What will the Covid Inquiry look at and when will we get answers?

  • london
  • June 14, 2023
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What will the Covid Inquiry look at and when will we get answers? thumbnail

The Covid-19 pandemic was a global health emergency that affected every single person in the country in some way. Beginning on June 13, the Covid-19 Inquiry will seek to learn lessons from the spread of the disease.

In 2020, people in the UK went through multiple lockdowns, tiering systems, and various restrictions that impacted daily life for everyone in the country as both the public and the government battled with the spread of the virus.

Sadly, the gov.uk Coronavirus dashboard records that over 220,000 people have died with Covid-19 on the death certificate since the disease was first discovered in the UK.

The independent Covid-19 Inquiry was set up to examine the pandemic’s impact and the government’s response in order to make recommendations and better prepare the country for future unknown illnesses.

So, what will the Covid inquiry look at, and when will we likely get answers?

Here is what you need to know.

What will the Covid Inquiry look at?

The Inquiry will cover four areas of study that they describe as ‘modules’. These modules are:

  • Module 1 – Resilience and Preparedness
  • Module 2 – Core UK Decision-making and Political Governance  
  • Module 3 – Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Healthcare
  • Module 4 – Vaccines and Therapeutics

Each module will have a different area of focus and will begin with the collection of evidence, analysis of documents, gathering of witness statements and more.

It will then move on to public hearings where the panel will take testimony, hear verbal evidence, and where the Inquiry’s counsel team, led by Hugo Keith KC, will put questions to those involved with decision-making.

Who is involved with the Covid Inquiry?

Baroness Heather Hallett, a former Court of Appeal judge, will chair the Inquiry.

List of Covid Inquiry senior staff

The list of senior staff involved in the Inquiry includes:

  • Baroness Heather Hallett – Inquiry Chair
  • Ben Connah – Inquiry Secretary
  • Martin Smith – Solicitor to the Inquiry
  • Hugo Keith KC – Counsel to the Inquiry
  • Sam Hartley – Director of Policy, Research and Analysis, and Deputy Secretary
  • Anisha Worbs – Chief Operating Officer
  • Laura Pellington-Woodrow – Information and Programme Director
  • Samantha Edwards – Director of Communications and Engagement

Many senior names in UK politics over the last few years are likely to be called to give testimony.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock has already said that he expects to be called, and it is likely the Inquiry will also hear from former-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and possibly senior political aides in-post during the Covid-19 pandemic, like Dominic Cummings.

Can you get involved with the Covid Inquiry?

The Covid Inquiry is looking to include as many people’s stories as possible.

As such, they are running an ‘Every Story Matters’ initiative to collect experiences from a broad selection of the general public.

The website states: ‘Every story shared with us will be used to shape the Inquiry’s investigations and help us to learn lessons for the future.

‘Stories will be collated, analysed and turned into themed reports, which will be submitted into each relevant investigation as evidence. The reports will be anonymised.’

You can submit your experiences and learn more by visiting the Covid Inquiry’s Every Story Matters webpage.

How is the Covid Inquiry funded?

According to the Institute for Government, public inquiries are initially set up and funded by the government but are run independently.

How to watch the Covid Inquiry?

The Covid-19 Inquiry will stream online, with most of its public hearings available on its YouTube channel. Some of the hearings featuring prominent political figures are likely to be carried live by news outlets like the BBC and Sky.

You can also attend the hearings in person by reserving a seat online. The hearings will take place at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry Hearing Centre, Dorland House, London.

How long will the Covid Inquiry last, and when will we get answers?

The Inquiry is expected to last three years, concluding in the summer of 2026. However, their final analysis may not be released until as late as 2027.

MORE : Covid inquiry will be ‘investigation nation deserves’ as hearing begins

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