Nick Thomas-Symonds Written Questions

9 Questions to Department of Health and Social Care tabled by Nick Thomas-Symonds


Date Title Questioner
26 Feb 2020, 5:29 p.m. Perfluorooctanoic Acid: Health Hazards Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the dangers that perfluorooctanoic acid poses to the body.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

Public Health England (PHE) has made no specific assessment of the implications on policies of the dangers that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) poses to the body.

10 Feb 2020, 4:58 p.m. Coronavirus: Disease Control Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis is for Government advice on the longevity of the coronavirus on (a) parcels and (b) other objects.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a newly identified virus and as such no specific data on environmental survival is available. Public Health England (PHE) advice on the longevity of 2019-nCoV on parcels and other objects has been based on informed knowledge of other related viruses, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

PHE’s current advice is that the virus does not survive well for long periods outside the body and so it is highly unlikely that 2019-nCoV can be spread through post or packages.

This advice and a range of further information can be found online at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-guidance-to-assist-professionals-in-advising-the-general-public/guidance-to-assist-professionals-in-advising-the-general-public

18 Jan 2019, 12:18 p.m. Drugs: Innovation Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is an objective of the new NHS Long Term Plan to ensure that the most innovative drugs will be accessible to patients more quickly than they currently are.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The NHS Long Term Plan, together with other recent initiatives including the Life Sciences Sector Deal and the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing, describe the Government’s objectives for a health and care system that delivers world leading patient care and health outcomes.

The Government wants patients to benefit from effective new drugs and the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access agreed between the Department and the branded pharmaceutical industry commits to align the speed of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence technology appraisals for non-cancer medicines to the faster timeline for cancer medicines.

In addition, the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy set out a vision of being a world-leader in developing and bringing to market innovative medicines to improve life-chances of United Kingdom patients. It highlighted the importance of evolving and simplifying the access system for new medicines by implementing, and building on, the findings of the Accelerated Access Review.

11 Jun 2018, 10:58 a.m. Prosthetics Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many microprocessor knees have been prescribed by the NHS in England since they were introduced.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Since December 2016, when NHS England approved funding for the use of microprocessor controlled prosthetic knees, 350 knees have been prescribed.

In its financial planning and budget allocations, NHS England have assumed an average total cost of £14,400 for each microprocessor controlled prosthetic knee.

The circumstances in which a patient is eligible to be considered for a microprocessor knee is set out in the clinical policy on the NHS England website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/clin-comm-pol-16061P.pdf

11 Jun 2018, 10:58 a.m. Prosthetics Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average cost of a knee prosthetic is to the public purse.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Since December 2016, when NHS England approved funding for the use of microprocessor controlled prosthetic knees, 350 knees have been prescribed.

In its financial planning and budget allocations, NHS England have assumed an average total cost of £14,400 for each microprocessor controlled prosthetic knee.

The circumstances in which a patient is eligible to be considered for a microprocessor knee is set out in the clinical policy on the NHS England website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/clin-comm-pol-16061P.pdf

11 Jun 2018, 10:58 a.m. Prosthetics Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, under what circumstances microprocessor knees can be prescribed to amputee patients under NHS England guidelines.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Since December 2016, when NHS England approved funding for the use of microprocessor controlled prosthetic knees, 350 knees have been prescribed.

In its financial planning and budget allocations, NHS England have assumed an average total cost of £14,400 for each microprocessor controlled prosthetic knee.

The circumstances in which a patient is eligible to be considered for a microprocessor knee is set out in the clinical policy on the NHS England website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/clin-comm-pol-16061P.pdf

16 Oct 2017, 4:16 p.m. Batten Disease: Brineura Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he has taken to make Brineura (cerliponase alfa) accessible for sufferers of Batten's disease.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Brineura (Cerliponase alfa) for treating Batten’s disease (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2) was referred to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for appraisal on 1 March 2017 under the highly specialised technologies programme. NICE is developing guidance which is currently scheduled for publication in June 2018.

NICE develops authoritative, evidence-based guidance on best practice for the National Health Service. NICE operates with a high degree of independence from Government and is responsible for the recommendations that it makes to the NHS. Its guidance is based on a thorough assessment of the available evidence and is developed through engagement with stakeholders.

5 Sep 2017, 2:32 p.m. Breast Cancer: Drugs Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent discussions his Department has had with clinicians and patient groups on improving the implementations of bisphosphonates for the prevention of secondary breast cancer.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently updating its guidelines on the diagnosis and management of early and locally advanced breast cancer. The use of adjuvant bisphosphonates has been identified as one of the key areas that will be covered in the update which is scheduled for publication in July 2018. In the meantime, NICE will shortly be publishing an evidence summary on the use of adjuvant bisphosphonates in early breast cancer. NHS England expects clinical commissioning groups to take account of NICE guidelines and local population needs when making commissioning decisions.

5 Sep 2017, 2:32 p.m. Breast Cancer: Drugs Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent progress has been made on improving the consistency of implementation of bisphosphonates for the prevention of secondary breast cancer.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently updating its guidelines on the diagnosis and management of early and locally advanced breast cancer. The use of adjuvant bisphosphonates has been identified as one of the key areas that will be covered in the update which is scheduled for publication in July 2018. In the meantime, NICE will shortly be publishing an evidence summary on the use of adjuvant bisphosphonates in early breast cancer. NHS England expects clinical commissioning groups to take account of NICE guidelines and local population needs when making commissioning decisions.