Covid-19 Update Debate

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Department: Leader of the House
Tuesday 3rd November 2020

(3 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ashton of Hyde Portrait Lord Ashton of Hyde (Con)
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My Lords, I remind noble Lords that this time is meant for questions not statements, which will allow all noble Lords who want to to get in.

Lord Kakkar Portrait Lord Kakkar (CB) [V]
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My Lords, I draw attention to my registered interests. The lockdown for the coming month in England must achieve a substantial reduction in coronavirus circulation in the community so that hospitals are not overwhelmed by Covid-19 admissions and are able to continue to admit Covid-19 and non-Covid patients requiring urgent and elective care in future. How will Her Majesty’s Government use this one-month period better to prepare our National Health Service and our public health systems to secure these objectives so that further lockdowns will not be necessary?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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The noble Lord is absolutely right. Concerns about pressure on the NHS were one of the key drivers behind the decision made as well as the fact that, unfortunately, we are seeing in some areas of the country a small number of non-elective procedures having to be cancelled, and we absolutely do not want that to happen. That is why during this time opticians, pharmacies and GPs will stay open, and we will continue to urge people who need any type of medical opinion, attention or treatment to continue to attend appointments and see professionals. We are ramping up testing capacity. We are providing millions of items of PPE, £3 billion of funding to make sure the Nightingales can provide surge capacity and £300 million to make sure that departments have the funding they need to upgrade ahead of the winter and ensure that the NHS is not overwhelmed.