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Written Question
Coronavirus: Disease Control
26 Jul 2021

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on covid-19 risk for immunocompromised people after the planned easing of covid-19 restrictions on July 19 2021.

Answered by Jo Churchill

While no specific assessment has been made, a recent study from Public Health England looked at more than one million people in at-risk groups, which found that people who are immunosuppressed are significantly better protected from symptomatic infection following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Studies are also underway looking at which groups are less protected through vaccination, which may include groups with weakened immune systems and those with cancers of the blood. The findings will improve our knowledge of the levels of risk. We also recognise that there is a very small group of people who cannot receive the Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Disease Control
26 Jul 2021

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to help reduce the risk of contracting covid-19 for immunocompromised people after the planned easing of covod-19 restrictions on 19 July 2021.

Answered by Jo Churchill

Guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable individuals was published on 12 July including those who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Following the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the Government offered the household contacts aged over 16 years old of severely immunosuppressed individuals priority access to vaccination from COVID-19, to help reduce the risk of the immunosuppressed individual catching COVID-19 from a member of their household. This recommendation has now been extended to household contacts aged 12 to 15 years old.

The JCVI has provided interim advice is that booster vaccines should first be offered in a two staged approach, with individuals in stage one offered a booster and flu vaccine as soon as possible from September, which includes adults aged 16 years old and over who are immunosuppressed. Those in stage two should be offered a booster vaccine as soon as practicable after stage one, with equal emphasis on deployment of the flu vaccine where eligible. This includes adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. General practitioner practices or specialists can also provide personalised support and advice on any additional precautions.


Written Question
Hospitals: Greater London
21 Jun 2021

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will ring-fence funding for the Palliative Care Unit at the Whipps Cross Hospital.

Answered by Edward Argar

The proposed redevelopment of Whipps Cross does not involve the reconfiguration of services and envisages the new hospital providing the same core services as today, including the continued provision of high-quality specialist palliative and end of life care. A clinically led review of the model of care for the provision of specialist palliative care and end-of-life care in the new hospital is being undertaken by Barts Health NHS Trust, working closely with local partners and informed by engagement with patients and local interest groups.


Written Question
Hospitals: Greater London
27 May 2021

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of the reduction in bed capacity at the proposed new hospital at Whipps Cross on bed capacity at (a) Homerton hospital and (b) other local hospitals.

Answered by Edward Argar

The Whipps Cross redevelopment plans have continued to be tested with North East London Health and Care Partnership Integrated Care System as part of the development of the redevelopment’s outline business case, to ensure the demand and capacity assumptions are aligned with both the local and wider system assumptions.

The new development does not impact bed capacity at Homerton Hospital or other local hospitals. The number of beds in any hospital is not fixed and the way in which the hospital is designed will give greater flexibility to respond to changes in operational pressures, with an appropriate number of beds. The new hospital will have more clinical space than the current hospital, with new clinical departments, increased diagnostic and day case capacity and more single rooms, improving patient experience, privacy and dignity.


Written Question
Nurses: Training
16 Sep 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to ensure that changes to the funding of nursing education will (a) increase the number and (b) improve the quality of clinical placements for students.

Answered by Philip Dunne

The changes to healthcare education funding from August 2017 means that we can move away from centrally imposed controls on numbers of nurses being trained and financial limitations, enabling universities to increase nurse training places by the end of the parliament, 2020.

As now, ensuring that all students have access to high quality placements and receive an outstanding placement experience is a key priority.

Having a stable placement commissioning system is important for workforce supply and for Higher Education Institutes; therefore Health Education England (HEE) will retain responsibility for commissioning the minimum number of placements for 2017/18. Universities will be free to create additional places on top of these in partnership with their local trusts and will have their HEE-funded placements maintained at existing levels.

The Government is committed to monitoring data regarding, for example, application rates, diversity statistics and workforce supply.

The first part of the government response to the consultation included a revised Economic Impact Assessment, page 16 sets out the Monitoring and Evaluation plan, the link is:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changing-how-healthcare-education-is-funded


Written Question
Nurses: Training
16 Sep 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department will take to monitor the number of UCAS applications for nursing courses in the next two years; and what contingency planning his Department has undertaken to address any reduction in the number of such applications in that period.

Answered by Philip Dunne

The changes to healthcare education funding from August 2017 means that we can move away from centrally imposed controls on numbers of nurses being trained and financial limitations, enabling universities to increase nurse training places by the end of the parliament, 2020.

As now, ensuring that all students have access to high quality placements and receive an outstanding placement experience is a key priority.

Having a stable placement commissioning system is important for workforce supply and for Higher Education Institutes; therefore Health Education England (HEE) will retain responsibility for commissioning the minimum number of placements for 2017/18. Universities will be free to create additional places on top of these in partnership with their local trusts and will have their HEE-funded placements maintained at existing levels.

The Government is committed to monitoring data regarding, for example, application rates, diversity statistics and workforce supply.

The first part of the government response to the consultation included a revised Economic Impact Assessment, page 16 sets out the Monitoring and Evaluation plan, the link is:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changing-how-healthcare-education-is-funded


Written Question
Health: Children
16 Sep 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of changes in the availability of health visiting and school nursing services on health outcomes for children and young people; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Philip Dunne

The Government is committed to achieving good health outcomes for children and young people. Local authorities are responsible for commissioning appropriate services for 0-19 year olds in their areas, including health visiting and school nursing. Public Health England monitors a range of health outcomes for children, provided by Local authorities, including the health visiting services’ high impact actions, such as reducing smoking in pregnancy and managing a healthy weight in 4-5 year olds. The majority of these show a steady state of improvement[1].

Whilst no similar collection of data is made for school nursing services, and therefore no assessment has been made, school nurses are key providers of both the National Child Measurement Programme and childhood immunisations, both of which show significant uptake rates[2].

Both the Health Visitor Programme and School Nurse Programme, which concluded in 2015, introduced new service models for both professions to help develop improved access, user experience and outcomes, as well as reducing health inequalities. The Health Visitor programme also saw the workforce increase considerably enabling more families to be reached. Both professional groups indicate the service models have provided increased awareness of the service by users and a better structured delivery.

[1] Chimat Early Years Profiles

http://atlas.chimat.org.uk/IAS/dataviews/report/fullpage?viewId=433&reportId=482&geoId=17&geoReportId=4494&select=EN

[2] National Child Measurement Programme https://www.noo.org.uk/NCMP


Written Question
Health Visitors
16 Sep 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes in the availability of health visiting services on patients receiving those services; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Philip Dunne

The Government is committed to achieving good health outcomes for children and young people. Local authorities are responsible for commissioning appropriate services for 0-5 year olds in their areas, including health visiting. Public Health England monitors a range of outcomes for child health. This includes information provided by local authorities for health visiting services high impact actions such as reducing smoking in pregnancy and managing a healthy weight in 4-5 year olds. The majority of these show steady state of improvement[1].

The Health Visitor Programme, which concluded in 2015, introduced a new service model for the profession to help develop improved access, user experience and outcomes, as well as reducing health inequalities. The Health Visitor programme also saw the workforce increase considerably enabling more families to be reached. Professional groups indicate the service model has provided increased awareness of the service by users and a better structured delivery.

[1] Chimat Early Years Profiles

http://atlas.chimat.org.uk/IAS/dataviews/report/fullpage?viewId=433&reportId=482&geoId=17&geoReportId=4494&select=EN


Written Question
Community Nurses
16 Sep 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he plans to take to maintain or increase the number of district nurses; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Philip Dunne

Health Education England (HEE) operate an annual comprehensive planning process to ensure their investments meet the future needs of the population including the National Health Service requirement for district nurses. This process determines the education commissioning volumes for the following financial year and is published in the Workforce Plan for England.

Since 2013/14 HEE has increased district nursing education and training commissions by over 25%. In 2016/17 they have commissioned 505 district nurse training places in their Workforce Plan for England maintaining the levels of commissions from 2015/16. Workforce commissions for 2017/18 will be published in December 2016.


Written Question
NHS: Staff
15 Sep 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of current (a) healthcare professional staffing levels and (b) resources to achieve a seven-day NHS.

Answered by David Mowat

We have provided the National Health Service in England with £10 billion in real terms additional funding by 2020-21. This fully funds the NHS’s Five Year Forward View, including delivery of seven day services in hospitals. These are urgent and emergency care, non-elective hospital services which are of the same high quality at the weekend as during the week.

It will be for local commissioners and providers to decide how to organise their services to meet the standards for seven day services in hospitals. The Government is not imposing a “one size fits all” model. At a national level, the Department is working with NHS England, NHS Improvement and Health Education England to produce a summary of the workforce implications of implementing the four priority clinical standards for urgent and emergency care services in hospitals, which it will publish by the end of the calendar year.

The Government has committed to increasing the primary and community care workforce by 10,000 by 2020, including an additional 5,000 doctors in general practice. NHS England will provide over £500 million of recurrent funding by 2020-21, on top of current primary medical care allocations, to enable clinical commissioning groups to commission and fund extra capacity across England. This is to ensure that by 2020 everyone has access to general practitioner services, including sufficient routine appointments at evenings and weekends to meet locally determined demand, alongside effective access to out of hours and urgent care services.


Written Question
Food: Advertising
15 Sep 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on measures to protect children from junk food marketing.

Answered by Philip Dunne

We have worked closely with other Government Departments in developing Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action. Its policies are informed by the latest research and evidence, including from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition report Carbohydrates and Health, Public Health England’s evidence package Sugar reduction: the evidence for action, debates in this House and various reports from key stakeholders including the Health Select Committee.

Copies of Carbohydrates and Health and Sugar reduction: the evidence for action are attached and are available at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/445503/SACN_Carbohydrates_and_Health.pdf

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/470179/Sugar_reduction_The_evidence_for_action.pdf


Written Question
Obesity: Children
15 Sep 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on including measures to tackle price promotions in the childhood obesity strategy prior to publication of that strategy.

Answered by Philip Dunne

We have worked closely with other Government Departments in developing Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action. Its policies are informed by the latest research and evidence, including from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition report Carbohydrates and Health, Public Health England’s evidence package Sugar reduction: the evidence for action, debates in this House and various reports from key stakeholders including the Health Select Committee.

Copies of Carbohydrates and Health and Sugar reduction: the evidence for action are attached and are available at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/445503/SACN_Carbohydrates_and_Health.pdf

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/470179/Sugar_reduction_The_evidence_for_action.pdf


Written Question
Blood Diseases
4 Jul 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what PREMs and PROMs data his Department holds for people with (a) sickle cell disease and (b) thalassaemia.

Answered by George Freeman

NHS England does not currently routinely collect this information.


Written Question
Blood
4 Jul 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many apheresis machines are operational in the UK; and where those machines are located.

Answered by George Freeman

Apheresis machines are part of the care provided in a number of haematology services including sickle cell and thalassaemia care.

NHS Blood and Transplant is one of the main providers of Therapeutic Apheresis Services in England and has the largest installed base of therapeutic apheresis equipment in the National Health Service (32 machine platforms across the country). Additional provision of apheresis services are provided by NHS trusts and other UK Blood Services but NHS England does not currently hold information on this information centrally.

Work in relation to these services including the incentivisation of automated exchange through Commissioning for Quality and Innovation will improve the baseline information over the coming year.


Written Question
Blood Diseases
4 Jul 2016

Questioner: Diane Abbott (LAB - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people have died as a result of (a) sickle cell disease and (b) thalassaemia in each (i) clinical commissioning group area, (ii) trust area and (iii) national sickle cell and thalassaemia centre area in the most recent year for which figures are available.

Answered by George Freeman

NHS England does not routinely collect this information. Data on adverse events for patients with sickle cell disease and thalassaemia is available from the National Haemoglobinopathy Registry Report 2013/14.