Bishop of Portsmouth leads debate on health consequences of problem gambling

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On the 1st November the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster led a short debate in the Lords about gambling addiction, numbers of people being hospitalised and the cost to the NHS. A full trancript of the debate is below:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to (1) reduce the number of problem gamblers hospitalised each year, and (2) protect vulnerable people from gambling addiction.
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans has had, at very short notice, to remain in his diocese. He apologises for being unable to be here and to ask this Question. On his behalf and with his permission, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in his name on the Order Paper. He and I are grateful to those participating in this short debate, and look forward to their contributions. There is a seamless transition between the last item of business and this one. The right reverend Prelate’s interest in this subject comes from the people who have contacted him directly to explain how gambling has destroyed their lives. The Church has often campaigned on behalf of victims, and we on these Benches want to contribute towards some solutions.

Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth leads debate on health consequences of problem gambling”

Bishop of St Albans criticises appalling delay in bringing in stake reduction on betting machines

On 30th of October Lord Griffiths of Burry Port asked the Government  whether they will introduce legislation to reduce the maximum bet for fixed-odds betting machines to £2; and if so, when. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: Many of us who have been speaking and campaigning on this issue were appalled yesterday to hear about the further time that it will take to implement this. These machines are predominantly found in the poorest areas. The research is quite clear: they cause huge poverty. On top of that, it is estimated that every day between one and two people commit suicide for gambling-related reasons. That is not only a huge social cost; it is a massive financial cost, far more than the £400 million relevant tax revenue that Her Majesty’s Government receive each year. Surely it is time to do this for the sake of everyone in our country. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans criticises appalling delay in bringing in stake reduction on betting machines”

Bishop of St Albans asks about link between suicides and gambling addiction

On 30th October 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from Government about suicides linked to problem gambling or gambling addiction:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the number of suicides that were linked to gambling addiction or problem gambling from 2010 till 2018. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about link between suicides and gambling addiction”

Bishop of Lincoln asks Government about mental health provision in rural areas

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On 20th June 2018 Lord Cotter asked Her Majesty’s Government “what proportion of mental health treatment is funded by the National Health Service nationally as against local funding.” The Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Lincoln: My Lords, I speak for one of the most rural parts of England. Does the Minister recognise the higher level of suicide in rural areas? In part, this is due to rural isolation and the sparsity of mental health provision. What plans do the Government have to increase local and accessible provision in these areas? Continue reading “Bishop of Lincoln asks Government about mental health provision in rural areas”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support for prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm:

On 27th April 2017 the Bishop of St Albans asked the Government what it was doing to support prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Keen of Elie on 3 April (HL6247), what are the measures that will be put in
place to help support prisoners who are at risk of selfharm or suicide. [HL6804] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support for prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm:”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about action to reduce prison suicides

On 3rd April 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on prison suicides.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the increasing annual number of self-inflicted deaths in prisons since 2012, what steps they are taking to reduce the number of such deaths. [HL6247] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about action to reduce prison suicides”

Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about suicide and self-harm in prisons

Bp Salisbury 2On 8th November 2016 Lord Patel of Bradford asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are taking to address reports of increasing levels of violence in prisons.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I have been in and out of prisons quite a lot, usually in support of the excellent multifaith chaplaincies that attest to the importance of the spirit of human beings. In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in the number of suicides, and in self-harm and violence. The recently published strategy for prison safety and reform is very welcome. Does the Minister agree that an imaginative and creative approach to education and the development of people’s spirit is an essential part of prison life for all those who have offended and are being punished? Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about suicide and self-harm in prisons”