General practitioner in Cornwall Dr Matthew Boulter, Penzance, on the Covid panel for major events

A doctor from Penzance has been sought to provide clinical leadership to the NHS Covid testing program.

Most recently, he supported the Government’s Events Research Program (ERP), a team dedicated to organizing pilot events including music festivals, Wimbledon, Silverstone and the Euro 2020 games at Wembley.

Dr Matthew Boulter, partner of the Atlantic Medical Group at St Clare Medical Center, has also been commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC) to provide clinical oversight of the tests at the G7 summit. His scientific background and leadership experience sees him serving on a number of advisory committees with some of the key academic and scientific figures involved in the national response to the pandemic.

Matthew said: “Sometimes, being located where we are, it can seem a bit forgotten when it comes to getting involved in projects nationwide. However, that was obviously not the case not so long ago when we successfully hosted the G7 in Cornwall.

“I am proud to represent our great county, as well as primary care and general practitioners in general when it comes to the work I have done with DHSC.”

Since last summer, Dr Boulter has split his time between his usual role as a general practitioner and working on various testing programs, including those that helped college students get home for Christmas last December.

Most recently, he has been a key advisor on ERP. The role of the ERP has been to study how events with larger crowds could return safely without social distancing, while limiting the transmission of Covid-19 as much as possible.

Matthew added: “It was clear to me at an early stage that we needed to treat the pilot events as formal research studies and present detailed results that could help us learn lessons from a range of sporting events, artistic, commercial and musical. It was fantastic to see the level of cooperation from everyone involved.

“I hope the ERP work will continue to support the return to normalcy that can allow us to return to the types of activities that so many of us love to do.”

The ERP just released data from 37 trial events, over a four-month period, which it said showed the number of cases was largely in line with or below the community’s infection rates during the duration of the research program.

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