NHS ‘falling short on complaints handling’

  • Posted

Posted 07/07/2014

Sophie Bales 1397332448_sophiebalesCPX.jpg

NHS ‘falling short on complaints handling’

The BBC reported today that according to a recent survey the NHS still has a long way to go to improve the way it handles complaints, although there are signs of improvement.

The NHS has been heavily criticised over its complaints system in the wake of the Stafford Hospital scandal. In response to the public inquiry, hospitals were ordered to publish regular updates on complaints and make it clearer to patients what they had to do when they were unhappy with their care.

The recent poll of 4,000 people in the UK by Populus, for consumer group Which?, found just a quarter were happy with the way their complaint had been handled, which was a rise from 16% two years ago. The survey showed more than half felt their complaint had been ignored and 43% were “dissatisfied” with the outcome.

Four in ten who have had a problem reported not even complaining, which was again a slight improvement on the picture two years ago.

Sophie Bales, a medical injury solicitor at Ashtons Legal, comments: “This study shows that the reforms to the complaints procedure are beginning to take effect, but there is still a long way to go. It is unacceptable that more than half the people who make complaints still feel that their concerns are being ignored.

The reforms will not start to have their full impact until the statutory duty of candour is put in place. It is now intended that this duty will apply to cases of ‘significant harm’ although what this will mean in practical terms has not yet been made clear”.


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