Complaint figures rising26th July 2006
Figures published last week show that more than one in five complaints to the parliamentary and health service ombudsman, Ann Abraham, in England last year related to the removal of patients from GP lists. Many of the people complaining said that they had not had a warning of removal or been given the opportunity to put their side of the story.
Overall complaint figures are rising, although less than half the complaints made against GPs in 2005-6 were upheld (59 out of 139).
More than half of all the cases completed by Ms Abraham in 2005-6 (1891 out of 3782 cases) related to health, with just over 1000 complaints relating to continuing care.
The report warns some NHS bodies remain ‚Äúdefensive‚Ä? when it comes to handling complaints; the ombudsman worked with the Department of Health and the Healthcare Commission during the year to develop a standard for NHS complaints.
The intention of the Department of Health to integrate the handling of complaints about both health and social care, which was announced in the white paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say in January 2006, was welcomed by Ms Abraham, being one of the recommendations she made in her March 2005 report Making Things Better.
Annual Report 2005-06: Making a Difference can be found at www.ombudsman.org.uk/about_us/our_plans/annual_reports/ar06/index.html.
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