Firstly, allow me to wish you all a very Happy New Year. As we move towards the end of January, I thought it would be appropriate to deliver an update on where we’re at in the Inquiry process currently, what we expect to happen next, and some upcoming activity for you to get involved with which may help you get to grips with the overall process.
The first update is regarding undertakings. By now, you should have all received a request from us to sign an undertaking to the Inquiry. If you are unsure about what an undertaking is or why it’s needed, please see this short video explainer here for more information.
This undertaking is required by the Inquiry to enable us to share with you any confidential updates on the Inquiry or details about the disclosure. It’s worth noting at this point that undertakings are standard practice for all major inquiries, and I myself have had to sign an undertaking for every major inquiry that I have worked on. The Covid Inquiry is no different, our entire legal team have had to sign an undertaking to be able to have sight of confidential information.
If you have not yet signed the undertaking, please do so as soon as possible so that we can continue to keep you updated. If you have questions or concerns about the undertaking, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.
For more information on what it means to sign an undertaking and why you are being asked to sign one, please see our short video explainer below.
Update on the Inquiry & Hearings
As most of you will already know, the Inquiry is being run in a modular format. So far, 6 modules have opened, which include:
- Module 1: Resilience and Preparedness
- Module 2: Core decision making, political governance
- Module 2a: Decision making in Scotland
- Module 2b: Decision making in Wales
- Module 2c: Decision making in Northern Ireland
- Module 3: Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on healthcare systems in the 4 nations of the UK
Next hearing date: 14th February 2023
We were successful in our application for Core Participant (CP) status for Module 1 and attended the preliminary on 4 October 2022 (if you would like to watch this preliminary hearing, you can do so via the Inquiry YouTube channel here). A further preliminary hearing will take place at 10:30am on Tuesday 14th February 2023, shortly before the evidential hearings commence in May which are expected to last around 4 weeks.
Next hearing date: 1st March 2023
We have been granted CP status in Module 2 but have not been granted CP status in the submodules 2a, 2b & 2c which relate to decision making in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We attended the preliminary hearing for Module 2 on 31st October (which you can watch here) and can confirm that a further preliminary hearing will take place at 10:30am on Wednesday 1st March 2023. The evidence hearings for Module 2 will commence in Summer of 2023.
Next hearing date: 28th February 2023
The Inquiry has announced that the Module 3 preliminary hearing will take place on 28th February. We submitted our application for Module 3 Core Participant status in December 2022 and have been told we can expect a decision by the end of January 2023.
The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Group has set up a number of subgroups with the aim of connecting bereaved family members who have shared very similar experiences and coordinating efforts both geographically and thematically. Together they share information, provide insight to the legal team on points of greatest concern and advise on the issues they want to be raised in the Inquiry.
We are aware of the following subgroups and have provided the contact details for the leads of each group should you wish to make contact:
Health and Social Care Subgroup
Contact: Jean Adamson firstname.lastname@example.org
IT Cheat Sheets
While many of you are comfortable using computers, smart phones, and various IT functions like Zoom meetings, we are aware that for others this presents something of a challenge. We are keen to make sure as many of you as possible are able to access our webinars and other resources, so if you are struggling with the technology side of things and could use a helping hand, please get in touch and let us know what would be most beneficial to you. We will be more than happy to produce a cheat sheet or ‘how to’ guide to help you with those issues.
We plan to hold a further webinar on Thursday 26th January at 6pm. Official invitations will be with you shortly via email with instructions for how to register. For now, we can tell you that Mira Hammad, member of your counsel and Barrister at Garden Court North Chambers will be giving a talk on the Civil Contingencies Act and explaining the impact this has on you, and the relevance it has to the Covid Inquiry. Kate Stone, also a member of your counsel team and Barrister at Garden Court North Chambers will also be joining and discussing the experts who are being instructed in Module 1.
This talk will deal with confidential issues so you will need to have signed and returned your undertaking to us in order attend. Please note, you will only receive an invitation to attend the webinar if you have signed and returned your undertaking.
If there are any other topics you would like to be covered during a webinar, please let a member of the team know and we will do what we can to address it.
Client care tour
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who attended our meetings in Liverpool and Manchester in early December. We are very grateful to have had the chance to meet with you face-to-face and hope that you find the session helpful.
We can confirm that we have now confirmed the following meetings across the UK in the coming weeks:
- London – 6th February at 11am and 2.30pm
- Edinburgh – 30th January at 9am
- Glasgow – 30th January at 3pm
If you expressed an interest in attending a meeting in one of the above locations, you will receive an official invitation from us via email with further details and instructions for claiming your ticket. If you believe you did not register an interest but would like to attend one of the above meetings, please get in touch with us as soon as possible and we will forward over that invitation.
Once again, this meeting will deal with confidential issues so you will need to have signed and returned your undertaking to us in order attend. There will be an opportunity for you to sign your undertaking at the meeting if you’d prefer.
Client newsletter archive
- Newsletter No.1 – June 2021
- Newsletter No.2 - July 2021
- Newsletter No. 3 - August 2021
- Newsletter No. 4 - September 2021
- Newsletter No. 5 - March 2022
- Newsletter No. 6 - April 2022
- Newsletter No. 7 - May 2022
- Newsletter No.8 - June 2022
- Newsletter No.9 - July 2022