As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the Tribunal has not conducted hearings in person at health services since 20 March 2020. Since then, we have conducted hearings almost exclusively by telephone.
Microsoft Teams allows people to participate in hearings from anywhere, and to see as well as hear other participants. We are currently trialling this technology with four health services. We are learning a lot and the early results are very promising.
A key focus of the trial is the support that needs to be given to participants. Anyone whose hearing is part of the trial is notified in advance, is supported to use Microsoft Teams, and offered the option of a telephone hearing if they prefer. If the trial is successful, in the future we will be able to offer people a range of options for how they participate in Tribunal hearings.