Notes from the field of public involvement

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

Three Nations Complaints Cup - 3 nations, 3 NHS complaints systems

Pat Vernon of the Public & Patient Involvement Branch in the Department for Health and Social Services of the Welsh Assembly Government wrote to us and other interested parties in Wales over the summer about “A key change for NHS organisations is the stage at which the Ombudsman may investigate a matter that is being dealt with under the NHS complaints procedure. The Ombudsman may now investigate a complaint once the organisation concerned has had a reasonable opportunity to investigate and respond to it. The Ombudsman has interpreted this as being once the local resolution stage has been completed.”

So while the lay Reviewer stage still exists in Wales, the Ombudsman need not wait till that is completed. Wales then is hoping to avoid the bottlenecks we have seen in England with the Healthcare Commission being overwhelmed and the Ombudsman unable to intervene until due – endless – process has been completed.

The Scottish system does not have a lay Reviewer stage at all. Everyone goes to the Ombudsman after local resolution.

I think we need a tri-nation satisfaction survey plus an account of the costs to see which one is best.

Meantime take a look at the Moore Adamson Craig website for details of our complaint handling pc-based training.

Colin Adamson | (Problem occured connecting to database: The server requested authentication method unknown to the client