Setting up the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry
The Scottish Hospitals Inquiry was announced in September 2019 prompting the development of its Remit and Terms of Reference. A sponsor team was established within Scottish Government to manage that process. They also undertook the appointment of the Chair, Lord Brodie, and the Secretary to the Inquiry. Following consultation the Remit and Terms of Reference were published on 15 June 2020.
An inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 and the Inquiry Rules (Scotland) 2007 is independent by nature. The Inquiry formally began its work on 3 August 2020.
Immediately after the launch the Inquiry team expanded to include five core secretariat staff and four counsel members. The team, which was established during Covid-19 restrictions, worked on putting in place essential governance, investigation and operating arrangements, as well as seeking suitable office accommodation.
The Inquiry team has continued to grow in the last few months with the appointment of a number of legal, technical and support staff, all of whom provide critical functions to the Inquiry’s work.
Though we continue to work remotely, we have been able to engage with key stakeholders with the help of robust IT systems in place. Likewise, our Witness Engagement and Support Team have begun hearing from affected patients and their families about their experiences with the two hospitals.
Requests for information from some of the key stakeholders were issued at the start of this year. Responses are now being received and considered with systems in place to store and interrogate these.
As an Inquiry, we aim to share as much information about our work as possible and actively communicate on our website and across social media, including a dedicated YouTube channel to document and broadcast our hearings when they start later this year.