4 August 2021:
R&RA has written to the Prime Minister calling for urgent moves to be made to set up the public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic. The joint letter with our friends at John’s Campaign, puts Mr Johnson on notice that we will apply for Core Participant Status in the public inquiry as soon as the process allows.
The letter requests an urgent meeting with the Government to discuss preparations for the public inquiry, setting out:
“Time is of the essence. The average life expectancy in UK care homes is 24 months, 12 months for homes with nursing. There is an urgent need for the inquiry to get under way, to provide answers to those whose lives have been most severely affected and to learn lessons before it is too late.”
Helen Wildbore, director of R&RA said:
“Our helpline has supported people hardest hit by the pandemic and measures taken to manage it. Through the shock of the care sector being neglected. Through the grief caused by the Government’s mismanagement of the virus. Through the anxiety of so many months of isolation and its devastating impact. Older people have been failed by the very systems designed to protect their rights. They continue to be failed and left behind in the most appalling way whilst the rest of the country gets back to normal.
“Our work has given us unique insights into the experiences of people living at the sharp end of coronavirus. We will make sure their voices are heard at the public inquiry and push for the answers families are so desperate for. ”
R&RA has appointed law firm Leigh Day to make their case for representation at the inquiry, when it takes place.
Emma Jones of Leigh Day, representing R&RA, said:
“We know only too well that to ensure an Inquiry is a full, far-reaching and thorough as is required it must happen as soon as possible. Delays can lead to documents going missing and individuals’ memories fading. In addition, we know that much communication between government officials has taken place using private communications such as text messages – this Inquiry process needs to start now to ensure that the public can be given assurances that vital information cannot simply be deleted.”