Neil Coyle Written Questions

37 Questions to Department of Health and Social Care tabled by Neil Coyle


Date Title Questioner
24 Feb 2020, 6:39 p.m. Organs: Donors Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what the date presumed consent for organ donation will be implemented.

Answer (Helen Whately)

The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019 heralds a new system of consent for organ and tissue donation in England, known as ‘opt-out' or ‘deemed consent’. The new consent arrangements mean that all adults over 18 will be considered potential organ and tissue donors after death, unless they make a decision that they do not want to be a donor, they have nominated a representative to make a decision on their behalf after death or are in an excluded group.

The Government intends to implement the new system later this spring and is planning to announce the exact date shortly.

30 Sep 2019, 5:09 p.m. Cystic Fibrosis: Medical Treatments Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the stabilisation of cystic fibrosis is part of the NICE quality of life measurement system.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent body and is responsible for the methods it uses in the development of its guidance. In developing its guidance, NICE will take into account any health benefits that impact on quality of life and length of life, including disease stabilisation in conditions such as cystic fibrosis, in deciding whether an intervention represents a clinically and cost effective use of National Health Service resources.

9 Sep 2019, 5:24 p.m. Mental Health Act 1983 Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timeframe is for the publication of a White Paper on reforming the Mental Health Act.

Answer (Ms Nadine Dorries)

We recently announced that the Government will publish a White Paper by the end of the year.

9 Sep 2019, 3:04 p.m. Cystic Fibrosis Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on the availability of treatments and medication for cystic fibrosis of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

As part of a responsible Government, the Department is doing everything appropriate to prepare for European Union exit. We want to reassure patients that our plans should ensure the supply of medicines and medical products remains uninterrupted when we leave the European Union on 31 October.

The Department, in consultation with the devolved administrations, has been working with trade bodies, product suppliers, and the health and care system in England to make detailed plans that should ensure continuation of the supply of medicines, including those for people with cystic fibrosis, to the whole of the United Kingdom and its Crown Dependencies.

On 26 June, we wrote to suppliers of medicines to the UK from or via the EU or European Economic Area setting out our continuing multi-layered approach to support continuity of supply of medicines and medical products in a potential ‘no deal’ exit scenario on 31 October.

Further details can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/medicines-and-medical-products-supply-government-updates-no-deal-brexit-plans

4 Sep 2019, 3:45 p.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government remains committed to doubling the number of places on the PrEP Impact Trial; and what steps he is taking towards achieving that goal.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

Following my Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s announcement on 30 January that the number of places on the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial would be doubled to 26,000, expansion of the trial is now underway across the country.

NHS England has committed to funding the PrEP drug and research costs of these additional places, in line with current arrangements. Around 80% of participating clinics have now confirmed they have the capacity to accept additional trial places and the majority of sites have also received approval from their Local Authority commissioners to proceed. In London, boroughs have so far agreed to accept 60% of the total number of additional places available to them. London local authority commissioners have been asked to confirm whether they can accept any further additional places. In addition, sexual health services not taking part in the trial have been given an opportunity to participate following trial expansion.

3 Sep 2019, 4:47 p.m. Orkambi Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timescale is for NICE to make a decision on Orkambi.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

In July 2016 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance on Orkambi for treating cystic fibrosis in people 12 years and older who are homozygous for the F508del mutation. This guidance is scheduled for review this year (2019). If NICE updates the existing recommendations, and the company participates, updated guidance for these patients is expected late 2020/early 2021.

In March 2019, NICE received Ministerial referral to appraise Orkambi in people aged between 2 and 11 years old who are homozygous for the F508del mutation. NICE is in the process of inviting the company and other stakeholders to participate in this appraisal. If the company participates, NICE expects to be able to come to a decision on the use of Orkambi for this group of children in the autumn of 2020.

The Secretary of State for Health wrote to Vertex in August offering a further meeting again with Vertex, as soon as possible, to consider what the barriers are to an agreement and how the situation can be resolved. We continue to urge Vertex to accept NHS England’s generous offer. In the absence of an agreement NHS England and Improvement continue to explore other options.

18 Jul 2019, 9:39 a.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he is having with local authorities in London on increasing access to the PrEP Impact trial.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial is managed by the Trial Sponsor. Recruitment to places in the Trial is managed locally by participating clinics. All information regarding the Trial, including the research clinics which are open to recruitment is available at the following link:

https://www.prepimpacttrial.org.uk/

Following funding from NHS England to pay for extra PrEP drug and research costs and the Secretary of State’s announcement on 30 January that the number of places on the PrEP Impact Trial would be doubled to 26,000, expansion of the Trial is now underway across the country.

In London, boroughs have so far agreed to accept 60% of the total number of additional places available to them, which equates to over 4,000 extra places on the Trial. London local authority commissioners have been asked to confirm that they will accept the remaining 40% of additional places available to them by the end of August at the latest. Participation in the Trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for research clinics and local authorities to decide whether they wish to take part.

18 Jul 2019, 9:35 a.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to advertise extra places on the PrEP Impact trial to people who are at risk of HIV.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial is managed by the Trial Sponsor. Recruitment to places in the Trial is managed locally by participating clinics. All information regarding the Trial, including the research clinics which are open to recruitment is available at the following link:

https://www.prepimpacttrial.org.uk/

Following funding from NHS England to pay for extra PrEP drug and research costs and the Secretary of State’s announcement on 30 January that the number of places on the PrEP Impact Trial would be doubled to 26,000, expansion of the Trial is now underway across the country.

In London, boroughs have so far agreed to accept 60% of the total number of additional places available to them, which equates to over 4,000 extra places on the Trial. London local authority commissioners have been asked to confirm that they will accept the remaining 40% of additional places available to them by the end of August at the latest. Participation in the Trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for research clinics and local authorities to decide whether they wish to take part.

18 Jul 2019, 9:04 a.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the Dean Street Clinic, GUM, is not permitting gay and bisexual men to take part in the PrEP impact trial.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not currently a routinely commissioned service, but is provided by the National Health Service through the three year PrEP Impact Trial. Participation in the trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide whether they wish to take part.

18 Jul 2019, 9:04 a.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that gay and bisexual men using Dean Street Clinic (GUM) have access to PrEP as part of the PrEP Impact trial.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not currently a routinely commissioned service, but is provided by the National Health Service through the three year PrEP Impact Trial. Participation in the trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide whether they wish to take part.

25 Jun 2019, 4:46 p.m. Genito-urinary Medicine: Finance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to allocate additional funding for the provision of sexual health services in the next four years.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The Government provides funding to local authorities for their public health responsibilities, including sexual health services, through a public health grant. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need, including the need for sexual health services taking account of their statutory duties. They are required by regulations to provide services for sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment and contraception.

Future funding for local authorities’ public health responsibilities will be determined in the next spending review.

24 Jun 2019, 4:48 p.m. Public Health: Finance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase public health funding for local authorities.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

Future funding for local authorities’ public health responsibilities will be considered carefully in the next spending review, taking full account of the available evidence.

24 May 2019, 12:35 p.m. Mental Health Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that advance decisions on mental health treatment are respected and adhered to.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

Last year Professor Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal Society of Medicine, submitted his independent review of the Mental Health Act. The review made 154 recommendations – including the establishment of new statutory advance choice documents, so that people’s wishes and preferences carry far more legal weight.

We have accepted this recommendation.

The Government is currently considering the detailed recommendations of the review and will respond in due course. We remain committed to reforming mental health law and will develop and bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.

24 May 2019, 12:35 p.m. Mental Health Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure the adequate (a) monitoring and (b) use of advance decisions in mental health care.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

Last year Professor Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal Society of Medicine, submitted his independent review of the Mental Health Act. The review made 154 recommendations – including the establishment of new statutory advance choice documents, so that people’s wishes and preferences carry far more legal weight.

We have accepted this recommendation.

The Government is currently considering the detailed recommendations of the review and will respond in due course. We remain committed to reforming mental health law and will develop and bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.

15 May 2019, 4:10 p.m. Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018 Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timeframe is for bringing into force the provisions of the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

We remain committed to implementing fully the provisions within the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018. We will work closely with key stakeholders in preparing the relevant statutory guidance and bring the legislation into force in due course.

14 May 2019, 11:12 a.m. Mental Health Act 1983 Independent Review Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, published in December 2018, what progress his Department, when his Department plans to respond to the recommendations contained in that review.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

We are considering the report and its recommendations in detail and will respond in due course. We remain committed to reforming mental health law and will develop and bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.

We have already accepted two important recommendations: the establishment of new statutory advance choice documents, so that people’s wishes and preferences carry far more legal weight, and the creation of a new role of ‘nominated person’, to be chosen by the patient, to replace the current nearest relative provisions.

14 May 2019, 11:11 a.m. Police Custody: Death Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody last met; and whether it has has plans to consider the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act relating to deaths in custody.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Ministerial Board last met on 27 February 2019, and the Independent Advisory Panel last met on 2 May 2019. The recommendations of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act relating to deaths in custody are included on the Board’s work programme, and the Government welcomes views from the Council on them.

The Government will publish its response to the Independent Review in due course.

26 Apr 2019, 1:06 p.m. Female Genital Mutilation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the mandatory reporting duty for female genital mutilation on access to healthcare.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The decision by a patient to disclose female genital mutilation (FGM) to a healthcare professional is complex. The FGM Mandatory Reporting duty (which applies only when the patient is under 18) is just one aspect of this.

The Home Office amended the police Annual Data Requirement (ADR) to allow police forces the opportunity from April 2018 to record, on a voluntary basis, offences of FGM which were initially reported to the police under the FGM Mandatory Reporting Duty. Subject to data quality checks, we expect the first dataset under this new voluntary ADR collection to be published later this year. From April 2019, recording of this data under the ADR is mandatory.

With this information in combination with the FGM Enhanced Dataset, published by NHS Digital, we will be able to consider whether there is evidence of impact of the FGM Mandatory Reporting duty.

27 Mar 2019, 12:50 p.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using e-services in London for the proposed expansion of the PrEP Impact Trial.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

E-services have potential to help support a sustainable expansion of the PrEP Impact Trial in London. London authorities are currently in discussion with the PrEP Impact Trial team about how best to utilise the potential option of online testing for trial participants.

5 Mar 2019, 2:34 p.m. Radioisotopes Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of radioisotope suppliers have confirmed that freight provisions are in place to avoid delays at ports preventing people accessing cancer treatments as a result of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

Leaving the European Union with a deal remains the Government’s top priority - this has not changed. However, as a responsible Government, we must plan for every possible outcome including ‘no deal’. The Department has published guidance to industry and the health and care system to allow them to make informed plans and preparations. This is available on GOV.UK.

We are reliant on transport and freight being re-routed but are confident that, if everyone – including suppliers, freight companies, the health and care system and international partners - does what they should do, the supply of medicines and other medical products, including medical radioisotopes, will be uninterrupted.

The Department has put in place a multi-layered approach to minimise any supply disruption:

- securing, via the Department for Transport, additional roll on roll off freight capacity (away from the short straits crossings to Dover and Folkestone) for goods to continue to come into the United Kingdom from 29 March;

- asking industry to build up stockpiles in the UK before 29 March;

- buying extra warehouse space for the additional stock to be held in;

- supporting companies in booking space on aeroplanes for products which require an immediate shipment due to short shelf-life, including medical radioisotopes, or specific storage conditions;

- making changes to, or clarifications of, certain regulatory requirements so that companies can continue to sell their products in the UK even if we have ‘no deal’; and

- strengthening the processes and resources used to deal with shortages in the event that they do occur.

There is cross-Government agreement that all medicines and medical products will be prioritised on these alternative routes to ensure that the flow of all these products may continue unimpeded. For any products that require air freight, such as medical radioisotopes, we are continuing to work with suppliers to ensure this continues as normal.

15 Jan 2019, 4:13 p.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will increase the number of places on the pre-exposure prophylaxis impact trial.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The Department recognises the importance of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) impact trial. NHS England has announced its support for expansion of the trial and we are actively considering the next steps in relation to PrEP. We will make an announcement on this as soon as possible.

14 Jan 2019, 2:14 p.m. Drugs: Death Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to prevent drug-related deaths among homeless people.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and ending it by 2027. The Department is delivering several commitments through the Rough Sleeping Strategy, published in August 2018, to ensure that the healthcare needs of rough sleepers are addressed; this includes measures to prevent substance-misuse related deaths among homeless people: a rapid audit of health services targeted at rough sleepers to identify gaps in service provision; and the provision of up to £2 million in health funding to test models of community-based health and support services for people who are rough sleepers. Both measures include a focus on substance-misuse services.

Public Health England is taking action to improve access to drug and alcohol treatment services for homeless people with drug and alcohol problems so that they get the help that they need. They will be issuing commissioning guidance to local authorities in 2019.

5 Nov 2018, 3:57 p.m. NHS: Crimes of Violence Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional (a) security and (b) other staff are planned to be recruited to deliver the zero tolerance approach towards violence against NHS employees.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

Employers across the National Health Service in England are responsible for protecting their staff and it is for them to decide locally whether they need any more security or other staff to address and manage challenging behaviours.

The new Violence Reduction Strategy will help NHS organisations support their staff by ensuring they receive appropriate training, for example in de-escalation techniques and what to do if they are attacked or abused, improving the safety of the environments in which they work and ensuring local security management specialists who are appointed by trusts locally maintain their skills and knowledge through continuing professional development.

The use of body cameras is being piloted by a few ambulance trusts to assess their effectiveness in protecting paramedics.

11 Jul 2018, 12:45 p.m. Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England's blog of 9 November 2017, Alcohol and drug treatment in England: the picture from the 2016-17 data, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the 12 per cent fall in the number of people seeking treatment for alcohol in the last three years.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Public Health England is working with local authorities to review treatment numbers and assess the reasons for changes in the number of people in treatment. The findings are currently being analysed and advice will be provided to local authorities.

21 Jun 2018, 11:33 a.m. Sleeping Rough Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the availability of assessments under the Care Act 2014 for people sleeping rough.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Care Act 2014 requires that where an adult or carer appears to have care and support needs the local authority must carry out an assessment. This includes adults who are rough sleepers with care or support needs. The local authority must then decide if the person has eligible needs by considering the outcomes the person wants to achieve, what needs they have, and how these impact on their wellbeing.

Where any person, is assessed as having eligible care and support needs, these must be met by their local authority.

21 Jun 2018, 11:31 a.m. Sleeping Rough: Mental Health Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the availability of mental health services for people sleeping rough.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Department has not made a recent assessment of the availability of mental health services for people sleeping rough. The Department is working closely with a range of other Government departments, seeking to understand the extent of the problem and to develop a new strategy to implement the Government’s commitment to halve the number of rough sleepers by 2022 and eliminating rough sleepers by 2027. Effective access to health, social care and wider support services will be one important contributing factor in achieving this aim.

20 Jun 2018, 11 a.m. Sleeping Rough: Death Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the value of the process of safeguarding adult reviews into the deaths of people sleeping rough.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Department has not made any specific assessment of the value of the process of safeguarding adult reviews into the deaths of people sleeping rough.

The Care Act statutory guidance states that Safeguarding Adult Boards are required to order a Safeguarding Adult Review if an adult dies in their area and there is concern that partner agencies could have done more to prevent the death and protect the adult. This is because Safeguarding Adult Reviews are about learning and improving to prevent future deaths.

11 Jun 2018, 11 a.m. Social Services: Disability Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential effect on disabled people of lowering the eligibility criteria for social care; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Care Act 2014 set out the eligibility criteria for social care which is set at a national minimum level. We are not making a specific assessment of the potential effects on disabled people as the Government published an Impact Assessment of the Care Act in 2014. We are currently evaluating implementation of the Care Act as a whole.

Where a person is assessed as having eligible care and support needs, these must be met by their local authority. For those who do not meet the eligibility criteria, local authorities should signpost people to relevant services.

7 Jun 2018, 1:13 p.m. Social Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to ban 15-minute personal care visits.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Care Act 2014 is clear that commissioning services without properly considering the impact on people’s wellbeing is unacceptable. However, it would be inappropriate to introduce a blanket ban on 15 minute homecare visits. They may be appropriate in certain circumstances, for instance, checking a person’s medication has been taken.

Ultimately, local authorities are responsible for the commissioning of services. We are supporting local authorities to improve commissioning of care.

The Department has also worked with local government and the care sector to develop and encourage good practice in commissioning and managing local adult social care markets. A suite of guidance is now available at the on-line Hub on GOV.UK.

The Department is working with organisations from across the adult social care sector to implement Quality Matters – a shared commitment to take action to achieve high quality social care. Under this initiative, the Local Government Association has published the Integrated Commissioning for Better Outcomes framework to support sector-led improvement in adult social care commissioning.

7 Jun 2018, 1:03 p.m. Care Homes: Minimum Wage Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of the Social Care Compliance Scheme participants that will cease to be viable by the completion of that scheme.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) is an interim scheme administered by HM Revenue and Customs. The SCCS has been designed to assist social care providers in becoming compliant with National Minimum Wage legislation.

HM Revenue and Customs does not discuss individual cases, as such no assessment can be made. However, the Government is exploring options to minimise the impact of sleep-ins liabilities on the social care sector.

6 Jun 2018, 10:05 a.m. Social Services: Minimum Wage Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department has provided to (a) local authorities and (b) other providers to help them retrospectively fund sleep-in shifts at the national minimum wage rate.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Government recognises the pressures that sleep-in liabilities are placing on local authorities and social care providers, and is exploring options to minimise any impact on the sector. Any intervention to support the sector would need to be proportionate and necessary.

In the interim the Government will continue to work closely with stakeholders to ensure that we have a clear understanding of any impact the sector may face.

1 Mar 2018, 2:30 p.m. Social Services: Minimum Wage Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will publish the Deloitte report on the financial liability for sleep-in overnight care in the social care sector.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Government has commissioned market analysis to assess the impact on the sector, however this forms part of the evidence base that is being used to assess options and is subject to further analysis and refinement. Consequently there is no timetable for publication.

The Government recognises the pressures these liabilities are placing on providers of social care, and we are exploring options to minimise any impact on the sector.

1 Mar 2018, 2:30 p.m. Social Services: Minimum Wage Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department has calculated the figures for the financial liability for sleep-in overnight care in the social care sector.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Government has commissioned market analysis to assess the impact on the sector, however this forms part of the evidence base that is being used to assess options and is subject to further analysis and refinement. Consequently there is no timetable for publication.

The Government recognises the pressures these liabilities are placing on providers of social care, and we are exploring options to minimise any impact on the sector.

26 Feb 2018, 5:09 p.m. Ophthalmic Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase funding for the national NHS ophthalmic services contract for adults and children with learning disabilities and for people who are homeless.

Answer (Steve Brine)

There are no patient charges for those entitled to free National Health Service sight tests or cap on the budget from which NHS sight tests are funded. Many people with learning disabilities and those who are homeless will either meet the criteria for a free NHS sight test or qualify on income grounds for help with the costs of a private sight test.

17 Jan 2018, 5:15 p.m. Eyesight: Testing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the NHS sight test fee on the accessibility of sight tests for people with severe learning disabilities.

Answer (Steve Brine)

For those entitled to a National Health Service sight test, the service is free at the point of need. There are no costs to patients to form a barrier to accessibility. All children under the age of 16, those under the age of 19 in full time education, as well as all adults aged 60 or over are entitled to an NHS sight test. Those on a low income and defined categories of people at particular risk of developing eye disease are also entitled to NHS sight tests.

The eligibility criteria are long standing and target help on those most at risk of eye disease or least able to pay for a private sight test. This will include most people with severe learning disabilities or those who are homeless. There is recognition however that there are particular practical challenges for these groups in accessing services. NHS England is responsible for commissioning NHS sight tests. NHS England advises it is currently looking at the accessibility issues those with learning disabilities may face and is considering similar work in the future on the impact of homelessness on accessibility.

17 Jan 2018, 5:15 p.m. Eyesight: Testing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons people who (a) have a learning disability and (b) are homeless are not specified as eligible for NHS sight tests under the Primary Ophthalmic Services Regulations 2008.

Answer (Steve Brine)

For those entitled to a National Health Service sight test, the service is free at the point of need. There are no costs to patients to form a barrier to accessibility. All children under the age of 16, those under the age of 19 in full time education, as well as all adults aged 60 or over are entitled to an NHS sight test. Those on a low income and defined categories of people at particular risk of developing eye disease are also entitled to NHS sight tests.

The eligibility criteria are long standing and target help on those most at risk of eye disease or least able to pay for a private sight test. This will include most people with severe learning disabilities or those who are homeless. There is recognition however that there are particular practical challenges for these groups in accessing services. NHS England is responsible for commissioning NHS sight tests. NHS England advises it is currently looking at the accessibility issues those with learning disabilities may face and is considering similar work in the future on the impact of homelessness on accessibility.

8 Jan 2018, 5:03 p.m. Employment and Support Allowance: Suicide Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for what reasons his Department's report, Preventing suicide in England: third progress report of the cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives, published in January 2017 does not prioritise employment and support allowance claimants for additional help and support.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Strategy for England (2012) identified high risk groups and groups of people for whom tailored approaches to their mental health are required to address the risk of suicide. This includes people who are unemployed and those with long-term health conditions.