New govt panel to support victims of major disasters

The government has announced the creation of a specialist panel to support the survivors and bereaved families of major disasters in England and Wales.

The new panel will act to represent families as a new Independent Public Advocate with the goal of ensuring that the voices of victims and their families are “better heard, right from the immediate aftermath of a tragedy until all inquiries and inquests have concluded”.

The panel is expected to bring together a specialists from amongst former social workers, ex-civil servants, retired doctors, and emergency services professionals with media experience.

Upon completion of all investigations, the new panel will also make recommendations to the government for improvements based on the experiences of survivors and the bereaved.

The definition of a major disaster for the Independent Public Advocate is an event that has caused serious harm to a significant number of individuals. This would cover disasters such as the Grenfell Tower fire, the Hillsborough disaster and the Manchester Arena bombing.

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