As you will have seen in the national press, last Thursday the Chair of the Inquiry wrote to the Prime Minister setting out her recommended changes to the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference.

The Chair has recommended that the Terms of Reference should be reframed to put possible inequalities at their forefront, so that an investigation into any unequal impacts of the pandemic runs through the whole Inquiry. She also favours an increased focus on children and young people; the mental health and wellbeing of the UK population; and collaboration between regional, devolved and national government and the voluntary and community sector. The Chair has proposed that focus should be “sharpened” on care in the home, regulatory control, support for victims of domestic abuse, and first contact with the NHS, including 111 and 999 services.

A number of new documents were also published on the Inquiry’s website on Thursday, including transcripts from consultation meetings and an analysis of consultation responses.

This is an important step forward in the Inquiry’s work. The extent to which any of these changes are adopted is now a matter for the Prime Minister, but it seems unlikely that he would not accept the Chair’s recommendations. There is no timeline as yet for his response, but the letter from the Chair urges the Prime Minister to approve her changes “swiftly”. We will, of course, continue to keep you updated as new information becomes available.

In the meantime, please do contact us if you would like to discuss your organisation’s specific situation.