The Ombudsman can examine complaints about the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) and agencies delivering health and personal social services on behalf of the HSE. These agencies can include charitable organisations and voluntary bodies. Public nursing homes, run by the HSE, also come within the Ombudsman's remit.
Yes. The Ombudsman is independent and impartial when examining complaints.
We can look into complaints about:
Once we establish that we can examine your complaint, we will ask the HSE or the appropriate service provider to send us a report. If necessary, the Ombudsman may also examine the files and records and may question people involved with the complaint. It can take time to gather the information that we need.
We will examine all issues of maladministration. 'Maladministration' can include an action that was or might have been:
If we agree that you have been adversely affected due to maladministration, and the HSE or its service provider has not taken steps to remedy this, we may recommend it does so.
In our recommendation, we may ask the HSE or service provider to:
No, there are some things the Ombudsman cannot look at. These include:
The Ombudsman cannot look at:
The Ombudsman cannot look at actions taken in relation to the clinical judgement (diagnoses or decisions about treatment) of medical professionals.
The Ombudsman cannot look at complaints relating to:
The Ombudsman cannot look at complaints where:
Before you complain to the Ombudsman you should try to resolve your problem with the HSE or service provider concerned using the HSE or Service Provider's own complaints procedure.
Under the Health Act 2004, the HSE and its service providers have appointed Complaints Officers. One of these 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 direct complaint to the Ombudsman.
Please remember to include any letters or other correspondence between you and the HSE or service provider concerned.
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.
You can write or call to:
The Office of the Ombudsman6 Earlsfort Terrace,
Dublin 2, D02 W773
Phone: 01 639 5600
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.