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 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

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
Asked by Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
[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: 24 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Professions: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether covid-19 is recognised as an industrial disease when contracted by health care professionals.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 29 April 2020

The classification of COVID-19 in relation to occupational exposure is determined by the circumstances of each individual case. All such dangerous occurrences, cases of disease and work-related fatalities, must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013).

Guidance on how such events are to be reported and classifications determined, has been made publicly available on the HSE website.

Q
(Rother Valley)
Asked on: 29 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Dental Services: South Yorkshire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the opening of urgent dental care centres in South Yorkshire closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak is expedited.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to ensure appropriate services are in place for all who need them.

National Health Service dentistry was reorganised in late March along with other NHS primary care services to minimise face to face care to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the peak of the pandemic. Dentists were asked to suspend all routine treatment and instead to offer urgent advice and, where required, prescriptions for antibiotics by telephone. Urgent treatment was made available through urgent dental centres (UDCs) set up in each NHS region.

As of 25 May there are currently over 550 UDCs open across England. Patients are triaged into UDCs by their own dentistry or through NHS 111. The UDCs are expected to provide, where urgently needed, the full range of dental treatment normally available on the NHS.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 28 May that NHS dentistry outside UDCs will begin to restart from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service as fast as is compatible with aximizing safety.

A copy of the letter that was published can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-ontent/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/Urgent-dental-care-letter-28-May.pdf

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
[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: 01 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests (a) were undertaken in total and (b) resulted in a (i) positive and (ii) negative finding on each day in April 2020.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 06 May 2020

The overall number of tests for COVID-19 is published daily and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

However, the information is not broken down to the level of detail being requested.

In April a total of 758,719 tests were completed across the United Kingdom, 146,103 of these results in a lab confirmed positive result.

More information on the Government’s testing strategy as well as updated testing figures can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 01 May 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department made prior to implementing the £20 a week uplift to universal credit due to the covid-19 outbreak of the effect of that policy on (a) economically vulnerable people, (b) household food security and (c) the duties of public bodies under the Equalities Act 2010.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 12 May 2020

We have announced measures that can be quickly and effectively operationalised. This allowed, for example, for the swift introduction of the £20 a week uplift to the Universal Credit standard allowance to respond to the effects of the current pandemic for those experiencing the most financial disruption. The changes we have made to the benefit system in response to the pandemic provide a balanced package of support.

Ministers have fully complied with their statutory duties when making decisions on the existing package of support. There is insufficient data to estimate the precise economic impact on different groups. We continue to monitor data sources including tax and benefit data to understand the effect of COVID-19 on household incomes and debt.

Q
Asked by Chris Green
(Bolton West)
Asked on: 04 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Chickenpox
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that Public Health England recommendations are being implemented for (a) people working in close contact with people who are at high-risk of chickenpox and (b) NHS staff without a confirmed history of chickenpox during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020

In most cases chickenpox (varicella-zoster) is a self-limiting condition which can be safely managed at home. Post-exposure management using varicella-zoster immunoglobulin is used to protect individuals at high risk of suffering from severe chickenpox.

The ‘Green Book’1 guidance is based on advice from Public Health England, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the standards expected of health and care professionals by their regulatory bodies. It is the responsibility of all health and care professionals to keep themselves informed of any developments which may have a bearing on their area of practice. Current personal protective equipment and social distancing COVID-19 guidance also applies.

Note:

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immunisation-against-infectious-disease-the-green-book#the-green-book

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 04 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with Local Resilience Forums in the North West about the reasons for the North West having the highest reported incidences of cases of covid-19.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 11 May 2020

The Public Health England (PHE) COVID-19 data dashboard includes data by upper tier local authority. As at 13 May, the COVID-19 incidence rate was 306.2 cases per 100,000 resident population for Liverpool, 353.9 per 100,000 for Wirral, and 248.7 per 100,000 for Manchester. Data from 31 January to 13 May 2020 show the COVID-19 cumulative incidence rate for the North West was 313.4 cases per 100,000 resident population. This is lower than the North East, although higher than other regions. The PHE COVID-19 Dashboard is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Grouped Questions: 42907 | 42908
Q
(Wallasey)
Asked on: 04 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of covid-19 cases in (a) Liverpool, (b) Wirral and (c) Manchester.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 11 May 2020

The Public Health England (PHE) COVID-19 data dashboard includes data by upper tier local authority. As at 13 May, the COVID-19 incidence rate was 306.2 cases per 100,000 resident population for Liverpool, 353.9 per 100,000 for Wirral, and 248.7 per 100,000 for Manchester. Data from 31 January to 13 May 2020 show the COVID-19 cumulative incidence rate for the North West was 313.4 cases per 100,000 resident population. This is lower than the North East, although higher than other regions. The PHE COVID-19 Dashboard is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Grouped Questions: 42906 | 42908
Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 04 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has issued guidance to NHS trusts in the North West as a result of the increase of cases of covid-19 in that region.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 11 May 2020

The Public Health England (PHE) COVID-19 data dashboard includes data by upper tier local authority. As at 13 May, the COVID-19 incidence rate was 306.2 cases per 100,000 resident population for Liverpool, 353.9 per 100,000 for Wirral, and 248.7 per 100,000 for Manchester. Data from 31 January to 13 May 2020 show the COVID-19 cumulative incidence rate for the North West was 313.4 cases per 100,000 resident population. This is lower than the North East, although higher than other regions. The PHE COVID-19 Dashboard is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Grouped Questions: 42906 | 42907
Q
(Lewisham, Deptford)
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Asthma
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people in receipt of a shielding letter sent by the Government in response to the covid-19 outbreak have severe asthma.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020

This information is not held in the format requested.

Q
(Newport East)
Asked on: 06 May 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to increase universal credit rates for people aged under 25.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 15 May 2020

We have increased the Universal Credit standard allowance by around £20 per week for the next 12 months – equivalent to up to £1,040 a year.

This is in addition to the 1.7% inflation increase (announced Nov 2019) as part of the Government’s decision to end the benefits freeze and means more financial support for millions of people across the UK.

Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
[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: 06 May 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many families who have made a claim for universal credit since 23 March 2020 have three or more children.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 12 May 2020

From 23rd March 2020 to 5th May 2020, 57,000, applications made by claimants with children to Universal Credit had three or more children in their family.

Asked on: 06 May 2020
Home Office
Free Movement of People
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the assistance provided for workers from outside the UK with horticultural duties during the COVID-19 pandemic, what consideration they have given to reversing their advice on restrictions of the freedom of movement.
A
Corrected answer by: Baroness Williams of Trafford
Corrected on: 05 June 2020
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 04 June 2020.
The correct answer should have been:

We welcome the contribution which seasonal workers from outside the UK are making to the UK agricultural sector. Such workers will not have to enter into quarantine on arrival in the UK but we will expect them, and their employers, to take sensible measures to prevent any spread of disease and for the migrants to remain on the farms where they are working.

Arrangements have been made to allow seasonal workers to commence employment while in self-isolation following their arrival in the UK. They and their employers are expected to take adequate measures to prevent any spread of disease and for the migrants concerned to remain on the farm where they are working and away from others on it throughout the period of self-isolation. Arrangements have also been made to extend the visas of those horticultural workers whose visas who have been unable to leave the UK due to the disruption to international travel caused by Covid-19.

Answered on: 04 June 2020

We welcome the contribution which seasonal workers from outside the UK are making to the UK agricultural sector. Such workers will not have to enter into quarantine on arrival in the UK but we will expect them, and their employers, to take sensible measures to prevent any spread of disease and for the migrants to remain on the farms where they are working.

Arrangements have been made to allow seasonal workers to commence employment while in self-isolation following their arrival in the UK. They and their employers are expected to take adequate measures to prevent any spread of disease and for the migrants concerned to remain on the farm where they are working and away from others on it throughout the period of self-isolation. Arrangements have also been made to extend the visas of those horticultural workers whose visas who have been unable to leave the UK due to the disruption to international travel caused by Covid-19.

Asked on: 06 May 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have put in place to ensure that children can continue to be transferred to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Answered on: 05 June 2020

Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 committed the Government to transfer 480 unaccompanied children from Greece, Italy and France to the UK; 478 have now successfully transferred.  We remain in contact with our counterparts in Italy to complete the transfer of the final two children as soon as it is safe to do so.  We welcome the pledges made by other countries to support Greece and stand ready to offer advice and guidance to those developing their own schemes.

The UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin Regulation. Despite covid-19 restrictions, the UK is ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. Following close collaboration with the Greek Government, 50 asylum seekers arrived in the UK from Greece on 11 May in order to unite with family members who were already lawfully present in the UK.

Protecting vulnerable children is a key priority for the Government. In 2019, the UK received more asylum applications from unaccompanied children than any country in the EU and accounted for approximately 20% of all reported UASC claims made in the UK and the 27 EU Member States.

Grouped Questions: HL4111
Asked on: 06 May 2020
Home Office
Refugees: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for the UK of successful transfers of separated children from Greece to other countries in Europe under the European Commission’s relocation scheme for transfers of unaccompanied children.
Answered on: 05 June 2020

Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 committed the Government to transfer 480 unaccompanied children from Greece, Italy and France to the UK; 478 have now successfully transferred.  We remain in contact with our counterparts in Italy to complete the transfer of the final two children as soon as it is safe to do so.  We welcome the pledges made by other countries to support Greece and stand ready to offer advice and guidance to those developing their own schemes.

The UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin Regulation. Despite covid-19 restrictions, the UK is ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. Following close collaboration with the Greek Government, 50 asylum seekers arrived in the UK from Greece on 11 May in order to unite with family members who were already lawfully present in the UK.

Protecting vulnerable children is a key priority for the Government. In 2019, the UK received more asylum applications from unaccompanied children than any country in the EU and accounted for approximately 20% of all reported UASC claims made in the UK and the 27 EU Member States.

Grouped Questions: HL4110
Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Cancer: Hospitals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to create covid-19 free hospital sites for the treatment of cancer patients.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020

NHS England and NHS Improvement have published guidance and supported the development of ‘hubs’ for cancer surgery. Hubs are being developed in all 21 Alliance areas across England and are already fully or partially operational in at least 18 areas. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working now with all Cancer Alliances on plans for the next phases of service delivery.

Q
Asked by Emma Hardy
(Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)
[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: 11 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Heart Diseases: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the medical advice that informed the decision to exclude heart failure patients from the extremely vulnerable category for covid-19.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 18 May 2020

Expert doctors in England identified specific medical conditions that, based on what we knew about the virus so far, placed someone at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19. These were signed off by the UK Senior Clinicians Group (including the four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers and clinical leadership at NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS Digital and Public Health England).

Some conditions are not suitable for blanket inclusion in the shielded list, particularly where there is a spectrum of severity of disease. No condition automatically excludes a patient from the list.

General practitioners and clinicians can, on a case-by-case basis, assess a patient’s suitability for shielding and, after consultation with the patient, add them to the centrally held list of patients who receive advice on shielding.

Q
(Easington)
[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: 11 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Radiotherapy: Medical Equipment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the level of unused radiotherapy machine capacity during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 18 May 2020

As set out in a letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement to trusts on 29 April, cancer treatment must be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand.

Grouped Questions: 45060
Q
Asked by Rosie Cooper
(West Lancashire)
[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: 11 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Radiotherapy: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle the under-use of radiotherapy capacity during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 18 May 2020

As set out in a letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement to trusts on 29 April, cancer treatment must be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand.

Grouped Questions: 45138
Q
(Easington)
[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: 12 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Cancer: EU Countries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make a comparative assessment of level of cancer services provided in each EU member state during covid-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 18 May 2020

No assessment has been made.

Q
Asked by Stella Creasy
(Walthamstow)
[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: 12 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Splenectomy: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice his Department has provided for splenectomy patients on shielding in response to the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 18 May 2020

Splenectomy patients are considered clinically extremely vulnerable and have been included on the shielded patient list. Guidance for patients on shielding can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

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