The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) use clinical advice as a key source of evidence to inform their thinking in around three quarters of their health investigations.
It is crucial that they commission and use clinical advice correctly. It is also important that those involved in a complaint understand and have confidence in the way it has informed decisions.
To meet a commitment they made in their new strategy for 2018-21, the PHSO carried out a major review of the way they use clinical advice when they investigate NHS complaints.
The Review’s recommendations fall into five core themes:
- Greater integration of clinical advisers into the casework process
- Effective and consistent communication with those involved in a complaint
- Balancing evidence and ensuring everyone understands how we have used it to reach decisions
- Applying the appropriate range of methods to investigate the causes of poor care, and share learning
Sir Liam Donaldson, the former Chief Medical Officer and currently the World Health Organisation’s Envoy for Patient Safety, was commissioned to act as an Independent Adviser to the Review.