latest health care news

15.06.15

Public supports right to complain direct to Ombudsman

The public would like the ability to complain direct to the Ombudsman, a new survey has shown.

Currently, anyone who is not happy with the way a public service has handled a complaint must go through their MP before the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) can look at it, but new research has found that 59% of people would like this requirement removed while only 10% support it remaining.

The research published today by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is based on a national survey of 4,263 people. It also shows that only a third of people who are unhappy after using a public service make a complaint and 29% of those say they believe that complaining will not make a difference.

Other reasons for not lodging a complain include the opinion it would be more hassle than it’s worth (14%), it would be too time consuming (9%), a person doesn’t know how to make a complaint (7%), and the worry it won’t be taken seriously (6%).

The survey also found that people overwhelmingly support the right to complain and that 90% feel that if they are unhappy with a public service they should complain.

PHSO Julie Mellor said: "People are reluctant to make complaints to public services even though they think it is right to complain. Too many people don't know how to complain and feel that if they do it won't make a difference. This means concerns are going unheard or unaddressed.

"Public service providers need to focus on being open and honest when things go wrong. If not, we lose opportunities to learn from mistakes and improve how public services are delivered.

"We have to make complaining more simple and accessible so people have the confidence to complain. That's why we are delighted that the government has made a firm commitment to create a single Public Service Ombudsman covering all public services for England – including health and social care – and UK non-devolved services to make it easier for people to get justice when things go wrong."

Research by Healthwatch suggested a worse picture, where just a fifth people who had a poor experience of the NHS wrote a letter of complaint.

Anna Bradley, chair of the watchdog, said: "At the moment we estimate that more than 2,000 incidents of poor care a day occur across the country's health and social care services, yet the system only hears about a fraction of them because of the sheer effort it takes for patients to make themselves heard."

(Picture by: Joe Logon)

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

24/02/2020Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

Words by Dean Royles and Kevan Taylor, who continue their regular contribution to NHE’s blog content. Kevan and Dean work in organisations and systems providing strategi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >