Preliminary hearing for health and social care
The Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry held a preliminary health and social care hearing on 28 August 2023. Health and social care impact hearings will begin on 24 October 2023.
Date: 28 August 2023
The closed captions/subtitles function which accompany these videos on YouTube are generated by an automatic algorithm which is not 100% accurate. Inquiry hearings are being professionally transcribed, and the transcription will always supersede any captions.
During the preliminary hearing, the Inquiry screened a short film intended as formal and lasting recognition of the suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the people of Scotland.
Discretion is advised as the film contains words and images which viewers may find distressing. If you have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a list of organisations which can provide support.
An audio described version of this film is available on the Inquiry's YouTube channel.
To provide more context on this preliminary hearing, how it fits into the Inquiry’s work, and what impact it will have, we have provided answers to some common questions.
What is a preliminary hearing and why is it necessary?
A preliminary hearing is an opportunity for the Inquiry to explain how it will go about its work. The Chair of the Inquiry will usually make a statement, and the hearing tends to cover the practical and procedural matters relevant to the Inquiry and its participants, such as timescales for hearings.
What is the difference between a preliminary hearing and an impact hearing?
A preliminary hearing does not involve taking evidence, whereas the Inquiry’s impact hearings will involve people giving evidence.
Who will be taking part in the preliminary hearing?
The Hon Lord Brailsford, Chair of the Inquiry, will chair the preliminary hearing and the Inquiry’s Co-Lead Counsel, Stuart Gale KC, will also be there. Core Participants and their representatives have been invited and the hearing is open to the public.
Can the public attend the preliminary hearing?
Members and legal representatives for the Inquiry’s core participant groups, as well as the public, were invited to apply by 14 August if they wished to attend the preliminary hearing in person. All those who applied were notified of the outcome of their application by 16 August.
Those who did not apply, or whose application was unsuccessful, are unable to attend the preliminary hearing in person. However, the hearing will be livestreamed on the Inquiry’s website and YouTube channel.
How can the public watch the preliminary hearing?
The preliminary hearing will be livestreamed on the Inquiry’s website and YouTube channel from 9.45am.
What role does the preliminary hearing have in the overall structure of the Inquiry?
Preliminary hearings help communicate the practical and procedural matters to participants and the public more broadly. They offer clarity over the work of the Inquiry.
Will the public likely hear from any witnesses at the preliminary hearings?
No, evidence will not be taken at the preliminary hearing.