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

Impact of the conflict in Ukraine: UK defence and the integrated review

Since the beginning of the 2022 Russian attack on Ukraine, there have been calls for the government to reconsider the policies outlined in its 2021 integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy. On 9 June 2022, the House of Lords will debate the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, including its effect on the UK’s defence and foreign policy. This briefing looks at what the implications of the conflict might be on the UK’s strategic priorities as set out in the integrated review.

Impact of the conflict in Ukraine: UK defence and the integrated review
  • In Focus

    Calls for a UK-wide constitutional commission

    Since devolution in the UK in the late 1990s, intergovernmental relations (IGR) have been necessary for joint decision-making on areas of shared responsibility and for dispute resolution. The political and institutional structures that support IGR have been evolving since this time. However, there have been calls for a UK-wide constitutional commission to examine the relationships and arrangements between the four nations of the UK.

  • In Focus

    Artificial intelligence policy in the UK: Liaison Committee report

    The government states artificial intelligence (AI) has “huge potential to rewrite the rules of entire industries, drive substantial economic growth and transform all areas of life”. Its ambition is to be a “AI superpower” that leads the world in innovation and development. On 25 May 2022, the House of Lords will debate a Liaison Committee report which examined the government’s implementation of AI policy.

  • In Focus

    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”.

  • In Focus

    International Agreements Committee report on improving the framework for the parliamentary scrutiny of treaties

    In September 2021, the House of Lords International Agreements Committee published a report on its experiences scrutinising agreements under the current statutory framework for treaty scrutiny. Among its recommendations, the committee called for government commitments on scrutiny working practices made since April 2020 to be consolidated in a formal concordat. The committee also asked the government to commit to giving it more notice of both treaties set to be laid before Parliament and significant other agreements.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • In Focus

    Political opinion polls: Should there be greater oversight?

    The House of Lords Liaison Committee has updated the findings of an earlier ad hoc Lords committee on the issues arising for UK politics from political opinion polling. The Liaison Committee welcomed recent advances in polling techniques and information prepared by the polling industry on how to interpret polls. However, it concluded that the case for greater oversight of polling remained a matter for debate.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Brexit—Retained EU law and the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

    The Government is planning to make significant changes to the legal status of retained EU law and the post-Brexit regulatory landscape. This would be through a ‘Brexit Freedoms Bill’ and standalone legislation in areas such as procurement and data protection. There is also speculation the Government may introduce a bill to override parts of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Economic affairs and business

    The war in Ukraine has caused a further shock to the UK economy, leading to increases in inflation from levels that were already high due to the recovery from the pandemic. Government policy responses have focused on reducing the cost of living. The Government has also made a range of legislative commitments relating to the economy and business that are likely to feature in this year’s Queen’s Speech, including measures on workers’ rights, financial services regulation and competition policy.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Welfare and pensions

    This article looks at possible announcements in the upcoming Queen’s Speech relating to pensions and benefits. No major piece of welfare or pensions legislation has been pre-announced by the Government. However, it has committed to introduce measures that may require primary or secondary legislation. These include: reintroducing managed migration to universal credit; reforming the eligibility rules for benefits claimants with terminal illness; and reducing the minimum age for pensions auto-enrolment.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Devolved affairs

    The Government has argued that devolution has “empowered communities” and provided “huge benefits across the United Kingdom”. Its stated aim is to continue to collaborate with the devolved administrations, “work[ing] together to deliver for the British people”. This article discusses some of the key issues in devolved affairs that may be addressed in the forthcoming parliamentary session.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Foreign affairs, defence, and international development

    This year’s Queen’s Speech takes place at a time of severe international tension, with Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine dominating the policy agenda. At the same time, conflict in Yemen continues, as do the ramifications of the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan. In defence policy, NATO’s role has come to the fore in the face of Russian aggression, while domestically the UK military continues to undergo significant reform. In international development, focus remains on the UK’s spend on overseas assistance and how it can help those caught up in those conflict zones and elsewhere.

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