Over 1,200 deaths confirmed in Bucks as Covid response is labelled ‘one of UK’s worst ever public health failures’

A new report has called the government's initial response to the pandemic 'fatalistic'.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 12:32 pm

A new House of Commons report has found that the government response to Covid was one of the nation's worst ever public health failures.

In Bucks, 1,232 deaths have been confirmed where Covid was recorded on the death certificate.

This data from the Office of National Statistics is accurate up to September 24, and shows well over 1,200 people have passed after contracting the virus.

Latest figures show Covid has been put on 1,232 death certificates in Bucks

Two former Conservative MPs have released a new 151-page report which labels the UK virus measures as 'fatalistic'.

This new report states the government used a herd immunity approach early last year, which caused more people to die.

It signals delays in first going into lockdown on March 23, directly led to thousands of avoidable deaths.

The report says: “It is now clear that this was the wrong policy, and that it led to a higher initial death toll than would have resulted from a more emphatic early policy. In a pandemic spreading rapidly and exponentially, every week counted.”

The report does highlight the countrywide vaccination rollout as "one of the most effective initiatives in UK history".

This report was commissioned by the Commons science and technology committee and the health and social care committee.

Investigators contacted the former health secretary Matt Hancock, the government’s chief scientific and medical advisers, and key figures in the vaccine taskforce and NHS Test and Trace initiative.

Back in January 2020, the UK was one of the first nations to develop a Covid test and trace system, but paid the price for not using it effectively, the report finds.

These tests weren't rolled out nationally until May that year, after two months of lockdown.

The report states: “For a country with a world-class expertise in data analysis, to face the biggest health crisis in 100 years with virtually no data to analyse was an almost unimaginable setback.”

The MPs criticised the government for ignoring advice from The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) to implement a two-week circuit-breaker last autumn.

It also questions the government approach to not lean on further expert advice from overseas. It sites the example of South Korea where suppression of infections was much more effective.

It states: "We must conclude that no formal evaluation took place, which amounts to an extraordinary and negligent omission given Korea’s success in containing the pandemic, which was well publicised at the time."

Another error was halting mass testing in March 2020 during a time when the World Health Organization called for “painstaking contact tracing and rigorous quarantine of close contacts”

The report is critical of the eventual rollout of test and trace and how information was shared between the government and local authorities. As well as, how the system was rolled out across the country initially, calling it 'uncertain' and 'often chaotic'.

The number of deaths suffered by ethnic minority groups and people with learning disabilities and autism has been called 'unacceptably high'.

The MPs believe more should have been done to make health care available for those with disabilities.

Early regulation of care homes has come under fire, the report criticises the way people were discharged from hospitals to facilities without enough testing or social distancing measures.