Our response to Public Administration Select Committee's report into investigating clinical incidents

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has published their report looking at how incidents of clinical failure in the NHS are investigated – and how subsequent complaints are handled.
All across the country we hear from patients and concerned relatives who are angry and frustrated at how their complaints have been dealt with.
— Anna Bradley, Chair

The PASC report investigating NHS complaints and clinical incidents, calls for the establishment of a national body to investigate medical accidents in England, saying that the service was needed because of the scale of problems in the NHS, adding that the current patient safety system was “too complicated” and “took too long”.

In addition, the committee has found that “serious questions” had been raised about the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), with the Ombudsman accused of being “defensive” and “causing pain” by its reluctance to admit mistakes when investigating patient complaints. The report also adds that current systems are “complicated, far too long and preoccupied with blame”.

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

“All across the country we hear from patients and concerned relatives who are angry and frustrated at how their complaints have been dealt with. The system is too complex, too slow and doesn’t give people what they want. We therefore fully support the committee’s calls to simplify the system and to make this a priority for the next government.

“We also need to ensure that where people want to raise concerns about the way they or a loved one has been treated, that they have the right information and the support to make their voices heard. Without a well-publicised and easy to use advocacy service, many thousands of incidents of poor care will continue to go unreported.

“Ultimately we want to see hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes learning from their mistakes and showing those affected, as well as the broader public, how they are changing things as a result. This principle needs to be embedded across the whole health and social care system, so that no matter where someone lives or what service they have used, their complaint receives a compassionate and positive resolution.”

Find out more

To find out more read the Public Administration Select Committee report.

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