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

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

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

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

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

Labour
Baroness Merron (Lab - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)
Wes Streeting (Lab - Ilford North)
Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Liberal Democrat
Daisy Cooper (LD - St Albans)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)
Lord Allan of Hallam (LD - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Health)

Scottish National Party
Amy Callaghan (SNP - East Dunbartonshire)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Abena Oppong-Asare (Lab - Erith and Thamesmead)
Shadow Minister (Women's Health and Mental Health)
Preet Kaur Gill (Lab - Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Shadow Minister (Primary Care and Public Health)
Karin Smyth (Lab - Bristol South)
Shadow Minister (Health)
Ministers of State
Helen Whately (Con - Faversham and Mid Kent)
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
Andrew Stephenson (Con - Pendle)
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Lord Markham (Con - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
Maria Caulfield (Con - Lewes)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
Andrea Leadsom (Con - South Northamptonshire)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
Scheduled Event
Monday 26th February 2024
Department of Health and Social Care
Orders and regulations - Main Chamber
Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates Order 2024 and the associated regret motions and motion to decline.
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 5th March 2024
11:30
Department of Health and Social Care
Oral questions - Main Chamber
5 Mar 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Health and Social Care (including Topical Questions)
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 23rd April 2024
11:30
Department of Health and Social Care
Oral questions - Main Chamber
23 Apr 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Health and Social Care (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Friday 23rd February 2024
NHS Property Services
Adjournment Debate
Select Committee Docs
Tuesday 20th February 2024
13:00
Select Committee Inquiry
Tuesday 23rd January 2024
NHS leadership, performance and patient safety

The Committee is examining the relationship between leadership in the NHS and performance/productivity as well as patient safety. It will …

Written Answers
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Medical Equipment
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) terms of reference, (b) objectives and …
Secondary Legislation
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Nutrition and Health Claims (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2024
These Regulations amend the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/2080) (“the 2007 Regulations”).
Bills
Tuesday 6th July 2021
Health and Care Act 2022
A Bill to make provision about health and social care.
Dept. Publications
Thursday 22nd February 2024
06:51

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. 23
Oral Questions
Apr. 17
Urgent Questions
Feb. 23
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 make provision about health and social care.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022 and was enacted into law.


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 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 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 16th March 2020 and was enacted into law.

Department of Health and Social Care - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations amend the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/2080) (“the 2007 Regulations”).
These Regulations amend Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1793 on the temporary increase of official controls and emergency measures governing the entry into the Union of certain goods from certain third countries implementing Regulations (EU) 2017/625 and (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Commission Regulations (EC) No 669/2009, (EU) No 884/2014, (EU) 2015/175, (EU) 2017/186 and (EU) 2018/1660, in relation to England.
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).

Trending Petitions
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33,615 Signatures
(15,084 in the last 7 days)
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5,200 Signatures
(1,995 in the last 7 days)
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2,217 Signatures
(1,370 in the last 7 days)
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9,258 Signatures
(913 in the last 7 days)
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103,563 Signatures
(858 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Open
103,563 Signatures
(858 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
33,615 Signatures
(15,084 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
18,455 Signatures
(85 in the last 7 days)
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.

375,208
Petition Closed
20 Jul 2021
closed 2 years, 7 months ago

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
Steve Brine Portrait
Steve Brine (Conservative - Winchester)
Health and Social Care Committee Chair since 2nd November 2022
Taiwo Owatemi Portrait
Taiwo Owatemi (Labour - Coventry North West)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Lucy Allan Portrait
Lucy Allan (Conservative - Telford)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 3rd November 2021
Rachael Maskell Portrait
Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 4th July 2022
Paulette Hamilton Portrait
Paulette Hamilton (Labour - Birmingham, Erdington)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 4th July 2022
James Morris Portrait
James Morris (Conservative - Halesowen and Rowley Regis)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 25th October 2022
Chris Green Portrait
Chris Green (Conservative - Bolton West)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 8th November 2022
Caroline Johnson Portrait
Caroline Johnson (Conservative - Sleaford and North Hykeham)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 21st November 2022
Paul Bristow Portrait
Paul Bristow (Conservative - Peterborough)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 29th November 2022
Paul Blomfield Portrait
Paul Blomfield (Labour - Sheffield Central)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 13th December 2022
Amy Callaghan Portrait
Amy Callaghan (Scottish National Party - East Dunbartonshire)
Health and Social Care Committee Member since 12th September 2023
Health and Social Care Committee: Previous Inquiries
Department's White Paper on health and social care Pre-appointment hearing for the role of Chair of NICE Supporting those with dementia and their carers Social care: funding and workforce General Practice Data for Planning and Research Omicron variant update Long term funding of adult social care inquiry Delivering Core NHS and Care Services during the Pandemic and Beyond Maternity services inquiry Planning for winter pressure in A&E departments inquiry NHS England current issues evidence session Suicide prevention inquiry Professional Standards Authority one off evidence session Department of Health and NHS finances Brexit and health and social care inquiry Impact of the Spending Review on health and social care Impact of membership of the EU on health policy in the UK Long-term Sustainability of the NHS - Report of the House of Lords Committee inquiry Pre-Appointment hearing for Chair of National Health Service Improvement Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services inquiry Work of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Integrated care: organisations, partnerships and systems inquiry Brexit – medicines, medical devices and substances of human origin inquiry Work of NHS England and NHS Improvement inquiry Nursing workforce inquiry Children and young people's mental health - role of education inquiry Care Quality Commission accountability inquiry Childhood obesity: follow-up Sustainability and Transformation Plans inquiry Care Quality Commission's State of Care Report 2018-19 inquiry National Audit Office's Report on Investigation into pre-school vaccination inquiry Childhood obesity follow-up 2019 inquiry NHS Capital inquiry Dentistry Services inquiry Government’s review of NHS overseas visitor charging inquiry Harding Review of health and social care workforce inquiry Kark Report inquiry Drugs policy inquiry Drugs policy: medicinal cannabis inquiry Suicide prevention: follow-up inquiry Availability of Orkambi on the NHS inquiry Budget and NHS long-term plan inquiry Impact of the Brexit withdrawal agreement on health and social care inquiry Impact of a no deal Brexit on health and social care inquiry Patient safety and gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare inquiry Care Quality Commission inquiry First 1000 days of life inquiry Sexual health inquiry NHS funding inquiry Pre-Appointment hearing for Chair of NHS England NMC and Furness General Hospital inquiry NHS Long-term Plan: legislative proposals inquiry Childhood obesity inquiry Antimicrobial resistance inquiry Prison healthcare inquiry Alcohol minimum unit pricing inquiry Memorandum of understanding on data-sharing inquiry Implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 Management of long-term conditions Pre-appointment hearing for Chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Emergency services and emergency care Post-legislative scrutiny of the Mental Health Act 2007 Nursing Pre-appointment hearing for Chair of the Care Quality Commission National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Public Expenditure Social Care Government's Alcohol Strategy Responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Health Commissioning Revalidation of Doctors Complaints and Litigation Follow-up inquiry into Commissioning Public Health Annual accountability hearing with the General Medical Council Annual accountability hearing with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Annual accountability hearing with the Care Quality Commission Annual accountability hearing with Monitor Report of the NHS Future Forum Public Expenditure 2 Pre-appointment hearing for Chair of the NHS Commissioning Board Education, training and workforce planning Professional responsibility of Healthcare practitioners PIP breast implants and regulation of cosmetic interventions Accountability hearing with Monitor (2012) Public expenditure on health and care services Pre-appointment hearing for Chair of NICE Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry Care Quality Commission 2013 accountability hearing with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Pre-appointment hearing for the Chair of Monitor 2013 accountability hearing with the Care Quality Commission End of Life Care The impact of physical activity and diet on health 2015 accountability hearing with the General Medical Council 2015 accountability hearing with the Nursing and Midwifery Council One-off session on the Ebola virus 2014 accountability hearing with Monitor 2014 accountability hearing with the Care Quality Commission Public expenditure on health and social care 2015 accountability hearing with the General Dental Council Accident and emergency services Children's oral health Current issues in NHS England inquiry Primary care inquiry Work of the Secretary of State for Health inquiry Childhood obesity inquiry Public health post-2013 inquiry Pre-appointment hearing for Chair of the Care Quality Commission Establishment and work of NHS Improvement inquiry Children's and adolescent mental health and CAMHS Integrated Care Pioneers Complaints and raising concerns Handling of NHS patient data Urgent and Emergency Care Public expenditure on health and social care inquiry 2013 accountability hearing with Monitor Public Health England Health and Care Professions Council 2013 accountability hearing with the General Medical Council Work of NICE Work of NHS England Safety of maternity services in England Workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care Work of the Department Digital transformation in the NHS Integrated Care Systems: autonomy and accountability IMDDS Review follow up one-off session Assisted dying/assisted suicide NHS dentistry Ambulance delays and strikes The situation in accident and emergency departments Prevention in health and social care Future cancer Pharmacy Men's health Management of the Coronavirus Outbreak Preparations for Coronavirus NHS leadership, performance and patient safety Coronavirus: recent developments Availability of Orkambi on the NHS Childhood obesity follow-up 2019 Dentistry Services Drugs policy Drugs policy: medicinal cannabis First 1000 days of life Budget and NHS long-term plan Care Quality Commission's State of Care Report 2018-19 Harding Review of health and social care workforce National Audit Office's Report on Investigation into pre-school vaccination NHS Capital NHS Long-term Plan: legislative proposals Government’s review of NHS overseas visitor charging Sexual health Calls for cases of GP visa issues Long term funding of adult social care Memorandum of understanding on data-sharing Work of NHS England and NHS Improvement Work of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

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

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) terms of reference, (b) objectives and (c) deliverable measures are for NHS England’s Device Steering Group for the next 12 months.

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.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who the members are of the NHS England high cost devices steering group; and what the role of that group is.

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.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government for each year in England since 2008, how many (1) GP surgeries (including branch practices) were open, (2) GP surgeries (including branch practices) were newly opened, and (3) GP practices were operating.

Data prior to 2013 is not available. The following table shows the number of open practices and newly opened practices, including branches, each September from 2013 to September 2023, the most recent period for which data is available:

Year

Open practices

Newly opened practices

2013

9,577

51

2014


9,559

63

2015

9,646

154

2016

9,540

99

2017

9,460

118

2018

9,463

203

2019

9,326

168

2020

9,168

97

2021

9,097

72

2022

9,015

99

2023

9,025

129

Source: data provided is from the Epraccur GP Practice data file, which is produced by NHS Organisation Data Service.

Note: The data includes main and branch practices, while COVID-19 service branches have been excluded.

It is not possible for us to distinguish between open and operating practices. Newly opened practices are defined as having opened within the 12 months up to the date referenced. Additionally, new branch practice openings include pre-existing practices that reopened as a branch of another practice.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Royal College of General Practice on the interim report of the Dr Hilary Cass review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People submitted to the Department of Health and Social Care in February 2022.

No discussions have been had with the Royal College of General Practitioners about the Cass Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People. NHS England commissioned the review and we look forward to the final report, which will be published soon.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to improve awareness of the (a) signs and (b) symptoms of cancer in young people.

The Children and Young People Cancer Taskforce has been set up to progress the Government’s mission to deliver world-leading cancer services. This dedicated work focusing on cancers affecting children and young people will explore detection and diagnosis, including improving awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer in young people, as well as genomic testing and treatment, and research and innovation.

NHS England is focused on accelerating earlier and faster cancer diagnosis to achieve the NHS Long Term Plan ambition of diagnosing 75% of people at an early stage by 2028. NHS England’s comprehensive strategy includes raising awareness of cancer symptoms, tackling barriers to help-seeking, and encouraging people to get checked. Targeted awareness campaigns such as Help Us, Help You are a crucial component of this work. The campaigns address specific symptoms, including those linked to common, rare, and less-common cancers, cancer screening, and the fear-related barriers to seeking help from the National Health Service across all cancer types.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 9 February (HL2132) where they stated that they are "inviting views from third parties on abortion statistics for England and Wales, including the future publication of abortion complications data", how they intend to (1) collect, (2) collate, (3) analyse, and (4) respond, to that data; and how they intend to share that information more widely to allow parliamentarians to scrutinise and measure the efficacy of current policy on telemedicine.

The statistics used in the publication Complications from abortions in England are official statistics in development. In accordance with the Office for Statistics Regulation’s guidance, we have ensured that users are involved and can contribute to the future of this publication. We are currently collecting feedback via two methods: an anonymous online form; and our abortion statistics mailbox. Both are publicly advertised online, and anyone is welcome to respond.

We will collate and analyse feedback on an ongoing basis to ensure that we take account of the opinions of those using our statistics, as we develop them. Collation and analysis will be undertaken in line with the Government’s statistical standards.

Finally, the Office for Statistics Regulation advises a proportionate approach to feedback that is targeted on gathering the required information, which is why we have implemented the mentioned collection methods. The aim of these collection methods is to inform and update our abortion publications, and we do not plan on sharing this feedback externally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to enhance the safety, quality, supply and accessibility of therapies derived from substances of human origin.

Therapies derived from substances of human origin include those using reproductive and non-reproductive tissues and cells, organs, stem cells, blood, and blood products including plasma. A range of different bodies have responsibility for safety, quality, supply and accessibility.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) provides some of the safest products in the world and are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, Human Tissue Authority and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. NHSBT also work closely with the safety policy units of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues, and Organs and the Joint Professional Advisory Committee to blood services in the United Kingdom.

The Sustainability and Certainty in Organ Retrieval Programme was established in May 2023, following consultation and engagement with stakeholders across the organ donation and transplantation pathway. The key aim is to make improvements to the pathways with the aim of creating a more sustainable, efficient, and predictable service model.

The Department, NHSBT, NHS England and the devolved administrations are working together to create a long-term domestic supply of plasma for lifesaving medicines. Medicines will be available exclusively to National Health Service patients from early 2025. Additionally, the UK Stem Cell Strategic Forum provides advice on how the UK can develop a stronger and more resilient domestic stem cell supply chain.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is the UK regulator for the use of reproductive tissues and cells in fertility treatment and embryo research. This remit includes keeping abreast of all issues relating to quality and safety.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they anticipate needing to update legislation in response to the forthcoming European Commission Regulation on standards of quality and safety for substances of human origin intended for human application and repealing Directives 2002/98/EC and 2004/23/E.

Once the final legal text for the Standards of quality and safety for substances of human origin intended for human application and repealing is published, we will fully consider and assess any impact of the revised regulation.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage the donation of blood, plasma, tissues and cells for use in developing cell and gene therapies.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) are responsible for promoting blood, plasma, tissue and cell donation across England and Wales. They are also uniquely positioned to promote the exciting developments in novel cellular and molecular therapies which offer the promise of new treatments and potential cures for many diseases and disorders to the public.

NHSBT work with the community, consumer, and national and local media to place educational and inspirational stories in the news and use their social media channels to share stories and case studies showing the benefits of blood, plasma, tissue, and cell donation.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 5 February (HL1920), how many staff and whole time equivalents were attached to the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) before its recent internal restructuring; and how many staff and whole time equivalents now work on OHID responsibilities in teams across the Department.

The latest available data, as of the end of December 2023, shows that there were 777 full time equivalent employees in the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID). As part of an internal restructure within the Department on 1 February 2024, all OHID staff were integrated into the groups of three Directors General, under the clinical and professional leadership of the Deputy Chief Medical Officer.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information her Department holds on the number of children aged ten and under that received dental (a) treatment and (b) surgery under general anaesthetic in each year since 2015.

The data for children aged ten years old and under that have received dental treatment and surgery under general anaesthetic is not held centrally. We want to improve oral hygiene and access to dental care for all children, regardless of where in England they live. Access to dentistry is improving, and last year around 800,000 more children saw a National Health Service dentist.

On 7 February 2024 we published Our Plan to Recover and Reform NHS Dentistry. The Dentistry Recovery Plan will make dental services faster, simpler, and fairer for patients, and will fund approximately 2.5 million additional appointments. The plan also sets out a new emphasis on prevention and good oral health in children. This includes supporting nurseries and early years settings to incorporate good oral hygiene into daily routines and providing advice to expectant parents on how to protect their baby’s teeth. The plan will also deploy mobile dental teams into schools in under-served areas to provide advice and deliver preventative treatments to more than 165,000 children.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of off-label prescriptions of Victoza, Luraglutide, for the purpose of weight loss from private healthcare providers on the level of supply of that drug for type 2 diabetes.

While the position has improved, there continues to be a global supply issue with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA), including Victoza (liraglutide). We have issued updated guidance to healthcare professionals in the form of a National Patient Safety Alert on 3 January 2024, on how to manage patients requiring these medicines.

Our guidance is clear that GLP-1 RAs that are solely licensed to treat type 2 diabetes should only be used for that purpose and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss. The General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have also issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards in relation to these medicines.

We know how distressing and frustrating medicine supply issues can be, and the Department will continue to help ensure that these critical medicines reach diabetes patients. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions she has had with NICE on developing its methodologies to ensure future access to (a) innovative one-time treatments and (b) cell and genetic therapies.

Department officials regularly discuss a range of issues with colleagues in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and HM Treasury. The NICE is responsible for the methods and processes it uses to develop its recommendations, and concluded a comprehensive review of the methods and processes it uses for health technology evaluation, in January 2022. The NICE carried out the review through extensive engagement with stakeholders, including officials within the Department. The NICE introduced a number of changes that make its methods fairer, faster, more consistent, and appropriate to the evaluation of emerging new technologies, such as cell and gene therapies.

The NICE is monitoring the impact of the changes following the methods review and has committed to considering modular updates to its methods and processes in the future, including a planned update focussed on health inequalities in 2024. The NICE has been able to recommend several advanced therapeutic medicinal products, including one-off gene therapies, for National Health Service funding that are now available to NHS patients in line with NICE’s recommendations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions she has had with the (a) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and (b) Chancellor of the Exchequer on the application of NICE's evaluation methods to support value assessment for one-off curative treatments for which health gains are accrued over time.

Department officials regularly discuss a range of issues with colleagues in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and HM Treasury. The NICE is responsible for the methods and processes it uses to develop its recommendations, and concluded a comprehensive review of the methods and processes it uses for health technology evaluation, in January 2022. The NICE carried out the review through extensive engagement with stakeholders, including officials within the Department. The NICE introduced a number of changes that make its methods fairer, faster, more consistent, and appropriate to the evaluation of emerging new technologies, such as cell and gene therapies.

The NICE is monitoring the impact of the changes following the methods review and has committed to considering modular updates to its methods and processes in the future, including a planned update focussed on health inequalities in 2024. The NICE has been able to recommend several advanced therapeutic medicinal products, including one-off gene therapies, for National Health Service funding that are now available to NHS patients in line with NICE’s recommendations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions she has had with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on updates in the way that it assesses medicines that reduce health inequalities.

Department officials regularly discuss a range of issues with colleagues in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and HM Treasury. The NICE is responsible for the methods and processes it uses to develop its recommendations, and concluded a comprehensive review of the methods and processes it uses for health technology evaluation, in January 2022. The NICE carried out the review through extensive engagement with stakeholders, including officials within the Department. The NICE introduced a number of changes that make its methods fairer, faster, more consistent, and appropriate to the evaluation of emerging new technologies, such as cell and gene therapies.

The NICE is monitoring the impact of the changes following the methods review and has committed to considering modular updates to its methods and processes in the future, including a planned update focussed on health inequalities in 2024. The NICE has been able to recommend several advanced therapeutic medicinal products, including one-off gene therapies, for National Health Service funding that are now available to NHS patients in line with NICE’s recommendations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the supply of Trulicity.

While the position has improved, there continues to be a global supply issue with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA), including Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Ozempic (semaglutide). We have issued updated guidance to healthcare professionals in the form of a National Patient Safety Alert on the 3 January 2024, on how to manage patients requiring these medicines.

Our guidance is clear that GLP-1 RAs that are solely licensed to treat type 2 diabetes should only be used for that purpose, and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss. The General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have also issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards in relation to these medicines.

We know how distressing and frustrating medicine supply issues can be, and the Department will continue to help in ensuring that these critical medicines reach diabetes patients. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to support patients affected by shortages of Trulicity.

While the position has improved, there continues to be a global supply issue with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA), including Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Ozempic (semaglutide). We have issued updated guidance to healthcare professionals in the form of a National Patient Safety Alert on the 3 January 2024, on how to manage patients requiring these medicines.

Our guidance is clear that GLP-1 RAs that are solely licensed to treat type 2 diabetes should only be used for that purpose, and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss. The General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have also issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards in relation to these medicines.

We know how distressing and frustrating medicine supply issues can be, and the Department will continue to help in ensuring that these critical medicines reach diabetes patients. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help stop disruption of the supply of (a) Ozempic, (b) Trulicity and (c) similar medicines.

While the position has improved, there continues to be a global supply issue with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA), including Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Ozempic (semaglutide). We have issued updated guidance to healthcare professionals in the form of a National Patient Safety Alert on the 3 January 2024, on how to manage patients requiring these medicines.

Our guidance is clear that GLP-1 RAs that are solely licensed to treat type 2 diabetes should only be used for that purpose, and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss. The General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have also issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards in relation to these medicines.

We know how distressing and frustrating medicine supply issues can be, and the Department will continue to help in ensuring that these critical medicines reach diabetes patients. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason Master of Pharmacy courses are not included in the NHS Learning Support Fund.

The Learning Support Fund (LSF) is available broadly to those courses which were eligible for the NHS Bursary prior to the 2017 reforms, and therefore, subjects such as pharmacy are outside of the scope of the LSF arrangements. There are no immediate plans to make changes to the LSF scheme design.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all healthcare students under close review. At all times the Government must strike a balance between the level of support students receive, and the need to make best use of public funds to deliver value for money.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will include Masters of Pharmacy courses in the NHS Learning Support Fund.

The Learning Support Fund (LSF) is available broadly to those courses which were eligible for the NHS Bursary prior to the 2017 reforms, and therefore, subjects such as pharmacy are outside of the scope of the LSF arrangements. There are no immediate plans to make changes to the LSF scheme design.

The Government keeps the funding arrangements for all healthcare students under close review. At all times the Government must strike a balance between the level of support students receive, and the need to make best use of public funds to deliver value for money.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions she has had with (a) NICE and (b) NHS England on encouraging the adoption of new treatments for (i) sickle cell disease and (ii) beta-thalassaemia.

The Department regularly discusses a range of issues with colleagues in NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), related to patient access to new treatments.

The NICE appraises all new licensed medicines, and its recommendations are developed independently in line with its established methods and processes, on the basis of an assessment of the available evidence, and through extensive engagement with stakeholders. NHS England is legally required to fund treatments recommended in NICE technology appraisal guidance.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of hospital admissions were due to liver disease in 2022-23.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities publishes liver disease profiles. These provide data on the number and rate of hospital admissions for liver disease in England and local areas. The profiles currently include hospital admissions data up to the financial year ending 31 March 2022.

In the financial year ending 2022, there were 82,290 hospital admissions in England due to liver disease. The profiles do not include the proportion of all hospital admissions that are due to liver disease. Data on hospital admissions is updated regularly in the profiles, and data for the financial year ending 2023 will be published this summer.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to reduce NHS waiting lists in (a) the North West and (b) Liverpool.

Cutting waiting lists is one of this Prime Minister’s top priorities. To reduce the National Health Service waiting list, the Department plans to spend more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25. This funding will expand capacity through creating a new network of community diagnostic centres and maximising all available independent sector capacity.

In addition, we are managing demand through specialised advice in primary care and giving patients more control over where they receive their care. We are also increasing productivity through transforming outpatient services, developing new surgical hubs to increase theatre productivity, and working actively with trusts to support and challenge on their performance.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of patients with type 1 diabetes use (a) finger-pricking monitoring and (b) continuous monitoring to track their glucose levels.

Standard care for type 1 diabetes involves regularly measuring blood glucose levels by self-monitoring, blood testing, or by using a continuous glucose monitor, real-time or intermittently scanned.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed that 20% of people with type 1 diabetes would benefit from life changing flash glucose monitors. Data to quarter three of 2022/23 shows that 73% of people with type 1 diabetes were prescribed flash glucose monitoring, against the 20% target. As a result of the recent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance that also recommended that insulin dependent patients with type 2 diabetes should benefit from flash or continuous glucose monitoring devices, we are now starting to see a growth in prescribing within the type 2 diabetes patient group.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of patients with type 1 diabetes use real time continuous glucose monitoring to manage their diabetes.

Standard care for type 1 diabetes involves regularly measuring blood glucose levels by self-monitoring, blood testing, or by using a continuous glucose monitor, real-time or intermittently scanned.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed that 20% of people with type 1 diabetes would benefit from life changing flash glucose monitors. Data to quarter three of 2022/23 shows that 73% of people with type 1 diabetes were prescribed flash glucose monitoring, against the 20% target. As a result of the recent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance that also recommended that insulin dependent patients with type 2 diabetes should benefit from flash or continuous glucose monitoring devices, we are now starting to see a growth in prescribing within the type 2 diabetes patient group.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to her Department's Press Release entitled, Prime Minister launches Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission, published on 14 August 2022, how much and what proportion of the funding made available through that mission will be spent in each region.

The £95 million of Government funding allocated to the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission will be accessible across the United Kingdom, however we cannot at this stage confirm a regional breakdown of the spending allocation.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Black Child Clean Air Report published by Global Black Maternal Health in June 2023, which indicated that almost half of all Black mothers do not feel educated on the foetal impact of air pollution exposure during pregnancy.

While no specific assessment has been made, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) are working with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs to review the Air Quality Information System to ensure members of the public, and vulnerable groups, have the information they need to protect themselves and understand their impact on air quality. UKHSA’s Cleaner Air Programme also aims to reduce people’s exposure to air pollution and achieve better outcomes for all, particularly for the most vulnerable populations including pregnant women and ethnic minority groups.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions she has had with NHS England about improving training for NHS workers on caring for people with dementia.

We want all relevant staff to have received appropriate training to provide high quality care to people with dementia, whether in hospital or in the community.

Individual employers are responsible for ensuring their staff are trained and competent to carry out their role, and for investing in the future of their staff through providing continuing professional development (CPD) funding.

To supplement local employer investment for CPD, the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, published on 30 June 2023, sets out NHS England’s commitment to continue national CPD funding for nurses and allied health professionals.

There are a variety of resources available on the NHS England E-learning for Health platform, including a programme on dementia care, designed to enhance the training and education of the health and social care workforce.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when she expects the randomised controlled trials to test medicinal cannabis for adults and children with epilepsy to begin; which NHS Trusts will be participating in these trials; how many patients will be involved in the trials; and whether patients will be approached to participate.

The Department, via the National Institute for Health and Care Research, is developing a programme of two randomised controlled trials to test the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis products to treat epilepsy in adults and children. The trials will start as soon as possible, and results will be published once the trials have been completed and the findings peer reviewed. The trial details are in development.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what protocols her Department has in place on the dispensing of medication to prisoners who are HIV positive.

HIV medication is initiated by a specialist in specialist services, and prison healthcare and pharmacy teams liaise with them to ensure continuity of care. A shared care agreement would be put in place to ensure continuity of care and appropriate monitoring. Any medication listed under the National Health Service high cost commissioning list is accessed via specialist commissioning routes, and delivered directly to the healthcare team at the prison. Any medication not listed as high cost will be dispensed in the usual way, via the healthcare dispensing services.

Healthcare teams within prisons ensure the appropriate monitoring is in place, and that there is ongoing continuity in medication throughout the patient’s stay at the prison. Protocols are in place to ensure that medications will transfer with the patient either on release or when being transferred to another prison establishment.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when she plans to respond to the report by the Patient Safety Commissioner entitled The Hughes Report: Options for redress for those harmed by valproate and pelvic mesh, published on 7 February 2024.

The Government commissioned the Patient Safety Commissioner (PSC) to produce a report on redress for those affected by sodium valproate and pelvic mesh. We are grateful to the PSC and her team for completing this report and our sympathies remain with those affected by sodium valproate and pelvic mesh. The Government is now carefully considering the PSC’s recommendations and will respond substantively in due course.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what her planned timetable is to respond to the Patient Safety Commissioner's report entitled Hughes Report: Options for redress for those harmed by valproate and pelvic mesh, published on 7 February 2024.

The Government commissioned the Patient Safety Commissioner (PSC) to produce a report on redress for those affected by sodium valproate and pelvic mesh. We are grateful to the PSC and her team for completing this report and our sympathies remain with those affected by sodium valproate and pelvic mesh. The Government is now carefully considering the PSC’s recommendations and will respond substantively in due course.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of (a) compensation and (b) successful applications of awards given out by the vaccine damage payment scheme related to a covid-19 vaccinations since the addition of the covid-19 vaccines to the vaccine damage payment scheme.

Between COVID-19 being added to the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) on 31 December 2020 and 5 February 2024, 163 claims have received an award that relates to COVID-19. This constitutes 98% of awarded VDPS claims in this period, with four claims receiving an award that relates to other diseases.

It is important to note that the VDPS is not a compensation scheme. £19,560,000 has been awarded for claims relating to COVID-19, including pending payments. This constitutes 98% of VDPS awards in this period, with £480,000 having been paid to awarded claims relating to other diseases.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to (a) publicise and (b) promote the maternity exemption to prescription charges; and what steps she is taking to ensure (i) rapid reimbursement and (ii) the removal of fines when the forms for patients entitled to the exemption are not correctly filed.

Both the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) and the National Health Service promote maternity exemption certificates to raise awareness amongst midwives, general practitioners, and other healthcare practitioners of their obligations to apply for maternity exemption certificates on behalf of the patient. They’ve also taken action to raise awareness amongst eligible individuals of their entitlement by promoting the certificates through social media, online resources, media releases, and through healthcare bulletins. Information on how to apply for a maternity exemption certificate is available at the following link:

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/check-if-you-have-nhs-exemption/maternity-exemption-certificates

A maternity exemption certificate can be applied for as soon as a healthcare professional has confirmed the pregnancy or that the patient has given birth, including still-birth, in the previous 12 months. The certificate is automatically backdated one month from the date the application is received by the NHS BSA. Where a Penalty Charge Notice has been issued because a patient has claimed the maternity exemption without holding a valid maternity exemption certificate, the patient is given 60 days to pay the prescription charge and apply for an exemption certificate. The penalty charges will only then be removed.

The reimbursement of prescription charges usually takes place through a community pharmacy using the NHS FP57 receipt and refund form. In specific circumstances a refund request may require input from NHS BSA, these are processed and returned to the patient to take to the pharmacy within five working days.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to reduce the time taken for children to receive (a) SEN assessments and (b) mental health treatment.

The Department of Health and Social Care is working closely with the Department for Education to ensure that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time. We are doing this through working together to implement the SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, which was published on 2 March 2023. This sets out the Government’s mission to establish a single national system that delivers for every child and young person with SEND and in alternative provision, so that they enjoy their childhood, achieve good outcomes, and are well prepared for adulthood and employment.

The Department of Health and Social Care is also investing at least an additional £2.3 billion a year in expanding National Health Service mental health services by March 2024, compared to 2018/19, and have set out our aim in the NHS Long Term Plan for an additional 345,000 children and young people to be able to get the mental health support they need. NHS England is also developing a new waiting time standard for children and their families to start receiving community-based mental health care within four weeks of referral.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cases of hospital-acquired sepsis there were in each of the last 10 years.

The Department and NHS England do not centrally hold information on hospital acquired sepsis, although incidents of this may be held by local providers. The Office for National Statistics publishes the number of death registrations where sepsis is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, in England and Wales. The following table shows the number of deaths registered where sepsis was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate in England and Wales, in each of the last ten years until 2022:

Year

Number of Deaths

2013

22,967

2014

22,826

2015

24,784

2016

24,973

2017

23,709

2018

23,185

2019

21,458

2020

19,324

2021

21,947

2022

25,542

The figures for 2023 have not yet been published.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to assess the potential (a) costs and (b) impact on patients of the use of (i) lecanemab , (ii) donanemab and (ii) other Alzheimer's drugs.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body that makes recommendations for the National Health Service on whether licensed medicines should be routinely funded by the NHS, based on an assessment of their costs and benefits. NHS England is legally required to fund medicines recommended by the NICE, normally within three months of the publication of final guidance. The NICE is currently appraising lecanemab and donanemab and expects to publish guidance on both medicines later this year.

NHS England has established a dedicated programme team to prepare for any new Alzheimer’s treatments that are granted a licence by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and determined by the NICE to be clinically and cost effective for use in the NHS. The programme team is preparing for key challenges in implementation. This includes planning for additional diagnostic, treatment, and safety monitoring capacity, and the introduction of a new genetic test as well as amyloid positron emission tomography and computed tomography scanning, to ensure the new pathway for these medicines can be rolled out successfully.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will confirm whether (a) Simon Blagden declared his relationship with Larkspur International to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) before his appointment to its advisory board, (b) UKHSA vetted Larkspur International before his appointment and (c) he supplied UKHSA with a list of Larkspur's clients.

Simon Blagden did not make a declaration of his relationship with Larkspur International to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) at the time of his appointment as he did not assess there to be any potential conflict of interest. This was compliant with the declaration policy in place. He did declare political donations as required and no conflict of interest was identified through the standard appointments process which precluded his appointment to the UKHSA Advisory Board.

Simon Blagden is an unpaid, associate non-Executive member of the Advisory Board, appointed by the Board. A review of the Conflicts of Interest policy was undertaken by the Government Internal Audit Agency in 2022 and did not raise any concerns with Mr Blagden’s declarations. UKHSA has since chosen to adopt a more stringent policy than the Government standard, requiring declaration of all interests whether they present a potential conflict or not. Under this new policy Mr Blagden has formally declared his relationship with Larkspur International.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Guidance on Department for Health and Social Care funding for non-consolidated pay awards in non-annex one organisations published in November 2023, which NHS organisations have been approved for funding.

The outcome of the applications will be communicated directly to the organisations that applied, by the end of the financial year. As this information will be commercially sensitive for these independent organisations, we do not intend to announce which organisations have been successful.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Guidance on Department for Health and Social Care funding for non-consolidated pay awards in non-annex one organisations published in November 2023, when her Department plans to announce which NHS organisations have been successful in their funding applications.

The outcome of the applications will be communicated directly to the organisations that applied, by the end of the financial year. As this information will be commercially sensitive for these independent organisations, we do not intend to announce which organisations have been successful.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans her Department has to make medicinal cannabis more accessible to those who need it.

Licensed cannabis-based medicines are routinely available on the National Health Service. However, clinical guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) demonstrate a clear need for more evidence to support routine prescribing and funding decisions for unlicensed cannabis-based medicines.

The Government continues to call on manufacturers to invest in research and clinical trials to prove if their products are safe and effective and offers scientific and research advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the NICE.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that there is an adequate supply of oxcarbazepine for patients with epilepsy.

The Department was informed of supply issues with oxcarbazepine 150 milligram and 300 milligram tablets by one supplier, which are out of stock until the end of March and the end of February 2024, respectively. Alternative oxcarbazepine tablets remain available. The Department has worked extensively with alternative suppliers and clinical colleagues and has since issued communications to the National Health Service which includes detailed management advice.

While we cannot always prevent supply issues from occurring, the Department has a range of well-established processes and tools to manage them when they arise and help mitigate risks to patients. There is a team within the Department that deals specifically with medicine supply problems, and it works closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the pharmaceutical industry, NHS England, the devolved administrations, and others operating in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised when shortages do arise.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of existing treatment services for veterans with alcohol and drug dependency.

The National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) is part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme, with construction starting in 2023. This new 70-bed facility will benefit all patients including veterans by bringing together patient care, research, innovation, and training and education under one roof.

In addition, Op RESTORE has been commissioned by NHS England to act as a comprehensive veterans’ mental and physical health and wellbeing service. It supports individuals who have served in, or are leaving, the British Armed Forces and who have physical health injuries and related medical problems attributed to their time in the Armed Forces. Additionally, in April 2023, a new integrated Op COURAGE service launched which includes access to dedicated support for those presenting with substance misuse and other addictions such as gambling. Access to Op COURAGE is via referral or by direct contact from veterans, with a campaign to raise awareness of Op COURAGE having been launched on 9 January 2024.

The Government is providing an additional £10 million to support the Veterans’ Places, People and Pathways Programme to increase support to a significant community of vulnerable veterans throughout the United Kingdom, and to enable it to become self-sustaining.

The Government has not made any assessment of the adequacy of existing rehabilitative care for injured veterans, existing treatment services for veterans with alcohol and drug dependency or existing mental health support for veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Office for Veterans' Affairs engage with Five Eyes international partners to share best practice on research and policy delivery. This engagement covers a wide range of issues relating to veterans including physical health. My Rt hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has not had additional engagement with international partners on rehabilitative care for veterans.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will publish the correspondence to NHS trusts requiring emergency departments to prioritise patients not in need of admission to hospital.

No such correspondence has been issued to NHS Trusts.

NHS England wrote to systems and trusts on 25 January reiterating the need to improve A&E performance for all patients requiring emergency care, and emphasised some of the known best practice in emergency department processes to ensure delays to patient care are minimised.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what her planned timetable is to respond to the Patient Safety Commissioner's report entitled Hughes Report: Options for redress for those harmed by valproate and pelvic mesh, published on 7 February 2024.

The Government commissioned the Patient Safety Commissioner (PSC) to produce a report on redress for those affected by sodium valproate and pelvic mesh. We are grateful to the PSC and her team for completing this report and our sympathies remain with those affected by sodium valproate and pelvic mesh. The Government is now carefully considering the PSC’s recommendations and will respond substantively in due course.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of the total morbidity burden in England is accounted for by mental health.

According to the most recent Global Burden of Disease publication, mental health problems accounted for 15.4% of the total burden of disease in England in 2019.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2024 to Question 11392 on Department of Health and Social Care: Ministers' Private Offices, what the cost was of the refurbishment to ministerial offices in 2023.

The total cost of refurbishment of the ministerial offices in 2023 was approximately £140,000. This answer was previously shared in the answer to the hon. Member for Ilford North on the 20 of September 2023 to Question 198375.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what NHS England's policy is on hybrid working arrangements for (a) medical and (b) non-medical staff; and whether NHS England has made an assessment of the potential impact of working from home for up to (i) one, (ii) two, (iii) three and (iv) four days a week on levels of work productivity.

NHS England’s working from home policy, as of April 2024, will ask all colleagues with a contractual office base to spend, on average, at least 40% of their time working in-person. This will apply to both medical and non-medical staff.

A flexible work model will help the National Health Service to recruit and retain people more effectively, and is an important aspect of both the NHS People Promise and the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan. NHS England will continue to shape their ways of working based on what allows them to deliver high-quality services for all.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of patients who received an urgent GP referral for a suspected cancer in the last six months have (a) been diagnosed with cancer and (b) received confirmation that cancer has not been detected within 28 days of their referral.

The following table shows the amount of people that were either informed that they had cancer, or received an all clear, in the past six months for which data is available, namely between June and November 2023, and the proportions of people that were told this within 28 days from an urgent referral:

Pathway End Reason

Total told

Told within 28 days

Percentage told outcome within 28 days

Diagnosis of cancer

91,369

46,841

51.3%

Ruling out of cancer

1,379,738

1,006,233

72.9%

Source: NHS England

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)