Last updated: Friday 5th March.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will be leading a last-minute press conference this afternoon in light of the government’s latest funding announcements regarding the health sector.
Hancock is expected to focus on the £79 million funding injection for mental health services across the country, however journalists are likely to ask about the proposed NHS staff pay rise of just one per cent which has faced backlash from nurses, doctors and other medical staff.
Last week’s briefing saw Boris Johnson announce England’s “roadmap” out of lockdown, which consists of a four-step plan to ease COVID-19 measures.
While this week, Rishi Sunak announced with 2021 budget, which addressed furlough payments, support for the self-employed and universal credit.
Read on to find out more.
When is the coronavirus briefing time today?
Matt Hancock is expected to lead a press conference later today (3rd March) at 5pm.
The Health Secretary will be focussing on the government’s pledge to help boost young people’s mental health, with £79 million promised to expand mental health services.
You’ll be able to watch the announcements throughout the day on BBC News and Sky News.
Until the end of June, the government had been holding daily COVID-19 briefings from Downing Street, but in the time since it has only been addressing the public when there has been significant new information to report.
Since England went into its third national lockdown, the briefings have become increasingly more frequent.
Where can I watch the coronavirus briefing today?
Matt Hancock’s press conference will be broadcast today (5th March) from 5pm on BBC News and Sky News.
Who is leading today’s coronavirus briefing?
Matt Hancock will be leading today’s coronavirus briefing to address backlash against the proposed one per cent pay rise for NHS staff.
In previous cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been supported by Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens.
Government figures have also been joined by other medical and science experts including NHS England’s regional medical director for London Dr Vin Diwakar.
What will be included in today’s briefing?
Matt Hancock is expected to focus on the government’s plans to inject £79 million into mental health services in a bid to address the pandemic’s toll on mental wellbeing across the country.
Following journalists questions, he will also likely address the backlash from the health care industry after the government’s proposed pay rise for NHS staff of just one per cent, which amounts to a pay cut due to inflation.
Hancock may also update the country on the new coronavirus mutant strains detected in the country.
Will Boris Johnson be at the coronavirus briefing?
The Prime Minister is not scheduled to attend today’s briefing. The press conference will be led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Johnson has led several briefings in recent weeks which have been used to declare crucial information, such as the announcement of the third national lockdown and updates on the UK’s vaccination programme.
Other ministers who have led briefings in the past include Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Does Boris Johnson have coronavirus?
Johnson announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday 27th March 2020 via a video on his Twitter account.
Nine days later he was admitted into hospital and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab deputised in his absence.
Johnson was discharged on Sunday 12th April and returned to work on the week commencing 27th April.
In November 2020, he underwent another period of self-isolation after coming into contact with someone who tested positive.
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