Department of Health and Social Care

We support ministers in leading the nation’s health and social care to help people live more independent, healthier lives for longer.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Sajid Javid
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Scottish National Party
Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Public Health and Primary Care)

Democratic Unionist Party
Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

Labour
Wes Streeting (LAB - Ilford North)
Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Liberal Democrat
Munira Wilson (LDEM - Twickenham)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

Labour
Baroness Wheeler (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

Scottish National Party
Philippa Whitford (SNP - Central Ayrshire)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

Labour
Baroness Merron (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

Plaid Cymru
Ben Lake (PC - Ceredigion)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Brinton (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Health)

Scottish National Party
Lisa Cameron (SNP - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health)

Labour
Baroness Thornton (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Health)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Rosena Allin-Khan (LAB - Tooting)
Shadow Minister (Mental Health)
Liz Kendall (LAB - Leicester West)
Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)
Justin Madders (LAB - Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)
Feryal Clark (LAB - Enfield North)
Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)
Andrew Gwynne (LAB - Denton and Reddish)
Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)
Karin Smyth (LAB - Bristol South)
Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)
Ministers of State
Gillian Keegan (CON - Chichester)
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
Edward Argar (CON - Charnwood)
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Maggie Throup (CON - Erewash)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
Maria Caulfield (CON - Lewes)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
Lord Kamall (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 19th January 2022
Department of Health and Social Care
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2021
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 19th January 2022
16:15
Department of Health and Social Care
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
19 Jan 2022, 4:15 p.m.
Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Entry to Venues and Events) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 – Lord Kamall
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Scheduled Event
Thursday 20th January 2022
Department of Health and Social Care
Legislation - Main Chamber
Health and Care Bill – committee stage (day 4)
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Scheduled Event
Thursday 20th January 2022
10:30
Health and Social Care Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
20 Jan 2022, 10:30 a.m.
Cancer services
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Scheduled Event
Monday 24th January 2022
Department of Health and Social Care
Legislation - Main Chamber
Health and Care Bill – committee stage (day 5)
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 25th January 2022
15:45
Health and Social Care Committee - Private Meeting - Select & Joint Committees
25 Jan 2022, 3:45 p.m.

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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 26th January 2022
Department of Health and Social Care
Legislation - Main Chamber
Health and Care Bill – committee stage (day 6) continues
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 26th January 2022
11:00
Department of Health and Social Care
Legislation - Main Chamber
26 Jan 2022, 11 a.m.
Health and Care Bill – committee stage (day 6)
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Scheduled Event
Monday 31st January 2022
Department of Health and Social Care
Legislation - Main Chamber
Health and Care Bill - committee stage (day 7)
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Scheduled Event
Friday 4th February 2022
10:00
Department of Health and Social Care
Legislation - Main Chamber
4 Feb 2022, 10 a.m.
Health and Care Bill – committee stage (day 8)
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Debates
Tuesday 18th January 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
Oral Questions
Select Committee Docs
Saturday 22nd January 2022
00:00
Call for Evidence
Call For Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Friday 10th December 2021
Omicron variant update

The Health and Social Care Committee have invited the Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid and Chief Medical Officer …

Written Answers
Tuesday 18th January 2022
Department of Health and Social Care: BGI Group
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2021 to …
Secondary Legislation
Monday 29th November 2021
Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2021
These Regulations amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 to provide that:
Bills
Tuesday 6th July 2021
Health and Care Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision about health and social care.
Dept. Publications
Tuesday 18th January 2022
09:00
Treaty
None available

Department of Health and Social Care Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jan. 18
Oral Questions
Jan. 12
Written Statements
Jan. 18
Westminster Hall
Jan. 17
Adjournment Debate
View All Department of Health and Social Care Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Department of Health and Social Care does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament


A Bill to confer power to amend or supplement the law relating to human medicines, veterinary medicines and medical devices; make provision about the enforcement of regulations, and the protection of health and safety, in relation to medical devices; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 11th February 2021 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision in connection with coronavirus; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 25th March 2020 and was enacted into law.


To make provision regarding the funding of the health service in England in respect of each financial year until the financial year that ends with 31 March 2024.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 16th March 2020 and was enacted into law.

Department of Health and Social Care - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 to provide that:
These Regulations require members of the public to wear face coverings whilst inside a relevant place specified in the Regulations, or whilst using public transport (such as buses, trains, the London Underground, trams, aircraft and water taxis) in England, to protect against the risks to public health arising from coronavirus, except in certain limited cases. They also require businesses in places where wearing a face covering is required to display notices giving information about that requirement, and prohibit persons carrying on business in specified locations from preventing anyone from wearing a face covering, except in limited circumstances.
View All Department of Health and Social Care Secondary Legislation

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).

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Petition Debates Contributed

Advice from the JCVI on the priority groups for a Covid-19 vaccine does not include school/childcare workers. This petition calls for these workers, who cannot distance or use PPE, to be kept safe at work by being put on the vaccine priority list when such a list is adopted into government policy.

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

I want the Government to prevent any restrictions being placed on those who refuse to have any potential Covid-19 vaccine. This includes restrictions on travel, social events, such as concerts or sports. No restrictions whatsoever.

View All Department of Health and Social Care Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Health and Social Care Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Health and Social Care Committee
Jeremy Hunt Portrait
Jeremy Hunt (Conservative - South West Surrey)
Health and Social Care Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Laura Trott Portrait
Laura Trott (Conservative - Sevenoaks)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Dean Russell Portrait
Dean Russell (Conservative - Watford)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Sarah Owen Portrait
Sarah Owen (Labour - Luton North)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Taiwo Owatemi Portrait
Taiwo Owatemi (Labour - Coventry North West)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Luke Evans Portrait
Luke Evans (Conservative - Bosworth)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Rosie Cooper Portrait
Rosie Cooper (Labour - West Lancashire)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Paul Bristow Portrait
Paul Bristow (Conservative - Peterborough)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Barbara Keeley Portrait
Barbara Keeley (Labour - Worsley and Eccles South)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Lucy Allan Portrait
Lucy Allan (Conservative - Telford)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 3rd November 2021
Martyn Day Portrait
Martyn Day (Scottish National Party - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 5th January 2022
Health and Social Care Committee: Upcoming Events
Health and Social Care Committee - Oral evidence
Cancer services
20 Jan 2022, 10:30 a.m.
At 10.35am: Oral evidence
Mark Foulkes - Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Judith Neptial, cancer patient
At 11.00am: Oral evidence
Maria Caulfield MP - Minister of State for Patient Safety and Primary Care at Department of Health and Social Care
William Vineall - Director of NHS Quality, Safety and Investigations at Department of Health and Social Care
Dame Cally Palmer - National Cancer Director at NHS England
Professor Peter Johnson - National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England

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Health and Social Care Committee - Private Meeting
25 Jan 2022, 3:45 p.m.
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50 most recent Written Questions

(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

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2021 to Question 62745 on Department of Health and Social Care: BGI Group, and with reference to the contract award National Microbiology Framework - Lot 1: Diagnostic Goods and Services published by the UK Health Security Agency (HSA), whether his Department has a direct working relationship, including on contractual or commercial terms, with the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) or any of its subsidiaries; and whether his Department has made an assessment of any potential security implications of the relationship between the HSA and the BGI.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the NHS plans to offer molnupiravir to covid-19 patients who are not taking part in clinical trials.

From 16 December 2021, molnupiravir was made available to a small group of patients as a second line treatment to neutralising monoclonal antibodies through COVID Medicines Delivery Units (CMDUs). In England, 1.3 million of the highest risk patients are eligible for treatments including molnupiravir through CMDUs. This includes patients at highest risk of hospitalisation and deterioration following COVID-19 infection. Should they receive a positive polymerase chain reaction test, they will be assessed by clinicians and offered antiviral or antibody treatments from a CMDU, if eligible.

The PANORAMIC national study has been established to produce conclusive data on those who would benefit from antiviral treatments for COVID-19. We will use this data to consider how to make antivirals available more widely in the United Kingdom.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to NHS dentists.

We are working with the National Health Service, Health Education England and the British Dental Association to tackle the challenges in access, both as a result of the pandemic and longer term. Whilst the impacts of the pandemic continue, practices are prioritising patients based on clinical need and a new activity threshold has been set at 85% to safely increase access. Current work on system reform and improving training for dentistry professionals also seeks to improve access for patients.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to provide a long-term solution to social care.

Last year, we announced an additional £5.4 billion over three years to begin a comprehensive social care reform programme.

This includes £3.6 billion to reform the social care charging system protecting everybody from unlimited and unfair costs and £1.7 billion to begin major improvements across the social care system.

In December we published a white paper that set out our 10-year vision for reforming adult social care and our priorities for that investment.

This includes at least £500 million investment to support the development and wellbeing of the social care workforce, a £300 million investment in increasing the range of supported housing and £150 million to improve technology and digital records.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure social care staff receive specific (a) Parkinson’s and (b) dementia training.

It is crucial that the health and care workforce have the necessary skills provide high-quality care for those living with dementia and Parkinson’s.

We announced in the White Paper, that the Government will co-produce a sector-wide Knowledge and Skills Framework building on existing frameworks including the Dementia Training Standards Framework.

Linked to this there will be a Learning and Development offer, providing training places, and qualifications for the workforce, including those supporting individuals with dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the three month agreement between the NHS and private healthcare providers, as announced on 10 January 2022.

The new national arrangements with the independent sector will help the National Health Service to ensure all patients needing urgent care can be treated this winter, regardless of the impact of the Omicron variant. NHS England has estimated a minimum cost of between £75 million and £90 million per month whilst the ‘surge arrangements’ within the contract are not activated. This is equivalent to the value of elective activity delivered in January to March 2021. In the absence of surge activation, we do not expect there to be significant additional spending with the independent sector providers above normal Quarter 4 levels.

If surge arrangements are activated, NHS England has estimated the maximum cost to be £175 million per month. However, this is based on surge arrangements being activated nationally, which is considered unlikely.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle health inequalities affecting women.

On 23 December 2021 we published “Our Vision for the Women’s Health Strategy for England”. This sets out an ambitious and positive new agenda to improve the health and wellbeing of women across England and reduce disparities. We will publish the full Women’s Health Strategy later this year.

In addition, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities was established on 1 October 2021 to tackle the causes of ill-health and reduce disparities, including those which affect women.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of January 5 2022 to Question 90361, on Mental Health Services: Nurses, what steps he is taking to encourage people to study and qualify as mental health nurses.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the availability of lateral flow covid-19 tests in (a) Luton South constituency, (b) the East of England and (c) England.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when SureScreen Diagnostics sought Government approval for the use of their covid-19 lateral flow tests.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department gave approval to SureScreen Diagnostics for the supply of their covid-19 lateral flow tests.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when approval was sought for the packaging design of covid-19 lateral flow tests by SureScreen Diagnostics; and when that approval was granted.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 lateral flow tests were supplied to NHS Test and Trace by SureScreen Diagnostics in each month between February 2021 and January 2022.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans his department has to (a) maintain recurrent investment in health security infrastructure and (b) ensure the continuation of the innovative Integrated Covid Hub North East.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether small businesses are able and/or entitled to obtain free or subsidised covid-19 lateral flow tests.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what eligibility criteria is used to allocate discretionary Test and Trace Support Payments for each Local Authority area in England.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with representatives of Welsh companies that supply lateral flow tests on the long-term production of testing devices.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 January 2022 to Question 94344 on Schools: Coronavirus, how many applications for the tender were received; whether the tender specified a date by which preliminary results must be provided to Ministers and what that date was; and whether any applications were rejected despite offering an earlier date for either (a) preliminary results or (b) full results.

Two elements of the study were subject to a tendering process. The tender for upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation received three applications and the tender for air quality power management received six applications.

The tenders did not specify a required date by which preliminary or full results must be provided and no applications were rejected on the basis of reporting timelines.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussion he has had with companies in Wales on providing covid-19 lateral flow tests to meet the increase in demand.

The Department has had no specific discussions on this issue.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 January 2022 to Question 94344 on Schools: Coronavirus, on what date discussions were first held between his Department and the the Department for Education on the trial’s (a) design, (b) funding and (c) timeline.

Officials from the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Education first held discussions on 6 November 2020.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 January 2022 to Question 94344 on Schools: Coronavirus, what assessment he made, before commencing that trial, of relevant evidence from research into the use of similar equipment for similar purposes (a) in the UK and (b) overseas.

The trial was selected from an environmental innovations workshop in January 2021, where several technologies were presented by experts to an evaluation panel. The assessment was supported by advice from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies’ Environmental Modelling Group in their paper ‘Potential application of air cleaning devices and personal decontamination to manage transmission of COVID-19’ and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the NHS plans to make Paxlovid available for the treatment of covid-19; and under what eligibility criteria.

We currently plan to deploy COVID-19 novel antivirals, including PF-07321332+ritonavir, co-packaged under the brand name Paxlovid, through the PANORAMIC national study. This will produce conclusive data on those would benefit most from antiviral treatments for COVID-19. We will provide an update in due course, including on whether any deployment outside the national study may take place.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 January 2022 to Question 94344 on Schools: Coronavirus, whether he plans to publish the full results of the trial as soon as possible.

The results of the trial will be published in due course, following the end of the school year.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle covid-19 infection levels.

We are reducing the levels of infection through pharmaceutical interventions such as vaccines, supporting the National Health Service and social care to prevent transmission, identifying and isolating positive cases and providing advice to the public on how to protect themselves and others. On 8 December 2021, the Government introduced further measures including legally mandating face coverings and introducing mandatory vaccine-only COVID-19 status certification in certain settings.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to allow UK residents who received the Sinopharm covid-19 vaccine overseas to register that vaccination in order to receive an NHS Covid pass.

We are reviewing the expansion of the service to record doses received overseas to include other vaccines, such as Sinopharm.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of offering the covid-19 vaccination to primary school-aged children.

On 22 December 2021, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that children aged five to 11 years old in a clinical risk group or who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed, should be offered two 10 microgram doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, with an interval of eight weeks between the first and second doses. Further advice on the potential merits of COVID-19 vaccination for other five to 11 year olds will be issued in due course, following consideration of additional data.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to roll out a fourth covid-19 vaccine dose to certain age groups.

On 7 January 2022, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that the priority for the COVID-19 booster programme remains to increase coverage of the first booster dose across the adult population, particularly in older adults and those in clinical risk groups. A second booster dose was not advised at this time as there is evidence of continued high vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation due to the Omicron variant following a first booster dose.

The JCVI continues to consider the latest available data and will review the booster programme, particularly in relation to the timing and value of any second booster doses for the most vulnerable.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department plans to collect accurate data on covid-19 cases following 11 January 2021 when confirmatory PCR tests for positive lateral flow tests will temporarily be suspended.

Data will be reported based on lateral flow device (LFD) test results and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results from those still required to do so and those who will choose to take a PCR test. Contact tracing will be initiated based on LFD and PCR test results.

We continue to encourage people to report their LFD results through the usual channels. Negative test results enable us to understand the prevalence of COVID-19, while positive test results allow us to provide the correct advice to individuals affected and their close contacts to prevent onward transmission.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for the Home Department about the impact of Health and Care Bill proposals on multi-agency safeguarding arrangements between health, the police and local authorities.

Ministers from the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Education and the Home Office met in May 2021 to discuss the implications of the Bill for child safeguarding. Officials are considering and mitigating any impacts of the Bill for multi-agency child safeguarding arrangements through regular discussions and will continue to do so throughout the passage of the Bill.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Public Health England review of dependence forming medicines, what plans he has to commission (a) a 24 hour helpline, (b) dedicated local withdrawal services, (c) an investigation into the harms caused by long-term prescribing of benzodiazepines and z drugs and (d) mandatory prescribing guidelines for dependence forming drugs such as benzodiazepines and z drugs, as a result of that review.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently co-ordinating an assessment of the viability of a 24-hour helpline to support those dependent on prescription medicines. Decisions to provide local withdrawal services should be made by clinical commissioning groups and integrated care systems with local authority public health partners, as they have responsibility for commissioning local services to meet the needs of their population.

There are no plans to undertake further investigation into the harms caused by long-term prescribing of benzodiazepines and z drugs as the risks associated with these drugs are well established in Public Health England’s review. However, consideration will be given to any new emerging evidence. We have no plans to introduce mandatory prescribing guidelines. It is a contractual and professional obligation to follow the guidance set out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), unless this does not meet a patient’s clinical needs. NICE recently consulted on draft guidance on safe prescribing and withdrawal management of medicines associated with dependence or withdrawal symptoms. The consultation closed on 2 December 2021 and the guidance is due to be published in April 2022.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the accountable officer for health in multi-agency safeguarding partnerships has the (a) seniority and (b) health expertise required to commit the Integrated Care Board to decisions on policy, resourcing and practice matters following the transfer of statutory responsibility for child safeguarding from Clinical Commissioning Groups to Integrated Care Boards under the proposals in the Health and Care Bill.

The statutory guidance ‘Working together to safeguard children’ designates accountable officers or chief nurses of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and their counterparts in local authorities and police forces as representatives of the three safeguarding partners in an area. This provides an equal and joint responsibility for local child safeguarding arrangements. All existing child safeguarding responsibilities for CCGs will transfer to the respective integrated care board. The guidance sets out clear expectations on appropriate delegation and this will continue to apply to safeguarding partners for health.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential need for a fourth covid-19 vaccine dose.

On 7 January 2022, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that the priority for the COVID-19 booster programme remains to increase coverage of the first booster dose across the adult population, particularly in older adults and those in clinical risk groups. A second booster dose was not advised at this time, as there is evidence of continued high vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation due to the Omicron variant following a first booster dose. The JCVI continues to consider the latest available data and its review of the booster programme, particularly in relation to the timing and value of any second booster doses for the most vulnerable.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the uptake of the covid-19 booster in (a) Greater London and (b) the London Borough of Barnet.

The latest data published the UK Health Safety Agency on 11 January 2022 shows that 54.8% of eligible adults in London and 58.4% of eligible adults in Barnet are vaccinated with a booster or third dose. Nearly two million doses were administered in London in December. In total, 3,818,256 people in London have now received a booster vaccination.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of Health and Care Bill proposals to amalgamate Clinical Commissioning Groups into Integrated Care Boards on the geographical boundaries of multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.

Many local child safeguarding partnerships already work across the different geographical footprints of local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and police forces. ‘Working together to safeguard children’ sets out the expectations for how partnerships should work across geographical boundaries, including on appropriate delegation where a senior leader is responsible for more than one partnership. All existing child safeguarding responsibilities for CCGs will transfer to the respective integrated care board, which must continue to have regard to the duties on safeguarding partners in ‘Working together to safeguard children’.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to assess the effectiveness of Integrated Care Boards in delivering the statutory child safeguarding responsibilities transferred to them under the Health and Care Bill's proposals.

All existing child safeguarding responsibilities on clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will transfer to the respective integrated care board, which must continue to have regard to the duties on safeguarding partners set out in the statutory guidance ‘Working together to safeguard children’.

NHS England has a responsibility to safeguard all users of its services, including children. It assures this responsibility, including the safeguarding duties currently with CCGs, through the NHS Safeguarding Accountability and Assurance Framework. This is supported by the Safeguarding Commissioning Assurance Toolkit, its network of Regional Safeguarding Leads, and the designated and named professionals for safeguarding in every CCG, general practitioner practice and relevant health provider. This will continue to apply.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing in NHS mental health services; and what steps his Department is taking to expand the mental health workforce.

No such assessment has been made. The NHS Long Term Plan commits to the expansion of the National Health Service workforce, to achieve an additional 27,000 mental health posts by 2023/24. Health Education England (HEE) is leading a programme to develop and train the mental health workforce. HEE have commissioned approximately 6,000 training places in 2020/21, with a further 9,000 trainees in 2021/22. We have provided an additional £111 million in 2021/22 for the training and education of the NHS mental health workforce, based the workforce requirements in the NHS Long Term Plan.

In July 2021, the Department commissioned HEE to review long term strategic trends for the health and regulated social care workforce. This will ensure we have the right numbers of staff and the appropriate skills, values and behaviours.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that social care staff receive specific Parkinson’s and dementia training.

We are investing £500 million over the next three years for training and development of social care staff. This will include a sector-wide Knowledge and Skills Framework, building on existing resources such as the Dementia Training Standards Framework. We will provide hundreds of thousands of training places and qualifications for the workforce, including those supporting individuals with Parkinson's and dementia.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the funding gap in social care.

We have confirmed funding of £5.4 billion over 2022/23 to 2024/25 for adult social care reform. This includes over £3.6 billion to reform the social care charging system and enable all local authorities to move towards paying providers a fair rate for care and over £1.7 billion to institute major improvements across the social care system in England.

In addition, the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2022/2023 proposes an additional £3.5 billion to councils, an increase in local authority funding for 2022/23 of over 4% in real terms. This will ensure councils across the country have the resources they need to deliver key services. As part of this settlement, local authorities will have access to over £1 billion of additional resource specifically for social care in 2022/23.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Mental Health Bill will be published.

Legislation will be brought forward when parliamentary time allows.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Carers UK report, Carers’ experiences of hospital discharge, published on 7 September 2021; and if he will make a statement.

We have considered Carers UK’s report, which highlights the need for good practice to be implemented consistently across the system. Since the publication of the report, we have worked with carers’ organisations to produce new hospital discharge guidance, which is due to be published in spring 2022. This will set out best practice for supporting carers during hospital discharge processes.

Our current guidance advises that the status and views of carers should be accounted for when planning a patient’s hospital discharge. This includes determining if carers are willing and able to provide care. All patients and where relevant, their carers, should be given information and advice when the patient is discharged, including who they can contact for further support.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to (a) bring forward legislative proposals to make caring by people under the age of 16 illegal and (b) ensure that in future that care is undertaken by a paid adult.

We have no plans to bring forward legislative proposals to make caring by people under the age of 16 years old illegal. However, the Government believes that young people should be protected from inappropriate and excessive caring responsibilities. Adult and children’s services should take a whole family approach to the identification and support of young carers.

Changes to section 17 of The Children Act 1989 introduced via the Children and Families Act 2014, extended the right to a assessment for all young carers. Local authorities must carry out an assessment upon request or on the appearance of need. Such an assessment must consider whether it is appropriate or excessive for the young carer to provide care for the person in question, considering the young carer’s needs and wishes.

In addition, local authorities have a duty under the Care Act 2014 to produce a care and support plan and offer a personal budget following a needs assessment to ensure that the person being cared for and their carer’s needs are adequately met. Personal budgets can be used to provide alternative care arrangements should the person being cared for wish to do so.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that autistic people with mental health needs can access appropriate services in the community, from low level support to crisis provision.

We are investing £31 million in 2021/22 to support discharge and improve support in the community for autistic adults, children and for people with a learning disability. We are providing £3.5 million for local systems to identify children and young people on autism diagnosis waiting lists who might be at risk of crisis. We are also proposing to create new duties on commissioners to ensure there are adequate community-based services for autistic people and people with a learning disability.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to recruit and retain social care staff.

The national recruitment campaign for adult social care launched on 3 November and will run until March 2022. Free rapid induction training and free and fast track Disclosure and Barring Service and barred list checks are also available to support fast onboarding of staff.

We have announced a total of £462.5 million in Workforce Recruitment and Retention Funds to support local authorities working with providers to further boost staffing and support existing care work through the winter.

On 24 December 2021, we announced social care workers, care assistants and home care workers will become eligible for the Health and Care visa for a 12 month period. These roles will also be added to the shortage occupations list.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assistance the Government has provided to the WHO in connection with its inquiries into the origins of the covid-19 pandemic.

The United Kingdom supports a timely, transparent, evidence-based and expert-led study into the origins of COVID-19. In May 2020, we co-sponsored the World Health Assembly’s resolution which agreed an investigation. We supported calls from the joint report from phase one of the World Health Organization-China study for release of further data by China to inform subsequent analyses. We continue to engage internationally to support a robust phase two of the investigation.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the mandatory covid-19 vaccine programme on (a) dental services and (b) dental nurses.

The Department’s impact assessment estimated that approximately 97,000 dentists and dental care professionals would be in scope of the COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Of these, 4% are estimated to remain unvaccinated at the end of the grace period and not medically exempt and would therefore no longer be deployable. The Government continues to encourage unvaccinated staff to make the positive choice to be vaccinated.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that staffing levels in the NHS do not become critical as a result of the mandatory covid-19 vaccine programme.

We continue to encourage all health workers to make the positive choice to take up the COVID-19 vaccine to help protect the people they care for, themselves and their colleagues. We have implemented a 12-week grace period, allowing time for workforce planning and for staff who are not yet vaccinated who may now wish to do so. We have set an enforcement date of 1 April 2022 to assist providers over the winter period and minimise workforce pressures. We are increasing opportunities to receive the vaccine through the booster programme such as walk-in and pop-up sites.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to all providers providing early guidance on vaccination as a condition of deployment to ensure smooth implementation and assist preparation and planning. Guidance has also been provided for managers on the use of one-to-one conversations with all unvaccinated National Health Service staff. We are also increasing engagement with targeted communities where uptake is lowest, including ethnic minority and faith networks to encourage healthcare workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Since the Government consulted on the policy in September, the latest data shows a net increase of over 75,000 NHS trust healthcare workers vaccinated with a first dose.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department will publish the Elective Recovery Plan.

The publication of the National Health Service elective recovery delivery plan has been delayed as a result of the emergence of the Omicron variant. The Department continues to ensure the NHS is in the strongest position to recover elective services and tackle the backlog. The delivery plan will be published in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many of the surgical gowns procured from Clandeboye Agencies Ltd have been (a) used by the NHS during the covid-19 outbreak and (b) re-sold; at what average price each of those gowns was re-sold; what total amount has been recouped for the public purse from those re-sales; and how many of those gowns remain in storage.

So far, 3,161,950 million gowns supplied by Clandeboye Agencies Ltd have been provided to the National Health Service. The remaining stock of 22 million items is stored in our network.

We are not aware of any being resold or being put up for resale.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the safety of prescribing medication by (a) telephone and (b) face-to-face consultation.

The Department has made no such assessment. NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with professional and regulatory bodies, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and patient organisations to support the safe and effective use of remote consultations in general practice. The Department works with NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHSX and local commissioners to monitor and assess the extent to which general practice teams have the equipment and skills to provide remote consultations.

Clinicians use their discretion to invite patients for a face-to-face consultation where this is deemed necessary.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)