//Health Ombudsman releases second quarterly performance report

Health Ombudsman releases second quarterly performance report

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21 January 2015

Almost half of all health service complaints assessed by the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) during the second quarter of 2014–15 (1 October and 31 December 2014) identified poor performance and communication on the part of health service providers, according to quarterly figures released today by the Health Ombudsman.

Complaints that completed the OHO’s assessment process during the quarter included 312 issues relating to poor professional performance, in addition to 142 allegations of poor communication by health service providers.

Health Ombudsman Leon Atkinson-MacEwen said it was disappointing health consumers were not receiving the quality of care and communication about their healthcare options to which they were entitled.

“Health service providers must ensure that they provide a reasonable standard of service in all circumstances and give health consumers adequate and appropriate information about the treatment options available to them,” said Mr Atkinson MacEwen.

The second quarter also saw two Sunshine Coast massage therapists banned from practicing in Queensland after being issued with prohibition orders, following separate investigations by the Health Ombudsman. In addition, a cosmetic therapist from New South Wales was also prohibited from practising in Queensland (in line with a prohibition order issued by the Health Care Complaints Commission in New South Wales).

In total, 747 health service complaints—covering 942 issues—were accepted by the OHO during the second quarter of 2014–15.

The latest figures are consistent with those of the previous quarter, which saw 953 complaint issues raised in the period between 1 July and 30 September 2014.

Meanwhile, a comparison of key performance data shows recent efforts by the OHO to streamline its internal processes were having a positive effect.

Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said he was pleased to see the number of decisions made within seven days of the OHO receiving a health service complaint had risen from 61 percent in August, to 88 percent in December 2014.

“Our results for local resolutions are also consistently hitting the mark, with 94 per cent of matters being finalised within approved timeframes.”

“Along with this, results from our conciliation team show that for parties who participated in conciliation, agreement was reached in over 70% of matters,” said Mr Atkinson MacEwen.

Mr Atkinson-MacEwen reaffirmed his commitment to publishing monthly and quarterly performance results on the OHO website.

“While it’s still too early to identify particular trends, we will continue to report on a regular basis so Queenslanders can feel confident that health service complaints are handled appropriately, fairly and quickly, within an open and transparent health complaints management system.”

Media contact:

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