Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2015-16 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Chippenham)
Asked on: 03 June 2016
Department for Education
Design and Technology: English Baccalaureate
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of including design and technology in the EBacc.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 01 July 2016

Design and Technology is a subject that can inspire and equip young people for further study and careers in a range of design and engineering fields. Our reform ensures the Design and Technology curriculum and qualifications are aligned with industry practice. The new GCSE and A levels move the subject on from its craft-based roots into a high-tech qualification.

The EBacc has been designed to be limited in its size in order to provide a rigorous academic core whilst leaving space in the curriculum for pupils to study other subjects of their choice. On average, pupils in state-funded schools enter nine GCSEs and equivalent qualifications, rising to more than ten for some pupils. As the EBacc covers up to eight GCSEs, this leaves room for other choices, including Design and Technology.

On 3 November 2015, the Secretary of State for Education launched a public consultation seeking views on the government’s proposals for the implementation of the EBacc. The consultation closed on 29 January 2016 and the Government’s response will be published in due course.

Q
(The Wrekin)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sub-Saharan Africa: Albinism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will raise the issue of attacks on and murders of people with albinism with his counterparts in sub-Saharan African countries.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 01 July 2016

The UK strongly believes that everyone, everywhere, should enjoy the rights and freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are concerned by any reports of violence perpetrated against people with albinism. Our High Commissioner to Malawi raised this issue during his meeting with the Malawian Foreign Minister on 27 April and we will continue to raise concerns about human rights violations and abuses in the region when the opportunities arise.

Q
Asked by Jo Cox
(Batley and Spen)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the constructive engagement of the Saudi-led coalition with the UN on the question of its de-listing as a state or armed group that violates children's rights during conflict.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 01 July 2016

[This question was tabled before the sad death of the Honourable Lady but the subject remains important and the Government’s response ought to be placed on the public record.]

The UN Secretary General’s annual report on Children in Armed Conflict was published on 2 June. The report includes a section outlining the impact of the conflict in Yemen on children.

The conflict in Yemen has had a significant impact on children, in terms of the numbers of child casualties, the recruitment of children as soldiers, and attacks on hospitals and schools.

We note the announcement by the UN Secretary General on 6 June that removed the listing of the Saudi Arabian-led Coalition from the report’s annex, pending the conclusion of a joint review by the UN and Saudi Arabia on the cases and numbers cited in the text. We welcome co-operation between the UN and Saudi Arabia to look in to this matter.

Q
Asked by Ann Clwyd
(Cynon Valley)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Burmese counterpart on (a) releasing people detained for the exercise of their human rights and (b) dropping charges pending against those who are facing imprisonment simply for the exercise of these rights.
A
Answered by: Mr Hugo Swire
Answered on: 01 July 2016

The release of some 200 political prisoners during its first few weeks in office is a strong demonstration of the new Burmese Government’s commitment to reforming human rights and the rule of law in Burma. However, we remain concerned that arrests, detentions and sentencing of political activists could continue while the military retains control of the Home Ministry, Police and Courts.

Tackling the causes of political prisoners will require a thorough but longer-term process of legislative and judicial reform. Having an effective Political Prisoners Committee will be an important element of that process and is something we have consistently called for and will continue to do.

The Government has long campaigned on the issue of political prisoners in Burma. We have maintained pressure through bilateral and international actions such as the two annual UN resolutions on Burma in which we have played an instrumental part. I raised this issue directly with the then Minister for the Presidency, U Aung Min, during my visit to Burma in July 2015. We will work with the new Government to help it continue to make progress.

Q
Asked by Jo Cox
(Batley and Spen)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the effect of the temporary removal of the Saudi-led coalition from the UN's list of states and armed groups that violate children's rights during conflict on the integrity and effectiveness of UN Security Council measures on children and armed conflict.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 01 July 2016

[This question was tabled before the sad death of the Honourable Lady but the subject remains important and the Government’s response ought to be placed on the public record.]

The UN Secretary General’s annual report on Children in Armed Conflict was published on 2 June. The report includes a section outlining the impact of the conflict in Yemen on children.

The conflict in Yemen has had a significant impact on children, in terms of the numbers of child casualties, the recruitment of children as soldiers, and attacks on hospitals and schools.

We note the announcement by the UN Secretary General on 6 June that removed the listing of the Saudi Arabian-led Coalition from the report’s annex, pending the conclusion of a joint review by the UN and Saudi Arabia on the cases and numbers cited in the text. We welcome co-operation between the UN and Saudi Arabia to look in to this matter. A political solution remains the best way to bring this conflict and the suffering of the Yemeni people to an end. The UK Government continues to support the work of the United Nations on Children and Armed Conflict.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Contraception
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the number of healthcare professionals trained to fit intra-uterine methods of contraception.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 01 July 2016

The continuing professional development of doctors and nurses is the responsibility of individual employers. Health Education England has a role in ensuring employers remain committed to continuing professional development and in developing the overall strategy for workforce skills and development in their areas.

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Health Professions: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many additional providers his Department estimates will enter the higher education sector to deliver health, nursing and midwifery courses in the academic years (a) 2017-18, (b) 2018-19, (c) 2019-20 and (d) 2020-21.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 01 July 2016

This information is not held centrally.

Education providers wishing to deliver health profession courses such as nursing or physiotherapy, must ensure the relevant regulator is satisfied that their proposed course will deliver graduates who possess the required knowledge and expertise of a newly qualified professional. For example, education providers wishing to deliver pre-registration nursing courses must submit their request in writing to the Nursing and Midwifery Council and meet a number of set criteria.

Grouped Questions: 40557
Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Health Professions: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, who will be responsible for higher education placements for (a) allied health, (b) nursing and (c) midwifery in 2017-18.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 01 July 2016

Health Education England (HEE) will retain the responsibility for commissioning and funding the minimum number of clinical placements assessed as required to produce sufficient healthcare graduates for the National Health Service.

Universities through the combination of tuition fees and additional teaching grant funding, that the Government has allocated to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, will increase the resources available for teaching. In addition, universities can now increase their student numbers, making their provision more sustainable. It is now up to universities to recruit more students.

Universities are autonomous private institutions. It will be for universities to work as part of their local health economy with placement providers to secure extra placements for the additional students. The generation of extra places is a mutually beneficial arrangement between the health sector, universities and their student.

We are seeking views from respondents to the current Public Consultation on how, in delivering these reforms, we look at the widest possible solutions to ensuring high quality clinical placements. These views will actively inform further stakeholder engagement prior to the government consultation response.

Any arrangements to deliver additional places will need to strike the right balance and have appropriate mechanisms in place to take appropriate account of: capacity in the NHS, primary care and social care sectors, HEE workforce planning requirements and the opportunity for growth in the university sector. Alongside, we must ensure that all students have access to high quality placements and receive an outstanding placement experience.

Grouped Questions: 40563 | 40564 | 40565
Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Health Professions: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department plans to allocate additional funds to resource the 10,000 additional student placements for nursing, midwifery and allied health courses that his Department estimates will be created following the switch to student loans; and whether he plans to nominate any bodies to which these funds may be allocated in the academic years (a) 2017-18, (b) 2018-19, (c) 2019-20 and (d) 2020-21.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 01 July 2016

Health Education England (HEE) will retain the responsibility for commissioning and funding the minimum number of clinical placements assessed as required to produce sufficient healthcare graduates for the National Health Service.

Universities through the combination of tuition fees and additional teaching grant funding, that the Government has allocated to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, will increase the resources available for teaching. In addition, universities can now increase their student numbers, making their provision more sustainable. It is now up to universities to recruit more students.

Universities are autonomous private institutions. It will be for universities to work as part of their local health economy with placement providers to secure extra placements for the additional students. The generation of extra places is a mutually beneficial arrangement between the health sector, universities and their student.

We are seeking views from respondents to the current Public Consultation on how, in delivering these reforms, we look at the widest possible solutions to ensuring high quality clinical placements. These views will actively inform further stakeholder engagement prior to the government consultation response.

Any arrangements to deliver additional places will need to strike the right balance and have appropriate mechanisms in place to take appropriate account of: capacity in the NHS, primary care and social care sectors, HEE workforce planning requirements and the opportunity for growth in the university sector. Alongside, we must ensure that all students have access to high quality placements and receive an outstanding placement experience.

Grouped Questions: 40562 | 40564 | 40565
Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Health Professions: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department plans to ring-fence funds to resource the 10,000 additional student placements for nursing, midwifery and allied health courses that his Department estimates will be created following the switch to student loans.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 01 July 2016

Health Education England (HEE) will retain the responsibility for commissioning and funding the minimum number of clinical placements assessed as required to produce sufficient healthcare graduates for the National Health Service.

Universities through the combination of tuition fees and additional teaching grant funding, that the Government has allocated to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, will increase the resources available for teaching. In addition, universities can now increase their student numbers, making their provision more sustainable. It is now up to universities to recruit more students.

Universities are autonomous private institutions. It will be for universities to work as part of their local health economy with placement providers to secure extra placements for the additional students. The generation of extra places is a mutually beneficial arrangement between the health sector, universities and their student.

We are seeking views from respondents to the current Public Consultation on how, in delivering these reforms, we look at the widest possible solutions to ensuring high quality clinical placements. These views will actively inform further stakeholder engagement prior to the government consultation response.

Any arrangements to deliver additional places will need to strike the right balance and have appropriate mechanisms in place to take appropriate account of: capacity in the NHS, primary care and social care sectors, HEE workforce planning requirements and the opportunity for growth in the university sector. Alongside, we must ensure that all students have access to high quality placements and receive an outstanding placement experience.

Grouped Questions: 40562 | 40563 | 40565
Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Health Professions: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he plans to issue guidance on the additional placement numbers for nursing, midwifery and allied health courses to be made available by 2017-18.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 01 July 2016

Health Education England (HEE) will retain the responsibility for commissioning and funding the minimum number of clinical placements assessed as required to produce sufficient healthcare graduates for the National Health Service.

Universities through the combination of tuition fees and additional teaching grant funding, that the Government has allocated to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, will increase the resources available for teaching. In addition, universities can now increase their student numbers, making their provision more sustainable. It is now up to universities to recruit more students.

Universities are autonomous private institutions. It will be for universities to work as part of their local health economy with placement providers to secure extra placements for the additional students. The generation of extra places is a mutually beneficial arrangement between the health sector, universities and their student.

We are seeking views from respondents to the current Public Consultation on how, in delivering these reforms, we look at the widest possible solutions to ensuring high quality clinical placements. These views will actively inform further stakeholder engagement prior to the government consultation response.

Any arrangements to deliver additional places will need to strike the right balance and have appropriate mechanisms in place to take appropriate account of: capacity in the NHS, primary care and social care sectors, HEE workforce planning requirements and the opportunity for growth in the university sector. Alongside, we must ensure that all students have access to high quality placements and receive an outstanding placement experience.

Grouped Questions: 40562 | 40563 | 40564
Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Genito-urinary Medicine
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Department's Framework for Sexual Health Promotion in England, published in March 2013, what steps he has taken to ensure that arrangements are put in place for continuing professional development of the sexual health workforce.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 01 July 2016

The continuing professional development of doctors and nurses is the responsibility of individual employers. Health Education England has a role in ensuring employers remain committed to continuing professional development and in developing the overall strategy for workforce skills and development in their areas. As set out in the Government’s A Framework for Sexual Health Improvement in England, local areas should know of all the professionals who are part of their sexual health workforce, and that their skills are used to best effect. Staff should be supported to undertake appropriate training and development. Professional organisations can advise local areas on providing training for their staff.

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Health Professions: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate his Department has made of the number of alternative providers entering the higher education sector to deliver health, nursing and allied health courses which will be (a) private and (b) for-profit.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 01 July 2016

This information is not held centrally.

Education providers wishing to deliver health profession courses such as nursing or physiotherapy, must ensure the relevant regulator is satisfied that their proposed course will deliver graduates who possess the required knowledge and expertise of a newly qualified professional. For example, education providers wishing to deliver pre-registration nursing courses must submit their request in writing to the Nursing and Midwifery Council and meet a number of set criteria.

Grouped Questions: 40566
Q
(Coventry South)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Department of Health: Coventry
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many civil service employees of his Department were based in Coventry in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 01 July 2016

This Department has not had any of its civil servants based in Coventry, at any time in the last five years.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Older People: Statins
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent discussions he has had with appropriate clinical bodies on the effectiveness of treatment with statins for people aged 60 and over.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 01 July 2016

There have been no recent discussions between the Department and clinical bodies on the effectiveness of treatment with statins for people aged 60 or over.

Statins are used in the National Health Service for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence has issued guidance about the use of statins in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease which can found at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg181

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department of Health
Ovaries: Transplant Surgery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with appropriate clinical bodies on the provision of ovary transplants.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 01 July 2016

The responsibility for funding any new transplant service lies with the United Kingdom health commissioners.

We have had no discussions with commissioners about ovarian transplants. There would need to be appropriate ethical, clinical, regulatory approval and include protocols for identifying potential donors and obtaining appropriate consent.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department for Transport
Aviation: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with airline companies on the provision of bad or adverse weather training for airline staff.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 01 July 2016

As the independent aviation safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) monitors training standards as part of its oversight of UK airlines. Over the course of their training programme, pilots are trained in the use of weather radar equipment and weather avoidance procedures. Airline training instructors and examiners are regularly audited by the CAA to ensure the quality of training meets the highest licensing standards.

Grouped Questions: 40475
Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department for Transport
Aviation: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with airline companies on the provision of training for pilots on the use of radar.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 01 July 2016

As the independent aviation safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) monitors training standards as part of its oversight of UK airlines. Over the course of their training programme, pilots are trained in the use of weather radar equipment and weather avoidance procedures. Airline training instructors and examiners are regularly audited by the CAA to ensure the quality of training meets the highest licensing standards.

Grouped Questions: 40474
Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department for Transport
Bus Services Bill (HL)
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department expects the Bus Services Bill draft statutory guidance to be published.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 01 July 2016

We are currently meeting with key stakeholders to discuss the potential contents of the secondary legislation and guidance needed to compliment the Bill. We expect to have all the necessary secondary legislation and guidance prepared by spring 2017.

Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 14 June 2016
Department for Transport
Bus Services Bill (HL)
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department expects the Bus Services Bill impact assessments to be published.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 01 July 2016
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