Report on the health and social care response to COVID-19 published

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has published its first report examining the health and social care response to COVID-19.

The report, Readying the NHS and social care for the COVID-19 peak, states that, although the NHS was able to postpone planned work to rise to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the same cannot be said of adult social care: ‘Years of inattention, funding cuts and delayed reforms have been compounded by the Government’s slow, inconsistent and, at times, negligent approach to giving the sector the support it needed during the pandemic.’

The publication also draws attention to the Government’s failure to provide sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) to front-line staff, and states that the Government must now work urgently to ensure that testing and PPE are in place ahead of a second wave of the virus.

The report says that, going forward, ‘There are many lessons that the government must learn, not least giving adult social care equal support to the NHS and considering them as two parts of a single system, adequately funded and with clear accountability arrangements.’