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Covid-19 Inquiry opens care module – and seeks core participants

Module 6 of the Covid-19 inquiry is now open, and will investigate the impact of the pandemic on the publicly and privately funded adult social care sector across Great Britain.

It will consider the consequences of government decision-making – including restrictions imposed – on those living and working within the care sector, as well as decisions concerning capacity in hospitals and residents in adult care and residential homes.

It will also address the steps taken in adult care and residential homes to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and examine the capacity of the adult care sector to respond to the pandemic. 

Specifically, the provisional scope for this module includes staffing levels and bed capacity immediately prior to the pandemic, discharge of people from hospitals into adult care and residential homes in the early stages of the pandemic, the use of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPRs) and communication with residents.

Applications to become a core participant in this module are open to individuals, organisations or institutions with a specific interest in the work of the Inquiry until 19 January 2024.

Core participants can access evidence relevant to this investigation, make opening and closing statements at Inquiry hearings and suggest lines of questioning.

According to Hempsons, the Inquiry will probably seek evidence from a number of care providers. Initially this may be in the form of a questionnaire giving providers an opportunity to highlight the challenges faced, what worked well, and areas for learning. Alternatively, the Inquiry may proceed straight to issuing Rule 9 requests for evidence. A Rule 9 request is a formal request for evidence through disclosure of documentation and witness statements addressing a series of prescribed issues. As a statutory inquiry, the Covid-19 Inquiry can compel the disclosure of evidence.

The Inquiry is aiming to hold preliminary hearings for Module 6 in early 2024, and has published information on how to attend 

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