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Managing extreme risks: how the new government can learn from Covid to be better prepared for the next crisis

COVID-19 Federal government departments Pandemics Risk assessment Disease management Government accountability Infectious diseases Risk Public health United Kingdom

This report finds that the threats the United Kingdom faces - from climate change to biosecurity threats and pandemics to cyber attacks - are growing in number and severity, with the UK particularly vulnerable, given its interconnectedness.

The report, which draws on interviews and a roundtable held with officials and external experts, sets out how departments struggled to prioritise risks alongside other day to day pressures, while central coordination was weak. It also points to a focus on efficiency that left the UK with less healthcare capacity than similar countries and limited external scrutiny, which meant that preparedness was generally only assessed when crises occurred. The report argues that this must change if the UK is to avoid a repeat in future crises.

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