STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

NHS watchdog slams hospitals’ handling of patient complaints

Click on the link to download the ombudsman’s report

A review nto the quality of NHS complaints investigations single pages

 

Dame Julie Mellor warns that three out of four investigations fail to identify serious failings in care as families are often met with ‘wall of silence’

Three out of four investigations by hospitals into complaints that patients suffered avoidable injury or death fail to identify serious failings in care, leaving distraught families in the dark, the NHS ombudsman has warned. Inquiries by hospital staff are so often inadequate that many complainants seeking to understand what went wrong are met with “a wall of silence from the NHS”, according to Dame Julie Mellor. Mellor, the parliamentary and health service ombudsman, has demanded an urgent overhaul of how hospitals examine serious complaints made against them, in which mistakes allegedly led to patients being harmed or even killed.

Her review of the quality of internal hospital investigations uncovered a series of major weaknesses. In 73% of cases in which she found evidence of clear failings, the NHS hospitals trust concerned had concluded that no failings occurred. “Parents and families are being met with a wall of silence from the NHS when they seek answers as to why their loved one died or was harmed,” said Mellor. “Our review found that NHS investigations into complaints about avoidable death and harm are simply not good enough. They are not consistent, reliable or transparent, which means that too many people are being forced to bring their complaint to us to get it resolved.”

In just over half (52%) of the cases she examined, the investigation had been led by a doctor who was not independent of the events complained about.

For example, when a baby girl was left with brain damage after a blood transfusion went wrong, the hospital appointed a close colleague of the paediatrician at the centre of the complaint to investigate. The girl’s family had to wait three years before learning what mistakes had been made.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/08/nhs-watchdog-julie-mellor-slams-hospitals-handling-complaints?CMP=share_btn_tw

 

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Dame Julie Mellor has demanded an urgent overhaul of how hospitals examine serious complaints made against them.

Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

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