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How our casework makes a difference

What we do

Our core role is to make final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England, UK government departments and some other UK public organisations. Where we identify individual wrongs, we can get these put right for people.

Making recommendations

If we fully or partly uphold a complaint, we can make recommendations to the organisation to put things right. This could mean:

  • acknowledging its mistakes
  • apologising
  • making a payment.

But the individual complaints that people bring to us can also help to make public services better for everyone.

If we find an organisation has got things wrong, we can ask it to show how it will prevent this happening again. This is so other people don’t go through the same thing. We publish summaries of some of these cases, so that all organisations can learn from the complaints we look into.

Sharing learning from complaints

The complaints we see also give us a window into how the NHS and other public services are performing overall. We can see what is working well and what isn’t, and we can spot serious or repeated mistakes. We feed this learning back into public services, for example through our published reports, to help them get better at what they do.

We also work with Parliament’s Select Committees and MPs to hold the Government and public services to account for delivering improvements.

Examples of our work

Here you can find out about some of the issues we have tackled and some of the changes that have happened because of our work.

Get involved

To follow our work to help improve public services, please follow us on Twitter @PHSOmbudsman. You can also follow us on SoundCloud for updates on our regular podcast series, Radio Ombudsman.

If you would like to find out more, please contact us at: publicaffairs@ombudsman.org.uk.