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Written Question
Hormone Replacement Therapy: Shortages
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to reimburse women who are eligible for free prescriptions and who purchase hormone replacement therapy from private providers when there has been insufficient availability of those products through the NHS.

Answered by Maria Caulfield - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

We have no plans to do so, as the Department has no responsibility for the cost of private prescriptions. There are over 70 hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products available in the United Kingdom and most remain in good supply. While a range of factors, including an increase in demand, has led to supply issues with a limited number of products, alternatives to those experiencing supply issues are available. General practitioners and pharmacist can advise those who are concerned about access to HRT products before seeking a private prescription.


Written Question
Hormone Replacement Therapy: Shortages
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of using alternative HRT preparations on women experiencing menopausal symptoms, in the context of the shortage of certain HRT treatments.

Answered by Maria Caulfield - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

While most hormone replacement therapy medicines (HRT) are available, we have appointed the Director General of the Vaccine Taskforce to lead a HRT taskforce to support the supply chain. Suppliers have secured additional stock of HRT products which are experiencing shortages and deliveries of further items have been expedited. We have issued Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) to limit dispensing to three months’ supply to maintain the current distribution levels and allow alternative products to be dispensed, as necessary.

The Department sought clinical advice for the SSPs from experts, including clinicians from the British Menopause Society and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in devising the current arrangements. The substituted products included in the SSPs are licensed medicines which are considered clinically appropriate by clinicians, such as transdermal patches.


Written Question
Hormone Replacement Therapy: Shortages
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to help ensure women experiencing menopausal symptoms do not have to change HRT products due to supply issues.

Answered by Maria Caulfield - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

While most hormone replacement therapy medicines (HRT) are available, we have appointed the Director General of the Vaccine Taskforce to lead a HRT taskforce to support the supply chain. Suppliers have secured additional stock of HRT products which are experiencing shortages and deliveries of further items have been expedited. We have issued Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) to limit dispensing to three months’ supply to maintain the current distribution levels and allow alternative products to be dispensed, as necessary.

The Department sought clinical advice for the SSPs from experts, including clinicians from the British Menopause Society and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in devising the current arrangements. The substituted products included in the SSPs are licensed medicines which are considered clinically appropriate by clinicians, such as transdermal patches.


Written Question
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason Estradot HRT patches are available through private providers but not on NHS prescriptions.

Answered by Maria Caulfield - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

We understand that all strengths of estradot hormone replacement therapy patches are currently available via National Health Service prescriptions, where clinically appropriate.


Written Question
HM Passport Office: Disability Aids
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2022 to Question 19609 on HM Passport Office: Disability Aids, if she will investigate (a) case reference PEX3540953689 and (b) other incidents where HM Passport Office staff (i) refuse to engage with the BT Text Relay Service and (ii) do not respond to emails sent by constituents and hon. Members to the Interview Hub Technical Support email address.

Answered by Kevin Foster - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

Her Majesty’s Passport Office is committed to supporting its customers who have a disability, which includes accepting callers via the BT Text Relay service.

The Interview Hub Technical Support mailbox is for queries relating to pre-booked passport interviews only. All other customer enquiries should be directed to the Passport Adviceline, on 0300 222 000.

Queries from honourable Members on behalf of their constituents should be directed to the dedicated email address.

We do not comment publicly on individual cases.


Written Question
Visas: Applications
Thursday 23rd June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department is taking steps to reduce administrative errors on the visa application with reference GWF06412451; and if her Department will fast-track the reissuing of paperwork for that application where necessary.

Answered by Kevin Foster - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

The teams handling employment visas consider tens of thousands of applications per week. The vast majority of these are considered and reach the correct outcome.

Processing errors are rare and when any errors are flagged to the department they are resolved quickly, as they have been in this case.


Written Question
Visas: Applications
Tuesday 21st June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she is taking steps to reduce the 24 week maximum standard service time for family visa applications.

Answered by Kevin Foster - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

The Home Office is currently prioritising Ukraine Visa Schemes applications in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Staff from other government departments, including DWP and HMRC, are being surged into the Home Office to help with Ukraine work and enable other normal visa routes to return to normal service levels.


Written Question
HM Passport Office: Disability Aids
Tuesday 21st June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to passport application PEX3540953689, what steps she is taking to ensure Passport Office staff are aware of (a) BT's Relay UK Service and (b) their equality obligations to people with hearing impairments.

Answered by Kevin Foster - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

The Passport Adviceline, which is provided by Teleperformance, is the first point of contact for enquiries about a passport application. Customers can use telephone, textphone, online enquiry forms, and webchat to make contact.

Information about free services and facilities to help with a passport application if you’re disabled can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/passport-services-disabled

We do not comment publicly on individual cases.


Written Question
Prisons: Staff
Tuesday 21st June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Ministry of Justice:

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an estimate of (a) the number and (b) the job roles of HM Prisons staff who took their own lives in each of the last five years.

Answered by Victoria Atkins - Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)

Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) is committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of its dedicated public servants.

The department offers staff support through its Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which includes a 24-hour confidential helpline. Additionally, there is access to mental health support including wellbeing workshops, confidential counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapies where clinically appropriate. These services can be accessed by employees absent or at work and employees do not have to inform their manager before accessing confidential counselling.

In addition, staff are able to access preventative mental health support in the form of Reflective Sessions where they can discuss with a qualified counsellor the effects of work on life and life on work. These sessions are available to all HMPPS staff via the EAP supplier.

The information requested is not held by the Ministry of Justice. MoJ’s Shared Operating Platform (SOP) which is used for HR payroll does not have a record of the cause of Death for its deceased employees.

Recording a Death in Service as suicide is not something MoJ staff are able to do as the cause of death is not determined immediately after a Death in Service, but many months or sometimes years later by a Coroner. Coroner’s data is not then retrospectively added to SOP, but is published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).


Written Question
North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Monday 20th June 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his oral contribution of 8 June, official report, column 813, when he will make a further announcement on a broader and more powerful review into the North East Ambulance Service.

Answered by Maria Caulfield - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

On 14 June 2022, we announced that there will be an independent review of events at the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. This will be commissioned and overseen by NHS England and NHS Improvement and further information will be available in due course. We are considering how best to engage with those affected by this case.