Inquiry Chair, Baroness Hallett would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views in its public consultation on the draft Terms of Reference. The Terms of Reference will set how the Inquiry will go about its work, and there have been over 20,000 responses to the public consultation.
The four-week public consultation has now closed.
Over the four weeks, the Inquiry met with over 150 bereaved families in Cardiff, Exeter, Winchester, London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cambridge, Leicester, Leeds and Liverpool. The experiences people took the time to share with us were both moving and incredibly helpful in shaping our understanding of how the pandemic impacted families and communities across the UK.
The Inquiry also met with representatives from the following sectors to gain their views on the Terms of Reference: equalities, health, social care, post-16 education, children, justice, charities, faith groups, the scientific community, frontline and key workers, local government, travel and tourism, business, arts and heritage, and sports and leisure.
People shared their views on what the Inquiry should investigate, what it should look at first, and whether the Inquiry should set an end date for its hearings. People were also invited to share suggestions on how people who have been severely impacted by the pandemic, or lost loved ones, can be given a voice and be part of the Inquiry.
The Inquiry will now begin the important work of collating and analysing all responses received online and at consultation meetings held across the UK.
The Inquiry Chair, Baroness Hallett, will carefully consider the feedback before making recommendations to the Prime Minister on the final Terms of Reference. Her recommendations, alongside a summary report on the public consultation and summaries of meetings with bereaved families, will be published in May. Transcripts of sector roundtable meetings will also be available. All responses to the online consultation will remain anonymous.
Baroness Hallett has published an update setting out the next steps for the Inquiry.