As he updated MPs, he also said that he had every confidence that the NHS had sufficient capacity to cope with second jabs, booster inoculations and the annual winter flu vaccine.
This is testament to the expertise and efficiency of those health workers – and logistics managers – who have now fully vaccinated more than 18 million people.
Where the Prime Minister was more coy, however, was the ability of GP surgeries to resume more face-to-face appointments with patients.
As recent correspondence to this newspaper has indicated, there appears to be a growing ‘postcode lottery’ on this provision – and this was illustrated by former Cabinet Minister Sir John Redwood’s impassioned plea on day one of the Queen’s Speech debate in the Commons.
This saw Sir John feel sufficiently exercised to demand “guidelines on minimum standards so that people everywhere feel that they have access to excellent NHS care”. He went on: “We are hearing about cases at some surgeries around the country where people cannot get through, where the phone lines are restricted, where the timing of the phone calls is limited, or where there are not enough appointments on offer and no forward booking.”
As the vaccination rate increases and results in a corresponding decrease in Covid infections, the Government should put the onus on GPs to increase in-person appointments. For, if dental surgeries can do it, why can’t they?