Lord Alton of Liverpool Portrait

Lord Alton of Liverpool

Crossbench - Life peer

Became Member: 12th June 1997



There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted Aye
One of 20 Crossbench Aye votes vs 13 Crossbench No votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Wednesday 14th February 2024
Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill
My Lords, it is a pleasure to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. I support Amendment 75, which was moved …
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Taiwan Strait: Air Routes
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on aviation safety and regional stability of …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 4th December 2023
Genocide Determination Bill [HL] 2023-24
A Bill to provide for the High Court in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Court of Session in …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Alton of Liverpool has voted in 422 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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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 Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(155 debate interactions)
Baroness Goldie (Conservative)
(30 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Home Office
(97 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(34 debate contributions)
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Legislation Debates
Nationality and Borders Act 2022
(16,350 words contributed)
Procurement Act 2023
(13,300 words contributed)
Trade Bill 2019-21
(9,884 words contributed)
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View all Lord Alton of Liverpool's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Alton of Liverpool, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


9 Bills introduced by Lord Alton of Liverpool


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for the regulation of the re-export of military equipment and goods further to their original exportation from the United Kingdom.

Lords Completed
Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 27th January 2011

A Bill to provide for the High Court in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Court of Session in Scotland to make preliminary determinations concerning the undertakings made by the United Kingdom as a Contracting Party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (“Genocide Convention”) under international law; for the referral of such determinations to relevant international courts or organisations; for response to reports on genocide; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 28th October 2022
(Read Debate)

A Bill to amend the Mesothelioma Act 2014.

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading : House Of Lords
Friday 20th November 2015

A Bill to provide for the High Court in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Court of Session in Scotland to make preliminary determinations concerning the undertakings made by the United Kingdom as a Contracting Party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (“Genocide Convention”) under international law; for the referral of such determinations to relevant international courts or organisations; for response to reports on genocide; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 4th December 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to prohibit the falsification of slavery and human trafficking statements; to establish minimum standards of transparency in supply chains in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking; to prohibit companies using supply chains which fail to demonstrate minimum standards of transparency; and for connected purposes

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 15th June 2021
(Read Debate)

A bill to provide for the High Court of England and Wales to make a preliminary finding on cases of alleged genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes; and for the subsequent referral of such findings to the International Criminal Court or a special tribunal

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 5th February 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to provide for the High Court of England and Wales to make a preliminary finding on cases of alleged genocide; and for the subsequent referral of such findings to the International Criminal Court or a special tribunal.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading : House Of Lords
Monday 13th June 2016

A bill to amend the Mesothelioma Act 2014.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Thursday 17th July 2014

First reading took place on 21 January. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords.Second reading - the general debate on all aspects of the Bill - is yet to be scheduled.The 2013-14 session of parliament has prorogued and this Bill will make no further progress. A bill to amend the Mesothelioma Act 2014

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Tuesday 21st January 2014

Lord Alton of Liverpool has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


1479 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
3 Other Department Questions
12th Sep 2023
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what support the Houses of Lords Administration receives from His Majesty’s Government regarding the issuing of parliamentary passes and the vetting of individuals when passes are requested; and what consideration he has given to a review into the activities of hostile states and the subversion of parliamentary democracy in the House of Lords.

All passholders are subject to vetting, and Parliament follows the Government vetting framework and is regulated by the Government’s statement of vetting policy. Parliament’s vetting processes draw on data provided by the relevant national authorities. More information can be found in Parliament’s National Security Vetting booklet. I am constrained in what further I can share widely on Parliament’s security measures.

Parliament works with the relevant national authorities to keep all potential threats to Parliament, parliamentarians and parliamentary democracy under constant review and ensure our mitigations are appropriate. This includes the threat posed by foreign state interference. Parliament is also represented at the Defending Democracy taskforce which is chaired by the Security Minister.

20th Jan 2022
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether witnesses to House of Lords select committee inquiries will be required to declare whether (1) they, or (2) institutions and companies in which they are involved, receive (a) remuneration, (b) endowments, or (c) financial support, from counties identified in the Integrated Review as representing a threat to UK interests.

Witnesses to House of Lords Select Committee inquiries are not required to make declarations of this kind and there are no plans to introduce such a requirement. The large majority of witnesses are unlikely to have any such involvement and Committee members are best placed to understand which witnesses might represent such a threat and to raise queries about those witnesses both before a committee session and, if necessary, during it.

9th Sep 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether House of Lords authorities were consulted ahead of the visit of the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the parliamentary estate.

No such visit had been planned for the House of Lords part of the parliamentary estate. Neither House routinely consults with the other regarding bookings taken for use of their facilities.

26th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Stewart of Dirleton on 25 April (HL6969), how many requests to prosecute cases of international crimes were received by the Attorney General in the last five years; and how many of those were granted.

The Attorney General’s consent is required for the prosecution in England and Wales of several international crimes. These include: grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, contrary to the Geneva Conventions Act 1957; genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, contrary to the International Criminal Court Act 2001; torture, contrary to the Criminal Justice Act 1988; and hostage-taking, contrary to the Taking of Hostages Act 1982. In the last five years, in relation to the above international crimes, the Attorney General’s Office has received one application for consent to prosecute. Consent was not granted.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many people have been tried by domestic courts for international crimes in the last five years.

His Majesty’s Government does not collate statistics on trials in UK domestic courts for international crimes.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
28th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to applying universal jurisdiction as a means of bringing to justice those who have committed atrocity crimes, but have evaded prosecution in international courts or domestic courts in other jurisdictions.

The International Criminal Court Act 2001 and The International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 allows jurisdiction over the offences of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed abroad by any person who: (i) is/was a UK national or UK resident at the time of the crime; or (ii) became a UK national or UK resident after the crime and still resides in the UK when proceedings are brought. Criminal law in the United Kingdom provides for universal jurisdiction over the crimes of torture and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, allowing prosecutorial authorities to investigate and prosecute these offences under certain conditions when they were committed abroad by foreign nationals. The relevant prosecuting authorities from across the UK will bring individuals to justice wherever possible, in line with their respective prosecutorial policies. Universal jurisdiction has been applied in the past in the UK, including in the case against Agnes Taylor who was accused of participating in crimes of torture during the first Liberian Civil War.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UK's use of universal jurisdiction to prosecute the crimes of (1) genocide, (2) crimes against humanity, and (3) war crimes.

The Counter Terrorism Division within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is responsible for prosecuting core international crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes) and applies the principle of universal jurisdiction when necessary.

Universal jurisdiction helps to ensure that the UK does not provide a safe haven for war criminals or those who commit other serious violations of international law, and the CPS will continue to bring individuals to justice wherever possible. Any decision to prosecute offences of universal jurisdiction in England and Wales is governed by the same principles that apply to any other prosecution and must be in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
16th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar on 14 June concerning recent acquittals in the case of perverting the Court of Justice in relation to the Hillsborough disaster (HL Deb, cols 1668–71), what discussions they have had with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as to why the decision of the Court was not appealed; whether the DPP gave advice on the decision not to appeal; and whether the DPP intends to publish the advice not to appeal.

The decision not to pursue an appeal in these cases was made by the CPS team managing the original prosecution after seeking advice from senior counsel. Prosecution decisions are made independently from Government. The Director of Public Prosecutions did not provide advice on these cases.

To bring an appeal, the prosecution would have to be able to show that the Judge’s decision was wrong in law, that he had made an error about the facts or that his decision was otherwise unreasonable. After careful consideration, especially for the families involved, the CPS concluded that it could not meet this test.

On 26 May 2021, the CPS issued a public statement on this ruling and has confirmed publicly that the decision not to appeal was based on the conclusion that the legal test was not met.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
15th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar on 14 June concerning recent acquittals in the case of perverting the Court of Justice in relation to the Hillsborough disaster (HL Deb, cols 1668–71), what plans they have to ask the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to revert to the practice of earlier DPPs of publishing their advice on their website.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) did not advise on these cases and there is no DPP advice to publish. Whenever appropriate the CPS will look to provide more detailed explanations about its decision making on its website.

Throughout criminal proceedings relating to the Hillsborough disaster, the CPS has issued regular press statements, and published reasons for its decision making. In particular, in June 2017, the CPS published a public statement following the decision to charge the three individuals with perverting the course of justice alongside other suspects referred for a charging decision at the same time.

On 26 May 2021 the CPS issued a public statement on this ruling and has confirmed publicly that the decision not to appeal was based on the conclusion that the legal test to do so was not met.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Sweden's decision to reinstate civic duty for 18-year-olds, including training in emergency services and the maintenance of vital infrastructure, and of the similar model in Norway; and what consideration they have given, if any, to introducing a comparable model in the UK.

Resilience is a top priority for this government. Ministers and officials regularly engage with International partners to learn from and share good practice in relation to resilience. There are no current plans to replicate Sweden’s model of civic duty.

The UK already has many reservist programmes: these include programmes for the armed forces, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Mountain Rescue, Retained Firefighters, Coastguard volunteers, NHS volunteers and special constables.

The Government has set out its ambition for a whole of society approach to resilience in the Resilience Framework. The Deputy Prime Minister’s first annual statement to Parliament on resilience offered more detail on plans to build on the community spirit in our country and the willingness of individuals to volunteer in a crisis by developing an index of volunteering opportunities.

To support the broader training offer the Government has committed to the development of a UK Resilience Academy that will provide a full suite of learning and training opportunities for the whole of society.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to investigate the proposed acquisition of the Telegraph Media Group by RedBird IMI under the National Security and Investment Act 2021.

The Government monitors the market at all times to identify acquisitions of potential national security interest. We do not routinely comment on individual transactions. As an open economy, the government welcomes foreign trade and investment where it supports growth and jobs in the UK, meets our stringent legal and regulatory requirements, and does not compromise our national security. However, the government will not hesitate to use our powers to protect national security where we identify concerns.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had (1) with, or (2) about, Hikvision regarding the removal of surveillance cameras which comply with China’s National Intelligence Law from (a) sensitive sites, and (b) the UK’s public procurement supply chain.

The Cabinet Office has not had discussions with Hikvision regarding the removal of surveillance cameras produced by companies subject to China's National Intelligence Law. A letter was written on 1 August 2023 to confirm the position of the Government in respect of the Written Ministerial Statement of 24 November 2022.

We have had regular internal discussions about protecting the UK’s public procurement supply chain.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Procurement Act 2023 obliges police forces to remove Chinese-made surveillance equipment from sensitive sites.

The Procurement Act 2023 does not oblige police forces to remove Chinese-made surveillance equipment from their estate. The government has committed to remove from sensitive government sites all surveillance equipment subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China. This commitment does not extend to the wider public sector. However, public sector organisations, including police forces, may choose to mirror the action and I understand some have already done so.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether officials have met with Hikvision in the last year to discuss the Procurement Bill; and if so, what was discussed.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the publication on 14 September of their response to the report from the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, China, when they will move a motion for debate to enable the House of Lords to discuss its findings and recommendations.

I am pleased to refer the noble Lord to the upcoming debate on the government’s position on the long-term strategic challenges posed by China, to be held in the House of Lords on 19 October.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they plan to respond to the report of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament China [HC 1605], published on 13 July; and whether they plan to hold a debate on the report.

I refer the noble Lord to the written statement of 14 September 2023, Official Report, HLWS1012. I also refer to the answer of 11 September 2023, Official Report, Column 773.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to initial a debate in the House of Lords on the threat to UK security from the People’s Republic of China, particularly given the findings of the Report of the Intelligence and Security Committee, published on 13 July.

HM Government is considering each of the recommendations and conclusions in the Intelligence & Security Committee’s report on China and will publish a full response to the report in due course, as per the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the government and the committee.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the BBC Panorama programme ‘Is China watching you?’, broadcast on 26 June; and what plans they have, if any, to bring forward further amendments to the Procurement Bill to address the dangers to national security and privacy identified in the Panorama documentary.

The Government introduced new measures ahead of the Commons Report stage to strengthen the Procurement Bill's provisions on national security.

The Government will create a permanent National Security Unit for Procurement within the Cabinet Office which will play a vital role in minimising the risk of suppliers that pose a threat to national security, winning public contracts. Underpinning the Unit will be a new legislative duty on ministers to keep under review suppliers for investigation for potential debarment on national security grounds. The Government will also introduce new, mandatory debarments for specific types of contracts. The new clauses will enable Ministers to mandate that a supplier is excluded from specific types of contracts (for goods, works or services) where the supplier poses an unacceptable risk.

We will lay before Parliament, within six months of Royal Assent, a timeline for the removal of any surveillance equipment provided by suppliers subject to the National Intelligence Law of China from sensitive sites. We will explicitly commit to remove the equipment from sites where the risk is most acute and ensure the Government can be held to account on its promises.

Taken together, these measures ensure both that current equipment will be removed and that there will be stringent security mechanisms applying to any future contracts.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which locations they believe to be 'sensitive sites' where surveillance cameras with links to the People’s Republic of China should not be located; how many such sites exist; and how many cameras are involved.

The Cabinet Office has been working closely with government departments to implement the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster’s Written Ministerial Statement of 24 November 2022. I can confirm that departments have ceased the deployment of visual surveillance equipment produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People's Republic of China onto sensitive sites.

The statement also asked departments to consider whether they should remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades. As the Parliamentary Secretary confirmed in the other place, the Government will set out the timeline for the removal of surveillance equipment supplied by companies subject to the national intelligence law of China from such sites within six months of the Procurement Bill receiving Royal Assent. The Cabinet Office has been working closely with Departments on this and I can confirm that good progress has already been made.

It is a longstanding Government policy that specific security arrangements regarding the Government estate, including any lists of sensitive sites and their locations, are withheld on security grounds. Security teams within government departments are responsible for identifying which of their locations are defined as sensitive against a common set of criteria.

Since the Written Ministerial Statement, we have also been working at pace to prepare for the implementation of the Procurement Bill, when it finishes its Parliamentary steps. Our efforts have focused on the setting up of the new National Security Unit for Procurement, which will administer the new national security debarment and exclusion powers that the Bill will provide.


The measures we have already taken on surveillance technology demonstrate that we will always put national security first and we will continue to keep risks such as this under close review. We will respond to the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s letter on public space surveillance in due course. The Cabinet Office continues to monitor Government policy in this area, and is currently engaging with the Commissioner on this topic.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government (1) what assessment they have made of the conclusion of Professor Fraser Sampson that "the need for a review [of surveillance cameras] is supported by the evidenced risks”, and (2) whether the Paymaster General will respond positively to the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s request for a meeting; and whether such a meeting can be held before the Procurement Bill is given further consideration in the House of Lords.

The Cabinet Office has been working closely with government departments to implement the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster’s Written Ministerial Statement of 24 November 2022. I can confirm that departments have ceased the deployment of visual surveillance equipment produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People's Republic of China onto sensitive sites.

The statement also asked departments to consider whether they should remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades. As the Parliamentary Secretary confirmed in the other place, the Government will set out the timeline for the removal of surveillance equipment supplied by companies subject to the national intelligence law of China from such sites within six months of the Procurement Bill receiving Royal Assent. The Cabinet Office has been working closely with Departments on this and I can confirm that good progress has already been made.

It is a longstanding Government policy that specific security arrangements regarding the Government estate, including any lists of sensitive sites and their locations, are withheld on security grounds. Security teams within government departments are responsible for identifying which of their locations are defined as sensitive against a common set of criteria.

Since the Written Ministerial Statement, we have also been working at pace to prepare for the implementation of the Procurement Bill, when it finishes its Parliamentary steps. Our efforts have focused on the setting up of the new National Security Unit for Procurement, which will administer the new national security debarment and exclusion powers that the Bill will provide.


The measures we have already taken on surveillance technology demonstrate that we will always put national security first and we will continue to keep risks such as this under close review. We will respond to the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s letter on public space surveillance in due course. The Cabinet Office continues to monitor Government policy in this area, and is currently engaging with the Commissioner on this topic.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by the then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 24 November 2022 (HCWS386), how they plan to implement the cessation of the deployment of visual surveillance equipment produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China onto sensitive sites.

The Cabinet Office has been working closely with government departments to implement the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster’s Written Ministerial Statement of 24 November 2022. I can confirm that departments have ceased the deployment of visual surveillance equipment produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People's Republic of China onto sensitive sites.

The statement also asked departments to consider whether they should remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades. As the Parliamentary Secretary confirmed in the other place, the Government will set out the timeline for the removal of surveillance equipment supplied by companies subject to the national intelligence law of China from such sites within six months of the Procurement Bill receiving Royal Assent. The Cabinet Office has been working closely with Departments on this and I can confirm that good progress has already been made.

It is a longstanding Government policy that specific security arrangements regarding the Government estate, including any lists of sensitive sites and their locations, are withheld on security grounds. Security teams within government departments are responsible for identifying which of their locations are defined as sensitive against a common set of criteria.

Since the Written Ministerial Statement, we have also been working at pace to prepare for the implementation of the Procurement Bill, when it finishes its Parliamentary steps. Our efforts have focused on the setting up of the new National Security Unit for Procurement, which will administer the new national security debarment and exclusion powers that the Bill will provide.


The measures we have already taken on surveillance technology demonstrate that we will always put national security first and we will continue to keep risks such as this under close review. We will respond to the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s letter on public space surveillance in due course. The Cabinet Office continues to monitor Government policy in this area, and is currently engaging with the Commissioner on this topic.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their response to the call from Professor Fraser Sampson, Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, for a review of public space surveillance.

The Cabinet Office has been working closely with government departments to implement the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster’s Written Ministerial Statement of 24 November 2022. I can confirm that departments have ceased the deployment of visual surveillance equipment produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People's Republic of China onto sensitive sites.

The statement also asked departments to consider whether they should remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades. As the Parliamentary Secretary confirmed in the other place, the Government will set out the timeline for the removal of surveillance equipment supplied by companies subject to the national intelligence law of China from such sites within six months of the Procurement Bill receiving Royal Assent. The Cabinet Office has been working closely with Departments on this and I can confirm that good progress has already been made.

It is a longstanding Government policy that specific security arrangements regarding the Government estate, including any lists of sensitive sites and their locations, are withheld on security grounds. Security teams within government departments are responsible for identifying which of their locations are defined as sensitive against a common set of criteria.

Since the Written Ministerial Statement, we have also been working at pace to prepare for the implementation of the Procurement Bill, when it finishes its Parliamentary steps. Our efforts have focused on the setting up of the new National Security Unit for Procurement, which will administer the new national security debarment and exclusion powers that the Bill will provide.


The measures we have already taken on surveillance technology demonstrate that we will always put national security first and we will continue to keep risks such as this under close review. We will respond to the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s letter on public space surveillance in due course. The Cabinet Office continues to monitor Government policy in this area, and is currently engaging with the Commissioner on this topic.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will respond to the letter from Professor Fraser Sampson, Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, to the Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office, concerning the ethical and security issues raised by surveillance camera technology.

The Cabinet Office has been working closely with government departments to implement the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster’s Written Ministerial Statement of 24 November 2022. I can confirm that departments have ceased the deployment of visual surveillance equipment produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People's Republic of China onto sensitive sites.

The statement also asked departments to consider whether they should remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades. As the Parliamentary Secretary confirmed in the other place, the Government will set out the timeline for the removal of surveillance equipment supplied by companies subject to the national intelligence law of China from such sites within six months of the Procurement Bill receiving Royal Assent. The Cabinet Office has been working closely with Departments on this and I can confirm that good progress has already been made.

It is a longstanding Government policy that specific security arrangements regarding the Government estate, including any lists of sensitive sites and their locations, are withheld on security grounds. Security teams within government departments are responsible for identifying which of their locations are defined as sensitive against a common set of criteria.

Since the Written Ministerial Statement, we have also been working at pace to prepare for the implementation of the Procurement Bill, when it finishes its Parliamentary steps. Our efforts have focused on the setting up of the new National Security Unit for Procurement, which will administer the new national security debarment and exclusion powers that the Bill will provide.


The measures we have already taken on surveillance technology demonstrate that we will always put national security first and we will continue to keep risks such as this under close review. We will respond to the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s letter on public space surveillance in due course. The Cabinet Office continues to monitor Government policy in this area, and is currently engaging with the Commissioner on this topic.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether Hikvision Cameras within the UK contain ‘ethnicity alerts’ algorithms that have been used to (1) target, and (2) detain, Uyghur Muslims in China.

The UK has serious concerns regarding the Chinese State’s use of technologies in ways that violate human rights and harm individuals and societies, including China’s use of high tech surveillance to disproportionately target Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang. We are aware of a number of Chinese technology companies reportedly linked to violations taking place in Xinjiang, and are monitoring the situation closely. However, we are unable to comment on specific security arrangements or procedures.

We will always put national security first, and we have a range of measures in place to scrutinise the integrity of our arrangements. On 24 November 2022, the Government announced that Departments should cease deployment of visual surveillance systems produced by companies subject to China’s National Intelligence Law onto sensitive sites. In June 2023, we committed to publishing a timeline for the removal of this equipment.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether Hikvision cameras in the UK contain any software to track ethnoreligious individuals targeted by the Chinese State.

The UK has serious concerns regarding the Chinese State’s use of technologies in ways that violate human rights and harm individuals and societies, including China’s use of high tech surveillance to disproportionately target Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang. We are aware of a number of Chinese technology companies reportedly linked to violations taking place in Xinjiang, and are monitoring the situation closely. However, we are unable to comment on specific security arrangements or procedures.

We will always put national security first, and we have a range of measures in place to scrutinise the integrity of our arrangements. On 24 November 2022, the Government announced that Departments should cease deployment of visual surveillance systems produced by companies subject to China’s National Intelligence Law onto sensitive sites. In June 2023, we committed to publishing a timeline for the removal of this equipment.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether all Hikvision camera-operated government departments have been updated to fix a known ‘backdoor’ hacking vulnerability identified by BBC Panorama, published on 26 June.

The government keeps the risk associated with technologies such as visual surveillance equipment under close review. The installation of firmware updates to address known vulnerabilities forms part of routine departmental security procedures.

In December 2022, the Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster laid a Written Statement before Parliament which instructed government departments to cease deployment of such equipment onto sensitive sites, where it is produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China. The WMS advised that no such equipment should be connected to departmental core networks and that they should consider whether they should remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why they proposed an amendment to the Procurement Bill to delete the requirement for a timetable to be set for the removal of Chinese-made security cameras with potential links to slave labour and with implications for national security.

The Procurement Bill contains a robust and comprehensive framework of exclusion grounds, including new grounds on both modern slavery and national security, together with groundbreaking provisions for a centralised debarment list. This is sufficient to ensure that suppliers and subcontractors which are involved in forced labour, or which pose an unacceptable security risk, are prevented from competing for public contracts.

Separately, following a review of security risks, the Government has instructed departments to cease deployment of surveillance equipment on sensitive sites, where it is produced by companies that are subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China. Implementation of this instruction is already underway.

We will continue to keep the situation under review, and are ready to take further steps if necessary.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their timetable for the removal of Hikvision cameras from all buildings in public ownership in the UK.

On 24 November 2022, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster laid a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) instructing departments to cease deployment of surveillance equipment on sensitive sites on the government estate, where such equipment is produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China. Departments have been advised to consider whether there are sites outside the definition of sensitive sites to which they would wish to extend the same risk mitigation.


Wider public bodies generally operate with some independence from central government and are free to make their own choices around purchasing and contracting. We encourage all organisations to follow NCSC supply chain security guidance when selecting a technology supplier. This guidance clearly sets the security standards that suppliers should meet and the considerations that organisations should be making during the procurement process.


Specific details regarding the use of security systems by government departments are withheld on national security grounds. This has been the case under successive administrations. Government keeps the security of our personnel, information, assets, and estate under constant review.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the letter from Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 9 November regarding the hospital being built in Hangzhou, China, by the International Hospital Group, whether it will include organ transplantation facilities.

The hospital being built in Hangzhou, China, referred to in Baroness Neville-Rolfe’s correspondence of 9 November, has neither the relevant licences nor capability to perform organ transplants of any kind, and there are no plans to apply for such licences.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Cabinet Office will offer written guidance on the use of Chinese-made cameras in government departments; and whether they intend to include provisions in the Procurement Bill to prevent the purchase of (1) equipment, or (2) commodities, linked to states accused of (a) genocide, or (b) slave labour.

As has been the case under successive administrations, it is not government policy to comment on the security arrangements of government buildings. Specific details regarding the make and model of security systems are withheld on national security grounds

The Procurement Bill will strengthen the approach to excluding suppliers from bidding for public contracts where there is clear evidence of their involvement in forced labour or other Modern Slavery practices. We are also taking action in the Bill to clarify that any serious breach of ethical standards applicable to a supplier can be considered to be professional misconduct, which may lead to exclusion.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
12th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the decision by the Department of Health and Social Care to remove (1) Hikvision, and (2) Dahua, technology cameras from their premises, what plans other government departments have, if any, to also remove those cameras from their premises.

As has been the case under successive administrations, it is not government policy to comment on the security arrangements of government buildings. Specific details regarding the make and model of security systems are withheld on national security grounds.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
28th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 22 February (HL6066), when the draft Public Procurement Bill will be published; and when they expect it to be introduced in the House of Lords.

The Government will bring forward legislation to reform public procurement when parliamentary time allows. Further details of what will be included in the proposed bill can be found in our Green Paper Consultation Response, 'Transforming Public Procurement: Government response to consultation', published in December 2021.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
24th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many surveillance technology cameras in government departments have facial recognition software; and whether they have made any assessment of the cost of removing Hikivision and other Chinese-made surveillance technology cameras from government buildings.

As has been the case under successive administrations, it is not government policy to comment on the security arrangements of government buildings. Specific details regarding the capability and use of security systems by government departments are withheld on national security grounds.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the national security implications of government departments using Chinese-made surveillance cameras and technology; and what assessment they have made of the use of such cameras by (1) local councils, (2) schools, and (3) NHS trusts.

As has been the case under successive administrations, it is not government policy to comment on the security arrangements of government buildings. Specific details regarding the use of security systems by public bodies are withheld on national security grounds.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
17th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of government advisors who have links to, or investments in, Chinese companies; and how many Chinese companies have representatives participating in trade or business advisory groups convened by Her Majesty's Government.

Ministers and officials meet with a wide range of stakeholders in the course of normal business. Details of all official meetings by ministers are published on the government website.

Where ministers appoint specific advisers or members of an advisory group, any relevant outside interests should be declared and considered before appointments are made.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
12th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to respond to the letter relating to skeleton bills and skeleton provision sent to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Leader of the House of Commons by the Chairs of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, the Constitution Committee and the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee on 25 September.

I can confirm to the noble Lord that a response to this letter was sent from the Leader of the House of Commons on 20 October 2020.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Adelina Comas-Herrera and Jose-Luis Fernandez at the London School of Economics England: Estimates of mortality of care home residents linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, published on 12 May, which found that “data on deaths in care homes directly attributed to COVID- 19 underestimate the impact of the pandemic on care home residents” and that such data accounted for “an estimate 41.6 per cent of all excess deaths in care homes”; what assessment they have made of the accuracy of the data provided by the Office for National Statistics that 8,314 people had died from COVID-19 in care homes from 13 March to 8 May; what were the causes of the additional 10,000 recorded deaths in care homes during that period between 13 March and 1 May as set out in the report; and whether the total number of deaths over that period represents 18,000 more than the average estimate in previous years.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Dear Lord Alton,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what assessment has been made of the report by Adelina Comas-Herrera and Jose-Luis Fernandez at the London School of Economics England: Estimates of mortality of care home residents linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, published on 12 May, which found that data on deaths in care homes directly attributed to COVID-19 underestimate the impact of the pandemic on care home residents, and that such data accounted for an estimated 41.6 per cent of all excess deaths in care homes; what assessment they have made of the accuracy of the data provided by the Office for National Statistics that 8,314 people had died from COVID-19 in care homes from 13 March to 8 May; what were the causes of the additional 10,000 recorded deaths in care homes during that period between 13 March and 1 May as set out in the report; and whether the total number of deaths over that period represents 18,000 more than the average estimate in previous years (HL4465).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing mortality statistics for deaths registered in England and Wales. The most recent year for which mortality statistics are available is 2018[1]. However, we do publish provisional statistics for weekly deaths registrations, which are currently published for deaths registered up to 8 May 2020[2]. National Records Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for publishing the number of deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.

Cause of death is defined using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th edition (ICD-10). Deaths involving COVID-19 are identified by the ICD-10 codes U07.1 and U07.2.

We are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Public Health England (PHE) to better understand deaths that are occurring in care homes. From 28 April 2020, we have published counts of deaths reported by care home operators to the CQC involving COVID-19, in our provisional statistics for weekly death registrations release. We have also provided information about the different data sources in our comparison article[3] that was last updated on 19 May 2020.

The weekly mortality statistics published for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all designated as National Statistics, meaning they meet the Code of Practice for official statistics requirements of trust, quality and value. The most up-to-date figures for the number of registered deaths in care homes in England and Wales involving COVID-19 are contained in the ONS weekly deaths bulletin[4] and accompanying dataset[5] published on 19 May 2020. The year-to-date analysis in this report showed there were 9,980 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes up to the week ending 8 May 2020 (these figures represent provisional numbers for deaths where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate). The analysis also showed there were 21,753 excess deaths that occurred in care homes up to the week ending 8 May 2020 as compared to the previous five-year average over the same period.

On 15 May 2020, we published further analysis of deaths involving COVID-19 in the care sector in England and Wales[6]. This report provides breakdowns of deaths involving COVID-19 in the care sector, by: characteristics of the deceased; place of death; geographical location; leading cause of death; and, pre-existing conditions. Included are figures on the number of deaths of recipients of domiciliary care, derived from data provided by the Care Quality Commission.

The analysis in this report found that since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (between the period 2 March and 1 May 2020, registered up to the 9 May 2020):

  • there were 45,899 deaths of care home residents (wherever the death occurred); of these 12,526 involved COVID-19, which is 27.3% of all deaths of care home residents.
  • COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in male care home residents, accounting for 30.3% deaths, and the second leading cause of death in female care home residents, after Dementia and Alzheimer disease, accounting for 23.5% of deaths.
  • Dementia and Alzheimer disease was the most common main pre-existing condition found among deaths involving COVID-19 and was involved in 42.5% of all deaths of care home residents involving COVID-19.

No specific assessment has yet been made of the estimates presented in the preprint article by Adelina Comas-Herrera and Jose-Luis Fernandez released on 12 May 2020. The ONS is publishing a report on the increase in non-COVID-19 deaths observed in weekly deaths statistics, with a provisional publication date of 29 May. This is mentioned in the ONS’s statement of upcoming analysis on deaths and coronavirus (COVID-19)[7]. The report will analyse how the number of non-COVID-19 deaths occurring in different places of death (including care homes), for different age groups and for different causes of death differ from previous years’ data and will suggest how these findings correspond with possible reasons for the increase.

Yours sincerely

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsregisteredinenglandandwalesseriesdrreferencetables

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending8may2020

[3]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/causesofdeath/articles/comparisonofweeklydeathoccurrencesinenglandandwales/latest

[4]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending8may2020

[5]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/weeklyprovisionalfiguresondeathsregisteredinenglandandwales

[6]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/deathsinvolvingcovid19inthecaresectorenglandandwales/deathsoccurringupto1may2020andregisteredupto9may2020provisional

[7]https://www.ons.gov.uk/news/statementsandletters/statementofupcominganalysisondeathsandcoronaviruscovid19

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to adapt the process under section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 for when third-party states accede to plurilateral trade agreements after UK implementing legislation has been passed.

The Government currently has no plans to make changes to the process under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (CRAG). Where a third-party state’s accession to a plurilateral trade agreement would require the UK to ratify a treaty in accordance with terms of CRAG, that process will apply.

It is Government policy that ratification of an agreement should only take place once necessary domestic legislation is in place.

As the Government pursues its ambitious trade agenda, we will continue to ensure arrangements remain fit for purpose.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
13th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with reference to the most recent visit by Lord Johnson of Lainston to the People’s Republic of China, who he met; what he discussed; what response he received to any representations he may have made on the government of China's treatment of the Uyghur minority, threats to Taiwan, and imprisonment of pro-democracy advocates and lawmakers in Hong Kong, including the British citizen Jimmy Lai.

In China, I met businesses and investors. Whilst attending the China International Fair for Trade in Services, I was briefly introduced to the Minister of Commerce and the Party Secretary of Beijing. I expressed support for our trade and investment relationship, where it is consistent with our values and national security.

On 30 August, The Foreign Secretary visited China meeting senior government figures. He emphasised the UK's position on the mass incarceration of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang, the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and raised rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, including the case of Jimmy Lai.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the export control criteria used by the UK Trade and Investment Office following reports that it approved a partnership between the University of Cambridge and a subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned military technology company that does an estimated 60 per cent of its business with the Chinese military, which reportedly involved the appointment of a former Chinese Communist Party politician to the university's partnership programme.

The Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) is responsible for licensing the export and transfer of controlled goods and technology, including where this occurs through academic collaboration. The ECJU has no record of having granted an export licence for the University of Cambridge with the Beijing Institute of Aerospace Control Devices.

HM Government is committed to maintaining a robust and transparent export control regime. The Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, introduced in 2021, continue to provide a thorough risk assessment framework for assessing all export licence applications, including those relating to academic collaboration.

If the ECJU were presented with credible evidence of a breach of export controls, we would take these allegations seriously. We will not support collaborations which compromise our national security.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what analysis they have made of any alleged atrocities in India as part of the process of agreeing a free trade agreement with India, for the purposes of giving effect to section 3 of the Trade Act 2021.

The Government has not made an analysis per the Lord's question, as no responsible House of Commons or House of Lords committee has published a report concerning India pursuant to section 3 of the Trade Act 2021.

The UK has engaged with India on a range of human rights matters, working with Union and State Governments, and with Non-Governmental Organisations, to build capacity and share expertise to promote human rights for all. This is undertaken on an ongoing basis and separately to the negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Johnson of Lainston on 18 May (HL 7382), whether Lord Johnson of Lainston raised any plans to end democratic elections for district councils with officials in Hong Kong; and whether they have made any assessment of whether any such plans are compliant with China’s obligations under the Sino–British Joint Declaration.

During his visit, Lord Johnson raised the deterioration of civil and political rights in Hong Kong, along with trade and investment matters.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is responsible for monitoring compliance with the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, including its application to democratic elections for district councils in Hong Kong. The detail of these issues does not fall within Lord Johnson’s portfolio.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether Lord Johnson of Lainston raised (1) democracy in Hong Kong, (2) the military intimidation of Taiwan, or (3) the situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, during his recent meetings to promote business ties with Hong Kong treasury minister, Christopher Hui.

The Integrated Review Refresh sets the direction across Government for a consistent, coherent, and robust approach to China, rooted in our national interest and values. That extends to our approach on Hong Kong.

The 'engage' strand of the United Kingdom's policy towards China involves maintaining channels of communication with China and Hong Kong. The ‘align’ strand involves standing with allies to push back against behaviours that undermine international law or violate human rights. My meeting with the Hong Kong Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury provided the opportunity to raise several significant issues, including democracy concerns.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the ecological damage caused by the war in Ukraine, and (2) how that damage contributes to the global ecological crisis; and how they are planning to address this at the upcoming COP 28 in December.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the noble Lord.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether their cost-benefit analyses of wind, solar, nuclear and tidal power take account of (1) the episodic nature of wind and solar power sources, and (2) the short service life of nuclear power facilities and their expensive hazardous waste; and whether their energy policy takes account of the capacity of tidal power stations to provide (a) a sea defence, and (b) a transport link, in addition to the generation of electricity.

Levelised Costs of Electricity for generation technologies are reported in the Generation Costs Report. They compare the lifetime costs for a plant (construction, operating, and decommissioning costs) against the plant's expected lifetime generation. They do not consider site specific benefits or costs.

In 2010, the Government published a review of tidal barrages or lagoons in the Severn Estuary; this considered flood defence and transport links. It concluded there was no strategic case for a publicly funded Severn tidal range project. The Government remains open to considering well-developed proposals for tidal range projects in the bays and estuaries around our coastlines.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) proposals for constructing a tidal barrage between Cardiff and Weston-super-Mare, and (2) the number of people living further up the estuary who would be protected from sea flooding.

The Government undertook a detailed review onto the strategic value of a tidal barrage in the Severn which reported in 2010. Due to the significant costs, environmental and economic impacts, the study concluded that there was no strategic case for a publicly-funded Severn Tidal barrage.

The Government remains open to considering well-developed proposals for harnessing the tidal range energy around our coastlines.

The Government has included revised guidance on tidal energy in the energy National Policy Statements which have recently been published for consultation. To be granted planning consent, any project would need to ensure environmental impacts are sufficiently mitigated.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made any study of the tidal power stations at (1) Shashan in China, and (2) Rance in France, including a comparison of the life span and cost of decommissioning nuclear power stations; whether they are aware of any tidal barrage scheme being decommissioned; and how they assess the longevity of tidal power by comparison to other energy sources.

The Government has not undertaken any specific studies of the Shashan and Rance tidal power stations nor has it commissioned an assessment to compare the life span and costs of decommissioning for tidal and nuclear power stations.

Any proposed tidal range schemes would need to demonstrate strong evidence of value for money in the context of other low-carbon technologies inclusive of life span and costs of decommissioning, as well as details of their associated energy system benefits and environmental impact mitigation strategies before the Government could take a view on their potential or on the funding models appropriate for exploration.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UK's tidal power prospects; and whether they have plans to meet Dr Robert Kirby, former Senior Visiting Fellow at the National Oceanography Centre, to discuss what contribution tidal barrages could make to the UK's energy security and net-zero goals.

The Government undertook a detailed review of the strategic value of a tidal barrage in the Severn – The Severn Tidal Power study – which reported in 2010. Due to the significant costs, environmental and economic impacts, the study concluded that there was no strategic case for a publicly-funded Severn Tidal barrage.

The Government remains open to considering well-developed proposals for harnessing tidal range energy, including barrage schemes and other alternatives.

Dr Kirkby may wish to write to my office and set out the issues he would like to explore in discussion.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the finding in the Civitas report, The Strategic Dependence of UK Universities on China – and where should they turn next?, that Huawei Technologies and its subsidiaries are the single largest source of Chinese funding to British universities since 2017.

The UK government’s approach to China is rooted in the UK national interest. We will not accept collaborations which compromise our national security. We have taken steps to significantly strengthen the UK’s protections from overseas interference in our higher education and research sector, including through our Trusted Research Campaign and the direct support offered by the Research Collaboration Advice Team. The updated International Education Strategy also advises Universities to ensure they have appropriate processes in place to manage risks associated with dependence on a single source of funding. As part of the Integrated Review Refresh, we are conducting a detailed review of the measures designed to support our academic sector to keep their research secure.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what support, guidance or advice they provide to universities to ensure that universities are not reliant on funding from hostile regimes.

The UK government’s approach to China is rooted in the UK national interest. We will not accept collaborations which compromise our national security. We have taken steps to significantly strengthen the UK’s protections from overseas interference in our higher education and research sector, including through our Trusted Research Campaign and the direct support offered by the Research Collaboration Advice Team. The updated International Education Strategy also advises Universities to ensure they have appropriate processes in place to manage risks associated with dependence on a single source of funding. As part of the Integrated Review Refresh, we are conducting a detailed review of the measures designed to support our academic sector to keep their research secure.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Civitas report, Strategic Dependence of UK Universities on China – and where should they turn next?, which suggests that up to one-third of Chinese funding to UK universities comes from sources linked to the Chinese military or banned by the United States; and what plans they have to investigate those links and to address the situation.

The UK government’s approach to China is rooted in the UK national interest. We will not accept collaborations which compromise our national security. We have taken steps to significantly strengthen the UK’s protections from overseas interference in our higher education and research sector, including through our Trusted Research Campaign and the direct support offered by the Research Collaboration Advice Team. The updated International Education Strategy also advises Universities to ensure they have appropriate processes in place to manage risks associated with dependence on a single source of funding. As part of the Integrated Review Refresh, we are conducting a detailed review of the measures designed to support our academic sector to keep their research secure.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the partnership between the University of Cambridge and a subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned military technology company which has sold the CH-4 drone to the Myanmar military junta.

The Government is clear that universities must operate within the law, and is committed to supporting UK research institutions to engage with Chinese companies in a way that reflects the UK’s values and takes account of national security concerns.  As part of our proactive engagement with academia, the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology provides the Research Collaboration Advice Team (RCAT) to give advice to all universities, including the University of Cambridge, on national security risks in international collaborations. RCAT promotes greater understanding about the UK’s security policies and regulations, and has provided tailored advice on many complex issues which have resulted in targeted mitigations of national security concerns.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the University of Cambridge about its links with a Chinese state-owned military technology firm whose parent company produces missiles, weapons systems and drones.

The Government is clear that universities must operate within the law, and is committed to supporting UK research institutions to engage with Chinese companies in a way that reflects the UK’s values and takes account of national security concerns.  As part of our proactive engagement with academia, the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology provides the Research Collaboration Advice Team (RCAT) to give advice to all universities, including the University of Cambridge, on national security risks in international collaborations. RCAT promotes greater understanding about the UK’s security policies and regulations, and has provided tailored advice on many complex issues which have resulted in targeted mitigations of national security concerns.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Minister of State, Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (HC Deb col 121WH) where he stated that Genomics England “was suffering several hack attacks from BGI each week”, what steps they are taking, if any, against that company; and what steps they will take to scrutinise other Chinese genomic companies.

There is no recorded evidence of BGI attempting to hack Genomics England in 2014, and the Minister has amended the Hansard record accordingly. However, like most organisations they do receive regular attempts to access their systems, for which there are appropriate defences in place and no successful breaches have occurred.

Our current protocols allow Genomics England, UK Biobank and NIHR BioResource to consider national security in decision making about partnerships with companies overseas. These organisations have consulted with security personnel in the past to ensure partnerships are aligned with our national security interests.

As part of the new UK Biological Security Strategy, the Government is undertaking a full programme of work to assess how we can minimise the risks from biological data to protect our burgeoning bioeconomy, shape global norms and standards, without stifling innovation, and build confidence in sharing personal data to improve health outcomes in the UK and across the world.

We will conduct this work in conjunction with our partners at home, including Genomics England, the NHS and UK Biobank, and with our partners and allies around the world. The new UK Biological Security Strategy, to be published in the coming months, is part of the wider strategic direction of the Integrated Review, under which we are reviewing our policies on export controls and addressing potential vendors of concern across the economy.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports in The Times on 23 January that more than 40 British universities “have links to Uyghur Genocide, weapons development, espionage, defence research and hacking”; what estimate they have made of the total annual revenue such collaboration generates; and what steps they are taking to deter universities from partnerships with bodies linked to authoritarian states.

The Government is aware of the reports in the Times on 23 January concerning British university collaborations with China. British universities are independent of Government and they have no obligation to report their revenues as they arise from overseas collaborations.

The Government provides direct support to universities through the Research Collaboration Advice Team, a collaboration set up to help academia manage risks in international collaboration, embed good practice and to ensure that they understand the legislative and regulatory measures that apply. These measures are kept under review and will be strengthened where necessary.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to end unfair purchasing practices in fashion, including the exploitation of suppliers and their workers by brands selling into the UK market; and what consideration they have given to introducing (1) a fashion watchdog, and (2) a fashion supply code adjudicator, for this industry.

Since October 2020, a wide group of stakeholders comprising retailers, manufacturers and non-profit organisations have been working with the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) under the Apparel and General Merchandise Public Private Protocol to address poor working, pay, and purchasing practices in the UK supply chain.

In response to the single enforcement body consultation published last year, the government reaffirmed its commitment to continue engaging with the enforcement bodies and industry partners to strengthen our understanding of the garment trade. We will continue to review this issue and consider options to drive up standards across the sector.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
12th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current status of the bid by a Chinese owned company to purchase Newport Wafer Fab; how many UK businesses in the semi-conductor supply chain are owned by companies based outside the UK; and what assessment they have made of (1) the value of Newport Wafer Fab’s intellectual property, and (2) the sensitivity of any defence contracts it holds.

On 5 July 2021, Nexperia announced on its website that it had completed a transaction to acquire 100% of Newport Wafer Fab.

The Government recognises the importance of semiconductor technology to key UK industries, and the wider digital ecosystem. Supply chains for semiconductors are extremely complex, spanning a large number of countries.

The Government is not able to comment on a company’s commercially sensitive information, nor can the Government comment on the detail businesses’ commercial transactions or on national security assessments.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much oil and gas was imported from Cameroon to the UK in (1) 2020, and (2) 2021.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. I will correspond directly with the noble Lord.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of national security interests in permitting the sale of Newport Wafer Fab to Nexperia, a Chinese-owned company.

The Government is considering the case and no decisions have been made. The Government is unable to comment on the details of businesses’ commercial transactions or on national security assessments.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the UK's Five Eyes allies about strategic and security matters prompted by the sale of Newport Wafer Fab to Nexperia, a Chinese-owned company; and if they have had no such discussions, why not.

The Government is unable to comment on the detail of national security assessments or on strategic or security conversations with allies.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the remarks by their advisor to the Board of Trade, Tony Abbott, that the sale of Newport Wafer Fab "would not go ahead were it happening in Australia"; and what discussions they have had with him about those remarks.

The Government does not comment on the detail of national security assessments.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the takeover of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia, a Chinese owned company, whether the semiconductor plant is the largest in the UK; and what assessment they have made of the supply need for semiconductors in the UK.

Newport Wafer Fab is one of the largest semiconductor plants in the UK. The Government is aware of the vital role of the semiconductor sector in the global economy and remains committed to ensuring the UK sector continues to play an important role in an international ecosystem.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they have not used their powers under under the National Security and Investment Act 2021 to review the takeover of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia, a Chinese-owned company.

The Government is considering the case. The UK Government has powers to intervene where there is a risk to national security under the National Security and Investment Act 2021, which commenced on 4 January 2022.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 30 March (HL7007), whether they will bring forward proposals to require the specification of the country of origin or manufacture of all goods sold to consumers online.

As noted in my previous reply, the Government have no plans to introduce such a requirement on behalf of consumers.

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) apply across all business sectors. They prohibit all traders from engaging in unfair commercial practices in connection with the promotion, sale and supply of products to consumers.

Under the CPRs, traders are required to provide consumers with the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions. The regulations prohibit commercial practices which omit or hide material information which the average consumer needs, according to the context, to make an informed choice, where such an omission causes or is likely to cause them to make a different choice (e.g. purchase goods or a service that would not otherwise have been purchased).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, as part of their strategy for the diversification of energy supply, they will re-examine proposals for the construction of a Mersey barrage to generate tidal power.

The Government remains open to well-developed proposals for harnessing tidal range energy, provided that such proposals can demonstrate energy system benefits, plausible environmental impact mitigation strategies, and value for money.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Global Witness in its article TotalEnergies ships Russian crude on Russian tanker, despite chief exec promise, published on 23 March, that TotalEnergies has continued to transport oil from Russia to the UK and Europe, despite its CEO’s commitment not to take oil from Russia; and what, if any, steps they intend to take as a result.

My Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister announced the Oil Taskforce on the 8th of March 2022. This is a joint government and industry group which will facilitate engagement and cooperation during the transition away from Russian oil and oil-related products by the end of 2022.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Global Witness in its article European and US energy companies are responsible for nearly USD 100 billion to Putin’s war chest since Crimea invasion, published on 25 March, that energy companies including BP, Shell and Exxon have paid an estimated $100 billion to Russia since the 2014 Crimea invasion.

The Government does not seek to assess the commercial activities of companies carried out within the terms of the law.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 15 March (HL6519), why no minute was kept of the meeting between a Minister and the China General Nuclear Power Group.

The meeting was declared as per standard government processes and was attended by officials alongside the Minister. Relevant officials were also made aware of developments following the meeting.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to require internet retailers to declare countries of origin of items to purchasers in advance of their sale.

Aside from certain specified products such as food there is no requirement for goods to be labelled with their country of origin.

Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs), traders are banned from using misleading statements about the geographical or commercial origin of products including in response to requests for information by consumers.

As with other elements of goods, the Government encourages consumers who are interested in a particular property of goods, including their origin, to ask the seller. If they are not happy with the reply, then they can shop elsewhere. If they suspect that the reply is not truthful, then they can take the matter up with their local authority Trading Standards Officers who enforce the CPRs.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was discussed at the meeting on 20 July 2021 between the China General Nuclear Power Group and the then Minister of State (Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change) at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Government can confirm that a meeting between China General Nuclear (CGN) and the then Minister of State took place on 20 July 2021. The Department does not hold minutes for this meeting as set out in your request.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Callanan on 6 December (HL Deb, cols 1634–35), whether the purchase of Newport Wafer Fab will be considered under the terms of the National Security and Investment Act 2021 when it comes into force on 1 January 2022.

The Government is still considering the case. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and will not hesitate to take further action if needed.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce kite marking to products, indicating their origins, when (1) manufactured by slave labour in Xinjiang, or (2) believed to have been produced as part of a supply chain originating in Xinjiang, and exported to the UK.

Since leaving the EU, we have introduced the new UKCA marking to indicate that products comply with UK product regulations and are fit to be placed on the market in Great Britain. It is mandatory for most products currently covered by the ‘CE marking’ from 1 January 2023. The kitemarking is different to this and is owned and operated by the British Standards Institution.

On 12 January 2021, the UK Government announced a series of robust measures in respect of UK supply chains to help ensure that no British organisations – government or private sector, deliberately or inadvertently – are profiting from or contributing to human rights violations against the Uyghurs or other minorities in Xinjiang. The measures announced include a review of export controls as they apply to Xinjiang, the introduction of financial penalties for organisations that fail to comply with their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act, increasing support for UK government bodies to exclude suppliers complicit in violations, and new, robust guidance to UK businesses on the specific risks faced by companies with links to the region. We will keep our policy response under close review.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply of Lord Callanan on 6 December (HL Deb, col 1635), whether the purchase of Newport Wafer Fab has been referred to the Competition and Merger Authority; and if so, what was the outcome.

My Rt. Hon Friend the Secretary of State has powers under the Enterprise Act 2002 to intervene in mergers and takeovers on specified public interest grounds, including national security. Such an intervention would involve an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the partnership between the University of Liverpool's Department of Computer Science and the Chinese company NeuSoft; and whether any research projects involving NeuSoft have received funding from UK Research and Innovation in the last five years.

The Government supports decisions on international research collaborations through the Trusted Research campaign. Additionally, BEIS is establishing a Research Collaboration Advice Team which will work directly with institutions to help embed best practice.

Research partnerships must remain within the limits of the law and the government reserves the right to intervene where they are not in the national interest or breach domestic or international law.

UKRI has not directly funded any research projects involving Neusoft in the past 5 years.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of findings of research connections between Chinese organisations responsible for committing genocide against the Uyghur people and UK universities; and what steps they are taking to address such findings.

The UK’s research sector is independent, and free to make decisions on research collaborations within the limits of the law. Her Majesty’s Government supports the sector to make informed decisions on international research collaboration through published advice and is currently recruiting a team of field advisors to work directly with institutions.

We continue to work closely with the sector to provide advice, promote best practice, and to respond to specific inquiries. While we encourage international collaboration, we do not support research work that enables abuses of human rights.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the granting of UK Research and Innovation money to an academic at the University of Birmingham researching the impact of UK parliamentarians' remarks on international relations with China.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds research across a range of social disciplines including the economic, political and social sciences.

The Government is bound by the Haldane principle in the 2017 Higher Education and Research Act which says that: “decisions on individual research proposals are best taken following an evaluation of the quality and likely impact of the proposals (such as a peer review process).” The Government stands by the Haldane Principle and recognises that decisions about individual projects are best left to experts in the field. As such, Government does not have a role in deciding the awarding of grants to specific research activities.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 2 November (HL3659), whether they can provide a breakdown of the 60 titles within Greater London where the registered owner is the People's Republic of China; and if so, in which London borough each is located.

HM Land Registry is unable to provide this information.

Further details about the information that HM Land Registry holds, what is publicly available, and how it can be obtained, is set out online via the GOV.UK website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many enterprises owned by the government of China (1) have contracts with Her Majesty's Government, and (2) are in receipt of UK research grants.

The Government does not make research grant awards to enterprises owned by foreign governments. UKRI takes independent decisions on the distribution of research grants between eligible UK higher education institutions and research establishments, which may themselves collaborate with international partners.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the acquisition of semiconductor manufacturer Newport Wafer Fab (NWF), by a Chinese company, in particular in the light of (1) the previous funding of the company by Her Majesty’s Government to undertake defence research, and (2) the efforts by the government of the United States of America to limit the role of Chinese companies in national technological infrastructure.

As my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister said at the Liaison Committee on 7 July 2021, the National Security Adviser is reviewing the case. It would be inappropriate to comment until the review has concluded.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 2 November (HL3262), what details they can provide regarding the 60 titles within the Greater London boundary where the registered owner is the People's Republic of China.

HM Land Registry holds information on registered titles in England and Wales. The type of information available includes the title register which records who owns the property or land and any rights of way, the title number which is the unique number given to a property or piece of land, and the title plan which shows the property or land’s location and boundaries.

Further details about the information that HM Land Registry holds, and how publicly available information can be obtained is set out online via the GOV.UK website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the amount of property owned in London by (1) the government of China, and (2) officials in the government of Hong Kong.

HM Land Registry registers legal ownership, interests, mortgages and other secured loans against land and property in England and Wales.

The Register of Title does not record the nationality or employment status of individual title owners of land or property.

The Register of Title records information where a non-UK Government is the registered owner, and the People’s Republic of China is the registered owner of 60 titles in the Greater London boundary.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the takeover of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia; and whether they used the powers granted by the National Security and Investment Act 2021 in relation to this takeover.

The Government has considered this transaction thoroughly. We do not comment on the detail of commercial transactions or of national security assessments. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and will not hesitate to take action if needed.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusion in the report by King's College London and the Harvard Kennedy School The China question: managing risks and maximising benefits from partnership in higher education and research, published on 9 March, that "the UK’s dependence on a neototalitarian technology power for the financial health and research output of its universities is now regarded as a particular point of vulnerability".

Universities are well aware of the possible risks associated with dependence on a single source of funding, whether that is from a single organisation or from a single nation. A diverse recruitment base is key to avoiding this. The Government’s International Education Strategy and recent update make clear that the internationalisation of our higher education sector cannot come at any cost – universities must ensure they have appropriate processes in place to manage risk. Government has recently issued guidance to the Office for Students, requesting they monitor the financial sustainability of institutions and continue to support the sector to recruit sustainably.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusions in the report by King's College London and the Harvard Kennedy School The China question: managing risks and maximising benefits from partnership in higher education and research, published on 9 March, that (1) China is projected to become the UK's most significant research partner, and (2) collaborations with China account for more than 20 per cent of the UK’s high-impact research in 20 subject areas.

Her Majesty’s Government recognises the enormous benefits from collaborating on scientific research with China. We cannot address global challenges, such as climate change, without their support and engagement. We will continue to support research collaboration with China where it is clearly in the national interest to do so.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusion in the report by King's College London and the Harvard Kennedy School The China question: managing risks and maximising benefits from partnership in higher education and research, published on 9 March, that an increase in funding from China and collaboration with Chinese researchers over the last two decades risks the autonomy of UK universities.

Her Majesty’s Government carefully considers advice and analysis from a range of sources, including universities and think tanks, and is grateful for the scholarship which my Noble Friend the Rt. Hon. the Lord Johnson of Marylebone has provided in this report. We will continue to support the sector to make informed decisions when engaging in international research and other collaboration.

Universities are well-aware of the possible risks associated with dependence on a single source of funding, whether that is from a single organisation or from a single nation. A diverse recruitment base is key to avoiding this. The Government’s International Education Strategy and recent update make clear that the internationalisation of our higher education sector cannot come at any cost – universities must ensure they have appropriate processes in place to manage risk.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusion in the report by King's College London and the Harvard Kennedy School The China question: managing risks and maximising benefits from partnership in higher education and research, published on 9 March, that the UK has “poorly understood” risks of increasing collaboration between UK universities and China.

International collaborations are central to our position as a science superpower and create wealth and jobs within the UK. We cooperate closely with universities, funding bodies and industry in protecting our higher education and research sector from interference. This includes publishing “Trusted Research” and commissioning Universities UK to release comprehensive guidelines to encourage secure partnerships and promote our values. We are pleased to see the university sector addressing these challenges and we will continue to work with the sector on implementing the guidelines, promoting best practice, and responding to specific enquiries. We also share experience and best practice with our friends and allies overseas.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what risk assessment they have conducted of students from China undertaking research in universities which are carrying out research connected with (1) critical infrastructure, and (2) national security, particularly in relation to (a) cyber technology, (b) artificial intelligence, (c) nuclear capability, (d) automation, (e) telecommunications and material sciences, and (f) weapons development; and what conclusions they have drawn.

Her Majesty’s Government welcomes all international students to UK universities, including those from China. We have taken robust measures to ensure that the university sector is protected from miss-appropriation of research relating to the areas listed. Measures include the Academic Technology Approval Scheme, which vets postgraduate students seeking to study proliferation sensitive courses, and outreach activity through the “Trusted Research” campaign. We continuously review measures that protect national security to ensure they remain effective.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusion in the report by King's College London and the Harvard Kennedy School The China question: managing risks and maximising benefits from partnership in higher education and research, published on 9 March, that the UK "urgently needs to put in place a robust framework for engaging China in research and higher education".

Her Majesty’s Government supports the sector to make informed decisions on international research collaboration and cooperates closely with universities, funding bodies and industry in protecting our higher education and research sector from interference. This is backed by a robust legal and regulatory framework including on exports, intellectual property and academic freedom and freedom of speech. We have strengthened protective measures and keep them under review. Trusted Research and the security guidelines commissioned by the Government and released by Universities UK are an important step to encourage secure partnerships and promote our values. We are pleased to see the university sector addressing these challenges and we will continue to work with the sector on implementing guidelines recommendations.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have had, or plan to have, consultations with individuals or organisations other than Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to the proposed acquisition of the Telegraph Media Group by RedBird IMI; and, if so, with which individuals or organisations.

On 26 January the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport issued a new Public Interest Intervention Notice in respect of the anticipated acquisition of Telegraph Media Group by RB Investco Ltd.

This follows Redbird IMI making changes to the corporate structure of the potential acquiring entities of the Telegraph Media Group. This created a new limited partnership which would hold all shares in RB Investco – the proposed purchaser of Telegraph Media Group. The Secretary of State has come to the conclusion that this corporate restructure creates a new relevant merger situation.

The Notice triggers a requirement for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to report to the Secretary of State on jurisdictional and competition matters, and for Ofcom to report on the specified media public interest considerations. Ofcom and the CMA have now both launched invitations for public comment, and will report to the Secretary of State on the issues specified in the Notice by 9.00 a.m. on 11 March 2024.

The Public Interest Intervention Notice issued on 30 November 2023 in regard to the acquisition of Telegraph Media Group Limited by RedBird IMI Media Joint Venture LLC remains in force. The deadline by when the Secretary of State expects to receive Ofcom and the CMA’s reports in relation to this Notice has also been extended to 9.00 a.m. on 11 March 2024 so as to align with the deadline for the reports she has requested in relation to the new Notice.

The Pre-emptive Action Order made on 1 December 2023 remains in force.

It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time given this is an ongoing regulatory intervention.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, what assessment they have made of the long-term effectiveness of behavioural remedies, such as the independent editorial trust board for proposed by RedBird IMI in the event of its acquisition of the Telegraph Media Group, and the ongoing ability of regulators and the government to oversee and ensure the effectiveness of those remedies.

On 26 January the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport issued a new Public Interest Intervention Notice in respect of the anticipated acquisition of Telegraph Media Group by RB Investco Ltd.

This follows Redbird IMI making changes to the corporate structure of the potential acquiring entities of the Telegraph Media Group. This created a new limited partnership which would hold all shares in RB Investco – the proposed purchaser of Telegraph Media Group. The Secretary of State has come to the conclusion that this corporate restructure creates a new relevant merger situation.

The Notice triggers a requirement for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to report to the Secretary of State on jurisdictional and competition matters, and for Ofcom to report on the specified media public interest considerations. Ofcom and the CMA have now both launched invitations for public comment, and will report to the Secretary of State on the issues specified in the Notice by 9.00 a.m. on 11 March 2024.

The Public Interest Intervention Notice issued on 30 November 2023 in regard to the acquisition of Telegraph Media Group Limited by RedBird IMI Media Joint Venture LLC remains in force. The deadline by when the Secretary of State expects to receive Ofcom and the CMA’s reports in relation to this Notice has also been extended to 9.00 a.m. on 11 March 2024 so as to align with the deadline for the reports she has requested in relation to the new Notice.

The Pre-emptive Action Order made on 1 December 2023 remains in force.

It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time given this is an ongoing regulatory intervention.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, with reference to the proposed acquisition of Telegraph Media Group (TMG) by RedBird IMI, what steps they will take to ensure the editorial independence of TMG, given recent reports in the Times about editorial interventions in CNN Business Arabic by International Media Investments, the primary investor in RedBird IMI, following its guarantees of editorial freedom.

On 26 January the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport issued a new Public Interest Intervention Notice in respect of the anticipated acquisition of Telegraph Media Group by RB Investco Ltd.

This follows Redbird IMI making changes to the corporate structure of the potential acquiring entities of the Telegraph Media Group. This created a new limited partnership which would hold all shares in RB Investco – the proposed purchaser of Telegraph Media Group. The Secretary of State has come to the conclusion that this corporate restructure creates a new relevant merger situation.

The Notice triggers a requirement for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to report to the Secretary of State on jurisdictional and competition matters, and for Ofcom to report on the specified media public interest considerations. Ofcom and the CMA have now both launched invitations for public comment, and will report to the Secretary of State on the issues specified in the Notice by 9.00 a.m. on 11 March 2024.

The Public Interest Intervention Notice issued on 30 November 2023 in regard to the acquisition of Telegraph Media Group Limited by RedBird IMI Media Joint Venture LLC remains in force. The deadline by when the Secretary of State expects to receive Ofcom and the CMA’s reports in relation to this Notice has also been extended to 9.00 a.m. on 11 March 2024 so as to align with the deadline for the reports she has requested in relation to the new Notice.

The Pre-emptive Action Order made on 1 December 2023 remains in force.

It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time given this is an ongoing regulatory intervention.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, following the letter from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to RedBird IMI, dated 22 November 2023, to reconsider the decision not to issue a Public Interest Intervention Notice in respect of Transaction 1 identified in that letter, given subsequent media reports that RedBird IMI will have control over any potential onward sale of Telegraph Media Group.

On 26 January the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport issued a new Public Interest Intervention Notice in respect of the anticipated acquisition of Telegraph Media Group by RB Investco Ltd.

This follows Redbird IMI making changes to the corporate structure of the potential acquiring entities of the Telegraph Media Group. This created a new limited partnership which would hold all shares in RB Investco – the proposed purchaser of Telegraph Media Group. The Secretary of State has come to the conclusion that this corporate restructure creates a new relevant merger situation.

The Notice triggers a requirement for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to report to the Secretary of State on jurisdictional and competition matters, and for Ofcom to report on the specified media public interest considerations. Ofcom and the CMA have now both launched invitations for public comment, and will report to the Secretary of State on the issues specified in the Notice by 9.00 a.m. on 11 March 2024.

The Public Interest Intervention Notice issued on 30 November 2023 in regard to the acquisition of Telegraph Media Group Limited by RedBird IMI Media Joint Venture LLC remains in force. The deadline by when the Secretary of State expects to receive Ofcom and the CMA’s reports in relation to this Notice has also been extended to 9.00 a.m. on 11 March 2024 so as to align with the deadline for the reports she has requested in relation to the new Notice.

The Pre-emptive Action Order made on 1 December 2023 remains in force.

It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time given this is an ongoing regulatory intervention.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
15th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they gave to the Written Statement by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 24 November 2022 (HLWS376) during the procurement of 38 new Hikvision CCTV cameras as part of security arrangements for His Majesty the King's Coronation.

The Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla was an historic and hugely important occasion, which brought hundreds of thousands of people out to the streets of London – and around the whole kingdom – to celebrate. To ensure that the event was safe and well-ordered, a number of services were sub-contracted, including the provision of additional CCTV where necessary. This was done to help manage crowds, ensuring the safety of the public along the Procession.

As is standard in commercial arrangements like this, HM Government was not asked to approve the use of specific cameras. These cameras were temporarily installed at street level along the route of the procession, and were removed immediately after the weekend of the Coronation. The cameras were not part of the security arrangements for the Coronation. The cameras were standalone CCTV cameras which were connected to a secure UK private event network which cannot be accessed or shared outside the country.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what impact the proposed takeover of Newport Wafer Fab will have on the UK's ambition in the Global Britain in a Competitive Age integrated review, published March 2021, for the UK to be a "digital and data hub" and transition to a "zero-carbon economy"; whether this will require the UK's semi-conductor supply chain to be secured; and what is the basis for their belief that the government of China has stated its aim to buy the UK's (1) semi-conductor capabilities, and (2) the associated intellectual property.

Her Majesty’s Government recognises the importance of semiconductor technology to key UK industries, our ambitions in the Integrated Review, and the wider digital ecosystem. The Government is reviewing its approach to the UK’s global semiconductor sector, working with industry experts, international partners, and representative bodies.

Her Majesty’s Government will not accept investments which compromise our national security, and all investment must meet stringent legal and regulatory requirements to protect the UK’s national interest. As an open economy, however, we welcome foreign trade and investment where it supports UK growth and jobs.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the China State Council's A Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, published on 20 July 2017, in permitting the export of Artificial Intelligence driven devices to the UK.

HM Government has a comprehensive set of artificial intelligence policies, including our recent National AI Strategy. This strategy will ensure that the UK’s AI ecosystem continues to flourish, so that the UK has the continued domestic capability to be a world leader in AI across all sectors.

In the development of our own approach to sectors and technologies, we keep abreast of other international plans and strategies for artificial intelligence, and their implications for the UK. We are committed to getting the national and international governance of AI technologies right in order to encourage innovation and investment, and to protect the public and our fundamental values. Given the UK’s strength in AI research, innovation, and governance, we are in a position to make a unique and important contribution to the development of global standards for AI, and to lead thinking in this arena.

We are familiar with China’s Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, issued in 2017, but recognise that it does not in isolation represent the entirety of China’s AI strategy. We note that China last year imposed its own export restrictions on its domestically generated AI technology. On 8 December 2021 the Secretary of State for International Trade informed Parliament in a written statement about a package of measures to update the export control regime. The recent review concluded that there were anomalies and inconsistencies within the UK's export control regime, and, as a result, China has been added to the list of those destinations subject to military end-use controls. The updated licensing criteria for strategic export controls apply to all goods, software, and technology which are subject to control for strategic reasons.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of authoritarian regimes using Artificial Intelligence driven smart toys to collect children's data.

The Government monitors the scale and nature of data security risks, and will continue to do so. The Government takes its responsibility seriously to ensure that data and their supporting infrastructure are secure and resilient in the face of established, new, and emerging risks, including where artificial intelligence plays a role in data collection.

The Government has supported the building of strong safeguards and enforcement regimes to ensure that personal data are collected and handled responsibly and securely.

Organisations which process the personal data of individuals in the UK must comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. Organisations which fail to comply may be investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office and, where appropriate, subject to enforcement action including fines.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the dependence of UK manufacturers on China for imports of (1) semiconductors, and (2) semiconductor devices; and what assessment they have made of links between Chinese-owned technology firms operating in the UK and China’s Military-Civil Fusion Strategy.

HMG recognises the importance of semiconductor technology to key UK industries, and the wider digital ecosystem. Supply chains for semiconductors are incredibly complex, spanning a large number of countries. China has a limited share of the global semiconductor export market, and is the world’s largest importer of semiconductors.

The UK Government has outlined its concerns that advanced dual-use technology and knowledge may be diverted to assist Chinese military programmes. As an open economy, we welcome foreign trade and investment, including from China, where it supports UK growth and jobs.

HMG will not accept investments which compromise our national security, and all investment must meet stringent legal and regulatory requirements to protect the UK’s national interest. The National Security and Investment Act 2021, due to come into force later this year, will modernise and strengthen our national security investment screening powers.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the government of China’s plans to become a world leader in future technologies on the resilience of the UK's supply chains.

The Integrated Review reflects that we need to adapt to a more competitive world. We are implementing a robust framework for our relationship with China which allows us to manage disagreements, defend our values while preserving space to tackle transnational challenges such as climate change. Our approach will remain consistent even if difficulties emerge."

The Integrated Review articulates the UK’s goal to extend the impact and influence of the UK’s ‘Science and Technology Power’ by 2030, and the need to secure and develop critical and emerging technologies where there is a realistic prospect of delivering strategic advantage. A new ‘own-collaborate-access’ framework, will guide our approach:

  • Own: where the UK plays a leading and owning role, end-to-end from discovery to commercialisation. This will always involve elements of collaboration and access.

  • Collaborate: where the UK is not able to establish a dominant position, but can provide unique contributions that allow us to collaborate with others to achieve our goals.

  • Access: where the UK will seek to acquire critical science and technology from others, through options, deals and relationships.

To this end the Prime Minister has recently announced he will chair a new National Science and Technology Council, and the creation of a National Technology Advisor role, initially held by Sir Patrick Vallance to support the new committee and provide leadership.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to diversify the UK’s technology supply chains away from China.

China is a leading member of the international community and we have a strong and constructive relationship with China in many areas. It has to be part of the solution to any major global problem we face; whether ensuring we do not face another devastating global health crisis, supporting vulnerable countries or addressing climate change. Our approach to China remains clear-eyed and rooted in our values and our interests.

The security and resilience of the UK’s telecoms networks is of paramount importance. That is why the Government undertook the Telecoms Supply Chain Review, a comprehensive review of the supply arrangements for telecoms infrastructure in the UK.

One example of where the government is seeking to diversify its supply chain is in 5G technology. On 2 July the Government published its response to the Diversification Taskforce’s recommendations on solutions and opportunities to diversify the supply market for 5G.

We will progress action across all four areas that the Taskforce focused on. As a part of our ambitious diversification strategy, we will be looking to identify opportunities to diversify component supply chains, both geographically and in terms of the range of suppliers, in order to establish greater resilience against shocks or market disruption.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the involvement in the UK economy of firms complicit in the surveillance and monitoring of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

The UK is committed to promoting the ethical development and deployment of technology in the UK and overseas. We are aware of a number of Chinese technology companies linked to violations taking place in Xinjiang, including use of high-tech “predictive policing” algorithms, DNA and voice sampling, and extensive use of surveillance cameras, and are monitoring the situation closely.

Where China is not meeting its obligations under international law and falls below the standards required and expected of responsible governments and nation states, this government has and will continue to speak out publicly.

The Government is committed to supporting UK businesses and academia to engage with China in a way that reflects the UK’s values and takes account of national security concerns. Last year we published guidance to help cutting-edge UK firms negotiate the ethical, legal and commercial questions they may encounter in China or when working with Chinese businesses, supporting safe and appropriate UK-China collaboration in digital and tech. The guidance provides firms with clear, up-to-date information and specialist support which reflect the UK’s values and take account of national security concerns.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions, if any, they have had with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation about Liverpool’s World Heritage Status; and what responses they received during any such discussions.

My Department has had regular discussions with UNESCO since Liverpool was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012, and we will continue to do so. The views expressed by officials in UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre are consistent with those set out in the Decisions of the World Heritage Committee on the measures it expects to be taken if Liverpool’s world heritage status is to be protected.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the rate of closure of churches in recent years; what assessment has been made of the ability of worshipping communities to fund ongoing repairs to church buildings; and what plans they have to provide support to worshipping communities to help maintain church buildings.

Historic England works closely with faith communities on the management of historic places of worship.

When a place of worship is no longer required for regular worship it can still make a valuable contribution to the wider community; Historic England works with faith communities to develop a sustainable future when they are not used actively for worship, retaining as much of their special historical and architectural significance as possible. Only in a small minority of cases do places of worship have to close. Historic England also offers bespoke advice to those who manage places of worship on how to address repairs.

In 2016, the Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals was commissioned to examine the funding and sustainability of listed Church of England churches. The Review considered that a more strategic approach was needed to ensure than the previous large investments of public money were protected by timely maintenance and repair of these buildings. Consequently, the DCMS-funded Taylor Review Pilot was commissioned to test some recommendations made in the Review, pairing advice and support from building conservation and community development experts with targeted grant funding for maintenance and minor repairs. The evaluation, which was published in October 2020, demonstrated the impact of this project on historic places of worship in the pilot areas, with just over £1m of grant funding for repairs allocated almost equally between both areas to 136 applicants.

The Government has set out its vision and strategy to protect the historic environment, including England’s places of worship, in the 2017 Heritage Statement. Any further financial support is subject to the Spending Review, which is due to conclude later this month.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much public funding has been allocated for UK participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing; whether, in the light of reports of serious human rights violations against Uighurs and others, they have made representations to the International Olympic Committee about reconsidering the suitability of Beijing as a host city; and what plans they have to reconsider UK participation if any such violations continue and the host city remains unchanged.

The Government, through UK Sport, is investing £?20m into Winter ?Olympic sports during the current ?Beijing 20?22? funding c?ycle. UK Sport’s current funding figures for Summer and Winter Olympic Paralympic sports can be found here: https://www.uksport.gov.uk/our-work/investing-in-sport/current-funding-figures

Decisions on which cities should host Summer and Winter Olympic Games are matters for the International Olympic Committee.

The British Olympic Association (BOA), a privately funded organisation independent of Government, is responsible for Team GB’s participation at Summer and Winter Olympic Games. As the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the BOA may cooperate with governments, but rule 27.6 of the Olympic Charter states "The NOCs must preserve their autonomy and resist all pressures of any kind, including but not limited to political, legal, religious or economic pressures which may prevent them from complying with the Olympic Charter."

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with media regulators, including Ofcom and IPSO, on the reporting of suicide; what assessment they have made of the impact of reporting relating to assisted suicide; and what plans they have to review their guidance to ensure that public broadcasters include details of the Samaritans or other support services when reporting on suicide and assisted suicide stories.

Every suicide is a tragedy which has a devastating and enduring impact on families and communities. The Government is taking action in this area, including launching the first Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Strategy, which sets out an ambitious programme across national and local government and the NHS.

The Government does not review editorial content, as broadcast regulation is a matter for Ofcom. Ofcom has the power to set rules in its Broadcasting Code for broadcasters to meet in order to ensure UK audiences are adequately protected from harmful content. Ofcom’s Guidelines, which advise broadcasters on meeting the rules, includes advice on providing specific helplines where a programme has dealt with a particularly sensitive issue.

The government is committed to a free and independent press, and does not, therefore, seek to intervene in the decisions or activities of newspapers or regulators, including IPSO. IPSO’s Editors’ Code of Practice sets out the rules that newspapers and magazines regulated by IPSO have agreed to follow, including on reporting suicide.

In response to COVID-19, the Government announced £9.2 million of additional funding to support mental health charities, including Samaritans and CALM. Samaritans published updated media guidelines resources at the beginning of August and created a new online hub of resources, covering additional topics to help journalists and programme makers further understand the issues surrounding suicidal behaviour and offering practical tips on covering these topics.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to mandate the inclusion of details of mental health charities, NHS support and groups such as the Samaritans to be published whenever newspapers or broadcasters report (1) on suicide, (2) on assisted suicide, and (3) on palliative care.

Every suicide is a tragedy which has a devastating and enduring impact on families and communities. The Government is taking action in this area, including launching the first Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Strategy, which sets out an ambitious programme across national and local government and the NHS. In response to COVID-19, the Government announced £9.2million of additional funding to support mental health charities, including Samaritans and CALM

The editorial and operational decisions of broadcasters are independent from the Government. Ofcom, the UK’s independent broadcast regulator, sets rules in its Broadcasting Code for licensed broadcasters to meet to ensure UK audiences are adequately protected from harmful content. Ofcom advises in its Guidelines that where a programme has dealt with a particularly sensitive issue, broadcasters may wish to provide a helpline specific to that issue.

The Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Strategy sets out the importance of responsible media reporting of suicide. The Government is committed to a free and independent press, and does not, therefore, seek to intervene in the decisions or activities of newspapers or regulators. Newspapers either self-regulate or are regulated by independent regulators; which include IPSO and IMPRESS. These regulators issue codes of conduct which set out the rules that newspapers and magazines have agreed to follow, including on reporting suicide.

IPSO has also produced guidance for journalists on reporting suicide, including signposting to sources of support by providing the contact details for The Samaritans, PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, or other relevant organisations, in any articles reporting on a suicide.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in establishing how BT verify Huawei’s denials of (1) the use of slave labour, and (2) the use of Huawei technology in oppressing Uighur people.

Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 made the UK the first country to require large businesses to report annually on steps taken to prevent modern slavery, including forced labour, in their operations and supply chains. BT are subject to, and comply with, those requirements.

The Act does not require organisations to certify that their supply chains are slavery free but asks businesses to be transparent about their assessment of modern slavery risks and measures taken to mitigate these. To improve reporting quality, we are developing a government-run registry of modern slavery statements to make it easier for consumers, investors and civil society to hold businesses to account. We have also consulted on proposals to strengthen the Modern Slavery Act and increase transparency and improve compliance.

We have been clear that China’s approach in Xinjiang is wrong and must stop. We regularly raise our concerns directly with our Chinese counterparts and are playing a leading role to increase international attention to the situation, including leading a Joint Statement at the UN Human Rights Council in June supported by 27 other countries, highlighting arbitrary detention, widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly those targeting Uyghurs and other minorities, and urged China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights meaningful access to the region.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when Huawei was first given access to the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure; what assessment was made of any security, defence and human rights implications of that decision at that time; whether Parliament was consulted; and which Ministers had to approve that access.

The details of Huawei’s entry into the UK market and associated decision making were subject of an inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Committee into ‘Foreign involvement in the Critical National Infrastructure - The implications for national security’. The findings of which were published in June 2013 followed by the government response in July 2013.


The government response accepted the Committee’s conclusion that the processes of considering national security issues at the time in 2003-06 were insufficiently robust and that Ministers should have been informed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 30 June (HL3582), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, who gave the advice on behalf of Public Health England about permitting the football match between Liverpool and Atlético Madrid on 11 March; and which Ministers were involved in assessing that advice.

The decisions regarding mass events and wider measures were taken in line with public health guidance at COBR. DCMS Ministers discussed mass events with the Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Chief Medical Officer in advance of these meetings.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made in relation to their decision to award contracts to Huawei and other companies of the implications of the government of China's National Intelligence Law requiring Chinese organisations and citizens to support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work.

Last year, the Government carried out a comprehensive, evidence-based, review of the telecoms supply chain, supported by security analysis from our world-leading cybersecurity experts. This led to our decision, announced on 28 January, that high risk vendors should be excluded from those parts of the 5G and full fibre networks that are critical to security (“the core”), and their presence in the rest of the UK’s networks should be limited to 35 per cent, with further restrictions in sensitive geographic locations.

In making this decision, the Government took into account the full range of issues and risks. This included consideration of the fact that Huawei is a Chinese company that is subject to China’s national intelligence law. The controls we have set out on high risk vendors constitute some of the toughest security measures in the telecoms sector in the world.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the reported increase in (1) poor mental health of students, and (2) the risk of teenage suicide, whether they plan to introduce a level 2 qualification in mental health awareness and suicide prevention as a mandatory part of the PSHE curriculum in schools and colleges for 11–18 year olds.

Health education became a statutory part of the school curriculum in September 2020 for all pupils in state-funded schools of compulsory school age.

The aim of teaching pupils about physical health and mental wellbeing is to give them the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing, recognise issues in themselves and others and, when issues arise, seek support as early as possible from appropriate sources.

At primary school, pupils will learn to recognise and talk about their emotions, the benefits of exercise and simple self-care techniques. At secondary school, pupils will learn about common types of mental ill-health and how to recognise the early signs of mental wellbeing concerns. Schools can teach older pupils about suicide prevention in an age appropriate and sensitive way.

The department has brought forward the review of the relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) statutory guidance, which will include working with a range of stakeholders and experts over the summer to consider the evidence for making suicide prevention a part of the statutory RSHE curriculum. As part of this, the department will work closely with Three Dads Walking, following their meeting with the Secretary of State for Education on 22 May. In addition, a workshop was held with teachers and roundtable meetings with a panel of experts and families have also taken place.

A full public consultation on an amended draft of the statutory guidance will take place in the autumn with a view to publishing the final version in 2024.

The statutory nature of the subjects means that all pupils will be taught this content during their time at school. The government does not have any plans to introduce qualifications linked to the content of the RSHE curriculum.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the difference between the educational attainment of boys and girls at Key Stage 1.

The government is committed to improving outcomes for all pupils no matter their gender and raising attainment for pupils is at the heart of this government’s agenda.

Overall, more girls met the expected standard than boys in reading and writing, while more boys reached the expected standard than girls in maths. This is a change from 2019 when more girls reached the expected standard than boys in all three subjects.

The department has introduced a Multiplication Tables Check, ensuring every nine-year-old pupil knows their times tables. Last June, 27% achieved full marks in the test and the average score was 20 correct answers out of 25. The Phonics Screening Check was also introduced in 2012 when 58% of pupils met the expected standard. By 2022, 87% of seven-year-olds met this standard, which is a significant predictor of later reading comprehension performance.

Internationally, England has performed well against international comparators. Pre COVID-19 pandemic England achieved its highest ever mathematics score in the most recent 2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study international test for year 5 pupils. More recently, England has climbed to fourth place internationally for primary reading proficiency in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study results, which are regarded as the international benchmark for primary reading capability.

The Schools White Paper set out a long-term vision for a school system that helps every child to fulfil their potential by ensuring that they receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time. The department will drive attainment at key stage 1 by delivering a broad offer of reforms, as set out in the Schools White Paper, whilst also ensuring a focus on interventions that support reading, writing and maths, including through the support provided by English and Maths Hubs.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they assess that the threat to freedom and democracy in the UK posed by the government of China is increasing; if so, whether they believe that Confucius Institutes are part of such a threat; and if not, why they have said that they want to reduce influence of Confucius Institutes.

The government will continue to underline the importance that the UK places on defending human rights, and of speaking out and taking action where there are concerns. We need to evolve our approach to China into one of robust pragmatism, which is recognised and understood by our allies and partners. As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, has previously said, China poses the greatest long-term security challenge to the UK economy and more widely, because of the behaviour of the Chinese Communist Party. The government is committed to doing more to adapt to its growing impact and we are constantly monitoring our position.

The government continuously assesses threats posed to the UK. As a matter of longstanding policy we are unable to release information regarding threat assessments on the grounds of National Security.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill will require and empower registered higher education (HE) providers in England to push back on freedom of speech related threats from overseas. It will also require the Office for Students (OfS) to monitor the overseas funding of registered HE providers and their constituent institutions, in order to assess the extent to which it presents a risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom in HE. This includes the reporting of educational or commercial partnerships, and therefore includes arrangements with Confucius Institutes. The Bill will allow the OfS to take appropriate action, including issuing penalties, if there is evidence that an HE provider has breached its freedom of speech duties.

Like all similar bodies, Confucius Institutes should operate transparently and with a full commitment to our values of openness and freedom of expression. Universities have a responsibility to ensure that any partnership with a Confucius Institute is managed appropriately, and the right due diligence is in place. The department would encourage any providers with concerns to contact the government.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Security Minister on 1 November 2022 that Confucius Institutes “pose a threat to civil liberties in many universities in the United Kingdom”, what steps they have taken to close those Institutes.

The government will continue to underline the importance that the UK places on defending human rights, and of speaking out and taking action where there are concerns. We need to evolve our approach to China into one of robust pragmatism, which is recognised and understood by our allies and partners. As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, has previously said, China poses the greatest long-term security challenge to the UK economy and more widely, because of the behaviour of the Chinese Communist Party. The government is committed to doing more to adapt to its growing impact and we are constantly monitoring our position.

The government continuously assesses threats posed to the UK. As a matter of longstanding policy we are unable to release information regarding threat assessments on the grounds of National Security.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill will require and empower registered higher education (HE) providers in England to push back on freedom of speech related threats from overseas. It will also require the Office for Students (OfS) to monitor the overseas funding of registered HE providers and their constituent institutions, in order to assess the extent to which it presents a risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom in HE. This includes the reporting of educational or commercial partnerships, and therefore includes arrangements with Confucius Institutes. The Bill will allow the OfS to take appropriate action, including issuing penalties, if there is evidence that an HE provider has breached its freedom of speech duties.

Like all similar bodies, Confucius Institutes should operate transparently and with a full commitment to our values of openness and freedom of expression. Universities have a responsibility to ensure that any partnership with a Confucius Institute is managed appropriately, and the right due diligence is in place. The department would encourage any providers with concerns to contact the government.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to adopt the Council of Europe's recommendation to "include the history of Roma and Travellers in school curricula and teaching materials", published in their list of recommendations on 1 July 2020; and what plans they have to make the teaching mandatory and educate those unaware of the genocide of the Roma population in the Holocaust.

The history curriculum gives teachers and schools the freedom to use specific examples from history to teach pupils about the history of Britain and the wider world.

Gypsy, Roma and Travellers’ history can already be taught as part of schools offering a broad and balanced curriculum. Resources are available from experts in the communities themselves and bodies such as the Historical Association.

As part of Holocaust education, which is the only compulsory topic in the history curriculum at key stage 3, a wide array of resources are available to help teachers explain the persecution by the Nazis of different groups of people. The Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz programme and the knowledge and training provided by University College London’s Centre for Holocaust Education include information and resources to support an understanding of the Holocaust and the Nazis’ persecution of other non-Jewish groups, including the genocide of the Roma.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the partnership between the University of the West of England Bristol and the Chinese company NeuSoft, given the latter’s work on a facial recognition surveillance system.

As autonomous bodies, decisions regarding partnerships lie with individual higher education providers. We encourage the sector to collaborate with international partners and universities must be security minded in their approach in order to safeguard our core values. University due diligence processes should consider reputational, ethical and security risks.

At the request of my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Higher and Further Education, Universities UK, on behalf of the sector and with government support, published guidelines in October 2020 to help universities tackle security risks related to international collaboration.

We continuously strengthen protective measures and expect universities to do the same.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what assessment they have made of the cost for universities to charter flights to ensure that students from China are able to return for in-person studies in the UK, and (2) what details it holds on the universities which have chartered these flights.

The government has provided no financial support to higher education providers for the purpose of chartering flights for international higher education students from China to travel to the UK, for the academic year 2021/22.

The government has received applications from Queen’s University Belfast, as well as three consortia of higher education providers seeking approvals for charter flights for Chinese students while scheduled direct flights remain suspended between the UK and mainland China. The three consortia comprise 16, 24, and 55 named higher education providers respectively. The airlines involved have chartered the planes to travel companies, which sell tickets to the students. The airlines and travel agencies take the financial risk.

The government is proud that so many international students choose to study here and is looking forward to safely welcoming them in the new academic year. We have worked closely with the sector to ensure that international students will be appropriately supported and welcomed, including with quarantine requirements. Universities UK International has published bespoke self-isolation guidance for higher education providers to help them prepare for the arrival of students.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have provided any financial support to universities which have chartered flights to the UK to ensure that students from China are able to return for in-person studies in the UK.

The government has provided no financial support to higher education providers for the purpose of chartering flights for international higher education students from China to travel to the UK, for the academic year 2021/22.

The government has received applications from Queen’s University Belfast, as well as three consortia of higher education providers seeking approvals for charter flights for Chinese students while scheduled direct flights remain suspended between the UK and mainland China. The three consortia comprise 16, 24, and 55 named higher education providers respectively. The airlines involved have chartered the planes to travel companies, which sell tickets to the students. The airlines and travel agencies take the financial risk.

The government is proud that so many international students choose to study here and is looking forward to safely welcoming them in the new academic year. We have worked closely with the sector to ensure that international students will be appropriately supported and welcomed, including with quarantine requirements. Universities UK International has published bespoke self-isolation guidance for higher education providers to help them prepare for the arrival of students.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total number of students from China currently studying in the UK; which universities in the UK have more than 10 per cent of students originating from China; and what estimate they have made of the total amount of money raised annually by universities from students from China.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on students enrolled in higher education. Latest statistics refer to the academic year 2019/20.

Counts of student enrolments at UK higher education providers are available by level of study and country of domicile for the academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20 in Table 28 of HESA’s Higher Education Student Data pages, available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-28.

In the academic year 2019/20, there were 141,870 students enrolled at UK higher education providers who were domiciled in China prior to study.

Appended to this answer is a table listing higher education providers where 10% or more of their student body was domiciled in China prior to study in the academic year 2019/20.

Financial information available from HESA is not collected for specific countries of origin, so cannot be provided.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many students from African countries are enrolled to study in UK universities.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on students enrolled in higher education. Latest statistics refer to the academic year 2019/20.

Counts of student enrolments at UK Higher Education Providers (HEPs) are available by level of study and region of domicile for the academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20 in Table 28 of HESA’s Higher Education Student Data pages: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-28.

In the academic year 2019/20, there were 33,290 undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled at UK HEPs who were domiciled in Africa prior to study.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which higher education institutions have sought to amend their Royal Charters in each of the past three years; which changes were proposed in each case; and why those institutions made any such proposals.

Requests by chartered higher education providers for amendments to their governance arrangements are received and co-ordinated by the Privy Council Office.

The Privy Council Office consults the advisers to the Privy Council, including the Department for Education, in reviewing these requests, in order to gain the necessary advice to inform the Privy Council’s recommendation to Her Majesty on whether Her approval may be given to the chartered bodies’ proposals.

The Privy Council Office records requests it has received, but does not separately identify the changes proposed and the reasons for the request. Each case is treated on its own merits and case papers filed on a unique basis. The Privy Council Office and the department have carried out a preliminary co-ordinated scoping of both of their records, and this has revealed about 40 instances where a case was opened for a chartered body seeking to amend its governance arrangements during the period 2018-20.

To answer the questions raised more fully would take very considerable time and resource to achieve, as the needed information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

However, all higher education provider chartered body amendments which have been approved by Her Majesty in Council can be found at: https://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/orders/.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to facilitate access to education for the children of people entering the UK under the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa scheme; what assessment they have made of (1) the scale of demand for school places for these children, and (2) where such demand will arise; and what discussions they have had with (a) Local Education Authorities, and (b) Regional Schools Commissioners, about ensuring that plans are in place to meet this demand.

The government’s estimate of the number of British National (Overseas) citizens that may migrate to the UK was set out in an Impact Assessment published on 22 October, available here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1147/impacts/2020/70. The dependants of British National (Overseas) citizens from Hong Kong choosing to settle in the UK have a right to attend school in the UK. Local authorities hold the statutory duty to provide sufficient school places.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have written to all local authorities in England to update them on the new immigration route for BN(O) citizens and will be communicating further with those areas which may see higher numbers arriving to support their planning.

The department is fully involved in planning and communications with local authorities, including Regional Schools Commissioners. We are using data from the 2020 Spring School Census and the 2011 National Census to inform planning and are working with Home Office to monitor BN(O) and BN(O) dependant arrivals.

7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many branches of the Confucius Institute are active in universities in England; and what plans they have to determine how many universities in England give financial support to branches of the Confucius Institute.

A number of UK higher education providers host Confucius Institutes. As autonomous, independent organisations, they bear the responsibility of ensuring that their partnerships are managed appropriately, with the right due diligence. The Department for Education does not collate information on the funding arrangements for Confucius Institutes, but continues to support the higher education sector to promote mutually beneficial international partnerships and UK values. We encourage providers to contact the department if they have any concerns regarding their international collaborations.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Resolution Foundation Class of 2020: Education leavers in the current crisis, published in May, in particular its (1) finding that youth unemployment in Britain could reach one million over the coming year, and (2) recommendation that policies should be pursued to assist young people to continue to study, including the provision of maintenance support.

We welcome the focus that the Resolution Foundation report draws to the challenge of supporting young people to progress into work and training.

The Government is actively considering ways to help young people continue to develop the skills they will need for the future.?We want to give young people the best chance to succeed, despite these challenging and unsettling times.

As part of raising the participation age legislation Local Authorities have duties to track all academic age 16 and 17 year olds, identify those not in education, employment or training (NEET) or at risk of becoming so and supporting them to re-engage in education or training. This includes a September guarantee where Local Authorities need to ensure that all year 11 students and year 12 students on a one year course have a suitable offer of education or training for the following September.

The department provides a range of financial support for students aged 16 to19, to enable them to participate and stay in further education, including free meals, bursaries to help with the cost of travel, books, equipment, IT and connectivity, plus support for childcare and residential costs. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-education-financial-support-for-students

For those learners aged 19 and over, the DfE supports a broad spectrum of learning provision from non-formal, unaccredited learning which helps to engage disadvantaged learners through to Apprenticeships and Traineeships where learners can gain the skills and qualifications needed to get into work.

Learners aged 19 or over who are studying on a further education course and facing financial hardship may be eligible for Learner Support to pay for things like: accommodation and travel, course materials and equipment and childcare. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/learner-support

On apprenticeships, we are continuing to support employers and training providers in dealing with, and responding to, the impacts of COVID-19. While we do not yet know the full impact of COVID-19, our priority is ensuring that apprentices and employers can continue to access high quality training, both now and in the future. We continue to support traineeships and have introduced flexibilities to enable providers to continue to deliver them where possible, given that traineeships will play an important part in supporting young people back into learning and work.

In early June this year, we launched a £7 million Alternative Provision Transition Fund to enable Alternative Provision schools to support all their Year 11 pupils to transition successfully into post-16 settings this summer, and avoid becoming NEET.

9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to (1) maintain the total prohibition on the use of asbestos, and (2) rule out any instance of permitting products containing up to one per cent of asbestos as per regulations in the United States, after December 2020.

At the end of the transition period, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (as amended by the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020) will convert the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation into domestic law. All existing EU REACH restrictions will be carried over to UK REACH at that point, including those relating to asbestos.

The Government has no plans to revise these restrictions or alter the way asbestos is regulated in the UK.

13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 10 June (HL6272) and following the UK Deputy Ambassador to Eritrea’s statement on 22 June that health and safety conditions on roadbuilding projects in that country would deteriorate if the UK and EU withdraws support, what assessment they have made of the working conditions of those projects; and what steps they are taking ensure that health and safety standards are maintained.

The UK’s support for the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa projects in Eritrea on the main arterial roads was conditional on the EU working with the UN to monitor the treatment of workers implementing the project. We pressed the EU to ensure enhanced safeguards were in place and they have confirmed that the project implementer (UNOPS) will monitor whether workers are receiving an appropriate salary, and that basic health and safety standards are applied. This is alongside our continuing efforts to encourage reform of the Eritrean national service system.

30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the health and safety standards on roadbuilding projects funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

The UK exercises oversight of UK funding directed through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa through the Fund’s governance mechanisms. Individual projects such as roadbuilding are assessed for project and contextual risks and in relation to essential standards, including those for health and safety.

30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which UK Government funded projects in Sudan, if any, have been cancelled as a result of prioritising COVID-19 related programmes.

The UK has not cancelled any programmes in Sudan as a result of COVID-19. We are committed to supporting the Sudanese response to the COVID-19 pandemic and delivering vital humanitarian assistance to those most in need. The UK is committed to supporting Sudan’s transition to a stable, prosperous democracy.

9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea following reports by the United Nations of food shortages and malnutrition; what steps they are taking to provide humanitarian assistance which reaches those in urgent need; and what discussions they have had with the government of that country to urge it to use its resources to prioritise the feeding of its people.

We assess that North Korea’s humanitarian need is likely increasing as a result of the country’s border lockdown in response to COVID-19. The lockdown has prevented most aid shipments from entering the country since January and restrictions on internal movement, including for UN agencies and NGOs, has severely impacted the distribution of aid and support. The UN estimates that 10.1 million people suffer from food insecurity and are in urgent need of food assistance.

DFID is providing multilateral funds to the UN and other international organisations providing humanitarian assistance in North Korea, including the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) in response to COVID-19. As a country of concern in the GHRP, North Korea is receiving funds from this global appeal. We continue to make clear to the North Korean government that international support is available, and urge them to restore international access and monitoring for humanitarian assistance. The UK has also repeatedly called on North Korea to prioritise the well-being of its people over the development of illegal weapons programmes, through our bilateral relationship and in multilateral fora.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the killing of Uwavera Omozuwa, in a church in Benin City, Nigeria; and how UK Aid to Nigeria is used to combat gender-based violence in that country.

The High Commission in Abuja is tracking closely developments around the deplorable killing of Uwavera Omozuwa last month in a church in Benin City. The High Commissioner has spoken out against her killing and all gender-based violence (GBV), calling for those responsible to face justice.

GBV is an endemic issue in Nigeria and poses ongoing challenges to changing behaviour and ensuring equality and equity for women, girls, men, and boys. DFID Nigeria is committed to empowering women and protecting the most vulnerable. We directly support systems and interventions to mitigate and respond to GBV in the conflict-affected North East through provision of emergency medical care and in the case-management, legal counselling and psycho-social support for survivors of GBV through our humanitarian programme.

Across DFID Nigeria, we pursue DFID’s Strategic Vision for Women and Girls. We promote women’s rights and gender equality through multiple sectors: increasing women’s economic empowerment through dedicated livelihoods programmes; ensuring gender sensitivity of government social protection programmes; supporting women’s participation and representation in politics and civil society through governance programmes; and keeping girls safe in schools through our education programmes.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by The World Bank Group Capture of Foreign Aid: Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts, published in February, in particular its finding that disbursements of aid to 22 of the most aid-dependent countries coincided with significant increases in the value of bank deposits in tax havens.

We do not tolerate any misuse of UK aid and have robust systems in place to protect our investments. The Government welcomes research in international development, which can help to inform this. The World Bank is a key partner to the Government in international efforts to tackle corruption and has been assessed by the Government and other parties as having robust procedures to combat fraud and corruption in the use of its funds.

25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 18 February (HL1300), which consultancies were used to help deliver the UK–Africa Investment Summit 2020; and how much those consultancies were paid.

The government contracted a range of companies to provide services including production, and the design and running of pre-events, to support the delivery of the UK-Africa Investment Summit. These contracts are ongoing, and it is the government’s intention to provide further details in due course.

11th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees that (1) fighting in Sudan’s West Darfur State has displaced an estimated 46,000 people inside that country and caused more than 14,000 to flee into Chad since December, (2) the majority of those displaced are women and young children, (3) villages and homes have been burnt, and (4) a further 30,000 are estimated to be displaced in the coming weeks; and what action they are taking to bring to justice those who are responsible.

We are deeply concerned by the recent violence in West Darfur, and subsequent dispersal of a large number of people to nearby el Geneina town and Eastern Chad. Many of those displaced are believed to be women and children. Recent violence has left substantial damage, including the large scale burning of houses. The situation is now calm but remains fragile.

In response international organisations have channelled funds to support those displaced, including from the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (to which the UK is the largest bilateral donor). The UK welcomes the establishment of a committee for reconciliation and to investigate those responsible for this violence. The UK is strongly committed to respect for human rights and accountability, and continues to encourage all parties to progress the peace talks.

5th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much UK aid has been provided to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in each of the past 10 years; how many Department for International Development employees work exclusively on the Democratic Republic of the Congo; what that aid has been used for; and what assessment they have made of the effect such aid has had on preventing corruption and building a rules-based society.

The UK is a longstanding development partner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Over the last 10 years (2009-2018) the DRC has received approximately £1.65 billion in UK bilateral Overseas Development Assistance. 56 people are currently employed by the Department for International Development to work exclusively on the DRC. UK Aid supports millions of Congolese in need through improved access to clean water, health care and education- providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance, by tackling outbreaks and global health emergencies such as Ebola, Measles and Cholera. We also contribute to creating peace and stability by tackling the underlying drivers of conflict, creating access to sustainable jobs and improved incomes. UK Aid is tackling corruption, strengthening accountability and contributing to rules-based society, including through both our public financial management and elections programme. The effectiveness of DFID programmes is measured against expected results, and the value for money provided. Individual programme performance is assessed annually and can be viewed on DFID’s development tracker.

4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) attacks on Christian Rohingya refugee families by other refugees in Bangladesh, in particular reports of such attacks in the Kutupalong Refugee Camp on 27 January; and (2) what steps they are taking to ensure the safety of refugees around the world who are from religious minority groups.

We are aware of reports of attacks on Christian Rohingya refugee families in Kutupalong, Bangladesh, and are monitoring the situation closely. The UK government, working through the main agencies responsible for protection and safety, is committed to improving the safety of all the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. DFID is a major supporter of the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR). UNHCR works to provide international protection and humanitarian assistance; and to seek permanent solutions for all refugees, returnees, stateless people and, in some instances, internally displaced people. This includes refugees from religious minority groups. UNHCR plays a critical role in ensuring that those persecuted because of their religion have protection in the country they have fled to. DFID works with UNHCR and all its humanitarian partners, including faith-based humanitarian organisations to ensure aid is given to those most vulnerable and most in need of assistance, in line with the humanitarian principles. This includes members of religious minority groups, who are often among those most in need of protection and assistance when assessed by our humanitarian partners.

4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any consultancies were used to help deliver the UK–Africa Investment Summit 2020; and if so, why.

The production aspects of the UK-Africa Investment Summit were contracted out to specialist event companies, as is normal government practice. We also used contractors to design and run the series of pre-events, to undertake analysis of trade and investment trends, and to assess the Summit's impact. These organisations complemented the large cross-government team of policy officials who delivered the Summit.

4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much UK aid has been spent via the European Development Fund (EDF) in Africa in each of the past ten years; how much will be spent via the EDF in the next financial year; whether the spending priorities for the EDF will be reassessed; who will determine any such future priorities; and on what basis.

The European Development Fund’s (EDF) bilateral country allocations to Sub-Saharan Africa have varied over time, but historically have been at least 80% per year, with additional EDF funding to Africa going through regional components, trust funds and multilateral partners. There are no plans to reassess the EDF spending for 2020 as the instrument comes to an end in December 2020. Further information on the EDF and allocations of funding can be found at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/EPRS/EPRS-IDA-542140-European-Development-Fund-FINAL.pdf

Between the financial years 2009/10 and 2019/20 the UK contributed £4.1bn to the EDF. We estimate that at least £3.3bn has been used for allocations to Sub-Saharan Africa at country and regional levels. Full details of our annual contributions to the EDF can be found at: https://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/projects/GB-1-200236

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out that the UK will honour commitments made to the EU budget during the period of our membership up to December 2020. The UK will fund all programmes approved during the current EU Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020), which includes obligations to the current, and previous, European Development Funds. For financial year 2020/21, we estimate that at least £516m of DFID’s EDF payments will be spent in Sub-Saharan Africa, though fluctuations may result from the rate of EDF programme delivery and exchange rate fluctuations over the coming year.

28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much development aid has been given to Nigeria in each of the last ten years.

The total UK bilateral Official Development Assistance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for each of the previous ten years is detailed below:

Year

£ thousands

2009

121,277

2010

171,335

2011

186,428

2012

197,313

2013

248,734

2014

236,639

2015

262,685

2016

319,583

2017

327,199

2018

296,819

Source: Statistics on International Development 2018. Additional Table 4A. Published 19 September 2019. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-international-development-final-uk-aid-spend-2018

28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the UK's development aid to Nigeria is used to (1) promote community cohesion, (2) protect those at risk of attack by jihadists, and (3) bring to justice those responsible for any atrocities and crimes against humanity.

The UK’s development assistance to Nigeria seeks to address some of the root causes of conflict throughout the country (and particularly in the North East) and help build stability in the longer term. In particular, the UK is promoting community cohesion in North East Nigeria through a range of interventions from £3m in 2019/20 to improve relationships between communities and security forces to both build trust and ensure the protection of civilians in target communities in Borno State, North East Nigeria; £900,000 to build the resilience of women and children survivors of violent extremism and reintegrate them into communities; and £2 million of support for Nigeria’s Defections, Disengagement, Demobilisation, De-radicalisation and Reintegration programme that is managed by the International Organisation for Migration from December 2019 to March 2021.

To protect those at risk of attack as a result of the insecurity, DFID has a £16m two-year programme dedicated to providing support to those affected by the conflict in North East Nigeria, particularly victims of sexual and gender-based violence. DFID works with partners, the UN and NGOs to save lives, strengthen resilience, and protect civilians from attacks and violations of international law. To improve the effectiveness of security responses and the protection of civilians in Borno state, the UK is providing up to £800,000 from October 2019 to March 2021.

We are careful to ensure that our ongoing work in a complex environment to bring potential perpetrators to justice is compliant with International Human Rights Law.

14th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the brief of the new Trade Envoy for the Indo-Pacific includes the promotion of trade with China.

Richard Graham MP has been reappointed as PMs Trade Envoy to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and ASEAN. The role does not include the promotion of trade with China.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
31st Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Import of Products of Forced Labour from Xinjiang (Prohibition) Bill 2021–22; and whether they plan to ban products of forced labour from Xinjiang.

The Government has serious concerns about the situation in Xinjiang. Robust action has been taken to help ensure that no British organisations are profiting from or are contributing to human rights violations in Xinjiang. We have, amongst other actions, introduced guidance on the risks of doing business in Xinjiang, led a ministerial campaign of business engagement to reinforce the need for UK business to act and have announced our intention to introduce financial penalties for businesses that do not comply with their transparency obligations under the Modern Slavery Act. Import bans are one of a range of tools that could be used to tackle forced labour in global supply chains, and we continue to keep this policy response under close review.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
31st Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the legislative proposal from the European Commission to ban the marketing of goods made with forced labour; and whether they plan to introduce such a ban in the UK.

The Government has serious concerns about the situation in Xinjiang. Robust action has been taken to help ensure that no British organisations are profiting from or are contributing to human rights violations in Xinjiang. We have, amongst other actions, introduced guidance on the risks of doing business in Xinjiang, led a ministerial campaign of business engagement to reinforce the need for UK business to act and have announced our intention to introduce financial penalties for businesses that do not comply with their transparency obligations under the Modern Slavery Act. Import bans are one of a range of tools that could be used to tackle forced labour in global supply chains, and we continue to keep this policy response under close review.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in implementing Project DEFEND; and how has it contributed to (1) national resilience, and (2) a reduction in supply chain dependency on the People's Republic of China.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports by the BBC on 18 November that conflict in Ethiopia has (1) reduced Djiboutian trade by 80 per cent, (2) cost Djibouti $1.7 billion, and (3) affected supply chains and trade across the region.

Trade, and the overall prosperity of a nation, suffers when there is conflict such as in Ethiopia. HM Government is encouraging all parties in Ethiopia to come to a quick and peaceful resolution to provide stability there and in the immediate region.

20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) Chinese companies which have been banned from operating in the United States but have not been banned in the UK, and (2) reasons why those companies have been banned in the United States.

HM Government has repeatedly condemned the violation of rights and responsibilities in Xinjiang. On 22nd June, a British diplomatic effort helped deliver the support of over 40 countries for a statement on the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang at the UN Human Rights Council, calling on China to grant unfettered access to the region for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The US is a close partner, but we are an independent nation, with our own decision-making on what constitutes a security threat. The United Kingdom has no equivalent of the US Entity List.

As the passage of the National Security and Investment Act shows, we are strengthening our domestic toolbox in certain sectors. This Act will mandate notification of certain types of transaction to provide a proportionate defence against hostile actors targeting certain sectors. No single country or company is designated as ‘high risk’; transactions are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, large businesses operating in the United Kingdom are required to report on how they are tackling forced labour in their operations and supply chains under the Modern Slavery Act.

19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons for the US Commerce Department’s decision to add BGI Group to an economic blacklist of Chinese companies implicated in human rights violations regarding China’s treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region.

HM Government has repeatedly condemned the violation of rights and responsibilities in Xinjiang. On 22nd June, a British diplomatic effort helped deliver the support of over 40 countries for a statement on the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang at the UN Human Rights Council, calling on China to grant unfettered access to the region for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The US is a close partner, but we are an independent nation, with our own decision-making on what constitutes a security threat. The United Kingdom has no equivalent of the US Entity List.

As the passage of the National Security and Investment Act shows, we are strengthening our domestic toolbox in certain sectors. This Act will mandate notification of certain types of transaction to provide a proportionate defence against hostile actors targeting certain sectors. No single country or company is designated as ‘high risk’; transactions are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, large businesses operating in the United Kingdom are required to report on how they are tackling forced labour in their operations and supply chains under the Modern Slavery Act.

7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to impose (1) import, and (2) export, controls on firms linked to (a) China’s Military-Civil Fusion Strategy, and (b) the surveillance and abuse of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

HM Government does not at present have any plans to place import controls on goods from China. With regards to China’s Military-Civil Fusion Strategy, under our existing export controls regime exporters of specified dual-use items require a licence to export or transfer from the UK. All licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Export Licensing Criteria which require us to consider the impact of the proposed export on national security, international peace and security, and human rights.

In January, the Foreign Secretary announced a series of measures to help make sure British businesses and the public sector are not complicit in the violation of rights and responsibilities in Xinjiang, including a review of export controls. This review is ongoing and we will report its outcome to Parliament in due course.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the estimate by US Customs and Border Protection that 85 per cent of China’s manufactured cotton comes from the Xinjiang region; and what plans they have to introduce restrictions on imports of cotton to prevent the import of goods sent from Uighur internment camps in the Xinjiang region.

HM Government has serious concerns about the situation in Xinjiang, with reports of the use of forced labour. It has always been the case that where we have concerns, we raise them – as we did on this issue at the UN Human Rights Council, most recently in February.

We advise businesses with supply chain links in Xinjiang to conduct appropriate due diligence to satisfy themselves that their activities do not support, and are not seen to support, any violations or abuses of rights and responsibilities.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary announced a review of export controls on 12th January, but import controls were not included at this time.

14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks made by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 7 December 2020 (HL Deb, col 1085), what plans they have to enter free trade negotiations with the government of China in the future; and what human rights due diligence they will employ during any such negotiations to ensure that the UK does not support the exploitation of Uighur Muslims in China.

HM Government has no plans at present to negotiate a free trade agreement with China.

The United Kingdom has long supported the promotion of our values globally and has consistently voiced concern at the situation in Xinjiang. On 12th January, the Foreign Secretary announced a series of measures to help ensure that no British businesses will profit from or contribute to violations against the Uyghurs or other minorities. These measures send a clear message to China that there are economic and reputation costs for what it is doing in Xinjiang.

5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce export licensing controls for equipment used for the removal, freezing, or transportation, of organs to countries where there have been credible reports of forced organ harvesting.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary’s statement of 12 January 2021 on the situation in Xinjiang committed HM Government to a review of export controls as they apply specifically geographically to the situation in Xinjiang, to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to prevent the export of any goods that could directly or indirectly contribute to human rights violations in that region.

17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to undertake trade with a state if a court has predetermined that a genocide is underway; and what assessment they have made of the impact on the UK’s ability to undertake international trade of amendments to the Trade Bill relating to trade agreements with states accused of committing genocide.

The United Kingdom have long promoted our values globally. We are clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of our values.

Our experience is that political freedom and the rule of law are vital underpinnings for both prosperity and stability and that, by having strong economic relationships with partners, we are able to have open discussions on a range of issues. Despite our varying approach to agreements with partners, we will always have open discussions on a range of issues, including rights and responsibilities.

Clause 2 of the Trade Bill allows HM Government to implement those trade agreements the EU including the United Kingdom had with third countries, prior to the United Kingdom leaving the EU. The list of countries in scope can be found at: gov.uk/guidance/uk-trade-agreements-with-non-eu-countries

The Trade Bill has no provisions to implement a free trade agreement with those countries, such as China, who did not have a free trade agreement with the EU prior to 31st January 2020.

17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of the United States’ decision to introduce restrictions on (1) Changji Esquel Textile Co. Ltd, (2) Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co. Ltd, (3) Hefei Meiling Co. Ltd, (4) Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co. Ltd, (5) Hetian Taida Apparel Co. Ltd, (6) KTK Group, Nanjing Synergy Textiles Co. Ltd, and (7) Nanchang O-Film Tech, Tanyuan Technology Co. Ltd; whether they have imposed similar restrictions; and if not, why not.

HM Government has repeatedly condemned the egregious violations being perpetrated against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang. Most recently, on 6th October, we issued a joint statement with 38 other countries at the UN General Assembly Third Committee.

The United States’ Export Administration Regulations contain a list of foreign entities, including businesses, that are subject to specific license requirements (the ‘Entity List’). A license must be obtained before exporting, re-exporting or transferring (in-country) an item to a listed entity. The United Kingdom has no equivalent of the US Entity List.

However, large businesses operating in the United Kingdom are required, under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, to report on how they are tackling forced labour in their operations and supply chains.

29th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to consult the Joint Committee on Human Rights when assessing prospective trade deals.

We have provided extensive information to Parliament on our negotiations, including publishing our objectives and economic scoping assessments prior to negotiations beginning. We continue to engage closely with the relevant scrutiny committees, namely the International Trade Committee in the House of Commons and the International Agreements Sub-Committee in the House of Lords.

We have a strong history of safeguarding rights and promoting our values. While our approach to agreements will vary between partners, it will always allow HM Government to have open discussions on these issues.

7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in developing a cross-departmental human rights threshold for inclusion in any (1) current and forthcoming trade and telecommunications agreements, and (2) other legislation.

HM Government has a strong history of promoting our values globally. While our approach to agreements will vary between partners, our strong economic relationships allow us to have open discussions on a range of difficult issues, including rights and responsibilities.

1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take through the implementation of Project Defend to reduce the UK’s reliance on imports from authoritarian states and to increase national resilience.

Project DEFEND is working to help Britain become more resilient and ensure that more diverse supply chains are put in place to allow the continued flow of essential items and avoid shortages in future.

We are analysing critical supply chains and identifying countries with a high level of supply chain influence, in order that we can help strengthen Britain’s supply chain resilience. Our approach continues to underline our international leadership in promoting free trade, and our belief in the benefits that free trade brings.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Henry Jackson Society?Breaking the China Supply Chain: How the ‘Five Eyes’ Can Decouple From Strategic Dependency, published on 14 May, which states that the UK is strategically dependent on China for 229 categories of goods, 57 of which are used in critical national infrastructure

HM Government is protecting our national security while ensuring the United Kingdom remains a global champion of free trade and an attractive destination for international investment.

My Department is working with other departments and our counterparts overseas to ensure the continued flow of critical equipment and supplies through this pandemic, as well as supporting trading businesses as the economy recovers. This includes diversifying the import and export markets for British businesses, which will allow them to build resilience into their supply chains.

16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that (1) Hikvision, and (2) Dahua, cameras and technology are not used in the procurement supply chain for the HS2 railway line.

It is not government policy to comment on security arrangements.

HS2 Ltd's procurement process is undertaken in line with the Utilities Contract Regulations (2016 as amended). HS2’s contracts specify a level of capability which suppliers of products must be able to meet.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 10 March (HL6409), how many Chinese technology cameras made by (1) Hikvision, and (2) Dahua Technology, are currently in use in (a) train stations, (b) airports, and (c) bus stations, in the UK.

As has been the case under successive administrations, it is not Government policy to comment on security arrangements at UK transport sites.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans are in place to implement the International Maritime Organisation’s Recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, issued on 6 May, to ensure the continued free movement of seafarers; and what steps they are taking to ensure the swift return to the UK of UK seafarers whose contracts of employment have expired and are now stranded on ships around the world.

The Government welcomes the framework that was developed by the International Chamber of Shipping and other organisations, which has been supported and circulated by the International Maritime Organisation. The Department wrote to the International Maritime Organisation, the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation on 23 March 2020, confirming that the UK will continue to meet its international obligations related to the transit and transfer of seafarers and highlighted that the UK is fully committed to the welfare of all seafarers regardless of their nationality.

The Government is currently considering the framework in more detail to see what more can be done to further facilitate crew changes in UK and we will do this work as quickly as we can, as we are very keen to see a resolution, and support the sector.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking in response to the UK Chamber of Shipping’s request that they sign up to a global initiative to repatriate seafarers stranded across the world.

The Government understands the concerns that have been raised by the UK Chamber of Shipping in relation to crew changes and ensuring that seafarers who have completed their contracts can return home. We acknowledge their request for the UK to sign up to the initiative developed by the International Chamber of Shipping and other organisations, which has been supported and circulated by the International Maritime Organisation.The Government is currently considering the framework in more detail to see what more can be done to further facilitate crew changes in UK and we will do this work as quickly as we can, as we are very keen to see a resolution, and support the sector.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that up to 2,000 UK seafarers have been stranded on ships.  [T]

The Government reaffirmed its commitment to welfare for all seafarers to the ILO and IMO at the start of this crisis, which we will continue to uphold.

According to DfT data, the number of British crew members currently working on cruise vessels around the globe is closer to 1,400 rather than 2,000.

We recognise this is a worrying time for British crew on board cruise ships around the world. It is primarily the responsibility of their employers – the cruise ship operators – to ensure the welfare and safety of their staff. However, the Government continues to monitor the welfare of all UK seafarers and is working to support employers in their repatriation efforts for all non-essential staff.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that Transpennine Express have cancelled up to 40 per cent of trains on some routes; what are the reasons for those reported cancellations; how long they estimate any cancellations to last; what discussions they have had with Transpennine Express about the cancellations; and what was the outcome of any such discussions.

The December timetable was designed to be transformative for customers travelling on its three new fleets of trains. The full December timetable included a new direct route from Liverpool to Glasgow, the extension of the service from Newcastle to Edinburgh and a new service from Middlesbrough to Redcar.

Due to the late delivery and technical issues with its new trains which impacted on driver training and availability of crews, customers of TransPennine Express (TPE) experienced an unacceptable increase in disruption. To provide a more stable service, TPE has introduced temporary timetable changes between Liverpool Lime Street and Edinburgh until the end of January to allow it to recover. The Rail North Partnership representing the DfT and Transport for the North continues to challenge TPE robustly and hold the operator to account on its contractual obligations. Only last week, my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Transport called in executives from TPE and other industry bodies to reinforce this point. If appropriate, we will take action under the terms set out in the Franchise Agreement.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they respond to the assessment of Lord Berkeley, former deputy chairman of the Oakervee Review into HS2, that (1) Parliament has been misled about the cost of HS2, (2) it could cost more than £100 billion, and (3) the costs are “out of control”.

Lord Berkeley’s report represents his personal views. The Secretary of State commissioned the Oakervee Review to provide advice on how and whether to proceed with HS2, including examining the project’s costs and benefits. Douglas Oakervee’s report will inform our assessment of the estimated cost, if the Government decides to proceed. We will of course give appropriate consideration to Lord Berkeley’s personal views.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for reviewing the penalties for those found guilty of an offence under (1) the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and (2) other related legislation, including regulations 12, 38(1)(a) and 41(1)(a) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 and sections 33(1)(c), 33(6) and 157(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have advised prosecution is one of a range of enforcement options available to environmental and health and safety regulators, including withdrawing approvals, serving enforcement and fixed penalty notices, varying licenses conditions and providing written advice.

The law currently allows for an unlimited fine and imprisonment for those convicted of offences under health and safety regulations, fly-tipping and breaches of environmental permitting. No specific assessment has been made regarding whether a revision to these penalties is necessary, although the Regulators Code requires that all regulators keep their activities under review.

Sentencing is a matter for the independent courts who must follow the relevant guidelines issued by the independent Sentencing Council for England and Wales. The guidelines implement the requirements of Section 125 of the Sentencing Act, which requires that any fine imposed should reflect the seriousness of the offence and take into account the financial circumstances of the dutyholder. The level of fine should reflect the extent to which the offender fell below the required standard, and should meet the objectives of punishment, deterrence and the removal of gain derived through the commission of the offence, in a fair and proportionate way. The fine must be sufficiently substantial to have an economic impact that brings home, to both management and shareholders, the need to comply with health and safety legislation.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend for the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 to be retained under the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill.

With the introduction of the Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) remains focused on ensuring that regulatory frameworks maintain the United Kingdom’s high standards of health and safety protection and continue to reduce burdens for business.

HSE’s approach aligns closely with the Government’s pledge to do more for business to help promote growth by removing disproportionate burdens and simplifying the regulatory landscape. Our standards of health and safety protections are among the highest in the world. HSE will continue to review its retained EU Law to seek opportunities to reduce business burdens and promote growth without reducing health and safety standards.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the most recent statistics relating to claims for industrial injuries disablement benefit; and whether they intend to publish future statistics on a regular basis.

In the latest full financial year for which data is available, 2021/22, there were 9,870[1] new claims[2] made to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit[3]. 7,060 of these related to a prescribed disease and 2,820 of these related to a workplace accident.

In the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year, April 2022 to June 2022, 2,620 new claims[4] were made to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit[5]. 1,920 of these related to a prescribed disease and 700 of these related to a workplace accident.

Information on claims for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is published on a quarterly basis and can be found in the ‘IIDB Claims’ dataset on Stat-Xplore.

The latest release for this dataset was published on Tuesday 14th February 2023 at 09:30am containing data up to June 2022. The next release is scheduled for Tuesday 16th May 2023 at 09:30am.

You can log in or access Stat-Xplore as a guest user and, if needed, you can access guidance on how to extract the information required.

[1] All volumes are rounded to the nearest 10. Individual figures for accidents and prescribed diseases may not sum to overall totals due to rounding

[2] Claims that did not result in a payment are also included. There are a number of reasons why a claim might not result in payment. The claim is progressed through to assessment where a decision maker will decide if the claim is payable

[3] Excluding new claims for Reduced Earnings Allowance

[4] Claims that did not result in a payment are also included. There are a number of reasons why a claim might not result in payment. The claim is progressed through to assessment where a decision maker will decide if the claim is payable

[5] Excluding new claims for Reduced Earnings Allowance.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on UK pension funds of the fall of the Hang Seng Index.

UK pension schemes investment in Asian markets, and therefore exposure to the fall of the Hang Seng index, is low. Overall, our UK Pension schemes operate over very long timescales and have balanced and diversified investment strategies. They are therefore well placed to navigate any periods of volatility in global markets.

11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to persuade Cape Industries Ltd to contribute to the funding of research on asbestos-related diseases.

No steps have been taken: whether to contribute to the funding of research on asbestos-related diseases would be a matter for Cape Industries Ltd.

8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they take to ensure that pension funds and other institutional investors comply with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The Government has taken action to ensure that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are taken into account by institutional investors.

2018 changes to the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations require occupational pension schemes to have policies on financially material ESG factors and on stewardship of their investments. Trustees are also required to report annually on how these policies have been implemented. These policies may include considerations such as those set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and in relation to issues such as crimes against humanity and genocide.

There are also similar expectations on providers of contract-based pensions in respect of their pension investments. The Independent Governance Committees (IGCs) of these firms are expected to consider and report on their firm’s policies on ESG issues and stewardship for the products that the IGCs oversee.

The importance and growth of investing in line with ESG considerations is a focus area of the Asset Management Taskforce – a regular forum chaired by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury bringing together Government, industry, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other stakeholders. On 24 November 2020, the Asset Management Taskforce published “Investing With Purpose: placing stewardship at the heart of sustainable growth”. This report’s clear recommendations, which apply across the investment chain, will further enhance the UK’s stewardship regime aim to ensure that asset managers are focused on delivering long-term, sustainable benefits for investors, the economy, the environment and society.

The UK Stewardship Code, which was strengthened in 2020, also sets out at Principle 7 the expectation that its investor signatories systematically integrate material social issues into stewardship and investment. Stewardship by asset owners and asset managers involves making informed decisions about where to invest, and proactive oversight of assets once invested. The FCA’s disclosure of commitment rule to the Stewardship Code, as well as rules promoting disclosure of asset managers’ engagement and investment strategies under Revised Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II), holds asset managers accountable and promotes the importance of stewardship. Consistent with the FCA’s objective to make relevant markets function well, stewardship activities improve market quality and integrity, and help create sustainable, long-term value for clients and beneficiaries, while having wider economic, environmental and societal benefits.

The Government would also expect institutional investors to be monitoring risks to their investments posed by breaches of international human rights law.

We recognise that some investors have not focused on social factors as much as environmental factors such as climate change. The Department for Work and Pensions has therefore written to 40 large schemes to understand their current practices. It also intends to seek views on whether occupational pension schemes’ policies and practices on social risk factors are sufficiently robust and what the Government could do to ensure that trustees are able to meet their legal obligations in this respect.

10th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Oxford University Disability Law and Policy Project and the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights An Affront to Dignity, Inclusion and Equality, published on 2 July, in particular its recommendations (1) that all legislation passed during the COVID-19 pandemic should be reviewed to ensure that the duties under the Equality Act 2010 and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are met, and (2) that a COVID-19 disability inclusive response and recovery group should be established to ensure that disabled people are central in the decision making relating to economic and social recovery following the pandemic.

The Government notes the recommendations in the report by Oxford University on “An Affront to Dignity, Inclusion and Equality”.

The Cabinet Office Disability Unit continues to work with disability stakeholders and across Government Departments to ensure that the needs of disabled people are considered in the UK Government’s response to COVID-19.

We are clear that consideration of equality impacts must be integral in all key policy decisions. All equality and discrimination laws and obligations continue to apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government remains committed to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and to the progressive realisation of the rights for disabled people that it sets out.

The National Strategy for Disabled People is a key manifesto commitment for this Government and its delivery remains important for ministers, including No. 10. Its significance is even greater, as we re-build the UK’s economy and society following the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now focusing on meaningful engagement with stakeholders, strengthening our evidence base and keeping momentum to deliver the high ambition strategy that the Prime Minister has called for.

30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 23 July 2015 (HL1632), how many prescriptions for antidepressants have been issued in each year since 2014; what was the annual cost to the National Health Service of those prescriptions; and what guidance is given to doctors and patients about the use of antidepressants, their subsequent withdrawal and potential long-term effects.

The following table shows the latest data available on the number of prescriptions for antidepressants issued between 2014 and 2023, and the associated net ingredient cost:

Time Period

Total Number of Items

Total Net Ingredient Cost (£)

2014

57,149,109

265,008,699

2015

61,021,662

284,746,655

2016

64,703,639

266,562,024

2017

67,530,457

235,076,090

2018

70,873,979

202,526,720

2019

74,814,621

201,729,659

2020

78,866,866

352,682,886

2021

82,620,542

288,099,250

2022

85,404,864

224,648,497

2023 (11 months)

80,970,256

211,852,277

The requirement to provide a patient information leaflet with licensed medicines in the United Kingdom is set out in Regulation 267 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012. As set out in Schedule 27 of these regulations, the information that must be presented in the leaflet includes special warnings relevant to the safe use of the medicine, and instructions for proper use, including the risk of withdrawal effects and description of all side effects, both long and short term. The leaflet must reflect in lay language, the agreed Summary of Product Characteristics for a medicine, which would include information on risk of addiction, withdrawal and the long-term consequences of taking a medicine. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence also set outs guidelines for the management and treatment of depression in adults.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how much personal protective clothing and other medical items stored in China by the NHS remains in storage; what has been the accumulated cost of storage; how much has been destroyed; and what will happen to that which remains.

Since July 2023 all of the Department’s personal protective equipment stock has been stored at sites within the United Kingdom. The total cost of storing items in the freeport in China was £60.6 million for the years 2020 until 2023, when we exited the site.

3,058 million items stored in China, or around 80% of the total volume, were sent to the UK for use in health and social care settings. 57 million items, or around 1.5% of the total volume, have been donated. 699 million items, or around 8% of the total volume, were recycled into energy from waste, which was by far the most cost-effective means of disposal readily available.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the current annual cost to the National Health Service of carrying out abortions; and what is its estimate of the total cost to the National Health Service of carrying out abortions in the last 30 years

This information is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many legal abortions have taken place (1) cumulatively, and (2) annually, in Great Britain in each year since 1993.

Information on the number of legal abortions which have taken place cumulatively, and annually, in Great Britain between 1993 and 2021, inclusive, is set out in the following table:

Year

England and Wales

Scotland

Great Britain

Cumulative Great Britain

1993

168,714

11,069

179,783

179,783

1994

166,876

11,389

178,265

358,048

1995

163,638

11,143

174,781

532,829

1996

177,495

11,978

189,473

722,302

1997

179,746

12,109

191,855

914,157

1998

187,402

12,485

199,887

1,114,044

1999

183,250

12,168

195,418

1,309,462

2000

185,375

11,997

197,372

1,506,834

2001

186,274

12,128

198,402

1,705,236

2002

185,385

11,870

197,255

1,902,491

2003

190,660

12,308

202,968

2,105,459

2004

194,498

12,462

206,960

2,312,419

2005

194,353

12,665

207,018

2,519,437

2006

201,173

13,167

214,340

2,733,777

2007

205,598

13,778

219,376

2,953,153

2008

202,158

13,908

216,066

3,169,219

2009

195,743

13,112

208,855

3,378,074

2010

196,109

12,949

209,058

3,587,132

2011

196,082

12,558

208,640

3,795,772

2012

190,972

12,578

203,550

3,999,322

2013

190,800

11,954

202,754

4,202,076

2014

190,092

11,787

201,879

4,403,955

2015

191,014

12,153

203,167

4,607,122

2016

190,406

12,133

202,539

4,809,661

2017

197,533

12,546

210,079

5,019,740

2018

205,295

13,358

218,653

5,238,393

2019

209,519

13,610

223,129

5,461,522

2020

210,860

13,896

224,756

5,686,278

2021

214,869

13,758

228,627

5,914,905

Notes:

  1. Figures for England and Wales are for all legal abortions that occurred in England & Wales.
  2. Figures for Scotland show all legal terminations of pregnancy performed in Scotland.
Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government from which countries people have returned to the UK after having illegally paid for transplants abroad.

The Government does not hold information on which countries people have returned to the United Kingdom from after having illegally paid for transplants abroad.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 15 July 2013 (HL1303) and by Lord Markham on 6 June 2023 (HL7725) and 27 June 2023 (HL8708), whether the implantation failure rate to date for pronuclear transfer is therefore entirely explicable on the basis of maternal age; or if not, what is the most plausible explanation for deviation from prior expectations.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that it has not made an assessment to date of the implantation failure rate for pronuclear transfer on the basis of maternal age, as the number to date is too low.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 22 June (HL8340), whether the implantation failure rate for all other treatments is therefore incomparably low relative to that to date for pronuclear transfer; or whether the number of successful treatments to date for pronuclear transfer is incomparably low; and what is the implantation failure rate for all other treatments regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it has not made any assessment of whether the implantation failure rate for all other treatments is incomparably low relative to that to date for pronuclear transfer; or whether the number of successful treatments to date for pronuclear transfer is incomparably low. The HFEA routinely publish implantation success rates. The implantation failure rate is the remainder.

The following table shows the average implantation rate and implantation failure rate per embryo transferred from fresh embryo transfer using patients eggs by patient age, 2021.

Year

Implantation rate per embryo transferred

Implantation failure rate per embryo transferred

Age 18 to 34 years old

41%

59%

Age 35 to 37 years old

33%

67%

Age 38 to 39 years old

25%

75%

Age 40 to 42 years old

16%

84%

Age 43 to 50 years old

6%

94%

Source: HFEA

Implantation rates for 2021 are preliminary. This data includes IVF treatment cycles begun with the intention of having a live birth only and includes fresh embryo transfers. PGT-A/M/SR treatments and treatments using donor eggs or surrogacy have been excluded.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 11 May 2016 (HL7950), and the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 6 June (HL7725), whether any research applications submitted to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) since March 2011 have been rejected by the HFEA Licence Committee; whether any requests have been received by the HFEA to perform spindle-chromosomal complex transfer; and how many centres in the UK have been granted permission to perform pronuclear transfer in order to facilitate independent scientific validation.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that no research applications have been rejected by the HFEA Licence Committee since March 2011. No requests have been received by the HFEA to perform spindle-chromosomal complex transfer. One centre in the UK has been granted permission to perform pronuclear transfer which is the Newcastle Centre For Life.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 1 April 2014 (HL6103 and HL6104) and by Lord Markham on 13 June (HL8181) and 14 June (HL8241), whether the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has made any assessment of the revised estimate that 10–20 families per year might be assisted by mitochondrial donation techniques; what assessment they have made of the HFEA decision to continue to license the use of such techniques; and whether the number of embryos used in treatments to date in the UK might reasonably be described as low in comparison with other licensed treatments.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it has made no assessment of the revised estimate previously made by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University, on the number of embryos used in treatment to date in the United Kingdom in comparison with other licensed treatments, as the number of treatments to date in the UK is low.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jun 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 13 June (HL8182), how patient confidentiality might be compromised if no adverse outcomes were reported.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that, due to the limited number of mitochondrial donation treatment outcomes to date in the United Kingdom, there is a significant possibility that when combined with other information, which may be reasonably accessed, it could lead to the identification of a person to whom the HFEA owes a duty of confidentiality.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 6 June (HL7725), how the implantation failure rate for pronuclear transfer compares to that for all other treatments regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that it is not possible to compare the implantation failure rate for pronuclear transfer to all other treatments it regulates as the number to date is too low.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 15 July 2013 (HL1303), what progress the Human and Embryology Authority is able to report that may correspond to previous estimates that mitochondria replacement techniques could "save the lives of up to 10 babies who are born every year with a severe form of the disease, such as those with high levels of mutations".

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that it has made no assessment of the estimates previously made by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University, as the number of treatments to date in the United Kingdom is so low.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord O'Shaughnessy on 6 April 2017 (HL6515), whether the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has been made aware that any child born as a result of mitochondrial donation has (1) a mitochondrial disease, (2) birth defect, (3) genetic abnormality, or (4) any other adverse outcome.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that it cannot provide the detailed information as requested as it may compromise patient confidentiality.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Lord Kamall on 5 January 2022 (HLWS503), how many patients to date have been licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority as eligible for mitochondrial donation treatment in the UK; how many embryos in total have been produced using (1) pronuclear transfer, and (2) spindle-chromosomal complex transfer; and how many embryos have been transferred to uteri pursuant to (a) pronuclear transfer, and (b) spindle-chromosomal complex transfer.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that 32 patients have been licensed as eligible for mitochondrial donation treatment in the United Kingdom. The following table shows how many embryos have been produced during mitochondrial donation treatment and how many embryos have been transferred to uteri pursuant to clinical application in the UK of (a) pronuclear transfer and (b) spindle-chromosomal complex transfer.

Pronuclear transfer

Spindle-chromosomal complex transfer

Embryos produced during mitochondrial donation treatment1

317

0

Embryos transferred

24

0

Source: HFEA

Notes:

  1. The data is as recorded by the HFEA on 4 June 2023 so these figures reflect the data on this day and are likely to change over time.
  2. Embryos produced during mitochondrial donation treatment are calculated as the total number of embryos developed from patient eggs and number of embryos developed from mitochondrial donor eggs.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th May 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Bethell on 5 March 2020 (HL1701) and 2 April 2020 (HL2792), how many (1) implantation failures, (2) spontaneous miscarriages, (3) terminations of pregnancies, and (4) live births, have been recorded pursuant to clinical application in the UK of (a) pronuclear transfer, and (b) spindle-chromosomal complex transfer.

The following table shows how many implantation failures, spontaneous miscarriages, terminations of pregnancies and live births, have been recorded pursuant to clinical application in the UK of pronuclear transfer and spindle-chromosomal complex transfer.

Pronuclear transfer

Spindle-chromosomal complex transfer

Implantation failures

20-23

0

Spontaneous miscarriages

0

0

Terminations of pregnancy

0

0

Live births

0

Source: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)

Notes:

  1. The data is as recorded by the HFEA on 10 May 2023 so these figures reflect the data on this day and are likely to change over time.
  2. The HFEA publishes information which does not compromise patient confidentiality. All counts of less than five are not released as there is a significant possibility that when combined with other information which may be reasonably accessed, it could lead to the identification of a person to whom the HFEA owes a duty of confidentiality.
  3. Implantation failures is calculated as embryo transfer procedures subtracting where intrauterine foetal pulsations were recorded. This calculation does not account for chemical pregnancies as these are not recorded.
  4. This information has been banded as it could reasonably be used in combination with information already in the public domain to determine suppressed information in this table.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hospice and End of Life Care The Lasting Impact of COVID-19 on Death, Dying and Bereavement, published on 1 March, what steps they will take to address the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on (1) the workforce in the health and social care sector, (2) families and unpaid carers, and (3) communities.

The Government has commissioned NHS England to develop a Long Term Workforce Plan for the National Health Service. Additionally, steps have been taken to deliver the 50,000 nurses commitment by providing a financial support package.

To reduce waiting lists in community health, the Government is allocating core funding growth for community health services, investing £8 million this financial year to provide training to support community staff, and on track to reach our commitment of 200,000 personal health budgets by March 2024. Furthermore, the publication of the Urgent and Emergency Care Plan will work to scale up community teams.

The Care Act 2014 requires local authorities to deliver a wide range of sustainable high-quality care and support services, including support for unpaid carers. Additionally, funding for respite and short breaks for carers is included in the NHS contribution to the Better Care Fund.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hospice and End of Life Care The Lasting Impact of COVID-19 on Death, Dying and Bereavement, published on 1 March, what assessment they have made of innovations in the administration of palliative care medication that were developed during the COVID-19 pandemic; and what plans they have to roll out any of these innovations more widely.

While no specific assessment of the innovations in the administration of palliative care medication has been made, the Government and NHS England both recognise the importance of timely access to palliative and end of life care medicines for patients and those important to them. Clinicians should provide details of who can administer the medicine, ensuring they follow local guidance and consider national best practice.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have for the disposal or continued storage of PPE purchased for the UK and stored in China.

As of 28 November 2022, the Department had 118 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) stored in China at an average weekly cost of £260,000.

We have no plans to store PPE in China in future and are working to rapidly reduce our existing holding to zero.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of (1) the amount of PPE purchased for the UK that is being stored in China, and (2) the cost of such storage.

As of 28 November 2022, the Department had 118 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) stored in China at an average weekly cost of £260,000.

We have no plans to store PPE in China in future and are working to rapidly reduce our existing holding to zero.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how they intend to provide (1) transparency, and (2) accountability, concerning money returned to public funds by defaulting suppliers of personal protective equipment.

In my remarks of 30 November 2022 in response to Baroness Smith of Basildon, Volume 825, column 1785, I committed to place further information on the money returned to the taxpayer to date in the Libraries of both Houses. While we cannot currently report on ongoing discussions with providers of personal protective equipment deemed as unsatisfactory, we will do so where these engagements have concluded. Officials are currently collating and validating this information and determining how Parliament can be regularly informed of progress in future.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how they will notify parliament about money returned to public funds by defaulting suppliers of personal protective equipment if individual settlements are protected by commercial secrecy rules.

In my remarks of 30 November 2022 in response to Baroness Smith of Basildon, Volume 825, column 1785, I committed to place further information on the money returned to the taxpayer to date in the Libraries of both Houses. While we cannot currently report on ongoing discussions with providers of personal protective equipment deemed as unsatisfactory, we will do so where these engagements have concluded. Officials are currently collating and validating this information and determining how Parliament can be regularly informed of progress in future.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how they intend to report any money returned to public funds from suppliers of defective personal protective equipment

In my remarks of 30 November 2022 in response to Baroness Smith of Basildon, Volume 825, column 1785, I committed to place further information on the money returned to the taxpayer to date in the Libraries of both Houses. While we cannot currently report on ongoing discussions with providers of personal protective equipment deemed as unsatisfactory, we will do so where these engagements have concluded. Officials are currently collating and validating this information and determining how Parliament can be regularly informed of progress in future.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 17 November (HL Deb cols 207GC to 215GC), how much longer 120 million items of PPE will be stored in China; and how much they anticipate this will cost.

We aim to reduce the cost of storing personal protective equipment in China and further information will be available in due course.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 17 November (HL Deb cols 207GC to 215GC), how much it has cost to date to store 120 million items of PPE in China.

From April to September 2022, the cost of storing personal protective equipment in China was £16.3 million. We aim to further reduce this expenditure.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 17 November (HL Deb cols 207GC to 215GC), who took the decision to spend £770,000 a day to store 120 million items of PPE in China.

The Government is not spending £770,000 a day to store personal protective equipment (PPE) in China. The average daily cost of storing PPE in China is £106,000 and we are working to further reduce this cost. The business case for this storage was approved in October 2020 by the Department’s relevant accounting officer and was consistent with the governance routes for expenditure on PPE.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 11 November (HL3361), how many human embryos were (1) deliberately destroyed, and (2) transferred to uteri to establish pregnancies, in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available; and how many human embryos have been (a) deliberately destroyed, and (b) transferred to uteri since such procedures were made legal.

The following table shows the number of embryos discarded and transferred to uteri to establish pregnancies from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. The data is the latest information available on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s (HFEA) register database on 2 November 2022.

Month

Embryos discarded

Embryos transferred

January 2020

11,005

4,716

February 2020

15,743

6,978

March 2020

14,432

5,228

April 2020

2,870

283

May 2020

1,822

85

June 2020

6,894

3,110

July 2020

13,458

6,185

August 2020

14,578

6,228

September 2020

14,238

6,283

October 2020

14,609

6,812

November 2020

16,880

6,988

December 2020

10,020

4,868

Total

136,549

57,764

Source: HFEA

The following table shows the cumulative figures for the number of human embryos which have been discarded and transferred to uteri from 1 August 1991 to 31 December 2020. This includes additional validated data from previous years.

Total number of embryos discarded

3,242,868

Total number of embryos transferred

2,114,213

Source: HFEA

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 28 October (HL2572), whether the Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority intends to consult the general public regarding (1) additional techniques that aim to replace mitochondria in embryos, (2) embryonic genome-editing techniques that are not currently considered to be ready for clinical use, or (3) extending the 14-day limit for embryo research; and, if so, what steps they have taken to inform the public of any such consultations.

The Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee is an advisory committee of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and therefore has no plans to consult the general public on these issues.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist on 3 October (HL2056), which new studies relating to the impact on children born from assisted reproductive technology treatments had led the expert Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to consider new recommendations regarding (i) additional techniques with the aim of replacing mitochondria in embryos, (ii) genome editing of embryos that is not currently considered to be clinic-ready, and (iii) extending the 14-day limit for embryo research.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that its Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee has not made any specific new recommendations.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will publish all the documents they hold relating to victims of Primodos.

All documents relating to hormone pregnancy tests, such as Primodos, other than those subject to legal privilege, have been published in an online only format at GOV.UK.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to their issuing of an apology to Primodos victims in 2017, what plans they have to support those victims to seek justice through the courts.

The Government has no plans to do so.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they are supporting the pharmaceutical company Bayer in seeking to strike down an attempt by victims of Primodos to have their case heard; if so, why; and whether they will seek to establish an independent mediation process to ascertain whether there is a causal link between Primodos and birth defects.

The Department is, with others, defending court proceedings which were issued in December 2019 by claimants who contend that hormone pregnancy tests (HPTs), such as Primodos, caused birth defects.

The Department has made an application to strike out the claim by individuals which allege that HPTs caused them harm, which is due to be heard in May 2023. The scientific evidence has been reviewed on a number of occasions and most recently by the Commission on Human Medicines Expert Working Group on Hormone Pregnancy Tests. The Expert Working Group concluded that the available scientific evidence did not support a causal association. It is therefore not considered appropriate to establish an independent mediation process.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the study in PLOS Medicine, Cancer in children born after frozen-thawed embryo transfer: A cohort study, published on 1 September, which reported an increase in the cancer incidence in children born as a result of frozen-thawed embryo transfer; and what steps they are taking to facilitate a follow up to that study by means of controlled comparisons with larger samples.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the findings in the PLOS Medicine study should be interpreted with caution, as the number of children born after frozen-thawed embryo transfer in the study who later developed cancer, was very low; 30.1 in 100,000 births.

The HFEA’s expert Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee monitors new studies relating to assisted reproductive technologies, including any impact on children born from treatments. This can lead the HFEA to recommend new information for patients regarding the risks of any treatment.

28th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Kamall on 26 January (HL5352), 10 February (HL5960), and 23 March (HL6213), whether they have notified the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency regarding the concerns around Inivos sterile surgical gowns.

The Department has notified the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency regarding the Inivos surgical gowns.

21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 10 February (HL5960), what criteria they use to assess whether information is commercially sensitive; and what was the outcome of the technical review of Inivos gowns.

The contract is considered commercially sensitive as disclosure would be likely to prejudice a company’s commercial interests and inhibit its ability to do business in the future.

Therefore, we are unable to disclose the outcome of the technical regulatory assurance process.

8th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish a modern slavery statement covering their procurement of personal protective equipment since January 2020.

A statement on modern slavery in the procurement of personal protective equipment is expected to be published by NHS Supply Chain in autumn 2022.

8th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use by NHS Trusts of Chinese-made surveillance cameras made by companies currently subject to US sanctions and investment bans.

This information is not collected by the Department therefore no such assessment has been made.

7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the NHS has different standards for surgical gown sterility to those used by the World Health Organisation; and to provide details of any contracts for surgical gowns that did not meet NHS standards since March 2020.

The National Health Service standards for sterile gowns are the same as the World Health Organization standards.

The Department’s technical assurance unit is currently undertaking a formal sterility testing programme for China-manufactured sterile surgical gowns under the direction of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

We are unable to provide the information requested on individual contracts as it is commercially sensitive.

7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Hikvision products are in use in (1) the Department of Health and Social Care, and (2) the NHS.

There are 82 Hikvision products in use in the Department. Information on the usage of Hikvision products by the National Health Service is not collected centrally.

4th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall of 26 January (HL5352), what is the outcome of the technical review of Inivos gowns, which are currently under investigation through the technical regulatory assurance process.

We are unable to provide the information requested as it is commercially sensitive.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the event that any suppliers of faulty PPE are required to return public funds to the Department of Health and Social Care, they will publish what monies have been returned; by whom; how much has been recouped; and whether any evidence of criminality has been exposed and being prosecuted.

The Department is committed to transparency and a total of funds recovered may be published in future. However, settlements arising from the supply of faulty personal protective equipment are commercially sensitive. Therefore we will be unable to provide details of individual settlements. Where losses are incurred, these will be recorded in the Department’s Financial Losses Register and all such sums will be included in the Annual Report and Accounts. If evidence of criminal activity is suspected, the Department will support relevant agencies in such investigations.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department of Health and Social Care’s anti-fraud unit investigating personal protective equipment contracts (1) has passed, or (2) intends to pass, dossiers of evidence for criminal prosecutions to the Serious Fraud Squad.

Due to the emergency nature of the personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement, the Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit received referrals from varying sources on 37 contracts. In many instances, these reflected the exceptional circumstances surrounding PPE procurement and contract award. The Department acted to identify potential for fraud in PPE contracts with high-risk indicators. This prevented or terminated 11 contracts, which avoided a potential fraud loss of £157 million.

The Department takes allegations of fraud seriously and explores every available option, including working with law enforcement partners, where appropriate, to bring those who commit fraud to account. However, we are unable to provide details of ongoing counter fraud actions as to do so could prejudice the outcomes.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many personal protective equipment contracts have been referred to their Anti-fraud Unit since April 2020.

Due to the emergency nature of the personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement, the Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit received referrals from varying sources on 37 contracts. In many instances, these reflected the exceptional circumstances surrounding PPE procurement and contract award. The Department acted to identify potential for fraud in PPE contracts with high-risk indicators. This prevented or terminated 11 contracts, which avoided a potential fraud loss of £157 million.

The Department takes allegations of fraud seriously and explores every available option, including working with law enforcement partners, where appropriate, to bring those who commit fraud to account. However, we are unable to provide details of ongoing counter fraud actions as to do so could prejudice the outcomes.

1st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the incidence of serious incidents disclosed to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, including where samples are mixed up or patient records are read incorrectly, compares to the frequency of serious incidents in other areas of medicine for which comparable records are available.

Due to the way in which data is collected on incidents by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the National Reporting and Learning Systems (NRLS), it is not possible to make a direct comparison as both sets of data are recorded by separate bodies and the incidents are not recorded in the same way.

The HFEA monitors all reported incidents in order to ensure that clinics learn from them and prevent re-occurrence. Overall, the number of incidents has remained at 0.6% per treatment cycle for the last few years. There are about 80,000 treatment cycles per year and there have been five grade A incidents, the most serious, since 2016.

NHS England and NHS Improvement operate the NRLS, which collects reports of patient safety incidents from across the National Health Service. Patient safety incidents can be reported through a variety of routes by individual NHS staff, including through local trust risk management systems and web-based e-forms, including an open access e-form. Incidents are reported voluntarily.

24th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 19 January (HL4883), why they are unable to identify losses on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The Department is seeking to recover monies paid to PPE Medpro in relation to a contract for the provision of gowns. Currently the parties are engaged in mediation and exploring whether it is possible to resolve the matter without formal legal action. The Department has not yet suffered a loss but may do so if it is unable to recover monies from PPE Medpro, either by agreement arising from mediation or pursuant to formal legal action.

13th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, with regard to the provision of FFP3 masks to GPs, whether they also provided fit-testing of such masks; whether fit-testing is required before the use of FFP3 masks by GPs; what guidance they have provided to GPs concerning arranging a fit-test; and what assessment they have made of the impact on the resources and capacity of hospitals to carry out fit-tests for GPs.

There are sufficient stocks of FFP3 masks which are available to general practitioners (GPs) via the ordering portal, with limits set by size of practice. In general practice, type IIR or surgical face masks are usually worn for patient contact. Infection prevention and control measures allow for local risk assessments to determine that FFP3 masks should be worn in circumstances, such as undertaking aerosol generating procedures or if deemed necessary by the local risk assessment and if fit-testing has been carried out.

From 17 January 2022, practices requiring FFP3 masks where fit-testing has been organised, will be able to order these masks through the portal. It is a legal requirement for employers to ensure that staff are fit-tested before FFP3 face masks can be worn. Clinical commissioning groups and integrated care systems are being asked to identify regional or local fit testing capacity through Departmental networks to meet local demand.

13th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they are addressing any (1) unavailability, and (2) rationing, of FFP3 masks used by GPs required for treating COVID patients in the community via home antiviral therapy.

There are sufficient stocks of FFP3 masks which are available to general practitioners (GPs) via the ordering portal, with limits set by size of practice. In general practice, type IIR or surgical face masks are usually worn for patient contact. Infection prevention and control measures allow for local risk assessments to determine that FFP3 masks should be worn in circumstances, such as undertaking aerosol generating procedures or if deemed necessary by the local risk assessment and if fit-testing has been carried out.

From 17 January 2022, practices requiring FFP3 masks where fit-testing has been organised, will be able to order these masks through the portal. It is a legal requirement for employers to ensure that staff are fit-tested before FFP3 face masks can be worn. Clinical commissioning groups and integrated care systems are being asked to identify regional or local fit testing capacity through Departmental networks to meet local demand.

12th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total public expenditure on faulty PPE products made by Zhende and Inivos which cannot be used by the NHS; and what steps they are taking to recoup this expenditure.

Inivos supplied gowns with a contract value of £117,360,000, which are currently under investigation through the technical regulatory assurance process. Since the Department does not have a contract directly with Zhende, the information requested is not held centrally.

16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to (1) repeal section 32 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 relating to procurement of medical supplies during emergencies such as pandemics, and (2) amend the Health and Care Bill to make provision for new public procurement policies during times of emergency or pandemics based on transparency, accountability and value for public money.

The Government is transforming the regulatory framework for public procurement following the publication of a Green Paper last year. This work is being led by the Cabinet Office. Following a consultation exercise and as set out in the Government response to the consultation exercise published in December 2021, the Government proposes to retain provision allowing limited tendering in situations of extreme urgency brought about by unforeseeable events (Regulation 32(2)(c) in the Public Contracts Regulations). However, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed some uncertainty in applying Regulation 32 where the situation is prolonged or evolving and new measures will set out clear arrangements for how procurement should be conducted, including in situations where extreme urgency is a factor.

The Health and Care Bill does not include provisions for new public procurement policies during times of emergency or pandemics as this is a matter for the Cabinet Office’s regulatory framework for public procurement.

14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the report concerning 47 PPE contracts awarded through a fast-track process; (2) whether this report has been seen by the Health and Safety Executive; (3) if not, why not; and (4) what steps they are taking to prevent contracts being awarded through such a process again.

No such report has been produced.

The Government is transforming public procurement following the publication of a Green paper last year. New measures will set out clear arrangements for how procurement should be conducted, including in situations where extreme urgency is a factor.

13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether face masks produced for the NHS by (1) PestFix, and (2) Ayanda Capital, are compliant with Health and Safety Executive safety standards; whether surgical gowns manufactured by (a) PestFix, and (b) PPEMedpro, meet the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority standards; how much these products cost; what procedures were used for their purchase; and what happened to these products after delivery.

Pestfix, Ayanda Capital and PPEMedpro are suppliers and not producers or manufacturers.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency assessed the Type IIR masks supplied by Pestfix and Ayanda and approved the products for release. So far, around 43 million of these masks have been distributed.

Pestfix and Ayanda supplied FFP2 masks with ear loops. This was compliant with the regulatory standard and specifications at the time of contract. It was subsequently determined that ear loops, as opposed to head loops, were not acceptable for use in the National Health Service (NHS). As a result, when the Health and Safety Executive assessed the FFP2 masks supplied by Pestfix and Ayanda, they failed for use in the NHS because they have ear loops rather than head loops. We are looking at making these masks available for overseas markets.

Pestfix and PPEMedpro provided surgical gowns. In both cases these were not approved and no stock was distributed. Whilst the supplies come from different manufacturers all items are “single wrapped sterile surgical gowns”, which cannot be used within the United Kingdom operating theatres, due to sterility concerns around the single wrap. These products could potentially be made available for sale to overseas markets.

Any decisions on individual contracts are regarded as commercially sensitive information, therefore the department is unable to release information in relation to costs and procedures.

13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of the 47 VIP public contracts involving facemasks and surgical gowns have led to defaults that are now in dispute; what estimate they have made of the percentage of public contracts that involve defaults; and what is the total cost to public funds of public contacts that involve defaults.

The information is not held in the format requested.

13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any (1) person, or (2) organisation, will be censured for defaults involving the 47 VIP public contracts for facemasks and surgical gowns; and what steps they have taken in connection with defaults associated with their contract with PPE MedPro.

We have no plans to censure a single individual or organisation. The contract with PPE Medpro is considered commercially sensitive as the Department is currently engaged in a mediation process concerning their products, which involves confidentiality undertakings.

8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Kamall on 2 November (HL3362) and 16 November (HL3662), why “information on the number of embryos produced, transferred, and confirmed pregnancies cannot be disclosed” for reasons of patient confidentiality, when the Written Answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department of Health and Social Care on 15 April 2019 (241389) provided figures on the number of applications made, and approved, for mitochondrial donation techniques and the number of embryos discarded; whether there has been a change of policy regarding information about outcomes of pronuclear transfer or spindle-chromosomal complex transfer since 15 April 2019; and if so, (1) when that policy change was made, and (2) what were the reasons for that change.

In our Written Answer of 2 November 2021 to HL3362, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the information provided was incorrect. We have corrected the record through Written Ministerial Statement HLWS503 on 5 January 2022.

The HFEA advise that there has been no change of policy regarding information about outcomes of pronuclear transfer or spindle-chromosomal complex transfer. The HFEA publishes information which does not compromise patient confidentiality. All counts of less than five are not released as there is a significant possibility that when combined with other information which may be reasonably accessed, it could lead to the identification of a person to whom the HFEA owes a duty of confidentiality.

6th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Kamall on 2 November (HL3362) and 1 December (HL4059), what steps the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority have taken in response to the publication by Newcastle University Press Office on 15 December 2016 of the names and picture of a couple considering using the mitochondrial donation technique.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) did not take any steps in response to the publication by Newcastle University Press Office on the 15 December 2016. Patients are entitled to release their own medical and identifying information to the media if they wish to do so. The HFEA would not prevent individuals from discussing their own medical conditions or treatments.

6th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 16 November (HL3662), how performance of pronuclear transfer in mice might remain a reliable predictor of its efficacy in humans; and to what extent the physiopathological or genetic variation between human patients is greater than the physiological or genetic differences between humans and mice.

The Department and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority do not hold recent information on whether pronuclear transfer in mice remains a reliable predictor of its efficacy in humans nor on the extent that physiopathological or genetic variation between human patients is greater than the physiological or genetic differences between humans and mice.

18th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps the (1) Chief Medical, (2) Chief Dental, and (3) Chief Nursing, Officers are taking to identify barriers to employment by the NHS in England of health care professionals arriving from Hong Kong under the British National (Overseas) visa scheme.

The Department is working across the health and care system and other Government departments to understand the needs of British Nationals Overseas visa holders with health and care experience and share best practice on providing supported routes to employment.

18th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to remove any barriers to employment by the NHS of health care professionals arriving from Hong Kong under the British National (Overseas) visa scheme.

The Department is working across the health and care system and other Government departments to understand the needs of British Nationals Overseas visa holders with health and care experience and share best practice on providing supported routes to employment.

16th Nov 2021
IVF
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 2 November (HL3362), what were the affected genes in the mitochondrial genome and the associated mutations in each of the 24 patients licensed as eligible for mitochondrial replacement treatment; and on what dates each corresponding application was approved by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

The following table shows the gene affected and the mutation in the 26 patients licensed as eligible for mitochondrial donation treatment, the date each application was made and then approved by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) Statutory Approvals Committee.

HFEA Application reference Gene affected by mutation Mutation Date received Date approved by the HFEA Statutory Approvals Committee

M0001 MT-TK Details omitted to protect patient identity 28 June 2017 31 August 2017

M0002 MT-TK Details omitted to protect patient identity 4 September 2017 26 October 2017

M0007 MT-ND1 m.3460 G>A 13 March 2018 24 May 2018

M0003 MT-TL1 Details omitted to protect patient identity 25 September 2017 26 July 2018

M0005 MT-TL1 m.3243 A>G 5 December 2017 26 July 2018

M0008 MT-TL1 m.3243 A>G 15 March 2018 26 July 2018

M0004 MT-TK Details omitted to protect patient identity 4 December 2017 30 August 2018

M0006 MT-TS1 Details omitted to protect patient identity 9 January 2018 30 August 2018

M0009 MT-TI m.4300 A>G 28 June 2018 27 September 2018

M0010 MT-TI m.4300 A>G 11 July 2018 27 September 2018

M0013 MT-ND4 m.11778 G>A 14 July 2018 25 October 2018

M0012 MT-ND1 m.3460 G>A 13 July 2018 25 October 2018

M0014 MT-ND4 m.11778 G>A 23 November 2018 31 January 2019

M0015 MT-ND4 m.11778 G>A 23 November 2018 31 January 2019

M0011 MT-ND4 m.11778 G>A 12 July 2018 29 August 2019

M0016 MT-TK m.8344 A>G 5 July 2019 26 September 2019

M0017 MT-ND4 m.11778 G>A 22 August 2019 31 October 2019

M0018 MT-TL1 Details omitted to protect patient identity 10 December 2019 26 March 2020

M0019 MT-TL1 Details omitted to protect patient identity 10 December 2019 26 March 2020

M0020 MT-TL1 Details omitted to protect patient identity 30 March 2020 25 June 2020

M0021 MT-ND1 Details omitted to protect patient identity 30 March 2020 25 June 2020

M0022 MT-ND1 Details omitted to protect patient identity 26 June 2020 24 September 2020

M0024 MT-ND4 Details omitted to protect patient identity 9 December 2020 29 July 2021

M0025 MT-ND4 Details omitted to protect patient identity 9 December 2020 29 July 2021

M0026 MT-ND4 Details omitted to protect patient identity 7 June 2021 4 October 2021

M0027 MT-ND1 Details omitted to protect patient identity 7 June 2021 4 October 2021

Source: HFEA

3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer from Lord Kamall on 2 November 2021 (HL3362), what assessment they have made of the fact that only 24 patients have been licensed as eligible for mitochondrial donation treatment in the UK.

The Department has not made any assessments of the fact that only 24 patients have been licensed as eligible for mitochondrial donation treatment in the United Kingdom.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015 requires the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to approve applications for mitochondrial donation treatment on a case-by-case basis, with reference to the statutory tests and the particular circumstances of the patient.

All applications considered by the HFEA’s Statutory Approvals Committee for mitochondrial donation treatment to 31 October 2021 have been approved.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer from Lord Kamall on 2 November 2021 (HL3362), how prospective patients are best enabled to give informed consent if the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority needs to suppress the release of pertinent data on safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception; how they consider patient confidentiality may be compromised by the release of anonymised numerical data; and which other approved medical treatments or areas of biomedical research, if any, require similar secrecy regarding safety and efficacy data.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended) and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s Code of Practice requires centres licensed to offer mitochondrial donation treatment to provide prospective patients with appropriate information about the treatment, including access to genetic consultation and counselling and obtain the written informed consent of patients before treatment can proceed.

The symptoms of mitochondrial disease are often unique to the individual affected, which taken together with the small number of patients approved to date and the need to ensure individuals are not identified, means that it is not yet possible to assess data on safety and efficacy of these methods beyond the number of approvals and details of mitochondrial DNA mutations for each approval. All healthcare professionals must not release data which may make patients and their health conditions identifiable.

25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority website about the “limited evidence on risks and success rates” for mitochondrial replacement techniques; how many embryos have been generated to date using each particular technique; how many such embryos have been transferred to patients; how many confirmed pregnancies have resulted since then; and how such outcomes remain consistent with expectations from the scientific review by the HFEA in 2016 about the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception.

The Department has not made an assessment. The statement aims to provide basic information to potential patients and the reference to limited evidence on risks and success rates reflects that this treatment has only been available in the United Kingdom for the last few years.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that to date it has licensed 24 patients as eligible for mitochondrial donation treatment in the UK. To protect patient confidentiality, information on the number of embryos produced, transferred, and confirmed pregnancies cannot be disclosed. No assessment of the safety and efficacy of mitochondrial donation treatment has been made to date as the number of treatments in the UK is low.

25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford on 11 February 2020 (HL1173), how many human embryos were (1) deliberately destroyed, and (2) transferred to uteri to establish pregnancies, in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available; and how many human embryos have been (a) deliberately destroyed, and (b) transferred to uteri since such procedures were made legal.

The following table shows the number of embryos discarded and transferred to uteri to establish pregnancies from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. The data is the latest information available and as shown on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s (HFEA) register database on 27 August 2021.

Month

Embryos discarded

Embryos transferred

January 2019

12,004

5,109

February 2019

15,731

7,074

March 2019

16,740

7,324

April 2019

15,137

6,503

May 2019

14,581

6,456

June 2019

13,326

6,119

July 2019

14,893

6,496

August 2019

14,938

6,739

September 2019

13,895

6,149

October 2019

15,225

6,889

November 2019

16,765

7,434

December 2019

9,680

4,135

Total 2019

172,915

76,427

Source: HFEA

The following table shows the cumulative figures for how many human embryos have been discarded and transferred to uteri from 1 August 1991 to 31 December 2019. The figures include additional validated data from previous years.

Total number of embryos discarded

3,106,319

Total number of embryos transferred

2,056,449

Source: HFEA

21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of alleged labour abuses by the Malaysian glove maker Supermax; how many products from that company they have purchased; and what was the cost of those purchases.

We will be investigating the claims made against Supermax. We have made strong commitments to eradicate modern slavery from all contracts in the Government’s supply chain. A due diligence process is carried out for all Government contracts and our suppliers are required to follow the highest legal and ethical standards. If they fail to do so, we will remove them from current and future procurements.

In July 2021, we placed an order with Supermax for 135 million gloves at a cost of £7.9 million. Our purchase process includes safeguards to both strengthen due diligence and to terminate a contract should there be substantiated allegations against a provider.

14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the economic benefits of increasing the funding given to disabled children’s health and social care services, and (2) the level of unmet need for disabled children’s health and social care services.

Although no specific assessments have been made, we are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve the provision of health and care services for disabled children.

On 6 September, we announced an additional £5.4 billion for the National Health Service over the next six months, bringing the total Government support for health services in response to COVID-19 to over £34 billion in 2021/22. This includes £2 billion to reduce waiting times for patients, including disabled children. Councils have access to £51.3 billion to deliver core services, including a £1.7 billion grant for social care. To support local areas, we have provided over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils for the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including for children’s social care.

14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Disabled Children’s Partnership The Gap Widens, published on 14 October, which found that the funding gap in disabled children’s health and social care had increased to £2.1 billion.

Although no specific assessments have been made, we are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve the provision of health and care services for disabled children.

On 6 September, we announced an additional £5.4 billion for the National Health Service over the next six months, bringing the total Government support for health services in response to COVID-19 to over £34 billion in 2021/22. This includes £2 billion to reduce waiting times for patients, including disabled children. Councils have access to £51.3 billion to deliver core services, including a £1.7 billion grant for social care. To support local areas, we have provided over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils for the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including for children’s social care.

12th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the letter dated 16 July from 46 charities concerned about the incidence of suicides among young asylum seekers, (1) what assessment they have made of such suicides, and (2) what steps they will take to address their underlying causes.

Each and every suicide is a tragedy, with a devastating impact on families and communities. The Department for Health and Social Care, the Home Office, the Department for Education and Office for Health Improvement and Disparities are working with the Da’Aro Youth Project to better understand and address the concerns raised in the letter dated 16 July.

The National Suicide Prevention Strategy Preventing suicide in England: A cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives, highlights groups which require tailored approaches to address their mental health needs, including asylum seekers. Every local authority has a multi-agency suicide prevention plan in place, tailored to the needs of local communities and work with local partners to implement these plans based on the National Strategy and local data. A copy of the Strategy is attached.

The Government will also continue to use our safeguarding networks to identify the most vulnerable users of the asylum system and engage with the appropriate statutory agencies to provide the support they need.

14th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports in The Diplomat on 14 September, what assessment they have made of the alleged use of forced labour in Malaysian disposable glove factories; and what due diligence they carried out in relation to the use of forced labour before purchasing disposable gloves from Malaysian companies earlier this year.

To date, there have been no substantiated allegations of modern slavery in relation to a Departmental supplier. All the suppliers on our current gloves framework are registered and have been asked to complete a Modern Slavery Assessment and a Labour Standards Assessment.

Due diligence is carried out for all Government contracts and we expect all National Health Service suppliers to follow the highest legal and ethical standards. Public sector contracting authorities are advised on how to assess suppliers to mitigate the risk of modern slavery. Contracts are placed in line with Departmental terms and conditions which include clauses requiring Good Industry Practice to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in supply chains. Suppliers appointed to NHS Supply Chain frameworks must comply with the Labour Standards Assurance System or they can be removed from consideration for future opportunities.

18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 2 August (HL128), whether they will now collect information centrally about the personal protective equipment (PPE) procured centrally;  and what is their estimate of (1) the “disproportionate cost” of collecting information about the companies involved in the supply chain, and (2) the total combined cost to public funds of PPE and lateral flow devices.

While information on personal protective equipment (PPE) is published on the Government’s Contracts Finder service, there are currently no plans to collect or publish data on sub-contractors and intermediaries.

Collating the information requested would involve detailed analysis of 339 individual contracts and detailed re-validation of purchase order and invoice data. This would exceed the disproportionate cost of £850.

The total spend for PPE during the financial year 2020/21 was £14.7 billion, which included the costs of freight, logistics and warehousing. The total cost of lateral flow devices is not held in the format requested.

18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the investigation by BBC News, published on 28 July, which found that one million masks manufactured in China and supplied to the NHS as high grade did not meet the correct level of protection, (2) how fake personal protective equipment (PPE) entered the UK supply chain, (3) the number of (a) staff, and (b) patients, that were given faulty PPE, (4) the risk of exposure to COVID-19 as a result of using such faulty PPE, (5) the amount of money that government departments have spent on faulty PPE, and (6) the options for seeking restitution and compensation from the suppliers of faulty PPE.

For all personal protective equipment (PPE), certification is checked through a technical assurance process before the products are released for distribution. Following information received from the National Health Service in February, we quarantined and recalled the affected products and reviewed the technical certification.

As part of our investigation, we commissioned the British Standards Institution to test the masks. While the findings stated the affected masks failed to meet to FFP3 requirements, they passed all the testing requirements for an FFP2 respirator. The World Health Organization recommends the use of N95 or FFP2 respirators for health workers performing aerosol-generating procedures, wearers should have been afforded protection. These masks are not recommended to be worn by patients. We have commissioned an independent root cause analysis investigation and we await the outcome.

As of 10 June, 1.9 billion items of stock were in the ‘do not supply’ category. This is equivalent to 6.2% of purchased volume with an estimated value of £2.8 billion. We are considering options to repurpose and recycle items in this category which ensures safety and value for money. Discussions with suppliers are ongoing.

20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what due diligence they undertook to ensure that (1) lateral flow tests, and (2) personal protective equipment, imported from China were not made with the use of slave labour.

A dedicated team within the Department’s Test and Trace programme has been responsible for overseeing a rigorous inspection and auditing process for all Lateral Flow Device (LFD) suppliers outside of the United Kingdom, which includes a Business Social Compliance Initiative Human Rights audit.

All three of these suppliers manufacture the devices in China and have been assessed as Acceptable (C) overall, with further improvement needed with regards to social management systems and working hours. No evidence of child labour, forced labour or unethical business behaviour were identified over the course of these audits, which are valid for 12 months from the date of issue at which point a further audit will take place.

The Department was aware that the direct, urgent sourcing and purchasing of Personal Protective Equipment in 2020 involved high-risk areas in terms of ethical and business practices and had a number of mitigations in place. To combat Modern Slavery concerns, the Department engaged widely with NHS Supply Chain, the Home Office (HO) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office regarding Modern Slavery issues in awarding contracts. Additional training and guidance was rapidly created and distributed to strengthen buying professionals knowledge of modern slavery risks specific to the pandemic. Working with HO colleagues, the Department participated in a cross-government project to increase the modern slavery awareness of procurement professionals which included supplier training and workshops.

19th Jul 2021
BGI
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports (1) that UK clinics are selling BGI Group’s tests for genetic conditions such as Down’s syndrome, and (2) that BGI Group is (a) using these tests to harvest the genetic data of millions of women and their unborn children, and (b) storing this data on a gene database funded by the government of China; and what plans they have to ban BGI Group in the UK.

There has been no specific assessment of BGI Group’s tests. Public Health England and NHS England have confirmed they do not use BGI technology in their genomic screening services.

On the information provided, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) would anticipate that this type of device would be classified as a List B In-Vitro Diagnostic, which requires the oversight of a conformity assessment body before being placed on the United Kingdom market. The device must comply with the Medical Devices Regulations 2002 No.618. The MHRA understand BGI genetic screening tests are currently available for sale in the UK. These devices do not appear to have been registered with the MHRA at this time, however, due to their risk classification, registration will be required from 1 September 2021 in order to continue placing the products on the market.

Access to health data is controlled by the Data Protection Act 2018 (which incorporates GDPR in UK domestic law) and the common law duty of confidentiality and we have no plans to change these. The Government is clear that health and care data should only ever be used and/or shared where used lawfully, treated with respect, held securely and where the right safeguards are in place. The UK’s high standards of data protection will be maintained and enforced.

As outlined in the Genome UK strategy, all our genomic data systems will continue to apply consistent high standards around data security and our intention is that the UK model will be recognised as being the gold standard for how to apply strong and consistent ethical and regulatory standards that support rapid healthcare innovation, adhere to legal frameworks, and maintain public and professional trust.

There are no grounds to prevent BGI Groups operating in the UK provided they comply with UK legislation and regulatory requirements.

12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 test kits manufactured in China have been purchased for use in the UK; what those kits have cost; and what capacity there is in the UK for the production of such kits.

As of 14 May 2021, more than 1 billion self-test and assisted lateral flow devices (LFDs) manufactured in China have been purchased for use in the United Kingdom. We are unable to provide the cost of these kits as this information is commercially sensitive. A gradual increase in the proportion of UK-produced self-test LFDs is anticipated by the summer.

12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money they have paid in the last two years to companies based in China manufacturing masks and other personal protective equipment; which such companies they have paid; whether there are any complexities in the supply chain which prevent such information from being provided; and if so, what those complexities are.

The information on the amount paid to Chinese companies and the specific companies involved is not held in the format requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Personal protective equipment (PPE) has been procured from a number of different sources internationally which prevents the Department from identifying Chinese companies as all companies can sub-contract a Chinese company. While the Department records contracts made directly with companies based in China, we do not hold a central record of any sub-contracting. PPE was also procured through intermediaries and this information is not collected centrally.

19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much public money has been paid in the last two years to companies based in China manufacturing face masks and other personal protective equipment; and to provide a list of those companies.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much public money has been spent over the past two years on the purchase of (1) face masks, and (2) other personal protective equipment, manufactured in China.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the side effects of anti-depressants; for how long on average anti-depressants are taken by patients; how many anti-depressants have been dispensed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic; and at what cost.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency continuously monitors the safety of all medicines on the market in the United Kingdom. Information about possible side-effects associated with treatment is provided in the product information which is available to all prescribers and patients. This is based on a thorough assessment of the available information and is updated regularly as new information emerges.

Information on the average length of time antidepressants have been taken by patients is not held centrally. Between March 2020 and November 2020, the latest data available, the number of items of antidepressant products that were dispensed in the community in England was 59,000,280 and the total cost in this period was £286,838,390.64. Information on the number of products dispensed in secondary care is not held.

9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many anti-depressants have been dispensed by the NHS in each of the past ten years; and what was the total cost to the NHS.

The annual number of anti-depressants that have been prescribed and dispensed in England in the community between 2011-November 2020, the latest data available, is provided in the following table. Information is not held for items dispensed in secondary care. The total cost of prescription items between this period was £2,543,305,593.92

Calendar year

Number of prescription items

2011

46,677,813

2012

50,167,201

2013

53,326,550

2014

57,149,109

2015

61,021,662

2016

64,703,639

2017

67,530,457

2018

70,873,979

2019

74,814,619

January - November 2020

71,801,824

Note:

The data provided for the years 2011-2013 was supplied from NHS Digital whilst the data provided for the years 2014-2020 was supplied from the NHS Business Services Authority. Any data prior to 2014 may classify many products in different ways due to a significant reclassification of products.

9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many anti-depressants have been dispensed to (1) people under 18 years old, and (2) primary school children in each of the past ten years; and what was the total cost to the NHS.

Information prior to 2015 is not held. The following tables show the number of antidepressant products that were prescribed to under 18 year olds and the subsequent subset of those aged 5 to 11 years old in England on a National Health Service prescription, dispensed in the community in England between April 2015, the earliest age-based data held, and November 2020, the latest data available. Information relating to items dispensed in secondary care is not collected centrally.

Number of antidepressant items prescribed and dispensed in the community in England to patients aged under 18 years old.

Calendar year

Number of prescription items

2015 (Nine months from April)

233,094

2016

329,954

2017

342,997

2018

361,436

2019

379,134

2020 (11 months up to November)

358,835

Number of antidepressant items prescribed and dispensed in the community in England to patients aged 5 to 11 years old.

Calendar year

Number of prescription items

2015 (Nine months from April)

9,336

2016

12,988

2017

13,647

2018

14,274

2019

14,529

2020 (11 months up to November)

14,187

The total cost of prescription items prescribed and dispensed in the community in England to patients aged under 18 years old, including patients in the 5 to 11 years old age group between April 2015 and November 2020 was £9,110,589.79.

14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Bethell on 6 January (HL10942 and HL10943), whether those purchases had a combined value of half a billion pounds; and why “Details of such decisions on individual contracts is regarded as commercially sensitive information” remain secret once the purchases have been made; whether they will place in the public domain details of (1) how, (2) why, and (3) by whom, these companies were selected; and if not, why not.

Two contracts have been awarded to PPE Medpro by the Department with a total value of £202 million and seven contracts have been awarded to Purple Surgical by the Department with a total value of £226 million. Information concerning whether any of the personal protective equipment (PPE) has not met the required quality standards or a particular specification, whose fault that is and what should be done about it are regarded as commercially confidential information as this process involves negotiations with the supplier where we may seek a refund or other redress as per the contract terms in these contracts.

In terms of how these suppliers were selected, the Government issued a public call to action to support the increased requirements of PPE. The aim was to reach suppliers who had experience of supplying PPE and also those who had no prior experience but who had access to sources of PPE through their business contacts. This resulted in over 15,000 suppliers offering their help and support, including PPE Medpro and Purple Surgical.

All suppliers were evaluated by Departmental officials on their financial standing, compliance with minimum product specifications and ability to perform the contract. All contracts were awarded by the appropriate accounting officer in line with Departmental policy and procedures.

1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which contracts they awarded to Purple Surgical for the provision of personal protection equipment; what was the total value of such contracts; and what value of equipment supplied under such contracts were designated as (1) unfit for use in the NHS, (2) fit for clinical use only, (3) suitable for supply or sale to departments other than the Department of Health and Social Care, (4) suitable for sale or supply to third countries, and (5) required to be destroyed.

Seven contracts have been awarded to Purple Surgical by the Department with a value of £226 million. Contract Award Notices and the contracts themselves have been published online at the Government’s Contracts Finder service which contain details of the value of each contract and the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) which have been ordered against each contract.

Delivery is progressing for all these PPE items. All items of PPE undergo a rigorous technical assurance process before they can be released for use at which point decisions will be made about which healthcare setting they are suitable for or whether alternative settings need to be considered. Details of such decisions on individual contracts is regarded as commercially sensitive information as the Department may have to negotiate contract variations, which could include a refund or other form or redress against the supplier.

1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which contracts they awarded to PPE Medpro for the provision of personal protection equipment; what was the total value of such contracts; and what value of equipment supplied under such contracts were designated as (1) unfit for use in the NHS, (2) fit for clinical use only, (3) suitable for supply or sale to departments other than the Department of Health and Social Care, (4) suitable for sale or supply to third countries, and (5) required to be destroyed.

Two contracts have been awarded to PPE Medpro by the Department with a total value of £202 million. Contract Award Notices and the contracts themselves have been published online at the Government’s Contracts Finder service which contain details of the value of each contract and the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) which have been ordered against each contract.

Delivery is progressing for all these PPE items. All items of PPE undergo a rigorous technical assurance process before they can be released for use at which point decisions will be made about which healthcare setting they are suitable for or whether alternative settings need to be considered. Details of such decisions on individual contracts is regarded as commercially sensitive information as the Department may have to negotiate contract variations, which could include a refund or other form or redress against the supplier.

1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which contracts they awarded to PestFix for the provision of personal protection equipment; what was the total value of such contracts; and what value of equipment supplied under such contracts was designated as (1) unfit for use in the NHS, (2) fit for clinical use only, (3) suitable for supply or sale to departments other than the Department of Health and Social Care, (4) suitable for sale or supply to third countries, and (5) required to be destroyed.

Seven contracts have been awarded to Pestfix by the Department with a total value of £348 million. Contract Award Notices and the contracts themselves have been published online at the Government’s Contracts Finder service which contain details of the value of each contract and the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) which have been ordered against each contract.

Delivery is progressing for all these PPE items. All items of PPE undergo a rigorous technical assurance process before they can be released for use at which point decisions will be made about which healthcare setting they are suitable for or whether alternative settings need to be considered. Details of such decisions on individual contracts is regarded as commercially sensitive information as the Department may have to negotiate contract variations, which could include a refund or other form or redress against the supplier.

1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which contracts they awarded to Ayanda Capital for the provision of personal protection equipment; what was the total value of such contracts; and what value of equipment supplied under such contracts were designated as (1) unfit for use in the NHS, (2) fit for clinical use only, (3) suitable for supply or sale to departments other than the Department of Health and Social Care, (4) suitable for sale or supply to third countries, and (5) required to be destroyed.

One contract has been awarded to Ayanda Capital by the Department with a value of £252 million. The Contract Award Notice and the contract has been published online at the Government’s Contracts Finder service which contains details of the value of each contract and the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) which have been ordered against each contract.

Delivery is progressing for all the PPE items. All items of PPE undergo a rigorous technical assurance process before they can be released for use at which point decisions will be made about which healthcare setting they are suitable for or whether alternative settings need to be considered. Details of such decisions on individual contracts is regarded as commercially sensitive information as the Department may have to negotiate contract variations, which could include a refund or other form or redress against the supplier.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 2 November (HL9267), which supplier contracted by the Department of Health and Social Care supplied the central distribution warehouse for personal protective equipment (PPE) in Daventry with PPE masks produced by Medwell Medical Products.

Investigation of stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) received from suppliers at the central distribution warehouse in Daventry show a record of receiving PPE masks produced by Medwell Medical Products.

The masks produced by Medwell Medical Products are marked as part of a donation from ‘Mail Force Charity’, a charity supported by the Daily Mail newspaper to solicit donations from the public to be used to purchase PPE from a variety of sources. These masks were procured through an intermediary who Mail Force had no direct dealings with. Of the 22 million masks supplied by the Mail Force Charity, only a small fraction of these were associated with Medwell.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 2 November (HL9267), how many personal protective equipment (PPE) masks held at the central distribution warehouse for PPE in Daventry were produced by Medwell Medical Products.

Investigation of stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) received from suppliers at the central distribution warehouse in Daventry show a record of receiving PPE masks produced by Medwell Medical Products.

The masks produced by Medwell Medical Products are marked as part of a donation from ‘Mail Force Charity’, a charity supported by the Daily Mail newspaper to solicit donations from the public to be used to purchase PPE from a variety of sources. These masks were procured through an intermediary who Mail Force had no direct dealings with. Of the 22 million masks supplied by the Mail Force Charity, only a small fraction of these were associated with Medwell.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 2 November (HL9267), how much they paid the supplier of the personal protective equipment (PPE) masks produced by Medwell Medical Products which were held at the central distribution warehouse for PPE in Daventry.

Investigation of stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) received from suppliers at the central distribution warehouse in Daventry show a record of receiving PPE masks produced by Medwell Medical Products.

The masks produced by Medwell Medical Products are marked as part of a donation from ‘Mail Force Charity’, a charity supported by the Daily Mail newspaper to solicit donations from the public to be used to purchase PPE from a variety of sources. These masks were procured through an intermediary who Mail Force had no direct dealings with. Of the 22 million masks supplied by the Mail Force Charity, only a small fraction of these were associated with Medwell.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the sale of fake COVID-19 vaccines; and what assessment they have made of the remarks by the director general of the National Crime Agency’s National Economic Crime Centre suggesting that vaccine fraud is an "emerging threat" for the UK.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the United Kingdom’s regulator charged with the regulation of medicines for human use, which includes vaccines and medical devices.

The MHRA’s first priority is the protection of public health and any medicinal product or vaccine offered for sale which does not hold the appropriate authorisation will be investigated as a potential breach of the Human Medicines Regulations and a clear threat to health and safety of UK citizens.

Officials at the MHRA are actively assessing the nature and extent of such a threat and are working with partners in UK and elsewhere across the globe to provide an appropriate and effective response.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by the Royal College of Psychologists about the number of people experiencing severe mental illness during the COVID-19 pandemic and the funding of mental health services.

We have brought forward our Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Plan for COVID-19, backed by £50 million, to set out the support available for people in the context of a second wave and the winter months. This plan sets out the steps we have taken to strengthen the support available for people who are struggling, including for people with severe mental illness.

This includes the announcement that the National Health Service will receive approximately an additional £500 million next year, to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need, and invest in the NHS workforce.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent remarks by Professor Dame Sally Davies about (1) the correlation between obesity and the UK’s COVID-19 mortality rate, and (2) the ‘structural environment’ contributing to obesity in the UK.

There is consistent evidence that people who are overweight or living with obesity who contract COVID-19 are more likely to be admitted to hospital, admitted to an intensive care unit and to die from COVID-19 compared to those of a healthy body weight status.

We published Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives in July. Our strategy is designed to reshape the food environment by providing people with a healthier choice and encouraging them to take it. A copy is attached.

9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 5 November (HL9501), what assessment they have made of The Sunday Times insight investigation, published on 25 October, that alleged that elderly people were denied treatment to stop the NHS being overrun.

Claims that frail and elderly patients were denied care are categorically untrue.

Over two thirds of inpatients were aged over 65 years old. The National Health Service repeatedly instructed staff that no patient who could benefit from treatment should be denied it and even at the height of the pandemic there was no shortage of ventilators and intensive care.

Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff and care workers and the response of the public to public health measures we have protected our most vulnerable patients throughout the pandemic. For example, from the start of the pandemic we have done everything we can to ensure care home residents and staff are protected, including testing all residents and staff, ring-fencing £1.1 billion for infection control and making a further £4.6 billion available to councils to address pressures caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they hold details of organ transplant patients who travelled to China for their transplant since 2015.

The National Transplant Registry captures annual follow-up on all patients who receive a transplant in the United Kingdom, together with a minimal dataset on those who are transplanted outside the UK and return for follow-up care. Such transplant recipients may, or may not, become apparent to the National Health Service, depending on whether they sought follow-up NHS treatment.

Data from NHS Blood and Transplant shows that 48 solid organ transplants have been performed overseas in UK residents from 2015 to 2019. Of the 48 transplants, two were reported to have been in China, one in 2015 and one in 2017. No data is recorded for patients going overseas for a transplant and not subsequently returning or for patients returning to the UK with no need for clinical follow-up and or treatment.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish (1) the number, and (2) the transplant details, of organ transplant patients who travelled to China for their transplant since 2015.

The National Transplant Registry captures annual follow-up on all patients who receive a transplant in the United Kingdom, together with a minimal dataset on those who are transplanted outside the UK and return for follow-up care. Such transplant recipients may, or may not, become apparent to the National Health Service, depending on whether they sought follow-up NHS treatment.

Data from NHS Blood and Transplant shows that 48 solid organ transplants have been performed overseas in UK residents from 2015 to 2019. Of the 48 transplants, two were reported to have been in China, one in 2015 and one in 2017. No data is recorded for patients going overseas for a transplant and not subsequently returning or for patients returning to the UK with no need for clinical follow-up and or treatment.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the number of organ transplant patients who received their transplant overseas since 2015.

The National Transplant Registry captures annual follow-up on all patients who receive a transplant in the United Kingdom, together with a minimal dataset on those who are transplanted outside the UK and return for follow-up care. Such transplant recipients may, or may not, become apparent to the National Health Service, depending on whether they sought follow-up NHS treatment.

Data from NHS Blood and Transplant shows that 48 solid organ transplants have been performed overseas in UK residents from 2015 to 2019. Of the 48 transplants, two were reported to have been in China, one in 2015 and one in 2017. No data is recorded for patients going overseas for a transplant and not subsequently returning or for patients returning to the UK with no need for clinical follow-up and or treatment.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 patients have been admitted to hospitals in Liverpool in the last two weeks for which figures are available; whether such admissions have increased or plateaued; and how many patients due to receive treatment in these hospitals for other conditions have now had this treatment cancelled.

Data is not available in the format requested.

26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether hospitals in England used the triage tool to assess whether to admit elderly patients to intensive care between March and August; if so, whether age was the only criteria used to make such assessments; what assessment they have made of the impact of that system on the provision of care to all those that needed it; and who (1) devised, and (2) authorised, that tool.

Claims that frail and elderly patients were denied care in wave one of the coronavirus pandemic, in part because of a triage tool which was developed for use if the National Health Service was overwhelmed, are categorically untrue. Guidance to help clinicians make rational, evidence-based decisions in the event of intensive care units being overwhelmed was commissioned by the NHS England National Medical Director and the four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers but work was halted when it became clear the NHS would not be overwhelmed.

22nd Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they used the services of ADM Group to procure personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic; if so, (1) what equipment they purchased, and (2) how much that equipment cost; and whether any such equipment was procured by that company from Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co., Ltd.

The Department holds no contract with ADM Group for the supply of personal protective equipment.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they awarded any contracts for the provision of personal protective equipment to Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co., Ltd; if so, what plans they have to publish the details of those contracts; what was each contract's value; and what was supplied.

The Department has no contract with Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co. Investigation of stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) received from suppliers at the central distribution warehouse for PPE in Daventry show no record of items referring to this name.

NHS Supply Chain, which has its own framework contracts for the supply of PPE into the National Health Service, reports that it holds no contracts with Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co Ltd and that its records show that this company is not used by its existing suppliers.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which companies that have been awarded contracts to supply personal protective equipment to the NHS have sourced stock from Hubei Haixin Protective Products Co., Ltd.

The Department has no contract with Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co. Investigation of stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) received from suppliers at the central distribution warehouse for PPE in Daventry show no record of items referring to this name.

NHS Supply Chain, which has its own framework contracts for the supply of PPE into the National Health Service, reports that it holds no contracts with Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co Ltd and that its records show that this company is not used by its existing suppliers.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any personal protective equipment that was manufactured by Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co., Ltd has been bought by the NHS; and if so, how much (1) that equipment has cost in total, and (2) they have bought, to date.

The Department has no contract with Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co. Investigation of stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) received from suppliers at the central distribution warehouse for PPE in Daventry show no record of items referring to this name.

NHS Supply Chain, which has its own framework contracts for the supply of PPE into the National Health Service, reports that it holds no contracts with Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co Ltd and that its records show that this company is not used by its existing suppliers.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which contracts they awarded to Medwell Medical Products for the provision of personal protection equipment; what was the value of each such contract; and what was supplied.

The Department does not hold a direct contract with Medwell Medical Products for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). Investigation of stocks of PPE received from suppliers at the central distribution warehouse for PPE in Daventry show a record of receiving PPE masks produced by Medwell Medical Products.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which companies that have been awarded contracts to supply personal protective equipment to the NHS have sourced stock from Medwell Medical Products.

The Department does not hold a direct contract with Medwell Medical Products for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). Investigation of stocks of PPE received from suppliers at the central distribution warehouse for PPE in Daventry show a record of receiving PPE masks produced by Medwell Medical Products.

15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the process is for determining a change in the local COVID-19 alert level; and why the Liverpool City Region is subject to a higher alert level than other cities facing similar levels of cases.

In reviewing alert levels, the Government takes into consideration all the available data for the local situation, including incidence, test positivity and growth rate amongst other factors, to reduce the spread of the virus and bring ‘R’ back below 1.

Decisions on the response to suppress the virus in places at local COVID alert level very high, including Liverpool, were made in consultation with local authorities and directors of public health to ensure that the measures are relevant to that area’s economic, social and public health situation.

8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the letter sent by the Leader of Newcastle City Council, the Leader of Leeds City Council, the Leader of Manchester City Council and the Mayor of Liverpool to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 6 October; and in particular, the concerns expressed about the (1) efficacy, and (2) clarity, of restrictions introduced to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department responded to the letter on 23 November 2020.

As the pandemic has progressed, we have gained a better understanding of the virus and how it spreads. When reviewing the efficacy of restrictions, the Government assess a range of indicators which currently includes:

- Case detection rates in all age groups;

- Case detection rates in the over 60 year olds;

- The rate at which cases are rising or falling;

- Positivity rate or the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken in the general population; and

- Pressure on the National Health Service, including current and projected occupancy, admissions, staff absences.

These indicators are under constant review, regardless of the level of restrictions. Since March 2020, the Government has put in place national restrictions which have led to reduced case rates and hospital admissions.

The Government endeavours to communicate changes to restrictions clearly through the media. Additionally, the Contain framework sets out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks, including through communication. Contain facilitates engagement with local authorities through regional partnership teams, including the Department, Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England, ensuring local stakeholder views are part of the decision-making process.

6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision for inspectors from the Care Quality Commission to be permitted to visit care homes without having undergone a COVID-19 test; and what evidence they have that this does not pose a risk to the residents of those homes.

Our first priority continues to be to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in care homes and prevent future outbreaks, and to ensure the health and safety of both care workers and residents. To help reduce the risk of transmission, we have provided the Care Quality Commission (CQC) with test kits so CQC inspectors can undertake weekly polymerase chain reaction asymptomatic testing.

Regular testing will help identify positive cases in the CQC’s inspectors without symptoms and enable action to be taken to limit the spread of the virus, supporting the CQC to continue their vital work in ensuring services meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. As with all testing policies, this remains under review.

5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of Amnesty International's report As if expendable: the UK Government's failure to protect older people in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, published on 4 October.

Since the start of this pandemic we have been working closely with the sector and public health experts to put in place guidance and support for adult social care. We have taken steps to ensure residents and staff are protected, including testing all residents and staff, providing 208 million items of personal protective equipment, ring-fencing £1.1 billion to prevent infections in care homes and making a further £3.7 billion available to councils to address pressures caused by the pandemic – including in adult social care.

Residents’ individual circumstances must be considered in any decisions, ensuring that their human rights, personal choices, safety and dignity are upheld. Early in the pandemic, we outlined the importance of this through the Adult Social Care Ethical Framework.

We keep our policies under continuous review based on the emerging international and domestic evidence and will consider Amnesty’s report as part of this. On 18 September, we published our Adult Social Care Winter Plan which included several additional measures to support care homes during the pandemic.

29th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 28 September (HL8106), how they will ensure that people will "limit social contact as much as possible” given that rules permit drinking in public houses with different groups of up to five others at different times.

From Monday 28 September, we increased the number of COVID-19 secure guidelines that have been placed into law and expanded the range of settings in which these laws will apply. The new ‘rule of six’ simplifies and strengthens the rules on social gatherings, making them easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce. Businesses will be legally obliged to prevent people mixing in groups larger than six, take appropriate measures to prevent mingling and to comply with the COVID-19 secure guidance already in place. Therefore, if venues are not COVID-19 secure then they could be liable for fines or closures.

29th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to respond to the open letter from the leaders and chief executives of Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds city councils to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care which raised concerns that local restrictions put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic pose a "huge, disproportionate” economic impact; and if so, when they intend to respond.

Evidence indicated that reduced operating hours allowed businesses to trade for the majority of the evening while also controlling transmission rates. This aimed to minimise damage to the economy and society, jobs and livelihoods and safeguard education in schools, colleges and universities.

COVID‑19 support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors and includes loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether a business is open or closed.

15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons why (1) the Scottish Government, and (2) the Welsh Government, have excluded children under the age of twelve from the rules which prevent groups of more than six gathering socially during the COVID-19 test; and what plans they have, if any, to exclude such children in England from those rules for (1) family visits,and (2) support from grandparents.

Health is a devolved matter and each administration has the discretion and flexibility to find the right balance between managing risks and relaxing measures.

The Government is keeping its social distancing measures under continual review. The Government will only make changes when we are confident, we can do so safely. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care keeps the restrictions and requirements under constant consideration, to ensure the measures continue to be both proportionate and necessary

The new limit from 14 September does not prevent anyone from seeing their grandparents, but those who live in larger households will need to think carefully about how to organise their social interactions to remain within the law. We know this is difficult, but we know people will understand the need to take those steps which are necessary to keep their loved ones safe. These rules have been simplified and strengthened so they are easier to understand, and so the police can identify and disperse illegal gatherings. We are also acting now to get the virus under control and, if we achieve that, we may be able to make changes and potentially lift the restrictions.

15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what scientific advice was used to inform the rules which prevent groups of more than six people gathering socially; and what if anything that advice said about the risk of grandparents meeting with families consisting of six people or more.

As the Prime Minister set out, if we are to beat the virus then everyone, at all times, needs to limit social contact as much as possible. We are seeing daily case numbers rise rapidly and across the country, which is why the Government, the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser jointly agreed the changes we announced.

The rules have been simplified and strengthened so they are easier to understand, and so the police can identify and disperse illegal gatherings. We are also acting now to get the virus under control and, if we achieve that, we may be able to make changes and potentially lift the restrictions.

The new limit from 14 September does not prevent anyone from seeing their grandparents, but those who live in larger households will need to think carefully about how to organise their social interactions to remain within the law. We know this is difficult, but we know people will understand the need to take those steps which are necessary to keep their loved ones safe.

14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 4 February 2008 (HL Deb, col 904), what conclusions were reached by the review of practices in informing donor-conceived children of the fact of their donor conception; what changes in the law were consequently made to ensure that donor-conceived children are informed of their donor conception; and how has this been further implemented by subsequent administrations.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics undertook a comprehensive review of donor conception. Donor conception: ethical aspects of information sharing was published on 17 April 2013 and a copy is attached.

One of the report’s key recommendations was that “The state does not, and should not, have a role in informing donor-conceived people of the circumstances of their conception, for example through entries on birth certificates.”

In the light of this review and the report’s clear recommendation, the Government took the view that no further legislative action was appropriate in this area. The Government encourages the parents of donor conceived children to be open with them about their genetic heritage. This has remained Government policy through successive administrations.

10th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the study Does Euthanasia Have a Dampening Effect on Suicide Rates? Recent Experiences from the Netherlands, published in the Journal of Ethics in Mental Health on 28 December 2017, (2) the study How does legalization of physician-assisted suicide affect rates of suicide?, published in the Southern Medical Journal in October 2015, and (3) the relationship between the legalisation of assisted suicide and the rate of suicide in the general population; and what plans they have to reflect the outcome of any such assessments in the suicide prevention strategy for England.

The Government has made no formal assessment of these studies and the Department has not made an assessment of the relationship between the legalisation of assisted suicide and the rate of suicide in the general population.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 22 July (HL6754), whether any agencies or other departments, including, but not limited to, the Armed Forces and security services, have undertaken any assessment of the recent statements made by Dr Li-Meng Yan about (1) the origins of COVID-19, and (2) the response of the World Health Organisation; if not, why not; and whether they intend to call for an independent inquiry to be conducted into the conduct of the World Health Organisation on this issue.

The United Kingdom believes that the World Health Organization (WHO) has an important role to play in leading the health response to COVID-19 and in longer-term leadership in global health including preparedness. We also want to see the WHO continue to learn lessons on how to improve its response to global health emergencies and as such would expect a full review of all elements of their response once they are out of response mode, as has occurred after previous Public Health Emergencies of International Concern. The WHO has confirmed a review will take place and we will continue to work closely with them and other international partners to ensure this is wide-ranging and robust.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Bethell on 24 July (HL Deb, cols 2475–98), whether they will now answer the question put by Lord Alton of Liverpool about the pausing of lockdown easements in Blackburn; what assessment they have made of the number of COVID-19 infections there; what progress they have made in containing the increase in such cases; and what criteria will be used to resume the easement of lockdown. [T]

Effective local management of outbreaks is the first line of protection against a second wave that might overwhelm the National Health Service.

In this case, Blackburn suffered the highest incidence rates of all districts in Lancashire for three consecutive weeks between 13 July and 2 August. Incidents rates per 100,000 population rose from 83.25 and peaked at 91.98 before falling to 74.53 by 2 August once local resources were augmented with national support.

When considering whether an area can come out of a localised lockdown, there will need to be a reduction in cases consistent with the surrounding areas and a significantly diminished risk of further growth. We are keeping these restrictions under review and they will be removed when they are no longer proportionate or necessary. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis with involvement of the scientific community and local leaders.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received (1) from the Association for Children Damaged by Hormone Pregnancy Tests on behalf of families affected by Primados, and (2) following the report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review First do no harm, published on 8 July; and when they intend to respond to any such representations.

On behalf of affected families, the Chair of the Association for Children Damaged by Hormone Pregnancy Tests (HPTs) attended every meeting of the Commission on Human Medicines’ Expert Working Group on HPTs and was invited to discuss their draft recommendations and give a statement to the Commission on the draft report of the Group. In addition, 13 affected families gave their personal experiences with Primodos to the Expert Working Group. Since publication of the report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, we have received a letter from the Chair of the Association for Children Damaged by Hormone Pregnancy Tests and will be responding shortly.

The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review published its report on 8 July and all of its recommendations will be considered carefully. The Government will provide an update in due course.

21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Lord Bethell on 15 July (HL Deb, col 1738) that “the Primodos case is subject to legal dispute, so I cannot comment on it from the Dispatch Box”, which aspects of that legal dispute prevent an independent re-examination of the contested conclusions of the report by the Expert Working Group of the UK’s Commission on Human Medicines Report of the Commission on Human Medicines’ Expert Working Group on Hormone Pregnancy Tests, published on 15 November 2017.

The Commission on Human Medicines Expert Working Group on Hormone Pregnancy Tests was an independent group convened to conduct a scientific review of the evidence for an association between the use of hormone pregnancy tests and adverse outcomes of pregnancy.

The report and all the evidence that was reviewed by the Group has been publicly available since November 2017. We cannot discuss specific issues regarding the litigation, but this does not prevent any re-examination of the report or evidence. Any relevant new evidence would be reviewed as it becomes available.

We are carefully considering the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review and will respond in due course.

20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic more than 4,000 people were discharged from hospital into care homes without being tested for the virus.

Throughout our COVID-19 response we have worked with the care sector and public health experts to put in place measures to reduce transmission and save lives. It has been our priority to ensure that everyone is discharged safely from hospital and to the most appropriate available place. Wherever possible, people who are clinically ready should be supported to return to their place of residence, where assessment of longer-term needs will take place. This approach follows the ‘Discharge to Assess’ model, to support timely and appropriate discharge from hospital.

The Hospital Discharge Service and staff should clarify with care homes the COVID-19 status of an individual and any COVID-19 symptoms, during the process of transfer from a hospital to the care home. As testing capacity was being built priority for testing was given to the most clinically vulnerable patients:

- all patients in critical care for pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or flu like illness;

- all other patients requiring admission to hospital for pneumonia, ARDS or flu like illness; and

- where an outbreak has occurred in a residential or care setting, for example long-term care facility or prisons.

As set out in the Adult Social Care Action Plan on 15 April, all patients are now required to be tested prior to discharge to a care home.

13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statements made by Dr. Li-Meng Yan about (1) the origins of COVID-19, and (2) the response of the World Health Organisation. [T]

Public Health England has not made an assessment of the statements made by Dr Li-Meng Yan.

8th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports (1) that care home managers have not followed COVID-19 safety procedures, (2) that care home staff and residents had concerns about exposure to COVID-19 which warranted investigation by the Care Quality Commission, and (3) that care home providers may be subject to compensation claims for alleged negligence of resident and staff safety.

Many care homes have been doing an excellent job of keeping people safe.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) reduced the number of physical inspections it conducted during the crisis in order to limit the number of people going in and out of care homes. It did continue to inspect a small number of settings where serious concerns have been identified. Some of these were linked directly to concerns raised with the CQC from staff and members of the public.

Furthermore, during this crisis, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have contacted more than 80% of all providers – over 20,000 care providers – to offer support, advice and guidance, including help accessing personal protective equipment and advice on infection control.

8th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans are in place (1) to acquire, (2) to stock, and (3) to distribute, gowns, masks, eye protection, gloves and other personal protective equipment, which is sufficiently adequate to protect clinical and care workers in the NHS and care sector in preparation for a potential second wave of COVID-19; and where any such plans are published.

We are working to expand the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) from overseas and improve domestic manufacturing capability. We are expanding and improving the logistics network for delivering to the front line.

Since 25 February we have delivered over 2.2 billion items of PPE across the health and social care system within England, plus tens of millions more will have been distributed by the devolved administrations. Almost 28 billion items of PPE have been ordered from United Kingdom-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply in the coming months.

1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many batches of surgical face masks delivered to care homes and GPs during the COVID-19 pandemic were recalled because they were faulty; what assessment they have made of reports that some of those masks were out of date by seven years but were still used; where any such masks were sourced; and at what cost.

Two important customer alerts were issued on 22 May and 26 June regarding a product fault with Type IIR facemasks, sourced from Cardinal Health. The Cardinal Health Type IIR facemasks were subject to a formal shelf life extension process that enabled their shelf life to be extended and so were not out of date. The cost of these masks cannot be released due to commercial sensitivity.

1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of analysis by the Office for National Statistics which, after comparing death certificates from 2 March to 15 May with data from the 2011 census, found that of all COVID-19 related deaths (1) 30.3 per cent were among people who said their daily activities were “limited a lot” because of a health problem or disability, and (2) 28.9 per cent were among those whose activities were “limited a little”; and what assessment they have made of the implications of those statistics on the future conduct of public policy.

We know that many people with long standing, limiting illnesses or health conditions are at higher risk of poorer outcomes from COVID-19.

The Office for National Statistics has undertaken provisional analysis of data comparing the risk of death involving COVID-19 according to a person’s disability status, as recorded in the 2011 Census for the period 2 March to 15 May 2020. This data suggests that, after adjusting for region, population density, socio-demographic and household characteristics, the relative difference in mortality rates between those ‘limited a lot’ by a health condition and those not disabled was 2.4 times higher for females and 1.9 times higher for males.

We continue to review all available evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 for disabled people and we are commissioning new research to better understand the specific impact. This evidence will inform policy development going forwards.

29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to modify the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in order for relatives of residents in care homes to be able to move to their family homes residents of such homes who are currently not allowed to legally leave care homes.[T]

Emergency guidance issued at the beginning of the pandemic and the Codes of Practice for the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards offer guidance to individuals trying to determine and make decisions in the best interests of a person who lacks capacity to make a particular decision, including on where to live.

Those making best interests decisions should seek consent on all aspects of care and treatment to which the person can consent. They should consider the person’s wishes and feelings, as well as their beliefs and values that would be likely to influence their decision. They should also consider the views of the person’s family members and those interested in the person’s welfare. This approach applies to decisions about residence too.

16th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the remarks made by the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP on 12 June that “whilst the impact of such discharges meant the NHS was never short of beds or ventilators, it seems extraordinary that no one appeared to consider the clinical risk to care homes despite widespread knowledge that the virus could be carried asymptomatically.”

Throughout our coronavirus response we have kept our policies under continuous review based on the emerging international and domestic evidence and have worked tirelessly with the care sector and public health experts to reduce transmission and save lives.

On 15 April, we published COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care. This set out that all patients are required to be tested prior to discharge to a care home. A copy is attached.

Patients are discharged when it is clinically safe and they no longer need acute care. Wherever possible, people who are clinically ready should be supported to return to their place of residence, where assessment of longer-term needs will take place. This approach follows the ‘discharge to assess’ model, to support timely and appropriate discharge from hospital.

As our understanding of the virus has changes throughout the course of the pandemic, we have continued to develop our policy. Our current policy is that due to evidence of asymptomatic spread, during periods of sustained transmission we recommend that all residents being discharged from hospital or interim care facilities to the care home and new residents admitted from the community should be isolated for 14 days within their own room. For care home residents, around 70% of people living in care homes for the over 65s have dementia. It is important they return to their familiar environments when they are clinically ready, with the personalised support and daily activities in place that help them to live well with dementia. This can be better achieved in their care home, rather than the hospital.

We have made £1.3 billion funding available via the National Health Service to help patients who no longer need urgent treatment to get home from hospital safely and quickly. We have also made £3.2 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care. On 13 May we announced an additional £600 million to support care home providers through a new Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund.

9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the antihelmintic drug, Niclosamide, as a potential treatment for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19; and what assessment they have made of trials undertaken in South Korea on the use of Niclosamide to treat COVID-19.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has not received any applications for the use of niclosamide as a treatment for COVID-19 and has not undertaken any assessment of the trials in South Korea.

Currently, there are no ongoing clinical trials in the United Kingdom involving niclosamide for the treatment of COVID-19. However, there are three worldwide trials regarding this treatment listed on the United States National Library of Medicine, in the United States, France and Egypt, though none of these are recruiting currently.

The MHRA is working closely with the Department and the office of the Chief Medical Officer to prioritise potential treatments for COVID-19. The MHRA will consider any application made by a sponsor or potential marketing authorisation holder to run a clinical trial.

9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to answer the Topical Question for Written Answer tabled on 28 April (HL 3582), namely, what scientific advice was sought from Public Health England before the football match between Liverpool and Atlético Madrid on 11 March was permitted to take place; what assessment was made of permitting people to come together for a public event during a period in which Spain had placed its population in partial lockdown; who gave the advice on behalf of Public Health England; and which Ministers were involved in assessing that advice.

I replied to the noble Lord’s question of 28 April on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on 30 June. I understand that they are responding directly on the points the noble Lord raised.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that people with COVID-19 have died alone and been left for up to two weeks before being discovered; and what steps they are taking to ensure that isolated people without family or other support systems can be better (1) safeguarded, and (2) supported, during the COVID-19 pandemic. [T]

We recognise how difficult the past months have been for people who are socially isolated and any death is a tragedy.

Local safeguarding partnerships have been ensuring that people with care and support needs are being safeguarded throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, including working with the shielding population to ensure they are well-supported. We are also aware of good practice through community-led social work and support networks which have ensured people stay connected and any concerns or support needs are identified more quickly.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the analysis published by the Local Government Association on 4 June that adult social care providers may face £6.6 billion in extra costs by the end of September as a result of COVID-19; and how they expect those costs to be met.

We recognise that COVID-19 is imposing significant pressures on the social care sector. We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care.

On 15 May we published details of an additional £600 million Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. This funding is to support adult social care providers in England reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes and to support workforce resilience.

This funding is part of the Government’s commitment to ensure the health and social care system have all the resources they need during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government will continue to monitor pressures in the National Health Service and local government and will keep future funding under review.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Age UK that (1) some residents of care homes are being asked to pay more than £100 a week in extra fees to cover the costs of COVID-19, and (2) the inability of residents to meet these costs could precipitate closures of care homes leaving residents homeless.

When choosing to charge, a local authority must not charge more than the cost that it incurs in meeting the assessed needs of the person. A local authority must also regularly reassess a person’s ability to meet the cost of any charges to take account of any changes to their resources.

We know the social care sector is under pressure due to growing demand from both older people and those of working age. We are providing councils with a £1 billion grant for adults and children’s social care on top of maintaining £2.5 billion of existing social care grants for 2020/21. We have provided £3.2 billion to local authorities to help with COVID-19 pressures, and a £600 million Infection Control Fund for care homes, 75% of which must be distributed on a 'per bed' basis, including to social care providers with whom the local authority does not have existing contracts.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they took in response to the information published by Public Health England in February advising that (1) people should not be discharged from hospitals into care homes if there was risk of COVID-19 transmission, (2) it was not safe to discharge untested individuals to care homes from hospitals where there was between five and 25 cases, and (3) there should be no discharges to care or residential homes.

The scenario set out in Public Health England’s (PHE) National Infection Service document, issued on 24 February, related to hospital-acquired COVID-19 outbreaks during the containment phase of COVID-19, prior to 12 March, when there was no sustained community transmission in the United Kingdom. There was no evidence of recorded cases of hospital-acquired COVID-19 outbreaks during the COVID-19 containment phase and before 19 March when the COVID-19 hospital discharge service requirements were published.

On 12 March the Government announced that we were moving our COVID-19 response from the ‘contain’ to ‘delay’ phase. On 13 March PHE published new guidance to care homes. We subsequently published the COVID-19 hospital discharge service requirements on 19 March.

Since the start of the outbreak we have been working closely with the sector and public health experts to ensure we have the right guidance and support in place for care homes.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the letter sent to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care by Cathy Gardner questioning the legality of discharging patients with COVID-19 into care homes, including the one in which her father died on 3 April, and calling for a retraction of the statement that a “protective ring had been thrown around care homes”; when they intend to respond; and what advice they have (1) sought, and (2) been given, by Government law officers in response to that correspondence.

The Government does not comment on litigation matters.

Every death from this virus is a tragedy. It is our priority to ensure that everyone is discharged safely from hospital and to the most appropriate available place. Patients are discharged when it is clinically safe and they no longer need acute care.

We have provided extensive support and guidance to care homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also provided local authorities with £3.2 billion to help them deal with the impacts of COVID-19, as well as £1.3 billion via the National Health Service to enhance the NHS discharge process. On 13 May, we announced an additional new £600 million Infection Control Fund for care homes to tackle the spread of COVID-19.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish their response to the letters sent by the National Care Forum on (1) 26 March, and (2) 10 April which (a) stated that care homes were “being pressured into taking hospital discharge patients who had not been tested for the virus, even though they were exhibiting symptoms”, and (b) called for discharged patients to be tested or risk litigation over the “avoidable deaths” of residents who subsequently became infected.

The Department does not have record of the correspondence from the National Care Forum.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the remarks of the President of the Association of Directors of Social Services, that the recently published minutes of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies appear "to reinforce the impression that social care has been an afterthought – a secondary consideration after the NHS" and that "this cannot continue".

Throughout this pandemic, we have been determined to give both the National Health Service and social care everything they need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February 2020, the first guidance for the social care sector was published. In March, we announced £1.6 billion funding for local government and £1.3 billion to go to the NHS and social care for discharge support. In April, we announced a further £1.6 billion for local government and our COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care. A copy of the Action Plan is attached.

On 15 May, the Government published the Care Home Support package and an additional £600 million Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund. This represents the next phase of our response for care homes.

We continue to work tirelessly with the care sector and public health experts to explore all measures possible to reduce transmission and save lives.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether patients were discharged to care homes by NHS hospitals in the 30 days before ministers introduced routine COVID-19 testing; if so, why; and what assessment was made of the preparedness of the social care sector for the arrival of such patients.

It has always been our priority to ensure that everyone is discharged safely from hospital and to the most appropriate available place. On 19 March we published the COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements to support the safe and rapid discharge of patients who no longer need acute care. This specified that, wherever possible, people who are clinically ready should be supported to return to their place of residence (this could be a care home), where assessment of longer-term needs will take place. This follows the ‘Discharge to Assess’ model. Where a patient had been tested for COVID-19, we specified that results – whether negative or positive – should be included in a patient’s discharge documents.

To support the sector, this guidance also sets out the steps that care providers should be taking, and we provided £1.3 billion to support the process. We have provided advice to care homes throughout the pandemic in response to the latest conditions and emerging evidence and data.

On 2 April we published our Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance. This set out further advice on infection control procedures for care homes e.g. limiting visits to essential visits only unless exceptional circumstances and providing advice on isolation, decontamination, cleaning and protective measures for staff. We recommended that all symptomatic residents in care homes should be immediately isolated for 14 days from the onset of symptoms, including patients discharged from hospital.

On 15 April we published our Adult Social Care Plan which included a commitment to all patients being tested prior to discharge to a care home. A copy of COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care is attached.

Copies of the COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements and Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home are attached.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the remarks by Professor Neil Ferguson, Imperial College, London, that (1) he was “shocked about how badly European – or countries around the world – have protected care home populations” from COVID-19, (2) “infections in care homes and hospitals spill back into the community”, and (3) “the level of transmission and number of cases will remain relatively flat between now and September, short of very big policy changes or behaviour changes in the community”.

Our number one priority for adult social care is for everyone who relies on care to get the care they need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The steps we have taken have been designed with care users in mind, to ensure that individuals are treated with dignity and respect and that their particular needs are addressed.

Since the start of this pandemic we have been working closely with the sector and public health experts to put in place guidance and support for adult social care to respond to the pandemic. This includes updated guidance for care homes published on 19 June. This guidance provides advice to care homes on infection control procedures to limit the spread of the virus in care homes, protective measures for staff and minimising workforce transmission. A copy of Admission and Care of Residents in a Care Home during COVID-19 is attached.

Our help to care homes, which includes financial support, infection control training and supplies of personal protective equipment, has meant that nearly 60% of England’s care homes have had no outbreak at all.

As the Chief Medical Office has made clear, the rate of transmission and the number of cases of COVID-19 that we will see in the coming weeks and months will depend of how well we all follow social distancing guidance. The work of NHS Test and Trace and public health teams across the country will allow us to keep on top of any local outbreaks and keep the number of cases of COVID-19 low.

We are continuing to seek further evidence as domestic and international experience accrues and is published, and we are working tirelessly with the care sector and public health experts to explore all measures possible to reduce transmission and save lives.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports by the Care Quality Commission that there were 386 deaths linked to learning disabilities and autism between 10 April and 15 May, representing a 134 per cent rise compared with the same period in 2019.

We have commissioned Public Health England to undertake a detailed analysis of the numbers of deaths of people with a learning disability. This will draw on data published by NHS England and by the Care Quality Commission to assess the impact of COVID-19 on this group of people.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they took in response to the advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies following its meeting on 10 March to ensure that “special policy consideration be given to care homes and various types of retirement communities” and that a specific action plan for social care was in place by mid-April.; to what timescale they implemented their response; and what assessment they have made of the length of time taken to respond to that recommendation.

Since the start of this outbreak we have been working closely with the sector and public health experts to put in place guidance and support for adult social care based on the latest domestic and international evidence, including that brought together by Public Health England and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, and drawing on the insights of care providers

In February, the first guidance for the sector was published. In March we announced £1.6 billion funding for local government and £1.3 billion to go to the National Health Service and social care for discharge support. In April we announced a further £1.6 billion for local government and published our detailed Adult Social Care Action Plan on 15 April. In May we announced an additional £600 million to support care home providers through a new Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund and our care home support package,

Alongside the care home support package, we have also published detailed guidance for home care providers to support them to deliver care safely and effectively during the pandemic. This will be relevant to retirement community settings where care is provided.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much in total of the Infection Control Fund has been used by care homes to provide personal protective equipment for staff; what steps have been taken to ensure expeditious testing for care home staff and residents before 6 June; how many such staff and residents are yet to be tested; and why.

We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care.

On 15 May we published details of an additional £600 million Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. This funding is to support adult social care providers in England reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes and to support workforce resilience. As part of the grant conditions, local authorities have been asked to report later this month on the measures taken, such as steps taken to isolate residents within care homes and support staff who are self-isolating.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what assessment they have made of the number of COVID-19 related deaths in care homes in England and Wales between 10 April and 29 May as documented by the Office of National Statistics; (2) what assessment they have made of the statistics published by the Data Analysis Bureau and Person Centred Software that, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 15 per cent of care home staff have been tested and 62 per cent of care homes have not had any staff receive tests; and (3) what plans they have to review their statement on 15 May that they would ensure the testing of residents and employees at all care homes in England by the beginning of June.

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 what assessment they have made of the statistics published by the Data Analysis Bureau that 15 per cent of 12,407 care home workers from 650 care homes across England, Wales and Scotland have been tested for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and that 6 per cent of those tested were tested between 20 and 27 May.

Test kits have been offered to every care home for over-65s or those with dementia in England, reaching the testing target for 6 June. All remaining adult care homes are eligible to access testing through the whole care home portal. We have the capacity to send out over 50,000 test kits a day.

20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the deaths of 20 residents at the Paisley Care Home in Liverpool from suspected COVID-19; and what measures are in place (1) to prevent the spread of that virus, and (2) to ensure the safety of residents and staff, in care homes.

The safety of residents and staff is a priority. It is the responsibility of the local authority, supported by Public Health England and NHS England to manage outbreaks in the first instance. Every death from this virus is a tragedy and we are working around the clock to give the social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak.

We have published a range of guidance for care homes on how to continue giving care during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This includes the Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance. This guidance sets out infection control and cohorting advice to care homes, which providers should follow to ensure that they have the confidence to receive and support residents. A copy of the guidance is attached.

On 15 May 2020 we published a care home support package which outlines?the next phase of our response for care homes, including measures on infection prevention control, comprehensive testing and clinical support.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for reform of the World Health Organisation; and what steps they intend to take to ensure the organisation commissions an independent inquiry into the genesis of COVID-19.

We believe the World Health Organization has an important role to play in leading the global health response. The United Kingdom has long been an advocate of reform in the WHO to ensure it is flexible and responsive, and we will continue to be so. We also want to see the WHO continue to learn lessons on how to improve its response to global health emergencies and as such would expect a full review of all elements of their response once they are out of response mode, as has occurred after previous Public Health Emergencies of International Concern. The Secretary of State raised this point in the United Kingdom national address for the World Health Assembly on 18 May 2020 and we were pleased to co-sponsor the COVID-19 resolution, which was an important step forward on the review as well as other areas of collaboration. The UK intends to engage constructively with a future review, including working with other Governments.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the comments by the National Care Association that care homes have felt “completely abandoned” during the COVID-19 pandemic and that prioritising the NHS without adequately protecting elderly people in care may have been “wrong”.

The safety of residents and staff is always a priority. We have provided extensive support and guidance to care homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are working closely with local authorities, the care sector and NHS England to ensure everyone has access to the right care, in the most appropriate setting for their needs.

We are determined to give both the care sector and the National Health Service everything they need to respond to this pandemic. On 15?May 2020 we published a care home support package which outlines?the next phase of our response for care homes,?using the latest scientific evidence and drawing on the insights of care providers. To support this, on 13 May we announced an additional £600 million to support care home providers through a new Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we will continue to review our guidance and national support in line with the latest scientific advice and engage with stakeholders to ensure we address the majority of their concerns.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the laboratories involved in the development of COVID-19 vaccines are evaluating the (1) use, and (2) potential effects, of those vaccines in trials with (a) older people, and (b) people with disabilities.

Vaccine development involves evaluating the quality, safety and efficacy in a series of carefully planned clinical trials. The Government is backing two promising United Kingdom COVID-19 vaccine candidates at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. Vaccine development is in the early stages but progressing rapidly. During clinical trials, both Oxford and Imperial plan to evaluate the safety and efficacy of their vaccines in older people. While there are no plans to specifically recruit those with disabilities, in both cases those with disabilities are eligible and welcome to take part in clinical trials subject to specific exclusion criteria which apply to all volunteers to ensure the safety of participants.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made of the report by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Ensuring DASS and their partner decision makers have the critical and most up to date information and data on needs and capacity to plan for and make timely and rational decisions about the reprioritisation of services in response to a future flu pandemic and Identifying People who are Vulnerable in a Flu Pandemic Crisis, published in March 2018, which stated that (1) demand for personal protection equipment “could rapidly outstrip supply”, (2) advice on controlling cross infection will be required, and (3) they should “provide support with systems to collate data on suitable volunteers…as this was an area of weakness identified”, in the event of a pandemic; and what steps they took in response to that report.

The Government has made no specific assessment of the report by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Service’s (ADASS) report of 2018, but the Department engages and considers views of ADASS as a key partner organisation. Since the start of the pandemic we have worked closely with the adult social care sector and public health experts to provide guidance and support, including on controlling infection.

On 2 April we published Admission and Care of Residents in a Care Home during COVID-19, which was updated on 19 June. We set out our plans to support the care sector in using and accessing personal protective equipment (PPE) in Covid-19: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Plan on 10 April. On 15 April we published our COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care which included strengthened advice around isolation and introduced testing for all patients prior to discharge from hospital to a care home. Copies are attached. On 15 May, the Government announced a support package for care homes backed by a £600 million Infection Control Fund for care homes to tackle the spread of COVID-19.

To support the health and social care sectors to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have launched the National Health Service Volunteer Responders programme, developed by NHS England in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service. It is up to individual social care providers to decide whether to use volunteers. We do not collect data nationally on how many volunteers are operating in the social care sector.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Equality and Human Rights Commission about whether human rights laws have been breached by hospitals that discharged older patients that were potentially infected with COVID-19 into care homes.

The Department has not had discussions with the Equality and Human Rights Commission on discharge policy. Providers of care homes in England are required to register with the Care Quality Commission and adhere to the ‘fundamental standards’, such as the duty to provide care in a safe way and treat residents with dignity and respect, as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Health and care settings must always seek to fully protect the rights of their residents. The safety of residents and staff is always a priority and patients should not be discharged from hospital unless it is clinically safe to do so. On 15 April, in our Adult Social Care Action Plan, we introduced a policy of testing all residents prior to discharge to a care home.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the comments by the UN Human Rights Commissioner about the operation of care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic; what assessment they have made of reports of care home staff (1) abandoning care homes, (2) leaving residents to die alone, (3) failing to make adequate preparations, and (4) failing to provide guidance and personal protection equipment; what assessment they have made, in assessing such reports, of the human rights of patients and staff in care homes; and what plans they have to support the call for a UN convention on the rights of the elderly.

The Government is aware of comments on care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic made by the UN Special Rapporteurs and the UN Independent Expert.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is not aware of any specific reports of care home staff abandoning care homes or specific cases where residents have been left to die alone. The CQC (Registration) Regulations 2009 set out requirements for incidents and events that must be reported to the CQC, which covers deaths and serious injuries, abuse, incidents reported to the police and events that prevent a service from being carried on safely and in a way that meets legal requirements.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, each care provider was responsible for sourcing their own personal protective equipment (PPE) from wholesalers and distribution centres. While this was effective and appropriate before the outbreak, it became clear that this fragmented system would be slow to get PPE where it needed to be. To address this, the United Kingdom Government stepped in to support the supply and distribution of PPE to the care sector. We have focused on ensuring that there is an emergency supply in place, while building a longer-term solution for distribution to the sector.

We are supportive, in principle, of a multilateral instrument dedicated to the rights of older persons and welcome the work of the UN Open Ended Working Group on Ageing and its focus on substance to help deepen our understanding of the important issues, before we consider what might be the most appropriate solutions.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that care home operators have complained that COVID-19 testing in care homes has been a “complete system failure”; what steps they are taking in response to such reports; what assessment they have made of reports that Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and the Department of Health and Social Care have stated that each are not responsible for the testing programme and referred care home operators to another of those organisations; and what plans they have to clarify (1) the operation of, and (2) who has responsibility for, the testing programme.

If a care home suspects a resident has symptoms, the care home manager should contact their local Public Health England Health Protection Team (HPT). The HPT will arrange for testing of all symptomatic residents and provide tailored infection control advice.

For subsequent testing, including ‘whole home testing’, the Department is responsible and testing kits will be delivered directly to care homes by courier or via a mobile testing unit. Kits are requested by care home managers or Local Directors of Public Health via the new online portal. They will provide testing for all residents and asymptomatic staff.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) residents, and (2) workers, in care homes have been offered COVID-19 tests; how many have been carried out; and what estimate they have made of the time it will take for all residents and employees in care homes to be offered tests.

Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 125,000 workers in care settings and over 118,000 care home residents have been tested through Departmental and Public Health England testing routes. On Monday 11 May we launched the ‘whole home’ testing portal. As of 19 May, around 170,000 tests have been delivered to 1,243 care homes using the whole care home portal as part of this programme. We will make testing available for every resident and member of staff in care homes for older people in England between now and early June.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reported complaint made by the chairman of the trustees of the Fairfield Residential Home in Oxford, that COVID-19 testing swabs were not delivered and that symptomatic carers who are self-isolating have to make an 120 mile journey in order to be tested.

The Department recognises that this occurred due to an error which has since been rectified. All failed deliveries were replaced and we now have more than 500 test sites around the United Kingdom with the median distance people travel to sites at just 3.3 miles.

The adult social care sector has been, and continues to be, one of our highest priorities for the rollout of testing, and care homes have been one of the first groups to be given access to repeat asymptomatic testing.

Asymptomatic testing in care homes testing has not stopped, while any care home resident or member of staff with symptoms will continue to be able to immediately access a free test.

We are issuing more than 120,000 tests a day to care homes across the country prioritising high priority outbreak areas.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) Public Health England, (2) the Care Quality Commission, or (3) the Department of Health and Social Care, has had responsibility for carrying out COVID-19 tests in care homes; who is currently responsible for such testing; and what steps they are taking to ensure clarity about such testing for care home operators.

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.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that hospitals discharged patients with COVID-19 to care homes without alerting those care homes to such patient’s suspected or confirmed diagnosis; whether they expect the Care Quality Commission to publish a report on any such instances; if so, (1) when they estimate that report will be published, and (2) whether the findings will be presented to Parliament; and what assessment they have made of the risk of legal proceedings being brought against any hospital found to have acted in such a way.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is aware of a small number of cases where care homes have told them that a patient’s positive COVID-19 status was known to the hospital but not disclosed at the point of discharge. The CQC is currently assessing whether there have been any breaches of regulation on the part of the hospital. Once all the relevant information has been reviewed, the CQC will assess what action might be appropriate, if any. Any enforcement action taken by the CQC would be made public. Due to the very small number of cases the CQC has been made aware of and is reviewing, it would be unlikely that this information would form the basis of a standalone report. If the CQC receives further information on this issue, it may seek to publish a report in the future.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the remarks by the National Statistician that the R rate of COVID-19 infections “is driven by the epidemic in care homes; and (2) reports by Care England that the levels of COVID-19 infections among hospital and care home staff may be five times higher than those in the wider population; and what steps they are taking in response.

Individual modelling groups use a range of data to estimate R including epidemiological data such as hospital admissions, intensive care unit admissions and deaths. R is an average value that can vary in different parts of the country, communities, and subsections of the population. It cannot be measured directly so there is always some uncertainty around its exact value.

We know that care providers across the country have been doing their utmost to keep those they look after safe and well in the most challenging circumstances. On 13 May we announced an additional £600 million to support providers through a new Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund.

The Government has also made £3.2 billion available to help local authorities deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19, and £1.3 billion of additional funding to enhance the National Health Service discharge process, getting patients who no longer need urgent treatment home from hospitals safely and quickly.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes on the level of COVID-19 cases in the wider community; what plans they have to prevent carers from visiting multiple care facilities; and what steps they are taking to ensure the adequate care of care home residents while ensuring that infected staff are properly isolated.

There is little evidence to suggest a substantial transmission of infection from care homes into the wider community, but our work to reduce transmission within care homes will reduce any risk further. On 13 May we announced an additional £600 million to support providers through a new Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund. The Fund sets out the measures providers can take to support the workforce to minimise the spread of infection, including ensuring staff can self-isolate, reduce their hours, or reduce the number of establishments they work at, without experiencing any loss of income. Expanding and retaining the social care workforce is also key to enabling care providers to continue to provide care and support to their residents, and we have launched a national recruitment campaign for England to support this.

6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Reuters Special Report In shielding its hospitals from COVID-19, Britain left many of the weakest exposed, published on 5 May. [T]

Social care has been at the frontline of our response to COVID-19, with social care providers looking after many of the most vulnerable in society. The Government’s number one priority for adult social care is to ensure that everyone who relies on care gets the care and support they need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 13 May we announced an additional £600 million for an Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. This funding is to support adult social care providers in England reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes and to support workforce resilience. Furthermore, on 15 May, the Government published a Care Home Support Plan in an online only format on GOV.UK. This is the next phase of our response for care homes, using the latest domestic and international evidence brought together by Public Health England, and drawing on the insights of care providers.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that people with irregular migration status in the UK are informed about (1) free access to NHS treatment for COVID-19, (2) treatment for COVID-19, and (3) treatment for underlying medical conditions if hospitalised from COVID-19 related complications.

Regulations came into force on 29 January 2020 to add Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (now known as COVID-19) to Schedule 1 of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015. This means there can be no charge made to an overseas visitor for the diagnosis, or, if positive, treatment, of COVID-19. The exemption from charge does not extend to any pre-existing conditions, unless separately exempt under the Regulations.

This message has been disseminated to National Health Service staff, the public and organisations representing vulnerable migrant groups. It has also been published in 40 languages on Public Health England’s Migrant Health Guide.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to protect public health in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government takes the welfare of all citizens seriously and we are working hard to ensure people get the support they need to look after themselves and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes enabling all communities to take the necessary measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

The Minister of State for Home Affairs and Housing, Communities and Local Government (Lord Greenhalgh) wrote to councils outlining their responsibility to support all communities, including Gypsy and Traveller communities, and to ensure they have access to water, sanitation and waste collections.

COVID-19 health guidance for members of Gypsy, Traveller and Boater communities is currently in development for dissemination in a range of formats.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to general practice reminding them of the importance of continuing to deliver appropriate care to their local population and the requirements on registration of patients, including those with no fixed address.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what policy objectives they intend to set for their participation in the 73rd Session of the World Health Organisation’s World Health Assembly due to be held from 17 to 21 May; what plans they have to raise the case for a formal international investigation of the government of China’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan at that Assembly; and what discussions they intend to have with other governments, in advance of the Assembly, about conducting such an investigation.

The United Kingdom participated fully in the 73rd World Health Assembly which we saw as an important opportunity to further international collaboration on COVID-19. We believe the World Health Organization (WHO) has an important role to play in leading the global health response. We want to see the WHO continue to learn lessons on how to improve its response to global health emergencies and as such would expect a full review of all elements of their response once they are out of response mode, as has occurred after previous Public Health Emergencies of International Concern. The Secretary of State raised this point in the United Kingdom national address and we were pleased to co-sponsor the COVID-19 resolution, which was an important step forward on the review as well as other areas of collaboration. The UK intends to engage constructively with a future review, including working with other Governments.

29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken in response to the concerns raised by the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons on 27 March about the protection of older people who are at the highest risk of COVID-19; and what consideration they have given to her recommendation to develop triage protocols to “ensure that decisions on whether to allocate medical resource are made on the basis of medical needs, the best scientific evidence available and not on non-medical criteria such as age or disability”, and to “ensure that essential support services at home in the communities can continue without putting older persons and their care providers at risk”.

On 7 April 2020, NHS England published a letter outlining the importance of maintaining standards and quality of care in pressurised circumstances. This letter emphasised the NHS Constitution which is based on the principle of equity of access for those who could benefit from treatment escalation.

The evidence is clear that people who are over the age of 70 are at increased clinical risk of having severe cases of COVID-19. The Government recognises that social distancing and self-isolation are likely to increase the risk of loneliness and mental health issues for everyone, but particularly for vulnerable groups including those with pre-existing conditions and those shielding. The Government has provided guidance to support people both medically and socially, who on the basis of their condition and not their age, are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. This is available in an online only format on GOV.UK. Furthermore, on 22 April the Government launched a new major plan to tackle loneliness which include a £5 million boost for national loneliness organisations.

It is important that people continue to receive support services in the community. The Government has made £3.2 billion available to help local authorities deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19, and £1.3 billion of additional funding to enhance the National Health Service discharge process, getting patients who no longer need urgent treatment home from hospitals safely and quickly.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why their guidance Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home, published on 2 April, and the supplementary guidance, published on 17 April, differs from World Health Organisation guidance for-long term care facilities; and what assessment they have made of the compatibility of that guidance with their obligations under the 2009 UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Department, NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and the Care Quality Commission co-published Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance on 2 April 2020, followed by the publication of PHE guidance How to work safely in care homes on 17 April 2020.

Residential care settings must always seek to fully protect the rights of disabled people now and throughout the course of this global pandemic. No changes have been made to the human rights protections in the Mental Health Act 1983 or as a result of the Care Act 2014 easements. The Adult Social Care Action Plan, published on 15 April 2020, includes information on supporting people to maintain their independence and responding to individual needs.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic. We are constantly reviewing our guidance in line with policy changes based at all times on the best scientific advice.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, published on 2 April, does not include guidance for care homes on (1) the provision of infection prevention and control (IPC) focal points to lead and coordinate IPC activities, (2) the provision of clear information to residents in an understandable format and language, (3) the steps staff should take in relation to physical distancing, and (4) what staff should require of residents.

Since the guidance published on 2 April we have set out a comprehensive action plan, last updated on 16 April, to support the adult social care sector in England throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Our plan sets out the actions the Government is taking to help minimise the spread of infection within all care settings. Local health protection teams have been working hard to support care homes in outbreak management providing help with testing and isolation, and infection control advice. We will continue to work closely with key stakeholders and keep our policies under review as the pandemic goes on.

We will continue to update our guidance based on stakeholder feedback, including changes to text to make content easier to read. The Accessible Information Standard is a requirement for organisations that provide National Health Service care or publicly-funded adult social care. It ensures that people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information they can easily read or understand, with support, so they can communicate effectively with services.

We recognise the importance of care home staff, and the vital role they have to play in the United Kingdom’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 17 April Public Health England published guidance COVID19: How to Work Safely in Care Homes. This includes advice on what measures to take in relation to physical distancing in various scenarios. A copy of this guidance is attached.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, published on 2 April, does not recommend that a resident should be isolated until they have had two negative laboratory tests for COVID-19 taken at least 24 hours apart after the resident’s symptoms have resolved; why that guidance does not require the use of eye protection when staff are working within two 2 metres of a resident; and why that guidance does not specify what personal protection equipment should be worn by cleaners in care homes.

The Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance advised a 14-day isolation period over testing, based on the evidence available at the time of publication. The duration was chosen as a pre-cautionary measure and was informed by the recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group and multiple Government advisory groups.

Care home staff are advised to wear eye protection if a two-metre distance cannot be maintained and there is needed for certain tasks where there is risk of droplets or secretions from the resident’s mouth, nose, lungs or from body fluids reaching the eyes, for example prolonged tasks near residents who are repeatedly coughing or who may be vomiting.

Eye protection is not required when care home workers are not within two metres of someone with a cough. This advice applies to all care home staff, including cleaners.

Care home staff working in communal areas with residents but with no direct contact with residents although potentially within two metres of residents, do not need to wear eye protection.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the evidence base behind the suggestion, set out in their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, published on 2 April, to use disinfectant of 1000ppm chlorine when cleaning car homes; what assessment they have made of whether such disinfectant is sufficient to kill COVID-19 on surfaces; and why that guidance does not include specific guidelines to ensure that laundry is washed in a washing machine with water at 60-90°C with laundry detergent, in accordance with the World Health Organisation guidelines.

The Department, NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) co-published Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance on 2 April 2020, followed by the publication of PHE guidance COVID 19: How to work safely in care homes on 17 April 2020. A copy of PHE’s guidance is attached.

The guidance on disinfection in Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home of 2 April 2020 is consistent with the World Health Organization’s advice on disinfection.

The use of 0.1% sodium hypochlorite, which is the same as 1,000 parts per million chlorine, has been deduced from studies conducted on SARS-CoV and other coronaviruses, including the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s Interim guidance for environmental cleaning in nonhealthcare facilities exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

With reference to washing of laundry, the Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance states that care homes are expected to follow the advice in Health Technical Memorandum 01-04: Decontamination of linen for health and social care (2016). The Memorandum states that enhanced processing should be used when there is the possibility of infectious linen or clothing being generated. The enhanced process should be performed in a machine as for the standard process but using a cycle with a minimum temperature of 60ºC, or the highest temperature suitable for heat-sensitive items.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we have taken the right steps at the right time to combat it, guided at all times by the best scientific advice. We are constantly reviewing our guidance in line with policy changes based at all times on the best scientific advice.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, published on 2 April, does not (1) acknowledge the risk of anxiety, anger and stress on residents, (2) place a duty on care homes to provide practical and emotional support and to work with residents’ families and health care providers, and (3) consider any spiritual or pastoral support residents may request.

The Department, NHS England, Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission co-published Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance on 2 April 2020. A copy of the guidance is attached.

The guidance sets out infection control and cohorting advice to care homes, which providers should follow to ensure that they have the confidence to receive and support residents. With the needs of residents in mind, it asks care homes to facilitate remote visiting from family, friends and others, via phone, video, and using plastic or glass barriers.

All our guidance is designed with care users in mind, to ensure that individuals are treated with dignity and respect and that their particular needs are addressed. The Adult Social Care Action Plan published on 15 April includes information on supporting people to maintain their independence and responding to individual needs.

Together with the Chief Social Worker, the Department has developed an ethical framework to provide support to ongoing response planning and decision-making to ensure that thorough consideration is given to a core set of ethical values and principles when organising and delivering social care for adults. The framework emphasises that equal concern and respect should be given to all individuals, their families and carers, and communities, as well as the professionals and volunteers that we will be relying on to ensure the delivery of our services and ambitions.

We have not changed relevant duties for regulated providers (including care homes), contained in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, including the fundamental standards which include provisions about person-centred care (regulation 9) and dignity and respect (regulation 10).

We know that care home residents, particularly those with cognitive and intellectual impairments such as dementia or a learning disability and autistic people, are likely to experience particular difficulties during the pandemic. This could include difficulty understanding and following advice on social distancing, and increased anxiety. Our social care workforce, including new recruits, will need to be trained to respond to these conditions appropriately. We will support providers to embed this in their training in relation to their role, whether they require basic awareness training or more specialist knowledge and skills.

Officials and Ministers are speaking to users of adult social care, and groups that represent them, frequently, to ensure that the Government’s adult social care COVID-19 response reflects their needs. The Government has produced a number of pieces of guidance to support people during the COVID-19 pandemic, including people with dementia and their carers. We are constantly reviewing our guidance in line with the views of users and policy changes, based at all times on the best scientific advice.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what scientific advice was sought from Public Health England before the football match between Liverpool and Atlético Madrid on 11 March was permitted to take place; what assessment was made of permitting people to come together for a public event during a period in which Spain had placed its population in partial lockdown; who gave the advice on behalf of Public Health England; and which Ministers were involved in assessing that advice. [T]

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has advised that a number of sports and other events took place in the period before the Prime Minister announced the lockdown on 23 March. It was absolutely appropriate for them to do so as it was in line with the public health guidance at the time, and indeed, in line with wider activity in the economy and society more generally. It was also in line with the Government’s border and travel policy.

It is the Government’s absolute priority to protect people's health and our advice to the public is based on direct, continuous consultation with scientific and medical experts. There are many factors that could influence the number of cases in a particular area, including population density, age, general health, and the position of an area on the pandemic curve.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the application developed by Doctors Association UK about problems with personal protection equipment (PPE); and (2) reports that PPE is being shipped from the UK to Germany, Spain, and Italy, because UK companies claim that offers of help have not been pursued.

We are working around the clock to give the social care sector and wider National Health Service the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak.

Sourcing sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment is a challenge that many countries are facing. We are working to expand supply from overseas, improve domestic manufacturing capability and expand and improve the logistics network for delivering to the front line.

The full weight of the Government is behind this effort and we are working closely with industry, social care providers, the NHS, and the army to ensure the right equipment continues to be delivered.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 21 April (HL2602), why they have not been in contact with the National Cancer Institute Pascale Foundation or the Colli Hospital in Italy to assess the potential outcomes of the use of Tocilizumab to treat patients with COVID-19 related pneumonia; how they are monitoring “the results of trials of experimental therapies for COVID-19 from around the world”; what discussions they plan to have with the National Cancer Institute Pascale Foundation, and the Colli Hospital in Italy as part of that monitoring; whether the United Kingdom Therapeutics Task Force will report on its findings of its assessment of tocilizumab; and if so, when.

Tocilizumab has begun evaluation in the United Kingdom as part of the RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP studies. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is in regular contact with sponsors and trial investigators to review clinical trials, offer scientific and regulatory advice on clinical trials and encourage early submission of emerging data though facilitated licensing routes. Emerging results from global trials will be taken into consideration by the MHRA during authorisation of UK clinical trials and to inform any amendments needed to ongoing trials.

The Government recognises the importance of collaborating effectively to combat COVID-19, and the UK is meeting regularly with other countries both bilaterally and multilaterally to share information on a variety of subjects including clinical trials. Working with partners across the health and care system, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is supporting the identification, prioritisation and delivery of high quality COVID-19 research, a key element of the Government’s overall response. As part of this work, the NIHR Innovation Observatory is monitoring the progress of trials taking place across the world.

The Therapeutics Taskforce has not been in direct contact with the National Cancer Institute Pascale Foundation or the Colli Hospital in Italy.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the term “let it run hot” means in relation to COVID-19; and what plans they have to publish the evidence base for behind the use of that phrase.

We are not aware of the use of the term 'let it run hot' being used in relation to COVID-19 by the Department.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 tests are currently taking place each day; what estimate they have made of the number of daily tests that would need to occur before an end to lockdown may be safely considered; and what measures they are putting in place to increase capacity and training of those capable of undertaking and evaluating the tests.

The Government is rapidly scaling up the national effort to boost testing capacity for COVID-19 to protect the vulnerable, support the National Health Service, and ultimately save lives. Further details of this work can be found in the Government’s Testing Strategy titled Coronavirus (COVID-19): scaling up our testing programmes, published on 4 April, which is attached.

There are a number of factors to consider in relation to easing of the present restrictions, with testing being just one. Consequently, the Department has not set a threshold on the number of tests necessary to end the current restrictions. The Government will continue to review advice on how testing, along with other efforts, can inform future measures to tackle the virus and how we can ease restrictions whilst keeping people safer.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that letters have been circulated by GP surgeries to residents in care homes in the East of England stating that residents are “unlikely to benefit from mechanical ventilation” and will not be offered the treatment in hospital if admitted with COVID-19; whether any such letters have been circulated elsewhere; and on what authority and basis such guidance was issued. [T]

We are aware of reports of people in care homes being told by general practitioner (GP) surgeries that they are unlikely to be prioritised for mechanical ventilation if they contract COVID-19, because they could be too ‘frail’. This stemmed from recent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on prioritising critical care. NICE was forced to revise the guidance, which included use of the clinical frailty scale (CFS), following allegations it discriminated against people with learning and other disabilities. The guidance was revised on 25 March 2020 and now states: “The Clinical Frailty Score should not be used in younger people, people with stable long-term disabilities (for example, cerebral palsy), learning disability or autism. An individualised assessment is recommended in all cases where the CFS is not appropriate.”

A letter was sent on 3 April 2020 to primary care, acute trusts and community trusts from the National Director of Mental Health, National Clinical Director (for Learning Disability and Autism) and the Medical Director for Primary Care to the NHS on the appropriate use of Do not Resuscitate forms and clinical frailty assessments (which can be used to assess whether critical care is appropriate for a patient) following recent reports on inappropriate use. A copy of the letter is attached.

Furthermore, a letter to the system from Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer, and Steve Powis, National Medical Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement was sent out on 7 April 2020, addressing concerns recently raised regarding the use of DNR forms and supporting best practice in the application of advance care plans. A copy of the letter is attached.

Finally, NHS England and NHS Improvement have produced a GP Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for managing COVID-19 in general practice, published on 6 April. This includes a COVID-19 advance care plan template, guidance notes for completing an advance care plan and states that “Advance care plans should be made on an individual basis. It is not acceptable for advance care plans, with or without Do Not Attempt Resuscitation forms, to be applied to groups of patients”. A copy of the SOP is attached.

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether those who were detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 but have since been released will continue to be legally entitled to the provision of after-care by social services under section 117 of that Act, following the enactment of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 does not provide for any changes to legal entitlements for aftercare services under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish guidance for local authorities on (1) treatment, (2) care, and (3) funding for people with dementia, during the COVID-19 pandemic; when any such guidance will be published; and what assessment they have made of the number of patients with dementia in care homes without staff who have had dementia training.

The Government has announced £1.6 billion of additional funding to support local authorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic across all service areas.

The Department of Health and Social Care is working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities and providers to make sure the adult social care sector is ready. New adult social care guidance is available online and covers provision of residential care, supported living and home care.

Guidance for other sectors is being produced and updated regularly and the Government is also finalising COVID-19 related guidance for care homes including those housing individuals with dementia, which will be published shortly.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford on 20 January (HL277) and Lord Bethell on 5 March (HL1701) and 18 March (HL2406), what outcomes the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority consider to be adverse following mitochondrial donation treatment; whether such outcomes include (1) implantation failure, (2) spontaneous miscarriage, and (3) the termination of a pregnancy following the detection of unanticipated abnormalities; and what assessment they have made of the reason for the lack of live births pursuant to the application of such treatments.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) have advised that this information is set out in its Code of Practice at section 33.35, which states:

“If a centre becomes aware that a child born following mitochondrial donation has been born with a mitochondrial disease, birth defect, or genetic abnormality, or if there has been some other adverse outcome (including but not limited to failed or no embryo development, miscarriage or premature birth) following treatment involving mitochondrial donation, the centre must regard this as an adverse incident and report this to the HFEA in line with the requirements on adverse incidents set out in guidance note 27. This is to capture information about any abnormalities that may occur as a result of carrying out the MST (maternal spindle transfer) or PNT (pro-nuclear transfer) treatment, to inform any regulatory or licensing action that the HFEA may wish to take and to inform the scientific sector.”

The HFEA has made no assessment of the efficacy of mitochondrial treatment to date as the number of treatments is so low, at this stage.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports about the success of using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, following a study carried out by Professor Raoult, director of the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire de Marseille.

The Department is considering carefully all available evidence around the potential of different medicines for use in treating COVID-19. Clinical trials are ongoing and being developed to assess the benefits of a number of different medicines in treating COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine is not currently licensed to treat COVID-19 related symptoms or prevent infection. Clinical trials are being established to test hydroxychloroquine as an agent in the treatment of COVID-19. These clinical trials are still not completed, so no conclusions have yet been reached on the safety and effectiveness of this medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following their decision to ban the parallel export of drugs used to treat malaria and HIV, whether UK stocks of such medicines are being trialled for use on patients with COVID-19; and if so, what (1) clinical evidence has been gathered, and (2) conclusions have been reached, about the efficacy of such treatment.

United Kingdom stocks of medicines to treat malaria and HIV are being trialled for use on patients with COVID-19.

There are suggestions in the Chinese and French literature that both lopinavir/ritonavir and chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine may be beneficial. However, these data are not conclusive, because the studies done are too small, thus the findings, whilst promising, may ultimately be wrong.

The UK will evaluate both these treatments in two large randomised trials, one of which is already underway and the other of which is expected to begin recruitment next week.

17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 16 March (HL2026), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, whether the current provision of specialised ventilation care will be capable of meeting the needs of those affected by an epidemic.

We have significantly increased our ventilator capacity. To date, there are more than 8,000 ventilators in hospitals across the United Kingdom, with thousands more expected to come into use in the coming weeks and months and, of course, we will continue to order more. This is alongside work being done on the Prime Minister’s ventilator challenge.

Ventilators are being procured from existing worldwide stocks. Ventilators will be delivered to National Health Service trusts as soon as stock has arrived in the UK. In addition, ventilators will be available in the private hospitals that we have just contracted as additional capacity.

It is not yet clear precisely how quickly the number of cases requiring ventilation will increase, hence the efforts to increase capacity rapidly. Ventilator demand modelling continues to evolve and at present sufficient capacity exists. The supply and demand of ventilators is under constant review.

17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what response there has been to the Prime Minister's request for manufacturers to develop ventilators for the NHS; and how many they expect to be produced.

Work preparing the National Health Service has been ongoing and we have already nearly doubled ventilator capacity. New and existing suppliers are being asked to build as many as they can. The Prime Minister has issued a call to United Kingdom industry to produce additional ventilators and the Department asked appropriate potential manufacturers on 13 March to come forward with proposals for new ventilation machines. Around a dozen potential prototypes have now been presented to the Department which we are currently pursuing.

17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how confident they are that those who have recovered from COVID-19 do not continue to be carriers of the virus; and whether swab tests will be repeated for recovered patients to ensure that such tests remain negative.

COVID-19 is not known to cause latent infections (becoming dormant in the body after infection and reactivate later on) or to cause persistent infection (continuous infection).

Public Health England is in the process of producing guidance for the conditions of discharge of infected patients from hospitals.

17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that one of the people in the Lombardy cluster may have become infected with COVID-19 after contact with a person who tested negative for COVID-19.

Assessment of the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 cases suggests that, similar to SARS-CoV, patients will not be infectious until the onset of symptoms. In most cases, individuals are usually considered infectious while they have symptoms. How infectious individuals are depends on the severity of their symptoms and stage of their illness. Further study is required to determine the actual occurrence and impact of asymptomatic transmission.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review internal advice on personal protective equipment given to NHS doctors; and what steps they are taking to ensure that medical staff swabbing patients for COVID-19 have filtering facepiece 3 respirators.

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

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) current availability of ventilators in NHS intensive care units, and (2) production capacity, to supply further ventilators in line with the planned increase in their use.

The National Health Service has world-renowned critical care facilities which includes access to around 5,000 adult and 900 paediatric critical care ventilators, with further ventilators available outside of critical care facilities.

Work preparing the NHS has been ongoing and we have already nearly doubled ventilator capacity. New and existing suppliers are being asked to build as many as they can. The Prime Minister has issued a call to United Kingdom industry to produce additional ventilators and the Department asked appropriate potential manufacturers on 13 March to come forward with proposals for new ventilation machines. Around a dozen potential prototypes have now been presented to the Department which we are currently pursuing.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefits of the use of Tocilizumab in the treatment of severe cases of interstitial pneumonia linked to COVID-19 in China and Italy; and what plans they have to make that drug available on the NHS.

The Department is considering carefully all available evidence around the potential of different medicines for use in treating COVID-19. Clinical trials are being developed to assess the benefits of a number of different medicines in treating COVID-19. Further medicines may be trialled should evidence indicate to the Department that this would be an appropriate course of action. The Department, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Public Health England and the National Health Service are working together to ensure that trials can begin as soon as possible. The first trial in the United Kingdom for hospitalised patients should begin later this week.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the National Cancer Institute Pascale Foundation, and (2) the Colli Hospital, in Italy about the results those institutions saw from using Tocilizumab to treat patients with severe pneumonia linked to COVID-19.

The Department has not been in direct contact with the National Cancer Institute Pascale Foundation or the Colli Hospital in Italy regarding the experimental use of tocilizumab. However, the United Kingdom Therapeutics Task Force has independently assessed tocilizumab as having potential, and it is expected to begin evaluation in the UK imminently as part of the RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP studies. UK patients will be able to access tocilizumab as part of this trial. The Department will continue to monitor the results of trials of experimental therapies for COVID-19 from around the world.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 10 March (HL1839), what assessment they have made of the report by the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies China and Viruses: The Case of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, published on 29 January.

The Government is aware of this report by the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies.

Research into COVID-19’s origins is ongoing, and the United Kingdom is working with the international scientific community to determine the source of the outbreak.

12th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the average number of embryos used to save a life using mitochondrial replacement techniques; and how many such embryos they estimate are subsequently transferred to a woman.

The purpose of mitochondrial donation treatment is to prevent the transfer of serious mitochondrial disease passing from mother to child. The treatment is used to ensure that the embryos created do not carry mitochondrial mutations that would otherwise result in serious genetic diseases.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has to date licensed 17 patients as eligible for mitochondrial donation treatment in the United Kingdom. To protect patient confidentiality, information on the number of patients that have begun treatment cannot be disclosed. It is therefore not possible to provide the information requested.

10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 5 March (HL1700), what were the mitochondrial DNA mutations in each of the 17 applications considered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority that have now been approved; and on what dates each application was (1) made, and (2) approved.

The following table shows the gene affected and the mutation in each application, the dates each application was made and approved by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) Statutory Approvals Committee.

HFEA Application reference

Gene affected by mutation

Mutation

Date received

Date approved by the HFEA Statutory Approvals Committee

M0001

MT-TK

Details omitted to protect patient identity

28 June 2017

31 August 2017

M0002

MT-TK

Details omitted to protect patient identity

4 September 2017

26 October 2017

M0007

MT-ND1

m.3460 G>A

13 March 2018

24 May 2018

M0003

MT-TL1

Details omitted to protect patient identity

25 September 2017

26 July 2018

M0005

MT-TL1

m.3243 A>G

5 December 2017

26 July 2018

M0008

MT-TL1

m.3243 A>G

15 March 2018

26 July 2018

M0004

MT-TK

Details omitted to protect patient identity

4 December 2017

30 August 2018

M0006

MT-TS1

Details omitted to protect patient identity

9 January 2018

30 August 2018

M0009

MT-TI

m.4300 A>G

28 June 2018

27 September 2018

M0010

MT-TI

m.4300 A>G

11 July 2018

27 September 2018

M0013

MT-ND4

m.11778 G>A

14 July 2018

25 October 2018

M0012

MT-ND1

m.3460 G>A

13 July 2018

25 October 2018

M0014

MT-ND4

m.11778 G>A

23 November 2018

31 January 2019

M0015

MT-ND4

m.11778 G>A

23 November 2018

31 January 2019

M0011

MT-ND4

m.11778 G>A

12 July 2018

29 August 2019

M0016

MT-TK

m.8344 A>G

5 July 2019

26 September 2019

M0017

MT-ND4

m.11778 G>A

22 August 2019

31 October 2019

Source:

HFEA

10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 5 March (HL1701), why they stated that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has no role in the follow-up of patients pursuant to mitochondrial donation treatment if it provides contact details on its website for further discussion of this; what recommendations the Scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception: 2016 update, published in November 2016, made in regard to rigorous long-term follow-up of children born as a result of such techniques; and what assessment they have made of the statement on the HFEA website that those engaging in follow-up to such treatment will be “helping many people affected by mitochondrial disease, now and in the future”.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has no statutory role in following up the clinical outcomes of patients born after mitochondrial donation treatment. However, the HFEA Code of Practice requires any clinic licensed to offer such treatment to have a documented process to enable follow-up, where patients have consented to this. Clinics are also required to report any adverse outcomes following mitochondrial donation treatment to the HFEA.

The statement on the HFEA website is addressed to potential patients and explains that follow-up is useful, as doctors want to understand as much as possible about how mitochondrial donation affects children and future generations. This will ensure that children born following mitochondrial donation get the best possible care in the future, as well as contributing to continued understanding of mitochondrial disease. The Government has not made a specific assessment of this statement.

The 2016 update recommended follow-up of children born as a result of mitochondrial donation in order to gather information about safety and efficacy.

10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord O'Shaughnessy on 24 October 2017 (HL1882) and by Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford on both 9 January 2020 (HL275) and 11 February 2020 (HL1237), why the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) does not hold information on which methods of freezing are used; from which data the HFEA came to the conclusion that there has been no effective difference between vitrification and slow freezing methods over the last five years; and what assessment they have made of the importance of any (1) clinical, and (2) other, follow up for informing prospective patients.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is required under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 to keep a register recording identifiable information on patients, the treatments they undergo and their outcomes. This information does not include the method used to freeze sperm, eggs or embryos.

The HFEA has not said that there has been no effective difference between methods of freezing over the last five years. The HFEA’s published information on annual fertility trends shows an increase in success rates using frozen embryos and frozen eggs over time.

The HFEA does not carry out follow up work with patients. Under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, applications can be made to use HFEA data for research studies.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) to purchase or manufacture, and (2) to distribute sufficient, (a) clinical respiratory face masks, (b) goggles, and (c) protective clothing for health workers dealing with a potential COVID-19 epidemic in the UK; and what training NHS and emergency service workers will receive in using such equipment.

The Chancellor has set out a £12 billion package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.

General practitioner surgeries and the National Health Service should continue to use their current procedures for ordering, supplying and procuring personal protective equipment and use their usual contracted routes should any escalation be needed.

We practise and prepare our response to disease outbreaks and follow tried and tested procedures, following the highest safety standards possible for the protection of NHS staff, patients and the public. Specific guidance on handling people with COVID-19 has been shared with NHS staff. Public Health England has also published online guidance for first responders and others who may have close contact with people with potential COVID-19.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they expect 20 per cent of those infected with COVID-19 in the UK to require hospital treatment, as was the case in Wuhan.

The United Kingdom Government and devolved administrations, including the health and social care system, have planned extensively over the years for an event like this. The UK is therefore well prepared to respond in a way that offers substantial protection to the public. The Government’s action plan Coronavirus: action plan A guide to what you can expect across the UK sets out what we are planning to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes. A copy of the action plan is attached.

Among those who become infected, some will exhibit no symptoms. Early data suggest that of those who develop an illness, the great majority will have a mild-to-moderate, but self-limiting illness – similar to seasonal flu. It is, however, also clear that a minority of people who get COVID-19 will develop complications severe enough to require hospital care, most often pneumonia, in some instances leading to death.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to establish centres for specialised ventilation care for people in stage 3 of COVID-19; and what assessment they have made of whether current provision would be capable of meeting the needs of those affected by an epidemic.

Highly specialised beds will only be needed by a minority of affected patients. As the Chief Medical Officer has said, we are working through our clear action plan to make sure we can flex services to respond to extra demand. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working closely with providers across the country to support this.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) report by the World Health Organization Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report, published on 1 March, in particular the mortality rate from COVID-19 in Hubei province, and (2) the remarks by Brendan Wren, Professor of Vaccinology at the London School of Tropical Medicine that the difference in the mortality rate in Hubei province compared to other areas is a due to a higher viral load, or because the original source of COVID-19 in Wuhan may still be actively transmitting.

The Government is being advised by the Scientific Advisory Group For Emergencies, known as SAGE. SAGE and its sub groups have, and will continue to, monitor all relevant epidemiological literature, including the World Heal