Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Families Afraid to Complain about Care Standards; Relatives in Homes Suffering despite Concerns

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Families Afraid to Complain about Care Standards; Relatives in Homes Suffering despite Concerns

Article excerpt

Byline: KATIE DICKINSON Reporter katie.dickinson@trinitymirror.com @KATIEJDICKINSON

TOO many older people are "suffering in silence" when things go wrong with their care, a watchdog has found.

A poll by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) revealed that one in three relatives has been concerned about the hospital care of an elderly relative.

But many of these did not complain because they were worried about the effect it would have on their family member's treatment.

The PHSO says the NHS needs to make clear to patients that their care will not be compromised if they, or a relative, makes a complaint.

Elderly people often rely on relatives to raise concerns when things go wrong with hospital care, the PHSO said, but a new poll found that some family members find it difficult to complain. The PHSO and the website Gransnet surveyed 600 people who had an elderly family member who had stayed in hospital overnight in the past year.

I want confident complain, their rights, speak up things go PHSO Rob The organisations found that more than one in three (35%) said there were occasions when they were concerned about the care or treatment of their older relative in hospital.

Of these, 58% said they felt compelled to complain.

Among those who had raised concerns, half said it was "difficult" to complain and only 37% said they felt their concern was listened to and taken seriously. Only 27% said they felt their complaint made a difference.

Among those who said they were concerned about care but did not complain, 19% said they were worried about the impact that complaining would have on the care and treatment of their relative.

And a third said they did not complain because they did not think anything would change, while 6% said they did not know how.

There are far fewer complaints from older people than would be expected given older people's high usage of NHS services, the PHSO said. …

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