Debates between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler

There have been 20 exchanges between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler

1 Tue 15th September 2020 Covid-19: NHS Long-term Plan
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (87 words)
2 Wed 2nd September 2020 Covid-19: Self-isolation Payment Scheme
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (78 words)
3 Wed 2nd September 2020 Childhood Obesity
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (23 words)
4 Mon 20th July 2020 Smoking
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (82 words)
5 Mon 20th July 2020 Pharmacies
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (60 words)
6 Thu 18th June 2020 Nurses: Recruitment
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (157 words)
7 Thu 18th June 2020 Covid-19: Track and Trace System
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (141 words)
8 Tue 9th June 2020 Exercise Cygnus
Department of Health and Social Care
8 interactions (246 words)
9 Thu 4th June 2020 Covid-19: Obese and Overweight People
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (127 words)
10 Thu 21st May 2020 Hospitals: Patient Safety
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (114 words)
11 Wed 20th May 2020 Dental Care
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (153 words)
12 Tue 19th May 2020 Covid-19: BAME NHS Staff
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (107 words)
13 Mon 18th May 2020 Covid-19: NHS Contact Tracing App
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (128 words)
14 Thu 14th May 2020 Covid-19: Testing
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (126 words)
15 Tue 12th May 2020 Covid-19: Vulnerable Populations
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (63 words)
16 Wed 6th May 2020 Covid-19: Contact-tracing App
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (37 words)
17 Thu 23rd April 2020 Covid-19: Personal Protective Equipment
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (79 words)
18 Wed 22nd April 2020 Covid-19: Extent of Infection
Department of Health and Social Care
8 interactions (302 words)
19 Wed 22nd April 2020 Covid-19: Medically Vulnerable People
Department of Health and Social Care
2 interactions (89 words)
20 Tue 21st April 2020 Covid-19: Removal of Restrictions
Department of Health and Social Care
5 interactions (346 words)

Covid-19: NHS Long-term Plan

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Tuesday 15th September 2020

(3 days, 14 hours ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con) - Hansard

My Lords, the Chancellor has made it clear that catch-up support for the NHS to recover from the impact of Covid is an important part of his financial projections. However, I remind the noble and gallant Lord that we are investing in 40 new hospitals. It is a massive capital investment and the impact on our healthcare service should not be underestimated.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. We now move to the next Question, which is from the noble Lord, Lord Storey.

Covid-19: Self-isolation Payment Scheme

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Wednesday 2nd September 2020

(2 weeks, 2 days ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con) - Hansard

The evidence base and criteria were our discussions with local authorities and community leaders on what an effective amount would be that would tip the balance in a personal decision to isolate. As I said earlier, those personal decisions are extremely tough. It was agreed with local infection teams and authorities that this was the kind of sum that would make a difference.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has elapsed, and that concludes Question Time.

Childhood Obesity

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Wednesday 2nd September 2020

(2 weeks, 2 days ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con) - Hansard

My Lords, the Government are not planning a review of VAT at present.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has elapsed.

Smoking

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Monday 20th July 2020

(2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell [V] - Hansard

My Lords, I completely hear the views of retailers. No one wants to put a retailer in an awkward position and I completely understand why they would support the introduction of licensing. However, that is not currently our plan and we believe that we can get to a smoke-free 2030 without introducing onerous and expensive new regulations of the kind that the noble Viscount describes.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. We now come to the fourth Question.

Pharmacies

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Monday 20th July 2020

(2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell [V] - Hansard

We are fully engaged with the sector. The National Pharmacy Association and the other stakeholder groups are in close communication with the department to ensure that they have the PPE, medicines and finances to keep going during the epidemic. The voice of the DPHs is involved in that stakeholder engagement.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has elapsed.

Nurses: Recruitment

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Thursday 18th June 2020

(3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell [V] - Hansard

The noble Baroness raises a very concerning point. I take the Chief Nurse’s advice and observations at face level. I express my profound thanks to all those nurses who have been redeployed to the front line and have performed an important task but who are now feeling a sense of either anti-climax or uncertainty. I reassure them that there is an enormous number of job opportunities in the NHS, that there is a role for them in the NHS of the future, and that we will be investing massively in the role of nurses in the years ahead, as exemplified by our commitment to recruit.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, I regret that the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. It would be very helpful if colleagues would keep their supplementary questions short so that we can get everyone on the list to ask their question. The third Oral Question is from the noble Lord, Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom.

Covid-19: Track and Trace System

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Thursday 18th June 2020

(3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell [V] - Hansard

I do not agree with that analysis. I am afraid that areas such as care homes are where the app is least effective, because the residents are static and therefore the app is not really the facility for identifying infections. This is where the manual “test and trace” process is the most effective. That is why we are super-focused on getting it right. We are working very closely with the social care community to ensure that the “test and trace” systems are working well. We are flooding social care with tests and ensuring that our tracing agents are well trained to handle local outbreaks in care homes and to deal with care home staff.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, I regret that the time allowed for this Question has elapsed, so we come to the second Oral Question. I call Lord Clark of Windermere.

Exercise Cygnus

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Tuesday 9th June 2020

(3 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell [V] - Hansard

My Lords, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services had strong input into operation Cygnus and its recommendations were taken on board. It was however a trial run for a flu pandemic, not of the kind that Covid produced, and the demands on PPE, the health sector and the care sector were more profound than the flu pandemic trials prepared us for.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

Lord Lansley. No?

Break in Debate

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell [V] - Hansard

The noble Baroness will not be at all surprised to learn that I do not agree with her analysis in any way. Operation Cygnus demonstrates that we did have robust systems in a great many areas and I am grateful to it for identifying some areas that we went on to improve. As for working with the private sector, I bear testimony to its enormous contribution to our Covid response. I do not agree with her characterisation of the profit motive.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker - Hansard

Lord Naseby. No?

Break in Debate

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell [V] - Hansard

The noble Baroness conflates two separate matters. The National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies is updated regularly and assesses civil emergency risks with a five-year horizon. The ongoing monitoring of risks in overseas countries is done in a different manner. I was trying to convey to the House that operation Cygnus was a rehearsal for a flu pandemic, not for the kind of virus that Covid proved to be.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. We will now move to the second Question, in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Quin.

Covid-19: Obese and Overweight People

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Thursday 4th June 2020

(3 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Lord is entirely right to raise the issue not only of younger adults but of children. These habits are formed extremely early and are hard to kick; if interventions are to be effective nationwide, they need to be aimed at all parts of society, particularly younger ages, when people pick up the behaviours of a lifetime.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, I regret that the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. That concludes the final Virtual Proceedings on Oral Questions. I thank everyone who has contributed today and over the last weeks, not only those who have asked questions but the Ministers for answering them. Virtual Proceedings will resume at 12 noon for the Private Notice Question on humanitarian aid to Yemen. Thank you very much indeed.

Hospitals: Patient Safety

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Thursday 21st May 2020

(4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Lord speaks of a fear that I recognise. It is a sad feature of our times that patients who should be in hospital are anxious about attending because of possible infection with Covid. Different trusts approach this in different ways. Some sites have been deemed Covid-free and are used for, for instance, cancer treatment, whereas larger sites manage differently, perhaps by allocating certain buildings to be Covid-free and others not. We have tried our hardest to reassure the public that they can proceed in the NHS with safety.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. We now come to the second Oral Question, from the noble Lord, Lord Teverson.

Dental Care

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Wednesday 20th May 2020

(4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Baroness is entirely right. I confess to having a profound biscuit habit through the Covid epidemic which I am wrestling to get over. On a serious note, the Covid epidemic has put a spotlight on the health of the nation. There seems to be some evidence that we have suffered badly from the epidemic partly because of obesity. The Prime Minister has commented personally on this issue. It will be a priority of the Government to address this point once the epidemic is over to restore the health of the nation and to tackle obesity.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has now elapsed. I thank all who put questions and the Ministers who answered. That concludes the Virtual Proceedings on Oral Questions. The Virtual Proceedings will resume at a convenient point after 12 noon for the Private Notice Question on scientific evidence relating to the reopening of schools.

Covid-19: BAME NHS Staff

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Tuesday 19th May 2020

(4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Baroness is entirely right. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to those BAME staff, whether black Afro-Caribbean or Filipino, who have put their lives at risk on the front line. It is a wake-up call; we should always be thinking about how we can accelerate opportunities for all members of staff. Those who start at the lower ranks should be given whatever opportunities are available to progress to a higher rank. The noble Baroness is entirely right that this puts a spotlight on our commitment to those groups. I completely endorse her point.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, unfortunately the time allowed for this Question has elapsed.

Covid-19: NHS Contact Tracing App

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Monday 18th May 2020

(4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

My Lords, we are in discussions with many other Governments—those in the east, which have a tradition of these apps, and fellow travellers like ourselves. It is a highly technical and difficult area; Britain is leading the way in many ways and we have learned an enormous amount. I have personally spoken to the Taiwanese Government, who have taught me an enormous amount, and those conversations continue regularly.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. It is worth noting that, in the whole Proceeding, we excluded only two possible questioners, so apologies to them. I thank your Lordships. That concludes the Virtual Proceedings on Oral Questions. Virtual Proceedings will resume at 3.30 pm for a Private Notice Question on post-Brexit customs arrangements in Northern Ireland.

Covid-19: Testing

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Thursday 14th May 2020

(4 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

I did not hear all the question, but I think I understand what the noble Baroness is asking. The truth is that, however strong the sensitivity of the machines, false negatives and false positives are an inevitable part of the testing process. However, PHE conducts extremely thorough validation processes so that these are kept to a minimum and we will use algorithms to ensure that rogue test results are picked up as soon as possible.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. We got through nine questions on this Question, which is very good. I thank noble Lords. That concludes the Virtual Proceedings on Oral Questions. The Virtual Proceedings will resume at noon for a Private Notice Question on testing in care homes.

Covid-19: Vulnerable Populations

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Tuesday 12th May 2020

(4 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Baroness is right to raise concern for the homeless—surely one of the groups suffering the most in the current epidemic. We are putting in place facilities for testing, housing and mental health support for the homeless. We envisage that these will continue for the length of the epidemic.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, I fear that the time allowed for this Question has elapsed.

Covid-19: Contact-tracing App

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Wednesday 6th May 2020

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

I reassure the noble Lord, Lord Wallace, that sunset arrangements will form part of the conditions of the app and that they will be published shortly.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has now elapsed.

Covid-19: Personal Protective Equipment

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Thursday 23rd April 2020

(4 months, 4 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Baroness is right to champion this point. The Cleveland Clinic is known to us. I will ensure that it is played into the task force that is working on both the regulations and practicalities of reuse.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker - Hansard

My Lords, that concludes the Virtual Proceedings on Oral Questions. Thank you very much, questioners and Ministers. The Virtual Proceedings will resume at 12.15 pm for the Private Notice Question in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Basildon.

Covid-19: Extent of Infection

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Wednesday 22nd April 2020

(4 months, 4 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

My noble friend Lord Dobbs is entirely right to put his finger on this important matter. The CMO was clear from the very beginning that Britain’s mortality rate came as much from Covid as from non-Covid deaths. We review this situation regularly and thoroughly, and we will be glad to update the House at a future date. We are very conscious of the threat of which my noble friend speaks.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

Supplementary question: the noble Lord, Lord Krebs. Lord Krebs? No? In that case, I call the noble Lord, Lord Hain.

Break in Debate

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Lord raises a completely valid point on the accessibility of drive-in centres. They suit some people but not all, as he rightly points out. That is why we have brought in at-home testing arrangements, delivered mainly by Amazon. They started on Monday, and we are very ambitious for both their scale and their scope, particularly for the demographics of which he speaks.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker - Hansard

Supplementary question: the noble Baroness, Lady Lawrence of Clarendon. Lady Lawrence? No? I call the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, for his supplementary question.

Break in Debate

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

Serology tests provide important data on the behaviours of the virus. We still do not fully understand what kind of immunity and antibody response will be long-lasting in the body. There are mysteries to this virus that are yet to be solved; serology tests are vital to that and they can play a part in the back-to-work strategy. However, I would remind him that it is a tiny proportion of the population—probably around 5%— who have antibodies. We cannot put the economy back on its feet with just 5% of the population.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker - Hansard

My Lords, I am afraid that the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. Two noble Lords were not called; I am sure that this will be taken into account in future lists.

Covid-19: Medically Vulnerable People

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Wednesday 22nd April 2020

(4 months, 4 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Lord makes a very reasonable request. I have sought clarification from the department on this point, because his suggestion seems eminently reasonable, and as soon as I have a reply I will write to him and share the contents with the Library.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

My Lords, I regret that the time allowed for this Question has elapsed. I apologise to the few people at the end of the list who have not managed to get in. We will seek to deal with that in the allocation for future Questions.

Covid-19: Removal of Restrictions

Debate between Lord Bethell and Lord Fowler
Tuesday 21st April 2020

(5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Baroness is entirely right. Tracking and tracing will be absolutely essential for keeping down R0, the transmission rate, when it comes to the implementation of our medium-term strategy. We are working extremely hard to dramatically increase our testing capacity. I assure the House that that capacity is growing enormously, at scale and exponentially. It is our expectation that it will easily meet the requirements of tracking and tracing. That tracking and tracing will be implemented by several work streams. The app already unveiled will be an important part of that, as will the PHE manual contact-tracing resources and the use of any other technological advances and innovations developed as part of this response to the epidemic.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler) - Hansard

Lord Mackay of Clashfern. No? Okay, we will go on. Lord Patel.

Break in Debate

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell - Hansard

The noble Lord is entirely right. I commend the colleagues from all the nations with whom I have been working over the last month. One of the most singular and impressive aspects of the response to Covid-19 has been the way in which the four nations have worked together. I am enormously grateful to my colleagues for the consistent, collaborative and helpful approach that has characterised this response. Geographical difference is the kind of subject that the CMO will give us advice on. This is, naturally, a huge concern to those who feel that they might be left behind, but the CMO will provide the best advice and we will follow the science.

Lord Fowler Portrait The Lord Speaker - Hansard

My Lords, I afraid that the time allowed for Questions has now elapsed. I thank all noble Lords who have contributed to the first Oral Questions session by way of a Virtual Proceeding. As the noble Lord, Lord Baker, said, it shows that we can hold the Government to account in different ways. We will, doubtless, get better at it as the weeks go by, but this was a very important beginning and the information that came out was valuable. I thank all noble Lords and apologise to those who did not get to speak. That brings the Virtual Proceeding to an end.