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Joint Inquiry to examine impact of covid-19 on health of ‘at-risk’ groups

27 November 2020

On 1 December, the Science and Technology Committee and Health and Social Care Committee will take evidence on the impact of covid-19 on 'at risk' groups as part of their joint inquiry into lessons learnt from the pandemic response.

Purpose of the session

MPs will take evidence on people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds as well as people with learning disabilities. These groups have a significantly higher death rate from covid-19 than the general population, with many also being more likely to contract the virus and to develop severe illness.

Hearing from statistical and health experts, the joint session will investigate what evidence there is for how covid-19 is affecting these different groups, what likely factors are affecting unequal outcomes and which lessons can be learnt.

The Committees will hear about the experiences of people with learning disabilities during the pandemic who have been estimated to have a death rate of 4 times higher than average.

The session will also focus on the differing indirect health impacts on these ‘at-risk’ groups such as the effect of covid-19 restrictions on mental health.

Finally, MPs will question NHS England and NHS Improvement officials on the work being done to tackle health inequalities and what measures have been taken as a result of the pandemic.


Tuesday 1 December

At 9.30am

  • James O’Rourke, family carer for a person with learning disabilities
  • Steve Scown, Chief Executive, Dimensions UK

At 10am

  • Iain Bell, Director General for Population and Public Policy, Office for National Statistics
  • Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director for London, Public Health England

At 10.45am

  • Dr Habib Naqvi, Director, NHS Race and Health Observatory
  • Professor Dr Ramani Moonesinghe, National Clinical Director for Critical and Perioperative care, NHS England/Improvement

Further information

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