This article originally appeared in Issue 4 (March 2020).
The Claimant unsuccessfully sought to judicially review the Ombudsman’s report responding to her complaint against a hospital Trust for misplacing records relating to the death of her daughter in 2011. The Ombudsman had inquired into the Trust’s 2014 investigation into its record-keeping, however, the Claimant argued that she had a legitimate expectation that the scope of the Ombudsman’s inquiry would include the Trust’s initial failure in 2011 to locate the records. The court held that the Ombudsman had a broad discretion to decide what to investigate and had lawfully limited his inquiry to 2014, with any earlier events only being considered as part of the background and context. Further, there had been no clear, unambiguous, or unqualified representations made by the Ombudsman to the Claimant (applying the Bancoult test) as to how his inquiry would be performed.