Related Sector: Health & Social Care

Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, you and your staff have undoubtedly experienced some of the most challenging conditions of your careers. Difficult decisions were made in highly pressured environments, with minimal support and resources. In addition, staff had to familiarise themselves with and adhere to unprecedented new legislation, the Coronavirus Act 2020, with little or no lead in time.

The long-term impact of Covid-19 will inevitably be huge. However, as well as navigating the repercussions that this pandemic has had (and continues to have) on the mental and physical health of your staff, there is now another significant event on the horizon which people will inevitably be concerned about; the UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry

UK Covid-19 Inquiry

The public consultation process closed on 7 April 2022. During the consultation, the Inquiry team met with over 150 bereaved families across the UK, and representatives from many different sectors, such as charities, unions, faith groups, education, and healthcare. In total, over 20,000 responses were received. As a result, the current scope of the Inquiry may well be extended even further.

The Inquiry appointed eleven Queen’s Counsel (senior barristers/advocates) to support them with the preparation and delivery of the investigative work. The Opening Statement by the Chair of the Inquiry has now been released. Although it is currently not known who will be called to give evidence or the specifics of what that evidence will be, we at Bond Solon are already starting to receive training requests from organisations who wish to help provide support for those members of staff who they believe are likely to, or even possibly may be called to evidence, in order to allay any concerns they may have about the forthcoming process.

Public Inquiries - Witness Familiarisation

As you will likely be aware, witness coaching is unethical, illegal, and firmly prohibited by the UK courts. Lawyers must never prepare witnesses on what they should say or attempt to persuade witnesses into changing their evidence. In contrast, witness familiarisation training is encouraged by both the Bar Council and the Court of Appeal, on the basis that witnesses should not be disadvantaged by their ignorance of or lack of confidence in the process.

Bond Solon is the leading provider of witness familiarisation services in the UK, with over 250,000 witnesses attending our sessions. Over the last 15 years we have supported organisations and their staff in a variety of high-profile Inquiries, including Grenfell Tower, Manchester Arena, and Leveson.

By offering your staff witness familiarisation support, you will enable them to develop a comprehensive understanding of the theory, practice, and procedure of giving evidence and help alleviate any fears or concerns they have. Our Witness Familiarisation service also offers robust assurances to your organisation that the training is lawful and compliant with laws around witness familiarisation, and therefore protects your organisation against any risk of allegations of witness coaching.

If you are interested in finding more about our Witness Familiarisation sessions or would like to enquire about booking a session for your staff, please get in touch with one of the team on +44 (0)20 7549 2559.

Please leave a comment

    Want more information? Please call us on...

    020 7549 2549

    If you require any help or would like to discuss how Bond Solon can assist you in your training needs, please call us on: +44 (0) 20 7549 2549