On 5th April, a vote took place on the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill. The Bishop of St Albans took part.
On the 3rd April 2017, Baroness Hayman tabled a debate in the House of Lords, asking the Government “what is their assessment of progress made in combating neglected tropical diseases since the London Declaration made in January 2012.” The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, highlighted the lack of progress towards the eradication of leprosy. Lord Bates responded on behalf of the Department for International Development.
On the 3rd April 2017, Baroness Hayman led a short debate in the House of Lords, to ask the Government “what is their assessment of progress made in combating neglected tropical diseases since the London Declaration made in January 2012.” The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke about the role that the Anglican Communion could play in providing a bridge between NGOs and local communities.
Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, for introducing the debate. It is good to pause and reflect on the extraordinary progress that has been made, as well as the salutary thought of just how much more needs to be done. I am not a medic and do not want to engage in the medical aspect of this, but I want to make one, very brief point: the need to adopt clear protocols and joined-up approaches if we are going to be really effective in combating neglected tropical diseases.
On the 28th March 2017 Baroness Sheehan asked a question about access to healthcare in East Jerusalem for residents from the Occupied Territories. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a supplementary question:
The Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, we have heard how the people of the Occupied Territories continue to face challenges accessing emergency care. The diocese of Jerusalem provides hospitals and health centres across this area, but many of the vital facilities and services are not fully operational because the equipment cannot be calibrated and staff lack accreditation. What conversations have Her Majesty’s Government had with the Israeli Government to facilitate the necessary inspections to ensure that these and similar facilities become operational and therefore reduce the reliance of Palestinian people on reaching hospitals in East Jerusalem?
On 14th March 2017, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff led a short debate on the question of ‘how the Government intends to ensure that Clinical Commissioners respect the undertakings made in Our Commitments to You for End of Life Care: The Government Response to the Review of Choice in End of Life Care’. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler spoke in the debate, paying tribute to the importance of chaplaincy to end of life care.
The Lord Bishop of Durham My Lords:
“The medical side of a patient’s health is not always the key to treating them”.
So said a medical student recently, describing what he had learned from a leading end-of-life care specialist at St Benedict’s Hospice and Centre in Sunderland. Another medical student said:
“Palliative care is not just end-of-life care. It is a very holistic approach which supports the patients’ needs very well”.
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.
On 19th January 2017 Labour Peer Lord Hunt of King’s Heath asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their assessment of Young Minds’ analysis published on 21 December 2016 that 64 per cent of Clinical Commissioning Groups are diverting new funding for children’s mental health services to other areas”. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, this is a very serious and growing problem. Recent research has shown over the last five years that the number of hospital admissions associated with children’s self-harm has grown by 93% among girls and 45% among boys. It seems extraordinary that when money is announced for mental health services it is then not spent. First, how many years will we wait until we need to ring-fence that money, because this is a really important issue? Secondly, to pick up on the previous but one question, will the Government commit to producing guidelines for schools and colleges about preventing and responding to self-harm, so that we have some practical things put in place?