“NHS complaints system is not working” says health watchdog

The Health Committee has reported its findings on complaints and litigation in the NHS in England and its key finds are:

  • The role of the Health Service Ombudsman needs a complete overhaul if it is to provide an effective appeals process for the complaints system.
  • The NHS still has no national protocol for the classification and reporting of complaints, and reporting by Foundation Trusts remains voluntary
  • The government’s recent consultation on information strategy in the context of the Health & Social Care Bill did not mention procedures for handling complaints
  • It remains unclear how patients’ complaints about services delivered by primary care will be handled following passage of the Health & Social Care Bill
  • NHS culture is too often defensive and the service remains to be persuaded to adopt a more open culture.
  • The Health Committee – Sixth Report: Complaints and Litigation can be found here.

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