D

espite strenuous efforts by health professionals and scientists inside and outside government, the UK has experienced one of the highest death rates from Covid-19 in the world, with the poor and certain minority ethnic groups affected especially badly.

If, as seems probable, there is a second wave this winter, many more will die unless we find quick, practical solutions to some of the structural problems that have made implementing an effective response so difficult. These include the fragmentation, in England, of the NHS, public health and social care; the failure of those in Westminster to engage with local government and devolved nations; the channels by which scientific evidence feeds into policy; and an inability to plan for necessary goods and services, and procure them.

We call on all political parties to commit to a rapid, transparent, expert inquiry to address these issues. This must avoid diverting the efforts of those responding to the crisis or apportioning blame, but should propose feasible ways to overcome the obstacles faced by those on the frontline of the response and help them to save lives.

Dr JS Bamrah Chairman, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

Prof Raj Bhopal Emeritus professor of public health, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh

Dr Kailash Chand Former deputy chair, British Medical Association council

Prof Anthony Costello Professor of global health, University College London; former director, World Health Organization; member of independent Sage committee

Prof Majid Ezzati Chair in global environmental health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London

Prof Ilora Finlay House of Lords

Prof Karl Friston Computational modeller and neuroscientist, University College London, in charge of developing a generative SEIR (susceptible, exposed, infectious, recovered) Covid-19 model; member of independent Sage committee

Prof Ruth Gilbert Professor of clinical epidemiology, University College London

Dr Mike Gill Former regional director of public health

Sir Ian Gilmore Chair, Alcohol Health Alliance

Prof Mark S Gilthorpe Professor of statistical epidemiology, University of Leeds; fellow, Alan Turing Institute

Dr Fiona Godlee Editor-in-chief, The BMJ

Prof Trisha Greenhalgh Professor of primary care, University of Oxford

Dr Katie Harron UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Richard Horton Editor-in-chief, the Lancet

Prof David McCoy Queen Mary University of London

Prof Nuala McGrath Professor of epidemiology and sexual health, and NIHR global health professor, University of Southampton

Prof Martin McKee Professor of European public health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Prof Susan Michie Director, Centre for Behaviour Change, University College London; member of independent Sage committee

Dr Miriam Orcutt Senior research fellow, Institute for Global Health, University College London

Prof Christina Pagel Mathematician and professor of operational research, University College London; member of independent Sage committee

Prof Neil Pearce Professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Prof Deenan Pillay Professor of virology, University College London; former member of Sage ; member of independent Sage committee

Prof Allyson Pollock Co-director, Centre for Excellence in Regulatory Science, Newcastle University; member of independent Sage committee

Prof Devi Sridhar Professor and chair of global public health, University of Edinburgh

Prof Helen Ward Professor of public health, Imperial College London

Dr Sarah Wollaston Former chair, health and social care select committee; former MP for Totnes

This letter was written as part of the March for Change campaign for an urgent public inquiry into the coronavirus crisis.

The Guardian

Last Updated on June 5, 2020 by shalw

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