Care homes can expect scrutiny of their management of the pandemic, now the terms of the of the UK COVID-19 Inquiry have been agreed.
The remit of the Inquiry, set out by Baroness Heather Hallett will cast the spotlight on infection prevention and control, the transfer of residents to or from homes, treatment and care of residents, restrictions on visiting and workforce testing.
For stakeholders in care there will also be scrutiny of discharge of patients from hospitals and the use of ‘Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ (DNACPR) decisions. Inspections will also be investigated.
The Inquiry will consider and report on preparedness and resilience for dealing with the pandemic; the public health response of the UK as a whole; the response of the health and care sector across the UK; and the economic response and its impact, including Governmental interventions. These will be considered up to and including the date of formal establishment of the Inquiry on 28 June 2022.
The Prime Minister accepted Baroness Hallett’s changes to the Government’s draft Terms of Reference in full. Guidance will be published in due course which will detail what information the Inquiry seeks by way of disclosure, who will be required to provide disclosure and in what format. The next update is expected in July.
Baroness Hallett gave a video update on the COVID-19 Inquiry website following the announcement of the Prime Minister in which she makes seven promises to the public about how the Inquiry will run. She stresses that those who have suffered during the pandemic will be at the heart of what will be a firmly independent, open, fair, and balanced inquiry. The Inquiry team will travel around the UK, hearing from as many people as possible. Public hearings will start in 2023, and there will be interim reports
Additional reporting by Hempsons Solicitors