NHS Complaints Handling Need to be Acted On Urgently

NHS Complaints Handling Need to be Acted On Urgently

Patients should be provided with pens and paper so that they can provide feedback or concerns about their care according to an independent report which investigated the way that the NHS handle complaints.
The report stated that there should be a “revolution” in the way that NHS complaints are handled and said that action needed to be taken within 12 months.
The report was carried out following a review which was chaired by Ann Clwyd Labour MP for Cynon Valley and Professor Tricia Hart chief executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and a former nurse.
Professor Hart was previously Robert Francis QC’s advisor in his review into the Mid Staffordshire scandal and Ms Clyde has witnessed poor care first hand.
Ms Clwyd criticised the care of her husband who died at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff she described him being treated “like a battery hen” in an interview with BBC Radio 4 World.
The government commissioned the review following the Francis report which indicated that the amount of complaints meant that there were still problems in hospitals.
2500 responses were received from the review which described poor care and the dissatisfaction of complaints handling. They received responses from people who had not complained before because they thought the process was confusing were worried about the care they would receive in the future or had concerns about the system’s lack of independence.
Recommendations were made in the report focusing on cause of complaints trying to access the complaints system and to ensure that hospitals adjust their attitude to complaints.
Trusts also need to ensure that patients can provide feedback easily.
Other key recommendations made were to make chief executives responsible for signing off complaints and staff having regular access to a member of a trust board who is responsible for whistleblowing.
Trusts will have to publish an annual complaints report which will show complaints which were made and the steps the trust have taken to resolve them.
The review stated that there had been a “decade of failure” in reporting complaints the reports calls for urgent action over the next year.
12 organisations which include the Royal College of Nursing Health Education England and NHS England have implemented almost 30 actions to help improve the NHS complaints culture.

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