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NHS complaints system “hopelessly complicated”

21 March 2014

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The NHS complaints system is “hopelessly complicated”, a report from Healthwatch England has claimed. 

The process of making complaints should be simplified so that patients can receive more support, the patients’ watchdog has claimed. 

Research conducted by the organisation revealed that one in three people have experienced, or know people who have experienced poor care. 

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However, only half of these did anything about it. 

Many people (43%) said they did not know how to complain or provide feedback, and half (49%) said it was because they lacked confidence their complaint would be dealt with. 

Anna Bradley, chair of Healthwatch England, said: “It’s no wonder the public are left confused and frustrated. With so many organisations involved it’s difficult to know where to start, let alone having the strength and persistence to navigate the system on your own.

“A key improvement would be a straightforward and independent advocacy service to provide the support people need to make their voices heard. There will need to be very significant change in the complaints system if it is to benefit from the intelligence and insight that complaints can offer and use it to drive real improvement for the people actually using services.”    

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