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Sunday 25 September 2016
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Patient complaints increasing in NHS

Patient complaints increasing in NHS

The number of reported written complaints made to the NHS reached 174,900 in 2013/14 – the equivalent of 480 per day, new figures show.

Data on written complaints in the NHS, published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), covers complaints made about NHS hospitals and community health services and family health services (GP and dental practices) in 2013/14.

The new figures show that complaints made against NHS hospitals and community health services in England totalled 114,300 in 2013/14– a 4.6% rise on 2012-13 (109,300) and the equivalent of an extra 96 complaints each week. The number of reported written complaints about family health services was 60,600.

In 2013/14, of the 60,600 complaints made about family health services the highest numbers of complaints were about medical staff (40.3%). 

However, this was closely followed by general practice administration (37.4%) and followed by complaints about dental practitioners (11.5%). 

Most of the complaints were issues with 'clinical' practice with 22,200 (36.3%) followed by ‘communications/attitude’ with 13,300 (21.7%) and ‘administration’ with 12,500 (20.4%).

The highest increase in complaints across professions was for ‘ambulance crews (including paramedics)’, which was 28.5% higher in 2013/14 (5,700) than in 2012/13 (4,440).

Kingsley Manning, chair of the HSCIC, said: “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.”