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NHS Alliance supports Healthcare Commission’s view of learning from patients

1 February 2007

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The NHS Alliance supports the Healthcare Commission’s view that all parts of the NHS should do more to learn from patients’ complaints. It welcomes the news that the Commission is to carry out a national audit of how complaints are handled.

NHS primary care provides around 90% of all NHS treatment, yet just 8% of the complaints concerned this sector – which includes GP practices, community nursing and dentistry – with a further 26% concerning primary care trusts. That is encouraging but not good enough.

NHS Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon said:

“Good healthcare means we must continually learn from our patients. That applies as much to organisations as to individual clinicians.

“The Commission has done us all a considerable service by identifying common themes and proposing new core standards for handling complaints. The NHS Alliance would encourage all health service organisations and providers to learn from this report.”