On 14th December 2017 Lord Bird asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to address the root causes of poverty and disadvantage in the United Kingdom.” In the short debate on the question, the Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke about the importance of stable family life as an antidote to the causes of poverty.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Lord, Lord Bird, for securing this debate. As we have just heard, poverty cannot be measured simply in economic terms. It affects every area of a person’s life and, as a recent Demos report put it:
“The first step towards tackling poverty is understanding it better”.
Where better to begin than with its causes, about which I would like to make just two observations? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle – strong, stable family relationships help to address root causes of poverty and disadvantage”
On 11th December 2017 Baroness Sherlock asked Her Majesty’s Government “why kinship carers who subsequently have their own child are not exempt from the two child limit.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, the Government have chosen to pursue a deficit-reduction strategy by opting for a fiscally cautious welfare policy. However, has the Minister considered that some British families are larger for reasons of faith or principle? Speaking on behalf of people of all faiths in this country, my question is: what plans does the Minister have for ensuring that such families and children are not discriminated against by the policy? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about effect on religious families of two-child limit on benefits”
On 8th February 2017 two votes took place in the Lords on amendments to the Government’s Health Services Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill. The Bishops of Chester and St Albans took part in the first vote and the Bishops of Carlisle, Chester and St Albans in the second. Continue reading “Votes: Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill”
On 16th November 2016, Baroness Tyler of Enfield asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their response to the Report of the Values-Based Child and Adolescent Mental Health System Commission, What Really Matters in Children and Young People’s Mental Health, published on 7 November.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, the commission highlighted the importance of valuing the workforce, but a 2014 survey of teachers and lecturers indicated that about 55% of them reckoned that their work was seriously damaging their own mental health. Have Her Majesty’s Government any plans to address that particular issue so that the mental health of teachers can be improved and so they are better equipped to help and improve the mental health of their pupils? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about the impact of work pressures on teachers’ mental health”
On 23rd May 2016 the Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the second day of debate on the Queen’s Speech. He focused his response on the Government’s proposals to tackle tax evasion and extremism, as well as calling for a renewed focus on international development and the military covenant. The Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, Earl Howe, responded on behalf of the Government.
Continue reading “Queen’s Speech 2016: Bishop of Carlisle responds on international affairs and the armed forces”
On 23rd October 2015 the House of Lords debated the Access to Palliative Care Bill, a private member’s bill tabled by crossbench peer Baroness Finlay of Llandaff. The Bill sought to, in her words,
“ensure that wherever a dying person is, whatever the time of day or night, whatever day of the week, they can receive high-standard care… It would do so by ensuring that commissioners commission a level of service for their populations to meet need…My Bill would ensure co-ordination so that help is accessible, efficient and can meet needs.”
The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, who is also lead bishop on healthcare for the Church of England, spoke supportively in the debate.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I declare an interest as a fairly active patron of Eden Valley Hospice in Cumbria and of Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland. They work together to provide outstanding end-of-life care for people in the community as well as for those in a hospice bed. Like so many others, I am also most grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, for initiating this significant Bill. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle supports new Bill on access to palliative care”
On 22nd October 2015 Lord Farmer asked Her Majesty’s Government, “in the light of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report Dying Without Dignity, what steps they are taking to ensure that everyone who needs it has access to good palliative care and a level of social care that ensures the end of life is valued.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate, praising the work of chaplains and volunteers in delivering end of life care. The Bishop of Rochester also spoke in the debate.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, today’s debate, for which I am also most grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Farmer, has prompted me to take a fresh look at some of the numerous documents on palliative care that have been produced over the past two years, including of course the ombudsman’s report, Dying Without Dignity. As I read the documents, I was struck and impressed by their general agreement that palliative care at the end of life involves more than simply the relief of physical pain, crucial though of course that is. Suffering is not always the same as pain and it is often more difficult to ease, which is why the word “holistic” is often used to describe the kind of care that is needed. I cite as an example the NICE quality standard which is regarded by NHS England as,
“a comprehensive picture of what high quality end of life care should look like”.
In particular, as we have been reminded by the noble Lord, Lord Farmer, reference is made to spiritual and religious support not only for patients but for relatives, carers and staff. Such support is an essential element in end of life care. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle praises work of chaplains and volunteers in end of life care”