Terms of Reference
The purpose of the Inquiry is to investigate the issues set out in the Remit and Terms of Reference, to find out the facts, to make recommendations, and to report. Achieving this will require the assistance of interested parties, but the approach of the Inquiry will be inquisitorial, in other words the role of the Inquiry will be that of an investigator, gathering evidence, considering that evidence, and then testing that evidence and any inferences which arise from it at oral hearings in order to reach findings. The terms of reference can be viewed here.
The aim of the Inquiry will be to act fairly and transparently; as expeditiously as is practical and is consistent with making findings which are securely based on the evidence; and with regard to the need to avoid any unnecessary cost. The evidence will be published on this website. While it may not be possible for the public to attend hearings in person, there will be facilities for live streaming in order to allow people to see and hear a simultaneous transmission of proceedings.
In coming to its findings, the Inquiry will have regard to the conclusions of such other investigations and reviews as are brought to its attention but the Inquiry is required to come to its own conclusions. However, it will reach its own findings. It will not be unduly influenced by the findings of others.
It is intended to consider the circumstances of the two hospital sites in parallel but, of necessity, the work of the Inquiry will go forward in stages. These stages, with summaries of what the work stage involves, are set out in an Order of Events which can be found here.
List of Issues
The list of issues is a key document in setting out the questions the Inquiry wishes to seek answers to in order to fulfil its terms of reference. These issues will be those tested at the oral hearings.
Procedures and Guidance
The progress of the Inquiry requires a structure that helps all parties. To assist those who are involved in the Inquiry a series of procedures and guidance will be published that are aimed to help achieve the aims of the Inquiry.