Covid-19: Vaccine Roll-out

Part of Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 12th January 2021.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

There are very significant pressures on the NHS. On the specific question about oxygen supplies, the limitation is not the supply of oxygen itself; it is the ability to get the oxygen through the physical oxygen supply systems in hospitals. That essentially becomes a constraint on an individual hospital’s ability to take more covid patients, because the supply of oxygen is obviously central to the treatment of people with covid in hospital. As we have a national health service, if a hospital cannot put more pressure on its oxygen system, we take people to a different hospital. I assure the hon. Gentleman that there is no constraint that we are anywhere near on the national availability of oxygen—oxygenated beds. As he knows and as we have seen reported, sometimes patients have to be moved to a different location—as local as possible, but occasionally across the country—to ensure that they get the treatment that they need.