Online Launch of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Case Summaries
From 19th August 2014, for the first time ever, members of the public and service providers are able to go online to see the types of complaints the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has investigated.
The link to the case summaries is here. The summaries of the complaints relate to investigations completed in February and March 2014.
People will be able to search summaries of 81 investigations the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has completed and can search by the name of the investigated organisation, for example by hospital, government department or agency; by city or county; by complaint handling issue such as unnecessary delay; or by what the complaint was about, such as sepsis.
Of the 81 cases, 23 involved Parliamentary cases and 58 involved healthcare cases. Among the Parliamentary cases; seven were about UK Visas and Immigration; six were about HM Courts and Tribunals Services, including that of a woman who wasted thousands in hiring a barrister only to find her case had been cancelled at short notice due to an administrative error, and three were about Cafcass. Among healthcare cases, two were about Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust; two were about Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – one of which involved the hospital misinterpreting a scan of a patient with lung cancer; and one involved Barts Health NHS Trust.
These do not represent all the cases that were investigated during this period. This is because in some cases complainants asked not to publish the investigation online, while in others the cases are still being reviewed or the complainant is considering taking further action.
Ombudsman are committed to being more open and transparent about their investigations and will be publishing summaries of the investigated cases online on a quarterly basis. They will in the future publish summaries of all the cases they have investigated, except those where the complainant has asked them not to publish or where the case is still under review.
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Julie Mellor said: “Our investigations highlight the devastating impact that failures in public services can have on the lives of individuals and their families. For the first time MPs, members of the public and service providers will be able to go online and see the types of complaints we have investigated. This will help MPs to see what complaints have been made about public services in their constituency and will help provide confidence to people to complain when they see what happened to other people. We are modernising the way we do things so we can help more people with their complaints and to help bodies in jurisdiction learn from mistakes other organisations have made to help them decide what action to improve their services. Others including consumer groups, public service regulators and Parliament, using the insight from our casework to help others make a real difference in public sector complaint handling and improve services.”