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NHS complaints

May 2016

The Health & Social Care Information Centre has published statistics on Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) written complaints

The Health & Social Care Information Centre has published statistics on Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) written complaints (link).

This experimental data shows that in the 3 months from October to December 2015:

  • Overall there were 15,800 complaints brought forward from the previous period.
  • There were 27,800 new HCHS written complaints in the third quarter of 2015-16
  • Over the  period  26,500 complaints  were  resolved,  of  these 9,970(37.6%) were upheld, 7,080(26.7%) were partially upheld and 9,480(35.7%) were not upheld.
  • At the end  of  quarter three, 17,200 complaints remained  unresolved.  These are carried forward to the next quarter.

Austin Thornton of Wrigleys Health and Care team said: "The biggest problem with the NHS complaints system is that the NHS is in defensive mode. Our experience is that there may be no serious investigation of matters raised. Responses often consist of platitudes and patronising reassurances which demonstrate nothing more than a desire to get the matter of someone's desk as quickly as possible. From a high level we hear the language of learning from complaints. That process may be impeded by a culture which is too ready to call for disciplinary sanctions in response to error. But we have a long way to go before the NHS adopts an acceptable culture with regard to complaints handling."


If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Austin Thornton on 0114 267 5588.

To keep up to date with further updates from the Wrigleys Health & Care team, you can follow on Twitter here

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors


 May 2016

Austin Thornton View Biography

Austin Thornton


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