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Coronavirus Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:01 pm on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:01 pm, 23rd March 2020

Clearly, these are issues of the highest sensitivity. It is important that we take those measures in case they are needed in the circumstances where staff numbers available are low, to make sure we can get the support needed as appropriate and make the interventions that are sometimes difficult to make. For instance, it can be, in some circumstances, far worse not to detain somebody under the Mental Health Act where they are a danger to themselves or others. If there is not the availability of a second doctor, because of staff shortages due to the virus, then I think that is appropriate, but the safeguards are an important part of getting this right and an important part of why this is time limited.