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Written Question
Developing Countries: LGBT+ People
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: David Mundell (Conservative - Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help tackle the criminalisation of same-sex relationships in Commonwealth countries; whether her Department has made funding available to LGBT+ organisations which work to tackle that legislation in those countries in the last year; and if she will take steps to make the UK a leading funder of those organisations.

Answered by Vicky Ford - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

As Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, the UK committed over £11 million in programmes to support the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights across the Commonwealth, including through partners such as The Commonwealth Equality Network, Human Dignity Trust and Kaleidoscope Trust.

Since CHOGM 2018, UK funding has facilitated the provision of technical assistance and capacity building to eight Commonwealth countries seeking to repeal or reform legislation that discriminates on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. This is extremely sensitive work, often conducted discreetly due to political, social and cultural sensitivities.

On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced £2.7 million of new UK funding to support the vital work of LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders. We will continue to work closely with like-minded countries and civil society organisations to defend the human rights of LGBT+ people, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.


Written Question
Evusheld: Testing
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: Andrew Gwynne (Labour - Denton and Reddish)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the additional testing of Evusheld has now been completed.

Answered by Maggie Throup - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

AstraZeneca commissioned the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to undertake testing into the effectiveness of Evusheld against the Omicron variants. Initial data on testing against the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron variants has been shared with AstraZeneca.


Written Question
Learning Disability: Health Services
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: Rushanara Ali (Labour - Bethnal Green and Bow)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the Building the right support national plan.

Answered by Gillian Keegan - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

We plan to publish the Building the right support action plan shortly. A publication date has not yet been confirmed.


Written Question
Evusheld
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: Feryal Clark (Labour - Enfield North)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the results of testing by the UKHSA on Evusheld’s effectiveness against the Omicron variant will be published.

Answered by Maggie Throup - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

AstraZeneca commissioned the UK Health Strategic Authority to undertake testing into the effectiveness on Evusheld against the Omicron variants.  Initial data has been shared with AstraZeneca.

The Department is assessing of Evusheld, which includes requesting clinicians to advise on the most appropriate option for the National Health Service in line with available data, the public health situation and alongside other treatments available. As we are currently considering this advice, we are unable to confirm a specific timetable for the decision.


Written Question
Developing Countries: LGBT+ People
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: Sarah Champion (Labour - Rotherham)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps her Department has taken to provide support to LGBT+ community groups in (a) low- and (b) middle-income countries who are seeking reform of discriminatory laws in those countries.

Answered by Vicky Ford - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is committed to championing LGBT+ rights internationally and supporting those who defend them. Ministers and our overseas missions work closely with partners to advance LGBT+ equality, and promote the implementation of new laws and policies that better protect LGBT+ people from violence and discrimination.

Since 2018, the UK committed over £11 million in programmes to support the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights. On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced a further £2.7 million of UK funding to support LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.


Written Question
Medicine: Training
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: Lord Jones of Cheltenham (Liberal Democrat - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons for the reduction in the number of university applications to study medicine including dentistry; and what plans they have to fill any increase in the number of vacancies for doctors, nurses and dentists.

Answered by Lord Kamall - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

The latest available data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service data shows that applicants to undergraduate dentistry courses have remained at a similar level, with 3,625 applicants in 2011 and 3,635 applicants in 2021. As at March 2022, there are 38,972 full-time equivalent registered nursing vacancies and 8,016 medical vacancies. Many of the vacancies will be covered by bank and agency staff. Data on dental vacancies is not held centrally.

The Department has committed to deliver an additional 50,000 nurses by the end of this Parliament to ensure a sustainable long-term supply for the National Health Service. As of March 2022, the number of nurses had increased by over 30,000 compared to September 2019. More than 30,000 students have accepted a place on nursing and midwifery programmes in the 2021 recruitment cycle - an increase of 28% compared to 2019. We have also increased the number of medical school places by 25%. The NHS Retention Programme is also targeting interventions to encourage staff to stay in the NHS whilst supporting their health and wellbeing.

We are working with the British Dental Association to reform the NHS dental contract to make it more attractive to the profession. In its ‘Advancing Dental Care Review’, Health Education England made recommendations to improve the recruitment and retention of dentists and other professionals. We are also working to allow greater flexibility to expand on the registration options open to international dentistry applicants.


Written Question
Community Orders: Easington
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)

Question to the Ministry of Justice:

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what Community Payback projects have been completed in Easington constituency in each of the last five years.

Answered by Kit Malthouse - Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)

Community Payback is a visible punishment which sees offenders undertake work that directly benefits the communities they have harmed.

Rigorous and constructive projects are delivered across England and Wales on a daily basis. Work carried out by offenders may include removing graffiti from public buildings, clearing wasteland, or decorating a community centre.

Local engagement is an integral part of Community Payback, and anyone can nominate a project in their local area via the Gov.uk website.

Prior to unification of the Probation Service in June 2021, Community Payback was delivered by Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and consequently we do not have access to an exhaustive list of projects delivered in each of the last five years.

However, the Durham Tees Valley CRC did deliver regular projects in partnership with Durham County Council in the Peterlee area, with Community Payback teams working four days a week to improve local open spaces.

Post-unification, the North East Probation region currently has regular projects running at the Castle Eden Walkway, Parkside Walkway, Woodhouse Park and South Hetton allotments.

Work undertaken at the projects listed above in Easington have included grounds maintenance, such as strimming, grass cutting, clearing overgrown vegetation to open up pathways and raising the canopy to remove overhanging branches, path edging and litter picking.


Written Question
Veterans
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: Stuart Anderson (Conservative - Wolverhampton South West)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to support veterans with welfare needs including (a) housing, (b) health and (c) education.

Answered by Leo Docherty - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Veterans' Strategy Action Plan sets out over 60 UK Government commitments with a combined value of over £70m to help support veterans and their families between 2022-2024. We are already making good progress with 24% of commitments already completed at the 6 month point.

We have changed the law to improve access to social housing, removing the local connection test, and awarding priority access to social housing for vulnerable veterans. We are improving the Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme, making sure veterans have access to the right training opportunities; and in reletting the Career Transition Partnership contract, we are taking the opportunity to improve and enhance the service. Over the next three years NHS England will be providing £18m more to improve access to Op COURAGE and the Veterans Trauma Network. Additionally, this year, we will administer the new £5m Veterans' Health Innovation Fund - supporting projects developing innovative treatments and initiatives to support veterans' health.


Written Question
Veterans
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: Stuart Anderson (Conservative - Wolverhampton South West)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to help support the (a) education, (b) housing and (c) health needs of veterans.

Answered by Leo Docherty - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Veterans' Strategy Action Plan sets out over 60 UK Government commitments with a combined value of over £70m to help support veterans and their families between 2022-2024. We are already making good progress with 24% of commitments already completed at the 6 month point.

We have changed the law to improve access to social housing, removing the local connection test, and awarding priority access to social housing for vulnerable veterans. We are improving the Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme, making sure veterans have access to the right training opportunities; and in reletting the Career Transition Partnership contract, we are taking the opportunity to improve and enhance the service. Over the next three years NHS England will be providing £18m more to improve access to Op COURAGE and the Veterans Trauma Network. Additionally, this year, we will administer the new £5m Veterans' Health Innovation Fund - supporting projects developing innovative treatments and initiatives to support veterans' health.


Written Question
Treasury: Consultants
Monday 4th July 2022

Asked by: Sarah Olney (Liberal Democrat - Richmond Park)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much his Department has spent on consultancy fees in each of the last five years.

Answered by Helen Whately - Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)

HM Treasury’s spend on consultancy is published and available for viewing within the Annual Report and Accounts. HMT is yet to lay its accounts for 2021-22, but these are due to be published prior to the summer recess. We have included the links to the published Annual Report and Accounts for each of the available years in question within the table below.

Financial Year

Publication Link

Page Reference

2017-18

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/724104/2017-18_Final_HMT_ARA__web_.pdf

Page 84

2018-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-treasury-annual-report-and-accounts-2018-to-2019

Page 88

2019-20

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-treasury-annual-report-and-accounts-2019-to-2020

Page 104

2020-21

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-treasury-annual-report-and-accounts-2020-to-2021

Page 101