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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 10, 2021 10:00am-1:01pm BST

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�* by the end of we got to 2000 a day by the end of february, and it was still rising but by the middle of march it was not rising fast enough, we were not doing enough to bring in the private sector capacity so i took personal charge of it and then a couple of weeks later, said the 100,000 target and that 100,000 target was essential in galvanising the whole system and building a diagnostics organisation and ecosystem in this country and now we do about 6 million tests and i'm very proud of it. i, l, , l, , million tests and i'm very proud of it. that was a very important step in our pandemic— it. that was a very important step in our pandemic response - it. that was a very important step in our pandemic response but - in our pandemic response but strategy at the time was clear, when we got through stage one, community testing would stop and on the 16th of march, when doctor tedros said we need to test, test, the week after we had stopped community testing, did you challenge officials and say why do we appear to be doing something completely different to what the world health organization is advising?
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macro at that point. the challenge though, was, the scale of the capacity. and i had driven that as hard as i could within phe with my indirect, therefore hands on the levers. then in the middle of march we had a meeting in downing street at which we had an array of test providers, we had the phe team who were doing that, the testing, and i took personal charge of the testing. i know you wanted to expand capacity, i'mjust i know you wanted to expand capacity, i'm just trying to understand the strategy. you confirmed you were not offered south korean style test and trace as an option. figs korean style test and trace as an 0 tion. �* , . korean style test and trace as an otion. �*, ., .,, korean style test and trace as an otion. a . .,, a, korean style test and trace as an otion. a . , option. as far as i can remember. did ou option. as far as i can remember. did you ever— option. as far as i can remember. did you ever ask _ option. as far as i can remember. did you ever ask sage _ option. as far as i can remember. did you ever ask sage to - option. as far as i can remember. did you ever ask sage to analyse l option. as far as i can remember. i did you ever ask sage to analyse and do the modelling for south korean
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style test and trace?— do the modelling for south korean style test and trace? yes, and i had calls with south _ style test and trace? yes, and i had calls with south korean _ style test and trace? yes, and i had calls with south korean ministers i style test and trace? yes, and i had j calls with south korean ministers to understand what they were doing. so why did that modelling not happen until april and why were there no discussions until may? it was a big emergency. discussions until may? it was a big emergency-— emergency. essentially because of lack of capacity- — emergency. essentially because of lack of capacity. i'm _ emergency. essentially because of lack of capacity. i'm talking - emergency. essentially because of lack of capacity. i'm talking aboutl lack of capacity. i'm talking about discussions _ lack of capacity. i'm talking about discussions in _ lack of capacity. i'm talking about discussions in sage. _ lack of capacity. i'm talking about discussions in sage. in _ lack of capacity. i'm talking about discussions in sage. in terms - lack of capacity. i'm talking about discussions in sage. in terms of. lack of capacity. i'm talking about l discussions in sage. in terms of the strategy, sage didn't discuss this until may. if you requested them to look at it earlier, why did it take that time?— look at it earlier, why did it take that time? �* ., , ., that time? i'm not sure that i did directl . that time? i'm not sure that i did directly- what — that time? i'm not sure that i did directly. what i _ that time? i'm not sure that i did directly. what i was _ that time? i'm not sure that i did directly. what i was doing - that time? i'm not sure that i did directly. what i was doing was i directly. what i was doing was asking around the world who has got the best response. all of these questions are predicated on the idea that we simply could have had more tests. we couldn't, i drove the system as hard as i could including having to go in and essentially take executive authority over delivering, and then we brought in dido to pick
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that up because it was such an enormous task. i that up because it was such an enormous task.— that up because it was such an enormous task. i want to ask you a cuestion enormous task. i want to ask you a question about _ enormous task. i want to ask you a question about dominic— enormous task. i want to ask you a question about dominic cummings' allegations which he didn't substantiate but i want to give you a chance to comment on the record. he said that you used the whole, we are following the science lie, as a way meaning you could blame the scientists if things went wrong and he said he saw you discuss that with the prime minister. is that true? i don't think so, and i'll tell you why. my approach throughout has been that we are guided by the science. i try not to say we follow the science. there are examples where ministers make decisions different to scientific advice. one example is when we brought back people from wuhan injanuary, i was advised they should be asked to go home and isolate and i said, they need to
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quarantine. and we used nhs facility on merseyside and we took people directly from the plains and put them there and make sure they were quarantined. that is an example of the scientific advice saying you can be more relaxed about things and me being tougher. when it comes to decisions around lockdown, we did accept and implement the scientific advice and i'm sure we will come onto that. but i take full responsibility for the decisions that not only i take part are taken in my name is secretary of state across the health family, the nhs, public health england in the department. and i know the prime ministerfeels very department. and i know the prime minister feels very strongly the same. but of course you are guided by the science. my
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same. but of course you are guided by the science-— by the science. my last question on this area, by the science. my last question on this area. how— by the science. my last question on this area, how do _ by the science. my last question on this area, how do we _ by the science. my last question on this area, how do we improve - by the science. my last question on this area, how do we improve the l this area, how do we improve the quality, the diversity of the advice going to ministers from sage and the scientists in the future? would there be merit in a pandemic situation rather than normal times, in publishing that advice immediately so you get the benefit of instant peer review from the entire scientific community? yes. entire scientific community? yes, and thankfully _ entire scientific community? yes, and thankfully now _ entire scientific community? yes, and thankfully now we _ entire scientific community? yes, and thankfully now we do - entire scientific community? 1913 and thankfully now we do publish the evidence and the minutes of those meetings. and i think the public debate around this is generally healthy. debate around this is generally health . . ~ debate around this is generally health . ., ~ debate around this is generally healthy-_ in - debate around this is generally healthy._ in terms l debate around this is generally| healthy._ in terms of healthy. thank you. in terms of followin: healthy. thank you. in terms of following up — healthy. thank you. in terms of following up the _ healthy. thank you. in terms of following up the question - healthy. thank you. in terms of following up the question about south _ following up the question about south korea, the science and technology committee took evidence from phe _ technology committee took evidence from phe and one of the officials said an _ from phe and one of the officials said an evaluation had been made, a formal_ said an evaluation had been made, a formal evaluation of the south korean — formal evaluation of the south korean model. as to whether we could learn lessons from it. try as we
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might, — learn lessons from it. try as we might, that _ learn lessons from it. try as we might, that paper seemed to have evaporated, it disappeared. it's never_ evaporated, it disappeared. it's never been produced to us. did you ever see it? — never been produced to us. did you ever see it? i— never been produced to us. did you ever see it? i have _ never been produced to us. did you ever see it? i have no _ never been produced to us. did you ever see it? i have no recollection i ever see it? i have no recollection of that. that isn't to say no because in prepping for this committee, i've gone through a load of this and there are some things i've discovered that i had forgotten that i did. and so it isn't a know but i have no recollection. just on the 100.000 — but i have no recollection. just on the 100,000 target _ but i have no recollection. just on the 100,000 target you - but i have no recollection. just on the 100,000 target you set - but i have no recollection. just on the 100,000 target you set when j but i have no recollection. just on - the 100,000 target you set when you had gripped the problems, that was the subject of, again, some quite bitter— the subject of, again, some quite bitter criticism from dominic cummings. he said it was criminal that you _ cummings. he said it was criminal that you should have set that target — that you should have set that target it _ that you should have set that target. it was notable during that time, _ target. it was notable during that time, again, the committee took evidence, — time, again, the committee took evidence, and no one that came before _ evidence, and no one that came before us— evidence, and no one that came before us including your officials
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wanted — before us including your officials wanted to associate themselves with the target. even your testing tsar john newton when we asked him what was the _ john newton when we asked him what was the derivation of the 100,000 said he _ was the derivation of the 100,000 said he would have to ask the secretary _ said he would have to ask the secretary of state, it was his target — secretary of state, it was his target it _ secretary of state, it was his tartet. , , ., secretary of state, it was his target-_ why i secretary of state, it was his i target._ why was secretary of state, it was his - target._ why was it target. it is my target. why was it the case that _ target. it is my target. why was it the case that even _ target. it is my target. why was it the case that even your _ target. it is my target. why was it the case that even your advisers l target. it is my target. why was it i the case that even your advisers and the case that even your advisers and the whole _ the case that even your advisers and the whole of whitehall seem to be running _ the whole of whitehall seem to be running away from it? | the whole of whitehall seem to be running away from it?— the whole of whitehall seem to be running away from it? i don't know whether the _ running away from it? i don't know whether the testimony _ running away from it? i don't know whether the testimony you - running away from it? i don't know whether the testimony you were i whether the testimony you were talking about was before or after we hit the target. talking about was before or after we hit the target-— talking about was before or after we hit the target._ there - talking about was before or after we hit the target._ there uk. i hit the target. before. there uk. exlain hit the target. before. there uk. exolain that- _ hit the target. before. there uk. explain that. well, _ hit the target. before. there uk. explain that. well, we _ hit the target. before. there uk. explain that. well, we didn't - hit the target. before. there uk. | explain that. well, we didn't know we were going _ explain that. well, we didn't know we were going to _ explain that. well, we didn't know we were going to hit _ explain that. well, we didn't know we were going to hit it. _ explain that. well, we didn't know| we were going to hit it. sometimes you have to pick yourself in jeopardy. put yourself on the line. and in this case i knew we needed a radical increase in testing capacity, a radical increase and that incremental increases wouldn't do. and so i set the 100,000 target
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and i set it on the advice of my team, i asked them what was the best they could do by the end of the month. the advice they gave me was just over 100,000. 100,000 is a good numberfor a big target and the purpose of the target was to galvanise the system, and it worked. if you ask anybody involved including many of those who have been mentioned during this process, they will say that the 100,000 target mattered because it galvanised the system. notjust in the government but the whole country. we need diagnostics companies to come to the table, nhs labs to step up further and expand, and it said to everybody we are going for it big time, and it worked. within government, the whole of the department involved in testing was focused on this. on the goal. and i am delighted to say that
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we hit it. now, there are, there were others, it turns out i had no idea at the time that there were others who were working, who were not as supportive as i might have hoped. not as supportive as i might have ho ed. ., �* not as supportive as i might have hoed. ., �* ,, ., ., not as supportive as i might have hoed. ., �* ~' ., ., . hoped. you didn't know that dominic cummints hoped. you didn't know that dominic cummings was _ hoped. you didn't know that dominic cummings was against _ hoped. you didn't know that dominic cummings was against the _ hoped. you didn't know that dominic cummings was against the whole - cummings was against the whole enterprise of 100,000? | cummings was against the whole enterprise of 100,000?- cummings was against the whole enterprise of 100,000? i was a bit surrised enterprise of 100,000? i was a bit surprised by _ enterprise of 100,000? i was a bit surprised by the — enterprise of 100,000? i was a bit surprised by the testimony - enterprise of 100,000? i was a bit surprised by the testimony that i enterprise of 100,000? i was a bit surprised by the testimony that he | surprised by the testimony that he didn't think that we should have a target or that we shouldn't... anyway, i was a bit surprised. that hadn't been _ anyway, i was a bit surprised. that hadn't been communicated to you at the time? _ hadn't been communicated to you at the time? i�*ll hadn't been communicated to you at the time? �* , the time? i'll tell you why. the prime minister _ the time? i'll tell you why. the prime minister was _ the time? i'll tell you why. the prime minister was absolutely | the time? i'll tell you why. the i prime minister was absolutely behind me and gave me his full wholehearted support in hitting the target. because he liked me me that we needed a radical increase in testing, and it is a tried and tested method. it turned out afterwards, i was told this is a
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standard business school methodology. it turns out, you set a big goal, you galvanise the team, you give everybody confidence to do what is needed to build this capacity and it worked. and i also saw some testimony from some people saying, we needed to get to a higher number. absolutely, but you can't get to a higher number without going through the lower number first. and this is what we did.— this is what we did. dominic cummings _ this is what we did. dominic cummings said _ this is what we did. dominic cummings said on - this is what we did. dominic cummings said on the i this is what we did. dominic cummings said on the 25th | this is what we did. dominic i cummings said on the 25th of this is what we did. dominic - cummings said on the 25th ofjanuary that he contacted you about pandemic preparedness and you said to him, we've got four plants up to and including pandemic levels regularly prepped and refreshed. we are stress testing now, it is our top tier risk register. is that your recollection of what you said and with hindsight what are your thoughts on the level of pandemic preparedness in place at that time? i of pandemic preparedness in place at that time? ~' . ., , that time? i think the record is sli . htl
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that time? i think the record is slightly wrong _ that time? i think the record is slightly wrong because - that time? i think the record is slightly wrong because i i that time? i think the record is slightly wrong because i said i that time? i think the record is i slightly wrong because i said that the ceo is an epidemiologist. but the ceo is an epidemiologist. but the question was, are we ready for something like a baler or a flu pandemic? famously, the preparations on the plans in place where for a flu pandemic —— are we ready for something like ebola or a flu pandemic. the honest truth is this was a completely novel virus and in fact it is different even from the previous coronaviruses including sars and mers. its treaty countries that experienced those were better prepared than we were, partly because of that experience, but it's also true that covid—19 is very different from sars and mers and the number one differences it has asymptomatic transmission. so, those plans that were in place were
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incredibly useful in some areas. it meant we had a draft bill which became the coronavirus act. it meant that we had plans ready for infection prevention and control and infection prevention and control and in fact we published our first infection prevention and control data and guidance, sorry, guidance not data, on the 10th of january. so those plans were important. but of course when you have a novel pathogen, it behaves differently to what any plans could possibly set out. and what really mattered is the capabilities that we had. there were some areas where we have strong capabilities, some areas like the nhs, like science where we had strong capabilities, other areas where we have weak capabilities, especially in testing. and also on a vaccine, that's a big difference
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with flu preparedness because we had vaccines ready to go on flu, and we've got antivirals. but for a coronavirus, there was no vaccine and there aren't any proven antivirals either. so what i said is absolutely true in response to the question. he asked me, are we ready for ebola or a flu pandemic and i said we have full plans for those things. but of course at that time, 25th of january, we were working incredibly hard on responding not just to ebola orflu but responding to what we knew of what became covid—19. to what we knew of what became covid-19. ., ., , ., covid-19. how many of those deficiencies _ covid-19. how many of those deficiencies were _ covid-19. how many of those l deficiencies were predictable? should we have learnt more from sars and mers and do you think the lack of diagnostic testing was a predictable failure we should have addressed pre—pandemic? it’s a predictable failure we should have addressed pre-pandemic? it's a very tood addressed pre-pandemic? it's a very good question- _ addressed pre-pandemic? it's a very good question. some _ addressed pre-pandemic? it's a very good question. some of— addressed pre-pandemic? it's a very good question. some of these i addressed pre-pandemic? it's a veryj good question. some of these things we would have done better to have
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learned from sars and mers. other things went predictable. so, for instance, ifirst things went predictable. so, for instance, i first asked, things went predictable. so, for instance, ifirst asked, started things went predictable. so, for instance, i first asked, started the push for a vaccine injanuary. i had a meeting on the 25th of january pushing for a vaccine in which i was told it would take a long time, that it would take normally five years, and typically if we accelerated everything and everything went right it would take to get 18 months, and i said i want one within year and we will trade the full resources of the state of making that happen and it was obviously hugely successful. it was obviously hugely successful. it was predictable we didn't have a vaccine for a coronavirus, so as soon as we knew this was a coronavirus, which was relatively early, we knew that the gap in the vaccine armoury would be a
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significant gap. there other things that were far harder to predict. ii that were far harder to predict. if you think about the function of pandemic preparedness, if we are trying to make changes in the future, do you have any reflections on things we should do to make sure those predictable deficits... absolutely. we need a standing testing capacity. we need abstract chasing capacity so we can contact race even when the numbers get big, because the reason the community contact tracing stopped was because the number of infections was so big. the capacity again, as with other phe capacities, were great on the science and small scale but couldn't scale. so, we need in good times to retain capacity say that as and when a new pathogen hits that could become a pandemic, we are ready to
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pounce. i think another huge learning point is borders. i don't know where they will come onto that later. but on borders, the position we took was based notjust on world health organization advice put on the international health regulations which stipulate that closing borders is not an appropriate response in a pandemic. that is the international regulation. the advice we received, the clinical advice is that unilaterally taking action at the borders would only have a small effect in terms of delaying the response, of about a week. indeed, early in the pandemic this was proven both by the us and italy taking direct action at the border and they still had the disease rife. if everyone takes action on the borders and restricts movement, then clearly that can have a big impact. and so we have strengthened our border policy throughout and now we
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have one of the strongest border policies in the world. at my reflection at the time, and this is very important for the lessons learned, is that the only way we could have stopped, the world could have stopped this virus getting out of china is if china itself had stopped people leaving china. as soon as people were allowed to leave china to go to one place, unless the whole world take action on borders, as they have now, it would only have delayed to a degree. that was the clear clinical advice and it is one of the things we absolutely must change at the global level, that part of the response to a dangerous pathogen needs to be health action at the border.— pathogen needs to be health action at the border. rebecca long-bailey. mr hancock. — at the border. rebecca long-bailey. mr hancock, gibbs _ at the border. rebecca long-bailey. mr hancock, gibbs said _ at the border. rebecca long-bailey. mr hancock, gibbs said testing i at the border. rebecca long-bailey. mr hancock, gibbs said testing was | mr hancock, gibbs said testing was at no _ mr hancock, gibbs said testing was at no point — mr hancock, gibbs said testing was at no point scale down, you were
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ramping — at no point scale down, you were ramping up — at no point scale down, you were ramping up testing capacity all the way through and you wanted to scale that up— way through and you wanted to scale that up in_ way through and you wanted to scale that up in february but you had to privatise — that up in february but you had to privatise testing. just before the first lockdown, what was the plan for the _ first lockdown, what was the plan for the prioritisation of testing? yes _ for the prioritisation of testing? yes this — for the prioritisation of testing? yes. this was important. i think it was published but if not, i will write to the committee would be full clinical details. so, this was a clinical details. so, this was a clinical document that sets out the prioritisation according to what use of tests is most likely to save lives. if i recall correctly, the top item was use of tests in intensive care, because in intensive care if somebody has breathing difficulties, the difference between knowing that this is covid—19 or not can be a life—saving difference. so, if you start with intensive care and then work through, but it was a clinical prioritisation. reportedly stated to the _ clinical prioritisation. reportedly stated to the media _ clinical prioritisation. reportedly
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stated to the media yesterday i clinical prioritisation. reportedly l stated to the media yesterday that in march _ stated to the media yesterday that in march 2020, phe's internal advice was to— in march 2020, phe's internal advice was to make — in march 2020, phe's internal advice was to make sure any patients newly discharged _ was to make sure any patients newly discharged into care homes had to be tested _ discharged into care homes had to be tested for— discharged into care homes had to be tested for covid—19 and the whistle—blower allegedly said this initial— whistle—blower allegedly said this initial advice was signed off by two phe officials, doctor eamon moore and doctor— phe officials, doctor eamon moore and doctorjulia byrne. and that that was— and doctorjulia byrne. and that that was the case up until the case up that was the case up until the case up until— that was the case up until the case up until the — that was the case up until the case up until the period just before the first lockdown, would you say that is correct? — first lockdown, would you say that is correct? i— first lockdown, would you say that is correct? ., ., first lockdown, would you say that is correct?— is correct? i have no recollection of that. is correct? i have no recollection of that- that _ is correct? i have no recollection of that. that is _ is correct? i have no recollection of that. that is not _ is correct? i have no recollection of that. that is not my _ is correct? i have no recollection l of that. that is not my recollection of that. that is not my recollection of the clinical advice and i haven't seen anything on that. the whistle-blower _ seen anything on that. the whistle-blower goes i seen anything on that. the whistle—blower goes on to say that even though officials were fully aware — even though officials were fully aware of — even though officials were fully aware of covid—19 outbreaks in care homes _ aware of covid—19 outbreaks in care homes at _ aware of covid—19 outbreaks in care homes at this time, allegedly one of your health — homes at this time, allegedly one of your health ministers leaned on public_ your health ministers leaned on public health england to alter the advice _ public health england to alter the advice being published because your department believe they needed to -et
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department believe they needed to get people out of hospitals. the whistle—blower says that dr eamonn 0'moore _ whistle—blower says that dr eamonn 0'moore and drjulia verne were pressured, — 0'moore and drjulia verne were pressured, to allow more care homes to take _ pressured, to allow more care homes to take patients in. at discharge testing — to take patients in. at discharge testing advice softened at the instruction of your department? not that i'm instruction of your department? iirrit that i'm aware of. if i can sit at the clinical advice we were given, because we followed it throughout on this and it's a very important topic. if you think about it, from the start we knew that people living in care homes were amongst the most vulnerable. we did all that we could to support them and we knew that because we know that covid—19 has a bigger impact on people the older that they are, and say this was obviously a very important topic from the start. the clinical advice at the time had three parts. firstly, that if you take somebody
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who has had a test and, given that it took about four days for the test results come back, and they stayed in hospital therefore for those four days, that test could come back negative but the person could have caught covid—19 in hospital in that time and that is obviously bad for that individual but it's also bad for the care home because then they would be going back to a care home with a negative test result, people thinking they had tested negative but having covid—19. secondly, the biggest challenge in this space was that the clinical advice at the time was if he didn't have symptoms and you took a test, then it was likely to give you a false negative results and that the clinical advice stayed all the way through this period and then was changed later. and then the third point is that the most important thing to do, which is what we did in the advice that we gave to care homes starting in february, is to make sure there is infection
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prevention and control in the care homes. in fact, the data published since all of this has shown that the best estimate from public health england is that 1.6% of the transmission into care homes came through the streets and in fact what this tells you is that sadly the biggest route of covid—19 into care homes is through the community. —— came through this route. so the most important thing was a staff testing which we introduced as soon as we had been testing capacity to do so. certainly there seems to be a lot of confusion _ certainly there seems to be a lot of confusion here. the allegations suggest — confusion here. the allegations suggest public health england advice was initially to test on discharge and certainly as we heard, mr cummings said numberio had been specifically told that was happening. to clarify this, which you provide copies to this committee
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of all internal advice and communications between your department, public health england and your— department, public health england and your ministerial team on hospital— and your ministerial team on hospital discharge and care home testing _ hospital discharge and care home testing certainly for the period from _ testing certainly for the period from january to april? i�*m testing certainly for the period from january to april? i'm very ha - to from january to april? i'm very happy to make _ from january to april? i'm very happy to make sure _ from january to april? i'm very happy to make sure that i from january to april? i'm very happy to make sure that the i from january to april? i'm very i happy to make sure that the clinical advice and the clinical testimony is provided to this committee, yes. in particular, if you look at the testimony to this committee about the commitments i made, the commitment was that we would introduce this testing and when we had the capacity to do that, given the other pressures on testing which is a lifetime to —— which is a life—saving resource... is a lifetime to -- which is a life-saving resource. . .- is a lifetime to -- which is a life-saving resource... you would be ha- life-saving resource... you would be ha - to life-saving resource... you would be happy to publish _ life-saving resource... you would be happy to publish all— life-saving resource... you would be happy to publish all the _ life-saving resource... you would be happy to publish all the written i happy to publish all the written responses to the committee so we can analyse _ responses to the committee so we can analyse them? i responses to the committee so we can analyse them?— analyse them? i am absolutely happy to rovide
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analyse them? i am absolutely happy to provide the — analyse them? i am absolutely happy to provide the clinical _ analyse them? i am absolutely happy to provide the clinical advice - analyse them? i am absolutely happy to provide the clinical advice on i to provide the clinical advice on which these decisions were taken, yes. which these decisions were taken, es. ., y ., which these decisions were taken, es. ., ,, ~ which these decisions were taken, es. ., , , ~ ., yes. not your responses, mr hancock? i don't understand. _ yes. not your responses, mr hancock? i don't understand. would _ yes. not your responses, mr hancock? i don't understand. would you - yes. not your responses, mr hancock? i don't understand. would you be i i don't understand. would you be reared i don't understand. would you be prepared to _ i don't understand. would you be prepared to publish _ i don't understand. would you be prepared to publish your- i don't understand. would you be prepared to publish your written l prepared to publish your written responses to the advice and be written — responses to the advice and be written responses of your ministerial team say that we can be clear on— ministerial team say that we can be clear on what direction public health— clear on what direction public health officials were given? yes. yes. on these _ health officials were given? yes. yes. on these points, _ health officials were given? yes. yes. on these points, rebecca l yes. on these points, rebecca long-bailey— yes. on these points, rebecca long-bailey mentions - yes. on these points, rebecca long-bailey mentions what i yes. on these points, rebeccal long-bailey mentions what she yes. on these points, rebecca i long-bailey mentions what she has long—bailey mentions what she has described as initial advice at the beginning of the pandemicjust before lockdown, which is the period we are looking at. that was signed off by two phe officials, we are told, dr eamonn 0'moore and drjulia verne. we provide the committee with that initial advice? i verne. we provide the committee with that initial advice?— that initial advice? i don't know an hint that initial advice? i don't know anything about _ that initial advice? i don't know anything about that _ that initial advice? i don't know anything about that advice i that initial advice? i don't know anything about that advice so i that initial advice? i don't know i anything about that advice so i'm happy to go away and see what advice
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was given. happy to go away and see what advice was tiven. �* ,, happy to go away and see what advice was tiven. , , . was given. assuming it exists, which ou was given. assuming it exists, which you provide — was given. assuming it exists, which you provide that _ was given. assuming it exists, which you provide that to _ was given. assuming it exists, which you provide that to the _ was given. assuming it exists, which you provide that to the committee i was given. assuming it exists, which | you provide that to the committee so we can compare it to the advice eventually adopted?— we can compare it to the advice eventually adopted? well, sub'ect to the normal rules i eventually adopted? well, sub'ect to the normal rules ofi eventually adopted? well, subject to the normal rules of disclosure. i'm . the normal rules of disclosure. i'm cautious here but i've got a reason for it, which is that in that period they would have been a lot of advice written then goes through layers of clinical approval. written then goes through layers of clinicalapproval. so written then goes through layers of clinical approval. so i don't want junior officials to end up having their material put into the public domain but i'm happy to go through, especially if there is particular advice from these named individuals, and to make sure that is provided to the committee. fits and to make sure that is provided to the committee-— the committee. as he said a few moments ago. _ the committee. as he said a few moments ago, transparency i the committee. as he said a few. moments ago, transparency about the committee. as he said a few- moments ago, transparency about the process of decision—making, everyone was operating especially in those early weeks in a fog of great uncertainty as to what was the right thing to do. we are trying to learn
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lessons that might be applied later in this pandemic but to other emergencies as to what the right approach is. so, what is vitalfor thatis approach is. so, what is vitalfor that is notjust to see the final products but how the advice evolved. yes, and also the reasons for that because they will have been a debate about it, i imagine. i because they will have been a debate about it, i imagine.— about it, i imagine. i think that is behind about it, i imagine. ithink that is behind rebecca's _ about it, i imagine. ithink that is behind rebecca's question i about it, i imagine. ithink that is behind rebecca's question and i about it, i imagine. i think that is i behind rebecca's question and why it would be useful to see this. thank you. in terms of those early weeks and talking about taking clinical advice and following scientific advice, one of the clear things that has emerged from the hearings and evidence we've had is that clearly we didn't lockdown early enough. neil ferguson suggested quite a lot of lice would have been saved, i think he set up to half of those initial deaths if we had locked down a week earlier. the whole question
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of the changed advice in the middle of the changed advice in the middle of march reflected that and again, this is something that i think has pretty clearly emerged. some people said there was a degree of groupthink around this. from your position, did you not see that for all of the kind of complex modelling, that actually the mathematics of this pandemic were pretty stark, that you have 60 million people in the adult population, if two thirds of them contracted covid—19 and 1% of those who contracted it died, we would have 400,000 deaths and that is unacceptable and liable to overwhelm the nhs. how did we and you in particular alongside everyone else miss this for so long? 6—8 weeks? i would absolutely say that we knew
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about this problem from the start. and the challenge in those early weeks of march was making a massive judgment, probably the most significantjudgment that any prime minister has made certainly in peacetime. based upon incomplete information and at great pace. so, i instructed the department and the health system to plan on the basis of a reasonable worst—case scenario in january. of a reasonable worst—case scenario injanuary. in fact on the 27th of january. i asked for a reasonable worst—case scenario planning assumption. i was given the planning assumption. i was given the planning assumption based on spanish flu and it was signed off at cobra on the sist it was signed off at cobra on the 31st of january. that was a planning assumption for 820,000 deaths. i was
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determined that that would not happen on my watch. so, throughout february we were planning for how to stop that and how to deal with the consequences of if it came true. in the middle of february, the scientific advice confirmed that a reasonable worst—case scenario should be taken as read that this was equivalent to spanish flu. if you think about it, at the end of january when that was first presented at cobra, i thought of spanish flu is something you read about in the history books. but as health secretary, you are always worried about new pathogens. we are dealing with them all the time. but knowing that that was the reasonable worst—case scenario, we planned to it. we did the work in february and on the 3rd of march, i set out to
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parliament our action plan which set out all of the actions we might have to take up to and including shutting schools, i was asked about lockdowns and confirmed we would be happy to take place. but at the time on the 3rd of march when we sent that document out, setting out all the things we might have to do and saying we prepared to do them, there were no deaths. on the 3rd of march there were 50 cases. the week beginning the 9th of march, what happened, is that the date and started to follow the reasonably worst case scenario and by the end of that week, the updated modelling showed that we were on track, essentially, on the track of something close to that reasonably worst case scenario, i think the numbers were slightly below that but they were of a scale that was unconscionable. and so we then,
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therefore, on the 16th of march, when there were 611 cases and 53 deaths, we took the decision, we announced that everybody in the country should stop all unnecessary social contact. brute country should stop all unnecessary social contact.— social contact. we know what happened _ social contact. we know what happened and _ social contact. we know what happened and we've - social contact. we know what happened and we've got i social contact. we know what happened and we've got a i social contact. we know what i happened and we've got a clear, it's all in the public domain but everyone agrees, sir patrick vallance said it would have been better if we had locked down earlier, neil ferguson said it would have a big reduction in deaths, we didn't do what was necessary early enough and that, it seems to me, everyone, certainly most people in the system, got bogged down in the modelling and the complexity and didn't step back to see the crude maths of it, if you like. and to take the measures that were
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eventually imposed earlier and trying to learn lessons and thinking back, you were someone who was involved in all of those discussions, how was it that you, and everyone else, did not see the enormity of what was going on and took these literally incremental decisions to turn up the dial progressively, week by week, in terms of restrictions? why did we miss the big picture? the terms of restrictions? why did we miss the big picture?— miss the big picture? the clear scientific advice _ miss the big picture? the clear scientific advice at _ miss the big picture? the clear scientific advice at the - miss the big picture? the clear scientific advice at the time i miss the big picture? the clear| scientific advice at the time was that there was a need to have the tools, like lockdown, at your disposal but also, that the consequences and the costs of lockdown start immediately and critically, the clear advice at the time was that there is only a limited period that people would put up limited period that people would put up with lockdown and that proved,
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actually, that proved to be wrong. because the british public have stepped up to what we have asked them to do in an extraordinary way. so much of that proved to be wrong, it proved to be wrong the people would only tolerate the restrictions for a short period of time, it proved to be wrong that the level of infection could be contained within the nhs until that had to be revised full stop we are aware of that and sage got it wrong, it's not very clear and members of sage are candid enoughin clear and members of sage are candid enough in the scientific, in the way of scientists, to concede that and thatis of scientists, to concede that and that is what we are trying to learn. was it the case that you simply accepted that scientific consensus without a challenge because that was their business, were you concerned about it yourself and did you challenge it or did you think it was
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not your place, you were there to enact what was being recommended? no, we absolutely debated and challenged that advice but when you are faced with a decision of this enormity then ultimately, of course, as health secretary, my primary goal on protecting lives, finding a way out of this and protecting the nhs, i made that argument, but ultimately, you know, we didn't know how long people would put up with that and now, it seems obvious that people would put up with lockdown, it was not at all obvious, we needed the protections in place especially for vulnerable people in the shielding programme, we take for granted that has been a huge success, but that wasn't clear at the time because lots of people rely on social contact literally, to live. and we needed to ensure we could for instance support businesses to get through this. these are huge decisions, to take those decisions against the
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scientific advice is an even bigger decision to take. now, when the scientific advice moved then that became easier and i remember when... do you regard it as being part of your rope to challenge the scientific advice, to debate it, stress tested, to others around the world? {lit stress tested, to others around the world? . ., , stress tested, to others around the world? , , , world? of course, yes, i was discussing — world? of course, yes, i was discussing this _ world? of course, yes, i was discussing this with - world? of course, yes, i was discussing this with map i discussing this with map counterparts across the world and i've been willing, overruled the scientific advice earlier, for instance on quarantine, i pushed in january for a wider flight ban from china but the scientific advice was we should only restrict it to wuhan, so absolutely, challenging the scientific advice is one thing but overruling a scientific consensus is much harder, especially when the costs of the lockdown or immediate
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and obvious. sol remember, very, very clearly when the new projections came in towards the end of the week, beginning the 9th of march and i can't remember exactly what day it was, but towards the end of that week, some new projections came in and i remember going into number ten on one of the most senior advisers saying to me, ashen faced, have you seen these new projections? isn't it awful? and i said, i'm glad the projections are now showing what i think is happening. because the data, you've got to remember, let me take you back to what it was like, the data was so incomplete and sparse, even getting data out of the hospital system was very difficult and we now have infinitely better data systems stop how did you form this view of what was happening? because i could see from what i was
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seeing on the ground, from anecdotes, what i was hearing, you could see it in the testing data, the testing numbers going up, you could just see it in the number of people sadly, who were dying but the numbers were still very low at that stage, as i say, on the 16th... the advantage — stage, as i say, on the 16th... the advantage of— stage, as i say, on the 16th... the advantage of being health secretary, you are visiting hospitals... i remember the moment around the cabinet table when i said we are going to have to tell everybody to stop all social contact. and i remember thinking, this is the most extraordinary thing that i've ever said. and the prime ministers said, yes, we are, you'd better go and tell them. yes, we are, you'd better go and tell them-— yes, we are, you'd better go and tell them. ., , ., ., , tell them. so, as it turned out, as ou've tell them. so, as it turned out, as you'veiust— tell them. so, as it turned out, as you've just said — tell them. so, as it turned out, as you've just said there _ tell them. so, as it turned out, as you've just said there is _ tell them. so, as it turned out, as you've just said there is pretty - you've just said there is pretty much identical to what dominic cummings told the committee, that he had come to believe that there was going to be a disaster and that the
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assumptions that policy was being based on were wrong. but that he felt intimidated, he didn't use that word, but what he said in multiple answers, he said he felt very reluctant, personally, to intervene, to overturn what had been an established consensus and am i right in detecting what you've said, similar thoughts? in detecting what you've said, similarthoughts? i in detecting what you've said, similar thoughts?— in detecting what you've said, similar thoughts? i 'ust think it's hard when there _ similar thoughts? i 'ust think it's hard when there is _ similar thoughts? i just think it's hard when there is a _ similar thoughts? i just think it's hard when there is a clear - hard when there is a clear scientific advice, to go against that with a decision of such enormity, there is one other example that i wanted to set out. maybe now is the moment to do it, it's about asymptomatic transmission. 50 one of the big reason is that we changed policy, for instance, towards care homes, in april, was because of the
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conclusion that there was significant asymptomatic transmission. there was a global scientific consensus based on decades of expert work on coronavirus, that coronaviruses do not transmit from people who don't have symptoms. and this is wrong. but it's wrong because this is a novel pathogen, a novel virus, it's unprecedented and i heard evidence from china that there was asymptomatic transmission in january. and i also remember talking to my german opposite number and they had seen some evidence in germany. and i asked the scientists to look into this and in fact i was so worried about it, i arranged a call with the world health organization and i was told on that call that with respect to china, this was a likely a mistranslation. went was that comment? the this was a likely a mistranslation. went was that comment? the end of
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janua . i went was that comment? the end of january- i am — went was that comment? the end of january- i am happy _ went was that comment? the end of january- i am happy to _ went was that comment? the end of january. i am happy to supply - went was that comment? the end of january. i am happy to supply that. l january. i am happy to supply that. i was told it was likely a mistranslation. and after that we did not get the evidence from china which could have proved so i was in a situation of not having heard evidence that a global scientific consensus of decades was wrong. but having an instinct that it was and i bitterly regret that i did not overrule that scientific advice at the start and say, we should preside on the basis that there is asymptomatic transmission until we know there is not rather than the other way round but when you are faced with a double consensus and you don't have the evidence that you are right in the scientific consensus is wrong, it is hard to do that. and eventually come on the 2nd of april, the world health organization was still claiming that there was no evidence of asymptomatic transmission, the 2nd
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of april! on the 3rd of april at the cdc came forward with evidence paper and very shortly afterwards, public health england came forward with a further one and the consensus, the scientific position changed and then we brought in the extra, stronger, we brought in the extra, stronger, we changed a number of policies across government as a result but thatis across government as a result but that is a story of how preparedness and relying on the science which is normally the right thing to do, and let's be clear, we are kicking onto macro areas where it would have been better at the prevailing consensus at the time had been overruled. but everyone was operating on highly, highly sketchy, just a lack of data and a lack of information because this is a novel virus.— and a lack of information because this is a novel virus. what you said about the difficulty _ this is a novel virus. what you said about the difficulty of _ this is a novel virus. what you said about the difficulty of challenging l about the difficulty of challenging the consensus, the scientific
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consensus, is very frank and i think it's very helpful for us to reflect on and we've heard from other people variations on that theme but since you've raised the question of asymptomatic transmission, as not being a known known, you said you had an instant but the science was against it, it is the case as you will be aware, on the 28th of january, the second sage meeting, in the minutes, .16 it says there is limited evidence of asymptomatic transmission, but early indications imply some is occurring. yes. transmission, but early indications imply some is occurring.— imply some is occurring. yes. i raised the _ imply some is occurring. yes. i raised the prospect _ imply some is occurring. yes. i raised the prospect of- imply some is occurring. yes. i - raised the prospect of asymptomatic transmission on the 27th of january with the chief medical officer and others. he took it away and they discussed it at sage on the 28th and i called the who and the 29th and i've got the code here. i was told
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it is highly unlikely, highly likely that the message may have been confused by a translation issue but that this is unclear. but confused by a translation issue but that this is unclear.— that this is unclear. but sage on the 28th of _ that this is unclear. but sage on the 28th of january _ that this is unclear. but sage on the 28th of january concluded i that this is unclear. but sage on i the 28th of january concluded that early indications imply some asymptomatic transition, transmission is occurring. sage did not come in the minutes of sage, it was not recorded as saying the consensus is there is no asymptomatic transmission, quite the opposite, they are saying early indications imply some is occurring. the world health organization advice and the clinical advice of the most likely situation that i received, remained that asymptomatic transmission was unlikely and in fact, the who 's position and i quote, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission. as i say, given all of this and this debate
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and it's an absolutely accurate reflection of the debate, i regret, i should have stuck with my guns and said, well, there is, even if it is uncertain and even if it is relatively small, we should base policy on that. because even though the formal advice that i was receiving was it is asymptomatic transmission, it's unlikely and we should not base policy on it, that was, and i should have overruled that. . . . was, and i should have overruled that. , , ., ., was, and i should have overruled that. , ., was, and i should have overruled that. ., ., that. this is an important point and ou that. this is an important point and you mention _ that. this is an important point and you mention the _ that. this is an important point and you mention the who _ that. this is an important point and you mention the who and - that. this is an important point and you mention the who and you - that. this is an important point and you mention the who and you said | that. this is an important point and - you mention the who and you said the who said of the 2nd of april, i think, asymptomatic transmission was not to be assumed, was not a possibility, but in fact, the who on the 2nd of april in its situation report said and i quote, transmission a presymptomatic case can occur before symptom onset. yes. can occur before symptom onset. yes, so we have _ can occur before symptom onset. yes, so we have this _ can occur before symptom onset. yes, so we have this position _ can occur before symptom onset. ya:
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so we have this position where there was this, essentially, there were individual instances of the evidence being presented but the overall scientific conclusion which was the recommendation for the policy advice was that it was highly unlikely, that there was asymptomatic transmission.— that there was asymptomatic transmission. ., �*, ., , ., transmission. that's a strange thing to conclude — transmission. that's a strange thing to conclude because _ transmission. that's a strange thing to conclude because sage _ transmission. that's a strange thing to conclude because sage on - transmission. that's a strange thing to conclude because sage on the i transmission. that's a strange thing i to conclude because sage on the 28th of january to conclude because sage on the 28th ofjanuary said to conclude because sage on the 28th of january said early to conclude because sage on the 28th ofjanuary said early indications imply some asymptomatic transmission, the who on the 2nd of april said transmission can occur before symptom onset so there certainly was not a consensus, they might have been a mixed messaging, but not a consensus.— might have been a mixed messaging, but not a consensus. there was, what i can tell you — but not a consensus. there was, what i can tell you and _ but not a consensus. there was, what i can tell you and i _ but not a consensus. there was, what i can tell you and i can't _ but not a consensus. there was, what i can tell you and i can't send - but not a consensus. there was, what i can tell you and i can't send you - i can tell you and i can't send you the details, is that the clear overall clinical advice was against this, despite the fact that i raised it from the start, there were
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individuals in the system who were pushing this argument and there were individual conclusions but if you look at the totality of the evidence, then this was the position and as i say, i wish that i had stuck to my guns at the start. we would be grateful for that advice. it doesn't stand against your conclusion as you have just said, it would be better if we had assumed asymptomatic transmission even to the point of view stepping in and overriding the assumption is that some other people were making. finally, and then we will turn to the next theme of our questions. we heard, as i am sure you have seen reported, from dominic cummings, that during this period of mid—march, when the penny was dropping that things, we were on the wrong track and needed to change, the deputy cabinet secretary helen
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mcnamara, came into number ten downing street and according to mr cummings said this country is heading for a disaster, i think we're going to kill thousands, is no plan for this, we are in huge trouble. ~ . . plan for this, we are in huge trouble. ~ ., , ., , plan for this, we are in huge trouble. ~ ., , ., trouble. was there a plan? yes, and at that point — trouble. was there a plan? yes, and at that point we _ trouble. was there a plan? yes, and at that point we had _ trouble. was there a plan? yes, and at that point we had published - trouble. was there a plan? yes, and at that point we had published it. . at that point we had published it. so at that point we had published it. 50 helen mcnamara was wrong or do you think she did not say that? i have absolutely no idea but what i can tell you as we the action plan of the actions we might need to take including these extraordinary unprecedented actions and the question was, when to make the judgment to do it, when to put in place if it was needed, a lockdown, closure of the schools, etc. find place if it was needed, a lockdown, closure of the schools, etc. and so, helen mcnamara, _ closure of the schools, etc. and so, helen mcnamara, or _ closure of the schools, etc. and so, helen mcnamara, or one _ closure of the schools, etc. and so, helen mcnamara, or one of- closure of the schools, etc. and so, helen mcnamara, or one of her- helen mcnamara, or one of her colleagues hadn't communicated to you her concern that there was no
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plan? i you her concern that there was no lan? ., �* you her concern that there was no ian? ., �* . ., ., you her concern that there was no lan? .,�* ., ., , plan? i don't recall having any conversations _ plan? i don't recall having any conversations with _ plan? i don't recall having any conversations with her - plan? i don't recall having any conversations with her at - plan? i don't recall having any conversations with her at that| plan? i don't recall having any - conversations with her at that time. or any of her team of officials? that lead to that effect, to raise the alarm? i that lead to that effect, to raise the alarm?— that lead to that effect, to raise the alarm? ., �* , ., ., the alarm? i don't understand that testimony- — the alarm? i don't understand that testimony- i— the alarm? i don't understand that testimony. i also _ the alarm? i don't understand that testimony. i also note _ the alarm? i don't understand that testimony. i also note that - the alarm? i don't understand that testimony. i also note that no - testimony. i also note that no evidence has yet been put forward for much of this testimony and i find that telling.— for much of this testimony and i find that telling. indeed, the point of askin: find that telling. indeed, the point of asking the _ find that telling. indeed, the point of asking the question _ find that telling. indeed, the point of asking the question is _ find that telling. indeed, the point of asking the question is to - find that telling. indeed, the point of asking the question is to see i of asking the question is to see whether your recollection tallies with what was said. that brings to the end of this section of the hearing. i am going to hand over to my co—chairjeremy hunt, we will suspend the setting for about five minutes while we change around. order.
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we have been watching the joint committee hearing is the health secretary began answering questions from mps, he's been talking for about an hour from mps, he's been talking for aboutan hourand from mps, he's been talking for about an hour and a quarter. let me bring you some of the key points from that time. on the subject of ppe, for the nhs, he said that there were local challenges but never a national shortage of ppe. because of the actions we took. he was questioned did he ever say shortages of ppe where the fault of sir simon stephens, the head of nhs england, or indeed the chancellor and he said thatis or indeed the chancellor and he said that is not a fair recollection. there was never a point at which ppe could not be obtained. 50 then he talked about local challenges but never a national shortage. one of the other big areas of questioning was around the policy on care homes. and matt hancock said we set out a policy that people would be tested
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when tests were available. and he said this followed clinical advice and he said he followed the clinical advice throughout. and he said the clinical advice at that time, at the early stages of the pandemic, was that a test on anybody who did not have symptoms could return a false negative. he was talking as well about any blindspots, if you like, in the policy in those early stages and he said, yes, there was a need for a rabidly scalable testing response and he said that had not been, it was not part of the uk 's pandemic planning at that point, he said the nhs response, the scientific response was very strong but he said there wasn't in terms of their pandemic planning, a rabidly scalable testing response. i think we can now listen back to a clip
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from the committee, greg clark, chair of the science and technology committee said dominic cummings had not provided evidence to the inquiry to back up his claims, you will remember that two weeks ago dominic cummings, the former chief adviser to the prime minister, gave evidence to the prime minister, gave evidence to these same committees. i5 to the prime minister, gave evidence to these same committees.— to these same committees. is there an hinu to these same committees. is there anything you — to these same committees. is there anything you want — to these same committees. is there anything you want to _ to these same committees. is there anything you want to add _ to these same committees. is there anything you want to add as - to these same committees. is there anything you want to add as a i to these same committees. is there anything you want to add as a right| anything you want to add as a right of reply to the oral evidence that you heard from dominic cummings? well, it is telling that no evidence has been — well, it is telling that no evidence has been provided yet but there is a reason _ has been provided yet but there is a reason for— has been provided yet but there is a reason for that, i think, which is that_ reason for that, i think, which is that throughout this, i have got out of bed _ that throughout this, i have got out of bed every morning, with the view of bed every morning, with the view of the _ of bed every morning, with the view of the attitude that myjob is to do everything — of the attitude that myjob is to do everything i could to protect lives and to _ everything i could to protect lives and to get — everything i could to protect lives and to get this country out of the pandemic — and to get this country out of the pandemic. and i have approached that with a _ pandemic. and i have approached that with a mission driven determination to make _ with a mission driven determination to make it—
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with a mission driven determination to make it happen and i tried to do that with _ to make it happen and i tried to do that with an— to make it happen and i tried to do that with an approach of honesty, and integrity, and critically, answering questions both in public and private to the best of my ability — and private to the best of my ability. sometimes you have to say you do— ability. sometimes you have to say you do not— ability. sometimes you have to say you do not know because we are operating — you do not know because we are operating in a world where there is huge _ operating in a world where there is huge judgments being made with very imperfect— huge judgments being made with very imperfect information, often at great _ imperfect information, often at great pace. but from the approach i've taken, — great pace. but from the approach i've taken, not least in public and to parliament and select committees like this, _ to parliament and select committees like this, and... we to parliament and select committees like this, and...— like this, and... we are going to interru -t like this, and... we are going to interrupt the _ like this, and... we are going to interrupt the clip, _ like this, and... we are going to interrupt the clip, let's - like this, and... we are going to interrupt the clip, let's head i like this, and... we are going to| interrupt the clip, let's head back to the joint committee hearing. which has resumed. with the benefit of hindsight, and learning going forward, why do you think it was the test and trace programme did not prevent further lockdown is? i programme did not prevent further lockdown is?— programme did not prevent further lockdown is? ,, , ., lockdown is? i think the number one challenae lockdown is? i think the number one challenge we — lockdown is? i think the number one challenge we had _ lockdown is? i think the number one challenge we had was _ lockdown is? i think the number one challenge we had was going - lockdown is? i think the number one challenge we had was going into i lockdown is? i think the number one j challenge we had was going into this without a large—scale testing programme, as we have discussed in previous session. and we had a small, effective but not easily
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scalable contact tracing programme. and putting those things in place at very large scale was hard. 50 we needed somebody who had experience both of building big retail organisations and of the nhs and health care and there was nobody better placed than dido harding to do that. as i said earlier, i had taken on essentially, executive authority to make it happen but i had a lot of other things that i needed to do, in fact one of the things we did during this whole period was we brought into external people in paul died in on ppe, kate bingham on vaccines and others. and the starting point was building an aeroplane in flight is harder than flying a plane that has been built for a while and that is central, i think, to some of the areas where this country found it more
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difficult. next is making sure we had a system that was rigorous enough, was critical. and we built that over time. and there were improvements we had to make as we learned. so, for instance, one of the changes we made in about september, october, was that if you were phoning somebody up on the contact tracing site, to an individual, you would ask them to tell their contacts in their household to isolate instead of asking for the names of all those individuals and them phoning them one at a time, that change increase the efficiency of the system enormously and was something that we had to improve so when you build a huge system that i think, dido harding said was about the size of tesco and she built it in six months, constantly things you have
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to learn on the way through her as if you start with a system, it's got those teething problems ironed out. do you think five months later on the 7th of october, after it had been set up, sage said test and trace at that stage only had a marginal impact on transmission? at that point, recognising huge improvements had been made since then, at that point, was that a fair assessment? i then, at that point, was that a fair assessment?— then, at that point, was that a fair assessment? i think at that point it was probably _ assessment? i think at that point it was probably a _ assessment? i think at that point it was probably a backward _ assessment? i think at that point it was probably a backward -looking i was probably a backward —looking assessment, at that point we had a very large system... its, assessment, at that point we had a very large system. . ._ very large system... a fair assessment _ very large system... a fair assessment of _ very large system... a fair assessment of what i very large system... a fair assessment of what had . very large system... a fair- assessment of what had happened very large system... a fair— assessment of what had happened to that point? it is assessment of what had happened to that oint? . assessment of what had happened to that oint? , ., ,, ,, ., that point? it is the assessment of sage. is that point? it is the assessment of sage- is it — that point? it is the assessment of sage. is it yours? _ that point? it is the assessment of sage. is it yours? no. _ that point? it is the assessment of sage. is it yours? no. you - that point? it is the assessment of sage. is it yours? no. you think. sage. is it yours? no. you think they were _ sage. is it yours? no. you think they were wrong _ sage. is it yours? no. you think they were wrong or _ sage. is it yours? no. you think they were wrong or not? - sage. is it yours? no. you think they were wrong or not? i i sage. is it yours? no. you think they were wrong or not? i think| sage. is it yours? no. you think| they were wrong or not? i think it had had an _ they were wrong or not? i think it had had an impact _ they were wrong or not? i think it had had an impact but _ they were wrong or not? i think it had had an impact but it - they were wrong or not? i think it had had an impact but it had i they were wrong or not? i think it had had an impact but it had not| they were wrong or not? i think it i had had an impact but it had not had an impact big enough to bring r down from the natural state of around three, down to below one. now, there is evidence now that as of today,
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that the surge testing and tracing and isolate system that we have got in place is working, if you look at the case right now with the delta variant, the places where over the last month we have put them into surge testing starting with bolton but also true in bedford, council and other places, case rates are coming down. i and other places, case rates are coming down-— and other places, case rates are coming down. i totally accept that and it's fine _ coming down. i totally accept that and it's fine to _ coming down. i totally accept that and it's fine to mention _ coming down. i totally accept that and it's fine to mention it - coming down. i totally accept that and it's fine to mention it but i i coming down. i totally accept that| and it's fine to mention it but i am looking specifically at why we did not manage to stop a second and third lockdown so i take on board what you have said. ijust third lockdown so i take on board what you have said. i just want to go through, if i may some of the other reasons people have suggested as to why test entries was not as successful as we all hoped stop you said earlier this morning one of the reasons, by the time we set it up, we already had around 2000 cases a day which is much higher than the levels that test entries was going to cope with in korea and taiwan, so that simple scale was one of the reasons. another reason that people have suggested is because people who
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were asked to isolate by test and trace did not actually do so. infirmary of this year, baroness harding gave evidence to the science and technology committee, she presented two bits of evidence, one said 20% of people are not fully isolating when they were asked to and another said 40% weren't fully isolating when they were asked to. do you have a more up—to—date number as to what numbers of people more recently are fully compliant with the isolation requests? i do recently are fully compliant with the isolation requests?- the isolation requests? i do not have an up-to-date _ the isolation requests? i do not have an up-to-date figure i the isolation requests? i do not have an up-to-date figure but i j the isolation requests? i do not i have an up-to-date figure but i am have an up—to—date figure but i am happy to write to the committee with what we have, i'm afraid i did not prepare on that topic. but what i would say is that we can see it working and since baroness harding said that in february, we have done two important things, one is we have strengthened the isolation payments so in the targeted areas, anybody
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earning less than 26,000 gets £500 isolation payment. we have strengthened that element. second, we have increased the size of the isolation assurance service which is the team of people who phone up and knock on the doors of those who are meant to be isolating to make sure essentially there are stronger enforcement of isolation. thank you. i think that's — enforcement of isolation. thank you. i think that's very _ enforcement of isolation. thank you. i think that's very welcome _ enforcement of isolation. thank you. i think that's very welcome news i enforcement of isolation. thank you. i think that's very welcome news but| i think that's very welcome news but i think that's very welcome news but i think that's very welcome news but i think the very specific thing we are trying to understand because this is a lessons learned exercise, is why in the middle period of last year, we weren't successful in preventing a second and third lockdown and when baroness harding gave evidence in burberry, we were in the middle of a third lockdown. on that point of financial support, some people say one of the reasons people did not isolate is because we did notjust give a simple promise that if you isolate because you are asked to by test entries, we will make up as the state, any salary loss that you have. would that have helped? the
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loss that you have. would that have heled? . ., ., ., helped? the challenge that we have with our proposal _ helped? the challenge that we have with our proposal is _ helped? the challenge that we have with our proposal is the _ helped? the challenge that we have with our proposal is the extent i helped? the challenge that we have with our proposal is the extent to i with our proposal is the extent to which it might be gained because after all, a contact gives test and trace their contacts, that is what contact tracing is made of. and so you would not want a situation in which if you tested positive, you could then... i which if you tested positive, you could then. . ._ could then... i understand. friendship _ could then... i understand. friendship had _ could then... i understand. friendship had never i could then... i understand. friendship had never kuoll could then... i understand. i friendship had never kuol get could then... i understand. - friendship had never kuol get a 500 payment. the friendship had never kuol get a 500 -a ment. , , ., ~ payment. the friendship network would be more _ payment. the friendship network would be more reassured - payment. the friendship network would be more reassured and - payment. the friendship network| would be more reassured and you might have been more willing to give their names if you had known that any salary they lost in the ten days or two weeks they were asked to isolate was going to be made up and just with the benefit of hindsight, i appreciate not all of these things were known at the time, is that something we should have been more open to? i something we should have been more 0 en to? ~ something we should have been more oen to? ~ �* , something we should have been more oento? ~ 3 . something we should have been more oento? ~ �*, ., ., open to? i think it's fair to say that i am _ open to? i think it's fair to say that i am glad _ open to? i think it's fair to say that i am glad we _ open to? i think it's fair to say that i am glad we made - open to? i think it's fair to say that i am glad we made the i open to? i think it's fair to say - that i am glad we made the change now. ~' that i am glad we made the change now. ~ u, that i am glad we made the change now. ~ u, , now. ok. i think we can interpret from that perhaps _ now. ok. i think we can interpret from that perhaps what - now. ok. i think we can interpret from that perhaps what your - now. ok. i think we can interpret - from that perhaps what your response is, i want to move on, there's lots
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of other reasons that were put forward and one of them was we did not have enough involvement early enough of local authorities in the contact tracing site. and indeed some people argued the testing site as well. we know they have been very involved recently so i don't want to use recent examples, this is simply about the period in the middle of last year. knowing what we know now, do you think there is an argument that if someone is more likely to comply with an isolation request if they are called up by someone locally who can then potentially check up locally rather than someone from a call centre 300 miles away? this of course, and the fact we have changed it to that approach is testament to what i think because i think that is the best way. if i can explain for the record since this is a lessons learned record, you need the national and local system, we
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know that because internationally where systems are local only we know when there is a serious outbreak they are overwhelmed. i remember distinctly a phone call with my spanish opposite number in which i said, tell me how your test and isolate trading system is going. he said, it is terrible, it has fallen over, he named a number of parts of spain. i asked about the national system, he said they haven't got that. in systems with only a local system they pined for a national system. in this country where we had essentially a national system look at it was we needed local engagement. the honest answer is you need both which comes down to data flows which have been strengthened enormously in 18 months all the way through from the dashboard the promised and i looked at most days on what is happening, through to the management information department
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has on the health and care system. you will remember getting data out of the nhs used to be a huge struggle. we now have common dashboards we looked at, making sure the free flow of data between organisations in a way that protects privacy but allows for decision—making and targeted activity for example between local and national come is critical and has been improved no end. by god was it a problem at the start. 0k. it a problem at the start. ok. i think we can understand now you would need some national contact tracing capacity for surge capacity but would you say looking forward that the primary engine of contact tracing should be local with national surge capacity ready to step in? that is simplistic. the way we have optimised it is notjust according to surge and the scale of need but
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also according to those who are being contact chased. there are some for whom a national call centre system is the easy way of most efficiently gathering the data quickly and acting on it. so speed matters here and a national call centre system can be much faster. and then you need the local especially for the hard to reach cases. what we have put in place is a system as smart as it can be and improving all the time of optimising which case and which are positive goes through the local system, through the national system, and when. if you can't reach someone after a number of calls it gets switched to the local system who will send somebody around. you would not put all contacts into the local system straightaway because you need to deal with the easy to reach which
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can most efficiently be dealt with nationally. it is about optimising a joint system with a team who work together cohesively. a final reason that some people say we may still have those very large numbers who were not isolating where we needed them which meant we couldn't prevent those second and third waves is perhaps again looking back we were shooting for the wrong target. the whole system during last year was geared around testing targets, first 100,000, 500,000, then1 million, and if you give a big system a target ultimately they hit it. but shouldn't the real target in a pandemic not be a process target like testing but the proportion of people who you need to isolate who actually do isolate? do you think looking back we hit the target and missed the point?
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no because we absolutely had those targets for the number of people who isolated and the number of people who we successfully contacted. we publish as much of the data as we can. the challenge in running a large system is if you have a target thatis large system is if you have a target that is only indirectly reachable, you also need goals on the way that our processed targets that are measurable. so the answer is both. and if you think about it, one more comment, we learnt a huge amount from this experience i havejust described of improving contact tracing and system for the vaccine roll—out. for the role that we have local and national data integration, the local system is finding people hard to reach, the national system for the big numbers who are enthusiastic and willing to
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drive and queue, and that integration is something we actively took from the learning from the test and trace system and ensured it was embedded in the vaccination system from the start. we have been doing our own lessons learned all the way through and one is this data integration and ensuring you get the right activities at the right level. thank you. i would like to go in more detail on the question of care homes. we have agreed _ the question of care homes. we have agreed already this morning that the decisions _ agreed already this morning that the decisions especially in the early days— decisions especially in the early days and — decisions especially in the early days and months are taken, budget decisions _ days and months are taken, budget decisions are taken without full information, but that fog is dispersing, some things are becoming dean _ dispersing, somethings are becoming clean i_ dispersing, some things are becoming dean ithink— dispersing, some things are becoming clear. i think it is fair to say during _ clear. i think it is fair to say during this _ clear. i think it is fair to say during this inquiry we have established clearly we were too late to lock _ established clearly we were too late to lock down sufficiently and vigorously, and many people, sage,
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dominit— vigorously, and many people, sage, dominic cummings, yourself, everyone agrees _ dominic cummings, yourself, everyone agrees if— dominic cummings, yourself, everyone agrees if we _ dominic cummings, yourself, everyone agrees if we had either known more, or perhaps _ agrees if we had either known more, or perhaps acted earlier, that would have ireen— or perhaps acted earlier, that would have been better, i think we have learnt _ have been better, i think we have learnt that — have been better, i think we have learnt that. we have also established we had inadequate testing — established we had inadequate testing capacity during the early phases— testing capacity during the early phases of the pandemic, both of those _ phases of the pandemic, both of those prospective conclusions, ones you would _ those prospective conclusions, ones you would agree with. weii, _ you would agree with. well, i_ you would agree with. well, i think that you would agree with. well, ithinkthat if you would agree with. well, i think that if we had had, i absolutely agree that if we had that greater testing capacity at the start, of course it would have been better, but i am a practical man. we didn't, myjob is to build on it, not feel sorry for myself we didn't have it, we had to get on with it. and we want to be practical and to learn lessons that can be applied in future. what i want to establish here is whether we should add a
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third of these lessons which was that discharging infected patients into care homes was, and from many perhaps understandable reasons, was one of the major faults perhaps understandable reasons, was one of the majorfaults in perhaps understandable reasons, was one of the major faults in the first handling, the first steps to handle the pandemic. you said right from the pandemic. you said right from the start we have tried to throw a protective ring around our care homes, what was that protective ring? well, i think the most important words in that sentence are that we tried to. it was very hard. and all of these deaths in care homes, each and every death in a care home weighs heavily on me. and always will. and we knew from the start, from very early injanuary, that the impact of this disease was most significant are the oldest and therefore care homes were going to
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be a particular risk, care home residents. and this was a problem that we had across the whole of the uk and indeed there were some other countries that had a really difficult, really difficult circumstances. and so we put in funding, we made sure ppe was is available as possible, it was a challenge because we did not have a distribution system, we had to build one. and we set out guidance for care homes, first guidance was on the 25th of february. and then later when we had the testing capacity in july we brought in the weekly testing of staff which is i think the single biggest improvement in terms of protecting residents. and now of course we have put in care homes, both staff and residents come in the top priority for vaccination. so that is what i meant. but it was
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very hard for a number of reasons some of which are fixed and some which are not. i am secretary of state for health and social care. yet at the start of this pandemic, the powers i had over social care were extremely limited. the formal powers rest with local government and for many social care is a responsibility of local government. but i feel it keenly, we did not have the data, when i asked for a list of elderly care homes, we did not have one which i find it totally extraordinary but it is true. we simply did not have believers and we had to invent a whole series, we now have far better data. but some of these problems still need to be fixed, we need to reform social care and we need to make sure we put into more the ability of national governance where necessary to come in firmly to, whether it is to issue
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guidance that is binding or put in place funding because we had to funnel funding directly through the local authorities. so there is a series of things that have been improved and a series of things we still need to do. let us go into some of the decisions, to know whether you did have levers yourself or whether you were denied them. we know that on the 17th of march nhs providers were instructed by nhs england and i have the letter from sir instructed by nhs england and i have the letterfrom sir simon instructed by nhs england and i have the letter from sir simon stevens to all nhs trusts. it orders them to urgently discharge all hospital inpatients who were medically fit. was that a unilateral instruction on
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the part of sir simon stevens and his colleagues in nhs england or a co—decision he took with you? of course that decision was of course that decision was discussed with me and the prime minister before it was executed. if i take you back to time, we had just had the scenes from lombardi showing what happens when a health service is overwhelmed, we knew the death rate would increase dramatically, we did not know how much, but dramatically if nhs services were not available. and we needed to make sure there was nhs capacity because the number of cases was going up at the number of cases was going up at the time exponentially. so we protected the nhs and one of the things in the lessons learned exercise which is really important for us all to remember is that whilst there were absolutely challengers in some areas, there were some things that this country got right. and the provision of care
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at all times to care for patients is one of them. now, that instruction actually lead to a reduction in the number of people who left hospital and went to care homes because the vast majority of people went home to their own homes, and we put in place social care packages. because one of the other things we did as part of that decision was we agreed to pay for the discharge. so in normal circumstances when you leave hospital, the local authority has to arrange the social care package and sometimes individuals have to pay. because the central government through the nhs decided to add the treasury provided the budget to pay for what is called discharge to assess, to pay for those discharges, it meant we could get discharges, more of them to people's own home.
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one of the reforms we need to make to social care is more people should be discharged to their own home with a care package as a proportion than into care homes. so the result of that letter ironically and i know it is counterintuitive, was a reduction in the proportion of people who were discharged into care homes. i'm sure we will come on to the testing and we will come on to the testing and we have discussed it to a degree. yes, that letter was a policy agreed at the highest level in government. that is very helpful. you also said in that answer their motivation was a concern, looking at lombardi, that the hospitals might otherwise be overwhelmed and that galvanised the action, that was a reflection. but i do not want to apply and it would be wrong to conclude that is because we somehow favoured the need
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to protect the nhs. because as well as the scenes from lombardi i still remember and it is burned across my soul a news report from spain in which the military were sent into care homes and in one particular case the care home had been abandoned because the staff were ill, and all of the residents had died. many had died from covid but many had died because they needed care to live. there were care homes in france where every resident died as well. so this was a problem everybody struggled with. we talked about it, amongst my colleagues across the continent. and of course with my fellow health ministers across the uk, how best to protect
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the most vulnerable. and in fact, in england, the proportion of people overall who died, who lived in care homes, is lower than in many european countries. so yes this was incredibly difficult but i think you have got two look at the whole picture. and the number one fact if you like that matters in this is understanding how covid gets into care homes. we will come on to that. but the motivation you said was to certainly protect the nhs and avoid the lombardy situation but you have been very clear that did not mean that you were unaware or unconcerned at all. is it the case when you had that discussion with the prime minister about what i guess was the proposed advice from sir simon stevens at that point, where you
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clear that the testing capacity to test people leaving hospital going into care homes would not be that immediately and for at least a number of weeks? well, i don't recollect directly but i know for a fact that the testing capacity at that time on the 17th, well, the letter is dated the 17th of march, i know at that time the testing capacity was around 1000 a day because on the 17th of march, it was the day on which we had the cabinet room meeting where i took direct personal charge did you communicate that to others that were part of the discussion about this new policy? i would be amazed if that wasn't part of the discussion. i haven't seen the minutes of that discussion recently. i don't think i have ever seen them. but i know that it was
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agreed and signed off across government. there is no doubt that the testing capacity would have featured. but also remember that the clear clinical advice at the time was testing people symptomatically might lead to false negatives and therefore was not advised and was seen as not to good use of the precious few test to be had at that time. it is an important point of contention in our last session because the evidence from dominic cummings was that people in that meeting felt assured that the testing capacity would be in place. at the opening of the session when i put this to you, you said you were always clear in your mind and as far as you know the way you communicated this you were talking about a plan to get to that capacity. thinking
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back, was there any possibility for ambiguity, do you think in that discussion you could have thought you were talking about future capacity and people like dominic cummings and we don't know what the promised a thought, could they have thought it was available now? there are two responses, the first is you have to remember we were taking huge decisions under imperfect information, and against a completely unprecedented situation. and the recollection i have is that at that time the clinical advice was clear, and in fact i checked this with the chief medical officer in the last couple of weeks, that this was his recollection as well. and the recollection was the clinical advice was against asymptomatic
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testing for the reasons we set out, and for the clinical uses are reported to the committee but they were not my reasons. do you... but you were clear in your mind capacity was not there and it would have been strange for people to assume it was? that is right. but you don't have any positive recollection of others that were part of that discussion conceding and agreeing that? i don't have any recollection. again in the evidence we heard from dominic cummings, he said when the prime minister returned from his illness, in other words in april, he came back alarmed at what was going on in care homes and asked what has happened with all those people in care homes? and dominic cummings using a less polite version, what on
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earth are you telling me? did the prime minister have a conversation with you that indicated he was surprised to find out what was going on in care homes? not that i can remember. i see. and in terms of the numbers here in your initial number you talked —— initial answer, how many people were discharged before testing was available? i do not have that figure with me, i think it is in the public domain and if it is not i will get you the best estimate we have. 25,000 i would not dispute that figure. now you did say that the number of discharges going into care homes
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fell compared to the previous year. the figure i used was the proportionate discharges fell. is that from nao analysis? that is from an nhs analysis that i think we published at the time but if we haven't published then i will make sure we do. i think it is the same analysis and that talks about a period between the 17th of march and the 15th of april. but it misses out a crucial period at the beginning of march in which it was the case that actually the number of people being discharged from care homes was higher than it was in the year before. were you aware of there being an escalating problem that required you in the middle of march to put the brakes on it? well, i wouldn't be surprised but
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the recollection i have of that chart, that data series, was it was essentially flat and then it fell, the proportion of people who were discharged into hospital. and then you can see a clear policy reason why that would change on and around the 17th of march and that is because we put the funding in for the nhs to buy the care packages which are more likely to be the care packages of people's own home. but i am sure that we will go through the full details of exactly what those numbers are. in terms of the steps that were taken you said that transmission
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into care homes was knocked predominantly from people coming out of hospital but it was from staff? public health england have made a recent publication of this, and they found that approximately 1.6% of the cases going into care homes came from people leaving hospital, and there are two reasons it might be so low. the first is of course there were infection prevention and control, isolation rules, around how people went from hospital into care homes because of course they were not tested because the testing capacity was not there on the advice was to not test. and therefore there was to not test. and therefore there was already an isolation process in lieu of knowing whether someone was to be positive or not. if people were covid positive there needed to be an isolation process for them. the second reason is in terms of the
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numbers, the proportion of people who go into a care home is much higher each day from staff, that is inevitable, in any care home, the number of people who are resident who move in and out on a daily basis evenin who move in and out on a daily basis even in normal times is a fraction of the number of staff and indeed other professionals, like gps and health professionals. if you think about a care home and who physically goesin about a care home and who physically goes in the door, the number of times that person going through the front door is a resident is really quite a small proportion of the total. so i do understand why people feel very strongly about this point of residence going into care homes, but in terms of the volume of human movement and interaction with the
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care home, you can understand once you think of it that way because this virus transmits between humans whether you are a staff member or resident, the virus does not know or care, it is there, it is therefore the testing regime for the staff that was the big change he brought in over summer that was the big change he brought in oversummerand we that was the big change he brought in over summer and we learned all of these lessons and did a review with these lessons and did a review with the care home providers and others and came up with the care home winter plan. so in the second peak throughout winter, the proportion of deaths in care homes is far lower, and that is part, that is one of the many lessons we have been learning as we go through this. let us go on to the staff transmission in a second but on that public health england report which i have read, essentially it relates a positive covid results in a care
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home to whether that person has been in hospital before, that is the way, they call it a data linkage approach, that is the way they approach, that is the way they approach it, that is right, isn't it? well, the methodology is the best methodology it has, it is a difficult figure to put a number on. but it is made more difficult by the fact people were not being tested in care homes and therefore the chances of finding someone with a covid positive test and linking back back to a discharge from a hospital is very low indeed because the whole point we had been discussing is the testing was not available in care homes. so isn't it to put it most likely stretch of the imagination to believe 1.2% of cases, 1.6% of outbreaks, are attributable to hospital transmission into care homes when we simply do not have the
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data because people were not tested? it brings me back to the central point about the challenge of responding to this pandemic which is that we were having to make these judgments are sometimes very big judgments are sometimes very big judgments based on imperfect information. and getting better information. and getting better information is vital. i think that that study is the best assessment that study is the best assessment that can be made given the fact, the facts on the ground on what is and is not measurable. it is always a challenge to measure these things and estimates are estimates. i think i described it as an estimate not a factor partly because of this reason. once you think about the number of people who go into a care home and think about that in terms of staff and residents, you can see why that figure of that amount might
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be appropriate. there are reasons to explain it. but any way, that is the best estimate that we have. that is a bit of a danger for a lessons learned inquiry, for us, and for you and colleagues in government and the department, because that study was a look back at what happened during the period. it was an attempt to learn lessons, and you drew a pretty important conclusion which was that infections from hospitals was a small, in fact a tiny proportion of deaths in care homes, and that conclusion then has a policy consequences for the future, to look for example at staff transmission rather than so much hospital transmission. but it is not possible, we do not know what the answer is because people were not
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being tested in care homes, so it is completely impossible to say that less than 2% of infections in care homes were attributable to hospitals. no, firstly we did test in care homes throughout when people were symptomatic, and then we brought then the vivaldi study on care homes over any late spring. after the first peak, but never the less, we brought it then. this isn't based on... this isn't based on no data, is based on the data that we have, but i keep returning to this point that you are working on imperfect information. i also disagree with the idea that because that figure is low, therefore it shouldn't matter. it does matter. each one of those infections matters, and absolutely the discharge protocols which
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require no testing and isolation until there is a compressive test result, of course that matters. but the care home _ result, of course that matters. but the care home providers are very clear, we all know there was limited testing in care homes, so to a tribute the deaths, the positive cases in care homes to hospital discharges without a representative study can't have the weight that you are placing on it. we don't know and it's important that we do find out. of course it's important that we find out as much as we can, but there are some things about that first peak we will never know, because we didn't have the information gathering capabilities that we have now. so it is a... but... but i also... i will also argue, and i will always believe
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this, that it is best to make your best assessment of these things, evenif best assessment of these things, even if you have to recognise that these assessments are imperfect. the search for perfect information any pandemic is a vain one.— search for perfect information any pandemic is a vain one. indeed and we should therefore _ pandemic is a vain one. indeed and we should therefore open - pandemic is a vain one. indeed and we should therefore open these - we should therefore open these things up to scrutiny. absolutely, like publishing — things up to scrutiny. absolutely, like publishing the _ things up to scrutiny. absolutely, like publishing the pag _ things up to scrutiny. absolutely, like publishing the pag reports i things up to scrutiny. absolutely, j like publishing the pag reports of the chairman of the steam select committees can read them. has it been eer committees can read them. has it been peer reviewed _ committees can read them. has it been peer reviewed west - committees can read them. has it been peer reviewed west mac- committees can read them. has it been peer reviewed west mac i i committees can read them. has it i been peer reviewed west mac i don't know. it been peer reviewed west mac i don't know it would _ been peer reviewed west mac i don't know. it would be _ been peer reviewed west mac i don't know. it would be normal— been peer reviewed west mac i don't know. it would be normalfor- been peer reviewed west mac i don't know. it would be normal for an - know. it would be normalfor an important _ know. it would be normalfor an important publication _ know. it would be normalfor an important publication like - know. it would be normalfor an important publication like that l know. it would be normal for an | important publication like that to be peer reviewed to stop i’m important publication like that to be peer reviewed to stop i'm sure it sa s on be peer reviewed to stop i'm sure it says on the — be peer reviewed to stop i'm sure it says on the tap _ be peer reviewed to stop i'm sure it says on the tap of— be peer reviewed to stop i'm sure it says on the top of the _ be peer reviewed to stop i'm sure it says on the top of the document. it| says on the top of the document. it doesn't even savour the offer is... i will find out if it is peer reviewed, but a different approach, a different principle in a slightly different part of the forest. there is former pre—peer reviewed publication now because you have to get the best information you have with all of the caveats, including the ones we have discussed, out into
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the ones we have discussed, out into the public domain, rather than waiting for perfect information which may never come. ads, waiting for perfect information which may never come. a final auestion which may never come. a final question which _ which may never come. a final question which picks _ which may never come. a final question which picks up - which may never come. a final question which picks up on - which may never come. a final question which picks up on the which may never come. a final - question which picks up on the point that you made about the possibility of an infection from staff, several care staff in care homes. you recognise that as an important potential source, recognise that as an important potentialsource, but recognise that as an important potential source, but obviously the weekly testing of staff was not announced untiljuly, and i think was rolled out from july onwards. yes. , ., , , ., , ., yes. obvious question, why if that was thought _ yes. obvious question, why if that was thought to — yes. obvious question, why if that was thought to be _ yes. obvious question, why if that was thought to be the _ yes. obvious question, why if that was thought to be the prime - yes. obvious question, why if that was thought to be the prime rate | yes. obvious question, why if that. was thought to be the prime rate of infection getting into care homes, why was it not possible to do that earlier? �* p, why was it not possible to do that earlier? . . , . ., , why was it not possible to do that earlier? . . , _, , ., ., earlier? again this comes down to the prioritisation _ earlier? again this comes down to the prioritisation of— earlier? again this comes down to the prioritisation of tests. - earlier? again this comes down to the prioritisation of tests. so - earlier? again this comes down to the prioritisation of tests. so you | the prioritisation of tests. so you went as far— the prioritisation of tests. so you went as far and _ the prioritisation of tests. so you went as far and as _ the prioritisation of tests. so you went as far and as fast _ the prioritisation of tests. so you went as far and as fast as - the prioritisation of tests. so you went as far and as fast as she i went as far and as fast as she could, giving testing capacity? and could, giving testing capacity? and civen the could, giving testing capacity? jifuc given the clinical privatisation of the use of tests, yes. 50 given the clinical privatisation of the use of tests, yes.— given the clinical privatisation of the use of tests, yes. so in essence what you're — the use of tests, yes. so in essence what you're saying _ the use of tests, yes. so in essence what you're saying is _ the use of tests, yes. so in essence what you're saying is that _ the use of tests, yes. so in essence
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what you're saying is that this - what you're saying is that this question of infections within care homes comes from a combination of an understandable and perhaps necessary requirement to avoid a long body situation in the nhs, combined with what we have previously talked about which was an inadequate testing capacity. they are the components of the problem in care homes, as you said. �* p, the problem in care homes, as you said. ~ ., , _, the problem in care homes, as you said. . ., , ,., ., the problem in care homes, as you said. , .,, said. and a presumption that testing --eole said. and a presumption that testing eo - le who said. and a presumption that testing people who had _ said. and a presumption that testing people who had no _ said. and a presumption that testing people who had no symptoms - said. and a presumption that testing people who had no symptoms would| people who had no symptoms would lead to false negatives, which turned out to be wrong, but was the clear clinical advice for some time, until we had a better assessment of that in april. until we had a better assessment of that in april-— that in april. thank you very much. thank ou that in april. thank you very much. thank you chair _ that in april. thank you very much. thank you chair and _ that in april. thank you very much. thank you chair and secretary - that in april. thank you very much. thank you chair and secretary of. thank you chair and secretary of state. i would like to return to the success of certain countries in
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southeast asia, south korea, singapore and taiwan and so forth, we have already touched upon the pre—existing testing capacity, were given advice not to follow their strategies other respects? —— where you? strategies other respects? -- where ou? ., ., �* “ you? no, i don't think we were advised rrot — you? no, i don't think we were advised not to _ you? no, i don't think we were advised not to follow _ you? no, i don't think we were advised not to follow the - advised not to follow the strategies, but i cannot remember being formally advised to follow the strategies, but we did have discussions with them. in discussions with them. in retrospect, you would agree there should _ retrospect, you would agree there should have been more focus on what was going _ should have been more focus on what was going on in that part of the world _ was going on in that part of the world and — was going on in that part of the world and their success?- was going on in that part of the world and their success? there is a hu . e world and their success? there is a huge amount _ world and their success? there is a huge amount of— world and their success? there is a huge amount of focus _ world and their success? there is a huge amount of focus on _ world and their success? there is a huge amount of focus on what - world and their success? there is a huge amount of focus on what was| huge amount of focus on what was going on in china, although one of the things that hindered our early response was a lack of transparency from china, and that must be put right in terms of future preparedness for future pandemics. it is absolutely vital for the world that china is more transparent about its health information as soon as it
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understands that there are problems in future. with respect to the rest of southeast asia, i think that we would benefit a lot from ensuring that our future pandemic preparedness learns from the other... different strategies pursued right around the world. the strategies of different countries pursued, in my view, followed two essentially two things, one being the recent history and the countries that obviously had... it sounded to say that the countries that had experience mayors and stars were better prepared because there body had had a shock a decade earlier and here it was not heeded as much that should have been —— mers and sars. the second was in terms of the capabilities of geography and
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history. it is harder in a democracy to take some of the steps that some of the authoritarian countries took. geography matters. so, britain is an island, and we have the benefits of being an island, in terms of borders, but we are a highly interconnected island which has a tunnel and a huge amount of our freight comes accompanied, so other islands like australia and new zealand, taiwan were able to be more absolute at the border, whereas absolutely complete the shutting the border here is not something we are structured to do, because i think a very serious chunk of our daily imports comes accompanied, and so... and then, of course, this, this history is also about the capacities you have at home and we just didn't have that, that testing capacity in
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particular that andy contact tracing capacity that other side. irate particular that andy contact tracing capacity that other side.— capacity that other side. we didn't have the capacity _ capacity that other side. we didn't have the capacity but _ capacity that other side. we didn't have the capacity but was - capacity that other side. we didn't have the capacity but was it - have the capacity but was it discussed that british people would accept _ discussed that british people would accept testing and tracing methods? there _ accept testing and tracing methods? there is— accept testing and tracing methods? there is a _ accept testing and tracing methods? there is a debate about how much people would accept it but i was always of the view that people would go for it. my view on the use of that out was the mission and motive was so important, people would be willing to allow their data to be used. and give consent to that, because the justification was so clear. the story i told at the time was, you know, over 95% of people are willing to give their iris scan to the home office in order to have a shoe that is may be five minutes faster at heathrow when they go on holiday. if you are willing to give your biometric data to the hormel
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house, you are likely to be willing to allow your data to be used to save lives and strive to stop a pandemic. my view on the public�*s approach to consent for the use of their data for these purposes, my experience as they are very enthusiastic, so long as there is a proper mission, and there was a clear mission here. so i was up for action on this. i personally didn't think that that would be a problem, so long as we articulated it properly. all the privacy rules etc being right. properly. all the privacy rules etc being right-— being right. dominic cummings exressed being right. dominic cummings expressed a — being right. dominic cummings expressed a lack— being right. dominic cummings expressed a lack of _ being right. dominic cummings expressed a lack of urgency - being right. dominic cummings expressed a lack of urgency in l being right. dominic cummings i expressed a lack of urgency in our approach — expressed a lack of urgency in our approach to— expressed a lack of urgency in our approach to the pandemic in march because _ approach to the pandemic in march because we believe yourself to be lowered _ because we believe yourself to be lowered down in the pandemic curve and he _ lowered down in the pandemic curve and he said — lowered down in the pandemic curve and he said the implementation of nreasures— and he said the implementation of measures was delayed because there was a _ measures was delayed because there was a lack— measures was delayed because there was a lack of planning and preparations in place. how would you respond _ preparations in place. how would you respond to— preparations in place. how would you respond to those two points? the first to chew _ respond to those two points? inez first to chew on the respond to those two points? ii9: first to chew on the second respond to those two points? ii9 first to chew on the second is false. it is absolutely true that we
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thought on the advice we had that we were earlier in the pandemic than our european neighbours, and as it happens, we were seated, the virus we now know from genomic testing and the huge genomic testing capabilities we now have that there were thousands of individual incursions right across the uk, so we didn't have an outbreak in individual areas, we had an outbreak essentially everywhere at once. and that was one of the reasons we had a tougher first wave, along with the, you know, the frankly... the fact the population isn't as healthy and we know obesity is a significant risk factor. so, that was true, on
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the second point the idea we didn't have a plan, the evidence i can best point to is it that point we had published a plan. fair enough. finall , published a plan. fair enough. finally. for— published a plan. fair enough. finally, for me _ published a plan. fair enough. finally, for me in _ published a plan. fair enough. finally, for me in terms - published a plan. fair enough. finally, for me in terms of - published a plan. fair enough. | finally, for me in terms of face coverings. _ finally, for me in terms of face coverings, sage discussed in late april— coverings, sage discussed in late april the — coverings, sage discussed in late april the fact there was some evidence, _ april the fact there was some evidence, albeit weak, for the use of face _ evidence, albeit weak, for the use of face coverings. i think on the 11th of face coverings. i think on the llth of— of face coverings. i think on the llth of may— of face coverings. i think on the 11th of may the issued advice for iith of may the issued advice for their— 11th of may the issued advice for their use — 11th of may the issued advice for their use in enclosed spaces, then their use in enclosed spaces, then the uk _ their use in enclosed spaces, then the uk government mandated their use on the _ the uk government mandated their use on the 15th— the uk government mandated their use on the 15th ofjune on public transport settings, 24th ofjuly in shops. _ transport settings, 24th ofjuly in shops, 24th of september elsewhere. for the _ shops, 24th of september elsewhere. for the record, shops, 24th of september elsewhere. forthe record, in wales, shops, 24th of september elsewhere. for the record, in wales, that was six weeks — for the record, in wales, that was six weeks later for each change. why was there _ six weeks later for each change. why was there a _ six weeks later for each change. why was there a delay, first of all, in implementing what sage was advising? and why— implementing what sage was advising? and why were we as a country as a whole _ and why were we as a country as a whole perhaps behind other countries in the _ whole perhaps behind other countries in the world?— in the world? there was a rigorous international _ in the world? there was a rigorous international debate _ in the world? there was a rigorous international debate about - in the world? there was a rigorous international debate about the - in the world? there was a rigorous international debate about the usej international debate about the use of facemasks. and there were very
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significant divisions in the science on this. i think it is one of the clear lessons from the pandemic, and it comes down to disagreements about most likely —— the most likely route of personal transmission from the baddies from one person to another, and there is now a common understanding of aerosol transmission from one person of the virus to another, and how this mass are more important, was the initial advice. —— facemasks. a practical consideration that we didn't want people to take fast —— facemasks away, so we did introduce rules around public use of facemasks, we introduce them think you should wear a face covering, as many people in this remark, because that way it didn't take away from the provision
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of ppe. now that isn't the problem, we have huge stockpiles, but it was a problem at the time.— we have huge stockpiles, but it was a problem at the time. thank you for 'oinin: us a problem at the time. thank you for joining us today. _ a problem at the time. thank you for joining us today, secretary. - a problem at the time. thank you for joining us today, secretary. whether| joining us today, secretary. whether it is policy implementation or the general workings of the uk government or even in your role, the secretary of state for health, public trust is of paramount importance. getting those key lines right, ensuring that communication is clear in maintaining that trust, so that the general public have faith in leadership of the country. would you agree with that statement? i would very strongly agree with it. so why during the pandemic do you think that the prime minister had lower approval ratings in comparison to his counterparts of devolved nations? i to his counterparts of devolved nations? :, �* ~' to his counterparts of devolved nations? :, �* ,, �* , ., to his counterparts of devolved nations? :, �* ,, �*, ., , nations? i don't think it's a bit approval. _ nations? i don't think it's a bit approval. l — nations? i don't think it's a bit approval, ithink— nations? i don't think it's a bit approval, i think it _ nations? i don't think it's a bit approval, i think it is - nations? i don't think it's a bit approval, i think it is about, i nations? i don't think it's a bit| approval, ithink it is about, as approval, i think it is about, as you say, public trust. we work very
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hard to ensure that we have the support of the public. in fact, when you look at the prove point of that, the consequence of that, the public have been incredibly strong in supporting the measure is that we asked them to support. ultimately, thatis asked them to support. ultimately, that is what you need to trust for. perhaps the most important factor, when it comes to having the trust of the public, is to make sure we get very high vaccination uptake, and we have got extraordinarily high vaccination uptake. that is... that is true across the whole of the uk. in fact, i think it is stronger in some parts of the uk than others, but this isn't a competition. it is important that it is high everywhere.— important that it is high everywhere. important that it is high eve here. , :, :, everywhere. ok, but going back to the idea of how _ everywhere. ok, but going back to the idea of how the _ everywhere. ok, but going back to the idea of how the public - everywhere. ok, but going back to the idea of how the public view - the idea of how the public view their leadership, that is something thatis their leadership, that is something that is taken into consideration, whether it is by the media or by
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government or by other members of the public. in november, a poll found that 74% of the scottish public believe that nicola sturgeon had handled the pandemic well in comparison to 19% who thought the same of borisjohnson. there could be differences there because the nhs in scotland is devolved and there is nhs scotland, but what kind of lessons do you think the uk government are learning in terms of communication?— communication? well, i don't have the latest figures _ communication? well, i don't have the latest figures on _ communication? well, i don't have the latest figures on me, _ communication? well, i don't have the latest figures on me, but - communication? well, i don't have the latest figures on me, but i - the latest figures on me, but i noticed that to prove your point in your question, you picked figures from november, and i have already said that i think the operation of government has improved very significantly since november, and the public have definitely noticed that. in fact, the public trust across the uk, in the measures that the government have taken, has
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increased significantly. i have noticed, secretary of state, that it is now more efficient and effective, better communication inside of government, a better sense of teamwork, and that is so important in the pandemic. and the public have undoubtedly noticed this improvement over the past six months or so. [30 over the past six months or so. do ou over the past six months or so. do you think that the public trust you? as secretary of state? you you think that the public trust you? as secretary of state?— you think that the public trust you? as secretary of state? you can 'udge that for yourself. i as secretary of state? you can 'udge that for yourself. i'm * as secretary of state? you can 'udge that for yourself. i'm asking _ as secretary of state? you can judge that for yourself. i'm asking you. - that for yourself. i'm asking you. all i can that for yourself. i'm asking you. all i can say _ that for yourself. i'm asking you. all i can say is — that for yourself. i'm asking you. all i can say is that _ that for yourself. i'm asking you. all i can say is that the _ that for yourself. i'm asking you. all i can say is that the approach | that for yourself. i'm asking you. | all i can say is that the approach i have taken throughout this is to try to answer questions as directly and straight as possible. i'm a big team player. i'm willing to say difficult things if necessary. and that is, i think, the best approach can take any pandemic, answering difficult and answering the questions that are easier to answer. when difficult things happen, my approach is to go
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to the dispatch box or have a press conference and explain why there is a difficult thing. and i think that is important any pandemic, in particular. but at the same time, i'm a huge team player and i think it is very important that we operate as best as we can as a team. i completely agree with you. team player in ensuring all four parts of the uk are heard loud and clear. rewinding back, in the session we had with mr cummings a couple of weeks ago, he claimed whilst i was questioning him on orders, that the prime minister in the uk government prioritise the economy over people's lives. that is quite a damaging implication —— allegation, but the allegation was made. i will not question you and the validity of that, but i will ask you, statements like that have been made, what
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actions are the uk government going to take to maintain or regain trust in the public?— in the public? well, the honest truth in response _ in the public? well, the honest truth in response to _ in the public? well, the honest truth in response to that - in the public? well, the honest truth in response to that is - in the public? well, the honest| truth in response to that is that in the public? well, the honest - truth in response to that is that we have some of the toughest border measures in the world. and people can see that we are willing to take difficult decisions on borders, based on the dacha, that is what is needed. so for instance, just last week we had to remove portugalfrom the green list of countries, despite the green list of countries, despite the fact that that was very uncomfortable, and there were lots of people who, especially who were on holiday or out in portugal on business, who had a significant impact from that, but when the data changes we are willing to make those difficult decisions, because we have a tough approach at the borders. you think those decisions are made at a timely manner?— think those decisions are made at a timely manner? absolutely. we took portuaal of timely manner? absolutely. we took portugal of the _ timely manner? absolutely. we took
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portugal of the green _ timely manner? absolutely. we took portugal of the green list _ timely manner? absolutely. we took portugal of the green list and - timely manner? absolutely. we took portugal of the green list and i - timely manner? absolutely. we took portugal of the green list and i was l portugal of the green list and i was criticised for acting too quickly, but when you see a new variant it is incumbent to act.— incumbent to act. many ethnic minorities _ incumbent to act. many ethnic minorities during _ incumbent to act. many ethnic minorities during the - incumbent to act. many ethnic minorities during the covid i incumbent to act. many ethnic- minorities during the covid pandemic have sadly passed away. what steps did your department take to engage in those communities who, for example, may be have english as their second or third language? or traditionally do not engage with the nhs? , , , . , , nhs? yes, this is incredibly important — nhs? yes, this is incredibly important and _ nhs? yes, this is incredibly important and has - nhs? yes, this is incredibly important and has been - nhs? yes, this is incredibly - important and has been incredibly important and has been incredibly important throughout. to be honest, i think it is something we have got better at. we have got better working alongside local authorities, in terms of engagement, and we have taken those learnings, a lot of which we learn through the use of the testing programme, and deployed them in the vaccination programme. and although the vaccination rates now are lower for some ethnic minority communities, we are seeing those rates rise up, which i am really pleased about. wright saudi, the question i asked is what steps
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did your department take —— the question i asked is what steps did your department take -- sorry, the question _ did your department take -- sorry, the question i— did your department take -- sorry, the question i asked. _ did your department take -- sorry, the question i asked. huge - did your department take -- sorry, l the question i asked. huge amounts of work. the question i asked. huge amounts of work- for — the question i asked. huge amounts of work. for instance, _ the question i asked. huge amounts of work. for instance, the _ the question i asked. huge amounts of work. for instance, the minister l of work. for instance, the minister on the net vaccine roll—out has undertaken a huge amount of work in terms of engaging with communities of all sorts. across the whole country, the whole of the uk, to make sure we get messages across. for instance, ensuring information is available in the language that people commonly use is so important. and from the point of view of the attitude that we take, some people say you've got to do better at reaching hard to reach communities. i don't think about it like that, because that implies that somehow it is their problem. it is about making services more accessible to people, and making sure we make it as easy as possible to access services.
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because i am pretty sure... you have got to make sure you reach out. so that has been a big part of the plan all along. that has been a big part of the plan all alonu. , , :, ., all along. one must question. so an ent specialist _ all along. one must question. so an ent specialist at _ all along. one must question. so an ent specialist at the _ all along. one must question. so an ent specialist at the universal - ent specialist at the universal hospital of derby died on the 28th of march 2020, the first doctor to diet duty covid, —— to die due to covid. you search with your nhs by john, one of the first things i noticed, you think the nhs have trust in yourself —— you are sitting with your nhs badge on. do you think the nhs have trust in yourself and your leadership in the pandemic and
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out of the pandemic? yes. your leadership in the pandemic and out of the pandemic?— out of the pandemic? yes, right across the _ out of the pandemic? yes, right across the uk, _ out of the pandemic? yes, right across the uk, making - out of the pandemic? yes, right across the uk, making sure - out of the pandemic? yes, right across the uk, making sure the| across the uk, making sure the health services we provide are there for everybody is incredibly important to me. and the nhs across great britain is our most valued institution, and the people who work institution, and the people who work in the nhs work incredibly hard and have faced some of the toughest situations of their lives over the last 18 months. it saddens me enormously that around 1500 people from health and social care lost their lives in this pandemic. i know, in fact, their lives in this pandemic. i know, infact, i know their lives in this pandemic. i know, in fact, i know that the first four doctors who lost their lives were all from ethnic minority communities. in fact, at eid i went to brent central mosque to thank them, and through them, everybody who works in the nhs from all
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different communities, and especially to mark the sacrifice of those who have come to this country to offer their services and to work in the nhs, and who gave their lives in the nhs, and who gave their lives in that service during the pandemic. it is something that has moved me a lot. 50 it is something that has moved me a lot, :, , :, it is something that has moved me a lot. :, i. , i. it is something that has moved me a lot. :, , ,:, . lot. so would you see your protected nhs staff? absolutely, _ lot. so would you see your protected nhs staff? absolutely, we _ lot. so would you see your protected nhs staff? absolutely, we did - nhs staff? absolutely, we did everything _ nhs staff? absolutely, we did everything we _ nhs staff? absolutely, we did everything we possibly - nhs staff? absolutely, we did everything we possibly could i nhs staff? absolutely, we did i everything we possibly could and nhs staff? absolutely, we did - everything we possibly could and we protected the nhs or the provision was there for a patient as much as possible, and provided the ppe as we've discussed, and we work together right across the uk, including with the scottish cabinet member for health who have worked very closely with, to make sure that everywhere on these islands, people got the support that they needed in the treatment they could as much as
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possible. in the treatment they could as much as ossible. : ., , the treatment they could as much as ossible. : . , ., , ~ possible. in the chamber last week ou said possible. in the chamber last week you said nobody — possible. in the chamber last week you said nobody was _ possible. in the chamber last week you said nobody was denied - possible. in the chamber last week i you said nobody was denied treatment for a covid, people got the treatment they needed. you repeated that there. i'd like to draw your attention to two things. first, the widespread reports of the use of do not attempt resuscitation notices, which i know has been challenged, but was widely reported last year, the spring, and it is reported again today in the telegraph, in terms of people with mental illness in people with a learning disability. the second point is the refusal of some hospital trusts to admit covid—19 patients from care homes. bearing those two things in mind, you really still saying that everybody with covid—19 got the treatment they needed? covid-19 got the treatment they needed? , ., , covid-19 got the treatment they needed? , . , .., needed? yes, that is the medical advice that _ needed? yes, that is the medical advice that l _ needed? yes, that is the medical advice that i have, _ needed? yes, that is the medical advice that i have, and _ needed? yes, that is the medical advice that i have, and i - needed? yes, that is the medical advice that i have, and i totally i advice that i have, and i totally agree with you about the inexcusable
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nature of any attempt do not resuscitate orders without consent. and when there were concerns raised at blanket consent being put in place, we stopped that immediately. so, yes, making sure that provision was there was absolutely critical, and we did succeed... it wasn't just... it wasn't me on my own, it was a huge team effort that everybody was involved in, because part of the action that we took to suppress the virus was in order to protect the nhs. if you think about it, my strategy through this was to suppress the virus until a vaccine could make a safe, and i always believed a vaccine would come through, and i drove that project hard. but yes, the clinical advice i have, and i checked again on this recently, as i said earlier, was
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that that provision was always available. i that that provision was always available. :, that that provision was always available. . .. , , that that provision was always available. . , , :, that that provision was always available. . , :, , available. i had cases of this happening — available. i had cases of this happening to _ available. i had cases of this happening to a _ available. i had cases of this happening to a constituent l available. i had cases of this| happening to a constituent of available. i had cases of this - happening to a constituent of mine, a case unable the third were a constituent any nursing home, her daughter was contacted out of the blue by an nhs hospital staff member who told her that her mother would not be admitted to hospital if she contracted covid. that was a battle i took up on her behalf with the local hospital, but my constituents at this, my mum's light was made insignificant because she is old and has had dementia —— life. i understand from a colleague this also happened in hove, and as i said, still being reported. in my view, this was a serious impact of the policy of discharging patients from the nhs to care homes. in my view, it led to a mindset in parts of the nhs that it was ok to deny treatment to vulnerable and older people. let me ask you, were you aware last spring that some hospitals had phoned to care home —— had told care homes they would not
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admit their residence? i had told care homes they would not admit their residence?— admit their residence? i insisted on clear and strong _ admit their residence? i insisted on clear and strong guidance _ admit their residence? i insisted on clear and strong guidance which - admit their residence? i insisted on clear and strong guidance which is i clear and strong guidance which is that this approach is completely unacceptable. it has never been acceptable. it has never been a policy. and when i heard reports, and in fact, you have raised reports with me of this before. i immediately took action. to reiterate the position that do not resuscitate notices require informed consent. there are proper procedures around how you can go about giving that consent, but individual decisions must be made on an individual basis. i decisions must be made on an individual basis.— decisions must be made on an individual basis. i really want the ruestion, individual basis. i really want the question. why — individual basis. i really want the question, why have _ individual basis. i really want the question, why have we _ individual basis. i really want the question, why have we kept - individual basis. i really want the l question, why have we kept having reports on why this kept on happening patterns of this happening up happening patterns of this happening up and down the country and we're still getting reports of a? there
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have been a of surges, reports of do not resuscitate notices for people with disabilities and the telegraph includes a paucity of people with mental illness. it certainly happened in parts of the north west and people in care homes and that was reported to me and i have reported it in the house. while the question is not asked about such wide—ranging impacts on vulnerable people? i understand it has been challenging, but kept on happening. the guidance we put out was absolutely crystal clear, and the idea that a dnr notice should be put on without the individual consent process and the individual knowing, the correct decision being taken, with clinical advice on an individual basis, it is completely unacceptable for the guidance not to be followed. any system as big as
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the nhs, it is important that when people see problems like this they raise them and we can address them. the availability of treatment was always there. treatment was available for these people in all circumstances, because we never ran out of that capacity, in part because of the action we all collectively took.— because of the action we all collectively took. you are not willin: collectively took. you are not willing to _ collectively took. you are not willing to accept _ collectively took. you are not willing to accept from - collectively took. you are not willing to accept from these i willing to accept from these reports, that in fact, and for myself as an mp, this was happening? that there was a denial of treatment to some people? i understand and i said that you challenged it, but the problem as it carried on happening. i have seen these reports and it is totally unacceptable. hagar i have seen these reports and it is totally unacceptable.— totally unacceptable. how can you sto it? it totally unacceptable. how can you stop it? it is _ totally unacceptable. how can you stop it? it is not _ totally unacceptable. how can you stop it? it is not as _ totally unacceptable. how can you stop it? it is not as if— totally unacceptable. how can you stop it? it is not as if it _ totally unacceptable. how can you stop it? it is not as if itjust - stop it? it is not as if itjust happened once. stop it? it is not as if it 'ust happened oncei stop it? it is not as if it 'ust happened once.
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stop it? it is not as if it 'ust ha ened once. , :, , happened once. the strongest thing i can do is ensure _ happened once. the strongest thing i can do is ensure that _ happened once. the strongest thing i can do is ensure that the _ happened once. the strongest thing i can do is ensure that the nhs - happened once. the strongest thing i can do is ensure that the nhs issues| can do is ensure that the nhs issues guidance to make the rules around this absolutely clear. and that is what i have done. the point about protecting the nhs is that the capacity to treat all people for covid was always there throughout, evenin covid was always there throughout, even in the highest peaks. so that treatment was always available, at all times, and i'm very proud that we managed to build the capacity and, in fact, we managed to build the capacity and, infact, the nhs we managed to build the capacity and, in fact, the nhs themselves that the remarkable job and, in fact, the nhs themselves that the remarkablejob in building the nightingale hospitals, for instance. it the nightingale hospitals, for instance. , :, ., ., instance. it is not about that, thouuh, instance. it is not about that, though, secretary _ instance. it is not about that, though, secretary of- instance. it is not about that, though, secretary of state, i instance. it is not about that, j though, secretary of state, is instance. it is not about that, - though, secretary of state, is about a cast of mind, a mindset that treated vulnerable people, people are learning disability is, people meant it on as a particular way. let's leave the point now. i wanted to raise the question of expert advice to the government, you mentioned earlier clinical advice on testing of discharge to care homes and said it was advice from sage,
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you reported that a couple times, i think. sage had almost 100 advisers, including experts from health, epidemiology, criminology, psychology, statisticians, environmental behavioural sciences, but no social workers and no input care providers. here are england's only planning part of for social care was focused on the nhs. the chief executive said sage would be strengthened enormously by input from social work, it is a shocking we have none. some of the biggest care home operators have said that they repeatedly worn in march 2020 about the dangers of discharging people into care homes without testing —— warned, and one due directly by e—mail and via representatives. given the terrible excess mortality in care homes, partly driven by actions of the care sector, do you recognise this failure to include equities from the care sector was a mistake?
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the way clinical advice reaches me as secretary of state is the chief medical officer who co—chairs sage listens to these scientific views, sage is a scientific body, and then also takes into account the operational considerations, from social care, from the nhs, from others, and then puts an assessment and recommendations to me and two other ministers including the prime minister. do you think that advice was strong enough? that listening to the care sector was strong enough? i had to say particularly during the early stages there was the view the care sector was treated as an afterthought. i do think we strengthened the way we got advice from the care sector through the pandemic. when we wrote the winter plan and published it i
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think in august 2020, we took several weeks to ensure that we worked closely with the representative organisations of the care sector to make sure that winter plan was road—tested with them in advance, learning as many lessons as we could. that was in august, not in march, april, may, june orjuly. well past the first wave. i was coming on to that. we had then over the summer at the time to be able to write a draft and to be able to circulate it, take on—board comments which is the normal way of developing within government. in the first peak, we were operating with these huge decisions based on as i have said imperfect information but also at remarkable speed, we had to move very fast. so of course we took
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the on—board use of the care sector and the experts on social care who we were engaged with. but we were not able to undertake the full public consultation that we normally would do with the development of policy simply because of the time it took. when you think that it was a matter of acting as fast as we could to keep people safe and that meant you could not go through the normal channels of consultation you would. what is important in terms of the lessons learned we are looking at todayis lessons learned we are looking at today is the point about what impact this lack of knowledge about the care sector had on the decision—making at the time. we had professor whitty saying to the health and social care committee in july the risk of staff travelling
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between homes and spreading the virus was not recognised early on in the outbreak. he admitted in retrospect it is obvious but it was not obvious early on, which really doesn't show there was no input, no listening, no expertise from the social care sector in that early stage which was so important because decisions were being made that caused the excess deaths. let me remind you, my colleague raised this issue in the house on the 25th of march and he wrote a letter to the prime minister and copied it to you, he described a care home in his constituency with a serious outbreak involving residents and staff, making clear the staff who had covid were agency staff who worked in other care homes. i wrote a letter to you on it for the first pointing at the lack of ppe in care homes, concerns about care staff not able
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to access test, the need for testing for patients being discharged to care homes. and care homes had said they were not able to transfer sick residents to hospital who would not admit them. care england have told me at the start of the pandemic several care providers offered new care facilities that could have been used for the isolation of patients potentially with covid discharged from hospital and they received no response from the government. having no expertise on social care in your group of advisers why did you not heed the warnings about dangers to the care sector raised by mps, the care sector and public health england? you didn't only raise these concerns in a letter to me, you also raise them with me in the house of commons. and i think making sure that we got feedback from mps who
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are expert in particular areas including in social care was a critical part of the response. and it led to us strengthening the guidance throughout. in that period following you writing on the 1st of april i think it was, we strengthened the guidance to care homes on the 15th of april. so we were constantly, i remember discussing this in the house of commons in an exchange with you, chair, the other chair, the member for tunbridge wells for the record, about attitude to listening to concerns and the need to constantly feed that into how we responded. and i was completely open about that. you raise the issue of care homes in the house of commons and we took into account those concerns as we updated the guidance. but it was
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inevitably an iterative process because we were operating at such pace in the face of unprecedented circumstances. earlier you said on your discharge policy, it took four days to turn round in which time a patient could have contracted covid. but the n said in march that the great majority of tests were being turned around in 2a hours, 1500 a day. i want to reiterate the point, care england has told me several care providers offered the use of those brand—new care facilities that had not yet been commissioned for use to isolate discharged patients, they received no response from government, why? i was not aware of that letter. on the turnaround times, let us be clear, you were not aware of the offer from several care providers of
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facilities that could be used to isolate patients because that is pretty important, a matter of life and death. a better answer is i cannot recollect that. what i can tell you, though, is the turnaround times and sometimes were fast but sometimes not. if somebody is left in a hospital setting when they have been tested, they can catch covid. yes, you have made that point. you are repeating you are repeating a point you made earlier. and i am repeating care england have told me several care providers offered brand—new care facilities that could have been used for isolation. if tess had not come back within 2a hours they could have been used in
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that way, it could have been a combination of prioritising discharges to care homes for testing and if the testing had not come back they could have gone as an interim step to those care facilities which were offered, why did that not happen? as i say, i do not have a recollection of that correspondence. well, you will admit that would have been a solution. in fact i think it was adopted as a solution later on in certain parts of the country that step down facilities. clearly we are talking about thousands of debt in care homes, this is important. you were taking clinical advice on your policies that did not include advisers from the care sector. that is not quite right, i want to correct the point there which is that the scientific advice from sage
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because sage is the scientific advisory group in emergencies is then combined with the operational advice from the department and others in the clinical advice that comes to me. i know that might sound technical but it is inaccurate to say that because sage did not have operational experts, that therefore that was not taken into consideration in the advice to me. sage is a scientific body is not an operational body and that is how advice is structured. it is a scientific body on whose advice you were in line for the discharge policy into care homes. you don't seem to want to accept the points i am making. ijust want to points i am making. i just want to give accurate answers. can i also add that on the point, i want to add a further point to my aunts on the dnr because this
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is such an important point. as well as issuing guidance we also asked the coc who regulate the care home sector, to make sure that they reiterated this point. and if there are further levers that are available to stop people wrongly using dnr notices, that i am open to it. but we have, i have sought to use every power at my disposal to stop the inappropriate use of dnr notices, whilst allowing people who want to express a wish that they should not be resuscitated to do so. indeed. just funny, on the lack of expertise from the care sector or operational knowledge as you call it, you said earlier about the care sector, we did not have levers, we didn't have data, not even a list of who the providers were. ijust point
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out to you there are organisations like care england and the national care forum that are capable of providing lists of providers, perfectly capable of advising the government. as i say, it strongly came across to me in my own constituency and nationally that the care sector felt they were treated as an afterthought and i think it would be advisable now to think about how to take their advice better into account so we do not get into the decision—making and the issues in this particular pandemic. absolutely, we were in contact with those organisations throughout, and indeed the coc, but none of these letters are competitive and this is the problem we were facing which we have now you are saying care england does not have a comprehensive list of its members? no, i am of its members? no, iam not. no, i am not. we no, iam not. we will definitely be making recommendations in this error in our
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report. can i just say secretary of state i have not always agreed with your decisions in this area but i appreciate the number of times you have presented yourself to the house of commons and these committees and other committees. can i take you back about two hours to the questions asking about information that they believed had not been presented yet when p h e changed their advice. are you aware that doctor cathy gardner who is taking the department's judicial review? —— aware of doctor cathy gardner? the department is engaged in judicial review on a number of aspects. because according to the byline
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times, which i think is what becky was referring to, the report, you or the department, had not provided the e—mails, advice and other information that had been asked for information that had been asked for in that case. i do not want to make a clever point but if one was to apply to that lack of evidence the interpretation you put on dominic cummings not supplying this with supportive evidence, then we should be very worried. so will you provide all that evidence that has been asked for in that case and has been asked for in that case and has been asked for in that case and has been asked for by this committee? well, of course, i am asked for by this committee? well, of course, iam happy asked for by this committee? well, of course, i am happy to provide all the evidence as per the previous exchange. but i would say
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this. my whole approach is to provide you with whatever evidence is needed for you to reach your conclusions. hence being open to questioning for as long as you like. i will tell you why. it is kind of what you said about me coming to the house throughout the pandemic. that is because i know deep in here that what i did and what my team did was what i did and what my team did was what we believe to be the best thing we could on the information that we had to protect lives and to get us out of this pandemic. and we worked every single day from the moment we work up to the moment we fell into our bed —— up. on that mission four months and months and i know that i can face the mirror each morning and despite my deep regret at the deaths
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that have occurred, i know that i did that with the right motive being straight with people throughout. and this pandemic has caused enormous pain but the way through it is to try and bring people together as a team which i hope i have demonstrated being as transparent as possible. i don't agree with some of the decisions you have come to. the membership of spy b have given an apology for their advice and have said they regretted having given extreme advice and they thought behavioural psychology had been undermined, that they had given too much had undermined, that they had given too much bad news and not enough good news, and gavin morgan said he
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thought they had not behaved ethically in doing that. do you accept that apology and do you accept that apology and do you accept any responsibility for the negativity and unethical nature of that advice? well, but i would say is i think that everybody who was in a position of responsibility in the health family was acting according to what they thought were, was their best interpretation of their role in helping the country to manage an unprecedented situation. and ijust think that especially in a pandemic when everybody is involved in trying to get through this, every single member of the public, everybody is involved, i see the best in people. and i think that the best thing is to try and motivate people to do their best in this. what they were saying was they had
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exaggerated cooperating to create a climate of fear beyond the evidence. i was asking you whether you accepted that and you regretted the overemphasis on the negative? i do not think there was an overemphasis on the negative. there were thousands of people dying, we needed to stop that. right. can ijust asked a couple of simple questions. one, you mentioned portugal, and moving it into the amber list, but there were other parts of the globe where there were no infections, the best example of the top of my head is the cayman islands. why weren't, as you were moving parts of the globe from green to amber, why didn't you move some from amber to green? well, the evidence is presented by
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the uk health security agency, and the uk health security agency, and the mrs then take decisions on the basis of that evidence, that is how we make a decision on what is red, amber and we make a decision on what is red, amberand green we make a decision on what is red, amber and green lists. sometimes there are balance decisions when you could make the decision easier —— either way. could make the decision easier —— eitherway. in could make the decision easier —— either way. in this case the decision was very clear cut that we had to move portugalfrom decision was very clear cut that we had to move portugal from the green list unfortunately, it gave me no pleasure to make that recommendation. and that is what we did. there were other balanced decisions that we will keep looking at the data and make an assessment each time we do. can i ask a couple of questions about greater manchester and bolton. bolton has had both surge testing and an increased supply of vaccines thatis and an increased supply of vaccines that is going to everybody essentially. everybody who is eligible.
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essentially. eve bod who is eliaible. everybody who is eligible. over greater manchester _ everybody who is eligible. over greater manchester there has also been an increase in infection, andy burnham the mayor of greater manchester has been asking that what has been given to bolton is to be given to the whole of greater manchester. the support of the army is there but not vaccinations for everybody, why is that? well, we had to make sure that we use the vaccines that we have got as appropriately as we can. i have been talking to the mayor of greater manchester throughout this and i am glad that he welcomed the action we have taken. it is clear the package in bolton has had a positive effect. absolutely. the challenge is once you get to a wider geography including greater manchester and lancashire, the more vaccination you put in, you have got two find those vaccines from somewhere. so we are working on what more we can do to
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get more vaccines into greater manchester, lancashire, to try to get the vaccination numbers are as well. the immediate priority is to get as much testing as possible to break the chains of transmission. the vaccine takes several weeks to work not least because if you haven't had a vaccine you need a second jab. i heard a wonderful radio [i programme, more or less. programme, more 01’ less. a programme, more or less. a fine programme. what did they say? they tried to understand why wales is the country notjust in the united kingdom but is comparable to any country in the world in terms of the number of vaccinations rolled out as a percentage, and the conclusion they came to was that they had stopped holding stock and as soon as they got the vaccination, they got them into people's arms. and england and
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scotland and northern ireland don't seem to have been doing that. is that not a solution to the greater manchester and anywhere else suffering increased infections, that the country stops holding on, there may be problems in the future in the supply line, but getting there is vaccinations into people's arms is a good thing as quickly as possible? i am grinning because i am wondering whether to give you the full answer because i very much like my colleagues in wales and although we are in a different party is running devolved administrations, running the uk government, there is a very clear answer to why this happened. because you are so nicely i am going to set it out and then i will phone up my to set it out and then i will phone up my new welsh opposite number afterwards. the reason is this. that we need to ensure that whatever happens in terms of security of
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supply, there is enough vaccine for people to get their second doses. so we ensure that there is enough of a buffer that we can be confident that we will get people their second doses. it is a judgment how big that buffer needs to be. our colleagues in wales as you say decided to hold no such buffer and go ahead on the presumption that supply would come through but they also knew that if there was an interruption to supply, that england's buffer would be used to ensure that nobody in wales would miss their second vaccination. now, thatis miss their second vaccination. now, that is not a decision i could make for england because i can't draw on anybody else's buffer. i suppose what this demonstrates is that the value of the uk—wide vaccination programme and the fact that we have taken a uk, whole of uk approach,
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benefits everybody including in wales, it enormously benefits everybody living in scotland because we are able to procure on behalf of the whole of the uk. and i would argue that the vaccination programme demonstrates that the union saves lives and in the case of wales, the union has helped them to have one of the fastest vaccination programmes in the world, and i wish them every luck in the delivery of it. i hope you get on with —— my final question, if i may. you mentioned at the start of the epidemic you had difficulty getting information out of hospitals. in particular to find out what was going on. it has been my experience as a member of parliament trying to get information
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out of nhs england that they have had a very tight control both on press releases and on the supply of information. they have played the information. they have played the information close to their chest. i have found that difficult. i wondered if that was your experience in the elevated position of being secretary of state? have you always been satisfied they have provided information? you should ask the chair his experience. the answer i give is that they are, the supply of data, the use of data across the health family as a whole, is infinitely better now than it was two years ago. and we have through this pandemic built a system of the provision of data for decision across the nhs and phe and the joint
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bio—security centre and the new uk security agency in order to make better decisions founded on the best possible data science. i think that has been one of the benefits of the work that we have done during the pandemic and so it is much, much easier now and i pay tribute to the team in nhs england and across the department and the other parts of the health family for those who have pulled that together. as you can see i am a positive team player and all i am a positive team player and all i can say this is one that is going very much in the right direction. doctor luke evans. my questions are at risk, what is your attitude towards risk? sometimes you have to take it but you should also try to manage it. to give an example. we did not know at the start of this pandemic if we would ever get a vaccine for sure but i believed that we would and
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could. and was willing to throw everything at it, and then we took risks, for instance, backing six different projects even though only some of them have come off so far. and once we took the risk on those project we did notjust fire and forget and leave it, we actively manage them. so you should take risks, it is one of the lessons of the pandemic that you need to take risks that are worth it but they should be, iam risks that are worth it but they should be, i am an optimist when it comes to making decisions like this but i am a rational optimist and that means you manage risks as well as taking them. you said you put yourself on the line and injeopardy you said you put yourself on the line and in jeopardy with your 100,000 tests, at the same time quantities and vaccines, you have kept some back as a buffer in a conservative approach, how does that
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hang at having the debate about the lockdowns? from your position, you have had to set this out to the prime minister shutting down the economy, i am prime minister shutting down the economy, iam interested in prime minister shutting down the economy, i am interested in the flip side. throughout this pandemic every measure is about risk management, no vaccine is 100%, no test or mask is 100%, it is how you stratify that risk. could you talk me through the first lockdown and how that worked? epidemiology is a science of risks. and it is all about the balance of different risks, where the typical projection of any particular figure is exponential in one direction or the other. and that leads to a
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particularly complicated set of metrics to understand in order to best manage. fortunately i am trained as an economist so whilst i don't have a clinical background, economics and econometrics training, at least to the degree i had it, it allows you similar training in the understanding of these concepts. for every measure we put in at the start we lock down the entire economy and switched off urgently, collective stuff is cancelled. rightfully so, for the capacity we have seen you have set that out. how did that change on the second lockdown? because you learn the measures, you kept elected going, and there was a reduced impact on the economy. how would those decisions made at the top? to answer to that. decisions made at the top? to answer to that- the — decisions made at the top? to answer to that. the first — decisions made at the top? to answer to that. the first is _ decisions made at the top? to answer to that. the first is the _ decisions made at the top? to answer to that. the first is the answer - decisions made at the top? to answer to that. the first is the answer i - to that. the first is the answer i just gave also comes back to the
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answer about texting, and exponential demand for testing but only an essentially linear, a bitter above linear expansion of supply, and that is why we had a shortage of testing at a point when the accidental curve got above what was essentially a straight line. that is how it can be true we continue to expand testing capacity and then have shortages, because it is about the shape of the accelerating demand. when it came to the... to the second lockdown, there is a similar way of conceptualising this, which is, when case numbers are low, but rising, you can see that, you can see what is likely to happen but not searching... but you know when you bring in a locked out you have definite and immediate costs, and
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that makes for a difficultjudgment, always based of course on imperfect information. if i take an example for this, information. if i take an example forthis, i know information. if i take an example for this, i know we are going to come onto the second lockdown later, but a really good example of this is the kent variant. i remember having meetings in november, when we were under lockdown, saying something odd is going on in kent. and i remember being on a gold meeting with helen whately, mp, she was saying there was something happening in kent kent and it is different full stop we didn't have at that time and explanation. i remember having a conversation with a member from tunbridge wells about something happening in kent that we don't yet know, we then found it was about a new variant that was more transmissible. the challenge when it came to the action we took in december was that we didn't know exactly what problem was. we were acting with imperfect information, but we knew for instance in tunbridge wells, even though the case it was really low, we knew that if we lockdown that would have
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immediate negative costs. so you have absolute and certain costs versus an uncertain but projected much worse alternative. and the balance of those is an incredibly difficultjudgment to strike. the conclusion i've come to, having been around this look many times now, is that you have to act early, and you have to act firmly. and that is when you don't have the tool of the vaccine. now we have a different calculus, which is that we have to offset what i think of as the 2020 dilemma, we now have a vaccine, and we know we are in a race between the virus in the vaccine. that we know we are in a race between the virus in the vaccine.— virus in the vaccine. that is what i wanted to — virus in the vaccine. that is what i wanted to pick — virus in the vaccine. that is what i wanted to pick up _ virus in the vaccine. that is what i wanted to pick up when _ virus in the vaccine. that is what i wanted to pick up when you - wanted to pick up when you pre—empted it, we've seen it three times and moved on, and of course there is an important day coming on there is an important day coming on the 215t. this is about lessons learnt, lessons learnt about the decision versus covid health versus
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non—covert health and what happens to our freedoms on the 215t. how's that decision, bout? what has been put in and what are the lessons that you have learnt that can be taken forward should this happen in another 100 years?— forward should this happen in another 100 years? another100 years? sadly, i expect is to have a — another100 years? sadly, i expect is to have a pathogen _ another100 years? sadly, i expect is to have a pathogen similar- another100 years? sadly, i expect is to have a pathogen similar to i is to have a pathogen similar to this to deal with in less then 100 years, we need to be better prepared. one of the things i can make the world better prepared is better data. the data, and i complained many times in the session, not complain, explain, that everything was based on imperfect information, and that makes decisions much more difficult. but we have far better data now than we judge, and we go through it each day. and look at the trends. what we are looking at right now, the most important fact is the link from cases to hospitalisations, and that link, the likelihood of a case
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turning into hospitalisation, not the absolute of any individual, but the absolute of any individual, but the risk... , that link, the question is how far and how fast. ? hence we are watching the hospitalisation data like a hawk. it is hard to work out that function, because there is a lag in there, and as a former economic model, i am sceptical of these models, but in looking through the model, it helps you to understand the data you have. i think it decisions are best taken on the actual data in front of you, not necessarily the model. model can be useful help you think about the likely future path of the pandemic. my likely future path of the pandemic. my final question to you and i put it to you and has a couple of weeks ago about how rapidly this progress. you are going to the g7 to discuss with health ministers about health surveillance and a future plan, we
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do 50% of all genomic testing in the world and viruses, is there a place for the uk to be leading that as a forefront? as a preservation plan forefront? as a preservation plan for the future? so we have better data and surveillance to try and stave this off before it ever happens again?— stave this off before it ever happens again? stave this off before it ever hauensaaain? , :, :, , happens again? there is no doubt the uk has an important _ happens again? there is no doubt the uk has an important leading - happens again? there is no doubt the uk has an important leading role - happens again? there is no doubt the uk has an important leading role in i uk has an important leading role in ensuring we have better vigilance in the future. this vigilance needs to be notjust on human health, but on animal health and the links, these lunatic links between the two, and the environmental causes of pandemics. orthe the environmental causes of pandemics. or the conditions that lead to pandemics. i think that the g7 is an incredibly important moment for our like—minded allies to come together on this view. that is what we were talking about in oxford last week, and the leaders summit will address this as well. it is also critical that this is global, and so
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world herald organisation reform is vital to make sure that we get the trans— power and see that we need —— world health organization —— the transparency we needed at the start of this pandemic on things like a cinematic transmission.- of this pandemic on things like a cinematic transmission. thank you, we've been — cinematic transmission. thank you, we've been going — cinematic transmission. thank you, we've been going for _ cinematic transmission. thank you, we've been going for three - cinematic transmission. thank you, we've been going for three hours i i we've been going for three hours i know you're hoping it probably won't be another seven hours, so i would ask you to be brief and your answers. ask you to be brief and your answers-— ask you to be brief and your answers- l _ ask you to be brief and your answers.- i have - ask you to be brief and your answers. yes. i have questions on ppe and i answers. yes. i have questions on ppe and i hope — answers. yes. i have questions on ppe and i hope to _ answers. 1913 i have questions on ppe and i hope to get answers. i9; i have questions on ppe and i hope to get through all answers. iles i have questions on ppe and i hope to get through all of them menagerie of her time is of the essence. i want to take you back about three hours. when you side and told the committee there was never a national shortage of ppe because of the action we take. how can you say that when we saw with our own eyes nurses in bin bags instead of proper ppe? i nurses in bin bags instead of proper ppe? :. ., ~ nurses in bin bags instead of proper ppe? :. :, ~ ., nurses in bin bags instead of proper ppe? :, ,, ppe? i can make that assessment because the _ ppe? i can make that assessment because the national— ppe? i can make that assessment because the national audit - ppe? i can make that assessment because the national audit office | because the national audit office came and looked at all of the
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details here, and ppe was a huge challenge. we had a stockpile and we released the stop out injanuary. we started buying in february. from the middle of a break the british embassy in beijing set up a team to buy ppe, but it was difficult because global demand shot up. we all saw that. when the national audit office look at this in the autumn, they found, and i quote, the nhs provide organisations we spoke to told us that while they were concerned about the low stocks of ppe, they were always able to get what they needed in time. now, i have acknowledged throughout that there were individual challenges in getting hold of ppe, but at the national level there was never a point at which we ran out. {lilia national level there was never a point at which we ran out. ok, that leads me onto _ point at which we ran out. ok, that leads me onto my _ point at which we ran out. ok, that leads me onto my second - point at which we ran out. ok, that| leads me onto my second question. over 850 health care workers have died during this pandemic in the uk, at a rate of 79 per 100,000,
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compared to a national average of 35.9 per 100,000. around double the death rate for health care workers compared to the general population. if they were, as you say, properly protected and had proper ppe, can you explain that huge discrepancy? yes, sadly so many health and social care workers have died in this pandemic. and that is because they are often at the front line, and of course the ppe was important, but i have enormous admiration for and pride in those in the team who put themselves in danger on covid words when they knew that the people they were looking after had covid and know ppe is perfect, and many sadly
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lost their lives.— lost their lives. yes, i know ppe is erfect, lost their lives. yes, i know ppe is perfect. but _ lost their lives. yes, i know ppe is perfect. but he — lost their lives. yes, i know ppe is perfect, but he bent _ lost their lives. yes, i know ppe is perfect, but he bent back - lost their lives. yes, i know ppe is perfect, but he bent back is - perfect, but he bent back is certainly less perfect than ppe. —— a bin bag. on the 31st of march last year, at the health and social care select committee, i asked how ppe was being prioritised and where social care was in that list. i did not get an answer. was it michael gove, yourself or the payments are was responsible for prioritising the ppe —— was responsible for prioritising the ppe -- the was responsible for prioritising the ppe —— the prime minister chris mack because mr cummings came here and painted a picture of absolute chaos. i'm not sure how involved, it was a government decision. you can no doubt, in the enquiry we can look into exactly who was involved in the decision—making, but i take responsibility for the provision of the ppe through the health and
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social care family. what i can tell you is, at the start of the pandemic, the nhs supply chain provided ppe to around 250 nhs organisations. and because of this enormous global demand, which meant that the normal supply routes of ppe to primary care, to social care and to primary care, to social care and to community care, which normally is not provided through the central nhs supply chain, because that system effectively couldn't get a hold of enough ppe and it took the strength of government with our fishing embassy, for instance, to be able to buy —— beijing embassy, we expanded the supply route from 250 organisations to around 65,000. including gp surgeries and care homes. and that was because the existing logistical system simply
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couldn't expand fast enough. and so it was a huge pressure, it was a huge challenge, and the team rose to that challenge to ensure that we did the best we possibly could. as you have said, and ifillet, i know, i know it wasn't perfect. but what you need to do any pandemic when there is difficult problems like this is work at it as hard as she could, and we brought in lord dighton who provided a great public service... i don't think you have really answered the question, with the greatest respect. you can write and submit the evidence to the committee actress. it would be good to know what the chain of command was when it came to purchasing ppe and distribution, because that is a key failing, and i think that the families of the 850 health care workers deserve to know why it was
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that their family members went to work unprotected. or not is protected as they could have been. well, i think this is a very important subject, so it is very important subject, so it is very important to get this absolutely right. with respect to the provision of ppe to the health and social care sector, that is my responsibility as secretary of state. but the other thing i would say is that we have looked into this and there is no evidence that i have seen that a shortage of ppe provision led to anybody dying of covid. now, that this from the evidence that i have seen, and what i do know is that ppe provision was tight and it was difficult and it was difficult throughout the world. but we did manage, it was pretty close sometimes, but we did manage to ensure that there was, at a national level we had the ppe and then distribution was a challenge to all
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areas. :. . :. distribution was a challenge to all areas, ., , ., ,:, distribution was a challenge to all areas. . , ., . ., areas. that is a bold claim, it would be _ areas. that is a bold claim, it would be good _ areas. that is a bold claim, it would be good if _ areas. that is a bold claim, it would be good if you - areas. that is a bold claim, it would be good if you could i areas. that is a bold claim, it. would be good if you could share that evidence. the element that is the evidence i have, yes. —— that evidence. the element that is the evidence i have, yes. -- that is the evidence i have, yes. -- that is the evidence _ the evidence i have, yes. -- that is the evidence l— the evidence i have, yes. -- that is the evidence i have. _ the evidence i have, yes. -- that is the evidence i have. you _ the evidence i have, yes. -- that is the evidence i have. you talk- the evidence i have, yes. -- that is the evidence i have. you talk a - the evidence i have, yes. -- that is the evidence i have. you talk a lot | the evidence i have. you talk a lot about team _ the evidence i have. you talk a lot about team effort _ the evidence i have. you talk a lot about team effort and _ the evidence i have. you talk a lot i about team effort and procurement the evidence i have. you talk a lot. about team effort and procurement is usually for the home office —— procurement is notjust for the procurement is not just for the domain procurement is notjust for the domain and the cabinet office. the nhs cares at all levels. the nhs because of the national level. obviously nhs organisations, truss or gp surgeries, they procure and the department procure something, so it is a huge effort and the best analysis of this, i suppose, is the reports that have looked into this process right across the board. hogs process right across the board. how did ou process right across the board. how did you work _ process right across the board. how
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did you work with... because mr cummings explained chaos and i think a clash of egos behind the scenes at number ten between different departments. how did your department work with the cabinet office and the treasury? work with the cabinet office and the treasu ? . :. work with the cabinet office and the treasu ? , . ., ., work with the cabinet office and the treasu ? , . . ., , ., , treasury? great. i have an exemplary relationship — treasury? great. i have an exemplary relationship with _ treasury? great. i have an exemplary relationship with michael, _ treasury? great. i have an exemplary relationship with michael, who - treasury? great. i have an exemplary relationship with michael, who has i relationship with michael, who has been a stalwart of the efforts and incredibly helpful. when it comes to the treasury, the amount of money that the treasury have put into this problem is unprecedented. and when i have problems, i raised it with ministers and they were normally resolved, and if they weren't, is because there was a perfectly decent reason. that is how government works. :. . :. reason. that is how government works. . , ., , reason. that is how government works. . , , works. that this a very different icture to works. that this a very different picture to the — works. that this a very different picture to the one _ works. that this a very different picture to the one that - works. that this a very different picture to the one that we - works. that this a very different i picture to the one that we heard, but do you think that mr cummings' with michael gove was a reason for him being perhaps less critical because monkey barely mentioned him throughout the testimony, but gave you, i would say, a fairly rough
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ride during the several errors. do you think it is fair to say that that has perhaps clouded his judgment? hat that has perhaps clouded his judgment?— that has perhaps clouded his 'udament? :, , , :, judgment? not responsive over an bod judgment? not responsive over anybody else's _ judgment? not responsive over anybody else's testimony - judgment? not responsive over anybody else's testimony but i l judgment? not responsive over i anybody else's testimony but i am pleased to commute to speak the truth —— i am not responsible for anybody else's testimony. latte truth -- i am not responsible for anybody else's testimony. we have seen a number— anybody else's testimony. we have seen a number of _ anybody else's testimony. we have seen a number of british _ anybody else's testimony. we have seen a number of british ppe - seen a number of british ppe manufacturers and companies, since this last year to say that they were either knocked back for contracts or were not taken up on offers. to manufacture or procure ppe. they were long established british ppe suppliers. why is it that they were overlooked for companies that had zero experience had not even existed before the pandemic? iirat’heh zero experience had not even existed before the pandemic?— zero experience had not even existed before the pandemic? when it came to bu inc ppe before the pandemic? when it came to buying ppe we — before the pandemic? when it came to buying ppe we absolutely _ before the pandemic? when it came to buying ppe we absolutely looked - before the pandemic? when it came to buying ppe we absolutely looked to i buying ppe we absolutely looked to buying ppe we absolutely looked to buy it from anybody who would offer it, and offered it for delivery. we looked into lots of options that were put forward to us by all sorts
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of people, the bma, the royal couege of people, the bma, the royal college of nursing worked incredibly hard to find sources of ppe. the labour party made some proposals, we look since all of these and the decisions on the individual contracts were made by officials quite rightly, myjob was to make sure that we could fund it and the funding rules like the discussion earlier that the cap on the cost is funding rules were appropriate for making sure we can get a hold of ppe. :, , :, :, :, , :, :, ppe. final question and relates to a auestion ppe. final question and relates to a question raised _ ppe. final question and relates to a question raised by _ ppe. final question and relates to a question raised by a _ ppe. final question and relates to a question raised by a colleague - ppe. final question and relates to a question raised by a colleague i - question raised by a colleague i don't think they've got to the number of the answer to stop you referred earlier in the session to saying that patients from hospitals were released to care homes because it took four days to test. angie justified the discharge policy without testing on that —— and you justified. on the 11th of march 2020 the nhs website said the majority of
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test were being turned around in 2a hours. which one is the truth? is it for days or is it the nhs's websites in quite clearly the majority of tests being turned around in 2a hours? tests being turned around in 24 hours? . :. . . tests being turned around in 24 hours? , . , , , ., hours? yes, i answered this question around an hour— hours? yes, i answered this question around an hour ago. _ hours? yes, i answered this question around an hour ago. you _ hours? yes, i answered this question around an hour ago. you didn't - around an hour ago. you didn't answer it. _ around an hour ago. you didn't answer it, which _ around an hour ago. you didn't answer it, which is _ around an hour ago. you didn't answer it, which is why - around an hour ago. you didn't answer it, which is why i - around an hour ago. you didn't answer it, which is why i am i around an hour ago. you didn't - answer it, which is why i am asking again. answer it, which is why i am asking aaain. :, . , answer it, which is why i am asking atain_ :, ., , ., again. no, i answered it and i will reeat again. no, i answered it and i will repeat my — again. no, i answered it and i will repeat my answer. _ again. no, i answered it and i will repeat my answer. if _ again. no, i answered it and i will repeat my answer. if the - again. no, i answered it and i will repeat my answer. if the tests i again. no, i answered it and i will| repeat my answer. if the tests can take up to four hours, four days to come through, not all of them came through within 24 hours, but even if, whatever the time period, the point is the same, is that you can catch covid any hospital after taking a test before getting the result, and critically, what i would say is that there's only one part of the reason that the were taken. and those decisions were all taken on clinical advice.—
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clinical advice. thank you very much, clinical advice. thank you very much. chair. _ clinical advice. thank you very much, chair, and _ clinical advice. thank you very much, chair, and secretary i clinical advice. thank you very much, chair, and secretary of| clinical advice. thank you very - much, chair, and secretary of state. if i could just pick up from where my honourable friend thatjust left. you talked about procurement and the decisions being made by officials. were you ever involved in procurement contracts? ila. were you procurement contracts? no. were you ever procurement contracts? ii9. were you ever helpful to anyone pitching for procurement contracts?— ever helpful to anyone pitching for procurement contracts? when people came forward — procurement contracts? when people came forward with _ procurement contracts? when people came forward with potential- procurement contracts? when people came forward with potential leads - procurement contracts? when people came forward with potential leads i i came forward with potential leads i would fit those into officials, absolutely. in fact, for instance, there is a moment, i can't remember there is a moment, i can't remember the exact date but there is a moment when rachel reeves wrote so, i think she wrote to michael gove with a list of potential leads and we took us forward in the same way. this was a cross—party effort, everybody was involved. part of myjob was, when i saw a lead, i would pass it forward. did you have any personal access with people or individual spice i
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would pass into the official system and the official system will take them forward according, they had a prioritisation according to the likelihood of a lead. i prioritisation according to the likelihood of a lead.— prioritisation according to the likelihood of a lead. i have an e-mail here _ likelihood of a lead. i have an e-mail here from _ likelihood of a lead. i have an e-mail here from a _ likelihood of a lead. i have an e-mail here from a samir, i likelihood of a lead. i have an i e-mail here from a samir, who likelihood of a lead. i have an - e-mail here from a samir, who says e—mail here from a samir, who says unless you have been most helpful previously. what did he mean by that? i previously. what did he mean by that? :, �* ~ :, :, :, �* that? i don't know. you haven't civen that? i don't know. you haven't given me _ that? i don't know. you haven't given me any — that? i don't know. you haven't given me any context. - that? i don't know. you haven't given me any context. an - that? i don't know. you haven't. given me any context. an e-mail that? i don't know. you haven't - given me any context. an e-mail sent on the 6th of— given me any context. an e-mail sent on the 6th ofjanuary _ given me any context. an e-mail sent on the 6th ofjanuary 2021. _ given me any context. an e-mail sent on the 6th ofjanuary 2021. he - given me any context. an e-mail sent on the 6th ofjanuary 2021. he talks i on the 6th of january 2021. he talks about seeking validation, he talks about seeking validation, he talks about how basically with procurement contracts. do you know this man? he has contracts. do you know this man? ii9: has e—mailed me any past and have replied. and i have made sure that his request were dealt with in the appropriate way. i his request were dealt with in the appropriate way-— appropriate way. i think it is important — appropriate way. i think it is important if _ appropriate way. i think it is important if we're _ appropriate way. i think it is important if we're going - appropriate way. i think it is important if we're going to i appropriate way. i think it is - important if we're going to learn lessons to know, if people have special access, lessons to know, if people have specialaccess, he lessons to know, if people have special access, he is calling you matt, if people have special access to secretary of states, how that works in the supply chain and how
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that works in terms of public procurement. there are several e—mails that came from your department from samir, i think acting as a middleman to a company that went from £200 in value to almost £10 million in value in the year of the pandemic. were you aware of that? :, , , :,, , :, of that? no, but when people brought forward proposals _ of that? no, but when people brought forward proposals for _ of that? no, but when people brought forward proposals for ppe _ of that? no, but when people brought forward proposals for ppe to - of that? no, but when people brought forward proposals for ppe to be - of that? no, but when people brought forward proposals for ppe to be able i forward proposals for ppe to be able to supply ppe, i have passed them onto the team, who took them forward, and decisions on individual contracts were made by officials. 5a contracts were made by officials. 50 you would always pass them on, contracts were made by officials. so you would always pass them on, you wouldn't have a private conversation or e—mail exchange? it wouldn't have a private conversation or e-mail exchange?— wouldn't have a private conversation or e-mail exchange? it depended on the circumstances _ or e-mail exchange? it depended on the circumstances but _ or e-mail exchange? it depended on the circumstances but i _ or e-mail exchange? it depended on the circumstances but i would - or e-mail exchange? it depended on the circumstances but i would pass i the circumstances but i would pass on an offer, and the team would look into it. that is how this works. if you think about it, obviously i would, because if i did the opposite
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and ignored likely figures are ppe, then i would rightly be quite good sized —— rightly be criticised. i just wondered why there are special attention to an individual person. i don't know whether i have. how i attention to an individual person. i | don't know whether i have. how do ou feel don't know whether i have. how do you feel by — don't know whether i have. how do you feel by the _ don't know whether i have. how do you feel by the government's - don't know whether i have. how do i you feel by the government's counter function claiming there is a high case of fraud in procurement of ppe? we were buying ppe as a government in order to protect lives, and we were doing it at a time of extraordinary global demand. ijust extraordinary global demand. i just want extraordinary global demand. ijust want to put on the record, if i may, my thanks and admiration to the team who made sure we never had a national shortage of ppe. because they come under... they come under pressure,... they come under... they come under pressure-"— pressure,... this is a lessons learnt committee, _ pressure,... this is a lessons learnt committee, you - pressure,... this is a lessons learnt committee, you can i pressure,... this is a lessons | learnt committee, you can do pressure,... this is a lessons - learnt committee, you can do your thanks at the end. the
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learnt committee, you can do your thanks at the end.— thanks at the end. the lesson i learnt- -- _ thanks at the end. the lesson i learnt... secretary _ thanks at the end. the lesson i learnt... secretary of _ thanks at the end. the lesson i learnt... secretary of state... i learnt... secretary of state... everyone _ learnt... secretary of state... everyone has _ learnt... secretary of state... everyone has a _ learnt... secretary of state... everyone has a limited - learnt... secretary of state... everyone has a limited time, | learnt... secretary of state... i everyone has a limited time, so learnt... secretary of state... - everyone has a limited time, so if we can— everyone has a limited time, so if we can let — everyone has a limited time, so if we can let her continue... everyone has a limited time, so if we can let her continue. . .- we can let her continue... your attitude to _ we can let her continue... your attitude to risk _ we can let her continue... your attitude to risk was _ we can let her continue... your attitude to risk was mentioned | attitude to risk was mentioned earlier. do you know what the rest were in regards to procurement of ppe? i were in regards to procurement of ppe? ,. ,~ , ppe? i knew the risk is if we did not b ppe? i knew the risk is if we did rrot by enough _ ppe? i knew the risk is if we did not by enough people _ ppe? i knew the risk is if we did not by enough people would - ppe? i knew the risk is if we didj not by enough people would not ppe? i knew the risk is if we did - not by enough people would not have enough ppe. thankfully, because my team did such an excellentjob, we never had a national shortage of ppe. :, , :, :, ppe. your department is one of the few departments _ ppe. your department is one of the few departments that _ ppe. your department is one of the few departments that hasn't - few departments that hasn't estimated the risk of fraud and what that looks like in its department. why is that? late that looks like in its department. why is that?— why is that? we have a very significant — why is that? we have a very significant counter _ why is that? we have a very significant counter fraud - why is that? we have a very i significant counter fraud agency why is that? we have a very - significant counter fraud agency in the nhs, that there is a huge amount of work to make sure that we tackle fraud and the problems that come from that. ~ , :. fraud and the problems that come from that. 9 , ., , :, from that. why having your department _ from that. why having your department given - from that. why having your department given the - from that. why having your- department given the evidence to what that fraud might look like in the department of health —— why
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having to? all departments have said this is what fraud might look like in our department, this is our attitude to risk. your department hasn't done that, while? i’m attitude to risk. your department hasn't done that, while?— hasn't done that, while? i'm not aware that _ hasn't done that, while? i'm not aware that that _ hasn't done that, while? i'm not aware that that is _ hasn't done that, while? i'm not aware that that is right. - hasn't done that, while? i'm not aware that that is right. i - hasn't done that, while? i'm not aware that that is right. i am - hasn't done that, while? i'm not| aware that that is right. i am very happy to write to you with details of that. late happy to write to you with details of that. ~ ., , :, ., of that. we need details of what the risk looks like _ of that. we need details of what the risk looks like in _ of that. we need details of what the risk looks like in the _ of that. we need details of what the risk looks like in the department i of that. we need details of what the risk looks like in the department of| risk looks like in the department of health of fraud would look in the department of health. yes. health of fraud would look in the department of health.— health of fraud would look in the department of health. yes, i will set that out _ department of health. yes, i will set that out in _ department of health. yes, i will set that out in the _ department of health. yes, i will set that out in the context - department of health. yes, i will set that out in the context of - department of health. yes, i will set that out in the context of the | set that out in the context of the fact there is a global for ppe and the department desperately needed to get hold of the ppe and succeeded in doing so. i get hold of the ppe and succeeded in doinu so. , ., get hold of the ppe and succeeded in doinu so. , . ., , doing so. i understand that but it is ublic doing so. i understand that but it is public money _ doing so. i understand that but it is public money and _ doing so. i understand that but it is public money and so _ doing so. i understand that but it is public money and so we - doing so. i understand that but it is public money and so we do - doing so. i understand that but it. is public money and so we do have doing so. i understand that but it - is public money and so we do have to account for risk of fraud fraud in that regard. there's lots of paper trails of this, you are aware of the project, the government has lost a case this week that cost £600,000 to defend, so the government spent £600,000 defending an un—lawful conduct of the contract, more than what the contract was worth. do you
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think that is good value for money? that was not in my department, so it wasn't thejudgment that that was not in my department, so it wasn't the judgment that i made or know any of the details of. what i would say is the newjudgments that we made at the time where based on what we needed to do to deliver at pace and very difficult circumstances. the team really drove that through because they had to. thank you. actually, lots of e—mails are on the project's website, i will put on record so your department can look it up. can quickly touch on, you spoke earlier about people being very enthusiastic to give their data. i think you are over exaggerating how enthusiastic people are about just giving exaggerating how enthusiastic people are aboutjust giving carte blanche access to their data. are you aware that palin tear and faculty have links to the discredited cambridge
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analytical? == links to the discredited cambridge anal ical? :, �* ~' �* analytical? -- i don't think i'm aware of _ analytical? -- i don't think i'm aware of that, _ analytical? -- i don't think i'm aware of that, no. _ analytical? -- i don't think i'm aware of that, no. i _ analytical? -- i don't think i'm aware of that, no. i think- analytical? -- i don't think i'm aware of that, no. i think it. analytical? -- i don't think i'm aware of that, no. i think it is| aware of that, no. i think it is really vital — aware of that, no. i think it is really vital you _ aware of that, no. i think it is really vital you should - aware of that, no. i think it is really vital you should be - aware of that, no. i think it is really vital you should be a i aware of that, no. i think it is really vital you should be a of that. the reportedly taught them to scrape data. i think it is important you get to grips with that. i will give you this little book of data on democracy and some information for you to help inform you, secretary of state, just a couple more responses. do you have any more games that will help survive —— do you have any more relations with companies in terms of data. ? in our previous session when you came in front of the committee,
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i asked you about unsolicited questionnaires being sent to people, asking them how they intended to vote in the next election. you said you did not know anything about that, and now we know more about palantir and faculty's involvement pala ntir and faculty's involvement in palantir and faculty's involvement in the nhs, it seems that this could be away to gather data about voting and encourage people to vote any certain way. late and encourage people to vote any certain way-— and encourage people to vote any certain wa . ~ :, ., ,, , certain way. we need to make sure the questions _ certain way. we need to make sure the questions are _ certain way. we need to make sure the questions are on _ certain way. we need to make sure the questions are on the _ certain way. we need to make sure the questions are on the lessons i the questions are on the lessons learned — the questions are on the lessons learned quietly. it the questions are on the lessons learned quietly.— learned quietly. it is, chair, because _ learned quietly. it is, chair, because the _ learned quietly. it is, chair, because the lessons - learned quietly. it is, chair, because the lessons we - learned quietly. it is, chair, i because the lessons we must learned quietly. it is, chair, - because the lessons we must take on the pandemic is that any pandemic we cannot use this as a shield to get people's data, to be able to use with it whatever government wants to use it for. :, , :, ., :, with it whatever government wants to use it for. :, ., :, ., use it for. ok, do you want to ask our use it for. ok, do you want to ask your final — use it for. ok, do you want to ask your final question _ use it for. ok, do you want to ask your final question is? _ use it for. ok, do you want to ask your final question is? secretary i use it for. ok, do you want to ask| your final question is? secretary of state, are your final question is? secretary of state. are you _ your final question is? secretary of state, are you 100% _ your final question is? secretary of state, are you 100% sure - your final question is? secretary of state, are you 10096 sure palantiri
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state, are you 100% sure palantir and faculty, and cambridge palantir are not supplying data in voting intentions to the conservative party? intentions to the conservative pa ? ~ :. intentions to the conservative pa ? 9 . , intentions to the conservative pa 79 . , ., , party? what i will say is that this is absently _ party? what i will say is that this is absently nothing _ party? what i will say is that this is absently nothing to _ party? what i will say is that this is absently nothing to do - party? what i will say is that this is absently nothing to do with i party? what i will say is that this is absently nothing to do with it i is absently nothing to do with it and where your acquisitions are unfounded and wrong —— absolutely nothing, when you said that companies involved, and have made huge positive strides in doing this, and that those companies and there were use would have carte blanche, and that is not true, because all the work we have done within strict careful protocols is to make sure we can use data to save lives. that is what i was doing, and i know there are various theories in the space... secretary of state... elma keep asking the question and i will answer it. there are various theories in this... answer it. there are various theories in this. . ._ answer it. there are various theories in this... what matters is, can ou theories in this... what matters is, can you use — theories in this... what matters is, can you use that — theories in this... what matters is,
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can you use that are _ theories in this... what matters is, can you use that are better - theories in this... what matters is, can you use that are better to - theories in this... what matters is, can you use that are better to save | can you use that are better to save lives, ensuring it is properly and are properly protected and that is what we do. are properly protected and that is what we do— are properly protected and that is whatwedo. '::::f , ., ., :, what we do. 10096 you can use data to save lives, what we do. 10096 you can use data to save lives. but — what we do. 10096 you can use data to save lives, but you _ what we do. 10096 you can use data to save lives, but you can _ what we do. 10096 you can use data to save lives, but you can also _ what we do. 10096 you can use data to save lives, but you can also use - save lives, but you can also use data to manipulate people and manipulate lives, and that's not where we want to go as a country or as a government. so this isn't about theories, these are about factual is, but how do use data. last question, you visited the corporate memorial? ilat question, you visited the corporate memorial? :, , _ question, you visited the corporate memorial? 9, , , , question, you visited the corporate memorial? :, , _ , . question, you visited the corporate memorial? :, , , , : memorial? not yet by very much hope to -- covid — memorial? not yet by very much hope to -- covid memorial. _ memorial? not yet by very much hope to -- covid memorial. my— memorial? not yet by very much hope to -- covid memorial. my question i to -- covid memorial. my question builds on the _ to -- covid memorial. my question builds on the role _ to -- covid memorial. my question builds on the role of— to -- covid memorial. my question builds on the role of technology i to -- covid memorial. my question builds on the role of technology in | builds on the role of technology in the pandemic. it seems to me we are quite rightly talking about positive act two aspects of the vaccine and that this must be at the heart of much of the work we have done i wonder if you could explain what tests we have learnt over the course of the past year or so in terms of the growth of how we have used that
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are and how we have collected data to see people's lives? late are and how we have collected data to see people's lives?— are and how we have collected data to see people's lives? we have used data i think. — to see people's lives? we have used data i think, better, _ to see people's lives? we have used data i think, better, in— to see people's lives? we have used data i think, better, in the _ to see people's lives? we have used data i think, better, in the health i data i think, better, in the health care over the last year than ever before. and we have proven the point that you need high quality rigorous use of data and data architecture that protects privacy, to make sure that protects privacy, to make sure that people can be reassured that some of the conspiracy theories are just that. whilst making sure that you can improve care. and really the proof point of this argument is the success of the vaccination programme. both its operational success, because we drew up a very high quality data architecture right at the start... learning the lessons that we had learnt during the crisis, but also in terms of how thatis crisis, but also in terms of how that is then applied on the ground. we use data to be able to target groups who need an author of the
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