Complaints about the NHS reach a new high

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The NHS has received a record number of written complaints since its records began 12 years ago – which could mean that more people will claim compensation for poor medical care.

In the last year NHS hospitals and community services received more than 100,000 complaints about doctors, nurses, midwives and health visitors. More than 40,000 of those complaints related to 'all aspects of clinical treatment' – leading us to believe that there have been aspects of clinical negligence involved, which patients can claim compensation for.

Other complaints have centred on staff attitude and delays to or cancellations of outpatient clinic appointments. NHS officials claim the rise in complaints is simply due to the fact that there has been a substantial increase in NHS activity during the last decade. Also, complaining about NHS services has been made more straightforward, so it is now much easier to complain about clinical negligence or other aspects of NHS care or services.

Whilst the current Coalition Government blames the rise in NHS complaints on the last Labour government, the head of the lobby group Patients Association, Katherine Murphy, said the rise in complaints came as no surprise: "This report shows that the NHS still has a long way to go in responding positively to criticism from its users and learning from and implementing change in response to patients' complaints."

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