The Covid-19 pandemic has had multiple effects on the lives of young people. These include worry for vulnerable family members and a change in normal routines. School closures have often exacerbated feelings of isolation and loneliness. Young people with existing mental health needs may have experienced a disruptive break in regular care as a result of the pandemic. This article examines the impact the pandemic has had on young people’s mental health, and what the Government’s response is.

  • In Focus

    Many of the restrictions imposed due to coronavirus have been set out in secondary legislation. This article covers two regulations that were made to relax some of the restrictions on what businesses can open, including pubs, restaurants and certain beauty salons. It has been published ahead of a Lords debate on the legislation.

  • In Focus

    Rates of smoking in Britain are among the lowest in Europe. Despite this, smoking is still a major cause of early death. Smoking rates remain tied to economic factors, with research showing as personal income increases, the likelihood of smoking decreases. This article looks at the statistics and research around smoking. It also considers the Government’s ambition of going smoke-free by 2030 in England, and 2034 in Scotland.

  • In Focus

    In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been argued that the Government should change student finance arrangements for some healthcare students. This article focuses on this request, the Government’s response and how student finance currently works.

  • Research Briefing

    The bill would provide the Government with new delegated powers to update or amend the UK’s regulatory framework for medical devices and for human and veterinary medicines. Much of the current UK regulatory framework is based on EU regulations and directives. It would also allow a new information system to be introduced covering data on medical devices and would consolidate and expand enforcement provisions.

  • In Focus

    This article looks at the current candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine, focusing on the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca project, and the Moderna candidate from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The article highlights the new mRNA technology being developed in some projects. It also looks at what the Government is doing to support vaccine development.

  • In Focus

    The coronavirus pandemic has had a proven impact on mental health. The lockdown, imposed from 23 March, limited many activities that research has shown to be beneficial to mental health. These included exercise and contact with friends. This article examines these factors, and looks at which groups in particular are affected. It also covers steps the Government have taken to support mental health through the pandemic.

  • In Focus

    This article provides statistics on applications and enrolments to nursing degrees in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Nursing enrolments have declined following changes to the bursary scheme for nursing students in 2017. The ability of universities to offer courses in the autumn of 2020 has also been impacted by coronavirus. The article summarises Government policy intended to encourage nursing student recruitment.

  • In Focus

    The law on abortion in Northern Ireland changed on 22 October 2019 following the enactment of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019. The Act required the UK Government to introduce regulations that would provide lawful access to abortion services and repeal certain offences relating to abortion in Northern Ireland. This article discusses the Government’s statutory instrument that would introduce such regulations.