SoR submits evidence to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Evidence includes all advice SoR issued to members from February 2020

Published: 03 March 2023 Government & NHS

The SoR has submitted comprehensive evidence to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, following a request from the Inquiry Chair, Baroness Heather Hallett, in December 2022.

The evidence to the Inquiry covers all advice and guidance the SoR issued to members relating to the pandemic, including during the early weeks and months from February 2020.

The evidence also includes correspondence to the secretary of state, ministers and other health leaders, and highlights how, from the very start of the pandemic, The SoR was among the most significant voices of concerns around protecting frontline staff and patients.

Important to reflect and learn

Dean Rogers, SoR Executive Director of Industrial Strategy & Member Relations, said collating the evidence had highlighted how much activity took place and therefore how much important reflection and learning should now happen.

“Pulling everything together has been no easy task but it will provide further insight for the Inquiry around all areas of medical imaging and radiography. If there was ever any doubt in some people’s minds, the pandemic clarified how radiography is an integral part of the frontline. As in other areas, looking at the NHS through the radiography lens helps bring the reality of working in the NHS into sharp focus.

“There will be future crises. By their nature they are difficult to predict but you can be certain crises will happen. Early reflections focus on what went badly and on obvious mistakes, like PPE policy. These were evidently rooted in poor preparation and systems pressures that underestimated the risk of a pandemic. What flowed initially was confusion, and from there a loss of trust. It’s important these are recognised.”

Positive lessons must be retained

Dean added: “However, it is also important the Inquiry has evidence of what went right and what worked. History tells us these positive reflections are often the first to be lost and repeated mistakes arise from a failure to identify and hold on to positive learning from crises.

"Underneath headlines about a panicked government, remote leadership and potential corruption, there are as many stories about people coming together, partnership working coming into its own, and members at the front line taking ownership of problems and finding new ways to deliver solutions. That needs to be captured and built upon as well.”