Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about access to treatment for leukaemia patients

On 7th June 2018 Lord Forsyth of Drumlean asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to ensure that clinicians in England are able to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia by prescribing Ibrutinib in accordance with NICE guidelines.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I am most grateful to the Minister for meeting some of the patients suffering from this terrible disease. Can he tell us whether anyone directly affected by blood cancer was consulted before the initial decision was made by NHS England to restrict access to Ibrutinib? Can he assure the House that NICE guidelines will not often be varied—and then only after consultation with patients? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about access to treatment for leukaemia patients”

Bishop of Carlisle asks about SEN funding for small schools

Carlisle141217bOn 4th June 2018 Lord Storey  asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the impact of education, health and care plans on children with special educational needs.” The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, in Cumbria where I live, a huge proportion of schools are classified as small and are often very small. Their funding, especially for children with special educational needs, is greatly limited by their ability to access economies of scale. Does the Minister agree that in smaller schools educational outcomes can at present be disproportionately affected by current funding models? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks about SEN funding for small schools”

Bishop of Carlisle calls for an independent office for health and care sustainability

On the 26th April 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Patel “that this House takes note of the Report from the Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS, The Long-term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care (Session 2016-17, HL Paper 151).” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, who had served on the Select Committee, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, like other noble Lords who have already spoken and who will speak in this debate, I had the great privilege of serving on the Select Committee that produced the report of which we are, I hope, taking note today. Like them, I pay tribute to my colleagues, from whom I learned a great deal, and to our excellent chairman, the noble Lord, Lord Patel.

Since the report was published, more than a year ago, I found myself presenting its findings in various venues in Cumbria, where I live and work. On some occasions, local Members of Parliament and senior NHS staff have also been involved, but on every occasion the interest generated has been huge, which is a reminder, should we need it, of the importance of this topic to every citizen in every part of this country. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle calls for an independent office for health and care sustainability”

Bishop of Carlisle highlights need for cancer care improvements

On 25th January 2018  Baroness Jowell hosted a debate in the House of Lords “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to evaluate innovative cancer treatments and make them available through the National Health Service, and to raise life expectancy for cancer patients”. The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, it is a great privilege to speak in this debate. I begin by observing that although, as we have heard, we currently have one of the worst cancer survival rates in Europe, the overall 10-year survival rate for all cancers in the UK has improved from 25% a few decades ago to 50% today. The laudable and ambitious goal of our cancer strategy is to make that 75% within the next decade, thereby not only catching up with but surpassing international, and especially European, averages. Cancer Research UK, among other agencies, is currently researching possible therapeutic interventions, many of them innovative, in a range of more than 200 different types of cancer, and that is something to celebrate. However, I suggest that three vital conditions need to be met if those aspirations are to be achieved. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle highlights need for cancer care improvements”

Bishop of Carlisle raises concerns about winter pressures on the NHS

On 25th January 2018 Baroness Wheeler hosted a debate in the House of Lords “That this House takes note of the impact on front-line social care of Her Majesty’s Government’s NHS plans and the delivery of services over the winter period.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate:

 

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, as ever, much of what I might have wished to say has already been said so I will not repeat it. I will try to keep my contribution brief.

In one sense, the current situation in health and social care, which, as we have heard, has been widely reported and analysed by the media, is nothing new. Admittedly, the number of patients with flu this year, especially elderly ones, has not helped. Last year, though, in its document entitled Winter Warning, NHS Providers commented that, “NHS performance last winter”—that is, 2016-17—

“showed unacceptable levels of patient risk as growing demand outstripped NHS capacity”.

Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle raises concerns about winter pressures on the NHS”

Bishop of Carlisle supports Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill

On 15th December 2017 the House of Lords debated the Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL], a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Baroness Hamwee. The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in support of the Bill:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I too am most grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. I am delighted that this debate is about families, which is an apt topic as Christmas approaches. I am not speaking of the nostalgic image of a nuclear family around a groaning table; the Christian table is plainer but more welcoming and inclusive, a table around which all are welcome.

Round the table gathers a family. Our country has for so long and so rightly emphasised the family as a—perhaps the—key building block of society. At the present time we seek urgently for social integration, a society where shared values and shared culture bind us all into an ethos of mutuality which naturally, organically, squeezes out extremisms, violence, injustices and hate. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle supports Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill”

Bishop of Carlisle – strong, stable family relationships help to address root causes of poverty and disadvantage

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”