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Hospitals’ probes into avoidable deaths are “not consistent, reliable, or transparent,” ombudsman finds

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h6673 (Published 08 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6673
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

Hospitals across England are botching investigations and wrongly absolving the NHS of blame in cases of avoidable death or serious harm, the parliamentary and health service ombudsman has found in a wide ranging review of hospitals’ complaint handling.1

Families are left without answers because incidents of avoidable harm or death are not investigated properly, the review said. Hospitals do not gather enough evidence or look at it closely enough, and staff use inconsistent methods to investigate, the report noted. In 73% of cases where …

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