Covid-19 Update

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Excerpts
Thursday 8th July 2021

(6 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Portrait Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Con)
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On behalf of the whole House and the whole population, I congratulate the Minister on his magnificent work during the entirety of the pandemic and, of course, all his colleagues and everyone in the National Health Service. It has truly been a real world-beater and we are all so grateful. I have a matching point on Covid-19. I had understood, maybe wrongly, that males are affected slightly differently to females. Given that hospitals now accept self-identification of males and females, does this impact on the statistics or indeed on the treatment that everyone receives?

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, I understand the question put by my noble friend but I am afraid that I do not recognise the anecdote to which she refers in terms of hospitals’ treatment of individuals. Nor do I particularly recognise the generalisation that males and females are affected by the disease differently, but I would be very happy to look into this matter and write to her if I can find more details.

Women’s Health Outcomes

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Excerpts
Thursday 8th July 2021

(6 months, 2 weeks ago)

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Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Portrait Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Con)
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I welcome this important debate on women’s health. I congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Jenkin of Kennington, and thank her profoundly for her deep and permanent commitment to the health and welfare of girls and women.

Like her, I have worked overseas and on the ground as a volunteer on violence against girls and women and, specifically for this debate, on raped and tortured female victims. Indeed the noble Baroness, Lady Bull, and I were working on that together only 10 days ago for Yazidi victims. I seek our Government’s ongoing commitment to the plight of these most special girls and women, both here and in the war-torn nations where I work, above all others. These heavily damaged survivors of continuous rape by different but always violent males deserve the very best of surgical and general healthcare.

My praise for our NHS staff and volunteer rape crisis centre teams in Britain, all of whom treat raped girls and women with outstanding care and sensitivity, is unbounded. However, the natural growth of social concern for difference and our proper national commitment to greater inclusion has led to the appointment of natal males to tend to acutely female needs, such as intimate care for mentally challenged in-patient girls, and to lead staff posts in rape victim settings. I believe the noble Baroness will join me in examining these breaches of customary dignities afforded to women whose capacity is either limited since birth, accident or illness or has been compromised by rape or other indignities. Should they not be care for, nurtured and helped to live by fellow females? Common sense and parental requests suggest they surely should, yet that is not the case today. I urge the Minister, for whom I have the highest respect, to pay heed to research and take steps to correct this situation.

Heathrow Airport: Border Control Passenger Safety

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Excerpts
Tuesday 25th May 2021

(8 months ago)

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Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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I do not have the statistic that the noble Baroness asked for, but I would be glad to write to her with it. The surge testing and vaccination in areas of VOC outbreak are now in many communities up and down the country that are not correlated with the presence of airports. They are distinct and specific to each of those communities: we work with the local DPH to ensure that the local outbreak plan is tailored to the needs of that community.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Portrait Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Con)
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Can the Minister reassure his noble colleagues that sufficient attention is being paid by the already overworked Heathrow staff to heavily disabled passengers, such as Dr Ros Sinclair, who is a post-polio victim, with all that that implies? Although there is now a distinction between red and amber, highly vulnerable people will none the less suffer if amber lists and disabled passengers are merged. Is there any possibility of entirely separate lanes for those who are disabled?

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, I pay tribute to the officials, Heathrow and the carriers for the provisions that they have put in place for those who have exceptional needs for travel. It is a truth that many people travel for health needs, and many must travel in order to address difficult circumstances that they may have. Therefore, it is entirely right that we put in place a system of exemptions and support for those who are either elderly or have some form of disability. My noble friend is entirely right that it is an unfortunate consequence of the administrative burden of red and amber processing at our ports that there are serious delays, and they fall most heavily on the vulnerable.

Puberty-blocker Drugs

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Excerpts
Thursday 10th December 2020

(1 year, 1 month ago)

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Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con) [V]
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My Lords, the noble Lord puts his point extremely well. I share his concern for those with trans or gender concerns of any kind. I reassure him that provision of gender identity services at all levels is an absolute priority for the NHS. In the recent court case, we have seen a clarification of the guidelines attributed to some of those services, but it in no way mitigates against or suggests a lack of commitment on the part of the NHS to such services.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Portrait Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Con)
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Will the Minister confirm that since no baby can be born in the wrong body and human sex cannot be changed post- birth, the extensive plastic surgery, castration, double mastectomies and concomitant lifetime of heavy unnatural drug use that follow the introduction of puberty blockers are not the right way to assist a troubled child to gain mental stability and a contented and healthy future?

Covid-19: Vaccination Prioritisation

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Excerpts
Wednesday 25th November 2020

(1 year, 2 months ago)

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Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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I hear loud and clear the case for rough sleepers made by both the noble Baroness and my noble friend. The case was made to my colleague, my noble friend Lord Greenhalgh, as well. That is a really important part of the vaccination programme and we will look into the most effective way of doing it. On the noble Baroness’s second point, I am not aware of any moves to try to limit or create mandatory situations for vaccines within the four nations.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Portrait Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Con)
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Might my noble friend consider setting up a network to catch and bring back into circulation those young people technically in care between the ages of 14 and 21 who have none the less been trafficked out of their unmonitored council care homes, given that the vaccination publicity is so enormous that they might well be able to be tempted back into life again?

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, the vaccination holds the prospect of returning to some form of normality very quickly. It is exactly the kind of situation that my noble friend points out that will be most welcome. There are a large number of people in various types of care who have not been able to be looked after in the way that they might have been previously. It is extremely valuable that the vaccine will be able to return people to that kinds of support, which they both deserve and need.