Social media: potential harm to children

Social media platforms can be sources of learning, advice and support for children and young people. However, concern has been expressed about the use of these platforms as conduits for abuse, cyberbullying and content promoting self-harm. The Government’s upcoming Online Safety Bill aims to improve safety of children online.

Social media: potential harm to children

Covid-19: motions to approve statutory instruments relating to public health

On 8 December 2021, the Government announced that England would move to ‘plan B’ of its Covid-19 response. This followed concerns about the increased spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant in the UK. Plan B consists of several measures that the Government is now seeking to implement. The House of Lords is due to consider some of these measures on 15 December 2021.

Covid-19: motions to approve statutory instruments relating to public health

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
  • Research Briefing

    Health and Care Bill

    The Health and Care Bill is scheduled for second reading in the House of Lords on 7 December 2021. This Lords Library briefing focuses on how the bill changed as it went through the House of Commons, and remaining areas that opposition parties and other stakeholders would like to see addressed in the House of Lords.

  • In Focus

    Negligence in the NHS: liability costs

    NHS Resolution manages a number of clinical negligence schemes for the NHS in England. Concern has been expressed about the high cost of dealing with negligence claims. For example, the Government has said that payment costs were the equivalent of 1.5% of the NHS budget and these costs were forecast to continue rising. The Department of Health and Social Care is looking at the issue and the Government has said it will publish a consultation on its next steps in 2021.

  • In Focus

    Cigarette Stick Health Warnings Bill [HL]

    This private member’s bill would seek to place a requirement on tobacco manufacturers to print health warnings on individual cigarette sticks and cigarette rolling papers. It is scheduled to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 3 December 2021.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19 pandemic: impact on people with disabilities

    3 December 2021 is the International Day of People with Disabilities. Edward Scott explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people with disabilities in the UK, including issues concerning access to services and the economic impact of the pandemic. This article also summarises the Government’s recent proposals for reform to benefits and employment support for people with disabilities.

  • In Focus

    All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia report

    The Conservative Party manifesto for the 2019 general election pledged that finding a cure for dementia would be one of the Government’s biggest priorities. To this end, the manifesto committed to doubling dementia research funding and speeding up trials for new treatments. In a report published in September 2021, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia made a central recommendation that the Government should implement its funding pledge as soon as possible.

  • In Focus

    Coroners (Determination of Suicide) Bill [HL]

    This private member’s bill would enable a coroner to record gambling addiction as a relevant factor to a death by suicide. Currently, data on the correlation between problem gambling and deaths by suicide remains limited. Public Health England’s recent evidence review on gambling-related harms concluded that problem gambling should be deemed a public health issue. The bill will receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 19 November 2021.

  • In Focus

    European Union Committee report—Beyond Brexit: Food, Environment, Energy and Health

    What impact will the UK’s new relationship with the EU have on food, the environment, energy and health? This article examines key findings of a House of Lords committee that looked at this topic earlier this year, as well as the Government’s response, ahead of a debate on 15 November 2021.

  • In Focus

    Harnessing public engagement in the Olympics and Paralympics

    At the 2020 Olympic Games, held in Tokyo in 2021, the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team won a total of 65 medals, including 22 gold medals. ParalympicsGB won 124 medals at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, including 41 gold medals. However, recent figures indicate levels of physical activity in England have declined over the past year. This briefing summarises recent figures for levels of physical activity and the UK Government’s policies concerning encouraging sport in England.

  • In Focus

    Regret motion: dissolution of Public Health England

    On 9 November 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate a regret motion on the Public Health England (Dissolution) (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2021. The regret motion raises concerns that there has been a lack of consultation or scrutiny of the regulations. This article examines the regulations and the parliamentary scrutiny they have received to date.

  • 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

    Community care for people with learning disabilities and/or autism

    Since 2012, successive governments have set targets to reduce the number of people with learning disabilities and/or autism in inpatient settings, in favour of being cared for in the community. However, though progress has been made, to date these targets have not been achieved. Leading in turn to calls for further action and investment, and for funding incentives to ensure those with learning disabilities and/or autism are cared for in the most appropriate settings.

  • In Focus

    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.

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