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Your spotlight on health and social care services


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"I don't know how to complain about my care"

We know from our “Suffering in Silence” report that the complaints system is utterly bewildering for people to navigate. This is made even harder by a lack of information offered by healthcare providers.

For example

Healthwatch Newcastle conducted a mystery shopping exercise across 42 practices and found that only half had leaflets at reception explaining how to complain.

Even where information is available, patients have to raise their concerns with the practice manager and are often left with no choice but to go back to the same GP in the future. It is not surprising then, that one in four of those we have spoken to said they were worried about the impact complaining would have on their care.

One resident in London told Healthwatch Lambeth that they daren’t complain in case they were ‘accidentally’ given the wrong drugs.

'We requested to see the Practice Manager, and were told that complaints should be routed through GP. After submitting written complaint to GP, we had no written communication back from GP or PM.'

Respondent to Healthwatch West Sussex