Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Portrait

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Labour - Life peer

Became Member: 20th October 1997


Public Services Committee
13th Feb 2020 - 16th Jun 2022
Middle Level Bill Committee
4th Jun 2018 - 12th Jul 2018
Shadow Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2018 - 24th May 2018
Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
27th Jun 2017 - 24th May 2018
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
27th Jun 2017 - 24th May 2018
Shadow Spokesperson (Health)
6th Sep 2012 - 1st Nov 2017
Liaison Committee (Lords)
14th Dec 2015 - 11th Jul 2017
Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
8th Oct 2010 - 27th Jun 2017
House Committee (Lords)
14th Dec 2015 - 31st Aug 2016
Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
8th Oct 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
8th Oct 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Leader's Group on Members Leaving the House (L)
1st Jul 2010 - 13th Jan 2011
Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change)
5th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
5th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality) (also in the Department for Energy and Climate Change)
5th Oct 2008 - 9th Jun 2009
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Jul 2007 - 5th Oct 2008
Minister of State (Department of Health) (NHS Reform)
5th Jan 2007 - 28th Jun 2007
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th May 2005 - 4th Jan 2007
Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee
17th Dec 2003 - 7th May 2005
Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
17th Dec 2003 - 7th May 2005
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)
1st Jan 1998 - 17th Mar 2003
Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
30th Apr 1998 - 11th Nov 1999


Scheduled Event
Monday 11th March 2024
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Assessment of Academy of Medical Sciences report: 'Prioritising early childhood to promote the nation’s health, wellbeing and prosperity', published on 5 February, in particular regard to children under five
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Electoral Commission Strategy and Policy Statement
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 94 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 175 Noes - 159
Speeches
Monday 26th February 2024
Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates Order 2024
My Lords, I was a member of the GMC until the end of January, so at the council meetings I …
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
General Practitioners
To ask His Majesty's Government for each year in England since 2008, how many (1) GP surgeries (including branch practices) …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Thursday 30th November 2023
Protection of Care Recipients and Carers Bill [HL] 2023-24
A Bill to make provision for the protection of care recipients and their carers; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath has voted in 410 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Jun 2020 - Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 10 Labour Aye votes vs 104 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 155 Noes - 326
16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 24 Labour No votes vs 51 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 145 Noes - 179
View All Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(92 debate interactions)
Lord Kamall (Conservative)
(65 debate interactions)
Lord Markham (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
(63 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(343 debate contributions)
Home Office
(82 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(62 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(54 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Health and Care Act 2022
(29,798 words contributed)
Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021
(22,608 words contributed)
Schools Bill [HL] 2022-23
(18,666 words contributed)
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(15,874 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Hunt of Kings Heath's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


6 Bills introduced by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath


A Bill to make amendments to the Human Tissue Act 2004 concerning consent to activities for the purposes of transplantation outside the United Kingdom and consent for imported cadavers to be on display

Lords Completed

Last Event - 3rd Reading
Friday 4th March 2022
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require Her Majesty’s Government to introduce a Bill to regulate health and social care professions.

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading : House Of Lords
Friday 3rd February 2017
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision for the protection of care recipients and their carers; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Thursday 30th November 2023

A Bill to make provision for the protection of care recipients, their carers and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 6th December 2022
(Read Debate)

A bill to amend the Human Tissue Act 2004 concerning consent to activities done for the purpose of transplantation outside the United Kingdom and consent for imported cadavers on display

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 28th January 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require Her Majesty's Government to introduce a Bill to regulate health and social care professions

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Tuesday 16th June 2015

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


829 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
24th Jul 2023
To ask the Leader of the House, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 19 June (HL8246), what explanations he has had from the Department of Health and Social Care concerning the number of questions allocated to that department that remain unanswered after 10 working days.

As Leader of the House of Lords I have reiterated to all Front Bench Ministers the importance of adhering to the 10 day target for responses to questions for written answer. As stated in my response on 19 June (HL8246) the Department for Health and Social Care faced significant disruption to the delivery of parliamentary support due to the pressures they faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have since implemented a Written Parliamentary Question Recovery Plan to deal with the backlog of written questions. At the time of writing, DHSC’s PQ on-time rate for July is 89.6%, the highest percentage during a sitting month since early 2020.


The Permanent Secretary has further reassured me that they are committed to improving the process and have taken further steps to bring performance levels back to pre-pandemic levels including streamlining the drafting process. I will be looking for further improvements on their record as a result of the Department's Recovery plan. It is important that the highest standards are achieved by all Departments in replying to members of the House.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Government departments treat any of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, excluding disability, as taking precedence over any other.

The Equality Act 2010 does not recognise any precedence of rights beyond the special circumstances of disability. However, in situations where there are multiple protected characteristics to be considered, Government Departments, like other employers or service providers, need to take decisions based on the facts.

Where the relevant conditions apply, Departments may also choose to take targeted action to advance the interests of and/or meet the specific needs of groups with a particular protected characteristic in accordance with the positive action provisions in the Act.

8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they undertook any review in 2018 into the reasons for the increase in the number of girls seeking gender reassignment; and if so, what was the outcome of that review.

The work by the Government Equalities Office has been superceded by NHS England commissioning an independent review into adolescent transgender healthcare, led by Dr Hilary Cass. One of the issues it will consider is the increase in the number of adolescents seeking the use of gender identity services.

13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will publish the last annual assessment of the effectiveness of Chapter 1 of Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act 2017.

We will publish the annual assessment for 2023 following its presentation to the Public Service Delivery (PSD) Review Board and subsequent Ministerial approval.

The current public service delivery powers of the Digital Economy Act have been operational since 2018. The powers enable public authorities to respond quickly and effectively to complex problems, improve citizens' well-being and improve access to public services.

It has previously not been the practice for assessments to be presented in the form of a written report. Instead, the relevant Minister has received oral briefings in relation to the activities of the PSD Review Board, including relevant information on the use of the public service delivery data sharing powers. The PSD Review Board monitors the efficacy of the Digital Economy Act 2017 as a whole, including the effectiveness of the Chapter 1, Part 5 data sharing powers. The terms of reference and quarterly minutes are published on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/digital-economy-act-public-service-delivery-review-board

Ministers were also informed of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) review of the data sharing powers under Part 5 of the DEA (March 2023 - https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/documents/4024606/ico-review-dea-20230314.pdf). This review addresses the commitment made during the passage of the legislation that the ICO would look at the powers around 3 years after they became operational.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will publish the results of the inquiry by Lord Hunt of Tanworth in 1996 into allegations of a security service plot against Harold Wilson.

I refer the Noble Lord to the previous answer (HL1897) on 27 July 2021. To reiterate, official papers relating to these allegations are retained by the Cabinet Office. Retained papers are reviewed regularly to decide whether they can be released.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the new Inter-Ministerial Advisory Group on Science and Technology will be afforded the same decision-making status as its predecessor, the National Science and Technology Council.

The National Science and Technology Council was established as a Cabinet committee in October 2021 to consider matters relating to strategic advantage through science and technology. The Cabinet committee list was updated in September 2022. In October 2022, the National Science and Technology Council was established as an inter-ministerial group responsible for delivering an ambitious UK science and technology strategy and to consider key science and technology issues. Where collective agreement is necessary for issues covered by an inter-ministerial group, it is sought in the usual way through a committee or ministerial correspondence.

Cabinet committees support the principle of collective responsibility, ensuring that policy proposals receive thorough consideration and collective agreement. Cabinet committee decisions have the same authority as Cabinet decisions.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will withdraw their support for the civil service 'inclusion workshops' run by A:gender.

This a:gender ‘inclusion workshop’ is not recognised as civil service training. The Government Skills and Curriculum Unit (GSCU) manages the design and quality assurance process for all government training, provided within the new Campus for skills, and defined by the new curriculum.

The five strands of the curriculum outline the knowledge and skills required to be effective in any role in the Civil Service, and as such the training and development provided in the Campus. This sets the standards for training provided centrally for all Civil Servants, alongside the responsibilities of Government Professions to determine the qualifications and capabilities for specialist and technical skills.

The a:gender workshop is not advertised as training, attendance at the workshops was voluntary.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the impact of the civil service 'inclusion workshop' run by A:gender on the development of Government policy.

This a:gender ‘inclusion workshop’ is not recognised as civil service training. The Government Skills and Curriculum Unit (GSCU) manages the design and quality assurance process for all government training, provided within the new Campus for skills, and defined by the new curriculum.

The five strands of the curriculum outline the knowledge and skills required to be effective in any role in the Civil Service, and as such the training and development provided in the Campus. This sets the standards for training provided centrally for all Civil Servants, alongside the responsibilities of Government Professions to determine the qualifications and capabilities for specialist and technical skills.

The a:gender workshop is not advertised as training, attendance at the workshops was voluntary.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what processes the civil service 'inclusion workshop' run by A:gender went through before approval was given for its delivery.

This a:gender ‘inclusion workshop’ is not recognised as civil service training. The Government Skills and Curriculum Unit (GSCU) manages the design and quality assurance process for all government training, provided within the new Campus for skills, and defined by the new curriculum.

The five strands of the curriculum outline the knowledge and skills required to be effective in any role in the Civil Service, and as such the training and development provided in the Campus. This sets the standards for training provided centrally for all Civil Servants, alongside the responsibilities of Government Professions to determine the qualifications and capabilities for specialist and technical skills.

The a:gender workshop is not advertised as training, attendance at the workshops was voluntary.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the contents of the civil service 'inclusion workshop' run by A:gender in respect of its compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and the protected characteristics as set out in section 4 of the Act.

This a:gender ‘inclusion workshop’ is not recognised as civil service training. The Government Skills and Curriculum Unit (GSCU) manages the design and quality assurance process for all government training, provided within the new Campus for skills, and defined by the new curriculum.

The five strands of the curriculum outline the knowledge and skills required to be effective in any role in the Civil Service, and as such the training and development provided in the Campus. This sets the standards for training provided centrally for all Civil Servants, alongside the responsibilities of Government Professions to determine the qualifications and capabilities for specialist and technical skills.

The a:gender workshop is not advertised as training, attendance at the workshops was voluntary.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they take to ensure that material used in training programmes for civil servants is in accordance with the law.

This a:gender ‘inclusion workshop’ is not recognised as civil service training. The Government Skills and Curriculum Unit (GSCU) manages the design and quality assurance process for all government training, provided within the new Campus for skills, and defined by the new curriculum.

The five strands of the curriculum outline the knowledge and skills required to be effective in any role in the Civil Service, and as such the training and development provided in the Campus. This sets the standards for training provided centrally for all Civil Servants, alongside the responsibilities of Government Professions to determine the qualifications and capabilities for specialist and technical skills.

The a:gender workshop is not advertised as training, attendance at the workshops was voluntary.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultation they have undertaken in advance of the development of proposals regarding the review of language used in drafting legislation, following the passage of the Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Act 2021.

Following consideration by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, the Government has today issued a written ministerial statement setting out its approach to the use of gendered language in legislative drafting.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish the outcome of the review of language used in drafting legislation, following the passage of the Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Act 2021.

Following consideration by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, the Government has today issued a written ministerial statement setting out its approach to the use of gendered language in legislative drafting.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish the review into the language used in drafting legislation.

A response on this issue is in the process of being finalised. I hope to respond to Noble Lords before the House rises for the Christmas recess.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the functions of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to ensure that it investigates a higher proportion of complaints received than is current practice.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is a crown servant that reports directly to Parliament. The Ombudsman is not responsible to the Government for its performance and sets its own standards for practice in how it handles complaints. I understand the Noble Lord is in contact with the Ombudsman who can explain in further detail the organisation's current practice in this area. Further to this the Noble Lord may wish to write to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee that acts as the primary accountability body for the Ombudsman.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the functions of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to ensure that it (1) collects, (2) analyses, and (3) publishes, data on complaints involving the death of patients that it has decided not to investigate.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is a crown servant that reports directly to Parliament. The Ombudsman is not responsible to the Government for its performance and sets its own standards for practice in how it handles complaints. I understand the Noble Lord is in contact with the Ombudsman who can explain in further detail the organisation's current practice in this area. Further to this the Noble Lord may wish to write to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee that acts as the primary accountability body for the Ombudsman.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will next review retained papers relating to allegations of a security service plot against Harold Wilson to decide whether they can be released; and what criteria will be used in this review.

Under the Public Records Act these papers were originally recommended for closure for at least 100 years. However, in line with current best practice, these papers will be reviewed in 2026 and every ten years thereafter.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the results of the inquiry by Lord Hunt of Tanworth in 1996 into allegations of a security service plot against Harold Wilson.

Official papers relating to allegations of a security service plot against Harold Wilson are retained by the Cabinet Office. Retained papers are reviewed regularly to decide whether they can be released.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
30th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which of their departments take part in (1) Stonewall's Diversity Champion scheme, and (2) Stonewall's Workplace Index scheme.

A list of which Government departments take part in Stonewall’s Diversity Champion or Workplace Index scheme is not held centrally.

We are looking into the matter and I will write to the Noble Lord with further information in due course.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
30th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to recent statements by the Equality and Human Rights Commission about its withdrawal from the Stonewall Diversity Champion scheme, what steps they are taking to ensure their expenditure on workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives (1) offers value for money, (2) is fairly balanced, and (3) is reasonable and proportionate, taking into account the rights of all persons with any of the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.

The Government has committed to a new standard for diversity and inclusion in the Civil Service which will promote a diversity of backgrounds and opinions. We are committed to fair, inclusive workplaces which draw on the talents of the widest possible range of backgrounds, especially people from non-traditional educational routes and from outside London and the South East.

It is fundamental that everyone is able to seize opportunities in the workplace without fear of discrimination or harassment.

Memberships of external schemes are kept under review, to ensure value for taxpayers’ money. A number of public bodies have resolved to best champion inclusion through internal programmes.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
30th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to recent statements by the Equality and Human Rights Commission about its withdrawal from the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme, what steps they are taking to ensure their departments are (1) inclusive workplaces, (2) attracting people from all backgrounds, and (3) workplaces where every employee is treated in line with the Equality Act 2010.

The Government has committed to a new standard for diversity and inclusion in the Civil Service which will promote a diversity of backgrounds and opinions. We are committed to fair, inclusive workplaces which draw on the talents of the widest possible range of backgrounds, especially people from non-traditional educational routes and from outside London and the South East.

It is fundamental that everyone is able to seize opportunities in the workplace without fear of discrimination or harassment.

Memberships of external schemes are kept under review, to ensure value for taxpayers’ money. A number of public bodies have resolved to best champion inclusion through internal programmes.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
30th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure their workplace policies and procedures do not potentially infringe any person's ability to enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms under the Human Rights Act 1998.

When formulating and reviewing workplace policies and procedures, government departments have due regard for all legal requirements, including the rights and freedoms in Schedule 1 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
14th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy for the use of self-destructing messages in communications with Government departments where no record of these messages is retained.

The Government acts in accordance with the Code of Practice on the management of records issued under section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This includes advice on the disposal of ephemeral information and how to keep records needed for business, regulatory, legal and accountability purposes.

The Government is reviewing how guidance can be updated to reflect contemporary information management practice in the modern digital working environment.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many care home residents and staff (1) tested positive for, and (2) died as a result of, COVID-19 in (a) England, (b) Northern Ireland, (c) Scotland, and (d) Wales, in (i) November 2020, (ii) December 2020, (iii) January, and (iv) February.

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

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

The Rt Hon. the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath OBE

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

15 March 2021

Dear Lord Hunt,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many care home residents and staff (1) tested positive for, and (2) died as a result of, COVID-19 in (a) England, (b) Northern Ireland, (c) Scotland, and (d) Wales, in (i) November 2020, (ii) December 2020, (iii) January, and (iv) February (HL14039).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales. Mortality statistics are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration. National Records for Scotland[1] and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency[2] are responsible for publishing statistics on deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.

Table 1 below shows the number of deaths involving COVID-19 among care home residents registered for the months November 2020 to February 2021 in England and Wales. The term "care home residents" refers to all deaths where either (a) the death occurred in a care home or (b) the death occurred elsewhere but the place of residence of the deceased was recorded as a care home.

We do not hold any information on the number of care home staff who have died as a result of COVID-19 therefore we are not able to provide this information. The Department of Health and Social Care are responsible for data on care home infections.[3]

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths involving COVID-19 among care home residents registered from November 2020 to February 2021 in England and Wales[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10]

Month

England

Wales

Nov-20

2,321

239

Dec-20

3,393

284

Jan-21

7,587

482

Feb-21

5,067

191

Source: Office for National Statistics

[1]https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/

[2]https://www.nisra.gov.uk/

[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care

[4] Deaths for England and Wales exclude non-residents.

[5] Figures are provisional for 2020 and 2021.

[6] The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: coronavirus (COVID-19) (U.071, U.072, U.099, U.109).

[7] Deaths "involving COVID-19" includes deaths that have COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as underlying cause or not.

[8] These figures are calculated using the most up-to-date data we have available to get the most accurate estimates.

[9] Based on boundaries as of November 2020.

[10] Based on deaths registered in each calendar month.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many care home residents in England have died from COVID-19 (1) in hospital, (2) in hospices, and (3) in residential care and nursing homes, in total to date.

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

The Rt Hon. the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

04 February 2021

Dear Lord Hunt,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many care home residents in England have died from COVID-19 (1) in hospital, (2) in hospices, and (3) in residential care and nursing homes, in total to date (HL12649).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes mortality data that are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration. The term ‘care home residents’ refers to all deaths where either (a) the death occurred in a care home or (b) the death occurred elsewhere but the place of residence of the deceased was recorded as a care home.

Table 1 below shows the number of deaths involving COVID-19 among care home residents by place of death, registered up to the 22nd January 2021 in England. We do not hold any information on the breakdown of residential or nursing homes therefore we have provided the number of care home residents who have died in a care home, which could be either residential or nursing care homes.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths involving COVID-19 among care home residents by place of death registered up to 22nd January 2021, England[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Place of death

Number of deaths

Care home

23,324

Hospital

8,012

Hospice

70

Source: ONS

[1] All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.

[2] Deaths for England exclude non-residents.

[3] The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: coronavirus (COVID-19) (U07.1 and U07.2).

[4] Deaths "involving COVID-19" includes deaths that had COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as underlying cause or not.

[5] These figures are calculated using the most up-to-date data we have available to get the most accurate estimates.

[6] Based on boundaries as of November 2020.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 1 October (HL8184), which (1) processes, (2) structures, and (3) operations, of the Digital Data and Technology function were considered as part of the review they carried out over the summer.

The review was commissioned and overseen by the Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, Alex Chisholm. Announcements will be made in the usual way.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 1 October (HL8184), what were the terms of reference of the recent review into their Digital Data and Technology function.

The review was commissioned and overseen by the Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, Alex Chisholm. Announcements will be made in the usual way.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 1 October (HL8184), which members of the Digital Economy Council were invited to contribute to the review of their Digital Data and Technology function over the summer.

The review was commissioned and overseen by the Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, Alex Chisholm. Announcements will be made in the usual way.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
17th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises are appointed to Cabinet Office advisory panels; and what plans they have, if any, to increase this number.

The Small Business Advisory Panel provides feedback and challenge on increasing government spend with small and medium-sized enterprises. Information about the work of the panel is published at gov.uk/government/publications/sme-panel.

Martin Traynor OBE serves as the Small Business Crown Representative, making sure that small businesses have improved access to government contracts.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
16th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, when Doug Gurr will take up his role as an advisor to the Government Digital Service; what his role and responsibilities will be; and whether he will remain in post as head of Amazon UK.

As part of the wider Civil Service Modernisation and Reform programme, several members of the Digital Economy Council were invited to contribute to a review of HMG's Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) Function over the summer. The review was limited to the processes, structures and operations of the DDaT function, and did not consider particular strategies for government. The Cabinet Office will continue to consult members of the Digital Economy Council as it considers how to implement the recommendations. As always, robust measures are in place to manage possible conflicts and the perception of conflicts.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
16th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what interests were declared by Doug Gurr as part of his appointment as an advisor to the Government Digital Service; and what plans they have to address any conflicts of interest.

As part of the wider Civil Service Modernisation and Reform programme, several members of the Digital Economy Council were invited to contribute to a review of HMG's Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) Function over the summer. The review was limited to the processes, structures and operations of the DDaT function, and did not consider particular strategies for government. The Cabinet Office will continue to consult members of the Digital Economy Council as it considers how to implement the recommendations. As always, robust measures are in place to manage possible conflicts and the perception of conflicts.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
16th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Doug Gurr will advise on their cloud computing strategy in his role as advisor to the Government Digital Service.

As part of the wider Civil Service Modernisation and Reform programme, several members of the Digital Economy Council were invited to contribute to a review of HMG's Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) Function over the summer. The review was limited to the processes, structures and operations of the DDaT function, and did not consider particular strategies for government. The Cabinet Office will continue to consult members of the Digital Economy Council as it considers how to implement the recommendations. As always, robust measures are in place to manage possible conflicts and the perception of conflicts.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they took following the conclusion of Exercise Cygnus to ensure that the potential for staff absences to reach 50 per cent was built into business continuity planning in the event of a pandemic.

I refer the noble Lord to published documents, including for example the modelling of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling from November 2018, which detailed a reasonable worst case scenario that up to 50% of the population could be ill - not that staff absences could reach 50%.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the G-Cloud 8 call-off contract agreed with Amazon Web Services in 2016 specified that Amazon Web Services had no liability for "direct loss, destruction, corruption, degradation or damage to the Buyer Data or the Buyer Personal Data or any copy of such Buyer Data".

It is the responsibility of individual buying authorities to agree terms and conditions with their chosen supplier when calling off from a framework agreement.

Specific terms and conditions agreed between parties when calling off from framework agreements are not reported back centrally to the Cabinet Office or the Crown Commercial Service.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many contracts they have agreed in the last five years with public cloud providers which specify that the server has no liability for direct loss, destruction, corruption, degradation or damage to the Buyer Data or the Buyer Personal Data or any copy of such Buyer Data.

It is the responsibility of individual buying authorities to agree terms and conditions with their chosen supplier when calling off from a framework agreement.

Specific terms and conditions agreed between parties when calling off from framework agreements are not reported back centrally to the Cabinet Office or the Crown Commercial Service.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of misinformation and disinformation on the last General Election; and what plans they have to mitigate any risks to the UK’s electoral system arising from such misinformation and disinformation.

The Government has a coordinated structure in place working with relevant organisations to identify and respond to emerging issues, and protect the safety and security of democratic processes. We have worked with a large number of organisations to do this, including social media companies and civil society organisations.

One way to combat the spread of misinformation or disinformation online and limit its potential impact on democratic debate is to ensure that people have the critical literacy skills and digital skills to enable them to assess and analyse the information they read online. In the Online Harms White Paper the Government committed to developing a new online media literacy strategy. This strategy will ensure a coordinated and strategic approach to online media literacy education and awareness for children, young people and adults. The Government is also taking action to increase public awareness with our Don’t Feed The Beast campaign. This aims to educate and empower those who see, inadvertently share and are affected by false and misleading information.

The Government remains committed to the integrity of UK elections and ensuring they are secure and fit for the modern age. We have announced that it will implement an imprints regime for digital election material. This will ensure greater transparency and make it clearer to the electorate who has produced and promoted online political materials.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
3rd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to permanently removing the six per cent import duty on urine drainage bags by re-classifying them as medical devices under the UK Global Tariff regime.

In 2021 the Government implemented temporary tariff suspensions on a set of goods, including urine drainage bags, to support the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has extended the majority of these suspensions until 31 December 2023.

HM Revenue and Customs has reviewed the classification of urine drainage bags and although these are used in conjunction with medical products (e.g. catheters), they are not considered to be medical devices. As such they are classified as articles of plastic (tariff heading 3926). This is in line with classification decisions previously issued by the World Custom Organization, which member countries are expected to follow. Businesses can direct queries on classification to classification.enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk or through this link https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/customs-international-trade-and-excise-enquiries.

The Government have recently received stakeholder feedback on tariffs on urine drainage bags. We are considering the evidence provided alongside wider UK Government analysis.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will commit to working with institutions such as universities to develop policies to combat climate change and stimulate green growth.

The Government funds research to provide evidence to support the development of energy, climate change, and green growth policies. This research is competitively tendered and is delivered typically by academic institutions, consultancies, SMEs, or a combination.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government (1) how they are measuring progress on the respiratory mission, announced as part of the 2021 Life Sciences Vision, and (2) what progress has been made

The Government has engaged with stakeholders to define and develop the scope of work to be undertaken under the Respiratory Mission.

Meanwhile, the Government has committed funding to support respiratory research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research and the Medical Research Council. This investment is aligned to the aims and ambitions of the proposed Respiratory Mission, outlined in the Life Science Vision, to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with respiratory disease.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will (1) appoint a chair to lead the respiratory mission within the Life Sciences Vision, and (2) provide funding to enable the delivery of the respiratory mission as it has done in the case of the cancer, obesity and mental health missions.

The Government has engaged with stakeholders to define and develop the scope of work to be undertaken under the Respiratory Mission, which aims to reduce the mortality and morbidity from respiratory disease in the UK and globally. At this point a chair of the Respiratory Mission has not been appointed.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will publish detailed implementation plans, covering those health missions within the Life Sciences Vision, as undertaken at its launch in July 2021.

Four of the healthcare Missions published in the 2021 Life Sciences Vision: Dementia, Cancer, Obesity and Mental Health, as well as the Addiction Mission (announced as part of the 2021 Drugs Plan, ‘From harm to hope’) have recruited Chairs, have comprehensive delivery plans and objectives, and are beginning to make substantial investments to operationalise these. Progress on the delivery of the Missions, and the related investments, have and will continue to be made available online at a regular cadence.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of universities in supporting the development of public policy on artificial intelligence and other new technologies.

Government understands that academic expertise is critical for developing strong public policy on AI and emerging technologies. It is commonplace for teams working on AI and technology policy to consult with academic experts. The AI policy team has engaged with academic experts in many aspects of policy development. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • The AI Safety Summit. Government convened other country leaders, industry, academia and civil society to share views on how to drive forward research on AI safety, ensuring the benefits of this technology can be harnessed responsibly for good and for all.
  • The AI Regulation White Paper. Government heard from over 400 individuals and organisations, with a wide range of views represented including those in academia. Such close engagement with academia was an integral part of the policy analysis that informed the AI Regulation White Paper. The newly established central AI risk function in DSIT will use expertise from academia, as well as from across government, industry, and the AI Safety Institute.
  • The AI Safety Institute. The institute is engaging with the UK academic community to develop the tools to enhance the safety of AI and leading universities and academic groups welcomed the AI Safety Institute’s launch.
  • Compute. Government has confirmed that the University of Bristol will host the new AI Research Resource (AIRR), a national resource to support essential study into the potential and safe use of technology. This facility aims to help researchers maximise the promise of AI.
  • Skills. Government continues to liaise closely with universities and educational institutions to deliver a broad package of AI skills and talent initiatives, broadening the supply of talent in the UK AI labour market. For example, through the £30 million AI and Data Science Conversion Course programme, government funded universities to develop masters level AI or data science courses suitable for non-STEM students, and up to 2,600 scholarships for students from backgrounds underrepresented in the tech industry.
Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the compliance by UK Biobank with NHS England’s assertion that “information is never passed to insurance companies without patient consent.”

The assurance that identifiable data will not be shared with any organisation, including insurance companies, was provided to participants at the time of recruitment, and still applies. Members of the public invited to join UK Biobank were given information leaflets and a consent form that stated that de-identified data would be made available to researchers from across industry, academia, charitable and government sectors if the applications met the required thresholds of including a bona fide researcher and doing health-related research in the public good.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what information held by UK Biobank has been sold to insurance companies.

The assurance that identifiable data will not be shared with any organisation, including insurance companies, was provided to participants at the time of recruitment, and still applies. Members of the public invited to join UK Biobank were given information leaflets and a consent form that stated that de-identified data would be made available to researchers from across industry, academia, charitable and government sectors if the applications met the required thresholds of including a bona fide researcher and doing health-related research in the public good.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when and how members of the public were informed that the assurance that data held by UK Biobank would not be given to insurance companies would no longer apply.

The assurance that identifiable data will not be shared with any organisation, including insurance companies, was provided to participants at the time of recruitment, and still applies. Members of the public invited to join UK Biobank were given information leaflets and a consent form that stated that de-identified data would be made available to researchers from across industry, academia, charitable and government sectors if the applications met the required thresholds of including a bona fide researcher and doing health-related research in the public good.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when a decision was made that the assurance that data held by UK Biobank would not be given to insurance companies would no longer apply.

The assurance that identifiable data will not be shared with any organisation, including insurance companies, was provided to participants at the time of recruitment, and still applies. Members of the public invited to join UK Biobank were given information leaflets and a consent form that stated that de-identified data would be made available to researchers from across industry, academia, charitable and government sectors if the applications met the required thresholds of including a bona fide researcher and doing health-related research in the public good.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assurances were given, when the establishment of UK Biobank was announced in 2002, that data would not be given to insurance companies after concerns were raised that it could be used in a discriminatory way.

The assurance that identifiable data will not be shared with any organisation, including insurance companies, was provided to participants at the time of recruitment, and still applies. Members of the public invited to join UK Biobank were given information leaflets and a consent form that stated that de-identified data would be made available to researchers from across industry, academia, charitable and government sectors if the applications met the required thresholds of including a bona fide researcher and doing health-related research in the public good.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership Fulfilling the potential identified in the Government's Life Sciences Vision, published on 24 January, what assessment they have made of its findings that since 2010, the UK has fallen from 4th to 98th place in overall trade balance in pharmaceuticals.

Life Sciences pharmaceutical manufacturing was responsible for $27.7bn exports in 2021. Official statistics from the Office for Life Sciences show that employment in core biopharmaceutical manufacturing employment declined between 2009 and 2019, but increased by 5% between 2019 and 2021. The Life Sciences Vision sets out an ambition to create a globally competitive environment for Life Science manufacturing investments. To help meet these ambitions, the Government launched the £60m Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund in March 2022 to incentivise globally mobile manufacturing investments in the UK.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have for allocating the remaining £176 million of the Additional Funding Programme for Mathematical Sciences announced in January 2020.

Following the Government announcement to invest additional funding into mathematical sciences, BEIS published its funding allocations for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in May 2022. The total UKRI allocation as published was £25.1 billion for 2022-25, providing UKRI and its constituent councils with the funding needed to deliver world class research and innovation, including in the Mathematical Sciences.

The Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council’s core funding for Mathematical Sciences will continue at the level of circa £25-30 million per annum for grants, fellowships, and studentships. This is alongside the £124 million Additional Funding Programme for Mathematical Sciences funding provided to support activities that have been started to date. UKRI will seek further opportunities to support mathematical research as it establishes a portfolio of investments

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to work with environmental and public health organisations when reviewing existing EU regulation.

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill is an enabling Bill that will give departments powers to amend, repeal or replace their retained EU law more easily. Any decisions regarding retained EU law will be for departmental ministers to take.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they have invested in mathematical sciences in each higher education institution in the UK for (1) teaching, and (2) research.

The UK is a world leader in Mathematics, accounting for the 5th largest share of publications but the third largest share of the top 1% and 10% most cited publications.

Between Financial Year 2015-2016 and September 2021, EPSRC committed £259.9m to research grants Mathematical Sciences. This includes commitment from the Additional Funding Programme. At this current time, EPSRC are unable to make a direct comparison to international averages.

Following the Government’s announcement in January 2020 to invest additional funding into Mathematical Sciences, UKRI has awarded around £104 million of additional funding to the discipline, over and above EPSRC’s core Mathematical Sciences Theme budget. The additional funding has covered institutes, small and large research grants, fellowships, doctoral studentships and postdoctoral awards.

On the 27 October 2021, the Government will announce the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review. Once that has concluded, BEIS and UKRI will set out how we meet the commitment to invest additional funding into Mathematical sciences in forthcoming years, as part of the allocations process.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the breakdown of (1) actual, and (2) planned, expenditure of their £300 million investment in the mathematical sciences.

The UK is a world leader in Mathematics, accounting for the 5th largest share of publications but the third largest share of the top 1% and 10% most cited publications.

Between Financial Year 2015-2016 and September 2021, EPSRC committed £259.9m to research grants Mathematical Sciences. This includes commitment from the Additional Funding Programme. At this current time, EPSRC are unable to make a direct comparison to international averages.

Following the Government’s announcement in January 2020 to invest additional funding into Mathematical Sciences, UKRI has awarded around £104 million of additional funding to the discipline, over and above EPSRC’s core Mathematical Sciences Theme budget. The additional funding has covered institutes, small and large research grants, fellowships, doctoral studentships and postdoctoral awards.

On the 27 October 2021, the Government will announce the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review. Once that has concluded, BEIS and UKRI will set out how we meet the commitment to invest additional funding into Mathematical sciences in forthcoming years, as part of the allocations process.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to support the research of all forms of mathematics at universities in England.

In academic year 2020-21, Research England allocated £66.4 million to Mathematical Sciences. This financial year the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is forecasting a spend of £50.975 million on Mathematical Sciences research in English universities. Plans for funding for future years will be dependent on the outcome of the recently announced Spending Review.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to promote the study and research of mathematics at universities in England.

In academic year 2020-21, Research England allocated £66.4 million to Mathematical Sciences. This financial year the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is forecasting a spend of £50.975 million on Mathematical Sciences research in English universities. Plans for funding for future years will be dependent on the outcome of the recently announced Spending Review.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) pressure from activist groups, and (2) decisions not to allow academics to speak at universities, on the amount of research commissioned by universities into the number (a) of girls presenting with gender dysphoria at clinics, and (b) of people who regret that they undertook medical treatment for their gender dysphoria; and what steps, if any, they intend to take in response.

Universities are independent, autonomous organisations and are therefore responsible for their decisions relating to research priorities and which activities to support.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what safeguards are in place to ensure that Amazon staff working on the contract with Amazon to provide health data from the NHS will receive a living wage and be treated with dignity and decency.

The Government is committed to ensuring fair pay and we are clear that all workers should be treated with dignity and decency. We have announced that in April 2020 the National Living Wage (NLW) will increase by 6.2 per cent to £8.72 for those aged 25 and over. This increase will mean that a full-time worker will see their pay increase by £930 over the year.

The Government considers the expert and independent advice of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) when setting the rates. The LPC draws on a wide range of analysis to make its recommendations – this includes independent research, stakeholder evidence and a consideration of impacts on businesses.

Workers who believe that they have been underpaid the minimum wage or treated unfairly at work may wish to contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration service (Acas) for impartial information and advice.

4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that youth arts are sufficiently funded to help young people with mental health problems.

Her Majesty’s Government recognises the benefits that non-medical interventions can have on physical and mental health.

Arts Council England works with Bridge Organisations and Music Education Hubs which play a key role in working with local authorities and schools to support the good health of children and young people. They are also working in partnership with the Youth Endowment Fund on research into the links between creativity and improved mental health.

The Arts Council also funds a number of organisations across the country which provide arts programmes that aim to help and support young people with mental health problems. These include the Knotted Project in Cumbria, the Thriving Communities project delivered by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council, and the North Tyneside Cultural Education Partnership which is piloting cultural social prescribing delivered through schools for 5-19 year olds.

In addition, DCMS will be providing £560 million of taxpayer’s money to deliver the National Youth Guarantee which includes the delivery of up to 300 new and refurbished youth spaces and services in areas of the country which may not have benefitted as much as they should have done in the past.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have agreed (1) a budget, and (2) a programme, to support the legacy of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

Birmingham and the West Midlands region will benefit from a £778 million investment to stage the 2022 Commonwealth Games, including £594 million of funding from central government. This significant investment is driving legacy opportunities across both the West Midlands and UK, including job creation, community and sports facilities and a timely boost to businesses.

An additional £24 million investment from the government and the West Midlands Combined Authority to create a Tourism, Trade and Investment Programme will ensure the city, region and the UK can take advantage of the economic opportunities hosting the Games provides.

Games legacy is being planned and delivered by a collaboration of Games partners including the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, Birmingham City Council, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Organising Committee. A Legacy Plan is being prepared and will be published later in 2021.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to regulate the relationship between technology companies and the Government.

The Government’s approach to governing digital technologies seeks to drive growth and innovation across the UK, while ensuring the safety and security of the UK's citizens and promoting our democratic values.

Our approach to governing digital technology companies will be pro-innovation, agile and proportionate and we will ensure our regulators are equipped for the digital age. This will build confidence and clarity for businesses and consumers, boost innovation and investment, and reinforce the UK’s position as a global leader in innovation-friendly regulation.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to establish a UK National Capability which treats data held by public bodies in the UK as a national asset.

Data is a critical resource for government, which enables more efficient, effective public services. The Public Accounts Committee held an inquiry in the use of data across government in June 2019. Government accepted many of its recommendations in late January 2020. DCMS and Cabinet Office are aiming to write to the Committee to set out our plans for the use of data across government.

While there are no specific plans for establishing a UK National Capability, DCMS is continuing to lead cross-government work to progress the UK's National Data Strategy, so that we can fully and responsibly unlock the power of data, for people and organisations across the UK.

We are not waiting for the strategy to refine our approach to data as a strategic asset. One recent example is the announcement in the March 2020 Budget that HM Land Registry, which holds location data that is important for the government and the economy, will be provided with £392 million to transition from a Trading Fund into part of central government.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of the United States’ Cloud Smart strategy; and what consideration they have given to adopting a similar strategy.

Emerging technologies can enable effective use of data for improving public services. DCMS is continuing to lead cross-government work to progress the UK's National Data Strategy, so that we can fully and responsibly unlock the power of data, for people and organisations across the UK.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) conducted extensive user research in August 2019 on the UK's Cloud Strategy which concluded that Cloud First is as relevant to government today as it was when it was introduced, and will remain a flagship technology policy.

This research considered international cloud strategies, such as Cloud Smart in the US, but concluded that Cloud First was a better fit for the UK government. This is for a number of reasons, including that many departments consider Cloud First to be a core part of their technology strategy, and that there is a need for government to provide a strong cloud message from the centre to encourage transformation. The user research showed that Cloud Smart was seen as “watering down” the high-level cloud message and many participants considered the name “Cloud Smart” to be confusing.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any potential conflicts of interest in grant decisions by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, including for the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music is a registered charity (charity number 292182). The Charity Commission for England and Wales expects charities to have and adhere to a robust conflict of interests policy.

The Charity Commission is aware of, and assessing, concerns raised about the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how much they have spent on the development and management of the proposed T-levels in hairdressing and barbering.

The decision to no longer introduce a combined T Level in Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy was taken following discussions with employers and representatives of the hair and beauty sector. The feedback the department has had from the hair sector representatives has led the department to the conclusion that the best route is for learners to progress into their industry through completion of an existing level 2 or level 3 apprenticeship or a level 2 classroom-based qualification.

The beauty sector has fed back that a good quality level 3 classroom-based progression route is desirable. Therefore, the department has decided to explore introducing a T Level which focuses on the beauty sector, with the expectation that this could be introduced after 2025. The department will update stakeholders in due course following scoping work and engagement with the beauty sector and T Level providers.

Payment of the development charge made to the Awarding Organisation to date is £450,990 (excluding VAT). This is for the development of the originally scoped Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy T Level. The department anticipates that a substantial proportion of that content will remain relevant in any future T Level focussed on beauty.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when they plan to publish proposals for a beauty therapy qualification.

The decision to no longer introduce a combined T Level in Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy was taken following discussions with employers and representatives of the hair and beauty sector. The feedback the department has had from the hair sector representatives has led the department to the conclusion that the best route is for learners to progress into their industry through completion of an existing level 2 or level 3 apprenticeship or a level 2 classroom-based qualification.

The beauty sector has fed back that a good quality level 3 classroom-based progression route is desirable. Therefore, the department has decided to explore introducing a T Level which focuses on the beauty sector, with the expectation that this could be introduced after 2025. The department will update stakeholders in due course following scoping work and engagement with the beauty sector and T Level providers.

Payment of the development charge made to the Awarding Organisation to date is £450,990 (excluding VAT). This is for the development of the originally scoped Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy T Level. The department anticipates that a substantial proportion of that content will remain relevant in any future T Level focussed on beauty.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what are their reasons for scrapping plans to introduce T-levels in hairdressing and barbering.

The decision to no longer introduce a combined T Level in Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy was taken following discussions with employers and representatives of the hair and beauty sector. The feedback the department has had from the hair sector representatives has led the department to the conclusion that the best route is for learners to progress into their industry through completion of an existing level 2 or level 3 apprenticeship or a level 2 classroom-based qualification.

The beauty sector has fed back that a good quality level 3 classroom-based progression route is desirable. Therefore, the department has decided to explore introducing a T Level which focuses on the beauty sector, with the expectation that this could be introduced after 2025. The department will update stakeholders in due course following scoping work and engagement with the beauty sector and T Level providers.

Payment of the development charge made to the Awarding Organisation to date is £450,990 (excluding VAT). This is for the development of the originally scoped Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy T Level. The department anticipates that a substantial proportion of that content will remain relevant in any future T Level focussed on beauty.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the merits of bringing school improvement within the terms of reference of regular Ofsted inspections.

Ofsted plays an important role within the government’s strategies for accountability and school improvement.

Ofsted is not an improvement agency, but its work encourages improvement through effective inspection. There are several aspects to this, including: the publication of Ofsted’s inspection frameworks and handbooks, which help to set standards and expectations; the engagement and feedback that takes place during inspections; the reporting of strengths and areas that need improvement; and the publication and dissemination of insights gained though inspection, for example through thematic surveys and reports.

Ofsted inspections provide a diagnosis and in some cases may trigger support and intervention mechanisms, but the primary responsibility for improvement rests with schools and trusts, with support and intervention from others where necessary, including through the department’s Regional Directors. This separation of responsibilities is important in maintaining the independence of inspection.

The government’s primary strategy for school and trust improvement is to commission growth in the highest quality trusts, as they have the best levers to secure sustainable improvement and are directly accountable for the performance of their schools. More information about high quality trusts can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/commissioning-high-quality-trusts.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide COVID-19 catch-up learning for most disadvantaged pupils following the cessation of the National Tutoring Programme in August.

The department acted swiftly in helping all children to recover from the impact of the pandemic and made available almost £5 billion for its ambitious multi-year programmes to support education recovery. These programmes were principally targeted at disadvantaged pupils, supporting the narrowing of the disadvantage gap to pre-pandemic levels as quickly as possible. Crucially, they were also designed to have a legacy beyond the multi-year period of exceptional and additional support.

Over £1 billion has been invested in tutoring over four years through the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). This has seen nearly 5 million tutoring courses commence since the programme started in November 2020, including over 2 million in each of the last two academic years. In the current academic year, 346,000 courses have started up to 5 October 2023.

The department anticipates that tutoring will continue to be a staple offer from schools, with schools using core budgets and pupil premium funding to provide targeted support for those children who will benefit.

Raising attainment for pupils is at the heart of this government’s agenda. The department knows that disadvantaged children have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and are committed to narrowing the attainment gap.

The department is continuing to support pupils’ needs by investing an extra £2 billion into core schools funding both this year and next year, over and above what it had already announced at the 2021 Spending Review. The department has also announced an additional £525 million this year to support schools with the teachers’ pay award, with a further £900 million in 2024/25. This means that by next year, school funding will be more than £59.6 billion, which is the highest ever level in real terms per pupil.

Schools receive the pupil premium to enable them to provide extra support to improve disadvantaged pupils’ academic and personal achievements. Pupil premium funding will rise to over £2.9 billion in 2024/25, which is an increase of £80 million from 2023/24. This represents a 10% increase in per pupil rates from 2021/22 to 2024/25.

Additionally, the department is investing in 55 Education Investment Areas, where outcomes in literacy and numeracy are the poorest, including £86 million in trust capacity funding to help strong trusts to expand into areas most in need of improvement.

Furthermore, students in 16-19 education during the 2024/25 academic year will continue to receive the additional 40 learning hours that the department is funding to help them catch up on the vital teaching and learning they need to progress. It is estimated that the additional hours will support the recovery of approximately one month of lost learning per academic year.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what guidance is included, if any, in the Initial Teacher Training content framework on (1) how to speak to children and what constitutes verbal abuse from adults to children, and (2) behaviour management.

The Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework (CCF), alongside the Early Career Framework, sets out the minimum entitlement of training and support for all trainee teachers.

The CCF is underpinned by the Teachers’ Standards (2011), and behaviour management is addressed in High Expectations and Managing Behaviour (S1 and S7 of the CCF). This is in line with Standard 7 of the Teachers’ Standards, which requires teachers to “manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment”. Part Two of the Teachers' Standards requires teachers to ensure that they are “treating pupils with dignity, building relationships rooted in mutual respect, and at all times observing proper boundaries appropriate to a teacher’s professional position”.

The CCF has been reviewed with consideration of how to best prepare trainee teachers to support pupils by creating respectful cultures within their classrooms where pupils feel motivated and valued, and highlights the importance of building strong, positive relationships with pupils.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what guidance, if any, is included as part of the Family Hubs and Start for Life programme for parents on how to speak to their children and awareness of what constitutes verbal abuse.

The Family Hubs and Start for Life Programme provides funding for local authorities to provide services that support parents to care for and interact with their children. This includes programmes on parenting, parent-infant relationships, perinatal mental health and the Home Learning Environment. Funding for parenting support should be used for provision of a universal and targeted offer which helps make the transition to parenthood as smooth as possible and which stresses the importance of sensitive and responsive caregiving. All these services are informed by local needs assessment and should consider the wants and needs of different parents and carers.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the finding by the charity Words Matter that two in five children experience verbal abuse from the adults around them which can cause anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm, substance abuse and suicide; and what steps they are taking in response.

Protection from abuse and neglect is a fundamental right for all children. The government’s priority for all vulnerable children is to keep them safe, protect their welfare and put their best interests at the heart of every decision.

In the department’s Children in Need statistics release, the department publishes data on factors identified at the end of an assessment by children’s social care services. The statistics release for 2023 is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need. Currently, verbal abuse is not defined as a separate category but would fall under emotional abuse. For that reason, the department has not made a specific assessment of the impact of verbal abuse on children, but it is the government’s priority to ensure all children are protected and safe from harm.

Government ministers and departmental officials have ongoing, regular engagement with the Children’s Commissioner and her office on a range of issues, including safeguarding children. The department has also offered to meet with the charity Words Matter to discuss their report in more detail so that the department can take forward any appropriate action to mitigate against the effects of verbal abuse on children and young people. Once departmental officials have met with Words Matter, the department will be in a better position to make a detailed assessment.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with the Children's Commissioner for England regarding the verbal abuse of children by adults; and what plans do they have for measures to tackle such abuse.

Protection from abuse and neglect is a fundamental right for all children. The government’s priority for all vulnerable children is to keep them safe, protect their welfare and put their best interests at the heart of every decision.

In the department’s Children in Need statistics release, the department publishes data on factors identified at the end of an assessment by children’s social care services. The statistics release for 2023 is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need. Currently, verbal abuse is not defined as a separate category but would fall under emotional abuse. For that reason, the department has not made a specific assessment of the impact of verbal abuse on children, but it is the government’s priority to ensure all children are protected and safe from harm.

Government ministers and departmental officials have ongoing, regular engagement with the Children’s Commissioner and her office on a range of issues, including safeguarding children. The department has also offered to meet with the charity Words Matter to discuss their report in more detail so that the department can take forward any appropriate action to mitigate against the effects of verbal abuse on children and young people. Once departmental officials have met with Words Matter, the department will be in a better position to make a detailed assessment.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Protect Student Choice campaign Desperate measures: data and the reform of Level 3 qualifications, published in September, which found that at least 155,000 students could be left without a suitable study programme from 2026, given the planned reduction in Applied General Qualifications and slow growth of T levels.

The post-16 qualification reforms are based on three principles: simplifying a complex system difficult for students and employers to navigate, improving progression outcomes, and creating a new, world-class technical offer that meets the needs of employers. These changes are designed to create a ladder of opportunity that young people of all backgrounds can climb.

Despite the report’s premise that removing an existing qualification means students are left without a suitable alternative, students will have a range of options to choose at level 3. This will include large qualifications that can be studied as whole programmes such as T Levels, large Alternative Academic Qualifications (for example in sport or the performing arts), or a newly created large Technical Occupational Entry qualification in a non-T Level route (such as Travel and Tourism). Students will also be able to choose to study A levels, or a mixed study programme comprising of A levels and a small Alternative Academic Qualification or small technical qualifications.

Over 16,000 students have studied all or part of a T Level since their launch in 2020, and the department expects many more young people to benefit in the years to come. We are supporting providers to deliver the additional teaching hours, industry placements and high-quality learning environments needed to make T Levels a success, by increasing the national funding rates for T Levels by 10% for 2023/4 and making £450 million capital funding available alongside a £12 million Employer Support Fund. The department is helping colleges to deliver the additional teaching hours, industry placements and high-quality learning environments needed to make T Levels a success with over £500 million of funding.

For students who aspire to study at level 3 but need additional time and support, the department will fund technical and academic progression qualifications which offer a subject specific focus alongside their study of English and maths. This includes T Level Foundation Qualifications that would be taken in the T Level Foundation Year. The department will also fund large technical occupational entry qualifications at level 2, which will offer broad route-specific content in addition to the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to become occupationally competent and enter the workforce.

The department’s impact assessment for the Level 3 second stage consultation response can be found in the attachment. The assessment estimated that 4% of 16-19 year olds currently studying level 3, may not be able to directly access it in the future.

The department is confident that the new system includes provision for all students. There are currently a wide range of approaches to entry criteria for T Levels amongst colleges, and T Levels will embrace a broader range of young people as they become universally available, with more providers offering the T Level Foundation Year.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what advice they sought, and from whom, when considering the licensing model for Oak National Academy resources.

Oak National Academy’s Board made the decision on its approach to licensing. Oak decided to make the majority of its resources available on an Open Government Licence (OGL). This decision considered that, under the UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF), it is government policy that government funded materials should be available on a licence which allows anyone to access them directly. This ensures that the benefit of public funding is maximised, promotes transparency, and enables wider economic and social gain.

When deciding to make new materials available on an OGL, Oak carried out a review of end-user licensing terms, which incorporated advice and feedback from a range of organisations, including schools and multi-academy trusts, curriculum organisations, EdTech providers, publishers, and trade bodies.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether providers of education materials to Oak National Academy were informed in advance that such materials would be make available on an Open Government Licence without geographical restrictions, and what steps they are taking with providers to ensure such materials do not undercut the educational publishing export market.

The Department published its Full Business Case and Market Impact Assessment setting out the rationale for an intervention by the Government to establish an arm’s length body (ALB) incorporating Oak National Academy (ONA). The ALB supports teachers to teach and enables pupils to access a high quality curriculum, whilst also reducing teacher workload.

Following a review, ONA made the decision to make the majority of its new curricula and teaching resources available on an Open Government Licence (OGL). This decision was informed by an assessment of the implications conducted by ONA’s Accounting Officer.

Under the UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF), it is Government policy that Government funded materials will be available on a licence which allows anyone to access them directly. This ensures that the benefit of public funding is maximised, promotes transparency, and enables wider economic and social gain. In making its decision to make new materials available on an OGL, ONA carried out a review which incorporated representations by the publishing industry. These were considered alongside the views of others and Oak’s remit.

The decision to publish Oak’s content on an OGL only applies to the curriculum resources that are currently being developed with Oak’s new curriculum partners, and who have agreed to these terms as part of their contract. OGL does not apply to existing curriculum resources that were transferred at the ALB’s creation.

All of ONA’s new curriculum partners, with whom they are working to develop new high quality curriculum content, were aware of, and agreed to, licensing terms up to and including an OGL. This was confirmed as part of the procurement and contracting process which launched in autumn 2022. Following the decision of the Oak Board to make Oak’s curriculum resources available on an OGL without geo-restrictions, these arrangements were confirmed with Oak’s new curriculum partners.

Under ONA’s founding principles, no individual can make a direct profit from its materials. ONA’s resources continuing to be freely available to all removes the ability for others to make direct profit from its content. The decision of ONA’s Board not to geo-restrict ONA’s new materials is consistent with Government policy on licensing, more generally, and with the founding principles of ONA itself.

Oak’s resources are based on the English National Curriculum and its remit is to support UK teachers and pupils. Oak is not undertaking any activities to promote or grow use of its resources overseas. Oak will continue to monitor international use to ensure it remains minimal and will continue to focus on delivering its objectives in the UK and will not promote its resources abroad.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether a market impact assessment to inform the decision not to include geographical restrictions in the licensing structure for Oak National Academy resources was conducted; and if so, what plans they have for its publication.

The Department published its Full Business Case and Market Impact Assessment setting out the rationale for an intervention by the Government to establish an arm’s length body (ALB) incorporating Oak National Academy (ONA). The ALB supports teachers to teach and enables pupils to access a high quality curriculum, whilst also reducing teacher workload.

Following a review, ONA made the decision to make the majority of its new curricula and teaching resources available on an Open Government Licence (OGL). This decision was informed by an assessment of the implications conducted by ONA’s Accounting Officer.

Under the UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF), it is Government policy that Government funded materials will be available on a licence which allows anyone to access them directly. This ensures that the benefit of public funding is maximised, promotes transparency, and enables wider economic and social gain. In making its decision to make new materials available on an OGL, ONA carried out a review which incorporated representations by the publishing industry. These were considered alongside the views of others and Oak’s remit.

The decision to publish Oak’s content on an OGL only applies to the curriculum resources that are currently being developed with Oak’s new curriculum partners, and who have agreed to these terms as part of their contract. OGL does not apply to existing curriculum resources that were transferred at the ALB’s creation.

All of ONA’s new curriculum partners, with whom they are working to develop new high quality curriculum content, were aware of, and agreed to, licensing terms up to and including an OGL. This was confirmed as part of the procurement and contracting process which launched in autumn 2022. Following the decision of the Oak Board to make Oak’s curriculum resources available on an OGL without geo-restrictions, these arrangements were confirmed with Oak’s new curriculum partners.

Under ONA’s founding principles, no individual can make a direct profit from its materials. ONA’s resources continuing to be freely available to all removes the ability for others to make direct profit from its content. The decision of ONA’s Board not to geo-restrict ONA’s new materials is consistent with Government policy on licensing, more generally, and with the founding principles of ONA itself.

Oak’s resources are based on the English National Curriculum and its remit is to support UK teachers and pupils. Oak is not undertaking any activities to promote or grow use of its resources overseas. Oak will continue to monitor international use to ensure it remains minimal and will continue to focus on delivering its objectives in the UK and will not promote its resources abroad.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they gave to any representations made by the publishing industry in making Oak National Academy resources available on an Open Government Licence without geographical restrictions.

The Department published its Full Business Case and Market Impact Assessment setting out the rationale for an intervention by the Government to establish an arm’s length body (ALB) incorporating Oak National Academy (ONA). The ALB supports teachers to teach and enables pupils to access a high quality curriculum, whilst also reducing teacher workload.

Following a review, ONA made the decision to make the majority of its new curricula and teaching resources available on an Open Government Licence (OGL). This decision was informed by an assessment of the implications conducted by ONA’s Accounting Officer.

Under the UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF), it is Government policy that Government funded materials will be available on a licence which allows anyone to access them directly. This ensures that the benefit of public funding is maximised, promotes transparency, and enables wider economic and social gain. In making its decision to make new materials available on an OGL, ONA carried out a review which incorporated representations by the publishing industry. These were considered alongside the views of others and Oak’s remit.

The decision to publish Oak’s content on an OGL only applies to the curriculum resources that are currently being developed with Oak’s new curriculum partners, and who have agreed to these terms as part of their contract. OGL does not apply to existing curriculum resources that were transferred at the ALB’s creation.

All of ONA’s new curriculum partners, with whom they are working to develop new high quality curriculum content, were aware of, and agreed to, licensing terms up to and including an OGL. This was confirmed as part of the procurement and contracting process which launched in autumn 2022. Following the decision of the Oak Board to make Oak’s curriculum resources available on an OGL without geo-restrictions, these arrangements were confirmed with Oak’s new curriculum partners.

Under ONA’s founding principles, no individual can make a direct profit from its materials. ONA’s resources continuing to be freely available to all removes the ability for others to make direct profit from its content. The decision of ONA’s Board not to geo-restrict ONA’s new materials is consistent with Government policy on licensing, more generally, and with the founding principles of ONA itself.

Oak’s resources are based on the English National Curriculum and its remit is to support UK teachers and pupils. Oak is not undertaking any activities to promote or grow use of its resources overseas. Oak will continue to monitor international use to ensure it remains minimal and will continue to focus on delivering its objectives in the UK and will not promote its resources abroad.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they made of the impact on the educational publishing export market of not including geographical restrictions in the licensing structure for Oak National Academy resources.

The Department published its Full Business Case and Market Impact Assessment setting out the rationale for an intervention by the Government to establish an arm’s length body (ALB) incorporating Oak National Academy (ONA). The ALB supports teachers to teach and enables pupils to access a high quality curriculum, whilst also reducing teacher workload.

Following a review, ONA made the decision to make the majority of its new curricula and teaching resources available on an Open Government Licence (OGL). This decision was informed by an assessment of the implications conducted by ONA’s Accounting Officer.

Under the UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF), it is Government policy that Government funded materials will be available on a licence which allows anyone to access them directly. This ensures that the benefit of public funding is maximised, promotes transparency, and enables wider economic and social gain. In making its decision to make new materials available on an OGL, ONA carried out a review which incorporated representations by the publishing industry. These were considered alongside the views of others and Oak’s remit.

The decision to publish Oak’s content on an OGL only applies to the curriculum resources that are currently being developed with Oak’s new curriculum partners, and who have agreed to these terms as part of their contract. OGL does not apply to existing curriculum resources that were transferred at the ALB’s creation.

All of ONA’s new curriculum partners, with whom they are working to develop new high quality curriculum content, were aware of, and agreed to, licensing terms up to and including an OGL. This was confirmed as part of the procurement and contracting process which launched in autumn 2022. Following the decision of the Oak Board to make Oak’s curriculum resources available on an OGL without geo-restrictions, these arrangements were confirmed with Oak’s new curriculum partners.

Under ONA’s founding principles, no individual can make a direct profit from its materials. ONA’s resources continuing to be freely available to all removes the ability for others to make direct profit from its content. The decision of ONA’s Board not to geo-restrict ONA’s new materials is consistent with Government policy on licensing, more generally, and with the founding principles of ONA itself.

Oak’s resources are based on the English National Curriculum and its remit is to support UK teachers and pupils. Oak is not undertaking any activities to promote or grow use of its resources overseas. Oak will continue to monitor international use to ensure it remains minimal and will continue to focus on delivering its objectives in the UK and will not promote its resources abroad.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have conducted any analysis of the actuarial advantages to ending the arrangements by which private schools are permitted to participate as employers in the Teachers' Pension Scheme.

For the 2021/22 financial year, the government contributed over £1.6 billion to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. For the 2020/21 financial year, the Government contributed over £1.7 billion.

The government does not make any explicit contribution on behalf of any sector but does contribute to the overall cost of pension payments where these exceed the total contributions received in any year.

Independent schools are allowed to participate in the scheme, on a voluntary basis, to help facilitate the movement of staff between the state and private sectors. This benefits all sectors by enhancing opportunities for sharing best practice.

The government has not undertaken any such analysis of the potential advantages of ending arrangements by which private schools are permitted to participate in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the reasons why private schools are permitted to participate as employers in the Teacher’s Pension Scheme.

For the 2021/22 financial year, the government contributed over £1.6 billion to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. For the 2020/21 financial year, the Government contributed over £1.7 billion.

The government does not make any explicit contribution on behalf of any sector but does contribute to the overall cost of pension payments where these exceed the total contributions received in any year.

Independent schools are allowed to participate in the scheme, on a voluntary basis, to help facilitate the movement of staff between the state and private sectors. This benefits all sectors by enhancing opportunities for sharing best practice.

The government has not undertaken any such analysis of the potential advantages of ending arrangements by which private schools are permitted to participate in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether any government contribution is made to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme explicitly in respect of members of the scheme who are not employed in state schools; and if so, how much is contributed each year.

For the 2021/22 financial year, the government contributed over £1.6 billion to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. For the 2020/21 financial year, the Government contributed over £1.7 billion.

The government does not make any explicit contribution on behalf of any sector but does contribute to the overall cost of pension payments where these exceed the total contributions received in any year.

Independent schools are allowed to participate in the scheme, on a voluntary basis, to help facilitate the movement of staff between the state and private sectors. This benefits all sectors by enhancing opportunities for sharing best practice.

The government has not undertaken any such analysis of the potential advantages of ending arrangements by which private schools are permitted to participate in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what total contribution they have made each year to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

For the 2021/22 financial year, the government contributed over £1.6 billion to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. For the 2020/21 financial year, the Government contributed over £1.7 billion.

The government does not make any explicit contribution on behalf of any sector but does contribute to the overall cost of pension payments where these exceed the total contributions received in any year.

Independent schools are allowed to participate in the scheme, on a voluntary basis, to help facilitate the movement of staff between the state and private sectors. This benefits all sectors by enhancing opportunities for sharing best practice.

The government has not undertaken any such analysis of the potential advantages of ending arrangements by which private schools are permitted to participate in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what were the (1) revenue, and (2) capital costs, of the General Teaching Council for England (including disbursements associated with its creation) for each financial year in which it existed.

The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) was in place from 2000 to 2012 and was funded through registration fees. The department’s data retention policy is 6+1 years. As such, we no longer have access to data relating to the period 2000 to 2012.

The ‘Transparency and Freedom of Information releases’ contains information about the GTCE’s Annual Report and Financial Statements from 2005 to 2012. This can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?organisations%5B%5D=general-teaching-council-for-england&parent=general-teaching-council-for-england.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of any changes to employer contributions for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme on (1) maintained schools, and (2) academies.

Work on finalising the 2020 valuation of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is still ongoing and the department expects to be able to publish the outcome in late summer.

There are several policy decisions and scheme-based assumptions still to be determined that could affect the final outcome, which means it is not possible at this stage to accurately assess the likely impact on scheme employers. Following His Majesty’s Treasury’s (HMT) announcement on 30 March 2023 of the Government’s response to the consultation on the methodology for determining the discount rate to be applied in the valuation of public service schemes, it is expected that the contribution rate for the TPS will need to rise. That is why the Government has committed to providing funding for the 2024/25 financial year for centrally funded employers, like maintained schools and academies, to help address the impacts involved.

The Department is working with HMT and the actuary for the TPS, the Government Actuary’s Department, to progress the TPS valuation as quickly as possible. Regular updates will continue to be provided to the groups representing employers and members.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many employers providing private education for school age children have stopped participating in the Teacher’s Pension Scheme in each of the last five years.

Work on finalising the 2020 valuation of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is still ongoing and the department expects to be able to publish the outcome in late summer.

There are several policy decisions and scheme-based assumptions still to be determined that could affect the final outcome, which means it is not possible at this stage to accurately assess the likely impact on scheme employers. Following His Majesty’s Treasury’s (HMT) announcement on 30 March 2023 of the government’s response to the consultation on the methodology for determining the discount rate to be applied in the valuation of public service schemes, it is expected that the contribution rate for the TPS will need to rise.

The department appreciates that the independent schools that choose to participate in the TPS will therefore be faced with an increase in employee-related costs. Mindful of this and their need to plan, the department is working with HMT and the actuary for the TPS, the Government Actuary’s Department, to progress the TPS valuation as quickly as possible. Regular updates will continue to be provided to the groups representing employers and members.

817 employers providing private education for school age children are currently participating in the TPS.

A total of 333 employers providing private education for school age children have stopped participating in the TPS in the last five years. This comprises 96 in 2019, 110 in 2020, 82 in 2021, 38 in 2022 and 7 in 2023. Additionally in the last five years, a further 90 such employers have taken the option of a phased withdrawal meaning they will continue participating for existing teaching staff only. This comprises 14 in 2021 (when the phased withdrawal policy was introduced), 62 in 2022 and 14 in 2023 (the latter including two establishments with future withdrawal dates).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many employers providing private education for school age children are currently participating in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Work on finalising the 2020 valuation of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is still ongoing and the department expects to be able to publish the outcome in late summer.

There are several policy decisions and scheme-based assumptions still to be determined that could affect the final outcome, which means it is not possible at this stage to accurately assess the likely impact on scheme employers. Following His Majesty’s Treasury’s (HMT) announcement on 30 March 2023 of the government’s response to the consultation on the methodology for determining the discount rate to be applied in the valuation of public service schemes, it is expected that the contribution rate for the TPS will need to rise.

The department appreciates that the independent schools that choose to participate in the TPS will therefore be faced with an increase in employee-related costs. Mindful of this and their need to plan, the department is working with HMT and the actuary for the TPS, the Government Actuary’s Department, to progress the TPS valuation as quickly as possible. Regular updates will continue to be provided to the groups representing employers and members.

817 employers providing private education for school age children are currently participating in the TPS.

A total of 333 employers providing private education for school age children have stopped participating in the TPS in the last five years. This comprises 96 in 2019, 110 in 2020, 82 in 2021, 38 in 2022 and 7 in 2023. Additionally in the last five years, a further 90 such employers have taken the option of a phased withdrawal meaning they will continue participating for existing teaching staff only. This comprises 14 in 2021 (when the phased withdrawal policy was introduced), 62 in 2022 and 14 in 2023 (the latter including two establishments with future withdrawal dates).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of any changes to employer contributions for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme on private schools which participate in the Scheme.

Work on finalising the 2020 valuation of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is still ongoing and the department expects to be able to publish the outcome in late summer.

There are several policy decisions and scheme-based assumptions still to be determined that could affect the final outcome, which means it is not possible at this stage to accurately assess the likely impact on scheme employers. Following His Majesty’s Treasury’s (HMT) announcement on 30 March 2023 of the government’s response to the consultation on the methodology for determining the discount rate to be applied in the valuation of public service schemes, it is expected that the contribution rate for the TPS will need to rise.

The department appreciates that the independent schools that choose to participate in the TPS will therefore be faced with an increase in employee-related costs. Mindful of this and their need to plan, the department is working with HMT and the actuary for the TPS, the Government Actuary’s Department, to progress the TPS valuation as quickly as possible. Regular updates will continue to be provided to the groups representing employers and members.

817 employers providing private education for school age children are currently participating in the TPS.

A total of 333 employers providing private education for school age children have stopped participating in the TPS in the last five years. This comprises 96 in 2019, 110 in 2020, 82 in 2021, 38 in 2022 and 7 in 2023. Additionally in the last five years, a further 90 such employers have taken the option of a phased withdrawal meaning they will continue participating for existing teaching staff only. This comprises 14 in 2021 (when the phased withdrawal policy was introduced), 62 in 2022 and 14 in 2023 (the latter including two establishments with future withdrawal dates).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of any changes to employer contributions for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme on universities

Work on finalising the 2020 valuation of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is still ongoing and the department expects to be able to publish the outcome in late summer.

There are several policy decisions and scheme-based assumptions still to be determined that could affect the final outcome, which means it is not possible at this stage to accurately assess the likely impact on scheme employers. Following His Majesty’ Treasury’s (HMT) announcement on 30 March 2023 of the government’s response to the consultation on the methodology for determining the discount rate to be applied in the valuation of public service schemes, it is expected that the contribution rate for the TPS will need to rise. That is why HMT has committed to continue discussions with the department on the impact for TPS employers in the higher education sector.

The Department is working with HMT and the actuary for the TPS, the Government Actuary’s Department, to progress the TPS valuation as quickly as possible. Regular updates will continue to be provided to the groups representing employers and members.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of any changes to employer contributions for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme on further education colleges.

Work on finalising the 2020 valuation of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is still ongoing and the department expects to be able to publish the outcome in late summer.

There are several policy decisions and scheme-based assumptions still to be determined that could affect the final outcome, which means it is not possible at this stage to accurately assess the likely impact on scheme employers. Following His Majesty’s Treasury’s (HMT) announcement on 30 March 2023 of the government’s response to the consultation on the methodology for determining the discount rate to be applied in the valuation of public service schemes, it is expected that the contribution rate for the TPS will need to rise. That is why the government has committed to providing funding for the 2024/25 financial year for centrally funded employers, including those in the further education sector, to help address the impacts involved.

The department is working with HMT and the actuary for the TPS, the Government Actuary’s Department, to progress the TPS valuation as quickly as possible. Regular updates will continue to be provided to the groups representing employers and members.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made any assessment of the impact on attendance at school of (1) World Book Day, and (2) other non-uniform days.

While the department is now collecting daily attendance data from 78% of schools, data is not held specifically on the effect of days such as World Book Day or other non-uniform days on school attendance.

The government does not determine whether schools have non-uniform days. Many pupils enjoy such events, and they can help to support worthy causes.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need for more long-term investment to raise the quality of school buildings.

Safe and well-maintained school buildings that support a high-quality education are a priority for the department. That is why we have committed £1.8 billion in the 2022/23 financial year to improve school buildings across England, as part of over £13 billion allocated since 2015.

In addition, the School Rebuilding Programme will carry out major rebuilding and refurbishment projects at 500 schools across England, with buildings prioritised based on their condition. There are now 400 projects in the programme. The most recent set of 239 schools were announced in December 2022. All new buildings in the programme are designed to the department’s standards, including being net zero carbon in operation.

This financial year, eligible schools have also received an allocation from an additional £447 million in capital funding for improvements to buildings and facilities, prioritising works to improve energy efficiency.

The department has carried out the Condition Data Collection (CDC) to understand the condition of the school estate in England and how it is changing over time. This directly informs investment in the condition of school buildings. Individual CDC reports are shared with every school and the academy trusts and local authorities responsible for those schools, to help inform their investment plans alongside their own more detailed condition surveys and safety checks. CDC2 is currently underway to ensure the department maintains an up-to-date understanding of the condition of school buildings.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have plans to reform childcare, particularly staff-child ratios; and if so, what is their timetable for doing so.

The department is committed to supporting working families and parents back into employment, by improving the cost, choice, and availability of childcare. We are currently exploring a wide range of options to achieve this ambition.

The consultation on Childcare: Regulatory Changes, closed on 16 September 2022, and the department will respond in due course. We consulted on:

  • Moving to the Scottish staff-to-child ratios for two-year-olds, from a ratio of 1:4 to 1:5.
  • Amending early years foundation stage framework wording on childminder ratios, so it is clear that childminders have flexibility within their ratios in circumstances where they are caring for sibling children, or their own child.
  • Seeking views on further options for reforming ratios in future, working with the sector and parents to shape the future regulatory framework.

The department’s priority continues to be to provide safe, high-quality, and affordable early years provision for our youngest children.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they still plan to publish a prospectus covering each Education Investment Area in early autumn.

Officials have discussed with local authorities and Dioceses in Education Investment Areas (EIAs) the strategic needs of their areas and how area-based commissioning of trusts might take place. That exercise is leading to the development of statements that the department expects to publish later this year.

In addition, regulations came into force on 1 September enabling the Secretary of State for Education to intervene in schools judged as Requires Improvement by Ofsted which were also judged below Good at their previous inspection, where they are not making the necessary improvements. The department plans to write to schools in EIAs informing them that they are eligible for intervention and inviting them to make representations.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made on the area-based approach to commissioning trusts which will be rolled out in the Education Investment Areas this term.

Officials have discussed with local authorities and Dioceses in Education Investment Areas (EIAs) the strategic needs of their areas and how area-based commissioning of trusts might take place. That exercise is leading to the development of statements that the department expects to publish later this year.

In addition, regulations came into force on 1 September enabling the Secretary of State for Education to intervene in schools judged as Requires Improvement by Ofsted which were also judged below Good at their previous inspection, where they are not making the necessary improvements. The department plans to write to schools in EIAs informing them that they are eligible for intervention and inviting them to make representations.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government which local authorities have submitted applications to launch their own multi-academy trusts as part of the pilot scheme.

The department has received 29 registrations of interest from local authorities interested in establishing a multi-academy trust through a test-and-learn exercise. The department is withholding the release of the names of the local authorities who submitted a registration of interest, as it has previously applied a Freedom of Information Act exemption to this information: Section 35(1)(a) relating to the formulation and development of government policy.

The department undertook a public interest test as required by the Act and concluded that not disclosing the information outweighed the public interest in disclosure.

The department will publish the names of the successful applications for the test-and-learn in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what criteria they will use as the basis for the expansion of multi-academy trusts within the area-based approach to commissioning.

Details of what Regional Directors consider when making decisions about trust growth are set out in 'Building strong academy trusts: Guidance for academy trusts and prospective converters' published in May 2021. Before approving a decision about growth, Regional Directors will consider the evidence about the educational and financial capacity of the academy trust. In doing so, they will consider the particular circumstances and maturity of the academy trust.

In addition, 'Implementing school system reform in 2022/23', published in May 2022, sets out that Regional Directors will adopt an area-based approach to commissioning. This will focus on quality first, identifying those trusts which are best placed to take on underperforming schools in these areas. Area-based commissioning will commence initially in education investment areas, prior to being rolled out across the country in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have undertaken an impact assessment on the decision to end the provision of the BTEC qualification in Health and Social Care with regard to (1) NHS workforce numbers, (2) social care workforce numbers, and (3) patient safety.

The department has been clear that we will continue to fund some BTECs and other qualifications in future, where there is a clear need for skills and knowledge that A levels and T Levels cannot provide, and where they meet new quality standards. These will continue to play an important role for 16 to 19 year olds and adults. This includes for students taking qualifications such as BTECs as their full programme of study, where there is no A level or T Level, and those taking mixed programmes of A levels and other qualifications. We expect to fund small academic qualifications that should typically be taken alongside A levels in priority subject areas such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and in areas where an A level is not available, such as health and social care. We will set out the full approval criteria in due course.

The health T Level will help raise awareness amongst young people of the occupational choices within the healthcare sector and provide an opportunity for employers to strengthen their engagement with local schools and colleges. In addition, the health T Level will provide a pipeline of young talent who may move into Trainee Nursing Associate and Assistant Health Practitioner roles, later progressing to the registered occupations.

In November last year the department announced an extra year before our reforms are implemented, including the removal of overlapping qualifications. This extra year will allow the department to continue to support the growth of T Levels and gives more notice to providers, awarding organisations, employers, students and parents so that they can prepare for the changes.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the consistency of the guidance issued for completion of the School Census 2021/22 in relation to the recording of gender with the Education (Information about Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.

The department’s guidance for completing the school census specifies that in this context, gender should be specified as either 'M' (male) or 'F' (female) (which may be different from the individual’s legal sex). This should be self-declared and recorded according to the wishes of the parent and/or pupil. The school census does not collect the ‘sex’ of pupils.

The department believes that this guidance is consistent, but the changing use of language in this area, and the evolving needs of the school population, have led to the department reviewing its data standards. The department intends to publish a new standard making a distinction between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in the coming months. School census guidance will need to be updated to conform to the new data standard.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what meaning they ascribe to the word 'gender' in the context of the Education (Information about Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.

The department’s guidance for completing the school census specifies that in this context, gender should be specified as either 'M' (male) or 'F' (female) (which may be different from the individual’s legal sex). This should be self-declared and recorded according to the wishes of the parent and/or pupil. The school census does not collect the ‘sex’ of pupils.

The department believes that this guidance is consistent, but the changing use of language in this area, and the evolving needs of the school population, have led to the department reviewing its data standards. The department intends to publish a new standard making a distinction between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in the coming months. School census guidance will need to be updated to conform to the new data standard.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was their response to the letter from Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, about Ofsted's monitoring of inspectorates for independent schools, sent to the Secretary of State for Education on 6 November 2018.

In her letter of 6 November 2018, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) recommended a review of the monitoring arrangements in place at the time and that new ones should be put in their place. Such a review was carried out by departmental officials, working alongside officials in Ofsted and at the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). Following this review, new directions were issued to HMCI on 4 November 2019.

The new arrangements outlined above were aimed at giving greater flexibility to Ofsted and ISI to develop a joint programme of work to exchange and develop their mutual knowledge and understanding of inspecting independent schools.

It is worth noting that the School Inspection Service, which previously undertook inspections of some independent schools, has now closed and that there is now only one independent inspectorate, ISI. As such, and given the new directions issued on 4 November 2019, HMCI should no longer have regard to the matters in the February 2015 directions, which were the subject of the 6 November 2018 letter.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Berridge on 13th July (HL1530, HL1531 and HL1532), why they do not collect data on the use of handcuffs on looked after children; whether the regulations cited apply to those transporting looked after children from one location to another; what specific steps are taken during Ofsted inspections to assess compliance with the regulations both (1) in children’s homes, and (2) in transport between locations; and whether they intend to review the policy and its practical implementation in these areas.

Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 and accompanying statutory guidance, ‘Guide to the Children’s Homes Regulations including the quality standards’, include provisions around behaviour and restraint. Responsibility for the welfare of children while transported, including from one location to another, from a secure children’s home is noted in the protection of children quality standard, Regulation 12. The registered person and local authority overall have a responsibility to ensure that children are kept safe, and their welfare promoted.

All incidents of restraint when a young person is cared for by a children’s home must be recorded and made available to Ofsted during an inspection. If transportation is arranged by the local authority who has responsibility for the child, then the care of the child would fall to them. Where local authorities have contract arrangements with transport services, restraint should only be used in very limited circumstances, in accordance with government guidance on the use of restraint, and must always be necessary and proportionate.

During all inspections of children’s homes, inspectors assess all incidents of restraint. Where a provider has restrained a child in a way that does not comply with the regulations, Ofsted will take action. This can include suspension of a service if they believe that children are at risk due to the inappropriate use of restraint or restrictive practices.

Data is not collected by the Department for Education on the use of restraint. This is collected by Ofsted.

29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data they hold on (1) the numbers of children who are handcuffed whilst in the care of local government and not charged with or convicted of any offence, and (2) the reasons for such restraints being used.

Legislation is in place to ensure that the use of restraint in respect of looked-after children is used in very limited circumstances and must be necessary and proportionate. Under the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations (2015), all incidents of restraint when a young person is cared for by a children’s home must be recorded.

Regulation 20(1) states that the only purposes for which restraint can be used in a children's home are to prevent injury to any person (including the child who is being restrained) or to prevent serious damage to the property of any person. In addition, restraint may be used on a child in a secure children's home for the purpose of preventing a child from absconding from the home. Regulation 20(2) states that restraint in relation to a child must be necessary and proportionate.

Similar regulations apply to children in foster care. Regulation 13(2)(b) of the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 states that fostering service providers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that no child placed with a foster parent is subject to any measure of control, restraint or discipline which is excessive or unreasonable.

Ofsted regularly inspect all children’s homes in England to ensure they are complying with their legal duties, which include detailing incidents of restraint. Ofsted also inspects local authorities’ fostering services and independent fostering agencies to ensure they are meeting their duties and responsibilities. The department does not collect data on the use of handcuffs for children in the care system.

29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy regarding the handcuffing of children in the care of local government and who are not charged with or convicted of any offence; and what plans they have, if any, to review that policy.

Legislation is in place to ensure that the use of restraint in respect of looked-after children is used in very limited circumstances and must be necessary and proportionate. Under the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations (2015), all incidents of restraint when a young person is cared for by a children’s home must be recorded.

Regulation 20(1) states that the only purposes for which restraint can be used in a children's home are to prevent injury to any person (including the child who is being restrained) or to prevent serious damage to the property of any person. In addition, restraint may be used on a child in a secure children's home for the purpose of preventing a child from absconding from the home. Regulation 20(2) states that restraint in relation to a child must be necessary and proportionate.

Similar regulations apply to children in foster care. Regulation 13(2)(b) of the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 states that fostering service providers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that no child placed with a foster parent is subject to any measure of control, restraint or discipline which is excessive or unreasonable.

Ofsted regularly inspect all children’s homes in England to ensure they are complying with their legal duties, which include detailing incidents of restraint. Ofsted also inspects local authorities’ fostering services and independent fostering agencies to ensure they are meeting their duties and responsibilities. The department does not collect data on the use of handcuffs for children in the care system.

29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the article 'Children in care as young eleven handcuffed like 'dangerous animals' published by the Sunday Express on 27 June; and what steps they intend to take in response to the claim that children in the care of local government, who are not charged with or convicted of any offence, are routinely being handcuffed.

Legislation is in place to ensure that the use of restraint in respect of looked-after children is used in very limited circumstances and must be necessary and proportionate. Under the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations (2015), all incidents of restraint when a young person is cared for by a children’s home must be recorded.

Regulation 20(1) states that the only purposes for which restraint can be used in a children's home are to prevent injury to any person (including the child who is being restrained) or to prevent serious damage to the property of any person. In addition, restraint may be used on a child in a secure children's home for the purpose of preventing a child from absconding from the home. Regulation 20(2) states that restraint in relation to a child must be necessary and proportionate.

Similar regulations apply to children in foster care. Regulation 13(2)(b) of the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 states that fostering service providers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that no child placed with a foster parent is subject to any measure of control, restraint or discipline which is excessive or unreasonable.

Ofsted regularly inspect all children’s homes in England to ensure they are complying with their legal duties, which include detailing incidents of restraint. Ofsted also inspects local authorities’ fostering services and independent fostering agencies to ensure they are meeting their duties and responsibilities. The department does not collect data on the use of handcuffs for children in the care system.

7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether all guidance provided by the PHSE Association to schools, including the resources produced by other organisations recommended in that guidance, is in line with (1) the law, and (2) the current advice issued by the Department for Education.

The department does not comment on resources from subject associations or other providers. The statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) guidance sets out clear advice on choosing resources: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education. Schools should assess each resource they intend to use, to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and sensitive to their needs.

The RSHE guidance and training resources have been designed to equip all schools to provide comprehensive teaching in these areas in an age-appropriate way. The guidance and materials should give schools the confidence to construct a curriculum that meets the needs of their pupils and reflects a diversity of views and backgrounds, whilst fostering all pupils’ respect for others, understanding of healthy relationships, and ability to look after their own wellbeing.

The department expects schools to consult with parents and to make reasonable decisions about the content of their curriculum.

29th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to meet with organisations which work with care leavers to discuss access to digital devices and the internet.

In April 2020, the government invested £100 million into laptops and 4G wireless routers for disadvantaged students to enable them to engage in remote learning. This was also made available for children with a social worker and care leavers, to improve digital access to support and services. The department has so far delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets, and over 50,000 routers to local authorities to distribute to vulnerable children and young people in their local areas.

Of these devices, 148,000 have been provided specifically to children with a social worker and care leavers and the guidance issued to local authorities identified care leavers as a priority group. Responsibility for identifying which young people require devices lies with local authorities. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-provided-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

These devices are an important injection of support from the government for care leavers who are at greater risk of isolation and, alongside many excellent local initiatives, have helped to improve digital access for this cohort.

All local authorities have a duty to consult on and publish a local offer for their care leavers. This includes care leavers’ statutory entitlements, as well as any discretionary support and services that the local authority chooses to provide. Some local authorities have included supplying mobile phones, data packages or other forms of digital access for their care leavers during the COVID-19 outbreak, and may consider making this part of their local offer going forward.

Mark Riddell, the government’s National Adviser for care leavers, and departmental officials from the Care Leavers Policy Team are actively engaged with the organisations campaigning for better digital access for care leavers.

29th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that all services provided by local authorities for care leavers include access to a digital device and the internet.

In April 2020, the government invested £100 million into laptops and 4G wireless routers for disadvantaged students to enable them to engage in remote learning. This was also made available for children with a social worker and care leavers, to improve digital access to support and services. The department has so far delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets, and over 50,000 routers to local authorities to distribute to vulnerable children and young people in their local areas.

Of these devices, 148,000 have been provided specifically to children with a social worker and care leavers and the guidance issued to local authorities identified care leavers as a priority group. Responsibility for identifying which young people require devices lies with local authorities. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-provided-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

These devices are an important injection of support from the government for care leavers who are at greater risk of isolation and, alongside many excellent local initiatives, have helped to improve digital access for this cohort.

All local authorities have a duty to consult on and publish a local offer for their care leavers. This includes care leavers’ statutory entitlements, as well as any discretionary support and services that the local authority chooses to provide. Some local authorities have included supplying mobile phones, data packages or other forms of digital access for their care leavers during the COVID-19 outbreak, and may consider making this part of their local offer going forward.

Mark Riddell, the government’s National Adviser for care leavers, and departmental officials from the Care Leavers Policy Team are actively engaged with the organisations campaigning for better digital access for care leavers.

29th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure every care leaver in England has access to a digital device and the internet for at least 12 months when they first live independently.

In April 2020, the government invested £100 million into laptops and 4G wireless routers for disadvantaged students to enable them to engage in remote learning. This was also made available for children with a social worker and care leavers, to improve digital access to support and services. The department has so far delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets, and over 50,000 routers to local authorities to distribute to vulnerable children and young people in their local areas.

Of these devices, 148,000 have been provided specifically to children with a social worker and care leavers and the guidance issued to local authorities identified care leavers as a priority group. Responsibility for identifying which young people require devices lies with local authorities. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-provided-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

These devices are an important injection of support from the government for care leavers who are at greater risk of isolation and, alongside many excellent local initiatives, have helped to improve digital access for this cohort.

All local authorities have a duty to consult on and publish a local offer for their care leavers. This includes care leavers’ statutory entitlements, as well as any discretionary support and services that the local authority chooses to provide. Some local authorities have included supplying mobile phones, data packages or other forms of digital access for their care leavers during the COVID-19 outbreak, and may consider making this part of their local offer going forward.

Mark Riddell, the government’s National Adviser for care leavers, and departmental officials from the Care Leavers Policy Team are actively engaged with the organisations campaigning for better digital access for care leavers.

29th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to improve the uptake of their scheme to provide digital devices and internet access for care leavers.

In April 2020, the government invested £100 million into laptops and 4G wireless routers for disadvantaged students to enable them to engage in remote learning. This was also made available for children with a social worker and care leavers, to improve digital access to support and services. The department has so far delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets, and over 50,000 routers to local authorities to distribute to vulnerable children and young people in their local areas.

Of these devices, 148,000 have been provided specifically to children with a social worker and care leavers and the guidance issued to local authorities identified care leavers as a priority group. Responsibility for identifying which young people require devices lies with local authorities. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-provided-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

These devices are an important injection of support from the government for care leavers who are at greater risk of isolation and, alongside many excellent local initiatives, have helped to improve digital access for this cohort.

All local authorities have a duty to consult on and publish a local offer for their care leavers. This includes care leavers’ statutory entitlements, as well as any discretionary support and services that the local authority chooses to provide. Some local authorities have included supplying mobile phones, data packages or other forms of digital access for their care leavers during the COVID-19 outbreak, and may consider making this part of their local offer going forward.

Mark Riddell, the government’s National Adviser for care leavers, and departmental officials from the Care Leavers Policy Team are actively engaged with the organisations campaigning for better digital access for care leavers.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all resources recommended or promoted for use by schools by the Department for Education are checked for compliance with (1) safeguarding procedures, (2) the Equality Act 2010, (3) the Public Sector Equality Duty, and (4) the statutory guidance on Relationship Education, Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy, and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. That is why we are making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school-aged pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school-aged pupils, and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools from September 2020.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and following engagement with the sector, the department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching.

The safety of children is our top priority. We expect all schools to ensure that the materials and teaching resources they use are appropriate, and to ensure that they comply with their statutory duty to safeguard children’s welfare. The statutory guidance sets out clear advice on choosing resources. Schools should assess each resource they intend to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and sensitive to their needs, where relevant.

The department does not recommend specific resources but has suggested resources for schools to consider as set out in Annex B of the statutory guidance. We encourage schools to use resources that have been quality assured by reputable organisations, such as the NSPCC on safeguarding issues. The department will be providing further advice to schools on choosing appropriate resources and is developing teacher training modules for these subjects, which the department has quality assured and recommends.

Schools must consult with parents on the school’s RSE policy. Schools should also ensure that, when they engage parents, they provide examples of the resources they plan to use, for example the books or materials they will use in lessons. The statutory guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

In covering the content of the new subjects, the guidance also sets out schools’ duty to comply with relevant requirements of the Equality Act 2010 including the Public Sector Equality Duty. Schools should also be aware of their duties regarding impartiality and balanced treatment of political issues in the classroom to ensure content is handled in an appropriate way.

At the heart of these subjects there is a focus on keeping children safe, and schools can play an important role in preventative education. Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) sets out that all schools and colleges should ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including how to stay safe online, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. The guidance can be accessed via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are satisfied that the process being adopted by Ofqual for exceptional arrangements for awarding calculated grades in GCSEs, AS and A Levels takes sufficient account of recent improvement trends in the educational establishment the student is from.

Ofqual conducted a public consultation from 15-29 April, seeking views on aspects of the proposed assessment arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A levels, including standardisation of centre assessment grades. Ofqual received over 12,500 responses to their consultation, and on 22 May they published their decisions.

Ofqual have decided not to include the trajectory of exam centres’ results in the statistical standardisation process. This is due to potential unfairness caused by the unreliability of any trajectory predictions and the disadvantage that this might cause students in those centres with stable results.

Whilst this is a matter for Ofqual as the independent regulator of qualifications, I am satisfied that Ofqual’s approach is the best solution given these extraordinary circumstances.

28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in updating their School Food Standards to reduce sugar consumption, as set out in their childhood obesity plan for action, published in June 2018.

We are working with Public Health England to update the School Food Standards in relation to sugar and fibre.

On 7 May and 6 November 2019, we brought together an advisory group comprising of key stakeholders in the food, nutrition and health sectors. These stakeholders hold a wide breadth of knowledge and expertise in relation to school food. This was to discuss the proposed updates to the standards; we are considering those views and the next steps.

We will release more information on our plans for the update shortly.

20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the remit of the Office for Students so that it can make direct grants to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire commensurate with (1) the level of similar institutions in London, and (2) its national status.

Birmingham City University, of which The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is a part, is registered with the Office for Students (OfS) in the approved (fee cap) category of the OfS’s register. It is funded by government, via the OfS, in a way that is consistent with the approach the OfS takes to other such providers, including those in London. While the Secretary of State for Education issues strategic guidance to the OfS, including its funding priorities, the OfS is ultimately responsible for funding decisions. The OfS is planning to review its funding method, including for specialist providers, and will consult on those changes in due course.

We do not have any plans to review the remit of the OfS in relation to their funding powers.

20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether funding for the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is consistent with funding for similar institutions based in London.

Birmingham City University, of which The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is a part, is registered with the Office for Students (OfS) in the approved (fee cap) category of the OfS’s register. It is funded by government, via the OfS, in a way that is consistent with the approach the OfS takes to other such providers, including those in London. While the Secretary of State for Education issues strategic guidance to the OfS, including its funding priorities, the OfS is ultimately responsible for funding decisions. The OfS is planning to review its funding method, including for specialist providers, and will consult on those changes in due course.

We do not have any plans to review the remit of the OfS in relation to their funding powers.

13th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the survey by the British Association for Social Workers, launched in May 2018, which found that social workers spend 20 per cent of their time in direct contact with families, with one out of three social workers not working directly with children.

Securing further improvement in the quality of the children’s social care system is a priority. We welcome the contribution both of these reports make to these efforts. Whilst local authorities are responsible for the deployment of child and family social workers, the government is continuing to invest in practice improvement. This includes our £84 million investment in the Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme; and securing better research and evidence about practice and the social work workforce such as through the What Works for Children’s Social Care. Our large-scale longitudinal study of child and family social workers will provide significant insights into the experience of child and family social workers and will help both the government and employers identify priorities for action.

13th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Frontline and the Centre for Public Impact A Blueprint for Children's Social Care, published on 20 November 2019, outlining a new model for children’s social care that allows social workers to spend more time with families and that aims to improve standards through increased supervision and transparency.

Securing further improvement in the quality of the children’s social care system is a priority. We welcome the contribution both of these reports make to these efforts. Whilst local authorities are responsible for the deployment of child and family social workers, the government is continuing to invest in practice improvement. This includes our £84 million investment in the Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme; and securing better research and evidence about practice and the social work workforce such as through the What Works for Children’s Social Care. Our large-scale longitudinal study of child and family social workers will provide significant insights into the experience of child and family social workers and will help both the government and employers identify priorities for action.

13th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, following their introduction of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022, what assessment they have made of the UK’s food and environmental standards.

Defra is in the process of analysing and assessing its REUL stock, including in relation to food standards and environmental protections, to determine what should be preserved as part of domestic law, and what should be repealed, or amended. This work will determine how we use the powers in the Bill and therefore inform assessments of the Bill’s impact.

The United Kingdom is a world leader in environmental protection and in reviewing our retained EU law, we want to ensure that environmental law is fit for purpose for the UK’s unique environment and able to drive improved environmental outcomes, whilst ensuring regulators can deliver efficiently. Maintaining the UK’s high food standards remains our priority. HM Government remains committed to promoting robust food standards nationally and internationally, to protect consumer interests, facilitate international trade, and ensure that consumers can have confidence in the food that they buy.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to protect UK food and environmental standards if all associated EU regulation is removed from the UK statute book

Defra is in the process of analysing its Retained EU Law (REUL) stock to determine what should be preserved as part of domestic law, and what should be repealed, or amended. This work will determine how we use the powers in the Bill, including in relation to food and environmental standards.

The United Kingdom is a world leader in environmental protection and in reviewing our retained EU law, we want to ensure that environmental law is fit for purpose for the UK's unique environment and able to drive improved environmental outcomes, whilst ensuring regulators can deliver efficiently. Any changes to environmental regulations will be driven with those goals in mind.

Maintaining the UK's high food standards also remains our priority. HM Government remains committed to promoting robust food standards nationally and internationally, to protect consumer interests, facilitate international trade, and ensure that consumers can have confidence in the food that they buy.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to amend the Equality Act 2010 as to change the protected characteristic of "sex" to "gender".

The Government has no plans to do this.

12th May 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what assessment has been made of the time available to members of the House to participate in (1) Private Notice Questions, and (2) urgent questions from the House of Commons repeated as statements, which are being considered in Virtual Proceedings; and what plans there are to change the time available.

The Procedure Committee agreed on 11 May that the time allowed for a Private Notice Question should be increased from ten minutes to fifteen minutes. This change was approved by the House on 14 May. The allocation of time for the answers to Urgent Questions in the House of Commons repeated in the form of Oral Statements remains as if it were taking place in the Chamber, and there are currently no plans to extend the time allowed for these. The Procedure Committee will continue to keep these arrangements under review.

12th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the comments of the Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission in the Financial Times on 26 November, in which he casts doubt on the Government’s plan for connecting the HS2 rail line to Euston through private financing.

The Network North paper published by the Department for Transport on 4 October 2023 sets out that private finance will be leveraged to ensure contributions to the cost of Euston from those people and businesses it supports. The opportunity for regeneration and new homes in the Euston area is one of the largest in central London. This development-led approach will bring in private finance, along with a reduction of the transport scope to deliver only what is required at Euston. This will reduce the costs to the taxpayer. We are also taking on the lessons of success stories such as Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms, which secured £9 billion of private sector investment. The exact design of the model to be used, how it is taken to market, as well as how and where the alternative funding generated by this will be spent, is commercially sensitive and still subject to further work to ensure we are optimising funding and delivery. Ministers and officials have held positive initial conversations with potential funders. There will be a range of options within this that are still being considered and will require more time to develop before a final proposal is determined.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to hold discussions with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 organising committee and Network Rail over the case for improving the signage at Birmingham New Street Station for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

The West Midlands Combined Authority, the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee and Birmingham City Council are already working together and with other transport partners, on transport preparations and planning for the Games, covering the transportation of spectators, athletes and the Games Family, whilst at the same time ensuring that any disruption to transport users is kept to a minimum.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report Destitution in the UK 2023, published on 24 October, which found that "approximately 3.8 million people experienced destitution in 2022, including around one million children".

This government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost of living. We are providing total support of over £94bn over 2022-23 and 2023-24 to help households and individuals with the rising bills.

Furthermore, government is committed to reducing poverty, including child poverty, and supporting low-income families and has overseen significant falls in absolute poverty since 2009/10.

In 2021/22 there were 1.7 million fewer people in absolute poverty after housing costs than in 2009/10, including 400,000 fewer children, 1 million fewer working age adults and 200,000 fewer pensioners. Rates of absolute poverty after housing costs for individuals in families in receipt of Universal Credit have also fallen by 12ppt since 2019/20.

With almost one million job vacancies across the UK, our focus remains firmly on supporting people, including parents, to move into and progress in work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty. The latest statistics show that in 2021/22 children living in workless households were 5 times more likely to be in absolute poverty, after housing costs, than those where all adults work.

To help people into work, our core Jobcentre offer provides a range of options, including face-to-face time with work coaches and interview assistance. In addition, there is specific support targeted towards young people, people aged 50 plus and job seekers with disabilities or health issues.

To support those who are in work, from 1 April 2023, the National Living Wage (NLW) increased by 9.7% to £10.42 an hour for workers aged 23 and over - the largest ever cash increase for the NLW. In addition, the voluntary in-work progression offer started to roll-out in April 2022. It is now available in all Jobcentres across Great Britain. We estimate that around 1.4m low-paid benefit claimants will be eligible for support to progress into higher-paid work.

To further support parents into work, on 28th June 2023, the maximum monthly amounts that a parent can be reimbursed for their childcare increased by 47%, from £646.35 for one child and £1,108.04 for two or more children to £950.92 and £1,630.15 respectively. Importantly, we can now also provide even more help with upfront childcare costs when parents move into work or increase their hours. This means that a parent who needs this additional financial help can now be provided with funding towards both their first and second set of costs (or increased costs), upfront, thereby easing them into the UC childcare costs cycle.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why those with Fetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder are required to re-apply for (1) Personal Independence Payment, and (2) Disability Living Allowance, given that the condition is lifelong and does not present changing symptoms.

Entitlement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is assessed on the basis of the needs arising from a health condition or disability, rather than the health condition or disability itself. Award rates and their durations are set on an individual basis, based on the claimant’s needs and the likelihood of those needs changing, including where childhood developmental milestones are reached. Award reviews allow for the correct rate of DLA or PIP to remain in payment, including where needs have increased as a consequence of a congenital, degenerative or progressive condition.

25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) value, and (2) use, of the Condition Insight Report for Valproate in enabling (a) Personal Independence Payment, and (b) Disability Living Allowance, assessors to understand Fetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder.

Both Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment providers have a Condition Insight Report (CIR) on Foetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder. CIR provide condition-based information which Health Professionals (HPs) have access to during the course of the PIP assessment process. CIRs are often developed with input from stakeholder groups that advocate for those with the relevant condition. While it is not possible to objectively assess the specific impact of a CIR on HPs’ knowledge, the CIR on Foetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder is a welcome addition to the information available to HPs.

Claims to DLA are dealt with by DWP case managers. Case managers refer to Departmental guidance The Children’s A-Z of Medical Conditions which sets out the main care and mobility needs likely to arise from different disabling conditions. If necessary, further information is gathered from health professionals, or in the case of a child, from their school.

25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people with Fetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder have been refused the award of (1) Personal Independence Payment, or (2) Disability Living Allowance, over the last 12 months.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people in England received the Carer's Allowance in (1) April 2019, and (2) April 2021.

DWP statistics on the number of Carer’s Allowance claims in payment are publicly available online via StatXplore. These statistics are released on a quarterly basis, for the following months: February, May, August and November. The most recent available statistics are for February 2021.

The figures requested are therefore not available for April 2021. The figure from the most recent release of these statistics is included in the response instead. For an annual comparison, the figure for February 2019 is also included in this response.

The number of people in England who received Carer’s Allowance in February 2019 was 736,624.

The number of people in England who received Carer’s Allowance in February 2021 was 794,816.

13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what changes have been made to the draft Terms of Reference for the Advisory Group on Data since April 2023; and which part of NHS England was responsible for making those changes.

The Department has had no discussions with NHS England regarding the July 2023 meeting of the Data, Digital and Technology Committee, or regarding the Advisory Group for Data’s (AGD) request that the version control on its draft terms of reference be updated to reflect the full circulation of the document, as well as the timing of the circulation.

The role of the advisory group is set out within the statutory guidance issued by the Department, in NHS England’s protection of patient data. We understand that the terms of reference for the AGD are currently in draft, with version control reflecting formal drafts as issued. NHS England, through the Privacy, Transparency and Trust team in the Delivery Directorate, has received feedback on the drafts, which will be published in due course following approval by, or on behalf of, the NHS England board.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the meeting of the Advisory Group on Data (AGD) on 11 January, what discussions they have had with NHS England regarding AGD’s request to see the next draft of its draft Terms of Reference before it is moved on to the next stage of ratification.

The Department has had no discussions with NHS England regarding the July 2023 meeting of the Data, Digital and Technology Committee, or regarding the Advisory Group for Data’s (AGD) request that the version control on its draft terms of reference be updated to reflect the full circulation of the document, as well as the timing of the circulation.

The role of the advisory group is set out within the statutory guidance issued by the Department, in NHS England’s protection of patient data. We understand that the terms of reference for the AGD are currently in draft, with version control reflecting formal drafts as issued. NHS England, through the Privacy, Transparency and Trust team in the Delivery Directorate, has received feedback on the drafts, which will be published in due course following approval by, or on behalf of, the NHS England board.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the meeting of the Advisory Group on Data (AGD) on 11 January, what discussions they have had with NHS England regarding AGD’s request that the version control on its draft Terms of Reference be updated to reflect the full circulation of the document, and the timing of such circulation.

The Department has had no discussions with NHS England regarding the July 2023 meeting of the Data, Digital and Technology Committee, or regarding the Advisory Group for Data’s (AGD) request that the version control on its draft terms of reference be updated to reflect the full circulation of the document, as well as the timing of the circulation.

The role of the advisory group is set out within the statutory guidance issued by the Department, in NHS England’s protection of patient data. We understand that the terms of reference for the AGD are currently in draft, with version control reflecting formal drafts as issued. NHS England, through the Privacy, Transparency and Trust team in the Delivery Directorate, has received feedback on the drafts, which will be published in due course following approval by, or on behalf of, the NHS England board.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with NHS England regarding the concerns expressed by the Advisory Group on Data (AGD) at their meeting on 11 January about the Data, Digital and Technology Committee (DDaTC) meeting on the 12 July 2023, including (1) that the AGD had not been informed that its draft Terms of Reference had been submitted to DDaTC, (2) that the AGD was not informed about any DDaTC feedback on the AGD Terms of Reference, and (3) that the content of DDaTC minutes suggested a possible misunderstanding of AGD’s advisory role.

The Department has had no discussions with NHS England regarding the July 2023 meeting of the Data, Digital and Technology Committee, or regarding the Advisory Group for Data’s (AGD) request that the version control on its draft terms of reference be updated to reflect the full circulation of the document, as well as the timing of the circulation.

The role of the advisory group is set out within the statutory guidance issued by the Department, in NHS England’s protection of patient data. We understand that the terms of reference for the AGD are currently in draft, with version control reflecting formal drafts as issued. NHS England, through the Privacy, Transparency and Trust team in the Delivery Directorate, has received feedback on the drafts, which will be published in due course following approval by, or on behalf of, the NHS England board.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Care Quality Commission has assessed, or plans to assess, the Narconon drug rehabilitation programme to ensure that it is safe for patients.

Narconon is registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), for the regulated activity of accommodation with personal care. The CQC do not regulate the drug rehabilitation programme provided or judge its effectiveness.

Narconon is a private treatment provider, which has declared its regulated activity as dormant with the CQC. The rating for this provider has been suspended while the CQC gather information to determine any next steps. If a provider is found to have failed to notify the CQC that they were undertaking a regulated activity, the CQC would take regulatory action as necessary.

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

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

Year

Open practices

Newly opened practices

2013

9,577

51

2014


9,559

63

2015

9,646

154

2016

9,540

99

2017

9,460

118

2018

9,463

203

2019

9,326

168

2020

9,168

97

2021

9,097

72

2022

9,015

99

2023

9,025

129

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

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

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to improve access to new drugs for brain tumour patients.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR invests in the research delivery workforce, the facilities, and the capacity to support clinical trials into all disease areas, including brain tumours. The NIHR Clinical Research Facilities and Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres support the delivery of early phase trials, and the NIHR Clinical Research Network and Patient Recruitment Centres support delivery and participation in later phase clinical trials.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) makes recommendations on whether all new medicines, including for brain tumours, should be routinely funded by the National Health Service based on an assessment of their costs and benefits. NICE is able to recommend medicines for use through the Cancer Drugs Fund, where there is too much uncertainty for NICE to recommend routine use. NICE works closely with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to ensure that its appraisal timelines are aligned with the regulatory process. NICE is currently evaluating a number of potential new medicines for brain tumours.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to investigate claims made in the Observer on 4 February that the Narconon rehabilitation centre offers a rehabilitation programme linked to the Church of Scientology and that some former patients have suffered extreme reactions as a result of the programme.

We are aware of the recent claims in the Observer, raising concerning reports about the Narconon rehabilitation centre. Narconon is a private treatment provider, which has declared its regulated activity as dormant with the care quality commission (CQC). If an organisation was found to have failed to notify that they were undertaking a regulated activity, CQC would take regulatory action as necessary. We are in active discussion with the CQC about the regulation of this centre and appropriate next steps.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's plans to report on the impact of changes to the health technology evaluation manual introduced in 2022.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) board considered a report on the implementation of the updated health technology evaluation manual, at its public meeting in December 2023. A copy of the report, Update on development, alignment and implementation of changes to NICE methods and processes, has been attached.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when NHS England will start publishing quarterly activity updates on expenditure and patient notifications for the Innovative Medicines Fund.

A report on expenditure and activity under the Innovative Medicines Fund for the period up to the end of 2023 will be released in Spring 2024, and at regular intervals thereafter.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the breakdown of utilisation of the Innovative Medicines Fund for (1) interim funding for medicines recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and (2) managed access, since June 2022.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has not yet made a recommendation for managed access under the Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF), and so the fund has been used exclusively for interim funding to accelerate patient access to medicines recommended by NICE for routine commissioning. To date, four medicines have received interim funding through the IMF.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of changes to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's Methods and Process on patients with rare and ultra-rare diseases.

A number of the changes made by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to its methods and processes for health technology evaluation are expected to benefit medicines for rare diseases, including the introduction of a severity modifier and greater flexibility in responding to uncertainty. NICE has committed to assessing the impact of the changes on patients with rare diseases.

Due to length of the medicine’s evaluation process and number of rare disease topics using older methods or processes, the analysis of the impact of changes will take some time to assess. Data is being collected which will allow, for example, the percentage of positive NICE recommendations made following old methods and processes compared with new methods and processes for rare diseases, to be assessed. NICE will be in a position to publish the impact of the 2022 manual changes in a report by the end of 2024.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to their paper Review of risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in the NHS supply chain, published on 14 December 2023, and specifically their assessment of human rights violations in Xinjiang, whether an assessment was made of the number of people at risk of forced organ harvesting.

The United Kingdom is committed to tackling the issue of Uyghur forced labour in supply chains, and is taking robust action. We have introduced new guidance on the risks of doing business in Xinjiang, enhanced export controls, and announced the introduction of financial penalties under the Modern Slavery Act. The Procurement Act, which received Royal Assent in 2023, will enable public sector contracting authorities to reject bids and terminate contracts with suppliers which are known to use forced labour themselves or anywhere in their supply chain.

The review, which examined the NHS Supply Chain's supplier base, primarily focussed on medical devices and consumables. It did not specifically address the risk of forced organ harvesting because the National Health Service does not engage with supply chains from China for the procurement of human organs.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, what action they intend to take as a result of their paper Review of risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in the NHS supply chain, published on 14 December 2023, and following their commitment to eradicate modern slavery from the healthcare system.

The Government aims to eliminate modern slavery at home and abroad, intensifying efforts since its 2020 modern slavery statement to address supply chain risks. The review makes a series of recommendations, outlined in detail in the publication. It advises for a joint-departments strategy for better risk assessment and mapping in National Health Service supply chains, urging ongoing emphasis on managing modern slavery risks, including updating procurement practices and standardising assessments integrated with e-commerce systems.

It recommends bolstering NHS staff's ability to tackle modern slavery and improving supply chain mapping capability. Upcoming regulations under Section 12ZC of the NHS Act 2006 will further aid the NHS in assessing and mitigating modern slavery risks in individual procurements.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to conduct regular follow-up reviews of the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in the NHS supply chain following their commitment to eradicate modern slavery from the healthcare system.

The United Kingdom is dedicated to combating modern slavery, focusing on supporting victims and prosecuting perpetrators. This effort extends beyond the review, aiming to eliminate modern slavery in healthcare supply chains as part of a broader strategy that includes the pioneering Modern Slavery Act 2015 and subsequent legislation. The UK has also invested over £37 million through the Modern Slavery Fund to fight modern slavery internationally.

Working with the National Health Service and NHS Supply Chain, the Department will implement recommendations to help remove modern slavery from healthcare supply chains. Upcoming regulations under Section 12ZC of the NHS Act 2006 will further aid the NHS in assessing and mitigating modern slavery risks in individual procurements, with a view to eradicate the use of goods and services tainted by modern slavery in the NHS.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the judgment in Consultant Connect Ltd v NHS Bath et al of 29 July 2022, what actions the integrated care boards who were defendants in that case have taken to ensure that members of the public and commercial suppliers have confidence in their procurement processes.

Each commissioning organisation involved in the procurement process produced their own lessons learnt report, and the decisions around the publication of lessons learned reports are for individual integrated care boards (ICBs). With reference to guidance and support to ICBs on procurement, NHS England published the Strategic framework for the NHS Commercial Sector on 28 November 2023, a copy of which is attached.

The framework aims to encourage regional collaboration between integrated care systems by creating regional collaborative commercial organisations. These will operate as group procurement organisations in providing the necessary system leadership, capability and capacity to deliver strategic commercial outcomes and supply chain efficiencies, and will be designed against a national blueprint to ensure consistency.

Every National Health Service provider will be expected to be a member of a collaborative organisation and a senior, experienced, qualified commercial leader will be appointed to run and promote each organisation at an executive-level, with ownership for commercial strategy and all non-pay spend.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the judgment in Consultant Connect Ltd v NHS Bath et al of 29 July 2022, what assessment they have made of whether the integrated care boards who were defendants in that case have since established procurement policies and practices so as to reduce the risk of possible similar legal action in the future.

Each commissioning organisation involved in the procurement process produced their own lessons learnt report, and the decisions around the publication of lessons learned reports are for individual integrated care boards (ICBs). With reference to guidance and support to ICBs on procurement, NHS England published the Strategic framework for the NHS Commercial Sector on 28 November 2023, a copy of which is attached.

The framework aims to encourage regional collaboration between integrated care systems by creating regional collaborative commercial organisations. These will operate as group procurement organisations in providing the necessary system leadership, capability and capacity to deliver strategic commercial outcomes and supply chain efficiencies, and will be designed against a national blueprint to ensure consistency.

Every National Health Service provider will be expected to be a member of a collaborative organisation and a senior, experienced, qualified commercial leader will be appointed to run and promote each organisation at an executive-level, with ownership for commercial strategy and all non-pay spend.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Chief Commercial Officer of NHS England has undertaken a review of the procurement policies and practices of the integrated care boards who were defendants in Consultant Connect Ltd v NHS Bath et al.

Each commissioning organisation involved in the procurement process produced their own lessons learnt report, and the decisions around the publication of lessons learned reports are for individual integrated care boards (ICBs). With reference to guidance and support to ICBs on procurement, NHS England published the Strategic framework for the NHS Commercial Sector on 28 November 2023, a copy of which is attached.

The framework aims to encourage regional collaboration between integrated care systems by creating regional collaborative commercial organisations. These will operate as group procurement organisations in providing the necessary system leadership, capability and capacity to deliver strategic commercial outcomes and supply chain efficiencies, and will be designed against a national blueprint to ensure consistency.

Every National Health Service provider will be expected to be a member of a collaborative organisation and a senior, experienced, qualified commercial leader will be appointed to run and promote each organisation at an executive-level, with ownership for commercial strategy and all non-pay spend.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what oversight they are exercising over the NHS-Galleri trial.

In 2021 the United Kingdom and devolved administrations set out their vision for the future of clinical research delivery, including for the NHS Galleri trial. Saving and Improving Lives: The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery lays out the ambition to create a world-leading UK clinical research environment that is more efficient, more effective and more resilient, with research delivery embedded across the National Health Service. A copy of this document is attached.

The cross-sector partnerships built through the UK Clinical Research Recovery, Resilience and Growth (RRG) programme provide the strong foundations needed to succeed, drawing on expertise and support from industry, academia, charities, patients and the public, regulators, funders and the NHS. The RRG programme provides system leadership, oversight and strategic co-ordination of the work in order to implement the plans and deliver the ambitions set. It is co-ordinated by the Department and is making progress across a number of commitments.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what monitoring arrangements are in place to evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of integrated care boards in discharging their responsibility for determining the level of locally NHS-funded palliative and end of life care, including hospice care.

The Department is in ongoing discussions with NHS England about oversight and accountability of palliative and end of life care commissioning in the National Health Service. NHS England has agreed to include palliative and end of life care in the list of topics for its regular performance discussions between national and regional leads. The regional quality and performance meetings will provide an additional mechanism for supporting integrated care boards (ICBs) to continue to improve palliative and end of life care for their local population.

Whilst the detail of the key points for palliative and end of life care are still being discussed, this is likely to include: improved access to care through increased identification of patients likely to be in the last year of life, using the GP Palliative Care Register; improved quality of care, including progression towards around-the-clock access to specialist palliative care advice for staff; and improved experience of care through an improved percentage of patients being offered a personalised care and support plan and advance care plan for those identified. These national meetings will provide an additional mechanism for supporting ICBs to continue to improve palliative and end of life care for their local population.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will extend the Children’s Hospice Grant for children’s palliative care in England beyond 2024–25.

The Department and NHS England recognise the important role children and young people’s hospices play in the delivery of high-quality, personalised palliative and end of life care for children, young people, their families and those important to them.

At a national level, NHS England supports palliative and end of life care for children and young people through the Children and Young People’s hospice grant. It has confirmed that it will be renewing the grant for 2024/25, once again allocating £25 million of funding for children’s hospices, using the same prevalence-based allocation approach as in 2022/23 and 2023/24. Details of 2025/26 funding will be confirmed in due course.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to disband the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

There are no plans to disband the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID). As part of an internal restructure in the Department, OHID teams have been integrated into the groups of three Director Generals, under the clinical and professional leadership of the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. Embedding health improvement and prevention focused teams across the Department reflects the importance of improving the nation’s health and tackling disparities. OHID continues its role in bringing together public health expertise, analysis and policy to support evidence-based policy development.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government to what extent they have evaluated in the NHS-Galleri research trial the possibility that patients with small tumours will not be readily detected when circulating tumour DNA is used for diagnosis, leading to poor utility for cancer screening.

The Department has not made any formal evaluations, as the NHS-Galleri research trial is currently still ongoing. The trial is planned to conclude in 2025 with interim results expected during 2024, and final results anticipated in 2026.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government why, of the G7 nations, only the UK is represented by a charity and not a government agency in the G7 Cancer initiative.

The G7 Cancer Alliance is an initiative of the French National Cancer Institute, not a formal initiative of the G7 forum. As such it is made up of governmental and non-governmental organisations from G7 countries, with Cancer Research UK representing the United Kingdom. The Department works closely with research funding partners, such as Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), that fund research on new scientific discoveries.

The Government works together with international partners in various fora to tackle some of the biggest health challenges of our time, including cancer. The Department recognises the importance of international cooperation on health research and has recently launched the Cancer Research Transatlantic Development and Skills Enhancement award through the NIHR, and in cooperation with the Medical Research Council and the United States National Cancer Institute. Overall, NIHR expenditure on cancer research was nearly £122 million in 2022/23, the biggest funding allocation for any single disease area.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 27 February (HL5458), whether they will place in the Library of the House examples of (1) the YAML specifications, and (2) the Python code, currently used to create or define dashboards within the NHS installation of Palantir Foundry.

NHS England will from time to time publish examples of specifications and code that are deemed useful to the wider community and industry, including where appropriate the sharing of code within the NHS GitHub. To ensure that NHS England is creating a vibrant marketplace for both end users and for industry, we aim to publish the Canonical Data Model structures and metadata in line with the Technology Code of Practice. NHS England has already published the General Practice Workforce Metrics repository in the NHS GitHub which provides example code already in use and for products which will transition to the Federated Data Platform and will review as the platform is implemented what further specifications and code should be published.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how they categorise surgical harm in reference to the outcomes of surgical fires; and what plans they have to categorise harm based on the areas most affected by such a fire.

Any unexpected or unintended incident which could have, or did, lead to harm to one or more patients can be recorded on the Learn from Patient Safety Events (LFPSE) service, to support local and national learning. This would include surgical fires and burns. Providers are encouraged to foster a positive safety culture among their staff, and ensure an appropriate local focus on incident recognition, recording, and response.

Recording onto LFPSE is a voluntary process, except where reporting to NHS England fulfils duties for other statutory mandatory requirements, such as reporting notifiable incidents to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the regulations of which are available in an online only format. NHS England shares all such data with the CQC. Notifiable incidents include events resulting in serious harm or the death of a service user, and therefore the most serious surgical fires or surgical burns are subject to mandatory reporting. However, providers are encouraged to record all patient safety incidents, irrespective of the level of harm, to support local and national learning.

As such, all recorded patient safety incidents, including surgical fires and burns, are categorised according to the level of harm thought to have resulted, as well as being linked to various other categorical items of data, such as the location of the incident and when it occurred.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for policy in England of the US Food and Drug Administration’s announcement that it would be making the reporting of incidences of surgical burns or fires mandatory; and what discussions they have held with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and relevant stakeholders about this.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has not had any meetings with the US Food and Drug Administration regarding the change to introduce mandatory reporting of incidences of surgical burns or fires to the MHRA, and we do not intend to impose mandatory reporting of these events.

Mandatory reporting of adverse effects from clinicians would require legislative change. It is not within the MHRA’s scope to compel this, and we do not have any jurisdiction over healthcare professionals. There is limited evidence that making reporting mandatory increases the ability to detect safety signals. There are professional guidelines in place for healthcare professionals to report safety issues, and the MHRA is working to proactively encourage reporting of adverse effects through improvements such as those within the new SafetyConnect system and outreach work. Manufacturers of medical devices are also required to report any incidents they receive to the MHRA.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report any suspected adverse incidents with medicines or medical devices to the MHRA via the Yellow Card scheme.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what burdens or impact assessments they have undertaken into the impact of the National Living Wage increases for 2024–25 on (1) councils with adult social care responsibility, and (2) care providers.

The Department of Health and Social Care carries out regular exercises to assess the financial pressures facing councils and adult social care providers. These assessments account for a wide range of pressures, including changes to the National Living Wage, and these are shared with HM Treasury and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and are used to inform decisions on the overall funding available to local government.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of how much the National Living Wage increase for 2024–25 will cost councils and providers with responsibility for adult social care; and the impact of this increase on market stability in the adult social care sector, especially in areas with a higher proportion of state-funded care users.

The Department of Health and Social Care carries out regular exercises to assess the financial pressures facing councils and adult social care providers. These assessments account for a wide range of pressures, including changes to the National Living Wage, and these are shared with HM Treasury and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and are used to inform decisions on the overall funding available to local government.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Markham on 25 January 2023 (HL Deb col 280) that the transfer of certain statutory functions would not weaken existing protections data and that data protection would remain a priority, what assessment they have made of the consistency with those remarks of the conclusion of the Data, Digital and Technology Committee of NHS England on 12 July 2023 that the Advisory Group for Data should be audited to ensure its decisions “are proportionate and are not unnecessarily disruptive to delivery and transformation”.

The advisory group for data (AGD) is central to ensuring that the transfer of NHS Digital's statutory functions to NHS England does not weaken existing protections of data.

The Secretary of State has issued statutory guidance about the exercise by NHS England of the transferred data functions. This statutory guidance requires NHS England to seek advice from a data advisory group, namely the AGD, on specific data access requests, and to support the development and maintenance of precedents, standards and guidance on data access. Terms of reference for the AGD are under consideration by NHS England following a consultation process. The terms of reference will be published once agreed by NHS England’s board or an appropriate sub-committee of the board. NHS England will also be transparent about the group’s operating processes. In line with this statutory guidance, NHS England will report annually on how it has discharged the transferred data functions.

We do not intend to set any criteria to be used by NHS England beyond what has already been set out in the statutory guidance, which will be kept under review.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will publish all performance management and audits undertaken by NHS England into the work and performance of the Advisory Group for Data.

The advisory group for data (AGD) is central to ensuring that the transfer of NHS Digital's statutory functions to NHS England does not weaken existing protections of data.

The Secretary of State has issued statutory guidance about the exercise by NHS England of the transferred data functions. This statutory guidance requires NHS England to seek advice from a data advisory group, namely the AGD, on specific data access requests, and to support the development and maintenance of precedents, standards and guidance on data access. Terms of reference for the AGD are under consideration by NHS England following a consultation process. The terms of reference will be published once agreed by NHS England’s board or an appropriate sub-committee of the board. NHS England will also be transparent about the group’s operating processes. In line with this statutory guidance, NHS England will report annually on how it has discharged the transferred data functions.

We do not intend to set any criteria to be used by NHS England beyond what has already been set out in the statutory guidance, which will be kept under review.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will set out the criteria to be used by NHS England to establish robust governance of the operation and management of the Advisory Group for Data and for the periodic audit of its business.

The advisory group for data (AGD) is central to ensuring that the transfer of NHS Digital's statutory functions to NHS England does not weaken existing protections of data.

The Secretary of State has issued statutory guidance about the exercise by NHS England of the transferred data functions. This statutory guidance requires NHS England to seek advice from a data advisory group, namely the AGD, on specific data access requests, and to support the development and maintenance of precedents, standards and guidance on data access. Terms of reference for the AGD are under consideration by NHS England following a consultation process. The terms of reference will be published once agreed by NHS England’s board or an appropriate sub-committee of the board. NHS England will also be transparent about the group’s operating processes. In line with this statutory guidance, NHS England will report annually on how it has discharged the transferred data functions.

We do not intend to set any criteria to be used by NHS England beyond what has already been set out in the statutory guidance, which will be kept under review.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of freedom of information requests by the Spinal Injuries Association that show large regional variation in the provision of services for patients with spinal injuries with regard to neurogenic bowel care interventions, including digital rectal stimulation and the digital removal of faeces; and what action they plan to take in response to those findings.

We have made no assessment. Neurogenic bowel care interventions, including digital rectal examination, digital rectal stimulation and the digital removal of faeces are all locally commissioned services.

NHS England’s Excellence in continence care guidance, published in 2018, gives practical guidance for commissioners, providers, health and social care staff to help ensure people receive excellent continence care consideration. It addresses how providers can overcome implementation challenges of services such as digital rectal examination, digital rectal stimulation and the digital removal of faeces services. A copy of the guidance is attached.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the absence of special provisions in the NHS to provide routine diagnostic tests such as mammograms and cervical smears to women who are paralysed following a spinal cord injury and are wheelchair bound complies with the Equality Act 2010.

Under the Equality Act 2010 and the Health and Social Care Act 2012, National Health Service screening providers have a legal duty to make sure screening services are accessible to everyone, including people with one or more protected characteristics.

NHS England is committed to improving the accessibility of the screening programmes it commissions under the Public Health Services (S7a) agreement, particularly for under-served groups in society such as those with disabilities. Contractually, providers of NHS screening services are required to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that their services are accessible for people with disabilities.

Services make reasonable adjustments within the constraints of equipment, to ensure that disabled people are offered the opportunity to have screening, however there may be situations where this is not possible. Providers will deal with these on a case-by-case basis and offer an alternative approach as necessary.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what action they are taking to ensure that routine diagnostic tests, such as mammograms and cervical smears, are made available on the NHS to women who are paralysed following spinal cord injury and are wheelchair bound.

Under the Equality Act 2010 and the Health and Social Care Act 2012, National Health Service screening providers have a legal duty to make sure screening services are accessible to everyone, including people with one or more protected characteristics.

NHS England is committed to improving the accessibility of the screening programmes it commissions under the Public Health Services (S7a) agreement, particularly for under-served groups in society such as those with disabilities. Contractually, providers of NHS screening services are required to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that their services are accessible for people with disabilities.

Services make reasonable adjustments within the constraints of equipment, to ensure that disabled people are offered the opportunity to have screening, however there may be situations where this is not possible. Providers will deal with these on a case-by-case basis and offer an alternative approach as necessary.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in aligning medical device regulations with those of international counterparts, and what impact this alignment is expected to have on patient safety, healthcare efficiency and innovation in the life sciences sector.

Following the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) Consultation on the future regulation of medical devices in the United Kingdom, we have committed to undertaking full reform of the current regulatory regime for medical devices in the UK. The MHRA’s Roadmap towards the future regulatory framework for medical devices sets out a route to deliver, enabling regulation via a series of new statutory instruments (SIs). Priority measures to protect patient safety will be put in place this year, with core elements of the new framework intended to be in place by 2025. A draft statutory instrument to introduce strengthened post market surveillance requirements is planned to be laid in the first part of 2024. A copy of the roadmap is attached.

Following the announcement on the Chancellor’s Life Sciences Growth package in May 2023, we continue to progress the development of a framework for international recognition, including through targeted engagement with stakeholders, building on the outline proposals for alternative routes to market which were included in our 2021 consultation. The planned regulations are also designed to deliver greater international harmonisation, with more patient-centred, proportionate requirements for medical devices which are responsive to technological advances.

Implementing the remainder of the changes outlined in the June 2022 Government response to the 2021 consultation is ongoing. In September 2023, we launched the Innovative Devices Access Pathway as pilot, building the UK offer to innovators of medical devices addressing un-met clinical needs. In the coming year, we also plan to lay further SIs, bringing clarity to industry of the requirements they will need to meet to launch products in the UK in the future. Whilst these changes were outlined in the 2022 government response, we will ramp up our targeted engagement to ensure implementation is done smoothly and in a way that protects ongoing safe supply of products to UK patients.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of delayed medical device access on achieving the priorities set in the NHS Long Term Plan, including early diagnosis and detection of cardiovascular diseases.

NHS England’s cardiovascular disease (CVD) programme team has not been made aware of any issues with access to any specific devices that are causing a delay in CVD detection or diagnosis.

The Government has committed more than £8 billion between 2022/23 and 2024/25 to help drive up and protect elective activity, including CVD. This includes rolling out up to 160 community diagnostic centres which will provide echocardiography services by March 2025. In addition, the National Health Service will seek to increase capacity through arrangements with other trusts or the independent sector and increase activity through dedicated and protected surgical hubs.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the outcomes arising from the 2020 final progress report of the Each Baby Counts programme run by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

No specific assessment has been made of the outcomes arising from the 2020 final progress report of the Each Baby Counts programme. However, we have taken the findings of the report into consideration when shaping our future ambitions.

In March 2023, NHS England published the Three year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services. The plan sets out how NHS England will make maternity and neonatal care safer, more personalised, and more equitable for women, babies, and families. A copy of the plan is attached.

The plan is underpinned by four key themes. Theme 3 focuses on developing and sustaining a culture of safety, learning, and support. Each Baby Counts frameworks are referenced as a basis to support the development of a positive safety culture.

The Government has also set a National Maternity Safety Ambition to halve the 2010 rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth by 2025, alongside a further ambition to reduce the rate of pre-term births from 8% to 6% by 2025.

To support this ambition, we have provided £5 million to the ‘avoiding Brain Injury in Childbirth’ collaboration in 2021/22 to build consensus on a new approach for improved identification, escalation and action on foetal deterioration in labour and a new protocol for complications that can arise with positioning of the baby at caesarean section.

We are currently developing a pilot programme to develop and test a delivery model for training of the trainers and for site level training.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their response to the conclusion in the 2020 final progress report of the Each Baby Counts programme run by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, based on reviewers' assessments, that 74 per cent of babies might have had a different outcome if the NHS had learnt lessons and improved outcomes.

The Department has introduced several initiatives which seeks to ensure that parents are engaged in reviews following adverse outcomes, and that lessons are learnt within the National Health Service.

The Perinatal Mortality Review Tool (PMRT) provides objective and standardised reviews for bereaved parents about why their baby died. It also aims to ensure local and national learning to improve care and ultimately prevent future baby deaths. All bereaved parents have the option to be involved in a high-quality review of the death of their baby via the PMRT. The fifth annual Perinatal Mortality Review Tool report highlighted that parental engagement with the PMRT has improved. 96% of parents in the United Kingdom were told that a review of their care would take place. Parents’ perspectives of the care they received was reported as having been sought from 95% of these parents. A copy of the report is attached.

The Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations (MNSI) Programme conducts single-case investigations into specific cases of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries. It is within the remit of the programme to analyse data to identify key trends and provide system wide learning to the health system. Parental engagement is a key aspect of the investigations conducted by the MNSI.

To improve maternity services in England, NHS England published the Three year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services in March 2023. The plan sets out how NHS England will make maternity and neonatal care safer, more personalised, and more equitable for women, babies, and families. A copy of the plan is attached.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their response to the conclusion in the 2020 final progress report of the Each Baby Counts programme run by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that 7 per cent of parents in 2018 were not invited to local reviews into still births, deaths of babies who died within seven days of birth, or births of babies with severe brain injury.

The Department has introduced several initiatives which seeks to ensure that parents are engaged in reviews following adverse outcomes, and that lessons are learnt within the National Health Service.

The Perinatal Mortality Review Tool (PMRT) provides objective and standardised reviews for bereaved parents about why their baby died. It also aims to ensure local and national learning to improve care and ultimately prevent future baby deaths. All bereaved parents have the option to be involved in a high-quality review of the death of their baby via the PMRT. The fifth annual Perinatal Mortality Review Tool report highlighted that parental engagement with the PMRT has improved. 96% of parents in the United Kingdom were told that a review of their care would take place. Parents’ perspectives of the care they received was reported as having been sought from 95% of these parents. A copy of the report is attached.

The Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations (MNSI) Programme conducts single-case investigations into specific cases of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries. It is within the remit of the programme to analyse data to identify key trends and provide system wide learning to the health system. Parental engagement is a key aspect of the investigations conducted by the MNSI.

To improve maternity services in England, NHS England published the Three year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services in March 2023. The plan sets out how NHS England will make maternity and neonatal care safer, more personalised, and more equitable for women, babies, and families. A copy of the plan is attached.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure those diagnosed with HIV through opt-out testing in emergency departments are effectively referred for treatment, whether their diagnosis is new or previously known.

In the first 18 months, the NHS England HIV opt-out testing programme in local areas with extremely high HIV prevalence has preliminarily identified 578 people newly diagnosed with HIV and 344 people previously diagnosed with HIV but disengaged from care.

Opt-out testing in emergency departments is finding people living with HIV who were otherwise unlikely to have been diagnosed without presentation to health services with specific complications, meaning they can access treatment earlier. This access to treatment improves their longer-term health outcomes and saves lives.

All non-negative results from HIV opt-out testing in emergency departments are reported to and managed by relevant specialist teams who will notify the individual, organise confirmatory testing and facilitate linkage to care and support. Local standard operating procedures should be informed by national standards for the care of people living with HIV.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to setting a target for reducing the infant mortality rate.

The Government has set a National Maternity Safety Ambition to halve the 2010 rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth by 2025.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have for the Health Service Safety Investigations Body to take forward the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' Each Baby Counts programme.

The Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations Programme (MNSI) now carries out the maternity work previously carried out by Health Service Safety Investigations Body Maternity Investigations Programme.

Similar to the purpose of the Each Baby Counts programme, the MNSI Programme is intended to identify key trends and provide system-wide learning. The programme carries out investigates into specific cases of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries, with its criteria originally based on the categories of “eligible babies” as described in the Each Baby Counts Report.

The Department therefore has no plans for the Health Service Safety Investigations Body to take forward the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' Each Baby Counts programme.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons for the increase in the stillbirth rate in 2021.

The Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK (MBRRACE-UK) annually publishes a detailed analysis of the rates of stillbirth, neonatal mortality and extended perinatal mortality for the United Kingdom and for each devolved nation.

MBRRACE-UK’s Perinatal Mortality Surveillance Report, published in September 2023, analyses UK perinatal deaths from births from January to December 2021. The report states that the most common causes of stillbirth were placental, congenital anomalies, cord problems, and infection. There remains a high proportion of stillbirths with an unknown cause of death, namely 33.3%. A copy of the report is attached.

The latest data shows that there has been a reduction in the stillbirth rate from 4.1 stillbirths per 1,000 total births in 2021, to 3.9 stillbirths per 1,000 total births in 2022. Overall, since 2010, there has been a 23% reduction in the stillbirth rate.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards meeting the national maternity safety ambition in England to reduce stillbirth and neonatal mortality by 50 per cent of 2010 levels by 2025.

The Government’s National Maternity Safety Ambition is to halve the 2010 rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries in babies occurring during or soon after birth by 2025. The ambition also includes reducing the rate of pre-term births from 8% to 6% by 2025.

Considerable progress has been made towards reducing the rates of stillbirths and neonatal deaths. According to the latest data, the stillbirth rate has reduced by 23%, and the neonatal mortality rate for babies born over the 24-week gestational age of viability has reduced by 30% since 2010.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Markham on 27 February 2023 (HL5458) and 14 March 2023 (HL5916), and following the completion of the Federated Data Platform and Associated Services procurement, whether they will now place in the Library of the House examples of (1) the YAML specifications, and (2) the Python code, mentioned.

NHS England will from time to time publish examples of specifications and code that are deemed useful to the wider community and industry, including where appropriate the sharing of code within the NHS GitHub. To ensure that NHS England is creating a vibrant marketplace for both end users and for industry, we aim to publish the Canonical Data Model structures and metadata in line with the Technology Code of Practice. NHS England has already published the General Practice Workforce Metrics repository in the NHS GitHub which provides example code already in use and for products which will transition to the Federated Data Platform and will review as the platform is implemented what further specifications and code should be published.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to encourage NHS bodies and local authorities in each integrated care board area to pool budgets and integrate wheelchair services.

Integrated care boards (ICBs) are responsible for the provision and commissioning of local wheelchairs services and the development of their local wheelchair service eligibility criteria based on the needs of their local population. ICBs may decide, based on local circumstances, to use a Section 75 agreement to pool wheelchair budgets with local authorities.

The Department is currently reviewing section 75 of the NHS Act 2006, which includes pooling of budgets and resources between National Health Service bodies and local authorities. Following the conclusion of the review, we will consider publishing guidance on pooled and aligned budgets in line with our commitments in the Integration White Paper in due course.

NHS England is taking steps to reduce regional variation in the quality and provision of NHS wheelchairs and to support ICBs to reduce delays in people receiving timely intervention and wheelchair equipment. For example, data for a national wheelchair dataset has been collected quarterly from clinical commissioning groups, now ICBs, since July 2015 and supports the drive for improvements in wheelchair services. This data looks at waiting times at the various stages across the pathway to enable targeted action if improvement is required.

NHS England is also developing wheelchair currencies; the currency model offers a structured way for providers, commissioners, and systems to understand the complexity of a patient population and support commissioning conversations using the currencies as an evidence base. The model also supports benchmarking across localities and on a national basis.

NHS England is also publishing a model wheelchair service specification; the specification sets out NHS England’s ambition for excellent wheelchair services and is a tool to enable ICBs to review and improve their wheelchair services. Lastly, NHS England is introducing personal wheelchair budgets and legal rights for people; this offers a clear framework to commission personalised wheelchair services which are outcomes focused and integrated.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Wheelchair Alliance report The Value of a Wheelchair, published in December 2023, whether they will undertake a review of current investment levels in wheelchair services to ensure that demand and demographic changes are taken fully into account.

Integrated care boards (ICBs) are responsible for the provision and commissioning of local wheelchair services and the development of their local wheelchair service eligibility criteria based on the needs of their local population. NHS England is responsible for funding allocations to ICBs and supports ICBs to commission effective, efficient, and personalised wheelchair services. The Government does not currently have any plans to review current investment levels in wheelchair services.

The Government has not made an assessment of the quality of locally led provision of wheelchair services, however NHS England is taking a number of steps to reduce regional variation in the quality and provision of NHS wheelchairs and to support ICBs to reduce delays in people receiving timely intervention and wheelchair equipment. These steps include, firstly, establishing a national wheelchair dataset, whereby data has been collected quarterly from clinical commissioning groups, now ICBs, since July 2015 and supports the drive for improvements in wheelchair services. This data looks at waiting times at the various stages across the pathway to enable targeted action if improvement is required.

The second step revolves around developing wheelchair currencies, whereby the currency model offers a structured way for providers, commissioners and systems to understand the complexity of a patient population and support commissioning conversations using the currencies as an evidence base. The model also supports benchmarking across localities and on a national basis.

Additionally, NHS England is publishing a model wheelchair service specification. This specification sets out NHS England’s ambition for excellent wheelchair services and is a tool to enable ICBs to review and improve their wheelchair services. Finally, NHS England is introducing personal wheelchair budgets and legal rights for people, which offers a clear framework to commission personalised wheelchair services which are outcomes focused and integrated.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the quality of locally led provision of NHS wheelchair services throughout the country.

Integrated care boards (ICBs) are responsible for the provision and commissioning of local wheelchair services and the development of their local wheelchair service eligibility criteria based on the needs of their local population. NHS England is responsible for funding allocations to ICBs and supports ICBs to commission effective, efficient, and personalised wheelchair services. The Government does not currently have any plans to review current investment levels in wheelchair services.

The Government has not made an assessment of the quality of locally led provision of wheelchair services, however NHS England is taking a number of steps to reduce regional variation in the quality and provision of NHS wheelchairs and to support ICBs to reduce delays in people receiving timely intervention and wheelchair equipment. These steps include, firstly, establishing a national wheelchair dataset, whereby data has been collected quarterly from clinical commissioning groups, now ICBs, since July 2015 and supports the drive for improvements in wheelchair services. This data looks at waiting times at the various stages across the pathway to enable targeted action if improvement is required.

The second step revolves around developing wheelchair currencies, whereby the currency model offers a structured way for providers, commissioners and systems to understand the complexity of a patient population and support commissioning conversations using the currencies as an evidence base. The model also supports benchmarking across localities and on a national basis.

Additionally, NHS England is publishing a model wheelchair service specification. This specification sets out NHS England’s ambition for excellent wheelchair services and is a tool to enable ICBs to review and improve their wheelchair services. Finally, NHS England is introducing personal wheelchair budgets and legal rights for people, which offers a clear framework to commission personalised wheelchair services which are outcomes focused and integrated.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) to ensure provision of mental health services for people living with HIV, and (2) to ensure there are effective referral pathways between HIV clinics and NHS Talking Therapies.

NHS England has now approved plans to fully delegate the commissioning of appropriate specialised services to integrated care boards (ICBs), including specialised HIV services, in the East of England, Midlands and the North West regions of England from April 2024.

NHS England will also continue to jointly commission appropriate specialised services with ICBs, including specialised HIV services, in the South West, South East, London and the North East and Yorkshire regions of England for a further year. This will help support a smooth transition of commissioning responsibility by April 2025.

The national service specification sets out the requirement for agreeing pathways which define responsibility for meeting non-HIV needs of patients and identify shared care, including clinical psychology and psychological support services.

From 2018/19, all NHS Talking Therapies services have been commissioned to establish pathways for people living with long-term physical health conditions as a key mechanism to ensure the delivery of increased access to psychological therapies. The NHS Talking Therapies Programme has developed an e-learning module for Talking Therapies staff on HIV. This will enable therapists to support people with anxiety and depression related to the experience of living with HIV.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to re-engage people back into HIV care who have been lost to follow up.

As part of the HIV Action Plan, we are committed to ensure rapid and adequate access to HIV diagnosis and treatment, and support for those living with HIV.

Less than 4,500 people were estimated to be living with undiagnosed HIV in England in 2022 and we once again achieved the UNAIDS 95-95-95 target with 95% of people living with HIV being diagnosed, 98% of those diagnosed being on treatment and 98% of those on treatment having an undetectable viral load.

The most recent monitoring and evaluation report of the HIV Action Plan, published by the UK Health Security Agency in an online-only format, shows that in 2022, 76% of adults first diagnosed with HIV in England were linked to HIV care within two weeks, 87% within one month and 93% within three months. This is an improvement compared to 2019.

A subgroup of the HIV Action Plan implementation Steering Group (ISG) is providing advice on increasing the number of people retained and re-engaged in care and receiving effective medical care, which will be considered by the ISG.

In its first 18 months, the NHS England HIV opt-out testing programme in emergency departments has identified 344 people previously diagnosed with HIV but disengaged from care, and the programme is hence providing opportunities to re-engage those individuals in care.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to expand provision of HIV peer support in all areas of England.

The HIV Action Plan is the cornerstone of our approach in England to drive forward progress and achieve our goal to end new HIV transmissions, AIDS- and HIV-related deaths within England by 2030. It includes a key objective to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV, including through peer support.

The Department is working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to share emerging evidence on the effectiveness of voluntary sector-led peer support networks for local commissioners to develop similar models. The forthcoming UKHSA publication of the results of the Positive Voices survey will include data on the experiences of people living with HIV and inform our work to improve the provision of HIV services, including peer support.

A subgroup of the HIV Action Plan implementation Steering Group, providing advice on increasing the number of people retained and re-engaged in care and receiving effective medical care, is also considering the role of peer support services in achieving these outcomes.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to foster a learning culture and service improvement mindset across all career pathways in the NHS, in particular through education and training for existing staff.

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

To supplement local employer investment for CPD, the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, published on 30 June 2023, sets out NHS England’s commitment to continue national CPD funding for nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals. The operation of this scheme will be kept under review, to ensure subsequent funding is in line with workforce growth and inflation, well targeted and achieving the desired outcomes.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many new GP surgery buildings were opened in England in each calendar year since 2008.

NHS England has recently undertaken a primary care data gathering programme, which has established a consistent baseline of data for every National Health Service-reimbursed general practice (GP) across England, with outputs visually displayed and accessible to sustainability and transformation partnerships, integrated care systems, clinical commissioning groups and primary care networks via the Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation Place Atlas, which is available in an online-only format. As of December 2023, this reported a total of 8,522 GP premises.

The requested data however was not collected as part of this data gathering programme and is not held by NHS England.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many GP surgery buildings were operating (1) in England, and (2) in each primary care organisation (primary care trust, clinical commissioning group, or integrated care board), in (a) November 2010, (b) November 2015, (c) November 2020, and (d) November 2023.

NHS England has recently undertaken a primary care data gathering programme, which has established a consistent baseline of data for every National Health Service-reimbursed general practice (GP) across England, with outputs visually displayed and accessible to sustainability and transformation partnerships, integrated care systems, clinical commissioning groups and primary care networks via the Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation Place Atlas, which is available in an online-only format. As of December 2023, this reported a total of 8,522 GP premises.

The requested data however was not collected as part of this data gathering programme and is not held by NHS England.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to promote collaboration among all professions and support staff within the NHS to ensure comprehensive, patient-centred, and integrated healthcare.

On 1 July 2022, the Government established statutory integrated care systems (ICSs). ICSs are partnerships of organisations that come together to champion an integrated approach to person-centred care. This aims to bring together professionals from health and social care, alongside local and voluntary partners, to support people to retain their independence, health, and wellbeing for longer.

Furthermore, the Major Conditions Strategy will focus on where there are similarities in approach between major condition groups and ensure care is better centered around the patient. It will outline how our workforce model needs to adapt, reflecting that the National Health Service is caring for patients with increasingly complex needs and with multiple long-term conditions.

In October 2023, the Government published the Shared outcomes toolkit for integrated care systems in an online-only format to support the development of shared outcomes as a powerful means of bringing professionals together to promote integrated care. The Government expects that from March 2024, all places within ICSs can evidence their work towards developing shared outcomes.

Finally, NHS England e-learning for healthcare is working in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies to support patient care by providing e-learning to educate and train the health and social care workforce. This includes e-learning on how to work as a multidisciplinary team.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they intend to ensure the appointment of professionally credible chief professions officers and heads of profession for non-clinical roles within the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England.

The Department and NHS England ensure that roles are advertised with clear information on the key skills, experience, behaviours and professional requirements and how these will be assessed. Diverse selection panels comprising suitably qualified and senior individuals are tasked with undertaking shortlisting and relevant interviews and assessments before rigorous pre-employment checks are undertaken for the successful candidate(s). These cover, at a minimum, checks on identity, right to work in the United Kingdom, professional registration and qualification checks and employment history. These practices ensure we recruit senior colleagues with the required professional credibility and that we appoint the right person for the job.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they intend to integrate advanced technologies and data analytics into the NHS to improve patient care and operational efficiency.

In February 2023, the Government published its first strategy for Medical Technology, outlining the priority to ensure patients have fast and safe access to the most innovative technology that deliver the best outcomes. We are implementing solutions to streamline the innovation adoption pathway: from providing clear signals to industry on the innovation we need, to reforming regulation, comparative assessment, and improved procurement. A Copy of the strategy is attached.

This will complement the investment in upgrading the analytical capability of the National Health Service, through the provision of the Federated Data Platform, which will allow trusts and integrated care boards to access software which allow them to draw together diverse operational data sets, to improve outcomes for patients. The federation aspect means that every trust and integrated care board will have access to their own version of the data platform, over which they will have complete control.

In addition, a single combined programme called ‘Data Capabilities’ is underway bringing together the several strategic strands of transformation. The programme is designed to achieve a strong data and technological architecture to enable the development of high quality and efficient data flows. Significantly it will also ensure that confidential patient data can be collected, processed, deployed, and disseminated securely. This will improve the quality, availability, and interoperability of data to support multiple use cases in health and social care.

The combined aims of the Data Capabilities programme are to improve the timeliness and quality of data collection, changing the way we collect data to reduce burden on the frontline; ensure the highest standards are applied to the safe handling of patient data; harmonise the data and technical architectures of the main data platforms used in NHS England so that data is being collected, curated and made available in the most secure and efficient way; expand the range, quality, and utility of data, including linked data assets; provide appropriate and timely access for users including providers, commissioners, policy makers, researchers, and patients to support the four use cases of data, namely Direct Care, population health and proactive care, planning oversight and service improvement, and research and innovation.

The role data professionals play in the health sector is vital and we fully recognise the need to ensure that this important part of the workforce receives the support it needs. The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (LTWP) set out our ambition to ensure that the wider workforce has the skills it needs to deliver care in future.

NHS England also intends to publish a workforce plan that will encompass the information, digital, data and technology professions. This plan will supplement the actions in the LTWP and ensure that, collectively, we are taking the actions that will put the whole NHS workforce on a sustainable footing for the long term.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to publish the NHS outcome data for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the Roma community.

Integrated care boards are responsible for meeting the health needs of their local populations, accounting for differences in populations’ demographic characteristics and health needs. Nationally, our approach will continue to focus on supporting people to live healthier lives, helping the National Health Service and social care to provide the best treatment and care for patients and tackling health disparities through interventions such as the NHS England Core20PLUS5 programme.

We have no plans to publish NHS outcome data for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the Roma community.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have undertaken a review into the impact on different ethnic groups of differing levels of medical care, following the 2015 publication of ‘Patients with ulcerative colitis from diverse populations: The Leicester experience’ by Farrukh and Mayberry in Medical-Legal Journal, which found that some ethnic groups have less access to certain treatments, fewer reviews by consultants, more frequent discharges from hospital care and poorer access to surveillance colonoscopy to detect early cancer development.

Integrated care boards are responsible for meeting the health needs of their local populations, accounting for differences in populations’ demographic characteristics and health needs. Nationally, our approach will continue to focus on supporting people to live healthier lives, helping the National Health Service and social care to provide the best treatment and care for patients and tackling health disparities through interventions such as the NHS England Core20PLUS5 programme.

We have no plans to publish NHS outcome data for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the Roma community.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure the recruitment and training of essential non-clinical professionals including (1) digital product developers, (2) data scientists, (3) systems architects, and (4) project and change managers, to support the transformation of health and care services.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (LTWP) sets out the steps the National Health Service and its partners need to take to deliver an NHS workforce that meets the changing needs of the population over the next 15 years. It will put the workforce on a sustainable footing for the long term. We have committed to refreshing the modelling that underpins the plan every two years or in line with fiscal events to ensure that assessments of staff remain accurate against wider operational, financial, and educational planning needs.

At a local level, NHS organisations are best placed to determine their own recruitment needs, informed by their workforce, service and financial planning and ensuring there is sufficient skilled workforce around project and change management, digital product developers, data scientists and systems architects.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to produce a strategy to recruit, retrain and develop a skilled project and change professional workforce, to ensure the successful delivery and sustainable long-term benefits of its healthcare policies and reforms.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (LTWP) sets out the steps the National Health Service and its partners need to take to deliver an NHS workforce that meets the changing needs of the population over the next 15 years. It will put the workforce on a sustainable footing for the long term. We have committed to refreshing the modelling that underpins the plan every two years or in line with fiscal events to ensure that assessments of staff remain accurate against wider operational, financial, and educational planning needs.

At a local level, NHS organisations are best placed to determine their own recruitment needs, informed by their workforce, service and financial planning and ensuring there is sufficient skilled workforce around project and change management, digital product developers, data scientists and systems architects.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the compliance by NHS commissioning bodies with the NICE technology appraisal in respect of biologic therapies for patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

We have made no such assessment. Commissioners have a statutory responsibility to make funding available for a drug or treatment recommended by the National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE) Technology Appraisals Programme within 90 days of publication of guidance, unless specified in the guidance.

Compliance with this statutory responsibility is achieved when a patient, after discussion with their clinician can choose a NICE recommended treatment without any local funding or formulary restrictions.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to hold discussions with Care Quality Commission, NHS England and integrated care boards to reduce differences and discrimination in the delivery of (1) colorectal screening in healthy people, and (2) care and surveillance of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

There are currently no plans for specific discussion on this matter. However, the subject may be raised at programme boards and other regular conversations between officials at NHS England and the Department.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken since the 2019 publication of 'Asymptomatic Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Colorectal Cancer Screening Programs' by Farrukh and Mayberry in Gastrointestinal Disorders in respect of its findings of differences and discrimination in the delivery of (1) colorectal screening in healthy people, and (2) care and surveillance of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

If someone is detected during bowel screening to have blood in their faeces, then found to have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) through follow up tests they are referred to the symptomatic service for onward management and surveillance. They are then offered screening every two years along with ongoing monitoring and surveillance, the timeframes of which are detailed below.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)’s guideline on colorectal cancer prevention was published in March 2011 and updated in September 2022. It recommends using colonoscopy to check for signs of bowel cancer in people aged 18 years old and over with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The guidance recommends that follow-up and ongoing colonoscopic surveillance should be arranged at regular intervals for people with IBD and tubular adenoma as follows:

- Low risk: offer colonoscopy at five years;

- Intermediate risk: offer colonoscopy at three years; or

- High risk: offer colonoscopy at one year.

A copy of the guidance is attached.

We expect integrated care boards (ICBs) to have due regard to relevant NICE guidelines when commissioning services. It is the responsibility of ICBs to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local population, in line with these NICE guidelines.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the managerial capacity of the NHS, particularly at chartered professional level, to lead the systems changes required to deliver their stated priorities.

We recognise that strong and effective leadership and management is critically important in the NHS and has a significant impact on the effectiveness of the NHS and workplace culture. The Government commissioned General Sir Gordon Messenger to review leadership capacity and capability across the system. His report, Leadership for a Collaborative and Inclusive Future, published in June 2022 in an online-only format, focusses on the best ways to strengthen leadership and management across health and with its key interfaces with adult social care in England. The review identified seven recommendations to foster and replicate the best examples of leadership through improved training, career development and talent management, and through embedding inclusive cultures and behaviours within health and care. These are being taken forward by NHS England, working in partnership with Skills for Care.

The NHS Leadership Academy provides opportunities for managers to develop themselves and to aid them in supporting the development of their staff through masterclasses, seminars, networking opportunities and more formal development programmes.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether a practising consultant obstetrician is always present at maternity inspections undertaken by the Care Quality Commission.

It is the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) usual practice to ensure that each inspection combines the expertise of its inspection staff alongside the insights of a specialist advisor. There are occasions when it has not been possible to recruit an obstetric specialist advisor; in such circumstances, CQC seeks to supplement the team with additional midwifery Specialist Advisors, alongside seeking remote or virtual support from either a consultant Specialist Advisor and/or its National Professional Advisor for maternity, who is a practicing consultant obstetrician.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the potential of (1) a new national clinical director, and (2) new targets, to improve gastroenterology services.

National Clinical Director (NCD) posts within NHS England are aligned with its major clinical programmes of work, which in turn are aligned with the NHS Long Term Plan. NHS England keeps consideration of which areas would benefit from an NCD under review, and new NCDs are appointed as necessary.

The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme has invested in clinical leadership in gastroenterology, which is one of its priority workstreams. The programme will be establishing a liver disease programme in 2024/25, including recruiting to a clinical lead role.

A NCD provides clinical advice and leadership on the NHS England Internal Medicine Specialised Services portfolio, which includes specialised gastroenterology and liver disease. Additionally, a National Speciality Advisor provides clinical advice more specifically to the hepatobiliary and pancreas programme.

NHS England already has work in place to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and care of those with gastroenterological conditions. Through its GIRFT programme, NHS England is aiming to reduce unwarranted variation in treatments and services though in-depth review of services, benchmarking and presenting a data-driven evidence base to support change.

The GIRFT specialty report on gastroenterology, published in September 2021, sets out actions and recommendations for the National Health Service to improve patient care and ensure consistency of care across the country. The Department and NHS England expect National Health Service trusts and clinical teams to consider how best they can implement these recommendations to ensure consistent and high-quality care for gastroenterological conditions.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent steps they have taken to ensure that there is parity between care provided by gastroenterology services and other disease areas on (1) diagnosis, (2) treatment, and (3) outcomes.

Integrated care boards are responsible for commissioning health services in England, based on the clinical needs of their local populations.

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) is a national programme designed to improve the treatment and care of patients. The programme undertakes clinically-led reviews of medical and surgical specialties, combining wide-ranging data analysis and benchmarking, to improve patient care and ensure consistency of care across the country.

The GIRFT specialty report on gastroenterology, published in September 2021, sets out actions and recommendations for the National Health Service to improve patient care and ensure consistency of care across the country. The Department and NHS England expect NHS trusts and clinical teams to consider how best they can implement these recommendations to ensure consistent and high-quality care for gastroenterological conditions.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they measure the adequacy and efficacy of data collection on waiting times for gastroenterology services.

Referral to Treatment waiting times data is a National Statistic with gastroenterology recorded as a specific category in the data. The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

- meet identified user needs;

- are well explained and readily accessible;

- are produced according to sound methods; and

- are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the possibility and potential of implementing routine assessments into the prevalence and geographic and socioeconomic disparities of people with (1) Crohn’s disease, and (2) ulcerative colitis to inform healthcare investment and planning decisions.

Information is already collected on a range of bowel conditions, including Hospital Episode Statistics, through the Model Health System, and data from the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. These support clinicians and commissioners plan and prioritise care for people with bowel conditions, considering health disparities and patient needs.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to establish a Royal Commission into the future of maternity services.

There are no current plans to commission a public inquiry into the future of maternity services. Recent independent reviews of maternity services in Shrewsbury and Telford and East Kent have highlighted the need for change and the action required. To bring together the recommendations from these reviews, NHS England has published a Three year delivery Plan for maternity and neonatal services, which sets out how the National Health Service will make maternity and neonatal care safer, more personalised, and more equitable for women, babies, and families. A copy of the plan is attached.

All our efforts are currently focused on implementing the recommendations and actions from recent maternity reviews without delay, many of which were aimed at improving all maternity services across England.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to maximise supply of plasma-derived products, including immunoglobulins and albumin, for medicines that have the potential to improve outcomes for patients.

In February 2021, the Government lifted a ban on using plasma from donors in the United Kingdom for immunoglobulin medicines, following a review by the independent experts of the Commission on Human Medicines.

Now the ban has been lifted, plasma from UK donors can again be used to manufacture these life-saving immunoglobulin medicines for National Health Service patients, reducing the reliance on imports.

The Department, NHS Blood and Transplant, NHS England and the devolved administrations are working together to create a long-term domestic supply of plasma. Three plasma donor centres in Reading, Twickenham and Birmingham are now collecting plasma. A fractionator has been appointed to manufacture this plasma into medicines and we expect shipments to start to the fractionator in summer 2024 with the medicines being made available exclusively to NHS patients from early 2025. This will allow the UK to achieve 25% self-sufficiency with the ambition of further increasing to above 30% in subsequent years.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of subjecting all blood and plasma-derived products to a lower payment percentage in the Statutory Scheme Consultation, below the 10 per cent that applies to older products.

The statutory scheme consultation proposed that all older blood and plasma derived products should be subject to the lower 10% payment percentage. This is because we considered it would be appropriate to treat blood and plasma derived products differently as they are a strategically important category that has consistently been subject to global supply constraint over an extended period of time. We are considering the consultation responses and will publish our response in due course.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit on appropriately recognising the strategic importance of plasma-derived medicinal products.

The Department is routinely liaising with NHS England on this strategically important work. NHS England holds the budget for the provision of plasma-derived medicines and manage the supply framework. The introduction of medicines sourced in the United Kingdom is already part of the overall strategic direction and is aligned with the Commercial Medicines Unit.

NHS England has taken lead responsibility for the procurement of a fractionator to manufacture UK plasma into medicines. There are now contracts in place with the manufacturer and supplier that will provide England with 25% self-sufficiency in plasma-derived medicines, rising to 30% in the following years.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to ask NHS England and the Health Quality Improvement Partnership to conduct a clinical audit of urology services.

We currently have no such plans. NHS England’s Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) Programme has fulfilled an important function in terms of providing oversight of the quality and safety of urology services in England. The GIRFT programme delivered an in-depth review of every English provider and urology network in England and provided individual recommendations and recommendations at a network level.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 27 November (HL409–HL412), what guidance and support they are giving to integrated care boards to ensure they have procurement policies in place to ensure that procurement processes are followed properly without “considerable organisational bias”.

Each commissioning organisation involved in the procurement process produced their own lessons learnt report. Decisions around the publication of ‘lessons learned reports’ are for individual integrated care boards (ICBs).

With reference to guidance and support to ICBs on procurement, NHS England published the Strategic framework for the NHS Commercial Sector on 28 November 2023, a copy of which is attached.

The framework aims to encourage regional collaboration between integrated care systems (ICSs) by creating regional collaborative commercial organisations. These will operate as group procurement organisations in providing the necessary system leadership, capability and capacity to deliver strategic commercial outcomes and supply chain efficiencies, and be designed against a national blueprint to ensure consistency.

Every National Health Service provider will be expected to be a member of a collaborative organisation; and a senior, experienced, qualified commercial leader will be appointed to run and promote each organisation at an executive-level, with ownership for commercial strategy and all non-pay spend.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 27 November (HL409–HL412), whether the NHS Gloucestershire integrated care boards' lessons learnt report has been shared widely with NHS organisations to ensure that procurement processes are followed properly by integrated care boards and without “considerable organisational bias”.

Each commissioning organisation involved in the procurement process produced their own lessons learnt report. Decisions around the publication of ‘lessons learned reports’ are for individual integrated care boards (ICBs).

With reference to guidance and support to ICBs on procurement, NHS England published the Strategic framework for the NHS Commercial Sector on 28 November 2023, a copy of which is attached.

The framework aims to encourage regional collaboration between integrated care systems (ICSs) by creating regional collaborative commercial organisations. These will operate as group procurement organisations in providing the necessary system leadership, capability and capacity to deliver strategic commercial outcomes and supply chain efficiencies, and be designed against a national blueprint to ensure consistency.

Every National Health Service provider will be expected to be a member of a collaborative organisation; and a senior, experienced, qualified commercial leader will be appointed to run and promote each organisation at an executive-level, with ownership for commercial strategy and all non-pay spend.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 27 November (HL409–HL412), why the NHS Gloucestershire integrated care boards' lessons learnt report has not been published, and what assessment they have made of the public interest in publishing it following the High Court’s decision in Consultant Connect Limited v NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board [2022] EWHC 2037 (TCC), to ensure that procurement processes are followed properly by integrated care boards and without “considerable organisational bias”.

Each commissioning organisation involved in the procurement process produced their own lessons learnt report. Decisions around the publication of ‘lessons learned reports’ are for individual integrated care boards (ICBs).

With reference to guidance and support to ICBs on procurement, NHS England published the Strategic framework for the NHS Commercial Sector on 28 November 2023, a copy of which is attached.

The framework aims to encourage regional collaboration between integrated care systems (ICSs) by creating regional collaborative commercial organisations. These will operate as group procurement organisations in providing the necessary system leadership, capability and capacity to deliver strategic commercial outcomes and supply chain efficiencies, and be designed against a national blueprint to ensure consistency.

Every National Health Service provider will be expected to be a member of a collaborative organisation; and a senior, experienced, qualified commercial leader will be appointed to run and promote each organisation at an executive-level, with ownership for commercial strategy and all non-pay spend.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implementation of NHS England guidance on Excellence in Continence Care published in June 2018.

No assessment has been made of the implementation of NHS England guidance on Excellence in Continence Care published in June 2018. The Department does not intend to encourage NHS England to appoint a specific National Clinical Director for urological conditions and continence services. The decision to create such a role would be a matter for NHS England.

NHS England National Clinical Directors and National Specialty Advisers are practicing clinicians from across England, providing clinical leadership, advice, input and support across distinct areas of conditions in the National Health Service including those for urological conditions and continence services. NHS England also funds Getting It Right First Time, a national programme designed to improve the treatment and care of patients through in-depth review of services, benchmarking, and presenting a data-driven evidence base to support change.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to encourage NHS England to appoint a national Clinical Director for urological conditions and continence services.

No assessment has been made of the implementation of NHS England guidance on Excellence in Continence Care published in June 2018. The Department does not intend to encourage NHS England to appoint a specific National Clinical Director for urological conditions and continence services. The decision to create such a role would be a matter for NHS England.

NHS England National Clinical Directors and National Specialty Advisers are practicing clinicians from across England, providing clinical leadership, advice, input and support across distinct areas of conditions in the National Health Service including those for urological conditions and continence services. NHS England also funds Getting It Right First Time, a national programme designed to improve the treatment and care of patients through in-depth review of services, benchmarking, and presenting a data-driven evidence base to support change.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their response to the report prepared by Future Health for Astellas Pharma Who’s Counting: The case for urgent action to improve NHS continence care, published in September.

The Department has noted the publication of the report. In 2019, NHS England commissioned and led on the National Bladder and Bowel Health Project. The NHS England led project has been delayed due to COVID-19, with as yet no firm date set for publishing its draft report.

NHS England will consider next steps on Excellence in Continence Care through the project, which aims to improve continence care across the whole public health and care system.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government for what reason the accessible version of the easy read PDF about NHS England’s Federated Data Platform says "No" in answer to the question "Can patients opt out of their data being shared in the FDP?", after the main "Frequently Asked Questions" page was changed to say that opt-outs will be respected.

The Frequently Asked Questions have been developed and refined based on feedback from stakeholders and the public. The National Data Opt-Out applies when confidential patient information is used for planning and research, not when it is used for direct care. Although the Federated Data Platform (FDP) will not use such information for planning or research, the answer was revised to make clear that, as with any system handling patient data, the National Data Opt-Out would be respected for any relevant uses of data.

We are committed to providing public information that is meaningful and accessible for a range of audiences. The easy read accessible version has been co-produced with representatives of the audience for whom it is designed. We will continue to keep this under review to make sure it is aligned with the other information available on the FDP.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the answer to the "Frequently Asked Question" on the NHS England website about NHS England’s Federated Data Platform "Can patients opt out of sharing their data with the Federated Data Platform?" was changed at some point after 20 November, from starting with "No" to saying that the national data opt-out "will always be respected".

The Frequently Asked Questions have been developed and refined based on feedback from stakeholders and the public. The National Data Opt-Out applies when confidential patient information is used for planning and research, not when it is used for direct care. Although the Federated Data Platform (FDP) will not use such information for planning or research, the answer was revised to make clear that, as with any system handling patient data, the National Data Opt-Out would be respected for any relevant uses of data.

We are committed to providing public information that is meaningful and accessible for a range of audiences. The easy read accessible version has been co-produced with representatives of the audience for whom it is designed. We will continue to keep this under review to make sure it is aligned with the other information available on the FDP.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to require the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to publish the report of its investigation into the medicine manufacturing unit of Sciensus.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does not routinely publish a specific report but information which is held in inspection reports and internal review documents is subject to release in accordance with the 2001 Freedom of Information Act. While the company is subject to ongoing regulatory action, and any decision by the police regarding possible enforcement action remains pending, MHRA regards this information to be subject to certain exemptions within the Act which preclude its release. Once this action is complete, MHRA will consider any requests on their merit and in line with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment it has made of the governance arrangements at the Royal Marsden Foundation Trust following reported concerns by external auditors about a £9 million donation it made to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Following this payment by Royal Marsden being brought to our attention by the auditors, the Government did not provide retrospective special payment approval for the grant.

The Department and NHS England are taking steps to recommunicate expectations to trusts that they are required to seek approval ahead of time, with the circumstances of each case being considered on a case-by-case basis.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the partial suspension of Sciensus's manufacturing licence.

The partial suspension will remain in place until the company instigates measures to ensure the manufacturing error cannot not re-occur and we continue to monitor the company’s progress. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has not been informed that the regulatory action has had any deleterious impact on patients receiving their medicines.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to indicate to NHS England that urological conditions and continence services should be afforded a higher priority in the future planning of services.

The Department has not indicated to NHS England that that urological conditions and continence services should be afforded a higher priority in the future planning of services


Integrated care boards are responsible for the commissioning of health services in their local health economy. NHS England's Excellence in Continence Care guidance, published in July 2018), promotes equal access to services and treatment for all.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on patient safety of the reported failures of the Sciensus medicine manufacturing unit.

Following a report of manufacturing error for a medicine called Cabazitaxel, inspectors from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) visited the manufacturing facility to determine the cause of the error and assess the number of patients who were impacted. Inspectors identified that four patients had received the products, and the products had been administered several weeks previously. MHRA’s review of the incident confirmed the company had already instigated measures to contact the clinicians who were responsible for the patients’ care.

MHRA has taken regulatory action by means of an immediate partial suspension of the licence to manufacture held by Sciensus. This action was taken in accordance with Regulation 28 of the 2012 Human Medicines regulations and ensures that the error is prevented from being replicated whilst further long-term corrective actions are taken by Sciensus assure ongoing patient safety.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent commissioners from manipulating procurement processes in the NHS, following the High Court’s decision in Consultant Connect Limited v NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board [2022] EWHC 2037 (TCC).

Integrated care boards (ICBs) in England should have procurement policies in place that provide assurances to their respective Boards that procurement processes are conducted in a fair and open process which is compliant with relevant legislation such as:

- National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No 2) Regulations 2013;

- Public Contracts Regulations 2015;

- Health and Social Care Act 2012;

- Equality Act 2010; and

- Managing Public Money 2023.

All three ICBs have undertaken “lessons learnt” reviews following the judgement of the Court.

NHS Gloucestershire ICB’s Lessons Learnt report was approved by its Audit Committee on 8 September 2022. All recommendations from this report have been implemented by the ICB’s Board. The report has not been published externally but is used by NHS Gloucestershire ICB to train and educate its staff.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take, following the High Court’s decision in Consultant Connect Limited v NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board [2022] EWHC 2037 (TCC), to ensure that procurement processes are followed properly by integrated care boards and without “considerable organisational bias”.

Integrated care boards (ICBs) in England should have procurement policies in place that provide assurances to their respective Boards that procurement processes are conducted in a fair and open process which is compliant with relevant legislation such as:

- National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No 2) Regulations 2013;

- Public Contracts Regulations 2015;

- Health and Social Care Act 2012;

- Equality Act 2010; and

- Managing Public Money 2023.

All three ICBs have undertaken “lessons learnt” reviews following the judgement of the Court.

NHS Gloucestershire ICB’s Lessons Learnt report was approved by its Audit Committee on 8 September 2022. All recommendations from this report have been implemented by the ICB’s Board. The report has not been published externally but is used by NHS Gloucestershire ICB to train and educate its staff.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when Gloucestershire integrated care board’s review of “detailed lessons learnt” from its procurement process will be published.

Integrated care boards (ICBs) in England should have procurement policies in place that provide assurances to their respective Boards that procurement processes are conducted in a fair and open process which is compliant with relevant legislation such as:

- National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No 2) Regulations 2013;

- Public Contracts Regulations 2015;

- Health and Social Care Act 2012;

- Equality Act 2010; and

- Managing Public Money 2023.

All three ICBs have undertaken “lessons learnt” reviews following the judgement of the Court.

NHS Gloucestershire ICB’s Lessons Learnt report was approved by its Audit Committee on 8 September 2022. All recommendations from this report have been implemented by the ICB’s Board. The report has not been published externally but is used by NHS Gloucestershire ICB to train and educate its staff.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, in relation to the High Court decision in Consultant Connect Limited v NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board [2022] EWHC 2037 (TCC), whether those integrated care boards conducted a “lessons learnt” review relating to matters raised in that case.

Integrated care boards (ICBs) in England should have procurement policies in place that provide assurances to their respective Boards that procurement processes are conducted in a fair and open process which is compliant with relevant legislation such as:

- National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No 2) Regulations 2013;

- Public Contracts Regulations 2015;

- Health and Social Care Act 2012;

- Equality Act 2010; and

- Managing Public Money 2023.

All three ICBs have undertaken “lessons learnt” reviews following the judgement of the Court.

NHS Gloucestershire ICB’s Lessons Learnt report was approved by its Audit Committee on 8 September 2022. All recommendations from this report have been implemented by the ICB’s Board. The report has not been published externally but is used by NHS Gloucestershire ICB to train and educate its staff.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether a senior official in NHS England has been asked to take responsibility for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

NHS England is currently scoping a national programme of work on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a senior official will be asked to lead the work on NHS England’s behalf.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with reference to the APPG on Brain Tumours report Pathway to a Cure, published in February, what consideration they have given to developing or extending National Institute for Health and Care Research fellowships specifically to support brain tumour researchers.

The Department is taking actions to help develop or extend fellowships to support brain tumour researchers. For example, in July 2023, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) jointly funded with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM), the first two TJBCM Neuro-Oncology Fellowships, a new Fellowship Programme to support high quality training in neuro-oncology clinical practice and research to ensure clinicians are equipped with the relevant research skills needed to lead neuro-oncology trials that change practice.

Other capacity-building initiatives underway include, the designation of 28 TJBCM adult Centres of Excellence within the National Health Service, creating a world-class network of brain tumour treatment and research centres to provide the best care and share best practice; the Tessa Jowell Academy Programme, a free national learning and networking digital platform for National Health Service brain tumour professionals to share excellence in research, treatment and care, and the TJBCM Brain Tumour Research Novel Therapeutics Accelerator programme, to review and provide guidance on the translation and development of novel treatments, guided by a multidisciplinary international group of experts.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 9 February (HL5209), why the Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board continues to re-review liothyronine patients already assessed in the NHS despite national guidance that “patients who have already had a review by an NHS consultant endocrinologist should continue to be prescribed liothyronine under existing arrangements”.

The current Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board guidance on the prescribing of liothyronine was agreed by the former Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group in April 2023. Any patients new to Gloucestershire will have their current clinical status reviewed within the existing local clinical pathway. This process will involve an initial ‘advice and guidance’ specialist review which, based on individual patient circumstances, will inform a decision on whether a more detailed specialist clinical review is indicated or not.

The intention is that ongoing treatment of a patient’s condition will normally continue whilst the clinical review process is completed. The outcome of this process is that local specialists, general practitioners, and patients can have a high level of confidence in the quality and standards of care provided to patients indicated for liothyronine on the National Health Service in Gloucestershire.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to place in the Library of the House a copy of all current data agreements between NHS England and UK Biobank.

NHS England publishes details of data sharing agreements through a data uses register available on the NHS England website in an online-only format. Current and previous agreements with UK Biobank can be viewed by searching for them as a data controller.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve the integration of accredited counsellors and psychotherapists into the existing mental health workforce to bolster recruitment and retention.

Accredited counsellors and psychotherapists constitute a significant proportion of the NHS Talking Therapies workforce. A collaborative campaign to encourage accredited counsellors and psychotherapists to apply to work in NHS Talking Therapies services has been developed by NHS England with several of the counselling and psychotherapy professional bodies. These professionals are a vital part of our mental health workforce and are fully integrated within it, delivering psychological therapies for depression recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with reference to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours Inquiry Report Pathway to A Cure, published in February 2023, what steps the Department for Health and Social Care is taking to support early-stage researchers to develop their skills in the field of brain tumour research.

The Department is working closely with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) in hosting customised workshops for researchers, and training for clinicians. These actions will grow capacity for brain cancer research, attracting new researchers, developing the community, and supporting researchers to submit high-quality research funding proposals.

The TJBCM recently announced two appointments to the inaugural Tessa Jowell Fellowship programme. These 12-month fellowships will support high quality training in neuro-oncology clinical practice and research, to ensure clinicians are equipped with the relevant research skills needed to lead neuro-oncology trials that change practice.

Additionally, the TJBCM have designated 28 adult Tessa Jowell Centres of Excellence within the National Health Service, which has created a world-class network of brain tumour treatment and research centres to provide the best care and share best practice.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions took place with NHS bodies with a view to any encouragement for them to contract with Babylon Health.

Contracting decisions are made by commissioners, who must have the flexibility to commission partnerships, individuals, and private and third sector organisations to deliver general practitioner services within the National Health Service to meet the specific needs of their populations.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to utilise the expertise of trained counsellors and psychotherapists in the 10 newly announced mental health support hubs for children and young people.

We are investing at least £2.3 billion extra funding a year in expanding and transforming mental health services in England by March 2024. This funding will help hubs to hire counsellors, youth workers and other local experts.

The drop-in centres offer mental health support and advice to local young people who will not need a referral by a doctor or school. Services provided include group work, counselling, psychological therapies, specialist advice and signposting to information and other services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase the supply of qualified and experienced counsellors and psychotherapists to meet the severity and range of mental health problems experienced by people across the country.

The NHS England Workforce, Training and Education directorate has developed a pilot programme to train graduates to become fully accredited psychotherapeutic counsellors who are qualified to work in NHS Talking Therapies services, providing therapies for depression recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This is a fully funded education pathway where trainees are salaried and their full tuition fees funded by the National Health Service. Counsellors and psychotherapists are also contributing to other pathways across the range of severity and types of mental health problems, where they have the required qualifications to deliver the relevant NICE recommended treatments.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many meetings took place in the last 10 years between Ministers and representatives of Babylon Health.

Ministerial meetings with external organisations are routinely published on GOV.UK on a quarterly basis in an online-only format. A review of this data shows that there were five meetings between Departmental ministers and representatives from Babylon Health within the period 2013-2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will commission an independent review into their (1) relationship with, and (2) outcomes, from their work with Babylon Health.

The Department of Health and Social Care does not have any current plans to commission an independent review of Babylon Health.

In 2018, NHS Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England commissioned Ipsos Mori to undertake an independent evaluation of the Babylon GP at Hand practice. The final report was published in May 2019 and is publicly available.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the amount of money that (1) they, and (2) the NHS, spent on Babylon Health.

The 2022/23 payments made by the National Health Service to general practice is published by NHS Digital. Over £11 million was paid to Babylon GP Practice, including Primary Care Network and COVID-19 payments (minus deductions) in 2022/23.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, in relation to the High Court decision in Consultant Connect Limited v NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board [2022] EWHC 2037 (TCC), whether those integrated care boards conducted a “lessons learnt” review relating to matters raised in that case.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when Gloucestershire integrated care board’s review of “detailed lessons learnt” from its procurement process will be published.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take, following the High Court’s decision in Consultant Connect Limited v NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board [2022] EWHC 2037 (TCC), to ensure that procurement processes are followed properly by integrated care boards and without “considerable organisational bias”.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent commissioners from manipulating procurement processes in the NHS, following the High Court’s decision in Consultant Connect Limited v NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board [2022] EWHC 2037 (TCC).

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 9 October (HL10239), what guidance they have issued to the NHS to prevent the removal of language in relation to biological sex and women in view of the potential for unintended adverse health consequences.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 19 September (HL10083), whether they intend to direct NHS England to change the name of the Advisory Group for Data to avoid confusion with the National Data Advisory Group.

Following discussion at the National Data Advisory Group in March, the Department raised with NHS England the possibility of changing the name of the interim Advisory Group for Data. There are no plans to direct NHS England to change the name.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are (1) the remit, and (2) the work programme, of the Department for Health and Social Care’s Private Office Data Science unit.

The Department’s aim is to ensure Ministers receive the right insights to support their decisions, and ensure Ministers understand performance in the sector. The Private Office Data Science unit is a small, flexible team of analysts and data scientists from the Department’s analytical community that support the direct needs of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Steve Barclay MP). The unit follows the same standards and governance as all analysts under the Director of Analysis, working directly with the rest of the analytical community to deliver data and analysis to support decision making. They are supported by expert data and analysis, from others in health and care system, working closely with our agencies and partners, with the unit as a conduit for these insights. As this is a flexible Private Office function, it does not have a pre-specified work programme.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with reference to the article Practice under pressure: how can the exodus of GPs be reversed published on 31 August by Dr Imelda McDermott and Dr Sharon Spooner, what steps they intend to take to make general practice deliverable by reducing the administrative and financial burden on GP partners.

The ‘Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care’, published by NHS England in May 2023, set out actions on how bureaucracy and workload can be cut by improving the interface between primary and secondary care, cutting unnecessary burdens on general practitioners through the Bureaucracy Busting Concordat, which was published in August 2022, and streamlining the Investment and Impact Fund from 36 to five indicators from 2023/24. Copies of both the delivery plan and the Concordat are attached.

Spending on general practice rose by nearly a fifth in real terms between 2017 and the most recent data in 2021. More specifically, spending grew from £11.3 billion in 2016/17 to £13.5 billion in 2021/22, representing a 19% increase in real terms.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with reference to the article Practice under pressure: how can the exodus of GPs be reversed published on 31 August by Dr Imelda McDermott and Dr Sharon Spooner, what consideration they have given to the introduction of new business models for general practices; and what discussions they have had with general practices about the introduction of new business models.

General Practice (GP) partnerships, individually and through Primary Care Networks, deliver high quality care to patients all over the country. The Government continues to support the partnership model which has underpinned general practice since before the establishment of the National Health Service, and has many advantages. While partnerships holding a GP contract will continue to be in the majority, it is important that sustainable alternative models are available to mitigate difficulties in recruitment and retention.

The partnership model is not the only model currently delivering general practice. GP practices can and do choose to organise themselves in different ways to support scale and resilience, many of which cite evidence of good outcomes in terms of staff engagement and patient experience.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with reference to the article Practice under pressure: how can the exodus of GPs be reversed published on 31 August by Dr Imelda McDermott and Dr Sharon Spooner, what assessment they have made of the impact of the introduction of non-GP staff in practices on the continuity of patients’ care.

NHS England has committed to a review of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme by the end of 2023. This work will cover the performance of the scheme to date and inform the Government’s approach to any future support for additional clinical roles in general practice.

In addition, the Department has funded, via the National Institute for Health and Care Research, a project to look at the impact of non-general practitioner staff in practices on patient care.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with reference to the article Practice under pressure: how can the exodus of GPs be reversed published on 31 August by Dr Imelda McDermott and Dr Sharon Spooner, what plans they have to ensure targets for GPs reflect the real-life needs of patients.

In response to feedback from the profession, work is being undertaken to review the current incentive schemes in primary care, with the aim of making them more focussed and streamlined to give clinicians the flexibility to provide care that is aligned with patient needs. We will consult the profession, patients, and the broader system on primary care incentives this year to inform future reform.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with reference to the article Practice under pressure: how can the exodus of GPs be reversed published on 31 August by Dr Imelda McDermott and Dr Sharon Spooner, how they intend to make sustainable work schedules an integral part of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan commits to implementing the actions from the NHS People Plan, including ensuring staff can work flexibly. However, as independent contractors, it is for general practitioner practices to decide staffing levels and distribution of work across their teams.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the differences in (1) the remit, and (2) the membership, of NHS England’s Advisory Group on Data and the Department of Health and Social Care's National Data Advisory Group.

The Advisory Group for Data (AGD) is convened by NHS England and builds on the previous work by the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD). Currently operating in interim form, it includes the members of IGARD, alongside a representative of the Caldicott Guardian of NHS England, the Data Protection Officer, and senior staff supporting on Data and Analytics.

It provides NHS England with access to expert advice and assurance on internal and external access to data in relation to the exercise of NHS England’s functions transferred to it from NHS Digital, including on specific requests for the dissemination of information in accordance with the statutory guidance issued by my Rt hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Its minutes are published on the NHS England website.

The National Data Advisory Group (NDAG) is convened by the Department to provide strategic policy advice on data and data sharing, including the implementation of Data Saves Lives, the data strategy. It does not advise on specific data sharing requests and has a different membership to the ADG. NDAG includes, among others, the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care, the Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Chief Executive of the Patient’s Association.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of continence care specialists in the NHS workforce; and what plans they have to further support continence care specialists following the publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan in June.

No specific assessment has been made of the number of continence care specialists within the National Health Service workforce. NHS England publishes Hospital and Community Health Service workforce statistics for England, including by NHS trust. The published data is not though able to identify staff specialising in continence care.

The modelling and staff training plans presented in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan look at the NHS as a whole at a high level to inform Government decisions on the workforce the NHS will need to meet the changing needs of the population over the next 15 years. This is designed to identify the right supply of staff across all clinical pathways and specialisms rather than workforce plans for specific services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will provide (1) an update on the timeframe for the National Bladder and Bowel Health Project, and (2) details of which stakeholders have been consulted in respect of that project, since it recommenced following the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS England's Excellence in Continence Care guidance published in July 2018 brings together evidence-based resources and research for guidance for integrated care boards (ICBs), National Health Service providers, health and social care staff. It indicates that personalised care including personal health budgets can be arranged locally by ICBs to help people manage and pay for their continence care needs. A copy of the guidance is attached.

There are no plans at this stage to conduct a new National Audit of Continence Care.

NHS England will report on the National Bladder and Bowel Health Project setting out progress of development of Incontinence care pathways to its Excellence in Continence Care Board in October 2023. This will be published shortly afterwards setting out next steps for improving incontinence care pathways and will be shared with stakeholders for their consideration and input.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress has been made on the development of care pathways by the National Bladder and Bowel Health Project since it recommenced following the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS England's Excellence in Continence Care guidance published in July 2018 brings together evidence-based resources and research for guidance for integrated care boards (ICBs), National Health Service providers, health and social care staff. It indicates that personalised care including personal health budgets can be arranged locally by ICBs to help people manage and pay for their continence care needs. A copy of the guidance is attached.

There are no plans at this stage to conduct a new National Audit of Continence Care.

NHS England will report on the National Bladder and Bowel Health Project setting out progress of development of Incontinence care pathways to its Excellence in Continence Care Board in October 2023. This will be published shortly afterwards setting out next steps for improving incontinence care pathways and will be shared with stakeholders for their consideration and input.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to conduct a new National Audit of Continence Care.

NHS England's Excellence in Continence Care guidance published in July 2018 brings together evidence-based resources and research for guidance for integrated care boards (ICBs), National Health Service providers, health and social care staff. It indicates that personalised care including personal health budgets can be arranged locally by ICBs to help people manage and pay for their continence care needs. A copy of the guidance is attached.

There are no plans at this stage to conduct a new National Audit of Continence Care.

NHS England will report on the National Bladder and Bowel Health Project setting out progress of development of Incontinence care pathways to its Excellence in Continence Care Board in October 2023. This will be published shortly afterwards setting out next steps for improving incontinence care pathways and will be shared with stakeholders for their consideration and input.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that current guidance on quality continence care has been transitioned into Integrated Care Systems since April 2022.

NHS England's Excellence in Continence Care guidance published in July 2018 brings together evidence-based resources and research for guidance for integrated care boards (ICBs), National Health Service providers, health and social care staff. It indicates that personalised care including personal health budgets can be arranged locally by ICBs to help people manage and pay for their continence care needs. A copy of the guidance is attached.

There are no plans at this stage to conduct a new National Audit of Continence Care.

NHS England will report on the National Bladder and Bowel Health Project setting out progress of development of Incontinence care pathways to its Excellence in Continence Care Board in October 2023. This will be published shortly afterwards setting out next steps for improving incontinence care pathways and will be shared with stakeholders for their consideration and input.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the campaign by Young Lives vs Cancer to establish a fund to help cover the cost of travelling to treatment for young cancer patients.

The Minister of State for Health and Secondary Care (Will Quince MP) is aware of this campaign and has exchanged correspondence with Young Lives vs Cancer on this matter.

The Government recognises that the cost of travel should not be a barrier to treatment. There are schemes, such as the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme, in place to provide financial assistance for travel to a hospital or other National Health Service premises for specialist NHS treatment or diagnostics tests when referred by a doctor or other primary healthcare professional.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the contribution made by each integrated care board to (1) hospices, and (2) other end of life services, for the 2023/24 financial year; and what proportion of the total funding raised by hospices each such contribution represents.

NHS England is responsible for determining allocations of individual resources to integrated care boards (ICBs), which are responsible for commissioning palliative and end of life care in response to the needs of their local population.

NHS England has no plans to publish the contribution made by each ICB to hospices or other end of life services, nor the proportion of total funding raised by hospices each contribution represents. ICB annual reports and accounts are published by each individual ICB and are available to the public via their websites.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to fund individual hospices directly where integrated care boards are unable to provide sufficient support.

There are no plans for the Government to fund individual hospices directly.

As stated in the Health and Care Act 2022, integrated care boards (ICBs) are responsible for commissioning palliative and end of life care services, which may include services delivered by independent charitable hospices, in response to the needs of their local population. NHS England has actively increased its support to local commissioners to improve the accessibility, quality and sustainability of palliative and end of life care services for all. This has included the publication of statutory guidance and service specifications.

The exception to funding hospices via ICBs is the Children’s Hospice Grant, which has provided funding direct to hospices since 2007. In June 2023, NHS England confirmed that it would be renewing the grant for 2024/25, once again allocating £25 million grant funding for children’s hospices. NHS England will confirm details of the allocation mechanism in due course.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce a model NHS hospice contract for integrated care boards.

The NHS Standard Contract is mandated by NHS England for use by commissioners for all contracts for healthcare services, other than primary care, and may be used in relation to hospices. The Contract (in full-length and shorter-form versions) has now been updated for 2023/24. As such, NHS England has no plans to introduce a model NHS hospice contract for integrated care boards.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent steps they have taken to encourage more medical researchers to enter into brain tumour research.

Brain tumour research remains a challenging scientific area, with a relatively small research community. We are working closely with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) in hosting customised workshops for researchers, and training for clinicians. These actions will grow the capacity for brain cancer research, attracting new researchers, developing the community, and supporting researchers to submit high-quality research funding proposals.

The TJBCM recently announced two appointments to the inaugural Tessa Jowell Fellowship programme. These 12-month fellowships will support high quality training in neuro-oncology clinical practice and research, to ensure clinicians are equipped with the relevant research skills needed to lead neuro-oncology trials that change practice.

Additionally, the TJBCM have designated 28 adult Tessa Jowell Centres of Excellence within the National Health Service, which has created a world-class network of brain tumour treatment and research centres to provide the best care and share best practice.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Early Access to Medicines Scheme to ensure that brain tumour patients are able to access the most promising treatments.

The early access to medicines scheme (EAMS) aims to give patients with life threatening or seriously debilitating conditions access to medicines that do not yet have a marketing authorisation when there is a clear unmet medical need.

Under the scheme, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will give a scientific opinion on the benefit/risk balance of the medicine, based on the data available when the EAMS submission was made and the EAMS criteria. The MHRA will make an evaluation of products, including drugs such as for brain tumour treatments, once an application is received.

If we do receive an application, it is only made public where an EAMS Scientific Opinion (SO) is awarded. All EAMS SOs are published on the EAMS webpage. All drugs that have previously held an EAMS SO are also published on the EAMS webpage.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that more cancer drugs can transition from a Phase 1 study to Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approval.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is aware that customers who have submitted initial applications and amendments to our Clinical Investigations and Trials team have experienced extended timeframes in some cases, and understands how this unpredictability may be reducing the number of cancer drugs that can transition from a Phase 1 study to MHRA approval. To help improve the predictability of decision making in applications for clinical trials, the MHRA have implemented several actions.

The MHRA are looking at novel ways to develop staff capability and expertise. New assessor capacity is being supplemented with an additional fixed-term resource of appropriately experienced and qualified specialists to support the training and supervision of new staff and to help reduce the current backlog. The MHRA has also established links with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the BioIndustry Association on clinical trials, to reduce the backlog of delayed applications, which may include applications for cancer drugs. Additionally, they have already reallocated work, and are evaluating queued applications for complexity, to improve the speed of assessment, and are changing processes to take a joined-up risk-proportionate approach.

The MHRA is committed to reducing these backlogs so that it makes regulatory decisions in accordance with statutory timeframes for all new fully compliant clinical trial applications received from 1 September 2023. This will enable more cancer drugs to progress from Phase 1 studies to MHRA approval where appropriate.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with European health ministers regarding working together to capture data from clinical trials for less common cancers, such as brain tumours.

Following the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has not had recent discussions with European health ministers regarding collaboration to capture data from clinical trials for less common cancers, such as brain tumours.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether there is any link between benzodiazepine prescribed drugs and an increased risk of (1) Alzheimer's disease, (2) brain damage, (3) lung cancer, and (4) seizure.

The class of medicines known as benzodiazepines include a number of active substances and have been extensively studied. Benzodiazepines are indicated for short-term (two to four weeks) use. All medicines are associated with some risks and these medicines are no exception.

Safety concerns that are established to be associated with a medicine are outlined in the product information available for each medicine, this includes possible side effects. The product information for benzodiazepines do not currently include a risk of Alzheimer's disease or lung cancer. However, there is a warning that patients with severe liver impairment may develop encephalopathy (damage or disease which affects the brain). In addition, the drug withdrawal reactions may include seizure and this may be more common in patients with pre-existing seizure disorders or who are taking other medicines which lower the seizure threshold such as antidepressants.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to establish (1) a helpline, and (2) specialist services, to enable patients to break free from addiction to benzodiazepine prescribed drugs.

Local authorities (LAs) in England are responsible for commissioning drug treatment services, including specialist services for prescribed drug dependency. The Government’s 10-year drug strategy is underpinned by record new investment, including £532 million for LAs to invest in drug treatment and recovery services in addition to the public health grant. LAs’ individual financial allocations and assessment of local need will determine if specialist services for prescribed drug dependency are a viable intervention, and it is for LAs to make the assessment to resource this from their drug treatment funding.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities provide oversight of local delivery at a national level and continue to monitor implementation against the aims of the drug strategy.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people in England addicted to benzodiazepine prescribed drugs.

The data requested is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they will measure the effectiveness of actions set out in 'Optimising personalised care for adults prescribed medicines associated with dependence or withdrawal symptoms: Framework for action for integrated care boards (ICBs) and primary care', published on 2 March.

The framework for action sets out five actions for integrated care boards (ICBs) to consider to further reduce inappropriate prescribing of high-strength painkillers and other addiction-causing medicines, like opioids and benzodiazepines.

ICBs should take a population health management approach using data on primary care prescribing and health inequalities to monitor implementation of the actions. This includes looking at data on access to services, patient experience feedback and outcomes for communities within the integrated care system that often experience health inequalities.

There are several data resources used to give insights to ICBs and foster improvement at the local level, with data being available on an Opioid Prescribing Comparators dashboard. This dashboard can be used to review up-to-date data, highlight variation, and support local work to reduce harm from the prescribing of dependence and withdrawal forming medicines, as well as equip users with the tools for ongoing monitoring. The dashboard will be continually reviewed and updated with more metrics and views. More data is also available on duration of treatment of opioids, benzodiazepines, and z-drugs, as well as the number of patients prescribed a dependence forming medicine who have received a structured medication review.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what data they collect on dependence on prescribed drugs and treatment for such dependence.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to appoint a National Clinical Director or National Specialty Adviser for fracture prevention.

Andrew Bennett is NHS England’s national clinical director for musculoskeletal conditions. His portfolio includes osteoporosis and fracture prevention.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend that the data set, General Practice Extraction Service data for pandemic planning and research will contribute to the NHS England service ‘Cohorting as a Service’.

General Practice Extraction Service data for pandemic planning and research has been used by Cohorting as a Service to identify patients in clinically at-risk groups to receive COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations. There are no plans to use this data within Cohorting as a Service for other purposes.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to conduct a review of efficacy, safety and risk of addiction relating to the long-term use of benzodiazepines.

The safety of medicines on the United Kingdom market are continuously monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). There are currently no plans to conduct any further reviews into the harms associated with benzodiazepines, Z-drugs and antidepressants, however, any new data would be carefully considered. Details about the possible risks and side effects are outlined in the product information available for each medicine.

Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs are authorised for short term use, two to four weeks, and should not be used long term due to the risk of dependence and subsequent withdrawal reactions. Healthcare professionals have been reminded of these risks by the MHRA, the Department and professional bodies which have highlighted the extensive warnings about the risks of dependence, the need to limit prescribing and advice about gradual withdrawal.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of long-term and permanent harm caused by the use of benzodiazepines, Z-drugs and antidepressants.

The safety of medicines on the United Kingdom market are continuously monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). There are currently no plans to conduct any further reviews into the harms associated with benzodiazepines, Z-drugs and antidepressants, however, any new data would be carefully considered. Details about the possible risks and side effects are outlined in the product information available for each medicine.

Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs are authorised for short term use, two to four weeks, and should not be used long term due to the risk of dependence and subsequent withdrawal reactions. Healthcare professionals have been reminded of these risks by the MHRA, the Department and professional bodies which have highlighted the extensive warnings about the risks of dependence, the need to limit prescribing and advice about gradual withdrawal.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the evaluation published on 7 June 2022 by Public Health Scotland of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland on people who are drinking at harmful levels, which found that alcohol specific deaths fell by 13.4 per cent and hospitalisations by 4.1 per cent.

Legislative competence for alcohol pricing policy is devolved. A formal assessment has not been carried out, however we are following developments on alcohol policies in other nations closely to see what works.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the closure of BUPA dental care in Bishop Auckland and Shildon on patients’ access to NHS dental services.

Following BUPA’s notice to NHS England of closures, regional teams and integrated care boards across England are working together to ensure that patients continue to have access to National Health Service dental care. This includes an assessment to identify potential gaps in NHS dental service provision and to consider what actions may be required.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to require the Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board to submit proposals to ensure that NHS patients have access to NHS dental services near to where they live.

The Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) is proactively issuing regular communications updates to patients and local stakeholders regarding the pressures facing National Health Service dentistry locally, whilst seeking to build resilience through local initiatives that seek to improve access to unscheduled urgent dental care for those in greatest clinical need.

Since taking on NHS Primary Care regulatory dental commissioning responsibility from NHS England on 1 April 2023, the Northeast and North Cumbria ICB have agreed to the establishment of a Local Dental Crisis Task and Finish Group to explore further ways in which the ICB could seek to address NHS dental access and workforce pressures in addition to the

NHS Long term workforce strategy, and also committed to an independent oral health review of the North East & North Cumbria area with a view to the findings becoming available by October 2023.

The steps outlined above will help to inform the ICB's future commissioning of NHS dental services. There are no plans to require ICBs to submit proposals on their commissioning of NHS dental services.

In July 2022, we announced a package of dental system improvements which outlined the steps we are taking to meet oral health need and increase access to dental care across all regions in England. We know more needs to be done and we continue to work with the sector and NHS England to consider further changes which will be announced shortly.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board has undertaken sufficient analysis of the access problems facing NHS dental patients in that area.

The Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) is proactively issuing regular communications updates to patients and local stakeholders regarding the pressures facing National Health Service dentistry locally, whilst seeking to build resilience through local initiatives that seek to improve access to unscheduled urgent dental care for those in greatest clinical need.

Since taking on NHS Primary Care regulatory dental commissioning responsibility from NHS England on 1 April 2023, the Northeast and North Cumbria ICB have agreed to the establishment of a Local Dental Crisis Task and Finish Group to explore further ways in which the ICB could seek to address NHS dental access and workforce pressures in addition to the

NHS Long term workforce strategy, and also committed to an independent oral health review of the North East & North Cumbria area with a view to the findings becoming available by October 2023.

The steps outlined above will help to inform the ICB's future commissioning of NHS dental services. There are no plans to require ICBs to submit proposals on their commissioning of NHS dental services.

In July 2022, we announced a package of dental system improvements which outlined the steps we are taking to meet oral health need and increase access to dental care across all regions in England. We know more needs to be done and we continue to work with the sector and NHS England to consider further changes which will be announced shortly.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take, if any, to increase access to NHS dental services in County Durham.

The Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) is proactively issuing regular communications updates to patients and local stakeholders regarding the pressures facing National Health Service dentistry locally, whilst seeking to build resilience through local initiatives that seek to improve access to unscheduled urgent dental care for those in greatest clinical need.

Since taking on NHS Primary Care regulatory dental commissioning responsibility from NHS England on 1 April 2023, the Northeast and North Cumbria ICB have agreed to the establishment of a Local Dental Crisis Task and Finish Group to explore further ways in which the ICB could seek to address NHS dental access and workforce pressures in addition to the

NHS Long term workforce strategy, and also committed to an independent oral health review of the North East & North Cumbria area with a view to the findings becoming available by October 2023.

The steps outlined above will help to inform the ICB's future commissioning of NHS dental services. There are no plans to require ICBs to submit proposals on their commissioning of NHS dental services.

In July 2022, we announced a package of dental system improvements which outlined the steps we are taking to meet oral health need and increase access to dental care across all regions in England. We know more needs to be done and we continue to work with the sector and NHS England to consider further changes which will be announced shortly.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of patients in Shildon, Bishop Auckland, and across County Durham to access NHS dental services

The Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) is proactively issuing regular communications updates to patients and local stakeholders regarding the pressures facing National Health Service dentistry locally, whilst seeking to build resilience through local initiatives that seek to improve access to unscheduled urgent dental care for those in greatest clinical need.

Since taking on NHS Primary Care regulatory dental commissioning responsibility from NHS England on 1 April 2023, the Northeast and North Cumbria ICB have agreed to the establishment of a Local Dental Crisis Task and Finish Group to explore further ways in which the ICB could seek to address NHS dental access and workforce pressures in addition to the

NHS Long term workforce strategy, and also committed to an independent oral health review of the North East & North Cumbria area with a view to the findings becoming available by October 2023.

The steps outlined above will help to inform the ICB's future commissioning of NHS dental services. There are no plans to require ICBs to submit proposals on their commissioning of NHS dental services.

In July 2022, we announced a package of dental system improvements which outlined the steps we are taking to meet oral health need and increase access to dental care across all regions in England. We know more needs to be done and we continue to work with the sector and NHS England to consider further changes which will be announced shortly.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 27 June (HL8439), what is the (1) product category, (2) scope, (3) timing, (4) methodology, and (5) assessment criteria, adopted for each of the two value-based procurement projects for absorbent continence products to which the answer refers; and what assessment they have made of the extent to which the Rothwell Scale measures the effectiveness and suitability of absorbent continence products, in addition to absorbency.

For the value-based procurement projects for absorbent continence products the proposed product category is disposable continence containment products. The scope is any patients/users who are receiving continence care from the NHS, at home, in care homes or residential homes and acute wards. Once the pilot site has been identified it is estimated to be six to eight weeks for completion. The methodology looks at baseline data of current impact of care pathway delivered in practice, review of information, clinical changes based on baseline, a review of impact of changes and a sign of savings before scaling across a trust. The assessment criteria will be confirmed with the pilot site.

The Rothwell scale is an industry standard to measure the working absorbency of disposable continence products, enabling transparency and comparability of products fluid management. Subjective quality metrics like ease of use and comfort, will be user dependent. Objective elements that contribute to subjective elements such as comfort are included. For example, specifications include elasticated flexible sides, guard channels to reduce leakage, super absorbent polymers to remove fluid from skin contact. When a trust selects a supplier, the trust will evaluate potential suppliers on the framework, evaluating the subjective, qualitative features of ease of use, comfort, comparative reduction in leakages, quality of life and health outcomes.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the age limits on each of the NHS screening programmes and the justification for each limit.

All National screening programmes are introduced based on recommendations made by the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC). The UK NSC assesses and evaluates the evidence to offer screening when it will offer more good than harm. Screening age ranges are selected based on the range where the evidence supports that balance.

The National Health Service breast screening programme invites eligible women to be screened every three years from the age of 50 up to their 71st birthday.

The NHS bowel screening programme invited men and women every two years from ages 60 to 74 years old. The programme is expanding to make it available to everyone aged 50 to 59 years old. This is happening gradually over four years and started in April 2021.

The NHS cervical screening programme invites people with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 49 for screening every three years, whilst people aged 50 to 64 receive an invitation every five years.

The NHS abdominal aortic aneurysm screening programme offers men a screening the year they turn 65.

The NHS diabetic eye screening programme is offered to anyone with diabetes who is 12 years old or over. Those eligible are invited for an annual screening.

The NHS targeted lung cancer screening programme that has been recently announced will invite people aged 55 to 74 identified as being at high risk of lung cancer for screening.

For antenatal screening programmes, pregnant women are invited early for screening once the pregnancy has been confirmed. This includes the NHS foetal anomaly screening programme and NHS infectious diseases in pregnancy.

Screening for newborns is also offered early at a time when conditions can be detected and where early treatment can improve the baby’s health and prevent severe disability or even death. Newborn screening programmes include the NHS newborn blood spot screening programme, the NHS newborn hearing screening programme, the NHS newborn and infant physical examination screening programme and the NHS sickle cell and thalassaemia screening programme.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to publish a list of organisations from whom views have been sought, whether formally or informally, on drafts of the new terms of reference for NHS England’s Advisory Group for Data.

NHS England advises that it has sought views on the draft terms of reference for its Advisory Group for Data from the Department, The National Data Guardian, The Independent Group Advising (NHS Digital) on Release of Data prior to the legal merger, and subsequently the interim data advisory group established until terms of reference are finalised and approved and NHS England's Cyber Security and Risk Committee. The draft terms of reference are currently being updated to take into account feedback and once they have been approved by the Board or a sub-committee of the Board, NHS England advises it will publish them in line with the Statutory Guidance.

The statutory guidance on NHS England’s protection of patient data states that the data advisory group should, among other functions, be able to provide NHS England with advice as requested on "streamlining and continuously improving internal and external data access processes, using a clearly understood risk management framework, precedent approaches and standards that requests must meet". Once the terms of reference for the new group are approved and the group is in place NHS England will work, with the new group's advice, to agree an appropriate risk management framework including considering the form that might take, how it might be summarised or articulated, and what information about it should be published. Interim arrangements are in place while this new group is being established and advice is sought based on the published Data Access Request Service (DARS) Standards and Precedents in relation to applications for access to data. These arrangements and the advice provided by the group are reflected in the minutes of each meeting of the interim group.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to place a copy of the risk management framework, which was referred to in NHS England’s protection of patient data, published on 23 May, in the Library of the House.

NHS England advises that it has sought views on the draft terms of reference for its Advisory Group for Data from the Department, The National Data Guardian, The Independent Group Advising (NHS Digital) on Release of Data prior to the legal merger, and subsequently the interim data advisory group established until terms of reference are finalised and approved and NHS England's Cyber Security and Risk Committee. The draft terms of reference are currently being updated to take into account feedback and once they have been approved by the Board or a sub-committee of the Board, NHS England advises it will publish them in line with the Statutory Guidance.

The statutory guidance on NHS England’s protection of patient data states that the data advisory group should, among other functions, be able to provide NHS England with advice as requested on "streamlining and continuously improving internal and external data access processes, using a clearly understood risk management framework, precedent approaches and standards that requests must meet". Once the terms of reference for the new group are approved and the group is in place NHS England will work, with the new group's advice, to agree an appropriate risk management framework including considering the form that might take, how it might be summarised or articulated, and what information about it should be published. Interim arrangements are in place while this new group is being established and advice is sought based on the published Data Access Request Service (DARS) Standards and Precedents in relation to applications for access to data. These arrangements and the advice provided by the group are reflected in the minutes of each meeting of the interim group.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to add advice on calories and exercise to the NHS body mass index calculator.

The National Health Service body mass index (BMI) calculator was temporarily removed from the NHS.UK website on 29 March 2023 due to the requirement to update the disclaimer and to remove the physical activity and calorie information which was no longer in line with latest health guidance. The BMI calculator, without the physical activity and calorie information, was made available again on 30 May 2023.

A new version of the BMI calculator is being developed to reflect the latest health guidance. A first release is expected to be available by November 2023.

Information about physical activity and guidance about eating a healthy, balanced diet continues to be available on the NHS.UK website.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why they took almost two years to respond to the concerns of Dr Stuart Flint regarding the NHS body mass index calculator.

The National Health Service body mass index (BMI) calculator was temporarily removed from the NHS.UK website on 29 March 2023 due to the requirement to update the disclaimer and to remove the physical activity and calorie information which was no longer in line with latest health guidance. The BMI calculator, without the physical activity and calorie information, was made available again on 30 May 2023.

A new version of the BMI calculator is being developed to reflect the latest health guidance. A first release is expected to be available by November 2023.

Information about physical activity and guidance about eating a healthy, balanced diet continues to be available on the NHS.UK website.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what were the circumstances under which the NHS body mass index calculator was taken offline from March until earlier this month.

The National Health Service body mass index (BMI) calculator was temporarily removed from the NHS.UK website on 29 March 2023 due to the requirement to update the disclaimer and to remove the physical activity and calorie information which was no longer in line with latest health guidance. The BMI calculator, without the physical activity and calorie information, was made available again on 30 May 2023.

A new version of the BMI calculator is being developed to reflect the latest health guidance. A first release is expected to be available by November 2023.

Information about physical activity and guidance about eating a healthy, balanced diet continues to be available on the NHS.UK website.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Markham on 21 June (HL7941, HL7942 and HL7945), how they define "bed equivalents from patient flow initiatives".

NHS England defines bed equivalents as beds freed up through steps taken to avoid an admission to a general and acute bed in hospital, or to support a patient to leave a general and acute bed when they are medically fit to do so. This could include for example capacity within virtual wards or hospital at home schemes.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the review Preventing illness and improving health for all: a review of the NHS Health Check programme and recommendations, published in December 2021, what progress they have made in bringing forward the recommendations for the NHS Health Check contained in that review.

Following publication of the 2021 evidence-based review, the Department is taking forward a programme of work to modernise the NHS Health Check and deliver recommendations from the review. So far this has included, investing nearly £17 million for the development of an innovative digital NHS Health Check to bolster current local authority delivery of the programme. The digital health check, will be rolled out from Spring 2024, which will give users choice about where and when to have a check and enable increased overall uptake and improved efficiency of the programme. We are also improving uptake by supporting local authorities with the recovery of the programme following the COVID-19 pandemic by launching a training hub, showcasing innovative local delivery models and facilitating communities of practice, with activity reaching over 91% of pre-pandemic levels at the end of December 2022.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to improve the uptake of NHS health checks in England to spot early signs of a stroke, such as atrial fibrillation.

Following publication of the 2021 evidence-based review, the Department is taking forward a programme of work to modernise the NHS Health Check and deliver recommendations from the review. So far this has included, investing nearly £17 million for the development of an innovative digital NHS Health Check to bolster current local authority delivery of the programme. The digital health check, will be rolled out from Spring 2024, which will give users choice about where and when to have a check and enable increased overall uptake and improved efficiency of the programme. We are also improving uptake by supporting local authorities with the recovery of the programme following the COVID-19 pandemic by launching a training hub, showcasing innovative local delivery models and facilitating communities of practice, with activity reaching over 91% of pre-pandemic levels at the end of December 2022.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure consistency in the interpretation of the concept of value-based procurement in purchasing items in the health and social care sector; whether they intend to produce and publish a clearer tool for the assessment of such value based procurement; and whether patient groups and manufacturers of (1) medical devices, and (2) absorbent continence products, will be involved in the development of any such tool.

NHS Supply Chain has a value based procurement programme with a standard approach and principles in place to build a consistent interpretation of the concept of value based procurement. There are 30 projects across the organisation’s categories which are in scope for NHS Supply Chain’s pipeline for value-based procurement. NHS Supply Chain continues to work closely with NHS England on a joint evaluation approach.

NHS Supply Chain is running two value-based procurement projects specifically in the continence category area, which encompasses absorbent continence products. The relevant NHS organisations and suppliers are involved in the development of these projects to ensure that the outcomes fit the NHS’s requirements. These projects are following the standard approach and principles as outlined on NHS Supply Chain’s website.

The Department’s Medical Technology Directorate is working closely with NHS Supply Chain and NHS England to implement a consistent methodology for value-based procurement to be adopted at a national and local level. The directorate will continue to engage with both industry and patients in the development of this and other policies.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the national procurement deal secured by the NHS on direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) to help realise the atrial fibrillation aims in the The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019.

As of February 2023, 877,000 patients on atrial fibrillation registers from their general practice who were eligible for anticoagulation received treatment. The percentage of patients treated with anticoagulation increased by 7% between April 2022 and February 2023, equivalent to over 130,000 additional patients.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 2 August 2022 (HL1602), what is the current list of 'purposes' available today in NHS England’s Palantir platform; and how many users are currently able to access each purpose listed.

A list of ‘purposes’ and how many users there are for each individual purpose is attached, due to the size of the data. Notes have been included indicating those purposes that are for administrative use and those that have been deprecated since the previous answer and so no longer exist.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 7 June (HL7873), what assessment they have made of the implications for (1) openness, (2) transparency, and (3) accountability in public procurement, of their decision not to place those items in the Library of the House.

As part of the Value Based Procurement (VBP) programme, NHS Supply Chain (NHSSC) has developed a toolkit and two VBP models. The toolkit and models are designed for internal use by NHSSC’s procurement teams and Category Management Service Providers and are not available for publication as they are commercially sensitive.

Recognising the public interest in openness, transparency and accountability in public procurement, NHSSC is supporting awareness of VBP across the National Health Service and the supplier community. NHSSC has a dedicated VBP website that is updated as the programme evolves. This website contains the 2021 ‘Value Based Procurement Project Report and Findings’ that has an overview of the VBP toolkit.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their policy justification for deciding not to define an integrated care board as a “relevant body” in regulation 2 of the National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012, with the effect that a range of patient rights formerly imposed on clinical commissioning groups are not now imposed on integrated care boards.

The Health and Care Act 2022 (Consequential and Related Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2022 SI/634 has made consequential amendments to regulation 2 of the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012, replacing references to Clinical Commissioning Groups with integrated care boards (ICBs). ICBs are now the statutory bodies responsible for patient rights.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 7 June (HL7873), what assessment they have made of whether the use of the current toolkit and models ensures that patients have clinically appropriate absorbent incontinence products, without any (1) increase in leaks, (2) reduction in mobility, (3) loss of dignity, (4) reduction in quality of life, or (5) any risk of (a) skin infections, and (b) pressure ulcers.

The disposable continence framework in place at NHS Supply Chain runs until August 2025. All suppliers and products on the NHS Supply Chain framework must meet industry standards and a quality specification to be awarded onto the framework. Products are categorised using the Rothwell scale which measures the level of absorbency.

NHS Supply Chain are currently in the process of working on two separate value-based procurement projects, both of which aim to concentrate on the key fundamental areas outlined in the question.

In addition, the Government's new Medical Technology Strategy, published in February 2023, identified incontinence products as one area of focus. The Department will work with clinicians to review, assess and categorise similar products to lay the foundations for value-based procurement. This assessment of products will be shared with NHS Supply Chain and other organisations involved in the purchase of incontinence products.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Markham on 25 May (HL Deb col 1032), whether decisions about changes to the reference case discount rate applied to new technologies for costs and health effects are a matter solely for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is responsible for developing the methods and processes it uses in the development of its guidance, including the discount rate, taking into account its responsibilities under Managing Public Money.

NICE concluded a comprehensive review of its methods and processes in 2022, including consideration of the discount rate. Following public consultation, NICE concluded that it was appropriate to maintain the existing rate of 3.5% due to policy and fiscal implications and interdependencies beyond the scope of the review. The Department and HM Treasury were engaged throughout the review.

NICE is introducing a new modular approach for further methods updates, where it will work with its system partners on the methodological priorities for the healthcare system.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Markham on 25 May (HL Deb col 1032), whether the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is currently considering changing the reference case discount rate for costs and health effects that is applied to new health technologies.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is responsible for developing the methods and processes it uses in the development of its guidance, including the discount rate, taking into account its responsibilities under Managing Public Money.

NICE concluded a comprehensive review of its methods and processes in 2022, including consideration of the discount rate. Following public consultation, NICE concluded that it was appropriate to maintain the existing rate of 3.5% due to policy and fiscal implications and interdependencies beyond the scope of the review. The Department and HM Treasury were engaged throughout the review.

NICE is introducing a new modular approach for further methods updates, where it will work with its system partners on the methodological priorities for the healthcare system.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th May 2023
IVF
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure all NHS commissioners follow NICE guidelines on the number of cycles of IVF women under 40 are entitled to on the NHS.

Funding decisions for health services in England are made by integrated care boards and are based on the clinical needs of their local population. We expect these organisations to commission fertility services in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, ensuring equal access to fertility treatment across England.

The Women’s Health Strategy was published on 20 July 2022 and contained a number of important changes and future ambitions to improve the variations in access to National Health Service funded fertility services. Among the initial priorities, we will work with NHS England to eliminate unfair financial burdens faced by female same-sex couples when accessing NHS funded services and to remove non-clinical access criteria.

In preparation for the new NICE fertility guideline due to be published in 2024, which sets the standard for clinical care, we expect local NHS commissioners to be improving their offer to fertility patients in anticipation of implementing the new guideline.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Progress Education Trust into the variation in policy amongst NHS commissioners in eligibility criteria for NHS funded treatment for infertility.

Funding decisions for health services in England are made by integrated care boards and are based on the clinical needs of their local population. We expect these organisations to commission fertility services in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, ensuring equal access to fertility treatment across England.

The Women’s Health Strategy was published on 20 July 2022 and contained a number of important changes and future ambitions to improve the variations in access to National Health Service funded fertility services. Among the initial priorities, we will work with NHS England to eliminate unfair financial burdens faced by female same-sex couples when accessing NHS funded services and to remove non-clinical access criteria.

In preparation for the new NICE fertility guideline due to be published in 2024, which sets the standard for clinical care, we expect local NHS commissioners to be improving their offer to fertility patients in anticipation of implementing the new guideline.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their plan for publishing an update on the progress being made on initiating new water fluoridation schemes.

The Government has stated its intention to expand water fluoridation across the North-East of England, subject to consultation, to reach an additional 1.6 million people. It plans to hold the public consultation on the proposed expansion in the North-East in 2023. Following the consultation, we will provide an update on the proposals for water fluoridation.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to identify and prosecute unregulated overseas prescribers.

The Government has no powers to prosecute unregulated overseas prescribers, but arrangements are in place to safeguard patients as follows.

The UK currently recognises prescriptions from countries on an approved list. A prescription from a country not on the list would not be recognised. We will only recognise prescriptions issued by prescribers of equivalent professional status to those eligible to prescribe in the UK.

We would expect all registered pharmacies and pharmacists to meet the regulatory standards set by the General Pharmaceutical Council or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland when considering dispensing any lawfully valid prescription. Any registered pharmacy or pharmacist failing to meet the relevant regulatory standards may be subject to action by the regulator.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government for what reasons UK-regulated independent online providers in England are permitted to issue and dispense prescriptions without any requirement for pseudonymised prescribing and dispensing data to be collated.

The requested information is not held centrally. The Care Quality Commission does not have a regulated activity of prescribing or dispensing.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) regulates pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies in England, Scotland and Wales. The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland regulates pharmacists and pharmacies in Northern Ireland.

All pharmacies in Great Britain, including those providing internet services, must be registered with the GPhC. The Department does not hold information on the number of independent online providers offering GPhC regulated dispensing services.

Medicines and medical devices are not ordinary consumer goods and their supply is tightly controlled in the United Kingdom. All service providers must adhere to high standards when prescribing and supplying medications to patients, particularly if the patient’s journey is not face to face.

The regulation of providers delivering general practitioner consultations over the internet and providers prescribing medications in response to online forms is the responsibility of Care Quality Commission. General Pharmaceutical Council sets standards for professional practice for all registered pharmacies, including non-NHS distance selling pharmacies. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK.

To ensure remote supply of medicines to patients is safe, regulators have issued guidance for online providers on how to comply with the legislation and meet expected standards of services and provided guidance for patients about the importance of checking that services they access are statutory regulated. The regulators are working together to address various concerns about remote practice.

The decision about data collection required to support these regulatory activities is at the discretion of the regulatory bodies.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what has been the increase in each year since 2000 in the number of UK regulated independent online providers offering (1) Care Quality Commission regulated prescribing, and (2) General Pharmaceutical Council regulated dispensing services, to the public.

The requested information is not held centrally. The Care Quality Commission does not have a regulated activity of prescribing or dispensing.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) regulates pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies in England, Scotland and Wales. The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland regulates pharmacists and pharmacies in Northern Ireland.

All pharmacies in Great Britain, including those providing internet services, must be registered with the GPhC. The Department does not hold information on the number of independent online providers offering GPhC regulated dispensing services.

Medicines and medical devices are not ordinary consumer goods and their supply is tightly controlled in the United Kingdom. All service providers must adhere to high standards when prescribing and supplying medications to patients, particularly if the patient’s journey is not face to face.

The regulation of providers delivering general practitioner consultations over the internet and providers prescribing medications in response to online forms is the responsibility of Care Quality Commission. General Pharmaceutical Council sets standards for professional practice for all registered pharmacies, including non-NHS distance selling pharmacies. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK.

To ensure remote supply of medicines to patients is safe, regulators have issued guidance for online providers on how to comply with the legislation and meet expected standards of services and provided guidance for patients about the importance of checking that services they access are statutory regulated. The regulators are working together to address various concerns about remote practice.

The decision about data collection required to support these regulatory activities is at the discretion of the regulatory bodies.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, in each of the nine English regions, how many patients medically fit to be discharged from hospital are unable to leave because of delays due to lack of capacity in domiciliary and residential care.

We do not have data that shows how many patients are unable to leave hospital due to a lack of capacity in domiciliary or residential care. For some patients, there is data on the number for whom the primary reason is that they are awaiting availability of resource for assessment and start of care at home (pathway 1) and the number awaiting availability of a bed in a residential or nursing home that is likely to be permanent (pathway 3). Pathway 1 includes domiciliary care but will also include other types of care at home provided by the National Health Service or local authority.

The following table shows the number of patients with a Length of Stay (LOS) of seven days or over on pathway 1 or pathway 3 for the week ending 14 May 2023.

Region

LOS

East of England

490

London

618

Midlands

623

North East and Yorkshire

961

North West

741

South East

949

South West

553

National

4,935

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of the total numbers of new NHS beds have been outsourced to private healthcare providers.

As of March 2023, NHS England had delivered an additional 7,820 beds or bed equivalents. Of these, 4,805 were general and acute beds and community beds, 628 were virtual ward beds and 2,387 were bed equivalents from patient flow initiatives. The additional general and acute beds delivered are beds in National Health Service hospitals.

NHS England does not hold the number of outsourced beds. Systems may commission private providers for the provision of step down intermediate care capacity outside of hospital either on a spot purchase or block purchase basis.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the commitment by the then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Thérèse Coffey on 22 September 2022 (HC Deb, col 830), how many of the promised 7,000 new NHS beds are classified as virtual ward or hospital at home beds.

As of March 2023, NHS England had delivered an additional 7,820 beds or bed equivalents. Of these, 4,805 were general and acute beds and community beds, 628 were virtual ward beds and 2,387 were bed equivalents from patient flow initiatives. The additional general and acute beds delivered are beds in National Health Service hospitals.

NHS England does not hold the number of outsourced beds. Systems may commission private providers for the provision of step down intermediate care capacity outside of hospital either on a spot purchase or block purchase basis.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the commitment by the then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Thérèse Coffey on 22 September 2022 (HC Deb, col 830), how many of the promised 7,000 new NHS beds are now available for patients.

As of March 2023, NHS England had delivered an additional 7,820 beds or bed equivalents. Of these, 4,805 were general and acute beds and community beds, 628 were virtual ward beds and 2,387 were bed equivalents from patient flow initiatives. The additional general and acute beds delivered are beds in National Health Service hospitals.

NHS England does not hold the number of outsourced beds. Systems may commission private providers for the provision of step down intermediate care capacity outside of hospital either on a spot purchase or block purchase basis.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 11 May (HL7210), whether they will place copies of the “internal toolkit” and the “two models” referred to in that answer in the Library of the House.

As part of the Value Based Procurement (VBP) programme, NHS Supply Chain has developed a toolkit and two VBP models. One model can be applied to the renewal of existing frameworks or contracts for product ranges, and the other is for the procurement of innovation. The toolkit and models are designed for internal use by NHS Supply Chain’s procurement teams and Category Management Service Providers and are not available for publication.

However, to support awareness of VBP across the National Health Service and the supplier community, NHS Supply Chain has a dedicated VBP website that is updated as the programme evolves. This website contains the 2021 ‘Value Based Procurement Project Report and Findings’ that has an overview of the VBP toolkit. A copy is attached.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what additional (1) practical, and (2) financial, support they intend to provide to unpaid careers, given new research by Carers UK which shows they are providing unpaid care worth £162 billion each year, equivalent to NHS spending in England and Wales.

The Governments of the United Kingdom provide financial support to unpaid carers through Carer’s Allowance, the Carer Element in Universal Credit and through other benefits. As adult social care is a devolved matter, Devolved Administrations are responsible for delivery of services and support to carers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England, Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities are required to undertake a Carer’s Assessment for any unpaid carers who appears to have a need for support and to meet their eligible needs on request from the carer. We have earmarked £327 million in the Better Care Fund for 2023/24 to provide short breaks and respite services, as well as additional advice and support for carers.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the production of nitrogen oxides at waste incinerators in relation to (1) decreased lung function, (2) increases in respiratory symptoms, (3) asthma prevalence and incidence, (4) cancer incidence, (5) adverse birth outcomes, and (6) mortality.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) position on incinerators is that modern, well run and regulated municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) are not a significant risk to public health. This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and on the fact that these incinerators make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants.

Public Health England funded a study by the Small Area Health Statistics Unit at Imperial College London which found no link between exposure to emissions from, or living close to, MWIs and infant deaths or reduced foetal growth. The study also found no evidence of increased risk of congenital anomalies from exposure to MWI chimney emissions, but a small potential increase in risk of congenital anomalies for children born within ten kilometres of MWIs. A causal association between the increased risk of congenital anomalies for children born close to MWIs has not been established.

UKHSA has not received or commissioned any assessments on disposing of plastic waste by incineration. UKHSA’s position is that well run and regulated modern MWIs are not a significant risk to public health when incinerating the general municipal waste mix which includes plastic.

When consulted, UKHSA provides an expert and independent opinion to the regulator (Environment Agency) on the potential impacts on human health of emissions including nitrogen oxides arising from existing or proposed regulated facilities, such as MWIs. Emissions from existing regulated facilities are closely monitored and regulated by the Environment Agency.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of burning of plastics on respiratory disease in areas surrounding incinerator plants.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) position on incinerators is that modern, well run and regulated municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) are not a significant risk to public health. This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and on the fact that these incinerators make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants.

Public Health England funded a study by the Small Area Health Statistics Unit at Imperial College London which found no link between exposure to emissions from, or living close to, MWIs and infant deaths or reduced foetal growth. The study also found no evidence of increased risk of congenital anomalies from exposure to MWI chimney emissions, but a small potential increase in risk of congenital anomalies for children born within ten kilometres of MWIs. A causal association between the increased risk of congenital anomalies for children born close to MWIs has not been established.

UKHSA has not received or commissioned any assessments on disposing of plastic waste by incineration. UKHSA’s position is that well run and regulated modern MWIs are not a significant risk to public health when incinerating the general municipal waste mix which includes plastic.

When consulted, UKHSA provides an expert and independent opinion to the regulator (Environment Agency) on the potential impacts on human health of emissions including nitrogen oxides arising from existing or proposed regulated facilities, such as MWIs. Emissions from existing regulated facilities are closely monitored and regulated by the Environment Agency.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of emissions from incinerators on the health of (1) the local population as a whole, and (2) babies and children in particular.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) position on incinerators is that modern, well run and regulated municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) are not a significant risk to public health. This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and on the fact that these incinerators make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants.

Public Health England funded a study by the Small Area Health Statistics Unit at Imperial College London which found no link between exposure to emissions from, or living close to, MWIs and infant deaths or reduced foetal growth. The study also found no evidence of increased risk of congenital anomalies from exposure to MWI chimney emissions, but a small potential increase in risk of congenital anomalies for children born within ten kilometres of MWIs. A causal association between the increased risk of congenital anomalies for children born close to MWIs has not been established.

UKHSA has not received or commissioned any assessments on disposing of plastic waste by incineration. UKHSA’s position is that well run and regulated modern MWIs are not a significant risk to public health when incinerating the general municipal waste mix which includes plastic.

When consulted, UKHSA provides an expert and independent opinion to the regulator (Environment Agency) on the potential impacts on human health of emissions including nitrogen oxides arising from existing or proposed regulated facilities, such as MWIs. Emissions from existing regulated facilities are closely monitored and regulated by the Environment Agency.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to ensure that the report of the National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service on congenital anomaly annual statistics breaks down data in relation to anomalies by local authority area.

There are no current plans to present data by local authority. It would be technically possible to do so, but the number of babies in each local authority would be too small, especially when stratified by anomaly group, and would likely lead to much of the data being supressed for reasons of information governance.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is meant by the term "value-based procurement" in the context of NHS Supply Chain; whether it is their policy that such a value-based procurement approach applies to medical devices and similar product procurements by the NHS; and what steps they are taking to promote the widespread adoption of this approach to procurement of medical devices and similar products.

Value-based procurement (VBP) is a procurement approach that delivers a reduction in the whole life costs of healthcare where value can be created from financial, efficiency, patient, and environmental benefits.

In May 2019, NHS Supply Chain launched a project to consider the potential benefits and practical application of VBP. This involved a series of pilot projects to test the concept of VBP in practice, with a view to producing a scalable model for potential wider deployment.

An internal toolkit for the use of Category Tower Service Providers was produced as an output of the VBP project. It is designed to be flexibly applied to the varying product ranges procured through NHS Supply Chain. Central to the guide has been the creation of two models: one can be applied to the renewal of existing frameworks/contracts for product ranges, the other for the procurement of innovation. Activity will be delivered across a wide range of categories including cardiology, orthopaedics, sterile intervention equipment and ward-based consumables.

The Government's new Medical Technology Strategy, published in February 2023, commits to developing an environment that supports the understanding and delivery of value for money and affordability across the whole patient pathway, using high quality data to ensure that prices are both reasonable for the health system and sustainable for suppliers. The application and adoption of VBP in the National Health Service is a key priority under the strategy to realise the potential of medical technology to improve patient outcomes and support the NHS workforce. The Department’s Medical Technology Directorate is working closely with NHS Supply Chain and NHS England to build on the work already undertaken to ensure that a consistent methodology is now developed and adopted at both a national and local level.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 6 March (HL5675), how many individual patients had their NHS number, date of birth, and diagnoses shared for potential inclusion in the “flu and COVID-19 cohorts”.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 6 March (HL5675), which dataset(s) was the source of the SNOMED CT codes and dates shared; and why unprotected NHS numbers and unprotected dates of birth were included.

Cohorting as a Service uses SNOMED CT Codes from general practitioner (GP) practice extracts, with data being collected using the General Practice Extraction service. This collection is supported by the British Medical Association, Royal College of General Practitioners and National Data Guardian, and collects a specific set of patient data from GP practices in England on a fortnightly basis.

The data includes personally identifiable information such as National Health Service number and date of birth because the information is required for delivering direct care. The NHS England vaccination programme uses the information to identify and contact patients who fall within clinically ‘at-risk’ groups within an age group.

The Secretary of State or NHS England issue Directions for information collection, then approval for collection is obtained, confirming that the Information Standard, Collection or Extraction has been through assessment and is demonstrated to meet the quality assurance criteria set by the Data Alliance Partnership Board.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have received from (1) the MedTech Directorate, (2) the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, (3) HMRC, and (4) the Department for Business and Trade, about (a) the import of urine drainage bags, (b) the security of supply of such devices, and (c) the cost to the NHS of imposing tariffs on such imports.

Information relating to representations made on this matter by different Departments and agencies is not held centrally. In 2021, the Government implemented temporary tariff suspensions on a set of goods, including urine drainage bags, to support the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has extended the majority of these suspensions until 31 December 2023. We have recently received stakeholder feedback on tariffs on urine drainage bags and are considering the evidence provided alongside wider United Kingdom Government analysis.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Department of Health and Social Care’s ongoing Voluntary Pricing and Access Scheme (VPAS) pre-negotiation workshops, how the discussions and insights gathered from (1) industry, and (2) civil society, will inform negotiations for VPAS 2024.

The Department invited a range of stakeholders including industry bodies, patient organisations and civil society organisations to workshops which took place from January 2023 until March 2023. These workshops were a listening exercise that aimed to illicit a diverse range of perspectives. The insights taken from these workshops will be used to inform the preparations for negotiation of a successor to the 2019 voluntary scheme for branded medicines and pricing access.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Department of Health and Social Care’s ongoing Voluntary Price and Access Scheme (VPAS) pre-negotiation workshops, what assessment they have made of the (1) the impact of VPAS 2019 on the UK life science sector, and (2) the implications for their negotiations on VPAS 2024.

The Government is working to better understand the impacts of the operation of the current voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access (VPAS) on the United Kingdom life sciences industry. We are in direct conversations with pharmaceutical companies, including in the recent pre-negotiation workshops, as well as with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, and the Department for Business and Trade about the business environment for life sciences.

The Government is open to ideas about how a successor to VPAS should operate from 2024 onwards. We are working with industry to agree a mutually beneficial successor that supports better patient outcomes; ensures the sustainability of National Health Service spend on branded medicines; and enables a strong UK life sciences industry.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the UK maintains a leadership role in the number of phase 1 trials being delivered in the UK, by comparison to international competitors.

The multi-year vision for the Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery: 2021 to 2022 implementation plan was published on 23 March 2021 and sets out our ambition to create a patient-centred, pro-innovation and digitally enabled clinical research environment including phase 1 trials. A copy is attached. Implementing the vision will unleash the true potential of our clinical research environment to improve health, capitalise on our renowned research expertise, and make the United Kingdom one of the best places in the world to design and deliver research.

National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) infrastructure spans early translational experimental medicine, through clinical and onto applied health and care research. NIHR has recently invested over £969 million to strengthen the infrastructure supporting Phase 1 trial capacity over the next five years. This includes funding for the NIHR Biomedical Research Centres, the NIHR Clinical Research Facilities, and Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why they decided to delay the establishment of the Health Services Safety Investigations Body by six months until October 2023.

On 1 April 2023, Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) national investigation programme was expected to transition into the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB), a new body established under the Health and Care Act 2022.

We have been working on transitional arrangements to set up both bodies by April. However, there have been some delays to this, including appointments to the Board of the new organisation which will not be completed by April 2023. Whilst we could legally establish HSSIB by commencing the relevant provisions in the Health and Care Act 2022, we believe the delay will allow us to ensure a smooth transition of the investigation programme from HSIB to HSSIB.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 27 February (HL5458), whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of examples of (1) the YAML specifications, and (2) the python code, currently used to create or define dashboards within the NHS installation of Palantir Foundry.

NHS England is not releasing technical details, including specifications or code from the Foundry system, as it would go beyond details provided to bidders as part of the commercial process to procure its replacement, the Federated Data Platform and Associated Services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many integrated care systems have established services for Huntington’s disease patients in their local areas.

The information requested is not held centrally by the Department or NHS England.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to set up a public inquiry into the Gender Identity Development Service for Children (GIDS) at the Tavistock Clinic to establish whether the well-being and safeguarding of children were sufficiently protected.

The Government has no plans to set up a public inquiry into the Gender Identity Development Service for Children and supports the ongoing Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People currently being carried out by Dr Hilary Cass, also known as the Cass Review. The review is expected to set out findings and make recommendations in relation to pathways of care, clinical models and management, and the use of, and research into the long-time effects of, hormone treatment. The Cass Review published an interim report in March 2022 and is due to conclude by the end of 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which secure data environment is used by NHS England’s Cohorting as a Service system; and whether this is used by all current cohorting service projects.

Cohorting uses the same underlying technology platform as NHS England’s Secure Data Environment service. Cohorting is carried out in other national programmes such as screening, which do not use the Cohorting as a Service system. There are forms of cohorting for other purposes such as population health and research; the Cohorting as a Service system is not currently intended to be used for these.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 14 February (HL5455), whether they will direct NHS England to publish the agenda and minutes of its Data, Digital and Technology committee and other board committees, in the interests of transparency.

There are no plans to direct NHS England to publish the agenda and minutes of its Data, Digital and Technology committee and other board committees. NHS England should consider how best to ensure transparency in its governance arrangements.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many people’s GP records have been made accessible to contractors and sub-contractors working on NHS England’s Cohorting as a Service system in 2023; and what data fields have been shared.

The clinical data used in the Cohorting as a Service system covers between 15 and 20 million people in the flu and COVID-19 cohorts. The system is built and maintained by NHS England employees and one main contractor, with less than fifteen people in the team having access to the relevant clinical cohorting data. This data is only accessed by exception, for example to investigate or resolve problems. The remainder of the team use test data for building the service and do not have access to the clinical data.

The system accesses the following data fields:

- NHS Number;

- surname and forename;

- date of birth/age;

- address and postcode;

- ethnicity;

- sex;

- the associated SNOMED5 CT codes and dates for medical conditions and drug treatment(s) relevant to the cohort criteria.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to deliver their clinical research vision, and (2) to provide funding to support the growth of the UK’s phase 1 trial capacity.

The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery 2022-2025 implementation plan summarises the progress made in 2021-22 towards delivering the vision and the actions that are being taken by the various delivery partners (the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), NHS England, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Health Research Authority and Devolved Administrations) between 2022 and 2025 to make progress to achieve our vision in full by 2031. This plan is being delivered under the UK Recovery, Resilience and Growth Programme.

To support the growth of phase 1 trial capacity the NIHR has confirmed an investment of £969 million over the next five years in its early translational research infrastructure, which includes the NIHR Biomedical Research Centres, NIHR Clinical Research Facilities and NIHR/Cancer Research UK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many of the patients discharged early through the North Tees discharge pilot described in the NHS England board papers for 2 February were readmitted inside 60 days; and what was the equivalent national average for such early discharges and readmissions.

NHS England does not hold a dataset that nationally monitors readmissions for this cohort but has plans to collect data in the near future which will allow review of, and feedback on, this metric.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the board of NHS England will list the members of its Data, Digital and Technology committee; and publish agendas and minutes of that committee's meetings.

Membership, attendance, and a summary of the business considered by the Data, Digital and Technology Committee will be published in the NHS England annual report. This is the process followed for all NHS England Board Committees, and NHS England do not intend to publish agenda and minutes of Committee meetings.

The membership of the Committee includes the NHS England Chair, at least two NHS England Non-Executive Directors, external subject matter expert members, the National Director of Transformation, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Information Officer and the Head of the combined Digital Policy Unit within NHS England and the Department.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether NHS England's Data promise 4, as updated on 31 January, is compatible with the Written Answer by Lord Markham on the same day (HL4714).

I believe the answer given is compatible with NHS England’s Data Promise 4.

Specifications will be placed in the Library of the House when they are available.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what independent assessment has been made of the removal of 16 per cent of the East Sussex waiting list through "error identification" as described in the NHS England board papers for 2 February; and how many of those removed were subsequently added back on to the waiting list.

Whilst no independent assessment has been carried out on the removal of patients from the waiting list at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, this has been investigated by NHS England and identified as an error in reporting.

The correct percentage of the waiting list that was flagged for removal through error identification is 14%.

At a local level, there is a requirement to follow three stages in waiting list validation: technical, administrative and clinical. Patients who are initially flagged for removal then undergo a manual validation stage whereby trust staff validate that the identified patients should be removed before actioning this themselves. This is supported by local governance arrangements and clinical oversight, to ensure that patients are removed safely and appropriately. All patients removed from waiting lists following validation are notified of this stage in their care pathway. Therefore, it is not expected that any patients would need be ‘readded’ due to the processes in place.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which people with organic brain disorders who require mental health support are able to access community mental health services.

No such assessment has been made. Access to National Health Service mental health services is based on clinical need, including for patients with Huntington’s disease and organic brain disorders.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits an additional £2.3 billion a year for the expansion and transformation of mental health services in England by 2023/24 so that an additional two million people, including those with Huntington’s disease and organic brain disorders, can get the NHS-funded mental health support that they need.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which people with Huntington’s disease who are displaying mental health symptoms are able to access community mental health services.

No such assessment has been made. Access to National Health Service mental health services is based on clinical need, including for patients with Huntington’s disease and organic brain disorders.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits an additional £2.3 billion a year for the expansion and transformation of mental health services in England by 2023/24 so that an additional two million people, including those with Huntington’s disease and organic brain disorders, can get the NHS-funded mental health support that they need.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to develop specific national guidelines about Huntington’s disease to ensure patients with the disease have a clear, consistent and coordinated care pathway.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body that develops authoritative evidence-based guidance for the National Health Service on best practice. Topics for guideline development are identified and prioritised through a topic selection process that considers the evidence base, variation in practice and burden of disease.

Following the Westminster Hall debate on Huntington’s Disease on 9 November 2022, the Department is preparing an evidence-based paper on a potential guideline on Huntington’s Disease for consideration through the NICE topic selection process.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will raise with NHS England the concerns of the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data regarding the amount of time they had to comment on the draft guidance on NHS England’s protection of patient data.

The Independent Advisory Group on the Release of Data (IGARD) was asked to provide feedback on Draft guidance on NHS England’s protection of patient data, which was published on 23 January 2023 in an online-only format. We expect to continue receiving feedback from members of IGARD and other stakeholders on this draft and identify issues to address before the guidance is finalised, which we intend to do by the end of February 2023.

IGARD has also been actively involved in developing draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the new data advisory group to be established in line with the draft statutory guidance. The ToR will continue to be developed and will be finalised to reflect the statutory guidance once finalised.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the NHS costs incurred by sending thyroid patients to secondary care for liothyronine, given NHS England national guidance only requires initiation of treatment in secondary care but allows regular prescribing in primary care.

No specific assessments have been made of the costs of reviewing patients currently prescribed liothyronine in secondary care.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to review Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board’s (ICB) policy on liothyronine to assess the extent to which it (1) follows national guidance, by asking new patients who have already been reviewed by specialist NHS consultants to be reviewed again if they move into Gloucestershire from another ICB area, and (2) incurs higher costs and additional use of NHS resources.

The Department has no plans for a review. The current Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board guidance on the prescribing of liothyronine, agreed by the former Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group in April 2022, is under a local review to be completed within the next four months and will consider the position on new patients already on liothyronine moving into Gloucestershire.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will publish (1) the assessment of the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative of technologies from the company Healthy.io, (2) any contracts or agreements between Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and that company, and (3) an estimate of how many Oxfordshire patients had data about them provided to that company.

The NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) made a Phase 4 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Award to Healthy.io under Round 1 of the AI Award programme. As part of the award process, the AAC commissioned an independent service evaluation and a randomised controlled trial, supported by Leicester Clinical Trials Unit. The results of these will be published as part of the Award process by September 2024. All 20 Primary Care Networks in Oxfordshire are taking part in the Healthy.io AI Award programme pilot and 2760 patients have been asked if they would like to take part.

The Department does not hold a copy of the contract between Buckinghamshire Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board and Healthy.io. Our understanding is that this contract was for a pilot project and has not been continued. During the pilot, 38 general practices in Oxfordshire signed up to Healthy.io and submitted 6473 patients, of which 6053 were eligible.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what cost assessment they have undertaken of the daily dose rationing of liothyronine regardless of clinical need by the (1) NHS Devon, (2) NHS Buckinghamshire, and (3) NHS Hertfordshire, Integrated Care Boards; and what comparative assessment they have made of (a) the NHS England national guidance, and (b) the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence British National Formulary guidance on liothyronine, given the risk of harm to patients and that smaller doses lead to higher costs.

No assessments have been made.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data only received draft guidance on NHS England’s protection of patient data on 18 January for comment by 20 January.

The Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD) were asked to provide feedback on the latest draft of the guidance on a quick turnaround, as the transfer of NHS Digital’s functions to NHS England was conducted at pace because we are keen to see the benefits of creating a single statutory body responsible for data and digital technology for the National Health Service delivered quickly.

This was not intended to be a hard deadline for receiving comments, or the end of the process, as the guidance has not been finalised. We have been reviewing the feedback from IGARD and other stakeholders. The Department would welcome any further feedback that those who were members of IGARD, and others, wish to provide, as we finalise the guidance and then keep it under review.

My officials have discussed the concerns raised by IGARD with NHS England officials.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership Fulfilling the potential identified in the Government's Life Sciences Vision, published on 24 January, what assessment they have made of its findings that the UK has seen (1) a significant loss of traditional medicines manufacturing capacity over the last 25 years, (2) 7,000 jobs lost, and (3) a fall in production volumes of 29 per cent since 2009.

Life Sciences pharmaceutical manufacturing was responsible for approximately £20.1 billion worth of exports in 2021. This figure is based on a US dollar figure of $27.7 billion, using the 2021 OECD average conversion rate.

The official statistics from the Office for Life Sciences show that employment in core biopharmaceutical manufacturing employment declined between 2009 and 2019 but increased by 5% between 2019 and 2021. The Life Sciences Vision sets out an ambition to create a globally competitive environment for Life Science manufacturing investments. To help meet these ambitions, the Government launched the £60 million Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund in March 2022 to incentivise globally mobile manufacturing investments in the United Kingdom.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government where ministerial responsibility lies for NHS Wheelchair Services.

Maria Caulfield MP is the minister responsible for NHS Wheelchair Services. As Minister for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy, disabilities including autism are part of her portfolio. The minister has held this role since 27 October 2022.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what processes have been established within Integrated Care Boards to audit Wheelchair Service standards of service.

Integrated care boards (ICBs) are responsible for the development, provision and commissioning of local wheelchair services. NHS England has committed to develop a framework for ICBs to support them in commissioning effective, efficient and personalised wheelchair services. The framework will include the updated Wheelchair Charter.

Regarding the processes established within individual ICBs to audit Wheelchair Service standards of service, the Government does not hold this information centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that Integrated Care Boards adopt the Wheelchair Charter, as supported by NHS England.

Integrated care boards (ICBs) are responsible for the development, provision and commissioning of local wheelchair services. NHS England has committed to develop a framework for ICBs to support them in commissioning effective, efficient and personalised wheelchair services. The framework will include the updated Wheelchair Charter.

Regarding the processes established within individual ICBs to audit Wheelchair Service standards of service, the Government does not hold this information centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the 27.5 per cent proposed increase to the statutory scheme payment included in the Proposed update to the 2023 statutory scheme to control the costs of branded health service medicines, published on 16 December 2022; and whether this increase is part of their commitment to their Life Sciences Vision.

The Government remains firmly committed to the statutory and voluntary schemes for branded medicines and to working with the pharmaceutical industry to deliver on the ambitions set out in the Life Sciences Vision to create an environment that facilitates innovation for the development of medicines in the United Kingdom.

The Department is consulting on a proposed update to the statutory scheme payment percentage for 2023. The proposed increase to the payment percentage of 27.5% will ensure continued broad commercial equivalence between the Statutory Scheme and the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access. We published an impact assessment of this policy titled Autumn 2022 update to the Statutory Scheme controlling the costs of branded health service medicines. A copy of the impact assessment is attached.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of access to innovative medicines by (1) region, and (2) socioeconomic status; and what steps they are taking to (a) ensure equity, and (b) assess the impact of inequitable access to innovative medicines on the economy.

Existing reporting tools, such as NHS Digital’s Innovation Scorecard, monitor the use of innovative medicines and medicinal products. To further analyse the extent of regional variation in the uptake of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved medicines, the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) is working with NHS England and jointly engaging with stakeholders across the health system to understand the drivers of variation and the barriers to equitable uptake.

No specific assessment has been made of variation in access to innovative medicines by socioeconomic status, nor of the impact of inequitable access to innovative medicines on the economy.

The Strategic Metrics Group, with representatives across Government, the National Health Service, NICE and industry are working to deliver on commitments set out in the Life Sciences Vision. This will improve the NHS use of proven and cost-effective innovations, including new medicines, through strengthened innovation metrics and a focus on identifying and addressing unwarranted variation in uptake.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the (1) resources, and (2) capacity, of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Association (MHRA); and whether they have made an assessment of the current capacity of the MHRA to keep pace with the expected launches of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved medicines to the UK market.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an executive agency of the Department, regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the United Kingdom. MHRA employs over 1380 staff and for 2021/22, its total resources were £167 million, funded mostly by income from fees and charges for both statutory and non-statutory sales of products and services. The fees that MHRA charges for its services reflect the cost of providing that service and these are set in legislation, following public consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny.

MHRA and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) work closely together to ensure that there is a joined-up, and timely approach to supporting access for National Health Service patients to new medicines. NICE aims wherever possible to publish final guidance on new medicines within 90 days of MHRA granting a marketing authorisation.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the decline in the number of clinical trials, and (2) its impact on patient outcomes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) supports study sites to deliver research across England. In 2021/22 there were 6,383 studies on the NIHR CRN portfolio which has seen year-on-year growth in study numbers, recruiting more than one million participants. Overall, this suggests there are greater opportunities for people to participate in clinical trials that could benefit patient outcomes. The Department, in partnership with NHS England, is taking action to recover the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) capacity to deliver clinical research through the Research Reset programme to ensure new studies can open and be delivered within planned timescales, while addressing the backlog caused by the pandemic to ensure the UK remains an attractive global destination for new research.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the finding by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) that there has been a 41 per cent decline in clinical trial numbers since 2017, what assessment they have made of the reasons why the recovery in the number of clinical trials is slow; and what additional steps they are taking to address this.

Data published by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry highlights a decline in the number of commercial contract clinical trials initiated in the United Kingdom (UK), primarily in 2020 and 2021. This was the result of the pandemic when many studies were paused to focus on nationally prioritised COVID-19 studies. There has, however, been a year-on-year growth in the number of studies overall and by December 2021, the number of studies on the National Institute for Health and Care Research Clinical Research Network portfolio was higher than ever before. Increased workload pressure on the National Health Service (NHS) research & development workforce, in the context of the recovery of wider NHS services and changes to care pathways, means the UK has seen a growing backlog of studies waiting to start or taking longer to complete. The Department, in partnership with NHS England, is taking action to recover the UK’s capacity to deliver commercial research through the Research Reset programme to ensure new studies can open and be delivered within planned timescales, while addressing the backlog to ensure the UK remains an attractive global destination for new research.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to NICE’s recommendation to broaden access to statins for the prevention of strokes and heart attacks, what plans they have, if any, to ask NICE whether this approach could be extended to low-dose blood pressure drugs combined into a single formulation.

We have no current plans to ask the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to develop any such recommendation. NICE is responsible for developing its guidelines independently in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders based on a broad remit referred to it by either the Department or NHS England.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 15 December 2022 (HL4328), what assessment they have made of whether the NHS Devon Integrated Care Board has sufficiently taken account in its policies to support patients with hypothyroidism; and in particular, whether the Board has ensured that (1) national recommendations to not alter medication if a patient is stable on thyroid treatment are followed, (2) blanket reductions in the T3 dose to 10 μcg for all patients do not take place regardless of (a) individual needs, or (b) the recommendations of NICE, which gives 10μcg as a starting dose, rising up to 60μcg as necessary, and (3) regardless of whether patients can take levothyroxine or not, it is substituted it for (a) armour thyroid medicine, or (b) doses of T3 in excess of 10μcg.

No assessment has been made. Decisions about prescribing are made with the healthcare professional concerned, who has clinical responsibility for that particular aspect of a patient’s care. Prescribers must ensure that the medicines considered appropriate for their patients can be safely prescribed and take account of the appropriate national guidance on clinical effectiveness and the local commissioning decisions of their respective integrated care boards (ICBs). NHS England formally oversees ICBs and has a legal duty to annually assess the performance of each ICB and publish their findings.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the NHS to take forward plans related to the performance of A&E departments and ambulance services.

Ministers and officials at the Department meet with senior National Health Service leaders on a regular basis to discuss NHS performance, including accident and emergency and ambulance services. As announced at the Autumn Statement, plans for the recovery of urgent and emergency care services will be published in early 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to prioritise funding for public health and primary, community, and social care, in order to resolve capacity problems in A&E and hospital trusts.

The ‘2023/24 priorities and operational planning guidance’, published on 23 December 2022, sets out the action and funding agreed with NHS England to begin recovering National Health Service core services and productivity, including additional capacity for Urgent and Emergency Care. A copy of the guidance is attached.

There will be £1 billion of funding through system allocations to increase capacity based on agreed system plans. It is anticipated that capacity will be focused on increasing General & Acute capacity, intermediate and step-down care and community beds with an expectation of an increase in the utilisation of virtual wards. £600 million will be distributed in 2023/24 and £1 billion in 2024/25 through the Better Care Fund to get people out of hospital on time into care settings, freeing up NHS beds for those that need them. In addition, a £400 million ring-fenced local authority grant for adult social care will support discharge among other goals. There will also be an increase in allocations for systems that host ambulance services to increase ambulance capacity.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to address staffing shortages to ensure that patients receive high-quality, allied healthcare professional and ancillary care, including those patients occupying the additional 7,000 hospital beds announced in August 2022.

Local National Health Service trusts are responsible for managing its own staffing levels and for recruiting the number of health professionals required to meet local service need as part of their workforce planning. The NHS published plans for increasing capacity in urgent and emergency care over winter. The plans looked to reduce hospital occupancy through increasing capacity by the equivalent of at least 7,000 general and acute beds, through a mix of new physical beds, virtual wards and improvements elsewhere in the pathway. This intervention was developed with integrated care boards responsible for developing plans to achieve this increase in bed capacity based on realistic assumptions, including how many staff can be recruited and at what speed.

To help address staff shortages Health Education England (HEE) National Allied Health Professionals (AHP) Workforce Supply Project delivered valuable recruitment initiatives including improved return to practice pathways, pre-registration apprenticeships and more jobs for new graduates helping to improve staffing shortages. A HEE national programme started in 2022/23 to support NHS trusts with AHP international recruitment.

Furthermore, all-eligible nursing, midwifery and allied health profession degree students have received a non-repayable training grant of a minimum of £5,000 per academic year. To support future workforce planning the Department have commissioned NHS England to develop a long term plan for the NHS workforce for the next 15 years. The plan will help ensure that we have the right numbers of staff, with the right skills to transform and deliver high quality services fit for the future.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much of the funding announced by the Prime Minister on 9 January to support patients who are medically fit but need care after discharge from hospital will be ring-fenced to address the national shortage of front-line domiciliary and residential care staff.

The additional £200 million announced on 9 January is specifically for short term care, to allow local areas to purchase bedded step-down capacity and associated clinical and therapeutic support for those patients who do not meet the criteria to remain in hospital. It will be for integrated care boards to determine how best to address need in line with the guidance set out by NHS England.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to reassure families that relatives discharged from hospital into home care will be adequately supported, given the current staff shortages.

We are making available £500 million to support safe and timely discharges from hospital and can be used to boost workforce capacity. We committed a further £200 million to fund short term National Health Service step-down care packages and wrap-around primary and community health services to support patient’s recovery.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to (1) identify, and (2) address, the needs of patients who are medically fit to be discharged from hospital but are unable to leave because of delays in transfers of care.

We are making available £500 million to support safe and timely discharges from hospital. We committed a further £200 million to fund short term National Health Service step-down care packages and wrap-around primary and community health services to support patients' recovery. The Government has also provided an extra £50 million in capital funding to expand ambulance hubs and hospital discharge lounges, designed to accommodate patients waiting for short term delays to transfers of care.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how the urgent action promised by the Prime Minister on 3 January to increase NHS hospital bed stock by 7,000 will be achieved; and by when.

The winter plan set out a commitment to increase general and acute bed capacity by the equivalent of at least 7,000 beds, through a mix of new physical beds and innovative virtual wards. NHS England report that additional capacity has continued to be put in place across the winter period and that the Nation Health Service is on track to deliver the total additional beds by the end of March this year.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 2 August 2022 (HL1602), how many users of NHS England’s installation of Palantir Foundry software currently have access to data or dashboards for each purpose listed.

A copy of a spreadsheet which lists how many users there are for each individual purpose is attached.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 2 August 2022 (HL1602), whether they will (1) publish, or (2) place in the Library of the House, copies of the specifications for any dashboards for the purposes listed, in the manner NHS England expect to make available similar specifications for interoperability with the Federated Data Platform, if the Palantir Procurement were to be successful.

It is expected that all existing dashboards within Foundry will be interoperable. Over the coming months, an assessment will be undertaken to determine which dashboards will be migrated to the new Federated Data Platform and which will be decommissioned. The format of the specifications for these dashboards will be developed as part of the planned transition activities of the programme.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 2 August 2022 (HL1602), whether they will (1) publish, or (2) place in the Library of the House, a copy of the form(s) for NHS England staff to request access to data in Palantir Foundry software and any associated training materials about making such requests.

There are 4 steps to register access to the NHS National Data Platform (Foundry).

1. Register for an Okta account - Okta is a cloud-based identity management service.

2. Submit a Foundry Access Request Form – used to record contact details, purpose of the request, required products/tools, and information governance compliance.

3. Download and register two factor authentication - to ensure that only the applicant can use the account. It will also ensure the security of the data within the Foundry platform.

4. Launch the Foundry platform

A copy is attached of the Foundry System Access Form.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will publish the policy rationale for the reduction to the NHS England hospital bed stock between January 2010 and January 2020.

The number of hospital beds provided is an operational matter for National Health Service commissioners and providers. NHS trusts will make decisions on their bed stock based on the demand within the local population and other factors such as the increase in the proportion of elective care day cases over time, which reduces the number of hospital beds required for overnight stays. Accounting for the impact of the pandemic, the number of NHS general and acute hospital beds has remained relatively stable from 2015/16, at around 102,000 beds.

The NHS is working hard to deliver their winter plan, increasing hospital bed capacity by the equivalent of 7,000 beds. In addition, under the Delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services published on 30 January sets a further 5,000 new beds will be established in 2023/24, alongside expanded use of virtual wards so that up to 50,000 patients a month can benefit from them. This is backed by a £1 billion dedicated fund.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what medicines are currently not available due to stock shortages.

Medicines frequently go in and out of stock. The latest up to date information about medicine supply issues being managed by the Department is available in an online only format, on the Specialist Pharmacy Services website, which also hosts comprehensive management advice for NHS healthcare professionals.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to direct NHS England to ensure that when patients are (1) currently prescribed, and (2) previously prescribed, Armour Thyroid medicine for the treatment of hypothyroidism, their GP should be permitted to continue to prescribe the medicine.

Prescribers must ensure that the medicines considered appropriate for their patients can be safely prescribed and take account of the appropriate national guidance on clinical effectiveness and the local commissioning decisions of their respective integrated care boards.

The National Institute for Health and Care and Excellence recommends that natural thyroid or armour thyroid extract should not be offered for the management of primary hypothyroidism due to insufficient evidence that it offers greater benefits than levothyroxine.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what alternative medicine will be made available to patients for the treatment of hypothyroidism in the event that (1) Liothyronine (T3), and (2) Levothyroxine (T4), medications prove to be ineffective.

In the event of a medicine proving ineffective, a general practitioner or other responsible clinician should work with the patient to determine the most appropriate course of action or further treatment. Prescribers should ensure that the medicines considered appropriate for the patients can be safely prescribed and take account of appropriate national guidance on clinical effectiveness and the local commissioning decisions of the local integrated care board. Arrangements for monitoring the effects of the medicines should be agreed with the patient on prescribing.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they intend to have with NHS England concerning the policy of the NHS Devon Integrated Care Board to withdraw funding from the prescribing of Armour Thyroid medicine for the treatment of hypothyroidism.

There are no current plans to have discussions with NHS England. NHS Devon Integrated Care Board has policies in place to support patients with hypothyroidism and follows national guidance which states that there is no convincing evidence to support routine use of thyroid extracts, armour thyroid, in managing hypothyroidism.

The National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) recommends that natural thyroid extract should not be offered for the management of primary hypothyroidism as there is not enough evidence that it offers benefits over levothyroxine. Natural thyroid extract does not have a United Kingdom marketing authorisation.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to roll out on the NHS the Minderoo Precision Brain Tumour Programme (MPBTP) introduced at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge to improve care for brain cancer patients.

The Minderoo Precision Brain Tumour Programme has recruited over 100 patients for whole genome sequencing in its first year and has returned results within three weeks of surgery on average. This has led to funding for a United Kingdom precision platform trial in brain cancer, which is anticipated to be available to patients at specific centres in 2023. The deployment dates and locations of these centres will be determined by a separate selection process.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of the funding they provide for cancer research is spent on brain tumours.

The Department invests £1 billion per year in health research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR’s research expenditure for all cancers in 2020/21 was £73.5 million and 7.3% was spent on brain tumour research. Information on expenditure in 2021/22 will be available in 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)