The Ombudsman can examine complaints about the actions of a range of public bodies, including public hospitals. All hospitals providing public health services come within the Ombudsman's remit.
The Ombudsman can examine complaints about how hospital staff carry out their everyday administrative activities when providing public health services.
These include complaints about delays or failing to take action. However, there are certain complaints that the Ombudsman cannot examine. These include complaints about:
Yes. The Ombudsman is independent and impartial when examining complaints.
You can complain about your experience in dealing with a hospital. This might include, among other issues, a hospital:
You can make a complaint about any public or voluntary hospital providing general, maternity and mental health services.
We will examine all issues of maladministration. 'Maladministration' can include an action that was or might have been:
If we find that you have suffered adverse affect due to maladministration, and if the hospital has not taken steps to remedy this, we may recommend it does so. In our recommendation, we may ask the hospital to:
Before you complain to the Ombudsman you should try to resolve any issues with the hospital using the hospital's own complaints procedure.
Each hospital has a Complaints Officer, appointed under the Health Act 2004. The Complaints Officer will examine your complaint and give you a written response within a stated period. The Complaints Officer will also advise you of your right to seek an internal review of your complaint by a HSE Review Officer or to make a complaint directly to the Ombudsman.
Please remember to include any letters or other correspondence between you and the hospital.
You should complain to the Ombudsman within 12 months of the:
The time taken to reach a decision will vary from case to case, depending on how complex it is. However, we will keep you informed of what is happening with your complaint.
Nothing - there is no charge for the services of the Ombudsman.
The best way to make a complaint to the Ombudsman is on our website: www.ombudsman.ie.
You can also write to:
Yes, but only if you give them permission to do so. If you want to complain on behalf of someone else, you must get their permission first.
If you have a disability and need help to use the services of the Ombudsman, contact us to arrange to speak to our Access Officer.