Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal independence payment assessment decisions have been overturned at mandatory reconsideration stage since 1 January 2017.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to improve the ratio of personal independence payment cases that reach the appeal stage due to inaccurate assessments.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many personal independence payment assessment decisions have been overturned at tribunal stage since 1 January 2017.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the relative availability of second stem cell transplants for patients whose disease relapses in England and the (a) devolved nations of the UK, (b) EU and (c) US.
Mark Tami: The key issue about asbestos, with which the hon. Gentleman rightly says the building is riddled, is that we do not know where it is. When there is drilling, or when things are taken out, the starting presumption must be that there is asbestos there. That would add massively to the cost of working in a fully occupied building.
Mark Tami: The right hon. Gentleman has reminded me of a previous employer of mine: when we got legal advice that he did not like he would always say, “Get another lawyer.” That is the argument that some people are putting forward, when they do not like the expert advice they are given.
Mark Tami: I am very pleased that my hon. Friend secured this debate. Does he agree that anyone who has any doubts about the problems that we face would do well to go on a tour of the basement and see the wiring, the plumbing and the risers that are key to the risks?
Mark Tami: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Mark Tami: Not actually on the Tea Room itself, however vital that is. Some Members who may think that proposal a good idea do not realise that there is one system for the plumbing and all the electrics. The House of Lords is a separate House, but it does not have a separate supply system. We would have to build some great structure outside to ensure that one part of the building could carry on working.
Mark Tami: Does my hon. Friend agree that the amount that we spend on just patching things up grows every year, and it will continue to grow if we do not bite the bullet now?
Mark Tami: As the Minister has said, we have many important employers on Deeside—Airbus, Tata, Toyota—but we also have many companies in the supply chain that are very important. We must not only keep those companies post-Brexit, but encourage more to come in.
Mark Tami: Does the Minister accept that, for a whole host of illnesses, we fund, probably rightly so, drugs that may cost vast sums for people for whom the prognosis is that their lives might be extended by weeks, whereas we are now discussing not only extending people’s lives for years but potentially enabling them to live a full life over which they could pay back some of the cost of the treatment?
Mark Tami: I thank the Minister for giving way; she is being very generous. She has touched on a key point there, and it is something that I have raised with her before. We are rightly prepared to spend a large sum of money on treatment to give people the transplant they need. As she says, it is a very difficult process for the patient. Afterwards, there is virtually no support for that patient and for...
Mark Tami: I am sure that, like me, the hon. Gentleman finds it hard to think of any other recurring illness for which people who had relapsed would be told, “I’m sorry, you’ve had your one chance. That’s it.”
Mark Tami: It is a pleasure to rise at 6.33 pm. When I secured an Adjournment debate several years ago, I expected it to start at 7 o’clock, but I seem to recall that I got up to speak at 11.15 pm. Those were the days when we could debate European documents until any hour.
Mark Tami: I hope that it will not do so tonight, Mr Deputy Speaker. I declare an interest as co-chair of the all-party group on stem cell transplantation. I am very pleased to see my co-chair, the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes), in the Chamber; I am sure he will make some comments later. May I also put it on record that my oldest son received a life-saving stem cell transplant a...
Mark Tami: I totally agree with the hon. Lady. We are talking about a very small number of people but, for them, it is their only chance after they relapse. Despite everything we know, NHS England confirmed in December 2016 that it would not routinely fund second stem cell transplants. In effect, it decided that these people’s lives were not worth the money. One of those people is Sasha Jones, a...
Mark Tami: Yes, I do. This is to do with how we assess the cost of treatment. I fully accept that the up-front cost of the transplant is a lot of money, but if that works, the longer-term cost is not so great. However, we seem willing and able to fund drugs that might not cure people or extend their lives by very much, although the cost of them, when added up, might be more than the transplant. It is...
Mark Tami: I certainly agree with my hon. Friend. From personal experience, I know that that is always a fear. Every time someone goes for a check-up on their blood, there is obviously a feeling at the back of their mind, “Let’s hope that everything’s okay.” It is a very rocky road. I am sure that the whole House will wish Sasha well as she continues her journey. I pay tribute to my hon. Friend...