Results 141–160 of 4285 for speaker:Lord Bethell

Covid-19: Obesity - Question (21 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, I agree with the correlation pointed out by the noble Baroness. We must acknowledge and address the fact that areas of deprivation undoubtedly have higher levels of obesity. However, we have to be careful about taking away people’s sense of agency. It is possible to buy affordable healthy foods at any price point. Food has never been cheaper than it is today. We must put into...

Covid-19: Obesity - Question (21 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, the Government take the advertising of unhealthy foods seriously, which is why we have commissioned this consultation. It has not finished yet so it is not possible for me to pronounce on its findings, but I assure the noble Baroness that we are looking at this issue extremely carefully indeed.

Covid-19: Obesity - Question (21 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: I thank my noble friend for his question. It is for others in the post-mortem process to pronounce on the exact cause of deaths during Covid, but it is an unavoidable fact that, of the 2.5 million Covid deaths reported by the end of February, 2.2 million were in countries where more than half of the population is classified as overweight; that includes Britain. This is a stark fact that, as...

Covid-19: Obesity - Question (21 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, I defer to the noble Lord’s expertise and authority in speaking on behalf of those who live in deprivation. He is a valued spokesman for people in such conditions. However, on his analysis, I do not think that poor people cannot lead healthy and fit lives. I do not believe that they cannot make the right decisions for their futures. I have the utmost respect for those who live in...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: I am extremely grateful for that perceptive question. We are looking, at this very moment, at our arrangements for the autumn. For the flu vaccine, we hope to double down on our hugely successful efforts from last autumn. We hope to build on the experience of the Covid vaccine to ensure that a much wider range of people have the vaccine, so that we can deal with those who might head towards...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, our thoughts are with the people of India at a time when they are fighting the disease in very difficult circumstances. I acknowledge that, for families in the UK with family and business ties with India, the arrangements under the red list are extremely inconvenient, and we are doing it only because it is absolutely necessary.

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: The right reverend Prelate hits the nail on the head. It is extremely sad, frustrating and hard to acknowledge the fact that those who live in deprivation are often those who are hardest hit by this awful disease. We have worked extremely hard to get the vaccine, and testing and tracing, into those communities and to support them with whatever education and community support we can. But the...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: The noble Lord is right that the backlog is a grave issue, and we are fighting as hard as we can to address it. The big guns of the NHS are moving from Covid to addressing the backlog, but we should not overstate its threat either. Large parts of the NHS remained open all the way through Covid, and I pay tribute to those in the NHS who worked extremely hard to ensure that many elective...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, we put in place a considerable amount of support for those on low wages, including the furlough scheme, and a huge amount of economic support. It is true that those on low wages have wage pressure put on their lives, but we have statutory sick pay for those who are sick and out of work, and we have a huge amount of investment in local government and in charities, which also provide...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, all the major vaccine companies are already looking at tweaking their existing vaccines, or developing new ones, in response to the new variants. AstraZeneca, for instance, has been working on that for some months. It is not clear, at this stage, whether we will have to start again on the vaccine programme or simply arrange new booster shots, or whether the existing vaccines will,...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, I join the noble Lord in commending the people who work at Macmillan and all the other important diagnostic centres that have remained committed to their work throughout Covid under extremely difficult circumstances, delivering hugely important healthcare services. The noble Lord is stretching my knowledge of vaccination with this question, but it is my understanding that most of...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, the vaccine is typically seen as personal medical hygiene. I am not sure if arrangements have been made for people to be paid while they get vaccinated, but I would be glad to write to the noble Baroness to confirm that. She makes an extremely sensible point about redeployment; I do not know the precise details, but would be glad to write to her.

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My noble friend is entirely right: life sciences is a huge national strength. It was a quiet industry that people did not speak of much; now it is centre stage. Post Brexit, the role of the MHRA, as one of the world’s leading regulators, is something of which we can be enormously proud as a country. It is also making a lot of businesses think that the UK should very much be the focus of...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My noble friend is right: the people of Leicester have done a terrific job at getting the rate down. It was once 571 per 100,000, and on 15 April it was 74 per 100,000. This is a huge achievement, but I am afraid that behind that lie some concerns. Nationally, we are at 26 per 100,000, but 23 local authorities have cases above 50, and Leicester is one of them. In some areas of the country,...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My noble friend is quite wrong if he is seeking to imply that there is any doubt about lockdowns working. Lockdowns work incredibly well because they put space between people. The science behind lockdowns is very simple and incontrovertible. That is the learning of the last year, and those who seek to cast doubt on it, time and again, session after session, do us no favours at all. We are at...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, the Cabinet Office is reviewing whether Covid status certification could play a role in reopening our economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety. That work is under way. The noble Lord refers to the importance of social justice and civic rights, and he is entirely right to do so; those are exactly the kinds of issues that the Cabinet Office is weighing up....

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, I hear the message from my noble friend loud and clear. Vaccination rates among care home workers in some communities are just not high enough. The Government have acknowledged that point, and that is why we have launched the consultation. We must be fair to the social care workers who work so hard, looking after those we love and care about. We have put this consultation in place...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, I completely recognise my noble friend’s concerns, but I reassure him that surgeries simply are not closed, and if he has any examples of those he thinks are closed, I would be grateful if he would write to me. Hospitals are not closed and if he has any examples, I would be grateful if he would write to me. In fact, the NHS has for months done a huge amount not only to be wide,...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, the post-mortem is not fully written. When it is, the causes of our relatively high mortality rate will undoubtedly be complex and a number of factors will have played a role, but the noble Lord is right that obesity will definitely be on the list. This country is too heavy in comparison even to our European partners. We are one of the heaviest countries in the whole of Europe and...

Covid-19: Update - Statement (20 Apr 2021)

Lord Bethell: My Lords, I am enormously grateful to both the noble Baronesses, Lady Brinton and Lady Thornton, for such thoughtful questions. I totally and utterly endorse both with regard to their massive thanks to NHS staff, to the vaccinators and, in particular, I echo the words of the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton, who thanked the invisible workers. I am acutely and particularly aware of the lab...


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