3 Lord Udny-Lister debates involving the Department of Health and Social Care

Covid-19: Vaccinations for School Pupils

Lord Udny-Lister Excerpts
Monday 17th January 2022

(2 years, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Udny-Lister Portrait Lord Udny-Lister (Con)
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My Lords, can my noble friend the Minister update the House on what actions the Government have taken to protect school pupils and teaching staff from the reckless behaviour and damaging misinformation being propagated by anti-vax protesters?

Lord Kamall Portrait Lord Kamall (Con)
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My noble friend raises a very important point, which I know a number of other noble Lords have also raised. In a free society, we have to get the balance right between freedom of speech and ensuring that people have a right to say even those things with which we may disagree fundamentally, while ensuring that misinformation is not spread. The department has now provided information and guidance to schools on how to handle any misinformation, and who to contact if there are protests which step beyond the line of acceptability and contravene the law. The police now have comprehensive power to deal with the activities, especially those which spread hate or deliberately raise tensions through violence or public disorder. I am sure many people will be aware of the attacks on vaccination centres in Truro in October and in north Wales and at the Bromley Civic Centre earlier this month. That was going way too far on freedom of speech, and we want to make sure that we deal with the people who take part in these acts.

Covid-19 Update

Lord Udny-Lister Excerpts
Tuesday 6th July 2021

(3 years ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Udny-Lister Portrait Lord Udny-Lister (Con)
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My Lords, I congratulate the Minister and the Government on taking this decisive decision to start getting the country back to normal, and in particular, to start getting the economy back to normal. Of course, this could not have been done without the success of the vaccine rollout. All that goes back to last March and April, when some very decisive decisions were made. The Prime Minister made it clear on a number of occasions that the way out would be vaccination.

I urge the Minister to go a little further and start getting the Government back into their offices in Whitehall and elsewhere and start helping those businesses which are so dependent upon our town centres—and, indeed, even this Whitehall area—to get them back together. I also urge him to start looking at the traffic light system, especially as Germany has now opened its borders to India. Now is the time to start trusting the vaccines.

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, I completely concur with my noble friend’s analysis. This is an opportunity for the economy to bounce back, and I am really encouraged by everything I hear from the private sector in terms of the energy, enthusiasm and resilience of the UK economy. The large number of people who will be holidaying at home this summer provides one shot in the arm for the hospitality industry, which I know it is taking advantage of.

When it comes to borders, we have to be careful. One does not like to think about it, but the existence of millions and millions of people with the disease today means that the possibility of further variants has to be on the agenda. That is why we take it one step at a time, and I pay tribute to those in Border Force and the managed quarantine scheme for the work they have done. It is ironic that the variant delta, which started in India, is now so prevalent in the UK that it is possible to think about India coming off the red list. But there are variants elsewhere that we have to be wary of.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Lord Udny-Lister Excerpts
Tuesday 29th June 2021

(3 years ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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The noble Baroness points very well to exactly the kind of challenge that we face at the moment. She is entirely right that conditions such as arthritis and rheumatology require complex combinations and collaboration between many different staff, as well as the application of new and effective treatments and therapies. That is exactly where we are working hard to catch up. I will go back to the apartment, dig out any statistics I can and write to her accordingly.

Lord Udny-Lister Portrait Lord Udny-Lister (Con)
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My Lords, waiting lists were too long pre the pandemic and there are now some 6 million people awaiting treatment of one kind or another, many of them in a lot of pain and discomfort. The National Health Service has learned a lot during the pandemic. Will the Minister publish how he intends to speed up the treatment that these people need? Can he also advise whether he routinely uses his private email with his contacts?

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, the publication of NHS plans around the catch-up is happening on a regular basis, and there will indeed be further communication from the NHS on this. On the use of private email, I reassure noble Lords that I have read and signed the ministerial code and I seek to uphold it in everything I do.