An Act to make further provision with respect to the national health service in England and Wales and amendments of the enactments relating to the national health service in Scotland; and for purposes connected with those matters.
The impetus for the establishment of a Health Ombudsman arose from growing dissatisfaction with the quality of service in the NHS through the 1960s. This was encapsulated by scandals about the care provided to the elderly and mentally ill at Ely Hospital in Cardiff, Farleigh Hospital in Bristol and Whittingham Hospital near Preston. Hospitals were free to determine their own complaints procedures for the investigation of complaints, subject only to guidance by the Ministry of Health. The Davies Report, published in 1973, criticised the complaints system then in place. The Government announced in 1972 that it intended to establish a Health Service Ombudsman and that this was to be at the apex of the NHS complaints system.
Provisions establishing the posts were not extensively discussed in debate in the House of Commons, indicating the consensus of opinion around their establishment.