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 Lord Scriven
Asked on: 23 July 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hamad al-Mahfood
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 17 July (HL6523), what assessment they have made of reports that political prisoner Hamad Al Mahfood has not yet received the urgent medical treatment required for an ongoing tooth infection despite the assurances they have received from the government of Bahrain about the access of prisoners to onsite dental treatment in Jau prison; and what representations they intend to make to the government of Bahrain about the provision of emergency treatment for Hamad Al Mahfood.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 06 August 2020

I refer the Noble Lord to Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon's answer of 17 July (PQ HL6523). We encourage all individuals with concerns about access to medical, including dental, treatment in detention to raise them directly with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Disease Control
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was their estimate of the basic COVID-19 reproduction rate in each week from 1 February to 2 April.
A
Answered by: Lord Bethell
Answered on: 30 July 2020

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Science of Covid-19 note for House of Lords, which is attached due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library.

Science of COVID-19 information factsheet (PDF Document, 151.79 KB)
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Screening
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how long, in total it takes, for polymerase chain reaction tests for COVID-19 to be conducted, processed by laboratories and for the results of such tests to be returned to patients
A
Answered by: Lord Bethell
Answered on: 29 July 2020

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

Testing information factsheet (PDF Document, 124.76 KB)
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what assessment they have made of the call by Amnesty International on 16 June for Bahrain to halt the use of its ‘Bahrain BeAware’ contact tracing application; and (2) what representations they intend to make to the government of Bahrain to (a) remind it of its obligations under Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and (b) encourage that government to introduce safeguards to ensure the (i) anonymity of ‘Bahrain BeAware’ user data, and (ii) destruction of digital records at regular intervals.
A
Answered on: 20 July 2020

The Bahrain BeAware application was introduced by the Bahraini government to advance contact tracing efforts and save lives during the Covid-19 emergency as part of its Trace, Test and Treat strategy which has received praise from the World Health Organization (WHO). We understand that downloading the application and registration as a user is optional entirely voluntary. Users not in quarantine or mandatory self-isolation can uninstall the application at any time. All users are informed of its use of GPS software before downloading. The Government of Bahrain have been clear in their assurances of user privacy through a fully encrypted and automated process. , Any Location data t older than 6 weeks is deleted automatically from the system. Users can also request that their data is deleted from the system at any time.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Prisons
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of (1) a scabies outbreak, and (2) overcrowding, at Jau Prison in Bahrain; the compliance of such conditions with the UN Standard Minimum Treatment Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; and what representations they intend to make to the government of Bahrain to ensure that prisoners are given (1) appropriate medical care, (2) the provision of adequate personal protective equipment, and (3) the opportunity to socially distance.
A
Answered on: 17 July 2020

The Government of Bahrain has made clear in public statements that access to appropriate medical care for those in detention is guaranteed by the Constitution of Bahrain. These statements stated publicly that, under normal circumstances, any prisoner wishing to see a doctor is taken to the prison clinic, with referral to specialist facilities where required. However as part of COVID-19 precautions, all medical consultations now take place via video calls, ensuring the safety of both patients and medical staff. We welcome these assurances from the Government of Bahrain, urge continued transparency and would encourage those with any concerns about treatment in detention to raise them with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hamad al-Mahfood
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they intend to make to the government of Bahrain to secure specialised treatment for political prisoner Hamad Al Mahfood at Jau Prison, who has reportedly been suffering from a severe tooth infection and where appointments at external hospitals have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A
Answered on: 17 July 2020

The Government of Bahrain has made clear in public statements that access to appropriate medical care, including dental treatment, for those in detention is guaranteed by the Constitution of Bahrain. We understand that a dentist is available on site for dental emergencies and that referral to external specialists remains possible. We welcome these assurances from the Government of Bahrain, urge continued transparency and would encourage those with any concerns about treatment in detention to raise them directly with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Human Rights
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement made by Ambassador Monique van Daalen at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council on 15 June on behalf of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands that condemned reprisals against Bahraini human rights defenders for collaborating with UN treaty bodies; and what representations they intend to make to the government of Bahrain about reported ongoing reprisals against human rights defenders.
A
Answered on: 17 July 2020

The UK Government takes note of a number of sources of information on Bahrain, including publications and statements from external organisations. We continue to monitor events in Bahrain closely and regularly raise human rights issues with the Government of Bahrain, at senior levels, both in private and public. We continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 17 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
McKinsey and Company: Contact Tracing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when McKinsey were contracted to review the NHS Test and Trace system; how they approached that company about undertaking that review; and which criteria they used to choose that company for such an undertaking.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 17 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
McKinsey and Company: Contact Tracing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a breakdown of the elements of the NHS Test and Trace system that McKinsey have been contracted to review.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 17 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Contact Tracing: Contracts for Services
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which companies they approached to compete for the contract to review the NHS Test and Trace system; and how they approached such companies.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 10 July 2020
Leader of the House of Lords
Department of Health and Social Care: Written Questions
Lords
To ask the Leader of the House why the question for Topical Written Answer (1) HL3844, tabled on 5 May and due for answer on 13 May, and (2) HL4440, tabled on 13 May and due for answer on 20 May, have not been answered. [T]
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care has received unprecedented levels of written parliamentary questions this year, numbering over 6,000 of which 4,496 have been answered. The department has had to re-allocate staff to deal with this pandemic and are working extremely hard to manage the Covid-19 crisis and to provide updates, advice and guidance to parliament and the public. In addition, my office and I are in regular contact with the Department of Health and Social Care with regards to written questions.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 09 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Screening
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how tests for COVID-19 taken at Lighthouse Laboratories are linked to an individual's NHS number.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 09 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Screening
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of tests for COVID-19 taken at Lighthouse Laboratories are linked to an individual's NHS number.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 15 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Social Distancing: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government who has the authority to authorise the imposition of any COVID-19 related restriction of movement in a district of a local authority area; and under which powers they have would such authority.
A
Answered by: Lord Bethell
Answered on: 06 July 2020

Decisions will be made primarily using existing public health routes. These roles will be set out in each locality’s COVID-19 Local Outbreak Plans.

Roles in the plans will differ depending on the structure of the local authority and the different scenarios it will cover. They will rely on leadership from the local Director of Public Health for professional advice, the local authority Chief Executive for a strategic overview across health, economy and social issues, and local councillors for their community leadership role.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 18 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Hospitals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many patients were in each NHS Nightingale Hospital on the Monday of each week between 23 March and 8 June. [T]
A
Answered by: Lord Bethell
Answered on: 30 June 2020

The data is not available in the format requested.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 18 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Contact Tracing: Computer Software
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the NHSX centralised COVID-19 contact track and tracing application cost to develop to date.
A
Answered by: Lord Bethell
Answered on: 30 June 2020

To date the cost of developing the National Health Service COVID-19 app is £10.8 million. Our investment in the Isle of Wight phase has provided us with valuable information that we can combine with Google and Apple’s technology in a new solution to support the entire NHS Test and Trace service and product that is right for the British public.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 30 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Hospitals: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government in what format data on the number of patients who have been admitted to the NHS Nightingale Hospitals is held.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 30 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Hospital Beds: Coronavirus
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government in what format data on bed occupancy in NHS Nightingale Hospitals is held.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 28 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Hospitals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many patients were in each NHS Nightingale hospital each week between 23 March and 28 April.
A
Answered by: Lord Bethell
Answered on: 18 June 2020

The information is not available in the format requested.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and Small Business Grants Fund: Sheffield
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received a forecast from Sheffield City Council of the amount it expects to distribute from the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant Fund; and if so, how much that forecast was.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 16 June 2020

Sheffield City Council has identified 9,334 businesses properties as in scope of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). As of 7 June, Sheffield City Council have issued grants to 7,329 businesses in scope of both schemes, totalling £87,270,000. Government is working closely with all local authorities to help them make remaining grant payments to businesses as quickly and effectively as possible, whilst safeguarding public funds.

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