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 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Q
(Stockton South)
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Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 January 2019
Department for International Development
Uganda: Politics and Government
Commons
What recent steps her Department has taken to help strengthen governance and security in Uganda.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 09 January 2019

Since 2014 DFID has invested £30 million to improve the governance and security environment in Uganda. We are working with the Ugandan government and non-government actors to strengthen anti-corruption, build local governance capacity, increase accountability, and support public financial management reforms.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 14 December 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Foreign Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Written Statement of 12 December 2018 on the review of amendments made to the NHS Overseas Visitor Charging Regulations in 2017, HLWS1142, if he will publish the full text of that review.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 20 December 2018

The Department has no plans to produce and publish a formal review document or the evidence collected as part of it. In undertaking the review, the Department called for evidence from interested stakeholders which included several confidential individual case studies from organisations who have not permitted the Department to share these within the public domain. A summary of the findings will be shared with contributors to the review and we will continue to keep the impact of the regulations under close review, working closely with our stakeholders.

National guidance is clear that National Health Service maternity treatment should always be considered as immediately necessary and provided to all patients regardless of whether or not they are entitled to receive it free of charge or there are doubts about whether they could pay if subsequently found to be chargeable under the regulations.

Grouped Questions: 202323 | 202325
Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 14 December 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Foreign Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Written Statement of 12 December 2018 on the review of amendments made to the NHS Overseas Visitor Charging Regulations in 2017, HLWS1142, if he will publish the evidence collected for that review.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 20 December 2018

The Department has no plans to produce and publish a formal review document or the evidence collected as part of it. In undertaking the review, the Department called for evidence from interested stakeholders which included several confidential individual case studies from organisations who have not permitted the Department to share these within the public domain. A summary of the findings will be shared with contributors to the review and we will continue to keep the impact of the regulations under close review, working closely with our stakeholders.

National guidance is clear that National Health Service maternity treatment should always be considered as immediately necessary and provided to all patients regardless of whether or not they are entitled to receive it free of charge or there are doubts about whether they could pay if subsequently found to be chargeable under the regulations.

Grouped Questions: 202322 | 202325
Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 14 December 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Maternity Services: Foreign Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Written Statement of 12 December 2018 on the review of amendments made to the NHS Overseas Visitor Charging Regulations in 2017, HLWS1142, what information his Department holds on the effect of NHS charging on access to maternity services by vulnerable pregnant migrant women.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 20 December 2018

The Department has no plans to produce and publish a formal review document or the evidence collected as part of it. In undertaking the review, the Department called for evidence from interested stakeholders which included several confidential individual case studies from organisations who have not permitted the Department to share these within the public domain. A summary of the findings will be shared with contributors to the review and we will continue to keep the impact of the regulations under close review, working closely with our stakeholders.

National guidance is clear that National Health Service maternity treatment should always be considered as immediately necessary and provided to all patients regardless of whether or not they are entitled to receive it free of charge or there are doubts about whether they could pay if subsequently found to be chargeable under the regulations.

Grouped Questions: 202322 | 202323
Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October to Question 176664 on Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust, for what reason it was decided that Public Health England would not consult its Alcohol Leadership Board before beginning a partnership with Drinkaware.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Alcohol Leadership Board meets every three months. Public Health England (PHE) did not consult with its Alcohol Leadership Board before beginning a partnership with Drinkaware because the timing of the campaign was such that the Alcohol Leadership Board was informed at the first opportunity once there was certainty about the collaboration.

A copy of the terms of reference for the PHE Alcohol Leadership Board is attached.

PHE will be commissioning an independent evaluation of the ‘Drink Free Days’ campaign, which will include an assessment of the impact on PHE’s reputation. The evaluation and subsequent peer review of the Drink Free Days campaign will be complete by May 2019. Initial indications are that the campaign has been well received by the public.

PQ188254,255,256 attached document (Word Document, 71.09 KB)
Grouped Questions: 188255 | 188256
Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Alcohol Leadership Board
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms of reference for the Public Health England Alcohol Leadership Board.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Alcohol Leadership Board meets every three months. Public Health England (PHE) did not consult with its Alcohol Leadership Board before beginning a partnership with Drinkaware because the timing of the campaign was such that the Alcohol Leadership Board was informed at the first opportunity once there was certainty about the collaboration.

A copy of the terms of reference for the PHE Alcohol Leadership Board is attached.

PHE will be commissioning an independent evaluation of the ‘Drink Free Days’ campaign, which will include an assessment of the impact on PHE’s reputation. The evaluation and subsequent peer review of the Drink Free Days campaign will be complete by May 2019. Initial indications are that the campaign has been well received by the public.

PQ188254,255,256 attached document (Word Document, 71.09 KB)
Grouped Questions: 188254 | 188256
Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 05 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent concerns raised by British public health academics on the potential threat to Public Health England’s reputation of partnering with an alcohol industry-funded body.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The Alcohol Leadership Board meets every three months. Public Health England (PHE) did not consult with its Alcohol Leadership Board before beginning a partnership with Drinkaware because the timing of the campaign was such that the Alcohol Leadership Board was informed at the first opportunity once there was certainty about the collaboration.

A copy of the terms of reference for the PHE Alcohol Leadership Board is attached.

PHE will be commissioning an independent evaluation of the ‘Drink Free Days’ campaign, which will include an assessment of the impact on PHE’s reputation. The evaluation and subsequent peer review of the Drink Free Days campaign will be complete by May 2019. Initial indications are that the campaign has been well received by the public.

PQ188254,255,256 attached document (Word Document, 71.09 KB)
Grouped Questions: 188254 | 188255
Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 09 November 2018
Leader of the House
Early Years Ministerial Group on Family Support
Commons
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will (a) outline the terms of reference for the cross-departmental ministerial working group on family support from conception to the age of two and (b) confirm the membership of that group.
A
Answered by: Andrea Leadsom
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The terms of references for the Early Years Ministerial Group on Family Support are 'To make recommendations to relevant Secretaries of State on how the Government can improve the coordination and cost-effectiveness of early years (conception to age 2) family support and identify gaps in available provision’ .

The Membership of this group includes:

  • The Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Lord President of the Council, Leader of the House of Commons (Chair)

  • The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury

  • Justin Tomlinson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance

  • Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families

  • Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities

  • Rishi Sunak MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Local Government)

  • Victoria Atkins MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability

Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/leader-of-the-commons-to-chair-ministerial-group-on-family-support-from-conception-to-the-age-of-two

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 01 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Prescriptions: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of prescriptions were issued to people using a prepayment certificate in England in (a) 2017 and (b) the latest period for which information is available.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 09 November 2018

The information is not available in the format requested.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 29 October 2018
Ministry of Defence
Uganda: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2018 to Question 176667 on Uganda: Military Aid, what training and support the Government offers to (a) Uganda's Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and (b) Uganda's Police Rapid Response Unit.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 05 November 2018

I can confirm that members of the Ugandan armed forces have received intelligence training provided by the UK, but it is not our practice to comment in detail on the nature of intelligence relationships with other nations. HM Government provides no support to Uganda's Police Rapid Response Unit. As part of our engagement we emphasise the importance of professional forces operating within the framework of international law.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 19 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of prescription charges on health outcomes.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 29 October 2018

No such assessment has been undertaken.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 19 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Prescriptions: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of prescriptions that were paid for by a prepayment certificate in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 29 October 2018

This information is not available for the time period requested.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 19 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Prescriptions: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the contribution to the public purse of prescription prepayment certificates.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 29 October 2018

Information provided by the NHS Business Services Authority on the number of Prescription Prepayment Certificates (PPC) purchased in each of the last five calendar years is provided in the following table:

Year

Number of PPCs issued

2013

1,531,016

2014

1,651,977

2015

1,798,037

2016

1,916,220

2017

1,952,425

At present a 3-month PPC costs £29.10 and a 12-month PPC costs £104 to purchase.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions: Telephone Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134635 on the Department for Work and Pensions: telephone services, how many times her Department has made a referral to the National Trading Standards Board about a website that has failed to publicise the cost of a call to her Department since the introduction of freephone numbers in 2017.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 16 October 2018

Since the introduction of freephone numbers at the end of 2017, the Department for Work and Pensions has referred 6 websites to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau following concerns about the how the information relating to the cost of calls is displayed.

The referrals were made to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau rather than the National Trading Standards Board due to the nature of the concerns relating to the information on the cost of calls.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what consultation took place between Public Health England and its independent expert advisors on the Alcohol Leadership Board prior to its decision to enter into a partnership with Drinkaware.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 16 October 2018

There was no consultation between Public Health England (PHE) and its Alcohol Leadership Board before PHE and Drinkaware’s Drink Free Days campaign.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the library a copy of the terms of reference for the partnership between Public Health England and Drinkaware.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 16 October 2018

There are no terms of reference for the collaboration between Public Health England and Drinkaware.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the press release, Public Health England and Drinkaware launch Drink Free Days, published on 10 September 2018, for what reason the decision was taken by Public Health England not to state clearly that Drinkaware is funded by the alcohol industry.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 16 October 2018

The content of the press release launching the Drink Free Days campaign, which is a collaboration between Public Health England and Drinkaware, focused on communicating to media the campaign’s aim and specifically its simple and pragmatic advice to the public to help them cut back on alcohol consumption by taking more drink free days. The purpose of the press release was to highlight this consumer facing campaign rather than describe the background to either organisation.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Ministry of Defence
Uganda: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what military support the Government provides to Uganda.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 October 2018

The majority of UK military support to Uganda is training to prepare Ugandan troops for duty in the African Union Mission to Somalia, which includes training officer cadets at Sandhurst and senior officers at the UK Defence Academy. In addition, we train officers from Uganda and other countries for future peace support operations by the Eastern Africa Standby Force. We also provide legal and staff training to the Ugandan People's Defence Force, and have been supporting the Ugandan Wildlife Authority and Ugandan Police Force in their work to combat the illegal wildlife trade, by providing training and secure facilities for weapons and recovered animal products. In partnership with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Czech Republic and others we have also funded and delivered training for Uganda and other East African Community countries on chemical risk assessment and response planning. All of our support emphasises the importance of professional forces operating within the framework of international law and, wherever appropriate, our training includes elements of International Humanitarian Law, Law of Armed Conflict, and Women, Peace and Security.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Assessments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children eligible for free school meals reached a Good Level of Development at age five in Stockton South constituency in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 16 October 2018

The requested data is shown in Annex A, which is attached.

The 2016/17 Early Years Foundation Stage Profile results show that the proportion of all children achieving a ‘good level of development’ is improving year on year – in 2017, 71% achieved a good level of development compared to 52% in 2013.

The proportion of children eligible for free school meals (FSM) achieving a good level of development is also increasing year on year. In 2017, 56% achieved a good level of development compared to 36% in 2013. The gap between disadvantaged children (children eligible for FSM) and others achieving a good level of development continues to narrow. It decreased from 19% in 2013 to 17% in 2017.

The department’s ambition is to provide equality of opportunity for every child, regardless of background or where they live. Good early years education is the cornerstone of social mobility and we are making record investment in this area, including providing 15 hours of free early education for disadvantaged two year olds and £100 million of investment through our ambitious social mobility action plan ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 09 October 2018
Home Office
Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the paper by Aveek Bhattacharya entitled How dependent is the alcohol industry on heavy drinking in England? published in August 2018, to what extent the alcohol industry is planned to be consulted as a stakeholder for the updated alcohol strategy, following the finding in that paper that alcohol industry revenue in England would decline by 38 per cent in the event that all consumers drank within the Chief Medical Officer's Low Risk Guidelines.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 16 October 2018

The Government’s new alcohol strategy will set out targeted action to prevent and reduce harmful drinking, support vulnerable people affected by others’ alcohol misuse and improve the pathways into treatment for people with alcohol dependency.

As we develop measures to include in the strategy, we are consulting widely across government and with a range of stakeholders including representatives of the alcohol industry, the health sector, academics, the voluntary sector and the licensed trade.

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