Covid-19 Update - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:45 pm on 18th May 2021.

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Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:45 pm, 18th May 2021

My Lords, I recognise some of the noble Lord’s insights. It is undoubtedly true that the low-paid and the poor have been hardest hit by Covid, both by the infection rates themselves and by the lockdown. That is a frustrating truth that is completely recognised and acknowledged by the Government. It is also true that the low-paid and the poor have health inequalities that have themselves made people more vulnerable to sickness, both from Covid and from the non-Covid diseases that have been exacerbated by limited access to some parts of the NHS. We are absolutely committed to reducing NHS waiting lists—that is an incredibly important part of the “build back better” mantra—but we need to do more to bring a degree of levelling up to all parts of society in order to address the symptoms that the noble Lord rightly describes.