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Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019

Section 16 - Power to investigate other health-related services

68.Section 16 allows the Ombudsman to carry out ancillary investigations into health-related services (i.e. certain health-related services not provided by listed authorities), but only where the Ombudsman is also investigating a listed authority.

69.Section 16(1) sets out the scope of section 16. Section 16 applies where:


the Ombudsman has power under Part 3 to investigate alleged maladministration or alleged failure by a “relevant listed authority” (defined in section 16(4) to include Local Health Boards, NHS Trusts, GPs in Wales etc.) in respect of a person, and


a “health-related service” which is not a relevant service (i.e. which is not a service provided by a listed authority) has also been provided to the person.

70.If, in those circumstances, the Ombudsman considers that the alleged maladministration or alleged failure of the listed authority cannot be investigated effectively or completely without also investigating the health-related service, then, under section 16(2), the Ombudsman may investigate that health-related service as part of the investigation into the relevant listed authority.

71.For example, if a person has received private medical treatment and the person has also received medical treatment from a Local Health Board, then the Ombudsman can investigate the private medical treatment if the Ombudsman thinks that doing so is necessary to investigate effectively or completely the actions of the Local Health Board.

72.Section 16(3) sets out a list of provisions in which any reference to “listed authority” are to be interpreted as including a reference to the person who provided the health-related service. This means that, for example, where the Ombudsman is required to send a copy of an investigation report to a listed authority, the Ombudsman must also send a copy to a provider of a health-related service (where the Ombudsman investigates such a provider under section 16(2)).

73.Section 16(4) defines “health-related service” to include any medical, dental, ophthalmic, nursing, midwifery and pharmaceutical service, plus any other service provided in connection with physical or mental health (but excludes acupuncture, body piercing, electrolysis and tattooing, all of which are regulated under the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017). Therefore, the private medical treatment example above would also include private dental treatment, private ophthalmic treatment etc.

74.Section 16(4) also defines “relevant listed authority” as including the Board of Community Councils in Wales, Local Heath Boards, Community Health Councils etc

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