Ombudsman receives big increase of complaints from Donegal

 

The number of complaints received by the Ombudsman from Donegal in 2019 was up 27% on the previous year.

The total number of complaints received by the Ombudsman was 3,664, the highest number since 2010, 112 of them from Donegal.

One case in Donegal involved confusion over a patient's file at Letterkenny University Hospital while another saw Donegal County Council agree to wave late penalties on Non-Principal Private Residence payments.

A woman complained to the Ombudsman after it was discovered the medical history discussed with her by a doctor at Letterkenny University Hospital belonged to another patient and while preparing for surgery at the hospital she also noticed another patients letter on her file.

It was found too, that a 'General Incident' form had only been completed upon the woman complaining to the hospital.

The hospital has apologised, reviewed its policies and delivered extra staff training.

42 complaints received involved Donegal County Council.

In one case, a woman was charged late penalties of €3,900 despite trying to pay Non-Principal Residence charges on time.

The woman contacted Donegal County Council in 2009 to clarify if a duplicate payment had been made, she also wrote to them in 2010 and 2011 to confirm what was owed so payment could be made.

In 2010, a cheque of €600 was returned to the woman as the Council said the properties could not be found.

The council agreed to accept payments for 2009 and 2010 and disregard the late penalties.

Link to full report here:

https://www.ombudsman.ie/downloads/Ombudsman-Annual-Report-2019-EMBARGOED.pdf