Covid-19: impact on child poverty and on young people’s education, health and wellbeing

Concerns have been raised about the impact on young people of many of the measures taken to control the spread of coronavirus. This article explores the potential impact on education, health and poverty levels, and what the Government are doing to mitigate these concerns. It has been prepared in advance of a House of Lords debate scheduled for 17 June 2021.

Covid-19: impact on child poverty and on young people’s education, health and wellbeing

Hungry for Change: Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment Committee report

In July 2020, the House of Lords Food, Poverty and the Environment Committee published its report: ‘Hungry for Change: Fixing the Failures in Food’. The committee found that the UK’s food system—the production, manufacture, retail and consumption of food—“is failing”. It made a series of recommendations built around the central aim of ensuring that everyone, regardless of income, has access to a healthy and sustainable diet.

Hungry for Change: Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment Committee report

Neurological conditions and Covid-19

Health and care services for those with neurological conditions have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with many of these patients also facing an increased risk from the virus. This briefing examines the diverse nature of these conditions and how the NHS has sought to adjust to the challenges caused by Covid-19.

Neurological conditions and Covid-19
  • In Focus

    Meeting the demand for nurses: looking abroad?

    The UK has significant unmet demand for nurses. This country has a history of recruiting nurses from overseas, and the Government aims to encourage more nurses trained abroad to come to work in the UK. However, the Government also takes into account ethical considerations relating to the recruitment of nurses from countries which themselves have a shortage of healthcare staff.

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    Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine: where are we now?

    Around one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered around the world. In the UK, more than 35 million people have received at least one dose. The vaccine developed at the University of Oxford, in partnership with AstraZeneca, is one of the major vaccines currently in circulation. This article covers the debate over supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe, as well as the rare blood clotting side-effect reported after a small number of first doses.

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    Queen’s Speech 2021: health and social care

    The 2021 Queen’s Speech is expected to include several health and social care-related measures previously trailed at the start of the 2019–21 session. This article considers recent government announcements on how it plans to progress these in the new session. The Government is also making changes to the public health system in England.

  • In Focus

    Regret motion: pharmaceutical services

    On 26 April 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate a regret motion by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on the National Health Service (Charges and Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. The purpose of the regulations is to make it easier for pharmacies to distribute specific medicines during a pandemic. However, there are concerns about the financial pressures on pharmacies in England.

  • In Focus

    Commission on Alcohol Harm: ‘It’s Everywhere’—Alcohol’s Public Face and Private Harm

    A recent report by the Commission on Alcohol Harm highlighted the damage caused by alcohol abuse. Setting out a number of recommendations, it called for the Government to publish a new comprehensive alcohol strategy. This article provides a brief overview of the report and the Government’s current policy on alcohol.

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    Body Mass Index as a medical guideline

    Body Mass Index is a measurement used globally to assess a person’s body size. Health professionals have said it is a quick and cheap way to make estimations about an individual’s potential risk of disease or poor health, but that it is more effective when used alongside other measurements. Concerns have recently been raised about the use of BMI as a barrier to treatment for eating disorders.

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    Prisons (Substance Testing) Bill

    The Prisons (Substance Testing) Bill is a government supported private member’s bill. It would amend existing legislation to allow prisons to test for a wider range of drugs, including psychoactive substances and prescription and pharmacy medicines, without the need to regularly change legislation in the future.

  • In Focus

    Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

    The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill would prohibit specific cosmetic procedures being performed on young people under the age of 18 in England, except under the direction of a registered health professional (such as doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses). It would also prohibit businesses from arranging or performing the procedures on under-18s. The bill has completed its stages in the House of Commons and is due to have its second reading in the Lords on 16 April 2021.

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    An elusive vaccine: The fight against malaria

    Malaria remains a deadly disease for many countries. A complex parasite causes the illness, which means it has proved difficult to vaccinate against. Currently, only one vaccine candidate has received regulatory approval, and no candidate has ever been fully launched and distributed. Why is malaria so difficult to vaccinate against, and which vaccine candidates are currently in development?

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