did not meet the criteria to be a (a) category one area for the purposes of the Levelling Up Fund or (b) priority area for the Community Renewal Fund.

As set out in the prospectus published last week, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration.

As set out in the UK Community Renewal Fund prospectus published on 3 March, we have identified 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience across Great Britain which measures productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density.

We are committed to transparency and have published a methodological note on the index used for each Fund.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents/levelling-up-fund-prioritisation-of-places-methodology-note

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus/uk-community-renewal-fund-prioritisation-of-places-methodology-note

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2021 to Question 151623 on Electric Vehicles: Charging Points, when his Department plans to publish its response to the Government's consultation on options to amend building regulations to require electric vehicle charge points to be installed in residential and non-residential buildings.

The Government will publish the response to the consultation 'Electric Vehicle Charging in Residential and Non-Residential Buildings' by the summer. The amended building regulations will come into effect by the end of the year.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to ensure that all future new build houses have electric car charging points installed during construction.

The Government consulted in 2019 on options to amend the building regulations to require electric vehicle chargepoints in residential and non-residential buildings. We will publish a response, which will set out our plans for the new requirements coming into effect.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the time taken to process probate applications in the most recent period for which figures are available.

I refer the right honourable member to the answer given to PQ 11482 on 10 June 2021.

The answer can be found here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-06-07/11482

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department taken in each year since 2013 to raise the standards of coroner investigations to ensure that bereaved families are satisfied with that investigation process.

In July 2013 we implemented the coroner reforms in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 with the aim of putting bereaved people at the heart of the coroner system. This included the appointment of a Chief Coroner of England and Wales who provides training to all coroner and coronial officers through the Judicial College and reports annually to the Lord Chancellor on standards across all coroner areas.

Since July 2013 we have merged a number of coroner areas across England and Wales to deliver new areas that are better placed to provide a consistent standard of service to bereaved families There are now 85 coroner areas compared to 110 in 2012.

In April 2017 we removed the requirement for inquests where the deceased had been deprived of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 removing the need for unnecessary inquests where a person died from natural causes.

Our report of the Review of Legal Aid for inquests published in February 2019 set out the work we have been doing to make inquests more sympathetic to bereaved families.

This includes a revised Guide to Coroner Services, published In January 2020 (the original was published in February 2014) which is focused on the needs of bereaved families and contains a new protocol on the approach government departments and its lawyers will take when they have interested person status in an inquest, to make sure that bereaved families continue to be at the heart of the inquisitorial process.

We continue to work with the Chief Coroner to review we are doing to ensure that bereaved families are well supported.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the Senior Coroner at the Southport office plans to make a decision on reopening the investigation into the death of Laura Higginson; and whether a Middleton type inquest will be part of that consideration.

Coronial investigation decisions are entirely a matter for coroners as independent judicial office holders; it is therefore inappropriate for the Government to comment on those decisions.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice