Time to act: thread on why we need to close schools, borders, and ban all household mixing RIGHT AWAY.
To those arguing winter is always like this in the NHS: you are wrong. I faced four serious winter crises as Health Sec and the situation now is off-the-scale worse than any of those.
It’s true that we often had to cancel elective care in Jan to protect emergency care but that too is under severe pressure with record trolley waits for the very sickest patients
Even more worryingly fewer heart attack patients appear to be presenting in ICUs, perhaps because they are not dialling 999 when they need to
Full credit to NHS for keeping cancer services open but in Wave 1 there was still a 2/3 drop in cancer appts: people didn’t come forward to GPs or want to go to hospitals, with many potentially avoidable cancer deaths. We hoped to avoid that this time but now looking unlikely.
Excellent analysis by @NeilDotObrien shows the reason for all this pressure: 1/3 more hospital beds now taken up nationally by covid patients than in Wave 1 (50% in SE). Having a new strain in the middle of winter is clearly having a massive impact 
No 1 lesson is countries that act early & decisively save lives & get their economies back to normal faster. Wuhan is now free of any restrictions - but Uni of Southampton show if they’d locked down 1 week earlier they would’ve reduced infections by 2/3. worldpop.org/events/COVID_N….
We therefore cannot afford to wait: all schools should be closed, international travel stopped, household mixing limited and the tier system reviewed so that the highest tier really does bring down infection levels (as with the first lockdown).
Also with vacancy levels at 2-3 times normal because of self-isolation & covid, NHS staff who are risking their lives for us MUST be put at the front of the queue for vaccines. This will stop our hospitals falling over and help keep their patients safe. It is also our moral duty.
The good news is that unlike before these restrictions will be time limited to the 12 weeks or so it will take to get the vaccine out to those most vulnerable to covid - so there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I know all these things will be under consideration with decisions potentially imminent. My point is in the face of exponential growth even waiting an extra day causes many avoidable deaths so these plans must now be urgently accelerated.

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More from @Jeremy_Hunt

9 Mar 20
As soon as the government officially moves us to the ‘delay’ stage, it is effectively confirming that an epidemic IS coming. So on the basis of the information we currently have, what's the outlook?
Yesterday was the first day confirmed new cases in the UK exceeded those in China (67 in the UK vs 40 in China). Last week Chris Whitty told the select committee he saw ‘no reason in theory why the UK would go higher than China.’ So how bad did it get in China?
Chris Whitty used a figure of 20% of population in Wuhan province when he came in front of the select committee, but says those with symptoms are likely to be 5% or less. WHO figures are lower - only 0.1% of population - but there is likely to be significant under-reporting.
Read 9 tweets
24 Jul 19
1/4 I would have been honoured to carry on my work at the FCO but understand the need for a new PM to choose his team. BJ kindly offered me another role but after 9 yrs in Cabinet & over 300 cab mtgs now is the time to return 2 backbenches from where PM will have my full support
2/4 I've been a cabinet minister for every hour my 3 gorgeous children have been alive. So whilst it may seem strange for someone who just tried to become PM (& is a terrible cliche) I have decided now is the time for the biggest challenge of all - to be a GOOD DAD!
3/4 It has been a huge honour 2 be responsible 4 the finest diplomatic service in the world & 2 see the courage & wisdom of our diplomats & intelligence services. Thanks 4 guiding me with such patience & professionalism! Proud to have stood up alongside you for British values.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jul 19
Team takeover for speech on No Deal preparations @Policy_Exchange: Since the start of this leadership campaign I’ve travelled more than 3,000 miles across the United Kingdom. #HastobeHunt
I’ve had fish and chips on a Scottish trawler, a balti in Birmingham and a cream tea in Devon.

Most of all I have enjoyed talking and debating with members of the public about the changes I want to make if I become Prime Minister. #HastobeHunt
As an entrepreneur I want to fire up our economy, cut corporation tax and scrap business rates for thousands of high street companies up and down the country. #HastobeHunt
Read 33 tweets
10 Jun 19
Handing over to my team now for live updates from my launch event
.@PennyMordaunt: My name will be on Jeremy Hunt's nomination papers today. Because I believe he has the experience, values and a plan.
Our failure to deliver Brexit has put our country and our party in grave peril. The leadership I offer is based on one simple truth: without Brexit there will be no Conservative government and maybe no Conservative Party.
Read 22 tweets
20 Nov 17
(1) Let’s get to the bottom of this issue shall we @RalfLittle? I talked about the biggest expansion of mental health provision in Europe which you described as
‘knowingly lying’
2) Now I know you are a funny bloke and in politics a lot of insults are traded but the question is can you back up what is a very strong claim?
3) Parity of esteem for mental health became law in 2012, so here are the tables that show the 4,300 increase in staff at mental health trusts since 2013…
Read 26 tweets

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