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Written Question
Dementia: Diagnosis
Monday 4th March 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the national ambition for dementia diagnosis rates at ensuring that people under 65 receive (a) a timely dementia diagnosis and (b) appropriate post-diagnostic support.

Answered by Helen Whately - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The dementia diagnosis rate is not calculated for patients aged under 65 years old. This is because the numbers of patients known to have dementia in the sample population age groups comprising the zero to 64-year-old age range, are not large enough for reliable estimates to be made. Nonetheless, NHS England is committed to delivering high quality care and support for every person with dementia at every age, and central to this is the provision of personalised care.

As part of the spending review settlement in 2021/22, £17 million was allocated to the National Health Service to address dementia waiting lists and to increase the number of diagnoses, which had been adversely impacted by the pandemic. NHS England will share reporting on the impact of this funding and examples of good practice with dementia clinical networks in March 2024.


Written Question
Dementia
Monday 4th March 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the dementia diagnosis rate was for people aged under 65 who had developed symptoms on 23 February 2024; and if she will publish a monthly estimate of this rate within national primary care dementia data.

Answered by Helen Whately - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The dementia diagnosis rate is not calculated for patients aged under 65 years old. This is because the numbers of patients known to have dementia in the sample population age groups comprising those aged between zero and 64 years old are not large enough for reliable estimates to be made.

The dementia diagnosis rate for patients aged 65 years old and over is calculated and published monthly via the Primary Care Dementia Data publication, which is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/primary-care-dementia-data

This publication does include a monthly count of the number of patients aged 65 years old and under who do have a dementia diagnosis on their patient record; this is expressed as a raw count and as a percentage of registered patients aged between zero and 64 years old.


Written Question
Dementia: Health Services
Monday 4th March 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if her Department will take steps to require every Integrated Care Board to develop a young onset dementia pathway to (a) standardise and (b) improve dementia (i) care and (ii) support for people of working age.

Answered by Helen Whately - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Provision of dementia health care services is the responsibility of local integrated care boards (ICBs). NHS England would expect ICBs to commission services based on local population needs, taking account of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.

The Dementia Well Pathway includes diagnosing well, living/ supporting well and dying well, and highlights that services need to be integrated, commissioned, monitored, and aligned with NICE standards for each component of the pathway. It makes it clear that the needs, wishes and preferences of each individual, including those of working age, should be taken into account in planning and providing their care.


Written Question
Hate Crime: Transphobia
Tuesday 27th February 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to help tackle transphobic hate crimes.

Answered by Laura Farris - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)

Our absolute priority is to get more police onto our streets, cut crime, protect the public and bring more criminals to justice. We are supporting the police by providing them with the resources they need. Part of this necessitates police recruitment and training. We delivered our commitment to recruit an additional 20,000 officers by March 2023 and there are over 149,000 officers England and Wales, which is higher than the previous peak in March 2010 before the Police Uplift Programme.

The Government continues to fund True Vision, an online hate crime reporting portal designed so that victims of all forms of hate crime do not have to visit a police station to report. We also fund the National Online Hate Crime Hub, a central capability designed to provide expert advice to support individual local police forces in dealing with online hate crime.


Written Question

Question Link

Wednesday 21st February 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on developing tech skills in the workforce.

Answered by Robert Halfon - Minister of State (Education)

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent and skills are a vital strand of the government’s UK Science and Technology Framework, published in 2023, which aims to cement the UK’s status as a science and technology superpower by 2030.

The department is working with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, including through government-industry groups such as the Digital Skills Council. This brings together government and industry to address current and future demand for digital skills, including promoting routes into digital careers and the range of opportunities to re-skill and up-skill.

The department is making it easier for people of all ages and backgrounds to access the STEM training they need through the ladder of opportunity provided by our skills system reforms, including:

  • Investment of £3.8 billion over the course of this parliament to strengthen higher education (HE) and further education (FE).
  • Scaling up delivery of apprenticeships, T Levels, Skills Bootcamps, and Higher Technical Qualifications, and establishing our network of 21 Institutes of Technology.

There are over 350 high-quality, employer-designed STEM apprenticeships and from 2024 students will be able to apply for apprenticeships on the UCAS website. The number of digital, ICT practitioner apprenticeship starts have increased year-on-year since 2019/20, with 24,140 starts in the 2022/23 year (over 40% increase compared to starts in the 2019/20 year).

Over 1,000 Skills Bootcamps are available across the country, offering training in tech subjects such as software development, cyber security and data analytics.

The introduction of a Lifelong Learning Entitlement will transform access to FE and HE, offering all adults the equivalent of four years’ worth of student loans to use flexibly on quality education and skills training over their lifetime.

These programmes are achieving the vision set out in the UK Science and Technology Framework to boost the supply of tech skills.


Written Question
British National (Overseas): Airports
Thursday 15th February 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of allowing British National (Overseas) passport holders to use e-gates at the UK border.

Answered by Tom Pursglove - Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)

The Government regularly reviews eGate eligibility for all groups, including British Nationals (Overseas). We have set out an ambitious vision for the future border in the New Plan for Immigration and remain committed to increasing the use of automation amongst those currently eligible and exploring options to allow more cohorts to use eGates.


Written Question
Genomics: Screening
Friday 9th February 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the availability of genomic testing.

Answered by Andrew Stephenson - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The National Genomic Test Directory defines which genomic tests must be delivered by the NHS Genomic Laboratory Hubs in England, as well as who is eligible for genomic testing. The directory currently covers testing for over 3,200 rare diseases and over 200 cancer clinical indications. NHS England regularly updates the directory, through a robust and evidence-based test evaluation process, to keep pace with scientific and technological advances, and to ensure that genomic testing is available for all patients for whom it would be of clinical benefit. Testing is available for all eligible patients across England.


Written Question
Cancer: Screening
Thursday 8th February 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of variations in access to genetic and genomic testing for cancer through the NHS Genomics Medicine Service; and what steps her Department is taking to reduce these variations.

Answered by Andrew Stephenson - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The seven NHS Genomic Medicine Service Alliances raise awareness of genomics among healthcare professionals and support delivery of equitable access to genomic testing, clinical genetics, and genomic counselling services. NHS England has also established the NHS Genomics Ethics, Equity and Legal Advisory Group to ensure that the NHS Genomic Medicine Service (NHS GMS) provides equitable access to all patients. The group will identify and review appropriate datasets to inform health inequalities analysis of the NHS GMS, and identify actions to address inequalities.


Written Question
British National (Overseas): Voluntary Work
Thursday 8th February 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of allowing British National (Overseas) passport holders to undertake voluntary work as (a) sportspersons and (b) sports coaches.

Answered by Tom Pursglove - Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)

The restriction on working as a professional sportsperson applies to those holding permission on certain visa routes, including the British National (Overseas) visa. If an individual meets any of the indicators listed in the definition of a professional sportsperson at Paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules, they are classified as such, and if the restriction on work as a professional sportsperson is present in their visa conditions, they would therefore be breaching the terms of their visa.

However, it is not this Government’s intention to restrict anyone coming to the UK and taking part in sport recreationally. ‘Amateur’ is defined in the Immigration Rules as:

“Amateur” means a person who engages in a sport or creative activity solely for personal enjoyment and who is not seeking to derive a living from the activity.”


Written Question
Cancer: Medical Treatments
Thursday 8th February 2024

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the impact of trends in average waiting times for biomarker and genomic testing on waiting times for cancer treatment.

Answered by Andrew Stephenson - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

NHS England has implemented capturing of Patient Level Contract Monitoring data across the National Health Service Genomic Laboratory Hubs (GLHs) to facilitate a national approach to reporting and validating activity data and turnaround times. This will enable NHS England to understand activity volumes, detect any backlogs, and institute recovery. NHS England undertakes a quarterly assurance process with each of the NHS GLHs to monitor improvements in turnaround times to ensure these are being met in every region and for all patients.

NHS England is also undertaking a programme of work alongside clinical experts, including the Medical Royal Colleges, to establish clinically relevant cancer turnaround times across diagnosis, prognosis, treatment determining clinical use cases and optimising cancer pathways to ensure genomic test results are provided in a clinically relevant timeframe.