In response to Matt Hancock’s comments in the House of Commons today about an inquiry into the handling of Covid-19, Dr Chaand Nagpaul BMA chair of council, said:
“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the health service, society and the economy and for some time now the BMA has been calling for a full public inquiry into the Government’s management of this pandemic.
“Far too many people have become seriously ill from Covid-19, and the UK has one of the highest death rates in the world with over 128,000 people having died from the virus – including several hundreds of healthcare workers. It has also overwhelmed our health service resulting in the biggest backlog of care the NHS has ever faced, which will itself have adverse health consequences for years to come.
“As such, the public - including the families of those who have lost their lives and NHS staff who have worked tirelessly to care for patients over past 15 months – rightly deserve a full-scale public inquiry to begin without further delay, and certainly much sooner than the Spring of next year.
“It’s important that the Government doesn’t lose sight of what actually matters to the public. A thorough and far reaching review of all elements this pandemic - which involves all of those who need answers – is urgently needed to provide us with some clarity and help us to avoid mistakes being made in the handling and management of future pandemics. We must learn from all the things that didn’t go right - we owe it future generations.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.