Debates between Dean Russell and Matt Hancock during the 2019 Parliament

Wed 13th January 2021
3 interactions (405 words)
Tue 8th September 2020
3 interactions (305 words)
Tue 14th July 2020
3 interactions (271 words)
Tue 5th May 2020
3 interactions (215 words)
Mon 16th March 2020
3 interactions (210 words)
Wed 11th March 2020
5 interactions (214 words)
Wed 26th February 2020
3 interactions (190 words)
Mon 27th January 2020
3 interactions (254 words)

Mental Health Act Reform

Debate between Dean Russell and Matt Hancock
Wednesday 13th January 2021

(6 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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One of the things that we have tried to do, which has been made more important because of the pandemic, is to ensure that access to IAPT therapies is available and that mental health support is as widely available as possible. We have managed to bring down some of the waiting times even while the pandemic is on, although it is more difficult in lockdown. This is an area of a huge amount of focus for us, particularly for the Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health. It is a very important subject on which we are working very hard.

Dean Russell Portrait Dean Russell (Watford) (Con) [V]
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I thank my right hon. Friend and the Lord Chancellor for this landmark announcement. I am a member of both the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Health and Social Care Committee, and we have covered the serious impact of the Mental Health Act in detail, particularly on people with learning disabilities and autism, and especially over the past year. Can my right hon. Friend set out what steps he is taking to change the way that people with learning disabilities and autism are treated within law?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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My hon. Friend has done so much, alongside other members of the Select Committee and more broadly, on this piece of work to ensure that the law treats people with learning disabilities and autism separately from how it treats people with mental ill health, and as appropriately as possible for both. This has been the big development on top of the Wessely report, which is in the White Paper, and it builds on the learnings we have had over the last couple of years, when the focus on this subject has become yet more acute, and rightly so. It is about the need to ensure that people get the appropriate provision, in the community if at all possible, and, critically, the need to ensure that the legislative underpinning supports that and does not wrongly use mental health legislation when that is not the appropriate legislation. I am really glad that we have been able to build that on top of the Wessely report and that it has had such a warm welcome. Now we have to get the details right, and I look forward to working with my hon. Friend, who has done so much work on this, and others to ensure that the details of how this is framed in legislation are got right.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Dean Russell and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 8th September 2020

(10 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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I entirely agree with the premise of the question, which is that tackling obesity is critical for the long-term health of people, and that has been highlighted yet further because of the impact of obesity on the likelihood of someone dying from covid if they get it. Of course I want to see that sugar reduction. The sugar tax has had a very significant impact on the areas that it covers, and we have a wider obesity strategy that the Prime Minister set out in July to drive forward this agenda.

Dean Russell Portrait Dean Russell (Watford) (Con)
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Across Watford and the entire UK, volunteers have been going out on the frontline, helping our brave NHS workers. One group that I met recently was from St John Ambulance, and they explained to me that the red tape in place a year ago would have made it impossible for them to be able to help, and now they have been able to cut through that during the covid crisis. Can my right hon. Friend please assure me that as we move forward, that red tape will not start binding their hands again and they can continue to help?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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Absolutely. My hon Friend is quite right. There are improvements that we made in the heat of this crisis that we should never go back on. He has just highlighted one example. There are legion others. In this House, we discuss the problems that need to be fixed. That is quite right, and often they are raised and I did not know about them in advance and I go out and fix them. That is my job, as the hon. Member for Leicester South (Jonathan Ashworth) raised with his example, but we should also note where things have gone well because of changes and be clear that we will not be going back on that.

Coronavirus Update

Debate between Dean Russell and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 14th July 2020

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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14 Jul 2020, 12:01 a.m.

Of course we are doing that work to stress-test the delivery of PPE and to rebuild the stockpile. We had a huge stockpile at the start, but the distribution of that stockpile was extremely difficult for a couple of weeks while we fully sorted it out, got the supplies flowing back in from abroad and built up domestic supplies. Lord, Paul, Deighton has done a remarkable job in putting together the logistical effort. It is exactly as the hon. Lady says. Over the summer, we are doing the work to ensure we are ready for winter.

Dean Russell Portrait Dean Russell (Watford) (Con)
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14 Jul 2020, 12:02 a.m.

I welcome the Government’s announcement that the immigration health surcharge will be exempt for health and social care staff. As set out by the Home Secretary just this week, we will launch a health and care visa, providing an exemption to the health surcharge upfront for either themselves or their dependants. There are, however, some in social care who will not be caught by that exemption. Can my right hon. Friend therefore please update the House on how he plans to ensure those social care workers will be exempt from paying the health surcharge?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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14 Jul 2020, 12:02 a.m.

Yes, I can. I can announce today that all employees working in health and social care will be exempt from the immigration health surcharge and that all employees in health and social care who have paid the immigration health surcharge on or after 31 March will be eligible for a reimbursement. We value enormously the work that people do right across the NHS and all across social care, and I am glad that we have been able to make this announcement.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Dean Russell and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 5th May 2020

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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Yes. The hon. Lady makes an incredibly important point, and I agree with every word of the question. We are already investing in more support for the mental health of frontline workers, making sure that resources are available to all. Of course, at the moment there are other challenges to delivering that because of social distancing, but I commit to continuing and strengthening that over the long term. It is something that I have thought important throughout my time as Health Secretary; I pushed this agenda even before coronavirus, and now it is even more important, and I look forward to working with the hon. Lady on it.

Dean Russell Portrait Dean Russell (Watford) (Con) [V]
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Across Watford, as a volunteer, I have seen first-hand the many inspirational frontline workers, ranging from pharmacists to hospital volunteers to GP receptionists to cleaners. Can the Secretary of State confirm that everyone—everyone—on the frontline will have the full support of the Government, so that nobody who works on the frontline is missed out as we continue our incredibly important fight against coronavirus?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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Yes, it is a big team effort and all play their part. People have different roles, of course, and people on the frontline have been incredibly flexible in the roles that they play, but all play a critical part and all deserve our support.

Covid-19

Debate between Dean Russell and Matt Hancock
Monday 16th March 2020

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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16 Mar 2020, 6:46 p.m.

Of course I understand that, and it is part of the discussions I have been having with the Welfare Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Dean Russell Portrait Dean Russell (Watford) (Con)
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16 Mar 2020, 6:47 p.m.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his statement and everyone in the House for their calm response. I have two brief questions. One has been raised several times, and although it may sound flippant, it is important. People are asking whether they can walk their pet if they are self-isolating. I ask because people want to know whether self-isolating means that they should be fully housebound, or that they can go to a park and walk their pet.

The second question—[Interruption.] I will be very quick. In Watford, we have a great volunteer network popping up. I am sure that is happening across the country. Will there be guidance for volunteers on how to ensure they do not spread the virus by doing the right thing?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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16 Mar 2020, 6:48 p.m.

The answer to the second question is yes. The answer to the first is yes, people should go outside. Walk your pets. People in household isolation should go out, but they should try to avoid other people. It is very important that we look out for others in our communities and that people get the exercise they need.

Coronavirus

Debate between Dean Russell and Matt Hancock
Wednesday 11th March 2020

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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Yes. That is a really important point, and that will be part of the provision.

Dean Russell Portrait Dean Russell (Watford) (Con)
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11 Mar 2020, 8:10 p.m.

I congratulate my right hon. Friend—[Interruption.]

--- Later in debate ---
Dean Russell Portrait Dean Russell
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11 Mar 2020, 8:10 p.m.

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker.

I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on this campaign, which has kept the level of conversation stable and consistent throughout. This week, sadly, we also had a constituent pass away at Watford General Hospital, and I pay tribute to the family and to the staff who work so hard.

My question is on the broader responsibility of this place, councils, local government and anybody in a public position. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the main message we need to get out is for people to remember that, on the frontline, the most important thing they can do is regularly wash their hands for 20 seconds? That is not much to ask of the general public, but it is the most frontline thing they can do to stop the spread.

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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That is incredibly important, and we have to keep reiterating it, even though we may have heard it a thousand times—I may have said it even more than that. Although there is a huge debate about coronavirus and what we can do as a country, there are some really simple things that are really effective.

Coronavirus

Debate between Dean Russell and Matt Hancock
Wednesday 26th February 2020

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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26 Feb 2020, 1:27 p.m.

We should thank Border Force, which has done a fantastic job, and the staff at the international ports. We are constantly engaged with them, through the Department for Transport—and the Home Office in the case of Border Force—to ensure they get the right information and support, but if the hon. Member has any specific worries, I would be happy to answer them.

Dean Russell Portrait Dean Russell (Watford) (Con)
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26 Feb 2020, 1:28 p.m.

The Secretary of State and the Government have done a fantastic job on public information, but does he agree that it would be helpful, given our reach on social media and through our constituency surgeries, if Members were to put up posters and broadcast the necessary information to our constituents in our tweets and elsewhere on social media in order to maximise that reach?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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26 Feb 2020, 1:28 p.m.

I am very happy to do that. More broadly, I am open to ideas on how to improve our response, including learning from where things have not gone well. Our approach is to make the UK response the best it can be—that is my only goal—and when there are good ideas, such as that one from my hon. Friend, we will act on them.

NHS Funding Bill

(2nd reading: House of Commons)
Debate between Dean Russell and Matt Hancock
Monday 27th January 2020

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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I am very glad that my hon. Friend has raised this matter, because I was concerned to read the reports in the newspapers and have had a briefing this morning. There is work on a new contract to replace the old one, and I very much hope that that is settled and agreed as soon as possible.

Dean Russell Portrait Dean Russell (Watford) (Con)
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27 Jan 2020, 5:10 p.m.

First, I thank my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for visiting Watford during the election, when he came to Watford General Hospital with me and very kindly met the chief executive. As part of that, he assured me that we would get £400 million of investment from the Government for West Herts trust, primarily to secure a new Watford General Hospital, one of six new hospitals—and many more—over the next few years. Given press speculation about the money being a loan and not funding from the Government, will he reassure my Watford constituents that that is not the case?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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Yes, that is exactly right. I enjoyed visiting Watford at the invitation of my hon. Friend. It is fantastic that Watford will get a new hospital. Watford General Hospital needs to be rebuilt and it will be rebuilt with a grant from the Government. The money will go to Watford general—to the trust—as he mentions. It will not be a loan; it will be a grant. I know that there has been some speculation about that. I do not know where it came from, but it is not true. The money will come as a grant.