Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.
These initiatives were driven by Baroness Smith of Basildon, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.
MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.
Baroness Smith of Basildon has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Baroness Smith of Basildon has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
Baroness Smith of Basildon has not introduced any legislation before Parliament
Baroness Smith of Basildon has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
The Prime Minister has given important instructions to enforce social distancing to reduce the chance of transmission. To help this vital effort, he has announced the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods.
The Government has not asked all businesses to shut – indeed it is important for business to carry on - and comprehensive guidance on the exceptions can be found on gov.uk: (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close) Only some non-essential shops and public venues have been asked to close.
The UK Government, working with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, has published guidance on social distancing, which it continues to update to provide greater clarity for employers and employees on these measures which can be found on gov.uk: https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/social-distancing-coronavirus.htm
Businesses that do have people onsite should ensure that employees and customers are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a two metre distance from others. This guidance can also be found on gov.uk: (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19)
In addition to this, the Prime Minister has said we will take every step that we can to ensure that businesses are protected; this includes essential businesses experiencing difficulties. There is specific business advice available; the first port of call for advice and guidance should be the dedicated gov.uk pages referenced above. There is a dedicated Business Support Helpline (0300 456 3565) which has also been strengthened so businesses can speak directly to an adviser.
The Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. The Government has set out guidance on which organisations this requirement covers and what the exceptions are. Government have not published a list of goods it deems essential for the purposes of Covid-19.
Ministers and officials have regular engagement with a large number of businesses, representative organisations and trade unions across all sectors including retail and distribution.
Ministers have hosted a regular series of calls in recent weeks, where they have had the chance to speak to and hear directly from a wide range of organisations and businesses specifically for the purposes of COVID-19.
Applications to Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and British Film Institute closed in early September.
Additional funding from the £1.57bn will has gone to Scotland (£97m); Wales (£59m) and Northern Ireland (£33m)
On 22nd August, the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroot Music Venues Fund was shared among 136 venues across England who applied for support to survive the imminent risk of collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of this package, The British Film Institute (BFI) is also administering a £30-million fund on a rolling basis to support independent cinemas as they reopen, which will run until October 30th. The first wave of grant allocations was announced on Friday 2nd October, which saw 42 independent cinemas across England receive a share of £654,883.
On Friday 9th October 445 heritage organisations were awarded £103 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. Grants of up to £1m will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund.
On Monday 12th October Arts Council England awarded £257 million to over 1,300 organisations which applied for less than £1 million. The funding goes to theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues facing the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure they have a sustainable future.
Further announcements of how the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will be allocated will be made in the coming weeks.
The Department has developed an online only information sharing and suicide prevention consensus statement with input from leading mental health organisations, which aims to improve information and support for families and carers who are concerned about someone who may be at risk of suicide and to better support those who have been bereaved by suicide.
Through its contract with the Department, the Zero Suicide Alliance has developed SHARE: Consent, confidentiality & information Sharing in mental healthcare & suicide prevention on using the consensus statement for information sharing and suicide prevention and how to engage with patients when discussing confidentiality and consent to share information where this may help to prevent suicide. A copy is attached.
Practitioners should also refer to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s quality standard Suicide prevention, which includes a section on involving family, carers or friends. A copy is attached.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance for the National Health Service, social care, local authorities, emergency services, the criminal justice system and other services to identify those most at risk. Copies of Preventing suicide in community and custodial settings and a quality standard Suicide prevention are attached.
There is no defined pathway for those deemed at risk of suicide, as provision should be determined locally, based on a clinical assessment of the person’s individual situation and needs. However, we are expanding a number of other pathways to support people deemed at risk of suicide, including making 24 hours a day, seven days a week community-based mental health crisis response services available across England, with intensive home treatment available as an alternative to an acute inpatient admission. We are increasing alternative forms of provision, such as sanctuaries, safe havens, and crisis cafés, for those in crisis where appropriate and ensuring acute hospitals have a mental health liaison service in accident and emergency departments and inpatient wards.
We have committed that every integrated care system in the country will receive funding from £57 million identified for suicide prevention and bereavement services by 2023/24. This investment will allow integrated care systems to deliver multi-agency plans for suicide prevention activities, initiatives to improve care for those who self-harm and bereavement support.
No specific guidance has been issued. However, the National Health Service has published a number of online only resources for parents on mental health issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic including advice for parents, guardians and carers on how to support a child or young person if they are concerned about their mental health or that they may have an eating disorder.
The NHS has also established 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent mental health helplines and parents can access other online resources and support through schools, colleges, charities and the voluntary sector.
The information requested is not collected centrally. There is no national standardised assessment of suicide risk against which to measure the number of people nationally who present as a suicide risk.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends against using risk assessment tools to predict future suicide or repetition of self-harm, although such tools may be considered to help structure risk assessments. National Health Service organisations use a range of tools to assist clinicians in assessing a patient’s individual risk. However, these should be used to support the assessment process and should not replace clinical judgement.
The National Suicide Prevention Strategy identifies groups known to be at higher risk of suicide than the general population, including those in the care of mental health services. We continue to work with the National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group to monitor and understand suicide risk in different groups. We are investing an additional £57 million by 2023/24 to support local suicide prevention plans and the development of suicide bereavement services. The Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme also aims to reduce the number of suicides that occur across inpatient mental health and learning disability services.
NHS England and NHS Improvement is establishing 24 hours a day, seven days a week liaison mental health teams in every acute hospital to ensure that those presenting at hospital with mental health needs receive the appropriate care and treatment. By 2023/24, 70% of liaison services are expected to have met the ‘core 24’ service standard, working towards 100% coverage. NHS England and NHS Improvement will be supporting mental health trusts to refresh their Suicide Safety Plans to include both inpatient and community settings in 2021/22.
While the United Kingdom entered the current situation with a stockpile designed to respond to a pandemic influenza and a no-deal exit from the European Union, the supply chain for personal protective equipment (PPE) was designed to accommodate delivering to 226 National Health Service trusts.
We published the ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): personal protective equipment (PPE) plan’ on 10 April, and since that week, we have massively scaled this up, providing essential PPE supplies to 58,000 different providers including care homes, general practitioner surgeries, hospices and community care organisations.
Everyone is required to comply with the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 issued by the Government, in order to protect both themselves and others.
The latest data published by the National Police Chiefs' Council shows that between 27 March and 11 May, a total of 13,445 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued in England. With businesses in particular, local authorities enforcement officers made 82,490 visits or interactions between 27 March and 16 May, issuing 655 prohibition notices and 48 fixed penalty notices to business premises.
On 13 May, the Government introduced higher fines for those who do not comply with the Regulations 2020, to reflect the increased risk to others of breaking the rules. Further information can be found (attached) online: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/500/made
The government's Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 enforces the closure of certain businesses and venues in England, including many retail premises. Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.
Businesses and venues that breach the Regulations may be subject to prohibition notices, and a person, who is 18 or over, carrying on a business in contravention of the Regulations may be issued with a fixed penalty. Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these Regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. With the support of the police, prohibition notices can be used to require compliance with the Regulations including requiring that an activity ceases. It is also an offence, without reasonable excuse, to fail to comply with a prohibition notice. If prohibition notices are not complied with, or fixed penalty notice not paid, this can also be taken to court with magistrates able to impose potentially unlimited fines.