Relatives’ representatives have stepped up their campaign for an inquiry into the UK Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
John’s Campaign and the Relatives & Residents Association have told the Government to deliver the enquiry as soon as possible. They say: “The average life expectancy in UK care homes is 24 months, 12 months for homes with nursing. There is an urgent need for the inquiry to get under way, to provide answers to those whose lives have been most severely affected and to learn lessons before it is too late.”
The two representative groups have appointed legal firm Leigh Day to support their application for core participant status in the inquiry. This status is awarded by the inquiry to an individual, organisation or institution that has a specific interest in the work of the Inquiry, and confers a formal role and special rights in the Inquiry process. These include receiving disclosure of documentation, being represented and making legal submissions, suggesting questions and receiving advance notice of the Inquiry’s report.
Both representatives have outstanding concerns about the continued requirement for people living in care homes to isolate for 14 days on return from a hospital stay despite the wholesale lifting of restrictions in the rest of society since 19 July, 2021.
Leigh Day partner Emma Jones said: “We know only too well that to ensure an Inquiry is a full, far-reaching and thorough as is required it must happen as soon as possible. Delays can lead to documents going missing and individuals’ memories fading. This Inquiry process needs to start now to ensure that the public can be given assurances that vital information cannot simply be deleted.”