Scottish Government announce COVID-19 inquiry is underway

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 25th August 2021
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Work is underway to set up a public inquiry to investigate the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has announced that work is underway to set up a public inquiry to investigate the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland (this link will take you away from our website).

The COVID-19 Inquiry Establishment Aims and Principles paper is intended to shape its terms of reference with input from stakeholders, including bereaved families. The Scottish Government is now inviting views on the draft aims and principles of an independent public inquiry.

A Scottish inquiry will look into devolved matters in relation to Scotland, including health and social care. It will focus on direct and indirect health impacts of COVID-19, societal and economic impacts. The purpose of a public inquiry is to:

  • investigate events causing public concern, for example the experience of COVID-19 in care homes
  • establish the facts in relation to such issues
  • determine the explanations for decisions taken, and causes of anything which may not have gone as expected
  • consider if and how different outcomes could have been achieved
  • establish any lessons to be learned from what has happened
  • make any recommendations that the inquiry considers appropriate.

Once established by the Scottish Ministers, a public inquiry is independent of them. The Scottish Ministers expect:

  • A person centred, human rights based approach to ensure that every person and organisation taking part can meaningfully participate, be treated fairly and be empowered to take part in the inquiry. In reporting, Ministers expect the inquiry to demonstrate that this approach has informed its recommendations
  • The inquiry to be outcome focused, identifying lessons throughout its work with timely reporting, including recommendations
  • That the inquiry will be established by the end of the year.

The ALLIANCE called for an independent inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on health and social care to be commissioned in our manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Parliament Elections. We are inviting people to share their views on what an independent inquiry into COVID-19, health and social care should include. Join us on 16 September, 2pm – 4pm.

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