Experts in

Covid 19 Public Inquiry

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Funding for public inquiry representation

Funding for public inquiry representation

Our team at Hudgell Solicitors have represented at a number of public inquiries where public funding has been secured to enable our clients to take part. We are committed to ensuring our clients have the best legal representation and we work to ensure funding is in place.

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Response to pandemic investigated

Response to pandemic investigated

An independent public inquiry into the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was established to examine the UK’s response to, and the impact of, Covid-19 and seek to learn vital lessons for the future.

Throughout the pandemic, and particularly during times where infections and death rates were at their peak, there was heated national debate around how people were protected.

A particular focus fell upon front-line workers such as health professionals and those in care homes, and whether more decisive action could have prevented the wide-scale loss of life.

By July 2022, more than 180,000 in the UK had died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus, and of course it is widely accepted there will be thousands of more deaths caused as a result of the backlog in vital health services, such as cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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Terms of reference

Terms of reference

In June 2022, the Government set the Terms of Reference for the Covid-19 Public Inquiry, which defined the scope of its investigations. Essentially, the inquiry will consider;

  • The public health response across the whole of the UK.
  • The response of the health and care sector across the UK.
  • The economic response to the pandemic and its impact, including governmental interventions.

Crucially, a public inquiry has the legal powers to compel witnesses to give evidence – including those who perhaps would not wish to have their actions examined and questioned in the glare of public scrutiny.

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Public health response

Public health response

Issues to be considered include the Government’s preparedness and resilience for the pandemic, such as the use of lockdowns and interventions such as social distancing and the use of face coverings.

The impact of testing, contact tracing, and isolation, and the effectiveness of legislative and regulatory control and enforcement will also be considered.

The impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the population will be investigated, including those who were harmed significantly by the pandemic, the impact on children and young people, including health, wellbeing and social care, education and early years’ provision.

The safeguarding and support for victims of domestic abuse will also be investigated as part of this section of the inquiry.

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Health and care sector response

Health and care sector response

This section of the inquiry will consider issues such as the management of the pandemic in hospitals, including infection prevention and control, triage, critical care capacity, the discharge of patients and the impact on staff and staffing levels.

It will also assess the management of the pandemic in care homes and other care settings, including infection prevention and control, the transfer of residents to or from homes, the treatment and care of residents and restrictions on visiting.

The procurement and distribution of equipment and supplies, including PPE and ventilators, and the development, delivery and impact of therapeutics and vaccines will also be considered in this section of the inquiry.

Consequences of the pandemic on provision for non-Covid related conditions – such as delays caused in cancer assessments and care, will also be examined.

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Vaccines and Therapeutics

Vaccines and Therapeutics

Our experienced Public Inquiry team, led by solicitor Terry Wilcox, secured Core Participant status at the Inquiry for UKCVFamily, Vaccine Injured Bereaved UK (VIBUK) and the Scottish Vaccine Injury Group.

The three groups collectively have more than 1,500 members and will be able to give evidence to the inquiry as part of a section dedicated to investigating a range of issues relating to the development, implementation and uptake of the vaccine rollout programme.

It will see ‘issues of recent public concern relating to vaccine safety’ and the current system for financial redress under the Government’s UK Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme explored.

 

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Our client reviews

Our client reviews

We’re always committed to getting the optimum outcome for you.

Hudgells have handled my claim brilliantly. From start to finish their solicitors have been professional and efficient. Great communication. Would highly recommend.
5 Stars
Megan
Fantastic service. Rang based on an enquiry for advice relating to an on-going legal situation and received excellent clear advice and would definitely recommend this firm.
5 Stars
Peter
Since Elizabeth Maliakal took over my case for medical negligence. I am pleased to say her service was outstanding. Her communication was excellent. She was always up to date and made sure to keep in touch with me regularly. Elizabeth made sure I understood what was happening and always answered my questions in depth. Coming from a foreign background, I struggle to articulate my thoughts and feelings because of the language barrier, but Elizabeth worked her way around this. I am grateful for all her hard work. Thank you to Elizabeth Maliakal and Hudgell Solicitors.
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Darrel Fuentebaja
Thank you to Hudgell Solicitors particularly Sarah Moore who was assigned to my case. I was kept well informed throughout the whole process via email and phone, and always received a prompt reply to any questions that I had. It took a long time for my case to come to close for various reasons but never during this time did I feel rushed or pressured into making a decision. Sarah was very empathetic and supported me throughout with her excellent level of knowledge and professionalism. Thank you again.
5 Stars
Laura
Chris Trousdale was the one of the youngest miscarriages of justice victims as a result of the Post Office Horizon scandal.
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FAQs

FAQs

When will the Covid-19 public inquiry start and how long will it take?

The inquiry has now started. Given the large amounts of documentation and evidence needing to be considered, public inquiries are not speedy processes and there is no set time frame to which they are required to be completed.

Most take around two years to report back with findings but they can take much longer. Realistically a public inquiry of such scale and importance is likely to take years to enable all Covid-19-related investigations to be completed.

At Hudgell Solicitors we believe this is a process which must be committed to and fully followed to ensure recommendations and changes are made as a result of its finding. This can help ensure the country is best prepared to cope with any future pandemic.

Who will be able to take part in the public inquiry?

In large scale inquiries, as the one focused on Covid-19 will be, the appointed chair designates the ‘core participants’ and witnesses.

A witness simply provides evidence to the inquiry through statements, documents or being asked to give oral evidence during a public hearing.

Core participants, such as the groups represented by Hudgell Solicitors, have a larger role as they have rights to receive disclosure of documentation, be represented by lawyers and make legal submissions, suggest questions and receive advance notice of the inquiry’s report. They have, or may have, played a significant role in relation to the matters to which the inquiry relates, have a significant interest in an important aspect of the inquiry or may be subject to explicit or significant criticism during the inquiry proceedings.

Our lawyers at Hudgell Solicitors have represented many core participants at public inquiries. They can be individuals, organisations or institutions that have specific interest in the work of the inquiry.

What power will the public inquiry have?

Although public inquiries cannot make decisions about a person’s or organisation’s civil or criminal liability, they do have the power to compel witnesses to give evidence – including those who perhaps would not wish to have their actions examined and questioned in the glare of public scrutiny.

According to the Ministry of Justice, the Government considers ‘preventing recurrence’ to be the primary purpose of public inquiries.

Recommendations are made but are not legally binding, as it is up the Government or other relevant bodies to implement any recommendations.

Hudgell Solicitors have previously called for independent bodies to be created to hold the Government to account following inquiries, and ensure they fully implement the recommendations made.

Is there cost to being represented at a Public Inquiry?

Our team at Hudgell Solicitors have represented at a number of public inquiries where public funding has been secured to enable our clients to take part. We are committed to ensuring our clients have the best legal representation and we work to ensure funding is in place.

Will the public inquiry lead to further claims for compensation?

Possibly. Much will depend upon the findings of the inquiry and the reports and recommendations of the chair. There is already a Government scheme in place to compensate people left severely disabled after a vaccination, and for people to claim on behalf of someone who has died after becoming severely disabled because of certain vaccinations. As yet, very few payments have been made via this scheme.

Meet our public inquiry representation lawyers

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victoria richardson hudgell solicitors

Victoria Richardson

Civil Liberties
Group Actions
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Inquest Solicitors
Inquests & Public Inquiries
Public Inquiry Representation
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Terry Wilcox

Civil Liberties
Group Actions
Inquest Solicitors
Inquests & Public Inquiries
Public Inquiry Representation
dan macmillan hudgell solicitors

Dan Macmillan

Civil Liberties
Public Inquiry Representation
Inquests & Public Inquiries

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Covid-19 Public Inquiry