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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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
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Department for Education
Speech and Language Therapy: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference the June 2019 report of the Children’s Commissioner, We need to talk: access to speech and language therapy, if he will meet with the Local Government Association to discuss the implications for his Department's policies of the findings of that report.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 05 July 2019

We are committed to ensuring more effective support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Ministers from the Department for Education (DfE) regularly meet with local government to discuss issues relating to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including SLCN.

On 20 May 2019, we held the first SEND ministerial roundtable meeting between ministers from the DfE, Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and key SEND stakeholders to help inform future SEND policy. We will also be using these meetings to help inform the SEND System Leadership Board which aims to improve joint working and strategic commissioning for all children and young people with SEND, including those with SLCN.

On 20 June 2019, the government issued a letter to I CAN and The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. That letter responded to the Bercow One Year Anniversary update report, and was co-signed by ministers from the DfE, DHSC and the Ministry of Justice. The letter reaffirms our commitment to supporting children and young people with SLCN, and sets out the key action the government is taking to address SLCN. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 26 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Speech and Language Therapy: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference the June 2019 report of the Children’s Commissioner, We need to talk: access to speech and language therapy, if he will meet with NHS Clinical Commissioners to discuss the implications for his Department's policies of the findings of that report.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 05 July 2019

The Government recognises that speech, language and communication skills are a primary indicator of child wellbeing. Officials from the Department will discuss the Children’s Commissioner’s report with NHS Clinical Commissioners at the next opportunity.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 26 June 2019
Department for Education
Speech and Language Therapy: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the June 2019 report of the Children’s Commissioner, we need to talk: access to speech and language therapy, if he will meet with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to discuss the implications for his Department's policies of the findings of that report.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 02 July 2019

We are committed to ensuring more effective support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Ministers from the Department for Education (DfE) regularly discuss issues relating to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including SLCN, with ministers from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and other government departments.

On 20 May 2019, we held the first SEND ministerial roundtable meeting between ministers from the DfE, DHSC and key SEND stakeholders to help inform future SEND policy. We will also be using these meetings to help inform the SEND system leadership board which aims to improve joint working and strategic commissioning for all children and young people with SEND, including those with SLCN.

On 20 June 2019, the government issued a letter responding to the ‘Bercow: Ten Years On’ first anniversary update report, which was co-signed by ministers from the DfE, DHSC and the Ministry of Justice. The letter reaffirmed our commitment to supporting children and young people with SLCN.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 11 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Lung Diseases: Medical Equipment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the merits for his Department's policies of the recommendation by the Committee on Climate Change in its Net Zero report to switch NHS patients to (a) dry powder and (b) low-global warming inhalers by 2027 to help the NHS meet its carbon targets.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 19 June 2019

NHS England and NHS Improvement is currently reviewing cost and system pressures from changing prescribing practice linked to lower carbon inhalers and potential medication change impacts for patients. The NHS Long Term Plan has committed to a reduction in the carbon impact of inhalers of 4% of the total National Health Service carbon reduction required over the next 10 years to meet the current Climate Change Act targets.

Q
(Swansea West)
[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 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Speech Therapy: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to page 7 of the June 2019 report of the Children’s Commissioner, We need to talk: access to speech and language therapy, what steps he is taking to ensure that health and education services jointly deliver support to prevent children from falling through the gaps between different providers of services in their area.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 17 June 2019

Communication support particularly benefits from a joint commissioning approach. The NHS Long Term Plan recognises the importance of speech and language therapists and proposes that local areas design and implement models of care that are age appropriate, closer to home and bring together physical and mental health services.

Since May 2016, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission are inspecting local areas on the effectiveness with which clinical commissioning groups and local authorities work together in joint commissioning arrangements, to support the needs of children with special educational needs and disability, which would include their commissioning of therapies.

We are keen to work with the Children’s Commissioner’s Office on the issues of expenditure data.

Grouped Questions: 263661
Q
(Swansea West)
[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 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Speech Therapy: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to page 7 of the June 2019 report of the Children’s Commissioner, We need to talk: access to speech and language therapy, what plans he has to tackle local variations in spending on speech and language therapy; and how that spending will be monitored by his Department.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 17 June 2019

Communication support particularly benefits from a joint commissioning approach. The NHS Long Term Plan recognises the importance of speech and language therapists and proposes that local areas design and implement models of care that are age appropriate, closer to home and bring together physical and mental health services.

Since May 2016, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission are inspecting local areas on the effectiveness with which clinical commissioning groups and local authorities work together in joint commissioning arrangements, to support the needs of children with special educational needs and disability, which would include their commissioning of therapies.

We are keen to work with the Children’s Commissioner’s Office on the issues of expenditure data.

Grouped Questions: 263660
Q
(Swansea West)
[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 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Integrated Care Systems
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to issue guidance to local authorities on using the evidence in the March 2018 report Bercow: Ten Years On in their (a) Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies and (b) contributions to Integrated Care Systems.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 17 June 2019

There are no current plans to issue such guidance to local authorities.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 22 May 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions: Metro Newspaper
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her Department's advertisement of 22 May 2019 about Universal Credit, published in the Metro newspaper, what the total cost was for that advertising campaign; how the information within that advertisement was sourced; and whether that advertisement was prepared by an independent organisation or by employees of her Department.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 11 June 2019

The Department provides services to around 22 million people, and has a responsibility to communicate policy and essential information to claimants and other key audiences, in a similar way to other government departments. Newspaper advertising contributes to our routine communications activity that has been running alongside the rollout of Universal Credit since 2013.

The Universal Credit Uncovered media partnership with the Metro is currently underway and running for a further six weeks so we are unable to provide accurate spend to date figures for the partnership. However, we can commit to publish final full spend on the partnership at the end of July once all activity has concluded.

The information used for the partnership was sourced by DWP officials. The content features actual claimant case studies and interviews from Jobcentre work coaches, and the advertorials have been developed in partnership with the Metro.

Grouped Questions: 257542 | 257471 | 257563 | 257573
Q
(Swansea West)
[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: 23 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the draft regulations and statutory code of practice for the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 1919, which received Royal Assent on 16 May 2019; and what the timeframe is for the public consultation on the regulations and code of practice.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 05 June 2019

Now that the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 has received Royal Assent, the Department plans to place a letter in the Library setting out next steps and timeframes. The Department is currently working closely with a wide range of stakeholders, including those with lived experience, on producing the Code of Practice for the Liberty Protection Safeguards. We expect to have the initial outputs of the working groups by this summer.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 14 May 2019
Department for Education
Special Educational Needs: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2019 to Question 250743 on Special Educational Needs: Finance, how many and what proportion of children and young people had an Education Health and Care Plan in each year since 2013 and 2019; and how much funding his Department allocated to high needs in each of those years.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 22 May 2019

The level of high needs funding for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) for each year are published in the dedicated schools grant (DSG) allocations each year, as follows:

Year

Amount

2013-14

£5.0 billion

2014-15

£5.2 billion

2015-16

£5.2 billion

2016-17

£5.3 billion

2017-18*

£5.8 billion

2018-19**

£6.1 billion

2019-20**

£6.3 billion

* In 2017-18 the baselines of the high needs block and the schools block within DSG were adjusted, to take account of local authorities’ spending decisions.

** Includes the £125 million added to the high needs block in 2018-19 and 2019-20, in recognition of the cost pressures local authorities have been facing, announced in December 2018.

Information on the number and proportion of children in schools with an education, health and care (EHC) plan or previously statement of SEN are published in the annual ‘SEN in England’ statistical release. A time series can be found in Table 1 at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/special-educational-needs-in-england-january-2018.

Information on all young people (up to age 25) with an EHC plan is published in the annual ‘Statements of SEN and EHC Plans’ statistical release. A time series can be found in Table 1 at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statements-of-sen-and-ehc-plans-england-2018.

The first full year that statutory EHC plans were in place was 2015. Figures prior to this, therefore, relate to statements only. Table 2 in the following link includes the number of new EHC plans during 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statements-of-sen-and-ehc-plans-england-2018.

It is important to note that the number of EHC plans and statements of SEN does not include learning difficulty assessments (LDAs). These were previously used in a similar way as an EHC plan, for young people with SEN at a post-16 level, but were replaced by EHC plans from 2015. The last record of LDAs were removed from the system in 2016.

Q
(Swansea West)
[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: 14 May 2019
Department for Education
Children: Mental Health
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to provide additional funding for early support for children with mental health problems.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 20 May 2019

​The Department for Education is working closely with NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care to support schools and colleges to provide support for children and young people with emerging mental health issues and secure specialist treatment where it is needed.

The NHS Long Term Plan published in January 2019 announced that by 2023/24 an extra 345,000 children and young people in England aged 0-25 will receive mental health support via NHS funded mental health services and new Mental Health Support Teams. Mental health services will continue to receive a growing share of the NHS budget, with funding to grow by at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24. Spending on children and young people’s mental health services will grow faster than adult services, and faster than other NHS spending. As set out in the 'Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision' green paper, the new support teams will work with groups of schools and colleges to provide swift access to support for children and young people with emerging and mild and moderate needs and support referrals to more specialist treatment.

The Department for Education is providing up to £95 million between 2019/20 and 2023/24 to support the delivery of the green paper proposals, including the costs of a significant training programme for senior mental health leads, to help schools and colleges to put in place whole school approaches to supporting pupil mental health.​

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 03 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Speech Therapy: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Public Health England has plans to issue guidance to (a) parents and (b) carers on (i) identifying need for and (ii) access to speech, language and communication services for children .
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 14 May 2019

Public Health England (PHE) is working in partnership with the Department for Education to produce evidence-based resources and tools to support health visitors, early years practitioners and parents/carers in identifying and supporting children’s early speech, language and communication (SLC) needs through training guidance and an enhanced early language assessment tool. The assessment tool will incorporate parent resources to support family understanding of SLC in their children and will be rolled out from April 2020.

Alongside this work, PHE is developing a model SLC pathway for children under five. This will ensure that professionals working with families are able to help them support their child’s SLC and how to access support if needed. The pathway will be published by September 2019.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 03 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Speech and Language Disorders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to improve access to adult NHS mental health services for people with speech, language and communication needs.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 14 May 2019

The Department is working hard to improve mental health services for all adults, including those with speech, language and communication needs, so that many more people can access the high-quality, vital mental health support they need.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) commission local services, including mental health services, on behalf of their local populations taking into account local needs and priorities. CCGs and NHS England have a duty to have regard to the need to reduce inequalities in access to health services and the outcomes achieved.

Under the NHS Long Term Plan, local areas will design and implement models of care that are age appropriate, closer to home and bring together physical and mental health services. These models will support health development by providing holistic care across local authority and NHS services, including primary care, community services, speech and language therapy, school nursing, oral health, acute and specialised services.

The National Implementation Framework, to be published later this spring, will provide further information on how the NHS Long Term Plan will drive improvements in people’s mental health care.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 03 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Speech Therapy: Children and Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with NHS Clinical Commissioners on the importance of joint commissioning services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 14 May 2019

The Department has had no discussions with the organisation NHS Clinical Commissioners on joint commissioning of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 03 May 2019
Department for Education
Special Educational Needs: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the findings of the National Education Union, published on 15 April 2019, that SEND provision in England has had a £1.2bn shortfall in funding increases from Government since 2015.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 14 May 2019

High needs funding has risen by £1 billion since 2013 to £6.3 billion this year. However, we recognise that local authorities and schools are continuing to face cost pressures. Funding levels for future years will be determined by the next Spending Review.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 07 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has received confirmation that Saudi Arabia will investigate the bomb attack that damaged a Save the Children-supported hospital in Kitaf, Yemen on 26 March 2019.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 14 May 2019

We are deeply concerned of reports of an alleged airstrike on a petrol station at a hospital facility on 26 March 2019. UK officials have been in contact with Save the Children, who fund the hospital, about this alleged incident and have raised this matter with the Saudi-led Coalition, who have announced an investigation.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 02 May 2019
Department for Education
Speech and Language Disorders: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure that staff working in an education setting are trained in awareness of speech, language and communication needs.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 May 2019

The Department is investing £50 million to develop more high quality school-based nursery provision for disadvantaged children, £26 million to set up a network of English hubs, and £20 million to provide school-led professional development for early years practitioners.

The Department is reviewing the current special educational needs and disability (SEND) content in Initial Teacher Training (ITT) provision and building on our existing SEND specialist qualifications to develop a continuum of career development from ITT, through teachers’ early careers and into specialist and leadership roles.

Since the introduction of the 2014 SEND reforms, the Department has provided funding to a range of condition-specific organisations to develop resources and training to deliver high quality teaching across all types of SEND. This includes specialist resources in relation to speech, language and communication skills.

The Department currently funding nasen and University College London, on behalf of the Whole School SEND consortium, to deliver a programme of work that will equip the workforce to deliver high quality teaching across all types of special educational needs. New SEND regional leads will bring together practitioners and networks in their local area to build a Community of Practice, including local speech, language and communications champions.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 07 May 2019
Department for International Development
Yemen: Cholera
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support his Department is providing to help victims of Yemen’s cholera epidemic.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 13 May 2019

The UK is deeply concerned about the rise in cholera in Yemen this year, with a suspected 280,000 cases recorded between January and April 2019. In response, the UK has disbursed £18 million last month to help UN agencies meet their most urgent needs such as chlorination of water supply systems, distributing hygiene kits and deploying expert teams to areas most at risk.

To help prepare for outbreaks of cholera, the UK led a joint Met Office, NASA and US scientist team to accurately predict where the disease will spread to in Yemen. We contributed 25% towards the cost of cholera vaccination campaigns which have vaccinated over 2 million people in both Houthi and Government of Yemen controlled areas to date.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 07 May 2019
Department for International Development
Yemen: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that international humanitarian funds pledged to Yemen reach their intended recipients.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 13 May 2019

We are acutely aware of the difficult operating environment humanitarian organisations face delivering life-saving assistance in Yemen. As a result we only channel support through organisations with a strong record of delivering and monitoring assistance, such as UN agencies and international NGOs.

To identify the most vulnerable, UN agencies use a range of tools such as household level assessments. Some, like the World Food Programme, use technology such as biometric verification to confirm that those most in need are being reached.

Through UK diplomatic channels we press authorities to facilitate aid delivery. This can include getting visas issued or travel permission granted for certain areas.

Earlier this year the UK brought together heads of UN agencies and lead donors to determine how to better coordinate on the ground to deliver the right interventions at the right time to the most vulnerable. The Humanitarian Coordinator is holding UN agencies to account to deliver this.

Q
(Swansea West)
[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: 02 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS Digital will include the number of speech and language therapists working in (a) children and young people’s and (b) adult NHS mental health services in its estimate of the mental health workforce.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 09 May 2019

NHS Digital’s estimate of the mental health workforce is drawn from the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). ESR is the HR and payroll system for the National Health Service.

In ESR, staff who are identified to either have an Occupation Code or who work in an area suggesting that they primarily work to provide or support the provision of mental health are included in NHS Digital’s estimate of the mental health workforce. This includes speech and language therapists who meet these criteria

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