Lord Harrison

Labour - Life peer

Hybrid Instruments Committee (Lords)
10th Dec 2003 - 12th May 2022
Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 Committee
29th Jun 2017 - 18th Oct 2017
Financial Exclusion Committee
25th May 2016 - 25th Mar 2017
Equality Act 2010 and Disability Committee
11th Jun 2015 - 15th Mar 2016
European Union Committee
22nd Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
European Union Committee
29th Nov 2004 - 26th Nov 2008
Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee
26th Nov 2002 - 8th Nov 2006


Division Voting information

Lord Harrison has voted in 679 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

4 Mar 2008 - Cheshire (Structural Changes) Order 2008 - View Vote Context
Lord Harrison voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Labour Aye votes vs 78 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 72 Noes - 83
30 Oct 2006 - Education and Inspections Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Harrison voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Labour Aye votes vs 78 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 37 Noes - 119
View All Lord Harrison Division Votes

All Debates

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
Earl Howe (Conservative)
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
(30 debate interactions)
Baroness Wilcox (Conservative)
(24 debate interactions)
Lord Sassoon (Conservative)
(21 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(57 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(42 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(15 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Harrison's debates

Commons initiatives

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

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Lord Harrison has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Harrison has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Lord Harrison


First reading took place on 16 May. 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 law on marriage to permit the Registrar General to permit certain charitable organisations to solemnise marriages


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Thursday 16th May 2013

First reading took place on 16 May. 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. A bill to amend the law on marriage to permit the Registrar General to permit certain charitable organisations to solemnise marriages.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Wednesday 16th May 2012

Lord Harrison has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


72 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
5 Other Department Questions
13th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of how the requirement for public-interest enterprises to disclose non-financial interests and diversity measures under European Union Directive 2014/95 affects United Kingdom small and medium-sized enterprises wishing to be listed on stock exchanges across the European Union.

The Government expects to publish a consultation document shortly on plans for transposition of this Directive, most of whose provisions are already reflected in UK reporting requirements. A full impact assessment, including an assessment of the impact on SMEs, will be made available alongside the consultation document.

12th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, what steps, if any, they plan to take to ensure local involvement and certainty for small businesses participating in the JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to medium Enterprises) initiative in the north-east of England; and what role the British Business Bank will have in disbursing funds for projects supported by that initiative.

Government has no intention of imposing any arrangements for the next round of JEREMIE-style funds that do not carry local support. The Government remains committed to the Northern Powerhouse, and in that context is continuing, with the British Business Bank, to look at how best to help SMEs across the north access the investment they need.

24th Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Cole Commission on Exports <i>An Action Plan from business</i>.

The Government welcomes this report and the serious work by members of the Cole Commission. It contains much invaluable analysis and we will consider its recommendations very carefully.

2nd Feb 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to improve the productivity of small businesses.

Government policy focuses on delivering growth which in turn depends on productivity in the longer term.

We have already set out our four key growth ambitions: creating the most competitive tax system in the G20, making the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business, encouraging investment and exports, and creating a more educated workforce. And through our industrial strategy, the whole of government is taking a long-term strategic approach to working in partnership with businesses to increase global competitiveness, support innovation and maximise export potential.

The right tax environment is vital to help businesses flourish so we have cut the main rate of Corporation Tax from 28% to 21% and announced further cuts to 20% by 2015 – the joint lowest rate in the G20 major economies. We have helped businesses with the cost of hiring staff by introducing a new Employer Allowance which cuts £2,000 from the National Insurance bills of small firms. To support small businesses in local communities, the ‘high street discount’ for around 300,000 shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants will go up from £1,000 to £1,500, from April 2015 to March 2016. This is in addition to doubling Small Business Rate Relief for a further year which means 380,000 of the smallest businesses will pay no rates at all.



R&D Tax Credits are the single largest Government support for business investment in R&D. They are designed to encourage greater R&D spend by business leading, in turn, to greater investment in innovation and improved products and processes. The rate of relief under the SME scheme is one of the most competitive rates in the world and, at Autumn Statement 2014, was increased from 225% to 230% of qualifying R&D expenditure from April 2015. Innovate UK is the Government’s prime channel for supporting business-led technology innovation. It delivers a range of programmes in support of businesses undertaking R&D including Collaborative R&D, Smart and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Innovate UK also provides opportunities for innovative businesses through the growing network of Catapult centres. Under the Coalition Government, Innovate UK, with partner and business contributions, has invested around £3.5 billion in innovation projects across the UK.

More businesses are getting access to the finance they need to start up and grow with Start-Up Loans offered to over 25,000 businesses; so far lending over £129 million. The British Business Bank has facilitated £890m of new lending and investment to over 21,000 small businesses in the year to the end of September 2014. And we have facilitated over £1.67 billion of lending to over 16,000 small businesses since May 2010, through our Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme. We have brought together all Government advice and support in one place at GREATbusiness.gov.uk, where the ‘My Business Support Tool’ helps businesses find the support they need quickly, and businesses can speak to or webchat with a helpline adviser direct using the Business Support helpline. Businesses can also access our new Business Growth Service on the website, which brings together expert advice to improve and grow in one place, including Growth Accelerator, the Manufacturing Advisory Service, and export advice and finance.

Small businesses have less regulation to follow with a £10 billion cumulative net saving to businesses as a result of our deregulation work. Through the Red Tape Challenge, we have reviewed over 5,600 regulations and identified 3,000 to scrap or improve. We are on track to surpass our target of saving business £850 million per year.

And around 48,000 businesses have been helped by our UKTI support – of which 90% were small businesses. This support helped generate additional sales of over £49 billion and created or safeguarded over 220,000 jobs over the last year.

24th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made on the Package Travel Directive and what is their definition of Assisted Travel Arrangements.

Negotiations in the European Council are nearing completion. The proposal was discussed at the Competitiveness Council of Ministers on 4 December and a General Approach was agreed by Member States’ Ministers. We expect final agreement to be achieved in the New Year following the completion of the next stage in the negotiation; discussions between the Presidency of the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission.

The definition of Assisted Travel Arrangements in the text agreed at Council is:

'assisted travel arrangement' means at least two different types of travel services purchased for the purpose of the same trip or holiday, not constituting a package within the meaning of paragraph 2(b), resulting in the conclusion of separate contracts with the individual travel service providers, if a trader facilitates:

(a) on the occasion of a single visit or contact with its point of sale, the separate selection and separate payment of each travel service by travellers, or

(b) in a targeted manner, the procurement of additional travel services from other traders where contracts with such other traders are concluded not more than 48 hours after the confirmation of the first travel service.


6th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the financial liability of local authorities associated with late payments of suppliers' invoices which will result from the transposition of the European Union directive on late payments.

This information is not held centrally. However, in implementing Lord Young’s recommendations to open up public sector procurement to SMEs, increase transparency and simplify the government market, we are bringing in new measures so that from 2015 all public bodies will be required to publish the interest they have paid due to late payments. From 2016-17 they will have to calculate their liabilities and publish them annually.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
6th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will publish their response to the consultation on the draft regulations transposing the new European Union procurement directives in the United Kingdom.

The Government’s consultation on implementing the 2014 EU Procurement Directives took place between 19 September and 17 October 2014. We expect to publish our response early in the New Year.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
30th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Department of Health's consultation on changes in how healthcare education for nurses is funded, what are the next steps in the legislative process.

I refer the noble Baroness to the answer I gave Lord Beecham on 20 July 2017 (HL801, HL802, HL803, HL804).

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of which of the provisions of the European Commission's 2014 Recommendation on a new approach to business failure and insolvency would (1) benefit, and (2) harm, the UK's insolvency regime if introduced.

The UK’s flexible and effective restructuring and insolvency regime is very much in keeping with the general themes of the EU Recommendation. Following the European Commission’s 2014 Recommendation, the Government conducted a call for evidence seeking the views of stakeholders and submitted a response to the Commission’s survey on how Member States comply with the Recommendation. The Government published the UK’s response in August 2015. This can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/european-commission-recommendation-on-business-failure-and-insolvency-call-for-evidence

26th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the main criteria for judging whether an insolvency regime is successful.

It is not simple to compare different insolvency regimes. The World Bank methodology for ‘Resolving Insolvency’ uses principally an assessment of speed and amount of returns to creditors but also has introduced more subjective tests of the strength of the framework. In the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business Report, the UK continues to be 7th in the world for returns to creditors, and is quicker and costs less than the US, Germany and France, but does somewhat less well on the subjective factors, which may understate the strengths of our regime. We keep the UK’s insolvency regime under review to ensure it remains at the forefront of best practice and that possible new features are properly considered.

26th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the World Bank's methodology for producing its Resolving Insolvency rankings.

It is not simple to compare different insolvency regimes. The World Bank methodology for ‘Resolving Insolvency’ uses principally an assessment of speed and amount of returns to creditors but also has introduced more subjective tests of the strength of the framework. In the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business Report, the UK continues to be 7th in the world for returns to creditors, and is quicker and costs less than the US, Germany and France, but does somewhat less well on the subjective factors, which may understate the strengths of our regime. We keep the UK’s insolvency regime under review to ensure it remains at the forefront of best practice and that possible new features are properly considered.

26th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what work they are doing to promote the UK's insolvency regime to the European Commission as it develops its plans for an insolvency directive.

My officials have regular discussions with Commission officials on this matter. Insolvency experts have also had such discussions to ensure they are aware of the features and strengths of our insolvency regime. The Commission has announced its intention to publish a legislative initiative on corporate insolvency in late 2016. This is to be preceded by a consultation to be published this spring. The Government will be responding to the consultation.

6th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to recognise chess and bridge as sports for the purpose of applying for funds provided by national sports organisations.

The process for the recognition of sports in the UK is a matter for the Sports Councils’ Recognition Panel which is made up of Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland, Sport Northern Ireland and UK Sport.

The games of bridge and chess are not recognised as sports by any of the UK sports councils.

There are no plans currently to revisit the question of recognition for either chess or bridge.

Lord Ashton of Hyde
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
12th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to support Brasov, Romania, as the European Capital of Culture for 2021.

The designation of a European Capital of Culture is a matter for the independent selection panel and the national authority of the Member State participating in a particular year.

2nd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the finding of the report by the Fair Admissions Campaign and the British Humanist Association last year <i>An Unholy Mess</i> that a significant number of religiously selective schools are breaking the School Admissions Code by taking into account the past behaviour, attendance, attitude, or achievement, of children.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious designation, are required to comply with the mandatory provisions of the School Admissions Code and other admissions law.

Where an objection is made to the Schools Adjudicator, if the arrangements are found to be unfair or fail to comply with the Code, the admission authority must make changes to ensure their arrangements are compliant without undue delay. Where an admission authority fails to implement decisions of the adjudicator, the Secretary of State may direct the admission authority to do so.

We continue to keep the Code under review, and, where we consider any changes are necessary to make the admissions system work more effectively for parents, these will be subject to a full public consultation.

2nd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the finding of the report by the Fair Admissions Campaign and the British Humanist Association last year <i>An Unholy Mess</i> that a significant number of religiously selective schools are asking parents for information they do not need, and are not allowed to ask for, such as the predicted grades of their children, and how this could be prevented in future.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious designation, are required to comply with the mandatory provisions of the School Admissions Code and other admissions law.

Where an objection is made to the Schools Adjudicator, if the arrangements are found to be unfair or fail to comply with the Code, the admission authority must make changes to ensure their arrangements are compliant without undue delay. Where an admission authority fails to implement decisions of the adjudicator, the Secretary of State may direct the admission authority to do so.

We continue to keep the Code under review, and, where we consider any changes are necessary to make the admissions system work more effectively for parents, these will be subject to a full public consultation.

2nd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the finding of the report by the Fair Admissions Campaign and the British Humanist Association last year <i>An Unholy Mess</i> that a significant number of religiously selective schools are requiring practical or financial support for associated organisations such as churches and synagogues from parents, and what steps they are taking to address this.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious designation, are required to comply with the mandatory provisions of the School Admissions Code and other admissions law.

Where an objection is made to the Schools Adjudicator, if the arrangements are found to be unfair or fail to comply with the Code, the admission authority must make changes to ensure their arrangements are compliant without undue delay. Where an admission authority fails to implement decisions of the adjudicator, the Secretary of State may direct the admission authority to do so.

We continue to keep the Code under review, and, where we consider any changes are necessary to make the admissions system work more effectively for parents, these will be subject to a full public consultation.

2nd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the finding of the report by the Fair Admissions Campaign and the British Humanist Association last year <i>An Unholy Mess</i> that a significant number of religiously selective schools are still interviewing prospective pupils, despite this being banned in 2006.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious designation, are required to comply with the mandatory provisions of the School Admissions Code and other admissions law.

Where an objection is made to the Schools Adjudicator, if the arrangements are found to be unfair or fail to comply with the Code, the admission authority must make changes to ensure their arrangements are compliant without undue delay. Where an admission authority fails to implement decisions of the adjudicator, the Secretary of State may direct the admission authority to do so.

We continue to keep the Code under review, and, where we consider any changes are necessary to make the admissions system work more effectively for parents, these will be subject to a full public consultation.

2nd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the finding of the report by the Fair Admissions Campaign and the British Humanist Association last year <i>An Unholy Mess</i> that a majority of religiously selective schools may not be properly prioritising looked-after, and previously looked-after, children in their admission arrangements, and what steps they are taking to address this.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious designation, are required to comply with the mandatory provisions of the School Admissions Code and other admissions law.

Where an objection is made to the Schools Adjudicator, if the arrangements are found to be unfair or fail to comply with the Code, the admission authority must make changes to ensure their arrangements are compliant without undue delay. Where an admission authority fails to implement decisions of the adjudicator, the Secretary of State may direct the admission authority to do so.

We continue to keep the Code under review, and, where we consider any changes are necessary to make the admissions system work more effectively for parents, these will be subject to a full public consultation.

24th Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the possible impact of climate change on pensions funds; and whether they intend to invite the Prudential Regulation Authority to include this issue in its Climate Change Adaptation Report.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment, published in 2012, identified the impact on investment funds from climate change. It found that impacts would be indirect but could be substantial and that it would be difficult to establish a link between impacts and financial performance. The assessment identified the increasing exposure of insurers due to flood risk.

As part of the current round of reporting under the Adaptation Reporting Power, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is focusing its report on the insurance sector and its role in addressing the increasing exposure of the sector to climate risks. It does not directly supervise pension funds.

The PRA’s report will inform our next national assessment of risk, due in 2017, and the National Adaptation Programme due around 2018.

14th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Malta about the enforcement of the bans on the hunting and shooting of migratory birds.

British ministers have discussed spring hunting with their Maltese counterparts on several occasions and encouraged them to enforce legislation to combat illegal hunting. It is for the Maltese Government to investigate any reports of illegal hunting activity, such as shooting of rare and protected species, which are alleged to be taking place in violation of Malta’s permitted hunting regime. We support the European Commission’s efforts to ensure compliance with the EU Wild Birds Directive and the Maltese Government’s efforts to address this issue.

14th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the implementation of the European Union's Zoos Directive 1999 in the United Kingdom through the zoo inspection system.

The Zoo Licensing Act 1981, which sets out comprehensive licensing and inspection requirements for zoos, implements the EC Zoos Directive in Great Britain. Responsibility for administering these requirements rests with local authorities, which have powers to check compliance with zoo licences, to impose conditions and to take action. Ultimately this could mean closing part, or all, of a zoo if the requirements of the legislation are not met. This in turn ensures our compliance with the Directive.

In response to concerns about how local authorities were carrying out this role, Defra commissioned research into local authority implementation of the Act. The 2011 report, which looked at the period 2008-2010, found no serious problems and indeed there was evidence of significant improvements in a number of areas during this time.

The report made suggestions for further improvements, such as updating guidance and zoo inspection report forms. These, together with the majority of the suggestions, have been actioned and we continue to work to make further improvements.

29th Nov 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will take steps to ensure that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency improves its communications in line with the recommendation set out in the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's report <i>Driven to Despair</i>.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) had made significant improvements in this area prior to the publication of the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman’s report.

The DVLA worked closely with doctors and other medical professionals to improve the guidance for medical professionals to use when assessing fitness to drive. The revised guidance was published in March 2016 and has been very well received by medical professionals. Revised guidance for the general public on the medical standards for driving was published in October 2015

The DVLA has re-written customer facing letters to make them clearer and easier to understand. Officials have also reviewed and re-written letters to medical professionals to make them as clear as possible, helping to ensure that the DVLA receives the information it needs as quickly as possible.

The DVLA has also carried out a pilot which saw posters introduced into around 100 GP surgeries in the Birmingham area. The posters emphasise to patients the importance of speaking to their doctor about whether they should declare a medical condition to the DVLA. Doctors were also provided with letters to give to patients if they had discussed declaring a medical condition to the DVLA.

The DVLA has a dedicated team responsible for continuous improvement of communications and services, including an ongoing review of customer facing literature.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Nov 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to address the recommendations in the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's report <i>Driven to Despair</i>.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) had instigated a significant programme of improvements to the services offered to medical customers in 2014, prior to the publication of the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO)’s report. Significant progress has been made and the DVLA continues to concentrate efforts in this area.

The government accepted four of the six recommendations made by the PHSO. The DVLA’s Chief Executive has apologised and paid appropriate compensation to the eight customers upon whom the PHSO based its report. More staff and medical advisers have been recruited, which has led to significant improvements in the time taken to deal with medical licensing applications. The DVLA has also introduced a service which allows motorists to notify certain medical conditions online. This system will continue to be developed and improved over time.

The DVLA has also significantly improved communications in this area. Letters to medical professionals and customers have been re-written to make them clearer and officials have worked closely with doctors and medical professionals to publish revised online guidance.

The government does not accept the PHSO’s recommendation to put in place arrangements so that others affected by the issues identified can seek financial redress. The DVLA has a well established compensation scheme which conforms to HM Treasury guidelines. The PHSO’s report was based on only eight cases dating back to 2009 and the DVLA has dealt with more than four million medical applications since then, the vast majority of which have been handled efficiently and without issues. The government does not believe that it is proportionate to introduce further arrangements in this area.

The government also does not accept the PHSO’s recommendation relating to medical standards for driving. The existing medical standards for driving are based in law and are devised and agreed by medical experts. The legislation underpins the actions DVLA takes in relation to driver licensing decisions. The DVLA also takes advice from six medical advisory panels composed of relevant experts to inform decisions about the health standards required for safe driving.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whose responsibility it is to ensure the safety of lifts at Euston railway station; and what information they have about when those lifts were last inspected; and whether they will publish a report about lift safety at that station.

Network Rail is the relevant safety duty holder with responsibility for ensuring that risks are controlled so far as reasonably practicable on its infrastructure and the stations it manages.


The Department does not hold information about when the lifts at Euston railway station were last inspected and operational issues such as these are a matter for Network Rail with oversight from the Office of Rail and Road in its role as the independent railway safety regulator.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are considering phasing Flight-Plus out of the ATOL scheme in the context of ATOL reform and the new European Union Package Travel Directive.

The European Commission’s proposal for a new Package Travel Directive expands the scope of the definitions to potentially include a range of holidays currently covered as flight-plus arrangements under the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) scheme, and some holidays sold by airlines.

On 18 March 2013, the European Commission published a Communication on Passenger Protection in the Event of Airline Insolvency. The Commission committed to closely monitor the application of a range of measures, and after two years, review their performance and effectiveness and assess whether a legislative initiative is needed to guarantee the protection of passengers in the case of airline insolvency. We anticipate that the Commission’s review will commence next year.

We will carefully consider the outcome of these matters as part of our review of ATOL reform.

Baroness Kramer
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Treasury and Economy)
24th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will take a decision on including airlines within the ATOL scheme for Flight-Plus transactions in line with powers contained in the Civil Aviation Act 2012.

The European Commission’s proposal for a new Package Travel Directive expands the scope of the definitions to potentially include a range of holidays currently covered as flight-plus arrangements under the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) scheme, and some holidays sold by airlines.

On 18 March 2013, the European Commission published a Communication on Passenger Protection in the Event of Airline Insolvency. The Commission committed to closely monitor the application of a range of measures, and after two years, review their performance and effectiveness and assess whether a legislative initiative is needed to guarantee the protection of passengers in the case of airline insolvency. We anticipate that the Commission’s review will commence next year.

We will carefully consider the outcome of these matters as part of our review of ATOL reform.

Baroness Kramer
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Treasury and Economy)
24th Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 7 January (HL Deb, col 432), when they plan to consult on improving transparency for pension savers regarding where their money is invested and how rights attached to it are being exercised; and when they plan to consider how secondary legislation could be used to ensure greater transparency for pension savers.

The Government is committed to ensuring greater transparency for pension savers.

From April this year, workplace schemes are required to report on the value delivered by costs and charges in their scheme for the first time. Building on this, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Financial Conduct Authority ran a joint Call for Evidence ‘Transaction Cost Disclosure: Improving Transparency in Workplace Pensions’, considering how transaction costs could be disclosed in a standardised way. This is the first phase of work required to meet duties under Section 44 of the Pensions Act 2014 to require transaction costs to be disclosed to members and others; and transaction costs and administration charges to be published. The Government is currently considering responses to the Call for Evidence.

Transparency is not just about costs and charges. Earlier this year the Government consulted on changes to the Occupational Pension Schemes Investment Regulations requiring trustees to report how they take financial and non-financial factors into account when investing, and their schemes stewardship policy. The Government is currently considering responses to the consultation.

The Government intends to consult on any secondary legislation required following these exercises later this year, and will consider what further proposals may be needed to ensure greater transparency for pension savers including consideration both of its duties under the Pensions Act 2014 and the remarks made in debates on 7 January.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people with movement disorders have applied for Personal Independence Payment.

The information requested regarding interventions is not currently available.

Information on claims made to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) broken down by condition is not available. By 21 October 2014, 1,535 people classified as having a movement disorder as their primary condition were in receipt of PIP.

The Department has robust processes in place to assure the quality of Personal Independence Payment assessments and decisions about benefit entitlement, through regular audit and quality checks by specialist teams. We continue to review processes to ensure they remain appropriate and effective.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have (1) to pilot the Personal Independence Payment quality assurance process, (2) to publish an evaluation of the Personal Independence Payment quality assurance process, and (3) to consult on the Personal Independence Payment quality assurance process.

The information requested regarding interventions is not currently available.

Information on claims made to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) broken down by condition is not available. By 21 October 2014, 1,535 people classified as having a movement disorder as their primary condition were in receipt of PIP.

The Department has robust processes in place to assure the quality of Personal Independence Payment assessments and decisions about benefit entitlement, through regular audit and quality checks by specialist teams. We continue to review processes to ensure they remain appropriate and effective.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people with Parkinson's receiving Personal Independence Payment have undergone an intervention to review their entitlement.

The information requested regarding interventions is not currently available.

Information on claims made to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) broken down by condition is not available. By 21 October 2014, 1,535 people classified as having a movement disorder as their primary condition were in receipt of PIP.

The Department has robust processes in place to assure the quality of Personal Independence Payment assessments and decisions about benefit entitlement, through regular audit and quality checks by specialist teams. We continue to review processes to ensure they remain appropriate and effective.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people receiving Personal Independence Payment have undergone an intervention to review their entitlement.

The information requested regarding interventions is not currently available.

Information on claims made to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) broken down by condition is not available. By 21 October 2014, 1,535 people classified as having a movement disorder as their primary condition were in receipt of PIP.

The Department has robust processes in place to assure the quality of Personal Independence Payment assessments and decisions about benefit entitlement, through regular audit and quality checks by specialist teams. We continue to review processes to ensure they remain appropriate and effective.

6th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefit of playing chess and bridge for (1) older people, (2) those with mental health problems and (3) children.

The Government has made no assessment of the benefit of playing chess and bridge for older people, those with mental health problems or children.

12th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the waiting times for cataract surgery for each of the past 10 years for each clinical commissioning group.

The information is not available in the format requested. Referral to treatment data are collected by 18 treatment functions and are not condition or procedure specific. Cataract surgery is included in the ophthalmology treatment function. The attached table sets out the median waiting time for completed admitted pathways for the ophthalmology treatment function, by primary care trust and clinical commissioning group, for the years that full data is available, 2007-08 to 2015-16.

12th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what support they are providing to implement the UK Vision Strategy.

The Government supports the aims of the UK Vision Strategy of improving eye health, preventing avoidable sight loss, improving services for those who do lose sight, and maximising social inclusion and opportunities for blind and partially sighted people.

Improving the commissioning of services is a key priority for the National Health Service and social care services, and this is one way that we expect to see improvements for patients.

The Public Health Outcomes Framework is an online only data tool which examines indicators that help us to understand trends in public health. It includes an indicator on preventable sight loss which will track three of the most common causes of preventable sight loss: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The open availability of data provide a resource for commissioners and local health and wellbeing boards to identify what is needed in their areas and for comparisons to be made with other areas. The online data tool is available on the Public Health England website.

Our public health programmes tackling smoking and obesity will also help prevent sight loss by addressing some of the key risk factors in the development of eye disease.

12th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people have lost their sight or had their vision impaired as a result of delays in the provision of cataract surgery.

Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for commissioning cataract surgery for their local populations. Patients have the right to start consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks of referral for non-urgent conditions, or alternatively have the right to ask for an alternative provider who can see them sooner. All patients should be treated without unnecessary delay and according to their clinical priority.

Where National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance does not exist on a particular treatment, it is for local National Health Service commissioners to make funding decisions based on an assessment of the available evidence and on the basis of an individual patient’s clinical circumstances. However, in light of concerns about lengthy waits for treatment and unacceptable variations in care, the Secretary of State has asked NICE to bring forward its guidance on cataracts from 2018 to 2017. This will provide NHS commissioners with evidence based guidance from NICE and ensure patients have access to the most effective treatment as early as possible.

The Government has not made an assessment of the effect of hospital-initiated postponement of cataract surgery on patients’ sight or of the impact of innovative technologies; we anticipate that these aspects will be considered by NICE in their assessment.

12th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, what is their assessment of the impact of innovative technology and improvements in efficiency on outcomes for cataract treatment.

Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for commissioning cataract surgery for their local populations. Patients have the right to start consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks of referral for non-urgent conditions, or alternatively have the right to ask for an alternative provider who can see them sooner. All patients should be treated without unnecessary delay and according to their clinical priority.

Where National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance does not exist on a particular treatment, it is for local National Health Service commissioners to make funding decisions based on an assessment of the available evidence and on the basis of an individual patient’s clinical circumstances. However, in light of concerns about lengthy waits for treatment and unacceptable variations in care, the Secretary of State has asked NICE to bring forward its guidance on cataracts from 2018 to 2017. This will provide NHS commissioners with evidence based guidance from NICE and ensure patients have access to the most effective treatment as early as possible.

The Government has not made an assessment of the effect of hospital-initiated postponement of cataract surgery on patients’ sight or of the impact of innovative technologies; we anticipate that these aspects will be considered by NICE in their assessment.

1st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many diabetes specialist nurses are currently employed by (1) each Clinical Commissioning Group area, and (2) each hospital trust, in England.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre provides information on the number of nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff employed in the National Health Service in England but it does not separately identify diabetes specialist nurses.

It is for local NHS organisations with their knowledge of the healthcare needs of their local population to invest in training for specialist skills and to deploy specialist nurses.

1st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the current primary performance management mechanism through which NHS England hold Clinical Commissioning Groups to account for achieving progress in diabetes service improvement and quality of care.

NHS England and Monitor are working closely together to ensure that the payment system supports service developments in the vanguard sites (including those where integrated diabetes care is a focus) as well as monitoring local innovative approaches to supporting integrated care taken by some clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). This is to ensure that the payment system keeps abreast with the development of future service models and is not a barrier to the development of new models of care.

During 2016/17, NHS England will look at the current incentives and funding arrangements for diabetes to see how greater alignment could be achieved between the financial incentives for primary and secondary care.

Information on how much money the National Health Service invested in structured education for diabetes patients is not collected centrally.

Under the Health and Social Care Act (2012), NHS England has a statutory duty to conduct an annual assessment of every CCG. Since April 2013, CCGs have been assessed twice, for the period 2013/14 and for 2014/15.

For 2016/17, NHS England will introduce a new CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework (CCG IAF). This new framework will align with NHS England’s mandate and planning process, with the aim of driving improvements in a number of key areas including the management and care of people with diabetes.

NHS England has been working with Diabetes UK on including diabetes indicators in the CCG IAF. The proposed diabetes indicators are:

- the percentage of diabetes patients that have achieved all three of the National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence recommended treatment targets; and

- newly diagnosed diabetes patients referred to, or attending, a structured education course.

Under the proposals, diabetes will also be one of the six clinical priority areas in the CCG IAF that will be overseen by an independent group.

The CCG IAF proposals are subject to the outcome of an engagement process which closed for comments on February 26 2016. More information can be found at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/ccg-improvmnt/

1st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much money the NHS invested in ensuring access to and provision of structured education for diabetes patients in (1) 2013, (2) 2014 and (3) 2015, and what percentage those figures represent of total NHS spend on diabetes during each year.

NHS England and Monitor are working closely together to ensure that the payment system supports service developments in the vanguard sites (including those where integrated diabetes care is a focus) as well as monitoring local innovative approaches to supporting integrated care taken by some clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). This is to ensure that the payment system keeps abreast with the development of future service models and is not a barrier to the development of new models of care.

During 2016/17, NHS England will look at the current incentives and funding arrangements for diabetes to see how greater alignment could be achieved between the financial incentives for primary and secondary care.

Information on how much money the National Health Service invested in structured education for diabetes patients is not collected centrally.

Under the Health and Social Care Act (2012), NHS England has a statutory duty to conduct an annual assessment of every CCG. Since April 2013, CCGs have been assessed twice, for the period 2013/14 and for 2014/15.

For 2016/17, NHS England will introduce a new CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework (CCG IAF). This new framework will align with NHS England’s mandate and planning process, with the aim of driving improvements in a number of key areas including the management and care of people with diabetes.

NHS England has been working with Diabetes UK on including diabetes indicators in the CCG IAF. The proposed diabetes indicators are:

- the percentage of diabetes patients that have achieved all three of the National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence recommended treatment targets; and

- newly diagnosed diabetes patients referred to, or attending, a structured education course.

Under the proposals, diabetes will also be one of the six clinical priority areas in the CCG IAF that will be overseen by an independent group.

The CCG IAF proposals are subject to the outcome of an engagement process which closed for comments on February 26 2016. More information can be found at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/ccg-improvmnt/

1st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what work NHS England and Monitor are undertaking to develop new payment and incentives mechanisms that drive integrated care for diabetes across primary and secondary care settings; and what is the time frame for any new proposals to be published.

NHS England and Monitor are working closely together to ensure that the payment system supports service developments in the vanguard sites (including those where integrated diabetes care is a focus) as well as monitoring local innovative approaches to supporting integrated care taken by some clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). This is to ensure that the payment system keeps abreast with the development of future service models and is not a barrier to the development of new models of care.

During 2016/17, NHS England will look at the current incentives and funding arrangements for diabetes to see how greater alignment could be achieved between the financial incentives for primary and secondary care.

Information on how much money the National Health Service invested in structured education for diabetes patients is not collected centrally.

Under the Health and Social Care Act (2012), NHS England has a statutory duty to conduct an annual assessment of every CCG. Since April 2013, CCGs have been assessed twice, for the period 2013/14 and for 2014/15.

For 2016/17, NHS England will introduce a new CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework (CCG IAF). This new framework will align with NHS England’s mandate and planning process, with the aim of driving improvements in a number of key areas including the management and care of people with diabetes.

NHS England has been working with Diabetes UK on including diabetes indicators in the CCG IAF. The proposed diabetes indicators are:

- the percentage of diabetes patients that have achieved all three of the National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence recommended treatment targets; and

- newly diagnosed diabetes patients referred to, or attending, a structured education course.

Under the proposals, diabetes will also be one of the six clinical priority areas in the CCG IAF that will be overseen by an independent group.

The CCG IAF proposals are subject to the outcome of an engagement process which closed for comments on February 26 2016. More information can be found at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/ccg-improvmnt/

3rd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what options they are considering to ensure that the student numbers for podiatry are maintained after August 2017.

The Department will run a consultation on how the funding reforms for nursing, midwifery and allied health education can be most successfully implemented. We currently expect to consult during March 2016. As part of this, an economic impact assessment and equality impact assessment will be published.

Health Education England (HEE) will continue to have a key leading role in the commissioning of nursing, midwifery and allied health courses. It will continue to provide sufficient clinical placement funding for those places needed to meet the workforce planning needs of the National Health Service.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether an impact assessment was carried out regarding removing bursaries for students of podiatry; and if so, with what result.

The Department will run a consultation on how the funding reforms for nursing, midwifery and allied health education can be most successfully implemented. We currently expect to consult during March 2016. As part of this, an economic impact assessment and equality impact assessment will be published.

Health Education England (HEE) will continue to have a key leading role in the commissioning of nursing, midwifery and allied health courses. It will continue to provide sufficient clinical placement funding for those places needed to meet the workforce planning needs of the National Health Service.

15th Dec 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 26 November (HL3958), what plans they have to ensure that podiatric services are available to diabetics who need them; and what criteria they are recommending that Clinical Commissioning Groups use to differentiate between those diabetics who will continue to require podiatric services and those who will not.

Podiatry services are commissioned locally by clinical commissioning groups working with local partners and based on the need of the local population, resources available and evidence based practice. Treatment decisions should always be made by doctors based on a patient’s individual clinical needs.


Preventing diabetes and promoting the best possible care for people with diabetes is a key priority for this Government and is part of the 2016/17 Mandate to NHS England. Building on the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, the Department of Health and NHS England are exploring options for ensuring a sustained focus on improving the management and care of people with diabetes.

The new National Diabetes Foot Care Audit, a module of the National Diabetes Audit, aims to establish the extent to which national guidelines on the management of diabetic foot disease are being met. The audit will provide local teams with the evidence needed to tackle any identified differences in practice which will lead to an overall improvement in management and outcomes for patients. Local and national level results will be available in March 2016. However, we do know that there has been an increase in the proportion of Trusts with multidisciplinary diabetic foot care teams, from around 60% in 2011 to over 70% in 2013.

26th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are changing the availability of podiatric services to diabetics, and if so, based on what criteria.

Podiatry services are commissioned locally by clinical commissioning groups working with local partners and based on the need of the local population, resources available and evidence based practice. These commissioning decisions are informed by the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the local Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Clinical networks provide opportunity to adopt and disseminate best practice.

17th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the cost over a five-year period of providing group-based education courses for all people living with diabetes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Quality Standard for diabetes, attached, sets out that people with diabetes should receive a structured educational programme. NHS England is statutorily required to have regard to this.


There are a number of national and locally developed patient education programmes available including Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) for Type 1 diabetes, and Diabetes Education and Self-management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed (DESMOND) for Type 2 diabetes.


While there is still much room for improvement, the proportion of people with diabetes being offered structured education is improving. 16% of people newly diagnosed with diabetes were offered structured education in 2012/13 compared to 8.4% of those diagnosed in 2009. In the same period the number of people newly diagnosed with diabetes offered or attending structured education rose from 11% to 18.4%.


No estimate has been made of the cost over a five-year period of providing group based education courses for all people living with diabetes.


The Department is developing plans to improve outcomes for those with diabetes. This will be announced in due course.

17th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to increase the number of people living with diabetes who receive structured education courses to help them self-manage their diabetes, in the light of recommendations by NICE.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Quality Standard for diabetes, attached, sets out that people with diabetes should receive a structured educational programme. NHS England is statutorily required to have regard to this.


There are a number of national and locally developed patient education programmes available including Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) for Type 1 diabetes, and Diabetes Education and Self-management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed (DESMOND) for Type 2 diabetes.


While there is still much room for improvement, the proportion of people with diabetes being offered structured education is improving. 16% of people newly diagnosed with diabetes were offered structured education in 2012/13 compared to 8.4% of those diagnosed in 2009. In the same period the number of people newly diagnosed with diabetes offered or attending structured education rose from 11% to 18.4%.


No estimate has been made of the cost over a five-year period of providing group based education courses for all people living with diabetes.


The Department is developing plans to improve outcomes for those with diabetes. This will be announced in due course.

27th Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made in reducing the national diabetes-related amputation rate since their commitment to halve the rate two years ago.

NHS England and clinical commissioning groups have responsibility for determining the overall approach to improving clinical outcomes from healthcare services for people with diabetes. Nevertheless, there are various actions at a national level which will help to ensure that all patients with diabetes receive good quality care, including foot care, to help improve outcomes and minimise amputation rates.

The new National Diabetes Foot Care Audit, a module of the National Diabetes Audit, aims to establish the extent to which national guidelines on the management of diabetic foot disease are being met. The audit will provide local teams with the evidence needed to tackle any identified differences in practice which will lead to an overall improvement in management and outcomes for patients. Local and national level results will be available in March 2016. However, we do know that there has been an increase in the proportion of trusts with multidisciplinary diabetic footcare teams, from around 60% in 2011 to over 70% in 2013.

As part of its focus on the Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy, NHS Improving Quality is working with the National Clinical Director for Diabetes to identify potential areas of service improvement such as diabetic foot disease. A number of Cardiovascular Strategic Clinical Networks are focussing on this to ensure that appropriate clinical pathways are in place which will deliver improved clinical outcomes for people with diabetes, including minimising amputation rates.

Within NHS England, the National Clinical Director for Rehabilitation and Recovering in the Community and the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer are leading work to improve rehabilitation services, including collection and dissemination of good practice. This will help to improve outcomes, such as improving/maintaining foot health, by putting the patient at the centre of their care, and a focus on their goals.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government in how many Clinical Commissioning Groups rates of (1) major, and (2) minor, amputations are more than 33 per cent above the national average; and how the national average compares with other European Union member states.

It is not possible to distinguish in Hospital Episode Statistics between 'major' and 'minor' amputations.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has calculated the England average rate of amputation per 100,000 population and highlighted the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) of residence having rates more than 33% higher than the national average. There are 25 such CCGs.

This is not a count of people as the same person may have had more than one episode of care within the same time period.

We do not have information on a comparison of rates of amputation with other European Union member states.

Clinical Commissioning Group of residence

Count of finished consultant episodes

Population

Rate per 100,000 population

NHS SCARBOROUGH AND RYEDALE CCG

68

110,488

61.5

NHS EAST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE CCG

169

314,504

53.7

NHS DONCASTER CCG

159

302,739

52.5

NHS MANSFIELD AND ASHFIELD CCG

101

192,539

52.5

NHS BLACKPOOL CCG

72

141,976

50.7

NHS KNOWSLEY CCG

74

145,936

50.7

NHS DURHAM DALES, EASINGTON AND SEDGEFIELD CCG

138

273,043

50.5

NHS KERNOW CCG

272

540,178

50.4

NHS FAREHAM AND GOSPORT CCG

98

196,078

50.0

NHS LANCASHIRE NORTH CCG

78

158,528

49.2

NHS NORTHERN, EASTERN AND WESTERN DEVON CCG

421

869,408

48.4

NHS STOKE ON TRENT CCG

124

258,114

48.0

NHS TELFORD AND WREKIN CCG

80

167,682

47.7

NHS HEREFORDSHIRE CCG

88

184,932

47.6

NHS HULL CCG

122

257,204

47.4

NHS NORTH KIRKLEES CCG

88

186,706

47.1

NHS BOLTON CCG

131

278,984

47.0

NHS EAST STAFFORDSHIRE CCG

58

123,945

46.8

NHS COASTAL WEST SUSSEX CCG

222

476,677

46.6

NHS LINCOLNSHIRE EAST CCG

106

228,111

46.5

NHS HALTON CCG

58

125,692

46.1

NHS NEWARK & SHERWOOD CCG

53

115,897

45.7

NHS THANET CCG

62

135,661

45.7

NHS SOMERSET CCG

243

534,950

45.4

NHS BRADFORD CITY CCG

37

82,319

44.9

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have (1) considered, and (2) taken, to reduce the number of preventable amputations occurring within the National Health Service.

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of amputations in the United Kingdom and there are a variety of mechanisms in place to support the care of people with diabetes to minimise the risk of amputations. NHS England published Action for Diabetes, which sets out that in many cases amputation as a result of diabetes is avoidable.

NHS England has also piloted a diabetes service specification in a small number of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Feedback has been very positive and they have now published the service specification on the NHS Commissioning Assembly website so that it is available nationally for CCGs to use.

In addition, the National Diabetes Foot Care Audit was launched this year. The audit aims to establish the extent to which national guidelines on the management of diabetic foot disease are being met, and will provide local teams with the evidence needed to tackle any identified differences in practice which will lead in turn to an overall improvement in management and outcomes for patients.

Finally, NHS Improving Quality is supporting a project to reduce the high mortality associated with diabetic foot disease. People with diabetic foot disease are at particularly high risk of premature death, much of which is due to cardiovascular disease, with 5 year mortality for those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and diabetic foot disease around 50%. The project will pilot an approach in several multidisciplinary foot clinics across the country over the next 18 months to introduce an additional clinical pathway which includes a cardiological test and subsequent actions to address risk.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many of the 4,200 extra health visitors they are seeking to recruit by 2015 they expect (1) to work in the National Health Service, and (2) to complete training on identifying the signs of postnatal depression.

The additional 4,200 health visitors will all be providing front line services to families. Health visitor services are currently commissioned by NHS England as part of Section 7A of the NHS Act 2006*. NHS England’s Local Area Teams determine the most suitable local service provider. Currently, most provision is through a variety of National Health Service organisations, with a small proportion delivered by other organisations, including social enterprises. The trajectory for delivering growth of the health visitor workforce is not related to the type of provider. All services are based on a national model of health visiting and the NHS England service specification.

NHS England Area Teams and local authorities are working together in co-commissioning these services, prior to the lead commissioning role moving to local authorities in October 2015.

All health visitors, including the additional 4,200 being delivered by 2015, receive education and training on maternal mental health, so they can detect the early signs of postnatal depression and ensure all women get support during and after birth.

The NHS England 2014-15 service specification emphasises throughout, the role of the health visitor in promoting maternal mental health within clearly defined pathways. It makes clear that health visitors are expected to be trained and developed to be competent in delivering the evidence-based assessments and interventions set out in the Healthy Child Programme. In addition, NHS England is resourcing Area Teams to support delivery of the new model of health visiting which explicitly includes maternal mental health as a high impact area.

To supplement core training, health visitors are able to enhance their skills and knowledge in the context of their specific roles. The Department has earlier this year, commissioned the training of 375 perinatal mental health champions across England. The champions are cascading their training in local areas so as to facilitate the spread of knowledge and practice among colleagues. In addition to the champions’ training, all health visitors are able to access perinatal mental health e-learning modules.

Note:

*As amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many midwives were working in (1) Band 5, (2) Band 6, (3) Band 7 and (4) Band 8, roles in each of the last five years.

The number of full time equivalent midwives has risen from 20,126 in 2010 to 21,841 as of April 2014.

Annual data provided by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) 1, shows the number of registered full time equivalent midwives in Band 5, 6, 7, 8 for the last five years as shown in the following table.

Band 5

Band 6

Band 7

Band 8a

Band 8b

Band 8c

Band 8d

All staff

2009

1,641

12,700

4,896

161

37

7

3

19,603

2010

1,624

13,301

4,835

171

33

8

2

20,126

2011

1,643

14,022

4,517

164

28

9

3

20,519

2012

1,771

14,456

4,370

165

28

9

2

20,935

2013

1,956

14,759

4,197

195

31

8

1

21,284

Notes:

1. Health and Social Care Information Centre Non-Medical Workforce Census.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of pregnant women have been given a named midwife since November 2012.

Information on the number of women who have been given a named midwife is currently not collected centrally.

The Mandate between the Government and NHS England states that every woman should have a named midwife who is responsible for ensuring she has personalised, one-to-one care throughout pregnancy, childbirth and during the postnatal period. Through the assurance process with NHS England we monitor progress against all mandate commitments. A refresh of the current maternity commissioning guidance for clinical commissioning groups is under way and will include guidance on commissioning services to deliver the named midwife. NHS England is working with the Care Quality Commission on plans to monitor the commitment as part of their maternity services inspections.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
14th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the analysis by Diabetes UK of the increasing diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and the implications for the National Health Service budget.

In January 2014, NHS England published the Action for Diabetes plan, which sets out how it intends to improve outcomes for people with, and at risk of, diabetes in England. The report acknowledges that type 2 diabetes is estimated to have cost the United Kingdom £8.8 billion in direct costs in 2010-2011 and that these costs are set to rise.

The action that NHS England is taking and will take to drive the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and earlier diagnosis of all diabetes and support better management of diabetes in primary care includes:

- Developing general practitioner contracts and incentives;

- working with primary care services to trial and roll out case-finding and decision-support tools in primary care to support earlier diagnosis; and

working with Public Health England to roll out the NHS Health Check programme.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on small and medium-sized enterprises of the move to the online VAT returns system.

There is a range of advice and support available to help businesses of all sizes prepare for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT in April 2019. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is working very closely with software providers, businesses, representative bodies and the accountancy profession to raise awareness of MTD and ensure the right support and training is in place to help businesses adapt.

HMRC’s customer support model, which guides businesses to the most appropriate help, includes technical support, webchat, YouTube training videos, webinars, a helpline, and relevant guides. HMRC also publishes a list of MTD for VAT compatible products on GOV.UK to help businesses make an informed choice of software to meet their needs. HMRC is writing to customers that it expects to be mandated for MTD for VAT, explaining what the business needs to do.

HMRC’s Impact Assessment for MTD was published on 1 December 2017. There is no separate Impact Assessment relating to small and medium-sized enterprises.

22nd Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they intend to provide to small and medium-sized enterprises about the move to the online VAT returns system.

There is a range of advice and support available to help businesses of all sizes prepare for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT in April 2019. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is working very closely with software providers, businesses, representative bodies and the accountancy profession to raise awareness of MTD and ensure the right support and training is in place to help businesses adapt.

HMRC’s customer support model, which guides businesses to the most appropriate help, includes technical support, webchat, YouTube training videos, webinars, a helpline, and relevant guides. HMRC also publishes a list of MTD for VAT compatible products on GOV.UK to help businesses make an informed choice of software to meet their needs. HMRC is writing to customers that it expects to be mandated for MTD for VAT, explaining what the business needs to do.

HMRC’s Impact Assessment for MTD was published on 1 December 2017. There is no separate Impact Assessment relating to small and medium-sized enterprises.

6th Apr 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will consider advising the Bank of England to change its formal name to the Bank of England and the United Kingdom, whilst continuing to use the Bank of England for day-to-day purposes.

The Bank of England's name carries a longevity that pre-dates the formation of the United Kingdom itself, having been founded in 1694 as “the Governor and Company of the Bank of England”. Under the current state of the union the Bank acts as central bank for the entirety of the United Kingdom. This includes underwriting both Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes.

To change its name now would represent a break from over 300 years’ worth of history and the prestige it carries as a global brand.

21st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact on UK productivity of the planned withdrawal of HM Revenue and Custom’s valuation check service.

No impact on UK productivity is anticipated. HMRC has not withdrawn the valuation service for those share schemes most relevant to small and medium sized enterprises.

These include:

  • Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI),

  • Company Share Option Plans (CSOP),

  • Save As You Earn share option schemes (SAYE),

  • Share Incentive Plans (SIP) and

  • Employee Shareholder Status (ESS).

    HMRC has however announced a review of the valuation services for those schemes and is consulting interested parties.

    HMRC has withdrawn valuation checks for income tax and PAYE that are not part of these recognised employee ownership schemes. Most people submitted acceptable valuations and therefore the valuation service offered was not seen as needed.

21st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consultation or correspondence they had with companies offering employee share ownership schemes before announcing the withdrawal of HM Revenue and Custom’s valuation check service.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been consulting representative bodies through the Valuation Fiscal Forum over the last 18 months.

HMRC has not withdrawn valuation services that are most relevant to employee share ownership schemes.

These include:

  • Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI),

  • Company Share Option Plans (CSOP),

  • Save As You Earn share option schemes (SAYE),

  • Share Incentive Plans (SIP) and

  • Employee Shareholder Status (ESS).

    HMRC has, however, announced a review of the valuation services for those schemes and is consulting interested parties.

    HMRC has withdrawn valuation checks for income tax and PAYE that are not part of these recognised employee ownership schemes. Most people submitted acceptable valuations and therefore the valuation service offered was not seen as needed.

21st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to meet with the representative bodies of employee share ownership schemes to discuss the recent decision to withdraw HM Revenue and Custom’s valuation check service.

Officials from HM Revenue and Customs have already met representative bodies of employee ownership schemes. HMRC will be working with those groups to develop further public guidance and discuss any other proposals their members might raise.

21st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what advice they received on the impact on small and medium-sized enterprises’ productivity levels following the withdrawal of HM Revenue and Custom’s valuation check service.

No impact on the productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises is anticipated. HMRC has not withdrawn the valuation service for those share schemes most relevant to these enterprises.

These include:

  • Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI),

  • Company Share Option Plans (CSOP),

  • Save As You Earn share option schemes (SAYE),

  • Share Incentive Plans (SIP) and

  • Employee Shareholder Status (ESS).

    HMRC has however announced a review of the valuation services for those schemes and is consulting interested parties.

    HMRC has withdrawn valuation checks for income tax and PAYE that are not part of these recognised employee ownership schemes. Most people submitted acceptable valuations and therefore the valuation service offered was not seen as needed.

24th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the United Kingdom has ever been offered the opportunity to attend Eurogroup meetings; and if so, on how many occasions and what was their response.

In the context of the Euro Area Sovereign Debt Crisis the Eurogroup has met in an extended format on occasion, including in May 2011 and January 2012. Chaired by the Eurogroup President, these meetings were attended by Ministers from non-Euro area Member States including the United Kingdom.
22nd Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that those in the reserves of the armed forces have opportunities to use and develop linguistic skills.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) recognises the valuable skill sets of our reservists, all of whom have full access to the MOD's language schemes. We work to ensure that those reservists who already have a second language are able to use and develop that language. Any reservists employed in roles with direct requirements for language capability receive the same training as regular personnel.

The MOD maintains a pool of linguists through the Education and Training Services (Reserves), which provides additional language capability to exercises, operations and Defence Engagement tasks. A new training programme, which makes use of courses and bespoke training provided by the Defence Centre for Languages and Culture, has recently been introduced to develop the skills of linguists in the reserves.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many staff in each of the armed services work at the level of interpreter in each language.

The Armed Services recognise 48 languages for which they declare a capability. The Joint Arms Control Implementation Group is the only unit which employs personnel in the direct role of interpreter. Across the Armed Services a total of 697 personnel are recorded as holding a level of language qualification and currency that is functional or above. These are broken down as follows:

Army

RAF

Royal Marines

Royal Navy

Total

Functional

160

56

17

31

264

Professional

191

52

17

41

301

Expert

85

27

5

15

132

Total

436

135

39

87

697

The number of languages that Ministry of Defence (MOD) employees could conceivably need to converse in is extremely broad. The MOD employs professional interpreters for more niche languages and has robust strategies in place to ensure the quality of contractors’ interpretation skills.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure there are sufficient linguistic skills in languages such as Russian and Mandarin across the armed forces.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) regularly reviews its requirements for linguists to ensure that all operational demands for linguists are met in full, and trains its personnel accordingly. For languages with little or no immediate operational requirement, the MOD ensures that there is a baseline of linguists that can be called on for contingency tasks and Defence Engagement.

Long and short-term language priorities are agreed at a strategic level and provide the basis for the statement of training requirement against which defence language training is delivered.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
22nd Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to respond rapidly to new requirements for linguistic skills across the armed forces.

The Defence Centre for Language and Culture (DCLC) has an extremely agile training delivery model, comprising a core of military and specialist civilian lecturers supported by a commercial training contract supplying contracted tutors. The DCLC covers a number of languages. This enables the Ministry of Defence to respond rapidly to new requirements, at scale, and at short notice. A dedicated Contingency Wing has been established specifically to respond to and manage this type of short notice demand, particularly in operationally focused languages. Plans are regularly reviewed to ensure that we have already considered broad options for the delivery of new requirements.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
10th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 31 October (HL2419), why they do not centrally record the number or location of refuges in England; and what consideration they have given to collecting such records as a means to developing nationwide policy.

My Department funds UKRefugesOnline a UK-wide database of domestic violence services which supports the national 24 hour free phone domestic violence helpline. This service enables those working with victims of domestic violence to identify appropriate services and potential refuge vacancies around the country so that victims can get the help they need as quickly as possible.

In terms of government records, such information has never been centrally held. Refuges are not commissioned at a national level, and are generally either provided by local authorities or by independent voluntary sector organisations. To start recording the number and location would involve creating a new monitoring and data reporting regime on local government. It is the broader policy of the Coalition Government to try to reduce the burden of data reporting on local government, as it costs taxpayers’ money and diverts resources away from frontline services.

More broadly, this Government has secured £6.5 billion investment to help vulnerable people through housing related support. This forms a key element of refuge funding through local authority commissioned services.

We have also allocated £40 million of funding for specialist local domestic and sexual violence support services until 2015. This funding is used to part-fund 54 multi-agency risk assessment conference co-ordinators and 144 independent domestic violence advisers. We have piloted and rolled out Clare’s Law and domestic violence protection orders; extended the definition of domestic abuse to cover controlling behaviour and teenage relationships; run two successful campaigns to challenge perceptions of abuse; and placed Domestic Homicide Reviews on a statutory footing to make sure lessons are learned from individual tragedies.

We are keeping this matter under review, and are keen to support best practice and greater joint working.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to reconstitute the former Cheshire County Council by bringing together the unitary authorities of Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East.

There are no plans to bring together the unitary authorities of Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East. Such resource intensive and disruptive restructuring of local government would be an unnecessary distraction. The two Cheshire councils already have the legal powers to share services and work together if they wish, and they do not need the Government’s permission to do so.

The Tri-Borough initiative in London is a good locally-led example of how councils can work together to improve services and delivery savings without the need for local government restructuring.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)