Like Members on both sides of the House, my family and I rely on our national health service, and it has always been there when we needed it most. It was there when my two children were born in local hospitals, caring for them when they were at their most vulnerable and looking after my wife through complications and immediately after their births. Then, at the start of 2017, the NHS was there for me when I unexpectedly became ill very quickly and developed severe septic shock.
Mike Wood: The Minister rightly speaks about NICE’s important role in eliminating postcode lotteries. Does she agree that NICE’s independence is vital to ensuring availability to patients once an agreement is reached with BioMarin, wherever those patients are from, whether Penwortham in her constituency or Pensnett in mine?
Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the blue badge scheme for people with hidden disabilities.
Michael Ellis Minister of State (Department for Transport)
From 30 August 2019, the blue badge scheme will include non-visible as well as visible disabilities. This change will be assessed 12 months after implementation, using feedback form the public, stakeholders and local authorities who administer the scheme. We will be tracking how many badges are awarded under the new criteria.
Mike Wood: Does the Minister agree that one of the crucial aspects of tackling loneliness is raising awareness of the services, support and activities that are available in local communities, and what are the Government doing to achieve this?
Mims Davies Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Mike Wood: Three million of the four million videos taken down by YouTube in the last six months were identified and removed by artificial intelligence. What greater role does the Secretary of State see for technological development in helping to reduce online harm and keep people safe online?
Matthew Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care)
Mike Wood: My hon. Friend speaks about a more inquisitorial system. Does she agree that if we are looking at a genuinely inquisitorial system of the kind that would be recognised on the continent, it might help if coroners were able to question and probe rather than being expected purely to be the independent arbiter and judge, which lends itself to cases being more adversarial?