Bishop of St Albans asks about welfare of Rohingya people in Bangladesh

St Albans 2On 5th November 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from the Government, in reply to his question about the Rohingya people:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL531 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the quality of the Rohingya people’s lives in Bangladesh.

Baroness Sugg: A June 2019 study by the Overseas Development Institute found that refugees felt that their lives would first and foremost be improved through education, then better living conditions, then the ability to support themselves. The study also describes the Rohingya people’s immediate concerns affecting their quality of life, including shelter conditions, lack of firewood or stoves, issues with healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene and protection support, inadequate food and insufficient supplies.

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Bishop of London speaks during second reading of Health Service Safety Investigations Bill

London3On 29th October 2019 the House debated the second reading of the Health Service Safety Investigations Bill. The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, contributed:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak at this Second Reading. I declare my interests as set out in the register. I too am grateful for briefings from the Library, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Surgeons and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Like most noble Lords, I welcome the Bill’s proposal to create an independent body which will investigate serious patient safety incidents. The NHS is to be congratulated on the way in which it has sought over the years to develop as a learning organisation. Florence Nightingale said:

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Bishop of London highlights role of church and community groups in improving health and social care

London1On 22nd October 2019 Parliament continued to debate the Queen’s Speech, including scrutiny of measures relating to Health and Social Care. The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally (and formerly Chief Nursing Officer for England), contributed to the debate:

Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, many noble Lords will know that I have a background in health, and I continue to be a great supporter of the National Health Service, so they will not be surprised when I address my comments to health and social care. In doing so, I recognise the contribution of the noble Baroness, Lady Emerton, to nursing and to this House.

I thank the Government for their work to support and strengthen the National Health Service, its workforce and its resources. However, increased investment and reform does not guarantee getting to the root of the problem. Our health and social care issue is what you might call a “village problem”. Our flourishing, mentally, physically and emotionally, occurs best in community. More than that, as Sir Michael Marmot’s research from the Institute of Health Equity indicated, our economic, social and emotional circumstances all play a part in our health and well-being.

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Bishop of London on need for improved rural services, and role of churches

London1On 8th October 2019 Lord Foster of Bath (LD) moved a motion “that this House takes note of the Report from the Select Committee on the Rural Economy Time for a strategy for the rural economy (HL Paper 330)”. The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, contributed to the debate:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, you may well ask what the Bishop of London is doing adding her voice to a debate on our strategy for the rural economy. Despite having spent most of my adult life in London, my five years in the West Country and latterly as the Bishop of Crediton in Devon demonstrated to me the challenges of rural life.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about working with local faith communities to help Ebola victims

St Albans 2On 25th July 2019 the Bishop of St Albans asked the Government “what steps they are taking to help those areas affected by the latest outbreak of Ebola which has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization”. He then asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer and, indeed, for the money that has been made available. One of the most effective ways of rolling out preventative health education is to use local indigenous leadership. In 2015, Christian Aid and other charities recommended that NGOs should engage with local faith leaders for this purpose. Are Her Majesty’s Government following this advice? Secondly, with daily flights between DRC and Europe, given the highly infectious nature of this disease, will she explain to the House the steps that are being taken for our own domestic preparedness?

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Bishop of St Albans – gambling industry is privatising profits and nationalising cost of problem gambling

St Albans 2On 2nd July 2019 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport  repeated a Government Statement about industry support for those affected by problem gambling. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I welcome this announcement today, but I notice from a press release from the companies that they see it as a health issue:

“The key priority will be to quadruple the number of those accessing treatment from 2.5% to 10%”.

After four years, 90% of those with gambling addiction problems will still be unable to access help. Surely that cannot be acceptable. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans – gambling industry is privatising profits and nationalising cost of problem gambling”

Bishop of London asks Government about training for health professionals in rural areas

London4On 2nd July 2019 Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asked the Government “what measures they propose to take to ensure that there is adequate provision of GP services in rural areas”. The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I speak as a co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Health and Social Care. Living now in a city, I know the challenge of rural health provision, but GP services are not just about doctors. They are also about nurses and community workers. Can the Minister comment on the possibility of developing direct access training for district nurses and health visitors?

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