//Health Ombudsman releases third quarterly performance report

Health Ombudsman releases third quarterly performance report

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24 April 2015

More people than ever are contacting the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO), according to figures released this week by the Health Ombudsman for the third quarter of the 2014–15 financial year (1 January to 31 March 2015).

During the quarter, the OHO was contacted over 2 250 times by members of the public and health service providers wanting to make a health service complaint, enquiring as to how the Health Ombudsman could assist them or seeking more information on how to manage concerns they may have with a health service provider.

This was an increase of 15.5 per cent from the second quarter and 32 per cent from the first quarter.

Health Ombudsman Leon Atkinson-MacEwen said he was pleased to see the number of Queenslanders accessing the OHO’s services was continuing to grow.

“We’ve only been in operation since 1 July 2014, but since then there has been a steady increase in the number of people contacting the OHO to make a health service complaint, or for assistance or advice.”

“Members of the public, individual health practitioners and health service organisations are all able to access our services, and I would encourage them to do so if they’re not satisfied with a health service provider or a health service,” said Mr Atkinson-MacEwen.

The main issue raised in complaints, by a considerable margin, continues to be professional performance, accounting for 46 per cent of all issues raised, with communication (13.1 per cent) and professional conduct (12.8 per cent) rounding out the top three.

The third quarter also saw one doctor and two registered nurses suspended for issues relating to their conduct and performance, while a third registered nurse had conditions placed on their registration.

The Health Ombudsman said that whenever it became apparent a practitioner was putting a member of the public at serious risk, it was vital he took action immediately.

“Taking immediate action to either suspend or impose conditions on a health practitioner is such an important function in protecting the health and safety of the public that I’ve created a dedicated immediate action team to ensure these serious matters are dealt with as thoroughly and efficiently as possible,” said Mr Atkinson-MacEwen.

This new team is just one of many steps the OHO has taken in its commitment to continual improvement, since opening its doors on 1 July 2014.

“Every day we’re looking at our systems, processes and people to refine how we do things and develop strategies to ensure all Queenslanders can be confident we are dealing with every matter thoroughly, impartially and efficiently,” said Health Ombudsman.

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

Media contact:

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