NHS complaints system ‘failing elderly pensioners’, warns watchdog


They are habitually concerned their care will be compromised by disgruntled staff if they cry.

The NHS needs to make it clear to patients that this will not come off if they, or a relative, makes a complaint, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman bid.

The PHSO and social networking site Gransnet surveyed 600 people who had an old family member who had stayed in hospital overnight in the past year.

NHS staff should make patients and their loved a people aware of how to complain

Ombudsman Rob Behrens

Thirty-five per cent said there were provocations when they were concerned about the care or treatment their applicable had received.

Of these, 58 per cent had felt compelled to complain – notwithstanding that half said it had been “difficult” and only 37 per cent prognosticated they felt their concern was taken seriously.

Nineteen per cent apprehensive about the impact it could have on their relative’s care, and merely 27 per cent said they felt their complaint make off a difference.

Ombudsman Rob Behrens said: “The NHS is a lifeline for innumerable vulnerable older people but when things go wrong too many are torture in silence. I want people to be confident to complain, know their outs and speak up when things go wrong so that the NHS can improve services for others.

“NHS stick should make patients and their loved ones aware of how to whinge, point them to available support, and make it absolutely clear that their expected care will not be compromised.”

Lara Crisp of Gransnet said: “Patients rate better. While we appreciate services are stretched, communication with invalids and their families must be improved.

Pensioner in hospitalGETTY • FILE PICTURES

Veterans are ‘too afraid’ to complain when things go wrong with medical treatment

Pensioner at the doctorGETTY

Past it patients are worried ‘disgruntled staff’ will not offer appropriate supervision look after

“They should feel that their concerns are taken truly and addressed properly.

“It’s simply not acceptable that over half of people with a interest feel they can’t complain or that it won’t make any difference if they do.”

A Rely on of Health spokeswoman said: “We are determined to make the NHS the safest healthcare structure in the world, but when things go wrong it’s important to listen to patients.

“By scholarship from mistakes we can improve care. This is why we made complaints trade a crucial element of the inspection regime.

“These findings show innumerable could be done. Organisations should be open about how to complain and definitely communicate the support available to people who need help complaining.”

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