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Call to improve complaints response

Source PA News

Updated on 16 February 2009

One in five NHS complaints sent for independent review are about treatment or a wrong diagnosis, a report has revealed.

People who complain to an NHS trust about care but who are unhappy with the response can ask for a review by the Healthcare Commission.

In 2007/08, the Commission reviewed 7,827 of these complaints plus 1,112 unresolved from the previous year.

A breakdown showed that 11% (984) were about treatment given to patients, 9% (805) were about a delay in diagnosing a condition or a wrong diagnosis and 8% (715) were about accessing treatment or being forced to wait.

Another 6% (537) related to the attitude of NHS staff, 12% (1,074) were about communication and the information the patient received and 19% (1,700) were about the way a complaint was handled by the trust.

A total of 7% (626) of complaints were about how effective NHS care was, 4% (358) were about nursing care and 7% (626) were about the experiences a patient had. Another 5% (447) were about record-keeping in the NHS.

Of the total number of complaints, the Commission said almost 50% were upheld or were sent back to the trust for further work because the initial response was not good enough.

"This shows that the NHS still has much room for improvement in how it deals with complaints locally," the Commission said in its report, which focused on the NHS in England.

Almost half (43%) of complaints were about primary care and another 43% were about hospital care. Overall, there were 1,018 complaints about GPs.

However, the Commission said these must be seen in the context of about 290 million consultations made by GPs each year in England.

These news feeds are provided by an independent third party and Channel 4 is not responsible or liable to you for the same.

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