//Health Ombudsman releases quarterly performance report

Health Ombudsman releases quarterly performance report

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23 October 2015

A total of 1114 health complaints were made to the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) in the first quarter of the 2015-16 financial year (1 July to 30 September 2015), according to performance data released today by Queensland’s health service complaints agency.

Health Ombudsman Leon Atkinson-MacEwen said the figure represented a 10 per cent rise in complaints made to the OHO during the July to September quarter.

“The Office of the Health Ombudsman has only been operating since 1 July 2014, so it’s pleasing to see more people are using our services and contacting us for advice, or to lodge a health service complaint,” Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said.

Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said anyone can make a complaint to the OHO if they are not satisfied with a health service, or a health service provider, in Queensland.

“Many people don’t like to complain, but complaints about health services are very important. They can identify areas for improvement, stop the same problems happening again and help to make health services better for all Queenslanders.”

Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said the quarterly report highlighted the OHO’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

“We are continually reviewing and refining our processes so that Queenslanders can be confident in our ability to provide informed, impartial and timely decisions that are fair to both complainants and health service providers.

“We made 1167 decisions within seven days during the July to September quarter–that’s 30 per cent more than the previous quarter. We also completed 303 local resolution matters, which is over 20 per cent more than the April to June quarter.”

Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said professional performance (50.98 per cent) was the main issue raised by complainants during the July to September quarter, followed by poor communication (12.25 per cent) and professional conduct (11.16 per cent).

Other highlights from the quarter include:

  • two show cause notices issued
  • two immediate registration actions including:
    • a registered nurse suspended for issues relating to conduct
    • a registered dentist conditioned for issues relating to conduct and performance
  • four prohibition orders issued.

The Health Ombudsman has powers to take immediate action against both registered and non-registered health practitioners if he reasonably believes the practitioner poses a serious risk to the health and safety of the public.

Further information, including the quarterly performance report, is available on the OHO website, www.oho.qld.gov.au.

Media contact:

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