Munira Wilson Portrait

Munira Wilson

Liberal Democrat - Twickenham

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

(since January 2020)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport)
6th Jan 2020 - 7th Sep 2020


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 11 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Awarding Qualifications in 2021 and 2022

In my recent visits to secondary schools in Twickenham, year 10 and 12 pupils told me how anxious they are …

Written Answers
Thursday 29th July 2021
Earwax: Medical Treatments
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Rheumatology workforce shortages
That this House acknowledges the findings from the British Society for Rheumatology’s latest report stating that the NHS rheumatology workforce …
Bills
Monday 21st June 2021
Mental Health Provision (Children and Young People) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to require the Government to report annually to Parliament on mental health provision for children and young people.
Tweets
Monday 2nd August 2021
09:22
MP Financial Interests
Monday 12th July 2021
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Premiership Rugby
Address of donor: Regal House, 70 London Road, Twickenham TW1 3QS
Amount of donation or …
EDM signed
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Giving every child the best start in life
That this House notes the work of WAVE Trust and its 70/30 campaign to reduce levels of child abuse, neglect …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 3rd March 2020
School Toilets (Access During Lessons) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish guidance for state-funded schools on allowing pupil access to toilets …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Munira Wilson has voted in 267 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Munira Wilson Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(107 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(20 debate interactions)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Education
(16 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(105 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(24 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(24 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(12 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Munira Wilson's debates

Twickenham Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Twickenham signature proportion
Petitions with most Twickenham signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

We want the Government to commit to not rolling out any e-vaccination status/immunity passport to the British public. Such passports could be used to restrict the rights of people who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine, which would be unacceptable.

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.

The government should consider delaying negotiations so they can concentrate on the coronavirus situation and reduce travel of both EU and UK negotiators. This would necessitate extending the transition period; as there can only be a one off extension, this should be for two years.

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

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.

The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.

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.

The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

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.

To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare

Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.


Latest EDMs signed by Munira Wilson

12th May 2021
Munira Wilson signed this EDM on Thursday 22nd July 2021

Giving every child the best start in life

Tabled by: Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrat - Bath)
That this House notes the work of WAVE Trust and its 70/30 campaign to reduce levels of child abuse, neglect and domestic abuse by 70 per cent by 2030; further notes that over two-thirds of this House have endorsed that campaign, including a majority from all parties; recognises the role …
54 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Jul 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 18
Scottish National Party: 17
Liberal Democrat: 9
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Conservative: 2
Alba Party: 2
Independent: 1
22nd July 2021
Munira Wilson signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Thursday 22nd July 2021

Water pollution in northern Sri Lanka

Tabled by: Munira Wilson (Liberal Democrat - Twickenham)
That this House expresses concern regarding water quality in northern Sri Lanka; is concerned by reports stating that the Sri Lankan Government refused to allow independent assessments of water quality in the region; notes that the consumption or use of water contaminated by waste oil has been linked to many …
1 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Jul 2021)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Munira Wilson's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Munira Wilson, 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.


Munira Wilson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Munira Wilson has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Munira Wilson


A Bill to require the Government to report annually to Parliament on mental health provision for children and young people.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 21st June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 18th March 2022

A Bill to establish a right to specialist sexual violence and abuse support services for victims of sexual, violent and domestic abuse; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 10th March 2020

393 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
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what reports he has received of the Office for National Statistics sending out negative covid-19 test results for tests taken six or more weeks ago.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether door-to-door carol singing is permitted under the new national covid-19 lockdown restrictions in operation from 5 November 2020.

On 5 November, the Government acted swiftly in accordance with growing evidence of virus prevalence to put in place new national COVID-19 restrictions in England. Under these new restrictions from 5 November until 2 December you must stay at home and avoid meeting people you do not live with (except for specific purposes).


From 2 December, we will return to a regional approach and any guidance on carol singing will be updated depending on the Local COVID alert level of the area in which you live. For further information on COVID-19 restrictions, please see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
12th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of publishing the total number of UK deaths alongside the daily number of covid-19 related deaths.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons the Government chose not to provide a live British Sign Language interpreter at each daily covid-19 briefing.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQs 39766 and 41529 on 4 May 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of regulating electrical goods sold online to ensure their safety for use.

Existing laws require that all consumer products must be safe before they can be placed on the UK market, including those sold online.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 (EESRs) require products to be designed and manufactured in accordance with the principal elements of the safety objectives. Under the EESRs, a distributor, including online retailers and those selling goods via online marketplaces, must act with due care to ensure that electrical products are in conformity with the requirements.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is engaged with online marketplaces to ensure that they are playing their part in protecting UK consumers from unsafe products. This includes developing a new voluntary commitment for online marketplaces to agree actions they will take to reduce the risks from unsafe products sold by others on their platforms, enabling them to publicly demonstrate their commitment to the safety of consumers in the UK.

In order to ensure that the UK’s Product Safety framework is flexible and fit for the future, the OPSS is conducting a review. The review will ensure we have a framework that continues to deliver safety for consumers while supporting businesses to innovate and grow and will consider non-traditional business models, including online sales.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to introduce a five year expiry period on gift cards and vouchers.

The Department asked the Law Commission to examine the protection given to consumer prepayments, including gift cards and vouchers, and consider whether such protections should be strengthened. The Law Commission concluded that that there was no need to introduce additional measures for gift cards and vouchers including in relation to expiry dates.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the deadline for delivery of the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Phase 2.

The Green Homes Grant, Local Authority Delivery Scheme is part of a package of measures aimed at providing an urgent stimulus to the economy. BEIS intends to allocate £300m to the regional Local Energy Hubs for delivery by December 2021. This aims to balance the aim of the scheme to support economic recovery whilst being pragmatic over delivery timescales.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the cost per unit is of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine to the UK.

At present we are not able to disclose details of this agreement because of the commercially confidential nature of the contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers while commercial negotiations are ongoing.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to allow recipients of funding from the Bounce Back Loan scheme to reapply for the scheme in the event that they did not use the full amount on offer for their first loan.

Under the terms of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), each business and any wider group of which it is part, defined by having a holding company at the top of their structure, is only eligible to receive one BBLS facility.

Businesses are not currently permitted to go back and ‘top up’ a BBLS facility if they borrowed less than the maximum. However, they are allowed to refinance the loan using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) facility, allowing them to borrow more money whilst only having one active facility supported by a Government guarantee.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 May 2020 to Question 40489, on Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, if his Department will extend the repayment terms of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for growers in the seasonal ornamental horticulture sector with small profit margins who are unable to repay a loan from that scheme or the Bounce Back Loan scheme within six years.

While we continue to keep the schemes under review, there are currently no plans to amend the maximum term of a CBILS or BBLS facility.

Businesses in the horticultural sector benefit from the full interest and fee payment under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), as the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any facility arrangement fees charged by lenders. This is called the Business Interruption Payment.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender. This is called the Business Interruption Payment. There will be an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest thereafter. In addition, loans under the BBLS do not require repayments to be made in the first 12 months.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether an agency worker on a Contract for Services will continue to accrue holiday pay whilst they are not working due to being furloughed; and whether an employer is entitled to claim accrued holiday pay when calculating their employee's wage under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Employment rights remain unchanged under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Therefore, all workers’, including agency workers on a Contract for Services, right to holiday accrues to the extent and in the same way it did prior to being placed on to furlough under the CJRS, as provided by the individual’s statutory and contractual rights.

Employers are able to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant to cover wages paid to their workers, up to 80% of the worker’s usual pay. This includes holiday pay, but where holiday pay owed exceeds the amount in the grant, the employer is required to make up the difference.

Further guidance to help employers manage holiday pay during Coronavirus is available on GOV.UK.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the evidential basis was used by his Department when determining the timing for when spectators will be permitted to watch grassroots sports under Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap for the easing of covid-19 restrictions.

Sports and physical activity are crucial for our mental and physical health. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise throughout the national restrictions and why we ensured that grassroots and children’s sport was at the front of the queue when easing those restrictions.

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. The government has introduced a step approach to the return of outdoor and indoor sport areas across England. Each full step of the roadmap is informed by the latest available science and data and has been five weeks apart in order to provide time to assess the data and provide one week’s notice to businesses and individuals.

Spectators must adhere to legal gathering limits at Step 3. Outdoors, spectators can gather in groups of up to 30. Indoors, unless an exemption applies, spectators may only gather in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of two households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (and each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to help ensure that elderly people are not excluded as a result of the digital divide.

To tackle the digital divide and support connectivity, we have worked closely with providers to ensure social tariffs are in place that provide low cost landline and broadband services for those on means-tested state benefits. Wider commitments by the telecoms industry to support vulnerable consumers have included the removal of data caps on fixed broadband packages, and free or low cost data boosts on mobile services.

Training is available for elderly people wishing to acquire essential digital skills. The Government has introduced a digital entitlement for adults with no or low digital skills to undertake specified digital qualifications, up to level 1, free of charge. Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQs), introduced alongside the digital entitlement, are based on new national standards which set out the digital skills people need to get on in life and work. We also support the provision of essential digital skills training in community settings through the Adult Education Budget.

Public libraries play an important role in tackling digital inclusion. Around 2900 public libraries in England provide a trusted network of accessible locations with staff, volunteers, free wifi and assisted digital access to a wide range of digital services. The volunteers and library staff have been trained in digital skills so that they can provide library users with support in using digital applications and services.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implication for his policies of social media videos with images embedded designed to provoke epilepsy seizures.

The targeting of epilepsy sufferers online already constitutes a UK criminal offence. Someone who sends flashing images to a person with epilepsy, thereby causing a seizure, could be found guilty of an offence against the person (such as assault) under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. As part of the Online Harms White Paper proposals, the new duty of care will ensure companies have robust systems and processes in place to tackle illegal content on their services. This includes tackling illegal online abuse which provokes epilepsy seizures.

We are also ensuring the criminal law is fit for purpose to deal with online abuse. The Law Commission’s review of abusive and offensive communications is considering law reforms to account for serious harm and criminality arising from abuse online. This includes abuse targeted at users with epilepsy. They are consulting on proposed reforms and will issue final recommendations early 2021.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to provide financial support for elite rugby sports clubs during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

The government recognises the impact that Covid-19 is having on the sporting sector and the valuable role of elite sport to the UK. Our multi-billion-pound package of business support has enabled many of our sports clubs to survive. We have provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. The government has also supported elite sports to return to "behind closed doors" competition, which enabled vital broadcast revenue to flow to the sector, retained competitive integrity and brought joy to millions of sports fans.

My department is working with HM Treasury on further support for the sector as a consequence of the 1 October decision to delay the readmittance of spectators to stadia, including rugby union. We are also working, through Project Moonshot and the Sports Technology and Innovation Group, to enable the return of fans to stadia as soon as it is safe to do so. Ministers and officials will continue to engage with the Rugby authorities as part of this process.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make it his policy to permit skate parks to remain open during the period of new national covid-19 lockdown from 5 November 2020.

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

Nobody wanted to be in the position of having to introduce further National Restrictions. However as the Prime Minister said, with the virus spreading faster than expected we cannot allow our health system to be overwhelmed. Therefore, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December indoor and outdoor leisure including skate parks will need to close. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions.

In order for these measures to have the greatest impact, we will all need to sacrifice doing some things that we would otherwise like to do, for a short period of time. As soon as we're in a position to start lifting restrictions, grassroots sports will be one of the first to return.

People are still allowed to leave their homes for exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own, or with one person from another household or support bubble.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing a state-backed fund for film and TV productions that are unable to obtain insurance.

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) recognises that Covid-19 exclusions to existing and new insurance policies presents a significant risk for film and TV productions returning to work in the shorter term. With the majority of filming taking place in the summer months, and guidance already published by the sector to allow a safe return to work, we know the sector is keen to get productions up and running again.

DCMS is examining this issue in detail, and engaging closely with our sector stakeholders to aid our work in this area.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if his Department will publish the criteria being used for charities to receive part of the £360 million direct from Government Departments within the Government’s £750 million charity funding package.

Government departments submitted applications based on their assessment of needs in their relevant sectors. Funding decisions reflect an assessment of the urgency and scale of the need in line with the national response to Covid-19. Departments will follow their own internal processes to distribute grant money directly to charities in the coming weeks.

This funding has been allocated to Government departments in accordance with urgent priorities in their relevant sectors, including up to £200m for the Department of Health and Social Care for hospices. Relevant departments are working to distribute grant money to charities at pace in the coming weeks.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will allocate funding to the Adoption Support Fund beyond 2022.

The Adoption Support Fund budget and spend, as of 2 April 2021, is set out below. The spend includes funding for successful applications, contractual costs for the management and independent evaluation of the fund.

Year

Budget

Spend

2016-17

£23,925,000

£23,900,624

2017-18

£29,000,000

£28,736,661

2018-19

£37,000,000

£36,697,988

2019-20

£42,000,000

£44,533,244

2020-21

£45,000,000

£51,164,542

There are currently no plans to change the fund’s eligibility criteria. The next Spending Review for government departmental spend beyond the financial year of 2021-22 will consider the Adoption Support Fund and its budget, scope and eligibility criteria. We have put in place transitionary arrangements in advance of the Spending Review outcome to allow funded support to continue beyond March 2022 for those families who commence therapy in the 2021-22 financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to change the eligibility criteria for the Adoption Support Fund.

The Adoption Support Fund budget and spend, as of 2 April 2021, is set out below. The spend includes funding for successful applications, contractual costs for the management and independent evaluation of the fund.

Year

Budget

Spend

2016-17

£23,925,000

£23,900,624

2017-18

£29,000,000

£28,736,661

2018-19

£37,000,000

£36,697,988

2019-20

£42,000,000

£44,533,244

2020-21

£45,000,000

£51,164,542

There are currently no plans to change the fund’s eligibility criteria. The next Spending Review for government departmental spend beyond the financial year of 2021-22 will consider the Adoption Support Fund and its budget, scope and eligibility criteria. We have put in place transitionary arrangements in advance of the Spending Review outcome to allow funded support to continue beyond March 2022 for those families who commence therapy in the 2021-22 financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much has been spent from the Adoption Support Fund in each of the previous five financial years.

The Adoption Support Fund budget and spend, as of 2 April 2021, is set out below. The spend includes funding for successful applications, contractual costs for the management and independent evaluation of the fund.

Year

Budget

Spend

2016-17

£23,925,000

£23,900,624

2017-18

£29,000,000

£28,736,661

2018-19

£37,000,000

£36,697,988

2019-20

£42,000,000

£44,533,244

2020-21

£45,000,000

£51,164,542

There are currently no plans to change the fund’s eligibility criteria. The next Spending Review for government departmental spend beyond the financial year of 2021-22 will consider the Adoption Support Fund and its budget, scope and eligibility criteria. We have put in place transitionary arrangements in advance of the Spending Review outcome to allow funded support to continue beyond March 2022 for those families who commence therapy in the 2021-22 financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the budget was for the Adoption Support Fund in each of the previous five financial years.

The Adoption Support Fund budget and spend, as of 2 April 2021, is set out below. The spend includes funding for successful applications, contractual costs for the management and independent evaluation of the fund.

Year

Budget

Spend

2016-17

£23,925,000

£23,900,624

2017-18

£29,000,000

£28,736,661

2018-19

£37,000,000

£36,697,988

2019-20

£42,000,000

£44,533,244

2020-21

£45,000,000

£51,164,542

There are currently no plans to change the fund’s eligibility criteria. The next Spending Review for government departmental spend beyond the financial year of 2021-22 will consider the Adoption Support Fund and its budget, scope and eligibility criteria. We have put in place transitionary arrangements in advance of the Spending Review outcome to allow funded support to continue beyond March 2022 for those families who commence therapy in the 2021-22 financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will introduce funding opportunities for (a) Graduate Diploma in Law and (b) other further education law courses.

Graduate Diplomas in Law (GDL) are courses that are generally shorter in duration and/or of a lower intensity than a master’s degree. Students on these courses are less likely to face the same financial barriers as those studying a full postgraduate degree and as a result, a GDL does not fall within scope for a postgraduate master’s loan. However, if a higher education provider was to include the GDL as part of a course which led to a master’s qualification (such as a Master’s in Law), then a student would in principle be eligible for the postgraduate loan.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has approved a range of law qualifications across a range of levels for funding for post-16 study. This includes qualifications which are available for 16- to 19-year-olds as well as post 19-year-olds, including through advanced learner loans. These qualifications may include Access to Higher Education Diplomas in Law at level 3, A levels and AS levels in law, as well as other level 3 qualifications in law and legal practice, level 2 qualifications in law and business, level 4 qualifications in law, regulation and ethics and level 5 and 6 qualifications in law.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Department of Education's press release, Schools and colleges to benefit from boost in expert mental health support, published on 10 May 2021, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) schools and (b) students in London that will have access to a mental health support team as a result of the announcement of that funding.

According to 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial year programme data up to March 2020, in London a) 600 education settings had signed up to work with Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) and b) 340,825 pupils were therefore estimated to have access to those teams. Please note that the education settings data includes further education providers, whereas the pupils data does not. These figures are based on education settings reported to the Department for Education as enrolled in the programme as of March 2020, and pupil number data accessed via Get Information About Schools (GIAS) at the same time. These figures are also based only on those settings reported as enrolled that could be matched via their Unique Reference Number to data in GIAS.

The Department for Education announcement on 10 May references MHSTs, in line with the NHS England and Improvement announcement on 5 March of a £79 million boost to children and young people’s mental health support, which will include increasing the number of MHSTs. There are now over 280 teams set up or in training across the country. 183 of these are operational and ready to support children and young people in around 3,000 education settings, covering 15% of pupils in England. A further 103 MHSTs are in development with more to be commissioned by NHS England and Improvement this year, which will deliver the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to reach 20 – 25% of pupils a year early (by March 2022). 35% of pupils in England (almost three million) are expected to have access to a MHST by 2023.

Please note that the estimates pertaining to London (first paragraph) are based on the first 2 years of the MHSTs programme, to March 2021, whereas the national coverage estimates cover at least 3 years of the programme, to March 2022 and 2023.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what number and proportion of schools in the trailblazer areas in London piloting Mental Health Support Teams have an (a) Inadequate, (b) Requires Improvement, (c) Good and (d) Outstanding Ofsted rating.

According to financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20 programme data up to March 2020, and Ofsted rating data from Get Information About Schools at the same time, nationally:

a) 17 (0.6%) education settings enrolled to work with Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) had an Inadequate Ofsted rating;

b) 306 (10.4%) had a Requires Improvement rating;

c) 1,794 (60.9%) had a Good rating; and

d) 398 (13.5%) had an Outstanding rating.

In total, 423 schools (14.4%) did not have an Ofsted rating.

According to financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20 programme data up to March 2020, and Ofsted rating data from Get Information About Schools at the same time, in London:

a) 0 (0%) education settings enrolled to work with MHSTs had an Inadequate Ofsted rating;

b) 19 (3.2%) had a Requires Improvement rating;

c) 371 (61.8%) had a Good rating; and

d) 143 (23.8%) had an Outstanding rating.

In total, 64 schools (10.7%) did not have an Ofsted rating.

Please note that the figures are based on education settings reported to the department that have enrolled in the programme as of March 2020, and Ofsted data accessed via Get Information About Schools (GIAS) at the same time. These figures are based only on those education settings reported as enrolled that could be matched via their Unique Reference Number to data in GIAS. As the programme progresses, and the number of MHSTs and therefore participating education settings increase, these numbers will vary. It is also important to note that participating education settings’ Ofsted inspection ratings will also change throughout the programme, depending on scheduled inspections and resulting reports.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what number and proportion of schools in the trailblazer areas piloting Mental Health Support Teams have an (a) Inadequate, (b) Requires Improvement, (c) Good and (d) Outstanding Ofsted rating.

According to financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20 programme data up to March 2020, and Ofsted rating data from Get Information About Schools at the same time, nationally:

a) 17 (0.6%) education settings enrolled to work with Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) had an Inadequate Ofsted rating;

b) 306 (10.4%) had a Requires Improvement rating;

c) 1,794 (60.9%) had a Good rating; and

d) 398 (13.5%) had an Outstanding rating.

In total, 423 schools (14.4%) did not have an Ofsted rating.

According to financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20 programme data up to March 2020, and Ofsted rating data from Get Information About Schools at the same time, in London:

a) 0 (0%) education settings enrolled to work with MHSTs had an Inadequate Ofsted rating;

b) 19 (3.2%) had a Requires Improvement rating;

c) 371 (61.8%) had a Good rating; and

d) 143 (23.8%) had an Outstanding rating.

In total, 64 schools (10.7%) did not have an Ofsted rating.

Please note that the figures are based on education settings reported to the department that have enrolled in the programme as of March 2020, and Ofsted data accessed via Get Information About Schools (GIAS) at the same time. These figures are based only on those education settings reported as enrolled that could be matched via their Unique Reference Number to data in GIAS. As the programme progresses, and the number of MHSTs and therefore participating education settings increase, these numbers will vary. It is also important to note that participating education settings’ Ofsted inspection ratings will also change throughout the programme, depending on scheduled inspections and resulting reports.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Department of Education's press release, Schools and colleges to benefit from boost in expert mental health support, published on 10 May 2021, what plans his Department has to provide mental health and wellbeing support to schools that will not be covered by one of the new mental health support teams referenced in that press release.

Children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing is a priority for the department, and with the Department for Health and Social Care and wider health partners we our delivering our long-term commitments made in the ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper’. This includes introducing new Mental Health Support Teams linked to schools and colleges, incentivising all schools and colleges to identify and train a senior mental health lead, piloting a four week waiting time for access to specialist NHS children and young people’s mental health services, and offering the Link Programme to help improve joint working locally between education settings and mental health service providers.

An additional £79 million NHS England funding was confirmed on 5 March 2021 for children and young people’s mental health support, which will include increasing the number of Mental Health Support Teams. The number of support teams will grow from the 59 set up by last March to around 400 by April 2023, supporting nearly 3 million children. This increase, on top of the investment in mental health services set out in the NHS 10-year plan, means that millions of children and young people will have access to significantly expanded mental health services.

Alongside this, we confirmed on 10 May 2021 that up to 7,800 schools and colleges in England will be offered funding worth £9.5 million to train a senior mental health lead from their staff in the next academic year, which is part of the Government’s commitment to offering this training to all state schools and colleges by 2025. Training will provide senior leads with the knowledge and skills to develop or introduce a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing in their setting, which encourages staff to develop their own understanding of issues affecting their pupils, giving young people a voice in how their school or college addresses wellbeing and working with parents and monitoring pupils where appropriate. Information on this is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/958151/Promoting_children_and_young_people_s_emotional_health_and_wellbeing_a_whole_school_and_college_approach.pdf.

We will also fund an adapted ‘Link' programme which is designed to improve partnerships between health and education leaders in local areas, raise awareness of mental health concerns and improve referrals to specialist help when needed.

The support schools are providing to their pupils following the return to face-to-face education should include time devoted to supporting mental health and wellbeing, which will play a fundamental part in supporting recovery. The return to education settings is being supported by a £700 million package, which includes a new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary, secondary and special schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged students. This will help schools to provide their disadvantaged pupils with a one-off boost to the support, both academic and pastoral, that has been proved most effective in helping them recover from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and can be used for mental health and wellbeing support.

We have supported schools to put the right pastoral support in place through the Wellbeing for Education Return scheme in 2020/21 academic year, which provided free expert training, support and resources for staff dealing with children and young people experiencing additional pressures from the last year – including trauma, anxiety or grief.

The department has convened its Mental Health in Education Action Group, to look at the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and staff in nurseries, schools, colleges, and universities, as well as considering what additional support is required. The action group highlighted that schools and colleges need help to understand, navigate and access the range of provision available locally, so as a first step we are also providing an additional £7 million funding to local authorities to provide further expert support to do this through the Wellbeing for Education Recovery programme.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish arrangements for (a) SATS, (b) GCSE, (c) A-level and (d) BTEC examinations in the 2021-22 academic year.

It is the Government’s policy that GCSE and A level examinations should go ahead in summer 2022. Examinations and assessments for vocational and technical qualifications should also take place, in line with the latest public health guidance, throughout the 2021/22 academic year. The Department recognises that students who will be taking examinations and assessments next year have had significant disruption to their education this year, and we will continue to support students in the face of any further disruption. We are considering with Ofqual, the awarding organisations, and wider stakeholders what we need to do to ensure that students are able to sit examinations and other assessments safely and receive grades that are fair, even if further disruption does occur. Whilst the Department remains committed to exams going ahead in 2022, we will also work with Ofqual on a range of contingencies. The Department will announce further details as soon as possible.

The Department is also planning for a full programme of primary assessments to take place in the 2021/22 academic year, and we will confirm full details for 2021/22 primary assessments in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what safeguarding measures are in place to protect the wellbeing of children receiving an elective home education.

The safeguarding of children who are electively home educated sits within a local authority’s safeguarding duties, as set out in the Children Act 1989. The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk, although a failure to provide suitable home education can impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development.

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

The Government remains committed to a registration system for children not in school. A consultation was held in spring 2019 on proposals for: a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school; a duty on parents to register their child with their local authority if not registered at specified types of schools; a duty on proprietors of certain education settings to respond to enquiries from local authorities; and a duty on local authorities to provide support to parents who educate children at home.

The consultation closed on 24 June 2019, with nearly 5,000 responses. Further details on a proposed registration system for children not in school will be in the Government’s response to the consultation, which we intend to publish in due course.

The Department does not collect data on attainment of home educated children.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the safeguarding processes for children receiving an elective home education.

The safeguarding of children who are electively home educated sits within a local authority’s safeguarding duties, as set out in the Children Act 1989. The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk, although a failure to provide suitable home education can impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development.

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

The Government remains committed to a registration system for children not in school. A consultation was held in spring 2019 on proposals for: a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school; a duty on parents to register their child with their local authority if not registered at specified types of schools; a duty on proprietors of certain education settings to respond to enquiries from local authorities; and a duty on local authorities to provide support to parents who educate children at home.

The consultation closed on 24 June 2019, with nearly 5,000 responses. Further details on a proposed registration system for children not in school will be in the Government’s response to the consultation, which we intend to publish in due course.

The Department does not collect data on attainment of home educated children.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on the attainment of children of elective home education.

The safeguarding of children who are electively home educated sits within a local authority’s safeguarding duties, as set out in the Children Act 1989. The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk, although a failure to provide suitable home education can impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development.

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

The Government remains committed to a registration system for children not in school. A consultation was held in spring 2019 on proposals for: a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school; a duty on parents to register their child with their local authority if not registered at specified types of schools; a duty on proprietors of certain education settings to respond to enquiries from local authorities; and a duty on local authorities to provide support to parents who educate children at home.

The consultation closed on 24 June 2019, with nearly 5,000 responses. Further details on a proposed registration system for children not in school will be in the Government’s response to the consultation, which we intend to publish in due course.

The Department does not collect data on attainment of home educated children.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to local authorities to ensure that children receiving home education achieve expected key educational milestones.

The safeguarding of children who are electively home educated sits within a local authority’s safeguarding duties, as set out in the Children Act 1989. The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk, although a failure to provide suitable home education can impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development.

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

The Government remains committed to a registration system for children not in school. A consultation was held in spring 2019 on proposals for: a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school; a duty on parents to register their child with their local authority if not registered at specified types of schools; a duty on proprietors of certain education settings to respond to enquiries from local authorities; and a duty on local authorities to provide support to parents who educate children at home.

The consultation closed on 24 June 2019, with nearly 5,000 responses. Further details on a proposed registration system for children not in school will be in the Government’s response to the consultation, which we intend to publish in due course.

The Department does not collect data on attainment of home educated children.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that children who are being educated at home are receiving an appropriate and effective education.

The safeguarding of children who are electively home educated sits within a local authority’s safeguarding duties, as set out in the Children Act 1989. The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk, although a failure to provide suitable home education can impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development.

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

The Government remains committed to a registration system for children not in school. A consultation was held in spring 2019 on proposals for: a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school; a duty on parents to register their child with their local authority if not registered at specified types of schools; a duty on proprietors of certain education settings to respond to enquiries from local authorities; and a duty on local authorities to provide support to parents who educate children at home.

The consultation closed on 24 June 2019, with nearly 5,000 responses. Further details on a proposed registration system for children not in school will be in the Government’s response to the consultation, which we intend to publish in due course.

The Department does not collect data on attainment of home educated children.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating a statutory register for children receiving an elective home education.

The safeguarding of children who are electively home educated sits within a local authority’s safeguarding duties, as set out in the Children Act 1989. The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk, although a failure to provide suitable home education can impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development.

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

The Government remains committed to a registration system for children not in school. A consultation was held in spring 2019 on proposals for: a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school; a duty on parents to register their child with their local authority if not registered at specified types of schools; a duty on proprietors of certain education settings to respond to enquiries from local authorities; and a duty on local authorities to provide support to parents who educate children at home.

The consultation closed on 24 June 2019, with nearly 5,000 responses. Further details on a proposed registration system for children not in school will be in the Government’s response to the consultation, which we intend to publish in due course.

The Department does not collect data on attainment of home educated children.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of children who have been taken off the school roll since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to announce arrangements for (a) SATS, (b) GCSE, (c) A-level and (d) BTEC examinations in the 2021-22 academic year.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals on climate emergency education to improve climate change education.

The National Curriculum already includes content on environmental and sustainability issues such as climate change, in both the science and geography curricula and GCSEs. From primary onwards, there is coverage of environmental matters in both the science and geography curricula.

Under the Key Stage 2 non-statutory guidance for citizenship, pupils are taught about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. Pupils are taught that resources can be allocated in different ways and that these economic choices affect individuals, communities, and the sustainability of the environment.

As the National Curriculum is a framework setting out the content of what the Department expects schools to cover in each subject, teachers have the flexibility and freedom to determine how they deliver the content in the way that best meets the needs of their pupils. They can choose to cover particular topics in greater depth if they wish and as knowledge of sustainability develops, teachers can adapt their school curricula for these subjects.

We have not brought forward further proposals as there is scope to cover these issues within existing teaching.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will commit funding to the Adoption Support Fund beyond the financial year of 2021-22.

The Adoption Support Fund budget for the last five financial years is set out below:

2016-17: £23,925,000

2017-18: £29,000,000

2018-19: £37,000,000

2019-20: £42,000,000

2020-21: £45,000,000

There are currently no plans to change the Fund’s eligibility criteria. The next Spending Review for government departmental spend beyond the financial year of 2021-22 will consider the Adoption Support Fund and its budget, scope and eligibility criteria. We have put in place transitionary arrangements in advance of the Spending Review outcome to allow funded support to continue beyond March 2022 for those families who commence therapy in the 2021-22 financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to change the eligibility criteria for applicants to the Adoption Support Fund.

The Adoption Support Fund budget for the last five financial years is set out below:

2016-17: £23,925,000

2017-18: £29,000,000

2018-19: £37,000,000

2019-20: £42,000,000

2020-21: £45,000,000

There are currently no plans to change the Fund’s eligibility criteria. The next Spending Review for government departmental spend beyond the financial year of 2021-22 will consider the Adoption Support Fund and its budget, scope and eligibility criteria. We have put in place transitionary arrangements in advance of the Spending Review outcome to allow funded support to continue beyond March 2022 for those families who commence therapy in the 2021-22 financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the budget has been of the Adoption Support Fund in each of the last five financial years.

The Adoption Support Fund budget for the last five financial years is set out below:

2016-17: £23,925,000

2017-18: £29,000,000

2018-19: £37,000,000

2019-20: £42,000,000

2020-21: £45,000,000

There are currently no plans to change the Fund’s eligibility criteria. The next Spending Review for government departmental spend beyond the financial year of 2021-22 will consider the Adoption Support Fund and its budget, scope and eligibility criteria. We have put in place transitionary arrangements in advance of the Spending Review outcome to allow funded support to continue beyond March 2022 for those families who commence therapy in the 2021-22 financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the budget for the Adoption Support Fund has been in each of the last five financial years.

The Adoption Support Fund budget for the last five financial years is set out below:

2016-17: £23,925,000

2017-18: £29,000,000

2018-19: £37,000,000

2019-20: £42,000,000

2020-21: £45,000,000

There are currently no plans to change the Fund’s eligibility criteria. The next Spending Review for government departmental spend beyond the financial year of 2021-22 will consider the Adoption Support Fund and its budget, scope and eligibility criteria. We have put in place transitionary arrangements in advance of the Spending Review outcome to allow funded support to continue beyond March 2022 for those families who commence therapy in the 2021-22 financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring additional protection measures to prevent the transmission of covid-19 in SEN schools.

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, 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 continue to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the impact and effectiveness of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department has recently published updated guidance for schools, including special schools and other specialist settings. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings.

As the guidance outlines, implementing the system of controls in line with a wider risk assessment creates a safer environment for staff and pupils where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. All elements of the system of controls are essential, but the way schools, colleges and nurseries implement the elements will differ based on their individual circumstances. Schools, colleges and nurseries have duties to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils and students to support them to access education successfully.

PHE advice remains that the way to control COVID-19 is the same, even with the current new variants. We are further strengthening the measures to provide more reassurance and to help decrease the disruption that the outbreak causes to education. We will keep all measures under review and update guidance as necessary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the Government has not issued safety standards on face coverings used in education.

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 continue to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the impact and effectiveness of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department recently published updated guidance for schools to support the return to full attendance from 8 March 2021, which includes updated advice on face coverings and how to access them. 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 which outlines what a face covering is, the reasons for using face coverings, when to wear one and exemptions. In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth: reusable or single-use face coverings, a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering which must securely fit around the side of the face. Face coverings are not classified as personal protective equipment and they are instead largely intended to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection.

DHSC guidance also explains that due to the complexity of the different contexts in which COVID-19 can spread and the rapidly changing and growing evidence base on the effectiveness of face masks and coverings, there are currently no UK product standards for face coverings. 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.

As with all measures, we will continue to keep our policy on face coverings under review and update guidance as necessary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the Independent Advisory Assessment Panel's report to him on that panel's recommendations for the appointment of the new Chair of the Office for Students.

Lord Wharton of Yarm was selected following a rigorous assessment process conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, was presented with a list of candidates who were deemed to be appointable to the role of Chair of the Office for Students and he made his choice from that list.

The Governance Code for Public Appointments states at section 3.1: At the end of the process, Ministers should be provided with a choice of appointable candidates. Panels must not rank candidates unless the Minister has specifically asked for this. Ministers may choose not to appoint any of the candidates and re-run the competition.’ In accordance with the Code, in this competition the candidates deemed to be appointable were not ranked.

Following his selection as the preferred candidate by the Secretary of State for Education, Lord Wharton faced a pre-appointment hearing with the Education Select Committee, which endorsed Lord Wharton’s appointment as Chair.

We will not publish the Independent Advisory Assessment Panel’s report as it contains details of peoples’ performances at interview, making them identifiable.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether Lord Wharton was the highest scoring candidate for the role of Chair of the Office for Students following the Independent Advisory Assessment Panel's recruitment process.

Lord Wharton of Yarm was selected following a rigorous assessment process conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, was presented with a list of candidates who were deemed to be appointable to the role of Chair of the Office for Students and he made his choice from that list.

The Governance Code for Public Appointments states at section 3.1: At the end of the process, Ministers should be provided with a choice of appointable candidates. Panels must not rank candidates unless the Minister has specifically asked for this. Ministers may choose not to appoint any of the candidates and re-run the competition.’ In accordance with the Code, in this competition the candidates deemed to be appointable were not ranked.

Following his selection as the preferred candidate by the Secretary of State for Education, Lord Wharton faced a pre-appointment hearing with the Education Select Committee, which endorsed Lord Wharton’s appointment as Chair.

We will not publish the Independent Advisory Assessment Panel’s report as it contains details of peoples’ performances at interview, making them identifiable.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support the additional educational needs of children in kinship care who are homeschooling as a result of the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

During the period of national lockdown announced on 4 January 2021, primary, secondary, alternative provision, special schools, and further education providers have remained open to vulnerable children and young people. The definition of vulnerable children and young people includes those who have been identified as vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities, including children who left care through a special guardianship order, and others at the discretion of the provider or local authority.

Where vulnerable children and young people are not able to attend their education setting, they are able to access remote education. The government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, academy trusts or local authorities who can lend these to children who need them most, including children in kinship care, during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Schools are expected to offer pupils online lessons and a set number of hours of remote education for pupils, with an expectation that schools set work that is of equivalent to the core teaching pupils would receive in school.

A comprehensive package of support is available which can be accessed through the Get Help with Remote Education page on gov.uk. The department has also made £4.84 million available for the Oak National Academy which is continuing to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for reception up to year 11, including content for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

To support schools to make up for lost teaching time, the government introduced a catch-up package worth £1 billion, including a ‘Catch up Premium’ worth a total of £650 million and a £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils. The government will also provide a programme of catch-up over the next financial year. This will involve a further £300 million of new money to early years, schools, and providers of 16 to 19 further education for tutoring, and the department will work in collaboration with the education sector to develop, as appropriate, specific initiatives for summer schools and a COVID Premium to support catch up.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the Adoption Support Fund to kinship carers.

The government is committed to supporting families whose children have been in the care system prior to living with their new families. The Adoption Support Fund was extended in 2016 to include previously looked after children being cared for by special guardians, many of whom are kinship carers. The forthcoming Spending Review process will consider the Adoption Support Fund and its budget, scope and eligibility criteria.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to increase funding for retrofit skills under the Government’s National Skills Fund.

I refer the hon. Member for Twickenham to the answers I gave on 18 January 2021 to Questions 134016 and 134029.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the proposed removal of London Weighting from the Teaching Grant on university rent fees for students.

On 8 February 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to the Office for Students (OfS) to set out his priorities for the forthcoming year. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/48277145-4cf3-497f-b9b7-b13fdf16f46b/ofs-strategic-guidance-20210208.pdf.

One of these priorities is to change the name of the Teaching Grant to the Strategic Priorities Grant. This is to ensure the name of this funding reflects its important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally, and nationally to support the economy.

The Strategic Priorities Grant will be reformed for the 2021/22 financial year to ensure that more of taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting higher education (HE) provision which aligns with national priorities, such as healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

London weighting funding is a small proportion of the overall income of providers and it is right for the government to re-allocate public money where it is most needed. Universities should not receive additional investment for teaching simply because of where they are located. Excellent provision can be delivered across the country.

London already has, on average, the highest percentage of good or outstanding schools, the highest progression to HE, and more HE providers than any other region in England. This reform will invest more money directly into high quality institutions in the Midlands and the North.

The analysis we offer at this stage, as presented in the annex to the letter to the Office for Students (OfS), gives a broad indication of the impact of the changes to aid understanding. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/a3814453-4c28-404a-bf76-490183867d9a/rt-hon-gavin-williamson-cbe-mp-t-grant-ofs-chair-smb.pdf.

The OfS will consult on these changes shortly, before final allocations for the 2021/22 financial year are confirmed and will carefully consider the impact of any changes on providers.

We are also making available an additional £50 million of hardship funding this financial year. In total we have made £70 million of funding available for student hardship, given the £20 million made available to HE providers in December. Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need.

This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding that HE providers are able draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Furthermore, we have asked the OfS to allocate £15 million towards student mental health in 2021/2022 through the proposed reforms to Strategic Priorities grant funding, to help address the challenges to student mental health posed by the transition to university, given the increasing demand for mental health services. This will target those students in greatest need of such services, including vulnerable groups and hard-to-reach students.

The OfS has also been asked to allocate £5 million to providers in order to provide additional support for student hardship. This is to mitigate the rise in student hardship due to the COVID-19 impacts on the labour market which particularly affect, for example, students relying on work to fund their studies, students whose parents have lost income and students who are parents and whose partner's income has been affected.

We have also asked the OfS for a £10 million increase to the specialist provider allocation, to support these institutions which are particularly reliant on Strategic Priorities Grant funding, many of whom are London-based. We want to ensure that our small and specialist providers, including some of our top music and arts providers, receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has undertaken an impact assessment of the proposed removal of London Weighting from the Teaching Grant on (a) disadvantaged students and (b) BAME students.

On 8 February 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to the Office for Students (OfS) to set out his priorities for the forthcoming year. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/48277145-4cf3-497f-b9b7-b13fdf16f46b/ofs-strategic-guidance-20210208.pdf.

One of these priorities is to change the name of the Teaching Grant to the Strategic Priorities Grant. This is to ensure the name of this funding reflects its important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally, and nationally to support the economy.

The Strategic Priorities Grant will be reformed for the 2021/22 financial year to ensure that more of taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting higher education (HE) provision which aligns with national priorities, such as healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

London weighting funding is a small proportion of the overall income of providers and it is right for the government to re-allocate public money where it is most needed. Universities should not receive additional investment for teaching simply because of where they are located. Excellent provision can be delivered across the country.

London already has, on average, the highest percentage of good or outstanding schools, the highest progression to HE, and more HE providers than any other region in England. This reform will invest more money directly into high quality institutions in the Midlands and the North.

The analysis we offer at this stage, as presented in the annex to the letter to the Office for Students (OfS), gives a broad indication of the impact of the changes to aid understanding. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/a3814453-4c28-404a-bf76-490183867d9a/rt-hon-gavin-williamson-cbe-mp-t-grant-ofs-chair-smb.pdf.

The OfS will consult on these changes shortly, before final allocations for the 2021/22 financial year are confirmed and will carefully consider the impact of any changes on providers.

We are also making available an additional £50 million of hardship funding this financial year. In total we have made £70 million of funding available for student hardship, given the £20 million made available to HE providers in December. Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need.

This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding that HE providers are able draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Furthermore, we have asked the OfS to allocate £15 million towards student mental health in 2021/2022 through the proposed reforms to Strategic Priorities grant funding, to help address the challenges to student mental health posed by the transition to university, given the increasing demand for mental health services. This will target those students in greatest need of such services, including vulnerable groups and hard-to-reach students.

The OfS has also been asked to allocate £5 million to providers in order to provide additional support for student hardship. This is to mitigate the rise in student hardship due to the COVID-19 impacts on the labour market which particularly affect, for example, students relying on work to fund their studies, students whose parents have lost income and students who are parents and whose partner's income has been affected.

We have also asked the OfS for a £10 million increase to the specialist provider allocation, to support these institutions which are particularly reliant on Strategic Priorities Grant funding, many of whom are London-based. We want to ensure that our small and specialist providers, including some of our top music and arts providers, receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the reduction in funding will be to (a) London universities and (b) the University of London from the proposed removal of London Weighting from the Teaching Grant.

On 8 February 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to the Office for Students (OfS) to set out his priorities for the forthcoming year. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/48277145-4cf3-497f-b9b7-b13fdf16f46b/ofs-strategic-guidance-20210208.pdf.

One of these priorities is to change the name of the Teaching Grant to the Strategic Priorities Grant. This is to ensure the name of this funding reflects its important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally, and nationally to support the economy.

The Strategic Priorities Grant will be reformed for the 2021/22 financial year to ensure that more of taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting higher education (HE) provision which aligns with national priorities, such as healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

London weighting funding is a small proportion of the overall income of providers and it is right for the government to re-allocate public money where it is most needed. Universities should not receive additional investment for teaching simply because of where they are located. Excellent provision can be delivered across the country.

London already has, on average, the highest percentage of good or outstanding schools, the highest progression to HE, and more HE providers than any other region in England. This reform will invest more money directly into high quality institutions in the Midlands and the North.

The analysis we offer at this stage, as presented in the annex to the letter to the Office for Students (OfS), gives a broad indication of the impact of the changes to aid understanding. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/a3814453-4c28-404a-bf76-490183867d9a/rt-hon-gavin-williamson-cbe-mp-t-grant-ofs-chair-smb.pdf.

The OfS will consult on these changes shortly, before final allocations for the 2021/22 financial year are confirmed and will carefully consider the impact of any changes on providers.

We are also making available an additional £50 million of hardship funding this financial year. In total we have made £70 million of funding available for student hardship, given the £20 million made available to HE providers in December. Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need.

This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding that HE providers are able draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Furthermore, we have asked the OfS to allocate £15 million towards student mental health in 2021/2022 through the proposed reforms to Strategic Priorities grant funding, to help address the challenges to student mental health posed by the transition to university, given the increasing demand for mental health services. This will target those students in greatest need of such services, including vulnerable groups and hard-to-reach students.

The OfS has also been asked to allocate £5 million to providers in order to provide additional support for student hardship. This is to mitigate the rise in student hardship due to the COVID-19 impacts on the labour market which particularly affect, for example, students relying on work to fund their studies, students whose parents have lost income and students who are parents and whose partner's income has been affected.

We have also asked the OfS for a £10 million increase to the specialist provider allocation, to support these institutions which are particularly reliant on Strategic Priorities Grant funding, many of whom are London-based. We want to ensure that our small and specialist providers, including some of our top music and arts providers, receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his has Department made of the effect of removing the London weighting from university grants on the quality of university teaching and facilities.

On 8 February 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to the Office for Students (OfS) to set out his priorities for the forthcoming year. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/48277145-4cf3-497f-b9b7-b13fdf16f46b/ofs-strategic-guidance-20210208.pdf.

One of these priorities is to change the name of the Teaching Grant to the Strategic Priorities Grant. This is to ensure the name of this funding reflects its important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally, and nationally to support the economy.

The Strategic Priorities Grant will be reformed for the 2021/22 financial year to ensure that more of taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting higher education (HE) provision which aligns with national priorities, such as healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

London weighting funding is a small proportion of the overall income of providers and it is right for the government to re-allocate public money where it is most needed. Universities should not receive additional investment for teaching simply because of where they are located. Excellent provision can be delivered across the country.

London already has, on average, the highest percentage of good or outstanding schools, the highest progression to HE, and more HE providers than any other region in England. This reform will invest more money directly into high quality institutions in the Midlands and the North.

The analysis we offer at this stage, as presented in the annex to the letter to the Office for Students (OfS), gives a broad indication of the impact of the changes to aid understanding. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/a3814453-4c28-404a-bf76-490183867d9a/rt-hon-gavin-williamson-cbe-mp-t-grant-ofs-chair-smb.pdf.

The OfS will consult on these changes shortly, before final allocations for the 2021/22 financial year are confirmed and will carefully consider the impact of any changes on providers.

We are also making available an additional £50 million of hardship funding this financial year. In total we have made £70 million of funding available for student hardship, given the £20 million made available to HE providers in December. Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need.

This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding that HE providers are able draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Furthermore, we have asked the OfS to allocate £15 million towards student mental health in 2021/2022 through the proposed reforms to Strategic Priorities grant funding, to help address the challenges to student mental health posed by the transition to university, given the increasing demand for mental health services. This will target those students in greatest need of such services, including vulnerable groups and hard-to-reach students.

The OfS has also been asked to allocate £5 million to providers in order to provide additional support for student hardship. This is to mitigate the rise in student hardship due to the COVID-19 impacts on the labour market which particularly affect, for example, students relying on work to fund their studies, students whose parents have lost income and students who are parents and whose partner's income has been affected.

We have also asked the OfS for a £10 million increase to the specialist provider allocation, to support these institutions which are particularly reliant on Strategic Priorities Grant funding, many of whom are London-based. We want to ensure that our small and specialist providers, including some of our top music and arts providers, receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the proposed removal of London Weighting from the Teaching Grant on the number of students able to afford university.

On 8 February 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to the Office for Students (OfS) to set out his priorities for the forthcoming year. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/48277145-4cf3-497f-b9b7-b13fdf16f46b/ofs-strategic-guidance-20210208.pdf.

One of these priorities is to change the name of the Teaching Grant to the Strategic Priorities Grant. This is to ensure the name of this funding reflects its important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally, and nationally to support the economy.

The Strategic Priorities Grant will be reformed for the 2021/22 financial year to ensure that more of taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting higher education (HE) provision which aligns with national priorities, such as healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

London weighting funding is a small proportion of the overall income of providers and it is right for the government to re-allocate public money where it is most needed. Universities should not receive additional investment for teaching simply because of where they are located. Excellent provision can be delivered across the country.

London already has, on average, the highest percentage of good or outstanding schools, the highest progression to HE, and more HE providers than any other region in England. This reform will invest more money directly into high quality institutions in the Midlands and the North.

The analysis we offer at this stage, as presented in the annex to the letter to the Office for Students (OfS), gives a broad indication of the impact of the changes to aid understanding. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/a3814453-4c28-404a-bf76-490183867d9a/rt-hon-gavin-williamson-cbe-mp-t-grant-ofs-chair-smb.pdf.

The OfS will consult on these changes shortly, before final allocations for the 2021/22 financial year are confirmed and will carefully consider the impact of any changes on providers.

We are also making available an additional £50 million of hardship funding this financial year. In total we have made £70 million of funding available for student hardship, given the £20 million made available to HE providers in December. Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need.

This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding that HE providers are able draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Furthermore, we have asked the OfS to allocate £15 million towards student mental health in 2021/2022 through the proposed reforms to Strategic Priorities grant funding, to help address the challenges to student mental health posed by the transition to university, given the increasing demand for mental health services. This will target those students in greatest need of such services, including vulnerable groups and hard-to-reach students.

The OfS has also been asked to allocate £5 million to providers in order to provide additional support for student hardship. This is to mitigate the rise in student hardship due to the COVID-19 impacts on the labour market which particularly affect, for example, students relying on work to fund their studies, students whose parents have lost income and students who are parents and whose partner's income has been affected.

We have also asked the OfS for a £10 million increase to the specialist provider allocation, to support these institutions which are particularly reliant on Strategic Priorities Grant funding, many of whom are London-based. We want to ensure that our small and specialist providers, including some of our top music and arts providers, receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Children’s Services Development Group’s report entitled Destination Unknown: Improving transitions for care leavers and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, published February 2020, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations of that report on supporting vulnerable young people to successfully move into adulthood.

It is a priority for the department to improve the outcomes of care leavers and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The SEND Code of Practice explicitly states that all children and young people with SEND should be prepared for adulthood and that this preparation should start early. For those with an education, health and care plan, there must be a focus from year 9 onwards on this preparation as part of their plan’s annual review. Planning for the transition to adulthood should result in clear outcomes being agreed that are ambitious and stretching.

The SEND Review is considering how the support system operates to prepare children and young people for adulthood, including employment.

Since launching the cross-government Care Leaver Strategy, we have implemented a wide range of measures to improve care leavers’ outcomes, including ones which address the concerns highlighted by the Children’s Services Development Group’s report.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has established a ministerial board, co-chaired by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The board met for the first time on 13 July and brought together ministers from across the government to consider what more their departments can do to support care leavers. The next meeting of the board will be in the early autumn.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the support available to young people with special educational needs and disabilities to ensure they make a successful transition into adulthood; and whether he will include an assessment of that support in his Department's review of support for children with special educational needs.

It is a priority for the department to improve the outcomes of care leavers and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The SEND Code of Practice explicitly states that all children and young people with SEND should be prepared for adulthood and that this preparation should start early. For those with an education, health and care plan, there must be a focus from year 9 onwards on this preparation as part of their plan’s annual review. Planning for the transition to adulthood should result in clear outcomes being agreed that are ambitious and stretching.

The SEND Review is considering how the support system operates to prepare children and young people for adulthood, including employment.

Since launching the cross-government Care Leaver Strategy, we have implemented a wide range of measures to improve care leavers’ outcomes, including ones which address the concerns highlighted by the Children’s Services Development Group’s report.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has established a ministerial board, co-chaired by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The board met for the first time on 13 July and brought together ministers from across the government to consider what more their departments can do to support care leavers. The next meeting of the board will be in the early autumn.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of 19 to 25 year-old students with an education, health and care plan were provided with a further education place in the academic years (a) 2016-17, (b) 2017-18, (c) 2018-19 and (d) 2019-20.

The number of 19 to 25 year olds with an education, health and care (EHC) plan participating in further education at any point in the given academic year is presented in the table attached. This is collected in the individualised learner record. The proportion of all 19 to 25 year olds with EHC plans is not available as comparable age bands are not available.

The number of young people aged 16-19 and 20-25 with an EHC plan is available in the ‘Education, health and care plans’ publication at:
https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans.

Figures presented are as at January in the academic year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government's press release entitled, Billion pound Covid catch-up plan to tackle impact of lost teaching time, published on 19 June, whether his Department will publish guidance for schools on how they should allocate their portion of that funding package.

Every pupil in the country has experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of COVID-19. The £1 billion catch-up fund is intended to support schools in helping pupils make up for time spent out of the classroom. Through this fund, in the next academic year, all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England will receive a share of the £650 million catch-up premium.

School leaders have discretion to use this additional funding to meet the identified needs of their pupils and to help them fill gaps in curriculum knowledge resulting from extended school closures. On 19 June, the Education Endowment Foundation published a guide to help school leaders and staff decide how to use this funding to best support their pupils and their outcomes.

In addition, the £350 million National Tutoring Programme will provide extra support for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, who will be amongst the hardest hit by the disruption to education.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government's press release entitled, Billion pound Covid catch-up plan to tackle impact of lost teaching time, published on 19 June, what steps he will take to ensure that money spent from that package goes to children who have had the least access to face-to-face teaching time during the covid-19 outbreak.

Every pupil in the country has experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of COVID-19. The £1 billion catch-up fund is intended to support schools in helping pupils make up for time spent out of the classroom. Through this fund, in the next academic year, all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England will receive a share of the £650 million catch-up premium.

School leaders have discretion to use this additional funding to meet the identified needs of their pupils and to help them fill gaps in curriculum knowledge resulting from extended school closures. On 19 June, the Education Endowment Foundation published a guide to help school leaders and staff decide how to use this funding to best support their pupils and their outcomes.

In addition, the £350 million National Tutoring Programme will provide extra support for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, who will be amongst the hardest hit by the disruption to education.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department plans to provide to schools on prioritising student wellbeing (a) during the covid-19 outbreak and (b) as lockdown restrictions are eased.

The government remains committed to promoting and supporting the mental health of children and young people.

The department has signposted resources on supporting and promoting mental wellbeing among the list of resources to help children to learn at home, which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

BBC Bitesize has also worked with the department to provide content with substantial focus on mental health, wellbeing and pastoral care.

The return to school is a key part of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils, as attendance at school allows social interaction with peers, carers and teachers, which benefits wellbeing. To support this, we have encouraged schools to focus on mental wellbeing as pupils return. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are now able to return to primary, and Year 10 and Year 12 pupils are able to receive face-to-face support at secondary. Primaries with capacity can bring back additional groups, in line with existing protective measures, and we have given schools the flexibility to have face-to-face ‘check-ups’ with all pupils during the summer term. Our intention is for all children to return to school from September and guidance will be published soon.

We are continuing to talk with school and health partners on how to make further resources and support available to schools as children and young people return.

Access to mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. NHS services remain open, and leading mental health charities are being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund. During Mental Health Awareness Week, the government also announced that a further £4.2 million will be awarded to mental health charities, including the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK.

All NHS mental health trusts have been asked to ensure that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. These are available for children and young people as well as adults. Public Health England and Health Education England have also developed advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

In addition, children and young people can access free confidential support anytime from government-backed voluntary and community sector organisations either by texting SHOUT to 85258, or by calling Childline on 0800 1111 or The Mix on 0808 808 4994. Children and young people can also find online information on COVID-19 and mental health on the Young Minds website, which is available here:
https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/reports/coronavirus-impact-on-young-people-with-mental-health-needs/.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional funding the Government has allocated to schools reopening on 1 June 2020 for (a) cleaning, (b) personal protective equipment, (c) social distancing and (d) other measures necessary to reduce the transmission of covid-19.

Schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year, as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. That will ensure that they are able to continue to meet their regular financial commitments.

We are also providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources. The fund is targeted towards the costs we have identified as the biggest barrier to schools during the period of partial closure and includes additional cleaning costs.

We will continue to keep the scope of this fund under review as we move towards a gradual reopening of schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish guidance on whether nannies who do not live with their employer are permitted to work during lockdown.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jul 2021
What assessment he has had made of the potential effectiveness of providing free garden waste collections as proposed in the consultation on Consistency in Household and Business Recycling in England.

A free minimum garden waste collection service reduces the amount of garden waste that ends up in landfill, minimising the release of harmful greenhouse gases. We will publish a final impact assessment and Government response with further analysis of this proposal and on alternative measures to increase the recycling of garden waste from households.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that covid-19 testing equipment can be recycled.

We have provided guidance on gov.uk regarding the correct way to dispose of personal or business waste, including face coverings, personal protective equipment and lateral flow devices used for the asymptomatic testing of Covid-19: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste.

We have looked at recyclability of used devices but given that they are constructed of a number of polymers and contain small quantities of liquid, albeit non-hazardous, there are currently no processes that can recycle them. We have worked very closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, the Environment Agency, Public Health England and other stakeholders to ensure that these are managed as safely and effectively as possible but currently there are no recycling options available. This is under constant review.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of air quality monitoring stations in use in (a) Birmingham and (b) Manchester.

Information about the number of sites in Defra’s national monitoring network is published on the UK Air Information Resource (UK-AIR), this is updated in real-time to provide a live representation of the national monitoring network.

There are 3 air quality monitoring sites which are part of Defra’s national monitoring networks located in Birmingham, out of a total of 8 sites in the West Midlands metropolitan county. In Manchester, there are 2 sites from a total of 6 in the Greater Manchester metropolitan county.

In addition to the national UK Air Quality monitoring networks, Local Authorities, businesses and academics carry out monitoring and modelling of air quality. Information on sites managed by Local Authorities and those that make up national networks managed by Defra can be found on UK-Air (https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/networks/find-sites and https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/interactive-map).

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many air pollution monitors in London have been upgraded since 2016.

As part of the national network of monitoring sites that the Environment Agency manages on Defra’s behalf, 15 new or upgraded instruments have been brought into service across 12 air quality monitoring sites across London since 2016.

There are currently 19 air quality monitoring sites which are part of Defra’s national monitoring networks located in London. In addition to the national UK Air Quality monitoring networks, Local Authorities, businesses and academics carry out monitoring and modelling of air quality.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of air quality monitoring stations in use in London.

As part of the national network of monitoring sites that the Environment Agency manages on Defra’s behalf, 15 new or upgraded instruments have been brought into service across 12 air quality monitoring sites across London since 2016.

There are currently 19 air quality monitoring sites which are part of Defra’s national monitoring networks located in London. In addition to the national UK Air Quality monitoring networks, Local Authorities, businesses and academics carry out monitoring and modelling of air quality.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing an independent advice and research facility for farmers and agronomists on best practice for adopting integrated pest management systems.

Defra and the Devolved Administrations are currently consulting on the draft revised National Action Plan for Sustainable Use of Pesticides (the NAP). It outlines our intention to work with demonstration farms, agronomists and advisory services to support the development and uptake of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

The draft NAP also outlines how we plan to improve regulation, support the uptake of Integrated Pest Management including in the amenity sector, improve safe use, improve metrics, and review the governance and implementation of UK pesticides policy.

Our strict regulation only allows the use of pesticides that are shown to meet high standards for the protection of people and the environment. Therefore, we currently have no plans to phase out amenity use of pesticides.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing mandatory prior notification for the public for when pesticides are being sprayed near them.

Pesticides are only authorised for use in situations where scientific assessment finds that this will not harm human health, including that of local residents and bystanders, and will not pose unacceptable risks to the environment. The assessment looks at potential risks to children and takes account of the setting in which the pesticide will be used. Those using pesticides are required to take all reasonable precautions to protect human health and the environment and to confine the application of the pesticide to the area intended to be treated.

The Government operates a range of schemes which collect and analyse data on potential health impacts from pesticides. Biomonitoring studies have provided information on how actual exposure to pesticides compares with predictions. The draft UK National Action Plan, currently out for consultation, proposes that over the next five years, we will work with stakeholders to consider the potential for development of a human biomonitoring programme, to monitor exposure within the UK population to pesticides as well as other chemicals.

Monitoring the long-term effects of exposure to pesticides and other chemicals is challenging. The Prospective Investigation of Pesticide Applicators’ Health collects long-term data on the health of certified pesticide users.

The Code of Practice for using plant protection products has a specific section on “Protecting the Public.” This deals with the assessments that must be made of any risks to the public before using pesticides, notification of adjacent occupiers before spraying and particular care that may be needed for especially vulnerable groups. The Government does not believe it is appropriate to introduce a statutory requirement for operators to provide advance notice of planned spray operations to members of the public.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of long-term exposure to pesticides on children in London.

Pesticides are only authorised for use in situations where scientific assessment finds that this will not harm human health, including that of local residents and bystanders, and will not pose unacceptable risks to the environment. The assessment looks at potential risks to children and takes account of the setting in which the pesticide will be used. Those using pesticides are required to take all reasonable precautions to protect human health and the environment and to confine the application of the pesticide to the area intended to be treated.

The Government operates a range of schemes which collect and analyse data on potential health impacts from pesticides. Biomonitoring studies have provided information on how actual exposure to pesticides compares with predictions. The draft UK National Action Plan, currently out for consultation, proposes that over the next five years, we will work with stakeholders to consider the potential for development of a human biomonitoring programme, to monitor exposure within the UK population to pesticides as well as other chemicals.

Monitoring the long-term effects of exposure to pesticides and other chemicals is challenging. The Prospective Investigation of Pesticide Applicators’ Health collects long-term data on the health of certified pesticide users.

The Code of Practice for using plant protection products has a specific section on “Protecting the Public.” This deals with the assessments that must be made of any risks to the public before using pesticides, notification of adjacent occupiers before spraying and particular care that may be needed for especially vulnerable groups. The Government does not believe it is appropriate to introduce a statutory requirement for operators to provide advance notice of planned spray operations to members of the public.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of long-term exposure to (a) pesticides (b) developmental toxins (c) neurotoxins and (d) carcinogens in cities on the health of residents.

Pesticides are only authorised for use in situations where scientific assessment finds that this will not harm human health, including that of local residents and bystanders, and will not pose unacceptable risks to the environment. The assessment looks at potential risks to children and takes account of the setting in which the pesticide will be used. Those using pesticides are required to take all reasonable precautions to protect human health and the environment and to confine the application of the pesticide to the area intended to be treated.

The Government operates a range of schemes which collect and analyse data on potential health impacts from pesticides. Biomonitoring studies have provided information on how actual exposure to pesticides compares with predictions. The draft UK National Action Plan, currently out for consultation, proposes that over the next five years, we will work with stakeholders to consider the potential for development of a human biomonitoring programme, to monitor exposure within the UK population to pesticides as well as other chemicals.

Monitoring the long-term effects of exposure to pesticides and other chemicals is challenging. The Prospective Investigation of Pesticide Applicators’ Health collects long-term data on the health of certified pesticide users.

The Code of Practice for using plant protection products has a specific section on “Protecting the Public.” This deals with the assessments that must be made of any risks to the public before using pesticides, notification of adjacent occupiers before spraying and particular care that may be needed for especially vulnerable groups. The Government does not believe it is appropriate to introduce a statutory requirement for operators to provide advance notice of planned spray operations to members of the public.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of long-term exposure to pesticides on the health of nearby residents as a result of spray drift from fields.

Pesticides are only authorised for use in situations where scientific assessment finds that this will not harm human health, including that of local residents and bystanders, and will not pose unacceptable risks to the environment. The assessment looks at potential risks to children and takes account of the setting in which the pesticide will be used. Those using pesticides are required to take all reasonable precautions to protect human health and the environment and to confine the application of the pesticide to the area intended to be treated.

The Government operates a range of schemes which collect and analyse data on potential health impacts from pesticides. Biomonitoring studies have provided information on how actual exposure to pesticides compares with predictions. The draft UK National Action Plan, currently out for consultation, proposes that over the next five years, we will work with stakeholders to consider the potential for development of a human biomonitoring programme, to monitor exposure within the UK population to pesticides as well as other chemicals.

Monitoring the long-term effects of exposure to pesticides and other chemicals is challenging. The Prospective Investigation of Pesticide Applicators’ Health collects long-term data on the health of certified pesticide users.

The Code of Practice for using plant protection products has a specific section on “Protecting the Public.” This deals with the assessments that must be made of any risks to the public before using pesticides, notification of adjacent occupiers before spraying and particular care that may be needed for especially vulnerable groups. The Government does not believe it is appropriate to introduce a statutory requirement for operators to provide advance notice of planned spray operations to members of the public.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of biohazardous personal protective equipment discarded by the public that is being sent to landfill rather than incineration.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Defra has not made estimates on the proportion of biohazardous personal protective equipment (PPE) discarded by the public that is being sent to landfill rather than incineration. This is because PPE used by the public is not required to be incinerated and therefore can be discarded in residual waste. All waste has to be disposed of in accordance with environmental regulations and the waste hierarchy and disposal to landfill is the last resort.

Defra has published guidance on the correct disposal of PPE for the public which is available online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste. This explains that PPE should be placed in residual ‘black bag’ waste at home or whilst at work, or a litter bin if outside, and that PPE should not be put in a recycling bin or dropped as litter.

The guidance also details what members of the public should do if they, or a member of their household, are self-isolating at home. To dispose of any face coverings or PPE in this circumstance, members of the public are advised to double bag the waste and store it for 72 hours before putting them in a ‘black bag’ waste bin.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance his Department has published on the disposal of personal protective equipment by the public.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Defra has not made estimates on the proportion of biohazardous personal protective equipment (PPE) discarded by the public that is being sent to landfill rather than incineration. This is because PPE used by the public is not required to be incinerated and therefore can be discarded in residual waste. All waste has to be disposed of in accordance with environmental regulations and the waste hierarchy and disposal to landfill is the last resort.

Defra has published guidance on the correct disposal of PPE for the public which is available online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste. This explains that PPE should be placed in residual ‘black bag’ waste at home or whilst at work, or a litter bin if outside, and that PPE should not be put in a recycling bin or dropped as litter.

The guidance also details what members of the public should do if they, or a member of their household, are self-isolating at home. To dispose of any face coverings or PPE in this circumstance, members of the public are advised to double bag the waste and store it for 72 hours before putting them in a ‘black bag’ waste bin.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Sep 2020
What assessment the Government has made of the potential role of hydrogen technology in improving air quality.

The potential role of hydrogen technology has been considered in a number of Government publications, including Defra’s Air Quality Expert Group’s recent report, ‘Impacts of Net Zero pathways on future air quality in the UK,’ the outputs of the Department for Transport’s ‘Transport Energy Model,’ and also in two literature reviews published by BEIS of the emissions likely to arise from hydrogen combustion and of the atmospheric impacts of hydrogen.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 12 May 2020 to Question 42137, if his Department will bring forward a grant scheme for growers in the seasonal ornamental horticulture sector with small profit margins who have had to dispose of stock and will be unable to repay a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan or Bounce Back Loan scheme loan within six years.

Coronavirus represents a very significant challenge affecting daily life and every part of the economy, including the ornamental horticulture sector. The Government continues to work closely with representatives from the horticulture supply chain, including the Horticultural Trades Association, to understand the short-term and long-term impacts on the sector and we are undertaking work to scope out options should they be required.

In May, Defra worked with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to introduce legislation which would allow garden centres to re-open. On 13 May, the Government announced that all garden centres in England which are able to adhere to social distancing measures were legally able to reopen. This measure has been widely welcomed by growers, garden centre owners and consumers.

The Government has made a wide-ranging package of measures available to ornamental horticulture businesses to support them through this difficult period and we continue to keep the situation under review. Legal powers were included in the Coronavirus Act 2020 enabling us to offer further financial support if we believe it is necessary.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on growers in the ornamental horticulture sector.

Coronavirus represents a very significant challenge affecting daily life and every part of the economy, including the ornamental horticulture sector. The Government continues to work closely with representatives from the horticulture supply chain, including the Horticultural Trades Association, to understand the short-term and long-term impacts on the sector and we are undertaking work to scope out options should they be required.

In May, Defra worked with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to introduce legislation which would allow garden centres to re-open. On 13 May, the Government announced that all garden centres in England which are able to adhere to social distancing measures were legally able to reopen. This measure has been widely welcomed by growers, garden centre owners and consumers.

The Government has made a wide-ranging package of measures available to ornamental horticulture businesses to support them through this difficult period and we continue to keep the situation under review. Legal powers were included in the Coronavirus Act 2020 enabling us to offer further financial support if we believe it is necessary.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment her Department has made of the effect of wood burning stoves on air quality.

Defra assesses air quality in the UK through a combination of monitoring and modelling, as well as through the development and upkeep of a National Atmospheric Emissions inventory (NAEI). The NAEI is compiled annually to report total emissions by pollutant and source sector in a systematic way, and to facilitate compliance with our emissions reduction targets.

Emissions from domestic combustion using wood as fuel have increased by 70 per cent since 2005. As recognised by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, particulate matter is particularly harmful for health and the environment. The most recently published data from the NAEI shows that domestic combustion using wood as fuel accounted for 36 per cent of primary emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in 2017. We will publish the next annual update of the NAEI, with data for 2018, in the coming weeks.

Wood burning stoves and coal fires are now the single largest contributor to our national emissions of particulate matter. We are already taking steps to tackle emissions from domestic burning. The Environment Bill currently before Parliament contains measures to reduce emissions from domestic solid fuel burning, the single largest contributor of fine particulate matter emissions. It will create a simpler mechanism for local authorities seeking to reduce smoke emissions within their areas.

Additionally, in line with the Clean Air Strategy, Defra has consulted on the cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood. We expect to publish the Government response to this consultation in the near future.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2021
What steps she is taking to ensure parliamentary scrutiny of UK trade deals.

The Government applies appropriate transparency and scrutiny procedures. For new free trade agreements with the United States, Australia, New Zealand and UK’s proposed accession to CPTTP, the Government applies enhanced transparency and scrutiny arrangements. Parliament can prevent ratification of any free trade agreement through the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act procedure, and by rejecting any necessary implementing legislation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including Serbia on the covid-19 green list for travel.

The traffic light system categorises countries based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19. The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) produces risk assessments of countries and territories. Decisions on Red, Amber or Green List assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account the JBC risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors.

Serbia has been on the Amber list since 17 May 2021. Changes to the country lists are implemented every three weeks, unless concerning evidence means we need to act faster to protect public health.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring suppliers of covid-19 testing under the Test to Release scheme to introduce a concessionary price.

The Test to Release (TTR) scheme is a voluntary, opt-in system allowing eligible people the opportunity to leave self-isolation early if they receive a negative result following a Day 5 test. Most travel is undertaken by choice and TTR is not a mandatory requirement. Those who do not wish to opt into this voluntary scheme are able to self-isolate for the full 10 days.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on the Government’s 2019 commitment for every newly installed rapid and higher charging points for electric vehicles to provide pay as you go payment facilities.

The Government welcomes the progress that has been made to date in providing contactless payment at rapid and high-powered chargers. However, over half of these devices do not provide pay-as-you-go facility. In May, the Transport Secretary announced that the Government will consult on measures to improve the consumer experience when using public chargepoints. This includes exploring measures such as requiring rapid chargepoints to offer contactless payment, improving chargepoint reliability and transparency on pricing and giving drivers better access to information about the chargepoints available for their journey.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many charging network providers for electric vehicles charge annual or monthly fees for people to use public chargers.

The Government does not keep a record of the charging mechanisms of different charging network providers. No assessment has been made of the effect of annual or monthly fees for using public charging points on their uptake.

Under the Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure Regulations 2017 all public chargepoints are required to provide ad hoc access. This means that all public chargepoints can be accessed without electric vehicle drivers needing to enter into a contract or register with a charging network.

In May the Transport Secretary announced that the Government will consult on measures to improve the consumer experience when using public chargepoints. This includes measures such as requiring rapid chargepoints to offer contactless payment, improving chargepoint reliability and transparency on pricing and giving drivers better access to information about the chargepoints available for their journey.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether new 7kW to 22kW charging points for electric vehicles are including within the Government’s commitment to ensure all newly installed rapid and higher charging points provide pay as you go payment facilities.

The Government welcomes the progress that has been made to date at providing contactless payment at rapid and high-powered chargers. Rapid and high-powered chargepoints (50 kW+) are vital to facilitate longer journeys, which is why it is important that electric vehicle drivers can use the simplest payment method to obtain the fastest charge to continue their journey.

In May the Transport Secretary announced that the Government will consult on measures to improve the consumer experience when using public chargepoints. This includes exploring measures such as requiring rapid chargepoints to offer contactless payment, improving chargepoint reliability and transparency on pricing and giving drivers better access to information about the chargepoints available for their journey.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on standardising electric vehicle charging portals.

The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulations 2017, which came into effect in the UK in October 2017, set out harmonised technical standards for vehicle recharging in the UK. All publicly accessible?chargepoints?that can be used for standard or fast alternative current (AC) charging (3.7kW-22kW) and that have either been deployed or renewed since 17 November 2017 must, at a minimum, offer a ‘Type 2’ recharging?connector. For rapid charging devices, publicly accessible?chargepoints?must, at a minimum, offer a ‘Type 2’ recharging?connector?if using AC, or the ‘Combo 2’ combined charging system (CCS) if using direct current (DC). These are minimum requirements, therefore the?chargepoint?may also offer recharging?connectors using other technical standards, providing that they also offer recharging?connectors that meet the standards above.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of new electric vehicle and higher powered charge points provide pay as you go payment facilities.

The Government welcomes the progress that has been made to date in providing contactless payment at rapid and high-powered chargers. However, over half of these devices do not provide pay-as-you-go facility. In May, the Transport Secretary announced that the Government will consult on measures to improve the consumer experience when using public chargepoints. This includes exploring measures such as requiring rapid chargepoints to offer contactless payment, improving chargepoint reliability and transparency on pricing and giving drivers better access to information about the chargepoints available for their journey.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made requests to (a) train operating companies and (b) Transport for London to undertake customer surveys to estimate the level of demand for public transport as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Secretary of State has not asked train operating companies nor Transport for London to undertake customer surveys to estimate the level of demand for public transport as restrictions are eased.

Demand for public transport is being monitored daily through ticket sales data, and through tube entries/exits and bus boarding numbers for Transport for London. This gives a more granular and time-sensitive assessment of demand than would be possible through surveys. This information is published each week on the gov.uk website and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that disabled people that are legitimately not wearing a face covering on public transport are identifiable to (a) the public and (b) transport staff.

Government’s updated Safer Transport guidance for operators and for passengers highlights that specific exemptions apply, including for health, equality or age reasons. We are ensuring that operators have appropriate communications and staff briefing in place so that both staff and passengers are aware of the exemptions. Train operating companies have communicated the exemptions to their customers and staff, as have other operators. If prompted by staff, passengers should explain that they are exempt from the regulation. We know some operators have a badge or lanyard scheme which assists with this.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of exempting people with disabilities unable to wear face masks from the recent Government requirement for people to wear face masks on public transport during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have undertaken an Equalities Impact Assessment and have taken advice from the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, as well as other disability stakeholder groups. We expect everyone to wear a face covering if they can, but recognise reasonable adjustments are necessary for some people. Exemptions will apply for those unable to wear a face covering, for example people with disabilities, those with breathing difficulties, or young children.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that South Western Railway passengers who pay using daily tickets, Oyster or contactless pay-as-you go are aware of their entitlement to compensation arising from service cancellations as a result of the strike action of December 2019.

Officials will be working with South Western Railway (SWR) to ensure that they maximise awareness of the right to compensation for passengers who travelled during this time and meet the criteria for the additional compensation.

SWR presently have initial information on their website about the level of compensation to be offered and further information will follow as soon as possible. Details can be found here https://www.southwesternrailway.com/december-2019-strike-compensation

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 January 2020 to Question 352 on South Western Railway, what aspects of the 27 days of industrial action between South Western Railway and the RMT union were discussed at the most recent meeting.

SWR provided an update of the discussions with the RMT at ACAS and their position on the matter in dispute, information about which directors were leading operations during the strike, and a discussion on passenger compensation.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent (a) discussions and (b) meetings (a) ministers and (b) officials in his Department has had with representatives of (i) First Group and (ii) MTR Crossrail on the (A) financial viability and (B) performance of the South Western Railways rail franchise; and if he will publish the names of the attendees of those members.

South Western Railway is owned by First Group and MTR Europe.

The Department holds regular meetings with all franchise owning groups. These cover a wide range of topics, including financial and performance matters. These meetings involve officials at all levels from within the Department.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the economic effect on local businesses of the 27-day period of industrial action by the RMT Union on South Western Railway.

As set out in our manifesto, we are concerned about the impact of strike action on passengers and local businesses. We intend to implement Minimum Service Level legislation to ensure that the right to strike is in future balanced proportionately with the rights of those parties and persons, whose rights are being disproportionately adversely impacted by strikes.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives from South Western Railway on the potential for future strikes following the 27-day period of industrial action by the RMT Union.

The RMT’s mandate for official industrial action expires on 23 January 2020 and it is currently balloting its members for a renewed mandate. I would not wish to speculate about potential for further strikes. I would like to see the union and SWR bring an end to this dispute with an agreement that puts the long-term interests of passengers first.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 7 January 2020 to Question 352 on South Western Railway, who was in attendance at those meetings.

These meetings involve officials at all levels from within the Department.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 7 January 2020 to Question 353 on South Western Railway: Strikes, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure passengers are compensated for the disruption caused by the industrial action by South Western Railway staff in December 2019.

The Department are considering a variety of options to compensate passengers. These options are being considered in the context of both the length of the period of disruption and the service that South Western continued to operate throughout this period thanks to the hard work of contingency guards, who worked throughout the holiday period to keep passengers moving. A further update will be provided in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost to South Western Railway of the recent strike action.

Any financial impact on South Western Railway is subject to commercial confidentiality and cannot be disclosed.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what criteria his Department uses to determine rail operators compliance with their franchise obligations; and what recent assessment he has made of South Western Railway compliance with the obligations and provisions of its franchise.

The Department monitors rail operators’ compliance with Franchise Obligations on an on-going basis through comprehensive periodic reporting obligations placed on operators under the Franchise Agreement, and review of evidence of progress and satisfaction of committed obligations. Where non-compliance with Terms of the Franchise Agreement are identified, the Secretary of State makes use of his powers under the Railways Act 1993 to take any action he considers necessary or appropriate to secure compliance, including the exercise of his contractual rights to require remedial action to be taken.

South Western Railway have currently exceeded the Breach threshold for Cancellations and Minutes Delay, for which a Remedial Plan is currently under discussion with the operator. The Department has also identified two further non-compliances with the Franchise Agreement where contractual deadlines were not met, both of which have been remedied without the need for enforcement action to be taken to secure delivery.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to provide clarity to South Western Railway passengers on the future of that company's franchise.

South Western Railway’s passengers can expect there to be no material impact on the railway’s day-to-day operations. The business will continue to operate as usual with no material impact on SWR services or staff.

Parliament will be kept informed as and when there are any developments to be reported.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the financial performance data on South Western Railway published on Companies House on 3 January 2019, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of (a) terminating South Western Railway’s franchise contract and (b) revising the terms of that contract.

The Department monitors train operators closely to ensure delivery of services for passengers and value for money for taxpayers. As part of responsible contingency planning, we have measures in place on every franchise intended to protect the interests of passengers and taxpayers and ensure that services keep running. All commercial discussions about franchises are confidential but updates will be provided to Parliament at the appropriate time.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to require South Western Railway to compensate passengers for the services lost during strikes in December 2019 based on the original pre-strike timetable.

Passengers are entitled to compensation under the Delay Repay scheme for delays of 15 minutes or more against the published timetable on SWR. The Department are considering all options available to ensure passengers are compensated for this disruption.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions his Department has had with South Western Railway; and how many of those discussions were with reference to the current industrial action.

Under the Franchise Agreement the Department holds meetings with South Western Railway every 4 weeks. These meetings cover several areas of the franchise including performance, safety, finances and current issues.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether South Western Railway has received compensation in the last 12 months for reimbursement for revenues lost as a result of industrial action.

The Department believes the industrial dispute to be counterproductive for all parties concerned and is well aware that this action by the RMT is disproportionate and deliberately designed to hit passengers at one of the busiest times of the year for the railway. We have been monitoring the dispute and the negotiations between SWR and the RMT closely.

South Western Railway has made an application to the Department with regards to industrial action. This matter is subject to commercial confidentiality.

Passengers are entitled to compensation under the Delay Repay scheme for delays of 15 minutes or more against the published timetable on SWR. The Department are considering all options available to ensure passengers are compensated for this disruption.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what provisions are in place to compensate passengers who have been affected by a reduced number of train services as a result of industrial action on South Western Railway.

The Department believes the industrial dispute to be counterproductive for all parties concerned and is well aware that this action by the RMT is disproportionate and deliberately designed to hit passengers at one of the busiest times of the year for the railway. We have been monitoring the dispute and the negotiations between SWR and the RMT closely.

South Western Railway has made an application to the Department with regards to industrial action. This matter is subject to commercial confidentiality.

Passengers are entitled to compensation under the Delay Repay scheme for delays of 15 minutes or more against the published timetable on SWR. The Department are considering all options available to ensure passengers are compensated for this disruption.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to resolve the 27-day strike between South Western Railways and the RMT.

The Department believes the industrial dispute to be counterproductive for all parties concerned and is well aware that this action by the RMT is disproportionate and deliberately designed to hit passengers at one of the busiest times of the year for the railway. We have been monitoring the dispute and the negotiations between SWR and the RMT closely.

South Western Railway has made an application to the Department with regards to industrial action. This matter is subject to commercial confidentiality.

Passengers are entitled to compensation under the Delay Repay scheme for delays of 15 minutes or more against the published timetable on SWR. The Department are considering all options available to ensure passengers are compensated for this disruption.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether South Western Railway has made an application in the last 12 months for reimbursement for revenues lost as a result of official industrial action.

The Department believes the industrial dispute to be counterproductive for all parties concerned and is well aware that this action by the RMT is disproportionate and deliberately designed to hit passengers at one of the busiest times of the year for the railway. We have been monitoring the dispute and the negotiations between SWR and the RMT closely.

South Western Railway has made an application to the Department with regards to industrial action. This matter is subject to commercial confidentiality.

Passengers are entitled to compensation under the Delay Repay scheme for delays of 15 minutes or more against the published timetable on SWR. The Department are considering all options available to ensure passengers are compensated for this disruption.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason people of retirement age are ineligible for the mobility component of personal independence payment.

Government mobility support is focused on people who are disabled earlier in life; developing mobility needs in older life is a normal consequence of ageing.

You can claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) until you reach State pension age. Thereafter if you are receiving PIP you will continue to do so including the mobility component. If you have a change in circumstances where a health condition worsens after state pension age, you cannot claim the mobility component if you did not receive this previously.

A mobility component is also not provided to those who claim Attendance Allowance.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of amending the policy on changes in child maintenance payments to remove or reduce the 25 per cent threshold for in-year reviews that would allow the paying parent to request a review as soon as changes in their income make the existing level of payments unaffordable.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer given to 4706 on 25th May.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment has she made of the potential merits of (a) removing or (b) reducing the 25 per cent threshold for in-year reviews for child maintenance payments that would allow the paying parent to request a review as soon as changes in their income make the existing level of payment unaffordable.

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) keeps all policies and procedures under review. However, it remains the case that the 25 per cent threshold ensures that both parents can continue to budget with certainty, and therefore provide ongoing certainty for the child. Most people's income does not change to this degree over the course of one year. It also ensures that minor changes in income do not interfere with the efficiency of the child maintenance system, increasing costs for the taxpayer. A change will not be considered unless it breaches the 25 per cent threshold.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to improve the guidance on the Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020 (2020/1138) on her Department's website.

The Department updated its online information to reflect changes to the reallocation of reported payments as detailed in Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020 (2020/1138) on 16 November 2020. The information can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-youre-paid and https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/new-to-universal-credit/universal-credit-and-work/

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of benefit assessors receiving mental health first aid training.

The department has 1700 trained Mental Health First Aiders. They are there to provide peer to peer assistance to the department’s employees across the UK.

There is mental health training available to all staff in the department who have contact with customers, however, training paused in 2020, resources were diverted to train staff from Other Government Departments, new recruits and staff redeployed to process UC claims.

Our ambition is to restart this training in 2021/22. The mental health training is a blended approach of facilitated, e-learning and leader led training.

The additional mental health training is designed to help remove any bias or stigma around mental health, and to enable staff to respond appropriately to each customer’s issues.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what training is provided to assessors of personal independence payments assessments on cavernoma.

All health professionals carrying out assessments on behalf of the department are clinically qualified and registered practitioners in their own field. Health professionals are required to have a broad training in disability analysis as well as awareness training in specific conditions ranging from common to rare.

At present there is no specific clinical training relating to cavernoma. However, training and resources for the symptoms related to cavernoma (e.g. seizures and headaches) is available to all health professionals. While preparing to undertake an assessment, health professionals have access to this range of resources as well as experienced clinicians to support them in assessing individuals with conditions that they may not be familiar with. Additionally, assessment providers engage with medical experts, charities and relevant stakeholders to strengthen their training programmes.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2020
What recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of increasing carer’s allowance.

The Government recognises and appreciates the vital role played by unpaid carers. Carer’s Allowance was increased in April. Since 2010, the rate of Carer’s Allowance has increased from £53.90 to £67.25 a week, meaning nearly an additional £700 a year for carers.

In February 2020, there were around 690 carers in the Twickenham constituency that were receiving Carer’s Allowance and in 2019/20 we spent approximately £2.5 million on Carer’s Allowance there.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions officials of her Department have had with officials of the Department of Health and Social Care on potential additional barriers people with mental health conditions experience as a result of the covid-19 outbreak when applying for social security benefits; and what safeguards her Department has put in place to mitigate against those potential additional barriers.

Officials of both Departments hold regular discussions as a result of the ongoing covid-19 outbreak and its impact on people with health conditions.

My Department has provided mental health training for staff who have direct contact with claimants, including all Work Coaches, to equip them to identify mental wellbeing issues or vulnerabilities, and to take appropriate action to support individuals. Work Coaches will tailor support to the needs of the individual and work closely with local organisations that provide additional specialist support.

Background

Mental wellbeing training has been provided for all staff (around 30,000 colleagues trained to date) who have direct contact with customers (including via telephone).

Staff have also had specific training to help them to identify vulnerable people, and signpost or refer them to further support provided by local partners. Every jobcentre has a complex needs toolkit containing links to local organisations to facilitate this.

Since the start of the pandemic we’ve introduced online claim application processes for ESA and Pension Credit claimants (telephony options still exist). And we’ve also introduced new services for deaf claimants.

From 16 March to the end of April, we received over 1.8 million claims for Universal Credit, over 250,000 claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance, and over 20,000 claims for Employment and Support Allowance.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress she has made on the personal independence payment administrative exercise; and what the timeframe is for the completion of that exercise.

We are answering with reference to the administrative exercise following the MH and RJ judgments on Personal Independence Payment.

As of 5 January 2020, we had cleared around 720,000 cases under the MH decision and around 820,000 cases under the RJ decision. Most, but not all, cases are cleared against both decisions.

We have paused this exercise to support the Department’s coronavirus response. We understand the importance of continuing the exercise and this decision is currently under review. When the exercise resumes, we will announce the date of the next progress update at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/pip-administrative-exercise-progress-on-cases-cleared.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to prevent delays to the mandatory reconsideration process during the covid-19 outbreak.

DWP is continuing to process Mandatory Reconsiderations during the current Covid-19 pandemic and is aiming to avoid delay where possible.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the average time it takes for the Child Maintenance Service to respond to reports that an ex-partner of a claimant has stopped paying child maintenance.

Where payments have been missed we have asked parents to report the changes via the self-service portal. Missed payments will continue to accrue as arrears and, over time, we will ensure that everyone pays or receives the right amount of child maintenance.

No one will get away with giving false information and those abusing the system will find themselves subject to the full extent of our enforcement powers.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to reinstate a Child Maintenance Service telephone service for people to report their ex-partner who has stopped paying child maintenance.

The priority of the Child Maintenance Service during this period has been to ensure the flow of child maintenance payments received are paid out to receiving parents.

Where payments have been missed, we have asked parents to report the changes via the self-service portal. Missed payments will continue to accrue as arrears and over time, we will ensure that everyone pays or receives the right amount of child maintenance.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on individuals' personal finances of waiting times of up to 12 weeks for the Child Maintenance Service to respond to reports that an ex-partner of a claimant has stopped paying child maintenance.

The Government recognises that the income of many separated parents is being impacted by the public health emergency and some receiving parents may receive less maintenance as a result of a paying parent’s drop in income.

Paying parents are still expected to pay child maintenance throughout this period. Our priority is to maintain the flow of maintenance that is currently being paid, by easing the financial pressure on paying parents and ensuring that we transfer the payments as quickly as possible to receiving parents.

In order to ensure that receiving parents do not lose out in the long run, we will update calculations as soon as possible and collect any unpaid amounts that may have accrued. For the small minority who might be found to be abusing the system at this difficult time they could potentially find themselves subject to the full extent of our enforcement powers once the emergency passes. From July 2020, we will also reopen Case Maintenance action, updating cases with notified changes and restarting arrears pursuit activity.

Measures have been introduced to support both paying and receiving parents, whose income drops as a result of the public health emergency. These include increasing the standard rate of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by over £1000 per year, benefiting over 4 million of the most vulnerable households. We have also increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

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 he has made of the potential merits of providing ear wax removal procedures on the NHS for (a) pensioners and (b) people on low incomes.

NHS England and NHS Improvement recognise manual ear syringing is no longer advised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence due to risks associated, such as trauma to their ear drum or infection. General practitioner (GP) practices are increasingly recommending self-care methods as the primary means to support the safe removal of ear wax.

However, if a GP practice considers removal clinically necessary, the procedure should either be undertaken at the practice or the patient should be referred to an appropriate service depending on the arrangements in place in the local area, including for pensioners and those on low incomes. Local commissioners are responsible for meeting the health needs of their local population and should continue to ensure there is appropriate access to ear wax services.

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 guidance the Government is providing to covid-19 quarantine hotels on ensure=ing that they have adequate ventilation for such quarantine.

The catering requirements for managed quarantine hotels must include a variety of meals to meet nutritional, dietary, religious and cultural needs.

The Government has given clear specifications to managed quarantine facilities on ventilation. Hotel rooms should have natural ventilation, for example windows, that open safely. However, mechanical ventilation systems can be used as long as they meet the guidelines as set out in the ventilation requirements agreed with Public Health England. We ensure these are being met as part of the initial site visit undertaken by Managed Quarantine Service staff and security prior to a hotel becoming a quarantine facility.

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 steps his Department is taking to ensure that mandatory covid-19 quarantine hotels meet effective sanitation standards.

Cleaning and disinfection of all common areas has increased to at least three times a day, especially in frequently used areas such as reception areas, shared bathroom facilities and all frequently touched surfaces.

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 steps he is taking to ensure that people with specific dietary requirements have access to appropriate food in covid-19 quarantine hotels.

The catering requirements for managed quarantine hotels must include a variety of meals to meet nutritional, dietary, religious and cultural needs.

The Government has given clear specifications to managed quarantine facilities on ventilation. Hotel rooms should have natural ventilation, for example windows, that open safely. However, mechanical ventilation systems can be used as long as they meet the guidelines as set out in the ventilation requirements agreed with Public Health England. We ensure these are being met as part of the initial site visit undertaken by Managed Quarantine Service staff and security prior to a hotel becoming a quarantine facility.

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, whether his Department has made an estimate of the number of people who have contracted covid-19 in covid-19 quarantine hotels.

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)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has assessed the economic and social benefits of a rollout of early support hubs across England.

We have made no such assessment.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the evidence informing the early support hub model.

We have made no such assessment.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that all care homes allow five visitors per relative in accordance with the easing of restrictions on 17 May 2021.

The Government is working closely with care home providers, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and others to encourage and support care homes to allow more visiting safely. Important infection prevention and control measures including social distancing and cleaning may limit the number of visits that can take place. Visiting may also be limited where a care home has experienced a recent outbreak of COVID-19 or due to community prevalence of variants of concern, as directed by local public health officials.

If a resident or their family have concerns that a care home is not following visiting guidance appropriately, it should be raised with the home in the first instance. They can also contact the CQC, who can investigate complaints.

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, if he will ensure there is a public consultation on the proposed reforms to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel as set out in the Health and Social Care White Paper.

We have no plans at this time to consult specifically on proposed reforms to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

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 his Department has put in place to prevent the input of faked Lateral Flow Test results taken at home into the NHS Covid app.

The NHS COVID-19 app allows users to manually enter a positive test result from a lateral flow device (LFD) test. If a user’s LFD test is positive and they report the result as advised in the pack, they will receive a separate text and/or email with a one-off code, to enter in the app. This will trigger the user’s self-isolation countdown timer and allow them to book their confirmatory laboratory test via the app. Users cannot enter a negative LFD test result into the app as codes are not sent out for these results.

The one-off eight digit code for a positive test can only be created following receipt of a valid LFD test ID number linked to the specific valid positive test result.

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 discussions he has had with local authorities on the impact of proposed reforms to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel as set out in the Health and Social Care White Paper.

We are continuing to engage with a wide range of stakeholders, including local authorities, following the recent publication of the White Paper.

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 made of the frequency with which he expects to use the reformed intervention powers set out in Point 5.84 of the Health and Social Care White Paper.

The reconfiguration proposal creates a new call-in power which allows the Secretary of State to intervene at any point of the reconfiguration process.

We expect the current local process to continue to apply in most instances. However, there are a minority of cases, where there is a significant cause for public concern or it is particularly complex, which may benefit from Ministerial intervention.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle the time taken to diagnose and treat (a) Crohn's disease, (b) ulcerative colitis and (c) irritable bowel syndrome.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working closely with front-line clinical experts, patient representative groups and leading charities, to develop evidence-based tools to help improve care for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This work includes a new IBD RightCare scenario, which will set out high-quality joined-up care at every point of the patient journey, including diagnosis. In addition, NHS England and NHS Improvement have produced IBD data packs for local commissioners. These packs present data from different parts of the care pathway to help local systems identify the factors driving variations in treatment, as well as narrative on how outcomes can be optimised.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the cost of Deloitte's input to written answers for his Department are included in the calculation of the total cost of producing those written answers.

The Department entered into a contract with Deloitte for the provision of a range of management consultancy services to support the National Testing Programme. The contract included a general clause providing for Deloitte to provide support in responding to Written Questions, Freedom of Information requests and media queries. While Deloitte consultants have on occasions provided support, they have not been directly responsible for drafting replies to any Written Questions. The Department has not made an estimate of these costs.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness of sudden adult death syndrome.

There are no current plans to do so. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement are developing plans with the British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance and GoodSAM, to raise awareness of first responder lead activities and to increase bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation skills for those that have suffered cardiac arrest and help prevent Sudden Adult Syndrome.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what educational materials on the covid-19 vaccination are being communicated to people who are reluctant to receive a vaccine.

Departmental and National Health Service (NHS) social media channels have published a series of videos with vaccine experts, general practitioners, and senior clinical advisors to answer questions frequently raised by people who are more reluctant to receive a vaccine. The NHS website has a dedicated COVID-19 vaccine page that is regularly updated with the latest advice. Public Health England has also created an online resource centre where other organisations, including local authorities, can access materials that they can use in their local communities.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans are in place to support mandatory covid-19 testing costs for people who must travel abroad.

NHS Test and Trace tests can be purchased at the market mid-point to ensure that tests are available at an appropriate cost. We also offer deferred payment plans and support for people who cannot afford to pay for the cost of managed quarantine and testing. In some circumstances this may be available to those who are not in receipt of income related benefits.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to NHS dental care in Richmond-upon-Thames.

National Health Service dentists throughout the country have been asked to maximise safe throughput to meet as many prioritised needs as possible, focussing first on urgent care and vulnerable groups followed by overdue appointments. This has been underpinned, taking into account current infection prevention and control guidelines, by the requirement for dental providers to deliver 60% of normal activity volumes for the first six months of 2021/22 for full payment of the NHS contractual value. In addition, NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided a flexible commissioning toolkit to local commissioners to help focus the available capacity on those that need it most and to reduce oral health inequalities.

In London, NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently working with North and South Thames Paediatric Networks and Paediatric Managed Clinical Networks to secure funding for a project to increase access for children requiring dental procedures under general anaesthetic.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his oral contribution of 17 May 2021, Official report 431, if he will publish the details of the pilots his Department is conducting on assisting people to self-isolate as a result of covid-19.

NHS Test and Trace is co-designing a range of pilots with local authorities to improve support for people self-isolating and encourage people to come forward for testing. The pilots cover a range of financial and practical support measures. We will publish the details of the pilots shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what provision is available for people with latex allergies to get a covid-19 test.

We are not currently distributing any latex gloves as the majority of National Health Service trusts have a non-latex policy.

The lateral flow device test kits in use are latex free and are suitable for those with latex allergies.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether each covid-19 testing facility offers nitrile gloves as an alternative to latex gloves for people with latex allergies.

We are not currently distributing any latex gloves as the majority of National Health Service trusts have a non-latex policy.

The lateral flow device test kits in use are latex free and are suitable for those with latex allergies.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of prioritising pregnant women for covid-19 vaccinations.

On 16 April the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation updated their advice to indicate that pregnant women should be offered routine vaccination at the same time as non-pregnant women. The Government has accepted this advice. Pregnant women will therefore be called for vaccination within their overall age cohort or clinical risk factor group, as the risk of serious outcomes is still most strongly linked to age.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that pregnant women are offered the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna covid-19 vaccine.

On 16 April 2021, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that it is preferable for pregnant women in the United Kingdom to be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines where available, as these vaccines currently have the most safety data for use in pregnant women. Since 13 May, pregnant women have been able to book their vaccine appointment through the National Booking Service and will be directed to centres offering Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

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 his Department has made an estimate of the cost of the input of Deloitte to written answers as a proportion of the total cost of answering written questions.

We have made no such estimate.

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 improve mental health support and reduce levels of suicide in (a) South West London and (b) England.

In March, we published ‘Preventing suicide in England: fifth progress report of the cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives’ and an update to the 2019 Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan. We also published the Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Plan, setting out our response to the mental health impacts of the pandemic. Many of the actions in the Plan will support people at risk of self-harm or suicide. The Plan is backed by an additional £500 million, with £5 million to support suicide prevention organisations in 2021/22.

This funding is in addition to the £57 million we are investing in suicide prevention and suicide bereavement support through the NHS Long Term Plan, which will see investment in all areas of the country, including South West London, by 2023/24.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence his Department used when determining the timing for when spectators will be permitted to watch grassroots sports under Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap for the easing of covid-19 restrictions.

The Department has made no such decision. This is a matter for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Cabinet Office.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve mental health support to reduce levels of suicide in (a) South West London and (b) England.

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

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that adequate funding is made available from the public purse to help support the mental health of people who are suicidal.

We are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 in mental health services, with £57 million being invested in suicide prevention and suicide bereavement from 2019/20 to 2023/24. In addition, in March 2021 we published our Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Plan, setting out our response to the mental health impacts of the pandemic. Many of the actions in the Plan will support people at risk of self-harm or suicide. The plan is backed by an additional £500 million with £5million made available to support suicide prevention voluntary and community sector organisations in 2021/22.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure people receive refunds from Government approved private covid-19 test providers in the event that those providers fail to provide Day 2 and Day 8 covid-19 tests in time under the Test to Release scheme.

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, whether his Department has made an estimate of the lost earnings of people needing to quarantine for longer than necessary under the Test to Release scheme due to delays in Government-approved private covid-19 test providers sending out 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)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason 001 Doctors was removed from and then subsequently included in the Government's approved list of covid-19 test providers in the Test to Release scheme.

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, whether people will receive penalties for not taking the (a) Day 2 and (b) Day 8 covid-19 tests under the Test to Release scheme due to delays in private test providers sending out test kits.

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, what data his Department holds on the number of passengers who have not received a covid-19 test kit within agreed time frames from companies in the Government's approved list of private providers of covid-19 tests under the Test to Release for international travel regime.

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)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using a different covid-19 vaccine to Oxford-AstraZeneca for under 30 year olds who have already had their first dose of that vaccine.

There is currently no trial data available on the immune responses to mixed COVID-19 vaccine schedules. Such data are being developed by the National Immunisation Schedule Evaluation Consortium and will be considered by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) when available. The JCVI advises that all those who have received a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should continue to be offered a second dose of that vaccine, irrespective of age. The second dose will be important for longer lasting protection against COVID-19. The JCVI’s statement on the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-jcvi-statement/jcvi-statement-on-use-of-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-7-april-2021

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase the number of clinical psychology training places beyond 2020-21.

Indicative figures in the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20 – 2023/24 show a planned increase of 2,520 clinical psychologist across mental health services by 2023/24. Health Education England (HEE) expanded clinical psychology training places by 25% in 2020-21, totalling 688 new entrants to English clinical psychology training - an increase of 137 on 2019/20 commissions. In 2021-22 HEE has commissioned an additional 226 new clinical psychology training places, totalling 914 subject to successful recruitment.

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, whether people who never received their covid-19 test kits from companies which were listed on gov.uk under the test to release scheme will be entitled to a refund.

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)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people affected by fraudulent companies claiming to be private providers of coronavirus testing listed on gov.uk under the test to release scheme will be entitled to a refund.

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)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of fraudulent companies claiming to be providers of coronavirus testing listed on gov.uk under the test to release scheme.

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)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to private providers of coronavirus testing for (a) test to release for international travel and (b) domestic covid-19 testing listed on gov.uk, what minimum standards those providers must declare before appearing on that list.

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)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending support bubble arrangements to grieving households of any size during periods of national lockdown since covid-19 regulations were last revised.

Although limiting social contact is critical to halting the spread of the virus, the Government recognises the challenges caused by the current lockdown measures, particularly for those who are grieving. We have therefore put in place support bubbles to help those who are at risk of isolation by the restrictions. Those who are grieving may be eligible to form a support bubble, for example, if they live alone or are a single parent. They are also able to access bereavement support groups, including in person where necessary.

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, when the timeline for NICE guidance on the use of MTX110 for untreated diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) will be published.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) plans to develop technology appraisal guidance for MTX110 but it is unable to advise on timescales. MTX110 does not currently have a United Kingdom marketing authorisation or licence for the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and is still undergoing phase one clinical trials. NICE can only appraise drugs that have a marketing authorisation for the treatment of a particular condition or are expected to receive one during the appraisal process and can only issue final guidance on drugs that have a marketing authorisation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish a roadmap for the return of close contact care home visits.

New visiting arrangements started on 8 March. Every care home should ensure that each resident can nominate one named person who can have regular, indoor visits. Those residents with the highest care needs can nominate an ‘essential care giver’.

In mid-April we will assess the data and take a decision on opening up further opportunities for visiting, setting out a plan for the next phase of visits for people in residential care.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if will hold discussions with the Mayor for London on the potential merits of exempting NHS employees from the suspension of the use of the Freedom Pass for those employees during peak hours in London.

We have no current plans to hold specific discussions with the Mayor for London. NHS England and NHS Improvement indicate they have not received any feedback from trusts to suggest the suspension of the Freedom Pass has caused disruption for employees.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that stroke teams follow up with stroke survivors during the covid-19 outbreak to support rehabilitation needs.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have funded the Stroke Association to provide Stroke Connect, which was developed in direct response to COVID-19 to ensure stroke survivors and their carers had support when discharged from hospital. The Department has also funded the Stroke Association to continue to provide frontline support to stroke survivors and others connected to stroke.

The National Stroke Programme is ensuring stroke rehabilitation services can meet survivors’ needs as described in the NHS Long Term Plan. This includes a dedicated programme piloting higher intensity models of stroke rehabilitation delivery as well as guiding principles of a best practice integrated community stroke service model for clinical services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of transparent face coverings compared to cloth face coverings in protecting against covid-19 transmission in a school setting.

We have made no specific assessment.

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, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on young people with eating disorders of making calorie counts mandatory on restaurant menus.

We recognise concerns people with eating disorders may have on measures to reduce obesity and are committed to striking a careful balance between enabling people to make healthier food and drink choices whilst not negatively impacting on those with or recovering from an eating disorder. Obesity represents a huge cost to the health and wellbeing of the individual, the National Health Service and the wider economy. With over six in 10 adults and more than one in three children aged 10 to 11 years old overweight or obese, it is right we take action.

In response to feedback to our consultation on out-of-home calorie labelling, we will introduce legislation to require large out-of-home sector businesses with 250 or more employees to calorie label the food they sell. An equalities assessment and impact assessment were published alongside the consultation response and can be viewed at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/calorie-labelling-for-food-and-drink-served-outside-of-the-home

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, for what reasons children who turn two years old between September and December are not eligible for that year's flu vaccine.

Some children are unable to receive the vaccine during the flu season because they were under two years of age on 31 August. Some of these children will reach two years old during the flu season and would therefore become able to receive the flu vaccine under the product license but will not be eligible under the national programme.

Implementing programmes requires pragmatic decisions to be made in the interests of protecting the optimum number of children, whilst making the most effective use of the vaccine early enough in the flu season. The vaccine is only licensed for children aged two to under eighteen years old so children under the age of two years old should not receive the vaccine. Setting a time-limited date reduces the risk of children who are under this age receiving the vaccine by accident and allows the vaccine to be given in time for the flu season.

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, what the total spend was by NHS England on children and young people’s mental health services including (a) spending by clinical commissioning groups and (b) spending on Tier 4 services in each of the years 2015-16 to 2020-21; and what the forecast spending is for 2021-22.

Information on NHS England and NHS Improvement and clinical commissioning group spending (CCG) spending is shown in the following table. Expenditure on Tier 4 and other children and young people’s mental health services commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement is not identified separately. Full expenditure data for 2020/21 and planned expenditure for 2021/22 is not yet available.

Year

CCG spend on children and young people’s mental health1 £ million

Total CCG spend on mental health2 £ million

NHS England and NHS Improvement specialised commissioning spend on mental health £ million

Total NHS spend on mental health £ million

2015/16

n/a

£9,148.3

£1,830.6

£10,978.9

2016/17

n/a

£9,722.8

£1,879.1

£11,601.9

2017/18

£687.2

£10,079.6

£1,896.4

£11,976.0

2018/19

£753.3

£10,559.0

£1,954.2

£12,513.2

2019/20

£841.1

£11,267.8

£2,057.0

£13,324.8


Source: NHS Mental Health Dashboard, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Notes:

1 excluding learning disabilities

2 including learning disabilities and dementia

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) total spending was in 2020-21 and (b) forecast spending is for 2021-2 for (i) NHS England, (ii) NHS mental health services for all age groups and (iii) NHS children and young people’s mental health services.

Information on NHS England and NHS Improvement and clinical commissioning group spending (CCG) spending is shown in the following table. Expenditure on Tier 4 and other children and young people’s mental health services commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement is not identified separately. Full expenditure data for 2020/21 and planned expenditure for 2021/22 is not yet available.

Year

CCG spend on children and young people’s mental health1 £ million

Total CCG spend on mental health2 £ million

NHS England and NHS Improvement specialised commissioning spend on mental health £ million

Total NHS spend on mental health £ million

2015/16

n/a

£9,148.3

£1,830.6

£10,978.9

2016/17

n/a

£9,722.8

£1,879.1

£11,601.9

2017/18

£687.2

£10,079.6

£1,896.4

£11,976.0

2018/19

£753.3

£10,559.0

£1,954.2

£12,513.2

2019/20

£841.1

£11,267.8

£2,057.0

£13,324.8


Source: NHS Mental Health Dashboard, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Notes:

1 excluding learning disabilities

2 including learning disabilities and dementia

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a plan to support GPs to manage the long-term consequences of covid-19 in the community.

Communication with general practitioners (GPs) and the wider health provider community is a key priority in ensuring the best treatment can be provided to patients suffering from ‘long’ COVID-19. In December 2020, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence published a rapid guideline on managing the long-term effects of COVID-19. This was developed in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also worked alongside the Royal College of General Practitioners to produce advice for GPs in the management of the long-term effects of COVID-19 and Health Education England to produce e-learning modules on COVID-19 recovery and rehabilitation to support the educational development of healthcare professionals.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of nurses employed in GP practices that do not have sick pay included in their contracts.

Data on pay uplifts for general practice nurses is not collected or held centrally. As self-employed contractors to the National Health Service to provide primary medical services, it is a matter for general practitioner (GP) practices how they distribute pay and benefits to their staff. General practice contractual arrangements do not place any specific obligations on GP practices with regard to their employees’ terms and conditions, including supplementary pay for sickness absence beyond statutory sick pay. Employers have the flexibility to set terms and conditions, for example to aid recruitment and retention and we anticipate good employers would set wage rates that reflect the skills and experience of their staff.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and the General Practitioners Committee England remain committed to reviewing and agreeing changes to the terms and conditions of practice staff within existing resources. To support this, NHS England and NHS Improvement will undertake a data collection survey in general practice to get an accurate picture of baseline terms and conditions of practice staff, in order to inform the development of good practice guidance on employment terms and conditions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of implementing the NHS Agenda for Change Payscale on the average general practice nurse salary.

Data on pay uplifts for general practice nurses is not collected or held centrally. As self-employed contractors to the National Health Service to provide primary medical services, it is a matter for general practitioner (GP) practices how they distribute pay and benefits to their staff. General practice contractual arrangements do not place any specific obligations on GP practices with regard to their employees’ terms and conditions, including supplementary pay for sickness absence beyond statutory sick pay. Employers have the flexibility to set terms and conditions, for example to aid recruitment and retention and we anticipate good employers would set wage rates that reflect the skills and experience of their staff.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and the General Practitioners Committee England remain committed to reviewing and agreeing changes to the terms and conditions of practice staff within existing resources. To support this, NHS England and NHS Improvement will undertake a data collection survey in general practice to get an accurate picture of baseline terms and conditions of practice staff, in order to inform the development of good practice guidance on employment terms and conditions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of general practice nurses did not receive the 2 per cent pay uplift included in the 2018-19 GP contract.

Data on pay uplifts for general practice nurses is not collected or held centrally. As self-employed contractors to the National Health Service to provide primary medical services, it is a matter for general practitioner (GP) practices how they distribute pay and benefits to their staff. General practice contractual arrangements do not place any specific obligations on GP practices with regard to their employees’ terms and conditions, including supplementary pay for sickness absence beyond statutory sick pay. Employers have the flexibility to set terms and conditions, for example to aid recruitment and retention and we anticipate good employers would set wage rates that reflect the skills and experience of their staff.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and the General Practitioners Committee England remain committed to reviewing and agreeing changes to the terms and conditions of practice staff within existing resources. To support this, NHS England and NHS Improvement will undertake a data collection survey in general practice to get an accurate picture of baseline terms and conditions of practice staff, in order to inform the development of good practice guidance on employment terms and conditions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating a pay body to set pay and terms and conditions for nursing in general practice.

Data on pay uplifts for general practice nurses is not collected or held centrally. As self-employed contractors to the National Health Service to provide primary medical services, it is a matter for general practitioner (GP) practices how they distribute pay and benefits to their staff. General practice contractual arrangements do not place any specific obligations on GP practices with regard to their employees’ terms and conditions, including supplementary pay for sickness absence beyond statutory sick pay. Employers have the flexibility to set terms and conditions, for example to aid recruitment and retention and we anticipate good employers would set wage rates that reflect the skills and experience of their staff.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and the General Practitioners Committee England remain committed to reviewing and agreeing changes to the terms and conditions of practice staff within existing resources. To support this, NHS England and NHS Improvement will undertake a data collection survey in general practice to get an accurate picture of baseline terms and conditions of practice staff, in order to inform the development of good practice guidance on employment terms and conditions.

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 steps are being taken to ensure that kinship carers are being vaccinated against covid-19.

Being a kinship carer alone is not cause for prioritisation for a COVID-19 vaccination. This is based on the clinical assessment that most children are not considered to be at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities within residential care, should be offered vaccination as part of Phase 1. There are currently no plans to prioritise kinship carers that are not in the first nine COVID-19 vaccination priority groups in the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Unpaid carers are included in the JCVI’s priority group 6; which includes individuals who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable. This means that if a kinship carer is the sole or primary carer of a child who was prioritised for vaccination in cohorts 4 or 6, they will be offered the vaccination in cohort 6 themselves.

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 assessment he has made of the potential merits of prioritising people in close contact with the clinically extremely vulnerable for the covid-19 vaccine over people in the same age and health category who are not in close contact with clinically extremely vulnerable people.

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are in priority group four and should already have been offered their first vaccination dose, not through a strategy of vaccinating their close contacts. Adult carers will also be prioritised for a vaccination and are included in priority group six. This includes those who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

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 steps his Department has taken to monitor the number of confirmed covid-19 cases in women who are pregnant.

The Department does not monitor or hold information. Through the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation, the Department is funding the United Kingdom Obstetric Surveillance System to determine the incidence of hospitalisation with pandemic COVID-19 infection in pregnancy and assess the outcomes of pandemic COVID-19 in pregnancy for mother and infant.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to create a cross-departmental strategy on tackling health inequalities.

We are considering the reduction of health inequalities as we further develop work on ensuring the equality of opportunity. This will complement the following existing measures led by the Department to tackle inequalities in people’s access, outcomes and experiences of health services:

- Our national obesity strategy, ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tackling-obesity-government-strategy

- NHS health checks

- The tobacco control plan ‘Towards a smoke-free generation, a tobacco control plan for England’ and the ‘Tobacco control plan: delivery plan 2017 to 2022’ are available at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towards-a-smoke-free-generation-tobacco-control-plan-for-england

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tobacco-control-plan-delivery-plan-2017-to-2022

- The diabetes prevention programme

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, whether there is an inter-ministerial group with a remit of reducing health inequalities.

There is no inter-ministerial group for reducing health inequalities. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care regularly engages with Cabinet colleagues on matters of common concern.

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, whether new strains of covid-19 present symptoms that are currently not published by the NHS.

Scientific experts keep the symptoms under review as our understanding of the virus develops. Anyone experiencing the main symptoms– a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should obtain a test as soon as possible and immediately self-isolate alongside their household.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the new strains of covid-19, what plans he has to (a) review and (b) update the covid-19 symptom list promoted to the public.

Scientific experts keep the symptoms under review as our understanding of the virus develops. Anyone experiencing the main symptoms– a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should obtain a test as soon as possible and immediately self-isolate alongside their household.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether uptake targets for Healthy Start scheme vouchers have been met over the last 12 months.

Healthy Start is a statutory demand-led scheme and is not target driven. Over the last 12 months the number of beneficiaries receiving Healthy Start vouchers has remained stable at around 300,000.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve the promotion to parents of Healthy Start scheme vouchers.

All eligible beneficiaries receive a letter inviting them to apply for Healthy Start, together with a pre-populated application form. The scheme is also promoted through the Healthy Start and Start4Life websites.

The Department is currently developing a digital approach to Healthy Start, to make it easier for families to apply for and use the scheme. We are developing and testing an online application form for Healthy Start to replace the current paper form and a payment card to replace paper vouchers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much additional funding the Department has allocated to NHS mental health services in England to manage any additional demands as a result of the covid-19 outbreak in (a) 2021-22, (b) 2022-23 and (c) 2023-24.

As part of the Spending Review 2020, we have announced that the National Health Service will receive around an additional £500 million next year, to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need and invest in the workforce.

Our investment in mental health services in England is set to rise by an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown on the commitments set out in Staying mentally well: winter plan 2020 to 2021.


For those who need them, National Health Service mental health services remain open for business, providing support online and by phone where necessary.

All mental health trusts have established 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent helplines where people with severe needs or experiencing a mental health crisis can access urgent support and advice. We urge everyone who is experiencing a mental health crisis to make contact with a health professional immediately.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure NHS mental health services remain open during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown in England.

Children and young people’s mental health services will continue to remain open and accept new referrals, ensuring children, adults and parents can access appropriate support whether through face to face appointments where it is safe to do so, over the telephone or via digital means. Talking therapies delivered by Improved Access to Psychological therapies services will continue to be made available remotely so people can access help safely from home.

The option of face-to-face support will be provided to people with severe mental illnesses across all ages, where care can be provided in COVID-19 secure settings. The National Health Service has made all-age urgent mental health helplines available 24 hours a day, seven days a week across the country. We are also raising awareness of the resources and guidance available to adults, children and parents and carers through our Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19 and the ‘Every Mind Matters’ platform.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure referrals to (a) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and (b) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services are maintained during the 2021 covid-19 national lockdown.

Children and young people’s mental health services will continue to remain open and accept new referrals, ensuring children, adults and parents can access appropriate support whether through face to face appointments where it is safe to do so, over the telephone or via digital means. Talking therapies delivered by Improved Access to Psychological therapies services will continue to be made available remotely so people can access help safely from home.

The option of face-to-face support will be provided to people with severe mental illnesses across all ages, where care can be provided in COVID-19 secure settings. The National Health Service has made all-age urgent mental health helplines available 24 hours a day, seven days a week across the country. We are also raising awareness of the resources and guidance available to adults, children and parents and carers through our Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19 and the ‘Every Mind Matters’ platform.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS patients suffering with (a) Alzheimer's disease and (b) other forms of dementia were granted NHS Continuing Care in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

Determination of eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is based on an assessment of care needs and is not based on a specific medical condition, disease or diagnosis. Eligibility is determined by whether a person has a primary health need as set out in the national framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care. Consequently, figures which are condition-specific are not collected by NHS England.

NHS England have interpreted ‘initial assessments’ to mean how many people go from an initial screening process to a full assessment. This data is not collected. NHS England have interpreted ‘full assessments’ to refer to the number of people who have a full NHS CHC assessment and are found eligible. Data on NHS Continuing Healthcare eligibility rates is published quarterly and is available at the following link: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/nhs-chc-fnc/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS patients suffering from cancer (a) with which they were expected to live for more than six months and (b) from which they were diagnosed as terminally ill and likely to die within six months were granted NHS continuing care in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

Determination of eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is based on an assessment of care needs and is not based on a specific medical condition, disease or diagnosis. Eligibility is determined by whether a person has a primary health need as set out in the national framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care. Consequently, figures which are condition-specific are not collected by NHS England.

NHS England have interpreted ‘initial assessments’ to mean how many people go from an initial screening process to a full assessment. This data is not collected. NHS England have interpreted ‘full assessments’ to refer to the number of people who have a full NHS CHC assessment and are found eligible. Data on NHS Continuing Healthcare eligibility rates is published quarterly and is available at the following link: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/nhs-chc-fnc/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many initial assessments for NHS Continuing Care resulted in the patient being (a) granted and (b) refused a full assessment in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

Determination of eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is based on an assessment of care needs and is not based on a specific medical condition, disease or diagnosis. Eligibility is determined by whether a person has a primary health need as set out in the national framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care. Consequently, figures which are condition-specific are not collected by NHS England.

NHS England have interpreted ‘initial assessments’ to mean how many people go from an initial screening process to a full assessment. This data is not collected. NHS England have interpreted ‘full assessments’ to refer to the number of people who have a full NHS CHC assessment and are found eligible. Data on NHS Continuing Healthcare eligibility rates is published quarterly and is available at the following link: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/nhs-chc-fnc/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full assessments for NHS Continuing Care resulted in the patient being (a) granted and (b) found ineligible for NHS support in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

Determination of eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) is based on an assessment of care needs and is not based on a specific medical condition, disease or diagnosis. Eligibility is determined by whether a person has a primary health need as set out in the national framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care. Consequently, figures which are condition-specific are not collected by NHS England.

NHS England have interpreted ‘initial assessments’ to mean how many people go from an initial screening process to a full assessment. This data is not collected. NHS England have interpreted ‘full assessments’ to refer to the number of people who have a full NHS CHC assessment and are found eligible. Data on NHS Continuing Healthcare eligibility rates is published quarterly and is available at the following link: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/nhs-chc-fnc/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support GP services in (a) Twickenham and (b) England during the covid-19 outbreak.

Across England and Twickenham, general practice is playing a vital role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering high quality care for both COVID-19 patients and for individuals requiring urgent care or essential routine care for new and pre-existing conditions that are non COVID-19. To support general practitioner (GP) services during this time a number of actions have been taken, including:

- providing an additional £150 million in funding to support expanding general practice capacity up until the end of March 2021, which follows support for the additional costs borne by GP practices during the first wave through the COVID-19 Support Fund;

- helping general practice adapt at pace to offer more remote care so that patients could continue to access GP services safely, by deploying laptops and headsets for use in primary care and accelerating the roll out of online video consultation capability;

- ensuring all GPs in England are eligible to use the personal protective equipment (PPE) portal to order COVID-19 PPE free of charge, and reimbursing GPs for the costs of such PPE purchased up to 31 December 2020; and

- the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to maximise workforce capacity through continued deployment and recruitment of the retired GP workforce and increasing the participation of the existing workforce. Locums and returning GPs made a valuable contribution to general practice during the first wave, with many coming forwards to support NHS 111 and the Covid Clinical Assessment Services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 6 December 2020 to Question 100550 on Coronavirus: Contact Tracing, in what format his Department holds that information.

NHS Test and Trace monitors monthly expenditure, spend across test, trace and other activities for the year to date and spend overall on contact tracing across centralised contact tracing and local contact tracing.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much of the £22 billion allocated to NHS Test and Trace is being spent on local authority contact tracing teams.

The Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) provides funding to local authorities in England to be used for test, trace and contain activity in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their area.

To date, over £1 billion has been committed to English local authorities through the fund. The Government is providing further funding worth over £225 million per month during the national restrictions which can be used to fund local public health activities, such as additional contact tracing, testing for hard-to-reach groups and public health communications. Funding from the COMF has undergone a review with HM Treasury in January 2021. The outcome of this review will inform funding from the COMF between now and the end of the financial year.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of the £22 billion in funding allocated to NHS Test and Trace is being spent on management consultants.

438 million, or 2% of the funding, is allocated to ‘professional services’ which includes management consultants.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of the £22 billion allocated to NHS Test and Trace is being spent on Serco's national contact tracing system.

The contract with Serco, for the non-clinical National Health Service call handling service to support the contact tracing, was let for an initial period of three months for the sum of £108 million. The total contract has a maximum value of £410 million to cover the initial period and any required extensions within a maximum period of 12 months to 17 May 2021. Two extensions have so far been agreed within the maximum value, to 31 January 2021.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy to immunise every person aged from 18 to 49 who comes forward for a vaccine in phase 3 of the covid-19 vaccination programme.

The Government met its target of offering a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone in the top four priority cohorts, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), by 15 February. The Government and the National Health Service are on course to meet the targets to offer a first dose of vaccination to the top nine priority cohorts by mid-April and all adults by the end of July 2021.

On 26 February, the JCVI published its interim advice for phase two of the COVID-19 vaccination programme covering adults aged 18-49 years old, setting out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age. The Government is planning to follow the recommended approach, subject to the final advice given by the JCVI.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy to immunise every adult who wants a covid-19 vaccination by the end of 2021.

The Government met its target of offering a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone in the top four priority cohorts, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), by 15 February. The Government and the National Health Service are on course to meet the targets to offer a first dose of vaccination to the top nine priority cohorts by mid-April and all adults by the end of July 2021.

On 26 February, the JCVI published its interim advice for phase two of the COVID-19 vaccination programme covering adults aged 18-49 years old, setting out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age. The Government is planning to follow the recommended approach, subject to the final advice given by the JCVI.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the need for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be stored below minus 70 degrees celsius, what steps his Department is taking to ensure care home residents and staff are able to access covid-19 vaccines promptly.

We have worked to ensure that we have the logistical expertise, transport, and workforce in place to rollout a vaccine at the speed at which it can be manufactured. In line with the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the vaccine will initially be rolled out to priority groups, including care home residents and staff, people over 80 years old, and health and care workers. The vaccine will then be prioritised amongst the rest of the population in order of age and risk, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and all individuals aged 16-64 years old with underlying health conditions.

The JCVI appreciates that operational considerations, such as minimising wastage, may require deviation from the prioritisation order as outlined in the statement, where decisions are taken in consultation with national or local public health advice. We will follow the advice of the JCVI on clinical prioritisation which supports vaccinating those most at risk of death from COVID-19. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine involves some logistical challenges and we are working hard to ensure that it is available to those most at risk.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether temporary vaccination delivery sites will be established to enable large scale vaccination.

The National Health Service is in the process of establishing vaccination centres across the country that can manage the logistical challenge of needing to store the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at an appropriate temperature. Our approach, with three delivery models - community teams, vaccination sites and hospital hubs - has been devised to be flexible and reach all parts of the country. The phased vaccination programme, which began on 8 December with hospital hubs, will be expanded over the coming weeks and months to include local vaccination services and large-scale vaccination centres across the country.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to double dementia research funding.

In 2018-19, the most recent year for which information is available, total Government funding for dementia research was £82.9 million, ahead of the Government’s commitment under the 2020 Dementia Challenge to spend £300 million over five years, or £60 million each year, on dementia research. The Department, through the National Institute for Health Research, spent £31.6 million on dementia research in 2018-19. Plans are being put in place for this to increase significantly over the current parliament to meet the Government’s commitments.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the national stock level of syringes required to deliver the flu and covid-19 vaccinations during winter 2020-21.

Public Health England has procured combined needles and syringes for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccinations. These levels are commercially sensitive and therefore not available.

The production of the seasonal flu vaccines is the responsibility of manufacturers. All flu vaccines this season have been supplied by manufacturers in pre-filled syringes and the Department is confident there is adequate supply to offer the flu vaccination to over 30 million people.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 November 2020 to Question: 91042 on Dental Services, what recent progress he has made on improving access to NHS dental care.

Dentistry has been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the need to regularly undertake aerosol generating procedures, such as high-speed drilling, which present a high risk for transmission of COVID-19. Dental practices have, therefore, been asked by NHS England and NHS Improvement to prioritise urgent care, care for vulnerable groups and delayed planned treatment. Over 600 urgent dental care centres also remain open to support the provision of face to face care and improve access.

Public Health England’s infection, prevention and control guidance, published in October, has reduced the time needed to rest a room between patients. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/928034/COVID-19_Infection_prevention_and_control_guidance_Dental_appendix.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of the population in England that is not registered with a GP surgery.

No such estimate has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in Twickenham are on the waiting list for access to NHS dental services.

Individual practices may keep waiting lists for new patients but there is no national waiting list held by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what qualifications will be required to administer a covid-19 vaccination.

Any person administering a COVID-19 vaccine will have undergone specific training, developed by Public Health England and will have been assessed by their employer as competent to administer the vaccine or undertake other related activity, such as assessing an individual’s suitability for vaccination and gaining their informed consent.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to increase radiotherapy treatment funding in line with the recommendations of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy's report entitled, Transforming Radiotherapy, A six-point Covid-19 recovery plan to save lives and save money within the NHS, published on 6 July 2020.

There are no plans to make this recommendation into Government policy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic radiotherapy service provision continued. In light of the need to minimise trips to hospital, particularly for people likely to be worse affected by COVID-19, radiotherapy services have made use of fewer fraction protocols as supporting evidence emerges. The focus on recovery for radiotherapy has been on embedding the use of hypo-fractionated or fewer fraction treatments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress he has made on the delivery of NICE guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of pernicious anaemia.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has been asked to develop a guideline on pernicious anaemia and is currently recruiting for topic experts for this guideline. NICE is working to an expected publication date of March 2023, however this date is subject to change.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time for an initial appointment with the NHS's adult hearing screening service was in the last six months for which data is available.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people who are overseeing diagnostic tests in Lighthouse Labs require a valid Health and Care Professionals Council registration.

The Lighthouse Laboratories employ a number of laboratory staff who are working in various regulated and unregulated roles.

Biomedical Scientists and Clinical Scientists are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and professionals must be registered with the HCPC to use these titles.

The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care’s (PSA) Accredited Registers Programme independently assesses organisations who register practitioners who are not regulated by law. The registers held by the Academy of Healthcare Scientists and the Register of Clinical Technologists are accredited by the PSA. Unregulated laboratory staff are able to join these registers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing funding in the forthcoming spending review for additional breast cancer screening in the context of delays to screening caused by the covid-19 outbreak.

Funding decisions for the next financial year, including screening, are being considered as part of the ongoing Spending Review. The conclusion of the Spending Review will be announced on 25 November.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including teachers as recipients of the free flu vaccination in winter 2020-21.

The flu vaccination is recommended for those in at risk groups, and frontline health and social care workers who have direct contact with patients, so they can protect themselves and the vulnerable people that they care for. This is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Based on the JCVI’s advice, teachers, who are not in an at-risk group, are not eligible for a free flu vaccination. However, some teachers may have access to a free flu vaccine under their employers’ occupational health scheme.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to reduce discrepancies in access to IVF treatment across CCGs in England.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have a statutory responsibility to commission healthcare services including fertility services that meet the needs of their whole population.

In respect of National Health Service fertility services, the Government have been consistently clear that we expect CCGs to commission fertility services in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidelines, so that there is equal access across England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of credit agency reference checks on the proportion of people eligible to receive a covid-19 home testing kit.

In order to request a home test, a user must first verify their identity using a service provided by TransUnion. Identity verification is built into the process in order to minimise the risk of fraudulent ordering.

TransUnion does not collect or retain data on individuals that book tests, other than a record of processing in order to meet regulatory obligations. All the data is processed and stored within the United Kingdom in line with their privacy policy.

If an individual is not willing or able to undertake the identity verification provided by TransUnion, they should call 119 for further assistance or seek to book an appointment at a regional test site or mobile testing unit, where a member of staff will confirm their identity in person.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to standardise IVF access criteria across Clinical Commissioning Groups in England.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have a statutory responsibility to commission healthcare services including fertility services that meet the needs of their whole population.

In respect of National Health Service fertility services, the Government have been consistently clear that we expect CCGs to commission fertility services in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidelines, so that there is equal access across England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many applicants applying for a covid-19 home testing kit via the Coronavirus Testing Call Centre have failed to obtain a test.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many applicants for a covid-19 home test kit have failed the TransUnion check in the last quarter.

We do not publish data in the format requested. In order to request a Home Test, a user must first verify their identity using a service provided by TransUnion. Identity verification is built into the process in order to minimise the risk of fraudulent ordering.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many applicants who have failed the TransUnion check have subsequently obtained the covid-19 home testing kit in the last quarter.

We do not publish data in the format requested. In order to request a home test, a user must first verify their identity using a service provided by TransUnion. Identity verification is built into the process in order to minimise the risk of fraudulent ordering.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of issuing guidance to prevent fertility patients becoming ineligible for NHS-funded IVF as a result of delays resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government expects clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to give fair consideration to all patients who have had fertility treatment delayed so that no one misses out on treatment due to COVID-19.

NHS England have agreed a joint statement with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, to encourage CCGs to give special consideration to the need for flexibility and sensitivity for individuals whose waiting times, investigations or planned treatment have been disrupted due to COVID-19. This is to ensure that all women and their partners seeking fertility treatment are treated fairly. The statement was issued to the National Health Service on 6 November 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will introduce a new cross-government alcohol strategy which takes account of the effects of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to tackling health harms from alcohol and supporting the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse. Action on alcohol abuse continues through commitments in the Prevention Green Paper, the NHS Long Term Plan, funding to support children of alcohol dependent parents, and action to reduce alcohol-related crime. There are no current plans for a standalone alcohol strategy.

Public Health England (PHE) published advice and information for the public on looking after their mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak, which recommends people avoid using alcohol. The guidance can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19

PHE continues to maintain the FRANK website and helpline, which provides a service for people who are concerned about their own or others alcohol consumption at the following link:

https://www.talktofrank.com/

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak alcohol treatment providers are continuing to support and treat people misusing alcohol.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to prevent an increase in harmful drinking during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to tackling health harms from alcohol and supporting the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse. Action on alcohol abuse continues through commitments in the Prevention Green Paper, the NHS Long Term Plan, funding to support children of alcohol dependent parents, and action to reduce alcohol-related crime. There are no current plans for a standalone alcohol strategy.

Public Health England (PHE) published advice and information for the public on looking after their mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak, which recommends people avoid using alcohol. The guidance can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19

PHE continues to maintain the FRANK website and helpline, which provides a service for people who are concerned about their own or others alcohol consumption at the following link:

https://www.talktofrank.com/

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak alcohol treatment providers are continuing to support and treat people misusing alcohol.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the Memorandum of Understanding between his Department and the National Police Chiefs' Council on their data sharing arrangement for NHS Test and Trace.

We will be publishing the Memorandum of Understanding in due course.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and which regional NHS Genetics Laboratories are being used to increase covid-19 testing capacity.

Ninety six National Health Service laboratories operate through 29 pathology laboratory networks. This figure is not broken down by region.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using regional NHS Genetics Laboratories to increase covid-19 testing capacity.

Capacity in National Health Service laboratories is rapidly increasing, and available capacity is primarily used to test the patients and symptomatic staff who need a test, in line with the Department’s guidance. We operate through a localised system of NHS laboratories so that tests are available locally when needed.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department has spent on NHS Test and Trace by region in England.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the number of ambulance service callouts by NHS trust that were alcohol-related in each of the last four years.

The information requested is not centrally collected.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many staff (a) are employed by and (b) have left the employment of NHS Test and Trace by region in England for each month for which data is available.

Given the speed at which NHS Test and Trace was set up we do not have data by region or month as during the formulative months the organisation was reliant on secondees from across Government and movement was high. The current full time equivalent head count of NHS Test and Trace is 3,760.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with local Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health and Wellbeing Boards on their plans to improve access to community rehabilitation services.

In 2016, NHS England published guidance for clinical commissioning groups and other organisations on commissioning accessible, high-quality rehabilitation services that meet the needs of their local population.

As part of the Government’s continued commitment to ensure high-quality, accessible rehabilitation services for patients, NHS England has commenced work on refreshing this guidance. This has included engagement with professional bodies’ clinicians, alongside many other stakeholders, societies and third sector organisations who represent the patient voice.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure patient access to high quality community rehabilitation.

In 2016, NHS England published guidance for clinical commissioning groups and other organisations on commissioning accessible, high-quality rehabilitation services that meet the needs of their local population.

As part of the Government’s continued commitment to ensure high-quality, accessible rehabilitation services for patients, NHS England has commenced work on refreshing this guidance. This has included engagement with professional bodies’ clinicians, alongside many other stakeholders, societies and third sector organisations who represent the patient voice.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to improve rehabilitation services for patients through the (a) NHS Constitution and (b) NHS Long Term Plan.

There are presently no plans to make a single person accountable for rehabilitation provision.

In 2016, NHS England and NHS Improvement published guidance for clinical commissioning groups and other organisations on commissioning accessible, high-quality rehabilitation services that meet the needs of their local population. The guidance is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/rehabilitation-comms-guid-16-17.pdf

As part of the Government’s continued commitment to ensure high-quality, accessible rehabilitation services for patients, NHS England and NHS Improvement have commenced work on updating this guidance. This has included engagement with professional bodies’ clinicians, alongside other stakeholders, societies and third sector organisations who represent the patient voice.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to make a single person accountable for the provision of rehabilitation support in England.

There are presently no plans to make a single person accountable for rehabilitation provision.

In 2016, NHS England and NHS Improvement published guidance for clinical commissioning groups and other organisations on commissioning accessible, high-quality rehabilitation services that meet the needs of their local population. The guidance is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/rehabilitation-comms-guid-16-17.pdf

As part of the Government’s continued commitment to ensure high-quality, accessible rehabilitation services for patients, NHS England and NHS Improvement have commenced work on updating this guidance. This has included engagement with professional bodies’ clinicians, alongside other stakeholders, societies and third sector organisations who represent the patient voice.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government has taken to develop post-covid-19 plans for tackling waiting lists for the next five years for (a) hospital appointments, (b) treatment times, (c) elective surgery and (d) non-elective surgery; and how advanced that planning is.

The current focus is on accelerating the return of non-COVID-19 health services to near normal levels, including making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This will be done alongside continued vigilance with respect to any COVID-19 spikes locally or nationally.

First priority will be given to clinically urgent patients and then the longest waiting patients.

The Department continues to work with NHS England and NHS Improvement on the longer-term recovery of NHS services. To help facilitate this the Chancellor announced an extra £31.9 billion for health services, plus an additional £16.4 billion to tackle coronavirus.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many of the 90-minute covid-19 tests used by NHS Trust (a) staff and (b) patients in England have yielded a (i) false negative or (ii) false positive result.

The Department does not currently publish this data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many results of the 90-minute covid-19 test used in England NHS Trust (a) staff and (b) patients have come back (i) positive, (ii) negative and (iii) void/invalid.

The Department does not currently publish this data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of the 90-minute covid-19 tests used in NHS hospital trusts in England have provided a result within 90 minutes since those tests were introduced.

The Department does not currently publish this data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) staff and (b) patients have had a 90-minute covid-19 test at an NHS hospital trust in England since their introduction.

The Department does not currently publish this data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, by which month all NHS trusts in England will have a supply of 90-minute covid-19 tests.

Rapid turnaround testing device deployment plans are in development. No further information is available at this stage.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timescale is for rolling out the 90-minute covid-19 tests across all NHS hospital trusts.

Rapid turnaround testing device deployment plans are in development. No further information is available at this stage.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and which NHS hospital trusts in England have access to 90-minute tests for covid-19.

Rapid turnaround testing device deployment plans are in development. No further information is available at this stage.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to respond to the Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Issues raised by Paterson, HC 31, published in February 2020.

The Paterson Independent Inquiry reported on 4 February. Departmental Ministers committed in Parliament to produce a formal Government response.

In April 2020, Ministers took the decision to pause this work as a result of the COVID-19 emergency which was announced via a Written Ministerial Statement (HCWS208) made to Parliament.

This work has now recommenced, and the Department is planning to publish a formal Government response in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what safeguarding measures his Department has put in place to ensure that the NHS Better Health app is not used by people with eating disorders.

The NHS Weight Loss Plan app asks users to enter their height and weight to calculate their body mass index (BMI). If a user is underweight or a healthy weight according to their BMI, messaging is shown that explains this weight loss tool is not for them. App users who are underweight or at the lower end of a healthy weight are not prompted to use the app any further than the BMI calculation stage. The app also advises users to discuss their weight with their general practitioner if they have any concerns.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to encourage people who have symptoms of ovarian cancer to contact their GP during the covid-19 outbreak.

On April 25, as part of the National Health Service ‘Help us help you’ campaign, NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens warned that delays in getting treatment due to COVID-19 fears pose a long-term risk to people’s health. It was stressed that the NHS is still there for people who need urgent and emergency services for cancer symptoms, as well as and other conditions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the Government has made in developing post-covid-19 plans for increased mental health and psychological support for (a) people who have contracted covid-19, (b) family and close friends of people who have contracted covid-19 and (c) frontline health and care workers.

There is broad consensus that there is the potential for an increase in demand for mental health services as a result of COVID-19 and we are working with the National Health Service, Public Health England and others to ensure ongoing assessment of the potential longer-term impacts and to plan for how to support mental health and wellbeing throughout the ‘recovery’ phase.

Mental health services are provided according to clinical need, regardless of whether an individual or a member of their family has previously contracted COVID-19.

With regard to frontline health and care workers, we have ensured comprehensive packages of emotional and psychological support are available to all social care and NHS staff, building on existing support. This includes free access to a confidential helpline operated by the Samaritans.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to (a) undertake and (b) commission research into the longer-term effect of the covid-19 lockdown on people's mental health.

Through the Rapid Response and the Rapid Rolling Calls, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation have funded studies that aim to make a significant contribution to the understanding, prevention and management of COVID-19.

As part of the Rolling Call, a highlight notice was published in June for research proposals which aimed to reduce the emergence of new, and exacerbation of existing, mental health problems, and to improve outcomes for those whose mental health has already been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 64 applications were considered as part of the mental health highlight notice, and the successful studies are in the process of being contracted.

The NIHR Policy Research Programme’s current call ‘Recovery, Renewal, Reset: Research to inform policy responses to COVID-19 in the health and social care systems’ seeks to fund research which will provide timely evidence to inform policy decisions on recovery from the initial crisis, and to mitigate longer-term impacts on individuals, health and social care systems and wider society.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to develop plans to increase the provision of rehabilitation support for people that contracted covid-19 after the covid-19 outbreak has ended.

The National Health Service and the wider scientific community are currently working to better understand the disease course of COVID-19 infection, including the prevalence, severity and duration of symptoms, and how best to support recovery. The National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation have invested £8.4 million in the Post-HOSPitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID), led by Christopher Brightling at the University of Leicester. This study is one of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 on hospitalised patients.

The NHS is working to expand access to COVID-19 rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still have problems with breathing, mental health problems or other longer-term complications. As part of this, in July the NHS launched ‘Your COVID Recovery’ service, a personalised programme to support the recovery of people who have been in hospital or suffered at home with the virus.

The research currently underway will inform future NHS service design and provision.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to mitigate the effect of burn-out among (a) NHS staff and (b) staff in the care sector as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognised at the start of the pandemic the need for enhanced wellbeing support for National Health Service and social care staff. NHS England and NHS Improvement have put in place a comprehensive emotional, psychological and practical support package for NHS staff. Wherever possible we have ensured the same offer is in place for all social care staff as is in place for their colleagues in the NHS.

‘We are the NHS: People Plan 2020/21’, published on 30 July 2020, is an important step forward in supporting the NHS workforce. It sets out a clear strategy for supporting the NHS workforce and requires employers to invest in physical health and wellbeing and make flexible working a priority.

We will continue to work closely with the adult social care sector to improve the occupational health offer for social care workers, support mental health interventions where needed, and ensure staff have access to practical support and advice.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase the number of Departmental staff working on social care in the next six months.

In June 2020 the Department established a dedicated Social Care Group (SCG) to protect care recipients, carers/care workers and the care system itself from the impact of COVID-19 and ensure that everyone in receipt of care gets the care and support they need. The new SCG group has increased staff working on this area and, we will continue to keep staffing numbers under review.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with a pre-existing mental health condition who have been unable to access treatment during the covid-19 outbreak will be able to access that treatment in the next two months.

National Health Service mental health services have remained open for business throughout this time. NHS community, talking therapies and children and young people’s services have deployed innovative digital tools to connect with people and provide ongoing support.

We have previously issued tailored guidance to help people deal with their mental health and wellbeing on GOV.UK and are promoting this through the ‘Every Mind Matters’ website. For those with severe needs or in crisis, NHS mental health providers have established all-age 24 hours a day, seven days a week mental health crisis lines.

As part of wider NHS England and NHS Improvement guidance concerning the restoration of non-COVID-19 services, mental health services have been asked to proactively review all patients on community mental health teams’ caseloads and increase therapeutic activity and supportive interventions to prevent relapse or escalation of mental health needs for people with severe mental illness in the community.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of how many and what proportion of (a) people at risk and (b) health and care workers will receive a flu vaccination for the winter period 2020-21.

We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England to increase uptake take for people in at risk groups to at least 75% in 2020/21, and for all healthcare workers to be offered the flu vaccine this winter.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to develop plans to tackle the effect of delayed care in people's health after the end of the covid-19 outbreak.

On 31 July, further guidance was issued to local National Health Service providers and commissioners on outlining the next phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 and concurrent non-COVID-19 activity. Focus is on accelerating the return of non-COVID-19 health services to near-normal levels, including making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures.

General practice, community and optometry services have been advised, where clinically appropriate, to reach out proactively to clinically vulnerable patients and those whose care may have been delayed. Trusts, working with general practitioner practices, have been asked to ensure that every patient whose planned care has been disrupted by COVID-19 receives clear communication about how they will be looked after, and who to contact in the event that their clinical circumstances change. Clinically urgent patients should continue to be treated first, with priority then given to the longest waiting patients, specifically those breaching or at risk of breaching 52 weeks by the end of March 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what public awareness campaigns the Government plans to undertake on arrangements in relation to local lockdowns in the next two months.

We are delivering a tailored campaign approach to local areas on the ‘watchlist’. Activities include messaging on key protective behaviours – social distancing, hand washing, and use of face coverings; as well as testing and isolation for those who have symptoms.

We are developing national, regional and local partnerships to facilitate disseminating information, particularly among more specific communities and religious groups. We are supporting the development of communications toolkits to assist local authorities around specific events that present risks, including religious festivals. A wide range of assets and community support initiatives have also been developed for local use; sharing best practices and training sessions; translations in up to 11 languages; central funding for specific local translation needs not met by existing content.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what effect the covid-19 outbreak will have on his plans to implement the NHS Long Term Plan with respect to (a) Rapid Diagnostic Centres for cancer and (b) the 28 day cancer diagnosis standard.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have set out guiding principles in re-establishing NHS Long Term Plan programmes, prioritising delivery of Long Term Plan commitments that also support recovery - focusing on activities increasing early diagnosis and survival rates such as Rapid Diagnostic Centres.

The Faster Diagnosis Standard is being tested as part of the wider, clinically-led review of National Health Service access standards. Timelines for the review have been impacted by COVID-19, and updates will be provided in due course.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are continuing activities that support ambitions with minimal system impact/burden - including activities such as the Quality of Life metric surveys to track and respond to the long-term impact of cancer, and prioritising delivery of activities that have a significant impact on Long Term Plan ambitions – including projects such as Targeted Lung Health Checks, and personalised stratified follow up.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle delays to (a) diagnostic referrals and (b) courses of treatment for ovarian cancer as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service’s recovery approach is looking to restore urgent cancer referrals and treatment to at least pre-pandemic levels, including the 62-day pathway, and ensure sufficient capacity is available to manage increased demands in the future.

The Cancer Recovery Taskforce met for the first time in September, where they took stock of the status of cancer services against recovery metrics on referrals, treatment and backlog levels. A national recovery plan will be developed for publication shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of dental practices which were unable to reopen on 8 June 2020 because they could not acquire personal protective equipment through their business as usual wholesalers.

No assessment has been made. However, supplies of the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) were made available by the Government to the dental wholesalers specifically to support the resumption of face to face care by dental practices from 8 June. National Health Service dental practices, in extreme circumstances, could also have approached Local Resilience Forum for emergency stock.

The additional PPE needed, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, is now available free of charge for NHS dental contractors. A dedicated PPE portal has been developed to deliver these items. As of 4 November, over 5,100 NHS dental and orthodontic providers in England have registered with the PPE portal and over 36 million items have been delivered.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020, how many times the powers relating to the compulsory extraction of biological samples have been used; and whether that information is collected centrally.

Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 allows public health officials to require potentially infected persons to attend a screening and assessment centre and/or provide a sample for testing, if it is in the best interests of that person to do so, or to prevent the spread of the disease.

The use of these powers in England is continuously monitored centrally by Public Health England and the Department. Their use by the devolved administrations is a matter for them.

As of 31 July, these powers have been used fewer than five times, and only to require attendance at a test centre. For reasons of patient confidentiality, precise, identifiable details cannot be made public.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how a patient's covid-19 test result is considered with regard to (a) GDPR and (b) data protection legislation.

Protecting the privacy of patients’ data is a key priority for the Government and NHS Test and Trace, which is committed to the highest ethical and security standards. All data regarding patients’ COVID-19 test results are handled in line with the General Data Protection Regulation and other relevant legislation, and data are used only for the purposes of National Health Service care, management, evaluation and research, as set out in published privacy information for COVID-19 testing.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional mental health support his Department is making available to (a) frontline workers, (b) people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and (c) young people as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

We have ensured comprehensive packages of emotional and psychological support are available to all social care and National Health Service staff, building on existing support. This includes free access to a confidential helpline operated by Samaritans.

Recent reviews have confirmed the disparity of the impact and risks that COVID-19 has on those from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. We have set out our intention to take forward further work under the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP) and through the Prime Minister’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working closely with BAME experts and others to encourage timely access to NHS mental health services and improve BAME people’s experience of these services.

NHS children and young people’s mental health services have remained open throughout the pandemic and have deployed digital tools to connect with young people and provide ongoing support. We have published guidance to parents and carers on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing on the GOV.UK and Every Mind Matters websites and we have provided additional funding of £5 million for mental health charities to support adults and children, including those from a BAME background, as well as a further £4.2 million, as part of the Government’s United Kingdom-wide £750 million package of support for the voluntary sector.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the NHS and social care sector have adequate stock levels of scrubs during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS Supply Chain, the main provider of consumables and equipment into the National Health Service, report that their suppliers have sufficient supplies of scrubs for NHS customers to order. Care homes access scrubs from their business as usual wholesalers and we have set up a number of new access points and distribution routes whereby all items of personal protective equipment, including gowns and aprons, can be ordered.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the contract with McKinsey for reviewing the NHS test and trace governance structures.

The contract published on 29 July 2020 can be found at the following link:

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/1a720c8a-85fd-4255-85ee-3c891c664bf0

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much McKinsey will receive for reviewing the NHS test and trace governance structures.

The company will receive a sum of £563,400 excluding VAT.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his office was involved in the negotiation of the contract with McKinsey for reviewing the NHS test and trace governance structures.

The Crown Commercial Service provides Management Consultancy Framework 2, on which suppliers can be selected for their suitability. Details of available suppliers can be found at the following link:

https://www.crowncommercial.gov.uk/agreements/rm6008

McKinsey are on this framework having competed to be included in September 2018. The framework runs until September 2021. McKinsey were requested to fulfil the requirements of the contract due to their suitability to deliver the requirements and ability to deliver at short notice. All contracts have been awarded in line with regulations.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 June 2020 to Question 48980 on Deloitte: Coronavirus, which Government or arms length body Deloitte is required to report positive covid-19 positive cases to.

Deloitte are not responsible for processing results data and are therefore not required to report to Public Health England (PHE). However, COVID-19 is a notifiable disease and, as such, all laboratories are legally required to report positive incidences to PHE under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) practice nurses and (b) healthcare assistants working in general practice who have been paid Statutory Sick Pay whilst they have been self-isolating with covid-19 symptoms.

No formal assessment has been made of the number of practice nurses and healthcare assistants working in general practice who have been paid Statutory Sick Pay. NHS England and NHS Improvement have committed to maintain general practitioner (GP) practice income during the outbreak. Therefore, they have advised that GP practice staff who are shielding because they are at the highest clinical risk from COVID-19 should continue to receive full pay. Staff within GP practices should also be encouraged and supported to work remotely where they are able to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to review the temporary Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Public safety throughout this period is the Government’s top priority, including for those who need care and support. The changes to the Care Act 2014 duties on local authorities will be kept under regular review and the Secretary of State will suspend them based on expert clinical and social care advice, including findings of the Chief Social Workers, in accordance with the Coronavirus Act 2020.

At this time there are no local authorities operating with Care Act Easements.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice his Department has taken from clinical and social care experts on discontinuing the Care Act easements, established under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Public safety throughout this period is the Government’s top priority, including for those who need care and support. The changes to the Care Act 2014 duties on local authorities will be kept under regular review and the Secretary of State will suspend them based on expert clinical and social care advice, including findings of the Chief Social Workers, in accordance with the Coronavirus Act 2020.

At this time there are no local authorities operating with Care Act Easements.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the temporary Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, on access to social care for people with mental health problems.

The Department is working with Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP) to understand the impact on individuals of the changes to Care Act 2014 duties. A TLAP Insight Group meets regularly to coordinate intelligence of TLAP partners on the impact and views of people accessing care and support and unpaid carers, in areas that have enacted easements and those that have not. These findings will be publicly available.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the 28-day reviews of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (England) 2020 will include a full necessity and proportionality assessment.

The Government is keeping its social distancing measures under continual review. If at any time we judge that one of the measures is no longer necessary to protect public health we are required by law to change that measure.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to make (a) written and (b) oral statements to Parliament following each 28 day review of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (England) 2020 to publish the findings of those reviews.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 26 March and has been kept under continual review. At each review point of the Health Protection Regulations, the Government has provided a written or oral statement to Parliament. The Prime Minister made oral statements to the Commons on 11 May, Official report, columns 24-27, and 23 June, Official report, columns 1167-1170. The Prime Minister’s statement on 23 June outlined the changes being implemented after the fourth review, which come into effect on 4 July. In addition, we have made Written Ministerial Statements to the House of Commons and the House of Lords on 28 April (HCWS206) and 2 June (HCWS253). This process will be continued by the Government following future reviews.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that young people are still able to access child and adolescent mental health services during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Catherine West MP) on 25 June 2020 to Question 58038.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that young people who need support for their mental health can (a) be referred to mental health support by professionals and (b) self-refer to mental health services.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Catherine West MP) on 25 June 2020 to Question 58038.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what fiscal steps his Department is taking to ensure that young people are able to access support for their mental health.

We are committed through the NHS Long Term Plan to investing at least £2.3 billion of extra funding a year into mental health services by 2023-24. This will see an additional 345,000 children and young people able to access support through National Health Service-funded services or school- and college-based mental health support teams.

To support adult and children whose mental health has been affected by the pandemic, we have provided £5 million of additional funding for mental health charities and, on 22 May, we announced a further £4.2 million to be awarded to mental health charities including those supporting children and young people such as Young Minds, as part of the Government’s United Kingdom-wide £750 million package of support for the voluntary sector.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will issue guidance to GPs on resuming face-to-face six week post-natal health checks for new mothers.

As set out in the ‘Update to the GP contract agreement 2020/21–2023/24’ jointly published in February 2020 by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the British Medical Association, since 1 April 2020 it has been a contractual requirement for general practitioners to offer a maternal postnatal consultation at 6-8 weeks after birth (for live and stillbirths), as an additional appointment to that for the 6-8 week baby check. The maternal postnatal consultation should focus on a review of the mother’s physical and mental health and general wellbeing, using open questioning. NHS England and NHS Improvement expect that during the pandemic practices should continue to offer the consultation to new mothers in an appropriate format, most likely by telephone or video consultation. Guidance on the maternal postnatal consultation will be produced later in 2020 following consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the six-week post-natal health checks for new mothers at GPs surgeries.

As set out in the ‘Update to the GP contract agreement 2020/21–2023/24’ jointly published in February 2020 by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the British Medical Association, since 1 April 2020 it has been a contractual requirement for general practitioners to offer a maternal postnatal consultation at 6-8 weeks after birth (for live and stillbirths), as an additional appointment to that for the 6-8 week baby check. The maternal postnatal consultation should focus on a review of the mother’s physical and mental health and general wellbeing, using open questioning. NHS England and NHS Improvement expect that during the pandemic practices should continue to offer the consultation to new mothers in an appropriate format, most likely by telephone or video consultation. Guidance on the maternal postnatal consultation will be produced later in 2020 following consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assesssment his Department has made of the effect of covid-19 outbreak on the (a) physical health, (b) mental health, and (c) safety of new mothers.

The Government is working closely with research programmes learning from cases of pregnant women and new mothers with COVID-19 to be able to respond quickly and appropriately.

To promote the safety of pregnant women during this pandemic, NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed guidance for the temporary reorganisation of intrapartum maternity care, launched a ‘Help Us to Help You’ communications campaign to encourage women to contact their midwife whenever they have any concerns, and is supporting the increase in virtual appointments with initiatives such as distributing 16,000 blood pressure monitors for pregnant women with hypertension to use at home. National Health Service specialist perinatal mental health services remain very much open for business and for those with severe needs or in crisis, all NHS mental health trusts have been instructed to establish 24 hours a day, seven days a week mental health crisis lines.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date the Government placed the orders for £5 million worth of hydroxychloroquine for the potential treatment of covid-19.

A number of contracts were awarded valued at £4.2 million (excluding VAT) for hydroxychloroquine between 11 March and 22 April 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether plans to implement the NHS Long Term Plan in respect of mental health will be affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

There is broad consensus that there will be an increase in demand for mental health services as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Modelling is underway to understand the implications of this in more detail, involving the Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and sector experts. This will inform our approach to delivery and transformation of mental health services and ensure an agile, responsive approach focusing on key priorities for the population.

In this context, we remain committed to achieving our NHS Long Term Plan ambitions for service transformation and expansion, backed by investment of at least £2.3 billion of extra funding for mental health by 2023-24.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure a safe return to face-to-face mental health appointments for people with severe mental illness during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Health Service has been clear on the importance of maintaining face to face care for those patients who need it, and of patient choice in determining suitability for digital appointments.

When delivering face to face appointments, mental health services are expected to follow the latest guidance on the use of personal protective equipment in healthcare settings to support infection prevention and control. Services will be further enabled by the roll out of the NHS Test and Trace service to reduce transmission risk and deliver face to face services in as safe a way as possible.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the White Paper on reforming the Mental Health Act 1983.

We have committed to publishing a White Paper which will set out the Government’s response to Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 and pave the way for reform of the Act.

We will publish our White Paper as soon as it is possible to do so. We will consult publicly on our proposals and will bring forward a Bill to amend the Act when parliamentary time allows.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many new referrals there were to NHS secondary mental health services in March and April (a) 2020 and (b) 2019.

The information requested is shown in the following table.

England

March 2019

April 2019

March 2020

April 20202

Referrals to mental health services starting in reporting period1

321,326

303,373

297,516

Not yet available

Source: Mental Health Services Data Set, NHS Digital3

Notes:

1 A person may have had more than one referral within any given period.

2 Data for April 2020 are still being collected and analysed.

3 Caution should be made when comparing data as the coverage of the Mental Health Services Data Set has increased with 266 providers submitting data in March 2020 compared to 171 providers in March 2019.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the responses of organisations that submitted evidence to the Public Health England review of disparities in risks and outcomes of covid-19 released on 2 June 2020.

The Government commissioned Public Health England (PHE) to analyse how different factors can impact on people's health outcomes from COVID-19. The resulting report was published this week.

Separately, PHE has also been engaging with a significant number of individuals and organisations within black, Asian and minority ethnic communities over the past couple of months to hear their views, concerns and ideas about the impact of COVID-19 on their communities. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP) will be building on and expanding that engagement as she takes work forward to better understand the drivers behind the ethnicity analyses in the PHE report.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the average price of each protective mask unit sold to social care providers from suppliers that have a contract with the Government to provide personal protective equipment for the last month in which data is available.

We are working around the clock to give the social care sector and wider National Health Servicehe equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. We continue to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to selected wholesalers to support social care. Additionally, we deliver PPE to all Local Resilience Forums to allow them to respond to urgent local spikes in need across the adult social care system. The National Supply Disruption Response operates a 24-hour helpline that can also respond to emergency PPE requests. Finally, we are rolling out a PPE Portal to help primary and social care providers to order critical PPE.

Where we sell product to wholesalers we ask that they work within their existing margins. In the recent examples where there has been a significant increase in the cost of the product we have asked all wholesalers not to apply a percentage margin on these PPE items at the moment, but instead to apply the margin value they would have applied under the previous business as usual cost of the product.

Information on average prices is commercially sensitive and cannot be published.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the average price of each protective mask sold to social care providers from private suppliers for the last month for which that data is available.

We are working around the clock to give the social care sector and wider National Health Servicehe equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. We continue to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to selected wholesalers to support social care. Additionally, we deliver PPE to all Local Resilience Forums to allow them to respond to urgent local spikes in need across the adult social care system. The National Supply Disruption Response operates a 24-hour helpline that can also respond to emergency PPE requests. Finally, we are rolling out a PPE Portal to help primary and social care providers to order critical PPE.

Where we sell product to wholesalers we ask that they work within their existing margins. In the recent examples where there has been a significant increase in the cost of the product we have asked all wholesalers not to apply a percentage margin on these PPE items at the moment, but instead to apply the margin value they would have applied under the previous business as usual cost of the product.

Information on average prices is commercially sensitive and cannot be published.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which suppliers the Government has contracts with to provide personal protective equipment to social care providers.

The Government has massively expanded both our supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) from overseas and our domestic manufacturing capability.

The Government has contracted with over 100 new suppliers able to deliver at the scale and pace the United Kingdom requires and is building up UK manufacturing with signed contracts to manufacture over 2 billion items of PPE through UK-based manufacturers, including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons. This includes companies such as: Survitec; Bolle; Jaguar Land Rover; Don & Low; and Burberry.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many tests have been carried out in the Twickenham Stadium covid-19 testing site each day since its establishment; and what its daily testing capacity has been on each of those days.

We do not publish data broken down by test centre. As of 1 June, 54 Regional Testing Sites were open nationwide.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a regionally-adjusted minimum fee to be paid by local authorities for the provision of (a) domiciliary care and (b) care in care homes.

We expect local authorities to identify and pay an appropriate rate for adult social care in their local areas, taking into account relevant factors. In the interest of transparency, we publish data on the fees paid in different local authority areas. Our latest publication was in February 2020 and is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/865034/iBCF_LA_fees_report_Q2_2019-20.pdf

To assist local authorities, we have made an additional £1.5 billion available for adult and children’s social care in 2020-21. This consists of £1 billion of grant funding for adult and children’s social care, and a 2% precept which will give councils access to £500 million for adult social care. In response to COVID-19 we have provided local authorities with £3.2 billion to support them in the provision of public services, including adult social care. We have also announced the £600 million Infection Control Fund in order to support care providers to reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many funding proposals on the effects of the covid-19 outbreak on mental health have been (a) granted and (b) rejected by (i) UK Research and Innovation and (b) the National Institute of Health Research.

The United Kingdom Government has committed £24.6 million for COVID-19 research through a joint rapid research call from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). This included one mental health study awarded £400,000.

In addition to this, as of 21 May, UKRI has identified eight grants already receiving funding, totalling £2.4 million, that are looking at mental health in the context of COVID-19.

Calls for research into impacts of COVID-19 on mental health are still open and receiving large numbers of applications, it would therefore be inappropriate to report on success rates by research area and the numbers above will not represent the full scale of NIHR and UKRI activities.

The NIHR has established an expert mental health panel as part of the prioritisation process for Urgent Public Health Research. Prioritised mental health studies will have access to NIHR Clinical Research Network resources to support study delivery.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure prescriptions are affordable and accessible for those who (a) have been furloughed or (b) are awaiting access to universal credit.

A broad range of National Health Service prescription charge exemptions are in place to help those with greatest need, including those on a low income.

The new FP10 NHS prescription form, which includes a tick box for Universal Credit claimants who meet the criteria for free prescriptions, has been in use since January. If a patient is waiting for a decision on their claim they should pay for their prescription and claim a refund of the charge from the NHS Business Services Authority once notified of their award by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department had made of the financial effect on people with low incomes of the NHS prescription levy increase.

People on a low income can seek help under the NHS Low Income Scheme, which provides help with health costs on an income-related basis.

Prescription charges are a valuable income source for the National Health Service, contributing £591.9 million in revenue for the financial year 2018/19, enabling more services to be provided for more people.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the accessibility of prescriptions to people that are are self-isolating during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has not made an assessment of individual accessibility. However, a National Health Service Medicine Delivery Service has been commissioned from both community pharmacies and dispensing doctors to ensure delivery of medicines to patients who have been identified as ‘shielded’ where they cannot identify a family member, friend or volunteer to collect them.

Other vulnerable patients, including those isolating, can also make use of volunteers to get their medicines delivered.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of private clinics offering covid-19 tests on the supply of testing available through the NHS.

As testing technology has become more widespread, we know that some organisations and individuals are choosing to procure tests outside the NHS Test and Trace service.

The Department and the National Health Service are working with test manufacturers and test providers to ensure the private sector can offer testing services whilst ensuring NHS capacity is protected, so that everyone who needs a test can access one.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure private clinics that are offering covid-19 tests are not price gouging.

The Department does not regulate the cost of CE marked COVID-19 tests by private healthcare providers.

However, any individual with symptoms can access a COVID-19 test completely free of charge. Further information on those eligible for testing is available on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

Anyone concerned that a business is acting unfairly or taking advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak to make money is encouraged to contact the Competition and Markets Authority and report their concerns via the following link:

https://www.coronavirus-business-complaint.service.gov.uk/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure more detailed data collection for the purposes of covid-19 case identification.

Public Health England identifies and collects data on laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19. These data include demographic details such as date of birth, sex and postcode, which can be used to link with other datasets, such as the Hospital Episode Statistics datasets, in order to obtain additional information.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes to death certification on the operation of covid-19 data gathering.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD.

The causes of death mentioned on the completed certificate are coded using the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). The WHO has introduced two new ICD-10 codes for COVID-19, code U07.1 meaning a confirmed case, and code U07.2 meaning a suspected case. These are allocated according to the words used on the death certificate.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many referrals to NHS Volunteer Responders have been made through the GoodSAM Responder app by (a) type of support required and (b) local authority.

As of 6 May 2020, a total number of 46,655 referrals have been made to the NHS Volunteer Responders programme of which 10,465 referrals have come from local authorities.

NHS Volunteer Responders have signed up to carry out four tasks including the community Response role which involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, the patient transport role which supports the National Health Service by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, the NHS transport role which involves transporting equipment, supplies or medication between NHS sites and the check-in and chat role which is short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.

We do not hold the data on task by referral but we can provide the number of each type of task carried out. The following table sets out the number of tasks that have been completed by NHS Volunteer Responders across the four categories of support as of 6 May.

6 May 2020

Community response

74,595

Check in and chat

23,047

NHS transport

4,290

Patient transport

1,387

Not specified

-

Total

103,319

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to secure additional critical care beds to meet the demand created by the covid-19 outbreak.

It is the Government’s priority that the National Health Service has appropriate equipment to respond to COVID-19. This includes the provision of intensive care beds. The Department is working closely with NHS England and the devolved administrations to ensure this.

NHS England is looking at National Health Service organisations critical care capacity - including the use of independent sector providers where available. This includes making sure they have as much ventilation equipment as possible, as well as the trained and skilled personnel to use it.

Information on critical care bed capacity is published by NHS England and can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/critical-care-capacity/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many additional critical care beds have been made available since the outbreak of covid-19.

It is the Government’s priority that the National Health Service has appropriate equipment to respond to Covid-19, this includes the provision of intensive care beds. The Department are working closely with the NHS England and the Devolved Administrations to ensure this.

NHS England routinely publishes information on Critical Care Bed Capacity which can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/critical-care-capacity/.

However, in response to Covid-19, some data collections have been suspended, which includes the one relating to Critical Care Bed Capacity. Further details can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/covid-19-and-the-production-of-statistics/.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the use of hand sanitising products on reducing the spread of viruses and diseases; and what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of increasing the provision of hand sanitiser in (a) the London Underground, (b) airports, (c) train stations, (d) stadiums and (e) schools.

Public Health England (PHE) recommends washing your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds, with soap and water and using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. This will help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19.

Sector specific guidance includes advice on what organisations can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19 for example the use of announcements in transport hubs to reinforce key messages and supervising handwashing in young children in schools.

Our public health advice is published on gov.uk. Guidance for the transport sector and educational settings can be viewed at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

The Government is communicating and working collaboratively across all departments and the provision of hand sanitiser is the responsibility of each establishment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many mental health nurses have been employed by NHS funded services at each band, in each year since 2010.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), but not staff working in primary care or in general practitioner surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The attached table shows the number of mental health nurses employed at National Health Service trusts and CCGs at each band as at October 2019, the latest available data and at September each year since 2010.

There is no measure of the number of mental health nurses employed in NHS-funded services carried out in the private sector.

Skills for Care completed a survey of local authorities and found that there are an estimated 3,730 approved mental health professionals in England. This data can be found at the following link:

https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/adult-social-care-workforce-data/Workforce-intelligence/publications/Topics/Social-work/Approved-Mental-Health-Professional-workforce.aspx

The Department does not hold data for mental health social workers or independent mental health advocates.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) mental health social workers, (b) approved mental health professionals and (c) independent mental health advocates have been employed by local authorities in each year since 2010.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), but not staff working in primary care or in general practitioner surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The attached table shows the number of mental health nurses employed at National Health Service trusts and CCGs at each band as at October 2019, the latest available data and at September each year since 2010.

There is no measure of the number of mental health nurses employed in NHS-funded services carried out in the private sector.

Skills for Care completed a survey of local authorities and found that there are an estimated 3,730 approved mental health professionals in England. This data can be found at the following link:

https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/adult-social-care-workforce-data/Workforce-intelligence/publications/Topics/Social-work/Approved-Mental-Health-Professional-workforce.aspx

The Department does not hold data for mental health social workers or independent mental health advocates.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 12328, on Mental Health Services: Children, how many new mental health support teams will be provided under the NHS Long Term Plan.

The first 59 mental health support teams are becoming operational as part of the first wave of 25 ‘trailblazer’ areas. In July 2019, NHS England confirmed a further 57 areas, where 123 new teams will be developed by early 2021. Further details are available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/cyp/trailblazers/mh-support-teams/

The programme will roll-out to at least 20% to 25% of the country by 2023. What we have learned from the first waves will inform our approach.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 12328, on Mental Health Services: Children, which areas of the country the new mental health support teams will cover by 2023-24.

The first 59 mental health support teams are becoming operational as part of the first wave of 25 ‘trailblazer’ areas. In July 2019, NHS England confirmed a further 57 areas, where 123 new teams will be developed by early 2021. Further details are available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/cyp/trailblazers/mh-support-teams/

The programme will roll-out to at least 20% to 25% of the country by 2023. What we have learned from the first waves will inform our approach.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2020 to Question 12329, on Mental Health Services: Children and Young People, what the eligibility criteria are for (a) urgent and (b) routine cases.

NHS England published in 2015 the Access and Waiting Time Standard for Children and Young People with an Eating Disorder Commissioning Guide. The guidance sets out the criteria for urgent or routine referral for children and young people with eating disorders. The publication is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/cyp-eating-disorders-access-waiting-time-standard-comm-guid.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when NHS England plans to publish the NHS People Plan.

The National Health Service published the interim NHS People Plan on 3 June 2019. It sets out the long-term vision and immediate actions to meet the challenges of supply, reform, culture and leadership.

The final NHS People Plan will be published by the NHS in 2020 and will set out a clear framework for collective action on workforce priorities, with a focus on growing and retaining a well-skilled workforce across the whole NHS.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to define a national (a) access and (b) waiting times standard for wider child and adolescent mental health services.

Twelve areas have been chosen to pilot a four-week waiting time for access to all children and young people’s mental health services. There are already two condition-specific waiting time standards that apply to children and young people with eating disorders or psychosis.

The current four-week waiting time pilots will test not only what it takes to achieve and maintain a four-week waiting time, but also how best to define and measure this access to specialist children and young people’s mental health services. The pilots will also evaluate the impact of a four-week waiting time on any other services and assess any impact on wider outcomes for children and young people. This will help inform any future decisions about a national waiting time standard for children and young people’s mental health services as a whole.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February to Question 12329 on Mental Health Services: Children and Young People, for what reasons a national access and waiting time standard for child and adolescent mental health services has not yet been defined.

Twelve areas have been chosen to pilot a four-week waiting time for access to all children and young people’s mental health services. There are already two condition-specific waiting time standards that apply to children and young people with eating disorders or psychosis.

The current four-week waiting time pilots will test not only what it takes to achieve and maintain a four-week waiting time, but also how best to define and measure this access to specialist children and young people’s mental health services. The pilots will also evaluate the impact of a four-week waiting time on any other services and assess any impact on wider outcomes for children and young people. This will help inform any future decisions about a national waiting time standard for children and young people’s mental health services as a whole.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2020 to Question 12329 on Mental Health Services: Children and Young People, in what format that information is collected.

Neither the Department nor NHS Digital collect data on waiting times for access to mental health services for children and young people as a whole.

However, information is collected on waiting times for access for children and young people experiencing eating disorders or for any patients, including children and young people, experiencing a first episode of psychosis.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February to Question 12328 on Mental Health Services: Children, what methodology his Department used to calculate the estimate of 345,000 children and young people accessing mental health support by 2023/24.

The NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20 – 2023/24 sets out the increased funding and indicative workforce underpinning the NHS Long Term Plan commitments. This includes a projection of 345,000 additional children and young people aged 0-25 accessing support. This number is based on estimates of what the increase in workforce capacity will help achieve across the first five years of the Long Term Plan period, and are informed by practice in existing services.

As the Implementation Plan sets out, mental health care will be to the additional 345,000 through a wide range of new and enhanced services via National Health Service-funded mental health services and school- or college-based Mental Health Support Teams. NHS England is establishing a metric to monitor progress and will be testing this over the coming year.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 12333 on Mental Health Services: Children and Young People, in what format that information is collected.

Neither the Department nor NHS Digital collect data on waiting times for access to mental health services for children and young people as a whole.

However, information is collected on waiting times for access for children and young people experiencing eating disorders or for any patients, including children and young people, experiencing a first episode of psychosis.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding his Department plans to provide to the General Medical Council to conduct the preparatory work for bringing forward the statutory regulation of physician associates and anaesthesia associates.

On 18 July 2019 the Department announced that it would be asking the General Medical Council (GMC) to take forward the regulation of physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).

Funding has been agreed with the GMC to carry out development work and we are working with the GMC and stakeholders to develop legislation to bring PAs and AAs into regulation.

We intend to consult on draft legislation later this year.

Extending prescribing responsibilities to a profession involves a separate legislative process to the introduction of statutory regulation and requires amendments to the Human Medicines Regulations. The process is jointly led by NHS England and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Once PAs and AAs have been brought into regulation, we will work with NHS England to consider allowing PAs and AAs to prescribe medicines where appropriate.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure adequate (a) public and (b) clinical understanding of the functions of medical associate professions.

The Department is working with the General Medical Council (GMC), Health Education England (HEE) and other key stakeholders to ensure that there is adequate public and clinical understanding of the roles of physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).

The GMC is developing a communications programme to raise awareness among doctors of the PA and AA roles. It is also holding a patient roundtable which will explain the role of PAs and AAs. The GMC will use the roundtable as an opportunity to ask patient organisations how best to raise the profile of PAs and AAs and develop patient understanding of what they do.

HEE has set up a Medical Associate Professions (MAP) Oversight Board which is developing a MAPs career framework to establish common standards for continuing professional development and a strong quality management framework.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether physician associates and anaesthesia associates will have prescribing rights under the Government’s plans to regulate those professions.

On 18 July 2019 the Department announced that it would be asking the General Medical Council (GMC) to take forward the regulation of physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).

Funding has been agreed with the GMC to carry out development work and we are working with the GMC and stakeholders to develop legislation to bring PAs and AAs into regulation.

We intend to consult on draft legislation later this year.

Extending prescribing responsibilities to a profession involves a separate legislative process to the introduction of statutory regulation and requires amendments to the Human Medicines Regulations. The process is jointly led by NHS England and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Once PAs and AAs have been brought into regulation, we will work with NHS England to consider allowing PAs and AAs to prescribe medicines where appropriate.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of physician associates on the training of junior doctors.

Physician associates (PAs) play an invaluable role in complementing and supporting doctors to provide safe, high-quality care to patients across the National Health Service as part of a multi-disciplinary team. PAs are central to the Government's policy to develop a stronger and more effective NHS workforce to meet future need.

As the General Medical Council will regulate both medical practitioners and PAs, it will have oversight of the education and training arrangements for both professions and will be able to monitor any impact on the training of junior doctors.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals for the regulation of physician associates and anaesthesia associates.

On 18 July 2019 the Department announced that it would be asking the General Medical Council (GMC) to take forward the regulation of physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).

Funding has been agreed with the GMC to carry out development work and we are working with the GMC and stakeholders to develop legislation to bring PAs and AAs into regulation.

We intend to consult on draft legislation later this year.

Extending prescribing responsibilities to a profession involves a separate legislative process to the introduction of statutory regulation and requires amendments to the Human Medicines Regulations. The process is jointly led by NHS England and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Once PAs and AAs have been brought into regulation, we will work with NHS England to consider allowing PAs and AAs to prescribe medicines where appropriate.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of (a) schools and (b) colleges have a mental health support team.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Barnsley Central (Dan Jarvis MP) on 4 February 2020 to Question 12271.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the Government's Coronavirus public health campaign, launched on 1 February 2020.

We have launched a public information campaign, setting out how every member of the public can help to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom by taking simple steps to minimise the risk to themselves and their families: washing hands and using tissues when they sneeze, just as they would with flu.

We also have posters up at every international airport advising travellers on what to do should they develop symptoms, and we provide regularly updated guidance for the public at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The Department works closely with Public Health England and NHS England in all aspects of our response. We have also been working across government and with our partners in the devolved administrations since the beginning of the outbreak. We have coordinated cross governmental Ministerial and officials’ meetings to ensure and formulate a coherent response. These include the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport, Foreign Office and Home Office amongst many others.

We have collaborated with European Union partners on repatriation flights. 11 UK entitled persons were repatriated on a French flight and we have helped to bring a number of Spanish nationals out of Wuhan on the first of our two repatriation flights.

We are also in regular contact with colleagues in the EU through meetings such as the Global Health Security Initiative and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).

Public Health England ensure that someone with coronavirus does not put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with.

The Department has made £40 million available to fund Covid-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine. However, as the incident remains ongoing it is too early to state the total cost to the public purse and more broadly the number of staff and or equipment required to respond to the incident.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the additional funding required by the NHS to respond to the Coronavirus.

We have launched a public information campaign, setting out how every member of the public can help to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom by taking simple steps to minimise the risk to themselves and their families: washing hands and using tissues when they sneeze, just as they would with flu.

We also have posters up at every international airport advising travellers on what to do should they develop symptoms, and we provide regularly updated guidance for the public at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The Department works closely with Public Health England and NHS England in all aspects of our response. We have also been working across government and with our partners in the devolved administrations since the beginning of the outbreak. We have coordinated cross governmental Ministerial and officials’ meetings to ensure and formulate a coherent response. These include the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport, Foreign Office and Home Office amongst many others.

We have collaborated with European Union partners on repatriation flights. 11 UK entitled persons were repatriated on a French flight and we have helped to bring a number of Spanish nationals out of Wuhan on the first of our two repatriation flights.

We are also in regular contact with colleagues in the EU through meetings such as the Global Health Security Initiative and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).

Public Health England ensure that someone with coronavirus does not put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with.

The Department has made £40 million available to fund Covid-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine. However, as the incident remains ongoing it is too early to state the total cost to the public purse and more broadly the number of staff and or equipment required to respond to the incident.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which Government (a) Departments and (b) non-departmental public bodies are involved in formulating the response to the Coronavirus.

We have launched a public information campaign, setting out how every member of the public can help to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom by taking simple steps to minimise the risk to themselves and their families: washing hands and using tissues when they sneeze, just as they would with flu.

We also have posters up at every international airport advising travellers on what to do should they develop symptoms, and we provide regularly updated guidance for the public at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The Department works closely with Public Health England and NHS England in all aspects of our response. We have also been working across government and with our partners in the devolved administrations since the beginning of the outbreak. We have coordinated cross governmental Ministerial and officials’ meetings to ensure and formulate a coherent response. These include the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport, Foreign Office and Home Office amongst many others.

We have collaborated with European Union partners on repatriation flights. 11 UK entitled persons were repatriated on a French flight and we have helped to bring a number of Spanish nationals out of Wuhan on the first of our two repatriation flights.

We are also in regular contact with colleagues in the EU through meetings such as the Global Health Security Initiative and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).

Public Health England ensure that someone with coronavirus does not put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with.

The Department has made £40 million available to fund Covid-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine. However, as the incident remains ongoing it is too early to state the total cost to the public purse and more broadly the number of staff and or equipment required to respond to the incident.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) staff and (b) equipment required to respond to the Coronavirus.

We have launched a public information campaign, setting out how every member of the public can help to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom by taking simple steps to minimise the risk to themselves and their families: washing hands and using tissues when they sneeze, just as they would with flu.

We also have posters up at every international airport advising travellers on what to do should they develop symptoms, and we provide regularly updated guidance for the public at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The Department works closely with Public Health England and NHS England in all aspects of our response. We have also been working across government and with our partners in the devolved administrations since the beginning of the outbreak. We have coordinated cross governmental Ministerial and officials’ meetings to ensure and formulate a coherent response. These include the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport, Foreign Office and Home Office amongst many others.

We have collaborated with European Union partners on repatriation flights. 11 UK entitled persons were repatriated on a French flight and we have helped to bring a number of Spanish nationals out of Wuhan on the first of our two repatriation flights.

We are also in regular contact with colleagues in the EU through meetings such as the Global Health Security Initiative and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).

Public Health England ensure that someone with coronavirus does not put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with.

The Department has made £40 million available to fund Covid-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine. However, as the incident remains ongoing it is too early to state the total cost to the public purse and more broadly the number of staff and or equipment required to respond to the incident.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what financial assistance is available for people studying to become paramedics.

From September 2020 eligible paramedic science students will receive a non-repayable annual maintenance grant of at least £5,000 per academic year1. Some students may also be eligible for additional funding, including non-repayable financial support to help with childcare costs.

Eligible students can also claim some costs associated with clinical placement and an exceptional hardship fund of up to £3,000 per year. Further detail is available at the following link:

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/learning-support-fund

Paramedic science students will still have access to tuition fee and maintenance loans and any other additional support that they may be eligible from Student Finance England.

The Department is leading work with its delivery partners on options for potential additional student funding for some healthcare students in geographical areas which are facing recruitment challenges. Further information will be published as soon as possible.

Note:

1https://www.gov.uk/government/news/paramedic-students-will-get-5000-support-payment-each-year

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has requested assistance from the EU to fly UK citizens back from China since the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

We have launched a public information campaign, setting out how every member of the public can help to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom by taking simple steps to minimise the risk to themselves and their families: washing hands and using tissues when they sneeze, just as they would with flu.

We also have posters up at every international airport advising travellers on what to do should they develop symptoms, and we provide regularly updated guidance for the public at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The Department works closely with Public Health England and NHS England in all aspects of our response. We have also been working across government and with our partners in the devolved administrations since the beginning of the outbreak. We have coordinated cross governmental Ministerial and officials’ meetings to ensure and formulate a coherent response. These include the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport, Foreign Office and Home Office amongst many others.

We have collaborated with European Union partners on repatriation flights. 11 UK entitled persons were repatriated on a French flight and we have helped to bring a number of Spanish nationals out of Wuhan on the first of our two repatriation flights.

We are also in regular contact with colleagues in the EU through meetings such as the Global Health Security Initiative and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).

Public Health England ensure that someone with coronavirus does not put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with.

The Department has made £40 million available to fund Covid-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine. However, as the incident remains ongoing it is too early to state the total cost to the public purse and more broadly the number of staff and or equipment required to respond to the incident.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the management of the Coronavirus.

We have launched a public information campaign, setting out how every member of the public can help to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom by taking simple steps to minimise the risk to themselves and their families: washing hands and using tissues when they sneeze, just as they would with flu.

We also have posters up at every international airport advising travellers on what to do should they develop symptoms, and we provide regularly updated guidance for the public at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The Department works closely with Public Health England and NHS England in all aspects of our response. We have also been working across government and with our partners in the devolved administrations since the beginning of the outbreak. We have coordinated cross governmental Ministerial and officials’ meetings to ensure and formulate a coherent response. These include the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport, Foreign Office and Home Office amongst many others.

We have collaborated with European Union partners on repatriation flights. 11 UK entitled persons were repatriated on a French flight and we have helped to bring a number of Spanish nationals out of Wuhan on the first of our two repatriation flights.

We are also in regular contact with colleagues in the EU through meetings such as the Global Health Security Initiative and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).

Public Health England ensure that someone with coronavirus does not put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with.

The Department has made £40 million available to fund Covid-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine. However, as the incident remains ongoing it is too early to state the total cost to the public purse and more broadly the number of staff and or equipment required to respond to the incident.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in the UK.

We have launched a public information campaign, setting out how every member of the public can help to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom by taking simple steps to minimise the risk to themselves and their families: washing hands and using tissues when they sneeze, just as they would with flu.

We also have posters up at every international airport advising travellers on what to do should they develop symptoms, and we provide regularly updated guidance for the public at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The Department works closely with Public Health England and NHS England in all aspects of our response. We have also been working across government and with our partners in the devolved administrations since the beginning of the outbreak. We have coordinated cross governmental Ministerial and officials’ meetings to ensure and formulate a coherent response. These include the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport, Foreign Office and Home Office amongst many others.

We have collaborated with European Union partners on repatriation flights. 11 UK entitled persons were repatriated on a French flight and we have helped to bring a number of Spanish nationals out of Wuhan on the first of our two repatriation flights.

We are also in regular contact with colleagues in the EU through meetings such as the Global Health Security Initiative and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).

Public Health England ensure that someone with coronavirus does not put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with.

The Department has made £40 million available to fund Covid-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine. However, as the incident remains ongoing it is too early to state the total cost to the public purse and more broadly the number of staff and or equipment required to respond to the incident.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to raise public awareness of how to prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus in the UK.

We have launched a public information campaign, setting out how every member of the public can help to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom by taking simple steps to minimise the risk to themselves and their families: washing hands and using tissues when they sneeze, just as they would with flu.

We also have posters up at every international airport advising travellers on what to do should they develop symptoms, and we provide regularly updated guidance for the public at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The Department works closely with Public Health England and NHS England in all aspects of our response. We have also been working across government and with our partners in the devolved administrations since the beginning of the outbreak. We have coordinated cross governmental Ministerial and officials’ meetings to ensure and formulate a coherent response. These include the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport, Foreign Office and Home Office amongst many others.

We have collaborated with European Union partners on repatriation flights. 11 UK entitled persons were repatriated on a French flight and we have helped to bring a number of Spanish nationals out of Wuhan on the first of our two repatriation flights.

We are also in regular contact with colleagues in the EU through meetings such as the Global Health Security Initiative and the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).

Public Health England ensure that someone with coronavirus does not put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with.

The Department has made £40 million available to fund Covid-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine. However, as the incident remains ongoing it is too early to state the total cost to the public purse and more broadly the number of staff and or equipment required to respond to the incident.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what was the average waiting time was for people under the age of 18 to access CAMHS in (a) north, (b) east , (c) west , (d) south and (e) central London in the last 12 months.

The information is not collected in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recent statement from the Children’s Commissioner that England is a decade away from a decent mental health service for all children.

The Children’s Commissioner’s report acknowledges that there have been significant improvements in access to specialist children’s mental health services. The Government is committed to building on this to ensure children get the support they need.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to ensuring at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 can access mental health support by 2023/24, including new Mental Health Support Teams in and near groups of schools and colleges. These teams will cover 20 – 25% of the country by 2023/24.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people under-18 years olds waited longer than four weeks to access CAMHS services in the last 12 months (a) in each region and (b) nationally.

The information is not collected in the format requested. However, we have introduced two waiting times for children and young people: for 95% of children (up to 19 years old) with eating disorders to receive treatment within a week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases, and for 56% of patients of all ages experiencing a first episode of psychosis to receive treatment within two weeks of referral. We are on target to meet these aims by 2020/21.

Quarterly data and trend indicators on these two waiting time targets is available through the Mental Health Five Year Forward View Dashboard.

A national access and waiting times standard for wider child and adolescent mental health services has not yet been defined.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what was the average waiting time was between referral and second contact for children accessing CAMHS in each Care Commissioning Group area in 2018-2019.

The information is not collected in the format requested. However, we have introduced two waiting times for children and young people: for 95% of children (up to 19 years old) with eating disorders to receive treatment within a week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases, and for 56% of patients of all ages experiencing a first episode of psychosis to receive treatment within two weeks of referral. We are on target to meet these aims by 2020/21.

Quarterly data and trend indicators on these two waiting time targets is available through the Mental Health Five Year Forward View Dashboard.

A national access and waiting times standard for wider child and adolescent mental health services has not yet been defined.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time was for children accessing CAMHS in each region in the last 12 months.

The information is not collected in the format requested. However, we have introduced two waiting times for children and young people: for 95% of children (up to 19 years old) with eating disorders to receive treatment within a week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases, and for 56% of patients of all ages experiencing a first episode of psychosis to receive treatment within two weeks of referral. We are on target to meet these aims by 2020/21.

Quarterly data and trend indicators on these two waiting time targets is available through the Mental Health Five Year Forward View Dashboard.

A national access and waiting times standard for wider child and adolescent mental health services has not yet been defined.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time was for people under the age of 18 needing Tier 3 CAMHS to start treatment following an initial assessment in each (a) Care Commissioning Group area and (b) NHS trust area in the last 12 months.

The information is not collected in the format requested. However, we have introduced two waiting times for children and young people: for 95% of children (up to 19 years old) with eating disorders to receive treatment within a week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases, and for 56% of patients of all ages experiencing a first episode of psychosis to receive treatment within two weeks of referral. We are on target to meet these aims by 2020/21.

Quarterly data and trend indicators on these two waiting time targets is available through the Mental Health Five Year Forward View Dashboard.

A national access and waiting times standard for wider child and adolescent mental health services has not yet been defined.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what provisions his Department has made to pay for covid-19 vaccines for UK citizens who are temporarily abroad and have been offered a vaccination by that country's authorities.

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. The FCDO does not pay medical costs for British nationals abroad. We are monitoring carefully other countries' plans to roll out the vaccine and providing bespoke information through Travel Advice and 'Living in' guides on gov.uk to inform British nationals of healthcare options available to them. British nationals should keep up to date on the national vaccination roll out plan where they live, including on who is eligible.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department is providing for minority groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The UK is concerned about the protection and safety of all communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including minority groups. We continue to urge the DRC Government and the UN to work together to protect civilians from ongoing violence and address the root causes of conflict in the east. I [Mr Duddridge] discussed the importance of this with President Tshisekedi during my visit to DRC in November 2020 and again during a telephone call in March this year.

We are committed to ensuring the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO) has a mandate focused on the protection of civilians, and that supporting vulnerable communities remains central to the UN's work in DRC. In 2020/21 we provided approximately £52 million and three military staff officers to support MONUSCO. Our £70 million peace and stability programme is providing access to income-generation opportunities in conflict-affected communities, helping secure land access and supporting inclusive dialogue to address the drivers of conflict. Since 2017, the UK's humanitarian programme has helped over three million people with cash, emergency nutrition, water and healthcare. All UK-funded humanitarian aid is distributed on the basis of need to ensure that the most vulnerable are reached.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of UK online activity on the political situation in Ethiopia.

A number of Ethiopian political groupings have an online presence in countries around the world, including the UK. We do not assess that Ethiopian-linked online activity emanating from the UK has significantly impacted the political situation in Ethiopia.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Ethiopian counterpart on tackling ethnic and political violence in that country.

The UK is concerned by reports of violence and displacement of people in a number of regions in Ethiopia, and continues to raise the importance of human rights with the Government of Ethiopia at the highest levels. I raised this most recently with the Government of Ethiopia when visiting Addis Ababa at the end of July. The UK supports the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia to strengthen accountability and has been encouraged by their efforts to open the political space - in particular the release of thousands of political prisoners and the reform of legislation which constrained civil and political rights. We are committed to supporting civil society organisations in Ethiopia so that they can play an increasing role in monitoring rights.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support people held in camps in Xinjiang.

We remain committed to promoting human rights in Xinjiang. On 30 June, the UK read out a statement on behalf of 27 countries at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighting concerns about arbitrary detention, widespread surveillance and restrictions in Xinjiang, urging China to allow the High Commissioner for Human Rights meaningful access to the region.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether it is the Government's policy that people who are unemployed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak will be entitled to a further mortgage holiday.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance released on 17 November outlines that the application deadline for mortgage holidays ends on 31 March. Up until this date, borrowers who have not yet taken a payment holiday will still be able to apply for one and borrowers who have taken an initial payment holiday will be able to top this up to six months. This will not be reflected on the consumer’s credit file. However, the FCA guidance also notes that all payment holidays will need to end by 31 July (with all credit file reporting returning to normal from that date).

After 31 March, the FCA’s guidance sets out that firms should continue to provide support through tailored forbearance options for those borrowers that are facing ongoing financial difficulties. This could include granting new mortgage payment holidays. As part of this guidance any forbearance granted beyond six months of payment holidays will be reflected on the consumer’s credit file in the usual manner. As borrowers still requiring assistance after that point could be in serious financial distress the FCA believe it is right that lenders are able to understand their financial position in order to lend responsibly.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps his Department is taking to improve support for babies in their first 1001 days.

The government remains committed to improving health outcomes during the first 1001 days and early childhood.

At the Spending Review, we confirmed an additional £25.8m to increase the value of Healthy Start Vouchers to £4.25, in line with the recommendation of the National Food Strategy, to help combat child food poverty and give children the best start in life.

This year the public health grant to local authorities in England will increase to £3.324 billion in 2021/22, an increase of 1% in cash terms, enabling local authorities to invest in important public services such as child health visits.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of including in the forthcoming spending review the financing of a Life Sciences Partnership Fund to secure funding for Breast Cancer Research for the next three years.

Medical research charities are an integral part of the United Kingdom’s world-leading life sciences sector and we welcome the interest of honourable members in this area. The government is monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on the work of medical research charities. To this effect, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department of Health and Social Care is closely liaising with the Association of Medical Research Charities, as well as individual charities, to understand the impact of the pandemic on this sector and identify how best the Government and charities can work together to ensure that patients continue benefiting from charity funded research. While it would not be appropriate to respond in detail at this stage of the Spending Review, I can assure you that the issues you’ve raised have been noted.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the merits of increasing funding for diabetes technology in the Spending Review.

I recognise the major impact that diabetes has on society and would like to assure you that the Government is committed to continuing to improve diabetes care within the NHS.

While it would not be appropriate to respond in detail at this stage of the Spending Review, I can assure you that the issues you’ve raised have been noted.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of a Real Time Information (RTI) cut-off date for 2018-19 for company directors who have a history of receiving part of their income through a salary paid annually, where the RTI is usually after 19 March in any given year.

For an employee to be eligible they must have been notified to HMRC on a real-time information (RTI) submission on or before 19 March 2020.

Those paid annually are eligible to claim, as long as they meet the relevant conditions including being notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020, which relates to a payment of earnings in the 2019/20 tax year.

Anyone paid annually and notified on an RTI submission after that date will not be eligible for the scheme, which puts them in the same position as those who are paid more frequently and were not notified to HMRC on or before 19 March.

The 19 March date allows as many people as possible to be included by going right up to the day before the announcement and mitigates the risk of fraud that existed as soon as the scheme became public.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a part-time furlough scheme for veterinary practices during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor has announced that, from 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees who have been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant for the hours not worked.

There will not be a minimum furlough period, but employers will need to agree any flexible furlough arrangements with employees, and when claiming the CJRS grant will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a grant scheme for veterinary practices during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. Veterinary practices may be eligible for the Discretionary Grant Scheme in England. This has made up to £617m of additional funding available to Local Authorities to enable them to make payments of up to £25,000 to businesses which have been excluded from the existing grants schemes. Local Authorities have received guidance regarding which kinds of businesses should be considered a priority. Local Authorities may also choose to pay grants to businesses according to local economic need, so long as businesses meet the following criteria:

  • They face ongoing fixed building-related costs
  • They can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to COVID-19
  • They have fewer than 50 employees;
  • They were trading on or before 11th March

Veterinary practices, along with other businesses, may also benefit from a range of support measures introduced by the government. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply -https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a zero VAT rate for the provision of social care services.

Many care services provided by charities, public bodies and regulated private welfare institutions to elderly people are exempt from VAT, meaning no VAT is charged on the care service. Organisations offering such services are not required to charge VAT where they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

There are no plans to change the VAT treatment of such care services at present.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of self-employed solicitors who exceed an average trading profit of £50,000 per year.

HMRC’s Annual Personal Incomes Statistics series includes information on Self-employment income assessable to tax.

Table 3.9 shows there were 57,000 sources of self-employment in the “Legal & Accounting Activities” industry group where income was over £50,000 in the 2017-18 tax year. The Personal Incomes Statistics can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-incomes-tables-31-to-311-316-and-317-for-the-tax-year-2017-to-2018

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending business rates relief to veterinary practices during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities on eligible properties. A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank backed by an 80% Government guarantee, and is deferring VAT payments for this quarter. The Government will consider any further financial assistance necessary to help businesses get through this period.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to extend business rates relief to solicitors firms which occupy premises with a rateable value in excess of £15,000.

The Government has not made an estimate.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including solicitors, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank backed by an 80% Government guarantee, and is deferring VAT payments for this quarter.

The Government will consider any further financial assistance necessary to help businesses get through this period.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of solicitors firms that occupy premises with a rateable value in excess of £15,000 and are not eligible for business rates relief.

The Government has not made an estimate.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including solicitors, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank backed by an 80% Government guarantee, and is deferring VAT payments for this quarter.

The Government will consider any further financial assistance necessary to help businesses get through this period.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether public sector organisations can re-hire employees who stopped working for them on or after 28 February 2020 for the purposes of furloughing them through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

If an individual was made redundant or stopped working for a public sector employer after 28 February, the employer can agree to re-employ that individual and place them on furlough, provided that the individual is not on furlough from another organisation.

Before furloughing individuals, public sector employers should first explore opportunities for the individual to be re-employed and redeployed elsewhere in the public sector, and should only claim through the scheme in line with guidance for public sector employers on the appropriate use of the scheme and the receipt of public funding.

The employer is under no obligation to re-employ and furlough staff.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits for charities of raising the rateable value threshold for the Coronavirus Business Rates Relief scheme.

The twelve-month business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure properties applies to all properties used for these purposes, regardless of their rateable value.

There is a rateable value threshold for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). The RHLGF has been designed to help small businesses in some of the sectors which have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Only properties used for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes with a rateable value of under £51,000 can access grants under that scheme. £51,000 is the accepted threshold in the business rates system for a “small” business, as only businesses which occupy properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 can benefit from the Small Business Multiplier rate. This threshold applies across England, thus providing a straightforward existing basis which Local Authorities can use to issue grants.

Larger businesses and charities may have access to other forms of support which the Government has announced, such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Government continues to monitor the economic situation and is keeping support to businesses and other organisations under review.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support is available to hire and passenger boat companies who are ineligible for Government grant schemes because they do not operate from rateable premises.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. Hire and passenger boat companies, along with other businesses, may benefit from a range of support measures including:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises
  • A Discretionary Grant Fund for Local Authorities in England to make grants payments of up to £25,000 to businesses excluded from the existing grants schemes
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to ensure that passenger boat companies that do not operate from rateable premises are eligible to apply for support from the Government's covid-19 support schemes.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. Hire and passenger boat companies, along with other businesses, may benefit from a range of support measures including:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises
  • A Discretionary Grant Fund for Local Authorities in England to make grants payments of up to £25,000 to businesses excluded from the existing grants schemes
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether employers are entitled to claim 80 per cent of an employee's holiday pay when calculating their wage under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and if he will update the guidance on the scheme to provide clarification in this area.

Employers can continue to claim the 80% grant from the Government to cover most of the cost of holiday pay, although employers are required to pay additional amounts over the grant so that employees receive their full holiday pay, in accordance with the Working Time Regulations. Employers have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need.

BEIS have published detailed guidance on holiday entitlement during furlough, which is available on GOV.UK.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend Government financial support for (a) English Language Teaching centres and (b) other seasonal industries after the covid-10 lockdown has ended.

The government is making sure that people and businesses have access to the support they need as quickly as possible. The English language teaching sector and other seasonal industries can apply for additional support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme where they meet the criteria for these schemes. On 12 May, the Government announced that the CJRS will continue to the end of October. The Chancellor has been clear that getting people back to work will be introduced in a measured way, avoiding a cliff edge.
Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that company directors who receive part of their income through an salary paid annually are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

For an employee, including company directors, to be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they must have been notified to HMRC on a real-time information (RTI) submission on or before 19 March.

Those paid annually are eligible to claim, as long as they meet the relevant conditions, including being notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 which relates to a payment of earnings in the 2019/20 tax year.

The 19 March cut-off date allows as many people as possible to be included by going right up to the day before the announcement, while mitigating the risk of fraud.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will provide financial support to English Language Teaching centres in the form of (a) a business rates holiday or (b) grants.

The government is making sure that people and businesses have access to the support they need as quickly as possible. The English language teaching sector can apply for additional support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme where they meet the criteria for these schemes. The government has provided enhanced support to other sectors under exceptional circumstances through business rates relief and grants given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.
Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department had with the Financial Conduct Authority on enforcing the payment of insurance claims arising from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation. The Government is also working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis.

For those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government’s social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. In addition, the FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

Furthermore, on 15 April, FCA sent a letter to the insurance industry, setting out the FCA's expectation of firms regarding their handling of business interruption insurance claims, urging insurers to settle claims quickly in cases where there was a clear obligation to pay the claim in full or in part.

In addition, on 1 May, the FCA published a statement setting out their intention to seek legal clarity on the handling of business interruption insurance claims, in order to resolve any doubt for businesses facing uncertainty on their claims. In their statement the FCA also noted that insurers should look at how they can help consumers who are experiencing financial distress as a result of COVID-19.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support businesses that had applications for covid-19 grant funding declined because (a) their business rates are included in their rent or (b) their offices are based from home.

The Government is aware that some small businesses have found themselves excluded from the existing business grants schemes because of the way they interact with the business rates system. That is why the Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to Local Authorities to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation. The Government’s intention is for Local Authorities to prioritise the following types of business when making discretionary grants:

· Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces e.g. industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc, which do not have their own business rates assessment;

· Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;

· B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and

· Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Local Authorities may choose to focus payments on those priority groups which are most relevant to their local areas. Local Authorities may also choose to pay grants to businesses outside of these priority groups, according to local economic need, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other cash grant funded by central Government.

Businesses which cannot receive a grant from any of the grants schemes should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of economic support, including:

  • An option to defer VAT payments by up to twelve months;
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme, which will ensure that small and micro businesses can quickly access loans of up to £50,000 which are 100% guaranteed by the Government;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, now extended to cover all businesses including those which would be able to access commercial credit;
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses with their wage bill; and
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to provide support to the self-employed.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support from the public purse is available to people who have become self-employed in the last 12 months who are ineligible for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme.

The Government has designed measures that can be implemented quickly and effectively, and it continues to work with stakeholders to make sure funding reaches those who need it most. Anyone ineligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme who requires support should have access to other measures appropriate to their individual circumstances. These include the relaxation of the earnings rules in Universal Credit and the raising of the Local Housing Allowance rate.
Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with the insurance industry on fulfilling their responsibilities to policy-holders who have paid enhanced premiums for policies that include enforced closure as a result of infectious disease.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation. The Government is also working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis.

For those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government’s social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. In addition, the FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

Furthermore, on 15 April, FCA sent a letter to the insurance industry, setting out the FCA's expectation of firms regarding their handling of business interruption insurance claims, urging insurers to settle claims quickly in cases where there was a clear obligation to pay the claim in full or in part.

In addition, on 1 May, the FCA published a statement setting out their intention to seek legal clarity on the handling of business interruption insurance claims, in order to resolve any doubt for businesses facing uncertainty on their claims. In their statement the FCA also noted that insurers should look at how they can help consumers who are experiencing financial distress as a result of COVID-19.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to support people who have recently become self-employed and are therefore ineligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

It has not been possible to include those who began trading after the 2018-19 tax year in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. This was a very difficult decision and it was taken for practical reasons. The Government recognises that those who started trading more recently will not have submitted a tax return for the 2018-19 tax year, and it considered alternative approaches. HMRC would not be able to distinguish genuine self-employed individuals who started trading in 2019-20 from fake applications by fraudulent operators and organised criminal gangs seeking to exploit the SEISS.

Those who entered self-employment after April 2019 may still be eligible for other support. For example, the self-employed can benefit from the Government’s relaxation of the earnings rules (known as the Minimum Income Floor) in Universal Credit. The SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support is available for small charities that are not eligible for emergency funding due to covid-19.

Many charities and social enterprises will benefit from the existing measures announced to support employers and businesses. Under these measures, like other businesses, charities can defer their VAT bills and pay no business rates for their shops next year. Charities are eligible for the Job Retention Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruptions Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Bounce Back Loans Scheme. Registered charities are now exempt from the requirement on these loan schemes that 50 per cent of the applicant's income must be derived from its Trading Activity.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the level of borrowing was that the UK undertook from the European Investment Bank in (a) 2016, (b) 2017, (c) 2018 and (d) 2019.

The European Investment Bank publishes details of all projects on their website, which can be filtered by country and year. Details can be accessed via the following link: http://www.eib.org/projects/loan/list/?region=1&country=GB.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the level of borrowing that the UK will be able to undertake from the European Investment Bank after the transition period.

The UK is no longer a member of the European Investment Bank (EIB) as membership is only available to EU member states. This means that the UK is not eligible for new financial operations from the EIB that are reserved for Member States. The UK is exploring options for a future relationship with the EIB as a third country.

The Government is committed to ensuring that businesses and infrastructure projects continue to have access to the finance they need. The UK has a range of existing tools to support investment, including the UK Guarantees Scheme. In March 2019, the Government also launched the Infrastructure Finance Review, to examine how it can best support infrastructure investment in the future.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of the number of students applying for visa extensions in response to the duration of their courses being extended as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Home Office Migration Statistics do not capture the number of estimated student visa extension applications submitted in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office does though publish data on the number of student visa extension applications submitted and how many of these have been granted. The data shows the year on year comparison. These can be found in our published statistics: Extensions tables

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to grant cost exemptions to students who need to extend their visas to complete their course in the UK as a result of the duration of their courses being extended due to the covid-19 outbreak.

We have no plans to exempt students from paying an application fee where they require further time to complete a course of study.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what checks are in place to ensure self-isolation at home is being carried out fully and correctly.

Self-isolation following a positive Covid test is one of the most important things we can do to help stop the spread of the virus and protect our friends and family, our community and the NHS. Following a report of non-compliance by a member of the public and if considered appropriate, the police are empowered to issue fixed penalty notices for failure to self-isolate.

Separate isolation requirements also apply to individuals returning to England from an amber-list country. Those self-isolating at home may receive daily phone calls from the Isolation Assurance and Compliance service (IAC), to ensure that they are complying with their duty to self-isolate.

Additionally, a service run by my department will through contractors carry out a number of in-person checks on amber-list arrivals to ensure compliance. The service has the capacity to deliver up to 10,000 checks a day.

If an individual is found to be non-compliant with their duty to self-isolate, then staff from the service may refer individuals to the case to the police who have the power to take law enforcement action and issue Fixed Penalty Notices.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many visas were granted to allow travellers to enter the UK from India since 1 April 2021, by type of visa.

Travel to the UK from India is currently subjective to extensive restrictions due to it being on the Red List, this includes a requirement to enter the Managed Quarantine Service on arrival in the UK.

Any proposed travel to the UK from India, including any which forms the basis of a visa application, will need to be in line with the prevailing health restrictions.

Information on numbers of people coming to the UK is routinely published as part of the quarterly and annual Immigration statistics.

We do not publish data on the number of visas issued by country, our published data is issued by nationality.

Data for Quarter 1 (January 2021 – March 2021) was published in the most recent data release but will not cover the period requested. Later publications will cover the period requested and can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2021

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many travellers have entered the UK from India since 1 April 2021.

Travel to the UK from India is currently subjective to extensive restrictions due to it being on the Red List, this includes a requirement to enter the Managed Quarantine Service on arrival in the UK.

The Home Office regularly publishes migration statistics including number of visitors to the UK on gov.uk. The latest publication covers up to March 2021 and can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2021

Statistics covering the period including April 2021 will be published as part of the next Quarterly Update.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to require that knives sold in shops are kept locked in secure cabinets.

During the passage of the Offensive Weapons Bill, we considered whether to make it a criminal offence for businesses to display a bladed product and whether shops should keep knives locked in secure cabinets. We concluded that we could achieve the same aim by working closely with retailers to ensure that knives cannot be easily stolen in order to circumvent age verification processes.

We continue to work with retailers, local authorities and the police to send a clear message that retailers have a responsibility to sell and display bladed articles in a responsible manner. The Government are encouraging much stronger voluntary action in relation to displays through the set of voluntary commitments with major retailers to prevent the underage sales of knives. These commit retailers to having robust measures in place to ensure age verification and both appropriate display and access to knives in stores. Retailers also act to ensure customers and staff are reminded that knives are age restricted products and that all staff receive regular training. Since March 2016, 19 major retailed have joined the agreement, with some stopping the sale of single knives in their stores altogether.

We are keeping this work under review and we will work with retailers within the framework of the voluntary agreement on sales of knives to include stronger voluntary action on displays once we commence some provisions in the Offensive Weapons Act which were paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that parents can apply for a passport for their child in cases where they are unable to register the birth of that child due to the closure of birth registration services as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The absence of a birth certificate where they are unable to register the birth of that child does not prevent a passport application being submitted, however alternative evidence will need to be provided.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of allowing new births to be registered over the phone where birth registry offices are closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

In England and Wales, the relevant legislation does not allow for birth registrations to be completed by telephone.

The Government is considering options for how births can be registered during the situation, whilst respecting prevailing public health guidance and regulations.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to tackle the backlog of appointments to register new births when birth registry offices that are currently closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak reopen.

The Home Office are working with partners across government to develop recovery plans to register all births.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding has been allocated from the public purse to the provision of support services for (a) victims of domestic abuse and (b) their children as set out in the Domestic Abuse Bill.

We will publish an updated impact assessment alongside the re-introduction of the Domestic Abuse Bill.

As I indicated at Second Reading of the Bill in the last Parliament (Official Report, House of Commons, 2 October 2019, column 1331), we will prioritise the funding for the Bill in the 2020 Spending Review.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Dec 2020
What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on improving mental health support for veterans who have recently been discharged.

The provision of veterans' mental healthcare is the responsibility of the NHS in England and the Devolved Administrations. Where Personnel leaving the Armed Forces have an enduring need for mental healthcare, we work in partnership with the NHS to ensure continuation of care. The MOD's Departments of Community Mental Health initiative remains accessible for up to six months after discharge, to help veterans during their transition period.

14th Jun 2021
Whether it is his policy that Local Nature Recovery Strategies should be given consideration by local authorities in all planning decisions.

The Environment Bill currently before Parliament provides for a strengthened biodiversity duty on public authorities to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity. This strengthened duty includes a requirement to have regard to relevant Local Nature Recovery Strategies.

Our planning reforms will reinforce the implementation of these measures, to capitalise on the potential of Local Nature Recovery Strategies and biodiversity net gain as we seek to make the system clearer and more positive.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Nov 2020
What steps he is taking to ensure that (a) environmental impact assessments and (b) strategic environmental assessments are prioritised as part of the Government's planning reforms.

As set out in our Planning White Paper, we recognise the vital role environmental assessment plays in ensuring the environment is embedded in decision-making.

Leaving the EU gives us the opportunity to reframe these assessments to ensure they are delivering for the country – supporting decision-making and helping us meet the commitment of the 25 Year Environment Plan to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
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