Our response to the Clwyd/Hart report into NHS Hospital complaints systems

New government report shows there is still a long way to go before people get the complaints system they deserve.
"People simply don't know where to go if they have a problem.
— Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch England

The Francis report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust highlighted significant and serious shortcomings in the complaints system. This prompted the Prime Minister to launch a review of the handling of concerns and complaints in NHS hospitals.

The review, entitled “Putting Patients Back in the Picture” was Chaired by the Rt. Hon Ann Clwyd MP for the Cynon Valley and Professor Tricia Hart, Chief Executive, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and was published today.

The report sets out the reasons people complain, including lack of information, they are not treated with respect, compassion, sympathy or dignity. This resonates strongly with what people told Healthwatch England as set out in our annual report.

In response to the report, our Chair Anna Bradley said: 

"People simply don't know where to go if they have a problem. They just want their complaints dealt with quickly, efficiently and to see that it has made some practical difference for the future.

"However, today's report is another indication of how far there is still to go before people get the complaints system they deserve.

"As the consumer champion for health and social care we will be campaigning at both a national and local level to see these recommendations put into action. We will scrutinise the system to ensure they are implemented not just in hospitals but across the entire health and social care sector including care homes, dentists and GP surgeries."

Download an extended version of our initial response to the Clwyd Hart report.

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Read the report “Putting Patients Back in the Picture” in full. 

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