College calls for ‘second wave’ review

A letter co-signed by our President Professor Wendy Burn, calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the "real risk" of a second wave of coronavirus, received widespread media coverage earlier this week.

Wendy and the other healthcare leaders, said in the letter, published by the BMJ, that urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of life.

Along with Wendy, the presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter – which was covered by BBC network news and other media outlets.

Wendy, and the other leaders, called for a "rapid and forward-looking assessment" of how prepared the UK would be for a new outbreak.

They said: "While the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk.

"Many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus are beginning to be put in place, but substantial challenges remain."

The authors of the letter urged ministers to set up a cross-party group with a "constructive, non-partisan, four nations approach", tasked with developing recommendations.

"The review should not be about looking back or attributing blame," they said, and instead should focus on "areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life and restore the economy as fully and as quickly as possible".

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