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Watchdog handles more complaints

13 July 2011

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The number of complaints made against governmental departments more than doubled last year, according to a report.

The Parliamentary and Health and Service Ombudsman carried out a full investigation into 107 complaints, compared with 52 the previous year.

A report from the watchdog revealed it had received a total of 23,422 enquiries from the public, with more than half (13,625) of these about the NHS, and 6,990 relating to parliamentary bodies.

The majority of NHS complaints (6,924) related to acute trusts, while 2,714 were made about primary care trusts and 2,581 about GPs.

Of the total number of complaints made about the NHS, the Ombudsman carried out a full investigation into 296 cases.

Most of these cases related to hospital, specialist and teaching trusts (177), 66 were about GPs and 54 were relating to primary care trusts.

Meanwhile 22 were in relation to dentists and 20 were regarding mental health, social care and learning disability trusts.

The total is larger than the actual 296 figure, as one complaint could affect two different sectors.

Ombudsman Ann Abraham said: “We take time to advise and assist people with making a complaint, and to find swift and direct solutions where possible. As a result, only a few hundred of the complaints we resolved last year needed a formal investigation.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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“I found ombudsman very abusive over my complaint into needless toxic treatment I received at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. She simply watched my distress passively – I sent emails begging for her intervention, but she refused to intervene when my care was cut-off from renal and I self-managed my care. This makes her guilty of abuse” – Suvarna Sansom, Hove