Factsheet: Covid lessons must be addressed

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry has already proven that tens of thousands of Covid deaths
were preventable. According to The Lancet ‘Amid the claims of extreme misogyny, profanity, and chaos …. [there] is a story of complete government breakdown’. The Covid pandemic revealed profound problems with the UK’s health and care system – see People’s Covid Inquiry (PCI). Deepening social inequalities exacerbate the impact of chronic underfunding of public health, preventive healthcare and mental health services. Covid-19 exploited these failings and social inequalities ensured fatally unequal outcomes.


  • See the People’s Covid Inquiry for supporting evidence on all that follows
  • By October 2023 220,700 people had died from Covid, the worst outcome in Western Europe.
  • Government policy has led to life expectancy stagnating and, for some groups, declining
  • Before the pandemic, health, care and support services had been undermined by a decade of underfunding relative to need
  • PPE was not available for staff, care homes and vulnerable people – procurement of PPE had been outsourced to private corporations who failed to supply what was needed
  • 30,000 deaths resulted from delayed response of the Government when lockdown was inevitable in the first wave of the pandemic March 2020.
  • 47,000 care home residents died from Covid after 25,000 untested patients were discharged to care homes without testing
  • Six out of ten deaths from Covid in 2020 were disabled people
  • Over 2000 Health and Care frontline staff died from exposure to Covid
  • Government bypassed the NHS, universities, public health and local authorities and squandered £billions on failed Test & Trace, giving to incompetent private sector cronies
  • Our current health and care services have no spare capacity and are now in an even worse position than pre-pandemic to cope with emergencies


  • Restore a national and local public health service able to cope with the next pandemic
  • Act on the lessons of social inequality – investment in public services, mental health and illness prevention delivers healthier population and economy and saves lives
  • Pandemic plans must rely on universal access to an equitable, comprehensive, high quality, free at the point of use, publicly funded and provided NHS
  • Effective planning to ensure that material resources, staffing and infrastructure can maintain essential services in times of emergency
  • Much greater priority given to using evidence-based approaches to reducing inequalities in all services
  • Services and procurement of equipment under direct control of government
  • The pandemic is not over – clean air, ventilation, masks in healthcare settings must be established alongside wider access to vaccines

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