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Point of Order

Volume 632: debated on Thursday 30 November 2017

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. At the Health Committee session on 31 October, I asked the Health Secretary whether he had visited a locked mental health rehabilitation ward—such wards are currently home to over 3,500 patients across our country—and he answered yes. Over three weeks ago, I followed that up with a named day parliamentary question to ask the Secretary of State which ward he had visited and when. The answer I received said:

“The information is not held in the format requested.”

I therefore tabled a subsequent named day parliamentary question, this time just asking which locked mental health rehabilitation ward the Secretary of State had visited. The answer I received the other day stated that

“the Secretary of State has visited a wide range of mental health facilities including 15 since July 2016, however the information requested is not held.”

Is it in order for the Secretary of State not to disclose to a Member of Parliament details of a visit that he confirmed to the Select Committee he had made; and if not, what advice will you offer me as to how I may solicit this very important information from the Secretary of State?

I cannot comment directly on the adequacy or otherwise of ministerial responses, but the hon. Lady has clearly raised her concerns about this issue and Government Front Benchers will have heard what she said. My best advice is that the hon. Lady should consult the Table Office about other ways in which she can raise this issue—perhaps in a short debate, and certainly at Health questions.