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Get involved

20 February 2020

When the Committee decides to hold an inquiry, it will announce it on this website.

How can you get involved with an inquiry?

The Committee welcomes written evidence from public bodies, think tanks, third sector organisations, academics and from any member of the public with expertise on, or experience of, that particular subject.

As a general rule, we recommend that submissions should:

  • address the terms of reference clearly
  • be kept within the word limit
  • include an executive summary and suggested recommendations for the Government and/or other relevant public bodies, and
  • meet the deadline, for the Committee to have time to consider it properly (although late submissions are usually accepted).

Follow oral evidence sessions

Our oral evidence sessions are live streamed on Parliamentlive.tv, and members of the public are also welcome to attend a session in person to hear what is said.

Receive updates on the status of an inquiry

The Committee publishes a press notice usually 3-4 days ahead of an oral evidence session announcing the names of the witnesses and details of the time and location of the session. The inquiry page is updated every time written and oral evidence is published.

The Committee also issues a press notice to announce the publication of a report, usually a week in advance of publication date.

Suggest a topic for an inquiry

If you think that the Committee should look into a particular topic, you are welcome to send an inquiry suggestion. You should do so in no more than 500 words, which should state clearly:

  • The nature of the inquiry
  • What your organisation or you are aiming to achieve
  • What kind of evidence you would want the Committee to collect 
  • Suggestions for witnesses.

Inquiry subjects should be of general interest. The Committee does not look into personal or local issues.

Suggestions received are put in front of the Committee whenever it discusses its future programme. New inquiries are announced on the website. Owing to the large number of suggestions the Committee receives, if you have sent a suggestion for an inquiry, you won’t be notified personally on the outcome of your suggestion. Please note that the Committee received almost 100 such suggestions in the course of the last Parliament: it can undertake a maximum of only five or six new inquiries a year, alongside its other work such as pre-appointment hearings, “accountability” hearings and follow-up work on its earlier inquiries.

Contact us for advice

You can contact us by letter, email or over the phone. Before you do so, we ask you to read the text below carefully, to make sure that the Health and Social Care Committee is best placed to answer your queries.

Individual cases

The Committee does not investigate individual cases, or assist individuals with seeking redress.

If you are seeking assistance regarding a personal matter, you should contact your local MP in the first instance.

If you are seeking assistance with a health and/or social care-related question or have concerns when using the NHS, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service.

If you are seeking assistance with a complaint that has not been resolved by the NHS in England and UK government departments and other public organisations, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the NHS’s website.

Please note that the Committee will not consider appeals if you have pursued the above options and you are not happy with the response that you have received.

You can contact Committee staff for matters relating to:

  • our previous and current inquiries
  • submitting written evidence
  • general information about the work of the Committee and its remit.

You can contact the Chair of the Committee to:

  • suggest a topic for an inquiry to the Committee (if you wish to do so, you can contact Committee staff for advice on best practice). Please note that this should not be a personal matter or a local issue.
  • raise a general issue within the NHS or the work of the Department of Health and Social Care or its related public bodies, on which the Committee has the powers to intervene.

If you are thinking of writing to the Committee but are not sure that yours is a matter of competence for the Committee, feel free to contact us beforehand. See examples of correspondence received that prompted action from the Chair of the 2017-19 Committee: