Background to the Inquiry

On 1 March 2020 the first positive case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Scotland. By 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation had classified the Covid-19 pandemic as a global pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on every aspect of the lives of people living in Scotland. People have legitimate questions about how the pandemic was handled. The Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry has been established to provide answers. On 14 December 2021 the Deputy First Minister announced that the Honourable Lady Poole would chair the Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry. The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry were also published, after a period of consultation. The official set up date for the inquiry was 28 February 2022.

Your Inquiry Chair

Lady Poole

Lady Poole

On appointment Lady Poole said:

"I am honoured to Chair this independent public inquiry examining the strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. We have all been affected by this pandemic. There has been a major impact on every aspect of all our lives. The death of so many as a result of COVID-19 is a tragedy, and others have suffered in many different ways."

“The Inquiry will work independently to establish the facts in an open and transparent way in order to determine what lessons can be learned for the future ... I will continue to give considerable thought as to how best to conduct the Inquiry to ensure it fully achieves its aims, including a careful and thorough examination of the Terms of Reference."

“My immediate focus will be on getting the right people in place to support me and establishing the necessary systems, processes and information flows needed to allow the Inquiry to function efficiently and deliver as quickly as possible. Work has already begun on this."

“It is too early to be any more specific about how the Inquiry will carry out its functions, other than to say that the arrangements for providing both written and oral evidence will be set out in due course once the initial establishment phase is completed … I look forward to collaborating with my counterpart on the UK Covid-19 inquiry.”

 

Inquiry Aims & Objectives

The Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry will investigate aspects of the devolved strategic response to the pandemic. Its investigation will be in the fields of health, education and support set out in the Terms of Reference. The Inquiry will work independently and in an open and transparent manner. It will report on lessons learned, both positive and negative, so they are retained for the future. The Inquiry will provide a factual record of key elements of the strategic handling of the pandemic, and it will make recommendations, based on the lessons learned.