Dan Poulter

Conservative - Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Environmental Audit Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 15th Jul 2019
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Backbench Business Committee
31st Oct 2016 - 30th Jan 2017
Scottish Affairs Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 23rd Jan 2017
Energy and Climate Change Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 17th Oct 2016
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)
6th Sep 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Health and Social Care Committee
27th Jun 2011 - 29th Oct 2012
Draft House of Lords Reform Bill (Joint Committee)
23rd Jun 2011 - 26th Mar 2012


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 29th June 2022
Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 267 Conservative No votes vs 1 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 175 Noes - 271
Speeches
Tuesday 28th June 2022
Derby County Football Club
I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate and on her and other local MPs’ tremendous efforts and leadership …
Written Answers
Friday 1st July 2022
Private Rented Housing: Electricity
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support tenants …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 3rd May 2022
1. Employment and earnings
From 1 April 2022 until further notice, I am employed on a flexible contract as a NHS psychiatrist by a …
EDM signed
Tuesday 25th October 2016
FUNDING FOR MENTAL HEALTH
That this House welcomes the extra media coverage afforded to mental health as a result of World Mental Health Day; …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 6th October 2020
Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) (No.2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to revoke parental or judicial consent which permits the marriage or civil partnership of a child and to …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Dan Poulter has voted in 421 divisions, and 9 times against the majority of their Party.

2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Dan Poulter voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Dan Poulter voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Dan Poulter voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Dan Poulter voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 257 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 261 Noes - 163
17 Nov 2021 - Strengthening Standards in Public Life - View Vote Context
Dan Poulter voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Conservative Aye votes vs 277 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 231 Noes - 282
22 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Dan Poulter voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 294 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 230 Noes - 297
22 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Dan Poulter voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 269 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 272 Noes - 246
25 Apr 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Dan Poulter voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 276 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 278 Noes - 182
25 Apr 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Dan Poulter voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 280 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 183
View All Dan Poulter 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
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
(6 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
Philip Dunne (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(26 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(10 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Dan Poulter's debates

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with most Central Suffolk and North Ipswich signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Ensuring statutory adoption pay is available to a self-employed parent in the same way that maternity allowance is available for self-employed new mums would promote an equal and fair society inclusive of all routes to parenthood.


Latest EDMs signed by Dan Poulter

25th October 2016
Dan Poulter signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 25th October 2016

FUNDING FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Tabled by: Luciana Berger (Liberal Democrat - Liverpool, Wavertree)
That this House welcomes the extra media coverage afforded to mental health as a result of World Mental Health Day; notes the findings of the independent Mental Health Taskforce that called for extra spending to tackle the chronic underfunding of services and committed the NHS to a major transformation of …
57 signatures
(Most recent: 30 Mar 2017)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 28
Scottish National Party: 9
Independent: 6
Liberal Democrat: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Ulster Unionist Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Conservative: 1
The Independent Group for Change: 1
Green Party: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
24th May 2016
Dan Poulter signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 24th May 2016

APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTIES FOR BENEFITS RECIPIENTS

Tabled by: Norman Lamb (Liberal Democrat - North Norfolk)
That this House notes that Patients of the Court of Protection, people who lack capacity to manage their affairs, can have a Deputy appointed who can manage their affairs, including the ability to make speedy decisions on authorising payment for adaptations to the home and many other day-to-day expenditures; further …
9 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2016)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 3
Labour: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Dan Poulter's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

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

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


Dan Poulter has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Dan Poulter has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Dan Poulter has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


340 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
5 Other Department Questions
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has plans to help protect high quality agricultural land from housing development.

The Government already places great importance upon our agricultural land and food production. Within the National Planning Policy Framework, we set out that the benefits of the best and most versatile agricultural land should be reflected in planning policies and decisions. The Framework is also clear that where significant development of agricultural land is demonstrated to be necessary, areas of poorer quality land should be preferred to those of a higher quality.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he plans to offer financial assistance to Ukrainian families who travelled to the UK either on the (a) Homes for Ukraine Scheme or (b) Ukraine Family scheme; and what plans he has to lessen potential disparities between the two schemes.

All Ukrainians arriving under either scheme have the right to work and access to benefits and services including Universal Credit. The Department for Levelling Up’s Homes for Ukraine scheme provides additional funding for local authorities. The Ukraine Family Scheme is administered by the Home Office.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to improve the energy efficiency of grade 1 listed homes.

The Government remains fully committed to meeting its climate change targets, alongside the protection of the historic environment, and recognises the important contribution that cost effective energy efficiency improvements to buildings can make in meeting these targets.

Approved Document L Volume 1 gives guidance on how to meet the energy efficiency requirements in homes. The guidance explains that when doing work on a listed building, dwellings do not need to comply fully with the energy efficiency requirements, where to do so would unacceptably alter their character or appearance. However, the work should comply with standards to the extent that it is reasonably practicable.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to help improve the energy efficiency of grade II listed homes.

The Government remains fully committed to meeting its climate change targets, alongside the protection of the historic environment, and recognises the important contribution that cost effective energy efficiency improvements to buildings can make in meeting these targets.

Approved Document L Volume 1 gives guidance on how to meet the energy efficiency requirements in homes. The guidance explains that when doing work on a listed building, dwellings do not need to comply fully with the energy efficiency requirements, where to do so would unacceptably alter their character or appearance. However, the work should comply with standards to the extent that it is reasonably practicable.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to re-introduce virtual participation in district and parish council meetings to ensure accessibility for members who may have to isolate as a result of covid-19 infection.

The Department has been considering the responses to the call for evidence on local authority remote meetings and the Government will respond shortly.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the average length of time taken by Departments to respond to correspondence from hon. Members; and whether his Department monitors the response times of Departments to that correspondence.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, Peers and members of the public.

In July 2021, the Cabinet Office published data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2018, 2019 and 2020 on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers. This data measures performance by the percentage of correspondence from MPs and Peers responded to within the target response time set by each Department - rather than the average length of time taken to respond to correspondence from MPs and Peers. As per the Guide to Handling Correspondence, updated by the Cabinet Office in July 2021, the target response time set by Departments for correspondence must not exceed 20 working days.

The Cabinet Office is now in a position to publish correspondence data in a more timely manner; the data for 2021 will be published in the near future.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the youth unemployment figures are for (a) Suffolk and (b) Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency for each year from 2009-10 to date.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people have been unemployed in (a) Suffolk and (b) Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency in each year from 2009-10 to date .

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to announce what progress has been made with the compensation framework review in relation to the contaminated blood inquiry.

Work is currently underway across government to address the concerns of people infected and affected by infected blood, and a compensation framework is being explored. Parliament will be updated in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether all deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive Polymerase Chain Reaction test are recorded as covid-19 related regardless of the cause of death.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support park home owners who do not have a domestic electricity supply contract with the cost of energy.

The Government raised this in its technical consultation on the Energy Bills Support Scheme. The responses to this consultation are being analysed and will be published later in the summer.

Vulnerable consumers, including park home residents will be eligible for a £150 contribution towards their energy bills each winter through the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. It is anticipated that the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme will re-open again in September 2022. There will also be payments to households on means tested benefits and pensioner and disability cost of living payments. Other support available includes the Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that domestic energy customers living in park homes are eligible for the £400 discount on energy bills in autumn 2022.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for St Albans on 20th June 2022 to Question 18990.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support tenants who do not have a domestic electricity supply contract with the cost of energy.

Ofgem’s Maximum Resale Price provisions prevent landlords from reselling energy to residents at a higher price than they paid to the licensed energy supplier.

Customers without a domestic electricity supply contract are not eligible for the Energy Bills Support Scheme, so the Government is exploring options for other ways in which they might receive similar support. This was raised in a recent Government consultation and a response will be published later in the summer. The Government has also provided £144 million of discretionary funding for Local Authorities to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax reduction.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount of agricultural land that has been taken out of food production to facilitate the development of solar farms.

The Government recognises the need to preserve the UK’s farmland. Planning guidance encourages solar projects to use previously developed land, and be designed to avoid, mitigate, and compensate for their impacts.

Information on the location of current solar installations is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/renewable-energy-planning-database-monthly-extract

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact the development of solar farms on agricultural land on food (a) security and (b) production.

The Government recognises the need to preserve the UK’s farmland. Planning guidance encourages solar projects to use previously developed land, and be designed to avoid, mitigate, and compensate for their impacts.

The UK’s high degree of food security is based on diversified supply, strong domestic production, and stable imports. The UK produces 60% of all the food it needs, and 74% of food that can be produced in the UK. These figures have changed little over the last 20 years. It is possible to maintain and increase food production sustainably in some areas, while seeing land use change in others.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of support available for research and development companies that are defined as an undertaking in difficulty due to losses as a result to the covid-19 outbreak.

In order to be eligible for the Government’s Covid-19 debt schemes, businesses previously had to demonstrate that they were not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ as of 31 December 2019. These requirements stem from EU state aid law.

In September 2020 the Government took advantage of increased flexibility in the Temporary Framework, allowing more businesses to gain eligibility for Government support – including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS). The new measures allowed for the assessment to be made at the date of application for the schemes.

A total of 182,196 businesses in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities sector, which includes a significant proportion of R&D businesses, have received over £1.72bn worth of support through these schemes. The Recovery Loan Scheme, which launched in April 2021, enables UK businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business as they grow and recover from the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme is open to R&D companies that are defined as an ‘undertaking in difficulty’, so long as the business is outside the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

This unprecedented package of support comes in addition to £14.9 billion of investment that we have committed to research and development in 2021/22, which puts UK Government R&D spending at its highest level in four decades.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that tour operators in the travel sector can access Restart Grant funding.

The Restart Grants announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 3 March 2021 are one-off grants to businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors, to support businesses to reopen as Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed. Non-essential retail businesses, such as travel agencies, are able to receive Restart Grants of up to £6,000.

All support is available through Local Authorities in England, as they administer all grant funding and take decisions on eligibility and the value of grant to be paid. The Government is working closely with Local Authorities to ensure that funding can get to the right places as quickly as practicable.

The main service principle will ultimately determine which threshold of Restart funding a business receives; this is based on what constitutes fifty per cent or more of the activity of the business in question. Businesses will need to declare their main service.

Local Authorities will need to exercise their reasonable judgement to determine whether or not a business is eligible for a grant, and under which funding threshold, and be satisfied that they have taken reasonable and practicable steps to pay eligible businesses, and to pay them the correct amount.

Further guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-restrictions-support-grants-lrsg-and-additional-restrictions-grant-arg-guidance-for-local-authorities.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether wedding (a) caterers and (b) venues will be legally permitted to cater for a wedding reception held indoors from 12 April 2021.

As detailed in the Government’s “COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021”, from no earlier than 12 April, weddings and receptions are permitted for up to 15 people. Further guidance will be published ahead of step 2 of reopening.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that the proposed EDF development of Sizewell C nuclear power station promotes and embeds widespread and ongoing community engagement beyond what is required during the planning process in the event he decides to approve the Development Consent Order for that development.

As part of his assessment of the Sizewell C application, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State may have to consider the extent of possible post-consent community engagement on a number of issues. Because of his quasi-judicial responsibility in respect of the decision on whether or not to grant development consent and, if he were to decide to grant consent, what form that consent would take, we cannot comment on the extent of measures which might be included in any consent that the Secretary of State might decide to grant.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that the Transport Review Group proposed by EDF for the development of Sizewell C nuclear power station has permanent and wider community representation in addition to drawing on the involvement of East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council.

Interested parties may wish to make representations about the composition of the Transport Review Group during the examination of the application for development consent for the Sizewell C nuclear power station. As that matter may form part of the examination and my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State’s consideration of that application, we are not able to comment further about the composition of that group.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of supporting the issuing of refund credit notes by small and specialist travel businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the challenges some businesses are experiencing in processing refunds for cancelled travel arrangements. Package travel agencies are required to comply with the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which protect consumers who have bought package holidays. Consumers are entitled to a full refund?if a package holiday is cancelled due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued?within 14 days. Many businesses are also offering consumers refund credit notes or alternative dates, which consumers are able to choose should they wish. Travel operators should be clear with consumers as to the terms of refund credit notes provided, including what insolvency protections underpin them. The Government is clear that refunds must be paid when asked for by the consumer.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to ensure that the EPC action plan due to be published later in 2020 ensures that off-grid homeowners are not incentivised to stay on higher carbon, cheaper fuels to meet the minimum energy efficiency standard due to the inclusion of input fuel cost in the EPC methodology.

EPCs are a widely used measure of the energy performance of buildings, both in the residential and commercial sectors, and are a key tool in promoting energy efficiency improvements to buildings.

The EPC Call for Evidence ran from 26 July 2018 to 19 October 2018 and sought evidence on how EPCs performed against three attributes: quality, availability, and encouraging action to improve energy efficiency. The forthcoming Call for Evidence Summary of Responses will outline the responses received from the Call for Evidence, including on effectiveness of EPCs.

Alongside this, an EPC Action Plan will build on the views expressed as part of the Call for Evidence, alongside government policy work, to set out a series of actions which the government will take forward to maximise the effectiveness of EPCs as a tool for the future.

The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and Reduced Data SAP (RdSAP) methodologies which underpin EPCs provide accurate and reliable assessments of the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER), an indicator of the assumed energy cost per square metre of a home, and the Environmental Impact Rating (EIR), an indicator of the carbon dioxide emissions intensity per square metre, of a home. They are updated regularly in line with updates to Part L of the Building Regulations. We will keep the ratings we use under review as we develop policies and plans for improving the energy efficiency of homes and reducing fuel poverty, including those in rural areas.

The Clean Growth Strategy also committed to ‘phase out installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in buildings not connected to the gas grid, starting with new build, during the 2020s’. In 2018 we ran an extensive programme of engagement with industry and consumers, to seek views on how industry, government and consumers could work together to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuels from homes and businesses off the gas grid, and we will be consulting on proposals in due course.

We will publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course which will set out the comprehensive set of action to decarbonise buildings, joining up approaches to improving energy efficiency of the building stock and the roll-out of low carbon heating.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to establish a UK-wide hydrogen strategy.

The Government is committed to exploring the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier. As such we are currently developing our strategic approach to hydrogen and its potential to deliver against our net zero goals. We are undertaking extensive stakeholder engagement as we develop new policy to help bring forward the technologies and supply chain we will need to grow the UK hydrogen economy. This includes business models to support the deployment of, and investment in, low carbon hydrogen production and a £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund to stimulate capital investment. We will be further engaging with industry on both schemes throughout the year.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department will take to ensure that the proposed EDF development of the Sizewell C nuclear power station conforms to the highest environmental standards and ensure that the Suffolk Coast is protected as (a) an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and (b) a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The Development Consent application for the proposed new nuclear power station, known as Sizewell C, was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 27 May 2020.

The Planning Act 2008 ensures a robust Environmental Impact Assessment is undertaken by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to consider relevant matters. Relevant matters include the environmental and conservation grounds, such as the potential effects on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

The Secretary of State will also undertake a Habitats Regulations Assessment of potential impacts on internationally designated Natura 2000 sites. If the application is accepted, the Examining Authority will thoroughly assess these matters before providing its recommendation to the Secretary of State. The development will also require environmental permits to be granted by the Environmental Agency.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to make it compulsory to use gloves and face masks in the preparation of food in cafes and takeaways during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our published Safer Working guidance is clear: if you are already using PPE in your work activity to protect against non-COVID-19 risks, you should continue to do so.

Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside clinical settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Unless you are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high, your risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited. However, if your risk assessment does show that PPE is required, then you must provide this PPE free of charge to workers who need it. Any PPE provided must fit properly.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to reduce the spread of covid-19 in meat packing businesses.

On 11 May, we published guidance for businesses to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. This guidance covered a range of work environments including in factories, plants and warehouse which covers meat packing businesses and can be found at www.gov.uk/workingsafely.

The published guidance sets out how businesses should carry out risk assessments and gives suggestions for practical steps they can consider to mitigate the risks identified related to COVID-19, including how to reduce the spread of the disease.

If staff are concerned that an employer is not taking all practical steps to promote social distancing then they can report this to their local authority or the Health and Safety Executive who can take a range of action to improve control of workplace risks.

These actions include the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements with the guidance.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to reduce the spread of covid-19 in food processing businesses.

On 11 May, we published guidance for businesses to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. This guidance covered a range or work environments including in factories, plants and warehouse covering food processing businesses and can be found at www.gov.uk/workingsafely.

The published guidance sets out how businesses should carry out risk assessments and suggestions for practical steps they can consider to mitigate the risks identified related to COVID-19, including how to reduce the spread of the disease.

If a business is not operating in line with the Government guidance, there is a role for the relevant health and safety enforcing authority - the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or Local Authority. Where the enforcing authority identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, for example, employers not taking appropriate action to socially distance, the enforcing authority will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. These actions include the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements with the guidance.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much money has been claimed under the Coronavirus Small Business Grants Fund (a) by second home owners and (b) for holiday lets in Suffolk.

The Government has made £12.3 billion available to businesses under the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. Local authorities are contacting businesses directly to deliver these grants.

As of 26 April, over 610,000 business premises have received grants across the two schemes, totalling over £7.59 billion. We do not receive management information from local authorities broken down by sector. However, we have published a full breakdown of grant funding allocated to and distributed by each local authority at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-localauthority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses. This breakdown is being updated regularly.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to provide support to the hospitality industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has introduced a number of measures which are available to businesses in the hospitality sector to provide support during the current COVID-19 outbreak. These include the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants and Business Rates Holiday schemes, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, as well as the Job Retention and Self-Employed Income Support schemes. The full details on all of the measures available to these businesses have been published at: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/. The Government is also continuing to keep these measures under review.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the hospitality industry.

The Government recognises the huge impact that the COVID-19 outbreak is having on the hospitality sector and is engaging regularly with representatives from across the industry to assess the effects on hospitality businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what her Department's timeframe is for confirming funding for the School Games Organiser Network beyond March 2022.

The government has confirmed that funding for the School Games Organiser network will be available for the full 2021/22 academic year.

The government is considering arrangements for the School Games Organiser network for the 2022-23 academic year and beyond, and will confirm the position in the new year.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of gyms in improving the health and fitness of their members and providing greater resilience amongst the population to infectious diseases.

The Chief Medical Officer is clear that being physically active is important to long-term health and crucial for keeping people healthy. Sports and physical activity, including the use of gyms, have been shown to treat, manage and prevent a range of conditions including heart disease, cancers, diabetes, stress, depression or anxiety. It can also bring communities together and tackle issues such as loneliness. That’s why we have continued to make sure that people can exercise throughout the national and the local tiered restrictions.

Sport England’s Active Lives Adult and Children surveys provide information not only on activity levels but also on social outcomes such as physical and mental wellbeing too. The latest reports can be found here.

Furthermore, last month Sport England published its new strategy Uniting the Movement which sets out their 10 year vision to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity. The strategy seeks to tackle the inequalities we have seen in sport and physical activity and provide opportunities to people and communities that have traditionally been left behind, helping to remove barriers to activity.

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. Step 2 will take place no earlier than 12 April and as part of this indoor leisure (including gyms) for individual use will reopen. Step 3 will take place no earlier than 17 May and as part of this exercise classes can resume. This will be subject to social contact limits.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will (a) publish a timeline for re-opening gyms and (b) confirm the status of gyms as essential businesses that provide health benefits to their members.

Sports and physical activity providers and facilities are at the heart of our communities, and play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. The approach focuses on data, not dates. Each step has a “no earlier than” date, 5 weeks later than the previous step, to allow time to assess the impact of the previous step and provide a week’s notice before changes occur.

Step 2 will take place no earlier than 12 April and as part of this indoor sport facilities including gyms for individual use will reopen. Group exercise will be allowed as part of Step 3 of the roadmap which will take place no earlier than 17 May. This will be subject to social contact limits.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will provide financial support to the tourism sector in Suffolk during the period of the national covid-19 lockdown that was introduced in January 2021.

We have introduced a number of measures since the start of the pandemic to support tourism businesses, including those in Suffolk. This includes the extended furlough and self-employed schemes and various government-backed loans, grant schemes, business rates relief and a reduced VAT rate.

To help the sector through the current lockdown, we have announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property. This is in addition to the monthly Local Restrictions Support Grants (Closed). Local Authorities in England have also been given an additional £594 million discretionary funding to support their local businesses. This builds on the £1.1 billion discretionary funding which local authorities in England have already received to support their local economies and help businesses impacted.

Both my Department and VisitEngland remain in regular contact with regional tourism stakeholders to assess the substantial economic effects around the country.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a scheme to incentivise gym and leisure club membership following the current lockdown similar to the Eat Out To Help Out scheme made available to the hospitality industry over summer 2020.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we have made sure that people can exercise throughout the national and local tiered restrictions. We will continue to promote exercise throughout the pandemic and encourage the usage of sports facilities including gyms when they are able to open again.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. On top of wider economic support, the Government has announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres to ensure these important facilities remain available once public health restrictions are lifted.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support his Department will make available to freelance workers in the events industry to help retain those workers in that industry in anticipation of it reopening as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

DCMS recognises the crucial role that individuals play in the UK’s events industry, and that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to many individuals operating in this sector.

The Secretary of State announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of cultural and creative sectors. This support package will benefit freelancers by providing support to cultural venues and many other organisations in the Creative Industries that host live events, to stay open and continue operating.

To complement the funding for organisations made available by Government, Arts Council England (ACE) have announced £95m of additional support for individuals, including freelancers. This involves:

  • an additional £75m in project grants. These will be focused on applications that maximise employment opportunities and those from under-represented groups. Freelancers and National Portfolio Organisations are eligible to apply.

  • A further round of the ACE programme ‘Discover Your Creative Practice’ will open in the autumn. This will make approximately £18m available for individuals looking to develop new creative skills that will help them to further develop their career.

  • ACE will also be adding £2m into relevant benevolent funds to support those less well supported by the programmes outlined above, including stage managers and technicians.

Government has also provided additional support for freelancers by extending the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

We are committed to continuing to work with the events sector to understand the difficulties they face and help them access support through these challenging times and through recovery.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish a long-term strategy to support the re-opening of the live events sector as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

DCMS appreciates the important role that the events sector plays in the UK’s cultural economy, and that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to many businesses operating in these sectors.

The Secretary of State provided a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of cultural and creative sectors. This support package will benefit cultural sector services by providing support to cultural venues and many other Cultural organisations that host live events, to stay open and continue operating.

From 15th August, and as part of the Government’s 5 stage roadmap to get performing arts and live entertainment sectors back up and running as soon as possible, venues and organisations have been able to put on live indoor performances in front of a socially-distanced audience. This is in addition to the earlier announcement that from 11 July we can all enjoy performances outdoors with social distancing. This follows the government’s five-stage roadmap outlining how DCMS will get audiences back into performing arts venues. We are now at Stage Four of the roadmap.

We are committed to continuing to work with the live events sector to understand the difficulties they face and help them access support through these challenging times and through recovery.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will extend the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage to include (a) rental companies and (b) the entire live events supply chain.

Applications for the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage are now closed. This funding will be used to support organisations across the heritage sector that have exhausted all other financing options and are now at risk of failure.

The package is intended to support the nation’s most important organisations. Funding will not be available for every organisation – applications were based on and scrutinised against rigorous criteria to prioritise support. Therefore, it is not possible to assist every type of organisation that makes up our broad and varied heritage sector. Applications were not accepted if they were from organisations that manage heritage that are not in England, organisations that were not operating sustainably before March 2020, organisations that need more than £3million to stabilise and organisations that manage or preserve natural habitats and species.

The core objective for this funding is to support the cultural organisations that are crucial to places across the whole country. Applicants would have needed to demonstrate they were viable and have a credible plan in place showing how government support would be used in the most cost effective way

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he is taking steps to encourage local authorities to support and improve motorhome facilities in towns and rural areas to increase tourism and economic activity from that sector.

We are in regular contact with representatives of the motorhome and caravan park industry, such as the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA). We are listening closely to the sector’s views, and we understand the concerns of motorhome and caravan park businesses, motorhome owners and holidaymakers.

The government is encouraging local planning authorities to exercise their discretion in relation to planning conditions for motorhome, caravan, campsites and holiday parks, in order to help these businesses extend their open season. See the Written Ministerial Statement HCWS367, made on the 14th July by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

We will continue to engage with stakeholders, including local authorities to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery across the UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department plans to take to allow private swimming pools that are available for public hire to reopen safely as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions re eased.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. As announced on 9 July, from 11 July, outdoor swimming pools will be able to open and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

The updated guidance can be found at the GOV.UK website and includes advice for providers of pool, gym and leisure facilities on cleaning, social distancing, and protection for staff to help venues get back up and running safely.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the viability of allowing outdoor (a) country festivals and (b) other outdoor events to re-open with covid-19 protection measures as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased; and what plans the Government has to provide long-term support to small businesses that organise those events.

DCMS has worked closely with the Events Industry Forum, and other members of the Entertainment and Events Working Group (which supports and informs the Cultural Renewal Taskforce), on developing sector-led Covid-19 secure guidance for outdoor events. This guidance, once published, would enable organised outdoor events to operate safely with appropriate risk assessment, and in line with the latest government regulations and advice.

DCMS continues to engage with a range of departments to support the economic response to Covid-19, and to ensure that the needs of its sectors, and those who work in them, are fully understood.

The Government has put in place unprecedented support that small businesses can take advantage of including the Bounceback Loan Scheme, discretionary business grants administered by local authorities and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the viability of self-contained holiday rentals being treated in the same manner as second homes when lifting covid-19 restrictions as long as relevant public health guidance is followed.

We will look at opening forms of holiday accommodation in Step 3 of the government’s recovery strategy, currently planned for 4 July at the earliest. This will be subject to the further scientific advice and the latest risk assessment at the time.

My Department has launched the Cultural Renewal Taskforce to help our sectors’ businesses prepare to reopen when it is safe to do so. To inform this Taskforce, we have set up a Visitor Economy Working Group to specifically focus on the practicalities and guidelines for restarting tourism activity during the recovery period. We remain in regular contact with holiday rentals stakeholders as part of this Group.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to support holiday lettings businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to helping all holiday accommodation businesses through this crisis. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the tourism industry during the recovery period.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

To accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme, the Government has allocated additional funding to Local Authorities in England in the form of a discretionary grant fund of up to £617m.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support British tourism during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government is committed to helping the British tourism industry through this crisis and beyond. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the sector during the recovery period.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes employee support, business rates relief and grants for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses, plus £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans. The Chancellor also introduced a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

To accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme, the Government has allocated additional funding to Local Authorities in England in the form of a discretionary grant fund of up to £617m. Through VisitEngland, we announced a £1.3 million scheme to provide financial support to Destination Management Organisations at risk of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have recently set up the Visitor Economy Working Group which will specifically focus on the practicalities and guidelines for opening up the tourism sector and recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to support the roll-out of superfast broadband to rural areas in response to the increase in remote working during the covid-19 outbreak.

Now, more than ever, it is important that people can get reliable connectivity to help them work. That is why the Government is working closely with the telecommunications industry to ensure that

the roll out of digital infrastructure continues during the current pandemic and exploring what can be done to make the roll-out as rapid as possible. It is also why telecoms workers have been designated as 'key workers'


Given the current situation and guidance from Government regarding COVID-19 measures, Building Digital UK (BDUK) has been in contact with their key Superfast suppliers to understand what impact this might have on BDUK contracts, and what contingency measures are being put in place or being considered to be put in place as the situation develops.

Currently, on site work continues whilst observing the guidelines around social distancing. BDUK is aware that this situation could change and will update their plans accordingly, if necessary. This not only applies to the Superfast programme but also for the Local Full Fibre Networks and Rural Gigabit Connectivity programmes also.

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to confirm details of future funding allocations for the primary physical education and sport premium funding.

Physical education remains a foundation subject which is compulsory at all four key stages of the national curriculum. As such, physical education is funded from the core schools’ budget.

The department is considering arrangements for the primary PE and sport premium for the 2022-23 academic year and beyond. We are aware of the importance of providing schools with sufficient notice of future funding and will confirm the position as early as possible in the new year.

The department is also working to deliver on the nearly £30 million announced in October towards improving and opening up school sport facilities in England, as well as to improve the teaching of PE at primary school. We will continue to work closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Health and Social Care to deliver on the aims of the school sport and activity action plan which we will be updating next year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his timeframe is for setting out a long-term funding for physical education and school sport.

Physical education remains a foundation subject which is compulsory at all four key stages of the national curriculum. As such, physical education is funded from the core schools’ budget.

The department is considering arrangements for the primary PE and sport premium for the 2022-23 academic year and beyond. We are aware of the importance of providing schools with sufficient notice of future funding and will confirm the position as early as possible in the new year.

The department is also working to deliver on the nearly £30 million announced in October towards improving and opening up school sport facilities in England, as well as to improve the teaching of PE at primary school. We will continue to work closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Health and Social Care to deliver on the aims of the school sport and activity action plan which we will be updating next year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprenticeships have commenced in (a) Suffolk and (b) Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency in each year from 2009-10 to date.

Apprenticeship statistics by geography are published on the ‘Explore Education Statistics’ platform on a quarterly basis. The specific statistical publication ‘Apprenticeship starts since May 2010 and 2015 by region, local authority and parliamentary constituency’ is published here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships-and-traineeships.

The attached table contains the number of apprenticeship starts for the Suffolk local authority and the Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency from May 2010 to April 2021.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will guarantee that sufficient resources will be allocated to each Local Skills Improvement Plan trailblazer pilot.

The department will make available £4 million in the 2021-22 financial year to support the development of Local Skills Improvement Plans as part of the Skills Accelerator programme. As we envisage 6 to 8 trailblazers, this funding will ensure that they have the support they need.

In addition, groups of colleges and providers in the trailblazer areas will have access to the £65 million Strategic Development Fund in order to support the changes needed to better align technical skills provision to the priority skills needs of the local area.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications for the Local Skills Improvement Plan Trailblazer pilot his Department received by the deadline of 25 May 2021; how many of those applications his Department plans to shortlist and progress; and what his timeframe is for progressing those applications.

The Department received 40 applications to lead a Local Skills Improvement Plan Trailblazer as part of the Skills Accelerator programme. It is our intention to select 6 to 8 trailblazers, and the selection process is currently ongoing. We expect to announce the outcome of the competition in July.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of funding for maintained nursery schools to ensure that these organisations can continue to provide childcare services at full capacity as the UK emerges from the covid-19 outbreak.

Maintained nursery schools are an important part of the early years sector and provide valuable services, especially in disadvantaged areas.

As part of the recent Spending Review, the government has confirmed a continuation of around £60m of supplementary funding for maintained nursery schools (MSN) in the financial year 2021-22. This includes £23 million of supplementary funding that the government confirmed in August will be provided to local authorities for the summer term in 2021.

The department continues to consider what is required to ensure a clear, long-term picture of funding for MNS, and will say more about this soon. This government remains committed to the long-term funding of MNS, and any reform to the way they are funded will be accompanied by appropriate funding protections.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will introduce a fully-funded national programme on emotional wellbeing and recovery in the context of covid-19 for all school-aged children.

We know that the COVID-19 outbreak has had an impact on children and young people’s wellbeing and mental health. That is why we have worked on a range of support packages to ensure support is provided for all those who need it, without diverting funding from elsewhere. It is important for schools and colleges to have the freedom to decide what support to offer pupils based on their particular needs and to draw on an evidence base of effective practice.

Our £1 billion COVID catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020-21 academic year, is supporting education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place. The Education Endowment Foundation has published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which includes further information about interventions to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/.

Ofsted’s October 2020 COVID-19 briefing on its interim visits to schools confirmed that a number of school leaders are considering using this funding to pay for interventions such as additional pastoral staff and counselling for pupils. It can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-series-briefing-on-schools-october-2020.

Schools cannot provide mental health support on their own. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published a mental health and wellbeing support plan, which sets out a wide range of action that the government is supporting across the NHS and wider services to support mental health and wellbeing recovery, including for children and young people: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-mentally-well-winter-plan-2020-to-2021/staying-mentally-well-this-winter.

It includes the £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return programme funded jointly by the Department for Education and DHSC. This will provide schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and practical skills they need to support teachers, students and parents, to help improve how they respond to the emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The programme is funding expert advisers in every area of England to train and support schools and colleges during the autumn and spring terms.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish contingency plans for 2021 GCSE and A Level examinations to ensure that schools can be adequately prepared and take account of lost learning time.

The changes to assessments in certain subjects that were announced by Ofqual in the summer, alongside the later starting date for examinations in summer 2021, will give schools and colleges extra time to plan teaching, and pupils extra time to study. Combined with the Department’s £1 billion catch-up package, including a catch-up premium worth a total of £650 million, these changes give young people the best chance of being ready for their examinations without undermining the value of the qualifications they receive.

The Department is working with Ofqual and engaging widely with the education sector to identify any risks to examinations at a national, local, and individual pupil level, and to consider measures needed to address any potential disruption. This could be a pupil unable to sit examinations due to illness or self isolation, or schools affected by a local COVID-19 outbreak during the examination season resulting in examination centres not being able to open. More details will be published later in the autumn.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will (a) postpone Ofsted visits to schools to 2022 and (b) ensure that Ofsted focus on promoting covid-19 best practice in schools during visits during 2021.

It is important for school inspections to start up again in the new year, at the right time and in the right way. The Department is carefully considering with Ofsted and the sector how this can be achieved sensitively and gradually, with a clear focus on provision for pupils, whether in the classroom or remotely. Further details of the plans for 2021 will be made available soon.

19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to incorporate assessment of the quality of careers advice in schools into the OFSTED inspection process.

Ofsted’s school inspections already include an assessment of the quality of careers advice in schools. Ofsted’s school inspection handbook states that inspectors should assess the effectiveness of careers programmes in line with the Government’s statutory guidance on careers advice. That includes an evaluation of the quality of careers information, education, advice and guidance given to pupils, and an assessment of how well that guidance encourages pupils to make good and informed choices about next steps in the careers to which they aspire.

24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will make support available for children who are unable to study effectively at home outside of ordinary school hours during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department is committed to the continuation of high quality education for all pupils during this difficult time.

Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we expect schools to be able to offer them access to remote education immediately. The Department has asked schools to monitor engagement with this activity, which should align as closely as possible with in-school provision. The Department expects all schools to have had remote education contingency plans in place since the end of September at the latest. On 2 July, the Department published guidance for the opening of schools, including what is expected from schools for their remote education provision. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-3-curriculum-behaviour-and-pastoral-support.

The Department has provided a range of resources to support schools in delivering remote education. This includes examples of teaching practice during COVID-19, which provides an opportunity for schools to learn from each other’s approaches to remote education. More information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The Department has also worked with sector led initiatives such as Oak National Academy. The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy, both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20 and then for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide free and optional video lessons for reception up to year 11. It provides lessons across a broad range of subjects and includes specialist content for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will make support available to children who are bereaved as a result the covid-19 outbreak.

The government remains committed to promoting and supporting the mental health of children and young people. Access to mental health support including bereavement support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. The department has taken action to ensure schools and colleges are equipped to support children and young people.

As children and young people return to school, staff need to be equipped to understand that some of them may have experienced bereavement. Our guidance signposts further support and resources, including MindEd, which has specific material on bereavement and dealing with death and loss, and their website is available here: https://www.minded.org.uk/.

Our remote learning guidance also signposted online support from the Childhood Bereavement Network and their website is available here: http://www.childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/.

This was supported by webinars over the summer which reached thousands of school and college staff.

In addition to this we are investing £8 million in the Wellbeing for Education Return programme, which will provide schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and practical skills they need to support teachers, students and parents, to help improve how they respond to the emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The programme is funding expert advisers in every area of England to train and support schools and colleges during the autumn and spring terms. The training includes specific examples of supporting bereaved children.

Of course, schools and colleges are not mental health professionals and it is important that more specialist support is available for children and their families. All NHS mental health trusts have ensured that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. Public Health England and Health Education England have also developed advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. This includes a specific section on dealing with bereavement and grief. The advice and guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

We have also provided £9.2 million of additional funding for mental health charities, including charities like Young Minds, to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time.

In the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams linked to schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support he plans to make available to the most deprived families to mitigate the cessation of free school meal vouchers over the 2020 summer holidays.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave on 23 June 2020 to Question 54195.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the most deprived families of the cessation of free school meal vouchers over the 2020 summer holidays.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave on 23 June 2020 to Question 54195.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to tackle the digital divide between pupils from poorer and wealthier backgrounds.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers. The Department has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets for vulnerable and disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in Year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver.

We are providing over 50,000 4G wireless routers to disadvantaged children with a social worker in secondary school, care leavers and children in Year 10 who do not have access to a suitable internet connection through other means. We are also working with the country’s major telecommunication companies to make it easier for children in vulnerable and disadvantaged families, who are relying on mobile data, to access online educational resources.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the transmission rate of covid-19 is low and manageable in (a) nurseries, (b) primary schools, (c) secondary schools and (d) sixth form colleges.

As a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the transmission rate of COVID-19 has decreased and the Government’s five tests have been met. Based on all the evidence, the Department asked primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers), from 1 June. From 15 June, secondary schools can invite year 10 and 12 pupils (years 10 and 11 for alternative provision schools) back into school for some face-to-face support with their teachers, to supplement their remote education, which will remain the predominant mode of education for these pupils this term. Priority groups can continue to attend full-time.

Ensuring the safety of children, young people, the workforce and families is our overriding priority, and we have been led by the science in determining when it is safe to bring children back. We are taking a phased approach to opening up schools and other education settings to more children, to limit the risk of increasing the rate of transmission. It is important to underline that all education and childcare settings remain safe places for children.

The Department has published extensive and detailed guidance for settings, also for parents and carers, on how to prepare. All of the Department’s COVID-19 guidance for childcare and educational settings – including that on implementing protective measures and preparing settings to reopen - can be found in one place on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

The measures set out in the protective measures guidance – including the ability to access the new national test and trace programme - can be seen as a hierarchy of controls that, when implemented, creates an inherently safer system, where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced.

We continue to follow the best scientific advice and believe that our cautious, phased return is the most sensible course of action to take. We will only ask schools and further education colleges to welcome more children and young people back when the scientific advice indicates that we can. If necessary, we will ask settings to re-impose measures.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department has allocated to schools in Suffolk in each year since 2009-10.

The revenue funding allocated for schools for the financial years 2009-10 to 2018-19 for Suffolk local authority (LA) are shown in the table below.

Financial Year

Suffolk LA (£ millions)

2009-10

420.9

2010-11

444.4

2011-12

448.2

2012-13

457.6

2013-14

483.2

2014-15

497.0

2015-16

514.8

2016-17

518.7

2017-18

529.2

2018-19

549.6

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps he has taken to support apprenticeships in Suffolk.

We have introduced a wide range of reforms to improve the quality of apprenticeships and to encourage employers across England to create more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities.

Since May 2010, there have been 4,392,000 apprenticeship starts in England. Of these, 55,390 apprenticeship starts have been in Suffolk.

From August 2020, all starts will be on the new apprenticeship standards which are replacing frameworks. These are designed and driven by industry to create apprenticeships that are high quality, providing employers in Suffolk and across England with the skills that they need. Over 510 apprenticeship standards have already been approved for delivery to apprentices.

We are working hard to encourage take-up of our apprenticeship programme. The third phase of the Fire it Up campaign launched in January, targeting those audience groups that contribute to widening participation in apprenticeships. Our 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week took place in February. Nearly 900 events were held across the country, aiming to change perceptions of apprenticeships.

In addition, in January 2018, we introduced a legal requirement for schools to give training providers the chance to talk to pupils about technical qualifications and apprenticeships in order for young people to hear about alternative options to academic routes. We also offer a free service to schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK) project to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support to enable them to promote apprenticeships to their students. In the last academic year, the ASK Programme reached over 300,000 students.

This year (2019-20), funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England is over £2.5 billion, which is double what was spent in 2010. This is supporting employers of all sizes, across England, to provide high quality apprenticeship opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds.

We are moving smaller employers onto our award-winning apprenticeship service to give them a greater choice of training providers. They can also benefit from transferred funds from levy payers. Levy transfers can help to support new apprenticeship starts in supply chains and address local skills needs. Suffolk County Council and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnerships are working with local employers to take advantage of transfers in order to support more small and medium-sized employers in the area to offer apprenticeships.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps he has taken to allocate additional resources for apprenticeships in the agricultural sector.

We have introduced a wide range of reforms to improve the quality of apprenticeships and to encourage employers of all sizes and in all sectors across England to create more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds.

This year (2019-20), the funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England is over £2.5 billion, which is double what was spent in 2010. To support employers in sectors such as agriculture to address their skills needs and grow their apprenticeship programmes, we are moving smaller employers onto our award-winning apprenticeship service. This will give these employers a greater choice of training providers. Smaller employers, such as those in supply chains, can also benefit from transferred funds from levy payers.

New high-quality apprenticeship standards, designed and driven by industry, are providing employers with the skills that they need. Over 510 apprenticeship standards have been approved for delivery to apprentices so far. From August 2020 all starts will be on these employer-designed standards.

Standards available in the sector include land-based service engineering, crop technician and farrier at level 3, and poultry worker and abattoir worker at level 2. Further standards are in development including agriculture / horticultural professional adviser at level 6. The agriculture sector can also benefit from standards available that support all employers, such as those in business and administration, and digital. A number of T level pathways including the agriculture, environmental and animal care T Level are also being developed.

Our apprenticeships reforms are helping agricultural technologies to transform farming, creating new types of jobs and requirements for new kinds of skills, and a sufficient and appropriately skilled workforce, which is essential to continued industry growth, productivity and safety.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to promote greater food sustainability in the UK.

Farming in England is now going through the biggest change in a generation and government’s approach to working with the farming sector is also changing. We’re improving our policies and services to make them more effective, fairer, more flexible, more accessible and more workable for farmers.

We are introducing policies that work for farm businesses, food production and the environment. Food is still the primary purpose of farming, and always will be. The Food Strategy includes plans that will support farmers to boost home-grown fruit and vegetable production, and encourage people to buy more locally-sourced, high-welfare food. The Food Strategy identifies new opportunities to make the food system healthier, more sustainable, more resilient and more accessible for those across England. It sets out how we will deliver a sustainable, nature-positive food system that provides choice and access to high quality products that support healthier and sustainable diets for all. It launches the Food Data Transparency Partnership to improve sustainability data for the food system.

Farmers also play a crucial role in protecting and enhancing the natural environment. If we want farming and food production to be resilient and sustainable over the long term, then farming and nature can and must go hand in hand.

We are providing farmers with two ways of receiving payments: one-off grants and ongoing schemes. Farmers can pick and choose from a range of grants and ongoing payments to find a package that works for them.

Everything we’re offering contributes to our 3 related goals: supporting viable businesses, maintaining food production at its current level, and achieving environment, climate and animal health, welfare outcomes.

Over the next three years, we will spend £2.5 billion on payments to farmers through the new Sustainable Farming Incentive, Countryside Stewardship and its successor Local Nature Recovery, and continue to fund existing Environmental Stewardship agreements.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to support farmers from rising input costs.

We have recognised that increasing input costs, particularly fertiliser, feed, fuel and energy, are creating short term pressures on cash flow.

The Secretary of State recently announced a range of measures in support of the current situation, such as delaying changes to the use of urea fertiliser to help farmers manage their costs and improving statutory guidance for use of slurry. On 31 March I also hosted the first meeting of the Fertiliser Taskforce with key industry bodies to discuss potential mitigations to the challenges which global supply pressures are causing. Ministers will continue to meet with key industry bodies for further Fertiliser Taskforce sessions in the coming months, to help identify and mitigate potential risks.

In addition, the 2022 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payment will be made in two instalments to give farmers an advance injection of cash. Farmers with eligible applications will receive half of their payment from the end of July, and the rest from December. By doing this, the Government intends to inject cash into farm businesses, helping them to make business decisions sooner, with more confidence.

This builds on the increase in revenue payment rates for the Countryside Stewardship scheme to reflect the change in costs since 2013, which Defra announced in January 2022. The majority of payment rates increased, on average by around 30%, although rate changes vary from option to option. These changes affected around 30,000 agreements.

In March 2022, Defra began rolling out the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) to recipients of the BPS. SFI will help with the costs of sowing nitrogen fixing plants and green manures in crops to substitute some fertiliser requirements for the coming season, as well as reducing the dependence on manufactured fertilisers which are impacted by the price of gas. Rising fertiliser prices highlight that we need to find alternatives and move towards more organic-based fertiliser products. SFI is designed to help farmers move to these new sustainable farming methods gradually - which will improve environmental conditions of the land, while building the long-term resilience of our food security and production

We continue to keep the market situation under review through the UK Agriculture Market Monitoring Group, which monitors UK agricultural markets including price, supply, inputs, trade and recent developments. We have also increased our engagement with industry to supplement our analysis with real time intelligence.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to support public sector procurement of British farmed foods.

We are committed to opening up public sector supply chains and supporting a diverse range of suppliers.

We launched a consultation on public sector food and catering policy alongside the Government Food Strategy on 13 June. In the consultation, we are proposing that the public sector reports on progress towards meeting an aspiration that 50% of its food expenditure is on food produced locally or to higher environmental production standards. The proposed policy also requires suppliers to meet UK production standards or equivalent, high animal welfare standards, and public sector menus must reflect seasonal, local food.  More details of the consultation can be found at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/public-sector-food-procurement/food-and-catering-consultation/.

Under domestic and international regulations, we cannot stipulate that food procured for the public sector must be British. Nevertheless, there is a strong case for celebrating sustainable, high-quality produce in the public sector.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to financially incentivise investment in British agriculture.

There is a huge opportunity for UK agriculture to improve its competitiveness developing the next generation of food and farming technology, adopting the latest techniques and investing in skills and equipment. To support this, we opened the Farming Investment Fund in November 2021. This provides grants toward a proportion of the total cost of the investment allowing farmers, foresters and growers (including related contractors) to invest in the equipment, technology and infrastructure that will help their businesses to prosper, while improving their productivity and enhancing the environment. Support is available to support smaller and larger investments.

In partnership with UK Research and Innovation, Defra has run a Farming Innovation Pathways fund and launched the £270 million Farming Innovation Programme to stimulate innovation, attract investment in R&D, and provide a boost to sustainable productivity in agriculture and horticulture. These funding programmes will enable agri-businesses to work in partnership with our world-leading research organisations to carry out research and development on innovative farming techniques.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the measures called for by Compassion in World Farming's campaign on Honest Labelling.

The Government recently ran a call for evidence to assess the impacts of different types of labelling reform for animal welfare. We are very grateful for the data and insights that Compassion in World Farming and many other stakeholders have provided. Based on the responses received, the Government has committed to consult on proposals to improve and expand current animal welfare labelling, covering both domestic and imported products, as well as equivalent measures in the food service sector. This was announced in the Government’s Food Strategy White Paper published on 13 June, and a summary of the responses to the call for evidence will be published shortly. We will continue to engage closely with Compassion in World Farming and other stakeholders from across a broad range of sectors as we develop these proposals.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department plans to take to vaccinate domestic and captive bird populations against avian flu.

Defra has no plans to vaccinate domestic or captive bird populations against avian influenza.

Our policy on vaccination is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain and in separate guidance on GOV.UK. Outside of zoos, the vaccination of birds as an immediate disease control response is not currently permitted. High standards of biosecurity, separation of poultry and other captive birds from wild birds, and careful surveillance for signs of disease remain the most effective means of controlling avian influenza.

While vaccination can help to reduce mortality, it is likely that some vaccinated birds would still be capable of transmitting avian influenza if they became infected. This would increase the time taken to detect and eradicate the virus.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the long-term efficacy of the current method of eradication of avian flu through culling.

Defra’s objective in tackling any outbreak of avian influenza is to eradicate the disease as quickly as possible and regain UK disease-free status.

Our approach is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain. Swift and humane culling of birds on infected premises coupled with good biosecurity is to prevent the amplification of avian influenza and subsequent environmental contamination and to reduce the risk of disease spread from infected premises.

Current policy is in line with international standards of best practice for disease control. It reflects our experience of responding to past outbreaks of exotic animal disease.

Defra’s disease control measures seek to contain the number of animals that need to be culled, either for disease control purposes or to safeguard animal welfare. We aim to reduce adverse impacts on the rural and wider economy, the public, rural communities and the environment, whilst protecting public health and minimising the overall cost of any outbreak.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of its resources to manage effectively an outbreak of avian flu.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is the lead delivery body within Government for animal disease control. APHA has tried and tested contingency and outbreak response plans. Where necessary, these facilitate additional support from culling and disposal contractors through contingency framework contracts and the deployment of additional veterinarians through the Veterinary Delivery Partnership (VDP). The VDP awards contracts to delivery partners to supply a flexible package of veterinary services.

The UK is facing its largest ever outbreak of avian influenza with over 60 cases confirmed across the country during November and December. During any significant avian influenza outbreak, resource capacity and capability would be kept under close review. Through its close working relationships with Defra group, the devolved administrations, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and local authorities, APHA has access to further means of support; for example, enabling additional surge capacity to be brought on-stream where required.

Activation of contingencies is determined in the light of close monitoring of the situation on the ground and with advice from relevant experts. Current measures are proportionate and in line with national law and international law, including trade requirements. Our overriding aim is to limit the spread and the economic impact of avian influenza disease on the industry.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what strategies his Department has in place to help prevent high rates of infection of avian flu among commercial bid populations in the next ten years.

Effective animal disease control is a top priority and the Department has a strong track record of controlling and eliminating outbreaks in the UK, working with industry, the wider veterinary community, and key delivery bodies such as the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Defra’s approach to the control of avian influenza is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain and our tried and tested Contingency Plan for Exotic Notifiable Diseases of Animals in England. The assessment of risk drives the UK’s approach to biosecurity and disease control as it enables us effectively to identify, detect and respond to threats.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to vaccinate wild bird populations against avian flu.

Defra has no plans to vaccinate the wild bird population against avian influenza.

Defra’s policy on vaccination is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain and in separate guidance on GOV.UK. Outside of zoos, the vaccination of birds as an immediate disease control response is not currently permitted. High standards of biosecurity, separation of poultry and other captive birds from wild birds, and careful surveillance for signs of disease remain the most effective means of controlling avian influenza.

In practice, existing vaccines can only be administered via injection. This precludes any widespread use in wild birds.

While vaccination can help to reduce mortality, it is likely that some vaccinated birds would still be capable of transmitting avian influenza if they became infected. This would increase the time taken to detect and eradicate the virus.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure animal welfare policy is incorporated in trade policy.

The Government’s manifesto commitment was clear that in all of our trade deals, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

Our Action Plan for Animal Welfare sets out our approach to animal welfare in trade policy and may be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/985332/Action_Plan_for_Animal_Welfare.pdf .

Our approach includes pressing for WTO rules which treat animal welfare criteria as a key consideration in trade discussions and seeking cooperation commitments in our new trade agreements to encourage shifts worldwide towards higher welfare forms of livestock production.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure that future policy decisions relating to animal welfare are evidence-based.

Defra applies an evidence-based approach to policy decision-making which makes use of several sources. These include:

  • externally commissioned research;
  • collaboration with academia and other research organisations;
  • internal evidence gathering by scientists, veterinarians, social researchers, economists, statisticians and operational researchers;
  • expert committees including the Animal Welfare Committee and the Zoos Expert Committee;
  • views provided by the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England;
  • information and evidence provided by or obtained from other sources including non-governmental organisations, industry bodies and other stakeholders;
  • information and evidence provided by or obtained from other government bodies, including the Devolved Administrations.

This year Defra’s research and innovation interests were published, setting out the high-level research aims for Defra policies including with reference to animal welfare. This is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defra-group-research-and-innovation-interests-2021/defra-group-research-and-innovation-interests

The Animal Sentience Bill currently before Parliament also provides for a new animal sentience committee to issue reports on how well future central government policy decisions pay all due regard to the welfare needs of animals.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of (a) the efficiency of recycling processes in the UK and (b) the extent to which businesses in the UK source recycled paper products from overseas as opposed to domestic suppliers.

Defra has not undertaken these assessments.

As set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy, the Government is taking action to encourage investment in recycling and reprocessing infrastructure. The major waste reforms of a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and Consistency in Recycling, which will be legislated for through powers provided in our landmark Environment Bill, will increase the quality and quantity of secondary materials available for domestic recycling. These reforms will contribute towards continuing to improve the efficiency of recycling processes in the UK.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 April 2021 to Question 181231, on Poultry: Transport, what plans his Department has to undertake an impact assessment on the transport of day-old chicks for up to 72 hours following the consultation on improvements to animal welfare in transport that closed on 25 February 2021.

Our consultation stage impact assessment estimated the potential impact of proposals to end live animal exports for slaughter and fattening and introduce further improvements to animal welfare during transport; this covered all relevant species.

Our aim was to gather additional evidence through the consultation process to further refine the impact assessment. The public consultation ended on 25 February and we are currently analysing all the responses that we received.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what impact assessment his Department has made of the proposed reforms to animal welfare in transport.

We published a consultation stage impact assessment which estimated the potential impact on businesses of proposals to end live animal exports for slaughter and fattening and introduce further improvements to animal welfare during transport.

Our aim was to gather additional evidence through the consultation process to further refine the impact assessment. The public consultation ended on 25 February and we are currently analysing all the responses we received.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what impact assessment his Department has made of the transport of day-old chicks for up to 72 hours.

No such assessment has been undertaken.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to provide financial support to East Suffolk District Council to employ additional port health officers at Felixstowe port in the event that the UK and the EU do not reach agreement on their future relationship after the transition period.

The Border Operating Model, published on 13 July and updated on 8 October, sets out the new systems and processes required to deliver sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls for goods imported from the EU. These will be introduced in a phased approach from January 2021 to July 2021.


Under this approach, port health authorities (PHAs) will not be required to carry out any new SPS checks on EU goods until 1 April 2021. Defra is working with PHAs across England, including Felixstowe, to ensure recruitment and training of the additional staff required is completed in time.

Defra recently launched a fund to assist PHAs, which will be administered as grants provided under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003 to local authorities in England. The fund closed for applications on 13 September 2020 and we are currently assessing the bids.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on British farmers of any prospective UK-USA trade deal.

The UK seeks an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States (US) that strengthens the economic relationship with our largest bilateral trading partner, promoting increased trade in goods and services and greater cross-border investment.

An FTA with the US offers significant opportunities throughout the economy, including in agriculture. In a UK-US FTA, we will seek to reduce or remove tariffs for UK exports, making them more competitive in the US market.

British consumers want high-welfare produce – and if our trading partners want to break into the UK market, they should expect to meet those standards. This Government stood on a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. The Government will stand firm in trade negotiations to ensure any deals live up to the values of our farmers and consumers.

All food coming into this country will be required to meet existing import requirements. At the end of the transition period the Withdrawal Act will convert all EU standards into domestic law. These include a ban on using artificial growth hormones in both domestic and imported products. Nothing apart from potable water may be used to clean chicken carcasses. Any changes to these standards would have to come before Parliament.

We have a rigorous and extensive programme of analytical work to understand how best to deliver the best possible deal for UK farmers, consumers and producers from future Free Trade Agreements (including that with the US).

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the agricultural industry.

The Government is aware that COVID-19 represents a very significant challenge, affecting daily life and every part of the economy. We are working closely alongside the agricultural industry to ensure that we understand and manage the impacts to the industry.

Defra’s Food Chain Emergency Liaison Group is meeting regularly to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the food and farming sectors across the UK, and what actions are needed to support the sectors. This group includes the NFU, other industry stakeholders and the devolved administrations.

The UK Agricultural Market Monitoring Group is meeting weekly, to monitor UK agricultural markets and provide forewarning of any atypical market movements. This allows Defra and the devolved administrations to share the latest stakeholder information to assess the effects of COVID-19 on the agricultural industry, as well as prepare the evidence base for a possible range of interventions needed in specific markets, or geographical regions.

Officials are having regular meetings with the different agricultural sectors to understand the specific issues affecting each sector. We have also provided all agricultural industry stakeholders with a central point of contact to send details of any emerging impacts as and when they arise.

The Secretary of State remains in regular contact with representatives of the agricultural industry and will continue to engage with them on the effect of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and to work closely with the farming sector to respond to emerging issues as they arise.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the agricultural supply chain.

The Government is aware that COVID-19 represents a very significant challenge, affecting daily life and every part of the economy. We are working closely with stakeholders in the agricultural supply chain to ensure that we understand and manage the impacts on the industry.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Defra has been having frequent meetings with the Agri-Supply Coalition stakeholder group, which is meeting weekly. This group includes stakeholders from across the agricultural supporting industries and has been discussing the effect of COVID-19 on the agricultural supply chain. We have also provided these stakeholders with a central point of contact to send details of any emerging impacts as and when they arise.

Officials are having regular meetings across the different agricultural sectors to understand the specific issues affecting each sector. We remain in regular contact with representatives of the agricultural supply chain and will continue to engage with them on the effect of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and to work closely with the agricultural supply chain to respond to emerging issues as they arise.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his Department's plans are on animal welfare standards in future trade deals.

The Government is proud of the high animal welfare standards that underpin our high-quality Great British produce. We have made a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations we will not compromise on these standards. The Government will stand firm in trade negotiations to ensure any future trade deals live up to the values of farmers and consumers across the UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the global effort to eradicate polio.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted essential health services worldwide. Polio eradication is no exception and polio vaccination campaigns were paused in order to ensure the safety of health workers and communities.

During this pause, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has pivoted effectively to respond to COVID-19. It has provided personal protective equipment, trained health workers, contributed to COVID-19 surveillance, and informed communities on prevention measures. This is a clear example of how the UK’s investment in the polio programme strengthens global health security systems more broadly.

GPEI has resumed vaccination campaigns in Africa and is due to start in Asia in the coming weeks. Two million children in Afghanistan and Pakistan are due to receive polio vaccines next week [20th July].

As a result of the pandemic, there is an increased risk of polio and other infectious disease outbreaks. As such, support for GPEI is more critical than ever. The UK is fully committed to polio eradication.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what guidance she has issued to her Department's country offices on the continuation of programmes treating and preventing child malnutrition during the covid-19 pandemic.

Prevention and treatment of malnutrition remains a priority for the UK as part of our commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns and children. Malnutrition undermines immune function putting children at greater risk of getting sick and dying. The indirect impacts of COVID-19 are expected to increase acute malnutrition by at least 10% resulting in at least an additional 90,000 child deaths. DFID teams have been provided with practical guidance on how to address malnutrition during the pandemic. This emphasises the need to maintain services to treat malnutrition and to support safe infant and young child feeding. It also emphasises the importance of social protection to help the poorest access nutritious foods and the need to protect the production and supply of nutritious foods.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans his Department has to help support increased resilience to global health pandemics in (a) low and (b) middle income countries.

Global health security is underpinned by strong national health systems and international cooperation. The UK is helping low and middle-income countries through building strong and resilient health systems, which are well prepared and can protect people from health threats, including potential pandemic diseases. The UK is a top donor to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme, which leads the WHO's work on supporting the world to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks. We also fund the Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa programme, the International Health Regulations Strengthening Project, delivered by Public Health England, and the UK Emergency Medical Team to train and deploy emergency response personnel to urgently respond to humanitarian emergencies. The UK also invests significantly in new technology, products and research for disease control, prevention and treatment.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much Official Development Assistance he plans to allocate to Bangladesh in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

In the last five years the UK has spent £832.5 million on the DFID programme in Bangladesh. This has contributed to significant development achievements. Since 2015 UK aid has helped 1.5 million children to gain a decent education and 900 thousand people to access clean water and better sanitation. It has also provided lifesaving humanitarian support to around 800,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, particularly since the significant influx in August 2017.

Official budgets for financial year 20/21, approved by Ministers, will be published in DFID’s 2019/20 Annual Accounts and Report later this year.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much Official Development Assistance was allocated to Bangladesh in the last five years; what assessment he has made of the adequacy of ODA provided to that country; and if he will make a statement.

In the last five years the UK has spent £832.5 million on the DFID programme in Bangladesh. This has contributed to significant development achievements. Since 2015 UK aid has helped 1.5 million children to gain a decent education and 900 thousand people to access clean water and better sanitation. It has also provided lifesaving humanitarian support to around 800,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, particularly since the significant influx in August 2017.

Official budgets for financial year 20/21, approved by Ministers, will be published in DFID’s 2019/20 Annual Accounts and Report later this year.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what her Department’s policy is on live animal exports in respect of future trade deals.

Maintaining high environmental, animal welfare and food standards is a red line in the Government’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. FTAs do not create new permissions for imports from partner countries. Imports will continue to meet the same UK food safety and biosecurity import standards as they did before.

As part of the UK’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, the Government has introduced the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill to Parliament, which includes measures to ban live animal exports for slaughter and fattening. The Bill will make the UK the first European country to ban this practice.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department has taken to ensure representation of farmers on the Trade and Agriculture Commission.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) invited Expressions of Interest for independent advisors to sit on the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) in July, and DIT will announce the membership in the coming weeks.

The TAC will be composed of independent experts in their fields, in line with the provisions of the Trade Act 2021. This will include expertise in UK animal welfare standards, UK animal and plant health standards, UK environmental standards relating to agricultural products, and international trade law and policy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when the Trade and Agriculture Commission will be formally constituted; and when the Trade and Agriculture Commission will hold its first meeting.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) invited Expressions of Interest for independent advisors to sit on the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) in July, and DIT will announce the membership in the coming weeks.

The TAC will be composed of independent experts in their fields, in line with the provisions of the Trade Act 2021. This will include expertise in UK animal welfare standards, UK animal and plant health standards, UK environmental standards relating to agricultural products, and international trade law and policy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what protections there will be for British farmers under a trade deal with Australia.

HM Government wants to secure an ambitious free trade deal with Australia that benefits businesses across the UK.

Any deal the UK signs with Australia will include protections for the agriculture industry and will not undercut UK farmers or compromise our high standards.

Tariff liberalisation is often staged over time, with safeguards built in. The government’s aim in negotiations is to secure a balanced and mutually beneficial liberalisation of tariffs, taking into account specific UK product sensitivities.

HM Government will continue to work with the industry, keeping them involved throughout the process and helping it capture the full benefits of trade.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to Answer of 1 September 2020 to Question 78611, if he will make an assessment of the strategic importance of upgrading the A14 in Suffolk to (a) enhance the route for transport between the port of Felixstowe and the areas incorporating the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse schemes and (b) contribute to the delivery of the UK's (i) economic and (ii) trade strategies after the end of the transition period.

The Department for International Trade does not currently have any plans to undertake any such assessment.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the strategic importance of upgrading the A14 in Suffolk to (a) enhance the route for transport between the port of Felixstowe and the areas incorporating the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse schemes and (b) contribute to the delivery of the UK's (i) economic and (ii) trade strategies after the end of the transition period.

No assessment has been made by DIT of the strategic importance of upgrading the A14 in Suffolk.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department will take to ensure that high standards of animal welfare are maintained in any prospective UK-USA trade deal.

The UK is clear that it will not compromise on its high standards of food safety and animal welfare.

The UK’s food regulators will continue to provide independent advice to ensure that all food imports into the UK comply with those high standards.

Our analysis shows that agricultural sectors are set to gain from a US deal. We have been clear that any future deal with the US must work for UK consumers, farmers and companies.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department will take to ensure that food production and food hygiene standards are maintained in any prospective UK-USA trade deal.

The UK is clear that it will not compromise on its high standards of food safety and animal welfare.

The UK’s food regulators will continue to provide independent advice to ensure that all food imports into the UK comply with those high standards.

Our analysis shows that agricultural sectors are set to gain from a US deal. We have been clear that any future deal with the US must work for UK consumers, farmers and companies.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department will take to ensure there is a level playing field for UK farmers and food producers against US farmers and producers in any prospective UK-USA trade deal.

The UK is clear that it will not compromise on its high standards of food safety and animal welfare.

The UK’s food regulators will continue to provide independent advice to ensure that all food imports into the UK comply with those high standards.

Our analysis shows that agricultural sectors are set to gain from a US deal. We have been clear that any future deal with the US must work for UK consumers, farmers and companies.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department will take to work with Transport East to ensure the timely and effective delivery of the recently launched regional Transport Strategy.

Transport East has worked closely with Department for Transport officials to develop their transport strategy, turning national priorities into actionable plans reflecting the needs of the region. The Department expects the transport strategy to be the evidence base Transport East will draw on to advise the Government on investment priorities in the East and to deliver on Government objectives on decarbonisation and levelling up.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department will take to reduce congestion on the A12 north of Ipswich and in surrounding villages as a result of traffic movements relating to the construction of the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station.

The A12 north of Ipswich is the responsibility of Suffolk County Council as the local highway authority. It is for them, working with Transport East as the relevant sub-national transport body, to consider the opportunities and options for enhancing the A12 and other transport provision in this area to meet the demands of local people, businesses and energy infrastructure.

The Suffolk Energy Gateway Project proposed by Suffolk in 2016 (also known as the Four Villages Bypass) did not provide sufficient value for money and the level of investment from industry and the Council was too low to secure government funding. It is for Suffolk, working with Transport East, to develop a revised proposal and bid again when the opportunity arises, but this would have to represent better value for money and include a larger financial contribution from the Council and industry stakeholders.

The examination of the application for development consent for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station closed on 14 October 2021 and the Examining Authority is now writing its report which will set out its conclusions and recommendations on the proposals. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is due to receive the Examining Authority’s report by 14 January 2022.

As is the case for all applications for development consent, the Secretary of State for BEIS will consider all matters that are relevant when taking his decision on the project. This includes an assessment of potential impacts on roads during construction and operation and where necessary the applicant will need to provide mitigation measures which may include road improvements. Given the quasi-judicial role of the Secretary of State for BEIS in determining the application, it would be inappropriate to comment on specific matters regarding the proposed project, as this could be seen as prejudicing the decision-making process.

The Department and National Highways is examining the case for retrunking the A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft with Suffolk County Council and Transport East as part of a wider strategic review of the road. Evidence gathered through this review will inform ministerial decisions about whether to progress work further.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of a Four Villages Bypass on the A12 around Marlesford, Stratford St Andrew, Farnham and Little Glemham in Suffolk to reduce the impact of HGV vehicle movements on the villages whilst the construction of Sizewell C is in progress.

The A12 north of Ipswich is the responsibility of Suffolk County Council as the local highway authority. It is for them, working with Transport East as the relevant sub-national transport body, to consider the opportunities and options for enhancing the A12 and other transport provision in this area to meet the demands of local people, businesses and energy infrastructure.

The Suffolk Energy Gateway Project proposed by Suffolk in 2016 (also known as the Four Villages Bypass) did not provide sufficient value for money and the level of investment from industry and the Council was too low to secure government funding. It is for Suffolk, working with Transport East, to develop a revised proposal and bid again when the opportunity arises, but this would have to represent better value for money and include a larger financial contribution from the Council and industry stakeholders.

The examination of the application for development consent for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station closed on 14 October 2021 and the Examining Authority is now writing its report which will set out its conclusions and recommendations on the proposals. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is due to receive the Examining Authority’s report by 14 January 2022.

As is the case for all applications for development consent, the Secretary of State for BEIS will consider all matters that are relevant when taking his decision on the project. This includes an assessment of potential impacts on roads during construction and operation and where necessary the applicant will need to provide mitigation measures which may include road improvements. Given the quasi-judicial role of the Secretary of State for BEIS in determining the application, it would be inappropriate to comment on specific matters regarding the proposed project, as this could be seen as prejudicing the decision-making process.

The Department and National Highways is examining the case for retrunking the A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft with Suffolk County Council and Transport East as part of a wider strategic review of the road. Evidence gathered through this review will inform ministerial decisions about whether to progress work further.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department will take to ensure that infrastructure is provided and maintained to support the construction of the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station in Suffolk.

The A12 north of Ipswich is the responsibility of Suffolk County Council as the local highway authority. It is for them, working with Transport East as the relevant sub-national transport body, to consider the opportunities and options for enhancing the A12 and other transport provision in this area to meet the demands of local people, businesses and energy infrastructure.

The Suffolk Energy Gateway Project proposed by Suffolk in 2016 (also known as the Four Villages Bypass) did not provide sufficient value for money and the level of investment from industry and the Council was too low to secure government funding. It is for Suffolk, working with Transport East, to develop a revised proposal and bid again when the opportunity arises, but this would have to represent better value for money and include a larger financial contribution from the Council and industry stakeholders.

The examination of the application for development consent for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station closed on 14 October 2021 and the Examining Authority is now writing its report which will set out its conclusions and recommendations on the proposals. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is due to receive the Examining Authority’s report by 14 January 2022.

As is the case for all applications for development consent, the Secretary of State for BEIS will consider all matters that are relevant when taking his decision on the project. This includes an assessment of potential impacts on roads during construction and operation and where necessary the applicant will need to provide mitigation measures which may include road improvements. Given the quasi-judicial role of the Secretary of State for BEIS in determining the application, it would be inappropriate to comment on specific matters regarding the proposed project, as this could be seen as prejudicing the decision-making process.

The Department and National Highways is examining the case for retrunking the A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft with Suffolk County Council and Transport East as part of a wider strategic review of the road. Evidence gathered through this review will inform ministerial decisions about whether to progress work further.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of improving roads in Suffolk to support the proposed increase in energy infrastructure.

The A12 north of Ipswich is the responsibility of Suffolk County Council as the local highway authority. It is for them, working with Transport East as the relevant sub-national transport body, to consider the opportunities and options for enhancing the A12 and other transport provision in this area to meet the demands of local people, businesses and energy infrastructure.

The Suffolk Energy Gateway Project proposed by Suffolk in 2016 (also known as the Four Villages Bypass) did not provide sufficient value for money and the level of investment from industry and the Council was too low to secure government funding. It is for Suffolk, working with Transport East, to develop a revised proposal and bid again when the opportunity arises, but this would have to represent better value for money and include a larger financial contribution from the Council and industry stakeholders.

The examination of the application for development consent for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station closed on 14 October 2021 and the Examining Authority is now writing its report which will set out its conclusions and recommendations on the proposals. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is due to receive the Examining Authority’s report by 14 January 2022.

As is the case for all applications for development consent, the Secretary of State for BEIS will consider all matters that are relevant when taking his decision on the project. This includes an assessment of potential impacts on roads during construction and operation and where necessary the applicant will need to provide mitigation measures which may include road improvements. Given the quasi-judicial role of the Secretary of State for BEIS in determining the application, it would be inappropriate to comment on specific matters regarding the proposed project, as this could be seen as prejudicing the decision-making process.

The Department and National Highways is examining the case for retrunking the A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft with Suffolk County Council and Transport East as part of a wider strategic review of the road. Evidence gathered through this review will inform ministerial decisions about whether to progress work further.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Jul 2021
A12
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans for road improvements to the A12 between London and Ipswich.

The current Road Investment Strategy includes a scheme which will widen the A12 from two to three lanes between Junction 19 (north of Chelmsford) and Junction 25 (A120 interchange). The scheme is in preliminary design stage and statutory consultation commenced on 22 June 2021, to run for 8 weeks until 16 August 2021. This is expected to lead to a Development Consent Order application in Spring 2022.

Highways England also has separate projects this year and next to resurface and change the concrete surface on the A12 between junctions 13 (Ingatestone) to 19 and junctions 25 to 26 (Colchester). Work on resurfacing the A12 between junctions 15 to 19 is due to begin in late July 2021. These works will ensure a smoother and safer ride on the A12 and help reduce noise.

In addition, Highways England is funded to develop an upgrade of the Copdock Interchange where the A12 meets the A14 to enable smoother journeys through the junction. Its findings will help inform our investment decisions for the next Road Investment Strategy (covering the years beyond 2025).

There are no current plans for widening other sections of the A12. To inform future investment decisions, Highways England is currently refreshing its route strategies which examine the current performance and future pressures on every part of its network including the A12.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
A12
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to upgrade the A12 between London and Ipswich.

The current Road Investment Strategy includes a scheme which will widen the A12 from two to three lanes between Junction 19 (north of Chelmsford) and Junction 25 (A120 interchange). The scheme is in preliminary design stage and statutory consultation commenced on 22 June 2021, to run for 8 weeks until 16 August 2021. This is expected to lead to a Development Consent Order application in Spring 2022.

Highways England also has separate projects this year and next to resurface and change the concrete surface on the A12 between junctions 13 (Ingatestone) to 19 and junctions 25 to 26 (Colchester). Work on resurfacing the A12 between junctions 15 to 19 is due to begin in late July 2021. These works will ensure a smoother and safer ride on the A12 and help reduce noise.

In addition, Highways England is funded to develop an upgrade of the Copdock Interchange where the A12 meets the A14 to enable smoother journeys through the junction. Its findings will help inform our investment decisions for the next Road Investment Strategy (covering the years beyond 2025).

There are no current plans for widening other sections of the A12. To inform future investment decisions, Highways England is currently refreshing its route strategies which examine the current performance and future pressures on every part of its network including the A12.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to support flexible season tickets for all rail users travelling between (a) Ipswich and London and (b) Stowmarket and London.

Flexible season tickets are available on both of the specified routes.

For most 2 and 3 day a week commuters, the flexible season ticket will offer savings against buying daily tickets or traditional seasons, provided that they are following this commuting pattern. For those with different commuting patterns, existing tickets such as traditional seasons or dailies may be the best choice.

In all cases a flexible season ticket will offer a minimum 20% discount on an equivalent monthly season ticket.

Passengers should consider which product best suits their travel patterns. This is easier than ever with the updated season ticket calculator

(https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/Season-Calculator.aspx).

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
12th Jul 2021
A12
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to widen the A12 between London and Ipswich to three lanes.

The current Road Investment Strategy includes a scheme which will widen the A12 from two to three lanes between Junction 19 (north of Chelmsford) and Junction 25 (A120 interchange). The scheme is in preliminary design stage and statutory consultation commenced on 22 June 2021, to run for 8 weeks until 16 August 2021. This is expected to lead to a Development Consent Order application in Spring 2022.

Highways England also has separate projects this year and next to resurface and change the concrete surface on the A12 between junctions 13 (Ingatestone) to 19 and junctions 25 to 26 (Colchester). Work on resurfacing the A12 between junctions 15 to 19 is due to begin in late July 2021. These works will ensure a smoother and safer ride on the A12 and help reduce noise.

In addition, Highways England is funded to develop an upgrade of the Copdock Interchange where the A12 meets the A14 to enable smoother journeys through the junction. Its findings will help inform our investment decisions for the next Road Investment Strategy (covering the years beyond 2025).

There are no current plans for widening other sections of the A12. To inform future investment decisions, Highways England is currently refreshing its route strategies which examine the current performance and future pressures on every part of its network including the A12.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's planned timetable is for the commencement of consultations on amending the Highway Code to take account of (a) improvements in technology and new forms of transport, (b) smart motorways, (c) the use of mobile phones, (d) pavement parking, (e) e-scooters and (f) rural road safety.

Consultations have already commenced and closed for amendments to the Highway Code for automated vehicles, motorways and high-speed roads, and mobile phones. Of those, Highway Code amendments aiming to improve safety for users of motorways and high-speed roads were laid in parliament on 21 June. Trials on e-scooters are ongoing and the department will analyse the evidence gathered before deciding next steps, so there is no timescale for further consultation. A general consultation on measures to tackle pavement parking closed on 22 November and the Department is considering next steps. The Department currently has no plans to start consultations on amending rural road safety in The Highway Code, although, whilst not specific just to rural roads, amendments to protect vulnerable road users including the close passing of cyclists, pedestrians and horses have already been subject to consultation. A summary of responses, including the next steps, will be published shortly.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to ensure that suicide prevention measures are in place at Orwell Bridge in Suffolk.

Highways England takes its responsibility to support vulnerable people extremely seriously. Highways England works closely with the Samaritans and, since March 2021, it has installed newer Samaritan signs on the Orwell Bridge’s approaches, abutments and in nearby laybys to increase their visibility.

There are four telephones on the Orwell Bridge that directly link to the Samaritans. These were upgraded in 2017 to provide more modern equipment away from the A14 carriageway. Highways England is currently preparing to carry out a series of inspections and surveys to identify further measures to help prevent suicides.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department plans to take to tackle persistent speeding drivers on rural roads and through rural communities.

We expect all drivers to observe the speed limit and enforcement of the speed limit is a matter for the police. Policing of our roads and how available resources are deployed is the responsibility of individual chief officers, taking into account the specific local issues. Local residents, their elected representatives, and the police can discuss these matters together.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of a national speeding campaign to tackle speeding offences on rural roads.

Road safety is a top priority for the Government, and the Department takes this very seriously. Road deaths and injuries can cause suffering, economic loss and life-changing misfortune, and reducing this on our roads is a key priority, including through reducing speeding.

One of the ways the Department does this is through the THINK! campaign, which currently targets young male drivers who are over-represented in deaths and serious injuries on our roads. THINK! is running a national speeding campaign targeted at this audience, following an uplift in the proportion of vehicles speeding in the first national lockdown. In 2019, speed-related factors contributed to almost half of road deaths and serious injuries among this audience and we know that young men are over-represented in industries where they still need to travel for work despite lockdown restrictions, such as manufacturing and essential retail. The campaign uses paid social media, broadcast radio, digital radio and Spotify advertising,, including messaging targeted specifically at young drivers travelling on rural roads.

Messaging on speeding and rural roads will also form part of an upcoming campaign due to launch in early summer which will also target high-risk young male drivers, and we will also use the Cabinet Office service to run radio advertising aimed at changing attitudes towards speeding among a broader audience, including a focus on rural roads.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what funding he has allocated to bus companies operating local routes in Suffolk to ensure that key routes are not closed as a result of limits on passenger numbers during the covid-19 outbreak.

During this period of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty, the bus industry has played a critical role in keeping Britain moving. On 23 May, the Transport Secretary announced a further £283 million in funding – of this, £254 million was for buses and £29 million for light rail – as part of the Government’s efforts to help protect and increase bus and light rail services. This is in addition to a funding package totalling £397 million announced in April.

Suffolk County Council to date have received funding totalling £416,712 from the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG).

The Department is working with the Department for Education as a matter of urgency to explore options to increase capacity to ensure students can get to school or college in September, and manage the expected increased demand for public transport that this will bring. This includes seeking to provide travel demand management support to local authorities in England outside London. However, it is clear that solutions must be locally led between transport authorities and operators.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what funding his Department plans to allocate to Suffolk County Council to ensure that local bus routes provide an adequate service to (a) people commuting to work and (b) children travelling to school during the covid-19 outbreak.

During this period of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty, the bus industry has played a critical role in keeping Britain moving. On 23 May, the Transport Secretary announced a further £283 million in funding – of this, £254 million was for buses and £29 million for light rail – as part of the Government’s efforts to help protect and increase bus and light rail services. This is in addition to a funding package totalling £397 million announced in April.

Suffolk County Council to date have received funding totalling £416,712 from the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG).

The Department is working with the Department for Education as a matter of urgency to explore options to increase capacity to ensure students can get to school or college in September, and manage the expected increased demand for public transport that this will bring. This includes seeking to provide travel demand management support to local authorities in England outside London. However, it is clear that solutions must be locally led between transport authorities and operators.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to upgrade the A14 in Suffolk to enhance the route for transport between the port of Felixstowe and the areas incorporating the midlands engine and northern powerhouse schemes.

The Government recognises the importance of the A14 as a key artery and has invested £1.5 billion in the recently-opened improvements between Cambridge and Huntingdon. The second Road Investment Strategy, published with the Budget in March, confirmed funding for the development of a scheme to enhance the Copdock Interchange in Suffolk to enable smoother journeys for goods vehicles to and from the Port of Felixstowe.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide additional funding to upgrade the A14 in Suffolk.

The Government recognises the importance of the A14 as a key artery and has invested £1.5 billion in the recently-opened improvements between Cambridge and Huntingdon. The second Road Investment Strategy, published with the Budget in March, confirmed funding for the development of a scheme to enhance the Copdock Interchange in Suffolk to enable smoother journeys for goods vehicles to and from the Port of Felixstowe.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department plans to make available to local rail providers to improve infrastructure and rail connections (a) through the re-instatement of the direct Lowestoft to London Liverpool Street line and (b) from other rural areas to major cities.

The Government is committed to unlocking the potential of rail to connect rural communities such as Lowestoft to the capital and to other regional towns and cities. We have committed £48bn to operate, maintain, renew and enhance the England and Wales network between 2019 and 2024 and work is already underway to develop proposals for infrastructure improvements along the Great Eastern Main Line.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government plans to introduce a compulsory 2 week quarantine period for air passengers arriving in the UK.

The Government continues to follow Public Health England guidance in relation to public health measures for passengers arriving to the UK. As this is a fast-evolving situation, the Government is currently working through a large number of potential measures specific to the aviation sector.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to introduce restrictions on international air travel to the UK as a result of covid-19.

It is very important that flights are still able to land in the UK in order to allow Britons who have been stranded abroad as a result of the pandemic to return home, and to allow vital supplies to keep moving into and around the UK.

The Government is currently focused on returning British nationals and residents home. Government will focus on British people and their families who normally live in the UK and are trying to return home. This includes short-term British travellers and direct family members but does not include British overseas residents.

In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is working to a scientifically-led, step-by-step action plan, focusing on taking the right measures at the right time. Airlines and airports have already implemented additional measures in response to COVID-19 in line with advice from PHE, SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Airports are displaying posters and digital signage relaying Government information about COVID-19. Passengers arriving into UK airports are being given a leaflet with information about the measures in place in the UK, and announcements are made on aircraft an hour before landing.

Government will keep this process under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as we control the spread of, and understand more about, the virus. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Protecting the health of the UK public will always come first.

17th Jan 2020
A14
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to deliver road improvements on the A14 between Cambridge and Felixstowe.

Development work for improvements to the A14/A12 Copdock Interchange is being supported with funding from the Port Infrastructure Fund, as announced in September 2019. The Department is considering proposals for other enhancements on this stretch of the A14 as part of the second Road Investment Strategy, which is expected to be announced shortly.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to improve wind shielding on the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk; and if he will make a statement.

Highways England has no current plans to improve wind shielding on the Orwell Bridge. Any introduction of new features would have loading implications for the structure, which is 1287 meters long.

Highways England is aware of the impact any closure of the Orwell Bridge has during high winds. Any decision to close it is not taken lightly and is made on safety grounds alone.

Highways England commissioned a study in October 2018 which will help determine whether the current closure threshold is appropriate. It has meetings planned with business partners and stakeholders later this month to present and discuss its findings and next steps. The study will then be published on Highways England’s website.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the (a) total, (b) annual and (c) monthly basic state pension payment has been in (a) Suffolk and (b) the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency in each year from 2009-10.

The specific information requested on basic state pension payments is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

The Department publishes quarterly State Pension caseload figures by grouped amount of benefit and Parliamentary Constituency. This data, available to November 2020, can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The Department also publishes annual benefit expenditure tables and the latest publication by parliamentary constituency is for 2019/20 and available at: Benefit expenditure and caseload tables 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to end repeat welfare benefits assessments for people with (a) disabilities and (b) long-term health conditions.

We have introduced severe conditions guidance for Employment and Support Allowance/ Universal Credit, and ongoing awards with a light touch review at ten years for Personal Independence Payment claimants whose needs are unlikely to change. The forthcoming Health and Disability Green Paper will explore assessment reform and seek views on future changes.

9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that people with experience of living with a disability are included in (a) her Department's planned consultation on disability benefits and (b) the cross-Government disability strategy.

The government is committed to ensuring that the Health and Disability Green Paper and the National Strategy for Disabled People reflects the issues that disabled people want us to address.

We have held a significant number of events across the country with people with lived experience of a disability and of our services and we are continuing this engagement throughout the Autumn to directly influence the Green Paper content and the National Strategy. This engagement will continue following the publication of the Green Paper.

To support the National Strategy for Disabled People the Cabinet Office Disability Unit are engaging with disabled people's organisations, including through the Regional Stakeholder Network and the recently established Disabled People's Organisations Forum, and are encouraging Government Departments to better engage with stakeholders on policies that matter to disabled people.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to provide further support to food banks in response to a potential increase in unemployment as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.

The Department for Work and Pensions has no plans to provide support to food banks which are run by independent charitable organisations. However, the Department is committed to providing a strong welfare safety net of financial support for those that need it. In addition to the £5 billion increase in benefit rates from April 2020, we have injected more than £9 billion into the welfare system in response to Covid-19, increasing Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by up to £1,040 for this financial year, benefiting over four million households. We have also increased Local Housing Allowance rates - putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets.

The Department also works in partnership with a variety of stakeholders as well as through Jobcentre Plus offices, to provide factual information on the range of benefits available, including Universal Credit (which is also an in-work benefit). When somebody has an enquiry or change in their circumstances, we actively encourage them to establish their eligibility and start an application as soon as it is right for them. No one has to wait five weeks for Universal Credit as new claim advances are available. This information is promoted through social media and advertising which directs people to the Understanding Universal Credit website for further information.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the extent of the use of food banks by NHS workers.

No such assessment had been made; the Government does not collect data on the number of food parcels distributed by food banks and there is no official data on food bank use in the UK.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many visits were made by Government ministers to social care providers in each year since May 2015.

The information requested prior to 2019 is not held centrally. While information on Ministerial visits from 2019 to date is held, to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many visits were made by Government ministers to secondary healthcare providers in each year since May 2015.

The information requested prior to 2019 is not held centrally. While information on Ministerial visits from 2019 to date is held, to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many visits were made by Government ministers to mental health providers in each year since May 2015.

The information requested prior to 2019 is not held centrally. While information on Ministerial visits from 2019 to date is held, to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many visits each Government minister has undertaken to primary care providers in each year since May 2015.

The information requested prior to 2019 is not held centrally. While information on Ministerial visits from 2019 to date is held, to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many visits each Government minister has undertaken to GP surgeries in each year since May 2015.

The information requested prior to 2019 is not held centrally. While information on Ministerial visits from 2019 to date is held, to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that the 10-Year Cancer Plan includes proxy measures for staging data of brain cancer so that it can be (a) included and (b) measured in the early diagnosis (i) target and (ii) ambition.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Solihull (Julian Knight MP) on 10 June 2022 to Question 13750.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that the 10-Year Cancer Plan includes specific targets on (a) less survivable cancers and (b) brain cancer to ensure that progress is made on survival rates for these cancers.

Officials are currently analysing the responses received to the call for evidence to develop the 10 Year Cancer Plan. The Plan will address all cancer types, including rarer and less survivable cancers such as brain cancer.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to commit to providing all brain tumour patients with access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist as part of his 10-Year Cancer Plan.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Solihull (Julian Knight MP) on 10 June 2022 to Question 13751.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 25 April 2022 to Question 153887, on NHS: Workplace Pensions, what assessment he has made of the impact on NHS staffing and retention of the (a) £40,000 annual pension threshold for both pension contributions and (b) annual increase in total pension value.

It is not possible to isolate the impact of a single factor such as the annual allowance on staff choosing to reduce their working hours or take early retirement. The annual increase in pension value for the vast majority of National Health Service staff is expected to be within the £40,000 annual allowance for tax-free pension saving and is unlikely to impact retention.

However, the highest earners within the NHS will find that the generosity of the NHS Pension Scheme means they exceed their annual allowance. Where this occurs, the Scheme Pays facility is a proportionate means to meet the cost of an annual allowance charge from the value of pension benefits.

The Department monitors retirement patterns and hours worked by senior doctors. NHS Digital’s workforce statistics and data from the NHS Business Services Authority show that the average contracted hours per person for consultants and the number of consultants taking voluntary early retirement as a proportion of all consultant retirements has been stable for several years. NHS England and NHS Improvement are delivering a retention programme focused on employers making flexible employment offers to staff, engaging higher earners on pension tax issues and demonstrating the benefit of delaying retirement.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of physical assaults reported on NHS staff at West Suffolk Hospital in 2020-21.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of physical assaults reported on NHS staff at Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust on 2020-21.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of physical assaults reported on NHS staff at the James Paget Hospital in 2020-21.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of physical assaults reported on NHS staff at the East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust in 2020-21.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many physical assaults on NHS staff were reported in England in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many physical assaults on NHS staff were reported in Suffolk in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to increase funding for psychology services in the NHS.

We have committed to increasing funding to allow an additional 380,000 people to access Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services per year by 2023/24. In response to the pandemic, we invested an additional £38 million in 2021/22 to ensure that IAPT services were equipped to deliver access, waiting time and recovery standards.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is planning to take to help increase the number of therapists trained in dialectic behavioural therapy working in the NHS.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out an ambition to expand community mental health services for adults, including increasing access to evidence-based psychological therapies for people with severe mental health problems, such as dialectical behaviour therapy. A national curriculum has been developed for training additional National Health Service staff and an England-wide training programme has been established. To date, 325 staff have entered this two-year programme. Health Education England will continue to commission this training to expand access to dialectic therapy in NHS-commissioned services.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is planning to take to help improve access to dialectic behavioural therapy through the NHS.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out an ambition to expand community mental health services for adults, including increasing access to evidence-based psychological therapies for people with severe mental health problems, such as dialectical behaviour therapy. A national curriculum has been developed for training additional National Health Service staff and an England-wide training programme has been established. To date, 325 staff have entered this two-year programme. Health Education England will continue to commission this training to expand access to dialectic therapy in NHS-commissioned services.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the annual pension contribution cap has had on retention and recruitment of staff in the NHS.

In 2020, the Government increased thresholds by £90,000 to remove all staff with threshold income below £200,000 from scope of the tapered annual allowance. An estimated 96% of general practitioners and 98% of consultants are out of scope of the taper based on National Health Service earnings.

An individual may choose to reduce their working hours or take early retirement for a range of reasons. The Department monitors retirement patterns and hours worked by senior doctors. NHS Digital’s workforce statistics show the participation rate, or average contracted hours per person, for consultants has been stable for several years. Data from the NHS Business Services Authority shows that while the number of consultants taking voluntary early retirement as a proportion of all consultant retirements has increased since 2012, it has not changed significantly in more recent years.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent general practitioners in England excluding those still in training (a) there were in each year since 2015 and (b) there are in 2022 to date.

The following table shows all full-time equivalent (FTE) general practitioners (GPs), excluding GPs in training grade from September 2015 to September 2021, the most recent comparable data available.

September 2015

29,364

September 2016

29,474

September 2017

29,129

September 2018

28,489

September 2019

28,182

September 2020

27,939

September 2021

27,920

Source:

General Practice Workforce, 31 December 2021 NHS Digital

Notes:

  1. FTE refers to the proportion of full time contracted hours that the post holder is contracted to work. 1 would indicate they work a full set of hours (37.5), 0.5 that they worked half time. In GPs in Training Grade contracts 1 FTE = 40 hours and in this table these FTEs have been converted to the standard wMDS measure of 1 FTE = 37.5 hours for consistency. It is not recommended that comparisons be made between quarterly or monthly figures due to the unknown effect of seasonality on workforce numbers.
  2. Figures shown do not include staff working in prisons, army bases, educational establishments, specialist care centres including drug rehabilitation centres, walk-in centres and other alternative settings outside of traditional general practice such as urgent treatment centres and minor injury units.
  3. Data includes estimates for practices that did not provide fully valid staff records. The percentage of FTE that is estimated is presented for each staff group, and includes full and partial estimates.
  4. Full Estimation: Estimates are made for both headcount and FTE for those practices which did not provide any valid data for one or more of the four staff groups (or in the case of practices providing no valid direct patient care staff data, estimates are only made for those practices also failing to provide valid data for at least one other staff group). The absence of data for a staff group could be due to poor data quality or no submitted data. For these practices, clinical commissioning group-level estimations are made.
  5. Partial Estimation: In some cases, practices provide valid records about their staff but do not include information about their working hours. In these cases, the record is retained and estimates calculated for their working hours and full-time equivalence based upon the national averages for the job role. These figures are referred to as ‘partial estimates’ and the scale of these estimates varies by staff group.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent general practitioners, excluding those still in training, there were per head of population in England (a) in each year since 2015 and (b) to date in 2022.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 21 October 2021 to Question 56966 on NHS: Agency Workers, what the total cost to NHS hospitals has been of using (a) agency staff and (b) bank staff (i) in the financial year 2020-21 and (ii) since 1 April 2021.

Total costs for bank and agency staff for 2020-21 and year to date for 2021-22 are not available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the delays in the publication of the Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics on the ability of relevant stakeholders to understand the experience of people living with mental illness.

There was a pre-announced delay of two weeks from 13 January to 27 January 2022 for publication of the January provisional Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS). This publication was the first one to be based on a new version of the dataset, which involved mental health providers collecting new information and NHS Digital developing its system to process this. Delays in this development led to the two-week postponement of the provisional publication. NHS Digital has confirmed that as the development has now concluded, standard monthly publication processes have resumed, and the February MHSDS was published on 10 February 2022 as scheduled.

No such assessment has been made regarding the effect of the delays in the publication of the Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics. The timeliness of this publication remains a priority and key learning and improvements have been identified from this project which will be used to implement future dataset version changes.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle delays in the publication of the Mental Health Services monthly statistics.

There was a pre-announced delay of two weeks from 13 January to 27 January 2022 for publication of the January provisional Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS). This publication was the first one to be based on a new version of the dataset, which involved mental health providers collecting new information and NHS Digital developing its system to process this. Delays in this development led to the two-week postponement of the provisional publication. NHS Digital has confirmed that as the development has now concluded, standard monthly publication processes have resumed, and the February MHSDS was published on 10 February 2022 as scheduled.

No such assessment has been made regarding the effect of the delays in the publication of the Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics. The timeliness of this publication remains a priority and key learning and improvements have been identified from this project which will be used to implement future dataset version changes.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the length of time taken by his Department to respond to correspondence from hon Members.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from hon. Members, either directly or on behalf of their constituents. There has been a high degree of parliamentary interest on delays in response times both to correspondence and written questions across Government, but in particular the Department of Health and Social Care. The Procedure Committee is monitoring the Department’s performance.

We are doing our utmost to reduce the backlog of 3,500 overdue ministerial cases.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from Parliamentarians is published on GOV.UK, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers

Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent nurses are employed by all NHS Foundation Trusts in England in each year since 2009-10.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in primary care or in general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers. The following table shows the number of full time equivalent (FTE) nurses employed by a National Health Service trust with foundation trust status in England in September of each year from 2009 to 2021.

September 2009

112,518

September 2010

120,092

September 2011

130,702

September 2012

150,284

September 2013

157,257

September 2014

161,210

September 2015

171,506

September 2016

178,592

September 2017

180,629

September 2018

185,061

September 2019

192,742

September 2020

203,949

September 2021

212,922

Source: NHS Digital Workforce Statistics

Note:

The total number of FTE nurses does not match the total numbers of FTE nurses in all NHS trusts and CCGs published by NHS Digital. Not all NHS trusts are or have always held foundation trust status. Nurses employed in NHS trusts which did not hold foundation trust status at the point of data collection but later became foundation trusts because of a merger, are not included until after the trust they are employed in gained foundation trust status.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent nurses are employed by West Suffolk Foundation Trust, and its predecessor trusts, in each year since 2009-10.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in primary care or in general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The following table shows the number of full time equivalent nurses employed by West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust in each year from September 2009 to September 2021.

September 2009

596

September 2010

609

September 2011

612

September 2012

630

September 2013

670

September 2014

683

September 2015

732

September 2016

759

September 2017

758

September 2018

798

September 2019

877

September 2020

963

September 2021

1,009

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent nurses are employed by East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust, and its predecessor trusts, in each year since 2009-10.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in primary care or in general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

In July 2018, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust merged with Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust to form East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. The following table shows the number of full time equivalent (FTE) nurses employed by Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust from September 2009 to September 2017.

Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

Total

September 2009

868

833

1,701

September 2010

873

857

1,729

September 2011

865

872

1,737

September 2012

836

903

1,739

September 2013

850

961

1,811

September 2014

872

949

1,821

September 2015

905

1,017

1,923

September 2016

981

964

1,944

September 2017

1,010

940

1,950

The following table shows the number of FTE nurses employed by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust from September 2018 to September 2021.

September 2018

2,208

September 2019

2,325

September 2020

2,415

September 2021

2,644

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent nurses are employed by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation, and its predecessor trusts, in each year since 2009-10.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in primary care or in general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The following table shows the number of full time equivalent nurses employed by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in September of each year between 2009 and 2021.

September 2009

1,489

September 2010

1,581

September 2011

1,603

September 2012

1,604

September 2013

1,655

September 2014

1,673

September 2015

1,680

September 2016

1,683

September 2017

1,804

September 2018

1,838

September 2019

1,934

September 2020

2,102

September 2021

2,094

Note:

The data is sourced from NHS Digital’s NHS HCHS workforce statistics. Data on the National Health Service workforce is drawn from the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). The ESR is the HR and payroll system for the NHS.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent nurses are employed by all NHS trusts in the East of England in each year since 2009-10.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in primary care or in general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The following table shows the number of full time equivalent nurses employed by all National Health Service trusts in the East of England in each year from September 2009 to September 2021.

September 2009

25,276

September 2010

25,721

September 2011

25,693

September 2012

24,470

September 2013

24,280

September 2014

24,528

September 2015

24,374

September 2016

25,228

September 2017

25,199

September 2018

25,524

September 2019

26,673

September 2020

28,112

September 2021

29,290

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent nurses are employed by James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and its predecessor trusts, in each year since 2009-10.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in primary care or in general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The following table shows the number of full time equivalent nurses employed by James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in each year from September 2009 to September 2021.

September 2009

641

September 2010

645

September 2011

648

September 2012

632

September 2013

674

September 2014

701

September 2015

692

September 2016

687

September 2017

712

September 2018

708

September 2019

709

September 2020

803

September 2021

867

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what mental health support is available for people experiencing trauma who have emigrated to the UK from Eritrea.

Whilst there is no targeted support nationally for any one nationality, such as Eritreans, or ethnic groups, the Government is committed to ensuring mental health support, including support for people experiencing trauma, can be accessed by all who need it. We are working closely with National Health Service (NHS) mental health commissioners, providers, and local authorities to improve the ways in which such patients engage with and experience support for their mental health.

The Department is committed through the NHS Long Term Plan to invest at least an additional £2.3 billion of a year into expanding and transforming mental health services by 2023-24. The Plan also outlines ways to address inequalities in access and outcomes for groups with protected characteristics including ethnicity as outlined in the Advancing mental Health strategy published by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/advancing-mental-health-equalities-strategy/.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what targeted mental health support his Department provides for the Eritrean community in the UK.

Whilst there is no targeted support nationally for any one nationality, such as Eritreans, or ethnic groups, the Government is committed to ensuring mental health support, including support for people experiencing trauma, can be accessed by all who need it. We are working closely with National Health Service (NHS) mental health commissioners, providers, and local authorities to improve the ways in which such patients engage with and experience support for their mental health.

The Department is committed through the NHS Long Term Plan to invest at least an additional £2.3 billion of a year into expanding and transforming mental health services by 2023-24. The Plan also outlines ways to address inequalities in access and outcomes for groups with protected characteristics including ethnicity as outlined in the Advancing mental Health strategy published by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/advancing-mental-health-equalities-strategy/.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total cost to NHS hospitals has been of using (a) agency staff and (b) bank staff (i) in the financial year 2020-21 and (ii) since 1 April 2021.

The information requested is not currently available as foundation trust accounts are not yet finalised.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) increase take-up and (b) improve efficiency of facilities at Hartismere hospital in North Suffolk.

Suffolk Clinical Commission Groups (CCGs) are looking to build on the extensive range of services already delivered at Hartismere Hospital. This will include a frailty and ophthalmology clinic.

Suffolk CCGs are determining the shape, efficiency and take up of health and care services including community hospitals such as Hartismere.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to integrate NHS property services with health and social care providers.

The 2021 Health and Care Bill makes no proposals for legislative changes to NHS Property Services itself. However, the proposed creation of integrated care boards and integrated care partnerships gives NHS Property Services the opportunity to develop more collaborative and strategic working relationships at the local level working in partnership with local healthcare systems, for example supporting the development and implementation of estates strategies.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to integrate NHS property services as part of the Integrated Care Partnerships.

The 2021 Health and Care Bill makes no proposals for legislative changes to NHS Property Services itself. However, the proposed creation of integrated care boards and integrated care partnerships gives NHS Property Services the opportunity to develop more collaborative and strategic working relationships at the local level working in partnership with local healthcare systems, for example supporting the development and implementation of estates strategies.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the real terms changes in spending on mental health services have been in each year from 2009-10 to date.

Data prior to 2015/16 is not held in the format requested. The real terms increase for 2015/16 is not available as we do not hold the data for 2014/15. The latest data available is for financial year 2019/20. The following table shows the year on year increase and total spend on mental health services, including learning disabilities and dementia. Information relating to community mental health services is not available in the format requested.

Year

Total National Health Service spend on mental health £ million

Year on year real terms increase1 £ million

2015/16

10,978.9

-

2016/17

11,601.9

374.0

2017/18

11,976.0

177.7

2018/19

12,513.2

264.7

2019/20

13,324.8

529.6

Source: NHS Mental Health Dashboard, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Note:

1 Growth adjusted for inflation based on Gross Domestic Product deflators, 31 March 2021

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the real terms changes in spending on community mental health have been in each year from 2009-10 to date.

Data prior to 2015/16 is not held in the format requested. The real terms increase for 2015/16 is not available as we do not hold the data for 2014/15. The latest data available is for financial year 2019/20. The following table shows the year on year increase and total spend on mental health services, including learning disabilities and dementia. Information relating to community mental health services is not available in the format requested.

Year

Total National Health Service spend on mental health £ million

Year on year real terms increase1 £ million

2015/16

10,978.9

-

2016/17

11,601.9

374.0

2017/18

11,976.0

177.7

2018/19

12,513.2

264.7

2019/20

13,324.8

529.6

Source: NHS Mental Health Dashboard, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Note:

1 Growth adjusted for inflation based on Gross Domestic Product deflators, 31 March 2021

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients have received NHS dental treatment in each year from 2010 to 2020; and how many dental practices have provided NHS dental treatment in each year from 2010 to 2020.

The number of patients seen by a National Health Service dentist in England from 2010 to 2020 and the number of dental practices in England from 2014 - to 2020 is shown in the attached table. Data on the number of dental practices in England is only available from 2014.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number and proportion of (a) adults of any age and (b) adults under 65 that are receiving assessment or treatment in a mental health, learning disability or autism inpatient setting, including the independent sector, who have received a first dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

This information is not collected centrally.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of (i) adults of any age and (ii) adults under 65 in contact with (A) secondary mental health and (B) learning disability and autism services who have received a first dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

This information is not collected centrally.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of mental health trusts that have become hospital hubs and are able to offer covid-19 vaccines to their patients.

Information concerning all facilities offering COVID-19 vaccinations, including hospital hubs identified as National Health Service mental health trusts sites, is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/vaccination-sites/

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to address the backlog of appointments with NHS dentists once covid-19 restrictions are eased.

National Health Service dental practices have been able to open for face to face NHS dental care, including routine care, from 8 June. NHS England and NHS Improvement have set out guidance that dentists should focus on care that is urgent, care to vulnerable groups and then overdue routine appointments.

A steady increase in dental activity has been made possible following updated Infection Prevention and Control guidance issued by Public Health England. Contractual arrangements for quarter four have been introduced by NHS England and NHS Improvement requiring dental practices to deliver 45% of contracted units of dental activity from 1 January to 31 March 2021 to be deemed to have delivered the full contractual volume. This is expected to increase available NHS dental care for all patients.

The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Office of the Chief Dental Officer on contractual arrangements for 2021/22 onwards and work is ongoing to increase levels of service, as fast as is safely possible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase provision of NHS dental practices.

National Health Service dental practices have been able to open for face to face NHS dental care, including routine care, from 8 June. NHS England and NHS Improvement have set out guidance that dentists should focus on care that is urgent, care to vulnerable groups and then overdue routine appointments.

A steady increase in dental activity has been made possible following updated Infection Prevention and Control guidance issued by Public Health England. Contractual arrangements for quarter four have been introduced by NHS England and NHS Improvement requiring dental practices to deliver 45% of contracted units of dental activity from 1 January to 31 March 2021 to be deemed to have delivered the full contractual volume. This is expected to increase available NHS dental care for all patients.

The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Office of the Chief Dental Officer on contractual arrangements for 2021/22 onwards and work is ongoing to increase levels of service, as fast as is safely possible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people with a recorded infection of covid-19 make a full recovery following successful hospital treatment.

This information is not collected centrally.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all individuals in the most vulnerable groups receive their covid-19 vaccination before the mid-February target deadline.

Almost 9 million people have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 500,000 have now received their second dose. By 15 of February, we aim to have offered a first vaccine dose to everyone in the top four priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

In England, by the end of January, our capacity to vaccinate several hundred thousand a day and at least two million people per week will be achieved by establishing 206 active hospital hub sites, around 1,200 local vaccination service sites and 50 vaccination centres.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all vulnerable people are coded correctly by their GP surgery to ensure they receive notification of their covid-19 vaccination appointment in the appropriate priority group.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have been communicating regularly with general practitioners (GPs) to remind them of the importance of managing their lists of clinically extremally vulnerable patients. These letters link to information from NHS Digital on how GPs can apply high risk flags on an individual basis which will add patients to the Shielded Patient List, or to remove patients from the list if clinically appropriate. A high risk flag against an individual will prompt vaccination communication so that they are able to book a vaccine through the booking service or to be contacted by their GP in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation prioritisation list. NHS Digital also runs a weekly search to add individuals automatically to the Shielded Patient List that they can see meet the criteria.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure that (a) rural parts of Suffolk and (b) all other parts of the UK receive adequate supplies of the covid-19 vaccination.

The COVID-19 vaccine programme has expanded rapidly in the last month, with over 2,700 vaccination sites currently in operation via hospitals hubs, local vaccination services and vaccination centres.

The network of vaccination sites has been designed to fit the expected vaccine supply and ensure safe and easy access for the whole population. The Government closely monitors plans for the requirements across the supply chain. For the provision of vaccines and their onward deployment, there are clearly defined supply chain plans for manufacturing, transport, storage and distribution.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to ensure that rural areas can effectively (a) store and (b) distribute covid-19 vaccinations.

The National Health Service, alongside its health and social care partners have developed three different delivery models which will operate concurrently to provide flexibility in our approach and ensure the entire population has access to the vaccine regardless of their location. This includes delivery through hospital hubs, local vaccination services and vaccination centres.

The COVID-19 vaccine programme has expanded rapidly in the last month, with over 2,700 vaccination sites currently in operation across the United Kingdom. For those in highly rural areas this will be achieved via local vaccination services providing mobile units to go directly to isolated rural communities.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support elderly people to book appointments for covid-19 vaccination (a) online, (b) on the phone and (c) by other means.

Prior to booking an appointment, a letter, email or text will be sent to those who are eligible in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s advice on prioritisation.

In the letter, email or text, these individuals will be invited to book an appointment online via the national booking system. For those, including the elderly and other groups who may struggle with making bookings online, it is possible for bookings to be made on someone else’s behalf. Additionally, appointments can also be booked over the phone by calling 119. Follow up calls may be made by the NHS Immunisation Management Service for those who have received a letter but not booked an appointment to see if any further help and support is required.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many operational covid-19 vaccine centres there are in each local authority area.

In England, more than 98% of the population are currently within 10 miles of a vaccine service. In a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccination centre will be a mobile unit. The latest data from 26 March shows that a total of 1,763 vaccination sites have now been established in England including:

- 1,032 local vaccination services;

- 299 pharmacies;

- 274 hospital hubs; and

- 158 large scale vaccination centres.

The location of vaccination sites is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/vaccination-sites/

The number of operational vaccination sites is not collected by local authority.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 vaccination centres are planned to be open in each local authority area in February 2021.

In England, more than 98% of the population are currently within 10 miles of a vaccine service. In a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccination centre will be a mobile unit. The latest data from 26 March shows that a total of 1,763 vaccination sites have now been established in England including:

- 1,032 local vaccination services;

- 299 pharmacies;

- 274 hospital hubs; and

- 158 large scale vaccination centres.

The location of vaccination sites is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/vaccination-sites/

The number of operational vaccination sites is not collected by local authority.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to indemnify GP practices for public and employers liability under the clinical negligence scheme for general practice to ensure that more practices are able to administer the covid-19 vaccination without undue obstruction.

General practices are covered by state indemnity for clinical negligence claims under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, introduced in April 2019. This includes any claims that result from participating in the vaccination programme.

This cover applies to all staff who are employed or engaged by a general practice to deliver the vaccination programme. It also applies to any setting used by the practice to deliver the programme, including any vaccinations in a care home or other domiciliary setting.

As for other aspects of their work, general practices need to ensure that they have sufficient public and employer’s liability cover in place for this vaccination work.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 4 December 2020 to Question 113532 on Hospital Beds, what the hospital bed occupancy rate was as of the most recent available data in November (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

This information is not available in the format requested. Collections on hospital beds are divided into key bed subgroups, including general and acute beds, critical care beds and mental health beds. Data on occupancy of hospital beds as a whole is not collected.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many acute beds there have been in the NHS in England, in each year since 2009-10.

Data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many critical care beds there have been in the NHS in England, in each year since 2009-10.

Data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many critical care beds there are in the NHS in England.

Data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish covid-19 infection data for school and educational settings to improve the information available to teachers, parents and pupils.

Public Health England (PHE) reports on the number of suspected and confirmed clusters and outbreaks linked to schools in the weekly surveillance report which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports.

PHE publish a graph set alongside the weekly surveillance report, which includes additional figures within the ‘Community Surveillance’ and ‘Surveillance in educational-age cohorts’ sections. The most recent report is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his department has made of the number of full time equivalent NHS midwives there were in England per head of population in each year from 2009.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), but not staff working in primary care, general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The following table below shows the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) HCHS midwives per 100,000 of the population as at September each year since 2009, along with the latest data, July 2020.

England population estimate

HCHS midwives FTE

HCHS midwives per 100,000 of population

September 2009

52,196,381

18,959

36.3

September 2010

52,642,452

19,487

37.0

September 2011

53,107,169

19,878

37.4

September 2012

53,493,729

20,214

37.8

September 2013

53,865,817

20,537

38.1

September 2014

54,316,618

20,838

38.4

September 2015

54,786,327

20,934

38.2

September 2016

55,268,067

21,038

38.1

September 2017

55,619,430

21,206

38.1

September 2018

55,977,178

21,323

38.1

September 2019

56,286,961

21,636

38.4

July 2020

56,678,000

22,049

38.9


Source: NHS Digital, National Health Service HCHS workforce statistics

Note:

Midwife to population ratios are derived from population estimates made by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figure given for 2020 is a 2018-based national population projection produced by ONS.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent NHS midwives there were in England in each year from 2009.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), but not staff working in primary care, general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The following table below shows the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) HCHS midwives per 100,000 of the population as at September each year since 2009, along with the latest data, July 2020.

England population estimate

HCHS midwives FTE

HCHS midwives per 100,000 of population

September 2009

52,196,381

18,959

36.3

September 2010

52,642,452

19,487

37.0

September 2011

53,107,169

19,878

37.4

September 2012

53,493,729

20,214

37.8

September 2013

53,865,817

20,537

38.1

September 2014

54,316,618

20,838

38.4

September 2015

54,786,327

20,934

38.2

September 2016

55,268,067

21,038

38.1

September 2017

55,619,430

21,206

38.1

September 2018

55,977,178

21,323

38.1

September 2019

56,286,961

21,636

38.4

July 2020

56,678,000

22,049

38.9


Source: NHS Digital, National Health Service HCHS workforce statistics

Note:

Midwife to population ratios are derived from population estimates made by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figure given for 2020 is a 2018-based national population projection produced by ONS.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support he is providing for people with severe mental illness in (a) response to the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions and (b) preparation for winter 2020.

Supporting the mental health of everyone is vital, especially in these unprecedented times. National Health Service mental health services remain open for business and will be available throughout the national restrictions and the winter, providing support online and by phone where necessary.

All mental health trusts have established 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent helplines where people with severe needs or experiencing a mental health crisis can access urgent support and advice. These will continue to provide support through the national restrictions and the winter.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of Polymerase Chain Reaction tests after 45 cycles.

In August 2020, a study performed and published by Eurosurveillance looked at a selection of cases to identify samples that were Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) positive for COVID-19 and which had infectious virus. It found the PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values correlate strongly with infectious virus, meaning when there is more infectious virus the Ct value is lower. The probability of culturing virus declines to 8% in samples with Ct?more than?35 and to 6% 10 days after symptom onset. This would be lower for Ct with more than 45 cycles.

The Eurosurveillance study is available at the following link:

https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.32.2001483?crawler=true

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the hospital bed occupancy rate was as of 10 November (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

Information on the hospital bed occupancy rate as of 10 November 2019 specifically is not available.

The latest published data is for 8 November 2020 and reports 75,640 general and acute beds occupied and a total of 88,237 beds general and acute beds open.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 October 2020 to Question 95617 on lithium carbonate, what plans his Department has to tackle the increase in price of lithium carbonate to NHS prescribers.

Prices of branded medicines are controlled through the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access and equivalent statutory scheme. There are no controls on prices of generic medicines. Instead, we rely on competition to drive prices down which has led to some of the lowest prices in Europe. In some instances, where there is no competition, some very large price increases have been observed. The Competition and Markets Authority has a number of live investigations into excessive prices of generic medicines.

The Department also has powers in the NHS Act 2006 to control the prices of National Health Service medicines. Those powers were updated in 2017 in respect of generic medicines and data provision. The Department has been considering proposals for ways to address high prices of generic medicines.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 9 October 2020 to Question 96838 on Coronavirus: Intensive Care, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) effectiveness of the legal framework for doctors' decisions during the covid-19 outbreak on whether to withhold or withdraw critical care support from one patient in order to sustain the life of another patient and (b) potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to protect doctors making those decisions from prosecution notwithstanding indemnity arrangements for potential clinical negligence claims.

The Government’s focus throughout this period has been to support the National Health Service and NHS staff to respond effectively to the pandemic.

During the outbreak, existing indemnity arrangements will continue to cover clinical negligence liabilities arising from the vast majority of NHS services. The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus has been established to handle pandemic claims not falling under existing state indemnity schemes.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department will take to (a) support children’s mental health and (b) allocate adequate funding children's mental health support services as part of covid-19 recovery planning.

We remain committed to investing at least £2.3billion of extra funding a year in mental health services for all ages by 2023/24, and we remain committed to implementing the proposals of the children and young people’s mental health Green Paper, including putting mental health support teams in schools and colleges.

These commitments mean that an additional 345,000 children and young people will be able to access mental health support via National Health Service-funded mental health services and schools-based mental health support teams, if they need them.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) teachers and (b) other key workers can receive a flu vaccination in winter 2020.

The flu vaccination is recommended for those in at risk groups, and frontline health and social care workers who have direct contact with patients, so they can protect themselves and the vulnerable people that they care for. This is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The Department has procured additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to ensure more flu vaccines are available for eligible groups. Guidance for general practitioners, community pharmacists and trusts on accessing this stock has been published and those who have exhausted their own supply are now able to order from this central stock.

Teachers and other key workers, aside from frontline health and care staff, who are not in an at-risk group are not eligible for a free flu vaccination. However, they may have access to the flu vaccine under their employers’ occupational health scheme.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of mandatory face coverings for contractors completing building work and maintenance in an individual's home.

Businesses are already subject to legal obligations to protect their staff under existing legislation. This includes taking appropriate steps to provide a safe working environment, which may include providing face coverings where appropriate, alongside other mitigation to a provide a safe working environment.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has provided detailed guidance for specific workplace settings (including when undertaking work in other people’s homes). Employers must make sure that the risk assessment for their business addresses the risks of COVID-19 using BEIS guidance to inform decisions and control measures including close proximity working. Guidance can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

We will keep the situation and the evidence for face coverings under review and will take further action if needed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the (a) funding allocated and (b) real terms change in funding for alcohol treatment services in (i) England, (ii) London and (iii) Suffolk since 2012.

Alcohol treatment services are part of local government’s public health responsibilities. There is no specific allocation for alcohol treatment services. It is for local authorities to make funding decisions for public health services based on local population priorities. Reported local authority spend on alcohol treatment services for adults since 2013 is shown in the attached table. Information is not available for spend prior to the transfer of these services to local government in 2013.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential need to provide legal protection to doctors during the covid-19 outbreak in the event that doctors are required to make decisions about whether to withhold or withdraw critical care support from one patient in order to sustain the life of another.

The Government’s focus throughout this period has been to support the National Health Service and NHS staff to respond effectively to the pandemic.

During the outbreak, existing indemnity arrangements will continue to cover clinical negligence liabilities arising from the vast majority of NHS services. In the case of medical staff working in NHS trusts, indemnity cover will be provided by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST). To ensure that indemnity is not a barrier for healthcare staff working as part of the NHS response to COVID-19, we have ensured that they will be covered under the indemnity provision of the Coronavirus Act 2020 in the unlikely event that they are involved in the novel delivery of NHS services that fall outside the scope of CNST.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost of prescriptions for lithium carbonate to NHS mental health providers.

No estimate has been made for the cost of prescriptions for lithium carbonate to National Health Service mental health providers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the tiers system in CAMHS; and if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of alternative therapeutic approaches for children who have experienced trauma.

‘Future in Mind’, published by the Department and NHS England in 2015, recommended that children and young people’s mental health services move away from the concept of tiers, in which the system is defined by the services that provide the care, towards models that are defined by how they address patients’ needs.

NHS England has worked with Health Education England to deliver the children and young people’s improving access to psychological therapies programme. It trains new and existing staff working in children and young people’s mental health services and includes evidence-based trauma informed practice.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has made recommendations on the psychological interventions for the prevention and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and young people in its guideline on post-traumatic stress disorder.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding has been allocated for addiction services in (a) England and (b) each local authority in each financial year since 2009-10.

The public health grant is allocated to local authorities to meet their public health responsibilities and no amount is specifically allocated for addiction services. It is up to each local authority how much of the grant they allocate to these services.

The following table shows the overall public health grant allocations for England in each financial year since 2013-14. Allocations to individual local authorities are published each year and are available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-circulars

Public health grant allocation to local authorities between 2013-14 and 2020-21

Year

Public health grant (£'000 million)

2013-14

2,662,919

2014-15

2,794,899

2015-16

3,031,236

2016-17

3,387,460

2017-18

3,303,958

2018-19

3,219,000

2019-20

3,134,000

2020-21

3,279,000

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-circulars

Before 2013, there was specific funding allocated for substance misuse treatment, which was called the pooled treatment budget (PTB). The following shows the figures for 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13. Data before 2010 is not available.

PTB for substance misuse treatment between 2010-11 and 2012-13

Year

National PTB (£ million)

2010-11

406.70

2011-12

466.70

2012-13

466.70

Source: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20150504104404/http://www.nta.nhs.uk/funding.aspx

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure NHS and social care staff in Suffolk receive same day testing for covid-19.

All essential workers, including National Health Service and social care staff are eligible for priority testing for COVID-19. A number of tests are reserved for essential workers and they can book a visit to a test site, or order a home test kit if they cannot get to a site, through GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure key workers in Suffolk receive same day testing for covid-19.

All essential workers, including National Health Service and social care staff are eligible for priority testing for COVID-19. A number of tests are reserved for essential workers and they can book a visit to a test site, or order a home test kit if they cannot get to a site, through GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support Suffolk County Council to increase covid-19 testing capacity in Suffolk.

National Health Service Test and Trace is growing all the time. The number of testing sites is now more than 600 and we have exceeded our target of reaching 500,000 testing capacity by the end of October. We are automating parts of the process, installing new machines, hiring more permanent staff, opening new labs and investing in new technology to process results faster. For people in Suffolk there are regional test sites at Stanstead Airport and the Copdock London Road Park and Ride in Ipswich and mobile testing units are available at sites throughout the county.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the capacity of (a) drive-in covid-19 testing centres, (b) school testing and (c) other testing centre capacity in Suffolk.

We have improved the system for allocating regional testing slots to ensure the distance limit does not go beyond 75 miles – currently the median distance travelled is 4.3 miles and 90% of people who registered for a test travelled 20.5 miles or less. We have also introduced clear and improved messaging that testing is for those who have symptoms, or who have specifically been told to get a test by a clinician or local authority. Due to unprecedented demand, we are also targeting testing capacity solely at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, and prioritising at-risk groups. This includes National Health Service staff and key workers.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the availability of drive-in covid-19 tests at test centre sites in Suffolk to ensure that people do not have to travel excessive distances to receive a test.

We have improved the system for allocating regional testing slots to ensure the distance limit does not go beyond 75 miles – currently the median distance travelled is 4.3 miles and 90% of people who registered for a test travelled 20.5 miles or less. We have also introduced clear and improved messaging that testing is for those who have symptoms, or who have specifically been told to get a test by a clinician or local authority. Due to unprecedented demand, we are also targeting testing capacity solely at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, and prioritising at-risk groups. This includes National Health Service staff and key workers.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his plans are for developing sexual health policies and strategies following the merger of Public Health England with NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

The Government will continue its focus on health improvement and preventing ill-health, with support from the expert teams who currently sit in Public Health England (PHE), who will continue with their excellent work. We are not envisaging any changes to where responsibilities such as drugs, alcohol, gambling and sexual health will sit until spring 2021. We have been consulting with staff and engaging with an external stakeholder advisory group on where PHE’s health improvement functions would be best placed in order to support the public health system in our aim to increase healthy life expectancy. Furthermore we will be consulting with all staff.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his plans are for public health gambling policies and strategies following the merger of Public Health England with NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

The Government will continue its focus on health improvement and preventing ill-health, with support from the expert teams who currently sit in Public Health England (PHE), who will continue with their excellent work. We are not envisaging any changes to where responsibilities such as drugs, alcohol, gambling and sexual health will sit until spring 2021. We have been consulting with staff and engaging with an external stakeholder advisory group on where PHE’s health improvement functions would be best placed in order to support the public health system in our aim to increase healthy life expectancy. Furthermore we will be consulting with all staff.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for public health drugs policies and strategies following the merger of Public Health England with NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

The Government will continue its focus on health improvement and preventing ill-health, with support from the expert teams who currently sit in Public Health England (PHE), who will continue with their excellent work. We are not envisaging any changes to where responsibilities such as drugs, alcohol, gambling and sexual health will sit until spring 2021. We have been consulting with staff and engaging with an external stakeholder advisory group on where PHE’s health improvement functions would be best placed in order to support the public health system in our aim to increase healthy life expectancy. Furthermore we will be consulting with all staff.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his plans are for public health alcohol policies and strategies following the merger of Public Health England with NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

The Government will continue its focus on health improvement and preventing ill-health, with support from the expert teams who currently sit in Public Health England (PHE), who will continue with their excellent work. We are not envisaging any changes to where responsibilities such as drugs, alcohol, gambling and sexual health will sit until spring 2021. We have been consulting with staff and engaging with an external stakeholder advisory group on where PHE’s health improvement functions would be best placed in order to support the public health system in our aim to increase healthy life expectancy. Furthermore we will be consulting with all staff.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his plans are for public health tobacco smoking policies and strategies following the merger of Public Health England with NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

The Government will continue its focus on health improvement and preventing ill-health, with support from the expert teams who currently sit in Public Health England (PHE), who will continue with their excellent work. We are not envisaging any changes to where responsibilities such as drugs, alcohol, gambling and sexual health will sit until spring 2021. We have been consulting with staff and engaging with an external stakeholder advisory group on where PHE’s health improvement functions would be best placed in order to support the public health system in our aim to increase healthy life expectancy. Furthermore we will be consulting with all staff.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for public health addictions policies and strategies following the merger of Public Health England with NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

The Government will continue its focus on health improvement and preventing ill-health, with support from the expert teams who currently sit in Public Health England (PHE), who will continue with their excellent work. We are not envisaging any changes to where responsibilities such as drugs, alcohol, gambling and sexual health will sit until spring 2021. We have been consulting with staff and engaging with an external stakeholder advisory group on where PHE’s health improvement functions would be best placed in order to support the public health system in our aim to increase healthy life expectancy. Furthermore we will be consulting with all staff.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2020 to Question 61461 and the Answer of 18 August to Question 74489 on Methadone: Prescriptions, what recent assessment his Department has made of the capacity of prescribers to safely electronically prescribe FP10 MDA opioid substitution therapy in England.

In 2018 NHS Digital undertook a prioritisation exercise to identify future enhancements and improvements to the electronic prescription service (EPS) through to March 2021. This included a review of the use of FP10 MDA prescriptions. This exercise identified several other higher priority EPS related developments at that time. Significant technological development is required, both centrally and by system vendors, for electronic FP10 MDA prescriptions to be processed legally and safely.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure (a) the accuracy of data collated and (b) that all necessary individuals are contacted through the NHS Test and Trace service to help reduce transmission rates of covid-19.

The statistics on tests, testing capacity and positive cases have been produced quickly in response to developing world events. The Office for Statistics Regulation, on behalf of the UK Statistics Authority, has reviewed the statistics against several important aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics and regards them as consistent with the code’s three pillars of trustworthiness, quality and value.

The NHS Test and Trace contacts everyone we can both those who have tested positive and the close recent contacts they provide – by text, email and/or telephone, and we will ring up to 10 times. We are concentrating our calling on times that best suit the public. If someone has tested positive for COVID-19 and NHS Test and Trace have been unable to contact them for 24 hours, they may pass their contact details to the local authority team.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that GP surgeries are adequately insured against litigation in the event that a patient contracts covid-19 while visiting their practice.

Indemnity arrangements are in place to indemnify healthcare professionals working in general practitioner (GP) surgeries through the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, administered by NHS Resolution. This indemnity cover is available to GP surgery staff if they are engaged by a GP practice, the main business of which is to provide National Health Service primary medical services. This includes salaried GPs, locums, students and trainees, nurses, clinical pharmacists, agency workers and other practice staff. In addition, all GP surgeries must have their own public liability insurance policies in place as part of the day-to-day running of the practice business.

To ensure there are no gaps in indemnity coverage, the Coronavirus Act 2020 provides additional powers to provide clinical negligence indemnity arising from NHS activities related to the COVID-19 outbreak, where there is no existing indemnity arrangement in place.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 July 2020 to Question 71722 on Methadone: Prescriptions, what plans he has to authorise requests from NHS and voluntary sector providers to electronically prescribe FP10 MDA opioid substitution therapy.

There has already been unprecedented growth in the use and availability of electronic prescribing across the system. However, the Government wants to go further and enable as many prescriptions as possible can be sent electronically. The aim to increase the use of electronic prescribing builds on work already ongoing throughout the National Health Service, where more than 6,000 general practitioners are now able to use the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).

However, significant technological development is required, both centrally and by system vendors, for electronic FP10 MDA prescriptions to be processed legally and safely.

In 2018 NHS Digital undertook a prioritisation exercise to identify future enhancements and improvements to the EPS through to March 2021. This included a review of the use of FP10 MDA prescriptions. This exercise identified several other higher priority EPS related developments at that time.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2020 to Question 61461 on Methadone: Prescriptions, what assessment his Department has made of the capacity of prescribers to safely electronically prescribe FP10 MDA opioid substitution therapy in England.

A recent review by NHS Digital looking at the availability of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) in light of the National Health Service’s COVID-19 response, considered that prescribers could not use EPS for FP10 MDA prescriptions. While this review resulted in work being initiated to accelerate technical developments that will support wider use of EPS, EPS for FP10 MDA is a highly complex area which requires significant technological development both centrally and by system vendors.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to protect doctors from litigation arising from the need to work in different specialities to their own area of routine clinical practice during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government’s focus throughout this period has been to support the National Health Service and NHS staff to respond effectively to the pandemic and this includes supporting NHS staff who are working outside their own area of routine clinical practice.

Healthcare professionals should at all times ensure they are competent to carry out any practice requested of them. If they are asked to work for an NHS trust or general practitioner practice, the existing state indemnity schemes will provide them with cover for clinical negligence arising from their activities. In the unlikely event that they are involved in the novel delivery of NHS services that fall outside the scope of these state schemes, we have ensured that they will be covered by the indemnity provision under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to protect doctors from clinical negligence investigations arising from the need to work in different specialities to their own area of routine clinical practice during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government’s focus throughout this period has been to support the National Health Service and NHS staff to respond effectively to the pandemic and this includes supporting NHS staff who are working outside their own area of routine clinical practice.

Healthcare professionals should at all times ensure they are competent to carry out any practice requested of them. If they are asked to work for an NHS trust or general practitioner practice, the existing state indemnity schemes will provide them with cover for clinical negligence arising from their activities. In the unlikely event that they are involved in the novel delivery of NHS services that fall outside the scope of these state schemes, we have ensured that they will be covered by the indemnity provision under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2020 to Question 61461 on Methadone: Prescriptions, what discussion his department has had with Public Health England on NHS and voluntary sector provider requests to electronically prescribe FP10 MDA opioid substitution therapy.

Requests from both the National Health Service and the voluntary sector to electronically prescribe FP10 MDA prescriptions have been raised as part of routine discussions between the Department and Public Health England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, by (a) how much and (b) what percentage expenditure on NHS mental health services in England increased by in each year since 2010.

The available information is shown in the following table and includes total spend on mental health services, including learning disabilities and dementia.

Year

England £ million

Year on year increase £ million

Year on year increase %

2015/16

10,978.9

-

-

2016/17

11,601.9

623.0

5.7

2017/18

11,976.0

374.1

3.2

2018/19

12,513.2

537.2

4.5

2019/20

not yet available

-

-

Source: NHS Mental Health Dashboard, NHS England

The Department and the National Health Service do not hold financial data at a sufficiently granular level to provide the information requested prior to 2015/16.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the level risk to people shielding from covid-19 who are now able to return to work.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people who are shielding are still at risk of severe illness if they catch COVID-19 and should continue to take precautions. But as the latest epidemiological data shows that the risk of catching COVID-19 is now sufficiently low, the Government believes that the time is now right to further relax the shielding advice.

Employers should support employees identified either as clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable to work from home in the first instance. Where this is not possible, they should be offered the safest on-site roles that enable them to maintain social distancing from others, once the advice to shield is lifted from 1 August 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to enable the use of electronic FP 10 MDA prescriptions during the covid-19 outbreak.

In 2018 NHS Digital undertook a prioritisation exercise to identify future enhancements and improvements to the electronic prescription service (EPS) through to March 2021. This included a review of the use of FP10 MDA prescriptions. This exercise identified several other higher priority developments to EPS that were required at that time.

More recently work to review gaps in the EPS as part of the NHS COVID-19 response has resulted in some work being initiated to accelerate technical developments that will be required to support both this and other immediate concerns. This work has commenced but does not currently include EPS support for FP10 MDA prescription use due to the technical changes required. This is a highly complex area and requires significant development both centrally and by system vendors.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the use of electronic prescription for FP10 MDA prescriptions.

In 2018 NHS Digital undertook a prioritisation exercise to identify future enhancements and improvements to the electronic prescription service (EPS) through to March 2021. This included a review of the use of FP10 MDA prescriptions. This exercise identified several other higher priority developments to EPS that were required at that time.

More recently work to review gaps in the EPS as part of the NHS COVID-19 response has resulted in some work being initiated to accelerate technical developments that will be required to support both this and other immediate concerns. This work has commenced but does not currently include EPS support for FP10 MDA prescription use due to the technical changes required. This is a highly complex area and requires significant development both centrally and by system vendors.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2020 to Question 55941, on Mental Health Services: Finance, how many mental health providers have been allocated funding from the £400 million capital investment announced by the Government since July 2017.

The Government has announced £400 million of national capital for mental health schemes, on top of the day to day investments made by mental health trusts financed from their own income sources.

Central funding allocation is provided to the National Health Service organisations undertaking the investments once the Full Business Case (FBC) has been approved and the construction contract is finalised. The funding allocations in place for the 16 schemes which have received FBC approval are listed in the attached table.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to permit support bubbles for families who usually receive childcare support for disabled children from members of their family residing in other households with multiple occupants.

Since 1 June, people have been allowed to meet outdoors in groups of up to six from different households, (including people you do not live with) where childcare can be provided.

From 13 June, it will also be permitted for single adult households to form a support bubble with another household. People who live apart can form a bubble as long as one person in the relationship lives in a single adult household and all members of the other household are willing to form an exclusive support bubble.

Guidance on meeting people from outside of your household has been published and can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household

The Government keeps these arrangements under regular review and the next review date is 25 June.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the easing of covid-19 restrictions, whether medical aesthetics practitioners are permitted to perform (a) dermal fillers and (b) other non-surgical procedures before 4 July 2020.

As part of the COVID-19 Recovery strategy, the Government has set up taskforces to work with industry representatives to develop safe ways for businesses to open at the earliest point at which it is safe to do so.

Providers of medical or health services may remain open, including where they offer non-surgical cosmetic procedures for medical purposes. These services should take into account any guidance issued by regulators, the relevant professional body, Chief Professional Officers, and the National Health Service. Practitioners should ensure they have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with health and safety legislation.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to enable practitioners to administer non-surgical cosmetic interventions; and what guidance he plans to issue on ensuring the safety of those interventions for (a) patients and (b) practitioners during the covid-19 outbreak.

As part of the COVID-19 Recovery strategy, the Government has set up taskforces to work with industry representatives to develop safe ways for businesses to open at the earliest point at which it is safe to do so.

Providers of medical or health services may remain open, including where they offer non-surgical cosmetic procedures for medical purposes. These services should take into account any guidance issued by regulators, the relevant professional body, Chief Professional Officers, and the National Health Service. Practitioners should ensure they have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with health and safety legislation.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice he has received on the need for hospital staff and visitors to wear face masks at all times in to reduce the transmission of covid-19.

The recommendations for the use of face masks by hospital staff and face coverings for hospital visitors have been made for to help prevent the spread of infection. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it, so it is important we take steps to reduce the risk of transmission from staff who may be asymptomatic.

Staff working alone in a private workspace will not be expected to wear a mask but when they leave the private work area to move through the hospital building, e.g. on an errand, or for meal breaks, they should put on a surgical face mask as outlined in the guidance.

For some, wearing of a face covering may be difficult, and therefore all other measures must also be considered and introduced e.g. social/physical distancing, timed appointments; being seen immediately and not kept in waiting rooms. Individual risk assessments should be undertaken where required; for example, patients with mental health and learning disabilities. Such risk assessments must be documented.

The use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on patients who are deaf or have a hearing impairment as they can block the face of healthcare workers and prevent the ability to use visual cues such as facial expressions and lip reading.

The Government's personal protective equipment procurement team has sourced clear surgical face masks to support communication with patients who may be deaf or hearing impaired. They are working with regions to identify where those are best distributed.

Where clear masks are not possible, communication tactics should be considered to support patients and visitors who are deaf or have a hearing impairment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he received advice on the need for hospital staff to wear face masks at all times to reduce the transmission of covid-19.

The recommendations for the use of face masks by hospital staff and face coverings for hospital visitors have been made for to help prevent the spread of infection. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it, so it is important we take steps to reduce the risk of transmission from staff who may be asymptomatic.

Staff working alone in a private workspace will not be expected to wear a mask but when they leave the private work area to move through the hospital building, e.g. on an errand, or for meal breaks, they should put on a surgical face mask as outlined in the guidance.

For some, wearing of a face covering may be difficult, and therefore all other measures must also be considered and introduced e.g. social/physical distancing, timed appointments; being seen immediately and not kept in waiting rooms. Individual risk assessments should be undertaken where required; for example, patients with mental health and learning disabilities. Such risk assessments must be documented.

The use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on patients who are deaf or have a hearing impairment as they can block the face of healthcare workers and prevent the ability to use visual cues such as facial expressions and lip reading.

The Government's personal protective equipment procurement team has sourced clear surgical face masks to support communication with patients who may be deaf or hearing impaired. They are working with regions to identify where those are best distributed.

Where clear masks are not possible, communication tactics should be considered to support patients and visitors who are deaf or have a hearing impairment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) individual and (b) full-time equivalent registered mental health nurses have been working for NHS provider organisations in (i) each year since 2009-10 and (ii) 2020-21.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in primary care or in general practitioner surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The following table shows the number of mental health nurses as at September each year since 2009 and as at February 2020, the latest available data, full time equivalent (FTE) and headcount.

Mental health nurses, FTE

Mental health nurses, headcount

September 2009

40,602

50,844

September 2010

40,247

50,028

September 2011

39,024

48,061

September 2012

38,135

46,395

September 2013

37,397

45,143

September 2014

36,581

44,073

September 2015

35,671

43,169

September 2016

35,488

42,959

September 2017

35,390

42,941

September 2018

35,835

43,539

September 2019

36,696

44,610

February 2020

37,388

45,657

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase NHS hospital capacity to manage the projected increase in patients with covid-19 during autumn 2020 and winter 2020-21.

The possibility of a second surge in COVID-19 cases means that we cannot afford to relax our commitment to provide whatever the National Health Service needs to tackle COVID-19. We continue to work closely with the NHS and partners on the capacity needed for the next period and guidance has already been issued to the NHS on the process of starting to restore urgent non-COVID-19 services in a safe way, whilst ensuring surge capacity can be stood up again should it be needed.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much and what proportion of NHS funding has been allocated to mental health services in (a) each year since 2009-10 and (b) 2020-21.

The Department does not hold the requested breakdown of funding. How the National Health Service budget is allocated to mental health services will depend on the commissioning decisions of individual commissioner organisations.

Since 2018/19, the NHS in England has met its commitment that the increase in local funding for mental health (excluding learning disabilities and dementia) is at least in line with the overall increase in the money available to them - the mental health investment standard.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of real terms changes to NHS mental health funding per year from 2009-10 to date in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms.

The Department does not hold the requested breakdown of funding. How the National Health Service budget is allocated to mental health services will depend on the commissioning decisions of individual commissioner organisations.

Since 2018/19, the NHS in England has met its commitment that the increase in local funding for mental health (excluding learning disabilities and dementia) is at least in line with the overall increase in the money available to them - the mental health investment standard.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many mental health provider organisations in England have received NHS capital funding in (a) each year since 2009-10 and (b) 2020-21.

Improving mental health is at the heart of this Government’s agenda and capital investment to modernise the mental health estate is a key part of the Government’s ambition to achieve greater parity between physical and mental health care.

As is the case for all National Health Service providers, the majority of capital expenditure by NHS mental health providers is financed from their own income sources and not provided centrally by the Department, but this is supplemented by national programmes of capital investment. The Government has announced investments of over £400 million in improving mental health estate since July 2017, and as set out in the Health infrastructure Plan on 30 September 2019, the Government is committed to making further strategic investments to modernise mental health facilities, which will be confirmed when the Department receives a multiyear capital settlement at the next capital review.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the public purse has been of employing mental health staff in (a) each year since 2009-10 and (b) 2020-21.

Mental health staff are employed in wide range of settings including mental health trusts, acute trusts, community health services and general practitioner practices and this information is not collected centrally at this level of detail.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to allow close family members to visit patients in hospital and not infected with covid-19.

On 5 June 2020, NHS England revised its guidance on how National Health Service organisations may choose to facilitate visiting across healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The national suspension on visiting imposed under previous guidance was lifted with immediate effect.

Visiting is now subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies. The number of visitors at the bedside is limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the patient. However, where it is possible to maintain social distancing throughout the visit, a second additional visitor can be permitted in certain circumstances including those individuals receiving end-of-life care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to ensure that stringent food hygiene standards are in place in cafes and takeaways during the easing of the covid-19 restrictions.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), is the Government department with responsibility for food safety. The FSA provides guidance and direction to local authorities on undertaking inspections and other interventions of food businesses to ensure that they are meeting food hygiene requirements and on taking action where they do not.

During COVID-19, the FSA’s direction to local authorities has been, and will continue to be, to take a risk-based approach. The focus is on urgent reactive work and undertaking remote or onsite intervention at poorly compliant and other high-risk businesses. This will ensure that food safety risks are identified and addressed, and public health is protected.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme continues to operate providing the incentive for businesses to achieve high standards and enabling informed consumer choice.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of how (a) older and (b) vulnerable residents in (i) sheltered accommodation and (ii) limited access to transportation should access testing for covid-19 in a safe and convenient manner.

We offer a range of testing options, including drive-through centres, home delivery and mobile testing units, as well as satellite testing for specific groups such as care homes. We are continually working to improve and widen access to testing and are working with local areas to increase the avenues through which all people and, in particular vulnerable groups, can be tested.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the rate of transmission of covid-19 in secondary schools.

Data are not available for the rates of transmission of COVID-19 in primary and secondary schools and nursery settings.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the rate of transmission of covid-19 in nursery settings.

Data are not available for the rates of transmission of COVID-19 in primary and secondary schools and nursery settings.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of rates of transmission of covid-19 in primary school settings.

Data are not available for the rates of transmission of COVID-19 in primary and secondary schools and nursery settings.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to test residents living in sheltered accommodation for covid-19.

Testing is a vital part of the United Kingdom’s response and millions of people from across the UK are now eligible to receive a test if they need one.

The Government’s overall ambition is to ensure that everyone who needs a test can get one. We will continue to be guided by the science and regularly review eligibility for testing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the level of alcohol consumption during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is too early to make any assessment of the levels of alcohol use during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department is working with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement and stakeholders to monitor indicators to track any behaviour change.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the level of illegal drug use during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 on illegal drug use and, working with law enforcement, will respond to any subsequent changes in the supply and demand for drugs. Public Health England (PHE) is also working with partners to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on drug use and drug-related harms.

It is important that local authorities maintain drug and alcohol treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic. PHE is working with treatment providers to make sure that people who are drug and alcohol dependent get the support and treatment that they need. Guidance to support commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic has been published and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-commissioners-and-providers-of-services-for-people-who-use-drugs-or-alcohol/covid-19-guidance-for-commissioners-and-providers-of-services-for-people-who-use-drugs-or-alcohol

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has he made of the availability of inpatient NHS alcohol detoxification beds in (a) the UK, (b) London and (c) Suffolk during the covid-19 outbreak.

This information is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions his Department has had with the World Health Organisation on the recommended criteria for lifting the covid-19 lockdown in the UK.

The Department engages with the World Health Organization (WHO) regularly on a range of issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic. We always take relevant WHO guidance into account when developing policies, including for the management of COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what dates cross-governmental meetings to discuss the Exercise Cygnus report on pandemic preparedness took place.

Working across Government and with stakeholders, the lessons identified from Exercise Cygnus have informed our preparedness, such as development of draft legislation support to the response to a future influenza pandemic and strengthening health sector plans to surge and flex beyond normal operations. Learning the lessons from preparedness exercises, as well as other sources of expertise has ensured that the United Kingdom remains well prepared for infectious disease outbreaks.

Ministers at the Department participated in Exercise Cygnus and have been kept informed of the subsequent work to strengthen our preparedness.

The lessons learned from Exercise Cygnus continue to be discussed and considered by the Government and a range of stakeholders, including expert advisory groups and local emergency planners in reviewing response plans.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which Ministers in his Department received the report on Exercise Cygnus; and on what date those Ministers received that report.

Working across Government and with stakeholders, the lessons identified from Exercise Cygnus have informed our preparedness, such as development of draft legislation support to the response to a future influenza pandemic and strengthening health sector plans to surge and flex beyond normal operations. Learning the lessons from preparedness exercises, as well as other sources of expertise has ensured that the United Kingdom remains well prepared for infectious disease outbreaks.

Ministers at the Department participated in Exercise Cygnus and have been kept informed of the subsequent work to strengthen our preparedness.

The lessons learned from Exercise Cygnus continue to be discussed and considered by the Government and a range of stakeholders, including expert advisory groups and local emergency planners in reviewing response plans.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government took to prepare for a global health pandemic following the publication of the Exercise Cygnus report.

Working across Government and with stakeholders, the lessons identified from Exercise Cygnus have informed our preparedness, such as development of draft legislation support to the response to a future influenza pandemic and strengthening health sector plans to surge and flex beyond normal operations. Learning the lessons from preparedness exercises, as well as other sources of expertise has ensured that the United Kingdom remains well prepared for infectious disease outbreaks.

Ministers at the Department participated in Exercise Cygnus and have been kept informed of the subsequent work to strengthen our preparedness.

The lessons learned from Exercise Cygnus continue to be discussed and considered by the Government and a range of stakeholders, including expert advisory groups and local emergency planners in reviewing response plans.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure the resumption of routine dental services during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to ensure appropriate services are in place for all who need them.

NHS dentistry was reorganised in late March along with other NHS primary care services to minimise face to face care to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the peak of the pandemic. Dentists were asked to suspend all routine treatment and instead to offer urgent advice and, where required, prescriptions for antibiotics by telephone. Urgent treatment was made available through urgent dental centres (UDCs) set up in each NHS region.

As of 25 May there are currently over 550 UDCs open across England. Patients are triaged into UDCs by their own dentistry or through NHS 111. The urgent dental centres are expected to provide, where urgently needed, the full range of dental treatment normally available on the NHS.

NHS England and Improvement announced on 28 May that NHS dentistry outside urgent care centres will begin to restart from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service as fast as is compatible with maximising safety.

A copy of the letter that was published can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-ontent/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/Urgent-dental-care-letter-28-May.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to relax the 12 hour A&E target to enable patients to be tested for covid-19 before transfer to other health care providers.

The accident and emergency (A&E) operational standard is that at least 95% of patients attending A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

We have been clear from the outset we expect COVID-19 to have a pronounced effect on the National Health Service and the latest published data has shown that A&E attendances are much reduced.

There are no plans to relax the A&E target, but we are continuing to take every step necessary to bolster the NHS’s resilience so dedicated NHS staff can continue to provide the best possible care for those who need it most. Hardworking staff are working round the clock to test and treat patients with COVID-19.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to relax the four hour A&E target to enable patients to be tested for covid-19 before transfer to other health care providers.

The accident and emergency (A&E) operational standard is that at least 95% of patients attending A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

We have been clear from the outset we expect COVID-19 to have a pronounced effect on the National Health Service and the latest published data has shown that A&E attendances are much reduced.

There are no plans to relax the A&E target, but we are continuing to take every step necessary to bolster the NHS’s resilience so dedicated NHS staff can continue to provide the best possible care for those who need it most. Hardworking staff are working round the clock to test and treat patients with COVID-19.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that doctors in training are recruited to the first year of core training posts for August 2020.

The majority of core level and specialty trainee level 1 (ST1) recruitment was completed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with offers being released to successful applicants in early March 2020. For specialties with vacancies remaining, contingency processes have been put in place to ensure that applicants can be ranked and selected without face to face interview. Health Education England (HEE) has confirmed that offers for these posts will be released by no later than 26 May 2020.

HEE has also confirmed that alternative selection processes have been adopted to ensure that higher training posts in all specialties can be appointed to in time for August 2020.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that doctors in training are recruited to the first year of higher training posts for August 2020.

The majority of core level and specialty trainee level 1 (ST1) recruitment was completed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with offers being released to successful applicants in early March 2020. For specialties with vacancies remaining, contingency processes have been put in place to ensure that applicants can be ranked and selected without face to face interview. Health Education England (HEE) has confirmed that offers for these posts will be released by no later than 26 May 2020.

HEE has also confirmed that alternative selection processes have been adopted to ensure that higher training posts in all specialties can be appointed to in time for August 2020.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that dental surgeries receive supplies of personal protective equipment.

Dentists normally purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) through dental wholesale suppliers. However, for PPE which is needed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has made supplies available free of charge for National Health Service dental contractors. A dedicated PPE portal has been developed to deliver these items. As of 4 November, over 5,100 NHS dental and orthodontic providers in England have registered with the PPE portal and over 36 million items have been delivered.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of assaults on NHS staff in England since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

Data is not collected centrally on assaults on National Health Service staff in England. The 2019 NHS Staff Survey showed 15% of NHS staff experienced physical violence from members of the public and patients in the past year.

Any assault, physical or verbal, against NHS staff is unacceptable and should be reported and dealt with through the proper processes. The NHS has recently joined forces with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in a Joint Agreement on Offences Against Emergency Workers. This provides a framework to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of cases where staff are the victim of a crime and sets out the standards victims of these crimes can expect.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to provide mental health support for people who have required hospital critical care services for treatment of covid-19.

We recognise that patients who have had COVID-19 may have wider physical and mental health support needs following discharge from inpatient care and intensive care units. NHS England and NHS Improvement is developing guidance for the National Health Service on the appropriate step-down and discharge of COVID-19 patients and that this is expected to be published shortly.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many new ventilators have been supplied to the NHS as a result of the Prime Minister’s UK ventilator challenge.

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March there were more than 8,000 ventilators in hospitals across the United Kingdom. Today, we have over 10,800 mechanical ventilators available to National Health Service patients. There are another 2,000 mechanical ventilators on order that are expected to be available shortly, comprising 1,500 sourced from existing providers and 500 from new UK suppliers responding to the Prime Minister’s ventilator challenge.

This figure will continue to rise as we procure further equipment and more products from the Prime Minister’s ventilator challenge become available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to introduce compensation payments for the families of NHS staff that die as a result of covid-19 infection.

The NHS Pension Scheme provides death in service cover of two times annual pay to active members who are yet to retire to support a member’s partner and dependents should they die before claiming their benefits. Membership of the pension scheme is voluntary and is available to all staff in the National Health Service who are yet to retire. Around 90% of staff are active scheme members.

The Government is in the process of setting up a life assurance scheme for frontline health and social care staff who contract coronavirus during the course of their work.

We recognise that frontline health and social care staff are working in environments where direct personal healthcare is provided to patients and service users who have or are suspected to have coronavirus.

The scheme is non-contributory and pays a £60,000 lump sum where staff die as a result of coronavirus and have been recently working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who have contracted the virus.

Payments received from this scheme will be in addition to any benefits received from the NHS Pension Scheme.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to introduce antibody testing for covid-19 for NHS staff.

The Government is scaling up the national effort to boost testing capacity for COVID-19 including increasing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of essential workers to see if they have the virus and introducing antibody testing to see if people have had the virus and are now immune.

We are working towards 100,000 tests a day using spare capacity to test critical key workers and completing the pilot of our new commercial swab testing programme. We will complete our evaluation of the antibody test kits and continue our programme to survey the population to learn more about this virus. Finally, we are building a British diagnostics industry.

The Government is currently engaged with several companies and are urgently testing the quality, accuracy and effectiveness of potential antibody tests with scientific experts and regulators. These tests are still being developed and none yet has been proven to work as we would require. No Government in the world has yet rolled out a full COVID-19 antibody testing programme. Should our clinical testing prove successful, we hope to deploy antibody testing kits in their millions.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to develop antibody testing for covid-19.

Testing is a crucial part of the United Kingdom’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Government is working on multiple fronts to deliver additional testing capacity into the system. On 4 April 2020, the Government published its testing strategy 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scaling up our testing programmes'. The strategy describes in detail the five pillars of work which together will put in place the testing that is mission critical as we fight the battle against COVID-19.

The Government is also currently evaluating antibody tests. These tests could be home-based tests that could allow people to find out whether they have had the virus and are now immune, enabling them to go back to work. However, before these tests can be deployed, further work will be conducted to ensure that the antibody tests currently available are capable of this.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the reserves of oxygen used to treat patient’s in respiratory distress at healthcare providers in England.

The Department has well-established procedures to deal with supply problems affecting all medical products and supplies and work closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised.

A product supply response group has been set up to manage supply of products and to support any response to shortages required for the COVID-19 outbreak. The group is also considering the potential mid to long-term impacts of the outbreak globally.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are conducting detailed assessments of current capability and capacity with regard to ventilation devices and capacity to deliver oxygen to patients. In addition, the Department is in dialogue with current and potential oxygen suppliers to ensure that supply/stored levels at hospital sites are increased, that the manufacture of oxygen is increased and that appropriate contingency plans are in place to maintain the oxygen supply chain.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that retired medical staff will be (a) re-registered and (b) re-certified to practice in the event that they are required to work as a result of covid-19.

The General Medical Council (GMC) already has powers and procedures in place to register doctors in an emergency. The Department is working with the GMC and others on their plans, to ensure those who may have recently retired can be called on as necessary.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2020 to Question 15025 on Mental Health Services, what plans he has to provide access to talking therapies in addition to IAPT for patients in the NHS in England.

Local clinical commissioning groups should commission services that meet the needs of their local communities. Based on their assessment of local need, this may include offering talking therapies outside of, and in addition to, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many of the properties owned by NHS Property Services are fully used for clinical purposes.

2,210 of the 2,885 properties owned by NHS Property Services are currently classified by them as used for clinical purposes, as of 25 February 2020.

Information is not held centrally on the proportion of space within these tenancies for delivering clinical services (i.e. as opposed to for example office and storage space). These are largely decisions for the tenants themselves.

675 of the properties owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020 are not used for clinical purposes, including offices, land, parking, residential (non-clinical) and warehouse/storage facilities.

416 of the 2,885 properties owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020 are vacant (defined as over 90% vacant).

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many properties owned by NHS Property Services are partially used for clinical purposes.

2,210 of the 2,885 properties owned by NHS Property Services are currently classified by them as used for clinical purposes, as of 25 February 2020.

Information is not held centrally on the proportion of space within these tenancies for delivering clinical services (i.e. as opposed to for example office and storage space). These are largely decisions for the tenants themselves.

675 of the properties owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020 are not used for clinical purposes, including offices, land, parking, residential (non-clinical) and warehouse/storage facilities.

416 of the 2,885 properties owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020 are vacant (defined as over 90% vacant).

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many properties owned by NHS Property Services are not used for clinical purposes.

2,210 of the 2,885 properties owned by NHS Property Services are currently classified by them as used for clinical purposes, as of 25 February 2020.

Information is not held centrally on the proportion of space within these tenancies for delivering clinical services (i.e. as opposed to for example office and storage space). These are largely decisions for the tenants themselves.

675 of the properties owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020 are not used for clinical purposes, including offices, land, parking, residential (non-clinical) and warehouse/storage facilities.

416 of the 2,885 properties owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020 are vacant (defined as over 90% vacant).

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many properties owned by NHS Property Services are empty.

2,210 of the 2,885 properties owned by NHS Property Services are currently classified by them as used for clinical purposes, as of 25 February 2020.

Information is not held centrally on the proportion of space within these tenancies for delivering clinical services (i.e. as opposed to for example office and storage space). These are largely decisions for the tenants themselves.

675 of the properties owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020 are not used for clinical purposes, including offices, land, parking, residential (non-clinical) and warehouse/storage facilities.

416 of the 2,885 properties owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020 are vacant (defined as over 90% vacant).

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many delayed discharges of care there were from healthcare providers in England in each year since 2009-10.

Data is held from 2011-12 onwards. The data requested is shown in the attached table.

The data attached is collected via a monthly situation report and is published at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/delayed-transfers-of-care/

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many delayed discharges of care there were from mental health providers in England in each year since 2009-10.

Data is held from 2011-12 onwards. The data requested is shown in the attached table.

The data attached is collected via a monthly situation report and is published at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/delayed-transfers-of-care/

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many properties are owned by NHS property services.

2,885 properties are owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020.

The value of the property estate owned by NHS Property Services is £3.902 billion as of March 2019. This figure accounts for land, buildings and assets under construction.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the current value is of the property estate owned by NHS Property Services.

2,885 properties are owned by NHS Property Services as of 25 February 2020.

The value of the property estate owned by NHS Property Services is £3.902 billion as of March 2019. This figure accounts for land, buildings and assets under construction.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to increase the number of (a) full-time, (b) part-time and (c) full-time equivalent nurses.

Individual health and care employers are responsible for determining workforce needs and agreeing working patterns locally.

National action is being taken to support local decisions about staff working patterns, and the recruitment and retention of nursing staff more generally, specifically the Government’s commitment for 50,000 more nurses in the National Health Service.

Further, the NHS Interim People Plan sets out an ambition to increase flexible working for staff through a combination of technology and a change in people practices, to give people greater choice over their working patterns and help them achieve a better work-life balance.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to increase the availability of talking therapies in the NHS.

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2016) set out plans for expanding Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services so at least 1.5 million people can access care each year by 2020/21. The NHS Long Term Plan (2019) commits to continuing increasing access to IAPT so at least 1.9 million people can access IAPT services by 2023/24.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the destination of doctors completing Foundation Training in each year since 2010; and whether his Department conducts and annual exit survey of doctors completing that training.

The UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) runs a UK Foundation Year 2 (F2) Career Destinations Survey each year on behalf of the four health departments. It captures the self-reported career intentions of F2 doctors who have completed their foundation training across the United Kingdom.

The questions asked in the survey have evolved over time and since 2013 has collected data on reported career destinations, the proportion of doctors progressing into psychiatry and general practice specialty training, doctors who undertook Medical Royal College exams during F2, the numbers of specialty training and service posts being taken up outside the UK, the percentage of doctors leaving the UK, doctors intending to return within five years and doctors who intend to work less than full time.

The UK Foundation Programme Office reports for 2013-2018 are available online at the following link:

https://foundationprogramme.nhs.uk/resources/reports/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to support the Health Partnerships for Myanmar group.

In 2021/22 the FCDO provided £49.4 million in aid to Myanmar. 70 percent of this was to deliver healthcare and humanitarian support. Through our Tropical Health and Education Trust programme, we support the Royal Colleges and Cambridge Global Health Partnership to help address the acute health workforce crisis that followed the coup. This includes getting Myanmar doctors and nurses access to web-based learning materials, and helping establish an innovative service delivery mechanism (e.g. telemedicine) in this difficult security context. We are now making arrangements for this important work to continue in the immediate term.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department plans to take to help support the global roll out of the covid-19 vaccine.

The UK champions vaccine access for all countries through our support for COVAX. The UK was one of the earliest and largest donors to COVAX, contributing £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Our early funding gave the COVAX AMC the purchase power to secure deals with manufacturers to supply internationally approved vaccines for up to 92 low and middle-income countries. So far, COVAX has helped deliver over 1.16 billion doses to 144 participants.

As of 3 March 2022, the UK has donated almost 36 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. 32.6 million doses have been delivered to countries in need, of which 26 million have been delivered via COVAX and 6.6 million doses donated directly. A further 3.3 million doses have been received by COVAX and will shortly be allocated and shipped in line with COVAX's fair allocation model. An additional 32.3 million doses have been committed to COVAX, to be delivered in the near future.

We have also announced £160 million to support the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation to continue its vital work to develop new, and improve existing, vaccines against COVID19 and other diseases with pandemic potential.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Government support for global covid-19 vaccine distribution.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK has championed the importance of rapid, equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. We are among the largest donors to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), committing £548 million, which through match-funding leveraged $1 billion from other donors in 2020. This support to COVAX has been critical to it distributing COVID-19 vaccines to over 125 countries and economies, with the aim to provide up to 1.8 billion doses to low- and middle-income countries by early 2022. The UK has also committed to sharing 100 million vaccine doses by June 2022, with the majority going to COVAX.

The UK's investment in the research and development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been a key contribution to the global vaccination effort. So far, 450 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed worldwide at non-profit prices, with two-thirds going to lower- and middle- income countries.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, on what date his Department plans to publish country budgets.

FCDO will publish 2021/22 financial budgets in our Annual Report and Accounts, which are due to be published later this year.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what impact assessment his Department undertook prior to the decision to reduce UK aid funding for nutrition programmes.

The FCDO's aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against the challenging financial climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, after a cross-government review of how we spend ODA. The Foreign Secretary has agreed he will focus our investment and expertise where the UK can make the most difference and achieve maximum impact. Officials considered any impact on women and girls, the most marginalised and vulnerable, people with disabilities, and people from other protected groups, when developing advice for Ministers.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget is limited to one year; for what reason the UK Partnerships for Health Systems Strengthening programme could not be delayed by a year rather than cancelled; and what assessment he has made of the benefits of a scheme which involves doctors and nurses giving their time voluntarily to support health services in developing countries.

The UK is facing the worst economic contraction in over 300 years, and a budget deficit of close to £400 billion. Given the impact of this global pandemic on the economy, the government has been forced to take tough but necessary decisions, of which one has been to close the UK Partnership for Health Systems (UK PHS) programme. The Government is committed to returning to 0.7% of GNI on ODA spend once the fiscal situation allows. This is confirmed in the Integrated Review.

The tough decision to close the UK PHS programme was made due to uncertainty around future levels of funding. Doctors and nurses who give their time voluntarily through this and previous programmes, have made a substantial contribution to achieving global health goals in developing countries. This has included support to the development of the global health workforce, and strengthening health service delivery and performance with partner countries.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to progress the allocation of the £5 million commitment to developing nursing made to commemorate Florence Nightingale's bicentenary.

The government is committed to supporting nursing and midwifery development in low and low-middle income countries through our work on strengthening health systems. This includes significant investment in global health initiatives, for example our £1.4 billion contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (2020-2024). With the closure of the UK Partnerships for Health Systems, programme we will not meet the commitment to allocate £5 million to support the development of nurses and midwives.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget on the UK's health research sector and its ability to develop as a science superpower; and for what reason funding for neglected tropical diseases has been reduced by 90 per cent.

The Government has had to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce the UK's commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) on overseas development assistance (ODA). We recognise there will be visible reductions across our ODA portfolio compared to 0.7%, but we have worked hard to maintain UK support to the world's poorest people. FCDO ODA will be targeted to addressing seven global challenges facing the world poorest, focusing our investments and expertise on issues where the UK can make the most difference: climate change and biodiversity; Covid and global health security; girls' education; science, research and technology; open societies and conflict resolution; humanitarian preparedness and response; and trade and economic development.

FCDO will now work through what this means for individual research programmes, in line with the priorities we have identified. Scientific and technological innovation runs through all seven priority themes for our ODA spend.

We continue to value the work of researchers based in the UK and are proud that UK expertise in science, research and development has led to one of the first effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines. The UK will remain a global leader on international development, with an ODA budget on track to exceed £10 billion this year.

In respect of interventions for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) the UK is proud of the significant contribution we have made to global efforts to protect hundreds of millions of people from NTDs. Our programmes have worked hard to deliver NTD treatment and care and to strengthen health systems to deliver these services going forward. We will work with countries affected by NTDs to help them strengthen their health systems so that they are able to prevent and treat NTDs in a more sustainable way.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support partnership schemes in Myanmar between UK and local clinicians.

In recent years, the UK funded the Rangoon General Hospital Reinvigoration Trust which helped to enhance health collaboration between UK and Myanmar institutions. The UK has also funded work by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), through the UK Partnerships for Health Systems programme to share skills and knowledge between the UK and Myanmar.

We are committed to looking at innovative ways to share skills and knowledge between the UK and Myanmar, and will engage with THET to try to identify future opportunities to support this.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he plans to take with (a) the UN and (b) other international partners to ensure that the Myanmar military and police forces do not violate medical neutrality and uphold their obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The UK is appalled at reports that protestors and medical professionals have been subject to attacks by the Myanmar security forces. The violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and the obstruction of medical care-givers is completely unacceptable. The UK has coordinated a strong international response including through the UN Security Council and the G7. We secured a Presidential Statement at the UN Security Council on 10 March which condemned the violent crackdown on peaceful protestors. We are clear that the military must pay the price for their actions, We have worked with partners such as the EU, US and Canada to sanction military officers who are responsible for serious human rights violations and are exploring all options to put pressure on the economic interests of the military.

We have used the Burma sanctions regime and the Global Human Rights regime to target those responsible for human rights violations in Myanmar. On Thursday 26 March we imposed sanctions on military owned entity Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL), in concert with the US to incur a cost on the military for the coup.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has to approve the next phase of the Volunteering for Development grant in a timely manner.

The impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce our aid budget.

We are now working through the implications of these changes for individual programmes, including for the Volunteering for Development grant. No decisions have yet been made.

We understand the need to communicate with VSO in a timely manner regarding this grant.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has in place to enable to the single sign-off by his Department of all UK official development assistance (ODA); and who is responsible for ODA-funded projects.

To maximise the Government's strategic focus in the use of ODA next year, the Foreign Secretary announced that he will run a short cross-government process to review, appraise and finalise all of the UK's ODA allocations across all departments with agreement of their Secretaries of State. It is the Government's intention to conclude this process by the end of the calendar year and communicate to the outcome to departments concerned. Secretaries of State and Accounting Officers will remain accountable for the ODA allocated to their departments as per Managing Public Money guidance.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what proportion of UK Official Development Assistance was spent in (a) Least Developed Countries, (b) Lower Middle Income Countries and (c) Upper Middle Income Countries in Asia in 2019.

The table below sets out UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend in Least Developed Countries, Lower Middle Income Countries and Upper Middle Income Countries in Asia as a proportion of total UK ODA.

Total ODA Country Spend in Asia, 2019 £m

As a % of total UK ODA*

Least Developed Countries

£1,016

6.7%

Lower Middle Income countries

£937

6.2%

Upper Middle Income Countries

£328

2.2%

Source: Statistics on International Development: Final UK Aid Spend 2019,

* please note the Statistics on International Development publication calculates income group spend as a proportion of ODA assigned to a specific country rather than total ODA

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his new Department plans to allocate the majority of its Official Development Assistance spending to programmes in the Least Developed Countries.

Prioritising the least developed countries and the bottom billion will remain at the very centre of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. We have made sure that our Official Development Assistance in 2020 remains prioritised on poverty reduction for the 'bottom billion', as well as tackling climate change and reversing biodiversity loss, championing girls' education, UK leadership in the global response to COVID-19, and campaigning on issues such as media freedom and freedom of religious belief, thereby ensuring that the UK is a global force for good.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will take steps to help end the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan by urging Armenia to withdraw its military forces from the illegally occupied territories of Azerbaijan as stated in UN Security Council resolutions adopted in 1993.

We acknowledge the importance of these UN Security Council Resolutions, which reaffirm the primacy of the OSCE Minsk Group as the international forum via which a peaceful settlement to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan should be reached. We consider that the Basic Principles for a settlement proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs provide the basis for a reasonable compromise in this regard, taking due account of the relevant OSCE principles governing relations between member-states.

I raised UK concerns regarding on-going military action in Nagorno-Karabakh with the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers on 28 September and urged both parties to return to the negotiating table under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to ensure that official development assistance is spent effectively on tackling poverty and gender inequalities after the merger of his Department and the Department for International Development.

Spending 0.7 percent of our national income on aid is enshrined in law. The UK International Development Act (Gender Equality) 2014 also makes a consideration of gender equality in all UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) a legal requirement, ensuring that gender equality remains at the heart of our work.

The Prime Minister is committed to a unified British foreign and development policy that will maximise our influence around the world, including on gender equality and poverty. We will continue to be guided by our responsibilities under the International Development Act, including a commitment to poverty reduction. As the Prime Minister has said, the work of UK aid to reduce poverty will remain central to the new Department's mission.

9th Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to introduce tax relief for investment in (a) agricultural buildings and (b) farming equipment.

The UK’s capital allowances regime provides tax relief for investment in buildings via the structures and buildings allowance, which allows businesses to deduct 3 per cent of the cost of construction and renovation of non-residential structures and buildings a year.

The UK’s capital allowances regime also provides tax relief for investment in plant and machinery. For example, the super-deduction allows companies to claim 130 per cent of qualifying plant and machinery investments for expenditure incurred from 1 April 2021 until the end of March 2023. The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) currently provides 100 per cent relief for plant and machinery investments up to £1 million. At Autumn Budget 2021, the Government extended the temporary £1 million AIA limit to 31 March 2023.

In the Spring Statement 2022, the Chancellor set out a series of potential policy changes to the UK’s existing capital allowances regime, which the Government will consider ahead of the end of the super-deduction. HM Treasury is currently seeking the views of businesses on the different options via business engagement and a survey that can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1062708/Spring_Statement_2022_Print.pdf.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential tax revenues that would be generated annually by a regulated cannabis market.

The Government has no current plans to legalise and introduce a tax on cannabis.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support he plans to make available to gyms in respect of (a) VAT and (b) the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to enable those businesses to re-open after the covid-19 lockdown.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July to support the cash flow and viability of over 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and is due to run until 31 March 2021. This policy will cost over £2 billion.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was set to close on 31 October 2020. However, in light of the path of the virus and to provide certainty to businesses and employees, the CJRS has been extended until the end of April 2021 for all parts of the UK.

The Chancellor has always been clear that the Government would keep the situation under review, adapting its approach as the context evolved. The Government will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and support jobs at Budget.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the business rates relief scheme through the 2021-22 financial year.

The full business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for the financial year is worth about £10 billion to business in 2020-21. The Government will continue to look at how to adjust its support in a way that ensures people can get back to work, protecting both the UK economy and the livelihoods of people across the country. In order to ensure that any decisions best meet the evolving challenges presented by COVID-19, the Government will outline plans for future reliefs in due course.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to return the official development assistance budget to 0.7 per cent of GNI; and what the fiscal criteria are for that return.

The Government intends to return to the 0.7% target when the fiscal situation allows. We cannot at this moment predict with certainty when the current fiscal circumstances will have sufficiently improved.

Steve Barclay
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether caterers providing food for (a) wedding breakfasts and (b) similar events are eligible for the VAT cut announced on 8 July 2020 on eat-in or hot takeaway food from restaurants, cafes and pubs as the covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Catering for events and functions provided on the catering supplier’s premises are covered by the new reduced rate, with the exclusion of alcoholic beverages. This is set out in the catering, takeaway food guidance (VAT Notice 709/1) published on GOV.UK.

Further detail about the application of the new reduced rate can be found in the Revenue and Customs guidance on the temporary reduced rate of VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions, also published on GOV.UK.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend financial support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to people with blood cancer who (a) have been shielding but cannot work from home or (b) have been advised to continue shielding from August.

The Government recognises that COVID-19 has posed significant challenges for those suffering with cancer.

The Government has put in place unprecedented levels of income support to help people deal with the financial consequences of COVID-19. This does not just include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, but also the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, changes to Statutory Sick Pay, and the £9.3bn which the OBR estimates that the Government has injected into the welfare system.

The Chancellor announced on 12 May that the CJRS scheme will be extended until October. Before 30 June, any employee could be furloughed, including those suffering from cancer. From 1 July, an employee can only continue to be furloughed if they have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June.

For those required to shield after 1 August, they will receive a letter or notification advising them of this, and they will continue to be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay on the basis of their shielding status.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2022 to Question 15228 on Agriculture: Seasonal Workers, on what basis her Department decided what the duration of seasonal worker visas for poultry workers should be; if she will make an assessment of the impact of the duration of those visas on incentives for poultry workers to come to the UK; and what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on helping to ensure that (a) recruitment processes for poultry workers are safe and (b) poultry workers are protected by UK employment rights.

The Government will announce full details of how the detailed arrangements for poultry workers within the Seasonal Worker route will operate in due course. It will however operate along similar lines to the concession operated in 2021, supporting the sector for its seasonal peak in production in the run up to Christmas.

As with the core Seasonal Worker route, labour providers will be required to hold a sponsor licence and will be subject to the compliance arrangements for that route. Operators of the seasonal worker scheme must hold and retain relevant Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority licensing.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has plans to provide visas for workers in food production.

On Monday 13th June, the government launched a new Food Strategy, which will seek to address challenges faced by the sector. Recognising the sector cannot sustainably rely on migrant labour, especially in light of global pressures elsewhere, the strategy sets out that Government will commission an independent review to tackle labour shortages in the food supply chain, considering the roles of automation, domestic labour and migration routes.

To support the sector, the Government will release 10,000 additional visas for the seasonal worker visa route, with 2,000 of these going to the poultry sector for the eight-week period prior to Christmas. This is to cover the surge in demand for chicken, turkey and goose during the festive season and to ensure the smooth running of the food supply chain.

The Government introduced the Points Based System in 2020 which is designed to attract the skills and expertise which the UK requires. Acting upon advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the Government broadened the skills threshold of the Skilled Worker route and introduced a lower salary threshold which, as modelling by the MAC suggests, strikes a reasonable balance between access to labour and controlling immigration. The independent review’s consideration of the role of migration will therefore need to be with reference to the MAC’s advice. A number of roles in the food production sector are already eligible for a Skilled Worker visa.

For those roles in the sector which do not meet the threshold for the Skilled Worker route, there is the domestic labour market which includes UK workers and migrants with general work rights. The Government does not intend to introduce a route for those who do not meet the skills and salary threshold allowing recruitment at or near minimum wage.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to expand the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.

On Monday 13th June, the government launched a new Food Strategy, which will seek to address challenges faced by the sector. Recognising the sector cannot sustainably rely on migrant labour, especially in light of global pressures elsewhere, the strategy sets out that Government will commission an independent review to tackle labour shortages in the food supply chain, considering the roles of automation, domestic labour and migration routes.

To support the sector, the Government will release 10,000 additional visas for the seasonal worker visa route, with 2,000 of these going to the poultry sector for the eight-week period prior to Christmas. This is to cover the surge in demand for chicken, turkey and goose during the festive season and to ensure the smooth running of the food supply chain.

The Government introduced the Points Based System in 2020 which is designed to attract the skills and expertise which the UK requires. Acting upon advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the Government broadened the skills threshold of the Skilled Worker route and introduced a lower salary threshold which, as modelling by the MAC suggests, strikes a reasonable balance between access to labour and controlling immigration. The independent review’s consideration of the role of migration will therefore need to be with reference to the MAC’s advice. A number of roles in the food production sector are already eligible for a Skilled Worker visa.

For those roles in the sector which do not meet the threshold for the Skilled Worker route, there is the domestic labour market which includes UK workers and migrants with general work rights. The Government does not intend to introduce a route for those who do not meet the skills and salary threshold allowing recruitment at or near minimum wage.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to improve the access of migrant workers to jobs in the farming and agriculture sector.

The Home Office works closely with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to monitor the labour needs of the farming and Agricultural sector and will continue to monitor the labour needs of the economy more generally.

We have no plans to improve access for employers to recruit migrant workers into jobs in the farming and agricultural sector beyond those which qualify for our Skilled Worker Visa and the already expanded Seasonal Workers Pilot, which went from 10,000 to 30,000 places for 2021.

The Government wants employers to focus on training and investing in our domestic workforce rather than relying on labour from abroad. Employers should engage with the Department for Work and Pensions in the first instance, as they are best placed to help companies with recruitment issues.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the level of demand for migrant workers in the (a) farming and agriculture sector and (b) logistics industry.

The Home Office works closely with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to monitor the labour needs of the farming and Agricultural sector and will continue to monitor the labour needs of the economy more generally.

We have no plans to improve access for employers to recruit migrant workers into jobs in the farming and agricultural sector beyond those which qualify for our Skilled Worker Visa and the already expanded Seasonal Workers Pilot, which went from 10,000 to 30,000 places for 2021.

The Government wants employers to focus on training and investing in our domestic workforce rather than relying on labour from abroad. Employers should engage with the Department for Work and Pensions in the first instance, as they are best placed to help companies with recruitment issues.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to extend the eligibility to apply for the proposed NHS Visa to social care staff.

The Government is committed to introducing an NHS visa which will provide eligible doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals, and their families, with fast-track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated resource. In addition, as announced by the Prime Minister on 21 May, NHS workers and wider health and social care workers, including those coming on the NHS Visa, will be removed from having to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Further details, including regarding eligibility, will be published in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to test people entering the UK from overseas for covid-19.

The security of the UK border, the safety of the staff who protect it and the public are our key concerns.

Our approach to tackling coronavirus is and has always been driven by the latest scientific and medical advice, and procedures at the border have been strictly following the latest PHE guidance throughout. To bolster public health measures already in place, passengers at airports are provided with information on symptoms and the social distancing processes.

Since 8 June, all passengers arriving in the UK have been required to complete a locator form as well as self-isolate for 14 days. This applies to all nationalities. Full details of these new measures, including the very limited exemptions to the new rules, can be found at www.gov.uk/uk-border-control.

Border Force continues to work collaboratively with devolved administrations, including Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Public Health England, to support the COVID 19 response.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department will publish further clear guidance to local councils about holding meetings virtually after the 6th May 2021 whilst national covid-19 restrictions are in place.

The Government keeps all policy under review. To extend the facility for all local authorities to continue to meet remotely or in hybrid form after 7 May 2021 would require primary legislation. 

We have received representations from local authorities and sector representative organisations making the case for the continuation of remote meetings beyond 7 May 2021 and we are carefully considering next steps in this area.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the implementation of the Planning Inspectorate's guidance on site visits, hearings, inquiries and events, published on 28 May 2020, relating to how interested parties and members of the public can participate in the planning process through (a) examination of local plans, (b) accessing documents online and (c) attending virtual hearings during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has worked closely with the Planning Inspectorate during the COVID-19 outbreak, and the Inspectorate’s guidance on site visits, hearings, inquiries and examinations has been kept under regular review. Since it was first published on 12 March 2020 the guidance has been updated when necessary to reflect changes in the public health situation and to ensure that it remains effective.

The Inspectorate responded to the Written Ministerial Statement of 13 May 2020 by designing and testing an online environment suitable for hosting events and to facilitating public engagement and identifying emerging best practice across similar bodies, such as HM Courts and Tribunals Service. The Inspectorate conducted the first virtual hearing on 11 May 2020, and since then around 600 virtual hearings and inquiries have taken place across planning appeals, local plan examinations and nationally significant infrastructure applications.

Virtual events have proven to be effective and offer greater opportunity for involvement in the planning system. The Inspectorate has requested feedback from all participants in virtual events and 90% of those who responded have rated their experience good or excellent, with 97% saying that they would be happy to take part in a virtual event again.

Information supporting nationally significant infrastructure applications is fully available on the Planning Inspectorate website. Supporting information for planning appeals and local plan examinations is published through the website of the relevant council.

The Department is working with the Inspectorate to identify how to best capture the benefits of these new ways of working as part of the vision for a digital future of the planning system that we set out in our Planning for the Future White Paper.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has for Government oversight of local authority property investments.

Local authorities borrow and invest under the Prudential Framework which is designed to ensure that their capital plans are affordable, prudent and sustainable, while giving councils the freedom to set their own capital strategies. Government is responsible for ensuring the Framework remains effective in driving sound decision making, and collects appropriate data to monitor trends and identify risks. Local authorities remain accountable to their electorate for managing their own investment strategies and meeting their Best Value duty. They must comply with the Framework’s statutory guidance, including the requirement to report performance against a set of metrics designed to demonstrate the objectives of the Framework are being met, and must publish an investment strategy.

Government is aware of recent trends where some local authorities are taking on high levels of debt to invest for commercial income, and takes the view that a minority of councils are exposing taxpayers to undue financial risk. Government is also aware of the financial risks that can arise from councils' investments in companies. We have already strengthened our investment guidance to support better consideration of risks in decision making, and are now considering carefully what further interventions are needed, taking into account the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee in their report of 13 July 2020. We already have underway a review to improve our available data and ensure we fully understand sector borrowing and investment activity, including current and emerging risks. We continue to actively monitor capital trends in the sector, as part of our normal processes, and we are collecting data from authorities to understand the impact of the current crisis on commercial income.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has for Government oversight of local authority business investment companies.

Local authorities borrow and invest under the Prudential Framework which is designed to ensure that their capital plans are affordable, prudent and sustainable, while giving councils the freedom to set their own capital strategies. Government is responsible for ensuring the Framework remains effective in driving sound decision making, and collects appropriate data to monitor trends and identify risks. Local authorities remain accountable to their electorate for managing their own investment strategies and meeting their Best Value duty. They must comply with the Framework’s statutory guidance, including the requirement to report performance against a set of metrics designed to demonstrate the objectives of the Framework are being met, and must publish an investment strategy.

Government is aware of recent trends where some local authorities are taking on high levels of debt to invest for commercial income, and takes the view that a minority of councils are exposing taxpayers to undue financial risk. Government is also aware of the financial risks that can arise from councils' investments in companies. We have already strengthened our investment guidance to support better consideration of risks in decision making, and are now considering carefully what further interventions are needed, taking into account the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee in their report of 13 July 2020. We already have underway a review to improve our available data and ensure we fully understand sector borrowing and investment activity, including current and emerging risks. We continue to actively monitor capital trends in the sector, as part of our normal processes, and we are collecting data from authorities to understand the impact of the current crisis on commercial income.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has for Government oversight of local authority property investment companies.

Local authorities borrow and invest under the Prudential Framework which is designed to ensure that their capital plans are affordable, prudent and sustainable, while giving councils the freedom to set their own capital strategies. Government is responsible for ensuring the Framework remains effective in driving sound decision making, and collects appropriate data to monitor trends and identify risks. Local authorities remain accountable to their electorate for managing their own investment strategies and meeting their Best Value duty. They must comply with the Framework’s statutory guidance, including the requirement to report performance against a set of metrics designed to demonstrate the objectives of the Framework are being met, and must publish an investment strategy.

Government is aware of recent trends where some local authorities are taking on high levels of debt to invest for commercial income, and takes the view that a minority of councils are exposing taxpayers to undue financial risk. Government is also aware of the financial risks that can arise from councils' investments in companies. We have already strengthened our investment guidance to support better consideration of risks in decision making, and are now considering carefully what further interventions are needed, taking into account the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee in their report of 13 July 2020. We already have underway a review to improve our available data and ensure we fully understand sector borrowing and investment activity, including current and emerging risks. We continue to actively monitor capital trends in the sector, as part of our normal processes, and we are collecting data from authorities to understand the impact of the current crisis on commercial income.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure financial accountability and transparency on the use of funding allocated through the Towns Fund.

Every Town Investment Plan we receive is robustly assessed against a range of criteria, with value for money a central consideration.

Funding is distributed through local authorities who are the accountable body. Funding for projects will only be released when full, green book compliant, business cases have been approved.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that funds awarded through the towns fund are deposited with the accountable local authority as the responsible body.

Each town was asked to nominate a lead local authority for the Towns Fund. All payments are made through those lead local authorities, using Section 31.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to extend the time frame in which local authorities can spend the capital receipts from the sale of council and social housing during the covid-19 outbreak.

To support local authority house building during this unprecedented time, we extended the deadline for local authorities to spend receipts arising from sales of their homes by an additional six months. This has enabled many of them to catch up with their spending plans and deliver replacement social housing.

We are currently looking into requests for further extensions and will inform authorities of the outcome as soon as possible.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what role (a) archaeology and (b) heritage will play in his Department's proposals on changes to the planning process.

The Government is committed to the protection of the historic environment and we have put in place a strong legislative and policy framework to achieve this. In bringing forward any reforms to the planning system, we will ensure that heritage considerations, including the need for archaeological surveys, are taken into account.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that appropriate community consultation may take place in respect of the proposed EDF development of the Sizewell C nuclear power station during the covid-19 outbreak.

The planning system has a vital role to play in supporting the United Kingdom’s economic recovery and it should continue to operate effectively during the Covid-19 emergency while adhering to the Government’s guidance on social distancing. A written ministerial statement (Virtual working and planning – Responding to Covid–19 Restrictions, 13 May 2020 (HCWS235)) by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government made clear that moving to digital events and processes will be critical and that these can be put in place in the vast majority of cases to allow for the participation of all parties.

The Government fully supports the Planning Inspectorate’s programme for moving to digital events and it expects such events to be taking place virtually by mid-June, other than in exceptional circumstances. The method by which hearings and events are conducted is a matter for the Inspectorate, operating in accordance with their legal obligations.

The application for development of the Sizewell C nuclear power station was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 27 May 2020. After receipt of the application, the Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to review the application and decide whether or not to accept it. If the application is accepted, it will be examined in public. The public will be able to register with the Planning Inspectorate to become an Interested Party. Any interested party can make representations to the examining authority on any aspect of the project.

The Government expects everyone involved in the planning process to engage proactively and the Inspectorate published guidance on 28 May 2020 on how interested parties and members of the public can participate in the examination process, including accessing documents online and attending virtual hearings. This guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-planning-inspectorate-guidance.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the ability for due diligence to take place in respect of (a) the proposed development by EDF of the Sizewell C nuclear power station and (b) other significant planning applications.

The planning system has a vital role to play in supporting the United Kingdom’s economic recovery and it should continue to operate effectively during the Covid-19 emergency while adhering to the Government’s guidance on social distancing. A written ministerial statement (Virtual working and planning – Responding to Covid–19 Restrictions, 13 May 2020 (HCWS235)) by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government made clear that moving to digital events and processes will be critical and that these can be put in place in the vast majority of cases to allow for the participation of all parties.

The Government fully supports the Planning Inspectorate’s programme for moving to digital events and it expects such events to be taking place virtually by mid-June, other than in exceptional circumstances. The method by which hearings and events are conducted is a matter for the Inspectorate, operating in accordance with their legal obligations.

The application for development of the Sizewell C nuclear power station was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 27 May 2020. After receipt of the application, the Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to review the application and decide whether or not to accept it. If the application is accepted, it will be examined in public. The public will be able to register with the Planning Inspectorate to become an Interested Party. Any interested party can make representations to the examining authority on any aspect of the project.

The Government expects everyone involved in the planning process to engage proactively and the Inspectorate published guidance on 28 May 2020 on how interested parties and members of the public can participate in the examination process, including accessing documents online and attending virtual hearings. This guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-planning-inspectorate-guidance.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to provide additional longer term financial support to local authorities during the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government has made available £3.2 billion in un-ringfenced funding to local authorities, and introduced measures to ease immediate cashflow pressures, to make sure they have the resources they need to continue fighting the coronavirus pandemic


The package recognises the additional costs and pressures on finances which councils are facing as a result of the current crisis. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to make sure councils, including upper and lower tier authorities, have the resources they need to support their communities through this challenging time


Government is also providing additional resources to councils to support with specific issues, including an additional £600 million to support providers through a new Adult Social Care Infection Control and Workforce Resilience Fund


The Spending Review, later this year, will be the appropriate time to look at funding for local government in the round, and we will communicate our plans as early as we can through the provisional settlement. We will continue to engage councils on the best approach to the next financial year and work together to ensure they are managing as the pandemic progresses.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he has taken to support the merger of Babergh and Mid-Suffolk district councils.

In 2010 Babergh and Mid-Suffolk Councils engaged with my Department and with the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) regarding a merger of the two districts, but in 2011 the Councils decided not to go ahead following a local referendum. There was further engagement with the Councils in 2018 about a possible merger, which again was not progressed, and currently there is no proposal for merger with the Department

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to compensate local authorities for loss of revenue from car parking receipts during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is aware of the impact on local authorities’ financial position as a result of Covid-19. We are collecting monitoring data on a monthly basis on income and expenditure. We will share a summary of the returns in due course. I would like to encourage local authorities to keep engaging with us through the second round of returns, which will provide valuable data about what is happening on the front-line.

On 28 April the Local Government Secretary announced allocations to individual local authorities of the additional £1.6 billion of funding to support councils in delivering essential front line services, that was announced on 18 April. The grant has been paid as an un-ringfenced amount, recognising local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the additional Covid-19 service pressures in their area. This funding is in addition to the £1.6 billion announced on 19 March.

The Government has made a commitment to support all authorities with the additional cost pressures from the extra work and the specific tasks we have asked them to carry out as a result of the pandemic, including in relation to social care – both adult and children’s, public health services, shielding the most vulnerable, homelessness and rough sleeping, supporting the NHS and managing excess deaths.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to compensate local authorities for loss of revenue from rents during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is aware of the impact on local authorities’ financial position as a result of Covid-19. We are collecting monitoring data on a monthly basis on income and expenditure. We will share a summary of the returns in due course. I would like to encourage local authorities to keep engaging with us through the second round of returns, which will provide valuable data about what is happening on the front-line.

On 28 April the Local Government Secretary announced allocations to individual local authorities of the additional £1.6 billion of funding to support councils in delivering essential front line services, that was announced on 18 April. The grant has been paid as an un-ringfenced amount, recognising local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the additional Covid-19 service pressures in their area. This funding is in addition to the £1.6 billion announced on 19 March.

The Government has made a commitment to support all authorities with the additional cost pressures from the extra work and the specific tasks we have asked them to carry out as a result of the pandemic, including in relation to social care – both adult and children’s, public health services, shielding the most vulnerable, homelessness and rough sleeping, supporting the NHS and managing excess deaths.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to extend the time limit for local authorities to retain the proceeds of right to buy housing receipts.

We are keeping the situation under review and will inform local authorities as soon as a decision has been made.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to dispense with the need for community referendums to ratify neighbourhood plans during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Department has no plans to remove the requirement for neighbourhood planning referendums during the COVID-19 pandemic as it is important that communities have the final say on whether plans should be brought in to force. Regulations that postpone referendums until May 2021 will continue to be kept under review. We have made it clear in planning guidance that neighbourhood plans awaiting referendum can be given significant weight in planning decisions.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government how much money has been claimed under the Coronavirus Business Rates Retention Scheme (a) by second home owners and (b) for holiday lets in Suffolk.

Government has made £12.3 billion available to businesses under the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. As stated in the Grant Funding Schemes guidance, businesses in scope of the Small Business Grants Fund are those which, on 11 March 2020, were eligible for relief under the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (including those with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 which receive tapered relief) or the Rural Rate Relief Scheme. Businesses in scope of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund are those that were eligible on 11 March 2020 for a discount under the Expanded Retail Discount scheme and with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

The grant funding replicates the eligibility for the specific rate relief schemes. It is for local authorities to determine eligibility for reliefs, having regard to guidance issued by the Government, and they are contacting businesses directly to deliver these grants.

As of 26 April, over 610,000 business premises have received grants across the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, totalling over £7.59 billion. We do not hold data from local authorities broken down by sector. We have, however, published, a full breakdown of grant funding allocated to and distributed by each local authority here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to reduce rates of substance dependency in the prison population.

NHS England/Improvement (NHSE/I) are responsible for commissioning and delivering healthcare, including substance misuse services, in prisons. The Ministry of Justice works closely with our health and justice partners (Department for Health and Social Care, NHSE/I, HM Prison and Probation Service and Public Health England) to deliver safe, decent, effective healthcare for offenders through the National Partnership Agreement for Prison Healthcare in England, published in April 2018.

Last year we published The National Prison Drug Strategy which has three strands: restricting supply, reducing demand and ensuring prisoners are encouraged to engage in meaningful activity and treatment interventions to reduce drug misuse and dependency.

We are also testing and evaluating innovative approaches to substance misuse through our £9 million Drug Recovery Prison pilot at HMP Holme House. This is a joint MoJ and NHS E/I project to tackle drugs in prison and help prisoners improve their chance of recovery.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, what recent discussions he has had on allowing the proxy voting system in the House of Commons to be extended during the covid-19 outbreak to include hon Members who also work as NHS clinicians.

While proxy voting is ultimately a matter for the House, the Government does not intend to extend the scope of the pilot scheme. We of course owe a huge debt of gratitude to the NHS workforce, especially those who are also Members of Parliament. I hope the arrangements for remote voting, agreed by the House on 22 April 2020, will help support those Hon. Members who also work as NHS clinicians during the continuing hybrid procedures in Parliament.

However, the Government is aware that some of those Hon. Members working in the NHS may be unable to take part in the remote voting process. Therefore the Government will ensure that these MPs are paired, so their absence does not affect the outcome of any votes.

The Government is committed to listening carefully to the views of Members across the House, including those of the Procedure Committee, as we develop these new and temporary ways of working. However, it is the Government’s clear view that the current arrangements are temporary and the House will return to the normal tried and tested ways of working as soon as possible.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government efficiency)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using alternative voting methods in the House of Commons during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer my Hon. Friend to the answer I gave him yesterday in response to question 29207.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government efficiency)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, what plans he has to introduce electronic voting in divisions; and if he will make a statement.

The government supports the current voting arrangements and believes that they provide the necessary checks and balances to produce definitive and accurate results. Changes to voting procedures should only ever be taken forward once potential consequences have been fully thought through, where there is substantial support for change from across the House and where change is in the interests of enabling MPs to do a more effective job. The Government is of the view that votes should require Members to attend the division lobbies and is not persuaded that there is a need to introduce electronic voting.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government efficiency)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, what recent assessment he has made of the potential health implications relating to covid-19 of hon. Membes voting in the division lobbies.

In view of the current circumstances, members have themselves taken steps to limit the frequency of divisions. As I said during the Business Questions on Thursday 12 March, voting in the Division Lobby is not considered a high risk (Hansard col. 434). The Government's approach relating to covid-19 is guided by the best scientific evidence and medical advice, and we will take all necessary measures to deal with this outbreak. I am engaging with the parliamentary authorities and any decisions will be taken in line with the advice of the Chief Medical Officer.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government efficiency)