The Public Services Ombudsman Wales has published his second Equality & Human Rights Casebook highlighting 14 cases where actions or inactions of public bodies within his jurisdiction may have compromised the equality and human rights of individuals.
The Casebook focuses on the Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. Cases include:
- A woman resorting to hiding in her attic with her children after hospital staff called the police because she had abruptly self-discharged from hospital.
- A man not being told his liver failure was terminal meaning he and his family were not given any opportunity to prepare for his death or plan his end of life care.
- Hospital staff using a safeguarding process to stop a woman’s access on a ward, which meant her partner died on a day when the woman was restricted from visiting.
While it is not the function of the Ombudsman to make definitive findings about whether or not a public body has breached an individual’s human rights by its actions or inaction, he will identify where human rights are engaged by a complaint and comment on a public body’s regard for them.
The Casebook also recommends specific learning on human rights and equality issues, such as undertaking training, embedding consideration of human rights into practice and reviewing current policies and knowledge of staff who may be involved in balancing human rights matters when making decisions.
Commenting on the Casebook, Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, Nick Bennett, said:
“I am proud to reflect on the work undertaken by the office in bringing human rights and equality matters to the fore. As we all now enter a phase of what has been termed 'the new normal', our collective experiences of late will, I hope, ensure that we do not forget the underlying principles of humanity and dignity which the Convention sets out.”
Source: Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, UK