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These initiatives were driven by Baroness Wheeler, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.
MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.
Baroness Wheeler has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Baroness Wheeler has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
Baroness Wheeler has not introduced any legislation before Parliament
Baroness Wheeler has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
IPA convened an independent assurance review of the Department for Health and Social Care’s (Adult) Social Care Charging Reform Programme in March 2022, as it does at key stages for all programmes in the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP). It is not standard practice to publish these reviews. IPA has not produced any other analysis on the wider set of social care reforms.
This Government shares Baroness Wheeler’s concern that support reaches those most in need in the English fishing and aquaculture sectors as quickly as possible and that is why we are treating the distribution of this funding as a matter of urgency.
The £10 million financial assistance announced on 17 April 2020 will be broken down into two funds, the Fisheries Response Fund (FRF) and the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS), both delivered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
The FRF, worth £9 million, will contribute to the fixed costs of catching and aquaculture businesses adversely affected by the downturn in export and domestic markets for fish and shellfish.
The MMO has contacted all 1,179 eligible vessel owners; of these, 950 have applied and by 1 May the MMO have made payments totalling £3.6 million to 786 applicants.
The aquaculture portion of the FRF was launched on 6 May.
The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme will provide £1 million in grants to support seafood businesses to sell their products in their local communities and nationally. This scheme opened on 29 April. And applications close at noon on Monday 11 May.
The MMO has reprioritised resources to ensure efficient and timely delivery of this support and has extended its opening hours to 7pm and Saturdays. This is being kept under review.
This investment will fund research projects into a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Multiple System Atrophy and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. The Government will provide this funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The NIHR and UKRI rely on researchers submitting high-quality applications to access funding, therefore details of allocations and timescales are not currently available. All applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.
The impact assessment for The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 has been submitted to the Regulatory Policy Committee and is currently undergoing independent scrutiny.
As of 6 May, seven local authorities have used the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Under the guidance for local authorities, there is no requirement to notify the Department about the details of the use of this provision. Recording by local authorities remains a priority and will help them to ensure accountability and provide evidence for the thought processes behind the decisions they will be making.
Monitoring the welfare of children is a matter for the Department for Education.
The Department is working with the Care Quality Commission and Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP) to understand the impact of the Care Act 2014 easements introduced by the Coronavirus Act 2020, which allow local authorities to prioritise care and support so that the most urgent and acute needs are met. TLAP hopes to speak to local authorities which are operating under easements to understand what this means for adults with care and support needs. A TLAP Insight Group will be meeting regularly to coordinate intelligence of TLAP partners on the impact and views of people with lived experience.
We continue to provide guidance, funding, and support to individuals and groups affected by local service disruption. This includes an ethical framework to support local prioritisation decisions, guidance for unpaid carers, and guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of COVID-19. We are also working with national learning disability and autism charities to identify how, with Government funding, they can boost their online and helpline capacity to support people with learning disabilities, autistic people and those with the most complex needs.
The Department is also working with the Care Quality Commission and Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP) to understand the impact on individuals, including disabled people and their carers, of the changes to Care Act 2014 duties. TLAP hopes to speak to local authorities which are operating under easements to understand what this means for adults with care and support needs. A TLAP Insight Group will be meeting regularly to coordinate intelligence of TLAP partners on the impact and views of people accessing care and support and unpaid carers.
We are very grateful for the many health professionals who are supporting the local health and care system during the pandemic, including National Health Service support to enable nurse returners to be deployed to care homes through the Bringing Back Staff programme.
In April, we published COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care setting out the measures that the Government and other parts of the system are taking to support adult social care, to ensure people in care homes and other settings continue to receive the care they need. We are increasing funding and support to care homes to reduce the spread of infection and support workforce resilience, working with local authorities and health. We continue to work closely with our senior leaders’ group which includes the National Care Forum, who advise the Government on the measures we are taking to maximise workforce supply and capacity. A copy of COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care is attached.
The Department’s COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care outlines the importance of restricting visitors to care homes at this time to reduce the risk of infection for care home residents and staff. A copy of COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care is attached.
It is recognised that this restriction in visitors may cause anxiety for both residents and their relatives. Existing guidance encourages that alternatives to in-person visiting are explored such as telephones or video calling. It is important that relatives can visit their loved one if they are dying, or if the relatives’ bereavement is likely to be worse, with a higher risk of psychological and physical morbidity. The Adult Social Care Action Plan acknowledges this exception.