SERVICE ALERT!

Calls and formal complaints to Patient Ombudsman are extremely high at this time.

For new complainants: expect delays in returning your call.

For current complainants: expect delays in progressing your complaint file.

Our sincere apologies – we are doing our best to respond to you as quickly as possible. Our team is prioritizing the most urgent complaints. We appreciate your patience.

COVID-19 questions and information

Thank you,
Patient Ombudsman Team

Past Updates from Patient Ombudsman

 

We are incredibly shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Cathy Fooks, Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman. Below is a statement that was approved by Cathy’s family.


Statement on the passing of Cathy Fooks, Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman

It is with a very sad and heavy heart that we share the news of the untimely passing of Cathy Fooks due to a tragic accident. Since July 2020, Cathy held the role of Patient Ombudsman for Ontario, after 13 years as the President and CEO of The Change Foundation.

We send our deep-felt condolences to her husband, Terrence Sullivan, her four children and their partners, her two grandchildren, and the rest of her immediate and extended family.

This is a heartbreaking and devastating loss for so many. Cathy was a forward-thinking leader in Ontario’s healthcare sector. Among other accomplishments, Cathy pushed through barriers to make meaningful improvements to the patient and family caregiver experience. She was a visionary in engagement and co-design with patients and caregivers that will benefit the healthcare system for years to come. Cathy was a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, leader, mentor and friend.

The family will organize and share details about a celebration of life at a later date. Details will follow when they are available.


The entire staff at the office of the Patient Ombudsman, share our deepest of sympathies with Cathy’s family, friends and to all those she touched. We will share more updates as they become available next week.

Patient Ombudsman is releasing a special report Honouring the voices and experiences of Long-Term Care Home residents, caregivers and staff during COVID-19 in Ontario a snapshot of COVID-19 complaints received from March 1st to June 30th, 2020.

We are sharing our early recommendations as long-term care homes manage a second wave of COVID-19. We recognize that investigations and inquiries take time and while our investigation is ongoing, we wanted to be useful to a system that is responding in real time, to a pandemic that continues to unfold. This report is dedicated to the over 2800 Ontarians who died from COVID-19 and their loved ones. We also dedicate this report to the healthcare workers responding to COVID-19 across Ontario.”

Cathy Fooks, Patient Ombudsman

Patient Ombudsman – Diversity & anti-Black Racism Statement

Patient Ombudsman as an organization recognizes that systemic racism exists in the province of Ontario and in our healthcare system.

Specifically, anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism are public health issues that deserve a sustained spotlight to facilitate conversation and action to promote health equity.

As a champion for fairness in Ontario’s healthcare system, we must ensure that all Ontarians have equitable access our complaints resolution service.

Patient Ombudsman is committed to promoting diversity and equity in our organization and complaints resolution service by:

  • Building capacity within the organization to accept, appreciate and respond to healthcare complaints received from Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities

  • Collecting socio-demographic data to amplify the healthcare experiences of racialized Ontarians, while respecting the privacy and confidentiality of our complainants

  • Increasing our community outreach efforts into specific ethno-racial and cultural communities to address gaps in our services and reporting

  • Ensuring representation from key communities based on our complainant socio-demographic data

  • Training and educating all staff on cultural competency, anti-racism, diversity and health equity

  • Improving access to language interpreter services and removing linguistic barriers for newcomers and immigrants

  • Ensuring Patient Ombudsman is a respectful workplace free of discrimination, harassment or violence

 

If you have any questions or feedback on Patient Ombudsman’s diversity practices please email us at feedback@patientombudsman.ca

 

Link to Year Three Report 2018/19

 

Patient Ombudsman is pleased to share with Ontarians our year three highlights report: Listening, Learning, Leading.

As an Ombuds for health in Ontario, our organization continues our mandate as the champion for fairness in Ontario’s evolving healthcare system.

Listening, Learning, Leading is the highlights report of Patient Ombudsman’s third year of operations and builds from the collective work of Fearless (year one report) and Fairness (year two highlights).

As we evolve as an organization and enhance our service to Ontarians, Patient Ombudsman shares how we are:

  • Listening
    Patient Ombudsman listens to patients and caregivers as they share their experiences with health sector organizations and then works to achieve fair resolutions to their concerns.

    In our balanced approach to complaints resolution, we also listen to health sector organizations and ensure that they have meaningful opportunities to respond.
     
  • Learning
    Through the complaints we receive, Patient Ombudsman is able to learn what is working and what is not in our healthcare system. We view complaints as opportunities for health sector organizations to learn and improve.

    Patient Ombudsman is committed to learning from and using the information and evidence gathered over our three years to identify issues and situations that would benefit from more in-depth review and investigations.
     
  • Leading
    Patient Ombudsman recognizes our unique role as an Ombuds for health in Ontario. We will continue to lead as an independent, impartial and confidential complaints resolution service for healthcare experiences in Ontario.

 


Year Three 2018/19

 

Patient Ombudsman is a safe-space to share your healthcare concerns

We want to thank patients and their caregivers for contacting our office to share their complaints and healthcare experiences. Sharing your concerns has an impact and it makes our healthcare system better for all Ontarians.

Patient Ombudsman strives to make our service a safe-space where we treat everyone with empathy, dignity and fairness.

We also want to thank the health sector organizations within our jurisdiction (public hospitals, long-term care homes, home and community care coordinated by the Local Health Integration Networks) for being open to change and meaningful resolutions that are fair for everyone.

The number of complaints that come to our office and the number of successful resolutions we facilitate continue to grow.


Patient Ombudsman are a team of compassionate people who are here to help

We want all Ontarians to know that even without a ‘Patient Ombudsman’ in name we have the authority to continue our mandate as champions for fairness.

We have a dedicated team of skilled early resolution specialists and investigators who continue to listen to your concerns and work to make every experience matter.

We also plan to keep all Ontarians informed about any news about the appointment of our new Patient Ombudsman. The Public Appointments Secretariat will oversee the selection of a new Patient Ombudsman. The Ontario government will manage the recruitment process.  Our office is not doing the recruiting ‘in-house’.


Patient Ombudsman wants to hear from you

If you have any compliments, complaints or other comments about your experience with our office, we invite you to send us an email at feedback@patientombudsman.ca, where a member of the senior leadership team will review your feedback and contact you to reply. You may also send a confidential letter to our mailing address, attention “Feedback”.

Box 130, 77 Wellesley Street West, Toronto ON M7A 1N3

 

Christine Elliott submitted her resignation as Ontario’s first Patient Ombudsman on February 1, 2018.

Until the next Patient Ombudsman is appointed, our office will continue to help patients and caregivers resolve their complaints about patient care and healthcare experiences in public hospitals, long-term care homes and home and community care services delivered by the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). We are committed to ensuring that there will be no disruptions to our day-to-day operations, and that patients, caregivers and families can continue to access our services.

We want each person who contacts our office to know that we are continuing to listen and learn, as we work to make every experience matter.
If you have any compliments, complaints or other comments about your experience with our office, we invite you to send us an email at feedback@patientombudsman.ca, where a member of the senior leadership team will review your feedback and contact you to reply. You may also send a confidential letter to our mailing address, attention “Feedback”.

With that said, we continue to ask patients and caregivers to be fearless in bringing their complaints to our office and for health sector organizations to be fearless in working with us to help improve Ontario’s healthcare system.

We’ll provide more information as it becomes available.

 

 

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