Bishop of Rochester responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement

On 18th March 2020 the House of Lords debated the Budget Statement made the previous week by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester:  My Lords, as many have already observed, this Budget comes in extraordinarily unusual circumstances, and in relation to the issues around Covid-19, subsequent to the Budget announcement, the Chancellor has brought forward a number of measures which have been largely well received, and no doubt others will need to follow. While voluntary action in our communities will form much of the day-to-day response to those who are the most vulnerable and potentially isolated across our nation, the sustaining of public services and of businesses is vital for both our social and economic well-being; other speakers have already begun to address some of those issues.​

Following the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury is always a risky business, and other noble Lords have already spoken with considerable knowledge of these matters, so I shall focus my remarks on one or two specific issues and areas which were already matters of concern, and where that concern is perhaps greater because of the circumstances in which we now find ourselves.

On children and young people, I hugely welcome the long-overdue extension of higher-rate housing benefit for care leavers until the age of 25, thus giving stability in their accommodation beyond their 22nd birthday. This is something that the Church of England organisation the Children’s Society and other charities have campaigned for over some time, and it is most welcome. Also welcome is the £2.5 million for research on family hubs. However, what is not in the provisions of the Budget or subsequent provisions is sufficient funding to address the urgent need for every child to achieve a good start in life, and that is becoming more urgent in the light of the current circumstances. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement”

Bishop of London asks about funding for nurses and midwives’ professional development

On the 15th January 2020 Baroness Watkins of Tavistock asked Her Majesty’s Government “how they intend to ensure safe staffing in social care and the National Health Service in this Parliament.” The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, asked a follow-up question.

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I am sure the Minister knows that safety is about not just numbers but the continuing development and supervision of nurses and midwives. Can she comment on what the Government are doing to ensure that both nurses and midwives are funded properly for clinical supervision and professional development?

Continue reading “Bishop of London asks about funding for nurses and midwives’ professional development”

Bishop of London responds to Queen’s Speech – health and social care

On 9th January 2020 the House of Lords debated the Queen’s Speech for the fourth day. The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, contributed:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak during this debate on Her Majesty’s gracious Speech. I note my interests, which I have declared, and I will limit my comments purely to health and social care.

I welcome Her Majesty’s Government’s focus on the NHS: health, social care and the workforce. I also welcome the additional funding. However, we must not be misled into thinking that this is a funding bonanza; it will serve only to stabilise NHS services. Continue reading “Bishop of London responds to Queen’s Speech – health and social care”

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.

Continue reading “Bishop of London highlights role of church and community groups in improving health and social care”

Bishop of Durham asks about EU Settlement Scheme, vulnerable groups and children

19.04.24 DurhamOn 30th July 2019 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer from Government, in reply to three questions about children and vulnerable EU nationals and the EU Settlement Scheme:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: (i) HL17344 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the status of the guidance issued on 3 April to all local authorities and health and social care trusts in regard to the EU Settlement Scheme and looked-after children and care leavers; and whether it is mandatory for local authorities to follow that guidance.

(ii) HL17345 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence was collected on the children who were non-UK European nationals accommodated under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, their family situations and possible vulnerabilities, before drafting the guidance on EU Settlement Scheme and looked-after children and care leavers issued on 3 April.

(iii) HL17346 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to evaluate the impact of the funding of support and its provision to vulnerable groups, including analysis of what future work is needed to ensure that vulnerable groups are able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme after funding ends in March 2020. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about EU Settlement Scheme, vulnerable groups and children”

Archbishop of Canterbury responds to statement by new Prime Minister, stresses importance of support for families

Canterburydebate081217cOn 25th July 2019 the Leader of the House of Lords  (Baroness Evans of Bowes Park) repeated a statement made in the House of Commons by the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I welcome the repetition of the Statement. We on these Benches wish to express our thanks to the Chief Whip, the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, and to Mr Evans. We tend to turn over numbers rather more regularly than your Lordships and have always been very well welcomed. We are deeply grateful and will miss them both very much indeed. I say that on behalf of all Members of these Benches—including the ones in disguise [indicates Lord McFall, sitting beside].

To move away from Brexit for a moment, the Statement talks powerfully about ambitions for education, tackling crime, social care and health, and about increasing funding for them very significantly.

All that will of course be most welcome—if it comes. The issue, though, is that money does not do it all. In all those areas, the impact of households and families in their many diverse forms today is crucial. Social care is best handled—most effectively and affectionately—from within the home.

Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury responds to statement by new Prime Minister, stresses importance of support for families”

Bishop of Ely asks Government about support for adults with learning disabilities

Ely231018On 25th July 2019 Baroness Wheeler asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Budget Survey 2019 on the state of adult social care”. The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, we have heard, properly, about the needs of the elderly. Will the Minister assure us that the needs of people with learning disabilities will be better addressed in any action the Government are likely to take, particularly since some 41% of the helpline calls to Mencap in April were from people very concerned about the loss of community care?

Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks Government about support for adults with learning disabilities”