Scotland’s COVID inquiry must be credible, timely and thorough – here’s what needs to happen

Primary Author or Creator:
Andrew Watterson
The Conversation
Date Published:
Type of Resource:
News Media
Fast Facts

Four steps for a successful inquiry

No delays

Devolved matters only

What has worked and what hasn’t

Public respons


More details

Scotland will be the first UK nation to launch an independent COVID inquiry to be chaired by a judge, as announced by the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in late August. It will begin later this year against a backdrop of substantial health, social and economic harms caused by the pandemic, and as recent events have revealed, a worrying rise in COVID cases.

Interim reports provided at intervals as investigations are completed will be welcome – for example on the NHS or care homes – but only if they are not subject to editing by government law officers beforehand.

If the Scottish government takes on board these views and avoids the tarnished legacy of past inquiries, it will escape the public discontent and lack of credibility that has blighted previous investigations. An open, transparent, thorough and timely inquiry that is perceived to be independent will be widely welcomed across Scotland – and lead the way for other UK inquiries in the future.