Covid-19: Vaccinations - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:47 pm on 13th January 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:47 pm, 13th January 2021

My Lords, my noble friend rightly picks me up on my use of words. I profoundly thank all those in the armed services who have made a contribution. They bring particular qualities to such a challenge as the deployment of the vaccine: logistical analysis and project management of the highest level, and the manpower and ability to get things done quickly on the front line. Those are extremely complementary. However, be under no illusion; there are 1.3 million employees in the NHS, and far fewer in the Armed Forces. There is no question of the Armed Forces being able either to replicate or take the role of the NHS in such a large project, though we are enormously grateful for their particular contribution. One lesson of the pandemic has been the remarkable return to work of former NHS workers and the early graduation of some trainees. We should and will look at the use of volunteers in the NHS in months to come.