Debates between Mary Kelly Foy and Matt Hancock

There have been 7 exchanges between Mary Kelly Foy and Matt Hancock

1 Tue 8th December 2020 Covid-19 Vaccine Roll-out
Department of Health and Social Care
3 interactions (380 words)
2 Tue 10th November 2020 Covid-19 Update
Department of Health and Social Care
3 interactions (336 words)
3 Mon 21st September 2020 Covid-19 Update
Department of Health and Social Care
3 interactions (210 words)
4 Tue 14th July 2020 Coronavirus Update
Department of Health and Social Care
3 interactions (209 words)
5 Mon 8th June 2020 Covid-19: R Rate and Lockdown Measures
Department of Health and Social Care
3 interactions (168 words)
6 Tue 2nd June 2020 Covid-19 Response
Department of Health and Social Care
3 interactions (297 words)
7 Mon 18th May 2020 Covid-19 Response
Department of Health and Social Care
3 interactions (361 words)

Covid-19 Vaccine Roll-out

Debate between Mary Kelly Foy and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 8th December 2020

(1 month, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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The UK has put more money into the international search for a vaccine, and the distribution of a vaccine to the countries that otherwise would not be able to afford it, than any other state of any size, and we should be very proud of that. The way that we have managed the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is to ensure that it is available on a not-for-profit basis, essentially, worldwide. We have taken this approach because, to put it exactly as my hon. Friend did, nobody is safe until everybody is safe. This is a global pandemic and we need to address it globally. That is the only fundamental way to solve this for the long term. In the short term, what we all need to do is keep following the rules.

Mary Kelly Foy Portrait Mary Kelly Foy (City of Durham) (Lab)
- Hansard - -

The vaccine is indeed welcome news, but until it is fully rolled out, the north-east will continue to be harmed by the lack of economic support that accompanies tier 3 restrictions. The Health Secretary stated that the restrictions were based on

“cases among the over-60s; the rate at which cases are rising or falling; the positivity rate; and the pressures on the local NHS.”—[Official Report, 26 November 2020; Vol. 684, c. 1000.]

Can he therefore tell me precisely what level these figures will have to be at for the north-east to be moved into tier 2?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We consider all those figures, and because we consider them alongside special factors such as whether there is an outbreak, we do not put a specific figure on that, as the hon. Lady well knows. But what we have done is put in more economic support than almost any other country in the world, as the International Monetary Fund has recognised. We have tried as best we possibly can to support people through what has been an incredibly difficult year. We have not been able to save every job, but with the economic measures of support for business and the furlough scheme in place, we have put in very significant support. But the best support that people in the north-east, and elsewhere in the country, can have until this vaccine is rolled out is to continue to follow the restrictions that are necessary and then, if they get the call from the NHS, take that vaccine.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Mary Kelly Foy and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 10th November 2020

(2 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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10 Nov 2020, 12:04 a.m.

I understand the yearning for certainty. All I can say to my hon. Friend, in honesty, is that I want us to get back to normal as quickly as possible, and yesterday’s news is a big step forward, but it is not the only step. There are more steps that are needed. The scientists are now offering views on that sort of timetable, but the Government’s view is that we must make this happen as quickly as possible and be ready to roll out as fast as any safe vaccine can be manufactured, but we will not put safety at risk. That is a lodestar of the programme and therefore we have to await the clinical safety sign-off before we can take this to the next stage.

Mary Kelly Foy Portrait Mary Kelly Foy (City of Durham) (Lab)
- Parliament Live - Hansard - -

10 Nov 2020, 12:04 a.m.

We know that those in the most deprived areas are around twice as likely to die from covid-19 as those in the least deprived areas. We also know that the most deprived people in society are less likely to take up the vaccine and health services, so will the Secretary of State tell me what plans he has made to ensure a high take-up of any covid-19 vaccine among the most deprived and if he will consider setting an inequalities target for this?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

10 Nov 2020, 12:04 a.m.

We are of course concerned about that and will put in enormous efforts to try to ensure that the take-up of the vaccine is as equal as possible. The starting principle is that we will roll out the vaccine according to clinical need across the whole UK, across all four nations, working of course through the devolved NHSs, which are going to be critical to actually delivering the vaccine in the devolved nations. But the procurement of this vaccine is a UK programme—we have been working very closely together—and in terms of the roll-out among deprived communities and harder-to-reach communities, we have a particular emphasis on trying to make sure that we get as equal a roll-out as possible. The starting point must be clinical need.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Mary Kelly Foy and Matt Hancock
Monday 21st September 2020

(3 months, 4 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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The incubation period before which the virus can present itself is still estimated to require 14 days of self-isolation. If we could bring that figure down, I would be the first to be pleased to do so. As with our decision to take to 10 days the period for which somebody who has tested positive must self-isolate, this is a critical point, and we must rely on the scientific evidence. If my right hon. Friend has further scientific evidence, I would be happy to look at it.

Mary Kelly Foy Portrait Mary Kelly Foy (City of Durham) (Lab)
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Does the Secretary of State think that a £10,000 fine will act as a disincentive to poorer people getting a test?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

We have put in place the extra £500, in addition to other income that people are getting, to support people on low incomes to self-isolate. If someone who is on a low income has symptoms and wants to know whether they have the virus, the result of having a positive test is that they will get the extra £500, and then of course they have to self-isolate. I am confident that people will come forward and do not only the right thing for society but the right thing for them, to find out the cause of their illness if they have symptoms.

Coronavirus Update

Debate between Mary Kelly Foy and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 14th July 2020

(6 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Yes. I want to reassure people in Dudley and beyond that the NHS is open. If people need NHS treatment, they should go to the NHS. In the first instance, they should go to their GP by phone or telemedicine, or call 111 or go to NHS 111 online. If people are asked to go to hospital or into a surgery, they absolutely should, and it is safe for them to do so.

Mary Kelly Foy Portrait Mary Kelly Foy (City of Durham) (Lab)
- Parliament Live - Hansard - -

The only way that directors of public health can properly tackle covid-19 is through an integrated approach to testing, tracing and outbreak management. Currently, the Government are treating each of those separately, with little regard to how they are interconnected. Does the Secretary of State accept the limitations of this system, and will he reallocate resources so that regions can develop integrated approaches for coronavirus test, trace and management?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

It is vital that all those things are brought together at both a national and local level, and they are. The actions that have been taken under the NHS test and trace programme, whether national or local, and the interaction of the two, are testament to the fact that we are increasingly integrating national and local work and ensuring that the best high-quality data available is shared.

Covid-19: R Rate and Lockdown Measures

Debate between Mary Kelly Foy and Matt Hancock
Monday 8th June 2020

(7 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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Of course it is important to ensure that people are fully informed about the reasons why we may need to take action in a particular local area, and that is an important part of the consideration. Ensuring that local bodies—for instance local directors of public health—are fully engaged, is an important way of doing that. In Wales, where my right hon. Friend has his constituency, that is done through the devolved nations, with their responsibilities locally for public health.

Mary Kelly Foy Portrait Mary Kelly Foy (City of Durham) (Lab)
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The R number is one indicator of infection, but it is only reliable at regional level. Currently, directors of public health tell me that they receive only high-level reports, and that they need more localised information, with data that relate to the number and location of cases, and state when infection occurred. That information is vital to stopping transmission, especially as restrictions are lifted. By what date will that information be made available to local authorities, so as to inform their local outbreak plans?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

As soon as is practical.

Covid-19 Response

Debate between Mary Kelly Foy and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 2nd June 2020

(7 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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That is an incredibly important point, because there has been a disproportionate impact on transport workers, particularly those who, by the nature of their work, have to be in close contact with others, for example taxi drivers. That factor was not taken into account in the Public Health England analysis. It is exactly what we mean when we say that we must understand the different causes of the disparities in the data on the impacts according to people’s ethnic background. Disentangling how much is due to occupation and how much is due to other factors is an important part of the analysis that we need to undertake to be able to take action such as protecting those who work in the transport sector.

Mary Kelly Foy Portrait Mary Kelly Foy (City of Durham) (Lab)
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Public health professionals I have spoken to tell me that the success of the Government’s track and trace system is limited by the turnaround of up to five days for coronavirus test results. That delay severely impacts the ability of public health teams to prevent onward transmission and protect the population from the virus. Does the Secretary of State recognise that problem? If so, how does he plan to achieve a 24-hour turnaround for every test? When will that be achieved?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. Lady is quite right to report the views of local public health staff, who are right to raise the question. I am pleased to say that the turnaround speed has significantly improved in the past couple of weeks, and now 83% of tests are returned from the drive-through centres within 24 hours. There is continued work to speed that up and get the proportion even higher, and the Prime Minister has very kindly set me a goal of ensuring that all tests from the drive-through centres are returned within 24 hours.

Covid-19 Response

Debate between Mary Kelly Foy and Matt Hancock
Monday 18th May 2020

(8 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
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Yes, I will. The NHS restart is incredibly important in Lincolnshire and across the country. I know Lincolnshire well, and it is very important that we restart other services that have had to be paused for understandable reasons. Not only is Lincolnshire the home to many dedicated health and social care staff—I pay tribute to all those who work in the NHS in Lincolnshire—but my grandmother was a nurse at the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston and our great deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, is himself a resident of Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire has many great things to offer in the sphere of health, and we must ensure that that is about not just covid but health services across the board.

Mary Kelly Foy Portrait Mary Kelly Foy (City of Durham) (Lab) [V]
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The Office for National Statistics has reported that covid-19 mortality rates in the most deprived areas of England are twice those in the least deprived. Once again, this virus has reminded us of the extreme health and social inequalities in our society; although it can affect anyone, from any background, those from the poorest communities have the highest risk of severe illness and death. Here in the north-east, we have some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country, as well as the highest rates of infection. What do the Government intend to do to reduce health inequalities, both during the covid-19 lockdown and as part of our recovery from the impact of the virus?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. Lady is absolutely right; this is an incredibly important subject, both, as she says, during the crisis and thereafter. We have a study under way, which Public Health England is conducting, on the impact of all sorts of different conditions on the likelihood that covid-19 will hit someone hard. It is true that there is a link to levels of deprivation, in the same way as one of the strongest factors, other than age, is obesity—that needs to be investigated. We have also seen a bigger impact on people from minority ethnic backgrounds. All these things need to be studied. Levelling up and closing that health inequality gap is an incredibly important part of the Government’s agenda for recovering from this terrible disease.