3. Contact the Patient Ombudsman

The Patient Ombudsman tries to resolve claims involving Ontario's health-care organizations in a way that's fair to everyone. This includes long-term care homes.

Before going to the Patient Ombudsman, try to resolve your issue by contacting the . The Ombudsman will investigate complaints only if you've already asked the home to do something and are not satisfied with the outcome.

For example, your mother is in a wheelchair but is not incontinent. When she asks for help to go to the washroom, the staff say they're too busy. They tell her to go in her diaper and they'll clean her up later.

If you have complained to the home several times but nothing has changed, you can now complain to the Patient Ombudsman. When you complain, you could tell the Patient Ombudsman what you want the home to do, such as:

  • hire more staff, or
  • tell the staff that they must take your mother to the washroom when she asks for help.

If you have questions about whether the Patient Ombudsman can help, or want to find out more about a situation that's happened, call 1-888-321-0339.

You can make a complaint to the Patient Ombudsman by filling out a complaint form. You can do this online. Or you can print it off and fax it to 416-597-5372 or mail it to:

Patient Ombudsman
Box 130, 77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N3

All complaints are confidential. This means that the Patient Ombudsman does not give out your name or other information that would tell people who you are. They can only give out this information if you say it's okay.

In your complaint, you give your:

  • name
  • phone number
  • mailing address

You must also include what happened, who was involved, and where and when it happened. And say what you want to happen about your complaint. For example, do you want an apology or more information, or the home to change something that it's doing.

Staff at the Patient Ombudsman's office will contact you if they need more details.

If your issue is one they can help with, they'll first try to resolve your complaint by talking to the people involved.

If your complaint cannot be resolved, the Patient Ombudsman may start an investigation.

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