The Covid-19 Airborne Transmission Alliance to seek justice for health workers at the UK Covid Inquiry

The COVID-19 Airborne Transmission Alliance (CATA)professional, scientific and employee organisations and individual representatives, representing over 65,000 healthcare workers, has been granted Core Participant (CP) status in Module 3 of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

CATA, formerly known as the Aerosol Generating Procedures Alliance (AGPA), and later the Covid Airborne Protection Alliance (CAPA), first formed in August 2020, in response to the UK Government's failure to recognise and adequately respond to the airborne route of transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

CATA’s founding concern was that the UK Government’s failure to recognise airborne transmission, put health care workers at significant risk of illness and death. In particular, the lack of acceptance of the risk of airborne transmission led to policies, decisions and practices that deprived the majority of health workers of the correct Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) to protect them from infection, except in the context of "aerosol generating procedures" (AGPs).

Since its formation, the consortium has campaigned relentlessly to protect healthcare workers and their patients from Covid-19. In the Covid-19 Public Inquiry CATA will seek to ensure that its knowledge of the existing and developing science on airborne transmission of COVID-19 and the lived experiences of its members, are made available to the Inquiry. In addition, it seeks to address wider concerns about the effective management and impact of respiratory risks across healthcare and community settings.

CATA set out its core issues at the Module 3 Preliminary Hearing on 28 February 2023. The transcript of CATA’s submissions, as presented by Stephen Simblet KC, can be found here (at page 184), and the recording of the same here (at 04:36:00).

CATA’s written submissions for the Module 3 Preliminary hearing can also be found here.

CATA is represented by Saunders Law in the Inquiry.

Barry Jones, CATA Chair and Chair of BAPEN Faculty commented:

“We are looking forward to supporting the 4 nation Inquiry as a Core Participant in Module 3. We will be highlighting our core concerns around the failure to recognise the airborne route and its proper mitigation across all healthcare settings.”

Kamini Gadhok MBE, CATA Vice Chair and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, commented:

“CATA represents a wide range of healthcare workers, experts and patients, who have often been ignored by the Government in the pandemic. We have fought for so long for the safety of others and this feels like the final hurdle to being heard. Our primary aim all along has been to protect those on the frontline and we look forward to making our case for change.”

Cyrilia Knight, Partner at Saunders Law and Head of Public Inquiries commented:

“Saunders Law is pleased to be supporting both CATA and the Covid Inquiry through our involvement representing CATA as a core participant. We are committed to ensuring that the Inquiry appreciates and adequately investigates CATA’s core concern about the fundamental importance of Covid-19 being transmitted by an airborne route, and the implications that this has had, or should have had, in the UK’s response to the pandemic.”


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