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CQC: patients should complain to trigger health and social care improvements

by Valeria Fiore
19 February 2019

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Patients and carers should not be afraid to complain about the care they receive as it can help the health and social care sector improve, the CQC has said.

Over a third (37%) of respondents to a CQC survey said they did not raise concerns as they felt that ‘nothing would change as a result’.

The findings are part of research released by the CQC today, which saw the organisation survey 2,002 people in England who accessed private or NHS health or social care services in the last five years.

The research has been released today to coincide with the launch of the CQC’s Declare Your Care campaign, which encourages people to share their experiences of care with the organisation.

Key findings

One third (33%) of respondents said fearing they would be seen as ‘troublemakers’ was the main reason for not raising a concern, while 28% explained their reluctance was due to believing they wouldn’t have been taken seriously.

The CQC also found that 20% of respondents did not know how to raise their concerns while 33% were unsure who to raise them with.

However, the CQC pointed out that when patients and carers did raise concerns – which in most cases related to ‘delays to a service or appointment, lack of information and poor patient care’ – 66% found that their issue was dealt with quickly and that services improved.

More than a fifth of poll respondents did say that had raised or planned to raise concerns ‘about the lack of communication between health and care services’.

Safe and compassionate care

CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm said most providers appreciate service user’s feedback to improve the care they offer.

He added: ‘Hearing from people about their experiences of care is an important part of our inspection work and contributes to driving improvements in standards of care.

‘Everyone can play a part in improving care by directly giving feedback to services, or by sharing information and experiences with us so that we can take action when we find poor care.’

Minister of State for Care Caroline Dinenage said encouraging patients to share their concerns will help health and social care provide safe and compassionate care.

She said: ‘I encourage anyone who has concerns over their care, or the care of loved ones, to share their experiences with the CQC – so they can continue their vital work of protecting patients and improving the excellent care we see across the health service.’

BMA GP committee executive team member Dr Farah Jameel also invited ‘patients to feedback any concerns they have so that these can be addressed and services improved’.