Bishop of Gloucester asks about automatic registration for the Healthy Start Scheme

The Bishop of Gloucester received the following written answer on 20th July 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the potential merits of introducing an automatic registration process for the Healthy Start scheme.

Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks about automatic registration for the Healthy Start Scheme”

Bishop of Oxford asks about zoonotic diseases

On 24th May 2022, the Bishop of Oxford asked a question during a debate on establishing a zoonosis research centre in the UK:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I am sure the Minister is aware that the rapid increase in zoonotic diseases has its roots in the environmental crisis: deforestation, habitat destruction, intensive farming and unregulated trade in wild animals. Therefore, as well as the vital areas of medical research and response to disease, how are the Government focusing their intervention on prevention as well as diagnosis and cure?

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Queen’s Speech: Bishop of London speaks on health and levelling up

The Bishop of London spoke in a debate regarding the Queen’s Speech on 17th May 2022:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, it is a pleasure to speak in the debate on the Motion for the humble Address. I declare my interests as outlined in the register. There is much in Her Majesty’s gracious Speech to commend it to your Lordships’ House. However, it is unfortunate that it did not include any detailed remarks on the relationship between health disparities and the levelling-up agenda. While there was a valid emphasis on restoring the strength of the economy, it was a shame to hear so little detail on the circumstances that will enable us to economically bounce back: namely, our health.

Thankfully, the actual levelling-up report highlighted health as one of its mission areas, stating:

“By 2030, the gap in Healthy Life Expectancy … between local areas where it is highest and lowest will have narrowed”,

and that, by 2035, healthy life expectancy will rise by five years. The measurement of these missions, along with an independent body to ensure that they are seen through, will be vital to their success and essential in the wider context of health inequalities which we are facing post pandemic. Without these metrics and this accountability, we may well miss the goal of levelling up entirely.

Continue reading “Queen’s Speech: Bishop of London speaks on health and levelling up”

Bishop of Leeds raises inconsistency of covid rules on singing in churches

On 15th June 2021 the House of Lords heard a repeat of a Government statement on covid-19 rules.

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, regardless of matters of hindsight, does the Minister agree that prolonging the restrictions might be justified for certain reasons? I do not demur from that, but the prolonging of inconsistencies is a serious impediment to public adherence to the rules. You do not have to look very far to see where the discipline broke down a long time ago. For example—this is not special pleading; it is just at the forefront of my mind—you can sing in a pub but not in a church. This is what brings the rules into disrepute, and therefore people do not agree with them.

Secondly, can the Minister say something in response to Michael Gove’s reported comments about acceptable death rates? We have learned to live with acceptable death rates from flu and other seasonal diseases. Will the Government do some work on what might be an acceptable death rate from Covid in future and be up-front with the country as to what that might be? I think we can take it.

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds raises inconsistency of covid rules on singing in churches”

Bishop of Carlisle asks about access to affordable cancer treatments in developing countries

On 30th November 2020 questions were put in the House of Lords on vaccine distribution. The Bishop of Carlisle asked a question:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, for obvious reasons we have focused largely on equal access to vaccines but, given the broader significance and implications of this Oral Question on affordable drugs and the fact that Global Cancer Week took place earlier this month, are any negotiations currently taking place on access to affordable cancer treatments, especially in developing countries? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks about access to affordable cancer treatments in developing countries”

Bishop of London – need to invest in local public health responses to coronavirus and offer right financial support for most restricted areas

On 20th October 2020 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government statement on Covid-19, and also considered the Government’s Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2020. The Bishop of London spoke in response to both:

In response to the Motion to approve the Regulations, she said:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for the work that he and others are doing to make decisions at this very challenging time. The regulations we are debating relate to health protection restrictions and fines. However, I wonder whether our approach to public health protection and restrictions during the pandemic needs to pay more attention to a bottom-up approach of wisdom, rather than simply relying on top-down pragmatism and the push and pull of financial incentives. Last week, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Manchester highlighted how policies, such as fines, are out of touch with many. It has led to frustration and resentment nationwide. Continue reading “Bishop of London – need to invest in local public health responses to coronavirus and offer right financial support for most restricted areas”

Bishop of Durham says social and spiritual health needs to be part of Government’s covid lockdown decisions

On 14th October 2020 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Covid-19 update that had been given to the House of Commons by the Prime Minister. The Bishop of Durham spoke in response:

The Lord Bishop of Durham [V]: In welcoming the fact that places of worship have been allowed to continue to open—that is partly a recognition of their important place in the life of the nation—I note that the Prime Minister spoke still in the binaries of economic health and medical health that we have heard throughout the course of the pandemic. However, the nation’s health is more than this binary. The Government must surely no longer overlook the need to protect the nation’s social and spiritual health too. The Christian faith is clear that well-being is far more than being medically healthy or simply alive; rather, it involves social engagement, emotional nourishment, spiritual rest and love from good community. Will the Government acknowledge the nation’s need for social and spiritual health by including experts on social well-being in all future conversations around lockdown measures?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con): I agree with the right reverend Prelate that that is the dilemma being faced. As he rightly says, harm to health is harm to the economy and harm to the economy is harm to health: these things are all interlinked, which is why this is a very difficult situation and why difficult decisions are having to be made about how to balance them. I can assure him that that is at the forefront of our thoughts. As part of the ongoing discussions around decisions being made about national and local levels, I know that Cabinet colleagues and the Prime Minister are talking to a huge range of people with different backgrounds to make sure that we get that right and get the country moving in the right direction.

Parliament.uk

Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about tackling health inequalities

On Tuesday 15th September 2020 Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asked the Government “in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, what plans they have for changes to the NHS long-term plan.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, given that the health protection remit of Public Health England is to be subsumed into the new national institute for health protection, can the Minister tell us what steps Her Majesty’s Government will take to ensure that health inequalities are robustly addressed through programmes of health education and promotion, as envisaged in chapter 2 of the NHS Long Term Plan? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about tackling health inequalities”

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Southwark supports amendment on exempting health and social care workers from the Immigration Health Charge

On 14th September 2020 the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, during its third day in Committee.

The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun,  supported amendments to the Bill to make EEA and Swiss nationals coming to the UK to work as a healthcare or social care worker exempt from the Immigration Health Charge

As is usual in Committee, the amendments were not pressed to a vote after debate, though some issues may be returned to again at a later stage. A transcript of the Bishop’s speeches is below. The text of the amendment supported by the Bishop are reproduced underneath. Continue reading “Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Southwark supports amendment on exempting health and social care workers from the Immigration Health Charge”

Bishop of Bristol asks about those suffering long-term effects of COVID-19

On 3rd September 2020 a Government statement on COVID-19 was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, asked a question about treatment of those with long-term effects:

The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, North Bristol NHS Trust has recently reported on an audit of 110 patients discharged after being severely ill with Covid-19. Of these, 75% were still experiencing serious symptoms three months later. This is just part of the mounting evidence of the long-term effects of Covid-19 even on those with mild infection in the acute phase. What steps are the Government taking to raise public awareness of so-called long Covid and to invest in the care of those who are now chronically ill? Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol asks about those suffering long-term effects of COVID-19”

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