Stretched NHS even less ready to cope with a new pandemic, scientists warn

0 20


The UK is more prepared for a pandemic than when Covid-19 first hit the country, a former government health minister has warned.

In the year Lord Bethel, Secretary of State for Health in 2020 Observer In terms of identifying future threats and managing any new outbreaks, he believes Britain’s stretched health system will be unable to respond to another major virus outbreak.

“Britain was ill-prepared for the pandemic,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the important ‘lessons’ we learn from this. The question of covid And in the meantime, our pandemic preparedness has lagged behind in key areas such as mass testing, NHS resilience, global virus surveillance, Whitehall efficiency, vaccine delivery and development and the nation’s basic health.

This view is supported by leading scientists. Observer As Lady Hallett’s inquiry continues to expose the issue, there is little sign of new systems being implemented. The first reaction of a chaotic government to covid

Some believe the inquiry itself is acting as a brake on progress, with the government unable to act on its final conclusions years after they are published – despite initial reports on the country’s “preparedness and resilience” and “key decision-making”. To be published next year. However, a final report is not expected until public hearings are completed in the summer of 2026.

This point was emphasized by Professor John Edmonds of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). “Our monitoring is no better than it was at the beginning of 2020,” he said. “During an outbreak, we developed an amazing surveillance system to track the disease and the strains of the virus that cause it. Then, in 2022, as the pandemic ended, the shutters came down and that stopped. Everything is back to normal before 2020. The urgency is just dripping.

Edmonds said the UK’s Covid-19 statistics put it in the middle of the league for deaths from the epidemic among European countries. The country got off to a rough start with a lockdown that slowed to nearly 100,000 new cases a day, but has bounced back as the public sticks to lockdown rules and the country’s response improves.

However, two major aspects of life in the UK have worked in favor of the fight against Covid-19. “The first is the rampant health inequities in this country, and the second is that our basic health care is still stretched to the limit,” Edmonds said.

This point is supported by other LSHTM scientists. Professor Martin Hibberd said: “If there was a new outbreak today, we would be back to the same situation as in 2020 – no matter how much scientific advice there is or how much political preparedness there is.”

“We will face congestion again because the NHS It is still moving without a weak point, so a relatively small number of new diseases can threaten the system. From this point of view, nothing has changed,” he said.

Other scientists fear that the inquiry’s conclusions will be unnecessarily late. “We want to ask much earlier,” said the school’s clinical epidemiology professor Liam Smith. “Fall 2020 was a great time for deep, quick guilt-free inquiry. Then his conclusions could be implemented quickly. As such, we may have to wait years for changes to be recommended and implemented. Meanwhile, the threat of a new epidemic remains. “

Others who criticize the government’s failure to learn from VV point to the move to sell the Rosalind Franklin Laboratory in Leamington Spa, which was set up during the pandemic. The facility has cost the taxpayer at least £455m.

Decisions like these have led Dame Kate Bingham, the former head of the vaccine task force, to warn that the UK is “not in a much better place to deal with a new pandemic”, adding that they are more likely to face other European countries. New viruses or types of covid. The UK’s capacity to deal with the Covid-19 crisis is now “scattered”, she said.



Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More