7pm - Wednesday 7 April (watch again below)
Over 140,000 people have now died in the UK of Covid-19. Shockingly, six in ten people who have died have been disabled, and more than 35,000 people have died in care homes. Social care has been stretched to breaking point, and heavy care responsibilities have fallen upon families and loved ones, invariably falling most heavily on women.
Was this scale of death, long-term illness and distress inevitable? Why were Covid-positive patients discharged into care homes on three separate occasions? Was the UK social care sector well-equipped to meet the pandemic, and could nothing more have been done to enable social care workers to protect both themselves and those depending on their care?
‘We put a protective ring around our care homes’
‘We’re helping [businesses and individuals] through the pandemic with a £280bn support package,
which is among the most generous in the world’
Treasury spokesperson, 20 December 2020
'There will indeed be a time when we must learn the lessons of what has happened ... I don't think that moment is now.'
Boris Johnson, 27 January 2021
The panel will be informed by direct testimony from a range of witnesses. Evidence will also enable some comparisons between the UK and other countries, some of whom adopted different strategies to those of the UK government.
Michael Mansfield QC (chair)
Professor Neena Modi
Dr Tolullah Oni
Dr Jacky Davis
Lorna Hackett (Counsel to the Inquiry)
Professor Martin McKee | Professor of European Public Health, member of Independent SAGE
Dr Rachel Clarke | Consultant in Palliative Care Medicine
Ellen Clifford | Disabled People Against the Cuts
Clare Phillips | operations manager supported living services for adults with learning disabilities
[Carol Thompson, Social Care Worker/North West Unison had to withdraw]