UK Covid-19 Inquiry public hearings: module 2, week 4 (30 October-2 November 2023)

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry (the Inquiry) public hearings for module 2 began on 3 October 2023 and will conclude on 14 December 2023.

Module 2 is focused on core political and administrative governance and decision-making for the UK. It will examine the initial response, central government decision making, political and civil service performance as well as the effectiveness of relationships with governments in the devolved administrations and local and voluntary sectors. It will also assess decision-making about non-pharmaceutical measures and the factors that contributed to their implementation.

This week the Inquiry heard from witnesses including Lord Simon Stevens, former chief executive of NHS England (NHSE), Sir Christopher Wormald, permanent secretary of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and Dominic Cummings, former adviser to the prime minister.

The Inquiry heard that the lack of diversity in the Cabinet Office and Number 10 directly impacted policy decisions, that NHS leaders were not consulted on the “stay home, protect the NHS, save lives” campaign, and that data indicating that the NHS was in danger of being overwhelmed in March 2020 led to the first lockdown.