NHS Providers' submission to the APPG on Coronavirus
This submission responds to an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus. It examines the UK's handling of COVID-19.
- The health and care system was already under severe strain before COVID-19 struck, with growing demand for healthcare, workforce shortages and insufficient levels of funding.
- The pandemic has shone a light on the need for reform and sustainable funding of our social care sector. Although emergency funding has helped in the short term, it is not enough to undo years of underinvestment in the sector.
- The outbreak revealed that the UK was not sufficiently prepared for a pandemic, with levels of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) running dangerously low at some points.
- Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff in the NHS have suffered disproportionately as a result of the pandemic. The link between systemic race inequalities and health inequalities should be addressed as an urgent priority.
- Despite the challenges faced by NHS trusts since the outbreak of COVID-19, trust leaders are proud of what has been achieved, from expanding critical care capacity to creating mental health A&E’s for patients in crisis.