Seema Malhotra Written Questions

Questions to Department of Health and Social Care tabled by Seema Malhotra


Date Title Questioner
5 Nov 2019, 12:41 p.m. Department of Health and Social Care: Honours Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of staff in his Department in receipt of each category of Honour in (a) December 2018 and (b) June 2019 were (i) from ethnic minority backgrounds and (ii) female aged (A) under 30, (B) 31 to 40, (C) 41 to 50 and (D) aged over 50.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

As part of our commitment to achieving a workforce representative of the society we serve and providing equality of opportunity, we monitor representation of all protected characteristics across the Department.

In December 2018, two members of staff received honours and a further two members of staff received honours in June 2019. Where numbers of staff in a group are under five, we cannot disclose personally identifiable information, such as ethnicity.

30 Sep 2019, 12:04 p.m. Maraviroc Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has had made of the effectiveness of Maraviroc in patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

Answer (Ms Nadine Dorries)

Maraviroc (brand name Celsentri) is currently authorised through the European centralised procedure for the treatment of patients who are infected with HIV type 1. It is used in combination other HIV medicines.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency which is responsible for the regulation of medicines in the United Kingdom is not aware of any application for maraviroc for use in patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and cannot therefore comment on the efficacy of this drug in patients with PML.

25 Jul 2019, 2:35 p.m. Department of Health and Social Care: Ethnic Groups Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many BAME staff are employed at (a) grade 7, (b) grade 5 and (c) grade 3 in his Department.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

As part of our commitment to achieving a workforce representative of the society we serve and providing equality of opportunity, we monitor representation of all protected characteristics across the Department.

Providing diversity information relies on employees voluntarily completing their diversity information on our electronic HR system and we continue to encourage staff to complete their self-declaration.

The declaration rate for ethnicity with the Department is 67% (data as at 30 September 2018) and therefore it should be noted that the information provided below regarding black, Asian and minority ethnic staff refers only to staff who have completed their self-declaration. This information refers only to Departmental staff and does not include staff from our executive agencies or arm’s length bodies.

Grade 7 – 38

Grade 5 (SCS1) – 7

Grade 3 (Director) – Nil

16 Jul 2019, 8:42 a.m. Doctors: Private Sector Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2019 to Question 271509, what his Department's definition is of serious or persistent failure in relation to doctors failing to follow guidance on disclosing their interests in organisations to which they refer patients; and how many incidents of that serious or persistent failure there have been in the last five years.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

The Department does not define ‘serious or persistent failure’ in relation to doctors failing to follow guidance on disclosing their interests in organisations to which they refer patients. The Department also does not hold information on the number of incidents relating to failure to follow guidance on disclosing interests.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent regulator of doctors in the United Kingdom. All UK registered doctors are expected to meet the professional standards set out in the GMC's guidance ‘Good Medical Practice’. Serious or persistent failure to follow this guidance will put their registration at risk.

12 Jul 2019, 11:23 a.m. Diabetes Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the prevalence of (a) Type 1 and (b) Type 2 diabetes in each local authority area in each of the last three years; what steps his Department is taking to tackle the prevalence of diabetes; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's policy on tackling diabetes.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

Data on the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes is not available at local authority level.

The prevalence of both type one and type two diabetes, combined, is monitored and published via the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) and the National Diabetes Audit (NDA) provides information on the number with each condition separately at clinical commissioning group and general practice level. The QOF can be viewed at the following link:

https://qof.digital.nhs.uk/

The NDA can be viewed at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/national-diabetes-audit

Steps to reduce the increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes are being led via the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. This programme can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/diabetes/diabetes-prevention/

Significant funding and commitments to improving services for those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have also been made in the NHS Long Term Plan. The NHS Long Term Plan can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/

A first progress report covering early implementation of the Healthier You Diabetes Prevention Programme, including numbers of referrals and uptake in its first year, was published as a short report in Diabetic Medicine and can be accessed at the following link:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dme.13562

10 Jul 2019, 4:22 p.m. Maraviroc Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy of NHS procurement options for and (b) the affordability of Maraviroc.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

NHS England runs a competitive framework tender process to assess availability and cost of drugs used to treat HIV. Maraviroc is currently commissioned and procured for HIV nationally through a tender framework by NHS England and NHS Improvement. The affordability of Maraviroc is similar to comparable HIV treatments.

10 Jul 2019, 4:17 p.m. Maraviroc: Clinical Trials Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of clinical trials of Maraviroc in each of the last three years.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

In the last three years, four investigator initiated non-commercial clinical trials have been supported by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN).

The cost to the National Health Service of these clinical trials is limited to:

- NHS Treatment Costs - the patient care costs, which would continue to be incurred if the patient care service in question continued to be provided after the research and development study had stopped.

- Excess Treatment Costs (ETCs) –that result from giving patients new treatments or changing the way that care is delivered, if applicable for non-commercial research and development studies.

We do not hold information on what, if any ETCs have been incurred historically by the NHS for individual clinical trials.

As is standard practice for non-commercial research studies, the NIHR CRN provided NHS Support Costs to cover additional patient care costs associated with the research. Research Costs for the clinical trials were met by the research funders.

10 Jul 2019, 4:06 p.m. Maraviroc: Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment NHS England has made of the availability of Maraviroc to patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

We are informed by NHS England and NHS Improvement that it does not commission Maraviroc for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy as there is currently insufficient evidence to support its use in this condition.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have published do not commission policy for ‘Natalizumab-induced progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in relation to immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome in multiple sclerosis.’

Due to a lack of evidence and as it is considered experimental, it is not currently commissioned for this indication.

Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/maraviroc-for-ms-urgent-policy-statement.pdf

10 Jul 2019, 11:08 a.m. Cancer: Greater London Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment his Department has made between the annual cancer mortality rate in (a) the London borough of Hounslow and (b) London in each of the last five years; and what steps his Department is taking to tackle cancer mortality in (i) the London borough of Hounslow and (ii) London.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The information is not available in the format requested.

9 Jul 2019, 1:11 p.m. Liothyronine Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the value for money of prescribing Liothyronine (T3) on the NHS.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The Department has made no assessment. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for the planning, commissioning and access to health care services for their local area.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working closely with CCGs on the prescribing of liothyronine to support them with the implementation of guidance for CCGs on items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care.

This guidance includes recommendations on the use of liothyronine in line with the British Thyroid Association, who advise that a small proportion of patients treated with levothyroxine continue to suffer with symptoms despite adequate biochemical correction. In these circumstances, where levothyroxine has failed and in line with this guidance, endocrinologists providing NHS services may recommend liothyronine for individual patients after a carefully audited trial of at least three months duration of the drug.

Further guidance on the prescribing of liothyronine has been published by the Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee. The aim of the guidance is to make best practice on the prescribing of liothyronine clearer. CCGs are expected to have regard to national guidance, and are responsible for developing their own local approaches to its implementation taking into account local priorities and needs.

9 Jul 2019, 1:11 p.m. Liothyronine Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure access to Liothyronine on the NHS as an alternative to Levothyroxine.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The Department has made no assessment. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for the planning, commissioning and access to health care services for their local area.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working closely with CCGs on the prescribing of liothyronine to support them with the implementation of guidance for CCGs on items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care.

This guidance includes recommendations on the use of liothyronine in line with the British Thyroid Association, who advise that a small proportion of patients treated with levothyroxine continue to suffer with symptoms despite adequate biochemical correction. In these circumstances, where levothyroxine has failed and in line with this guidance, endocrinologists providing NHS services may recommend liothyronine for individual patients after a carefully audited trial of at least three months duration of the drug.

Further guidance on the prescribing of liothyronine has been published by the Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee. The aim of the guidance is to make best practice on the prescribing of liothyronine clearer. CCGs are expected to have regard to national guidance, and are responsible for developing their own local approaches to its implementation taking into account local priorities and needs.

9 Jul 2019, 1:11 p.m. Liothyronine Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to ensure access to Liothyronine on the NHS for people with hypothyroidism.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The Department has made no assessment. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for the planning, commissioning and access to health care services for their local area.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working closely with CCGs on the prescribing of liothyronine to support them with the implementation of guidance for CCGs on items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care.

This guidance includes recommendations on the use of liothyronine in line with the British Thyroid Association, who advise that a small proportion of patients treated with levothyroxine continue to suffer with symptoms despite adequate biochemical correction. In these circumstances, where levothyroxine has failed and in line with this guidance, endocrinologists providing NHS services may recommend liothyronine for individual patients after a carefully audited trial of at least three months duration of the drug.

Further guidance on the prescribing of liothyronine has been published by the Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee. The aim of the guidance is to make best practice on the prescribing of liothyronine clearer. CCGs are expected to have regard to national guidance, and are responsible for developing their own local approaches to its implementation taking into account local priorities and needs.

4 Jul 2019, 11:25 a.m. Doctors: Private Sector Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) identify and (b) mitigate against any conflict of interest by NHS consultants referring patients to private hospitals in which those consultants have an interest.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

NHS England guidance makes clear that all National Health Service staff, including consultants should declare all private practice on appointment, and/or any new private practice when it arises. Where clinical private practice gives rise to a conflict of interest then the general management actions outlined in guidance should be considered and applied to mitigate risks


In addition, the General Medical Council is the independent regulator of doctors in the United Kingdom and sets the professional standards that all doctors must follow to practice in the UK. Doctors planning to refer a patient to an organisation in which they have a financial or commercial interest must tell the patient about that interest and make a note of this in the patient’s medical record. Doctors must be prepared to explain and justify their decisions and actions. Serious or persistent failure to follow this guidance will put their registration at risk





20 Feb 2019, 11:48 a.m. Breast Cancer: Screening Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take to train, recruit and resource the breast cancer staff needed to fulfil the commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to increase breast screening uptake.

Answer (Steve Brine)

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has commissioned Baroness Dido Harding, working closely with Sir David Behan, to lead a number of programmes to engage with key National Health Service interests to develop a detailed workforce implementation plan. These programmes will consider detailed proposals to grow the workforce rapidly, including staff working on breast cancer screening, consider additional staff and skills required, build a supportive working culture in the NHS and ensure first rate leadership for NHS staff.

Following the publication of Health Education England's (HEE) first ever Cancer Workforce Plan in December 2017, there has been significant interest in training in radiographer reporting. HEE planned to invest in 300 more radiographers to start image interpretation and reporting courses by 2021. 150 radiographers commenced training in 2018/19 and 150 are expected to commence in 2019/20.

30 Jan 2019, 5:14 p.m. Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to begin work on a new alcohol strategy.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The Department of Health and Social Care and Home Office officials are continuing to hold discussions on the proposals for a new joint alcohol strategy and further announcements will be made in due course.

28 Jan 2019, 5:10 p.m. Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he plans to hold with BAME communities on the development of a new alcohol strategy.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The Government continues to hold regular discussions on the options for future alcohol policy development. Officials across Government will continue to engage with a variety of groups and communities in the development of alcohol policy to help understand where we are falling short and what more we can do.

16 Jan 2019, 3:07 p.m. Cancer: Medical Treatments Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of patients who have (a) used Immunotherapy treatments under the NHS and (b) had Immunotherapy treatments ended after two years in each of the last five years.

Answer (Steve Brine)

This information is not held centrally.

18 Oct 2018, 4:22 p.m. Department of Health and Social Care: Brexit Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to publish his Department's preparation for no deal.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

We have already published a series of 77 technical notices so that businesses and citizens have time to prepare in the event of a 'no deal' scenario. These are available on gov.uk in a centralised location that is easy for people to access and use.

18 Oct 2018, 11:21 a.m. Department of Health and Social Care: Staff Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what change there has been in staffing levels in his Department since June 2016.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Department’s staffing levels have decreased by 474 people since June 2016.

The Department’s headcount is publicly available up until March 2018 at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dh-monthly-workforce-information

The total headcounts for March-August 2018 are:

Date

Grand Total
(workforce numbers)

Headcount

Full Time Equivalent

March 2018

1,637

1574.47

April 2018

1,633

1571.19

May 2018

1,629

1567.02

June 2018

1,629

1567.02

July 2018

1,736

1668.92

August 2018

1,594

1538.49

4 Jun 2018, 3:59 p.m. Better Care Fund Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which initiatives by English region receive funding from the Better Care fund; and how much funding each such initiative has received.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Better Care Fund (BCF) is a universal policy for local authorities and clinical commissioning groups to pool budgets for the purposes of integrated care. Local areas develop BCF plans according to their local needs (including mental health), as outlined in the Integration and Better Care Fund Planning Requirements for 2017-19*. Plans are agreed locally by Health and Wellbeing Boards. Data is not collected centrally on how much BCF funding is used to address mental health needs. A Quality and Outcomes of Person-centred Care Policy Research Unit system-level evaluation of the BCF is underway, with the final report planned for this summer and this will contain detail on different categories of BCF spend.

Note:

The document can be found at the following link:

*https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/integration-and-better-care-fund-planning-requirements-for-2017-19/

4 Jun 2018, 3:59 p.m. Better Care Fund: Mental Health Services Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which initiatives by English region which are funded from the Better Care fund are dedicated to address mental health needs.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Better Care Fund (BCF) is a universal policy for local authorities and clinical commissioning groups to pool budgets for the purposes of integrated care. Local areas develop BCF plans according to their local needs (including mental health), as outlined in the Integration and Better Care Fund Planning Requirements for 2017-19*. Plans are agreed locally by Health and Wellbeing Boards. Data is not collected centrally on how much BCF funding is used to address mental health needs. A Quality and Outcomes of Person-centred Care Policy Research Unit system-level evaluation of the BCF is underway, with the final report planned for this summer and this will contain detail on different categories of BCF spend.

Note:

The document can be found at the following link:

*https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/integration-and-better-care-fund-planning-requirements-for-2017-19/

4 Jun 2018, 2:01 p.m. Public Health Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information he holds on the (a) number of staff employed in and (b) size of budget for public health teams in each local authority in England in each of the last three years.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Information on the number of staff employed in and size of budgets for public health teams in each local authority in England is not held centrally.

Public health allocations for 2018/19 for each local authority in England are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-health-grants-to-local-authorities-2018-to-2019

It is for each individual authority to decide what proportion of this is spent on staff.

27 Mar 2018, 4:12 p.m. Hospitals Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number (a) hospitals in each region and (b) the number of hospitals in each region which have hospital-based independent domestic violence advisors.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Department does not hold data centrally on the number of hospitals by region.

Independent Domestic Violence advisers (IDVAs) support the safety of victims and survivors of domestic violence at high risk of harm to secure their safety and the safety of their children. Data on IDVA services is collected by the charity SafeLives. In 2017, the percentage of IDVA services based in health settings was 15%. This data is from SafeLives’ 2017 Survey of domestic abuse practitioners in England and Wales, available from:

http://safelives.org.uk/sites/default/files/resources/SafeLives%202017%20survey%20of%20domestic%20abuse%20practitioners-web_0.pdf

Data is not available on the number of IDVAs based in hospital settings regionally.

7 Dec 2017, 2:26 p.m. Department of Health: Brexit Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of officials to be employed by his Department and (b) his Department's payroll in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2021 and (v) 2022 as a result of the UK leaving EU.

Answer (Philip Dunne)

Leaving the European Union is an all-of-Government operation. The Department for Exiting the European Union is doing detailed work with departments to prepare for the upcoming negotiations by understanding the risks and opportunities of leaving the EU and coordinating planning.

Staff within the Global and Public Health Directorate of this Department lead on providing advice to Ministers on EU Exit and exit-related issues.

Members of staff across the Department also provide advice and analysis on EU Exit issues as required.

Given the interactions between EU exit work and the Department’s other priorities, it would not be possible to give an accurate figure.

27 Nov 2017, 4:46 p.m. Drugs: Manufacturing Industries Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the pharmaceutical industry of there being no deal between the UK and the EU.

Answer (Steve Brine)

We are confident that a future partnership between the United Kingdom and European Union, and one that minimising disruption for patients and business, is in the interests of both sides, so we approach these negotiations anticipating success.

However, since June 2016, every Government department has been working at pace to build a detailed understanding of how withdrawing from the EU will affect its existing policies and services in a wide range of outcomes. This will ensure that we are prepared both for a negotiated settlement but also for the unlikely scenario in which no mutually satisfactory agreement can be reached.

The Government is engaging with businesses across the economy in order to understand the challenges and opportunities that may impact them in the coming months and years. We understand the need to reduce uncertainty wherever we can, and are working to get the right deal for industry and ensure the UK remains the best possible place to do business. As part of this dialogue, we will be working closely to understand how the Government can support businesses in making the transition outside of the European Union.

2 Nov 2017, 4:19 p.m. Vaccination: Finance Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to change levels of funding for vaccination programmes; and which vaccines will be so affected.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Funding for vaccination programmes (both the cost of vaccines and administering those vaccines) were estimated up to 2020/21 as part of the Department’s 2015 Spending Review process. These estimates are updated on an ongoing basis to take account of expert advice as well as changes in demand and pricing.

30 Oct 2017, 4:40 p.m. Mental Health Services: Children Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the number of children on the waiting list for mental health support services in (a) Hounslow, (b) London and (c) England who have witnessed domestic abuse.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Department does not hold this information.

30 Oct 2017, 4:38 p.m. Mental Health Services: Children Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the number of children waiting for mental health support services in (a) Hounslow, (b) London and (c) England.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The information is not held in the format requested. Data on waiting times for children referred to mental health support services is not held. Data on the count of people under 18, who have a referral recorded that started on or after 1 January 2016 is reported by NHS Digital and can be viewed via the following link:

http://content.digital.nhs.uk/mhldsreports

30 Oct 2017, 4:36 p.m. Department of Health: Brexit Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department was consulted by the Department for Exiting the European Union on the economic impact assessments conducted for the UK leaving the EU.

Answer (Philip Dunne)

The Government is carrying out an ongoing programme of comprehensive analytical work that will inform our negotiating position with the European Union, to define our deep and special partnership with the EU and inform our understanding of how EU exit will affect the United Kingdom’s domestic policies and frameworks.

The Department of Health has been working, and continues to work with officials across government, in close coordination with the Department for Exiting the European Union, to ensure the delivery of a comprehensive programme of analysis across government.

4 Jul 2017, 4:31 p.m. NHS: Pay Seema Malhotra

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of the public sector pay cap on staffing levels in the NHS.

Answer (Philip Dunne)

National Health Service staff do a fantastic job and the government is committed to ensuring they can continue to deliver world-class patient care. Pay restraint has helped the NHS to recruit an additional 33,800 (6.4%) professionally qualified clinical staff since May 2010.