The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has called for “justice” for nursing staff and confirmed it has appointed award-winning Barrister Fenella Morris QC to represent the profession.
The union says that no stone should be left unturned and that during the pandemic testing was “inadequate”, guidance was often “confusing”, and personal protective equipment (PPE) was of poor quality of missing completely.
Preparedness for the pandemic, the high number of ethnic minority staff who died, and the long-term effects on nursing staff are all areas the union wants to investigate.
The UK Covid-19 Inquiry has been set up to examine the UK’s response to and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and learn lessons for the future.
RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen explains: “The COVID-19 inquiry can leave no stone unturned. Too many incredible nursing staff had their lives cut brutally short and many others are living with the impact of the virus still today.
“In the height of the pandemic, the guidance was confusing. The testing was inadequate. The PPE was missing or poor. The consequences were fatal.
“Nursing staff were let down by ministers throughout the pandemic. The RCN will seek to represent justice to everybody’s experience these last two years.”
Ms Cullen added: “The COVID-19 inquiry must not just be about what ministers failed to do in the years before the pandemic, those early days or even the big moments of the last two years.
“It must look ahead to ensure nursing staff are never again left so unprotected.”