NHS complaints increase16th November 2006
Complaints against frontline staff have risen by more than 5,000 in the past year.
The rise of around five per cent during 2005/6 comes from the Information Centre for Health and Social Care.
Critics say the rise is due to mounting pressure on clinical staff, in the face of financial crisis and staff cuts.
Figures show that 95,047 complaints were registered during the year, compared with 90,413 complaints during the previous 12 months.
More than a third of the complaints made last year related to aspects of clinical care, while 11,500 were about delays and cancellations in clinics. A further 11,500 complained about staff attitudes. The largest share related to services, such as GPs and dentists, which has stayed at around 43,000 for the past three years.
The proportion of complaints resolved by the frontline NHS organisation within the target of 20 days remained at around three-quarters.
But more than 20,000 took longer to resolve, and however, 21,755 complaints were not resolved within the target time, and nearly 2,000 had not been resolved at all by the time the data was collected.
Three individual trusts recorded more than 1,000 complaints: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust.
But the government said greater efforts were being made to encourage complaints from patients, to help NHS organisations improve their services.
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