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

  • Coronavirus Act 2020: debate on temporary provisions

    As the Covid-19 pandemic progressed in March 2020, the Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force. This provided UK public bodies with a suite of powers to respond to the situation. Most provisions within the act are temporary and set to expire automatically in March 2022. The act requires these provisions to be scrutinised by Parliament periodically. This article considers what the act does, how it is scrutinised, and the UK and devolved governments’ Covid-19 plans for autumn/winter 2021–22.

    Coronavirus Act 2020: debate on temporary provisions
  • Covid-19: impact in Latin America

    Latin America accounts for over a fifth of all cases and almost a third of all deaths from Covid-19 worldwide. Vaccine rollouts are progressing across the region, but rates remain uneven. The economic toll of the pandemic has been severe, with recovery expected to take some time in many countries. This article provides a short summary of developments in the region arising from the pandemic ahead of a House of Lords debate on the subject.

    Covid-19: impact in Latin America
View all briefings on coronavirus

Education

  • Education (Assemblies) Bill [HL]

    This private member’s bill would repeal the requirement for schools in England without a designated religious character to provide daily acts of collective religious worship. In its place, the bill would establish a new duty to provide non-religious assemblies which develop the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural education of pupils. It is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 10 September 2021.

    Education (Assemblies) Bill [HL]
  • Leadership training for ministers and senior civil servants

    The Government has outlined an ambition to improve the professional skills held by both ministers and senior civil servants. This follows numerous reports and programmes aimed at improving government performance and effectiveness generally, most recently leading to the creation of a National Leadership Centre. This article provides an overview of developments relating to the training of government leaders ahead of a forthcoming debate on the subject.

    Leadership training for ministers and senior civil servants
  • Cadet forces: funding and social impact

    The cadet forces are voluntary youth organisations that are based on the traditions of the armed forces but are not part of them. The Government says they offer “challenging and enjoyable activities”. They receive some government funding. Independent analysis suggests that they provide benefits both for participants and wider society. An ongoing government scheme aims to increase the number of cadet units in state schools.

    Cadet forces: funding and social impact
View all briefings on education

Families and social services

  • Social care: challenges, funding and reform

    There is widespread recognition that the formal adult social care sector in England has faced multiple challenges over many years. The Government has set out proposals for a levy to raise funds for the sector alongside reforms to how people pay for adult social care in England. Further detail on the Government’s plans for sector reform are expected in a white paper due later this year.

    Social care: challenges, funding and reform
  • Health and Social Care Levy Bill

    The bill would provide for a new tax dedicated to helping fund the Government’s plans for health and social care, with proceeds ringfenced for this purpose. The tax would be collected from April 2022. The House of Commons has passed the bill and there are limitations on the powers of the House of Lords to amend or reject the measure. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the bill at second reading and remaining stages on 11 October 2021.

    Health and Social Care Levy Bill
  • Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021

    The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 would make it a requirement for workers in care homes to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus. The Government has said this is important to protect vulnerable residents. The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has been critical of a lack of detail on the implementation of the policy. The Lords is due to debate the regulations on 20 July 2021.

    Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021
View all briefings on families and social services

Health

  • Coronavirus Act 2020: debate on temporary provisions

    As the Covid-19 pandemic progressed in March 2020, the Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force. This provided UK public bodies with a suite of powers to respond to the situation. Most provisions within the act are temporary and set to expire automatically in March 2022. The act requires these provisions to be scrutinised by Parliament periodically. This article considers what the act does, how it is scrutinised, and the UK and devolved governments’ Covid-19 plans for autumn/winter 2021–22.

    Coronavirus Act 2020: debate on temporary provisions
  • Public Health England: Gambling-related harms review

    The Government has estimated that there are 400,000 ‘problem gamblers’ in England, with a further 2 million people at risk of developing a problem. In its recent report, Public Health England has called for gambling-related harm to be considered as a public health issue. The Government is undertaking a review of the Gambling Act 2005 and has invested in services for those affected by this issue in the NHS Long Term Plan.

    Public Health England: Gambling-related harms review
View all briefings on health

Housing

  • Cost of living: housing affordability

    This article discusses the potential impact of the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the removal of the temporary uplift to the standard allowance of Universal Credit and the rise in fuel prices on the cost of living and on people’s ability to pay their monthly mortgage and rental payments. It also examines recent commentary on the subject.

    Cost of living: housing affordability
  • Housing developments on functional flood plains

    Around 5.2 million properties in England are at risk from flooding. The Environment Agency has said that if current planning outcomes continue, this number could double in the next 50 years. The Government has recently consulted on proposals to change England’s planning policies to better respond to flood risks. The House of Commons environment committee and the Royal Institute of British Architects have raised concerns over the Government’s current planning framework.

    Housing developments on functional flood plains
  • Motions on recent changes to planning rules

    The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021 introduces several changes to the local planning framework. It makes it easier to convert a wider range of commercial buildings to residential use; allows further development of schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons and ports; and implements a ‘retain and explain’ policy for certain statues, memorials and monuments. The House of Lords is set to debate motions to reject or ‘regret’ the changes.

    Motions on recent changes to planning rules
View all briefings on housing

Welfare and pensions

  • Cost of living: housing affordability

    This article discusses the potential impact of the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the removal of the temporary uplift to the standard allowance of Universal Credit and the rise in fuel prices on the cost of living and on people’s ability to pay their monthly mortgage and rental payments. It also examines recent commentary on the subject.

    Cost of living: housing affordability
  • Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Bill

    The Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Bill would make provisions relating to the payment of compensation to eligible customers of London Capital & Finance plc. It would also allow the secretary of state to provide a loan to the Board of the Pension Protection Fund and for that loan to form a part of the funds of the Fraud Compensation Fund. The House of Lords second reading and remaining stages of the bill are scheduled to take place on 19 October 2021.

    Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Bill
  • Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill

    The bill would allow the Government to set aside the earnings requirement of the triple lock for assessing state pensions increases for the 2022/23 financial year. State pensions would instead be increased by 2.5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is higher. This briefing summarises the background to the bill and the House of Commons stages that were taken on 20 September 2021.

    Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill
View all briefings on welfare and pensions