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Written Question
Palliative Care
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Fleur Anderson (LAB - Putney)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that those suffering with terminal medical conditions have dignity at the end of their lives.

Answered by Helen Whately

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out how the provision of healthcare is being updated to give people more control over their own health and more personalised care, including at end of life. The establishment of the Personalised Care Institute has made training available to help staff identify and support patients and to introduce proactive and personalised care planning for everyone identified as being in their last year of life. This enables meaningful conversations to take place and allows staff to help patients and families, address their concerns and to explain the breadth of services available in the local area. Clinicians should continue to utilise existing guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence which includes specific reference to maintaining comfort and dignity in the last days of life. ‘Care of dying adults in the last days of life’ is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng31/resources/care-of-dying-adults-in-the-last-days-of-life-pdf-1837387324357


Written Question
Social Services: Migrant Workers
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Vicky Foxcroft (LAB - Lewisham, Deptford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on reviewing the effect of EU withdrawal and the end of free movement on social care staffing levels.

Answered by Helen Whately

While 7% of the existing workforce identify as European Union citizens, they have been able to apply to remain in the UK under the EU settlement scheme and so we do not expect a sudden loss of this workforce. The flow of EU workers into the sector annually is small comparable to the size of the workforce; fewer than 5% of all workers joining the sector in a direct care role in 2019/20 had arrived from the EU in the previous 12 months. Therefore, we do not anticipate that the end of transition will have an immediate impact on workforce supply. We are confident that employers will be able to recruit domestically to outnumber any decreased flow of workers from the EU and we are working closely with counterparts across Government to encourage people with the right skills and values to work in the sector.


Written Question
Abortion
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: John Hayes (CON - South Holland and The Deepings)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the procedure is for updating abortion notification HSA4 forms in the event of additional complications occurring either after the initial submission of the form or after the 14-day timeframe for returning them.

Answered by Helen Whately

There is currently no process in place for additional complications to be recorded on HSA4 forms after submission of the form. The Department is undertaking a project to review the system of recording abortion complications data and we anticipate this work will be completed later this year. The review will cover all data on complications arising from abortion including timing of reporting.


Written Question
Travel: Coronavirus
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Layla Moran (LDEM - Oxford West and Abingdon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of PCR tests of arrivals from amber list countries have been sequenced for new variants in each month of 2021 to date.

Answered by Jo Churchill

This information is not available in the format requested. NHS Test and Trace publish this data on three weekly cycles aligned with risk assessments and decisions within the international travel traffic light system.


Written Question
Nuclear Power Stations: Construction
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (GRN - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their baseline assumption of 160 years for the lifetime of a new nuclear power station, as set out in the Environment Agency guidance on sea level rise, is measured from the expected date of completion of the power station.

Answered by Lord Callanan

The effects of climate change, including sea level rise, are considered and adapted to throughout the lifetime of nuclear power stations from design and construction, through operation and on to decommissioning.

The UK’s robust regulatory framework is designed to accommodate changes in science and expert guidance, whilst ensuring appropriate assessment of the specific operating lifetime of individual stations.

Whilst the National Policy Statement sets out the siting framework and criteria (including flood and coastal erosion risks), all stations will require planning permission and environmental permits from the Environment Agency and safety licensing from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (the ONR) throughout their lifetime. This will require strong evidence from licence holders to demonstrate that the effects of climate change have been thoroughly evaluated and can be managed over the lifetime of stations.

The Environment Agency and the ONR would not allow a site to be built or to operate if they judged that it was not safe to do so.


Written Question
Renewable Energy: Treaties
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Helen Hayes (LAB - Dulwich and West Norwood)

Question

To ask the President of COP26, what assessment he has made of the (a) potential merits and (b) likelihood of an international agreement to ensure global co-operation to transition to renewable energy sources.

Answered by Alok Sharma

Accelerating the transition from coal to clean energy is a top priority for the UK’s COP 26 Presidency. There are many benefits that the energy transition can bring: cleaner air, cheaper power, increased investment, new jobs, better public health, and many more.

The UK recognises that global collaboration is vital to achieving a cleaner future. We have already made significant progress. The Climate and Environment Ministers of the G7 have made historic commitments to end international coal finance in 2021 and to accelerate the transition towards overwhelmingly decarbonised power systems in the 2030s. The UK has also launched the Energy Transition Council, bringing together the political, financial and technical leaders of the global power sector in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America, to ensure that clean power is the most attractive offer globally. The UK is also collaborating internationally through the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a coalition of 135 members, advancing the transition from unabated coal power generation to clean energy.


Written Question
Industry: Liverpool City Region
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Baroness Hooper (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to expand their Industrial Clusters Mission to other regions; and what consideration they have given to the Liverpool City Region being a suitable cluster.

Answered by Lord Callanan

Industrial clusters account for just over half of the emissions by industry, which is why we committed in the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy to delivering four low-carbon clusters by 2030 and at least one fully net zero cluster by 2040. The North West cluster already covers the Liverpool City region. The cluster’s decarbonisation plans will provide over £4bn in investment, delivering at least 33,000 jobs and abating 10m tonnes of carbon across the North West.

We have already invested over £45 million into the Hynet Project in the region, through the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge and BEIS Hydrogen Supply and Industrial Fuel Switching competitions, to help kickstart hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.


Written Question
Climate Change: Treaties
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Helen Hayes (LAB - Dulwich and West Norwood)

Question

To ask the President of COP26, what assessment has he made of the (a) potential merits and (b) likelihood of an international agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Answered by Alok Sharma

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international agreement which aims to hold average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C. It is the framework under which such efforts should be delivered. The science is clear that in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change we must keep 1.5C in reach and this is my priority for COP26.


Written Question
Department of Health and Social Care: Billing
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Lord Mendelsohn (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Group Accounting Manual 2020-21 published by the Department of Health and Social Care on 19 April, whether they consider that guidance requires in all circumstances (1) a liability to pay interest accruing by virtue of any failure to pay invoices within the 30 day period, and (2) disclosure of such failure whether or not any claim for such liability has been made or settled.

Answered by Lord Bethell

The Public Contract Regulations 2015 Regulation 113(7) requires disclosure of the proportion of invoices paid in accordance with an obligation to pay valid and undisputed invoices within 30 days. The Procurement Policy Note 03/16 (PPN) requires disclosure of both the amount of interest paid to suppliers due to late payment and the amount of interest that the authority was liable to pay, whether or not paid, due to a breach of the Regulations. The Department does not interpret liable to pay in the PPN as a strict financial liability it allows for the possibility that the interest is not paid. The Department does not therefore consider that that Group Accounting Manual requires a liability to pay interest in all circumstances.

The Manual reflects the disclosure requirements of the PPN which states that disclosure of liabilities should include the total amount of any liability to pay interest which accrued by failing to pay invoices within the 30-day period where obligated to do so and the total amount of interest actually paid in the discharge of any such liability.


Written Question
Healthcare Assistants and Nurses
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many full time equivalent NHS contracts for (1) registered nurses, and (2) health care assistants, there were in hospital trusts and community trusts in England in each year between 2010 and 2019.

Answered by Lord Bethell

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics for England. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in primary care, general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers. The following table shows the number of full time equivalent (FTE) registered nurses including health visitors and healthcare assistants as at September each year between 2010 and 2019.

FTE registered nurses

FTE healthcare assistants

September 2010

279,883

44,024

September 2011

277,047

45,401

September 2012

271,407

47,174

September 2013

274,627

51,645

September 2014

278,981

54,533

September 2015

281,474

58,919

September 2016

284,288

63,103

September 2017

283,853

65,840

September 2018

285,674

66,880

September 2019

291,533

70,331


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to communicate (1) to affected patients, and (2) to the general public, that there are many people in the UK for whom COVID-19 vaccines do not offer the same level of protection as they do for the rest of the population.

Answered by Lord Bethell

Public Health England (PHE) is monitoring vaccine effectiveness via their surveillance strategy, which was released to the public and health professionals. The latest results showed COVID-19 vaccines to be highly effective, including for most people in clinical risk groups. Preliminary results for the OCTAVE study, which looks at vaccine efficacy in specific at-risk groups are also expected to be published shortly to provide a greater understanding on the level of protection provided.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and NHS England’s National Medical Director wrote to clinicians on 16 July to provide an overview of vaccine efficacy in those with immunosuppression. This included additional information to inform conversations between clinicians and patients on the individual’s level of risk. The Department is regularly updating stakeholders in the charitable and healthcare sectors on vaccine efficacy for all groups.


Written Question
Integrated Care Systems
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Baroness Merron (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure musculoskeletal, fragility fractures and falls are being incorporated into Integrated Care Systems.

Answered by Lord Bethell

We expect musculoskeletal, fragility fractures and fall services to be fully incorporated into integrated care systems (ICSs) and for the musculoskeletal pathway to play a key role in shaping planning and decision-making.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have convened the National Pathways Improvement Programme to reduce variation in access and outcomes and improve performance. Within this programme the Best MSK health collaborative is supporting those in musculoskeletal leadership roles, including within ICSs, and a specific work stream is focused on osteoporosis, falls and fragility fractures in collaboration with professional and patient-facing stakeholders, as well as those with lived experience.


Written Question
Hospitals: Ventilation
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GRN - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by the Secretary of State for Health on 12 July (HC Deb, col 26), what percentage of the £90 billion extra provided to the health and care system during the pandemic has been spent on air ventilation units.

Answered by Lord Bethell

The information requested is not held centrally as much of this funding was spent at trust level.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Disease Control
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Lord Jones of Cheltenham (LDEM - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the letter in The Lancet ‘Mass infection is not an option: we must do more to protect our young’, published on 7 July, arguing against relaxing COVID-19 restrictions; and what assessment they have made of how their policy on lifting restrictions meets their objective of “following the science”.

Answered by Lord True

The Government made a full assessment of the epidemiological and other relevant data ahead of taking the decision to move to step 4 of the roadmap on 19 July and assessed that the four tests had been met. The success of the vaccination rollout has paved the way for the safe and gradual lifting of restrictions. However, the Government has been clear that the pandemic is not over and that the public should continue to practice cautious behaviours.

The risks of hospitalisation and intensive care admission in children due to infection is very low (approximately 8 per 100,000 population under 18 are admitted to hospital). Therefore, from step 4, the Government changed the controls that apply in early years, schools, colleges and higher education institutions to maintain a baseline of protective measures while maximising attendance and minimising disruption to children and young people’s education.


Written Question
Armed Forces Bill
2 Aug 2021

Questioner: Lord Empey (UUP - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what engagement they have had about the Armed Forces Bill with (1) the Northern Ireland Executive, and (2) individual Ministers within the Northern Ireland Executive; when this engagement took place; and what the outcome was of any such engagement.

Answered by Baroness Goldie

The Northern Ireland Executive and relevant Departments, along with representatives from the Scottish and Welsh Governments, were consulted during the development of the Armed Forces Bill, and the former Minister for Defence People and Veterans wrote to the Northern Ireland First Minister and Deputy First Minister on 17 March 2021 outlining the Government’s proposals for the new Covenant duty. The Department is currently engaging with the Northern Ireland Executive on the development of the statutory guidance that will support the new Covenant Duty, including a focus group the week of 19 July 2021, to ensure that the public bodies in scope have the information they need to better understand the impact of Service life on the Armed Forces Community.