Ombudsman findings, themes and trends – March 2024


In this month’s edition of the Ombudsman’s findings, we highlight the need for clear and consistent communication.

This month we published decision reports from 18 complaints investigated by the Ombudsman. Fourteen of these were about health services, one about health and social care and three about local government. The outcome of these 18 complaints were

  • Fully upheld: 9
  • Some upheld: 3
  • Not upheld: 6

Recommendations and feedback 

We made 61 recommendations to public bodies. Thirty-three of these were about steps public bodies could take to learn and improve from the complaint. A further 11 recommendations were about how complaints handling could be improved.

A common theme of these recommendations was the need for clear and consistent communication between public sector organisations and they people they serve. It is important people know what to expect, and are kept informed of any delays or changes to their service. Discussions between healthcare providers and patients are especially important. Patients should be aware of all the risks associated with their treatment, including the risk of declining any care.

We also a highlight a case where an individual experienced a loss of income due to the actions of a public body. We asked the public body to reimburse the individual, returning them to the position they would have been in had the failure not occurred. Our Redress Policy sets out our approach to resolving a complaint or request through recommendations for redress.

All our published decision reports can be read in full on our website.

Updated: March 20, 2024