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

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

House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report: Catapults

In November 2020, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee published the ‘Catapults: Bridging the gap between research and industry’ report. This considered the role technology and innovation catapults have played in encouraging investment and collaborations in UK innovation. The committee made several recommendations, including making certain changes to the catapult funding framework. The House of Lords is scheduled to consider the report and recent developments on 19 May 2022.

House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report: Catapults
  • In Focus

    Finance Bill Sub-Committee report: off-payroll working

    In April 2020, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee published the ‘Off-Payroll Working: Treating People Fairly’ report. This made several recommendations to the Government, including considering alternative options to the off-payroll working rules. The House of Lords is scheduled to consider the report and recent developments on 27 April 2022.

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    The UK’s horticultural sector

    In recent years, concerns have been raised about the horticultural sector’s workforce, including its dependence on foreign seasonal workers and the existence of a skills gap. The sector’s role in protecting the environment has also been discussed. This article considers both these issues and the Government’s response.

  • In Focus

    National Insurance Contributions (Increase of Thresholds) Bill

    The National Insurance Contributions (Increase of Thresholds) Bill is being fast tracked through Parliament to implement increases to national insurance thresholds announced in the March 2022 spring statement. There was broad cross-party support for the bill when it completed all its House of Commons stages on 24 March 2022. However, opposition MPs criticised the spring statement for not providing enough targeted support to those on low incomes affected by the rising cost of living.

  • In Focus

    Economic Affairs Committee report on universal credit

    In July 2020, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee published a report on universal credit. It concluded that although the original aims and objectives of the benefit remained broadly correct, the system required substantial reform as its current design was causing harm to many claimants. The Government subsequently rejected most of the committee’s recommendations. The House of Lords will soon debate the committee’s report.

  • In Focus

    Trade union regulations: regret motion

    The Government has introduced regulations that would allow the Certification Officer, which regulates trade unions and employers’ associations, to charge a levy to fund its work. A second set of regulations would give the post holder powers to impose financial penalties on relevant bodies for non-compliance with statutory requirements. The Labour Party opposed the proposals in the House of Commons on the grounds they would harm trade unions and workers’ rights.

  • In Focus

    Older workers in the UK

    Recent labour market figures show a record number of job vacancies and increased economic activity in the UK. It has been suggested that one reason for this could be that older workers are leaving the workforce at a higher rate than before. This article considers how the pandemic has impacted older workers and what actions the Government has taken.

  • In Focus

    Motion to annul temporary relaxation of HGV driving time limits and rest patterns

    Between 12 July and 31 October 2021, the Government temporarily relaxed the enforcement of retained EU law that sets the driving time limits and rest patterns of heavy goods vehicle drivers. This was in response to disruption caused by the HGV driver shortage and the Covid-19 pandemic, amongst other things. The Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Temporary Exceptions) (No. 4) Regulations 2021 extends this temporary relaxation from 1 November 2021 until 11.59pm on 9 January 2022. On 6 December 2021, the House of Lords will debate a motion to annul this instrument.

  • In Focus

    Report of the Social Mobility Commission: ‘Social Mobility and the Pandemic’

    In July 2021, the Social Mobility Commission published its annual state of the nation report. It warned that the UK has struggled with the “damaging impact” of Covid-19 and as a result social mobility which is “already stagnant” could move backwards. This article considers the findings of the report and the Government’s policy on social mobility.

  • In Focus

    Menopause and the workplace

    World Menopause Day is held on 18 October every year. The International Menopause Society has said that the purpose of the day is to “raise awareness of the menopause and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing”. This article focuses on the impact it can have on the working lives of women and others who experience menopausal symptoms.

  • In Focus

    Autumn budget and spending review

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered the second budget of the year on 27 October 2021. It set out the Government’s plans to “build back better”. He also announced the results of a spending review, setting departmental spending totals for 2022/23 to 2024/25. Overall spending will increase, with a large proportion of the increase going to the NHS. The Office for Budget Responsibility also published its latest forecasts for the economy and the public finances. They showed improvements from its previous, March 2021, forecasts.

  • In Focus

    Heavy goods vehicle driver shortage

    The UK, alongside other countries, is currently experiencing a shortage of HGV drivers. This has caused some UK supply chain issues, including the fuel shortage at the start of October 2021. The Government has laid out several actions to address the shortage, which have been met with mixed responses.

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