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Mansfield's People's COVID Inquiry

The People’s Covid Inquiry took place between 24 February and 16 June 2021. The inquiry was conducted by a panel of four, chaired by Michael Mansfield QC. They heard evidence from over 40 witnesses including bereaved families, frontline NHS and key workers, national and international experts, trade union and council leaders, and representatives from disabled people’s and pensioners’ organisations. They produced their final report on 1 December 2021.

They grouped their findings and recommendations in 15 headings. These covered:

1. Conduct in public office and duty of candour.

2. Pandemic planning and consequences.

3. The NHS had been undermined pre-pandemic.

4. Austerity and the pandemic.

5. Inequalities and Black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities.

6. Public health response.

7. Policy of privatisation and outsourcing.

8. NHS, care and frontline workers.

9. Social care.

10. Palliative care and hospices.

11. Disabled people.

12. Impact on women.

13. Mental health.

14. Schools and children.

15. Governance in the pandemic.

I have used this report as a case study as I develop my method of analysing inquiry recommendations. In particular, I used this study to refine Part 3 of my methodology that is, a process to rate the operational validity of the recommendations.


The table below, I have deconstructed each recommendation (Part 1 Analysis), I have categorized each recommendations (Part 2a, for details see the first column) and have rated the each recommendations (Part 3, for details see the Remarks column.).

The diagram below gives an indication of where the Inquiry team have focused their recommendations.

The chart below sets out the percentage of recommendations in each rating category.

Pt1, 2a & Pt3 People COVID Inquiry

Part 2b

The majority of recommendations (28.6%) focused asking for more money. The next two  areas of focus (at 12%) are the desire for revising structures and capabilities. This is closely followed at 10% is the need for further reviews.

Pt2b Peoples COVID Inquiry

Part 3


From this report it is clear that the report was politically motivate rather than being on the looks to improve the operational system at its heart (in this case pandemic management).

In many cases the recommendations had bold ambitions but they overlooked the steps required to produce the result required: it looked as if they were relying on a miracle!

If this was anything more that an academic exercise, of more concern would be the 7 recommendations that I consider to be bad. As stated I believe these recommendation have greater potential to more harm than good.

Pt3 Peoples COVID Inquiry

Last updated:  11 Dec 21

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