Information

Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry

Overview

On 14 December 2021, the Deputy First Minister announced that the Hon. Lady Poole would chair the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry. The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry were also published. 

On appointment, Lady Poole said:

"I am honoured to chair this independent public inquiry examining the strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. We have all been affected by this pandemic. There has been a major impact on every aspect of all our lives. The death of so many as a result of COVID-19 is a tragedy, and others have suffered in many different ways. 

“The inquiry will work independently to establish the facts in an open and transparent way in order to determine what lessons can be learned for the future. There is a great deal to be done in a short space of time. I will continue to give considerable thought as to how best to conduct the inquiry to ensure it fully achieves its aims, including a careful and thorough examination of the terms of reference.

“My immediate focus will be on getting the right people in place to support me and establishing the necessary systems, processes and information flows needed to allow the inquiry to function efficiently and deliver as quickly as possible. Work has already begun on this.

“It is too early to be any more specific about how the inquiry will carry out its functions, other than to say that the arrangements for providing both written and oral evidence will be set out in due course once the initial establishment phase is completed. A bespoke website will be created, to provide information and publish updates as the inquiry progresses.

“I look forward to collaborating with my counterpart on the UK COVID-19 inquiry once that inquiry is established."

Establishment phase

The inquiry is currently in its establishment phase. It is an independent inquiry, so it is built from scratch. The inquiry has been proceeding at pace with recruiting an inquiry team, and putting in place premises and infrastructure. This groundwork takes time, but is an essential first stage to put the Inquiry in a position to carry out its important investigatory functions.

A bespoke website which will provide information on matters such as evidence gathering, location and key dates has been commissioned, and once available will be found at www.covid19inquiry.scot.

The establishment phase is also a period of planning for the next stage of the inquiry, the investigatory stage. As part of the planning process, the inquiry commissioned introductory research from academic institutions including the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier, Glasgow, Highlands and Islands, and Birmingham. The inquiry will be able to consider that research after its set up date of 28 February 2022. The research will assist the inquiry with decisions about the shape and direction of its investigation. The introductory research will be published on the inquiry’s website when that is available. During the establishment phase, there is also a period of reflection on the Terms of Reference, which are set by the Scottish Ministers. 

Public launch

The Inquiry is aiming for a public launch in early summer 2022, which will be announced on the inquiry website when that is available.    

Documents

Documents

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