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Too many people whose NHS treatment went wrong are “not getting answers”, according to the watchdog investigating complaints.
The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman investigated 1,075 unresolved complaints made about the NHS in February and March of this year, publishing the details of 192 of them.
These complaints included one from a woman who was left in severe facial pain for more than a decade after delays in diagnosis, as well as cases of nursing home patients who were mistakenly charged thousands of pounds for their care. Of the 192 cases published, 116 were complaints made against NHS England.
The Ombudsman said that the report demonstrated what needs to change and “provides a clear and valuable lesson” for public services.
According to a report published by the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman today, many of the unresolved complaints could have been handled by public services locally rather than being taken to the Ombudsman. This has led to delays for patients as the Ombudsman has been unable to handle the volume of complaints quickly enough.
“In many of the complaints we see, the organisation complained about has done the right thing to put things right. But too many people aren’t getting the answers to what went wrong from the organisation they complained about,” said Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Julie Mellor.
Neill Churchill, NHS England’s director for improving patient experience, said: “We welcome this report which demonstrates very clearly the need to improve the consistency and accuracy of communication.
“Complaints and feedback can help us become the safest health service in the world.”
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