But an official national report on the impact of the coronavirus on maternity services last year made it clear that in the case of at least one woman, she was twice denied intensive care when her doctors thought that she needed them, due to a lack of beds.
During the pandemic, NHS England officials have also repeatedly claimed that no one has been denied an intensive care bed.
But in August of last year, The independent reported an NHS-funded analysis by experts from the University of Oxford’s National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, which explicitly criticized the way NHS services had been organized during the pandemic and said this contributed to the deaths of women during the pandemic.
The report, which was reportedly sent to NHS England, highlighted the case of a woman who died after being twice denied an intensive care bed between March and May 2020 – the height of the first wave of Covid in the UK.
He said the woman presented to A&E after suffering from Covid-19 at home for a week. She was not recognized as seriously ill and was seen by a junior obstetrician 11 hours later.
He said: “She deteriorated a few days later and was documented as needing intensive care or high addiction, but no beds were available in the addiction or intensive care areas. “
She had a Caesarean, but again, staff documented that there were no intensive care beds available for her and she was placed in a general ward.
Appearing before Members of the House of Commons Select Committee on Health, Mr Hancock said: ‘I absolutely said, both in private and in public, that everyone is getting the Covid treatment they need. .
“I took the trouble to check with the head doctor [Chris Whitty] and the chief scientific adviser [Patrick Vallance], at no time was I told that people weren’t getting what they needed.
Since the hearing, Mr Hancock has come under fire for trying to ‘rewrite’ the history of decisions made regarding lockdowns, the provision of PPE and the protection of care homes.
He also claimed that there was a lack of knowledge about the risks of asymptomatic transmission of the virus between people and that he should have bypassed counselors on this.
The claim was dismissed as “just plain bogus” by government adviser Professor Stephen Reicher, who said: “It’s an old claim that has been completely debunked. “
The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs has been contacted for comment.