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”

Archbishop asks for better early intervention in children’s mental health services

On 30th October 2017 Baroness Walmsley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are taking to ensure that children and young people can obtain timely access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services”. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, asked a follow up question:

The Archbishop of Canterbury: I declare an interest as having members of the family who have used child and adolescent mental health services. Does the Minister not agree that the fundamental principle of the NHS is free treatment at the point of need? Does he also agree that one of the major failures in CAMHS—it has been well evidenced by academic studies over the last two years—has been that, because of the shortage of resources, only those with the most critical needs are treated at all, and the early intervention which would help prevent needs becoming critical has been deeply neglected owing to an absence or lack of specialised therapies, particularly talking therapies? Will he confirm that the work on the most critical side is going to be extended so that children and adolescents can get care earlier and more effectively, saving the state money and fulfilling the purposes of the NHS? Continue reading “Archbishop asks for better early intervention in children’s mental health services”

Bishop of St Albans on the post-Brexit challenges for the NHS

St Albans 2On 12th July 2017, Lord Warner led a short debate in the House of Lords on the question:  “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment have they made of the risks to NHS sustainability arising from the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union”. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, contributed to the debate.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Warner, for introducing this important topic for us this evening and for his helpful and comprehensive opening remarks.

Ensuring the sustainability of the NHS is undoubtedly a significant challenge, even before the potential consequences of Brexit are considered. The uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations has created significant stress for many working in already pressurised health and social care systems.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans on the post-Brexit challenges for the NHS”

Bishop of St Albans stresses need for spiritual care for those with medically unexplained symptoms

On 4th July 2017 the Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty’s Government “who is responsible for ensuring the implementation by Clinical Commissioning Groups and hospital providers of the Guidance for commissioners of services for people with medically unexplained symptoms, published by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, many of us are glad to have this report published by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health on services for people with medically unexplained symptoms. There is a welcome stress in it on trying to get integrated care—a both physical and mental approach. Would the Minister comment on the need to have an integrated approach to the spiritual dimension of this as an essential aspect of addressing these medically unexplained symptoms? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans stresses need for spiritual care for those with medically unexplained symptoms”