How do you complain in the new NHS?
Healthwatch England recently reported evidence which shows that the complaints systems in place currently are failing¹:
– 48% of people do not have the confidence that formal complaints are actually dealt with (rises to 60% for the 55+ age group)
– Over 54% of people who had a problem with health or social care in the last three years did nothing to report it
– 49% of consumers surveyed have no trust in the system and are crying out for an independent and easily recognisable advocate to deal with complaints
These findings are echoed by people in Kirklees, where recent changes have left people unsure of where to complain to. Local people have also told us that some staff respond in a very defensive way when they show they are unhappy about the quality of service they have received. Often, what starts out as quite a minor problem, which could probably be resolved at a local level, then escalates to a formal complaint because initial concerns have not been responded to appropriately.
Others have expressed concern that lessons are not being learnt from complaints as the service doesn’t appear to have improved. In these instances, people don’t feel they have been listened to and their comments haven’t been respected and valued.
Healthwatch England are keen to hear about your experiences of making complaints to health and social care providers and commissioners. If you would like to do so, you can complete this survey
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3P8ZGXM and share you views.
Clare Costello is leading on this piece of work for Healthwatch Kirklees. If you would like to tell us your story, please get in touch.