UK Government

News Distribution Service (National): Health Service Ombudsman seeks your views

Press Release   •   Dec 17, 2009 10:54 GMT

Issued by the News Distribution Service on behalf of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

The Health Service Ombudsman, Ann Abraham, today publishes a consultation document, entitled: Sharing and Publishing Information about Complaints, with the purpose of seeking views on sharing and publishing information about complaints handled by the Ombudsman.

This consultation is taking place now because of the increased focus on the importance of information about complaints following recent events in the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and elsewhere. The significant changes in the NHS complaints system, and the abolition of the Healthcare Commission as a second stage complaint handler, have given rise to some unrealistic expectations of the volume and scope of information that the Ombudsman can and will make available.

Commenting on the consultation document, Ms Abraham says:

"We need to protect the privacy of all our casework and, at the same time, want to share the learning from complaints with those who are likely to benefit from having access to that information.

This is a wide audience and includes the public at large, MPs, organisations providing advice and advocacy, and regulators such as the Care Quality Commission, Monitor, the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, and of course the NHS itself."

The closing date for submitting views is 10 March 2010.

Copies of the consultation can be found at:

Notes for Editors

1. Ann Abraham holds the post of UK Parliamentary Ombudsman and is also Health Service Ombudsman for England. She is appointed by the Crown and is completely independent of Government and the NHS. Her role is to provide a service to the public by undertaking independent investigations into complaints that government departments, a range of other public bodies in the UK, and the NHS in England, have not acted properly or fairly or have provided a poor service. There is no charge for using the Ombudsman's services.

2. For other media enquiries please contact the PHSO Press Office on 0300 061 4996.


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