Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry: Analysis of the public and stakeholders views on the approach to establishing the public inquiry

This report sets out findings from public engagement that took place between 24 August and the end of September 2021. This engagement focused on draft aims and principles for a Scottish COVID-19 public inquiry. Feedback, as synthesised in this report, helped shape terms of reference of the inquiry.


1 It is noted that some respondents have asked for clarity on the justification for opting out of a ‘four nations’ approach. Others have noted challenges around separating out the scope of Scotland and UK wide inquiries and asked for consideration of how issues of inter-government co-operation can be incorporated within the Terms of Reference.

2 Section 1 of the 2005 Act

3 COVID-19 Inquiry - (

4 To note, an Inquiry cannot require recommendations to be acted upon. That is for the organisation to which the recommendations apply to. For example, Ministers, NHS, Local Authorities and so on.

5 The Scottish Government has established five different research projects with different 'Seldom Heard Groups'. Social Security Experience Panels: benefit take-up – report - (

6 For example as written about in this report: Covid+and+Inequalities+Final+Report+For+Publication+-+PDF.pdf (

7 As detailed here: Principles of Inclusive Communication: An information and self-assessment tool for public authorities - (

8 To note, in an Inquiry there are core participants, there are witnesses, and then people who want to watch proceedings who may have a personal interest in them. It wasn’t always clear which of these groups were meant by the public/stakeholders. So we have used ‘participant’ to potentially capture all of them.

9 Kimberlé Crenshaw (an academic) coined the term intersectionality to describe the way people’s social identities can overlap.

10 These are: age, sex, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, race and disability and sexual orientation.

11 A fairer recovery from the pandemic - (, Scotland’s Wellbeing: The Impact of COVID-19 - Summary | National Performance Framework. Covid+and+Inequalities+Final+Report+For+Publication+-+PDF.pdf (

12 The question was ‘What do you think the Inquiry should cover, what do you think it should not cover?’

13 This will involve reflecting on past experiences but it was raised in the engagement that there should be a consideration of the fact that, for some, the pandemic is still ongoing.

14 Social care: Health and social care integration - (

15 The movement of patients through a healthcare facility.

16 To note, the acronyms DNR, DNAR and DNACPR were used interchangeably by the respondents but they all refer to the same order.

17 To note, the broader matter of what evidence the Inquiry could obtain falls under Inquiry operations (Section One). It is not a Terms of Reference topic. However, for clarity for the reader, as this specific view was raised within the wider context of care homes we have included it in this section.

18 A whole systems approach can be seen as an approach that applies system thinking and tools by a broad range of stakeholders to collectively identify and understand the issue, context and wider system (Public Health Reform).

19 Last updated Dec 2020: Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making - assessing the four harms - (

20 Coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation - (



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