The number of reported written complaints about Hospital and Community Health Services

The number of reported written complaints about Hospital and Community Health Services
has increased by 8.3% from 99,057 in 2010-11 to 107,259 in 2011-12. For organisations
providing data in both years the total number of HCHS complaints has decreased by 2.3%
from 98,232 to 95,989 in 2011-12.
The large increase between 2008-09 and 2009-10 will be made up of:
• Fewer non-respondent FTs, but predominantly due to
• Complaint regulation changes introduced April 2009 which made it easier for patients
(or their representatives) to make a complaint.
Since 2009-10 it is difficult to state that HCHS complaints have been increasing, decreasing
or are static due to FTs voluntary response option. The HSCIC has been unable to estimate
data for non-respondents due to the very different services offered by organisations across
the NHS.
For those organisations responding in the last two years there was a 2,243 reduction in the
number of complaints received between 2010-11 and 2011-12. Factors which could account
for the decrease include:
• Processes in place to resolve potential and verbal complaints before they escalate to
written complaints. These include some organisations making staff available to
discuss and resolve issues.
• Staff making patients aware of other helpful services such as the Patient Advice and
Liaison Service, known as PALS, which has been introduced to ensure that the NHS
listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, and answers their questions and
resolves their concerns as quickly as possible

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