|PC&PE; Is it worth complaining?|
PACAC says the Government needs to take action to improve the NHS complaints system, properly investigate cases of historic injustice & modernise the legislation for England's Ombudsman’s services.
A new Public Administration & Constitutional Affairs Committee report says that the Parliamentary & Health Services Ombudsman is the final tier of complaint for people unhappy with their experience of the NHS in England and Government departments. Last year it received 31,444 new complaints, 88% about the NHS.
PACAC's report on the PHSO's work in 2016-17 agrees with the PHSO's new Chief Executive that the time it has taken to investigate complaints is, "simply unacceptable". The Committee is also calling on the PHSO to improve how it supports often very distressed complainants, and to get better at showing how its investigations help improve NHS' services for future patients.However, many of the challenges the PHSO faces are made harder by the Government’s slow progress on reforms to the complaints system. PACAC therefore calls on the Government to accelerate the legislation to modernise the Ombudsman and on the Department of Health to improve local NHS complaints handling and to properly resolve the historic cases where families feel they are still being denied justice.