Examination of Witness

Part of Health and Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 9th September 2021.

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Sir Robert Francis:

In relation to a decision of whether information should be capable of being used in legal proceedings, there is no better qualified person than a High Court judge—so, absolutely. My advocating that there should be some qualification in relation to the family does not mean, in any way, that I suggest they should then be able to use that for litigation or other purposes. Indeed, some of the conditions you might impose on them in order for them to get the information are that they do not do those sort of things. There will be areas where it can be said that it is too sensitive for that. Of course, there may need to be a balancing of people’s rights of privacy. It is really about ensuring that families feel that they are not being excluded or that something is being hidden from them. We need to build trust. I do not think that that decision needs to be taken by a High Court judge, because it is not about legal proceedings; it is about something really quite private.