Ombudsman data reveals extent of complaints against NHS

Recently released data from the Health Service Ombudsman shows the NHS received 174,872 written complaints over the last year. This represents an increase from 162,019 during 2012/2013.

The biggest concerns voiced by patients include medical misdiagnosis, lack of communication and poor attitude of NHS staff, as well as concerns over the standard of clinical care and treatment.

The figures paint a varied picture of hospital trusts, with some receiving more complaints than others, and some dealing with them in what patients consider to be a satisfactory manner.

Barts Health NHS Trust in London topped the complaints league with 2,451 grievances lodged after 579,271 incidents. 12 per cent of these were upheld by the ombudsman.

A spokesperson for the hospital said: "As the largest NHS Trust in England, with over two million patient contacts a year, we would expect to see a proportionally higher rate of complaints when compared to other NHS Trusts. We take all complaints seriously and work with our patients to ensure they are treated in a swift, sensitive and compassionate manner."

Figures also showed Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was the subject of 382,999 incidents and 1,192 complaints, which led to 120 reports to the ombudsman. Out of 17 investigations, two were upheld.

12th December 2014
Carly Bayliss