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
(Wantage)
Asked on: 09 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Endoscopy and Radiography: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his oral statement of 1 July 2019, Official Report, columns 929-930, what recent assessment he has made of whether recruitment of (a) 400 clinical endoscopists and (b) 300 reporting radiographers is sufficient deliver on the ambitions of the NHS Long-Term Plan.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 16 July 2019

No overall assessment has been made.

Health Education England’s (HEE) statutory responsibility is to ensure that an effective education and training system is in place for the National Health Service, which includes funding the training of pre and post registered professions based on current and future needs of patients. Funding for training and recruitment of endoscopists and radiographers will come out of the HEE yearly core funding.

Grouped Questions: 275167
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 09 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Endoscopy and Radiography: Recruitment and Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, further to his oral statement of 1 July 2019 on the Implementation of the NHS Long-Term Plan, how the training and recruitment of (a) 400 more clinical endoscopists and (b) 300 more reporting radiographers will be funded.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 16 July 2019

No overall assessment has been made.

Health Education England’s (HEE) statutory responsibility is to ensure that an effective education and training system is in place for the National Health Service, which includes funding the training of pre and post registered professions based on current and future needs of patients. Funding for training and recruitment of endoscopists and radiographers will come out of the HEE yearly core funding.

Grouped Questions: 275166
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 12 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Care Homes: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to increase the Minimum Income Guarantee.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 20 June 2019

The financial allowances including the minimum income guarantee rates are reviewed annually.

Social care funding for future years will be settled in the spending review, where the overall approach to funding local government will be considered in the round.

Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 10 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
ScreenSkills
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the ScreenSkills campaign entitled, Find your future in film and TV.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 17 June 2019

The Government recognises the importance of a strong and diverse talent pipeline to the continuing success of film and HETV in the UK and pleased to see ScreenSkills leading the way with its new campaign. Having been launched on 23rd May, DCMS looks forward to seeing the results of its mix of cinema, social media and online promotion in the coming months and years.

Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 04 June 2019
Wales Office
Radio Frequencies: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what start-up funding the Government has allocated to new National Spectrum Centre in Aberystwyth to (a) enable UK wireless technology innovation and (b) create highly skilled job opportunities in Wales.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 12 June 2019

The UK Government has put research and innovation at the heart of its Industrial Strategy, setting an ambition for the UK to become the most innovative country in the world and increase its total R&D expenditure to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

The new National Spectrum Centre in Aberystwyth will be a part of this ecosystem of innovation across the UK and will have opportunities to access funds dedicated to supporting research in areas that are vital to our future economy. I visited Aberystwyth in September to discuss this project with key stakeholders and was hugely impressed with its ambitions.

Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 03 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5G
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential competition benefits of a dynamic spectrum access model for the next 5G auction to open up underemployed 5G spectrum to new providers.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 11 June 2019

In the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, the Government supports the introduction of flexible, shared spectrum models - such as dynamic spectrum access - and the release of additional public sector spectrum as strategic priorities. Government believes that spectrum sharing would enable new players, alongside existing mobile operators, to access and invest in new business models whilst enabling innovative solutions to connectivity challenges, such as in rural areas.

Today, we have the tools and technologies needed to allocate spectrum on a dynamic basis. Government will continue to work with Ofcom and industry to support innovation and investment and deliver improvements in coverage. We believe that the market expansion model will aid these objectives and encourage competition. The Government recently consulted on these ambitions in the Statement of Strategic Priorities. Ofcom, as the national regulatory authority, will have regard to these when carrying out the management of spectrum and other relevant functions.

Grouped Questions: 259140
Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 03 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5G: Rural Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of opening up access to the 5G spectrum to new users on the speed of deployment of 5G to rural communities.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 11 June 2019

In the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, the Government supports the introduction of flexible, shared spectrum models - such as dynamic spectrum access - and the release of additional public sector spectrum as strategic priorities. Government believes that spectrum sharing would enable new players, alongside existing mobile operators, to access and invest in new business models whilst enabling innovative solutions to connectivity challenges, such as in rural areas.

Today, we have the tools and technologies needed to allocate spectrum on a dynamic basis. Government will continue to work with Ofcom and industry to support innovation and investment and deliver improvements in coverage. We believe that the market expansion model will aid these objectives and encourage competition. The Government recently consulted on these ambitions in the Statement of Strategic Priorities. Ofcom, as the national regulatory authority, will have regard to these when carrying out the management of spectrum and other relevant functions.

Grouped Questions: 259139
Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 04 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Radio Frequencies: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress he has made on establishing a new National Spectrum Centre in Aberystwyth to enable UK businesses to (a) develop and (b) test wireless technology in a suitable environment.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 11 June 2019

Government is not directly involved in this initiative. We welcome industry-led research to develop innovative and efficient uses of spectrum.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 15 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Epilepsy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of decreased funding for Public Health England on its ability to decrease health inequalities for people with epilepsy.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 24 May 2019

No assessment has been made of the effect of funding for Public Health England (PHE) on its ability to reduce health inequalities for people with epilepsy.

PHE continues to provide data, intelligence and evidence-based advice to local authorities and the National Health Service on health inequalities and impacts for specific population groups.

In February 2018, PHE published data analysis for local authorities and the NHS highlighting the number and rate of deaths associated with epilepsy and other neurological conditions. The report identified inequalities in deaths associated with epilepsy and encourages local action. The report can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/deaths-associated-with-neurological-conditions

PHE also provides access to intelligence resources on neurological conditions including epilepsy via the ‘Neurology data and analysis: a guide for health professionals’ page on Gov.uk, available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/neurology-data-and-analysis-a-guide-for-health-professionals

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 18 April 2019
Department for Transport
Transport: Renewable Fuels
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the development renewable transport fuel obligation scheme will include non-biogenic waste.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 30 April 2019

Fuels made from non-biogenic waste are not currently eligible for support under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). The Department is working to determine whether it is appropriate to amend the RTFO to include incentives for fuels made from non-biogenic waste. It is important that any fuels being considered for inclusion in the RTFO deliver carbon savings, and ultimately contribute to the UK’s climate change commitments.

Officials have been working closely with industry and held a workshop in November 2018 where the issues relating to these fuels were discussed. Any proposal to include fuels from non-biogenic waste in the RTFO would be subject to a public consultation and the Parliamentary process.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 28 March 2019
Treasury
London Capital and Finance: Insolvency
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority on the administration of London Capital and Finance PLC.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 04 April 2019

The Treasury is monitoring developments relating to the failure of London Capital & Finance (LCF) very closely and is in regular contact with the Financial Conduct Authority.

However, the Treasury has no formal role in the administration process of a firm such as LCF and it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the administration process, which is a matter for the joint administrators – in this case, Finbarr O’Connell, Adam Stephens, Colin Hardman and Henry Shinners of Smith & Williamson LLP.

Further information regarding the administration itself can be found on the joint administrators’ website at the following link:

https://smithandwilliamson.com/business/services/restructuring-and-recovery-services/london-capital

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 26 March 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Epilepsy: Deaths
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled, Deaths associated with neurological conditions in England 2001 to 2014, published by Public Health England, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the conclusion that people with epilepsy are three times more likely to die from their condition if they live in a deprived area.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 03 April 2019

Ministers routinely meet the system leaders to discuss a broad range of issues concerning population health, including long term health problems. The Department works closely with NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) to support delivery of the Mandate and system objectives.

The PHE report, Deaths associated with neurological conditions in England 2001 to 2014, was developed by PHE’s Neurology Intelligence Network (NIN), and published on 27 February 2018. The report found that a greater proportion of epilepsy related deaths occur in areas of higher levels of deprivation. The rate of deaths associated with epilepsy in areas ranked as the most deprived in England is almost three times larger than in the least deprived; 13 deaths per 100,000 population compared to 5 deaths per 100,000 population. A copy of the report can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/deaths-associated-with-neurological-conditions

Wider research has shown that epilepsy prevalence varies with social deprivation, but this is not well understood, and it is not clear whether this inequality in mortality is the consequence of the increased prevalence seen in deprived areas, of poor care, or both. However, deprivation is a well-known determinant of poor general health, and although there is insufficient evidence to describe the relationship as causal, it underlines the health inequalities link in relation to epilepsy related deaths.

The Government is acting broadly to reduce health inequalities by addressing the social causes of ill health, promoting healthier lifestyles for all and tackling differences in outcomes of NHS services, all underpinned by legal duties. Through the Mandate the Government has asked NHS England to ensure service commissioning focuses on measurable reductions in inequalities in access to health services, in people’s experience of the health system, and across a specified range of health outcomes which contribute to reducing inequalities in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. National and local outcomes frameworks feature indicators to measure improvements across a range of areas, including inequalities, and the Mandate asks NHS England to do more in increasing the transparency on services and outcomes that these frameworks provide.

At a national level, NHS England is the organisation responsible for securing and supporting high quality outcomes for people with epilepsy, and the vast majority of services for people with the condition are planned and commissioned by local clinical commissioning groups. Action is led locally to ensure the solutions put in place reflect the needs of individual communities.

NHS England’s RightCare programme provides practical support to local commissioners to tackle unwarranted variation, including in services for neurological conditions like epilepsy. NHS England is also working with the Neurological Alliance to support the Neurology Advisory Group, led by Professor Adrian Williams, to align work across the system to improve neurological care. In addition to developing the neurology mortality report, PHE’s NIN provides a broad range of data on disease, services and outcomes, including for epilepsy, to support local commissioners to benchmark services and drive improvement. The neurology mortality report will provide further focus for commissioners in considering whether there are any changes they need to make in terms of service planning and provision, including around the inequality issues identified.

Grouped Questions: 237654
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Epilepsy: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with (a) clinicians and (b) NHS leadership on the findings of Public Health England’s report into Deaths associated with neurological conditions in England 2001 to 2014; and what assessment he has made of the implications of those findings for his Department's work to prevent future deaths from epilepsy.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 03 April 2019

Ministers routinely meet the system leaders to discuss a broad range of issues concerning population health, including long term health problems. The Department works closely with NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) to support delivery of the Mandate and system objectives.

The PHE report, Deaths associated with neurological conditions in England 2001 to 2014, was developed by PHE’s Neurology Intelligence Network (NIN), and published on 27 February 2018. The report found that a greater proportion of epilepsy related deaths occur in areas of higher levels of deprivation. The rate of deaths associated with epilepsy in areas ranked as the most deprived in England is almost three times larger than in the least deprived; 13 deaths per 100,000 population compared to 5 deaths per 100,000 population. A copy of the report can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/deaths-associated-with-neurological-conditions

Wider research has shown that epilepsy prevalence varies with social deprivation, but this is not well understood, and it is not clear whether this inequality in mortality is the consequence of the increased prevalence seen in deprived areas, of poor care, or both. However, deprivation is a well-known determinant of poor general health, and although there is insufficient evidence to describe the relationship as causal, it underlines the health inequalities link in relation to epilepsy related deaths.

The Government is acting broadly to reduce health inequalities by addressing the social causes of ill health, promoting healthier lifestyles for all and tackling differences in outcomes of NHS services, all underpinned by legal duties. Through the Mandate the Government has asked NHS England to ensure service commissioning focuses on measurable reductions in inequalities in access to health services, in people’s experience of the health system, and across a specified range of health outcomes which contribute to reducing inequalities in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. National and local outcomes frameworks feature indicators to measure improvements across a range of areas, including inequalities, and the Mandate asks NHS England to do more in increasing the transparency on services and outcomes that these frameworks provide.

At a national level, NHS England is the organisation responsible for securing and supporting high quality outcomes for people with epilepsy, and the vast majority of services for people with the condition are planned and commissioned by local clinical commissioning groups. Action is led locally to ensure the solutions put in place reflect the needs of individual communities.

NHS England’s RightCare programme provides practical support to local commissioners to tackle unwarranted variation, including in services for neurological conditions like epilepsy. NHS England is also working with the Neurological Alliance to support the Neurology Advisory Group, led by Professor Adrian Williams, to align work across the system to improve neurological care. In addition to developing the neurology mortality report, PHE’s NIN provides a broad range of data on disease, services and outcomes, including for epilepsy, to support local commissioners to benchmark services and drive improvement. The neurology mortality report will provide further focus for commissioners in considering whether there are any changes they need to make in terms of service planning and provision, including around the inequality issues identified.

Grouped Questions: 237060
Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 05 March 2019
Department for Education
Higher Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the review of post-18 education and funding.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 13 March 2019

The independent panel will report shortly. The government will then conclude the overall review later this year.

Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 05 March 2019
Treasury
Social Security: Reciprocal Arrangements
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether A1 forms for artists and musicians will be accepted after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 12 March 2019

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for the continuation of social security coordination, which will maintain the current rules on A1 certificates in the UK and EU until the end of the implementation period in December 2020.

Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 14 February 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Social Media: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the NSPCC regulatory proposals, published on 12 February 2019, whether the legislation outlined in the online harms White Paper will provide a social media regulator with comprehensive powers of information disclosure.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 22 February 2019

We are considering the full range of possible solutions to address existing and emerging issues relating to online safety, including legal and regulatory changes where necessary. We will, in the coming weeks, publish a joint DCMS-Home Office Online Harms White Paper which will set out a range of legislative and non-legislative measures detailing how we will tackle online harms and setting clear responsibilities for tech companies to keep people safe.

Grouped Questions: 221606 | 221608 | 221609
Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 14 February 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Social Media: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the NSPCC regulatory proposals, published on 12 February 2019, whether social media platforms will be subject to red flag reporting and a general proactive duty to disclose information.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 22 February 2019

We are considering the full range of possible solutions to address existing and emerging issues relating to online safety, including legal and regulatory changes where necessary. We will, in the coming weeks, publish a joint DCMS-Home Office Online Harms White Paper which will set out a range of legislative and non-legislative measures detailing how we will tackle online harms and setting clear responsibilities for tech companies to keep people safe.

Grouped Questions: 221605 | 221608 | 221609
Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 14 February 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Social Media: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the NSPCC regulatory proposals, published on 12 February 2019, whether legislation outlined in the forthcoming online harms White Paper will hold named directors of social media companies personally and individually liable for failing to comply with regulation.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 22 February 2019

We are considering the full range of possible solutions to address existing and emerging issues relating to online safety, including legal and regulatory changes where necessary. We will, in the coming weeks, publish a joint DCMS-Home Office Online Harms White Paper which will set out a range of legislative and non-legislative measures detailing how we will tackle online harms and setting clear responsibilities for tech companies to keep people safe.

Grouped Questions: 221605 | 221606 | 221609
Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 14 February 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Social Media: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the NSPCC regulatory proposals, published on 12 February 2019, whether legislation outlined in the forthcoming online harms White Paper will propose a sanctions regime for social media providers that fail to comply with legislation.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 22 February 2019

We are considering the full range of possible solutions to address existing and emerging issues relating to online safety, including legal and regulatory changes where necessary. We will, in the coming weeks, publish a joint DCMS-Home Office Online Harms White Paper which will set out a range of legislative and non-legislative measures detailing how we will tackle online harms and setting clear responsibilities for tech companies to keep people safe.

Grouped Questions: 221605 | 221606 | 221608
Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 12 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Cancer: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the forthcoming workforce implementation plan will include a plan to grow the workforce in key specialties for diagnosing and treating cancer.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 20 February 2019

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has commissioned Baroness Dido Harding, working closely with Sir David Behan, to lead a number of programmes to engage with key National Health Service interests to develop a detailed workforce implementation plan. These programmes will consider detailed proposals to grow the workforce rapidly, including staff working on cancer, consider additional staff and skills required, build a supportive working culture in the NHS and ensure first rate leadership for NHS staff.

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