April 2014 Archive

Complaining – just what the doctor ordered

The Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has just published a report ‘More Complaints Please!’ in which it makes various recommendations for public bodies (including Government) to sharpen up their act when it comes to responding to, and dealing with, complaints from the public. The report, prompted by the Stafford Hospital scandal, which might have been avoided had complaints about poor standards of care been dealt with properly, looked at the experience of both the private and public sectors, including the NHS. The main message is, unsurprisingly, if complaints are dealt with quickly and sympathetically they tend not to escalate – and in the case of the NHS this should lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of medical negligence claims made.

Counting the cost of safety in the NHS

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the NHS with a new chief executive, Simon Stephens, taking up the reins at NHS England and outlining his vision for a better, more caring NHS; the Barker Commission releasing its interim report on pooling budgets for social and health care; and Jeremy Hunt launching ‘Sign up to Safety’, a voluntary initiative designed to reduce medical accidents by a third. The common thread is the tacit acknowledgement that patients deserve better than many of them are receiving.
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