30 January 2023
Bridgen questions Health Secretary on spike in flu cases

Following the Health Secretary’s statement on urgent and emergency care services, Andrew Bridgen asks him about the spike in influenza cases in December.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Ind)

The Secretary of State told the House that the NHS was put under pressure with a spike in influenza cases in December. Will he say where he thinks that influenza virus has been hiding for two and a half years?

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Steve Barclay)

I do not think it has been hiding. Flu seasons are not uncommon in the NHS and come round on a periodic basis, and that is why we anticipated it through the flu vaccine. On the hon. Gentleman’s wider point, it is also recognised that as a consequence of covid some resistance to flu may have been lowered, but we have had flu pressures on the NHS in past years.