Mike Wood: I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate. Does he agree that one of the major barriers to children and young people exercising their rights under the UN convention on the rights of the child to be involved in decisions around their own care is difficulty in accessing the content of their personal files, and that this issue needs to be addressed across the country?
Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham
Mike Wood: What steps he is taking to increase support for people with autism and learning disabilities.
Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
Autism and learning disabilities are clinical priorities in the NHS long-term plan. We are committed to improving the quality of care provided to people with a learning disability or autism and to addressing the persistent health inequalities they face.
Mike Wood: Although I originally studied law and was called to the Bar, I never practised, so I hope I may speak in the debate without being tied to any particular interest. This debate is increasingly showing a division between those on the side of personal injury practitioners, and those on the side of the overwhelming majority of our constituents who face the costs arising from an ever-escalating number of claims, of escalating value, for relatively minor injuries. My right hon.
Mike Wood: It is a particular pleasure to serve under your chairmanship this evening, Dame Cheryl; we are debating an issue on which you have done much, not only to raise awareness, but to transform the legislative framework in which we operate. I thank the Petitions Committee for ensuring that time was made available for the debate, and congratulate
Mike Wood: Will my right hon. Friend confirm that, thanks to his efforts and those of the Department of Health and Social Care and of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust after the collapse of Carillion, work on the Midland Metropolitan Hospital will resume later this year, and the West Midlands will get another world-class hospital?
David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)