New figures show care complaints are on the rise
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) have revealed that the number of complaints made about NHS care in England has increased to average 480 every day.
The official data showed that a total of 174,872 complaints were made over 2013/14, which is a rise from the 162,019 recorded in 2012/13 and the 131,022 reported in the 2007/08 financial year. The majority of the complaints, approximately 34,400, were concentrated in inpatient hospital care, although the study covered all aspects of the NHS, including hospitals, GP’s, dental practices and ambulances. Ambulance crews saw the largest percentage increase, with numbers up by 28.5%, hitting 5,700.
Complaining about care
Kingsley Manning, the chairman of the HSCIC, told BBC News “Our latest figures show that the NHS is receiving a large number of written complaints each day. Today’s report also shows a rise over the last year in the number of written complaints made against NHS hospitals and community services. I’m sure staff who manage NHS complaints will want to pay close attention to these statistics.”
Anna Bradley, the chairman of Healthwatch England, said “The report out today really is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to complaints about health and social care services in this country. The need to improve the way the complaints system operates is well documented and we have been working with the government to simplify the often baffling process for patients and their families. But for things to work properly, health professionals clearly need to do more to make people feel less intimidated about making their voices heard.”
A Department of Health Spokesperson said “We welcome the fact that more people have felt able to raise their concerns with hospital trusts, as listening to patients is one of the best ways to improve standards and this has been a priority in the wake of the appalling events at Mid Staffs.”