Coronavirus - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:31 pm on 9th March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 4:31 pm, 9th March 2020

My Lords, I thank the Minister for repeating the Statement. I shall ask three questions as quickly as I can so that as many people as possible can get in to speak.

My first question concerns vulnerable people in residential homes and the learning disabled who may be being supported, either by charities or at home by their parents. We need to include these people in the planning. I do not expect the Minister to respond to the point, but I will put it on the table. There are lots of people who have not been mentioned but need to be taken into account.

The 111 service is clearly under incredible pressure, given that it apparently took 120,000 calls in the first week of March. I want to ask the noble Lord about the training that 111 staff are receiving. If 700 new people have been taken on, how is their training being accelerated and is it being properly funded?

Finally, when the Select Committee saw Professor Whitty last week, he explained that half of all coronavirus cases in the UK are most likely to occur in just a three-week period. Based on recent trends, have the Government estimated when that peak might begin, and is the noble Lord sure that hospitals have enough bed spaces so that they are able to cope?