Poor Communication And Misdiagnosis Top Hospital Complaints

Ombudsman's Report Reveals Common Complaints About Trusts


Poor communication, errors in diagnosis and poor treatment top England's first league table of hospital complaints, issued by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

The report outlines complaints made to each of England's 156 hospital trusts, focusing on complaints which were not resolved locally and needed to be investigated by the Ombudsman Service.

In the 18-month period covered by the report there were 2,497 complaints about trusts for investigation, of which 44% were upheld.

Some trusts are up to 15 times more likely than others to have a complaint investigated by the service. Overall, the report revealed a wide variation in the ways complaints are handled by trusts, with a strong correlation between level of activity at the trust and number of complaints.

"We are publishing this data today because every complaint presents an opportunity to improve services," said Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Julie Mellor.

"We know that poor communication, errors with diagnosis and poor care and treatment are the most common reasons why people complain to us about their hospital treatment."

Expert Opinion
This research has put a vital spotlight on the issues which patients can face when seeking treatment and support from medical professionals in hospitals up and down the country. Sadly, the problems identified are those which we often see arise during our work on behalf of patients who have been injured or fallen ill as a result of issues during their care.

"The publication of this data is a vital step towards transparency and ensuring that standards are discussed in an open manner. Such information must be used to determine how services across the country can be improved to ensure that patients are able to access consistent quality care regardless of where they live."
Mandy Luckman, Partner