Mary Glindon Portrait

Mary Glindon

Labour - North Tyneside

Opposition Whip (Commons)

(since April 2020)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 8th Jun 2020
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Farming and Rural Communities)
10th Oct 2016 - 10th Apr 2020
Transport Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 31st Oct 2016
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
25th Feb 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Thursday 10th June 2021
Tobacco Control Plan

It is an honour to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Miller. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for City …

Written Answers
Tuesday 15th June 2021
Medical Records: Data Protection
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the collection of general practice data …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 27th February 2020
World Obesity Day 2020
That this House notes World Obesity Day 2020; recognises that weight stigma has a negative effect on the lives of …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 1st March 2021
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: We Are With You
Address of donor: Part Lower Ground Floor, Gate House, 1-3 St. John's Square, …
EDM signed
Tuesday 26th January 2021
Godfrey Colin Cameron
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Unpaid Work Experience (Prohibition) (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to prohibit unpaid work experience exceeding four weeks; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Mary Glindon has voted in 246 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Mary Glindon 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
Oliver Dowden (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
(4 debate interactions)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Education
(3 debate interactions)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Chancellor of the Exchequer
(3 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(5 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(4 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(3 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(3 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Mary Glindon's debates

North Tyneside 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).

Mary Glindon has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Mary Glindon

14th January 2021
Mary Glindon signed this EDM on Tuesday 26th January 2021

Godfrey Colin Cameron

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary security staff and member of the PCS trade union who passed away aged just 55 after contracting covid-19; extends our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Hyacinth, children Leon and …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 117
Scottish National Party: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
17th March 2020
Mary Glindon signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 19th March 2020

Water contamination in Sri Lanka

Tabled by: David Amess (Conservative - Southend West)
That this House expresses concern regarding water quality in northern Sri Lanka; is concerned by reports stating that the Sri Lankan Government refused to allow independent assessments of water quality in the region; notes that the consumption or use of water contaminated by waste oil has been linked to many …
35 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Apr 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 16
Conservative: 4
Liberal Democrat: 4
Independent: 4
Scottish National Party: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Alliance: 1
View All Mary Glindon's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Mary Glindon, 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.


Mary Glindon has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Mary Glindon has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Mary Glindon has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


161 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
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Chief Executive of the Government Property Agency plans to respond to the letter from the PCS Union dated 27 September 2019 from the PCS Union and the follow-up email from PCS dated 21 October 2019.

A response to the PCS correspondence is being considered, and a reply will be issued shortly.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the value is of covid-19 related loans (a) from the public purse and (b) via the British Business Bank to duty holders in the UK sector of the offshore oil and gas industry, broken down by support for (a) revenue streams, (b) capital investment and (c) employment costs.

The three Coronavirus Business Interruption loan schemes are administered by the British Business Bank and delivered by accredited lenders. The Loans are designed to ensure that businesses have access to capital to help them through this difficult time, with the temporary cashflow impacts of Covid-19.

The British Business bank does not keep data on (a) revenue streams, (b) capital investment and (c) employment costs.

The British Business Bank publishes lending figures under the BBLs and CBILS schemes, including by sector as follows:

BBLS by Sector

Number of BBLS facilities

Volume of Finance under BBLS (£)

% of BBLS facilities

% of business population

Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities

9518

303,000,000

1%

0.6%

CBILS by Sector

Number of facilities

Volume of Finance under CBILS (£)

% of CBILS facilities

% of business population

Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities

709

196,000,000

1%

0.6%

The Covid Corporate Financing Facility provides debt finance to support fundamentally strong companies through the market disruption brought about through Covid-19. The scheme is funded by central bank reserves – in line with other Bank of England market operations - and is indemnified by HM Treasury. Details of outstanding lending through the scheme are published weekly on the Bank of England website.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to allow small independent retailers to sell homeware and clothes during future covid-19 lockdown periods, in line with the rules for supermarkets.

The Government recognises this will be a challenging time for any business which has been asked to close.

All shops can continue to offer home delivery to customers and click and collect services during the current restrictions.

The current restrictions will expire on 2 December, and our intention is to return to?a system of?local and regional restrictions. We will set out what this means for retailers and other businesses as soon as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to tackle online misinformation on the vaping industry.

The Department of Health and Social Care and PHE meet with the Independent British Vape Trade Association to discuss industry concerns and wider regulatory matters, including misinformation.

E-cigarettes in the UK are tightly regulated by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) and the Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015 (NIP). These regulations aim to reduce the risk of harm to children; to protect against any risk of renormalisation of tobacco use; and to provide assurance on relative safety for users. The regulations include restrictions on mainstream TV and radio advertising; prevent sale to under 18s; and limit both tank sizes and nicotine content.

DCMS works closely with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who facilitate the self-regulation of the UK advertising sector through the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) and The UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) - which applies to online advertising. The ASA has a clear framework for advertisers to follow in relation to what is and is not allowed when making health claims about vapes or e-cigarettes.

The Better Health national marketing campaign on smoking cessation, delivered by Public Health England, has been effective at helping challenge misinformation surrounding e-cigarettes. The campaign is supported by public health professionals at a local level, helping smokers switch to e-cigarette products.

The key consideration for advertisers is whether their marketing communications do anything further than provide basic, factual information about the products. Any content that appears to make the product seem more attractive is likely to be regarded as promotional and therefore likely to be ruled against by the ASA and removed.

More information about the ASA’s approach can be viewed here: https://www.asa.org.uk/asset/97E623E4-3A64-4215-81A5C4BD6D82D1E0.A1727AC1-C340-4B08

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on reducing levels of smoking of improving public perception of e-cigarettes and vape products, including allowing manufactures, retailers and brands of e-cigarette products to communicate comparative health claims and switching messages that are agreed by the relevant public health bodies to adult smokers.

E-cigarettes in the UK are tightly regulated by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) and the Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015 (NIP). These regulations aim to reduce the risk of harm to children; to protect against any risk of renormalisation of tobacco use; and to provide assurance on relative safety for users. The regulations include restrictions on mainstream TV and radio advertising; prevent sale to under 18s; and limit both tank sizes and nicotine content.

My department works closely with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who facilitate the self-regulation of the UK advertising sector through the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) and The UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code). The ASA has a clear framework for advertisers to follow in relation to what is and is not allowed when making health claims about vapes or e-cigarettes.

It would appear that the key consideration for advertisers is whether their marketing communications do anything further than provide basic, factual information about the products. Any content that appears to make the product seem more attractive is likely to be regarded as promotional and therefore likely to be ruled against by the ASA and removed.

More information about the ASA’s approach can be viewed here: https://www.asa.org.uk/asset/97E623E4-3A64-4215-81A5C4BD6D82D1E0.A1727AC1-C340-4B08-9820666C89AE18CB/

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the role the coach travel sector can play in revitalising the UK tourism industry; and when he last met with representatives of the Confederation of Passenger Transport to discuss the revitalisation of the tourism industry.

Coaches are an important part of the UK tourism industry, and play a key role each year in connecting visitors with holiday destinations across the country. We are engaging with a broad range of tourism stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the sector’s recovery.

I have discussed the problems facing the coach travel sector in detail with my Ministerial counterparts in the Department for Transport, who hold overall responsibility for coach travel, as well as my counterparts in the Devolved Administrations. The Department also continues to engage with the Coach Tourism Association via the Tourism Industry Events Response Group (TIER).

In July my officials attended a cross-Government Ministerial roundtable on problems facing the coach industry, which was attended by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT). I have also responded to written correspondence from the CPT.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to Guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants, updated by his Department on 28 October 2020, what plans his Department has to publish an indicative date for reaching stage 5 of re-opening live performance venues.

Following the new national restrictions being put in place from 5 November to 2 December, we are currently at Stages 1 & 2 of the Performing Arts Roadmap, meaning that rehearsals, training and performances for broadcast and recording purposes (without an audience) can take place. We recognise the importance of giving the sector clarity for when Stage 5 activity can resume and acknowledge the lead in time required for programming, casting and rehearsing productions.

We have always said that further reopening would be dependent on the public health context at the time. DCMS has convened a Venues Steering Group which includes representatives from leading sector organisations as well as Public Health England and other experts to develop an action plan for maximizing activity under Stages 3 and 4, when it is permitted, and for how we safely proceed to Stage 5. DCMS will continue to work with the sector to establish an appropriate pilot process for testing the return to stage 5 activity when appropriate and are working closely with the Department for Health and Social Care on the Government Mass Testing Programme.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jan 2020
What steps her Department is taking to increase sports coverage on free-to-air television.

The listed events regime strikes a balance between retaining free-to-air sporting events for the public while allowing rights holders to negotiate agreements in the best interests of their sport.

To give equal recognition to disabled and women’s sports, the government is currently consulting on the addition of the Paralympics and certain women’s events to the listed events regime. However, the government does not have any plans to carry out a full review of the list.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what contingency plans he has in place to ensure that children who travel to school by coach can continue to do so in the event that some coach operators cease trading by April 2021 due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has allocated more than £70 million to Local Transport Authorities (LTAs), enabling them to increase dedicated home to school and college transport capacity over the autumn term: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esfa-update-14-october-2020/esfa-update-further-education-14-october-2020. LTAs have flexibility in how they use this funding to meet the needs of local families, including hiring extra coaches. We are reviewing funding arrangements for the spring term.

Government Departments continue to work collaboratively and with representatives from the coach sector, including the Confederation of Passenger Transport, to understand the ongoing risks and issues the sector faces and how these could be addressed.

The Government has also provided £4.6 billion of un-ringfenced funding to local authorities to support them with the pressures they are facing as a result of COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-emergency-funding-for-local-government. This funding can be used to support school and college travel.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits for reducing single-use plastics by allowing larger e-liquid bottles for e-cigarettes.

The Government has made no specific assessment of the potential merits for reducing single-use plastics by allowing larger e-liquid bottles for e-cigarettes.

Regardless of size, e-liquid bottles can and should be recyclable. The Government's landmark Resources and Waste Strategy sets out our plans to eliminate avoidable plastic waste over the lifetime of the 25 Year Plan and drive up recycling rates. We will also be introducing a new world-leading tax on plastic packaging which will apply to businesses producing or importing plastic packaging which doesn't meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content, subject to further consultation, from April 2022. Together with the government's reform of the Packaging Producer Responsibility system, this will transform the economic incentives of producers by encouraging more use of recycled plastic and driving up recycling rates.

The Department of Health and Social Care is undertaking a post implementation review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 that provides the regulatory framework for e-cigarettes. This includes a public consultation, which closed on the 19 March, which allowed the opportunity for people to share their opinions on the regulations. The Government will publish its response later this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much emergency funding he plans to allocate to Forestry England to enable that organisation to continue (a) operating and (b) paying staff (i) during and (ii) after lockdown.

Defra and the Forestry Commission are discussing options to manage financial impacts arising from COVID-19. With reduced income from timber and visitors, Forestry England (FE) has made use of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to reduce costs, protect jobs and retain staff. FE continues to manage and care for the nation’s forests, adapting working practices in line with public health guidelines.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the level of funding required from the public purse to enable Forestry England to maintain its activities (a) during and (b) after the covid-19 lockdown.

Defra and the Forestry Commission are discussing options to manage financial impacts arising from COVID-19. With reduced income from timber and visitors, Forestry England (FE) has made use of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to reduce costs, protect jobs and retain staff. FE continues to manage and care for the nation’s forests, adapting working practices in line with public health guidelines.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that Forestry England is able to maintain the (a) wages of its staff, and (b) number of jobs in its organisation during the covid-19 pandemic.

Defra and the Forestry Commission are discussing options to manage financial impacts arising from COVID-19. With reduced income from timber and visitors, Forestry England (FE) has made use of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to reduce costs, protect jobs and retain staff. FE continues to manage and care for the nation’s forests, adapting working practices in line with public health guidelines.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the £800 million commitment from Mubadala as part of the UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership, which areas of the life sciences sector will receive funding from that Partnership.

The UK Government remains committed to providing £200m in funding to unlock additional investment in our world-leading life sciences sector. We are working closely with Mubadala and considering how best to deploy this funding in light of Mubadala’s own £800m commitment to the sector.

In total, this means £1bn of new funding available for our most promising life sciences companies, with the potential to crowd in more funding from other investors.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on the Government’s (a) operational plans, (b) timeframes and (c) risks associated with the UK’s new customs border with the EU and implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol from 1 January 2021.

Specifics of any discussions between the Secretary of State and the Chancellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster cannot be disclosed.

The Command Paper published on 20th June sets out a pragmatic and proportionate way to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol (the Protocol), whilst maintaining the priority to protect Northern Ireland (NI’s) place in our United Kingdom.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is working closely with officials in both the Border and Protocol Delivery Group and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to implement all border delivery plans and timelines, including in relation to the delivery of tariff declaration systems, in the lead up to the end of the transition period.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the Government's ability to deliver a dual UK and EU tariff system in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

Specifics of any discussions between the Secretary of State and the Chancellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster cannot be disclosed.

The Command Paper published on 20th June sets out a pragmatic and proportionate way to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol (the Protocol), whilst maintaining the priority to protect Northern Ireland (NI’s) place in our United Kingdom.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is working closely with officials in both the Border and Protocol Delivery Group and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to implement all border delivery plans and timelines, including in relation to the delivery of tariff declaration systems, in the lead up to the end of the transition period.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effect on the Union of the UK applying EU tariffs by default on all goods entering Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

We are committed to meeting our obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol (the Protocol). Northern Ireland is and remains part of the UK’s customs territory. Businesses and consumers in Northern Ireland should be able to take advantage of the UK tariff at the end of the transition period.

The Protocol provides that the criteria for ‘not at risk’ goods shall be decided by the Joint Committee before the end of the Transition Period.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will (a) extend the validity period for driving theory test passes and (b) waive the re-sit fee in the event that a driving theory test certificate has expired during the covid-19 lockdown.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place for road safety reasons; to ensure that a candidate’s knowledge is current. This validity period is set in legislation and the Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to extend it.

It is important that road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point that they drive unsupervised for the first time. Those with theory test certificates expiring may have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, their lessons and practice sessions will have been significantly curtailed during recent lockdowns and it is likely that their knowledge base will have diminished. Research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills, a key factor in road safety.

Ensuring new drivers have current relevant knowledge and skills is a vital part of the training of new drivers, who are disproportionality represented in casualty statistics. Taking all this into consideration, the decision has been made not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

There are no current plans to waive the charge of a theory test for those whose theory test certificates have expired, given that they will have already received the service for which they paid.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) pays its contractor, Pearson, per theory test delivered. If candidates were exempted from having to pay for a retake then the DVSA and in turn other fee payers would incur these costs. This would be unfair to fee payers who would not benefit from the arrangement.

In addition, applications for a re-test would need to be validated and systems amended to remove the requirement for payment in these cases. The DVSA’s focus should rightly be on developing solutions to address the backlog of practical driving tests that has arisen as a result of the pandemic.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he next plans to meet with representatives of the Confederation of Passenger Transport to discuss the issues facing the coach sector.

Ministers and officials from the Department of Transport regularly meet with representatives from the Confederation of Passenger Transport to discuss issues facing the coach sector.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the total cost to the public purse of payments to train operating companies under the Emergency Recovery Management Agreements.

Under the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs), operators have been placed under more demanding management agreements than the previous Emergency Measure Agreements. These include tougher performance targets and lower management fees.

The total cost to the public purse of rail services under ERMAs will depend on passenger revenue levels, which remain highly uncertain in the near term due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated public health measures. As such, no firm cost estimate is available.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the total amount that will be paid to (a) LNER and (b) Northern Rail under the Emergency Recovery Management Agreements.

London North Eastern Railway and Northern remain under government control through the operator of last resort. As such, they do not have an Emergency Measures Agreement or Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to tender the (a) LNER and (b) Northern Rail contracts to private sector companies.

No decisions about whether to tender the LNER or Northern Rail contracts have yet been taken, although the intention is to tender these to the private sector at an appropriate point in the future. However, currently the government is focused on delivering essential rail services during the pandemic. Last week the Secretary of State announced the introduction of new Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements which will enable franchised train operators to continue delivering for passengers at the current time.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has for the (a) long-term revenue and (b) long-term capital funding for the Tyne and Wear Metro.

This Government is committed to the future of the Tyne and Wear Metro system. We have invested nearly £600m towards renewals and running costs and I am currently considering future long term investment commitments to support this vital transport system to the region. Furthermore, in the 2017 Autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced a £337m direct grant to deliver a new fleet of trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the deployment of IT equipment to allow more of her Department’s staff to work from home during the covid-19 outbreak (a) how many pieces of IT equipment are currently on order and (b) when staff are planned to receive them.

DWP does not currently have a need to procure additional IT equipment to enable more people to work from home. Over 74,000 colleagues are already able to work remotely and DWP are planning to roll out the remaining PCs to up to 28,000 members of staff by the end of March depending on demand. We are repurposing existing DWP devices to enable them for home working in order to fulfil demand.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many staff in her Department are working in an office setting, and what the roles are of those staff.

Since March 2020 we have increased the number of colleagues with the IT to enable them to work more flexibly by over 50,000, meaning almost 74,000 people in total have equipment to enable them to work from home. This is approximately 81% of our workforce. Every day more colleagues are able to work from home as we continue to roll out more IT equipment to ensure that everyone in DWP is enabled to work from home where appropriate by the end of March 2021.

We are limiting how many colleagues remain working in an office setting in order to balance the need to provide essential public facing services for citizens, whilst maintaining safe social distancing in line with Government guidelines. Examples of such roles are some of our Jobcentre services (which provide vital face to face support for our most vulnerable citizens), and clerical processes such as Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit applications.

Currently, around 31,000 DWP employees are consistently working from an office, with approximately a further 5,000 working from a combination of home and a DWP office location. Combined, this accounts for around 42% of the DWP employees who currently attend an office during the working week.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether delays have occurred in the roll-out of IT equipment across her Department since the first covid-19 lockdown was announced in March 2020.

Since March 2020 the Department has increased the number of colleagues with IT which enables them to work more flexibly, including from home, by over 50,000. This means almost 74,000 people in total now have kit to enable them to work this way, which is approximately 81 per cent of our workforce.

The Department continues the roll-out of IT kit as quickly as it can, delivering over 2,500 pieces of IT equipment a week to ensure that everyone in DWP is enabled to work flexibly by the end of March.

The roll out has been delivered according to a carefully planned set of priorities in order to keep our colleagues safe whilst keeping our services running and has been delivered to plan.

Some job roles can only be done in the office or individuals’ personal circumstances mean they do not wish to work from home - these colleagues will continue to use their existing desk-based IT. Where colleagues are required to work in an office, please be assured that measures are in place which follow all Government guidance on social distancing to ensure the safety of colleagues.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the planned length is of the trial of the digital system for issuing national insurance numbers; and if she will make a statement.

The digital system ‘Apply for a NINo’ is for citizens to make an on-line application for a National Insurance number. The limited trial started in mid-October 2020 and is scheduled to run until January 2021. Once we receive confirmation that the service meets Government Digital Standards, we will then be able to extend the service to all applicants.

When applying for a National Insurance number, all applicants are required to have their identity verified. This verification is completed through attendance at a face to face interview with DWP unless we are able to confirm another Government Department has already done this.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of British citizens who are waiting for a national insurance number to be allocated.

The department does not hold information on the numbers of British Citizens who are waiting for a National Insurance Number (NINo) to be allocated.

The vast majority of British Citizens receive a NINo from HMRC shortly before their 16th birthday if they have been part of a Child Benefit Claim.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has plans to extend the three month suspension of face-to-face benefit assessments.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 9 June 2020 to Question UIN 52251.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether cleaners employed by Interserve working in her Department’s premises enjoy parity of treatment with civil servants in her Department with respect to their (a) entitlement to sick leave caused by covid-19, (b) status as vulnerable workers and (c) responsibilities for looking after extremely vulnerable dependents.

Both DWP and Interserve have implemented HR policies which fully comply with the Covid-19 guidance published by Public Health England (PHE) via Gov.uk.

These policies each cover the three areas highlighted for the respective separate workforces.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether cleaners employed by Interserve working in her Department’s premises (a) have access to personal protective equipment, (b) are classed as key workers, and (c) are eligible for covid-19 testing.

All Interserve cleaners have been provided and continue to be re-supplied with the appropriate PPE to carry out the cleaning tasks in accordance with our Company COVID-19 PPE risk assessment and specific DWP Task Risk Assessments which both comply with all published Government guidelines and advice. Appropriate PPE in the form of protective gloves is being provided to all cleaning staff.

The cleaners are classed as Key Workers and each have been provided with written correspondence to confirm this status.

The cleaners and their household members are eligible for COVID-19 testing subject to showing symptoms in accordance with our Company testing programme, or they may apply through the Government route themselves.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what new health and safety measures have been put in place since the start of the covid-19 outbreak to protect cleaners employed by Interserve in her Department’s premises who (a) are classed as vulnerable and (b) look after extremely vulnerable dependants.

The Department wrote to all its suppliers, including Interserve, reaffirming that they should follow the guidance issued via Public Health England on Gov.uk and has been working closely with them since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure appropriate measures are put in place.

Where reasonable adjustments can be made to allow the colleague to attend work, then Interserve is implementing those adjustments. These adjustments can include shorter hours, flexible start/finish times to avoid busy commutes, and social distancing in the workplace. Where reasonable adjustments cannot be made to support a safe working environment for colleagues who identify as vulnerable then arrangements are made for the colleague to remain at home on full pay. Additionally, appropriate PPE in the form of protective gloves is being provided to all cleaning staff.

Interserve colleagues who may be caring for vulnerable dependants who require “shielding” are being advised to raise this with their line manager so that reasonable adjustments such as those above can be explored.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies on the national disability strategy of the recommendations in Muscular Dystrophy UK’s report on disability benefits, entitled Below standard.

The Department places a strong emphasis on engaging with stakeholders to inform health and disability policy to ensure we are addressing the right problems in the welfare system. Muscular Dystrophy UK’s report entitled ‘Below standard: MDUK’s assessment of the benefits system’ offers insights into the challenges faced by people living with muscle-wasting conditions.

Government will reflect carefully on these findings as part of the National Disability Strategy, which will be published by the end of the year, and in the DWP Green Paper on health and disability benefits and support.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the collection of general practice data by NHS Digital and the opt-out date of 23 June 2021, what steps his Department has taken to communicate the collection of that data to the public.

NHS Digital proactively promoted the new collection approach with all media outlets, using social media channels to promote information. Patient facing materials have been developed by NHS Digital for general practitioners to use. Following the announcement that the data collection will be delayed until 1 September 2021, NHS Digital intends to use the next two months to continue to enhance communications and further raise awareness with the public about the new collection and its benefits.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the collection of general practice data by NHS Digital and the opt-out date of 23 June 2021, which patient details are planned to be shared with third parties.

Only the information that is required to meet a legally permitted use will be accessed. The data will only be used for health and care planning and research purposes by organisations that have a legal basis and legitimate need to use the data. NHS Digital publishes the details of the data shared on their data release register. All requests to access general practitioner (GP) data are scrutinised by NHS Digital against stringent criteria, then two independent panels which include GP representatives.

Any National Health Service organisation, such as a clinical commissioning group, or a national arm’s length body or research organisation can request access to the data. The data collected from GPs does not include the names and addresses of individuals or their contact numbers and is pseudonymised at source to further protect the identity of patients. The implementation date of this data collection will now be 1 September 2021.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the collection of general practice data by NHS Digital and the opt-out date of 23 June 2021, what patients' data is planned to be used for; and who plans to use that data.

Only the information that is required to meet a legally permitted use will be accessed. The data will only be used for health and care planning and research purposes by organisations that have a legal basis and legitimate need to use the data. NHS Digital publishes the details of the data shared on their data release register. All requests to access general practitioner (GP) data are scrutinised by NHS Digital against stringent criteria, then two independent panels which include GP representatives.

Any National Health Service organisation, such as a clinical commissioning group, or a national arm’s length body or research organisation can request access to the data. The data collected from GPs does not include the names and addresses of individuals or their contact numbers and is pseudonymised at source to further protect the identity of patients. The implementation date of this data collection will now be 1 September 2021.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many surgeries were performed by the NHS on foetuses under 20 weeks' gestation in each year for the last five years; and how many (a) of those surgeries and (b) surgeries on foetuses over 20 weeks' gestation used fetal pain relief.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of treating smoking-related illnesses in each of the past five years.

We have made no such estimate.

However, we are committed to reducing smoking prevalence and the associated costs to the National Health Service. A new Tobacco Control Plan will be published later this year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to challenge misinformation preventing long-term smokers from making the switch to less harmful alternatives as part of Vaping Awareness Month in April 2021.

The Department encourages all smokers to quit or move to less harmful products, such as e-cigarettes, if they are unable to quit. In England, an estimated 2.5 million people use e-cigarettes, the majority of whom no longer smoke. In addition, around 50,000 people a year quit smoking through switching to e-cigarettes, who would not have quit through other means.

The Better Health mass media smoking cessation campaign, delivered by Public Health England and as part of a package of tobacco control measures, has been effective at helping challenge misinformation surrounding e-cigarettes. Alongside this, local stop smoking services advise smokers of the benefits of switching to less harmful products, with some offering free vaping starter kits.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2021 to Question 135939, on Coronavirus: Medical Treatments, if he will ask the relevant bodies to examine the results of the trial by East Kent Hospitals into possible benefits for covid-19 sufferers of Sambucol Black Elderberry liquid; and if he will consult representatives of the National Institute of Medicinal Herbalists on the potential merits of herbal medicines for that illness.

The Department continues to monitor any new, high quality evidence from clinical trials on the effectiveness of different therapeutics for COVID-19 and works to ensure that any identified as credible or plausible are rapidly considered for entry into a United Kingdom priority platform clinical trial. Additionally, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) secretariats are monitoring the evidence around nutrition and COVID-19 and are due to update the SACN at their next meeting in June 2021.

The Department does not maintain a position on any complementary or alternative medicine treatments. It is the responsibility of local National Health Service organisations to make decisions on the commissioning and funding of any healthcare treatments for NHS patients, taking into account issues around safety and clinical and cost-effectiveness. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence does not currently recommend that homeopathy should be used in the treatment of any health condition.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will work with the vaping industry in challenging misinformation that is deterring smokers from switching to less harmful alternatives.

The Government continues to review the evidence of reduced risk products such as e-cigarettes, including their harms and usefulness as an aid to stop smoking. Although not risk free, current evidence suggests e-cigarettes are less harmful to health than smoking and can help some people quit.

Public Health England (PHE), through their stop smoking campaigns, provide information, advice and support on using e-cigarettes to help smokers quit. Smokers can also access local stop smoking services who provide a range of quitting methods to suit the individual smoker’s preferences and this may include support for smokers who wish to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking. The highest success rates in these services are seen among those combining expert advice with e-cigarettes.

In line with the Government’s commitment to article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the Department only meets with vape trade organisations who are independent of the tobacco industry. The Department and PHE meet with the Independent British Vape Trade Association to discuss industry concerns and wider regulatory matters, including misinformation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether local stop-smoking services encourage to adult smokers to switch from smoking conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes.

The Government continues to review the evidence of reduced risk products such as e-cigarettes, including their harms and usefulness as an aid to stop smoking. Although not risk free, current evidence suggests e-cigarettes are less harmful to health than smoking and can help some people quit.

Public Health England (PHE), through their stop smoking campaigns, provide information, advice and support on using e-cigarettes to help smokers quit. Smokers can also access local stop smoking services who provide a range of quitting methods to suit the individual smoker’s preferences and this may include support for smokers who wish to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking. The highest success rates in these services are seen among those combining expert advice with e-cigarettes.

In line with the Government’s commitment to article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the Department only meets with vape trade organisations who are independent of the tobacco industry. The Department and PHE meet with the Independent British Vape Trade Association to discuss industry concerns and wider regulatory matters, including misinformation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure adult smokers have access to (a) e-cigarettes and (b) other tools to help them quit smoking.

The Government continues to review the evidence of reduced risk products such as e-cigarettes, including their harms and usefulness as an aid to stop smoking. Although not risk free, current evidence suggests e-cigarettes are less harmful to health than smoking and can help some people quit.

Public Health England (PHE), through their stop smoking campaigns, provide information, advice and support on using e-cigarettes to help smokers quit. Smokers can also access local stop smoking services who provide a range of quitting methods to suit the individual smoker’s preferences and this may include support for smokers who wish to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking. The highest success rates in these services are seen among those combining expert advice with e-cigarettes.

In line with the Government’s commitment to article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the Department only meets with vape trade organisations who are independent of the tobacco industry. The Department and PHE meet with the Independent British Vape Trade Association to discuss industry concerns and wider regulatory matters, including misinformation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to issue guidance on differentiating between smoking and vaping in (a) the workplace and (b) other public places to help support smokers who are transitioning away from cigarettes from risk of relapse.

It is for individual organisations and businesses to implement their own policies on e-cigarette use in the workplace. Public Health England has published guidance to support organisations in developing policies around vaping in workplaces and public places and recommend such policies to be evidence-based. The guidance is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-e-cigarettes-in-public-places-and-workplaces

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps local stop-smoking services are taking to reduce smoking rates amongst the poorest in society where smoking prevalence is highest.

Local authorities are responsible for providing stop smoking services in their communities and are best placed to identify those in need of support and how to deliver an effective service. Public Health England provides analytical toolkits, assessments and guidance to help local authorities.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his Department's policy to take an evidence-based approach to the upcoming Tobacco and Related Product Regulations review.

The Government is conducting a Post Implementation Review of both the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 and the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 to assess if the regulations have met their objectives. As part of this review a public consultation is being conducted, which was open until 19 March 2021. The responses, alongside other available evidence, will be fully analysed and used to inform the Post Implementation Review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government is on track to reach the smokefree 2030 target.

This Government is committed to levelling up in society to ensure no communities get left behind. This is why we announced our bold ambition for England to be Smokefree by 2030 because we want to continue to address the harms from smoking. As part of this commitment, we have announced the publication of a new Tobacco Control Plan which will set out our roadmap to achieving this challenging ambition. The Plan is due to be published in Summer 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's press release, £148 million to cut drugs crime, published on 20 January 2021, whether the deadline for (a) Universal and (b) Accelerator applications is (i) fixed or (ii) flexible.

The deadline for the Universal and Accelerator drug treatment grant applications is fixed. Where there are exceptional circumstances, Public Health England will work with local areas on a case by case basis to ensure they can submit applications. Local authorities have now received their indicative allocations, proposal templates and supporting materials.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the announcement of 4 March 2021, New specialised support to help those living with obesity to lose weight, what proportion of the allocated funding will be allocated to (a) NHS England and (b) local authorities in England; and if he will make a statement.

As part of delivering the commitments set out in ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’, the Government announced £100 million extra funding for healthy weight programmes. Of this funding, around £35 million will be allocated to councils and £35 million to the National Health Service to be invested into weight management services. This will enable up to 700,000 adults to have access to support that can help them to achieve a healthy weight, from access to digital apps, weight management groups or individual coaches, to specialist clinical support.

The remaining £30 million will fund initiatives to help people maintain a healthy weight, including access to the free NHS 12 week weight loss plan app, continuing the Better Health marketing campaign to motivate people to make healthier choices, and upskilling healthcare professionals. Decisions about the provision of tier 3 and 4 weight management services, are made at a local level, reflecting varying pressures on local health systems and availability of capacity, including use of the independent sector, and taking into account of the rate of recovery of elective services following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the announcement of 4 March 2021, New specialised support to help those living with obesity to lose weight, what proportion of the allocated funding will be spent on support for (a) Tier 3 weight management services and (b) Tier 4 weight management services; and if he will make a statement.

As part of delivering the commitments set out in ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’, the Government announced £100 million extra funding for healthy weight programmes. Of this funding, around £35 million will be allocated to councils and £35 million to the National Health Service to be invested into weight management services. This will enable up to 700,000 adults to have access to support that can help them to achieve a healthy weight, from access to digital apps, weight management groups or individual coaches, to specialist clinical support.

The remaining £30 million will fund initiatives to help people maintain a healthy weight, including access to the free NHS 12 week weight loss plan app, continuing the Better Health marketing campaign to motivate people to make healthier choices, and upskilling healthcare professionals. Decisions about the provision of tier 3 and 4 weight management services, are made at a local level, reflecting varying pressures on local health systems and availability of capacity, including use of the independent sector, and taking into account of the rate of recovery of elective services following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to use funding from the additional £500 million allocated in Spending Review 2020 to mental health services in 2021 to help meet the mental health needs of people living with Parkinson's.

On 5 March, we announced that £79 million of this funding would be used to boost mental health support for children and young people. An announcement is expected to be made shortly giving further details on how the remainder of the £500 million will be spent.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide a breakdown of how the additional £500 million for mental health services in 2021, announced in Spending Review 2020, will be allocated.

On 5 March, we announced that £79 million of this funding would be used to boost mental health support for children and young people. An announcement is expected to be made shortly giving further details on how the remainder of the £500 million will be spent.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Pathway for People with Long Term Conditions for people living with Parkinson's against IAPT National Standards on (a) waiting times, (b) access rate and (c) recovery rates.

No such assessment has been made. However, since September 2020, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) dataset has begun to collect information regarding the specific long term conditions that people presenting to IAPT services have in order to allow NHS England and NHS Improvement to better monitor access and outcomes for different groups accessing IAPT– long term conditions services.

NHS Digital will be publishing long term conditions specific breakdowns of IAPT data later this month and we anticipate including a Parkinson’s specific analysis of the data later in the year, subject to there being sufficient numbers of patients presenting with Parkinson’s in order to facilitate this analysis.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Long Term Condition services have been commissioned for people with (a) Parkinson's and (b) neurological conditions.

No Improving Access to Psychological Therapies for Long Term Condition services have been commissioned specifically for people with Parkinson’s or neurological conditions.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the (a) outcomes, and (b) recommendations of the Drink Wise, Age Well programme.

Public Health England (PHE) launched the Better Health campaign in July 2020 to support people, particularly middle-aged adults, to lead healthier lifestyles. Within the campaign, the Drink Free Days App is one of the support tools provided. PHE’s ‘Drinkline’ is also a free, confidential national alcohol helpline for people worried about their own or someone else's drinking.

PHE continues to plan social marketing activity across a range of health-related behaviours. Plans will be developed with consideration to a number of factors including the existing circumstances relating to COVID-19, the relative economic payback of campaigns on a specific behaviour, the severity and scale of the risk attached to each behaviour and the strength of the evidence base that marketing can help change behaviours. The Department will consider the recommendations made in Drink Wise, Age Well report.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans for (a) national public-health campaigns to increase knowledge and awareness of the impact of drinking and (b) developing and promoting tailored solutions for harm prevention and resilience-building to reduce alcohol harm among the over-50s.

Public Health England (PHE) launched the Better Health campaign in July 2020 to support people, particularly middle-aged adults, to lead healthier lifestyles. Within the campaign, the Drink Free Days App is one of the support tools provided. PHE’s ‘Drinkline’ is also a free, confidential national alcohol helpline for people worried about their own or someone else's drinking.

PHE continues to plan social marketing activity across a range of health-related behaviours. Plans will be developed with consideration to a number of factors including the existing circumstances relating to COVID-19, the relative economic payback of campaigns on a specific behaviour, the severity and scale of the risk attached to each behaviour and the strength of the evidence base that marketing can help change behaviours. The Department will consider the recommendations made in Drink Wise, Age Well report.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of herbal medicine in treating long covid; and if he will make a statement.

In October 2020 NHS England and NHS Improvement announced a commitment to a five point plan for ‘long’ COVID-19, which included the commissioning of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to develop a clinical case definition and associated guidance for long COVID-19 alongside the Royal College of General Practitioners. The ‘COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19’ was published on 18 December 2020.
Since evidence is not yet available on the effectiveness of herbal medicine in treating long COVID-19, NICE has made no recommendation relating to it. As more evidence emerges on the condition and its management, it will give us a better understanding on the most appropriate interventions and guidance and recommendations will be reviewed accordingly.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will review the process for completing abortion notification HSA4 forms so that they reflect medical complications following the abortion that occur after the form is submitted, to take into account that women may not report complications immediately, and given that side-effects can occur up to two weeks after the abortion.

Under the Abortion Act 1967, any complication known to the registered medical practitioner terminating the pregnancy should be reported to the Chief Medical Officer on the Abortion Notification (HSA4) form. All serious incidents should be reported by the provider to their commissioner, the Care Quality Commission and other relevant organisations in line with the serious incident framework published by NHS England and NHS Improvement at the following link:

https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/serious-incident-framework/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 4 November 2020 to Question 103511, what plans his Department has to undertake an assessment of the (a) effect of multiple gestation on pregnancy and (b) effectiveness of the medical advice given to parents on multiple gestation.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published new guidelines on twin and triplet pregnancy, NG137, in September 2019. The guideline sets out care that should be offered to women with a twin or triplet pregnancy in addition to the routine care that is offered to all women during pregnancy. It aims to reduce the risk of complications and improve outcomes for women and their babies.

The Department has no plans to undertake an assessment of the effect of multiple gestation on pregnancy and the effectiveness of the medical advice given to parents on multiple gestation at this time.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to ensure the use of direct fetal analgesia prior to late-term abortions.

The Department does not set clinical practice. To support clinical practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has considered the issue of fetal pain and awareness in its guidelines ‘The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion’ and ‘Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice’, which are available at the following links:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/abortion-guideline_web_1.pdf

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/rcogfetalawarenesswpr0610.pdf

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2020 to Question 102813, whether he plans to make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the testimony of parents who note that on learning their child has Down's syndrome they feel led by medical professionals to abort their child.

The Department expects clinicians to follow the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ guidance on Termination of Pregnancy for Fetal Abnormality in England, Scotland and Wales, which states that all staff involved in the care of a woman or couple facing a possible termination of pregnancy must adopt a non-directive, non-judgemental and supportive approach.

The Royal College is currently reviewing its clinical guidelines and guidance for the care of women through antenatal screening and further diagnostic testing. A new core curriculum for professionals working in maternity and neonatal services has been developed by the Maternity Transformation Programme, which includes training on ultrasound scanning and related conversations.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of the NHS developing a brain workforce as recommended by the National Neurosciences Advisory Group in the report of its June 2019 Mental Health and Neurosciences Leaders Away Day.

The Department has not made a specific assessment of the merits of developing a brain workforce. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement, working closely with partners including Health Education England and the National Neurosciences Advisory Group, are taking a range of action to strengthen the neurology workforce. This includes ongoing work to improve integration of care for neurology patients and developing, as part of the National Stroke Programme, a stroke-specific education framework to ensure a sustainable and appropriately skilled workforce.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data the Department holds on selective abortions on grounds of disability in England and Wales from January to June 2020.

Under the Abortion Act 1967, a pregnancy may be lawfully terminated by a registered medical practitioner in approved premises, if two medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith, that the abortion is justified under one or more of grounds A to G. Ground E refers to cases where “there is substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped”. There can be multiple reasons for an abortion for a fetal abnormality, therefore there can be more than one medical condition mentioned on a HSA4 form.

Selective abortions are abortions where the number of fetuses in the womb is reduced.

There were 55 mentions of medical conditions for selective abortions performed under ground E between January to June 2020, a breakdown of which is available in the attached table.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many unborn babies have received surgery for open spina bifida; and how much money has been spent on those surgeries since the introduction of the open spina bifida surgery in 2018.

NHS Digital data collection for open repair of spina bifida in a fetus was introduced from 1 April 2020. However, finalised Hospital Episode Statistics data is only available up to March 2020, so we are unable to provide this information.

NHS England and NHS Improvement commissioned a United Kingdom-wide ‘Open fetal surgery to treat foetuses with open spina bifida’ service since November 2019. Since the start of the service to the end of July 2020, surgery has been undertaken on 13 unborn babies and the total cost of these surgeries was £164,021.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of advice from healthcare professionals following prenatal disability diagnoses on the decision of a pregnant women to (a) continue or (b) terminate their pregnancy.

The Department has not made a recent assessment on the effect of advice from healthcare professionals following prenatal disability diagnoses on the decision of pregnant women to continue or terminate their pregnancy.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has published guidance on Termination of Pregnancy for Fetal Abnormality in England, Scotland and Wales. The guidance sets out that all staff involved in the care of a woman or couple facing a possible termination of pregnancy must adopt a non-directive, non-judgemental and supportive approach.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the membership of the Population Health Improvement Stakeholder Advisory Group is; and what that group is next planned to meet.

Membership of the Population Health Improvement Stakeholder Advisory Group is as follows. We expect the group to meet during October, with dates to be confirmed.

Jeanelle de Gruchy, The Association of Directors of Public Health, President

James Jamieson, Local Government Association, Chair

Seema Kennedy, Former Public Health Minister

Helen Stokes-Lampard, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Chair

Matt Fagg, NHS England and Improvement, Director of Prevention

Matthew Winn, NHS England and Improvement, Improvement Director of Community Health

Ed Garratt, Suffolk ICS, Executive Lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (ICS)

Professor Maggie Rae, Faculty of Public Health, President

Danny Mortimer, NHS Confederation Chief Executive

Dr Jennifer Dixon, Health Foundation Chief Executive

Paul Najsarek, SOLACE, Chief Executive of Ealing Council

Professor Jo Pritchard MBE, Social Enterprise UK Chief Executive

Professor John Newton, Public Health England (PHE), Director of Health Improvement

Dr Jenny Harries, DHSC Deputy Chief Medical Officer

Professor Paul Cosford, Emeritus Medical Director, PHE

Chief Medical Advisor, NHS Test and Trace

Professor John Deanfield, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist and Chair, NHS Health Checks Review

Professor Sir John Bell, Life Sciences Champion

Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE, Regional Director, London

Christina Marriott, Royal Society of Public Health, Chief Executive

Martin Reeves, Coventry City Council, Chief Executive,

Paul Farmer, MIND, Chief Executive

Professor Susan Jebb, Nuffield Institute of Primary Health Care Sciences, Professor of Diet and Population Health

Louise Patten, NHS Clinical Commissioners, Chief Executive

Sally Warren, The King’s Fund, Director of Policy

Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE

Donna Kinnair, Royal College of Nursing, Chief Executive/General Secretary

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 September 2020 to Question 85006 on Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse and with reference to his Department’s engagement with an external stakeholder advisory group on future placement of Public Health England’s responsibilities for drugs and alcohol policy, if he will list the (a) composition of the advisory group and (b) schedule of meetings between that advisory group and his Department.

The membership of the stakeholder advisory group is shown in the following table. The schedule of its recent meetings is as follows:

2 September

10 September

16 September

24 September

Future dates are to be confirmed.

Name

Organisation

Role

Jeanelle de Gruchy

The Association of Directors of Public Health

President

James Jamieson

Local Government Association

Chair

Seema Kennedy

Former Public Health Minister

Helen Stokes-Lampard

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

Chair

Matt Fagg

NHS England

Director of Prevention

Matthew Winn

NHS England

Improvement Director of Community Health

Ed Garratt

Suffolk Integrated Care System

Executive Lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (ICS)

Professor Maggie Rae

Faculty of Public Health

President

Danny Mortimer

NHS Confederation

Chief Executive

Dr Jennifer Dixon

Health Foundation

Chief Executive

Paul Najsarek

SOLACE

Chief Executive, Ealing Council

Professor Jo Pritchard MBE

Social Enterprise UK

Chief Executive

Prof John Newton

Public Health England

Director of Health Improvement

Dr Jenny Harries

Department of Health and Social Care

Deputy Chief Medical Officer

Prof Paul Cosford

Test and Trace

Joint Chief Medical Officer

Professor John Deanfield

Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist and Chair, NHS Health Checks Review

Professor Sir John Bell

Life Sciences Champion

Professor Kevin Fenton

Public Health England

Regional Director, London

Christina Marriott

Royal Society of Public Health

Chief Executive

Martin Reeves

Coventry City Council

Chief Executive

Paul Farmer

MIND

Chief Executive

Professor Susan Jebb

Nuffield Institute of Primary Health Care Sciences

Professor of Diet and Population Health

Louise Patten

NHS Clinical Commissioners

Chief Executive

Sally Warren

The King’s Fund

Director of Policy

Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE

Social Work England

Chair

Donna Kinnair

Royal College of Nursing

Chief Executive/General Secretary

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if they will make an assessment of the potential merits for supply stabilisation of recategorising entacapone only products to category C in the NHS drugs tariff; and if he will make a statement.

Entacapone 200 milligram (mg) tablets are currently listed in Category M of Part VIII of the Drug Tariff. Reimbursement prices of generic medicines in Category M are calculated on the basis of sales and volume data provided from manufacturers and they also include an element of medicine margin. For a product to be considered for addition to a category or to move from one category to another – the guideline criteria relevant to the category in which the product may be placed needs to be met. This is constantly kept under review for all products listed in the Drug Tariff including entacapone 200mg tablets.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department last reviewed reimbursement prices for pharmaceutical companies licensed to supply entacapone only products.

Reimbursement prices paid to community pharmacies for dispensed medicines are reviewed on a monthly basis. For example, the reimbursement price for entacapone was recently reviewed for October. Due to fluctuations in selling prices, there is also a mechanism which allows for reimbursement prices to be reviewed in month. These reimbursement prices are referred to as concessionary prices. Entacapone 200 milligram tablets were granted a concessionary price in August.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy that clinical commissioning groups follow the emergency discharge guidance for funding people who have a new or enhanced care package; and whether under the emergency discharge guidance funding lasts for the duration of the emergency period.

On 19 March the Department published Hospital Discharge Service Requirements, in partnership with NHS England, which applies to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-hospital-discharge-service-requirements

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance clinical commissioning groups should follow on funding for treatment of people with a new or enhanced care package who are discharged under emergency procedures during the covid-19 outbreak; and for what time period that funding should be available.

On 19 March the Department published Hospital Discharge Service Requirements, in partnership with NHS England, which applies to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-hospital-discharge-service-requirements

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to support meeting the target in line with the World Health Organization’s Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis of distributing 200 sterile syringe and needle sets each year for each person who inject drugs.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local needs and commissioning drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction services to meet these needs. This includes providing needle and syringe programmes in their areas.

Public Health England supports local authorities in their work of needs assessment and commissioning services by providing advice, guidance and data.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England’s 2019 report Shooting Up: Infections among people who inject drugs in the UK, what steps he is taking to implement its recommendation on reducing the number of new hepatitis C infections through improved harm reduction approaches.

The Public Health England (PHE) 2019 report ‘Shooting up’ suggests that harm reduction interventions for people who inject drugs, including access to sterile injecting equipment and effective drug dependence treatment, can prevent and control hepatitis C virus among this group

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local drug needs and commissioning prevention, treatment and harm reduction services and interventions, which include needle exchange provision.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with PHE to review the harm reduction activity that is currently available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the Library the recovery plan guidance for NHS Continuing Healthcare which is being provided to clinical commissioning groups.

During the COVID-19 emergency period, National Health Service Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessments have not been required due to changes made under section 14 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Secretary of State is keeping measures under review.

The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement to agree a date for the resumption of CHC assessments. On agreement, restart guidance will be published and shared with clinical commissioning groups.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what consultation has taken place with (a) patients and (b) patient organisations on GP surgeries ceasing to take repeat prescription orders over the telephone from 1 September 2020; and what impact assessment has been undertaken to ensure that people without access to online services are still able to receive their prescription medication after that date.

We are informed by NHS England and NHS Improvement that the National Health Service nationally has not cancelled any facility for repeat prescriptions. While ordering online has proven hugely popular because of the convenience and ease, we know this will not be possible for everyone. National guidance is clear that every local practice must put in place a system for repeat prescriptions, which can include online and phone orders, to meet the needs of their own patients.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people paid for a prescription between (a) January 2019 and June 2019 and (2) January 2020 and June 2020.

This information is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of taking over-the-counter medicines off prescription in England on (a) prescription charge revenue and (b) health outcomes.

No assessment has been made of the effect on prescription charge revenue of the guidance on ‘Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care’.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to make an assessment of the adequacy of the system for prescription (a) charges and (b) exemptions as a result of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak.

There are no plans to make such an assessment or to change the system for prescription charges and exemptions. Prescription charges are a valuable income source for the National Health Service and are particularly important given increasing demands on the NHS. Extensive arrangements are already in place to help people access NHS prescriptions, including a broad range of NHS prescription charge exemptions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people received financial support from the NHS low income scheme, HC2 certificate in (a) 2015, (b) 2016, (c) 2017, (d) 2018 and (e) 2019.

The NHS Business Services Authority processes the NHS Low Income Scheme and issues HC2 certificates. It does not hold data on how many people have used their certificate after it is issued; and multiple people in a household in addition to the applicant might be covered by a certificate, including partner and children. However, data is supplied on the number of HC2 certificates issued in 2014/15, 2015/16, 2017/18 and 2018/19. This is shown in the following table:

Period

Number of HC2 certificates issued

2014/15

214,975

2015/16

225,239

2016/17

214,867

2017/18

206,599

2018/19

182,661

Data is recorded April-March. Data provided is recorded on a monthly basis and recorded in the NHS Low Income Scheme Annual Statistics Report. This data relates to the number of certificates issues, not the number of people supported by the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people paid for a prescription in each year since 2015.

Data on prescriptions dispensed in the community is collected by the number of items, or the cost. Data is not held about the number of people who obtain a prescription.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have had to pay for an additional prescription as a result of their medication being recalled as a result of safety concerns in each year since 2015.

If a prescription item is recalled, the patient is issued with a new prescription for an alternative product which will then be dispensed as a separate item. The prescriptions data systems are unable to identify this as a replacement product, therefore this information is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much and what proportion of the additional funding allocated by his Department to emergency discharge during the covid-19 outbreak has been spent by NHS trusts.

We originally made up to £1.3 billion available via the National Health Service to support the discharge process. This has been supplemented by an additional £588 million as part of the announcement by the Prime Minister on 17 July that £3 billion is being made available to support the NHS this winter. This funding has been made available to and drawn down by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), working with their local authority partners to support appropriate discharge from acute settings. We do not hold information on the breakdown of how CCGs have used the funds split between NHS and non-NHS providers.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) neuropsychologists and (b) neuropsychiatrists that will be required to meet the demand for mental health services from people with neurological conditions.

The Department has not made such an estimate. Decisions about the appointment of neuropsychiatrists and neuropsychologists are determined locally by National Health Service trusts and according to demand.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to expand the size of the mental health workforce to meet the demand for mental health services after the covid-19 outbreak.

We remain committed to growing the mental health workforce to achieve the ambitions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. The interim NHS People Plan, published in June 2019 set out actions to reduce vacancies and secure the staff we need for the future. Since then, there have been a number of initiatives put in place to increase the National Health Service mental health workforce. The final People Plan will be published in due course, will set out a further robust plan for growth in the nursing and medical workforce.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the document entitled, Stepping forward to 2020/21: The mental health workforce plan for England, published by the NHS in July 2017, how many of the additional 19,000 mental health staff to be recruited by 2020 were employed by June 2020.

The mental health workforce has increased by over 9,500 (8.8%) between March 2017 (the baseline year for Stepping Forward, The Mental Health Workforce Plan for England) and March 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to that virtual NHS continuing healthcare assessments are compliant with the Equality Act 2010 in relation to reasonable adjustments for people that need them.

During the COVID-19 emergency period, National Health Service Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessments have not been required due to changes made under section 14 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. Where CHC assessments have continued during the emergency period, these must be compliant with the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) Regulations 2012 and the CHC National Framework.

CCGs may use a number of approaches to arrange Multidisciplinary Team assessments, including video conference. Preferences for how these are carried out should be indicated by the individual being assessed or their representatives.

To ensure the delivery of high-quality assessments, there is a detailed review process for eligibility decisions if an individual is dissatisfied with the outcome.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to issue guidance on the (a) monitoring and (b) evaluation of the quality of virtual NHS continuing healthcare assessments (i) during and (ii) after the covid-19 outbreak.

During the COVID-19 emergency period, National Health Service Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessments have not been required due to changes made under section 14 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. Where CHC assessments have continued during the emergency period, these must be compliant with the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) Regulations 2012 and the CHC National Framework.

CCGs may use a number of approaches to arrange Multidisciplinary Team assessments, including video conference. Preferences for how these are carried out should be indicated by the individual being assessed or their representatives.

To ensure the delivery of high-quality assessments, there is a detailed review process for eligibility decisions if an individual is dissatisfied with the outcome.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure that virtual NHS continuing healthcare (a) assessments and (b) services undertaken during the covid-19 outbreak were (i) effective and (ii) complied with National Framework guidance.

During the COVID-19 emergency period, National Health Service Continuing Healthcare (CHC) assessments have not been required due to changes made under section 14 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. Where CHC assessments have continued during the emergency period, these must be compliant with the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) Regulations 2012 and the CHC National Framework.

CCGs may use a number of approaches to arrange Multidisciplinary Team assessments, including video conference. Preferences for how these are carried out should be indicated by the individual being assessed or their representatives.

To ensure the delivery of high-quality assessments, there is a detailed review process for eligibility decisions if an individual is dissatisfied with the outcome.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the saving to the public purse has been since over the counter medicines were taken off the prescription list in 2018.

In March 2018, NHS England and NHS Improvement and NHS Clinical Commissioners published ‘Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: Guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups’, available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/conditions-for-which-over-the-counter-items-should-not-routinely-be-prescribed-in-primary-care-guidance-for-ccgs/

Since publication, there has been a reduction in spend of £32 million on over the counter items. This reduction includes spending on over the counter items for conditions that are self-limiting and conditions which lend themselves to self-care, as well as vitamins, minerals and probiotics.

This estimate is correct as at 10 July 2020. It should be noted that the list of over the counter products is updated as new products become available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase the provision of Tier 3 weight management services for people living with obesity; and if he will make a statement.

We are committed to looking at what further action can be taken to improve weight management services to better support people living with obesity to achieve a healthier weight.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to develop an updated plan to reduce the prevalence of obesity.

Through the three chapters of our childhood obesity plan we are delivering a wide range of measures to help achieve our bold ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and significantly reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030. We will be responding to the consultations from chapter two of the plan and taking forward measures outlined in chapter three as soon as we can.

We remain committed to reviewing what more can be done and will continue to monitor progress and emerging evidence.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has for the safe re-starting of (a) respite care, (b) day centre and (c) other social care services that were stopped as a result of social distancing restrictions; what steps the Government has taken to communicate those plans to users of those social care services; and what guidance the Government is issuing to local authorities on the safe re-starting of those services.

We recognise the crucial role that day services and respite care plays both for unpaid carers and the people who use these services.

Decisions on the running and re-opening of day services are made on a local basis.

We have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance to help make decisions on restarting services and to provide quality care safely. The guidance was is for commissioners, providers, families and unpaid carers to ensure effective planning in opening and delivery of care in day services and is available at the following link:

https://www.scie.org.uk/care-providers/coronavirus-covid-19/day-care/safe-delivery

Public Health England has also developed an illustrated guide for the use of personal protective equipment in community and social care settings, which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/905630/PHE_illustrative_PPE_guide_for_community_and_social_care_settings_17b.pdf

Local authorities and service providers should have maintained contact with carers and people who use their services throughout the lockdown. They will now be discussing arrangements to reintroduce care packages including where possible day care provision and respite breaks.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what lessons the Government has learnt from the ability to rapidly approve covid-19 clinical trials; and how the Government plans to implement that learning to expedite the approval process for all clinical trials.

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the United Kingdom healthcare research and approvals system has the agility and flexibility to respond efficiently to a national crisis. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Health Research Authority (HRA) instigated procedures for rapid advice, reviews and approvals for COVID-19 trials, prioritising these and authorising them in about one week.

As of 2 July, a total of 50 trials for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 have been approved by both the MHRA and the HRA in an average of 12 days. Both the MHRA and the HRA have produced guidance on regulatory flexibilities available to clinical trial sponsors and proportionate approaches so that trials could be run as efficiently as possible.

In collaboration with trial sponsors and partners across the healthcare system a ‘lessons learned’ exercise will determine which initiatives in the emergency situation would be appropriate and sustainable in the ‘business as usual’ situation.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that medications for Parkinson's disease are (a) available during the covid-19 outbreak and (b) at the end of the transition period.

As part of our concerted national efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue doing everything we can to ensure patients continue to have access to safe and effective medicines, including those used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

The Department has well-established procedures to deal with medicine shortages and is working closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to reduce the likelihood of future shortages resulting from COVID-19 or any other cause.

The Government, pharmaceutical industry and NHS will always work closely together to help ensure patients have access to the medicines and treatments they need under all scenarios including those medicines used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans health providers have put in place to restart outpatient clinics and protect visitors from covid-19; and what steps those providers are taking to communicate that information to patients.

We continue to work closely with the National Health Service and partners 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, with excellence in infection prevention and control as a key principle. The approach to the reset of services will be flexed at local level according to capacity and demand in different parts of the country, and will be gradual. The NHS ‘Help us to help you’ media campaign also encourages all patients in need of urgent or emergency medical care to seek appropriate treatment.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service providers offered telephone and video appointments in place of face-to-face appointments between 23 March and 15 June 2020.

We are unable to provide the data as requested.

The information on whether appointments take place face-to-face or by phone or video is only available in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies annual publications.

This information covering the period 1 April 2019 - 31 March 2020 is due to be published on 30 July 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure people with Parkinson's can access psychological therapies during the covid-19 outbreak.

National Health Service mental health services have remained open for business throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, including delivering support digitally and over the phone where possible. In doing so, the NHS has been clear on the importance of maintaining face to face care for those patients who need it, and of patient choice in determining suitability for digital appointments.

When delivering face to face appointments, mental health services are expected to follow the latest guidance on the use of personal protective equipment in healthcare settings to support infection prevention and control. Services will be further enabled by the roll out of the NHS Test and Trace service to reduce transmission risk and deliver face to face services in as safe a way as possible.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place to ensure that mental health service providers are able to meet the demand for psychological services from people with Parkinson's who have not been able to access those services during the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service has issued guidance to services to support them in managing demand and capacity across inpatient and community mental health services and keeping services open for business.

There is broad consensus that there is the potential for an increase in demand and we are working with the NHS, Public Health England and other key partners to gather evidence and assess the potential longer-term mental health impacts and plan for how to support mental health and wellbeing throughout the ‘recovery’ phase.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place to ensure that people with Parkinson's who do not have access to a digital device and have symptoms of dysarthria are able to access psychological therapies during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Health Service has been clear on the importance of maintaining face to face care for those patients who need it, and of patient choice in determining suitability for digital appointments.

When delivering face to face appointments, mental health services are expected to follow the latest guidance on the use of personal protective equipment in healthcare settings to support infection prevention and control. Services will be further enabled by the roll out of the NHS Test and Trace service to reduce transmission risk and deliver face to face services in as safe a way as possible.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place to support (a) carers and (b) family members of people with Parkinson's experiencing distressing hallucinations during the covid-19 outbreak.

As set out in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline ‘Parkinson’s disease in adults’, published in July 2017, symptoms such as hallucinations are an increased risk for people taking some Parkinson’s disease medications. The guidance sets out that people with Parkinson’s disease should have a comprehensive care plan agreed between themselves, their family members and carers and specialist and secondary healthcare providers. Family members and carers (as appropriate) should be provided with information about the condition, their entitlement to a Carer’s Assessment and the support services available. Patients should be regularly reviewed and offered an accessible point of contact with specialist services. The guidance can be found at the following link:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng71/resources/parkinsons-disease-in-adults-pdf-1837629189061

As a result of COVID-19, digital and remote general practitioner consultations and outpatient appointments as means to support patients, where clinically appropriate, have become the norm across England. Providers have been rolling out remote consultations using video, telephone, email and text message services as a priority, including for those with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Where digital and remote consultations are not possible, clinicians should carry out face to face consultations where necessary.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support he is providing to (a) carers and (b) family members of people with (i) Parkinson's dementia and (ii) dementia with Lewy bodies who are experiencing greater levels of agitation in response to living in lockdown during the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise the crucial role that unpaid carers play in supporting people with conditions like dementia, especially during the pandemic.

On 8 April we published COVID-19 guidance for unpaid carers on GOV.UK to support carers during the pandemic, which includes general advice on infection control and caring where someone has symptoms. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-providing-unpaid-care

We have commissioned research through the National Institute for Health Research on the best ways to mitigate the psychological and social impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia living in the community and their family carers. Work has already started with phased outputs to August 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on the mental health of (a) informal carers and (b) people accessing social care of the decision by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman not to (i) take on and (ii) investigate new complaints during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 8 April we published guidance for unpaid carers on GOV.UK, which includes advice on infection control, caring where someone has symptoms and links to other information and support.

There is other guidance also published on GOV.UK for everyone, including unpaid carers, on self-care and mental health wellbeing.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has started to restart suspended complaints and anticipates reopening for new complaints in the coming weeks. Members of the public will not lose their right of appeal, and complaints regarding the COVID-19 outbreak period will be considered in due course. The Ombudsman is not an emergency service, and members of the public are required by law to first have their complaints investigated by their council or care provider. The Ombudsman has also opened up a helpline to give advice and support to concerned members of the public.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to mitigate the effect of covid-19 for people (a) from BAME backgrounds and (b) who are obese; and if he will make a statement.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP) will take forward work to fill the gaps in our understanding, review existing policies and develop new ones where needed. The Terms of Reference for that work can be found online.

Public Health England (PHE) has commissioned research to understand how weight management services have adapted, due to COVID-19, to support people living with obesity. It will explore how these services might need to adapt and flex in response to the recovery strategy, and what measures are required to facilitate this. PHE is also leading on a programme of work to support local areas to improve the environment that people live, work and play in. Through providing information and tools to enable local public health and planning teams to develop and promote healthy weight environments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, published on 5 May 2020 by NHS Digital, what steps his Department is taking to reduce hospital admissions (a) directly attributable to obesity and (b) where obesity was a factor; and if he will make a statement.

Through the three chapters of ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ we are bringing forward a wide range of measures to reduce the prevalence of children who are obese. We have seen important successes including the average sugar content of drinks subject to the soft drinks industry levy decreasing by 28.8% between 2015 and 2018, and significant investment being made in schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating. Many of the measures in the plan will have an impact on reducing obesity across all age groups.

Unicef’s ‘State of the World's Children’ report, published in October 2019, recognised that “the United Kingdom is paving the way to ensure that all children grow up in a healthy food environment”. The Unicef report is available at the following link:

www.unicef.org/media/61356/file/SOWC-2019.pdf

NHS Digital has advised that the Hospital Episodes Statistics uses World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases v.10 (ICD-10) to record the main diagnosis and any secondary co-morbidities. Within ICD-10 obesity is assigned as code E66 and this will be recorded on any episode of care where a clinical diagnosis of obesity has been made. The NHS Digital coding standard DCS.IV.3: Obesity (E66) states: Codes in category E66 Obesity must only be coded when a diagnosis of obesity is recorded in the medical record. Where body mass index (BMI) has been recorded in the medical record, this must not be used to assign a code from category E66.- Obesity. A clinical coder must always refer to the responsible consultant to confirm the clinical significance of a test result, for example BMI reading and/or relationship to a specific condition.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, published on 5 May 2020 by NHS Digital, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in the most deprived areas; and if he will make a statement.

Through the three chapters of ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ we are delivering a wide range of measures to help achieve our bold ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and significantly reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030. We have seen important successes including the average sugar content of drinks subject to the soft drinks industry levy decreasing by 28.8% between 2015 and 2018, and significant investment being made in schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating.

The Government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS. The full guidance can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support people (a) who live with obesity and (b) who are adversely affected by covid-19 as lockdown measures are eased; and if he will make a statement.

Through the three chapters of ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ we are delivering a wide range of measures to help achieve our bold ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and significantly reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030. We have seen important successes including the average sugar content of drinks subject to the soft drinks industry levy decreasing by 28.8% between 2015 and 2018, and significant investment being made in schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating.

The Government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS. The full guidance can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how admissions are coded in hospitals for obesity; and if he will make a statement.

Through the three chapters of ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ we are bringing forward a wide range of measures to reduce the prevalence of children who are obese. We have seen important successes including the average sugar content of drinks subject to the soft drinks industry levy decreasing by 28.8% between 2015 and 2018, and significant investment being made in schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating. Many of the measures in the plan will have an impact on reducing obesity across all age groups.

Unicef’s ‘State of the World's Children’ report, published in October 2019, recognised that “the United Kingdom is paving the way to ensure that all children grow up in a healthy food environment”. The Unicef report is available at the following link:

www.unicef.org/media/61356/file/SOWC-2019.pdf

NHS Digital has advised that the Hospital Episodes Statistics uses World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases v.10 (ICD-10) to record the main diagnosis and any secondary co-morbidities. Within ICD-10 obesity is assigned as code E66 and this will be recorded on any episode of care where a clinical diagnosis of obesity has been made. The NHS Digital coding standard DCS.IV.3: Obesity (E66) states: Codes in category E66 Obesity must only be coded when a diagnosis of obesity is recorded in the medical record. Where body mass index (BMI) has been recorded in the medical record, this must not be used to assign a code from category E66.- Obesity. A clinical coder must always refer to the responsible consultant to confirm the clinical significance of a test result, for example BMI reading and/or relationship to a specific condition.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2020 to Question 21988 on World Obesity Day, what plans the Government has to improve weight management services for adults living with obesity.

Through chapter three of the childhood obesity plan, published in July 2019 as part of ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’, we are exploring how we can support individuals to achieve and maintain a healthier weight. As part of this process, we have launched a review into weight management services to understand how we can empower people living with obesity to achieve and maintain a healthier weight and we are working with NHS England to develop approaches to improve the quality of brief advice given by health and care professionals on weight management in general practice.

The Department recognises the stigma associated with overweight and obesity, and is taking action to meet our bold ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and significantly reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2020 to Question 21989 on Obesity, what steps the Government is taking to reduce weight stigma among adults living with obesity.

Through chapter three of the childhood obesity plan, published in July 2019 as part of ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’, we are exploring how we can support individuals to achieve and maintain a healthier weight. As part of this process, we have launched a review into weight management services to understand how we can empower people living with obesity to achieve and maintain a healthier weight and we are working with NHS England to develop approaches to improve the quality of brief advice given by health and care professionals on weight management in general practice.

The Department recognises the stigma associated with overweight and obesity, and is taking action to meet our bold ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and significantly reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of food delivery orders with minimum value requirements on trends in the level of (a) takeaway calorie consumption and (b) obesity; and if he will he make a statement.

The Department has not made a recent assessment of the effect of the takeaway delivery sector on levels of obesity.

Through the second chapter of our Childhood Obesity Plan, published in June 2018, we have consulted on introducing consistent calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector to help families make healthier choices. The consultation closed in December 2018. We will publish our response as soon as we can.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the takeaway delivery sector on levels of obesity.

The Department has not made a recent assessment of the effect of the takeaway delivery sector on levels of obesity.

Through the second chapter of our Childhood Obesity Plan, published in June 2018, we have consulted on introducing consistent calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector to help families make healthier choices. The consultation closed in December 2018. We will publish our response as soon as we can.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will be taking to reduce alcohol related (a) cancer diagnoses and (b) deaths.

The Government is committed to tackling health harms from alcohol and supporting the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse. We are introducing measures including the NHS Long Term Plan to reduce hospital admissions, along with ambitions and commitments to improve cancer outcomes and services in England. We will encourage people to moderate their drinking as outlined in the Prevention Green Paper through low and no alcohol products. The UK CMOs’ Low Risk Drinking guidelines highlight that the risk of developing a range of health problems, including cancer, increases the more you drink on a regular basis. The new drinking guidelines are included in a range of public health messaging-the ‘One You’ service on www.nhs.uk.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure continuity of drug and alcohol treatment services during the covid-19 outbreak.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local needs and commissioning drug and alcohol prevention, treatment and harm reduction services to meet these needs. It is important that these services are maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance to support commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs and alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic is being developed as of 2 April 2020 and will be published shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support healthcare staff who are (a) abused and (b) injured by people intoxicated with alcohol.

The Government and the National Health Service will not tolerate any form of verbal or physical abuse against NHS staff. The NHS recently agreed the Joint Agreement on Offences Against Emergency Workers with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. This Joint Agreement 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. This Joint Agreement also sets out the support that NHS staff will receive from their line manager or supervisor if they are victims of abuse or violence.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to provide support for people with alcohol dependency who cannot access support services; and if he will make a statement.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing the needs of their local population, including people with alcohol dependency, and commissioning services to meet these needs.

Public Health England (PHE) supports local authorities in their work of needs assessment and commissioning alcohol prevention and treatment services by providing advice, guidance and data.

PHE is allocating £10.5 million of funding to help improve the lives of adults and children affected by alcohol. This includes £4.5 million innovation fund for local projects working with children and families and £6 million capital fund to improve access to alcohol treatment in the community. More information can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-awarded-to-23-projects-to-help-those-affected-by-alcohol

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from PHE, is helping acute hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm to establish or improve specialist alcohol care teams.

It is estimated that fully optimised alcohol care teams in the 25% of hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol-dependence-related admissions could prevent 50,000 admissions over five years. The NHS Long Term Plan can be viewed at the following link:

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to decrease the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing the needs of their local population, including people with alcohol dependency, and commissioning services to meet these needs.

Public Health England (PHE) supports local authorities in their work of needs assessment and commissioning alcohol prevention and treatment services by providing advice, guidance and data.

PHE is allocating £10.5 million of funding to help improve the lives of adults and children affected by alcohol. This includes £4.5 million innovation fund for local projects working with children and families and £6 million capital fund to improve access to alcohol treatment in the community. More information can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-awarded-to-23-projects-to-help-those-affected-by-alcohol

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from PHE, is helping acute hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm to establish or improve specialist alcohol care teams.

It is estimated that fully optimised alcohol care teams in the 25% of hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol-dependence-related admissions could prevent 50,000 admissions over five years. The NHS Long Term Plan can be viewed at the following link:

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase people's awareness of the links between cancer and alcohol consumption.

In 2018, Public Health England’s Drink Free Days campaign highlighted the harm associated with drinking alcohol including cancer, weight gain and high blood pressure, and encourages middle-aged drinkers to use the tactic of taking more days off from drinking as a way of reducing their health risks from alcohol.

The links between alcohol and cancer are also highlighted in PHE’s One You campaign, available to view at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/drink-less/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of alcohol-related (a) cancers and (b) deaths.

The Government is committed to tackling health harms from alcohol and supporting the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse. We are introducing measures including the NHS Long Term Plan to reduce hospital admissions, along with ambitions and commitments to improve cancer outcomes and services in England. We will encourage people to moderate their drinking as outlined in the Prevention Green Paper through low and no alcohol products. The United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking guidelines highlight that the risk of developing a range of health problems, including cancer, increases the more you drink on a regular basis. The new drinking guidelines are included in a range of public health messaging on the ‘One You’ service.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that labels on alcoholic drinks inform consumers of the Chief Medical Officer's advice not to drink more than 14 units a week.

The Government has worked with the alcohol industry to ensure that alcohol labels reflect the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officer’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines for drinks produced after 1 September 2019. The industry has committed to comply with this requirement. We will keep progress with compliance under review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if it is his Department's policy to support the aims of World Obesity Day 2020.

The Department supports the aims of world obesity day and is delivering a world-leading childhood obesity plan to reduce the prevalence of children who are obese. This has been recognised in Unicef’s ‘State of the World's Children’ report, published in October 2019, as ‘paving the way to ensure that all children grow up in a healthy food environment’. The Unicef report is available at the following link:

www.unicef.org/media/61356/file/SOWC-2019.pdf

We have launched a review into weight management services to understand how we can empower people living with obesity to achieve and maintain a healthier weight and we are working with NHS England to develop approaches to improve the quality of brief advice given by health and care professionals on weight management in general practice.

Through the three chapters of ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ we are bringing forward a wide range of measures to reduce the prevalence of children who are obese. We have seen important successes including the average sugar content of drinks subject to the soft drinks industry levy decreasing by 28.8% between 2015 and 2018, and significant investment being made in schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to tackle weight stigma; and if he will make a statement.

The Department supports the aims of world obesity day and is delivering a world-leading childhood obesity plan to reduce the prevalence of children who are obese. This has been recognised in Unicef’s ‘State of the World's Children’ report, published in October 2019, as ‘paving the way to ensure that all children grow up in a healthy food environment’. The Unicef report is available at the following link:

www.unicef.org/media/61356/file/SOWC-2019.pdf

We have launched a review into weight management services to understand how we can empower people living with obesity to achieve and maintain a healthier weight and we are working with NHS England to develop approaches to improve the quality of brief advice given by health and care professionals on weight management in general practice.

Through the three chapters of ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ we are bringing forward a wide range of measures to reduce the prevalence of children who are obese. We have seen important successes including the average sugar content of drinks subject to the soft drinks industry levy decreasing by 28.8% between 2015 and 2018, and significant investment being made in schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his policies on tackling obesity.

The Department supports the aims of world obesity day and is delivering a world-leading childhood obesity plan to reduce the prevalence of children who are obese. This has been recognised in Unicef’s ‘State of the World's Children’ report, published in October 2019, as ‘paving the way to ensure that all children grow up in a healthy food environment’. The Unicef report is available at the following link:

www.unicef.org/media/61356/file/SOWC-2019.pdf

We have launched a review into weight management services to understand how we can empower people living with obesity to achieve and maintain a healthier weight and we are working with NHS England to develop approaches to improve the quality of brief advice given by health and care professionals on weight management in general practice.

Through the three chapters of ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ we are bringing forward a wide range of measures to reduce the prevalence of children who are obese. We have seen important successes including the average sugar content of drinks subject to the soft drinks industry levy decreasing by 28.8% between 2015 and 2018, and significant investment being made in schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many US citizens have diplomatic immunity in the UK.

US citizens who are members of the Embassy of the United States of America are notified to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, in line with Article 10 of the VCDR 1961.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK citizens have diplomatic immunity in the US.

UK citizens who are members of the Embassy and Consulates of the United Kingdom are notified to the Office of Foreign Missions at the US Department of State.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his counterpart in the Bahrain Government on the reimposition of death sentences against Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa on 8 January 2020 in Bahrain.

As I tweeted on 8 January, we are deeply concerned about the death sentence given to Mohamed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa. The UK has raised the matter with senior members of the Bahraini Government. The UK's position on the use of the death penalty is longstanding and clear; we oppose its use in all circumstances and countries. The Government of Bahrain is fully aware of our position. ​

26th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many businesses in the gaming, gambling and leisure industries that applied to reclaim VAT, following the Upper Tribunals decision in favour of Rank and Done Bros in 2020, have yet to receive a refund on the tax.

144 businesses have received a refund. In addition, 157 claims have been rejected as invalid, and 474 are in the process of validation.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the total value of covid-19 related grants and payments is from the public purse to duty holders in the UK sector of the offshore oil and gas industry, broken down by support for (a) revenue streams, (b) capital investment and (c) employment costs.

The Government does not publish the level of data requested in order to prevent the release of potentially disclosive information.

The Government is closely monitoring the impacts of the pandemic and period of low oil prices on the upstream oil and gas industry and continues to engage closely with a range of stakeholders from the sector.

Throughout this crisis, the Government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods, and support businesses and public services across the UK. The Government has spent over £280 billion to do so this year.

Covid-19 related grants and payments available to businesses and individuals across the country include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Further grants to help businesses include the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) to local authorities in England.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reasons the coach sector is not eligible for support through the expanded job support scheme.

The Chancellor postponed the Job Support Scheme and has announced the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of March 2021. This scheme provides support for the whole of the UK and employers in the coach sector can access the scheme and claim the grant if they meet the CJRS criteria.

The Government will continue to work closely with representatives from the coach sector including the Confederation of Passenger Transport, and across government departments, to understand the ongoing risks and issues, including demand considerations and how these could be addressed.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of (a) the effect of new covid-19 related checks on people arriving in the UK on the length of queues in (i) airports and (ii) seaports and (b) the effect of those queues on the risk of covid-19 contagion.

Border Force continue to monitor performance closely and this includes passenger queues.? Service level agreements are set to ensure 95% of arriving passengers clear passport control within 25 minutes for arrivals from the European Union and 45 minutes for the rest of the world. Passengers arriving in the UK continue to be cleared in line with these agreements.

Border Force operations at ports are conducted in line with social distancing guidance as set out by the relevant Public Health bodies, although port operators are more widely responsible for compliance across their estate.

Border Force staff in ports will be able to respond flexibly in the volume of checks conducted if there is a risk of congestion causing public health concerns.

Border Force officers complete spot checks to ensure relevant biometric information matches that presented in the passport (or travel document) and

other details appear to be credible.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the ability of Border Force staff to verify information on completed public health passenger locator forms.

Border Force continue to monitor performance closely and this includes passenger queues.? Service level agreements are set to ensure 95% of arriving passengers clear passport control within 25 minutes for arrivals from the European Union and 45 minutes for the rest of the world. Passengers arriving in the UK continue to be cleared in line with these agreements.

Border Force operations at ports are conducted in line with social distancing guidance as set out by the relevant Public Health bodies, although port operators are more widely responsible for compliance across their estate.

Border Force staff in ports will be able to respond flexibly in the volume of checks conducted if there is a risk of congestion causing public health concerns.

Border Force officers complete spot checks to ensure relevant biometric information matches that presented in the passport (or travel document) and

other details appear to be credible.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce alcohol-related violence.

The Government wants to ensure swift action to tackle alcohol-related offending. As set out in our manifesto, we will expand electronic tagging for criminals serving time outside jail, including the use of sobriety tags for those whose offending is fuelled by alcohol.

We have also focused on establishing effective partnerships and equipping authorities with the right powers to take effective actions against alcohol related-crime and harms in the night time economy.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to support police staff who are (a) abused and (b) injured by people intoxicated with alcohol.

It is absolutely unacceptable for police officers and staff to be assaulted when carrying out their duties, and we are determined to ensure that they have the support and protection they need.

The Government has invested in programmes which offer help directly to officers and staff. This includes £7.5 million to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), which was launched in April 2019.

The NPWS has developed evidence-based guidance, advice, tools and resources which can be accessed by forces, as well as individual officers and staff. This helps Chief Constables in their duty to ensure the wellbeing of all officers and staff, by signposting to relevant services and additional support.

However, we want to go further, and have therefore accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant, to recognise the service and sacrifice of our brave police officers and staff and to deliver the urgent practical support they need. The key areas of focus will be physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families. On 26 February, we launched a public consultation into the scope and principle of the Covenant. The consultation will run for 8 weeks, closing on 22 April, and will subsequently be put into law as part of the planned Police Powers and Protection Bill.

We have also committed to consult on doubling the maximum sentence for assaults on emergency workers and are working closely with the Ministry of Justice who are leading on this important work.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2020 to Question 6112, whether his Department is consulting with trade unions representing staff of his Department on the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The Integrated Defence, Security and Foreign Policy review, announced by the Prime Minister in December, promises to be the deepest review of Britain's security, defence and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. As such, we intend to consult with all necessary stakeholders throughout the process, including with Trade Unions where appropriate.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make the accessible and adaptable standard M4(2) Category 2 the mandatory baseline for all new homes.

Government will consult shortly on accessibility of new homes. The consultation will consider making higher accessibility standards mandatory, recognising the importance of suitable homes for older and disabled people.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what comparative assessment he has made of levels of (a) assaults, (b) assaults on staff and (c) staffing in public and private prisons.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold data covering a comparative assessment that compares staffing or assaults in public / privately managed prisons.

We publish details on staffing in public prisons every quarter in our HMPPS Workforce Statistics, the latest version is from March and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/her-majestys-prison-and-probation-service-workforce-quarterly-march-2020. We do not hold data on staffing levels in private prisons.

There were 32,669 assaults in prisons in England and Wales in 2019, of which 26,821 were in public prisons (82% of total assaults) and 5,848 were in private prisons (18% of total assaults).

There were 9,995 assaults on staff in prisons in England and Wales in 2019, of which 8,579 were in public prisons (86% of all assaults on staff) and 1,416 were in private prisons (14% of all assaults on staff).

Please note that Birmingham changed from a private prison to a public prison in July 2019. The figures for Birmingham have not been split between the public prisons total and the private prisons total, all assaults in Birmingham for 2019 were recorded as being in private prisons.

We closely monitor the level of violence in both public and privately managed prisons. This information is used to inform decisions around prison safety, such as procedures and training to support improved safety outcomes.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, , how many drug finds have been reported at each prison establishment in each of the last 12 months.

The number of drug finds in prison each month and the type of drug is published annually in the HMPPS Annual Digest. We cannot give data out that is due for publication. Figures for 2018/19 were published in July 2019. Figures for 2019/20 are not yet published and will be published in the Annual Digest on 30th July. This will include data for January to March 2020. Data for the remainder of 2020 will follow in the 2020/21 Annual Digest to be published next year.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many illicit (a) mobile phones, and (b) SIM cards have been discovered and reported at each prison establishment in each of the last 12 months.

The number of mobile phone and SIM card finds in prison each month is published annually in the HMPPS Annual Digest. We cannot give data out that is due for publication. Figures for 2018/19 were published in July 2019. Figures for 2019/20 are not yet published and will be published in the Annual Digest on 30th July. This will include data for January to March 2020. Data for the remainder of 2020 will follow in the 2020/21 Annual Digest to be published next year.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many incidents of active concerted indiscipline have been reported at each prison establishment in each of the last 12 months.

The attached table shows the number of incidents of concerted indiscipline, both active and passive, over the last 12 months per establishment. As a total there have been 104 incidents of concerted indiscipline in this time period. 85 of these were active and 19 were passive.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the BBC report of 9 July 2020 entitled G4S selected to run Wellingborough mega prison, whether minimum staffing levels at the new prison will be contractually mandated; and if he will make a statement.

The competition for the operation of the new prison at Wellingborough has not yet concluded as we are still in the standstill period. We intend to announce the outcome in due course.

The operator contracts between the Department and all private prison providers require the Contractor to be responsible for all staffing matters, including ensuring staff have the training and experience necessary for safe and decent prisons. This is monitored to ensure the standards are maintained across the lifetime of the contract. Mandating minimum staffing levels for private prison operators would restrict their ability to introduce and foster innovation, and their flexibility to adjust their staffing levels across the lifetime of the contract according to the needs and demands created by any changes to the prison population or in risk. It could also deter them from engaging with expertise and professional support in the local and wider community and hinder their ability to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities.

As part of the Prison Operator Competition, subject matter experts scrutinise and validate proposed staffing levels within operators’ bids to ensure delivery of operations to a decent, safe, secure and rehabilitative standard. The competition for the operation of the new prison at Wellingborough was not about the difference or preference between the public and private sector. We have been clear through this competition we expected bidders to provide high quality, value for money bids that deliver effective regimes to meet the specific needs of prisoners. Our priority is to help prisoners turn their lives around to prevent reoffending and future victims.

We hold both public and private sector prisons to account for the outcomes they deliver. PSI 2017/07 only applies to public sector prisons, however, private prisons will have their own similar systems in place to ensure they provide the required services and use the levels of staff determined as required and appropriate. These are robustly scrutinised for the lifetime of the contract to ensure that the required standards are met.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, construction at the new prison at Wellingborough and early works at Glen Parva has continued safely, with workers following PHE guidance and the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures. We expect the new prison at Wellingborough will open late 2021.

While no decisions have been made on who will operate the recently announced four new prisons, we maintain this government’s commitment to a mixed market in custodial services. It is our ambition that at least one of these new prisons will be operated by the public sector. In this scenario, HMPPS would not be required to go through a bidding process. In the event that any of the new prisons were competed these would be done through the Prison Operator Services Framework via a mini competition. In this case, HMPPS would not take part in the mini competition but would instead provide a public sector benchmark against which operators’ bids can be assessed. If bids do not meet quality or value for money thresholds, HMPPS would take on the operator role.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the BBC report of 9 July 2020, G4S selected to run Wellingborough mega prison, whether the successful contractor will be required to follow Prison Service Instruction 07/2017, Regime Management Planning, to ensure that the regimes are safe, decent, secure, resilient and sustainable.

The competition for the operation of the new prison at Wellingborough has not yet concluded as we are still in the standstill period. We intend to announce the outcome in due course.

The operator contracts between the Department and all private prison providers require the Contractor to be responsible for all staffing matters, including ensuring staff have the training and experience necessary for safe and decent prisons. This is monitored to ensure the standards are maintained across the lifetime of the contract. Mandating minimum staffing levels for private prison operators would restrict their ability to introduce and foster innovation, and their flexibility to adjust their staffing levels across the lifetime of the contract according to the needs and demands created by any changes to the prison population or in risk. It could also deter them from engaging with expertise and professional support in the local and wider community and hinder their ability to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities.

As part of the Prison Operator Competition, subject matter experts scrutinise and validate proposed staffing levels within operators’ bids to ensure delivery of operations to a decent, safe, secure and rehabilitative standard. The competition for the operation of the new prison at Wellingborough was not about the difference or preference between the public and private sector. We have been clear through this competition we expected bidders to provide high quality, value for money bids that deliver effective regimes to meet the specific needs of prisoners. Our priority is to help prisoners turn their lives around to prevent reoffending and future victims.

We hold both public and private sector prisons to account for the outcomes they deliver. PSI 2017/07 only applies to public sector prisons, however, private prisons will have their own similar systems in place to ensure they provide the required services and use the levels of staff determined as required and appropriate. These are robustly scrutinised for the lifetime of the contract to ensure that the required standards are met.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, construction at the new prison at Wellingborough and early works at Glen Parva has continued safely, with workers following PHE guidance and the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures. We expect the new prison at Wellingborough will open late 2021.

While no decisions have been made on who will operate the recently announced four new prisons, we maintain this government’s commitment to a mixed market in custodial services. It is our ambition that at least one of these new prisons will be operated by the public sector. In this scenario, HMPPS would not be required to go through a bidding process. In the event that any of the new prisons were competed these would be done through the Prison Operator Services Framework via a mini competition. In this case, HMPPS would not take part in the mini competition but would instead provide a public sector benchmark against which operators’ bids can be assessed. If bids do not meet quality or value for money thresholds, HMPPS would take on the operator role.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the BBC report of 9 July 2020 entitled G4S selected to run Wellingborough mega prison, when the new prison will receive its first prisoners.

The competition for the operation of the new prison at Wellingborough has not yet concluded as we are still in the standstill period. We intend to announce the outcome in due course.

The operator contracts between the Department and all private prison providers require the Contractor to be responsible for all staffing matters, including ensuring staff have the training and experience necessary for safe and decent prisons. This is monitored to ensure the standards are maintained across the lifetime of the contract. Mandating minimum staffing levels for private prison operators would restrict their ability to introduce and foster innovation, and their flexibility to adjust their staffing levels across the lifetime of the contract according to the needs and demands created by any changes to the prison population or in risk. It could also deter them from engaging with expertise and professional support in the local and wider community and hinder their ability to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities.

As part of the Prison Operator Competition, subject matter experts scrutinise and validate proposed staffing levels within operators’ bids to ensure delivery of operations to a decent, safe, secure and rehabilitative standard. The competition for the operation of the new prison at Wellingborough was not about the difference or preference between the public and private sector. We have been clear through this competition we expected bidders to provide high quality, value for money bids that deliver effective regimes to meet the specific needs of prisoners. Our priority is to help prisoners turn their lives around to prevent reoffending and future victims.

We hold both public and private sector prisons to account for the outcomes they deliver. PSI 2017/07 only applies to public sector prisons, however, private prisons will have their own similar systems in place to ensure they provide the required services and use the levels of staff determined as required and appropriate. These are robustly scrutinised for the lifetime of the contract to ensure that the required standards are met.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, construction at the new prison at Wellingborough and early works at Glen Parva has continued safely, with workers following PHE guidance and the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures. We expect the new prison at Wellingborough will open late 2021.

While no decisions have been made on who will operate the recently announced four new prisons, we maintain this government’s commitment to a mixed market in custodial services. It is our ambition that at least one of these new prisons will be operated by the public sector. In this scenario, HMPPS would not be required to go through a bidding process. In the event that any of the new prisons were competed these would be done through the Prison Operator Services Framework via a mini competition. In this case, HMPPS would not take part in the mini competition but would instead provide a public sector benchmark against which operators’ bids can be assessed. If bids do not meet quality or value for money thresholds, HMPPS would take on the operator role.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Written Statement of 29 June 2020 on Prisons Update, HCWS320, whether the public sector will be allowed to bid to operate the four new prisons.

The competition for the operation of the new prison at Wellingborough has not yet concluded as we are still in the standstill period. We intend to announce the outcome in due course.

The operator contracts between the Department and all private prison providers require the Contractor to be responsible for all staffing matters, including ensuring staff have the training and experience necessary for safe and decent prisons. This is monitored to ensure the standards are maintained across the lifetime of the contract. Mandating minimum staffing levels for private prison operators would restrict their ability to introduce and foster innovation, and their flexibility to adjust their staffing levels across the lifetime of the contract according to the needs and demands created by any changes to the prison population or in risk. It could also deter them from engaging with expertise and professional support in the local and wider community and hinder their ability to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities.

As part of the Prison Operator Competition, subject matter experts scrutinise and validate proposed staffing levels within operators’ bids to ensure delivery of operations to a decent, safe, secure and rehabilitative standard. The competition for the operation of the new prison at Wellingborough was not about the difference or preference between the public and private sector. We have been clear through this competition we expected bidders to provide high quality, value for money bids that deliver effective regimes to meet the specific needs of prisoners. Our priority is to help prisoners turn their lives around to prevent reoffending and future victims.

We hold both public and private sector prisons to account for the outcomes they deliver. PSI 2017/07 only applies to public sector prisons, however, private prisons will have their own similar systems in place to ensure they provide the required services and use the levels of staff determined as required and appropriate. These are robustly scrutinised for the lifetime of the contract to ensure that the required standards are met.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, construction at the new prison at Wellingborough and early works at Glen Parva has continued safely, with workers following PHE guidance and the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures. We expect the new prison at Wellingborough will open late 2021.

While no decisions have been made on who will operate the recently announced four new prisons, we maintain this government’s commitment to a mixed market in custodial services. It is our ambition that at least one of these new prisons will be operated by the public sector. In this scenario, HMPPS would not be required to go through a bidding process. In the event that any of the new prisons were competed these would be done through the Prison Operator Services Framework via a mini competition. In this case, HMPPS would not take part in the mini competition but would instead provide a public sector benchmark against which operators’ bids can be assessed. If bids do not meet quality or value for money thresholds, HMPPS would take on the operator role.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether workplace risk assessments were (a) shared and (b) agreed with staff unions before the decision to reopen courts was taken; and if he will make a statement.

As a Government, we have outlined the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus, and the control measures required to avoid exposure and transmission. In parallel, we have been clear that the work of the justice system must continue throughout the prevailing public health emergency. Accordingly, it has been necessary to keep some courts and tribunal buildings open, and we are working hard to open more so long as that can be achieved safely.

HMCTS is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all staff, members of the judiciary and visitors to its sites, as far as it is reasonably practical whilst they are on the premises.

In order to aid implementation of the required control measures, and to monitor and assure ourselves of compliance, we developed and implemented an assessment tool to be carried out in each of our open sites.

The tool was developed in consultation with trade union health and safety representatives. The finalised tool was issued to each site, with instruction that it should wherever possible be completed in conjunction and consultation with a Trade Union representative. I understand that wherever possible our officials did conduct those assessments with trade union colleagues, and continue to do so as the results are regularly reviewed.

We are confident that our open sites are safe, and can confirm risk assessments will be available to be shared on request very soon.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what information on assessed risks from covid-19 in courts was shared with staff unions before jury trials restarted; and if he will make a statement.

A judicial led Jury Trials Working Group (JTWG) was set up to establish ways in which jury trials can be commenced safely. The JTWG developed a Crown Court Jury Trial checklist which was discussed with the Departmental Trade Union Side (DTUS) on 30 April and a copy shared with them on 4 May. Completed risk assessments were shared with the DTUS before the first jury trials resumed on 18 May.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of availability of personal protective equipment for HM Courts and Tribunal Service staff who are not able to socially distance in the workplace during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service has comprehensively assessed the risk to its staff and users. We have published and implemented safety controls to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Face coverings are available on request for staff, judges and jurors. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is available to staff where local assessments show that this is necessary. In line with Government guidance, PPE will be reserved for those most at risk of close contact through their workplace, such as security officers involved in interventions, fire-marshals and first-aiders.

We are keeping the use and distribution of PPE under close review and we will continue to ensure that we comply with Government guidance.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether a rise in levels of violence has been recorded in any of the prisons where PAVA has been rolled out.

Published data on violence is only available until September 2019, and the only prisons with PAVA for the duration of this period were the four pilot sites: HMPs Hull, Wealstun, Preston and Risley.

There was an increase in the average number of assaults in prisons in across England and Wales between January 2018 to September 2019, which is the timeframe that PAVA has been in available in these four prisons.

When comparing the 21 months prior to January 2018, HMPs Hull, Wealstun and Preston had a slightly lower increase in violence compared to the wider estate.

We have been rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray to all band 3-5 staff in the adult male estate. Staff need appropriate training to use PAVA and only prisons that have implemented the key worker scheme – which is vital in building relationships between offenders and staff – will receive it.

PAVA has not been introduced as a violence reduction measure, it is intended to help protect staff and prisoners from incidents where there is serious violence, or an imminent or perceived risk of serious violence. It has been introduced alongside a range of other measures aimed to improve safety.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the viability of releasing low-risk prisoners to ease overcrowding during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have no plans to release prisoners or to use prison ships in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

HMPPS is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of COVID-19, based on the very latest scientific and medical advice. We are working closely with Public Health England, the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care to manage the challenges we face.

In line with broader clinical advice, HMPPS has introduced a procedure for the protective isolation of individuals in prison custody when it is considered that they may be potentially infected with the virus.

Our capacity to isolate prisoners varies across the estate depending on the type of establishment, its configuration and the category of prisoner held. Each establishment has in place local contingency plans setting out how it will manage should isolation of prisoners be necessary.

People in prison custody who become unwell have the benefit of on-site NHS healthcare services which provide the first line assessment and treatment response. HMPPS has worked closely with our partners in the NHS to make arrangements for transfer to hospital should an individual be sufficiently unwell to require hospital admission, building on our business as usual procedures for access to healthcare.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the viability of using prison ships to ease overcrowding during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have no plans to release prisoners or to use prison ships in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

HMPPS is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of COVID-19, based on the very latest scientific and medical advice. We are working closely with Public Health England, the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care to manage the challenges we face.

In line with broader clinical advice, HMPPS has introduced a procedure for the protective isolation of individuals in prison custody when it is considered that they may be potentially infected with the virus.

Our capacity to isolate prisoners varies across the estate depending on the type of establishment, its configuration and the category of prisoner held. Each establishment has in place local contingency plans setting out how it will manage should isolation of prisoners be necessary.

People in prison custody who become unwell have the benefit of on-site NHS healthcare services which provide the first line assessment and treatment response. HMPPS has worked closely with our partners in the NHS to make arrangements for transfer to hospital should an individual be sufficiently unwell to require hospital admission, building on our business as usual procedures for access to healthcare.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times has PAVA been deployed in each prison in each of the last 12 months.

PAVA spray is being provided to all band 3-5 staff in the adult male estate and it is currently being rolled out across the estate. Staff need appropriate training to use PAVA and only prisons who have the key worker scheme – which is vital in building relationships between offenders and staff – will receive it.

The following uses of PAVA have been recorded in the last 12 months;

4 pilot sites were live: March 2019*

PAVA Drawn OR Used*

Hull

2

Wealstun

1

Risley

2

Preston

0

Live: April 2019 - Feb 2020

Drawn (not used)

Used

Hull

0

10

Wealstun

1

6

Risley

7

20

Preston

6

13

Live: October 2019 - Feb 2020

Brinsford

0

1

Live: December 2019 - Feb 2020

Hindley

1

2**

*pre-April 2019 the collection system did not ask staff to distinguish between PAVA being drawn and/or being used.

**accidental uses by staff with no prisoners present.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times have rigid handcuffs been used in each prison in each of the last 12 months.

Rigid bar handcuffs are being rolled out to all band 3-5 staff in the adult male estate.

Data on the number of times that rigid bar handcuffs have been used is recorded locally. As we do not currently hold this information centrally, we are unable to provide the number of times that these have been used in prisons. However, we are piloting the use of a Digital Tool for establishments to record this and other Use of Force data, which will improve our ability to interrogate and extract any relevant data, such as this.

Rigid bar handcuffs are only one of the tools we are giving prison officers to help them do their job more safely. This also includes body worn cameras and PAVA spray.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Prison Service Pay Review Body Summary of England and Wales Visits 2019, published in February 2020, what steps he is taking to address the finding in that report that the Band 3 prison officer pay scale was not a wage staff could live on or afford a mortgage with.

We are giving staff the tools they need to do the job safely – rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray, and investing £100 million, as part of a wider £2.75 billion package, to fund tough airport-style security that will clamp down on the illicit items which fuel violence and hinder rehabilitation.

The Ministry of Justice is actively engaged with the Prison Service Pay Review Body in support of their evidence gathering process and we look forward to receiving their considered recommendations later this year. To maintain the integrity of this independent process we will not be commenting on any material that will not be formally published. The document referred to is not a published document.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Prison Service Pay Review Body Summary of England and Wales Visits 2019, published in February 2020, what steps he is taking to address the finding in that report that Operational Support Grade staff reported that they could earn more working in factories and supermarkets.

We are giving staff the tools they need to do the job safely – rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray, and investing £100 million, as part of a wider £2.75 billion package, to fund tough airport-style security that will clamp down on the illicit items which fuel violence and hinder rehabilitation.

The Ministry of Justice is actively engaged with the Prison Service Pay Review Body in support of their evidence gathering process and we look forward to receiving their considered recommendations later this year. To maintain the integrity of this independent process we will not be commenting on any material that will not be formally published. The document referred to is not a published document.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Prison Service Pay Review Body Summary of England and Wales Visits 2019, published in February 2020, what steps he is taking to address the finding in that report that Band 3 prison officers were reported to be leaving the service for a whole host of different types of employment, some of which had much lower levels of violence.

We are giving staff the tools they need to do the job safely – rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray, and investing £100 million, as part of a wider £2.75 billion package, to fund tough airport-style security that will clamp down on the illicit items which fuel violence and hinder rehabilitation.

The Ministry of Justice is actively engaged with the Prison Service Pay Review Body in support of their evidence gathering process and we look forward to receiving their considered recommendations later this year. To maintain the integrity of this independent process we will not be commenting on any material that will not be formally published. The document referred to is not a published document.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Prison Service Pay Review Body Summary of England and Wales Visits 2019, published in February 2020, what steps he is taking to address the finding in that report that there was an overall picture of low morale with a feeling that the HM Prison and Probation Service did not value its staff.

We are giving staff the tools they need to do the job safely – rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray, and investing £100 million, as part of a wider £2.75 billion package, to fund tough airport-style security that will clamp down on the illicit items which fuel violence and hinder rehabilitation.

The Ministry of Justice is actively engaged with the Prison Service Pay Review Body in support of their evidence gathering process and we look forward to receiving their considered recommendations later this year. To maintain the integrity of this independent process we will not be commenting on any material that will not be formally published. The document referred to is not a published document.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Prison Service Pay Review Body Summary of England and Wales Visits 2019, published in February 2020, what steps he is taking to address the finding in that report that some prisons were struggling with the roll out of the Key Worker scheme due to staffing levels, and a high non-effective rate, which had delayed the associated roll-out of the use of PAVA spray in prisons.

We are giving staff the tools they need to do the job safely – rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray, and investing £100 million, as part of a wider £2.75 billion package, to fund tough airport-style security that will clamp down on the illicit items which fuel violence and hinder rehabilitation.

The Ministry of Justice is actively engaged with the Prison Service Pay Review Body in support of their evidence gathering process and we look forward to receiving their considered recommendations later this year. To maintain the integrity of this independent process we will not be commenting on any material that will not be formally published. The document referred to is not a published document.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of prison officers were equipped with PAVA spray on (a) 1 January 2019, (b) 1 April 2019, (c) 1 July 2019 (d) 1 October 2019 and (e) 1 January 2020.

PAVA spray is being provided to all band 3-5 staff in the adult male estate and it is currently being rolled out across the estate. We are able to provide the number of establishments who have completed their training activity and therefore in a position to issue PAVA to their staff.

1 January 2019, 4 pilot prisons

1 April 2019, 4 pilot prisons

1 July 2019 4 pilot prisons

1 October 2019, 6 establishments (inclusive of the 4 pilot prisons)

1 January 2020, 7 establishments (inclusive of the 4 pilot prisons)

We are giving prison officers body worn cameras, rigid bar handcuffs and PAVA spray to help them do their job more safely.

Staff need appropriate training to use PAVA and only prisons who have rolled out the key worker scheme – which is vital in building relationships between offenders and staff – will receive it.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of prison officers were equipped with rigid-bar handcuffs on (a) 1 January 2019, (b) 1 April 1 2019, (c) 1 July 2019, (d) 1 October 2019 and (e) 1 January 2020.

Rigid Bar handcuffs are being provided to all band 3-5 prison officers in the adult male estate. Establishments will be required to train their staff prior to issuing them therefore exact figures of staff equipped is not available. Instead we are able to provide the number of establishments who have commenced their training for the dates requested:

1 January 2019, None

1 April 1 2019, None

1 July 2019, None

1 October 2019: 2 establishments commenced training

1 January 2020: 16 establishments actively delivering training

Rigid bar handcuffs are only one of the tools we are giving prison officers to help them do their job more safely; others include body worn cameras and PAVA spray.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)