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Written Question
Health Services: Artificial Intelligence
1 Feb 2021

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to promote the use of (a) the quality and outcomes framework and (b) other incentive models to ensure the adequate uptake of proven AI health technologies at a local level.

Answered by Nadine Dorries

The National Health Service Artificial Intelligence (AI) Laboratory was set up in 2019 to support the safe and ethical development and deployment of AI across health and care. The AI in Health and Care Awards will channel £140 million of funding to AI innovation.

The NHS AI Laboratory, is also developing the evidence base for technologies and providing guidance on best practice.


Written Question
Telemedicine
29 Jan 2021

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place to strengthen outpatient care online to ensure that appropriate patients and clinicians have access to remote diagnostics alongside remote consultation.

Answered by Nadine Dorries

The first four phases of the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care award included innovations in remote diagnostics, including the Neuronostics Limited smartphone-based app which can receive EEG recordings from wireless headsets to assist with assessing epilepsy treatment; Senti Tech Limited’s project enabling remote chest examination for respiratory patients through sensors embedded into a jacket; and Healthy.io (UK) Limited’s smartphone albuminuria self-test, which uses a home test kit and a mobile app to allow patients to self-test at home with clinical grade results.


Written Question
Urinary Tract Infections: Diagnosis
26 Jan 2021

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether PHE plans to update its guidance on UTIs to recommend the use of a dipstick to diagnose UTI patients with suggestive symptoms and to reflect Scotland’s guidance SIGN 88: Management of suspected bacterial urinary tract infection in adults.

Answered by Edward Argar

The Public Health England (PHE) diagnostic urinary tract infection (UTI) guidance was last updated in October 2020 and will be reviewed again in November 2021. The current guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/urinary-tract-infection-diagnosis

PHE recommends dipstick testing in patients with one or fewer of the key UTI diagnostic symptoms (new nocturia, dysuria, or cloudy urine). The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network approach recommends using dipsticks in a slightly larger subset of patients. PHE will keep the emerging evidence on dipstick use within UTI diagnosis under review in order to inform future guidance updates.


Written Question
Pharmacy
29 Oct 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

What steps he is taking to improve community pharmacies.

Answered by Jo Churchill

In July, we set out plans in our landmark five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework deal. This outlined our ambition for community pharmacies to be fully integrated in to the National Health Service, support patients get the best from their medicines and provide advice to the public to help them stay healthy for longer.

As part of this, today we have launched a new national service referring patients suffering from minor illness to our highly-skilled community pharmacists through NHS 111.


Written Question
Exercise
22 Oct 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Government targets for physical activity are accessible to all regardless of age, ability and current health.

Answered by Jo Churchill

The updated Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines for physical activity were published in September 2019. These guidelines provide recommendations and targets for different age groups and for people with disability. Interventions to meet these targets are designed and implemented by local authorities.


Written Question
Health: Older People
22 Oct 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to meet the Government’s ageing society target of five extra healthier, more independent years of life as identified in the Industrial Strategy.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

Delivering the Government’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge will require complex systems thinking across a number of areas including housing, financial support, workforce as well as health and care. We are working with a range of partners across Government, industry, academia and the voluntary sector and we are taking steps in number of areas. These include building United Kingdom business awareness of the longevity economy and age-diverse workforce; supporting local places through Local Industrial Strategies to address the opportunities and challenges of an ageing society; and building research and innovation collaborations with international partners.


Written Question
Health: Older People
22 Oct 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to incorporate research and evidence into healthy nutrition and physical activity into the Government’s ageing society target of five healthier, more independent years of life as identified in the Industrial Strategy.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

The Department’s consultation document ‘Advancing our Health: Prevention in the 2020s’, was published in July 2019. It sets out proposals to support the achievement of the Ageing Society Grand Challenge Mission for everyone to enjoy five extra years of healthy, independent living by 2035 whilst narrowing the gap between the richest and poorest.

‘Advancing our Health’ included the third chapter of the childhood obesity plan which sets out further measures to help meet our ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and significantly reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030. All chapters of the plan were informed by the latest research and emerging evidence, including from debates in Parliament and various reports from key stakeholders. We have also captured analysis from the National Institute for Health Research Obesity Policy Research Unit, which was established as part of the initial plan, through £5 million investment over five years.

Government nutrition advice is underpinned by the best available scientific evidence, which is regularly reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Committee for Nutrition. In the United Kingdom the Eatwell Guide represents current government recommendations on a healthy, balanced diet to promote long term health at a population level. The Eatwell Guide applies to most people over the age of five and is available to view at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/528193/Eatwell_guide_colour.pdf

The UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity guidelines published in September 2019 reflect the most up to date review of evidence for muscle and balance health. These guidelines provide recommendations and targets for different age groups and for people with disability.

‘Advancing our Health: Prevention in the 2020s’ is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/advancing-our-health-prevention-in-the-2020s


Written Question
Preventive Medicine
17 Oct 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department will publish the Green Paper on prevention.

Answered by Jo Churchill

We published our prevention Green Paper ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’, on 22 July. The consultation ended on 14 October and we are currently analysing the responses.

A copy of the prevention Green Paper can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/advancing-our-health-prevention-in-the-2020s


Written Question
Dementia: Research
15 May 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding was allocated from the public purse to dementia research in 2017-18.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

The Government remains strongly committed to supporting research into dementia and the United Kingdom research community is playing a significant role in the global effort to find a cure or a major disease-modifying treatment by 2025.

The Department funds research on health and social care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The usual practice of the NIHR is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics such as dementia. Research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health including dementia. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. In all disease areas, the amount of NIHR funding depends on the volume and quality of scientific activity.

NIHR funding for dementia research was £43.0 million in 2017/18, having increased from £27 million in 2013/14. Government spending overall on dementia research is running ahead of the Government’s 2020 Dementia Challenge commitment to maintain this at £300 million over five years. The total in 2017/18 was £82.5 million (£43 million via the NIHR, £36.3 million via the Medical Research Council and £3.2 million via the Economic and Social Research Council).


Written Question
Dementia: Research
15 May 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage more people to participate in dementia research.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

The Government’s Dementia 2020 Challenge aims to make England the best country in the world for dementia care, support, awareness and research. The Government is committed to supporting research into dementia to find a disease-modifying treatment by 2025, and to help people with dementia live well with the condition. People participating in research are a vital part of this effort.

Significant progress has been made to increase participation, notably via Join Dementia Research. This service is run by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR, which is funded by the Department), and the charities Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. To date, 40,286 people have registered with the service to be informed about research projects in which they may be able to participate, and 12,881 of these have joined in dementia studies.


Written Question
Dementia: Research
15 May 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to upskill more healthcare professionals to signpost patients with dementia to dementia research opportunities.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

The Government’s Dementia 2020 Challenge aims to make England the best country in the world for dementia care, support, awareness and research. The Government is committed to supporting research into dementia to find a disease-modifying treatment by 2025, and to help people with dementia live well with the condition. People participating in research are central to this effort, as are the health and social care staff who support their participation.

We expect all people who are newly diagnosed with dementia, and their carers, to receive information on opportunities to take part in research into dementia. By 2020, we expect all relevant staff to have received appropriate dementia training. This should include training relevant staff to be able to signpost interested individuals towards research via the Join Dementia Research service. We are also currently exploring options for increasing take-up of the more advanced Tier 2 training to everyone who needs it.


Written Question
Dementia: Research
15 May 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he intends to make representations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to allocate more funding to dementia research in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

The Government remains strongly committed to supporting research into dementia and the United Kingdom research community is playing a significant role in the global effort to find a cure or a major disease-modifying treatment by 2025. In terms of funding, the future of budgets outside of the NHS England resource settlement will be confirmed later this year in the Spending Review 2019. The Government has made clear that the number one spending priority is the National Health Service, which will get £33.9 billion more in cash terms by 2023-24, compared to 2018-19. Discussions with HM Treasury are ongoing.


Written Question
Hospitals: Safety
2 Jun 2015

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what progress has been made in achieving safety in hospitals in special measures.

Answered by Jeremy Hunt

Trusts placed in special measures receive tailored support to address their problems. I am pleased to report that seven trusts out of 21 trusts have now exited the regime, having demonstrated sustainable improvements in safety and quality of care.

In the case of Basildon, I understand that Monitor is working with the Trust to help ensure it returns to a stable financial footing, so that the people of Basildon and Thurrock can receive quality healthcare services on a sustainable basis.