Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital pays £750 to wife of dead patient

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital paid out £750.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital paid out £750. - Credit: Evening News © 2009

A report published today gives examples of three failings by NHS organisations in Norfolk following investigations by the national ombudsman.

The parliamentary and health ombudsman, which each year investigates around 4,000 complaints from the public, said too many complaints were not being resolved properly by local NHS services.

The ombudsman upholds around 37pc of the complaints received.

Today's report is a snapshot of 192 case summaries of the 1,075 investigations of unresolved complaints the ombudsman examined in February and March this year. The Norfolk cases involve Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust (NNUH), East Coast Community Health Care, and an unnamed GP practice.

The report revealed the NNUH paid £750 to the wife of a patient who died following care, after it emerged the trust had provided incorrect information to the couple.

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It meant the patient was not able to make a fully informed choice about his care which could have resulted in a different outcome. The trust produced an action plan to ensure the mistake was not repeated.

The report also told how East Coast Health Care apologised after reception staff at a minor injuries unit failed to check a patient for stroke symptoms, despite the patient's companion drawing their attention to the possibility. The patient was discharged but suffered a stroke two hours later, and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance.

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The unnamed GP surgery apologised to two patients, a married couple, after it used the wrong justification for deregistering them when the relationship between the two sides broke down.

Julie Mellor, the current ombudsman, said: 'Too many people aren't getting the answers to what went wrong from the organisation they complained about. Complaints alert people to where problems are and should be welcomed by all levels of the organisation from the frontline to the board, so that much-needed improvements are made.'

Have you complained about your healthcare? Email the EDP health correspondent at

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