United Kingdom: Anatomy of a Public Policy Failure

Humphreys, David and Lorne, Colin (2021). United Kingdom: Anatomy of a Public Policy Failure. In: Akhtar, Rais ed. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreaks, Environment and Human Behaviour: International Case Studies. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, pp. 251–268.

URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-68120-3


The UK has one of the highest COVID-19 fatality rates due to legacy problems in government and healthcare management, slowness in recognising the severity of the outbreak that allowed the disease to gain hold across the country (despite scientific warnings) and serious public policy failings, including a delayed lockdown, insufficient provision of personal protective equipment and errors in introducing a test and trace system. The disease has disproportionately affected vulnerable populations, especially care home staff and residents, keyworkers, people from poorer socioeconomic groups and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)citizens. The pandemic has had a serious effect on the UK economy, including unemployment and a record level of public debt.

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