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Ombudsman's findings themes and trends - October 2023

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This month the Ombudsman’s findings highlight the importance of following good complaints handling procedures and having mechanisms in place to learn from complaints.

We published decision reports from 12 complaints investigated by the Ombudsman. Ten of these were about the Health sector and three about Local Government. The outcome of these 12 complaints were:

  • Fully upheld: 4

  • Some upheld: 3

  • Not upheld: 5

Recommendations and feedback

We made 26 recommendations to public bodies.  16 of these were about steps public bodies could take to learn and improve from the complaint.

Some of these recommendations provide a good opportunity to highlight key points important to ensuring good complaints handling. For example, public bodies should identify good practice as well as failings from complaints, and use this to drive service improvement. It’s also important that a detailed complaint response is provided to the complainant, and the impact the fault or failure has had on the person is acknowledged. More information and guidance on good complaints handling can be found on our website.

We also made recommendations about how public bodies communicate with people engaging with their service. This is particularly important in a healthcare setting as it’s vital that patients and their families are provided with clear explanations about the patient's care.


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

Updated: October 18, 2023