To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of cancelling NHS workers' leave to deal with a potential Covid-19 outbreak.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
5 March 2020
The Government published its action plan on 3 March.
As part of its phased response, the Government will ensure that the health and social care system is prepared to respond to all eventualities, at all phases of a potential future pandemic, the National Health Service, Health and Social Care Northern Ireland and local authorities have plans in place to ensure people receive the essential care and support services they need - and sometimes this might mean that other services are reduced temporarily. Plans are flexible to respond to different types of pandemics - ranging from a mild pandemic with a low impact on services, for example, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, through to a severe prolonged pandemic as experienced in 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’.