Shifting the mindset: a closer look at hospital complaints

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch England looked at whether hospitals are learning from complaints by searching the websites of 149 NHS acute trusts in England and looking for substantive reporting on complaints.

They found that:

  • Local reporting on complaints is inconsistent and inaccessible
  • Staff are not empowered to communicate with the public on complaints
  • Reporting focusses on counting complaints, not demonstrating learning.

The report contains 10 recommendations aimed at improving learning from complaints.

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General details

Report title 
Shifting the mindset: a closer look at hospital complaints
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch England
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 26 November, 2019
Key themes 
Complaints procedure
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Inpatient care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not applicable
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not applicable
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not known
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.