Health and social policy by topic

Health and social policy includes the following topic areas. Please click the links to access lists of publications by topic:

Coronavirus

  • Removal of coronavirus restrictions

    The Government has ended the legal requirements around self-isolation for people who test positive for coronavirus. It has also removed the pandemic-related power for local authorities to restrict certain gatherings. The regulations to effect these changes are scheduled to be debated in the House of Lords on 14 March 2022. The Liberal Democrats have tabled a regret motion that is due to be debated on 17 March 2022.

    Removal of coronavirus restrictions
  • International Women’s Day 2022: gender gaps across the world

    Despite years of international attention on the issue, global gender gaps remain. Data published by the World Economic Forum in 2021 showed that global gender gaps remained in education, health, economics and politics. This article looks at findings from the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women and girls.

    International Women’s Day 2022: gender gaps across the world
View all briefings on coronavirus

Education

  • Schools Bill [HL]

    The Schools Bill would implement many of the proposals set out in the government’s recent policy papers on schools and school funding. These include measures aimed at making it easier for schools to become academies; changes to the national funding formula; and introducing a register of children being educated outside of schools.

    Schools Bill [HL]
  • Queen’s Speech 2022: Education

    Education measures in the 2022 Queen’s Speech are likely to be dominated by provisions outlined in the schools white paper, published in March 2022. In addition, proposals for new national standards on provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and legislation on school funding and the lifelong loan entitlement (LLE) are expected. A carry-over motion, agreed in April 2022, will also see the continuation of the passage of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill.

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Education
  • Education: multi-academy trusts

    An education white paper published on 28 March 2022 set out the Government’s ambition for all schools to be part of a multi-academy trust by 2030. This policy has been criticised by some, who argue that multi-academy trusts are not more effective or efficient than other types of school structure.

    Education: multi-academy trusts
View all briefings on education

Families and social services

  • Queen’s Speech 2022: Education

    Education measures in the 2022 Queen’s Speech are likely to be dominated by provisions outlined in the schools white paper, published in March 2022. In addition, proposals for new national standards on provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and legislation on school funding and the lifelong loan entitlement (LLE) are expected. A carry-over motion, agreed in April 2022, will also see the continuation of the passage of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill.

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Education
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill

    On 1 April 2022, the House of Lords is due to debate the second reading of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill. The private member’s bill would raise the minimum age of marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales to 18. It would also expand the scope of legislation dealing with forced marriage to include any conduct to facilitate the marriage of someone under the age of 18.

    Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill
  • Mandatory vaccines for health and care workers: latest regulations

    The draft Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 would place a requirement on health and social care workers who have face-to-face contact with service users, including volunteers, to provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. They would need to do so in order to be deployed, though there would be exemptions for certain staff. The policy has been met with criticism by several medical bodies.

    Mandatory vaccines for health and care workers: latest regulations
View all briefings on families and social services

Health

  • Health care services for neurological conditions

    Neurology organisations have reported a “neurology workforce crisis” in recent years. The UK has fewer neurology consultants when compared to other high-income countries, recent data has shown. This has led to concerns about the impact on people with neurological conditions receiving timely access to health and care services. This briefing considers the latest neurology workforce and waiting times data, in addition to recent action taken to improve neurological care.

    Health care services for neurological conditions
  • Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill [HL]

    The Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill is a government bill that is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 24 May 2022. The bill would amend the special rules to allow those with a terminal illness to receive certain disability-related benefits if they have less than 12 months to live (as opposed to the current six months).

    Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill [HL]
  • Queen’s Speech 2022: Health and social care

    The next Queen’s Speech, in which the Government will set out its legislative programme for the new parliamentary session, will be delivered on 10 May 2022. The speech and accompanying briefing notes are expected to detail some health and social care-related initiatives. These could include a draft bill to reform the Mental Health Act 1983 and measures to ban conversion therapy in respect of a person’s sexual orientation.

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Health and social care
View all briefings on health

Housing

  • Queen’s Speech 2022: Levelling up, housing and communities

    Ahead of the Queen’s Speech on 10 May 2022, this article examines the Government’s policy commitments on levelling up, housing and communities. This includes the measures found in the levelling up white paper, which aimed to reduce geographical inequalities across the UK. It also discusses the Government’s plans to bring forward legislation on social housing, the rental market and leaseholds.

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Levelling up, housing and communities
  • Down Syndrome Bill

    The Down Syndrome Bill is a private member’s bill from the House of Commons sponsored by Liam Fox (Conservative MP for North Somerset). The bill would require the secretary of state to give guidance to ‘relevant authorities’ on steps that would be appropriate for them to take to meet the needs of people with Down syndrome when the authority was exercising its ‘relevant functions’.

    Down Syndrome Bill
  • Building Safety Bill

    The Building Safety Bill is scheduled for second reading in the House of Lords on 2 February 2022. It completed its House of Commons stages on 19 January 2022. The bill would implement a number of policies aimed at improving the regulation of building safety in England, particularly multiple dwelling buildings over 18 metres tall.

    Building Safety Bill
View all briefings on housing

Welfare and pensions

  • Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill [HL]

    The Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill is a government bill that is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 24 May 2022. The bill would amend the special rules to allow those with a terminal illness to receive certain disability-related benefits if they have less than 12 months to live (as opposed to the current six months).

    Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill [HL]
  • Liaison Committee follow-up report: Tackling financial exclusion

    On 25 May 2022, the grand committee of the House of Lords is due to debate the House of Lords Liaison Committee’s report ‘Tackling financial exclusion: A country that works for everyone? Follow-up report’. This report examines the progress made by the government and key stakeholders in implementing the recommendations made in the original 2017 select committee report on financial exclusion. It found that “four years on, financial exclusion is still highly prevalent in the UK”.

    Liaison Committee follow-up report: Tackling financial exclusion
  • Queen’s Speech 2022: Welfare and pensions

    This article looks at possible announcements in the upcoming Queen’s Speech relating to pensions and benefits. No major piece of welfare or pensions legislation has been pre-announced by the Government. However, it has committed to introduce measures that may require primary or secondary legislation. These include: reintroducing managed migration to universal credit; reforming the eligibility rules for benefits claimants with terminal illness; and reducing the minimum age for pensions auto-enrolment.

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Welfare and pensions
View all briefings on welfare and pensions