COVID-19 public inquiry – Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett appointed as Chair
On 15 December the Prime Minister appointed the Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE as Chair of the forthcoming public inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic. A retired Court of Appeal Judge, Baroness Hallett brings a wealth of experience, including acting as coroner at the inquests into the victims of the 7/7 bombings.
The inquiry, which the Government says is set to begin its work in spring 2022, will be established under the Inquiries Act 2005, with full powers, including the power to compel the production of documents and to summon witnesses to give evidence on oath. Additional panel members will be appointed in the new year to make sure the Inquiry has access to the full range of expertise needed to complete its important work.
The inquiry will play a key role in examining the UK’s pandemic response and ensuring that we learn the right lessons for the future. The Prime Minister will now consult Baroness Hallett and ministers from the devolved administrations on the terms of reference for the Inquiry and will publish them in draft in the new year with a consultation to follow, including with bereaved families and other affected groups, before they are finalised.
Hempsons have been working with NHS trusts since the summer to assist them in preparing for the forthcoming inquiry. To assist please see below some resources we hope trusts will find helpful:
Hempsons COVID-19 inquiry webinar programme
Please see the links to our webinar recordings below:
- COVID-19 public inquiry: Start preparing now
- COVID-19 public inquiry: Public inquiries, an introduction
- COVID-19 public inquiry: Documentation: Identifying, collating and managing data
- Public inquiries: Planning and practical considerations for trust management teams
- Public inquiries and liabilities – claims, criminal investigations and inquests
- COVID-19 Public Inquiry: Whistleblowing – considerations arising from a public inquiry
- Duty of Candour – slides – recording available soon
Hempsons COVID-19 support packages
Find out how Hempsons can help you prepare for the inquiry here.
To discuss how we can tailor our COVID-19 package of support to best meet the needs of your organisation please contact the team.