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Patients 'just want the best care'

30th August 2006

A new report has criticised Welsh regulators for not standing up for older people.

Vulnerable people have been failed by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), the report from the Public Interest Research Unit (Piru) has said.

The regulators have been "neglecting" their enforcement powers, according to the report's author Rupert Harwood, hitting the most vulnerable – such as the elderly suffering from racial discrimination in care homes – the hardest.

Teeth and their Use - Enforcement Action by the Three Equality Commissions states that the "neglect" of enforcement powers by the regulators has "helped ensure that the majority of discriminators in Wales have got away with committing unlawful acts".

However, reaction from the commissions concerned has appeared confused.

"We were very surprised with the content of this report; some of their recommendations are quite wacky," said Alun Thomas, head of communications at DRC Wales.

"They fail to appreciate the complexity of undertaking formal investigations," he added.

The Public Interest Research Unit claims to be a non-partisan charitable institution established in 2004 that specialises in organisational and social research.