Coronavirus Response

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:48 pm on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:48 pm, 20th July 2020

Yes, the hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about the importance of this. We are getting cancer services back up and running as fast as possible. The idea that we are waiting until the end of the year before doing anything is completely wrong. We are going as fast as we can. During the peak, some of the services did have to be stopped for clinical reasons. My heart goes out to those whose treatment was stopped because of covid and who died of cancer, The judgments were made on an individual clinical basis as to whether it was safer to go ahead with the treatment or to stop it, because, of course, many treatments for cancer are much more dangerous when there is a high volume of infectious disease. I understand that that explanation will be of no comfort to Kelly’s family and friends who mourn her, but I also understand why the NHS made that decision and I support them in the decision that it made. We must get this going again as fast as possible. This is something on which I am working very closely with the NHS. In fact, I had a meeting on it only last week. I also entirely agree on the point about radiology services, too.