Ombudsman's findings, themes and trends - February 2024

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In this month’s edition of the Ombudsman’s findings, we highlight the power of apologies. 

This month we published decision reports from 17 complaints investigated by the Ombudsman. Fourteen of these were about health services, one about health and social care, one about local government, and one about a university. The outcome of these 17 complaints were

  • Fully upheld: 11
  • Some upheld: 4
  • Not upheld: 2

Recommendations and feedback 

We made 57 recommendations to public bodies. Nearly a third of these asked organisations to apologise to those concerned. 

Apologies are an important and powerful tool. They are often the first step to repairing a damaged relationship and, while apologising cannot change what has happened, it can help to restore dignity and trust. Our published guidance ‘How to make a good apology’ outlines the steps you can take to make a meaningful apology. If communicated sincerely and effectively, it can undo the negative effects of previous service failings. 

We also made a number of learning recommendations that asked public bodies to improve on their communication with service users. By ensuring they have all the relevant information, individuals can manage their expectations about the service they receive. 

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

Updated: February 21, 2024