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Readying the NHS and social care for the COVID-19 peak


On Monday 22 June, in the next of our new series of work on NAO reports into the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will question the Permanent Secretary and Finance Director at the Department for Health and Social Care; the Chief Executive of the NHS; NHS England; Public Health England and the National Medical Director on the UK’s preparations for the peak of cases and deaths in England.  

The NAO’s report, the basis for our questioning, will provide a factual update on progress with key government actions across health and social care, including:  

  • increasing the availability of healthcare professionals and beds to treat COVID-19 patients while maintaining other essential health services;
  • securing adequate vital supplies, including PPE, testing equipment, and ventilators; and
  • protecting and supporting vulnerable groups, including those residentin care homes and healthcare professionals. 

Questions will focus on the methods used to select providers and award contracts for PPE provision,  the use of consultants and other private contractors in mounting the UK emergency response including building and supplying the Nightingale hospitals, the development of the UK’s testing capacity and contact tracing system, and what capacity the NHS has now to withstand a potential second peak later this year.   

If you have evidence on these questions please submit it here by close of Thursday 18 June 2020.