Bishop of Carlisle calls for parliamentary commission to find way forward on social care

On 8th July 2020 Lord Dubs asked the Government “when they will publish their White Paper on social care.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, following on from the previous question, given that a long-term settlement for social care is one of this Government’s top priorities, and that there is general agreement that this should involve cross-party consensus and a significant measure of integration with the NHS, does the Minister agree that, in the continuing absence of a White Paper, the time has come to establish a Select Committee or perhaps a parliamentary commission with a specific timescale to make recommendations that might finally resolve this complex issue? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle calls for parliamentary commission to find way forward on social care”

Bishop of Newcastle asks about mental health support for social care workforce

On 18th May 2020 the Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, received a written answer to a question on mental health support for the social care workforce:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: HL3834 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans are in place to provide mental health support for the social care workforce (1) during, and (2) after, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle asks about mental health support for social care workforce”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about action to address “dreadful crisis” in care homes

On 6th May 2020 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government statement on Covid-19. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, yesterday the deputy chief scientist said that we needed to “get to grips” with what is occurring in our care homes. As data shows that deaths in care homes are rising while hospital deaths are plateauing, what specific actions are Her Majesty’s Government taking to put a stop to this dreadful crisis, which is unfolding before our very eyes? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about action to address “dreadful crisis” in care homes”

Archbishop of York leads Lords debate on the case for income equality and sustainability

On 6th May 2020 the Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, led a debate in the House of Lords on the motion that the Lords “do consider the case for increasing income equality and sustainability in the light of the recent health emergency.” The Archbishop started the debate, and summed up afterwards, referring to many of the speeches made by other Members over the course of nearly three hours. Amongst the other speakers were the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of Durham and Derby. The entire debate can be read in Hansard here, and the Archbishop’s opening and closing speeches are reproduced below:

Income Equality and Sustainability: Motion to Consider

Moved by The Archbishop of York, That the Virtual Proceedings do consider the case for increasing income equality and sustainability in the light of the recent health emergency.

The Archbishop of York: My Lords, I am grateful to the Government Chief Whip and the usual channels for granting me this opportunity to move a Motion that is very dear to my heart—thank you. I commend Her Majesty’s Government for their rapid action in the current crisis and, through unprecedented public spending, working to protect jobs and avert millions of redundancies. It is in the light of this recent health emergency that I beseech your Lordships’ House to take note of the case for increasing income equality and sustainability.

Last Thursday, the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett of Manor Castle, opened a Question for Short Debate on Covid-19 and people living in poverty. I believe that what we are doing today has the potential to make a lasting difference. As Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, said:

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

As long ago as 28 April 1909, Winston Churchill, then president of the Board of Trade, gave a speech in the other place in which he said:

“It is a serious national evil that any class of His Majesty’s subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions.”—[Official Report, Commons, 28/4/1909; col. 388]

Not much has changed since. That principle remains as strong as ever in our national life. Continue reading “Archbishop of York leads Lords debate on the case for income equality and sustainability”

Bishop of Newcastle asks Government about safety of staff running care homes, sheltered accommodation and hospices

In a House of Lords virtual sitting on 22nd April 2020 Baroness Wheeler asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the analysis by Care England which suggests that there have been significantly more deaths caused by Covid-19 in care homes than have been reported.” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, it is not just care homes facing these very serious challenges; I have learned that it is also hospices and sheltered accommodation, among other places. Managers responsible for those organisations are under enormous pressure trying to ensure safe staffing levels and the safety of their staff. I hope that sufficient PPE will soon be secured and distributed. Although I recognise the enormous challenge and the efforts that are being made towards that, in the immediate context where we do not have that, can the Minister tell us how the Government aim to advise and support those responsible for running our care homes, sheltered accommodation and hospices, who are having to make such difficult decisions now and many of whom feel abandoned and rather lonely in that responsibility?

Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle asks Government about safety of staff running care homes, sheltered accommodation and hospices”

Bishop of Carlisle speaks on need for investment in adult social care

On 6th February 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Hunt of King’s Heath, “That this House takes note of the National Health Service’s performance in relation to its priority area targets; and the impact of adult social care pressures on patients of the National Health Service, and their safety.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate:

Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle speaks on need for investment in adult social care”

Bishop of London highlights role of church and community groups in improving health and social care

London1On 22nd October 2019 Parliament continued to debate the Queen’s Speech, including scrutiny of measures relating to Health and Social Care. The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally (and formerly Chief Nursing Officer for England), contributed to the debate:

Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, many noble Lords will know that I have a background in health, and I continue to be a great supporter of the National Health Service, so they will not be surprised when I address my comments to health and social care. In doing so, I recognise the contribution of the noble Baroness, Lady Emerton, to nursing and to this House.

I thank the Government for their work to support and strengthen the National Health Service, its workforce and its resources. However, increased investment and reform does not guarantee getting to the root of the problem. Our health and social care issue is what you might call a “village problem”. Our flourishing, mentally, physically and emotionally, occurs best in community. More than that, as Sir Michael Marmot’s research from the Institute of Health Equity indicated, our economic, social and emotional circumstances all play a part in our health and well-being.

Continue reading “Bishop of London highlights role of church and community groups in improving health and social care”

Bishop of Rochester highlights social care challenges for prisons, and role of voluntary sector

On 5th July 2018 Baroness Brinton led a debate on the question to Her Majesty’s Government, “what steps they are taking to ensure that social care in England is adequately funded.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I too join in with the general rejoicing on this the 70th anniversary of the NHS, but as others have observed, I am glad that this debate has been brought forward by the noble Baroness because it is a necessary counterpoint to that. I join the noble Lord in expressing slight surprise ​at how few people have wanted to contribute to this debate, but that does give those of us who are speaking a little longer to do so.

As the recent National Audit Office report, referred to by the noble Baroness, into the interface between health and social care indicates, the two areas are inextricably linked. Indeed, the dividing line can be quite hard to define, and that is one of the difficulties. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester highlights social care challenges for prisons, and role of voluntary sector”

Budget – Bishop of Portsmouth points to great silence on social care

On 4th December 2017 the House of Lords debated the Chancellor’s 2017 Autumn Budget Statement. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the debate, focusing on the lack of news on social care and on defence, and calling on Government to take further action on Universal Credit:

Last week’s Budget was characterised by a great silence on two issues, and that silence too hides, I suspect, feverish activity and fevered discussions on social care and defence.

Continue reading “Budget – Bishop of Portsmouth points to great silence on social care”

Bishop of Ely calls on Government to “make care work a recognised and valued profession.”

On 24th November 2016 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Finlay of Llandaff “To move that this House takes note of the implications for the health and social care workforce of the result of the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.” The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, spoke in the debate:

ElyThe Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, for bringing this important matter before the House today. The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Carlisle, our lead bishop on health and social care, cannot be in his place today, but I am glad to contribute from these Benches on his behalf.

The debate brings to mind two principles central to Christian faith and practice: justice for the stranger in our midst and care for the vulnerable. Mosaic law enjoins us not to withhold justice from the outsider. Only yesterday, in conversation, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government sought to check that I had heard the words of Jesus, “Love thy neighbour as thyself”. I am grateful to him. This reminds us that the words of Jesus tell us that every care and service given to others is a service given to God. Continue reading “Bishop of Ely calls on Government to “make care work a recognised and valued profession.””