NHS Ombudsman says there are still “too many examples of care not being safe”

In an interview with the Guardian, the Chair of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Mr Rob Behrens, discussed some serious issues of concern regarding the NHS.

In particular, he highlighted that the NHS have a “cover-up culture” whereby crucial documents may be altered or disappear, and staff members who raise their concerns about patient safety are not listened to. As a result, it is difficult to get to the truth and lessons are not learned after things go wrong.

The NHS Ombudsman

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman are an independent body that make the final decision on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS. If you have made a complaint to the NHS but the problem persists or you are not happy with the outcome, you have the right to bring your complaint to the Ombudsman.

If your complaint is upheld, the Ombudsman can:

  • Ask the NHS to take action to put things right. This could include getting the NHS to acknowledge its mistake, to apologise, or to pay you back if you have been left out of pocket because of what happened.
  • Ask the NHS to look again at a decision that it has made;
  • Ask the NHS to improve its services to avoid the same things happening again. This could include asking the NHS to review its policies, procedures, guidance, or standards.

Despite this process, Mr Behrens is concerned that “there are still too many examples of care not being safe and health trusts being too slow to deal with it”. 

As solicitors specialising in medical negligence, we similarly play a role in highlighting to the NHS when mistakes have been made, so that lessons can be learned and changes made in order to avoid mistakes being repeated.

Whilst the NHS is full of many brilliant, hard-working individuals, sadly it appears that there are some serious issues surrounding the organisation’s culture when it comes to addressing concerns regarding patient safety and care. A duty of candour was introduced in 2014 but, unfortunately, our experience is that it is not always adhered to. If there was more transparency, then some things may never get to the stage where patients or their families have to resort to the legal process. We find this to be the case especially in incidents which have involved a bereavement.

If you have a complaint against the NHS, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to understand your rights and the specifics of pursuing compensation. Legal firms specialising in medical negligence, such as Moore Barlow, offer experienced guidance and representation in these matters.

How can Moore Barlow help?

With a proven track record of successful medical negligence claims and achieving the maximum possible amount of compensation for our clients. You can be assured of receiving expert representation from our medical negligence lawyers who are considered leaders in the field of medical negligence law.

As one of the UK’s most experienced medical negligence law firms, we pride ourselves on working closely with our clients and their families, ensuring you are at the heart of the process and fully engaged in the decision making. We will guide you sensitively through the litigation process making what can be a stressful experience much easier to handle, whilst proactively progressing your compensation claim and maximising any compensation award.

Please do not hesitate in contacting us today.