Baroness Hallett makes recommendations to the Prime Minister on the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference

12 May 2022

Today, Baroness Hallett, the Chair of the UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry, has written to the Prime Minister with her proposed changes to the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry.  

The Terms of Reference set the outline for the Inquiry. The Inquiry has the power to explore issues in more depth as part of its scope. 

The Inquiry held a four week consultation with bereaved families, representatives from different sectors and the public, and received over 20,000 responses on what the Inquiry should look at and how it should go about its work. The changes Baroness Hallett has recommended reflect the feelings and experiences shared during the consultation. 

The Chair has asked the Prime Minister to expand the draft Terms of Reference to respect the recurring themes that emerged from the contributions of all those who took part in the consultation. This includes expanding the Terms of Reference to include: 

1) Children and young people, including the impact on health, wellbeing and social care education and early years provision;

2) Impacts on mental health and wellbeing of the UK population 

3) Collaboration between central government, Devolved Administrations, local authorities and the voluntary and community sector.

The unequal impact of the pandemic was a theme that strongly came through in responses to the consultation. Baroness Hallett has also recommended that the Terms of Reference be reframed to put inequalities at its forefront so that investigation into the unequal impacts of the pandemic runs through the whole Inquiry. 

Once the Prime Minister has approved the Inquiry’s final Terms of Reference, it will be established with full powers under the 2005 Inquiries Act. The Inquiry hopes that the Prime Minister will accept the recommended changes in full, quickly, so that the Inquiry can begin its formal work. 

The Inquiry is committed to openness, and we are making the following documents publicly available: 

The Chair’s letter to the Prime Minister and a summary response report, which includes recommended changes.

A report produced by Alma Economics, a data analysis company, on the consultation responses.

Transcripts for roundtable meetings with representatives from different sectors.

This update is available in British Sign Language and Easy Read format.