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House of Commons Hansard
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Written Statements
06 July 2016
Volume 612

Written Statements

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Education

School Teachers' Review Body: Twenty-Sixth Report

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The 26th report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) is being published today. Its recommendations cover the remit that I issued in October 2015. The report contains recommendations on how to apply the pay award for teachers that is due to be implemented from September 2016. Copies of the STRB’s 26th report are available in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office and the Libraries of the House, and online at: www.gov.uk.

The STRB has recommended a 1% uplift from September 2016 to the minima and the maxima of all classroom teacher and leadership pay ranges in the national pay framework, and to classroom teacher allowances (Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR) payments and Special Educational Needs (SEN) allowances). It has also recommended the school teachers’ pay and conditions document (STPCD) be amended to make clear that schools can use a salary advance scheme for rental deposits as part of the existing recruitment and retention incentives and benefits. In addition, it has recommended that my Department should develop good practice guidance to help schools make effective use of their existing flexibility to tailor pay policies to meet local recruitment and retention needs in a competitive labour market. A full list of the recommendations is attached as an annex.

My officials will write to all of the statutory consultees of the STRB to invite them to contribute to a consultation on my acceptance of these recommendations. The consultation will last for four weeks.

I am grateful to the STRB for these recommendations and, subject to the views of consultees, I intend to accept all the key recommendations.

My detailed response contains further information on these matters.

[HCWS60]

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

2014 NATO Wales Summit

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Today the Minister of State for Policing, Fire, Criminal Justice and Victims, my right hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), and I have put on www.gov.uk the costs of hosting the 2014 NATO Wales summit.

Summit Achievements

The 2014 NATO summit was a significant international event, which saw one of the largest gatherings of world leaders ever held in the UK. The summit achieved all major UK policy objectives with the UK playing a significant role in developing the summit conclusions and brokering agreement among allies.

The commitments agreed by all 28 NATO Heads of Government will contribute to our national security, strengthening NATO as the cornerstone of UK defence. Allies agreed to halt any decline in defence investment and aimed to attain 2% of GDP spend on defence within a decade. Allies also agreed on a new rapid reaction capability to enhance NATO’s ability to respond to any threat. New initiatives were also launched to modernise NATO and ensure the alliance is fit for purpose to counter 21st-century threats, including in the hybrid warfare and cyber areas.

The hard work and dedication of the police officers deployed during the substantial operation to secure the event, which was delivered under budget, ensured the safety and security of local residents and all delegates.

[HCWS59]

Health

Data Security, Consent and Opt-out Reviews

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Today, two independent reviews have been published which make recommendations about data security in the health and care system in England and a new consent and opt-out model for data sharing.

In September 2015, I commissioned the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to undertake a review of data security in the NHS and, in parallel, commissioned Dame Fiona Caldicott, the National Data Guardian for Health and Care (NDG), to undertake an independent review of data security and consent, with the purpose of:

Developing new data security standards;

Devising a method of testing compliance with the new standards; and

Proposing a new consent/opt-out model for data sharing in health and social care.

Both independent reviews have now completed, and the full reports are attached.

Healthcare, like all areas of modern life, is rapidly going digital. New technology and innovative approaches to the delivery of health and care have already driven significant progress, resulting in more people surviving the devastating effects of life-threatening and debilitating illnesses. If we are to deliver on our ambition to deliver the safest, most efficient healthcare possible for NHS patients, we must make the most of this digital information revolution, moving away from reliance on paper record keeping towards a 21st century, fully digital NHS, in which GP, pharmacy and hospital records, as well as diagnosis and condition monitoring are all based on digital platforms.

As the health and social care system becomes increasingly paperless and digital it also becomes ever more important that there are adequate and robust protections in place to protect the data and information held within it. All health and care organisations that handle sensitive information should be working towards giving patients the highest levels of trust and confidence and reducing the risk of external threats and potential breaches. It is vital that we do all that we can to ensure that health and care staff have access to the safeguards, knowledge and capability to handle such information securely.

The technological revolution in health and care has benefited individuals, their families, friends and the country at large. But it would not have happened without a significant change in the availability and quality of digital health and care data and greater innovation in how that information is used. To achieve our ambition of a fully digital NHS, it is vital that the public trust health and care staff to keep their personal data safe and secure.

Dame Fiona’s review found that, broadly, the public does trust the NHS with confidential data. However, we cannot be complacent. That is why we want to do more to realise the benefits that come from sharing information safely and consistently across the health and care system where there is a legitimate reason for doing so. For example, by giving patients more access to, and control over, the use of their personal confidential information, by improving the way that the NHS uses information to check the quality of care, or by researchers being able to use data to improve treatment and care.

Dame Fiona Caldicott has proposed 10 security standards to be applied in every health and care organisation that handles personal confidential information. These include measures which will protect systems against data breaches, ensuring that NHS leadership takes ownership and responsibility for data security and ensuring that organisations are as prepared as they can be to meet the challenges of the digital age. Dame Fiona has also emphasised the vital importance of data sharing and is proposing a new consent and opt-out model, which will give people a less complex choice about how their personal confidential information is used.

I am grateful to Dame Fiona and the CQC for their work on this important agenda. I am today publishing a consultation on two main aspects of Dame Fiona’s independent review, namely the new data security standards and proposed consent and opt-out model. It is vital that a full consultation and dialogue with the public and professionals takes place before any implementation of the recommendations can take place.

I am also publishing today the Government response to the consultation carried out late last year into the role of the National Data Guardian for Health and Care. The response sets out the Government’s key decisions in relation to the proposed functions for the role, and we remain committed to placing the role on a statutory footing at the next available opportunity.

In her review, Dame Fiona emphasises the importance of protecting anonymised data to give the public the assurances they need that they will not be re-identified. I can confirm today that the Government are supportive of the introduction of stronger criminal sanctions against those who use anonymised data to re-identify individuals.

On data security, both reviews highlight the importance of removing outdated IT systems. We are working with suppliers, including Microsoft, to help health and care organisations update their systems to make sure they are safe to use and store data. The Health and Social Care Information Centre will launch an initiative to support this work later this year.

The National Data Guardian review also recommends that the Government consider the future of the care-data programme, as the consent and opt-out model proposed by the review goes further than the approach that was planned for care-data and its pathfinder areas.

In light of Dame Fiona’s recommendations, NHS England has taken the decision to close the care-data programme. However, the Government and the health and care system remain absolutely committed to realising the benefits of sharing information, as an essential part of improving outcomes for patients. Therefore this work will now be overseen by the National Information Board, in close collaboration with the primary care community, in order to retain public confidence and to drive better care for patients.

It is also available online at: www.parliament.uk/writtenstatements.

[HCWS62]

Home Department

Police Remuneration

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The second annual report of the Police Remuneration Review Body was published today (CM 9296). In line with my letter setting the body’s remit, it has made recommendations on pay and allowances for police officers up to and including the rank of chief superintendent in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In addition, the supplement to the 2016 report of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) making recommendations on the pay of chief police officers has also been published today (CM 9282). I have considered the recommendations of both reports in so far as they relate to police officers in England and Wales.

I wish to express my thanks to the chairmen and members of both review bodies for their work on these reports.

I have accepted the recommendations in full. These will be implemented with effect from 1 September 2016.

The Police Remuneration Review Body report and the supplement to the Senior Salaries Review Body report have been laid before Parliament and copies are available in the Vote Office and on gov.uk.

[HCWS61]