National Ombudsmen
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Statement on the government’s response to the Mid-Staffordshire report

Dame Julie Mellor, the Health Service Ombudsman said:

“Putting the patient where they should be – right at the heart of the NHS - requires significant change in the culture, systems and processes of the NHS and the government’s response is an important first step.

In particular, we welcome the focus on complaints and the critical role complaint information plays in indicating early symptoms of a problem within an organisation. Complaints are key to learning and improving – and the government’s response is right to point this out. Ensuring that hospital trust boards receive and take action from meaningful complaint information to identity patterns, trends and themes will be central to making this change happen.

As Parliament’s Ombudsman - independent of both government and the NHS - we have a unique perspective and look forward to playing a part in helping the NHS improve the way it handles complaints.” 

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Notes to editor:

1. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman was set up by to help both individuals and the general public. We are not part of the government or the NHS. The Ombudsman’s role is to investigate complaints that individuals have been treated unfairly or have received poor service from government departments and other public organisations and the NHS in England. The service is free to use and open to everyone. 

2. If someone is unhappy about the service they have received they should first make their complaint to the department or organisation in question and give them the chance to respond. If they’re not happy with how their complaint is dealt with, they should contact the Ombudsman – call 0345 015 4033 or email

3. For media enquiries, contact the Ombudsman’s Press Office on 0300 061 4996/4272 or email


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