Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 22nd April 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 11:34 am, 22nd April 2020

First, the hon. Lady is absolutely right: with an unprecedented crisis, of course we will learn lessons; there is no country in the world addressing this crisis that does not. But she is also right to refer to the Nightingale hospitals—an incredible achievement in this country. People said that we could not build a hospital in this country at that kind of speed, and we have built several, with more to come. People have said that we would not be able to get the 1 billion items of personal protective equipment; that is exactly what we have done. So we do not say that there are no challenges, and she is absolutely right to make the point that we need to learn the lessons as we go, but we are absolutely convinced that going along in a very deliberate way—learning the lessons, listening to the medical evidence, listening to the advice from the chief scientific adviser; not just abandoning it, but following it consistently—is how we will get through this crisis.

It is worth noting that one of the big risks as we go through this peak was the fear that we would find the NHS overwhelmed: it has not been overwhelmed. If we look at critical care capacity and at the ventilators that we have managed to secure, we can see that the NHS, as an institution—there have of course been heroic individual achievements—has held up well. That is a good example of how we have risen to this challenge, and we will continue to do so.