Bishop of London leads debate on ambulance handovers

The Bishop of London tabled a question for short debate on 3rd November 2022, concerning ambulance handovers in light of an upcoming strike:

The Lord Bishop of London: To ask His Majesty’s Government what progress they are making on ensuring swift ambulance handovers, as set out in Our Plan for Patients, published on 22 September, given the decision of ambulance workers across 11 trusts to ballot for strike action.

My Lords, I start by saying how grateful I am to your Lordships’ House for setting time aside for what I think is an important and timely debate. I am also grateful for the briefing from the House of Lords Library.

Last week, the GMB union announced that it was balloting ambulance workers over strike action across 11 trusts in what would be the biggest ambulance workers’ strike for 30 years. I think it would be wise to ask ourselves what has happened across the whole system to bring us to this point. Ambulance handover delays are an increasing issue across the trusts in England. The NHS contract for this year sets out that 90% of handovers should take place within 30 minutes and 65% within 15. However, the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives notes 40,000 cases of patients waiting longer than an hour for handover—this was recorded this year and is the third-highest volume on record.

Long handover delays increase the risk of harm to patients while they are in ambulances. The NHS Confederation says that eight out of 10 patients who were delayed beyond 60 minutes were assessed as having had an experience that had potentially harmed them, and nearly one in 10 experienced severe harm as a result. The number of ambulances waiting to transfer their patients also impacts on the availability of ambulances, and the response times therefore increase. This in turn risks increasing further harm to those who are waiting for an ambulance in the community. Florence Nightingale famously once said that hospitals should do no harm. It is a sentiment that I believe is appropriate to the wider healthcare system. The healthcare system should do no harm.

Continue reading “Bishop of London leads debate on ambulance handovers”

Bishop of Gloucester asks about automatic registration for the Healthy Start Scheme

The Bishop of Gloucester received the following written answer on 20th July 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the potential merits of introducing an automatic registration process for the Healthy Start scheme.

Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks about automatic registration for the Healthy Start Scheme”

Bishop of St Albans asks a question on healthcare recruitment data

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 18th July 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 27 June (HL1046), what plans they have to record data on the number of health care professionals who were hired from countries graded as red by the World Health Organisation.

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Votes: Pharmacy (Responsible Pharmacists, Superintendent Pharmacists etc) Order 2022

On 28th June 2022, the House of Lords debated amendments to the Pharmacy Order 2022, at the approval stage. A vote was held on an amendment to the order, in which a Bishop took part.

Continue reading “Votes: Pharmacy (Responsible Pharmacists, Superintendent Pharmacists etc) Order 2022”

Bishop of Durham asks about the North East Ambulance Service

The Bishop of Durham asked a question during a discussion on the North East Ambulance Service on 23rd May 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I should declare that NEAS serves the area that I live in; indeed, I shall be in Shildon on other business later this week. Will the Minister take the opportunity to applaud the work—on the ground and in the vehicles—of members of the ambulance service? They seek to do their best under incredible pressure, day in and day out. This is an opportunity to thank them, I think, even in the face of such tragedy.

Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about the North East Ambulance Service”

Bishop of St Albans asks about gambling treatment services

The Bishop of St Albans asked about funding of NHS gambling treatment services on 28th March 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the announcements that the NHS (1) will no longer accept money from GambleAware, and (2) is establishing two additional NHS gambling clinics to meet demand, what plans they have to agree a long-term independent funding settlement for NHS gambling treatment services.

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Bishop of Carlisle calls for Lords select committee to deliver cross-party plan for social care

On 28th October Lord Young of Cookham asked the Government “when they will publish their proposals for the reform of social care.” The Bishop of Carlisle asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, given the long delay in the publication of proposals for the reform of social care, the impact of Covid-19 on carers and care homes, and the implications of reform for the future of the NHS—not to mention the political sensitivity and complexity of the subject, which has been referred to—does the Minister agree that the best way to achieve the cross-party consensus to which he just referred would be through an ad hoc Lords Select Committee, as already proposed from these Benches? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle calls for Lords select committee to deliver cross-party plan for social care”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about action on gambling advertising and addiction

On Wednesday 21st October the Bishop of St Albans received two written answers to questions to Government on gambling advertising and gambling addiction:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Advertising Standards Agency, Trends in exposure to TV ads during COVID-19, published on 8 October; and what steps they are taking to reduce young people’s exposure to gambling adverts. [HL9068] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about action on gambling advertising and addiction”

Bishop of London – need to invest in local public health responses to coronavirus and offer right financial support for most restricted areas

On 20th October 2020 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government statement on Covid-19, and also considered the Government’s Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2020. The Bishop of London spoke in response to both:

In response to the Motion to approve the Regulations, she said:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for the work that he and others are doing to make decisions at this very challenging time. The regulations we are debating relate to health protection restrictions and fines. However, I wonder whether our approach to public health protection and restrictions during the pandemic needs to pay more attention to a bottom-up approach of wisdom, rather than simply relying on top-down pragmatism and the push and pull of financial incentives. Last week, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Manchester highlighted how policies, such as fines, are out of touch with many. It has led to frustration and resentment nationwide. Continue reading “Bishop of London – need to invest in local public health responses to coronavirus and offer right financial support for most restricted areas”

Trade Bill: Bishop of Blackburn supports amendments on sustainable development goals, environmental, health and food standards

On 8th October 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Trade Bill in committee. The Bishop of Blackburn spoke in support of amendments that would:

  • require parliamentary approval of both negotiating objectives and of free trade agreements before the UK becomes a signatory to any agreements, to safeguard food, environmental, animal welfare and health standards.
  • ensure trade agreements cannot be implemented, signed or ratified unless they are consistent with the provisions of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Bishops’ speeches are below and the full text of the amendments beneath.

The Lord Bishop of Blackburn: My Lords, having made my maiden speech a week or so ago at Second Reading of the Bill, I am very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Purvis, for proposing Amendment 35, to which I wish to speak, without, I have to say, the expertise of other contributors, but I shall speak in favour of the amendment on two counts, only simply, as I do not wish to repeat what has already has been said. Continue reading “Trade Bill: Bishop of Blackburn supports amendments on sustainable development goals, environmental, health and food standards”

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