“The Government must make reforming the complaints system an integral part of its plans to transform the NHS” – Which? response to David Cameron NHS speech

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said:

“Last year we found that four in ten people who had a problem with the NHS didn’t complain, with one in seven saying they were put off from doing so because they feared getting worse care or treatment as a result.

“The Government must make reforming the complaints system an integral part of its plans to transform the NHS, to give people confidence that their complaints will count and turn into action which improves services for all.”

Notes to Editors

1. Our ‘Make complaints count’ campaign now has over 83,000 supporters and is calling on the Government to pledge to be the champion of patients, parents and all users of public services by committing to:

  • Requiring all regulators of public services to use complaints to trigger inspections;
  • Giving people access to independent support to help them complain;
  • Introducing a single public services ombudsman to deal with complaints effectively;
  • Allowing representative groups to make super-complaints on behalf of those impacted; and
  • Ensuring whistleblowers are listened to and their concerns acted upon. People can support the campaign at www.which.co.uk/publicservices

2. Which? submitted a dossier of evidence on the problems we’ve found with the public service complaints system to David Cameron in March 2015 calling on him to implement reforms following the General Election. The evidence was based on our research,including over 14,000 stories submitted to Which? in 2014/15. You can see the full report and stories here: www.which.co.uk/psdossier.

3. Which? research has found:

·  41% of people who have experienced a problem with the NHS in the past year didn’t complain.

·  34% of those who didn’t complain about a problem with the NHS said they didn’t know who to complain to – more than double the percentage (15%) who said the same in 2012.

·  34% didn’t complain because they didn’t think anything would be done.

·  The most common problems with hospitals and GPs were the quality of the service (39%), communications from professionals (35%) and the service being poorly managed (34%).

Methodology: Populus, on behalf of Which?, conducted an online survey of 4,132 UK adults between 19th and 23rd February 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by their rules.


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