NHS campaigners launch a People’s Covid Inquiry with key backing

Press release on behalf of Keep Our NHS Public – for IMMEDIATE USE

NHS campaigners launch a People’s Covid Inquiry with key backing

A host of leading academics, celebrities, campaigning groups and unions [1] together with frontline workers, have joined health campaigning organisation Keep Our NHS Public [2] to launch a People’s Covid Inquiry. [3] A dedicated website and campaign video [4] have also been launched featuring testimony from members of the public, keyworkers and celebrities, which will aid the publicity and public accessibility of this important project.

In the absence of an arranged formal public investigation, campaigners believe that the time for a Covid Inquiry is now, in order to analyse why this country has suffered over 100,000 deaths, and what lessons should be learned to inform future decision and policy making. Overseeing proceedings will be the renowned human rights barrister Michael Mansfield QC, and participants will include: Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Chair of Independent SAGE Sir David King, author and poet Michael Rosen, Lancet editor Richard Horton, representatives from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group, President of the UK Medical Women’s Federation Neena Modi, and the doctor, writer and broadcaster Phil Hammond.

Keep Our NHS Public will host a series of 8 online panel sessions beginning on Wednesday 24th of February [5] held at two-week intervals. Evidence provided by both expert and personal testimonies will be interrogated, and used to inform future sessions. Each session will explore a separate aspect of the pandemic including; a Zero Covid strategy, the privatisation of public health, the preparedness of the NHS, and the impact of the pandemic on NHS staff and keyworkers. Sessions will consider new oral, written and video testimony from frontline workers, academics, politicians and influencers, as well as from members of the public. These online events are open to all, and the details of how to join them can be found on The People’s Covid Inquiry website.

The Inquiry will culminate in a report and a key set of findings presented to the government. Testimony gathered will provide the basis for evidence-based recommendations on the provision of health and social care in the UK, including the future funding and organisation of the NHS.

Co-Chair of Keep Our NHS Public Dr John Puntis says:

“It’s clear that the government aims to avoid scrutiny and the inevitable criticism that will come its way for the mismanagement of this pandemic. Ministers wish to delay any inquiry until such time in the distant future when this will have become both a largely academic exercise and pose them no threat. There are, however, powerful reasons why an inquiry should be a matter of urgency. To this end we are launching the People’s Covid Inquiry – to answer the questions the government lacks the courage even to ask.”

Junior doctor and member of Keep Our NHS Public Sonia Adesara says:

“We have experienced a horrendous number of deaths over the past year. It is vital that we learn lessons now, to stop any more unnecessary suffering. Over a decade of NHS neglect by this government means we will be counting the cost in our health service for years to come. We need to understand what went wrong and the underlying systemic problems within society to ensure we are better prepared in future pandemics.”

Professor of Neonatal Medicine at ICL, and President of the UK Medical Women’s Federation Neena Modi says:

“The People’s Covid enquiry is important because over 100,000 lives have been lost, many families left struggling and bereft, and honest answers are needed to understand why this tragedy has occurred.”

Spokespeople are available for broadcast interview. For more information, please contact Samantha Wathen, press officer for Keep Our NHS Public [email protected] or call/WhatsApp: 0777 6047472

Notes to editors

  1. https://www.peoplescovidinquiry.com/who-we-are
  2. Keep Our NHS Public is a national independent organisation campaigning for a well-funded, publicly owned and provided NHS www.keepournhspublic.com
  3. https://www.peoplescovidinquiry.com Session 1) How prepared was the NHS? Session 2) How did the Government respond? Session 3) Is ‘Zero Covid’ possible? What happened to find, test, trace, isolate? Session 4) The impact on the population including families, social care and disability Session 5) The impact on frontline staff & key workers Session 6) Inequalities & discrimination Session 7) Privatisation of the Public’s Health Session 8) The impact on the population including schools, young peoples, women and mental health
  4. Watch | Facebook
  5. COVID-19: How well prepared was the NHS? | PeoplesCovidInquiry