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MPs launch inquiry to scrutinise government coronavirus response

The Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) and the Science and Technology Committee has launched a joint inquiry to assess the lessons to be learned from the response to the coronavirus pandemic so far.

An HSCC spokesman said the two select committees will jointly conduct evidence sessions examining the impact and effectiveness of action taken by the government and the advice it has received.

Each committee will draw on specialist expertise and call witnesses to consider a range of issues including the deployment of non-pharmaceutical interventions like lockdown and social distancing rules to manage the pandemic. As well as the impact on the social care sector and on BAME communities.

It will also examine the effectiveness of testing and contact tracing, modelling and the use of statistics and government communications and public health messaging. Along with the UK’s prior preparedness for a pandemic and the development of treatments and vaccines.

Joint inquiry chairs Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark said:

‘Parliament has a crucial role in scrutinising the actions of government at a time when the country is in the grip of a crisis such as the current pandemic with its tragic impact on lives and livelihoods.

‘Important lessons need to be learned that can help inform further decisions that will need to be taken in the months ahead. It is crucial to learn and apply them now since the Public Inquiry that the Prime Minister has promised is likely to be some time away.

‘Our committees will jointly learn what went well, what didn’t, and what lessons must be learnt at this point in the pandemic.

‘We will use the independence of our cross-party committees and weekly detailed questioning of witnesses to consider the decisions taken and the evidence they were based on and assess their effectiveness.

‘We will develop clear recommendations so that the UK can benefit from the lessons learned for future stages of this pandemic and for future crises.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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