Leaders of the UK’s medical, nursing, and public health professions are urging the British government to set up a cross-party review to prepare for a second coronavirus wave, according to The British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Tuesday.
The letter calls for an urgent review, to be completed by October, which evaluates the UK’s national preparedness to deal with coronavirus ahead of winter.
“As stakeholders and leaders of the UK’s medical, nursing and public health professions, we urge you to establish such a review,” the health leaders wrote. “We think there’s a strong case for an immediate assessment of national preparedness, with the first results available no later than August, and that all its work should be completed by the end of October.”
The health leaders wrote that a review should look to the future rather than attribute blame for past mistakes and should “focus on those areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life and restore the economy as fully and as quickly as possible.”
“We believe that such a review is crucial and needs to happen soon if the public is to have confidence that the virus can be contained,” said the letter.
The letter has been signed by the president of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Andrew Goddard; the president of the Royal College of Nursing, Anne Marie Rafferty; the Chair of the Council of the British Medical Association, Chaand Nagpaul; Editor in Chief of The Lancet medical journal, Richard Horton; and Editor in Chief of The BMJ, Fiona Godlee.
The letter added, “We don’t underestimate the complexities of establishing this in the required timeframe. We stand by ready to help in whatever way we can.”