Official COVID19 Public Inquiry


What is the UK Covid-19 Inquiry?

To: Baroness Heather Hallett DBE
Chair of the UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry

Dear Baroness Hallett
UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry

The Socialist Health Association officers have become aware of news reports and publications that have been published before your inquiry has been able to start to hear evidence. We think that there is a risk that some of the core participants and their organisations will be involved in shaping the debate and so would urge your team to ensure that the ‘retro-spectroscopes’ do not distort the evidence of fact. It is for this reason that we would like to submit the 20 weekly blogs that were published on the SHA website during the first wave of the pandemic as evidence of an informed and contemporaneous account. The originals remain on as Covid blogs alongside other commentary.

These blogs were drafted by an experienced public health professional who returned from retirement to work during the pandemic and was in a local authority public health team outside London at the time of drafting. So, there are professional public health insights from the field and outside the Westminster bubble who had experienced practice at local and national levels. The blogs were signed off by the SHA officer group and as you would expect express a political view and as concerns were expressed in Parliament, we did alert the Layla Moran MP APPG Covid inquiry to our concerns.

While the blogs only cover the first wave from the 17th March to the 27th July 2020 they do identify issues that continue to be of concern throughout this unfinished pandemic. USA Presidents’ and British Prime Ministers’ performance are often judged by the evidence of the first 100 days and while we cover a longer period, we believe that this type of assessment has value – problems identified early in the pandemic continued throughout.

We are pleased that the Inquiry is underway and support you in your desire to conduct a fair, balanced, and thorough inquiry. We hope that your team will read this collection and are happy to assist further if requested. We submit both electronic and hardcopies for you.

Mark Ladbrooke
Chair of the SHA

Document submitted by SHA