The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges  has issued the following statement in response to the evolving situation:
“The message yesterday from Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer and Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, was powerful and urgent.
It is clear that unless we take swift action, we face a disastrous second wave of COVID-19.
As the membership organisation for the professional bodies representing the UK’s doctors we are certain that a second COVID wave would not only bring unnecessary deaths and suffering to individuals and families affected by COVID but could potentially overwhelm the NHS and care systems during a winter period.
We all have our responsibilities in seeking to overcome this pandemic – whether as individual citizens, as healthcare professionals or as Government.
But it is how we all behave as individuals that will determine whether or not we have to suffer a second wave of this terrible disease. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges would therefore urge everyone to ensure they follow the appropriate guidance. In that way we do have the chance to avoid a devastating second wave of COVID-19.”
In his message, Professor Chris Whitty considered the hope that immunisation may offer in the future. The government has just carried out a rapid consultation exercise on proposed changes to the Human Medicine Regulations  to support the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which includes acknowledgement of the part which Occupational Health services can play.
The Faculty’s response can be found here .
Occupational Physicians and the wider Occupational Health community have played a significant part in the UK response to COVID-19 and the contribution of our particular discipline and skills is increasingly recognised. The FOM receives copious correspondence and enquiries much of it focused around questions of personal protection and risk assessment. A brief summary of the Faculty’s position can be found here .
Dr Anne de Bono
President, Faculty of Occupational Medicine