A new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has found the government could have been better prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Initial learning from the government’s response to the COVID-10 pandemic report said the government lacked detailed contingency plans to manage the unfolding situation.
The report said COVID-19 had “laid bare existing fault lines within society”, including the unreformed adult social care system, and had “exacerbated inequalities”.
The NAO highlighted that some care workers, doctors and nurses felt they were not adequately protected during the height of the pandemic’s first wave, with many social care providers being extremely close to running out of PPE.
These failings had created uncertainty, anxiety and stress amongst the workforce that will cause substantial and for some people long lasting after-effects, the report said.
Responding to the NAO’s findings on social care, a UK government spokesperson said: “Throughout the pandemic, our approach has been guided by data and the advice of scientific and medical experts.
“As new evidence emerged, we acted quickly and decisively to protect lives and livelihoods.
“We have committed to a full public independent inquiry to look at what lessons we can learn from our response to this unprecedented global challenge.”