CODE : Selflessness and stewardship
CODE - Referred to Standards Committee/APW
Newport City Council
The Ombudsman received a complaint from the Practice Manager of a GP Practice (“the Practice”) in the area of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (“the Health Board”), that a Member (“the Member”) of Newport City Council had failed to observe the Code of Conduct for Members.
It was alleged that the Member used their position as a member of the Council improperly when they advocated on behalf of a patient of the Practice.
The Ombudsman concluded that the Member had made 2 telephone calls to the Practice in which she sought to improperly rely on her position as a Member of the Council, and as a Council representative on the Health Board, in order to speak to an on-call doctor about the patient’s healthcare. The Ombudsman also concluded that the Member had made a complaint to the Health Board containing information which was critical of the Practice staff and did not accurately reflect the content of the telephone conversations. The Ombudsman was of the view that the complaint was an attempt by the Member to use their position to undermine the actions of the Practice and create a disadvantage for it.
The Ombudsman therefore determined that the Member may have breached paragraph 7(a) of the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members and referred his investigation report to the Monitoring Officer of Newport City Council for consideration by its Standards Committee.
The Standards Committee concluded that the Member had breached paragraph 7(a) of the Code of Conduct and suspended her for 3 months. It also recommended to the Council that she be removed from her position on the Health Board.