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NHS complaints continue to rise

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Official data has revealed that NHS England receives an average of 480 complaints every day.  This has been recorded by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) as an 8% rise in 2013-14 on the previous year.  Complaints cover all aspects of the health service, ranging from GPs to ambulances.

With the data already presenting a worrying figure, a patients’ watchdog said that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  In 2013-14 a total of 174,900 complaints were made about the NHS.  The previous year, however, saw only 162,019 complaints, and 2007-08 saw only 131,022 complaints made. The majority of complaints were made on inpatient hospital care, with a total of 34,400, while the largest increase of complaints was focused on ambulance crews, up on 28.5% to 5,700.

500,000 unreported cases

Healthwatch England said that even though this figure is high, many people choose not to report poor care.  They believe that around 500,000 cases of unsatisfactory patient care went unreported over the past two years.

Many have applauded this rise in complaints as an indication of ‘openness’ within the NHS.  However, the chairman of Healthwatch England, Anna Bradley, said that improvements could still be made.  She said: “for things to work properly, health professionals clearly need to do more to make people feel less intimidated about making their voices heard.

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