NHS complaint & investigation records now available to public

19 August 2014

NHS complaint & investigation records now available to public

Details of NHS patient complaint records, as well as the investigations that came about as a result of the medical mistreatment they detail, will be made available to the public for the first time ever to search online.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has made details available to the public regarding large numbers of complaints about the NHS and the investigations that deal with them, highlighting “devastating” failures from the NHS that have led to suffering, financial hardship and even patient deaths. In total details of 81 completed investigations will be made available for the public to search online.

The nature of the investigations covers different elements of medical mistreatment, particularly relating to misdiagnosis and failure to spot serious illnesses. Mistreatment.com frequently hears from members of the public regarding such experiences and welcomes the move towards greater transparency in patient care and access to justice.

"Listening to patients is one of the best ways to improve standards"

In one of the cases highlighted in the recently released records and complaints, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust misdiagnosed a man as having a blood clot when in reality he had a tear in the blood vessel from his heart to his body. As a result of the misdiagnosis, the patient unfortunately passed away and the files released show the Trust was ordered to pay his wife £2,000.

This is just an example of the different types of misdiagnosis and delay complaints and claims that Mistreatment.com has helped advice members of the public with.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Julie Mellor said: "Our investigations highlight the devastating impact that failures in public services can have on the lives of individuals and their families.

Helping to improve patient care services

"For the first time, MPs, members of the public and service providers will be able to go online and see the types of complaints we have investigated. This will help MPs to see what complaints have been made about public services in their constituency and will help provide confidence to people to complain when they see what happened to other people.

"We are modernising the way we do things so we can help more people with their complaints and to help bodies in jurisdiction learn from mistakes other organisations have made to help them decide what action to improve their services.

"We will continue to work with others including consumer groups, public service regulators and Parliament, using the insight from our casework to help others make a real difference in public sector complaint handling and improve services."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "Listening to patients is one of the best ways to improve standards and we welcome this increased transparency around complaints. Hospitals should make sure patients, their families and carers know how to complain - including displaying information on the complaints system in every ward."

Why your complaints matter

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "People often don't complain about public services because they think their feedback will not be heard or acted upon, so publishing the results of investigations should give people more confidence that their complaints count.

"The complaints system across public services should be overhauled so people can more easily speak up and feel confident their feedback will trigger action."

Do you want to raise patient care awareness?

Have you or a loved one wanted to raise a complaint with the NHS regarding medical mistreatment that has been experienced? Our specialist teams can provide FREE advice about what your options are, whether you want to make a medical negligence claim or medical mistreatment complaint or simply to better understand what your patient rights. You can contact us here today for  a no-obligation and completely free conversation to discuss what happened to you.