My question during the Urgent Question on Coronavirus, 7 July 2020


John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Could the Secretary of State remind us how big an increase in intensive care capacity there has been for the health service? That increase is a great achievement. Were the unthinkable to happen and there was another surge in the virus, could we have isolation hospitals that dealt with that so that the rest of the hospitals and surgeries could carry on with their other work?

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Matt Hancock): Yes. We have doubled the intensive care capacity, which, alongside the Nightingale, has been a remarkable achievement of the NHS. There are now green and blue areas in hospitals, or whole hospitals, depending on the geography—in a rural area, we could not make a whole hospital covid-secure or covid-free, because it would have to serve both covid and non-covid patients. That separation of the NHS into blue and green areas is an important part of their being able to reduce the impact of infection control procedures, which are obviously having a big impact on the provision of services.

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