Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Should Apologise for Errors

Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Should Apologise for Errors

Article excerpt

NHS trusts should be willing to apologise to patients when they make mistakes, the health care watchdog has recommended.

A report from the Healthcare Commission - its second examining the NHS complaints system - urged trusts to learn from patients' complaints and use this knowledge to improve complaints handling.

The main complaint areas identified in the April 7 report included a lack of basic nursing care, poor communication, overly brisk GP consultations and a lack of help for mental health service users.

Each year the NHS provides 380 million treatments and receives about 140,000 complaints. The commission reviews cases where the patient is unhappy with a trust's response, and might refer the complaint back to the trust for further action.

Of the cases reviewed, the number of complaints the commission referred back for action fell from 33% to 26%, suggesting the NHS could be improving its complaints handling. …

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