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Poor care not reported

5th October 2007

A new survey by consumer group Which? has suggested that many hospital patients do not raise issues about poor care because they think it will lead to even worse treatment or not make a difference.

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The organisation questioned 1,000 NHS patients and found that 49% of them were unhappy about an aspect of their stay in hospital with food, cleanliness and organisation of care the main areas of concern. Despite this, fewer than half of them made a complaint. And more than 10% feared that complaining would compromise the care they received.

Which? believes a culture shift is needed in the NHS to encourage patients to give feedback about their care and make sure their views were heard, with a complaints system that is open and accessible.

Director of campaigns at Which?, Nick Stace, said talk from politicians recently about patient-centred care was “more rhetoric than reality.�

He said: “We’ve identified a deadlock in the system that’s led to a real complacency culture existing in the NHS and a service that doesn’t tackle the issues that matter to patients.�

The Patients Association said patients found it difficult to complain and few actually said anything while they were in hospital as they felt very vulnerable.

However, in a separate survey among hospital staff, 99% said they would like to hear about their patients’ concerns and most said they thought gathering feedback would lead to improvements.

The Healthcare Commission said people wanted their complaints to be handled quickly, robustly, independently and at a local level.

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Article Information

Title: Poor care not reported
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 4323
Date Added: 5th Oct 2007

Sources

BBC News

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