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Written Question
Coronavirus: Contracts
26 Jul 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish details of the (a) individual covid-19 related public procurement contracts which were awarded using emergency contracting procedures, (b) value of each of those contracts and (c) purpose for which each of those contracts was awarded in each month since March 2020.

Answered by Edward Argar

Regulation 32(2)(c) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 allows for the direct award of a contract without advertising in cases of “extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable by the contracting authority”. The majority of COVID-19 related contracts were awarded using this Regulation. However, to obtain the information requested incur disproportionate cost. The Department’s data does not distinguish between the use of this Regulation and other procedures under the Regulations which also allow for a direct award.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Contracts
26 Jul 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of covid-19 related public procurement contracts were awarded using emergency contracting procedures; and what the total value of those contracts is.

Answered by Edward Argar

Regulation 32(2)(c) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 allows for the direct award of a contract without advertising in cases of “extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable by the contracting authority”. The majority of COVID-19 related contracts were awarded using this Regulation. However, to obtain the information requested incur disproportionate cost. The Department’s data does not distinguish between the use of this Regulation and other procedures under the Regulations which also allow for a direct award.


Written Question
NHS: Protective Clothing
21 Jul 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his most recent estimate is of the total number of (a) items of personal protective equipment, (b) face masks and (c) surgical gowns procured during the covid-19 outbreak which could not be used by the NHS as a result of them failing to meet appropriate standards of safety; and what the cost involved in each case was.

Answered by Jo Churchill

The data is not available in the format requested.

The Department is taking steps such as repurposing or recycling items and seeking to recover costs in instances where contracts have resulted in the supply of substandard personal protective equipment.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Contracts
19 Jul 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health and Social Care of 7 July 2021, Official Report, column 920, if he will specify the key tests that are required to be met in relation to emergency contracting procedures.

Answered by Edward Argar

‘Procurement Policy Note 01/20: Responding to COVID-19’ guidance on public procurement regulations is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0120-responding-to-covid-19

Authorities are allowed to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances using regulation 32(2)(c) under the Public Contract Regulations 2015. The Department must demonstrate on a case by case basis that it is satisfied the tests set out in the guidance permitting use of the negotiated procedure without prior publication have been met. The Regulations state that the Department should ensure there are genuine reasons for extreme urgency; the events that have led to the need for extreme urgency were unforeseeable; it is impossible to comply with the usual timescales in the Public Contract Regulations; and the situation is not attributable to the contracting authority.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
15 Jul 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his most recent estimate is of the number of people who have received (a) one and (b) two doses of a covid-19 vaccine in (i) England, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Wales and (iv) Northern Ireland by (A) health authority, (B) age and (C) sex.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

Data regarding the number of people who have received one and two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations

As health is devolved, vaccination is managed by the health services in each nation and vaccination data is published in their respective dashboards. The Government is working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure an aligned approach to vaccine deployment across the UK.

Data on the number of vaccinations provided in England by one and two doses; age; sex; and health geographies is available at the following link:

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


Written Question
Coronavirus: Contact Tracing
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he was first made aware that Track and Trace activity was not automatically triggered by a positive lateral flow test; what steps his Department took in response to that matter; how many positive lateral flow test results were not referred to contact tracers; and what steps his Department is taking to (a) assess the risk of unchecked community transmission as a result of that matter (b) trace those people who were close contacts of someone who received a positive lateral flow test.

Answered by Jo Churchill

Contact tracing following a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test commenced on 27 January 2021 in England for LFD tests carried out in supervised conditions, in view of increased prevalence of COVID-19. Prior to this, contact tracing commenced following a positive confirmatory polymerase chain reaction test after a positive LFD test.

Data is not currently held on the number of positive LFD tests not referred to contact tracers for the period before 27 January. There are no plans to carry out a separate assessment of the implications for community transmission, as this is monitored on an ongoing basis. Nor are there plans to trace contacts of people who had a positive LFD test from this time.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Screening
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there is a process in place to record informed consent for the unlicensed use of Innova lateral flow tests.

Answered by Helen Whately

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


Written Question
Protective Clothing: Coronavirus
22 Mar 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2020 to Question 118115 and with reference to the High Court ruling of 18 February 2021 that the Secretary of State acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Transparency Policy, if he will publish the names of the companies awarded contracts after being introduced to a high-priority lane by (a) Ministers, (b) hon. Members or Peers and (c) officials, including the private office of the Permanent Secretary of his Department; setting out (i) the relationship between each company and the minister, member, peer or official responsible for introducing them to the priority lane; (ii) material, financial or fiduciary interests between those parties; and (iii) whether any such interest between those parties was declared or recorded; and (iv) how those interests were assessed.

Answered by Jo Churchill

We do not intend to publish the list of suppliers referred through the high priority lane as there may be associated commercial implications. The Department has to consider the position of suppliers which were referred to the high priority channel in terms of the recognition that disclosure of their names may damage the supplier’s reputation, affecting their competitive position, their revenue and ability to obtain future contracts.

The High Court ruling of 19 February 2021 concerned the Department’s compliance with publishing the Contract Award Notices for all contracts awarded to suppliers of personal protective equipment. The ruling found that Contract Award Notices were not all published within in 30 days as per the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 or 20 days as per the Cabinet Office guidance. The Department takes its transparency requirements very seriously and as such has now published most of the Contract Award Notices and the contracts themselves.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
15 Mar 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2021 to Question 136640, what criteria will be used to determine who qualifies as the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill and should therefore be offered the covid-19 vaccination in priority group six.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

Unpaid carers are included in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s priority group six. This also includes those 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.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for unpaid carers has now been published. The SOP draws on national and local sources for known carers, to help identify and enable them to be invited quickly for a vaccination, as well as making provision for those unpaid carers who may not already be known to the health and social care system to come forward.

The SOP is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/03/C1182-sop-covid-19-vaccine-deployment-programme-unpaid-carers-jcvi-priority-cohort-6.pdf


Written Question
Coronavirus: Screening
11 Mar 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its recent policy on mass testing asymptomatic populations and using lateral flow tests for access to care homes of its subsequent advice that swab testing people with no symptoms is not an accurate way of screening the general population, as there is a real risk of giving false reassurance. Widespread asymptomatic testing could undermine the value of testing, as there is a risk of giving misleading results.

Answered by Helen Whately

Following the development of approved new technologies, NHS Test and Trace launched small scale pilots to allow more asymptomatic testing in populations where prevalence of COVID-19 was thought to be higher or where individuals are more at risk. Extensive clinical evaluation has been carried out on the lateral flow or swab tests. Evaluations from Public Health England and the University of Oxford show these tests are accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes. While false positives or false negatives can never be completely ruled out, the likelihood of a false positive remains low at approximately four in 1,000 people tested.

Extensive testing has shown lateral flow devices are suitable for use in care homes where they can help to identify people who are the most likely to spread the virus further and therefore support the prevention of transmission of the disease from staff and visitors.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Screening
10 Mar 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of purchasing Innova lateral flow tests in 2021.

Answered by Helen Whately

We are unable to provide information on the purchasing of Innova Lateral Flow Tests in 2021 as this is commercially sensitive.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Screening
2 Mar 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2021 to Question 122899 on Coronavirus: screening, in what format his Department (a) presents, (b) holds or (c) publishes data related to the information requested; what clinical or scientific evidence underpins his Department's policy on Innova lateral flow devices; and how much and what proportion of funding allocated to those devices has been disbursed.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Government has published ‘Liverpool COVID-19 community testing pilot: interim evaluation report summary’, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/liverpool-covid-19-community-testing-pilot-interim-evaluation-report-summary/liverpool-covid-19-community-testing-pilot-interim-evaluation-report-summary

This is an interim report from an evaluation led by the University of Liverpool into the pilot of community open-access testing for COVID-19 among those without symptoms. A final assessment and a more detailed report on the effectiveness of mass testing and the data to support will follow in early 2021.

The Department cannot comment on individual contracts due to commercial sensitivity.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Liverpool
23 Feb 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the design of the Liverpool Innova later flow test programme was developed; which research protocol was used to conduct the study; how informed consent was secured from participants of the study; and which Research Ethics Committee approved the study.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Liverpool City testing pilot was developed in collaboration between NHS Test and Trace, Liverpool City Council, NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership and the 8th Engineer Brigade. This was a service evaluation and not intended as a research study. The Department and NHS Test and Trace liaised with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority over the use of the Innova lateral flow device in this post-validation pilot service.

The secondary analysis of data provided in a health protection activity is not classified as research and so does not require research ethics committee review. Where the gathering of additional information required interactions that were not a routine element of the pilot service, the local research ethics committee approvals were obtained.


Written Question
Health Services and Social Services: Staff
11 Feb 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure adequate staff across the (a) health and (b) social care sectors under the new UK immigration rules.

Answered by Helen Whately

In August 2020 my Rt hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department launched the Health and Care Visa for health and care professionals from overseas, giving them a faster and cheaper route to come and work in the United Kingdom. This visa route is conditional on having a job offer for an eligible role from an eligible sponsor. Overseas health and care staff are also either exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge when applying for a visa or can claim a reimbursement.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Screening
5 Feb 2021

Questioner: Neale Hanvey (Alba - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Innova lateral flow studies conducted in Liverpool, how many participants were double tested at the site with Innova lateral flow assay and PCR; how many participants were PCR positive; of those how many were Innova positive; how many participants were PCR negative; of those how many were Innova positive; how many participants were sent a PCR home testing kit when they were found to be Innova positive; how many of those test kits were returned; and how many of those tests were PCR negative.

Answered by Helen Whately

We do not publish the information in the format requested.