Ontario Appoints New Patient OmbudsmanPublished on March 31, 2021
Province Continues to Champion the Voices of Patients and Families
The government has appointed Craig Thompson as Ontario's new Patient Ombudsman to help improve the quality of care and supports patients and their families receive in hospitals, long-term care homes, and select home and community care settings.
"Craig Thompson brings over 30 years of leadership experience in the health care sector and community, including at the Office of the Patient Ombudsman," said the Minister of Health. "As a community leader, he has been a passionate advocate for the voices of patients and caregivers because he knows they can be a powerful catalyst of change. Craig's experience will be invaluable as Patient Ombudsman as Ontario continues to protect the health and safety of individuals and families during COVID-19 and beyond. I have full confidence that Craig will be a great partner in helping to ensure better, connected patient care for all Ontarians."
The Patient Ombudsman investigates and facilitates the resolution of complaints from patients and caregivers concerning public hospitals, long-term care homes and home and community care services that are provided or coordinated through the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). The Patient Ombudsman also makes recommendations to health sector organizations and provides reports to the Minister of Health which inform provincewide health system quality improvement.
The Patient Ombudsman's Office has been operating under Mr. Thompson's leadership as Executive Director for over four years. As the Patient Ombudsman, Mr. Thompson will oversee the Office's work and will continue to advance the current investigation into the experiences of residents and caregivers in long-term care homes during COVID-19. This work will complement the government's independent commission into Ontario's long-term care system which began in July 2020.
"Being appointed Ontario's Patient Ombudsman is a great honour and a tremendous responsibility," said Craig Thompson. "I've always believed in the power of the complaint to uncover unique insights and perspectives that get to what really matters to patients and caregivers. Which is why it is now more important than ever to actively encourage and seek out a diversity of voices so that people from all walks of life and every community in the province are represented and heard. We all deserve a fair and equitable healthcare system and it is my responsibility and the role of this office to make sure it happens."
- Craig Thompson brings more than 30 years of experience working in public and private organizations in the health care, design sciences and communications sectors. Mr. Thompson is the past Co-chair of the Patient Experience Steering Committee at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) and current member of the board of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman (FCO). His appointment came into effect on March 29, 2021.
- The term of the Patient Ombudsman's appointment is for five years, with the possibility of reappointment for an additional five-year term.
- The Patient Ombudsman position was created in December 2014 through amendments to the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010.
- Effective April 1st, LHINs will begin operating under a new business name – Home and Community Care Support Services. Services will not be interrupted while home and community care transitions into Ontario Health Teams