Long COVID to form part of Inquiry's investigations
Long COVID will form part of the Inquiry’s investigation into the devolved strategic response to the pandemic in Scotland. Lord Brailsford, Chair of the Inquiry, has determined that certain matters relating to long COVID fall within the Inquiry’s formal remit.
The Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry was established to investigate the devolved strategic response to the pandemic between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2022. The Inquiry is bound by its Terms of Reference, which set out the matters it can investigate.
Lord Brailsford obtained a legal opinion from David Turner, Advocate and Junior Counsel to the Inquiry. Mr Turner opines that the existence and effects of long COVID are relevant to the handling of the pandemic in Scotland, where these were known during the Inquiry’s defined period. Although later developments in scientific knowledge may not fall within the Inquiry’s remit, Mr Turner considers that the experiences of, and impact upon, those affected by long COVID will be relevant to the scope of the Inquiry.
The Inquiry is investigating the impact of the pandemic, the implementation of measures, and finally, key decision-making and planning.
Lord Brailsford reached his determination in line with Mr Turner’s opinion. Matters such as research into the future treatment of long COVID will be outside the scope of the Inquiry. However, the Inquiry will look at healthcare impacts, such as long COVID, where these potentially affected the strategic response to the pandemic during the Inquiry’s defined period.