National Ombudsmen
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Report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on complaints about disability issues

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s Report on complaints about disability issues is published yesterday (12 October 2011).The report explains the Ombudsman’s role in considering complaints about poor service and unfair treatment provided to people with disabilities. It sets out the Ombudsman’s approach to considering complaints and shows, through a series of real case studies, what the Ombudsman can achieve for individuals.

The report features summaries of five recent investigations by the Ombudsman covering complaints about a number of public bodies. These include the NHS, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, and the UK Border Agency.

The cases in the report highlight the difficulties faced by disabled people in accessing public services and the lack of awareness in some public bodies of their statutory obligations, which can lead to poor service and unfair treatment. The cases also show the role that the Ombudsman can play in both righting individual wrongs and driving improvements in public services.

Notes to editors:

  1. Ann Abraham holds the post of Parliamentary Ombudsman and is also the Health Service Ombudsman for England. She is appointed by the Crown and is completely independent of government and the NHS.
  2. The Ombudsman’s role is to consider complaints that government departments, a range of other public bodies in the UK, and the NHS in England, have not acted properly or fairly, or have provided a poor service. The Ombudsman’s service is free.
  3. To contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s Press Office please call 0300 061 4996/3924 or email

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