What are the Terms of Reference & how were they decided?
The Terms of Reference set out the scope of the Inquiry and the issues that will be considered.
The Terms of Reference were set following a public consultation, through which the Inquiry gathered views on the issues set out by the Minister (Nadine Dorries, the former Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health). The Inquiry team reached out to and heard from affected families, patients, local community groups, charities, and other individuals and organisations with an interest in the issues laid out by the Minister. The Inquiry also placed adverts in the local media inviting people to come forward and share their views. The Inquiry team have reviewed relevant material obtained for the Terms of Reference from a number of sources.
How long was the consultation period?
The consultation lasted 10 weeks. It ran from Wednesday 26th May 2021 and closed on Tuesday 3rd August 2021.
What happened during the consultation period?
The consultation included an initial phase, where we invited comments on the issues as set out by the minister. The Inquiry team reached out to and heard from affected families, patients, local community groups, charities, and other individuals and organisations with an interest in the issues laid out by the Minister.
The consultation then entered its second phase, where we took comments on the draft Terms of Reference.
We then published our final Terms of Reference on 24th August 2021, which can be found here.
Can I get involved at a later date if I do not want to get involved at the moment?
As long as the Inquiry is running we are always welcome hearing from those affected. If you want to discuss getting involved or giving evidence, even if you have not been in contact with us before now, please do get in touch with us and a member of the Inquiry can talk to you about it.
We do not however intend to amend the Terms of Reference following their publication.
What if I don’t want to talk to the Inquiry directly? Can I send a representative on my behalf?
We know that talking about these events may be deeply distressing. If you want to share information with us but don’t want to talk to us directly, we are able to take information from a representative who can speak on your behalf. Your representative can contact the Inquiry team at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange. Alternatively, you can leave a message on 020 7972 3500.
What is your Privacy Notice?
The Inquiry handles all personal information received in line with our Privacy Information Notice.
Now that the Terms of Reference have been decided, what are the next steps?
The next step of the Inquiry is to gather evidence. We published call for evidence on 10 November 2021. This is an opportunity for individuals to come forward to tell the Inquiry about their experiences. The team will be hearing from a range of witnesses including families, patients, and others affected by mental health inpatient care and deaths in Essex. Read more about the call for evidence here.