Covid-19 sign in Glasgow

Scottish Government to launch Covid-19 inquiry

The Scottish Government is inviting views on the draft aims and principles of an independent public inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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 proposed inquiry would be established by the end of the year to scrutinise decisions taken during Covid-19, as well as to learn lessons for future pandemics.

It would take a take a person-centred, human rights-based approach with a focus on outcomes and timely reporting to identify lessons and recommendations.

Particular consideration would also be given to the ‘four harms’ of the pandemic:

  • Direct health impacts of Covid-19, including cases and deaths in care homes.
  • Other non-Covid-19 health impacts.
  • Societal impacts, including education.
  • Economic impacts.

The public are now encouraged to share their ideas and comments by 30 September.

The publication of the document meets the Scottish Government’s commitment to begin to take the necessary steps to establish a public inquiry within its first 100 days in office

Discussions are underway with the Lord President to identify and appoint a judge to chair the inquiry.

Commenting, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Covid Recovery Secretary, John Swinney said:

“Since the early stages of our pandemic response, we have been committed to a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic in Scotland to ensure that lessons are learned for the future.

“The publication of this aims and principles paper, as one of our 100 days commitments, is an important step towards the establishment of that inquiry.

“We will continue to listen to those affected by Covid-19, including bereaved families, on what they wish the public inquiry to focus on.

“Their feedback will be fundamental in reviewing the suggested approach set out here and setting the terms of reference for an independent Scottish inquiry.

“Discussions are also ongoing with the UK Government on the planned four nations inquiry to ensure all areas that need to be considered are covered in a way that gives confidence to bereaved families and others.”

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