Sarah Champion Portrait

Sarah Champion

Labour - Rotherham

First elected: 29th November 2012


Committees on Arms Export Controls
5th Oct 2020 - 16th Jan 2024
Victims and Prisoners Bill
14th Jun 2023 - 11th Jul 2023
Carer’s Leave Bill
2nd Nov 2022 - 9th Nov 2022
Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill
2nd Feb 2022 - 9th Feb 2022
Glue Traps (Offences) Bill
12th Jan 2022 - 19th Jan 2022
Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill
5th Jan 2022 - 12th Jan 2022
Animal (Penalty Notices) Bill
1st Dec 2021 - 8th Dec 2021
Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill (England and Wales)
27th Oct 2021 - 3rd Nov 2021
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
12th May 2021 - 24th Jun 2021
Women and Equalities Committee
4th Jun 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Administration Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
15th Jan 2018 - 4th Jun 2018
Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities
6th Oct 2016 - 16th Aug 2017
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
25th Jul 2016 - 6th Oct 2016
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
18th Sep 2015 - 28th Jun 2016
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015
Transport Committee
10th Dec 2012 - 30th Mar 2015


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th March 2024
14:00
International Development Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The UK Government’s work on achieving SDG2: Zero Hunger
12 Mar 2024, 2 p.m.
At 2:30pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Rory Stewart - President at Give Directly
Donal Brown - Associate Vice-President, Programme Management at International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
At 3:15pm: Oral evidence
Ruchi Tripathi - Global Lead on Livelihoods and Resilience at VSO
Dr Diana Onyango - Head of Technical Team at Farm Africa
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Friday 15th March 2024
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Public Procurement (British Goods and Services) Bill: Second Reading
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 18th March 2024
16:00
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Defending Democracy
18 Mar 2024, 4 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th March 2024
12:30
Liaison Committee (Commons) - Oral evidence
Subject: Work of the Prime Minister
26 Mar 2024, 12:30 p.m.
At 1:00pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Prime Minister
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 27th February 2024
Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 150 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 179 Noes - 294
Speeches
Tuesday 27th February 2024
Israel and Gaza
My Committee and I were at the Gaza border last week trying to get first-hand testimony of the 2 million …
Written Answers
Thursday 29th February 2024
Elizabeth Tsurkov
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking to help …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 9th June 2015
SUE RYDER DYING DOESN'T WORK 9 TO 5 CAMPAIGN
That this House expresses support for Sue Ryder's campaign, Dying doesn't work 9 to 5 and believes that all dying …
Bills
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Public Procurement (British Goods and Services) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to make provision about public procurement in respect of British goods and services; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 18th September 2023
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: HM Government of Gibraltar
Address of donor: Gibraltar House, 150 Strand, London WC2R 1JA
Estimate of the …
EDM signed
Tuesday 9th November 2021
Hon. Members and secondary employment
That this House recognises that being an hon. Member is not only a privilege but is also a well-paid and …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 31st January 2024
Police (declaration) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to require police officers and certain employees of police forces to declare a membership of or affiliation to …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Sarah Champion has voted in 711 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

20 Dec 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - View Vote Context
Sarah Champion voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Labour Aye votes vs 162 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 358 Noes - 234
View All Sarah Champion 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
Edward Argar (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
(82 debate interactions)
Victoria Atkins (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(67 debate interactions)
Sarah Jones (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Industry and Decarbonisation)
(43 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(263 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(195 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(22 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Victims and Prisoners Bill 2022-23
(39,260 words contributed)
Online Safety Act 2023
(1,352 words contributed)
Criminal Justice Bill 2023-24
(1,318 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Sarah Champion's debates

Rotherham 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

Mark Allen, aged 18, drowned after jumping into a freezing reservoir on a hot day in June 2018.

In May 2019 we watched whilst 3 throwlines were installed where he died.

Mark could have possibly been saved if they were in place beforehand.

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.

The Home Secretary said what happened to victims of child sexual exploitation gangs was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.” Last year local authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. We want an independent public inquiry into Grooming Gangs.


Latest EDMs signed by Sarah Champion

8th November 2021
Sarah Champion signed this EDM on Tuesday 9th November 2021

Hon. Members and secondary employment

Tabled by: Richard Burgon (Labour - Leeds East)
That this House recognises that being an hon. Member is not only a privilege but is also a well-paid and full-time job; believes that it is wrong that hon. Members are to able to receive significant additional incomes from second jobs, including for political consultancy or advisory roles for corporate …
45 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 30
Independent: 6
Scottish National Party: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
15th March 2018
Sarah Champion signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 15th March 2018

CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN TELFORD

Tabled by: Lucy Allan (Conservative - Telford)
That this House expresses concern about the scale of child sexual exploitation in Telford; notes that, in 2015-16, Telford had the highest number of child sexual offences recorded, per head of population, in each of the 317 community safety partnerships in England and Wales; recognises the horrific abuse and suffering …
42 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Mar 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 18
Conservative: 16
Liberal Democrat: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Independent: 1
View All Sarah Champion's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Sarah Champion, 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.


Sarah Champion has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Sarah Champion

2 Bills introduced by Sarah Champion


A Bill to make provision about public procurement in respect of British goods and services; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 15th March 2024
Order Paper number: 2
(Likely to be Debated)

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 16th December 2014

24 Bills co-sponsored by Sarah Champion

Police (declaration) Bill 2023-24
Sponsor - Tonia Antoniazzi (Lab)

Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Darren Henry (Con)

Import of Dogs Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Elliot Colburn (Con)

Global Climate and Development Finance Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Liam Byrne (Lab)

Non-Disclosure Agreements (No. 2) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Maria Miller (Con)

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Status) (No. 2) Bill 2021-22
Sponsor - Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con)

Youth Courts and Sentencing Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Rob Butler (Con)

Virginity Testing (Prohibition) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Richard Holden (Con)

Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act 2021
Sponsor - Laura Trott (Con)

Sexual Exploitation Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Diana Johnson (Lab)

Sexual Offences (Sports Coaches) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Tracey Crouch (Con)

Goods and Services of UK Origin Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Gareth Thomas (LAB)

Pregnancy and Maternity (Redundancy Protection) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Maria Miller (Con)

Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) (No.2) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Pauline Latham (Con)

Pregnancy and Maternity (Redundancy Protection) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Maria Miller (Con)

Compensation Orders (Child Sexual Abuse) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Andrew Griffiths (Con)

Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Pauline Latham (Con)

Hereditary Titles (Female Succession) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Philip Davies (Con)

Child Cruelty (Sentences) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Tom Tugendhat (Con)

Universal Credit (Application, Advice and Assistance) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Philippa Whitford (SNP)

Child Maintenance Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Marion Fellows (SNP)

Fire Safety Information Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Maria Miller (Con)

Town and Country Planning (Electricity Generating Consent) Bill 2016-17
Sponsor - Tom Blenkinsop (Lab)

Town and Country Planning (Electricity Generating Consent) Bill 2015-16
Sponsor - Tom Blenkinsop (Lab)


783 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
3 Other Department Questions
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the Government's policy is on enacting section 106 of the Equality Act 2010.

The Government continues to keep section 106 of the Equality Act 2010 under review but is of the view that political parties should lead the way in improving diverse electoral representation through their selection of candidates.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what progress the Government's period poverty taskforce has made in its objectives since (a) that taskforce was established and (b) the start of the Parliamentary session.

The Period Poverty Taskforce has begun a programme of work to tackle stigma and shame surrounding menstruation; established research priorities to improve the evidence surrounding period poverty and menstrual stigma in the UK and has begun to identify access barriers and the groups that are most affected by them. In addition to this, The Department for Education launched a new scheme which makes free period products available in state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England, to ensure that menstruation does not present a barrier to young people’s learning.

The work of the Taskforce was paused on 20 March 2020 in light of COVID-19 to allow the GEO secretariat to be redeployed to respond to the pandemic, and to ensure that we were not asking businesses to volunteer resources at this difficult time. Further announcements on the plans and the work of the Taskforce will be made in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department is taking to continue the work of the Period Poverty Taskforce; and when future plans for that taskforce are planned to be announced.

The Period Poverty Taskforce has begun a programme of work to tackle stigma and shame surrounding menstruation; established research priorities to improve the evidence surrounding period poverty and menstrual stigma in the UK and has begun to identify access barriers and the groups that are most affected by them. In addition to this, The Department for Education launched a new scheme which makes free period products available in state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England, to ensure that menstruation does not present a barrier to young people’s learning.

The work of the Taskforce was paused on 20 March 2020 in light of COVID-19 to allow the GEO secretariat to be redeployed to respond to the pandemic, and to ensure that we were not asking businesses to volunteer resources at this difficult time. Further announcements on the plans and the work of the Taskforce will be made in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many times the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme has been used in each of the last five years.

The Law Officers referred a sentence imposed on an offender to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme on 136 occasions in 2015, 190 in 2016, 173 in 2017, 140 in 2018 and 93 in 2019.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many times the Unduly Lenient Sentencing scheme has been used as regards people convicted of offences related to the online sexual exploitation of children in each of the last five years; and on how many occasions that scheme has led to a longer sentence being imposed.

Online child sexual exploitation may involve the commission of different criminal offences: it is not reflected in a single offence or set of offences but instead is reflected in the facts of an offence. The facts of the offences of those cases referred by the Law Officers to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme suggest that in 2015, 6 cases were referred in which 5 sentences were increased; in 2016, 9 referred and 7 increased; in 2017, 15 referred and 11 increased; in 2018, 4 referred but none increased; in 2019, 3 referred and 1 increased.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps her Department is taking to secure victim impact statements for children in the Philippines who have suffered online sexual exploitation by UK-based offenders; and whether such statements been used in the (a) prosecution and (b) sentencing of UK-based offenders.

The CPS works closely with the relevant investigatory agencies to secure evidence, which may include victim statements, if the victims are known or identifiable.

The CPS does not centrally record or hold the data on whether victim impact statements from children in the Philippines who have suffered online sexual exploitation by UK-based offenders have been used in the (a) prosecution and (b) sentencing of UK-based offenders. The information could only be obtained by completing manual case file reviews, which would be at a disproportionate cost.

10th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many secondary school-age children migrated to the UK in the last year; and what proportion of those children were girls.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Hon. Member's Parliamentary Question of 10 January is attached.

26th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much has been spent on projects via the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund for projects in (a) Kazakhstan, (b) Belarus, (c) Ukraine and (d) Bosnia and Herzegovina in each of the last five years.

The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) spend in Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan and Ukraine over the last five years is provided in the table below. These figures include discretionary Official Development Assistance and non-Official Development Assessments spend in these countries through the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the Good Governance Fund portfolios. These totals do not include some cross regional and thematic spend which cannot be disaggregated by country.

Country

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Belarus

£0

£67,755

£320,000

£367,592

£2,727,553

Bosnia and Herzegovina

£8,542,836

£4,304,129

£10,101,622

£10,709,074

£6,239,830

Kazakhstan

£219,150

£362,739

£463,952

£541,038

£411,162

Ukraine

£22,879,996

£25,473,635

£22,168,488

£30,236,049

£33,386,420

Projects have included, election observation, domestic violence response and provision of medical supplies during COVID-19 in Belarus, improving the ability of law enforcement agencies and seeking care, support and justice for survivors of conflict related sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina and election monitoring in Kazakhstan. CSSF Ukraine is a key component of the UK’s commitment to Ukraine's security, encompassing security and defence training, support against disinformation efforts, and to civil society.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Written Statement of 15 December 2021, HCWS487 on Conflict, Stability and Security Fund Allocations 2021-22, which of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund's programmes for the financial year 2021-22 will encompass projects to tackle hate speech; and what the regional locations are of those projects.

The CSSF is a unique, cross-government fund that tackles conflict, stability and overseas security challenges. The fund supports programmes to tackle the root causes and drivers of conflict and instability, to improve social cohesion, to prevent harm to minority groups and to enable their inclusion in society. This can include - but is not limited to - activities that aim to tackle hate speech. In the financial year 2021/22, this includes a multi-country ‘Gender, Peace and Security’ programme in India, Lebanon, Malta, Mexico and South Africa that aims to create an early warning system that will flag online violence targeted at women journalists.

The fund also supports the ‘Caught in the Web’ project in Sri Lanka which tackles online gender-based hate targeting women in public life. The fund is also piloting new projects jointly with local law enforcement to enhance and prevent hate speech activity in Poland, France and Spain.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2020 to Question 85069 on Blood: Contamination, what the Government's timescale is for publication of the framework for compensation.

Work is currently underway across government to address the concerns of people infected and affected by infected blood, and a compensation framework is being explored. A statement will be made in the House shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to resolve delays to UK exports in reaching their final destination in the EU.

The Government has been supporting businesses to follow the new rules and processes which apply now that the UK has left the EU customs union and Single Market. The support available includes helplines, regular webinars with policy experts, and the Brexit Checker Tool on GOV.UK which gives businesses a personalised list of actions that they need to take.

Officials have regular operational contact to identify and resolve technical border issues with Dutch, French, Irish and Spanish counterparts. We also co-operate with Member State officials on events to provide technical awareness and guidance of procedures and systems on key routes for EU and UK audiences.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when his Department plans to publish the 2019-20 annual reports for the (a) Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and (b) Prosperity Fund.

The Prosperity Fund Annual Report was published on 5 November 2020 and can be found online. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) Annual Report was delayed as a result of COVID-19 but will be published in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether educational activities for home schooled children are exempt from the requirements of the covid-19 rule of six.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) Regulations 2020 exempt all gatherings reasonably necessary for the purposes of education or training.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of including posthumous forfeiture in the process for removal of an honour in relation to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

The government has transformed its response to tackling child sexual abuse. The honours system has been substantially reformed over the last 25 years, with police checks carried out on all nominees.

Forfeiture cases are considered through the Independent Forfeiture Committee and for forfeiture policy through the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (known as HD Committee). The Committees will carefully consider the recommendations made by the Independant Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of including in the criteria for forfeiture of honours (a) convictions (b) cautions and (c) cases decided by trial of the facts in relation to child sexual abuse.

The government has transformed its response to tackling child sexual abuse. The honours system has been substantially reformed over the last 25 years, with police checks carried out on all nominees.

Forfeiture cases are considered through the Independent Forfeiture Committee and for forfeiture policy through the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (known as HD Committee). The Committees will carefully consider the recommendations made by the Independant Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made on revising policies on whistleblowing that cover child sexual abuse and exploitation.

The Civil Service takes safeguarding of children, as well as other vulnerable groups, very seriously and has taken steps to support departments to encourage positive workplace behaviours and ensure appropriate measures are in place to handle concerns raised by employees.

Departments have a whistleblowing policy in place, which has been reviewed and refreshed.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to ensure that Government Departments (a) review their child safeguarding policies and to (b) publish the procedures to accompany those policies.

The Civil Service takes safeguarding of children, as well as other vulnerable groups, very seriously and has taken steps to support departments to encourage positive workplace behaviours and ensure appropriate measures are in place to handle concerns raised by employees.

Departments have a whistleblowing policy in place, which has been reviewed and refreshed.

31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what her Department's planned timescale is for the review of banana tariffs.

The UK-Andean Countries Trade Agreement is due to commence in summer 2024. The agreement does not commit the UK to any further liberalisation of the market.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, how many and what proportion of company registrations with Companies House were reported as fraudulent in 2022.

Companies House currently does not have a dedicated fraud allegation reporting route and does not hold data on alleged fraudulent company registrations.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential preference erosion impact of accession to CPTPP; and if she will make a statement.

As part of the UK’s negotiations to accede to CPTPP the Government carefully considered the impact on developing countries, seeking to achieve a careful balance between supporting developing country economies and reducing poverty through trade, while protecting the interests of UK businesses and consumers.

Alongside our FTA negotiations, the Government is continuing to use our independent trade policy to introduce the Developing Trading Scheme – one of the most generous trading preference schemes in the world aimed at helping countries develop through trade.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the potential impact of tariff liberalisation for palm oil imports on deforestation in palm oil supplying countries; and if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of seeking a side letter with Malaysia to make tariff preferences contingent on environmental criteria.

Existing tariffs on palm oil from Malaysia are already low, and the Government's focus is on working with countries like Malaysia to support the sustainable production of palm oil, rather than seeking to stop palm oil entering the UK market altogether. It is encouraging that 72% of UK imports of palm oil were certified as sustainable in 2021, up from 16% in 2010, and that deforestation related to palm oil in Malaysia has fallen by 60% since 2012 (in the latest available figures - 2018).


CPTPP provides the opportunity to strengthen cooperation with CPTPP members in addressing deforestation, and at accession we will publish a joint statement with Malaysia setting out our shared commitment to work together to promote sustainable production of commodities and protect forests.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether the Government plans to remove import tariffs on Malaysian palm oil in connection with negotiations over UK membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Following the substantial conclusion of negotiations on the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), I can confirm that the UK’s import tariffs for palm oil duties for all CPTPP Parties will be eliminated at entry into force of the UK’s accession to CPTPP.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether his Department's biomass strategy will set out policies for using (a) waste wood and (b) other renewable baseload power generators to increase energy security.

The biomass strategy will review the amount of sustainable biomass materials, including waste wood, that is available to the UK and how this resource can be used to achieve the Government’s Net Zero ambitions and protect the environment. The biomass strategy will be published in Q2 2023.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what discussions the Government has had with the UN on international space conventions.

The UK Government is committed to the advancement of the peaceful use and exploration of outer space. The UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) is the primary multilateral forum which sets the future of global space law and guidelines for the benefit of all humanity: for peace, security and development. The UK attends COPUOS and its subcommittees, playing a significant role to shape law and guidelines that are fit for the future, strengthening relationships with Member Nations and showcasing UK thought leadership in space sustainability.

We also work closely with the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs and fund projects to support the peaceful uses of space, including the implementation of the Long-term Sustainability (LTS) Guidelines: publishing them in all six official UN languages and capacity building tools for emerging space nations. We and our experts in the UK Space Agency continue to work in these forums to improve the LTS guidelines and add to the range of guidance available.

The Government plays a leading role within the UN and with international partners to promote responsible space behaviours. In December 2021 the UN General Assembly adopted a UK-sponsored resolution, which established a new UN Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours. In October 2023, the UK General Assembly agreed to set up a further OEWG to build on the discussions of the first.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will provide additional financial support for energy costs to zoos.

The details of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme were announced on 21 September 2022, the scheme will initially run for 6 months covering energy use from 1st October 2022 until 31st March 2023.

The scheme applies to all non-domestic energy customers, including zoos who are on eligible contracts.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the announcement in the Energy Security Strategy in April 2022 to consider increasing the reduction in the indirect cost due to the Renewables Obligation for energy intensive industries, when he plans to publish the consultation on the future of schemes to exempt these industries from the indirect costs of renewable policies in industrial electricity prices.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Newport East on 29th June 2022 to Question 24565.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of potential sanctions against Gazprom on UK energy intensive industries who have forward purchased energy supplies from Gazprom.

Gazprom Energy continues to trade in the UK and customers should exercise their own commercial judgement with regards to energy supply contracts they have in place at the moment.

The Government recommends seeking independent legal advice on this topic if consumers are concerned about the status of any existing contracts they have in place or the impact of existing sanctions on Russian companies.

The Government cannot speculate on any future sanctions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support small businesses to help meet increased energy costs.

The Government’s priority is to ensure costs are managed and supplies of energy are maintained. My Rt. Hon. Friend he Secretary of State is in regular contact with the energy industry and Ofgem to manage the impact of high global gas prices and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much revenue was raised as a result of the sale of allowances under the UK Emissions Trading Scheme in 2021; and the total value of the proceeds of that scheme that has been allocated to projects to limit climate change.

The total revenue raised from the sale of allowances under the UK Emissions Trading Scheme in 2021 was £4,310,021,495. All these proceeds support key government objectives including decarbonisation. The Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 confirmed that since March 2021, the government will have committed a total of £30 billion of domestic investment for the Green Industrial Revolution. As the Government set out in the Net Zero Strategy, this spending package, along with action on regulation and green finance, will keep the UK on track for its carbon budgets and 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution, and establishes the longer-term pathway towards net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to maintain the current level of funding for the Global Challenges Research Fund.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

On Tuesday 26th January, my Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs, having concluded the ODA allocations of the Spending Review, issued a statement outlining each Department’s total ODA settlement. At present, I am working with officials to determine how best to allocate BEIS’s allocation on a fund-by-fund basis, in line with the Strategic Framework for UK ODA.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to provide support to people with energy costs during the covid-19 lockdown.

The Department secured a voluntary agreement with energy companies on 19th March 2020 to support customers impacted by Covid-19. The voluntary agreement remains in place, requiring suppliers to support those struggling with energy bills, and take necessary action to keep them on supply.

The Government has launched the COVID Winter Grant Scheme, that makes £170m available to local authorities in England to provide support for vulnerable households with food, heating and energy costs, water bills and other associated essentials, this winter.

The Government continues to provide a significant package of financial support for households impacted by covid-19 including the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit that will continue through to March 2021 and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme that have been extended until the end of April 2021.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the criteria for allocating funding from the Future Fund.

The eligibility criteria for the allocating of the Future Fund loans, and indeed all coronavirus loan schemes is freely available on the British Business Bank website:

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/future-fund/.

29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether aesthetics clinics are permitted to reopen on 4 July 2020 as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions due to the covid-19 outbreak; and whether his Department plans to publish industry-specific guidance on operating in a covid-19 environment.

All businesses that provide cosmetic procedures or treatments for aesthetic and beauty purposes fall into the definition of a beauty salon. These are currently required to remain closed until further notice.

We have already provided (23 June) guidance for close contact services so that they can prepare to reopen where they are currently unable to. The Government continues to work with the sector to provide advice on which premises are permitted to reopen. We will provide further information as soon as possible.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending and lowering the seniority levels required to access the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme to expand eligibility for that scheme.

Except in respect of a residential development facilities, a CLBILS facility must at all times during its life, rank on at least a pari passu basis with the most senior obligations (including secured and/or super-senior obligations, if any) of the Borrower. This includes from all collateral taken by any lender from the borrower unless the borrower is a financing vehicle, whereby this will include any collateral from any member of its Group.

There are certain carveouts from this requirement including collateral:

  • with an aggregate value not greater than 10% of the value (determined by the lender in accordance with its lending policies) of all relevant collateral, and
  • relating to asset and invoice finance facilities entered into in the ordinary course of business where the proceeds of such collateral would not be available to facilities other than such asset or invoice finance facility and where the lending policies and procedures would not require it to take security over such collateral.

This approach ensures that taxpayer interests are suitably protected when providing government guarantees for facilities of up to £200 million to mid-cap and large businesses which tend to have more complex capital structures.

The CLBILS is designed to provide temporary assistance to businesses that are suffering disruption to their cashflow due to lost or deferred revenues during the Covid-19 outbreak. In this situation, existing lenders to a business will need to be willing to accept a temporary dilution to their own seniority reflecting this generous assistance from the Government.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what impact the freezing of the licence fee will have on funding for the BBC World Service.

The BBC will continue to receive billions in public funding every year.

The government recognises the vital role that the BBC World Service plays across the globe.

The Secretary of State has made it clear to the BBC that it should continue to make a substantive investment from the licence fee into the World Service to ensure that it continues to effectively reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world - in English and through its language services.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of extending discounted TV licences to deaf people.

Under the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004, TV Licence concessions are available to people who are registered blind or severely sight impaired, people who live in qualifying residential care and are disabled or over 60 years old.

There are no further concessions available for people with severe hearing impairment and we are not considering making changes to the current concessions regime at this time.

The government has made clear that the TV Licence model will be reconsidered again ahead of the next Charter Review, which is set to be completed by 2027.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the BBFC's recent survey entitled Age ratings on subscription streaming services - April 2021 and its finding that parents want age ratings to be consistent between cinema, DVD and video-on-demand platforms; and if he will take steps to ensure that platforms respond to that finding and use age ratings based on UK standards.

The Government welcomes the British Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) recent report, which contributes to our understanding of this matter and builds on wider evidence regarding best practice age ratings for film content.

The Government will consider the report and its findings, and continue to support the adoption of BBFC ratings for content on video on demand platforms. To that end, we were particularly pleased to see Netflix announce on 1 December 2020 that they have become the first platform to achieve complete coverage of their content under the BBFC’s ratings.

We will keep the evidence for legislation in this area under review.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to publish the online media literacy strategy.

The Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper confirmed our commitment to publishing a Media Literacy Strategy. The Strategy will review the existing UK media literacy landscape and set out plans to ensure a strategic and coordinated approach to online media literacy education.The Strategy will be published later this year.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the phase of the Government’s plan to ease coronavirus restrictions under which community music rehearsals and performance are planned to be permitted to resume.

On 22 February the Prime Minister set out the roadmap gradually ending the current lockdown for England.

At step 3 of the roadmap, no earlier than 17 May, the restrictions on social mixing indoors will be eased and individuals will be able to meet socially distanced in a group of 6 or with 1 other household. Non-professional activities, such as community music rehearsals and performances, will be able to resume from this time.

The timings outlined in the roadmap are indicative, and the Government will be led by data, rather than fixed dates. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data and will only ease restrictions further if it is safe to do so. The indicative, ‘no earlier than’ dates in the roadmap are all contingent on the data and subject to change.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of including community music group rehearsals in the list of activities exempt from the rule of six during the covid-19 outbreak.

As of 14 September non-professional performing arts activity, including choirs, orchestras or drama groups can continue to rehearse or perform together where this is planned activity in line with the performing arts guidance and if they can do so in a way that ensures that there is no interaction between groups of more than six at any time. If an amateur group is not able to ensure that no mingling takes place between these sub-groups of no more than six (including when arriving at or leaving activity or in any breaks or socialising) then such non-professional activity should not take place.

We will continue to work with the Performing Arts sector to understand how the new regulations affect those engaging in activity. We have always been clear that the easing of restrictions depends on the prevalence of COVID-19.

22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help parents access specialist support needed to enable their child to (a) fully participate in school life and (b) avoid being regularly absent.

Specialist support for children with additional needs to participate in education and avoid being regularly absent is vitally important. The department is taking a number of steps towards both these goals. In the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan, published in March 2023, the department set out plans to build a consistent national SEND and AP system that parents and carers can trust, easily navigate, and have confidence in.

The foundation for the new nationally consistent system will be evidenced-based National Standards for early and accurate identification of need, and timely access to support to meet those needs. The Standards will clarify the types of support that should be ordinarily available in mainstream settings and who is responsible for securing the support. This will help families, practitioners and providers understand what support every child or young person should be receiving from early years through to further education, no matter where they live or what their needs are.

On 22 November 2023, the department also announced Partnerships for Inclusion of Neurodiversity in Schools. This new programme, backed by £13 million of investment, will bring together Integrated Care Boards, local authorities, and schools, working in partnership with parents and carer to support schools to better meet the needs of neurodiverse children. These measures will also benefit attendance, improving which is a top priority for the government. The department recognises that pupils with SEND can face additional barriers.

To ensure pupils receive the support they need to regularly attend and participate in school, the department has published guidance expecting schools to have sensitive conversations with families about attendance, work with parents to develop specific support approaches, establish strategies for removing any in-school barriers and ensure joined up pastoral care is in place where needed.

A range of programmes including attendance hubs spreading best practice across school and attendance mentors providing one-to-one support will also tackle absence for children with SEND.

In addition, the department is investing £2.6 billion between now and 2025 to fund new special and AP places and improve existing provision, including opening 33 new special free schools, with a further 48 in the pipeline; and £21 million to go towards training 400 more educational psychologists, building on the £10 million investment announced earlier in 2022.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the views of teachers are taken into account in its review of the Relationships, Sex, Health and Education statutory guidance.

In carrying out its review of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) statutory guidance, the department has sought evidence from a range of stakeholders, including groups representing teachers and schools, to share evidence about areas of the guidance they think should be strengthened.

A small group of teachers also contributed their views directly in the roundtables with Ministers, which took place over summer 2023, focusing on key topics such as suicide prevention and RSHE teaching materials.

Teachers will also have an opportunity to present their views as part of the public consultation on revised guidance due to be launched in the coming months.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make it her policy to deliver family hubs in every area of the country.

The government is investing around £300 million through the Family Hubs and Start for Life programme to enable 75 local authorities to create family hubs, and to improve vital services to give every baby the best start in life.

The local authorities taking part in the programme were selected by targeting areas with the highest levels of deprivation. An additional £28 million has also been made available to these local authorities to improve early language development, by supporting parents to help their children learn at home. This builds on the government’s previous investment to champion family hubs, including a £12 million transformation fund which will open family hubs in a further 13 local authorities in England.

This investment in family hubs is significant. It will have a wide reach across the country, improving outcomes for thousands of babies, children, and families.

The department’s ambition is to see family hubs open across the country. However, it is crucial that the department focuses on delivering well in the local areas that it is currently funding. The department will continue to build the model and evidence base, whilst working with the National Centre for Family Hubs to champion and spread good practice for all local authorities. The evidence and learning from this investment will help to improve services across England where they are most needed and help to build the evidence based for future investment decisions.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) academic research and (b) evidence from (i) young people, (ii) teachers and (iii) schools her Department has sought to inform the (A) expert advisory group and (B) review on relationships, sex and health education; and whether she plans to publish that evidence.

In carrying out its review of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) statutory guidance, the Department has sought evidence from a range of stakeholders, including groups representing pupils, teachers and schools, to share evidence about areas of the guidance they think should be strengthened.

The conclusions of the independent expert panel will be reflected in the revised draft of the guidance that will be subject to a full public consultation. The accompanying consultation document will set out the background to the panel’s recommendations to help inform responses.

24th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if her Department will take steps to collect data on the number of parents who have had children removed from their care on multiple occasions.

Local authorities provide information on looked after children through the SSDA903 annual return, but this does not include information on the family circumstances of looked after children.

The department recognises the need to collect the right data about children’s social care services to help achieve better outcomes for vulnerable children and young people. That is why in ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, the department committed to developing a children’s social care dashboard to support the new National Framework and a data strategy for children’s social care. Through these initiatives, the department will look at how data gaps could be addressed.

The consultation on the children’s social care dashboard concluded on 11 May 2023 and the department is currently analysing the results. The department will set out the consultation findings and more information about the children’s social care data strategy later in the year.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
30th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to help secure school places for children without guardians.

Children without guardians are among the most vulnerable in our society. The department knows that the vast majority of children taken into local authority care have experienced abuse or neglect and therefore require additional support. Wherever possible, they should be admitted to the school which is best able to meet their needs.

For this reason, school admission authorities have been required to give looked after children highest priority in their admission arrangements since 2007, and these children should be placed in good or outstanding schools.

The School Admissions Code also requires each local authority to have a Fair Access Protocol in place to ensure that any unplaced and vulnerable children are allocated a school place as quickly as possible. It also gives local authorities the power to direct the admission authority for any maintained school in England (other than a school for which they are the admissions authority) to admit a child who is looked after by the local authority, even when the school is full.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that all local authorities make arrangements to identify children missing education, including children of new migrant families.

Local Authorities have a duty under section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to identify children missing education in their area. This duty applies to all compulsory school age children, for example those who have recently moved to the local area, including children of new migrant families, who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise.

The Department has issued statutory guidance for Local Authorities, setting out key principles to enable them to implement this duty, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/550416/Children_Missing_Education_-_statutory_guidance.pdf. These principles include implementing robust policies and procedures, and putting in place arrangements for joint working and information sharing with other agencies, including those who interact with migrant families.

This duty should be viewed alongside a Local Authority’s wider safeguarding duties, including their duty under section 10 of the Children Act 2004, to cooperate with other agencies in improving children’s well-being, including protection from harm and neglect. The Department’s Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance outlines what Local Authorities must and should do to keep children safe.

Ofsted is responsible for inspecting Local Authority children’s services to determine the effectiveness of services and arrangements to help and protect all children, including children missing education new to the area, and the experiences and progress of children in care. This includes unaccompanied child migrants and asylum seekers, but does not apply to migrant or asylum seeking children accompanied by a parent or adult with legal responsibility.

24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her Department's timeframe is for reviewing relationship and sex education guidance; and what the process will be for that review.

In the ‘Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education’ statutory guidance 2019, the Department committed to reviewing the guidance three years from when it was first required to be taught in September 2020. The Department is now developing plans to review the guidance and, subject to its analysis, the Department intends to undertake a public consultation before publishing revised guidance.

19th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary school-age unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children were able to get a school place within 20 days in each of the last two academic years.

The department does not hold information centrally on in-year admissions, so we are not able to provide the information requested.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how graduates of the Youth Training Scheme can access records of their qualifications.

The Youth Training Scheme, introduced in 1983, was managed by the Manpower Services Commission and then Training and Enterprise Councils in 1989 when it became Youth Training.

The department does not hold any records of participants on the scheme. Where an individual may know the qualification they undertook, the best course of action would be for them to contact the relevant awarding organisation.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding his Department plans to provide for early years education in each of the next five years.

The Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 provided the following settlement for the Early Years Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant:

  • Financial year 2022/23: £3,670 million.
  • Financial year 2023/24: £3,691 million.
  • Financial year 2024/25: £3,679 million.

Details on the Spending Review can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/autumn-budget-and-spending-review-2021-documents.

This funding settlement reflected cost pressures and changes in the number of eligible children anticipated at the time of the Spending Review. Early years spending is demand-led, and allocations will be adjusted based on the actual number of children and hours taken up, as recorded on the annual censuses. Therefore, actual spending may vary from the planned expenditure detailed above.

Early years funding beyond the 2024/25 financial year will be determined at a future Spending Review.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 1 July 2020 to Question 63300 on Sex and Relationship Education, what proportion of the (a) £2 million for 2019-20 and (b) £4 million for 2020-21 had been spent on relationship, sex and health education implementation by the end of those financial years.

The expenditure by the department in the package of support to help schools implement the relationships, sex, and health education (RSHE) curriculum is set out as follows: £1.2 million in the 2019/20 financial year, £1.8 million in the 2020/21 financial year and £0.2 million in the 2021/22 financial year.

The maximum investment of £6 million, referenced by the former Minister for School Standards in his response dated 1 July 2020, was based on the estimated costs for a package of support. This can be found here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-23/63300.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what was the cost to the public purse of teacher training for the relationship and sex education curriculum since September 2020.

It is for schools to determine their needs following changes in the curriculum, and to use their budget allocation to resource their implementation costs, including teacher training. Core school funding increased by £2.6 billion in the 2020/21 financial year, £4.8 billion in the 2021/22 financial year and is increasing by £7.1 billion in the 2022/23 financial year.

The department recognises the need to support schools to teach relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) subjects more effectively, and that is why we have invested over £3.2 million since the 2019/20 financial year (£2 million since the 2020/21 financial year) in a package of support to help schools implement the RSHE curriculum. The package of support includes a training and peer support programme delivered by teaching schools, webinars, training materials, and implementation guidance available online for teachers to use in their own schools to support delivery of high-quality RSHE teaching.

Following the publication of Ofsted’s review into sexual abuse in schools and colleges last year, the department has committed to provide additional support to help teachers deliver RSHE effectively and confidently to support young people to develop healthy relationships and to prevent sexual violence and sexual harassment. Our existing package of support is available via a one-stop page for teachers on GOV.UK, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health.

To provide additional support to schools in all areas of the curriculum, the Schools White Paper announced the establishment of a new curriculum body which builds on the success of Oak National Academy’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will create and continually improve packages of optional, free, adaptable digital curriculum resources for all subjects, including RSHE, to help teachers deliver a high-quality curriculum that is informed by the best available evidence. These resources will ensure high-quality lessons are available nationwide for the benefit of all children. The department will provide further information on when the new resources will be available in due course.

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government plans to introduce a statutory requirement to have a trained mental health professional or counsellor in every school in England.

The government remains committed to promoting and supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools and colleges. The department recognises that it is more important now than ever that children and young people have access to the support they need for their mental health and wellbeing, and we know that having the right provision within education settings is key to ensuring they do so.

Schools already support the mental wellbeing of their pupils as part of their curriculum provision and pastoral support, which is paid for from schools’ core funding. The autumn 2021 Spending Review delivers an additional £4.7 billion for the core schools’ budget by 2024-25, compared to previous plans.

The hon. Member for Rotherham will be pleased to know that in March 2021 the Department of Health and Social Care announced £79 million to significantly expand children’s mental health services. This will partly be spent on speeding up and expanding the provision of Mental Health Support Teams in schools and colleges, meaning nearly three million children in England will access school or college-based support by April 2023.

These teams are comprised of newly trained Education Mental Health Practitioners, an entirely new role, as well as more senior clinicians and therapists, they work alongside existing provision, such as counselling services, to help ensure children and young people get the support they need. They support staff within schools and colleges to develop their whole school approaches to mental health and wellbeing, as well as providing early intervention for those experiencing mild to moderate issues and liaising with external specialist services where additional support is needed.

The government is providing £9.5 million to offer senior mental health lead training to around a third of all state schools and colleges in England in the 2021/22 financial year. The senior mental health lead is a strategic leadership role, with responsibility for overseeing the school’s ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing. As part of this training, leads will learn about how to develop a culture and ethos that promotes positive mental health wellbeing, as well as how to make the best use of local resources, including counselling services, to support children and young people experiencing issues.

School-based counselling, by well-qualified practitioners, can be an effective part of a ‘whole school approach’. Our national survey of school provision, published in 2017, found that 61% of schools offered counselling services, with 84% of secondary schools providing their pupils with access to counselling support. Recently, findings from the department’s COVID-19 School Snapshot Survey in July 2021, found that 96% of schools were providing support in school for pupils identified as having mental health needs.

The department has produced guidance on how to deliver high quality school-based counselling, to further support schools who have decided that counselling support is appropriate for their pupils. As a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, the department has committed to updating this guidance to make sure it reflects the current context.

The guidance sets out our strong expectation that over time, all schools will offer counselling services, alongside other interventions.

However, with regards to mandating counselling for schools, the department will not be doing so as we believe it is vital that schools have the freedom to decide what support to offer their pupils, based on their particular needs.

27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of looked after children living in (a) independent accommodation and (b) semi-independent accommodation in each of the last three years were in full-time education.

The department does not collect information on the educational activity of looked after children.

Information on the proportion of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation within 20 miles of their home is shown in the attached table, Table A. Figures on the number of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation who went missing is shown in the attached table, Table B. More general information on children looked after in England by placement type, locality and distance and those who went missing is contained in the Children looked after in England statistics release, which is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions. Figures for the reporting year ending 31 March 2021 will be published in November 2021.

Information in the 2020 Annual Report of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel contained statistics showing in the 2020 calendar year that there were 43 incidents of serious harm involving looked after children. However, no further breakdowns were published in this report.

The number of children looked after who died whilst in independent or semi-independent accommodation during 2018-2020 was 22. All children were aged 16 or over. Due to the small numbers involved this figure cannot be broken down by individual age or local authority or into separate years to protect confidentiality.

27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of looked after children living in (a) independent accommodation and (b) semi-independent accommodation in each of the last three years were placed within 20 miles of their home.

The department does not collect information on the educational activity of looked after children.

Information on the proportion of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation within 20 miles of their home is shown in the attached table, Table A. Figures on the number of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation who went missing is shown in the attached table, Table B. More general information on children looked after in England by placement type, locality and distance and those who went missing is contained in the Children looked after in England statistics release, which is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions. Figures for the reporting year ending 31 March 2021 will be published in November 2021.

Information in the 2020 Annual Report of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel contained statistics showing in the 2020 calendar year that there were 43 incidents of serious harm involving looked after children. However, no further breakdowns were published in this report.

The number of children looked after who died whilst in independent or semi-independent accommodation during 2018-2020 was 22. All children were aged 16 or over. Due to the small numbers involved this figure cannot be broken down by individual age or local authority or into separate years to protect confidentiality.

27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked after children went missing while living in (a) independent accommodation and (b) semi-independent accommodation in each of the last three years; and if he will provide an age breakdown of those children.

The department does not collect information on the educational activity of looked after children.

Information on the proportion of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation within 20 miles of their home is shown in the attached table, Table A. Figures on the number of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation who went missing is shown in the attached table, Table B. More general information on children looked after in England by placement type, locality and distance and those who went missing is contained in the Children looked after in England statistics release, which is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions. Figures for the reporting year ending 31 March 2021 will be published in November 2021.

Information in the 2020 Annual Report of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel contained statistics showing in the 2020 calendar year that there were 43 incidents of serious harm involving looked after children. However, no further breakdowns were published in this report.

The number of children looked after who died whilst in independent or semi-independent accommodation during 2018-2020 was 22. All children were aged 16 or over. Due to the small numbers involved this figure cannot be broken down by individual age or local authority or into separate years to protect confidentiality.

27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked after children suffered serious harm while living in (a) independent accommodation and (b) semi-independent accommodation in each of the last three years, and if he will publish (i) an age breakdown and (ii) the names of the local authorities that were corporate parents of those children.

The department does not collect information on the educational activity of looked after children.

Information on the proportion of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation within 20 miles of their home is shown in the attached table, Table A. Figures on the number of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation who went missing is shown in the attached table, Table B. More general information on children looked after in England by placement type, locality and distance and those who went missing is contained in the Children looked after in England statistics release, which is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions. Figures for the reporting year ending 31 March 2021 will be published in November 2021.

Information in the 2020 Annual Report of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel contained statistics showing in the 2020 calendar year that there were 43 incidents of serious harm involving looked after children. However, no further breakdowns were published in this report.

The number of children looked after who died whilst in independent or semi-independent accommodation during 2018-2020 was 22. All children were aged 16 or over. Due to the small numbers involved this figure cannot be broken down by individual age or local authority or into separate years to protect confidentiality.

27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked after children died while living in (a) independent accommodation and (b) semi-independent accommodation in each of the last three years; and if he will publish (i) an age breakdown and (ii) the names of the local authorities that were corporate parents of those children.

The department does not collect information on the educational activity of looked after children.

Information on the proportion of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation within 20 miles of their home is shown in the attached table, Table A. Figures on the number of looked after children living in independent or semi-independent accommodation who went missing is shown in the attached table, Table B. More general information on children looked after in England by placement type, locality and distance and those who went missing is contained in the Children looked after in England statistics release, which is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions. Figures for the reporting year ending 31 March 2021 will be published in November 2021.

Information in the 2020 Annual Report of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel contained statistics showing in the 2020 calendar year that there were 43 incidents of serious harm involving looked after children. However, no further breakdowns were published in this report.

The number of children looked after who died whilst in independent or semi-independent accommodation during 2018-2020 was 22. All children were aged 16 or over. Due to the small numbers involved this figure cannot be broken down by individual age or local authority or into separate years to protect confidentiality.

20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that children not in mainstream education receive relationship and sex education.

Relationships education is compulsory for all primary school pupils, relationships and sex education is compulsory for all secondary school pupils, and health education is compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools. This includes pupils in special schools and pupil referral units. In teaching the new curriculum, schools must have regard to the statutory guidance.

To support all teachers to deliver the curriculum, the department has developed a package of support which can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. To further support teachers of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), we have delivered a national webinar as well as regional training events for primary and secondary schools:

https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/content/send-hub;

https://nasen.org.uk/resources/supporting-effective-delivery-new-statutory-rshe-curriculum-pupils-send-primary-focused;

https://nasen.org.uk/resources/supporting-effective-delivery-new-statutory-rshe-curriculum-pupils-send-secondary-focused.

We have also developed a teacher training module specifically about teaching relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) to pupils with SEND: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health#pupils-with-send.

As with other aspects of the curriculum, schools have flexibility over how they deliver RSHE, so they can develop an integrated approach that is sensitive to the needs and background of their pupils.

20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government is working with representatives of local Violence Against Women and Girls sector organisations to implement relationship and sex education.

The department has not engaged specifically with any local representatives of sector organisations focused on violence against women and girls in relation to the implementation of the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum, which came into force in September 2020. The department commissioned Ofsted to undertake a review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges and they published their report in June 2021. The government accepted the findings in full. The department is developing a new support package for teachers, and we plan to engage with a range of stakeholders, including organisations with expertise in sexual abuse and violence against women and girls to inform that.

We will publish non-statutory RSHE guidance covering specific topics mentioned by the Ofsted review and in response to the Violence against Women and Girls strategy.

To support teachers further, we also plan to host a national webinar on specific topics in RSHE for teachers and other interested professionals using subject sector experts from the field and run smaller RSHE regional events to support teachers to network and share best practice.

15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of training for teachers delivering the new Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education curriculum.

The consultation on the statutory guidance for relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum revealed that many teachers and subject leads needed training and support to deliver the new content. The department invested in a package of support to develop teacher capability and competence to teach high quality RSHE. The package of support included a training and peer support programme, delivered by teaching schools and based on the department’s training modules which were developed with subject experts and tested with teachers. In the 2020/21 academic year, the programme reached 3,800 schools, and provisional data for the last wave, which ended in July, shows a further 1,000 schools have been supported. This is a cascade model of training whereby those trained are expected to share the training with other teachers in their school and wider school networks. Teaching schools have made their training materials and other resources freely available on their websites. The department’s training modules are also freely available for all schools to download via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health.

The department is developing plans to monitor national implementation of RSHE over time, including new quantitative and qualitative research, which will seek to understand the quality of implementation, including teacher confidence in teaching the statutory requirements, and identifying training and support needs to inform future policy development.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the national set of standards for independent and semi-independent placements for children in social care.

The government will be introducing national standards for independent and semi-independent settings for children in care and care leavers aged 16 and 17, to raise the bar for this provision. This was set in our response to the consultation on reforms to the use of unregulated provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/unregulated-provision-for-children-in-care-and-care-leavers.

The national standards will work towards ensuring that local authorities can be confident when making placements in this provision. They will also strengthen our ability to take action against poor providers. Most importantly, they will ensure that our children and young people are safe and have the best possible chances of success in life.

We know that this new regime will represent a major change for local authorities and providers. This is why we are committed to designing and implementing this regime in collaboration with the sector and with care-experienced children and young people. We are working closely with a range of partners across the sector to prepare a consultation on the content of the national standards and accompanying Ofsted regime.

We will publish this consultation shortly, which will include a draft version of the national standards.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to issue additional covid-19 guidance on restrictions on group education activities for home schooled children.

The Government recognises the important role group education activities play in providing enrichment opportunities which support the education of electively home educated children and young people. We also acknowledge the benefits they provide to the development of social skills and attitudes which promote their wellbeing and enhance their physical and mental health.

Any group activities undertaken by home educators should be carried out in line with government guidance.

From 8 March 2021, out-of-school settings (including tuition providers) have been able to open to all children for certain essential purposes. These essential purposes include where the provision is being used by vulnerable children and young people, and other children, where the provision is:

  • reasonably necessary to enable their parents and carers to work, search for work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment or address a medical need, or attend a support group;
  • being used by electively home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education; and
  • being used as part of their efforts to obtain a regulated qualification, meet the entry requirements for an education institution, or to undertake exams and assessments.

We have published updated guidance for providers, setting out the measures they should take to open for more children as safely as possible.

The Department will continue to review the guidance for out-of-school settings in line with the roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions.

Further information is provided here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to extend funding to support teachers in delivering Relationship and Sex Education beyond April 2021 to account for the delay in making that education mandatory from September 2020.

The regulations for the new subjects of Relationships Education (for all primary school pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (for all secondary school pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) came into force in September 2020. Given the circumstances faced by schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department clarified that the statutory requirement allows some flexibility over when schools discharge their duty in teaching the new curriculum within the first year of compulsory teaching.

The Department invested up to £2 million in the financial year 2019-20 and is investing up to £4 million in the current financial year to fund a support programme of work to help schools in their delivery of the new curriculum.

The support programme includes grant funding to 21 lead Teaching Schools covering all eight regions to deliver a train the trainer and peer support programme to primary and secondary schools in their region. This programme has supported over 2,000 schools since May 2020, and we expect a further 1500 schools to be helped by spring 2021. The training materials and other resources developed for this programme by the lead Teaching Schools will be available for access by all schools from April 2021.

Furthermore, Oak National Academy provides free remote education video lessons and resources covering the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum. To support the hard work of schools in delivering remote education, Oak National Academy was very quickly brought together by over 40 teachers, their schools and other education organisations. The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to Year 11. Information about Oak National Academy and the resources available can be accessed via this link: https://www.thenational.academy.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to introduce mandatory Relationship education for primary schools.

The regulations for the new subjects of Relationships Education (for all primary school pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (for all secondary school pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) came into force in September 2020. Given the circumstances faced by schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department clarified that the statutory requirement allows some flexibility over when schools discharge their duty in teaching the new curriculum within the first year of compulsory teaching.

The Department invested up to £2 million in the financial year 2019-20 and is investing up to £4 million in the current financial year to fund a support programme of work to help schools in their delivery of the new curriculum.

The support programme includes grant funding to 21 lead Teaching Schools covering all eight regions to deliver a train the trainer and peer support programme to primary and secondary schools in their region. This programme has supported over 2,000 schools since May 2020, and we expect a further 1500 schools to be helped by spring 2021. The training materials and other resources developed for this programme by the lead Teaching Schools will be available for access by all schools from April 2021.

Furthermore, Oak National Academy provides free remote education video lessons and resources covering the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum. To support the hard work of schools in delivering remote education, Oak National Academy was very quickly brought together by over 40 teachers, their schools and other education organisations. The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to Year 11. Information about Oak National Academy and the resources available can be accessed via this link: https://www.thenational.academy.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to require universities with charitable status to (a) register with the Charity Commission and (b) file a serious incident report in the event that an adverse event, actual or alleged, occurs.

Most universities in England are exempt charities, which means they are exempt from registration with, and direct regulation by, the Charity Commission.

Exempt charities have a principal regulator appointed, whose duties include promoting compliance with charity law.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the higher education regulator in England, and in accordance with charity law, is the principal regulator for higher education exempt charities in England.

Universities registered with the OfS are subject to ongoing conditions of registration. The OfS may investigate any adverse event, actual or alleged, where a breach of these conditions may have occurred, and take action as necessary, in accordance with its role as the regulator of higher education, and principal regulator of higher education exempt charities of England.

This can include engaging with the Charity Commission on the possible use of its powers under charity law.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to improve the external oversight of universities in the handling of cases of sexual misconduct.

Departmental officials are working closely with departments across government to tackle sexual misconduct in universities. The government continues to work closely with Universities UK (UUK) on implementing its Changing the Culture framework.

Underreporting of sexual harassment and sexual violence is common within society and it is important that providers break down barriers to reporting and that students feel safe and able to report incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence. The most recent UUK progress report, published in October 2019, showed that progress is being made, with 72% of responding institutions having developed or improved the recording of data on harassment and discrimination incidents with a more centralised approach.

The government expects providers to take their responsibilities to students seriously and to have in place appropriate policies and procedures to tackle sexual misconduct, report incidents and make complaints. The government also expects the provider to support the student in making a decision about the way forward, including whether to make a report to the police. Any student who feels that their complaint has not been dealt with appropriately or satisfactorily can escalate their complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

The Office of Students (OfS) has an extremely important role to play in ensuring there are appropriate mechanisms in place to safeguard students and it is clearly important that the OfS has the appropriate powers to address these issues effectively. The OfS has provided £4.7 million for safeguarding schemes.

The OfS has committed to going further to tackle harassment and sexual misconduct, announcing consultation proposals setting out expectations for all HE providers to prevent and address hate crime, harassment and sexual misconduct. The consultation is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The OfS are still accepting online submissions in relation to the consultation and are responding to queries. Further details are available on their webpage: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/consultation-on-harassment-and-sexual-misconduct/.

The government will continue to urge university leaders to prioritise a zero-tolerance culture to all harassment and sexual misconduct and improve the systems for reporting incidents.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of whether early years provision based on school sites should remain open under January 2021 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced on 4 January 2021 that early years settings remain open for all children during the national lockdown.

Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

Schools have been restricted because additional measures are needed to contain the spread of the virus. The wider significant restrictions in place as part of the national lockdown to contain the spread of the virus in the community enable us to continue prioritising keeping nurseries and childminders open, supporting parents and delivering the crucial care and education needed for our youngest children.

Early years settings remain low risk environments for children and staff. Current evidence suggests that pre-school children (0 to 5 years) are less susceptible to infection and are unlikely to be playing a driving role in transmission. There is no evidence the new strain of the virus causes more serious illness in either children or adults and there is no evidence that the new variant of COVID-19 disproportionately affects young children.

PHE advice remains that the risk of transmission and infection is low if early years settings follow the system of controls, which reduce risks and create inherently safer environments. This report from PHE shows that, at present under 5s have the lowest confirmed case rate of all age groups: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports.

Early years settings have been open to all children since 1 June and there is no evidence that the early years sector has contributed to a rise in virus cases within the community. Early modelling evidence from SAGE evidenced in the report: Modelling and behavioural science responses to scenarios for relaxing school closures showed that early years provision had a smaller relative impact on transmission rate when modelled with both primary schools and secondary schools. The report is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/886994/s0257-sage-sub-group-modelling-behavioural-science-relaxing-school-closures-sage30.pdf.

Early years childcare providers were one of the first sectors to have restrictions lifted last summer, in recognition of the key role they play in society. Childminders and nursery staff across the country have worked hard to keep settings open through the COVID-19 outbreak so that young children can be educated, and parents can work. The earliest years are the most crucial point of child development and attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development. We continue to prioritise keeping early years settings open in full because of the clear benefits to children’s education and wellbeing and to support working parents. Caring for the youngest age group is not something that can be done remotely.

These plans are being kept under review in the light of emerging scientific evidence. We are working with the scientific community to understand the properties and dynamics of the new variant VUI-202012/01 in relation to children and young people.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans for Key Stage 2 SATs to proceed as scheduled in 2021.

The Department recognises that due to the further disruption caused by the move to restricted attendance in schools, primary assessments cannot continue as intended. The Department has cancelled the statutory key stage 2 tests and teacher assessments planned for summer 2021, including the key stage 2 tests in reading and mathematics, and statutory key stage 1 tests and teacher assessments.

Schools are expected to continue to use assessment during the summer term to inform teaching, to enable them to give information to parents on their child’s attainment in their statutory annual report and to support transition to secondary school. The Department strongly encourages schools to use past test papers in their assessment of pupils.

These arrangements will apply for summer 2021 only, and the Department is planning for a full programme of primary assessments to take place in the 2021/22 academic year. This will include the introduction of the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment and Multiplication Tables Check as previously announced. We will confirm full details for 2021/22 primary assessments in due course.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether music tuition in a pupil’s home is permitted under the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

As outlined in the guidance for education and childcare settings on New National Restrictions from 5 November 2020, out-of-school activities such as private tuition may continue to operate during the period of national restrictions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020. This includes activities that are primarily used by home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education (which could include, for example, private tutors). Providers may continue to operate for face-to-face provision for the duration of the national restrictions.

Where online lessons are not reasonably possible, providers are permitted to offer face-to-face provision in pupils’ homes, where it is necessary for them to continue to work.

Tutors that continue to operate face-to-face provision during this period should continue to undertake risk assessments and implement the system of controls set out in the protective measures for holiday clubs and after-school clubs and other out-of-school clubs for children during the COVID-19 outbreak guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Providers operating out of other people’s homes should also implement the guidance on working safely in these environments: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes.

All other out of school activities, not being primarily used by parents for these purposes and that can offer remote education, should close for face-to-face provision for the duration of the national restrictions. This will minimise the amount of mixing between different groups of people, and therefore reduce the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to consult with the manufacturing industries on support for skills that will be required in those industries in the next 10 years.

We want to make the skills systems more responsive to employer skill needs both locally and nationally and we have been working with employers in all sectors including manufacturing to jointly design and deliver policies and programmes to do this.

Labour market information is important to understand futures skills needs and to inform consultation and debate with business, providers, learners and local stakeholders. The department provides quantitative labour market and skills projections for the decade ahead in Working Futures 2017-27, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/labour-market-and-skills-projections-2017-to-2027.

Working Futures helps to identify future skills needs and informs debates about how they should be met by providing detailed forecasts of employment by sector, occupation and geography including local areas. It is one of the main sources of data used by Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs).

SAPs will bring together employers, local authorities, universities, colleges and other training providers. These partners will work together to pool their knowledge and expertise and decide what skills are really needed across a sub-region. This will help ensure we match training to the jobs available in the local area.

The government is providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) for the National Skills Fund.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, as part of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee, announced that for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, we will be fully funding their first full level 3, focusing on the valuable courses that will help them get ahead in the labour market. The offer will be funded from the National Skills Fund and offered from April 2021.

The Prime Minister, also announced digital bootcamps to support local regions and employers to fill in-demand vacancies by providing valuable skills. Adults in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, and Liverpool City Region can now register their interest to take part in the digital bootcamps. In early 2021 the digital bootcamps will also be available in Leeds City Region, Heart of the South West and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. We are planning to expand the bootcamps to more of the country from spring 2021 and we want to extend this model to include other technical skills training.

The government remains committed to consulting on aspects of the National Skills Fund to ensure that we develop a fund that helps adults learn valuable skills and prepare for the economy of the future. We are continuing to review the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 outbreak and we are considering the most appropriate time and approach we can take to launch the consultation, ensuring we have meaningful discussions with employers, providers and users.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to consult with (a) businesses and (b) local authorities on funding for employment skills needed in the future.

We want to make the skills systems more responsive to employer skill needs both locally and nationally and we have been working with employers in all sectors including manufacturing to jointly design and deliver policies and programmes to do this.

Labour market information is important to understand futures skills needs and to inform consultation and debate with business, providers, learners and local stakeholders. The department provides quantitative labour market and skills projections for the decade ahead in Working Futures 2017-27, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/labour-market-and-skills-projections-2017-to-2027.

Working Futures helps to identify future skills needs and informs debates about how they should be met by providing detailed forecasts of employment by sector, occupation and geography including local areas. It is one of the main sources of data used by Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs).

SAPs will bring together employers, local authorities, universities, colleges and other training providers. These partners will work together to pool their knowledge and expertise and decide what skills are really needed across a sub-region. This will help ensure we match training to the jobs available in the local area.

The government is providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) for the National Skills Fund.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, as part of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee, announced that for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, we will be fully funding their first full level 3, focusing on the valuable courses that will help them get ahead in the labour market. The offer will be funded from the National Skills Fund and offered from April 2021.

The Prime Minister, also announced digital bootcamps to support local regions and employers to fill in-demand vacancies by providing valuable skills. Adults in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, and Liverpool City Region can now register their interest to take part in the digital bootcamps. In early 2021 the digital bootcamps will also be available in Leeds City Region, Heart of the South West and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. We are planning to expand the bootcamps to more of the country from spring 2021 and we want to extend this model to include other technical skills training.

The government remains committed to consulting on aspects of the National Skills Fund to ensure that we develop a fund that helps adults learn valuable skills and prepare for the economy of the future. We are continuing to review the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 outbreak and we are considering the most appropriate time and approach we can take to launch the consultation, ensuring we have meaningful discussions with employers, providers and users.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will extend the clawback for the Apprenticeship Levy to 48 months from the existing 24 months to support companies that have been affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The apprenticeship levy underpins our reforms to raise apprenticeship quality and support employers to make a long-term, sustainable investment in the skills that they need to grow. Income from the levy is used to fund apprenticeships for all employers – both in employers who pay the levy and employers who do not. Funding from the levy is available to spend on apprenticeship training and assessment costs as outlined in the funding rules.

From the point at which funds enter an employer’s account, they have 24 months to spend them. Unused funds only begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis 24 months after they enter an employer’s account. Levy-paying employers can transfer up to 25% of their annual funds to help support apprenticeship starts in their supply chain or to meet local skills needs.

The department believes that 24 months provides employers with a sufficient opportunity to make use of their levy funds. We currently have no plans to extend the expiry period for employers’ levy fund or to review what these funds can be spent on. We continue to engage closely with businesses, listening to their views about apprenticeships and the operation of the levy so it continues to deliver the skilled workforce that employers need.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to allow companies to spend the Apprenticeship Levy on (a) training equipment and (b) apprentices' salaries.

The apprenticeship levy underpins our reforms to raise apprenticeship quality and support employers to make a long-term, sustainable investment in the skills that they need to grow. Income from the levy is used to fund apprenticeships for all employers – both in employers who pay the levy and employers who do not. Funding from the levy is available to spend on apprenticeship training and assessment costs as outlined in the funding rules.

From the point at which funds enter an employer’s account, they have 24 months to spend them. Unused funds only begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis 24 months after they enter an employer’s account. Levy-paying employers can transfer up to 25% of their annual funds to help support apprenticeship starts in their supply chain or to meet local skills needs.

The department believes that 24 months provides employers with a sufficient opportunity to make use of their levy funds. We currently have no plans to extend the expiry period for employers’ levy fund or to review what these funds can be spent on. We continue to engage closely with businesses, listening to their views about apprenticeships and the operation of the levy so it continues to deliver the skilled workforce that employers need.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to publish guidance for schools on how they can continue to prepare for the implementation of Relationships and Sex Education during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching. For further information, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 June to Question 55660:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-05/55660/

The answer sets out that schools that are ready to teach these subjects and have met the requirements set out in the statutory guidance, including those relating to engagement with parents and carers, are encouraged to begin delivering teaching from 1 September 2020, or whenever is practicable to do so within the first few weeks of the new school year.

Schools that are not ready to teach these subjects or unable to adequately meet the requirements because of the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19 should aim to start preparations to deliver the new curriculum and commence teaching the new content by at least the start of the summer term 2021.

To ensure teaching begins as soon as possible, schools are encouraged to take a phased approach, if needed, when introducing these subjects. Schools should consider prioritising curriculum content on mental health and wellbeing, as knowledge on supporting your own and others’ wellbeing will be important as pupils return to schools.

The Department is also developing a new online service which will feature innovative training materials, an implementation guide and case studies. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive of all pupils. The first training material on mental wellbeing is now available on GOV.UK, and additional content will be added in the coming months. Training will also be available for schools that need additional support. This will complement the online training materials and will be available through existing teaching schools’ regional networks.

26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will provide a revised timetable for the implementation of Relationships and Sex Education in England’s schools.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching. For further information, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 June to Question 55660:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-05/55660/

The answer sets out that schools that are ready to teach these subjects and have met the requirements set out in the statutory guidance, including those relating to engagement with parents and carers, are encouraged to begin delivering teaching from 1 September 2020, or whenever is practicable to do so within the first few weeks of the new school year.

Schools that are not ready to teach these subjects or unable to adequately meet the requirements because of the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19 should aim to start preparations to deliver the new curriculum and commence teaching the new content by at least the start of the summer term 2021.

To ensure teaching begins as soon as possible, schools are encouraged to take a phased approach, if needed, when introducing these subjects. Schools should consider prioritising curriculum content on mental health and wellbeing, as knowledge on supporting your own and others’ wellbeing will be important as pupils return to schools.

The Department is also developing a new online service which will feature innovative training materials, an implementation guide and case studies. This support will cover all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and will be inclusive of all pupils. The first training material on mental wellbeing is now available on GOV.UK, and additional content will be added in the coming months. Training will also be available for schools that need additional support. This will complement the online training materials and will be available through existing teaching schools’ regional networks.

26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) education and (b) health and wellbeing of LGBT young people; and what support he will provide to tackle any gaps identified in the provision of services to those people.

All children and young people in the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of COVID-19. There have also been concerns around LGBT young people who are isolated in homes with families who are not supportive of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In September, we plan to welcome all children and young people, in all year groups, back to school. We are working towards this because school is the best place for children to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to be around their peers, carers and teachers, and have access to the pastoral support schools offer.

Education recovery lies at the heart of our ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is why the government has announced a £1 billion package of support to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most. We have also encouraged schools to focus on pastoral support as pupils return and have given schools the flexibility to have a face-to-face ‘check-up’ with all pupils during the summer term. This is in addition to guidance on how to support children’s mental wellbeing while they are not at school. Leading mental health charities are also being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund and a further £4.2 million that be awarded to charities, including Samaritans and Young Minds.

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/.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to issue revised guidance to local authorities on facilitating face to face contact between parents and looked after children during covid-19 restrictions.

Revised COVID-19 guidance for children’s social care services is currently being updated and is expected to be published by the end of June.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether British national (overseas) status holders and their dependants will be subject to (a) international or (b) home student fees for higher education if they study in the UK.

To qualify for home fee status in England, a person must have settled status or a recognised connection to the UK. This includes persons who are covered by EU law, have long residence in this country or who have been granted international protection by the Home Office. There are also requirements associated with ordinary residence in the UK.

Subject to meeting the normal eligibility requirements, British Nationals (Overseas) status holders will be able to qualify for home fee status once they have acquired settled status in the UK. The same applies to the dependents of such persons.

Higher Education Providers have discretion to charge a student who is not eligible for home fee status whatever fee they deem appropriate, including the same fee as they charge students who have home fee status.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will issue national guidance on payments to (a) exam invigilators and (b) other school ancillary staff employed on zero hour contracts who have not been offered any work hours during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is for schools and local authorities to make appropriate decisions to protect the interests of their staff and workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government’s Procurement Policy Notice 02/20 sets out information and guidance for contracting authorities, including schools, to consider before making individual decisions regarding payment of their suppliers. The guidance sets out that, under certain circumstances, public bodies can make payments of 80% of previously agreed rates to suppliers and contingent workers.

The Department is not involved in arrangements between suppliers and schools. We encourage schools to follow the guidance, but the guidance is advisory and does not mandate or prescribe what schools should do in individual circumstances.

This guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the (a) Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulation 2020 and (b) relaxation of regulations in respect of children in residential care on child victims of trafficking and children at risk of exploitation.

The safety of vulnerable children remains paramount for the government during the COVID-19 outbreak which is why the vast majority of statutory duties remain unchanged. The Regulations allow some temporary and limited flexibility to be used when absolutely necessary, with oversight by senior management, and must be consistent with the overarching safeguarding and welfare duties that remain in place.

The amendments do not reduce or remove any responsibility that local authorities have towards children, nor should they be at the expense of the rights and protection of children in care. The duties on local authorities and providers to report their decision-making remains the same.

Ofsted inspections continue where there are safeguarding concerns, and new regional education and children’s teams are working around the country to improve our understanding about the risks facing children and local authority and wider multiagency partners’ response to those risks. We continue to work with the Home Office to protect children at risk of exploitation or trafficking.

The Regulations will expire on 25 September unless extended and we are committed to continuously reviewing them, with feedback from stakeholders, so they will remain in place only as long as they are needed.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report published in March 2020 by the Menstrual Health Coalition entitled Heavy Menstrual Bleeding – breaking silence and stigma, what steps his Department is taking to ensure effective and comprehensive relationships and sex education in schools in England; and if he will make a statement.

The Department wants to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. From September, we are making relationships education compulsory for all primary pupils, relationships and sex education compulsory for all secondary pupils, and health education compulsory for all pupils in state-funded schools.

To support schools in their preparations, the Department is investing in a central support package to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice. We are currently developing a new online service featuring innovative training materials, case studies and support to access resources. This will be available from April 2020 with additional content added through the summer term, covering all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance. The implementation guide will also be provided to all schools as part of this service, and training offers will be available for schools that need additional support.

The statutory guidance sets out that as part of health education, primary and secondary pupils should be taught about menstrual wellbeing including key facts about the menstrual cycle. This should include the implications for emotional and physical health. The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf.

Schools also have the flexibility to design the content of their curriculum in an age appropriate way to support their cohort of pupils. To help schools design their curriculum, we have signposted them to expert advice from Public Health England on reproductive health.

We are also funding access to free period products in state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the new relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education guidance requires schools to teach pupils (a) what constitutes domestic abuse and (b) how that abuse might manifest in their own (i) LGBT+ and (ii) other relationships.

We are committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to introduce relationships education (primary school pupils), relationships and sex education (secondary school pupils), and health education (state-funded school pupils) to a high standard from September 2020.

Through relationships education and relationships and sex education, schools will teach pupils the knowledge they need to recognise and report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse in an age and developmentally appropriate way.

In primary schools, this will be delivered through focusing on boundaries and privacy in relationships with peers and family, including online. Pupils will also be taught how to report concerns or abuse.

At secondary school, content such as grooming, sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, should also be addressed sensitively and clearly. Pupils should know the concepts of the law relating to sexual consent, exploitation, domestic abuse, rape, honour-based violence and Female Genital Mutilation, and how these can affect current and future relationships and where to access support if they are at risk.

All pupils should receive teaching on LGBT relationships during their school years. The guidance recommends that LGBT specific content, when taught, is fully integrated in schools’ programme of study for this area of the curriculum.

Relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education will also support the statutory ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ guidance for schools, which they must consider when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Scottish and Welsh counterparts on banning the import and sale of fur since April 2022.

Defra has regular discussions with the Devolved Administrations about a range of animal welfare topics. This includes our work to build the evidence base on the fur sector.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his planned timetable is for dog legislation officers to be trained to enforce the ban on American Bully XL type dogs.

We will be supporting the police to deliver additional training to Dog Legislation Officers to make sure the ban is effectively enforced. We are liaising with the Home Office about any additional resourcing needs that may be required once the ban is in force.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of dog legislation officer capacity to implement the ban on American Bully XL type dogs.

We will be supporting the police to deliver additional training to Dog Legislation Officers to make sure the ban is effectively enforced. We are liaising with the Home Office about any additional resourcing needs that may be required once the ban is in force.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the ban on American Bully XL dogs on the dog rehoming sector.

Defra has worked closely with stakeholders including rescue and rehoming centres to consider the impacts of banning XL Bully dogs. The activity of rehoming an XL Bully will be prohibited after 31 December 2023, in accordance with the range of restrictions required under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to paragraph 12.1 of the explanatory memorandum to The Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) (England and Wales) Order 2023, how her Department estimated the cost to businesses, charities and voluntary bodies of those regulations.

The cost estimates referred to in the Explanatory Memorandum to The Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) (England and Wales) Order 2023 were developed using evidence and data collated from a range of sources including animal welfare charities, and other key stakeholders.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Animal Welfare Statement on 25 May 2023, what the Government’s timeline and legislative process is for bringing forward measures relating to (a) pet smuggling and (b) pet abduction; and if she will take steps to ensure cats and kittens are included in those proposals.

We will be taking these measures forward individually during the remainder of this Parliament. Parliamentary business will be announced in the usual way.

We have listened carefully to views expressed about extending both measures to cats and we are currently considering this further.

19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she plans to extend the carry-over motion to the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill before 8 June 2023.

The remaining stages of the Kept Animals Bill will be announced in the usual way.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce mandatory due diligence for forest risk commodities as set out in the Consultation on implementing due diligence on forest risk commodities: Summary of responses and government response, published in June 2022.

The UK Government has introduced world-leading due diligence legislation through the Environment Act to help tackle illegal deforestation in UK supply chains.

We ran a consultation from 3 December 2021 to 11 March 2022 to seek views on the details of regulations that will implement the Environment Act provisions, to ensure that these are designed effectively.

The Government published a summary of responses to this consultation on 1 June 2022 and is committed to implementing due diligence provisions at the earliest opportunity through secondary legislation.

6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to bring compulsory microchipping of pet cats into force.

We plan to lay regulations soon which will bring compulsory cat microchipping into force in England. One in force, cat keepers will have 12 months to comply with the new requirements.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will enable recycling all glass food and drink packaging at the kerbside via the new system of Extended Producer Responsibility and consistent household collections as outlined in the Government’s response to the Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging consultation of March 2022.

The Environment Act 2021 stipulates that local authorities in England must make arrangements for a core set of materials to be collected for recycling from households. This core set includes glass. Our 2019 consistent collection government response confirmed that local authorities in England would have to collect at least glass bottles and containers. Last year we published a second consultation on recycling consistency, seeking views on the materials in scope of collection in each of the recyclable waste streams that will be included in regulations. We will publish our response in due course. The payments local authorities will receive for household packaging under EPR will support the delivery of the UK government's proposals for consistent household recycling collections. Glass food and drinks packaging will be in scope of EPR in England, which will place targets on producers in relation to glass recycling and require them to pay for the cost of managing glass packaging generated by households.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason an Animals Abroad Bill was not included in the Queen’s Speech; and if he will take steps to introduce a ban on the (a) advertising and (b) offering for sale of (i) attractions, (ii) activities and (iii) experiences at low-welfare elephant venues.

We will bring forward one of the toughest bans on the import of hunting trophies in the world and we are exploring a range of legislative options to further protect animals abroad.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Government plans to bring forward its proposed Animals Abroad Bill; and whether that proposed legislation will include a ban on the advertising and offering for sale of attractions, activities or experiences such as low welfare elephant venues.

As set out in the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, we are committed to promoting high animal welfare standards both at home and abroad. This includes delivering a range of measures to promote the welfare of animals beyond UK borders, setting a global example for high welfare and conservation standards.

We are moving forward with our plans to deliver one of the toughest bans in the world on the import of hunting trophies from thousands of endangered and threatened species. We are firmly committed to the ban, and this will be brought forward as soon as Parliamentary time allows. We are also looking at further measures to protect animals abroad, including banning the import and export of detached fins, and taking action against low welfare animal experiences.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the report by Reconomy Group, Valpak on the impact of a deposit return scheme on carbon and other emissions.

We consulted on proposals for a deposit return scheme for drinks containers in 2021. We are currently analysing the responses to the consultation.

We continue to consider the studies and research conducted both within and outside of Government with a view to their findings helping inform our policies where appropriate. A Government response to the consultation will be published in due course.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has conducted a carbon lifecycle analysis for glass bottles in the scenario that they are (a) included in the proposed Deposit Return Scheme and (b) remain part of consistent household collections under Extended Producer Responsibility.

We consulted on proposals for a deposit return scheme for drinks containers and separately for consistent recycling collections in 2021. We are currently analysing the responses to these consultations and will publish responses in early 2022.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department plans to open the consultation for the standards of modern zoo practice; and how long that consultation will be open for.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to her by my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury on 14 July 2021, PQ UIN 28202. The targeted consultation will be open for twelve weeks.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish the results of the consultation on expanding the range of species covered by the Ivory Act 2018.

The consultation on extending the Ivory Act 2018 to other species ran from 17 July 2021 to 11 September 2021. We are currently analysing the responses to this consultation. We will publish a summary of responses and the Government response in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many visits to zoos have Ministers in his Department with responsibility for that area conducted in each the last three years.

Defra Ministers have made two official visits to zoos in England in the last three years.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of staff involved in food safety testing having to self-isolate as a result of covid-19 on food supply chains.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is engaging closely with the sector to monitor industry concerns relating to their own food safety testing in the light of reduced staff availability from positive Covid-19 tests and a requirement to self-isolate, with a view to taking risk management steps as required to minimise impacts for consumers. The addition of FSA roles to the self-isolation exemptions list will also help to mitigate the risk over the coming weeks.

The FSA has also assessed Official Laboratories at the beginning and throughout the pandemic. This has shown that labs are operational and could access services from other Official Labs were there to be an increase in absences. The FSA has not received any recent reports from labs on concerns around reduced staff numbers as a result of self-isolation, and this is being continually monitored.

In view of the impact of the pandemic on local authority (LA) services, on 16 June the FSA issued specific advice in the form of a LA Recovery Plan on its expectations of LAs with regard to the delivery of food law official controls from 1 July 2021. LAs should inform the FSA as early as possible should they be unable to deliver against the plan during the recovery period.

Overall, the UK has a resilient food supply chain built on strong domestic production and open markets, and which has continued to respond strongly to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and labour shortages. We have been working with colleagues across Government and with the industry to ensure that our food supply chain has the support that it needs. Overall, the UK has a resilient food supply chain built on strong domestic production and open markets, and which has continued to respond strongly to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and labour shortages. We have been working with colleagues across Government and with the industry to ensure that our food supply chain has the support that it needs. This includes enabling critical sites across the food supply chain to carry out Daily Contact Testing to minimise disruption from self-isolation, and ensure that food supply continues to operate. So far, the roll out of DCT has focussed on over 500 of the largest sites across the food chain, including supermarket and wholesale distribution centres, large manufacturing sites and processing plants.

Since 16 August those who are fully vaccinated, participants of approved vaccine trials or those unable to have the vaccine for medical reasons are exempt from self-isolation if they are a close contact of a positive case. Children and those under the age of 18 years and 6 months are also exempt if they are a close contact. These groups still need to self-isolate if they develop symptoms or if they test positive. Those who are no longer required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case continue to be advised to take a PCR test. Age-appropriate testing will be advised for those under the age of 18 years and 6 months.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has for consultation with zoos and aquariums in response to the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and the development of the Secretary of State's standards for modern zoo practice.

Defra and the UK’s Zoos Expert Committee (ZEC) are in the process of revising the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoos Practice (SSSMZP). We aim to run a targeted consultation amongst key stakeholders on a draft of the revised SSSMZP by the end of this year (2021). All licensed zoos and aquariums in Great Britain will be invited to take part in the consultation.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will extend the 2026 deadline to record historic footpaths and bridleways onto Definitive Maps.

Defra intends to pass legislation this year to streamline the processes for recording and changing rights of way. This will make it easier and quicker for local authorities to process applications and add rights of way onto the definitive maps, protecting them for the future. As part of this we will bring into force the cut-off date which is the deadline for registering historic rights of way. This will provide certainty about where rights of way exist.

The cut-off date is currently 2026 and could be extended by regulations for a maximum of five years. An earlier cut-off date will provide certainty on where rights of way exist for both users and landowners. A later cut-off date would allow more time for unrecorded rights of way to be recorded. Defra is working closely with stakeholders to understand these different views and will take them into account when reaching a decision.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to extend the Zoo Animals Fund beyond 29 January 2021; and whether that fund is planned to be made more accessible to large zoos and aquariums.

The Zoo Animal Fund remains open for applications until 29 January 2021 and provides support up until the end of March 2021. We are considering whether an extension to this application deadline may be possible. The Zoo Animals Fund is an envelope of funding to provide for zoos who, due to a coronavirus-related drop in income are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animals between now and the start of the next peak visitor season, which is normally around Easter time. If zoos are downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support for this to ensure the animals' welfare. To make the Fund even more accessible we expanded the eligibility criteria so that grant payments to zoos begin when zoos reach their final 12 weeks of financial reserves, rather than 6 weeks, and so that zoos can apply for funding at any time before reaching this 12 week point to help with their business planning.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many zoos have (a) successfully made a claim from the Zoo Animals Fund and (b) had an application rejected from that scheme.

21 applications for the Zoo Animals Fund have been received so far and none have been rejected. 3 grants have been awarded and the other applications are being processed. The Fund is open for applications until 16 November 2020 and provides support up until March 2021. We encourage zoos who are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animals to apply.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will extend the scope of the Zoo Animals Fund to allow (a) more zoos and (b) larger zoos to access that funding.

On 3 August we announced the Zoo Animals Fund. This fund is an envelope of up to £100 million for England's zoos and aquariums and builds upon the previous Zoos Support Fund which operated until the end of July. The current Zoo Animals Fund provides financial support to zoos facing financial difficulties. The eligibility criteria for the current fund were extended beyond those of the initial fund. In particular, grant payments to zoos now begin when zoos reach their final 12 weeks of financial reserves, rather than 6 weeks. Zoos can now also apply for funding at any time before reaching this 12 week point to help with their business planning. This fund is there to help zoos which, due to a coronavirus-related drop in income, are experiencing financial difficulties and therefore need support in caring for their animals. If zoos are downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support for this to ensure the animals' welfare. Due to the Coronavirus State Aid Temporary Framework any support from this fund has to be committed by 31 December 2020, and the deadline for applications is 16 November. Grants which are awarded this year will be able to cover the financial difficulties zoos are facing up to 31 March 2021. Zoo licence holders, including larger zoos, are already able to access the fund if they need to.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support zoos conservation work worldwide before they reach their final financial reserves.

The Darwin Initiative is a UK Government grant scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide. The Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund also provides support to projects around the world that are tackling the illegal wildlife trade.

The Government has also announced a doubling of the UK’s contribution to International Climate Finance, to £11.6 billion from 2021-2025, including for nature-based solutions; a £220 million International Biodiversity Fund, including a new £100 million Biodiverse Landscapes Fund; significant uplifts to the Darwin Initiative and funding to tackle illegal wildlife trade; £30 million in funding to stop illegal deforestation and £9.6 million for a Just Rural Transition programme to help make farming more sustainable.

Zoos are able to apply for the full range of Covid-19 financial support that the Government has made available. The Zoo Animals Fund is an animal welfare fund, in addition to all of the other financial support being provided to zoos.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to end the export of live animals for consumption.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply previously given to the Rt Hon Member for Chipping Barnet on 11 June 2020, PQ UIN 55899.

[questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-08/55899]

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to extend the support scheme for zoos to all zoos facing financial difficulties.

On 3 August we announced the Zoo Animals Fund. This fund is an envelope of up to £100 million for England’s zoos and aquariums and builds upon the previous Zoos Support Fund which operated until the end of July. The current Zoo Animals Fund already provides financial support to all zoos facing financial difficulties. The eligibility criteria for the current fund were extended beyond those of the initial fund. In particular, grant payments to zoos now begin when zoos reach their final 12 weeks of financial reserves, rather than 6 weeks. Zoos can now also apply for funding at any time before reaching this 12 week point to help with their business planning. This fund is there to help all zoos who due to a coronavirus-related drop in income are experiencing financial difficulties and therefore need support in caring for their animals. If zoos are downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support for this to ensure the animals’ welfare. Due to the Coronavirus State Aid Temporary Framework any support from this fund has to be committed by 31 December 2020, and the deadline for applications is 16th November. Grants which are awarded this year will be able to cover the financial difficulties zoos are facing up to 31 March 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress he has made in bringing forward legislative proposals to introduce five-year maximum sentences for acts of animal cruelty in England and Wales.

The Government is supporting the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill as it makes its way through Parliament. Second Reading of the Bill is scheduled for 23 October. The Bill will increase the maximum custodial penalty for animal cruelty from six months' imprisonment to five years' imprisonment.

The new maximum penalty of five years is in line with campaigns by key stakeholders such as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust and the RSPCA. This is a positive step forward in improving animal welfare and will act as a serious deterrent against cruelty and neglect. Northern Ireland has already set the maximum penalty for animal cruelty offences at five years' imprisonment, and the Scottish Government has now passed the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020. The Welsh Government has confirmed that the new maximum penalty being proposed should apply in Wales. The increase to five years' imprisonment will provide one of the toughest sanctions in Europe, strengthening the UK's position as a global leader on animal welfare.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure enforcement of the Live transport: welfare regulations to prevent pregnant dogs in their last 10 per cent of pregnancy from being imported into the UK.

We operate one of the most rigorous border-checking regimes in Europe. When animals are transported for a commercial purpose, their transportation must comply fully with legal requirements aimed at protecting their welfare. The current EU Regulation which provides protection for animals during transport sets out those animals which are not considered fit for transport, and this includes those that are in the last 10% of gestation.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) takes an intelligence-led approach at the border aimed at disrupting the illegal trade in dogs. As part of this activity APHA identifies and acts to safeguard the welfare of animals where transport is non-compliant with the requirements of the law.

During 2020, eight dogs were detained by APHA as being in the last 10% of gestation. An additional 11 pregnant bitches not in their last 10% were also detained.

APHA continues to work closely with its local authority enforcement partners to support enforcement action and prosecution of those involved in this trade.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of dogs in the last 10 per cent of their pregnancy that have been illegally brought into the UK in 2020.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) only holds records of pregnant dogs where other non-compliances were found at time of interception on entry to Great Britain. APHA does not record details of compliant animals which were pregnant at time of interception.

According to APHA records, eight dogs were seized in 2020 under Council Regulation (EC) no 1/2005, Annex I, FITNESS FOR TRANSPORT, Chapter I, 2(c) ‘pregnant females for whom 90% or more of the expected gestation period has already passed’. An additional 11 pregnant bitches not in their last 10% were seized in 2020.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the rate of pregnant dogs illegally brought into the UK and seized by the Animal and Plant Health Agency since 2019.

According to Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) records, a total of 42 pregnant dogs have been seized since 2019; 23 dogs were seized in 2019 and a further 19 have been seized to date in 2020.

The APHA only holds records of pregnant dogs that were intercepted on entry to Great Britain via Dover Port if there are other non-compliances found at time of interception.

Defra takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importation of pets seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering for the animals affected and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk. We have legislation in place to ensure those guilty of offences are duly punished.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has issued sector specific guidance for the operation of animal rescue shelters and adoption services as a result of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020.

The Government has not issued any specific guidance in this area, but guidance has been published by the Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) which advises the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England and Defra Ministers. The CFSG guidance provides animal rescue and rehoming centres with advice about how to work during the Covid-19 crisis and in the context of Government restrictions in respect of social distancing and essential travel and was developed in consultation with Defra. A copy of the CFSG guidance can be found here on their website:

http://www.cfsg.org.uk/coronavirus/SiteAssets/SitePages/Home/CFSG%20Guidance%20for%20Pet%20Rescues.pdf

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on levels of hunger across the globe; and what steps she is taking to prevent hunger levels rising.

The current combination of multiple crises could lead to a major food security crisis and even famine, triggered or made worse by COVID-19. Many countries are already experiencing severe food insecurity - due to conflict, climate change, shocks such as locusts, and poor economic performance. There is increasing evidence that COVID-19 is making this worse and may drive new hunger hotspots.

We know the situation is worsening. To prevent the food security crisis from skyrocketing, the international community will need to step up. DFID is playing its part. We are tracking the situation closely and our humanitarian assistance programmes help ensure we can get life-saving support to those who need it the most. We are adapting programmes in agriculture, nutrition and food security, to build resilience and prepare the ground for a sustainable recovery.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with G20 colleagues on the (a) funding and (b) distribution of emergency cash transfers to tackle malnutrition.

Prevention and treatment of malnutrition remains a priority for the UK as part of our commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children, particularly as countries face worsening levels of malnutrition in the face of COVID-19.

In April the UK worked closely with other G20 members to agree a statement of the G20 Agriculture Ministers committing to close cooperation and action to safeguard global food security and nutrition. This included the commitment to work together to help ensure that sufficient, safe, affordable, and nutritious food continues to be available and accessible to all people.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will maintain her Department's commitment to more than double its use of cash and vouchers by 2025 to 32 per cent.

The UK is a leading supporter of cash in humanitarian response as an effective, efficient, and accountable way of helping people affected by crisis meet a range of basic needs. A considerable proportion of our humanitarian assistance is currently delivered as cash (and vouchers) as per the UK Government's commitment at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. The UK also co-convenes the Grand Bargain Cash Workstream with the World Food Programme.

As the Prime Minister has set out, the UK is committed to spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income on development. We continue to look at how this money can be spent most effectively in our national interest including through the Integrated Review, which will report in the Autumn and inform the new department's priorities.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking along with other G20 countries to ensure that the G20 covid-19 action plan includes a dedicated strategy for economic recovery in countries affected by fragility, crisis, and displacement.

The UK Government is committed to supporting vulnerable countries suffering from the economic, financial and social impacts of Covid-19 including countries affected by crisis, conflict and displacement.

The UK played a leading role in the development of the G20 Action Plan supporting the global economy through Covid-19, ensuring the Plan has clear commitments to help the poorest countries. This includes the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, which saw G20 members suspend debt service payments for the poorest, and most vulnerable, countries until at least the end of 2020.

We continue to work closely with G20 members to ensure robust implementation of the Action Plan

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the job security of staff in her Department at grade A2/G7 and above who were appointed in country (SAIC); whether the additional Foreign and Commonwealth Office vetting procedures will affect that job security; and whether the employment protections afforded to those staff will be extended to EU citizens working in her Department.

There will be no compulsory redundancies for DFID employees as a result of the decision to create a new Department. Some roles may change due to business needs and any changes will be handled in compliance with relevant civil service policy and guidance or local labour law for staff appointed in country overseas.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to support (a) Ghana in-country programmes to prevent (i) corruption and (ii) laundering of proceeds from corruption and (b) other country-specific corruption strategies.

DFID Ghana is currently implementing an anti-corruption programme - Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC). The programme engages with law enforcement agencies and policy makers to strengthen the Government of Ghana's capacity to detect, investigate and prosecute corruption, as well as supporting civil society to hold government to account. This programme supported a Parliamentary Act in Ghana that established the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which has independent powers to make inquiries into corruption and bribery, and has helped strengthen investigative systems in the Financial Intelligence Centre. It is also supporting Ghana to implement an effective action plan, after it was grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force in October 2018, including drafting of a new Anti-Money Laundering Bill and development of a beneficial ownership register.

There is strong coordination among HMG departments on tackling corruption and Serious Organised Crime (SOC) in Ghana. Under the FCDO, a new successor programme will be designed to tackle corruption and organised crime, both of which remain top UK Government priorities. In particular, it will seek to establish UK-Ghana partnerships to tackle illicit financial flows and provide asset-tracing and recovery of the proceeds of crime. Under the FCDO, a refreshed anti-corruption strategy will also be developed.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has been made of the potential level of reductions in non-urgent funding to the UN and other multilateral or regional institutions; and whether those reductions will be fully implemented before reductions in funding for bilateral and existing programming are made.

As the Chancellor has set out, like many other nations across the world the UK is experiencing a severe economic downturn as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the likely decrease in the size of the economy this year, the First Secretary chaired a review process across government looking at all strands of the ODA budget, evaluating the impacts of spend and making sure the UK can maintain operational capacity. This process also has made sure there is continued support for five ODA priorities; bottom billion poverty reduction, climate change, girls' education, Covid-19 and Britain as a force for good.

All ODA spending Departments will now work with respective partners to make these savings in a responsible and efficient way.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has been made of the financial sustainability of her Department's (a) major and (b) SME suppliers; how many of those suppliers have been classified as at financial risk; and whether her Department has taken steps to support individual suppliers that are at risk.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office is actively monitoring and assessing the overall financial health of our supply partners to understand the impact of the global economic downturn and Covid-19 on our supplier base and identify supply partners who are at higher financial risk.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office relies heavily on the capacity, expertise, resilience and flexibility of our supply partners large and small, without them we cannot deliver UK aid. A generous package of support has been made available by the Chancellor for UK businesses, including supplier relief for those in the aid sector. DFID has worked with SMEs and major supply partners to find pragmatic and flexible ways to maintain delivery of essential programmes, including amendments to payment schedules, delivery milestones and alternative working arrangements where appropriate.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to take steps to help strengthen rules to prevent the movement of money from corruption (a) leaving and (b) entering developing countries.

The UK is at the forefront of efforts to prevent the proceeds of corruption from developing countries being laundered or transferred overseas. The Government supports developing countries to improve rules and capabilities directly through a range of regional and in-country programming, such as the Countering Illicit Financial Flows Programme in Southern Africa. The UK also supports highly respected global programmes that seek to help developing countries implement international standards, such as the International Centre for Asset Recovery based in Basel and the World Bank-UNODC Stolen Asset Recovery (STAR) Fund. And, through its wider international engagement, the UK influences the evolution of global rules and norms, for example championing the adoption of beneficial ownership transparency standards.

The Government's future plans for tackling the proceeds of corruption from developing countries will be based on existing strategies such as the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2022 and the National Economic Crime Plan 2019-2022, as well as the priorities set in the ongoing Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy and subsequent Spending Review.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office plan to take to ensure that allocations of aid will contribute to environmentally sustainable development as set out on the (a) Millennium Development Goals and (b) the International Development Act 2006.

As the only G7 country to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas development, the UK remains committed to environmentally sustainable development set out in the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals, agreed in 2015. We will continue also to report on our aid expenditure as required by the International Development Act 2006.

Climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss all pose a threat to sustainability – with the poorest and most vulnerable most at risk. In September 2019 the Prime Minister committed to doubling the UK’s International Climate Finance over the next five years. The UK is prioritising protecting the environment and reversing biodiversity loss in line with the Government’s manifesto. Uniting development and diplomacy in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will provide an opportunity for the UK to have even greater impact in this area and on other development priorities.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will ensure that future allocations of aid will contribute to achieving universal (a) primary education and (b) healthcare.

The UK Government is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and to spending 0.7% of GNI towards this. This includes achieving the goal of universal health coverage, under SDG3, in particular ending the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030; and quality education for all, under SDG4, in particular universal primary education and greater opportunities for girls. Through our bilateral programmes and as the largest contributor to both the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait, we are also proud to be a leading donor in support of basic education.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what progress her Department has made on Millennium Development Goals in relation to tackling (a) child mortality, (b) covid-19 and (c) other diseases.

The Millennium Development Goals expired in 2015 and were replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which run until 2030. Significant progress has been made in recent decades on global health, for example the global neonatal mortality rate fell from 31 deaths per thousand live births in 2000 to 18 deaths per thousand in 2018, while the number of global malaria deaths fell from 840,000 to 405,000 over the same period.

The UK has played a strong part in this. UK investment in Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance since 2000 has supported the immunisation of 760 million children and contributed to preventing thirteen million deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. The UK is also the second-highest country donor on malaria.

COVID-19 risks reversing these earlier gains. The UK is committed to supporting developing countries’ health systems to respond to COVID-19 and to achieving the health-related SDGs. We will do this with a particular focus on ending the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030 and also through increasing UK leadership on malaria.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to Recommendation 12, paragraph 45 of the 12th Report of the International Development Committee of Session 2017-19, on the UK's progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Voluntary National Review, HC 1732, if the Government will take the opportunity of the merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to review the location of responsibility for leading and reporting on the UK’s domestic performance against the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK remains committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the SDGs will play an important role in collective approaches to post-COVID-19 recovery. Responsibility for the oversight of the SDGs will need to be considered in the round as part of the formation of the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Notwithstanding this, all government departments have responsibility for the aspects of the SDGs that relate to their respective policy responsibilities.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when her annual report will be laid before the House as required by the International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Act 2006.

DFID’s Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20 will be laid in Parliament and published on gov.uk on 21 July 2020.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government will take to ensure that Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office expenditure on Official Development Assistance is subject to independent review as required under the provisions of the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be accountable to parliament for how it spends UK aid. We remain committed to full transparency in our aid spending and there will continue to be parliamentary and independent scrutiny of the aid budget – the form this takes following the merger will be set out in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government has taken to (a) embed gender equality and (b) empower women through UK Official Development Assistance in the new Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Advancing gender equality and women’s rights are a core part of this Government’s mission, and vital to fulfilling every girl’s right to 12 years of quality education. The Government remains steadfast in its commitment to this agenda.

We remain committed to spending 0.7% of Gross National Income on development. The UK International Development Act (Gender Equality) 2014 also makes a consideration of gender equality in all UK Overseas Development Assistance a legal requirement.

The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy is expected to conclude later in the year. This will define the Government’s ambition for the UK’s role in the world and its outcomes will shape the objectives of the new Department, including on gender equality and women’s rights. Both the review and the merger are evidence of the Prime Minister’s commitment to a unified British foreign and development policy that will maximise our influence around the world.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of progress towards meeting Millennium Development Goal 8 and towards the development of an open trading system and debt relief in low income countries.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expired in 2015 and were replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UK is committed to the SDGs and last year published a Voluntary National Review of progress to date.

COVID-19 poses real risks to eroding progress on the SDGs and there is a need to accelerate global action to reach the Goals by 2030. The UK, G20 and Paris Club, will suspend up to $12 billion of debt repayments from the poorest countries due this year under the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative. The UK has also committed up to £150 million to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, to fund the poorest countries’ debt repayments to the IMF.

The UK is also committed to supporting developing countries to integrate into the rules based international system so as to benefit from free and open trade. Our Trade Advocacy and Investment Fund supports low income countries to participate fully in WTO negotiations. More broadly, our Aid for Trade portfolio supports developing countries to benefit from WTO Agreements and open trade, including our major contribution to the Enhanced Integrated Framework.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to integrate its (a) development and (b) humanitarian initiatives to protect children from violence in its response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government is committed to protecting vulnerable children and helping them to grow up free from violence through COVID-19 and beyond. DFID is working with international partners to ensure that child protection is prioritised and integrated into the multi-sectoral response to the pandemic.

We have committed £296 million to support the global health response and vulnerable countries, including £145 million to UN appeals. This includes: £20 million to UNICEF to support the continuity of essential social services for children, women and vulnerable populations, including child protection; £20 million to UNHCR to ensure continuity of critical protection activities, including child protection, through community-based interventions, remote protection interventions and counselling using a variety of channels and; £5 million to Education Cannot Wait to support children in crisis settings while they are out of school.

DFID is also working with all our humanitarian partners to ensure that they mainstream child protection within their operations and use available guidance and tools, including the 2019 Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. DFID’s existing development programmes – which often support crisis-affected communities - have also adapted to the pandemic, integrating urgent response measures to keep children safe. For example, our Children on the Move programme, which is improving the child protection system for children migrating in Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, has now established hotline services for children affected by the pandemic and is training social workers in family tracing.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to prioritise child protection in its response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government is committed to protecting vulnerable children and helping them to grow up free from violence through COVID-19 and beyond. DFID is working with international partners to ensure that child protection is prioritised and integrated into the multi-sectoral response to the pandemic. We have provided £20 million to UNICEF to support the continuity of essential social services for children, women and vulnerable populations, including child protection.

DFID is adapting its child protection programming to respond to COVID-19. For example, our support to the UN Global Programme to End Child Marriage is responding across 12 countries by strengthening national child helplines and the social welfare workforce and raising awareness on child marriage risks through radio stations. In Ethiopia we have provided an additional £5 million to UNICEF, which is supporting the provision of Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support services to affected children and families and capacity building for frontline health and education workers on child protection risks.

Keeping children safe while they are out of school is a priority for DFID. The UK is the largest donor to Education Cannot Wait and we recently agreed an additional £5 million of funding for the COVID-19 response that is supporting emergency education measures and information campaigns, and upgrading water and sanitation facilities in schools. As the largest donor to the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children our £5 million contribution to the Safe to Learn campaign is now focusing on keeping children safe in the out-of-school learning environment.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to progress its work on ending child marriage after the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK remains resolute in our commitment to end child marriage, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The UK’s Strategic Vision on Gender Equality is clear on this.

Through our flagship investments, DFID committed a total of £39 million over 5 years (2015-2020) to support international efforts to end child marriage, in 12 high prevalence countries across the world. Since 2015 the programme has reached over 7.7 million girls with schooling initiatives, skills training and girls’ clubs to prevent and respond to child marriage.

This programme is now adapting to respond to COVID-19 by strengthening national child helplines and the social welfare workforce and raising awareness on child marriage risks.

DFID also tackles child marriage through a range of other programmes, including on women and girls’ empowerment and girls’ education. Making progress on ending child marriage will remain a key focus through and beyond COVID-19, including as part of our work to deliver the Prime Minister’s commitment to champion 12 years of quality education for girls.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to integrate its policy on (a) mental health support, (b) psychosocial support and (c) child protection in its response to the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on children.

The UK Government is committed to supporting vulnerable populations during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, including children. We have committed £296 million to support the global health response and vulnerable countries, including £145 million to UN appeals. This includes £20 million to UNICEF to support essential social services for children, women and vulnerable populations, including child protection, and £5 million to Education Cannot Wait to support children in crisis settings while they are out of school including mental health and psycho-social support (MHPSS) interventions.

DFID’s country programmes supporting vulnerable children have also adapted to Covid-19, including in Ethiopia where we have provided an additional £5 million to UNICEF to support the provision of MHPSS services to affected children and families.

DFID will be publishing a new Position Paper and Theory of Change on mental health to act as a global tool for Covid-19 responses. This has been developed in consultation with the mental health sector and provides practical advice for DFID and the sector as to how to support those with mental health and psychosocial disabilities.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on her Department's humanitarian work in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In June 2020, the UN published revised estimates that 25.6 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance in DRC, an increase from the previous estimate of 15.6 million. This increase is primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 on food security and the already fragile healthcare system. In addition, access challenges, disruption to supply chains, and increased insecurity will continue to exacerbate humanitarian needs.

The UK is continuing to respond at scale to meet urgent humanitarian needs and has adapted our programmes to reduce the risk of, and respond to, COVID-19 transmission.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to (a) assess and tackle the increased risk of child labour as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and (b) ensure its covid-19 response prioritises the protection of children.

DFID is working as quickly as possible to assess and respond to the unprecedented challenges arising from COVID-19 and provide support to vulnerable populations most at risk, especially children.

We are working closely with delivery partners on the ground to adapt our programmes to support vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19. We continue to push for coordinated action to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking at the international level to mitigate the primary and secondary impacts of the pandemic.

For example, through the £26 million Asia Regional Child Labour Programme, UNICEF is identifying and tracking vulnerable children in India and Pakistan and linking them to social protection systems. They are also supporting governments and local communities with psychosocial support services, hygiene activities and efforts to reduce stigma.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on her Department's support for the Rohingya refugees.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Rohingya refugee camps. From the start of the crisis, DFID has worked with partners to help mitigate the impact of the virus on the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Our existing work has been adapted to respond to the crisis. UK funding has helped to establish isolation and treatment centres, such as a 60-bed facility, to treat severe and critical cases, as well as the delivery of home-based healthcare and monitoring. We are supporting WHO to coordinate the health response with the Government. Our funding is also distributing soap and building more handwashing structures; and producing and rolling out a range of communication tools to share vital information.

While we have prioritised budget and activities to focus on the immediate impact of COVID-19, we continue to deliver our routine support comprising providing food and nutrition, shelter, health, protection, water and sanitation, targeted support for women and girls, and the elderly. We also fund the education sector which – while learning centres are closed - is supporting caregivers for learning at home and preparing for the Myanmar curriculum pilot rollout.

Whilst every effort is being made to minimise transmission in the camps, the highly congested conditions and vulnerability of the population will pose major challenges when cases reach peak levels. We will continue to work closely with our implementing partners and the humanitarian community in Cox’s Bazar to respond as best as possible.

We remain committed in our support of Rohingya refugees in both Bangladesh and Myanmar. The Development Secretary has recently undertaken a virtual visit to Bangladesh and had the opportunity to see the continued humanitarian needs of the Rohingya. She stressed the UK’s continued commitment to helping Bangladesh and the refugees the country is hosting.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the trade unions of the Department for International Development staff members (a) were consulted before the merger between those departments announcement and (b) will be consulted as part of the merger process.

There was no formal consultation with our trade unions (PCS and FDA) prior to this decision being made. We have now commenced discussions and they will have a key role to play as we develop the new organisation.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how the staff of the Department for International Development were notified of (a) the merger between that department and his Department and the (b) implications for their jobs of that merger.

It is an important principle that announcement of a change such as this should be made by the PM in Parliament first. Staff were informed straight after the announcement. We will work closely with staff throughout the process of implementing the merger. Merging the departments will bring together the best of what we do in aid and diplomacy, and create new opportunities for staff. The ambition, vision and expertise of DFID staff will be at the heart of the new department – taking forward the work of UK aid, which will remain central to our mission. There will be no compulsory redundancies.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if the Government will support the ACT Accelerator and its grantees to work with the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool.

The UK has welcomed the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator since its launch on 24 April 2020. We look forward to further engagement with this collaborative initiative and continue to support the work done under the ACT Accelerator to develop new vaccines, treatments and tests, and to accelerate global access?to these essential health technologies for?everyone. The UK has also long supported affordable and equitable access to essential medicines through our funding. We have committed over £313 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the?COVID-19?Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), supporting equitable access to COVID-19 medical technologies.

We are seeking additional detail from the World Health Organisation on how the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) will fit into the wider global governance for development of COVID-19 medical technologies (including the ACT-Accelerator). The UK supports the work of the Medicines Patent Pool as an existing mechanism to facilitate pooling and IP sharing. We remain committed to collaborating with public and private partners on additional arrangements to support equitable and affordable access, including options for non-exclusive voluntary licensing. We believe that a voluntary approach to intellectual property has advantages over mandatory approaches, and creates a sounder basis for long-lasting, beneficial relationships, and incentives to create new much-needed innovations.

12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what additional budget allocations her Department has made to programmes in Cox’s Bazar to (a) support the covid-19 response and (b) maintain and expand gender-based violence services in light of the prevalence of gender-based violence in the camps.

The UK has provided an initial £11 million to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Rohingya camps and surrounding host communities. This has been allocated to existing UN and Non-Governmental Organisation UK partners. It is also maintaining essential humanitarian services in the camps, such as shelter, food, registration and civil documentation, healthcare, water and sanitation, and hygiene.

Part of this funding is focused on ensuring critical gender-based violence (GBV) and child protection services keep operating for all those who need them. For example, the UK has provided an additional £400,000 to UNFPA for GBV services, including activities disseminating anti-GBV messaging and anti-GBV role modelling activities with adolescent boys and girls.

The Rohingya Refugee response in Cox’s Bazar district has been reduced to only critical services since 8 April. While women and girls’ safe spaces are not functioning as normal (to prevent the spread of the virus), all protection services including GBV services have continued throughout. DFID officials are collaborating with UN agencies on the provision and continuity of GBV services. UN agencies have worked closely with the Bangladesh government to prepare and respond to COVID-19 in the refugee camps and ensure vital and lifesaving operations are not jeopardised.

12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what representations she has made to (a) UN agencies and (b) the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that gender-based violence (GBV) services are designated as essential in order to allow for continuity of GBV service provision in Cox’s Bazar throughout the covid-19 response.

The UK has provided an initial £11 million to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Rohingya camps and surrounding host communities. This has been allocated to existing UN and Non-Governmental Organisation UK partners. It is also maintaining essential humanitarian services in the camps, such as shelter, food, registration and civil documentation, healthcare, water and sanitation, and hygiene.

Part of this funding is focused on ensuring critical gender-based violence (GBV) and child protection services keep operating for all those who need them. For example, the UK has provided an additional £400,000 to UNFPA for GBV services, including activities disseminating anti-GBV messaging and anti-GBV role modelling activities with adolescent boys and girls.

The Rohingya Refugee response in Cox’s Bazar district has been reduced to only critical services since 8 April. While women and girls’ safe spaces are not functioning as normal (to prevent the spread of the virus), all protection services including GBV services have continued throughout. DFID officials are collaborating with UN agencies on the provision and continuity of GBV services. UN agencies have worked closely with the Bangladesh government to prepare and respond to COVID-19 in the refugee camps and ensure vital and lifesaving operations are not jeopardised.

12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the scale of gender-based violence (GBV) in Cox’s Bazar (a) before and (b) during the covid-19 pandemic; and with reference to International Rescue Committee research indicating at least one in four women and girls that organisation screens have experienced GBV, what plans her Department has to help maintain and expand provision of GBV services.

Gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a constant threat in refugee camps, especially to women and girls. The scale of GBV in the Rohingya camps is too high, though still not fully known. As GBV is generally underreported due to stigma and fear, the recorded cases are likely to represent only a small fraction of the overall number. However, an information management system is ensuring vital data is collected and analysed from recorded cases.

We agree with the International Rescue Committee that we need to expand GBV programming to address unmet needs, including prevention activities; and that these needs are likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19. The UK is the second largest donor to the Rohingya response, contributing £256 million to-date, and we play a leadership role in ensuring anti-GBV efforts are prioritised.

DFID has continuously supported efforts to reduce GBV in Rohingya camps and also in host communities. UK aid-supported GBV activities are being implemented across 34 camps, in 35 women friendly spaces/integrated women centres, and have helped more than 12,000 individuals receive GBV case management support since 2017.

The UK has provided £11 million to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Rohingya camps and surrounding host communities. Part of this funding is focused on ensuring critical gender-based violence and child protection services keep operating for all those who need them. For example, the UK has provided an additional £400,000 to UNFPA for GBV services, including disseminating anti-GBV messaging and anti-GBV activities with adolescent boys and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the findings of the International Rescue Committee’s report entitled The Shadow Pandemic: Gender-Based Violence amongst Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, and what steps she plans to take to ensure that funding for gender-based violence services is (a) maintained and (b) increased in Cox’s Bazar.

Gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a constant threat in refugee camps, especially to women and girls. The scale of GBV in the Rohingya camps is too high, though still not fully known. As GBV is generally underreported due to stigma and fear, the recorded cases are likely to represent only a small fraction of the overall number. However, an information management system is ensuring vital data is collected and analysed from recorded cases.

We agree with the International Rescue Committee that we need to expand GBV programming to address unmet needs, including prevention activities; and that these needs are likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19. The UK is the second largest donor to the Rohingya response, contributing £256 million to-date, and we play a leadership role in ensuring anti-GBV efforts are prioritised.

DFID has continuously supported efforts to reduce GBV in Rohingya camps and also in host communities. UK aid-supported GBV activities are being implemented across 34 camps, in 35 women friendly spaces/integrated women centres, and have helped more than 12,000 individuals receive GBV case management support since 2017.

The UK has provided £11 million to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Rohingya camps and surrounding host communities. Part of this funding is focused on ensuring critical gender-based violence and child protection services keep operating for all those who need them. For example, the UK has provided an additional £400,000 to UNFPA for GBV services, including disseminating anti-GBV messaging and anti-GBV activities with adolescent boys and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Government’s announcement of 2 June 2020 on a new £160 million humanitarian aid package for Yemen, what (a) public health expertise and (b) medical equipment the Government is planning to provide to the Yemen under that aid package to help tackle the ongoing humanitarian crisis in that country; and whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of using the UN-backed International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen to deliver such resources.

As part of our £160 million commitment in humanitarian funding for Yemen in the 2020/21 financial year, the UK expects to provide over 700,000 medical consultations, train 12,000 healthcare workers to work safely in a COVID-19 environment and provide a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres to continue providing existing health services.

The UK also continues to engage closely the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), including through advice and support, to help them with their COVID-19 response in Yemen.

We are also working with the British NGO UK Med to explore the possibility of seconding medical experts to support the UN’s COVID-19 response.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of providing (a) financial assistance and (b) medical supplies to (i) the UN-backed International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen and (ii) UN-backed Yemeni-led frameworks established to support the WHO’s response to the covid-19 pandemic in Yemen.

The UK announced our new pledge of £160 million in humanitarian funding for Yemen in the 2020/21 financial year at the Yemen Pledging Conference on 2 June.

As part of this commitment, the UK will support the UN’s plans to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Yemen and expects to provide over 700,000 medical consultations, train 12,000 healthcare workers to work safely in a COVID-19 environment, and provide a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres to continue providing existing health services.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the provision of additional funding to slow the spread of covid-19 in Yemen.

Over the last month the International Development Secretary and I have held several calls with our counterparts, including from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, to stress the importance of donors providing additional funds to the humanitarian response in Yemen.

UK officials have also held similar discussions with their counterparts around the world.

The UK announced our new pledge of £160 million in humanitarian funding for Yemen in the 2020/21 financial year at the Yemen Pledging Conference on 2 June, taking our total commitment since the conflict began to £970 million.

We will continue to encourage further funding from other donors over the coming months.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether it is the Government's policy to support calls for research projects funded through the COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to be subject to mandatory inclusion into the World Health Organisation COVID-19 Intellectual Property Pool.

The UK has welcomed the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator since its launch on 24 April 2020. We look forward to further engagement with this collaborative arrangement and continue to support the work done under the ACT Accelerator to develop new vaccines, treatments and tests, and to accelerate global access?to these essential health technologies for?everyone. We are engaging with our international partners on the best ways to support equitable and affordable access to new innovations, and the UK is committed to collaborating with public and private partners in the UK and internationally. This includes exploring voluntary arrangements and approaches such as non-exclusive voluntary licensing, which promote affordable access for all while also providing incentives to create new inventions. We believe that a voluntary approach to intellectual property has advantages over mandatory approaches, and creates a sounder basis for long-lasting, beneficial relationships, and incentives to create new innovations.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, following the World Health Assembly and pre-launch of the World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 Intellectual Property Pool, whether the Government plans to support the WHO to establish an effective global pool of rights for Covid-19 health technologies.

The UK believes that a robust and fair intellectual property system is a key part of the innovation framework that allows economies to grow, while enabling society to benefit from knowledge and ideas. We have long supported affordable and equitable access to essential medicines, including in low and middle-income countries. We are committed to collaborating with public and private partners in the UK and internationally. This includes exploring voluntary arrangements and approaches that promote affordable access for all while also providing incentives to create new inventions, to accelerate development and equitable access in all countries and to ensure affordable health technologies for responding to COVID-19. There are a number of existing mechanisms that facilitate pooling and sharing intellectual property that could be expanded to cover COVID-19, such as the Medicines Patent Pool, which have the potential to provide a more efficient way forward than creating new mechanisms.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the proposal from the Government of Costa Rica for the World Health Organisation to create a global pool of rights in covid-19 related technologies for the detection, prevention, control and treatment of covid-19.

Proposals for the development of, and access to, new COVID-19 tools are currently being discussed, including at the World Health Assembly. The UK has long supported affordable and equitable access to essential medicines, vaccines and other health commodities in the UK and globally, and has worked with others to make that happen through global and national partnerships. We are committed to collaborating with public and private partners in the UK and internationally, including exploring existing voluntary arrangements, such as patent pools, to accelerate development.

The UK is also at the forefront of global efforts to ensure equitable access to potential COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests. We have committed over £313 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics. This funding, alongside our £1.65 billion pledge to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, will support the development, manufacture and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests for people in the Global South.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has to use its position as co-host of the Coronavirus Global Response Summit to support legally binding arrangements with private and public partners to ensure that health technologies resulting from public investment are (a) priced fairly and affordably to healthcare payers and (b) free to the public at the point of care in all countries.

The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to ensure equitable access to potential COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests, and is funding key organisations central to the global response. We have committed over £313 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics. This, alongside our £1.65 billion pledge to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, will support the development, manufacture and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests for people in the Global South.

We are proud to have co-led the successful Coronavirus Global Response Initiative pledging event on 4 May, which raised 7.4 billion Euros. The Prime Minister took part by video message, reiterating his call at the G20 in March for leaders to collaborate to rapidly develop a vaccine, making it available to everyone who needs it. We are committed to continued collaboration with public and private partners in the UK and internationally to this end. The Foreign Secretary welcomed the Action for COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative to support international collaboration on development and global access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics at its launch on 24 April.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that critical services to prevent (a) maternal, (b) newborn and (c) child deaths in developing countries are maintained during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK government’s commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030 is more essential now than ever given the COVID-19 outbreak. DFID is stepping up efforts to ensure sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health services continue to be prioritised in our response to the pandemic, to stop mothers and babies dying unnecessarily.

We are funding and working with agencies such as the World Health Organisation, UN Population Fund, the Partnership for Maternal New-born and Child Health and the Global Financing Facility (GFF) to support governments to maintain health systems in affected countries, provide technical guidance and advocate for sustained reproductive, maternal, new-born and child health services. This includes filling essential supply chain gaps and supporting frontline health workers. The UK supported the GFF Investors Group last week in calling for strong, collective action to avoid a potential secondary health crisis from disruptions in health services from COVID-19.

The Global Vaccine Summit in June is also seeking to raise at least US $7.4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance 2021 – 2025 strategy. The UK has committed £1.65 billion, the equivalent of £330 million per year, to support Gavi’s goal to immunise a further 300 million children and save up to 8 million lives.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that charges for healthcare are not a barrier to the treatment of covid-19 in developing countries.

The UK has, so far, pledged £744 million of UK aid to help end the COVID-19 pandemic, in support of the coordinated international response through the international financing institutions, multilaterals and global health initiatives, and DFID programmes. This is to meet the urgent health, humanitarian and economic needs of vulnerable people in developing countries and to support developing new vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.

The UK continues to champion universal health coverage (UHC) as vital to ensuring access to quality essential services for all and helping to protect everyone from infectious diseases, including COVID-19. UHC includes ensuring that no one is impoverished through paying for health services and reducing financial barriers for essential services, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that humanitarian (a) access and (b) policies are protected in the global response to the covid-19 pandemic.

To date, the UK has committed £744 million of UK Aid to support global efforts to combat COVID-19. We are working with all our international partners to ensure aid is effectively distributed to vulnerable countries.

The UK is a key contributor to the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP), which focuses on humanitarian access, through securing the continuity of the supply chains for essential commodities and services, and supporting the most vulnerable, including protecting and assisting refugees, Internally Displaced Peoples, migrants and host communities.

We are co-leading work with Italy through the G7 to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable countries. A large part of this work is to ensure unhindered humanitarian access for vulnerable populations, and to make sure the global response is prioritising the most in need.

We are also using diplomatic channels to ensure that international humanitarian law and global commitments regarding the rights and protection of refugees and access to asylum are upheld in this crisis.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, from which budget allocation the £46 million package for funding a coronavirus vaccine has come from.

The global race to find a vaccine for coronavirus has been bolstered by our £46 million package which has been funded from the UK ODA Crisis Reserve, which was established as part of the UK Aid Strategy in 2015.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government plans to extend safeguards on steel imports beyond their expiry in June 2021.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the steel safeguard measure on 1st October 2020.

We anticipate that TRID – which will become the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) on 1st June – will complete the review in time for a decision by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade before the measure expires on 30th June.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the UK has changed its position on the TRIPS waiver proposal at the WTO that would suspend global patent rules during the covid-19 pandemic in response to the US government supporting that proposal.

I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave earlier today (UIN: 448).

9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department plans to reduce or remove any tariffs in the egg industry for non-EU countries in 2021.

The agricultural products that are protected by tariffs have been selected according to the principles set out in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018. Where tariff lines have been retained in sectors such as agriculture, this has been done to tailor the policy to the needs of the UK economy and to balance the interest of both producers and consumers.

Analysis showed that some production would be significantly impacted in an adverse manner by liberalisation. Therefore, tariffs on certain products, such as eggs, are being retained but simplified.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to research published by Wageningen University in its report The Competitiveness of the UK Egg Sector, an international comparison of production costs, base year 2018, published in 2019, whether her Department has carried out an assessment of the effect on the British egg industry in the event that tariffs are reduced or removed across different tariff lines.

The Government has followed an evidence -based approach throughout the development of the UK Global Tariff (UKGT).

The Government used a range of analytical tools and evidence to develop the UKGT, including responses to the public consultation and analysis of international trade flows. This evidence was carefully considered along with a range of factors, such as the five principles set out in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if her Department will (a) protect the British egg industry’s current standards in trade negotiations with the US and (b) prevent tariff-free access for eggs and egg products that are produced from hens kept in barren battery cages and similar systems.

The Government has made it clear that any future deal with the US must work for UK consumers, farmers and food manufacturers, as well as protect the UK’s high standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection. The UK’s Food Standards Agencies will continue to ensure that all imports meet domestic standards, and the EU Withdrawal Act will transfer all existing provisions onto the UK statute book.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many sections of dual carriageway are subject to reduced speed limits due to the condition of central reservation safety barriers as of 28 November 2023.

There are currently no speed restrictions in place on any stretch of dual carriageway on the Strategic Road Network due to the condition of the central reservation safety barriers.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many times the National Highways CHARM system has suffered an outage lasting in excess of ten minutes in the last 12 months.

In the last 12 months there have been: 18 planned outages for routine maintenance and upgrades, and 21 unplanned outages, lasting more than 10 minutes to the CHARM system. Of these, 26 impacted single regions only.

During these outages National Highways has well-rehearsed mitigations in place, including, but not limited to dedicated Traffic Officer patrols and increased monitoring of CCTV.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 March 2023 to Question 158934 and the Answer of 20 March 2023 to Question 163764 on Road Traffic Control, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of redundancy systems for National Highways’ CHARM system in the context of the outage on 22 February 2023.

On rare occasions, the nature of a failure may prevent the operation of CHARM for longer periods of time and when this happens National Highways has well-rehearsed procedures in place to help ensure the safety of road users, such as increased patrols and CCTV monitoring. Safety remains our priority and National Highways investigates every outage to ensure that steps are taken to prevent future occurrences.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how may traffic officer vehicles have been involved in an accident in a live lane on smart motorways in the last 12 months.

National Highways does not hold this data in the format requested.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether system redundancy allows National Highway’s CHARM system to continue operation seamlessly in the event of a systems failure.

The CHARM system has been designed with system redundancy to move promptly to a backup system.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether system redundancy to ensure continued operation in the event of a system failure was included in the original design specification for the National Highways’ CHARM system.

Yes, the system has been designed to provide full system redundancy and disaster recovery arrangements in the event of a system failure.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it is the policy of National Highways to provide advanced notice to motorists of any planned outages of its Dynac system.

As with any technology, there is an ongoing need for maintenance and upgrade work. There was planned maintenance overnight on Saturday on 28 January 2023, timed for when traffic levels are at their lightest.

National Highways have well-rehearsed procedures in place for planned outages, including increased patrolling by National Highway’s traffic officers, pre-positioned vehicle recovery and active monitoring of CCTV.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether National Highways is planning any outages of its Dynac system.

As with any technology, there is an ongoing need for maintenance and upgrade work. There was planned maintenance overnight on Saturday on 28 January 2023, timed for when traffic levels are at their lightest.

National Highways have well-rehearsed procedures in place for planned outages, including increased patrolling by National Highway’s traffic officers, pre-positioned vehicle recovery and active monitoring of CCTV.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 December to Question 109583, on Motorways whether his Department collects data on response times to each incident in which a vehicle is stranded in a live lane on All Lane Running Motorways.

National Highways provides the Department with a monthly summary of traffic officer attendance time data. This covers, for all incident types, the time from when we are first made aware of an incident, to when a traffic officer arrives at the incident on all lane running smart motorways where emergency areas are more than a mile apart.

The average response time in November was 9 minutes and 22 seconds.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
13th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what data his Department holds on response times for providing support to vehicles stranded in live lanes on smart motorways; and what policies his Department has on the (a) collection and (b) use of such data.

National Highways annual smart motorways safety publications include data about vehicles stopped in live lanes, which shows that a very small proportion of total journeys on any road result in live lane breakdowns. National Highways also monitor and manage the performance of traffic officer attendance times, where emergency areas are more than a mile apart, and stopped vehicle detection times where the system is in place.

The Department meets regularly with National Highways to review operational data and will continue to consider this alongside the wider safety and economic data during the current pause on the roll-out of new smart motorways.

As part of the stocktake action plan in 2020, National Highways committed to faster attendance by more traffic officer patrols where emergency areas are more than a mile apart, reducing the national average time it takes traffic officers to attend incidents from 17 to 10 minutes. In September 2022, National Highways successfully met its revised national target and averaged a response time of 9 minutes 49 seconds.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
1st Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November to Question 93553 on Motorways: Safety, of the 10% of vehicles stopped in live lanes on all-lane running motorways not detected within 60 seconds, in how many instances detection took more than (a) five and (b) ten minutes in 2022.

National Highways has established processes for monitoring the performance of stopped vehicle detection where it is in place on all lane running sections of smart motorway, collecting samples of operational data covering emergency areas and live lanes. National Highways currently has 17 days’ worth of operational sample data covering the period 2021 and 2022.

From this data, an average of around 98.3% of vehicles stopped in live lanes or emergency areas were detected within 5 minutes, and around 99.7% within 10 minutes. There were single figures of cars that took over 10 minutes to detect.

Please note that as the sample of the data evolves, there may be further changes to the figures presented. As the data is based on a sample dataset, any extrapolation or conclusions should be made with caution.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of incidents in which a vehicle became stranded in a live lane of an all-lane running motorway did detection take more than (a) five and (b) ten minutes in 2022.

National Highways identifies stopped vehicles through various sources including being notified by the police, public, stopped vehicle detection (SVD) technology where in place, recovery industry and its traffic officers.

To monitor the performance of SVD National Highways sample operational data.

Based on the latest operational data, National Highways detects around two thirds of identified stopped vehicles within 20 seconds and this rises to almost 90% within 60 seconds.

This data also shows almost all stopped vehicles identified by SVD technology were detected within five minutes, excluding very few instances which were deemed to be false alerts.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
16th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how long it takes on average to (a) detect and (b) respond to a vehicle stranded in a live lane on all lane running motorways in England.

National Highways detects around two thirds of stopped vehicles within 20 seconds and almost 90% within 60 seconds.

National Highways has also made considerable progress in attending incidents on all lane running motorways, especially where emergency areas are more than a mile apart. In September 2022 the average attendance time for these sections was 9 minutes 49 seconds. National Highways will continue to work hard to keep average attendance times to 10 minutes on these sections.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents occurred in which (a) Stopped Vehicle Detection systems and (b) overhead warning gantries were offline as a result of technical failures across the smart motorway network in the last 12 months.

Smart motorways have a whole system of inter-related safety features, not present on conventional motorways, which means there is no over-reliance on one single feature. When outages do occur, National Highways has well-rehearsed procedures to deal with issues when they arise and additional measures can be taken to limit any impact on drivers, including extra traffic officer patrols and virtual CCTV patrols.

For the month of September 2022, the national availability of Stopped Vehicle Detection technology was recorded at over 98%, and for warning signs at over 90%. National Highways has already taken action to continue to improve warning signs availability to meet the 95% availability target they have.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how long in total hours (a) Stopped Vehicle Detection systems and (b) overhead warning gantries have been offline as a result of technical failures across the smart motorway network in the last 12 months.

Smart motorways have a whole system of inter-related safety features, not present on conventional motorways, which means there is no over-reliance on one single feature. When outages do occur, National Highways has well-rehearsed procedures to deal with issues when they arise and additional measures can be taken to limit any impact on drivers, including extra traffic officer patrols and virtual CCTV patrols.

For the month of September 2022, the national availability of Stopped Vehicle Detection technology was recorded at over 98%, and for warning signs at over 90%. National Highways has already taken action to continue to improve warning signs availability to meet the 95% availability target they have.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which motorway projects were under construction where the hard shoulder was being converted to a running lane as of 1 September 2022; what the completion date is for those projects; and if he will make a statement.

As of the 1 September 2022, there were 4 schemes all lane running upgrade schemes under construction. These were the: M1 Junction 13-16 (noting parts of this scheme had already finished construction by 1 September 2022), M4 Junctions 3-12 (noting parts of this scheme had already finished construction by 1 September 2022), M6 Junctions 21a-26 and M56 Junctions 6-8.

It is expected these sections will have completed construction and have stopped vehicle detection in place no later than:

  • M1 Junction 13-16: Spring 2023
  • M4 Junctions 3-12: Winter 2022
  • M6 Junctions 21a-26: Spring 2023
  • M56 Junctions 6-8: Spring 2023
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many passenger trains serviced Rotherham Central Station in March 2022 compared to March (a) 2017, (b) 2018 and (c) 2019.

The table below shows the total number of services from Rotherham Central Station in March for each year requested:

Time Period

Number of Trains

March 2017

2,949

March 2018

2,752

March 2019

3.108

March 2020

2,662

March 2021

2,140

March 2022

1,822

13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people used Rotherham Central Station in March 2022 compared to the number of people in March (a) 2017, (b) 2018 and (c) 2019.

The table below presents estimates of the number of tickets issued for travel to or from Rotherham Central Station in March for each year requested:

Time Period

Number of Tickets Issued

March 2017

28,570

March 2018

24,062

March 2019

24,693

March 2022

16,737

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of pausing all work on forthcoming smart motorway projects pending the Government’s response to the Transport Committee's report entitled Rollout and safety of smart motorways.

The Transport Select Committee’s (TSC) report Rollout and safety of smart motorways was published on 2 November 2021, and the Department has since been considering its recommendations in detail. The Government will be providing a formal response to the Committee meeting its deadline of 10 January 2022. The Secretary of State’s focus since assuming office has been to ensure that smart motorways are as safe as they can be, and I can assure the Honourable Member that we are taking the Transport Committee’s recommendations seriously.

24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether contracts have been issued for smart motorway projects on the (a) M62, (b) M40 and (c) M42 as of 24 November 2021; and what his planned timetable is for commencing that work on those motorways.

We are currently considering the Transport Committee’s recommendations contained in its report, Rollout and safety of smart motorways, and their practical applications, and will be providing a formal response in due course.

Contracts have been previously issued for smart motorways projects on the (a) M62 Junctions 20 to 25 and the M40/M42 Interchange, which is treated as one scheme.

Early design and enabling works contracts were awarded in early 2019 for the M62 Junctions 20 to 25 and M40/M42 Interchange, with work commencing late 2019. This included detailed surveys, hard shoulder strengthening and limited site clearance. Full detailed design was awarded on 11 June 2020 followed by full construction works on 23 October 2020 through a package contract to the Smart Motorways Alliance.

Main construction works for the M62 Junctions 20 to 25 is scheduled for January 2023. Main construction works for the M40/42 Interchange commenced in October 2021 with limited vegetation clearance and ecological mitigation for communications cable diversions.

24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with EU counterparts on (a) the Interbus Agreement, (b) the 90 day rule and (c) UK coach tour drivers travel in Europe.

The Interbus Agreement was a central part of discussions between the UK and EU during the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) negotiations for international coach and bus services.

The UK acceded to the Interbus Agreement as an independent member on 1 January 2021, which allows occasional passenger transport services (e.g. coach tours) to continue between the UK and other members of the Interbus Agreement, including the EU.  In addition, the ‘transport of passengers’ title in the TCA ensures that authorised regular (scheduled) and special regular services to and from EU countries can continue.

This was a temporary measure that ceases apply to the UK in April 2022 as the Interbus Agreement has now been extended via a Protocol to include regular and special regular services. The EU is aware that the UK will sign the Protocol and have legislation in place in time for when this change comes into force.

On the 90 day rule and UK coach drivers, visa and work permit arrangements for the purpose of undertaking paid work is a matter for individual EU Member States. Since these rules are set by individual Member States, it is not a matter that the Department has discussed recently with EU officials.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide a list of incidents in which gantry notification systems were out of operation on the M1 between junctions 32 and 35a in the last three months.

Highways England currently holds data to reflect the percentage of time that roadside technology is operable rather than the number of occasions that a device is offline.

Highways England assesses that, using the time period of January 1st, 2021 through to March 31st 2021, the latest period for which data is available, that all of the technology within the M1 Junctions 28 to 35a scheme boundary was operable for 97.11% of the time.

The boundaries of M1 Junctions 28 to 35a scheme are as stated within Statutory Instrument 2015 No. 1701.

There are maintenance standards associated with the service restoration time for the various devices associated with roadside technology (including those associated with smart motorways) that work to ensure the operability is maintained. There are factors such as accessing the roadside in a safe manner that could affect restoration times.

26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on how many occasions gantry notification systems on smart motorways were inoperable as a result of technical failure in the last 12 months.

Highways England currently holds data to reflect the percentage of time that roadside technology is operable rather than the number of occasions that a device is offline.

Highways England assesses that, using the time period of April 1st, 2020 through to March 31st, 2021, that all of the relevant technology for Smart Motorways are operable for 99.38% of the time nationally, whilst, this operable figure for the Yorkshire North East region is 99.41% of the time.

There are maintenance standards to do with the service restoration time for the various devices associated with roadside technology (including those associated with smart motorways) that work to ensure the operability is maintained. There are factors such as accessing the roadside in a safe manner, that could impact restoration times.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents involving (a) serious injury and (b) death occurred between Junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 in (i) each year since March 2017 and (ii) each of the three years before March 2017.

The number of fatal and serious reported road accidents between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 from 2014 to 2019 can be found in the table below.

Reported road accidents with a personal injury between junctions 32 and 35A on the M1¹ by severity, 2014 - 2019

Calendar year

Fatal accidents

Serious accidents

2014

0

2

2015

1

2

2016

2

6

2017

1

4

2018

0

6

2019

1

5

Source: DfT, STATS19

1. does not include off ramps at junction 35a

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents in which a vehicle was stranded in a live lane have taken place between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 in the three years prior to March 2017.

The table below records all breakdown incidents that have been recorded in a live lane between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1, in both directions in the three years prior to March 2017.

Month/Year

2014

2015

2016

2017

January

11

6

65

42

February

5

5

75

58

March

10

4

80

51

April

20

3

75

53

May

8

15

79

63

June

12

19

72

77

July

15

23

62

67

August

19

26

64

64

September

13

27

59

49

October

11

39

52

66

November

17

55

45

71

December

26

46

57

68

There has been significant interest in the number of live lane breakdowns on motorways. It is important to note that live lane breakdown data is not a reliable safety indicator to correlate with serious or fatal casualties.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many serious collisions involving vehicles being stranded in a live lane have taken place from (a) junction 32 to (b) junction 35A of the M1 since March 2017.

Between Junctions 32 and 35a of the M1, from March 2017 and up to 31 December 2019 (the latest period for which validated collision data is available), there was 1 collision which involved stationary[1] vehicles.

M1 J32-35a

2017*

2018

2019

Fatal and Serious collisions with stationary vehicles in a live lane

0

0

1**

* Assumed SM ALR opening is March 2017 ** 1 collision led to 2 casualties

[1] In the absence of a Stats19 collision data field that identifies whether a vehicle was broken down or stranded, the field ‘parked’ has been used as a proxy. This will indicate that the collision involved a vehicle that was stationary without offering commentary on the reasons for it being so.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents in which a vehicle was stranded in a live lane have taken place between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 since March 2017.

The Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan, published in March 2020 considered the number of breakdown incidents by Strategic Road Network (SRN) road type. At a national level, conventional motorways had on an average annual basis 129,991 breakdowns (over 2017-2018), while All Lane Running (ALR) motorways had a total of 22,963 breakdowns over the same period.

The table below records all breakdown incidents that have been recorded in a live lane between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1, in both directions.

Month/Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

January

70

59

75

81

February

76

59

67

March

51

102

69

40

April

53

69

59

29

May

63

88

81

32

June

77

80

57

61

July

67

82

83

80

August

64

79

68

80

September

49

74

63

66

October

66

80

79

58

November

71

93

75

62

December

68

84

71

60

There has been significant interest in the number of live lane breakdowns on motorways. It is important to note that live lane breakdown data is not a reliable safety indicator to correlate with serious or fatal casualties.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many serious collisions occurred involving a vehicle in the hard shoulder between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 in the three years prior to March 2017.

There were no serious or fatal reported road accidents involving a vehicle on, entering, or leaving a lay-by or hard shoulder between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 between March 2014 and February 2017.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many additional smart motorway emergency refuges have (a) been constructed and (b) entered the design phase on the M1 since the publication of his Department's report entitled Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan, published on 12 March 2020.

Since March 2020, six emergency areas have been constructed as part of the upgrade project between J13 and J16, which is currently in construction. These emergency areas will come into use when the first section of this project (Junction 13 to Newport Pagnell services) opens to traffic in Spring 2022. There are currently no other All Lane Running (ALR) upgrade schemes on other stretches of the M1 that have entered into design since March 2020.

The Government’s Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan asked Highways England to accelerate its plans and install stopped vehicle detection technology (SVD) on ALR motorways within the next 36 months. The roll out of SVD is planned across the network by March 2023. Page 29 of Highways England’s Delivery Plan 2020-25 sets out an indicative delivery programme over the years 2020-23 for each section of ALR motorway.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many miles of smart motorway on the M1 were covered by stopped vehicle detection technology in (a) March and (b) December 2020.

Since March 2020, six emergency areas have been constructed as part of the upgrade project between J13 and J16, which is currently in construction. These emergency areas will come into use when the first section of this project (Junction 13 to Newport Pagnell services) opens to traffic in Spring 2022. There are currently no other All Lane Running (ALR) upgrade schemes on other stretches of the M1 that have entered into design since March 2020.

The Government’s Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan asked Highways England to accelerate its plans and install stopped vehicle detection technology (SVD) on ALR motorways within the next 36 months. The roll out of SVD is planned across the network by March 2023. Page 29 of Highways England’s Delivery Plan 2020-25 sets out an indicative delivery programme over the years 2020-23 for each section of ALR motorway.

8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many additional smart motorway emergency refuges have (a) been constructed and (b) have entered the design phase since the publication of his Department's report entitled Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan, published on 12 March 2020.

Since 12 March 2020, 10 additional emergency areas have been installed on the M25, in line with Action 5 of the Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan. A further 27 emergency areas have been built as part of new upgrades currently in construction and which come into use as those projects open to traffic.

In March 2020, there were 23.86 miles of smart motorway covered by stopped vehicle detection (SVD) technology. At the end of December 2020, there will be 36.78 miles. This is in line with Highways England’s programme to install SVD on all existing all lane running (ALR) sections of the motorway network, by March 2023, which it is on course to achieve.

8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many miles of smart motorway were covered by stopped vehicle detection technology in (a) March and (b) December 2020.

Since 12 March 2020, 10 additional emergency areas have been installed on the M25, in line with Action 5 of the Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan. A further 27 emergency areas have been built as part of new upgrades currently in construction and which come into use as those projects open to traffic.

In March 2020, there were 23.86 miles of smart motorway covered by stopped vehicle detection (SVD) technology. At the end of December 2020, there will be 36.78 miles. This is in line with Highways England’s programme to install SVD on all existing all lane running (ALR) sections of the motorway network, by March 2023, which it is on course to achieve.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding his Department has spent on retrofitting smart motorways with additional safety measures since the publication of his Department's report entitled Smart Motorway Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan, published on 12 March 2020.

Since the publication of the Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan in March 2020, Highways England has spent £26.4 million on safety measures identified in the action plan. The work undertaken includes constructing new emergency areas and making all emergency areas more visible, starting programmes of work to install stopped vehicle detection technology in additional locations and works to upgrade 66 miles of dynamic hard shoulder motorways to all lane running. Highways England has also been creating a national targeted campaign to increase road user confidence and awareness of what to do in the event of a breakdown on a motorway and working to update the Highway Code.

13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 12 November 2020 to Question 113113, whether a parent visiting under-age children overseas is a legally permitted reason for overseas travel under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020.

You can travel internationally if travelling for a reason which would permit you to leave your home under the national lockdown rules.

Exception 9 under the new national restrictions, as defined in the regulations: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/part/2/made outlines the legally permitted reasons for an individual to be exempt from the new national restrictions with regards to children.

Individuals should assess themselves against the regulations to determine whether they may qualify for an exemption.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Government's covid-19 restrictions on travel overseas from 5 November to 2 December 2020, whether those restrictions apply to people travelling overseas for the purpose of visiting under-age children; and whether the requirement to self-isolate on arrival in the UK applies to people having travelled overseas for that purpose.

Under the new national restrictions, you cannot travel abroad unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons, as defined in the regulations: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/part/2/made

Individuals should assess themselves against the regulations to determine whether they may qualify for an exemption.

Guidance for overseas travel during the new national restrictions is published on gov.uk, available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

The requirement for self-isolation on arrival in England will depend whether the country of departure is on the list of travel corridors or not. The most up-to-date list is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors. Individuals arriving to Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales should follow the guidance of the relevant Devolved Administration.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Government's covid-19 restrictions on travel overseas from 5 November to 2 December 2020, what forms of proof are acceptable to demonstrate that overseas travel is for the purpose of work.

Under the new national restrictions, you cannot leave or be outside of your home unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. This necessarily means that you cannot travel abroad unless the travel is for one of those legally permitted reasons.

Individuals should assess themselves against the requirements to determine whether they may quality for an exemption and, where they do, ensure they travel with the appropriate supporting documentation to demonstrate this if asked.

Guidance for leaving home for work during the new national restrictions is published on gov.uk, available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#going-to-work.

If you are planning to travel into England, you should check the current travel corridor list to see whether you need to isolate upon arrival. You will still be required to abide by the national lockdown restrictions even if you do not need to isolate.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority on enforcement action to ensure that airlines comply with their obligations to passengers when issuing refunds for cancelled flights.

My department works closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and it has regular discussions with them about the range of issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 crisis – including issues relating to enforcement action in respect of refund payments.

We recognise the need to take a balanced and proportionate approach to enforcement during this crisis, recognising the challenges businesses are facing, but have been clear that where the consumer asks for a cash refund then this must be paid. We have also been clear of the need to review this situation.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what financial support he plans to make available to the UK aviation sector during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK aviation sector is able to compete globally after the covid-19 outbreak.

Aviation is an important sector for the UK’s economy and businesses across the industry will be able to draw on the unprecedented package of economic measures we have put in place during this time. This includes a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, two business interruption loan guarantee schemes for different sizes of business, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees and VAT deferrals.

If businesses across the sector find themselves in severe and urgent financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus, even following the government’s cross-economy wage and financial interventions, then we remain open to discussions about bespoke financial support but only as a last resort. Any intervention would need to be on terms to protect the interests of taxpayers. Requests may be made formally, in writing, to the Secretary of State.

In relation to the future of the UK aviation sector, we are working across Government and closely with the sector on establishing a clear vision and objectives for the recovery of the sector, protecting global travel routes, continue repatriation, freight and maintain vital connectivity.

We have established an aviation expert steering group. The Group comprises of representatives across the sector, including airports, airlines, ground handlers, industry bodies, officials from across government and unions, and will focus on the immediate issues around restarting the sector and its longer-term growth and recovery.

24th Feb 2020
M1
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents in which a vehicle was stranded in a live lane have taken place between junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 since March 2017.

We want our roads to be as safe as possible. That is why the Secretary of State asked the Department to carry out an evidence stocktake to gather the facts about the safety of smart motorways and make recommendations. The Department will present the findings of the stocktake shortly.

While I would not want to pre-judge the results of that work, what I can say is that we will continue to prioritise improving safety – making conditions safer for everyone on our roads.

6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents involving (a) serious injury and (b) death occurred between Junctions 32 and 35A of the M1 in (i) each year since March 2017 and (ii) each of the three years before March 2017.

Any death on our roads is one too many. We want our roads to be as safe as possible. That is why I’ve asked the Department to carry out an evidence stocktake to gather the facts about the safety of smart motorways and make recommendations. The Department will present the findings of the stocktake shortly.

While I would not want to pre-judge the results of that work, what I can say is that we will continue to prioritise improving safety – making conditions safer for everyone on our roads. The Roads Minister will write to you as soon as the stocktake is completed to answer your specific question.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Defence
14th Jan 2020
M1
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department undertook a public consultation before to the decision to proceed with the conversion of Junctions 34-35A of the M1 to an all lanes running system.

The Highways Agency held a public consultation, from 17 December 2012 to 11 February 2013, on the proposed regulations to introduce variable mandatory speed limits on the M1 junctions 32 to 35A smart motorway scheme.

14th Jan 2020
M1
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date the all lane running system became operational between Junctions 34 and 35A of the M1.

The M1 J32 to 35a scheme opened to traffic in March 2017.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the impact of the Money Advice and Pension Service debt advice tender process on local provision of debt advice.

The Money and Pensions Service’s (MaPS) debt advice recommissioning is expected to materially increase the amount of debt advice available to people in England and ensure services are built around customers’ needs.

MaPS is taking proactive steps to ensure the debt advice tender process retains a set level of debt advice delivery at the regional and local level.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people applied for (a) attendance allowance, (b) pension credit and (c) carers' allowance in (i) the UK and (ii) Rotherham from April to September in (A) 2019 and (B) 2020.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to amend the availability for work requirements for claimants of universal credit with child care responsibilities as a result of amended school timetables during the covid-19 outbreak.

Where a claimant is the lead carer of a child under the age of 13, their work related requirements can be tailored to take into account amended school timetables during the covid-19 outbreak.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that universal credit payments made to key workers are not reduced as a result of bonus payments made by their employer in recognition of their work during the covid-19 outbreak.

A Universal Credit award is calculated on the basis of the set benefit rate against money coming in to ensure fairness of treatment for all claimants against the money that they have earned. This means as earnings increase Universal Credit is gradually reduced. This is a long-standing principle of means-tested benefits.

Bonuses are earnings for all workers and are treated in the same way as any other earnings. This is already true for tax and other purposes, regardless of whether or not an individual is claiming a benefit. All earnings are subject to the taper rate and the Universal Credit award is calculated on that basis.

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many mental health trusts are implementing smoking cessation services.

Smoking is the number one entirely preventable cause of ill-health, disability and death in this country. It is responsible for 80,000 yearly deaths in the United Kingdom and one in four of all UK cancer deaths. Smoking is closely associated with poor mental health and wellbeing, as people with mental health conditions die 10 to 20 years earlier, with smoking contributing significantly to this. Further information on the wellbeing of smokers aged 18 years old and over, and the relationship between smoking and mental health, is available respectively at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/smoking-prevalence-in-adults-current-smokers-aged-over-18-years-by-wellbeing-group-and-region

https://ukhsa.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/26/health-matters-smoking-and-mental-health/

It also costs our country £17 billion a year, £14 billion of which is through lost productivity alone. It puts huge pressure on the National Health Service and social care, costing over £3 billion a year. At the end of quarter three of 2023/24, 37 out of 48 Mental Health services identified as eligible under the NHS Long Term Plan, are reporting that they are delivering tobacco dependence treatment services.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate she has made of how many and what proportion of repeat prescriptions are unused.

As identified in the National Overprescribing Review, published in September 2021, addressing overprescribing is a key area of opportunity for delivering greater value for money in medicines in the National Health Service, and it forms part of NHS England’s ongoing Medicines Value programme priorities. Evidence is limited but the review estimated that at least 10% of the total number of prescription items in primary care need not have been issued.

The review report is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-overprescribing-review-report

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 November 2023 to Question 2154 on Gynaecology: Waiting Lists, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of waiting times for NHS gynaecology services in Rotherham.

The Government is taking action to recover elective services, including for patients waiting for National Health Service gynaecology services in Rotherham, by providing record levels of staffing and funding as the NHS implements the Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care. We have not made a specific assessment of waiting times for NHS gynaecology services in Rotherham.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the annual cost to the public purse is of NHS repeat prescriptions.

Information is not held in the format requested. The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) holds information on the net ingredient cost (NIC) for both repeat dispensing, where a patient is able to obtain repeat supplies of National Health Service prescriptions without the need for their general practitioner (GP) to issue a prescription each time a supply is required, and repeat prescribing, where the patient still needs to obtain an NHS prescription from their GP each time they require their prescribed medication or appliances. The NIC is the basic reimbursement cost of a medicine. It does not consider discounts, amount for containers or other added reimbursement expenses so the final amount the NHS pays will be different.

The following table shows the total number of items and NIC for both repeat dispensing and repeat prescribing for prescriptions that have been dispensed in the community in England for financial year 2022/23:

Total Number of Items

Total Net Ingredient Cost (£)

NHS Repeat Dispensing

156,550,745

490,019,357

NHS Repeat Prescribing

734,963,250

7,100,020,164

Source: NHSBSA

As identified in Good for you, good for us, good for everybody: a plan to reduce overprescribing to make patient care better and safer, support the NHS, and reduce carbon emissions in 2021, addressing overprescribing is a key area of opportunity for delivering greater value for money in medicines in the NHS, and it forms part of NHS England’s ongoing Medicines Value programme priorities.

Notes:

  1. Data on repeat prescribing is only available for prescriptions transmitted via the Electronic Prescription Service and requires the prescriber to select the correct treatment code indicating it is repeat prescribing. The data provided by NHSBSA is based on NHS repeat prescriptions that have been dispensed in the community in England.
  2. The figures for repeat dispensing cover paper prescriptions and electronic prescribing (EPS) messages.
  3. Net Ingredient cost is the basic price of a medicine as stated in Part II Clause 8 of the Drug Tariff but please note that where a price concession for items listed in Part VIII of the Drug Tariff has been agreed between the Department of Health and Social Care and Community Pharmacy England the NIC will reflect the concession price rather than the Drug Tariff price.
  4. If a prescription was issued, but not presented for dispensing or was not submitted to NHSBSA by the dispenser, then it is not included in the figures provided. Prescription items ‘not dispensed,’ ‘disallowed’ and ‘items referred back to the contractor for further clarification’ are also excluded from the figures.
Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to reduce waiting times for NHS gynaecology services in (a) Rotherham and (b) the rest of England.

We are taking action to recover elective services, including for patients waiting for National Health Service gynaecology services in Rotherham and England, by working towards the targets set out in the Elective Recovery Plan and providing the NHS with record levels of staffing and funding.

£2.3 billionn was awarded at Spending Review 2021 to transform diagnostic services over the next three years. Most of this will help increase the number of Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) up to 160 by March 2025, expanding and protecting elective planned diagnostic services. This includes an established spoke, at Montagu Hospital CDC, to which General Practices in Rotherham constituency can refer patients for key diagnostic checks, tests and scans. The funding will also be used to increase capacity for imaging and improving digital diagnostics.

We are also transforming the way the NHS provides elective care by increasing activity through dedicated and protected surgical hubs, focusing on providing high volume low complexity surgery, as recommended by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. There are currently 95 elective surgical hubs that are operational across England as of 16 November 2023. These surgical hubs will help separate elective care facilities from urgent and emergency care. This includes an elective surgical hub at Sheffield Teaching Hospital, where patients with gynaecological conditions can access surgical treatments.

We are also investing £25 million in women’s health hubs between 2023 and 2025 so that women can get better access to care for essential services such as gynaecology, menstrual problems, contraception and the menopause.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential implications of levels of independent prescribing responsibilities for (a) the retention of (i) dietitians, (ii) occupational therapists, (iii) orthoptists, (iv) prosthetists and orthotists, (v) diagnostic radiographers and (vi) speech and language therapists and (b) the patients of those professions.

No assessment has been made. Members of these professional groups are all able to supply or administer medicines to their patients via Patient Group Directions.

11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to regularly (a) monitor and (b) review progress towards meeting the target for increasing cancer treatment capacity set out in the NHS England 2023/24 priorities and operational planning guidance, published on 27 January 2023; and if he will make a statement.

The Department continues to support NHS England in increasing cancer treatment capacity, and it is the responsibility of NHS England to work with integrated care boards (ICBs) and providers to ensure targets are being met.

NHS England has instructed ICBs to increase and prioritise diagnostic and treatment capacity for cancer. This includes by ensuring new diagnostic capacity, particularly via community diagnostic centres (CDCs), as set out in the 2023/24 priorities and operational planning guidance.

As at August 2023, 93 surgical hubs are currently operational across England providing additional elective surgical capacity, including for cancer treatment. As at September 2023, there are 119 CDCs currently operational that have delivered over four million additional tests since July 2021 (including large, standard and hub models).

8th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is her policy to devolve areas of radiotherapy commissioning within NHS Trusts to local Integrated Care Systems in Rotherham constituency.

NHS England’s National Moderation Panel will determine how many integrated care boards (ICBs) will take on responsibility for specialised commissioning in October 2023. Following this moderation process, recommendations will be taken to the NHS England Board for final decisions in December 2023, before new arrangements go live from April 2024.

This process will consider the delegation of radiotherapy commissioning for ICBs across England, including across the Rotherham constituency.

19th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies on the implementation of the Women's Health Strategy for England of the implementation of the Scottish Women’s Health Plan.

We have no plans to make an assessment.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
19th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Women’s Health Ambassador for England has met with the Women’s Health Plan team in Wales.

The Women’s Health Ambassador for England has not met with the Women’s Health Plan team in Wales.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has assessed the potential merits of collecting data on ethnicity and age for those presenting with menstrual health conditions.

No specific assessment has been made. Across inpatient, outpatient and diagnostic services in secondary care, the National Health Service has asked local systems to draw up delivery plans which address the longest waiters and ensure health inequalities are tackled throughout the plan. This will have a particular focus on analysis of waiting times by ethnicity and deprivation.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
27th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to join up the budgets and commissioning for sexual and reproductive health and women’s health.

The Department has no plans to join up the budgets and commissioning for sexual and reproductive health and wider women’s health. Local authorities across England are responsible for commissioning comprehensive, open access sexual and reproductive health services to meet local demand, and it is for them to decide on commissioning arrangements based on an assessment of local need.

Integrated care boards are responsible for commissioning services for women’s health issues such as gynaecological conditions, maternity, or menopause as well as other health services that meet the needs of their populations. This will empower local health and care leaders to join up planning and provision of services, both within the National Health Service and with local authorities and help deliver more person-centred and preventative care.

In addition, the Women’s Health Strategy for England encourages local commissioners and providers to consider adopting models of care which bring together essential women’s services, for example through women’s health hubs.

27th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help improve the information and resources on menstrual health conditions provided to primary healthcare professionals to help diagnosis and referrals to specialist treatment.

The Women’s Health Strategy sets out our ambitions to improve healthcare professional education and training on women’s health, including working alongside the Women's Health Ambassador, education institutions, professional bodies and other stakeholders to improve education and training.

There are a number of resources available to healthcare professionals in primary care. For example, the Royal College of General Practitioners has developed a Women’s Health toolkit which aims to support practising general practitioners (GPs). This resource is continually updated to ensure GPs have the most up-to-date advice to provide the best care for their patients. The Royal College of Nursing has also produced a women’s health pocket guide for nurses and midwives working with women. New credentials focused on women’s health have already been piloted or are in development. This will standardise and improve training in these areas of women’s health.

The National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for providing authoritative, evidence-based guidance for healthcare professionals to drive best practice in the National Health Service. NICE is currently updating its guidelines on endometriosis and menopause, and the development of a guideline on polycystic ovary syndrome is being considered through the established topic selection process.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
27th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to update the NHS website to include up-to-date information on menstrual health conditions using plain English.

As part of our work to deliver the Women’s Health Strategy we will launch a women’s health area on the National Health Service website before summer recess. This will be the first step in transforming the NHS website, so it becomes the first port of call for women’s health information. Future work will include improving pages on women’s health conditions, including menstrual health, to ensure they contain the most up-to-date evidence and advice with enhancing signposting to other reliable sources of information and support.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the impact of the recent announcement by Lloyds Pharmacy that it will close 237 branches on (a) former patients and (b) nearby pharmacies.

The capacity and potential for efficiencies within the community pharmacy sector are considered jointly by the Department, NHS England and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee during negotiations on the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). The CPCF 2019/2024 five-year deal commits £2.592 billion each year to the sector. In September last year we agreed an additional £100 million for the remainder of the five-year deal.

The Department and NHS England continue to monitor patient access to pharmaceutical services closely and have been working closely with NHS England and Lloyds Pharmacy to assess the potential impact of the recent Lloyds announcement.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the levels of capacity and potential creation of efficiencies within the community pharmacy sector since 2019 in the context of the community pharmacy contractual framework (CPCF).

The capacity and potential for efficiencies within the community pharmacy sector are considered jointly by the Department, NHS England and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee during negotiations on the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). The CPCF 2019/2024 five-year deal commits £2.592 billion each year to the sector. In September last year we agreed an additional £100 million for the remainder of the five-year deal.

The Department and NHS England continue to monitor patient access to pharmaceutical services closely and have been working closely with NHS England and Lloyds Pharmacy to assess the potential impact of the recent Lloyds announcement.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help community pharmacies increase their capacity.

The capacity and potential for efficiencies within the community pharmacy sector are considered jointly by the Department, NHS England and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee during negotiations on the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). The CPCF 2019/2024 five-year deal commits £2.592 billion each year to the sector. In September last year we agreed an additional £100 million for the remainder of the five-year deal.

The Department and NHS England continue to monitor patient access to pharmaceutical services closely and have been working closely with NHS England and Lloyds Pharmacy to assess the potential impact of the recent Lloyds announcement.

6th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to extend bursaries available to healthcare students to (a) medicine and (b) dentistry students.

There are no current plans to do so. In years one to four of an undergraduate medical or dental course, domestic students can access student loans from Student Finance England. From year five of an undergraduate course and from year two of a graduate-entry course, eligible medical and dental students can access the NHS Bursary. This is non-repayable and comprises payment for tuition fees and, where eligible, further grants and allowances.

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to avoid regional variations in patient access to (a) radioligand therapy and (b) other specialised radiotherapy services, once specialised commissioning responsibility is delegated to integrated care boards in April 2023.

NHS England is currently the accountable and responsible commissioner for prescribed specialised services, which includes a range of cancer treatments. Following delegation to local systems, NHS England will remain the accountable commissioner for these services and maintain its role in setting national standards and holding systems to account.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 July 2022 to Question 33936 on Radioligand Therapy, whether NHS England will undertake an expansion programme for radioligand therapy to help meet anticipated demand in the next two years.

NHS England reviews service provision when new treatments are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) through technology appraisals or due to the development of new clinical commissioning policy.

NICE is currently considering the use of lutetium vipivotide tetraxetan to treat certain types of prostate cancer after two or more treatments. Draft guidance published in October 2022 states that the treatment is not recommended and a final decision is expected in March 2023. If the treatment is recommended, this will inform any decisions on the provision of radioligand therapy, subject to demand and other access considerations.

8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report by the Royal College of Radiologists entitled RCR Clinical oncology census report 2021, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the level of the clinical oncology workforce shortfall in Yorkshire and the Humber on patient access to radiotherapy.

There are no plans to make a specific assessment. Health Education England is addressing the priorities identified in the cancer workforce plan phase 1. It is investing an additional £50 million in 2022/23, including expanding the postgraduate medical training of cancer-related medical professions, such as clinical oncologists. We have also funded an additional 1,500 undergraduate medical school places each year for domestic students in England, which was completed in September 2020.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of dental practices were rated as good by the Care Quality Commission in Rotherham constituency as of June 2022.

The Care Quality Commission does not currently rate providers of primary dental care services.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps her Department has taken to help tackle health inequality in Rotherham constituency.

The Government is committed to supporting individuals to live healthier lives, and at the heart of this is improving access to and levelling-up health and care across the country, including in Rotherham. The Department continues to review how health disparities can be addressed and further information will be available in due course.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities also works with services in Rotherham to support programmes to reduce health inequalities, including providing evidence and intelligence.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department has provided additional (a) financial and (b) other support to help tackle (i) patient backlogs and (ii) increased workloads in GP surgeries in Rotherham constituency.

The ‘Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care’, published in February 2022, stated the ambition to reduce patient backlogs for planned National Health Service treatments and the government plans to spend more than £8bn from 2022/23 to 2024/25. We made £520 million available to expand general practice capacity during the pandemic. This was in addition to at least £1.5 billion announced in 2020 by 2024 which includes supporting increased workloads in GP surgeries, including in Rotherham. In September 2022, ‘Our plan for patients’ announced measures to support GP practices increase access and manage workload such as the provision of 31,000 phone lines and freeing up funding rules to widen the types of staff that work in general practice, including in Rotherham.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help improve access to mental health services in Rotherham constituency.

In September we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how we will increase access to National Health Service mental health services, including in Rotherham. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 to expand NHS mental health services for adults, children and young people in England, including in Rotherham. We will invest approximately £1 billion in community mental health care for adults with severe mental illness.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help improve access to NHS dental services in Rotherham constituency.

In September, we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how we will meet oral health needs and increase access to dental care, including in Rotherham.

The plan includes improvements to ensure dentists are renumerated fairly for more complex work, allowing greater flexibility to reallocate resources and to utilise dentists with greater capacity to deliver National Health Service treatment, whilst enabling full use of the dental team. The plan also includes streamlining processes for overseas dentists and holding the local NHS to account for dentistry provision. In addition, Health Education England is also reforming dental education to improve the recruitment and retention of dental professionals.

7th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of bringing forward new policies to tackle period poverty.

No specific assessment has been made. However, since 2019 the National Health Service has offered period products to every hospital patient who needs them and people in custody are provided with health and hygiene products for free, including period products.

Since January 2020, a Department for Education scheme provides free period products in schools and educational institutions for 16 to 19 year olds in England. In addition, since 1 January 2021, a zero rate of VAT has applied to all period products. The Period Poverty Taskforce was established in 2019. In March 2020, the work of the Period Poverty Taskforce was paused to focus on the response to the pandemic.

7th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate her Department has made of the radiotherapy capacity required to reduce waiting times for cancer treatment.

In July 2022, 92.3% of cancer patients requiring radiotherapy received it within 31 days of a decision to treat. In 2022/23, NHS England will provide additional support to local systems to plan service provision, which will take into account the impact of fewer fraction treatment protocols and investment in newer, faster treatment machines.

7th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the 10-year cancer plan will include provisions to expand radiotherapy services.

Further details of the 10 year cancer plan, committed to by the Prime Minister on September 7, will be announced in due course.

18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish a new Women’s Health Strategy.

The Women’s Health Strategy was published on 20 July 2022.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has commissioned research into variations in the effectiveness of Hormone Replacement Therapy on women from ethnic minorities.

Through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the Department has not commissioned this specific research. However, the NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including hormone replacement therapy. While it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions, the NIHR’s funding is available through open competition and we encourage researchers to submit applications in this area.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place to ensure diabetic foot screening within primary care returns pre-covid-19 pandemic levels.

The ‘2022/23 priorities and operational planning guidance’ asks integrated care systems (ICSs) to restore diabetes care processes to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022/23. In 2022/23, £36 million has been allocated to ICSs to support the restoration of routine diabetes care, including foot checks. Each ICS will set out its recovery activity in a one year operational plan.

In April 2022, performance-based payments for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) were reinstated in full. Alongside other indicators promoting the management of patients with diabetes, the 2022/23 QOF includes an indicator which promotes an annual foot examination of registered patients with diabetes.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of diabetic foot complications during and following the covid-19 pandemic.

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic there were significant reductions in rate of lower-limb major and minor amputations compared with the same period in the previous three years. As of January 2022, these rates have not yet increased.

The biennial National Diabetes Foot Care Audit has continued throughout the pandemic. The latest report was published on 11 May 2022 for the period July 2014 to March 2021 and is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/national-diabetes-footcare-audit/2014-2021

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place to recommence data collection through the National Diabetes Foot Care Audit in 2022.

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic there were significant reductions in rate of lower-limb major and minor amputations compared with the same period in the previous three years. As of January 2022, these rates have not yet increased.

The biennial National Diabetes Foot Care Audit has continued throughout the pandemic. The latest report was published on 11 May 2022 for the period July 2014 to March 2021 and is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/national-diabetes-footcare-audit/2014-2021

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is aware of equipment with constituent parts made through forced labour having entered UK supply chains since January 2020.

Suppliers appointed to NHS Supply Chain framework contracts, which provide the majority of medical goods and services to the National Health Service, must comply with the Labour Standards Assurance System or they can be removed from consideration for future procurement opportunities.

If there is an allegation of modern slavery practices against a company supplying medical goods or services into the United Kingdom, these are investigated. The Department is not aware of any breaches of the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 since January 2020. Information is not held centrally on procurement undertaken by NHS trusts and foundation trusts, which takes place at a local level.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with community pharmacists on how that profession can (a) support GPs and (b) help relieve the pressures on GP waiting lists.

We are currently negotiating with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee on the expanded and additional services to be introduced in the fourth year of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework. The Framework sets out the ambition for community pharmacy to be better integrated and provide more clinical services, such as treatment for minor illnesses, to relieve pressures elsewhere in the NHS.

A number of new clinical services have been introduced including the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, where staff in general practices and NHS111 can refer patients to community pharmacies for advice and treatment of minor illnesses.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has held with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on delivering more sustainable funding for community pharmacies.

Officials have regular discussions with HM Treasury on community pharmacy funding. The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework commits £2.592 billion every year to community pharmacy from 2019 to 2024. Negotiations on what the sector will deliver in 2022/23 within this funding are ongoing. Additional funding has been available to community pharmacies for flu vaccination and COVID-19 services, including the medicines delivery service, vaccinations and Pharmacy Collect.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to provide guidance to the new integrated care system bodies on how to take due consideration of feedback from health providers, including community pharmacy.

The Bill intends to build on the work of existing non-statutory integrated care systems (ICSs) by establishing integrated care boards (ICBs) and requiring the creation of integrated care partnerships (ICPs) in each local system area.

The ICP engagement document, published in September 2021, reiterated the importance of health providers contributing to ICBs and ICPs. We would expect ICPs to have input from clinical and professional experts, including primary, community and secondary care to ensure a strong understanding of local needs and opportunities to innovate health improvements. NHS England will produce guidance for ICBs. Its design framework states that primary care, including community pharmacy, should be represented and involved in decision-making at all levels.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the availability of online and in-person sexual and reproductive health services in England.

No national assessment has been made. However, services have remained open throughout the pandemic through the increase of digital services, including telephone and internet consultations, in addition to continuing face-to-face appointments for urgent or complex cases.  The forthcoming Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy will set out plans to work with system partners to ensure the availability of a blended service delivery model, including consistent and appropriate access to online and face-to-face services.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on assessing the potential merits of introducing a pharmacy first scheme in England.

The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) sets out the vision for community pharmacy to provide treatment for minor illnesses, support for self care and health advice.

Many community pharmacies deliver the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service which enables general practitioners and NHS 111 to refer patients to a pharmacist for advice on and treatment of minor illnesses. We are exploring additional provision through community pharmacies under the CPCF and in the long term.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to provide guidance to the new integrated care system bodies on how to take due consideration of feedback from health providers, including community pharmacy.

The Bill intends to build on the work of existing non-statutory integrated care systems (ICSs) by establishing integrated care boards (ICBs) and requiring the creation of integrated care partnerships (ICPs) in each local system area.

The ICP engagement document, published in September 2021, reiterated the importance of health providers contributing to ICBs and ICPs. We would expect ICPs to have input from clinical and professional experts, including primary, community and secondary care to ensure a strong understanding of local needs and opportunities to innovate health improvements. NHS England will produce guidance for ICBs. Its design framework states that primary care, including community pharmacy, should be represented and involved in decision-making at all levels.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy.

We plan to publish the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy later this year.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS hospitals will be permitted to retain unused covid-19 testing kits after the end of the free provision of those kits to the public.

National Health Service hospitals are permitted to retain unused COVID-19 testing kits following the end of free access to universal testing for the general public. It is at the discretion of hospitals on how remaining stock is distributed, which may include routine NHS staff testing or pre-admission testing. Free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing is available in the health and social care sector, based on clinical risk factors.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his oral contribution of 8 February, Official Report, column 805, on the NHS’s delivery plan for tackling the covid-19 backlog of elective care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of prioritising specialities with longer waiting lists; and what plans his Department has to tackle the backlog of elective care for gynaecology.

The ‘Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care’ outlines how the National Health Service will reduce waiting times across all elective services including gynaecology and menstrual health. While the plan does not prioritise specialties, it commits to eradicate all waiting times of longer than a year for elective care by March 2025, except in the case of patient choice. We plan that by July 2022, no one will wait longer than two years, we aim to eliminate waiting times of over 18 months by April 2023 and over 65 weeks by March 2024. The plan also recognises that a small number of highly specialised areas may need tailored plans to tackle the backlog.

The plan commits to investing in the physical separation of routine care to protect planned services from emergency care pressures where possible. At least 100 community diagnostic centres will be available by March 2025, supplying additional tests including many for gynaecological pathways. We are increasing capacity for gynaecological surgery to tackle waiting lists through the surgical hub and High Volume Low Complexity programme. Some gynaecological services, such as menstrual health services, are predominantly provided by general practitioners (GPs) which remained open. We have invested £520 million to improve access and expand GP capacity during the pandemic. This is in addition to £1.5 billion announced in 2020 to create an additional 50 million GP appointments by 2024 by increasing and diversifying the workforce.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his oral contribution of 8 February, Official Report, column 805, on the NHS’s delivery plan for tackling the covid-19 backlog of elective care, what plans his Department has to ensure that the NHS's delivery plan tackles the backlog of elective care for menstrual health conditions.

The ‘Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care’ outlines how the National Health Service will reduce waiting times across all elective services including gynaecology and menstrual health. While the plan does not prioritise specialties, it commits to eradicate all waiting times of longer than a year for elective care by March 2025, except in the case of patient choice. We plan that by July 2022, no one will wait longer than two years, we aim to eliminate waiting times of over 18 months by April 2023 and over 65 weeks by March 2024. The plan also recognises that a small number of highly specialised areas may need tailored plans to tackle the backlog.

The plan commits to investing in the physical separation of routine care to protect planned services from emergency care pressures where possible. At least 100 community diagnostic centres will be available by March 2025, supplying additional tests including many for gynaecological pathways. We are increasing capacity for gynaecological surgery to tackle waiting lists through the surgical hub and High Volume Low Complexity programme. Some gynaecological services, such as menstrual health services, are predominantly provided by general practitioners (GPs) which remained open. We have invested £520 million to improve access and expand GP capacity during the pandemic. This is in addition to £1.5 billion announced in 2020 to create an additional 50 million GP appointments by 2024 by increasing and diversifying the workforce.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's consultation on Home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential effect of making telemedicine for early medical abortion permanent on (a) waiting times and (b) the ability for women to receive care at an earlier stage.

The Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women asked questions on accessibility and the impact on the provision of abortion services. We are considering all evidence submitted and will publish our response in due course.

31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether prioritisation is given to victims who go through the police referral route to Sexual Assault Referral Centres in England over self-referral routes.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commission Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in partnership with regional police and crime commissioners. However, police referrals are not prioritised over self-referrals or any other referral route. SARCs provide accessible support to all who suffer from rape, sexual assault and abuse, including health care and onward referral to other health and social care services. Both police and self-referrals are offered the same access.

NHS England has increased the investment into sexual assault and abuse services and continues to review patient pathways and provide new services to meet the needs of the victims and survivors who access them.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the findings of his Department’s review of IVF equality.

The Department undertook an informal policy review on the variation in access to National Health Service fertility services, which was completed in 2021. We are unable to provide the information requested as this was an internal review to inform the development and formulation of Government policy. We intend to set out our initial ambitions in the Women’s Health Strategy, due to be published in spring 2022.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of children admitted to accident and emergency for attempting suicide were looked after children, in each year from 2018 to 2021.

The data requested is not available. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), which records attendances in accident and emergency departments, does not record whether a person is a looked after child. In addition, HES data provides a count of attendances and not a count of individual people.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what percentage of children admitted to accident and emergency for self-harming in each year from 2018 to 2021 were looked after children.

The data requested is not available. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), which records attendances in accident and emergency departments, does not record whether a person is a looked after child. In addition, HES data provides a count of attendances and not a count of individual people.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many looked after children were admitted to accident and emergency for self-harming in each year from 2018 to 2021.

The data requested is not available. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), which records attendances in accident and emergency departments, does not record whether a person is a looked after child. In addition, HES data provides a count of attendances and not a count of individual people.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of updating the NHS App to allow users to demonstrate their having received a covid-19 booster vaccination.

The NHS COVID Pass can now be used to demonstrate proof of a booster or third dose for outbound international travel and is available through both the NHS App and on NHS.UK. Booster vaccinations are not required for domestic certification in England.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the home use of both pills for early medical abortions on women living in rural areas who may have to travel long distances to access in-clinic care.

We are considering all evidence submitted to the Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. The consultation asked questions relating to the impact on the provision of abortion services for women and girls accessing these services with particular regard to safety, accessibility, including travel constraints and health outcomes experienced by different socioeconomic groups. We will publish our response in due course.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the home use of both pills for early medical abortions on women from socially disadvantaged areas who may face challenges in accessing in-clinic appointments as a result of costs, including childcare and transport.

We are considering all evidence submitted to the Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. The consultation asked questions relating to the impact on the provision of abortion services for women and girls accessing these services with particular regard to safety, accessibility, including travel constraints and health outcomes experienced by different socioeconomic groups. We will publish our response in due course.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the home use of both pills for early medical abortions on disabled women, who may have different access needs which affect their capacity to visit hospitals and clinics in person or must forgo privacy in order to attend appointments or access clinic premises.

We are considering all evidence submitted to the Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. The consultation asked questions relating to the impact on the provision of abortion services for women and girls accessing these services with particular regard to safety, accessibility, including travel constraints and health outcomes experienced by different socioeconomic groups. We will publish our response in due course.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of home use of both pills for early medical abortions on women in abusive domestic situations, who may not otherwise have been able to access abortion care.

We are considering all evidence submitted to the Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. The consultation asked questions relating to the impact on the provision of abortion services for women and girls accessing these services with particular regard to safety, accessibility, including travel constraints and health outcomes experienced by different socioeconomic groups. We will publish our response in due course.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to tackle potential erroneous and misleading information on telemedicine for abortion care.

It is important that women receive accurate and evidence-based information on abortion. The Department’s Required Standard Operating Procedures set out that women must be given impartial, accurate and evidence-based information both verbal and written, delivered neutrally by all abortion providers.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish its response to the consultation on the home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks' gestation.

We are considering all evidence submitted to the Government’s public consultation and will publish our response in due course.

26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department records cases of stunting in children under five years old.

Data on cases of stunting in all children aged under five years old is not collected centrally.

22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the in-patient bed occupancy level is for each NHS Mental Healthcare Trusts in England in the latest period for which figures are available.

A table showing the information requested is attached.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what facility is available to allow under 16 year olds to demonstrate their covid-19 vaccination status.

The NHS COVID Pass is currently available to those aged 16 years old and over. Few countries require children’s’ vaccination status, as testing is generally available or entry on the parent/guardians’ status. The Government recognises that a small proportion of children over 12 years old have or will receive a full course of vaccination following the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s advice and the growing requirement abroad for children to demonstrate their status. The international standards for travel require a full course to be recognised as ‘fully vaccinated’. We are looking at ways to provide fully vaccinated 12 to 15 year olds with a travel NHS COVID Pass. This will be available shortly, initially via a NHS COVID Pass travel letter. Further information will be available in due course.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of women on waiting lists for gynaecological care are awaiting care for menstrual health conditions; and how many of those women have been waiting for more than six months.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold this information in the format requested. Data on specific conditions within medical specialties is not held centrally.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 July 2021 to Question 33935, what steps his Department has taken to improve cohesion between the Women’s Health Strategy and the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy.

Officials are working closely across both strategies to share progress and best practice to ensure cohesion.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure the forthcoming Women’s Health Strategy includes provisions for menstrual wellbeing.

We are currently analysing the call for evidence for the Women’s Health Strategy, which gathered information on menstrual health and gynaecological conditions. This attracted over 112,000 responses from individual women, clinicians and carers and approximately 500 written submissions. We aim to publish the Strategy later this year.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders to help ensure that people who received doses of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine produced in India are able to demonstrate their vaccination status when travelling overseas.

The Government continues to liaise with international partners and other organisations, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Health Organization, to support the work on certification to ensure that global travel is unhindered and supported by a common approach.

All doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in India and administered in the United Kingdom are the same product, under the same authorisation as all other AstraZeneca vaccine doses deployed in the UK, now known commercially Vaxzevria. They appear on the NHS COVID Pass as such, which has been available for international travel since May. Decisions on which vaccines countries will accept at their borders are for respective Governments and we continue to actively engage with these countries to ensure all AstraZeneca doses administered in the UK, including those manufactured in India, are recognised.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's timeframe is for (a) evaluating the adult community eating disorder waiting time pilots and (b) deciding whether to introduce an access standard for adults with an eating disorder.

The adult community mental health waiting time pilots, including those for eating disorders, have been evaluated. A summary report containing learning from this field testing was published on 22 July 2021 and can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/mental-health-clinically-led-review-of-standards-models-of-care-and-measurement/

NHS England and NHS Improvement then launched a public consultation on the mental health standards that have been developed with the pilot and early implementer sites. The standards being consulted on include the proposal for adults presenting to community-based mental health services, including for adult eating disorder services, to start receiving help within four weeks from referral. This consultation closed on 1st of September 2021.

NHS England and NHS Improvement will analyse the consultation responses which will inform a recommendation to the Government on whether and how to implement any new standards in due course.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of exempting fully vaccinated staff involved in food safety testing from covid-19 self-isolation requirements.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) view inspection staff such as Veterinary, Meat Hygiene Inspectors and Plant Inspection Assistants as critical to maintaining the integrity and smooth running of the food chain. Inspection staff have been included in the new scheme in England where, following advice, they may be able to leave self-isolation to attend work. We will participate in the controls and checks put in place to allow this scheme to run and maintain the food supply chain.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for making all emergency service providers exempt from self isolation requirements.

We have no plans to do so.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Sexual and Reproductive Strategy will help ensure that girls are supported with their menstrual wellbeing from a young age.

Whilst menstrual wellbeing will not be covered in the Sexual and Reproductive Health strategy, it is being considered as part of ongoing work on the Women’s Health Strategy. A call for evidence was launched to inform the priorities, content and actions of the Strategy, which included questions on menstrual health. We are analysing the evidence gathered and we aim to publish the Strategy later this year.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and experts as part of its response to the Women’s Health Strategy consultation.

A call for evidence was launched to inform the priorities, content and actions of the Women’s Health Strategy, which closed on 13 June. We engaged with a wide range of stakeholders including researchers, academics, organisations and charities. Analysis of the evidence gathered is currently underway. We will continue to engage with a wide range of stakeholders as part of ongoing work on the Women’s Health Strategy.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether period poverty will be addressed in the Government's women’s health strategy; and what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of bringing forward policies to tackle period poverty in the devolved nations.

Menstrual wellbeing is being considered as part of Women’s Health Strategy. A call for evidence was launched to inform the Strategy and included questions on menstrual health. We are currently analysing the responses. No assessment has been made of the potential merits of bringing forward policies to tackle period poverty in the devolved administrations. However, officials share learning on the initiatives being taken to address period poverty across all four nations.

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the average waiting time for children to complete neurodevelopmental assessments in England.

It is not possible to estimate reliably the average waiting time for children to complete neurodevelopmental assessments in England from data currently held by NHS Digital.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has in place to improve cross-Government co-operation on matters relating to the commissioning of menstrual health and reproductive health services in the Women’s Health Strategy; and what steps he is taking to improve the cohesiveness of decision-making by commissioners.

Issues related to reproductive health will be addressed in the new Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy, which is due to be published later this year. We will be considering ways to improve the cohesiveness of existing commissioning arrangements as part of the Strategy’s development process.

Improving menstrual health will be considered as part of the Women’s Health Strategy. The 14-week call for evidence included questions on menstrual health and reproductive health. The responses to the call for evidence will inform the priorities in the strategy. We will respond to the call for evidence after summer and aim to publish the Women’s Health Strategy by the end of the year. We will work to ensure cohesion between the two strategies.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the planned timetable is for publication of the Government's women’s health strategy.

The 14-week call for evidence closed on the 13 June. We will publish a response to the call for evidence in the autumn and aim to publish the full Women’s Health Strategy by the end of the year.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence the Government has used to support the introduction of calorie labelling on menus to tackle obesity.

The Government’s response to its public consultation on calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector and accompanying impact assessment set out the evidence used to support the policy. The consultation response and impact assessment are available at the following link:

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

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of split commissioning on the effectiveness of women’s health services in England; and whether he plans to recommend changes to the current system through the forthcoming women’s health strategy.

No such assessment has been made.

All evidence regarding commissioning of services will be carefully considered as part of our ongoing work on the strategy.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the (a) sexual and reproductive health strategy and (b) women’s health strategy will include provisions to improve clinical awareness of heavy menstrual bleeding and associated diagnostics and treatments as recommended by the Menstrual Health Coalition’s report Heavy Menstrual Bleeding – breaking silence and stigma, published in March 2020.

To ensure the Women’s Health Strategy reflects what women identify as priorities, the Government launched a 12 week call for evidence which will run until 30 May 2021 to gather women’s experiences and views regarding their health and care. The online survey within the call for evidence seeks information on menstrual health, heavy menstrual bleeding and other women-specific health concerns and will be carefully considered as part of our ongoing work on the Strategy.

Accessible information on sexual and reproductive health for women, including access to contraception, will be considered during the development of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. Heavy menstrual bleeding will not be covered in this Strategy.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the (a) sexual and reproductive health strategy and (b) women’s health strategy will include provisions for creating a central hub of accessible information for patients on menstrual health and other women-specific health concerns.

To ensure the Women’s Health Strategy reflects what women identify as priorities, the Government launched a 12 week call for evidence which will run until 30 May 2021 to gather women’s experiences and views regarding their health and care. The online survey within the call for evidence seeks information on menstrual health, heavy menstrual bleeding and other women-specific health concerns and will be carefully considered as part of our ongoing work on the Strategy.

Accessible information on sexual and reproductive health for women, including access to contraception, will be considered during the development of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. Heavy menstrual bleeding will not be covered in this Strategy.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to publish standard operating procedures for local authorities to (a) identify and (b) log unpaid carers to enable those carers to be vaccinated against covid-19.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for unpaid carers was published on 8 March 2021. 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

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of prioritising children under 16 with Down’s Syndrome for covid-19 vaccination.

Based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), children aged under 16 years old, including those with Down’s Syndrome, are not included for routine vaccination. Overall, there is a relatively low risk to children from COVID-19 and very limited existing data on vaccination in adolescents, with no data on vaccination in younger children. The evidence does not yet support recommending children should be routinely vaccinated. However, the JCVI’s current advice is that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination.

Decisions on vaccination, including for COVID-19, are ultimately for the clinician leading on an individual’s care. The JCVI advises that where vaccination is considered for someone under 16 years old, clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with a person with parental responsibility.

22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to publish guidance on an approved standard for face coverings for the general public during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our guidance, sets out the requirements for face coverings. They should:

- cover the nose and mouth while allowing comfortable breathing;

- fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face; and

- be made of a comfortable and breathable material, such as cotton and ideally include at least two layers of fabric - the World Health Organization recommends three depending on the fabric used.

We have not set a standard for a face covering to maximise easy access and compliance with the rules. Members of the public may make their own face covering at home, using readily available textiles that can be washed and reused after every use. We have published guidance online on what materials can be used. Alternatively, face coverings can be purchased with guidance available online which can be accessed beforehand to ensure they are safe. We keep our face covering policy under review, guided by the advice of our scientific and medical experts.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a mass vaccination site will open in Yorkshire.

There are now over 100 mass vaccination centres across the United Kingdom, including seven in Yorkshire.

Information on the location of vaccination sites is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/vaccination-sites/

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the process is for arranging a covid-19 vaccination for carers employed directly by their client rather than by the NHS, a local authority or a private company.

All frontline health and social care workers are eligible regardless of who they are employed by as long as they are providing care and support to someone who is clinically vulnerable to Covid-19. This includes social care workers providing care in people’s own homes, day centres, care homes for working age adults or supported housing; whether they care for clinically vulnerable adults or children; or who they are employed by, whether private companies, charities, local authorities or the NHS.

If a carer is caring for multiple patients particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the carer would be considered a frontline social care worker and therefore eligible for vaccination as a part of cohort 2.

Local authorities and employers will work together to identify frontline social care workers that are eligible to receive the vaccine, including directly employed personal assistants.

The Department advise self-employed social carer workers to contact the Adult Social Care lead for their Local Authority at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-consent-form-and-letter-for-social-care-staff.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support healthcare students who assisted throughout the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to forgive current debt for all current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

All healthcare students in England opting in to paid placements during the pandemic receive a salary and automatic National Health Service pension entitlement at the appropriate band, and maintain their eligibility for relevant student support packages from the Student Loans Company, in addition to non-repayable funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund.

While students are undertaking a paid placement, they remain on their course and continue to be supported by their university/approved education institution. Additional support measures have been put in place by the NHS including access to broadly equitable support to NHS staff, such as being classed as essential workers for the purpose of testing, travel and access to childcare places, having access to appropriate personal protective equipment for placement duties and health and wellbeing support.

The Government has no plans for a specific student borrowing write-off or reimbursement scheme for nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to introduce a universal, living maintenance grant for healthcare students in England.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all National Health Service health professionals’ education under close review, to ensure that students are appropriately supported.

The Government has already introduced new maintenance funding for many healthcare courses. In September 2020, the Department introduced the new, non-repayable, training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year, for all eligible new and continuing pre-registration nursing, midwifery and most allied health profession students studying at English universities, with a further £3,000 available to support eligible students studying in hard to recruit areas or those studying a specialist subject as well as support for childcare costs. This grant is in addition to funding provided by the Students Loan Company and grants available through the ‘NHS Learning Support Fund’ such as travel and dual accommodation expenses, parental support and an exceptional hardship fund.

Student loans are income contingent and only need to be repaid from their statutory repayment date, which for most undergraduate students is the April after students finish their course. Monthly repayments are always linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. Repayments are taken directly from salary at a rate of 9% above the repayment threshold, which is currently £26,575 annually and will rise to £27,295 from April this year. Furthermore, if a borrower stops working, or their income drops below the threshold, repayments will stop and only start again when income exceeds the threshold.

At the end of the 30-year period any outstanding loan amount is written off at no detriment to individual borrowers.

Healthcare students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off or reimbursement scheme for these students. There have been no specific discussions at Cabinet level on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to reimburse tuition fees or forgive current debt for all current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all National Health Service health professionals’ education under close review, to ensure that students are appropriately supported.

The Government has already introduced new maintenance funding for many healthcare courses. In September 2020, the Department introduced the new, non-repayable, training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year, for all eligible new and continuing pre-registration nursing, midwifery and most allied health profession students studying at English universities, with a further £3,000 available to support eligible students studying in hard to recruit areas or those studying a specialist subject as well as support for childcare costs. This grant is in addition to funding provided by the Students Loan Company and grants available through the ‘NHS Learning Support Fund’ such as travel and dual accommodation expenses, parental support and an exceptional hardship fund.

Student loans are income contingent and only need to be repaid from their statutory repayment date, which for most undergraduate students is the April after students finish their course. Monthly repayments are always linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. Repayments are taken directly from salary at a rate of 9% above the repayment threshold, which is currently £26,575 annually and will rise to £27,295 from April this year. Furthermore, if a borrower stops working, or their income drops below the threshold, repayments will stop and only start again when income exceeds the threshold.

At the end of the 30-year period any outstanding loan amount is written off at no detriment to individual borrowers.

Healthcare students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off or reimbursement scheme for these students. There have been no specific discussions at Cabinet level on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all National Health Service health professionals’ education under close review, to ensure that students are appropriately supported.

The Government has already introduced new maintenance funding for many healthcare courses. In September 2020, the Department introduced the new, non-repayable, training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year, for all eligible new and continuing pre-registration nursing, midwifery and most allied health profession students studying at English universities, with a further £3,000 available to support eligible students studying in hard to recruit areas or those studying a specialist subject as well as support for childcare costs. This grant is in addition to funding provided by the Students Loan Company and grants available through the ‘NHS Learning Support Fund’ such as travel and dual accommodation expenses, parental support and an exceptional hardship fund.

Student loans are income contingent and only need to be repaid from their statutory repayment date, which for most undergraduate students is the April after students finish their course. Monthly repayments are always linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. Repayments are taken directly from salary at a rate of 9% above the repayment threshold, which is currently £26,575 annually and will rise to £27,295 from April this year. Furthermore, if a borrower stops working, or their income drops below the threshold, repayments will stop and only start again when income exceeds the threshold.

At the end of the 30-year period any outstanding loan amount is written off at no detriment to individual borrowers.

Healthcare students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off or reimbursement scheme for these students. There have been no specific discussions at Cabinet level on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the financial effect of tuition fees on healthcare students.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all National Health Service health professionals’ education under close review, to ensure that students are appropriately supported.

The Government has already introduced new maintenance funding for many healthcare courses. In September 2020, the Department introduced the new, non-repayable, training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year, for all eligible new and continuing pre-registration nursing, midwifery and most allied health profession students studying at English universities, with a further £3,000 available to support eligible students studying in hard to recruit areas or those studying a specialist subject as well as support for childcare costs. This grant is in addition to funding provided by the Students Loan Company and grants available through the ‘NHS Learning Support Fund’ such as travel and dual accommodation expenses, parental support and an exceptional hardship fund.

Student loans are income contingent and only need to be repaid from their statutory repayment date, which for most undergraduate students is the April after students finish their course. Monthly repayments are always linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. Repayments are taken directly from salary at a rate of 9% above the repayment threshold, which is currently £26,575 annually and will rise to £27,295 from April this year. Furthermore, if a borrower stops working, or their income drops below the threshold, repayments will stop and only start again when income exceeds the threshold.

At the end of the 30-year period any outstanding loan amount is written off at no detriment to individual borrowers.

Healthcare students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off or reimbursement scheme for these students. There have been no specific discussions at Cabinet level on the reimbursement of tuition fees for current nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to roll out mass lateral flow testing to Rotherham.

Community testing using lateral flow devices commenced in Rotherham on 18 January 2021.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation decision not to include unpaid carers on the priority list for covid-19 vaccination of the policy whereby unpaid carers do have priority status for the influenza vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the vaccine should be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 years old and health and social care workers.

We recognise the vital role unpaid carers play in caring for vulnerable individuals. JCVI recommends that carers who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should also be offered vaccination alongside people with underlying health conditions.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will ask the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to revise its recommendation not to include unpaid carers on the priority list for covid-19 vaccinations.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the vaccine should be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 years old and health and social care workers.

We recognise the vital role unpaid carers play in caring for vulnerable individuals. JCVI recommends that carers who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should also be offered vaccination alongside people with underlying health conditions.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to support the World Health Organisation’s strategy to eliminate cervical cancer.

The United Kingdom supports the World Health Organization’s global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer and continues to work towards increasing uptake rates for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations. For instance, in response to a recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the HPV vaccine programme was expanded in September 2019 from girls to also include boys of 12 to 13 years old. The vaccine protects men from HPV-related diseases, including certain cancers and also helps to reduce the overall number of HPV-associated cancers in women, such as cervical cancer. The National Health Service also runs a national cervical screening programme in England to assist in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cervical disease. In December 2019, HPV became the primary test for in this programme to effectively let women know their risk of developing cervical cancer.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to pages 19 and 20 of the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 201920 to 2023-24, when the specific baseline on access to NHS-funded mental health treatment for 18 to 25 year olds will be published.

The work around validating and publishing baseline data on access to mental health services for 18 to 25-year olds is ongoing.

NHS England does not yet have a revised publication or dissemination date. Work on the development of metrics has been slowed due to the pandemic but is continuing in order to ensure delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to increase access and improve experience of care for this age group.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government’s expansion of weight management services will include specific support for people living with binge eating disorder.

Further details about the measures on weight management announced in ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ will be available later in the year.

We will continue to consider the views of a wide range of experts as we developed our plans for implementing the obesity strategy including the expansion of weight management services and we will continue to listen going forwards.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will introduce a bereavement support bubble policy in South Yorkshire to enable grieving households to form a support bubble with one other household whilst the (a) November 2020 national lockdown or (b) Tier 3 local covid alert level lockdown restrictions are in place.

The loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult for people of all ages, particularly during the pandemic where usual systems of support are harder to access.

The regulations make exemptions to the restrictions on gatherings for support groups for those who have suffered bereavement, as well as making provision for ‘linked households’, known as ‘support bubbles’.

A ‘support bubble’ is a network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more children who are under the age of 18. In effect, this support bubble acts as a single household with people from another household as if they were a member of a household.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 are the current set of restrictions, which will expire 2 December 2020, and an announcement on their replacement will be made in due course. The government continues to follow the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and is regularly monitoring current guidelines on COVID-19 restrictions going forward.

9th Nov 2020
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 (a) national and (b) regional Tier 3 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult for people of all ages, particularly during the pandemic where usual systems of support are harder to access.

The regulations make exemptions to the restrictions on gatherings for support groups for those who have suffered bereavement, as well as making provision for ‘linked households’, known as ‘support bubbles’.

A ‘support bubble’ is a network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more children who are under the age of 18. In effect, this support bubble acts as a single household with people from another household as if they were a member of a household.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 are the current set of restrictions, which will expire 2 December 2020, and an announcement on their replacement will be made in due course. The government continues to follow the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and is regularly monitoring current guidelines on COVID-19 restrictions going forward.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what representations the Government has received from specialist bereavement organisations on a bereavement support policy during periods of (a) national and (b) regional Tier 3 lockdown restrictions.

We are taking a cross-Government approach to address bereavement support and help ensure that families and friends of those deceased get the support they need – particularly during this difficult time. We are engaging with a range of specialist bereavement organisations to assess the need for support.

We will continue to engage with specialist bereavement organisations to assess how we can support them in doing their important work.

6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department will take to support equal access to contraceptive services, including long-acting reversible contraception, in line with Public Health England and NICE guidance.

The Government has mandated local authorities in England to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services, including the provision of free contraception. Contraception is also widely available free of charge through general practice. Ensuring equal access to contraception will be a key theme of our new Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy.

Public Health England have recently launched the National Framework for e-Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. This new national framework will allow local authorities and service providers to purchase an expanded range of on-line services including emergency contraception and the contraceptive pill.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department holds estimates for the number of women who became pregnant while on waiting lists for Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) fittings in 2019.

The Department does not hold this information centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the limit is on attendance for the scattering of ashes in each of the three tiers of covid-19 restrictions.

We understand how important the grieving process and related formal and informal rituals through which we mourn the passing of loved ones are for the health and wellbeing of the bereaved


For these reasons in all local COVID-19 alert levels, funerals can take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people in attendance. Wakes or linked ceremonial events, such as scattering ashes, before or after the funeral are limited to 15 people and must not take place in private homes.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when Public Health England plans to publish its Women’s Reproductive Health Action plan; and whether his Department plans to use that strategy to inform his Department’s women’s health strategy.

Prior to COVID-19, Public Health England led the development of a Women’s Reproductive Health Action Plan (WRHAP), taking a life course approach from menstruation to menopause. Publication was delayed due to COVID-19. However, many of its actions are being taken forward and the document is being revised to take account of the impact and evolving landscape in relation to COVID-19. The high-level recommendations and findings from the revised plan will form a key element of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy that is planned for publication in 2021. The WHRAP will then be published as one of the Strategy implementation documents.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will implement the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review report entitled First Do No Harm, published on 8 July 2020.

All recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review are being considered carefully. The Government will provide an update in due course.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) women and (b) girls with their mental health.

We are absolutely committed to supporting everyone’s mental wellbeing, including women and girls, especially during this unprecedented period. National Health Service mental health services have remained open for business throughout this time, including delivering support digitally and by phone. For those with severe needs or in crisis, NHS mental health providers have established all-age 24 hours per day, seven days a week mental health crisis lines.

Women and girls will benefit from our commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan that 2 million more people will be able to access mental health services by 2023/24. This includes expanding access to specialist perinatal mental health care and mother and baby inpatient services for women with serious mental health issues.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what dates the Women’s Health Taskforce for England has met since January 2020; and what the topics of discussion were at each of those meetings.

The Women’s Health Taskforce has not held any meetings since January 2020.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what topics will be included in his Department’s women’s health strategy; and when his Department plans to publish that strategy.

It has become clear over the last few years that we can do better both in terms of the services we provide for women, and how the system listens to women’s voices.

Plans to develop a women’s health strategy were temporarily paused due to the initial response to COVID-19. We have however, recently restarted work in this area and we are currently working with officials to consider priorities for women’s health including how we can ensure that women’s voices are heard more effectively moving forward.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 23 September 2020 to Question 89709 on Food: Labelling, which organisations and experts he has met with as part of developing plans to introduce calorie labelling on menus.

Our consultation on introducing mandatory out-of-home calorie labelling received feedback from a wide range of organisations and experts, including clinical and medical professionals. Departmental officials recently met with representatives from BEAT, an eating disorder charity, to discuss implementation of the policy and we intend to continue to engage with them as our plans develop. In addition, the Minister of State for Patient Safety, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (Ms Nadine Dorries MP) recently met with BEAT and the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eating Disorders.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to investigate reports of mobile and home-based practitioners providing non-surgical cosmetic treatments in unsuitable premises with poor hygiene.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures and the Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. The Government expects all providers to safely deliver the treatments they offer and adhere to hygiene standards, in line with health and safety legislation.

Concerns about the hygiene standards or suitability of premises used by mobile and home-based practitioners can be reported to the Health and Safety Executive, or any relevant professional body the practitioner is registered with. Concerns about the fitness to practise of regulated healthcare professionals carrying out cosmetic procedures should be reported to their regulatory body.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the daily testing capacity of covid-19 testing sites in Rotherham was in the week commencing 7 September 2020; and how many tests were conducted at those testing sites on each day of that week.

We publish data on the number of pillar 2 tests processed in each local authority weekly alongside the Test and Trace statistics publication at GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

The total number of pillar 2 tests processed in Rotherham in the week commencing 7 September was 5,114, with a daily average of 730.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase public awareness of (a) the risks associated with non-surgical cosmetic treatments and (b) where to make a complaint in relation to unsafe practices.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures through better training for practitioners, and clear information so that people can make informed decisions about their care.

During May and June 2019, the Department ran a communications campaign to increase public awareness of the potential risks of cosmetic procedures and encourage people to make safe decisions about their care. The campaign materials were developed in conjunction with stakeholders including professional associations, the healthcare regulatory bodies and psychologists. The campaign offered guidance on choosing a qualified practitioner and how to escalate patient safety concerns. Advice and information about cosmetic procedures has also been reviewed and updated on NHS.UK.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the regulation of (a) mobile and (b) home-based practitioners providing non-surgical cosmetic treatments.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures and the Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. The Government expects providers of cosmetic procedures to operate responsibly and hold the requisite knowledge and skills to safely deliver the treatments they offer. Where applicable, practitioners should also consider any guidance issued by the healthcare regulators or a relevant professional body.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to consult people (a) with lived experience of eating disorders and (b) experts in the field of eating disorders before introducing calorie labelling on menus.

We recognise concerns about calorie labelling and are committed to striking a careful balance between informing and educating people to make healthier choices whilst not negatively impacting people with eating disorders or those in recovery from eating disorders. We will continue to meet with experts and those with lived experience of eating disorders as we develop our plans.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to publish details of the expansion of weight management services as part of the obesity strategy; and whether that expansion will include specific support for people affected by binge eating disorder.

Through the new obesity strategy, we are delivering a range of measures on weight management including a National Health Service 12-week weight loss plan app, expanding weight management services to help more people get the support they need, accelerating the expansion of the NHS diabetes prevention programme and making conversations about weight in primary care the norm. Further details about these measures will be available later in the year and we will engage stakeholders throughout this process.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the cause of the national shortage of Hormone Replacement Therapy products in the UK; and what steps he is taking to prevent a further shortage of the products.

The Department is aware of supply issues that have affected some hormone replacement therapy (HRT) preparations for various reasons including regulatory or manufacturing issues and commercial decisions made by some companies to divest some products. While a limited number of HRT products are currently affected, most HRT products including alternatives to those experiencing supply issues are currently available.

We have been working closely with all suppliers of HRT medicines to maintain overall access to patients and have provided regular updates about these issues and management advice to the National Health Service. The overall situation has been improving since the end of February 2020 and will continue to improve in the coming months.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that women with heavy menstrual bleeding receive a timely diagnosis (a) as covid-19 restrictions are eased and (b) after the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government agrees that it is important for women to have access to support (including information and treatment) for conditions such as heavy menstrual bleeding.

NHS England advises that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to conditions such as heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner. Advice is also available on NHS.UK, where you can undertake a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’, which can advise on simple steps that may help.

We can also advise that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

The National Health Service wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure that women with (a) heavy menstrual bleeding and (b) other women-specific conditions are not deterred from presenting at primary care by covid-19 concerns.

The Government agrees that it is important for women to have access to support (including information and treatment) for conditions such as heavy menstrual bleeding.

NHS England advises that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to conditions such as heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner. Advice is also available on NHS.UK, where you can undertake a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’, which can advise on simple steps that may help.

We can also advise that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

The National Health Service wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities have sufficient funding to ensure women’s health services are available for people who require diagnosis and treatment during the covid-19 outbreak.

As the Secretary of State set out in his speech on 30 July, the Government is keen to capture learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and to support health practitioners to implement new ways of working.

The National Health System wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

The NHS would encourage patients dealing with painful symptoms to speak to their general practitioner in order to manage this safely and effectively.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what step he is taking to help ensure that variation in access to women’s health services is not exacerbated further by service closures during the covid-19 outbreak..

As the Secretary of State set out in his speech on 30 July, the Government is keen to capture learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and to support health practitioners to implement new ways of working.

The National Health System wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

The NHS would encourage patients dealing with painful symptoms to speak to their general practitioner in order to manage this safely and effectively.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the availability of specialist health practitioners and services in women’s health during the covid-19 outbreak.

As the Secretary of State set out in his speech on 30 July, the Government is keen to capture learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and to support health practitioners to implement new ways of working.

The National Health System wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

The NHS would encourage patients dealing with painful symptoms to speak to their general practitioner in order to manage this safely and effectively.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support specialist health practitioners in the area of women’s health to implement new ways of working during the covid-19 outbreak.

As the Secretary of State set out in his speech on 30 July, the Government is keen to capture learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and to support health practitioners to implement new ways of working.

The National Health System wrote to local systems on 31 July to set out the actions we are asking the NHS to take to take to restore and recover services whilst maintaining capacity to deal with future COVID-19 demand and winter pressures. This includes a full set of actions to ensure general practice and community services – including women’s health – can restore activity to usual levels and reach out proactively to patients whose care may have been delayed.

The NHS would encourage patients dealing with painful symptoms to speak to their general practitioner in order to manage this safely and effectively.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that women and girls can receive treatment for (a) heavy menstrual bleeding and (b) other women-specific conditions during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England advises that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner (GP) as a first course of action. Advice for this is available on NHS.UK, where you can undertake a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’, which can advise on simple steps that may help, as well as speaking to a GP. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

To ensure women and girls can receive treatment for other women-specific conditions, many GPs and clinicians are currently offering telephone consultations or consultations via social media apps to assist during the COVID-19 outbreak.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if a representative from his Department will meet with the Menstrual Health Coalition to discuss how new ways of working during the covid-19 outbreak can benefit women’s health services in the future.

The Government welcomes initiatives which raise awareness on menstrual health and is keen to capture learning from new ways of working during COVID-19.

With this in mind, I have asked my officials to meet with the Menstrual Health Coalition to discuss benefits to women’s health services in the future.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the capacity of covid-19 testing resources deployed to Rotherham to meet demand; and whether he plans to allocate additional resources to testing centres in Rotherham.

Testing is a key part of the United Kingdom’s response to COVID-19, and, following the publication of the Government’s Testing Strategy we have rapidly expanded our capacity.

At present there are two mobile testing units in the Rotherham area, which have been well attended in line with the Director of Public Health’s strategy. However, mobile testing units are designed to be deployed on a daily basis.

To give Rotherham a more sustainable solution, a three-month testing capability in the form of a local testing unit, is currently being commissioned. There is also a regional testing site at Meadowhall Sheffield.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to routinely publish regional data on pillar 2 testing for covid-19.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK dashboard is available at the following link:

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

It contains information at upper tier local authority and lower tier local authority level on cases and rates, and is updated daily.

Information on Pillar 2 tests processed is also available by lower tier local authority on the NHS Test and Trace weekly statistics page, available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

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, whether he plans to introduce a threshold for regional covid-19 cases to trigger the implementation of a local lockdown.

There are currently no plans to use a hard threshold as a trigger for implementing local lockdowns. A wide range of qualitative and quantitative information are used to monitor the incidence of COVID-19 nationally and in local areas, and to understand progress made in tackling outbreaks. These are reviewed every day and are considered in light of both the changing national picture and on-the-ground reporting on how situations are being managed.

Taken together these inform the decision made about which local Alert Level is appropriate for everyone.

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, with reference to cases where death from covid-19 is linked to an underlying health condition, whether both conditions as causes of death are recorded on death certificates.

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 MCCD is set out in two parts, in accordance with World Health Organization recommendations in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. Starting with the immediate, direct cause of death in part one, going back through the sequence of events or conditions that led to death on subsequent lines, until reaching the one that started the fatal sequence. Part two of the certificate should include any other diseases, injuries, conditions, or events that contributed to the death, but were not part of the direct sequence.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to covid-19; how many of those people have received a letter from the Government informing them that they are categorised as such; and how many (a) clinically and (b) non-clinically vulnerable people require assistance for accessing food supplies during the covid-19 outbreak.

Around 2.2 million people have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and asked to shield themselves. Comprehensive information on the number of letters sent out is not yet available.

As at 20 May 2020, 341,500 clinically extremely vulnerable people were registered as requiring assistance for accessing food supplies. Information on the number of clinically vulnerable and non-clinically vulnerable people eligible for food supplies though the appropriate channels is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of the EU’s proposed World Health Assembly 73 Resolution on the covid-19 response.

The United Kingdom engaged actively in negotiations on the Resolution, which we have co-sponsored. We are pleased to see the draft Resolution on the COVID-19 response has been adopted by the 73rd World Health Assembly.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has made an estimate of the effect on the economy of women leaving employment as a result of of living with heavy menstrual bleeding; and if he will make a statement.

No estimate has been made of the effect on the economy of women leaving employment as a result of heavy menstrual bleeding.

NHS England advise that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner (GP) as a first course of action. Advice for this is available on nhs.uk, where a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’ can advise on simple steps that may help, as well as speaking to a GP.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women and girls have been (a) diagnosed with and (b) treated for heavy menstrual bleeding by the NHS in each calendar year since 2015.

Figures on how many women and girls have been diagnosed and treated by the National Health Service for heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) per calendar year are not held centrally.

NHS England advise that there is not always an underlying cause for heavy periods, which can be common, however they can also result from problems such as fibroids or endometriosis. It is therefore important to get persistent symptoms checked out by speaking to a general practitioner (GP). Advice for this is available on nhs.uk, where a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’ can advise on simple steps that may help, as well as speaking to a GP.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 Jan 2020 to Question 4747 on Gender Recognition: Prescriptions, in cases where general practitioners have declined to accept prescribing responsibility for products related to gender identity (a) how people requesting those medications received that medication via other NHS routes and (b) what signposting information NHS England provides for those people on accessing medication other than via their general practitioner.

In accordance with current clinical protocols and NHS England commissioning documents, responsibility for prescribing hormone treatments rests solely with the individual’s general practitioner (GP) on the recommendation of a specialist gender dysphoria team. If a patient is refused a prescription by their GP then a patient has no alternative other than registering with a new GP.

To address this, in 2019 NHS England updated its service specification so that an individual will only be transferred from a Gender Dysphoria Clinic to primary care when their clinical condition is stable or predictable. Additionally, the Gender Dysphoria Clinic will retain responsibility for providing prescriptions and monitoring until the GP has agreed to a transfer of responsibility through a shared care agreement.

NHS England has established a working group, chaired by the Royal College of General Practitioners and comprising of representatives of the British Medical Association and British Association of Gender Identity Specialists, to provide advice on effecting these changes.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 Jan 2020 to Question 4747 on Gender Recognition: Prescriptions, what information his Department holds on how many general practitioners have declined to accept prescribing responsibility for products related to gender identity.

This information is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 Jan 2020 to Question 4747 on Gender Recognition: Prescriptions, what steps his Department takes when general practitioners do not comply with Public Sector Equalities Duties and the Equalities Act 2010 in respect of the treatment of transgender and non-binary patients.

The Department discharges its responsibilities through bodies such as the Care Quality Commission, clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and the General Medical Council, which have various legal, contractual and regulatory powers. The Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association also have a role in the advice and guidelines that they provide to general practitioners.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2020
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 28 January 2020, Official Report column 658, what steps he is taking to ensure that PReP is accessible to women; and how the roll-out of PReP to women is monitored by his Department.

A core function of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial Community Advisory Board (CAB) is to raise awareness and uptake of PrEP in key populations, including women. Further information about PrEP Impact Trial CAB activities and participating community groups can be found at the following links:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/spec-services/npc-crg/blood-and-infection-group-f/f03/prep-trial-updates/

https://www.prepimpacttrial.org.uk/faqs

A subgroup of the PrEP CAB aims to specifically address PrEP Impact Trial access for women. The subgroup has developed a questionnaire to use with women attending sexual health clinics in order to increase knowledge and awareness among women and to aid discussions about PrEP with health workers. More information can be found at the following link:

https://sophiaforum.net/index.php/women-and-prep/

In addition, Public Health England’s Innovation Fund has supported a number of community based projects aimed at increasing PrEP awareness in women; information on the projects funded in 2018 can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/innovative-hiv-prevention-projects-reached-170000-people-in-2018

As at October 2019, places filled by women and other groups account for over 4% of total trial participants. As of 12 February 2020, all participating Trial clinics were open to recruitment for women, trans men and heterosexual men. Information on the enrolment status of participating clinics is regularly updated on the PrEP Impact Trial website at the following link:

https://www.prepimpacttrial.org.uk/join-the-trial

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will instruct Clinical Commissioning Groups to fund the cost of prescribing products related to gender identity for transgender and non-binary patients to ensure compliance with the Equalities Act 2010 throughout the health service.

The Department is aware of some general practitioners who have declined to accept prescribing responsibility, but we are not aware of any clinical commissioning groups refusing to fund the drugs.

All National Health Service organisations are expected to comply with Public Sector Equalities Duties and the Equalities Act 2010.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timeframe is for the completion of the procurement process for the new NHS Gender Identity Services for Adults.

The contracts will be awarded to successful bidders in the procurement process for implementation from April 2020.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the procurement of the new NHS England Gender Identity Services for Adults will have adequate capacity to ensure that the NHS 18-week first referral to treatment target will be met.

The outcome of the procurement for Gender Dysphoria Services for Adults (Non-Surgical Interventions) is not yet complete, and decisions about contract award have not been notified to bidders.

In light of the substantial increase in demand for these services, the historical model for service delivery within designated Gender Dysphoria Clinics will not be able to address the need.

To meet this need, new and innovative service models are being piloted by NHS England in primary care, sexual health services, and other local health settings across England to increase clinical capacity and improve patient access. This is supported by a new Gender Identity Healthcare Credential Programme to build the clinical workforce to deliver care.

The Gender Identity Healthcare Credential offers the first accredited qualification of its type in the United Kingdom. It has been developed by the Royal College of Physicians with funding from NHS England. The programme has been created to support the development of gender dysphoria health services by suitably trained health professionals. It is an interprofessional programme, focused on the next generation of clinical leaders. This will enable the NHS to meet the workforce needs and allow the delivery of increased gender dysphoria healthcare.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what provisions he has put in place in the new NHS Gender Identity Services specification for people who define as non-binary .

The specification is clear that access to the National Health Service-funded pathway of care is dependent on a clinical diagnosis of gender dysphoria by a specialist health team.

The specification recognises and respects diversity in gender identity and its expression.

It recognises that there are other identities than the traditional (binary) identities associated with ‘man’ and ‘woman’, and that gender diverse people with such identities (such as non-binary, trans-feminine, trans-masculine, Genderqueer, non-gender and others), who meet the criteria for access to the NHS pathway of care, must have access to treatment and the interventions described in the specification.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to clinical commissioning groups was of prescribing products related to gender identity for transgender and non-binary patients in each of the last five years.

The information regarding cost to clinical commissioning groups for prescribing products related to gender identity, transgender and non-binary use is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Gender Identity Services patients identified as (a) binary and (b) non-binary in each of the last five years.

Information regarding patients’ gender identity is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking to help secure the release of Ms Elizabeth Tsurkov who was kidnapped in Iraq in March 2023.

The UK is concerned over the kidnapping of Israeli-Russian dual national Elizabeth Tsurkov. The Government of Iraq opened an investigation into her kidnapping last year and we await the findings. Those suspected of criminal responsibility for her kidnapping should be brought to justice in fair trials. However, as Elizabeth Tsurkov is not a British citizen, we are not in a position to offer direct consular assistance.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, with reference to paragraph 199 of the Guide to Parliamentary Work, published by the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons, if he will he make an assessment of the adequacy of his Department’s performance against that paragraph in his Answer of 21 November 2023 to Question 1578 on Afghanistan; and if he will take steps to improve the adherence of his Department to the principles set out in that Guide.

The FCDO holds data on how much aid we have provided for Afghanistan and our commitment to ensure that at least 50 per cent of those reached with our aid are women and girls. The FCDO does not hold the breakdown of how much UK aid has been allocated specifically to women-led organisations based in Afghanistan. We have not withheld information on funding allocations. The department is confident that the answer provided to PQ 1578 adequately meets the guidelines laid down by the Leader of the Commons in the Guide to Parliamentary Work.

The FCDO attaches great importance to the effective handling of Written Parliamentary Questions (WPQs) and recognises the importance of Parliamentary scrutiny.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, with reference to the oral evidence given by Andrew McCoubrey, Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan of his Department, to the Foreign Affairs Committee on Follow-up to Afghanistan Inquiry on 17 October 2023, Q33, HC 1888 of Session 2022-23, if he will make a commitment to publishing his Department’s analysis of the implications for UK aid funding decisions for Afghanistan of the United Nations Integrated Food Security Phase Classification assessment of Afghanistan, due to be completed by the end of November 2023.

As the Development White Paper highlights, the UK Government prioritises humanitarian assistance to people in greatest need. On Monday the UK hosted the Global Food Security Summit, announcing up to £100 million in new humanitarian funding to countries worst hit by food insecurity, including Afghanistan. We continue to monitor the food security situation in Afghanistan, including analysing Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) data and other assessments and evidence, and use these to inform portfolio planning. In recognition of the needs in Afghanistan this year, we provided the World Food Programme with over £30 million for emergency food, cash and nutrition assistance.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, with reference to the oral evidence given by Andrew McCoubrey, Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan of his Department, to the Foreign Affairs Committee on Follow-up to Afghanistan Inquiry on 17 October 2023, Q33, HC 1888 of Session 2022-23, what steps the Government has taken to encourage the World Bank to release further funds from the Afghanistan Resilience Trust Fund to provide (a) humanitarian assistance following the recent earthquake in Afghanistan and (b) support for Afghan people during winter 2023-23.

The FCDO is committed to supporting Afghanistan's citizens, including helping them respond to the recent earthquake. We provided an additional £1 million to Red Cross and the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund to provide emergency shelter, food and health assistance. The UK has been instrumental in unlocking over $1 billion through the Afghanistan Resilience Trust Fund and we continue to work with the World Bank to deliver support at scale in health, food security and community resilience in the earthquake affected areas.

In 2023/24, we are providing the World Food Programme with over £30 million to deliver humanitarian assistance, including prepositioning essential winter food supplies in hard-to-reach areas.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the implementation of UK sanctions against the Burmese military.

Since the coup in February 2021, we have imposed sanctions on 25 individuals and 29 entities. On 31 October, we announced our sixteenth round of sanctions, targeting those who profit from supplying Myanmar's military with finance and arms. Our sanctions implementation is robust - HM Treasury assesses every instance of reported non-compliance and takes action in all cases where we conclude a breach has occurred. The UK is considering a range of further targets to hold the Myanmar regime to account and will continue to maintain international efforts to ensure sanctions are effective and investigate activities that support circumvention.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) reach older people with targeted humanitarian and social protection support and (b) ensure data on humanitarian and social protection is (i) age-disaggregated and (ii) inclusive of older people.

The UK works to ensure that all humanitarian assistance reaches the most vulnerable, including those who are vulnerable because of their age. FCDO works with governments and partners to strengthen and expand inclusive social protection systems to reach more vulnerable people, including older people.

The FCDO is signed up to and provides a leading role as a co-facilitator of the Inclusive Data Charter which commits the FCDO to collecting data disaggregated by gender, disability, age and geography where possible. We currently do not have comprehensive age disaggregated data at an aggregate level but continue to work with partners to collect more disaggregated data, including on age, in a standardised way.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Assistance Committee handbook for data reporters and users, The OECD-DAC policy marker on the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities, published in December 2020, how many projects in receipt of Official Development Assistance (ODA) from his Department scored a 1 according to that policy marker; and how much ODA his Department disbursed to those projects to spend on disability inclusion in each calendar year since 2018.

The FCDO uses the OECD-DAC disability policy marker to indicate what level of disability-inclusive activities take place with each bilateral official development assistance (ODA) programme. A score of 1 indicates that at least some deliberate disability-inclusive activity is undertaken but disability inclusion is not the main purpose of the programme. A score of 2 indicates that addressing disability inclusion is the primary purpose of the programme.

The table below gives ODA spending and project numbers for DFID and FCO (from 2018 to 2020) and FCDO (2021 onwards). The counts in columns (b) and (e) are for individual projects as reported to the OECD-DAC.

Columns (a), (b) and (c) provides the amount of ODA disbursed and details of projects that scored 2 for the marker.

Column (e) and (f) provides the details on the number of ODA projects that scored 1 for the marker.

Column (d) provides the total amount of ODA disbursed in projects that scored 1 for the marker. No information is collected centrally on the amount of ODA that is disbursed solely for disability inclusive activities in projects scoring 1.

Bilateral ODA projects1 with a DAC disability policy marker = 2

Bilateral ODA projects1 with a DAC disability policy marker = 1

Department

Amount of spending (£ millions) (a)

Number of projects (b)

Proportion of all bilateral projects (c)

Amount of spending (£ millions)2 (d)

Number of projects (e)

Proportion of all bilateral projects (f)

2018

Department for International Development

6.7

12

0.5%

2,304,139

874

34.2%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

0.0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

Total

6.7

12

0.4%

2,304,139

874

26.9%

2019

Department for International Development

19.6

20

0.8%

2,751,165

881

35.9%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

0.0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

Total

19.6

20

0.7%

2,751,165

881

29.6%

2020

Department for International Development

22.4

17

0.7%

2,366,991

838

36.1%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

0.0

0

N/A

42,438

124

N/A

Total

22.4

17

0.6%

2,409,429

962

32.8%

2021

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

16.2

15

0.5%

1,527,057

967

32.2%

20223

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

19.0

16

0.7%

1,527,146

837

35.4%

  • Project counts are based on the individual lines reported to OECD-DAC. In most cases, larger programmes will consist of a number of projects.
  • This is the total amount of ODA disbursed in these projects. Not all of this funding would have been used for disability-inclusive activities.
  • The figures for 2022 come from the Statistics on International Development (SID) data. All other years are based on OECD-DAC data. SID and OECD-DAC data report projects in a slightly different way. These figures may therefore change by a small amount once the 2022 OECD-DAC data are published.
Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Assistance Committee handbook for data reporters and users, The OECD-DAC policy marker on the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities, published in December 2020, how many projects in receipt of Official Development Assistance (ODA) from his Department scored a 2 according to that policy marker; and how much ODA his Department disbursed to those projects in each calendar year since 2018.

The FCDO uses the OECD-DAC disability policy marker to indicate what level of disability-inclusive activities take place with each bilateral official development assistance (ODA) programme. A score of 1 indicates that at least some deliberate disability-inclusive activity is undertaken but disability inclusion is not the main purpose of the programme. A score of 2 indicates that addressing disability inclusion is the primary purpose of the programme.

The table below gives ODA spending and project numbers for DFID and FCO (from 2018 to 2020) and FCDO (2021 onwards). The counts in columns (b) and (e) are for individual projects as reported to the OECD-DAC.

Columns (a), (b) and (c) provides the amount of ODA disbursed and details of projects that scored 2 for the marker.

Column (e) and (f) provides the details on the number of ODA projects that scored 1 for the marker.

Column (d) provides the total amount of ODA disbursed in projects that scored 1 for the marker. No information is collected centrally on the amount of ODA that is disbursed solely for disability inclusive activities in projects scoring 1.

Bilateral ODA projects1 with a DAC disability policy marker = 2

Bilateral ODA projects1 with a DAC disability policy marker = 1

Department

Amount of spending (£ millions) (a)

Number of projects (b)

Proportion of all bilateral projects (c)

Amount of spending (£ millions)2 (d)

Number of projects (e)

Proportion of all bilateral projects (f)

2018

Department for International Development

6.7

12

0.5%

2,304,139

874

34.2%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

0.0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

Total

6.7

12

0.4%

2,304,139

874

26.9%

2019

Department for International Development

19.6

20

0.8%

2,751,165

881

35.9%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

0.0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

Total

19.6

20

0.7%

2,751,165

881

29.6%

2020

Department for International Development

22.4

17

0.7%

2,366,991

838

36.1%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

0.0

0

N/A

42,438

124

N/A

Total

22.4

17

0.6%

2,409,429

962

32.8%

2021

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

16.2

15

0.5%

1,527,057

967

32.2%

20223

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

19.0

16

0.7%

1,527,146

837

35.4%

  • Project counts are based on the individual lines reported to OECD-DAC. In most cases, larger programmes will consist of a number of projects.
  • This is the total amount of ODA disbursed in these projects. Not all of this funding would have been used for disability-inclusive activities.
  • The figures for 2022 come from the Statistics on International Development (SID) data. All other years are based on OECD-DAC data. SID and OECD-DAC data report projects in a slightly different way. These figures may therefore change by a small amount once the 2022 OECD-DAC data are published.
Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the oral evidence by Fawzia Koofi to the Foreign Affairs Committee on 17 October 2023, Q3, HC 1888 of Session 2022-23, how much UK aid has been allocated to women-led organisations based in Afghanistan in each of the last two financial years for which information is available; and if he will take steps to ensure that the procedures for applying for UK aid are simplified for women-led organisations based in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is one of FCDO's largest bilateral aid programmes this financial year, with a planned £100 million budget. Since April 2021, the UK has disbursed over £600 million in aid for Afghanistan. We remain committed to ensuring that at least 50 per cent of people reached are women and girls. We achieved this in 2021-2022 and are on track to do so in 2022-2023. Through the Afghanistan Resilience Trust Fund, our support contributes to a $20 million project to support civil society and NGOs with a focus on women-led organisations. FCDO officials regularly engage with Afghan women and women's groups to ensure that we are aligned in the design and delivery of our programmes.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the oral evidence by Fawzia Koofi to the Foreign Affairs Committee on 17 October 2023, Q3, HC 1888 of Session 2022-23, what monitoring mechanisms are in place to ensure that UK aid (a) is prevented from benefitting the Taliban and (b) reaches the people for whom it is intended.

UK funding is provided directly to implementing partners: UN organisations, the Red Cross, and national and international non-governmental organisations. We do not provide any aid to or through the Taliban. UK aid is subject to strict monitoring and verification to ensure it reaches intended beneficiaries. Our partners are experienced in delivering in difficult circumstances and we work closely together to mitigate risks. We remain committed to ensuring that at least 50 per cent of people reached with UK aid in Afghanistan are women and girls. We achieved this in 2021-2022 and are on track to do so in 2022-2023.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 16 October 2023 to Question 203848 on the UN Population Fund and to the £425 million the UK Government pledged to the United Nations Population Fund Supplies Partnership in 2019 for 2020-2025, to how much that figure was reduced as a result of the decision to reduce that pledge in 2021; and whether the Government is on track to disburse the remaining sum outstanding under that revised pledge by the end of 2025.

The UK Government previously agreed to provide the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Supplies Partnership with £425 million from 2020 - 2025. This was later reduced following reductions in Overseas Development Assistance spend in 2021 to £264 million from 2020-2025. We are, however, still the largest donor to UNFPA Supplies and we are supporting supplies in additional ways such as through market shaping.

The UK Government has disbursed £204 million and is on track to disburse the final £60 million payment next financial year. The programme closes in March 2025.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the £785 million pledged by his Department to the United Nations Population Fund Supplies Partnership from 2020-25, what the planned schedule of payments was for that funding; and how much of that funding has been disbursed and on what dates as of 23 October 2023.

In 2019, the UK pledged £425 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Supplies Partnership (not £785 million)

Following the signing of its first agreement, the UK disbursed £65 million in 2020 as planned. The UK signed a second agreement in 2020 to provide the remaining £360 million from 2020-2025 but this was reduced in 2021 following reductions in ODA spending. We are currently providing £60 million a year to UNFPA Supplies Programme.

Payments can be found on DevTracker: https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/projects/GB-GOV-1-300713/documents.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
18th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much official development assistance his Department has spent on disability-specific projects in each year since 2010; and what proportion of total official development assistance spending in those years was spent on disability-specific projects.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) tracks spending on disability-specific official development assistance (ODA) programmes through the OECD-DAC disability policy marker.

The UK was one of the first countries to adopt a disability policy marker, introducing it in 2018, and was central to the OECD-DAC adopting it in 2019. The marker has been used throughout FCDO since 2021.

The table below provides FCDO spending on disability-specific ODA programmes and total bilateral ODA spending from 2016 onwards.

Department

Total bilateral1 ODA (£ million) (a)

Bilateral ODA spent on disability-specific programmes (£ million) (b)

Percentage of bilateral ODA spent through disability-specific programmes (c)

20162

Department for International Development

6,369.7

2.0

0.0%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

479.6

0.0

0.0%

Total

6,849.3

2.0

0.0%

20172

Department for International Development

6,312.8

6.3

0.1%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

594.6

0.0

0.0%

Total

6,907.4

6.3

0.1%

2018

Department for International Development

6,352.9

6.7

0.1%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

603.4

0.0

0.0%

Total

6,956.3

6.7

0.1%

2019

Department for International Development

7,063.5

19.6

0.3%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

642.3

0.0

0.0%

Total

7,705.7

19.6

0.3%

2020

Department for International Development

6,362.9

22.4

0.4%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

559.6

0.0

0.0%

Total

6,922.5

22.4

0.3%

2021

Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office

4,485.3

16.2

0.4%

2022

Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office

4,607.5

19.0

0.4%

Footnotes

1. Following the OECD-DAC guidelines, the disability policy marker cannot be applied to core multilateral ODA. Core multilateral ODA has, therefore, been omitted from the table.

2. DFID introduced the disability inclusion marker in 2018. Figures for disability-specific ODA spending in 2016 and 2017 have been estimated by retrospectively applying the marker to programmes that were running prior to 2018 and marked as being disability-specific in 2018.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with President Kagame and Foreign Minister Biruta in Rwanda on the human rights abuses committed by the M23 armed group in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The UK Government has a long-standing commitment to supporting prosperity, development, and stability in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We regularly raise the conflict in eastern DRC with the governments of DRC and Rwanda, where we urge all parties to deliver on their commitments, agreed through the Nairobi and Luanda processes, including the withdrawal by armed groups including M23. We will continue to work with members of the international community to bring an end to the violence, human rights abuses and the violations of international humanitarian law documented by armed groups including M23. I met with President Kagame and Foreign Minister Biruta during my visit to Rwanda in late August, where I encouraged de-escalation and emphasised the need for a peaceful political solution.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
12th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to work with the Israeli Government to help secure improvements to the condition of Palestinian children in military detention.

The UK draws on a wide range of sources when assessing human rights issues in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. We have issues about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary. The Israeli authorities must comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees. We remain committed to working with the Israeli government to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention and continue to raise this with the Israeli Ministry of Justice through our embassy in Tel Aviv. The Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, also frequently meets with charities and NGOs regarding issues relating to the occupation. He most recently discussed child detention in a meeting with representatives of Save The Children, Oxfam GB, Medical Aid for Palestinians and Christian Aid on 4 July.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made a recent assessment of the implications for his policies of the Government of Israel’s level of compliance with the recommendations made in UNICEF’s report entitled Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and recommendations, published in 2003.

The UK draws on a wide range of sources when assessing human rights issues in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. We have issues about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary. The Israeli authorities must comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees. We remain committed to working with the Israeli government to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention and continue to raise this with the Israeli Ministry of Justice through our embassy in Tel Aviv. The Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, also frequently meets with charities and NGOs regarding issues relating to the occupation. He most recently discussed child detention in a meeting with representatives of Save The Children, Oxfam GB, Medical Aid for Palestinians and Christian Aid on 4 July.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had recent discussions with his counterpart in Israel on the treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.

The UK draws on a wide range of sources when assessing human rights issues in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. We have issues about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary. The Israeli authorities must comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees. We remain committed to working with the Israeli government to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention and continue to raise this with the Israeli Ministry of Justice through our embassy in Tel Aviv. The Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, also frequently meets with charities and NGOs regarding issues relating to the occupation. He most recently discussed child detention in a meeting with representatives of Save The Children, Oxfam GB, Medical Aid for Palestinians and Christian Aid on 4 July.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many projects under the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health programme his Department has allocated funding to; and how many of those projects closed before their initial planned end date.

The Women's Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme initially operated in 27 countries. In response to budgetary re-prioritisation and contextual changes (such as the security situation in Afghanistan), adjustments were made to the scale and pace of delivery. This included focusing support on 17 countries to ensure better value for money and coherence. Despite these changes, the WISH programme has continued to deliver strong results. In the last year alone, WISH has averted 6,800 maternal deaths and 2.2 million unintended pregnancies, and supported 873,540 additional users of modern methods of contraception.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
19th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.

We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. We continue to monitor Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. We remain committed to working with the Israeli Government to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention and continue to raise this with the Israeli Ministry of Justice through our embassy in Tel Aviv. The Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, also frequently meets with charities and NGOs regarding issues relating to the occupation. He most recently discussed child detention in a meeting with representatives of Save The Children, Oxfam GB, Medical Aid for Palestinians and Christian Aid on 4 July.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to uphold the commitment under the Convention on Cluster Munitions not to assist in the (a) use and (b) transfer of cluster munitions.

As a State Party to the Convention, the UK takes its obligations seriously. The UK discourages States from using cluster munitions and urges non-States Party to accede to the Convention without delay. In line with the provisions of the Convention, the UK engages in military co-operation and operations with non-States Party. In doing so, the UK does not assist anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party. The UK remains committed to ending the suffering and casualties caused by cluster munitions.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much Official Development Assistance funding the British Council plans to spend on developing grassroots football in (a) China and (b) Xinjiang in China in the financial year 2023/24; and what sums the British Council spent on developing grassroots football in China in each of the last three financial years.

Over the spending review period 2022-2025, the FCDO will provide the British Council with £511 million Grant-in-Aid funding. Of this, £396 million will be provided as Official Development Assistance (ODA) and £115 million as non-ODA. As the British Council is operationally independent of government, questions on their programming and spend across regions in China are for them to answer.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much Official Development Assistance funding was spent by the British Council in China by (a) project and (b) region in (i) 2022-23 and (ii) 2023-24.

Over the spending review period 2022-2025, the FCDO will provide the British Council with £511 million Grant-in-Aid funding. Of this, £396 million will be provided as Official Development Assistance (ODA) and £115 million as non-ODA. As the British Council is operationally independent of government, questions on their programming and spend across regions in China are for them to answer.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)