Interview with Member of Parliament for Watford - Dean Russell

Dean Russell

Member of Parliament for Watford Dean Russell spoke to Vibe107.6 FM presenter Miles Blumsom on the Breakfast Show

Joining Vibe107.6 live on the Breakfast Show this morning was Watford’s Member of Parliament Dean Russell.

Explaining in more detail the crisis that Watford General Hospital experienced on the weekend, the Member of Parliament updated Vibe107.6 presenter Miles Blumsom on the state of the Prime Minister, his cabinet and the current advice regarding COVID-19.

On Saturday, Watford General Hospital declared a critical incident following concerns regarding the oxygen system in place.

Assuring listeners that the hospital was only following safety measures, Mr Russell said:

“There was an issue with the Oxygen compressor and I don’t know the full mechanical details. There were a lot of rumours at the time, suggesting that the hospital had ran out of oxygen. Oxygen is just like water, out of a tap.

“It’s just about how much oxygen can get around the hospital, based on the number of patients.  It was just a precautionary measure to make sure that there was enough pressure going through the compressor.

“It was not about a lack of oxygen.

“I have since spoken to the hospital to make sure that patient safety was absolutely paramount. From their perspective, no patients were at risk and they made sure that everyone had oxygen. There was no issue around it just suddenly simply turning off. It was a matter of the machinery working at the full pelt that it needed to.

“It was just a case of “let’s be careful”, making sure the systems were working at best capacity and not taking any patients in.

“The main thing is that patient safety was never a risk. They have people looking at the system 24/7 and there are no concerns. As I understand, it has all been dealt with and has been sorted moving forward.”

He continued to say:

“The fear over what happened on the weekend became bigger because there was an assumption that a tank of oxygen had nothing in it. That is not the case at all. It was just about the oxygen compressor.

“The best way to help the hospital is not having to go in. It’s following government guidance. NHS staff are working as we all are, but even more so and under impossible pressure.

“It really is hats off to the Watford General team, NHS generally in Watford and of course across the country in terms of what they are dealing with.

“It is unprecedented what is happening at the moment.”

In the past week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken ill and placed in intensive care. Mr Russell provided an update on his colleague, assuring the community that he has the greatest belief in Mr Johnson and his Government.

“I don’t have a direct line to Boris Johnson, but from what I gather from the news and my colleagues, he is sitting up and seems to be on track,” he said.

“All of the goodwill that came from the country in the last few days has been really appreciated. I think it just reiterates again that any of us can get this.

It doesn’t matter if you are a King in waiting like Prince Charles or the Prime Minister. The risk is there. Everyone needs to follow the Government’s guidance – stay at home, protect the NHS and literally save lives.

“Boris is absolutely passionate about this country. In a time of crisis, I can imagine that he wanted to just crack on and do the right thing and I believe that he did. He would have no doubt taken medical guidance.

“I do know that he has a fabulous team with him, so it is not just all on his shoulders. The party is absolutely 100 per cent behind the PM’s vision with how to tackle this virus. We also have a fantastic Cabinet.

“The team are working so hard and tirelessly. I don’t think anyone would have expected the Prime Minister to end up in intensive care. It is really important that he is in the right place at this time.

“I know the team (Conservative Party back bench) first-hand, some better than others. But when you look at Dominic Raab, Matt Hancock, that whole group, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. They are really strong and are incredibly passionate about getting through this in the right way.

“I understand that people would have been shaken by the Boris Johnson news, but I would say that the team around the PM are impeccable.”

Calling on Watford residents to take responsibility for their actions and to avoid going out unless absolutely necessary, Watford’s Member of Parliament told Vibe107.6 listeners:

“The police are doing an amazing job around Watford. The truth is that there is an awful lot of personal responsibility and it shouldn’t all just be about the police forcing people to go back to their homes.

“It’s natural to want to see family, but we all have to follow the guidance. This will save people’s lives. I really ask this Easter weekend – please don’t get drunk and injure yourself, ending up in A and E. If you have to go to hospital because of that then you are taking up precious resources.

“If you have any respect whatsoever for the NHS then please don’t do anything silly. Please protect and support our staff doing amazing jobs.

“It is all about the words “essential” and “essential travel”. It’s about coming into contact with people. Try and keep within reasonable distance within your own home. This virus isn’t dissipative, it will go after all people.

“To anyone who is breaking the rules – you may miss people longer if you don’t follow guidelines.”

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