Covid-19 Inquiry: Module 6 (Care Sector) opens

Covid-19 Inquiry: Module 6 (Care Sector) opens

Module 6 opened on 12 December 2023 and will investigate the impact of the pandemic on the publicly and privately funded adult social care sector in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

On opening Module 6, the Inquiry confirmed that it will consider the consequences of government decision-making, including the restrictions that were imposed on those living and working within the care sector. It will also consider decisions concerning capacity in hospitals and residents in adult care and residential homes. The steps taken in adult care and residential homes to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and examine the capacity of the adult care sector to respond to the pandemic with be considered. More details are included in the provisional scope for Module 6, which is published on the Inquiry website.

The window for applications for Core Participant status is open until 19 January 2024.

A Core Participant is an individual, organisation or institution that has a specific interest in the work of the Inquiry. Core Participants can access evidence relevant to this investigation, make opening and closing statements at Inquiry hearings and suggest lines of questioning.

The Inquiry is aiming to hold preliminary hearings for Module 6 in early 2024 to make decisions about how investigations will run.

It is likely that the Inquiry will seek evidence from a number of care providers. Initially this may be in the form of a questionnaire giving providers an opportunity to highlight the challenges faced, what worked well, and areas for learning. Alternatively, the Inquiry may proceed straight to issuing Rule 9 requests for evidence. A Rule 9 request is a formal request for evidence through disclosure of documentation and witness statements addressing a series of prescribed issues. As a statutory inquiry, the Covid-19 Inquiry can compel the disclosure of evidence.

Hempsons has a designated team advising health and care providers on the Covid-19 Inquiry and have been working with healthcare providers in their responses to Module 3. We are well placed therefore to support care providers through Module 6.

If you would like to discuss making an application for Core Participant status, or require support with a request for evidence, please get in touch.