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NHS complaints rise to 480 every day

Posted on September 30th 2014

A recent BBC News report sets out that the number of complaints made regarding NHS care in England has increased to an average of 480 every day, according to official data.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) figures on written complaints showed an 8% rise in 2013-14, compared with the previous year. The complaints cover all aspects of the NHS from hospitals and GPs to dental practices and ambulances.

A patients’ watchdog was quoted to have said that the official figures were just the tip of the iceberg. In the year 2013-14 a total of 174,900 complaints were made about the NHS. It compared to 162,019 the previous year and 131,022 in the 2007-08 financial year. Most complaints – 34,400 – were focused on inpatient hospital care. The largest percentage increase in complaints was for ambulance crews – up 28.5% to 5,700.

Kingsley Manning, the chairman of the HSCIC, was quoted as saying:

“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”.

Anna Bradley, the chairman of Healthwatch England, was quoted as saying:

“The report out today really is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to complaints about health and social care services in this country”.”The need to improve the way the complaints system operates is well documented and we have been working with the government to simplify the often baffling process for patients and their families”.”But for things to work properly, health professionals clearly need to do more to make people feel less intimidated about making their voices heard.”

A Department of Health Spokesperson said:

“We welcome the fact that more people have felt able to raise their concerns with hospital trusts, as listening to patients is one of the best ways to improve standards and this has been a priority in the wake of the appalling events at Mid Staffs”.

They called for a “culture of openness” in hospitals where it was clear how patients could complain.

We all rely on and trust medical professionals such as doctors, ambulance crew, nurses/midwives, dentists and pharmacists, to provide us with the best treatment and care as part of our day to day lives. Unfortunately, sometimes medical professionals do make mistakes and the consequences of these mistakes can be life changing. We understand that the complaints system can be a daunting process but we also appreciate that patient’s need answers regarding the substandard care they have received.

Here at Oliver & Co our medical negligence solicitors have experience in dealing a vast range of cases involving failings by Hospital Doctors, ambulance crew, GP surgeries, Dental practices or even pharmacy’s. We have successfully obtained compensation for Client’s who have found themselves in life changing circumstances as a result of failings from medical professionals.

Visit our hospital negligence claims page for more information.

How we can help?

Please contact us for advice if you feel you have suffered any form of negligent medical/dental treatment. We have a specialist team of solicitors who are always happy to help. At Oliver & Co, we are unique in that the head of our Clinical Negligence department, Linda Schermer, is a qualified doctor as well as a qualified solicitor. We therefore benefit from in-house medical knowledge and are able to get to grips with your claim and locate any areas of negligent care quickly.

Our solicitors deal with a wide variety of medical claims including missed/delayed diagnosis claims, orthopaedic injuries, drug dispensing errors and claims against GPs. Our Liz Fry has extensive experience with claims against dentists, our Kerry Goulden has had great success in pursuing claims involving poor nursing care and our Jyoati Chada provides attentive care to our clients who are claiming on behalf of loved ones that have died.

With the assistance of our paralegal Emma Woodrow as well as our team secretaries Becky Shields and Hannah Hughes, we tend to work on a team basis and pool our legal and medical knowledge to offer the best service to our clients.

If you would like advice on whether you have a potential clinical negligence claim or assistance with drafting a letter of complaint, please contact us on the number below. Please note that there are legal time limits in place for starting a claim for compensation, and our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will be able to advise you specifically on the facts of your own case.

Direct Dial Clinical Negligence Department: 01244 354688

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306