Diana Johnson Portrait

Diana Johnson

Labour - Kingston upon Hull North

Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (Joint)
27th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Health and Social Care Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Draft Health Service Safety Investigation Bill (Joint Committee)
17th Apr 2018 - 27th Jul 2018
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
18th Sep 2015 - 27th Jun 2016
Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)
8th Oct 2010 - 18th Sep 2015
Shadow Minister (Health)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools)
9th Jun 2009 - 13th May 2010
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
2nd Jul 2007 - 10th Jun 2009
Public Accounts Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 5th Dec 2005


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 11th May 2021
16:00
Home Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The work of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service
11 May 2021, 4 p.m.
At 4.10pm: Oral evidence
Dame Cressida Dick DBE QPM - Commissioner at Metropolitan Police Service
Louisa Rolfe OBE - Assistant Commissioner at Metropolitan Police Service
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 12th May 2021
09:30
Home Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Police conduct and complaints
12 May 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Kit Malthouse MP - Minister for Crime and Policing at Home Office
Michael Cordy - Head of Police Integrity Unit, Policing Policy Directorate at Home Office
Paul Regan - Head of Neighbourhood Crime Unit, Crime Reduction Directorate at Home Office
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Immigration
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 196 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 270 Noes - 358
Speeches
Tuesday 27th April 2021
Post Office Court of Appeal Judgment

The Horizon scandal, as we know, has destroyed the lives of many people, including that of my constituent, Janet Skinner. …

Written Answers
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Transpennine Express
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 174767 on …
Early Day Motions
Monday 16th October 2017
CONTAMINATED BLOOD INQUIRY
That this House welcomes the Prime Minister's announcement of an inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal; thanks the Rt. Rev …
Bills
Wednesday 9th December 2020
Sexual Exploitation Bill 2019-21
A Bill to criminalise paying for sex; to decriminalise selling sex; to create offences relating to enabling or profiting from …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 2nd March 2020
1. Employment and earnings
28 February 2020, received £200 from Ipsos MORI, 3 Thomas More Square, London E1W 1YW, for completing a survey in …
EDM signed
Monday 12th October 2020
Debenhams redundancies
That this House condemns the way in which Debenhams has implemented the redundancies of thousands of workers during the Coronavirus …
Supported Legislation
Monday 6th July 2020
Tibet (Reciprocal Access) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to report annually on restrictions on access by UK nationals to Tibet …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Diana Johnson has voted in 243 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Diana Johnson 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(22 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(22 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(18 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(26 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(21 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(16 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(13 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Diana Johnson's debates

Kingston upon Hull North Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Kingston upon Hull North signature proportion
Petitions with most Kingston upon Hull North signatures
Diana Johnson has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Diana Johnson

12th October 2020
Diana Johnson signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 12th October 2020

Debenhams redundancies

Tabled by: Andrew Gwynne (Labour - Denton and Reddish)
That this House condemns the way in which Debenhams has implemented the redundancies of thousands of workers during the Coronavirus outbreak; notes that staff were told via conference call that they would be made redundant with 3 days’ notice and 3 days’ pay and that there was no consultation or …
29 signatures
(Most recent: 10 Nov 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Scottish National Party: 2
Plaid Cymru: 2
Independent: 1
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
14th July 2020
Diana Johnson signed this EDM on Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Restoration of online democracy and equal rights for MPs

Tabled by: Geraint Davies (Labour (Co-op) - Swansea West)
That this House believes that the decision to discontinue the ability of elected MPs to participate remotely in parliamentary debates, bill committees and by electronic voting is unlawful and discriminatory because it means that up to 250 elected MPs, who are clinically shielded to protect themselves or their families from …
66 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 34
Scottish National Party: 15
Liberal Democrat: 8
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Green Party: 1
View All Diana Johnson's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Diana Johnson, 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.


Diana Johnson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Diana Johnson has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

7 Bills introduced by Diana Johnson


A Bill to criminalise paying for sex; to decriminalise selling sex; to create offences relating to enabling or profiting from another person's sexual exploitation; to make associated provision about sexual exploitation online; to make provision for support services for victims of sexual exploitation; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 9th December 2020
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to amend the law relating to abortion in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland; to remove criminal liability in respect of abortion performed with the consent of the pregnant woman up to the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy; to repeal sections 59 and 60 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861; to create offences of termination of a pregnancy after its twenty-fourth week and non-consensual termination of a pregnancy; to amend the law relating to conscientious objection to participation in abortion treatment; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 23rd October 2018
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

A Bill to regulate the termination of pregnancies by medical practitioners and to repeal certain criminal offences relating to such terminations; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 13th March 2017
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to make provision to include education about sex and relationships, resilience against bullying and sexual abuse and ending violence against women and girls in the national curriculum; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 21st October 2014

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for the statutory regulation of sex establishments; to amend the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982; to require local authorities to adhere to the existing voluntary licensing framework for sex establishments; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 28th January 2014

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to enable women to be consecrated as bishops in the Church of England; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 13th March 2013

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Secretary of State to make provision to include relationship, drug and alcohol education in the national curriculum; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 17th October 2012

392 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
3 Other Department Questions
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the Answer of 4 March 2021 to Question 160582, when he plans to respond to the letters from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North, of 25 February 2021 and 11 March 2021, on changes in the level of funding for Transport for the North.

A reply has been sent.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to his oral contribution on 24 February 2021, Official Report, col 911, if he will make an assessment of the compatibility of his policies and the funding letter from the Department for Transport, sent to Transport for the North, dated 4 January 2021.

A reply will be sent in due course. Transport for the North’s overall funding means they will have access to over £70 million this coming financial year alone. We are building on the £29 billion we have invested in transport in the north since 2010 with: the Integrated Rail Plan bringing together HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, and our multi-billion-pound rail investment programme; our £5 billion investment into local bus and cycle links, including in the North; our £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund which will benefit communities across the region; and our £4.2 billion intra-city transport fund, benefitting bus, train, and tram services across our 8 largest city regions. And at Budget, we reaffirmed our commitment to northern infrastructure, with:

  • The launch of the UK Infrastructure Bank, headquartered in Leeds;
  • A new government economic campus in Darlington;
  • Investment in offshore wind port infrastructure in Teesside and Humberside;
  • And over £450 million in Towns Fund Deals for towns across the north – investing in infrastructure and culture from Middlesbrough to Bolton, to Rochdale and Scunthorpe.
Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to his oral contribution on 24 February 2021, Official Report, col 911, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North dated 25 February 2021 on changes in the level of funding for Transport for the North.

A reply will be sent in due course. Transport for the North’s overall funding means they will have access to over £70 million this coming financial year alone. We are building on the £29 billion we have invested in transport in the north since 2010 with: the Integrated Rail Plan bringing together HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, and our multi-billion-pound rail investment programme; our £5 billion investment into local bus and cycle links, including in the North; our £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund which will benefit communities across the region; and our £4.2 billion intra-city transport fund, benefitting bus, train, and tram services across our 8 largest city regions. And at Budget, we reaffirmed our commitment to northern infrastructure, with:

  • The launch of the UK Infrastructure Bank, headquartered in Leeds;
  • A new government economic campus in Darlington;
  • Investment in offshore wind port infrastructure in Teesside and Humberside;
  • And over £450 million in Towns Fund Deals for towns across the north – investing in infrastructure and culture from Middlesbrough to Bolton, to Rochdale and Scunthorpe.
Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to provide additional funding to (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland to support improvements and equality in the infected blood support schemes.

Work is currently underway across government to address the concerns of people infected and affected by infected blood, and the House will be updated shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent progress has been made in making long-term, specialist psychological support available to people infected or affected by the contaminated blood scandal.

Work is currently underway across government to address the concerns of people infected and affected by infected blood, and the House will be updated shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department has taken to include bereaved parents and children in the infected blood support schemes.

Work is currently underway across government to address the concerns of people infected and affected by infected blood, and the House will be updated shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made on ensuring that access to the infected blood support schemes is fair and equal throughout the UK.

Work is currently underway across government to address the concerns of people infected and affected by infected blood, and the House will be updated shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions his Department (a) has had and (b) plans to have with local authority leaders on ensuring that the May 2021 local elections are covid-secure.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. The Government has confirmed that the set of local and PCC elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Further guidance for all those involved in the elections will be available in due course and well in advance of the polls.

As has been the case under successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed. Details of ministers' meetings with external organisations and individuals are published on gov.uk periodically.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the steps required to make buildings used (a) as polling stations and (b) for counts during the local elections in May 2021 covid-secure.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. The Government has confirmed that the set of local and PCC elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Further guidance for all those involved in the elections will be available in due course and well in advance of the polls.

As has been the case under successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed. Details of ministers' meetings with external organisations and individuals are published on gov.uk periodically.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when his Department plans to publish advice for returning officers organising the counts of the local elections in May 2021.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. The Government has confirmed that the set of local and PCC elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Further guidance for all those involved in the elections will be available in due course and well in advance of the polls.

As has been the case under successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed. Details of ministers' meetings with external organisations and individuals are published on gov.uk periodically.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the number of people who can safely attend the counts of the local elections in May 2021 in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. The Government has confirmed that the set of local and PCC elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Further guidance for all those involved in the elections will be available in due course and well in advance of the polls.

As has been the case under successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed. Details of ministers' meetings with external organisations and individuals are published on gov.uk periodically.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Nov 2020
What plans the Government has to implement the recommendations of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report on Russia.

The Government welcomed the ISC’s report on Russia. The Government's response to the report was published on the same day as its release.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to Answer of 2 June 2020 to Question 48959, when the Government plans to lift covid-19 restrictions to allow small, socially distant weddings to take place.

The Government understands the huge significance of weddings. We recognise that because weddings have not been able to take place in recent months this has caused difficulty and distress for many people. As set out in the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, published in May, the Government has been examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups better to facilitate small weddings. We have worked closely with faith leaders and local government on how best to achieve this. The Prime Minister announced on 23 June that wedding and civil partnership ceremonies will be able to take place in England from 4 July. People should avoid having a large ceremony, and should invite no more than thirty family and friends. Venues should ensure they are COVID-19 secure.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many covid-19 deaths have been recorded in care homes in Hull since the start of the outbreak.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of easing covid-19 restrictions to allow weddings to take place with a limited number of attendees.

As stated in 'Our Plan To Rebuild', the Government's COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, the Government is examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that hospitality businesses in (a) Kingston upon Hull North constituency and (b) the UK do not close down as a result of covid-19 restrictions in advance of those restrictions being eased.

The Government has brought forward a substantial package of financial support for the hospitality sector over the last year. My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer will be making further announcements on the next phase of our economic support package in his Budget on 3 March.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support Kingston upon Hull to become the location of Europe’s first rare earth processing plant.

On 26th January, Pensana Rare Earths plc submitted a planning application for a proposed rare earth oxide separation facility at the Saltend Chemicals Park, Humber, Yorkshire. This will create Europe’s first rare earth processing plant, generating 100 new jobs and establishing a UK source of critical materials for the powerful magnets needed for offshore wind turbines and electric vehicles.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a single, unified system of age labelling across all online streaming sites in line with the age labelling system used for cinema.

The British Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) age ratings are currently used by a number of video on demand providers and, although adoption is voluntary, we welcome their use. Over the past year, we have been working with the BBFC and industry to drive the voluntary adoption of the BBFC’s age rating symbols to video on demand services. We were particularly pleased to see Netflix announce on 1 December 2020 that they have become the first video on demand service to achieve complete coverage of their content under the BBFC’s ratings.

The UK’s Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2020, which transposed the revised EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, were made and laid in Parliament on 30 September 2020. Following Parliament’s approval, the video sharing platform regime, for which Ofcom is the regulator, came into force on 1 November 2020. UK-established video sharing platforms must now take appropriate measures to protect the public, including minors, from illegal and harmful material.

Video sharing platforms are not currently mandated to adopt BBFC ratings, nor is it expected that they will be mandated to do so under Ofcom’s regulatory regime for video sharing platforms. In order to comply with the video sharing platform regime, age assurance measures may be adopted by video sharing platforms along with other measures such as age ratings and parental controls. Age assurance measures comprise a broad range of technical measures which can be used by a service to establish the age of their users. Under the video sharing platform regime, services must take into account freedom of expression and should consider what measures are most appropriate and proportionate prior to introducing them.

Ofcom and the BBFC have a strong collaborative relationship when working on audience protection issues. The BBFC is engaging actively with both Ofcom and video sharing platforms to share their expertise on emerging technologies and the applicability of content ratings on those platforms.

Protecting children is at the heart of our online harms agenda and of wider government priorities. Where sites host user-generated content or facilitate online user interaction such as video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming, then that content will be subject to the new duty of care to be introduced under the Online Safety Bill. The government is working at pace to prepare the Bill, which will be ready this year.

We will continue to engage with industry to encourage platforms to use BBFC ratings to keep children safe online. We will keep the evidence for legislation in this area under review.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will consult representatives of the British Board of Film Classification on best practice on age labelling for online streaming sites; and if he will urge all platforms operating in the UK to display ratings that accord with that organisation's guidelines.

The British Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) age ratings are currently used by a number of video on demand providers and, although adoption is voluntary, we welcome their use. Over the past year, we have been working with the BBFC and industry to drive the voluntary adoption of the BBFC’s age rating symbols to video on demand services. We were particularly pleased to see Netflix announce on 1 December 2020 that they have become the first video on demand service to achieve complete coverage of their content under the BBFC’s ratings.

The UK’s Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2020, which transposed the revised EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, were made and laid in Parliament on 30 September 2020. Following Parliament’s approval, the video sharing platform regime, for which Ofcom is the regulator, came into force on 1 November 2020. UK-established video sharing platforms must now take appropriate measures to protect the public, including minors, from illegal and harmful material.

Video sharing platforms are not currently mandated to adopt BBFC ratings, nor is it expected that they will be mandated to do so under Ofcom’s regulatory regime for video sharing platforms. In order to comply with the video sharing platform regime, age assurance measures may be adopted by video sharing platforms along with other measures such as age ratings and parental controls. Age assurance measures comprise a broad range of technical measures which can be used by a service to establish the age of their users. Under the video sharing platform regime, services must take into account freedom of expression and should consider what measures are most appropriate and proportionate prior to introducing them.

Ofcom and the BBFC have a strong collaborative relationship when working on audience protection issues. The BBFC is engaging actively with both Ofcom and video sharing platforms to share their expertise on emerging technologies and the applicability of content ratings on those platforms.

Protecting children is at the heart of our online harms agenda and of wider government priorities. Where sites host user-generated content or facilitate online user interaction such as video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming, then that content will be subject to the new duty of care to be introduced under the Online Safety Bill. The government is working at pace to prepare the Bill, which will be ready this year.

We will continue to engage with industry to encourage platforms to use BBFC ratings to keep children safe online. We will keep the evidence for legislation in this area under review.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to provide targeted support to (a) cinemas and (b) entertainment venues while they remain closed as a result covid-19 restrictions.

Throughout the Covid pandemic the government has recognised the significant cultural and economic value of cinemas and entertainment venues.

On February 19 2020, DCMS announced that more than 200 independent cinemas had received £21 million in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas, part of the wider £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF). The CRF has also made over 690 awards to the music sector totalling £170 million, and within that over £54 million has been awarded to over 300 music venues. Funding was also allocated for a second round of support worth up to £14 million for cinemas, with other entertainment venues being able to apply for Arts Council England’s second round fund of £250 million.

Together with pan-economy measures, including the VAT cut on tickets and concessions and a business rates holiday, these measures have supported the sector and we hope enabled it to reopen in line with the Government’s roadmap.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people’s access to broadband; and what steps the Government is taking to (a) ensure the affordability of broadband and (b) reduce the digital divide.

In response to Covid-19, the Government and Ofcom agreed a set of commitments with the UK’s major broadband and mobile providers to support vulnerable consumers during the pandemic. Providers committed to working with customers who are finding it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19 to ensure that they were treated fairly and appropriately supported. They also committed to removing fixed broadband data caps, in addition to providing new and generous landline and mobile offers, such as free or low cost mobile data boosts.

There are already social tariffs available which offer low cost landline and broadband services for those on certain means-tested benefits. However, in line with Ofcom’s recommendation in their Affordability Report published in December 2020, the Government is encouraging those providers who do not currently offer social tariff packages to do so.

In addition, Government and Ofcom have taken action to help support switching to more affordable services.

The Government has promoted the DevicesDotNow campaign, which worked with community organisations to distribute devices to vulnerable adults and help them get online. The aim was to enable elderly and vulnerable people, particularly those to who are shielding, to communicate with the outside world and get access to vital services.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring broadband providers to offer affordable tariffs for people on low incomes.

The government recognises the importance of digital connectivity, particularly during this difficult period. We have worked closely with industry to develop a number of voluntary commitments. Providers have committed to working with customers who are finding it difficult to pay their bill as a result of COVID-19, to ensure that customers were treated fairly and appropriately supported. This is in addition to lifting all fixed broadband data caps and providing new and generous landline and mobile offers, such as free or low cost mobile data boosts.

In line with Ofcom’s recommendation in their Affordability Report published in December 2020, the government encourages those providers who do not currently offer social tariff packages to do so and we will monitor the situation closely.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to Tier Three covid-19 restrictions that will be in place from the 2 December 2020, whether an indoor sports facility that would be required to cease group activity and classes are permitted to (a) teach a one-on-one class and (b) hire out their facility for self-directed and socially distant practice.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of enhanced national restrictions and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

As the Prime Minister said on 23 November national restrictions will end on Wednesday 2 December, and gyms and sport facilities will reopen across all tiers. Under Tier 3 you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues. Gyms and sports facilities will be open for individual exercise and exercise in single households or support bubbles only. Indoor group activities and exercise classes should not take place. You can continue to do unlimited exercise alone, or in an outdoor public place in groups up to 6.

There are exceptions for the following, which can take place in any number:

  • disability sport

  • sports as part of the curriculum in education

  • supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s (including those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020)

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he had had with (a) Cineworld and (b) trade unions on financial support for staff affected by the planned partial closure of that company's cinemas.

The government deeply regrets the unfortunate news of Cineworld’s temporary closure and is in direct and regular contact with the screen industry, including distributors and exhibitors, as well as through the BFI Screen Sector Task Force.

The government has supported cinemas through the VAT cut on tickets and concessions, business rates holiday and Bounce back loans. Independent cinemas are also eligible for a share of £30m from our unprecedented £1.57bn Culture Recovery Rund, and funding has started to be allocated already.

We recognise that cinemas need an incoming stream of new releases to show and we are supporting production by establishing a £500 million in a UK-wide Film and TV Production Restart Scheme to help get productions back up and running again. This will support the creation of new content which can be released into cinemas of all sizes.

Unless subject to local restrictions, cinemas are open for business and Covid secure. We urge the British public to support their local cinema and save jobs by visiting and enjoying a film in accordance with the guidance.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the planned partial closure of Cineworld's cinemas during the covid-19 outbreak, what plans his Department has to work with HM Treasury to provide further financial support to the film and screen industry.

The government deeply regrets the unfortunate news of Cineworld’s temporary closure and is in direct and regular contact with the screen industry, including distributors and exhibitors, as well as through the BFI Screen Sector Task Force.

The government has supported cinemas through the VAT cut on tickets and concessions, business rates holiday and Bounce back loans. Independent cinemas are also eligible for a share of £30m from our unprecedented £1.57bn Culture Recovery Rund, and funding has started to be allocated already.

We recognise that cinemas need an incoming stream of new releases to show and we are supporting production by establishing a £500 million in a UK-wide Film and TV Production Restart Scheme to help get productions back up and running again. This will support the creation of new content which can be released into cinemas of all sizes.

Unless subject to local restrictions, cinemas are open for business and Covid secure. We urge the British public to support their local cinema and save jobs by visiting and enjoying a film in accordance with the guidance.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when ten pin bowling alleys will be allowed to reopen subject to social distancing arrangements as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. From 1 August, we will reopen bowling alleys.

The Government is committed to reopening leisure facilities and visitor attractions, including bowling alleys, as soon as it is safe to do so. The Sport Working Group and the Visitor Economy Working Group both feed into the Cultural Renewal Taskforce, and ensure strong sector and expert support for the co-development of guidance. This will help ten pin bowling alleys become Covid-19 Secure and re-open as early as possible.

As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, our decisions will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish guidance for dance studios, who are due to reopen on 25 July 2020, on (a) partner dancing if couples are from the same household and (b) differentiation in high, medium and low impact sports and the class size restrictions and space requirements for each.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. As announced on 9 July, from 11 July, outdoor swimming pools will be able to open and from 25 July indoor gyms, dance studios, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

Those dancing within their own household group should follow current guidelines on social mixing, and can refer to the Performing Arts guidance. The updated guidance can be found at the GOV.UK website.

Guidance for providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities includes mitigating risk measures such as:

  • Reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others).

  • Maximum capacity should be based on the government requirement for social distancing, nature of activities (i.e. if the activity is static vs. requiring a range of movement) and equipment layout and the configuration of facilities.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the different roles and facilities of (a) dance studios and (b) dance schools accredited by OFQAL in guidance issued on the covid-19 outbreak.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. As announced on 9 July, from 11 July, outdoor swimming pools will be able to open and from 25 July indoor gyms, dance studios, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

The updated guidance can be found at the GOV.UK website and includes advice for providers of pool, gym and leisure facilities on cleaning, social distancing, and protection for staff to help venues get back up and running safely.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what guidance can the Government plans to provide to charities, to allow them to operate their charity shops safely during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government is working with the charity sector to support it as it begins to recommence activities in line with government guidance on COVID-19 and social distancing. Alongside other non-essential retail, charity shops are planning to start reopening from 15th June. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published guidance on the reopening of non-essential retail which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches. In addition to this, the Charity Retail Association has produced guidance to specifically support the reopening of charity shops which can be found here: https://www.charityretail.org.uk/we-have-published-our-reopening-pack/.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when all university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching as lockdown restrictions are eased during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

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

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

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many 16 to 19 year old students attracted (a) Disadvantage Block 1 funding, (b) Disadvantage Block 2 funding and (c) Disadvantage Block 1 and 2 funding in the latest year for which figures are available.

The table below sets out the number of funded 16-19 students attracting disadvantage block 1 and block 2 funding.

The numbers are taken from the latest full year data we hold (2019 to 2020 individualised learner record R14 and 2019 to 2020 school census).

16-19 students attracting Disadvantage Block 1 funding only

16-19 students attracting Disadvantage Block 2 funding only

16-19 students attracting both Disadvantage Block 1 & 2 funding

177,084

242,822

180,294

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2021 to Question 156534 on the 16 to 19 Tuition Fund, how many 16 to 19 year olds are studying in (a) further education colleges, (b) sixth form colleges, (c) 16 to 19 academies and free schools, (d) school and academy sixth forms and (e) other institutions in the 2020-21 academic year.

National statistics showing the numbers of young people aged 16 to 18 who are participating in education and training in 2020/21 are scheduled to be published at the end of June 2021, as part of a series on participation in education and training, and employment. More information can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/participation-in-education-and-training-and-employment.

The latest data published is for the academic year 2019/20:

Participation of 16 to 18 year olds in education by institution type, England, end 2019 (provisional)

Full- and part-time education

End 2019 (provisional)

State funded schools

450,200

Local Authority Maintained schools

78,000

Sponsor Academies and City Technology Colleges

52,800

Converter Academies

294,600

Free schools

24,100

Special schools

16,500

Independent schools

87,100

Sixth form colleges

109,100

General further education, tertiary and specialist colleges

515,300

Higher education institutions

219,400

Total

1,397,600

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2021 to Question 156534 on the 16 to 19 Tuition Fund, how much funding under the 16-19 Tuition Fund has been allocated to (a) further education colleges, (b) sixth form colleges, (c) 16 to 19 academies and free schools, (d) school and academy sixth forms and (e) other institutions for the academic year 2020-21.

We have made up to £96 million available for the 16 to 19 tuition fund enabling schools, colleges and other 16 to 19 providers to provide small group tuition for disadvantaged students whose learning has been disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Providers were required to opt-in to receive an allocation and need to comply with the guidance for the fund. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-funding-16-to-19-tuition-fund.

The attached table shows the data on the funding claimed and allocated. The data available shows the amounts for different kinds of academy, and for maintained schools, but does not consistently differentiate 16 to 19 only schools and academies from those with pre-16 as well as post-16 provision.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the provision of mental health services for students at university.

Protecting student and staff wellbeing is vital during these difficult times and it is important students can still access the mental health and wellbeing support they need. We recognise that many students are facing additional mental health challenges due to the disruption and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is for higher education (HE) providers as autonomous bodies to identify and address the needs of their student body and decide what mental health and wellbeing support to put in place. HE providers have a duty of care towards their staff and students, including legal requirements under the Equality Act 2010, to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety and welfare of students to prevent harm. HE providers are best placed to understand and cater for their student body including providing mental health support for lower-level needs.

The Department of Health and Social Care has overall policy responsibility for young people’s mental health. We continue to work closely with them to take steps to develop mental health and wellbeing support.

The government is committed, through the NHS Long Term Plan, to investing at least £2.3 billion of extra funding a year into mental health services by financial year 2023-24. This will see an additional 345,000 children and young people, and adults, able to access support through NHS-funded services. This year the NHS will receive around an additional £500 million, to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need, and invest in the NHS workforce. More detail will be provided in due course.

We have also worked with the Office for Students (OfS) to provide Student Space, which has been funded by up to £3 million by the OfS. Student Space is a mental health and wellbeing platform designed to bridge any gaps in support for students arising from this unprecedented situation and works alongside existing services. I am delighted they have extended the platform to support students for the whole 2020/21 academic year.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that school pupils who have not had access to digital devices to learn from home are fairly graded in their (a) GCSE and (b) A-levels this year.

Given the ongoing disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department announced in January 2021 that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead as planned this summer. The Department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation on 15 January on how to award grades in 2021 so they are robust and fair. We received over 100,000 responses from pupils, parents, teachers, head teachers and other stakeholders. There was widespread support for our approach.  Pupils will receive grades determined by their teachers. Teachers have the flexibility to use a range of evidence, including the use of optional questions provided by exam boards, mock exams, non-examined assessment, or in-class tests set by the school which align closely with the specification.

We know there has been differential learning loss, as some pupils have suffered more disruption to their education than others. Because of this, pupils will only be assessed on the content they have been taught, and not what they have missed.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. To date, over 1.2 million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities and further education providers. The Government is providing this significant injection of laptops and tablets on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Where remote education has been needed and pupils continued to experience barriers to digital remote education, we have expected schools and FE colleges to work to overcome these barriers. This could include distributing school or FE college-owned laptops or supplementing digital provision with different forms of remote education such as printed resources or textbooks. This should be supplemented with other forms of communication to keep pupils and students on track or answer questions about work.

Some pupils and students who have difficulty engaging in remote education may be considered to be vulnerable children and young people and therefore eligible to attend provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision#vulnerable-children-and-young-people. It is up to the child or young person’s education provider or local authority to make this decision. The decision would be based on the needs of the child or young person and their family, and a range of other factors, as set out in the guidance.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to reassure school pupils that the grading of GCSEs and A-levels will be fair and equitable.

On 25 February 2021 the Government confirmed this year's cohort of GCSE, AS and A level students will receive grades based on teachers’ judgements of their performance based on a range of evidence, details of which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awarding-qualifications-in-summer-2021. Fairness to young people is fundamental to the Department and Ofqual’s decision making. We want to ensure all young people have the confidence that, despite exams not going ahead, they will receive a grade that reflects their ability and enables them to progress.

Exam boards will provide teachers with a package of training and support materials in March 2021 on how to make judgements fairly. The guidance will also provide schools and colleges with support and training on how to minimise the risk of bias and malpractice.

Grades must reflect what a student knows, understands, and can do, and they must be widely understood and respected. Teachers will not be asked to judge the grade a student might have achieved had the COVID-19 outbreak not occurred or to measure potential. Exam boards will also provide grade descriptors, to help teachers to make accurate and fair judgements.

There will be a process to check teachers are doing what is needed and headteachers will have to confirm this to the exam boards. Exam boards will challenge schools where grades seem too low or too high. Every student who believes their grade does not reflect their performance or has not been properly determined will have a clear route to appeal this year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that potential discrepancy between the grading of GCSE and A-level examinations by different schools is minimised.

On 25 February 2021 the Government confirmed this year's cohort of GCSE, AS and A level students will receive grades based on teachers’ judgements of their performance based on a range of evidence, details of which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awarding-qualifications-in-summer-2021. Fairness to young people is fundamental to the Department and Ofqual’s decision making. We want to ensure all young people have the confidence that, despite exams not going ahead, they will receive a grade that reflects their ability and enables them to progress.

Exam boards will provide teachers with a package of training and support materials in March 2021 on how to make judgements fairly. The guidance will also provide schools and colleges with support and training on how to minimise the risk of bias and malpractice.

Grades must reflect what a student knows, understands, and can do, and they must be widely understood and respected. Teachers will not be asked to judge the grade a student might have achieved had the COVID-19 outbreak not occurred or to measure potential. Exam boards will also provide grade descriptors, to help teachers to make accurate and fair judgements.

There will be a process to check teachers are doing what is needed and headteachers will have to confirm this to the exam boards. Exam boards will challenge schools where grades seem too low or too high. Every student who believes their grade does not reflect their performance or has not been properly determined will have a clear route to appeal this year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that schools are adequately ventilated to make them covid-19-secure when school pupils return on 8 March 2021.

At each stage of the Department's response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have listened to the latest medical and scientific advice. The Department has worked closely with other Government departments, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector, to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, and to continue to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the impact and effectiveness of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

It is important to ensure that schools are well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained.

Current evidence recommends that the way to control COVID-19 is the same, even with the current new variants. The PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ which have been in use throughout the COVID-19 outbreak set out in our published guidance, which includes ventilation, continue to be the right measures to take. These measures create an inherently safer environment for children, young people, and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. PHE keeps all these controls under review, based on the latest evidence. Schools therefore need to continue to implement these controls to the fullest extent. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

Our guidance signposts to further advice from the Health and Safety Executive on air conditioning and ventilation during the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance can be found here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation.htm.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the evidential basis is for the decision to have all school pupils return on 8 March 2021 rather than a staggered approach.

The Government’s wider decision making is set out in the Government’s ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ Roadmap, where the step by step plan to ease restrictions in England cautiously, starting with schools and colleges, is set out. It can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021.

SAGE regularly publishes minutes and papers, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/scientific-evidence-supporting-the-government-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19. In addition, a summary of the evidence in relation to children, young people and education settings is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evidence-summary-covid-19-children-young-people-and-education-settings.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that school pupils who are required to self-isolate due to the covid-19 outbreak do not fall behind at school.

We recognise teachers have been working exceptionally hard and making tremendous efforts to provide high quality remote education with much being achieved in recent months.

Until 8 March 2021, we continue to expect all primary and secondary schools in England to provide remote education for the majority of their pupils, with the exception of vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers, who can attend school in person. Where vulnerable children and young people and children of critical workers do not attend school, we expect schools to provide them with remote education.

From 8 March 2021, attendance will be mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age. Schools affected by the remote education temporary continuity direction are still required to provide remote education for pupils where their attendance would be contrary to government guidance or legislation around COVID-19. This includes, for example, where such guidance means that a class, group or small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or that clinically extremely vulnerable children need to shield.

Where secondary schools are operating a phased return of pupils during week commencing 8 March to allow for testing, we expect schools to provide remote education for all pupils not yet expected to attend on-site.

Where it is needed, both now and after 8 March, schools are expected to offer pupils 3 to 5 hours of remote education that includes time for independent study and also either recorded or live direct teaching. This includes either recorded or live direct teaching alongside time for pupils to work independently to complete assignments that have been set. Online video lessons do not necessarily need to be recorded by teaching staff at the school. Oak National Academy lessons, for example, can be provided in lieu of school-led video content.

Schools are expected to have a system in place for checking on a daily basis whether pupils are engaging actively with their work. Schools will need to work with families to swiftly identify where pupil engagement is a concern and find effective solutions. A comprehensive package of support continues to be available to schools to help them meet these expectations. Schools can find further support via the Get Help with Remote Education page on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-remote-education.

In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, committed to working with parents, teachers and schools to develop a long-term plan to help support pupils make up their learning over the course of this parliament.

We also recognise that extended restrictions on attendance at schools and colleges have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education. The Department has appointed Sir Kevan Collins as Education Recovery Commissioner, to advise on this plan and will say more on this in due course. More immediately, we are making available £700 million to put in place a range of additional measures to give nurseries, schools and colleges the tools they need to target support to their pupils.

In addition, we announced a catch-up package on 24 February 2021 which will build on the £1 billion catch up package announced in June 2020 and form part of the wider response to help pupils make up their lost learning over the course of this Parliament.

Finally, a range of high-quality online resources will be available for all teachers and pupils, starting from the summer term and throughout summer holidays, provided by Oak National Academy, to help give pupils the confidence they are ready for the next academic year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021, which closed on 15 January 2021, when he plans to publish the findings of that consultation.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Government considers that examinations cannot be held in a way which is fair. The Department has therefore announced that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead this summer as planned.

The Department has already confirmed that students taking GCSE, AS and A levels, regulated by Ofqual in the Summer 2021 series, should be awarded grades based on an assessment by their teachers.

To ensure that our approach is developed with the sector, Ofqual and the Department have now concluded a two week consultation on how to ensure all pupils are supported to move to the next stage of their lives. The Department is working at pace to provide further clarity of the sector and details of alternative arrangements to examinations will be confirmed in our response to the consultation, which will be published by the end of February 2021.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the provision of sex education for secondary school children who have learning disabilities.

In September 2020, relationships education became compulsory for all primary school pupils, relationships and sex education compulsory for all secondary school pupils, and health education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools. However, schools have flexibility up to the summer term 2021 before they start teaching the new subjects to accommodate school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have not conducted a formal review of relationships, sex, and health education (RSHE) as it is too early to be able make an accurate assessment of the impact on pupils, including those with learning disabilities.

Those who teach pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are used to adapting materials to meet the varied needs of their pupils and the RSHE statutory guidance is clear that the curriculum must be accessible to all pupils. We recognise that some teachers may need additional support when covering sensitive topics in the RSHE curriculum and last summer the Department organised a webinar for teachers of pupils with SEND, teaching assistants and SEND coordinators. The webinar was attended by over 2400 people and covered an overview of the RSHE curriculum, SEND curriculum planning, relationships and sex education and mental wellbeing. It is available to view on the PSHE Association’s SEND Hub: https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/content/send-hub.

The Department is currently working with teachers, SEND subject experts and SEND stakeholders to support all schools to build their expertise and increase their confidence to deliver the curriculum to those with more complex needs. This work includes the development of a SEND-specific RSHE module that will sit alongside the other RSHE teacher training modules available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health and working with SEND stakeholders to run regional workshops to allow teachers and other practitioners to share best practice and provide peer support.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is going to give to students who will be taking exams in 2022.

The Government remains clear that exams are the fairest method to assess students. We know that students and teachers will be working hard in preparation for exams or assessments in 2022, and we will make sure that the interests of students are at the centre of our considerations. It is important that students in this cohort are able to obtain qualifications safely and fairly. We will continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on all students to ensure that those due to take exams in 2022 are supported to move to the next stage of their lives fairly.

To support students to catch up with their education, the Government has announced a catch-up package worth £1 billion to support children and young people. This includes a ‘Catch-up Premium’ worth £650 million and a £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils. We have also announced that we will provide a further programme of catch-up over the next financial year. This will involve a further £300 million of new money to early years, schools and providers of 16-19 further education for tutoring and we will work in collaboration with the education sector to develop, as appropriate, specific initiatives for summer schools and a COVID premium to support catch-up.

We recognise that these extended school and college closures have had a huge impact on children and young people’s education, which will take more than a year to make up. We will work in collaboration with the wider education sector to develop a long-term plan to make sure children and young people have the chance to make up their education over the course of this Parliament.

We have also appointed an Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, who will advise Ministers on the approach for education recovery, with a particular focus on helping students catch up on learning lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 disruption is a key priority for the Government. The Department has commissioned an independent research agency to analyse catch-up needs and monitor progress over this academic year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of whether exams will be able to take place in the 2021-22 academic year.

The Government remains clear that exams are the fairest method to assess students. We know that students and teachers will be working hard in preparation for exams or assessments in 2022, and we will make sure that the interests of students are at the centre of our considerations. It is important that students in this cohort are able to obtain qualifications safely and fairly. We will continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on all students to ensure that those due to take exams in 2022 are supported to move to the next stage of their lives fairly.

To support students to catch up with their education, the Government has announced a catch-up package worth £1 billion to support children and young people. This includes a ‘Catch-up Premium’ worth £650 million and a £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils. We have also announced that we will provide a further programme of catch-up over the next financial year. This will involve a further £300 million of new money to early years, schools and providers of 16-19 further education for tutoring and we will work in collaboration with the education sector to develop, as appropriate, specific initiatives for summer schools and a COVID premium to support catch-up.

We recognise that these extended school and college closures have had a huge impact on children and young people’s education, which will take more than a year to make up. We will work in collaboration with the wider education sector to develop a long-term plan to make sure children and young people have the chance to make up their education over the course of this Parliament.

We have also appointed an Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, who will advise Ministers on the approach for education recovery, with a particular focus on helping students catch up on learning lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 disruption is a key priority for the Government. The Department has commissioned an independent research agency to analyse catch-up needs and monitor progress over this academic year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has in place to make schools covid-19 secure when they reopen to students.

At each stage of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has listened to and acted on the latest medical and scientific advice. The Government has always been clear that it will not hesitate to take swift and decisive action to control the virus and save lives.

The way to control this virus is the same, even with the current new variants. Current evidence suggests that the Public Health England-endorsed ‘system of controls’, that has been in use throughout the autumn term and which is set out in guidance, continues to be the right measures to take. This includes minimising contact with individuals who are unwell, use of face coverings in corridors and communal areas, cleaning hands and good respiratory hygiene, regular thorough cleaning of the school, minimising contact, ventilation and use of personal protective equipment where specifically advised. The latest schools’ guidance is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/957766/Restricting_attendance_during_the_national_lockdown-_schools.pdf.

Schools will already be familiar with much of this guidance, which they have been implementing since the start of the autumn term. If schools continue to assess risk and implement the measures set out in the guidance, they will effectively reduce risks in their school and create an inherently safer environment.

The Department will continue to keep our guidance and advice to schools under review to help ensure they remain as safe as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many dongles have been provided to secondary school children who are learning from home and require internet access in (a) Kingston upon Hull, (b) Hull City, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber and (d) England.

The Government has provided over 54,000 4G wireless routers across England, with free data for the academic year 2020-21, and continues to provide further 4G wireless routers where children need to access remote education. Data regarding the number of routers delivered will be published shortly.

In addition to providing wireless routers, we have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

We are grateful to EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, BT Mobile and Lycamobile for supporting this offer. We are continuing to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many dongles has been provided to primary school children who are learning from home and require internet access in (a) Kingston upon Hull North, (b) Hull City, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber and (d) nationally.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

As of Monday 8 February 2021, this includes over 980,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, academy trusts and local authorities.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, academy trusts or local authorities, who can lend these to children and young people who need them most during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Government is providing this significant injection of devices on top of an estimated 2.9 million laptops and tablets already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Figures on the number of devices already delivered are available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data. This includes 1,749 delivered to the City of Hull local authority. The Department have also delivered devices to academy trusts, including schools in Yorkshire and the Humber, which are not included in this figure.

Regional figures for delivery of devices are currently not available for the period requested and figures by Parliamentary constituency are also not available.

Where schools need additional devices to support disadvantaged children, they should contact the Department for Education’s service team at covid.technology@education.gov.uk. They should include the number of pupils in Years 3 to 13 who require support and an explanation of how they have gathered this evidence.

To support access to the internet, the Department have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online, as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home. The Department are grateful to EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, BT Mobile and Lycamobile for their collaboration. We are currently engaged with additional mobile network operators and continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of digital devices provided for secondary school pupils who are learning from home in (a) Kingston upon Hull North, (b) Hull City, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber and (d) nationally.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

As of Monday 8 February 2021, this includes over 980,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, academy trusts and local authorities.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, academy trusts or local authorities, who can lend these to children and young people who need them most during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Government is providing this significant injection of devices on top of an estimated 2.9 million laptops and tablets already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Figures on the number of devices already delivered are available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data. This includes 1,749 delivered to the City of Hull local authority. The Department have also delivered devices to academy trusts, including schools in Yorkshire and the Humber, which are not included in this figure.

Regional figures for delivery of devices are currently not available for the period requested and figures by Parliamentary constituency are also not available.

Where schools need additional devices to support disadvantaged children, they should contact the Department for Education’s service team at covid.technology@education.gov.uk. They should include the number of pupils in Years 3 to 13 who require support and an explanation of how they have gathered this evidence.

To support access to the internet, the Department have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online, as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home. The Department are grateful to EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, BT Mobile and Lycamobile for their collaboration. We are currently engaged with additional mobile network operators and continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of digital devices made available for primary school children who are learning at home in (a) Kingston upon Hull North, (b) Hull City, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber and (d) nationally.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

As of Monday 8 February 2021, this includes over 980,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, academy trusts and local authorities.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, academy trusts or local authorities, who can lend these to children and young people who need them most during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Government is providing this significant injection of devices on top of an estimated 2.9 million laptops and tablets already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Figures on the number of devices already delivered are available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data. This includes 1,749 delivered to the City of Hull local authority. The Department have also delivered devices to academy trusts, including schools in Yorkshire and the Humber, which are not included in this figure.

Regional figures for delivery of devices are currently not available for the period requested and figures by Parliamentary constituency are also not available.

Where schools need additional devices to support disadvantaged children, they should contact the Department for Education’s service team at covid.technology@education.gov.uk. They should include the number of pupils in Years 3 to 13 who require support and an explanation of how they have gathered this evidence.

To support access to the internet, the Department have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online, as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home. The Department are grateful to EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, BT Mobile and Lycamobile for their collaboration. We are currently engaged with additional mobile network operators and continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to increase the speed of the rollout of (a) digital devices and (b) access to the internet to children who are not in school as a result of the covid-19 outbreak in (a) Yorkshire and The Humber, (b) Kingston Upon Hull and (c) the UK.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

As of Monday 25 January, this includes over 870,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, trusts or local authorities who can lend these to children and young people who need them most, during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Government is providing this significant injection of devices on top of an estimated 2.9 million laptops and tablets already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Figures on the number of devices already delivered is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data/2021-week-4. We have also delivered devices to academy trusts that include schools in Yorkshire and Humber, which are not included in this figure.

Regional figures for delivery of devices are currently not available for the period requested and figures by Parliamentary constituency are also not available.

Where schools need additional devices, in order to support disadvantaged children, they should contact the Department for Education’s service team at covid.technology@education.gov.uk. They should include the number of pupils in years 3-13 who require support and an explanation of how they’ve gathered this evidence.

To support access to the internet we have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

We are grateful to EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, BT Mobile and Lycamobile for their collaboration. We are currently engaged with additional mobile network operators and continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether dance schools can open for (a) training and rehearsal without an audience and (b) supervised activities for children during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

Dance can be undertaken in schools that provide a full-time education, during the period of national restrictions, but safety precautions should be undertaken. Advice is provided in the actions for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#music-dance-and-drama-in-school.

In addition, qualifications in dance can take place in England during this period provided they are conducted in line with the public health guidance on autumn exams: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/responsibility-for-autumn-gcse-as-and-a-level-exam-series/public-health-arrangements-for-autumn-exams.

Schools may also continue to offer before and after school educational provision to their pupils (including dance), to enable their parents or carers to work, seek work, attend education or training, or where the provision is to support respite care (for vulnerable children). Where schools are offering these activities, they should advise parents that they should only be using them for these purposes.

Providers of supervised activities for children, such as those providing out-of-school activities (including dance classes), may also continue to operate during the period of national restrictions, as outlined in the guidance for education and childcare settings on new national restrictions from 5 November: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020#ooss. However, providers of these activities should ensure they are only being accessed for face-to-face provision by parents if their primary purpose is registered childcare, or where they are providing other activities for children, where it is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work or search for work, or to undertake training or education; or for the purposes of respite care.

Providers that continue to operate face-to-face provision during this period should continue to undertake risk assessments and implement the system of controls set out in the protective measures for holiday clubs and after-school clubs and other out-of-school clubs for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

All other out-of-school activities, not being primarily used by parents for these purposes and that can offer remote education, should close for face-to-face provision for the duration of the national restrictions. This will minimise the amount of mixing between different groups of people and therefore reduce the risk of infection and transmission of the virus.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will publish data on the number of university students living in campus accommodation who have tested positive for covid-19 in each local authority area in England.

Universities are currently reporting to us on the number of positive student cases in their institutions and the numbers they are aware of that are self-isolating, and these are currently not broken down by local authority campus zones. From next week, the Office for Students will be gathering data on COVID-19 outbreaks and we will consider how best to report that information in line with data sharing protocols.


Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on steps the Government is taking to limit the spread of covid-19 on university campus grounds.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has regular discussions on minimising the transmission of COVID-19 within higher education (HE) providers with his Cabinet colleagues, including with my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Departmental officials and I have regular meetings and discussions with ministers and officials in the Department for Health and Social Care, and with sector representatives, on a range of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in HE is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

We have drawn on the expertise of the HE taskforce that we set up, and we have been providing robust public health advice and regular updates to the HE sector to help providers to plan carefully to keep students and staff as safe as possible. We issued updated guidance for providers on reopening campuses, which provides advice on teaching, accommodation and student services. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

Our system of HE tiers, as set out in guidance, intends to help universities identify the appropriate restrictions to impose on their educational provision in response to an outbreak. We have worked to ensure that all universities have outbreak plans. These plans have been shared with local Directors of Public Health and continue to be reviewed and updated based on emerging lessons and local situations.

The plans cover a range of scenarios and will ensure that HE providers are prepared to respond quickly to an outbreak in their educational setting or wider community. We are working with Public Health England to monitor those universities that have outbreaks and to make sure that universities and Directors of Public Health are working together to respond appropriately to any outbreaks.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many University of Hull students have tested positive for covid-19 since the academic year began on 14 September 2020.

In order to balance the need for accurate information with reducing data burdens on universities, we have asked for additional information only from universities with cumulative outbreaks of 25 or more positive student COVID-19 cases. We have received no response from the University of Hull and external sources indicate that there have been fewer than 25 positive student cases at the university so far.

From the week commencing 19 October 2020, the Office for Students will be gathering data on COVID-19 outbreaks, and we will consider how best to report that information in line with data-sharing protocols.


Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) laptops, (b) tablets and (c) 4G wireless routers were provided to children attending (i) Hull City Council schools or (ii) Kingston upon Hull academy trust schools through the Government since schools closed on 20 March 2020 due to the covid-19 outbreak.

In the summer term, the Department delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers to children who would not have otherwise had online access, as part of over £100 million invested to support remote education and access to online social care. This information can be viewed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/912888/Devices_and_4G_wireless_routers_progress_data_as_of_27_August_2020.pdf.

This includes information about devices delivered to Kingston upon Hull and academy trusts within Kingston upon Hull.

The laptops and tablets were an injection of support to help local authorities and academy trusts provide access to education and social care during COVID-19 restrictions.

Where devices were distributed to a local authority for disadvantaged year 10 pupils, the local authority was responsible for allocating and delivering devices to local authority maintained schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to ensure adequate supplies of covid-19 tests are available for students living in grouped university accommodation.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

Capacity for COVID-19 testing is the highest it has ever been and we are seeing significant demand. The department continues to work closely with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), and with sector representatives, to ensure that any students who display COVID-19 symptoms can have quick and easy access to testing.

The government has set a target of 500,000 tests a day by the end of October. Local testing sites will be most accessible to students and have the quickest test result turnaround. DHSC plan to increase the total number of sites to 150 by the end of October, and to 400 sites by the end of January 2021. Many of these new testing sites will be located near universities. In addition, there are 258 mobile testing units. Where there is a mobile testing unit in the vicinity of the university, students and staff will also be able book a test at one of these units. We are working closely with DHSC and NHS Test and Trace towards a position in which all universities have access to testing within 1.5 miles of their campus, where possible.

We have drawn on the expertise of the HE taskforce that we set up, and we have been providing robust public health advice and regular updates to the HE sector to help providers plan carefully to keep students and staff as safe as possible. We have updated our guidance for providers on reopening campuses, which provides advice on teaching, accommodation and student services. Our guidance takes account of the latest advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which has been considering the risks of reopening higher education providers. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses. As with all of our education settings, we continue to monitor the situation closely and follow the latest scientific advice, adapting policies as the situation changes.

We have worked with universities to ensure that they all have outbreak response plans. These have been or are being agreed with local Directors of Public Health. The plans cover a range of scenarios and will ensure providers are prepared to respond quickly to a COVID-19 outbreak in their educational setting or wider community. The situation is constantly changing, but we are working with Public Health England to monitor those universities that have COVID-19 outbreaks and to make sure universities and Directors of Public Health are working together to respond appropriately to any outbreaks.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to respond to covid-19 outbreaks in group university accommodation.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

Capacity for COVID-19 testing is the highest it has ever been and we are seeing significant demand. The department continues to work closely with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), and with sector representatives, to ensure that any students who display COVID-19 symptoms can have quick and easy access to testing.

The government has set a target of 500,000 tests a day by the end of October. Local testing sites will be most accessible to students and have the quickest test result turnaround. DHSC plan to increase the total number of sites to 150 by the end of October, and to 400 sites by the end of January 2021. Many of these new testing sites will be located near universities. In addition, there are 258 mobile testing units. Where there is a mobile testing unit in the vicinity of the university, students and staff will also be able book a test at one of these units. We are working closely with DHSC and NHS Test and Trace towards a position in which all universities have access to testing within 1.5 miles of their campus, where possible.

We have drawn on the expertise of the HE taskforce that we set up, and we have been providing robust public health advice and regular updates to the HE sector to help providers plan carefully to keep students and staff as safe as possible. We have updated our guidance for providers on reopening campuses, which provides advice on teaching, accommodation and student services. Our guidance takes account of the latest advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which has been considering the risks of reopening higher education providers. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses. As with all of our education settings, we continue to monitor the situation closely and follow the latest scientific advice, adapting policies as the situation changes.

We have worked with universities to ensure that they all have outbreak response plans. These have been or are being agreed with local Directors of Public Health. The plans cover a range of scenarios and will ensure providers are prepared to respond quickly to a COVID-19 outbreak in their educational setting or wider community. The situation is constantly changing, but we are working with Public Health England to monitor those universities that have COVID-19 outbreaks and to make sure universities and Directors of Public Health are working together to respond appropriately to any outbreaks.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many universities in England have reported covid-19 outbreaks on campus grounds.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

Capacity for COVID-19 testing is the highest it has ever been and we are seeing significant demand. The department continues to work closely with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), and with sector representatives, to ensure that any students who display COVID-19 symptoms can have quick and easy access to testing.

The government has set a target of 500,000 tests a day by the end of October. Local testing sites will be most accessible to students and have the quickest test result turnaround. DHSC plan to increase the total number of sites to 150 by the end of October, and to 400 sites by the end of January 2021. Many of these new testing sites will be located near universities. In addition, there are 258 mobile testing units. Where there is a mobile testing unit in the vicinity of the university, students and staff will also be able book a test at one of these units. We are working closely with DHSC and NHS Test and Trace towards a position in which all universities have access to testing within 1.5 miles of their campus, where possible.

We have drawn on the expertise of the HE taskforce that we set up, and we have been providing robust public health advice and regular updates to the HE sector to help providers plan carefully to keep students and staff as safe as possible. We have updated our guidance for providers on reopening campuses, which provides advice on teaching, accommodation and student services. Our guidance takes account of the latest advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which has been considering the risks of reopening higher education providers. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses. As with all of our education settings, we continue to monitor the situation closely and follow the latest scientific advice, adapting policies as the situation changes.

We have worked with universities to ensure that they all have outbreak response plans. These have been or are being agreed with local Directors of Public Health. The plans cover a range of scenarios and will ensure providers are prepared to respond quickly to a COVID-19 outbreak in their educational setting or wider community. The situation is constantly changing, but we are working with Public Health England to monitor those universities that have COVID-19 outbreaks and to make sure universities and Directors of Public Health are working together to respond appropriately to any outbreaks.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether private music teachers are able to resume working from (a) their home and (b) a student's homes with effect from 4 July 2020 if they comply with the covid-secure guidance.

As of 4 July, providers offering out-of-school activities to children, including private music teachers, have been able to open for both indoor and outdoor provision with safety measures in place. We have published guidance for providers of these activities on the measures they should put in place to ensure they are operating as safely as possible, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

If a private music teacher normally offers provision in their own home or students’ homes, they should also refer to the government guidance on working safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes.

Providers should note that there may be an additional risk of infection in environments where people are singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments or shouting. This applies even if individuals are at a distance.

As the risk of transmission is considerably lower outdoors, providers who normally run sessions indoors should consider whether they are able to do so safely outside. However, if this is not possible then private music teachers working from their own home should consider whether a specific, well-ventilated room could be designated for lessons.

Providers should also be aware that at this time they should not be permitting live performances, including music, to take place in front of a live audience.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of removing covid-19 lockdown restrictions for dance schools to resume teaching where there is capacity for social distancing.

A dance school which operates for fewer than 18 hours per week would generally be considered to be an out-of-school setting. As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, confirmed in his announcement on 23 June, out-of-school settings which run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children can operate over the summer holiday, with safety measures in place. Providers of these activities have been able to open since 4 July, provided that they follow the protective measures set out by the Government. However, providers should check the latest Government guidelines on which businesses and venues can open and for which purposes as some premises may only be able to open for certain limited purposes:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance.

As announced on the 9 July, indoor gyms, sports courts and fitness and dance studios will be able to reopen from 25 July. They cannot be used for holiday clubs and activities for children until that point.

Protective measures guidance for out-of-school settings can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Providers who offer indoor sports activities for children should also refer to the guidance for keeping workers, volunteers and customers safe during COVID-19 for providers of grassroots sports and gym or leisure facilities:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/providers-of-grassroots-sport-and-gym-leisure-facilities.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Department for Education guidance on the reopening of after school clubs, including dance classes, published on 1 July 2020, what assessment he has made of the ability of dance schools to reopen safely as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

A dance school which operates for fewer than 18 hours per week would generally be considered to be an out-of-school setting. As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, confirmed in his announcement on 23 June, out-of-school settings which run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children can operate over the summer holiday, with safety measures in place. Providers of these activities have been able to open since 4 July, provided that they follow the protective measures set out by the Government. However, providers should check the latest Government guidelines on which businesses and venues can open and for which purposes as some premises may only be able to open for certain limited purposes:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance.

As announced on the 9 July, indoor gyms, sports courts and fitness and dance studios will be able to reopen from 25 July. They cannot be used for holiday clubs and activities for children until that point.

Protective measures guidance for out-of-school settings can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Providers who offer indoor sports activities for children should also refer to the guidance for keeping workers, volunteers and customers safe during COVID-19 for providers of grassroots sports and gym or leisure facilities:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/providers-of-grassroots-sport-and-gym-leisure-facilities.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to Question 60723, tabled by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North on 17 June 2020.

Written parliamentary question 60723 was answered on 09 July 2020.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has published for universities on furloughing employees on zero hours contracts during the covid-19 outbreak.

During and after the COVID-19 outbreak, our aim is for higher education (HE) providers to continue to deliver HE provision and to support the needs of staff and students, both on-campus and off-campus.

The department issued guidance on 17 April for HE providers so that they are aware of the support available to them and can apply for it. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

This guidance confirms that HE providers can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help safeguard staff jobs. The linked guidance from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs confirms that employers can claim for employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.

In developing this guidance, the department worked with trade unions as well as Universities UK and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association. We continue to work with the sector to provide further clarification as necessary to help providers understand how they can access the range of measures on offer.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his oral statement of 12 May 2020 on the extension of the coronavirus job retention scheme, whether term-time workers in education are eligible for furlough during July and August.

State funded schools have continued to receive their budgets as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. That will ensure that they are able to continue to pay their staff, and meet their other regular financial commitments, as we move through these extraordinary times.

As public funds continue to be paid, HMRC‘s guidance for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme) states that public bodies, including schools, should not furlough staff via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if their wages are paid from public funds.

Staff in schools whose wages are not paid from public funds, and whose employer has already furloughed, may continue to be furloughed via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, subject to criteria set out here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care#state-funded-schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) education providers undertake appropriate risk assessments in relation to teaching music in education settings which are (i) shared with all staff and their representatives before any individual can be required to return to work during the covid-19 outbreak and (ii) take account of risks arising from (A) choirs and singing, (B) wind ensembles and (C) other circumstances specific to music teaching and (b) no music teacher is penalised or suffers detriment for raising or acting on health and safety concerns in respect of that outbreak.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools plan for a full return of all pupils in September, which includes guidance on music lessons. Schools are advised to note that there may be an additional risk of infection in environments where individuals are singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments or shouting. This applies even if individuals are at a distance. Schools should consider how to reduce the risk, particularly when pupils are playing instruments or singing in small groups such as in music lessons by, for example, physical distancing and playing outside wherever possible, limiting group sizes to no more than 15, positioning pupils back-to-back or side-to-side, avoiding sharing of instruments, and ensuring good ventilation. Singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in larger groups such as school choirs and ensembles, or school assemblies. The Department plans to publish further guidance regarding music lessons shortly.

The guidance for full opening of schools in September can be read at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#introduction.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 1 May 2020 to Question 40805, if he will provide a detailed update on the future of the National Plan for Music Education; and what steps he is taking to provide long-term financial support for music education hubs and peripatetic teachers who are dependent on funding via that plan which ends in 2020.

The Government believes all pupils should have access to an excellent, well-rounded education and the arts and music are central to this. The findings from the Call for Evidence on the National Plan for Music Education, which closed on 13 March 2020, will inform the development of proposals for the refreshed Plan. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the refresh of the Plan is on hold, but this position remains under review. Until the Plan is formally refreshed, Music Education Hubs will continue to fulfil their roles as set out in the existing Plan, taking into account current Government guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department is committed to the continuation of high-quality education for all pupils during this difficult time and it is supporting schools and parents through a number of initiatives. The Department’s published list of online resources is one such initiative and is intended to support parents and teachers to navigate through the wide range of online educational resources available so that they can identify the right tools and resources to meet their specific needs. For this reason, we have chosen to limit our list to include free online resources to the following: English, Mathematics, science, PE, mental wellbeing and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). These resources are available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

The online resources list forms part of a wider range of support available to support education at home including a package of support by the Oak National Academy and enhanced educational provision from the BBC, which both include content for music. Subject associations and professional bodies are also able to signpost to resources for a wider span of subjects. For music, Music Mark and the Incorporated Society of Musicians have done so already, and the Department has signposted to these organisations through social media.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason music and creative learning was not included in the online educational resources for schools and parents to help children to learn at home during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps he is taking to promote online educational resources created by third sector organisations to support music learning during that outbreak.

The Government believes all pupils should have access to an excellent, well-rounded education and the arts and music are central to this. The findings from the Call for Evidence on the National Plan for Music Education, which closed on 13 March 2020, will inform the development of proposals for the refreshed Plan. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the refresh of the Plan is on hold, but this position remains under review. Until the Plan is formally refreshed, Music Education Hubs will continue to fulfil their roles as set out in the existing Plan, taking into account current Government guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department is committed to the continuation of high-quality education for all pupils during this difficult time and it is supporting schools and parents through a number of initiatives. The Department’s published list of online resources is one such initiative and is intended to support parents and teachers to navigate through the wide range of online educational resources available so that they can identify the right tools and resources to meet their specific needs. For this reason, we have chosen to limit our list to include free online resources to the following: English, Mathematics, science, PE, mental wellbeing and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). These resources are available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

The online resources list forms part of a wider range of support available to support education at home including a package of support by the Oak National Academy and enhanced educational provision from the BBC, which both include content for music. Subject associations and professional bodies are also able to signpost to resources for a wider span of subjects. For music, Music Mark and the Incorporated Society of Musicians have done so already, and the Department has signposted to these organisations through social media.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether visiting music teachers who receive income through public funds via the pupil premium can claim that part of their income through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

State funded schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year, as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. That will ensure that they are able to continue to pay their staff, and meet their other regular financial commitments, as we move through these extraordinary times.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial support for education, early years and children’s social care guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care#state-funded-schools) states that if you have staff costs that are publicly funded, schools should use that money to continue paying staff, and not furlough them.

Where schools receive a mixture of private and public funds, schools can, subject to conditions set out in the guidance above, use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to claim grants for the proportion of its pay bill which could be considered to have been funded by the school’s private income.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that music teachers who work in state-funded schools and colleges but are paid through (a) parents' fees and (b) other private income are being furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and if the Government will reconfirm to education providers that atypical workers who meet those conditions are eligible for such furlough payments.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

State funded schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year, as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. That will ensure that they are able to continue to pay their staff, and meet their other regular financial commitments, as we move through these extraordinary times.

We do not, in general, expect schools to furlough staff. However, we understand that, in some instances, schools may have a separate private income such as music teachers paid through parent fees. Where this income has either stopped or been reduced and there are staff that are typically paid from those private income streams, it may be appropriate to furlough staff.

Schools should first seek to make the necessary savings from their existing budget or consider options to redeploy these staff before furloughing them. Only after all other potential options have been fully considered should schools furlough those members of staff and seek support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Further information on school’s accessing support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found in the publication:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care#state-funded-schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has for the future of the Primary PE & Sport Premium funding; and if he will make a statement.

The Government will confirm arrangements for the Primary PE and Sport Premium in the 2020-21 academic year as soon as possible. The position for the 2021-22 academic year and beyond will be considered at the forthcoming Spending Review.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to extend the funding of free school meals over the 2020 summer holiday to students studying in (a) sixth form colleges and (b) 16-19 academies.

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government fully understands that children and parents face an unprecedented situation over the summer. To reflect this, we will be providing additional funding for a COVID Summer Food Fund which will enable families with school children who are eligible for free school meals to receive food vouchers covering the six-week holiday period.

Our guidance on the COVID Summer Food Fund is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-summer-food-fund.

More information on free school meals for students in 16 to 19 provision over the summer will be announced shortly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to the letter of 7 April 2020 from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North, on the University of Hull.

I can confirm that the letter, received into the Department on 8 April 2020, from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North has been responded to.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to the letter of 28 April 2020 from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North, on student healthcare workers' student loans.

I can confirm that the letter, addressed to my right hon. Friends, the Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, received into the Department on 28 April 2020, from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North has been responded to.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to support the families of pupils on free school meals in Kingston upon Hull North during the school summer holidays in 2020.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave on 23 June 2020 to Question 54195.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the protection and support of children known to be living in households affected by domestic abuse in the event of school closures during the covid-19 outbreak.

Domestic abuse is a devastating crime and we fully recognise the impact it has on children and young people who may feel even more vulnerable if they are unable to attend school.

We want to prioritise supporting those most in need at this very difficult time and ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is a top priority for government. Schools have been asked to continue to provide care for vulnerable children including those who are supported by social work, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children, and those with education, health and care plans.

We will work with schools and local authorities to help identify the children who most need support at this time.

Local authorities have the key day-to-day responsibility for delivery of children’s social care. Social workers will continue to work with vulnerable children in this difficult period and support these children to access provision in schools, and any other support they require.

The latest guidance on vulnerable children and young people can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department provided to the children's social services department at Kingston upon Hull City Council (a) during the period that those services were graded by Ofsted as requires improvement, (b) since those services were graded by Ofsted as inadequate in January 2019 and (c) since the monitoring visit by Ofsted on 14 January 2020.

Over the course of 2018, the Director of Children’s Services and the Assistant Director for Hull City Council met with the regional lead for Yorkshire and the Humber on several occasions to discuss support. During this time, Hull City Council was in receipt of support from North Yorkshire County Council as a Partner in Practice (PiP), funded by the Department for Education. In February 2019, Hull City Council had also paid for support from another PiP, Essex County Council.

In May 2019, the Department issued an improvement notice and appointed an improvement adviser, Paul Moffat, to support and challenge Hull City Council’s improvement journey in line with established policy set out in the ‘Putting Children First’ guidance, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/putting-children-first-our-vision-for-childrens-social-care.

Mr Moffat was previously the Chief Executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust. He has a strong background in improving children’s services, taking Doncaster’s Children’s Services Trust’s Ofsted rating from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ in three years. The Department also funded North Yorkshire County Council and Essex County Council in 2019 to provide support to Hull City Council on a number of areas.

Since the monitoring visit in January 2020, Mr Moffat has continued to work closely with Hull City Council.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken in response to the outcome of the SEND local area inspection of Kingston upon Hull City Council by the CQC and Ofsted that took place in October 2019.

The joint Ofsted and Care Quality Commission special educational needs and disabilities local area revisit to Kingston upon Hull in October 2019, published on 23 December 2019, found that sufficient improvement had been made in two out of the four significant weaknesses identified in the October 2017 inspection.

The Department for Education is clear that progress with addressing the remaining weaknesses must be accelerated. The Department requested leaders of local areas to submit an updated action plan setting out how they will achieve this.

This action plan must be co-produced with partners. It should state how the local area will report on progress and impact, as well as how partners, including families, will be kept fully aware and informed of progress.

The Department will review the plan with partners, including NHS England, as part of our assessment of the most appropriate actions that will bring about the required improvement in services.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the SEND local area inspection of Hull City Council by the CQC and Ofsted that took place in October 2019 and Ofsted's inspection of children’s social care services in Kingston upon Hull City Council published in May 2019, if he will make an assessment of the capacity of that local authority to improve the (a) SEND and (b) child protection services it provides.

In the ‘Putting Children First’ guidance, the department is clear that where failure occurs in children’s social care services we expect most councils to improve with support and challenge from experts, especially when failure is not persistent or systemic. It also highlights that we will review councils’ progress towards improvement. Where insufficient progress has been made, we have the right to appoint a commissioner to review whether services should remain in council control. The guidance is available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/putting-children-first-our-vision-for-childrens-social-care.

An Ofsted monitoring visit, published in February 2020, found that progress to improve children’s social care services in Hull has not been good enough to date. The department is aware the council has made changes to the leadership of its social care services and is considering the next steps in our intervention in Hull.

The joint Ofsted and Care Quality Commission SEND local area revisit to Kingston-upon-Hull in October 2019, published on 23 December 2019, found that sufficient improvement had been made in two out of the four significant weaknesses identified in the October 2017 inspection.

The department is clear that progress with addressing the remaining weaknesses must be accelerated, and has requested local area leaders submit an updated action plan setting out how they will achieve this. This action plan must be co-produced with partners and outline how the local area will report on progress and impact, as well as how partners, including families, will be kept fully aware and informed of progress.

The department will review the plan with partners, including NHS England, as part of our assessment of the most appropriate actions that will bring about the required improvement in services. We are working with the newly appointed leadership team at the City Council to establish a joint approach to driving improvement across both services.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to appoint a Commissioner to oversee children’s services provision in Hull.

In the ‘Putting Children First’ guidance, the department is clear that where failure occurs in children’s social care services we expect most councils to improve with support and challenge from experts, especially when failure is not persistent or systemic. It also highlights that we will review councils’ progress towards improvement. Where insufficient progress has been made, we have the right to appoint a commissioner to review whether services should remain in council control. The guidance is available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/putting-children-first-our-vision-for-childrens-social-care.

An Ofsted monitoring visit, published in February 2020, found that progress to improve children’s social care services in Hull has not been good enough to date. The department is aware the council has made changes to the leadership of its social care services and is considering the next steps in our intervention in Hull.

The joint Ofsted and Care Quality Commission SEND local area revisit to Kingston-upon-Hull in October 2019, published on 23 December 2019, found that sufficient improvement had been made in two out of the four significant weaknesses identified in the October 2017 inspection.

The department is clear that progress with addressing the remaining weaknesses must be accelerated, and has requested local area leaders submit an updated action plan setting out how they will achieve this. This action plan must be co-produced with partners and outline how the local area will report on progress and impact, as well as how partners, including families, will be kept fully aware and informed of progress.

The department will review the plan with partners, including NHS England, as part of our assessment of the most appropriate actions that will bring about the required improvement in services. We are working with the newly appointed leadership team at the City Council to establish a joint approach to driving improvement across both services.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what role his Department had in the appointment of the interim director of children’s services at Kingston upon Hull City Council.

Hull City Council took the decision to remove the Director of Children’s Services (DCS) from her post after the Ofsted monitoring visit in January 2020. It was also the Council’s decision to appoint a new leadership team. The Department had no role in the appointment of the interim DCS.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the outcomes of the SEND local area inspection and inspection of children’s social care services at Kingston upon Hull City Council, whether his Department has provided (a) staff and (b) financial support to that local authority to improve children’s services.

The government is providing local authorities with an additional £1 billion for adult and children’s social care in every year of this Parliament.

The Department for Education has not provided any funding directly to the local authority to improve Children’s Social Care. Prior to the May 2019 Ofsted inspection report, the regional lead for Yorkshire and the Humber met with Hull City Council on several occasions to discuss support. During this time, Hull City Council was in receipt of support from North Yorkshire County Council as a Partner in Practice (PiP), funded by the Department. In February 2019, Hull City Council also paid for support from another PiP, Essex County Council.

In May 2019, the Department issued an improvement notice and appointed an improvement adviser, Paul Moffat, to support and challenge Hull City Council’s improvement journey in line with established policy set out in the ‘Putting Children First’ guidance, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/putting-children-first-our-vision-for-childrens-social-care.

Mr Moffat was previously the Chief Executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust. He has a strong background in improving children’s services, taking Doncaster’s Children’s Services Trust’s Ofsted rating from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ in three years. The Department also funded North Yorkshire County Council and Essex County Council to provide support to Hull City Council on a number of areas, equating to an investment of approximately £80,000 in 2019-20.

The joint Ofsted and CQC special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) local area revisit to Kingston upon Hull in October 2019, published on 23 December 2019, found that sufficient improvement had been made in two out of the four significant weaknesses identified in the October 2017 inspection. In 2018-19, the Department provided Kingston upon Hull with a SEND implementation grant of £140,968 to support the implementation of the SEND reforms. The Department has also funded training and resources from delivery partners, including Whole School SEND, Contact and the Council for Disabled Children, and a dedicated SEND adviser to provide support and challenge to the local area to improve their SEND services.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on children in Hull of the findings of Ofsted's inspection of children’s social care services in Kingston upon Hull City Council published in May 2019.

Ofsted found children’s social care services in Hull to be inadequate in May 2019. Subsequently, a monitoring visit by Ofsted in January 2020 showed that services for children, young people and families in Hull were still in need of improvement.

Following the original inadequate judgement and in line with the department’s intervention policy set out in ‘Putting Children First’, we appointed an improvement adviser, Paul Moffatt. Paul Moffat reports regularly to ministers on progress in Hull and led a Department for Education review of progress in December 2019.

‘Putting Children First’ is available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/putting-children-first-our-vision-for-childrens-social-care.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the effect on the level of take-up of free school meals of linking that take-up to provision of the pupil premium.

We allocate pupil premium funding every year that a child is claiming a free school meal and for the following 6 years should they cease claiming free school meals, recognising the importance of continuing the additional investment for those that have experienced economic disadvantage.

Evidence proves economic deprivation is strongly consistently linked to under-achievement at school. Pupil eligibility for free school meals in the last 6 years (known as “Ever6 FSM”) remains the best available proxy measure of economic deprivation at individual pupil level.

We want to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming their free school meals, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility. To support this, we provide an Eligibility Checking System to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities. We have also developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for free school meals, and we provide guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.

We will continue to look at what the most effective schools do and highlight and disseminate best practice. We are prepared to consider any further steps we can take to improve the take-up of free school meals.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to introduce dedicated capital expansion and maintenance funds for sixth form providers in England.

Our ambition is to level up the skills of the entire nation and ensure that post-16 education providers are in a great shape to deliver this. The department is considering how best to achieve this ambition and will announce details of any future capital funding in due course. This will build on the significant uplift in recurrent funding for 16-19 education which we are putting in place for the next academic year, 2020-21.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
4th Mar 2021
What steps he is taking to secure long-term funding for nature-based flooding solutions.

This Government sees nature-based solutions playing an increasing role in our effort to reduce flood risk, alongside traditional flood defences, in our £5.2 billion capital flood defence programme as well as through the £200 million innovation programme. These will run for the next six years. In addition, the Government’s ongoing investment in the environment, such as the Nature for Climate Fund and our environmental land management schemes, will also support natural flood management measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the £63 million of local welfare assistance to be used by local authorities announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June 2020, how much of the £63 million (a) is new money and (b) has previously been announced and on what dates.

All of the £63 million is additional funding, sitting alongside the £6.5 billion of extra support the Government is providing through the benefits system to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are protected throughout this crisis.

We are currently finalising the amounts to be allocated to different local authorities.

The funding is not ring-fenced for children on free school meals. The Government has recently announced a further £120 million of funding to continue free school meals for children during the school holidays.

This funding is a one-off boost to local authorities in recognition that some people in our communities are facing sudden and severe financial difficulties.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the £63 million of local welfare assistance to be used by local authorities announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June 2020, what amount has been allocated to Hull City Council.

All of the £63 million is additional funding, sitting alongside the £6.5 billion of extra support the Government is providing through the benefits system to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are protected throughout this crisis.

We are currently finalising the amounts to be allocated to different local authorities.

The funding is not ring-fenced for children on free school meals. The Government has recently announced a further £120 million of funding to continue free school meals for children during the school holidays.

This funding is a one-off boost to local authorities in recognition that some people in our communities are facing sudden and severe financial difficulties.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the £63 million of local welfare assistance to be used by local authorities announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June 2020, whether this funding is ring-fenced for children on free school meals during the school holidays.

All of the £63 million is additional funding, sitting alongside the £6.5 billion of extra support the Government is providing through the benefits system to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are protected throughout this crisis.

We are currently finalising the amounts to be allocated to different local authorities.

The funding is not ring-fenced for children on free school meals. The Government has recently announced a further £120 million of funding to continue free school meals for children during the school holidays.

This funding is a one-off boost to local authorities in recognition that some people in our communities are facing sudden and severe financial difficulties.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the £63 million of local welfare assistance to be used by local authorities announced at Prime Minister’s Questions on 10 June 2020, whether he plans to make the same level of additional funding in each of the next five years.

All of the £63 million is additional funding, sitting alongside the £6.5 billion of extra support the Government is providing through the benefits system to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are protected throughout this crisis.

We are currently finalising the amounts to be allocated to different local authorities.

The funding is not ring-fenced for children on free school meals. The Government has recently announced a further £120 million of funding to continue free school meals for children during the school holidays.

This funding is a one-off boost to local authorities in recognition that some people in our communities are facing sudden and severe financial difficulties.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect people living in rented accommodation in flood-risk areas who cannot afford flood insurance premiums.

Flood Re, launched in 2016, is a joint initiative between Government and industry designed to improve the availability and affordability of flood insurance for households at high risk of flooding. Flood Re allows insurance companies to pass on the flood risk element of household insurance policies to them for a below market-rate set premium.

For renters, insurers can ask Flood Re to cover the flood risk part of a contents insurance policy, as long as the property meets certain criteria, including: being used for private; residential purposes; having a domestic Council Tax band A to H; being a single residential unit or building comprising two or three units; being insured on an individual basis; and being built before 01/01/2009.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office plans to maintain the expertise of staff relating to (a) development projects, (b) climate change emergencies and (b) other key policy issues of her Department after the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with her Department.

Merging the departments will bring together the best of what we do in aid and diplomacy, and create new opportunities for staff. The ambition, vision and expertise of DFID and FCO staff will be at the heart of the new department – taking forward the work of UK aid, which will remain central to our mission.

We will continue to look at how our aid budget can be spent most effectively in our national interest, including through the Integrated Review – which will inform the priorities of the new Department.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what monitoring will be putin place after the merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure that the 0.7% of UK GDP pledged for overseas development aid is used for that purpose and not for security and diplomatic aims.

Our commitment to spending 0.7 percent of our national income on aid is enshrined in law and the UK continues to abide by the OECD DAC rules for aid. All UK official development assistance (ODA) must meet OECD DAC criteria, and have the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its primary purpose. We will continue to look at how this money can be spent most effectively, taking into account our national interest, including through the Integrated Review – which will inform the priorities of the new Department.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 175755 on Transport for the North: Finance, whether that decision has any effect on the Government's allocation of funding to the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme.

The decision to reallocate costs from Transport for the North’s core budget to their Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) budget bears no relation to the Government’s overall allocation of funding to the NPR programme.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 175754 on Rolling Stock: Diesel Engines, what estimate his Department has made of the Government funding required to phase out diesel-only trains by 2040.

High-level estimates of the cost of decarbonising the railway made by Network Rail and the rail industry will inform the government's approach to rail decarbonisation, which will be set out in the Department’s forthcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan. The costs of individual schemes will be assessed separately to ensure value for money and affordability.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 175754 on Rolling Stock: Diesel Engines, how much funding the Government has allocated to deliver its commitment of a net-zero transport system by 2050.

Our forthcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) will set out the scale and pace of rail decarbonisation necessary to deliver a net zero transport system by 2050. Decisions on funding for decarbonisation schemes and subsequent allocations will be made in the usual way to ensure that they are value for money and affordable.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 174771 on Railways: North of England, how many meetings the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Pendle has had on the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme since his appointment to that role.

As minister for Northern Powerhouse Rail, I attend regular meetings on this topic. Details of meetings with external organisations are routinely published on the GOV.UK website.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 174768 on Hull Paragon Station: Domestic Visits, whether the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Pendle has made any visits to Hull Paragon Station since February 2020.

I have not made any visits to Hull Paragon Station. I look forward to visiting many stations when circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 14 April 2021 to Question 175757 on Transport for the North, what the dates were of those meetings held between the Minister of State of his Department and representatives of Transport for the North.

Departmental transparency returns will include the dates of ministerial meetings with Transport for the North (TfN) representatives. Ministerial colleagues and I frequently meet with northern stakeholders, including TfN Board members, on a range of matters.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 25 March 2021 to Question 172921 on Transport for the North: Finance, what assessment his Department made of the future spending plans and outgoing costs of Transport for the North as part of the decision to reduce its core funding allocation in response to Transport for the North having high reserves.

The decision to adjust Transport for the North’s core funding grant for 2020/21 and 2021/22 was based on an assessment of the funding required for them to effectively undertake their statutory functions.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 175761 on Department for Transport: Rail Delivery Group, if he will publish the minutes of meetings with representatives from the Rail Delivery Group.

While minutes of meetings are not published, to enable Ministers and stakeholders to have space to have free and open exchange of views about developing policy, you can find information on the meetings between Ministers and representatives from the Rail Delivery Group on in the transparency returns on Gov.UK.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 174765 on Ministers: Department for Transport, if he will publish minutes for the MPs surgery held by the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, on 24 March 2021.

The MP surgery held on 24 March 2021 was a follow-up to the parliamentary report published on 23 March 2021. All MPs who were interested were able to attend. While minutes of meetings are not published, to enable Ministers and stakeholders space to have full and frank discussions about developments on the project, I presented on the report and took questions from MPs in attendance.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 174767 on Railways: North of England, whether the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Pendle, has made any journeys on the TransPennine train from Manchester to Hull since February 2020.

I have not made any journeys on the TransPennine train from Manchester to Hull in my Ministerial capacity. I look forward to making many train journeys when restrictions ease.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of recent toilet improvements made at Hull Paragon Station.

The Department advised that the toilets are suitable for a transport interchange but due to their location, they are frequently used by other members of the public as well as passengers. The toilets have also become a target for vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Whilst TransPennine Express, which manages the station, covers the cost of repairs and has provided additional cleaning to meet the extra demand, this means that customers have reduced access to the facility whilst the toilets are being cleaned or repaired.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish minutes of meetings between the Minister of State in his Department and hon. Members representing constituencies in the North of England in each of the last 12 months.

I meet with MPs on a regular basis. Most recently, I held a MP surgery that all MPs were invited to on the 24th March. I am happy to engage with any MPs who request a meeting.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what dates the Minister of State in his Department held discussions with hon. Members representing constituencies in the North of England in the last 12 months.

I meet with MPs on a regular basis. Most recently, I held a MP surgery that all MPs were invited to on the 24th March. I am happy to engage with any MPs who request a meeting.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Transport of 17 March 2021, Official Report, column 448, what his Department's definition is of a (a) budget reduction and (b) budget adjustment.

On this occasion, the terms ‘reduction’ and ‘adjustment’ were used interchangeably to refer to the change in Transport for the North’s core funding allocation for 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Transport of 17 March 2021, Official Report, column 448, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of Transport for the North's ability to charge £2.5 million of the costs that previously came from its core budget to the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme on improvements to the North’s rail network.

This decision has no impact on the Government’s ambitions to significantly improve the North’s rail network.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of diesel rolling stock on the environment.

Rail is a comparatively green mode of transport, but the Government is working to further reduce emissions and reduce the impact of air and noise pollution.

Diesel freight and passenger trains in Great Britain created 1,788 kilotonnes of CO2e last year (April 2019-April 2020). The Government will reduce these emissions through our ambition to phase out diesel-only trains by 2040 and deliver a net-zero transport system by 2050.

The Department is working to gain a more comprehensive understanding of air pollution in stations by funding a new £4.5 million air quality monitoring network. This will be rolled out over the next three years, with air quality monitors installed in around 100 stations across England and Wales from summer 2021. Once established, the network will help to identify priority locations where air quality improvement measures are most needed.

Noise from the railway can have an impact on the lives of the people who live along its routes, and the industry is working to minimise the impact of noise from the railway on its neighbours and on passengers. The Department supports periodic strategic noise mapping to identify the most sensitive areas on and around the rail network that are exposed to railway noise. We assess the sensitive areas as described in the Noise Action Plan: Railways - this plan is updated every 5 years and was last updated in 2019.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the (a) dates and (b) minutes of meetings between the Minister of State in his Department and representatives of National Rail in each of the last 12 months.

National Rail is a trading name licensed for use by the Rail Delivery Group used to promote passenger railway services. In line with their roles and portfolios, both Ministers of State have met with the Rail Delivery Group and their representatives when appropriate over the past year.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State in his Department plans to visit station operators at Darlington Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans the Minister of State in his Department has to visit station operators at Leeds Railway Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if the Minister of State in his Department will visit operators at Liverpool Lime Street Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish minutes of meetings between the Minister of State in his Department and representatives of HS2 operators in each of the last 12 months.

The Department publishes information about ministerial meetings, including dates, who the meeting is with, and the purpose of the meeting. While minutes of meetings are not published, to enable Ministers and officials space to have full and frank discussions about developing policy, we are openly reporting progress on the project to Parliament twice-yearly. Our latest report can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/hs2-6-monthly-report-to-parliament-march-2021

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State in his Department has plans to visit and meet with TransPennine Express operators at Hull Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish minutes of meetings between the Minister of State in his Department and representatives of Transport for the North in each of the last 12 months.

There has been regular engagement between ministers and Transport for the North over the last year. No formal minutes of these meetings were recorded to allow for a free and open exchange of views on key issues. However, issues raised by stakeholders are followed up and, where necessary, further meetings are held with officials.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State in his Department plans to visit station operators at Cleethorpes Railway Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State in his Department plans to visit station operators at Scarborough Railway Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State in his Department plans to visit station operators at Manchester Victoria Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State in his Department plans to visit station operators at Sheffield Train Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State in his Department plans to visit station operators at Manchester Piccadilly Train Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State in his Department plans to visit station operators at Newcastle Station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has visited Manchester Piccadilly train station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has visited Hull Paragon station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has travelled on the TransPennine train from Manchester to Hull.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will publish a list of meetings the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has had with hon. Members representing constituencies in the North of England since his appointment.

I meet with MPs on a regular basis. Most recently, I held a MP surgery that all MPs were invited to on the 24th March. I am happy to engage with any MPs who request a meeting.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will list the Transport for the North board meetings attended by the Minister of State for Transport.

Neither of the Ministers of State for Transport have attended any Transport for the North Board meetings. The Department is represented at these meetings by Officials within the Department.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide the dates of meetings the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has had with hon. Members representing constituencies in the north of England since his taking up that post.

I meet with MPs on a regular basis. Most recently, I held a MP surgery that all MPs were invited to on the 24th March. I am happy to engage with any MPs who request a meeting.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide the minutes of the meetings the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has had with hon. Members representing constituencies in the north of England, since his taking up that post.

I meet with MPs on a regular basis. Most recently, I held a MP surgery that all MPs were invited to on the 24th March. I am happy to engage with any MPs who request a meeting.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has had with passenger groups based in the North of England since his appointment.

Ministers hold meetings with a wide range of stakeholders including operators and passenger groups. During the pandemic these meetings have been held virtually. I am the Minister responsible for HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Transpennine route upgrade, and skills. Chris Heaton-Harris MP is Minister of State and has responsibility for rail, Williams Review, Beeching, Crossrail 2, East West Rail, cycling and walking, accessibility and corporate.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has had with passenger groups representing disabled people based in the North of England since his appointment.

Ministers hold meetings with a wide range of stakeholders including operators and passenger groups. During the pandemic these meetings have been held virtually. I am the Minister responsible for HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Transpennine route upgrade, and skills. Chris Heaton-Harris MP is Minister of State and has responsibility for rail, Williams Review, Beeching, Crossrail 2, East West Rail, cycling and walking, accessibility and corporate.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will publish the minutes of all meetings the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has attended on the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme.

As part of my responsibilities as the Minister of State I have many meetings regarding the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will publish in full the Ministerial diary of the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, for each week since the week commencing 17 February 2020.

As part of my role as Minister of State for Transport, I regularly meet with departmental officials and external stakeholders. My meetings with many external organisations are routinely published on the GOV.UK website as part of transparency returns.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will publish in full the Ministerial diary of the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, for the week commencing 13 February 2020.

I was appointed as Minister of State for Transport on Thursday 13th February. I had no meetings with external organisations that week. I had introductory meetings with Officials within the Department.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has visited Liverpool Lime Street railway station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has visited Newcastle Central railway station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has visited Leeds railway station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has visited Sheffield train station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Minister of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Pendle, has visited Darlington train station.

Ministers very much look forward to visiting a range of stations and locations in due course once circumstances allow.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the oral contribution by the Minister of State for Transport, Official Report, column 448 and with reference to his statement that the 40 per cent reduction in Transport for the North’s core funding will not take place until the next financial year, whether Transport for the North has been allocated £10 million in financial year 2020-21.

I refer the Right Honourable Member to my oral contribution to the House, Official Report, column 447; Transport for the North received a core funding settlement from the Department of £7 million for the current financial year (2020/21) and £6 million for the next (2021/22).

I also refer the hon Member to the answer I gave on 22 March 2021, to Question UIN 170563 https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-17/170563/.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Transport of 17 March 2021, Official Report, column 447 on Transport for the North: Funding, whether the £9.5 million referred to in that debate was earmarked expenditure.

Transport for the North (TfN) project that, had they received £10 million in core grant this financial year, their reserves would have risen to £9.5 million at the end of this financial year. It is for Transport for the North to manage their core funding allocation within the parameters set out in the Grant Funding Agreement between the Department and TfN, and therefore questions on the makeup of their projected reserves should be directed to TfN rather than the Department.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Transport of 17 March 2021, Official Report, column 447 on Transport for the North: Funding, what funding made up the £9.5 million in reserves.

Transport for the North (TfN) project that, had they received £10 million in core grant this financial year, their reserves would have risen to £9.5 million at the end of this financial year. It is for Transport for the North to manage their core funding allocation within the parameters set out in the Grant Funding Agreement between the Department and TfN, and therefore questions on the makeup of their projected reserves should be directed to TfN rather than the Department.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Transport of 17 March 2021, Official Report, column 448 on Transport for the North: Funding, whether Transport for the North was required to pay back the unspent £126 million to his Department.

TfN was allocated up to £150m at the 2015 Spending Review to support its Integrated and Smart Travel programme, with this multi-year funding allocation expiring at the end of the current financial year. Following the approval of business cases TfN utilised around £24m to enable the roll-out of smart ticketing across the north in addition to incurring development, business-case and other project costs of around £10 million but were unable to produce a business case for their ambitious multi modal project which was acceptable to all transport operators in the North.

As the £150m funding was not allocated as a lump sum, there is no need for TfN to pay back the balance.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Transport of 17 March 2021, Official Report, column 448 on Transport for the North: Funding, how the £150 million was made available to Transport for the North.

TfN was allocated up to £150m at the 2015 Spending Review to support its Integrated and Smart Travel programme, with this multi-year funding allocation expiring at the end of the current financial year. Following the approval of business cases TfN utilised around £24m to enable the roll-out of smart ticketing across the north in addition to incurring development, business-case and other project costs of around £10 million but were unable to produce a business case for their ambitious multi modal project which was acceptable to all transport operators in the North.

As the £150m funding was not allocated as a lump sum, there is no need for TfN to pay back the balance.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister of State of 17 March 2021, Official Report, column 447, that Transport for North’s budget was adjusted to ensure it did not build up unnecessarily large reserves, what Transport for North’s reserves were projected to be in 2020-21.

As I stated in the House on 17 March during the adjournment debate on this matter, Transport for the North’s reserves were projected to rise to £9.5m in 2020-21, had their core funding grant not been adjusted.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister of State of 17 March 2021, Official Report, column 447, that Transport for the North’s budget was adjusted to ensure it did not build up unnecessarily large reserves, what his estimate is of an acceptable reserve.

As I stated in the House during the adjournment debate on this subject on 17 March 2021, the Department for Transport and Transport for the North have an agreed minimum reserve level of £2 million.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of whether Transport for the North’s reserves were earmarked for anything.

Transport for the North is required to operate a reserves strategy, to enable the organisation to operate with a degree of flexibility, whilst also guarding against unexpected costs or cash flow fluctuations. It is for Transport for the North to manage their funding allocation, and reserves strategy, accordingly.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister of State of 17 March 2021, Official Report, column 447, that Transport for the North underspent its core grant, in which areas of that budget there was an underspend.

Transport for the North is allocated a core funding grant to enable them to carry out their statutory functions. It is a decision for Transport for the North Board as to how that grant is spent, subject to the conditions set out in the Grant Funding Agreement between the Department for Transport and Transport for the North.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether plans for a contactless ticketing scheme in the North of England have been cancelled as stated in a letter from the Department of Transport to Transport for the North, dated 4 January 2021.

Due to a forecast underspend and a significant build-up of reserves due to displaced activity in 2020/21, the core grant that Transport for the North (TfN) receives from the Department was set at £7 million for 2020/21 and £6 million for 2021/22. Furthermore, the Department has agreed to TfN charging £2.5 million of costs, previously from its core budget, to the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) programme for 2021/22. As I stated in the House in the adjournment debate on this subject of 17 March, “Taking into account all the funding streams available to Transport for the North, its budget has not been reduced by 40%.”

In the 2015 spending review, Transport for the North was allocated up to £150 million to support its integrated and smart travel programme. It has utilised only £24 million in the past five years to enable the roll-out of smart ticketing throughout the north. Additionally, it incurred development, business-case and other project costs of around £10 million but was unable to produce a business case for its ambitious multi-modal projects that was acceptable to all transport operators in the north. The multi-year funding for Transport for the North’s integrated and smart travel programme was always due to expire at the end of this financial year. We are considering how best to deliver more effectively the roll-out of smart ticketing to improve passenger services throughout the region.

The launch of the National Bus Strategy on 15 March 2021 outlined our ambition to see seamless, integrated ticketing between operators and to extend this across all types of transport and all regions of the country, including the North. We will work with transport technology providers, app developers, bus operators and LTAs to ensure that any technology to support this is developed strategically, and money is not wasted on different technology solutions for different places. As rail ticketing and fares systems are updated we will also consider opportunities for facilitating integrated electronic ticketing with buses.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the core budget of Transport for the North has been reduced from £10 million to £6 million for the financial year 2021-22 as stated in a letter from the Department for Transport to Transport for the North dated 4 January 2021.

Due to a forecast underspend and a significant build-up of reserves due to displaced activity in 2020/21, the core grant that Transport for the North (TfN) receives from the Department was set at £7 million for 2020/21 and £6 million for 2021/22. Furthermore, the Department has agreed to TfN charging £2.5 million of costs, previously from its core budget, to the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) programme for 2021/22. As I stated in the House in the adjournment debate on this subject of 17 March, “Taking into account all the funding streams available to Transport for the North, its budget has not been reduced by 40%.”

In the 2015 spending review, Transport for the North was allocated up to £150 million to support its integrated and smart travel programme. It has utilised only £24 million in the past five years to enable the roll-out of smart ticketing throughout the north. Additionally, it incurred development, business-case and other project costs of around £10 million but was unable to produce a business case for its ambitious multi-modal projects that was acceptable to all transport operators in the north. The multi-year funding for Transport for the North’s integrated and smart travel programme was always due to expire at the end of this financial year. We are considering how best to deliver more effectively the roll-out of smart ticketing to improve passenger services throughout the region.

The launch of the National Bus Strategy on 15 March 2021 outlined our ambition to see seamless, integrated ticketing between operators and to extend this across all types of transport and all regions of the country, including the North. We will work with transport technology providers, app developers, bus operators and LTAs to ensure that any technology to support this is developed strategically, and money is not wasted on different technology solutions for different places. As rail ticketing and fares systems are updated we will also consider opportunities for facilitating integrated electronic ticketing with buses.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what funding his Department has provided to Transport for the North in each of the last three years.

TfN have received £10m in core funding for the previous two financial years. In December 2020, TfN’s core budget for this financial year (20/21) was reduced to £7 million, in part due to TfN’s underspend this financial year and the maintenance of large reserves.

TfN have had access to £104 million of the £147m Northern Powerhouse Rail budget since FY18/19, broken down as follows: 2018/19 - £15 million; 2019/20 - £30 million; 2020/21 - £59 million.

TfN was allocated up to £150m at the 2015 Spending Review to support its Integrated and Smart Travel programme, with this multi-year funding allocation expiring at the end of the current financial year. TfN utilised around £24 million in the past five years to enable the roll-out of smart ticketing across the North.

Finally, TfN receive a grant from the Department for Transport as a contribution to funding the Rail North Partnership team which manages the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises on behalf of the Department for Transport and Transport for the North. For the last three years these amounts are 2018/19 - £388k, 2019/20 - £582k, 2020/21 - £680k.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of funding for Transport for the North.

In the next financial year, TfN will have access to over £70m of funding, the majority of which will enable further development of Northern Powerhouse Rail. To date, over £100m has been spent on Northern Powerhouse Rail development. TfN’s most recent core funding settlement is an appropriate settlement that enables the organisation to continue to deliver its statutory functions of developing a transport strategy for the region. The Rail North Partnership Grant that TfN receives from the Department will also continue unchanged in the next financial year. TfN was allocated up to £150m at the 2015 Spending Review to support its Integrated and Smart Travel programme, with this multi-year funding allocation expiring at the end of the current financial year. TfN utilised around £24m in the past five years to enable the roll-out of smart ticketing across the North and we are now considering how best to deliver more effectively the rollout of smart ticketing to improve passenger services across the region.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent representations he has received on changes in the level of funding for Transport for the North.

The Secretary of State has received correspondence on Transport for the North’s (TfN) recent funding settlement from a range of individuals and organisations. Aside from representations made by TfN Board members themselves, this correspondence includes from MPs, councillors, Combined Authority Mayors and the TUC. This is in addition to ongoing dialogue between TfN and Departmental officials.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 October 2020 to Question 98677 on Taxis: Protective Clothing, which organisation is responsible for ensuring that operators carry out those risk assessments; and what the penalty is in the event that operators do not complete those risk assessments to an adequate standard.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the enforcing authority responsible for ensuring taxi operators carry out risk assessments covering work activities away from the taxi office. The duty to carry out assessments is a legal requirement and if not completed, HSE can take enforcement action to require operators to comply. This includes the option of issuing an Improvement Notice which stipulates what is required in a given timeframe. Non-compliance with an Improvement Notice is an offence and carries potential financial penalties and / or imprisonment.

The HSE takes a proportionate approach to enforcement in line with their publicly available enforcement policy statement.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to Answer of 1 October 2020 to Question 96010 on Taxis: Protective Clothing, whether it is (a) his Department's or (b) another organisation's responsibility to ensure operators are carrying out adequate covid-19 risk assessments.

It is the operator's responsibility to follow Government Safer Transport Guidance for operators. This includes the recommendation to conduct risk assessments to ensure suitable protective measures are in place for both transport workers and passengers.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 25 September 2020 to Question 93554, what the scientific basis is for his Department's decision not to enforce mandatory face coverings for taxi and private hire drivers.

The Department for Transport’s guidance for transport operators (Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators) advises that the risks of coronavirus should be identified through operator's conducting risk assessments. These inform decisions and measures to be put in place to protect both transport workers and customers. We continually review guidance for safer transport in line with scientific advice.

Evidence tells us that the most effective measures are social distancing, rigorous hand hygiene, not touching one’s face and good ventilation of fresh air. It is up to the operator to use their risk assessments to determine if face coverings are a practical and safe protective measure based upon specific job roles.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 September 2020 to Question 90961 on Cars: Hire Services, and the Prime Minister's statement on covid-19 measures on 22 September 2020, whether it is now mandatory for private hire and taxi drivers to wear face coverings at all times when working.

Face coverings are now mandatory for customers using taxi and private hire vehicle services, unless they are exempt from wearing one. Face coverings are not mandatory for drivers.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, in relation to the Government's covid-19 guidance on private hire cars, for what reason the wearing of face coverings is not mandatory in those vehicles; what the medical evidence is to support that decision; and what plans he has to review that decision.

The Government has published safer transport guidance on the safe provision of transport services during the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance to passengers says that passengers should wear a face covering when using taxis or private hire vehicles. Taxi drivers are able to refuse carriage to passengers where it is reasonable to do so, and private hire vehicle operators can make wearing a face covering a condition of hiring. We are aware of private hire vehicle operators that are doing this and requiring the driver they work with to do the same. We continually review guidance for safer transport in line with scientific advice.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) financial and (b) non financial resources his Department has allocated to (a) Humber Ports and (b) other UK ports to prepare for the end of the transition period.

As part of the Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) fund in 2019, the ports of Hull and Immingham successfully bid to receive £1.4m between them to support preparations for leaving the European Union. The total amount of funding to successful applicants through this fund was £10m, with a maximum of £1m to any single port.

As part of preparations for the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020, on 12 July the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster announced funding of up to £705m for new infrastructure, jobs and technology at the border. This includes up to £470m to build port and inland infrastructure needed for new customs procedures and controls. Further details of how ports can apply to access this funding will be provided in due course.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the removal of the spare room subsidy on debt levels since the outbreak of covid-19.

No assessment has been made.

For those living in the Social Rented Sector, maximum housing costs support is based on actual rent and eligible service charges less any deductions for under-occupation.

The ‘Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy’ policy has helped to encourage mobility within the social rented sector, strengthen work incentives and make better use of available social housing.

The policy already allows for the provision of an additional bedroom for disabled people and carers, foster carers, parents who adopt, parents of service personnel, and people who have suffered a recent bereavement. Additionally, those in receipt of pension age housing benefit are exempt.

If a claimant’s ability to mitigate any shortfall between their housing support and rent has changed as a result of Covid-19, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are available. DHPs can be paid to those in receipt of Housing Benefit or support with housing costs in Universal Credit, who face a shortfall in meeting their rental housing costs. Since 2011 we have provided over £1 billion in DHP funding.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether personal independence payment awarded on appeal will be extended in the same manner as awards secured on initial application.

I refer the Right Hon member to the answer I gave on 15 April 2021 to Question 179256.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of (a) suspending and (b) raising the benefit cap during the covid-19 outbreak to allow the uplift to reach a greater number of children at risk of poverty.

I refer the Rt. Hon Member to my response to question 182023.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of changing the universal credit childcare payments system to make it similar to Tax Free Childcare in allowing the top-up to be provided through a government account.

Universal Credit (UC) childcare costs is already a generous offer that pays up to 85% of registered childcare costs each month, up to £646.35 for one child aged up to 16, and £1,108.04 for two or more children aged up to 16. This could be worth up to £13,000.

For every £8 families pay in to their online Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) account, the Government will make a top-up payment of £2 up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year (or £4,000 a year for disabled children) aged up to 11.

By being different the two benefits provide a wider offer to parents and eligible claimants can choose which option suits their circumstances. In addition to accessing free childcare, parents can choose to move between TFC and UC, with good reason to do so, if their circumstances change.

Both UC and TFC childcare offers align with the free childcare offer that provides 15 hours a week of free childcare in England for all 3 and 4 year olds and disadvantaged 2 year olds, doubling for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours a week. The UC childcare costs element can be used to top up a claimant’s eligible free childcare hours if more hours are worked and childcare required. However, you cannot claim Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether personal independence payment awards made following a successful appeal will be extended in line with those payments that secured the correct award on application.

I refer the Right Honourable Member to the answer I gave on 12 April 2021 to Question UIN 179256.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made on the effect of the Kickstart scheme on employment levels.

The Department of Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme is creating new, fully-funded, six- month jobs for young people at risk of long term unemployment. On Monday 8th March the Secretary of State announced that we have approved almost 150,000 jobs through the scheme, of which over 4,000 young people have started in and over 30,000 are currently being advertised. Kickstart is designed to improve the chances that young people who participate will find sustained employment following their Kickstart job and as the economy starts to recover from the pandemic.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect on the economy in (a) the UK and (b) Kingston upon Hull North constituency of removing the £20 uplift to universal credit.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until March 2021. As the Government has done throughout this pandemic, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context before making any decisions.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to improve guidance on claiming statutory sick pay.

Employers are legally required to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to employees who are sick or incapable of work, where employees meet the qualifying conditions. It is paid in the same way as an employee’s salary.

Throughout the pandemic we have ensured the pages on Gov.UK relating to SSP have been regularly updated in line with changes affecting eligibility for SSP.

The pages on Gov.UK provide extensive information and support to employees regarding the circumstances in which they may be eligible for SSP and what evidence they need to provide to their employer. Additionally there is specific guidance for employers explaining which employees may be eligible for SSP and when employers should start paying SSP. There is a calculator to support employers to understand how much SSP to pay. There is also clear guidance on how small and medium employers can reclaim up to two weeks of coronavirus-related SSP.

If individuals think their employer’s decision not to pay SSP is wrong, or that they’re not getting the right amount of SSP, they can raise a dispute with HMRC.

Background

To be eligible for SSP, you must:

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer;
  • earn an average of at least £120 per week;
  • have been ill, self-isolating or ‘shielding’ for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days).

To receive SSP employees must tell their employer that they are off sick before the deadline the employer has set (or within 7 days if they have not set one).

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department is providing for self-employed parents not able to work whilst schools are closed during covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The government have provided more than £280 billion of support to protect jobs and livelihoods. We have delivered extensive support packages for businesses and the self-employed, including SEISS, bounce back loans, and business interruption loans. In addition to this for self-employed people claiming Universal Credit, we have suspended the application of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) until April 2021. This means that that a drop in earnings due to sickness or self-isolation, or as a result of the impact of the outbreak, will be reflected in a claimant’s award.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what comparative assessment her Department has made of the reasons for the change in the number of people claiming benefits in (a) Kingston upon Hull and (b) the UK in the latest period for which figures are available.

The Department regularly publishes statistics on the number of people claiming various benefits in Great Britain, and these are available by local authority here:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what comparative estimate she has made of the number of children living in poverty in Kingston upon Hull at the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak and in January 2021.

No assessment has been made.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2020
What assessment she has made of the potential effect of reducing universal credit and working tax credit by £20 a week in April 2021 on (a) average working age and (b) levels of child poverty.

DWP is continuing to work with HMT and other Government Departments to monitor the evolving economic situation and identify the most effective ways to help people. There is a lot of uncertainty involved in projecting incomes and levels of poverty.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people with a main condition of epilepsy have found a long-term job through the Work and Health Programme in each of the last five years.

The information is unavailable because medical condition is only recorded for a limited number of people who participate and also there is no measure for long term job outcomes for participants on the Work and Health Programme. Job outcomes are defined as when a participant is classed as achieving a job outcome when they have reached a specified level of earnings once in employment, or reach six months of being in self-employment.

The available statistics on participants of the Work and Health Programme, which began in November 2017, are published at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/work-and-health-programme-statistics

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to implement the recommendations of the Seventh Report of the Work and Pensions Committee, PIP and ESA assessments, Session 2017–19, in relation to the issue of new guidance to ESA assessors.

The Department, in conjunction with the assessment provider (the Centre for Health & Disability Assessments (CHDA)), regularly reviews the guidance provided to Health Care Professionals (HCPs) conducting Work Capability Assessments. The guidance in place for HCPs, in relation to a request for a home visit, states that they can consider evidence from the claimant’s GP or from other health professionals involved in their care.

In addition, DWP has been working with CHDA to identify potential new approaches to determining home visit eligibility with the aim of reducing the need to request evidence from claimants in the future.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to support NHS staff who contracted covid-19 while working and who are now unable to work as a result of developing long covid.

For National Health Service staff on national terms and conditions, sick pay support already provides up to six months full pay, followed by up to six months half pay depending on length of service. In addition, in March 2020 we introduced temporary COVID-19 full sick pay for NHS staff, subject to regular review, providing an additional level of support.

Staff experiencing the symptoms of ‘long’ COVID-19 will also be supported through NHS England and NHS Improvement’s 5-point plan which provides support for patients experiencing long-term effects of COVID-19. Further information on the plan is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/post-covid-syndrome-long-covid/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2021 to Question 154863 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including Registered Public Service Interpreters in the list of occupations the Government classes as key workers for the purposes of priority access to covid-19 vaccination.

Registered Public Service Interpreters working in healthcare settings are eligible for vaccination as frontline healthcare workers in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s advice. Registered Public Service Interpreters working in non-healthcare settings will be prioritised for vaccination according to their age and clinical risk, along with the rest of the population. They will not be prioritised based on their occupation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the closure of the Centene-owned surgery in Harlow in 2018, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of Centene's acquisition of GP surgeries in England on the provision of GP services.

No assessment has been made. It is for local commissioners to arrange the provision of appropriate services, by contracting with providers, in order to best serve the needs of their patient population.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the number of people who have died as a result of contaminated blood factor products in the (a) HIV and Hepatitis C (co-infected haemophiliacs), (b) Hepatitis C infected haemophiliacs excluding HIV and (c) HIV infected spouses/ partner categories since 2017.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of providing grants to pharmacies to help cover additional costs accrued during the covid-19 outbreak; and how much and what proportion of the £370m emergency cashflow loans has been allocated to (a) pharmacies and (b) other NHS services.



Discussions are ongoing with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee about additional funding for costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its ongoing assessment of COVID-19 costs incurred by the sector the Government will take account of the £370 million increased advance payments paid to community pharmacies.

The support package for community pharmacy also included general COVID-19 business support, funding for Bank Holiday openings, social distancing measures and the medicine delivery service to shielded patients, free personal protective equipment and non-monetary support including the removal of some administrative tasks, flexibility in opening hours and the delayed introduction of new services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people affected by the contaminated blood inquiry are kept fully informed on developments in that inquiry.

The Infected Blood Inquiry is a statutory Inquiry sponsored by Cabinet Office. The Inquiry is independent of the Government, therefore we are unable to comment on the Inquiry's work.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2021 to Question 153163 on Coronavirus: Disability, with reference to finding by the Office of National Statistics that 60 per cent of deaths involving covid-19 between 24 January and 20 November 2020 were disabled people, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that disabled people are protected from covid-19 in the future.

The Government plans to publish a National Strategy for Disabled People later this spring to ensure that all disabled people can play a full role in society. The Strategy will take into account the impacts of the pandemic on disabled people and will focus on the issues that disabled people say affect them the most in all aspects of life.

Local authorities are working with other local partners including clinical commissioning groups, voluntary sector partners and community leaders, to identify the way in which COVID-19 has widened health inequalities and factor this into their recovery plans.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to announce what progress has been made with the compensation framework review in relation to the contaminated blood inquiry.

The Government remains committed to considering a potential framework for compensation, as well as actions to address disparities in financial and non-financial support for people infected and affected across the United Kingdom.

Officials at the Cabinet Office are working with colleagues in HM Treasury, the Department of Health and Social Care and health departments in the devolved administrations on this review.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that after the Inquiry into Contaminated Blood no beneficiary of the England Infected Blood Support Scheme will be financially worse off.

We will consider any recommendations when the Infected Blood Inquiry reports, including any around financial support.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide assurance to people receiving regular support through the England Infected Blood Support Scheme that they will not be forced to leave that scheme after the Inquiry.

We will consider any recommendations when the Infected Blood Inquiry reports, including any around financial support. There is no intention to reduce the amount of financial support given to beneficieries.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether prioritisation for the covid-19 vaccine within a priority group will be based on occupation; and if he will take steps to ensure that frontline workers are prioritised for that vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) did not advise prioritising within a priority group so we are vaccinating on the basis of age rather than occupation.

For Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, JCVI published its interim advice on 26 February, setting out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age, rather than by occupation. This is because age is assessed to be the strongest factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations, and because the speed of delivery is crucial as we provide more people with protection from COVID-19.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2021
What his Department's timeframe is for the publication of its response to the early medical abortions consultation on home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation.

The consultation on whether to make permanent the current temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion closes on 26 February.

We will carefully consider all of the responses received, and plan to publish the Government’s response later this year.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the risk of covid-19 to people with bleeding disorder; and what steps his Department is taking to prioritise people with bleeding disorders for covid-19 vaccination.

Individuals with bleeding disorders have not been prioritised for a vaccination in phase one.

Phase two of the vaccination programme will cover all adults under 50 years old not already included in phase one. Prioritisation for phase two has not yet been decided, but interim advice has been published by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommending an age-based approach.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including Registered Public Service Interpreters in the list of occupations the Government classes as key workers for the purposes of priority access to covid-19 vaccination.

No such assessment has been made. If Registered Public Service Interpreters are captured in phase one or two due to age or clinical need, then they will be vaccinated accordingly. However, there are currently no plans to vaccinate by occupation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the long-term effect of the covid-19 pandemic on mental health in the UK.

We continue to work with the National Health Service, Public Health England and others to consider the emerging evidence and what might need to be done to further support people’s mental health. A cross-Government group has been established to consider and respond to the longer term impacts of the pandemic on mental health and wellbeing and will set out its plans in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the additional support required by mental health services during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

We know that there is the potential for an increase in demand for mental health services. We are continuing to support the delivery of NHS mental health services to ensure support is available for those who need it.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support people's mental health during the covid-19 lockdown.

Mental health services have remained open for business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support online, by phone and face to face where appropriate. All mental health trusts have established 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent mental health helplines where people with severe needs or experiencing a mental health crisis can access support and advice and resources are available to help people with their own mental health and wellbeing through GOV.UK and Every Mind Matters.

Our Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19 sets out the support available for people who are struggling, our commitments to ensure services are there to support those who need it and the provision in place to keep frontline workers well. The Government has also invested £5 million in national loneliness charities, raising awareness and providing advice through the Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign and a new Tackling Loneliness Network, to support the wellbeing of those struggling with social isolation over the pandemic.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the accessibility of mental health provision for people during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

Mental health services have remained open for business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support online, by phone and face to face where appropriate. All mental health trusts have established 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent mental health helplines where people with severe needs or experiencing a mental health crisis can access support and advice and resources are available to help people with their own mental health and wellbeing through GOV.UK and Every Mind Matters.

Our Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19 sets out the support available for people who are struggling, our commitments to ensure services are there to support those who need it and the provision in place to keep frontline workers well. The Government has also invested £5 million in national loneliness charities, raising awareness and providing advice through the Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign and a new Tackling Loneliness Network, to support the wellbeing of those struggling with social isolation over the pandemic.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to fill nursing vacancies in the NHS.

We have set up a comprehensive work programme to improve retention and support return to practice, invest in and diversify our training pipeline and ethically recruit internationally. The number of nurses has increased by almost 11,100 (3.8%), between November 2019 and November 2020.

In September 2020, we introduced a new funding package of at least £5,000 per annum available to all eligible pre-registration nursing students at an English university. Health Education England is also continuing to work with NHS England and NHS Improvement on the ‘We are the NHS’ campaign which aims to increase applications for both degree courses and direct entry jobs.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to finding by the Office of National Statistics that 60 per cent of deaths involving covid-19 between 24 January and 20 November 2020 were disabled people, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that disabled people are protected from covid-19 in the future.

We are protecting disabled people through a range of actions. We are advising people with specific health conditions, who are deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, to shield and providing direct support to the shielded population. Local councils are also providing support to people shielding. We are prioritising vaccinations for those who are most at risk and those who care for them, following the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. Many disabled people received social care. The Adult Social Care Winter Plan sets out our support to social care through the winter, so people can continue to receive care and be protected whilst protecting people from COVID-19. This includes providing free personal protective equipment to care homes and domiciliary care providers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to create a workforce strategy for the NHS and social care.

The Government is working with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Health Education England, Skills for Care and employers to determine our workforce priorities for the NHS and social care beyond April 2021 and to support recovery.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the capacity of the NHS to tackle the backlog of patients on long waiting lists after the covid-19 outbreak.

As well as continuing to treat COVID-19 patients, hospitals across the country are systematically prioritising and treating patients according to clinical need and preparing to accelerate routine elective services. Local systems are also planning for the potential return of additional patients who may not have sought treatment during the pandemic but have subsequently come forward and will appear on waiting lists during the year ahead.

The National Health Service will be supported by the £1 billion of funding recently announced in the Spending Review 2020, which will help address backlogs and tackle long waiting lists and facilitate up to one million extra checks, scans and additional operations. This is part of a £3 billion, one-year package for 2021/22 to support the NHS in tackling the impact of COVID-19.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that hotel staff in the hotels used for covid-19 quarantine measures are kept safe.

All staff have been fully trained in COVID-19 secure practices and all contractors have been instructed to ensure their facilities and services are provided in a COVID-19 secure way, including plastic shields and personal protective equipment where necessary. Staff will be trained on how to handle medical emergencies that may involve close contact with guests and take appropriate COVID-19 safety steps.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the hotel capacity available for quarantine purposes.

Contracts have been signed for more than adequate capacity for current arrival numbers. We are keeping demand for managed quarantine facilities under close review and are ready to put in place arrangements for additional capacity should it be required.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the hotel covid-19 quarantine policy only applies to people travelling from 33 countries.

The managed quarantine measures apply to people travelling from the 33 ‘red list’ countries as these countries are judged to pose a risk to the United Kingdom from variants of concern and inbound international travel. The decision to add and remove countries from the red list is informed by the latest scientific data and public health advice from a world-leading range of experts.

The list of red list countries is kept consistently under review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect that introducing a hotel quarantine policy at the outset of the covid-19 pandemic would have had on the transmission of covid-19 in the UK.

We have made no such assessment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of its ability to reduce the number of people coming into the UK from the current figure of 20,000 to the current hotel capacity which will be used for quarantining people.

It is illegal to travel abroad without a legally permitted reason to do so. Police officers will be deployed at airports and ports to support the enforcement of these regulations, including checking the reason for passengers’ journeys.

We are keeping demand for managed quarantine facilities under close review and are ready to put in place arrangements for additional capacity should it be required.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set out a timetable for the re-introduction of close contact care home visits in England.

In the face of a new variant of the virus we have acted to protect those most at risk in care homes and while advising how visits can go ahead safely in some form. As set out in updated visiting guidance, visits to care homes can continue to take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not currently advised. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

We recognise how important it is to allow care home residents to meet their loved ones safely. We are looking to enable a wider range of visiting arrangements available when it is safe to do so. We will publish updated guidance as this period of national restrictions ends.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the figures published by the Office for National Statistics that showed the number of care home residents who died from covid-19 increased to 1705 in the week ending 22 January 2021, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of those people who had received a covid-19 vaccination.

This information is not currently available in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the increased prescription of anti-psychotics to people with dementia during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to monitor the monthly data published by NHS Digital on the prescribing of antipsychotic medication for people diagnosed with dementia. NHS England and NHS Improvement have regular conversations with regional clinical network leads and local services to understand the patterns in prescribing and potential reasons for any trends.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also disseminated good practices and resources to support the management of COVID-19 for people with dementia through the NHS Futures Collaboration Platform, fortnightly forums and webinars with Dementia Clinical Networks across England. This includes resources to support non-pharmacological approaches to manage behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia including adhering to public health advice for social distancing.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of which vaccine had been administered to people who have died from covid-19 after receiving a vaccine.

Episodes of possible vaccine failure, which includes those who have been vaccinated and subsequently die from COVID-19, are being recorded for each vaccine. Such episodes are being assessed and followed up through enhanced surveillance approaches. More information will be available in due course.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of care home (a) residents and (b) staff have (i) been offered each vaccine dose and (ii) refused the vaccine.

We are working with the vaccination programme in NHS England to monitor progress. NHS England now publishes weekly data on the vaccination of residents and staff in older adult care homes, which is available at the following link:

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

Data on vaccine refusals is not collected.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to protect people with learning disabilities from covid-19.

We have extended the Infection Control Fund until March 2021 with an extra £546 million; provided free personal protective equipment for adult social care providers until March 2021; extended testing to all care homes and domiciliary care staff; added people with Down’s syndrome to the shielded patient list; and launched of regular retesting for high risk supported living settings.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advise that clinically extremely vulnerable individuals including adults with Down's syndrome are in priority group four and people with a severe and profound learning disability are in group six for the COVID-19.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people with learning disabilities.

Research has also been commissioned by the Department from the University of Warwick and Manchester Metropolitan University to look at the impacts of COVID-19 and of the measures taken in response of the pandemic on the wellbeing and lives of people with learning disabilities. The results of this research will be published shortly.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plan to publish full details on funding allocations from the Spending Review 2020 for the (a) cancer workforce and (b) other workforce budgets.

The Spending Review 2020 provides £260 million to continue to grow the National Health Service workforce and support commitments made in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Full details on funding allocations towards NHS workforce budgets, including relating to cancer, in 2021-22 will be subject to a detailed financial planning exercise and finalised in due course.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine after twelve weeks.

The Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) advises a two-dose vaccine schedule for the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines. The JCVI advises a maximum interval between the first and second doses of 12 weeks. The JCVI has considered published data on the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine, where follow up extended to around thirteen weeks after the second dose.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of women's experiences when receiving remote abortion care; and what weight he plans to give to women's experiences and preferences in the ongoing consultation on the permanent extension of the approval order to allow women to take both abortion pills at home.

We have now launched a three month consultation on whether to make permanent the current temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. We welcome feedback from anyone with an interest or view on this subject, particularly from those who have been directly affected by the current temporary measure. The consultation asks a range of questions, including questions on whether the temporary measure has had an impact on the provision of abortion services for women and girls accessing these services, with a particular regard to safety; accessibility; and privacy and confidentiality of access.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place to consider the best interests of women when determining the future of Public Health England's reproductive and contraceptive care responsibilities.

The Department are currently considering a range of options for where Public Health England’s wider public heath functions, including supporting the commissioning and delivery of sexual and reproductive health services, could sit in the future as part of the reform to the public health system. We will be engaging in more detail on these issues and setting out next steps on the reform programme over the coming months.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to undertake an assessment of the effectiveness of sexual and reproductive healthcare commissioning responsibilities concurrently with the reorganisation of Public Health England.

The Department are currently considering a range of options for where Public Health England’s wider public heath functions, including supporting the commissioning and delivery of sexual and reproductive health services, could sit in the future as part of the reform to the public health system. We will be engaging in more detail on these issues and setting out next steps on the reform programme over the coming months.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will publish further guidance for joint-custody parents in the event that their child or children need to self-isolate due to a suspected or confirmed case of covid-19.

If a child has been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, their parents or guardians are responsible for ensuring they do so. Where possible, the parents or guardians should arrange for a child to remain at the same address during their period of self-isolation. There are a limited number of circumstances where an individual may leave self-isolation, including where there is a need to fulfil a legal obligation or it becomes impracticable to remain at the original address provided for self-isolation. These circumstances may apply where there are legal arrangements governing the time a child spends with each parent. We do not offer advice on specific circumstances as each scenario is different for every family.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) NHS and (b) social care staff have died from covid-19 since the start of the outbreak.

The Office for National Statistics publishes mortality data for deaths involving COVID-19 for healthcare workers and social care workers in England and Wales. The latest release showed that in England there were 305 deaths involving COVID-19 among healthcare workers and 307 deaths involving COVID-19 among social care workers registered between 9 March and 12 October 2020 in England, of those aged 20-64 years, using last known occupation. The definition of healthcare workers used will include not only those employed in the National Health Service but wider healthcare sector workers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to implement a sexual and reproductive health strategy and HIV action plan.

Development of the sexual and reproductive health strategy and HIV action plan was paused at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, work on the strategy is now getting underway and we plan to publish this in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the four covid-19 mobile testing units operating in the Humber, (a) how many people in total are employed to operate those units, (b) what the (i) age and (ii) gender is of those people and (c) who the employer is of those people.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the four covid-19 mobile testing units operating in the Humber, how many members of staff working in those units have tested positive for covid-19 since those units began operating in April 2020; and if he will publish the number of those staff who have so tested positive for each month since April 2020.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the four covid-19 mobile testing units operating in the Humber, how many people are employed on (a) permanent and (b) agency contracts to operate those units; and which agencies are used to so employ those people.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the four covid-19 mobile testing units operating in the Humber, how many members of staff working in those units have received contractual sick pay for having tested positive for covid-19 or for having to self-isolate since those units began operating in April 2020.

This information is not held centrally. Test sites have clear guidance for treating suspected COVID-19 cases to ensure individuals are self-isolating whenever it is necessary to do so. Our commercial partners have their own measures in place to support staff members who are ill or otherwise unable to work.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the four covid-19 mobile testing units operating in the Humber, how many members of staff working in those units have had to self-isolate since those units began operating in April 2020.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people are employed (a) in total and (b) in each (i) age and (ii) gender category at the NHS covid-19 testing site at the Humber Bridge car park; and who their employer is.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to start the pilot scheme to allow family members to visit relatives resident in care homes during the covid-19 outbreak; and how the Government has identified the care homes that will be taking part in that pilot.

We want to bring an end to the pain of separation and help care homes bring families and loved ones together. The launch of visitor testing is a crucial step to making that happen.

Following a successful trial in 20 care homes, we have started the phased rollout of new rapid tests to all care homes across England to support visiting. The first 385 care homes are now able to begin testing visitors and we aim to roll this out to all care homes by Christmas.

Testing is only one way of minimising the risk of visiting a care home. If a visitor has a negative test, is wearing appropriate PPE, and following other infection control measures, then it will be possible for family and friends to have more meaningful visits to care homes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people are employed on (a) permanent and (b) agency contracts at the NHS covid-19 testing site at the Humber Bridge car park; and which agencies are used for those contracts.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many staff working at the NHS covid-19 testing site at the Humber Bridge car park have tested positive for covid-19 in each month since April 2020.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many members of staff working at the NHS covid-19 testing site at the Humber Bridge car park have had to self isolate since the site opened in April 2020.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many members of staff working at the NHS covid-19 testing site at the Humber Bridge car park have received contractual sick pay as a result of (a) having to self-isolate and (b) testing positive for covid-19 since the site opened in April 2020.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic, published by the all party Parliamentary group on sexual and reproductive health on 10 September 2020, what recent assessment his Department has made of the accessibility of remote contraceptive services to marginalised groups; and what steps he is planning to take to ensure that face-to-face contraceptive services continue for people who experience obstacles in accessing remote services.

Sexual and reproductive health services have remained open during the pandemic though some are temporarily reducing their face-to-face appointments and may only be able to see emergency or urgent cases in person. Services are maintaining access during this time through scaling up of online services including increasing eligibility through current provision or utilising a neighbours’ service for residents of another local authority. The provision of long acting reversible contraception services is particularly challenging due to access not being possible remotely.

Public Health England have recently launched the National Framework for e-Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. This new national framework will allow local authorities and service providers to purchase an expanded range of on-line services including emergency contraception and the contraceptive pill.

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare have published clinical advice to support ongoing provision of effective contraception which health professionals should work to, which is available at the following link:

https://www.fsrh.org/documents/fsrh-guidance-srh-services-second-wave-covid-october-2020/

Women need to be able to continue to access contraception during the pandemic and in line with these guidelines, where services should ensure that there is clear, up to date signposting for patients and partner services as to what local contraceptive services are currently available, how these can be accessed and where available, to national online services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits to (a) patients and (b) NHS England of permanently reducing the number of doses of radiotherapy and cycles of adjuvant trastuzumab for breast cancer patients.

Breast cancer treatments are advancing all the time, and, despite the pandemic, this year is no exception with developments having been made in both radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments – both of which are likely to benefit breast cancer patients and the National Health Service as follows:

- The publication of the ten-year results of the FAST Trial, which looked at five fraction radiotherapy to treat early breast cancer, is an exciting breakthrough which enables people with breast cancer to be treated much more quickly and conveniently meaning fewer visits to hospital. All NHS radiotherapy providers in England are adopting this approach; and

- The PERSEPHONE trial evaluated the use of trastuzumab over a six month period versus a 12 month period to evaluate non-inferiority. In response to the pandemic, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence developed interim guidance which recommended the use of the six month schedule. This approach means that patients attend hospital for a shorter overall period in order to reduce the risk of infection to vulnerable patients.

How and if these treatments become part of the standard of care for breast cancer patients will be determined by the breast cancer clinical community, working in partnership with NHS England, and guided by research findings as they emerge.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic, published by the all party Parliamentary group on sexual and reproductive health on 10 September 2020, what plans he has to support the provision of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) services in primary care during and after the covid-19 outbreak.

Sexual and reproductive health services have remained open during the pandemic though some are temporarily reducing their face-to-face appointments and may only be able to see emergency or urgent cases in person. Services are maintaining access during this time through scaling up of online services including increasing eligibility through current provision or utilising a neighbours’ service for residents of another local authority. The provision of long acting reversible contraception services is particularly challenging due to access not being possible remotely.

Public Health England have recently launched the National Framework for e-Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. This new national framework will allow local authorities and service providers to purchase an expanded range of on-line services including emergency contraception and the contraceptive pill.

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare have published clinical advice to support ongoing provision of effective contraception which health professionals should work to, which is available at the following link:

https://www.fsrh.org/documents/fsrh-guidance-srh-services-second-wave-covid-october-2020/

Women need to be able to continue to access contraception during the pandemic and in line with these guidelines, where services should ensure that there is clear, up to date signposting for patients and partner services as to what local contraceptive services are currently available, how these can be accessed and where available, to national online services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic, published by the all party Parliamentary group on sexual and reproductive health on 10 September 2020, whether his Department has made a recent workforce needs analysis for the future of contraceptive provision based on population need.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health’s report, ‘Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’, has raised a number of important issues. The recommendations including those relating to workforce, will be considered as part of our upcoming work to develop the sexual and reproductive health strategy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department is providing to local ambulance services and community teams for fall prevention work.

We are committed to providing high quality care in the most appropriate setting and recognise the important role that a range of community health services providers play in achieving this. Clinical commissioning groups commission most of the hospital and community NHS services in the local areas for which they are responsible. This includes fall prevention work, which will be commissioned based on the needs of the population they serve, and it is for local commissioners to take swift action where these services fall short.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of units of personal protective equipment in stockpile for use in (a) Hull and East Yorkshire and (b) England.

Since 25 February, the Department has distributed over 4 billion PPE items for use by health and social care services in England. 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.

As set out in our PPE Strategy, which was published on 28 September, we are confident in managing demand for PPE arising from any second spike and from the winter period.

The operational process to build stockpiles is supported by a range of detailed operational and management data. We are working with those data flows to produce figures that could be published as official statistics; making the information available in a fully validated and clear way that aids understanding.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional well-being and mental health support his Department will be providing to NHS staff as the UK enters a second wave of covid-19 in the winter period.

Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of National Health Service staff is a top priority for this Government. The national health and wellbeing offer, which includes a helpline and text service for counselling and support and access to free wellbeing apps, remains available for all NHS staff. This will be strengthened during winter in response to staff needs and in line with the commitments we made in July in the NHS People Plan. This includes setting up mental health hubs to provide proactive outreach and co-ordinate referrals to treatment, enhanced occupational health support and the introduction of Wellbeing Guardians on all boards. Support can be accessed via the following link:

https://people.nhs.uk/help/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the introduction of video triage at A&Es during the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to promote that policy beyond the outbreak.

Video consultations are used primarily for elective and outpatient care rather than accident and emergency (A&E). However, Moorfields Hospital has successfully used video consultations for eye emergencies only.

The National Integrated Care and COVID Hospital Team is not aware of any assessment of the effectiveness of video consultation in A&E. The Improvement Directorate has been leading on video consultation work, but this is primarily within elective care.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on limiting the spread of covid-19 on university campus grounds.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has regular conversations with the Secretary of State for Education around the COVID-19 response. The Department for Education worked intensively with Public Health England to ensure that universities have drawn up plans for measures in the event of an outbreak on campus or in the local area.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of cancellations of elective surgeries in (a) England and (b) Hull; and what steps his Department is taking to develop post-covid-19 plans to reduce waiting times for elective surgeries.

Data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the availability of tests for students at the University of Hull covid-19 testing site.

We are opening new test sites every week, particularly in and around university settings so that almost all universities are within one and a half miles of testing. The testing site at the Inglemire Lane Car Park in Hull has been operating since 22 September 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the value is of the contracts awarded to (a) Deloitte and (b) G4S to run the covid-19 testing site at the University of Hull.

The Government does not publish this data in the format requested. All the Departmental COVID-19 contracts are, or will be, published on the GOV.UK Contract Finder service.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the extent of stockpiling of medicines in preparation for (a) a second wave of covid-19 and (b) the end of the transition period, and if he will publish that assessment.

As part of our concerted national efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are doing everything we can to ensure patients continue to have access to COVID-19 medicines in all scenarios. This includes holding stockpiles of a variety of medicines currently and potentially used in treating patients with COVID-19, to help ensure there is uninterrupted supply over the coming months.

As set out in a letter from the Department to industry of 3 August, we are implementing a multi-layered approach to the end of the Transition Period, that involves asking suppliers of medicines and medical products to the United Kingdom from or via the European Union to get trader ready, reroute their supply chains away from any potential disruption and stockpiling to a target level of six weeks on UK soil where this is possible. The letter is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-medicines-and-medical-products-suppliers-3-august-2020/letter-to-medicine-suppliers-3-august-2020

Any information on suppliers’ stock levels that has been shared with the Department to support contingency planning is commercially sensitive and cannot be shared with third parties.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average NHS waiting times for (a) hospital appointments,(b) elective surgeries, (c) semi-elective surgeries and (d) non-elective surgeries have been during the covid-19 outbreak to date.

Data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the NHS backlog in cancer (a) screening and (b) treatment.

Although some appointments for cancer screening have been rescheduled during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect vulnerable patients, NHS England and NHS Improvement have taken a robust approach to ensuring that people at highest risk are seen as a matter of priority. The backlog of people in these screening pathways is reducing, and there is a continued focus on sending out invites for routine screening appointments that were previously delayed.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have prioritised increasing the number of urgent cancer referrals, in order to reduce the number of patients waiting longer than 62 and 104 days for treatments or diagnostics, and ensuring capacity is in place for patients returning to the system in winter. The newly formed Cancer Recovery Taskforce will oversee the development of the cancer recovery plan and review progress against objectives.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients are waiting to be seen for cancer treatment in (a) Hull, (b) East Yorkshire and (c) England.

This information is not available in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the time it will take to clear the breast screening backlog created by the covid-19 outbreak.

Although NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently unable to provide a time estimate, there has been good progress made in clearing the backlog of appointments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of women waiting to receive a breast screening invitation has decreased from 468,548 women on 1 June 2020 to 32,518 women on 5 October 2020.

All local National Health Service breast screening services are operational and are working to ensure that those still waiting for an invitation will receive one as quickly as possible. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also made funding available to trusts to support the adaptation of mobile breast screening units in order to enhance their safe use and so maximise the number of units available to screen women.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect a second wave of covid-19 infections on the waiting times for breast cancer (a) appointments and (b) diagnosis.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to increase the resilience of breast cancer screening and diagnosis during the ongoing COVID-19 response. Funding has been made available to support the adaptation of mobile breast screening units in order to enhance their safe use and so maximise the number of units available to screen women.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have prioritised increasing the number of urgent cancer referrals, in order to reduce the number of patients waiting longer than 62 and 104 days for treatments or diagnostics, and ensuring capacity is in place for patients returning to the system in winter. The newly formed Cancer Recovery Taskforce will oversee the development of the cancer recovery plan and review progress against objectives, including considering any impact of a “second wave” of COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's strategy is on increasing breast screening uptake.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are investing in initiatives to help promote and increase the uptake of breast screening.

The ‘Help Us Help You’ campaign has recently been launched to encourage the public to continue to access cancer services, including routine appointments such as breast screening.

Breast cancer screening providers are encouraged to work with cancer alliances, primary care networks and NHS England and NHS Improvement regional teams to bring together work to promote uptake of breast screening and take action to ensure as many people as possible can access services.

Providers have been encouraged to use methods such as text messaging to remind women about their breast screening invitation and encourage them to attend.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the cancer workforce.

‘We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/2021 – action for us all’ sets out actions to support transformation across the whole National Health Service, including the following commitment on the cancer workforce:

In 2021, Health Education England is prioritising the training of 400 clinical endoscopists and 450 reporting radiographers. Training grants are being offered for 350 nurses to become cancer nurse specialists and chemotherapy nurses, training 58 biomedical scientists, developing an advanced clinical practice qualification in oncology, and extending cancer support-worker training.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department (a) is taking in the months leading up to and (b) plans to take during the 2020-21 winter period to ensure high public uptake of influenza vaccines.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local areas to ensure that regional teams have plans in place to increase coverage of the flu vaccination this winter. New models of delivery have been shared with regional commissioning teams to encourage innovation, such as mobile and mass vaccination models, and allow for increases in uptake safely, whilst observing social distancing and personal protective equipment requirements.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also introduced an enhanced call and recall system, so that those who are eligible will be reminded to attend a vaccination session, alongside better mechanisms of data collection to target interventions into areas/cohorts with poor uptake during the season.

Alongside this, additional trained workforce is being made available to local providers to help them vaccinate more eligible people. Public Health England will also be launching a new marketing campaign to encourage uptake of flu vaccination amongst eligible groups.

Additional flu vaccine has been purchased by the Department, which will be available to providers to facilitate expansion of the programme.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the expected monthly demand for influenza vaccines for the 2020-21 winter period in comparison to monthly demand for those vaccines in the 2019-2020 winter period.

It is anticipated that due to the current pandemic there will be a greater public demand for flu vaccinations this year. This season, we have expanded the flu programme to include new cohorts and have new uptake ambitions which are included in the Annual Flu Letter Update 2020/21 which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907149/Letter_annualflu_2020_to_2021_update.pdf

The previous season’s uptake ambitions are available in the Annual Flu Letter 2019/20 is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/788903/Annual_national_flu_programme_2019_to_2020_.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS influenza vaccinations are planned to be available each month during the 2020-21 winter period in (a) Kingston upon Hull, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) England.

Flu vaccinations sessions are organised by general practitioners, and other local providers. These sessions are a matter for individual providers. At a national level, we have sufficient vaccine for up to 30 million people to be vaccinated in England this winter.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health on 10 September 2020, what plans his Department has to maintain the number of dedicated sexual and reproductive health clinics.

Sexual and reproductive health services have remained open during the pandemic though some are temporarily reducing their face-to-face appointments and may only be able to see emergency or urgent cases in person. Services are maintaining access during this time through scaling up of online services including increasing eligibility through current provision or utilising a neighbours’ service for residents of another local authority. Public Health England have recently launched the National Framework for e-Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. This new national framework will allow local authorities and service providers to purchase an expanded range of online services including emergency contraception and the contraceptive pill.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health on 10 September 2020, what recent assessment his Department has made on the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on women’s access to contraception; and what steps his Department is taking to help ensure access to a comprehensive range of contraception types during the covid-19 outbreak.

Sexual and reproductive health services are open during the pandemic though some are temporarily reducing their face-to-face appointments and may only be able to see emergency or urgent cases in person. This is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare have published clinical advice to support ongoing provision of effective contraception which health professionals should work to, which is available at the following link:

https://www.fsrh.org/documents/fsrh-ceu-clinical-advice-to-support-provision-of-effective/

Women need to be able to continue to access contraception during the pandemic and in line with these guidelines, where services should ensure that there is clear, up to date signposting for patients and partner services as to what local contraceptive services are currently available, how these can be accessed, and where available, to national online services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health on 10 September 2020, if he will include reviewing the commissioning of contraceptive services in the national sexual and reproductive health strategy.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health’s report, ‘Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’, has raised a number of important issues, which will be considered as part of our upcoming work to develop the sexual and reproductive health strategy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 9 April 2019 to Question 240997, if he will publish updated data on bleeds for people with haemophilia for 2019.

This information is not held by NHS England but is held on the United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Doctors' Organisation’s (UKHCDO) National Haemophilia Database. The annual report for 2019 from UKHDCO can be found at the following link:

http://www.ukhcdo.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/UKHCDO-Annual-Report-2019.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter of 27 April 2020 from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North on covid-19 shielding for parents of vulnerable children.

The Department replied to the hon. Member’s letter on 10 September 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the latest principles concerning haemophilia therapies, set by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines in Resolution CM/RES(2017) 43, are reflected in the haemophilia (a) service specification, (b) prescribing guidance and (c) commissioning process for treatments in the UK.

NHS England has clear processes for the development of service specifications, and prescribing and treatment policies, and are not aware that any of these conflict with the principles laid out in CM/RES (2017).

NHS England believes these documents and recent commissioning and policy initiatives support the principles of CM/RES (2017).

Alongside this, NHS England is required to ensure any National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations for licensed haemophilia treatments become part of the clinical pathway. Any unlicensed treatments can be reviewed through NHS England’s policy processes.

Recent commissioning and policy initiatives for both haemophilia A and B support these principles. These include:

Haemophilia A:

- The development of a framework for haemophilia A treatments (July 2020) which supports access to 12 different products; and

- The implementation of recent clinical commissioning policies for Emicizumab (170067/P and 170134P).

Haemophilia B:

- The National Health Service currently routinely commissions all available licensed treatments via NHS framework CM/PHS/15/5534 (March 2019).

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the latest service specification for haemophilia centres in setting high standards of treatment and care; and if he will take steps to ensure that NHS England updates the service specification to reflect the latest clinical understanding of optimal haemophilia care.

There are no plans at this time to for NHS England to review the Haemophilia (All ages) (B05/S/a) service specification. As with all service specifications where clinical practice changes the Clinical Reference Group reviews and advises NHS England on any updates or changes that may be required.

NHS England has robust processes in place where the specification can be reviewed and updated should this be required. All providers are regularly assessed against the requirements specification. In addition, the National Health Service keenly observes the outcomes of the comprehensive national audit and peer review undertaken by the United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Doctors’ Organisation in 2019.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 9 April 2019 to Question 240997, what progress has been made in meeting the Government’s aim for haemophilia patients to be bleed free; and if he will set out a timetable for meeting that aim.

NHS England is committed to commissioning haemophilia services for patients in England, with the aim to enable patients with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders to live as normal a life as possible, ensuring optimum treatment with clotting factor to maintain a bleed-free existence where possible.

NHS England is committed in its response to providing new treatment measures as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan of January 2019, through accessing advanced medicines. The NHS remains one of the key international environments for researching new treatments for haemophilia.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 test kits were (a) requested by and (b) delivered to care homes in Kingston Upon Hull North constituency in July 2020.

3,892 tests were requested and 10,380 tests were despatched to 30 care homes.

We have interpreted the hon. Member’s question to refer to the following postcodes for Kingston upon Hull North constituency - HU3, HU5, HU6, HU7 and HU8.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter of 5 June 2020 from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North, on advice to the clinically vulnerable on shielding.

I replied to the hon. Member’s letter on 31 July 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 7 January 2014 to Question 181906 on monthly payments through the Skipton Fund Stage 2 to people who contracted Hepatitis C through NHS treatment, and Answer of 17 December 2014 to Question 218002 on monthly payments from MFET Ltd to people who contracted HIV through NHS treatment, whether people who meet the Hepatitis C Stage 1 and Hepatitis C Special Category Mechanism under the EIBSS eligibility criteria will receive annual payments for the rest of their lives.

Since 1988, successive Governments have voluntarily provided ex-gratia financial and non-financial support for people affected by HIV and/or hepatitis C through historic treatment with National Health Service-supplied blood or blood products in the 1970s and 80s.

The England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) was established in 2017. Devolved support schemes were also set up in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland. This model of support replaced that historically provided by the Alliance House organisations, which included the Skipton Fund.

EIBSS provides tiered non-discretionary annual payments to eligible infected beneficiaries, based on their type and stage of infection. The majority of beneficiaries opt for these payments to be split into monthly instalments.

We will consider any recommendations when the Infected Blood Inquiry reports, including any around financial support.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his Department's policy to publish regional R rates at the Government's daily covid-19 update.

There is no plan to publish regional R numbers at the Government daily COVID-19 updates because they have now come to an end.

Estimates of R are produced on a weekly basis and published by the Government Office for Science. The current range of R for the United Kingdom and NHS England regions are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-publishes-latest-r-number

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter of 23 March 2020 on home care workers from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North.

I replied to the hon. Member’s letter on 26 June 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for student nurses whose final year unpaid placements are due to end in relation to (a) early qualification and (b) extended placements as a result of covid-19.

All student nurses are required to complete practice placements as part of their education programme. The Government is extremely grateful to all student nurses who have supported the COVID-19 response, by opting into a paid placement for their time in practice at the frontline during the pandemic.

There are also a number of students who have not been in paid placements during the pandemic and after 31 July, provision has been made for the return of supernumerary placements.

Health Education England is working locally with each higher education provider to ensure placements are available and is supporting students so that as many as possible graduate on time. For those final year students who may need to extend beyond three years, arrangements are being developed to ensure that they get the support that they need in order to graduate. Details of these arrangements will be communicated to students as soon as possible.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has been clear that where a student has completed all their hours, academic assessment and university sign off they can go on to the NMC register and start their working life as a qualified nurse.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 17 December 2014 to Question 218002 on monthly payments from MFET Ltd to people who contracted HIV through NHS treatment and the Answer of 7 January 2014 to Question 181908 on monthly payments through the Skipton Fund State 2 to people who contracted hepatitis C through NHS treatment, what estimate his Department has made of the average length of time for monthly payments to be made from the England Infected Blood Support Scheme to people affected by NHS contaminated blood products.

The Government established the England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) in 2017 to provide dedicated ex-gratia financial and non-financial support to people infected by HIV and/or hepatitis C through treatment with National Health Service-supplied blood or blood products, and their affected families. This scheme is currently administered by the NHS Business Services Authority.

EIBSS provides tiered non-discretionary annual payments to eligible infected beneficiaries, based on their type and stage of infection (hepatitis C and/or HIV). The majority of beneficiaries opt for these payments to be split into monthly instalments.

EIBSS aims to process new applications within 30 working days of receipt. Eligible beneficiaries’ payments are then transferred within 10 days after their application has been approved. These payments are backdated to the month that the beneficiary’s application was initially received by EIBSS.

The Department hold EIBSS to account via monthly review meetings. EIBSS is required to maintain a key performance indicator of 90% around the time frame for processing new applications, which it has met.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has put in place to increase radiotherapy capacity to meet the demand generated by additional screening programmes set up in NHS Nightingale Hospitals; and if he will make a statement.

During the COVID-19 pandemic radiotherapy service provision has continued. In light of the need to minimise trips to hospital, particularly for people likely to be worse affected by COVID-19, radiotherapy services have made use of fewer fraction protocols as supporting evidence emerges. Recovery is now underway across the National Health Service – the focus for radiotherapy will be on embedding the use of hypofractionated (fewer fraction) treatments.

As part of the wider NHS recovery programme, local systems will need to determine how best to restore services and then reduce waiting lists. This might, in some areas, include the use of the independent sector.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of NICE’s COVID-19 rapid guideline for managing suspected or confirmed pneumonia in the community, published in May 2020, on clinician preference to (a) choose the right treatment to meet specific patient circumstances and (b) allow for local antimicrobial prescribing preferences.

NHS England and NHS Improvement commissioned rapid guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on managing suspected or confirmed pneumonia in the community, which was published on 3 April 2020 and then rapidly disseminated as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Whilst the Department has not assessed the effect of the guidance on clinicians’ preference to choose the most appropriate treatment or to allow for local antimicrobial prescribing preferences, NICE guidance is not mandatory and is used in conjunction with existing professional guidance and clinical standards.

Furthermore, as new guidance is published, NICE initiates daily surveillance of intelligence to identify evidence on the effectiveness and impact of the guidance. Where necessary, a rapid update process is used, and amended guidance is re-published on the NICE website. The guidance for managing suspected or confirmed pneumonia in the community has been updated three times to reflect new evidence.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions officials in his Department have had with (a) sponsors of the University of Oxford's Recovery trial and (b) suppliers of each medication being used in that trial to ensure that adequate supplies of those medications are in place to treat covid-19 patients in the event that the trial has positive results.

Officials in the Department have regular conversations with the RECOVERY trial leads about the trial and central supply of medicines to the trial.

Teams in the Department, Public Health England, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and NHS England and NHS Improvement also have daily discussions with suppliers and manufacturers of medicines, including about supplies to support clinical trials. In addition, the Department has been securing additional supplies of a number of medicines, which would ensure sufficient stocks are available to be rapidly deployed for National Health Service patients, should clinical trial evidence show it to be safe and effective to do so. The Department continues to review supply requirements as further clinical evidence becomes available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish data on the number of antibiotics prescribed in each month since April 2019; what assessment has been made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on trends in the prescription of antibotics.

Public Health England’s (PHE) English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance is working with the National Health Service and across sectors, to develop and maintain surveillance systems for monitoring trends in antimicrobial use and resistance in England. Data can be viewed on the antimicrobial resistance Fingertips webpage at the following link:

https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/amr-local-indicators

PHE will track the impact of COVID-19 on antimicrobial resistance and utilisation using these established surveillance data systems.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide an update on the (a) availability of treatments for community-acquired pneumonia associated with covid-19 and (b) stockpiling of those treatments to ensure sufficient and equitable access.

We are not aware of any current supply issues with treatments for community-acquired pneumonia associated with COVID-19. Antibiotic treatments are held in the pandemic influenza preparedness stockpile which can be released at times of critical supply shortages.

As part of our concerted national efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are doing everything we can to ensure patients continue to access safe and effective medicines.

The Department is working closely with the pharmaceutical industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients can access the medicines they need, and precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to resume the childhood vaccination programme during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of including chickenpox vaccination in that programme.

Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with regional commissioners to ensure routine childhood immunisations continue to be delivered throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, ensuring those eligible are protected against a range of vaccine-preventable diseases. Programmes delivered through schools are currently on hold and will be rescheduled as schools open.

The Government’s Coronavirus Action Plan requested that everyone should ensure that they and their family’s vaccinations are up-to-date, as this will help to reduce any pressure on the National Health Service from vaccine-preventable diseases. Guidance can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan/coronavirus-action-plan-a-guide-to-what-you-can-expect-across-the-uk

In 2010, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation found that offering a universal varicella vaccination programme against chickenpox would not be cost effective and may increase the risk of severe disease and complications in adulthood, both from chickenpox and shingles.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the final NHS People Plan; and whether his Department has plans to make an assessment of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the cancer workforce as part of that plan.

The publication of the NHS People Plan was deferred, so that the National Health Service can devote maximum operational effort to COVID-19 readiness and response. NHS England and NHS Improvement, together with Health Education England, are progressing action to grow and transform the workforce and build lasting culture change, in line with the objectives of the People Plan.

Any future publication of the People Plan will reflect the impact of COVID-19 on priorities for the National Health Service workforce, including the cancer workforce. As well as introducing safety restrictions on the cancer workforce, the COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated innovations and opportunities which will contribute to achieving the NHS Long Term Plan cancer commitments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the maximum number of covid-19 tests that can be completed per day by mobile covid-19 testing units in Hull.

We do not publish data by individual mobile testing units. All our mobile testing units currently have the capacity to process up to 500 tests a day.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 mobile testing units are in operation in Hull.

Hull is served by its own regional testing site and this facility has been supplemented by mobile testing units (MTUs) in Hull seven times.

As of 10 June, there were 89 operational testing units. Mobile testing enables temporary testing sites to be set up quickly to serve communities on a rolling basis. An MTU provides a clinically assured, stand-alone testing service and is intended for people who cannot easily access regional test sites.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have been completed per day in Hull by covid-19 mobile testing units.

We do not publish data by individual mobile testing units. We publish data in relation to COVID-19 testing on a daily basis. This can be found at GOV.UK.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many positive covid-19 test results have been recorded from tests completed by mobile testing units based in Hull.

We do not publish data on individual mobile testing units (MTUs). We are working to improve the user experience and capacity of all MTUs across the country to meet public need.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timescale is for the return of covid-19 test results for patients tested for covid-19 by mobile testing units based in Hull, as of 9 June 2020.

We do not publish data by individual mobile testing units. As at the end of July, test turnaround times are consistent with the rest of the programme with over 97% of tests being returned within 48 hours. Results surrounding turnaround times are published weekly on GOV.UK.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how and by whom are covid-19 mobile testing units being managed and co-ordinated in Hull.

We are working with local partners and the Army to ensure successful delivery of our mobile testing unit services to members of the public.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have been (a) administered in person and (b) posted out to care homes in Hull; and how many of those tests posted out have been returned.

We do not hold data broken down by test site.

We are issuing over 50,000 tests a day to care homes across the country, with the majority of these in high priority outbreak areas.

Any symptomatic person can get a test and care homes with suspected positive cases will be able to access whole home testing via their local Health Protection Team.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the Library a copy of the relevant scientific advice upon which the current shielding guidance for the clinically vulnerable is based.

The scientific advice supporting the original Government policy on shielding is contained in the minutes published by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on 10 March 2020 and is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/sage-minutes-coronavirus-covid-19-response-10-march-2020.

A copy is also attached.

As our understanding of the virus increases, the Government continues to review the emerging evidence. We will continue to listen to our medical advisers on the level of clinical risk the virus presents to different groups of people at different points in time.


At each review point for the social distancing measures, we will also review the risks for the clinically extremely vulnerable and assess whether the shielding period needs to be extended or whether it is possible for the shielding guidance to be eased further. We will base our assessment on clinical advice from our medical experts, and the best data available about the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in Hull are using the NHS covid-19 test and trace service.

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020. This includes enhanced contact tracing.

The Government published experimental statistics on 11 June which show that between 28 May and 3 June 2020 - 8,117 people who tested positive for COVID-19 had their case transferred to the contact tracing system, of whom 5,407 were asked to provide details of recent contacts; 31,794 contacts were identified and of these 26,985 were reached and advised to self-isolate. The data can be accessed at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891703/NHS_test_and_trace_bulletin__England__-_28_May_to_3_June_2020.pdf

These figures are for England only; we will explore including regional data for future releases.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Question 38442, submitted on 21 April 2020, by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North.

The hon. Member’s question was answered on 3 June.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in Hull have been contacted by the NHS covid-19 test and trace service.

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020. This includes enhanced contact tracing.

The Government published experimental statistics on 11 June which show that between 28 May and 3 June 2020 - 8,117 people who tested positive for COVID-19 had their case transferred to the contact tracing system, of whom 5,407 were asked to provide details of recent contacts; 31,794 contacts were identified and of these 26,985 were reached and advised to self-isolate. The data can be accessed at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891703/NHS_test_and_trace_bulletin__England__-_28_May_to_3_June_2020.pdf

These figures are for England only; we will explore including regional data for future releases.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many new covid-19 cases have been recorded in Hull since the NHS test and trace service began.

Data on the number of COVID-19 cases are not available in the format requested.

Data on the number of COVID-19 cases are available by upper tier local authority. As at 7 June, there had been 753 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kingston upon Hull. The latest data can be viewed at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests completed at the Humber Bridge car park testing centre have resulted in an unclear outcome.

We do not publish data broken down by test centre. As of 24 May, 50 Regional Testing Sites were open. In addition, we had 96 testing units, with an additional 20 supporting care homes as of the same date and time. Across this testing programme, we have tested over 1,000,000 people for COVID-19.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the planned timescale is for resuming all NHS cancer screening programmes that have been paused due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service is working to step up non-COVID-19 urgent services as part of the second phase of the NHS response to COVID-19. This includes delivering as much routine and preventative work as possible, including screening.

On 29 April, NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote to NHS leaders setting out the second phase of the NHS response to COVID-19. A copy of this letter can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/second-phase-of-nhs-response-to-covid-19-letter-from-simon-stevens-and-amanda-pritchard/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the maximum number is of covid-19 tests that can be completed at the Humber Bridge car park testing centre each day.

We do not publish data broken down by test centre.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests completed at the Humber Bridge car park testing centre have been sent outside UK for analysis.

We do not publish data broken down by test centre.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 test appointments have been booked at the Humber Bridge car park testing centre since the facility opened.

We do not publish data broken down by test centre.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests were carried out on each day at the Humber Bridge car park testing centre since that facility opened.

We do not publish data broken down by test centre.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests through the Humber Bridge car park covid-19 testing centre (a) were taken, (b) received results that were notified to test subjects and (c) were (i) positive and (ii) negative per day since the opening of that facility.

The data is not held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timescale is for the return of covid-19 test results to patients tested for covid-19 at the Humber Bridge car park testing centre.

We do not publish the turnaround times for individual testing sites. The information on the turnaround times for testing through in person routes is published weekly as part of the NHS Test and Trace statistics publication on GOV.UK.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether GPs will be informed by the NHS of which patients have been tested for covid-19.

We are actively planning to get COVID-19 test results into individual general practitioner (GP) records in England. NHS Digital are leading, working closely with the Royal College of GPs and the British Medical Association. This needs to be carefully done to minimise any clinical safety risks and ensure it is done accurately. We are expecting this to start within the next couple of weeks. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their own processes relating to healthcare records.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which countries his Department has sent covid-19 tests to for processing.

The vast majority of our tests are processed through the Lighthouse Laboratories and associated laboratories domestically, and only a very small proportion of tests have been sent abroad for processing.

In May 2020, 66,648 tests sent to the United States of America as demand exceeded laboratory network capacity. We have, and continue to, work hard to expand capacity.

Beginning late August 2020 to 3 October, 271,716 tests were sent to Italy and 126,338 to Germany.

The Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) national surveillance study currently sends around 150,000 tests per month to Germany for processing as part their agreement with the testing provider.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many available hours have been offered by NHS Volunteer Responders via the GoodSAM Responders app during the covid-19 outbreak; and how many hours have been used to date.

This information is not collected in the format requested. Information is available on the number of tasks carried out by NHS Volunteer Responders but not the time taken to do so.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of patients who have contracted covid-19 as a hospital-acquired infection.

Data on the number of patients who contracted COVID-19 as a hospital-acquired infection are not available.

However, estimates from the Department-funded COVID-19 Clinical Information Network (CO-CIN), suggest that between 10-20% of COVID-19 infections treated in hospitals had symptom onset after seven days in hospital between March and April 2020. The most recent available CO-CIN report is available to view at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/886442/s0355-co-cin-report-130520-sage36.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's target travel time is for patients accessing urgent dental care during the covid-19 outbreak.

No target travel time has been set for patients accessing urgent dental care centres. Travelling time as with routine dental services will vary depending on the locality. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working urgently to ensure urgent dental services are in place for all who need them.

NHS dentistry was reorganised in late March along with other NHS primary care services to minimise face to face care to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the peak of the pandemic. Dentists were asked to suspend all routine treatment and instead to offer urgent advice and, where required, prescriptions for antibiotics by telephone. Urgent treatment was made available through urgent dental centres (UDCs) set up in each National Health Service region.

As of 25 May there are currently over 550 UDCs open across England. Patients are triaged into UDCs by their own dentistry or through NHS 111. The urgent dental centres are expected to provide, where urgently needed, the full range of dental treatment normally available on the NHS.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 28 May that NHS dentistry outside urgent care centres will begin to restart from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service as fast as is compatible with maximising safety. A copy of the letter that was published can be found on the NHS England website.

The latest COVID-19 guidance for dental practices can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/dental-practice

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many urgent dental centres are operating in North Yorkshire and Humber; and which NHS clusters have not yet identified a potential urgent dental centre.

The Government is working to support and protect all our frontline National Health Service health and care staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, including dentists.

NHS dentistry was reorganised in late March along with other NHS primary care services to minimise face to face care to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the peak of the pandemic. Dentists were asked to suspend all routine treatment and instead to offer urgent advice and, where required, prescriptions for antibiotics by telephone. Urgent treatment was made available through urgent dental centres (UDCs) set up in each NHS region.

As of 25 May there are currently over 550 UDCs open across England. Patients are triaged into UDCs by their own dentistry or through NHS 111. The urgent dental centres are expected to provide, where urgently needed, the full range of dental treatment normally available on the NHS.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 28 May that NHS dentistry outside urgent care centres will begin to restart from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service as fast as is compatible with maximising safety. A copy of the letter that was published can be found on the NHS England website.

The latest COVID-19 guidance for dental practices can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/dental-practice

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the number of fully operating urgent dental centres open for patient referral in each (a) NHS administrative area and (b) county.

The Government is working to support and protect all our frontline National Health Service health and care staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, including dentists.

NHS dentistry was reorganised in late March along with other NHS primary care services to minimise face to face care to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the peak of the pandemic. Dentists were asked to suspend all routine treatment and instead to offer urgent advice and, where required, prescriptions for antibiotics by telephone. Urgent treatment was made available through urgent dental centres (UDCs) set up in each NHS region.

As of 25 May there are currently over 550 UDCs open across England. Patients are triaged into UDCs by their own dentistry or through NHS 111. The urgent dental centres are expected to provide, where urgently needed, the full range of dental treatment normally available on the NHS.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 28 May that NHS dentistry outside urgent care centres will begin to restart from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service as fast as is compatible with maximising safety. A copy of the letter that was published can be found on the NHS England website.

The latest COVID-19 guidance for dental practices can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/dental-practice

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of supply of FFP3 for aerosal generating procedures at urgent dental centres.

The Government is doing everything to support and protect all our frontline health and care staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, including dentists. The Government is working closely with industry, the National Health Service, social care providers and the army to ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) is delivered to those who need it.

Dentistry does not usually require FFP3 masks or other higher level PPE. However, the heightened risks presented by COVID-19 mean that this is required for any aerosol generating procedures. We are aware that there have been delays for a number of urgent care dental hubs in getting all the PPE now required and that this is still an issue for some hubs. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement are working urgently to resolve this. As an immediate measure emergency dentistry has been placed on the list of priorities areas to receive supplies from Local Resilience Forums.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Chief Dental Officer for England has to issue advice to (a) dentists and (b) other dental care staff on responding to the coivd-19 outbreak.

Advice has been ongoing throughout the crisis, with safe working documents being produced from 20th March. NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) announced on 28th May that NHS Dental services could gradually resume from 8 June. Urgent dental centres remain open to assist with the resumption of routine dentistry.

NHSE/I published a series of guidance throughout the pandemic to support dental practices. The latest guidance can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/dental-practice/

The guidance includes:

- NHSE/I letter issued to all dental practices, regional dental leads of the resumption of dental services.

- A detailed standard operating procedure was issued setting out guidance on how to restart dentistry safely

- Public Health England published guidance to dental
practices and other health care professionals on infection control protocols (IPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE)

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which organisations he plans to consult during the development of the sexual and reproductive health strategy.

Work on the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy has been temporarily paused while the Department focuses on managing the response to COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made in developing a sexual and reproductive health strategy; and what the timescale is for the (a) development and (b) publication of that strategy.

Work on the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy has been temporarily paused while the Department focuses on managing the response to COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking in the forthcoming sexual and reproductive health strategy to (a) improve health-related quality of life, (b) tackle stigma and discrimination, (c) address inequalities in service provision and (d) support the mental health needs of people living with HIV.

Work on the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy has been temporarily paused while the Department focuses on managing the response to COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what topics he plans to include in the sexual and reproductive health strategy.

Work on the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy has been temporarily paused while the Department focuses on managing the response to COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
NHS
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to ensure the NHS People Plan aligns with policies set out in the 2017 NHS Cancer workforce plan.

The NHS People Plan will build on the progress made through the Cancer Workforce Plan, securing the National Health Service cancer workforce we need now and in the future. NHS England and NHS Improvement, along with Health Education England, expect to continue to work closely with stakeholders, such as major cancer charities, to identify cancer workforce priorities in the development of the NHS People Plan and take account of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 response.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
NHS
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timescale is for the publication of the NHS People’s Plan.

The National Health Service published the interim NHS People Plan on 3 June 2019. It sets out the long-term vision and immediate actions to meet the challenges of supply, reform, culture and leadership.

Publication of the final NHS People Plan has been deferred to later this year, allowing the NHS to devote maximum operational effort to COVID-19 readiness and response. The Government is working with the NHS to identify a package of support for NHS staff to help them during the COVID-19 response. This is likely to involve accelerating some of the elements of the NHS People Plan related to staff health and wellbeing.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
NHS
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the amount of (a) civil service time and (b) resources used for the development of the NHS People's Plan.

We have not assessed how much civil service time or resources have been used in the development of the NHS People Plan.

The final NHS People Plan is the long-term workforce strategy for the National Health Service and will be crucial to the success of several Government commitments. It will set out a clear framework for collective action on workforce priorities, with a focus on growing and retaining a well-skilled workforce across the whole NHS.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to develop a women’s health strategy; and if he will make a statement.

Plans to develop a women’s health strategy are at an early stage. This Government is committed to engaging widely with organisations from across the health and care sector to inform our thinking on women’s health.

We are mindful of good work that is already being developed and how this could inform such a strategy, including Public Health England’s Women’s Reproductive Health Action plan. It has also become apparent over the last few years that we can do better in terms of other services we provide for women, and we will consider potential improvements carefully.

Specific policy or subject areas for inclusion in a strategy have not yet been decided. There is benefit in providing an overarching framework within which a wide range of initiatives on women’s health can fit.

There is as yet no fixed timetable for announcement or publication. Officials are working closely with Ministers to work through these details, and we will set out our plans in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the development of a women’s health strategy will take into account (a) the Government’s development of a sexual and reproductive health strategy and (b) Public Health England’s anticipated reproductive health action plan.

Plans to develop a women’s health strategy are at an early stage. This Government is committed to engaging widely with organisations from across the health and care sector to inform our thinking on women’s health.

We are mindful of good work that is already being developed and how this could inform such a strategy, including Public Health England’s Women’s Reproductive Health Action plan. It has also become apparent over the last few years that we can do better in terms of other services we provide for women, and we will consider potential improvements carefully.

Specific policy or subject areas for inclusion in a strategy have not yet been decided. There is benefit in providing an overarching framework within which a wide range of initiatives on women’s health can fit.

There is as yet no fixed timetable for announcement or publication. Officials are working closely with Ministers to work through these details, and we will set out our plans in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which organisations will be consulted in the development of his Department’s women’s health strategy; and how those organisations will be consulted.

Plans to develop a women’s health strategy are at an early stage. This Government is committed to engaging widely with organisations from across the health and care sector to inform our thinking on women’s health.

We are mindful of good work that is already being developed and how this could inform such a strategy, including Public Health England’s Women’s Reproductive Health Action plan. It has also become apparent over the last few years that we can do better in terms of other services we provide for women, and we will consider potential improvements carefully.

Specific policy or subject areas for inclusion in a strategy have not yet been decided. There is benefit in providing an overarching framework within which a wide range of initiatives on women’s health can fit.

There is as yet no fixed timetable for announcement or publication. Officials are working closely with Ministers to work through these details, and we will set out our plans in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the planned timetable is for the (a) development and (b) publication of the Government's women’s health strategy.

Plans to develop a women’s health strategy are at an early stage. This Government is committed to engaging widely with organisations from across the health and care sector to inform our thinking on women’s health.

We are mindful of good work that is already being developed and how this could inform such a strategy, including Public Health England’s Women’s Reproductive Health Action plan. It has also become apparent over the last few years that we can do better in terms of other services we provide for women, and we will consider potential improvements carefully.

Specific policy or subject areas for inclusion in a strategy have not yet been decided. There is benefit in providing an overarching framework within which a wide range of initiatives on women’s health can fit.

There is as yet no fixed timetable for announcement or publication. Officials are working closely with Ministers to work through these details, and we will set out our plans in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) the prevention of unplanned pregnancies and (b) abortion will be included in the women’s health strategy.

Plans to develop a women’s health strategy are at an early stage. This Government is committed to engaging widely with organisations from across the health and care sector to inform our thinking on women’s health.

We are mindful of good work that is already being developed and how this could inform such a strategy, including Public Health England’s Women’s Reproductive Health Action plan. It has also become apparent over the last few years that we can do better in terms of other services we provide for women, and we will consider potential improvements carefully.

Specific policy or subject areas for inclusion in a strategy have not yet been decided. There is benefit in providing an overarching framework within which a wide range of initiatives on women’s health can fit.

There is as yet no fixed timetable for announcement or publication. Officials are working closely with Ministers to work through these details, and we will set out our plans in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what topics will be included in the women’s health strategy.

Plans to develop a women’s health strategy are at an early stage. This Government is committed to engaging widely with organisations from across the health and care sector to inform our thinking on women’s health.

We are mindful of good work that is already being developed and how this could inform such a strategy, including Public Health England’s Women’s Reproductive Health Action plan. It has also become apparent over the last few years that we can do better in terms of other services we provide for women, and we will consider potential improvements carefully.

Specific policy or subject areas for inclusion in a strategy have not yet been decided. There is benefit in providing an overarching framework within which a wide range of initiatives on women’s health can fit.

There is as yet no fixed timetable for announcement or publication. Officials are working closely with Ministers to work through these details, and we will set out our plans in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the Library (a) the present and previous versions of the (i) memorandum of agreement and (ii) scheme rules for the England Infected Blood Support Scheme, (b) the financial allocations (i) made and (ii) planned to be made to the England Infected Blood Support Scheme in (A) 2019-20, (B) 2020-21 and (C) 2021-22, (c) the accounts of the England Infected Blood Support Scheme for (i) 2017-18 and (ii) 2018-19 and (d) the (i) manuals, (ii) rules of procedure, (iii) guidance documents and (iv) other internal documents provided to staff working for the England Infected Blood Support Scheme in relation to managing claims made by victims of the Infected Blood scandal; and if he will make a statement.

The Government established the England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) in 2017 to provide dedicated ex-gratia financial and non-financial support to people infected by HIV and/or hepatitis C through treatment with National Health Service-supplied blood or blood products, and their affected families. This scheme is currently administered by the NHS Business Services Authority.

Copies of the Department’s memorandum of understanding and service specification with the NHS Business Services Authority to administer EIBSS, the formal financial allocation letters for years 2018/19 and 2019/20 and the EIBSS annual report, including financial summaries, for years 2017/18 and 2018/19 are attached. The allocation for the financial year 2021/22 is yet to be agreed.

All the background information used by EIBSS to administer the scheme is available on the NHS Business Services Authority website at the following link:

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/england-infected-blood-support-scheme

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the performance threshold for the faster diagnosis standard for cancer is.

In recognition that current standards measure time to be seen by a doctor rather than the time to being provided a diagnosis of cancer, in 2015 the Independent Cancer Taskforce recommended the introduction of a new standard, to ensure that people receive a life changing confirmation of whether or not they have cancer within 28 days.

The 28 day Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS) has been tested as part of the wider clinical review of access standards (CRS) and no performance threshold has yet been set.

The NHS Standard Contract consultation, which closed at the end of January, set an initial expectation that the threshold will be set between 70-85%, and outlined NHS England and NHS Improvement’s intention to increase the performance threshold over time as appropriate. The threshold for the FDS will be included in the finalised standard contact for 2020/21.

Existing standards remain in place until any new standards are agreed. The CRS review is due to report its recommendations in spring 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of enabling students to register with a GP at home and at university.

Anyone who requires treatment that a general practitioner (GP) or healthcare professional regards as an emergency, or as immediately necessary, should be provided that treatment free of charge, regardless of whether they are registered with a GP.

It is not possible for patients to register with two GP practices at the same time. However, we recognise that students registered with a university GP practice may wish to access treatment from another GP when returning home or when away from university. Students can therefore register as a temporary resident at another GP practice. Temporary residence applies where a person intends to be in an area for more than 24 hours but less than three months. Once registered, patients can receive treatment in the same way as other patients. Details of a patient’s treatment whilst at their temporary practice will be passed to their permanent practice.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to provide additional financial assistance to student nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to help with the costs of childcare.

As part of our new financial support package, our announcement on 19 January 20201 stated that new and continuing nursing, midwifery and many allied health students on eligible pre-registration undergraduate and post graduate courses at English Universities from September 2020 could receive £1,000 towards childcare costs.

This is in addition to the £5,000 annual maintenance grant that we have already announced.

This new funding is in addition to the funding we already provide eligible students through the Learning Support Fund where students can access a £1,000 child dependents allowance. The Learning Support Fund also allows students to access reimbursement of all travel and accommodation expenses more than their usual daily travel and exceptional hardship funding of up to £3,000 per year.

None of this funding has to be repaid.

Students may also be able to access additional grant support from Student Finance England which is available for all full-time students with adult or child dependants2.

Notes:

1https://www.gov.uk/government/news/paramedic-students-will-get-5000-support-payment-each-year

2https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/extra-help

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether all student nurses in England beginning their studies in September 2020 will be eligible for the nursing bursary.

As part of the Government’s commitment to deliver 50,000 more nurses, new and continuing students enrolled in an eligible pre-registration undergraduate or postgraduate nursing course at an English university from September 2020 will be eligible for the new financial support package. The NHS Business Services Authority will publish further information on the scheme as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the vaccination roll-out programme in Palestine.

The UK remains committed to ensuring equitable access to effective vaccines as demonstrated by our £548 million contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. Through match funding, the commitment was leveraged to encourage other donors to commit $1 billion in 2020. We are pleased to note that the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) will be among the first to benefit from the COVAX scheme with delivery of a first batch anticipated in mid-February.

We remain in regular, close contact with the Palestinian Authority to discuss their plans for access to safe COVID-19 vaccines in the OPTs, including rollout of the doses provided through the COVAX scheme.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department will take to ensure that the citizens of Palestine receive the covid-19 vaccine.

The UK remains committed to ensuring equitable access to effective vaccines as demonstrated by our £548 million contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. Through match funding, the commitment was leveraged to encourage other donors to commit $1 billion in 2020. We are pleased to note that the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) will be among the first to benefit from the COVAX scheme with delivery of a first batch anticipated in mid-February.

We remain in regular, close contact with the Palestinian Authority to discuss their plans for access to safe COVID-19 vaccines in the OPTs, including rollout of the doses provided through the COVAX scheme.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has allocated all of the People for Peaceful Change budget to date.

Our people to people programme aimed to bring together Israelis and Palestinians to cooperate on issues which can have a positive impact on both communities and build understanding between people on both sides of the conflict, helping build support for a peaceful, negotiated resolution. This programme ran for three-years and ended in March 2020.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 12 May 2020 to Question 42248 on Palestinians: Overseas Aid, on what date the internal panel of researchers will complete its analysis.

The programme included a research component that looked at the impact of People to People work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to contribute to an evidence base in this area, which is presently limited. The research has been finalised and we are working to publish the report soon.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what (a) diplomatic and (b) humanitarian support the Government (a) has provided and (b) plans to provide to help tackle the effects of the covid-19 pandemic in Gaza.

The UK remains concerned about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza, further compounded by COVID-19. The UK works closely with key partners, including the Palestinian Authority to ensure a coherent strategy to mitigate the immediate impacts of COVID-19 and to support recovery. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv and the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem are in regular contact with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities respectively.

Recognising the severity of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, we have provided £1.25 million funding (the World Health Organisation with £630,000 and the United Nations Children's Fund with £620,000) to purchase and co-ordinate delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline health workers and scale up laboratory testing capacity - mainly in Gaza. In addition to our emergency support to the COVID-19 crisis, we are also providing £2.5 million to the World Food Programme to provide food and cash assistance for the most vulnerable Palestinians.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what programmes of international aid and humanitarian assistance the UK Government has contributed to in response to the ongoing persecution of the Banyamulenge community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The UK is concerned about violence against all communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including the Banyamulenge. Our six-year £70 million peace and stability programme is helping communities, including the Banyamulenge, secure land access, construct critical infrastructure and access income-generation opportunities. This is in addition to our support to the UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO, through funding (approximately £50 million in 2019/20) and the provision of three military staff officers. The UK also supports the UN Joint Human Rights Office to monitor and report human rights violations in DRC.

Since 2017, the UK's humanitarian programme has helped over three million people with cash, emergency nutrition, water and healthcare in DRC, including communities in South Kivu such as the Banyamulenge. All UK-funded humanitarian aid is distributed on the basis of need to ensure civilians are not discriminated against on the grounds of ethnicity. Diplomatically, we continue to urge the UN and the DRC Government to work together to protect civilians from ongoing violence and address the root causes of conflict. During Minister Duddridge's November visit to DRC he discussed the importance of addressing these issues, including during a meeting with President Tshisekedi. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, we are committed to ensuring MONUSCO's mandate is focussed on the protection of civilians and that vulnerable communities remain central to the UN's work in DRC.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the United Nations on action to protect the Banyamulenge community of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The UK is concerned about violence against all communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including the Banyamulenge. Our six-year £70 million peace and stability programme is helping communities, including the Banyamulenge, secure land access, construct critical infrastructure and access income-generation opportunities. This is in addition to our support to the UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO, through funding (approximately £50 million in 2019/20) and the provision of three military staff officers. The UK also supports the UN Joint Human Rights Office to monitor and report human rights violations in DRC.

Since 2017, the UK's humanitarian programme has helped over three million people with cash, emergency nutrition, water and healthcare in DRC, including communities in South Kivu such as the Banyamulenge. All UK-funded humanitarian aid is distributed on the basis of need to ensure civilians are not discriminated against on the grounds of ethnicity. Diplomatically, we continue to urge the UN and the DRC Government to work together to protect civilians from ongoing violence and address the root causes of conflict. During Minister Duddridge's November visit to DRC he discussed the importance of addressing these issues, including during a meeting with President Tshisekedi. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, we are committed to ensuring MONUSCO's mandate is focussed on the protection of civilians and that vulnerable communities remain central to the UN's work in DRC.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking to help ensure that UN human rights work can restart (a) in a timely manner and (b) effectively during the covid-19 pandemic; and what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of resources available to the UN human rights system to support communities vulnerable to covid-19 throughout the world.

We are concerned that some governments are failing to comply with their human rights obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our international engagement, including at the UN, we will continue to make clear that measures taken by States to tackle COVID-19 must be necessary, proportionate, time-bound, transparent and regularly reviewed.

The UN's human rights work has continued throughout the pandemic, and the UK has maintained its strong support for the UN human rights system. We welcomed the Human Rights Council President's Statement on the implications of Covid-19 on human rights, and the Secretary General's report on how human rights should guide the Covid-19 response. As Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said in our closing statements to both the 43rd and 44th sessions of the Human Rights Council, we are grateful to the Human Rights Council President, and the Human Rights Council Secretariat, for their hard work and creativity in allowing the Human Rights Council to resume its work in a hybrid format. We are engaging closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to ensure that it is able to direct resources to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the enjoyment of human rights, particularly in the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Review of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System announcement by the President of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 2 June 2020, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that that review enhances the effectiveness of that system in protecting international human rights.

We welcome the announcement by the President of the 74th UN General Assembly on 2 June regarding the Review of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System. The UK Government remains committed to standing up for human rights, including through the UN. We strongly support the Treaty Body System as an essential tool to support the protection and promotion of human rights, and we are committed to developing the system's effectiveness. We are actively engaging in the review process, our initial response to the call for consultation can be found here (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRTD/Pages/Co-Facilitation-Process.aspx) and on 27 July the UK took part in a consultation with the facilitators appointed to lead the review in New York.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 quarantine in Colombia on the safety and security of human rights defenders in that country; and if he will make a statement.

The UK remains concerned about the persistent level of violence towards human rights defenders in Colombia and we have noted indications that this may have worsened during the COVID-19 lockdown. We regularly raise this issue, as well as specific cases of concern, with the Colombian Government and in multilateral fora. We have also called on the Colombian Government to prioritise tackling and preventing this violence. Most recently, our Permanent Representative to the UN expressed our deep concern at the UN Security Council on 14 July. I also raised the issue during a phone call with Colombian Foreign Minister Claudia Blum on 2 June.

Colombia is a UK Government "Human Rights Priority Country" and as such our Embassy in Bogota has provided significant programming to help at-risk human rights defenders. We will continue to raise our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Colombian counterpart on potential undermining of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia.

President Duque's government has publicly committed to implementing the Peace Accords of 2016 in their entirety. In meetings with the President in London last year, the then-Foreign Secretary made it clear that the UK sees the transitional justice system, including the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, and the involvement of victims as vital elements of the 2016 accords. President Duque's signing of the transitional justice law last June was welcome, and we are pleased that the institutions established under that law have since begun their work.

We continue to emphasise our support for transitional justice both with the Colombian government and in multilateral fora, including most recently at the UN Security Council on 14 July, where our Permanent Representative commended the institutions' quick adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic by moving their work online. We are aware that the parties to the Peace Accord would like the UN Verification Mission to take on a role verifying compliance with the sanctions handed down by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace. The UK has been publicly supportive of this.

The UK Government has contributed over £26 million towards transitional justice mechanisms and victims of the conflict in Colombia since 2016.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if the he will make representations to the UN Security Council Mission of Verification to Colombia on the need for further support, resourcing and reporting to monitor the progress of Colombia’s National Commission of Security Guarantees.

President Duque's Government has publicly committed to implementing the Peace Accords of 2016 in their entirety. The UK will continue to support the Colombian peace process and to emphasise the importance of pressing ahead with work to consolidate peace and build stability. The UK remains concerned about the persistent level of violence towards human rights defenders, social leaders and former combatants in Colombia, and regularly presses the Colombian government to take further action to tackle this violence.

We have consistently highlighted the need for an overarching public policy in Colombia to prevent this violence from taking place. This has included regularly highlighting the work of the National Commission on Security Guarantees, including most recently at the UN Security Council on 14 July, and calling on the government and civil society to make fuller use of it for this purpose. We will continue to work closely with the Colombian Government and civil society on the peace process and related matters.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the implementation of the Peace Accord in Colombia; and if he will make a statement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a serious challenge to all countries, and Latin America is facing one of the deadliest outbreaks. Inevitably this has added to the difficulties Colombia faces with the implementation of the Peace Accord, but all parties have taken effective steps to try to mitigate this impact, as the Special Representative, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, noted in his most recent report. At the UN Security Council on 14 July, our Permanent Representative commended the parties for having adapted quickly to the situation, and urged the Colombian government to continue to work with its domestic and international partners to provide assistance to former combatant communities so reintegration could remain on track despite an economic downturn.

During this challenging time, the Colombian government has reaffirmed its commitment to implementing the 2016 peace agreement in full. The UK will continue to support the Colombian peace process and to emphasise the importance of pressing ahead with work to consolidate peace and build stability. We will continue to work closely with the Colombian Government and civil society on the peace process and related matters.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will issue a travel ban on all travel to destinations outside the UK to enable people unwilling to travel due to health conditions to make a claim on their travel insurance.

Since 17 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential travel globally. Travellers should check the details of their policy and speak to their insurance company about any claim they wish to make.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the announcement in Budget 2021 that lifetime financial support will be provided for survivors of the Thalidomide scandal, whether the Government plans to provide lifetime financial support to the survivors and victims of the contaminated blood scandal.

The Budget confirmed that the existing health grant for those affected by Thalidomide will continue when the existing funding commitment expires in 2022/23.

Infected blood support schemes were established in 2017, following the publication of the Penrose Inquiry, and the government confirmed increased financial support in 2019 for those infected and affected.

We will consider any recommendations when the Infected Blood Inquiry reports, including any around financial support.
Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will make additional funding available to the Department of Health to enable improvements in the infected blood support schemes.

The Budget confirmed that the existing health grant for those affected by Thalidomide will continue when the existing funding commitment expires in 2022/23.

Infected blood support schemes were established in 2017, following the publication of the Penrose Inquiry, and the government confirmed increased financial support in 2019 for those infected and affected.

We will consider any recommendations when the Infected Blood Inquiry reports, including any around financial support.
Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast that unemployment would peak in the fourth quarter of 2020 -21 at 11.9 per cent is not realised.

In its November 2020 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast unemployment to peak at 7.5% in Q2 2021, down from the forecast peak of 11.9% in Q4 2020 in its July Fiscal Sustainability Report.

During the pandemic, the Government has taken unprecedented action to protect jobs, most notably through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which was extended until the end of April 2021 for all parts of the UK. The OBR noted that the extension of CJRS, along with other new measures, was expected to reduce the level of unemployment by around 300,000 in the second quarter of this year, relative to what would have happened in the CJRS’ absence. As at 31 December, 700,000 employers were using the scheme to furlough more than 3.8 million jobs.

While the Govern­­ment has taken extensive action to protect jobs, a comprehensive package of support is in place to help those who have unfortunately lost their job, helping them find work and build the skills they need to get into work. This includes: doubling the number of work coaches in Jobcentre Plus by March 2021; the £2.9 billion Restart programme, which will provide intensive and tailored support to over 1 million unemployed people and help them find work; and the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme which will create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.

The Chancellor has always been clear that the Government would keep the situation under review, adapting its approach as the context evolved. The Budget on the 3 March will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 10 September 2020 to Question 85972, what scoping exercises his Department undertook to determine the most appropriate local authority locations for the placement of lorry parks, prior to the Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020 being laid before Parliament on 1 September 2020.

The local authority areas have been identified within the Order by the relevant departments so that should inland border facilities be required to support relevant ports, these can be provided within a reasonable distance of a port and/or strategic highway network.
Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the his Department's news story entitled, Pay rises for doctors, police and more in the public sector, published on 21 July 2020, for what reasons the fire service was not included in the list of public sector professions to receive a pay rise.

The pay awards announced on 21 July 2020 are for workforces covered by Pay Review Bodies (PRBs) which are; the armed forces, teachers, police officers, the National Crime Agency, prison officers, doctors and dentists, the Judiciary, senior civil servants and senior military personnel.

Pay awards for firefighters are agreed independently of this process by the National Joint Council (NJC) for Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services (NJC) which includes representatives of employers, devolved administrations and unions.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the letter of 28 April 2020 from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North constituency on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

I would like to reassure the Member that her letter is receiving urgent attention and will be responded to shortly.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people resident in Hull are registered with HMRC as being on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Claims made up until and including 31 May under the Coronavirus Job Retention Programme, have supported 31,900 furloughed employments where the employee is resident within the area of the City of Kingston upon Hull Unitary Authority. This is the total number of employments furloughed at any time since the start of the scheme. Within this figure one person could be furloughed for more than one job.

Further information on this statistic is available from the HMRC publication, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Official Statistics. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-june-2020

It has not been possible to break this number down further by tax bracket within the time available.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people resident in Hull in each tax bracket are registered with HMRC as being on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Claims made up until and including 31 May under the Coronavirus Job Retention Programme, have supported 31,900 furloughed employments where the employee is resident within the area of the City of Kingston upon Hull Unitary Authority. This is the total number of employments furloughed at any time since the start of the scheme. Within this figure one person could be furloughed for more than one job.

Further information on this statistic is available from the HMRC publication, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Official Statistics. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-june-2020

It has not been possible to break this number down further by tax bracket within the time available.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether dental practices meeting the criteria will be eligible to apply for the top up to the local business grants fund scheme announced on the 2 May 2020.

Dental practices may be eligible for the Discretionary Grant Scheme in England. This has made up to £617m of additional funding available to Local Authorities to enable them to make payments of up to £25,000 to businesses which are ineligible the existing grants schemes. Local Authorities have received guidance regarding which kinds of businesses should be considered a priority. Local Authorities may also choose to pay grants to businesses according to local economic need, so long as businesses meet the following criteria:

  • They face ongoing fixed building-related costs
  • They can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to COVID-19
  • They have fewer than 50 employees;
  • They were trading on or before 11th March

Dental practices, along with other businesses, may also benefit from a range of support measures including:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • 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
  • 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 June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply -https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his timescale is for (a) allocating and (b) disbursing Small Business Grants Fund for businesses in Shared Spaces funding to (i) local authorities and (ii) Hull City Council; and what plans the Government has to provide guidance to local authorities on allocation of grants from that fund.

The Discretionary Grants Fund, announced on 1st May, provides Local Authorities in England with up to £617m additional funding to provide grants to businesses which are ineligible for the existing Small Business Grand Fund, and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund due to the way that they interact with the business rates system.

It is the Government’s intention that the following businesses should be considered as a priority for these funds:

  • Businesses in shared offices;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Detailed guidance for Local Authorities on how to administer this Fund was published on 13th May, and is available on gov.uk

Local Authorities should first use expected underspends in their allocations from the existing grant funds to pay for these discretionary grants. However, where Local Authorities have insufficient underspends to pay for the Discretionary Grants Fund, they will receive additional funds by early June.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on supporting private dental practices during the covid-19 outbreak.

HM Treasury Ministers are in regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care about matters relating to health spending and policy.

The Government has set out a range of measures to support private dental practices during the covid-19 outbreak. If they meet the criteria, private dentists who are self-employed could be eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme and those who are employees and receive a salary through a PAYE scheme could be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. All employed staff in dental practices, including support staff, could also be eligible for this scheme. In addition, private dentists can access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, if they can channel their activity through a business account.

Dental businesses may also be eligible for up to 100% Small Business Rate Relief where it has a single property with a rateable value below £15,000. This is on top of other support, such as tax deferrals.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of removing the exclusion of dental practices and other medical providers from the covid-19 business rate relief scheme for the retail and hospitality sectors.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief, given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

A range of further measures to support all businesses including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as medical service providers, has also been made available.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of removing the £50,000 eligibility cap for the Self-Employed Income Support scheme for people classed as key workers.

Some 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment could be eligible to benefit from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The scheme, including the £50,000 threshold, is designed to ensure it is targeted at those who need it the most, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income.

Those with average profits above £50,000 could still benefit from other support. The SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to provide a loan guarantee offer through the business interruption loan scheme for community organisations affected by covid-19.

The government has announced a significant package of financial support for businesses and organisations, including through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Details of this package are available at: www.businesssupport.gov.uk

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she plans to take to ensure that the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel publishes an interim report of its findings relating to the events surrounding the recent appointment of the Chief Constable.

In performing their scrutiny function Police and Crime Panels hold regular public meetings and produce reports and recommendations to the Police and Crime Commissioner on a range of issues, including proposed chief constable appointments.

Where reports must be published by the Police and Crime Panel, this is set out clearly in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Home Department, with reference to the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, published in March 2021, how her Department plans to strengthen the UK's criminal justice response to cyber attacks.

The Integrated Review is a comprehensive articulation of the UK’s national security and international policy. It outlines three fundamental national interests that bind together the citizens of the UK – sovereignty, security and prosperity – alongside our values of democracy and a commitment to universal human rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and faith, and equality.

Cyberspace is increasingly fundamental to the UK's security, prosperity and sovereignty.

The existing National Cyber Security Strategy sets out ambitious policies to protect the UK in cyberspace, address cyber attacks and protect critical national infrastructure. This has been managed through the National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) and has been supported by £1.9billion of investment.

As detailed in the Integrated Review, work is well underway to develop a new cyber strategy. Further details on this, including how we plan to strengthen the UK’s criminal justice response to cyber attacks, will be set out in the new National Cyber Strategy later this year.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the loss of police records on the (a) processing and (b) prosecuting of domestic violence cases in Kingston upon Hull.

The Home Office is working closely with Policing/National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) to assess the scale and impact of the incident. This includes undertaking a robust and detailed assessment and verification of all affected records. Once complete we will develop and implement a plan to recover as many lost records as is possible over the next few weeks.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the number of free biometric appointments issued in (a) Hull and (b) Manchester in 2020; and what steps her Department has taken to increase the number of available biometric appointments.

As a result of COVID-19, and national restrictions at the time, all UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) sites were closed from 27 March until 1 June 2020.

Following the reopening of UKVCAS services, capacity was initially reduced due to the need to adhere to social distancing regulations.

To help reduce the number of customers who needed to attend a physical appointment, we introduced a biometric reuse process which allows UKVI to reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to assess visa and citizenship applications, meaning eligible customers didn’t need to visit a UKVCAS service point to enrol new biometrics. In parallel, customers without reusable biometrics were invited to book a physical appointment in date order from the date in which they applied.

This approach meant we could resume normal service quicker following the COVID-19 impact, and we were able to return to regular processes from 24 September, with a biometric reuse process still in place for student applications, where eligible. Since late September capacity at UKVCAS service points has continued to increase through site expansion, whilst ensuring the physical locations remain COVID-19 secure. and is now greater than pre-covid levels.

However, application demand since this time has exceeded forecasts, meaning some customers have experienced delays in securing an appointment.

The contract we have with Sopra Steria Limited, who run the UKVCAS service on behalf of UKVI, stipulates the percentage of appointments which must be free at the core service points in Cardiff, Croydon, Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester. Details on the relevant performance indicators to measure appointment availability has been published and can be found in Schedule 7 of the UKVI Front End Services contract available here

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/ec5031ea-021e-471a-86cf-af540e8d8efa.

UKVI monitors appointment levels closely to ensure there are sufficient free appointments made available overall and including in geographical regions where there appears to be most demand. As a result, the UKVCAS service point in Manchester, for example, now has proportionately more free appointments than it did in July. UKVI continues to look at options to enhance capacity further to meet demand.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many local authorities were contacted in advance of the latest allocation of asylum seekers to initial accommodation.

I wrote to all Local Authorities on 27 March 2020 to inform them that, due to the pause on cessations because of the Covid 19 pandemic, we would be required to procure hotel accommodation, often at short notice in order to meet our statutory duty to accommodate a growing supported population. In addition to this we, and our accommodation providers, engaged with each local authority in which hotels we used.

There are currently 141 Local Authorities participating in the dispersal scheme.

The Home Office has established the Home Office/Local Government Chief Executive group (HOLGCEX) in order to take forward a review of the costs, pressures and social impact of asylum dispersal in the UK, as well as a number of other key priorities relating to how central and local government work together.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to ensure an equitable distribution of asylum seekers to local authorities for initial accommodation.

I wrote to all Local Authorities on 27 March 2020 to inform them that, due to the pause on cessations because of the Covid 19 pandemic, we would be required to procure hotel accommodation, often at short notice in order to meet our statutory duty to accommodate a growing supported population. In addition to this we, and our accommodation providers, engaged with each local authority in which hotels we used.

There are currently 141 Local Authorities participating in the dispersal scheme.

The Home Office has established the Home Office/Local Government Chief Executive group (HOLGCEX) in order to take forward a review of the costs, pressures and social impact of asylum dispersal in the UK, as well as a number of other key priorities relating to how central and local government work together.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many local authorities classed by her Department as dispersal areas received an allocation of asylum seekers for initial accommodation in each of the last three years.

The number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

There are141 Local authorities across the UK which accommodate asylum seekers. We do not publish data for each separate initial accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers have been allocated to initial accommodation by local authority in each of the last three years.

The number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

There are141 Local authorities across the UK which accommodate asylum seekers. We do not publish data for each separate initial accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office, whether she has plans to suspend notice fees for (a) marriages and (b) civil partnerships for couples that have been required to cancel their wedding as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and whose notice period will expire before the wedding can be rearranged.

The notice fee is paid to the local authority and is for the service provided at the time the notice is given. Fees can be reduced, waived or refunded on compassionate grounds or in cases of hardship, and it is for each local authority to determine when this can be applied.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 17 March 2020 to Question 28642 on Foreign Nationals, what plans she has to make provision under paragraph 39E (1) of the Immigration Rules that a good reason for extension of leave will include self-isolation as a result of covid-19.

Paragraph 39E (1) of the Immigration Rules already provides for a limited period of overstaying to be disregarded where an application is made within 14 days of the applicant’s previous leave expiring, if it is considered that there was a good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative, provided in or with the application, why the application could not be made in-time.

The Home Office has also put in place a range of measures to support those affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus, including taking a pragmatic approach to visa extensions. We continue to monitor the situation in all countries, and we are keeping this under constant review.

A dedicated coronavirus immigration helpline https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-immigration-guidance-if-youre-unable-to-return-to-china-from-the-uk#helpline has been set up for those who wish to discuss their circumstances. The freephone number is 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

No one will be unfairly penalised for events beyond their control.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of waiving fees for Disclosure and Barring Service checks for people volunteering to support the response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Volunteers do not need a DBS check if they are carrying out tasks such as delivering shopping or walking dogs for people in their community.

The DBS has published guidance to assist community volunteering groups understand when a check may be needed.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-factsheet-community-volunteers-during-covid-19-outbreak

Standard and enhanced checks are free for volunteers.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to (a) recruit additional staff and (b) ensure there are adequate resources to process applications for indefinite leave to remain from refugees that have been resettled in the UK under the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme.

Upon being eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, refugees resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme will be able apply using the existing settlement protection route. The Home Office has forecast anticipated intake levels to ensure we have the appropriate resource in place.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons people that have lost Biometric Residence Permit cards are required to submit a new Biometric Residence Permit card application for a replacement.

The holder of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is legally required, under regulation 18(b) of the Immigration (Biometric Registration) Regulations 2008, to notify the Secretary of State if they know or suspect their document has been lost or stolen.

Where the Secretary of State decides to cancel a BRP following a report of its loss or theft, the holder is required to apply to replace their card.

The cost of providing a replacement BRP that has been lost or stolen (currently £56 plus a biometric enrolment fee of £19.20) is set at a level that recovers the estimated cost of both the process and the card for the Home Office and does not place any additional financial burden on the department.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment has she made of the additional cost to her Department of processing fresh applications to replace lost Biometric Resident Permit cards.

The holder of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is legally required, under regulation 18(b) of the Immigration (Biometric Registration) Regulations 2008, to notify the Secretary of State if they know or suspect their document has been lost or stolen.

Where the Secretary of State decides to cancel a BRP following a report of its loss or theft, the holder is required to apply to replace their card.

The cost of providing a replacement BRP that has been lost or stolen (currently £56 plus a biometric enrolment fee of £19.20) is set at a level that recovers the estimated cost of both the process and the card for the Home Office and does not place any additional financial burden on the department.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the pay of Badcock International workers in (a) England and (b) Wales who carry out the same duties in military bases in those countries.

The Ministry of Defence has made no comparative assessment. The pay, terms and conditions of Babcock International employees are a matter for the company.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Sep 2020
What steps his Department has taken to maintain the overall size of the armed forces since the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

We have made significant progress in delivering the aims of the last Strategic Defence and Security Review. But the global picture has changed since 2015, and we must adapt to the new threats that confront us. That is why the Prime Minister has commissioned the Integrated Review.

I can assure the House that this Government is committed to ensuring that the United Kingdom continues to have the world-class Armed Forces that it needs and deserves.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to statistics from the Community Security Trust that 2019 recorded the highest number of anti-Semitic hate crimes since 2007, what steps his Department is taking to reduce anti-Semitic hate crime.

Antisemitism has absolutely no place in our society, which is why we have taken a strong lead in tackling it in all its forms. We are providing £14 million this year, and provided over £65 million to date, for the Protective Security Grant to protect Jewish schools and community buildings.

In October 2019 the Communities Secretary wrote to universities and local authorities to urge them to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of Antisemitism and there has been significant uptake of the definition since. We have also appointed Lord Mann as the Independent Adviser on Antisemitism, who has been providing advice on the most effective methods of tackling antisemitism in communities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason the Government decided to include Newark on its Towns Fund recipients March 2021 list, published on 3 March 2021.

The Towns Fund is helping level up the country, driving economic regeneration, productivity and growth. In September 2019, we published a list of towns invited to develop proposals for Town Deals. Details of the selection process have been published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towns-fund-selection-summary-of-accounting-officer-advice/towns-fund-selection-process-summary-of-accounting-officer-ao-advicehere: .

So far, 52 of the 101 towns that had been selected to develop proposals have been offered Town Deals, including Newark and 44 other towns announced by the Chancellor at Budget on 3 March. Proposals from towns are assessed in the order they are submitted and assessment continues for the remaining 49 towns. We expect to make further announcements in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timeframe is for his Department's publication of the selection methodology it used to allocate funding through the (a) Towns Fund and (b) Community Renewal Fund.

In selecting towns for the Towns Fund, Ministers considered levels of deprivation alongside other factors including skills, employment levels and exposure to economic shocks. The government has published details of the selection process here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towns-fund-selection-summary-of-accounting-officer-advice/towns-fund-selection-process-summary-of-accounting-officer-ao-advice

With regards to the UK Community Renewal Fund, as set out in the 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 a methodological note will be published shortly.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish (a) the index of economic resilience used to determine the 100 priority places for the UK Community Renewal Fund and (b) the score awarded to the city of Hull on that index.

At Budget 2021, the UK Government published a prospectus for the UK Community Renewal Fund: an additional £220 million funding for 2021/22 to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.

The UK Community Renewal Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches. It will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

As set out in the 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 a methodological note will be published explaining how the index of economic resilience was developed.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what comparative assessment his Department made of the adequacy of community funding in (a) Richmond and (b) Hull before deciding their respective places in the priority list for the Renewal Community Fund.

At Budget 2021, the UK Government published a prospectus for the UK Community Renewal Fund: an additional £220 million funding for 2021/22 to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.

The UK Community Renewal Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches. It will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

As set out in the 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 a methodological note will be published explaining how the index of economic resilience was developed.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what methodology was used to select the 100 places that are on the UK Community Renewal Fund.

To ensure the UK Community Renewal Fund funding reaches the most in need, 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 a methodological note will be published explaining how the 100 priority places were selected.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the implications for local government funding to Kingston upon Hull of the recommendations in the 2021 Centre for Cities, Cities Outlook report.

The Government takes account of evidence from a variety of sources in developing its policies and programmes, and we will consider evidenced findings from the Centre for Cities report. In particular, we are keen to respond to needs expressed by local stakeholders and want to give more power to local communities, providing an opportunity for all places, including Kingston Upon Hull North, to level up.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implications of the findings of the report by the Centre for Cities entitled Cities Outlook 2021, published on 25 January 2021, for his policies in relation to Kingston upon Hull.

The Government takes account of evidence from a variety of sources in developing its policies and programmes, and we will consider evidenced findings from the Centre for Cities report. In particular, we are keen to respond to needs expressed by local stakeholders and want to give more power to local communities, providing an opportunity for all places, including Kingston Upon Hull North, to level up.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the recent Centre for Cities 2021 report, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of a targeted furlough scheme for Kingston upon Hull.

The Government is doing all it can to support United Kingdom businesses and workers through the pandemic. We have provided a comprehensive economic response that is one of the most generous globally; taking unprecedented steps to protect jobs, most notably through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

So far, the CJRS has seen 1.2 million employers apply to help to pay the wages of 9.9 million furloughed jobs. Up to the 31 October, the CJRS has supported 38,500 jobs in Kingston upon Hull.

The Chancellor has been clear that we will keep the situation under review, adapting our approach as and when necessary. The Government will provide a further update at the Budget.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the shop out to help out voucher scheme referred to in the the 2021 Centre for Cities, Cities Outlook report.

My Department is aware of the Cities Outlook report published by Centre for Cities We are considering a range of policy responses to support the recovery of urban centres places across the country. We are convening an Urban Centre Recovery Task Force with industry leaders to shape our long-term vision for the recovery of urban centres. This Task Force will provide Government with practical recommendations on action that can be taken to help support our cities and towns in their response to structural changes as a consequence of Covid-19.

This will complement ongoing support, such as a comprehensive package of support of £200 billion, including small business grants and the one-off top up grants worth up to £9,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to help them through this period. We are also delivering the £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund to support practical measures so businesses can re-open quickly when they are allowed to.

Beyond this, we are delivering an ongoing programme of interventions to support our high streets and town centres in the long-term, through a series of ambitious Town Deals and by supporting local leadership and business representation through the High Streets Task Force, including a programme of expert guidance, data dashboards, and training.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the economic effect of the Government's levelling up agenda on the Kingston upon Hull North constituency.

Levelling up all areas of the country remains at the centre of the Government’s agenda; and we want to give more power to local communities, providing an opportunity for all places, including Kingston Upon Hull North, to level up. That is why we intend to bring forward the Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper in due course. This will cover how the UK government will partner with places like Hull across the UK to build a sustainable economic recovery and set out our plans for future devolution arrangements. This will build upon the success of the directly elected combined authority mayors who are driving local economic growth across their functional economic areas.

The Government has invested in strategic local plans in Hull and the wider Humber to support economic growth and raise prosperity, including £155 million of Local Growth and Getting Building funding, a City Deal, and the largest Enterprise Zone award in the country. This investment has improved local infrastructure, helped to restructure the local housing market, supported local businesses, improved skills, and created thousands of new jobs, which together has benefited local residents in Kingston Upon Hull North.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate has he made of the value of social housing rent arrears in (a) Hull and (b) England that have accrued as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have not made an estimate of the value of social housing rent arrears that have accrued as a result of Covid-19 pandemic in Hull and England.

The Regulator of Social Housing’s quarterly survey report for April to June 2020 (which is based on regulatory returns from private registered providers and private registered provider groups who own or manage more than 1,000 homes) shows that mean current tenant arrears stood at 4.0 per cent at the end of June. The equivalent figure in the same quarter of 2019/20 was 3.5 per cent. This information is for private registered providers in England and does not include local authorities. The report is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/quarterly-survey-of-private-registered-providers.

We are carrying out a data collection to gather information on the impact Covid-19 is having on local authority finances. Data from these returns are available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-covid-19-financial-impact-monitoring-information

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the value of private housing rent arrears as a result of the covid-19 outbreak in (a) Hull and (b) England.

The Government has established an unprecedented package of support to protect renters throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with support for businesses to pay staff salaries and strengthening the welfare safety-net with a nearly £9.3 billion boost to the welfare system. This includes an extra £1 billion to increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates so that they cover the lowest 30 per cent of market rents.

For those renters who require additional support, there is an existing £180 million of Government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments made available this year, an increase of £40 million from last year, which is for councils to distribute to support renters with housing costs.

The Department does not currently hold information on the value of private housing rent arrears in Hull and England as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020, on the granting of planning permission for the use of land for lorry parks, what consultation with local authorities whose areas are affected by that statutory instrument took place before it was laid before Parliament on 1 September 2020.

The Special Development Order requires Border Departments to discuss specific proposals with local authorities.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020, what consultations were held with (a) Hull City Council and (b) East Riding of Yorkshire Council before this statutory instrument was laid before Parliament on 1 September 2020.

The Special Development Order requires Border Departments to discuss specific proposals with local authorities.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020, what consultations were held with the Humber Local Resilience Forum before that statutory instrument was laid before Parliament on the 1 September 2020.

The Special Development Order requires Border Departments to discuss specific proposals with local authorities.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment his Department has made of the risk of covid-19 infection in prisons for (a) prisoners and (b) prison officers.

The safety of our staff and those under our supervision remains our top priority. We have taken quick and decisive action – backed by Public Health England and Wales – to limit the spread of the virus.

Our measures have included restricting regimes, minimising inter-prison transfers and compartmentalising our prisons into different units to isolate the sick, shield the vulnerable and quarantine new arrivals. A comprehensive regular testing regime of both staff and prisoners is in place and we are also working closely with the NHS to support the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations for eligible groups in custody. Our experience and evidence gathering provides an indication that these measures have undoubtedly saved lives and limited the transmission of the virus in prisons.

Plans for easing restrictions in prisons (and re-introducing them where necessary) will be guided by public health advice alongside an operational assessment of what can be safely implemented, whilst ensuring we can keep staff and prisoners safe.

Increasing numbers of adult prisons are now progressing to Stage 3 regimes, as outlined in our National Framework (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services). We are keeping the level of restriction necessary under close review. We must continue to respond in a measured way in line with public health advice to ensure our approach is proportionate and legitimate, as we have done throughout the pandemic.

Alex Chalk
Assistant Whip
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many services for children affected by domestic abuse are funded through Police and Crime Commissioners in (a) England and (b) Wales.

In 2019/20, the Ministry of Justice provided over £70 million for Police and Crime Commissioners to commission support services for all victims of crime, including children affected by domestic abuse. Many of the support services for victims of domestic abuse are either co-commissioned between Police and Crime Commissioners and Local Authorities or solely commissioned by Local Authorities. It is not possible to obtain a complete picture of the commissioning landscape of domestic abuse services for children, as this would involve a review by PCCs of all domestic abuse services available locally as well as a significant input from the Local Authorities. This would incur disproportionate cost to the department.

Alex Chalk
Assistant Whip
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Further Government Response to the Report from the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill published on 3 March 2020, what criteria he plans to use to measure the effect of each of the workstreams identified on domestic abuse in relationships between under-16 year olds; and what steps he is taking to help ensure that young people aged under 16 who experience peer level abuse can access the specialist support they require.

We are clear that the impact of domestic abuse on young people, including teenage relationship abuse, needs to be properly recognised and that agencies know how best to respond. it is vital that children who have experienced abuse in a peer to peer relationship receive appropriate support and safeguarding.

In our further response to the Joint Committee, published alongside the introduction of the Domestic Abuse Bill on 3 March 2020, we set out work underway across Government in this area. This includes excellent progress being made by the Department of Education on preparation for the rollout of new relationship education in schools in September 2020 and the consultation about proposed revisions to the statutory guidance for schools and colleges Keeping Children Safe In Education.

The majority of support services for victims of crime, including for chil