Debates between Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon and Lord Bethell during the 2019 Parliament

Covid-19: Rise of Positive Tests

Debate between Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon and Lord Bethell
Wednesday 9th September 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, the impact on R is not entirely clear at the moment. ONS and REACT figures will be published shortly, and they will have the statistical analysis that the noble Baroness asks for. However, it is safe to say that R is up. With regard to schools, the Government have made it clear that our support for the return to schools is completely emphatic. However, I remind the noble Baroness that the average distance travelled for tests, even at this stage, remains 6.4 miles. Ninety per cent of people who book a test travel less than 23 miles, and 90% of tests undertaken in our mobile sites are still converted in 24 hours.

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon Portrait Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon (Lab)
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My Lords, the Government have imposed 14 days’ isolation on people travelling from certain countries where the virus is increasing. What steps have Her Majesty’s Government taken to ensure that children travelling back with their parents are not returning to schools—so that a child with the virus goes to school on day one and the children then have to be isolated?

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, the quarantine arrangements we have put in place are essential for containing the spread of the disease. We completely sympathise with parents who have found themselves caught overseas. However, we implore them to abide by the quarantine arrangements and return their children to school once the 14-day quarantine has passed.

Covid-19: BAME NHS Staff

Debate between Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon and Lord Bethell
Tuesday 19th May 2020

(4 years, 1 month ago)

Lords Chamber
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The Question was considered in a Virtual Proceeding via video call.
Lord Bethell Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Care (Lord Bethell) (Con)
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My Lords, the Government are deeply concerned about these groups. That is why we have asked Public Health England to review the evidence. In advance of PHE’s recommendations, NHS England has written to NHS services so that, on a precautionary basis, employers can risk-assess staff at potentially greater risk and make appropriate arrangements accordingly.

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon Portrait Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon (Lab)
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I thank the Minister for that Answer. I have been asked by the Labour leader to conduct a review into the effects of Covid-19 on the BAME community. Are the NHS and Government making sure that BAME nurses are properly shielded with adequate PPE? Have they considered taking BAME nurses and staff off the front line, as they are overrepresented in the death toll of the virus?

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell
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As I mentioned in my previous Answer, arrangements have been put in place for local trusts to risk-assess all employees, including BAME nurses, and to assess whether they are at a higher risk and, if necessary, to change their rotas and staffing arrangements accordingly. I understand that some trusts have already taken these measures.