Latest News

Submission to the Department of Health’s consultation on the introduction of a statutory Duty of Candour in Northern Ireland

September 29, 2021

This paper sets out the Ombudsman’s views on the Department of Health’s policy proposals to enact a statutory Duty of Candour in Northern Ireland.

PIP and the Value of Further Evidence – an update

September 24, 2021

Our recent investigation made 33 recommendations to improve how the Department for Communities (the Department) administer Personal Independence Payment. The Department is required to provide the Ombudsman with an action plan by the end of December 2021, detailing how the recommendations have or will be implemented. As part of our follow up process the Own Initiative team has recently commenced monthly meetings with the Department to discuss its progress. NIPSO … Continue reading PIP and the Value of Further Evidence – an update

Improving complaints handling: a message from Ombudsman Margaret Kelly

September 15, 2021

Since 1969 my Office has been dealing with complaints about public services.  Over that time we have dealt with around 40,000 complaints and we have worked with public bodies to support them to handle complaints well. But it remains the case that many people find the act of complaining very difficult.  Our research[1] shows that this may be because they simply do not have the time to make the complaint, … Continue reading Improving complaints handling: a message from Ombudsman Margaret Kelly

Extension to our Public Consultation on Complaints Handling Standards

July 22, 2021

We launched a public consultation on our proposals for new complaints handling standards for public bodies in Northern Ireland on 10 June 2021.  The consultation period was due to run for a 12 week period and end on 2 September 2021. To enable the maximum participation and response we have now extended the deadline until 30 September 2021. If you have any queries regarding the consultation document please do not … Continue reading Extension to our Public Consultation on Complaints Handling Standards

Ombudsman finds ‘systemic maladministration’ following PIP investigation

June 23, 2021

The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman, Margaret Kelly, today recommended significant changes in how further evidence is used in assessing and awarding entitlement to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), a benefit for some of the most vulnerable in society. The recommendations came following publication of an investigation report which found that repeated opportunities were missed to make the right payment as early as possible in the process. It found that a … Continue reading Ombudsman finds ‘systemic maladministration’ following PIP investigation

Staff training – Thursday 17 June 2021

June 17, 2021

Please note we are unable to answer telephone calls today because of a staff training event.  Please contact us via our online complaints form or email us at nipso@nipso.org.uk.  We will return to our normal telephone service tomorrow.

Ombudsman proposes new complaints handling standards for public bodies in Northern Ireland

June 10, 2021

The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman, Margaret Kelly, has today called for a culture change in the way public bodies in Northern Ireland deal with complaints from members of the public.  Her comments came as a new survey showed two thirds of people who were dissatisfied with the level of service from a public body said they would not complain as they thought it would make no difference or be … Continue reading Ombudsman proposes new complaints handling standards for public bodies in Northern Ireland

Overview report – the use of restrictive practices in schools

May 23, 2021

Our Overview Report contains details of investigations into restrictive practices in schools, identifies recurring themes, and includes a number of recommendations to the Department of Education.

Telephone service – Temporary arrangements

April 21, 2021

Please note that our telephone service now operates between the hours of 9.00am to 1.00pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours, you will be able to leave a message and a member of our ASSIST team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Ombudsman calls for end to uncertainty and confusion over responsibility for care home fees

February 3, 2021

The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman, Margaret Kelly, has called for clarity over who is responsible for paying the care fees of adults who have a combination of health and social care needs, including those in residential or nursing homes. The Ombudsman’s call was made following the publication of three reports into complaints from families who said that their Health and Social Care Trust had failed to carry out assessments … Continue reading Ombudsman calls for end to uncertainty and confusion over responsibility for care home fees