Bishop of Carlisle welcomes NHS Long Term Plan and stresses importance of spiritual care

On 31st January 2019 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: “To move that this House takes note of the NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January, and the case for a fully funded, comprehensive and integrated health and care system which implements parity of esteem, preventative health and standards set out in the NHS Constitution.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, this NHS long-term plan is very welcome, and from these Benches I commend all those who contributed to it. It is a comprehensive plan—not easy when health is such a wide-ranging topic. It is also realistic about the many challenges we still face. When it comes to issues such as smoking, alcohol dependence and air pollution, I applaud the strong emphasis on public health and prevention, along with the necessary reminder that responsibility for our own health does not belong solely to other people.

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Bishop of Carlisle highlights need for community mental health treatment for young people with learning difficulties

On 30th January 2019 the House of Lords debated a question from Baroness Tyler of Enfield, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recent concerns expressed by general practitioners that children and young people with mental health problems are unable to access National Health Service treatments; and what steps they will take to address them.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, this is a very timely debate, and I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Tyler, and congratulate her on securing it. We have heard some of the alarming statistics on children and young people with mental health needs, and we know that current NHS services are unable to meet this disturbing increase. In an ideal world, we would be asking ourselves why there should be such an increase—some of the reasons were mentioned by the noble Baronesses, Lady Chisholm and Lady Massey—and doing our best to tackle the causes rather than just attend to the consequences. But that is another debate.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government to bring together global partners to fund low-cost drugs for TB

On Thursday 29th November 2018 Lord Collins of Highbury asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are taking to support the global fight against tuberculosis, in the light of tuberculosis being the leading cause of death globally among people living with HIV/AIDS.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is good that we are such a major donor to those trying to solve this problem. Nevertheless, as the noble Lord, Lord Alton, pointed out, there is still a huge funding gap. What attempts are being made to draw together international partners to give this a much higher priority, and in particular to ensure that we can fund these relatively low-cost, very effective TB drugs, which are making such a difference? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government to bring together global partners to fund low-cost drugs for TB”

Bishop of Carlisle says more should be done to encourage voluntarily organ donation before moving to an opt-out system

Carlisle141217bOn the 23rd November 2018 the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome spoke in the second reading debate of the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill. The Bishop supported the intentions behind the Bill, but pressed for more action first to increase voluntary donations, including engaging the BAME community, increasing specialist nurses and supporting potential donors though creation of a transplant pathway.

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, the Church of England is wholly committed to both the principle and the practice of organ donation, believing as it does that giving oneself and one’s possessions voluntarily for the well-being of others and without compulsion is a Christian duty and that organ donation is a striking example of that.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about elder abuse and mental health support

On 22nd November 2018 Baroness Thornton asked Her Majesty’s Government “how much of the National Health Service mental health budget goes towards intervention to address domestic and sexual violence and abuse.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question about elder abuse:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is much to be welcomed that the Government are allocating this money. I am also glad that the needs of young people have been highlighted, but the Minister will be aware that statistics show that roughly 340,000 elderly ​people are suffering abuse in the community each year. If we are not tracking how the money is spent, how can we be sure that the mental health needs of the elderly are being properly addressed at a particularly vulnerable point in their lives? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about elder abuse and mental health support”

Bishop of Chelmsford warns about appeal to children of flavoured nicotine substitutes

On 13th November 2018 Lord Vaux of Harrowden asked the Government ‘whether they have any plans to restrict or ban the advertising or sale of flavoured nicotine vaping fluids.’ The Bishop of Chelmsford asked a follow-up question, which is in context below:

Baroness Thornton (Lab): The noble Lord, Lord Vaux, asked a legitimate Question about the flavoured nicotine substitutes that are on sale. If the Minister believes that we might see the emergence of vape flavours such as unicorn milk and rocket popsicles—which can only be designed to appeal to young people—can he confirm that the Government have plans for dealing with that?

Lord O’Shaughnessy: I am not sure who unicorn milk would appeal to—maybe my five year-old, but she is not smoking yet. Seriously, the point here is about advertising. It is quite right that they cannot be advertised to promote them but they can be advertised for public health reasons. They are incredibly effective at stopping people smoking. As I have said, we are not seeing the kind of abuse and the epidemic of youth usage that we have seen in the States, but we are alert to any signs that that may be the case.

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, the Minister’s joke makes the point. Does he agree that such flavours appeal to children and one needs to be careful about that? Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford warns about appeal to children of flavoured nicotine substitutes”

Bishop of Southwark raises concern at mental health care disparities based on ethnicity

On the 6th of September 2018 the House of Lords debated the motion ‘that this House takes note of NHS and healthcare data and how that data could be used to improve the health of the nation.’ The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in the debate:

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The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, I too express appreciation to the noble Lord, Lord Freyberg, for securing a debate on a subject so full of possibilities for enriching our knowledge and improving the lives of fellow citizens. In England alone the National Health Service deals with more than 1 million patients every 36 hours. The potential use of data is enormous.

The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Carlisle, who takes a special interest in health matters, is particularly sorry not to be able to participate in this debate. I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Bethell, on the quality of his maiden speech. I was, furthermore, particularly grateful for the wisdom of the noble Lord, Lord Kakkar, who spoke from his great expertise in this field. My focus is on mental healthcare data, which was recently highlighted in the Church of England’s toolkit on minority ethnic mental health issues, launched at our General Synod in July.

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