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Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

4 Jul 2023

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Mark Drakeford and Vaughan Gething to Face Covid-19 Inquiry in Wales

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and former Health Minister Vaughan Gething will appear before a UK public inquiry to provide evidence on Wales’ preparedness for the Covid-19 pandemic.

The inquiry, currently being in London, aims to examine the adequacy of planning at all levels of government and identify lessons that can be learn. Alongside the two politicians, a pandemic specialist from Public Health Wales will also face questioning.

The inquiry’s current stage focuses on assessing whether sufficient planning done for the pandemic. Decision-making processes across various levels of government and Mark Drakeford will be scrutinize, aiming to gain insights and extract valuable lessons.

Notably, the inquiry seeks to determine whether Wales adequately considered scenarios beyond a flu-like pandemic.

You may also like: The Pandemic: Is it Really Over?

Mark Drakeford and Vaughan Gething to Face Covid-19

Mark Drakeford

Chief Medical Officer Dr Sir Frank Atherton and former NHS Wales head Dr Andrew Goodall recently questioned at the inquiry.

Dr Atherton acknowledge that while considerable work had done at an official level. The possibility of a non-flu-like pandemic had somewhat overlooked. Dr Goodall revealed that recommendations from pandemic flu-related groups were not fully implemented due to time constraints.

Opposition parties, including the Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru, have reiterated calls for an independent Covid inquiry specific to Wales.

These demands align with the wishes of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Cymru group. Which seeks a comprehensive examination of the Welsh government’s and Mark Drakeford handling of the pandemic.

Criticism has been directed at the government’s perceived lack of preparedness, prompting the need for thorough scrutiny.

The current inquiry stage in London will not address Wales’ response to the pandemic. Sessions in Cardiff are scheduled for early next year to focus on this aspect. Public hearings will continue until summer 2026.

Both the Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru have expressed concerns that the current inquiry may not sufficiently delve into the decisions made in Wales during the pandemic. Leaving important questions unanswered by Mark Drakeford.

Mark Drakeford and Vaughan Gething to Face Covid-19 Inquiry in Wales