This report from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, follows an invitation from the House of Commons Select Committee on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs to explore the state of local complaints handling across the NHS and UK Government departments.
It draws upon significant evidence taken from interviews carried out with a wide range of individuals and organisations who have first-hand experience of how the NHS and UK Government departments approach complaints. It also incorporates a review of a wide range of other research reports and over 300 of our own investigation reports documenting complainant experience.
The report highlights three areas that need to change:
- There is no consistent way in which staff are expected to handle and resolve complaints.
- Staff do not get consistent access to training to support them in their complex role - complaint handling should be recognised as a professional skill.
- Public bodies too often see complaints negatively, not as a learning opportunity that can be used to improve their service.