In order to allow a full and focused examination of all of the different aspects of the pandemic that are covered in the Terms of Reference, Baroness Hallett has decided to divide the inquiry’s investigation into Modules. 

The Modules of the inquiry are announced and then are opened in sequence, after which Core Participant applications are considered. Each module has a corresponding preliminary hearing and full hearing, details of which are published by the inquiry.

Module 1: Resilience and preparedness

Module 1 opened on 21 July 2022 and is designated to look into the preparedness for the pandemic. It assesses if the pandemic was properly planned for and whether the UK was adequately ready for that eventuality. This module will touch on the whole system of civil emergencies including resourcing, risk management and pandemic readiness. It will scrutinise government decision-making relating to planning and seek to identify lessons that can be learnt.

The application process to become a Core Participant for Module 1 has now closed. Module 1 held its first Preliminary Hearing on 4 October 2022 and will hold a further Preliminary Hearing in Spring 2023. The oral evidence hearings are scheduled for Summer 2023.

Module 2: Core UK decision-making; political governance

Module 2 opened on 31 August 2022 and is split into parts. First, it will look into core political and administrative governance and decision-making for the UK. It will include the initial response, central government decision making, political and civil service performance as well as the effectiveness of relationships with governments in the devolved administrations and local and voluntary sectors. Module 2 will also assess decision-making about non-pharmaceutical measures and the factors that contributed to their implementation.

Modules 2A, B and C will address the strategic and overarching issues from the perspective of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These will be treated as individually separate modules and public hearings for them will be held in the nations that they concern.

The application process to become a Core Participant for Module 2, 2A, 2B and 2C has now closed. Module 2 held its first Preliminary Hearing on 31 October 2022 and will hold a further Preliminary Hearing in Spring 2023, with oral evidence hearings scheduled for Summer 2023. Modules 2A and 2B had their Preliminary Hearings on 1 November 2022 and 2C on 2 November 2022. The timetable for oral hearings for these modules will be issued shortly.

Module 3: Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on healthcare systems in the 4 nations of the UK

Module 3 opened on Tuesday 8 November 2022. It will look into the governmental and societal response to Covid-19 as well as dissecting the impact that the pandemic had on healthcare systems, patients and health care workers. This will include healthcare governance, primary care, NHS backlogs, the effects on healthcare provision by vaccination programmes as well as long covid diagnosis and support.

The application process to become a Core Participant for Module 3 has now closed. Module 3 will hold its first Preliminary Hearing on 28 February 2023.

Further modules will be announced in the coming months, at which point key information will be uploaded on this page. These will cover both ‘system’ and ‘impact’ issues across the UK including:

  • Vaccines, therapeutics and anti-viral treatment
  • The care sector
  • Government procurement and PPE
  • Testing and tracing
  • The Government’s business and financial responses
  • Health inequalities and the impact of Covid-19
  • Education, children and young persons
  • Other public services, including frontline delivery by key workers