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12th November 2008
Investigation into Allegations of Barriers to Access to Information in the Archives

Today the Ombudsman for Bermuda, Arlene Brock, announced that her office will be conducting a systemic investigation into allegations of arbitrary barriers to access to information held in the Bermuda Archives.

The Ombudsman for Bermuda has received five complaints from individuals residing both in Bermuda and overseas. Allegations include unreasonable delays and other difficulties in gaining access to archival materials. It is claimed that, as a consequence, research is stymied and also potential donors are reluctant to contribute material of national interest to the Archives.

Ms. Brock emphasized that she had come to no conclusion whatsoever. After information is gathered and analyzed, she will make recommendations as she sees fit. Ms. Brock stressed that her “focus is not on finding fault, but to make recommendations, if needed, that will assist the Bermuda Archives to fulfill its mission to ensure that citizens’ rights to public information are protected”. The Ombudsman is encouraged by the promise of cooperation with the investigation that she has received from the Bermuda Archives.

In order to ensure that the investigation is as thorough and as objective as possible, the Ombudsman for Bermuda is asking anyone with relevant information to contact her as soon as possible. Private interviews will be conducted in person or by telephone as appropriate. Ms. Brock emphasized that all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The Office of the Ombudsman for Bermuda can be reached at 14 Dundonald St., Suite 102, Hamilton HM 09; tel: 441-296-6541; fax: 441-296-7734; info@ombudsman.bm.

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1st July 2008
Update on Allegations of Discrimination at KEMH

To all Media:

Ombudsman for Bermuda Delighted with Implementation of Recommendations

On 2 November 2007, Arlene Brock, Ombudsman for Bermuda, tabled “A Tale of Two Hospitals” – an investigation into allegations of discrimination amongst medical professionals at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. She found “clear evidence of disparity in the way in which the system responds to either perceived or actual transgressions by doctors. The disparity is fueled by other forces that have to do with governance and competition.”
Ms. Brock made fifteen Recommendations aimed at assisting KEMH to become more fair and collegial through improving internal processes (so that they apply evenly across the board) or by expanding external resources (to strengthen professional decision-making and learning).

She requested an update on the progress in implementing these Recommendations by 30 June 2008. The BHB Chairman, the CEO and the Deputy CEO met with Ms. Brock in mid-May to discuss progress to date and submitted a final update on 30 June 2008.

The BHB has either implemented or is in the process of implementing each Recommendation. This includes rewriting the Bye-Laws, establishing a Diversity Council and Hotline, and formal clinical advisory relationships with leading medical facilities abroad.

M
s. Brock is delighted with the diligent and comprehensive approach of the BHB to implementing the Recommendations. She stated: “I sincerely believe that implementation of the above and related initiatives will be enduring and will ensure that the oversight of patient management is at the highest standard. With these changes, the public can have great confidence that patient care will be the central and shared focus amongst medical professionals at K.E.M.H.”

Ms. Brock will hold a Press Conference at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, 2nd July 2008.

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21st November 2007
Bermuda to Host 5th Biennial CAROA Conference


The Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA), is an organization created to foster collaboration amongst the Caribbean ombudsman offices and promote discussion on issues of interest. This conference will explore best practices and evolving initiatives and aims to elevate the public understanding of the institution. CLICK HERE to find out more about this event.

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1st September 2006
Investigation Into Allegations of Discrimination at KEMH

Today the Ombudsman for Bermuda, Arlene Brock, announced that her office will be conducting a major systemic investigation into allegations of discrimination involving medical professionals at KEMH. The investigation will focus on whether or not there is a basis for these allegations, including any response to such allegations and, if so, what is the impact on patient care.

The Ombudsman emphasized that she had come to no conclusion whatsoever as to whether there was or was not discrimination at KEMH. “The purpose of this systemic investigation is to gather all the information as thoroughly as possible” she said. Once the information is collected she will analyse it and formulate any recommendations she deems necessary. “If there is discrimination, then it should be dealt with. If that discrimination impacts on patient care, then is crucial for everyone living in Bermuda that we tackle it as quickly as we can”. She also stated that the function of an Ombudsman is not to concentrate on finding fault but to focus on recommendations that can assist with positive change. She noted that she is very encouraged by the promises of cooperation with the investigation she has already received from key stakeholders.

In order to ensure that the investigation is as thorough and as objective as possible, the Ombudsman is inviting submissions from any party who has any information of relevance to the issue being investigated. She also emphasized that all information will be treated in the strictest confidence. She will also conduct private personal interviews as appropriate. “It is very important for anyone who has any relevant information to contact us. This is their opportunity to have their views taken into account”. She asked that she receives submissions by October 15, in order to ensure that the investigation is completed as quickly as possible. The Office of the Ombudsman can be reached at 14 Dundonald St., Suite 102, Hamilton HM 09; tel: 441-296-6541; fax: 441-296-7734; info@ombudsman.bm

The Ombudsman has already assembled a team of experts, including medical experts, to assist her office plan and execute this complex and important investigation. They will be available to her on an as-needed basis. She plans to present her report to the Speaker of the House of Parliament by March 31, 2007.

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Suite 102
14 Dundonald Street West
Hamilton, HM 09 Bermuda
Tel: (441) 296-6541
Fax: (441) 296-7734
info@ombudsman.bm