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 Lord Bishop of London, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.
Lord Bishop of London has not introduced any legislation before Parliament
Lord Bishop of London has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
Due to shortage of time, it has not been possible to answer this question before the end of the Session. The Minister will write to the Member in due course.
Statutory Sick Pay provides a minimum level of income for employees who are unable to work and is both administered and paid for entirely by employers.
The Government continues to keep the system under review.
Information on the number of people earning less than the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL), over the last five years, is not readily available and would incur a disproportionate cost. This would require significant analysis to ensure the underlying data would be robust.
As set out in the 2019 consultation, “Health is Everyone’s Business”, it was estimated that there were around 2 million employees who earned below the LEL and were therefore ineligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
Statutory Sick Pay is administered and paid by employers, so this information is not held by the Government. Therefore, we are not able to make a robust assessment on the number of people who are currently receiving SSP.
There is information on the type of sick pay usually paid from surveys of employers and employees. The most recent of these are a survey of employers conducted in 2018 (most recent publication in 2021) and a survey of employees conducted in 2014 (published in 2015). Links to both surveys can be found below:
As set out in the 2019 “Health is Everyone’s Business” consultation, it was estimated that there were around 2 million employees who earned below the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) and were therefore ineligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
The Government is committed to improving healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035 and reducing the gap between areas where it is highest and lowest by 2030, as stated in the Levelling Up White Paper.
We know that lifestyle factors such as maintaining a healthy weight, drinking in moderation, and quitting smoking are some of the best ways to tackle health disparities. We have restricted the placement of less healthy food in shops, provided the largest ever single increase in drug and alcohol treatment and recovery funding in England, and will help a million smokers across England quit by giving them a free vaping starter kit.
The Government also announced on 24 January 2023 that it will publish a Major Conditions Strategy. An interim report will be published in the summer. Interventions set out in the strategy will aim to alleviate pressure on the health system, as well as support the Government’s objective to increase healthy life expectancy and reduce ill-health related labour market inactivity.
The Government wants to make it easier and quicker for everyone to get the help they need from primary care and reduce digital inequalities when they access care. The Delivery Plan for Recovering Access to Primary Care, published on 9 May 2023, describes the implementation of a new Modern general practice access model, which will make it easier for everyone to contact their practice and it will make sure arrangements for care happen on the same day. This will ensure we move away from a ‘first come, first served’ approach towards a more equitable one that benefits all patients, regardless of their chosen route of access.
To combat digital exclusion, the public need to know that the new access model combines the flexible use of telephone, digital and in person access choices for patients. That is why the delivery plan includes a major national communications campaign to explain the evolving nature of primary care how best the public can use the National Health Service. The plan commits £240 million of re-targeted funding for better digital tools and training, which will improve digital access routes, freeing up capacity for those patients who still want or need to contact their practice by telephone or in person.
In December 2021, we published our People at the Heart of Care white paper, setting out our vision for reforming adult social care, including our strategy for the care workforce. There is no plan to publish a further workforce strategy for adult social care.
To support the National Health Service workforce, we have published the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which sets out the steps the NHS and its partners need to take to deliver an NHS workforce that meets the changing needs of the population over the next 15 years. It will put the NHS workforce on a sustainable footing for the long term.
No assessment has been made. NHS England has a statutory responsibility to commission services that meet the needs of all patients and in all parts of the country.
The Government wants everyone to be able to access primary care when they need to and reducing inequalities in access to general practice services is a priority for the National Health Service. The Delivery Plan for Recovering Access to Primary Care, states the implementation of a new Modern general practice access model, which will make it easier for everyone to contact their practice and it will make sure arrangements for care happen on the same day. This will ensure we move away from a ‘first come, first served’ approach towards a more equitable one that benefits all patients, regardless of their chosen route of access.
Local Government has a key role to play in supporting recruitment and retention in their areas, utilising their oversight of local systems to identify workforce shortages and develop workforce plans. A new duty on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) means that the CQC will now be considering if local authorities understand their current and future workforce needs and if councils are working in partnership with providers to develop, support and promote capable and effective care workforces.
In April 2023, the Government published ‘Next Steps to Put People at the Heart of Care’, reiterating our strategy for the social care workforce, and detailing investment of at least £250 million in the adult social care workforce over the next two years.
The Major Conditions Strategy will consider major conditions in the round, including disparities due to geography and other factors. Many stakeholders have already responded to government consultations on mental health, dementia, health disparities and cancer. We will draw on the insights and evidence provided through these processes and the Department will set out opportunities to contribute further in due course.
‘Our plan for patients’, published in an online only format on 22 September, sets out the immediate priorities to support individuals to live healthier lives, including improving access to health and care services. In addition, the Department continues to review how health disparities can be addressed and further information will be available in due course.
While we have not specifically considered gender sensitive guidelines, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19 for all health and care professionals. A copy of the guideline is attached.
‘Long’ COVID-19 is a new condition and our understanding of its impact on different demographic groups, as well as the best treatment options to pursue, is still developing. NHS England and NHS Improvement have committed to a health equity audit to assess equitable access, excellent experience and optimal outcomes for all communities.
We are developing our understanding of ‘long’ COVID-19, including collecting the numbers of people affected and methods of reporting. Currently, the Office for National Statistics collects and publishes data on prevalence of ongoing symptoms following COVID-19 infection in the United Kingdom. From September 2021 activity data on referral, assessments and waiting times for post-COVID-19 assessment clinics and the patient journey, including the use of Your COVID Recovery, will be published on a monthly basis.
NHS England published Long COVID: the NHS plan for 2021/22 on 15 June. Within the Plan, a multi-disciplinary care pathway is outlined as a principle of care for ‘long’ COVID-19, with the expectations that services must offer multidisciplinary, physical, cognitive, psychological and psychiatric assessments. The paediatric hubs also announced as part of the Plan will consist of multidisciplinary teams which can provide assessment services and remote support to other clinicians to ensure ongoing holistic support. The Plan also outlined that by mid-July, healthcare systems should provide fully staffed ‘long’ COVID-19 service plans covering the whole pathway from primary care through to specialist care using multidisciplinary teams. A copy of Long COVID: the NHS plan for 2021/22 is attached.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19, states that access to multidisciplinary services should be provided for assessing physical and mental health symptoms and carrying out further tests and investigations and that integrated, multidisciplinary rehabilitation services, based on local need and resources should also be provided. A copy of the guideline is attached.
No formal assessment has been made. Data on protected characteristics and socio-economic background is not collected centrally.
NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with a range of national partners, led by the Chief Midwifery Officer for England and the National Specialty Advisor for Obstetrics, to develop an equity strategy which will focus on women and their babies from black, Asian and mixed ethnic groups and those living in the most deprived areas.
The National Perinatal Equity Strategy is in its final stages of development and will be published in the coming months. Following the publication, the Local Maternity Systems will be asked to submit an equity analysis covering health outcomes, community assets and staff experience and a co-production plan by 30 September 2021. Local Maternity Systems will then co-produce equity action plans by 31 December 2021.
Warnings on mental health risks associated with the use of montelukast in children are included in the product information and in prescribing and other resources available to health professionals and patients. The warnings were strengthened in 2019 and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued an alert in its Drug Safety Update bulletin for prescribers. However, in response to concerns raised and in line with independent expert advice, more prominent warnings will be included in product information and patient alert cards and safety leaflets will be provided to patients. These materials are currently being developed and are expected to be introduced later this year.
The public health grant to local authorities in England was £3.279 billion in 2020/21, a £295.1 million real-terms increase. The public health allocations to local authorities in England for 2021-2 were published on 16 March, and the total public health grant to local authorities will be £3.324 billion, a rise of £332.4 million in cash terms. The grant will be ring fenced for use on public health functions and includes £23.4 million for routine commissioning of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
The decision to place a patient on a Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) pathway will be taken jointly by the patient and a clinician when the clinician identifies a patient who would benefit from accessing care in this way. The decision will always be based on a patient’s individual needs and circumstances, ensuring it is in the patient’s best interests.
The Outpatient Transformation Programme provides ongoing advice and support to systems and providers implementing PIFU. This includes continuous improvement and identifying any risks, such as those relating to health inequalities and exclusion and working to provide resolution/guidance on how to address them. As part of this national support offer, resources have been made available that encourage systems and providers to develop and regularly review their Equality Health Impact Assessments in relation to PIFU.
The Government is aware that limiting visits in care homes has been difficult for many families and residents who want to see their loved ones. Our priority is to prevent infections in care homes.
We recognise how important it is to allow care home residents to safely meet their loved ones, especially for those at the end of their lives. We appreciate the particular challenges visiting restrictions pose for people with dementia, people with learning disabilities and autistic adults, amongst others, as well as for their loved ones.
Care homes can now develop visiting policies based on a local dynamic risk assessment. This approach is based on the circumstances and needs of the individual care setting, including both residents and staff, and the external COVID-19 environment.
In the event of an outbreak in a care home and/or evidence of community hotspots or outbreaks, care homes may rapidly impose visiting restrictions to protect vulnerable individuals.
NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local areas to support implementation of social prescribing. As local social prescribing schemes develop, we would expect to see social prescribing link workers establishing important relationships with local health and care professionals and a wide range of community groups and services such as voluntary organisations and churches to maximise the impact of social prescribing.
Further information is outlined in the Social prescribing and community-based support: Summary guide published by NHS England and Improvement in January 2019. A copy is attached.
The UK is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in northern Mozambique. We are working with the Government of Mozambique and other key stakeholders to address the root drivers of conflict and instability in Cabo Delgado province. This includes close co-operation with the Government of Mozambique's regional development authority in Cabo Delgado; providing targeted technical assistance under the framework of our Defence Memorandum of Understanding; and providing £19m of humanitarian and development support to internally displaced people through UN agencies, ensuring they have access to food, shelter and basic healthcare. UK development assistance in Mozambique also includes programmes to drive more inclusive growth and to promote good governance. We are also working with the government and private sector to promote training and skills opportunities for youth in the region. As one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, the UK is partnering with Mozambique on climate adaptation, including by building the resilience of the most vulnerable to climate shocks and natural disasters.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken decisive action to ensure that those seeking asylum in the United Kingdom have the support they need.
Given the unique challenges over recent months, it has been necessary to use contingency accommodation, such as former military barracks, to ensure there is always sufficient capacity to deliver our statutory obligations to destitute asylum seekers.
These sites have accommodated soldiers and army personnel in the past and are safe, secure and suitable accommodation, in which asylum seekers receive three meals a day, all paid for by the taxpayer.
Despite our best efforts and the robust measures in place at our sites, a number of asylum seekers accommodated at Napier recently tested positive for coronavirus.
It was also incredibly disappointing that a number of individuals refused coronavirus tests and had refused to self-isolate or follow social distancing rules, despite repeated requests to do so.
In line with advice from Public Health England, over the last week the Home Office moved a number asylum seekers out of the site. The purpose of this move was to allow others at Napier to self-isolate more easily and facilitate a deep clean of the site.
A wide range of measures have been implemented to ensure guidance on social distancing and self-isolation are properly applied and we have worked closely with public health authorities throughout the pandemic to inform a national approach.
We take the wellbeing, dignity and freedom of those we support extremely seriously. Asylum seekers are not detained and are free to come and go from their accommodation, in line with coronavirus restrictions.
We continue to explore further options to ensure that we continue meet our statutory obligations to support and accommodate destitute asylum seekers at all times.
The Government has announced we will extend the visas for a range of healthcare professionals working for the NHS and independent health and care providers, where their current visa expires before 1 October. This offer also applies to their families. The 12-month extension is automatic and free of charge and those benefitting will not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. Details of immigration changes, including the extended list of healthcare professionals covered by this offer, relating to COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-and-borders.
Those in the UK with leave on long term basis can also extend their stay in-country and can continue to apply online.? Where an online application is made before leave expires, a person’s leave and conditions are automatically extended by virtue of Section 3C of the 1971 Immigration Act until the application can be decided.
The health and safety of those in immigration removal centres is of the utmost importance but we remain committed to removing foreign national offenders or those who violate our immigration rules.
Detention plays a key role in securing our borders and maintaining effective immigration control. Decisions to detain are made on a case-by-case basis and kept under constant review. As circumstances of the case change, detention is reviewed in light of these changes and release may then become appropriate. However, it is only right that we protect the public from high-harm individuals, which is why the vast majority of those in detention are foreign national offenders.
The Home Office is following all Public Health England guidance and have robust contingency plans in place including measures such as protective isolation to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the immigration detention estate. Further measures including shielding, single occupancy rooms and the cessation of social visits have been introduced in line with the Government direction on social distancing.
The Home Office continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service. In addition, all immigration removal centres have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice. Measures such as protective isolation and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) are being used to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading to vulnerable groups in immigration removal centres.
Basic hygiene is a key part of tackling COVID-19. Handwashing facilities are available in all immigration removal centres and we are working closely with suppliers to ensure adequate supply of soap and cleaning materials.
All immigration removal centres have dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers.
The law does not permit indefinite detention. For detention to be lawful there must be a realistic prospect of the individual’s removal from the UK within a reasonable timescale.
Most of those people detained for immigration purposes spend only short periods in detention. In the year ending September 2019, 96% left detention within 4 months and 73% in no longer than 28 days.
The Government has announced over £5 billion in grant funding towards the remediation of unsafe cladding from buildings over 18m in height. This is in line with longstanding expert advice on which buildings are at the highest risk.
Alongside this a generous finance scheme will provide for remediation of unsafe cladding on buildings of 11-18 metres in height. We are committed to making sure no leaseholder in these buildings will have to pay more than £50 per month towards this remediation.
The most a leaseholder will now have to pay towards remediating unsafe cladding is £50pcm. Many will pay nothing at all.
We welcome the recent report from the Archbishops’ Commission, and the very important contribution of the Church to our shared commitment to help our country build back better, including supporting affordability. We will continue to work closely with the Church of England to explore how we can support them and work together to achieve our shared commitments.
We have already made a number of commitments which will bolster the delivery of high quality and sustainable affordable housing. The Government is investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, which will leverage up to £38 billion of private finance and provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow.
The Government would welcome the use of church-owned land to bring forward more affordable housing, and is content that charity law can facilitate this. The Charity Commission is able to approve the disposal of land or other assets at less than market value where the disposal is consistent with the charitable purpose of the organisation. We understand that the Charity Commission is engaging with the Archbishops’ Commissioners to understand how this can be better communicated within the Church, and we welcome that dialogue.