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New PHSO clinical standard

16 August 2018

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has introduced a new clinical standard – the Ombudsman’s Clinical Standard.

For complaints about NHS clinical care and treatment in England, PHSO aims to establish what would have been good clinical care and treatment in the situation complained about and whether what actually happened fell short of that.

The new Clinical Standard gives greater clarity and predictability to how the appropriateness of care and treatment is considered. PHSO will ask clinicians and organisations investigated to tell them what professional guidance or standards they based their practice on and if they departed from them, why. PHSO will consider the explanations of those complained about and balance them against the relevant standards or guidance. This approach will offer those complained about an earlier and clearer opportunity to explain how they reached decisions about care and treatment. It will also make PHSO’s approach more transparent for people who use the Ombudsman service.

A copy of the Clinical Standard is available on the PHSO website. If you have any questions or comments about this, please contact us at