Ombudsman- any experience? Advice?

Hi

I’ve just submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman. I found the online application a bit clunky and am a bit worried about whether it has gone through as it doesnt save the document. I called the Ombudsman but they said it takes them 3 weeks to find the documents and acknowledge receipt as they have so many. Eek - just hoping its okay!

Anyway I wondered if any of you have any experience of submitting a complaint (its our first time) and how I went? Not sure what to expect…

Than ks again for all your help and support.

Hi Faye.

For what it’s worth , the LA and Social Care Ombudsman features on Trustpilot … happy reading ?

LG & SC Ombudsman Reviews | Read Customer Service Reviews of www.lgo.org.uk
( 25 reviews and … not one other than bad ??? )

Short of surfing through several disability related forums for individual experiences , that’s all there is out there.

Plenty of advice on how to submit a complaint … CAB prominent.

My advice? Don’t hold your breath, they tell you they’ll be in touch in 6 weeks, then another 6 weeks, then another, before the job ever gets given to a person to investigate.!

Thank you for your responses - it all makes for pretty grim reading!

I’m also having some issues with our solicitor (who is helping with Dad’s personal injury case). I’ve never done anything like this before so I dont know if its just that my expectations are unrealistic. If you have any experience I would be grateful for your views.

My father suffered a fractured humerus last December. Patient Transport Services have admitted negligence, so now just a settlement needs to be agreed. The solicitor/barrister seem to be taking ages. They agreed at the end of July to appoint a care and orthopaedic experts to assess him. Only now have they been appointed. This wouldn’t normally matter but my father is terminally ill and his health is continually declining. I assume it is now going to be difficult for the experts to assess what needs are as a result of the injury and what have occurred because of his declining health/other conditions?

It has also taken them over five months to start a schedule of loss- even though they agreed to do one in July and have had all the paperwork for as many months. Am I being unrealistic in thinking this is taking too long ?- is it just how the system works? Its pretty clear my father will be long dead before anything like compensation appears - which is really frustrating/upsetting not least as he needs help now!

Sorry for troubling you with this - I just have no one else to discuss it with. Thank you for your patience and help.

Your welcome , Faye.

If anyone can help with a potential negligence matter relating to a solicitor , it will be the CAB :

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

In particular , the law and courts section :

Law and courts - Citizens Advice

Let us know how matters progress … many of us are following your threads , Faye … a standard bearer for the forum ?

The solicitor is useless. Have an informal chat with the Law Society to start with. I made a medical negligence complaint against my husband’s GP, who failed to realise he’d had one heart attack and he died of a second one. The solicitor was great. Can I just check you are using a Medical Negligence Solicitor, as opposed to a general one?

The very first thing that should have been done is to get medical reports. Dates are important. This is terrible! You need another solicitor but I am not sure where it is best to get recommendations.

Thank you so much for your helpful responses. I thought it was all taking longer that it should but wasn’t sure. I just didn’t know what to expect - as I haven’t done anything like this before.

The solicitor is one that deals with personal injury/ medical negligence cases- they were recommended by my trade union at work. I did google before going with them and the reviews seemed okay. I have asked to speak to one of the senior partners later today so hopefully they might be able to get things speeded up a bit. I did also speak to the law society but they didn’t really provide any advice - they can only help if I make a formal response and suggested that I try to resolve my concerns with the solicitor first.

Thank you for all your advice. It’s been such a challenging time. Dad is still in hospital. Unfortunately since the accident he needs double handed care to mobilise but the hospital are saying they don’t have sufficient staff to do this. This means that when he needs the toilet they won’t help him on the commode they simply tell him to toilet in the bed. He now has a uti and bladder infection. He’s also very weak and really struggling to mobilise. I’ve asked if he can be seen by a physio but the ward say they are short. I’m worried they are going to try and send him home immobile. I was considering making a complaint (it’s really undignified and unhygienic leavibg someone lying in waste for hours) but nothing ever comes of the complaints do not sure. Should we expect more or just accept this is how it is? If I complain will he get worse treatment? Thank you.

Hi Faye.

Ever experienced loaded dice whatever the situation ?

NHS complaints … surprise , surprise … CAB … how they must like me ?

Get advice about health services - Citizens Advice

Just a small extract :

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What you might want to complain about

Here are just some examples of things you may have concerns about. But remember you can complain about other things even if they are not on this list:

an incorrect diagnosis.

incorrect treatment.

important symptoms have been ignored.

there’s been an unreasonable delay in diagnosis or treatment.

a medical product has failed.

lack of communication.

failure to provide appropriate pain relief.

failure to provide proper nutrition and hydration.

clinical negligence resulting in personal injury.

waiting a long time for treatment. For example, you shouldn’t normally have to wait longer than 18 weeks for consultant-led treatment from the date when your GP referred you.Patients with urgent conditions such as cancer should be able to see a specialist more quickly - you should be seen by a specialist within a maximum of two weeks from GP referral.

your operation is cancelled. For example, if your operation is cancelled by the hospital at the last minute (on or after the day of admission, including the day of surgery) for non-medical reasons, the hospital should offer you another date within the next 28 days, or fund your treatment at a time and hospital of your choice.

the standard of cleanliness in the hospital.

the behaviour of NHS staff.

the quality or appropriateness of treatment.

consent issues. For example, if you weren’t given information about the severe side effects of a certain medication, you wouldn’t be able to make an informed choice about consenting to the treatment.

how and when you were discharged from hospital. For example, you shouldn’t be discharged from hospital until you’ve had an assessment of your continuing healthcare needs and, where necessary, of your community care needs. If necessary, arrangements should be made to make sure you’ll receive any services you need when you’re discharged. You may complain if you feel that you’re being discharged too early or if you’re awoken in the night to be discharged or if you think you should qualify for NHS continuing healthcare. Before you’re discharged, you have the right to ask for a review of the decision which has been made about whether you qualify for NHS continuing healthcare.

discrimination, for example, you’re not given proper treatment because of your disability or age. This is against the law.

hospital visits. For example, your child is in hospital and you feel that the visiting hours are too restricted.

you’ve been placed in a mixed-sex ward without a good reason.

you’re given medication that is unsuitable even though your family have explained why this medication shouldn’t be given to you.

errors in medical records, or loss of medical records.

delays in passing on information to other professionals.

Do Not Resuscitate notices are placed in a patient’s records without their knowledge or consent and without discussing this with their family.

If ANY NHS hospital scored 5 or less , I would be very surprised !

If incompetentence was a sackable offence , the NHS staff shortage would double … perhaps treble … within a very short time frame ???

Faye, I’m disgusted at the hospital’s attitude, the nurses need reporting, but I’m sure you are utterly exhausted now.
Is there a local hospice where dad could go?

Thank you for your supportive comments- they really do mean a lot. Being a carer is so isolating - used to have so many friends but over the years they have all drifted away! Would be lost without the forum.

I spoke to the senior partner at the solicitors. Given Dads declining health she agreed that we could go on and on getting reports from experts but its going to get harder to work out which care needs are a result of the fractured humerus and which are because of other health conditions. She is going to ask the solicitor to pull together a schedule of loss and negotiate an amount with the solicitors for the patient transport service. I know we will end up with less but at least my father might see the settlement and we could potentially use it for extra care, physic, funeral etc?

I also submitted a complaint about the lack of care he is currently receiving in hospital. I know they are very short staffed but refusing to help him mobilise, go on the commode etc just doesn’t seem right. He is in a much worse state now than when he went in and am sure that at some point they will want to discharge him and we will be left to pick up the pieces again. The complaints team forwarded my email to the ward matron and we met last night. Initially the matron simply denied that they weren’t helping him to the commode etc so I showed her the photos and pointed out that it had been witnessed (including by a social worker). She said they will try to get him physio today and help him more. We shall see. I would like him to come home for Christmas as he’s not really getting better in hospital but am not sure how we will manage with so little care at home.The council have been praising to undertake a counting care assessment since the summer but nothing has happened- I think I will have to lodge another complaint: grr!! Its really difficult but hopefully we will get there.

I have asked about hospice care but they don’t think he’s ready for that - Dr said it could be two months or two years they just dont know. We have discussed nursing care but again have been told that the options in London are too expensive - that he would have to go out of London and if he wanted his own room I would have to top up. I would have to give up my job (may have to anyway?) .Theres just no way I could leave him on his own- I love him very much and emotionally I couldn’t cope with it. I dont really have any family just me and dad - there would seem little point in life in the person I love the most was miles away and I was unable to see him. Its’ all very tricky. I did hope to see a councillor but the GP said there’s an 18 month waiting list. I was previously paying privately but it became too expensive. Oh well - at least I have the forum. I do hope you dont mind my complaining …Thank you.

Hi Faye.

To save me surfing through several , previous , postings / threads , did I ever mention CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare as a possible option ?

I’m sure I did … ?

Thanks - yes you did mention continuing healthcare. The council promised to do an assessment in the summer (end July) but it still hasn’t been done. I have chased and think I will probably end up having to make a formal complaint. I have asked the hospital about having one done but they have said the Council have to do it. I will continue to chase - a formal complaint might make them act more quickly?

In which case , don’t delay any longer.

Main thread … this section :

FAST TRACK NHS CONTINUING HEALTHCARE ( NOT JUST FOR END OF LIFE ! )

And … don’t spare the horses !

Who does it ?

CHC : WHAT IS IT / QUALIFICATION / ASSESSMENTS / VIDEO ( PROFESSOR LUKE CLEMENTS )

As it’s a medical health issue , I would go pester my gp … and continue to do so !

The very last person would be a social worker !

Thanks - Dad hasn’t seen his Gp for over 18months (she doesn’t do home visits and he is now virtually housebound). I asked his renal consultant and the renal social worker in the hospital - they have all said the social worker has to do the assessment once he is home. It was agreed that would be done in the summer (once the 6weeks rehab was completed) but the social worker said he was too busy. I have been chasing and think I will now have to make a formal complaint to get it moving. Its all so very exhausting…

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they have all said the social worker has to do the assessment once he is home

I can ONLY assume a Needs Assessment ?

Stick with my advice … get a gp or other professionally qualified medic to start the ball rolling.

( What has being busy got to do with a patient’s health ??? )

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NHS Continuing Healthcare : Should social workers be involved ?

NHS Continuing Healthcare: Should social workers be involved?

I would just like to comment and say that the G.P. has to see a patient at least once a year to review the medication and check it is appropriate.

The G.P. cannot just say they don’t do home visits, there was a case about it recently.

" It is recognised good practice for GP practices to have systems in place to triage and prioritise home visits. NHS England issued a patient safety alert in April 2016 to raise awareness. This follows a patient safety incident where a patient’s death was related to the lack of prioritisation of GP"

Thank you for your responses. We have tried to press the GP for home visits but have just got nowhere- she simply tells us to take my father to a&e- with even the smallest of issues (eg constipation!). I’m afraid I have given up on that fight. She’s only seen him three times in the past seven years and its clear that won’t change. I dont have the energy to re-register him elsewhere. Picking my battles etc…But thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and respond- it means such a lot to know we are not alone.

Today has been a bit of a nightmare. My father was meant to have a procedure on Monday/ Tuesday/ Wednesday but again it was cancelled (am told he’ll have it tomorrow- we shall see). Slightly more concerning is that my fathers health seems to be deteriorating - the Dr claims that a new cough/difficulties breathing is not a new infection but rather because he has been lying down in bed for 24 hours a day (often in soiled sheets) for weeks without any attempts to move him. I again asked about physio support and was told there won’t be anyone available until the new year. I’m really worried that my father is going to be kept in for weeks for no reason other than to wait until the physios to return from holiday (during which time he will inevitably have deteriorated further - he is simply lying in a bed with no stimulation 24 hours a day :they haven’t moved him to wash or toilet him: although I managed to put him on the commode myself tonight and at the weekend, with the help of my uncle, we dressed him and took him out for a meal). I have made a request to speak to the Head of Nursing (am sure she will be busy…) as I’m worried we are going to face a repeat of problems we faced earlier in the year. My father’s discharge was unnecessarily delayed as the hospital/la couldn’t get their act together (took nearly month for a home visit to be undertaken etc.) . I dont think I could bare going through all that again and not sure Dad would survive it. If they say dad is Medically Fit For Discharge but needs physio that can’t be provided for weeks - I am tempted to say he should come home and receive the physio at home as an outpatient. Only thing I am worried about is that the Council may refuse to provide any care in the absence of an OT assessment. It seems mad that they would keep him in a hospital bed that costs £1k a night (denying others the use and poor vfm for tax payers) when they could simply send him home with increased care pending the physios returning from holiday… we shall see…

I did speak to my fathers social worker again - he said he has finally completed the NHS Continuing Care Checklist (promised to do it in the summer) and sent it onto the CCG for a full assessment. I’m not entirely sure of the benefits of NHS Continuing Care over a Local Authority package of care other than you dont have to make a financial contribution. is it also possible to get more hours/ do other people know of any additional benefits? Thank you once again for listening to me and apologies for moaning so much. I know others have it much harder - I dont know how you all survive!!

Thank you for your responses. We have tried to press the GP for home visits but have just got nowhere- she simply tells us to take my father to a&e- with even the smallest of issues (eg constipation!). I’m afraid I have given up on that fight. She’s only seen him three times in the past seven years and its clear that won’t change. I dont have the energy to re-register him elsewhere. Picking my battles etc…But thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and respond- it means such a lot to know we are not alone.

Today has been a bit of a nightmare. My father was meant to have a procedure on Monday/ Tuesday/ Wednesday but again it was cancelled (am told he’ll have it tomorrow- we shall see). Slightly more concerning is that my fathers health seems to be deteriorating - the Dr claims that a new cough/difficulties breathing is not a new infection but rather because he has been lying down in bed for 24 hours a day (often in soiled sheets) for weeks without any attempts to move him. I again asked about physio support and was told there won’t be anyone available until the new year. I’m really worried that my father is going to be kept in for weeks for no reason other than to wait until the physios to return from holiday (during which time he will inevitably have deteriorated further - he is simply lying in a bed with no stimulation 24 hours a day :they haven’t moved him to wash or toilet him: although I managed to put him on the commode myself tonight and at the weekend, with the help of my uncle, we dressed him and took him out for a meal). I have made a request to speak to the Head of Nursing (am sure she will be busy…) as I’m worried we are going to face a repeat of problems we faced earlier in the year. My father’s discharge was unnecessarily delayed as the hospital/la couldn’t get their act together (took nearly month for a home visit to be undertaken etc.) . I dont think I could bare going through all that again and not sure Dad would survive it. If they say dad is Medically Fit For Discharge but needs physio that can’t be provided for weeks - I am tempted to say he should come home and receive the physio at home as an outpatient. Only thing I am worried about is that the Council may refuse to provide any care in the absence of an OT assessment. It seems mad that they would keep him in a hospital bed that costs £1k a night (denying others the use and poor vfm for tax payers) when they could simply send him home with increased care pending the physios returning from holiday… we shall see…

I did speak to my fathers social worker again - he said he has finally completed the NHS Continuing Care Checklist (promised to do it in the summer) and sent it onto the CCG for a full assessment. I’m not entirely sure of the benefits of NHS Continuing Care over a Local Authority package of care other than you dont have to make a financial contribution. is it also possible to get more hours/ do other people know of any additional benefits? Thank you once again for listening to me and apologies for moaning so much. I know others have it much harder - I dont know how you all survive!!

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I’m not entirely sure of the benefits of NHS Continuing Care over a Local Authority package of care other than you dont have to make a financial contribution.

In theory , a 5 star standard of care provided by qualified nurses and carers supervised by a CHC unit within the NHS.

A Bugatti Veyron compared with your average car ?