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Ombudsman reviews health complaints

The ongoing Stafford Hospital deaths scandal has prompted health service ombudsman Ann Abraham to seek the views of the public.

She has published a consultation document - Sharing and Publishing Information about Complaints - which seeks opinions on how the complaints procedure should be handled.

Ms Abraham reports that unrealistic expectations regarding information that the Ombudsman makes available have followed changes in the complaints system and the abolition of the Healthcare Commission.

She said: "We need to protect the privacy of all our casework and, at the same time, want to share the learning from complaints with those who are likely to benefit from having access to that information.

"This is a wide audience and includes the public at large, MPs, organisations providing advice and advocacy, and regulators such as the Care Quality Commission, Monitor, the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, and of course the NHS itself."