A BEREAVED daughter has spoken of her disappointment at learning of the serious errors by Government and scientific advisers which cost lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A new study, from the cross-party Science and Technology Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee, said the UK's preparation for a pandemic was far too focused on flu, while ministers waited too long to push through lockdown measures in early 2020.

Sarah Nicola, of Dalton, whose mum Helen died with the virus last March, has previously called for an immediate full inquiry to be conducted to ensure lessons were learned from the pandemic.

The government have snubbed suggestions to make the Spring 2022 date any earlier due to 'dealing with coronavirus'.

COVID: Helen Nicola, beloved mum and grandmother who died in March 2020

COVID: Helen Nicola, beloved mum and grandmother who died in March 2020

"This report corroborates what we have already been saying that lessons need to be learned," Ms Nicola said.

"Not enough action was taken at the time.

"It is disappointing that many lives could have been saved.

"The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group have got a response from the Prime Minister which said he was sorry for our losses but that they will not be starting the inquiry any sooner.

"Seeing this brings the feeling back and I just feel deflated by it.

"It just indicates that they do not really care."

In a wide-ranging report, MPs said the UK's pandemic planning was too "narrowly and inflexibly based on a flu model" that failed to learn the lessons from Sars, Mers and Ebola.

Former chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies told MPs there was "groupthink", with infectious disease experts not believing that "Sars, or another Sars, would get from Asia to us".

Once Covid-19 emerged in China, MPs said the UK policy was to take a "gradual and incremental approach" to interventions such as social distancing, isolation and lockdowns.

In their study, they said this was "a deliberate policy" proposed by scientists and adopted by UK governments, which has now been shown to be "wrong" and led to a higher death toll.

The MPs said the "decisions on lockdowns and social distancing during the early weeks of the pandemic - and the advice that led to them - rank as one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced".

In a joint statement, Tory MPs Greg Clark and Jeremy Hunt, who chair the committees, said: "The UK response has combined some big achievements with some big mistakes. It is vital to learn from both to ensure that we perform as best as we possibly can during the remainder of the pandemic and in the future.

"Our vaccine programme was boldly planned and effectively executed. Our test and trace programme took too long to become effective.

"The Government took seriously scientific advice but there should have been more challenge from all to the early UK consensus that delayed a more comprehensive lockdown when countries like South Korea showed a different approach was possible.

"In responding to an emergency, when much is unknown, it is impossible to get everything right.

"We record our gratitude to all those - NHS and care workers, scientists, officials in national and local government, workers in our public services and in private businesses and millions of volunteers - who responded to the challenge with dedication, compassion and hard work to help the whole nation at one of our darkest times."

A Government spokesman said: "Throughout the pandemic we have been guided by scientific and medical experts and we never shied away from taking quick and decisive action to save lives and protect our NHS, including introducing restrictions and lockdowns.

"Thanks to a collective national effort, we avoided NHS services becoming overwhelmed and our phenomenal vaccination programme has built a wall of defence, with over 24.3 million infections prevented and more than 130,000 lives saved so far.

"As the Prime Minister has said, we are committed to learning lessons from the pandemic and have committed to holding a full public inquiry in spring."