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Patients Association response to Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman (PHSO) report into patient complaints

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association responds to the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman (PHSO) report.

“The figures published in the PHSO report are inexcusable but they are not surprising. The Patients Association has known for many years that NHS investigations into patient complaints have not been good enough. Patients have been suffering in silence for too long. 

The PHSO have also contributed to the problems identified in this report. They have had opportunities for many years to improve complaints handling for patients. Our report in March 2015 “PHSO: Labyrinth of Bureaucracy” highlighted how many patients faced a number of issues dealing with the PHSO. These issues ranged from sub-standard investigation reports to patients not being listened to or believed. Too often the PHSO has ignored patients and simply gone along with the findings of the NHS Trust. 

The PHSO must use the findings of their report to make sure that their work is more than just a paper exercise. Complaints are a vital part of improving health and care services and should be welcomed. Patients must be involved and engaged in the complaints process so they have confidence they will get answers, and stop the same mistakes from happening again.” 

Notes for Editors

A link to the Patients Association report “PHSO: Labyrinth of Bureaucracy” can be found here :


The Patients Association is an independent national health and social care charity established over 52 years ago, and has a long history of campaigning to ensure that the voice of patients is heard within the Health and Social care system.

For further information please contact the Patients Association on 020 8423 9111 alternatively you can call 07779 004898.

You can also visit us on our website at www.patients-association.org.uk

You can also view our All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Patient Safety at http://www.patientsassociation.org.uk/policy-campaigns/all-party-parliamentary-group-patient-safety/

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