Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

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We provide a regular e-newsletter summarising significant findings from complaints and drawing attention to particular issues and recurring themes and trends so that lessons can be learned and improvements made.

2017

February

We laid 73 decisions before the Scottish Parliament today.

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January

We laid 75 decisions before the Scottish Parliament today.

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2016

December

We laid 56 decisions before the Scottish Parliament today.

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November

We laid 52 decisions before the Scottish Parliament today.

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October

We laid 43 decisions before the Scottish Parliament today.

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September

We laid 62 decisions before the Scottish Parliament today.

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August

We laid 60 decisions before the Scottish Parliament today.

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July

We laid 63 decisions before the Scottish Parliament today.

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June

We laid 71 decisions before the Scottish Parliament today.

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May

We laid 134 decision summaries before the Scottish Parliament today about all sectors under our remit.

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March

I highlight four investigation reports about the NHS and one about a water provider, along with 55 decisions about most of the sectors under our remit.

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February

I highlight 61 decision summaries about all sectors under our jurisdiction and one full public report about the NHS.

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January

I highlight 80 decision summaries about all sectors under our jurisdiction.There are no full public reports this month.

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2015

December

I highlight four investigation reports, and 81 decision summaries about all sectors under our jurisdiction. I also consider issues around apology, professional conduct and promoting good practice through learning and improvement.

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November

I highlight three investigation reports about the NHS and 68 decision summaries, as well as two consultations that are currently open for comment.

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October

I highlight three investigation reports about the NHS and 66 decision summaries, as well as two consultations that are currently open for comment.

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September

I highlight six investigation reports, and 60 decision summaries about all sectors under our jurisdiction.

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August

I highlight three investigation reports about the NHS, including an NHS complaint that focuses on informed consent, and a recent consultation response relating to duty of candour

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July

I published four investigation reports: three about the NHS in Scotland and one about a local authority, and I also highlighted my new guide to the SPSO for MPs and MSPs.

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June

I highlight how SPSO reports are being used to inform parliamentary debate, and I published two investigation reports about the NHS in Scotland

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May

I highlight four investigation reports about the NHS in Scotland, identify areas of best practice we have seen, and announce the publication of the 2014-15 statistics on the SPSO website

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April

I highlight four investigation reports about the NHS in Scotland

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March

I highlight the following matters this month: three investigation reports about the NHS in Scotland; an investigation report about Scottish Water; and rights around additional support for learning legislation.

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February

I highlight the following matters this month: four investigation reports about the NHS in Scotland and an investigation report about a council.

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January

I highlight the following matters this month: three investigation reports about the NHS in Scotland; the discussion of our 2013/14 annual report with a parliamentary committee; and the issue of our report on complaints about prisons.

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2014

December

I highlight the following matters this month: concerns about the way in which the water industry assessed a couple's liability for charges for their business premises; and two more SPSO 2013/14 complaints reports - one about housing and housing providers, and the other about the water industry in Scotland.

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November

I highlight the following matters this month: my 2013/14 complaints report about the NHS in Scotland; the evidence I provided in my submissions on the Scottish Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill; and repeat issues identified within NHS complaints ranging from poor communication and failure to gain informed consent, to delayed diagnosis, and failure to care properly for vulnerable individuals.

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October

I am highlighting three matters this month: a local authority’s planning decision on a wind farm application; the variety of ombudsman approaches to financial redress; failings we found in the NHS investigations including delays in diagnosis and treatment, lack of joined-up care and oversight of that care, and poor communication with the patient and their family or between health professionals.

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September

This month we are laying three reports about the NHS and one report about a local authority before the Scottish Parliament. We are also laying a report on 75 decisions about all of the sectors under our remit.

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August

"This month there is one detailed investigation report about the care and treatment of a woman with back pain, and the communication of test results between the two NHS boards involved. The short reports we are laying before Parliament include a number of housing complaints, and these are highlighted in the Ombudsman's overview as a tool for learning for the housing sector."

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July

"This month we are highlighting our briefing note about the Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF), in light of the Scottish Government's intended policy that the SPSO take on a new role in reviewing SWF decisions. This proposal is included in the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill that is before the Scottish Parliament."

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June

"Today’s detailed investigation reports highlight two areas that involve a significant degree of judgement – risk assessment and seeking consent for medical procedures."

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May

"This month’s overview focuses on complaints handling in the NHS. From the outside, it may seem that delays and administrative errors in complaints handling are minor issues. This, however, is to misjudge the enormous emotional toll that poor complaints handling can exact."

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April

"The five main reports I am laying today are about the NHS. Each investigation lays out in detail the failings we identified in care or treatment, and the recommendations I made to ensure that, as far as possible, the mistakes are not repeated. There is a wealth of learning in these investigations that all health boards should heed."

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March

"I laid three investigation reports about NHS boards and 73 decision summaries before the Scottish Parliament today."

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February

"I laid three investigation reports about NHS boards and 81 decision summaries before the Scottish Parliament today."

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January

"I laid six investigation reports and 67 decision summaries before the Scottish Parliament today."

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2013

December

"I laid three investigation reports about a water provider, a health board and the prison service before the Scottish Parliament today. I also laid a report on 70 decisions about all of the sectors under our remit..."

Read enewsletter | Read PDF (89KB)

November

"I laid two investigation reports about health boards before the Scottish Parliament today. I also laid a report on 53 decisions about all of the sectors under our remit..."

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October

"Today's reports demonstrate the range of issues we see: the tendering process for a ferry route, a missed diagnosis of lung cancer and prisoners’ access to the NHS complaints process..."

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September

"This month, I am drawing attention to complaints about children. One of my investigation reports is about two young people who were unable to visit their father in prison because of confusion on the part of the prison concerned and the Scottish Prison Service as a whole about whether or not they were of an age to visit without an accompanying adult..."

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August

"The four public investigation reports that I am laying before Parliament today are all about health boards, and they make very distressing reading..."

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July

"A key theme of some of the reports I am publishing today is the care of vulnerable adults. I have raised this issue several times in previous e-newsletters and annual reports, highlighting a lack of awareness or misunderstanding of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000..."

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June

"Where I find that something has gone wrong, my role is to make recommendations for improvement to try to ensure that the same thing does not happen again, and to provide redress for the individual who has suffered the injustice. For the individual, ideally the aim is to provide redress that, as far as possible, puts them back in the position they would have been in had the injustice not happened. In some cases, that is not possible, and a complaint I report on today (201200390), where the couple concerned had sought fertility treatment, is one of these."

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May

"One of today’s reports highlights serious concerns that I have publicised before about prisoners’ access to the NHS complaints procedure. The NHS became responsible for prison healthcare in November 2011 – a Scottish Government change, which made my office the final stage for such complaints. Since then, we have received dozens of contacts from prisoners across the Scottish prison estate..."

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April

"One of this month’s reports (Ref 201003482, PDF 76KB) is about the care and treatment provided to a young man before he committed suicide. The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (MWC) conducted a review into Mr A’s death and published a report on this in February 2012, which can be seen here (PDF, 125KB)."

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March

"Three of this month’s investigation reports are about different aspects of care – delayed diagnosis of breast cancer in a young mother; a failure to provide appropriate surgical and cosmetic treatment; and a failure to provide British Sign Language interpretation for a deaf patient during her hospital admission."

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February

"In last month’s overview, I reported on my evidence session to the Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee about the regulation of the care of older people in acute settings. Soon after, the media spotlight fell on the findings of the public inquiry into failings at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. The Francis Report made for distressing and all too familiar reading, and underlines once again the traumatic consequences of poor nursing and failings in clinical treatment. I appreciate that these issues are very much in people’s minds at present, and this makes us redouble our efforts to bring about change."

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January

"Yet again, one of the investigations I am laying today (201200306) is about failings in the care and treatment of an elderly patient in hospital. The other investigation (201104965) is into a complaint by the mother of a woman who died in hospital in which I found failings in both the clinical and nursing care. There is learning in these complaints for the boards concerned and I would urge all boards to also read the report and my recommendations for redress and improvement."

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2012

2011

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

We did not publish a newsletter in April 2011 due to Parliamentary recess

March

February

January

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

December

 

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Updated: March 7, 2017