New report calls for overhaul of NHS complaints handling

Medical Government/ NHS related news

A "revolution" is needed to ensure that the NHS handles complaints from patients in the correct way, according to an independent report.

The review received 2,500 responses describing not only poor care and a lack of compassion, but also deep dissatisfaction with the way in which complaints were handled, while many others had avoided complaining because they felt the process was too confusing.

“An independent report has called for significant improvements in the way the NHS handles complaints in order to improve care standards.“

Chaired by MP Ann Clwyd and Professor Tricia Hart, the report was commissioned by the government in the wake of the failings discovered at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Recommendations were made to improve the quality of care, address the causes of complaints and enhance the accessibility and responsiveness of the complaints system, with many key health organisations having already pledged to ensure action is taken within the next year.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "I want to see a complete transformation in hospitals' approach to complaints … There can be no place for closing ranks or covering backs when patient safety is at stake."

The Care Quality Commission has also vowed to improve its inspection protocols in order to avert any future care failings similar to those that have occurred in the recent past.

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