//August performance data - Office of the Health Ombudsman

August performance data - Office of the Health Ombudsman

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09 September 2014

The Office of the Health Ombudsman is strengthening its processes and increasing its capacity in response to higher than expected numbers of new health service complaints received in its first two months of operation.

Health Ombudsman, Leon Atkinson-MacEwen, said a total of 621 new health service complaints had been lodged with the OHO since it began operations as Queensland’s single health service complaints agency on 1 July this year.

“We are committed to engaging with health service consumers and providers throughout the state on how we can help bring about a better health system for Queenslanders,” Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said.

“It’s important that people know they have a voice if something isn’t right in the way they receive health services, and these early results suggest there is strong confidence within the community in our ability to help bring about necessary improvements to the health system.”

Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said the OHO had also taken steps to create greater efficiency in its decision making processes to meet the high demand for its services, while ensuring all matters are reviewed thoroughly, impartially and independently.

“We are recruiting extra staff to assist in the processing of complaints, and we will continue to manage our operational processes on an ongoing basis so that all complaints are resolved quickly and appropriately.”

In August, the most common issue identified in complaints was poor professional performance, with 168 instances recorded, the majority relating to general practitioners (34), specialists (26) and dentists (25).

Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said the OHO was committed to transparency and accountability and would continue to use the data to help identify areas for improvement within the state’s health system.

“We aim to assess complaints within 30 days, where possible, and are committed to achieving resolution in the most timely and appropriate way based on detailed information and evidence that we independently and impartially analyse.

“We will continue to refine our operational processes as the new health service complaints system in Queensland takes shape, and I am confident that this will be reflected in the data over the coming months.”

The Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) commenced operation on 1 July 2014 as Queensland’s health service complaints management agency, replacing the former Health Quality Complaints Commission.

Media contact:

media@oho.qld.gov.au 0427 483 656