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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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
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 27 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much of the £1.6 billion announced in Autumn Budget 2017 for allocation in 2018-19 has been used to commission services from (a) NHS Trusts and (b) independent healthcare providers.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 02 May 2018

The information requested is not available.

Clinical commissioning groups can commission any service provider that meets National Health Service standards and costs. These can be NHS hospitals, social enterprises, charities or private sector providers. However, they must be assured of the quality of services they commission, taking into account both National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines and the Care Quality Commission's data about service providers. We are clear that patients should be able to access the best possible treatments based on quality of care not the provider.

The £1.6 billion for 2018-19 will increase funding for emergency and urgent care, and elective surgery.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 13 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Paramedical Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will include paramedics in the list of healthcare students eligible for the NHS Learning Support Fund.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 23 April 2018

The NHS Learning Support Fund was developed in recognition of the compulsory clinical placement hours that student nurses, midwives and allied health professions within the scope of the reforms implemented in August 2017 need to complete in order to graduate from their courses.

The route into paramedicine currently has various education and funding models. Therefore, paramedic training was not included in the scope of the reforms implemented in 2017.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 13 April 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Housing: Broadband
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to incentivise housing developers to ensure that all new homes can receive fast broadband.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 April 2018

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is strongly committed to ensuring new build developments have high quality, reliable and future-proof connectivity.

In early 2016, DCMS brokered an agreement between Openreach and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) so that all new build developments would be offered with Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) for free, or as part of a co-funded initiative. In November 2016, Openreach announced that it would provide FTTP to all new developments with more than 30 plots for free. Virgin Media and GTC, another infrastructure provider, have similar agreements with the HBF.

My Department’s Barrier Busting Task Force are exploring how we can build on this to ensure that all residents of new build developments receive the connectivity they deserve.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 13 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the ban on below-cost sales of alcohol on alcohol-related hospital admissions since the introduction of that ban.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 23 April 2018

The Department commissioned an evidence review from Public Health England (PHE) on the public health burden of alcohol, which was published in 2016. This report was a comprehensive review of available evidence, which included the availability of alcohol and its impact on various socioeconomic groups. The report is available to view online at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583047/alcohol_public_health_burden_evidence_review.pdf

No specific assessment has been made on the effect of the ban on below-cost sales of alcohol on alcohol-related hospital admissions since its introduction. However the PHE review estimated that the ban has prevented 14 deaths and 500 alcohol-related admissions to hospital per annum.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 13 April 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of launching a new scheme, similar to Project Lightning, to ensure that more homes can provide usable broadband.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 18 April 2018

The Department welcomes commercial investment in UK digital infrastructure such as Virgin Media’s Project Lightning and is working to encourage further investment through policies and funding. These include Business Rates Relief for fibre investment and the £200m Local Full Fibre Networks programme to fund locally-led projects that leverage commercial investment in full fibre broadband connections. For alternative network providers, £400 million of public funding has also been made available for fibre connectivity through the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, which will unlock approximately £1 billion of private investment.

Looking further ahead, the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review is currently assessing what market models can best support broadband infrastructure investment in different areas of the UK.

The Government’s existing £1.7bn Broadband Delivery UK programme reached 95% of premises in December 2017 and is continuing with at least a further 2% likely to be achieved, ensuring that over 97% of premises in the UK can receive superfast broadband.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 13 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Alcoholic Drinks: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what role Public Health England will play in monitoring the effect of the implementation of a minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland to inform any decision on that policy in England.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 18 April 2018

The Department commissioned an evidence review from Public Health England on the public health burden of alcohol, which was published in 2016. This report was a comprehensive review of available evidence, which included the availability of alcohol and its impact on various socioeconomic groups. The report is available to view online at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583047/alcohol_public_health_burden_evidence_review.pdf

The Government will continue to review what further evidence is required to understand the impact of minimum unit pricing to inform future policy decisions, drawing upon the expertise of Public Health England.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 19 March 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Diabetes: Podiatry
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding will be made available for multidisciplinary foot care teams through the Diabetes Transformation Fund in each of the next financial years for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 27 March 2018

NHS England plans to make £9.93 million from the Diabetes Transformation Fund available for multidisciplinary footcare teams in the financial year 2018-19. Figures for later financial years are not available.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 15 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bangladesh: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his counterpart in the Government of Bangladesh on the disqualification of the leader of the opposition from participation in parliamentary elections in that country.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 23 March 2018

On 8 February 2018, Khaleda Zia, the leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was convicted of corruption charges relating to misappropriation of funds. She was sentenced to a five year prison term. It would not be appropriate for the Government to seek to interfere in the judicial processes of another country.

I remain concerned about the political unrest in Bangladesh and the absence of dialogue among Bangladesh's political parties. The UK is committed to supporting democracy in Bangladesh. The Foreign Secretary met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Ali during his visit to Bangladesh from 9 to 10 February. In public and in private he stressed the importance of free and fair elections and affording political space to the opposition. The UK, together with international partners, will continue to encourage a peaceful way forward, and dialogue, between political parties in Bangladesh.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 19 March 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Orthopaedics : Cardiovascular System and Diabetes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many lower limb amputations associated with peripheral arterial disease and diabetes have taken place in the NHS in each year since 2008-09; and how many of those amputations have taken place in each (a) strategic health authority area prior to 2012-13 and (b) clinical commissioning group area since 2012-13 .
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 22 March 2018

NHS Digital have provided us with data that detail a count of finished consultant episodes, with a primary diagnosis of diabetes or peripheral arterial disease and a main procedure of lower limb amputation. These are tabulated by strategic health authority area for the financial years between 2008-09 and 2011-12 and clinical commissioning group for treatment for the financial years between 2012-13 and 2016-17.

The Clinical Coding team have advised that I73.9 - Peripheral vascular disease unspecified includes but is not limited to peripheral arterial disease.

Tables and data are attached.

PQ133156 attached document (Word Document, 72.23 KB)
Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 19 March 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Orthopaedics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much the NHS has spent on lower limb amputations in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 22 March 2018

The information is not available in the format requested.

The table below shows the estimated total cost of limb amputations. The table shows the cost of amputation of single or multiple limb but does not differentiate between lower or upper and single or multiple amputation stump or partial foot amputation procedures for diabetes or arterial disease.

Estimated total cost (£ million)

Year

Limb amputations unspecified

Amputation for diabetes or arterial disease

Total

2012-13

£53.0

£23.0

£76.0

2013-14

£52.7

£45.0

£97.7

2014-15

£56.5

£44.4

£100.9

2015-16

£59.1

£47.1

£106.2

2016-17

£59.2

£48.3

£107.5

Source: Department of Health and Social Care, Reference Costs

The table below shows the estimated total cost of rehabilitation for the amputation of limb in each of the last five years.

Year

Estimated costs (£ million)

2012-13

£5.4

2013-14

£7.3

2014-15

£6.9

2015-16

£7.3

2016-17

£6.8

Source: Department of Health and Social Care, Reference Costs

The data source for the table is from reference costs, which are the average unit costs to National Health Service trusts and NHS foundation trusts of providing defined services in a given financial year to NHS patients. Reference costs for acute care are collected by healthcare resource group, which are standard groupings of clinically similar treatments which use common levels of healthcare resource. Reference costs represent the cost to the NHS provider, not the cost to the commissioner.

Grouped Questions: 133158
Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 19 March 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Orthopaedics: Rehabilitation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much the NHS has spent on rehabilitation following lower limb amputations in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 22 March 2018

The information is not available in the format requested.

The table below shows the estimated total cost of limb amputations. The table shows the cost of amputation of single or multiple limb but does not differentiate between lower or upper and single or multiple amputation stump or partial foot amputation procedures for diabetes or arterial disease.

Estimated total cost (£ million)

Year

Limb amputations unspecified

Amputation for diabetes or arterial disease

Total

2012-13

£53.0

£23.0

£76.0

2013-14

£52.7

£45.0

£97.7

2014-15

£56.5

£44.4

£100.9

2015-16

£59.1

£47.1

£106.2

2016-17

£59.2

£48.3

£107.5

Source: Department of Health and Social Care, Reference Costs

The table below shows the estimated total cost of rehabilitation for the amputation of limb in each of the last five years.

Year

Estimated costs (£ million)

2012-13

£5.4

2013-14

£7.3

2014-15

£6.9

2015-16

£7.3

2016-17

£6.8

Source: Department of Health and Social Care, Reference Costs

The data source for the table is from reference costs, which are the average unit costs to National Health Service trusts and NHS foundation trusts of providing defined services in a given financial year to NHS patients. Reference costs for acute care are collected by healthcare resource group, which are standard groupings of clinically similar treatments which use common levels of healthcare resource. Reference costs represent the cost to the NHS provider, not the cost to the commissioner.

Grouped Questions: 133157
Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 19 March 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Diabetes: Podiatry
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much the NHS has spent on treating diabetic foot ulcers in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 22 March 2018

The information requested is not centrally held.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 19 March 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Podiatry
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many multidisciplinary foot care teams there are in the NHS; and how many of those teams have been established in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 22 March 2018

The information requested is not centrally held.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 26 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Autism: Diagnosis
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure the collection of data to record the waiting times for autism diagnoses in England in version 3 of the Mental Health Services Data Set will begin from April 2018.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 01 March 2018

Following completion of a consultation last autumn, NHS Digital announced that recording of data on waiting times from referral for suspected autism to a first appointment and subsequent diagnosis would be collected within the Mental Health Services Data Set from April 2018. In preparation for this, dialogue is taking place between National Health Service mental health trusts which will collate the data and autism diagnostic services about the new requirements. To support those local discussions, the Department has co-ordinated production of a guide which NHS Digital will circulate to trusts in March via their newsletter to provide further clarity. NHS Digital will monitor the quality of the data recorded and submitted from April 2018 and the intention is to publish a first formal report on this data during 2019.

Q
(Stockton South)
Asked on: 17 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Carers: Personal Independence Payment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of personal independence payments assessments on carers of people with disabilities.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 25 January 2018

Carer’s Allowance (CA) provides a measure of financial support and recognition for people who give up the opportunity of full-time employment in order to provide regular and substantial care for a severely disabled person. In order for CA to be paid, the disabled person must be in receipt of a “gateway benefit” which includes the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Once a claim to Personal Independence Payment for the disabled person has been awarded, CA may be backdated to the date payment started. In order to have a claim to CA backdated, it must be made within three months of the decision on the disability benefit claim, and the qualifying conditions for CA must be satisfied throughout the past period.

Since 2010 the rate of CA has increased from £53.90 to £62.70 a week, meaning an additional £450 a year for carers. In April 2018, a further increase to £64.60 is planned. This will mean that since 2010, the rate of CA will have increased by over £550 a year. Carers also have access to the full range of social security benefits according to their circumstances.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 20 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to protect prison officers from exposure to new psychoactive substances.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 09 January 2018

HMPPS’ priority is to reduce any potential use or secondary exposure to Psychoactive Substances (PS) by drug supply prevention, reduction and detection.

Intelligence and security procedures are available to activate strategies including lock-down searches and the use of dog teams to detect and reduce supply. Co-operation and liaison with police and CPS at local and national level is also ongoing, to work on prosecutions and supply intelligence.

In October health and safety guidance was published which brought together existing procedures for the control of exposure to all airborne contaminants in prisons.

In order to establish an evidence-base for reported exposures to staff, experts have been appointed to undertake air sampling to identify and assess concentrations, if any, of PS in prison wings and this program is due to start as a pilot in one prison in January 2018.

HMPPS continues to monitor and investigate apparent adverse effects of PS exposure and to seek to ensure that methods to reduce supply are fully implemented.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 20 December 2017
Department of Health
Health Services: Prisons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what criteria his Department is using to monitor the performance of healthcare providers in English prisons and effect of those services on the overall health and well-being of prisoners.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 08 January 2018

Since 2013, NHS England has been responsible for commissioning health services in public sector prisons in England. When contracts are awarded a plan is established between NHS England, as commissioner, and the provider to ensure a smooth transition in the delivery of the contract specifications if there has been a change of provider, or, if the provider remains the same, a planned approach to how the provider will meet any new requirements that sit within the new contract specification.

Providers and commissioners meet on a quarterly basis, for the life of the contract for contract and performance management reviews. Where there are performance issues these meetings are more frequent, weekly or monthly, and the providers will be required to provide a remedial action plan against which they will be monitored and measured.

If the providers fail to meet the required quality for the delivery of the service at any time during the life of the contract, and after any improvement planning has not been productive, the local commissioners can give notice on the contract and re-procure the services.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 20 December 2017
Department of Health
Health Services: Prisons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps are being taken to increase the availability of stop smoking support services in prisons that have implemented a smoking ban.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 08 January 2018

Prisons are rolling out the smoke free policy, subject to a series of assessments which will test the operational stability, readiness and health readiness of the prisons to implement the policy in a safe, decent and secure way.

As the roll out of the smoke free estate continues, each new cohort of prisons preparing to go smoke free must complete a state of readiness document which details that across the establishment everything is in place to ensure a smooth transition to a smoke free establishment. This includes the information sharing plan for the prisoner population, the increase in stop smoking services, and the availability of Nicotine Replacement Therapy, and e cigarettes.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 20 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Smoking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made on the implementation of a smoking ban on the prison estate in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 08 January 2018

There are now 68 prisons smoke free. More prisons across England are currently preparing for the safe implementation of a smoke free environment during the next six months. All prisons in Wales are already smoke free.

In every prison, the decision on when to go smoke free is only taken after careful planning and preparation to ensure it is operational safe to do so and all necessary healthcare support is available to help prisoners give up smoking.

Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

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: 20 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Smoking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made on the effect of the implementation of the smoking ban in prisons on order and discipline in those prisons.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 08 January 2018

The Government remains fully committed to making all prisons smoke free. The decision to go smoke free in every prison is only taken after careful planning and preparation (Readiness Assessments); and the final decision is only taken when each prison has met stringent checks to ensure that it is safe to do so and all necessary healthcare support is available to help prisoners give up smoking.

Maintaining order and control in our prisons is our priority and this large-scale project has been actively managed under usual project management disciplines.

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