Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Over 100,000 complaints about NHS - only 300 investigated by health ombudsman

More than 100,000 people complained about the NHS last year – but only 300 were investigated by the health service’s watchdog, a report has found.

Thousands of complaints were not taken up because the ombudsman has to believe there is a prospect of “a worthwhile outcome”, that a person had suffered injustice or hardship as a result of poor service or maladministration.

Stephen Dorrell, the committee’s chairman, said the MPs were “not convinced that all complaints were properly reviewed".

He added: "It is primarily about the culture. The system is too defensive and is not sufficiently open. There should be a duty of candour.”

My comment: This applies to all Public Service Ombudsmen not just the Health Ombudsman. Even more people complain about councils but the Local Government Ombudsmen end up only fully investigating about 70 a year. As the saying goes a complainant is exhausted by the complaints system long before they exhaust the complaints system. Which is surely what the government wanted otherwise why introduce such a tortuous system of administrative justice in the first place and then staff it with ex council staff? 

Read the full story from the source The Telegraph

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