Care of dying patients and safety dominate report on NHS complaints

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 08 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:278
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    Complaints about the care of dying patients and patient safety dominate a report published last week that reviewed complaints referred to the Healthcare Commission, the NHS watchdog in England.

    The report analysed 16 000 complaints sent to the commission for independent review between July 2004 and July 2006. More than half (54%) of complaints about hospitals were about care surrounding a death. In many cases, families complained that they had received contradictory or confusing information from different staff caring for a relative. In other cases, relatives felt that they were unprepared for the death or had no time to arrange for family members to be present.

    Nearly one quarter (22%) of total complaints were about patient safety. One of the most serious incidents was a mix …

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