RCoA welcomes a COVID-19 public inquiry

Published: 29/05/2020

Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:

“The impact of COVID-19 on individuals, families and friends and on their livelihoods across the UK has been truly devastating. With the UK currently having the highest death toll in Europe, it is critical that lessons are learned from how we all prepared for and responded to this pandemic.

“Analysis of when and how decisions were made and the effectiveness of those decisions will provide the Government and senior healthcare leaders with the knowledge of how to be better prepared when another such health crisis emerges. Because there’s no doubt that one will emerge. How we learn from this episode will be important in ensuring we are all able to respond in a more effective manner next time.

“A public inquiry should not be an exercise to simply allocate blame and we are clear that this should be a foundational principle of any such future inquiry. We recognise that this pandemic has presented unique and nuanced challenges, and this needs to be reflected in the tone and scope of the inquiry. 

“Now is not the time for a public inquiry as the current priority remains dealing with the immediate effects of the pandemic.  The Royal College of Anaesthetists will continue to engage at the highest levels across Government and stakeholders to help our members deliver the highest levels of safe and ethical care to all their patients.”