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Health Act 2009

Section 34H: Statements about investigations

335.This section provides for statements to be issued by a Local Commissioner when he or she decides not to investigate or to discontinue an investigation, and when an investigation is completed. If the Commissioner decides not to investigate or to discontinue an investigation, the statement must set out the Commissioner’s reasons for that decision.

336.When a Local Commissioner has completed an investigation, the statement must set out the Commissioner’s conclusions and any recommendations. The Commissioner may make recommendations for action which, in the Commissioner’s opinion, the adult social care provider needs to take to remedy any injustice sustained by the person affected. Recommendations may also be aimed at preventing injustice being caused in the future as a result of similar action of the provider. For example, the Commissioner might recommend an apology to the complainant, compensation to be paid, a refund of charges or changes to be made to the services provided (possibly relating to the service user’s facilities, accommodation, equipment) or changes to how staff are managed or trained.

337.The Commissioner must send a copy of the statement to the complainant, the provider and, if someone else took the action complained of, to that person. The statement must identify the provider concerned unless the provider is an individual or doing so would identify an individual. It will then be for the Local Commissioner to decide whether it is appropriate for the individual to be identified. The statement must not identify the complainant or any other person (other than the provider) unless the Commissioner considers it necessary to identify that person.

338.The Local Commissioner may also send copies of the statement to the Care Quality Commission and any local authority. For example it is likely that this would occur in all cases where the statement draws attention to failings in the safety of services, or where there are implications for many service users, not only the person who has complained.

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