The Inquiry has published an update on its work.
This update provides a digest of:
- Continuation of limited attendance hearings
- Disclosure figures
- Core Participant numbers
- Support arrangements during limited attendance hearings
- Contact information
- Drop-in sessions
Continuation of limited attendance hearing arrangements
Following the announcement last week that the Covid-19 alert level has been increased from 3 to 4, the Inquiry has been taking advice from its facilities provider ISS and from the Government Property Agency (GPA). They are both satisfied that the current limited attendance arrangements remain sufficient to allow proceedings to continue safely, so Phase 2 hearings will continue.
For several weeks, the Inquiry has been progressing plans to allow bereaved, survivor and resident core participants (BSRs) to attend the hearings in person, as this remains a priority. The news this week that the Government is re-imposing many restrictions means it would be irresponsible for the Inquiry now to begin implementing this plan and relaxing its arrangements. Further advice both from ISS and the GPA indicates that the number of people in the building should not be increased at all at this point in time, so the existing limited attendance hearing arrangements will remain in place.
The Panel does, however, continue to acknowledge the importance of allowing BSRs to be present in the building as soon as possible, and the Inquiry team is confident in its plan to allow this. The team therefore intends to put its plan in place as soon as the Covid-19 alert level reduces back to 3, or when there are clear indications from the Government that the situation has at least stabilised.
As at 28 September 2020, the Inquiry has disclosed 20,752 documents in Phase 1 and 174,467 in Phase 2, making a total of 195,219.
The full list of the Inquiry's core participants (CPs) is available on the key documents page. Further information on CPs is covered in our guide, which includes details of the role they play in the Inquiry and how this differs from being a witness.
719 individuals have applied for CP status, of which 633 have been granted.
83 organisations have applied for CP status, of which 39 have been granted.
Support arrangements during limited attendance hearings
During limited attendance hearings the Inquiry continues to facilitate wellbeing support as before, but it will be able to deliver the service only by telephone and video conferencing. BSRs and members of the public will be able to get in touch with Hestia directly to access wellbeing services by contacting 0800 246 5617 between 09:45 and 16:45 Monday to Thursday.
Hestia will provide a range of services including:
- One-to-one telephone or online support sessions that BSRs will be able to book with a counsellor during the day or at the end of the day’s hearings. Please contact Hestia on 0800 246 5617.
- Drop-in video conference group sessions (twice daily) where BSRs can join a counsellor in a peer support group to support one another and to air and talk through any feelings or concerns. These sessions will start and finish with some resilience exercises, for example paced breathing, grounding and mindfulness exercises and taught resilience tools. For more information and instructions for joining a group session please contact Hestia on 0800 246 5617.
Counselling support services continue to be available for anyone who wants to talk about their emotional wellbeing. The NHS Grenfell Outreach Team is open Monday to Thursday from 09:00 to 20:00, and on Friday from 09:00 to 17:00. Their number is 0208 637 6279. More information, including out of hours contact, can be found on the NHS website.
The Inquiry will continue to arrange interpreters on request for BSRs. This service will be delivered by telephone.
In line with social restrictions, all Inquiry team members are working remotely to ensure operations continue, but can still be contacted on 0800 121 4282 or by emailing [email protected].
In accordance with current guidance on public gatherings, the Inquiry will not be holding a September drop-in. Please email [email protected] if you wish to speak to a member of the Inquiry team.