Trusts are still failing to handle complaints effectively, says commission

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 17 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b676
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    NHS trusts in England are still not handling patients’ complaints effectively, lessons are not being learnt, and patients continue to complain about the same issues year after year. These are the conclusions of the Healthcare Commission in its valedictory report this week.

    When something goes wrong, trusts fail to give a full explanation of what happened, fail to interview staff involved in the incidents, pepper their communications with medical jargon, and too often give grudging apologies, the report says.

    The commission was designated in 2004 as the second stage of a three stage complaints process. Patients were to complain first to the local healthcare provider and then ask the commission for a review if …

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