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Complaint about Health and Disability Commissioner assessment process

Ombudsmen Act 1975
Legislation display text:
Ombudsmen Act 1975, ss 13, 22
Health and Disability Commissioner
Dame Beverley Wakem
Case number(s):
Issue date:


On 16 December 2010 the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) received a complaint about the care the complainant’s father had received from two District Health Boards after he presented at the Emergency Department at a hospital with sudden chest pain. The complainant’s father died at another hospital after suffering cardiac arrest the next day.

After obtaining information from both District Health Boards and seeking expert advice from its in-house clinical advisor, HDC decided not to investigate the complaint.

A more detailed summary of the care provided to the complainant’s father is provided in Appendix 2, and HDC’s process is outlined in Appendix 3. [Appendices not included in published version for purposes of anonymity.]

Based on the information before me, I have formed the opinion that there were deficiencies during the HDC’s process of assessing the complaint raised by the complainant; in providing her with a reasonable opportunity to comment; and in communicating the decision not to investigate the matter.

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