10 episodes

This is the podcast of the People's COVID Inquiry. Subscribe to hear full recordings of all 8 fortnightly sessions that will take place until June 2021.
With more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, we believe the public deserves to know how and why this has happened. The death toll will continue to rise for many months until vaccination starts to have an effect. In the meantime, learning the right lessons is urgent if lives are to be saved. Our ‘People’s Covid Inquiry’ will examine what has happened and how well the NHS was prepared.

We will invite oral, written and video testimony from NHS staff, other frontline workers and members of the public as well as hear expert evidence. There will be a series of online Zoom meetings where a panel will interrogate the evidence presented in these testimonies.

A powerful body of work will be developed to help understand how best to restore the NHS, public health and social care to the quality public services essential to look after people and keep them safe, both now and in the future.
Our panel members are:
Michael Mansfield QC (chair)Professor Neena ModiDr Jacky DavisDr Tolullah OniLorna Hackett, Barrister (Counsel to the Inquiry)https://www.peoplescovidinquiry.com/


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

People's COVID Inquiry Keep Our NHS Public

    • Health & Fitness

This is the podcast of the People's COVID Inquiry. Subscribe to hear full recordings of all 8 fortnightly sessions that will take place until June 2021.
With more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, we believe the public deserves to know how and why this has happened. The death toll will continue to rise for many months until vaccination starts to have an effect. In the meantime, learning the right lessons is urgent if lives are to be saved. Our ‘People’s Covid Inquiry’ will examine what has happened and how well the NHS was prepared.

We will invite oral, written and video testimony from NHS staff, other frontline workers and members of the public as well as hear expert evidence. There will be a series of online Zoom meetings where a panel will interrogate the evidence presented in these testimonies.

A powerful body of work will be developed to help understand how best to restore the NHS, public health and social care to the quality public services essential to look after people and keep them safe, both now and in the future.
Our panel members are:
Michael Mansfield QC (chair)Professor Neena ModiDr Jacky DavisDr Tolullah OniLorna Hackett, Barrister (Counsel to the Inquiry)https://www.peoplescovidinquiry.com/


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Preliminary findings

    Preliminary findings

    We're inviting the public and press to join us and Michael Mansfield QC and the People's Covid Inquiry panel to hear our 'manifestly obvious findings'. 
    The reason we called our People's Covid Inquiry immediately while the pandemic is ongoing was so we could learn lessons and save lives now. 
    We are inviting the press and the public to hear these preliminary findings and help us make sure they reach the ears of the decision-makers in government so that can be implemented as soon as possible. 
    As the infection rate rises and the delta variant increasingly becomes a threat, we have no time to lose. 
    We have been gathering evidence from some of the worlds greatest experts and hearing firsthand stories from the front line for over 4 months, our final report is planned for release in the autumn. But we have plenty to say right now.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    The pandemic continues - What must happen now?

    The pandemic continues - What must happen now?

    Previous sessions have heard testimony on government policies before and during the pandemic that have had significant bearing on the impact of the pandemic on the population, the differential impacts on groups in the population, the success or failure to control the spread of coronavirus, the resulting high numbers of deaths and people suffering with long term effects of Covid-19. This concluding session takes an overview: as the Delta variant spreads in Britain, and the pandemic rages across the world, with billions unprotected by vaccine, there are important issues of national and international consequence: a people's vaccine, with technology shared and free from patents; governance around the vaccination programme; the importance of listening and responding to citizens such as Bereaved Families for Justice. Inquiry witnesses have been highly critical of the way national government by-passed Local Authorities and Public Health: what could local government do and, most important, what must happen now?; what is the role of a trade union in the pandemic; why has Government policy been in conflict with national trade unions like the NEU and there are questions from a legal standpoint on accountability and legal and statutory compliance.
    THE PANEL:

    Michael Mansfield QC (chair), Professor Neena Modi, Dr. Tolullah Oni, Dr. Jacky Davis
    Lorna Hackett Barrister (Counsel to the Inquiry)

    WITNESSES:

    Deepti Gurdasani | Clinical epidemiologist & statistical geneticist, Senior Lecturer in Machine Learning, Queen Mary Univ. of London
    Kevin Courtney | Joint General Secretary, National Education Union
    Stephen Cowan | Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council 
    Matt Western | MP for Warwick & Leamington - written statement read out
    Jean Adamson | Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice
    Michael Bimmler | Public law barrister

    'People told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace were not offered financial support matching their lost salaries because of the government’s fear that the system would be “gamed”, Matt Hancock has said.'Joint Health Select Committee hearing 10 June 2021, reported The Independent 'We want to hear from the right honourable gentleman ... a bit of support ... a bit of encouragement to pupils, and perhaps even some encouragement to his friends in the left-wing trade unions to help get our schools ready.'Boris Johnson, House of Commons, 10 June 2020‘We put a protective ring around our care homes’Matt Hancock, House of Commons. 19 May 2020


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 2 hr 38 min
    Impact on the population (2 of 2) Families, NHS staff, mental health

    Impact on the population (2 of 2) Families, NHS staff, mental health

    This session looks at the wellbeing of the population during the pandemic, with a focus on the welfare and mental health needs of NHS and frontline staff, families and young people. The Government’s decisions and how it communicated them to the public have had a major impact on the public’s responses, wellbeing and safety. Frequently, sections of the public have been blamed for their responses. We will ask if this was fair. The NHS employs 1.5 million staff and they have been through an extraordinarily traumatic time: burnout, anxiety, depression and PTSD are common. 150,000 UK deaths indicates that over a million have been bereaved and many more affected by loss. There is a significant rise in mental health conditions without an increase in resources to meet the need – including children and young people under 16, 19% of the UK population, in whom the rate of mental health distress has risen to 1 in 6 children, from 1 in 9 pre-pandemic. The Panel will hear testimony from an expert in social psychology; a research team on the comparative mental health impact on frontline health staff in two different countries – the UK and Ireland; an NHS CAMHS nurse working with children and young people; and from young person, a citizen witness who will testify to her experience in lockdown and her personal bereavement.
    THE PANEL

    Michael Mansfield QC (chair), Professor Neena Modi, Dr. Tolullah Oni, Dr. Jacky Davis
    Lorna Hackett Barrister (Counsel to the Inquiry)

    WITNESSES:

    Stephen Reicher | Professor of Social Psychology, Univ. of St Andrews; participant in SPI-B (SAGE) and Advisory Group to Scottish CMO on Covid-19; member of Independent SAGE
    Rachel Sumner | Senior Lecturer in Psychology, School of Natural & Social Sciences, University of Gloucestershire;
    and co-researcher Elaine Kinsella | Chartered psychologist, lecturer in psychology, University of Limerick, Ireland
    Fatima Az- Zahra Ali | School student 
    Rachel Ambrose | NHS nurse in CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service) and Nurses United
    From Session 9: Jonathan Portes | Professor of Economics & Public Policy at King’s College London and former senior civil servant
    We are seeing the devastating impact of Covid-19 on mental health, with more people in crisis. But we are
    just as worried about the people who need help now but aren't getting it. Our fear is that
    the lockdown is storing up problems which could then lead to a tsunami of referrals’ 
    Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, May 2020.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 2 hr 12 min
    Profiteering from the people's health?

    Profiteering from the people's health?

    A striking feature of the government’s pandemic response has been contracting out COVID related services to private companies. This has been without the usual tendering processes and any transparency around contract details including costs. Despite a number of contracts failing spectacularly (e.g. NHS Test and Trace) and some pre-COVID contracts such as NHS Logistics being exposed as wholly inadequate, public contract funding has been differentially awarded to Conservative party donors and close contacts.
    We will hear about the reliance on and scale of private contracts during the pandemic, and the level of pre-pandemic outsourcing and privatisation. How did this contribute to the failures in response? We will hear about legal challenges on behalf of the taxpayer in relation to COVID contracts – one important example being the successful challenge on the Palantir contract. And from staff experience, the dangers and anxieties of shortage of PPE and the relation to decisions to outsource contracts. We have previously heard from family members directly affected by COVID.

    GUEST APPEARANCE (opening the session):
    Michael Rosen | author, poet, broadcaster and former UK Children's Laureate


    THE PANEL:

    ​Michael Mansfield QC (chair), Professor Neena Modi, Dr. Tolullah Oni, Dr. Jacky Davis
    Lorna Hackett Barrister (Counsel to the Inquiry)
     
    WITNESSES:

    David McCoy | Professor of Global Health Medicine, Institute of Population Health Sciences, QMUL; Centre for Health and the Public Interest
    Dr David Wrigley | GP in Carnforth, North Lancs, Deputy Chair BMA, co-author ‘NHS for Sale’ and ‘NHS SOS
    Rosa Curling | Lawyer, co-founder of Foxglove campaigning against misuse of digital data & technology; formerly of Leigh Day Solicitors
    Dr Michelle Dawson | NHS Consultant Anaesthetist, trustee Healthcare Workers’ Foundation charity (previously ‘Heroes’)

    ‘The independent sector has played a critical role in helping us get through the crisis and will play a critical role in future … That has put to bed any lingering, outdated arguments about a split between public and private in healthcare. We could not have got through the crisis without the combined teamwork of the public and private sectors' 
    Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, August 2020

    ‘Despite the unimaginable resources thrown at this project, test and trace cannot point to a measurable difference to the progress of the pandemic, and the promise on which this huge expense was justified – avoiding another lockdown – has been broken, twice.’
    Meg Hillier, Chair Commons Public Accounts Committee, 6 March 2021
     
    ‘There is no clear evidence to judge NHS test and trace’s overall effectiveness. It is unclear whether its specific contribution to reducing infection levels … has justified its cost [£37bn].’     
    Public Accounts Committee. Feb 2021

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 2 hr 10 min
    Inequalities and discrimination

    Inequalities and discrimination

    The People's COVID Inquiry asks: was there any serious appraisal of risk for sections of our society who experience inequalities and discrimination? What has the outcome been and how has the Government responded?
    The devastating differential impact of Covid and the pandemic on BAME people came as a shock but not really a surprise. Even prior to the pandemic there was strong evidence that racism, unequal education, job and economic opportunities, housing and access to healthcare affected the health of people in BAME communities unequally. The Covid pandemic and the role of key workers who carried on working, who could not work at home, and who kept the transport, health, and other services going, compounded all of these issues for BAME people and were reflected in the illness and death rate. ​The impact of Covid has fallen differentially on women in many important ways.

    In order to answer these questions and to learn lessons, in this session we are listening to a researcher on the differential impact of Covid on the BAME health workers and we will hear testimony about the experience of BAME frontline staff, migrants and on women. Evidence is also available from the work done by Independent SAGE, the Fenton Review and health unions.

    THE PANEL:​

    Michael Mansfield QC (chair), Professor Neena Modi, Dr. Tolullah Oni, Dr. Jacky Davis
    Lorna Hackett Barrister (Counsel to the Inquiry)
    ​​
    WITNESSES:

    Mary-Ann Stephenson | Director, Women's Budget Group
    Kamlesh Khunti | Professor of Primary Care Diabetes & Vascular Medicine, University of Leicester, member of government advisory body SAGE, Chair of SAGE Ethnicity Sub-Group and member of Independent SAGE
    Dr Latifa Patel | British Medical Association (Personal Capacity)
    Aliya Yule | Migrants Organise
    ‘We now recognise that different ethnic groups suffer from health disadvantage, not only because of deprivation but ... because of racism and discrimination, and that is another form of health inequalities … [Covid inequalities] overlap considerably with causes of inequalities in health more generally … Half of care workers do not earn a living age.’                 
    Professor Sir Michael Marmot

    ‘COVID-19 could reverse the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women's rights”.                 UN Secretary-General António Guterres
     
    ‘There is an association between ... some ethnic groups and the likelihood of testing positive and dying ...
    [Diagnoses per 100,000] were highest in Black ethnic groups (486 in female; 649 in males) and
    lowest …in White ethnic groups (220 in females; 224 in male)’
    Professor Kevin Fenton

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 57 min
    Impact on frontline staff and key workers

    Impact on frontline staff and key workers

    The People's COVID Inquiry asks: Were the roles of key workers and the risks they faced understood? Were they supported and protected? Were employment conditions, in-work poverty and health and safety at work given adequate consideration by the Government?
    It became very clear at the outset of the pandemic that the UK Government needed to radically reappraise the roles of key workers in society. We will hear the evidence of frontline staff working in the NHS, in care services, transport and education. Evidence will also be drawn from the work of bodies including Independent SAGE and assorted trade unions and professional associations across these sectors.
    WITNESSES:
     
    Prof. Raymond Agius | Professor Emeritus of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Manchester
    Unjum Mirza | ASLEF, BAME Rep, Victoria Line Branch
    Kirsty Brewerton | NHS Clinical Sister and founder Sitting Rooms of Culture 
    Dr Chidi Ejimofo | NHS consultant in Emergency Medicine
    [Prof. Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN General Secretary and CEO has had to withdraw]
    THE PANEL:
    Michael Mansfield QC (chair)Professor Neena ModiDr Tolullah OniDr Jacky DavisLorna Hackett (Counsel to the Inquiry)
    ‘We’ve got a fantastic NHS, we will give them all the support that they need, we will make sure that they have all preparations, all the kit that they need for us to get through it’ 
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 10 March 2020
     
    ‘What I can tell you is that we truly did everything we could, and continue to do everything that we can,
    to minimise loss of life and to minimise suffering in what has been a very, very difficult stage,
    and a very, very difficult crisis for our country, and we will continue to do that' 
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 26 January 2021


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 2 hr 8 min

Top Podcasts In Health & Fitness