Bulwell MP calls on Government to learn from its mistakes on Covid
This has been such a challenging year for our community where we have lost family members, missed weddings and births, businesses have been impacted.
But things are looking brighter.
Once again, we can look to our National Health Service for inspiration – this time with the vaccination programme.
More than 40 per cent of adults here in Nottinghamshire have now received at least one dose of a vaccine.
The opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends again now feels like it is so much closer.
And with a strong England side going to the European Championships, I think it is going to be a great summer.
We will have to soberly reflect that more than 125,000 of our fellow citizens have died.
Britain is likely to have the biggest per capita loss of life of any big country.
Similarly, our recession is deeper than any other similar economy.
Coronavirus would have been hard for any Government to deal with, but we have handled it worse than anywhere else, and we must learn from that.
Whether it was not listening to the science and being slow to enter lockdown, or the failure to keep care homes safe or the failure to secure national borders, these are all contributing factors to our struggles.
Going forward, we must be careful not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
We came into this pandemic vulnerable to crisis and now the health challenges we face are larger than ever.
Tens of thousands of people are living with cancer and have faced delays to treatment or diagnosis and millions of screenings have not taken place.
This is just one of several effects that will be felt long after other aspects of the pandemic.
Challenges such as these need to be met by tackling inequality and ensuring that patients and staff are supported in a well-funded and innovative NHS.
We must ensure that we are fully prepared for the future, not returning to business as usual, but learning from past mistakes to make Britain the best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in.
We have fought this awful virus together and I know we will rebuild from it together too.