NHS Hospital Complaints Handling (Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman)


The three documents listed below summarise research carried out by (or on behalf of) the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in support the government review into how NHS hospitals deal with complaints. This review followed the Francis Inquiry Report, and is led by Ann Clwyd MP and Professor Tricia Hart (Chief Executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).

  1. The first document analyses evidence from example cases and explores the main themes in patients’ experiences of complaint handling.
  2. The second report covers evidence about how NHS trust boards use information from complaints to learn from experience and rectify problems.
  3. The third document summarises comments and feedback from patients, complainants, carers and NHS staff at a two-day workshop on the NHS hospital complaints system.

“The culture of defensiveness in hospitals, reluctance of staff to hear and address concerns, and the ensuing reluctance of patients, carers and families to complain, combine to create a toxic cocktail”.

Incidentally, a recent TED Talk by Margaret Heffernan features: The dangers of “willful blindness”.

Read more and view the (entirely positive) video: NHS Hospital Complaints.

Full Text Link (a)


The NHS hospital complaints system. A case for urgent treatment? London: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, April 2013.

Full Text Link (b)


Speed, M. Tindle, A. [and] Lax, E. (2013). NHS governance of complaints handling. Prepared for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman by IFF Research. London: IFF Research Ltd, June 2013.

Full Text Link (c)


Designing good together: transforming hospital complaint handling. London: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, August 2013.

[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 9, August 2013].

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), National, NHS, Patient Care Pathway, Patients Association, Person-Centred Care, Quick Insights, Standards, UK, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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