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Complaints about the NHS in England: Quarter 1 2019-20

Introduction

In this quarterly report we have published more information about our casework than in previous reports, as part of progress towards our strategic commitment to publish the majority of our casework online.

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Download our report on Complaints about the NHS in England: Quarter 1 2019-20 [PDF 2.22 MB].

For the first time, we have published data and information from the first quarter of this year on the complaints we received, assessed and investigated about health organisations, and recommendations we have made to the organisations we investigate.

Some people come to us looking for an apology or explanation when something has gone wrong. Others are seeking financial compensation, while many just want to make sure the same mistake doesn’t happen again.

While as a whole the NHS provides an excellent service despite financial and resourcing challenges, we often find significant failings when we investigate complaints about the NHS. When this is the case, the purpose of our recommendations is to remedy the injustice suffered by members of the public, and also help the relevant organisation reflect on and learn from the mistakes it has made so others do not experience the same poor service. We hope that publishing this information about our recommendations helps other organisations to learn from our casework.

Casework spotlight

In our casework spotlight this quarter are two cases that demonstrate how things can go wrong when the NHS fails to meet the needs of people with a learning disability or autism when providing treatment. NHS England launched its Ask Listen Do project last year to make it easier for people with a learning disability, autism or both, to raise concerns and make complaints. The cases we highlight in this report show the importance of this initiative and the need for it to become fully embedded at all levels of the NHS.

We have highlighted other cases we investigated between April and June this year, as well as some of the work carried out by the wider ombudsman community.

Sharing good practice

We would also like to shine a spotlight on good practice. For instance, have you made specific commitments to support projects like Ask Listen Do? Have you delivered innovations in your complaint handling or made improvements in how you get feedback from patients or your service users?

Whether you work in the NHS, Government or another organisation we investigate, let us know what you have done by emailing researchteam@ombudsman.org.uk. If other organisations could learn from your successes, we will include the best examples we receive in future reports.

Helping us improve

Finally, as we continue to evolve these reports we would welcome your feedback on how we can further improve them. We welcome your views on how we can improve these reports. Share your comments and feedback by completing this short survey. 

If there are ways we could make our data more user-friendly or accessible, please let us know. Email your ideas to researchteam@ombudsman.org.uk.


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Download our report on Complaints about the NHS in England: Quarter 1 2019-20 [PDF 2.22 MB]