The Bishop of Norwich asked a written question of Government, on the number of GPs available for primary care needs in the next five years. He received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Earl Howe, on 10th March 2014. The question and reply are below.
The Lord Bishop of Norwich:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that there are adequate numbers of general practitioners (GPs) available for primary care needs in England over the next five years in the light of the age profile of current practising GPs, their increasing role as commissioners, and the impact of the introduction of revalidation for all doctors.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Department set up Health Education England (HEE) to deliver a better health and healthcare workforce for England. HEE is responsible for ensuring a secure workforce supply for the future balancing need against demand, taking into account factors such as the age profile of the existing workforce, the impact of technology, and new drugs. Continue reading “Bishop of Norwich presses Government on sustainability of GP numbers”
Baroness Prosser asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that government departments work together to identify girls at risk of female genital mutilation and provide them with the necessary support.
The Bishop of St Albans asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I welcome the Secretary of State for Education’s commitment to provide the guidelines to schools on protecting children who are at risk of genital mutilation. Will the noble Baroness tell the House what further steps are being taken to provide for and to support properly trained counsellors who really understand the cultural background to this issue so that we are not only protecting children but supporting those who are at risk or may already have been abused?
Baroness Jolly: Work is going on with local communities. A £100,000 grant has been given to set up training so that people could work with NGOs and local schools to pick up exactly the type of issue that the right reverend Prelate has outlined.
The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster responded to the Government statement on a new vocational qualifications reform plan. The Bishop welcomed the need to reform vocational education and expressed a concern that continued narrowing of curricula, he also urged the Government to ensure the soft skills needed by employers were also valued.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I warmly welcome the Statement in its intention. Clearly there needs to be a greater focus on vocational qualifications in FE but the danger is that the move towards focusing ends up with narrowness. I think that was the concern expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Young, in his response. Indeed, we just heard of the need to learn about life as well as a particular skill. Continue reading “Vocational Education: Bishop of Chester Responds to Government Announcement”
Baroness Hughes of Stretford asked Her Majesty’s Government, following the decision to remove 10 academies from the E-ACT Academy chain, what action they are taking to ensure that other chains are managing schools satisfactorily.
The Bishop of Chester asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I should like to return to the issue of inspection. In as much as the multichain bodies are involved in the governance of all the academies in their chain, and Ofsted inspects governance, why does Ofsted not also inspect the chains themselves?
Lord Nash: Ofsted looks at the support that chains are giving to their schools, and we have a very tight grip on the governance of all the chains. We have been in discussions with 50 chains to strengthen their governance arrangements
The Bishop of Chester asked Her Majesty’s Government: what is their estimate of the cost of family and relationship breakdown to the welfare budget.
After the Minister’s reply, he followed up with a supplementary question.
Lord Freud: My Lords, I am unable to give an official figure. A number of organisations have produced estimates—for example, the Relationships Foundation, at £45 billion-odd—but there is no consensus. The social security spend on lone parents and collecting child maintenance is just under £9 billion, but we must acknowledge that there are wider societal costs. Government have an important role to play in supporting families and working to ensure stable futures for children.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, if the figure of £45 billion or £46 billion given by the Relationships Foundation is even remotely accurate, that illustrates the cost of family and relational breakdown, which cashes out at about £1,500 each year for each taxpayer in our country. What more do the Government propose to do to support and strengthen family life and relationships in our country, which must somewhere include supporting the institution of marriage? Continue reading “Cost of Family Breakdown: Bishop of Chester Question to Government”
The Earl of Shrewsbury asked Her Majesty’s Government what measures they are taking to improve flood defences in agricultural areas.
The Bishop of St Albans asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans:
My Lords, the noble Lord will be only too aware of the huge contribution that British agriculture makes to food security. Could he therefore tell us what assessment Her Majesty’s Government have made concerning the risk to food security due to poorly planned flooding amelioration and prevention schemes, which are allowing considerable areas of high-grade agricultural land to be taken out of production due to flooding?
Lord De Mauley:
I am grateful to the right reverend Prelate for coming to see me the other day to talk about these things. There is currently no evidence that flood events such as those experienced in 2007, 2009 or 2012—or, so far, in recent events—represent a threat to food security in the United Kingdom. According to the UK food security assessment, the UK enjoys a high level of food security as a developed, stable economy. I think it is more likely that disruption to transport links could impact access to food supplies, but we are watching this carefully.