No risk assessment process for pandemics in Wales despite powers devolved in 2018
Hugo Keith KC, while questioning Dr Andrew Goodall, the former Chief Executive of NHS Wales at the UK Covid Inquiry, made the point that a transfer of executive functions order was made in 2018 and a Welsh-centric risk assessment process should have followed, but did not – he called this an “error.”
Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Russell George MS said:
“It was incredibly disappointing to hear the leading barrister for the UK Covid Inquiry call out the Labour Government’s ‘error’ of not enacting a Welsh-centric risk assessment process given the fact that new and relevant executive powers were granted to Wales in 2018.
“The blame for this shortfall may well be a lack of resources, as a request, given in evidence to the inquiry, was made by the Welsh Public Health Division asking former Labour Health Minister, Vaughan Gething for additional investment in the National Health Protection Service for Wales back in 2019.
“Just yesterday we learned that the Chief Medical Officer for Wales felt under-resourced to the extent that he struggled to process the vast swathes of information he was receiving at the start of the pandemic.
A lack of investment in our pandemic preparedness by successive Labour Ministers in the Senedd seems to be the recurring theme of the inquiry so far.”
Dr Andrew Goodall admitted that plans to address this shortfall are still being considered and “haven’t been endorsed by [Labour] Ministers.” A risk register will follow as one of the “lessons learned.”