Bishops of Lincoln and Coventry respond to Government statement on Gosport Independent Panel report

On 20th June 2018 a Government statement about the Gosport Independent panel, chaired by the former Bishop of Liverpool, was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishops of Lincoln and Coventry spoke after the statement to ask questions of the Minister. Their exchanges are below:

The Lord Bishop of Lincoln: My Lords, I declare an interest as my wife is a lead clinician in the office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. My friend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Portsmouth cannot be in his place today as he is in his cathedral church with the families of those whose loved ones were patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, as they properly received the report prior to it being laid before Parliament. On his behalf, and sharing his profound concern and with some anger as a vicar and archdeacon in that area at that time, I politely remind the Minister of the evidence of disregard for human life, a culture of deliberately shortening life, and a regime of systematic overuse of opioids and of the way in which those raising concerns were treated as troublemakers. Continue reading “Bishops of Lincoln and Coventry respond to Government statement on Gosport Independent Panel report”

Bishop of St Albans highlights contribution NHS chaplains make to supporting mental health of colleagues

On 17th May 2018 Baroness Thornton asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps the Department of Health and Social Care and the National Health Service are taking to support the mental health of the NHS workforce in England.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, what assessment have Her Majesty’s Government made of the impact and contribution that NHS chaplains make to the mental health of their colleagues? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans highlights contribution NHS chaplains make to supporting mental health of colleagues”

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 Durham asks about impact on vulnerable of changes to NHS charging rules

On 2nd November 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question about the impact of changes to NHS charging on refused asylum seekers, trafficking victims, the homeless and those with mental health problems: 

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the impact of changes to NHS charging regulations on refused asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups, including (1) victims of trafficking, (2) homeless people, and (3) those living with mental health conditions. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about impact on vulnerable of changes to NHS charging rules”

Bishop of Chester calls for NHS to be given responsibility for those in police care

On 30th October 2017 a Government statement was repeated in the Lords on the publication of Dame Elish Angiolini’s Report of the Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody, and the Government’s substantive response. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a question after the statement:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I very much welcome the report; I have simply read the executive summary. It is obviously important to respond well after death occurs, but equally, arguably, it is even more important to put in place measures to reduce the possibility of death. This is where the healthcare provision in the police service is especially important. Given that the NHS has a direct responsibility to provide healthcare in prisons but does not have an equivalent responsibility for those in police care, and given that for half the people the cause of death is alcohol and drug-related, is there not a need to join up A&E, the police, the whole NHS and police support? It is no doubt complex, but at the heart of this lies quite a simple issue. This ought to be brought within the ambit of the NHS, which is the case with prisons. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester calls for NHS to be given responsibility for those in police care”