Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:10 pm on 18th November 2020.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee of Privileges, Chair, Committee of Privileges 4:10 pm, 18th November 2020

I want to make a very different point, which is about how well prepared we were for this year and how prepared we would be if all this were to happen again. The truth is that we tend to run the NHS at 90% to 95% capacity, and it takes the requirement of only a tiny smidgen of increased capacity for the whole thing to fall over. I am particularly conscious of that in relation to intensive care. We have had to cancel elective surgery just to keep intensive care going. If we had the same number of beds per head of population as France or Germany, we would not have had to do that. Another affected area is neuro-rehabilitation after brain injuries, which was already struggling and will even more so because covid clearly leads to some neuro-degenerative conditions.