Justin Madders Portrait

Justin Madders

Labour - Ellesmere Port and Neston

Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

(since April 2020)
Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Labour)
10th Jul 2018 - 14th Mar 2019
Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)
9th Jan 2018 - 14th Mar 2019
Shadow Minister (Health)
18th Sep 2015 - 9th Jan 2018
Petitions Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015


Department Event
Tuesday 19th October 2021
11:30
Department of Health and Social Care
Oral questions - Main Chamber
19 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Health and Social Care (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Wednesday 21st July 2021
Building Safety Bill

I first place it on the record that I co-chair the all-party parliamentary group on leasehold and commonhold reform with …

Written Answers
Friday 30th July 2021
Abortion: Drugs
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential …
Early Day Motions
Monday 14th September 2015
ACCIDENT BOOKS
That this House notes that the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979 state that an employer must have an …
Bills
Wednesday 30th November 2016
Football Supporters (Access) Bill 2016-17
A Bill to require football clubs to provide tickets to matches at a discount for persons under a specified age; …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 7th December 2020
8. Miscellaneous
From 26 November 2020, Trustee of Ellesmere Port and Neston Helping Hands, a charity which aims to provide poverty relief …
EDM signed
Tuesday 21st July 2020
Town and Country Planning
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021
A Bill to make provision for guidance to schools about the costs aspects of school uniform policies.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Justin Madders has voted in 249 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Justin Madders 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
(34 debate interactions)
Jo Churchill (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
(22 debate interactions)
Edward Argar (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
(22 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Justin Madders's debates

Ellesmere Port and Neston 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 most Ellesmere Port and Neston signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Government should class in-person interaction with family members and unmarried partners abroad as an essential reason to travel.

Advice from the JCVI on the priority groups for a Covid-19 vaccine does not include school/childcare workers. This petition calls for these workers, who cannot distance or use PPE, to be kept safe at work by being put on the vaccine priority list when such a list is adopted into government policy.

Weddings take months and even years of intricate planning. Myself and many others believe the maximum number of guests authorised at wedding ceremonies should be increased. The number of guests permitted at weddings should be calculated according to venue capacity.

Extend funding to nightclubs, dance music events and festivals as part of the £1.57bn support package announced by the government for Britain's arts and culture sector to survive the hit from the pandemic. #LetUSDance

In light of the recent outbreak and lock down, those on maternity leave should be given 3 extra months paid leave, at least. This time is for bonding and social engaging with other parents and babies through baby groups which are vital for development and now everything has been cancelled.

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

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

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

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


Latest EDMs signed by Justin Madders

21st July 2020
Justin Madders signed this EDM on Tuesday 21st July 2020

Town and Country Planning

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 632), dated 23 June 2020, a copy of which was laid before this House on 24 June 2020, be annulled.
55 signatures
(Most recent: 28 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 43
Liberal Democrat: 9
Conservative: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
Green Party: 1
8th July 2020
Justin Madders signed this EDM on Monday 20th July 2020

Town and Country Planning

Tabled by: Peter Bottomley (Conservative - Worthing West)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 632), dated 23 June 2020, a copy of which was laid before this House on 24 June 2020, be annulled.
14 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 10
Liberal Democrat: 2
Conservative: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
View All Justin Madders's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Justin Madders, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Justin Madders

Wednesday 18th November 2020

Justin Madders has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Justin Madders


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 about the regulation of the purchase of freehold by leaseholders; to introduce a system for establishing the maximum charge for such freehold; to make provision about the award of legal costs in leasehold property tribunal cases; to establish a compensation scheme for cases where misleading particulars have led to certain leasehold agreements; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 7th November 2017
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

A Bill to require football clubs to provide tickets to matches at a discount for persons under a specified age; to require local authorities to consider the needs of match going supporters when approving kick off times; to require football clubs to set aside a proportion of transfer fees paid for the development of football facilities for local clubs and young people; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 30th November 2016
(Read Debate)

793 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
3 Other Department Questions
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, when he next plans to hold another People's PMQs session.

People’s PMQs are an opportunity for members of the public to ask me about issues that affect their lives. I hope to hold another one shortly.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
13th Jul 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the Commission has plans to make the wearing of face coverings mandatory on the Parliamentary estate.

The Commission is led by the current Government advice on the use of face masks and coverings. Whilst the guidance on the use of face coverings in shops and supermarkets will change on the 24th July, it is not applicable to the Parliamentary estate, as no onsite services are currently provided to the public.

Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing and regular handwashing which remain the most important actions. As hon. Members and staff can maintain social distancing and have easy access to handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser, it was concluded that face coverings are not necessary at this time. However, there is no bar on those choosing to wear face masks from doing so.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
24th Jan 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether any brands of mobile electronic equipment have restrictions on accessing Parliamentary (a) software systems and (b) wifi.

There are no restrictions in place for any brands of mobile electronic equipment when accessing Parliamentary software systems and wifi.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on introducing memorials across the UK in remembrance of people who have died from covid-19.

While the Government's immediate focus is on protecting the lives and livelihoods of the nation, there is nonetheless the need to mourn those who have died, and to mark and remember this period as one of immense struggle.

The Prime Minister announced on 12 May that the Government will establish a UK Commission on COVID Commemoration to consider the appropriate way to remember those who have lost their lives and to recognise those involved in the unprecedented response. The Government will set out the Commission membership and terms of reference in due course.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what impact assessment was undertaken by his Department of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman decision as of April 2021 to use the severity of Injustice scale on the number of complaints that will be accepted for investigation in comparison to before the scale was used.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is independent of Government and is accountable to Parliament through the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee for its performance. The PHSO will therefore reply separately to these questions by letter.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on its decision as of April 2021 to use a Severity of Injustice scale to decide on which complaints will be accepted for investigation.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is independent of Government and is accountable to Parliament through the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee for its performance. The PHSO will therefore reply separately to these questions by letter.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on the increase in the (a) waiting time for allocation of complaints from 29 days to 74 days and (b) average time from allocation to completion to 152 days.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is independent of Government and is accountable to Parliament through the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee for its performance. The PHSO will therefore reply separately to these questions by letter.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the performance of the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is independent of Government and is accountable to Parliament through the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee for its performance. The PHSO will therefore reply separately to these questions by letter.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average waiting time is for a complaint to be assigned to a Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman caseworker in the most recent period for which that information is available; and what that average waiting time was in March 2020.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is independent of Government and is accountable to Parliament through the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee for its performance. The PHSO will therefore reply separately to these questions by letter.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will list the publications in which the Government's All Together insertions have been included; and if he will place a copy of each one of those insertions in the Library.

I refer the hon. member to the answer given to PQ 45460 on 18 May 2020 and PQs 152485-152495 on 22 February 2021.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the effect of the withdrawal of Public Procurement Note (a) 02/20 and (b) 04/20 on the rate of transmission of covid-19.

From the beginning of the pandemic the Government has taken a number of measures to accelerate payments to suppliers and preserve cash flow. Contracting Authorities can still make their own arrangements for contractual relief if necessary and since October 2020, we have encouraged businesses to consider the raft of financial support available - including the CJRS and loan schemes.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies' document entitled Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 transmission clusters and superspreading events, dated 3 June 2020, what role the covid-19 superspreading event in South Korea in January 2020 played in informing the covid-19 restrictions applied by the Government to gyms.

The Government considers evidence from a range of sources when deciding whether and how to apply restrictions to businesses and when to ease them, including for gyms and other sports and leisure facilities. No one wants to prevent businesses operating, but we have always been guided by the scientific evidence whilst seeking to keep as many businesses open as possible at each stage of our response. Scientific evidence supporting the government response to COVID-19 is regularly published at - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/scientific-evidence-supporting-the-government-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Gyms are currently closed as part of our national effort to control the spread of the virus. The government’s published Roadmap sets out our intention to reopen gyms and other premises when the time is right and will be supported by updated Covid secure guidance before each step of the Roadmap.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
18th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much has been paid in termination payments to employees who left employment in the Prime Minister's Office in each month of 2020.

The Prime Minister’s Office is an integral part of the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts includes information on staff costs and exit packages for permanently employed staff, Special Advisers and Ministers within the Department, including the Prime Minister’s Office.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his Department's policy is on which matters are considered sensitive by the FOI clearing house.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 120771 on 30 November.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many responses to FOI requests submitted to other Government Departments have been subject to approval by his Department prior to release.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 120771 on 30 November.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Government departments and agencies have issued written instructions to their employees to work from home after 22 September 2020.

It is essential that we continue the business of government. In the Cabinet Office, as in all Departments, we have ensured COVID-secure workplaces are in place so that civil servants can do so safely.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to Answer of 16 June to Question 54932, whether all articles published in the All together advertising campaign are compliant with the Government Communication Service Propriety Guidance.

It is vital that we provide public information to citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has negotiated a new and unique partnership with national and local newspapers to use their powerful, familiar voices as part of the All In, All Together campaign.

The partnership involves a combination of traditional advertising and sponsored content. This content is produced by participating newspapers and the Government has no editorial sign-off.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his oral contribution of 28 April 2020, Official Report, column 218, how many face coverings have been produced since 28 April 2020.

Further to the answer given to PQs 48885, 48886, 48887 on 14 May 2020, the Government has published guidance on staying safe outside the home during the COVID-19 pandemic:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-outside-your-home/staying-safe-outside-your-home

The guidance includes information on the use of face coverings. We are asking people to make their own face coverings at home, using scarves or other textile items and we have published guidance to help illustrate the process.

In terms of the wider production of PPE for use for medical purposes, Lord Deighton has been appointed to lead the national effort to boost PPE production, and also support the scaling up of engineering efforts for small companies capable of contributing to supplies.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many face coverings for use by the general population are held by Government.

Further to the answer given to PQs 48885, 48886, 48887 on 14 May 2020, the Government has published guidance on staying safe outside the home during the COVID-19 pandemic:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-outside-your-home/staying-safe-outside-your-home

The guidance includes information on the use of face coverings. We are asking people to make their own face coverings at home, using scarves or other textile items and we have published guidance to help illustrate the process.

In terms of the wider production of PPE for use for medical purposes, Lord Deighton has been appointed to lead the national effort to boost PPE production, and also support the scaling up of engineering efforts for small companies capable of contributing to supplies.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Government contracts have been awarded to Faculty in 2020; and what the value of those contracts is.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000, including the value of those contracts, are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

All Government contracts which involve the processing of personal data, must adhere to the requirements of Procurement Policy Note – Changes to Data Protection Legislation & General Data Protection Regulation Action Note PPN 02/18.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse is of the Government's All together advertising campaign.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 35512 on 21 April 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to cease the daily covid-19 Government press briefings.

The Government remains committed to providing the public with the information they need relating to Coronavirus. We will keep under review how best to provide information but Coronavirus press conferences will continue on weekdays.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many contractors working for his Department have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working; and how many of those staff are subject to those rules.

In total Cabinet Office has 469 contingent labour workers engaged via Public Sector Resourcing (PSR), all of whom have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendation from the Climate Change Committee's 2021 Report to Parliament that Ofgem undertake a programme of research with his Department to identify priority candidate areas for hydrogen for the decarbonisation of heat.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 9th July 2021 to Question 25021.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Green Homes Grant applications were (a) received and (b) approved in each month since January 2021 for (i) England and (ii) Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency.

Official statistics published on 24th June for the Green Homes Grant Voucher scheme describe the status of applications prior to 3rd June. This includes applications received and approved across England and the English Parliamentary Constituency, Ellesmere Port and Neston.

The next statistical release will be published on 22 July.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendation from the Climate Change Committee's 2021 Report to Parliament to set requirements for all new gas boilers to be hydrogen-ready by 2025 at the latest, while ensuring that all new boilers outperform current and expected future air quality standards.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 9th July 2021 to Question 25020.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the combined potential effect of (a) UK Emission Trading Scheme costs and (b) industrial energy oncosts on the competitiveness of UK ammonia production.

To mitigate adverse affects on competitiveness and the risk of carbon leakage from UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) costs, ammonia producers receive a significant number of allowances for free. As part of the Free Allocation Review, we will be looking at possible future changes to the allocation of free allowances within the UK ETS. We published a call for evidence on 17 March 2021 which closed on 23 April 2021, and we will publish a response in due course.

The Government recognises that the UK’s industrial electricity costs are currently higher than those in many other countries. This partly reflects how the costs of the electricity system are distributed across household and industrial customers. Nevertheless, we are committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive and we have therefore put various schemes in place to reduce the policy cost in electricity prices for those energy intensive industries most at risk of facing a significant competitive disadvantage, including production of ammonia.

Furthermore, the Government has schemes worth nearly £2 billion in operation, or in development, supporting energy intensive industries to decarbonise. These schemes include the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to help companies reduce their energy costs and transition to low carbon technologies, the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Fund to support industry with the deployment of low-carbon technologies in industrial clusters, and to improve the resource and energy efficiency of foundation industries.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take in response to the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee's 2021 Progress Report to Parliament, published on 24 June 2021, that his Department should set requirements for new gas boilers to be hydrogen-ready by 2025 while ensuring that new boilers outperform current and expected future air quality standards.

The Government will respond formally to this and the Climate Change Committee’s other recommendations by October 15.

We are supporting the development of prototype ‘hydrogen-ready’ boilers through the Hy4Heat programme.

In advance of strategic decisions on the role of hydrogen for heating, we will assess the case for encouraging, or requiring, new gas boilers to be readily convertible to hydrogen in preparation for any future conversion of the gas network. As set out in the 2020 Energy White Paper, we will consult on the role of ‘hydrogen ready’ appliances later this year.

The Government is exploring the benefits of improving efficiency and raising product standards in heating appliances, including gas boilers. This presents an opportunity to improve energy efficiency in millions of homes, reducing carbon emissions now, while providing householders greater comfort and savings on energy bills. More detail on how we will look to improve the efficiency of energy-using products such as gas boilers will be set out in the Energy-Related Products Policy Framework as announced in the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the scientific evidential basis is for the Government's policy on covid-19 restrictions on weddings.

The roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and its working groups on the pace and sequencing of reopening.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has had with wedding industry representatives on the outcome of the test events in Liverpool; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of implementing the measures used at those test events to permit larger weddings to take place.

Information provided by the Liverpool test events is contributing to the Events Research Programme and helping us draw conclusions on how to bring about the return of larger events, including weddings, after Step 4.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced that, from 21 June, there will no longer be a maximum number cap for attendees. The number of guests will be determined by how many people the venue or space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the restart grant scheme for businesses in the wedding industry.

The £5 billion Restart Grant scheme announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on 3 March 2021 are one-off grants to businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors, to support businesses to reopen as Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed.

Strand One of the Restart Grants aims to support non-essential retail with grants of up to £6,000. Stand Two is to support hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses, with grants of up to £18,000. The higher amount is in recognition that these sectors have been allowed to open at a later date and are likely to be more severely impacted by remaining restrictions.

The Department does not hold sector or subsector level data, however we have released a breakdown of Restart Grant funding allocations and payments by Local Authority area which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of the covid-19 restrictions on the wedding industry; and what discussions his Department has had with wedding industry representatives on the potential implications for that industry of extending the roadmap out of covid-19 lockdown.

BEIS Ministers and officials meet with representatives of the sector-led UK Weddings Taskforce on a regular basis to discuss the challenges faced by the sector and how best to support it through the pandemic.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing sector specific support for those in the wedding and events industry for the remainder of 2021.

Over the course of the pandemic the Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support to businesses, including those in the wedding industry, which we keep under regular review.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 25 May 2021 to Question 2333 on Employment: Coronavirus, how many fixed penalty notices have been issued.

It is an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a person who is required to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating. If an employer is reasonably believed to be in breach of this requirement, they may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice, ranging from £1,000 to £10,000.

Local Authorities provide written and verbal advice to businesses to enable them to comply with their obligations. Enforcement action is taken against employers who do not follow this advice and who do not take reasonable steps to ensure that their workers who must be self-isolating are not working from outside their home.

We will publish information on the number of fixed penalty notices which have been issued in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons mental health services were excluded from personal care businesses for the eligibility criteria of the Re-Start Grant.

The Restart Grant scheme aims to support businesses in their local economies to reopen as coronavirus restrictions are eased across the country. Mental health services are out of scope for this scheme as they were not mandated to close during the January Lockdown due to the services they provide being essential to the public.

However, further funding has been made available via the Additional Restrictions Grant to support those businesses that have had their trade adversely affected by the local and national restrictions.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is a discretionary fund and is also administered by Local Authorities to support businesses in the way they see fit. Local Authorities in England have been allocated £2bn in additional funding to provide support that best suits their area.

Businesses should consult their Local Authority to determine whether they might be eligible for Additional Restrictions Grant support.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many fixed penalty notices have been issued to employers for knowingly allowing a person who is required to self-isolate to work other than where they are self-isolating since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

It is an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a person who is required to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating. If an employer is reasonably believed to be in breach of this requirement, they may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice, ranging from £1,000 to £10,000.

Local Authorities provide written and verbal advice to businesses to enable them to comply with their obligations. Enforcement action is taken against employers who do not follow this advice and who do not take reasonable steps to ensure that their workers who must be self-isolating are not working from outside their home.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason travel agents are eligible for strand 1 Restart Grant Funding rather than strand 2.

Travel agents are eligible for strand 1 of Restart Grants as they are classified as non-essential retail.

Strand 2 of Restart Grants is for hospitality, leisure, accommodation, personal care and gym and sport businesses, most of which will not fully reopen until step 3 of the Roadmap out of lockdown and which are likely to continue to be most significantly affected by social distancing rules, cleaning protocols and other measures in place to tackle Covid-19.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of Mobile Home Park owners on energy resellers as defined by OFGEM, in the context of mis-selling or overcharging of the maximum resale price for energy costs in relation to mobile home parks.

BEIS Ministers and officials regularly meet with consumer representatives to discuss a variety of issues relating to the energy market.

Ofgem’s Maximum Resale Price Provisions state the maximum price at which gas or electricity may be resold must be the same price that the reseller paid per unit of energy and the standing charge. The maximum resale price rule does not apply where an inclusive charge is made for accommodation and there is no separate agreement for the resale of gas and electricity. Under the terms of their written agreement, mobile home residents can request documentary evidence in support and explanation of any charges for gas and electricity payable to the site owner under the agreement. If the site owner does not provide the information, the resident can apply to the First Tier Tribunal for a determination.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 26 March 2021 to Question 167238 on Employment: Coronavirus, if he will publish the (a) number and (b) value of fixed penalty notices that have been issued to employers for knowingly allowing a person who is required to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

My answer of 26th March set out the employer offence of allowing a worker to attend a place of work (other than the place of self-isolation) when they have been advised of the need to self-isolate. It also set out the Government’s overall approach to ensuring compliance and guidance on employment rights and self-isolation.

We will publish information on the number of fixed penalty notices which have been issued in due course. We do not centrally collect data on the value of fixed penalty notices.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many employers have been fined under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 for preventing an employee from adhering to the required self-isolation period.

It is critically important that the following people stay at home and self-isolate immediately: anyone who has tested positive with COVID-19, anyone who has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace or their local authority, and anyone who has returned from abroad and is required to quarantine.

The Government has developed guidance on employment rights and self-isolation so that workers and employers are clear about their rights and obligations. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/if-you-need-to-self-isolate-or-cannot-attend-work-due-to-coronavirus

In addition, anyone who is due to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating (normally their home) must inform their employer that they are required to self-isolate. An individual can receive a Fixed Penalty Notice of £50 for not doing so.

It is an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a person who is required to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating. If an employer is reasonably believed to be in breach of this requirement, they may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice, ranging from £1,000 to £10,000.

Local Authorities provide written and verbal advice to businesses to enable them to comply with their obligations. Enforcement action is taken against employers who do not follow this advice and who do not take reasonable steps to ensure that their workers who must be self-isolating are not working from outside their home.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many early conciliation requests the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has received on (a) the calculation of wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, (b) grievances on covid-secure measures in the workplace and (c) requests to employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable to return to the workplace since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Since the start of the pandemic Acas received 28,925 notifications which include a wages act jurisdiction. Acas has not collected additional data on the precise issues in question.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, of 9 March 2021, Official Report, column 822, if he will publish the ACAS report on the use of fire and rehire practice.

The information gathered by Acas is a valuable source of information for Officials who are now giving this evidence thorough consideration. The Government will communicate its response in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the scope of the Ofcom Review of Future Regulatory Framework in relation to courier companies.

Ofcom launched a call for inputs on 11 March 2021 which outlines the main themes it is considering as part of its review of postal regulation. Ofcom intends to publish a full consultation on the future regulation of postal services later this year before concluding its review in 2022.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2021 to Question 147901 on the Warm Home Discount Scheme, how many Pension Credit Guarantee Credit recipients have received rebates under the Warm Home Discount scheme as of 19 February 2021.

A total of 978,563 Pension Credit Guarantee Credit recipients were identified as eligible through the data matching process between the Department for Work and Pensions and energy suppliers, and a further 50,000 have successfully claimed a rebate through the WHD helpline. This means that a total of over 1,028,000 rebates will have been issued through the Core Group as of 4 March 2021, which is the latest available data.

As energy suppliers are responsible for payment of rebates and are not due to report final numbers until after the end of the scheme year, on 31 March, we can only comment on the number of “Instructions to Pay” that have been issued to energy suppliers rather than the number of rebates paid.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of financial support for social clubs during the period of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The Government has brought forward a substantial package of financial support for the hospitality sector over the last year. On 3 March 2021, my Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer set out in the Budget a £65 billion three-point plan to provide support for jobs and businesses, with extensions to furlough, self-employed support, business grants, loans and VAT cuts – bringing total fiscal support to over £407 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of social clubs on social isolation and loneliness.

The Government recognises that hospitality, including social clubs, plays an important role in supporting our communities and helping to combat loneliness. However, the restrictions put in place to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 are necessary to protect the NHS and to save lives.

The Government has brought forward a substantial package of financial support for the hospitality sector over the last year and, and my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister’s ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ provides a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England.

On 3 March 2021, my Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer set out in the Budget a £65 billion three-point plan to provide support for jobs and businesses, with extensions to furlough, self-employed support, business grants, loans and VAT cuts – bringing total fiscal support to over £407 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of social clubs on the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on such clubs.

I meet regularly with the groups representing the hospitality sector to understand the impact of the pandemic on jobs and businesses.

The Government has brought forward a substantial package of financial support for the sector over the last year and, and my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister’s ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ provides a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. On 3 March 2021, my Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer set out in the Budget a £65 billion three-point plan to provide support for jobs and businesses, with extensions to furlough, self-employed support, business grants, loans and VAT cuts – bringing total fiscal support to over £407 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to appoint a new director of labour market enforcement.

Cracking down on non-compliance in the labour market is a priority for the Government, and a new Director for Labour Market Enforcement will be appointed as soon as possible.

We have launched a recruitment campaign and are progressing the recruitment process. The outcome will be announced in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of covid-19 restrictions on people with hidden disabilities; and whether his Department has made an assessment of how the needs of those people are being met by retailers and other businesses.

The safer workplaces guidance provides some suggestions to help employers make their workplaces COVID-Secure for their employees, visitors, and customers. The Government took into account the needs of people with disabilities when developing the guidance.

The guidance does not replace existing employment, health and safety or equalities legislation. It provides information to employers on how best to meet these responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.

The Government welcomes efforts by retailers who have implemented a range of measures including dedicated hours and access for the elderly, disabled and priority access groups, and prioritising online deliveries for the most vulnerable.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with stakeholders on a plan for re-opening the wedding industry after the third national lockdown.

I recently attended a meeting with the newly formed sector-led Weddings Taskforce where stakeholders presented ideas for the reopening of the wedding sector when the current national lockdown is lifted.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of sector specific support for the wedding industry when the national covid-19 lockdown restrictions announced in January 2021 are eased.

The Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support to businesses, including those in the wedding sector. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, government-backed loans, Local Restrictions Support Grants and additional funding provided to Local Authorities to support businesses. On 5 January, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a one-off top up grant worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses up to the Spring.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of people eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme have had that discount applied to their energy bill.

For the current Warm Home Discount scheme year (2020/21), of the 1.2 million Pension Credit Guarantee Credit recipients, around 1 million will receive the rebate automatically on their energy bills, as a result of data matching between DWP and participating energy suppliers. In most cases these automatic rebates are provided before 31 December. In addition, a further 200,000 low income pensioners, who meet part of the eligibility criteria, will receive a letter from Government encouraging them to claim via a dedicated helpline if they meet the remaining criteria. Of these, over 45,000 have so far claimed a rebate through calling the helpline.

In addition, over 1.1 million vulnerable and low income households will also receive a rebate through the Broader Group. Government sets mandatory Broader Group eligibility criteria, of which the potential eligible pool is estimated to be around 3.1 million households. However, energy suppliers are also able to optionally add additional eligibility criteria, subject to approval from the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. Due to the limited funding available, Broader Group rebates are generally issued by energy suppliers on a first come, first served basis.

Energy suppliers are responsible for the issuing of rebates to eligible customers and they must do so by 31 March 2021. Although most rebates will have generally been issued by the end of January, there will still be rebates issued throughout February and March.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of sector specific support for travel agents as a result of the comments of the Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment advising people not to book overseas summer holidays.

We recognise that these are very challenging conditions for businesses in the travel sector, including travel agents, which is why we have provided a range of measures to support the sector. On top of our wider economic support package, we have provided business rates relief and one-off grants for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses – and we have cut VAT for tourism and hospitality activities from 20% to 5% until the end of March.

Additionally, ABTA and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently announced an extension to their current ABTA and ATOL- backed Refund Credit Note (RCN) regimes, meaning that ATOL-protected holidaymakers can book with confidence following confirmation that the Government will protect refund credit notes offered if packages are cancelled as a result of covid-19.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of security procedures around covid-19 vaccine (a) supply chains, (b) storage and (c) transport.

The Government takes security extremely seriously and is ensuring all necessary steps are taken.

Nadhim Zahawi
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 assessment he has made of the effect of queuing measures that retailers have in place due to covid-19 on fair and equitable access for elderly, disabled and priority groups.

The Government welcomes efforts by retailers who have implemented dedicated hours and access for the elderly, disabled and priority access groups, as well as prioritising online deliveries for the most vulnerable.

The safer workplaces guidance provides some suggestions to help employers make their workplaces COVID-Secure for their employees, visitors, and customers. The Government took into account people with disabilities when developing the guidance. We expect all businesses to take into account the Government’s guidance, discussing with neighbouring businesses and their local authorities where applicable.

The guidance does not replace existing employment, health and safety or equalities legislation. It provides information to employers on how best to meet these responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the requirements to report state aid support to the EU.

EU State aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted from 1 January 2021 in the UK. The only exception is aid within scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, specifically Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol and Article 138 in relation to aid for EU programmes and activities within the Multiannual Financial Framework.

The UK must provide the EU with details of aid granted under either of these two limited circumstances on an annual basis and in line with the relevant transparency obligations for individual awards. The UK will also fulfil its obligations to provide details of aid granted before the end of the transition period.

The UK has committed to transparency obligations within the subsidies chapter of the UK/EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement. These obligations will be met through a new publicly accessible transparency database which will be available in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits click and collect options for non-essential retail in reducing the rate of transmission of covid-19.

The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home unless people have a reasonable excuse, as set out in law.

In order to reduce social contact and help reduce the rate of transmission, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. All shops can continue to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises) and delivery services. This allows the public to have access to goods they need quickly, where they aren’t available from retailers that can remain open.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) directly managed, (b) retail outlets and (c) outreach Post Office Branches have been closed at any point since 2000.

The management of the Post Office network, including the number and type of branches open and closed at any one time, is an operational matter for the Post Office, and therefore the Government does not hold this information.

It is, however, a requirement under Provision 11 of the Postal Services Act 2011 for the Post Office to publish an annual report about the Post Office branch network and customer accessibility. This report is also laid before Parliament.

The Post Office Network Reports are available online and the most recent report as of March 2020 can be found here: http://corporate.postoffice.co.uk/secure-corporate/our-network/post-office-network-reports/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Office of National Statistics on Coronavirus and the impact on output in the UK economy: October 2020 that travel agent output is 89.9 percent less than in February 2020; and what plans he has to introduce specific support for the travel agency and tour operator sector.

The Government recognises the travel sector has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. We are regularly assessing the impact on tourism businesses and are continuing to engage across Government and with stakeholders - such as the Association of British Travel Agents and Association of Independent Tour Operators - to assess how we can most effectively support the recovery of travel and tourism across the UK.

On top of our wider economic support package, we have provided business rates relief and one-off grants for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses. We have also cut VAT for tourism and hospitality activities from 20% to 5% until the end of March, and we have confirmed that the Government will protect refund credit notes if ATOL-protected packages are cancelled as a result of COVID-19.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the National Hair and Beauty Federation's December 2020 State of Industry survey; and what plans the Government has for specific support for that sector.

From 2 December, close contact services have been allowed to open in Tiers 1-3. Unfortunately, due to the very rapid rise of infections in Tier 4 areas, close contact services are closed. The Government has put in place a wide-ranging package of financial support for sectors impacted by Covid-19, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Kickstart Scheme grants.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Department's news story, Advice for people struggling to pay essential bills because of coronavirus, published on 11 September 2020, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of requiring payment holidays to be extended.

Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, Government and regulators have worked with regulated industries to support consumers who are struggling financially. The decision to extend support measures is taken in each sector to meet the varying needs of the consumers in those markets.

For instance, FCA advises that consumers can until the end of March apply for payment deferrals including on mortgages, loans, credit cards, overdrafts, and motor finance. Ofcom recently asked telecoms providers to bring in further support, including proactively engaging with those in debt, and waiving penalty charges.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the evidential basis was for setting capacity at 15 for wedding receptions in covid-19 tier 1 and 2 areas.

Wedding receptions by their nature are particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. This guidance for wedding receptions and celebrations at tiers 1 and 2 has been drafted on the basis of the scientific evidence available. We keep this guidance under review.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many post offices have been closed in England as a result of being assessed as not commercially viable since 2018.

The Government recognises the critical role that post offices play in communities and for small businesses across the UK and remains committed to the long-term sustainability of the network.

Overall post office branch numbers are published yearly by the Post Office in their Network Report and Government, via UK Government Investments, monitors network numbers regularly. The report for 2018/19 can be found at http://corporate.postoffice.co.uk/media/46607/networkreport2019_final_190210.pdf.

Changes to the Post Office network can and do happen, often for reasons beyond the Post Office’s control, for instance a postmaster retirement. When this happens, the Post Office will try to restore services as soon as possible by putting in place temporary arrangements or working hard to find an alternative location.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Green Home Grants have been approved since the scheme opened.

The Green Homes Grant opened to applications on the 30 September 2020. As of 2nd November 2020, 31,279 grant applications have been received. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide a breakdown of the reasons for Green Home Grant application refusals.

We have designed the Green Homes Grant voucher application process to automate checks where possible and minimise the time taken for voucher approval. However, should a customer’s application be rejected, they may receive correspondence advising they have been rejected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Quotes submitted are ineligible;
  • The property is ineligible (for example due to its location);
  • The customer has failed identity or land registry checks;
  • The customer is ineligible for the low-income scheme;
  • The measures selected are ineligible or no primary measure has been selected;
  • An on-site audit has confirmed the customer is ineligible.

In order to raise any questions or concerns about the scheme, customers should contact the scheme administrator via the ‘Contact us’ link on the GOV.UK guidance pages. The first vouchers have now been issued and my officials will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Applications are thoroughly checked for compliance with the scheme rules to help ensure value for money, protect consumers, and detect malpractice.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres on a resilience fund for science centres.

We have been closely liaising with the UK Association for Science Discovery Centres through meetings with Ministers and officials. We recognise that, as with so many other organisations and individuals, that COVID-19 has created challenges for these centres.

Some centres have already and others are planning to reopen in the coming period so they can continue to offer experiences which bring science to life in order to inspire and involve their visitors.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has he made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on science and discovery centres.

The Government recognises the impacts of COVID-19 on science and discovery centres across the UK and Ministers and officials have met the Association of Science and Discovery Centres.

Science and discovery centres in England have access to the unprecedented support the Government has announced for business and workers, to protect them against the current economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Many are also part of museum groups or are heritage sites. Museums and heritage organisations can access over £200 million of coronavirus support schemes from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Science and discovery centres outside England may be eligible for further support from the devolved governments.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the need for sector-specific support for the wedding industry as a result of the new coronavirus measures announced on 22 September 2020.

The Chancellor has laid out the Government’s Winter Recovery Plan. This includes measures to support businesses, such as extending the current government-backed loan schemes and introducing the Pay as You Grow and Job Support Schemes. There are also specific measures to support the self-employed, such as the SEISS Grant Extension.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many contractors working for his Department have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working; and how many of those staff are subject to those rules.

The Department conducts IR35 status determinations on all its self-employed contractor roles. The status determination is based on HMRC’s Check Employment Status for Tax tool, as well as HMRC guidance on finance risk, control, and supervision over the worker and right to substitution. The Department then uses its agencies to recruit based on the job description and IR35 status.

For 2018-19, the Department employed 66 contractors, with 59 outside of scope of IR35.

IR35 statistics relating to self-employment are published in the Department’s annual report and accounts at: beis-annual-report-accounts-2018-2019.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the timetable is for the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Football Index to be published.

The Secretary of State has appointed Malcolm Sheehan QC to lead the independent review into the regulation of BetIndex Limited, the operators of Football index. The review is expected to provide a report for publication in the summer. Its findings will form part of the evidence informing the government’s ongoing Review of the Gambling Act 2005, which was announced in December 2020.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2021 to Question 21254 on broadband: rural areas, what the contracted investment ratios are for each superfast contract across the country.

The public investment percentages for each superfast contract are set out in the attached table. All elements of public funding not provided by BDUK are classed as Local Body funding, who will in turn have agreements in place with their respective funding partners. The public investment ratios can change through the life of a contract through contract changes or as a result of any underspends.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the provision of subtitles on catch up TV platforms.

The government recognises that as part of a digitally inclusive society, television content should be accessible for all UK audiences. The Digital Economy Act 2017 introduced new provisions to the Communications Act 2003 giving the Secretary of State the power to establish new accessibility requirements - including subtitling - for on-demand providers.

Ofcom published further recommendations on 9 July 2021, following a request made by this Government and a public consultation. We will give careful consideration to these and will set out next steps in due course.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the £825 million owed by BT to his Department following rural broadband upgrades has been returned; and how much of that funding has been re-invested to complete rural upgrades.

£825m is BT's current forecast of clawback repayments due over the terms of the respective contracts awarded under the Superfast programme, not a figure that is owed immediately.

Contractually, take-up clawback can be placed in an account held by the supplier for up to the full seven years of the contract's term. An early release of these clawbacks was agreed to be reinvested through the programme of up to £129m for the furtherance of the programme's objectives.

Returned funding beyond this will be apportioned to the public investors in each superfast contract across the country in line with contracted investment ratios and the public investors in turn will need to decide how they wish to utilise this funding.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much has been invested in the delivery of super-fast broadband by constituency for each year since 2015.

DCMS does not hold information on spend on superfast broadband at constituency level. Spend within superfast broadband project areas in England is summarised in the below table:

DCMS Investment in the delivery of Superfast Broadband from financial year 2015/16

Financial year = April to March

Negative amounts represent unused funding returned to DCMS.

County

2015/16 £m

2016/17 £m

2017/18 £m

2018/19 £m

2019/20 £m

2020/21 £m

South Yorkshire

0.85

2.37

1.21

3.21

1.98

-

Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes

0.70

0.08

2.38

1.31

1.13

0.62

Cheshire

1.35

2.29

0.08

-

-

-

Cornwall

-

2.29

0.84

1.40

1.43

-

Cumbria

8.06

4.21

1.60

-

-

-

Derbyshire

6.47

1.58

0.61

-

-

-

Dorset

5.66

-

1.30

0.16

1.84

-

Durham

4.38

1.40

1.28

-

0.33

-

East Riding of Yorkshire

2.17

1.92

2.39

1.60

-

-

East Sussex

5.18

2.00

1.00

-

-

-

Essex

3.01

2.67

2.43

1.20

0.96

0.54

Hampshire

2.22

2.64

4.51

2.05

-

-

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire

9.72

0.06

1.50

0.65

0.73

4.05

Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire

0.22

2.03

2.81

0.30

-

-

Isle of Wight

1.34

(0.93)

(0.01)

-

-

-

Kent

0.62

3.38

1.68

-

-

-

Lancashire

2.10

0.47

2.44

0.93

-

-

West Yorkshire

0.35

1.04

-

-

-

-

Leicestershire

0.42

0.94

3.61

-

-

-

Lincolnshire

5.94

0.68

-

-

-

-

Merseyside

2.70

-

-

-

-

-

Norfolk

2.70

-

3.41

4.40

-

-

North Lincolnshire

0.39

1.10

-

0.40

-

-

Northamptonshire

0.49

3.18

0.13

0.85

0.85

-

Northumberland

4.24

1.58

1.42

-

-

-

Nottinghamshire

3.49

2.63

-

-

0.55

0.17

North Yorkshire

-

-

-

1.14

6.18

-

Oxfordshire

4.12

-

-

-

-

-

Rutland

-

0.18

-

-

-

-

Black Country

2.19

0.71

0.09

-

-

(0.08)

Shropshire

3.01

0.10

2.89

2.03

4.25

0.73

Devon & Somerset

17.97

1.01

-

1.36

1.09

0.42

South Gloucestershire

0.05

0.46

-

0.11

1.58

0.46

Staffordshire

1.43

1.85

0.33

-

-

-

Greater Manchester

0.85

-

-

-

-

-

Suffolk

1.41

-

-

13.85

-

-

Swindon

0.19

0.54

-

0.20

-

-

Telford & Wrekin

0.13

0.28

1.75

-

-

(0.05)

Warwickshire

0.99

2.83

1.12

0.67

1.62

2.27

Berkshire

1.35

0.72

0.57

0.10

0.94

-

West Sussex

2.04

0.92

0.33

-

-

-

West Oxfordshire

-

-

-

-

1.60

-

West Yorkshire

-

1.44

2.08

2.71

0.06

-

Wiltshire

0.05

2.22

0.33

0.07

0.53

0.58

Worcestershire

1.39

2.39

-

0.02

0.87

0.61

Funding for delivery in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was provided through funding transfers to the devolved administration governments. The devolved administrations in turn manage deployment and funding delivery in each of the nations. In the period 2015/16 to 2020/21 the relevant funding transfers were: Scotland £50.99m; Wales £12.11m; Northern Ireland £11.45m.

The total DCMS investment in the Superfast Broadband Programme to date across the UK as whole is £737m from the start of the programme in 2011.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th 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 re-opening grants for the live events sector.

We appreciate the important role that the live events sector plays in the UK’s economy, and that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to this sector.

That is why we announced the unprecedented £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund in July 2020. This includes over £800 million to almost 3800 arts, culture and heritage organisations in England, helping to support at least 75,000 jobs. Additionally, the Chancellor announced in the 2021 Budget an additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund. This extra funding, together with other cultural support such as funding for our national museums, means that our total support package for culture during the pandemic is now approaching £2 billion.

More generally, the Prime Minister has set out the Roadmap to reopening the Economy, and the Budget has set out a ‘Restart Grant’ of up to £18,000 to over 680,000 business premises, giving them the cash certainty they need to plan ahead and safely relaunch trading over the coming months. We are also providing all English local authorities with an additional £425 million of discretionary business grant funding, on top of the £1.6 billion already allocated. Altogether, this support will cost £5 billion. This brings the total cost of cash grants provided by the Government to £25 billion.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing Government-backed covid-19 cancellation Insurance for the live events sector.

The Government is aware of the concerns which have been raised about the challenge of securing indemnity cover for live events. My officials continue to work closely with the affected sectors to understand all barriers to reopening, including potential challenges around indemnity cover.

Understandably, the bar for considering Government intervention is set extremely high, especially in light of recent announcements including the extension to the furlough scheme and local business support. My officials are continuing to collect evidence of all of the barriers live events are facing to reopening, including access to indemnity insurance through the market.

We are keeping the situation under review and working closely with HMT on this issue to determine the appropriate and most effective response for the sector within the public health context.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many properties in Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency are connected to broadband via exchange-only lines.

According to Ofcom’s 2018 Connected Nations report, 3% of UK broadband lines are exchange only lines.

Given the continued deployment of alternative networks, Ofcom estimates that the number of premises that can only receive broadband from such lines is around 1%.

Ofcom does not hold this data at a constituency level.

Matt Western
Shadow Minister (Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the level of disabled access and opportunities in British Gymnastics at (a) youth and (b) adult level.

Sport England’s Active Lives Adult and Children surveys provide information on activity levels across a variety of sports, including gymnastics, and include data on participation by disabled people. The latest reports can be found here.

Government recognises the importance of ensuring disabled access to sports facilities. Our sport strategy, Sporting Future, sets out a clear ambition to increase levels of physical activity, particularly amongst under-represented groups, including disabled people.

This is reinforced in Sport England’s new strategy Uniting the Movement, which sets out their 10 year vision to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity. The strategy seeks to tackle the inequalities seen in sport and physical activity and provide opportunities to people that have traditionally been left behind, including those with a disability, helping to remove barriers to activity.

Government is also currently in the process of recruiting a new cohort of Disability and Access Ambassadors, one of whom will focus on the Sport and Physical Activity sector. The ambassador will help to drive improvements in the accessibility and quality of services and facilities in the sector for disabled people, as consumers and employees.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many properties in the UK are connected to broadband via Exchange Only lines.

According to Ofcom’s 2018 Connected Nations report, 3% of UK broadband lines are exchange only lines. Given the continued deployment of alternative networks, Ofcom estimates that the number of premises that can only receive broadband from such lines is around 1%.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect gym closures and restrictions on sports during the covid-19 outbreak on mental and physical wellbeing.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

On Monday 4 January the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions. These regulations were voted on by the House on 6 January.

You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, in a public outdoor place and you should not travel outside your local area. You should maintain social distancing. Indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including gyms, must close.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the latest scientific evidence supporting the closure of golf courses during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown period.

Sports and physical activity, including golf, are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

The purpose of the restrictions is to reduce the time people spend outside of their homes and the number of interactions they have to an absolute minimum. The severity of the current situation means that we have been required to close all sports facilities. This is a decision that no government would want to take and we will remove the restrictions, as a priority, as soon as the public health situation allows.

The restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions. All decisions made by the Government relating to the pandemic have been based on advice and guidance from health and scientific experts. These regulations were voted on by the House on 6 January.

You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, in a public outdoor place and you should not travel outside your local area. You should maintain social distancing.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the National League Board on (a) the distribution of funds to National League Football clubs to assist with covering lost gate revenue due to the covid-19 outbreak and (b) publishing the findings of the Independent Review Panel on club funding.

The government brokered a promotional deal between the National League and Camelot in September 2020. This led to an invaluable injection of £10m support to help clubs in completing their 2020/21 season. Whilst the distribution of this funding is a matter for the National League, the government was clear in supporting the deal that it expected the proceeds to be allocated sensibly to support clubs for as long as possible. The Secretary of State has had no conversations with the National League Board on either the actual distribution of funds or the findings of the Independent Review Panel.

Separately, in November 2020 the government announced a £300m Sports Winter Survival Package. This funding aims to support major spectator sports severely impacted by covid restrictions to help them survive through the winter period. The needs of the lower tiers of the National League are being considered in relation to this support package by Sport England, who are administering the fund. Final funding decisions are being taken by an independent board.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how his Department plans to assess the effectiveness of spectators returning to football stadiums in Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas; and when a review of spectator numbers will take place.

The Government remains committed to working towards achieving football stadiums’ maximum socially distanced capacity as soon as it is safe to do so.

From Wednesday 2 December, it has been possible for fans to be readmitted to sports grounds where local COVID alert levels allow. The Government continues to be in close contact with the Sports Technology Innovation Group, formed of sporting bodies and health experts, and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to assess the latest thinking and high-tech solutions that could enable further spectators to return.

We will continue to work with both bodies, alongside the football authorities, to determine the next steps in viably increasing spectator capacities without compromising public safety.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment has been made of the risks of covid-19 transmission during group exercise classes where covid-secure measures are in place.

As the Prime Minister said on 23 November, the national restrictions ended on Wednesday 2 December, and gyms and sport facilities will reopen across all tiers. The decision to allocate tiers is based on a range of factors and will be reviewed every 14 days.

The Prime Minister further updated the public on the Government’s COVID response on Saturday and announced tier 4 in which indoor gyms and sports facilities will need to close. In Tiers 3 and 4 we have taken further measures to limit social interactions and therefore opportunities for the virus to spread. Unfortunately in these areas group activity and exercise classes indoors are also advised against.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the risks of covid-19 transmission during tennis doubles matches between mixed households.

As the Prime Minister said on 23 November national restrictions ended on Wednesday 2 December, and gyms and sport facilities can reopen across all tiers. This means that certain leisure and sporting facilities including tennis courts and facilities are able to open subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier.

In tier 4, outdoor sports courts can remain open for individual exercise, and for people to use with others within their household, support bubble, or with one person from another household. Organised outdoor sport for under 18s and disabled people will be allowed.

As set out in the COVID Winter Plan the decision to allocate tiers is based on a range of factors and will be reviewed every 14 days. In Tier 3 and 4 areas we have taken further measures to limit social interactions and therefore opportunities for the virus to spread.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the role that bingo halls play in combating social isolation and loneliness.

A report by GambleAware in 2016 found that 94% of bingo players played because it was fun, and 85% to socialise, while 58% found it provided intellectual stimulation. As well as an opportunity to socialise, players reported it was a chance to be around other people (69%) and somewhere patrons could feel safe even when they are on their own (76%).

This government is committed to tackling loneliness, having provided around £25 million of funding as part of the £750 million charity funding package to organisations which deliver activities that tackle social isolation and loneliness. We have inspired organisations to take action, establishing the Tackling Loneliness Network in June 2020 and encouraged people to reach out to others through our campaign 'Let's Talk Loneliness’.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of encouraging broadcasters to broadcast remaining Premier League fixtures played this season as free to air broadcasts.

The Government recognises the importance to the country and to the wider football economy of the return of Premier League football matches, played behind closed doors, when it is safe to do so. The Government believes it could be helpful in discouraging people from leaving home to watch matches during the coronavirus emergency if some games and more highlights were available free to air. The Government is in talks with the English Premier League and broadcasters about a safe return to playing out the season, including the potential for free-to-air matches, and will provide an update in due course.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he is taking steps to investigate the Saudi Government’s purchase of Newcastle United Football Club.

The sale is a matter for the parties concerned, and for the Premier League to assess under its Owners’ and Directors’ Test. As such no steps are being taken.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many contractors working for his Department have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working; and how many of those staff are subject to those rules.

DCMS assess employment statuses for tax purposes according to the 2017 IR35 amendment. We are currently engaged with 37 contractors, of which 14 are currently in scope of the IR35 tax legislation.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions the Minister for Digital and Broadband has had with the transparency working group.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings and discussions with stakeholders including those at the multi-stakeholder Transparency Working Group. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website.

The Transparency Working Group includes representatives from a wide range of organisations with an interest in transparency reporting in relation to online harms. The first meeting of the Transparency Working Group was chaired by the Minister for Digital and Broadband. Following the recent change in ministerial portfolios, the group will now be chaired by the Minister for Digital and Culture.


This group will feed into the government’s transparency report, which was announced in the Online Harms White Paper and which we intend to publish in the coming months.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 14 January 2020 to Question 489, when the Information Commission will provide its final update on the use of personal data in political campaigns to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has indicated it will provide the Committee with its final update at the Information Commissioner’s next appearance at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. A date for this has not been confirmed yet.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to prevent the concealed microtargeting of people's data.

The Data Protection Act 2018 introduced tighter regulation of the way that personal data is collected, stored and processed and includes safeguards such as the right to be forgotten.

Our future work on online targeting will be informed by independent expert advice, including the review of Online Targeting published by the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation on 4 February 2020. The report includes a set of formal recommendations to the government, which we will respond to within six months.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Feb 2020
What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the governance of premier league football clubs.

Football clubs are the heart of local communities, they have unique social value and many with a great history. It is vital they are protected and fans should have their voices heard.

The governance of football is first and foremost a matter for the relevant authorities, in this case the Premier League and the Football Association. These bodies have a duty to govern the sport and provide assurances to fans, players and indeed employees, that proper protections are in place.

However, we have committed to a fan led review of football governance, which will include consideration of the Owners’ and Directors’ test, to ensure we protect the game for fans.

We will liaise closely with fan representatives and the football authorities as we decide the scope and structure of this work.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's policy is on how school complaints relating to racism are (a) identified and (b) recorded.

Previous departmental guidance on Recording and Reporting Racist Incidents, published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, encouraged state-funded schools to record, monitor, and report all racist incidents to their responsible body, informing local authorities at least annually of the pattern and frequency of any incidents. This changed with the introduction of the Equality Act 2010. Under section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010 (the Public Sector Equality Duty), state-funded schools must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act; advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Under regulation 4 of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017, state-funded schools must publish information annually to demonstrate their compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty. Identifying and reporting incidents of prejudice-related behaviour can help responsible bodies to identify any actions required to eliminate discrimination, evaluate whether actions taken are effective and demonstrate compliance with the Equality Act 2010.

Academies also have their own procedures by which they record complaints. The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010, Part 7, section 25, paragraph j – ‘provides for a written record to be kept of all complaints’.

Complaints about racism in a school should first be made to the school itself. The Department may then be asked to consider them and does so on an individual basis, depending on the nature of the complaint and whether it falls within the scope of the Secretary of State’s powers of intervention. These are set out under sections 496/7 of the Education Act 1996 for maintained schools and the funding agreements in place for academy and free schools.

The Department does not use a separate category to identify school complaints relating to racism. Depending on the level of detail provided by the complainant, some complaint handling teams may record that the nature of the complaint is linked to racism under a broader subject heading of behaviour (for incidents involving pupils), governance (if a school’s policy or governance is deficient under the Equality Act 2010) or staff conduct (if an employee is accused of inappropriate conduct).

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many complaints relating to schools have been lodged from July 2020 to April 2021.

Between 1 July 2020 and 30 April 2021, the Department received approximately 3,039 written complaints about schools. This total is made up of 1,714 complaints related to local authority maintained schools, 1,093 related to academies and free schools, and 232 related to independent schools.

The Department’s National Helpline received 2,882 calls relating to complaints about schools between 25 August 2020, when the Department introduced new call handling software, and 30 April 2021. We no longer hold the data that predates 25 August 2020. There were 2,215 related to local authority maintained schools, 566 about academy and free schools, and 101 related to independent schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the Government plans to publish guidance to universities on the return of the remaining students who do not satisfy the eligibility criteria for face-to-face teaching during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 13 April, the government announced that remaining students should return to in-person teaching alongside Step 3 of the roadmap, which is not earlier than 17 May.

Students and providers will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap. We have also updated our guidance on the return of students during the spring and summer terms: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many complaints relating to allegations of racism were made to his Department in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

We are clear there is no place for racism in our society or education system. The Department does not keep a central record of all complaints made to us directly. However, from July 2020, the Department’s School Complaints Unit began recording whether ‘racial discrimination towards a pupil’ has been cited as a factor in complaints made to, or about, local authority maintained school.

Subsequently, racial discrimination towards a pupil was cited as a factor in eight complaints about local authority maintained schools. At the time of their approach, none of the complainants had attempted to resolve their concerns locally, using the schools’ own complaints procedure, so were advised to do so.

Whilst complaints about a school can be made to the Department, in most cases complainants should follow the local complaints procedure in the first instance. All schools are required to have a complaints procedure in place and we have published guidance on this for maintained schools, academies and independent schools:

Maintained schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-complaints-procedures/best-practice-advice-for-school-complaints-procedures-2019.

Academies: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/setting-up-an-academies-complaints-procedure.

Independent schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulating-independent-schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with headteachers on ensuring a sufficient supply of face coverings during the covid-19 outbreak from 8 March 2021.

The Department continues to work closely with other Government Departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), as well as stakeholders across the sector. We continue to work to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, 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.

We recently published updated guidance for schools to support the return to full attendance from 8 March. This guidance includes updated advice on face coverings and how to access them. Due to the increasing use of face coverings in wider society, staff and pupils are already likely to have access to face coverings. In our guidance, we recommend that all schools should have a small contingency stock of face coverings available, in case an individual has forgotten or damaged their own. The guidance can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools-coronavirus-covid-19-operational-guidance.

Within our guidance, we signpost to the wider DHSC guidance on face coverings. This guidance outlines what a face covering is, the reasons for using a face covering, when to wear a face covering and exemptions. In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. This includes reusable or single-use face coverings, a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth coverings. The face covering must securely fit around the side of the face. Face coverings are not classified as personal protective equipment, they are instead largely intended to protect other people (rather than the person wearing the face covering) against the spread of COVID-19 infection. The DHSC guidance can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own.

PHE has also published guidance on how to make a simple face covering. This guidance can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering.

To support the return to full attendance and to ensure maximum compliance with the system of controls, DHSC are currently in the process of distributing a delivery of between 5,000 and 7,500 units of free face coverings to all secondary schools and further education institutions for use as contingency stock.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the Government plans to respond to its Call for evidence on the financial arrangements for children and young people with special educational needs and disability and those who need alternative provision, which closed on 31 July 2019.

Following the 2019 call for evidence on the funding of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and those requiring alternative provision, we have been clear that there are a number of aspects of the current funding arrangements that would merit further consideration; for example, the expectation that mainstream schools meet costs up to £6,000 of supporting a pupil with SEND from their core budget, the level of the £10,000 per place funding for special schools and the funding arrangements for young people with SEND in further education.

The evidence collected has been taken into account by the department and will be addressed both as part of the SEND review and in further consultations. In addition, we are currently consulting on a number of small technical changes to the high needs national funding formula for the financial year 2022-23, and the consultation can be accessed at this link: https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/high-needs-nff-proposed-changes/.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the benefits to pupils with hearing impairments of clear face coverings being used in educational settings during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department’s guidance on face coverings can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education.

As the guidance outlines, during national lockdown, in schools and colleges where Year 7 and above are taught, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors), pupils and students when moving around indoors, outside of classrooms and other teaching situations, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Based on current evidence and the measures that schools and colleges are already putting in place, such as the system of controls and consistent bubbles, face coverings will not generally be necessary in the classroom.

Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This includes people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate. The same legal exemptions that apply to the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport also apply in schools and colleges.

Face coverings can make it more difficult to communicate with pupils and students with additional needs or those who many rely on lip reading or facial expressions for understanding. We expect staff to be sensitive to these needs when teaching and interacting with pupils and students.

We continue to provide information to the sector on our guidance, and any changes to it, through regular departmental communications. We also continue to work with the sector to understand the impact of the system of controls on staff, pupils and parents.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the role of outdoor education centres in a child’s development.

Schools are advised against all educational visits at this time: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak. This advice will be reviewed before the end of February 2021 and the findings of this review will help scope the re-opening of the industry.

Officials continue to work across government, with industry bodies and sector representatives to address the issues arising from the COVID-19 outbreak and will help them plan for the safe reintroduction of educational visits, including residential educational visits, when it is safe to do so.

The Department will be convening a task force to look at the effects that COVID-19 has had on the mental well-being of children, young people, and staff in the education system. We will confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with outdoor education centres on a roadmap to re-opening their industry.

Schools are advised against all educational visits at this time: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak. This advice will be reviewed before the end of February 2021 and the findings of this review will help scope the re-opening of the industry.

Officials continue to work across government, with industry bodies and sector representatives to address the issues arising from the COVID-19 outbreak and will help them plan for the safe reintroduction of educational visits, including residential educational visits, when it is safe to do so.

The Department will be convening a task force to look at the effects that COVID-19 has had on the mental well-being of children, young people, and staff in the education system. We will confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with (a) schools, (b) colleges and (c) universities on the effect of face coverings on deaf pupils.

The Department’s guidance on face coverings can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education.

As the guidance outlines, during national lockdown, in schools and colleges where Year 7 and above are taught, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors), pupils and students when moving around indoors, outside of classrooms and other teaching situations, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Based on current evidence and the measures that schools and colleges are already putting in place, such as the system of controls and consistent bubbles, face coverings will not generally be necessary in the classroom.

Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This includes people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate. The same legal exemptions that apply to the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport also apply in schools and colleges.

Face coverings can make it more difficult to communicate with pupils and students with additional needs or those who many rely on lip reading or facial expressions for understanding. We expect staff to be sensitive to these needs when teaching and interacting with pupils and students.

We continue to provide information to the sector on our guidance, and any changes to it, through regular departmental communications. We also continue to work with the sector to understand the impact of the system of controls on staff, pupils and parents.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the business case supporting the decision to move the Social Mobility Commission to the Cabinet Office.

Decisions on Machinery of Government changes are made by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister. Ministers in relevant departments were consulted before the decision was made. This move aligns with a recent recommendation by the Chair of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities and a recommendation by the Education Select Committee in 2018.

Moving the sponsorship of the Social Mobility Commission to become a key part of the new Equality Hub makes good sense and puts equality and fairness of all kinds at the heart of government. The move shows how serious this government is about actually acting on these issues, as part of our levelling up agenda.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what consultations were undertaken prior to the decision to move the Social Mobility Commission to the Cabinet Office.

This move aligns with a recent recommendation by the Chair of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, the Social Mobility Commission's (SMC) own recommendation about where it would best fit within government, and with a recommendation by the Education Select Committee in 2018.

Moving the sponsorship of the SMC to become a key part of the new Equality Hub makes good sense and puts equality and fairness of all kinds at the heart of government. The move shows how serious this government is about acting on these issues, as part of our levelling up agenda.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his timescale is for announcing plans for the re-opening of the outdoor educational residential centre sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Following the National Lockdown announced on 4 January 2021 by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, further guidance has been published for schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak. Schools are advised against all educational visits at this time. This advice will be reviewed before the end of February 2021.

Officials will continue to work with industry bodies and sector representatives to address the issues arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, and will help them plan for the safe reintroduction of educational visits, including residential educational visits, when it is safe to do so.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods across the UK, support businesses, and public services. The Government has spent over £280 billion to do so.

This includes small business grants, the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the deferral of VAT and income tax payments, and more. The measures introduced have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

Further measures have been announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer that build on the significant support already available, as well as set out how current support will evolve and adapt. These include the extension of the CJRS until the end of April 2021, the extension of the deadline for applications for the Bounce Back Loan scheme and other loan schemes until 31 March 2021, and increased support for the self-employed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants.

Furthermore, businesses in England that are forced to close due to national or local restrictions will be able to claim up to £3,000 per month. Local authorities in England will also receive one-off funding of £1.1 billion to support businesses more broadly over the coming months as a key part of local economies.

Further support for businesses was announced on 5 January 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/46-billion-in-new-lockdown-grants-to-support-businesses-and-protect-jobs.

The Government will continue to work closely with local authorities, businesses, business representative organisations, and the financial services sector to monitor the implementation of current support and understand whether there is additional need. Businesses can also access tailored advice through the Business Support Helpline (FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098), via the Business Support website at: www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline or through their local Growth Hubs in England.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of sector specific support for outdoor educational residential centres in response to the effect of ongoing covid-19 restrictions on those centres.

Following the National Lockdown announced on 4 January 2021 by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, further guidance has been published for schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak. Schools are advised against all educational visits at this time. This advice will be reviewed before the end of February 2021.

Officials will continue to work with industry bodies and sector representatives to address the issues arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, and will help them plan for the safe reintroduction of educational visits, including residential educational visits, when it is safe to do so.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods across the UK, support businesses, and public services. The Government has spent over £280 billion to do so.

This includes small business grants, the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the deferral of VAT and income tax payments, and more. The measures introduced have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

Further measures have been announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer that build on the significant support already available, as well as set out how current support will evolve and adapt. These include the extension of the CJRS until the end of April 2021, the extension of the deadline for applications for the Bounce Back Loan scheme and other loan schemes until 31 March 2021, and increased support for the self-employed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants.

Furthermore, businesses in England that are forced to close due to national or local restrictions will be able to claim up to £3,000 per month. Local authorities in England will also receive one-off funding of £1.1 billion to support businesses more broadly over the coming months as a key part of local economies.

Further support for businesses was announced on 5 January 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/46-billion-in-new-lockdown-grants-to-support-businesses-and-protect-jobs.

The Government will continue to work closely with local authorities, businesses, business representative organisations, and the financial services sector to monitor the implementation of current support and understand whether there is additional need. Businesses can also access tailored advice through the Business Support Helpline (FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098), via the Business Support website at: www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline or through their local Growth Hubs in England.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many A-Level Centre Assessed Grade appeals have been successful; and what the reasons given were for the decisions on those appeals.

These are matters for the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and I have asked its interim Chief Regulator, Simon Lebus, to write directly to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many A-Level Centre Assessed Grades have been overturned on the basis of malpractice or maladministration.

These are matters for the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and I have asked its interim Chief Regulator, Simon Lebus, to write directly to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to Answer of 21 October to Question 104751 on the regional breakdown for pupils in attendance on 15 October in responding schools, if he will provide updated data for an equivalent day in November on school attendance by local authority.

The Department collects data on both the open status of schools and the number of schools that have indicated they have sent pupils home due to COVID-19 containment on a daily basis. This data is published from this collection at a national level as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Data is published from 9 September 2020, but prior to 12 October 2020, information on pupils isolating was not collected. The Department intends to publish regional and local authority level data on 15 December 2020. This data will be included as part of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’. The frequency of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’ will be reviewed in the new year.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils in England have had to self-isolate since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

It is estimated that up to 361,000 pupils in state-funded schools, excluding schools on half term, did not attend school for COVID-19 related reasons as on Thursday 5 November 2020. Of these, it is estimated that up to 301,000 pupils are self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of COVID-19. It is not possible to estimate the total number of pupils who have had to self-isolate since the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year.

?It is a priority for the Department to keep a close track of the situation in schools in relation to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Department is currently collecting data from schools on a daily basis, as well as gathering information from local areas and following up with individual settings. This includes confirming that procedures for requiring pupils to isolate are well understood and that necessary decisions are being made based on public health advice.

Data is collected on the number of schools that have indicated they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment measures and the Department has attendance data for schools that have done so. We are currently looking at the quality of that data with a view to publishing as part of the official statistics series. The series already includes published data on school openings, attendance, and absences, which can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, when he plans to respond to the letter of 18 June 2020 from Action against Medical Accidents and other signatories on the strategic response to covid-19.

My Office has no record of receiving this letter. I have asked my Office to contact the organisation to see if they can re-send the correspondence.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the funding arrangements for post-October half-term school transport will be published.

The Government is committed to ensuring all pupils can travel to school and college safely and on time. We have provided local transport authorities with more than £40 million of funding to increase dedicated home to school and college transport capacity in the first half of the autumn term.

The Department will inform local transport authorities of their funding allocations for the second half of the autumn term shortly.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to correspondence from the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston of (a) 9 July and (b) 14 August 2020 on outdoor education residential centres.

I can confirm that a response has been sent to the letters dated 9 July and 14 August, from the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has to make an assessment of the potential timescale for allowing outdoor education residential centres to open for overnight residential visits during the covid-19 outbreak.

The guidance for full school opening enables schools to resume educational day visits but continues to advise against UK overnight educational residential visits. This guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The Department’s educational visits advice is in line with guidance from Public Health England, the Cabinet Office, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and will be reviewed again in November 2020.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance the Government has provided to (a) local authorities and (b) church leaders on provision of summer holiday camps through churches that provide food and activities for (i) vulnerable and (ii) other local children.

The department has published guidance for providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children over the age of 5. It sets out the safety measures that must be in place to ensure they can operate over the summer holiday. The guidance is available at:
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.

This follows confirmation from my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, that from Saturday 4 July, these providers can operate over the summer holiday, with safety measures in place.

When state schools in a local area have closed for the summer term, children of all ages may attend out-of-school settings in that area, including vulnerable children.

On 22 June, the department also announced the 17 local authority areas that our holiday activities and food programme will operate in this summer, providing thousands of disadvantaged children with access to healthy meals and holiday activities.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons academy-related discrimination cases are outside the remit of the Education and Skills Funding Agency; and what options people have in an academy setting to pursue a discrimination case.

The law covering discrimination is the Equality Act 2010. This applies to all maintained and independent schools, including academies, and maintained and non-maintained special schools in England.

The Act makes it unlawful for the responsible body of a school to discriminate against, harass or victimise a pupil or potential pupil:

  • in relation to admissions;
  • in the way it provides education for pupils;
  • in the way it provides pupils access to any benefit, facility or service; or
  • by excluding a pupil or subjecting them to any other detriment.

If an individual feels that discrimination has taken place, in the first instance these cases could be resolved informally with the school. Should this fail to satisfactorily resolve the issue, then an official complaint can be made to the academy.

If the complainant feels that the trust has not followed its complaints procedure, they can escalate this to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The ESFA will assess the trust’s compliance with their complaints policy but cannot overturn the decision itself or suggest remedy.

Formal proceedings in relation to a contravention of the education provisions of the Act will be brought in a county court. If the court rules that there has been a contravention, then it has the power to award an appropriate remedy, including any award of damages.

Specialist tribunals which have experience and knowledge of disability issues will hear cases of contravention of the education provisions on grounds of disability. In England this will be the First-tier Tribunal. If the Tribunal rules that there has been a contravention, then it has the power to make an order of a remedy, which it sees as appropriate.

The Department has set out advice on the Equality Act on GOV.UK, which is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many contractors working for his Department have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working; and how many of those staff are subject to those rules.

Following the announcement in the House of Commons on the evening of 17 March regarding the delay to the IR35 reforms until 6 April 2021, the Department has paused the work to reassess workers’ employment status to the new IR35 rules.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his timetable is for announcing a final decision on Natural England’s proposals for the English coastal path from Birkenhead to the Welsh border.

The Birkenhead to Welsh Border stretch of the England Coast Path has been split into three lengths. Length 1 (Seacombe Ferry Terminal, Birkenhead to Red Rocks Slipway, Hoylake) and length 3 (‘The Boat House’ Public House, Parkgate to the Welsh border) were approved by the Secretary of State on the 7th July and establishment works can now begin.

Length 2 (Red Rocks Slipway, Hoylake to ‘The Boat House’ Public House, Parkgate) has not yet been determined as a Planning Inspectorate investigation into objections received on the length is ongoing. On completion of this by the Appointed Person, a report will be submitted to the department for consideration in the Secretary of State’s determination decision.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on the timeframe for the continuation of discounts to UK REACH applicable fees for small and medium-sized enterprises.

On 1 January 2021, legislation to bring REACH into UK law came into force. The regulation on REACH fees and charges was retained, along with the fee reductions for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Under UK REACH SMEs will continue to receive these discounts for all applicable fees, which will reduce fees by up to 90% in some cases.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of issuing financial penalties against companies who have to recall food items due to not disclosing allergens.

The Food Information Regulations 2014 already provide for criminal sanctions including fines in respect of non-disclosure or incorrect information around the presence of allergens in food. While some cases of undisclosed allergenic ingredients will be detected by enforcement officials, it is often the company themselves who detect and notify authorities of an issue while simultaneously withdrawing the affected food from the market. Imposing a penalty on the basis of the product withdrawal and recalls rather than the dangerous non-disclosure of allergenic ingredients would potentially hamper the current high levels of transparency on this issue. This in turn could lead to an increased risk to consumers and their safety should the threat of penalties deter notification of non-compliances to authorities and subsequent communication of the risk to consumers.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Government's written commitments to the Real Bread Campaign to review the Bread and Flour Regulations in November 2018, what progress the Government has made to ensure that there will be a public consultation on that matter; and if he will publish the timetable for the commencement of that consultation.

Defra committed to reviewing the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998, as they apply in England, following the end of the transition period. The planned review is being scoped now but it will focus on ensuring alignment with retained laws in other overlapping areas, as well as considering requests from industry for additional measures and exemptions. The review will also need to consider any DHSC decisions around folic acid. As part of the review, we will hold a public consultation on policy options. We very much welcome views from key stakeholders such as the Real Bread Campaign to feed into this. Many of the issues raised by stakeholders to date are technically complex and we expect this review will need sufficient time to consider responses and agree the best way forward.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the cost for Plant Health Agency inspections.

It is important that plant health services are properly financed in order to provide assurance for the high standard of UK exports of plants and produce and to protect our nation’s biosecurity. In line with HM Treasury rules, Defra recovers the cost of plant health services delivered by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) from the businesses who use them. Defra regularly reviews its fees to ensure they are reflective of the cost of delivery and that they do not over-recover.

Cost data is collected on an ongoing basis and fee changes are based on the actual costs recorded over at least 12 months. Defra completed the most recent annual review of fees in December 2020. The review showed that the cost base had remained stable across plant health services. In 2019/20 the cost base for delivery of plant health services was £5.796m, an increase of only 0.5% on the 2018/19 cost base of £5.768m. Given this stability, Defra decided not to amend the existing fees until October 2022, to give businesses certainty over costs for 18 months.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2021 to Question 137152, how much of that £100 million Zoo Animals Fund has been allocated.

Under the zoo support schemes we have so far awarded over £6 million and we are currently processing applications of a further £6 million. This money has provided for animal care costs and essential maintenance costs for those zoos experiencing severe financial difficulties due to Covid-19. Only one application to the Zoo Animals Fund has been rejected on the basis that the business in question was ineligible as it did not have the necessary licence or exemption. We have extended the application deadline for the Zoo Animals Fund from 29 January 2021 to 26 February 2021 to allow more zoos to access funding.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement on UK growers wishing to sell plants to the Republic of Ireland.

The UK and EU have similar plant health measures and moving forward we are committed to maintaining high biosecurity, food safety and plant health standards. The EU and UK being geographically close, and close as trading partners, have a number of common pathogens that pose a risk. Building on the existing practice established to maintain the Single Epidemiological Unit on the island of Ireland, both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will align with EU Sanitary and Phytosanitary rules. Sending regulated plants and plant products from GB to the Republic of Ireland will require a phytosanitary certificate to accompany the goods prior to them departing GB, with sufficient time to allow for inspections and any testing which may be required.

GB plant health authorities have undertaken significant recruitment to increase the number of plant health inspectors in order to service the demand for export checks and certification. We have sufficient resources to meet demand from 1 January 2021 and ensure minimal disruption to trade.

The UK has a long history of compliance and we have a similar health status and biosecurity aims. We will seek to reduce checks safely through the regular dialogue both sides have committed to in the agreement.

Defra has put in place a framework to agree to trade facilitations going forward, including potential reductions in the frequency of import checks, where justified. It’s in both Parties interests to pursue this. Defra will also continue to engage with the European Commission to ensure we develop helpful practical arrangements for businesses trading with both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 9 November 2020 to Question 110165, what recent discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues, (b) representatives from the food supply sector and (c) the devolved Administrations on when the plan for food supply after the transition period will be published.

Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU in 2019, alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of transition period planning on food supply.

The Government contingency planning documents such as the plan for food supply are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect engagement with industry and across government including the Devolved Administrations. Given their sensitive nature these plans are not published as they provide the basis of discussions between Ministers and officials on the development of security and resilience policy.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department plans to publish details of the charge for inspections in respect of EU imported plants after the transition period.

Inspection fees for imports of regulated plants and plant products from the EU will not apply until 1 April 2021 in England and Wales. This will give businesses time to adjust to the new fee arrangements and factor it into financial planning for next year. A full list of regulated plants and plant products can be found on GOV.UK.

The fees for import checks on such goods from the EU will be proportionate to the frequency of checks applicable to each commodity. These fees have been published on the Plant Health Portal and have been communicated to stakeholders directly.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the number of inspectors required to inspect EU imported plants after the end of the transition period; and how many inspectors are employed and fully-trained to carry out such inspections as at 14 December 2020.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has undertaken significant recruitment to increase the number of plant health inspectors in order to service the demand for import and export checks and certification in England and Wales, where the majority of inspectors will be required. We will have sufficient resources to meet demand from 1 January 2021 when checks of high-priority plants from the EU begin, and July 2021 when we will have arrived at our end-state regime, to ensure minimal disruption to trade.

As of 14 December, APHA has more than 300 fully trained Plant Health inspectors undertaking a wide range of roles across England and Wales, with a further c150 staff completing their training and further new recruits to be onboarded before the end of December. Some of the additional staff recruited and trained will be dedicated to plant imports, with flexibility to expand the number from within the overall resource pool, based on demand.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that food standards are maintained after the transition period.

The Government has a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will transfer all existing provisions onto the UK statute book. This includes EU Council Directive 96/22/EC which bans the import and production of meat using growth promoting hormone or beta agonist treatments, existing food safety provisions ensuring no products, other than potable water are approved to decontaminate poultry carcasses, all EU maximum residue levels (MRLs) for plant protection products (as they are at the point of exit) and the standards for how they are set, as well as all EU import standards relating to food safety and animal welfare.

At the end of the transition period, we will also repatriate the functions of audit and inspection currently carried out by the European Commission to ensure that trading partners continue to meet our import conditions. We will also be verifying that requirements are carried out as stipulated through checks at the border. This will provide a robust system to maintain our high standards.

The independent advice of our food regulators, the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, and rigorous processes will continue to ensure that all food imports into the UK are safe and meet the relevant UK product rules and regulations.

The Agriculture Act 2020 contains a duty for Ministers to report to Parliament on whether, or to what extent, commitments in new Free Trade Agreements, relating to agricultural goods, are consistent with maintaining UK levels of statutory protection in relation to environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

In July the Government established the Trade and Agriculture Commission, an independent advisory board set up to advise and inform the Government’s trade policies on environmental and animal welfare standards in food production. The Government has now extended the Trade and Agriculture Commission, and committed to place it on a full statutory footing via the Trade Bill, with a provision to review it every three years.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the commercial food industry on ensuring an adequate supply of food after the transition period.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU in 2019, alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of Transition Period planning on food supply. We are working alongside industry and across Government, including with the Devolved Administrations, to plan for the end of this year.

The Government has well established ways of working with the food industry who are experienced in dealing with situations that can cause disruptions to supply.

Our overall assessment of risk within a reasonable worst case scenario of food supply at the end of transition is that there will not be an overall shortage of food in the UK, and consumers will continue to have access to a wide range of food products.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the security of food supply in the event of the UK and EU not agreeing a deal on the future relationship before the end of the transition period.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU in 2019, alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of Transition Period planning on food supply. We are working alongside industry and across Government, including with the Devolved Administrations, to plan for the end of this year.

The Government has well established ways of working with the food industry who are experienced in dealing with situations that can cause disruptions to supply.

Our overall assessment of risk within a reasonable worst case scenario of food supply at the end of transition is that there will not be an overall shortage of food in the UK, and consumers will continue to have access to a wide range of food products.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of all zoos and aquariums are under (a) tier 2 and (b) tier 3 local covid alert level restrictions.

Given the recent announcement by the Prime Minister, all zoos and aquariums have now been asked to close in line with the latest lockdown measures. We recognise this has been a challenging time for the sector and encourage those who are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animals to apply for the Zoo Animals Fund. Zoos are also able to apply for the full range of Covid-19 financial support that the Government has made available. We remain committed to ensuring the sector can deliver the best possible care for its animals and are in regular contact with zoos and their representatives to monitor their situation.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many applications have (a) been made and (b) accepted under the Zoo Animals Fund since its introduction.

Four applications have been received since the Zoo Animals Fund was launched on 3 August, all of which are still under review. We continue to encourage all eligible zoos to apply for the fund.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many contractors working for his Department have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working; and how many of those staff are subject to those rules.

In Defra, we can confirm that we assess the employment status for tax purposes of every contractor according to the 2017 IR35 amendment. We are currently engaged with 634 contractors, of which 92 are currently in scope of the IR35 tax legislation.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many contractors working for her Department have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working; and how many of those staff are subject to those rules.

The Department for International Development does not hold this data, and the cost of extraction would be too high.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment he has made of the effect on Premier League income of piracy from overseas broadcast rights.

We are aware of the impact of overseas broadcast piracy on major sports rights holders, including the Premier League, and other UK-owned intellectual property rights owners. This is a commercial matter and the direct impact of overseas broadcasting piracy can be found in their public statements. We will remain vigilant in respect of any instances of illegal broadcasting of Premier League football and other UK-owned intellectual property rights, at home and abroad.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many contractors working for her Department have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working; and how many of those staff are subject to those rules.

All off-payroll public sector staff are subject to being checked against IR35 legislation which came into effect in 2017. New legislative changes for off-payroll workers were confirmed with an implementation by 6thApril 2020 with implications for both public and private sector companies. The Government have since announced that this implementation will be delayed until 6th April 2021. The Department for International Trade (DIT) intend to be compliant with the new IR35 rules by the revised date of 6th April 2021. Currently, there are 182 workers in scope of IR35 and 141 outside the scope of IR35 within DIT. For UK Export Finance (UKEF), there are currently no contractors in scope of IR35. There are currently 14 contractors working for UKEF who fall outside the scope of IR35.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential link between the number of unmanned train stations in the UK and the 283 suicides that occurred on mainline rail in 2019-20.

British Transport Police regularly analyse suicide patterns. The causes of these tragic events are complex and the most significant risk factors relate to mental health. My officials and I work with industry, the British Transport Police and charities to ensure that vulnerable people can be identified and provided the support they need. Staffing and staff training plays a key role in our response, and industry colleagues make approximately 2,000 lifesaving interventions each year which means six lives are saved for everyone lost.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of (a) Network Rail and (b) other rail operators on the increase in (i) suicides, (ii) attempted suicides and (iii) injuries on mainline rail from 2017 to 2020.

The Secretary of State regularly engages with Network Rail, Transport for London and train operators to discuss fatalities on the rail network. The number of suicides each year is relatively static averaging about 300 per year. We support the extensive work taking place within the rail industry to both prevent, and attempt to drive a reduction in incidents.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with local transport providers on regulations to make face coverings mandatory on public transport in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

The success of the vaccination rollout has paved the way for the gradual lifting of restrictions. Since 19 July, many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed through the pandemic have been lifted, including the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport. However, cautious guidance will remain. The Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas. This includes public transport but also other settings which are busy. By practising key behaviours, people can continue to protect themselves and others. Employees and customers who wish to wear a face covering should be supported to do so. If transport operators wish to set their own policy on face coverings, that is a matter for them to consider, as long as they meet existing legal obligations including under equalities law.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 June 2021 to Question 21251 on driving licences, what steps are being taken to reduce the turnaround times for each of those licence types.

To improve the length of time taken to process medical licensing applications, the DVLA has recruited additional staff. This includes increasing the number of in-house doctors it employs and temporary administrative staff. Nurse caseworkers are being utilised to deal with specific conditions. The DVLA is also working with the relevant bodies to explore ways of reducing the time taken to receive the information needed to make licensing decisions.

The DVLA has also recently trialed a simplified renewal process for some medical conditions. This has significantly reduced the turnaround times for some drivers.

Where possible the DVLA will refer specific medical conditions to its in-house doctors in the first instance, to make a licensing decision using the information held.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to review rail transport options in (a) Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency, (b) Cheshire West and Chester and (c) the North of England.

The Department is looking at a range of measures to improve rail across the North of England including services between Cheshire and Manchester, which were part of the consultation on Manchester timetable changes held earlier this year. In a separate review, the Department is also asking the public for views on services along the East Coast Mainline. Neston station is expected to benefit from a more frequent service on the Wrexham – Bidston line in the coming year.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase rail transport infrastructure in Ledsham Garden Village.

I understand that the Hon Member has sponsored a bid to the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund for the Ledsham Railway Renewal scheme to build a new station at Ledsham to serve the upcoming Ledsham Garden Village development. We expect to announce the outcomes in the summer.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the feedback analysis of the consultation on timetable options to improve rail performance in the North of England.

The Department continues to talk and work with transport leaders across the North to shape a timetable that delivers trains passengers can rely upon.

Once there is agreement, the Department will publish an analysis of the consultation responses

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the decision making criteria are for applications to the Stations Fund for Ellesmere Port and Neston.

The aim of the New Stations Fund (NSF) is to open new and restored stations across England and Wales. Funding is distributed through a competition and the full eligibility criteria are available on the Network Rail website:

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/passengers/station-improvements/new-stations-fund/

There are a number of other station improvement funds available that could potentially be drawn on by train operating companies through their franchise agreement, such as the Minor Works budget.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the evidence supporting the placement of the United Arab Emirates in the red list for travel.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre continuously monitor the epidemiological situation in other countries to determine their status under the traffic light system. These system categorises countries based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19.

A summary of the JBC methodology has been published on GOV.UK, alongside key data and evidence from publicly available platforms such as GISAID, the World Health Organization and host government websites.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average processing time was for the renewal of driving licences where there is a medical consideration in June (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

The average number of working days taken to make a medical licensing decision in the month of June (a) 2019 and (b) 2020 is shown below.

Year

Licence type

Number of working days

2019

Group 1 (cars/motorcycles)

36

Group 2 (lorries/buses)

34

2020

Group 1 (cars/motorcycles)

62

Group 2 (lorries/buses)

66

The length of time taken to deal with an application depends on the medical condition and if further information is required from medical professionals. Where an examination is necessary, waiting times are currently longer due to the current pressures on the NHS.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average processing time is for the renewal of driving licences where there is a medical consideration.

As of 7 June 2021, the average number of working days taken to make a decision on whether to issue a driving licence where there is a medical consideration is shown below.

Licence type

Number of working days

Group 1 (cars/motorcycles)

78

Group 2 (lorries/buses)

63

The time taken to issue a licence to drivers with a medical condition will vary where the DVLA is often reliant on receiving information from medical professionals to ensure drivers can meet the required medical standards.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the (a) regional distribution and (b) local authority breakdown is for successful applications for the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme.

As at 1 April 2021, the On-Street Residential Scheme (ORCS) has delivered 681 charging devices across 31 local authorities. Funding for a further 3,235 devices has been awarded to successful applicants with their installations yet to be completed. The regional distribution and local authority/council breakdown can be found in the attached table document.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many domestic chargepoints there are in (a) Ellesmere Port and (b) the UK.

As of 1 April 2021, there were a total of 213 domestic charging devices funded by the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) and the preceding Domestic Recharge Scheme (DRS) in Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency.

As of 1 April 2021, there were a total of 177,063 domestic charging devices funded by the EVHS and DRS in the UK.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to respond to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston of 8 March 2021 on pilotage legislation.

A response to your letter of 8 March was sent on 24 May.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the accessibility of the covid-19 business support measures for taxi and private hire drivers.

The majority of taxi and PHV drivers are self-employed and can therefore apply for grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles may also be eligible for other sources of support, including locally administered grant funding. An online support finder tool has been made available to help businesses and self-employed workers determine what support is available to them.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what impact assessment was conducted on the Global Taskforce's report on International Travel for the travel industry, published on 8 April 2021.

The Global Travel Taskforce report was created following extensive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders from the international travel and tourism industries to develop a risk-based framework that can facilitate the return of international travel while managing Variants of Concern.

The taskforce has considered a full range of views from industry stakeholders to inform the final recommendations and we are grateful for their valuable contributions to the development of the report’s recommendations.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost of the provision of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure for (a) local authorities and (b) social housing landlords.

The costs and scale of EV charging infrastructure are dependent upon a range of factors, including changing driver charging preferences and advancements in vehicle batteries and charging technology. There are significant uncertainties within these factors and we do not hold estimates for the specified sectors. The role of the commercial market is also expected to grow as the market develops. The government expects to publish an EV charging infrastructure strategy later this year. This will set out our vision and approach to enabling a comprehensive infrastructure roll out.

To support the transition to a fully commercial market the government has committed £1.3 billion over the next four years to support EV charging infrastructure. This includes £275 million to extend support for charge point installation at homes, workplaces and on-street locations and £90 million to fund local EV charging infrastructure to support the roll out of larger onstreet charging schemes and rapid hubs in England.

Local authorities will continue to have a key role to play, particularly to ensure provision for those without access to off-street parking. To support this, government offers up to 75% funding for the costs of installing public residential chargepoints (the scheme has a cap of £13000 per chargepoint), for those without access to private parking, through the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS). The scheme has already supported over 105 different local authorities, and £20 million of funding is available to local authorities across the UK during 2021-22.

The government recognises the desire of people in social housing to charge their electric vehicles at, or near, their homes and that they need additional help to kickstart this sector of the market. That is why we will be transforming the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme to provide more support for them.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of households have access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure in their local area.

In January 2021, there were 20,775 public charging devices in the UK or 31 devices per 100,000 population. Each local authority has at least 4 public devices per 100,000 population. In addition, we have provided funding for the installation of over 177,000 domestic chargepoints throughout the UK.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish his response to the Review of The Highway Code to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders consultation, which closed on 27 October 2020.

The consultation on the review of the guidance in The Highway Code to improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders closed in October 2020 with over 20,000 responses received. We are currently undertaking a full analysis of all replies and expect to publish a response later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with SAGE on potential covid-19 transmission risks between cruise ship customers and crew.

Cruise ship operators will follow the UK Chamber of Shipping’s Covid-19 Framework for cruise, published in October last year. It has been designed to mitigate the risks and effects of Covid-19 onboard. Cruise operators using the Framework will be verified by a competent, independent third party to ensure their COVID-19 Management Plans meet the standards contained in the Framework. In addition to this, cruise vessels operating from UK ports with UK passengers will also be subject to an Expanded Inspection by surveyors of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). This will provide additional assurance that the requirements of the Framework are being adhered to.

The Covid-19 Framework for cruise sets out a number of procedures designed to protect passengers and address the risk of transmission. This includes a requirement for both passengers and crew to present a negative Covid-19 test prior to embarkation. As we look ahead to the restart of cruises, my Department will continue to support and facilitate engagement between Public Health England (PHE), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the cruise sector to ensure industry testing protocols remain robust for both passengers and crew.

Cruise ship operations and restart have been discussed with the relevant experts and organisations who are represented on SAGE. My Department has engaged with the DHSC, PHE, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on transmission risks and mitigations to Covid-19.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether there will be any independent checks to ensure that the covid-19 quarantine arrangements for cruise ship staff which are advertised by Cruise Ship Operators are complied with.

Cruise ship operators will follow the UK Chamber of Shipping’s Covid-19 Framework for cruise, published in October last year. It has been designed to mitigate the risks and effects of Covid-19 onboard. Cruise operators using the Framework will be verified by a competent, independent third party to ensure their COVID-19 Management Plans meet the standards contained in the Framework. In addition to this, cruise vessels operating from UK ports with UK passengers will also be subject to an Expanded Inspection by surveyors of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). This will provide additional assurance that the requirements of the Framework are being adhered to.

The Covid-19 Framework for cruise sets out a number of procedures designed to protect passengers and address the risk of transmission. This includes a requirement for both passengers and crew to present a negative Covid-19 test prior to embarkation. As we look ahead to the restart of cruises, my Department will continue to support and facilitate engagement between Public Health England (PHE), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the cruise sector to ensure industry testing protocols remain robust for both passengers and crew.

Cruise ship operations and restart have been discussed with the relevant experts and organisations who are represented on SAGE. My Department has engaged with the DHSC, PHE, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on transmission risks and mitigations to Covid-19.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with cruise ship operators on covid-19 testing arrangements on board.

Cruise ship operators will follow the UK Chamber of Shipping’s Covid-19 Framework for cruise, published in October last year. It has been designed to mitigate the risks and effects of Covid-19 onboard. Cruise operators using the Framework will be verified by a competent, independent third party to ensure their COVID-19 Management Plans meet the standards contained in the Framework. In addition to this, cruise vessels operating from UK ports with UK passengers will also be subject to an Expanded Inspection by surveyors of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). This will provide additional assurance that the requirements of the Framework are being adhered to.

The Covid-19 Framework for cruise sets out a number of procedures designed to protect passengers and address the risk of transmission. This includes a requirement for both passengers and crew to present a negative Covid-19 test prior to embarkation. As we look ahead to the restart of cruises, my Department will continue to support and facilitate engagement between Public Health England (PHE), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the cruise sector to ensure industry testing protocols remain robust for both passengers and crew.

Cruise ship operations and restart have been discussed with the relevant experts and organisations who are represented on SAGE. My Department has engaged with the DHSC, PHE, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on transmission risks and mitigations to Covid-19.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on how many road traffic accidents there have been that have involved someone driving under the section 88 provision of the Road Traffic Act 1988 in each month since March 2020.

The information requested is not held by the Department.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the report by Deloitte on home working at the DVLA which was commissioned in June 2020.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has thoroughly reviewed its processes and systems, with advice from a range of external experts, to understand what could be done to reduce the backlogs that had built up during the initial lockdown in 2020, not specifically on home working. Any reports which contain information relating to the DVLA’s IT systems are not routinely placed in the public domain due to security requirements.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2021 to Question 155126, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of the section 88 provision of the Road Traffic Act 1988 on road safety.

Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 allows drivers who have submitted a valid application to renew a driving licence to continue to drive while waiting for their application to be processed. Strict criteria apply and these are outlined online here. Where these criteria are met, there is no evidence that there is an adverse effect on road safety.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the comments made by Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment of 26 January 2021 advising people not to book overseas summer holidays, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing sector specific support for (a) airline companies and (b) other companies in the travel industry.

The Government recognises the challenging circumstances facing the aviation and travel industries as a result of Covid-19.

The travel sector can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital and flexibilities with tax bills. We estimate that by the end of April 2021 the air transport sector (airlines, airports and related services) will have benefitted from around £7bn of government support since the start of the pandemic. The extension of Government-backed loans and furlough payments announced at the budget build on this and will help ensure this vital and vibrant part of the UK economy is ready to bounce back in the wake of the pandemic.

We are listening to sectors affected by Covid to understand their recovery horizons, as we roll out the vaccine.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the wording of road toll information on meeting the needs of people with severe dyslexia.

The Department has made no specific assessment of the adequacy of the wording of road toll information on meeting the needs of people with severe dyslexia. Traffic signs always display the minimum amount of words and pictograms are used extensively, including for tolling and charging.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the accessibility of train ticket machines for people with severe dyslexia.

It is the responsibility of train operators to procure ticket vending machines (TVMs) in line with relevant legislation. Suppliers of TVMs used on National Rail work with a variety of organisations to ensure these are compliant with the Equality Act.

Although my Department has not carried out a specific assessment of TVMs for customers with severe dyslexia we do recognise that TVMs are not always accessible to all. However, improvements have and continue to be made. For example, some machines have been fitted with remote assistance facilities which can host a video call with a remote ticket sales agent who can input all of the customer’s requirements on the screen

We are challenging the rail industry to roll out barcode ticketing and improve online purchasing so that people wanting to travel can buy and receive their ticket at their convenience and without needing to visit a TVM.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that critical workers have effective access to driving tests after the end of the national lockdown.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) does not hold data on a candidate’s occupation, or reason for taking a test, when they apply for a routine theory or practical test.

During the current lockdown, the DVSA is offering a limited theory test and practical test service in England and Wales to NHS health and social care workers, emergency services and local council workers who need to both drive as part of their job and respond to 'threats to life' as part of their job. Mobile emergency workers who have a valid compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate and wish to apply for a motorcycle licence would also be eligible.

The DVSA has not cancelled any mobile emergency worker tests.

No assessment has been made because the national restrictions have been implemented to protect the NHS and save lives.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the national lockdown in England, all routine theory and practical tests have been suspended. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is offering a limited theory test and practical test service in England and Wales to NHS health and social care workers, emergency services and local council workers who need to both drive as part of their job and respond to 'threats to life' as part of their job. Mobile emergency workers who have a valid compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate and wish to apply for a motorcycle licence would also be eligible.

Mobile emergency worker tests cannot be currently offered in Scotland due to Covid restrictions.

The DVSA will continue to offer mobile emergency worker tests once the current lockdown restrictions have been lifted, and will keep that service under review.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the effect on critical workers of the ban on driving tests during the third national lockdown.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) does not hold data on a candidate’s occupation, or reason for taking a test, when they apply for a routine theory or practical test.

During the current lockdown, the DVSA is offering a limited theory test and practical test service in England and Wales to NHS health and social care workers, emergency services and local council workers who need to both drive as part of their job and respond to 'threats to life' as part of their job. Mobile emergency workers who have a valid compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate and wish to apply for a motorcycle licence would also be eligible.

The DVSA has not cancelled any mobile emergency worker tests.

No assessment has been made because the national restrictions have been implemented to protect the NHS and save lives.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the national lockdown in England, all routine theory and practical tests have been suspended. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is offering a limited theory test and practical test service in England and Wales to NHS health and social care workers, emergency services and local council workers who need to both drive as part of their job and respond to 'threats to life' as part of their job. Mobile emergency workers who have a valid compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate and wish to apply for a motorcycle licence would also be eligible.

Mobile emergency worker tests cannot be currently offered in Scotland due to Covid restrictions.

The DVSA will continue to offer mobile emergency worker tests once the current lockdown restrictions have been lifted, and will keep that service under review.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many critical workers have had driving tests cancelled during the third national lockdown.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) does not hold data on a candidate’s occupation, or reason for taking a test, when they apply for a routine theory or practical test.

During the current lockdown, the DVSA is offering a limited theory test and practical test service in England and Wales to NHS health and social care workers, emergency services and local council workers who need to both drive as part of their job and respond to 'threats to life' as part of their job. Mobile emergency workers who have a valid compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate and wish to apply for a motorcycle licence would also be eligible.

The DVSA has not cancelled any mobile emergency worker tests.

No assessment has been made because the national restrictions have been implemented to protect the NHS and save lives.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the national lockdown in England, all routine theory and practical tests have been suspended. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is offering a limited theory test and practical test service in England and Wales to NHS health and social care workers, emergency services and local council workers who need to both drive as part of their job and respond to 'threats to life' as part of their job. Mobile emergency workers who have a valid compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate and wish to apply for a motorcycle licence would also be eligible.

Mobile emergency worker tests cannot be currently offered in Scotland due to Covid restrictions.

The DVSA will continue to offer mobile emergency worker tests once the current lockdown restrictions have been lifted, and will keep that service under review.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward the date of 1 April 2021 that the UK Commercial Pilot Licence can be applied for via the Civil Aviation Authority.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is currently developing a process to enable pilots who have previously held a UK issued EASA Part-Flight Crew Licence (FCL), but now hold a licence that was issued by an EASA member state prior to 31 December 2020, to apply for the issue of a UK Part-FCL licence. The CAA aim to make this process as simple and efficient as possible. This will be available from 1 April 2021.

Pilots holding licences issued by EASA member states will not immediately require a UK Part-FCL licence to enable them to fly UK registered aircraft, as pilots holding licences issued by EASA member states prior to 31 December 2020 will be able to continue to operate UK registered aircraft for a period of up to two years from the end of the Transition Period, or until the expiry date, whichever is sooner.

Given this, we believe the 1 April 2021 date to be sufficient.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made on the effect of the (a) UK leaving the EU and (b) covid-19 pandemic on employment opportunities for UK pilots.

The UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, including agreements on aviation safety and air services, will support opportunities for the UK aviation sector and for UK pilots.

There are existing processes for aviation professionals to transfer licenses to secure employment opportunities. For example, UK licence holders wishing to continue operating EU-registered aircraft may seek a licence validation from any of the EASA Competent Authorities, which would be valid for aircraft registered in any EASA Member State. The Civil Aviation Authority’s website https://info.caa.co.uk/uk-regulations/ has information for people affectedby EU Exit.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the aviation sector and workers. The Department is working with industry on maximising use of the existing support measures such as DWP’s Flexible Support Fund and Rapid Response Service to support aviation workers, including pilots, at risk of redundancy to stay in employment. Government also launched the Aviation Skills Retention Platform 10th February 2021. This platform allows former and current aviation sector workers who are out of work to register their skills, so they can be notified of relevant jobs opportunities, advice and upskilling opportunities. More broadly, the government has set out a Roadmap foreasing Covid-19 measures, that will help support people and businesses as part of the recovery.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of drivers who are driving under the section 88 provision of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

No data is available about the number of drivers who continue to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This is because it is for individual drivers to consider if they can meet the relevant criteria.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the cost of a commercial pilot licence from 1 April 2021.

The Civil Aviation Authority has just completed statutory consultation on their charges for 2021-22, including the cost of a commercial pilot licence. I expect the CAA to review its proposals in the light of the consultation responses and then to consult the Secretary of State on the charging schemes. I can assure the Honourable Member that we will scrutinise the schemes carefully when they come to us to ensure that they are fair, justified and proportionate, especially at this unprecedentedly challenging time. We will also have regard to the consultation responses.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of consumer protections for flight-only transactions during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Civil Aviation Authority reviewed the airlines’ compliance on refunds during Summer 2020. This led to improved performance on refunds from most airlines. In addition, in December 2020 the Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation that is underway on the issuing of refunds by airlines to customers affected by the travel restrictions.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what type of covid-19 tests were used at the port of Dover from 24 December to 28 December 2020; how many tests were used; and how many of those tests produced positive results for covid-19.

21,849 INNOVA SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test had been used at the Port of Dover by 28 December 2020 with 66 positive results. All hauliers waiting to cross the border have received an INNOVA SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test and the backlog had now been cleared.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it is taking longer to process Blue Badge applications due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is responsible for the legislation of the Blue Badge scheme. The day-to-day administration of the scheme remains the responsibility of local authorities. Each local authority will have a plan in place to ensure the continuation of its services during times of uncertainty, including providing the Blue Badge service.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he is having with stakeholders on EU Aviation Safety Agency regulations and licensing; and how he plans to communicate those decisions to the aviation sector.

The Secretary of State, Ministers and officials have regular engagement with aviation and aerospace stakeholders to discuss the UK’s preparations for leaving the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) system. We will continue to engage with the sector to communicate the changes that will come into effect at the end of the year.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the tier system of covid-19 restrictions on the coach industry.

The transition from national to local tier restrictions has opened up business in tier 1 and 2 areas. Coach journeys within, into and out of these areas are now permitted. Only essential journeys are advised in tier 3 and coach tours should not stop in the tier 3 area unless there is an emergency.

The re-introduction of the tiering system has seen an increase in demand for coach services. Department for Transport officials continue to regularly discuss the impacts of national restrictions being eased and of the tiering system being re-introduced with coach operators and the Confederation of Passenger Transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has had discussions with the Confederation of Passenger Transport on covid-19 and the coach industry since July 2020.

Department for Transport Ministers and officials continue to meet regularly with the Confederation of Passenger Transport to discuss the issues facing the coach industry and how these can be addressed.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions his Department has had with the aviation sector on the effect of the second national covid-19 lockdown on that sector.

The second national COVID-19 lockdown has not changed the way we engage regularly with the sector. We continue an open dialogue as we work towards our shared ambition of getting aviation up and running again in a safe and secure way.

We do not provide comments on the commercial or financial matters of private firms, and therefore it would be inappropriate to share individual discussions.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has reassessed the business case for High Speed Two to take account of recent changes to working and commuting patterns.

The rapid development and the uncertain outcome of the Covid-19 outbreak mean it has not yet been possible to undertake specific analysis to determine its impact on HS2. The Department for Transport is working with colleagues across Whitehall to understand the impact on transport demand and the pandemic’s wider effect on the economy.

The Full Business Case for Phase One published in April looked at both high and low demand scenarios, underpinned by population and economic growth forecasts. That analysis showed that even in a scenario where demand is relatively low, there is still a clear case for pressing ahead with HS2.

We are confident that the strategic case for HS2, including its subsequent stages to Crewe, Manchester and Leeds remains clear, and that there remains a case for increasing capacity on the UK rail network, bringing cities closer together and levelling up regions across the UK. HS2 also remains key to achieving net-zero by 2050, a commitment which remains unchanged despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish guidance for taxi drivers on how to be covid-secure.

The Government has published ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators’ on the safe provision of transport services during the pandemic. Taxi drivers, as transport providers, should follow this guidance.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the average waiting time for a driving test date in (a) England and (b) Ellesmere Port and Neston in the latest period for which information is available.

In March 2020, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suspended most of its services in line with Government guidance, whilst maintaining access for critical workers to support the national emergency response.

The DVSA is restoring its testing services with new procedures in place to keep people safe and help stop the spread of coronavirus.

As the DVSA has been unable to provide its normal level of service for the past six months, demand for practical driving tests are higher than usual.

Currently, the average waiting time for a practical car driving test in England is 10 weeks.

The nearest test centres to Ellesmere Port and Neston are:

  • Widnes – 9 weeks

  • Upton – 11 weeks

  • Chester – 16 weeks

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what evidence he has received on the use of face coverings on public transport to help prevent the spread of covid-19 since 22 May 2020.

The Department for Transport is working closely with scientific and medical advisors and Public Health England to continually review and update our guidance for passengers and operators, to reflect the evidence base as it develops.

The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering may protect others if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms. In our guidance we continue to advise passengers that maintaining social distancing and washing their hands for at least 20 seconds remain critically important.

13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many contractors working for his Department have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working; and how many of those staff are subject to those rules.

Following the recent HMRC decision to postpone the implementation of the new IR35 rules until 2021, we are unable to provide a response to this question.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many people working on the Parliamentary estate are earning less than the London living wage of £10.75 an hour.

The House of Commons is accredited by Citizens UK as a London Living Wage Employer. Payment of the London Living Wage or the UK Living Wage is included as a condition within our Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract of all our contracts.

In addition, the terms of the accreditation licence require that contractors and sub-contractors with dedicated staff who are based on parliamentary premises are paying those staff at least the London Living Wage; and contractors and sub-contractors which provide services in relation to our contracts but who are not based on parliamentary premises are required to pay dedicated staff at least the London Living Wage, or the UK Living Wage if based outside London.

We can confirm that, to our knowledge, no directly employed or contracted workers are paid less than the London Living or the UK Living Wage.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 28 April 2021 to Question186186 on Bereavement Support Payment, what his timetable is for completing the evaluation of the Bereavement Support Payment.

The exact timetable for completing the evaluation of BSP is still under review.

It has always been our intention to evaluate how Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) is working once sufficient time has elapsed to allow claimants to come to the end of the 18-month period of payment, and for a sufficient sample size of claimants to build.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what advice is being given to staff and customers attending in person at jobcentres in areas where guidance on enhanced covid-19 measures has been issued.

Throughout the pandemic, Jobcentres remained open for anyone who needed face-to-face support. DWP takes the safety of colleagues and customers very seriously and all of our offices are COVID secure and we have extensive measures in place to protect staff and customers including social distancing and enhanced cleaning regimes.

Staff and customers are instructed that they should not to come into our offices if they have covid or covid symptoms and that they should stay at home and book a test.

In addition, colleagues across the country are advised to undertake twice weekly lateral flow testing and to take up the offer of surge testing and vaccinations when these are made available.

We continue to follow all Government guidance in relation to measures in place in our sites.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants had wages assigned to different assessment periods in each week from 1 April 2021 to 21 May 2021 under the legislation introduced in response to the judgment in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Danielle Johnson, [2020] EWCA Civ 778.

To meet the Court of Appeal Judgment as soon as was practicable we introduced a solution based on a streamlined dispute process currently in place. This has enabled those who are affected to benefit under this regulation and claimants simply need to tell their work coach either in one of their regular discussions or via their journal if they think they are affected.

We expect to automate identification of affected claimants in mid-summer 2021. This will allow us to proactively correct awards before they are paid, without the need for the claimant to raise the issue.

Weekly figures of Universal Credit claimants who have their monthly-paid wages assigned to different assessment periods as described in the Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020 for the period 4 April 2021 to 23 May 2021 are shown in the table below.

The data supplied is derived from unpublished management information and a database which relies on manual input. This was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

Week Ending

Volume

04/04/2021

538

11/04/2021

662

18/04/2021

419

25/04/2021

189

02/05/2021

343

09/05/2021

260

16/05/2021

163

23/05/2021

115

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions he has had with HM Court and Tribunals Service on the restart of face to face tribunals.

Face to face appeal hearings have restarted. Decisions on whether appeal hearings are to be done face to face are made by tribunal judges based on the appellant’s circumstances and/or the nature of the decision under appeal.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of Local Housing Allowance relative to rental costs.

An assessment has been made in respect of Local Housing Allowance rates against rental costs for Housing Benefit and Universal Credit claimants in the private rented sector. See the attached table in the PQ 183052.

We increased LHA rates to the 30th percentile of local rents in April 2020. This significant investment of nearly £1billion has provided 1.5 million claimants with an average £600 more housing support last year than they would otherwise have received.

In 2021/22 claimants will continue to benefit from the increase. We are maintaining this investment by keeping LHA rates at the same levels from April 2021.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December 2020 to Question 127581, on Bereavement Support Payment, whether an assessment of the economic effect of the introduction of the Bereavement Support Payment has now been undertaken.

To date no assessment of the economic effect of the introduction of Bereavement Support Payment has been made. However, we are currently evaluating Bereavement Support Payment and will consider our next steps once we know the outcome

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit sanctions have been administered in each month since January 2021.

Sanctions statistics on those people claiming Universal Credit are published quarterly and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions

The latest statistics are to October 2020 and the statistics from November 2020 to January 2021 are expected to be published on 18 May 2021.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit sanctions have been administered for failure to comply with work claimant commitments due to complying with covid-19 self-isolation requirements.

The information is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Claimants who have been advised to self-isolate will not be required to conduct any work related activity outside the home but they may be required to complete work-related activity that it is safe and reasonable to do in their circumstances. Where a claimant has failed to meet their requirements, we will look at any evidence of good reason, including whether they are self-isolating, when considering if a sanction is warranted.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what impact assessment was undertaken on the effect of the equalisation of the state pension age on women.

Changes to State Pension age were made over a series of Acts by successive governments from 1995 onwards, following public consultations and extensive debates in both Houses of Parliament.

Multiple assessments were made by the Coalition Labour and Conservative governments before changes were made. The legality of this process by successive governments has been extensively tested in the courts, and on both occasions the courts have agreed the legality of the process.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants had wages assigned to different assessment periods in each week from 21 February 2021 to 1 April 2021 under the legislation introduced in response to the judgment in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Danielle Johnson, [2020] EWCA Civ 778.

Weekly figures of Universal Credit claimants who have their monthly-paid wages assigned to different assessment periods as described in the Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020 from 21 February 2021 to the most recent week for which complete data is available is shown in the table below.

The data supplied is derived from unpublished management information and a database which relies on manual input. This was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

Week Ending

Volume

28/02/2021

246

07/03/2021

1,635

14/03/2021

1,268

21/03/2021

538

28/03/2021

285

04/04/2021

538

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many households were subject to the benefit cap in Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency in each month from March 2020 to March 2021.

The published benefit cap statistics are currently available to November 2020. Statistics for the number of households capped in Universal Credit and Housing Benefit in February 2021 will be published on 22nd June 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/benefit-cap-statistics

The available information on the number of households, receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, who were subject to the Benefit Cap, by month and Parliamentary Constituency, is published every three months and can be found at:

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

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of Kickstart scheme applications have been received from SMEs; and how many of those applications have been successful.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 165631.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department has published on advertising jobs via the Kickstarter scheme; and how long vacancies should be advertised for.

Once an application to the Department of Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme has been approved, along with their grant agreement, the gateway or employer receives the necessary documentation and guidance to create their job advert, that will be uploaded onto the Universal Credit system and made visible only to DWP staff. Young people are then matched and referred to the Kickstart jobs by their Work Coach who supports them in selecting and applying for these jobs - including giving them access to the vacancy information.

The length of time a job is advertised is flexible to meet the employer’s needs, including how many referrals they would like and how long the vacancy will be live for. General information is available on gov.uk.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many complaints have been lodged with the Health and Safety Executive pertaining to employees being asked to return to a workplace during the third covid-19 national lockdown; and how that number compares with such complaints in the previous two national lockdowns.

Data pertaining specifically to employees being asked to return to a workplace during the pandemic is not captured in the complaints (or ‘workplace concerns’) submitted to the Health and Safety Executive. Data captured for Covid related complaints pertains to social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), general complaints (where these are not social distancing or PPE related) and unknown complaints (where multiple issues are disclosed and the categories are too narrow to describe the complaint fully).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what monitoring her Department is carrying out to ensure that approved jobs via the Kickstart scheme are made available and advertised.

Once a Kickstart vacancy is approved, the job is uploaded on to Universal Credit system and is visible only to DWP staff. Young people who are eligible for the scheme are then matched and referred to the Kickstart jobs by their Work Coach who supports them in selecting and applying for these jobs, including giving them access to the vacancy information.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with representatives of the live events sector on the Kickstart scheme.

Ministers and officials in the Department for Work and Pensions are engaging with employers, representative bodies and organisations from all parts of the economy to ensure that there is a rich mix of jobs made available through the Kickstart Scheme. This includes discussions with the creative arts and media industries, encouraging them to participate in the scheme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March to Question 158103 on the Kickstart Scheme, to publish a breakdown by (a) location and (a) sector of the 30,000 jobs linked to the scheme.

Figures for 11th March show that over 50,000 jobs had been made available for young people to apply to, including the almost 6,000 Kickstart jobs that young people had started at that time. Below are tables showing this information split by region. Sector data is based on information provided by the employer. An employer could provide jobs across multiple sectors.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

Region

Number of jobs made available for young people to apply to

East Midlands

3600

East of England

4000

London

9300

North East

2300

North West

6300

South East

5900

South West

4000

West Midlands

4900

Yorkshire and The Humber

4000

Scotland

3500

Wales

2900

These numbers are rounded to the nearest 100. Jobs made available for young people to apply to includes 1,000 non-grant funded jobs.

Sector

Number of jobs made available for young people to apply to

Administration

12,900

Animal Care

200

Beauty and Wellbeing

300

Business and Finance

2100

Computing, Technology and Finance

4000

Construction and Trades

1900

Creative and Media

3800

Delivery and Storage

1800

Emergency and Uniform Services

less than 100

Engineering and Maintenance

1500

Environment and Land

900

Government Services

100

Healthcare

2400

Home Services

400

Hospitality and Food

2600

Law and Legal

100

Managerial

400

Manufacturing

1400

Retail and Sales

8000

Science and Research

300

Social Care

1600

Sports and Leisure

800

Teaching and Education

2600

Transport

200

Travel and Tourism

100

These numbers are rounded to the nearest 100. Jobs made available for young people to apply to includes 1,000 non-grant funded jobs.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many covid-19 related complaints the Health and Safety Executive has received in each month since March 2020; and what proportion of those complaints resulted in (a) investigation, (b) improvement notices and (c) fines .

Since March 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has received 21752 complaints (or ‘workplace concerns’) relating to Covid-19. Of these, 6240 - assessed as being higher risk - were assigned to regulatory operational staff for investigation.* The remainder were dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advice Team. The breakdown is provided in the table below.

HSE does not have the power to issue fines. However, where a defendant is convicted of breaching health and safety at work law, the court may impose sanctions including fines, imprisonment and disqualification for directors. HSE will recover its costs where material breaches of health and safety at work law are identified.

Month / Year

Total Covid-19 concerns

Number investigated* by regulatory operational staff (% of total concerns)

Number resulting in verbal advice

Number resulting in formal written correspondence

Number resulting in improvement notices

March 2020

331

-

-

-

-

April 2020

3721

1717 (46%)

411

46

1

May 2020

2060

987 (48%)

273

42

8

June 2020

1247

552 (44%)

147

38

10

July 2020

1269

397 (31%)

128

41

4

August 2020

1016

302 (30%)

75

23

4

September 2020

1154

413 (36%)

124

40

6

October 2020

1520

498 (33%)

172

33

1

November 2020

2347

502 (21%)

167

41

2

December 2020

1203

248 (21%)

59

20

0

January 2021

3116

458 (15%)

144

33

3

February 2021

1587

150 (9%)

55

14

1

March 2021

191

16 (8%)

7

1

0

Totals

21752

6240 (29%)

1762

372

40

* The figures relate to concern investigations only and do not include investigations carried out in response to reports received under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

Note: Figures were obtained from HSE’s live operational database on 12th March 2021 and are subject to change, e.g. as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before data is uploaded to the system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2021 to Question 158103 on the Kickstart Scheme, if she will publish (a) a monthly breakdown of when the 140,000 jobs linked to the scheme were approved and (b) the timescale for those jobs being launched.

There are over 150,000 approved Kickstart jobs, of which:

  • 43,000 jobs were approved between 04/02/2021 – 04/03/21;
  • 54,000 jobs were approved between 04/01/2021 – 03/02/21.

The remaining 47,000 is from the start of Kickstart in September 2020 to 03/01/2021 and data is not available to break this down further.

These jobs can be opened for application and started at any point up to the final jobs starting in December 2021.

All figures are rounded to the nearest thousand jobs. Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of employees from the DWP Debt Management team are on sick leave as at 24 February 2021.

As at 24 February 2021, 3.2 per cent of Debt Management staff were recorded as being on sickness absence, this rises to 3.7 per cent when sickness absence due to COVID, which is recorded separately as Special Leave with Pay, is included.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have had wages assigned to different assessment periods under the legislation introduced to comply with court ruling case no. C1/2019/0593.

The amendment affects claimants who receive monthly wages. Where two payments in one assessment period is identified we take the required action.

Weekly figures of Universal Credit claimants who have their monthly-paid wages assigned to different assessment periods since the Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020 came into force on 16th November 2020 are shown in the table below.

Week ending

Volume

22/11/2020

8

29/11/2020

43

06/12/2020

510

13/12/2020

392

20/12/2020

180

27/12/2020

173

03/01/2021

544

10/01/2021

1186

17/01/2021

608

24/01/2021

316

31/01/2021

197

07/02/2021

540

14/02/2021

466

21/02/2021

243

The UC data supplied is derived from unpublished management information and a database which relies on manual input. This was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 137230, how many applications to the Kickstart scheme have been approved by (a) region and (b) sector to date.

I refer the honourable member to PQ 145064.

I am pleased to announce that as of the 26th of February 2021 my department has received over 11,000 applications for funding from the Kickstart Scheme. So far there has been:

  • Around 4,000 young people starting their new jobs with over 30,000 jobs made available to eligible young people;
  • Over 140,000 approved jobs;
  • Over 900 approved Gateway Organisations.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many child maintenance overpayments via direct pay there have been since 2018.

The Department does not have information available regarding Direct Pay cases with overpayments. When customers opt to use the Direct Pay service and a balance of unpaid child maintenance accrues or an overpayment occurs, normally customers need to make repayment arrangements between themselves.

The Child Maintenance Service do not record information where reimbursement occurs due to agreement between parents or where they have contacted her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal service (HMCTS) on Direct Pay cases.

A parent can request reimbursement from Child Maintenance Service on a Direct Pay case in certain scenarios. However, there is no available published data on such reimbursements.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 December 2020 to Question 131324 on Children: Maintenance, how many child maintenance overpayments via direct pay have been reimbursed through (a) agreement between payments and (b) the courts.

The Department does not have information available regarding Direct Pay cases with overpayments. When customers opt to use the Direct Pay service and a balance of unpaid child maintenance accrues or an overpayment occurs, normally customers need to make repayment arrangements between themselves.

The Child Maintenance Service do not record information where reimbursement occurs due to agreement between parents or where they have contacted her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal service (HMCTS) on Direct Pay cases.

A parent can request reimbursement from Child Maintenance Service on a Direct Pay case in certain scenarios. However, there is no available published data on such reimbursements.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many sanctions have been applied to benefit claims since 2 November 2020.

Sanctions statistics on those people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance (Work Related Activity Group), Income Support and Universal Credit are published quarterly and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions

Additional breakdowns of the figures can be found at:

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

Guidance for users is available at:

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

The latest statistics are to July 2020 and the statistics from November 2020 to January 2021 are expected to be published in May 2021.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 11 December 2020 to Question 122760 on the Kickstart scheme, how many organisations in each region have applied to be representatives of the Kickstart scheme since that scheme was launched on 2 September 2020.

As of 11/01/21, we have received 6,232 applications for funding from the Kickstart Scheme. We are not currently able to break this figure down by region, an organisation may also submit multiple applications for funding.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 7 October 2020 to Question 96942, what recent assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of security for online universal credit journals.

Since my answer of 7 October 2020 to Question 96942, no specific assessments have been made. The Department continuously tests the security and integrity of the digital systems which deliver Universal Credit, including online journals.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many child maintenance cases via Direct Pay have been found to have overpayments; and how many of those cases her Department has agreed to reimburse.

It may be helpful to explain when our customers opt to use the Direct Pay service and a balance of unpaid child maintenance accrues or an overpayment occurs, normally they need to make repayment arrangements between themselves.

However, where this action has failed and the paying parent has made a request, the Child Maintenance Service has issued 37 reimbursements for Direct Pay cases, since 2018 where overpayments occurred.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the economic effect of the introduction of the Bereavement Support Payment.

Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) was introduced in April 2017, to replace Widowed Parent’s Allowance, Bereavement Allowance and Bereavement Payments. To date no assessment of the economic effect of the introduction of BSP has been made.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 November 2020 to Question 118005, when the Kickstart data will be available by region.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given to question 122760 on 11th December 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 10 September 2020 to Question on Kickstart Scheme, how many organisations in each region have applied to be representatives of the Kickstart scheme since that scheme was launched on 2 September 2020.

So far applications from Gateways and employers covering 32,113 jobs have been approved.

We are currently working on refining our MI data and we will be able to provide further information on organisations taking part early in the new year.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer pf 10 September 2020 to Question 88348 on Kickstart Scheme, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of businesses that are (a) eligible and (b) not eligible to sign up to be representatives of the Kickstart scheme.

Kickstart is open to employers and organisations from all sectors. An application may be rejected and unable to receive funding if it fails to show appropriate proof of (a) the fiscal competence of the employer and gateway, (b) the quality of the employability support provided, and (c) the additionality of the jobs proposed (placements should not replace existing employees or vacancies).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to implement changes in response to the court ruling (Case No: C1/2019/0593 22 June 2020) in respect of two wages being received in one assessment period for universal credit.

On 20th October I laid secondary legislation in response to the Court of Appeal Judgment made on 22 June in the case of Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart, which concerned claimants who receive two calendar monthly payments of earnings in one Universal Credit assessment period. This will allow us to reallocate a payment of earnings reported via the Real Time Information service to a different Universal Credit assessment period, either because it was reported in the wrong assessment period or (in the case of calendar monthly paid employees) it is necessary to maintain a regular payment cycle. This legislation will come into force on 16 November and will mean that in future, claimants who are paid calendar monthly will have one salary payment taken into account in each assessment period. It also means that certain claimants will also benefit from any applicable work allowance.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal independence assessments were completed in each month from April 2019 to August 2019.

Please see the table below which provides the number of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments completed in each month from April 2019 to August 2019.

PIP Assessments

Apr-19

May-19

Jun-19

Jul-19

Aug-19

Total

78,580

81,070

74,530

84,400

75,240

Please note:

All volumes have been rounded to the nearest 10.

All of the above data is derived from contractual management information produced by the Assessment Providers.

The above data is derived from unpublished management information which is collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to Official Statistics Publication standards.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications for the Kickstart Scheme have been successful since the scheme opened.

I refer the honourable member to my answer to question 107629, answered on 2 November 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is she will publish a breakdown of the reasons for unsuccessful applications to the Kickstart scheme.

Applications for funding from the DWP’s Kickstart Scheme are assessed on (a) the fiscal competence of the employer and gateway, (b) the quality of the employability support provided, and (c) whether the jobs being created are additional. Guidance on ensuring an application meets these criteria is available on the Kickstart gov.uk website.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the digital solution to verify the identities of those applying for National Insurance numbers who have not been through the Home Office visa application process will go live.

DWP aims to reduce the reliance on a single Identity Verification Service by Quarter 2 in 2021. Part of this work is to introduce a new flexible reusable online service which will meet the needs of a wider range of customers that is not possible using a single solution. DWP will conduct the work to identify an online solution for those customers who have not been processed through the Home Office visa application process, to apply for National Insurance Numbers in the next Financial Year.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims are subject to deductions for tax credit overpayments; and how many of those deductions are related to the cross over period between tax credit claims ending and universal credit claims starting.

The latest available data, for March 2020, shows around 15% of all Universal Credit claims had a deduction for Tax Credit Overpayments.

We do not capture data on how many of the deductions taken from Universal Credit are due to the cross over period between tax credit claims ending and Universal Credit claims starting.

When a claim for Universal Credit is made and it has been established that the customer meets the basic entitlement conditions, DWP automatically instructs HMRC to end the Tax Credit award with effect from the day before the Universal Credit claim was made. Delays in ending Tax Credits are therefore minimal once the basic entitlement conditions of Universal Credit have been established.

When a Tax Credit claim comes to an end and the claimant makes a new claim to Universal Credit, any outstanding Tax Credit overpayments are transferred to DWP. HMRC will inform the claimant prior to transfer and provide details of the debt to be transferred.

Once transferred, the claimant is notified via their online Universal Credit journal about the rate of deduction in respect of Tax Credits debt. Where a claimant is in financial hardship they can contact DWP Debt Management to discuss and agree a sustainable rate of repayment.

From 3rd April 2020, other deductions, including Tax Credit overpayments, were suspended for three months due to Covid-19, resulting in none of these deductions being taken during May and June 2020.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial support is available for people on the National Minimum Wage, who are ineligible for the self-isolation payment, in the event that they have to self-isolate.

People who are infected with Covid-19, or self-isolating in line with Government guidance are eligible for ESA, subject to the normal conditions of entitlement. We have removed the waiting days and claimants will be treated as having Limited Capability for Work in ESA without the requirement for fit notes or a Work Capability Assessment from day one. Households may also be able to claim Universal Credit where eligible. New claim advances are available urgently if a claimant needs financial support. These advances allow claimants to receive up to 100% of their estimated Universal Credit payment upfront. The Budget already announced that claimants will be able to access advances via phone or online, instead of having to attend the jobcentre. This applies to all claimants, including those who are required to self-isolate.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many child maintenance cases with arrears awaiting enforcement action were put on hold as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and how many of those cases are yet to commence enforcement action.

We have been clear throughout COVID-19 that those found to be abusing the system can be subjected to the full extent of our enforcement powers and the Child Maintenance Service will continue to pursue all cases, where appropriate.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent closure of all courts, legal enforcement action was put on hold for 2,198 cases. The information required to assess the current status of these particular cases is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

It may be helpful to note, however, that at the beginning of October; 390 enforcement cases had been progressed and now have a confirmed court date, and 1790 cases were awaiting further court action, consisting of both newly referred cases and the original cases put on hold.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) paper-based and (b) telephone personal independence payment assessments have taken place in each month since April 2020.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department made a number of changes to health and disability benefits to safeguard the health of claimants and staff and to prioritise new claims and continuity of awards. These changes included the suspension of all face-to-face assessments and the introduction of telephone-based assessments where suitable, in addition to pre-existing paper-based assessments.

In each month from April to August 2020 there has been the following number of (a) paper based, and (b) telephone Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments.

PIP Total

Apr-20

May-20

Jun-20

Jul-20

Aug-20

Paper Based Assessments

13,970

9,460

7,760

7,420

7,500

Telephone Assessments

38,090

42,830

47,000

52,440

48,370

All volumes have been rounded to the nearest 10.

All of the above data is derived from contractual management information produced by the Assessment Providers.

Please note: the above data is derived from unpublished management information which is collected for internal departmental use only and has not been quality assured to Official Statistics Publication standards.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal independence payment applications are awaiting in-person assessments; and when she plans to enable in-person assessments to recommence.

The information requested is not available.

From 17 March, we suspended face to face assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP). All assessments are currently being progressed on the basis of the paper based evidence alone or that evidence together with a telephone assessment to ensure decisions on PIP can be made without delay.

The health and safety of our claimants and our staff are our key priority. Face to face assessments for health and disability benefits remain suspended at present; this is being kept under review in line with the latest public health guidance. Any re-introduction of face to face assessments would involve additional safety measures to comply with public health guidance.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the effectiveness of security for online universal credit journals.

The Department, like other government departments, is obliged to comply with legal, security and regulatory requirements, including published minimum government security standards. Universal Credit, including the journal function, complies with all relevant security standards.

The security of the Universal Credit system is continuously monitored.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information his Department holds on online security breaches and hacking of universal credit accounts.

The security of the Universal Credit system is continuously monitored.

For security reasons, we do not disclose what information about security monitoring including information relating to cyber-attack attempts.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit overpayments have been caused by maladministration by her Department between April 2019 and April 2020.

DWP is focused on paying people their correct entitlement and a quality checking regime is in place. However, there are occasions where administrative or ‘official errors’ have arisen from processing or delays, which we look to correct as quickly as possible.

The latest National Statistics Fraud and Error statistics were published on 14th May 2020 and show that estimated losses from official error in 2019/20 accounted for 0.4% of total benefit expenditure.

These statistics can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fraud-and-error-in-the-benefit-system-financial-year-2019-to-2020-estimates

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that statutory sick pay is available to NHS health and social care staff (a) whose covid-19 symptoms extend beyond two weeks and (b) who are affected by long covid and unable to return to work.

Individuals should tell their employer that symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) persist and that they must continue to self-isolate.

Individuals will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they have tested positive for coronavirus and are staying at home and self-isolating for 10 days, or until they no longer have symptoms, and they are not able to work as a result. Individuals should continue to self-isolate beyond 10 days if they still have symptoms other than a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste. SSP remains available to individuals who are unable to work because of sickness resulting from Covid-19 or otherwise. Other SSP eligibility criteria will apply.

Where an individual’s income is reduced while off work sick and they require further financial support, for example where they are not eligible for SSP, they may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their individual circumstances.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of businesses that (a) will and (b) will not be eligible to sign up to the Kickstart scheme.

The department is now processing many applications from across the UK, this is currently a clerical process, so reliable management information, particularly on geographical areas, is not yet available.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the resources available to the Health and Safety Executive to ensure that social distancing measures in work places are complied with during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State and I have had regular meetings with senior officials from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and receive weekly written updates on the work HSE is doing to support the Government during the COVID-19 outbreak. HSE is working within its current budget adopting a flexible regulatory approach to adjust to the new challenges that COVID-19 presents. This includes:

  • maintaining its wide ranging regulatory functions, in particular continuing to investigate work related fatalities and the most serious major injuries, dealing with reported concerns and regulating major hazard industries. Undertaking regulatory activities that do not require site visits such as approvals and permissioning work. Whilst some of HSE’s regulatory intervention work can be done remotely, where it is necessary to provide public assurance that hazards are being effectively managed and to secure compliance with the law, site visits are being made;

  • working with Public Health England (PHE), other Government departments and Devolved Administrations to ensure the country is geared up to treat people in Great Britain diagnosed with the COVID-19. HSE continues to offer information and advice on workplace and workforce issues to support the government’s response, including technical advice on personal protection equipment to ensure that healthcare workers and others are adequately protected;

  • working closely with stakeholder groups including trade unions to develop practical guidance to support businesses to continue to operate and, where currently closed, to return to operation whilst ensuring the safety of workers; and

  • where it comes to HSE’s attention that employers are found not to be complying with PHE’s guidelines taking appropriate action, ranging from specific advice through to serving enforcement notices, so as to ensure that practicable measures are implemented to protect workers and others.
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many enforcement notices have been issued by the Health and Safety Executive during the covid-19 outbreak.

There have been 136 enforcement notices issued between 23 March 2020 and 29 April 2020. This data was extracted from an operational database on 30 April 2020 and is subject to change as the administrative process of recording the information in the database can take up to 10 days.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans the Government has for the future role of the Health and Safety Executive.

Ministers meet regularly with HSE officials to discuss its functions. HSE sets out its roles and activities in annual plans and strategy documents.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the role of trade unions in encouraging health and safety practices in the workplace.

The health and safety system in Great Britain depends on collaboration between trade unions, business and government to maintain its global reputation as a leader and standard setter in the field.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) framework ensures there is a tripartite Board composition of local authority, employee and employer representatives. This encourages an open and constructive approach to strategic decision making and is replicated throughout key industry groups.

HSE places great importance on worker involvement and consultation as it is a key factor in improving health and safety in the workplace. Trade union workplace health and safety representatives operating in partnership with management are an important part of realizing health and safety benefits.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many contractors working for her Department have had their employment status assessed in relation to the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working; and how many of those staff are subject to those rules.

As at 1st April 2020, our records show that DWP has a total of 448 contingent labour workers through its Public Sector Resourcing contract engaged across the Department. Of these, under the definitions in accordance with the HMRC Off-Payroll working legislation:

  • 53 are assessed and engaged as ‘Off-Payroll’;
  • 383 are assessed and engaged as ‘On-Payroll’, and;
  • 12 are engaged under a PAYE basis and therefore outside of the scope of the off-payroll working legislation.

Whilst the updated legislation for off-payroll working has been postponed for 12 months, the 2017 Off-Payroll working legislation still applies to public sector bodies, and DWP continues to carry out its obligations accordingly.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what income the Child Maintenance Service has received from (a) bank interest and (b) other investments made as a result of payments held by that organisation in each of the last three years.

No income has been received from bank interest or other investments by the Child Maintenance Service over the last three years.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average length of time was that payments from parents were held by the Child Maintenance Service before being paid to the receiving parent, in each of the last three years.

This information is not held.

The Department does not hold the payments for longer than is required for the payment to clear and the funds to be administered to the receiving parent.

Where a payment has a correct reference number applied and is paid into the correct bank account it will allocate automatically and pay out once the payment has cleared, so long as the RP has provided bank details.

The only delays that may occur are when a receipt does not allocate to a case automatically. This could be because:

(i) a customer fails to quote a correct reference number, which results in a payment falling into a suspense account requiring investigation. Once the intended RP is traced, and funds have cleared, the payment will be transferred to the RP account.

(ii) a paying parent makes a payment when no maintenance is outstanding, in which case the payment will allocate to a RP account and pay out once the next payment falls due.

(iii) Receipts arrive as part of a bulk schedule of payments, which may need some manual intervention to ensure payments are allocated to the individual customer, for example Employer or Bailiff receipts.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much was received by the Child Maintenance Service in charges for (a) collection and (b) payment services in each of the last three years.

The amounts charged for the last three years of audited accounts are set out in the table below.

2016/17
£m

2017/18
£m

2018/19
£m

Receiving Parent Charges

4%

2.026

3.241

5.430

Paying Parent Charges

20%

10.494

16.878

27.905

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of eConsult on GPs' workloads during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have regular discussions general practitioner (GP) stakeholder organisations and representatives on a wide range of issues, including appointment and consultation systems and workload.

We continue to work with NHS England and NHS Improvement and general practice to assess the impact of different types of appointment and the effects on workload. NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned an independent evaluation to understand the impact for staff, patients and the wider health and care system of using digital tools in primary care to inform its long-term strategy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with GPs on the effect of e-consult on workload pressures.

We have regular discussions general practitioner (GP) stakeholder organisations and representatives on a wide range of issues, including appointment and consultation systems and workload.

We continue to work with NHS England and NHS Improvement and general practice to assess the impact of different types of appointment and the effects on workload. NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned an independent evaluation to understand the impact for staff, patients and the wider health and care system of using digital tools in primary care to inform its long-term strategy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding has been awarded to research bodies to investigate potential drug combinations for the treatment of symptoms of motor neurone disease.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR has invested over £10 million in motor neurone disease (MND) research over the last five years. This includes research on potential treatments to improve survival rate, function and quality of life for people with MND. The NIHR has spent £2.4 million on research to investigate drug combinations for the treatment of MND. The NIHR is also funding research on drug combinations to treat MND through NIHR research infrastructure, although the information requested is not available at individual study level.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of calls (a) made to, (b) answered by and (c) that were answered within 60 seconds by the 119 covid-19 NHS test and trace service in each month from January to June 2021.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 14 July 2021 to Question 29826 on Coronavirus: Vaccination and in the context of UK travellers reportedly refused entry by Malta, what discussions he has had with EU officials on vaccination certificates.

Following our discussions, the Maltese Government confirmed on 15 July that they will accept all COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and all United Kingdom travel advice was updated.

We are actively engaging with other Member States and organisations, including the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the World Health Organization.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment the Government has made of the effect of the cost of prescriptions on veterans' mental health outcomes.

Exemptions from National Health Service prescriptions charges for veterans have been extended beyond valid war pension exemption certificate holders to Armed Forces Compensation Scheme recipients. If the prescription is not for their accepted disablement there would be a charge if they were under 60 years old, unless there was another exemption in place. No assessment has been made of the effect of the cost of prescriptions on veterans’ mental health.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending free prescriptions to veterans other than holders of a Valid War Pension Exemption Certificate in cases where the prescription is for an accepted disability.

Exemptions from National Health Service prescriptions charges for veterans have been extended beyond valid war pension exemption certificate holders to Armed Forces Compensation Scheme recipients. If the prescription is not for their accepted disablement there would be a charge if they were under 60 years old, unless there was another exemption in place. No assessment has been made of the effect of the cost of prescriptions on veterans’ mental health.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the criteria used to identify individuals suitable for participation in the daily testing pilot.

To be eligible for the daily contact testing workplace pilot evaluation scheme, people who have been identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 either in or outside the workplace must:

- have no COVID-19 symptoms;

- give their informed consent to take part;

- not live with anyone with a positive test for COVID-19 or symptoms;

- not live in Scotland or Northern Ireland;

- not travel in or out of Scotland or Northern Ireland while taking part in daily contact testing for work or personal reasons; and

- be able to commit to test for at least five of the next seven scheduled days. A maximum of two days self-isolating in the seven-day schedule is permitted.

To be eligible for the daily contact testing clinical study, people who have been identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 must:

- not have COVID-19 symptoms;

- live in England;

- not be in full-time education;

- be aged 18 years old and over;

- not be under the quarantine rules for arriving in England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will list the organisations participating in the daily covid-19 testing pilot.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, since its introduction, how many people have participated in the daily covid-19 testing regime as an alternative to self- isolating; and how many of those people have subsequently had to self-isolate as a result of a positive test.

There are currently two ongoing clinical studies on daily COVID-19 testing as an alternative to self-isolation. The general public daily contact testing clinical study is a randomised control trial led by Public Health England, trialling at-home testing. The secondary schools and colleges daily contact testing clinical study is a randomised control trial, sponsored by the Department and Public Health England, trialling assisted on-site testing. We do not yet have the requested data, but information on the number of participants will be published once the studies have completed.

The workplaces daily contact testing pilot evaluation scheme is evaluating the operational feasibility of daily contact testing in workplaces. Since the pilot began in March until 10 July, 3,596 individuals have been tested as part of the evaluation across 20 workplaces, resulting in 25 positive cases being identified.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will list the criteria used to identify organisations suitable for participation in the daily contact testing pilot.

Organisations participating in the workplace daily contact testing pilot were selected having expressed an interest in joining the pilot and whether an asymptomatic testing site was available in the workplace. The workplaces selected were also designed to ensure a spread of different types of organisation, including additional public sector organisations, to assess the operational implications of running daily contact testing.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) employees of Government, (b) Ministers and (c) Members of Parliament have participated in the daily testing pilot.

We do not hold information on the occupation of those taking part in the workplace daily contact testing pilot evaluation scheme. Data for the daily contact testing clinical study, trialling home testing for members of the general public, is also anonymised.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the European Commission on the recognition of certain AstraZeneca batches by the EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate.

The Government continues to engage the European Union on certification to ensure that travel between the United Kingdom and the EU is supported by a common approach.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactures Vaxzevria and Covishield and both branded vaccines are the same as the COVID-19 Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. All SII-made doses approved by the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and administered in the UK were branded as the ’COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca’ which is now known commercially as ‘Vaxzeveria’. The MHRA has not approved doses branded as ‘Covishield’ and none have been administered in the UK. All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS COVID Pass as Vaxzevria. The European Medicines Agency has authorised Vaxzevria vaccine and it is therefore recognised by EU.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 6 July to Question 13987, what steps he has taken to centrally validate the data on the passengers entering from red list countries who have been successful in applying for exemption from the hotel quarantine requirements.

Processing the data for passengers arriving from ‘red list’ countries who are exempt from quarantine requires the collation of information from various sources depending on the relevant exemption and the number of passengers. Due to the quantity and complexity of these requests, the exemptions team is reviewing the current process and is conducting regular exercises to ensure duplication and errors are removed; improving cross team engagement and data sharing to facilitate the processing and validation of exemption cases data; implementing internal service level agreements to decrease processing time for decisions making on exemptions, enabling the data to be more easily verified; and developing an end-to-end process map and action plan to improve data quality and efficiency.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on the finding of the AffiDX antigen lateral flow covid-19 test small-scale study that that test outperformed two lateral flow antigen tests which are commercially available in Europe when detecting the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2.

We have had no such discussions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the research published by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 29 June 2021 entitled FFP3 respirators protect healthcare workers against infection with SARS-CoV-2, whether the Government plans to revise the guidance on the use of FFP3 masks by health and care staff on covid-19 wards.

The United Kingdom Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Cell continually monitors and reviews emerging evidence and data. The Cell has considered the findings of this research and concluded that, as there are some limitations in the scientific methods that were implemented, the study does not change the overall evidence base supporting the current IPC guidelines.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the results of the pilots for daily contact testing in schools.

A summary of the early trial findings will be published at the end of July. Further analysis will be carried out and a full report will be published in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the data collected by the ZOE COVID Symptom Study which found that headaches, a sore throat and a runny nose are the most common symptoms of the Delta variant of covid-19, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of expanding the list of symptoms which trigger the need for a covid-19 test.

Experts keep the symptoms under review as our understanding of the virus develops. We are assessing the data from the COVID Symptom Study in addition to other surveillance studies and will update our guidance if necessary.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of NHS Improvement on the proposals for a review of the guidance covering transactions involving the creation of subsidiaries or material changes to existing subsidiaries.

The National Health Service has had a long-standing ability to create subsidiary companies under the National Health Service Act 2006. NHS foundation trusts can establish subsidiaries with approval undertaken through the statutory powers and duties of NHS England and NHS Improvement. NHS trusts may only establish subsidiaries with approval of the Secretary of State. The review of proposals under the existing Addendum to the transactions guidance for trusts forming or changing a subsidiary involving the creation of subsidiaries and material changes, including those that are considered significant to existing subsidiaries, has been paused to allow both NHS England and NHS Improvement and the sector to focus on supporting the recovery of services


NHS England and NHS Improvement made a small number of exemptions to this principle, where there were exceptional circumstances. Over the last 12 months, NHS trusts and foundation trusts have reported four proposals to create new subsidiaries and six proposals to make material changes to existing subsidiaries. Updated guidance is due to be published later in 2021/22.

There have been a number of recent discussions involving Departmental officials and NHS England and NHS Improvement on the proposals for a review of the guidance covering the creation of subsidiaries or material changes to existing subsidiaries.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many reviews of transactions involving (a) the creation of subsidiaries and (b) material changes to existing subsidiaries are being undertaken by NHS Improvement where the proposal is considered to be material as at 29 June 2021.

The National Health Service has had a long-standing ability to create subsidiary companies under the National Health Service Act 2006. NHS foundation trusts can establish subsidiaries with approval undertaken through the statutory powers and duties of NHS England and NHS Improvement. NHS trusts may only establish subsidiaries with approval of the Secretary of State. The review of proposals under the existing Addendum to the transactions guidance for trusts forming or changing a subsidiary involving the creation of subsidiaries and material changes, including those that are considered significant to existing subsidiaries, has been paused to allow both NHS England and NHS Improvement and the sector to focus on supporting the recovery of services


NHS England and NHS Improvement made a small number of exemptions to this principle, where there were exceptional circumstances. Over the last 12 months, NHS trusts and foundation trusts have reported four proposals to create new subsidiaries and six proposals to make material changes to existing subsidiaries. Updated guidance is due to be published later in 2021/22.

There have been a number of recent discussions involving Departmental officials and NHS England and NHS Improvement on the proposals for a review of the guidance covering the creation of subsidiaries or material changes to existing subsidiaries.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many reviews of transactions involving (a) the creation of subsidiaries and (b) material changes to existing subsidiaries are being undertaken by NHS Improvement where the proposal is considered to be significant as at 29 June 2021.

The National Health Service has had a long-standing ability to create subsidiary companies under the National Health Service Act 2006. NHS foundation trusts can establish subsidiaries with approval undertaken through the statutory powers and duties of NHS England and NHS Improvement. NHS trusts may only establish subsidiaries with approval of the Secretary of State. The review of proposals under the existing Addendum to the transactions guidance for trusts forming or changing a subsidiary involving the creation of subsidiaries and material changes, including those that are considered significant to existing subsidiaries, has been paused to allow both NHS England and NHS Improvement and the sector to focus on supporting the recovery of services


NHS England and NHS Improvement made a small number of exemptions to this principle, where there were exceptional circumstances. Over the last 12 months, NHS trusts and foundation trusts have reported four proposals to create new subsidiaries and six proposals to make material changes to existing subsidiaries. Updated guidance is due to be published later in 2021/22.

There have been a number of recent discussions involving Departmental officials and NHS England and NHS Improvement on the proposals for a review of the guidance covering the creation of subsidiaries or material changes to existing subsidiaries.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timetable is for publication of the review by NHS Improvement of the approach to considering transactions involving the creation of subsidiaries or material changes to existing subsidiaries.

The National Health Service has had a long-standing ability to create subsidiary companies under the National Health Service Act 2006. NHS foundation trusts can establish subsidiaries with approval undertaken through the statutory powers and duties of NHS England and NHS Improvement. NHS trusts may only establish subsidiaries with approval of the Secretary of State. The review of proposals under the existing Addendum to the transactions guidance for trusts forming or changing a subsidiary involving the creation of subsidiaries and material changes, including those that are considered significant to existing subsidiaries, has been paused to allow both NHS England and NHS Improvement and the sector to focus on supporting the recovery of services


NHS England and NHS Improvement made a small number of exemptions to this principle, where there were exceptional circumstances. Over the last 12 months, NHS trusts and foundation trusts have reported four proposals to create new subsidiaries and six proposals to make material changes to existing subsidiaries. Updated guidance is due to be published later in 2021/22.

There have been a number of recent discussions involving Departmental officials and NHS England and NHS Improvement on the proposals for a review of the guidance covering the creation of subsidiaries or material changes to existing subsidiaries.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts have engaged with NHS Improvement on transactions involving (a) the creation of subsidiaries and (b) material changes to existing subsidiaries in the last 12 months.

The National Health Service has had a long-standing ability to create subsidiary companies under the National Health Service Act 2006. NHS foundation trusts can establish subsidiaries with approval undertaken through the statutory powers and duties of NHS England and NHS Improvement. NHS trusts may only establish subsidiaries with approval of the Secretary of State. The review of proposals under the existing Addendum to the transactions guidance for trusts forming or changing a subsidiary involving the creation of subsidiaries and material changes, including those that are considered significant to existing subsidiaries, has been paused to allow both NHS England and NHS Improvement and the sector to focus on supporting the recovery of services


NHS England and NHS Improvement made a small number of exemptions to this principle, where there were exceptional circumstances. Over the last 12 months, NHS trusts and foundation trusts have reported four proposals to create new subsidiaries and six proposals to make material changes to existing subsidiaries. Updated guidance is due to be published later in 2021/22.

There have been a number of recent discussions involving Departmental officials and NHS England and NHS Improvement on the proposals for a review of the guidance covering the creation of subsidiaries or material changes to existing subsidiaries.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 June 2021 to Question 301 on Protective Clothing: Manufacturing Industries, what value of personal protective equipment (PPE) was procured from each of those companies; and what proportion each of those values comprise of the total amount of value of PPE procured by his Department from all sources since 1 October 2020.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason Innova lateral flow tests had their authorisation extended by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency only until 28 August 2021.

An Exceptional Use Authorisation (EUA) is only needed if the lateral flow test is not UKCA, CE, or CE UKNI marked. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) provides EUAs where there are no UKCA, CE, UKNI products available and where there is a clinical and/or public health need. The MHRA has determined this is the case for the re-purposed Innova lateral flow tests. The duration of an EUA can differ for a number of reasons and a shorter extension was considered appropriate for the re-purposed Innova tests. This does not preclude further extensions if requested by NHS Test and Trace.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people who have had (a) one and (b) two doses of a covid-19 vaccine have (i) been admitted to hospital with covid-19 and (ii) died from covid-19 since 1 May 2020.

This information is not available in the format requested. Public Health England monitors the number of people who have been admitted to hospital and died from COVID-19 who have received one or two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination and will publish this data in due course. The vaccine programme commenced in December 2020, therefore data regarding vaccines, hospitalisations and deaths is not available before that date.

The technical briefing, published by Public Health England, provides the latest data regarding hospitalisations and deaths by variant, as well as data concerning those hospitalised with the Delta variant of COVID-19 who are vaccinated with one and both doses and those unvaccinated. Data is available from 1 February 2021 at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investigation-of-novel-sars-cov-2-variant-variant-of-concern-20201201

The vaccine surveillance report includes weekly vaccine uptake by age; daily observed and expected COVID-19 hospitalisations for those over 65 years of age and daily observed and expected COVID-19 related deaths for those over 60 years of age. However, this does not show information by vaccine dose. The weekly COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccine-surveillance-report

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of trialling CAR T Cell Therapy for the treatment of Mesothelioma.

The Department funds and supports research into health and care research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR is supporting the delivery of the study ‘Immunotherapy for malignant mesothelioma using ErbB re-targeted Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cells in combination with checkpoint inhibition’ funded by the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to correspondence dated 27 April 2021 from the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston on the impact of unit of dental activity targets.

We replied to the hon. Member on 1 July 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of (a) all meetings between (i) the Secretary of State and (ii) health ministers and the private health care provider Babylon and (b) all social and other events organised by Babylon that were attended by (A) the Secretary of State and (B) one or more health ministers since June 2019.

Since June 2019, there has been one external event attended by the former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Rt hon. Matt Hancock MP) where Babylon Health Care, alongside other organisations, was also in attendance.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish all advice issued in 2020 to residential care homes on the transfer of covid-19 positive residents into acute settings.

Advice to residential care homes on admissions, hospital discharge, designated settings and the management of staff and residents exposed to COVID-19 is published on GOV.UK. The key guidance documents are available at the following links:

‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes’

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-admission-and-care-of-people-in-care-homes

‘Discharge into care homes: designated settings’

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/designated-settings-for-people-discharged-to-a-care-home/discharge-into-care-homes-designated-settings

‘COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings: Guidance on the management of staff, patients and residents who have been exposed to COVID-19’

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/designated-settings-for-people-discharged-to-a-care-home/discharge-into-care-homes-designated-settings

Whilst the guidance has been updated periodically, a record of changes is published alongside the documents.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his oral evidence to the Health and Social Care and Science and Technology Select Committees on 10 June 2021, Q1293, HC95, whether the report he received containing a reasonable worse case scenario estimate of 820,000 covid-19 deaths contained a reasonable best case scenario estimate; and if he will place a copy of that report in the Library.

At the start of 2020, the Government’s COVID-19 planning was partly informed by the reasonable-worst case scenario (RWCS) for pandemic influenza, as well as emerging evidence on COVID-19. These planning assumptions are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/influenza-vs-covid-planning-assumptions-10-february-2020

The estimate of 820,000 deaths relates to the estimated number of excess deaths in the 2019 pandemic influenza RWCS. It does not relate to direct COVID-19 or flu deaths, nor to estimated deaths under a COVID-19 RWCS. Excess deaths are the number of deaths from any cause that occur above the yearly expected average. The planning assumptions used at the beginning of 2020 were updated as new evidence on COVID-19 emerged. The March 2020 RWCS for COVID-19, includes an optimistic scenario, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reasonable-worst-case-planning-scenario-29-march-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of travellers returning to the UK from red list countries that have been exempt from hotel quarantine measures.

The information requested is not currently available as it is being collated and centrally validated.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with the Therapeutic Taskforce on investigations into the use of Ivermaticin for the purposes of treating covid-19 patients.

The Department is closely monitoring the evidence on the use of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. A recent collection of small studies show some positive indications. However, further high quality, larger-scale studies are still needed to confirm the efficacy of this treatment. The Therapeutics Taskforce will keep the position on ivermectin under review as more data becomes available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the oral Answer of 8 June 2021 given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Official Report, column 811, on covid-19 positivity rates in Pakistan and India, from what period of time the data for the positivity rates referred to in that Answer were taken; on what date that decision was made; and if he will publish all the advice and information provided to him that informed that decision.

The quoted figures referred to the period 3 to 17 March 2021. The decision to place India on the ‘red list’ was made on 19 April.

All decisions on the ‘red’, ‘amber’ or ‘green list’ assignment and our border regime are taken by Ministers, informed by evidence including the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s analysis as well as other relevant information about the risk of the spread of variants and other wider public health factors. We are unable to provide the information requested as it relates to ongoing development of Government policy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much winter funding has been allocated to the NHS in each year in real terms since 2010-11.

The information is not available in the format requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase the numbers of (a) anaesthetists, (b) surgeons and (c) surgical care practitioners.

The Government has increased the number of medical school places in England by 1,500, alongside opening five new medical schools across England. By increasing the supply of doctors, this will ensure a larger potential pipeline for anaesthetists and surgeons in coming years in the National Health Service. Since 2010, the number of doctors working in the surgical group of specialties has increased by over 25% and the number of anaesthetists has increased by over 26%.

Surgical care practitioners (SCPs) are drawn from existing registered healthcare professionals such nurses, operating department practitioners and other allied health professionals who have extended the scope of their practice. We are increasing the pool of staff SCPs can be drawn from.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase clinical knowledge and skills training for (a) trainee doctors, (b) student nurses and (c) other health professionals.

The standard of training for medical and health care professionals is the responsibility of the medical and health care independent statutory regulatory bodies who set the outcome standards expected at undergraduate level and approve courses. Higher education institutions write and teach the curricula content that enables their students to meet the regulators’ outcome standards. For postgraduate medical training, the curricula for foundation training is set by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and by individual Royal Colleges and faculties for specialty training. The General Medical Council approves curricula and assessment systems for each medical training programme.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative estimate he has made of the number of acute hospital beds in (a) 2019 and (b) 2021.

The latest data available in Quarter 4 2020/21, shows the average daily number of general and acute beds open overnight was 96,313 with an average occupancy rate of 83.0%. This compares to 129,992 beds in Quarter 4 2018/19, with an average occupancy rate of 89.1%.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that covid-19 vaccinations carried out by NHS Wales are recognised by NHS England.

The vaccines authorised for use are commensurate across the United Kingdom, therefore vaccinations carried out by the devolved administrations are recognised by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston of 24 February 2021 on access to dental care.

We replied to the hon. Member on 8 June 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the evaluation of the 111 First service.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that evaluation of the programme is still ongoing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the 12-hour data from time of arrival for all accident and emergency departments.

Data on 12 hour waiting times in accident and emergency departments for 2019-20, the latest available data is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/hospital-accident--emergency-activity/2019-20

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the future capacity needs of acute hospitals.

National Health Service trusts have set operational plans, including their hospital bed capacity, for the first half of 2021/22 which take account of the current operating context, including the ongoing impact of infection prevention and control and social distancing and demand for future elective, non-elective and COVID-19 patient management. Decisions on NHS capacity will be kept under active review.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to expand capacity and restore the number of acute hospital beds.

National Health Service trusts have set operational plans, including their hospital bed capacity, for the first half of 2021/22 which take account of the current operating context, including the ongoing impact of infection prevention and control and social distancing and demand for future elective, non-elective and COVID-19 patient management. Decisions on NHS capacity will be kept under active review.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to regulate surgical care practitioners.

Following the 2017 consultation on the regulation of medical associate professions there are no plans to introduce statutory regulation of surgical care practitioners at this time.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to publish a strategy for unscheduled care to meet increases in demand.

The National Health Service recently set out plans in the ‘2021/22 priorities and operational planning guidance’, including for urgent and emergency care. There are no current plans to publish a further strategy for unscheduled care.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many private ambulances were used to respond to (a) 999 and (b) 111 calls (i) for each month since March 2019 and (ii) in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has been made of potential risks of using covid-19 lateral flow tests regularly.

Lateral flow tests or rapid lateral flow antigen tests have been rigorously tested and are safe to use on a regular basis.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of rules on food labelling for safeguarding people with allergies.

The Food Standards Agency is undertaking an ongoing programme of work to improve the quality of life for people with food hypersensitivity, which includes responsibility for the provision of allergen information and labelling. All food businesses are under a legal obligation to provide information on the presence of the 14 major allergens in food and this information can be provided in different ways depending on how the food is packaged.

New labelling rules for ‘prepacked for direct sale’ food are being implemented across the United Kingdom from 1 October 2021 and require full ingredients listing, with the 14 allergens emphasised. This change means more types of food will now be labelled with allergen information.

For those who are hypersensitive to foods not in the major allergens list, the Food Standards Agency recommends that consumers check the ingredients list on prepacked food and speak to businesses when they purchase non-prepacked food.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2020 to Question 99682 on NHS: 111, what proportion of the NHS 111 service across England is run by (a) private providers, (b) social enterprise and (c) NHS providers.

In England NHS 111 services are run by 18 providers in total, of which eight are National Health Service providers, seven are social enterprise and three are private providers.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the number of (a) clinical radiology trainees and (b) vacant clinical radiology consultant posts in hospitals.

We have made no such assessment.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the correspondence since March 2020 between the Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health and the (a) Ombudsman and (b) Chair of the Parliament and Health Service Ombudsman on the use of the severity of injustice scale.

A search of the Department’s correspondence database has shown there are two relevant letters, which are attached.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the shortfalls in the clinical radiology workforce as identified in the Royal College of Radiologists' clinical radiology workforce census 2020.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have not yet made a specific assessment of the 2020 survey.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to allocate additional funding to the clinical radiology workforce.

The Health Education England (HEE) Cancer Workforce Plan commits to the expansion of capacity and skills across six professions by 2021, including clinical radiology. In 2021/22 HEE will continue implementation of this plan, including working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to increase the number clinical radiology training posts by over 100. Allocation of funding for future years will be dependent on future Government Spending Reviews.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average distance is that a person must travel to receive their (a) first and (b) second vaccination dose in England.

This information is not held centrally. However, 99% of the population are within 10 miles of a vaccination site.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 vaccination appointments have been cancelled due to supply issues each month since January 2021 in (a) England and (b) Cheshire West and Chester.

This information is not held centrally. NHS England and NHS Improvement communicate any foreseen supply issues to vaccination sites in advance, so the availability of appointments corresponds to supply.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the findings of the Goldacre rapid review on the use of health data for research and analysis.

Dr Goldacre is finalising his recommendations. The report will be published as soon as possible.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department monitors in advance of adding or removing a company from the Government's approved list of providers for covid-19 testing.

Private testing providers must meet the minimum standards for COVID-19 testing services for international arrivals, including being at the relevant stage of United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) process. The minimum standards are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/testing-on-day-2-and-day-8-for-international-arrivals

Laboratories are required to show that they meet minimum standards before delivering testing. This evidence is assessed by UKAS at ‘stage one’, laboratories or their partner providers who evidence they meet standards are added to the GOV.UK list. UKAS accreditation provides an assurance of the competence, impartiality and integrity of laboratories.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date and for what reason Livecovidtesting were removed from the Government's approved list of covid-19 testing companies.

Livecovidtesting is currently on the list of providers on GOV.UK. They were removed on 30 March and have since been reinstated. Organisations are removed from the list for either failing to meet the minimum standards set out in legislation or performance expectations. Providers are reinstated to the list once they demonstrate they have rectified the issues set out in the notification of their removal.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the provision of a courier collection service for covid-19 testing companies is a requirement for inclusion on the Government's approved list of covid-19 testing companies for people returning to the UK from overseas.

A courier collection service is not a requirement. However, we are working alongside test providers and delivery providers to ensure that delivery systems used are both timely and reliable.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the public health regulations on quarantining when re-entering the UK from abroad, whether it is his policy that people are permitted to leave their homes to post their day two and day eight covid-19 tests.

International arrivals who are quarantining at home are permitted to leave their house in order to post their COVID-19 test or attend a testing site. They must travel directly to and from the testing site or priority post box and avoid public transport where possible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to prevent fraud in supply chains of mini umbrella companies employing workers engaged in NHS Test and Trace services.

We are monitoring and reviewing specific fraud risks arising as a result of COVID-19, including in mini umbrella companies. We are developing advice on fraud prevention measures within our extensive supply chain.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the cancellation of second covid-19 vaccinations by the national booking system has led to second vaccinations being delayed beyond the recommended 12 weeks; and on how many occasions that has occurred.

Established systems and procedures are in place to ensure that second doses can be easily booked. The National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) is the centralised service for the management of the COVID-19 programme established by NHS England. If an individual is invited for a COVID-19 vaccination via a general practitioner (GP) and once the patient has a vaccination, this information is entered into the patients’ GP record and it is also recorded on the NIMS. A second vaccination appointment can then be offered to the patient by the National Health Service in the following 12-week period, in line with national guidance. The system keeps a record of everyone who has been invited and sends reminders via text or letter to anyone who has not been vaccinated, or who has not booked an appointment through the National Booking System.

Vaccine supplies have already been set aside to ensure that everyone who has already received their first dose will receive their second dose and this will be within 12 weeks of their first. There are currently no delays in the administration of the second dose of the vaccine. Where a patient has been invited to book their own appointment, they will also be required to book their second appointment 11 to 12 weeks on from the first. Vaccinations will be recorded on the NIMS and corresponding updates sent to GP systems.

NHS England’s guidance states that all vaccination centres should ensure that all second dose appointments are booked in by the twelfth week after the first dose.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total cost to the NHS was of using (a) agency staff and (b) bank staff for 2020-21 in (i) Quarter 4 and (ii) total.

The data is not currently held in the format requested. We expect to publish the data in the summer.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) first and (b) second covid-19 vaccinations have been cancelled by the national booking system; and for what reasons.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not currently hold validated information on cancellations made by the National Booking System. Information regarding the reason for cancellation is not required or requested to cancel an appointment.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients have attended accident and emergency in each month since March 2020.

The numbers of Accident and Emergency attendances in England for each month from March 2020 are in the table below.

All A&E attendances

Mar-20

1,531,801

Apr-20

916,575

May-20

1,261,837

Jun-20

1,410,602

Jul-20

1,588,286

Aug-20

1,719,003

Sep-20

1,693,880

Oct-20

1,599,347

Nov-20

1,485,176

Dec-20

1,474,674

Jan-21

1,310,806

Feb-21

1,278,091

Mar-21

1,691,282

Apr-21

1,869,822

Total

20,831,182

Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/ae-attendances-and-emergency-admissions-2021-22/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of patients who called 111 First and following assessment (a) attended accident and emergency via a booked arrival time appointment, (b) were directed to another urgent care setting, (c) were directed to a primary care setting and (d) were not directed to attend any setting, in each month since December 2020.

Information is not held in the format requested as NHS111 First is not a separate service from NHS 111.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients have been cared for in covid virtual wards (a) in total and (b) in each region.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients have used the 111 First service in each month since its introduction.

NHS 111 First is not a separate service to NHS 111, therefore the data requested is not collected.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish his response to the consultation on replacing the four-hour accident and emergency target.

NHS England and NHS Improvement will publish the response to the recent consultation on emergency care standards in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the findings of the 111 First pilots.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are unable to confirm when findings will be published as the evaluation of the programme is ongoing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of second covid-19 vaccinations have happened within 12 weeks of the first to date.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not currently hold centrally validated data on what proportion of second COVID-19 vaccinations have happened within 12 weeks of the first to date.

As of 19 May 2021, 20,870,453 people have received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The total number of second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine administered is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations

On 14 May 2021, the Government accepted new advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and announced that appointments for a second dose of a vaccine would be brought forward from 12 to eight weeks for the remaining people in the top nine priority groups who have yet to receive their second dose. This is to ensure the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity in response to the B1.617.2 variant of concern, first identified in India.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of UK manufacturers from which personal protective equipment (PPE) has been sourced; and the postcodes where that PPE has been produced.

As of May 2021, DHSC has contracted with 31 UK based personal protective equipment (PPE) Manufacturers as part of our UK Make programme. The UK Make programme was stood up by the Department to ramp up domestic production in response to the pandemic.

All PPE providers who have been awarded a contract to supply goods and services to the Department are published on Contracts Finder on GOV.UK, including those with UK manufacturers of PPE.

The information requested is shown in the following table:

Manufacturer name

Postcode

I Love Cosmetics (Expac)

PR25 2DY

Potter & Moore

PE4 6ND

DTR MEDICAL LTD

SA6 8RF UK

DURAWELD LTD

YO11 3UP

KINGSBURY PRESS

DN11 0BF

L J A MIERS AND COMPANY LTD

PE19 1QS

NUMATIC INTERNATIONAL LTD

TA20 2GB

PHOTOCENTRIC LTD

PE1 5YW

RAMFOAM LIMITED

B69 2HF

STAEGER CLEAR PACKAGING LTD

CV6 4BL

THE ROYAL MINT LTD

CF72 8YT

Elite Plastics

HR2 6JR

Lincoln Polythene

LN5 8LG

PFF Packaging

NE37 3HR

Polystar Plastics

SO14 5BF

Siva Plastics (CWB’s) CWOT0100

SO19 7GB

Burberry

WF10 1QX

McDonald & Taylor

WA1 4RX

Private White

M3 7LJ

Redwood

WN8 9PL

Survitec

CH41 1HQ

Alpha Solway (Globus)

DG12 5BL

Blue Tree Group

S63 5DR

Burberry

WF10 1QX

Don & Low

DD8 1FR

Dräger

NE24 4RG

Eumar Technology

HR1 3SE

Honeywell

ML1 5SB

Medicom

NN4 7EJ

Private White

M3 7LJ

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many applications have been made to the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme (a) in total and (b) that were successful; and what the (i) range of payments, (ii) mean payment and (iii) total amount paid out is since that scheme began.

Lower tier and unitary local authorities provide information to the Department on numbers of applications made to and payments made under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme. This data is being collated and validated. All payments made under the scheme are at a flat rate of £500.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the review by the Early Years Health Advisor on the lessons learned from the covid-19 outbreak and the effect on very young children.

‘The Best Start for Life: A Vision for the 1,001 Critical Days’ was published on 25 March. This was the report from the first phase of the Early Years Healthy Development Review, led by the Early Years Health Advisor and includes lessons learned from the experiences of the coronavirus pandemic. Officials will now start implementation of the action areas set out in the document.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the independent rapid review into West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust undertaken by Christine Outram has concluded; and when he plans to publish the findings of that review.

The independent review into West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has not concluded. The report is now being finalised by the review team and will then be submitted to NHS Improvement. NHS Improvement is committed to publishing the final report when it is complete.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter dated 15 January 2021 from the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston on covid-19 vaccinations for clinically extremely vulnerable children.

We replied to the hon. Member on 26 April.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter dated 24 February 2021 from the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston, reference PO-1272489.

We replied to the hon. Member on 26 April 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what mapping programmes 999 call centres have access to in order to clarify the location of emergency reports.

Ambulance emergency operations centres use mapping technology within their computer aided despatch system. Information from ordnance survey, national databases such as the Royal Mail and local intelligence are held on a gazetteer. In addition, all English ambulance services use What3Words which is an application which has mapped every three metre square location to a unique combination of three words. These three words can be provided by the caller to help enable ambulance services to locate the incident.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston of 7 October 2020 on hidden disabilities.

We replied to the hon. Member on 27 April 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the provision of a courier collection service for covid-19 testing companies is a requirement for inclusion on the Government's approved list of covid-19 testing companies for people returning to the UK from overseas.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the public health regulations on quarantining when re-entering the UK from abroad, whether it is his policy that people are permitted to leave their homes to post their day two and day eight covid-19 tests.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what well-being impact assessment was conducted for the Government guidance on visits out of care homes for care home residents.

Before publishing updated guidance on visiting care homes on 22 April, we considered the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. Our guidance on visiting in and visiting out seeks to balance the known health and wellbeing benefits to residents of visits with the need to protect individuals from the risk to life posed by COVID-19.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis is for his policy that care home residents returning from visits out must self-isolate for 14 days on their return; and for what reason this is not in line with the 10 day self-isolation period for people who have come into contact with a person with covid-19.

A 14-day period of isolation is recommended for residents in care homes as these are a particularly vulnerable group, living in a setting at risk of experience an outbreak of COVID-19 if the virus is introduced. Based on their clinical vulnerability and the potential for longer incubation periods for care home residents, Public Health England recommended that the 14-day isolation period should remain unchanged when the new 10-day self-isolation period for contacts of those testing positive for COVID-19 was established.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 179196 on Coronavirus: Screening, what the names of the companies are who (a) are responsible for the operation and (b) have legal ownership of the (i) 328 mobile screening units in service and (ii) 60 mobile screening units in reserve.

England’s mobile testing units contracted directly by NHS Test and Trace are operated by a number of service management providers. These are Mitie, Serco, G4S Sodexo and Levy. NHS Test and Trace has contracted LeasePlan to manage the leasing arrangement for the mobile testing units and contracts the units directly from them.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on how many occasions the covid-19 variant 1.617 has been identified in tests in each week since 4 January 2021.

The following table shows the number of occasions COVID-19 variant B.1617 has been identified in tests in each week since 22 February 2021. There are no cases from sequenced positive tests prior to this date.

Week Beginning

Cases

22 February 2021

2

1 March 2021

6

8 March 2021

11

15 March 2021

18

22 March 2021

19

29 March 2021

30

5 April 2021

33

12 April 2021

33

19 April 2021

1

Null

2

Note:

Data includes two cases which have not been matched to a Second Generation Surveillance System record and so no date exists. The date refers to the date of a positive test. There is approximately a one to two week lag between the point of a positive test to the sequenced results entering into the data feed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date and for what reason livecovidtesting were removed from the Government's approved list of covid-19 testing companies.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March 2021 to Question 165584, if he will publish by (a) constituency and (b) volume where that personal protective equipment was manufactured.

We do not hold collated and validated data on the location within the United Kingdom where personal protective equipment (PPE) was manufactured. We have published the overall volume of PPE sourced from UK manufacturing for the three months from 1 December 2020 which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-protective-equipment-ppe-made-in-the-uk-as-at-1-december-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many variants of concern of covid-19 have been identified as being present in the UK in 2021.

In total there are four variants of concern that have been identified as present in the United Kingdom in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many current NHS employees have been required to sign Non Disclosure Agreements in 2021 to date.

This information is not held centrally.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the covid-19 testing arrangements for international arrivals into the UK, what number and proportion of travellers received their Day 2 and Day 8 covid-19 test results within (a) 24 hours, (b) 48 hours and (c) 72 hours of returning those tests.

This information is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department monitors in advance of adding or removing a company from the Government's approved list of providers for covid-19 testing.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many doses of flucelvax have been procured for winter 2021-22.

Local providers are responsible for the procurement of flu vaccines. The Department has not procured any adult flu vaccines for a central stock for the upcoming winter. Information with regard to the amount of flucelvax which has been procured locally is commercially sensitive.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many doses of flucelvax were administered from September 2020 to March 2021.

The information is not held in the format requested. The majority of vaccines were procured and managed locally therefore on doses administered by vaccines type is not available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total cost to the NHS was of using (a) agency staff and (b) bank staff (i) for each quarter and (ii) in total for 2020-21.

The following table shows expenditure on agency and bank staff in National Health Service trusts for the first three quarters of the financial year 2020-21.

Agency staff

Bank staff

Quarter 1

£537,442,477

£987,839,313

Quarter 2

£563,825,034

£1,027,155,620

Quarter 3

£625,646,943

£1,172,794,134

Data for Quarter 4 will be available at the end of April 2021, therefore the total cost for 2020-21 is not yet available.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Learning from Deaths programme, what the timeframe is for the establishment of the new board; and when the first meeting of that board will take place.

We are now in the process of establishing the board and the purpose of its function. We will develop the details of its governance arrangements, timescales for implementation, family engagement and success criteria in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Learning from Deaths programme, what plans he has to publish a new framework for investigating deaths.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently piloting a new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework to replace the current Serious Incident Framework.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 mobile testing units are operating in England.

There are 328 mobile testing units operating throughout England, while a further 60 are kept as strategic reserves. The strategic reserve fleet of vehicles are used across the United Kingdom to support in outbreaks.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Learning from Deaths programme, what plans he has to publish updated guidance for NHS trusts.

There are no immediate plans to update the guidance further as trusts are required to review and publish locally the numbers of deaths, evidence of what they have learned and the actions taken to prevent such deaths in future in their annual Quality Accounts.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the second interim bulletin published by Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch on 25 March 2021 entitled Oxygen issues during the covid-19 pandemic, what plans he has to issue guidance on the (a) role, (b) function and (c) key attendees of medical gas committees.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have already commenced work on guidance which will clarify the role, function and key attendees of medical gas committees which will be published shortly.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Learning from Deaths programme, what recent assessment he has made of the independence of NHS investigation systems.

The Department works closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement to ensure that there are independent and transparent systems in place to support those affected by patient safety incidents.

Following an assessment of the current systems, NHS England and NHS Improvement are piloting a new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework to replace the current Serious Incident Framework used for investigations. An update on the development of the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/patient-safety/serious-incident-framework/

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 162633, on Coronavirus: Screening, how many and what proportion of covid-19 tests were processed in the UK in (a) total and (b) each month since March 2020.

This data is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to extend the notice made under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI) requiring NHS Digital to share confidential patient information for purposes relating to the outbreak of covid-19 beyond September 2021.

It is important that health and care organisations can continue to make the best use of data to respond to COVID-19 and as such the notices will be reviewed and extended as appropriate to ensure this is the case.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Learning from Deaths programme, what plans he has to undertake a national inquiry into unresolved historical cases.

The Government has initiated inquiries and investigations in the past, where there has been evidence of serious harm relating to specific healthcare settings and there is an important opportunity for system-wide learning. We will continue to consider cases where there is merit and there is an opportunity for learning and improving the quality of care for patients. However, we have no plans to undertake a national inquiry into unresolved historical cases.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS referral-to-treatment waiting list, how many patients in (a) England, (b) each STP-ICS area in England and (c) each acute trust in England had been waiting more than one year in the latest collected data in each of the following time bandings (i) 52-56 Weeks, (ii) 56-60 Weeks, (iii) 60-64 Weeks, (iv) 64-68 Weeks, (v) 68-72 Weeks, (vi) 72-76 Weeks, (vii) 76-80 Weeks, (viii) 80-84 Weeks, (ix) 84-88 Weeks, (x) 88-92 Weeks, (xi) 92-96 Weeks, (xii) 96-100 Weeks, (xiii) 100-104 Weeks and (xiv) 104+ Weeks.

This information is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 17 December 2020 to Question 128690 on health services: private sector, if he will publish the (a) total cost and (b) cost per month of his Department's contracts for private sector capacity in each month since 1 June 2020.

Total actual costs relating to the national contracts entered into by NHS England with independent sector providers for private sector capacity are expected to be made available by the autumn, subject to reconciliation by both NHS England and NHS Improvement and the independent sector.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the cost of covid-19 tests for people returning to the UK have been calculated.

The testing package of two COVID-19 tests is £210 from NHS Test and Trace. In enabling any market where the Government is delivering a service alongside other providers, the Government must set its price at a level that allows the market to compete. We recently introduced private sector for travellers quarantining at home to offer a wider choice of providers for those who wish to purchase private tests. The prices and service offered by these approved providers may vary. The costs, as with all of these measures will be kept under constant review.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the public purse has been of setting up and maintaining each of the seven Nightingale hospitals.

Estimates previously provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement to the Department indicated that the set-up cost for the Nightingale hospitals would be approximately £220 million. The following table breaks down the original estimate by each individual Nightingale hospital:

Site

Set up costs £’000

London

57,411

Birmingham

66,408

Manchester

23,471

Harrogate

27,314

Bristol

14,209

Exeter

11,163

Sunderland

20,102

Total

220,078

NHS England and NHS Improvement are in the process of reviewing all spending incurred for each individual site. The forecast for total costs including set-up, running costs, stand-by costs and costs of decommissioning across all sites will reach around £532 million across financial years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 17 February 2021 to Question 147891 on Coronavirus: Screening, what evidence the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies based its assessment on when assessing the effect that discharging patients from hospital into the community without testing had on covid-19 community infection rates.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) considered the contribution of nosocomial infections to hospital COVID-19 cases and the overall epidemic from February to July 2020 at SAGE meeting 63 on 22 October 2020. The minutes of the meeting are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sage-63-minutes-coronavirus-covid-19-response-22-october-2020

The related updated paper considering ‘The contribution of nosocomial infections to the first wave, 28 January 2021’, was published on 12 February 2021. The paper provides an estimate of hospitalised COVID-19 cases that could have been due to nosocomial transmission. A key conclusion of the paper is that nosocomial infections and onward community cases due to nosocomial infection may lead to a substantial number of subsequent COVID-19 hospital admissions. The paper is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phe-and-lshtm-the-contribution-of-nosocomial-infections-to-the-first-wave-28-january-2021

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many inpatients have been treated for (a) covid-19 and (b) non-covid-19 related issues at each Nightingale hospital in each month since April 2020.

This information is not held in the format requested. NHS England and NHS Improvement are collating some data relating to patient activity in the Nightingale hospitals, but this information has not been centrally validated.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many complaints his Department has received from hon. Members on NHS Test and Trace; and what the average response time is to those complaints.

The information is not held in the format requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to publish its response to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review Report, published on 8 July 2020.

My Written Ministerial Statement of 11 January (HCWS692) provided an update on the Government’s response to the Review.

We currently plan to respond further during 2021.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 134477 tabled on 7 January 2021 by the Hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 134477 of 18 March.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people who are not registered with a GP have received (a) their first covid-19 vaccination and (b) both vaccinations to date.

The number of people not registered with a general practitioner who have received their first covid-19 vaccination and both vaccinations is not collected centrally in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that all people who are not registered with a GP who are eligible for the covid-19 vaccine are (a) identified and (b) contacted to access that vaccine.

The terms under which general practitioner (GP) practices are commissioned to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination services enable practices to vaccinate unregistered patients. Individuals who are not registered with a GP will therefore be able to access the vaccine in line with the priority groups outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations (JCVI). However, we would strongly encourage everyone to register so that they may be more easily invited for vaccination.

Every local system should have a plan for full coverage for inclusion health groups - for example, homeless people. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local government, voluntary, community and social enterprise partners and Healthwatch England on a campaign to support all people, particularly those in inclusion health groups, to register with a GP. A key driver of the registration campaign is to support identification of those who should be prioritised for the vaccine.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of personal protective equipment purchased by the Govenrment was manufactured in the UK in each month in the last 12 months.

The Government’s personal protective equipment (PPE) strategy published in September said that by 1 December 2020, United Kingdom manufacturers would be able to provide 70% of the PPE we expected to use in England through the winter, for all items except gloves. That commitment was met and exceeded. The volume of UK manufactured PPE supplied in the three months from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021 was sufficient to meet 82% of the amount needed over that time period. Data prior to December is not available in a fully validated form.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Department for Education's document, Schools coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance, published in February 2021, if he will publish the evidence his Department holds on the effectiveness and covid-safety of transparent face coverings.

The Department for Education’s ‘Schools coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance’, sets out the educational settings in which face coverings should be worn. Their guidance states that transparent face coverings may also be worn as an alternative to cloth face coverings.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and Public Health England (PHE) regularly monitor and review the international evidence on the effectiveness of face coverings. Their most recent consideration of the science around face coverings was concluded in January. Copies of the rapid reviews undertaken by PHE ‘Face coverings in the community and COVID-19: a rapid review’ and ‘Face coverings in the community and COVID-19 A rapid review (update 1)’ are attached. Both reviews contain references to the scientific literature as part of the study.

Although the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control suggest that transparent face coverings would be expected to work similarly to other non-medical face coverings if properly fitted, there is currently limited evidence regarding their effectiveness or safety but along with other measures such as social distancing and good hand hygiene, they may help reduce the spread of COVID-19. There is a stronger evidence base for the use of fabric face coverings in reducing the respiratory particles emitted from the mouth and nose of someone who is infected. SAGE has advised that using a cloth face covering is an important mitigation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Departments operational guidance Schools coronavirus (COVID-19) dated February 2021, who undertook the research or evidence gathering regarding the effectiveness or safety of transparent face coverings; and whether that research or evidence gathering was specific to educational settings.

The Department for Education’s ‘Schools coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance’, sets out the educational settings in which face coverings should be worn. Their guidance states that transparent face coverings may also be worn as an alternative to cloth face coverings.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and Public Health England (PHE) regularly monitor and review the international evidence on the effectiveness of face coverings. Their most recent consideration of the science around face coverings was concluded in January. Copies of the rapid reviews undertaken by PHE ‘Face coverings in the community and COVID-19: a rapid review’ and ‘Face coverings in the community and COVID-19 A rapid review (update 1)’ are attached. Both reviews contain references to the scientific literature as part of the study.

Although the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control suggest that transparent face coverings would be expected to work similarly to other non-medical face coverings if properly fitted, there is currently limited evidence regarding their effectiveness or safety but along with other measures such as social distancing and good hand hygiene, they may help reduce the spread of COVID-19. There is a stronger evidence base for the use of fabric face coverings in reducing the respiratory particles emitted from the mouth and nose of someone who is infected. SAGE has advised that using a cloth face covering is an important mitigation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2021 to Question 148827 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, what estimate he has made of the number of patients who have been admitted to hospital with covid-19 since 1 January 2021 having received (a) one dose and (b) two doses of the (i) AstraZeneca and (ii) Pfizer vaccines.

Public Health England has made no such estimate.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2021 to Question 153230, on NHS Test and Trace: Databases, on (a) how many occasions and (b) what dates he has met with representatives of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) since 29 January 2021 to finalise the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between his Department and the NPCC; and when his Department plans to publish that MoU.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has not met with representatives of the National Police Chiefs Council since 29 January 2021 to finalise the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU was updated to reflect amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 and was published on 24 March 2021. We have agreed a review process with all parties, with the next review to take place on 16 April.

The MoU is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/972961/umbrella-memorandum-of-understanding-between-DHSC-and-NPCC-March-2021.pdf

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2021 to Question 110152, on Hospitals: Fire Prevention, what assessment he has made of the (a) fire safety defects and (b) cost of repair for the nine NHS buildings identified with Aluminium Cladded Material (ACM).

Of the nine National Health Service buildings that were identified to potentially have Aluminium Cladded Material (ACM), it was found that one did not have ACM, four have had their ACM removed, two sites are currently in the process of removing their cladding and one has some ACM remaining but due to how the building is used the local Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) have agreed it can remain. The assessment of the potential fire safety defects of the remaining building is currently being finalised with the local FRS.

The Department has committed £10 million to deliver the removal and replacement of ACM across the NHS. To date, capital funding has been provided to all NHS trusts with ACM to pay for its removal, totalling £6.24 million.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of expanding the list of symptoms which trigger a covid-19 test.

Scientific experts keep the symptoms under review as our understanding of the virus develops.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the provision of Vitamin D supplements which ended on 21 February 2021 will be extended to people who have recently been added to the clinically vulnerable list.

There are no current plans to extend the registration period for free vitamin D supplements for those on the clinically extremely vulnerable list beyond the winter months. The longstanding Government advice is that between October and early March everyone is advised to take a supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. The free vitamin D supplement scheme was introduced to benefit those asked to stay indoors more than usual over the spring and summer 2020 due to national restrictions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that all unpaid carers who meet the definition set out in the Covid-19 Greenbook Chapter 14a for vaccine priority under clinical need will be offered a vaccination in Group 6.

We have published bespoke guidance for unpaid carers set out in a Standard Operating Procedure, which has been co-produced with Carers UK, the Carers Trust, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and the Local Government Association, in order to help ensure that all eligible unpaid carers are offered a vaccine.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports that patient data has been wiped from the EMIS Web system; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the completeness of that data on covid-19 vaccine priority being correctly applied.

Reports that patient data has been wiped from the EMIS web system are inaccurate and COVID-19 vaccine prioritisation has not been affected.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people with moderate learning disabilities have died of covid-19 since 30 December 2020.

We do not hold data. NHS England and NHS Improvement publish weekly data about the number of COVID-19 related deaths of people with a learning disability reported to the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review programme by date of death, where COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed as the cause of death. However, this data does not identify the ‘severity’ of learning disability.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 18 February 2021 to Question 86684 on Coronavirus: Screening, if she will publish data on the number of covid-19 tests that have been sent overseas for processing in each of the last 12 months.

The information is not currently held in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Auestion 140150 on General Practitioners: Registration, how many people not registered with a GP have received their first covid-19 vaccination.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of claims received by the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme were made by (a) healthcare and (b) social care workers; and if he will publish a breakdown of claims by occupation.

The latest data for the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme (England) was released on 23 February, with 354 claims to the Scheme having been received in total. Of these, 209 have come from the National Health Service, 138 from social care and seven are of an unknown employment type. The NHS Business Services Authority has requested further information from the claimant in these cases. Further information on claims by occupation is not available.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2021, when he plans to answer Question 150832 tabled on 8 February 2021 by the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 150832 of 11 March.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department undertook a data protection impact assessment before extending the NHS data-sharing contract with Palantir in December 2020; and if he will publish that assessment.

We are unable to provide the requested information as it is currently subject to legal proceedings and it would be inappropriate for us to comment.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what definition of severe and profound learning difficulties he uses for the purpose of covid-19 vaccine priority.

On 24 February 2021, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published a clarification of their advice on vaccinating people with a learning disability. They confirmed their view that priority should be given to those with a severe and profound learning disability, but recognised concerns about coding of learning disability on general practitioner (GP) systems and supported a practical approach of inviting everyone who is on the GP Learning Disability Register for vaccination in cohort six.

The JCVI also recognised that some people with a learning disability would not be coded at all on GP systems, and supported the planned approach to work with local authorities to identify those in residential and nursing care and those who required support - for example as part of assisted living in the community - and those in shared accommodation with multiple occupancy, to ensure this population could be offered vaccination.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Question 130124 tabled by the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston on 15 December 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 130124 of 12 March.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 118537 tabled by the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston on 20 November 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer we gave to Question 118537 on 9 March.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the risk of covid-19 among people with a learning difficulty which is not severe and profound.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has made an assessment of the risks facing people with a learning disability, including those with a learning disability which is not severe or profound. This is set out in their letter of 23 February 2021 which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-from-the-health-and-social-care-secretary-on-covid-19-vaccination-in-people-with-learning-disabilities/letter-from-the-jcvi-to-the-health-and-social-care-secretary-23-february-2021

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) prosecutions have been commenced and (b) convictions have been secured by the CQC against (i) individuals and (ii) organisations in each of the last five years.

The following table details convictions secured by the Care Quality Commission against individuals and organisations in the last five financial years.

Financial Year

Organisation

Individuals

2015/16

1

4

2016/17

4

1

2017/18

5

1

2018/19

6

5

2019/20

13

7

2020/21

12

2

As of 25 February 2021, there are 14 prosecutions that have been commenced without a conviction secured of which one is pending trial and the remainder are either guilty pleas or awaiting first hearings.

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, how many and what proportion of vaccinators have been offered employment in the mile radius they specified as part of the recruitment process.

The data is not held centrally in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of prescription charges on people with mental health conditions.

The Government has no current plans to extend the prescription charge medical exemptions list. Around 89% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge and extensive arrangements are already in place to help people, including those with mental health conditions to access National Health Service prescriptions, including a broad range of prescription charge exemptions. To support those with the greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, they can spread the cost of their prescriptions by purchasing prescription pre-payment certificates. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just over £2 per week.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of including long-term mental health conditions in the prescription charge medical exemptions list.

The Government has no current plans to extend the prescription charge medical exemptions list. Around 89% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge and extensive arrangements are already in place to help people, including those with mental health conditions to access National Health Service prescriptions, including a broad range of prescription charge exemptions. To support those with the greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, they can spread the cost of their prescriptions by purchasing prescription pre-payment certificates. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just over £2 per week.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the (a) average and (b) furthest distance a vaccinator has been asked to travel to deliver the covid-19 vaccine since the roll out of that vaccine.

The data is not held centrally in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 109439 on Hearing Impairment: Coronavirus, when the pilot referred to in relation to clear face coverings will be reviewed; and how many of the 250,000 clear face coverings procured have been provided to health and social care systems in Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency.

Distribution of these masks was split between the seven regions. However, information at a constituency level is not currently available.

The ClearMask pilot is now complete and the feedback has been assessed. Based on the feedback, we will be running an assessment of a broader scope of products from a range of manufactures. This assessment will test different types of transparent masks currently at prototype stage, against a new technical specification being developed by the regulatory bodies. The assessment and engagement will also assess the appropriateness of different masks for each end-user and setting.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the reintroduction of targets for NHS dental practices, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of those targets on access to urgent dental care; and what discussions he has had with the British Dental Association on the reintroduction of those targets.

The Department has no current plans to assess the contractual arrangements for 2021/22. Contractual arrangements for the first six months of the 2021/22 financial year have been introduced by NHS England and NHS Improvement. The revised unit of dental activity threshold set at 60% is based on data that indicates practices may now have capacity to safely achieve more dental activity. Arrangements will be monitored on a monthly basis and are expected to be in place for six months in order to provide increased stability for dental practices. National Health Service commissioners have the discretion to make exceptions, for instance in cases where a dental practice has been impacted by staff being required to self-isolate.

The Department will work with the British Dental Association and NHS England and NHS Improvement who will lead the next stage of dental contract reform. This will involve designing implementable proposals that address the key challenges facing the delivery of NHS dentistry and will encourage a more preventative approach to dentistry.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 vaccine doses have been (a) supplied to and (b) delivered by, each CCG in England.

For security reasons it is not possible to provide detailed information concerning the number of how many COVID-19 vaccine doses have been supplied to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Since 14 January NHS England has published weekly regional data of doses administered. This data now includes the number of vaccinations by CCG of residence and is available at the following link:

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

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to monitor the effectiveness of existing covid-19 vaccines against new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Public Health England has published early estimates of vaccine effectiveness which includes the United Kingdom variant of concern which is available at the following link:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.01.21252652v1

The 2021 Budget included £28 million to increase the United Kingdom’s capacity for vaccine testing, support for clinical trials and improve the UK’s ability to rapidly acquire samples of new variants of COVID-19. In addition, £22 million has been allocated to a world-leading study to test the effectiveness of combinations of different vaccines and fund the world’s first study assessing the effectiveness of a third dose of vaccine to improve the response against current and future variants of COVID-19. A further £5 million investment in clinical-scale mRNA manufacturing has been provided to create a ‘library’ of vaccines to work against COVID-19 variants for possible rapid response deployment.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been (a) offered and (b) given vaccinations in each Clinical Commissioning Group area in England by JCVI priority group and (i) disability status and (ii) ethnicity.

The National Health Service has offered the vaccine to everyone in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) priority cohorts one to four by 15 February 2021.

We do not currently publish data for the number of people who have been vaccinated by each JCVI group or at clinical commissioning group (CCG) level by JCVI priority group, disability status or ethnicity. NHS England and NHS Improvement publish weekly data for vaccinations in England, including data on the number of people who have been vaccinated by CCG, clinical vulnerability, age group and ethnicity. This is available at the following link:

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

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in each JCVI priority group have been (a) offered and (b) given vaccinations.

The National Health Service has offered the vaccine to everyone in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) priority cohorts one to four by 15 February 2021.

We do not currently publish data for the number of people who have been vaccinated by each JCVI group or at clinical commissioning group (CCG) level by JCVI priority group, disability status or ethnicity. NHS England and NHS Improvement publish weekly data for vaccinations in England, including data on the number of people who have been vaccinated by CCG, clinical vulnerability, age group and ethnicity. This is available at the following link:

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

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to monitor the effectiveness of different covid-19 vaccines on different age groups.

Public Health England is leading on the surveillance of the COVID-19 vaccine programme and has developed a surveillance strategy to monitor the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against mortality, hospitalisations, confirmed infections, markers of infectiousness and the impact on transmission.

Whilst phase three clinical trials provided evidence of vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease, further evidence is needed on how effectiveness varies by subgroup, including by age. This will be done using advanced surveillance techniques once the earliest eligible cohorts have been offered a full course of vaccination.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to commission a long term study of immune responses in people vaccinated against covid-19.

Public Heath England’s surveillance strategy will continue to monitor how effective the vaccine is at protecting against a range of outcomes including infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalisations, mortality and onwards transmission. The surveillance strategy is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccine-surveillance-strategy

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the UK Research and Innovation are jointly funding the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium to address key questions around the immune system’s response to COVID-19. The NIHR’s Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections is also looking at the size and longevity of the immune response.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been (a) offered and (b) given vaccinations in each Middle Layer Super Output Area in England by JCVI priority group.

NHS England and NHS Improvement publish weekly data for vaccinations in England. This provides a more detailed breakdown, including data on vaccinations by Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) of residence and age group. This is available at the following link:

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

We do not currently publish data at MSOA level by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s priority groups or data for vaccinations offered.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled The government’s approach to test and trace in England, interim report, published by the NAO in December 2020, if he will publish the business case submitted to this Department for NHS Test and Trace.

The Department will not be publishing the internal business case as it relates to the formulation of Government policy.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients have been admitted to hospital with covid-19 on each day in 2021 having had (a) one dose and (b) two doses of the (i) AstraZeneca and (ii) Pfizer vaccines.

This information is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 outbreaks there have been in special education schools since the start of 2021.

Since 4 January 2021, there have been 89 confirmed COVID-19 clusters or outbreaks in schools serving children with special educational needs reported to Public Health England.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reviewing the covid-19 care home visiting guidance once care home staff and residents have received their full dosage of the covid-19 vaccine.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we are constantly reviewing our guidance in line with policy changes, based at all times on the best scientific advice.

We have been consistently clear in our messaging that everyone must continue to follow the rules to protect the NHS and save lives, even after they have been vaccinated.

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

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of assigning essential partners designation to family caregivers to enable care home visits to take place.

In December 2020, we rolled-out testing and personal protective equipment to care homes nationwide for use by visitors to enable more meaningful, indoor visits. Close-contact visits facilitated by testing are currently not advised during this period of national lockdown. We will review the guidance when the period of national lockdown ends and look to open up more opportunities for visiting when it is safe to do so.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many vitamin D supplements have been issued as part of the Government's online offering; and whether he plans to extend that scheme into winter 2021-22.

The free vitamin D supplement scheme was introduced to benefit those asked to stay indoors more than usual over the spring and summer 2020 due to national restrictions. As of 3 February, supplements had been sent to over 300,000 adults on the clinically extremely vulnerable list that have opted in to receive the supplements, and over 150,000 residents in residential and nursing care homes in England. There are no current plans to extend the scheme into winter 2021-22.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of not requiring covid-19 testing for hospital discharges into the community where care is not required on rates of community covid-19 transmission.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies discussed the effect that discharging patients from hospital into the community without testing had on COVID-19 community infection rates when considering nosocomial infections. It found that while this likely drove onward community transmission during the first wave of COVID-19 infections, it was less likely to do so during a second wave, due to the improved infection control measures implemented in hospitals.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many care home (a) residents and (b) staff in England have received the (i) first and (ii) second dose of the covid-19 vaccine.

We are working with the vaccination programme in NHS England to monitor progress. NHS England now publish 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/

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2021 to Question 140829 on NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020, how many of the 261 accepted claims have been paid.

The latest data for the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme (England) was released on 27 January, with 268 claims to the Scheme having been accepted. Payment has been made for 175 of these claims, with a further 92 accepted for payment pending proof of probate from the claimant, and one case in the course of payment.

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, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2021 to Question 140829 on the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme, how many applicants have received payments through that scheme to date.

As of 27 January, the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme (England) has received 307 claims, of which 268 have been accepted. Payment has been made for 175 of these claims, with a further 92 accepted for payment pending proof of probate from the claimant, and one case in the course of payment. Two cases have not been accepted and the rest are under consideration.

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, to confirm what discussions he has had with the Chief Medical Officer on reintroducing the established relationship exemption from social distancing rules during the covid-19 lockdown.

Ministers and officials in the Department have regular discussions regarding the COVID-19 restrictions.

There has never been a specific exemption from regulations for people in an established relationship. A previous version of the social distancing guidance advised that people in an established relationship who are not in the same household or support bubble did not need to maintain social distancing. However, the guidance has been amended to outline that these couples should maintain social distancing. The Government keeps all restrictions and guidance under continual review.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason ECOLOG has reportedly lost its Government contract for covid-19 testing.

The Department has taken the decision not to proceed with a contract for Ecolog to provide deployable laboratory and testing services. For reasons of commercial confidentiality, we are unable to provide further details on this specific contract.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 109439 tabled on 30 October 2020 by the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 109439 on 27 January.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he will respond to my letter of 21 September 2020 on ME and Covid-19.

We are working to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department uses to determine the geographical distribution of covid-19 vaccines.

Work has been carried out with local clinical commissioning groups to ensure that vaccine supply aligns with the number of registered patients in the priority cohort groups in the local area. Where sites progress through their supply more quickly than others, NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with sites across the country to ensure that supplies are replenished to ensure an adequate and consistent supply of vaccine.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of women who (a) presented in labour, (b) attended an antenatal appointment and (c) were admitted to a postnatal ward (i) had already been confirmed as positive for covid-19 or (ii) received a positive result for a covid-19 test carried out as a part of their care in each region of England in the most recent period for which figures are available.

This information is not held centrally.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of applications made under the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance scheme have been accepted since its introduction.