Boris Johnson: 'The NHS has saved my life, no question'

12 April 2020, 13:36

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said "the NHS has saved my life, no question" in his first address to the nation after being discharged from hospital.

The UK leader will not be getting back to work in the near future despite leaving hospital on Sunday following a battle with Covid-19.

Mr Johnson was admitted to the London hospital a week after developing persistent coronavirus symptoms.

"It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS for saving my life," he said.

"The efforts of millions of people across this country to stay home are worth it. Together we will overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past."

A No 10 spokesperson said: “The PM has been discharged from hospital to continue his recovery, at Chequers.

“On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work. He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received.

“All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness.”

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The prime minister's fiancée Carrie Symonds said she "cannot thank our magnificent NHS enough" as he returns to Chequers following treatment.

"The staff at St Thomas' Hospital have been incredible. I will never, ever be able to repay you and I will never stop thanking you," she wrote on social media.

"There were times last week that were very dark indeed. My heart goes out to all those in similar situations, worried sick about their loved ones.

"Thank you also to everyone who sent such kind messages of support. Today I’m feeling incredibly lucky."

Police vans and other vehicles were seen leaving the hospital shortly after Downing Street announced the prime minister had been discharged.

He will now be staying at Chequers, the official country residence of British prime ministers.

Trade Secretary Liz Truss tweeted: "Delighted to hear PM is out of hospital and now recuperating."

Boris Johnson discharged from hospital following coronavirus battle
Boris Johnson discharged from hospital following coronavirus battle. Picture: PA
Police vans and other vehicles were seen leaving the hospital where Boris Johnson was being cared for
Police vans and other vehicles were seen leaving the hospital where Boris Johnson was being cared for. Picture: PA

Mr Johnson previously told friends he owes his life to the doctors and nurses who looked after him while being treated for Covid-19.

The prime minister, who spent seven nights at St Thomas' Hospital in London, reportedly told friends: "I cannot thank them (medics) enough".

He said the care he received from the NHS workers, was "exemplary".

The Sun newspaper reported that Mr Johnson waved at doctors and nurses on the way out and effusively thanked any member of staff who came within eyeshot.

Dr Ian Abbs, chief executive at Guy's and St Thomas', said: "I am incredibly proud of the staff who have cared for the Prime Minister and pleased that he is now able to continue his recovery at home.

"I want to pay tribute to the teams whose dedication, skill and compassion made this possible.

"It is a great credit to the exceptional professionalism of clinical teams, as well as everyone in the wider organisation, that we have been able to care for the Prime Minister so effectively, whilst continuing to deliver equally high standards of care to all of our patients.

"While it is right that we celebrate this good news, our thoughts turn immediately to those who still need our help at this time.

"On behalf of everyone at Guy's and St Thomas', I'd ask that people stay home to help us save lives and protect the NHS."