Written evidence submitted by Alastair Hay, GP and Professor of Primary Care at University of Bristol; Bristol Centre for Academic Primary Care Infection Research Group

Note: the following represent my views based on the research my group has been conducting over the past 15 years in Bristol. My comments are written under the headings provided in italics.

The main drivers of biosecurity risks to human health in the UK, including from pandemics and emerging infectious diseases; 

How, and how effectively, these risks are monitored and assessed by the UK Government, and by whom; and whether the specific type of risk to the UK represented by Covid-19 fell within such monitoring and assessment processes; 

The extent to which the Government has supported domestic preparedness against biosecurity risks in terms of: building and measuring resilience; designing emergency response mechanisms; testing and exercising that response, and building the lessons from exercises into active resilience planning and into resource allocation priorities; and anticipating required public communications campaigns, and devising means to measure their effectiveness.

I don’t feel I have anything specific to add to this area.

The extent to which the Government's planning for pandemics in the 2015 Strategic Defence & Security Review, the subsequent National Security Capability Review and the 2018 Biosecurity Strategy helped in guiding that preparedness;

I don’t feel I have anything specific to add to this area.

The extent to which policy-making in this area draws on cross-government input, and how well preparedness plans have taken a genuinely 'fusion doctrine' approach (that should optimally combine UK capabilities to promote 'security', 'influence' and 'prosperity' objectives);

I don’t feel I have anything specific to add to this area.

In regard to the oversight of such policy-making and the management of biosecurity risks within overall national security risks: the roles and responsibilities of the National Security Council, relevant Government departments and agencies, and how their work is coordinated with that of the Devolved Administrations. 

I don’t feel I have anything specific to add to this area.

7 September 2020