Baroness Thornton Portrait

Baroness Thornton

Labour - Life peer

Became Member: 23rd July 1998

Shadow Spokesperson (Equalities and Women's Issues)

(since May 2021)

Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)

(since October 2023)

Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
21st Feb 2023 - 26th Oct 2023
Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
21st Feb 2023 - 26th Oct 2023
Shadow Spokesperson (Health)
10th Jan 2018 - 10th May 2022
Shadow Spokesperson (Health)
1st Nov 2017 - 9th Jan 2018
Shadow Spokesperson (Equalities and Women's Issues)
17th Oct 2011 - 1st Jul 2015
Shadow Spokesperson (Health)
8th Oct 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)
19th Feb 2010 - 6th May 2010
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
18th Feb 2008 - 19th Feb 2010
Communications and Digital Committee
23rd Apr 2007 - 18th Dec 2008


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Electoral Commission Strategy and Policy Statement
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 94 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 175 Noes - 159
Speeches
Thursday 29th February 2024
Charities: National Minimum Wage
My Lords, I am very pleased that the Government recognise the contribution that civil society organisations, including social enterprises, make …
Written Answers
Wednesday 20th December 2023
Israel: Hamas
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN attended the ‘Hear Our Voices: …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Thornton has voted in 418 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Thornton Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(214 debate interactions)
Lord Kamall (Conservative)
(82 debate interactions)
Baroness Brinton (Liberal Democrat)
(43 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(441 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(68 debate contributions)
Home Office
(22 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(20 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021
(19,983 words contributed)
Health and Care Act 2022
(19,606 words contributed)
Victims and Prisoners Bill 2022-23
(10,045 words contributed)
Health and Social Care Levy Act 2021
(5,922 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Baroness Thornton's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Thornton, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


Baroness Thornton has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Baroness Thornton has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


55 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to understand the drivers behind young women and girls’ official and unofficial school exclusions, in order to tackle the over-representation of ethnic minorities among those excluded.

Continuing to improve behaviour in schools is a priority for the government. Head teachers use suspensions and permanent exclusions when required as part of creating calm, safe and supportive classrooms. Schools should only use permanent exclusion as a last resort, and the Department supports teachers in taking proportionate and measured steps to ensure good behaviour in schools.

Informal or unofficial exclusions are unlawful, and the department has previously written to schools to remind them of the rules on suspension and permanent exclusion.

Analysis from the Timpson Review of School Exclusion (2019) illustrated a complex picture but, on the whole, there is no substantial difference in permanent exclusion rates when comparing all ethnic minority children as a whole with white British children. More information on the Timpson Review of School Exclusion can be found attached.

The updated 'School suspension and permanent exclusion’ guidance sets out that schools, local authorities, and local partners should work together to understand what lies behind local trends.

The department’s ‘Understanding your data: a guide for school governors and academy trustees’ guidance also makes clear governing boards should carefully consider the level and characteristics of pupils who are leaving the school, and challenge the school and academy trust management teams on any permanent exclusions to ensure it is only used as a last resort.

Schools also have a clear duty not to discriminate against pupils under the Equality Act 2010. Ofsted’s assessment of behaviour in schools includes specific consideration of rates, patterns and reasons for exclusions, as well as any differences between groups of pupils.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support and protect at-risk girls and young women in education settings, including against poor mental health and sexual harassment.

The department is committed to helping education settings provide the safe, calm, and supportive learning environments that promote good wellbeing and reduce risk of harm. This includes considering how we can best support girls and young women who may be at higher risk of sexual harassment or poor mental health.

The government’s Tackling Violence against Women and Girls Strategy sets out the actions that we are taking and the progress that we have made to prevent violence and harassment and protect victims. It includes the introduction of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, the Enough communications campaign, and changes to the law to introduce new criminal offences, including up-skirting and revenge porn. We will also be publishing non-statutory guidance specifically focused on teaching about sexual harassment and sexual violence.

As part of the strategy, we are determined to make sure the right resources and processes are in place across the education system to support any victims of abuse who come forward. The department published strengthened statutory school safeguarding guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education in September 2021. The guidance has been further strengthened for 2022, ensuring schools have even clearer guidance on how to deal with reports of sexual abuse. Revised guidance includes the ‘Sexual violence and sexual harassment advice’, putting this on a statutory footing to give the issue the prominence it deserves. The department is also trialling the impact of supervision for designated safeguarding leads, with a particular focus on supporting them to respond to sexual abuse issues.

As well as supporting pupils to understand their mental health, the relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum in schools ensures all pupils are taught about respectful relationships. This includes learning that some types of behaviour within relationships are criminal, what constitutes sexual harassment and sexual violence, and why these are always unacceptable. The department has started a review of the RSHE statutory guidance and continues to develop standalone non statutory guidance to support schools to teach about these issues effectively.

Further education providers also have flexibility to offer aspects of RSHE. Providers should support students to access the support they need to have healthy relationships. The Ofsted Further Education and Skills inspection handbook includes personal development in its judgements, including students’ understanding of healthy relationships and how to keep themselves mentally healthy.

In higher education (HE), the department expects all providers to have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, including the Equality Act 2010, and to swiftly address reports of harassment and sexual misconduct. The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill includes a clause banning the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements to silence victims in cases of sexual misconduct in HE. The Office for Students (OfS) has also launched a consultation to make mandatory measures that will require providers to address student harassment.

The department supports education settings to take effective approaches to supporting wellbeing and mental health. In schools and colleges, we are providing grants to train Senior Mental Health Leads and rolling out Mental Health Support Teams which can improve access to support. In HE, we have an ambition for all providers to sign up to Student Minds’ University Mental Health Charter by 2026. The OfS have funded the online platform Student Space. The department has asked them to allocate £15 million to establishing better partnerships between universities and local NHS service and support transitions into university.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many pupils registered with a state-funded school spend (1) less than two days per week, (2) two or more days per week, (3) three or more days per week, and (4) four or more days per week, in an education placement with an unregistered alternative provider.

Via the alternative provision census, the department collects information on pupils aged 2-18 who local authorities have placed in unregistered providers.

Since the 2022/23 academic year, the department has also collected information on placements made by schools via the school census, with the first mandatory collection being in the spring census. The information is not currently available whilst the spring census is collected and returns validated.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the (1) mean, and (2) median, amount spent on an unregistered alternative provider place in England by (a) Pupil Referral Units, (b) state-funded schools not classified as a Pupil Referral Unit, and (3) local authorities.

Data is collected in the alternative provision census on the placement of pupils in unregistered alternative provision providers by local authorities. Since 2022, this data is also collected on arrangements made by schools. This is collected via the schools census.

Information on the mean or median amount spent by Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), state funded schools not classified as PRUs, or local authorities is not collected by the department, and cannot be derived from this data.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total spend on unregistered alternative provider education placements in England, broken down by (1) school, (2) local authority, and (3) region of England.

Data is collected in the alternative provision census on the placement of pupils in unregistered alternative provision providers by local authorities. Since 2022, this data is also collected on arrangements made by schools. This is collected via the schools census.

Information on the total spend on unregistered alternative education placements by school, local authority, or region, is not collected by the department, and cannot be derived from this data.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support vulnerable girls and young women given the increased cost of living.

The Government understands the pressures people, including vulnerable women and girls, are facing with the cost of living and is taking action to help.

Everyone who receives a state benefit or pension will have seen their benefit rates increase by 10.1% this month. In order to increase the number of households who can benefit from these uprating decisions, the benefit cap levels have also increased by the same amount.

To further support those who are in work, from 1 April, the National Living Wage (NLW) increased by 9.7% to £10.42 an hour for workers aged 23 and over - the largest ever cash increase for the NLW.

Households on eligible means-tested benefits will get up to £900 in Cost of Living Payments, paid in three separate payments of £301, £300 and £299 across the 2023/24 financial year. The first payment of £301 will be paid to the majority of those eligible between 25 April and 17 May. In addition, people on qualifying disability benefits will receive a separate Disability Cost of Living payment of £150 in the summer.

For people who require additional support, whether they receive benefits or not, the Household Support Fund will continue until March 2024. This year long extension allows Local Authorities in England to continue to provide discretionary support to those most in need with the significantly rising cost of living. The guidance for Local Authorities for this next iteration has now been published and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/household-support-fund-guidance-for-local-councils/1April 2023 to 31 March 2024: Household Support Fund guidance for county councils and unitary authorities in England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This sets out that the fund should be used to support households in the most need, particularly those who are not eligible for other cost of living support such as Cost of Living Payments. The Devolved Administrations will receive consequential funding as usual to spend at their discretion.

More broadly, tackling violence against women and girls is a Government priority. The Government is committed to ensuring victims have the support they need and we are conscious that the cost of living may generate additional challenges for victims and survivors.

Our Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan invests over £230 million of cross-Government funding into tackling this crime, including over £140 million to support victims and over £81 million to tackle perpetrators. This includes trialling a £300,000 ‘flexible fund’, that could make direct payments to domestic abuse victims.

In addition to the direct impact on victims, the Government also acknowledges the cost of living will have an impact on charitable organisations who work to support them. To help mitigate these challenges, where possible the Home Office has provided multi-year grants to support organisations to make maximum use of their funding, by providing greater stability and predictability on their budgets.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the particular mental health and wellbeing of ethnic minority girls and young women.

Whilst we are not taking steps nationally to address specifically the particular mental health and wellbeing of ethnic minority girls and young women, we are expanding access to mental health services through the NHS Long Term Plan, which commits to investing an additional £2.3 billion a year for mental health services by 2023/24, so that an additional two million people, including girls and young women from minority ethnic groups, can access National Health Service-funded mental health support.

NHS England launched its first Advancing mental health equalities strategy in October 2020 to support the ambition of reducing mental health inequalities outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan. The strategy summarises the core actions that NHS England will take to bridge the gaps for communities faring worse than others in mental health services, including black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, and women in secure care settings. A copy of the strategy is attached.

The Government and NHS England are also taking forward non-legislative work to address racial disparities, including the piloting of Culturally Appropriate Advocacy services by the Department. These are exploring approaches to identifying, supporting, and advocating for the specific cultural needs of people from ethnic minority groups.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to their Women’s Health Strategy for England, published on 30 August 2022, what steps they are taking to address the high rates of poor mental health amongst girls and young women.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits an additional £2.3 billion a year for mental health services in England by 2023/24, supporting an additional two million people, including girls and young women, to get the National Health Service-funded mental health support that they need.

We also continue to make progress on rolling out mental health support teams to schools and colleges, with 287 in place in over 4,700 schools and colleges across the country, offering support to children experiencing common mental health issues. The number of teams is expected shortly to have increased to 399.

We know that girls and women are more likely to experience an eating disorder, so as part of the NHS Long Term Plan investment, we are putting an extra £1 billion into community mental health care for adults with severe mental illness by 2023/24. This will give 370,000 adults and older adults with severe mental illnesses, including eating disorders, greater choice and control over their care and will support them to live well in their communities.

Since 2016, extra funding is going into children and young people's community eating disorder services every year, with £54 million per year from 2022/23. This extra funding will enhance the capacity of community eating disorder teams across the country.

The NHS Long Term Plan also includes measures to improve safety, quality and continuity of care and a commitment for a further 24,000 women to be able to access specialist perinatal mental health care by 2023/24. This care will also be available from preconception to 24 months after birth, which will provide an extra year of support. This expansion includes 33 new Maternal Mental Health Services, which bring together psychological therapy, maternity services and reproductive health for women who have mental health needs following trauma or loss related to their maternity experience. These will be available across England by March 2024.

As outlined in the Women’s Health Strategy, women are one of our priority groups when promoting our Every Mind Matters resource, which includes content to support issues affecting women’s mental health, including life changes such as pregnancy.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to publish a consultation on fixed recovery costs for clinical negligence claims; and if so, when.

We are developing proposals to introduce fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims under the value of £25,000. We plan to consult on these measures in due course.

24th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to publish NHS Resolution's annual report.

The Department and its bodies, which includes NHS Resolution, have a statutory requirement to produce an annual report and accounts (ARA) following the end of the financial year. NHS Resolution is responsible for ensuring its ARA is laid before Parliament in accordance with Departmental guidance. NHS Resolution has advised that it intends to lay its ARA before the summer recess.

10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made towards meeting the recommendation in the HIV commission report How England Will End New Cases of HIV, published 30 November 2020, that the Government must review and assess the impact of current policies and legislation that need improvement.

The HIV Oversight Group has been formed with key HIV stakeholders, including civil society organizations who represent women, black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, trans, non-binary and gender diverse individuals, and in addition, networks of community advocates and people living with HIV to support the development of the HIV Action Plan. Specific discussions have not yet been held with those representing traveller communities.

Through these member organisations, the HIV Oversight Group aims to ensure that the intersectional voices of people living with HIV, especially those from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, are fairly represented during the development process and in the final Action Plan. The recommendations of the HIV commission will be actively considered during the development of the HIV Action Plan.

10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made towards meeting the recommendation in the HIV commission report How England Will End New Cases of HIV, published 30 November 2020, that all late HIV diagnoses should be investigated as serious incidents by the National Institute for Health Protection.

The HIV Oversight Group has been formed with key HIV stakeholders, including civil society organizations who represent women, black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, trans, non-binary and gender diverse individuals, and in addition, networks of community advocates and people living with HIV to support the development of the HIV Action Plan. Specific discussions have not yet been held with those representing traveller communities.

Through these member organisations, the HIV Oversight Group aims to ensure that the intersectional voices of people living with HIV, especially those from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, are fairly represented during the development process and in the final Action Plan. The recommendations of the HIV commission will be actively considered during the development of the HIV Action Plan.

10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to enable pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment for HIV to be accessed in (1) GP practices, and (2) community pharmacies.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is routinely available in specialist sexual health services throughout the country. The settings in which PrEP is made available outside of sexual health services, such as general practitioner practices and community pharmacies, will be considered as part of our ongoing work on the development of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and the HIV Action Plan, which we plan to publish later this year.

10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the HIV Action Plan will be published.

The HIV Action Plan is currently being developed and is planned for publication later this year.

9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost of the investigation to find the individual whose identity was initially unknown who tested positive for the ‘Brazilian’ strain of COVID-19.

The incident response team used existing data analysis resources and as such, there was no additional cost to the investigation.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the National Institute for Health Protection (1) to be formally established, and (2) to be fully operational.

The new National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) will bring together the health protection expertise of Public Health England, Joint Biosecurity Centre and NHS Test and Trace under a single leadership. It will start work immediately to boost the United Kingdom’s ability to deal with and recover from COVID-19 and meet health challenges of the coming winter. Although the new leadership arrangements will be in effect immediately, the NIHP will not be formally established until spring 2021, in order to minimise disruption to the vital COVID-19 response work.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the recruitment process for the position of permanent Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection; and when they expect that process to begin.

We are in the process of establishing the National Institute for Health Protection from spring next year. Operational decisions, such as the Board constitution and membership, will be agreed over the coming months.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how long the interim Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection is expected to remain in post.

Baroness Harding will remain interim Chair of the National Institute of Health Protection while the recruitment process is ongoing and while a handover takes place with the permanent candidate.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the appointment of the interim Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection was made in line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments.

Baroness Harding was appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection on an interim basis to urgently help establish the Institute. The Institute has not yet been formed. If when established as a public body, any roles meet the criteria for inclusion on the Public Appointments Order in Council, they will be added to the Order and the appointment process will follow the Governance Code on Public Appointments. The regulation of public appointments against the requirements of the Code is carried out by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the likelihood of COVID-19 becoming endemic in the UK in the long term.

Total eradication of SARS-CoV-2 globally is unlikely. Elimination nationally - that is, bringing the number of locally acquired cases to zero - may be possible transiently but is highly unlikely to be possible permanently. Though other countries appear to have eliminated the virus locally, it is still early in the pandemic and the virus is very likely to reappear in these countries.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what formal statistical confidence limit is represented by the very likely upper and lower bounds on the estimated COVID-19 reproduction rate, R, as published on the government website.

R is an average value that can vary in different parts of the country and communities. It cannot be measured directly, and calculating R becomes more uncertain when using small numbers of cases, either due to lower infection rates or smaller geographical areas.

Even when the overall United Kingdom R estimate is below 1, some regions may have R estimates that include ranges that exceed 1, for example from 0.7 to 1.1. This does not necessarily mean the epidemic regionally is increasing, just that the uncertainty in the data means it cannot be ruled out.

Estimates of R for geographies smaller than regional level are less reliable and it is more appropriate to identify local hotspots through, for example, monitoring numbers of cases, hospitalisations, and deaths.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 1 June (HL4872), why they will not publish the reproduction index for the COVID-19 virus for each region of the UK on a weekly basis, alongside the United Kingdom-wide range.

R is an average number and so can be highly uncertain if based on small quantities of data. R should be considered alongside the number of new cases. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ view is that it is unhelpful to use estimates of R rates to monitor the epidemic in different regions.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the rationale for using COVID-19 testing capacity as a measure of testing efficacy, as opposed to the number of actual tests completed.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they informed NHS England's Director of Primary Care of their intention to update the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 to advise that they can now leave their homes if they wish.

We have engaged extensively with NHS England and NHS Improvement via the Department’s Clinical Oversight Group, of which NHS England and NHS Improvement are members, and through several stakeholder calls throughout the process of updating the guidance and will continue to do so.

21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that COVID-19 related fatalities of (1) NHS staff, (2) social workers, and (3) care workers, are accurately reported.

On 29 April 2020 the Government introduced a new daily death reporting protocol which includes deaths that have occurred in all settings where there has been a positive COVID-19 test such as hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

The number of deaths of National Health Service healthcare workers is verified from direct reports from NHS employing and non-NHS organisations. This information is investigated and triangulated by NHS England to give a high level of confidence of validity.

The Office for National Statistics also publishes statistics on deaths involving COVID-19 by occupation, including rates and counts of deaths of social workers and care workers.

21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to publish finer-resolution data on hospital admissions statistics, to assist with understanding the optimal admission, treatment, and resource allocation strategies.

Data on Hospital Episodes Statistics is published by NHS Digital and the latest available data is for 2018/19. Annual data for 2019/20 is due to be published in October 2020.

21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the R number, the reproduction index for the COVID-19 virus, for each region of the UK. [T]

The Government Office for Science currently publishes the latest estimate of the United Kingdom-wide range for R on a weekly basis. The current range is estimated to be 0.7-1.0 and is based on the latest data available to determine infection and transmission rates.

The Government is committed to publishing the scientific evidence that has informed the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) advice. These papers are being published in batches. The latest batches were released on 20 May and 22 May and the next batch will be published in due course. The full list of papers reviewed to date is available in an online only format on the GOV.UK page, ‘The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE): Coronavirus (COVID-19) response’. This list will be updated to reflect papers considered at recent and future meetings.

21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 5 May (HL3910), what was the (1) number, and (2) percentage, of returned home COVID-19 test kits that were void due to an inadequate self-swabbed sample.

As of 25 May 2020, 9,761 COVID-19 home test kits received a void result. This equates to 4.8% of all returned home test kits.

It is important to note that a void result can be caused by a number of factors. This includes inadequate or incorrect self-swabbing, a failure of the user to return the swab in a timely manner, or other factors that prevent the sample from being efficiently returned and processed.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of COVID-19 home tests have been processed and the results communicated to patients within 72 hours of the test being taken.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the average length of time it takes for COVID-19 tests to be processed and the results communicated to patients for each day of testing conducted.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of COVID-19 tests being taken at regional testing sites have been processed and the results communicated to patients within 48 hours of the test being taken.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, for each day of distribution, how many home testing kits for COVID-19 did not have the complete information included to allow the test to be returned and processed. [T]

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which stockpiles of personal protective equipment were replaced by 'just in time' supply arrangements over the past ten years.

The Department’s advisory Committee for New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) makes recommendations to the Government on what medicines and clinical consumables should be stockpiled for pandemic influenza preparedness including relevant scientific information that is used for estimating target stock levels. No assessment has been made of variance in the spend on personal protective equipment (PPE) over the past 10 years, therefore we are unable to estimate the financial savings made as a result.

A small portion of the required FFP3 respirators and gloves have ‘just in time’ arrangements in place. The majority of the stockholding for these products and all other PPE is held in the stockpile on a ‘just in case’ basis.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the UK's stockpile of personal protective equipment has decreased over the last ten years and, if so, what financial saving was made as a result.

The Department’s advisory Committee for New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) makes recommendations to the Government on what medicines and clinical consumables should be stockpiled for pandemic influenza preparedness including relevant scientific information that is used for estimating target stock levels. No assessment has been made of variance in the spend on personal protective equipment (PPE) over the past 10 years, therefore we are unable to estimate the financial savings made as a result.

A small portion of the required FFP3 respirators and gloves have ‘just in time’ arrangements in place. The majority of the stockholding for these products and all other PPE is held in the stockpile on a ‘just in case’ basis.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of collecting a sample for COVID-19 testing through self-swabbing home test kits in comparison to tests administered by medical professionals.

International peer reviewed evidence, and real-world assessments from the Department’s testing programme has shown that swab tests taken by non-clinically trained individuals are just as effective as those taken by clinicians. Instructions on how to perform these types of tests are included wherever individuals are asked to undertake self-swabbing.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 home tests returned to them were not viable owing to difficulties in collecting a sample of the virus when self-swabbing.

International peer reviewed evidence, as well as the National Testing Programme’s experience, is that void rates for self-administered tests are of a similar level to clinician-administered tests. The best international evidence, as well as the Programme’s internal data, are kept under constant review, and significant resource has been deployed to ensuring that the instructions for self-administration are clear and easy to follow.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 home tests they have (1) delivered to care homes, and (2) processed, each day since they began to distribute such tests.

Public Health England’s Health Protection Teams have, from the outset, been testing residents when an outbreak is reported at a particular care home. More than 41,000 residents have been tested through this route. On 15 April, the Government extended testing to essential workers, including symptomatic care home staff. Since then, the Care Quality Commission has referred over 34,000 care workers for testing. We are now prioritising up to 30,000 tests per day for staff and residents at care homes in England that look after over 65s.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the plans developed by NHS England to improve pandemic response planning as a result of Exercise Cygnus.

NHS England is a key partner in the ongoing cross-Government work to develop the United Kingdom’s pandemic preparedness. This Department continues to work across Government and with key stakeholders, including NHS England, to develop coordinated multi-sector response plans for a future influenza pandemic.

The lessons from Exercise Cygnus, along with expert scientific, clinical and operational advice, have informed the UK’s preparedness to ensure that the country remains well prepared for infectious disease outbreaks. This includes work such as development of draft legislation support to the health system response to a future influenza pandemic and strengthening plans to surge and flex beyond normal operations, as demonstrated by the considerable increase in critical care capacity as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were discharged from hospital to care homes in England in each of the last 12 weeks; and how many of those people had been tested for COVID-19. [T]

At the beginning of June 2020, NHS England published an analysis of hospital discharges to care homes between 30 January 2020 and 16 April 2020, with a comparison to care home discharged from the same period in 2019. A copy of this analysis is attached, due to the size of the data. The information on how many of those people had tested for COVID-19 is not currently published to the level of detail requested.

As of 1 June, there had been 153,836 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in England.

4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether part-time students on (1) physiotherapy, and (2) other courses, will be eligible to receive the £5,000 maintenance grant each year whilst studying.

Students who are enrolled on eligible physiotherapy courses or any other eligible courses and who are studying on a part-time basis will receive a pro-rata payment. Further details will be made available in due course.

24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) financial, (2) operational, and (3) security, implications of missing the January 2020 deadline to migrate all computers used by the National Health Service to Windows 10.

The whole of the National Health Service estate is covered by extended support for Windows 7 until January 2021. This means that the NHS will continue to receive security patches for the next year. This was included at no additional cost within the NHS Windows 10 Agreement.

Government is supporting the roll out of Windows 10 across the NHS estate. This process is on track and all NHS organisations have agreed to migrate to Windows 10 by no later than December 2020.

NHS trusts additionally benefit from access to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), which provides real time detection and protection against potential threats by identifying suspicious behaviour on devices indicative of a cyber-attack. ATP can be deployed on Windows 7 and Windows 10 machines and gives NHS Digital and local organisations enhanced capability to respond to threats in real time. Through ATP, NHS Digital can also see where every organisation is in relation to the deployment of Windows 10.

5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of NHS trusts' ability to manage increased patient risk this winter.

To support performance this winter additional capital and revenue funding was made available to systems and trusts to support staff and bed capacity throughout the winter. This has allowed Trusts to increase bed numbers and facilities to support better flow and, as a result, the National Health Service has reported over 1,000 more hospital beds are open this winter than at the same time last year.

In addition, a further £240 million has been provided again this year for adult social care to help reduce delays in patients being discharged from hospital by providing social care support.

This is all additional to winter funding last year that provided £145 million of capital funding to hospitals. £36.3 million was also provided to ambulance services for 256 new state-of-the-art vehicles and ‘make-ready hubs’ which shorten the turnaround times for vehicles and increase their availability. The winter period is usually considered to be from December to March, therefore an assessment of demand for ambulance services can be made after winter has finished.

Despite a huge increase in demand, the Care Quality Commission’s State of Health and Adult Social Care Report 2018/19 shows that the vast majority of patients continue to receive good, safe care. Overall quality of care in NHS acute hospitals has improved, with 72% of core services rated as good or outstanding, up from 66% in the previous year.

The quality of care in NHS ambulance trusts has also improved over the last year, with seven out of 10 trusts rated as good and none rated as inadequate. And, as at January 2020, 84% of adult social care settings were rated as good or outstanding. Four out of five adult social care services are rated as good, similar to 2018, and 996 services are providing care that is rated as outstanding.

5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they have given to hospitals to help them manage any increases in activity and workforce shortages over the winter period.

To support performance this winter additional capital and revenue funding was made available to systems and trusts to support staff and bed capacity throughout the winter. This has allowed Trusts to increase bed numbers and facilities to support better flow and, as a result, the National Health Service has reported over 1,000 more hospital beds are open this winter than at the same time last year.

In addition, a further £240 million has been provided again this year for adult social care to help reduce delays in patients being discharged from hospital by providing social care support.

This is all additional to winter funding last year that provided £145 million of capital funding to hospitals. £36.3 million was also provided to ambulance services for 256 new state-of-the-art vehicles and ‘make-ready hubs’ which shorten the turnaround times for vehicles and increase their availability. The winter period is usually considered to be from December to March, therefore an assessment of demand for ambulance services can be made after winter has finished.

Despite a huge increase in demand, the Care Quality Commission’s State of Health and Adult Social Care Report 2018/19 shows that the vast majority of patients continue to receive good, safe care. Overall quality of care in NHS acute hospitals has improved, with 72% of core services rated as good or outstanding, up from 66% in the previous year.

The quality of care in NHS ambulance trusts has also improved over the last year, with seven out of 10 trusts rated as good and none rated as inadequate. And, as at January 2020, 84% of adult social care settings were rated as good or outstanding. Four out of five adult social care services are rated as good, similar to 2018, and 996 services are providing care that is rated as outstanding.

5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the demand for ambulance services over the winter period.

To support performance this winter additional capital and revenue funding was made available to systems and trusts to support staff and bed capacity throughout the winter. This has allowed Trusts to increase bed numbers and facilities to support better flow and, as a result, the National Health Service has reported over 1,000 more hospital beds are open this winter than at the same time last year.

In addition, a further £240 million has been provided again this year for adult social care to help reduce delays in patients being discharged from hospital by providing social care support.

This is all additional to winter funding last year that provided £145 million of capital funding to hospitals. £36.3 million was also provided to ambulance services for 256 new state-of-the-art vehicles and ‘make-ready hubs’ which shorten the turnaround times for vehicles and increase their availability. The winter period is usually considered to be from December to March, therefore an assessment of demand for ambulance services can be made after winter has finished.

Despite a huge increase in demand, the Care Quality Commission’s State of Health and Adult Social Care Report 2018/19 shows that the vast majority of patients continue to receive good, safe care. Overall quality of care in NHS acute hospitals has improved, with 72% of core services rated as good or outstanding, up from 66% in the previous year.

The quality of care in NHS ambulance trusts has also improved over the last year, with seven out of 10 trusts rated as good and none rated as inadequate. And, as at January 2020, 84% of adult social care settings were rated as good or outstanding. Four out of five adult social care services are rated as good, similar to 2018, and 996 services are providing care that is rated as outstanding.

21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards implementing the routine commissioning of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis by April 2020.

The Department is continuing to work closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and local authorities to plan for a seamless transition from the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial to routine commissioning from April 2020. Further information will be available shortly. PrEP continues to be available through the trial.

21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they intend to ensure the routine commissioning of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.

The Department is continuing to work closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and local authorities to plan for a seamless transition from the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial to routine commissioning from April 2020. Further information will be available shortly. PrEP continues to be available through the trial.

21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that individuals are able to access Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis even before routine commissioning starts.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is currently provided in England through the three-year PrEP Impact Trial. Participation in the trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide the number of allocated places they can accept.

21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether pre-registration physiotherapy students (1) already studying, and (2) due to start a course, will qualify for maintenance grants of £5,000 and, where eligible, for further grants of up to £3,000 from 2020.

All new and continuing students enrolled in an eligible pre-registration undergraduate or postgraduate physiotherapy course at an English university from September 2020 will be eligible for at least £5,000 of the new financial support package.

Extra payments worth up to £3,000 per academic year will be available for eligible students depending on their individual circumstances. For those studying physiotherapy, this could include £1,000 of financial support to help with childcare costs. Physiotherapy students will not be eligible for the £1,000 incentive funding announced on 19 January 2020 for students entering a pre-registration course in a shortage healthcare specialism. As set out in the announcement of 19 January, the Department is undertaking further work to develop the £1,000 incentive payment which will be targeted at specific regions or geographical areas and it is possible that some new physiotherapy students could be eligible for additional payments as part of this. Further information will be set out as soon as possible.

There are no current plans to limit the number of physiotherapy students who could receive funding they may be eligible for.

21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether pre-registration physiotherapy students participating on (1) BSc, and (2) MSc, courses will qualify for maintenance grants of £5,000 and, where eligible, for further grants of up to £3,000 from 2020.

All new and continuing students enrolled in an eligible pre-registration undergraduate or postgraduate physiotherapy course at an English university from September 2020 will be eligible for at least £5,000 of the new financial support package.

Extra payments worth up to £3,000 per academic year will be available for eligible students depending on their individual circumstances. For those studying physiotherapy, this could include £1,000 of financial support to help with childcare costs. Physiotherapy students will not be eligible for the £1,000 incentive funding announced on 19 January 2020 for students entering a pre-registration course in a shortage healthcare specialism. As set out in the announcement of 19 January, the Department is undertaking further work to develop the £1,000 incentive payment which will be targeted at specific regions or geographical areas and it is possible that some new physiotherapy students could be eligible for additional payments as part of this. Further information will be set out as soon as possible.

There are no current plans to limit the number of physiotherapy students who could receive funding they may be eligible for.

21st Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there will be a limit on the number of pre-registration physiotherapy students able to qualify for maintenance grants of £5,000 and, where eligible, for further grants of up to £3,000 from 2020.

All new and continuing students enrolled in an eligible pre-registration undergraduate or postgraduate physiotherapy course at an English university from September 2020 will be eligible for at least £5,000 of the new financial support package.

Extra payments worth up to £3,000 per academic year will be available for eligible students depending on their individual circumstances. For those studying physiotherapy, this could include £1,000 of financial support to help with childcare costs. Physiotherapy students will not be eligible for the £1,000 incentive funding announced on 19 January 2020 for students entering a pre-registration course in a shortage healthcare specialism. As set out in the announcement of 19 January, the Department is undertaking further work to develop the £1,000 incentive payment which will be targeted at specific regions or geographical areas and it is possible that some new physiotherapy students could be eligible for additional payments as part of this. Further information will be set out as soon as possible.

There are no current plans to limit the number of physiotherapy students who could receive funding they may be eligible for.

5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN attended the ‘Hear Our Voices: Sexual and gender-based violence in the October 7th Hamas terror attack’ event on 4 December at the UN headquarters; and if not, why.

Three representatives of the UK Permanent Representation to the United Nations attended this event. The UK unequivocally condemns the reports of sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas against Israeli women and girls and other civilians; conflict-related sexual violence is an abuse of human rights and when perpetrated in the context of an armed conflict, can constitute a violation of international humanitarian law such as a war crime. We are regularly engaging with partners, including the UN, on this issue and call for these reports to be fully investigated to ensure justice for victims. The UK is committed to strengthening the global response to conflict-related sexual violence. Our Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) strategy, launched in 2022, sets out the work I am leading globally as the PMs Special Representative for PSVI, to prevent Conflict-Related Sexual Violence and strengthen justice and support for all survivors.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many Metropolitan Police (1) officers, and (2) staff, are currently on the sex offenders register, broken down by rank.

The Home Office does not collect data on the number of police officers or staff who are registered sex offenders


The statutory Vetting Code of Practice 2017 stipulates that all applications for a position of police officer or member of police staff must be rejected, where the applicant is a registered sex offender


The Government has asked the College of Policing to strengthen the statutory code of practice for vetting, making the obligations all forces must legally follow stricter and clearer


The Home Secretary has also now launched a review into the process of police officer dismissals, ensuring that the system is fair and effective at removing those officers who are not fit to serve their communities. The Terms of Reference for this review have now been published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/police-officer-dismissals-review-terms-of-reference.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address geographical areas where there is a shortfall in specialist community support for girls and young women, particularly those with protected characteristics, informed by age, gender, culture, and trauma of those in need.

Local authorities are supported by a range of grants from central government. The Department of Health and Social Care are investing £25 million in women’s health hubs across England, so that women can get better access to care for essential services such as menstrual problems, contraception and the menopause.

The Government Equalities Office are responsible for equalities legislation, but all public authorities are bound by public sector equality duties.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)