Clinical Advice Review: Final report and our response


We use clinical advice as a key source of evidence to inform our thinking in around three-quarters of our health investigations.

It is crucial that we commission and use clinical advice correctly. It is also important that those involved in a complaint understand and have confidence in the way it has informed our decisions.

To meet a commitment we made in our new strategy for 2018-21, we carried out a major review of the way we use clinical advice when we investigate NHS complaints. 

The Review considered responses to a public consultation before reporting and making recommendations.

Here we publish our response to the Review’s findings and recommendations.

Review documents

You can also download the following Review documents:

We are also publishing a letter (PDF 45.61 KB) from Sir Liam Donaldson to the Ombudsman confirming that the Review’s recommendations are in line with the proposals in his report.

Rob Behrens' response

In response to the review, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Rob Behrens said:

We will implement the vast majority of the Review’s recommendations to enhance confidence and trust that we have commissioned, used and reported clinical advice correctly.

'We will ensure that our use of clinical advice is consistent with our new organisational values of independence, fairness, excellence and transparency as we work towards becoming an exemplary ombudsman service.’