Vital lessons need to be learnt: The King’s Fund response to the Health and Social Care Committee report on core NHS services during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Responding to the Health and Social Care Committee’s report into the delivery of core NHS services during the Covid-19 pandemic, Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:

‘The Committee has outlined vital lessons that need to be learnt as health and care services brace for a second wave of the virus. 

‘There have been multiple front lines during this crisis. As well as taking a toll on NHS services, the pandemic has ruthlessly exposed deep inequalities in our society and fundamental weaknesses in our adult social care system. Alongside the NHS workforce, social care staff also need to be regularly tested and provided with adequate resources to manage the spread of the virus as they offer support to people in their own homes and in residential care. 

‘Health and care staff are working hard to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Not only are staff grappling with a backlog of people in need of support, they face the prospect of a gruelling winter, as well as new, additional pressures as many thousands of people struggle with the mental health impacts of the pandemic, complications from delays in treatment, and the long tail of Covid-19 symptoms.

‘Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on some groups in our society, such as ethnic minority communities, older people, those with disabilities and people living in deprived areas. As the health and care sector faces the second wave and, in time, looks to the future, there must be a much stronger focus on tackling the inequalities exposed by the pandemic and its economic and social consequences.’

Notes to editors

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.