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'Devastating' care failings revealed in report

A official dossier of “shocking” NHS failings has been published by the health service ombudsman. 

The report highlights 126 failings between April and June this year, including a one-day old baby who suffered permanent brain damage because a nurse and two doctors made serious mistakes during a blood transfusion.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor said the report had left her concerned about a lack of “care and compassion” in the NHS. 

Speaking to the Telegraph, she also revealed concerns about the basic mistakes that had led to catastrophic harm. 

The role of the health service ombudsman is to review complaints that patients feel were not properly investigated by the services at fault. 

Earlier this year Dame Julie pledged to publish reports outlining her findings. 

Dame Julie said: "These investigations highlight the devastating impact failures in public services can have on the lives of individuals and their families.

"We are increasingly concerned about patients being discharged unsafely from hospital. Unplanned admissions and readmissions are a massive cost to the NHS.

"We are publishing these summaries so public services, MPs and members of the public can see the different types of complaints we look into, our findings and recommendations. I hope this will give people with concerns about the service they have received the confidence to come to us to complain. We also want to provide valuable lessons for public services, and show how complaining makes a positive difference to them."

The Ombudsman service investigated 2,199 cases in 2013/14 compared to 384 in the previous financial year.