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Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Ombudsman to investigate how hospitals handle complaints

And he wants your help in investigating.

THE OMBUDSMAN PETER Tyndall has announced that he will investigate how public hospitals handle complaints – and wants public health to do so.

The wide-ranging investigation will look at how public hospitals across the State manage and investigate complaints from patients and their families.

Speaking today, Tyndall said that we are just not a nation of complainers. Officially, anyway.

“Despite the high number of interactions with our hospitals, relatively few people complain when they are unhappy with the service they receive. Compared with other jurisdictions, complaints to the HSE and to my Office are very low. I want to find out why this is.

I want to ensure that people have access to an efficient and effective complaint handling service and to be confident that where poor practice is found, the health service is learning from its mistakes and preventing recurrence.

The investigation will include site visits and inspections of selected hospitals, interviews with front line and senior staff, focus groups with members of the public, consultation with interested groups, and examination of complaints dealt with by the HSE and the Ombudsman.

As a first step the Ombudsman is asking members of the public to let his office know of their experiences, both positive and negative, of making a complaint about a public hospital.

If people didn’t make a formal complaint despite being unhappy with the service they received, the Ombudsman would also like to know why.

Submissions can be made here.

Originally published 13:49.

Read: Galway University Hospital uses collection agency to collect €150,000 in patient debt

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