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Coronavirus

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:07 pm on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 1:07 pm, 3rd March 2020

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the constructive approach he has taken from the start, and I will seek to address all the questions that he has raised. His first point was about statutory sick pay. For those who need to self-isolate for medical reasons to protect others, that counts as being off sick. They do not need to go to a GP, because there is a seven-day allowance for self-declaration. I hope that that addresses that point directly—[Interruption.] We keep all matters on this under review because, broadly, I agree with him on the principle that he has set out. On the NHS, he asked about resources. We have already increased resources to the NHS and we stand ready to do so if that is necessary.

The hon. Gentleman asked about doctors and revalidation. In legislation, we are proposing to make revalidation simpler. We will bring forward those measures, and of course we will engage with the Opposition on the potential measures as and when that is necessary.

On public health allocations, we have already been clear that the public health grant is going up in aggregate. As my right hon. Friend the Communities Secretary set out last week, we have seen a 4.4% real-terms increase in local authority budgets this year, and the social care budget is going up by £1 billion. I think that that takes into account the issues that the hon. Gentleman raised.

The hon. Gentleman also raised engagement with the World Health Organisation We have supported the WHO with extra funding. On engaging with the EU, I have regular engagement with colleagues from across Europe, and some of the reports I have seen in the newspapers are not accurate, because the questions of engagement with the EU on matters of health security are a matter for the negotiations, as set out on Thursday in the negotiations document.