As a leading health organisation aimed at improving patient care and preventing disease worldwide, the RCP is committed to helping the country learn from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our members were at the centre of NHS efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The official UK COVID-19 inquiry will be crucial to identify and recommend changes to improve preparedness for and management of future crises.
A public independent inquiry into the handling of COVID-19 was announced by the government in May 2021. The final terms of reference were accepted by the Prime Minister on 28 June 2022, meaning the inquiry can now begin its work. Oral evidence sessions will not begin until 2023.
What is the RCP doing?
The RCP has actively engaged with the COVID-19 inquiry since it was announced. The insights from our COVID-19 workforce impact surveys will be invaluable to communicating the experiences of physicians during the pandemic.
We responded to the announcement of the inquiry in May 2021, saying that ‘preparedness’ needed to be defined widely enough to take into account the greater impact of COVID-19 in the UK because of the state of public health and inequality. We then responded to the Terms of Reference consultation in March 2022, saying we were pleased that the final Terms of Reference had been broadened to consider the unequal impact of the pandemic.