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‘Covid not over’ says Royal Society of Medicine President and warns against complacency

RSM convenes meeting of UK health leaders to discuss future of COVID-19

Two years after the first UK lockdown, Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, will join a high-profile conference on Thursday 31 March, convened by the Royal Society of Medicine to discuss the future of COVID-19 and how the UK must be better-prepared to face future pandemics.

Together with some of the UK’s most influential experts and commentators, including Professor Sir John Bell and Professor Sharon Peacock, they will take stock of the pandemic’s impact and discuss the best approaches for managing the endemic stage and the next pandemic threat.

Speaking ahead of the conference, President of the Royal Society of Medicine, Professor Roger Kirby, said: “We are not out of the pandemic yet and must not risk becoming complacent. It is critical that leaders in medicine, science and research continue to have a strong voice in UK decision-making so that we are in the best possible position to deal with any future threats.

“Throughout the last two years, we have seen the huge contribution made by healthcare communities in dealing with COVID-19, not only at the coalface, but by contributing to the discussion and debate about the pandemic during crucial times. This conference is a culmination of the Royal Society of Medicine’s work in forging a strong community of healthcare experts and professionals to educate and share information about the virus.

“I have no doubt that at some point, we will be able to look back on the pandemic and take some positive learnings from it, particularly in relation to the scientific knowledge and discovery that allowed the rapid development of vaccines and therapeutics to help combat the virus.

“As a medical and healthcare community we have proved that we can effectively support each other and work tirelessly together to help our patients, but we must find the means to maintain our resilience for the future. This will be ever more vital if there is another pandemic.”

In February 2020, as Covid-19 began its sweep across the globe, the RSM convened a meeting of key advisers in UK healthcare and law enforcement to discuss quarantine measures. Within weeks of the first lockdown the Society launched its COVID-19 webinar series to provide a regular channel of communication between key experts and decision makers and those working to treat and prevent COVID-19.

COVID-19: Two years on is the 100th episode of the RSM’s COVID-19 Series and will take place online on Thursday 31 March from 12.30pm to 4.00pm. Other panellists will include Professor Devi Sridhar, Professor Peter Openshaw, Professor David Heymann and Professor Hugh Montgomery.

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Notes for editors

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The RSM COVID-19 Series aims to provide healthcare workers with regular and easy-to-access updates on COVID-19 from healthcare leaders. Chaired by leading experts, these webinars will discuss different topics and challenges that healthcare workers, leaders and the public are facing, and the response to these.

The Royal Society of Medicine is a registered charity and membership organisation. ​Our vision is better healthcare for better lives. By sharing learning and supporting innovation our goal is to be the leading provider of continuing learning to healthcare professionals.

We deliver multidisciplinary, specialist and general education, as well as professional development, drawing on the support of leading experts in over 50 specialist areas of medicine.

We are home to one of the finest physical and digital medical libraries in the world. Our learning resources span a wide collection of books, journals, electronic journals and online medical databases.

We connect those involved in and interested in healthcare and, by leveraging expertise from across the RSM, we support, help and inspire the innovators developing the medical products and services of tomorrow.

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