NHS complaints form the bulk of Ombudsman's work
61% of all enquiries to the Parliament and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) are about how to complain about NHS services. Of those cases taken for formal investigation by the PHSO 78% relate to complaints about the NHS.
The PHSO received 23,846 enquiries during 2011-2012 and over 14,000 were concerned with NHS services. 421 cases were taken on for investigation, 328 of which were about the NHS and 93 about other public bodies under the PHSO jurisdiction.
Whilst the majority of PHSO enquiries are dealt with by providing information or sign-posting to other organisations, 4,732 (nearly 20%) of enquiries were from people who had already tried resolving their concerns directly with the public body concerned and were contacting the PHSO as a ‘last resort’. In 759 of these cases, things were put right quickly without the need for a formal investigation. In 491 of those cases, the PHSO report that they worked with the organisation complained about to sort out the problem and that this is a growing area of their work with the number of cases resolved in this increasing by 48% since the previous year
A further 421 cases were taken on by the PHSO for investigation. In the remaining 3,552 cases the Ombudsman’s service found there was no case to answer.“Quite often the enquiries we receive are about complaints that have become stuck in the system. In those cases we will give advice on how to progress it, often contacting the organisation directly to get things moving.” PHSO Annual Report 2011-12 pg 11